Archive for August, 2009

The Highest Average in Tawjihi 2009 in Jordan: 99.1% by Qutaibeh Hassan Sabha. By chance, Moabite meets “Hassan”!

[In the photo on the left, you can see the old man whom I met. The photo shows Hassan Sabha celebrating the average of  his son, Qutaibeh. I found it in Alghad newspaper website.
In the photo on the right, the marks of Qutaibeh. The lowest of which is the Arabic Language mark 66/70]

Finally, I have something interesting to write about. “Travel More… You will see more!” Truly, if I stayed in Smakieh, I would never have had the chance of meeting this person I met today. How lucky was I to get this chance! I am really proud to write about it in my Blog!

Yesterday, I arrived in Irbid at my brother’s. I left Smakieh at 10:25 and arrived in Irbid little before 4 o’clock. It was a very long journey!

Who did Moabite meet? Why does he feel very happy now?

Minutes ago, I was searching to buy empty DVDs in Yarmook University Street in Irbid. شارع الجامعة I entered this computer shop. There were 3 Omani girls standing inside. I ignored them and immediately headed to the vendor. The vendor, a young guy aged 28 year-old as I deduced from our later conversation, was talking to an old man. As soon as I neared them, the old man spoke to me. His voice was very soft. His hair was totally white. He was about 1.7 M tall. A very huge smile was drawn on this man’s face. He was very happy. Why? You don’t usually find extremely happy people around you in Jordan!

“He says that my son’s marks are not real!” He told me happily, proudly and as if he knew me!

For moments, I didn’t understand what was going on. What is this old man talking about? I thought. The old man then continued, “…average is 99.1%” Suddenly, I knew what he was talking about. I did not only understand that it is about some student’s marks in Tawjihi, but also, I knew the student who got those marks. Yes, how can’t I? The average of 99.1% was got by only one student in Jordan. This student is named, “Qutaibeh!” I saw him on Jordan TV.

–         “Qutaibeh!” I said, after little thinking. I said it like a happy student answering a question.

I was right. The man who was standing in front of me was the father of the First student in Tawjihi of 2009. How happy was I! I was then happier than the proud father himself!

Next thing I did, without hesitation, was shaking hands with the proud father. Because he was catching firmly to his son’s marks, he took some time to shake my hands.

I decided to make advantage of this extraordinary meeting. I acted like a reporter. I wanted to write the information I get in my Blog.

–         “Did your son prepare to Tawjihi a year before?” This was my first question. Actually, I was very quick and very confused that my question wasn’t comprehensible.

–         “What is your son going to study?” I changed my question.

–         “Medicine!” He answered even more proudly.

–         “Where?” I said as if remembering a very important question. Will he study in USA? Britain? He can choose whatever country to study in, won’t he? Won’t he be given a scholarship by the Ministry of Education? I think that he will choose the USA. I thought.

–         “Jordan University of Science and Technology!” This is where his son will study. I was amazed. Why?

–         “But why?”

–         “It is better!” The father simply said. He elaborated vaguely, “Irbid… here… relatives…” He finally said, “He will get a scholarship!” The father was in a hurry. I asked him to see the marks.

–         “Can I see them?” I asked him. “So that I can say that I saw the marks of the student who got the highest average in whole Jordan.” I said. The father didn’t comment. He simply held the orange-colored paper in front of me. “100…110” Then I stopped, I noticed the Arabic Language mark, it was 66. I asked him about the reason. I can’t recall exactly what he answered.

The father then started to walk. I asked, then from a distance, “Are you a doctor?” “I am an Engineer!” He answered with the same smile still drawn on his face. “Where can I find a scanner?” He asked the vendor from a distance. I guess that he wants to hang a copy of the marks in his house. Why wouldn’t he!

Next, I talked to the vendor. “Do you know that that man’s son got the highest average in Jordan?” “I just remembered that I finished Tawjihi 10 years ago!” He stupidly answered to hide his ignorance. To make it worst, he started to say how people who are successful in “Schools” are not always “successful” in life. What is more, he argued that the most successful physician failed many times before succeeding. I was interested in this last comment, so I asked him to give me an example. “… I don’t recall!” That’s how our conversation ended and I started to talk about what brought me into the shop, “4 DVDs… One JD?” I bought four.

