Tag Archives: USA

TRUMP WINS!!

It was a long, difficult, arduous journey, but finally the verdict is in…

And thank god it’s a joke because if we were to wake up and find out that this is true, let’s just say hara kiri might become an American word…

Can you imagine a Trump presidency?? tanning will become a state requirement, mothers will dye their baby’s hair blond, the word ‘Murrica will be entered into the dictionary, the entire country will gesticulate with their thumb and index finger, plastic surgeons will make millions with a new procedure to reduce hand size.
In a world where Trump is president, anything is literally possible. pigs will fly, milk will never go bad, small toes will be magnetically repellent to corners, and cars will run on willpower. 

A country that selects a buffoon as president that will invite ridicule at every moment, is not a country fit to call itself a super power.

The Arizona Almost Arrest 

One of the scariest views in the world, specifically when driving in the USA, is to pass a cop on a highway who you see pull a complete 180 turn, flash the sirens, and shoot down behind you.
It happened on our way to the Grand Canyon from Colorado. I was stuck behind a large trailer and wanted to overtake on a two Lane road, so I poke out from behind and gun it.

Unfortunately for me, the person coming towards me was very close, and also, a cop. The minute i passed him i knew something was wrong, I’d committed a grave mistake, possibly referred to as aggressive driving. 

As if on queue, i look into my rear view and the police jeep pull a 180, turn its sirens on, and get stuck behind the same RV i was. 

I slowed down, and sure enough, he was behind me. So i pulled over onto the side, put both hands on the steering wheel, slapped on my most none threatening smile, and waited. 

A minute or so later, the officer approaches the vehicle. I roll down my window. He starts with a greeting, then asked if anyone in the car was in need of medical assistance. He also asked if i knew what I’d done wrong, that it’s dangerous.

I handed over my international licence and the vehicle’s registration, he looks through it then asks if im either drunk or tired. I answered no.

My papers are handed to me and I’m asked to get to my destination safely. 

A million thoughts ran through my head, a fine, jail time (both of which i cant afford), this was a breath of Fresh Air if ever there was one. 

In addition, earlier in South Dakota, we’d parked our car infront of our hotel and woke up to find a ticket on the windshield as we’d apparently parked facing the wrong direction. The hotel owner called the local police, who showed up at our doorstep, she explained we’re from out of town, and the policeman agreed to waive the ticket. 

Happy camper, right here 👈 

Expect the full road trip write up soon.

Dear #USA; Why September 11, 2016 will be a celebration for Muslims

Dear America,

What’s happenin’? (in tune with Tupac – Letter to the President)

We find ourselves now in the month of April, and as such I feel it is pertinent to give you an early heads up that this year, if all goes according to plan, you will notice Muslims around you celebrating on September 11.

A6KFhRiCcAABbsV

Customary greetings during Eid

Firstly I need to get something off my chest, the entire world calls it 11-September, so get with the metric and enough of this 9/11 nonsense. Logically, dates follow an ascending order, from smallest to largest, so its days – month – year, like 10s-100s-1000s when we we were learning arithmetic in elementary school. Anyhoo, that is neither here nor there, so I digress.

Yes. This year Muslims will be celebrating Eid Al-Adha, an auspicious religious festival that dates back to the dawn of man, specifically Prophet Ibrahim, or as you call him, Abraham, specifically when he was asked by God to sacrifice his son, Is’haq, or as you call him, Isaac, as a test to his faith.

Sura 37
[37:102] Then when he was old enough to work with him, he said, “My son, I see in a dream that I am slaughtering you, so take a look, what do you see?” He said, “O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, God willing, patient.”
[37:103] Then when they both submitted and he placed his forehead on the ground.
[37:104] We called him, “O Abraham,
[37:105] you have believed the dream?” Thus, We surely reward the good doers.
[37:106] This was an exacting test.
[37:107] We made a concession for him in place of a great slaughter.
[37:108] And We preserved his history for those who followed.
[37:109] Peace be upon Abraham.
[37:110] We thus reward the good doers.
[37:111] He was one of Our believing servants.

Said concession was a Ram.

The same is mentioned in the Old Testament (here).

