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إلى كل فلسطيني لم يسمع صوتها وهوائها، لم يلمس دفئها وعروبتها.. 
إلى كل فلسطيني سمع قصصها ولم يزر شوارعها، بكى عليها ولم تدمع عينه فيها..
إلى كل فلسطيني كتب عنها ولم يكتب على جدرانها، تخيلها في عقله ولم يأخذ صورة بين أحضانها..
إلى كل فلسطيني.. إلى متى؟

The Outburst of Body Piercing

 

 

Body piercing, in its simple definition is puncturing a part of your body to create an opening in which jewelry may be worn. However, many more complications seem to appear behind this act, the various reasons people chose to do it and reactions of their family and surroundings.  

Some people choose to pierce for religious or spiritual reasons, while others pierce for self-expression, sexual pleasure, to conform to their culture or to rebel against it. Therefore, discovering some different models from our culture about their opinions and sharing their experiences was inspiring.



Shereen Zaarour, 23, Lebanon, used to have a piercing in her eyebrow,” I did it first because it gives character to the face, an aggressive look by expression and attitude”. When she was asked about the reaction of her family, she explains” My mom always used to say she loves it, but never accepted the fact I have it, it was like she loved it but not for her or for her daughter”.

Claudia Shoukeir, 26, a Palestinian living in Qatar tells us how the idea of having a piercing started with her, “The first time I saw a tongue piercing I was at school and thought it looked very pretty and wanted one myself”.

About 4 years later I got one and I felt that it helped portray my usually shyer, hidden, playful nature, I felt like a new me it was very refreshing honestly”, then she adds “ One more thing I like about a piercing is that it’s not permanent like a tattoo because by nature I like change”.

 

 

 

Stephanie Challita, 23, Lebanon is a more tempting example due to the 13 piercings she has, “I have 2 belly rings, a tongue ring, a nose ring, a lip ring, a nipple ring on each nipple, and the rest are on my ears”.  She says body piercing gets her certain rush and pleasure, “I consider it a way of body expression, everyone says something through the way they look”.

As for the reaction of her parents about that big number of piercings, “Well my mom first knows about all my piercings, and she has no problem with that, maybe she doesn’t like the idea that much but she really respects that it’s my body and I’m free to do whatever I want”. But then she stops for an instant and says, “Actually there’s just the part on my nipples she didn’t know about at first because I didn’t dare to tell, or actually I said why should I, but then she discovered them once she noticed them through my t-shirts”.

Jamil Abu Taeeg, 20, Jordan, who has a piercing in the middle of his lower lip, somehow has a different reason for having a piercing although he agrees that it is a way of expression, “I did it for many reasons, but mostly because it reminds me that some times in life you go through painful and difficult moments that seem to never have an ending”.


Nathalie Jocko, 29, Lebanon disagrees with all the reasons mentioned above, “They think it shows how much open minded and cool they are, but I’m open minded and I’m classy and I don’t need a tattoo or piercing to look cool”.

Shereen agrees that some who don’t know you and don’t like it would have the same idea as Nathalie, “They would look at you as if you were nothing, as if you were cheap or disgusting, especially old people or parents, they wouldn’t want you to be close to their kids in any way because they think you are a bad influence”.

However, she says that those who know you well would accept you the way you are, “they would understand that you did it because you like it”.

She believes the true reason behind that is an internal problem this person has and she specializes girls who try to show out the piercings they have on their bodies, “Those girls have lack of attention, they want to do anything to be unique, they are just too confused in their life and complicated and I feel sorry for them”.

Claudia explains that she was also prone to many similar reactions even from the big family members, “Thankfully when others tried to imply anything my family were backing me up when I explained my reasons for getting it and I felt much supported, them not liking it is still a factor though”.

Jamil himself describes the weird looks and angry stares he gets from people, or the feeling that people are talking behind your back, “but

honestly I don’t care”.

Jean Claude, 43, who has a piercing shop In Virgin Beirut, explains more about fashion trends and what parts of bodies he pierces mostly and to know whether it has side effects on the body or not.

