Random Thoughts And Beyond...

Average guy with random thoughts


80's Nostalgia

I've always wondered what happened to following artits / bands. Anyone a clue?

وليد شعيب - عشقتك والعشق بلوة

فرقة المرجانة

فرقة الدانة

رجاء محمد

سليمان زيمان


"Black is beautiful"

I went yesterday to visit this new exhibition in Amsterdam entitled "black is beautiful". Guessing by the name, I figured visiting might give me some sort of welcome confidence boost.

Although the explicit purpose of this exhibition is to focus on the positive associations made with the physical black beauty and the fascination of many artists by this theme throughout the centuries, I couldn't help but being confronted with less positive (historical) themes, such as slavery, colonialism, racism and discrimination... It took me a while to get the total picture and to see things in the (intended?) right perspective. But it eventually hit me and when it did, it hit me really hard!

Despite their atrocious conditions – whether being enslaved, being deployed in foreign armies as "voluntary service men", being held as concubines or as servants, all portrayed personages stand tall, with an unbreakable pride, oozing of physical and mental resilience and confidence and above all simply looking immaculately beautiful.

"In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty".


Two years down the road...

Mid-summer 2008 in Amsterdam, sitting in front of my widely opened windows in a hot summer afternoon. I remembered I once had a blog on which I posted some of my happy memories, frustrations, small "funny" anecdotes and what have you. I wondered what happened to it. And behold: it's a-live and kicking.

I'd like to share with you the following beautiful yet heartbreaking du'aa.

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي وهواني على الناس
ياأرحم الراحمين أنت أرحم الراحمين
أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي
إلى من تكلني إلى عدو يتجهمني أم إلى صديق مكلته إمري
إن لم يكن بك غضب علي فلا أبالي ولكن عافيتك هي أوسع لي
أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أضاءت له السموات و الأرض
وأشرقت له الظلمات وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والأخره
أن ينزل بي غضبك أو يحل علي سخطك
لك العتبى حتى ترضى ولاحول ولاقوة إلابك



As I posted a while ago, I quitted smoking, nearly 5 weeks now. And so far, I witnessed some amazing improvements.

First, let me tell you about the hell I went thru during the first couple days or week. I quitted smoking while on holiday, which probably wasn't the ideal timing. Sitting on sunny terraces in Frankfurt, isn’t a good idea when you’re trying to quit smoking. The first two days, I felt sick, feverish, noxious and weak. I felt constantly on a rollercoaster, seriously. This started to decrease the following couple of days. The only thing I could think of however was having a cigarette. Suddenly, you notice every single smoker around you, and you count every cigarette someone lights up. Total obsession! Meanwhile, all kind of excuses came up into my head, trying to convince myself that it's ok to smoke one cigarette, and that only one cigarette wouldn’t matter at all and how I could easily quit after that single cigarette, again. Although I'm an easy-temped person, I must give it up to myself for not giving' in. Worse part of the holiday was to be confronted “again” with how cheap cigarettes are in Kuwait…

After a week or so, the morning coughing stopped. Sometimes, I used wake sounding like a 90 years old ready to leave us. I also felt that my ability (don't laugh) to smell probably increased (snif snif). Suddenly I was able to smell fruit, I know it might sound strange, but all the time when I was smoking, I wasn't able to smell or distinguish between any typ of food at all. I suddenly started distinguishing between the smell of orange, apples and mango's (hence the pictures of the apples and oranges a while ago). All of the sudden I could tell, sitting in my room two floors higher, what my mom is cooking in the kitchen.

Also my appetite increased enormously, I think this is related to the smelling part. I can binge like there is no tomorrow. That's why I'm hitting the gym more frequently lately. Speaking of which, my condition is getting better and better day after day. I remember when running 10 km used to be such a burden. Now, it is my favourite part.

Last but not least, I’m saving about 80-90 pounds a month. I used to smoke a pack in two days, sometime in less than two days. That's between the 960-1080 annually.



I went to meet some friends last night and we ended up in Edgware Road. I haven't been in this road for months and I wish I didn’t go last night…

Until then, I never noticed how the street transforms into an open-air bazaar late at night. I counted at least 6 street vendors selling fake designer goods (most of them display their goods on foldable tables which they carry arround) and the latest pirate dvd's.

While sitting on a terrace, we were approached by 3 Chinese women, one after the other, selling "dbd’s". One of my friends bought 3 dvd’s for 10 pounds. I got tempted when the last one approached us and I asked her which dvd's she had.

Just when she opened her tesco-bag to show me the dvd’s, two guys came out of nowhere, flashing their badges and identifying themselves as police officers. Both were in civil uniforms , so I didn’t take them seriously at the beginning. This changed when I saw the first one pulling the woman aside and handcuffing her. The second one asked me if I bought dvd's from her. After explaining him that I didn't know her and that I didn't buy anything from her, he started giving me a lecture of a life time about dvd-piracy being a form of theft, that buying pirate dvd’s would make me a thief, for stealing from those involved in "the film industry" and how it could lead to my arrest! Fortunately, I got away with a warning. Meanwhile, my (so-called) friends, especially he who actually bought the dvd’s minutes ago, had the laugh of a lifetime, while others on the table next to us gave me their condemning looks. Of course, out of all people, this had to happen to me...

