Wednesday, September 15, 2010


First of all let’s define a bitter khalto: a bitter khalto is a married woman, usually in her fifties and up, she enjoys gossiping, loves weddings and secretly hates everyone else.

But that’s not all; a woman has to have certain characteristics to qualify as a full-time bitter khalto, and it’s not that easy being a khalto, you need skills and a certain lifestyle. Here’s how to do it:

1. Get rid of bright colored items in your closet, you need to dress like a khalto, get more black, brown, brass and the likes. If you wear a Hijab you might want to consider animal prints for that. Below is a list of colors you can mix and match, from Wikipedia.


2. Shoes with a metal buckle are essential, you can’t go without them: your shoes have to have anything metal on them. Also, if your heels don’t make a noise when you walk, get a nail and hammer it into the sole of your shoes, that’ll do it.

3. Now, let’s say you’re sitting in a waiting area (at a doctor’s office, etc) you need to stare at girls sitting there, and it’d be better if you look dissatisfied, unhappy, disgusted whatever el mohem you’re not amused and you don’t like the girl. Do not, I repeat do not smile at females, and pretend males don’t exist.


4. When shopping for groceries, the cart is your weapon, and people in the store are your enemies, so push damn it! You need to eliminate people getting in your way. PUSH I say.

5. So you’re waiting outside the fitting rooms for someone, and while you're sitting there (yes sitting of course, sit there and put all the bags on the ground, you can also take off one shoe) some girl comes out of the fitting room wanting to show her friend, sister, mother etc. what she’s trying on, try, as hard as you can, to make her feel that is the ugliest piece of clothing you have ever seen on the weirdest looking body. You want her to think “oh my God this must be so ugly how on earth did I pick it? I want to die now”, if you can mumble something to anyone next to you while looking at her that’d be better.

6. Now this is important, if you know any single girls, it is your mission to make them feel like failures, urge them to go to places where they can find potential husbands and tell them they could use more makeup because only then men will look at them, also, try to remind them that their lives are meaningless without a 3arees and that getting married is what they’re on earth for. 

7. Your daughter is an angel. She’s the best person on this earth. Period.

8. People who know all the latest gossip are your best friends, avoid the silent ones, you want people to come to you when they need info on someone, false info that is.

9. You’re the Godmother of everyone younger than you, and you get to tell people what to do and what not to do.

Now only when you have all the points above you’ll qualify as a bitter khalto, because there are other types of khaltoyat out there, some are really sweet and they’re good cooks who like to feed everyone and take care of the sick people, and others fall in between, now if you’re planning on following the steps above, remind me to stay away from you, I have enough shopping cart bruises. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

وسقا الله

 هذا البوست هو تتمة لبوست صديقتي علا، يعني بالأول اقرؤوا هون وبعدين ارجعولي.

وسقا الله لما كانت أغلى لعبة بـ 5 ليرات وما تصح لأي حدا، كنا أنا وأختي نحلم نشتري بيت الباربي بس طلع حقه 36 دينار وولا حتى فكرنا إنّا نطلبه من أبوي لأنّا عارفين شو يعني 36 دينار، اليوم أخوي بفاصل على مواصفات الـ PlayStation 3 اللي بده اياها وعادي أبوي حط مش 36 دينار، لأ 360 دينار واحنا بنضحك، عشان بالآخر يصير أخوي قد البرميل ويستحي كل ما حدا يحكيله مرحبا.

وسقا الله لما كانت المعلمة بالمدرسة شخصية الها وزن وقيمة ولما نسمع كلمة اجت المس نركض لأماكنّا ونخاف نتبهدل أو تنقصلنا علامات، اليوم صاروا المعلمين همه اللي يتبهدلوا، أكيد في جاسوسة بغرفة المعلمات بتطلع عالممر وبترجع ركض تحكيلهم "إجوا الطلاب" وكلهم يهربوا ويقعدوا أماكنهم. *

وعلى سيرة المدارس، وبمناسبة العودة إلى المدارس، سقا الله لما كان الكسلان بالصف هو المنبوذ والشاطر هو المحبوب، ولما كانت البنت اللي بتجيب صفر بالإملاء تقعد لحالها بالفرصة (أو تقعد مع اللي جايبة 1.5)، اليوم صار الشاطر Nerd واللي ما بعرف يهجي كلمة فايع وصرنا نتباهى بالجهل وقلة العقل.

