Monday, February 26, 2007

African Sorry Situation

What is the world coming to? To an end, perhaps? While the US plays Big Brother and the UN is on silent mode, the world is slowly collapsing. Slow and eventual decay will eat the world up from the inside out; eventually taking us by surprise one day, when we wak up and see a total destruction of the world. The Middle East is on fire, with Iraq and Palestine as literal warzones, Africans are dying of famine and drought, Pakistan and India are exchanging blame over too many bomb blasts, Iran is at lockerheads with the West over its Nuclear ambitions, Guantanamo is not a dream but a real prison cage set up by non-other than the beloved Mr. Bush, the beacon and exporter of his version of democracy and people everywhere are in a sorry sorry situation.

A comment on my post by Anon about the Arab Sorry Situation, triggered me to post these facts about Africa:
1. Africa is the second-largest of the Earth's seven continents - covering about 30,330,000 sq km, which makes up about 22 per cent of the world's total land area.

2. 90% of all malaria cases are in sub-Saharan Africa

3. 3,000 children under the age of five die each day from malaria in Africa.

4. 1-5% of GDP in Africa covers costs of malaria control and lost labour days

5. Did you know, that Africa would have been an estimated US $100 billion better off in 1999 if malaria had been eliminated years ago?

6. 17 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have died of AIDS.

7. At least 25 million people in Africa are HIV-positive.

8. 12 million children who have lost their parents to AIDS face a precarious future.

9. Internal conflicts are burning up many African societies.

10. The media and the rest of the world loves to ignore Africa and leaves Africans to either fend for themselves or fry each other.

Africa is the troubled continent, that the rest of the world prefers to ignore, it is the continent where Aids and Malaria eat at human beings day after day while the world's superpowers never turn to think about them for a second, well because, they are just the third world, unworthy of our time, effort or money!

Seriously now, the world needs to wake up!
What do you think? What other burning questions need to be answered regarding Africa? What other major problems do you think plague this continent today? Would love to hear your feedback!


What Capitalists want us to believe...

Quality time, they say, not quantity when it comes to spending time with your children. I get cooped up in the office for 9 freakin hours every single day plus the hour and a half to get through traffic amounts to 10 and a half hours away from my home, my life, my kids. I miss them, I miss being a mom, I miss cooking for them, I miss babying them, even though they are still babies (4 and 2 year-olds) I miss being at home.

After working till 6.30 yesterday and reaching home at 7.00pm, I walked into the house to find their beautiful smiling faces, and I realized they were the reason why I work so hard. I work to take them to the best of schools that I can afford, to build them a house they can play and grow up in, I work to give them the life I always wanted. But is it what they need if they can't have me? They can't have their mother to mother them, to take care of them, to feed them, to love them?

A guilt trip washes over me as I think of them each minute I am stuck in a freakin meeting that I know won't go anywhere and will probably get anybody anywhere. I think of what food they're eating when I'm eating on my own. Its sad, its awful, its stressing, but that's the price mothers have to pay today as the rights of mothers or children are not recognized by the state anyway.

Capitalists would have us believing that we need to get out into the workforce, to increase our income, while on the other hand, the cost of living increases, and we end up taking part time jobs to compensate for inflation, in turn leaving our kids to nurture themselves, grow up disturbed or bitter, we leave our lives behind, and our health welts away. Can you believe I survive on Ibuprofen tablets each day, as I don't have enough exercise, and I don't eat healthy, as I am cooped up in a freakin office all day! In winter, I don't know what sunshine means!!!

I love my kids dearly and I wish they would realize one day that I did it all for them, as best as I know.
So here I am, blogging my life away as I feel so frustrated and angry at all the capitalists of the world for creating such a freakin system that has everybody's lives in tatters.

To my kids, Love you sweeties, sorry for snapping at you yesterday!


Friday, February 23, 2007

Thought-Provoking Questions

1. How would you feel if you lived in a war zone and had nothing to look forward to?

2. Why is the word "abbreviation" such a long word?

3. What if the US decides to continue "liberating" the rest of the world?

4. Should a country be labelled "Democratic" just because it has a parliament or elects its leaders?

5. Why do good roads in Bahrain get reconstructed while some bumpy ancient roads (in less important locations such as neighborhoods) never get a facelift?

6. Why do people press harder on a remote control,when they know the battery is dead?

7. Why do Israelis cry about being repressed/discrimnated against for being Jewish and yet they continue to repress Palestinians for being Palestinian?

8. If all the world is a stage , where do the audience sit?

9. Why is it alright for Israel to have Nuclear Weapons but not Iran? Double Standards?

10. How can the US claim to export democracy and liberate countries under tyrants but detain people in Guantanamo without fair trials?

11. How can some people fall asleep with the TV blaring or relatives screaming while some people can't fall asleep in the quietest of evenings?