Girls and guys tend to pierce different parts of their bodies, there is no specific place, but I can tell upon what I do that girls mostly tend to pierce their belly and guys go towards eyebrows and tongues more”.

Jean Claude ensures that all kinds of piercings are not dangerous at all, “It depends on the person who has the piercing and how much he takes care of it, especially in the first week where they should put the medical piercing for at least 10 days before changing it”.

He then adds, “They should use Petaden, a medicine to keep it clean and away from infections”.

Now back to what we have started with, we can come up with a common conclusion that piercing the body is to follow the fashion trends for part of the people, and some others have different reasons.  Nevertheless, as soon as we accept that the decision to beautify one’s body is deeply a personal issue, then it becomes more obvious that such a decision couldn’t be subject to anybody’s critical pressure.



 

 

 

 

An Authentic Old World

It’s a collection of different sections presenting several pieces of art. It has so many entrances that someone could get lost easily. As a fact it’s well known with its shops that sell jewelries, bags, carpets, spices, and also antique shops. I guarantee you cannot just window shop without buying anything because it is irresistible. If you are looking for such a journey you must visit The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Bazaar was so enormous that I couldn’t see its end as my eyes kept on turning around the place with nonstop. I was amazed with the high aged walls that surround The Bazaar. The architecture of them was very well designed that I felt I am inside a painting. Not only that, but it took me to an authentic old world when there weren’t any shopping malls just old shops next to each others.

As I continued, the shops were totally covered by the mass of people. People from different nationalities were walking and stopping in every shop just like me. The salesmen were calling for what they’re buying and welcoming everyone to their shops. Each one of them was offering coffee or tea with a warm smile. As soon as they figured out that my sister and I were Arabs, they started speaking and singing in Arabic to make an impression.

My Sister and I Enjoying The Bazaar

                                                                                                                                                                                         

 In addition to that, each street was holding different types of merchandises, starting with gold and precious stones that were not very low in prices. I had to bargain in each shop to get the price that I wanted. Also, antique shops were very tempting as they were selling sculptures that were 100 year old. Turkish carpets are very expensive as well because most of them are handmade and unique. They put many colors and decorations in them that make them attracting.

It took me more than 3 hours to walk around and see the shops and I couldn’t finish them all. I wasn’t able to carry on because of the smell of “Shawarma” that was all over the place. They served it in hot “pita” bread with vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, onions and also french-fries. Additionally, there were many good restaurants in the bazaar for people to have lunch after shopping. They offer more than one variety of food such as ShishKabab, sandwiches, homemade pies and cakes, and many more.

                                                                                                                                       

Grand Bazaar is an experience that is giving people a mixture of the old Eastern and Western world. It takes them to a journey between antique sculptures, jewelries, clothing, and delicious food. I carried out a lot of memories that are still glued in my head and I’m willing to visit it again.

Me, Infront of The Grand Bazaar

                                                                

The Marriage Shell

I never took marriage as a serious issue until it started hunting me everyday. It didn’t hunt me by getting a lot of proposals but by seeing every girl wanting to get married. Currently, Arab girls were raised with the idea that marriage is a must in their lives.  For example, back in the 50’s girls used to get married around the age of 12. Unfortunately, the older the girl becomes the less opportunities she gets – at least that’s what people thought back then. My purpose of this article is not to talk about marriage in the 50s or 60s nor to compare it with the present. I’m more interested in knowing why most of girls nowadays are hallucinating about the idea of getting married. I used the word hallucinating to make myself clearer about the type I’m talking about. As a matter of fact, I’m actually not against the idea at all. It’s every girl’s dream to have a family and kids with the man she desires. I’m against those who start getting depressed, thinking of the idea constantly, and when searching for the “husband” becomes their first mission. I had a small talk with an old friend A.M (28-single) about this subject. According to him, “each girl he meets implies that she wants to get married just a week after being with her”. He also said that “marriage should happen naturally not after a few weeks because it’ll just appear as if the girl was looking for any husband”.

