Certified Secular Celebrant

Dear friends. I have become a certified Secular Celebrant to help whoever want to celebrate life events in a way that is personally meaningful to the participants, and isn’t restricted to a script provided by a judge or religious leader. I will work with the couple to create a custom ceremony for their wedding or other life event that is deeply personal and meaningful for everyone involved.

Top 10 Updates in iOS 16

1. Lock Screen

Personalize your Lock Screen and let your favorite photos shine. A new multilayered effect helps the subject of your photo pop, and you can apply styles that automatically change the color filter, tinting, and font style for your Lock Screen. You can also select a set of photos to shuffle automatically on your Lock Screen throughout the day.

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2. Create multiple Lock Screens

You can now create different Lock Screens, each with a unique backdrop and style, and easily switch between them. Browse a gallery of wallpapers with suggested photos and themed collections for inspiration.


3. Focus

A new streamlined setup for Focus lets you select the apps and people you want to receive notifications from by either allowing them or silencing them. Connect your Lock Screen to your Focus so the look and feel of your iPhone match how you want to use it in the moment. With a swipe, you can go from your Personal Focus to your Work Focus with widgets showing upcoming meetings and to-do lists.

Focus filters help you set boundaries in Apple apps like Calendar and Messages, as well as third‑party apps, by hiding distracting content. So you can keep emails from your work inbox out of sight when using the Personal Focus.


4. Family Control


5. Unsend or Edit Messages and Emails

You can now edit a message you just sent or unsend a recent message altogether.1 And you can mark a message as unread if you can’t respond in the moment and want to come back to it later.


6. Richer collaboration & SharePlay via Messages

Watch the latest episode of your favorite show or listen to a new song with friends while chatting about it in Messages.2 Shared playback controls ensure that you’re always synced up.

Share notes, presentations, reminders, Safari Tab Groups, and more in Messages to start collaborating instantly. See updates on shared projects in the thread and easily get in touch with your collaborators right from the app you’re working in.


7. Lift subject from background

You can easily lift the subject from an image or isolate the subject by removing the background. Available in Photos, Screenshot, Quick Look, Safari, and more.


8. Dictation

Dictation automatically punctuates text with commas, periods, and question marks as you speak. You can also insert emoji with your voice. Just say “Happy face emoji” when sending your next message.

Use Dictation and the keyboard together

Move seamlessly between voice and touch to enter text. Type with the keyboard, tap in the text field, move the cursor, and insert QuickType suggestions, all without needing to stop Dictation.


9. Maps: Multi-stop routing & Transit cards and fares in Maps

Plan multiple stops along your route in advance or easily access previous routes in Recents. Maps also syncs across your devices, so you can look up directions on your Mac and see them on your iPhone when you’re ready to go.

Add new transit cards to Wallet, check low balances, replenish your card, and see the total cost of your trip, all without leaving Maps.


10. Apple Pay: Pay Later, Track Orders, & Share Keys

With Apple Pay Later, you can check out with Apple Pay and pay over time. The cost of your purchase is split into four equal payments spread over six weeks. You will never pay interest or fees. Apple Pay Later is built into Wallet and is available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted online and in apps

View your receipts and track your Apple Pay orders directly in Wallet.

Share your keys securely in Wallet using your favorite messaging apps, including Messages, Mail, and WhatsApp. You can decide where and when your keys can be used, and you can revoke them anytime.


BONUS: CARPLAY

My Top 10 Reading List for 2021-2022

1. Line in the Sand

The story of drawing the Middle East in the rooms of French British bickering.


2. Shakespeare and Company

The story of Sylvia Beach, the founder of the most famous book store in the world, that published the most famous novel in the world, Ulysses, in the most creative age of this world, 1920’s, in the most beautiful city of this world, Paris.


3. A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life

At the end of each chapter, they will summarize it with useful tips for our 21st century derived from a deep understanding of our evolutionary history … and they will explain them to you.


4. Happiness Hypothesis

It was quoted so much by other books that I had to read it. Amazing collection of research on what makes us happy. This book will make you wiser.


5. تخليص الإبريز في تلخيص باريس

Translates to “The Golden Summary of Paris”, is a book written by a scholar of AlAzhar after a trip to Paris in the 1830’s. This is the birth of the Arab Renaissance that lasted till 1920’s. The best part was when he was describing dancing, of which the closest thing in Egypt that he can give an analogy was wrestling.


6. Satanic Bible

Published in 1969 by Anton LaVey, The Satanic Bible is an interesting take on the concept of religion and Satan. It has nothing to do with actual belief in Satan … but Satan is used as a symbol of indulgence and lust, and in depth the human desire and fear. This book is a tabu that you can rarely find, but it is nice to explore totally different perspectives.


