Category Archives: Dining & Entertainment

Lupe Fiasco / Chicago Arabesque

This weekend has been pretty fun.  On Friday, Annan & I went to see Lupe Fiasco in concert.  It was great, especially (and I mean ESPECIALLY) during his performance of “Superstar” because towards the end, the music stopped as he pointed the mic to the audience and we all sang,

If you are what you say you are, a superstar
Then have no fear, the camera’s here
And the microphones
And they wanna know-ow-ow-ow
If you are what you say you are, a superstar
Then have no fear, the crowd is here
And the lights are on
And they wanna show-ow-ow-ow

It sounded amazing.  I was surprised at how in sync and melodious everyone was.  I wanna go back in time to relive THAT moment.  By the end of the night, my voice was sore and pretty much gone from all the singing along and shouting.

So, the day after the concert (yesterday) was also the last day of Chicago Arabesque (the third annual Arab Chicago Festival).  I headed down there with Alia and we met up with a bunch of relatives.  As always, it was a ton of fun.  I love seeing people who aren’t Arab at these events.  I appreciate people who take interest in cultures other than their own.  Oh, and… the Chicken Shawerma was as tasty as ever.  YUM.  OHHHHHH, and the Coconut icecream from Bellagio cafe was really delicious, also.  Too bad their only location is in Libertyville.

The musical performances were a pleasure, as always.  Mohammed from P.R. came all the way from Palestine to rap and perform several hot rhymes.  The only disappointment I had was that the Raj3een Palestinian Debke group was going to get to the event a lot later than I have anticipated, so we weren’t able to see them.

Below you’ll find a video I created with a few performances from the event.  I just uploaded it so it’s still processing and the quality isn’t as good as it will be once processing is complete. I apologize for all the shakiness.  My hand was apparently really unsteady during all the recordings (which I guess is to be expected when you’re not using a tripod). Enjoy:

p.s. GO SOX! We won yesterday and looks like we are on our way to another victory today! 3-0 Good Guys!

Michael Jackson’s Untimely Departure

I was shocked to hear about the sudden death of Michael Jackson.  Over the years he has come to influence and inspire so many of today’s talent.  He was definitely an amazing performer, innovator, and trendsetter.  I was never a huge fan of his, but I have always felt that he was a legend whose talent broke down boundaries.  He also seemed like a very genuine person and my heart always went out to him during the ridiculous, disgusting, horrible and, most importantly, untrue accusations that plagued his career.

Michael Jackson has said time and time again that he loves children in a NON-SEXUAL way, and saying it once is all he should have had to do.  It’s a shame that the media tried to paint him in a picture that wasn’t who he truly was.  It’s a shame that he had to live with a fractured heart- yes, fractured.  He tried to do something as pure and innocent as opening his home to kids because he loved them, and parents of these children took advantage of his efforts and decided to spread false allegations as an attempt to milk the cash cow.  Of course, these accusations were painful, and that pain is something he should have never had to deal with.

My heart truly goes out to him and his family during this difficult time.  I’ve never realized how much pain he had to endure, but watching various specials on ABC & MTV, and seeing how he had to go through that period of accusations, I’m just now realizing the extent of his pain.  His words of “I’m human too” and  “I have a heart”  and “It’s not nice” keep circulating in my mind as sadness engulfs me.  It’s a shame that he had to go through all of that, but at least he no longer has to deal with that garbage.  

Michael’s death wasn’t just a shock to me, but it came as a complete shock to everybody.  He just got a physical not too long ago in preparation for his sold out tour in England and he was healthy.  This just proves that tomorrow is not promised to anybody.  Hopefully those who accused, ridiculed, harassed, and hurt him will take this into account.  May it serve as a lesson and an eye opener to not only them, but to us all.  Perhaps now people will realize the severity of their errs and repent.

Michael Jackson- rest in peace and may God have mercy on us all.

It’s been a while

It has been a long time since my last blog entry, but I’m definitely going to start writing more frequently. (I know, I said this before, but I mean it this time).

Today was officially my last class as an undergrad. I turned in my final Art paper and, afterwards, my friends and I headed to what is known to be my absolute favorite restaurant of all time- The Cheesecake Factory. I have been there (what seems to be) over 100 times in my lifetime and, for the most part, have enjoyed every minute of it. My favorite dish is the Chicken Piccata (w/no capers) and my favorite cheesecake is the Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake. When I’m hungry and not in the mood to try anything new, I know that my hunger will always be satisfied by these two treats.

After lunch, we went to see “The Hangover.” I wasn’t much of a fan. The commercials pretty much showed the funniest parts of the movie. It was lacking in humor and I found myself antsy and waiting for it to end. It was the same, cliche story line about a fun day gone wrong (not remembering what happened the day before and partaking in actions that you wouldn’t normally partake in when sober). It consisted of a trio of that weird in-law, the immature, “cool” guy (or what the media has constructed to be cool), and the smart one who doesn’t really fit the criteria of the other friends in the group. It wasn’t horrible, but it definitely isn’t the type of movie I’d see again.

It is currently 12 in the morning and I’m not tired at all. I had an exhausting week and it all caught up to me today. After coming home from the movies, I fell asleep at around 8:30 and didn’t wake up until 30 minutes ago. I guess now I’ll just take a shower and watch TV.

I’ll leave you with a trailer of “The Hangover.” I’ll let you be the judge.


So today is the first of 2009.  Originally, a bunch of us have intended to go ice skating at Millennium Park which, of course, fell through.  Because these plans didn’t work out, my sister and I decided that we’d just go to dinner at Olive Garden. I had a good time, despite the 35-45 minute wait (don’t recall how long we’ve waited, but it was between that amount of time). 

I ordered the Stuffed Chicken Marsala.  It was really tasty, and I got pretty stuffed (pun intended) after I finished it.  My sister ordered this steak/pasta combination that looked pretty appetizing, as well.  The waitress was good, too; She knew not to bother us every 3 seconds like some annoying servers tend to do and she also knew when to replace our drinks.  This seems like a pretty obvious thing to do as a waitress, but you’ll be surprised how many times I had to wait a long time before ever seeing my server after we’ve received our orders.

How come your server is usually either overly “helpful” or not helpful at all? It’s so strange, but thankfully tonight was not one of those nights.