Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Religious Authority

I can think of very few things in this universe I despise more than religious authority ... no don't miss my point, I'm certainly not against religion, I'm simply against using it to control, subdue and rule people.

The church's history is full of such black eras and horrible acts that I would rather not talk about it.

The Islamic world is also not without precedents in this area, ... and rather some very contemporary ones.

I do believe any Muslim in his right mind would feel as I do, ... religious figures and institutes should function in telling people what is probably right and wrong and why, not what they MUST and MUST not do, MUST or MUST not wear, MUST or MUST not THINK!!

Functioning as knowledgeable and intelligent researchers for matters of beliefs and morals, acting as guides and tutors, not governors, general, not as some kind of behavior police!!

Islam (I believe) has liberated all men from need for any mediator (man or institution) to worship god, one needs no sheikh or mosque to worship god, one but needs his mind (judgment), his soul, and his control of himself (discipline)

I'm not at al against religious figures, ... god knows how I admire and respect several, who has acted as light spots radiating intelligence and wisdome, trying to tutor and liberate people, ... as opposed to those (majority) who have used whatever knowledge and credibility they had to support enslavement of mind and soul for the favor of an unjust dictator, or simply according to some vindictive belief that this is their right or duty.

We're not about history here, so I'll not list examples ... they are plenty, in history and around us.

A religious institution, such as Al-Azhar, should be (as it once was) independent and self sufficient, it's management should be elected (and not assigned from the government)

There is no inclination whatsoever that an Egyptian Muslim should follow the recommendations of Mufty-al-dyar or Dar-al-Eftaa rather than the opinion of other respectable sheikhs or Fiqh schools. (all my respects and admiration to Dr. Ali Gom'a)

Religious liberty, ... that's what I'm talking about!!

Karate, discipline, and respect

Hehehehe, ... that sounded very weird as a headline.

I was recalling my old Karate team, as I practiced karate for most of my childhood years.

The thing that puzzled me the most was the difference between old and new team members. While new members were a bunch of undisciplined rebels, unordered, eager to jest, call names, and just run about doing mischief, old members to the last one of them seemed very disciplined, silent, patient, almost aloof and arrogant, but they were respected.

Don’t assume it’s simply age, that’s not true, new members included many of the older guys, and old members included some of the youngest in the team, nor was it about strength or physical ability, … it was a mystery to me that I only grasped as I ascended in the team and gradually joined the latter group.

With time came knowledge, experience and the valuing of what we did, … with knowledge came responsibility for newer members, to instruct and help them, or just simply be a good role model, … with responsibility came authority and respect, … mark my words, … with adequately fulfilling responsibilities came authority and hence respect and not the opposite. With all that comes a feeling of contentment, of knowing ones place and doing ones part in life.

Alas, all that is lost!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Malazan book of the Fallen

I write this, not as a review of the novels, many of those can be found on, I write instead my feelings about the characters, yes ... the writer was so successful that I have strong feelings for most of his characters.

Anomander Rake, … who cannot feel awe when Rake is involved? The dark, tall, silver haired, almost immortal lord of the Tiste Andii, with a formidable black sword that is more than just a sword, a sword that exudes power, power that Rake totally controls, and uses to extract justice, cold justice, … who can not feel awe? And yet after a while, after you get to know what his motivations, after you see that how he values honor, friendship, and the lives of mortals, you feelings of awe must change, evolve into a more subtle much stronger thing.

Captain Wiskeyjack, the beloved commander, the man with unshakable integrity, who cares for his soldiers, and everybody, even those who are suspected to be evil or criminal, and whose soldiers will follow through just about anything. And yet, ... after getting old, after seeing so much wars and deaths, after being betrayed, he can see and assume the good in people, can love and be loved, stands fast to defend the life of someone because he simply believes she doesn't deserve to die. It broke my heart when he died. Really, I guess that if not for Rake, I would have stopped right there.

Quick Ben, the mysterious witty wizard, with only hinted at powers, knowledge and vision, who more than once challenged gods (ascendants) with his wits and not his powers.

Korlat, ... the female Tiste Andii leader, second only to Rake, from the first moment you can feel compassion coming out from her, and after a while you feel love, love that binds between her and the old all mortal Wiskeyjack, who values her greatly and loves her back. The sheer ammount of silent romance in this relationship almost crushed my soul, made me feel insignificant.

