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30 August 2006

Nobel prize winning author Naguib Mahfouz dies

Naguib Mahfouz, winner of the 1988 Nobel prize for literature and best known for his Cairo Trilogy, died on Wednesday in Egypt after suffering from a bleeding ulcer, doctors at an interior ministry hospital said. The 94-year-old Mahfouz, who was the only writer in Arabic to win the prize, had been hospitalised since July 19 after he fell in the street and sustained a deep head wound that required surgery. Mahfouz became a literary force when he moved beyond traditional novels to realistic descriptions of Egypt's 20th century experience with colonialism and autocracy.
Source: ReutersdotCom

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29 August 2006

About the Interview NewTV made with Sayed Nasrollah

There have been a lot of buzz about what Said Hassan Nasrollah said during the interview made with him on New TV Channel
"So Hassan Nasrallah comes out on television and says that he did not expect the magnitude of Israel's response and that if he knew that so much destruction would ensue, he would not have kidnapped the two soldiers", Snefru

Some are saying that it shows that he was wrong in the first place, and what the Saudi officials said describing the capturing of the Israeli soldier as an immature act was right. Others are saying that it is better to commit the faults you've done than denying them.
I think we have to commit that there is a big difference between owr policies, and single actions within the whole plan. What I want to say here, that Hizbollah didn't and will never regret their resistive ideology and their policy towards Israel. However what Sayed Nasrollah said was that, if he knew that the cost of capturing the two Israeli soldiers was going to be that number of victims among Lebanese civilians, he would have reconsidered that action. Which is normal, and it shows that he cares about the lives of the Lebanese civilians, and Lebanon's infrastructure, and not as many others used to say.
And now if we ask ourselves, and why didn't Nasrollah know that Israel is going to take such response in the first place. I guess no one on earth think that it is reasonable or ethical or whatever to kill thousands of Lebanese civilians, destroy their homes and infrastructure just because some party there has captured two of their soldiers. And I am sure that no one ever expected such severe response from Israel. And guess what, the action of capturing personnel's from both sides is not a new one, and it's happened dozens of times before, either by the Israelis or Hezbollah, and the response used to be firing some rockets from here, and launching some air raids from there, and nothing more.

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28 August 2006

IRAQ II, The Instability

In this post I'll try to find the reasons for the instability and the violence in Iraq. I'll try to write all the reasons, even those ones that I am not sure if they are real ones or not. And then it'll be nice to hear your comments about them, or if you can add new reasons of your own.

Arab Countries: After the occupation in Iraq, USA claimed that they will establish a democratic system there. Actually, even those who are against USA, They can't deny that Iraq has elections, parties and a parliament that are not present in most of the Arab countries if not all of them. So, many Arab governments may prefer the situation in Iraq to be like this in order to be able to tell their people, "Here you are the democracy that you are looking for". The occupation has removed an Arabic dictator there, so they rest of the Arab leaders may prefer not to make it stable out there so that they may make it clear to USA that removing and Arab leader from his position is not an easy task at all.
Iran: We all know what of relation is there between USA and Iran, and we also know that Iran is the next target on USA occupation list, so they may prefer to see USA getting stuck in Iraq more and more in order to delay the American plans,
Saddam Orphans: Those are the ones who used to get benefits of Saddam's regime, they are mainly the Sunnis in Iraq and Baathists. And for sure, the want to deliver the following message to the Iraqi people, "Ok, you wanted to get rid of Saddam regime, here you are the alternative".
Salafys: Salafys (aka Wahabys) are against Shiia by default. They have some kind of allergy towards them. And Iraq his a Shiit majority, so for the Salafys, killing every single Iraqi is much better than seeing a Shiit government there.
USA: This reason may suits the Conspiracy Theorem fans so much. As long as there is an instable situation in Iraq, USA has a valid excuse to stay there more in order to help the Iraqis
Iraqi Resistance: Those who see there land under occupation and are tying to liberate it using force.

Hope to find time to talk about each of the previous points in more details. However I leave you now in order to give you time to tell me your comments about the second article in the IRAQ (Iraq, Reasonable Answers for our Questions) series.

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27 August 2006

IRAQ I, Saddam Era

Al Anfal Mass Graves

This is the first post of the IRAQ (Iraq, Reasonable Answers for our Questions) series of blog posts. It's about Iraq during Saddam Hussein's regime. I think this may help as an intruduction in order to understand the background of what is going on in Iraq now.

In 1958, a year after Saddam Hussein had joined the Ba'ath party, which was founded by Michel Aflaq in 1947, army officers led by General Abdul Karim Qassim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq. The Ba'athists opposed the new government, and in 1959, Saddam was involved in the attempted United States-backed plot to assassinate Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim. He was sentenced to death in absentia. Saddam studied law at the Cairo University during his exile.

Later on in 1976, Saddam rose to the position of general in the Iraqi armed forces. He rapidly became the strongman of the government. At the time Saddam was considered an enemy of communism and radical Islamism. Saddam was integral to U.S. policy in the region, a policy which sought to weaken the influence of Iran and the Soviet Union. As Iraq's weak and elderly President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became increasingly unable to execute his duties, Saddam took on an increasingly prominent role as the face of the government both internally and externally. He soon became the architect of Iraq's foreign policy and represented the nation in all diplomatic situations. He was the de facto ruler of Iraq some years before he formally came to power in 1979.

