The Taxi Diaries

17 02 2010

موجز بسيط عن أحداث يومية بالتكسي، ناتجة عن خبرة يومية على مدى 5 سنوات:

بعد انتظار فترة 20 دقيقة انتظار إذا كنت مستعجل (أو 20 ثانية إذا مو مستعجل) بتلاقي شي واحد من هالتكاسي المضوّي أخضر بيشفق عليك وبيقبل بعد تنازلات الله مولاها أنو ياخدك على ساحة الجامعة! على اعتبار حضرتو عندو موعد مع مدري مين شي فلان بالاتجاه المعاكس!
بعد التحية والسلام، بتلاقيه مد إيدو عالباكيت (وإذا حظّك حلو كمان) بيضيفك سيجارة مع ابتسامة عريضة! وسواء وافقت أو رفضت، مضمون 100% إنك تتعطّر برائحة السيجارة على طووووووول الطريق. وبعدها بيكون فيه معك خيارين:
– إما السائق قمة في الصمت والهدوء، بيضل طول الطريق هديان وما بيفتح أي سيرة على الإطلاق.
– أو (إذا حظّك حلوووو) بيكون واحد من فلاسفة الإغريق المفقودين من زمان، وبيبلّش بينسفلك هديك المحاضرة عن فلسفة إذاعة الأبراج على الراديو، وفلسفة فيروز عالصبح، وفي غالب الأحيان بيحكيلك عن حرفة القيادة والمعلميّة بالسرعة والتشفيط والدوبلة عن اليمين وتجاوز الشرطة والإشارات الحمراء!!! وفي أحيان أخرى بيحكيلك كيف ما ترك سيّارة ما سكرلها العداد! وكيف أنو بزماناتو كان عندو “ميتور” بيمشي عالـ320 كيلومتر، وكيف أنو كان مالك الدنيا لما بيركبو! بعدين بيحكيلك عن التراجيديا يلي خلّتو يبيع الميتور ويغيّر المصلحة عالتكاسي.

وفي ما يلي مقتطفات من حوادث متفرّقة في تكاسي حلب:
– بعد ما ينطرش سائق السيارة اللي قدّامه من الزمامير، وبعد ما يدوبلها (التكسي) من طرف اليمين حصراً وبسرعة جنونية، يتكلّم سائق  التكسي قائلاً:
“الله وكيلك دنب الكلب بيضلّو أعوج! إيمتا بدنا نتعلّم نسوق متل العالم والناس؟!؟!؟!؟”
– بعد ما يطلعلو سيارة ماشية على أقل من مهلها بطريق حارة وحدة، وبعد استنفاذ كافّة محاولات الدوبلة، يتكلّم آخر فيقول:
“&%^$#)#$%^، بدّك تزمّرلو، لأنو إذا ما زمّرتلو ما رح يفتح طريق!!!” ويضع نصف وزنه على الزمّوووووور، وينسى يده هناك لمدّة 60 ثانية كاملة، أي بما يكفي لسطوع شمس الركّاب على دائرة نصف قطرها 2 كيلومتر..
– المقلب الأساسي بيصير إذا طلع قدّامو ميكرو!! بيصير كأنك عم تتابع توم وجيري، وبيبلّش استعراض القوى من الطرفين. وما بيخلص العرض إلا بعد ما ينهزم الميكرو شرّ هزيمة مشان يوقّف ويطالع شي زبون.. وعندها يقول السائق:
“*&*&^%$%*$، العما اشقدّ بكره المكاري، يا زلمة أصلاَ مو مخرّب البلد غير المكاري، لازم يشيلوهون ساااوي عالزبالة!!”
– يا نهار “إسود ومنيّل” إذا بيطلعلو إشارة خضرا عدّادها صار بالـ10 ثواني!!! بيركّب خامس وبيشغّل الـNitro والزمامير، وبتعيش أتعس 10 ثواني من حياتك، والله يسترك من شي صدمة قلبية ناتجة عن زيادة انبعاث الأدرينالين في القلب!!! وبالأخير بيطلعلو دورية شرطة بعد الإشارة، بيقوم بيضرب فرام خماسي (4 رجل + 1 إيد) وبيوقّف بنص الشارع!! بعدين قال بكل رواق بيرجع “أنارييه” لورا الإشارة على أساس هو قمّة بالنظام والانضباط!! وبيقول:
“*^&*^$ الإشارة!!!”
– مقلب آخر من نوع شمس استطاعة 500000 وات لمّا بتطلع قدامو بنت عم تقطع الشارع، بيقرّب منها وما بيتركلها غير شي 10 سم مشان تمرق من قدام السيارة! وبعدين بيطلّع راسو من الشباك وبيقول:
“إشبك عم نمزح خيتوووووووووو!!!” وبعدين بيدخّل راسو من الشباك وبيقول:”**&&&^*&^”
– أما إذا كانت البنت عم تسوق سيارة وماشية بأمان الله عاليمين وعلى آخر رواق، بتلاقيه حط راسو بالحيط إلا بدو يدوبلها من اليمين!! وبيبلّش بالزمامير والفلاش.. بعدين يبندار عليك وبيقلّك:
“أنو أنا بدي افهم شلون سمحو للـ”حريم” بسواقة السيارات؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟ بزيادة عليهون المطبخ!!!!!”

