Half-Baked Ideas: Life, Raising Kids, and Arab's Memory

Of Life and Expectations.

Life happens in a very random way. It's somehow depressing yet refreshing to know that your plans will most likely fall apart. So my advice is never plan farther than a year or two. Don't assume or expect. Things and people change. Life twists and turns in weird ways. One of your best friends will be someone who you haven't seen for 10 years. People you had many things in common with will soon drift and others will replace them. Places you planned to settle in might be the places you send postcards to, and those you used to send to might be your new home.

Raising kids

This advice comes with a great deal of credibility. Mainly because I'm single and have no kids, and so, I'm free of all inhibitions and psychotic protective behaviors.

if you want your kid to be more successful than you are when he/ she grows up, as a rule of thumb, they should be different from you!

Unless you want them to be copy cats and bad re-runs, you should unleash them and let them do their thing in their own way. 

More successful means not the same as you are. It means different. 

On Arabs' Memory. 

 In general terms, Arabs don't have a big interest in their own personal history. Interestingly, we more than anybody else tend to retain the biggest stock of our cultural history, and in many cases take it with us, oh so romantically, to the grave.

We are not big on birthdays and anniversaries. We don't usually celebrate milestones, and we definitely have a thing against pictures. You are unlikely to find an Asian who doesn't have a dozen pictures of himself in the cradle, whereas you can find many Arabs who don't even remember how they looked when they were young.

It's probably a reflection of what's going on on the political scene in our era. We celebrate our long and glorious history, but we rarely take actions on our current events or celebrate our successes, if there was any to celebrate anyway!

Chapter 3: Jordanians " The Hair Shirts "

You need a Polo shirt, Diesel Jeans, Clarks shoes, and a Breitling. You need a BMW or an SUV, a BB, a so-called exquisite taste, and a 5-number car plate. These are the pre-requisites to the League of Extraordinary men and women. If you have the pre-requisites, then you're eligible for entry.
Self-haters who denounce everything around them. Jordanians by virtue of a document, and if given the chance they'll be anything but. They claim superiority to a world that fed them. They are disgusted by a nation that never stopped giving them. To them, this country can't do anything right. As the movie of the Jordanian life flickers before there eyes they fail to see anything but the black spots and the hidden signatures. They've succumbed to the notion that their survival stems from their distance from this society. They welcome foreigners with a cry for help. They'll bash everything they see to overcome their insecurities, and lack of self-respect.
they're overwhelmed with reality. Oblivious to the concept of classes. Everyone needs to be Upper Class. You need to get your morning coffee at Starbucks, watch your movies at Zara Center's, have your Shisha in Lemon, and NOT read your books in Books@cafe. You're unrecognizable to them if your net worth of apparel covering your body is less than 200 JD. They'll sing Odes of the wonders of the countries they visited, and compare it to the nothingness they see in Jordan. They have a soft spot for Lebanon. It's their best bid to achieve social immortality.
If you want to see them, look around you. They are the ones sitting on tables talking to each other in English, dropping a "ca va" every once in awhile. They are the ones staring at you, from the corner of their eyes, somewhere near the belt, for an eye contact with the masses hurts their superiority.
They love their version of Jordan. One in which they only see themselves. One in which everybody dines in a hotel and shops in a mall. One that breathes vanity and exists in their fantasy.
They have a keen interest in arts, but they can't tell the difference between a melody and a fart. They are the farthest there is from sophistication, but they definitely look the part. They are the parasites growing around ministers, and the country's blood-sucking sinisters. For them, narcissism is a religion, humility is fascism, and a nation is a minority of Gods and a majority of enslaved and ripe humans put there to glorify their mere existence. 
They dread the crawling of the easter Ammanites to their Green Zone. Down the years they retreated from Jabal Al Hussein, Jabal Amman, Shmeisani and Rabieh. They are still fighting for there lives in Sweifieh, while they still have a stronghold in Abdoun and Deir Ghbar! A counter attack has been recently launched at Jabal Amman, but it remains to be seen who will eventually prevail.
If you're rich, you're not necessarily one of them. However, you need to keep spotting yourself. As your humanity and your connection with reality is at stake. You have the choice. You can become superior by overcoming your superiority, or dwell in the hole of self-worship and shoot yourself to oblivion. To the dumpster of history.

Chapter 2: Jordanians "THE WINGERS"


In a world of superstars and celebrities those people take the different route of annonymity. They are socially outdated, and barely ever took a look at today's dictionary of Who's Who. They run through life with selfless dedication and make the best out of nothing. They're the ticking clock behind every functioning or barely functioning family, but life breezes past them like summer wind, and their unforgivable cluellessness is their only triumph.

