FGM

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Ok, so let’s start by giving a broad description of the definition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) also known as Female genital cutting or Female circumcision as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. (You can click on FGM highlighted in blue to view details & recent statistics about the topic).

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I can’t truly recall my motive for writing about FGM, at least this is how I like to justify my hesitation to post this article you are reading now which was sitting on my desktop for two weeks… considering the impact or effect that written articles about FGM would have in the real world. Not to mention the fact that I wondered if such cultures and people engaging themselves in similar sick practices, know how to read or care about reading or education in the first place… treating themselves in the dark tribal slums of ignorance which is mindlessly infected with different types of destructive traditions affecting society & women in particular till this very day!!!

So much respect for Ms Ali. A woman

I happen to believe (lolz) that carefully “installed” religious beliefs/rituals typically play a major hidden role in perpetuating the problem… however, I’d rather not write about it in further detail following the clever advise provided in the Holy Quran “And be not cast by your own hands to ruin” 2:195, hence, I leave it to you to ponder this subject freely from your own frame of reference or points of observation or even religious views for all I know (good luck).

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jeer-FGM-protest-croppedI try to stay updated about the heroic efforts taken by countless remarkable individuals in different parts of this mad world we live in, to combat such terrible practices violating the basic human right of millions of women to feel or enjoy the process of sex which happens to be one of the most basic human instincts… covering it by their stupid use of supplication terms such as “shame” or “disgrace” which is limited to females only in most middle eastern or families or INDONESIA_-_susanfemalecircumcisionsocieties with strict Islamic belief systems. Nevertheless, after going through a lot of extensive research; I can now say that I didn’t find any solid evidence in Holy Scriptures or prophetic guidelines in all Monotheistic belief systems that give in to such horrible crimes against women & young girls.

The below video captions demonstrate incredible heroic efforts of individuals who decided to challenge FGM along with the disastrous effects that it brings to the lives of thousands if not millions of women every day.

Namaste’

Ziyad Matar (Z Rain)

The Panic Room

I was always successful at limiting the scope of my activities and movements around the house to three zones only (1) Living Room (2) Bathroom (obviously) (3) Bedroom (of course). Where I spend a lot of time “talking” to my laptop!!

I’m now marveled at how I managed to keep away from all routine activities taking place within the household for all them years. Many thoughts would come to mind to justify the reasons behind this “normal” type of behavior (at least around here in the Middle East)… but the one sitting on top of the list would be the typical testosterone resulting expectation that such activities e.g.: cooking, cleaning, laundry…etc. are for females only.

I’m not saying that this is something bad at the end of the day (I’ll find it difficult to believe that any man would mind being looked after by a woman, hey… I think it’s brilliant if you’d ask me!!) it’s just that this kind of thinking doesn’t seem to be practical nowadays due to certain influences… social, economical or even hormone imbalances sometimes (I’m not saying that every chef is gay, at least not the majority of them as far as I can tell!!! Lolz).

952897_o99rxThe reason I’m writing this post, is mainly to share a positive aspect with my fellow male readers, especially when it comes to cooking… now please bear in mind that my expertise or previous experiences in cooking was almost next to zero (until the beginning of March-2014), where I’ve limited my cooking attempts (if you’d call it that) to merely saving myself from starvation by “cooking” one of the following recipes: -

(1)     Cheese sandwich. (Sometimes with crisps)

(2)     Noodles. (the infamous Indomie packs)

(3)     Omelet. (In case I ran out of noodles)

7-2As I was pondering the thought of attempting my return to the “Panic Room”!! or what is commonly known as the “Kitchen”… after watching a TV show called (Junior Master Chef – Australia), where I watched small children (I’m speaking of kids from 9 to 13 years old here) cooking amazing recipes and presenting wonderful tasty dishes to the judges of the competition, I recalled a previous attempt back in 1993 or 1994 where I tried to cook something I can’t recall what it was yet the result was drastic unfortunately.

I talked myself into it by simply saying: If these kids can do it, then I can surely do it too!!! I must admit that I had the support of my queen while doing this… she helped me to do it and walked me slowly from the simple basics all the way to the hard stuff… Now with her being a great cook, I thought I’ll be in good hands (which gave me the courage to attempt to walk into the panic room to cook something other than noodles).

CYMERA_20140320_150521I grew strangely fond of cutting vegetables since day one I must say… shortly after that I was introduced to my first hands-on cooking experience… Spaghetti meat balls with tomato sauce and fried potatoes, although I was supervised all the way (In order not to waste the food/time of course) I felt so proud and satisfied with the outcome and I enjoyed that meal with a big grin on my face.

CYMERA_20140322_125110As soon as I had the last mouth full of my first cooking attempt, something wonderful happened… my negative fearful vision of the “panic room” was gone immediately. I’m now going through a lot of other recipes and trying to get my head around the mixing of spices and seasoning in order to find the perfect balance.

CYMERA_20140324_213007The other wonderful thing I’ve noticed about cooking is the personal healing factor that comes naturally with it (I don’t know what else to call it) I’ve noticed something about cooking that makes me feel excited and vibrant for some reason (Is it because I love food? Well… most probably!!).

