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Monthly Archives: February 2011

‘It is Unacceptable to Disrespect Expats’ Vs. Expats encroach on rights of Citizens

Ok, I am completely, utterly and profusely flabbergasted at this very moment.

Talk about turning a complete 180.

During August of 2010 I wrote an article entiteld “Infuriated; Expats encroach on rights of Citizens- are you kidding me?”

The jist of it was an opinionated and completely direspectful article published by one Khaled Al-Jenfawi (here is the article) regarding expats and their rights.

Now, fast forward to the present date, whilst I’m sitting and happily sipping my cup of tea and reading the latest issue of EEK! Magazine (Expats in Kuwait Magazine, subscribe to it by sending an email to info@expatserviceskuwait.com; its awesome), I come across an article with title above; It is Unacceptable to Disrespect Expatriates, lo’ and behold, who is the author?

Drum Roll Please…

KHALED AL JENFAWI!

The article goes as follows:

Some of my expatriate friends frequently complain about the lack of respect they receive at the hands of few citizens. Such disrespect takes the form of negative attitudes, verbal abuse, insolence, and sometimes outright contempt!


No one can deny such anti-social, anti-expats behaviors, nevertheless, such attitudes do not represents Kuwait or the majority of its people. Yet, we need to introduce new codes of positive social behavior towards expats in our society.


We need to encourage respectable treatment toward our expatriates friends and partners. We as Kuwaitis pride our self of belonging to a civil society and as having large sections of our native population well-educated individuals.


In fact, we as Kuwaitis tend to view ourselves as more urban, sophisticated and polite individuals.


However, once in a while we read or hear about how some disorderly individuals who happen to be dressed in our national costume (Dishdasah), speak or imitate our national dialect, treat some expatriates as if they are subhuman or less deserving as human beings.

(hold on a second, so is he blaming impostors for the subhuman treatment of expats, and not some rowdy Kuwaiti nationals? What about the whole “ana Kuwaiti, asafrek” response, has it become a blanket rebuttal used by anyone in national costume?)

Personally, I do abhor intolerance in all its forms, whether it is directed against expats or others. Ill manners, rude behaviors, and any anti-social behaviors whether committed by citizens or expats is unacceptable, period! But, I do understand that we in Kuwait are in urgent need to introduce new positive attitudes in our local culture and to encourage fair, respectable and good treatments toward all expatriates. It is enough to consider the numerous contributions expatriates achieved for our society and economy, and such consideration should begin a spontaneous public outcry against those who continue to disrespect some expats.


Moreover, expats introduced diversity, tolerant values and amazing human experiences in our society. Indeed, hard working individuals from all nationalities have already positively influenced the way we look at the world. We pride ourselves as Kuwaitis that our country welcomes hundreds of nationals who constitute the bulk of our workforce.


In addition, expatriates have already enriched our Kuwaiti human experience. They brought with them new cultural norms, civil achievements and numerous other contributions, which shaped how our local culture reacts to the outside world. We should do our best to discourage any form of negative attitudes or behaviors toward expats. In fact, why not celebrate the multiculturalism we currently experience in Kuwait due to the presence of hundred of thousands of expats?

To conclude, instead of ignoring some negative reactions few individuals currently use against expats, we should refuse them, totally. It is no longer acceptable that some citizens, especially few rowdy youths ill-treat some expats. It is no longer acceptable to see some youngsters belting public buses just because their passengers happen to be expats!

Events in Kuwait for the Upcoming Weekend and Onward

I got this share via an email, thank you British Ladies:

Summary:

AUK EVENTS SCHEDULE Between 20th and 23rd February

Abracadabra Magic Show Feb 22nd, Feb 23rd and Feb 24th.

HMS Iron Duke Visit 23-25 Feb

KITE FLYING 23rd to 27th February

GUINESS WORLD RECORD February 24th, 2011 between 3.30 and 6pm

Jazz Concert 360 Mall Friday 25th February 2011 in the main Atrium of 360 Mall from 7pm to 9pm

CLASSIC CAR SHOW Friday 25th February at 1pm along the Gulf Road

FIREWORKS AND LASER SHOW Friday 25th February evening – show starts at 8pm along the Gulf Road and Kuwait Towers area

50/20 FOLK SINGING 23rd to 26th February at Fun Land Park, Hawally from 4pm to 9pm.