Shortly afterwards, he convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders on July 22, 1979. During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped, Saddam claimed to have found spies and conspirators within the Ba'ath Party and read out the names of 68 members who he thought could oppose him. These members were labeled "disloyal" and were removed from the room one by one and taken into custody. After the list was read, Saddam congratulated those still seated in the room for their past and future loyalty. The 68 people arrested at the meeting were subsequently put on trial, and 22 were sentenced to execution for treason.

In 1979 Iran's Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution, thus giving way to an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The influence of revolutionary Shi'ite Islam grew apace in the region, particularly in countries with large Shi'ite populations, especially Iraq. Saddam feared that radical Islamic ideas — hostile to his secular rule — were rapidly spreading inside his country among the majority Shi'ite population. USA was also alerted and pushed Saddam towards declaring war against Iran in order to stop its rising influence. And similar to what is going on now a days, USA started to scare the Arab countries - especially the GULF ones - of the Shiit influence in the area, and as a result of this, many Gulf countries - including Kuwait - pumped money into Saddam's pockets helping him building an aresenal to fight Iran. It's really funny to know that this arsenal was used later on against those specific Arab countries. During this long conventional war, Iraq attacked Iran with chemical weapons and killed many Iranian military personnel and civilians with such weapons.

The Shi'a majority were long a source of opposition to the government due to its secular policies, and the Ba'ath Party was increasingly concerned about potential Sh'ia Islamist influence following the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The Kurds of northern Iraq (who are Sunni Muslims but not Arabs) were also permanently hostile to the Ba'athist party's Arabizing tendencies. The major instruments for accomplishing this control were the paramilitary and police organizations. Beginning in 1974, Taha Yassin Ramadan, a close associate of Saddam, commanded the People's Army, which was responsible for internal security. As the Ba'ath Party's paramilitary, the People's Army acted as a counterweight against any coup attempts by the regular armed forces. In addition to the People's Army, the Department of General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) was the most notorious arm of the state security system, feared for its use of torture and assassination. It was commanded by Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's younger half-brother. Since 1982, foreign observers believed that this department operated both at home and abroad in their mission to seek out and eliminate perceived opponents of Saddam Hussein.

There are many examples of the paramilitary and police policy of Saddam's regime. In 1977 Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, who is the cousin of both Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr (Muqtada al-Sadr's grandfather) and imam Musa as-Sadr (the founder of Amal movement in Lebanon), was a close ally and supporter of Ayatollah Khomeni, was sentenced to life in prison following uprisings in Najaf, but was released two years later due to his immense popularity. In 1980, after writing in the defense of Khomeni and the Islamic Revolution, Sadr was once again imprisoned, tortured, and executed by the regime of Saddam Hussein. His sister, Amina Sadr bint al-Huda, was also imprisoned, tortured, and executed. It has been alledged that Sadr was killed by having iron nail hammered into his head and then being set on fire. Al Sadr was excuted in April 9 1980, and Saddam's regime fell to American forces on the same date in 2003.
Al-Anfal Campaign was an anti-Kurdish campaign led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein between 1986 and 1989 (during and just after the Iran-Iraq war). The campaign is said to have cost the lives of 182,000 civilians, according to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The campaign was headed by Ali Hasan al-Majid, a cousin of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The Anfal campaign included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, concentration camps, firing squads, and chemical warfare, which earned al-Majid the nickname of "Chemical Ali". The Halabja poison gas attack was an incident on 15 March-19 March 1988 during a major battle in the Iran-Iraq War when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces to kill a number of people in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja (population 80,000). Estimates of casualties range from several hundred to 7,000 people. The poison gas attack on the Iraqi town of Halabja was the largest-scale chemical weapons (CW) attack against a civilian population in modern times.

Many other examples of the paramilitary and police policy, including the mass graves, and assasinations.
On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait resulting in the Gulf War and United Nations economic sanctions imposed at the urging of the U.S. The economic sanctions were designed to compel Saddam to dispose of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). After the Gulf War Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions, together with the resulting postwar devastation, laid the groundwork for new rebellions within the country. In the aftermath of the fighting, social and ethnic unrest among Shi'a Muslims, Kurds, and dissident military units threatened the stability of Saddam's government. Uprisings erupted in the Kurdish north and Shi'a southern and central parts of Iraq, but were ruthlessly repressed. In 2005 the BBC reported that as many as 30,000 persons had been killed during the 1991 uprisings, sometimes called Shaaban's Intifada. The United States, which had urged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam, did nothing to assist the rebellions beyond enforcing the "no fly zones". U.S. ally Turkey opposed any prospect of Kurdish independence, and the Saudis and other conservative Arab states feared an Iran-style Shi'a revolution. Saddam, having survived the immediate crisis in the wake of defeat, was left firmly in control of Iraq, although the country never recovered either economically or militarily from the Persian Gulf War. Saddam routinely cited his survival as "proof" that Iraq had in fact won the war against America. This message earned Saddam a great deal of popularity in many sectors of the Arab world, Amr El Abyad as an example :)

