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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

AMMAN -- Hollywood powerhouse Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. entered into a joint production and financing venture with a local animation company on Sunday.

The deal, signed at a gathering at the Royal Automobile Museum yesterday, represents MGM's first foray into the Middle Eastern market, and is the first agreement of its kind between any major American studio and an Arab company, according to Travis Rutherford, executive vice president of MGM.

The agreement will target three main areas -- content creation, licensing and merchandising, and the development of what is known as "location-based entertainment," which includes theme parks, casinos and housing developments.

Under the agreement, Rubicon, an Amman-based company that has specialised mainly in children's programming, will begin co-producing "Pink Panther & Pals," a new cartoon based on the iconic MGM character, in July.

It is the feline's first incarnation in 26 years, and George Wade, senior vice president of location-based entertainment for MGM, called it a "natural choice" for the studio's first entry into the Middle Eastern market.

"There's a specific need in this region for children's entertainment," he said.

Rutherford praised the Kingdom for taking "a leadership role in the region."

Executives at MGM and Rubicon would not disclose the value of the deal, citing confidentiality concerns, but Rutherford called it "a very significant amount of money."

Ayoubi (Rubicon CEO) considered the deal a major step towards achieving her company's vision, which is to rival studios like Disney's Pixar, within the next 10 years."It puts us on the map," she said. "Hollywood is a very tough place to break into. So we're very excited."

Edited from the article of Jennifer Blecher published on the Jordan Times


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Many gossips and rumors are coming out about the presence of the Columbian singer Shakira (of Lebanese origins) at Jerash Festival, these voices appear stronger after her concert in Lebanon has been postponed (or even canceled) and by taking in consideration the fact she had previously two tour dates in Egypt and in Dubai.

Personally, I think it's not probable that Shakira will have a concert in Jerash as first reported by some websites, it's more credible to see Shakira as a guest of honor as she will help to add a brighter 'international image' for the festival. However, today's edition of Al-Ghad reported that, until now, organizers of the Jerash Festival neither affirmed nor denied the future presence of Shakira in this year's edition of the festival.

But a short visit to the official site makes it clear that the edited version of the program does not refer to Shakira at all, the day of the opening ceremony has been postponed (it was first announced as 19/7) and the first concert will be performed by Ozomatli on 26/7. Ozomatli is a band from Los Angeles, their music is a fusion of a wide variety of jazz, funk, hip-hop and Spanish rock. They're known for their political activism, their English-Spanish songs and for the different ethnic origins of the members.

Visit Ozomatli Official Site

Click here to have a look at the Jerash Festival Program.

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قرأت قبل أيام مقالة للكاتب فهد الفانك، كان يقول فيها أن الموازنة الأردنية تتعرض إلى ضربات عنيفة بسبب الملايين التي تنفق على هيئات ومؤسسات وبعض مجالس إدارتها دون أن تكون لهذه المؤسسات أية فائدة تذكر...

قمت بإضافة بعض المؤسسات على المؤسسات التي ذكرها الفانك، وكلها ينطبق عليها الشرط: مؤسسات كبيرة لا حاجة لها. فمثلاً ما الفائدة أن تكون لدينا هيئة لتنظيم قطاع النقل ولدينا وزارة للنقل، ما الفائدة أن تكون هناك هيئة لمكافحة الفساد تطلب من الخزينة 5.5 ملايين سنوياً، ولدينا في المخابرات دائرة كاملة لمكافحة الفساد؟

هل الحكومة مصابة بهوس اختراع هيئات جديدة، أو ماذا؟ انظروا على يمين المقالة كم هيئة تقطع ميزانياتها العالية من الموازنة العامة للدولة، بعضها بصراحة أسمع فيها للمرة الأولى...

هل يخطر ببالكم المزيد من هذه الهيئات؟

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yes, Emad Hajjaj strikes again... this time about Tawjihi and its relation to the political system, and in this cartoon he didn't do that in an implicit way.

So we have big problems in our system...