MILITARY PARADE Saturday 26th February from 10am onwards

CULTURAL CARNIVAL Sunday 27th February from 10am onwards

NAVAL DISPLAY Monday 28th February from 9am onwards at Marina Beach area

JAPANESE DRUMS 28th February AND 1st March at the Abdullah-Aziz Hussein Library Theatre in Mishref

GOLF DAY Thursday 3rd March at 4pm at the Sahara Club

PAWS DOGSHOW Friday 4th March, 11am to 4pm at the British Embassy

ROYAL CARS EXHIBITION From now until 5th March at 360 Mall from 10am to 10pm

JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL Wednesday 9th March from 5pm to 9pm at Cinescape Laila Gallery, Salmiya

Kuwait Little Theatre Tickets are now on sale for Alan Ayckbourn’s “Woman in Mind” which opens at the theatre on March 9th until March 11th 2011 curtain up at 7.30pm.

FOG BALL Friday 11th March at the British Embassy from 7pm

NBK WALKATHON 12th March registration tent next to the Scientific Centre in Salmiya

KUWAIT CHAMBER PHILHARMONIA 11th and 12th March at 8pm at the Radisson Blu Hotel

Kuwait Half Marathon 19th March 2011

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AUK EVENTS SCHEDULE

Between 20th and 23rd February at the American University of Kuwait, located at the intersection of Salem Al Mubarak Street and Amr Ibn Al ‘As Street in Salmiya.

Various art and musical events throughout the week, with full details on:

http://www.auk.edu.kw/news/showNewsDetails.jsp?id=10583&ndate=1297773743936&newsType=E

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Abracadabra Magic Show

Six shows (2 shows per day) will be held at the Ice Skating Rink on Feb 22nd, Feb 23rd and Feb 24th.

Be amazed and dazzled by some world class performers.

Tickets for the Illusion Show “Abracadabra” are now available on sale at the Al Watan and Zain booth in 3 venues: Ice Skating Rink, 360 Mall and The Avenues.

Email for information at info@eventmania.co

The timings:

■1st Show: 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM

■2nd Show: 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

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23-25 Feb HMS Iron Duke Visit

Her Majesty’s Ship IRON DUKE will be visiting Kuwait during 23-25 February 2011, arriving at Shuwaikh Port mid-morning. HMS IRON DUKE is a Type 23 Frigate carrying approximately 185 personnel. The ship is 133 metres long and displaces 4,900 tonnes.

During the ship’s time alongside, the Ship’s Company (all personnel onboard) will wish to use the time for rest and recreation during the afternoons or evenings of 23 and 24 February. We are looking for members of the ex-pat community with a view to some of them offering their kind hospitality.

It is requested that any such offers be directed to Tony Kershaw at the British Embassy, by email on tony.kershaw@fco.gov.uk , or Tel 22594334

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KITE FLYING

23rd to 27th February

Al-Farsi Kites Team hope to get the “worlds largest kite” (as recorded in the Guinness Book of Records) airborne.

Location: 28 48.8N 048 16.2E – immediately to the East (seaward) of the 40, and about 3km south of the Kuwait Naval Base. In the area of Bnaider Road 258.

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GUINESS WORLD RECORD

February 24th, 2011 between 3.30 and 6pm

As part of the 50/20 celebrations, Al Sayer will be going for a world record in releasing 5,000 doves into the Kuwait skies at the Marina Crescent, off the Gulf Road.

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Jazz Concert 360 Mall

Friday 25th February 2011 in the main Atrium of 360 Mall from 7pm to 9pm

Chris Byars/Ari Roland Jazz band whose music is inspired by the great masters of jazz and the Golden Age of Jazz (1930s to the 1950s).

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CLASSIC CAR SHOW

Friday 25th February at 1pm along the Gulf Road

Starting from Anjifa Beach, the cars will drive along the Gulf Road towards the Kuwait Towers. Cars welcome to join in! You may use this as the means to get close to the Towers for the Fireworks display which kicks off at 8pm

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FIREWORKS AND LASER SHOW

Friday 25th February evening – show starts at 8pm along the Gulf Road and Kuwait Towers area

Fireworks and laser show to commemorate 50/20. It is rumoured that KD1 million is being spent on fireworks, so it should be good. Access to the area, however, is also rumoured to be difficult. Find a friend with a flat with a good view and bed down there for the night!

