Matt Simons – Catch & Release (Deepend remix)

Sam Feldt – Show Me Love (ft. Kimberly Anne)

A Book Review “No One Writes To The Colonel”, Gabriel Garcia Márquez

colonel

Review & Summary:

There is something very interesting in this novel which is the main character and his wife are nameless, which makes both characters insignificant people living in Colombia, this is kind of genius by Márquez as the reader forgets sometimes that they are without names.

Published in 1961, the story talks about a retired colonel, a veteran of the Thousand Days War, who still hopes to get the pension promised to him since 15 years. He lives in some village in Colombia with his old wife who suffers an asthma, when martial law and censorship were taking over the country.

They suffer poverty, and keep selling whatever can be soled to be able to live day by day. Their son was killed for some political repression and chaos, and the only thing left from him is a rooster, that the colonel trains to take part in a cockfight, but even the rooster is causing a problem to them because feeding the animal is a financial burden.

Márquez likes to show his reader facts about his country and how the political regime back then affected people and repressed them with poverty and censorship, and how the rich doesn’t feel the need of the poor.

The story is so real in the way he wrote it, and it does reflect a lot of humanity in it, lots of hopes and lots of flaws in human’s character and behavior. It’s a very interesting read, yet kind of sad.

A Book Review “The Broken Wings”, Gibran Khalil Gibran

thebrokenwings

About The Book:

The book was written in 1912, Gibran dedicated the book to Mary Elizabeth Haskell, a woman he had fallen in love with. The story is not real, but it expresses what Gibran thinks of unfruitful pure love. Gibran told Mary that he creates his novel characters and all the events from scratch, reminding her all the time that during writing the book he had always thought of her, and that’s how he considered Mary a mother for the book somehow.

The broken wings is considered the first Arabic novel written in the modern time, and it came 2 years earlier than other novels written by other Arab writers at that time.

Summary:

The hero of the story is a young man who’s 18 years old, he narrates the events of the story, and the heroen is a young woman called Salma Karama, who’s 20 years old. The young man visits his friend who tells him about Faris Karama, a very respectable rich old man and his daughter Salma. Faris Karama happens to be the young man’s father’s friend in their youth. Later the young man visits Faris Karama who was always happy about his visits as he reminds him of his old friend, and there he meets Salma and from the first meeting they fall in love with one another, feeling that their souls happen to understand each other without having to talk.

Their true pure love is fruitless because Salma is forced to marry the Bishop’s nephew, without her father’s genuine approval, but rather pressured by the society, because no one can go against the Bishop or any other man with power. Salma’s life turns into a misery after her marriage, while the young man suffers the loss of his beloved girl.

Salma hopes to die as a salvation from her marriage, but suddenly she is in front of a new dilemma which is her father’s sickness and later his death, which leaves her facing her problems and agonies without a back bone, meanwhile she meets with her lover at her father’s house, before losing her father, after a long period of time of not seeing one another, who stands for her to face the reality of losing her only family member, her father.

her loneliness led her to start meeting with the young man secretly in an abandoned temple, where they talk about random subjects and share their sorrows, worries and hopes. Later their meetings started making her husband suspicious, and so she had no choice but to stop going to their secret meetings, and rather sacrifice to keep the young man safe, but the young man asks her to run away with him in a ship, where they can start a new life, but she refuses and chooses to go back to her husband’s house.

Salma continues to struggle against reality and her dreams until she gets pregnant, but as soon as she delivers her baby, the baby dies and she dies right afterwards, getting the salvation she always dreamed of.

Review:

Knowing Gibran Khalil couldn’t marry the love of his life, Mary Haskell because of her parent’s refusal, makes me understand this book of his, as he, as known, doesn’t like man made rules, simply because to him they are only man made rules, and saw them as silly, ridiculous and restricting thoughts that people follow and keep.

The story is truly sad and tragic, and paints endlessly a pure love between two. Gibran, with all the metaphors and figures of speech in the book, shows the reader what he thinks and how he feels about a genuine love between a man and a woman, and the union of two souls, regardless of whether or not they end up being together.

The Broken Wings is not just a novel, but rather a piece of art, where he shows the readers and the critics his Arabic language skills, and his knowledge of history, religions and other cultures.

If this is taken as a piece of art then it’s an excellent way of spending time, it’s also a very good food for thought, plus it’s a good way of reminding ourselves of the purity of ourselves and our souls. But if this is read to be criticized, then it can be easily criticized as too romantic to be true.

I recommend reading this book, better be in Arabic, since it’s the language Gibran used to write this book, if not possible then in any language available. The book is worth giving it a chance!

A Book Review “1984”, George Orwell

1984

About The Book:

In 1984 Orwell creates a Dystopia; a fictional technologically advanced world, where life is so unbearable and extremely bad because of oppression, fear and terror. Oceania, a formal political union of USA and the countries of the British Commonwealth, is where the story happens, where people have no control whatsoever over their lives, thoughts and beliefs. They live under a cruel dictatorship ruled by “The Party”, where even their thoughts are detected by the thought police and they get punished for their political unorthodoxy.

“INGSOC” is the English Socialist Party, which is the political ideology of the totalitarian government of Oceania.

His aim was to draw an image of a world he didn’t want people to go after, being aware of the consequences of what the world could turn into after WWII. He actually in a way or another was right when he imagined a miserable world like that and assumed it would be around the 80s.

Summary:

Winston Smith is a citizen in Oceania, he works in the Records Department in The Ministry Of Truth, where all the information, documents, news, entertainment, education, and fine arts are being issued and controlled. His job was to rewrite, change and destroy history.

He is unhappy with the whole system of “The Party”, and unable to express his disappointment and  anger to others, because there is no body to trust and no real friends to lean on, therefore he starts writing what he thinks in his diary, while knowing the penalty of doing this can be death. People in Oceania are being observed by Telescreens that are installed everywhere possible, so that people don’t get any privacy.

Oceania is always at war either with Eastasia or Eurasia, the party controls facts and changes history, which is called “Reality Control”,none of the citizens remembers the past.

During the “Two Minutes Of Hate” Winston notices an inner party member, named O’Brien, and assumes he is an alley, while at the same time he notices a girl with dark hair, Julia, and assumes she is a foe from the “Thought Police” and assumes that she is there to observe him. This time the “Two Minutes Of Hate” is focusing on the treachery of Goldstein, a previous “Brotherhood” member who was as important as “Big Brother” himself, but tried to revolt against “The Brotherhood”.

A few days later Julia hands him a paper confessing her love to him, they manage to later meet alone, and later they both fall in love with one another, and believe that their loyalty to one another can never be changed or destroyed. Julia also is unorthodox, and doesn’t believe in the system. Winston manages to find a room to rent for both of them to spend romantic time alone as often as they can. The room belonged to Mr. Charrington, who didn’t mind to let it for some money.

Winston and Julia meet O’Brien and confess to him their hatred towards the party, believing O’Brien is a member of “The Brotherhood”, an underground organization that’s aimed to bring the party down. O’Brien welcomes them to “The Brotherhood” and promises to deliver “The Book” to them to read, the underground’s treasonous book written by Goldstein.

Winston starts reading “The Book” in their rented room, while Julia is napping next to him, and they suddenly hear some noise coming from the wall, and find out that behind the painting on the wall there is a Telescreen. They get caught and separated. Winston notices that Mr. Charrington suddenly looked younger and realizes that he belongs to the “Thought Police”.

Winston finds himself locked for days in “The Ministry Of Love”, which is responsible for law and order, in a room without windows and no one to trust and talked to. Finally O’Brien comes in and Winston thinks he also got caught, but he realizes that O’Brien is there to torture him, make him confess and break his spirit. O’Brien has been watching Winston for the last 7 years and the Party is made aware of all his crimes.

O’Brien continues to torture Winston for months, trying to change his ways of thinking, and forcing “Doublethink” into his brain,  which is the ability of holding two opposing ideas in one’s mind and believing in them both, it was impossible to achieve until O’Brien takes Winston to “Room 101”, the room where people are made to face their worst fears, and Winston’s is rats, O’Brien threatens Winston to open the cage of rats and let them attack his face. Winston loses control over himself and screams “do it to Julia” which shows a complete loss of dignity and principles.

At the end Winston is changed, he is not the man he used to be, he spends time at the “Chestnut Tree Cafe”, watching news on daily basis there through the Telescreen. He meets Julia by accident, they talk briefly, she has also changed, she is not as charming as before, she confesses to him that she betrayed him during the torture. Winston has changed so much that he finally comes to love “Big Brother”.