Caladan Brood, the giant warlord with a giant hammer that can shatter the earth and end life as we know it. Despite is still wise and restrained and goes through all those wars for the liberation of mere mortals.

Toc the Younger, ... .

Tattersail, ... .

Captain Paran, ... .

Picker, ... .


I'm just tired of writing, .. may continue later!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ain't Humanity spiraling down?

I got this idea some months back while I was reading about Socrates, the man that long long ago, so bravely died for his ideas, while he could easily avoid it. It struck me hard that this man who lived thousands of years ago (and is no prophet nor claims any divine inspirations), surpasses me (and just about anyone I know, and anyone I can think of in our current days) in the scale of humanity, if intellectual integrity did count at all. I mean, .... shouldn't humanity be ascending? Increasing, maturing, what's the point at all then from living and dying, dying and living, reading and arguing, learning and building? ...

Let the philosophers aside, ... let's look for effective people, (i.e. people with great effect in history, or culture) , can you think of anyone to compete with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, or even Hannibal? ... let's see, ... Hitler? Bill Gates? Any suggestions anyone?

So I was thinking that maybe for the last millennium, human culture was descending, spiraling down.

Then I though of another metric, ... the advancement of science (esp. humanistic sciences) like philosophy, sociology, etc. Can the maturing of such sciences be used as a metric for the advancement of the human culture? Are those sciences mature at all? And if so, does that mean that humanity is advancing as a whole while individuals are getting less and less remarkable?

Or is it simply waves of flourishing and thriving, between periods of failing and darkness? Such waves being the Greek Culture, Roman Culture, Islamic Culture, European Renaissance.

So are we now in a time of darkness? Am I making any sense at all?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Conditioned reflex

I'm, not really sure the phrase does mean or describe what I wanna say, …

I'm talking about mentally coupling two different things, specific food with specific days, specific movies with specific memories, and in particular specific books with specific songs. I do that all the time, … and it's great, ... I'll give an example:

While reading The Wheel of Time, I was hearing some specific songs for Fadl Shaker, which became mentally coupled with the novel, so that whenever I hear those songs, I suddenly remember parts of the novels, and feel the general feelings of it.

It didn't stop there, it continued through almost all the novels I read, … it works best when the novel contain strong feelings and the songs are really nice and new, meaning you haven't heard them a lot before. And of course it would help if the mood of both did match, although not necessary.

And thus, … some songs instantly put me in the Da Vinci Code, some in Raymond Feist's world, some Robert Ludlum's, etc. It's really cool, and let's you duplicate the experience easily at any time simply by hearing some old songs.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

More on those novels

Well, ... ok if someone's interested, ... I'll give brief comments then full reviews if still interested, ...

The wheel of time is very special to me, the whole fantasy thing started with it (excepting LOTR)... it's huge, ... really epic in scale, ... and I have skipped some parts of it, bt hell, ... I have read some other parts more than once, sometimes three or four times, ... ten times in the case of the prologue to the first book.

I got tears more than once while reading it, and got really excited for a long long time, ... .

The sword of truth followed, and while there are similarities, it is really very different than WoT, ... I wrote a simple comparison once HERE.

SoT is philosophical, ... complicated, and very heroic, ... with two too perfect protagonists, and a very lovable grandfather, Zed.

Reimond E. Feist is very entertaining, ... Pug, Arutha and especially James (Jimmy the Hand), are very interesting indeed! with a very sophisticated philosophical view on magic and gods, that I don't think I completely understood!

Emperor is a very worthy read, ... if not for the novel, then for the astonishing life of Julius Caesar, ... simply inspiring.

Dan Brown, ... well, ... most of you know him, Angels and Demons, The Davinci Code, Deception Point, ... etc, ... he is very crafty at cteating suspense, and surely does a hell of research before writng, but hell, ... the characters are the same, even if their names changed, ... the general theme is the same, .. the plot is very similar every time (or rather the premise, as some would say) I like his work, ... but do not consider it literature of high value.

Now the Malazan book of the fallen is a real piece of great work, ... I'm sure to write more about it soon, ... the sheer amount of different characters that you are inclined to love, like or at least have interest in, is wonderous, ... simply fascinating.

Now for some reason, ... I seem unable to finish any book for Stephen King, Robert Ludlum, or Paulo Coelho ... , sure they are great, seems I have some problem, can anyone help??

