Saturday 29 October 2011

Misunderstandings between men and women has no cultural boundries

It always fascinates me when I read stories, watch movies, talk to friends and family about relationships (I am going to say this once and for all, and will not talk about myself, as I feel that my condition is unsolvable), the similarities of the problems that occur between a husband and wife, fiances, boy friends/girlfriends, and whatever relationships that maybe on earth is amazing, and there is no reason to link the differences to culture, nationality, age, education, religion, gender, and any of those acronyms that we have to reply to when filling forms.

I am not a psychologist, and of course I cannot be the one to be blamed for solving this eternal problem, without this problem life has no spice I guess. So let me start.

Few months ago, I had a gathering of two Emirati girls, two Iraqi girls, one Turkish and I (a Bahraini who lived everywhere and has no nationality) and not sure if you guys know what happens when a lot of women are sitting in one room, we all talk, eat, drink, and fiddle with our handbags and at the same time listen, be emphatic, nod, send BBMs and WhatApps, and wear a new quote of lipstick (stereotyping? yes); anyway, I was saying that we were discussing lots of stuff, and as usual men were mentioned, suddenly the mood of the room had changed, doom and gloom captured us all, it was as if we were in one of those animated pictures when suddenly you see a black cloud on top of your head, you are struck with thunder, and completely soaked with heavy rain. The Turkish girl was chatting away about the row she had with her husband about the car, the two Iraqi girls said that they hate their husbands as they always chase girls and at the same time tell them that they are infidel, the Emirati girl cried saying that her husband almost chocked her to death as he was drunk and had a relationship with a whore and when she confronted him he got so excited and almost killed her. I for a change tried to calm the situation as it was soon to be exploded.

Then a few weeks ago, I had a group of friends also multinational, we talked about the kids, education, fashion, politics and the recent Arab spring, we tried to analyze the reasons for it, and whether it was a conspiracy theory from the famous United States or a real thing? then we ate, and ate more, and talked more about being fat and not able to exercise due to lack of time (the fact that we had wasted few hours eating did not count); then we went for a swim, came back and had more food, and talked even more about our lives and how it is wasted as we do not seem to have healthy relationships. Almost all of us were complaining about the lack of understanding, patience, help, love, affection, da da daa of our second half.

I have spent this weekend with a friend who after talking for a while she started to cry as her husband left her and traveled despite her being ill, and never talked to her to find out if she was fine or not. And after few weeks of complete silence, he told her that she was to blame as she was depressed about her illness????? excuse me dumbo, women can get ill as well, illness is not something that is only given to men as a gift from God! anyway, this friend is also from a different nationality and culture.

Not sure if I proved my point, that despite all of us having various backgrounds, we are all faced with the same problem, not very understanding men! of course the men are also from different backgrounds. This brings me to the conclusion that all the problems that the world is having right now is not because we are sunni/shia, not because we are white/black, not because we are western/eastern, not because we are gay or straight, it is because when men and women are brought up (in every community) they are not told that people have feelings, don't be hasty, think before you utter a stupid word, look at the person's eyes and say what you feel straight away, say what you think of the person in front of you without fear that he or she is going to hit you with a brick, discuss straight away instead of sulking for a long time and letting the volcano to erupt and ruin the world.

No wonder that the world is having problems since creation, we never learn and almost always history repeats itself. The picture below shows us, human beings, that we are exactly like these swans and ducks, though they are of different feathers and looks, they flock together.

Friday 28 October 2011

Qatar is it the rival of Dubai?

Being a GCC national gives you great privileges, one of them is seeing history in making, and witnessing changes as they happen. You see I had lived in Bahrain and UAE, when I go to Bahrain, the only change I see is the increased amount of graffiti on the boundary walls, few buildings here and there, power struggle, and much talk with no work.

Dubai however is a different kettle of fish, you sleep, you wake up and there is a building next door to your house that had sprung up over night. The change in the Dubai had its pitfalls, they have traffic problems, congestion, and many people living in a small area; albeit solved by increasing the taxis, public transport and introducing the metro, but one can see that many of these steps had happened to correct the situation rather than being part of the plan. Then you go to Abu Dhabi, these guys are shrewd, they waited and watched before they expanded to see the pitfalls that Dubai had fallen into, and did all their things by taking those into account, still we can still see developments in roads after the buildings were rooted, which means that those who build the buildings do not talk to those who build the roads (sort of the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing)