Relations between the United States and Iraq remained tense following the Gulf War. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, termed "Operation Iraqi Freedom" by the US administration, began on March 20. The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia and Poland supplied the vast majority of the invading forces. They co-operated with Kurdish forces. Three weeks into the invasion, U.S. forces moved into Baghdad. Initial plans were for armoured units to surround the city and gradually move in, forcing Iraqi armor and ground units to cluster into a central pocket in the city, and then attack with air and artillery forces. This plan soon became unnecessary, as an initial engagement of armor units south of the city saw most of the Republican Guard's armor assets destroyed and much of the southern outskirts of the city occupied. It was clear then that the Iraqis were pissed off of Saddam's regime so that they prefered not to fight the occupying forces than defending the dictator in their country.

Note: Many thanks to the Wikipedia project, which helped me in gathering the historical information used in the post.

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26 August 2006

Iraq, Reasonable Answers for our Questions

An Iraqi mother shows photos of her two sons killed in a suicide blast

"After 3 years; is Iraq better or worse? There is no easy way to answer this question because we don't have standard criteria to gauge a big country with a complicated regional and international relations like Iraq. The existed situation is much worse than in 2003 however this should not be taken as that Iraq is better under the previous dictator regime", Homorabi, Iraqi Blogger
"My problem (is that) I don't understand anything in the Iraqi issue, I don't know who is who. I don't know who is the bad from the good. I don't know who is the resistant from the terrorist", Zeinobia, Egyptian Blogger
I believe that many Arabs - if not most of them - share the same questions with Hammorabi and Zeinobia. I myself am really confused of what's going on in Iraq. And that's why I decided to create these series of posts, and invite as many people as I can in order to help finding answers for those question.
I am going to call these posts "Iraq, Reasonable Answers for our Questions", or simply "IRAQ".
Looking forward for your comments, and everyone is invited to share his point of view , especially Iraqi bloggers. However, off topic or impolite comments may be subject to removal.

Following Posts:
IRAQ I, Saddam Era
IRAQ II, The Instability
IRAQ III, A Tale of Two Tribes

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Add Your Blog to Wikipedia

This is Wikipedia page with a list of the famous Egyptians, I've added a section for Egyptian Bloggers where you can add yourself there. Just click on edit, and add your blog's name and address.

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24 August 2006

Amr El Abyad, fel Yom El Eswed

The whole story started here, when I saw a comment made by an anonymous user saying that "Saddam hussein al Tikrity was the last noble great Arab since Saladin (Arabised kurd)". Actually, I thought that he was kidding, because I didn't imagine that there is someone on this planet who says something like this. But unfortunately it came out that he was not kidding at all, and that he really meant every single word of what he said. And that anonymous user came out to be called Amr El Abyad later on.
"It was Amr El Abyad, Aonymous. Am going to discuss it with Tarek in his Blogger", Amr El Abyad
He then decided to continue his debate here.
"Please tell me why you think what i said abou Sadam Hussien Funny ? I was very serious and am willing to discusss it with you if you want", Amr El Abyad
So, I found my self forced to reply, however I think it is really trivial to argue about something like this that is supposed to be very clear.
"So, you really think that 'Saddam hussein al Tikrity was the last noble great Arab since saladin (arabised kurd)'. Even after knowing about the assasinations he was part of before ruling, and the exessive use of chemical weapons in Halabja killing thousands (15,000 victims I guess) of innocent kurds, and attacking Kuwait for no specific reason. Let's not talk about the continuous massacres he did to his own people and the mass graves, because I am sure you'll tell me that they deserved it, or that they were all thieves or so. And away from his crimes, what did he actually do to any other Arabic country? Unless you consider his support to some Christian groups during the Lebanese civil war as support to the whole Arab world", Me
And guess what, Amr decided to continue his hide and seek game, and continued his debate here. Here you are parts of what he said.
"The Arabs wasted their oil money in buying aeroplanes and prostituting in London and Paris, as well as turning their countries into service based economies for intercontinental trade. In the mean time our oil that is being exported to the west creates their fortune, power and weapons that are keeping us underneath. Kuwait made use of the economic difficulties iraq was going through due to to its ambitious industrlisation and HI Tec military complexes projects.And pumped more tha its share to bring the oil prices down. their pimp sheikhs was asking the Americans to do somethin about the pan Arab Sadam", Amr El Abyad
So, according to Amr El Abyad's point of view, any country has the right to declare war on another one and occupy it, just because they do not know how to spend their money well.
He then continued.
"About the Kurds. During the that time militant kurds took refugee in the mountains and braught in dirty iranian commandos into the iraqi soil. Now to make the point clear, i will make use of a hypothetical scenario. in 1973 thee nubians rebel and ask for an independent state. Moreover, they collaborate with israelians and facilitate the infiltration of israeli commandoas behind the Egyptian lines!!!!!! . Another scenario is a war between the us and mexico and American mexicans collaborating with the mexicans". Amr El Abyad
Come on, let's say that those evil Kurds really wanted to rebel - however I am not really sure of it. Is bombing their countries, killing civilians with forbidden chemecial weapons, taregeting innocent women and children, is this an acceptable response!? What about those mass graves, and the victems were not kurds by the way, did they want to rebel too. So it's the Kurds, Shiits, Turkuman, and everyone wanted to rebel, and Saddam is the only patriot person in Iraq!?
I think what happened in 2003, when the Iraqi army didn't fight the Americans, and Baghdad was occupied in few hours, made it clear that no one in Iraq wanted that person and they were really pissed off of him, so that they prefered not to fight the occupying forces to protecting that dictator. Don't you remember the scene of the Iraqis slapping Saddam's statues with their shoes, and spitting on his picture. What a great leader is that one that every single human in his country hates him that much!
Ok, we may hate what USA do, and we may be against its occupoation to an Arab country, but don't let that hatred make us blind to see the bad deeds of someone, because he was against it for sometime.
P.S. Mr. Amr El Abyad's moved again, and made a newer reply here. Amr, please make all your comments in a single location, it's hard for me as well as th readers to track your replies. Or else, I'll find myself forced to make a contest here with $1,000,000 prize for the one who'll be able to track your replies successfully.

