Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcome to Turkey

My actual entry into turkey was not getting off the plane into the Attaturk internal airport in Istanbul, it was when I got into the turkish airways plane. The airhostesses who couldn't give a +0$$ about us, the pilot who did not speak engish arabic, the recorded onboard message about the trip and they safety instructions. The freely served alcoholic beverages consumed by arabs with beards. it was interesting. I was just happy the plane didn't crash. 

The airport itself was big and clean (not the toilettes) and it was what I would have imagined a soviet era airport to look like. Maybe I should check my history. 

Coming straight out of the UAE there was one thing I could not help noticing. There were NO indians ! most of the people around were turks or iranians. I met alot of iraqis at the airport as well coming mostly from the Kurdish north for business. 

The line through to customs was loooong ! this is stressful in a third world country where if you blink 5 people push in line, with thier kids and luggae and passport problems requiring an extra 20 minutes, you had to be ready for that shit ! 

Anyways, 2 hours later my turn comes up, the hungover looking policeman looks at my dodgy passport (New Zealand passport issued in Saudi, it looks how a fake passport should). He looks at me, then at the passport, then at me, then at the passport, then he asks, is this you ? Yes it is. He shrugs his shoulders like he doesn't care if I'm a drug peddler or an international assasin, go through dodgy passport guy ! thank you, and i'm out ! 

So I'm in the aiport trying to find my minders, and while I'm waiting around my mind wanders to a few days ago....(make your imagination blurry like in movies when people recollect).

I'm checking my email, FAMSY's been invited to some sort of confernce in Turkey,  but it's a late invitation so there is no real feel to go to it. My wife's like, why don't you go ? you're still famsy right ? and you're close by ! and you get a change from the work environment here.

Naah, I think.

Next day, naaah, I think.

Third day, I send an email, I can go !

Fourth day, I book a ticket,

Few days after that, (this is where your imagination blurs back to me in the airport) I'm back in the airport. 

Understandably I'm a blur, it's 8am (I got on the plane at midnight). For the first time in my life I'm alone in a country that doesn't speak arabic or english. I know nothing about this place. What DO I know about turkey ? 

Birth place of the ottoman empire, the land where the khilafa died, Attaturk (I'll get to him later), crazy mosque architercture, dodgy sleazy turks, Erdogan and Gul, a country of history and contradiction placed on the geopolitical fault lines of Asia, Euroupe and the middle east. 

A man comes to me with his hand extended, I take his hand and confirm that yes I am abdulnasser, he speaks some arabic thank God, he's my picker upper from the conference organisers. 

The conference, yes it's the IYF, the international youth forum on cultural cooperation of the muslim youth. Held by Millî Görüş . From the little bits of information available online we were not sure about the direction or agendas of this conference, but we were keen to meet and connect with islamic youth organisations from around the world, so we went. 

The trip to the hotel was amazing, after living for almost a year in a desert country like the UAE, driving through miles of trees and gardens was therapy for my brain. The driver didn't speak english or arabic but he was still trying to describe Istanbul to be, I understood Bizance to be Byzantian, he was ofcourse pointing to the 1000 year old Byzantian wall still standing. it was amazing to see living history infront of me, this is the wall that faced Sultan Mohammad the second

During al l this, for those of you who know, you should also imagine my constantly clicking camera, living in the uae I had reached a saturation of what I could take shots of. There were environemts and objects to shoot but because I had my job routine I couldn't or was not much keen to take these shots, I had no time, when I had the time I couldn't find the energy to go out in the melting heat etc... So here the weather was amazing and the sights were all historic and almost made for my camera to capture. 

End of part 1 (it's 10 am and I have work tomorrow) . 

Ramadan Kareem

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Let me make myself clear, the only reason I'm putting this up is because I like the way the poet converys his ideas. I do not condone any of what's written, because I don't know so much to praise or criticise. 

وَيـحَ العَـمَـائِـم التي .... صَـارتْ عَـلـيـهِ مِـئـزرَا 

مُـنَـافِـقـونَ رَبّـكُـمْ ..... دِيْـنَـارُكُـمْ حَـيْـثُ انـبـرَى 

لـكُـمْ يَـدَان ِمِـنـهُـمـا .... دَمُ (الـحُـسَـيـن ِ) قـطـرَا 

وَاحِـدَة ٌ تـلـطـمُ وَالأخـرَى تـسـلّ ُالخِـنـجَـرَا 

وَاللهِ لـوْ أنَّ (الـحُـسَـيـنَ) جَـاءَكـمْ مُـعَـفـرَا 

وَصَـاحَ : (هَـلْ مـن نـاصِـر ٍ) ثـانـيـة ً.. لنْ يُـنصَـرَا 

ستقتلونه....... كما قتلتموه نكرا 

وَتَـرقـصُـونَ فـوقـهُ..... مَـيْـتـاً... كِـلابـاً سُـعَّـرَا 

(مـنـصـورة ٌشـيـعـتُـنـا مـنـصـورة ٌيـا حَـيـدَرَا)!! 

