Thursday, March 15, 2007

what will your choice be?

The threats have been coming in left, right and centre on Iran from the United States because of Iran's nuclear enrichment plans that it claims are for peaceful purposes (i.e.: creating power needed for its major cities).

Yet, so far, we have not seen the US put down its rifles and shotguns in the escalated movement to a nearby future war on Iran.

While I have my own personal views about each party, this post is dedicated to cutting the losses quickly and swiftly by asking both parties to step down from their arms' race and look at the bigger picture of the people that will suffer if the war is conducted and what dyer consequences there will be on the region after that. The aftermath will be our nightmare come true.

There has been a movement in the US from different American Iranian parties that have chosen to fight this course of future action and stop it from ever happening. They have assigned a petition and a blog dedicated to this cause.

The blog is under the title: Stop War On Iran. While the petition online is dedicated to sending a strong message to both the US Congress and President George W. Bush to stop the war on Iran. The petition can be found here. Alternatively, you can also visit the dedicated website to this cause, which is under the name of

Help us stop this madness.

There are lives at stake, here.

What will your choice be?

Monday, January 08, 2007

lose the hypocricy

Apparently, a Bahraini national has been stripped of his nationality for taking part in an athletic competition in 'Israel' (please see links).

Such things happen in most of the GCC countries since none of them have any diplomatic ties with 'Israel'; or so it would appear. Which is quite sad, since most of these countries secretly take on trade agreements with the Jewish state behind everyone's back, never to announce it, and when all is exposed they break it up over the outcry of their population on how Palestinians are suffering in their occupied lands and how no one is lending a helping hand to them instead.

For instance, you have the Sultanate of Oman who had a trade office in one of the local 5 star hotels a long time back until they closed it down under the excuse of the escalating situation in Palestine along with postponing Muscat Festival back then, too. Saudi Arabia, surprisingly, has one of its members going behind the scenes trying to make things move along for the sake of 'peace in the Middle East'. I don't know about the other GCC countries; but it seems that the state of Qatar is the only country that is open about supporting both the 'Israeli' and Palestine cause by talking very freely about the subject and asking other GCC countries to follow in it's stride.

What is annoying is the fact that the GCC countries bitch about not having any sort of ties with any Jewish establishment or department of state but then again they import all the businesses that have an enormous Jewish shareholding turn-out, like Pepsi, Starbucks, Coca Cola, and even the service based product that we have come to depend on in our daily lives in areas of telecommunications such as the Internet.

All I am trying to say is that I'd like to see us stay on one path and not change it from time to time because of stupid politics in the region or world over. And another thing, the citizen/national/resident shouldn't have to pay for mistakes that the country makes in it's own political matters.



- Bahrain athlete loses citizenship

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Eid Mubarak

Sorry for this belated greeting, I was supposed to post this yesterday but as they say, it is never too late. The day of Eid is not over yet. Some people had their Eid today & some will celebrate tomorrow in some countries. But I guess that is not important as long as we have an Eid :-)

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Eid. May Allah accept our good deeds, forgive our transgressions and ease the suffering of all people around the globe. May the blessings of Allah fill your life with happiness and open all the doors of success now and always. Eid Mubarak :-)

By the way, here is your greeting card :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Photo Blog: Global Themes

Global Themes is finally launching its Photo Blog!

Contributors from all over the world, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Boston, Abu Dhabi and more, will post pictures on a weekly theme. This week's theme is Water.

This is a chance to see the world and different issues from diverse perspectives while global music plays in the background like "The Gypsy Girl" by Nikos Kypourgos.

Join us over at Global Themes!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ma3rad al kitaab 2007/ Book Fair 2007

Cairo will host its 39th International Annual Book Fair between January 23rd and February 4th. This years guest of honor at the fair will be Italy.

Look out for Swedish author/photographer Donald Boström who has translated his book Inshallah into Arabic and will be present at the book fair. The book elaborately covers the conflict in Palestine-Israel in photos and shorter articles from 1985 to the late 90's. It is probably one of few books that through the use of photography, gives the reader a clearer view of what really is going on.

I will be attending the fair and hopefully will be able to post pictures from it and I urge those of you who read Arabic to get your hands on this book and spread it amongst you.

Book fair/Ma3rad al kitaab website: (english) (bil 3arabi)
Best viewed in Explorer.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

freedom? what freedom?

Here in Oman, we boast about the right to freedom of speech that is given to us by Royal Decree of which was issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said - the Sultan of Oman. And in many other different Arab countries - including GCC neighbors - we also hear about how people are always given the right to say what is on their minds in order to lessen the gap between the public and their respective governments.

But how far is this statement true?

Not too long ago, there was an Omani woman who was arrested for no known reason other than having 'suggested' ways to improve the ways of living in our communities and what was officially dubbed 'her opinion' in the development process the government of His Majesty was following. She was taken in and interrogated for quite a while. And after that was done and over with she was presented with a slip asking her to sign on a note that she had violated 'national security' over her remarks, and that she should would not return to her previous action that lead to that case.

In other countries, we hear of several people for just speaking their minds. And seriously, if you don't want to develop the country don't go about saying that 'we listen to people's opinion very seriously and take it to consideration'. Because, clearly that is not the case.

Bloggers are no exception in this topic. Several fellow bloggers have been arrested for criticizing the ways of life in their respective countries. In Saudi Arabia, in Egypt, in Turkey, in Bahrain, and even in the United Arab Emirates.

Bloggers are considered the 'unofficial reporters' of the world because of the raw perception that they see through the incidents and happenings that are occuring in their countries and regions. And if that is taken away then all we'll ever have is government controlled media which is just about as truthful as a dirty toilet seat.

Don't take away our right to freedom.

You want to reason with us; make a debate about it and we'll both come to a solution. Because in the end, it's my country, too.



- Egypt arrests another blog critic

- Saudi Arabia's bold young bloggers

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Scenario Dubai 2020

Imagine this scenario by Guy Wilkinson which appeared in the September issue of Hotelier Middle East magazine. Unfortunately I could not find any link to it on the ITP website.

I was invited for a drink at one of those quaint three-star beach hotels along the strip at the Waterfront a few nights ago, and I couldn't find a single person who spoke Arindi. Everyone was speaking Italian! Don't you find that a bit odd, especially as the UAE now has its own official language that tourists are encouraged to learn? My friend was only in RAK for a week, but he could say 'yom tikke' as well as anyone.

The thing is that all these charter flights coming in through World Central for the theme parks and beach districts are creating little neighborhoods where you just have to speak the local lingo to get along. I guess you could say it started with the Chinese community at International City, but now it's like the United Nations.
This one is really scary.
And then they passed the law allowing street restaurants and bars to be licensed. Newcomers to our industry may not know that there was a time when hotels were the only places you could get a drink and catch a live band. Now you see them everywhere.
Although this is just a scenario, but the way things are moving forward, I am afraid this will become a reality soon. Yes tourism has become one of the main source of our income, but is this money worth risking our cultural & religious identity?