وسقا الله لما كان التلفزيون 3 محطات، ومع هيك كنا مبسوطين عليه وما بتذكر إنا عمرنا شكينا منه، اليوم كل واحد عنده شي 3000 قناة (آه زمان كان اسمها محطة بس هلأ صارت قناة) ومش عارف وين يحط وبشكي انه ما في اشي عالتلفزيون ينحضر، معانا حق ما هي عمان الثانية (اللي كانت تحط حلقتين ورا بعض من The Bold and the Beautiful) بطلت تيجي ومش عارفين شو نعمل من بعدها.

وعلى قولة M

* كل الاحترام لجميع المعلمين والمعلمات الحقيقيين في كل مكان، بعرف بكفيهم اللي فيهم.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

To Irbed...

The thing I love most about Irbed, is that every time I go, on the way there, I feel like I’m going home, yet at the same time, when I’m going back to Amman I feel like I’m going home as well.

I’m originally from Irbed, most of my family still lives in Irbed, yet I’ve never really lived there, we don’t have a house there, and when we go we stay at my grandmother’s and visit the rest of our relatives, but it’s still home.

I don’t have a bed there, I don’t have towels or a toothbrush, but it’s home. I don’t know all the roads and all the directions there, but Irbed is home.

In Irbed, away from the pretentiousness of West Amman, you find people walking in the streets wearing their pajamas, kids running barefoot and guys going to the neighborhood’s hummus restaurant holding a plate and wearing slippers.

In Irbed, you’d be bored, get up, open the door of your neighbor’s house and join them in their afternoon tea rituals without even asking, no appointments like Amman, no formal visits planned a week ahead, and gathering your friends to go visit another one and say congratulations on your marriage or new baby doesn’t take more that the 5 minutes to call the 5 friends and tell them to meet you there tonight, my friend got married in January and the girls and I are still trying to come up with a day that suits all of us to go as a group.

In Irbed, when someone gets married, you go to the wedding to find people you never expected to see there, then you find that in one way or another, you’re related, or your parents used to be neighbors, or maybe your grandfathers used to be best friends.

In Irbed, you would go to a funeral, to find that your second cousin is married to your neighbor’s daughter, and that his mother in law witnessed the birth of your father.

I love how small it is, how close the people are no matter how fast it is growing. I love how people can tell who my father is by looking at the car I’m in, and I love how random people ask you if someone is your uncle because you have his eyes.

I love how you can ask your friend’s mom to make you that favorite dish of yours when you see her in the street without feeling embarrassed. 

I love the lack of formalities.

To people from Irbed living in Amman, Irbed’s bread, olive oil, yoghurt, cucumbers, figs, wheat, labaneh, falafel and everything else tastes better, richer and more original.

But the thing that I don’t like in Irbed, is that people with no loyalty, people who have no sense of belonging to that place, have turned the simple, flat streets of Irbed into garbage dumpsters, they turned the spacious fields of wheat and other crops into fields of plastic bags, Irbed has become the city richest in polymers because of those plastic bags! The green fields of Irbed are colored with blue, white, black and red plastic bags instead of the wild flowers that used to be there.

What’s happening to people? How can anyone see a place so green and so beautiful and still throw what’s left of their meal with the soda cans and the box there without feeling the slightest bit of guilt?

But the people are not the only side to blame here I guess, people there are so simple and undemanding that they can have the greatest evening by grabbing their chairs, argeelehs and snacks and driving to an empty street with very few buildings and very light traffic and setting up their own “ga3deh”. Some streets there are becoming so popular among the people of Irbed for such nights out, yet not a single garbage can is to be found there and the city officials couldn’t seem to care less.

Does it have to be a restaurant in an upscale neighborhood with valet parking, waiters who look so uncomfortable and a menu that contains dishes with names people can’t even pronounce for the city to care? Does the meal have to cost you four or five times the amount needed to prepare it for the city to care? 

And no, it’s not just the people who are responsible for this, every single housewife in Irbed that I know of has some kind of obsession with the cleanness of her house that makes it possible for you to pick up food that you drop on the floor and eat it. 

It’s just that the people at the municipality don’t care, then the rest of the people get upset that those don’t care so they stop caring, and we fall into this cycle, people lose their sense of belonging gradually, and the city turns into somewhere you can’t belong, it turns into a whole different place than the one you knew growing up, and days like Eid days filled with the sounds of the kids’ firecrackers, the smell of Arabic coffee and ma’moul and the scent of the breeze coming through grandma’s old Quina tree, become a distant memory and a picture of Irbed that you decide to hold onto and never forget, a picture that you associate with the name Irbed, along with pictures of old women sitting on their doorsteps watching people walk by, with grandma’s old coin purse that she keeps tucked between the cushions of her couch, with images of little girls with ugly embellished handbags counting how much money the collected from Eideyyat, with the smell of fresh bread your uncle just bought with that little brown paper bag of falafel and plate of hummus decorated with parsley leaves and chili powder sprinkled on the sides.

