Tuesday 30 November 2010

Public figures are public ownership

Public figures are public ownership

I had a real headache, my neck got the cramps, and my eyes were tearing. Please don't trigger me as I will explode.  

No wonder we are classified as third world countries, we as members of the public, and those in higher places are secluded from each other by an invisible wall.  If we even thing of approaching those in the higher up places we have to jump though many hoops, even then we are not successful. No wonder we will stay as third world, no progress at all, as each and everey person in the public may have a fantastic idea to progress the country, he or she are apphensive, as fear of being laughed upon today, and his or her idea applied tomorrow is more than a reality. Or he or she will not be heard, and of course few of us have idea pads in our bags, were we note those little light bulbs that come to our mind.

I must start with a contrast as being a researcher its not good just to blabber without any basis; In western countries people can go and see any public figure with no apprehension, they can email them, write to them or go to the parliament to talk.  If you had any grievance or any other important thing that you needed to say, then public figures will have to see you and resolve the issue.

In our part of the world no one really notices and no one cares. However, if you happen to be one of those people who are dreamers, and you decide that you do want to contact a public figure for something you have a process to follow. First you will need to cut through the giant monsters, that too if you get to these monsters, the phone system will not direct you to the person you need, and the "contact us" button goes to a deep black hole, so by the time you get to what you wanted, you would have sworn that you will never sleep again so you don't dream!! 

What a shame, we spend millions on technology that we don't UAE properly, and we cut corners when it comes to customer service. Also what really annoys me is that, no one really complains abou this, or maybe we do but it doesn't get there. And they are saying that us in the third world die early due to heart attack!!! Well of course we do, we explode as no one hears our ideas and our opinions.

Ok, so do you want to know now what I went through trying to reach a top person for an idea that is boiling in my head? Read the above, for the past 7 months I tried, nothing, and when I finally got the email and the number, the giant monsters said no you cannot.  

Thank you

Tuesday 16 November 2010

"The Joy of Reading"This is not my story: check this link http://storiesforeveryone.com/

Pedagogical Project
“The Joy of Reading”

Barbara’s blossoms

When Barbara woke up on December 4, it was a day like any other. Dad had already left for work. Mom told her to hurry—she was late again! Then, with a hug and a kiss, Mom was off to her job.
Barbara tucked her lunch into her schoolbag, put her jacket on and then slowly took it off again, and sat back down at the breakfast table. She was tired. She had spent too much time reading under the covers last night with a flashlight. She just wanted to sit for five more minutes, eat a banana, and think about the book she had been reading.
The phone rang just as she was taking her last bite of banana.
“Mmmpf,” she answered, then, “hello!”
“What does ‘mmmpf, hello’ mean?” asked a deep voice.
“Th-th-that means… I’m sorry, this is Barbara!” Barbara mumbled, embarrassed.
“Th-th-that sounds better already,” replied the deep voice. “This is Saint Nicholas, wishing you a happy Name Day!”
“Wh-wh-what?” stammered Barbara.
“Since when do you stutter?” laughed a familiar voice.
“Gosh, Grandpa!” Barbara sighed, relieved “You really fooled me!”
“Did I manage to do that again?” Her grandfather giggled happily. “Best wishes, my dear! What did you get for Name Day?”
Barbara didn’t answer. Neither Mom nor Dad had remembered her Name Day. She hadn’t even remembered it herself. The same thing happened last year, too, she recalled.
“Ooops,” she mumbled, “I don’t think we celebrate that.”
“Oh!” said her grandfather. “We’ll change that today! I hereby declare today a school holiday and invite you to come over to spend it with me! If you hurry, you can be here in half an hour! See you soon!”
She heard a click as her grandfather hung up. Barbara stood in the hallway, perplexed. Surely she couldn’t just skip school. Grandpa probably just wanted to annoy her parents again. He liked to do that. He believed that people worked too much in today’s society, and only did it so they could buy themselves silly things they didn’t need. Barbara had to laugh as she thought of the funny arguments Grandpa had with Mom. Grandpa didn’t take the arguments seriously, but Mom would hit the roof.
Barbara loved Grandpa, and that’s why it didn’t take her long to make up her mind. She dropped her schoolbag, bolted out of the house, grabbed her bicycle, and rode over to his house.
It was a mild morning, much too warm for December. It had rained overnight, but now the sun was shining and the wet leaves smelled good. Grandpa was waiting in front of his small house carrying his old sheepskin jacket, which Mom kept trying to get him to throw away.
“Come on!” he called. “Put your bike away. Let’s take a walk through the garden.” Typical Grandpa. A walk through the garden! For this, she had risked getting into all kinds of trouble with her parents and at school. Grandpa was already plodding toward the orchard without waiting for her. Barbara leaned her bicycle against the shed and ran behind him.
“Pick out the nicest twigs with the fullest buds and I will cut them for you,” said Grandpa when she caught up with him.
“Wh… why?” asked Barbara.
“You are stuttering again!” Grandpa grinned. “I will tell you why we are cutting twigs—because today is Saint Barbara’s Day!”
Barbara stood still and looked at Grandfather skeptically. Was this another one of his jokes? But Grandfather looked more serious than usual as he leaned against an apple tree and said, “You know, people forget all of the little things that are important in life. Each name has a meaning, otherwise we would all be called ‘refrigerator’ or ‘oven’!”
Barbara had to laugh. She had never thought about this. She found some names pretty, others boring or silly. But the idea that they had meaning had not occurred to her.
“What does Barbara mean?” asked Barbara, holding her breath for a moment.
“In Latin, it means the stranger or the barbarian. That’s fitting for you, isn’t it?”
Barbara grimaced. “Nothing else?” she asked.
“Yes,” her grandfather answered.“It was also the name of a strong young woman who has long been honored as a saint. She lived 1,700 years ago in Nicomedia, a city in what is now Turkey. She is said to have been very beautiful and wise, this Barbara. She was also Christian, which was dangerous, because Turkey belonged to the Roman Empire and the Romans persecuted all Christians. Barbara’s father was a wealthy merchant. He had absolutely no understanding of her faith in Christ. He thought she should marry, and that was that. But she refused. He became so frustrated with her that he locked her into a tower. But in that tower, her inner strength grew even more. At last, her father became so furious that he handed her over to the Romans.”
“What? Her own father?” Barbara looked at her grandfather in disbelief.
“Yes, her own father! Some fathers become very cross when their daughters don’t do as they are told!”
“And what did the Romans do with her?”
“Well, they demanded that she renounce her faith. Which, of course, she didn’t.”
“And then?”
Grandpa furrowed his brow and scratched his head a bit uncomfortably. “She was sentenced to death and died very bravely. Soon thereafter, the legend says, her father was struck by lightning.”
“Serves him right!” said Barbara.
“Yes, I think so, too!” said Grandpa. “Now you know that your patron saint was a very brave woman. Among Christians, she is known as a protector of the imprisoned and the dying. Youcan be proud of her!”
Barbara nodded.
“And what about the twigs?”
“We will cut those now in honor of your Name Day. Then, you’ll put them into a vase, and they will bloom at Christmas as a symbol of the strength that Barbara received from God.”
They cut a bouquet of apple and cherry twigs in silence. Later, they drank hot chocolate and had a long conversation about Barbara’s name and many other names. It was the nicest day Barbara had ever spent with Grandpa. Before she left his house, he wrote her an excuse for missing school. Barbara placed her twigs into a vase and checked them carefully every day. And then, just before Christmas, the first ones bloomed, delicate white flowers in the midst of winter, reminding her of her namesake and the love of her grandfather.

Barbara Veil

Silke Lefler (org.)
A simply wonderful Christmas – A literary advent calendar
New York, North-South Books, 2006

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are a group of teachers with some experience in the area of storytelling and we would like to share our project – The Joy of Reading – with everyone who is in touch with children and young people in general but above all with everyone that enjoys reading.
This project consists of sending stories for free on a weekly basis. So this particular e-mail and the ones that will follow it in the next weeks are intended to share some small stories with you. All the stories we send have some values within: respect for nature, tolerance, tenderness, responsibility, solidarity and many more. They all aim at developing the reading skills among young people, as well as allowing some moments of reflection and dialogue about topics connected with human values, which seem to have been somewhat forgotten in these times of materialism and hedonism.

We thank you for your attention and hope you will welcome this project (which, it is important to say, does not have any profitable aims).
If you know anyone interested in receiving the weekly stories by email, please let us know by sending their emails to us.

Please let us know your opinion about the project.

Yours faithfully

The Pedagogical Team


Monday 15 November 2010

A story

Ok let me tell you a story. I am not a story teller, but this one had kept on revolving around my thoughts so I have to get rid of it.

Om Hussain and Om saeed, two women, same age, same health problems; Both have knee pains, back aches, their heel has Plantar Fasciitis, their fingers are painful, and to add to this both were at spa for treatment. Both are rich and both are happy, their lives had a meaning and both will not replace it for anything else.

