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Life’s Residue

Petal for life

Image by Leonard John Matthews via Flickr

Sometimes I wish I don’t have such a capacity for details. My brain cells are always engaged in computing the unsaid words,unannounced actions, hidden motives. I have repeatedly knew certain people’s future actions and reactions, even way before they even knew or decided on a course of action. Sometimes, even when they vehemently denied the possibility of such things happening, ridiculing me for assuming that they even could or would do such a thing.

It’s as if my mind is always looking at the “dark side of the moon.” My unfathomable mental tendency to reading between the lines if I may say so often renders me oblivious to the lines themselves. I unconsciously put great effort into understanding the silence that I miss what is being said. That is partly due to my belief that we as individuals are prone to misrepresenting what we think, want or do. It’s not uncommon for a person to have someone that they think knows them better than they know their selves. It’s simply because a proactive external observer (such as myself) to isolate the noise, the minute details that cloud the persons own senses and judgment.

I more often than not wake up with a headache and a recollection of conversations, readings, even internet surfing that my brains cells were simulating and calculating instances of real life in my sleep. I try to rest but my brain firmly rejects my offerings.

Growing up people often viewed me as “shy” and “unsociable” because of my prolonged silences around people, be it a crowd or a single person. I thought of myself as a listener not a talker. This lead to me knowing people around me more than they knew me, but personally I thought of it as being more to my advantage.

I often find myself anxious or upset over situations that I only dreamt up. Regardless of how many times I my doubts were in place, my thoughts accurate; Regardless how many times I correctly managed to rebuild fragments of overheard conversations, I live in constant doubt. Life is not always pleasant when you take everything with a grain of salt. life is a totally different monster for a skeptic. I miss peace of mind, or do I?

My mind lives off the residue of life.

As a part of Zemanta’s “Blogging for a Cause” month, I would like to pay homage to Global Voices Advocacy, a non-profit organization and sister project of Global Voices Online. Global Voices Advocacy, or “Advox” as it is affectionately called, seeks to advocate on behalf of the rights of bloggers and journalists. It is often the first major source to break stories (such as LinkedIn’s recent block of Syrian users or the arrest of Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan) due to the fact that it has a number of on-the-ground resources in various countries around the world. Advox is very effective at what it does on a relatively small budget, and is definitely a cause worth supporting.

This blog post is part of Zemanta’s “Blogging For a Cause” campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

Lock down all your traditional handicrafts workshops!

Visitors to Damascus can no longer visit the shisha/hookah/arkileh workshops, they’re off limits to tourists now. but why? one might ask. The story goes as such: one day Chinese tourists go visit one of those workshops with cameras and camcorders, regular tourist gear. Nothing scary there, yet!

The next thing the craftsmen know, and to their own dismay, is that China is flooding world markets with the same product at a cheaper price effectively taking a huge chunk of their market share. The only thing the poor guys could do do is ban all people from visiting their workshops in the hopes of preventing a future infiltrator from copying their trade secrets James Bond style.

After this unfortunate incident it is advised that craftsmen go after any camera-wielding-tourists with a stick. Unless, of course they make canes for a living. This is necessary to help the competitiveness  the national industry sector, well except for the tourism industry I guess.

Where will they strike next?

إنا لعائدون

بمناسبة عيد الشهداء

الشهيد كمال عبيد

الشهيد كمال عبيد - 1973

إلى عموتي الحبيبة ليلو
لتذكريني حين يعزف الرشاش لحنه
ويضرب المدفع إيقاعه
حين ترتفع في السماء صرخة الحق
أن : إنا لعائدون

عمك
اليوم\الشهر\1973

Sitting in one of Damascus’s infamous Microbuses (locally known as Servees), A Pepsi Max ad plays on the radio. It goes like this:

Buyer: Give me Pepsi Max.
Shopkeeper: It has no sugar.
B: I know, but it has all the taste.
SP (in dullest most stupid voice imaginable): but it has no sugar.
B: I know! but it has all the tase, why would I want sugar? GIVE ME PEPSI MAX I TELL YOU!

I don’t know what the guys who created this astounding ad were thinking, but what I inferred from the ad was that those who sell Pepsi Max just don’t get it, and those who buy it are douche bags. Excellent selling point.

That said, the Syrian Advertisement industry is largely a national embarrassment. The examples are just too many. but to be fair, every once in a while an advertising agency does come up with ideas that are pure genius, fun, and original. Yet the trend is largely finding a great song or piece of classical music and butcher it by turning it to a bubble gum song or a floor cleaner brand. Ask any Syrian whether they know the Lavicera musical piece, you will be surprised.

Anyways, you would expect an multinational mega-corp like Pepsi with a huge advertisement budget to actually come up with ads that don’t suck. I guess Syrian advertising is still a guaranteed way for a company to shoot themselves in the foot.

The Alchemist, by Joseph Wright of Derby
Image via Wikipedia

Hey guys I do appreciate your attempts at arguing against homosexuality with scientific arguments and proof, but all you’ve written was either based on misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what you’ve read, selective quoting and of course citing people with biases against homosexuality as doing genuine research.

Allow me to rephrase something I read somewhere I can’t quite remember: I’m as likely to have a real scientific argument with you as with an alchemist or someone who’s convinced that the earth is flat… what you speak of is not science and I refuse to acknowledge it as such. please spare me and save my time and yours.

Wish you all the best,

Anas

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HOMOPHOBES!

I was really disappointed, although not surprised, by the recent campaign against homosexuality launched by a number of Syrian bloggers.

Seriously?! I see this only as generating from  plain xenophobia. As humans we’re genetically coded to be afraid of those who are different from us, and the herd mentality is hard wired into our brains that we don’t even want to acknowledge it. We, as humans, are instinctively to feel safety in numbers, numbers of those who are similar to ourselves and we label those who are different as dangerous, outsiders, abnormal, or even immoral as our consciousness advanced.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when that freedom is stretched to the extent of demoralizing groups of people based on grounds of religious or racial, or in this case sexual preference, differences that’s freedom gone too far.

Bloggers who participated in this campaign recycled the same old rhetoric eternally used by homophobes. Although I genuinely don’t believe in the efficiency of ‘dialogue’ with people entrenched behind a certain belief I will respond to the arguments that are most irritating to me personally:

  • “Homosexuality is immoral”: homosexuality is in no way synonymous with promiscuity or lack of morals in any sense PERIOD.
  • “Homosexuality is a sickness requiring treatment”: a sickness is defined as a disorder hampering the being’s ability to function properly. and that’s in no way the case with homosexuality; it doesn’t affect a person’s well being or their ability to be an active contributor to any given society.
  • “Homosexuality is a sin: hmm, all I can say is this, if everyone stopped trying to impose their religious belief, which of course they are entitled to have, the world would be a better place. All religions are creeds of love not hate, yet people always find a way to utilize religion to their own purposes.
  • “Homosexuality is abnormal/against nature”: who defines what’s normal and what’s not? deviation from a majority doesn’t make those who are different as abnormal based on this difference. As for it being against nature? seriously? if the sole purpose of human sexual intercourse is reproduction would someone explain to me the abundance of birth control practices and products. Over more, I don’t think any one should fear that homosexuality could endanger our species survival, Earth already harbors 30% more humans than it can provide for.
  • “Studies showed that Homosexuality is not normal”: such studies were conducted with no intent of original research, but for the sole purpose of finding a scientific looking ‘proof’ to support a false claim, such studies are best described as “junk science.”

Is it that hard to live and let live? And were there no more worthy issues to be addressed under the third Syrian blogging week? I ask rhetorically.

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