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50/20 FOLK SINGING

23rd to 26th February at Fun Land Park, Hawally from 4pm to 9pm.

National Festival for folk singing with fireworks.

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MILITARY PARADE

Saturday 26th February from 10am onwards

Coalition Forces military parade to take place along the Subiya Road starting at the end of the 4th Ring heading towards Jahra.

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CULTURAL CARNIVAL

Sunday 27th February from 10am onwards

Cultural Carnival all along the Gulf Road, also known as the “Love for Kuwait” march.

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NAVAL DISPLAY

Monday 28th February from 9am onwards at Marina Beach area

Beach attack demonstration by Kuwaiti Marines which is supposed to start at 9am, naval formation displays and F18s from Saudi Arabia, the Falcons, doing an air display, again supposed to be at 10.30am.

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JAPANESE DRUMS

28th February AND 1st March at the Abdullah-Aziz Hussein Library Theatre in Mishref

This show will feature Ichitaro, a famous Japanese Taiko drummer, will be free of charge! The concert will be held in the theatre in Mishref (behind the Mishref Co-op) from 6.30 to about 9.30pm.

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GOLF DAY

Thursday 3rd March at 4pm at the Sahara Club

Pit your skills against Suzann Pettersen, World No.3 LPGA Golfer for straight and longest drive and for a putting challenge. Open to all ages and experience levels and non-golfing guests also invited.

RSVP by 25th February by calling 2259 7606 or registering at the Sahara Reception.

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PAWS DOGSHOW

Friday 4th March, 11am to 4pm at the British Embassy

Registration is now open for this 6th annual dog show to raise funds for the PAWS animal shelter. For full details, see their website www.paws-kuwait.org.

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ROYAL CARS EXHIBITION

From now until 5th March at 360 Mall from 10am to 10pm

See an amazing selection of classic and vintage cars from the motoring history of Kuwait on the ground floor of the Mall.

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JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL

Wednesday 9th March from 5pm to 9pm at Cinescape Laila Gallery, Salmiya

The films being shown are Barefoot Gen which is a cartoon & The Face of Jizo which is a story of a survivor of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

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Kuwait Little Theatre

Tickets are now on sale for Alan Ayckbourn’s “Woman in Mind” which opens at the theatre on March 9th until March 11th 2011 curtain up at 7.30pm.

Book online at www.theklt.com/booknow or call the box office on 9937 3678

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FOG BALL

Friday 11th March at the British Embassy from 7pm

Mrs Maria Pilar Fernandez Baker and Mrs Sue Read, Ambassadors to British Guides in Foreign Countries and Mrs Amanda Weldon, District Commissioner, cordially invite you to the Friends of Guiding (FoG) Ball at the British Embassy on 11th March 2011 from 7pm till 1am.

For reservation please send your full name and civil id number to info@fogq8.com

DRESS CODE – BLACK TIE

Thank you to our sponsors, Amec and Movenpick

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NBK WALKATHON

12th March registration tent next to the Scientific Centre in Salmiya

You can register between now and 11th March to take part in this 17th annual walkathon to celebrate 50/20 with a host of competitions and prizes. More info on:

http://kuwait.nbk.com/MediaCentre/Newsroom/DetailNews_en_gb.aspx?newsid=791_en_gb

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KUWAIT CHAMBER PHILHARMONIA

11th and 12th March at 8pm at the Radisson Blu Hotel

First Kuwait International Music Festival presents concerts by the Qatar Classical Ensemble and Sinfonietta Crakovia Orchestra. To be held in the Al Hashemi II ballroom. Tickets cost KD5 or KD10 and can be purchased at Virgin Megastore or the Radisson Blu. Tel 2567 3000

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Kuwait Half Marathon

19th March 2011

Kuwait Charity Run is organizing Kuwait’s 1st Half-Marathon Run, covering a distance of 21 kilometers (13 Miles). Join us on race day and get involved in raising funds for charity as well as in overall community awareness.

The Spark that lit the Fuse – Mohamed Bouazizi

I mean no disrespect.

Pardon the distasteful title, it fits in some ways, and is also harshly critical of a 26 year old whose act of self-sacrifice served a much greater purpose, as it quite literally lit up the fire beneath many a nation, and will be viewed as the pivotal point which started the change, and the demand for democracy.