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IBM to buy Internet Security Systems

"IBM (IBM) on Wednesday announced its third major acquisition this month, a $1.3 billion bid for business software maker Internet Security Systems (ISSX). ISS sells computer security products to banks, insurance companies, governments, and other large organizations. It has about 11,000 customers and earned $38.5 million in net income last year. IBM has been a big spender lately. Two weeks ago, it announced plans to buy FileNet, a software maker that helps other companies manage digital content, for $1.6 billion. And in early August IBM said it would spend $740 million to acquire MRO Software, which helps companies track assets. ISS will be IBM's 12th sizable deal announced this year", USA Today.

But wait a moment, IBM is not really into Network Security Appliances, and that's why I am not sure what are their plans with this new acquisition. They may have their own plans to add some security to their servers, embedd ISS's intrusion detection engines in some of their softwares, but nothing is clear at all. It's also not clear for ISS customers too. I believe those who have plans to buy ISS products, are supposed to reconsider it, nothing is sure about the continuity of their Intrusion Detection and Prevention business. Will IBM continue to support the current line of products, or not!? They may continue supporting them, but not pay much attention to further development for example. I think customers are supposed to wait for a while in order to see what will happen, or at least look for other products till it becomes more clear.

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Something Stupid

Palestinian militants today demanded the release of Muslim prisoners from American jails in return for the freeing of two Fox News journalists who were kidnapped in Gaza earlier this month. The demand was made in a video showing the two men, Steve Centanni, an American correspondent, and Olaf Wiig, a cameraman from New Zealand, that was aired today by the Arabic news network Al Jazeera. It was first sign that the men were alive since they were bundled from their TV van near the Palestinian security services headquarters in Gaza City on August 14.
Source: Times Online

OK, either you learn how to play the game, or don't play it at all. Believe me, this is not the same as what Hezbollah did a month ago. Hezbollah captured two Israeli Soldiers, and Israel is used to capturing Lebanese persons too. Israel is currently occupying a part of Lebanon, so the action can be justifies as a part of Hezbollah's resistance in order to liberate his own land. So, in brief, Hezbollah's action was ethically as well as politically justified, at least for me.
But what those militants did in Gaza is really foolish. The captured ones are Journalists. They are from New Zealand and USA, and I guess those countries are not occupying any part of Palestine currently.
But, you know what, the Saudi-Jordan-Egypt threesome didn't condemn such action, as they did last month.

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21 August 2006

Why Don't We Iron Our Food

Is your stovetop broken? Have you just moved, and don't have your own frying pan yet? Or are you just looking for an alternative way to make a grilled cheese sandwich? Here's how to make your next lunch with an iron.

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20 August 2006

Ahmadinejad in 60 Minutes

I am not a big fan of those shows aired on MBC4, like the Insider et. al., however 60 Minutes is one of those shows that I can watch if am really bored and have nothing else to do. Today they had an interview with the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
This guy is one of those who are really heard to loose an argument, but on the other hand he is not good in choosing his words at all. But I liked most of his answers in this interview. Anyway, here you are a summary of the interview made by CBS correspondent Mike Wallace.