I believe that the issue is not only about getting married. Many girls take into consideration how society looks at them being single for along time. They try to challenge themselves without even being satisfied. And in the end, they find themselves struggling with the idea of “there’s something wrong about me”. Well, guess what! Nothing is wrong about you. There is definitely something wrong about how you manage to seek for the “husband”. Persuading you that the fact of “searching” is a huge mistake would be a good start.  Abdulmohsen Bakhashwain (24-single) had a thought about that by saying “I think searching is just retarded, because by doing that, girls are pushing themselves to go to extreme measures that are unnecessary and demeaning”. He continues, “A girl should go on with her life, concentrate through her daily interactions, job, lifestyle, and eventually she might bump into the right guy”.

When I was talking about this subject around couple of friends, one of them told me a sentence that numbed me for a few seconds. She said, “Being single means getting action, and being married means being safe”. I am not even sure if this saying is true to a certain extent or not. While the same friend also told me, “being single is really amazing, ask only married women”. So the question again is, why do all girls want to get hitched with a guy so badly? I asked this question to Yazan Zannad (29-single), he answered by saying, “well, I feel there is a reason behind this, usually these girls feel insecure and unstable with their families. That’s why they look for a change that might bring stability and security to them, I cannot say I like them but I can understand the way they think.” Zannad understands the way they think but he also cannot stand a girl’s indications for marriage after a few months only which he considers a bad tactic from the girl. For those cases maybe marriage is an idea but without it you still can survive. That’s why; no matter what marrying “any” guy is not the key.  Many women today are independent, challengers, and competitors. Their lives are delightful even without a husband. Not getting married doesn’t mean anything but that you’re smart enough to know that you are just not ready to make a life-long commitment yet. Noor Abdullatif (20-single) gives her opinion by saying “I think if the woman had a big business to live from then she could definitely survive living alone. Women shouldn’t really get married in order to rely on the man’s business or finance. I personally think that it would be best for a woman to be engaged for the longest time possible before she falls in the trap of getting married to the wrong guy who failed to be of her expectations”.   Teach yourself that being convinced about you the way you are must be a chore

Because of the rise of spinster’s people, matchmakers are achieving more and more of their goals. We have a lot of different websites and people that their main job is to help couples get married. They search for similarities between a guy and a girl, and then they match them together in a “deferential” way. A good example of that is the website, www.na9eeb.com. Some people visit it because they think it’s a good way to find the ideal wife or husband. Lulwa Al-Harbi (23-single) says that she was totally against this scheme until she met someone who does matchmaking. She says, “This matchmaker really knows what she’s doing. She knows what every guy and girl look for in each other. So according to that she matches them. Therefore, if she is familiar with what a girl or a guy really needs then there’s absolutely no harm in doing that but again this thing isn’t for me”.  On the other hand, Samah Al-Hamawi (23-single) thinks otherwise. She says, “People who use these kinds of websites are silly and desperate.  It’s weird and I don’t get it when people use them especially when they can meet people live”. In spite of everything it’s a matter of lifestyle, culture, and traditions. Some people find it a very healthy way and some simply don’t. Be aware that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

I have seen it around me everywhere. Girls envying each other when they hear a girl got married. Subsequently the question of “why not me?” climb up their thoughts again. They just stay spinning around these naïve images they have in their heads. Images like they’re staying single forever, their parents trying to accomplish their full mission by bringing a husband, and their society seeing them with sympathy. Taking a break of all that and concentrating on your own life would remove your concerns in a way or another. Its time to break your marriage alarm.   

Women in the Arab World

Queen Rania

Women in the Arab world have experienced throughout history discrimination and have been subject to many restrictions of their freedoms and rights. Some of these practices were based on religious beliefs, but many of the limitations are cultural and come out from tradition rather than religion. The population of the Arab world today is around 300 million where women comprise half of the total population.

Therefore, the education of women in particular is seen to be essential and necessary for the construction of new societies and their contribution to the nation building process is a must. Current statistics mention the significant improvement and the remarkable expansion of educational opportunities at all levels for Arab women in the last two decades. Wealthier women maybe have had more economic and educational opportunities because of their class. Many wealthy women were and continue to be highly educated where they possessed the power to ignore some of the society’s traditional expectations of women and to participate fully in the economic, political, and cultural life of their community.