طبعاً فيه كتير مواقف، بس هدول اللي طلعو معي حالياً، وطبعاً لازم نبّه أنو في نسبة لا بأس بها من السائقين المحترمين، والمواقف المذكورة أعلاه صايرة في بعض أيام النحس، ومو شرط تمثّل الوضع الحقيقي للتكاسي، بس كلشي انذكر حقيقي وصار معي عدة مرات..

يوميّات سيارة صفراء في حـلـب! برعاية منظّمة “سلامتك في حزام الأمان، لا تحطّو!!”

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“Amreeka”, The Movie Everyone Should See

22 01 2010

In a very strange coincidence, involving Wikipedia and Rotten Tomatoes, I had the pleasure to learn about this movie.

“Amreeka” is an Arabic movie following the story of a Palestinian family emigrating to the U.S. in the hope of finding a new future, and maybe a new sense of home.

It’s a very lite film, not going deep in details, and not so shallow at the same time. There’s a nice balance in the story, making this film a must-see for every cinema fan.

The core of this film goes well beyond Arabs and Americans. The focus is shifted toward the human state of mind, the idea of a country, a nationality, and community. What is a country? What defines “home”? What are borders? Where would one find inner peace? Home or some place away from home?

Many different ideas, and one perspective, a perspective that you’ll never know about in Hollywood or European cinema. It’s this one perspective that makes this film so interesting and so important to watch, because we don’t usually get to see anything from that perspective in the news, on TV, or in the movies.

After seeing this movie, I had a strange feeling inside that I couldn’t really describe, nor express. It was something new, but very refreshing at the same time. And I’m so glad I had a new chance to experience Arab cinema once again. It was a pleasure, and it certainly opened my appetite for more…

Director “Cherien Dabis” makes one hell of a debut film that is indeed worthy of being watched and thought about for a very long time.

The poster of the movie "Amreeka"

"Amreeka" Poster

Links:

Official Website

Amreeka at the IMDB

“Amreeka” at Rotten Tomatoes





GFX Solitaire Unleashed!

13 10 2009

Finally, it’s ready to go! My first game ever, the first fully working version of GFX Solitaire is now ready for a test drive.

The game has its own homepage now at this address: https://gfxonline.wordpress.com/gfx-solitaire/

Comments, questions, notes, and discussions are more than welcome. You can find my contact information in the “About” page. Please try the game and tell me what you think of it. Your feedback is important to me.

This game is my first step into game programming. And I am very excited to share it with you. I hope you like it. 🙂





GFX Solitaire Coming Soon…

8 09 2009

Finally, I’ve reached the last development stage of my first game ever, the GFX Solitaire! Not an original name but who cares anyway.. It IS a fully working clone of the famous Solitaire game (a.k.a Solitaire Klondike).