Wallace asked him about Iran's support to Hezbollah, as well as what he called Hezbollah's use of missiles, rockets furnished by Iran.
"(What about)The (American made) laser-guided bombs that have been given to the Zionists and they're targeting the shelter of defenseless children and women," the president said.
"Hezbollah is a popular organization in Lebanon, and they are defending their land," the president said. "They are defending their own houses. And, according to the charter of the United Nations, every person has the right to defend his house."
Then Wallace asked him, "Hezbollah is displacing and damaging and making bleed all kinds of people. You know that."
"Please tell me, are the Lebanese inside the occupied lands right now or is it the other way around, that the Zionist troops are in Lebanese territory?" Ahmadinejad replied. "Lebanon is defending its independence. We are not at all happy with war. That is why on the first day we condemned these recent — conflict. And we asked for an immediate cease fire."
What Ahmadinejad said next, was one of those stuff that made me say that he is not good at all in choosing his own words.
"The United Nations Security Council has not passed an effective ceasefire resolution because the Security Council is in America's pocket."
"Tell, the reason is, that the United Nations Security Council is there to safeguard the interests of the British and the Americans. They are not there to provide security. It's very clear," the president said.
Come on, this can be said among ordinary people, but I believe that it is not acceptable for a president of a country which is member of the U.N. to say something like that. He was supposed to rephrase what he said at least.
He was then asked about the Iranian Nuclear program that the United States oppose.
"Security Council is also doing America's bidding by trying to prevent Iran from developing nuclear energy. The Security Council is demanding that Iran stop all uranium enrichment by the end of this month, which Iran is refusing to do. But if Mr. Bush thinks that he can stop our progress, I have to say that he will be unable to do that."
"We want to have access to nuclear technology. We want to produce fuel. Do you not think that the most important issue of the world of tomorrow that is will be energy?"
"We think that Mr. Bush's team and the parties that support him want to monopolize energy resources in the world. Because once they have that they can impose their opinions, points of view, policies on other nations and, of course, line their own pockets."
Ok, I don't think monopolizing energy resources in the world is the real reason, or at least the main reason. Monopolizing the military force is the reason I think, however he is not able to say something like that, especially that he is no supposed to announce that they have plans to produce their own Nuclear bomb. However what he said next made it clear that monopolizing energy resources in the world isn't the real reason all.
"Before the revolution, the German, French, American government and the Canadian government had signed contracts with us to produce nuclear fuel inside Iran. But immediately after the establishment of the Islamic Republic, their opposition started," he said. "Right now, they are opposed to our nuclear technology. Now why is that?"
So, it is all about the Americans interests, when it comes to a regime that is with them such as Israel for example, then they can simply have their own nuclearr program and nuclear arsenal as well. And no one will ever disagree.

Then it was time for one of Ahmadinejad's most famous quotes, and one of those which makes me insiste that he is not good in choosing his words.
"You still have not answered the question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be wiped off the map. Why?"
The president's answer is some how reasonable, but believee me I am not sure if it can convince anyone in the western world at all.
Ahmadinejad said, that if the Holocaust is a reality, and it took place in Europe (Germany), then Israel is supposed to be located there instead of making thePalestiniann people suffer,ande being punished for nothing.
"Well, if an atrocity was committed in Germany or Europe for that matter, why should the Palestinians answer for this?" the president asked. "They had no role to play in this. Why on the pretext of the Holocaust they have occupied Palestine? Millions of people have been made refugees. Thousands of people to-date have been killed, sir. Thousands of people have been put in prison. Well, at the very moment, a great war is raging because of that."
Then there was a question about the situation in Iraq, and Iran's role in furnishing the insurgents in Iraq with the kind of material that can kill U.S. soldiers.
Actually I wasn't able to understand Ahmadinejad's answer and what he really wanted to say.
He said that Iraq has its own government a USA is not supposed to stay there anymore. Then he said that according to international law, the responsibility of providing security rests on the shoulder of the occupying, rather army.Which means that America is supposed to stay these till the insecurity problem these is solved.

Wallace then asked him on of the silliest questions he can ever ask to an Iranian President. He asked him what he thinks of Mr. Bush. After that he asked if he has a desire to resume relations with the United States.

Anyway, you may read the whole interview at CBS's website.

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19 August 2006

Google Music Trends

In the new Google Talk there is an option where you can inform Google with the music you are listening to now. On the other hand Google will gather those info in order to display the most popular music among its users. You can filter the results by genres or by USA users only, or the whole world.
Google Music Trends:

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17 August 2006

Beta for Blogger

According to, blogger is in the process of having a new blogging software instead of their current one. The new software, is still in its beta version, however as announced by blogger here, it is supposed to have Labels where you can categorize your posts based on different categories, some new templates, and the ability to lock your blog and make it available only to your friends. They are promising fellow bloggers with better user experience, in their blogs backend. If you want to try the beta blogger, you can migrate here.

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14 August 2006

Guess Who?

For those who don't know Arabic, see the comments section for the answer.

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
Ok, what the hell is that cryptic text!? Lorem Ipsum, or simply Lipsum is a dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry, used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation, such as font, typography, and layout. It has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s.
It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using 'Content here, content here', making it look like readable English.
Many variations on the standard lorem ipsum text exist, some with little resemblance to the original. Other versions have additional letters such as k, w, and z that were uncommon or missing in the Latin, and nonsense words such as zzril, takimata, and gubergren added to the original passage to achieve a distribution of letters that more closely approximates English.


