ThysdrusRoman Coliseum of El-Jem

Panem et Circensis

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Location: Tunis, Tunisia, Tunisia

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Dis-United 93

Yesterday and out of curiosity I went to see United 93. The room was full but this time no kids. The movie was supposed to start at 7:20 pm but we waited for about 30 more minutes. Frankly you can feel how everybody in the room got bored and in my case I had memorized almost all the AMC ads, quizzes and Q&As that were projected on the screen, until a number of guys in the audience shouted at the guy behind the projector and demanded that the movie starts immediately! The guy just ignored them and he continued sending the same boring ADs. Faced with the growing discomfort inside the room he finally launched the movie and the room submerged in a deep silence.

As I always liked to do when I want to see a movie for the first time, I go by myself. This time it was somehow strange for no body sat next to me (left and right seats) although I can see people looking, in vain, for seats... , Anyhow, I just, naively, thought may be they figuered out that I was an arab guy and who knows...

If we put aside the central story behind the crash of the United 93 plane,from an artistic and fictional point of view the movie in itself was good.I find it really bone-chilling for each one of us can imagine the horrible situation to be on a hijacked plane that ends by a tragic crash. However, the reason I am not going to discuss the story of flight United 93, is because, until now, no body knows what really happened on September 11, 2001. The whole tragic events that happened on that day are still shrouded in secrecy and mystery but I am just curious to know why the movie director specifically chose flight United 93 and made a movie out of it? why not a movie about the two other planes that crashed into the world trade center and that the whole world saw them on TV? (The one that crashed into the Pentagon is out question because it also remains a mystery, was it a plane? or a missile? or something else? no body knows).Anyhow, the movie was so heartbreaking that you can hear people in the audience burst into cries and I can understand that, nonetheless they clapped their hands with a feeling of joy mixed with revenge when one of the "hijackers" was killed by the angry and frightened passengers.

Being an arab and moslem myself, I felt somehow humiliated and sick in the guts by the so negative image of the "hijackers". They were portrayed as heartless and full of hate while having a strong faith in God, and in the mission they had to accomplish.Throughtout the movie the "hijackers" were reciting verses of the Kuran and prayers to God to assist them in the mission, to bring them peace and love and happiness and award them His Eternal Paradise, something that I found incompatible with their foolish and resentful behaviour with the passengers, they were like monsters. After all, this image of the "arab-moslem terrorist" is still engraved in the imagination of the general public and this movie, to my point of view, is like putting a knife in a bleeding wound. At a time where the world is calling for tolerance, peace and dialogue of religions and civilizations, this movie revives back those same misconceptions and negative stereotypes about arabs and moslems which only adds fuel to fire.

Personally, one point that the director excelled in portraying is the fact that on September 11, nothing worked well, everything was out of joint and there was no unity at all, something that politicians in Washington failed to explain but Hollywood seems to have succeeded in bringing it up to the public.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Lyrics Of The Day

The Boxer

I am just a poor boy and my story’s seldom told
I’ve squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises
All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest, hmmmm

When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station, runnin’ scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know

Li la li...

Asking only workman’s wages, I come lookin’ for a job, but I get no offers
Just a comeon from the whores on 7th avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin’ even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than I’ll be, that’s not unusual
No it isn’t strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same

Li la li...

And I’m laying out my winter clothes, wishing I was gone, goin’ home
Where the new york city winters aren’t bleedin’ me, leadin’ me to go home

In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him
’til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains
Yes he still remains

Li la li...

~ Simon & Garfunkel

Friday, April 28, 2006

Le Mozart De La Peinture Tunisienne, A Washington

Amar is considered as the youngest tunisian painter. He was born and raised till age 5 in Paris. In 1984 his parents decided to send him back to Tunisia where he attended, koranic school (kuttab) then primary school. At the age of 19 he moved back to Paris where his artistic talent knew its apogee. Amar's paintings were exhibited all over the world and this time he will be in Washington, DC, from May 4 to 11, 2006.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just For Highlander





~Jimmy Cliff

Djerba TV Festival

La première édition du "Djerba TV Festival" démarre aujourd'hui.
2C ASSOCIES crée le Premier Festival International des oeuvres de télévision (fictions, documentaires, animations, bandes annonces…) pour les Pays Méditerranéens et Européens.Plus de quatre cents participants, dont cent journalistes des différentes nationalités assisteront au festival de la télévision à Djerba.
( Via Babnet)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lyrics Of The Day

Parisienne Moonlight
By Anathema

I feel I know you
I don't know how
I don't know why

I see you feel for me
You cried with me
You would die for me

I know I need you
I want you
To be free of all the pain
You have inside

You cannot hide
I know you tried
To be who you couldn't be
You tried to see inside of me

And now i'm leaving you
I don't want to go
Away from you

Please try to understand
Take my hand
Be free of all the pain
You hold inside

You cannot hide
I know you tried
To feel...
To feel...

