Sunday, October 30, 2005

Holy Month of Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holiest. It is during this month that Muslims observe the Fast of Ramadan. Lasting for the entire month, Muslims fast during the daylight hours and in the evening eat small meals and visit with friends and family. It is a time of worship and contemplation. A time to strengthen family and community ties.

During the last ten days of Ramadan, Muslims seek and observe what is known as the "Night of Power," which marks the first revelation of the Qur'an Muslims worldwide spend these last ten nights of Ramadan in solid devotion, spend extra time in prayer and devotion, retreating to the mosque to stay all night(i'tikaf), reciting special supplications (du'a), and reflecting on the meaning of Allah's message to us.

To me, the last 10 days are the most beautiful 10 days of my life. Connecting with my creater and just being moved to the degree of tears is the outmost beautiful experience in my life.

Last year I've never felt closer to God as a prayed and supplicated all night long. My cousin who's like my baby sister was by my side and I couldn't ask for anything more. The prayer was well organized with the Imam and everything just went smoothly and perfectly. His beautiful voice reciting the Qur'an as we prayed just filled my heart and couldn't help but to be moved, the supplication was the most beautiful thing. It touched everything I was feeling and it was one of the most peaceful supplications. I People were nice enough and clean enough. It wasn't crowded at all. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Unlike in Abu Dhabi, here in Damascus this year, the experience was horrifying. I wasn't too sure if I was crying because of me being moved for connecting with God, or is it I was feeling sorry for myself, or for this Ummah. People were all on top of each other, nothing was organized. Women, are just horrifying throwing trash everywhere, bringing their kids around like it's some picnic with food all over the place. I couldn't concentrate on praying. My mind wandered 10 million miles away. I wanted to pray for this Ummah and for me being able to make a difference but nope, instead I ended up praying for me to be back in the UAE next year in the last 10 days in Ramadan. The supplication that the Imam was reciting somewhat threw me off. It got political and supplicating for the Imam of the mosque. I found that totally strange.

I tried to make the best out of it anywyas, I got some sort of enjoyment but mostly I was seriously disappointed. As my thanks, I usually pick up trash, cleaning the mosque as I leave. It's said that one is rewarded greatly for cleaning up the mosque. I wanted to do that because that is what I usually do... It brings joy to my heart but last night as I was doing that, women were looking at me, with the weirdest look in their faces. It's like they had no idea what I was doing and why. I was thinking, don't you people want to be rewarded or at least be clean?

I have no idea what more to say... All I can say is that, I hope it's not like that in all the mosques in Syria.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My First Week in Syria

It's been a while since I've been updating my blog and that's because I've finally moved to Syria. Phew… I must admit this is the outmost frustrating moves of my life; it's just plainly a pain in the ass.

Everything was packed and astonishingly I didn't forget anything of much importance and my dad didn't nag as he would usually in a situation like this. So I was pretty comfortable. Even though I was 1/2 hour late to the airport everything went smoothly and got my favorite seat in economy class. I took everything that happened as a sign that everything is going to be just fine; little did I know what complications I'll face as soon as I set foot in Damascus Airport.

As soon as I set foot in Damascus, I started to get nervous about what state I'll actually find my computer and my synthesizer and how would I actually pass them through customs. Got me a cart, head to the luggage claim, and got a guy to help me out. I was exhausted, frustrated, nervous, and seriously hungry and the customs were trying to give me a serious hard time. I didn't want to yell or argue, so I decided to play another game. I played the cute, innocent girl who was clueless. After a long procedure of scaring living daylights out of me by telling me that I'll need to pay 50,000 SP ($1,000), I was ready to burst into tears. If I didn't pay right then they'll keep the synthesizer till they get paid. I wanted to call anybody to ask for the money but my credit on my credit on my phone was expired so I couldn't use it. I went out without my stuff just to inform my uncle what's holding me up. Lucky me, nobody was there. I went back in the verge of tears. I guess the guy in charge felt sorry for me so decided that I'd pay only 5,000 SP. I couldn't care less anymore. I just wanted to go home after 45 mins dealing with the customs. I paid and they gave me a receipt for future reference. YAY!!!