Doha however is a totally planned as a textbook. I came here first time in 2003, there was a nice small airport, few houses here and there, Ritz hotel, and many small low rises that housed the small businesses. Then I came in 2005, small changes but sure ones. 2007 showed a skyline, "Doha has a skyline" was the sentence that everyone mentioned. Then i came in 2009, 2010, 2011 and every time I can see that the country is making huge strides into development on all fronts. Of course now with the planning for the 2022 FIFA more developments will happen. I can Imagine Ms Shaikha looking at the map of Doha and deciding where each building will go and where the new roads are going to be made; What i loved most in Qatar is their emphasis on Education, building Qatar foundation, bringing the top ranked universities, establishing the Leadership school for boys, having the education innovation conference, changing all the schools system, hosting the scientists awards and so on, are just few examples.

So if there is a country that i want to live in, it will be Qatar! few pictures for you to see:

Saturday 22 October 2011

A carrot , an egg, and a cup of coffee

(Thanks to Salman for sending this to me)
-- You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.--

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying A word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see.." "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and brea k it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!! !!

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Where is the police? are they really watching?

A few years ago I had lost two young brothers, last year a friend of mine lost her daughter, another friend had her son at home due to severe illness, and if you search the web you will read horror stories about what is happening to our kids these days.

I for one tried for three years to have children, had to go through umpteen number of checks and operations until I had my son, and went through the same to have my two girls, worked hard to raise them up and had them be the best in their schools and universities; pieces fill off my mouth as I talked to them about morality, ethics, rights, respect and all the nice words that kids these days are not hearing from the extended family that I had lived in. So to have one of them die or face severe illness due to the greed of the merchants, is not something I will ignore.

Well, I need you to do this experiment: go to a pharmacy, and ask for some medications, the pharmacist will happily issue them to you, some are actually over the counter sale. Any child who wants to buy panadol, codiene, lyrica, tramadol and other types of pain killers, he or she can buy them easily from these pharmacies. He or she will pass by the cashier without any hesitation, and the cashier will scan the bar codes without asking for an ID or check the age of the child. These medications put together can kill, and kids these days hear stuff from TV, or read the internet that these tablets can be used as sedation, so he/she ventures into that world without thinking, and tries them, and can either be killed or anything close to that.

Those kids who are fat and want to gain their self esteem back (you know how it is with bullying, and other kids calling you fatso and big mama and all) start to go to the gym, and work on those muscles. You find that it does work, so you start taking steroids and protein shakes to kick the hell out of your fat, you can be as young as 14-15, but those at the gym never bother with giving you the precautions or advising you to stay away from these products? why lose an extra buck? let us sell him all the stuff he needs to bulk up those muscles. Then suddenly you are out of your brain, walk either like a zombie, or scare the neighbors, the parents, stop school and end up in a psychiatric floor with older people.

Two things to wonder about here; first, why is there no age queries in this country? Second, even if this restriction is not adhered to properly, is the industry going to die if they stopped a kid from buying medications and other items that can be dangerous or have an adverse reaction on their health? Are we in that age and time where money is the most important thing that we have to think about? is the "get rich soon schemes" got so intrinched into our blood and blinded us to see the difference between right and wrong? What if the son of the pharmacist dies from these medications, will he regret selling that medicine to other kids? Have we lost any empathy? Is the police responsible? Should we send around police officers to guard those counters to prevent misuse? Should we talk to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth and Sports? Or just talk to the parents and ask them to follow the kids around so that they put are out of reach of all the junk available in the market?

I know that ultimately the whole thing falls on the shoulders of the parents, as eventually it is their responsibility isn't it? I guess not, kids these days have to be nourished and trained by the whole society, everyone of us is ultimately responsible to what happens to our kids. Please do not forget that they are the future leaders, government officials, teachers, engineers, fathers and mothers, and if we stand still and leave the responsibility to everyone else but ourselves, we may be doomed and have no future generation. So we may as well just pack up and live in the desert or the amazon and forget about working and trying our best to have a sustainable future for the "future generation".

To those inventors, manufacturers, policy makers and sellers, watch out I am coming after you.

Friday 7 October 2011


I attended a lecture at one of our women groups, the lecturer Veronica Canning talked about Shoeisms - a woman's right to shoes. this was a concept that she had developed because she loved shoes and was able to use it as an acronym to explain what women should do.

She Has an academy for leaders, member of many organization, and speaker around the world.

She hopes that at the end of the presentation we will have a clarity of thought about our business.

She wanted us to ask ourselves: Am I surviving? Or thriving, or flying?

