Sunday, 28 February 2010

iPhone Lebanon - One app at a time

The Lebanese need phones, and they need to look cool.
Hence the iPhone sells very well over there.
Now, there are a number of new apps that are designed to cater for this excessively cool people.
Click on the poster below to enlarge:

Stay connected in Lebanon with one of those apps.

Friday, 26 February 2010


Barack Has a Dream...

More artwork from The World of Dreams

Simply Brilliant.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

After Tuesday..

Just read this at my buddy's blog:

Jazzical Aficionado

Just cracked me up!!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Latuff on Dubai

Simply Brilliant!

Thank you Carlos Latuff

Seems we'll have a busy week with loads of zionist visitors hahaha
Shame they can enter my blog even with an israeli passport :p

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Iran's threat to airlines

In a new bullying tactic by the Islamic Republic, Iran has threatened all airlines that do not refer to the block of water South of its lands as "Persian Gulf" with grounding of their planes. The following article in the words of seasoned writer Loveday Morris of The National explains more.

This has serious implications on many airlines connecting Iran with the rest of civilisation. The threat extends to airlines using the neutral term "The Gulf" as well. Notice the threatening use of language from Tehran, implying that by using a name such as "Persian Gulf", they have some kind of right over the Arab states that surround it. ABIT like England claiming part of France since it overlooks the English Channel.

“The airlines of the southern Persian Gulf flying to Iran are warned to use the term Persian Gulf on their electronic display boards,” said Mr Hamid Behbahani (Iran's Transport Minister), according to IRNA, the Iranian state news agency."

This blog has always asserted that the world historically called the body of water Persian, and that the Arab states would probably continue calling it Persian if it weren't for Iran's increasingly hostile stance towards its Muslim neighbours since the 1960s. Very ironic given that it's the region's only "Islamic Republic".

All these word fights are happening while Israel silently tests a drone that can fly to Iran. Notice even the BBC calls it "The Gulf".

Forget for a second typical Israeli fear for their own lives (they sent live pilots into Iraq in the early 1980s to destroy their nuclear plants) by sending drones. However, Israel is a serious threat, whilst Iran's bark is most likely more threatening than its bite.

Iran's threat to airlines

Loveday Morris

* Last Updated: February 23. 2010 12:20AM UAE / February 22. 2010 8:20PM GMT

Iran has demanded all in-flight mentions of the waterway to use the "Persian Gulf" or airlines risk being banned from Iranian airspace. Jumana El Heloueh / Reuters

Iran has warned airlines that fail to use the term “Persian Gulf” on their in-flight monitors that they will be banned from the Islamic Republic’s airspace, which could have an impact on UAE-based carriers.

Hamid Behbahani, Iran’s transport minister, has demanded an apology from the Iranian airline Kish Air after one of its stewards referred to the Arabian Gulf during a recent flight.

The minister described the term as “bogus” and went on to threaten other airlines.

“The airlines of the southern Persian Gulf flying to Iran are warned to use the term Persian Gulf on their electronic display boards,” said Mr Behbahani, according to IRNA, the Iranian state news agency.

“If the airlines aren’t willing, they will be forbidden to fly in Iranian airspace for a month on the first violation, and upon repetition the aircraft will be grounded in Iran and flight permits to Iran will be revoked.”

A spokeswoman for Emirates Airline, who declined to be named, said the airline tries not to use either term.

“In our in-flight magazine and on our website, the area in question has not been labelled, as the focus is on our destination cities,” the Emirates spokeswoman said.

She could not confirm how the area was referred to on in-flight route-mapping displays, or whether the airline had been contacted by Iranian authorities. The airline operates 21 weekly flights to Tehran.

Etihad Airways and Air Arabia could not provide comment yesterday.

A Greek air steward for Kish Air was fired and given 20 days to leave the country after he used the term Arabian Gulf on a Tehran-bound flight earlier this week. The unnamed flight attendant threatened to detain passengers when they complained of his use of the term, according to IRNA.

Noufal Mohammed, the manager of Kish Air’s Dubai office, declined to comment on the incident.

The name of the waterway has been a source of contention between Iran and the Arab countries that border it for decades.

It is referred to as the Persian Gulf on most maps and documents published before 1960, but Arab states argue it should be known as the Arabian Gulf, since most of the countries that surround it are Arab ones.