Om Hussain, has 6 kids, the youngest is 20, most were married with grand children, her husband died a year ago from Cancer. Om Saeed has 3 kids, the youngest is 18 and none of them are married. The first one owns a house, and travels twice a year for her holiday, the latter also owns a house and travels all the time but not for holiday.

Om Hussain’s kids studied at home, they all have blackberries and Ipads, and their grandchildren also know how to use them. Om Saeed kids studies abroad; they also own blackberries, Iphones, and Ipads, no grand kids to use them yet.

So far so good?? Normal story I would say, however there is a great difference between the two women, Om Hussain never studied and never worked in her life, she had dedicated her time for her children and husband and now to her grand children. Om Saeed was an international student all her life and had worked from the age of 19, she had also dedicated her time to her work, children and husband.

Om Hussain never had to worry about money, and eventually she inherited her late husband’s money. Om Saeed had to think of how to earn more to support her family and herself, as both her husband and her were not living in their own country, so both have to work really hard to make ends meet.

What is the moral of the story? I don’t know really, I think God is the one that decides the amount of money one can have, it doesn’t matter how one will get that money, whether by self work, or other means, if we are to be rich it’s his doing, and if we are to stay poor its his doing too. Thus, what should we really do? Is it destiny? I am not sure, is it luck? Oh well, you know what I always say about luck? I don’t have to repeat it here. However I need a reply from all of you. Do we as women need to tire ourselves and have the books in front of our eyes day in and day out, do we have to run like horses to earn a living? Or should we just depend on our husbands?

Thursday 11 November 2010

Fruits and Gadgets

What's with the fruits, blackberry, apple, pomegranate, orange etc? All of these fruits are nutritious, tastes great and are always available (due to strong export market), also these fruits are not expensive, and one of them is mentioned in Quran as being the fruit of heaven. You are going to ask what's with Suad becoming a health and religious guru all of a sudden.

I am galling about the use of fruits in technology, the companies that started this trend have done really well as the names have stuck to our mind, and to tell you the truth I am sort of hooked to these fruits, oops, I meant gadgets.

With BB only life had become easier, and now with the Ipad it's even more so. I don't need to carry my laptop, I don't need to have pen and paper, the trees are saved and the environment is happy too. And with the introduction of pomegranate people are going to be liberated. You don't need to have equipment and projectors in the office, and you do not need a TV to be stuck on your wall at home or on a table. See this link( ).

Orange, being a very good telecom company, whenever I go to Europe I will only hook my phone with it, as it's fast, cheap, and reliable.

One thing comes to my mind, where does this stop? Do we really need these gadgets? Are we going to improve our life and our brains by using them, or are they merely new ways from corporations to make more money off us?

I am a great believer of innovations that improves human beings’ lives, as well as making sure that I use them to improve my own life and create a better lifestyle. However those around me are not as happy as I am, why? Because I am constantly on my gadgets, using them, checking them and having the freaks if I don't receive a BBM, or the wee light doesn't blink!!!! I think when that happened that the world had forgotten about me

Well, what is the point is of is blog? I am trying to find out how many Arabs are actually using these services? I am sure many; the 500,000 blackberry users in the UAE were mostly Arab kids. Most importantly I need to know how many Arabs have actually created any gadget of this sort. I don't think there is any? If there is please let me know, as I would like to meet him and her and give them a big hug for improving my life.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Banks with no SOUL

I am complaining about some of the drastic measures that banks in the UAE take to recover their funds.
Noor Islamic bank is one example of extortionate behaviours that we can live without. I think they need to change their names, as what they are doing has nothing to do neither with Islam nor with being human. I would call them “murky Sprite Bank” and would encourage people to start re-naming the banks to names that represent evil, or devil or anything but light or Islam.

Of course you would like to know what happened. They took a close person to me to prison in the midst of negotiations for postponement of the mortgage repayment without any consideration to who the person is, his background, his ability to repay, his position or even being a father of three kids. This bank has no responsibility and no conscience, and in my opinion should not be open to the public and even offer any sort of help to grew.
Us the public are victims of bankers, we work hard to make do in our living, and the bankers are like a saw, they benefit if they are paying, and they benefit if we are paying. I think that the central bank should evaluate the behaviours of bank before they put the country in trouble. In USA if a person declares bankruptcy no one can touch him/her, he or she live as a happy man/woman, however in our part of the world, a person cannot even tell the banks that they are doing something wrong as they will straight away be able to hand over his/her collateral to the police, and put him in jail.