However, because of the fast progress and new technologies invading the world, it has become much easier for Arab women to get educated. Globalization played a big role in opening societies and increasing the interaction and exchange of experiences and information between different cultures, which made an impact on the Arab society and the idea of women working, achieving and leading. Therefore, an Arab girl nowadays has much better chances than her mother to attend school, finish college and start a professional career. Consequently, the empowerment of women in the Arab societies has become central to the Arab vision of reform. Therefore, many Arab governments are committed and determined to increase educational opportunities and to make them accessible to all women. It is firmly believed that without emancipating women from the bondage of illiteracy, no real political, social or economic development can take place in society.

Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned

Some studies in the Arab world show that the education of women is the most powerful weapon for improving their status as well as the most potent force of social change, and will touch every aspect of their life from the family to economics. For example, it was discovered that women’s education is the best weapon against the population explosion. Since the year 2000, the Arab world has seen the establishment of several Arab women organizations that call for more participation of women in the society. For example, the economic development in the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) is exploding.  New roads, offices, condominiums, shopping malls and schools are being built every day, fueled by oil money, strategic foreign investments and leaders who want to put the region on the map with remarkable marks. 

The ruling group, anxious to tap the resources of all their citizens, are encouraging women to step up and take leadership roles as businesswomen, heads of financial firms, teachers, scholars and writers. As a matter of fact, while the global financial crisis devastates economies around the world, GCC governments are devoting significant resources to economic growth including training women and supporting their rise in business. This marks a significant change in the region and in the way people are thinking. Historically, there were few women in Arab countries of who have been employed outside their home. However in the past decade, the desire and eagerness for economic development has led to dramatic changes in women’s workforce participation, especially in forward-looking places and countries.

Therefore, we can realize that nowadays Arab women are having a better opportunity to shine and show leadership skills in many different domains and positions, weather politics, arts, literature, business, sports, social activities, journalism and sciences. There are a lot of names that left a mark or still do and they are many to be mentioned in one article, thus reminding people with some of them would be fair enough. In politics, we can easily point out the excellence of Queen Rania of Jordan, who was the first Arab woman to launch a Child Abuse Prevention Project and holds positions such as the President of the Jordan Society of Organ Donation and head of Jordan Blood Disease Society and International Patron of the Osteoporosis Foundation. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the wife of his highness the Emir of Qatar, is a social activist and the driving force behind a host of innovative and ground breaking programs in Qatar, the region and the world. She currently serves as UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education and a member of the High Level Group of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In arts, there were many faces that are considered as idols.

Saferat AL-Nojoum

Fayrouz, the famous Lebanese singer, is a favorite for the majority of Lebanese and Arabs where she left a big mark on the history of the Lebanese and Arabic Songs, and was considered by many to be the voice and conscience of Lebanon. Even today her memory and music have great appeal throughout the Arab world. Um Kulthoum, known as the Kawakab al-Sharq “Star of the Orient” and as al-sitt “the mistress”, is considered to be the most extraordinary and popular Egyptian singer of the 20th century.

 In addition to these names there are several singers and actresses such as Majeda Al Roumy, Soad Hosny, Asmahan, Layla Murad and much more. Now turning to sports, there are two famous names that Arabs can never forget, the Moroccan Nawal Al Mutawakil who was the first Arab woman to win an Olympic Gold medal, and the Syrian Ghada Shoa’a who won world championship in 1995 won gold medal in Heptalon at the Olympic Games (Atlanta) 1996.

Moreover, many Arab women shined as journalists and writers such as Emily Nasrallah, Layla Abdul Hamid Sharaf, May Ghossoub, Mona Al Marri and a lot more to mention. In brief, it is clear that the role of women in the Arab world has changed and increased even though in a slow motion progress, and that the new challenges facing the Arab world economically, socially, politically and academically had made women’s participation an essential need. However, it remains a double responsibility for men and women in the Arab world to support the progress that has happened so far and work on increasing it in a way that makes women’s role more effective towards her society and family at the same time.