English Village in Mu’tah University by Peace Corps Volunteers: Chris, Adam, Nataly, and Rachel. In addition to the coordination of Dr. Layla Omari

It is hard to disagree with the proverb that “you know the importance of something only when you lose it”.

 

I really enjoyed it… The most beautiful part, getting to now new people. I love Adam the most because he knows how to create and manage debates!

English Village in Mu’tah University by Peace Corps Volunteers: Chris, Adam, Nataly, and Rachel. In addition to the coordination of Dr. Layla Omari

It is hard to disagree with the proverb that “you know the importance of something only when you lose it”.

 

I really enjoyed it… The most beautiful part, getting to now new people. I love Adam the most because he knows how to create and manage debates!

Amazing Program: Autopano. Create 360 degrees photos!

Kolor Autopano Prog V1.4.0Have you ever wanted to merge many photos in one so as to show more of a landscape?

I always thought such photos are beautiful. A beautiful photo I always remember is one of Jerusalem. This photo gives you a view of the whole city. But could you and I do make such photos?

Here are 5 photos I took using my very old, dying, Nokia N90 phone. I merged them together using a program  called “Autopano”. Sorry, the program merged them. I only had to click a button. The program then automatically merged all of them into one photo. Amazing!

Image986Image985    Image984 Image983

Image982

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from Top the House of Moabite in Smakieh\ Karak\ Jordan

Is it necessary to get a high average in University?

Tomorrow… Wait… I need to know what time it is right now. Is it before or after midnight? It is after midnight. Time is 12:33 am.

Today, I have an Islamic Culture exam at 11 am. Instead of studying, I went to bed at about 12 o’clock. I couldn’t sleep. Here I am writing a diary entry.

Let me put it straightforward: I don’t care what marks I am going to get! I am only interested in passing university! Yes, only getting an saverage above 60! Speculate what you want, I am not studying anything but Medical courses.

On Monday, I am having the final exam of the Horticulture course taught by Dr. Sa’ed Ewas. I have a Clinical Psychology exam on Tuesday. What should I study, Elective courses or Medical courses? I will study this elective course only on Sunday! I want just to learn Medicine! Screw the marks!

My marks are:

1. Islamic Culture: 43/50. How much will I get in the final exam? I totally depend on collecting the questions before doing the computerized exam. Students who enter first, will give us the questions they got. I will wait till 1 o’clock to do the exam.

2. Horticulture: 43/50. The worst mark I can get in the final exam is 25/50. The exam is a fifty true\false questions. 43+25= 68! So what?

In the future, will I regret not caring to get marks? I don’t see why I will!

German Archaeologist Dr. Udo Vorshack ***

Udo Vorshack

Last year, for one day, I luckily had the honor of meeting and seeing the European man in the above image. This man lived in Smakieh during last summer. He was part of a German Archaeological team that worked in Khirbat Balua (Baloua) northern of Smakieh, Karak.

He is a German Archaeologist. He told me that he got his PhD from an American University. After being baffled, I asked him why he studied in the USA. Don’t they have good universities in Germany? “This University has a good Archaeology department!” He answered confidently.  The Bedouin workers called him “Abu Hanna”. Hannah is the Arabic translation of the name of the oldest son of this doctor. His son’s name is like “Johanos”.

He is quite a nice person. Though he has a PhD, he is very modest. He has got a sense of humor. He is generous as well. If I had the chance of working with this man, I would certainly have improved my personality. I ruined my future with him! I was like a hungry man who found food… I kept asking him questions about the Archaeological history of the region! He must suspected that I am a spy or whatever!

I found the above image in a LiveJournal diary. He is back here in Jordan this year. This time, however, this Archaeological team didn’t rent a house in Smakieh  How unlucky are Smakieh people!

Now is the important question: Is the man in the above picture Dr. Udo Vorshack?

By writing this post about this doctor, I hope that whoever will google the name “Udo Vorshack” will arrive at this post. Maybe “Udo Vorshack” himself will arrive at this page! Who knows!

