Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Menopause is a taboo, why? because women hate it when people know their ages,so they never talk about this phase of their lives, hence there is so little research about it.  and today's story is a sign of Men-o-pause!

This trip has been a disaster from start. Not sure why don't I think about things before doing them? I must try to sit back, breathe, and think before writing emails, answering emails, accepting trips and conferences. I think its high time that I must stop, focus and decide on what is best for me and if I really have the brains or the energy to do stuff like this at this age. 

Okay, why don’t I start from the end part, this morning I decided I will go for some shopping, just to buy a few things for the little one, but I got blown away by the amount of decorations that the shops had on display for both thanksgiving and Halloween. I looked at my watch and it’s almost time to go to the airport! So went out of the shop, no taxis! Blast!  I went back to the shop, and asked if I can have a number to call a taxi; the shopkeeper gave me one and I rang three times, but no one replied, so I walked around asking every passerby if they know where I can get a taxi, no one knew.  At the end a person advised me to go to the beginning of the shopping area and ask there. Great, I got a taxi finally.  I asked him to dash back to the hotel, went down, went to the room, changed, washed while hastily putting my items inside the two little bags that I brought with me, went down again, checked out and got to the shuttle. 

At the airport I found out that I had to pay for my couple of bags (something else to add to my to do list, find out if domestic flights require you to purchase bags!!)  I paid for that and off I went through security.  I was really hungry at that stage and since I had an hour till departure I bought some food, and was munching away while sorting through the trip file, when I noticed that my next flight which was supposed to be at 11 pm that day, was actually a month away!! I made a mistake when booking the flight!!!! I  nearly fainted!  what would I do now?  oh my god, panic panic panic.  I held myself, opened my laptop to go to the internet, and dammit, I had to pay for the wifi, did that.  Then I found the phone number of the airline and called them.  Of course knowing airlines they have to keep you on hold for minutes.  When they finally answered and I explained the situation, and asked them to hurry up as I am departing in few minutes, still it took the girl on the other side of the phone around another 6 minutes to find me a seat on the correct flight, the damage of course was another few hundred dollars.

So while being seated I started to think about this week.  My final flight would be the 6th flight I took that week plus a multiple bus trips and one of these trips was for 15 hours.  Of course we had a mission to visit few universities, but the route was not for someone my age, it was for young and energetic people.  And that brought me to the subject of menopause, I think when women reach this age the thinking process is not very clear, and if a young person is hasty, then a menopausal person becomes hastier, if a young person is not focused, then a menopausal person becomes less focused, and if a person is clumsy, then the menopausal person becomes clumsier.  Everything multiplies even chin hair, but some other things reduce, I don’t care for this purpose to mention what they are. 

However, what I learned from this trip is that……., wait, I didn't learn anything as I am sure I will do this again and again.  I am easily tempted to travel, and if there was a trip and good company assured, then I am the first person to sign for it. So menopause or no menopause, I am not going to stop and think before I do anything, as I don’t think I was born to think, and now that I am men-o-pausal, its even worse.

However, I do need a secretary to organise my trips. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

You know that a country had lost its soul when its people loose their ambition

As you may know we talk to students from around the world who are pursuing their higher education,  I get the goose pumps when I hear them talk about what they want to do and their aspirations.   Almost every student from UAE for example wants to go to a top ranked university! we help them of course if their grades and other achievements permits, if not we place them in the place that suits them and suits their abilities.  Of course we do that without prejudice and without putting the students down,  as the last thing one wants to do is to hamper their enthusiasm when he or she are at the peak of their hope and dreams of the future. 

Off late we have been helping students from bahrain and needless to say that almost all of the ones that come our way are those that had attained the highest grades.  I am baffled by how subdued they are and how they never think beyond Bahrain and other gulf countries.  Most of the times they are baffled too about the possibilities available out there.

Being the inquisitive me I ask why? why are they asking for this or that university and what their parents think? and have they checked around? or are they told of what is available out there?

So my latest discussion made me go mad.  This student gained 97.8% in her high school last year. She was offered a scholarship to a gulf country when she wanted another gulf country.  So she went for a term, decided that she doesn't like it and returned back to Bahrain.  Then someone gave her my number (to her fortune or misfortune, not sure).   Of  course I went through the drill and asked her why does she only wants that particular university? I asked her to check the various rankings to show me if its in them?

I was only trying to tell her that a high ranking student should go to a high ranking university.  With her grades even Harvard will accept her and would even give her a scholarship.   In Turkey for example (and by the way, no one from the Gulf region wants to go there yet!) most of their universities are in the top. But us the Bahraini people always settle for the closest.  Unsure why?  I think a student should insist that he/she must go to the top university even if its in China.  This is according to our prophet

I am sorry but I lose my mind especially that the UAE who started their schools years after Bahrain are sending their students to the best places and we the Bahraini people think of the worst and that too if the family permits.

We can't afford it, My dream is to study in the UK, my family will not agree, I don't have the language level required, I cannot see myself there, what if I apply and they don't accept me? what if after what if, endless hampering of ones ability, which seriously reflects of the country itself.

So my answer to these students, what if you get a scholarship?  did you think of that?
I also give them this website: and ask them to go there and see for themselves the endless possibilities.

The education system in every country has a a very important side that goes beyond, reading, writing,  arithmetic!  its compounding the confidence of the learners, making them believe in themselves and letting them unleash their potential to show the world that they firstly exist and secondly can. anyone given the right circumstances can do the best, and pupil in bahrain are no different.  I can only say that the students had lost their ambition, they must feel that there is no point of working hard, as their country had lost its soul.


Suad Alhalwachi

Director of Education Zone