George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush; what do all three have in common, asides from greying (focus on this please) or white hair?

They are FORMER Presidents. Former.

That phrase is indistinct in the Arab World, our leaders either die of natural causes, get assassinated or get deposed. Also, most Arab leaders have vanity in terms of appearance, and wish to portray an outward image of being youthful (i.e. Mubarak, the 82 year old with Jet Black hair, FFS I am 24 and already get a few white hairs here and there). Age = Wisdom

Who would have thought all these truths hid beneath the facade of money and power, smiles and laughter that have been the forefront of so many countries for so long? Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Kuwait (plight of the Bedouns) etc. The list is ever growing.

I place the biggest portion of the blame on Media. It is the media that chooses what image it wishes to convey to the millions and masses abroad, they will show you festive celebrations, but will neglect the downtrodden in society.

However, the main reason behind this post is, Mohamed Bouazizi.

BBC dedicated an article to him, his sister helped bring the truth to light, you can read it here.

So much good (apparently) has come from that single sacrifice, it was the wake-up call for everyone to look at themselves and wonder, do we not deserve freedom? Do we not deserve to have the ability to start a family, and properly provide for them? Do we not deserve to be treated as human beings and not mindless cattle?

But, despite the valor and unselfishness behind this act, Muslims must consider one cardinal rule; suicide is not permitted in Islam.

Wikipedia has dedicated a page to the views of different religions on the notion of suicide (here), the view of the Three Celestial Religions are as follows:

Judaism
Suicide is forbidden by Jewish law. Judaism has traditionally viewed suicide as a serious sin. It is not seen as an acceptable alternative even if one is being forced to commit certain cardinal sins for which one must give up one’s life rather than sin. Assisting in suicide and requesting such assistance (thereby creating an accomplice to a sinful act) is also forbidden, a minimal violation of Leviticus 19:14, “Do not put a stumbling block before the blind,”.

Christianity
According to the theology of the Catholic Church, death by suicide is considered a grave or serious sin. The chief Catholic Christian argument is that one’s life is the property of God and a gift to the world, and to destroy that life is to wrongly assert dominion over what is God’s and is a tragic loss of hope.

Islam
Islam views suicide as one of the greatest sins and utterly detrimental to one’s spiritual journey. A verse in the fourth chapter of the Quran, An-Nisaa (The Women) instructs; “And do not kill yourselves, surely God is most Merciful to you.” (4:29)

Most Muslim scholars and clerics consider suicide forbidden, including suicide bombings, and often cite the aforementioned verse in the Qur’an as a clear commandment forbidding suicide. Some Shafii scholars even classify suicide as an unpardonable sin, the equivalent of eternal sin in Christianity.


The prohibition of suicide has also been recorded in authentic statements of hadith, (sayings of Muhammad). For example:


Hadith – Bukhari 2:446 Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire.”[3]

Also, Hadith – Bukhari 7:670, Narrated Abu Huraira:


The Prophet said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”

No matter the reason, whether you be a deluded fanatical extremist (suicide bombers), or a downtrodden youth, suicide is suicide, and it is unpardoned.

I believe we should all pray that god have mercy on his soul, for it is only through the prayers of the living that the deceased can have respite.

How to File a proper Complaint – UshopWEship

As was evident with my tirade yesterday, I am bolstering a campaign against UshopWEships unprofessionalism.

In the digital age we live in, everything is email, telephones are redundant. You have merely to call the Skynet operators one time to know exactly how redundant they are.

At first, you are asked to wait by a male voice, then a female one asks you if you wish to browse the directory, afterwhich it asks you to key in the persons last name, a very abysmal and redundant process that always ends with disconnection. Not only that, but if you key in 0 for the operator and nobody picks up, it does not automatically transfer you to someone else, it goes “you will be disconnected, goodbye”, or “the mailbox number you have reached is full and cannot accept any new messages”.

So I went on over to Skynet and sent them a very detailed email of my discontent with their Kuwait Branch, and their manager.

Now, I am still trying to reach Mr. Ivan via telephone, only to be given the same treatment, he has not arrived, hes not in his office, he has left the building.

