Queen Rania is twittering

Just started following Queen Rania on Twitter. Tech Crunch broke the story here. How awesome is that? I have been following Queen Rania’s youtube page here. Its really refreshing to see Queen Rania utilizing technology to interact with the public. I recently wrote a post on Queen Rania uniting a mother with her son after 27 years of separation. All right I’m officially a fan!!

You can never make everyone happy

It seems that today I keep running over some great pieces of literature. I found this poem by Al-Mu’tasem, one of the Abasi Khaliphs.
ضحكت فقالوا ألا تحتشم
بكيت فقالوا ألا تبتســـــم
بسمت فقالوا يرائي بهــا
عبست فقالوا بدا ما كتــم
صمت فقالوا كليل اللسان
نطقت فقالوا كثير الكــــلم
حلمت فقالوا صنيع الجبان
ولو كان مقتدرا لانتقــــــم
بسلت فقالوا لطيش بـــــه
وما كان مجترئا لو حــكم
يقولون شذ وان قلــت لا
وإمعة حين وافقتهــــــــم
فأيقنت أني مهمـــــــا أردت
رضا الناس لابد من أن أذم

قصائد الشافعي – Al-Shafi’ii

When I was a teenager whenever I did not feel well, I used to read poems written by Imam Al-Shafi’ii. Growing up, I never felt that Jordan was the place for me and always wanted to live in the US. Actually I decided that I wanted to live in the US when I was 4 years old. I think that Al-Shafi’ii’s writings had a lot to do with how I think and perceive the world.

الشافعي pronounced Al-shafi’ii is one of the most prominent religious figures in Islamic history. Along with being a religious scholar and one of the four Imams that most Muslims associate with, he was a great poet and his writings are filled with perils of wisdom and beauty. I found a couple of his poems and I’m posting them here. The first poem it titled “Its Time to Travel”. In summary, Al-Shafi’ii says that there is no point in staying in a place where you are under appreciated. He draws several examples to illustrate the value of travel and moving from one place to another. The first example says that running water is a lot better than still water (in taste and value). Still water accumulates dirt and does not taste good while running water is always fresh and rich with flavor. Then he says, if lions stay at home, they would never get any food, but they have to leave and seek their preys. Same as arrows, it will never hit the target unless it leaves the bow. Even gold has no value while its in the ground, only after it leaves its place and is extracted by people that it becomes of great value. People will get bored of the sun if it just stood in the same place the whole time, and only by moving and leaving that people miss it and long to see it again. The point is, keep on the move. The lyrics rhymes in Arabic. I love this poem.

I don’t have time to translate the second poem. Maybe I will visit it again in the future.

دعوة إلى التنقل والترحال

ما في المقام لذي عـقـل وذي أدب من راحة فدع الأوطان واغتـرب
سافر تجد عوضا عمن تفارقه وانصب فإن لذيذ العيش في النصب
إني رأيت وقوف الماء يفسده إن سال طاب وإن لم يجر لم يطب
والأسد لولا فراق الغاب ما إفترست والسهم لولا فراق القوس لم يصب
والتِّبرُ كالتُّـرب مُلقى في أماكنـه والعود في أرضه نوع من الحطب
فإن تغرّب هـذا عـَزّ مطلبـــه وإن تغرب ذاك عـزّ كالذهــب
والشمس لو وقفت في الفلك ساكنة لملها الناس من عجم ومن عرب

وقفة الحر بباب نحس

لقلع ضرس، وضرب حبس ونزع نفـس، ورد أمـس
وقـر بـرد ، وقـود قـرد ودبغ جـلـد بغيـر شمس
وأكل ضـب ، وصيـد دب وصرف حب بأرض خرس
ونفـخ نار، وحمـل عـار وبيـع دار بـربع فلـس
وبـيع خف ، وعـدم ألف وضـرب ألف بحبل قلـس
أهون مـن وقفـة الحــر يرجو نـوالا بباب نحـس


I passed by the following poem, I don’t know who wrote it but it has a great meaning

فلسطينيون والكل يعرفنا

نأكل الرمل إذا جُعنا

ونشرب من الصخر إذا عطشنا

سنعيش صقورا ً طائرين

ونموت أسودا ً شامخين.

