How to save on Mobile bills in Syria

Just wanted to share a few tips about reducing your mobile bill.

So far we got two Mobile providers in Syria which are almost identical. SyriaTel and MTN.


It is not just in Syria, but in a lot of countries Mobile companies still charges a lot for SMS despite how simple it is.

Lately I noticed that MTN and SyriaTel are offering good bundles to reduce the SMS cost.

So I advice all the people who uses SMS to pick one of the offers below. It will even reduce your mobile bill while using SMS instead of calling 🙂 I think the 100 SMS is sweet.


Send SMS with the code to number 1220:

Messages Price Saving Code
25 SMS 50 SYP %67 ر 25
100 SMS 100 SYP %83 ر 100
3000 SMS 1500 SYP %92 ر 3000


To subscribe call *111# and choose package number:

Messages Price
25 SMS 50 SYP
100 SMS 100 SYP
Unlimited 1500 SYP



While I still think that the GPRS cost is very high, the bundles are still a way to save some money if you need to use GPRS.


Send SMS with the code to number 1221:

Messages Price Saving Code
3MB 50 SYP %33 ج 3
5MB 75 SYP %40 ج 5
12MB 150 SYP %50 ج 12
25MB 250 SYP %60 ج 25


To subscribe call *111# and choose package number:

Messages Price
3MB 50 SYP
5MB 75 SYP
12MB 150 SYP
25MB 250 SYP


Well that’s set for now, hope you like it 🙂


Twitter Plugin for Windows Live Photo Gallery

Windows Live Essentials comes with lot of awesome applications.

My favorite is Windows Live Photo Gallery. Nice way of organizing and sharing your photos. Most favorite feature is facial recognition, which let you find photos by faces.

After adding photos it starts recognizing faces and ask you to tag the persons in the photos. After tagging people the application starts guessing the persons in the photos and asks if the guess was correct or not. And it gets better at it very fast.

So in the future, whenever you add new photos it will automatically tag people. I started adding really old photos, and I was surprised by its ability to guess that it’s me in a very old photo when I was about 3 years old! So smart!

Other great feature is how easy it is to share photos and videos. Out of the box you can submit your files to SkyDrive (Awesome free 25GB space from Microsoft), Flickr, Youtube and others. But I couldn’t find an option for Twitter!

That’s why I started making a Twitter plugin for Windows Live Photo Gallery. And I made it open source since I couldn’t find any open source plugin for the Windows Live Photo Gallery.

I used CodePlex to host the project and TortoiseHg for distributed revision control system.

Please note that this project is not complete yet. What is left for now is the integration with Windows Live Gallery.

What I’ve finished and is working now is uploading a photo to TwitPic and then post it to Twitter along with a message. What’s left is only using the Windows Live Gallery SDK to communicate with this little application.

The project is hosted here:

You are welcome if you would like to give a hand 🙂


Grilled Chicken breast with Lemon and Thyme

Growing Thyme at home inspired me to cook something.

I opened the fridge and decided to use whatever I find.


  • 1/2 Kilo of skinless boneless Chicken breast
  • 2 Lemons
  • 3 spoons Olive oil
  • Pepper and Salt
  • 1 tea spoon of smashed garlic
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Flour (Decided not to use it)


I though it would taste good if I soak the Chicken with Lemon, so I squeezed a Lemon and a half into a plastic bag to soak the Chicken in it. Before that I splashed the Chicken breast with some salt and pepper. After that I placed the Chicken in the bag with some fresh Thyme leafs.


And I left it in the fridge for about an hour.

When it was cooking time I spilled the olive oil on the pan and was heating it up on low fire, because I know olive oil gets hot quickly. Now it is garlic time. I love garlic, actually I love eating it but not getting it ready to be eaten. Thankfully my dear wife has already smashed some garlic and was stored in the fridge. Phew!

I tossed the garlic in the pan and moved them around till they started getting brown. Then I took the Chicken out of the plastic bag and started cooking it. I also spilled the Lemon which was left in the bag into the pan. Kept on flipping the Chicken until the Lemon and olive oil almost completely dried and the Chicken was brown. Yum! The smell was awesome! Oh writing this now made drool 🙂


After the grilling was done I sprayed around some more fresh not cooked Thyme and squeezed the left half of Lemon over the Chicken. That’s set! It is now ready. To add more to the dish I just fried some french fries and I’m done.



I never did a big meal before, no bigger than a Burger with french fries, but I was happy about the results and my wife approve too 😀



Well I wanted to test WordPress for iPhone. Seems nice for mobile blogging.

Above is what I’m drinking. Home grown Thyme! Yup. It’s awesome for when having a flu and to refresh the respiratory system.

So this new WordPress iPhone app might actually get me blogging more.


Thoughts about smart phones operating systems

We are becoming very dependent on our mobile devices. They are being used on a daily basis for communications, getting tasks done and even for entertainment.

Google has a nice video here to give you an insight of how important the mobile devices are becoming.

Mobile devices comes in many different shapes and styles, but I think what is more important than the hardware is its operating system.


Dead! I have used Symbian ever since I got my first mobile. They were the best back then and until just recently. But Nokia had to make a change and now they are tied with Windows Phone 7.


Pretty much a copy cat! Maybe this is a bit harsh, but this what I really think. Of course I mean copying iOS. Same grid of icons style and many other things. The only cool thing I see about Android is how easy it is to customize everything. Heck, I can even replace the SMS app! Which personally never thought of it before. At the end I feel it is clunky and more geek oriented. Not very much for the normal user. Many analysis companies predicting its dominance in the future. In my opinion that is because it is free. Free for the hardware companies to install it on their devices. Which make them able of shipping many kinds of hardware with Android system. Still, I don’t like the user experience with it.

As for developing for Android you use sort of Java. Probably will use Eclipse or what ever IDE you like.

Coming from .NET development, I didn’t like it! The IDE compared to Visual Studio is just lame.

Windows Phone 7

I was so excited when I heard Microsoft are working on a new version of their mobile system which will be done from scratch. And I think they delivered. They came out with a unique design and user experience. They didn’t just imitate other operating systems! You really feel that they had researchers who worked to study each aspect of it. For example, you can see here how they had a team to research the best way to make a virtual on screen keyboard.

Windows Phone 7 now is still a version 1 which means it still lacks some stuff and behind more mature operating systems such as Android and iOS. Also seems to have restrictions on developers more than what iOS had when it was out.

As Microsoft promised in Mix 11 event, all of these issues will be address with Mango update which is probably coming out on September 2011.

As for developing for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft got the best tools for it, and they are free!

Microsoft is mainly a software company, so I think they got the best developing tools.

Windows Phone 7 has a bright future in my opinion.


Smooth, currently best user experience, mature. That’s it!

I think Apple are truly innovators. They ask for premium prices, but in exchange they give you delicious hardware and great user experience.


Qualified companies competing for the third mobile operator in Syria announced

According to a document released by the Syrian Ministry of Communication and Technology, the finalists companies competing to nab the license for the third mobile operator in Syria are:

  • Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (UAE)
  • France Telecom (France)
  • Qatar Telecom QSC (Qatar)
  • Saudi Telecom company (KSA)
  • Turkcell (Turkey)

After being qualified,  the companies will start submitting their proposals on the 12th of December.

Third mobile operator, we are waiting for you 🙂

UPDATE: UAE Etisalat quit the bidding, they’re uncool with the regulations. Source.