Unless people start caring again, which is not impossible hopefully.

So don’t blame me if I take Irbed’s side against Amman, I’m all for simplicity, it doesn’t mean I don’t belong to Amman, it’s also home, but that image of Irbed I just described beats the streets of Amman, because cleaner as they might be, and as modern as they get, I can’t smell the Quina tree. It’s not Irbed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Why do you care if they burn a copy, 10 copies or even a billion copies of the Quraan? Islam haters have been burning Muslims for decades before they burn the Quraan, they burned Muslim children, Muslim women, Muslim men, Muslims' homes, mosques, lands, and countries. Which is more sacred? The Quraan belongs in hearts rather than on papers anyway so let them burn all they want, as long as they're not affecting our hearts or minds they're not affecting Islam. People are making a fuss over the wrong thing, we seem to have lost sight of the things that really matter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why I Blog

I was first writing part of this post as a comment on Haitham’s post, but then I found I have a lot to say (doh) and thought I should write it here instead, because it wouldn’t make sense if a comment is longer than the post ;)

So why did I start blogging? It actually first started like this, having so much to say, things that won’t fit in a comment, and things that don’t belong on other people’s posts.
The thing is I never really expected to have more than 20 followers, and I’m not the biggest fan of being in the spotlight so it’s not the fame or popularity either, but I have almost always had something to say, something to criticize or something to praise, and I’ve always done it the same way, mostly with jokes (regardless whether they’re funny or not.) 

However, posts that make fun of things I don’t like or things that I would like to see change (like the one in the doctor’s office and the taxi drivers post for example) and posts in which I try to say that some things are being done the wrong way (like the Jordanian English post) seem to be the kind of posts that get understood the most. People usually accuse you of being arrogant when you correct a mistake (apparently correcting grammar and spelling mistakes is what people hate the most) or they say you’re being a two-faced person for talking about things your friends do. 

What I’ve noticed about some (very few and I’m very thankful for that) readers is that they like to attack people who criticize something, anything! You come out and say the internet is crappy and they get all worked up, even though you’re positive their connection is so bad too, you might even get a “ooh look at you complaining about the internet, you know some people don’t have a place to live in and you’re complaining about something stupid like this”, tayyeb meen jab seeret el mawdou3 asasan? If I talk about anything else other than poverty, wars, hunger, unemployment..etc, does it mean I’m being insensitive? Shallow? A narcissist maybe?

Other than attacking, some people like to psycho-analyze a blogger, I always get shocked when I get these, you might have read some comments here, people like to think that the real reason you’re writing a post is because you have had a bad childhood, are lonely, miserable or have some deep dark secret that is torturing you and your only way of venting is by making jokes about things you’re not fond of. Sometimes we need to think in a simpler way, there isn’t a “real motive” behind these posts (mine at least) other than what’s out there, I go out for a couple of hours, face some problems with bad-mannered drivers that make me tick and I come home, open the blog and post what I saw, it doesn’t mean I’m a sensitive girl that comes from a broken family blah blah blah.

Yes I did meet some really bad people in my life, they did things that upset me at the time and I complained, I did not sit in my room crying after my post about friends, nor did I think about quitting my job when I said I was unhappy in it, we have bad days and good days, I do complain about my job but some days I really love it! And I did have some back-stabbing friends one day but at the same time I know some of the greatest people on earth, in my opinion at least. But where’s the fun in writing about that?

I guess you now have an idea about the reason behind this blog, it’s as simple as this:

I blog for fun.

I’m also so glad I decided to do it, I met some of the most amazing people through this, got to know how other people outside my world think, changed some ideas I had, learned so much from other blogs, things about life, about people and about myself.

Finally, anyone is welcome to criticize me here any time, just keep it reasonable, and don’t say something you don’t like people to tell you. That doesn’t mean I’m changing the way I write posts but it’s always nice and eye-opening to know what people think. I might also make fun of anything you write here so beware.

*Note: I did the girls/guys guides post that Haitham mentioned with Seleucid not melicieuse. Just to be clear and give him his credit :) but I would absolutely LOVE to do a double post with meli, she’s one of my favorites :)

*Another note: I love myself.