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Mahmood Ahmadinejad's Blog

Guess who has decided to have his own blog too, just like us? Well, Mahmood Ahmadinejad the President of Iran is having his own blog now. There is only one blog post there so far, it's about his childhood in parallel with the Iranian recent history during the revolution here, however he's promised to spend from 15 to 30 minutes blogging per week.
I've noticed - sorry I can't resist the technical stuff - that the blog is made using Microsoft's ASP.Net. actually I thought that he'll be more into Open Source stuff, and not an American software. The site is in four languages Arabic, English, French, and Farsi. And there are four Lagos up there, clicking on each of them will lead you to the site version with one of these languages. What I've noticed that the KSA flag is used for the Arabic language logo, and a mixture of USA and UK flags are used for the English one. And believe me, I think the president of Iran is supposed to use something else instead of these flags.
Finally, I think that the blogging is becoming more and more popular, and more people consider it their main source of information compared to the conventional newspapers and TV, and may be one day we are going to see an Arabic president having his own blog hosted at, however I believe many of them are not even familiar with using the Computers and the Internet.

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13 August 2006

Google Talk Conference Bot

Google Talk doesn't have Chat rooms, nor the ability to make a conversations with multiple contacts at the same time, a.k.a conference chat/call. That's why Perry's Conference Bot is really useful. The conference bot works runs as a normal google talk user that relays everything said to it to everyone on its contact list. It supports some simple commands (like )names), and has a basic admin interface to deal with abusers. The bot is written in python, and is tested under Linux, although apparently it works fine under Windows too.

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12 August 2006

Israel Triples Ground Forces

Israel says it has tripled the number of its troops in southern Lebanon in an expanded offensive, despite a United Nations vote backing a ceasefire.
It's really weird that after the UN Security Council Resolution 1701, approved by the United Nations Security Council yesterday, that calls for a "full cessation of hostilities", and after Ehud Olmert's backing of the draft resolution, Israel is still ramping up its offensive into southern Lebanon. One explaination of this may be their desire to cause as much damage as possible on Hezbollah guerrillas before the ceasefire takes effect. But, they failed to cause any significant damage to Hezbollah guerrillas during that last 30 days, so it's really odd to be able to do anything during the following few hours. One other explaiantion may be their feeling that this resolution is not going to take effect, and it is just a show made by the UN in order to look as if they are doing their best to end the conflict.
The so called resolution didn't mention the P.O.W. at both sides, and how this issue is going to be solved, which is the main cause of this war if they still remember. They also didn't find a suitable solution for Shebaa farm that's occupied by Israel since ages, and I think that Lebanon/Hezbollah will refuse to disarm before getting it back.

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Template Changed

Finally, I've changed my old dull blog template with a worse one. Hope you like it.
Here you are the template that this one is based on.

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11 August 2006

iPod, Zune, and ... Nokia

Nokia has announced that it is buying Loudeye, a provider of digital music platforms and digital media distribution services, for an amount of nearly $60 million in cash. Nokia says it will launch a comprehensive mobile music experience with the purchase of Loudeye, including providing consumers the ability to buy digital music.
“Music is a key experience for Nokia and Nokia Nseries multimedia computers and we want to be able to offer the best fully integrated mobile music experience to our customers. Loudeye brings a number of key assets to Nokia, including a great team of people, a substantial content catalogue and a robust service platform that will help us to achieve this objective,” Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager, multimedia, Nokia said in a press release.
And, like Apple, Nokia is a gorilla of the tech world - when you sell a third of the world's phones, you can drive a hard bargain for getting content with the sort of pricing and rights deals that customers and CFOs might like. Microsoft is going the same way with its first foray into the MP3 player market, the Zune. Redmond is hoping to follow Apple - and now Nokia for that matter - by taking the whole end-to-end approach with digital music. However, unlike Microsoft, Nokia already has its hardware in millions of people's hands. Now it just needs to give those people a compelling reason to use it and give the operators an equally good reason to keep buying their handsets. Nokia could become especially popular with operators if it can guarantee consumers will want to spend outrageous amounts on downloading music over-the-air to their phone.
I think Apple's next step, will be adding mobile capabilities to their own iPod, or let's call it iMobile instead

TMC, IP Communications

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I found this photo here. I think it says much.

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10 August 2006

Hugo Chavez, and Hugo Boss.

"The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, said he had no interest in maintaining diplomatic relations, or offices, or businesses, or anything with a state like Israel. Mr Chavez rounded on Israel at the weekend, accusing the Jewish state of committing a new Holocaust. Venezuela recalled its charge d'affaires to Israel last week, prompting Israel to withdraw its ambassador to Caracas on Monday", BBC News.

"The President of Arabuela, Hugo Boss, said he is interested in maintaining diplomatic relations, offices, businesses, and anything with a state like Israel. Mr Boss claimed that these relations will sure help the Lebanese children targeted every single day by the IDF, Israeli destructive Force. Arabuela is please to help USA in transferring Smart Bombs to Israel as this will soon lead to a ceasefire, and minimize the number of Lebanese victims", Pissed Off News.

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09 August 2006

Who Cares More!?

Today, I was talking with some Lebanese people - they are Christians by the way - and they said that they support Hezbollah. Another Lebanese blogger - she is Sunni Muslim - that I know, is having Hezbollah's flag as a display picture on her MSN, and she is totally with Hezbollah. It's really weired to see some Arab writers and leaders accusing Hezbollah for causing the war with Israel, hence the destruction of Lebanon. While those Lebanese people - the real victims and the ones who are suffering - don't see this at all.