I’m using the all-so-useful Microsoft XNA Game Studio platform, which serves basically as an interface between VS.NET and the CLR. However, the game programming concepts of XNA and DirectX are basically the same.

The combination of XNA and VS.NET is very useful to beginners like me. As VS.NET provides a “managed” code environment and all the advantages of C#, while XNA provides the skeleton base needed for any kind of game, 3D or 2D, plus a comprehensive set of programming and math tools..

Putting all the technical details aside, I’m very excited to bring out this game to life, not only because it’s my first game ever, but because it gave me a solid understanding of the basic principles of game programming, which is a huge achievement considering the lack of any game programming courses in the region.

Comments or questions about this game are most welcome, and I’m more than ready to share code snippets, algorithms, and more technical details on demand.

The game should be ready and kicking in less than a week (if nothing goes wrong), so check back soon for updates. In the meantime feast your eyes on this delicious screenshot:

A screenshot of GFX-Solitaire

A screenshot of GFX-Solitaire





An Update, Of Sorts!

30 08 2009

I have uploaded a new Facebook album called “Syrian Sights and Landscapes”. It’s a selection of some pictures taken in various locations around Syria. These pictures represent the “brighter” side of my photography essays.

I’ve spent some great times discovering the country, and exploring new sites and locations. I was literally blown away with the beauty of nature, and the richness of Syrian lands.

I was using a Sony DSC-P32, far from professional, but still it took a lot of great pictures. And all the pictures given there were edited using Google Picasa‘s “I’m feeling lucky” all-in-one photo treatment which is great for lazy people like me, and provides astonishing results.

A taste of the album:

A view from the road to "Slenfeh".

A view from the road to “Slenfeh”.





Michael Jackson R.I.P.

26 06 2009

When I first learned of this tragic event I couldn’t believe it, I stood in shock, trying to fully understand the situation.

“He can’t be dead!”, I said to myself, “This can’t be true.”

Sadly, the news was right. I was terrified. Michael Jackson had a massive influence on me since I was a little kid, mesmerized by his dancing moves on stage, trying to imitate his Moonwalk with my friends at school. We bought almost every single album he produced, every video and concert DVDs we could find. Learned many of his songs by heart, and danced to them in celebration…

There’s so much to say about this man. Reasons why I loved him are described in an earlier post. However, I have to say, he didn’t deserve to die like this. He didn’t deserve to suffer throughout his life. He’s had a terrible childhood, producing music since the age of 11. His actions reflected those of the inner child living inside of him.

Michael Jackson was a legend on all frontiers, a wonderful artist, and an inspiring human being. His unexpected death saddens me, along with millions of fans all around the world. My sympathies to his family, friends and fellow fans.

Rest in peace Michael Jackson, your music shall live with us for generations to come. Thank you for everything you did, you’ll never be forgotten.

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

R.I.P. Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009)





In The Rain

4 04 2009

A grim face, in a room with dimmed lights.
The smooth, calming tunes of Jan Garbarek in the background.
Complete silence from the open balcony doors.
A gentle, cool breeze slips through the room. I relaxed a bit, giving my body a chance to cool down and settle for a bit…
And just as I thought I’m about to cry my pains away, all of a sudden, that familiar splinter sound, and that familiar smell.
It started to rain! A wonderful Spring shower, so full of passion, of peace, and of redemption.

As the rain washed the streets down below, I got rid of that dark cloud surrounding my thoughts, my mind was clear again.
What more could I ask of those rain drops? They didn’t wash my problems away, but were they really supposed to do that? Are they even responsible for that? I don’t know.
I never asked anyone to care for me. Sometimes, maybe I ask them not to.I can’t bury my problems in someone else’s mind.
So what more could I ask of you? Why am I always bored of being alone when all I wish for, is just another moment of solitude?

On a thought of a better tomorrow, of a day when everything will be straight again, when I finally find that imaginary moment of inner peace. On a thought of despair, and hope, all in one, I put an end to yet another useless, empty day of this blacked out chapter of my wonderful journey that I call… Life.