Sunday 31 August 2014

Living abroad

I have always been fascinated with how people from a country live in another country but continue to congregate in certain areas, do their same rituals as if they are still living back home, eat the same food, wear the same cloths, speak the same language, marry in the same way, carry on with the family traditions and continue to exercise the same cultural practices in the same way. I can imagine how the immigrants build a glass wall that will separate and isolate them from those that live in the new country.  How long will it take the new comers to build that wall? I guess it will take them as long as getting acquainted with the new country and finding out its ways and habits.

Well, who am I to talk about this? I am one of those that traveled around the world and lived extensively overseas, I do look for my type of food, I try to find people that carry with them similar beliefs and practices, I cook our food for my kids, and shop in eastern shops for our spices, beans and pulses;  If I don't find what I need, I call those that I just got acquainted with and ask them about the places that I have to go to to find what I need.  Similar to life in general, certain dishes will not tastes the same if it doesn't have all the correct ingredients. 

Still, I do want to complain about certain things that people traveling and living around the world do not get, I feel that we must learn from others and try to acquire certain attributes and maybe behaviours that are different to ours, after all, what is the real benefit of going abroad? some people travel for safety and security reason, some for business, some for studies, but many travel just for the heck of it, in any way we must learn from those that lived in that country and have great expertise in it.  We mustn't lose the opportunities that will be open to us out there just because we are stuck to what we know.  Keep a friend or two from that country, praise its government, learn a dish or two from its cuisine, buy some of their daily wear or traditional attire, have some of their tea or coffee, you never know, you could discover something that you will bring back to your country and maybe you are on onto a new business idea.  Poeple are made with differing tastes, we must explore to find what we like. Also they could have better ways in talking to their kids, or a nicer way in treating their wives and husbands, we could learn a lot from that.

My advise, don't just be there, live there.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Art Movements

I would like you to imagine this scene that happened a 150 years ago, every artist in the world had submitted his two or three of their painting to a jury of experts, who would vote on each painting, the deemed unacceptable would be stamped with the red letter R for rejected, those that are accepted would be hung in the walls of the Palais; the winners were celebrated and the losers hitchhiked their way home and went back to work to start again for the following year.  What I am asking you to imagine is the SALON, the place that accepts and rejects artists not only on the basis of how they draw, but on their chosen style too, people would commit suicide if their art is not chosen by the jury of the Salon, as they would think that they had no talent. 

In that time few artists decided they would go away from that norm and start a Salon of their own as their art was not approved at the time, so if these artists didn’t do this, until today we will only have the flying angles, the pretty women and the portraits of the kings and queens hung on every museum wall.  The world would not have seen the art of Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Renoir, Pissarro and Degas.
This group supported each other morally and financially, they were the heart and soul of the new movement and if they didn’t think of making their own Salon, new forms of art would not have been generated. 

This group was the leader of the impressionist’s movement, and I bet you if we did more research we will see a similar scenario happening with other movements of arts like the surrealism, the expressionists, the symbolism, Dada, futurism, the art deco and others.

We are born in a time where each one of us has to fend for oneself, we will gain the support only if we blend with the general theme of what the community wants us to be and think, we will only reach our goals if we pursue them ourselves, and no matter what we do, achieving a life of fulfillment will only be gained if we exert our efforts to achieve.  To live in a community one has to give, and to give a lot, the expectation of receiving from the community in its true meaning had begged goodbye to us for a long while now.  Those with similar or lesser talents may realize their dreams but in ways that are not based on justice, but on who you know. And those that have the real talents are left to dream on their own, maybe they will reach fulfillment and maybe not, hence what we are trying to do.
We will be the dream team, so when the artists tell us about a project, we will not dismiss it because its moving away from the norm, we will tell the artist, come, give us your hand we will dream with you and create a new movement.

This movement will be called the Bahrainism, where a blend of all art movements had appeared and new movements based on the lives of the Bahraini people is emerging.  Our county had been on a Jennie’s palm for a while now, which had given the artists in us a brilliant field to create.  I hope that our world will remain in turmoil, as without the poverty, the injustice and the rough life art forms are not created.

So! What are you studying? Science and Maths?

 For a long time I haven’t had a student who wanted to study science.  I actually try to push the subject when counselling new students, unfortunately their mind is set on few disciplines mainly IT, Business, and communication studies. 

Science is taught very well at our schools, but that is where it all stops.  Only those that want to study in medical fields do continue, but there is more to our scientific lives than the human body.  The animals, plants and space are worthy of studying as it all influence our lives one way or the other.