And as such, every Eid Al Adha, Muslims around the world partake in sacrificing of animals. Now before you jump up and down screaming PETA, you need to understand that there are certain rules regarding how the sacrifice (which sounds way worse than it really is btw, almost archaic), how the animal must not be harmed prior, how it must not see the blade, how a swift blade has to be used (not serrated) etc. The animal is then distributed amongst the poor. If memory serves, you keep a third, gift a third to friends and relatives, and donate a third to the poor and needy.

As you can see, we’re more alike than you think.

So you might ask, why this year? The Muslim calendar follows the lunar year, which moves back 11 days every year, so the timing of the Holy Month of Ramadan (fasting) moves annually, as do all other religious holidays.

So you might ask, why does it move back? Well, so everyone feels what it is like to fast at different times of the year. I remember when I was in university Ramadan was in September, now it is June. You get to fast in all seasons.

I am no religious scholar, most of what I wrote above was in jest. However, the point is the celebrations are religious, and should not be interpreted in any other way.

If Donald Trump tries to sell it in any other way, know that he is a pompous, arrogant, blowhard full of hot-air.

And if you don’t believe me, ask Google:

@ISNAHQ @YngMuslimAmer @icna @MuslimCouncil @CAIRNational

The dates may change as it depends on Lunar sighting, however, should it not, you’ve been told!

From Arab Spring to Islamic Caliphate – Coincidence, Opportunity or Design?

We do not usually partake in much politicking online, however recent events have forced our hands.

Conspiracy theories; who subscribes to such idiosyncrasies? The belief that nothing in life is by chance, that everything follows a hidden agenda, be it Alien, Mason or otherwise.

Let us examine the facts:

1) For the longest time, in all our life time (those born in the 80s/90s) the Middle East has been a hornets nest of strife – from the presence of the Israeli aggressor on Palestinian lands to the multitude of secular divisions that fueled countless wars and bloodshed in the region.

2) During that period, terrorism began to loom. On September 11, 2001, terrorism in the name of religion reared its ugly head, bringing about a new wave of fear to an already stressed global populace that began striking around the world.

[this event in itself is already rife with several conspiracy theories]

3) 17 December 2010, a Tunisian street vendor by the name of Mohamed Bouazizi, in the face of injustice, sets himself alight and unwittingly became the martyred catalyst of the Tunisian uprising (link), the first ripple in the wave that would eventually be referred to as the “Arab Spring”.

4) Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya followed suite (link).

I myself cannot believe that the single actions of one man miles and miles away can have such a diverse domino effect as to lead to the toppling of world leaders who had been in power for DECADES, in excess of my own time on this earth.

During the chaos, another incident happened that greatly contributed to where we are now:

5) The death of Osama Bin Laden – May 2, 2011 (link).

Which eventually lead to the birth of the new defacto Terrorist Organization: ISIL aka ISIS aka IS (more names than a PR campaign can spew).

According to this CBS report (link), the “group” was born in blood at Camp Bucca, which was known as the largest, and one of the toughest, American prisons in Iraq.

… at least 12 of the top leaders of ISIS served time at Camp Bucca, including the man who would become the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. CBS News obtained photos of 10 of them in Bucca’s yellow prison jumpsuits.

U.S. officials who worked at Bucca told us they were concerned that prisoners were becoming radicalized. The prison has been described as “a pressure cooker for extremism.”

Given the US Army’s propensity for by-any-means-necessary tactics, why were these radical elements allowed to survive and thrive? Everyone can recall the infamous Blackwater incident (link), and Abu Gharib Prison (link), there must be countless other cases where prisoners “disappeared”, those deemed too unstable or too dangerous. It would seem, for all intents and purposes, that Camp Bucca was not as much a PRISON as it was the melting pot from which the “group” sprung. Per that last statement, “pressure cooker for extremism”, you do not put such combustible elements together unless you are aware of what might emerge.

The “group” started gaining prominence AFTER the death of the “Serpent’s head”, and quite recently began appearing in highly televised and produced videos showing decapitations and burning people alive.

