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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Antisemitism & the Delusion of Freedom of Speech

The current global environment is wrought with tension and anxiety.

Since the events of September 11, 2001; the specter of Islamophobia (prejudice against Muslims) reared its ugly head.

Islamophobia by @CarlosLatuff

Since that day, the prejudice against Muslims was raised ten notches, with everyone sporting a beard suddenly appearing suspicious and eyed with extreme caution. This of course bred intolerance on both sides, which lead to a minority pretending to speak on behalf of the majority and exercising their extreme points of view. This happened as well on both sides.

Now add to that already volatile powder-keg of a situation the recent events of the amateur film made that made mockery of the Muslim faith’s greatest figure, The Prophet Muhammad.

The Libya attacks by @CarlosLatuff

And that is exactly what it was; an amateur video. Created by an extremist to provoke the Muslim majority. All those deaths, all that violence, in essence was caused by that first spark of an idea he had in which to depict the Prophet in such a manner, and release that video on the internet.

This is where my story starts. The events above transpired whilst I was abroad on my first solo assignment at work, I was kept away from my blog by virtue of the long hours at the office and lack of a stable internet connection in the hotel, however, I still managed a few glimpses of the reaction of the people over there to the amateur film, behold one banner hanging outside a retail shop:

What went wrong? Is this a case of over-reaction on the part of Muslims, or under-reaction on the part of the West?

@CarlosLatuff the tip of the Iceberg

The World suffers from a terrible case of intolerance. Ignorance breeds fear, and fear breeds hate, and hate breeds Intolerance.

How often have you happened across a website with a Meme (pronounced Meem) depicting Jesus Christ in a mocking manner? The general idea of the world is, if it is ok to mock Jesus Christ, then it is ok to mock everyone else. Right? Freedom of speech?

Wrong. Here is why. There is a very solid, blood-red line with “DO NOT CROSS” written all over it: Anti-Antisemitism.

@CarlosLatuff double standards & Anti-Antisemitism

Or this:

@CarlosLatuff Antisemitism

Be careful the guise of freedom, for it is rarely properly interpreted.

Kuwait bans gatherings of more than 20 People

Kuwait Protests

Expats & all, be cautioned.

Amidst the sea of uncertainty currently sweeping Kuwait, new sanctions have come about from the government banning gatherings of more than 20 people in a single area.

You can read about it here.

Excerpts:

On Sunday, security forces used tear gas, stun grenades and smoke bombs against thousands of demonstrators as they began marching in downtown Kuwait City to protest against the changes. At least 29 people were hurt and more than 15, including a former member of parliament, were arrested.

“Citizens are not allowed to hold a gathering of more than 20 individuals on roads or at public locations without obtaining a permit from the concerned governor,” the cabinet said in a statement carried by local newspapers.

“Police are entitled to prevent or disperse any unlicensed grouping.”

Since last year, the opposition has taken increasingly to the streets to air grievances. Last November, protesters stormed parliament to press the then prime minister to resign.

The Amir, 83, dissolved parliament on Oct. 7, the latest move in a power struggle between the ruling establishment and parliament that has seen the state disband six legislatures since early 2006.

The Protests in Kuwait

Dr. Hitler – Gynecologist?!

Trolling the streets of Cairo for the peculiar and bizarre, I came across this fine gem amidst a sea of absurdity:

Dr. Waleed Hitler Al-Tantawy – Gynecologist

To those that do not read Arabic, the sign reads Dr. Waleed Hitler Al-Tantawy – Gynecologist.

(FYI the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt’s former Field Marshall was also named Tantawy; so this guy scored a double whammie!)

Fear not ladies, you are under no obligation to name your first borns after him!

Catch @WWE Live in Egypt!

Get ready for the likes of superstars such as Sheamus, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio and many others for 3 days only – October 18, 19 & 20 at the Cairo Stadium, Covered Hall 1!

Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!

False Pre-Advertising; A growing Phenomenon

What was meant to be a work field trip turned into disaster. But, that is another tale, for another time, for now, allow me to share with you the experience I got on my first visit to Suez.

I arrived in Suez at 8pm, 2 hours earlier than required for work. I decided to explore the area around where I needed to be so as not to arrive late.

First impression: Deserted. The roads were empty compared to Cairo, I kept capturing mental images of restaurants as I was famished.

Second impression: no McDonalds. No Pizza Hut. No branded fast food.

I saw the following:

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At first I Thought it was a Cabaret given the lady advertising, I was disappointed to find out its a hair salon.

Hungry beyond recall, I climbed up to OK Restaurant & Cafe. I walked up to the waiter and asked to see a menu for food, at first he thought I was a foreigner, then he goes, no food, only coffee and tea. When I asked why they were advertising being a restaurant, he said the restaurant was opening soon, inshallah.

The second restaurant I stopped by looked a little more lively.

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The second restaurant, looks good from the outside right?

I walked in to the AC’d area to find it a haven for couples, each hidden in a corner and completely immersed in lovey-dovey talk. So I walked out and asked for a menu, given the following:

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Wow! Facebook, Twitter, Youtube! This place is off the hook right? WRONG

I mean, the place had a Facebook page right? They must have a menu?

