Monday, September 11, 2006

Iraqi-bloggers' meetings

As I promised I would post about the Iraqi bloggers' meetings, I'll be posting about each get-together in a chapter. It would be like series. I hope I won't miss something but if I didn't mention some things it's either one of the group had already wrote about or it's something we like to keep for ourselves. I'll start the chapters by dates from the earliest up to the recent ones.

Chapter No.1
Meeting Anarki 13

Before leaving UAE some bloggers knew my plans about going to Jordan and we decided to meet. Landing in Amman, without any access to the internet, I had a problem meeting the guys. So I asked Morbido to be our on-line-messenger. And thanks to her anarki and I, after several sms and phone calls, we were able to arrange a meeting in a mall in front one of the most famous shops. I told him I'll be wearing green so it would be easy for him to recognize me.

Being away from Amman for about nine months I found it hard to go here and there alone. My university group was away and some of them were busy with the summer course or their jobs. The places were a bit different so my little sister became my only friend and guide in this vacation. Add to it, I didn't won't to go alone because though I read anarki's blog a lot but I didn't knew him. Going by myself would give a bad image of me.

As my sis and I reached the mall gate, there was a metal detector and women to check purses!!! What all that fuzz is about. Anyway, few steps before we reach the escalator a relative caught us and started to chat about when did we arrive and how long are we staying and… and… and.. to sum it all, she wanted to hear the whole story. As she talked on and on I was looking at the people going here and there and I started counting girls wearing green. After about 15 minutes talk I had to excuse ourselves and tell her we have friends waiting for us. We started walking to the shop and the number of green shirts reached 14 and then 15 was when I noticed my sister was wearing green too!

Standing in front of the shop there were two tall guys. Both were wearing black with eye glasses on. Bother of them were staring at people, waiting for someone. That moment I started to smile trying to make one of them smile back and say "Hi. I’m Anarki" but it didn't work so I grabbed my mobile to call or miscall as we agreed earlier.

And there he was. BINGO. The guy in the corner smiled and took steps towards us. I took a step forward to say "Hi. I’m Attawie".
With a polite bow, he introduced himself. I introduced him to my sister and then we searched for a calm place for the chitchat.

It was strange for me to meet a stranger. I've never done it before. But as bloggers I felt like we were old friends just catching up. Our talks were mostly about the situation in Iraq. Then we talked about blogging and bloggers. Then we found out that we share same friends and know the same circle of people.

As shy as I am, I tried my best not to be that shy girl. Whenever the conversation was over I started another. We talked about movies, music and many other things. When the conversation was about computers, PlayStation and videogames, my sister was there to take my part because I'm a complete ignorant in these stuff.

While we were sitting, my other sister and my mother's friend passed by and I introduced them to Anarki.

Then we took a tour in the mall leading us to what I consider my Disney land. Music, movies, books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, old and new, everything we can think of in Prime. We talked about music and movies again. Then time passed quickly and we had to leave as soon as we can, because taxis were crazy next to the mall. They overcharge double and they refuse to take people to nearby areas.

As a polite Iraqi guy, Anarki waited with us, and our friend, in the taxi queue until we got our taxi. Finally we exchanged goodbye salutation and goodnight and parted.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Attawie is Back from Jordan

After writing several posts that I wasn't able to publish either there was no internet connection or the occasion of the post passed and it became uninteresting; I decided to write and publish later and state the date in the end of each post. First let me say I've been in Jordan for more than two months now and a lot of things were going on while I was offline. Probably most of people who pass by my blog are bored with Doomed "my previous post", and probably most of you stopped viewing the blog but anyway I'm writing this hoping somebody still passes by and read this nonsense.

The main reason why I couldn't post something was and still that we have moved into a new apartment and it still has no telephone cables. I don't know the new area so I was and still a bit lazy to go out and check for an internet café. The other reasons were being busy with the new apartment and my sister's apartment, who got married last week. Then I was busy meeting some bloggers. Yes, yes. A bit old news for the Iraqi blogsphere. I met Anarki, The Kid and Ziad and Hala S, but most importantly I got the chance to meet my best friend and fellow blogger Morbido. Then I met Baghdad Treasure and 24 Steps to Liberty and Nabil, "I was there" and the German blogger Melantrys.

I promised I would post all about The Meetings and here it comes

I went to Petra, Wadi Ram and the Dead Sea. They were lovely trips though I wasn't feeling good in Petra. I took a lot of photos and I'll post about this too.

My sister's wedding was awesome and everybody was satisfied and happy about it. We are still waiting for the photos. I hope there will some photos that I can post here.

Stupid Computer Mistake!

When I entered Jordan, I was given a visit visa for a month which was renewable up to three months. Before the first month was over I went to renew my visa and I was given another month. Now my second month is about to end so I went to get another month and bam! The computer refused to give me another month. Why? Because I overstayed the allowed period of time in Amman! Dah! I left four months before my visa ends. That was September 2005. And I entered the country and was given a month and then was given another month and no computer detected any factual error in my entrance or visa. But now, the problem is when I departed Jordan, this information was not added to the data base. That would mean, legally I did not leave Amman since September 2005.

I was the only young girl alone with my sister in the police department on this sunny, burning, breezeless day. I saw a couple of criminals behind bars. And then two young women were brought after causing a car accident. Then a couple of Egyptian men were brought because they were illegal workers. About tens of Iraqis were there to renew their visas but most of them were men in their forties or fifties.

The officer was a nice man who noticed that I was in UAE since September 2005 and that I didn't exceeded the allowed time and all the dates on the passport were right. He said "Stupid computer mistake" and laughed. The officer next to him smiled and said "They will put you on the Iraqi boarder".
The former officer was merciful. He looked at me and said " you look like a very fragile girl. I won't send you in this summer day to the ministry. I'll gave you another month on my own personal responsibility" and he told me to contact him the next day to see if he can help or send me to a certain officer to help me out in this problem.

My grandmother was shocked to hear this little story about the stupid computer mistake so she called our lawyer to tell him all about it. He said we'll see what this officer can do about it and if not we'll go to the residency and boarder office on Thursday to fix everything.

Just a thought popped into my head about the "Doomed" post. Some friends hated the title and asked me to write something and forget all about the "doomed" thing. So tell me now what shall I call this one now. I'm thinking of another post under the title "Doomed".

We called the officer this morning and he said everything is fine now. They have up dated the data base.

And like some of friends say: