The ramifications of supporting Hillary

Hillary Clinton I’m fascinated by the amount of angry messages and "Wall posts" I’m getting on my Facebook page from my friends these days after I announced that I’m supporting Hillary for president (for reasons that I do not wish to delve into now). Most of the angry messages came from my Jordanian/Arab friends who made sure to tell me that they do not agree with me. Here are some examples:

Come on now, she flip flops, she is owned by the Jewish lobby and she has a one sided view of the Arab Israeli conflict. She is no Bill.

Boooo…. Obama…Obama!

Why Hillary she is a devil wearing Prada…Because she is a woman ?!!

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

I am aware that Hillary is a pretty divisive choice but I never realized how much she is hated in the Arab World until now. I guess I have been away from the Middle East for a long time and now I’m no longer connected with the "Arab street." However, I’m not backing down. I’m someone who believes in the individual’s freedom of choice. By that I mean a choice that stands on its own that is not influenced by the preference of a community or society. I’m at a stage of my life where I no longer want to chant the same song with a familiar crowd. I want to chant my own song and make individual decisions. So for that I say, go Hillary.

Grabbing our piece of the American dream

Our house, in the middle of our street

One of the reasons I’ve been quiet during the past few months is because the husband and I have been working hard to achieve this. Yes. We made it, finally. We are proud homeowners.

We are elated that after four years of marriage, we now own a house that we plan to keep for a while. While Jeff is already planning the design of his "TV room," where he can put all his toys to good use, I’m busy mapping out the dining room in anticipation of the many, many parties we plan to host.

If anyone has plans to visit the DC metro area anytime soon, remember that our house is always open. And yes, we finally have a guest room.

Jordan’s torturous tales in The Washington Post

Jordan's table of torture courtesy WaPO Accompanying Jeff to the department of motor vehicles this morning, I brought along The Washington Post to read while he took care of business. On the front page I found a lengthy story about Jordan. No, this was not a story about the two Jordanian entries for the Sundance Film Festival — a first in the history of the Kingdom. Rather, it was a report of something else: torture.

What was new this time was a photo illustrated table listing the inmates allegedly held and tortured in Jordan alongside the methods of torture used upon them. According to the article, torture in Jordan comes in two flavors: Falaqa and Farruj

Former prisoners have reported that their captors were expert in two practices in particular: falaqa, or beating suspects on the soles of their feet with a truncheon and then, often, forcing them to walk barefoot and bloodied across a salt-covered floor; and farruj, or the “grilled chicken,” in which prisoners are handcuffed behind their legs, hung upside down by a rod placed behind their knees, and beaten.

Of course the report disturbed me for obvious reasons. But I’m also upset at seeing my country’s name linked yet again to this inhumane practice. Living in the DC metro area, where everyone is politically charged, I get a comment or two about Jordan being linked to torture when I reveal my nationality. If the information were true, then really Jordan should put an end to it. It is inhumane and uncivilized. Just end it!

I also got annoyed because the Post seems hung up on the issue when discussing Jordan. How many times do you have to report on this, really! Why not replace the front page story with something positive for a change. Here is a headline for you: Two Jordanian entries at Sundance Film Festival boost Kingdom’s cinematic ambitions.

Okay, this post is giving me a headache so I’m going to stop whistling in the dark here and find something better to do. I of all people should know that journalists revel in bad news and rarely file reports that leave you loving life and wanting more. Uff!

Update: Ammon News is reporting (Arabic) that Jordan has introduced a new law into the Penal Code that penalizes anyone that tortures any citizen to get information. The penalty is imprisonment for a period of between six months to three years. Here is the news in Arabic:

بشكل هادىء ودون ضجيج ادخلت الحكومة الراحلة تعديلا مهما وكبيرا على
قانون العقوبات الاردني يمثل انتصارا كبيرا لكل المدافعين عن حقوق الانسان والحريات العامة .. ويتمثل هذا التطور القانوني في تعديل المادة 208 من قانون العقوبات بما يكفل انزال عقوبات مشددة بحق اي موظف عام يمارس التعذيب ضد اي مواطن بهدف الحصول على اعترافات منه وذلك انه كان يكتفى بتجاهل هذه الاعترافات اذا تبين انها اخذت تحت التعذيب ..

وبحسب النص المنشور في الجريدة الرسمية بعددها 6734 جاء فيها انه وبناء على قرار مجلس الوزراء بتاريخ 9-10 -2007 فقد تقرر ادخال تعديلات على قانون العقوبات ليصدر بصفة قانون مؤقت يحمل الرقم 49 لسنة 2007 ليقرأ مع القانون 16 لسنة 1960 .

وجاء في نص القانون الجديد من سام شخصا اي نوع من انواع التعذيب التي لا يجيزها القانون بقصد الحصول على اقرار بجريمة او على معلومات بشأنها عوقب بالحبس من ستة اشهر الى ثلاث سنوات

That’s really good news. Hopefully this inhumane practice will come to an end soon, not only in my home country, but all over.

The simple joys of life

A tall cold Hoegaarden After two months of constant stresses that left me with a white hair (see below), I’m starting to gradually relax. This, of course, might mean I’ll get back to blogging on a more regular basis, as my mind is clear and I’m ready to scribble again. This long Thanksgiving weekend is a special treat. It is being spent with family, which really is what makes life worthwhile.

It’s worth nothing that when I’m in a fine mood I start to open my eyes to the simple joys of life. I encountered one of those simple joys yesterday at none other than Costco as I came across a brand of beer I’ve been hunting for the past five years: the mouth-watering, thirst-quenching Belgian delicacy Hoegaarden. I was introduced to this top-notch beverage by my Spanish/British friend Pilar when I was living in London in 2002. We were at our usual after-school abode: The Bull, a typical London pub that was two blocks away from City University. She told me I should try Hoegaarden. I did and became an instant fan.

I have been desperately chasing Hoegaarden since 2002. I could not find it in the countries I lived in after my London stint. Hoegaarden was nowhere to be found either in Jordan or Qatar. I could not even find it in the United States until I found it a year ago in a Belgian pub in Philadelphia, but then it was nowhere to be found. Then yesterday, which marked Black Friday, we were at Costco of all places and came across a collection of Belgian beer that included Hoegaarden. I was overjoyed.

It is now almost 6pm on Saturday and I just got back from downtown DC, where I had marvelous lunch with sister Tania in Chinatown, followed by a tour of the International Spy Museum. As I write this, I’m really looking forward to the rest of the evening. We are planning to watch Running with Scissors (my sister and I both read the book and decided to watch the movie) while enjoying the festive taste of Hoegaarden. Ah, the simple joys of life. Cheers!

Single white hair

For the past few months, the husband and I have been doing a great deal of reading and research on how to achieve the ultimate American dream: buying our first house. Traveling this path has been both exciting and stressful. In the interim, I had to learn a whole new language: The language of the American real estate. This language includes terms like PMI, seller contribution, closing costs, interest-only, buyer’s agent, open house, appraisal and others.

I have been so stressed out about the whole process that I woke up yesterday and found one single white hair on my head. The last time I had a single white hair was four years ago when I was preparing for my wedding, which was followed by a new job in a new country. It goes without saying that the white hair has made me even more stressed out. In addition to thinking about the best way to pursue the American dream, I’m now thinking about aging and the deterioration of my own body. Sigh! If only life could be less stressful.