May the few and…

9 09 2012

Image

May the few and the weak beat the strong in his peak
May tاhe betrayers of humanity face the shame of penalty
May the hordes of tyranny and filth suffer their painful death
May the Ultras come out victorious

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دين جديد

28 04 2012

"Flower Power" - Banksy

ناديتُ بِدين جديد، كفرتُ بالاشخاص، أتيتُ على الصنم
أبائى فندونى شيوخى أقرعونى، و منهم مَن لعنّ
ناديتُ أولى العزائم، صرخت بالكرام، ناشدتُ فى العَنم
أطال بهم العهد، أم ضييعوا الميزان، أم حالوا مَن ظَلم
مٌمَدٌ فى السبل، مُعرى مُهان، اُصارع من أراد وقوفاً للزمن
أنا العائش الميت العابث، انا من قرر قومى دفنى فى الأمُم
أنا من أخطأ، أنا من ثار، أنا الفوضى، انا من عاث، أنا جيل الألم
أنا من يحمل الحرب و الأحزان أنا من يجلب الفقر و العَجَم
الارض ألفَظتنى و الموت قد صَادقنى…و اشتقت إلى الثرى

Originally posted in December 2011





Tell me

6 08 2011

Tell me about the shame of being a young father who can’t sustain his family;  and then tell me about the rest of young fathers and mothers bringing children to this world having no sense of shame for not being able to tell their descendants why exactly they were born ?

 
Tell me about the wonders and thoughts when people meet kings and royals.  And then tell me about staring at stars, knowing that we failed to detect life on everywhere we looked in sky up to distances of 13.2 billion light years .  Tell me about being alone in this insanely vast universe, and how’s that provokes no wonders to most of people.

 

Tell me about the growing need in an adopted child’s chest to discover the identity of his real parents; and then tell me about our current world’s population that has no real history documents older than 2500 years. Why don’t we want to know where we came from ? Why are we talking, debating and are interested in things happened from only 2500 years while this planet is 4.54 billion years old ?

 

We live in present, we live in this tiny little point of time called “present”, and no matter how we pretended otherwise, we’re truly not interested in anything happened before or happens after.

The facts are strange… humans are not the less.

 





When Ordinary People Cease to Be

15 12 2010

 

So whom do you call a Hero ?
Is it a soldier that dies for others? Or a generous businessman that gives away his money to the well-being of others ? or the one that does nothing -by himself- but rather lead the rest to cross the line between expectations and dreams, in a battle maybe ?…or in a project ?

 

For me, Heroes are people that gave their best to serve what they believed in. It looks simple, but in fact, you rarely find someone doing it. It takes courage to go the extra mile for something nobody asked you to do. In fact, the only one asking for this is themselves. You call them Heroes because they honored their very own wishes, because they were brave enough to decide for themselves, to actually WANT something and GET IT DONE. Sometimes it be very straightforward, yet non commonly practiced. For me, Heroes are those who found the “common sense” in times where it wasn’t common anymore. They find it and persist in following it, this is a pattern in all Heroes, whether it was a soldier that realized that the only way to win is cross some stronghold, and then he moved without much thinking, or a leader like Nilson Mandela that simply realized that his nation’s only hope to rise was by uniting its people.

 

You can simply notice that these people have put themselves in higher layers of abstraction. If the mentioned soldier thought twice before moving, he would have remembered his daughter and wife, and the enormous fire power in the point he’s heading to. If Nilson Mandela have let himself to think in lower levels, he would have just seek revenge from the whites that treated his people like cockroaches and thrown him in jail for decades. But that didn’t happen, they all operated on higher levels, you can say: all Heroes are theorists ….with successful theories !!

So what makes someone BE a hero ?

 

Hedy Lamarr

 

Hedy Lamarr was a famous actress that appeared in the 1930’s and 1940’s movies like “Algiers”, “Boom Town” and her most famous film role as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille’s “Samson and Delilah”. She was called ‘The Most Beautiful Woman in Hollywood”.
In a party, Hedy met George Antheil who was a musical composer. They talked about the war in Europe, the German war machine, and the possibilities of America joining WWII.
After that talk, the 26 years old actress along with the musician started working on “Secret Communication System” that was a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum invention which used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes in submarines harder for Nazis to detect or jam. It was a brilliant invention and her work soon became the basis of technology that still affects communication systems today such as COFDM used in Wi-Fi network connections and CDMA used in cordless and wireless telephones.
If you now picked a communication engineer and told him that the COFDM and CDMA were based on the work of a 26 years old actress that never attended an engineering school, and known for glamorous roles…most probably he will think you’re joking !

