Archive | January 2009

Burger King ad is my sign

So lately I have been toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian…first I decided to only stay away from meat on weekends, except for chicken, grounded meat and shawaremas 😀

Two days ago I decided to switch the meat-allocated days and only have meat on weekends. No meat at all on weekdays…red meat that is–chicken is way too yummy to pass up.

As I was contemplating the possibility of just maybe thinking about going ahead with the diet switch I saw this ad in the ArabTimes:

buger-king-3

buger-king

WTH??!!! ONLY FOR MEN???!!! Seriously what kind of ad is that? Basically you are telling half the population to stay away from your product??!!! What was Burger King thinking??….but it was a sign form me…so mind made up…from now on I’ll be a vegetarian on weekdays…(except for chicken)

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Cinemagic to be screening Baraka

Cinemagic has started their weekly screening again and their first film will be Baraka.

I saw Baraka over a year ago at the Grand Mosque of Kuwait…and I LOVED it. Here’s what I said then: [LINK TO POST ABOUT BARAKA]

Here’s more info on the screening from Cinemagic’s Facebook group:

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Date:
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Time:
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location:
Cinemagic Rooftop Venue
Street:
Salem Al-Mubarak street
City/Town:
Salmiya, Kuwait
Phone:
……55109767
Email:

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Cinemagic is delighted to invite you to our weekly screening program. Screenings take place at our new location in Old Salmiya, above LG Electronics.


This Week, we will be screening “BARAKA”.

An ancient Sufi word translated as a blessing or as the essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds.


The film is a work of art, which rates amongst the greatest achievements in the field. With the theme of man’s diversity and his impact upon the environment, the film is photographed on six continents in 24 countries including Tanzania, China, Brazil, Japan, Nepal, the U.S, Europe, and Saudi Arabia… It has no story and no dialogue, yet transcends geography and language to provide a sensual and spiritual experience that enables the viewer to look at the world in a totally different way purely through cinema along an ambient soundtrack by Michael Sterns who weaves the images together on a separate plain, producing a hypnotic pathway for the images to flow. Once you allow yourself to be pulled along by this current of sound, the images will link themselves together and the true revelations hidden within BARAKA will make themselves apparent. And what you may take from this film will solely be determined by the life experience you bring to it… may it be full of BARAKA.

For its part, Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of filmmaking.

As always, attendance is free of charge (but seating is limited). Snacks and refreshments will be served.


To pay or not to pay

I did something shocking today :O :O…I never thought I would stoop so low. In the 40150 hours I have spent online since WWW and I were first introduced I must have committed more unethical downloading acts than those 16-year-old dvd street vendors. I am ashamed to admit that today I actually PAID tried to pay for something.

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*bows head down in shame*

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Yep, the trial version of my Kaspersky expired so I had to renew…after searching for an hour for illegal activation keys..I finally gave up…hey if an anti-virus program can stop people from cracking it, then it must be good…and then a little voice inside my head went: “Weeeeellll, if you are pleased with their product, why don’t you reward their skill by PAYING for their service”

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Yikes!!!! Where the hell did that voice come from??? I have never paid for any song I have downloaded, nor any film, or any program, heck before Kaspersky I had always used Norton and I never bought the code, so why now????

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[10 minutes later]

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check out this screenshot from the activation form of Kaspersky:

kaspersky

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Apparently these Kaspersky people would only allow men or married women to use their applications ;p ;p … hmmmm on second thought maybe I should try to crack their code anyway…let’s see which i easier: get married so i could use Kaspersky, or have a sex change operation, or crack their application??? hmmmm?

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UPDATE: Apparently Kaspersky has problems accepting paypal. See even when i want to do good, all forces are against me…it’s a sign

UPDATE 2: So apparently the dude reading email complaints/questions is waaaaaay too busy to read the actually email and just response with a generic solution…it’s either an auto-response, or a man…stm it’s hard to tell the difference ;p

UPDATE 3: I gave up trying to use paypal and just paid up theKD 23 ($59.95) for a year subscription directly through their site….congrats Darya for your first ever ethical act online 🙂

The Monkey Experiment: The Habit Virus

Dunno why my energy level has taken a steep dive into a never-ending abyss…I try to avoid the ‘term’ hate’ but honestly there’s no better word I can use here, but this year I simply HATE winter. I miss that scotching big yellow ball in Kuwait’s skies. I haven’t been bathed by its rays in over 2 months!!! I so want Kuwait’s sun back.

Anyhoo, until my source of energy comes out of hiding from behind these cold clouds, I will continue to plagiarize and only copy and paste stuff off the net for my posts…here’s a story that says a lot about _____________________ (fill in the blank).

The Habit Virus

Source: ‘The NLP Pocketbook’ by Gillian Burn

PS. Click on the picture if you are having problems reading the small, blurry, eye straining font.

UPDATE: I found a text version of the Monkey Story:

In a research study, five monkeys were placed in a cage with a ladder leading to a bunch of ripe bananas. One monkey headed towards the bananas, but hidden at the top of the ladder was a water spray which showered water over the monkey. So it abandoned the attempt. Another monkey tried; it too was sprayed with water. Each monkey in turn tried, but each was doused and eventually gave up. The researchers turned off the water spray and removed one monkey from the cage, replacing it with a new one. The new monkey saw the bananas and immediately tried to climb the ladder. However, to its horror, the other monkeys leapt up and stopped it.

Over time the researchers removed and replaced all the original monkeys. Every time a newcomer approached the ladder the other monkeys stopped it from climbing up. None of the remaining monkeys had ever been sprayed, but still no monkey approached the ladder to reach the bananas. As far as they knew that was the way it had always been done, and so the habit was formed.


UPDATE 2: Another post with a video of the monkey experiment: http://blog.stsaint.com/philosophy/2010/05/5-monkeys-experiment/

Who kissed Sleeping Beauty???

Since I promised S.H  I would get off my frozen derriere and write a post today, here’s a copy and paste of the most interesting thing I read today:

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I wonder if that's the prince leaning in to kiss her or the king.... and

I wonder if that's the prince leaning in to kiss her or the king.... and

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From “Top 10 Gruesome Fairy Tale Origins

Fairy tales of the past were often full of macabre and gruesome twists and endings. These days, companies like Disney have sanitized them for a modern audience that is clearly deemed unable to cope, and so we see happy endings everywhere. This list looks at some of the common endings we are familiar with – and explains the original gruesome origins.

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My favorite one is number 6 “Sleeping Beauty”

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In the original sleeping beauty, the lovely princess is put to sleep when she pricks her finger on a spindle. She sleeps for one hundred years when a prince finally arrives, kisses her, and awakens her. They fall in love, marry, and (surprise surprise) live happily ever after. But alas, the original tale is not so sweet (in fact, you have to read this to believe it.) In the original, the young woman is put to sleep because of a prophesy, rather than a curse. And it isn’t the kiss of a prince which wakes her up: the king seeing her asleep, and rather fancying having a bit, rapes her. After nine months she gives birth to two children (while she is still asleep). One of the children sucks her finger which removes the piece of flax which was keeping her asleep. She wakes up to find herself raped and the mother of two kids.

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First thougth after reading this:

1. Dear God, I am thankful for the existence of censorship authorities such as Disney that decides what is best for us. May they continue to re-write history and stories to make our world more fairy-taley(…nope I myself don’t know if I am serious 😦

2. I wonder if our world would have been any different if no one had sanitized these stories…hmm no little girl believing in the wonders of a prince’s kiss, no waiting for Prince Charming, no hope for happiliy ever after…wonder which life is more realistic?

3. Actually on second thought, I wonder if there’s a hidden message in the story…maybe that’s why a lot of the times a guy seems to be the ‘prince’ persona but then the mask sheds and he turns out to be the ‘king’ persona (ok when i say a lot of times i am talking about one specific case that a friend of mine recently faced….but that’s another post)

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To read other santized fairy tales go here: Top 10 Gruesome Fairy Tale Origins

Dibai House–a Persian Hotel in Isfahan

When i was last in Iran, during Nowrooz, Isfahan was on my list of cities to visit, but some family emergency forced me to drag my sorry ehm, ehm, back to Kuwait. So when at around 10:00 am some day in November I heard that we are going to be off from December 5th to December 13th, I made sure that an email confirming my ticket to Tehran was in my inbox by 10:10 am 🙂 (Of course I later on found out that we were only going to be off for 3 days, but hey it was too late to cancel my flight ;p)

Now since this was my own country, I wanted it to be a bit spontaneous. I didn’t research and write up an exact iternary like I usually do when I travel. But I did need to get a hotel.

The first hotel I liked was Abbassi Hotel. I LOVED the suites. Check out these pics I got from their gallery:

Abbasi Hotel-Qajary Suite

Abbasi Hotel-Qajary Suite

Abbasi Hotel- Safavid Suite

Abbasi Hotel- Safavid Suite

Abbasi Hotel Safavid Suite

Abbasi Hotel Safavid Suite

But those suites were way too big for just one person and since there were no pics of their single rooms I reckon they must be ordinary. Besides I wasn’t took keen on staying at a luxurious hotel. I wanted somewher homey, somewhere pure Persian, somewhere warm and cozy…and so I stumbled on Dibai House.

The lady who owns this place bought it—and by it I mean a worn out Safavid mansion– around 6 years ago, after moving back to Iran from Spain, and settled in Isfahan with the purpose of renovating such a place to rent out. It took her 1.5 years to even find this house. Most of house dated back to the Safavid era ~350 years ago.

When I was there I had written down loads of notes about the place, but I can’t find it now. So I guess for the time being I got to copy and paste the info from Dibai House site itself (thank God it’s very informative)

Dibai House is a traditional Persian residence that has been restored entirely and in detail. Transformed into a hotel, offers its guests the opportunity to stay in a historic mansion at the very centre of the Old City, and surrounded by a picturesque and artistic setting.

Dibai House dates from the 1670’s. Nevertheless, modern facilities have been carefully added, so that the house can boast of being able to offer a truly comfortable and altogether enjoyable accommodation.

Dibai House has ten rooms to cater for twenty guests. There are three single rooms, five twin rooms and two triple rooms. Two of the twin rooms are en-suite, whilst the other rooms share five modern bathrooms.

The house has various common areas, open to all:

  • The shah neshin, or talar. This room is a feature common to all traditional Persian residences and was historically the house’s main daily hub, and where guests were received and entertained. Nowadays it is used as a big living room.
  • Spacious shabestans, or basements, where the dining room is located.
  • The chai khane, or tea room, with a samovar and fresh local pastry, a place to chill out and relax enjoying a cup of tea
  • The magnificent hoz khane, or pool house, with intricate window and mirror works, paintings, reliefs and beautifully crafted walls.
  • Two sahn, or courtyards.

Here are some pics I took over my one week stay over there:

Dibaee House/Hotel in Isfahan

Dibaee House/Hotel in Isfahan..this is the Shabestaan where I always had my breakfast...oh God I so miss those home made jams 😦

Those home made jams

Those home made jams

Backyard of the Dibaee House/Hotel in Isfahan

Backyard of the Dibaee House/Hotel in Isfahan

Pool Room (as in fountain not the game) of Dibaee House

Pool Room (as in fountain not the game) of Dibai House..notice the shape of the pool..it's an octagon

Dibaee House (a hotel in Isfahan)

Dibai House (a hotel in Isfahan)

The front yard on Dibaee House

The front yard on Dibai House

The Shah Nesheen room (main living room)

The Shah Nesheen room (main living room)

Inside the Shah Nesheen

Inside the Shah Nesheen...check out that table...the daughter of the owner found it in another old mansion and turned it into a table :)...now how cool is it 😀 😀

The Shah Nesheen room

The Shah Nesheen room

The TV Room

The TV Room..very cozy

The TV Room

The TV Room-I miss sitting there late in the evenings with Miss Sufi (the owner) and her daughter watching Spanish programs

The dome ceiling of the pool room

The dome ceiling of the pool room--do you notice anything similar between this, the pool/fountain below it and the entrance hall? ...they are all octagons...I was told that the number 8 was considered lucky in the Zoroastrian religion and that's why a lot of houses that date back to the Safavid era reflect the number 8 in their designs.

The Tea Room

The Tea Room

Dibai House-Shah Nesheen

Dibai House-Shah Nesheen...I was told the windows were colorful so as to repel flies away

A double room in Dibai House

A double room in Dibai House...those two little compartments next to the door were where they used to lit paraffin candles in the old days. It was between two rooms so both could be lit. There was an opening in the compartment so the smoke would be sucked up to the roof

The right wall of the courtyard. This image is reflected on the left wall (see next pic)

The right wall of the courtyard. This image is reflected on the left wall (see next pic)

The left wall, which is a mirror reflection of the right wall

The left wall--a mirror reflection of the right wall

The courtyard of Dibai House...according to Ms.Sufi no chemcial paint was used in the renovation since these houses need to 'breath'

The courtyard of Dibai House...according to Ms.Sufi no chemical paint was used in the renovation since these houses need to 'breath'...do you see the openings on the steps over there? those were for sucking the moisture from the walls. Here's an interesting tidbit Sufi told me: The walls in those days were always built just high enough for only half the yard to be in shade

The entrance door to Dibai House (I am not sure if that's the orginal door but most likely it is very similiar)

The entrance door to Dibai House (I am not sure if that's the original door but most likely it is very similar). In all old houses in Iran, there were two door separate door knockers--one for females and one for men. One could tell if the visitor was male or female based on the sound of the knock

The land light house/minaret from Seljuky era (400 years ago) is visible from the courtyard

The land light house/minaret from Seljuky era ( eleventh-century-over 1000 years ago!!!) is visible from the courtyard. This lighthouse was used to guide travelers on the silk road...aaah how I miss sitting in that yard until early hours of the morning starring at the stars while listening to Haydeh

Meloo--the cat of Dibai House resting in the Shabestaan

Meloo--the cat of Dibai House resting in the Shabestaan

The balacony overlooking the pool. In the old days, the ladies used to sit up there and enjoy the brisk air

The balcony overlooking the pool. In the old days, the ladies used to sit up there and enjoy the brisk air

1. Qajary travelled to Europe a lot so a lot of the renancenace imagery is relfected in their art work. 2. The Qajaries loved shiny things, so they used a lot of mirror works. 3. The Safaivds loved simplicity and archs

An image on one of th wall of the pool house. The pool house was made during the Qajay period. According to Ms. Sufi (the landlady) one way of distinguishing a Safavid architecture and Qajay one is: 1. Qajary traveled to Europe a lot so a lot of the Renaissance imagery is reflected in their art work. 2. The Qajaries loved shiny things, so they used a lot of mirror works. 3. The Safaivds loved simplicity and arches

Some interesting facts from Dibai House site:

An outline of the history of Dibai House

The buildings comprising today Dibai House were originally part of a much larger residential complex know as Khaneye Harandi, or Harandi House. Named after its owner Hassan Harandi, a notorious, wealthy and influential textile merchant, the house was built in the 1670s to serve as a primary residence.

Khaneye Harandi was an excellent example of traditional Persian residential architecture. The complex occupied an entire block and comprised a beautiful and elaborate hoz khane, or pool house, ample stables and an additional building that served as caravanserai. Various adjacent shops, facing Harounie’s High Street and still in use today, were also part of Khaneye Harandi.

The house had the characteristic partitioning into an interior wing, the andaruni and an exterior wing, the biruni. The andaruni, as opposed to the biruni, was the part of the house in which the private quarters were established, and specifically where the women of the house could freely move about without fear of being seen by an outsider. The only men allowed in the andaruni were the lord of the house, those related to him, like his sons, and guests allowed in under special circumstances.

This impressive palace-like dwelling was divided into independent parts in the early second half of the nineteenth century and sold off separately. And it was at that time when a distinguished army officer called Dibai acquired the andaruni, which became an independent residence and would subsequently be known as Dibai House

The premises that make up Dibai House today are precisely those who bought the army officer. Eventually neglected by his heirs, Dibai House fell into disrepair and it was in a run-down state when found by its current owner. After its purchase, the house underwent an exhaustive restoration carried out by leading experts in the recovery of historic buildings, a no easy task that lasted over four years. The work done respected the house’s original architectural layout and design, leaving the building as close a state as it was then, almost four centuries ago. Wood from Isfahan’s forests and paints and plasters of non-chemical origin, produced using traditional methods, were used throughout.

The house’s pride is undoubtedly its hoz khane, one of the best preserved of its kind in Isfahan, if not the best. Its aesthetic roof scapes with an intriguing light well, as well as the intricate window and mirror works, paintings, reliefs, and a beautifully crafted walls make it an outstanding architectural feature.

Historical note: Harunie is named after after Aaron the Upright, or Harun al-Rashid (763-809). Born near Tehran, he was the fifth and most notable Abbasid caliph. Under his reign the Abbasid empire reached its apogee. Harun fought the Eastern Roman Empire and was an avid patron of letters and of arts. He had a trilling life and held a magnificent court on which many of the stories of the ‘Thousand and One Nights’ are based. While in a journey through Iran, he became ill and died in Tus (Khorasan province). He was buried in Mashad.

Dibai House was listed among the Iran’s National Cultural Heritage Sites in 2004