The “group” has flourished in areas where once-upon-a-time there was an iron first rule, however as a result of the Arab Spring, a power vacuum took place that funneled everything into a black hole of indecision, fear and murder.

For all intents and purposes, Libya is a war-zone, a country torn against itself. As is the case in Syria, and Iraq, and Yemen.

It does not seem likely, even for a second, to believe that everything that happened was a result of a street vendor taking their own life.

The Arab Spring was a success in Tunis, partial in Egypt and a failure elsewhere, where pretenders to the throne arose to challenge the status quo.

Also, keep the following in mind; the armies of the Middle East (not to be confused with the 5 Armies of Middle Earth):

Capture

 

Of the 13, the largest in terms of Active Frontline personnel, 3 of which are currently for all intents and purposes, immobilized; Yemen, Syria & Iraq.

Of the other 3, two are already embroiled in skirmishes across their borders (Egypt & Lebanon) and Jordan has been drawn into the fold with the murder of its pilot.

The question arises, despite having knowledge and information regarding weapon’s caches, training schools, depots and other strategic intel, why would Egypt and Jordan hold off on taking action until the murders of their delegates?

Non-Halal Meat in Kuwait?

An Iowa-based food supplier is accused of marketing its products as halal to Muslims worldwide in Kuwait, UAE and Malaysia, when in fact its meats were  not.

(link)

The lawsuit says that Midamar employees would remove the label from the Minnesota-based plant and exchange it for a label from a Nebraska plant where kill practices are certified as halal.

In the West, halal meat is a delicate rarity for which shop owners charge premium prices knowing full well that Muslims will pay it in order to keep up their protein intake. Once upon a time in Hyderabad, India I joked with a waitress by asking her if the fish was halal. Now I believe the joke is on me, as I never thought I would have to ask the same question in Kuwait, a predominantly Muslim country.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, the company could have been misleading customers since inception, for many, many years!

The defendants, brothers Jalel and Yahya “Bill” Aossey, are charged with 91 other counts of making false statements on export certificates, wire fraud and money laundering. (link)

Which begs the question, who is importing from this company in Kuwait? What are they branding it as? And how long have they known?

There was a post on Facebook recently stressing something about Americana minced beef.

What is strange is that this is not the first time such allegations are made against this company, it happened in 2012 as well. Even stranger is their “defense”: The corporation has strongly refuted the allegations and called them a “religious matter” that the U.S. government has no right to regulate.

Watch what you eat, even in Kuwait. All is not as it seems.

Q8footSoldiers Calling out Camp Arifjan Kuwait

Kuwait is a county slowly making an appearance on the global race landscape, with 2 established races, one of which is a half marathon. The only thing missing is a full, professional marathon. Like the one being organised by Camp Arifjan for the 28th of September.

The shadow run takes place this month (link), it is a marathon that will be run (literally) simultaneously to the Akron Marathon.

Here are 300 reasons why the Q8FootSoldiers should be running this marathon as well:

1)      If the main reason of the run is to offer a morale boost to the troops, allowing non-military runners to participate is the perfect way to get that community feeling.

2)      Non-military runners can be used as comparative yard-sticks to gauge the performance of the 300 army runners.

3)      The Q8FootSoldiers are an established running group in Kuwait that was featured in Bazaar Magazine (link).  One of the members ran 250KM over 3 days and also leads BootCamp Kuwait.

4)      Friendly competition: the 300 runners live together, eat together and train together. Adding an external flavor to the mix will make for good competition.

5)      You already have 300 runners, an extra 2 or so will not hurt.  You can even make it a BYOBD (Bring Your Own Bottle [of Water] and Dates [the kind that grow on trees])

6)      You can blindfold the non-military runners and take them to the race location, much to your enjoyment (as well as theirs).

7)      More runners = more fun.

8)      We’re not really Soldiers as our name suggests, it’s just a moniker. We do have discipline however in waking up early to go for runs.

9)      It would be a great PR Stint to show local support for to the Ohio Army National Guard’s 371st Sustainment Brigade.

10)   Reasons 10 – 300; why not? 🙂

So if you think this can happen, get in touch with us! We’re available via Facebook Page (link), Twitter (link) or right through this very blog.