1- We are not as democratic as we suppose to be, so it's strange that we demand more freedom from the government and at the same time we try to impose only our rules and points of views to others.

2- We like to gain power and we like to give orders, these things can be easily seen in our patriarchal system. In our families, schools, institutions, the man with more power is who leads, makes decisions and believes that he knows everything.

3- On the other hand, there is not a rejection culture , so anything decided by our supreme leaders is good (see Mahjoob telling his dad how he's democratic).

4- Ob9om Ob9om Ob9om... and not Odros Odros Odros, this is not only a critic of how we study and what our education system calls for, but it's a reference to the fact that we do not think , we do not use our brains, well, if everything is dictated by powerful men and therefore is good, there is no need to think.

5- We believe that limitative decisions, constraints and constrictions are a good solution to solve problems, in reality they are exactly the opposite. (If you force your son to stay at home 24 hours a day, without TV or any social activity, it will not become a good student, he will be a stupid student).

6- We are capable to transform a relative silly stupid thing like Tawjihi to the scariest nightmare in the life of a Jordanian. I think Jordanians are the first in the world for their sense of alarmism, really, I don't know why Tawjihi is for us so apocalyptic...

PS: This cartoon has a unique choice of colors; I think I've never seen Abu Mahjoob in this style.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

لكم بعض اللقطات المضحكة لمذيعي قناة الجزيرة

نهاية الجنوب إلى اللقاء

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

أنني أكتب هذا المقال القصير وهناك صعوبة بالغة في أن أضغط على زر المسافة على لوحة المفاتيح أو حتى في تحريك الفأرة. لماذا؟ بعضكم يتساءل ما الذي جرى بي حتى وصلت إلى هذه الدرجة من العناء، لمعرفة السبب لا بد من الرجوع إلى حادثة يوم أمس.

البارحة، في الساعة الخامسة عصراً تقريباً، توجهت كعادتي إلى الطابق العلوي من بيتي، حيث يوجد جهاز الحاسوب خاصتي، بدأت بالطلوع على الدرجات واحدة تلو الأخرى. كنت أجسد في مشيتي كل ما أملكه من النشاط والحيوية الناتجان عن غداء دسم وأكل وافر كنت قد ناولته قبل الحادثة المريرة بقليل... وضعت قدمي على الدرجة الأولى فالثانية فالثالثة... كل ذلك كان مصحوباً بابتسامة خفيفة على وجهي وسرعة في الأداء وبال مشغول لا أدري بماذا، سموت على الدرج شيئاً فشيئاً وكدت أصل آخره، لولا أن رجليّ خانتاني وأدّتا حركةً غريبة لا يدرك ماهيتها إلا رب العالمين، وبعد تلك الحركة البهلوانية الذي أداها جسمي بإتقان، وقعت أرضاً... وجاء رأسي ليصطدم بالجدار الذي أمامي، وفي لحظات كلمح البصر، وبعد أن تأكدت من أنني لم أفقد الوعي وأن الجدار ورأسي الاثنين بخير، بدأت الآلام تراودني ولكن ليس في رأسي، بل في يدي وخاصة في الإبهام الأيمن، الذي وقع ضحية الحادث المؤلم، وكان قد اندفع بقوة نحو الأرض، ليدافع هذا الإبهام وسائر الأصابع عني، ولكن وجدوا في طريقهم معترضاً لا أعرف حتى الآن ماذا كان...

بدأ الإبهام بالانتفاخ... وتحول مما كان عليه قبل الحادث، إصبعاً طبيعياً في الشكل والهيئة، إلى ضعف حجمه، وأصبح مهيب القامة، وزاد عرضه تقريبا عن طوله، ولم يفلح الثلج والجليد في تباطؤ هذا النمو الخيالي للإصبع، كل هذا صاحبته صعوبة في حركة يدي اليمنى، وبروز غير طبيعي لجبهتي ومقدمة رأسي...

