Wednesday 30 May 2012

Hot! are you kidding!

It's a very hot day to do chores by car, I think the temperature topped the normal workable temperature, we all should be indoors or dipped in swimming pools rather than be outside. Having said that, it took me more than an hour to reach my destination. I think we are marching back to Dubai 2005-2008 when we got stuck in traffic-jams for hours,  at one of those times I thought of having the driver's seat as a toilette convertible, no one agreed with me, and preferred to have a financial crisis instead (eyes rolled), I wonder if any of the car manufacturers actually thought of that?

Talking about funny ideas, I often have them, like for instance when I lose my car in car parks, I thought of having a remote control gadget that takes you direct to your car while making that bbbbbb noise when you are close to the car, and fewer beeps when you are far from it. Also once I was completely stressed out, so my son decided to treat me to a new type of bubble bath that has a soothing aroma, I am fidgety, so I decided to read the art of war from my Ipad, and of course its hard to keep the Ipad away from the water and the bubbles,it loves to bathe too! so I thought if someone would make a bar that will set on either side of the bathtub and has a space in the middle to make the Ipad stand on it, it would be fun, that way I can de-stress and read at the same time. Another idea is to have voice detector/ to answer my email, instead of me typing, I can talk, and the voice writes. Of course, I never take myself seriously and follow through with the idea, that is why I am not a Zillionnaire.

The other day we were talking about why Arab kids don't like Arabic language, my son was saying that when he wants to find a definition of an English word, every dictionary/encyclopedia/wekipedia/younameedia on this earth jumps to the first page calling on you to open their links and giving you precise definitions as well as suggestions of how to use the word.  Try putting an Arabic word, all you will get is some forum here, and an article there, but no dictionary? so my son asked me how do I get the meaning of a word, I told him I have Almunjid, or some other Arabic dictionaries, he searched but couldn't find them on line.  I showed him a link on Itune store that is called the Project Gutenberg, the owners converted all the classic books to Ebooks including the likes of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland to Ebooks, for western kids would read them electronically.  So our idea is to have the Arabs do the same and convert a thousand and one nights and the other ancient Arabic books to Ebooks. However, we stumbled upon few problems, for example who is going to do that? government, NGO or private? Sunni or Shea, Arab-United or country by country? also the advent of Arab spring, the fights between the countries, and the troubles between the people and their governments are also few other possibilities that is going to be faced by the people who will work on the project.  So the evening ended by us deciding that the Arab kids will not have money to own Ipads, hence no use of having Ebooks, and also the Arab kids are busy trying to survive from bombs and being slaughtered, hence  finding a definition for a word sets last on their agendas. 

Last but not least, my genius idea of covering Dubai with a bubble and having air-conditioning running all the time will not find the light of the day, hence I am not coming up with new ideas any more.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Gathering with the sisters, a sequel

As I mentioned the other day, this was the first time that the sisters and I (except for one who couldn't make it) gather for few days. We each have friends in Bahrain and normally each one of us go separate ways, this time we shared the friends' trips too, swam in the pool, played with the nephews and nieces and almost did every thing together. One of our mutual friends decided to introduce us to her friend, she said I must do this because we are cool!

So the coffee morning started with a brief and funny preamble from Nehad (the boss) about each of us. The friend's eyes popped out, she didn't know whether to laugh or not, as she still doesn't know us that well and must have thought that if she laughed at the crazy description of our lives she might offend us or something. Anyway, after telling her about her Casper husband, the face of the other sister's husband, the vivid description of how I got myself involved and hence move them all to Dubai, the naughty ex husband of my third sister who took off with another wife along with her gold, and that went on for about half an hour until the new friend had enough, so she had to laugh. Anyway, we all had had breakfast at home, but knowing the Halwachi in us, we ate all that was there on the table plus more, all of that was happening, while BB'ing, whatsapp'ing, tweeting, blogging and face booking was also continuing as a matter of factly! Then we heard a question from the new friend's daughter, who sat there doing her assignment (supposedly) paused a question, she asked why are we all smokers? I said because we are stupid, but the Boss said because it's fun, and that she will be crazy not to try it. Now I know that if the boss told this to my daughters I will be fuming, but the mother was laughing? I think the girl ended up writing her assignment about us.

Amidst the discussion my sister (oops, the boss) must thought that it was rude not to ask the new friend about her story, it so happen that she is married since 25 years, and also working since 25 years, to the same man and the same boss.  If you think about it, we had all sorts of things happen to our lives in these 25 years; to her it was what's in the life that mattered not the movement. I agree.

