My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

27 September 2006

Vola, Vola Palombella

This might trigger memories from the years of innocence and care-free that is now long gone. Let me know how you feel.

This is Nadina now!!

20 September 2006

But By The Seeds You Plant

I have been working on an upcoming post but ran into some technical difficulties. I am close to figuring things out though so look out for it.

In the mean time, I want to tell you about this friend of mine Amr Salama, though we haven't talked in a long time. He is a very talented young director with an artistic vision and an excellent work-ethic. He showed me many of his material, like short/long stories, graphics, and videos and I think he has great potential. He made 2 unreleased music videos, one for the great Wust El Balad, and one for Hany Adel. I will try to post these videos pending his permission.

Check out Amr's new Afkar Productions and try some of the videos. I am sure you will hear more about him in the future!

15 September 2006

It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken

Here are some excerpts out of the last few days...

1. I waited for someone, online, but they never showed up!

2. Someone said they would email me 'akeed' (= for sure) the next day but they never did!

3. I met birthday girl in another gathering and we didn't even say hi this time! Don't you just hate it when you find out you didn't say hi to a person in the group and it's obviously too late to say hi now?

4. I promised someone I would call them after work but I never did!

5. I sent a message to someone I don't know!

6. My best friend broke up with his gf. He looked fine, but I can tell deep inside there is an emotional storm. Us guys don't show our emotions very much, even to our closest friends. They looked very happy together. The problem had to do with long distance and pressure from her parents!

7. If you're gonna break up with a guy, don't send an email to his friend asking him to take care of your ex!

8. I was in my work building when this girl, with an unusual smile, looked at me and walked past me. I turned my head around to see what's going on (ok... to check her out) and at that exact moment she looked back and smiled!

9. Someone called me 'such a sweetheart' for no apparent reason!

10. I met this guy for the first time, he was so down to earth and innocent. I polluted him with some of my ideas. I showed him how everything isn't so rosey. I felt bad afterwords!

11. I haven't started my to do list yet... time is running out!

12. Sam gave me an official World Cup bracelet for the German team as a present!

13. I can't find a good flip phone with a camera... does anyone have suggestions?

14. I talked politics with an old man and we bordered on religion. I was surprised to find that we agree on a lot of things!

15. For maybe the one hundredth time, I come to the conclusion that I cannot sing!

16. I was right in predicting the winner of Rockstar Supernova. In fact, I picked the top 2 right!

17. Had an uncomfortable elevator ride... one woman's husband left her for a younger girl. I used to know that guy, he seemed nice!

18. I keep getting emails (103 in the last month) directed to someone by the name of 'Rania Fahim' though my name is nowhere close. I never knew anyone by that name either. Rania, if you are out there, stop using my email!

09 September 2006

I'm Being Cut To Shreds

While you make pretty speeches
I'm being cut to shreds
You feed me to the lions
A delicate balance

05 September 2006

A Logical Puzzle In Islam

a. Freedom of Religion is the right that everyone has to choose any religion/belief system or lack thereof.

b. Islam calls for the death penalty for muslims that renounce Islam (per hadiths in Sahih El Bukhari).

From 'a' and 'b', Freedom of Religion and Islam cannot consistently coexist.

Does anyone have an answer to this riddle?

01 September 2006

Break The Religious Handcuffs

This will sound weird to 'foreigners', perfectly normal to Egyptians, and outrageous to Human Rights Activists. On the back of the Egyptian National ID card ,that every citizen has, there are 4 pieces of personal information. Occupation, Sex, religion, and martial status. Having the first and last one on ID cards, my guess is, is not that common and is probably debatable. The second one is pretty standard. But it's the third one that's troubling me. I can imagine a lot of non-Egyptians right now going "holy crap (no pun intended!), religion is on your ID cards?"

Here is why I think religion should not be on Egyptian ID cards.

First of all, if my card says I'm Muslim, for example, does that mean I'm Muslim? Do letters printed and glossed on a piece of paper saying 'Christian' really mean that I am Christian? No and no. What a person believes in and who they worship cannot be decided by a government paper. A person is a Muslim or a Christian by what's in their head, what's in their heart, and the actions they take. Nobody can tell us what we believe in except ourselves.

My second problem has to do with the nature of religion. One’s religion is neither an eye colour nor a blood type. It's neither an ethnicity nor a fingerprint. Religion is not a gene that we are born with. It is something that we choose. We should have the freedom to choose whatever we want to believe in. I should have the freedom to be a Muslim one day, a Christian the next day, a Buddhist the day after, and so forth without constantly changing government papers. It's not a sex-change operation! After all, isn't it expected that our beliefs change based on what we experience in life? Do I have to change my ID every time I have doubts about my religion or completely reject it?

Thirdly, as far as I know, the government allows you only to be one of three: Muslim, Christian, or Jew (yes you can be a Jew!). The Egyptian government doesn’t let you believe in anything else. How narrow minded is that? Are there are no other belief systems? No Buddhism, no Hinduism? No atheism, no agnosticism? Where is the Freedom of choice?

Fourthly, there is the issue of discrimination. I don't think I need to elaborate more here, but I will anyway. Having religion on ID cards makes it incredibly easy to discriminate between Egyptians. Imagine how the treatment of the police, university professeurs, and employers could vary depending on whether or not you agree with what they believe in! There is no doubt minorities suffer as a result of this. Even though removing religion from government papers is not likely to stop discrimination, but at least it won't be as ridiclously easy as it is now.

Start with Freedom...

P.S. related post: When You Build A Bridge