 

 

For me, ordinary people cease to be in the moment they ACCEPT to be whom they want to be.
Wishing-to-be is something, Acceptance is another.
The brave soldier Accepted that he might get killed, but that what it might take in order to be the person he wished to be. Nilson Mandela Accepted that he will NEVER get to take revenge of his oppressors but that what it takes to see his nation rise. Hedy Lamarr Accepted that spending her days working on frequency-hoping inventions may not be not the best thing for her career as an actress, but that what it takes to beat the Nazis !!

 

Great people are not great because of the great things done by them. They are great because of the things they accepted to leave behind in order to come with great deeds. Greatness lies in the “Bargain” itself , the bargain for their beliefs against their desires.

 

A good question to ask the oneself from time to time is: What Are My Accomplished Bargains ?

 

 

Reda Maged





Fear and Do It

15 10 2010

لو إستطاعت رماح الحرب المصوبة الصراخ
لو إستطاعت دروع القتال المهشمة أن تستغيث
لو إستطاعت سهام المنية فى الأعالى أن تصيح
لو إستطاعت سرابيل الجند المخضبة رتق الفراغ
لو إستطاع جند المعارك فى الرحى رمى السلاح
لو إستطاعت خيل الوغى أمراً بركض الفرار
لقالوا
لعمرك يا فتى ما أنت صائر فيه يوم غدك إلا حصاد إقادمك يوم خوفك
Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway

 

Reda Maged

 

Originally posted in May 17, 2007. Painting: Zöe Bell by Martin Ansin





To Remember

11 09 2010
  1. Sometimes, it takes courage to say you’re scared.
  2. Most of the important things in our lives were given the name “important” for contextual reasons, the few left important things that stay important regardless the time/situation should be given another name…and another treatment.
  3. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Also, a waste is a terrible thing to mind.*
  4. You don’t fully control your life, but you sure do control how react upon this fact.
  5. Sometimes, the hard questions in 1) science, 2) religion, and even 3) personal life are not hard because the answers are hard to find, but because the will of finding answers is non-existent.
  6. Every man, no matter how his surrounding may look like, was given a non-small number of chances of peeking into someone else doing the right thing. Your initial conditions don’t matter. What you decide to do after every peek it what really matters.
  7. You never know.
  8. Avoiding the things that -sooner or later- you’re doomed to encounter is not only a bad habit, but in most cases, it empowers such things.
  9. People are torn between understanding life on a hand, and learning how to live it on the other hand. They tend to lean to the latter.
  10. Wanting to fix everything is a virtue…Believing that you can fix everything is a vice.
  11. People are good at practicing fear.
  12. Money is overrated.
  13. Some solutions, even in science, start by the assumption that you’ve already fixed it.
  14. There is a thin line between an Idiot and a Believer.
  15. If you can’t find time to ask yourself what exactly you are currently doing, know that you are doing something you shouldn’t be doing.
  16. If you fail to respect others, others will fail you eventually. Guaranteed.
  17. On the other hand, expecting from people more than what they already expect from themselves can truly push them to meet your expectations. But not always.
  18. If you don’t like what you’re doing but it’s giving results. Make sure you understand the compromise.
  19. If you like what you’re doing and it’s not giving results. Take some time, and realize how lucky you are.
  20. If you can’t picture it in your mind, you won’t ever be able to do it.
  21. Never fight with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.*
  22. Religion got nothing to do with science; using one to prove or disprove the other is a waste of time.
  23. Our subconscious un-phrased dreams are much vivid and more powerful than the declared ones.
  24. Maintaining your Integrity is mostly important because at some day you will get old and end up to stuck with yourself, and you don’t want to stuck with someone with no integrity.*
  25. Too cheap and too expensive both are bad deals. It applies to people as well as to products.

