Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 15th, 2016


Ashes dispersed against will and wish

How would you like to die, Sir?

A handful of ash, dirt, dust…

Eaten by worms, ants, crows, fishes, maggots, wolves…

Eaten by creatures that you despised, handled with disgust, crushed, trampled, maltreated, ignored…

How would you like to die, Sir?

In an individual grave, in mass grave, ignored in a desolate place, missing in action…

In bed, peacefully, in pain, in genocide, in cataclysm,

In preemptive war, in war of resistance, a martyr, by a sniper…?

How would you like to be buried, friends crying for a minutes, a day,

Celebrated as a groom, a bride, a virgin…?

How would you like to be remembered, your work recognized

Your work revisited for newer generations, every now and then, surviving for a while longer.

Ashes and dirt transferred, deposited, flown away, trampled, pissed upon

To unforgiving places, undesired, dangerous, while still alive,

Against will and wish.

And then mankind is wiped out from the surface of earth,

Insects, crawling creatures, grass, flowers, and plants flourishing,

A giant comet smashing on earth and splitting it,

Parts navigating away from the sun, carrying ashes,

To unknown places, never contemplated

Against will and wish.

I am not a pessimist:  I am thankful for being among the living.

A God, one of us, everyone of us,

Lacking shreds for any talents:  Just awfully curious

Observing, witnessing:  Surprised, stunned, understanding…

A God, one of us, not indifferent:  Just wanting to be forgotten and to forget.

I so often hear people say: “

Did I ever receive the grace?

Have I ever been in a state of grace?

Do I feel at peace with myself and with the universe…?

And I wonder “what is this state of grace thing”?

I go on with my busy daily work and chores

And then my mind takes short breaks and starts talking with itself like:

“I know that I am among the living;

With such little odds to being born and survive

Has hazard acquired any meaning?

What is the meaning of my life?

Should I expect life to have a meaning?…”

Moments the mind takes breaks, touched by grace.

My mind thinks I am God, one of us,

My mind has crossed the Rubicon River,

It crossed the red line to enemy territory.

My mind has to deal with the new situation, against all odds.

My mind has crossed all the red lines,

My mind is taking on its responsibility to behaving as a God should behave:

God is no longer going to be indifferent to his brother, neighbor, animals, trees…

God is to communicate his emotions, aspirations, hopes, errors…

God has to deal with all the troubles, problems, joys, excitements of his fellow-man…

God is to be involved and takes stands for the weak,

The humiliated, the downtrodden, the meek, communities of dying languages…

My mind-God has decided:

It is worth sacrificing once life defending another man’s rights

(all the rights that my mind wishes to acquire, exceeding the UN super laws in the Charters rights)

Against all odds and everybody.

Dying as a God is worth the entire universe.

Are you doing your best with compassion?

Thriving in kindness, continuing your education in humility?

How would you like to die, Sir?

A handful of ash, dirt, dust…

Eaten by worms, ants, crows, fishes, maggots, wolves…

Everything that you despised, handled with disgust, crushed, trampled, maltreated, ignored…

How else would you like to die, Sir?

You’ve Been Fired. Congratulations! You graduated to next big adventure


Credit Henning Wagenbreth

This is the startup world

At HubSpot, the software company where I worked for almost two years, when you got fired, it was called “graduation.”

We all would get a cheery email from the boss saying, “Team, just letting you know that X has graduated and we’re all excited to see how she uses her superpowers in her next big adventure.”

One day this happened to a friend of mine. She was 35, had been with the company for four years, and was told without explanation by her 28-year-old manager that she had two weeks to get out. On her last day, that manager organized a farewell party for her.

Andrew Bossone shared this link
Life in the new tech workplace is suspiciously like life in the old sweatshop.|By Dan Lyons

It was surreal, and cruel, but everyone at HubSpot acted as if this were perfectly normal. We were told we were “rock stars” who were “inspiring people” and “changing the world,” but in truth we were disposable.

Many tech companies are proud of this kind of culture.

Amazon keeps getting called out for its bruising environment, most notably in a long exposé in this newspaper last year. On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said that people who didn’t like the company’s grueling environment were free to work elsewhere.

“We never claim that our approach is the right one — just that it’s ours — and over the last two decades, we’ve assembled a group of like-minded people,” he wrote in a letter to shareholders.

Some viewed the statement as a sign that Mr. Bezos at least seems to recognize that it’s not normal for employees to cry at their desks. But it was also a defiant message that he had no intention of letting up.

I am old enough to remember the 1980s and early ’90s, when technology executives were obsessed with retaining talent.

“Our most important asset walks out the door every night,” was the cliché of the day. No longer.

HubSpot was founded in 2006 in Cambridge, Mass., and went public in 2014.