جَـمـيـعـكُـمْ (شِـمْـرٌ) وإنْ جَـبـيـنُـكُـمْ تَـطـبـرَا 

تُـففففٍ عَـلـيـكمْ إنـنـي ..... أتـفِـلـُهَـا مُـسْـتَـكْـثِـرَا

Friday, August 08, 2008

Random News of the day

McCain the Antichrist?

By Robert Dreyfuss08/08/08 "The Nation" -- - -

Biblical scholars in Colorado Springs have uncovered startling evidence that Senator John McCain may be the Antichrist.
Their conclusions, while highly controversial, may have a dramatic impact on the 2008 elections, since many Bible-believing Christians have already expressed doubts about McCain’s fealty to Christianity.
The analysis was conducted by the respected True Bible Society, and it will be published next month in the End Times Journal.
The analysis was especially ironic, given that it came out just one day after McCain was accused of subtly hinting that Barack Obama could be the Antichrist. McCain ran a commercial depicting Obama as “The One,” giving rise to charges that he was sending a subliminal messages to anti-Obama Christians.
“What started us looking at this issue is the fact that Senator McCain has declared his intention to maintain US forces in Iraq for a hundred years,” said David Jenkins, a leading Biblical scholar. “That means that McCain wants to control Babylon for at least a century.”
According to many scholars of the Book of Revelation, the Antichrist will try to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon in order to use it as a springboard for an international effort at world domination. Ultimately, the Antichrist will marshal forces from Babylon to spark a showdown with Christian and Jewish-led forces in the battle of Armageddon.“We believe that the End Times is near, based on the pattern of wars, earthquakes. and other strange phenomena we’ve been witnessing since the start of the New Millennium,” said Jenkins. “Given that it may be imminent, the person who controls Babylon must be the Antichrist.”
Until 2003, many Christians believed that Saddam Hussein might be the Antichrist, since he started excavations to restore Babylon in the mid 1970s. But Hussein’s death meant that the Antichrist is someone else.
Since Obama wants to get out of Iraq, he can’t be the Antichrist either, concluded Jenkins.Jenkins said his teams suspicions were further heightened when genealogical research showed that McCain’s great-grandfather was actually not John McCain, but John Mihai. Mihai is an ancient Romanian name, and according to Bible-believing Christians, the Antichrist is likely to be a Romanian. “What clinched it for us was that the name Mihai means ‘who is like the Lord,’” said Jenkins. “As far as we’re concerned, that was enough. It means that McCain might easily pretend to be the Redeemer.”McCain’s geniality and folksiness are consistent with his being the Antichrist, Jenkins said.
“Many people think that the Antichrist will be a evil-seeming leader, but in fact the Bible tells us that he will be charming.”So far the McCain campaign has refused to comment on Jenkins’ study.Robert Dreyfuss, a Nation contributing editor, is an investigative journalist in Alexandria, Virginia, specializing in politics and national security. He is the author of Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam and is a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, The American Prospect, and Mother Jones.

Copyright © 2008 The Nation

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Jedda and rap, a strange combo that works

I stumbled upon to this clip today. 

I watch the first 30 seconds and it's just a traditional Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) wedding, some guy is singing an offtune song to a happy family etc... boring, not worth my time. 

BUT ! 

the quality of the video was professional, so I mustered up some faith and kept watch, and that's when I was surprise; The groom breaks into a mix of arabic and english rap. 

Many have tried and failed at this english/arabic rapping mix, they sound too tryhard, thier english is horrendous etc... but this was quite good ! The overlapping mix of arabic (Saudi) and western (American) cultural terms and features was very smooth, it actually worked. 

The fact that it tackled a wholesome topic such a marriage did not lessen its hipness. I loved the fact that they did not use sex or cursing to commercialise thier art. Also, they did not use music ! and if I hadn't told you, you woudln't have noticed ! MAD ! 

The crazy thing is that it's Saudis. I did not take saudis to be so .... artistic, so I'm quite impressed by that as we.. 

I checked out thier other songs through through facebook group (f#@%ing facebook!) and they were ok but not that great, and they contained the usually tryhard with swearing rap stuff so that was a bit of a let down. Through I'm still impressed and in love with this wedding rap. 

I think that maybe to pass the song through Saudi Arabia's stringent censorship laws. because this song is devoid of anything that could pass as immoral. It would have even been played on TaliTV (the Taliban's official TV station-if there was such a thing). 

Now I'm going to take on my friend's role of the dark attitude basher guy towards these things (friend=person I can't name). 

1- Westernization, if this guy is a Saudi, how the heck did he have such a better than average command of american singing style and terminology ? How much TV did he watch ? How has this affected his morals and ideals ? 

2- Well to be honest I can't think of a numebr 2. Something about American hegemony, but I've already spoke too much.