Shisha, Belly Dancing and Seattle

April 29, 2007 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Personal, Seattle | 14 Comments

Last week, Hany’s brother was in town and was in the mood for Shisha…My wife and I had discovered this shisha place in Seattle (there are very few of them!) called Zeina so we decided to take Hany and his brother there…

I miss Shisha a lot the place reminds my wife and I of home a little…The price of a shisha is a bit outrageous (17$ without tax!!) but well worth the price when you haven’t had it for a while…Anyway – when we got there it was very packed (which is strange for this place)…Luckily we were able to find seats…After a short while they started playing Arabic music which is always nice to listen to…

We then discovered the reason why it was so packed. A belly dancer came out to entertain the crowds, and the people went wild. It was entertaining as we certainly did not expect this to happen and its interesting to see a foreigner doing belly dancing…I only had my cell phone with me, but I managed to get some pics of the event (I’d like to include more pics in my blog as they are lots of fun to take!) I recently purchased a digital camera, so expect a lot more…

  

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Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid

April 16, 2007 at 5:28 am | Posted in Egypt | 1 Comment

Peace Not Apartheid I am currently reading the book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by former US President Jimmy Carter. I personally enjoy the modern politics of the Middle East, so I find this book to be quite interesting.

While I am only half way through this book, it basically summarizes the history of the Middle East Conflict and presents the Palestinian side. It is actually quite refreshing to see an American public figure (and a former US president at that too) present the Arab and Palestinian side of the equation. This book has caused a lot of criticism in the US and Jimmy Carter and his centre have been (unfairly) attacked for the ideas and thoughts presented in this book. It is hard to get a balanced view of the situation in the Middle East, and yet this book attempts to rectify that.

As well, in case some of my readers don’t know…Jimmy Carter was the president who brokered the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.

Anyway, I strongly recommend that people get this book and give it a read.

6-month Microsoft Anniversary

April 9, 2007 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Personal | 9 Comments

This is a few days late (it happened last week) but it was my 6-month Microsoft anniversary…Generally, at this stage, I feel a lot more comfortable with what I’m doing and don’t feel like I’m “drinking from the firehose” anymore. As part of this achievement, I thought I would post 5 tips/observations for new people coming to Microsoft 🙂

1. You need really good time management skills in order to get work done! You can skip meetings and/or trainings you really don’t need to attend in order to get more work done! Also, sometimes you just need to close Outlook as well as email can be very distracting.

2. Foosball is a great way to socialize and make new friends! You definately meet people who you otherwise would never have met! It can also sometimes cause unwanted visibility by higher ups 😉 (Ask Hany about it!)

3. It is sometimes faster to just walk to another building rather than take the shuttle (especially if the weather is good!)

4. Every Tuesday and Thursday there are friendly soccer matches on the field during the day. It’s a great fun way to get some exercise in and again meet new people 🙂

5. When walking the corridors at Microsoft, its fun to look at the window-office people. They are usually more “established” and thus have much better decorated offices (and usually a ton of interesting awards)

Hope you like the list 🙂

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