Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastro-enterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber and the I.R.S.

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise. May New Year's Eve find you seated around the table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends. May you find the food better, the environment quieter, the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do that night.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them. May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues. May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, may the commercials on TV not be louder than the program you have been watching, and may your check book and your budget balance - and include generous amounts for charity.

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to your spouse, your child, your parent, your siblings; but not to your secretary, your nurse, your masseuse, your hairdresser or your tennis instructor. And may we live in a world at peace and with the awareness of God's love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

Happy 2008 friends!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Eid Mubarak

Wishing you all a blessed eid! And a merry christmas for all who celebrate it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

Fresh snow on the ground:
half full- it's eeringly beautiful outside, looks like a postcard.
half empty- drive to work took 2 hrs instead of 30 mins.

Much needed rain in an area with drought:
half full- great! The reservoirs will fill up and the plants will quench their thirst.
half empty- the water will fall as freezing rain and the roads will be slippery wet.

It is Autumn:
half full- the fall leaves and color change are spectacular.
half empty- with all the leaves off the branches, the trees look like skeletons, scary at night, snow freezes into ice and well you guessed it, slippery roads.

Huge sales for the Christmas season:
half full- great prices on really good stuff.
half empty: the stores are a mob and it's horrible going anywhere.

Eid is round the corner:
half full- even though I am far from my, I have my sister and nephew to celebrate with.
half empty- being far away from home on Eid sucks big time. What sucks even more is having to work.

Finals are over:
half full: first semester down, I am beginning to feel like I can do it and now I have a full month to myself. I can't believe I made it through math econ alive.
half empty: I did not get the grades I want and somehow I feel as if I am slacking. Quick give me something to do!

Great professors:
half full- the label summed it up, who knew learning can be immensely enjoyable?
half empty- my instructors asked me what and where Bahrain is, then proceeded to sarcastically tell me that it must be a great place to live followed by his surprise that Bahraini women are allowed to drive?!!! Even the educated are ignorant!

Hosting a It's a Girl! baby shower for the parents to be:
half full: making my own, stunning (if I may say so) diaper cake and going wild with the theme.
half empty: nearly going crazy in the process, having a couple fight over with whether the man actually changed diapers and an invitee bring her step-mum's much older friend who in the karoake game requested 6ala3a el badro 3alaina followed by some anasheed deeneya :S

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Who Owns You?

Does a person own him or herself? The Rights of a Private Property differ with the different schools of economic thought;

· Socialism's fundamental principles are centered on a critique of this concept, stating, among other things, that the cost of defending property is higher than the returns from private property ownership, and that even when property rights encourage the property-holder to develop his property, generate wealth, etc., he will only do so for his own benefit, which may not coincide with the benefit of other people or society at large
· Libertanian Socialism generally accepts property rights, but with a short abandonment time period. In other words, a person must make (more or less) continuous use of the item or else he loses ownership rights. This is usually referred to as "possession property."
· Communism argues that only collective ownership of the means of production through a polity (though not necessarily a state) will assure the minimization of unequal or unjust outcomes and the maximization of benefits, and that therefore private property should be abolished.

Both communism and some kinds of socialism have also upheld the notion that private property is inherently illegitimate. This argument is centered mainly on the idea that the creation of private property will always benefit one class over another, giving way to domination through the use of this private property. Communists are naturally not opposed to personal property which is "Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned" (Communist Manifesto), by members of the proletariat (Source: Wikipedia).

During my microeconomics class the issue arose about the test for full private property rights. The professor asserted that the ultimate definite test for full ownership of anything is if you can see that good or your share in that good.

This brought John Locke’s quote to mind: “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.”

Back to my question: Does a person own him or herself?

If that is true, should a person be allowed to sell themselves or take his/her own life?

Or on a less drastic scale, should people be allowed to sell their organs to the highest bidder when they can in fact choose who to donate their organs to?

And whatever your answer is, who decides? Should the government decide? Society? Or each person?

I have conflicting thoughts on private property rights. I have my religious perspective leaning one way, societal perspective running along the religious thought although not completely similar. Then there is the economist in me, that comes up with a whole different answer.

As I am writing down my answer, conflicting reactions spring up, showing that even for me, a person who thought about this for a while, studied it even, the matter is not so clear cut. So for now my answer will have to wait!

I am curious to read other people’s thoughts and see if they vary in a place as small as Bahrain.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Finals are Here!

In a week or so I have my finals, next Tuesday I have my micro exam. Next Thursday I have math econ. The thought of the math exam sends me in full-fledged panic mode.

Then for a whole month I am free of school. YAY More time to blog, shop, exercise (yah right!) watch movies and do nothing! One whole month free from study groups, staying up late doing hw, reading 700 pages a week and night classes. I can't wait.

There are things I want to write about: sexual abuse for one. A real from the heart post rather than reciting stats. Although the stats are necessary for they do drive the issue home. I also want to write about my classes and professors. Last, I want to write about capital punishment and decriminalizing drugs. Yes I know that my topics are all over the place but they are the things that I have been thinking about lately.

As always, sorry about the typos. I really need to get back to studying and don't have the time nor the inclination (terrible I know) to proof read my thread.

Wish me luck!

Here We Go Again!

Uff! So I change my layout and template and there goes my links! I was tired of the black layout. It was starting to depress me. I needed something light and airy, easy to look it and something not half bad. Well, my choices are limited but I like this harbor template. Problem is, same as before, as soon as I changed my template, my links disappeared. Last time Silly Bahraini Girl came to my rescue with a timely and blog saving email. It included instructions that even a techie dodo could figure out, a cut and paste job really.. Thanks SBG.

So growing more confident and tired of the ugly black, I decided to change my template. No worries coz I already had SBG's instructions, plus I saved a copy of my old template. In some ways, limited as they may be, I consider myself tech savvy. Well, I had to eat a huge portion of humble pie; no matter what I do, what I include or omit, I can't for the life of me add links to my page. This makes me feel, well, like a idiot!

So for the next two week until I am done with my finals, my blog will remain frill-less, link-less and well just less! I am sure I can find someone or the other who can fix this in like 30 seconds or so.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sexual Abuse- Wake Up and Face the Facts

Think you don’t know anyone that has been a victim of sexual abuse. Think that sexual crimes don’t happen in your society. Think it is a problem of the other cultures and societies. THINK AGAIN. It is time you wake up and face the facts.

No One is Immune
-1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
-1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
-1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
-Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.

Family Comes First
-30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
-Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
-Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
-Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
-Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused.
-Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE (I a curious to see the number in Bahrain, I bet it is much higher).
-Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse.
-Almost 80% initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing. Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentally. Additionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred.
-Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. -Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time.

Once isn’t Enough
-Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims.
-An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.

Health and Behavioral Problems
-The way a victim's family responds to abuse plays an important role in how the incident affects the victim.
-Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who "tell" and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems often lasting into adulthood.
-Children who have been victims of sexual abuse are more likely to experience physical health problems (e.g., headaches).
-Victims of child sexual abuse report more symptoms of PTSD, more sadness, and more school problems than non-victims.
-Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to experience major depressive disorder as adults.
-Young girls who are sexually abused are more likely to develop eating disorders as adolescents.
-Adolescent victims of violent crime have difficulty in the transition to adulthood, are more likely to suffer financial failure and physical injury, and are at risk to fail in other areas due to problem behaviors and outcomes of the victimization.

Drug and/or Alcohol Problems
-Victims of child sexual abuse report more substance abuse problems. 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use.
-Young girls who are sexually abused are 3 times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders or alcohol and drug abuse in adulthood, than girls who are not sexually abused.
-Among male survivors, more than 70% seek psychological treatment for issues such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide. Males who have been sexually abused are more likely to violently victimize others.

Teenage Pregnancy and Promiscuity
-Children who have been victims of sexual abuse exhibit long-term and more frequent behavioral problems, particularly inappropriate sexual behaviors.
-Women who report childhood rape are 3 times more likely to become pregnant before age 18.
-An estimated 60% of teen first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape, or attempted rape. The average age of their offenders is 27 years.
-Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be sexually promiscuous.
More than 75% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused.

Adolescents who suffer violent victimization are at risk for being victims or perpetrators of felony assault, domestic violence, and property offense as adults. -Nearly 50% of women in prison state that they were abused as children.
Over 75% of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First Israeli store to open in Dubai

Came across this article while reading the Angry Arab's blog (good blog by the way):

First Israeli store to open in Dubai

The ml men's clothing chain which specializes in large sizes will be opening a store in Dubai
in the near future, making it the first Israeli brand to reach the Arab emirate.
Opening the Dubai branch will bring the clothing brand back on the international scene, after other overseas stores have failed.
It was reported by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Thursday that ml signed a distribution agreement with a French company which specializes in marketing large-size fashion lines.
The French company signed a deal with the Albulug Company owned by one of Dubai's wealthiest families to open an ml chain in Dubai.
In the fist stage of the deal, ml will open four stores with an average area of 100 square meters in prestigious shopping centers and leading malls.
Ml will invest some $1.5 million in its Dubai stores.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Murder in Paradise

2 US sailors shot to death in Bahrain

By ANNA JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 33 minutes ago

A U.S. Navy sailor allegedly shot and killed two female sailors early Monday in the barracks of a American military base in Bahrain, a Navy official said.
The alleged shooter, a male, was critically wounded in the shooting at the U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain base, said the Navy official, who was not authorized to release the information to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The official did not say if the alleged shooter shot himself or if anyone else was involved, but the Navy said the shooting was not terror related and only involved U.S. military personnel.
The shootings took place around 5 a.m., the Navy said. Officials closed the base temporarily and reopened it about an hour later.
No other details were immediately available, and the Navy said it was not releasing the names of those involved until their families were notified.
"The incident is under investigation, and it would not be prudent to discuss details at this time," said Navy spokesman Lt. John Gay.
Bahrain, a tiny island nation on the Persian Gulf, is a U.S. ally and home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which is responsible for an area of about 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million sq. kilometers) of water including the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.
About 3,600 personnel work on the U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain base, located just outside Bahrain's capital, Manama. The base supports U.S. naval ships in the region.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eid Mubarak

Wishing you all a happy and blessed Eid!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So Hooked!!!

I am hooked with Grey's Anatomy. I love the show, LOVE it....The new spin off I dislike...maybe it will grow on me, it better not, I don't have the time.

For ramadan, I watched Shaheen and Al 5arraz online but school got in the way...oh well, they weren’t that gr8 anyway… The first week of Qatheyat ra2y 3am, pissed me off so much I disconnected my ART and so no longer get Arabic programming on my cable...Why do I do these things, wouldn't have been easier to just turn the tv off??!

I really enjoy Law and Order SVU. I am at class when new episodes air, but I like watching reruns while studying. Just turn the tv low and solve hw assignments! Makes good background noise...

Mmm what else do I love? Yes, I LOVE Brothers and Sisters. I am absolutely hooked on that. Some parts of it, I can live without but overall a very nice show about family. I also enjoy Desperate Housewives, it hilarious! You must think I am a TV addict. I barely watch TV really. The only shows I must watch are Grey's and Brothers & Sisters. Grey's I watch online. So two hours a week, that isn't bad is it?

Actually 3 hrs if you count my latest fix: What Not to Wear, the US version...I swear when I am out shopping I hear Stacy London and Clinton Kelly in my head telling me what to look for and what to avoid!! That show though, I watch it as I am doing something else: studying mostly. I can't wait to see what happens on Grey's...This Merideth is pissing me off, what is wrong with her… who wouldn’t want to be with McDreamy??? And why is McSteamy human?? I have a feeling he will hook up with Callie.. And why is George cheating?? He is supposed to be decent and why is Izzy sleeping with her friends??? So many questions….I really like Callie and hate all the crap she’s getting…You would think she is huge but she is a size US 10 (UK14). And no, I don’t consider that big.

what are your favs??

Four Hours

Four hours, that is all I have. Aaaah sweet four hours to do whatever I want. So, I choose to blog. Not for all the four hours mind you, time is a precious commodity, but I can blog for ten minutes.

Life has been hectic. School (I really should get used to saying college) is a B. Classes are so hard. What made me think that I would pick math up again after TEN whole years of not dealing with it?! It doesn't help that class is assigned 5 chapters at a time with a zillion problems or that my professor is crazy.....Seriously, I am struggling..... *sigh*

One class is sooooo interesting; I am learning a lot, the other is a mess!!! I love economics, its so interesting! Yet many times I feel overwhelmed and wonder at what I got myself into.

Also I just found out that there is a Bahraini economics professor at my college. How neat is that??

Started a new job, will quit it soon! No, I am not a quitter but I was hired on a contractor to permanent basis to prove my stuff, so to speak. Well, it hasn't been working out at all. I received no training at all. Can you believe, none! Senior accountant, overseeing several functions and no training at all. I had 1.5 days with my predecessor who was rude and treated me like a burden. Now I am expected to do all my work, plus cover for my coworker, meet all deadlines without even being told where to find the information I need, what are the accounts, processes, etc. What a nightmare. Example: I am preparing the accruals and the reconciliations for a zillion accounts. The deadline was last week! No one cared to tell me where I am supposed to get my info from or if the company is conservative in terms of the accruals. I have this one beast of an account that I spent 4 days tracking all the amounts flowing in it. You see, as I find out today, there is a mater list that I wasn't told about! How frustrating! I've been putting unpaid overtime hours trying to figure out the simplest things because no one has the time to train me.

The controller (married lady) told me all about her life "I a Guyanese, not Indian, although I am of Indian ethnicity!" you are beautiful, I believe in calling it as I sees it!!! She even plays with my hair when she comes in my cube (???) Tells me I have to meet deadlines yet acknowledges that I am having problems meeting them because she isn't training me. Yet the deadlines must be met! People who should provide the documents I need refuse to help and expect me to log thru files and cabinets finding the one piece of paper I need. *SIGH*

The silver lining in my dark cloud: I got offered a financial analyst position with a co I interviewed with before starting my job. I can wait to get out.

Social life, at the moment mine is nonexistent. I wait for the weekend only to enjoy staying home and finishing up all the cooking, cleaning and studying! I have yet to explore Washington DC and I have been there for a couple of months.

Ok, so the ten minutes are up! Gotta go....I will try to post more often, so many things to write little time.

PS: excuse all the typos and what-nots, I am too tired to proofread! Apologies in advance!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bahraini Terms

Yup it's another forward. It's all that I can post right now with college and stuff. Made me laugh, I hope it will bring a smile to your face.

قاموس أهل البحرين
orange juice عرنجوش هي من الكلمة الانجليزية
..وصارت كلمة تنقال لكل انواع العصير
لبلب : يقولون حق الشخص اللي يتكلم بطلاقة
سريده : بروده
تمبه : كرة
دون : قريب
قميظة : حسافة
مملوح : وسيم
زنجفره : فنيلة
أدناة الدون : اقل شي
ورا = ليش
قطه = أرميـه
hospital سبيتار = المستشفى و اعتقد انها يايه من
الدختر يعني الدكتور .. أكيد تعرفون
محيوب = ممنوع من شيء
ميهود = مريض
سقطه = حر
سهده = هدوء
ميوه = خضرة و فاكهه على ما أظن
بست = باص
قريظة : لها معنيين ( قليل) و ( بعد شوي)
انشد : اسأل
دويحه : دائرة
قلج = صعب
دندره : ازعاج
سحة : تمر
نيشان : علامة أو إشارة
قراده : حظ سيء
فرم : فرن
نحو الأمية : محو الأمية
نوبة الثانية : مرة ثانية
هالنوبة : هالمره
كشته :رحله
الللابله :عقب باجر
دهريز:مدخل البيت
كشمه :نظارة
قبقاب :إنعال الله إيعزكم
روشنه:حفره في الطوفه في غرفة النوم لوضع الأغراض
حزاه : قصة
إحبيبة : قليل
يزرط : يبلع بدون مضغ
هبيط : منخفض
نمره : رقم
بارظ : مزاج
قصله : قصير
بريج : ابريق
بيديو : فيديو
ambulance عمبلوص = سيارة الاسعاف و يايه من

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Good Wake Up Call

I was asked about my studies during the last bloggers meeting. After explaining that I am furthering my studies in the fields of economics, someone asked me what my thesis was about. Well, to be honest, I do not have one yet, still working on it as I have yet to start my classes. I explained a little about what I want my thesis to be on and what I hope to accomplish. Bint Battuta asked me if I ever read the works of Hernando De Soto.

Hernando who, was the first question that popped into my mind. I must've said it out loud because BB said that he is a Peruvian economist and explained a little of his ideas. I googled his name as soon as I got to a pc and read more. Thanks BB for the heads up!

Well now I am good and worried. Here I am embarking on in-depth study of a field, about to become an expert in it mind you, and don't even have the slightest idea about the movers and shakes of this field. Instead of taking economics and math classes as my advisor suggested, I hopped on the first plan back to Bahrain...

You see, economics isn't my undergraduate major and I only have two introductory courses under my belt. To say my knowledge in economics is lacking is being extremely kind. To put it bluntly, I know that once classes start I will suffer. BAD. But, God willing I am determined to make it.

I think De Soto served as a good wake up call. I needed a swift kick in the behind to remind me of what I need to do to get ready for college. It doesn't mean I am not worried though. Oh well!

Intolerable Demons

I like children. A lot. I enjoy spending time with them, watching them play, hanging out with them and taking care of them. Or at least I thought so. However, I find myself quite impatient with kids since I am back in Bahrain. Suddenly, the idea of children being in the same place I am in fills me with dread. I want to back out of the plan I made, simply not show up and have the guts to say it like it is: I don't want to share any space with your kid for more than an hour. Okay, 5 minutes tops.

What is it with our kids? When have they become so intolerable? Such horrible, ill-mannered brats that one cannot stand to be in their company for more than 5 mins. Case in-point: Last week I was visiting my granny's house, a weekly habit that turns into an every other day thing during summer holidays. Usually, I don't mind going; I enjoy spending time with my aunts and granny, chatting and drinking tea, catching up. After a year away, I try to spend as much quality time with family and friends as I can to make up lost time.

The family starts arriving at about 5pm and by around 9pm everyone who usually comes is there. About 4 aunts or so, children, housekeepers (but of course dear, this is Bahrain), uncles and their wives. The children hang out together, teens and preteens walk around in the souq or meet up with friends, adults run errands and visit. Typical family scene.

Well, it was one of these days, a weekend if I remember correctly. I was hanging out, when the demon kids arrive. They are 2 brothers, 4 and 5 (before you think I am mean, read the rest and then decide). Their mum, dad, younger brother (1.75 yrs old), 2 housekeepers in tow. Soon the father leaves to run errands. It seems that what concerns the mum is enjoying the hareesa and waraq 3enab (dolmas) that she brought. Meanwhile, the littlest is walking about the living room with the two housekeepers swarming about him like flies. The 5 yr old is busy trying to dunk his arm into the tea flask milk teapot which just so happens to be right in front of me.

I swear for the next two hours I did not have a second's peace. Kids running around, loud noises, everyone talking and laughing while I am desperately trying to control my temper and get the kid to stop trying to burn his hand. His mother was sitting right next to me but she might as well have been on another planet. She did not say a word, while her son kept trying to grab hot cups of tea and make a run for it. Did I mention that he tried to dunk his arm in the tea flask??? I am pretty sure I did. She hears me reasoning with the kid and failing miserably, sees me grab a full cup of hot tea from his hand several times and does absolutely nothing except continue to stuff her face and chat.

Then the 4 year old joins in. It is horrible and it goes on for over an hour. I finally had enough and took the whole tray to the kitchen. I was sick of playing tea cop. Hoping it was over I resume chatting only to be punched in the arm and kicked by these kids. I guess it is a game they play. They thought it was hilarious. Running around like maniacs and randomly punching/kicking those sitting.

Then one of them proceeds to punch an adult and try to grab the car keys or whatever he can get his hands in between terrorizing the other kids and pushing them around. Meanwhile the other demon has taken it upon himself to punch and kick my brother (14 yrs old) all the while laughing hysterically. What was the mother doing you ask? Still stuffing her face! I swear, how many dolmas can a 5ft 0 inches woman eat? Quite a lot I assure you!!!

