Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Of War and People

Last Friday, NPR's All Things Considered featured a segment about the southern Lebanese village, Qawza, and an interview with a couple who were there when the Israelis arrived. The couple talked about the contradicting actions of two groups of Israeli soldiers. Listen here

Abi Elias, the interviewee, passed on this message to an Israeli soldier: "Thank you, my son... I don't know what is your name, but I know you are a gentleman; you are a good fellow; you are a good man."

On the other group of soldiers, Abi Elias says, "They are not army, they are like 'junkestan' army."

The story doesn't make the puzzle of the war any easier to solve. I still think about Moody's question of who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. I answered him then that in war there aren't necessarily bad guys and good guys. What do I tell him if I am to attempt an answer? There's this good guy, with his soldiers unit, who are on the side of the bad guys who killed many civilians in Lebanon. Those bad guys are fighting the other bad guys in Lebanon who claim to be fighting for the good guys in Lebanon. There are the other good guys in Lebanon, and the Arab world, who are chanting their support for the bad guys who caused the destruction of Lebanon and loss of civilian lives. Those good guys hold the leader of the bad guys as their hero...

Does Hezbollah Stand for Arab Pride? A commentary of All things Considered by Adeed Dawisha, an Iraqi-American professor of political science at Miami University, OH. Dawisha says of the contemporary Arab condition, “Simply put, it is a region that suffers from a perceptible achievement deficit. A region mired by authoritarian rule so suffocating of the creative spirit that it leaves people desperately clutching at the slightest bit of accomplishment that comes their way.” more here

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tala is 4!

Happy Birthday!

Updates, August 27:

"I had a great day!"

"This is the best birthday ever!"

"Thank you for the most great gift!"

Tala is still repeating those phrases since yesterday. Such a sweet darling! Her day started in a special way: She had her first ice skating lesson—first time for her on ice. She was frozen on the ice the first fifteen minutes, afraid to move, blink, or even smile. At the end of the class she ice-walked all the way from the middle of the rink to meet me at the gate.

When she woke up in the morning she put on the dress we picked at the mall on Friday, on top of her PJs (picture above.) She loves dresses and skirts. She asked for an Aurora dress, tiara, and slippers, and was elated when she got them.

As per Juju's request, I called her and Ennis and we all sang happy birthday to Tala together. Later, Grandma Safia called and khalu Aymen. Tala was happy!

At 2 pm, she and Moody had T-Ball practice, followed by cake, candles etc. Tala and Moody chose the cake with Cinderella and the prince, so Moody will get the prince and she will get Cinderella. They play so well together. Later at dinner, a whole bunch of people gathered around our table and sang for her. Tala was happy!

Today, we went school shopping for supplies and clothes. I hid the clothes and shoes away and told them they'll get them when school starts. Kind of reminded me of my school days and school shopping with Mom. Such nice memories!

We saw How to Eat Fried Worms today at the theatre. Sol dropped us at the entrance and went to park the car, as usual. Moody asked the cashier for four tickets, and Tala said, "The other one is my Dad. He's still outside. He has grey hair!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

From the Bush Monument Committee

[I got this from a colleague--pretty funnyyyyy!]

Dear Friends and Relatives:

I have the distinguished honor of being on the committee to raise $5,000,000 for a monument of George W. Bush. We originally wanted to put him on Mt. Rushmore until we discovered there was not enough room for two more faces.

We then decided to erect a statue of George in the Washington, D. C. Hall Of Fame. We were in a quandary as to where the statue should be placed. It was not proper to place it beside the statue of George Washington, who never told a lie, or beside Dick Cheney, who never told the truth, since George could never tell the difference.

We finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the greatest Republican of them all. He left not knowing where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on someone else's money.

Thank you,

George W. Bush Monument Committee

P. S. The Committee has raised $1.35 so far

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Anonymous Posting Disabled


Anonymous posting to D-Log has been disabled. Most of those commenting are registered bloggers known to us on some level. We don't intend to offend anyone, but this is really like our family room, and we think we need to do our part in keeping it that way.

p.s. to Maria: Your comments are very welcome here. We urge you to sign up. It will only take a couple minutes, and you don't have to have a blog to be a member. Take the jump, Maria, we're looking forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Name Game

"The Name Game," or "The Banana Song", is a children's singalong rhyming game that creates variations of a person's name. It was written by singer Shirley Ellis and released in 1965... [Source: Wikipedia]

Tala loves that song, and she's so good at it. She picked it up around December of last year because the song has Nick's name with its variations.

Now here's the real name game:

In the process of obtaining passports for the whole family in case we decide to visit Libya or wherever, depending on where Ennis and Juju end up, I sent lots of forms to the Libyan consulate in DC (it's still the Libyan Liaison Office.) Among those forms were the birth registration forms for Moody and Tala, and the forms to add them to my passport. Wait, wait... keep reading, it gets to be interesting...

Today I received a call from the consular saying that they cannot register Tala; her name is illegal! Holy crap! I just kept laughing and still laughing. She suggested that we fill the application with a different name--one that is legal--and send it back. "Hold on, you mean we need to change her name?" I asked. She said, "No, just put a different name on the form and send it back to us. Then later, you add or change her middle name with a legal one you can use to register her in Libya with. A lot of people do that."

Hmmm, I started thinking, my mind spinning. Sol was not for even taking his pictures for the Libyan passport, let alone sending it for renewal, and yet worse going to Libya. How did he react? Exactly as I expected: "To hell with them. We don't need them. She [Tala] does not need anything to do with them. We are not going!"

OK, so I do a good job at predicting Sol, and I had an incentive stashed to overcome this obstacle. When we got married, Sol's Dad 'requested' that we name the girl, when we have one, Amna, after his mom and Sol's mom. We didn't, but he got his wish with naming Ahmed. But then after we registered Tala, I kept saying that we should have used Hana for her middle name and not Suliman. Not fair to have his name be the middle name for both kids, and really why would she have a guy's name as the middle name? Well, I know, in Libya the middle name is the Dad's--doesn't make it any less unfair. So now I started thinking that here is a reason to change her middle name to Hana, or even to Amna--whatever it takes to get things going.

Sol, ball in your court!