It was a great gathering, the mutual friend that introduced us did well. Anyway, the next day we got a very nice email from the new friend, it's here without any changes:

عزيزاتي الحلوات ، سعدت جدا بالتعرف عليكم ، وكم انا محظوظة جدا جدا ، لان العادة الواحد يتعرف على شخص واحد او بالكثير اثنين ، يرتاح لهم ، ولكن انا تعرفت على اربع شخصيات مختلفه وجذابه ولطيفه دفعة وحده ، كان فعلا يوم جميل لم اعشه مثله من فتره

طويله ، كنت مع صديقاتي العصر وكنت اضحك بروحي على تعليقات نهاد ، كأني شاربه حبوب هلوسه ، كم ممتعا ان تكون مع ناس جميلين قلبا وقالبا .
وشباب ، خلاص ما بصادق الا صغار ، ، مع الاحتفاظ بكمول

 ، وان شاء الله لقائي بكم امس يكون بدايه لصداقه طويله قويه

I think this is what life is meant to be, you meet people, they introduce new knowledge to your life, and vice versa, so the stillness evaporates and instead you get a rainbow of colours that makes you look into life with a new perspective.

Oh, I shouldn't forget that I took the three pieces of bread that were left over with me, as mum likes that type of bread. I love leftovers!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Gathering with the sisters

This is maybe the first time that the sisters and I gather in one place away from our homes. It sounds like fun? Yes it was lots of fun actually.

When we are in our homes we are busy running our errands, looking after our houses, kids, work, and our bunch of friends; however when we are away, we don't have those responsibilities, or we may forget about them, so there could be some dialogue that we will all exchange without having our personal stuff come in between us, it's like a return to our time when we lived at parents houses with a difference, all of us have wrinkles on the face that we try to hide one way or the other.  So last night was a night to remember.

First we all went out for dinner with our future son in law, he is son in law to all the sisters, as Maryam is considered their daughter too, she has many mums this girl, how lucky is that. I think on her wedding night all of us will be crying, not only me. I hope that cry will be a soft sob, as otherwise it's going to be quite loud!! Funny.

It was a great Iranian dinner, with Iranian music, and the night was right too, not too hot. Choosing the restaurant took forever as all of us are smokers, so the fiancé eventually found a place that has a smoking area near the swimming pool, that was that. Then each one went her own way, I came home, one went to an outing with the cousins, few went to a cafe to watch some demonstration that was happening on the roads surrounding the cafe, took a funny video of the tyres burning ceremony, which I cannot show you as they had music running in the car which made look like a desert trip, with bonfire.

Then when they all gathered, it was almost 12 am, so the facials and the masks sessions started, and while doing that, I was watching Glee on my laptop, Mum was watching some random guy giving a lecture on how to be a better person in life,  all the others were sending BB broadcast or whatsapp messages, and talking about those messages at the same time, also telling their life stories. One said that she is divorced from her husband in Bahrain but if she goes to Iran she is not divorced? So the legal side of my daughter jumped out saying that cannot happen?? And then my other sister was saying that her mask material is getting over so she will only put masks and do facial on two faces, the third one was looking for her IPhone charger and saying that if she doesn't charge it her husband will be upset as he may call her when he has a fight with their son, and the fourth one is calling her son and telling him that due to the trouble on the road she will sleep in Mum's place (I think she secretly wants to sleep in the same place with us so they chatter the whole night), and the fifth one is having her face cleaned by the sister in law who is doing it so thoroughly so she doesn't miss a spot of foundation,  by that time mum went to sleep in her room, and half an hour of hearing all of this I decided to follow suit, and since Mum's room was so cold, I went to the other room and tried to go to sleep.

I think it was few minutes later that I could hear all of them coming to the room and all chatting at the same time and answering each other precisely, also worried that I may wake up! I can hear all of them giving marital advice to my daughter, funny advices though, and all of them giggle at the same time. The room was hot when I woke up in the morning on the sounds of my sister's sleep talk, I eased my way out of the room so I don't wake them up.

I will do this again, as my dreams last night were nice. Okay girls prepare yourself, we are traveling again soon.

Friday 25 May 2012


Okay, I know, all of you are going to say waw, a son and a daughter getting married in the same year? Well, that was the plan from the beginning when I decided to have my kids 4 years apart, daa! 