They are deaf to The obscenely loud buzz of life, as somewhere along the line of their monochromatic life someone taught them that this is the best they're ever going to get. With an 80's hairstyle, and a 20JD- leather jacket they wake up everyday to do the same thing they did the day before. A weekend is for house shores. A picnic is a barbecue task on Airport road. Eid is family visits, and Jabal Al Hussein is the equal of the strip in L.A.

They pass by you like a Friday. As they exist, but to us we managed to strip them off every single meaning of spirituality. They've learned some 50 years ago that being a woman is a test. Being a man is an obligation. Work is routine, and life is a big greyscale scene.

They studied in public schools. They admire and resent those brats who graduated from schools usually referred to by 3-letter acronyms. Gel is as bad as Alcohol, and trendy Jeans are as sinful as thongs.

They roam the streets of East Amman and Every Jabal something during early evenings, wearing an empty look. Carrying a black plastic bag that is the only source of joy to that family. they are usually overwhelmed by how life left them behind. How their values are antiquities from the past, and how days move so freaking fast. They grow frustrated with the shadow they cast, but it's as far as the next morning that this feeling will last.

There pen is a stamp. They know how to guide you to the next office of that civil building with as few words as possible. they puff their cigarettes earth bound. They searched for their ambition but it's nowhere to be found. Unlike others, they usually underestimate themselves, but they compensate for that with their self-proclaimed high standard of morality.

They are the Janitors of a hospital. The infantry of a military. The traffic cops at intersections. The TA's in a faculty. The full backs in a football team. They play on the premises of the play. They walk at the edge of life. They are the wingers going forward and the guardians going back. They are the wings of a falcon. For without wings a falcon can't fly. But as he poses and stairs at you, those wings are held back. They just don't have the knack.

In their world, love is convenience, and respect is obedience. Fun is a travesty, and change is a tragedy. In their shells they are contained, writers, scientists, geniuses and hard workers! Unfortunately for the world, only few of them will ever break through that bottle knick called self esteem.

Chapter 1: Jordanians " The Floaters"

There are five types of Jordanians. At least 95% of the population belong to one of these types. The rest are just anomalies or simply not Jordanians.

These types are identifiable by their way of life. Not by religion or origin, but by social beliefs and codes of social communication.

In this Series of 5 posts we will go through the 5 types as an extensive Jordan 101 Course.


This group takes pride in being Elite. Not in a financial sense, but more on a moral level. the wrong doing of their own doesn't necessarily undermine their status as they have struck a deal with God to give them a signing bonus. A huge sum of good deeds that will always balance out their screw ups.

Males will look for a girlfriend, and girls will look for boyfriends. Guys will always look for sex by any mean, but they'll eventually look for a Virgin to marry! Someone whom no man's hands have touched before. For them every guy in a car with a girl is the boyfriend and he's getting some! The possibility of him being her brother, fiancee, cousin is absolutely absurd and unrealistic for them.

They all know what religion is all about. They know what's wrong and right, but they do all the wrong things. They want to enjoy life! Go out, party, have Girlfriends, dance, experience the nightlife, sleep overs, go camping with the opposite sex just for a laugh and a game of Monopoly through the night. They want to have a hobby. Play a sport. Maybe Tennis! They end up playing Cards until all their life's wild cards are spent. They are hooked to pipes running from their lips to the end of their dreams. To a bowl of stinking water as they vent their dreams and watch it become a white cloud blocking their sight.

They sit and judge and gauge. How much did they waste, and how more is there to waste. By the time their dreams are transformed into a proud gut, and their lungs rot, they find themselves a "Virgin" and go on to add mediocrity to a mediocre existence. Eat, Work, Drink, and sleep. They believe that they are the best thing that happened since bread came sliced. Syrians, Egyptians, Gulf people, Iraqis, Lebanese? No, they are not good enough.

They speak different tongues because they always try to fit! Gaddaish, Addaish and Addaih! They love their cars. They love their Shisha's and they love their coffee cups and keyboards.

They are stuck midway between Heaven and Hell! They don't drink but they don't pray, they don't think but they don't play!.. They don't read because it's lame. They don't play sport because it's immature. They love and they deny it. They have brains but they don't levy it. They are dressed in blue, grey and black. Probably Green on a happy day, But Pink would be just too Gay. They don't know where they stand. Are they on the left or on the right? Are they in the middle of it or just on the side? Are they vectors or just scalar values with no direction or aim?

They just float... The lost Children of this country.

To Be Continued....