When is the third world going to change, when are we going to start respecting our people, and understanding that we are individuals with problems. I would agree with those who took a runner and left the country over night, as if they didn’t then they would be playing chess with my close person in jail as we speak.

I am only writing this letter to vent my frustration. And for help if you have any.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Follow up on the traffic incident

Today my son took his passport from the court, he is happy, but the whole incident should never had happened, the police person made a mistake, and he should told off. I am going to write a letter to the police headqourter about this, as we should not have a problem of this nature happening again, it's a complete embarrassment to the country if those that apply the rules do not know the rules to begin with.

And this policeman should be asked to pay all of our expenses. And also should compensate my son for his month long lack of productivity and depression.

Where to start though?

Good luck to us

Trafic incident with great ramification

Traffic incident with ramifications.

I was travelling, my son was helping in our exhibition, and for the first time we distribute 14 boxes of magazines in the first 2 hours,  so he decides to return to pick up more of them,  he comes home, says hi/bye to us, we leave to the airport, he leaves to the expo.  When I switch my phone on again I receive a string of BBMs from him, that he has been in an accident, not his fault, and a small one, the police drags him to the station, takes his passport, pull the car to the station, and tells him off,  anyway after that he hires a pickup, puts the the boxes in it, pays the money and goes to the exhibition. And for the next three days he takes taxis, and tries to find out from here and there what the hell he did wrong so they confiscate the car.

To make the long story short, I accompany him to the court today. I left home at 8, arrived there at 9, waited a bit, the the judge called him and the other driver. The judge charged the lather driver a fine of 1200 dirhams and told my son that he is free to go!!!!! I.e he is innocent,  my son's face went blanc, and I was devastated.  

What was the problem then? Why did we have to endure thisnincedent? And why did we have to spend all this time? And money of course

Apparently the police dept have different interpretation ofnthe traffic law that says that a visitor to a country can drive with his home driving licence I. A rent a car.  Or he can obtain an international licence and drives anyones car.  My son was driving my car, and his licence is transfereble to UAE licence without a test, which means he can drive with it, but the policeman didn't stuffy hard enough when he went to the police college, he must have studied enough to pass the exams.  

Anyway, I went to recover my car, they told me that I have to pay the 300 drihams toeing money. I did.  Then they said I have to picknupnthe car from their wqrehouse and pay another 150 dirhams.  I asked where is the warehouse as I am not a good road traveler. He drew a map that even the most experienced driver couldn't reach it, and that too in the most traffic jammed area in the UEA.  I had a bomb inside me but I didn't known that it was going to blow up that hard. I shouted at the person and asked to see the manager of the place.  He directed me with a shock on his face.  I went up, and as usual there were like a hundred people witting to see the manager, I shouted again that I had to see him, and it's urgent, so they directed me in.  When he manger saw my face he must have realized that trouble is here, he asked me to sit down and explain, so I went through the steps and ended at the map.  I said why did this happen and what are my rights as a citizen? Do I have claims, can I sue the policeman whondid this to my son and I? He said, just bring the paper where the judge said that my son is innocent, and he will sue the policeman! I went back, brought the paper and gave it to him, he called e bigger boss and all the experts on traffic law, they confirmed that we didn't have to go through this. So they took my son Intheir car and went to the wrehouse to pick up a dirty looking car? As it was in the sun, heat and dust for over two weeks. 

At the end of all this, my son and I calculated how much this had Cost us in terms of time ( very important) and money. Also the loss of productivity as my son loves that car and was thinking about it all the time, also he could t do his work, and the loss of students, as those magazines would have been distributed and wd could have gotten more students, or as I always put it, more money for the country.  We never saved any money in the UAE, nor did we ever send money overseas, in actual fact we receive money from overseas for our work.  All that money is circulated and spent in the UAE, not anywhere else.

In conclusion, the cost is over 100,000 dirhams.