Review:

The idea of the books is awesome, it’s a great fantasy and a very well put dystopia. It’s very alive and real that the reader can feel the characters, they seem real and natural. The way things end is kind of predictable, but the amount of sorrow and the feel of sorry is unpredictable.

I didn’t like the fact that Orwell put a lot of unnecessary details into the book, it made the book a little too long and just a little boring sometimes; there are lots of details that could be unmentioned and the story would still feel and look great.

I wouldn’t say that it’s an easy read, sometimes the reader would need to read things twice to understand and connect things together. I would recommend people who read this for the first time to read different summaries and reviews to see the idea and the point of the book clearly!

Enjoy reading 1984,

Katia

 

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS – DOWNTOWN (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

Jump Off

suicidal poem

Once I jump off the edge of this reality
Once adrenaline rushes through my veins
Once my stomach feels that extreme terrors and pains.

 

I will keep my eyes open, to witness the acceleration of that sudden change
I will use my voice for once,
I will scream so loud until silence penetrates my universe,
Coz i wouldn’t need to use it once again


Once my feet are out of that reality,
Once my head is up and empty,
I will be floating in a space of no gravity,
Where there is no fear, no doubt and no pain.


There will be nothing, nobody and No one that I know of,
I will be free, unburdened, light and peaceful.


Once I grab the hand of that fearful child,
We will be diving into eternity,
And the child will smile forever again.

 

Katia

BODYCOMBAT™ 64, This Piece Of Steak Is Well Done!

bodycombat-64

That is the release you want to introduce to your new members! Why? It’s full of great moves & great music, also it’s very easy to follow since the choreography is very repetitive, which will help them find it easy to understand and break down!

  • Track 1: Upper Body & Lower Body Warm Ups (Freaks/Can’t You See)

The coolest music for a warm up will be found here! I still get goose pumps every time I teach this track! There is a lot of basass attitude in it! I love the upper body warm up a lot, members do really get the moves in it and feel pretty much engaged.

As for the lower body warm up, I’m thankful for all the slow and fast side kicks here, that really helps with fixing the technique of this tricky strike! The music is just perfect!

I can say that all in all the warm up is literally a warm up here, really sets you ready to go!

  • Track 2: Combat 1 (Tae Kwon Do & Kick-Boxing) (I’m Shipping Up To Boston)

Hey yey! Jump Kicks are back, the best way to get really fit and feel the work out. It’s a relatively short track but truly fantastic to increase your fitness level! It’s important to try all the options offered in this track!

  • Track 3: Power 1 (Boxing) (You’ve Got The Love (Breeze & Modulate Remix))

That’s a 07:30 minutes track, cardio cardio and more cardio for you, awesome conditioning track for the upper body, ABS and lower body! Love this track, it’s crazy and easy to follow. What I like in this track is the different levels of intensity that one can get to, high repetition will help you learn how to increase or decrease your workout intensity.

  • Track 4: Combat 2 (Tae Kwon Do) (Blast Off)

This track is divided into 3 rounds, The first and the last is basically made to fix your side kick technique, balance and lower body strength. The middle round is made of push up, which will help you increase your endurance and polish your body conditioning. This track will kill you! I promise! it’s very powerful and very demanding!

  • Track 5: Power 2 (Boxing) (Hot Right Now (Jag Skillz VIP Mix))

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is what it is all about! A lot of upper cuts, different counts, different durations and different energy levels. You will experience the coolest sprints, also different durations and you are the one to decide the intensity! A very great track to increase your fitness level! Love this one, it’s all about cardio!

  • Track 6: Combat 3 (Mixed Martial Arts, Capoeira)(Black Widow)

When you hear Capoeira get your legs ready for a serious workout.

I like this track for 2 main reasons; the 1st is that it’s easy to remember and follow, members enjoy what they can remember. And the 2nd reason is that it is a great workout, a lot of conditioning is in there. This one will help you get your legs stronger and more balanced. If you have knee problems try to always take option 1! But if you want to challenge yourself go on and try all the jumping lunges!

  • Track 7: Muay Thai (La Nina Mechanica)

This is 8 minutes of madness, a lot of elbows, a lot of knees, and a lot of running man! I love the push kicks in the track, I adore the music and the feel in the track; a lot of power, aggression and elevation! You can always take it easy until you get used to it! True fighters will go on till the end!