It’s one of those slick, fast-growing start-ups that are so much in the news these days, with the beanbag chairs and unlimited vacation — a corporate utopia where there is no need for work-life balance because work is life and life is work. Imagine a frat house mixed with a kindergarten mixed with Scientology, and you have an idea of what it’s like.

I joined the company in 2013 after spending 25 years in journalism and getting laid off from a top position at Newsweek. I thought working at a start-up would be great. The perks! The cool offices!

It turned out I’d joined a digital sweatshop, where people were packed into huge rooms, side by side, at long tables.

Instead of hunching over sewing machines, they stared into laptops or barked into headsets, selling software.

Tech workers have no job security. You’re serving a “tour of duty” that might last a year or two, according to the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, who is the co-author of a book espousing his ideas, “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age.”

Companies burn you out and churn you out when someone better, or cheaper, becomes available. “Your company is not your family,” is another line from Mr. Hoffman’s book.

His ideas trace back to a “culture code” that Netflix published in 2009, declaring, “We’re a team, not a family.”

Netflix views itself as a sports team, always looking to have “stars in every position.” In this new model of work, employees are expected to feel complete devotion and loyalty to their companies, even while the boss feels no such obligation in return.

UNFORTUNATELY, working at a start-up all too often involves getting bossed around by undertrained (or untrained) managers and fired on a whim.

Bias based on age, race and gender is rampant, as is sexual harassment. The free snacks are nice, but you also must tolerate having your head stuffed with silly jargon and ideology about being on a mission to change the world.

Companies sell shares to the public while still losing money. Wealth is generated, but most of the loot goes to a handful of people at the top, the founders and venture capital investors.

The Netflix code has been emulated by countless other companies, including HubSpot, which employed a metric called VORP, or value over replacement player.

This brutal idea comes from the world of baseball, where it is used to set prices on players. At HubSpot we got a VORP score in our annual reviews. It was supposed to feel scientific, part of being a “data-driven organization,” as management called it.

Grinding out phone calls, trying to make a number, hooked to a machine that watches you work — this is progress?

The people who worked in the furniture factory probably didn’t have easy lives, either. They certainly didn’t have a beer garden, as workers at HubSpot do. On the other hand, they didn’t go through weeks of training that felt eerily like a cult indoctrination, being told that they could use their “superpowers” to “change people’s lives” by spreading “delightion” to their customers.

Given the choice, I think I’d rather make furniture.

Correction: April 10, 2016
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described a 2013 study by Payscale. The study found the median tenure at Amazon was one year. It is not the case that the average employee there lasted only a year.

How much of a trend is this? Working moms have more successful daughters and more caring sons

Do I sense from this title that the working moms are just content that the boys be more caring?

The guilt many working mothers confess to may be real, but it’s looking less and less warranted.

According to a working paper (pdf) published June 19 by the Harvard Business School, daughters of working mothers are more likely to be employed, hold supervisory positions, and earn more money than the daughters of women who don’t work outside the home.

The researchers also found a statistically significant effect on the sons of working women, who are likely to spend more time caring for family members and doing household chores than are the sons of stay-at-home mothers. (Am I one of the exceptions?)

Working mother’s guilt may be real, but increasingly it’s being proven unwarranted.|By Gabriel Fisher

Analyzing data from two dozen countries, the researchers concluded that the daughters of employed mothers are 4.5% more likely to be employed themselves than are the daughters of stay-at-home mothers. While this number may seem small, it is statistically significant at the 99% level, meaning there is less than a 1% chance that such a result is due to chance.

( Confusing statistical significance with increased rate? Probably the daughters will join the mother business or get engaged in mother working behaviour?))

Even more surprising, says Kathleen McGinn, a professor at Harvard Business School and the lead author of the study, is the effect that working mothers have on their daughters’ chances of being a supervisor at work.

“We did expect that it would effect employment but we didn’t expect that it would effect supervisory responsibility,” she tells Quartz.

Even after controlling for gender attitudes—to take beliefs regarding gender roles out of the equation—the researchers found that 33% of daughters of working mothers held supervisory roles, compared to only 25% of daughters of stay-at-home moms.

“What I take away is that employed mothers create an environment in which their children’s attitudes on what is appropriate for girls to do and what is appropriate for boys to do is affected,” McGinn says.

The study was based on national-level data, as well as individual-level survey data collected across 24 countries by the International Social Survey Programme in 2002 and 2012.

In particular, the researchers examined results from a survey question that asked respondents whether, during their childhood, their mother had ever spent a year or more working full- or part-time; then they regressed these responses against a host of variables to test the outcomes. (So all it takes is that the children realize that their mother has been a working woman?)

McGinn says that the effects of working mothers were most striking in countries labeled in the study as “stagnating moderates,” a category that included both the US and the UK. These are countries where respondents generally held moderate views about gender issues and egalitarianism in 2002, and where the attitudes remained roughly the same 10 years later.

McGinn says that the income of daughters of working mothers in the US was $5,200 higher than that of daughters of women who stayed at home, when controlling for gender attitudes.

(Now we are talking: the daughters learned to communicate and benefit from their initiations for job profit?)

Her message for working mothers is that being employed has long-lasting, positive effects on children.

“When you go to work, you are helping your children understand that there are lots of opportunities for them,” McGinn says.

(Working is good, staying at home is less good? And how caring of boys increased in this study?)

Examples of Inspiring Arabic singers for language purists?

Arabic is a very rich language and those who have delved into it know that its splendor runs deep and wide.

But, as Arabic slang started taking different forms across the different Arabic dialects, so much of the language’s original magic has been lost, at least in this author’s humble opinion.

Once upon a time, great singers of the Arab world colored the poems of our modern linguistic heritage in tunes and beats. Until the pop culture claimed the throne and commercialization threw linguistic appreciation to the wind.

Enas El Masry

Article Author for  StepFeed

While not all of them sing in formal Arabic, they all preserve our literary heritage in their poetic lyrics.

Some of our favorite Arabic singers showcase the beauty and depth of the Arabic language. Here are six of our favorites.

Luckily, not all artists are willing to give into what sells, especially if it jeopardizes something they hold dear, such as literary wealth.

Below are our favorite artists from the Middle East, whose songs are as much a pleasure to the ear as they are to the soul.

While not all of them sing in formal Arabic, they all preserve our literary heritage in their poetic lyrics.

1. Kulna Sawa – Syria

Founded in 1995, the band has four studio albums to date. Varying between love songs, reflections on local struggles and even martyrs, Kulna Sawa is known for its diverse use of instruments and blending music genres. In 2004, the group’s members received two peace awards in the United Nations headquarters in New York.

2. Rim Banna – Palestine

The Palestinian singer, lyricist and composer is famous for dedicating her artwork to the Palestinian cause, as well as spreading peace and love.

Banna was born in Nazareth, in the Galilee. She studied music and singing in the High Institute for Music “Gnesins” in Moscow. She specialized in modern singing and conducting singing ensembles.

Her works comprise 10 albums, including two for children and two albums in collaboration with world musicians.

3. Hamza Namira – Egypt

Egyptian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who usually sings in the Egyptian dialect, is one of many Egyptian artists who have utilized art as a space to discuss and reflect on the daily life concerns and others about the political upheaval in Egypt.

Namira makes music about life in general. The message he wants to express through his work is:

“Life has a lot of things that are worthwhile, things that deserve expressing in music and songs, so it’s not fair letting love and romance monopolize music.”

4. Marcel Khalife – Lebanon

Khalife is a renowned Lebanese composer, singer and oud master. A graduate of the Beirut National Conservatory of Music in 1971, Khalife set out to free the Arabic lute, the oud, from the traditional strict techniques that constrained it.

Khalife has played in some of the world’s most notable music halls, such as the UNESCO Hall and The Champs Elysees Theatre in Paris, the Sydney Opera House, The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and many others.

He also has composed soundtracks for many documentary films and fictions films.

Marcel Khalife’s lyrical and instrumental recordings add up to more than 20 albums and DVDs.

5. Badiaa Bouhrizi – Tunisia

The underground Tunisian composer and singer calls her sound “Netassaya,” a “new sound of Northern Africa,” which is rooted in malouf, a traditional music found in Tunisia, Algeria and Libya that Bouhrizi learned to sing in school choir, like many Tunisians.

6. Abdulrahman Muhammed – Saudi Arabia

Muhammed, who is currently a freelance videographer and photographer in Jeddah, first stepped into the spotlight of the music scene when he qualified as one of the 10 finalists in the TV show and competition Superstar, which aired on Future TV.


It smelt the beast; it felt primitive

Their eyes met in a flash;

A pair of old acquaintances:

They recognized the event.

They made one step forward and ran into one another arms.

They are embracing; they are sniffing one another,

Slowly, softly sniffing, reminiscing youth.

They are smelling rapidly, inhaling big gulps of body whiffs,

Smelling energy, the wild life.

They fell on their knees, smelling of the beast.

They are clutching hands, kissing fingers, finger nails,

One finger at a time, slowly and respectfully.

Kissing fingers haphazardly, mindlessly, distractedly.

It felt of heart beating wildly;

Of life marching on: timeless.

Misty eyes blinding sights;

No need to observe details:  They knew.

Primal, primitive senses made it all clear and comprehensive.

“I feel stupid” he said

“I smell awful” she said.

“I feel so lucky:  I am experiencing falling in love” he said

“I smell terrible; I look tragic” she said

“I love you; I love it all; I love everyone; I love me” he said

Two expanding stupid smiles

Redesigning two plain, very wet, intelligent faces.




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