As I was unpacking my computer 2 days later, I heard something rattling inside the case. I figured, I'd try to turn it on anyways. What surprise! It didn't work. To my luck the cooler had fallen off taking the CPU with it since it's glued to it. The CPU was in a terrible condition. I tried adjusting the genuinely bent pins and I believe I did a good job but didn't want to risk putting it back on the motherboard by myself and break it. I seriously wanted to kill who was responsible for it, but I seriously didn't know who was.

2 friends of mine (Baher and Iyad) came to help me out. Since I couldn't let them in my place of society customs reasons, we just carried my computer to a coffee shop and took a look there. Unfortunately, the attempt of putting back the CPU back was a failure because one of the pins broke as Baher tried to put it back in. I thought that the CPU at this point is a goner and had to buy another one.

Iyad seriously put up with me for a week trying to figure out something. We ended up going to elbahsa (technology market) to see what options we have. One place actually offered to fix it. I never heard that CPUs can be fixed but it was worth a try. I'd be saving 11,000 SP if it actually did work. 2 days later Iyad and I went back with my computer to see if the CPU does work on my computer. I literately jumped up and down from the joy of knowing my computer is working fine again.

Good thing during this week of waiting, I started my job and it's pretty neat. At the moment it's just training so nothing totally exciting but just knowing the secrets of the trade makes it fun.

What a start in Syria, eh? I really with all my heart like to thank Iyad for his concern and all the help he offered. Iyad, THANK YOU!!! I don't know what I would've done without you. Probably I'd bother my cousin, instead. Hehehehe…

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Driver jailed for bestiality... Uhmmm ok?.

A report made by Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter from Gulf News...

Ras Al Khaimah: A man has been sentenced to three months in jail after pleading guilty to charges of bestiality.
The camel involved in the case is to be put down in accordance with Islamic law.

A court official said the Bangladeshi, who worked as a driver, had been spotted going into his employer's barn on a regular basis.

His employer became suspicious as his duties did not involve him dealing with animals.

The official said the employer, a UAE national, followed his driver into the barn one day and saw him starting to have sex with a female camel.

The owner lost his temper and started beating him. He then took him to the police station to press charges.

The official said the driver confessed to police that he used to have sex with one particular camel.

The police arrested him and the case was referred to the Public Prosecution.

The official added the man told the prosecution that he had fallen in love with the camel and had sex with the animal.

The emirate's Criminal Court sentenced him on Wednesday to three months in jail, to be followed by deportation.

It also stated that the camel be put down as its meat would now be tainted.

The animal will be put down at the emirate's slaughterhouse, a representative from the Public Prosecution will be in attendance.


Uhmmm... now that's seriously disgusting... It reminds of this joke.

Doctor Dave had slept with one of his patients and felt guilty all day
long. No matter how much he tried to forget about it, he couldn't. The
guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming. But every once in while
he'd hear an internal, reassuring voice in his head that said;

"Dave don't worry about it", you aren't the first medical practitioner to
sleep with one of their patients, and you won't be the last, and you're
single,just let it go."

But invariably another voice in his head would bring him back to


"But, Dave..............

you're a vet"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cats from Hell...

It doesn't matter if they are pretty or ugly, home cats or stray cats; these cats have one thing in common, they look seriously evil. Creepy... MOMMY!!!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Random Ranting...

As I sit here enjoying the music I've been creating lately, I feel such joy in my heart and soul. Is it because the music is beautiful? Well, of course, I'm going to say the music is beautiful. It's my creation. hehehe... But that's not even close to the point. Well, it's not the music pieces that are making me happy. It's the fact that I created something. One of my greatest joys in life is to be able to create. It doesn't matter what it is, whether writing a song or a poem, or composing a musical piece or even drawing some abstract art.

