Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Grammar Surprise.....مفاجأة الإعراب


ليش يابا ما جبتلي الأستاذ هاظ يومني كنت اعاني من الإعراب و النحو؟
اي لو سيباويه نفسوا كان بيعطي دروس خصوصي ما علمنا النحو بساعة و نص

for those arabic impared readers
the sign is an ad for a private teacher in amman who claims that he'd be able to teach arabic grammar in an hour and a half, or your money back guaranteed.

It took me 12 years in school to go through a teeni weeni bit of arabic grammar, where has this guy been all my life????

23 Years of me being around


Today, the 30th of january, marks my 23rd birthday. It's a national holiday in Jordan, and is also the birthday of the new batman Christian Bale.

Anyways, my day hasn't been the greatest, yet i can't complain.

Since coming back from the Sundance Film Festival, spending time with the film comission there and visiting Mr. & Mrs. Jameed, i have fallen under the weather and i have called in sick for the first time at work.
Yet i have so much optimisim in this comming year, (ان الله عيشنا) and i feel its going to mark a very important year in my life.
But before getting into all this i have to first thank my parents for putting up with me over the past 22 years. A lot has been accomplished in this year, i have graduated from college, i'm employed in a great company and most importantly a very good friendship has developed between myself, and many bloggers from Jordan Planet.

The year ahead lies with many obstacles and tasks that i need to tackle and hopefully pass. As many by now know, I am going to be co-producing and editing what we hope to be the first jordanian feature film that goes out to the world. Amin Matalqa wrote the script and will be directing, and David Pritchard ( Exec. Producer: Simpsons,Family Guy, Ben and Izzy) both of whom have been very supportive of me in the past couple of months in Los Angeles. The film is my biggest project and it could be the start of my career as a feature film editor. A lot of pressure, a lot of people to deal with, and editing in Amman is going to be interesting . ( i cant imagine how much tea, coffee and Shawerma i am going to consume)

The other project which i have been holding off on announcing until it has been confirmed, is being cast in a play to be performed at the kennedy center in Washington D.C., Walking the Winds is a Co-Production between the Performing Arts Center of the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation, and the Kennedy Center, which is considered one of the top venues in the US to perform in.

So i think things actually go back in circles and here i am going back to where my creativity started. Its going to be a very big challange, but i think I'll be up to it.

There is so much i want to write about.
My first attempt at skiing, which i think us karakis need to stay away from and enjoy il tazaloj 3al jameed. I had a couple of falls, but i ended up going down a 8500 ft mountain. Im impressed with myself.
Sundance was great for contacts and films, but i realized i don't opperate well in high alltitudes where oxygen is scarce ( or it could be the unormal amount of beauty that was around town). I lost 2 hats, broke the LCD of my small digital camera and zapped my cell phone as i dipped into a hot tub with it in my pocket. Way to go Laith!!!

Plus watch out for the new episode of JameedKast, which i have making it the first fully karaki podcast collaboration in history.

Life goes along and i just ask Allah to protect us all in the coming months and provide us with our needs to succeed.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sundance one

3 days ago i arrived to Utah, to attend the sundance film festival. I was greeted in the airport by the very famous Dr. Jameed, who was very jenrous to pcik me up from the airport and drop me in Park city. After 4 attempts to drive up the icy driveway to the place i am staying at, we gave up and we had to go up walking, i think Jameed's car suffered a bit and it hs given him a warning light since then.

The first film i went to was "Friends With Money" which starts Jennifer Aniston. I really enjoyed the film and thought that it was well made, had some fun moments, and the sundance audience got a taste of my laugh a couple of times.
The cast and the director was there so in terms of celebrity sightings, that was the first one.
Another film which i watched and enjoyed alot was "Special" which is about a guy that believes that he is a superhero. The day also had a number of panels and discussions that dealt around new techonlogies and how it affects films.
On the documentary side of things, " The world according to sesame street" is the first one i have seen, and i left the theatre satisfied. The film deals with the sesame street workshops in Bangladesh, Kosovo and South Africa, and how the sesame street culture has been localized to fit these places.
Not to far away from where i was sitting wa dave mathews, of the dave mathews band, celebrity sighting #2.
The weather is cold and last night we had to find a cab to get back to the house, and it was freezing, i am armored with thermal underpants, wool sweater , jacket, hat and gloves and i still lost the feeling in my hands and feet.
So far the experience has been great, the people i have met in the meetings i got to attend have been great, and the sundance institute have been very genorous and helpful so far.
Today i attend a panel about modern arab filmaking, " The other side of the story" in which Ziad Dweiri ( West Beyrouth) Jocelyne Saab ( Dunia) Hany Abu Assad ( Paradise now) and Sameh Zoabi discuss what is happening in films these days.

I will try to talk more about this later....the shuttle is here and i got to run.
I leave you with the view i have

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sundance here I come

In a couple of hours I board a plane, once again, and head out to Utah to attend the world renowned Sundace Film Festival.
I have just unpacked my bag from my Middle East trip over the weekend, and here I am packing again, yet this time, its a lot of wool jumpers and two big jackets. The weather is going to be cold.
I will try my best to wrtie about my experience at sundance, where i hope to watch a good number of independent films, and more importantly attend panels and workshops related to film, and more specifically, editing.
Yet what i hope to gain from this is to expand my network of contacts, especially in the young filmmakers circle, and hopefully get to meet a number of the modern arab directors who i hope one day i'll get to become their go to editor.
Some good news may follow soon, when it is finalized I will be happy to share.

Sundance, prepare for the karaki editor.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"Paradise Now" and the hope its given us

I haven't written much lately. I have been trying to focus on work, and on many of the other projects I have been juggling around.
Yet i feel this urge to write, to express my feelings after i have read that Hany Abu-Assad's "Paradise Now" has won this year's golden globe awards for best foreign film. If he ends up getting the oscar, that is going to make our plan to meet up , drift further away.
I got to meet Hany while I was at the Dubai Film festival, and I found out that he had plans to move to Los Angeles, so with no hesitation, I made sure we exchanged contacts in hope to meet soon.
I have wanted to write about paradise now for a while, and after watching it for the second time, I feel that i need to watch it a couple more times, before i can write something that is worthy of it.
The film for me was a leap for an arab film, the details, the subtleness, and most importantly the questions it lets you raise and debate in your head and with others, makes it raise the bar for us filmmakers.
As some may know by now, I plan to edit and co-produce what we hope to be the first jordanian feature film to go to the world. Today's award gives me hope, and lets me think that the world is going to want to hear our stories.
In about six months time, we hope to start shooting, and hopefully what we do is going to inspire a whole generation of youth in Jordan to change their perseption of the arts, and to dream one day, that they too can become filmmakers, the same way, amin and I and many others have done, and are on the way to reaching our dreams.

Congratulations Hanny.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

"The Crime of Love" is online

After a couple of days in london, injuring my foot, flying back to LA, catching a cold, and dealing with all the work I have to do, I have finally finished editing " The Crime of Love" Amin Matalqa's latest tribute to arabic soap operas.

Editing this short was fun, and it was interesting to actually include editing mistakes as part of the film, it felt kind of liberating in a sense.

I also played the role of Detective Jameed.

Working on this production was great fun, and hopefully in the next couple of days a subtitled version will be available for those who don't speak Arabic.

All I can say now is click here and enjoy the show.....