Friday, June 04, 2004


While watching ebari speak on CNN's "countdown to handover", you may want to contemplate what the dictionary says about the word "sovereignty":

sov·er·eign·ty Pronunciation Key (svr-n-t, svrn-)
n. pl. sov·er·eign·ties
1. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state.
2. Royal rank, authority, or power.
3. Complete independence and self-government.
4. A territory existing as an independent state.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Space for the rest of us (in a few years anyway)

Spaceship OneScaled Composites has announced plans to launch the world's first privately funded manned spaceflight, on June 21st. Their little spaceplane, "Spaceship One", has already flown at mach 2.5, at over 200,000 feet, and the June 21st flight will be at 100km altitude. Looks like Burt Rutan will win the X-prize after all. And I had such hopes for Armadillo Aerospace.

I am starting a space agency. I will call it "ASASA" (Arab Street Aeronautics & Space Association), and our goal will be to launch selected individuals on one-way trips to space. People currently on the VIP priority list include Ariel Sharon, GW Bush, Yasser Arafat, Hosni Mubarak, Osama Bin Laden, and Donald Rumsfeld. If you want to participate in or contribute to this important space effort please email me at

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Secular Islam

Raed Jarrar had some thoughts on secular Islam:

Islam for me, as a secular leftist, is more than a mere religion
Islam is my cultural heritage that I will protect and maintain until the last moment of my existence.

Islam is the small ornaments in my architecture, the small details of the doors of Al-Mustansiryya school in Baghdad, the arches of the Abbasi palace, the domes of Al-Kathum shrine and the wooden windows of my grandfathers’ courtyard house.

Islam is the small kids playing in the narrow streets of the crowded neighborhoods in Baghdad and Cairo, it is the charming smell of the mosques of Najaf and Karbala, the spicy taste of the Iraqi Dolma, the colorful pigeons flying at the time of dawn in Al-Hamedyyah market in Damascus, the warm palm trees surrounding Shatt Al-Arab in Basra.

Islam is the genius poetry of Quran every morning, the strong voice of Um-Kalthum every evening, the soft sound of Athan every sunrise.

Islam is the shy smile of my woman.