PS: I wish I was able to post the audio clip of this wonderful song!

Inspired by Ta®ek

German Ad Angers Muslims

A Cologne brothel touting for clients with a World Cup-themed banner has blacked out the flags of Iran and Saudi Arabia after threats from Muslims.

Oops there's the Tunisian flag over there, the Saudi and the Iranian ones are blacked out. Weren't the Tunisians angered by the Ad? Ummm may be they don't consider Tunisia as a moslem country...weired!

(Via Bareknucklepolitics)

Amazing Steve Bridges

Impersonator Steve Bridges as President Bush. Check the video here.

Observing Jewish Laws In Space

After the recent story about practicing Islam in space, NASA is preparing a space station for receiving Jewish astronauts; The burning questions: Where to turn at prayer time, how to keep Shabbat in space...

To my knowledge, this issue of religion observance in space has never been raised with christian astronauts.Who is next? Buddhists and shamanists?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

VitaCig: A New Brand Of Cigarettes With Vitamines

VitaCig is the new cigarette that a Quebec company is producing. The company claims VitaCig does not stain teeth, has less of an odour than regular brands and contains beneficial ingredients like vitamin C.
(Via Sploid)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blogger Sucks!!!

Blogger drives me nuts! It took me almost three hours and after numerous attemps I was able to post something today. I guess I need a new blogger service to host my blog. I don't know if it is possible to transfer my old blog to the new one. Anyone can help me?Thank you!

North African Jewry & The Holocaust

Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, is developping a new program for teaching junior-high students about North African Jews and the Holocaust.
The name of the unit - "North African Jewry during the period of the Holocaust" - consciously avoids coming down on either side of the question of whether North African Jews can be viewed as victims of the Holocaust. Mainstream Holocaust researchers believe that these communities did not face total annihilation, and their persecution was not based only on racist motives but also on doubts regarding the Jews' loyalty to the government.

"When the Holocaust is discussed only in demographic or numeric terms, it is obvious that there was no Holocaust in North Africa. But if one is attempting to understand the Holocaust in terms of values, it is clear that North Africa plays an important part."
( Via Haaretz)

Iran: Women Could Go To Stadiums!

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, made a decision allowing women go to stadiums in Iran. Iranian women were not allowed to go to stadiums for 20 years,ie, shortly after the 1979 Revolution, but now Ahmedinejad insisted on the fact that women should be given the best seats and treated with much respect.

طهران: قرر محمود أحمدي نجاد اليوم السماح للنساء بالدخول الى الملاعب الرياضية بعد ان حرمن من ذلك منذ عشرين سنة. وقال الرئيس الايراني "يجب تنظيم المسألة بحيث تخصص للنساء افضل المقاعد لمشاهدة المباريات المهمة والوطنية مع الاحترام الواجب لهن

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Merci Roumi!

The Mystery Of The Raft Man

After the mystery of the piano man, this time
Swedish authorities on Saturday were trying to solve the puzzle surrounding a man calling himself a "stateless American" who was found floating on a raft in the waters between Denmark and Norway Friday.

This mysterious man
says he has lived for a long time in the USA, but does not want to say where, he has worked in Europe, but does not want say where and with what. He is not seeking asylum in Sweden but wants to go to New York.

More on this story here and here

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sleeping Or Not Sleeping?

Vice President Dick Cheney says he was looking at his notes, not sleeping, during a briefing by President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Hu's first Oval Office visit.

And What about this one?

Either Hu was a less-than-charismatic speaker or he was speaking to a very drowsy crowd. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice looks a little sleepy here.

(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq: A Hope For A New Dawn?

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's president formally designated Shiite politician Jawad al-Maliki to form a new government Saturday, starting a process aimed at healing ethnic and religious wounds and pulling the nation out of insurgency and sectarian strife.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Harmony Between Alphabets & Nature

Scientists have pooled the common features of 100 different writing systems, including true alphabets such as Cyrillic, Korean Hangul and our own; so-called abjads that include Arabic and others that only use characters for consonants; Sanskrit, Tamil and other "abugidas", which use characters for consonants and accents for vowels; and Japanese and other syllabaries, which use symbols that approximate syllables, which make up words.

Remarkably, the study has concluded that the letters we use can be viewed as a mirror of the features of the natural world, from trees and mountains to meandering streams and urban cityscapes.
( Via Arts & Letters Daily)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship - never."

~Charles Caleb Colton

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Amina, Bon Rétablissement

Selon le site web, Babnet, la chanteuse tunisienne Amina Fakhet, est par miracle sortie indemne d’un grave accident de la circulation le weekend dernier. Amina on te souhaite bon rétablissement!

Quote Of The Day

"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 17, 2006

How Can You Sleep At Night...

Lovely song! check it here

Man Trades Up From Paper Clip To House

Kyle MacDonald had a red paper clip and a dream: Could he use the community power of the Internet to barter that paper clip for something better, and trade that thing for something else — and so on and so on until he had a house?
Read the rest of the story here.

Maghreb Blog Review

Although it has been somehow forgotten by the media, Magharebia, brings up the controversial issue of the Afghani who converted from Islam to Christianty and how some maghrebian bloggers reacted to.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Top 10 cities For Art Lovers

Check them here.( Via MSN)

Scary Movie 4, Or Was It?

So yesterday, I watched Scary Movie 4.In the room there was only one guy aged probably 38 or so and I said to myself ok at least there's someone who is interested like me to watch the movie. 15 minutes later and to my surprise, the room was filled with kids and teenagers and a couple who even brought their less than a year old baby with them. I was really annoyed because there was a lot of noise. The kids did not stop laughing and moving from one seat to antother, I felt like I was in a summer camp! The movie finally started and the noise somehow stopped. It was a moment of relief but during the entire movie, we were once in a while interrupted by the crying baby and no one protested! Anyhow, apart from this annoying atmosphere the movie was all in all not bad although I found some scenes were so boring and disgusting.Personally, I liked more the previous episodes.

Iran Is Next?

Reprenant un article paru au Washington Post, le Monde indique que l'Administration Bush aurait déjà mis à l'étude divers scénarios depuis 2002, et surtout 2003 visant à mener des attaques contre l'Iran.

Est-il possible que Washington a commencé à battre les tambours de la guerre? Est-ce que l'Iran sera finalement attaqué? Quelle sera la réaction des pays musulmans? Quelles seront les rétombées, d'une telle action militaire, sur la situation déjà catastrophique au Moyen Orient? et Israel dans tout ca, est-ce qu'elle va riposter en cas ou elle serait attaquée?

Tout cela reste du domaine de la spéculation, mais fidèle à sa manière et comme c'était le cas pour l'Irak et l'Afghanistan, on assistent depuis quelques semaines à une virulente campagne menée par les milieux néo-conservateurs américains à savoir les médias et les think tanks contre l'Iran, ce qui est à mon avis n'est qu'une simple préparation psychologique de l'opinion publique américaine pour des attaque chirurgicales contre Téhéran et qui devraient se produire probablement d'ici la fin de 2006 ou début 2007 et ce après les élections législatives de mi-mandat en novembre prochain.

J'espère que la communauté internationale puisse éviter la concrétisation d'un tel scénario tragique mais let's wait and see.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

EL Jem Forever & Ever

It's just that I feel happy today :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Other Controversial Cartoons

MTV Europe is to air Pope-bashing cartoon which angered catholics in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This animated comedy, called "Popetown" was produced for the BBC.

Comedy Central refused to show the image of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) in a recent South Park episode. Comedy Central action has been criticised as mere censorship and against freedom of the speech. Some have even attempted to create a fake episode where the Prophet was shown.The Irish Trojan Blog explains how this episode was fake.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bab El Arch Or The Quest For Truth