وضعت على إصبعي مرهما كريه الرائحة عديم اللون، ولففته بالشاش لعل يخفي بعضاً من زرقته، ولساني تطلق اللعنات على الدَرَج والحائط والحفّاية وأعاتب في نفس الوقت هذا الحظ المنحوس الذي ما زال يرافقني منذ أن أبصرت النور...

استمررت في حالة الغضب تلك حتى صباح اليوم، فلقد قلـّت الأوجاع فعلاً. خرجت من بيتي إلى الشارع العام حتى انتظر الباص وإذ شابٌ أعرفه يسلّم علي من بعيد ملوّحاً يده اليسرى، لتكتشف عينيّ بسرعة أنه هو نفسه وقع ضحيةً لحادث آخر أكثر ضررا، ذلك أن ذراعه كان مكسوراً وأحاطت يده طبقةٌ سميكة من الجبس..

تذكرت في تلك الأثناء قصة الرجل الذي كان حزيناً لأنه ليس لديه المال لشراء حذاء، فكان يضطر أن يمشي حافياً، ولكن ذلك الحزن تحول إلى سعادة يوماً رأى على باب جامع عجوزاً مبتور الرجلين، فعرف حينها أنه من الأفضل أن تكون بلا حذاء من أن تكون بلا قدم، وعلى المرء أن يحمد ربه ليلاً نهاراً على ما يملكه، أو حتى على صغار المصائب التي تصيبه فهي نعمة ورخاء مقابل ما يصيب الآخرين من ويلات.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We be burnin in Amman?

Ok, now it's official*... the Jamaican Raggea star Sean Paul will perform live in Amman!! This is not one of the stupid sentences of AlGhad newspaper ads.. Sean Paul concert will be in Action Target and tickets are 45 JDs and 85 JDs... for more information click here and here

Birth Name: Sean Paul Henriques
Date and place of birth: 8/1/1973 - Kingston (Jamaica)
Has been the member of Jamaican national water polo team.
Sean Paul's mother encouraged his interest in music by purchasing a $30 keyboard for him when he was 13.
Likes eating pasta.
Had worked as a chef and as a bank teller before pursuing a singing career.

*: It seems to be official, but you know in Jordan nothing is sure :(

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Leonardo DiCaprio will play the role of an ex-journalist, who is now a CIA agent sent to Amman to cooperate with the chief of General Intelligence Department in tracking down an Al-Qaeda leader planning to attack America. The movie is produced by Warner Bros and directed by the big Ridley Scott (director of Gladiator, Hannibal, Alien, Kingdom of Heaven...)

From :

Scott already is scouting venues in Morocco for a film that will shoot in Washington, D.C., Europe and the Middle East. DiCaprio will play an ex-journalist-turned CIA agent who’s sent to Amman to work with Jordan’s intelligence chief to track an Al Qaeda leader rumored to be planning attacks against America. [Screenwriter William] Monahan and Scott aligned to the project last year (Daily Variety, March 13, 2006), when Warner bought the novel, then titled “Penetration,” by Washington Post columnist Ignatius.

The movie, named Body of Lies, is based on the book of David Ignatius, and it's about the CIA agent Roger Ferris, an ex-journalist newly stationed in Jordan after being wounded in Iraq. The first operation of Ferris is to eliminate a terrorist named Suleiman, but when this operation fails, Ferris is forced to adopt an innovative scheme modeled after a British plan used successfully against the Nazis. Ferris's plot to turn the terrorists against each other by sowing seeds of suspicion that their leaders are collaborating with the Americans puts his personal life in turmoil and threatens his professional relationship with the head of Jordanian intelligence.

The novel has been labeled as the best spy thriller post-9/11

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Monday, June 11, 2007

I hope someone asked this question in the last week... In any case, I was really too busy to write posts, or even to surf the net (you know I had exams, and I was looking for university training in this summer plus some programming courses and ehm.. I've just started to workout), however I'm here now and let's continue blogging...

So spread the word... Yugi is back