So yes my daughter is getting engaged soon. Am I happy, yes, but I am getting this mixed feelings, as she was at school, then she went to university, I only really enjoyed her company when she completed her masters two years ago. Now that she will be going to Bahrain to settle there with her future husband, this takes me to my time 32 years ago when I left Bahrain to settle in Dubai with my husband, I missed my country, and still miss it, but learnt that for ones well being one can live anywhere in the world. I did only that, I have lived in so many places in these 32 years, and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Seen many people that I would have never seen or talked to if I had stayed put, learnt many things that I would never had learnt if I had settled in my own country. My life was and still is rich in the real meaning of the word, every conference I go to, I meet and make new friends, every course I attend I learn new things, every bookshop I visit I read new about new things, every gallery I visit I explore the minds of artists who display their artwork in it, and this is what I want my kids to have, a kaleidoscope of life. I am sure that they have a different vision to how they want their lives to be, and they do not want me to interfere in it, so I am not going to tell them this, I will let them use their own mind to explore their own possibilities.

Well, let's go back to the engagement, I made so many lists, and my daughter made her own list, and we tried to choose the invitees on a scale of who is the closest and who she had met and liked from my friends, and her fiancé did the same! In our time our parents invited people, and we had no say in the matter, nowadays it doesn't work that way any more. So if any of my friends got upset for not being amongst those invited, I will have to say, sorry, but you should have made the effort of meeting my daughter and knowing what she likes or doesn't like, and she should have exchanged thoughts with you first.

I know what she means, she doesn't want people attending her engagement party and say hi to her and kiss her on the cheeks and I have to whisper in her ears who these people are, she wants to give her smile when she walks in the room to everyone there as she knows everyone there. She doesn't want to look at a face and wastes a second thinking who the hell is that? As the thought that goes in your head at a moment of happiness may take away the smile, or makes it fake.

I can see my poor daughter in law's face now, when she entered the wedding hall and saw those people that her mother and I had invited, she didn't look at anyone, as she didn't want to have a muscle in her face change due to her thought "who was that?" sorry Zainab, next time I will only call people that you know.  Or should I do another reception for you and invite only those that you know?

Back to my daughter, I laughed once when she was in the process of knowing her fiance (it was an introduction engagement) her dad and I asked her what she thinks of him (his name is Ahmed and her name is Maryam, the names rhyme by the way) she said he has a hammer?!! After few minutes both my husband and I laughed so much as we realized that yes he does, he is a judge isn't he? Hahaha very funny

We are in Bahrain now, having some chores to do, and tonight we are going for dinner with the fiance, may tell you all about it later.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Arab international women's forum (AIWF) at American University of sharjah (AUS)

I attended this forum at AUS, which was lovely and connected with old friends and met new friends. The session, of women in SME empowerment, was the most amazing one, and it touched my heart, because all the researchers in the world as well as organizations like UNDP, Worldbank and many others all reach to the same conclusion, that is:
Lack of finance
This is of course applicable to MENA region, but the researchers think that it's could be applicable to women in the world.

Anyway, I took few important notes from the panel, here they are:
1- Dr Caroline freund
The larger are the firms, the more jobs they will create.
There are few firms per capita, low entry rates, and old firms stay
There is high unemployment rate for female who are available for work and are educated
Women employment in female owned jobs is lower than men employment
But in firms managed (not owned) by women, they hire more women

If women own or run jobs then we could have:
Dynamic private sector
Create more jobs
Create better jobs

2-Dr Shaikha Almaskari, Almaskari group, Tricon group UAE (I researched her, she owns a large group of company in many fields like education, oil fields, health, security etc)
Three things are important for women
1 take stock of what you have
Study the competition
Fight corruption
She also advised as to:
Be proud of being a woman.
Enjoy the joy of life
She created a micro credit financing in a city in turkey, now 40000 successful businesses in turkey benefit from this project. Also she established an airport security Institute and a paramedic institute.
Another advise is to have more babies otherwise we are giving our husbands a reason to cheat (she means that men can marry more than wife so if one wants fewer kids, he can legally marry another one)

Overall the most interesting panel speaker.

3- Mrs Nicola Ehllermann-Cache
She works at OECD investment programme(of course I researched this to find out whom do they give lend to? But of course if you go to the website, you will be able to find a big NOTHING, makes me wonder the validity of all UN organizations) she talked about the usual, that is low finance for women's projects, and low success rates etc etc.

A point was raised about child care and also the women do not want to work because if the marriage dissolves she gets nothing except the prenuptial agreement. Women are not asked to spend on the household, so can she save that money and use it for financing her project? Not sure
Children can also prevent women from working.
Wars made women work? is this true?

Well to me, none of the above satisfies the reality of life. I think men and women can succeed if they want to succeed. We all may lack finance, encouragement, self confidence, drive, positivity, perseverance, and many other qualities that are required by entrepreneurs, however the idea itself can be worth millions, so, being men or women it doesn't matter, if we can work that idea, then we will succeed. If we don't get finance, then let's borrow from the three F's ( family, friends and fools).

