Wednesday, 28 July 2010

What a day

It was the first time in my life that I Visit one of those settings where people arrive and say hi to a distinguished person, we stood up everytime a person entered, walked to the distinguished person, shook his hands, then he turned around and shook the hands of every person in that majlis. When you sit down again, after like 30 seconds you stand again to shake the hands of another comer, sit down and there it goes again. Of course the arabic coffee comes to you, with the coffee men walking like slodiers with a rythem, if a Muallaya was playing they would look like dancers (I actually imagined them do so :)) very funny, then the same coffee men change to tea men, really nice, hot, strong tea is served in wee coffee cups. I had all of those that they served to me. Of course people would come just to have a look at this distinguished person, I am not sure if they all were like us, I mean needing something from him, I doubt it, anyway, at the end we conduted our business and left. The whole way back (while playing solitair on my battery-dying-BB)I was just visualising those men seated in that 50 odd people room standing to shake the hands of the new comers, drinking tea and coffee served by dancing soldiers. I am not sure how to explain my feeling, but I must tell you that I am confused.

if there is justice in the world, no one would visit any one as no one would need a favour from anyone.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Girls at the higher colleges

I am not sure why I forgot to write about this, for some reason it just seems that the event I went to was not material enough to be mentioned. In actual fact it was a very clear example that we are not doing the right thing in our education system. Now i am sure that i didn’t mention it because i wanted it to sink in and to think about it a little bit more.

Sometimes in May, I was invited to provide some insights into overseas internships and summer programmes to the girls in one of the higher colleges of technology. It was a good day, the drive was brilliant, and the sun was not killing me. I took my time, and reached few minutes prior to the event. I had to talk to two groups of students. The first group was 80 students, and the second one had only 20 students. Never expected it to be a full house but it was.

Well I will not delve on what I explained to them, I will just mention here the reasons they had given me of why they cannot go overseas. one, their parents do not have the money to send them abroad; or it is not safe to go abroad, or the foreigners will discriminate against us, or they will not be able to wear a scarf over there, our English is not up to scratch so we will not know what they are saying. The or’s went on and on, full of negativity to the extent that I started to believe that maybe this is true? Of course it’s not true. I told them that my parents let me go abroad in the 70's, did they not love me enough then to send me overseas? Also I said that I cannot believe that the parents do not have the money. All of us in the uae are thrifty, but we spend our money on the wrong things, for example, i would rather give my son a slx Mercedes to kill himself with rather than train him during the summer, so when he looks for a job later he is not told that he is fresh grad. Also i would rather let my daughters loose in the shopping malls than train her on something that she will not have time for later on in life.

Unbelievable excuses that proves that us the parents need to have our brains drained and a new type of thinking poured inside it to be able to upbring our children in a world that develops so fast and changes faster than the speed of light. However how can we do this? I dont know?

And since us the parents make up the members of the government too, then of course we are not able to equate our education system to that of the western world, and continue to spend more money than necessary when we send our kids over seas ( that is if we agree to send them).

Well, help me solve this please.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Emails forwarded by my friends

I am not sure why people forward emails, maybe they think that the recipient doesn’t know the information, or would like to know more information, or maybe just to stay in touch. Like businesses really, if they are not in our face we will forget about them (far from the eye, is far from the heart as they say). However since I moved back to Dubai, I didn’t have enough time to check all the forwards, so I created a folder on my outlook that is called "forwards from friends" ingenious really:) and I only go there when I have some time to spare which is really rare, with my phone ringing all the time, and the 300-400 business emails that I have to reply to, and the shopping with the kids, and for the house, and the social agenda that doesn’t end.  Sometimes when I am returning home at night I get worried that I will have an accident, as my head spins and my eyes closes, I wonder why am I doing this, but I only remember at the end of the day when I am fully tired.  Anyway, so in those rare moments when I have time I do check your forwards friends, please don’t be upset with me. 

And when I like what they send, I will post it here for you all to see too (when you have the time, that is)
A preamble for this post
Three years I was still a member of the Dubai ladies club.  It was my favourite place on this earth.  The beach was always empty, and I would either be swimming in it, or just lying on those long bed-like-chairs reading a book or just meditating. In those moments many things cross my mind, so I thought of a novel, (I always wanted to write something but didn’t know what it was) the novel involved the sea, and the life inside it, with a mix of people going there and solving the sea lives problems.  Of course I never came around to writing it, one day I will, I promise, it will be the next better-than-harry potter book, and you will all receive a copy signed by me.

So whenever I receive forwards on sea life I reminisce on my novel, and that is why I am posting this post:

These are the images shot for an underwater film created using revolutionary technology.  The film took four years to shoot and costing a staggering £45 million to produce. But it's easy to see why: 500 hours of unedited film were shot using remote-controlled mini helicopters, divers, hydrodynamic cameras dragged behind boats and top speeds, and carefully tied poles.

