Would you trade freedom for stability? 

I was listening to “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd and one

verse made me think about who I really am, and the “branching” of my
life( Taking a decision, and choosing which path to discover ). And as the song
repeated over and over, I realized many lines question the idea of trading your
freedom, innovation, and challenge for stability, position & bureaucracy.

I’m a risk taker; in fact risk really turns me on. It’s the sexiest motive
that drives me. Challenge is another big factor. Once I feel I’m a donkey, I
really stop functioning properly, there has to be something new to discover,
learn & disassemble. Once you master it, there has to be space for me to
build on top of it, and come up with something unique & new on top of it. What’s more? Like
Frank Sinatra sings, “I did it my way”; and that is what really


Back to the song, “Did you exchange your walk-on part of the war for
a lead role in a cage
“, is the best line in the song. It tells you
exactly how I think of people who trade following paths with higher values for
things that are less important. It’s about being a less important person in a
path of innovation, and taking risk in big things, instead of playing a big
role in a narrow path with no real significance.


Cold comfort for change” when we enjoy comfort, and don’t
value change we truly become comfortably numb. In other words it’s about being
passive Vs active, I can’t explain in any known human language (natural
language) how much I hate to deal with passive passengers of life.


It’s those who took the risk & the extra Kilometer were the ones to
change the world.

Working Full Time

I’ve been working for almost 7 years as part timer/free lancer. It never made sense to me to work full time. As of Sunday next week, a big change in my life will happen, I will start working full time with Al Bawaba. I will be working as the CTO of the company. Al Bawaba seems to offer most of the exciting things that define the kind of work I want to be involved in.

We have so many fresh and exciting plans that are so challenging. A few web 2.0 ideas that we’re working on. And above all, Albawaba supports open source, and 95% of the technology is open source.

At the same time, I will be running my own company (still under
construction), where we will be doing heavy web development, and some
customized software for inancial services companies. I guess my social life is gonna kiss my ass good bye.

It’s gonna be a hard change in my life, I will start having to sleep early, waking up early, no more swingers night-life-style.

Ruby On Rails – Go Duck Yourself

I’m not alone, read what this guy had to go through when he migrated to RoR from PHP, and then went back!

I’m always angry when someone mentions RoR, it’s like teaching a new dog new tricks, when the old dog knows it all.

For the love of god, stop migrating to RoR just because it’s cool. No one ever said RoR sucks, it’s just that there’s SO much pre-exisitng PHP code that you would never find in any other language. 40% of the top 100 sites are PHP, and PHP is the most used language on the Internet. What else do you want to know?

PHP does have tons of frameworks, yet doesn’t force a style or a paradigm. You can do whatever you want with it, you can even build the biggest, most trafficked site in the universe!

Why the hell do you even want to consider something else!

Update: Why don’t you also check an entry I wrote about ColdFusion few years ago

A Mac Story

A Mac Story

I would like to share a story that just took place.

I developed a habit of working from a nice coffee place called Gloria
Jeans (Especially that I don’t like Starbucks). The place happens to
have a free WIFI for the customers. As I walked in, I saw a young lady
and a young man setting up their new MacBook. I introduced myself and
welcomed them to the Mac world and helped them setup a few things, as
they had just started their Mac for the first time. They were so
excited and in love with their machine. I also told them about our Mac Users Group, and they said they will join and spread the word.

It would be great if we can get more & more users to this group to share our thoughts, and hopefully learn. Please, all Mac users out there, help us create a decent community.

Re-evaluating My Life

Re-evaluating My Life

The other day in the quiz night, Adel (3adoola) asked me about my todo list which I totally forgot about. I can’t thank him enough for reminded me about a todo list which I wrote almost a year and a half ago.
The old list:
So, let’s take a look and see how things went:
I want to graduate from University, because I have been there for too long, soon, My mates will become my lecturers.
Improve my spanish & go to Cervantes( Spanish cultural Center )
My Spanish sucks now. I have to do something about it when I have time.
Go to Spain in Summer
Planned summer 2007
get a digital Cam
finish my website
Learn C
Didn’t have time for it. I still want to do this maybe after a year from now
Accomplish my secret open source project (PHP related, would take 2 years of work at least)
Shut down my current business and move on to the next big business I wanna start in no more than 3-4 years
Done. Hopefully I will announce my new venture sometime around mid-late January
retire by the age of 27 and start working on my crazy experemntal projects
Rescheduled to 30
Gain weight
Done, still need more though
Start playing basketball again.
Haven’t played any sport in such a long time
Visit every country in Europe.
I still need 10 years to do this, but I’m planning 3 new countries this year.
Go hiking again in Wadi Al mujib
Done, and also planning another hike next summer
Write a PHP book in 2 years
Almost there. What’s even equally important is that I finished a technical review for one amazing Linux book. I will be writing about this very soon.
Get certified, I only need a day or two to read the guide! I don’t have the time to do that.
No longer interested.
I’m quite satisfied with what I was able to acheive in 2005 & 2006. I managed to focus on what I really want to do. This list doesn’t sum 20% of the major acheivments in the past two years. I do know, just like any other human, that I could have acheived more. I will not stress myself, and blame myself for not acheiving more. I will learn from my mistakes and do things smarter in the future.

Future:Although it’s tempting to write a new list for 2007, I’m going to hold my horses for very simple reasons:
Most of my future goals revolve around work/business
Although I’m an open person, most of the goals are not for sharing due to confidentiality issues.
My two main areas of interest have almost stayed the same
Improving my technical skills (especially software architecture)
Managing IT the right way (I beleive people don’t understand IT, the apply classical management to something that is not classical. I’m learning/researching alot about this issue)

PHP User Group

PHP User Group

Probably a year ago, I founded JoPHP, Jordan PHP User Group. Sadly there were barely two people interested in PHP back then.

Jad posted an email to JoLUGs mailing list last week mentioning a PHP meeting, I got very excited and went there. To my surprise more than 10 people attended the meeting.

First thing we decided is to reset and revive the group. Big Thanks to Jad, for his endless support to Jordan’s Open Source communities.

On Web Design

On Web Design

Currently I’m reading a very interesting Information Architecture book called “Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web”.
The first chapter starts with a sentence that exactly explains how I’ve always felt about an idea that I’ve always argued with friends( designers ).

“Design is an old craft; digital is a new medium”

This is what many designers who design for the web need to understand. Web Design is way beyond Thinkin outside the box, or being a creative psycho artist. You need to understand the science of web design, you need to be very familiar with the technology before you call yourself a web designer. A utopian web designer would be a designer who can think of elements( I like to call them widgets ) that can be represented natively in the target technology( HTML, CSS, JS ).

Although I want to write more, but I beleive blog entries longer than two paragraphs get ignored… and my writing skills suck.

Dima’s First Post

Dima’s First Post

Ammar: Good Morning, I submitted a paper regarding so & so last week, I need to know if everything is OK.
Math Dept Secretary: I’ve told you yesterday that we sent the paper to the sciences faculty deanship, go check there
Ammar: But I’ve checked and they told me they didn’t get it yet. What I’m I supposed to do!
MDS: Here, see the record, here’s a photocopy of your paper, date and time when we sent it.
Ammar( Getting Angry ): You sent it yesterday at 3:30, when I checked yesterday at 1 you told me you’ve already sent it.
MDS( About to shoot me ): Are you an invistigator? I thought you were a student
So I go to the deanship to check, Dr H is the Dean’s Assistant( Big Shit )

Ammar: I cam yest. bla bla bla
Dr H: I said I didn’t receive it
Ammar: But they’ve sent it to you yesterday, and I’ve seen the record, is there a blackhole on the way? Or maybe someone kidnapped the guy who delivers these papers?
Dr H( About to call security): I told you a million times I didn’t get it, I’ve only received a paper today which is not yours, go check with Mr A.

Ammar: bla bla bla….
Mr A(Opens his records book, and looks carefully for my name): Sorry my friend I didn’t get it, go check with Dr H. he’s a bit crazy, double check with him.
Ammar: Thanks

Back to Dr H., I think this guy smokes up, he’s soooo numb, always smilin, fate7 tommo o rakhy ….. all the time

Ammar: I went to Mr A’s office and checked, he said it must be here
Dr H. I checked, go away
Ammar: But not before I know where it is
Dr H. Go check with my secretary

Ammar: bla bla bla paper….
Sec. : ok let me check with the math dept first ( she makes 5 phone calls very effecticely and in less than 5 minutes she gets back to me ) It must be in Dr H’s Office
Ammar: But I’ve checked with him at least 2 times yest. and 5 times today! Another time and I’d die
Sec.: Oh don’t worry then, I’ll go check it for you
Ammar( What a sweet woman ): I dunnu how to thank you

So she goes into his office, and comes back with a paper in her hand.

Sec.: Here it is!
Ammar.: Where WAS IT!
Sec.: in his drawer
Ammar: Is killing someone allowed today?
Sec.( smiles ): It’s ok, just wait for 5 mins, and i’ll fix everything with the paper

My Poor Katrina

My Poor Katrina

Yesterday was a usual Eid day. Boring & lots of social duties. After I took mom for Eid’s dinner I decided to go somewhere to start studying for my exam to put myself in the mood. I called some friends and they were already in Starbucks.

I got there, ordered my coffee, went upstairs and started studying. After 15 minutes, a friend of mine came, we started chatting, and decided to go to the balcony have a cigarette as it’s a non smoking area inside. We went out there, watching cars & people pass by. We took ciggies out of our packs, did the ‘bride-groom’ lighters exchange thing. Took the first puff, “Yel3an abu il Jam3a ya zalameh” I said. My friend smiled, and as he was trying to answer me, we saw a BMW from the far lane doing 15 million Km/H. The car tried to change lanes, it slipped, hit the aisle( the pavement in the middle of the road, whatever they call it ), ran over a big Mupi, and crossed to the opposite lane, hit a car coming from the other direction( From blue fig to Abdoun Circle ). The car swirved and there were over 20 cars parked between blue fig and starbucks, what’s the natural choice? To hit my car 🙁 my poor Katrina got hit from behind( bala gafyeh ).

I was about to jump from the balcony when I saw the accident, but my friend reminded me that they have stairs, which serve the purpose of safely allowing you to travel between floors. I ran like forest gump, my baby was hurt, and there were people screaming. The accident was tragic, two other cars completely damaged. Petrol on the road, tons of smashed glass & motor parts.

Salamtek ya ummu 7asan ( Katrina ), thee most beautiful Honda Civic man invented.

I Don’t Speak English

I Don’t Speak English

Ammar: “Excuse me, what’s Mark’s Appt. Number?”
Receptionist: “fourohto”
Ammar: “Pardon, I didn’t understand”
Recp.:”Fou hoo to ”
Ammar: “WHAT?”
Recp.: “Fou hoo too”
Ammar:”I’m sorry, I don’t speak english, could you write it down”
Recp.: 402