Bab El Arch (Summer Wedding), is Mokhtar Ladjimi's latest feature. Mr. Ladjimi, a tunisian movie director, described his work during a recent TV program, as the saga of a young tunisian journalist who is caught between "intellectual castration" and " sexual castration" and his struggle against a stifling family and social context. I have not seen the movie yet but the following is an abstract:
Thirty years old and still-unmarried, Hamid ( played by Mohamed Ali Ben Jemaâ) struggles in Tunis to find a way to himself. Working for a local newspaper, he yearns to do great work as a journalist, but struggles under the yoke of censorship by the authorities. At home, he's caught between one tyrannical brother who lords over the family's money and honor, and a flashy younger brother who's everyone's favorite. All his sick father and doting mother want is for him to settle down and get married to his neighbor, Rim. But marital bliss is the last thing on Hamid’s mind. Mokhtar Ladjimi's elegant and complex narrative explores the plight of a man straining against the boundary of what society and family proscribe for him. In Hamid's world, men have all the power—except the power to be, want or do something different. When Hamid crosses the line, there's no going back.
After an international tour, Bab El Arch returns back to movie theaters in Tunisia, where it has already received mixed criticism mainly for its daring "sexual scenes" and references to issues, considered as taboos, like homosexuality and impotence.

PS: Bab El Arch, literally means in arabic, the door to the throne. El Arch is cited in several sourats in the Quran and it is still considered as a matter of the Invisible world, the unknown realm of Allah. In tunisian dialect we say " thellou bab el arach", ( the door of the throne has been opened for someone), ie, when someone achieves all of his or her most cheriched dreams and aspirations.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tunivisions: First Tunisian People Mag

Tunivisions is the first tunisian people magazine that saw the light on April 8, 2006. This monthly publication (french),provides the reader with different columns and issues: news, profiles, sports, style, leisure etc...

(Via Babnet)

Eggology: No More Cracking Eggs!

I just discovered this new food product called Eggology. The product is a 100% natural liquid egg whites ready to use.For those who like yolk, you can add some turmeric (curcumin).

Quote Of The Day

"You can't scream at a flower to make it bloom".

~Joni Mitchell

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Happy & Blessed Mouled

Happy and Blessed Mouled to all of you!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Between The "Christ Of Faith" & The "Jesus of History"

In his provocative new book, "The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity", James Tabor, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte,

takes the search for the historical Jesus to a bold--some would even say fanciful--new level. According to Tabor, Jesus, in partnership with his cousin John the Baptizer, saw himself as the founder not of a new religion but of a worldly royal dynasty.
( Via U.S.News)

Quote Of The Day

إعقل لسانك إلاّ في أربعة
حقّ توضحه
وباطل تدحضه
ونعمة تشكرها
وحكمة تظهرها

"Hold your tongue except in four pursuits:
Clarifying a right
Combating a falsehood
Acknowledging a favor and
exhibiting wisdon".

From " As The Arabs Say..."
Arabic Quotations Recalled and Interpreted
By Isa Khalil Sabbagh

Le CPE Est Mort, Vive L'Egalité Des Chances

PARIS (AP) - After weeks of protests and strikes, President Jacques Chirac announced plans Monday to "replace" a law that would have made it easier for companies to fire workers under age 26.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Remembering Our Martyrs

Today Tunisia commemorates the 68th anniversary of the events of April 9, 1938 which constituted a decisive and turning point in the history of national liberation movement and the struggle for Independence. Tunisians went into the streets demanding "Barlaman Tounsi!, Barlaman Tounsi!" ("A Tunisian Parliament!, A Tunisian Parliament!").Many innocent people were killed and others were arrested during fierce confrontations with the French colonial forces.

Why They Fight

Yesterday, I watched a quite interesting documentary titled "Why We Fight" directed by Eugene Jarecki.The documentary which is almost 98 mn long, explores the US foreign policy and how it is dominated by military supremacy despite President Eisenhower's warning since 1961 against the "military-industrial-complex". The Director shows through facts,
that it is the military-industrial-congress-think tanks complex that is driving not only US foreign policy, but a large part of the economy.

Watch the trailer here.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Politics Of The Hair

Everybody cares about his or her hair but when was the last time your hair made the headlines? Well Georgia Democratic Representative, Cynthia McKinney's hair recently raised a lot of questions.




PS: Please no offence. This post has no racial connotations.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Gospel Of Judas: Finally Released

The National Geographic Society finally unveiled the Gospel of Judas Iscariot.
To most Christians, Judas is seen as a traitor, the disciple who betrayed Jesus to the Romans for 30 pieces of silver. But a newly restored papyrus document dating to the 2nd century AD portrays a very different man. Judas is shown as Jesus' best friend, asked by Jesus himself to betray his identity to fulfill the prophecy and liberate his soul to ascend to heaven.
( Via Sploid)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Al-Hakawati: A Cyber-Platform For Arab Culture

"Al-Hakawati" ("The Storyteller"), is a Web site created in 2005 by Leila Barclay, and dedicated to educating Arabs in the Arab world and in the diaspora about their countries, art, culture and history.

Check it here.

(Via The Daily Star)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Magharebia Blog Review

This time Magharebia focuses on how the Tunisian blogosphere celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Tunisia's independence. The blog review mentions Adib, Marsupilami, Infinity, Tarek Chniti, Zizou. What caught my attention is the referral to an anonymous commentator and "two bloggers" whom I don't personally know, Ovide and Ghassen from PDP (Progressive Democratic Party, as stated by Magharebia??). What I found strange is the fact that when you click on the link to those two presumably "bloggers" you are referred to the blogs of Tarek and Infinity. So what is magharebia trying to allude to? I guess the answer is crystal clear.

Blague Du Jour

Lors d'une visite effectuée à l'hopital de la capitale cubaine, Fidel Castro a tenu à se rendre à la chambre où se trouvaient à peu près une centaine de soldats cubains hospitalisés. Commencant par le premier patient, Fidel Castro lui demande,:

-"Tu souffre de quoi?"
-"J'ai les hémoroïdes Monsieur le President", répond le soldat.
-"Et qu'est que tu fais pour te faire soigner?" demande Castro.
-"Un bâton, un coton et une teinture d'iode", répond le soldat.
-"Et quel est ton souhait le plus cher?", demande Castro.
-"Guérir pour vous servir Monsieur le Président", répond le soldat.

Passant au deuxième patient, le troisième, le 4ème, le 5ème...jusqu'au 99ème, les réponses étaient les mêmes. Surpris par la ressemblance de la maladie ainsi que les souhaits des soldats, Castro, demande au dernier patient:

-"Tu souffre de quoi?".
-"J'ai mal à la gorge Monsieur le Président", répond le soldat.
-"Et qu'est ce que tu fais pour te faire soigner?", demande Castro.
-"Un bâton, un coton et une teinture d'iode", répond le soldat.
-"Et quel est ton souhait le plus cher?", demande Castro.
-"Qu'en change le coton, Monsieur le Président!", répond le soldat.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cellphones Are Not Just For Talking

It seems that cellphones have lost their primary function as a means of communication. Recent incidents show that cellphones can also be used as tool of " violence" against others:

Actor Russell Crowe was arrested last June for assaulting a New York Hotel staffer with a telephone, and booked for "fourth-degree criminal posession of a weapon", which was the phone!

Naomi Campbell, the famous supermodel was led away handcuffed from her Park Avenue aprartment last Thursday and arraigned on second-degree assault charges fater she allegedly "smashed open her housekeeper's head with a cellphone". By the way this is the third Naomi Campbell phone assault reported since 1998.

Representative Cynthia McKinney (Democrat-Georgia) is accused of "stabbing" or " jabbing" a Capitol Hill policeman with her cellphone last Wednesday.The office wants to press charges against her.

( Source The Washington Post)

Monday, April 03, 2006

God Or The Girl?

This is the title of the new reality show premiering Easter Sunday (April 16) on A&E.
The five-part series about four young men trying to decide whether to enter the Catholic priesthood has, not surprisingly, raised eyebrows because of what it appears to be on the surface: an exploitative program that tries to lead aspiring priests astray by tempting them with attractive women.
(Via Sploid)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In Memoriam : Pope John Paul II

It is already a year ago that Pope John Paul II passed away.

Islam And Apostasy II

In a previous post ,I raised the question of apostasy in Islam. Lately, religious conversion has been a controversial issue mainly because of the case of the Afghani who converted from Islam to Christianity. The following article, by Professor Cherif Bassiouni, whom I personally know, gives a totally different look at the concept of apostasy in Islam.Check it here.

(Source The Chicago Tribune)

Sorry, That Was A Bad Joke!

I realized that my last post was just a bad and silly April Fools' day joke. Unintentionnally, it just turned out to be somehow an effective test for the popularity of this blog and now I more than convinced that those who left their comments are those who care most about my blog as I do.This doesn't mean that those who did not leave any comment were less interested. Anyhow, my most sincere thanks for you guys for your kind comments and for being always there to support my blog. This gives me an additional boost to continue this passionate adventure which without your support is just worthless. Thank you!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Everything Has An End

Well after such a glorious and enriching experience with blogging and due to personal reasons that I won't discuss here, I took the painful decision to shut down this blog for good. My special thanks to all of those who made this experience even more enjoyable and rewarding. Good Bye!