How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live By Steven Johnson

1) Name three industries mentioned in article that are being dramatically changed by twitter :

mobile or phone,news and internet industries

2) What is #hackedu?

A daylong conference in Manhattan devoted to education reform. Called Hacking Education, it was a small, private affair: 40-odd educators, entrepreneurs, scholars, philanthropists and venture capitalists, all engaged in a sprawling six-hour conversation about the future of schools and how education should look in a web 2.0 world.
 . Twenty years ago, the ideas exchanged in that conversation would have been confined to the minds of the participants. Ten years ago, a transcript might have been published weeks or months later on the Web. Five years ago, a handful of participants might have blogged about their experiences after the fact. anyone who wanted to post live commentary about the event via Twitter should include the word #hackedu in his 140 characters. At first, all these tweets came from inside the room and were created exclusively by conference participants tapping away on their laptops or BlackBerrys. But within half an hour or so, word began to seep out into the Twittersphere.

3) How is real-time search affecting search engines ? what moves are search engines doing as a reaction to growth of real-time information and search ?

Search Engines provide us with information that are kind of objective. on the other hand Twitter is a” more efficient supplier of the super-fresh Web than Google.”  As Jhonson said .  and for that, Google also has talked about partnering with Twitter on real-time results.
Google prepares to launch a service that indexes and ranks content from micro-blogging services like Twitter. This new product will sort results by relevancy, will be integrated with standard Google search, and will appear based on frequently-used keywords or current events.

Fresh Relationships

LAU is best labeled as the “diversity university”. Its students are exposed to a gender-balanced, multicultural and multi-religious population which creates an interesting social mix. Hence, it gives every individual a great opportunity to interact, be introduced to new cultures and it creates more space for activities and relationships between peers. However, this also is known to be the difference between LAU and other universities.

Many people say it’s only about the social class where LAU is ranked as one of the most expensive universities in Lebanon. However, LAU is a free-open society that maybe gives more freedom for its students than other universities, its position in the middle of Beirut makes it as a central point where college students from different backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities can meet.

Therefore, relationships between males and females in a university such as LAU is a big controversial issue, where those who are with and they say it is a very important stage where an individual can start testing his ability to deal with the other sex and start thinking of his or her future partner, and those who are against  say that feelings which an individual might have for another person will go at the time this person leaves university or graduates and he or she will see things from a different perspective. Love is a common experience between LAU students and it has been ages where youth and romanticism are related.

Freshmen and sophomores are more likely to belief in romantic ideas about love such as “love at first sight” and “love conquers all” than juniors and seniors. While some couples experience love feelings upon the first meeting and find love helpful in motivating them to resolve conflicts, many couples discover that love develops over time and that managing conflict in relationships takes work.

Therefore, many believe that one’s relationship status is associated with his or her belief in the power of love to solve all problems. Relationships characterized by romance and passion are likely to be among the most satisfying for both genders. In spite of all these factors and opinions, the main question remains “How long would such relationships last?” Some argue that these relationships may not last for so long because now or later the couple will discover that they indeed had feelings for each other, but the main reason that they were together is that both of them were in need of this relationship to feel safe and stable emotionally at a certain level. They add that these relationships are just a matter of two persons liking each other and “giving it a try” as long as they are in the same university and they are able to see each other more often. Yet, many problems such as jealousy, peer pressure and gossip occur because the couple is at the same university and the same campus.

On the other hand, some people might give you many examples of relationships that succeeded and lived with the couple even after graduation and sometimes lead to marriage.  They explain that these serious relationships are the best answer for those who say that it is most likely for them to end whenever the couple leaves university. They add that university level is so important for the person to test themselves concerning relationship with the other sex because they are mature enough to go through this experience which will decide their direction in life.

Briefly, we can say that it is clear that relationships in college cannot just be evaluated and judged randomly. There are many aspects to be taken into consideration because if we go deeply into every story of each couple, weather their relationship continued after university or not. Therefore, it won’t take us a long time to know that it depends mainly on both persons, they can make their relationship live and they can just let it be memories of their university years without forgetting the problems and the external factors they might face of course which might affect both of them as well as their relationship.