Reda Maged

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* marks for said by someone else





Beautiful Passages from “The Savior from Going Astray”

11 09 2010

Following are some passages that caught my attention in a letter from Abu Hamad AlGhazaly (a prestigious muslim scholar in the 4th century A.J ) called The Savior from Going Astray (المنقذ من الضلال) . The letter was sent as reply for someone messaged him asking for his experience in seeking the truth and identifying it among the different spiritual and philosophical doctrines. The letter is as close as it gets to a biography for AlGhazaly himself in a period where he was going into a serious dilemma concerning his doctrines and methods. He described how come he surveyed the methods and dogmas of his age to reach the truth, how come he kept swinging and jumping from one to another, how come he tried scholasticism, philosophy , theology, rationalism and even math and physics to reach his final destination where he found his peace; describing the flaws of each method he rejected and what made them inapplicable anymore to him to follow, he narrated and sorted them in a consecutive manner telling his own real story and experience along with his findings and conclusions of each phase he passed by.

Passage 1:
This is a the passage where he sums up his dilemma and the turning point that led him to his journey, he was then in Baghdad, a prestigious and honorable islamic figure:

وكان قد ظهر عندي أنه لا مطمع في سعادة الآخرة إلا بالتقوى ، وكف النفس عن الهوى ، وأن رأس ذلك كله ، قطعُ علاقة القلب عن الدنيا بالتجافي عن دار الغرور ، والإنابة إلى دار الخلود ، والإقبال بكُنه الهمة على الله تعالى. وأن ذلك لا يتم إلا بالإعراض عن الجاه والمال ، والهرب من الشواغل والعلائق.
ثم لاحظت أحوالي ؛ فإذا أنا منغمس في العلائق ، وقد أحدقت بي من الجوانب ؛ ولاحظت أعمالي – وأحسنها التدريس والتعليم – فإذا أنا فيها مقبل على علوم غير مهمة ولا نافعة في طريق الآخرة.
ثم تفكرت في نيتي في التدريس فإذا هي غير خالصة لوجه الله تعالى ، بل باعثها ومحركها طلب الجاه وانتشار الصيت ؛ فتيقنت أني على شفا جُرُف هار ، وأني قد أشفيت على النار ، إن لم أشتغل بتلافي الأحوال.
فلم أزل أتفكر فيه مدة ، وأنا بعدُ على مقام الاختيار ، أصمم العزم على الخروج من بغداد ومفارقة تلك الأحوال يوماً ، وأحل العزم يوماً ، وأقدم فيه رجلاً وأؤخر عنه أخرى. لا تصدق لي رغبة في طلب الآخرة بكرة ، إلا ويحمل عليها جند الشهوة حملة فيفترها عشية. فصارت شهوات الدنيا تجاذبني بسلاسلها إلى المقام ، ومنادي الإيمان ينادي: الرحيل! الرحيل! فلم يبق من العمر إلا قليل ، وبين يديك السفر الطويل ، وجميع ما أنت فيه من العلم والعمل رياء وتخييل! فإن لم تستعد الآن للآخرة فمتى تستعد؟ وإن لم تقطع الآن هذه العلائق فمتى تقطع؟ فعند ذلك تنبعث الداعية ، وينجزم العزم على الهرب والفرار.
ثم يعود الشيطان ويقول: هذه حال عارضة ، إياك أن تطاوعها ، فأنـها سريعة الزوال ؛ فإن أذعنت لها وتركت هذا الجاه العريض ، والشأن المنظوم الخالي عن التكدير والتنغيص ، والأمر المسلم الصافي عن منازعة الخصوم ، ربما التفتت إليه نفسك ، ولا يتيسر لك المعاودة.
فلم أزل أتردد بين تجاذب شهوات الدنيا ، ودواعي الآخرة ، قريباً من ستة أشهر أولها رجب سنة ثمان  وثمانين وأربع مائة. وفي هذا الشهر  جاوز الأمر حد الاختيار إلى الاضطرار ، إذ أقفل الله على لساني حتى اعتقل عن التدريس ، فكنت أجاهد نفسي أن أدرس يوماً واحداً تطييباً لقلوب المختلفة  إلي ، فكان لا ينطق لساني بكلمة واحدة ولا أستطيعها البتة ، حتى أورثت هذه العقلة في اللسان حزناً في القلب ، بطلت معه قوة الهضم ومراءة الطعام والشراب: فكان لا ينساغ لي ثريد ، ولا تنهضم لي لقمة ؛ وتعدى إلى ضعف القوى ، حتى قطع الأطباء طمعهم من العلاج وقالوا:  هذا أمر نـزل بالقلب ، ومنه سرى إلى المزاج ، فلا سبيل إليه بالعلاج ، إلا بأن يتروح السر عن الهم الملم .
ثم لما أحسست بعجزي ، وسقط بالكلية اختياري ، التجأت إلى الله تعالى التجاء المضطر الذي لا حيلة له ، فأجابني الذي يجيب المضطر إذا دعاه  ، وسهل على قلبي الإعراض عن الجاه والمال والأهل والولد والأصحاب