دعاء الاستخارة – Istkhara

اللّهم أني أستخيرُك بعلمك وأستقدرك بقدرتك وأسألك من فضلك العظيم فإنك تَقْدِرُ ولا أَقَدِْر وتعلَمْ ولا أَعْلَمْ وأنت علاَّمُ الغيوب .

اللّهم إن كنت تعلمُ (( ذكر المسألة )) خيرٌ لي في ديني ومعاشي وعاقبة أمري فاقْدُرْه لي ويسِّرْه لي .

وإن كان هذا الأمرُ شراً لي في ديني ومعاشي وعاقبة أمري فاصرفّهُ عني وأصرفني عنه واقْدِرْ لي الخير حيث كان ، ثم رَضّتَيِ به .

Sorry for non-Arabic readers. The concept of istkhara is amazing to me. Here is the translation from about.com:

Oh Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things.

Oh Allah! If in Your knowledge, (this matter*) is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge, (this matter*) is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it.

Goodbye Ramadan

Ramadan has been tough this year. Work, fasting, and the long days have not been a great mix. I’m sad that I did not make the best out of this month. I found this great doa’a for Sheikh Ahmed Al-ajmi that is really touching. You can access it here. The link takes you directly to the mp3 file of the doa’a.

Blogs related to Arabs in japan

I recently enrolled in two beginner level Japanese classes at Soko Gakuen in Japan Town in San Francisco. One class is conversational and the other class covers both writing and conversation. You never know what a random search can guide you to on the internet. I wanted to see what information was there on Islam and Japan and I got links to many blogs that sounded interesting.

Before I list the blogs, I was surprised that most of them were blogs on Blogger. Word Press dominates the blogs market in the US. Many of these blogs did not have quick links to get their rss feed. I had to do some digging and found that all blogger blogs have their feeds at: http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

Its not as simple as Word Press where you have links to the full blog feed and the comments feed directly. For example, my blog’s full rss feed is: https://brainhash.wordpress.com/feed/

Anyways ..  enough about feeds and all that. The blogs that I found interesting are:

They describe themselves as:

تتناول المدونة ما يتعلق باليابان. ونرحب بتعاون الزوار في تقديم المقالات والأخبار ضمن هذا الإطار وتصحيح
الأخطاء اللغوية فيها بالإضافة إلى ترجمات نصوص يابانية أو إنجليزية سنختارها

Al-Yaban blog presents articles and news on Japan in Arabic with cooperation of its visitors. アラビア語による日本専門ブログ。投稿歓迎


A blog by a Jordanian student living and studying in Tokyo. She seems to have gone to the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). I myself spent 2 years at JUST in the computer engineering department before I transferred to SCU in the US.


This blog seems to belong to another Jordanian student living in Tokyo. I found out about a soccer match between Jordan and Japan through this site. I never knew that Jordan played Japan before. I have been living abroad for way too long. In any case, here is the youtube video of the penalty kicks between the two teams. I can’t believe that we were up by two and then eventually lost. Its truly disappointing.


A blog by a Tunisian girl living and studying in Japan.Through her blog I found a link to a service called Yamli. I used to write the following sentence. This is sooo cool.

أنا لم أكتب بالعربية منذ أكثر من ٨ سنوات ولا أصدق هذا البرنامج الرائع. لم يعد لدي حجة لعدم الكتابة بالعربية.
لا أكاد أصدق كم هو رائع هذا البرنامج


A blog by three muslim women living in Japan.

Arabic MMO announced

A new Games publisher called Game Power 7 was started in Dubai to publish/develop games targeting the Arab market. Check this interesting presentation that shows many facts about the region and gives you an idea about the culture/challenges faced by Game companies.

An interview with their general manager is posted at: http://www.incgamers.com/Games/2310/Interviews/Arabic-MMO-Interview/146

“The game is a localized version of Rappelz, the successful game from NFlavor. Our localized name is “Rappelz: Hope of Nations” ….. Our vision is to service the whole spectrum of gaming industry in the region, which includes game development, game publishing, and digital game content publishing. Our short-midterm plan is to focus on MMO Games and game content digital publishing.

High rates of game piracy in the region is a major barrier for conducting business in offline gaming genres.”