Some people and organisations avoid either name and refer to the area simply as “the Gulf”. But even that is often met with anger in Iran, which often cites the United Nations endorsement of the term “Persian Gulf” for the body of water.

Dr Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a politics professor at UAE University, said he did not think much would come of the threat, which he described as “bullying”.

“It’s a non-issue that Iran is trying to make into a political issue,” he said. “There are much more important issues to attend to in the region.”

Monday, 22 February 2010

Sderot or Najd?

We've all been serenaded by Israel's stories of hurt and suffering from Sderot. That's the tiny village right next to the border with Gaza. They have been pelted by Qassam rockets from Gaza that were the only thing to fly out of Gaza after Israel's crippling blockade (Egypt hasn't helped much either).

I even met the prick of a mayor, Mr Eli Moyal of Sderot during a propaganda tour (the picture above is mine) trying to convince us that Israel is peaceful and they are suffering big time because of the rockets. I suppose it's hard to understand that hungry, poor, and humiliated people will do almost anything to get noticed and get even.

That was a pig of a talk, we were harrassed by Israeli security goons, but we still managed to get to the talk and be heard. It was fun. I hope to be able to ask people like Netinyahu some proper questions soon, mind you, compared to the big cheese, Moyal is just a small sardine.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to shed the light on Sderot's history, which in fact was that it was called Najd, and was an Arab Palestinian town before the Israelis razed it to the ground and build Sderot on its ruins in 1951. How very convenient. I wonder what the Arab Mayor of Najd would say about this?

Hold that thought, and read what wiki has to say:

"Sderot was founded in 1951 (...) on the land of the former Palestinian village of Najd. Najd was a Palestinian Arab village, located 14 kilometers (9 mi) northeast of Gaza City. On 13 May 1948, Najd was occupied by Jewish soldiers from the Negev Brigade as part of Operation Barak. The inhabitants were expelled and fled to Gaza, and the village was then completely destroyed and leveled to the ground. In 1951, the town of Sderot was built over the village lands."

A typical shining example of brave Israeli history. The honour. The gallant bravery!

I'm a man of numbers, and I have been trying in vain to get some statistics on how many Sderot residents died because of these Gazan rockets, but I have found nothing. I found statistics however claiming that half of the village's residents are "casualties" of the attacks. Hmmm that means about 10,000 of 20,000 or so residents.

Ynet : Study: Over half of Sderot residents are Qassam casualties

So, 10,000 Israelis are casualties? What is the Israeli definition of a casualty? Ok.. let's look at nearby Gaza:

in 19 days of war, more than 1000 Gazans died, and 4800 were physically injured.

That means physically hurt by an Israeli explosive device.

I still cannot find details of even one Sderot death from these painful rockets, even though there are 10,000 "casualties".

Amazing, that the propaganda machine managed to alert us to the plight of the modern Nadj residents (aka Sderot) while neglecting to mention the original resident's plight. The next step I guess is to find one of the original, pre 1948 residents of Sderot/Najd and capture their words on video.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

براعة اللغة العربية

براعة اللغة العربية

بيتان غريبان

*هذا البيت لا يتحرك اللسان بقراءته‎:

آب همي وهم بي أحبابي

همهم ما بهم وهمي مابي

* وهذا البيت لا تتحرك بقراءته الشفتان‎:

قطعنا على قطع القطا قطع ليلة‎

سراعا على الخيل العتاق اللاحقي

وهذه أبيات من الشعر لكن فيها العجب العجاب وفيها احتراف وصناعة للشعر:

ألــــــــــــوم صديقـــــي وهـــــــــذا محـــــــــــــــــــال
صديقــــــــي أحبــــــــــــه كـــــــــلام يقـــــــــــــــــال
وهـــــــــــذا كــــــــــــــلام بليــــــــــغ الجمـــــــــــــال
محـــــــــــــال يــــــــــــقال الجمـــــــال خيــــــــــــال

الغريــــــــــــب في هذه الأبيات .. أنــكم تستطيـــعون قراءتها أفقيــا ورأسيـــاً ...!

أنظروا إلى هذا البيت :

مودته تدوم لكل هول .. وهل كل مودته تدوم

حاولوا قراءة البيت بالعكس .. من آخره إلى أوله حرفا حرفا .. ستكتشفوا الإبداع ...

