Trying to get by...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

الدكتور يوسف سيد حسن الزلزلة

On November 11th 2009 I attended the international Investment conference at the Dead Sea and at the main panel was the Dr. Yousef. I have to tell you people Dr. Zalzalah actually created zelzal inside the conference. He showered the crowd with positivity and impressed not only the crowd but the officials attending the event. that was early morning and my last even was around 5 PM and it was a different panel, and the panel head appraised Dr. Zalzalah in his absence for the energy he brought with him and showered us with it. Bless you Dr. Zalzalah and although I'm not Kuwaiti but I was born and raised in Kuwait, I would like to show my appreciation of such character and thank you for making me proud to be Kuwaiti, today I was Kuwaiti because of you Dr. My respect and appreciation to you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

160GB ipod classic & Garmin GPS Nuvi 310 for sale

Howdy folks, Selling 160GB ipod classic White for 175JD & Garmin GPS Nuvi 310 for 125JD (has GCC maps, you can buy Jordan map for $100) Both used but in good condition. This sale is for Amman only and you can email me at palforce@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My first winter in Amman

It was raining all night long, kids school is only a block away from our flat. But it is a narrow steep road and the school is kinda sitting on a hill. This morning taking kids to school, the road was muddy wit and half of the concrete is pealed of so we had only half of the road to drive a 2 way car. It was a circus. How come police dont regulate roads leading to schools?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Amman Twestival event tonight at 9PM

Reblog from http://mkhawaja.jeeran.com/archive/2009/9/939619.html On behalf of the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, It is my pleasure inviting you to join the 2nd Twestival event in Jordan Amman Twestival (Twitter + Festival). This time the discussion will be around Entrepreneurship and Social Media . The event is designed to be very interactive where your tweets will be displayed live (on the BIG screen) during the event, which will give the moderator and everyone -including the panelists- the chance to elaborate on your tweet either by talks (or maybe another tweet!) Thanks to @tweetDeck :) ! The Cause for this year's Twestival is to support: Al-Aman Fund for the Future of the Orphans Al-Aman Fund for the Future of the Orphans is an independent non-governmental organization founded in 2006 by Her Majesty (@QueenRania ) Al-Abdullah. Time: September 13, 2009 from 9pm to 11pm Host:Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (@QRCE) Location: Al-Hashemeyyen Theatre, Royal Scientific Society Location map:http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=109625758156428484728.00043e8954f270a9d9d7c

Friday, August 14, 2009

SMILE Campaign

As some of you know I work in the hospitality sector, I visit hotels and meet with hotel owners and I also like to explore hotels in Jordan, to learn more about the amenities and the services provided to learn more about leisure activities in the Kingdom. On a monthly basis I host guest in Jordan from hospitality background (Kuwaitis, Lebanese, Americans, Spanish and so on) and I try to visit as many hotels and restaurants as possible. Everybody who visited Jordan for the first time was shocked and surprised as how beautiful and secure Jordan is. People had no idea of how beautiful the weather is, how exotic some of the sites in Jordan, how fancy the establishments are in Jordan. But one dominating factor that all communicated to me loud and clear, Jordanians as people lack SMILING and good hospitality etiquette manners. So I want to establish a new campaign in Jordan and I want all the online social media help in this. SMILE Campaign, we need to learn how to smile more often. I have a dream that one day Taxi drivers in Jordan can great you with a SMILE and how is your day when you first enter the Taxi. I have a dream that your waiter greats you with a smile when taking your order and even when customers complain keep the SMILE going and promise a solution even if it was verbal. I have a dream when checking in to hotels in Jordan receptionists will great you with a SMILE and hope you had a comfortable trip to the Kingdom. I have a dream that all drivers will have courtesy while driving and SMILE for you while allowing you to pass before them. I have a dream all sales staff at shops will great you with a SMILE and keep the SMILE going when the customer is negotiating with them. I have a dream that all preachers will start SMILING and stop repeating that "God Destroy American" slogan. I have a dream that passport agents and visa agents at the airport will start SMILING and wish you a joyful stay at Jordan. I have a dream that government officials will start SMILING more often at press releases. I have a dream policemen will SMILE while giving you a ticket and wish you a safe drive. ___________________________________________________________ Kindly share your SMILE Campaign dream with us. * This post was written while SMILING.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Be kind to Camels!