I had to ask my brother to change his seat (he was sitting between me and their mum) because I was getting punched and kicked. I guess after a while, my brother got tired of saying stop and pushed the kid away. Well, that was the first time I heard their mom say stop. Except she was saying it to all the other kids and not her own. "Stop yelling at my kids, stop picking on them, you never tolerate them, you are so harsh on them, they're your kin and this is how you treat them." This in turn prompts all the adults to yell at their kids for not putting up more with the demons. *SIGH*

I was at the end of my rope. I get up to leave only to find one of the demons at the door kicking my brother and throwing shoes at him. I take a deep breath, drag the kid and place him on the sofa sternly tell off all the kids. I then proceed to leave all the while holding down my temper. I then hear the lazy mum (who is otherwise a very nice lady) telling everyone how everyone (meaning me) picks on her kids blah blah blah. Well that was the end of it. Here is what happened next:

Me: So and so, if you dislike someone telling your kids off, or saying anything to them, maybe you should say something to them when they're misbehaving.
So and so: why Gardens do you see me watching them misbehave and doing nothing.
Me: Frankly yes, your sons killed me with the tea and were hitting everyone and adults too. You were just sitting and doing nothing. You kids are young that is true but you know M isn't an adult too. After putting up with your kid's beating, he finally had enough and pushed him away. All this time you said nothing. Surely you saw it happening.
So and so: Gardens, please stop this talk and respect me.
Me: So and so, please respect yourself by minding your kids.
End of conversation.

I did not hear the end of it. My mum nagged and nagged about it the whole way back. How I embarrassed her. How So and so is such a nice lady but has faults. Why can't I just put up with her? Why am I so judgemental and impatient? Why can't I just except people for what they are? (So should I pat So and so on the back for being a bad parent???) What will her husband think? How will my granny feel? All night this went on.... So and so cried a river after I left and at home too or so her husband claims. Suddenly I was Gardens the Terrible who came all the way from the US to make everyone's life miserable and disturb the peace. I know I lost my cool and butted into someone else's business, but seriously, should people just tolerate horrible kids and bad parents?

Needless to say, this being Bahrain, and me being a Bahraini chick and all, here for only a month, not wanting to embarrass my parents or ruffle family feathers and the oh so fragile peace, I had to call So and so and kiss a**. Apologize for losing my cool and pretend that she is a gr8 parent and the kids perfect. And so for the rest of my time here, I have to put up with the demons and their good for nothing but still a nice person parent if I want to see my gran.

I have never seen a more careless and lazy mum or more out of hand kids. It is certainly not the children's fault. Their parents don't discipline them and allow them to run wild. They are left in the housekeeper's charge all day while the parents work, have lunch, nap, dress up, visit, have dinner and go to bed. And of course the housekeeper isn't allowed to discipline because she is hired help...

I've seen kids that when hurt or sick prefer the maid to their own parent...who cry out for the housekeeper and want nothing to do with the parent. Quite disgusting and deplorable! It is to the point where I dread seeing my gran coz I know I have to put up with these demons and their lazy parent.

Why is our society so full of parents who don't want anything to do with parenting? Having children is a huge responsibility, one that doesn't end at birth nor one that should be transferred on to a housekeeper. How does this bode on our future? A whole generation of spoiled, undisciplined brats...Hmmmm....

Maybe I should pop a valium or 2, put on my rosy glasses and pretend there is nothing wrong with this picture. After all, very few people in Bahrain find nothing wrong with a child preferring the housekeeper to his/her parent and that undisciplined kids are just normal kids.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog?

To blog or not to blog is a question plaguing my mind. For some reason blogging has become so difficult, almost tedious. It is such a chore. I love to chat and speak my mind, so it is not as if I have nothing to say. Also, I have absolutely nothing useful to do in Bahrain: I am between jobs, schools, etc... so it is not like I don't have the time. So why am I so unenthused? I guess I have the blogging blues. SIGH. I want to blog more often, I just don't feel like it. Anyone ever go thru this? I hope it passes... :-(

The First Female Bloggers Meeting

July, 21st 2007 marked the first female bloggers meeting, or at least the very first I attended. Us gals met in Dulce cafe (I hope I'm saying the name right) at 11am. Me being myself and Bahraini on top of that arrived a few, ok more like 20, minutes late. A lady blogger arrived much later than myself (towards the end really) but with a genuinely good excuse: she came straight from work. I however, was stuffing myself at a breakfast buffet in Veranda. What can I say, old habits die hard...

Ok, back to the meeting; it was quite good! I expected it to be either dreadful or great. Fortunately, it turned out to be the latter. I enjoyed meeting my fellow female bloggers and am even planning to attend the regular one. I hope I remember to. There were some that I really looked forward to meet but din't quite make it. Maybe next time girls, huh? Others, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are female bloggers. Girl power, yay!

The turn out was good, 8 of us there I think. I met some ladies that I can see myself befriending! I am a sucker for potential! Time flew away and before we knew it 3 hrs passed.

The meeting reaffirmed my belief that I should never judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, never judge a book cover by the its contents. It is amazing how one forms notions of another's appearance and behavior based on their writings. You expect them to be and look a certain way and boom! You meet in person and they are not at all how you thought they would be. It is funny how quick we are to peg someone.

I also decided to read more arabic blogs. I am missing out on some really good blogs.

All in all the ladies were very friendly, funny, interesting and intelligent. A wonderful meeting of minds.

Ladies, here is to all you gals, may we continue to successfully and happily blog away and may friendships blossom out of our experiences.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back Home

Yup, I am in Bahrain!!! I hope to blog more often now that I am home without work or any responsibilities. It is funny how much changes from one year to the next and how little other things change:

1- I noticed for the first time what my friend has been saying about Bahrain's sky; it isn't blue, more of a gray hue. What is up with that? All the pollution I guess. It is always hazy, not the low fog, but the haze that always surrounds LA from all the pollution.

2- Crazy driving. OMG, people can be insane...has anyone heard of signals and signalling before turning. Besides what's with the overtaking, do we have to go 120km/hr at all times.

3- No talking on the phone while driving except with a headset. That is one law I applaud. Good for whoever came up with it. Pat yourself on the back. Of course I wish someone reminded me of it. There I was cruising Bahrain talking on my phone for a full hour blabbering about everything and nothing, ok gossiping, when my friend casually mentions that I am using a headset right? WRONG...

4- Where did all the roundabouts go? So many are history! I kinda miss them, but not the usual mess that goes around with them.

5- All the kids are grown, and their attitude, well I don't want to get into that. All I can say is, what happened???

6- I am back to running errands. Same ol' same ol'.

There is more, alot more but I gotta go run an errand.

Talk to y'all later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Men vs. Women

1. All men are extremely busy.
2. Although they are so busy, they still have time for women.
3. Although they have time for women, they don't really care for them.
4. Although they don't really care for them, they always have one around.
5. Although they always have one around them, they always try their luck with others.
6. Although they try their luck with others, they get really pissed off if the women leaves them.
7. Although the women leaves them they still don't learn from their mistakes and still try their luck with others...

1. the most important thing for a woman is financial security.
2. Although this is so important, they still go out and buy expensive clothes.
3. Although they always buy expensive clothes, they never have something to wear.
4. Although they never have something to wear, they always dress beautifully.
5. Although they always dress beautifully, their clothes are always just "An old rag".
6. Although their clothes are always "just an old rag", they still expect you to compliment them.
7. Although they expect you to compliment them, when you do, they don't believe you...

This fwd brought a smile to my face on this dreary work day. I hope it brings a smile to yours. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 18, 2007

نعم.. هناك فقر وفقراء.......منيرة فخرو

نعم.. هناك فقر وفقراء.......منيرة فخرو

الضجة التي أثارها تقرير فضائية الـ ''CNN'' بشأن موضوع الفقر في البحرين لم تهدأ بعد، وقابلها هجوم كاسح على المحطة الفضائية من أقلام معينة اصطفت كلها لتفند ما ذكره التقرير وتنكر وجود الفقر في البحرين. وشحذ الكتاب إياهم أقلامهم للدفاع عن ''كرامة '' البحرين التي أهدرتها المحطة الأميركية. المقابلة لم تقتصر على إبراز مناطق الفقر ولكنها استجوبت قيادات رسمية مثل وزيري الإسكان والتنمية الاجتماعية. وركزت المذيعة الحسناء هالة قوراني في مقابلاتها على التناقض الذي يميز البحرين بوجود مظاهر الغنى إلى جانب بؤر الفقر. وقد شاهد البرنامج أعداد كبيرة من المواطنين وتم عرضه على الإنترنت لمن لم يتمكن من مشاهدته على التلفاز. ربما الخطأ الذي ارتكبته مقدمة البرنامج هو اقتصارها على وجود الفقر بين الطائفة الشيعية من دون السنية على رغم إقرارنا أن بؤر الفقر تنتشر خصوصا في قرى البحرين وفي المدن الصغيرة. وللعلم فإن متوسط دخل الفرد في البحرين هو 17 ألف دولار وهو معدل يعتبر عالياً نسبياً إذا علمنا أن متوسط دخل الفرد في المملكة العربية السعودية أقل من ذلك بكثير .وقد عرّف البنك الدولي الفقير بأنه الشخص الذي ينخفض معدل دخله عن 600 دولار في السنة، إلا أن برنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي يضيف معايير أخرى تعبر مباشرة عن مستوى رفاهية الإنسان ونوعية الحياة أي أن هناك نحو 45% من الفقراء يعيشون في مجتمعات غير منخفضة الدخل. وحتى في الولايات المتحدة يوجد 30 مليون فرد (15% من السكان) يعيشون تحت خط الفقر ولكن الولايات المتحدة لا تنكر ذلك بل تسعى للحد من هذه الظاهرة .نعم هناك فقر وهناك فقراء كثر في البحرين على رغم اعتبار بلدنا دولة غنية. تلك النتيجة التي وصلنا إليها نتجت من اعتبارات كثيرة أهمها ما يأتي : * فساد كبير ينتشر وعمولات تدفع من جانب القطاع الخاص صاحب المصلحة. * تجنيس مكثف ازدادت وتيرته في السنوات الأخيرة مما يبتلع كثيرا من الموازنة لتوظيف المجنسين ومنحهم السكن واستهلاكهم للخدمات المتعددة التي بالكاد تستوعب المواطنين. * تركيز على زيادة موازنة الدفاع والداخلية وتجميد لموازنات وزارات الخدمات كالصحة والإسكان والتربية والتنمية الاجتماعية .* البطالة المنتشرة خصوصا بين صفوف الشباب نتيجة عدم تناسب مخرجات التعليم مع متطلبات سوق العمل. * عدم وجود سياسة سكانية لتنظيم الأسرة وإرشاد الأمهات إلى تحديد عدد الأطفال كي تتم العناية بهم بصورة أفضل .* عدم العناية بالبيئة البرية والبحرية، والأخيرة تعد مصدر رزق للآلاف من الأسر البحرينية. كما لا ننسى متطلبات العولمة التي دخلنا فيها ووقعنا الاتفاقات لتنفيذ بنودها من دون احتساب نتائجها وأهمها ازدياد أعداد الفقراء، لذلك لابد من استمرار الدعم الحكومي لبعض السلع الأساسية للمواطن إذ ربما يؤدي إلغاؤها إلى نتائج اقتصادية واجتماعية غير متوقعة .إن الفقر يمثل في نهاية الأمر الإقصاء والتهميش والمس بكرامة الإنسان وبدلاً من إنكاره علينا الاعتراف بوجوده والتفكير بإيجاد أفضل الطرق للحد من انتشاره، ولكننا نرى المسؤولين يصرون على اتهام المواطنين بأنهم سبب الفقر، مثلما اتهم وزير الكهرباء المواطنين بأن استهلاكهم اللامحدود وغير المرخص هو الذي أدى إلى تدهور خدمات الكهرباء، ومثلما ذكر زميله وزير العمل أن شباب البحرين كسول ويريد وظائف مريحة. إن أول وسائل الإصلاح تبدأ بإصلاح التعليم والتركيز على التدريب للأعمال المتوافرة في البحرين خصوصا بالنسبة إلى فئة الشباب الذي طال انتظاره للحصول على وظيفة تضمن مستقبله ولكن قبل كل ذلك يجب أن تتوفر الإرادة السياسية للإصلاح.

