Jordanian coach starts refugee soccer team

Luma and the team
I recently read a very inspiring article about a female Jordanian female coach who started a soccer team in Georgia in 2004 for refugees in the US. Dubbed "Fugees," the soccer team’s success story grabbed global interest. According to press reports, there are plans to turn the story of her and her soccer team into a movie. Here is an excerpt from a UNHCR article:

Luma Mufleh grew up in Jordan and emigrated to the United States to attend college. In 2004, she started the Fugees, a soccer team for refugee youth in Clarkston, a small town in the southern US state of Georgia. The town has become the home of many refugees resettled there after fleeing persecution in places such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burundi, Congo, Gambia, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Somalia and Sudan. Coaching for six seasons, she has brought together players from diverse backgrounds and worked to find support for her team. UNHCR’s pioneering campaign, which promotes sport and education for refugee children, has been working with the Fugees for several months.

Here is another excerpt from a New York Times article.

Luma Mufleh, 31, says she was born to coach. She grew up in Amman, Jordan, in a Westernized family, and attended the American Community School, for American and European expatriates and a few well-to-do Jordanians. There, Muslim girls were free to play sports as boys did, and women were permitted to coach.

Her mentor was an American volleyball coach who demanded extreme loyalty and commitment. Ms. Mufleh picked up on a paradox. Though she claimed to dislike her coach, she wanted to play well for her. "For the majority of the time she coached me, I hated her," Ms. Mufleh said. "But she had our respect. Until then, I’d always played for me. I’d never played for a coach."

Ms. Mufleh attended college in the United States, in part because she felt women here had more opportunities. She went to Smith College, and after graduation moved to Atlanta. She soon found her first coaching job, as head of a 12-and-under girls soccer team through the local Y.M.C.A. On the field, Ms. Mufleh emulated her volleyball coach, an approach that did not always sit well with American parents. When she ordered her players to practice barefoot, to get a better feel for the soccer ball, a player’s mother objected on the grounds that her daughter could injure her toes. "This is how I run my practice," Ms. Mufleh told her. "If she’s not going to do it, she’s not going to play."

In this day and time, we need more Jordan-related stories like this and less like this one.

The Turkish Toilet

Muscat's Turkish toiletWhile on the subject of all things Turkey, Muscati & wife posted a picture of this toilet they found in a newly remodeled building in Muscat.

For those that are not from this part of the world, this is what we commonly refer to as a "Turkish toilet" and it can still be found in a number of public bathrooms across the Middle East. And yes, it can be still found in Turkey. I came across one in Istanbul nearly two years ago.

I’m one of those who is totally grossed by this "hole" and wish they would stop making this monstrosity. Read the comments as well, they are eye-opening and very detailed 😉 I hope this didn’t
gross you out 😉 I just thought that this "hole" was worth highlighting. Enjoy!

Via: [Chan’ad]

The IKEA job interview

The IKEA job interview

I have been feeling really down lately with all of this political mayhem that I keep obsessing about. Here is something that cheered me up. I thought I’d share.

Hat Tip: [Muna]

Saudi Morality Police See Red Over Valentine Roses

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s morality police are on the scent of illicit red roses as part of a clampdown on would-be St Valentine’s lovers in the strict Muslim kingdom. The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Saudi Arabia’s powerful religious vigilantes, have banned shops from selling any red flowers in the run-up to February 14.

Florists say the move is part of an annual campaign by the committee — whose members are known as "mutawwaeen" or volunteers — to prevent Saudis marking a festival they believe flouts their austere doctrine of "Wahhabi" Islam. "They pass by two or three times a day to check we don’t have any red flowers," said a Pakistani florist in Riyadh’s smart Sulaimaniya district. "Look, no red. I’ve taken them all out," he said pointing to a dazzling floral collection covering every color of the rainbow except one.

Source [Reuters]

I know I should not be surprised by any news coming out of Saudi Arabia, but this one is just too much. I mean come on, red roses! This is what I call energy wasted!

Amusing story of the day

This one is from Bahrain.

Teenage girls fined

MANAMA: Two teenage girls were fined BD100 by the Lower Criminal Court for singing loudly in a street after attending a hotel party in Manama late at night. They were caught by a police patrol.

Source: [Gulf Daily News] Via: [Or does it?]

Update: The full story has emerged. See ‘comments’ for details.