I went to Distant Heat last weekend and while at the bus, they handed us these instructions sheet, and here are some of their instructions: - No Weapons of Mass distraction!!! What the heck is Mass distraction? Is it a misspell? Or is there such a thing?! - Be kind to Camels!!! What about those Camel Jockeys? da heck with them? I mean why da camels? How about those donkeys? Plants? Desert? Why camels? Please someone explains.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Do Jordanians lack the right HOSPITALITY SERVICE?

Remember my POST about Tourism in Jordan? Check out this conversation that happened last night at some upscale cafe at the 5th ring. I took my management to this cafe before we head for dinner to talk. (Remember this is their second time in Jordan and they always compare us with Lebanon). This is the conversation that went between my boss and the waiter, remember our company is a hospitality company and we deal with hotels and F&B. Waiter: What can I get for you to drink? Customer: I want something cold and fresh; I see that you have Vanilla, Strawberry & Mango juice. Which one should I go for? What do you suggest? Waiter: That is up to you sir! I can't tell you what to drink! Customer: Surprise me! Waiter: No can do, you have to pick a flavor. Mind you this is no some ordinary place but rather a fancy one. My boss then turns to me and says: if we are in Lebanon the waiter would have said: " Habeeb alby halla barooh ba3sorrak a7la 3aseer 3ala zoo2i wed3eeli". Then looks at me and says: I rest my case. People, get with the program! We need to learn how to give the right hospitality service to tourists.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Business Dinner & lunch places in Amman!

OK Ammanies, I have top management coming to Amman this week for the second time. The last time I took them to Romeros & Fakhreddin. This time I need a fancy quiet restaurant for a dinner meeting and another for Lunch, I have got some tips but I'm still looking. Lebanese, Italian, International. I want something expensive and not too crowded. Should I go to 5 star hotels resturants like Four Seasons? Help, time running out. Thanks, Khaled

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tourism in Jordan

Greetings, Lebanon this year has done for itself in regards to tourism and attracting GCC tourists. Personally I have never been to Lebanon, but all my family did. I always ask them what does Lebanon have that Jordan doesn't? Scenery? We have that. Weather? We have that. Restaurants? We have that. Resorts? We have that. Hotels? We have that. Malls? We have that. As a matter of fact, we have things that Lebanon doesn't have; Petra - Dead Sea - Aqaba. We might not have Cosmetic Surgery Tourism, but we have all other REAL MEDICAL tourism. Lebanon political situation not the most stable one in the world, while in Jordan one word I keep hearing from tourist and visitors SAFE. Jordan is the most stable country in the region. So I ask again, why GCC tourists go to Lebanon rather than Jordan? The blame can be divided into three: The People: SERVICE! We lack the "habeeb albi to2borny" attitude. We need to SMILE more often. Tourism Entities: They don’t market tourism to GCC countries, well. They just started on MBC and AlArabeya. Great job and long due. Also hotel prices are not affordable to the Jordanian citizen. (Need to encourage Internal Tourism). 20,000 Jordanians have visited Lebanon just last month. Again there is a great need of newly developed budget hotels for Jordanian citizens. The Government: High taxes prevent Tourist companies from offering real discounts. Labor law prevents hotels from hiring the right adequate staff. Hotel Labor Expense % in Egypt is only 10% while in Jordan it is 30%. So, for Jordan to compete with Lebanon in the tourism sector, we need to smile more often and offer good services to visitors. I think change is coming, check out this post: http://bambamworld.com/blog/?p=526#comments Peace

Friday, July 17, 2009

How? Jordan

How can I get Al-Waseet deliverd to my flat? How can I get my hands on a yellow page book?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Distant Heat 2009 Couples only?!

So I'm sitting at Books@Cafe having lunch and writing my reports, then started talking with the owner and we started talking about tourism and hotels in Jordan.

He informed me about a new poster he just posted at the Bulletin Board, and was telling me about this DJ Armin who is #1 worldwide.

It sounded fun, so I made a couple of calls and a group of us 3 plus my nephews decided to attend the INTERNATIONAL EVENT.

Went this morning to Romero to buy tickets and guess what?!

COUPLES ONLY!!

WHATTAA?!

I mean I understand if some local restaurant or disco have such policy.

But for an international event? And by the way it was not mentioned at the poster anything about families only (yeah right).

I'm pissed; it is one thing to control a local event, but Distant Heat?!

For Pete Sake, come on people. uufttt

Taking kids to see Ice Age 3.

Peace

Armin Van Buuren @ Wadi Rum, Jordan July 23rd 2009

Armin Van Buuren@ Wadi Rum July 23rd 2009. July 23rd Wadi Rum, Jordan Distant Heat 2009 Find more info Here & Here. Tickets 85JD & 125JD(VIP). Call Romero for booking: Phone : +962 64644 228 Mobile: +962 79 610 5300 Party will continue next day at Coral Bay, Aqaba. Aqaba Cheap new clean place Here. Single Rooms = 15JD - Double Rooms = 25JD.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Heellllpppppppppppppppp!

OK, didnt mean to scream but this is Birthday month and I'm looking for PS3, the one at Carrefour is only 40G and 539JD, is there a better deal or should I get it from out of town? I also want an electric guitar, where in da world do I find these things? I'm in Amman. Kids! Thanks. Khaled

Monday, June 29, 2009

Two Wolves

This is the best I have ever heard... One evening an old Indian Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.. He said: 'My son, the battle is between 'two wolves' inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.' The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather: 'Which wolf wins?' The old Cherokee simply replied: 'The one you feed.' -------------------- Source: Action Committee Group @Facebook.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How much is this?

So, after looking for an apartment for close 3 months I found one close to kids school. Its a new building and the owner of this flat has kept it vacant for a year. I took a tour inside the flat and fell in love with it and the view. I was also shocked to see AbdelRahman Bin Ouf grave down the road. Now, in the states and Kuwait when moving to a flat all utilities are setup for you to use. In Jordan, because it was newly built none is setup. 1- No hot water. (I need to buy a Boiler (it is called Gaizer in Jordan). 2- Water is weak and runs out fast. (Need to buy another water tank along with a pump). 3- No lights, just wires hanging out from the ceiling. (Need to buy all kind of lights). 4-The kitchen has only one light switch and when turned off all Kitchen power goes off including the refrigerator.(Need to rewire the Kitchen). 5- I painted the whole place. 6- Need to setup the washer & dryer. 7- Need to buy AC units. (Weather is great compared to Kuwait, but it gets real hot one week a year or so I heard). I noticed that when asking for prices, there are no set price for services specially, so always get 3 more quotes before committing to a buy. My first quote two paint two rooms was 750, then I ended up painting the whole house for 250. When hiring a carpenter or electrician or a plumber, don't have to use those close to you, your best bet is to find one in a traditional city. When I wanted a carpenter to out our bedroom together the quotes I got were from 60 to 80, I found one for 20 from Jabal Al Taj and I tipped him 10. I was never of a bargaining person, but I find myself becoming one in Jordan.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Moving to Amman 101

So the word is "there are allot of people moving to Amman this summer"! I would like to shed a light on the process of my move, so those who are interested in relocating to Amman might benefit. School: The most crucial issue for me personally was finding the right school for my kids; I don't want it to be too western nor too strict. After researching plenty of schools, I found out no two people can agree or disagree on the right school for "your" kids, that is one decision you need to research on your own, because different people have different experience with any school around here. My pick was Bunatolghad school in Jbaiha, the reason I picked this school is because it is American based system and most of their staff, they have E-learning, Swimming pools, new school (2 years old), they give discounts for kids who memorized the Quran, they have healthy cafeteria, they keep kids 30 minutes after school to do their homework and so on.. The bus fees are hefty, but they do have DVD & GPS! Apartment: I have looked for apartments all over and I was lucky because my search started back in March so the rent were not as bad as they would be in the summer, I rented a 3-bedroom flat a block away from school. Here are my tips when looking for a flat in Jordan; Real Estate Agents take 10JD to show you around and 1/2 month rent when you sign the lease, the only issue I had with them is their ads in the newspaper are not real, they are baits to get you to call them and they will end up showing you other apartments. I found mine by deciding which area I want to live in and I just drove around looking for apartments for rents. Building guard is a great resource for finding rentals, he knows where are those for rent in his area (not only his building) offer them tips if you found what you are looking for. I wanted a certain price on 4 payments and he got me that and the tip was 50JD. If they don’t do much other than connect you to the owner then it should be around 10JD. The Car: My advice is to get a small car from the dealership, for 2009 small Toyota payments should be around 280JD for 5 years. Personally, I shipped my car cause I couldn’t sell it, and now I'm getting a free stay up to 8 months only, then I have to take it out for good. The Move: I had to ship my whole furniture from Kuwait to Amman, I looked for Transport offices and they usually differ in prices tremendously, so you have to shop around. The law says any Jordanian citizen can bring furniture to Jordan every 5 years, but it never mentions anything about being new or used. And I can tell you from now, THEY MEAN USED FURNITURE. All new furniture will be TAXED!! You would need to show prove of residency in Jordan, mine was a notarized Rental contract. A guy brought all new leather furniture from the US paid about 6000JD. I was lucky to get away with paying only 30JD. Here is my Tip of the Day for those moving furniture to Jordan: Get the custom release agent guy to hook you up, they know their way around. When picking a moving crew, my advice is to pick some from outside the Custom building as those are pro in squeezing money out of you. The average pay for each should be around 12 to 15JD, they would ask for more after they are done saying that they were really tired and it was not worth it for them. My advice is to pick an Egyptian crew from outside the compound. That’s all I can come up with; feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions. Khaled