Here comes the clever part, please take out your pens and papers and write this one down:

How do I get in touch with him DIRECTLY? The foolproof way would be via mobile right? But if you request his mobile number, you will most likely be rejected and requested to call back another time. If however, you ask the staff to call him on his mobile, and reiterate the fact that you have been trying to contact said person for 2 days now, and that this is highly unprofessional, the staff, in hopes of avoiding a headache, will ask you to contact said manager directly and offer their mobile number to you directly, if only to alleviate their own troubles of having to call and co-ordinate.

Presto, its like a game of pass the parcel.

Now lets see what Mr. Ivan has to say.

UshopWEshop – Worst Customer Service EVER

Technically, a service company should provide a service, pleasantly, with a smile, listen to its customers and clients and strive to serve them in a better more efficient manner. Right?

If that is the case, then UshopWEship have the WORST customer service in the history of the service industry.

I previously voiced my complaints on their money-hungry antics, but this takes the cake.

I had made an order since December 20th, and it has yet to come to me. Why you ask? Because UshopWEship are nothing more than a criminal front.

The way UshopWEship work is that you order an item from the USA, it is shipped to a box in the USA and once a week the contents of that box will be delivered to you in Kuwait, giving one week for clearance etc. You should receive your items in 2 weeks time.

That has never happened in all the years I have used UshopWEship, items take almost a month or more to arrive, leading me to believe that it would be better to rely on the public postal service as opposed to them.

Never mind that, now the matter at hand. They charge you an amount to have the package delivered to you, fine. But when I call and ask them how much I have to pay, to be told that Kuwait Customs have levied some charges on me, I expect to understand what these charges are.

Nope. They do not know why. Kuwait Customs just charges what they want.

The last time this happened I had ordered supplements online, so understandably, Kuwait Customs wanted to ensure that the supplements were, authentic?

But that is not the worst of it. For an entire day I have been trying to reach their “so-called” manager by the name of Mr. Ivan, only to be told, numerous times, that Mr. Ivan is “busy”, “in a meeting”, “not available”.

What gives them the right to pay an amount on my behalf and charge me for it without knowing the nature of the charge?

I have had enough of UshopWEship. They are unprofessional, unethical and highly Impolite.

The Oppression against Islam

The BBC published an article that made me see the world in a different light, you can read about it here or follow my dissection of the important points raised in the article.

First off, the very name drew my attention, like a moth to the flame; Egypt protests: Israel watches anxiously.

For those that do not know; Egypt is the single Arab country to have a signed treaty with Israel.

Anwar El-Sadat was assassinated as a direct result of that treaty, being viewed as a traitor to his race and religion. Israel has used this fact, and Egypt has imposed the Emergency Law since then to stifle any dissidence that is religiously linked, giving full automony and power to the Police Force to stamp down on whom they see fits the bill.

“What could develop and which has developed already in several countries, including Iran – repressive regimes of radical Islam – that is the fear, of all of us,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday in his strongest comments yet on the Egyptian crisis.



The Muslim Brotherhood has so far taken a back seat in the Egyptian uprising.

But Israel’s fear is that if there were to be fresh elections in Egypt, the party could do well and even win.

Israel is using smoke and mirrors, warning of an imminent threat to global security with words like “could”, and “might”, and “if” and “maybe”.

Key in Islamophobia, 30 years ago.

Everyone is using the idea of radical Extremists as a focal point for enforcing more restrictions on, you guessed it, Muslims.

To protect Israel from a “supposed and alleged” attack by elements of a radical extremist group; 80 million people, for 30 years, have lived in an environment that fosters oppression and the stifling of freedom of speech, of the right to protest, and the right of freedom of press.

Why is it that Israel can pull such clout in global socio-economic and political fields? I believe Dr. Norman Finkelstein said it best, they keep playing the holocaust card over, and over, and over.

El-Baradei was vehement in voicing his condemnation of the double standards imposed in the Middle East; Arab (key word ARAB) countries were forbidden from engaging in any nuclear research unless it is initiated, maintained and controlled by a foreign body. Whereas Israel, the instigator of all violence against Arabs in general and Islam in particular, is free to conduct its own nuclear research, and has yet to verify this, although it is a well-known fact.

Simply check the table on Wikipedia on the list of Countries with Nuclear weapons; Israel is the only one that reads data n/a.

In 2010 the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed between the USA & Russia, in efforts to reduce the nuclear stockpiles of both countries. What of those that dwell in the hornets nest?

