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?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Al Beit

Friday, November 10, 2006

دورة زايد الخير

فعاليات زايد الخير تنطلق اليوم.. الانبهار من القدره الرياضيه اللي يتمتع بها ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصه مع اختلاف حالاتهم تجعلنا نقف احتراما واجلالا لأشخاص تحدوا, وصبروا, واثبتولنا انه نحن " اصحاب الحاجه...." وليسوا هم...
شعلة الأمل ستنير دبي وتنير عقولنا اليوم... اما حان الوقت لنغير نحن عقليتنا تجاه من سميناهم معاقين وما هم الا شعلة الأمل في حياتنا..

دورة زايد الخير
دعني أفوز.. فإن لم أستطع... دعني أكون شجاعاً في المحاولة».

  • ألف لاعب ولاعبة من 20 دولة، يتنافسون في عشر رياضات
  • تضاء شعلة الأمل في مساء يوم السبت 11 نوفمبر/ تشرين الثاني وتظل مضاءة إلى يوم 15 نوفمبر موعد انتهائها،
  • وسيقوم بالجري بشعلة الأمل لدورة زايد الخير بطل الإمارات والعرب الأوليمبي محمد بن حشر الحاصل على ذهبية الحفر المزدوجة وبطل الراليات العالمي بن محمد سليم،
  • وصل إلى دبي رئيس الأولمبياد الخاص الدولي تيموثي شرايفر والذي جاء خصيصا لحضور حفل افتتاح الألعاب الإقليمية، وهي المرة الأولى في تاريخ الألعاب الإقليمية يشهد حفل افتتاحها رئيس الأولمبياد الخاص الدولي،
  • الوفد العماني أول الوفود وصولاً
  • و«شعلة الأمل« هو اسم شعلة الأولمبياد الخاص والتي يقام لها مراسهم إيقاد شعلة الألعاب الأولمبية نفسها
  • أمر صاحب السمو الشيخ محمد بن راشد بتخصيص أحد إسطبلات خيول جودلفين لذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة وتوفير كافة متطلباتهم ليتمكنوا من ممارسة رياضة الفروسية في أجواء تتناسب وإعاقتهم.
نقطه أخيره:
انيروا عقولكم لننير لهم حياتهم

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

where have all the great bloggers gone?

In the past few months I have seen so many people tend to their own blogs and leaving this one on it's own as if it never existed.

People have gone and passed by this blog as it was some sort of tumbleweed in a big desert and still nobody gave it any attention.

I am wondering - just wondering - where have all the great minds, thinkers, unofficial journalists of the world gone off to?