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Novels I've read through the last 3 years:

  • The Wheel of Time (11 books till now) Robert Gordan
  • The Sword of Truth (11 books till now) Terry Goodkind
  • Most of Raimond E. Feist's
  • First one of George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire
  • 3 of Conn Iggulden's quatro Emperor (waiting the fourth)
  • 4 of R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf stuff
  • Most of Dan Brown's (couldn't complete Digital Fortress)
  • The Rule of Four

Currently reading: Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen (which is very very promising and satisfying till now)

Thursday, September 14, 2006


"العمل, إيه العمل, ماتقولّى أعمل إيــــه تارارا .. , والأمل, إنت الأمل, تحرمنى منك ليه ليه تارارا" --- يا سلام يا ست

الشىء الغريب, إنى كل ماشوف حد اليومين دول أو أقعد فى أى قعدة, إلا وتيجى سيرة الحشيش.

والكلام عليه دايما بـ استحسان, فلا هو إدمان, ولا بيبوظ الصحة, ولا هوحرام ولا حاجة أبداً.

بس ماهو بعد الحشيش, الناس بتفوق, وانا مش عايز افوق. وبرضه مش عايز اتسطل, أنا بس عايز انبسط, ... حرام؟ كتير؟ بلاش!

هىء هىء ... "أنا شربت حشيش يا سعاد!!"

!أنا طماع قوى, طماع بجد

عايز أعيش حياه مش مملة, فيها أهداف محترمة وذات قيمة, وفـ نفس الوقت مش متعبة, و لا فيها عذاب ولا كفاح شنيع, وعلى ذلك برضه تكون مسلية و متوازنة نفسيا وعاطفياً, وده معناه انى الاقى إنسانة محترمة, بتفهم وعندها شخصية وفـ نفس الوقت طيبة و حنينة, والأنيل من ده كله إنها لازم تحبنى كمان (مع إن ده هينفى عنها صفة إنها بتفهم و يمكن كمان صفة الاحترام) مش بس كده, انا كمان عايز يبقى عندى موارد غير محدودة, أبنى بيها صناعات عملاقة, و أيّد بيها الإصلاح السياسى, كمان أقرا كل الكتب اللى فالدنيا وافهمها كويس, و يبقى عندى رؤية و بصيرة الاقى بيهم ربنا, ده غير كمان الـ .....

أنا تعبااااااااااان

آه ه ه ... أنا تعبااااااااااان

تعبان مالشغل و تعبان مالوحدة, و تعبان من كونى مش فاهم نفسى ...

أحياناً بحس انى عايز اسيب كل حاجة ورايا واطفش, أروح وانام سبع قرون واقعد لوحدى سبع قرون, والف واسيح فى أرض الله وبلاد البشر سبع قرون, و ساعتها .. هاقعد و أكتب سبع قرون, وأموت وحيد, حزين شريد وراسى عالكتاب أو لوحة المفاتيح.

!!وحلمت بيها

وحلمت بيها ... , ياااااه .. , من إمتى مافكرتش فيها؟! لألأ .. دانا لسة شايفها قريب, و كلمتها كمان, ... ماحستش بحاجة ساعتها, غالباً كنت رافع الدروع!

حتى فـ الحلم كنت رافع الدروع النفسية و راصص المتاريس. وهى كانت بتقرب, .. طبعا خبطط فـ المتاريس!

طبعا ده عمره ما حصل فى الواقع, على الأقل مش فى السنين الأخيرة, ومش معاها هية ... حصل من سنين, وحصل مع ناس تانيين. لو حصل فى الواقع أكيد كنت هاشيل الدروع, .. أكيد!! مع إنّى كل ما بنزّلها باتبهدل, بانبسطلى شوية و بعدين اخدلى خبطة مـ اللى هية! فـ الصميم!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hurts of the past!

It seems the past is really haunting me! My leg was broken about 9 years ago, and now it's starting to hurt again, ... it never really healed completely, but the remnants were distant and faded. Now they pain seems fresher than in the last 8 years!

I still remember being broken hearted 6 years ago! But the pain is almost gone now, ... as well it should, it remained fresh burning for 5 years almost.

Then again about 6 months ago, ... but this was more of a shock than a hurt. I still find it hard to believe that it really happened!! Life can be very wierd indeed.

Then and Now: Computer Graphics in Games

Besides being a lot of fun to play, video games are also a major driver of innovation in computer graphics.

Monday, July 10, 2006


by Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

I'm tired!