Who is responsible? I am not sure


Monday 1 November 2010

The Mall

I can hardly remember when was the last time I had gone to a mall in a complete relaxation and shopped, ate, had coffee, had ice cream, had more coffee, prayed, went for a massage etc.

last weekend a group of friends spent the whole of saturday in a shopping mall in Dubai. We left my phone inside my bag on a silent mode. We walked and talked for a while, had lunch, did shopping, went for a very relaxing feet massage, and did stuff tell the evenning. I dont know about you, but something like this is far away from my mind since the last few years. Is it age? is it being busy? is it because my mind is focused on working and only working?
I noticed that since many people are planning their own work and embarking on their own projects and companies, maybe I didnt notice this before, but certainly there is an increase in small businesses being established these days then ever before. I am sure when I was little i didnt see a grocery shop in every corner in my neighborhood, all of us used to walk a distance to the closest grocery shop next to the baker, bought our favourite sweets (jelly beans), had our drink and bought the hot bread with the nakhkhaj or bajela and of course ate half of it before reaching home. even my sister was burnt by this grocer when he was trying to switch the kirosin fire off the huge pot of bioling eggs. (I went with her to the hospital, as my mum and dad were away on a trip, this was when I think I was barely 11) now if you go to the same spot you will see like a hundred grocery shops, and more than one baker. The choice is huge, and the number of entrants into the SME market is wider than ever. Thus, if we are all engaged in SME's, and none of us are having the time to go shopping and relax, who on earth is doing the buying?
can someone reply to me?

Seeing a person you know in prison - a story from my fictional brain- but the court details are for real.

Seeing a person you know in prison

I was praying to god to save my kids from any problems that may lead them to be prosecuted or jailed. The bank was not quick enough to give me the bail money so I had to use my sharp tongue to make the manager come out of his tower to facilitate the withdrawal from my account. Drove to court in a haste. Even though the person I was trying to bail is not a relative, the mere fact that I know that person was a sufficient reason to leave my busy schedule and drive all the way to the court. Apparently the landlord of this person's staff apartment which since have been vacated and handed over, had falsified documents to say that the rent was not paid and made a law suit against him. The courts do not take facts, they will entertain any request as there will be a charge for this and it sone way of making money. So if an ant goes there and files a law suit against me, I will be summoned, I cannot ask for the grounds of the law suit, as this is secondary.

Anyway, apparently the landlord had even falsified the address and gave wrong information about this person, the name was given Then to the police, and they caught him and put him in the temporary prison awaiting to take him to the main prison. They didn't even allow him to open the trunk of his car to get his wallet and the rest of his documents.

Anyway, after hunting for a car park and begging few people to provide me with coins in exchange to my five dirhams, I found the jail and saw this very polite, highly educated and intelligent IT person in jail, He is the age of my son and for a fraction of a second I felt total dismay to the system. And again I prayed to God not to put my kids in a similar position.

The process in the courts was so complicated, one would have assumed that he had told them that some one is coming to pay the bail money, regardless of course they were calling me something like every second and saying that if the money doesn't arrive before one pm they will transfer him to the real jail. So once I reached they sent me to a room in another floor, I asked for the person whom I need to talk to, who said that I have to wait for the judge, then I said why can't I pay while waiting for the judge, he agreed; off I went to the bank at the courts basement. The queue was as long as the seine river, with no one behind the counter, I kept on looking at my watch to see if it's one yet? And the cashier is still not there, I asked the six staff members of the bank, they said that they don't know where she is, and if I want to complain I can go to the manager of the bank, the manager pretended that he heard me but he didn't, I went back and the queue had become even longer, it seemed to me that everybody in Dubai has some sort of case against them.

Then someone phoned me saying that he is the lawyer of my colleague, oh so he has a lawyer? I thanked my stars as that would be the only way the process could be simplified. The lawyer took me to another counter that actually accepts cash from the people, but that counter had no sign on it, thus this person would be sitting there twiddling his thumb and the girl at the bank tries to find an excuse just to take a breather. Complete and utter madness. When they mention E-government I laugh now, as what is happening here has nothing to do with E it's a covered up unemployment. The government needs to wake up and corrects this. Luckily I dont have lots of dealings with any goverment department otherwise I think I will start to have diabetes high blood pressure and all the illnesses associated with being upset, stressed and angry.

I hated that day, I am serious in praying to God to save my kids, even though they are Arabs but they never had to face such situations, call them spoilt, call them pampered, call them sheltered I don't really care, I just don't want them to be subjected to unnecessary bad situations. The economic crisis in the country had changed every ones attitude. This land lord for example must be owing lots of money to real estate companies, and the only way to pay back is by cheating the less advantaged. Thus the economic crisis had breaded crocks, and these crocks are not asked for proof when they make a law suit against anyone. So tomorrow it could be me, or you. Just be very careful and cover all your bases, or go to the mattresses as the God father would have said.

In my opinion, the court should ensure the correctness of the case prior to accepting it and wasting everybody's time, if they did that we will have less people working there with more efficient process. But who am I to even utter this word?