Do you see Udo Vorshack in the

above picture?

Peace Corps Volunteers in Jordan: Do they have the time to learn Arabic? ***

*** Warning: This post might contain “unintentionally offending” information. 
If you think that something is wrong or offending, please, don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t formulate a negative opinion about Moabite without firstly making sure that he intends what you understood as offending.
If Moabite turned out to intend what you understood as “offending”, then you are free to respond. Would you, for instance, offend him in return? Please… Express yourself! You are more than welcome!
Do you think that something I wrote is offending? Why? Was I wrong in any of my observations, conclusions, or use of words? If so, then click on the “Leave a Comment” link below.
08.09.2009 ***

*** [Correction: This post was titled, “Peace Corps Volunteers in Jordan: Are they obliged to learn Arabic?”. After arriving at information Moabite didn’t knew or think of, Moabite quickly came up with this new, considering and rationale title. But why?


Peace Corps volunteers receives very low salaries. Moabite couldn’t believe it in the beginning! It is because, as one volunteer said, “this is what it means to volunteer”. Apparently, another thing, an invisible one, that volunteers have to sacrifice for; time. They don’t have any time to spare. They are always busy.

Imagine yourself, not only single and living away from your parents, but also, having to teach in schools in foreign countries. Moreover, when you go back to  your rented house, you have to prepare for the next day, prepare reports to your leaders, do the house chores, and buy house needs. Psychologically speaking, homesickness, loneliness, maybe insecurity… etc. Do you thing that you can tolerate being asked to study and read books? How can you save time to study? Even if you had spare time, wouldn’t you like to enjoy yourself?]

During the English Village activity in Mu’tah University, I had the honor of being taught by four American volunteers. They taught us English for absolutely nothing. I learnt many new words, idioms, customs, and songs.

The English lessons of the volunteers can be compared to those you get in the British Council in Amman. Last year, I paid more than 190 JD for a forty-hour course in this famous English Teaching Center. Personally, I believe that the kind of lessons I got in the English village is much interesting, joyful, and informative than those in the British Council. Above all, they are free!

Peace Corps, as I understood, is a governmental American Organization. It is funded by the American government. Peace Corps works in many countries around the world. In the Middle East, The Peace Corps only works in Jordan. Lucky we!

You can read more about Peace Corps mission described by one of its volunteers in Smakieh, Karak, Jordan; Chris.

The following is Microsoft Encarta’s explanation of The Peace Corps:

Peace Corps, United States agency created to promote world peace and friendship… The volunteers help communities in developing countries improve their social and economic conditions. Each volunteer commits to serve for a term of slightly more than two years… Volunteers serve in more than 100 countries.

The September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 increased awareness of the poor image of Americans in some foreign countries. In response President George W. Bush pledged to increase funding for the Peace Corps, and the organization embarked on an expansion program.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

When a volunteer goes back to the USA, he\ she will probably be teaching his\ her fellow Americans about the place he visited. Wouldn’t they? So, will the volunteer be required to teach the language of the visited country to those interested? Will this organization require its volunteers to become some kind of Arabic teachers? Or, does the volunteer’s mission immediately ends when he leaves back?

So, is learning Arabic a part of the volunteers’ mission? In other words, is the volunteer both learning about the people and their language? Is he only learning about their political points of views, customs, traditions, religions? Or is he learning their language as well? In the beginning, I thought so. Now, I think I was wrong. Learning Arabic isn’t obligatory. It seems that it is optional.

In other words, is learning Arabic a primary goal of Peace Corps volunteers in Jordan? Now I will quote from the above wrongly expressed paragraph, “Now, I think I was wrong. Learning Arabic isn’t obligatory. It seems that it is optional.”

Why? I don’t know how to say it, but I didn’t notice that my teachers are learning care to learn anything about Arabic language. For example, when a student asks for the meaning of a word, the teacher gave the translation in English. The volunteer wouldn’t ask the student if he knew the meaning in Arabic. If they knew the Arabic translation of the word, wouldn’t they have said it? Could it be a coincidence that they knew not the translation of any word? They just do the English translation and continue the lesson.