I'm tired, I'm blocked, don't wanna work, don't wanna talk, don't want anything. I feel that I can't write, can't read, can't talk to people, can't work. I feel damn week and vulnerable. Oh shit, this should not be published. Hooooofffffffffff. Maybe some sheesha would help? Maybe a week in the Himalayas? Or in the sea? Maybe I ned to cry? ... I think that might help, ... well, rest should do, ... but I can't afford rest, ... don't have the time for that kind of luxury, ... . Something else, ... I need a MOTIVE, where is my motive? why am I going on? Inertia? What is it that I want? To be successful? buh, ... to be "The Best"? The Best my ass!!

I need a motive, ... I need a purpose.

Boo7a The Game

The site is running now, the official web site of our first game title. And although I wasn't very positive about this game, I am happy that its almost there, the demo should be released within a week.

Comming next might be "7arb el sa3eed" or even "Al Andalus".

It seems that we are really making games :)


I suddenly got interested in photography. I read the theory, the techniques, the manual of my fathers cam. Yaqeen is attending a cinema school, so he's interested too. So we decided that once a week, we're gonna go out, pic some place in our stunningly rich country that we barely know, and start taking photographs. First friday was at "El Khalifa" , the photo shows the Sultan Hassan mosque, beside it is El Refaey mosque, and behind me as I took this shot is the old citadel of Salah El-Din.

What really shocked me that day, was the children on the streets and in the mosques, their innocense and joy at the prospect of being photographed, their aweet laughter that made me believe again that life has some real beauty in its folds.

I might publish some of the photos later on visual-halawes.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Edgar A. Poe and Gobran?


by Edgar Allan Poe


From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.


Does anyone feel the link between Poe and Gobran? Or is it just me?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Not good enough!!

A general feeling I live by lately, ... maybe it deepened after my second interview with Microsoft (but that is to be told later) maybe after I realized I was a total retard in my plans for marriage. I'm not sure, ... but I know I had the idea before, but now the feeling, the constant feeling that I'm not good enough. I reveled for years in the feeling that I am actually good, in many aspects better than the average, ... maybe it's time now to realize I'm not good enough, might be the feeling I need to enhance myself, find my bugs, resolve my weaknesses.

Sabry 3alamy ya ged3an, ... 3aaalamy :)

The physics engine project we've been working on lately has witnessed a lot of enhancements and upgrades in the past few weeks, thanks to the brilliance of our chief programmer Ahmed Sabry, He has really done a great job, solved a lot of problems in such a smart ways that we in many aspects are doing much better that the rival products currently available on the market.

Truth to tell, ... I don't have a lot of hope for this project to bring any revenues, but I certainly consider it a great addition to the assets and wealth of our small company, and I believe that it will start promote our reputation as a serious game development company worldwide. The road is still long ahead, ... but at least we are taking some steps.

Friday, January 13, 2006

We make computer games!

Yes, it's true, ... well, .. not totally, we still have little experience in the field, but we will do it (insha2allah), I know we will.

I hope in the following year we would be known as the middle east's pioneer company in interactive computer graphics and games.

We have acquired multiple game development engines and platforms that we hope will help us achieve good results in reasonable time spans, and we have a bunch of ideas that we think will be ground breakers and market openers.

Alongside that path, the physics engine is actively being developed and refined, additional features are being researched and designed, ... well, ... rabena yostor.

Business plan contests in the arab region

Who knows some of what happened to me the last few months, knows I have participated in the first egyptian Business Plan Contest (2005) with two teams. And won the third place with one of them.

Currently we are establishing a small company that should be pioneering its field in the middle east.

Anyway, 2006 is here now I have heared of two arab-wide Business Plan Contests (more information here and here) and yes, I plan to join. I speculate the level of competition will be higher than in my last experience, but what the heck, I should have been evolved :) I should aim for higher levels of competence.

Wishes for 2006

I wish for my country:

- a good education system.
- 5 great religion intellects and preachers.
- 3 really great cinema directors.
- 3 more really good music composers (and yes, much less singers :)).
- another very much more effective government.

For myself I wish:

- success in work, love, business, and developing myself

by developing myself I mean mentally, intellectually, spiritually, and all other concievable skills, ... easy haa? :)

God let it be a bearable year.

Dear God

Dear God, ...

Thanks you, for everything, the good and the bad, ... whatever comes I accept, just please accept me in your mercy, and inspire me the right thing to do.