Food Shortage Question- a fwd

Recently, a survey was conducted by the U.N. worldwide. The question asked was:
"would you please give your opinion about the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure because:

In Africa, they didn't know what "food" means.

In Western Europe, they didn't know what "shortage" means.

In the Middle East, they didn't know what "opinion" means.

In South America, they didn't know what "please" means.

In the U.S.A, they didn't know what "the rest of the world" means.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

When Corruption Runs Rampant, and the Masses are Silenced...

When corruption runs rampant, the masses are silenced and transparency is nonexistent, anything can and does happen. They say pictures speak louder then words. My fellow bloggers, I leave you with this image.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Is Syria to Blame?

Reading Soul Search's Beirut Burning Again made me wonder at our state and that of our beloved countries. But it also raised an important question; who is responsible for Lebanon's latest bout of violence (the refugee camp)?

When asked, many people will say Syria. After all, any Lebanese will tell you of the Syrian army's shinanigans in Lebanon. However, Syria seems too easy a conclusion. I can't believe that the Syrian government would be that stupid. Not when it is already a target. A more likely scenario (and yes here comes the consipiracy theory) is that Syria is being set-up by groups sharing common interests. It is also a little too convenient or should I say inconvenient. All the violence breaking out right before the tourist season so that once again Lebanon's economy suffers and old grudges rehashed.

The Bush adminsitration are itching to silence Iran and Syria. Iran is getting too powerful in the region and must be taken out of the equation. Syria is a little fish but must serve as a lesson. The Bush administration admitted to conducting a cold war against Iran (and who knows maybe even Syria) which entailed supporting Afghani terrorists carrying attacks in Iran, negative and false publicity in American and Iranian newspapers, spies, stealing national secrets etc... What is happening in Lebanon validates Bush's assertion: ME needs US presence, Iran and Syria need to be taken out. US is the beacon of freedom...

Israel is definitely benefiting from this fiasco by sending out a clear message to the world thru biased media coverage:''look at these Palestinian terrorists, they kill their own people, we can't live with them. Our poor soldiers suffer too, we are all in this together, the wall is a good idea, the check points too." To the non-Arab/Muslim person, Israel and Lebanon are both victimized by the Palestinian terrorists.

Let's not forget the members of the Lebanese government who have been calling for disarmament of Hizballah. I have seen an interview of a high ranking official on Arabic and Western media and boy do the ppl in charge sing different tunes. It was obvious whose interests they cater to (ex. Siniora). That is not to say that they are behind this, just that they are benefiting greatly from it and milking it for all its worth.. What about Saad Al Harriri who rose to power riding his dad's corpse. In his case we are given a prime example of how political roles in our part of the world are inherited and not earned. Saad Al Hariri's benefited more from his father's death and Syria is the one most disadvantaged.

Also let's not forget the other Arab corrupt governments with their agendas and interests.

So who is responsible and who is to blame? The Lebanese people are partly responsible. Sectarianism is tearing them apart and unity is so fragile. The Arabs are also to blame, for standing idly by. But who is the head hancho of all this mess? The question is one that we will always speculate about and I don't think we will ever receive a definitive answer for.

Who are the victims? The average Lebanese is the victim, the one whose liveliood is now suffering and whose life is in danger. The Palestinians who are further victimized by being cast in the terrorist role while the world is oblivious to their plight and misery. And of course the Arabs and Muslims who now realize that there really isn't any functioning democracy among them.

And of course, with the pondering of the first question, others tumble out of pandora's box: When did Syria become the enemy? When, how and why did we become each other's enemies and are we turning on ourselves? Why are we idle while the world is watching us slowly implode?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

دعاء بحريني

A funny poem I got in an email:

دعاء بحريني

اللهم ارحمنا من من غرور الجيل الجديد..
وحرائق التايرات و الحديد
واستقصاد كل مدير.. وندالة القرايب والبعيد
الصغير منهم والكبير
اللهم أغثنا من كل تاجر عميل . ومن غلاء الماء والعصير
اللهم أرحمنا من زحمة الشوارع في كل حين,
ومن رجال المرور المجنسين
وسحب الليسن في كل كمين.. من الغلبان والمسكين
اللهم أهدى لنا سواقين الشاحنات
واصحاب الشركات و النقليات
اللهم ارحمنا من رؤساء البلديات
وهدهم لشفط المستنقعات والبلاعات
اللهم قنا شر المصانع والملوثات..
ومن غباوة المسئولين عن الطرقات
الهم انتقم من الجرائد والكتاب..
وهيافة الصحف والمجلات
الهم اجرنا من فواتير الهواتف والفاكسات
وقطع الحرارة فجأة عن التليفونات وقت الذروات
ورحمنا من مدارس البنين والبنات
ومن رسوم الكليات والجامعات
ووفق المسئولين عن الروضات والحاضنات
في تخفيض رسوم الدراسة والمواصلات
اللهم ارفع مستوى الدكاتر والطبيبات .
حتى يطمئن الشعب على روحه عند زيارته للمستشفيات
أو أرسل يارب عليهم صاعقة..
بدل ما يخلونا نموت ونتعذب في غرف العمليات
اللهم سدد أقساطنا .. ورحمنا من فوائد البنوك والبطاقات
ليتمكن الفقير من الاقتراض بدلا من التسول في الطرقات
اللهم ارزق العاطلين عن العمل ليعملو في الكويت وقطر
بدلا من يتعذبو في هذا البلد ولا يصبحو ثقلا على احد

The Human Wall in the Nuwaydrat Lecture

Got these through an email. I think they were of the nuwaydrat lecture of Mushaime3, Sharif, etc...where the sha'3ab police intervened: the pictures speak louder than any words I could write. The comment below accompanied the pictures:

فعلاً أبطال ونشامى وأوفياء لرموزكم وقادتكم يا أهل البحرين ، أنظروا كيف تجمعوا على الرموز لحمايتهم من الطلقات بعمل حائط صد بشري تمنع وصول الطلقات إليهم .. يا الله

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Got Milk?

Idiocy has no limits; just when you think the latest batch of fatwas couldn't get any wackier, out comes a new one proving that lunacy and obsession w/ all things carnal are rampant among those issuing these fatwas.

The latest fatwa comes from Al Azhar Dr. (I am wondering about his will too once you read what he has to say) stating that a woman can BREAST FEED her ADULT male coworker in order for it to be lawful (halal) for both of them to be alone in the office unchaperoned. This will by no means prohibit marriage should they decide to do so in the future. The boobie fest would last 5 sessions and would be formally noted down! Upon the completion of the wierdo porn sessions, the woman can take off her hijab around him showing her male coworker her hair. I do hope he can restrain himself and hold it together when he sees her oh so glorious hair!!! Although now that I think about it, seeing just her hair and nothing else may be a let down after feasting on her upper body. Or does the man feed with his eyes closed and hands tied????

