The Beginning

I have received congratulations over the last week more than I have received in my entire life, from the close relatives around me to all the friends spread around the globe who flooded my facebook page with their congratulations for my "engagement".

The day of the "tolbeh" was last Friday which was pretty busy as I had to wake up early to go and pick KJ who was coming from Dubai and was staying in my house. We went and watched an ex-blogger's baseball game who has become more serious, especially after he got hitched. It made me think a bit of how much will life burden me with its endless commitments and whether I'll be able to keep my spiritual young spirit or not.

As we were in the mood for an exquisite delicacy for lunch, we hit "shahrazad" in downtown and sat to eat from their famous "3arayes", a meal that was too heavy and left my body agitated and my mind handicapped. By the time I got home, I was too cold and tired that I thought that the best way to shake this off is by taking a nap.

I woke up 15 minutes before my actual meeting for reading the fat7a. my mind was still recovering as it was set on "auto-pilot" and tucked myself in my navy blue suit. I was the last one to get into the car and my body was still trembling from the chilly weather rather than stressful situation.

We were three cars when we arrived at their house. I realized that we had my grandparents, my uncle and my aunt (who I see for the first time since I arrived to Jordan). I went and greeted them and without any further introduction, we rang the bell and we went in.

I scanned my surroundings. Parents –check. Grandparents –check. And then an unfamiliar face. I noted to myself that I need to investigate more and I was hoping he is not the guy I have in mind.

My grandfather started with his quiet voice making the official proposal in the form of a speech , which was welcomed by her grandfather. Upon the agreement of both parties, we had to follow the tradition of drinking the coffee…

Wait a minute…I have to drink the coffee?

As her brother got near to me, I start communicating to him with the silent language similar to that scene in "how I met your mother". I tell him not to pour me coffee, and he nods with his eyes "oh yea, you have to drink the coffee".

So as everyone raised their cup to drink their coffee, I raised mine, looked at the dark liquid simmering the cup and placed my lip at the cup and raised my hand at the same proportion I raised my head. I am fine as long as my mouth didn't have to make any contact with it.

After reading the fat7a and had few moments of silence, my grandpa started. "sob7an Allah how Amman changed over the last 100 years, Back in 1920, when I used to work in Landscaping…", oh here we go, my grandpa went on to narrate for us a story that I've heard over 10 times about how he was asked by Government to divide the lands among the citizens of Jordan who did not understand why he was doing that and how the circassians have put a bounty on his head before he fled to Syria.

During that time, I felt I was being studied by the "unfamiliar face" I referred to earlier. He is sitting still studying every detail of me with the only thing moving is his thumb that touches the pebbles of his rosary that never seemed to finish. Other than my cheesy smile, I couldn't make eye contact for more than 10 seconds. I noticed how he knelt down and whispered to my fiance's brother something in which the brother said my last name. 10 minutes later, he whispers something and my hometown is mentioned. After each response, I notice how he nods at me as if I have passed the required checklist. In my head, my doubts were confirmed. He was definitely the protective uncle who have spoilt her since she was a kid and he is the one who is going to be very picky especially after he realizes that a stranger is taking her away. His feelings were the least of my worries. What concerns me is the fact that he is going to be the guy who will definitely kick my ass if I ever fight with my fiancé or hurt her.

When my grandpa reached the time where he was being shortlisted by the University of Damascus for studying dentistry, I got called by the ladies. The excuse was to supposedly get introduced to them. I knew deep down inside of me that the true motive was for me to sit still and be amused at like an ancient statue in a museum. Sitting in the center and in front of 6 women whose eyes are fixated on me with no words spoken, whose hands sat comfortably over each other over their chests were enough to catalyze a chain reaction that reached its prime in my face that felt like an exploding sun that radiated its surroundings with the heat of my blush. My aunt was looking straight at me and made things worse as her hyperness made her whisper for me to get closer to my fiancé. My misery was over when the discussion was somehow shifted to Turkish Series.

Thankfully, i know what I am getting myself into. I know what should I expect and I am ready for that. One thing that I didn't anticipate is how frequent will I have moments like the time I was changing sim cards for 3 phones and my dad passed by me and said:

"baba, why are you changing the cards in darkness? Turn on the light so that you can see better"

My uncle shouts from the end of the room…"leave him alone, the guy is getting married, he needs to learn to see in darkness. HAHAHAHA"


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Burj "Dubai"..What's next?

4th of January 2010 was a special day. Not only for Dubai, but for UAE in general.

Many of us, who were unfortunate to join the masses in celebration of opening the tallest tower in Dubai, were glued to their TVs and were thrilled with the opening ceremony, especially with the fireworks that enlightened the tower. However, The fireworks were not the only surprise we saw.

First, we were all taken by surprise when we saw Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum declare in his opening statement the new name of "Burj Khalifa". If you saw the opening statement, the Sheikh looked a bit startled. I don't know if he was thrilled for the significance of the event or is it because of the announcement he had to make of renaming the tower. Was it like the surrender and giving away one of Dubai's unique babies as a gift to the Government for its continuous support (through Abu Dhabi) especially in its bail out when Dubai were faced with the Dubai World Restructuring minor hiccup?

On the other hand, offering the name might have been a sincere gift to show the unity and the synergy among all the emirates who cooperate rather than compete.

Personally, I still have my reservations on the "Khalifa" tower. The Tower is a Dubai project and part of Dubai's vision. I think it is unfair to see it being taken away like that and being named after the Ruler who didn't even bother to attend the opening of such a world class event

The second surprise was in the announcement of the final height of 828 meters. Deferring the announcement could probably be to avoid leaking any info pre-completion of the tower to any potential competitors especially after the announcement by Saudi Arabia to build the "Mile" Tower, who didn't commence their operations awaiting the completion of its rival "Burj Dubai". It is too early to say whether Burj Dubai will achieve between 80 to 90% occupancy considering the challenging living environments at the higher floors. I wonder if building the "Mile" tower would be feasible or not and whether it would be worth it or not. It would be silly to see buildings being erected to compete on who has the tallest tower. I won't be surprised if the future holds for us apartment ads providing "Cloud view" or ads saying "You can now bid farewell to your loved ones as they board their flights and fly by you...RIGHT from your room".

Earlier this day, I shared with a colleague of my thoughts on this. He said: "حفاة عراة يتطاولون في البنيان" (referring to an old Hadith by the Prophet PBUH describing one of the signs of Day of Judgement are those who slander in structures). Well, many people might share this opinion. Despite all of that, I think that UAE should be applauded for their continuous achievements in development and in setting another icon in the form of highest point built by humanity.

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