Wrong. No menu. He quickly named the sandwiches they had, I asked for a shawerma, which came to me in stale bread and, at first taste, it was clear it was NOT shawerma, it was something else.

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Worms Shipping? Seriously?

After the faux shawerma, I walked into a supermarket to get a bag of dorittos and some juice. The bill came to around 4LE, I had 5 on me but needed change, so I handed a 10LE note to the clerk who said, no, give me that 5 you have, I have no change. I took offence to his wandering eyes falling into my wallet so I left the items there and took off.

All in all, Suez does not have much to offer.

Tune in later for the disaster field trip to a container vessel!

Ingenuity in Egypt – Super Market Restaurant

Part of what we learnt during Business Studies was “Diversification”, the process of expanding business. It could be horizontal, in that the businesses are related and merely at different stages of the same production chain, or vertical, two completely unrelated businesses joining together.

A supermarket? Or a restaurant?

This is a supermarket, nondescript, somewhere in Maadi, Cairo. It is not in a fancy location, nor is it discernible in any way, shape, or form.

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Crowded to say the least!

However, one look at the crowd outside, at 1am in the morning, is enough to inform anyone that something strange is going on.

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This supermarket decided to diversify its business and use its stock of cold meats and cheeses to attract a new clientele, the restauranteurs.

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the final product – verdict: Not Bad! Didn’t get sick later so yes! Two thumbs up

It was a good trip, with a good idea bought about in a growing economy.

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As we were leaving, the crowd continued to grow, testament to this ingenious idea’s acceptance by the local populace

Apples in Kuwait: Rotten at the Core!

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Shocking but real.

Lets get one thing straight, I love apples! And not as in “how do you like dem apples” from Good Will Hunting:

So imagine my surprise upon biting into my favorite fruit, bought from a famous hypermarket at The Avenues, as it was on sale, only to discover that the fruit, despite appearing healthy from the outside, was rotten to the core.

As the picture above shows, there is something definitely unnatural about that apple. Whether it is waxed or shot with radiation, the bottom line is, these apples are NOT ORGANIC/ NUTRITIOUS.

Consider yourself warned. I am positive that in the long run, consumption of such fruit is bound to cause some form of deficiency/ disease in the body.

It is atrociously shameful when the bottom line means more than the consumer’s health. Effectively, you are decreasing the target market by selling them potentially poisonous products, thereby limiting their lifetime commitment to your brand.

Hypermarkets should be required by law to state which of their products have been altered/ treated.

PS I am one of the people that enjoys eating the apple core, as it harbors the most nutrients, for which the flesh is there to protect.

To attempt to clear your minds from the image above, I leave you with the following:

A Runner’s Worst Nightmare

Without a shadow of a doubt, this incident has proven to be the saddest moment of my running history.

Picture if you will the following scenario; a runner preparing to train. They have on their thermo tops, their running shorts, smart socks and wicked pumps. They don upon their kisser a pair of branded sunglasses, along with a brightly colored bandana to keep the sweat from their eyes. Their sophisticated watch whiz’s and whir’s as it attempts to triangulate their position via GPS.

The sun is shining and rainbows are shooting out of the arse’s of birds in flight as they sing their praise for this glorious day.

Our runner friend reaches down to hit “Play” on their music device (let us call it iPod), as the GPS has finally locked. And just as our runner friend is about to take their first step towards an hour or more’s worth of running, the music starting to pump its way from the iPod through the wires into their ears…

They realize that one of the earphones (most usually the right one) has died. Sporadically jumping into existence with the whimsical manipulation of the earphone jack.

I had my earphones for over a year now, a replacement for their misplaced comrades of the same exact make and brand, as I am most comfortable with them. Their greatest attribute? The wire can be shortened to facilitate armband mounting of iPods as well as pockets whilst running.

At the sudden realization that my trusted friend who had stuck with me on every track for the past 700KM was departing from this world, I wept a silent tear:

Music is the fuel which drives a runner forward, it is the oil which lubricates our tired joints into movement as the beats power our feet.

I reluctantly made my way to the nearest electronics store, the same exact store where I had initially purchased the very same earphones I donned to replace their misplaced comrade, hoping beyond hope to find the same exact model just eagerly awaiting my fingers. Last time, the salesman was unable to fulfill my request and I ended up finding the earphones myself.

I would not be so lucky this time.

Saddened, I made a purchase of another pair of earphones, alien to my aural canals, as I needed a quick replacement. They felt strange within my ears at first, completely different to my behind-the-neck, short enabled set.

Upon arriving at home and taking out the old pair for one final hurrah before their demise, a dim bulb brightened.

The heavens smiled upon me as I realized, the very same reason that made these earphones special would be their rebirth!

Why you ask?

Simple – I have bade farewell to a dozen earphones of many shapes and sizes previously, all due to the same condition – one earphone stops working (my earphone at work is currently fashioned from a fallen pair I used during university, one died and one survived).

I came to the realization that the fault lies not with the earphone, as it sporadically would transmit music for a micro second when the earphone jack moved inside my pocket, the fault lies with the jack itself! And, this specific pair of earphones had … 2 jacks! It is essentially a short pair of earphones with an extension cable.

And sure enough, the shorter version worked perfectly.

Crisis averted!

Back to sunshine and rainbows!

 

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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