Here is a few paragraphs from the news article from Al Arabiya: (sorry for the formatting)

اقتراحات بطلبات احاطة برلمانية وجدل داخل الأزهر

لأربعاء 29 ربيع الثاني 1428هـ - 16 مايو2007م

دبي - فراج اسماعيل

احتدم جدل بين علماء دين في مصر ووصل إلى البرلمان بعد فتوى لرئيس قسم الحديث بجامعة الأزهر، تبيح "إرضاع الكبير"، في وقت انتقدت عدة صحف تدريس كتاب في هذا القسم يؤكد أن الارضاع يحلل الخلوة بين رجل وإمرأة غريبة

عنه في مكاتب العمل المغلقة

وقال عضو مجلس الشعب عن كتلة الاخوان المسلمين صبري خلف الله إن نحو 50 نائبا في البرلمان تدارسوا هذا

الموضوع مساء الأربعاء وأعربوا عن قلقهم من انتشار هذه الفتوى اعلاميا، واقترح بعضهم تقديم طلبات احاطة، لكنهم اتفقوا على ارجاء ذلك، واعطاء فرصة للأزهر والاعلام لوقف الخوض في هذا الموضوع الذي أثار حالة من اللغط الشديد في الشارع المصري خصوصا في أماكن العمل التي تضم موظفين وموظفات، وعندها قد يمتنعون عن طلبات الاحاطة منعا لحدوث زوبعة برلمانية قد تساهم في تضخيم المسألة وتضر بالاسلام.كان د.عزت عطية رئيس قسم الحديث بكلية أصول الدين بجامعة الأزهر فجر مفاجأة حيث أباح للمرأة العاملة أن تقوم بإرضاع زميلها في العمل منعاً للخلوة المحرمة، إذا كان وجودهما في غرفة مغلقة لا يفتح بابها إلا بواسط أحدهما.واكد عطية لـ"العربية.نت" أن إرضاع الكبير يكون خمس رضعات وهو يبيح الخلوة ولا يحرم الزواج، وان المرأة في العمل يمكنها أن تخلع الحجاب أو تكشف شعرها أمام من أرضعته، مطالباً توثيق هذا الإرضاع كتابة ورسميًا ويكتب في العقد أن فلانة أرضعت فلانًا.وفي تصريحات لـ"العربية.نت" قال عضو مجلس الشعب خلف الله: أن الخطأ في هذا الموضوع أنه لم يتم تناوله بطريقة علمية أو أكاديمية، فلو حدث ذلك لاختلفت المسألة، لكنها أثيرت اعلاميا بطريقة ساخرة كأن هناك من يحبون أن تشيع الفاحشة

إلا أن الشيخ السيد عسكر الوكيل الأسبق لمجمع البحوث الإسلامية، وهي أعلى هيئة فقهية بالأزهر والنائب عن جماعة الإخوان المسلمين بالبرلمان، رفض هذا الرأي مؤكداً انه خروج على إجماع علماء الأمة، ولا يجوز القياس علي حالة خاصة، ومطالباً بالتصدي لذلك لأنه يسهم في نشر الرذيلة بين المسلمين

وقال د.عزت عطية ل"العربية.نت" إن بعض الناس قد نظر إلى رضاع الكبير نظرة جنسية بحتة وتساءلوا: كيف يجوز لشاب أو لرجل أن يرضع من امرأة غريبة عنه، وفاتهم إن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم هو الذي رخص في ذلك. وأن من ينفذ أمراً شرعياً أو رخصة شرعية يقوم بعمل ديني في إتباع الشرع، وفي الأعمال الدينية يستشعر المؤمن عبوديته وخشوعه لله فتنمحي النواحي الشيطانية، وحينما يقوم الكبير بذلك للحصول على رخصة شرعية فإنه يتنزل منزلة الصغير في حالة الرضاعة، وإلا كان متلاعباً بالدين يستغله لأغراض خسيسة ويجرم في حقه

وأضاف: إن أحدا من دارسي الحديث وعلمائه لا يمكنه أن يشك في أن حديث إرضاع الكبير حديث ثابت وصحيح، أما المشكلة في تطبيقه فهي التي انتشرت في كتب الشروح، وكانت خاصة بأم المؤمنين عائشة رضي الله عنها وهي التي يحرم نكاحها على أي مسلم لقوله تعالي "النبي أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم وأزواجه أمهاتهم" وقوله "وما كان لكم أن تؤذوا رسول الله ولا أن تنكحوا أزواجه من بعده أبدا".ويشرح ذلك بقوله: مع حرمة النكاح من السيدة عائشة شرعاً، فإن دخول الأجنبي عليها ممنوع وقد استخدمت رخصة الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم فكانت تأمر بنات أخيها وبنات أخوتها بإرضاع من تحوج الظروف إلي دخوله عليها ليكون محرماً لها من جهة الرضاعة، وما فعلته عائشة رضي الله عنها استثمرت به رخصة الرسول في دخول سالم مولى أبي حذيفة بعد رضاعه وهو كبير من زوجة أبي حذيفة وهذه الرخصة مقيدة بالحاجة أو الضرورة، وشرعها الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم لإباحة دخول من ترغب الأسرة في دخوله بغير تحرج شرعي
جميع الحقوق محفوظة لقناة العربية © 2006

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The First Muslim Clinic in the US- UMMA Community Clinic

A very thoughtful and life-altering endeavor. We need more like it and we need to publicize such efforts.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

ِِخطاب من غادة جمشير مرفوع إلى جلالة ملك البحرين بشأن إخفاقات المجلس الأعلى للمرأة والمطالبة بحله

Got this by email. I apologize for the messed up formatting..I did the best I could...promise! An interesting letter despite my lousy formatting efforts (my pc is english only and I am at work :-( )... Hmmm surprised yes...I wonder about the reaction is is getting...
صاحب الجلالة الشيخ حمد بن عيسى آل خليفة حفظه اللهملك مملكة البحرين تحية إجلال و إكبار نزفها لكم من لجنة العريضة النسائية متمنين
لجلالتكم النجاح في مساعيكم بما فيه خيرٌ و صلاح هذا البلد العزيز. جلالة الملكلقد راودنا الخوف على وطننا من تداعيات ما آلت إليه أوضاع المواطنين بشكلٍ عام والمرأةُ بشكلٍ خاص في السنوات الأخيرة حتى الاستحقاق الانتخابي الأخير، الذي كشف بجلاء مدى عجز المجلس الأعلى للمرأة في مواجهة مخططات بعض الدوائر الرسمية وعلى رأسها الديوان الملكي في منع إيصال العناصر النسائية إلى قبة البرلمان عن طريق الانتخاب وذلك تنفيذاً لأجنداتٍ خاصة كما سجل المجلس فشلاً على صعيد تعزيز حقوق النساء، فقد عجز في ان يكون بمستوى الأمل الذي علقته به الآف النساء في المحاكم الشرعية، وتلكأ في دعم تمرير قانون الأحوال الشخصية، وأوقف الدعاية الإعلامية لذلك المشروع بعد أن حولت الحكومة ذلك المشروع إلى ورقةٍ استخدمتها للمساومة السياسية مع المعارضة الشيعية. كما عجز المجلس عن توصيل مرشحة واحدة من مجموع من تقدمن للانتخابات البرلمانية والبلدية والبالغ عددهن ثمانية عشر مرشحة برلمانية و خمس مرشحات للمجالس البلدية رغم الإنفاق الباهظ على دورات وبرامج التمكين التي بلغ عددها 13 برنامج[1]، وعلى الحملة الإعلامية، التي لم تحقق التأثير المطلوب، لان سمعة المجلس الأعلى للمرأة لدى الناخبين لا تلعب الدور الإيجابي المطلوب إن الإنفاق الباهظ لم يؤدي إلى توصيل أية امرأة من خلال صناديق الاقتراع، وقد وصلت مرشحة واحدة ولكن بترتيبٍ من وزير الديوان الملكي في جزيرة ينعدم فيها الناخبون تقريبا، فالمواطن لا يحسب إيصالها مكسباً للمجلس الأعلى للمرأة. وعلى النقيض وقف المجلس موقفاً سلبياً من دعم السيدة منيرة فخرو تاركاً الساحة للديوان ليسقطها ضمن حساباته في العملية السياسية لصنع مجلس بتوازنات طائفية تخدم الحكومة ومشروعها و ترجح كفتها الانتخابية داخل قبة البرلمان تمهيداً لخلق كتلة موالاه أكبر لجعل المعارضة عاجزة عن تحقيق أي مكاسب، وقد ترك المجلس السيدة فخرو تواجه الديوان منفردة رغم علمه بدعم الديوان لمنافسها الدكتور صلاح علي. وقد تم تزيين المجلس الاعلى للمرأه ببعض الأسماء النسائية، إلا أن هؤلاء ليس لهم أي دور فعلي أو تأثير في استراتيجيات وسير عمل المجلس. فيما كان العدد الأكبر هم ممن تم تعيينهم على أساس الولاء السياسي والعلاقات الأسرية، وبعض العناصر النسائية تشغل عدة مناصب ومسؤوليات مما يحرم الأخريات ويحد من الفاعلية والإنتاج وتؤكد المعطيات عدم استقلالية المجلس الأعلى للمرأة بل تبعيته للديوان الملكي بشكل مباشر، كما تؤكد هذه المعطيات وقوف المجلس موقف المتفرج من الحرب التي شنتها الحكومة ضد لجنة العريضة النسائية، ودفع الحكومة لتعقيد إشهار الاتحاد النسائي بغرض احتوائه وجعله جزاً من الديكور العام لديمقراطيتنا الوليدة. إن ما أنتجه المجلس الأعلى للمرأة مخجل بالقياس إلى ما أتيح له من إمكانيات ودعمٌ لوجستي وعناصر متفرغة، وما رصد له من أموال ضخمة تم صرفها على الأمانة العامة ومخصصات الأعضاء والدورات ونفقات السفر و الإقامة. كل هذا الدعم الكبير والمفتوح لم يفلح في جعل المجلس سيد قراره، إذ إن هذا الهدف يحتاج إلى إيمان حقيقي لقيادة المجلس بحق المرأة كإنسان ومواطن، و بترجيح البعد الإنساني على المناصب والحسابات السياسية وهو ما لم تفهمه الأمانة العامة للمجلس، التي كانت ترى في إبراز المرأة من خلال مواقع شكلية تعطي المجتمع الدولي والإقليمي انطباع دعائي للمملكة أكثر من العمل المنهجي على بناء امرأة عصرية ملمة بحقوقها الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية. كما لاحظت لجنة العريضة النسائية أن معظم النساء اللواتي وصلن إلى مواقع القرار السياسي جئن بقراراتٍ سياسية وعلى أساس قبلي أو طائفي أو الولاء الشخصي لبعض عناصر الحكومة والديوان. لذلك ترى لجنة العريضة النسائية أن المجلس الأعلى للمرأة أخفق إخفاقاً شديداً في بناء ودعم المرأة البحرينية بالسياسات التي اتبعها طوال الحقبة الماضية ولم يعتمد الأسلوب العلمي القائم على وضع منهج محدد و مزمن لرفع الوعي الحقوقي بدءا من إدخال حقوق الإنسان بمختلف أبعادها في المناهج الدراسية، ودعم منظمات المجتمع المدني وخصوصا النسائية لتلعب دورها الحقيقي بأقصى طاقاتها بتعديل دستور الإتحاد النسائي وتوسعة صلاحياته وتمثيله لكل المرأة البحرينية بدلاً من تقزيمه و توزيع الصلاحيات على كيان يخضع لنفوذ الحكومة والديوان الملكي. لذلك تتوجه لجنة العريضة النسائية إلى جلالتكم - مؤمنة ً بصواب رأيكم - بطلب حل للمجلس الأعلى للمرأة وإفساح الدور للمنظمات واللجان النسائية المستقلة ونشطاء حقوق المرأة لتلعب دورها باعتبارها نابعةٌ من المرأة و موجهةٌ إليها، و سترون جلالتكم مدى قدرة تلك المنظمات على الخلق والإبداع والعطاء. وفقكم الله وسدد على درب الخير خطاكم وحفظكم حامياً لوطننا العزيز
غادة جمشيررئيسة لجنة العريضة النسائيةمرفق: نساء في مناصب عليا في البحرين: نخبة الولاء السياسي والأسرى:أولا: تعيينات المجلس الأعلى للمرأة من سنة 2001 إلى 2004 ثانيا: عضوات مجلسي الشورى والنواب 2002-2006ثالثا: المرأة في الوزارات والمناصب الحكوميةنساء في مناصب عليا في البحرين: نخبة الولاء السياسي والأسرىأولا: لائحة تعيينات المجلس الأعلى للمرأة من سنة 2001 إلى 2004 الشيخه سبيكة بنت إبراهيم آل خليفة - رئيس المجلس الاعلى للمرأة - حرم ملك البلادمريم بنت حسن آل خليفة – نائب رئيس المجلس الأعلى –ورئيسة جامعة البحرين – (من الأسرة الحاكمة)لولوة العوضي – الأمين العام للمجلس الأعلى برتبة وزيرة – ورئيسة معهد التنمية السياسية التابع للحكومة – رفع 70 محاميا دعوة قضائية ضدها لاستمرارها بممارسة المحاماة رغم المناصب الحكومية، أختها غير الشقيقة (سهى فلامرزي) مديرة مكتبها بالمجلس الأعلى للمرأه
عضوات المجلس الاعلى للمرأه.اللاتي تم تعيينهن في 2001 ولم يعاد تعيينهم في 20041. جليلة السيد – محامية (لم يعاد تعيينها في 2004)2. وداد المسقطي – (لم يعاد تعيينها في 2004)3. صباح المؤيد – رئيسة بنك الإسكان الحكومي 4. فاطمة البلوشي – أصبحت وزيرة التنمية الاجتماعية بناء على توطد علاقة الحكومه بمجموعة الأخوان المسلمين.5. بهيجه الديلمي ـــ مديرة مدرسه حكوميه.6. طفله آل خليفه ـــ (من العائله الحاكمه) ـــ كاتبه فى جريدة أخبار الخليج. اللاتي تم إعادة تعيينهن في 2004:7. هند آل خليفة – (من العائلة الحاكمة) - كانت وكيل مساعد بوزارة العمل8. الشيخه حصة بنت خليفة آل خليفة – (من العائلة الحاكمة) – بنت أخت الملك وزوجة ابنه الشيخ عبدالله بن حمد آل خليفة محافظ المنطقة الجنوبية. 9. وفيقة خلف – زوجة إبراهيم حميدان –وزير سابق لعدة وزارات10. عائشة الأنصاري – زوجة محمد جابر الأنصاري المستشار الثقافي للملك10. بهية الجشي – عضو بمجلس الشورى لثلاث دورات، وخالة الرئيس السابق لمجلس الشورى فيصل الموسوي وخالة زوجة الرئيس الحالي لمجلس الشورى علي صالح الصالح. 11.عائشة مطر – مديرة سابقة لمدرسة حكومية 12. د. فضيلة المحروس – دكتورة أطفال13.منيره فخرو – أستاذ مشارك بجامعة البحرين (مدرسه علم الاجتماع والخدمة الاجتماعية)14. ندى حفاظ ـــ وزيرة الصحه وكانت عضوه بمجلس الشورى. العضوات الجدد اللتي تم تعيينهن في 2004:1. رباب العريض – محامية تعمل بمكتب لولوه العوضي (الامين العام لنفس المجلس)2. نجمة جناحي – موظفة بالجهاز المركزي للمعلومات (والذي يدور حوله لغط كبير ادارة شبكة تآمرية)3. مريم الرويعي – جمعت بين رئاسة الاتحاد النسائي غير الحكومي وعضوية المجلس الاعلى الحكومي.4. عصمت الموسوي – صحفيةكبار الموظفات بالمجلس الأعلى للمرأه :• هالة محمد جابر الأنصاري – ابنة المستشار الثقافي للملك محمد جابر الأنصاري، وابنة عضو المجلس الأعلى للمرأة عائشة الأنصاري – كانت تعمل باحثة بمركز الدراسات والبحوث الحكومي، ثم عينت بالمجلس برتبة وكيل وزارة مساعد. • بهيجة الديلمي – مديرة لمدرسة إعدادية للبنات وكانت عضوه بالمجلس والآن عينت برتبة وكيل وزارة مساعد.• نجوى عبد الرحيم – تعمل موظفة بوزارة المالية ترأسها لطيفة القعود (التي فازت بالتزكية على جزيرة حوارلمجلس النواب ) وعينت وكيل وزارة مساعد للشئون المالية بالمجلس (واستقالت من المجلس). • ضويه العلوي – وكيل وزارة مساعد بالمجلس للتخطيط الإستراتيجي
ثانيا: عضوات بمجلسي الشورى والنوابمجلس الشورى: الدورة السابقة 2002، واللاتي تم تعيينهن مجددا في مجلس 2006:1. فوزية الصالح – من عائلة الرئيس السابق لمجلس الشورى فيصل الموسوي وايضا أبنة عم الرئيس الحالي لمجلس الشورى على صالح الصالح. 2. أليس سمعان (مسيحية الديانة)- مقربة من الحكومة وتم تعيينها في جميع دورات مجلس الشورى3. بهية الجشي – عضوه بالمجلس الأعلى للمرأة، وعضوه بمعهد التنمية السياسي الحكومي وهي خالة الرئيس السابق لمجلس الشورى فيصل الموسوي وخالة زوجة الرئيس الحالي لمجلس الشورى علي صالح الصالح, وعضو بالمجلس لثلاث دورات. 4. وداد الفاضل – كانت مسؤولة عن رياض الأطفال بوزارة التربيةمجلس الشورى: العضوات الجدد اللاتي تم تعيينهم في مجلس الشورى 2006 1. سميره رجب – كاتبة بجريدة أخبار الخليج، تم تعيينها بعد ان كتبت مقالات طائفية مثيرة للجدل تدافع عن صدام حسين وحزب البعث العراقي وتهاجم المعارضة الشيعية في البحرين 2. رباب العريض – كانت محامية بمكتب الأمين العام لولوه العوضي وهي عضوه بالمجلس الأعلى للمرأة3. عائشة راشد – كانت تعمل في مركز دراسات المرأة التابع لجمعية رعاية الطفل والأمومة4. منيره بن هندي – أخت محافظ المحرق المعين سلمان بن هندي 5. هدى نونو – (يهودية الديانة) – عضو بجمعية مراقبة حقوق الإنسان التي يدور حولها الكثير من اللغط بسبب ارتباطها بشبكة سرية حكومية كشف عنها تقرير لمستشار سابق بالحكومة الدكتور صلاح البندر.6. دلال الزايد – محامية وتعمل لصالح المجلس الأعلى للمرأة (تقوم بتحسين سمعة النظام والمجلس الأعلى في المؤتمرات الدولية) مجلس النواب 2006:1. لطيفه القعود – تدخل وزير الديوان الملكي لتغيير دائرة ترشيحها لتفوز بالتزكية عن جزر حوار التي لا يقطنها فعليا أي أحد. تعمل بوزارة المالية، وإخوانها طيارون مقربون من الديوان الملكي
ثالثا: المرأة في الوزارات والمناصب الحكومية • ندى حفاظ – وزيرة الصحة (كانت عضوه بمجلس الشورى وحاليا عضوه وبالمجلس الأعلى للمرأة).• فاطمه البلوشي – وزيرة التنمية الاجتماعية –الوزيرة وعضوه بالمجلس الأعلى للمرأة في دورة 2001 – 2004 وكانت مدرسة بجامعة البحرين وأيضاً هي أخت سفير البحرين بواشنطن بالولايات المتحدة الأمريكية ناصر البلوشي وتنتمي لتيار أخوان المسلمين (شاركت في نشاط انتخابي لأثنين من مرشحي الأخوان المسلمين قبل الانتخابات الأخيرة). • مريم بنت حسن آل خليفة، وهي من العائلة الحاكمة وحصلت على شهادة الحقوق بالانتساب، وتم تعيينها رئيسة الجامعة ونائبة رئيس المجلس الأعلى للمرأه.• منى الكواري- أول قاضية– حديثة التخرج والعمل بالنيابة العامه، وهناك من هن اكثر خبرة منها، • هيا راشد آل خليفة – رئيسة الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة –محامية – كانت سفيرة البحرين بفرنسا، وهي أخت نائب رئيس المجلس الأعلى للقضاء خليفة راشد آل خليفة رئيس محكمة أمن دولة سابق. رفع 70 محاميا دعوة قضائية ضدها لاستمرار مكتبها بممارسة المحاماة رغم المناصب الحكوميه • ضحى الزياني ـــ أول قاضية بالمحكمة الدستورية ـــ كانت باحثه قانونيه بمكتب تسجيل الدعاوى بوزارة العدل وعينت مسجلا عاما بوزارة العدل سنة 2003 ومتعاونه مع المجلس الاعلى للمرأه. عن لجنة العريضه النسائيهغاده جمشير التاريخ 26-4-2007--------------------------------------------------------------------------------[1] ملاحظة : مشروع التمكين السياسي للمرأة كلف 660 ألف دولار أمريكي فقط لورش العمل والدورات والمحاضرات واستقدام الخبراء من الخارج، وليس من ضمنه راتب رئيسة البرنامج مريم جناحي ولا الطاقم الفني

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Is the Law failing Mahmood?

Reading Lulu Bahrain’s Minister v. Blogger thread has led me to do thinking and searching. If you don’t have a clue to what the fuss is all about, I recommended Lulu’s legal analysis of the case.