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Warful Analysis

Israel is accusing Hezbollah that they are fighting on behalf of Iran, and on the other hand Hezbollah is accusing Israel that is it fighting on behalf of USA. I think there are too much hidden agendas in this war. Actually, the concept of Proxy war is not a new one. We've seen many proxy wars, especially during the Cold War between USA and the former USSR. The war in Korea that took place in the 1950's, as well as the Afghan war, are examples of proxy wars. It's really funny that during the Afghan war USA used to support Taliban (Al Qaida), in their war against the Russian occupation.
I myself think that no one fights on behalf of someone else, Hezbollah has their own agenda, they may get support from Iran as it has it's own agenda as well, so is the case of Israel, USA, and unfortunately some Arab leaders as well.
The Arab people are with Hezbollah, because it's been proved during the past fifty years that Israel is their real enemy, I know that most of the western readers may not know this, but the Israeli deeds during this period proved to us that it is a terrorist state. Actually, the formation of Israel itself is illegal. It is funny to know that most of our parents are older than this state. You know, I sometimes feel that Europe and USA supported the formation of Israel, as they were pissed off of the Jews there and wanted to get rid of them. Shakespear's The Merchant of Venice is a representation of the typical image of them at that time. But, what they made was a huge mistake, they gave them the right to have their own country on a land, that already has its own people, who are the Palestinians. And since that times many trials were made to fix this mistakes, either by politics or by war. But, it is always hard to fix a mistake with another one.
Back to out proxy war thing, what USA et al. want is to get rid of the resistance, because they think that this may solve the whole problem. But the problem with this approach is that the resistance is backed and supported - even if it is only an emotional support - by millions of the Arab world citizens. One the other hand, the resistance et al, believe that getting rid of Israel will solve the problem. But it's almost impossible to get rid of such body, especially that it's been implanted in the Arab world map 50 years ago. It's now like cancer, that is really hard to get rid of.
USA, has succeeded in making the Arab governments take its side, either by political and economical force, or by scaring them, using fairy tales like the one about the Shiite power that may rise and form a real threat to their long lasting thrones. But, this solution is not reliable, as the Arabic ideology do not accept it, and thus the governments decision may change and then more severe proxy wars will rise from the ashes of this one. Which makes sense, especially for those religious people on both sides, as this is going to be war of all wars, or Armageddon as seen by Christians, Muslims, and may be Jews as well.
Finally, I have one more question, I think I read somewhere that some Christians believe that they are supposed to support Israel as they are ordered to support Ibrahim (Abraham), as well as his children. However Abraham has two children, one of of them is Isaac who is considered to be the father of people of Israel, and the other one is Ismael, who is the father of prophet Muhammad - Peace be Upon Him and His Family - and the father of Hassan Nasrallah himself.

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08 August 2006

Yet Another Egyptian Bloggers Group

A group fot the Egyptian Bloggers to:
  • Share their blogs with others
  • Ask for help in technical/non-technical issues
  • Share Events and Announcments
  • Share their Contacks
  • Chit chat
Group home page:
Group email address

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07 August 2006

Diplomacy of Tears

It seems that during the current war in Lebanon, the Arabs came out with a new effective way for handling their political problems, it's by crying. Today, during the Arab foreign ministers summit, the Lebanese prime minister, Fouad El Sanyora, couldn't stop his tears during his speech there. Even the Arab news channels, used to focus on the victims of the war, without a real analysis of what can be done in order to stop the Israeli massacres in Lebanon. Also the other Arab leaders, gave speeches, filled with the words of pity and sorrow, without any real warning to Israel to stop it barbaric attack.
It seems that either the Arab governments were not ready for such situation, and never tried to plan for what they can do in a case like this. They do not have political nor military solutions. They do not have anything in their hand in order to have effect on the UN and USA decision makers. Or, they just cry here, while they are really happy seeing Israel fighting Hezbollah, which may satisfy on the Arab regimes dream to get rid of Hezbollah et. al.
Let's consider here the first option, as I hate to think about the second one. Why don't they - Arab governments - have anything in their hands in order to affect the decisions of the UN and USA. What about their oil, and financial power. What about the zillions of dollars they invest everywhere, can't they simply use them as threat. What about their armies, are they just for the annual military shows, and nothing more. Are they afraid to use all these stuff, for some reason that we do not know.
Away from the ways the Arabs can use in order to affect the International decisions, why didn't they back the Lebanese seven demands, except now, after ages, and after the unacceptable USA/French resolution.
Also, the Arab people were not ready, the same as their governments, it seems that they all don't like to play the what-if games every now and then in order to have risk assessment plans. The demonstrators in the streets, were few hundreds that the local police forces banned successfully, I think it needs millions of protesters in the streets in order to force their governments to take an appropriate actions, also the parliaments may have their own effect of the decisions of their governments. They can vote for some military or political action and force their governments to take it.
Finally, I am sure that tears are not enough, and will never solve anything, they can only show how weak we are, and nothing more. And we shall know that political actions will never be taken due to sympathy.
One more thing to add, it's not only the Arabs who use the Diplomacy of Tears, actually Israel as well used to play the role of the victims very well. And they forced the western nations to have those Semitic and anti-Semitic rules, however what made them succeed in this, was not only by using the others sympathy, however they used their financial power mainly in order to reach their goal, and the sympathy of the others was just an add-on. It's just the decoration for it, to make what they want media-appealing.