For too long Islam has been viewed as a religion of violence, hate, prejudice, sexism and terror. Instead of opposing this, we have succumbed to it, not only that, we have imposed those measures on our own people, in our own countries.

It has now become normal practice for Muslims themselves to attack Islam.

There are radicals in every religion, remember the KKK? The Nazi’s?

I believe that any faction, regardless of its original orientation, is now more favored to wreak wanton destruction and then claim they did it in the name of Allah. It is the current craze, is it not? You can have someone who knows nothing about Islam claim he is delivering gods message, and the media will eat it up (e.g Jihad Jane).

Jihad Jane, a great example: here you have a woman who has gone through a tumultuous life, the death of her brother and father, her divorce, she attempted suicide. And then all the sudden, she is an Islamist.

Did the media focus on her background? Nope, they only portray her as a crazy, burqa-clad extremist. No mention of her mental instability PRIOR to her new-found faith.

The term Islamist is thrown around hapazardly. I am a Muslim, and I am not an Islamist, an Islamist is a scholar who is knowledgeable in Islamic studies.

I am not saying that all followers of Islam are “perfect”, just recently the actress that plays one of the Patil Twins in the Harry Potter franchise (a national of Pakistan living in the UK) was attacked by her brother who found out she was having a relationship with a Hindu boy.

Why? Because she is Muslim.

It is crucial that we change our own views on ourselves, before we seek to change others views on us.

What does Freedom mean to you?

A seemingly simple question, to which a complex answer is required.

What does freedom mean?

According to Webster:

1: the quality or state of being free: as
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence
c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous
d : ease, facility
e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken
f : improper familiarity
g : boldness of conception or execution
h : unrestricted use

2:
a : a political right
b : franchise, privilege

In the Arab world unfortunately, politics is a taboo topic, strongly frowned upon because as a populace, we are unable to take criticism constructively. Don’t believe me? Simply watch “Arabs Got Talent” and see the reactions of people that are sent off.

There is a laid back mentality of, if you simply ignore the problem, and bury your head in the sand, it will go away.

If not, throw some cuffs on it, fabricate a phoney sentence and let it rot in jail till kingdom come.
In my honest and humble opinion, freedom is basically, the right to choose.

To choose. You are free to choose, whatever follows after that sentence, that is the essence of freedom: Choice.

The Prophet, Peace be Upon Him, explicity and quite simply explained that your freedom ends when it is imposed upon others; the example given was if a ship apportioned its deck to the crew, and each member was free to do as they wish in their alloted portion, what if one decides to dig a hole in his portion? It is his choice, and freedom to do so, right? This will ultimately result in the ship sinking, and the loss of life.

This is one of the few lessons I remember from Religious Education in school.

Ultimately, we are all born free, it is the role into which we are cast that determines whether or not we live out our lives with that freedom.

Mankind has proved, countless time-and-time again, that in the absence of order, and law, chaos ensues. However, we live in a world without borders, it is extremely narrow minded to think that the liberties and freedoms of nations abroad cannot be implemented worldwide, if it proven to be a culture that can help people attain Kaizen, or continuous improvement, development and growth.

In the Arab World, we are more about stamping down on different thoughts and ideas rather than proactively debating such issues. Understandably, everyone is afraid of change, by nature, it is an agreeable reaction. We fear what we do not understand.

Back to the topic at hand, what does freedom mean to you?

To me, freedom is a multi-faceted entity, you cannot accept one face without aknowledging the other.

Stagnation is the number one killer of bright minds; how many medical, political, social and economical great-thinking-tanks that have risen from the Arab world, remain in the Arab world? Very few, as more opportunities lie across the seas in countries that nurture such talent.

What the Arab world needs is a balance between Freedom and Religion.

It is painfully obvious, to any and all, that in the presence of strict guidelines, chaos ensues.

Feel that is incorrect? Alcohol is taboo in Kuwait, is it not? Yet, how often do you read in the paper that it is readily available here, to foreigners and nationals alike? How often do you read about nationals who get caught drunk driving, or the infamous “I Fly Drunk” Kuwait Airways pilot, who confessed that when he was pulled over for drunk driving?

There is a saying, I am not sure of the exact wording, but by making something forbidden you make it desirable. By stamping down on issues, you incite peoples curiosity for that issue.

We need a balance, and we need it now more than ever.

Where is the Love?

