July 23, 2007 at 3:46 am | Posted in Microsoft, Personal | 3 Comments

So I’ve been pretty busy living my life and doing work stuff (hence my lack of updates). But one of the latest things my Alia and I did was go to the Microsoft annual company picnic. Calling it a picnic is a huge understatement. It’s more like a fair. There are loads of fun games for adults and kids! We’ve actually been sore all day today and spent it recovering!

Rather than talk about all the things we did – I figure I should just post some pics ๐Ÿ™‚

Company Picnic 2007 015 Company Picnic 2007 022Company Picnic 2007 064 Company Picnic 2007 067 Company Picnic 2007 076


Axis of Evil Comedy Tour

June 22, 2007 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Middle East, Personal, Seattle | 4 Comments

I recently surprised my wife with two tickets fo the Axis of Evil Comedy tour. They were here for one night only in Seattle and I know Alia loves comedy so we decided to goย (plus – it was a surprise – so I had already bought the tickets!)

Basically the Axis of Evil comedy tour is a group of four Arabs…well technically 3 Arabs and 1 Persian ๐Ÿ™‚ I think they are all Muslim but am not sure. They are: Ahmed Ahmed, Maz Jobrani, Aron Kader, and Dean Obeidallah (Guest star). You can find more information about them and their tour here:

They make fun of being Arabs/Muslims at the current moment in the US.ย  It was some of the most hilarious comedy I’ve ever seen and the crowd was enjoying it too! Their shows pretty much sell out wherever they go, and judging by the attendance to this one it was also sold out! They only have two shows left, so most of you won’t be able to attend so instead you can purchase the Axis of Evil Comedy Tourย DVD!

ย If some of you don’t want to wait for the DVD to ship, you may wish to try the new Unbox service which allows you to rent or download this DVD. Try it out and tell me if it works ๐Ÿ™‚

Occupation 101

June 14, 2007 at 4:37 am | Posted in Middle East, Personal | 10 Comments

I don’t ordinarily like to talk about political things in my blog. It’s usually very personal opinions and its difficult to change people’s opinions on topics and then you just end up arguing. But still, I felt I had to blog about this… 

I recently purchased the DVD called Occupation 101. This is an EXCELLENT documentary that illustrates the dire situation that the Palestinians are living in and the oppression and hardships that they face. The document is very visual and graphic and it disturbed me after watching it. What was also an interesting surprise is that they included a lot of commentary from Israeli’s and Jewish people who sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians.

If you are interested in this topic, or just want to watch a good documentary you can purchase this DVD from Occupation 101 :: Official Site. Hope you enjoy it – and if you’ve seen it (or buy it and see it) I’d like to hear your opinions and discussion in the comments.

Back From Egypt

May 29, 2007 at 11:09 pm | Posted in Egypt, Personal | Comments Off on Back From Egypt

So I spent two relaxing weeks in Egypt. Well to be honest they weren’t that relaxing due to the driving ๐Ÿ™‚ It always stresses me out when I go driving there. But it was great to see my family and friends again.

Some of the highlights of the trip in bullet form:

  • 13-14 hr wait in an Airport is hell! But whats worse is when they tell you your flight has been delayed another 2.5 hrs!
  • I attended Hany’s wedding, I have pics/video but I’ll leave it to him to post it to his blog ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t been at work one day and there is great demand to see Hany dancing ๐Ÿ˜› There was talk of putting it in a room with a Projector…Hmmm
  • Some purchases I made in Egypt: Egypt (red)ย + Ahly (blue) soccer jerseys – yesย I know blue for Ahly is weird, but I already had bought the Red Egypt shirt (they did not have White) plus – I like Blue :P, I also got some Arabic movie DVDS – I miss Arabic movies, some miscellaneous gifts that represent Egypt (e.g. jewelry boxes, papyrus scrolls, etc.)
  • Lots of playing World of Warcraft – This game is just too addictive and should never have been made ๐Ÿ˜›
  • Egypt is really really hot!
  • Driving a 1300cc car made me appreciate my Mazda3 (2000cc) – What made me appreciate it even more was driving a car with no A/C, and no radio/cassette player ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I forgot that if I want to do a simple task that should take no longer than 30 minutes, then to plan the whole morning for it ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway that’s all for now – Been a while since I blogged – you can all blame WoW for that ๐Ÿ˜›

Going to Egypt

May 11, 2007 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Egypt, Personal | 1 Comment

I will be travelling to Egypt for a couple of weeks tomorrow…Some of you may know this already…but I’m mentioning it here in case I still haven’t mentioned it to someone!

I am looking forward to coming back to Egypt as I miss it quite more than I expected! Looking forward to seeing all my friends again. If you want to meet up, email me or leave me a comment – I don’t know my cell phone number there yet, so you won’t be able to call ๐Ÿ˜›

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…


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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ (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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Tagged! Again!

March 14, 2007 at 4:32 pm | Posted in Personal | 9 Comments

So I have been tagged again by Hany! Too many of these tag games going around…but luckily – I end up killing them as I have no one else to tag ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember getting these types of Fwd’s in the mail…I guess it is now evolving into blogs to match the whole Web 2.0 thing…So anyway, here is more information than you probably ever wanted to know about me:

SECTION 1 – Last 1s?
1. last beverage? Orange Juice
2. last phone call? Hany – but I got his voicemail
3. last instant message? Some guy at work – but socially, Zekri
4. last cd played? Grey’s Anatomy Season 2 soundtrack
5. last time you cried? Not sure – maybe a few weeks ago? (now i bet you’re all wondering why)
6. last text message? My sister – it was her birthday
Section 2 – 6 Have You Evers:
1. dated someone twice? Nope
2. been cheated on? Nope
3. kissed someone & regretted it? Nope
4. lost someone special? yeah – who hasn’t?
5. been depressed? yeah of course – but i avoid it a lot now
6. been drunk and threw up? The people who I would want them to know the answer to this – well they already know ๐Ÿ˜›

Section 3 – List 3 Favorite Colors
1. Blue
2. Black
3.ย Green

Section 4 – This month have you
1. Made a new friend? Well maybe not this month (March) but over the past couple of months, yeah
2. Fallen out of love? No Way!
3. Laughed until you cried?ย I don’t think I’ve ever laughed that hard
4. Met someone who changed your life? Nope
5. Found out who your true friends were?ย I found that out a long time ago
6. Is there something you want to tell someone?ย yeah – Mohab…I loved hanging out at your house…those were the good old days ๐Ÿ™‚
7. Would you kiss anyone on your top friends? This question is stupid – you don’t say “top” friends – you say “best friends” – thats #1 – #2 it should be “Would you kiss anyone of your best friends?” – and yes I would as long as they are male and its on the cheek ๐Ÿ˜›
8. How many people on your top friends do you know in real life? All of them
9. How many kids do you want to have? I think 2 is a great number
10. Do you have any pets? I used to have a dog named Beau. We had to put him up for adoption when my wife went to work. I miss him.
11. Do you wanna change your name? Naaah
12. What did you do for your last birthday? Hmmm, I really don’t remember – I think I spent it at my family’s house
13. What time did you wake up today? 6.50 am!!!
14.What were you doing at midnight last night? On my way to bed
15. Name something you CANNOT wait for? I can’t wait until I become a millionaire ๐Ÿ˜›
16. Last time you saw your father? Last August when I left Egypt
17. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life? Nothing
18.What are you listening to right now? Nothing
19. Have you ever talked to Tom? Yes
20. Have you ever talked about someone behind their back? Who hasn’t?
21.Whatโ€™s the last piece of clothing you borrowed from anyone? Sweatpants from Kareem el-Ayat – I still have them
22. Whoโ€™s getting on your nerves right now? Nobody
23. Most visited webpage?
24. Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi of course
25. Have you kissed or been kissed by anyone in the past week? Yep
26. Mac or PC? Well – even before I was at MS – I’ve always liked PCs more than Macs. You just can’t customize a Mac the same way you can a PC (all my desktop PCs have been custom made)…

Tagged! Five things you didn’t know about me…

February 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Personal | 2 Comments

Wow – I got so many comments on my previous post I can’t keep up ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually – I got none! But I know I have many readers out there…Hmm, I guess I’ll take your votes as ‘indifferent’ then…

ย Well, Hanyย has tagged me to post 5 things most people do not know about me…Hmm this should be interesting…Some of you may know these things already as there is nothing out there that nobody knows about me already…

1. I used to live in England for approximately the first 10 years of my life. I loved living thereย and it was really fun. I then went on to Kuwait (right after the Gulf War) and stayed there for around 6-7 years. When I went to Kuwait I had a really heavy British accent. I was made fun of a lot (I had gone to an American school) so I lost my accent pretty quickly.

2.ย I was very very very naughty as a child apparently. I loved playing with things (taking them apart, touching them, breaking them, etc.) – I still do ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Had I not pursued Computer Science as my career, I think I would have gone into Political Science. I find international relations and politics very interesting…

4. I love watching movies. I am a big movie fan, and if I could, I would probably see all the movies that are in the cinema…

5. This one is a given, which I assume everyone knows but I love my wife very very very much ๐Ÿ™‚

So who else will I tag? umm – no one. The problem with me is that most of my friends do not blog!!! Which is a shame…The only people who do blog have been tagged already. So I guess this “chain” must end somewhere, and it might as well be me..

It’s been a while…

February 27, 2007 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Personal | 5 Comments

So it has been a while since I last posted. Not sure why, but there is not much to say that is new in my life.

ย So instead, what I’ll do is ask you guys about something (so leave comments!)…Do you guys think I should split my blog to one that is technical (on and then keep this one as my personal blog? Or do you think I should just keep writing technical and non-technical posts to this blog? (I haven’t posted anything too technical yet, I know – but in the future I might).

ย So tell me what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

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