[Which teaching method is better: To spoon-feed the student the information or to guide them to arrive to the information alone?
Although students will have more hardship in the second method, but probably, information learnt this way is longer remembered. After all, a proverb says, “Easy come, easy go!”.

Back in School, the many English teachers who taught me used the first method. Whenever encountering a new English word, my teachers immediately gave us the Arabic Translation of the word. But, wouldn’t students remember the meaning longer is the teacher, for example, put the new word in a sentence? Explained what the word meant in English? Or most simply, gave a synonym of the word? Certainly yes. I don’t know why they didn’t do it. Could it be that it is because school students are not mature enough to arrive at information by themselves?

It is as if one of the volunteers is saying, “The last thing you should do is give the Arabic translation!” Another volunteer might add, “Best thing is to let the student arrive at the meaning!” Can’t disagree! All respect!

Sorrowfully enough, I am ashamed of not having made the above analysis. I didn’t know that, quote, “the teacher gives the translation in English” was intentional. The volunteers wanted us to arrive at the meaning by ourselves! But, why didn’t my English teachers use the same method? I know one certain thing, if they used this same method of explaining the meaning of new words, I wouldn’t have made the above wrong, and hopefully, not offending conclusion. ]

Moreover, the teachers never asked us what the Arabic translation of a certain word was. Even for the sake of Curiosity!

[ Would you love a teacher who digress in their lesson? i don’t!]

Last but not least, in once occasion, a volunteer who had been in Jordan for 2 years, wanted to write an Arabic word on the board. This word starts with the letter (ع). To my amazement, the volunteer didn’t know how to write this letter. In still another occasion, a volunteer wanted to write the Arabic translation of Peace Corps (فرق السلام). The volunteer wrote, (فرق للاسلام). Which translated into English means, “Corps for Islam”. This volunteer has been in Jordan for 2 years. Still, the volunteer doesn’t know how to spell the name of their organization in Arabic!

If you were in the place of one of the volunteers, would you care to have the time to learn Arabic? Personally, if I visited a new country, I would love to learn the language. Why not? It is much easier to learn a language in the place where it is spoken.

But what about the Peace Corps volunteer in Smakieh? is Chris interested in learning Arabic? He says that he knows how to speak 5 languages. Amazing! Could learning a sixth language be hard for such a person? “I will call you on the 20th!” Chris told a student of the English village in Mu’tah University. Does this mean that he is going to learn Arabic?

N.B. 09.09.2009 12:10 AM 
Honestly, I have been editing this post for more than two and a half hours. I am sorry for how inconsiderate and illogical I was when I wrote about something without getting more information about it.
I made some wrong conclusions. I admit it!

Lessons learnt:

1. Don’t make generalization!

2. Research a subject you want to write about!

3. How you were taught in school, or how you learnt to treat others, how you learnt to eat, drink, or act isn’t necessarily perfect!
This is seen in my seeing the teaching method of my English teachers back in school as being a standard to compare other methods of teaching to! This is why I judged the teaching method of the American volunteers as an indication of their … Arabic! You choose the words!

What is the plural form of Corps? Is it Corps’?

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Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning

Today’s morning, I downloaded some funny videos from the  internet. It was the first time I use the wireless network of the new Faculty of Medicine in Mu’tah University. It is amazing how Medical Students of Mu’tah University now have a modern and hi-tech faculty! The new faculty costed more than 4 million JDs. How lucky we are!

Many of the names of the downloaded videos contained “Dakota”. I knew that there are American states by this name (South and North Dakotas). I was amazed to find out that it was a girl’s name. This girl do not only have an unusual name, but also she is an unusual child! She aged 9 or 10 years when she won a “Best Actress” Award.

Well, this might be good. But what is most interesting is her personality. Amazing! She is very funny! She acts like an Adult! She is the funniest child I have ever watched!

In one of the interviews, a person shouts amazed, “How cute is she!”.

She is probably and adult now. Will she be as funny as she was when she was 9 or 10-year old?

If you watch her imitating Mexicans, I believe you will think that she needs to be a Stand-up Comedian. How funny, realistic, and beautiful are her imitations!