On the other hand, do you ever wonder why most employers prefer to hire westerners for jobs that we equally can do?? It’s because of our training.  In our schools we follow the curriculum with no insistence on any type of research or any competition. In western countries most children have a criteria embedded in their teaching, this criteria relates to research.  Every student has to visit the library at least once a week to do an assignment. With the advent of internet facilities students search for materials that cover their topics.  These materials are either within what they have been taught or outside it.  The research capabilities that the students acquire from little-hood enable them to excel in life. 

Students also register for international competitions in both sciences and mathematics. The University of New South Wales examinations is one of these examinations that come to mind as my children had to take them starting from year five.  The exams are run for any child that has an aptitude for science and math, and the results can either be a distinction, a merit or participation.  Thus the children are screened at an early age and are followed up and encouraged to become a scientist or mathematicians. Hence the difference between us and westerners, and the main reason for employers to hire them and not us.

This brings me to the subject of today’s article, Science and Math.

I wonder, at times, who is training our scientists and our mathematicians. How far do we allow our children to aspire to become scientists? Look around all our universities and you will find excellent IT and business faculties, but we are still short on science and math’s faculties.  Did we omit them from our universities for a reason? Or are we saying that our ancestors are good merchants and that is all we want our future generations to be.  Are we saying that we have to continue to be consumers of first world’s products? Are we saying that we can never have a Noble prize winner in our community?

Food for thought only!!

An Educating thought

I see all of these numbers flashing at me from everywhere in regards to Education, from nurseries, kindergarten, schools, colleges to universities, with investment figures hitting the 9 digits of dollars and numbers of people in millions that are being served by these institutions new and old; ( This makes me wonder is there a real link between all of this to the ultimate goal of all parents? 

Someone is going to open his or her mouth and asks what is the ultimate goal of each parent? I would think it’s the career that their child will choose ultimately. So if these institutions care about the career of the child, we need to have some unification of the formula of education. Presently we have systems that are coming out of our noses, those that encourage rote learning, those that are in between and many that focus on experiential learning. We also have the British system, IB, Indian, Pakistani, Sabis, Edexel, IGCSE, Waldorf Astoria, Pilipino, Canadian, New Zealand, Australian system and so on.  Each of these types focus on specific pedagogical aspect of learning, and try to produce individual that are suitable for future jobs.  However how can the parents find out which of these are the best suited for their precious child? And would these systems also provide the broad range of skills that jobs of this century require? Communication skills, presentation skills, team work, research capability, ability to interact and mix between the various subjects, inventions, creations, instead of learning each subject in isolation and so on?

To me the career is so important for the future of our children, I for one had encourage my own children to do their own things instead of stick with a job, so I harnessed that ability and made them believe in the aspects of owning their own business and helping others to follow suit, other parents may prefer that their kids work in banks, hospitals, schools, colleges or universities, and so on of the various types of conglomerates open these days.  At the end of the day, knowledge is everything, and as parents we are responsible to know what is out there and try to equip our kids to receive the best education.  We have the ability to do this so we must focus and find out the best so they become the best.  And it’s only by providing them with the best options that they grow up to become the best employees or employers.  The circle will continue and hopefully they will do the same with their own kids.

If you ask me, I would go with the Waldorf Astoria system, as its very intuitive and can detect the abilities of the children from a young age. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia about this system:
“Waldorf pedagogy distinguishes three broad stages in child development. The early years education focuses on providing practical, hands-on activities and environments that encourage creative play. In the elementary school, the emphasis is on developing pupils' artistic expression and social capacities, fostering both creative and analytical modes of understanding. Secondary education focuses on developing critical understanding and fostering idealism. Throughout, the approach stresses the role of the imagination in learning and places a strong value on integrating intellectual, practical, and artistic themes.

The educational philosophy's overarching goal is to develop free, morally responsible, and integrated individuals equipped with a high degree of social competence. Teachers generally use formative (qualitative) rather than summative (quantitative) assessment methods, particularly in the pre-adolescent years. The schools have a high degree of autonomy to decide how best to construct their curricula and govern themselves.
The Waldorf method is a large independent alternative education movement, which has a worldwide following.[6][7] In central Europe, where most of the schools are located,[1] the Waldorf approach has achieved general acceptance as a model of alternative education.[8][9] Waldorf education has influenced mainstream education in Europe[10] and Waldorf schools and teacher training programs are funded through the state in many European countries. Public funding of Waldorf schools in some English speaking countries has been controversial, with questions being raised about the role of religious and spiritual content in or underlying the curriculum, and whether the science curriculum, which has achieved notable results,[11][12] also includes pseudoscience and/or promotes homeopathy. The Waldorf movement has said that concerns over its stance on these matters are unfounded.” (

If I want to put my money into a school now, I would go with the Waldorf Astoria model instead of all the umpteen number of models that our children are being bombarded with these days.  One thing for sure here, please stop placing your children into a rote learning school as you will be doing them great injustice.