Moving to Amman - Take 2

So, I finally cleared my furniture from Jordan customs. Next, will go again to register my car for a 8 month stay I think. Need a land line and DSL, so I think I'm going with Orange, but I was told there are some Satellite companies and wireless companies that are offering 3M for 400JD, although sounds very tempting I rather stick with land lines. Any advice on this? I'm staying in Jbaiha. Thanks in advance.

Blackberry Storm for Sale

Moved to Amman, no need for my storm it is fairly used (4months), it is up for sale, bidding starts at 170JD. All accessories are included. palforce@gmail.com

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Changing the rules of war

Changing the rules of war

George Bisharat

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The extent of Israel's brutality against Palestinian civilians in its 22-day pounding of the Gaza Strip is gradually surfacing. Israeli soldiers are testifying to lax rules of engagement tantamount to a license to kill. One soldier commented: "That's what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn't have to be with a weapon, you don't have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him."

What is less appreciated is how Israel is also brutalizing international law, in ways that may long outlast the demolition of Gaza.

Since 2001, Israeli military lawyers have pushed to re-classify military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from the law enforcement model mandated by the law of occupation to one of armed conflict. Under the former, soldiers of an occupying army must arrest, rather than kill, opponents, and generally must use the minimum force necessary to quell disturbances.

While in armed conflict, a military is still constrained by the laws of war - including the duty to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and the duty to avoid attacks causing disproportionate harm to civilian persons or objects - the standard permits far greater uses of force.

Israel pressed the shift to justify its assassinations of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, which clearly violated settled international law. Israel had practiced "targeted killings" since the 1970s - always denying that it did so - but had recently stepped up their frequency, by spectacular means (such as air strikes) that rendered denial futile.

President Bill Clinton charged the 2001 Mitchell Committee with investigating the causes of the second Palestinian uprising and recommending how to restore calm in the region. Israeli lawyers pleaded their case to the committee for armed conflict. The committee responded by criticizing the blanket application of the model to the uprising, but did not repudiate it altogether.

Today, most observers - including Amnesty International - tacitly accept Israel's framing of the conflict in Gaza as an armed conflict, as their criticism of Israel's actions in terms of the duties of distinction and the principle of proportionality betrays. This shift, if accepted, would encourage occupiers to follow Israel's lead, externalizing military control while shedding all responsibilities to occupied populations.

Israel's campaign to rewrite international law to its advantage is deliberate and knowing. As the former head of Israel's 20-lawyer International Law Division in the Military Advocate General's office, Daniel Reisner, recently stated: "If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries ... International law progresses through violations. We invented the targeted assassination thesis and we had to push it. At first there were protrusions that made it hard to insert easily into the legal molds. Eight years later, it is in the center of the bounds of legitimacy."

In the Gaza fighting, Israel has again tried to transform international law through violations. For example, its military lawyers authorized the bombing of a police cadet graduation ceremony, killing at least 63 young Palestinian men. Under international law, such deliberate killings of civilian police are war crimes. Yet Israel treats all employees of the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip as terrorists, and thus combatants. Secretaries, court clerks, housing officials, judges - all were, in Israeli eyes, legitimate targets for liquidation.

Israeli jurists also instructed military commanders that any Palestinian who failed to evacuate a building or area after warnings of an impending bombardment was a "voluntary human shield" and thus a participant in combat, subject to lawful attack. One method of warning employed by Israeli gunners, dubbed "knocking on the roof," was to fire first at a building's corner, then, a few minutes later, to strike more structurally vulnerable points. To imagine that Gazan civilians - penned into the tiny Gaza Strip by Israeli troops, and surrounded by the chaos of battle - understood this signal is fanciful at best.

