الجمعة، 21 أكتوبر، 2011

books, audio?


I have been trying recently to improve my English language skills, most prominently listening an speaking, so I thought I have to make use of the long wasted hours in transport to listen to some English. I searched the internet for 'audio books' and found the site www.booksshouldbefree.com allows users to download free uncopyrighted audio books from the public domain.

The next day, I was sitting with a group of IT geeks, one of them came across that audio books issue while talking, he said he had a huge number of gigabytes worth of Audi books on his iPhone and he listened to damn long hours of books on the go in his car.

I chatted with a friend, he guided me to a common friend who had 16 gigas of audio books, metaphorically "Eden of Audio Books' :)

I went to him and took some of which titles attracted me, and let me tell you audio books are such an experience!

I listened first to Morrie's tuesday and now I am listening to Paulo Coelho's Veronica Decides to Die.
Apart from improving my listening and pronunciation skills tremendously. it also added a while new spectrum of idioms and vocabulary to my lexicon, it also helped understand what intonation was like.

It's like watching a movie because the narrator tends to act dramatic or theatrical. One last advantage of audio books is you never waste a moment, always on the go, have your mp3 player loaded with your favorite books, play them when you are driving, riding public transport, waiting in a queue or even just relaxing.

While I don't recommend they substitute normal print book reading, they are just as useful especially when you can't hold a book or when you just need to close your eyes because you are tired or something.

I suggest you download free audio books from the public domain, you will enjoy :)

Pre-Gaddafi, Post-Gaddafi....


So he's finally killed!

Muammar Gaddafi, after 40 years of dictatorship, is finally toppled and killed by the rebels..

I catch myself having a strange feeling, the same I had upon the killing of Bin Laden; It's really sad the humanity is happy for the killing of a man.

I don't mean in any way he should not have been killed but celebrating the death of a man is really inhuman no matter what a tyrant he is.

I can't think of the merciful Prophet and his companions celebrating joyously over the dead bodies of the 'infidel', rather, I think, he would be sorry those people were killed and will be punished in hell yet they had to be killed anyway to protect the world from their evil and hindering the light of God to shine.

What's interesting and controversial is Muaamar Gaddafi came to power 40 years ago through a military coup he led, later named 'al-Fatih Revolution' by him. So revolutionaries can be dictators, revolution is not a wizard's stick and there are no guarantees we will never go back to the dark ages.

The Libyans once danced in the streets when the king was gone and Muammar was in power and history repeats itself, Libyans now singing in the streets for he's done!


الخميس، 6 أكتوبر، 2011

Morrie's Tuesdays.




"As you grow old, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you'd always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, its also the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it." 
(118) - Morrie


Upon a suggestion made by AbdElRahman, a fellow at TEDxCairo, to set like a mini-Sour Azbakia at our TEDxCairo Office, many of us brought in books we already read or were no longer in need of. 


I was going through the titles when I stopped at 'Tuesdays with Morrie', I thought to myself; "It must be one of those American trashy romantic novels!" and I totally ignored it.


The second time, I was opting to try something new, so I took that book home with me. I started reading the book on my way to work riding the bus and it literally took me by storm. I actually did not read it, I rather devoured it. In two days or so, I was finished, very touched and in love with life. I knew the word GRATITUDE.


I am starting to read it again these days, less than six months since I last read it. I would to share with you some thoughts about the book.



  1. Being a true story, the novel is very engaging and you would enjoy every little detail.
  2. Mitch Albom, the author, seems to have other great book we should check.
  3. We don't know what university life is in Egypt!
  4. Interestingly enough, the book is still on Virgin Megastores bestsellers list for over a decade now, as I checked in Virgin Citystars the other day.
Mitch Albom, the author.
The book, I highly recommend it for everyone with the least good English. The language is so simple and silky smooth. You will learn so much on life, death and the meaning of gratitude and love.



I cannot recommend downloading it for free online, it's piracy. You can borrow it from me :)