Regardless of what comes of this, it would be an honor to run such a marathon and show support.

So keep that in mind 😉

(Please RT this to get the attention of Camp Arifjan)

The Definition of a Terrible Day – Embassy Woes

Often in life we are cursed with the foreboding feeling of impending doom and gloom. Now as a show of good faith, the universe likes to throw a few hints here and there to sort of give you the “heads up” and make itself feel better for all the calamity that is bound to ensue in your miserable life.

For example, the morning traffic. Finding yourself cut off by a inconsiderate fool whose soul purpose in life seems to badger you by not allowing you a clear exit towards your road, which is completely clear, so that they can stick to the car ahead of them and prolong the traffic they are in.

Fine. It was a moment, and it passed. Turn on the radio, Miley Cyrus on one station, annoying breakfast show duo on the other…

Woe is me.

On this very day you happen to be heading towards the embassy to apply for a tourist visa, you have (or a tleast you think you have, or you have tricked yourself into believing) all your documents are in order. You dress nicely for the occasion, incorporating aspects of that country’s flag into your dress so as to give a pleasant subconscious message that you are deserving of their time and stamp.

You are told to be at the embassy by 8:30am, you manage to get there at 7:45am, only to find yourself in a spiraling line beneath the relentless sun, beating down on you like a boxing champion at the first ring of the bell.

By the time you make it towards someone that can inspect your documents, who if logic prevails should pass by everyone to ensure that they have the proper documents PRIOR to their standing in line! So, by the time you get to someone who can review your documents, you have already lost 45 minutes! And of course, the universe pops back in and says, “hey, SCREW!”

Sorry sir you seem to be missing a form.

The form requested is a preliminary form, without which you could not print or proceed with the rest of your application and you know, book an appointment, pay the fees etc. which you printed a confirmation for, but we require the confirmation BEFORE that.

Oh, you waited for 45 minutes in the line in the blistering sun? Well now you only have 45 more minutes to go get your paper printed and get back here, otherwise you will have to reschedule.

At that very moment, having just spent 45 minutes listening to the people around me talk about their hopes and prospects for university, and realizing that the majority of them were soon-to-be freshmen, I thanked the heavens I merely went to university back home, and was spared the grueling requirement of having to wait in lines to apply for a visa to go somewhere to study.

Faced with the logistical conundrum of where to locate a printer at such short notice at such an early hour, only one answer came to mind: Work.

Zoom from Bayan to Kuwait City, all the while telling myself, i’ll just reschedule, no way I can make it back in time.

The universe, in its infinite playfulness, decides to tease me, despite arriving late to Kuwait City, I still managed to find a perfect, superb parking spot. Maybe my luck was starting to turn (lol said the universe).

Fortunately the document was easy to print, and a glance at my watch showed the time to be 8:56AM. I could still make it!

So, leave the office, leave the superb parking spot, get stuck in traffic. Usually you have to pass through two traffic lights, which always operate at opposing ends, so if one opens, the other closes. Luckily (or so I thought) for me, the lights were synchronized and I managed to pass both.

YAY! Thought me.

Hehe, said the universe.

I arrived back at the embassy with a few minutes to spare, and luckily, no line. It was not really luck, the line had just moved inside now.

I reach to give my paperwork, finally complete, to the embassy guard at the gate and he goes…

I’m sorry, this photograph is not as per our specifications.

See, where as the rest of the world has agreed that the standard measurement for a photograph to be used for all official purposes is dubbed as “passport sized photograph” which is 4X6, we being special and all want you to give us a picture that is 5X5. Also, please forget the fact that you have already submitted a soft copy of your photograph, which we accepted and even affixed to the very form you went back to print out for us in the first place! We just want that physical picture for reasons unknown.

Kind of like this:

country vs world

And to place the final nail in the coffin of this day; rescheduling turns out to be more of a hassle than previously thought – for they “lock” your receipt number, and have to “unlock” it prior to you rescheduling, which will most definitely take time during which the appointment window gets farther and farther away.

Universe 1: Me (-1).

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

error: Sorry, Ctrl+C/V disabled; if you wish to use this content please contact us :)
%d bloggers like this: