Friday, September 10, 2010

عباس بن فرناس never broke his neck !!!

It's true, Abbas 'bn Fernas never broke his neck, in fact, his flight attempt is considered succesful. Abbas 'bn Fernas actually _settled in the air and flew untill he fell a long distance away_ as described by 'bn Hayyan. 'bn Fernas was a scientist and he did _not_ do a stupid thing. He did a successful flying attempt based on scientific calculations and observation of birds, which proved correct. It is said that 'bn Fernas failed to land correctly, which should be done by flaring his wings as commonly practiced in hang gliders, and hurt his back (some sources said that he only broke a rib). Abbas 'bn Fernas' flight was the first flight attempted by a human in the documented history.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Basbousa Recipe

After so much time researching and trying. And with the help of Ahmed Garamoun, we finally came to the perfect recipe for the very much loved oriental sweet "Basbousa"

Revised recipe, written on 6th of september 2010

1/2 kg of "de2i2 semid" or griess in german (weichweizen)
300 gm of sugar
300 ml of water
around 100 gm of molten butter
1.5 tsp active dry yeast

500 ml (2 cups) of sugar
375 ml (1.5 cups) of water
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Mixing bowl
30 cm lightly greased pan for baking

Mix all dough dry ingredients, then add the butter then the water while mixing till a loose paste forms. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Put in a 180 degrees oven for around 50 minutes (until golden red/brown)

Once you put the dough in the oven, add the water to the sugar to make the syrup, bring to a boil, after all sugar is dissolved add the lemon juice and set aside to cool.

Once the dough is out of the oven, sprinkle the syrup on top lightly (no pouring) until all the syrup is on the dough (dough could take a little time till the syrup is absorbed)

Cover (with aluminum foil) and let it cool to room temperature then cut and serve.

Almonds or other nuts could be sprinkled on top of the dough before baking, press them lightly inside the dough after sprinkling.
about 1/2 cup of coconut could be added to the dough.

Let me know your feedback

Assault on Entebbe

Please watch the videos here

This is what nations do for their people... I feel shame for my nation.

Alcohol content in bread

I want to broadcast this message, because many people don't really realize it.

There is an organizm called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Or what we know as "Yeast". When yeast is alive, it eats sugar and roduces water, alcohol and CO2. There is no way to avoid that. The same yeast that is used for brewing alcoholic beverages is used for baking, which means, the same process that produces water, alcohol and CO2 happens in each and every loaf of bread. A study has been done to analyze the alcohol contents of bread, it has been found that a normal loaf of bread, bought from the bakery contains between 0.04% to 1.9% alcohol. 1.9% is a really close number to normal light beer, and I believe is by far superior to most baked food whose labels include alcohol among the ingredients. I would thus conclude, I don't think it's correct to have an alcohol phobia in the sense that many people do, because you already get your dose of alcohol each and every day. I see a more rational way to think about it, how much alcohol starts to get me drunk. And thus, drinking an alcoholic beverage, or eating something that contains alcohol in the ingredients is totally okay, because _bread_ is one of those things. You just need to watch for the amount of alcohol you are consuming. Based on personal experience, an average adult man would start feeling he drank alcohol after consuming around 1.5 liters of light beer (2.5%) or 500-750 ml of normal beer (5%). For non alcoholics, I am not inviting you to be drunk all the time, I am not encouraging you to drivink alcoholic beverages, I am just calling for you to think about your alcohol phobia. Alcohol is not that scary, in fact, you drink some every day !!

References: (The section about Alcohol content in bread)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Discussion - Am7aya f forn afrangy

(This post is related to

Well, finally I got the book, at least for a few weeks to read it. (Thanks to Youstina Daoud for that)
Me, having lived 30 months so far away from home, I have lived most of the experiences Christine is talking about in the book, only more intense. I'm astonished of how similar was the way I reacted/coped with things to the way she did. I would like to comment/discuss some part of the book that has been a great controversey for me. It's chapter 10 "Masr Tel3et Menhom".

Masr, eh heya masr?? masr, ana etwaladt henak, w law kan el e5tyar f idi makontesh e5tart dah. 3esht awel 20 sana men 3omri henak, w bardo law kan 3andi el e5tyar makontesh e5tart dah. As7aby w ahli wel nas el ba7ebohom henak, dih yemken el 7egga el wa7ida el sa7, bas lazem a2oul enno ana ma2adetsh kol el wa2t dah ma3 nas tany 3lshan a3raf hal el nas el 3ereftohom f masr dol mo5talefin walla dah el tabi3i. W mesh ma3na enno 3agebni el nas el f masr enno lazem a3od f masr, fi mogtama3at masreya _nedifa_ f 7ettat tanya ktir.... ana moshkelti ma3 masr mesh mawke3ha el go3'rafy wala el 7okouma wala el gaww wala el nadafa wala ay 7aga men el 7agat dih. ana moshkelti ma3 masr el masreyiin, el masreyiin lesabab 3'er ma3loun fakado el e7teram bekol ma3anih. y3ni tela2i wa7ed afel 3alek fel rakna w tale3 bethom yenam w howa 3aref kwayes awi enno 3arabitak dih mesh men el 7etta w shwaya sa7ebha hayob2a 3ayez yemshi. howa nafseyan mestaraya7 tamaman w byetla3 beitoh yenam w yesha5ar. ana ba2oul fakado el e7teram 3lshan bel tasarof dah, walaw enno momken nas ketir te2oul 3ady mesh moshkela kebira, 3lshan el ragel 7atta law mesh ased bekol salasah karrar enno ana wa7ed a2all menno w enno howa momken yenam f bethom w ana 3ammal adawar 3aleh 3lshan yetalla3 3arabito. ana 3aref enno a3'labeyet el nas mesh waselohom el mawdou3 dah kwayes, bas lamma teshoufh el nas el f almanya (ana a3ed f almanya) byetsarafo ezay hatefham, mesh hatefham ana 7asses b eh w bafakar b eh ella lama te3ish f west sha3b mo7taram. tabba2 ba2a el masal dah 3ala kol el bani2admin, 3al mwazaf fel morour, 3al bayya3, 3al zabet, 3ala kol ahl masr. el nas fakadet e7teramhom w ta2derhom lel nas el tanya. ana law mo7taram, mesh ha3od ma3 el nas dih, belzat law 3andi el forsa arou7 7etta tany. Harou7 a3ish barra, mesh ba2oul hansa as7abi w hansa zekrayati, ana hagy saye7 (zay el walad el sha3ro tawil el Christine etkalemet 3aleh fel ketab), hagy _mo7taram_ hanbeset, w atfassa7 w arou7 el ahramat w sharm el sheikh w arawa7 betna.
fi mawdou3 tany Christine betetkallem 3aleh f chapter 11. Ana 3ayez awasal resalah, e7sas enni fel beit. Enno el 7etta dih beta3ti, enni a5bat el 3arabeya w awel mad5ol el beit ab2a mettamen, fi ra2yii, law 7ad 3ash barra masr aw barra beito lefatra tawila men el wa2t (1,2 years..) el e7sas dah ra7, w 3'aleban mesh hayerga3 tany, w belzat lel welad. hayiigi makano e7sas tany.. e7sas enno ana lazem atsarraf, e7sas enno law kassart 7aga hatedfa3 tamanha, law 3ayez teshteri 7aga lazem twafarlaha, law 3ayez takol lazem totbo5, law 3ayez telbes lazem te3'sel.... hayiigi makano e7sas _el mas2ouleya_. e7sas esteklaleyah, e7sas enno ana mesh me7tag 7atta baladi wala beity 3lashan mamotsh. dah mostawa aa5ar men el e3temad 3ala el nafs. el e7sas dah sa3b awi fel awel, hat7ess enno malaksh sanad, mafish 7ad yenfa3 a3ayatlo w a2ollo ta3ala el7a2ny. w a7san bektiir enno el kalam dah et3amal fina delwa2ty, 3lshan keda keda lama hanetgawez hayet3emel fina, fakkaro fiha enno dah _demo version_, nos5a tagribeyah, mabtedfa3sh fiha flous. 3lshan ba3d keda mayenfa3sh yob2a fi tagarob. ana basta3'rab men el ahali el bet2affel 3ala wladhom (5osousan el banat) w mota5ayelin enno keda homma beysa3do. keda homma beyzawedo el ta3'ayor el haye7sal lama wladhom hayob2o modtarrin 3'asb 3anhom yetsarafo.