Passage 2:
In the following passage he was talking about how humans are born with no knowledge and then they start to imitate their surround, and how come this copying attitude can stop when they start to wonder and ask questions to formulate their own understandings, and then he made this beautiful analogy:

إذ لا مطمع في الرجوع إلى التقليد بعد مفارقته ؛ و من شرط المقلد  أن لا يعلم أنه مقلد ، فإذا علم ذلك انكسرت زجاجة تقليده

Stating that you can never go back to thoughtless copying after you got over it. It is simply not possible.

Passage 3:

والغرض الآن حكاية حالي ، لا الإنكار على من استشفى به (يقصد علم الكلام)، فإن أدوية الشفاء تختلف باختلاف الداء. وكم من دواء ينتفع به مريض ويستضر بـه آخر!

This was at the end of him rejecting the theology and proving that it can’t work as a solution. And I must say I was surprised to read the previous passage, because it shows a maturity in thinking that you rarely find in his era. Saying the method X is wrong, it’s not working and these are my proofs, but yeah it may work for someone else.  In fact, till this day, it’s not easy to find someone saying similar words.

Passage 4:
His conclusion of what should be the operational limits of human mind:

وعلى الجملة : فالأنبياء عليهم السلام أطباء أمراض القلوب ، وإنما فائدة العقل وتصرفه أن عرّفنا ذلك وشهد للنبوة بالتصديق ولنفسه بالعجز  عن درك ما يدرك بعين النبوة ، وأخذ بأيدينا وسلمنا إليها تسليم العميان إلى القائدين ، وتسليم المرضى المتحيرين إلى الأطباء المشفقين. فإلى ههنا مجرى العقل ومخطاه وهو معزول عما بعد ذلك ، إلا عن تفهم ما يلقيه الطبيب إليه.

Passage 5:
His counter argument for philosophy’s doubt-based-arguments denying the concept of prophecy:

فإنا لو فرضنا رجلاً بلغ وعقل ولم يجرب المرض ، فمرض ، وله والد مشفق حاذق بالطب ، يسمع دعواه في معرفة الطب منذ عقل ، فعجن له والده دواء ، فقال: (( هذا يصلح لمرضك ويشفيك من سقمك. )) فماذا يقتضيه عقله ، إن كان الدواء مراً كريه المذاق ، أن يتناول؟ أوَ يَكذب ويقول: (( أنا لا أعقل مناسبة هذا الدواء لتحصيل الشفاء ، ولم أجربه! )) فلا شك أنك تستحمقه إن فعل ذلك! وكذلك يستحمقك أهل البصائر في توقفك! فإن قلت: (( فبَم أعرف شفقة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ومعرفته بـهذا الطب؟ )) فأقول:  وبم عرفت شفقة أبيك وليس ذلك أمراً محسوساً؟ بل عرفتها بقرائن أحواله وشواهد أعماله في مصادره وموارده علماً ضرورياً لا تتمارى فيه

I like this letter, not because I agree with all its findings (after all, some of its doctrines and arguments were beaten by time). I do like it because it reflects a bright example of a human’s sincere seek for the truth. It shows how someone can throw himself in the land of wonder, use all the available tools in his era to push the limits of his mind, and finally come up with something! This was the way that led him to finally reach a destination….And maybe it’s proper to mention that this is also the way that every human achievement was done by!

Reda Maged