Of course we are only surviving? Not good

Our business is really in the head, not in the way the office looks? It's the head that matters.

Let us re-word and re-plan. A recession cleans out people that are not good, (if you are leaving a company because you don't like your boss, then wait until you work for yourself) hehe

If you are a futurist then all you need is two tools: one is the vision board (stick on it what you intend to do in the future including the brochure, the book that you want to write etc), the second is to have a big audacious aim (three years away something will have to happen), be ambitious and do it yourself, and put it in your diary and look at it every three months. It will happen.

S H O E S stands for:

S:Strategy, the audacious plan is your strategy

H: Honour yourself

Believe in yourself, and take charge of your own destiny, the locus of control is in you, don't let other people tell you that you a not good. Maybe our product do not fit those people.

O: Obstacles removed

Obstacles : is mainly people who can be classified as (psychic vampires, drainage, equalisers, enrichers, energizers) So what will you do if any of this type people come your way? do not talk about your audacious aim to psychic vampire.

The other obstacle is twin fear: fear of failure and fear of success. Do not have fear.

E: Everybody should have a #BRAND: the brand can be an accidental Brand or purposeful Brand (this means that the talk of the business, brochures, business card, website all should match and resemble the brand, I.e. Being the best)

S: Strands networks. Taking your brand to markets. Do networking but the right networking. Ask where are my clients? check which person you need to network with, then meet them.

Although what she said is not genius, it is written in every business book one reads, the only thing she did is to focus us into linking the business with what is useful for it, no one should go here, there and everywhere to find business, unless of course you are selling fizzy drink, and even this drink will have its clients.


Dear All, today's lecture was about the word #UBUNTU which is a tribal south African word, used often by the blacks of south Africa, Nelson Mandela made the rest of the world know about it.

Ubuntu means team work, amongst other things

The author opened the scene by asking us this question: Who has less work this year than last year? Of course no one raised their hands.

Dr Bob Nelson, author of a book, 1001 ways to reward your employees, he says that 65% of the ideas in the book do need money if we want to apply them.

9% unemployment in USA
65% of this unemployment lack the skills needed for the economy
90% of organizations had recessionary cutbacks
Employees trust has declined
Decline in employee engagement
Employees change jobs, move to other placed.

The reason is the lack of Ubuntu!

What is Ubuntu: a person is a person through other people; None of us are an island; I am because we are!

All of us are connected to each other. See what we have more in common rather than what keeps us apart

Nelson Mandela, first to use ubuntu, we are all connected.

What do we have in common? We can be married, with children, having same hobbies, having pets, where we live could be the same, were we studied could be the same, our language could be the same,

So ubuntu is having common vision, shared experiences, inspiration, empathy, teamwork, recognition.

Common goals: All performance starts with clear goals and expectations.

The author showed a scene from Invectus the movie about Mandela, to prove the point.

Forgiveness liberate the Saul.
Don't hold any grudge

If I cannot change my circumstances, how can I get others to change? Nelson Mandela

Look in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I do to tell everybody how I feel about them.
Have a common vision in business.

He gave examples of what companies in USA do to implement the concepts of ubuntu a company that delivers wow? Employees sing collectively

They say: We have shared experiences!

Disney world shut down twice a year and invite the employees and their familes to use the rides, the managers are the workers

Marriott hotels, same way, put pictures of where the staff went on holidays,

Mary Kay celebrate beauty of the staff

And many others

Mandela embraced rugby, as it was called the game of the whites, he was asked to abolish it but he didn’t as he didn’t want to do the whites what they did to the blacks.

How do we inspire ourselves to greatness when no one else will do?

Then the author talked about:

You do not need to know how to fly an airplane to have an air line, you have to be good with people, get the best people, make sure they are properly motivated, and give them freedom to make good things and make mistakes,

Elements of ubuntu:

To walk in someone else's shoes , put yourself in someone's place to understand him/her better

To win, it's about the team, no team will win if every person want to show off.

You get what you reward. Reward people, they feel happy, even if you give a banana or a silly thing, just give it.

None of us are an island and can do it ourselves, pass around the rewards.

Ask the staff, what is it that they want as a reward.

When you get serious about performance, you have to get serious about recognition.

To sustain teamwork, recogise it

Thi9nk of Five things that work well? Instead of five things that don't work well.

Write down five things of why you like to work with a person? A colleague or a boss, and pass the card around, so everyone know.

Companies need to have a Common vision
Companies need to Share experiences

Hope you like it, and if you like the book, its in the office library.