Borrowing from Lulu’s post:

Based on the Press and Publications Law (PPL) & the Penal Code (PC), a libel occurs when all of the following conditions are met:
1. The offender has published a criticism of a person holding a public office which includes slander, unless the criticism is proven to be factual and is related to the claimant's public duties (PPL 72); or

2. The offender has publicly associated a person holding public office with an occurrence that can make him subject to punishment or ridicule (PC 364); AND
3. The offense must have taken place publicly or published on a public forum (PPL 72, PC 364, 365).

Here is how libel reads in the US laws (I’m only using the US here because the information is readily available).
Defamation, Libel and Slander:
Generally speaking, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. Slander involves the making of defamatory statements by a transitory (non-fixed) representation, usually an oral (spoken) representation. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as a magazine or newspaper.
Typically, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include:
1.A false and defamatory statement concerning another;
2.The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement);
3.If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and Damage to the plaintiff.

Public Figures
Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, where a public figure attempts to bring an action for defamation, the public figure must prove an additional element: That the statement was made with "actual malice". In translation, that means that the person making the statement knew the statement to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth. For example, Ariel Sharon sued Time Magazine over allegations of his conduct relating to the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Although the jury concluded that the Time story included false allegations, they found that Time had not acted with "actual malice" and did not award any damages.

Our good old Bahraini law fails to address one important point: were the statements made in actual malice (hatred, spite)?

And another point becomes glaringly clear, while the Publication and Press Law and the Penal Code seem to protect public figures the American Laws applies to regular people and provides additional requirements to be met for public figures. Moreover, the additional requirement for public figures in the US defamation and libel law places the burden of proof on the public figure him/herself. After all the government official is a public servant with the duty to serve the society the best way he/she are able to.

So what you have here in Wonderland is a law that protects public figures from scrutiny. You cannot criticize a government official, candidate, etc for not doing their job because you will get sued!

In the case of the MP of municipalities, the criticism is valid. Having lived in Riffa this past year or so, and having relatives there, I can testify to the puddles of sewage that decorated the streets. The stream of refuse and what not that would run through the ‘ferjan’. Men walking with their thoubs hiked all the way up to their knees because they could avoid stepping in puddles only for so long. Having to change outfits a couple of times because the minute you step out of the door, you get sewage stuff on your clothes. Kids playing out with rats and cockroaches all around them. Calling the baladeeya (municipality) never helps. The trucks are too busy cleaning richer more privileged areas, making sure not a spot remains while the everyday people are left to sink in refuse. Complaining on the local programs achieves little or nothing.

So given all this, is it fair to assume that the municipality and by extension its MP are not doing their job well? Yet for some reason Mr. MP is offended at such honest criticism. Instead of doing something about the sewage situation, he runs to sue. Yet the great MP is not at all offended by the sewage and rain puddles.

My fellow readers I leave you with this gift.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Drink Tea, Skip the Milk

For all those who drink chai 7aleeb or 7aleeb ma3a chai, check out this article.

Milk can do your body good, but maybe not when it's in your tea. Women in a study who drank black tea had improved cardiovascular function -- but that protection vanished if they drank it with milk. Temper the taste of your black tea with lemons instead. Or sip it as the Chinese traditionally do: straight up.

Researchers are not sure why milk may blunt tea's heart-healthy effects, but milk proteins called caseins are possible culprits. Tea is bursting with health-boosting
polyphenols, but proteins have been shown to counteract them. In one study, when researchers added a small amount (10 percent) of milk to black tea, it reduced the tea's concentration of catechins -- polyphenols credited with giving tea its antioxidant punch as well as fighting heart disease and boosting weight loss. The study results may help explain, in part, why tea's heart benefits appear to be missing in the United Kingdom, where milk is usually added to the brew.

It's not a done deal, however. Other studies have concluded that milk has no effect on tea's antioxidant powers. But the conflicting study results may simply be due to the way the scientists measured the good stuff in tea. In this recent study, researchers measured the effects of tea -- with and without milk -- on blood vessels in the cardiovascular system. Straight black tea helped blood vessels relax and widen, allowing blood to flow more freely. Tea with milk did not produce the same effect.

Copyright(c) 2007, RealAge, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Fermented Shrimp Incident

This is the post where I gripe about my experience with Malay food. *WARNING* rant mode on*

I research Malay food and the restaurant itself. The customer reviews were great and so far everything I read seemed good. I convinced my friends to give the restaurant a try and off we went to dine there. We looked over the menu and asked the owner for advice. I settled on Belcan Okra (bamyah) with chicken. I love bamya and I eat chicken. The menu description stated that the dish is a stir-fry with a slightly spicy sauce served over white rice. Sound edible doesn't it? Well it was most definitely NOT!

While chatting with friends, munching on our lovely salad with ginger dressing, I smelled a horrendous stench right before the waiter brought my food. It took me a minute to realize the stench was coming from my table. How could such an awful smell come from food? Did they serve me something they found dead? Is there something stuck to the bottom of my plate or my shoes. I was dumbfounded. Meanwhile my friend, whose food wasn't great but certainly edible, was gloating. She told me not to try anything 'too weird.' I wondered if it was just me. Another friend of ours, one who eats absolutely anything wouldn't touch the dish. That's when I knew something was seriously wrong.

The food smelled like e77la (dried and salted fish) only 1000 times fouler! But my food wasn't seafood or was it? I ask the waiter what the red coating on my chicken was, and she said that it was coated with spices only. Surely, spices don't smell that bad??? I couldn't even eat the white rice and I finally asked that they remove it from the table and ordered something safe! Much to my surprise the owners/waiters got so offended and demanded to know why I did not enjoy the food. I couldn't exactly say 'well gee, it smells like ****!" They were genuinely offended and stunned that I did not like the dish.

When I went home, I googled my dish and whaddya know, good ol' wikipedia had an article on it. Here is what wikipedia had to say: "Belacan is a shrimp paste made from fermented ground shrimp, sun dried and then cut into fist-sized rectangular blocks. To many Westerners unfamiliar with this condiment, the smell can be extremely repulsive […] Belacan, a Malay variety of shrimp paste, is prepared from fresh tiny shrimp. These are mashed into a paste and buried for several months. Belacan is used as an ingredient in many dishes, or eaten on its own with rice […] the aroma from the frying mixture is unpalatable to most Westerner who have not become accustomed to it, but is an absolute delight to the Asian connoisseur." How could they not mention that?

They should've known that most people would not be able to eat the fermented shrimp. Serving it as part of their menu is their right and choice. However, it is very deceitful keeping this little fact from customers and misleading them. It is what makes the dish!
What if I was allergic to shellfish? I wish I knew what it was before leaving the restaurant; I would've faked a seizure and scared them all. I dropped more than 20 dinars on that awful food. Worse, I was embarrassed and felt like a criminal for not eating the food!

The next day I was relaying to my coworker about my horrible experience in the ladies room (ladies next time you engage in gossip in the WC check the stalls for legs!). One thing led to another and we start swapping our most disgusting food experiences. That definitely topped mine. Next thing I know, this girl comes out of one stalls (I didn’t even realize she was there) and says that as a Filipina she grew up eating the fermented shrimp paste and it is a delicacy. She stormed out all indignant while I stood mortified wishing the ground would open up and swallow me. I avoided that particular ladies room for days while I debated is I should apologize to her or if she should to me. I offended her that much was clear but she was the one eavesdropping. Once again, thanks to the stupid fermented shrimp I was made to feel like a culturally challenged twit!

My biggest gripe is not the food itself, but the deceit that surrounded it. Ok maybe the smell too!Ugh I feel like putting bu5oor just thinking about the smell. Ok, off I go, gotta get the stench off my mind.

A Yummy Post

Since I cannot travel as much as I would like, I am trying the next best thing: eating my way around the world! Lol (My fellow reader, are you one of the lucky ones that had to sit through my whining and groaning about my unfortunate weight gain and how NOTHING fits? Now you know why!!!) So here are the cuisines I tried along with my opinion of them:

-Saudi: Yes it can be very different from Bahraini food, surprise, surprise! I was stunned and my hosts horrified (??) when I discovered that.
-Egyptian: My favorite would have to be the mole5eya although we make it the Lebanese way!
-Levant countries: I enjoy nearly all of the food. All time favorite would be the Tabouleh and ma2ane2.
-Jordanian: LOVE the ma2loobee and the mansaf. Need I say more??
-Turkish: I love everything they make. The yoghurt meatball soup is simply awesome.
-Sri Lankan: Yes it is very different from Indian and yes it is absolutely great! My favorite would be the mutton curry, the potato stir-fry with the curry leaves and the coconut salad. YUMMO
-Indian: Very very good. I like the red meats better than the chicken and for me that's unusual. The biryani and goat curry are tasty.
-Mexican: Absolutely love the whole fish, for some reason it is always called the mojarra, does that mean fish by any chance? No matter where I am, I have to lift up my sleeves and dig in. No forks for me, thank you very much!
-Spanish: Much to my surprise and yes I was stereotyping, very different from Mexican. It is nice, love Spanish seafood and of course the paella.
-Brazilian: love their red meats and seafood.
-Japanese: I hate sushi and am not a big fan of Japanese.
-Thai: mm I generally hate peanut sauce and/or oil, so I am not a big fan of it.
-Chinese: love the fake, not so wild about the authentic.
-Puerto Rican: Absolutely awesome, a certain dish they have resembles the saloona only with green olives!
-Columbian: Din't taste much but what I ate was also good. What struck me and again with stereotypes was how different it was from Mexican.
-American food: what can I say; there is the horrendous, the ugly, the bad and the good! What surprised me (now it doesn't) is the tendency to verge on gaminess (zaffer).
-Malay food: Oh boy, where do I start? Actually I won't get into it in this post.

So what cuisines have you tried? What would you recommend?

Globe Trotter

I love to travel. Seeing new people and experiencing different places is something I find very exciting and satisfying. I am a citizen of the world and as such I want to immerse myself in as much of it as I can. Don't get me wrong, I like nothing more than just chilling at home after a hard work week. I am baytooteya as some say! Unfortunately, time, location and monetary constraints stop me from being the globe trotter I know I am at heart. Currently my travels are limited to seeing more of the United States as I can only get away on weekends. Eight states down, 42 more to go! I started writing down all places I would like to see.

Here are places I would love to visit:
Arab world:
Morocco, Kuwait and UAE (yup I must be the only 5aleeji not to go to there), Oman (I heard it has beautiful sceneries), Lebanon and Palestine.