Israel has a lengthy history of unpunished abuses of international law - among the most flagrant its decades-long colonization of the West Bank. To its credit, much of the world has refused to ratify Israel's violations. Unfortunately, our government is an exception, having frequently provided diplomatic cover for Israel's abuses. Our diplomats have vetoed 42 U.N. Security Council resolutions to shelter Israel from the consequences of its often illegal behavior.

We must break that habit now, or see international law perverted in ways that can harm us all. Our government has already been seduced to follow, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Israel's example of targeted killings. This policy alienates civilians, innocently killed and wounded in these crude strikes, and deepens the determination of enemies to harm us by any means possible.

We do not want civilian police in the United States to be bombed, nor to have anyone "knock on our roofs." For our own sakes and for the world's, Israel's impunity must end.

George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/01/EDKP16PF6S.DTL

This article appeared on page A - 15 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Looking for a personal trainer

Looking for a personal trainer, 2 hours a day for 3 to 5 days a week for 3 months program. Wanna loose da karsh. Where? who? how much? Peace

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thank CBS for 'Powerful' Report on Mistreatment of Palestinians

Segment shows expanding settlements, evictions, humiliating checkpoints, 'Apartheid' roads and wall, families imprisoned in their own homes

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/26/2009) - CAIR today asked American Muslims and other people who seek peace with justice in the Middle East to thank CBS for last night's "60 Minutes" program that outlined in detail the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israelis.
The 13-minute report by journalist Bob Simon showed the damage to the cause of peace caused by the ever-expanding and illegal Israeli settlements, the evictions of Palestinians from their homes, the humiliation they experience at Israeli checkpoints, the "Apartheid" roads and wall built by Israel, and the bizarre experience of Palestinian families imprisoned in their own homes by Israeli soldiers.
You can watch the video of the report here, or read the transcript here.
"We thank CBS and the producers of '60 Minutes' for having the courage to show the American people the truth about the injustices that are at the core of the Middle East conflict," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "This powerful report shows clearly that the only way to resolve the conflict and bring peace and stability to the region is to address the fundamental issues of justice that have been ignored by the world community for far too long."
Awad said Muslims should thank CBS because the media are often criticized for not showing the full picture of the suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israelis.
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS REQUESTED:
1. CONTACT "60 Minutes" - They are getting a lot of "heat" from the vocal minority who support Israel's brutal and counterproductive actions. It is important that those who value peace with justice in the region make the effort to support balanced media coverage.
Tel: 212-975-2006 Fax: 212-975-2019
Mail: 60 Minutes 555 West 57th St. New York, NY 10019
2. COMMENT ONLINE about the segment. (Always be polite and respectful.) Hundreds of people have already made their views known. Add your comments here or here.
3. SHARE this important alert with your colleagues, friends and family. Post to personal blogs.
4. CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES to ask that they view the CBS report.
Contact Your Congressional Representatives: U.S. Senators and House of Representatives
- PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Holocaust in Gaza!

THE GRANDCHILDREN OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS FROM WORLD WAR II ARE DOING TO THE PALESTINIANS EXACTLY WHAT WAS DONE TO THEM BY NAZI GERMANY…
BUILDING WALLS & FENCES TO KEEP PEOPLE IN PRISONS
CHECK POINTS NOT TO ALLOW PEOPLE BASIC FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
ARRESTS & HARASSMENTS
DESTROYING HOMES & LIVELIHOODS
GIFTS (WITH LOVE) FROM THE CHILDREN OF PEACE-LOVING & CIVILIZED COUNTRIES
THE CLASSIC PROPAGANDA MACHINE - YOU WILL FIND THE PICTURE IN BLACK & WHITE IN ALL AMERICAN AND SOME OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES HISTORY BOOKS, ENCYCLOPEDIAS, LIBRARIES, MUSEUMS… THAT DEPICTS A YOUNG JEWISH BOY WITH HIS HANDS UP WHILE NAZI TROOPS POINT THEIR GUNS AT HIM AND HIS FAMILY IN ORDER TO EXPEL THEM FROM THEIR HOMES… (IT'S SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU SYMPATHIZE WITH THE VICTIMS & TO SUPPORT THEIR CAUSE FOR JUSTICE & A HOMELAND) THE ISRAELIS PRACTICE THE SAME TACTICS