A word of caution, don't borrow money from a bank, they are there to screw everybody, so it's best to find people who believe in your idea to invest and partner with you, otherwise you will either cut your profits to a quarter or will make you a wanted victim waiting to go to prison.

If you want advise and tips on establishing a business, call me.

Oil east, west, south and north. - school of goverment

This was a lecture at the school of government that I got invited to. Really great one and an eye opener, however what surprised me is that there were only 15 people attending; I arrived a bit late, and was the sixteenth person, of course everyone looked at me, I was wondering why. Anyway, I found out at the end and during the Q&A that everybody that was invited were journalists?

Ah hah now I know why they looked at me, I wasn't a journalist! I am sure they were wondering which channel or newspaper was I working in, as normally all journalists know each other, its a pact that no one can penetrate!!

I saw my friend Monsieur Jerard Elfil, he asked me why am I attending this, answered frankly that I was invited to it. And glad that I came because I could use the knowledge in advising my PHD students? He said, so education for you is not a job? I said of course. He introduced me to his current employer, a large Chinese news agency, and promised to interview me for the Chinese readers. So guys, it's not only Dragon Mart, or the new roads and bridges builders, it's also news agencies, and soon TV stations that are from China? So when I said ten years ago to every one that the Chinese are coming and they laughed at me, they must recall the conversation, they are here, and rightly so.

Lets not digress, The lecture was about the Middle east goes east (or it should go east):

At present there are No collaborative economic relations between China and the Middle East.

Core structure of GCC is around oil
Huge Concern re the threat of Iran

Japan imports over 90% of its oil from the gulf
China and India is similar reliant on the gulf
Far east over 70% of their oil is from the gulf.
Most of these country are trying to Buy from GCC.

China is fearing the disruption of oil transfer if there is any military intervention on Iran and also fearing the sanctions on Iran especially that Iran imports a lot from china.

KSA produces ten million barrels a day, and it's the main country that benefited from the sanctions on Iran. (This point made me think? Is this the reason for having GCC problems with Iran? So the sanctions continue and they sell more oil? It seems to me that there is a resemblance here to the price wars and competition by large multinational companies? Also on another note, why is there poverty in KSA and their income is 30,000,000 dollars a day? Where is that money going?) at 30$ per barrel do the maths ( KSA generates 11 billion dollars from oil a year)

Iraq is trying to take over from Iran. So the gulf is more important to the far east and china. Far east and china are worried about the Piracy!!! In oil.

South Korea invested in oil fields in Abu Dhabi. Also signed a deal with Aramco, so they are able to reduce imports from Iran.

KSA is using its spare capacity of oil, if this continues, it's oil will reduce.

Vulnerability of GCC countries due to lack of bilateral relationship between the GCC, China and North Korea, so the oil can be dropped in value in case of economic disruption or financial crisis.
GCC should diversify much more to avoid dilution of oil prices.

South-south cooperation (basically the southern hemisphere) The lecturer doesn't see that this is going to grew.

Previously countries had cartels for basic commodities so they can control the prices, also OPIC was also created to control prices and OAPEC

New international economic order?

GCC have small population, no industry. Majority of the sale of oil is not directed towards regional development. Natural gas can help in diversification

Qatar, UAE and Oman are the main in exporting natural gas.

Competitive economies. Can GCC do that?
Can there be an oil crisis like the one happened in 1979? Or an embargo

Insurance? Shipping insurance is always done in London? So the East never thought of having their own insurance companies. China is now thinking of establishing its own insurance to avoid difficulty.

(research the meaning of nebbeh) something to do with china I guess.

Why is there deliberate misreading in the media about the increase in Chinese market interest.Two types of press, we have the yellow mail for the general readership, and the specialized media those who know what is happening. But even these are not fully informed as they also talk about the threat of China. India also is developing drastically in military capability. China and India are catching up to the west.

Oil embargo in July this year? Is this going to happen?
Will there be a nuclear agreement on the table?

Well, of course the subject was interesting, it just made me realize that I am 56 years old, and had never benefited from the Oil dollar? What I mean by this of course is being a citizen of countries that has so much thriftiness due to Oil one should get some benefit without having to work hard to get our day to day living? When will this ever happen? Will I starve when I retire? Or shall I quickly make some bucks to be able to live after my retirement.

Ideas to ponder on? I have none.