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The ultimate superb feature about cooking in the “panic room” is that it can really help improve your level of intimacy and closeness to your partner or family member… the type of energy and conversations that take place in the panic room while food is being prepared and cooked have introduced me to new interesting characteristic about my queens.

Just a simple positive thought to share with the testosterone in you.

Namaste’

Ziyad Matar (Z Rain)

Time to Think Green

It’s about time for us to start working together to help reduce our negative impact on the environment, don’t you think?!!

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I understand that this topic was addressed many times before; nevertheless, I still feel obliged to blog about it for many reasons… one of them being that a lot of people aren’t taking this matter into their own hands until this very day!!

It’s distressing to witness our bad impact on the environment… to the point where it’s threatening our own existence!!! Not to mention all other types of different beings coexisting with us on this beautiful planet.

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I’d like to assume that we are clearly “aware” of the bad effects of our consumer life style, so I would conclude that the challenge we are dealing with here would simply come down to our daily “habits” (I won’t even delve into the passive method of thinking, … hearing comments like: Let “THEM” do something about it!!).

KulethinkerA sense of personal “responsibility” is critical at this point (think about it for a second.. when the corporate realm starts talking about it excessively, that should calculate in your head that something is seriously wrong!!) and changing our zombie consumer habits as quickly as possible is so vital for future generations to have a normal lifestyle or even survive!!!

Please don’t panic about it!!! There is nothing to worry about after all… this whole thing is infinite energy, so please don’t worry about it… worrying isn’t going to do us any good anyway. (while researching this topic; I’ve run across creepy warnings by many doomsayers who’d make it difficult for you to sleep properly at night believe me, screaming about environmental disasters, Chemtrails, FEMA, population reduction plans, the Apocalypse… Blah Blah Blah).

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I’m not here to speculate the future or spread negativity at all… please understand that.

All I’m trying to do (in case someone is actually PAYING ATTENTION) is share some practical simple stuff that could help us reduce our negative impact on earth with you.

So without further ado, the bullet points below are listed for your considertion:

  • At work, try to avoid hard copies as much as possible.
  • Be tech savvy and try to send electronic files instead of printed documents, and leave the printing task and responsibility to your recipient.
  • Use a digital To-Do-List instead of a physical note book or papers i.e.: your cell phone or laptop… (Even though it’s not advisable to do that on your goals and targets, as it has been proven scientifically that writing your desires using ink and paper with your own physical involvement is very critical to achieving them).
  • Try to have all your mail and household bills delivered electronically. Switching to “tree-free” billing can save you space and help you to sort those bills online with a click of a button.
  • If you have to print, try double-sided printing instead of single-sided printing.
  • Instead of purging it, try using the single-sided printed papers you have as scrap paper to take notes… etc.

Now allow me to list some facts which might motivate you to think green.

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Saving 1000KG of 100% percent “recycled” paper saves the equivalent of:

  1. 4,100 kWh of energy.
  2. 7,000 gallons of water.
  3. 60 pounds of air emissions.
  4. 3 cubic yards of landfill space!!

(Now please bear in mind that we are talking about “recycled” paper… so just imagine the damage that non-recycled paper could make).

SLO_Bag_MonstersThe negative impact of plastic bags and the harm they impose on our environment is widely known, so allow me to add one last tip before I let you go:

  • When doing your frequent shopping sessions, please try to lessen the number of plastic bags used to carry your shopping home to the minimum in case you forgot to take your reusable bags out with you.

think-greenI promise mother earth to think green & I hope that you can think the same as well

Now if you find this post useful, please help me spread the word by sharing it amongst your loved ones and friends ~ I thank you for supporting the cause.

Note: Feel free to share additional green tips on the comments area below.

Namaste’

Ziyad Matar (Z Rain)

zrainblog@hotmail.com

What you should know about the Arabic Music Industry!!

For quite a while now, the music industry in Arab countries was suffering (and still is) as a whole, from a series of serious issues!!

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With Piracy being one of the major challenges facing all labels in the business… the cultural part of the problem also plays a key role in supporting the symptoms of this infirmity, while most executives, producers, musicians, and artists struggle to get by.

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With the help of the internet, the piracy problem blasted… and expanded to reach all sorts of productions… the blast was also supported by the lack of proper laws and regulations to battle piracy, yet for some reason, “somebody” is still struggling to cope with the constant upgrades and technologies introduced by… you know who!!!

Other challenges facing the Arabic music industry could be easily classified as:

  • The lack of public awareness about the value & importance of Art.
  • The artistic “shell” most musicians, producers and executives are dwelling in.
  • The Islamic condemnation of all types of art.

We should take into consideration that no proper art classes are provided to Arabic children… and I’m sure you know by now that music is utterly forbidden in Islam.

Now with reference to the second point, I can make my point clear by asking a simple question: When was it that you heard of a (produced/written/recorded/mastered) pure Arabic song aired on a global scale… which can also be categorized under one of the following “genres”?