  • Track 8: Power 3 (Boxing) (If You Surrender)

3 rounds of cool boxing! Jabs, hooks, upper cuts, running and scissors. The last 6:30 minutes of the workout will feel amazing as you finish with a lot of single jabs! A total of 256 punches in this track! Your arms and shoulders will burn! Love the sensation!

Katia🙂

 

 

 

A Book Review: “Men In The Sun”, Ghassan Kanafani

MEN IN THE SUN

About The Author:

Ghassan Kanafani born in Akka, Palestine, April 9, 1936. Assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon,  by the Mossad, July 8, 1972. Ghassan was a writer and an active leading member of The Popular Front Of The Liberation Of Palestine. So besides being a writer he was a politician.

About The Book:

Published in 1963, It’s a reflection of actual reality of struggle of a lot of Palestinians to survive, to live or die, to face humiliation and face the cruelty of the world outside, which they didn’t know before 1948. Of course the story doesn’t only draw a picture of some people’s lives at that time, but it also symbolizes the dimensions of the tragedy and the disaster of a certain period of time in the Palestinian history, showing us part of the struggle and the aftermath of some deeds and decisions.

Kanafani in his narration in this book depended a lot on flashbacks and characters’ memories, the reader might feel confused at the beginning, he kept coming back and forth in time, and mixed stories, hopes, dreams, fears, tragedies, incidents and feelings together. I can say that, once the reader realizes that it’s based on flashbacks, they will enjoy it and find it very easy to read. Besides it’s very well-put and short enough that it won’t bore the reader. 

The Review:

In a 100 pages Kanafani tells a story of three Palestinian men who were seeking the future by trying separately & desperately to reach Kuwait through smugglers, but later they end up trying together, to run a way from Iraq, where they couldn’t find jobs and had no official papers to prove their residency, which ends up in a total failure and the death of the three of them.

Kanafani himself at some point of his life went through such an experience, when he had to remain hidden at home for some months because he had no official papers. So his story “Men In The Sun” is a reflection of reality showing the political, social and financial hardships Palestinians struggled with at that period of time. 

The story is made of 6 chapters and 4 main characters. The first chapter exposes the first character to the reader “Abu Qais” an old Palestinian man, From Jaffa,  who’s married and has a kid, living in Iraq, after he got exiled from Palestine, 1948,  in a small tiny room, that was offered to him by someone out of pity, he’s jobless and got no money, depressed and helpless.

The second chapter talks about “Asa’ad” a young man who ended up smuggled in Iraq after his exile from Ramleh in Palestine to Amman in Jordan. He tried his best to get to Kuwait but he failed once, and still insisted to try again. The money he had was what his uncle gave him, trying to help him in any way, to start his life and marry his daughter, whom he didn’t want to marry, but accepted the money for his own good.

The third chapter shows us another character “Marwan”, another young man who is forced to leave school to start working by trying to escape to Kuwait from Iraq as well, since his eldest brother disappeared and stopped sending money to the family, the family on the other hand is torn apart and no one is there to financially support them, he feels obliged and responsible to help them.

The three Palestinian men at random times meet the same fat smuggler who offers them his service cruelly for 15 Dinar, and everyone thought it was too much money, and they were afraid of trusting him, because they heard how some other Palestinians were abandoned in the desert, after they paid, and how they were lost there and dehydrated to death.

In the third chapter another character is introduced “Abu Khaizaran”, a Palestinian man, who’s got a stable job in Iraq as a water-tanker driver, who works for a rich man, but wants to make more money, since he couldn’t have another purpose for life. Before he moved to Iraq he was a victim of some explosion in Palestine and lost his manhood.

In chapter four, “Abu Khaizaran” offers the three men his idea of smuggling them through the borders of Iraq and Kuwait using the water-tanker, and explains his plan, the guys agree to hide in the empty water tank twice, once before the Iraqi check point, and Once before the Kuwaiti, and pay him 15 Dinar each upon arrival, assuring them that mission won’t take a lot of time since everyone knew him on the borders, and taking in consideration the deadly summer heat. The first check point was passed smoothly, while the next one took “Abu Khaizaran” time as the security men and those who worked in the office wanted to chat and catch up with his adventures. 

He drives fast inside the desert to be out of sight, and as he wanted to let the guys out of the tank, he finds them all dead. He throws them away on the side of the road, takes their money and someone’s watch, and gets angry and confused, wondering why they never screamed, shouted or banged the walls of the tank to ask for help, that’s in the last chapter.

Katia

Sysyphe – Sinking