Saturday 19 May 2012

DKV Breakfast club - Vocational education

This was one of the most amazing sessions that Knowledge Village had prepared for us since it's inception I guess. The speakers were charged, as well as the attendees; everyone was full of life and the discussion had touched everybody's life. Why?

Well let's start from the beginning, we must define vocational education. If you ask the ordinary man, he will say that vocational means Plumbing, carpentry, welding, mechanical, automotive, electrical, builders, painting, panel-beating, boat building. Basically any study that involves making things or repairing things. Of course this is true, but we can add to this list the following:
Fashion design,
Beauty therapy
Film making
Graphic design
Vet nursing
Fine art
Dental technician
Dental hygienists
Industrial design
Interior designers
Accounting technician
Bank clerk

As you can see this is not an exhaustive list, as we can add to it any course that involves making things, repairing things, and doesn't depend on a lot of theoretical learning.

On the other hand what is academic learning? This involves subjects like humanities, art, science, health and so on. But even in these subjects there could be a fine line to distinguish between vocational and academic learning. As even subjects in the humanity fields like psychologists, they need to have practicums prior to completing the programme and qualifying.

Let's get back to the subject, why do people look down at vocational education? Are these jobs minute? Are they not fulfilling and are actually linked to things that we all need everyday? Shouldn't these jobs be part of every school curriculum? (of course they are part of all western countries school curriculum but not the middle east, we used to have industrial schools in the 70s and 80s but those got abolished). Presently some of the courses mentioned above are taught in higher colleges of technologies and not in universities.

Why do we always prefer our kids only go to universities? We look down at polytechnics or institutes of technologies, but when we ask someone if they want to join Massachusetts institute of technology (MIT) they jump and say yes? Well, why then when it comes to our ITs or polytechnic we start to hesitate?

We need to re-educate the masses. We need to have sessions in schools, ministries, government officials, television and radio to provide information about these courses and explain their importance in our life and to our kids. People should remember that we all have potentials and aptitudes, some of us require pedagogical teaching styles that differs from others, some think on the right side of their brains and some on the left, some have intelligence in certain areas, and some have inclinations that are not available in academic settings.

Also we need to have a minister or two who had been in polytechnics, that way we can point to them and say, look, these two had attended polytechnics and are leading their respective ministries.

Last but not least, we need to have national qualifications authority that actually insists on having vocational education blended into our school curriculum.

Good luck to all of us (those that have an interest in this field) as its a battle that needs to start sooner but not later.

Friday 18 May 2012

After the IPO, who is going to be richer? Facebook owners or Google?

Well, I must say when I saw the amount of money Facebook owners have I got startled, but was very happy at the same time, at last I saw Billionaires who made it in Life both being so young and also so imaginative.

We heard of people making lots and lots of money,  mostly because of luck, inheritance, corruption, being rulers of a country and of course taking most of it's GDP. So whatever Zuckerberg and his colleagues had done was well worth it for the likes of me and other people and corporations who are now using the product day and night non-stop for some people of course; it's also was well worth it for them, they are now the newly declared Billionaires of this world, and some of them own the total budget of a country, not a small one too.

Let's think about it. I had paid about a 1000 dirhams to Facebook advertising since I started using it back in 2008, and now I have our consultancy on it as well, all my team have pages on it, and we load all our activities and pictures on it, we have between us over 5000 friends (between real friends, clients, schools and companies), how does Facebook get its money?

Ok, many more people and companies would have paid 1000 dirhams too, and many have continuously advertised on it, and I must say that it's the cheapest form of advertising, as you can have your advert for a month, and also it will depend on the number of "likes" that you want! So how do they make their money?

Do they put those adverts on pages that are used extensively? (some of my groups seem to be going on 24 hours of the day) or do they just haphazardly past them on both sides of the page for anyone and everyone to see them and click on them?

For example, one of the schools that we deal with is always advertising on Facebook, if a child (who had to lie about his or her age to have a page) clicks on that advert, then a cent is used, and if an old man clicks on it, another cent is used?

So are they imaginatively and intelligently placing their adverts or is it just waiting for a mouse to click on the ad? That cannot be good, and is a bad way of using someone's money?

Anyway, whatever Facebook is doing must be great, as their shares now are worth 38 dollars, I wish I have some money to be some of them.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Thatcher the movie

I couldn't believe the resemblance to Margaret Thatcher, it was as if she is herself! The producers had chosen the right person for the character both in terms of body built and in terms of personality and strength, but to make Merille Streep look exactly like Thatcher was beyond my comprehension. If tomorrow I want someone to look like my dad then it should be feasible I guess? 

Anyway, I liked the movie very much, it wasn't done as a normal movie, it was sort of how an elder person remembers ones life. However this is not why I am writing this blog. 

I want to compare what is happening in bahrain now to what was happening during Thatcher's time with the IRA, except some minor differences. The demonstrations, the killings, the people who died in the streets, the heads that were smashed, the eyes that popped out, the hands and legs that got amputated due to bullets and bombs, and all the fires in the buildings were all the same.  What were the IRA people fighting for? Was it Ireland independence or religious sectarianism? Well, whatever it was I think got sorted eventually as I don't hear anything about them anymore! Was it resolved amicably or it was wiped off completely? Not sure also I must research this, just to compare it to what is happening to Bahrain and to extrapolate it to see the results. 

Anyway, back to the movie, it is worth every second, I applaud the producer and the actors. 

Friday 11 May 2012

Rape, murder and everything in between

Ok, I know, these things happen in movies (the girl with the dragon tattoo is still vividly described in my mind, and Fatema the Turkish girl  also beams at me every night when my daughter watches that soup opera) but to hear about these things in real life is not something that we want to know about, or even be close to the area that it happened in.

Well let me start from the beginning. One of our students wanted to move from her current university to another university. We didn't question the move; so we sent her application to another university who asked for a release letter from the current university. Well that is how a can of worms was opened. The university refused to provide the letter, and said that the girl is dismissed as she had four warning letters. Then we probed more and found out that the girl had actually provided letters from the doctor to show why she didn't get good grades. So when we asked for those letters the university said that they Had lost them! Okay! Of course during the course of discussion it transpired that the girl along with other girls were asked to go to the dean's office, who asked them all at once how their grades were changed? All the students were surprised and said how can we change our grades? It's a system that cannot be tampered with ( they said), then the dean told them that he will dismiss them all. Also the same dean had asked each girl individually to sleep with him so he can make her pass. My eyes almost popped out of course. Then the girl told us that one of the friends who got raped by the dean committed suicide. And no one questioned why? Also the same incidents started to accumulate but none of the girls could do anything about it.

I told her that she must write a letter to the ministry, I am naive that way, she said that she will be killed as the university will know that she is the one who wrote the letter. The girl who is stunning is going to have a nervous breakdown as she is so clever, and also she started to stutter, which means that she is very upset. On top of this, no university will accept her as she cannot get that release letter. Basically, he future is ruined, she might as well work as a toilette cleaner and forget about her noble proffession that is never going to happen.

Well, few things come to my mind
1- I go to the university and perform the same act as the one the girl in that movie did to her lawyer this time on the dean
2- I go to the ministry and complain, of course they will not believe me as I don't have any proof
3- try to wiggle our way to find the student an acceptance in another university without a letter
4- ignore the whole thing and do not involve myself in this mystery

Well, how can I? My job is not just to educate kids, my job is also to raise the morale and change how we think, my job is to ensure that movie scenes do not happen in our real life. What happened to this girl in stark day light is a Hollywood or a Bollywood scene, that will surely make the film as number one in box office sale? But is this what we want? A life with fear just because we have sick people living amongst us?

I am not sure what to think, but again, it's late, it's end of the week, and I am tired.
Good night every body, think with me.

Thursday 10 May 2012


Please do not think that I am fixated on marriage! I am sort of, but not to the extant that some other people are with marriage. Of course I believe in marriage a lot, it's  the main pillar of any society, without it the family unit will be extinct, and chaos will be the only replacement. Of course included in this is the defecto marriage of the west, even though those couples did not tie the knot in an official way, they live in the same place, deal with each other as if they are legally married, like feeling jealous or having kids, and so on and so forth. Of course this isn't my debate subject, you know me more than that.

What I am trying to debate here is who is going to marry who? Let me start with me, I got married to an Iraqi person, so my friends, relatives and everyone I know questioned my choice. I didn't realise then the reason for their inquisitiveness? So I blamed it on love. Well, with love you can do anything and everything, I guess? Also I know girls who married to persons from other nationalities and other religions, I do not recall discussions regarding these marriages or condemnations, still some resistance from parents and relatives did occur, but the couple got married, and had kids, sweet as! And if in any circumstances the marriage didn't succeed, it is not because of the different nationalities, religion, cultural background, it's because of the intolerance of the couple to each other, and the lack of patience towards certain behaviours or attitudes.

However what I heard in Saudi arabia was beyond belief. I was suggesting a boy to a friend of mine. She asked me about the name! Then she asked me to find out if he is a bedouin, or a civilian? And ask about his mother, where she comes from, also to find out if any of his brothers and sisters had married to a Bedouin? I thought she was making fun of me? But apparently she was not. In Saudi there are the original Saudi people who are Bedouins of course, then those that came to haj and settled in Saudi, and then those that came to work and settled, from neighbouring countries, or from countries as far as Russia and China. However they are all Saudis by nationalities, speak arabic, practice religion in the same way, and love the king like every other Saudi. But when it comes to marriage, no, these people should marry their own kind?

I am not saying that us the Bahrainis are different? We also think of nationalities, and language. I don't think we care about different sects in the same religion but we do not want to marry into another religion. Like my friend's daughter married a british guy, but he converted to Islam and learnt arabic? Also my other friend's daughter married a French guy who also converted, but he speaks French only, so the whole family speaks French with him, vous comprendes? These days however people ask, and prefer to marry a person from the same country, and preferably same neighbourhood, just to make it simpler.

So what is going on? In Quraan God tells us to travel, meet people, and get to know them well. Also no mention in Quraan that marriage between different tribes is haram? So where did this come from? Did some one woke up in the morning and thought that today we will start to discriminate in marriage? Or maybe someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed with a Bad hair day so he invented the stoppage of the inter tribal marriage! Of course we all know that the rules and laws are written by people like you and me, nothing sacred any more, and thus other people suffer because we wrote rules that are not based on concrete facts and scientific evidences.

On the lighter side, when my son got introduced to his wife, he of course never thought of the marriage discrimination, as his mum and dad were of different backgrounds, and when my daughter got introduced to her fiancé, she too didn't think of the nationality difference, but my husband first words were: also from Bahrain, so we will have three Bahrainis in the family!!!! Funny.

Sunday 6 May 2012

A story of five women

My life has been intertwined with five women, I have become a sort of a mentor and pacifier, I try my best to advice without bias, but their life has not been the best, and their worries and agonies had overwhelmed me. Sometimes at night I stare at the ceiling just thinking about them and wondering if their life is intact and that they are still alive. Names have been changed to protect the women. The rest of the stories will follow.

Asmaa moved to this country 35 years ago, had her kids, and suffered tremendously from her husband and his family. She had previously suffered from her family too, especially from her strict brother who beat her until she cannot walk; she saw her sister get divorced, and the husband marries her other sister, and she saw unhappy sisters in laws and unhappy mother who also suffered from the father’s family.

Basically if you look at Asmaa all you will see is unhappiness. She said once that she has never experienced life as it should be. She had back pains since she was 20 years old, And had been treated on a daily basis with many operations on her back, neck, legs and so on. She was in hospitals more than at home; however what she is obsessed about is the idea of having a Jennie inside her, and also the many evil eyes that inflicted upon her as well as those that do black magic to terrorize her life. She is continuously feeling that she has to see psychics and she has to go to taro card readers, and she has to have her luck read by experts, she feels that maybe with a strike of luck all her troubles would be bygones. She also has people in her house to perform religious rituals on her because she thinks that the Jennie inside her and all the black magic came about due to the many girls her husband had been involved with.

You see, since they got married, the husband had been a womanizer, he feels that he can love all the women, and in turn women play games on him, get all his money, try to get him to marry them, and once he decides on the marriage something stops him. He remembers the love letters he used to write to his wife, and the love he shared with her prior to their marriage; he thinks that those feelings were enough to stop him from committing mistakes.

However the girls that he played around with, will not just stay away, they will try to do black magic to hurt the wife! Of course this is according to her, she feels that they do this, there is no proof she says, but the pains in her body increase every time he gets involved with a woman and leaves her.

What made matters worse is that the husband had become sexually inactive, so to him that was a disaster, as he still feels fine, but cannot have intercourse, which lead him to increase his love relationships, take a lot of supplements to make him at least physically attractive to girls but not to the wife. He also increased his trips to other countries were he will find prostitutes as he thought that it will improve his manhood. The final stroke happened when the husband forgot about his love and his letters, and actually married the girl he had played around with.

No one wants to hear what happened to Asmaa when she found out, the devastation and the lack of sleep were so strong to the extent that she had to sleep in another room as she couldn’t stand seeing him. She wouldn’t talk to him for two years, until he actually divorced the girl (who spent all him money); rumor has it that the girl had left him after she used him for the things that she wanted to do. But he will not say that instead he tried to convince Asmaa that he left her as he couldn’t bear the fact that she doesn’t want to see him or talk to him.

During those two years she got used to travelling with her friends and family and going to places and picnics. She had a ball and gave her husband a hard time but still her body aches were persisting.

Few days ago she had a person perform religious rituals on her, and she feels that she is recovering a bit. Did this solve her issues? I don’t know.