فهذا البيت يُقرأ كما هو من الجهتين كلمة كلمة

* خطبتان واحدة بدون حرف الألف والأُخرى بدون نقط :

(حمدت من عظمت منته وسبغت نعمته وسبقت رحمته غضبه،وتمت كلمته، ونفذت مشيئته، وبلغت قضيته، حمدته حمد مُقرٍ بربوبيته، متخضع لعبوديته، متنصل من خطيئته، متفرد بتوحده، مؤمل منه مغفرة تنجيه يوم يشغل عن فصيلته وبنيه، ونستعينه ونسترشده ونستهديه، ونؤمن به ونتوكل عليه وشهدت له شهود مخلص موقن، وفردته تفريد مؤمن متيقن، ووحدته توحيد عبد مذعن، ليس له شريك في ملكه ولم يكن له ولي في صنعه، جلَّ عن مشير ووزير، وعن عون ومعين ونصير ونظير علم ولن يزول كمثله شيءٌ وهو بعد كل شيءٍ، رب معتزز بعزته، متمكن بقوته، متقدس بعلوّه متكبر بسموّه ليس يدركه بصر، ولم يحط به نظر قوي منيع، بصير سميع، رؤوف رحيم عجز عن وصفه من يصفه، وضل عن نعته من يعرفه، قرب فبعد و بَعُد فقرب، يجيب دعوة من يدعوه، ويرزقه ويحبوه، ذو لطف خفي، وبطش قوي، ورحمة موسعة، وعقوبة موجعة، رحمته جنة عريضة مونقة، وعقوبته جحيم ممدودة موبقة، وشهدت ببعث محمد رسوله وعبده وصفيه ونبيه ونجيه وحبيبه وخليله)ـ

وهذه الخطبة الثانية من غير نقط :

(الحمد لله الملك المحمود ، المالك الودود مصور كل مولود ، مآل كل مطرود ساطع المهاد وموطد الأوطاد ومرسل الأمطار ، ومسهل الأوطار وعالم الأسرار ومدركها ومدمر الأملاك ومهلكها ومكور الدهور ومكررها ومورد الأمور ومصدرها عم سماحه وكمل ركامه وهمل وطاوع السؤال والأمل أوسع الرمل وأرمل أحمده حمدا ممدودا وأوحده كما وحد الأواه وهو الله لا إله للأمم سواه ولا صادع لما عدله وسواه ، أرسل محمدا علما للإسلام ، وإماما للحكام ، ومسدد)ـ

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The complexities of residency deserve debate

The complexities of residency deserve debate

From The National:

Peter Hellyer

* Last Updated: February 15. 2010 10:42PM UAE / February 15. 2010 6:42PM GMT

I read Sultan Al Qassemi’s column this week, where he suggests that “some” long-term expatriate residents should be given permanent residency status, with interest. It’s now 35 years since I first came to Abu Dhabi; if I can, I would like to spend more time here. I don’t have nightmares about being obliged to leave, but I do wonder how I would occupy myself if I moved to my house in Jersey, which has never been anything more than a holiday home for me, though I love it dearly.

Sultan’s suggestion, by the way, isn’t new. More than 20 years ago, a prominent Emirati businessman wrote a pamphlet that said much of the same, though it provoked little debate.

Sultan is absolutely right to stress that any creation of a permanent residency status for long-term expatriates, should not, and cannot, have any implications with regards to citizenship. If citizenship were granted more easily (albeit on the basis of individual approval by Government) to people who have been here for 25 years or more, a situation would rapidly arise where a large percentage of UAE citizens were of origins utterly unrelated to the country and its Muslim, Arab and Gulf heritage.

It’s hard enough, as it is, to preserve the special characteristics of the country without the introduction of a programme that would, in effect, mean that the people of the Emirates – the Emiratis – were giving it away. As we can see from Fiji, where citizens of Indian descent account for nearly 40 per cent of the population, in that direction lies a host of political, social and cultural problems.

It would be difficult, too, to extend the possibility – not the right – of long-term residency to the children of any long-term expatriates, particularly those born here or who have lived most or all of their lives here, though I appreciate the problems that many face in deciding where they actually belong.