7. Making the Arab World

Well the first thing I have to say, this is not about the making of the Arab World. I am actually deeply disappointed with the title that undermines the whole history of the Arab World. This is not event he story of the making of modern Egypt. But at anycase, this is the story of the Clash between Nasser and Qutb, and its influences on the region.


8. Intuition by Osho

I love Osho, the indian godman,[3] mystic, and founder of the Rajneesh movement. He is definitely one of the founders of spirituality in the 20th century. This book, lent to me by my friend, talks about knowledge that is beyond logic… intuition. As science confirms, that 97% of your brain activity is non-relational … we are not conscious off. Access to it is called intuition. Osho speaks about that from a spiritual perspective.


9. الجامعة الإسلامية بين السيد جمال الدين الأفغاني والسلطان عبد الحميد

A free book available for download at the link below in Arabic titled: The Islamic League between Sayid Jamal ElDeen AlAfghani and Sultan Abdulhamid. The Islamic League was a project created by Sayid Jamal ElDeen and adapted by Sultan Abdulhamid. It didn’t last due to political circumstances and deprioritization, ending with the coupe of 1909 that overthrew Sultan Abdilhamid and reduced him to a symbol, then exiled him in 1912 till his death in 1918.


10. الوطن العربي بعد 100 عام من سايكس بيكو … قراءة في الخرائط

Written by a friend, it reexamines the maps of Sykes Picot and collects documentation on the maps and map drawing processes of a very important stage. It is a great resource for anyone studying this subject in depth.

Top 5 Documentaries I watched in 2021-2022

First of all, you might think, why 2021-2002 and why now? Well, I have a planner that is my assistant, my manager, my coach, and my mentor … it is called the W Planner, and since it is undated and customizable, I make my “planning year” equal to 11 months (winning a month a year in planning). So the 2021-2022 year was from August 2021 to June 2022, and hence I have made my lists at the end of this “W Planner Year”.

Here are the list from bottom to top:

5. Road Runner

It’s not where you go. It’s what you leave behind… Chef, writer, adventurer, provocateur: Anthony Bourdain lived his life unabashedly.


4. At Berkley

If you don’t know Frederick Wiseman (born January 1, 1930), then you don’t know documentary film making. He is an American filmmakerdocumentarian, and theater director. His work is “devoted primarily to exploring American institutions”.[1] He has been called “one of the most important and original filmmakers working today”.

Wiseman uses Observational Mode to craft the theme of the film, which is a prominent style within direct cinema but he doesn’t like to agree:

What I try to do is edit the films so that they will have a dramatic structure. That is why I object to some extent to the term “observational cinema” or cinéma vérité, because observational cinema, to me at least, connotes just hanging around with one thing being as valuable as another, and that is not true. At least, that is not true for me, and cinéma verité is just a pompous French term that has absolutely no meaning as far as I’m concerned. Wiseman has been known to describe his films as “Reality Fictions”, usually in defense that his films are pieces of art

If you are not used to cinema verite, then be ready to be bored to death, unless that is what you are looking for .. being submerged in the topic of the film … in this case it is University of California at Berkley.


3. The Alpinist

I get rock climbing and solo climbing and free climbing when you become a hero and a brand ambassador … but being a solo free climber breaking world records one after the other with hating cameras or celebrity .. that was shocking to me.

I could not stop watching this documentary once I started, and it ends with an existential shock, which I won’t give away for you.


2. The Mole Agent

It is not clear if this is a documentary or a film, but I would like to consider it a documentary. If you have a member of the family growing old, or if you have the concern of being old one day and entering into a nursing home, it is important to take a moment to be there within this documentary, that will make you rethink the meanings of life.


1. I Am Greta

One of the iconic faces of the 21st century bringing the topic of global warming to its appropriate level of urgency. We will remember her more if Global Warming doesn’t stop and we and our children suffer the consequences.

She has done her part. What are you doing?

Best 5 Shows I Watched in 2021-2022

5. Call Soul Season 5

Dark, and entertainingly disappointing at times, Call Soul gets too close to comfort but then always manages to depart. A show that will leave you neither happy nor sad. You are not happy because no ending is happy in its numerous intertwined stories; You are not sad because at least it is only a show.


4. Inventing Anna

True story that continues till today to unfold. A classical millennial mix up between reality and delusion, and pop culture unquenched pursuit of fame and luxury.


3. The Squid Game

Existential game that is riddled with symbolism, and too cruel to leave you waiting for the next episode. A game of life, obsessive to teenagers and adults alike.


2. Narcos Mexico Season 3 and 4


1. Lake Ozark Season 4

Leaves you wanting more. It will indulge you to the point of hate and love together. Morality is extremely pragmatic and the whole show rotates around moral judgements and entangles you in them.

Best 10 Films I watched in 2021-2022

10. Plus One (Comedy)

Dark relaxing comedy of friendship that borders intimacy, and the long lasting pursuit of love that is hidden under your nose. It is a perfect pick for a relaxing date night with subtle romance and perfect sarcasm.


9. Stillwater with Matt Demon

Matt intensity brings this movie to life. I love the clash between American bravery and honesty with the complexities of French society and teenage life. As a father of two daughters, I found myself relating to the emotions of Matt, and it is the first film set up in Marseille that I watched.


8. Perfect Strangers (أصحاب ولا أعز)

I watched the French version few years ago and it is a wonderful concept. Now this is history … that is Netflix producing a strong Arab film with a strong cast … pretty much some of the best actors and actresses in the Arab World.

The film is full of controversy as far as the Arab World is concerned, but for Arab Expats, it seems very realistic. I also love how you mix Arabs from different nationalities so smoothly. Goes along my theory of the inevtiablity of the Awaited Arab State.

Watch it and if you hate it, make sure to discuss it.


7. Uncle Frank

I don’t usually like films focused on sexual orientations, but this film had a beautiful dynamic, and gave a glimpse of the suffering of any person hiding a natural tendency .. .in this case homosexaulity in the American 60’s or 70’s.


6. Arab Blues

A realistic comedic take on clash of cultures for Arab Expats when returning home. The kindness makes up for the ignorance, and the expat Arab is lost translating and mending civilizations.


5. Ahed’s Knee

I wrote extensively about it here.


4. C’mon C’mon

What a beautiful contemplative narrative of the complexities of raising children in todays age, and to be a child. Poetic, nostalgic, and existential, it is a rare creation of modern American film.


3. Red Rocket

Much more that the impression it first gives. There a totally hidden layer in the film, and you feel it, it feels you, and it makes you uncomfortable, but you learn to live with it till the end.


2. The Worst Person in the World

The Norwegian film doesn’t fail the Scandinavian film genre of deep thought, and extensive discovery of emotions, unweaving our mind and feelings in a post-modern way. Films like this always leave you thinking, and warning, they may change you.

The film is about many things, so many natural ends that are just part of the cruelty of nature. We blame ourselves sometimes for them, some more than others, and this film will unpack this for you.


1. Pleasure

I watched it in Paris, and I don’t think it will get to American screens due to its extreme problematic rating. Borders a porn genre, but totally not. This film is more than a journey to the behind the scenes story of the want-to-be porn stars; it is a journey to the concept of pleasure in humanity, success, and morality. This film will split your friends opinions, and it might split you too.

Ahed’s Knee, Stepping Out of the Story

I watched Ahed’s Knee, an Israeli film by Nadav Lapid, a very advanced director whose stories fragment and detour in shocking ways.

Ahed AlTamimi is a teenage Palestinian activist. She was born in 1997 in the village of Nabi Saleh, which is located in the occupied West Bank. Her family has been involved in resistance against the Israeli occupation for years and she has been participating since she was a little girl.

In December 2017, Ahed slapped an Israeli soldier who was guarding her house. The incident went viral on social media and led to Ahed being arrested by Israeli authorities and put into prison for eight months.

An Israeli member of Parliament suggested she be shot in the knee. The film starts focused on producing a show about Ahed’s Knee and then becomes more about the director’s journey and censorship in showing his film.

The film starts focused on producing a show about Ahed’s knee, but quickly evolves into an exploration of the decay of Israeli society and the rise of censorship as a way to protect such a decaying society.

Numerous dance scenes show the randomness of cultural production and arbitrariness of censorship. It is also a surreal representation of the different facets of Israeli society. The director here is making serious subjects not serious by using dance to represent them.

The camera is hijacked later by a monologue that I saw as a way for the director to speak to the government and through it to the Israeli people.

The film disintegrates and questions the concept of negative aggrievement, toxic tensions, oppressive systems, irrational censorship, and through the desert settings, the emptiness at the end of this whole project called Israel.

5 Articles and Quotes Against Emails

Email, when invented, was a major change in the way we communicate. Today, and pushed by the Corona Virus Pandemic, email has become a major part of the information industy, which accounts for 1/3 of all US workers.

Many articles are being written today against the way we use email today. I will list 5 in this article and some of the important points they present:

Continue reading “5 Articles and Quotes Against Emails”