I heard the Chinese women screaming in the background that the dvd’s aren’t hers and that she found the bag on the street.

This is my advice to you: Never even think of buying pirate dvd’s on the streets, simply download them :-)


Thank you for smoking

A friend advised me that if I was in search of an anti-smoking polemic, which will keep me of smoking, I should watch Thank You for Smoking. And so I did tonight.

I can’t truly say that I found what I was expecting. If, on the other hand, you haven’t seen it and are looking for an absolutely witty film that publicly criticise tobacco executives and their ethics (as far as these exist), Washington lobbyists, investigative journalists, Hollywood agents, and political correctness, than this might be for you.

It’s not brilliant, not fantastic, it is very funny though.


"This is London"

Today must have been the hottest day so far this summer; it did at least feel like it was. I spent quite a time travelling with busses to and from a friend of mine in Hammersmith. The journey takes normally 15 minutes with the tube, but as there were several tube's disruptions I decided to take the bus. I spent more than three and half hours travelling from and to my friend, in this freaking heat...Not such a fun.

I guess the message in this picture is pretty accurate.

PS:nicotine-free for three weeks now.




Fresh Prince of Bel Air (especially Jazz)
Four weddings and a funeral
Shawshank redemption
Back to the future
Malcolm X
Joe from Friends
L.A Confidential
Kramer from Seinfeld
Robin Hood
Samantha, sex and the city
Nutty Professor
Bad Boys
Silence of the Lambs


Bloomingdale & Woodstock, Zandvoort
Mangaf beach
Nova Scotia
Cafe Schuim
Amsterdamse Bos
Al Ahmadi
Tarabya, Istanbul
My elementary school

Food & drinks

Rocket Ice-cream (bu Saruukh)
Bafak with ketchup
Broccoli a la Monica
Martadilla with (la vache qui rit) cheese sandwich
Old fashion Hardeez
Grannie's warq il 3inab
Grannie's spinach pies
Grannie's besbousa


2 Unlimted
R.kelly, Vibe
Billy Joel
That's the way love goes
De la Soul
Notorious B.I.G
Kinderen voor Kinderen
Habibi mahu lawal
Yeke Yeke
Aaron Hall
Smelly Cat, Phoebe


Minimum Wages

I’m shocked to read that The National Minimum Wage (NMW) was only introduced in 1999!! in the U.K and that there is a number of employers are being penalised for still not complying with the legislation every year.

The current standard rate of the NMW is £5.05 per hour. The current rate for employees between 18 and 21 years old is £4.25 per hour,
16 and 17 year olds must be paid a legal minimum wage which is £3 per hour (I still can’t believe this is true). Workers of 22 years and over can be paid the minimum of £ 4.25 per hour for the first six months of a new job for a new employer if they are receiving training courses where the training in institutions receiving government support. In addition, there is a fair piece rate which means that employers must pay their output workers the minimum wage for every hour they work based on an hourly rate derived from the time it takes a worker working at average speed to produce the work in question. This is shocking. How do people on a minimum wage of £5,05 per hour survive in a city like London?

The amount of cash one has, is (apparently) directly related to health and lifeexpectations. According to some researches, people on low wages suffer more illnesses and die sooner than those in the professions. Some statistics show that low paid workers in the E.U can expect to die on average 9.5 years younger than professional workers. This gap has increased by 5 years in the last few decades.

It is sad to read the arguments from these so called "Captains of Industry". They are the first to defend the privileges of board members such as to fat-cat salaries, bonuses and excessive pension arrangments. In the same time, they're the first to attack policies that are put in place to defend the rights of those who bring in the cash for those fat cats.


Back on the air

After a rather long stop, much longer than I expected to be honest, I have decided to get back to bloggin'.

What has been going on in my life so far? Too bloody much. As I mentioned before, I relocated to London. I have since then been living with my parents which has been good so far. Although I had to adjust to the fact of sharing your house with others and to the idea of living again with your parents. But it has been ok! I have my own room, where I spend most of my time reading and browsin' other blogs and news and so.

I must admit I enjoy London and its people. I'm mostly amazed by the London'ers ability of being able to be polite but unfriendly at the same time. Fortunately, speaking several languages helped me to get in contact with different people. I also live in a very international neighbourhood: lot's of South African, Aussies, East- European, Spanish, Somali's, Arabs. You name......I could go hours on and on about how fascinating this city is and how expensive it is. I must say that mentally I'm much at ease in London.

I have been living as a spoiled tourist, exploring the city by walking and by bus. Doing nothing much else except Reading, reading and much more reading. On of the the most enjoyable things I have been able to do is spending loads of time with my little cousin of three years.

Further up-dates:

- Applied to another postgraduate course at the SOAS, Tuition fees only: 11k......Any sponsors please???
- Started learning Spanish.
- Became a member of the SOAS library.
- No Starbucks for me anymore: my addiction got so out of control, seriously! Their Chai Soya lattés are lethal.
- Applied for a driving license.
- Finally have alllllllll my cd's burnt and stored on my laptop.
- I met and spook with Ken Livingstone on the election day. Very outspoken man.

Hasta luego