I'm realizing more and more, if I wasn't able to create, I'm the most depressed human being and I often do the worst things I can do for my soul. I become seriously moody, I feel worthless and my self esteem rushes down faster than you can blink. I seriously feel the weight of life is taking it's toll on me. I lose focus and purpose. With all that said, I usually burst out on innocent people who are nothing but gentle and sweet. You know who you are, Sowwy... I might still be the bouncy person as I am but deep down in me there's something missing. I can't be satisfied at all without creating anything that doesn't reflect on who I am and what I'm feeling or living at each particular moment.

For a while, I was totally being unproductive and when I did something, it wasn't done in best shape and form. I was thinking, "Well, it's good enough. Why bother?" Well, it's that kind of thinking that'll get me nowhere. Once I started putting things together really well, magic arose and my whole spirit changed. Well, I do have to admit, I had some downfalls when it came with my work. I had an opportunity to let Sami Yusuf listen to some of my music. I had some really good stuff at first. He liked them and he thought I had potential. That's when I actually cared to create something really good. When he asked for more work. I gave him what I had, and didn't really create anything new. That was a serious mistake. Simply because the music wasn't put in it best form. The recordings were great, the performance surely needed to be better. It just wasn't tight at all. I just gave in whatever I had, didn't even think about it. Then when I was told he wasn't impressed, the huge mistake that I've done seriously hit me. This is not some friend who's like your work anyways. This is a business man who wants to find some seriously good talent. I just proved to him that I wasn't. So I figured I needed to do something serious about it.

After doing some serious thinking, I needed to change my tools because the tools I had simply didn't do it for me. I did all I can do with it and needed a serious upgrade. After a lot of dreaming and working hard on begging my dad to get it for me, I finally got a Yamaha Motif ES 6, the greatest Synthesizer ever. THANK YOU, DAD... The sounds on that machine totally inspired me and what I thought it would do to me, actually did happen. It inspired me by all means. Everything I've been feeling for the past year, from pain and joy came out in 2 musical pieces I've compsed, Hope and Struggle. There are still more to come, believe me. It's not ending here. There is a lot to express and a lot more create.

The bottom line is I seriously hate myself when I'm not doing what I love doing the most. Hell, people have told me that I'm more likeable when I'm productive. I heard this from 2 people just tonight. They didn't need to say it though, I already knew. Well, I guess things will be different because my job requires me to be productive and always on go with creativity. I guess that should do wonders for me. YAY!! Can't wait till I start. Woohoo!!

If you're interested to hear my material, good and bad, just drop by my music website

Struggle is already up there... If you want to check out Hope you'll have to wait till it's verified. It should be up in 3 days time.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Zodiac... A Syrian Rock Band.

Zodiac is a Syrian rock band founded back in 1997 by Anas Abdul Moumen, Maen Rajab and Anas Abu Kous. The band started playing popular cover songs but after their bass player Omar Harb joined in 1998, they then started to write there own material. Now they are in the process of recording there debut album with new singer Chadi Ali. The band now consists of Chadi Ali: Lead Vocalist, Hazem Al Ani: Pianist and Keyboardist, Anas Abdul Moumen: Guitarist, Maen Rajab: Guitarist, Omar Harb: Bassist, Nasser Hamdi: Drummer.

I personally have heard about Zodiac about a year ago but didn't get to see nor hear them till this summer. I have to admit, I didn't expect to be seriously impressed by their work. Their music is blend of nu metal and rock with a twist of Arabic influence. I was touched and proud to know that they are fellow Syrians. It has been 8 years since they started and they still are strong and firm and believe they can make it into the mainstream music worldwide. I believe they can because simply, they are amazing, new and something different from what's out there. I'll personally have to give a special thanks to Amr for inviting me to the show. I'll go see them again anytime.

You can download of one of Zodiac's songs "Ma Tgheebee" by Anas Abdul Moumen

Tell me what you guys think.

You can also check out their bassist, Omar Harb's website.