Rock – Rap/Hip Hop – Jazz – Soul – R&B – Reggae – Blues

Techno – Dance – Dub Step – Disco – Funk – Electronic

I don’t think that it’s hard to answer that question.

Nour_el_ainThe only exception to this rule (as far as I know of) was the successful attempt made by the Egyptian Singer Amro Diab, who broke the spell when he released his international hit song entitled “Noor El-Ain” back in 1996 (marketed internationally under the name Habibi). The producers of the hit song did an interesting fusion mix which surely demanded global attention.

It’s important to discount the successful hit tracks and albums done by other Arab artists, such as Cheb Khalid, Cheb Mami, Cheb Faudel, and lately Ragheb Alamah, Angham, Tamer Hosni, Elissa…etc, due to the fact that their hit songs were:

  • Crafted by producers or directors from… you know where!!!
  • Supported by International producers & artists.

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Focusing on the business side of the Arabic music (while fairly considering the difference between the western & Arabic industries), it’s sad to say that the music industry in Arab countries doesn’t have a public relations system in place. In other words, there are no independent or dedicated artist managers, agents, promoters, record labels.

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Major record labels in the industry control or own most of mainstream music channels; they also control and monopolize most distribution deals, concerts and gigs.

It’s also common to find that most producers, composers, and songwriters are also affiliated with major record labels, which means that major labels have 100% control over an artist’s career from cradle to grave.

What is sad, however, is the amount of buried talents under the surface of all that nonsense!!!

Reflecting on the latest points, I’m pleased that the new technologies introduced via … you know who!!! Will surely revolutionize the way music is being processed and marketed, particularly in Arab countries (it’s just a matter of time.. if you’d ask me).

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Thankfully, by purchasing few (reasonably priced) types of equipments, you could get yourself a decent production (audio/video)… and the marketing side of the business is no longer an issue, thanks to the help of social media services accessible to all.

I’m also pleased about our ability to access all different types of art produced by musicians in other Arab countries!!! … now please allow me to explain what I meant by saying that.

The countries registered or classified as “Arab” are 22 countries.

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(Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, Mauritania, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Somalia, Gaza and the western bank, Djibouti, and Union of the Comoros).

As I’ve said, the total number of the above listed countries is 22, yet; only 5 or 6 countries (less than 25%) get any exposure in the main stream media channels for some reason!!

Without a doubt, those countries are Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq… we can also add the UAE to the list of countries with major exposure to the Arabic main stream media.

Additionally, I must share with you that I have always felt sorry for us (the audience) …missing out on all the great music that is produced in other countries.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please search for all the music produced in countries like Sudan, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Bahrain… and the list goes on.

The following video is dedicated to..

Namaste’

Ziyad Matar (Z Rain)

zrainblog@hotmail.com

What is there to learn from the rhythms of nature?

Hello there, and welcome to my new personal blog.

I have joined WordPress to share my personal views and experiences with you, being a true believer in the power of sharing, I trust that expressing my thoughts on paper will surely support my psyche and help me improve my writing skills… given that English is not my native tongue. (Arabic is, in case you’re wondering)

I must admit that attempting to ink the sound in my head onto paper is quite daunting at first… frankly speaking; it’s not as easy as I expected to be at all!

I have always felt an unusual eagerness towards writing and I consider myself to be very fortunate to stumble upon this easy blogging service offered by WordPress.

Cloudiness in the sky generally translates to the possibility of Rain, and rain represents the divine support, freshness, and clarity (metaphorically speaking).

I have realized that life (with all its gifts, challenges, and unique experiences) is shaped in an inspiring method to correspond with the fascinating balanced rhythms of nature.

As some of the major reasons for our “physical” existence is to explore, learn and grow… It’s not surprising to find that life will persist in providing the lessons or experiences (some refer to them as problems) to help us expand our awareness, challenge a current mindset or alter our limiting frequencies (beliefs)… pushing us to express our full potential or meet-up with what many will refer to as the “Higher Self”.

A natural equivalent to the process explained above, would be the “usual” strong wind, heaviness or pressure felt in the weather before it rains.

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I personally went through many challenging experiences and enlightening incidents in the past 2-3 years of my physical existence (job loss, divorce, freed from many of them so-called friends… you name it!!) which helped me perceive what a lot of self-help gurus would refer to as a “Paradigm Shift”.

Looking at my past experiences from the rearview, I’m getting very excited about what is yet to come, expecting it to either rain “heavily” or provide more experiences or challenges to help me grow stronger, wiser and more aligned with my higher self.

Makes you stronger

I actually feel quite relieved after sharing this post and I’m still looking forward to sharing more thoughts and insights with you in the near future.

a6c9ee97817804f8ec70f93e58697827If this is the first time you visit my blog and you are still interested for some reason…. then I would recommend checking the other posts as well.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post, and for connecting with me on this level… I hope that you can manage to make a good sense of it.

Namaste’

Ziyad Matar (Z Rain)

zrainblog@hotmail.com