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06 August 2006

Yet Another Way of Seeing Hezbollah

The main problem with the western nations, that they see Hezbollah the same way they used to see any other Islamic radical movement, such as Al Qaida, etc. For them they are both Islamic groups who are armed as well. So it's hard for them to see any difference between them. So, I'll try here to write some of the major differences between Hezbollah and Al Qaida - for example - in order to help you find out why you are supposed to see them in a totally different way. First of all, Ideologically, they are different, Hezbollah are Shiits, while Al Qaida are Salafys/Wahabys - not Sunnis, as Sunnis are like Shiits, they believe that it is religiously forbidden for them to kill innocent people. Al Qaida doesn't have problem in targeting civilians - September 11th - as far as those civilians belong to their enemy nations. The United States government is totally biased to Israel, so according to Al Qaida point of view, they can kill the American people as a sort of punishment to their government. On, the other hand Hezbollah never kill civilians, even in the current was of Israel on Lebanon, they didn't target Israeli civilians till Israel started to kill dozens of Lebanese Civilians. This may be clear in Hassan Nasrallah's latest speech, when he said that they prefer that Israel stop targeting the Lebanese civilians as they prefer to have their fight against soldiers only. Hezbollah's war is against occupation forces (IDF), that are occupying their own country - Lebanon - and not a war carried in some foreign country. Finally, most of the Arabs and Muslims respect Hezbollah, while few of them respect Al Qaida.

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03 August 2006

Girls Gone Wired

A plasma television is a girl's new best friend, says a U.S. study that found three out of four women would pick a plasma TV over a solitaire diamond necklace. According to the Women's Watch: Girls Gone Wired survey, women are increasingly passionate about technology. The modern woman prizes cellphones, iPods and digital cameras over fancy shoes, holidays and even the iconic little black dress.
It's been strongly believed that women are not into high tech and gadgets like men. I think the point is that, the more fancy these products are, the more likely women will be using them. And for sure, iPod and Digital Cameras are fancy products, especially that women are into Music and Photography by nature.

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What's wrong with Germany!?

It's been noticed lately that Germany is blindly supporting Israel, which is somehow not the case for the rest of Europe except U.K. So what makes Germany has such political attitude? I think the main reason for Germany - and U.K. as well - to act like this is its alliance with USA, especially after the World War II and the Marshall Plan. And of course USA it totally biased to Israel for different reasons that we may discuss later.
"Germany and the United States have been close allies since the end of the Second World War. The Marshall Plan and continued US support during the rebuilding process after World War II, as well as the significant influence American culture has had on German culture, have crafted a strong bond between Germany and the US that lasts to this day. Not only do the United States and Germany share many cultural similarities but they are also deeply economically interdependent. 8.8% of all German exports are US bound, and US-German trade according to the US Census Bureau totalled $108.2 billion for 2004. An illustration of the strong economic relations between the US and Germany may be the fact that 18.3% of all cars sold in the US were manufactured by German car manufacturers. Other signs of the close ties between Germany and the US are the fact that German-Americans remain the largest ethnic group in the US and the largest US community outside the US is the Ramstein Air Base, close to the city of Kaiserslautern, Germany", Wikipedia
Another reason of the German attitude is due to the Holocaust thing that the Jews tend to remind them with every now and then. It's like trying to say, see how we help you now, we are not anti-Semitics anymore.
But the question now, are these reasons enough to make those countries take an action such as opposing a ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon, even after seeing the Israeli crimes against Lebanese civilians!?

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01 August 2006

Israel, Masters of Lies

This is what Rober Fisk - Veteran war correspondent, London Independent - said about the video footage that Isreal released, claiming that it is showing Hezbollah rockets being launched from Qana toward towns in northern Israel.
"I’ve seen the video footage. It’s impossible to tell from the footage if indeed this is from Qana. You know, you have to realize that last time the massacre occurred at Qana in 1996, when they killed 106 refugees who were sheltering in the then-UN base that was there -- it doesn't exist anymore, but it did then -- more than half of them children, again. They said that missiles had been fired from within the UN base. It turns out that they were fired from half a mile away. They then said that they didn't have a live time pilot-less aircraft over the UN base at the time. And, in fact, on the Independent, I found a UN soldier who did have a videotape, showing clearly at the time of the bombardment -- this is in 1996 -- a live time photo reconnaissance unmanned aircraft over the base. The Israelis were later forced to admit that they had not told the truth: indeed there was a machine over the base at the time. You know, you can do what you want with photo reconnaissance pictures and with photographs after the event. It’s interesting that we weren't shown these pictures before the massacre. We were only shown them after the massacre", ROBERT FISK.

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Qana VI, originally uploaded by gr33ndata.

We will never forget the victims of Qana, and will never forgive the criminals of Israel.