Just going for a little flight: A long-beaked dolphin is caught on camera by a mini helicopter as it leaps from the water in an unspecified location in one of the images from the film

Behind the scenes: A mini helicopter hovers above a whale during the four years of filming

Health and safety?: A diver moves carefully through a sea of jellyfish…..
The film, Oceans for Pathi, is set to be launched this year. Cameras have penetrated shoals of hunting tuna fish and flown just metres above dolphins as they leap from the ocean. The film-makers also captured a sand-level view of tiny turtles hatching and scurrying to the ocean.
Sand-eye view: This eerie image of horseshoe crabs scuttling on a beach was part of the 500 hours of unedited footage

My, what big fins you have: A diver appears dwarfed by a sunfish in footage from the film.
It took two years of planning before 15 cameramen could even begin filming Oceans for Pathi, which will be out on general release on 27 January 2010. The crew filmed in 50 locations across the world and captured 80 species of fish, dolphins, whales, squid, lizards, crabs and turtles. The secret to the production is its revolutionary filming carried out in a bid to get within the ocean's most intimate events.

Cuddles: A walrus with its baby in another image from the film

Cannonball!: Sea birds dive bomb the water in search of fish
A watertight, hydrodynamic box was built to house a specially designed digital camera. The box was then drawn at top speed behind a boat, capturing dolphins as they darted through the water. The camera was also attached to a long pole and tied across the front of the boat, enabling directors Jacques Cluzaud and Jacques Perrin to film laterally at speeds of up to 15 knots. A remote-controlled mini helicopter hovered silently above the directors' prey and divers made 75 expeditions to capture 500 hours of unedited film.
Head first: An Adelie penguin diving from an iceberg in the film

Hold that pose: Two Weddell seals turn their inquisitive eyes on the camera in footage from the film

Two Californian sea lions look as though they are dancing through the reefs in the footage
The scale of the production was matched by the directors' vision for the film.
'In an attempt to tell the story of the oceans, we sought to open doors other than those of statistics: those of a fantastic and magical tale, the marvels of the little world of the coral reefs, the heroism of dolphins in full charge, the gracious dances of the humpback whale and giant squids, the horror of the attacks made on the oceans and to their creatures, the incredible spectacle of the sea unleashed in a titanic storm, the silence of a museum of extinct species,' said co-director Jacques Cluzaud.
Scientific director Sephane Durand said: 'The directors' dream was to swim with fish and dolphins, to track their underwater movements and ocean crossings whatever their speed, their evolutions, their acrobatics.'

Fancy meeting you here: A humpback whale appears out of the astonishingly blue ocean to peer into the camera in another shot from the film, which cost £45m to produce

As the world turns: A ball of horse mackerel in a scene from the film

A dinghy is dwarfed by a crane hoisting a camera over the water to film a whale

Thursday, 8 July 2010

My Mother

Years ago, I remember my mother climbing ladders and painting the ceiling in our old house in Bahrain, I am not sure where she got the paint from, it was dark green, and so glossy that we reflect on the ceiling like a mirror. She would also paint the walls, stitch our clothes, cook delicious and mouth watering dishes, make loufas, does facial hair threading for people and tailors clothes for others and of course puts a value on her products and sells them. We would be sitting around her to do our home work, she would have a look at our notebooks, and hits us with the stick that was always next to her singer machine if we dont do our home work right. Of course we only found out that she is illiterate after many years later! To me, I never thought of this until I saw her at the hospital with her knee being operated on, that was a month ago, and since then I have been thinking of my mother, and idolising her, I think that it doesn’t really matter how much one studies, and how much we learn, life can be sufficient to teach you things. There were 13 of us, her children that is, most of us are now either holders of bachelors or masters degrees, and if one of us did not complete his or her studies she frowns on us as if we had committed a sin.

The thing is, if my mum who is illiterate can achieve this in life, why are other people living in utter poverty?

I love you mother.

Looking at her now wondering around her house with the steel walker, I feel really sad that we allowed her to have bad knees for such a long time. So my kids, look after me, as us women never think of ourselves when we have kids.

the best email I had ever received- thanks Rema

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.

"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.

"The box is gone," he said

"What box?" Mom asked.

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.

It was gone.. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package.. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

"Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser."

"The thing he valued most time"

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said.

"Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!"

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Do no evil!

Do you remember the statue that had three monkies one covering his eyes, the other covering his ears and the third one covering his mouth? Well, my kids were asking me what to do and what not to do to be good Muslims. So rather than giving them the lecture that we hear from every scholar which basically will freak them out and make them forget about religion. I said that they only need to avoid four things?
Do not commit adultry
Do not consume alchohol
Do not gamble
And do not steal

Think about it, each one of the above leads to the other and each makes one so engrossed in the act to the extent that one forgets the reason behind our existance. If we just forget about these four things we will most certainly focus on the good things in life, we will discover that there is so much to do to save humanity, to discover new knowledge and to spread peace.

My son wants to open this toy store for kids and adults but he was worried that if he does this he maybe committing an act against islamic teaching. I told him that even profit mohammed (PBUH) played with his kids and with his grand kids? So playing is something we must actually encourage people to do more of as its a way of relaxation. No one can work 24/7 and all our teaching tell us tht we have to devote a portion of our time for ourselves to do anything we like with it. To me I like watching movies and taking photos of my cat or items of still life. To my middle daughter she likes surfing the net and to my little one watching football.

Did you guess what my son likes to do?

I will not tell you. If you have been following well you would know