But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah
Badness is what you demonstrate
And that’s exactly how anger works and operates
You gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love,

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I’m gettin’ older, y’all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin’
Selfishness got us followin’ in the wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids act like what they see in the cinema
Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity



The Video that always makes me Weep

هذه بنت رجل الاعمال حسن ماللك الذي يقضي عقوبة السجن ظلما في محاكمة عسكرية للمدنيين ظالمة وذلك بتهمة الانضمام لتنظيم الاخوان المسلمين ولقد تم قفل شركاتة وتشريد العمال واخذ ماله وحسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل في الظلمة

I Wish I could translate what the little girl is saying, but I believe that anyone, regardless of whether they understand arabic or not, will be moved by the tonality of her voice, and the pain in her eyes as she talks.

At first she speaks to her father, in prison, to have patience.

Then she speaks about how her friends fathers come to pick them up from school, and she is left wondering why her father isnt there to pick her up, and her teachers ask her, where is your father, she replies he is coming, knowing full well he will never come.

And then she reads a poem, asking her father why he left her, all the promises he made her.

It is truly heart wrenching.

Her father, a prominent businessman, was unjustly and unfairly tried in a Military Court, despite being a civilian, and sentenced to 7 years, his business liquidated, his accounts frozen.

 
That is the reason why we rise against Mubarak, the “so-called” Emergency Law is meant to oust any who dare to oppose or voice an opinion against him. It robs people of their constitutional rights of a fair trial, of sufficient evidence to incriminate.
 
For those that do not know, there are thousands of political prisoners in Egypt, and they rarely see the light of day, so good is the government at silencing them. Just look at how long Ayman Noor, presidential candidate, was jailed for after he ran in the elections.
 
PS Ayman Noor was only released as a gesture of goodwill towards Obama’s rise to office.

Those that Support and those that Oppose

In this day in age, it is impossible to believe that there are some people whose very thoughts and opinions oppose all that which the world has agreed to be the norm.

I had to suffer through the indignity of hearing people actively voice their support for the current regime in Egypt, not only that, they were begging “The Clan Dragon” to remain, screeching that the opinions of the demonstrators are not of the entire Egyptian Populace.

Not only that, I have heard one person, who works right here in Kuwait, an Egyptian national, condemn Al-Baradei and say that the blood of the Iraqi’s is on his hands, and that he wishes to re-enact the same destruction in Egypt.

First off, I support El-Baradei. Second, I denounce all opinions supporting the current regime as deluded, misguided and foolhardy.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but lets back them up by putting forth some facts, not just ideologies and blind faith.

Regarding El-Baradei, one of the few, charismatic, well-respected leading Egyptian figures in the world today, Mohammed El-Baradei is a Nobel Peace Laureate and former Director General of the Internal Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In 1997, when Elbaradei was elected to his first term as DG of the IAEA, he said in his speech that: “for international organisations to enjoy the confidence and support of their members, they have to be responsive to their needs; show concrete achievements; conduct their activities in a cost-effective manner; and respect a process of equitable representation, transparency, and open dialogue.” This is pretty much the same stance he is taking at the moment given the current regime in Egypt.

As a direct result of the events of September 11th, he established a nuclear security programme to combat the risk of nuclear terrorism by assisting Member States in strengthening the physical protection of their nuclear and radioactive material and installations.

To the misguided, disillusioned fool who claims ElBaradei is accountable for the blood of the Iraqi’s; he disputed the US rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq from the time of the 2002 Iraq disarmament crisis, when he, along with Hans Blix (former DG of IAEA), led a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. ElBaradei told the UN Security Council in March 2003 that documents purporting to show that Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from Niger were not authentic.

ElBaradei described the U.S. invasion of Iraq as “a glaring example of how, in many cases, the use of force exacerbates the problem rather than solving it.

ElBaradei agreed with the administration of US President George W Bush on a number of key nuclear-related issues, but was not afraid to speak his mind.

He particularly voiced his discontent with what he saw as double standards on the part of countries that have nuclear weapons, but which seek to prevent others from procuring them. “We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction, yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security – and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use,” he once declared. He went on to say “If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction.”

ElBaradei’s political credibility in the Middle East comes from the time when he questioned the claims about weapons of mass destruction that were being used to justify the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. He QUESTIONED it, he did not SUPPORT or CAUSE it. After taking over from Hans Blix in 1997, Mr ElBaradei employed diplomacy to deal with other nuclear rows in North Korea and Iran. Diplomacy, not autocracy.