Rawya is PhD holder, majoring in philosophy, which is a difficult subject for women, but she strived to complete her education and passed with distinctions in all of them. She was offered a job at the university but she had to decline; why? Well her husband didn’t want her to work. A very strong woman, very systematic, very enthusiastic and very tolerant. She devotes her time to her loved ones, and doesn’t tolerate nonsense.

Life had been good despite not being able to fulfill herself. She writes and thinks and she is a real philosopher. She married at the age of 19, without completing her bachelor degree, traveled with the husband so he can further his studies, but managed to learn a foreign language in the process. When the husband finished his studies, they returned home; while she was busy with bearing her kids she registered in a university and completed her bachelor degree, then she did her master’s degree. The husband went from strength to strength but still didn’t allow her to work, she stayed home and managed to look after the kids and the husband and read whatever falls in her hand.

She became very aware of the political situation in her country and started to warn her husband to leave the area they were in and move to another area, he refused, so she started her PhD and went on to become the best graduate at that university. They offered her a lecturing job, so she decided for the first time that she will take the job. After a humiliating resistance from her husband she started her job, and realized that she is a born teacher.

Her new methodology of teaching made every student want to take her class, which made her the envy of other lecturers and also started a feud between her and the head of the university; they were all shocked on how she could become that successful in a short time. She was an equal to the men and the students preferred her class even though it was boring in nature to everybody else’s class.

Arab spring began, her intuition told her that she should move on. So she took with her every document that she could lay her eyes on, and moved to another country to stay with her son. When the situation worsened her husband followed suit. The house and its content was confiscated by the people that were fighting the government, being of a different religion, the fighters thought that it was an easy target so her house was the first to be seized. It had her computer, books and all her writing, to date she regrets not taking them with her. Presently she is looking for a job, but her language being not English she is unable to find one, so the saga continues, being her work mentor am trying to look for a job for her to solve her issues.

She says that its the first period in her life that she was idle completely and her husband is idle too; she has just found out that she is not in love with him at all, and that he had been so neglecting of her. She is so unhappy as she has no home, no hands to hug her, no one to hug, no one to talk to and no job.

The revelation is so frightening, as she is not young and life is unsettling; finding out that the husband’s mind is far from her mind, his soul is not touching hers, his unhappiness is clouding her unhappiness, and his idleness is creating this magnanimous divide between them. To be in a situation where life is in a complete mess is not easy, hopefully it will ease out and the cloud will move to show a shining sun.


Ledia is 50 years old and never married, however in her youth she fell in love many times but every time it didn’t conclude with marriage. In one situation the love of her life actually approached her family to ask for her hand in marriage, but it didn’t fall through at the end. Devastated as she was, she went away to complete her masters and then her PHD. When she returned she continued to dream of a better country and a life with a person, but that person was never found. So she worked in many countries, still she loved her own country and longed to see it run in democracy. Politics runs in her blood, which is something she acquired when she went to study for her bachelor degree.

One can find out easily that she is an utterly confused person, wondering between her life without a man, to a country without a democracy, plus trying to survive the ordeal of the loss of her mother to cancer. When one sets with her, one has to be completely attentive to her and what she says, as if one’s eyes wonders to the blackberry, Ipad and any other gadget! its murder as she could go into this deep depression state and only God can get her out of it. When she discusses politics she is talking from her guts, even though she is not a politician but she has this strong feelings that she is one. She hates lies and suppression.

So when the fire of Arab Spring took her country like a storm, she was one of those that joined the demonstration, and carried the flag of freedom of speech. Hence prison was eminent, she was arrested, interrogated and tried for two full days, she said that she was terrified, she didn’t want to leave the place dead, organs missing, raped, nails missing, hair missing, eyes poked or slapped. She left intact but she was being cursed at, humiliated, sworn at, bad words said at, and they left her door open so she can hear the mistreatment of other inmates. She couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, her brain was going to explode in thinking that they may do something to her. There was utter silence from the prison guards, which was nerve wrecking to her and her cell colleague. When the day came to release her she already started to have phobic attacks and already on the road to depression.

When I saw her a week after her release, I noticed that she was not the person I knew! Total breakdown in any communication as all she was thinking of is that she may go to prison again.

Her friends tried to help her by teaching her how to draw and paint; that is when she found out that she has a talent, so she drew one, followed by another and now she has over 45 brilliant paintings. We all keep on telling her that at least there was something good that came out of her prison experience! But could we delete what’s in her mind? Can we find her a husband? Can we plant for her a country with DEMOCRACY? I don’t think so.