In a piece last August another columnist for the paper, HA Hellyer, (who, as many readers may know, is my son, born in Abu Dhabi just over 30 years ago), wrote: “No child born to immigrants in the UAE ever says: ‘I am an Emirati’ – it is just not part of how people respond to the question of nationality. Children always refer to the country of their parents, even if they have been born and brought up in the UAE. So did my friend – until he went away to university. There, for the first time, he began to develop a sense of belonging to the UAE: not at the expense of his other identities, but in addition to them. One day, a new Emirati student at his university asked him: ‘Where are you from?’, and for the first time he replied: ‘I am from Abu Dhabi.’”

That’s a phrase I’ve used myself. I would never call myself an Emirati, but, after 35 years, I am certainly from Abu Dhabi, in a real, if not a complete, way, albeit happy to remain British as well, not just in terms of my citizenship but also in my own assessment of my identity, though I frequently tell younger Emiratis that I have lived here longer than they have, since I arrived before they were born. I know, perhaps, more Emirati history and geography than they do, though I know less of the traditions and, of course, the language.

I am pretty satisfied with the balance of being, in effect, both British and from Abu Dhabi. I can’t imagine being obliged to sacrifice either. Thus the issue of whether there should be a formal framework to allow some long-term expatriates to stay here is not merely, for me, an academic issue.

It is, though, enormously complex.

Some expatriates spend decades here, earning a living and raising their children without ever knowing the country itself. They do so almost entirely within a bubble, relating primarily to the expatriate community or communities, but without engaging with the Emirates and with Emiratis. They are among those mentioned by Mr Al Qassimi who, because of their age, face the problem of no longer being able to obtain residence visas.

There are others, including friends of mine, well past the age of retirement, who have identified in a more meaningful way with the country and who, because of the relationships they have developed over decades, continue to have visas, provided through the businesses they have created or through the good offices of Emirati friends that they have made.

Most of the expatriates who have spent much of their lives here are currently obliged to leave at 60 or thereabouts, taking with them not only their knowledge of the country but also the savings they have made. That is a matter of economic concern.

Policy makers, however, particularly those in the UAE with its enormous demographic imbalance between citizens and others, need to consider social issues too. What will be the nature of the state that will emerge in the future? What can those residents with any degree of permanency contribute to it?

Most new arrivals to the UAE do not emigrate here – as people emigrate from Britain to Australia or from India to Canada. They do not uproot themselves from their country of origin to put down roots in a new country. Some, a few, eventually do, but for many it’s always a temporary process, however long it lasts. Their hearts remain at home.

I would welcome a debate, between both Emiratis and expatriates, about the matters raised by Sultan Al Qassemi in his recent column. My own view is that there are many other aspects besides the length of time spent here that need to be taken into account in determining whether it is beneficial for the country to develop a formal framework that would permit long-term residents the right to stay for the rest of their lives.

Peter Hellyer is a writer and consultant who specialises in Emirati culture and heritage

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Expat Arrivals - new website

You might notice that I added links to two websites on the right hand side of my site:

This was after being approached by the site to help market their site. It seemed like a good idea since the sites had some useful information for people wishing to relocate to the United Arab Emirates.

If you are interested in the UAE, then drop me a question via e-mail (it's in my profile) or this blog post through comments below.

Happy relocating!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Israel bullies British laws

Well, we've known Israel to bully and murder neighbouring Arabs, and to make a joke of the UN via successive vetos from the USA. Now it appears that they are trying to spin the previous arrest warrant in the UK against Tzipi Livni to their favour. All this because she was doing her job and "fighting terror", reminds me so much about what you read about the Nazi party and just following orders.

Now now, invading land you withdrew from years ago and murdering everything that moves doesn't really classify as terror fighting as much as it might look like xenophobic genocide, but that's just me...

More reporting from The National: Tzipi Livni: I’m coming to London, arrest me
Who knows, maybe Jack Straw will do just that...

Sunday, 14 February 2010

GDP growth and tall buildings

I found this article by the Economist interesting:

(please click on the picture below)

(click above for the full article)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Stand with the Eleven

Look what happens in the land of free speech.
Students get arrested for expressing their opinions, then threatened with expulsion.

On February 8th, Micheal Oren spoke at UCI. During his speech Oren was interrupted by 11 protesters who had every right to speak out. Now they are charged with disrupting the peace and being target...