ElBaradei is quoted as saying, “Israel would be utterly crazy to attack Iran.” He considers an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would “turn the region into a ball of fire and put Iran on a crash course for nuclear weapons with the support of the whole Muslim world.”

ElBaradei believes the nuclear non-proliferation regime has “lost its legitimacy in the eyes of Arab public opinion because of the perceived double-standard” in relation to Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

For the first time, the Arab world has produced someone who is not afraid to voice their opinion, no matter how many toes he steps on, openly criticising the existance of double standards.

He has charisma, and he has my vote for anything; I would follow him to very pits of hell if need be.

Second, to all Egyptians living abroad or within Egyptian borders and all Foreigners, living within or outside Egyptian borders, that support the current regime, I pity your ignorance and question your sanity.

Those who do not live in Egypt do not have a bone in their body that supports Freedom, Democracy and Civil Liberty. Those who live within Egypt and support the regime are the elder generations, and mostly those that benefit from the corrupt system that has been in place for the past 30 years.

These people, living outside Egypt, understand. You, believing in the current regime, are nothing but a fool.

Mubarak came to power when Anwar El-Sadat was assassinated on October 6th, 1981 (there have been conspiracy theories that implicate the then-vice-president Mubarak in the assassination, although nothing was ever confirmed) and since then, has ruled over Egypt with an Iron Fist, enacting and renewing an emergency law that gives him absolute power and control over all that is Egypt. Since then, the pie has been distributed to those that hold economic clout and power in Egypt, business owners were made into ministers, and the plundering of Egypts wealth further deteriorated the already sub-par living standards of the poor within its borders.

Anwar El-Sadat, another Nobel peace prize laureate, was the answer to Egypts prayers. Some of his most memorable quotes are as follows:

Fear is, I believe, a most effective tool in destroying the soul of an individual – and the soul of a people.” – Mubarak’s regime is built on the sole basis of fear.

Peace is much more precious than a piece of land… let there be no more wars.” Mubarak has declared war on the Egyptian populace.

There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, not as many separate ones.” What kind of family pulls out during a time of crisis? Mubarak.

He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never therefore make any progress.” Mubaraks key disillusionment.

Egypt boasts one of the worlds most diverse economies, however, the trickle-down economy has been nabbed by those with greedy fingers; subsidies have been removed from necessities for the Egyptian population, whilst Israel is given gas at a throw-away prices, some Egyptian estimations claims that the country is losing $9 million per day due to the under market price set.

The older generation does not have to go through the trenches that the youth face today. Rising unemployment, a product of the system refused a job by the system due to their being deemed “unqualified”. The youths inability to find a home, a sure-fire prerequisite in Egypt for marriage, due to sky-rocketing real-estate prices. Inability and ineligibility for marriage as a direct result, and those that are married find themselves unable to support their families on the meagre rations and crumbs they are thrown by those that hoard all of Egypts wealth. The elderly do not have to go through the scrutiny of police check-points, nor be harrassed on a daily basis by a system of corrupt law-men. And let me tell you, the majority of the police force is corrupt, indulging in the vices they vehemently swore to protect the people from.

The Pareto principle appears to be formulated specifically for the Egyptian population; 20% of the populace reap 80% of the countries income, whilst the 80% subside on 20% or even less.

Egypts population is nearing 87 million, half of them are uneducated and are living below the poverty line, valued at $2 per day.

For all of his accomplishments and accolades during the war as an airforce pilot, and we do not question that, his failures to protect his own people from internal threats far outweigh those accomplishments.
Anwar El-Sadat is not the first president to be assassinated on a global scale. Yet since then, Egypt has been oppressed beneath the boot of the Emergency Law, giving the corrupt Ministry of Interior unabashed power to do as they wish to whomever they wish, ensuring that no rival shall ever rise to the presidency. Take a look at the “fair” elections that occured in Egypt, what ever became of the opposition? All were arrested or demoted, under fabricated pretences.

Some people should learn to keep their opinions to themselves, and that is for everyone that believes in the current regime of Egypt.
If you do not support democracy, and human freedom, then you are but an infinitesimal spec in the plethora of world, and your opinion is worthless, baseless, and pointless.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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