Americas: Toronto, Oregon (I'm curious to see what folks do there!), Argentine, Brazil and Peru, maybe Chile. Mexico too!

Europe: France, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria and Russia.

Asia: China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Australasia: Sydney, Canberra and New Zealand.
Last but not least Africa: Kenya and South Africa. Hey I told you I want to see the world!

What place in Allah's earth did you fall in love with? Where would you go and keep going to if you could? For me, I love Turkey: the scenery, the people, and the food. San Francisco and Northern California were simply breathtaking. California can actually be serene lol! Charleston, South Carolina. What are yours?

Dr. Ali Fakhro's Article

Below is an interesting article by Dr. Ali Fakhro....Enjoy! (click on each image to get a larger, easier to read version).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

تصريحات المهندس عبدالرحمن محمد النعيمي

Received these gems in an email. Enjoy!
يظهر علينا أحد النواب قائلا لقد حصلنا على مكرمة للأرامل 50 دينار ومكرمة كذا وكذا، نحن نريد أن نغير هذه العقلية ، نحن لا نريد أن
نسمع أن المواطنين متسولين ، بل مواطنين أصحاب حقــــــــوق، وبالتالي ليست هناك مكارم في بلد أنعم الله عليه بهذه الثروة النفطية
يراد أن يقال في هذا البلد أن شيعة هم المعارضة والسنة هم الموالاة، باعتقادي هذا خطأ فهناك شيعة مواليين وهناك سنة معارضين، وفي الواقع لا المعارضة ولا الموالاة تريد أن تستلم السلطة ، فكلنا مقتنعون بجلالة الملك بأنه ملك للبلاد وأن الأسرة الحاكمة هي الحاكمة بموجب القانون والأعراف

بإمكان شعب البحرين أن يعيش – يوما من الأيام – دون ديون وبالتالي يمكن أن نحل جملة من المسائل إن لم يكن هناك تصور مستمر بأن يكون الشعب دائما مديون

نحن لا نريد أن نتآمر على البلد بل نريد الخير لهذا البلد، ونريد الخير لكل أبناء هذا البلد

الحكومة خايفة من الناس، والناس خايفة من الحكومة، والناس خايفة من بعضها بعض، هذي بلد يسمونها!!، كلنا نص مليون ، أنا لم أشاهد بلد آخر يشيع ثقافة الخوف كهذا البلد !!، إذا استطعنا أن نأسس لثقافة تقول أن المواطنين متساوون في الحقوق والواجبات

من حق جميع الجمعيات أن تختار أعضاءها حسب معتقداتها ولكن يجب أن تشيع ثقافة التسامح واحترام الرأي الآخر والتعددية وأن نعمل بشكل مشترك في قضايا مشتركة، فنحن جميعا متفقين في المطالبة بزيادة الأجور، لا سني ضد ارتفاع الأجور ولا شيعي كذلك

توجد سبعين قطعة حربية أمريكية في الأراضي البحرينية، وتوجد مناطق في المطار نفسه لا يمكن الدخول إليها لأنها تحت الحماية الأمريكية، الخطر الحقيقي الذي يواجهنا هو الأمريكان

نحن نعاهدكم بأن كل امتيازات أو أموال خارج القانون نرفضها، ونقول حتى هذه الألقاب التي لا طعم لها ولا معنى "سعادة النائب" نرفضها،قوله يالاخو لازم يعني سعادة النايب

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

You Can Help!!!

Do you feel like no matter what you do, you cannot make a difference? Want to see your hard work fruit and blossom? Tired of contributing time, money, effort but find little results? Well, what if I told you there is something You can do to make a DIFFERENCE immediately?

Interested? You should be.... How about cleaning a beach?

Such a great idea by Soul Search. Click here to link to her post and contact her. Simple yet effective. You, yes you can make a difference! So will you join the efforts and make our beaches beautiful? Or will you sit back and let the filth and trash pile up? The choice is yours.

Take a stand now! Say no to trash and yes to a cleaner, more beautiful Bahrain. The time is this Friday April 06, 2007 at 9am. The place is a beach near Marina Club. If interested contact Soul Search at

Remember a clean beach is a beautiful beach accessible to all.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sawsan Al Sha3er's column: سوسن الشاعر-كلمة أخيرة


هل ننسى أن أول من عانى من جرائم التفجيرات هم شيعة العراق لأكثر من سنتين من بعد سقوط صدام، لا يمكننا أن ننسى أنه قد سقط منهم الآلاف وأصبح دمهم أرخص من دماء الحيوانات نتيجة تفجيرات الانتحاريين وأكثرها دموية تلك التي جرت في مرقد الإمامين، لا يمكننا أن ننسى أنهم ظلوا بلا ردة فعل فترة طويلة حيث كان زعيمهم الروحي السيستاني يطالبهم فيها بالصبر وعدم حمل السلاح، أم نسيتم؟ كما لا يمكننا أن ننسى إننا كنا ننادي حينها السنة في الدول العربية وخاصة دول الجوار أن يقفوا في وجه حملات التطهير والمجازر التي ترتكب في حق الشيعة، لكن رد فعل الأصولية السنية كان ضعيفا ومترددا ومتخاذلا نصرة لهيئة علماء السنة العراقيين الذي هم أيضا تعاونوا بصمتهم وما نطقوا إلا بعد أن فاق الأمر كل تصور وما عاد لسكوتهم تفسير إلا ضلوعهم بتلك الجرائم. أدنا الصمت الذي كان شيطانا أخرس حين ذاك، واليوم وكما هو متوقع انقلبت الآية وطال القتل سنة العراق وعلى جريمة الهوية فقط، الآن فقط بدأت تعلو أصوات الذين سكتوا استصراخا تحذر من حملة تطهير وتهجير ضد السنة! الآن نشط تبادل الأخبار ونشط عرضها ونشط الضمير الإنساني والخوف على الأبرياء، اليوم تتصدر أخبار المجازر صفحاتهم الأولى في حين كانت أخبار مجازر الشيعة تعرض في الصفحات الداخلية ويتم التلاعب بعناوينها والتخفيف من حدتها. لسنا نبرر مجازر اليوم التي تأخذ الإنسان بجريرة هويته، ولن نقبلها وسنندد بها ونستنكرها ونطالب الشيعة في كل مكان باستنكارها مثلما طالبنا السنة استنكار مجازر الأمس، ونطالبهم بعرضها في الصفحات الأولى والتعامل معها بحجم جرائمها الوحشية القذرة ونناشد مَن هو قادر على مساعدة الشعب العراقي بوقف هذا الحمام والتصدي لكل مَن له يد في تلك الجرائم سواء كان عراقيا أو أجنبيا أن يقوم بواجبه. لكننا نتساءل أين غاب هذا النشاط المحموم الذي نراه اليوم في نشر أخبار جرائم قتل السنة وبث خطب بعض علماء الشيعة التي تجيز قتل السنة والمتداولة على الإنترنت اليوم؟ أين كان هذا الضمير الإسلامي -إن جاز التعبير- حين طال التفجير النساء والأطفال والشيوخ والعمال ورواد المطاعم وطوابير المتقاعدين وتجمعات المصلين؟ ألم تكن هناك خطب وأشرطة النحر موجودة؟ ألم تكن هناك صور مقززة وخالية من الحس الإنساني يرتكبها سنة بحق الشيعة؟ فأين كانت صحافتكم وإيميلاتكم ومواقعكم؟ أليست هذه ازدواجية في المعايير؟ أليست هذه النتيجة بسبب الكيل بمكيالين؟

Monday, March 12, 2007

Al-Watan's Latest Shenanigan

This post started as a comment to a post on Lulu Bahrain's blog (an excellent blog by the way). Lulu brings to light Al-Watan's recent monstrosity disguised in the name of prose. To read the horrendous poem click here.

The comment got longer the angrier I got so I turned it into a post. Here goes:
The newspaper (and I'm using the term loosely here) has certainly stooped to new lows. The poem is crass and more of what you see in tabloids than respected newspapers.

Several points that caught my attention:
The poem rightfully asserts that Al Gaoud has received government assistance to win the seat. In fact I heard she was guaranteed the win unopposed if she doesn't support candidates running in neigboring areas.

The poem also implies that Sunni MPs like Ms Al Gaoud represent the Government. What the poet fails to realize is that any MP- regardless of sex, ethnicity, sect or backing- REPRESENTS THE PEOPLE and THEIR INTERESTS (hence the term public servant). The people and the government's interests ALWAYS differ greatly.

The poet again assumes that Sunnis and the government are on the same side and share similar interests. Unfortunately, we are both suffering. Some Sunni villages are as decrepit and run-down as their Shia counterparts and unemployment is rampant among both sects. In fact, with this recent bout of illegal naturalization, the Sunnis come out the bigger losers. Why? Because army and police jobs are given to the newly naturalized rather than the Bahraini Sunnis.

Finally, and this one takes the cake, the poet (if you can call his work a poem) would have us believe that MP Al Saeedi continues to win his seat by earnest hard-work, prayers and blessings. I suppose the blessings would be Allah’s response to the fervent prayers of such a well-deserving man. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have PERSONALLY heard many persons of his area recount how Al Saeedi continues to bribe them and buy their votes. I remember one lady said that he promised to plant a garden infront of her home. Another stated that he promised to help her mum with the rent. I KNOW of the lies he spewed in the mosque about the other candidates and how the group backing him threatened the military and naturalized citizens to vote his way, how they spied on the competition. The sacks of rice and sugar, the school bags and BD 20s given out with a promise of vote in return. Anyone remember the smear campaign against Al Gaoud in the last election? The only solace I can find where he is concerned is that inshaAllah he will BURN in hell for his evil deeds and for using religion to further his political aspirations.

It saddens me that there are some folks who will side with the 'poet', so taken they are with the lies and brian-washed. Where Ms. Al Gaoud should be congratulated for voting her mind rather than towing the line, she is attacked for showing her allegiance to the people and not the government. When will we wake up and see our ugly truth? Until we do our situation and our beloved Bahrain will only deteriorate.

I will end this rather long rant by stating the obvious: we all know whose thoughts, ideas and version of news Al Watan represents, so really could we expect any better?