12. Why does the Financial Capital of the Middle East have almost 50% of its people below the poverty line?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

10 Favorite Things...

Alot of people have lists. Lists of their favorite things, lists of their worst things, Lists and lists and lists. I find lists very therapuetic. They help me focus and put things in perspective. So here I am sharing a list of my 10 favorite things...
here goes:

  1. Winter in Bahrain: I just love the amazing coolness of winter in Bahrain. You don't exactly freeze to death but its cool enough to be at home, under your favorite "burnoos" (blanket) with a hot cup of chai-7aleeb (tea with milk).
  2. Stickers: I love stickers, I just do. I'm 28, a mother of two, but I still drool over stickers. Call it notalgia to childhood, call it inferiority complex, call it whatever, I still collect them and decorate with them.
  3. Tiramisu: The most amazing dessert of all times. I love making it and eating it. My kids love it too!!!
  4. Earings: Loads of earings, I love wearing 'em. especially the dangly ones.
  5. Cards: Giving and receiving and even making my own. I love cards. They are a beautiful expression of affection.
  6. Rock Music: Nickleback, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Alanis Morisette, are my favorite rock bands. Love 'em. Music in general soothes me, I love songs that have rich lyrics.
  7. Cooking: Its so fulfiling. To stand before the stove and mix stuff together, and viola! you have a meal!
  8. Gold: I realized I'm a Gold girl, not diamonds or silver. I love wearing small gold ornaments!!! And Bahrain is famous for its pure and strictly monitored Gold production. Bahraini Gold is sought the worldover. If you love Gold too, you have got to visit the Gold souq in Manama.
  9. Chocolate: give me mud covered in chocolate and I would eat it. I just love the way it makes me feel. Warm inside...
  10. Shopping: especially buying plates and cups and vases and photo frames and clothes and everything. simply, shopping...

Come up with your own lists, they really do put things in perspective. Love to hear from you guys...



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Arab Sorry Situation

Dear World,

A number of people asked me why I have a label called the Arab Sorry Situation; why do I write about Arabs and their never ending miseries. Why I write about Palestine, and Iraq, and Bahrain.
The Arab Situation today is seriously sad. Its not just sorry, its a lot worse than that. Arabs are on the road to a dwindling doom that will completely self-destruct soon. All Arab governments are best friends with the US while the world's superpower wreaks havoc with the rest of the world.

Arabs are dying everywhere today due to wars, famine, diseases, and basically lack of education and awareness.

Iraqis are splattered on the side of the street every day, bombs, explosions, fires, rapes, and what not. Palestinians are being crushed by the ceilings of their destroyed homes when they refuse to evacuate and watch their homes levelled to the ground. The Sudanese are left out to starve and to be raped and killed by the Janjaweed, and the Arabs sit back and drink coffee and eat dates!

Where the hell is the so-called Arab League? Where the hell is the Arab conscience? Have we all been drugged by Uncle Sam? Into watching Friends and Desperate Housewives and believing that the whole world revolves around Joey and Rachel's stupid escapades?

What do we do? Stand aside and watch our worlds self-destruct? Where is the solution? Can anybody tell me out there?

Its too depressing to watch Al-Jazeera nowadays. They usually have two Arabs sit across from each other, screaming their heads off, you don't understand anything, and end up feeling sick all over.

Isn't this one sorry situation?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The GDN...The Voice of Bahrain?!@#$

Has anyone noticed or is it just me, that the Gulf Daily News is spiralling out of control. I can't stop laughing (or cringing) at their headlines or their stories, and I usually find myself wondering: Should I be laughing or crying?

It amazes me how (and by who) this paper is run. Do they even have an English-speaking Editor-in-Chief? I can't apprehend how this paper even exists.

Below are a few of my favorite headlines:

  • Mugging spree two arrested

  • Give us Green Light

  • Meat plant hit by flu reopens

  • Spies in the Skies

These have got to be classic (comic relief) headlines. Some of them even rhyme! Oh! how cute!

GDN, please invest in a couple of good writers, and maybe, just maybe, people will stop criticizing your spiralling standards.


If this is the voice of Bahrain, God help those who are listening...

Building our Dream

In November 2006, my husband and I started building our dream home. I wanted to document this so I'll be posting regular updates about the stages of construction.

I love it, I love to watch the walls go up, the windows take shape, the kitchen expand, and I love to dream of how I will decorate this wall, or that room.

I'm thrilled that my children will have room to grow, a front yard to run around in, their own separate rooms, because after living in a tiny apartment for so long, they seriously need to breathe now.

I can't wait to have a massive kitchen, with loads of cabinets to stack my cups and plates in, to bake and cook in my new oven, and the dreams go on and on...

All this depends of course on the Ministry of Housing. If they approve our loan that is. Hopefully things will work out for the best. On the ugly side of the story, there are loans massive loans to meet the ever increasing prices of building materials, and the ever increasing demands of the contractors.

Its not a palace, but I hope it will be home. A place to raise my children to make memories and to give them all they need. I want to have my family over for dinner and have enough place to fit them all, I want to invite all my friends for dinner or lunch and have them taste my dad's delicious food. I want a place to come home to, and not have to fight for privacy, from nosy neighbors, or from people who park in my space in our apartment building.
I can't wait to get decorating!!!

What breaks my heart while driving to my dream home though , is that on the same road as our house, there is Al-Eskan houses. People have to wait for years, usually 8 to 10 years, to receive the government housing units which are really not worth the wait. They are usually very tiny for a country with massive income from oil revenues, banking excellence, and what have you. Its sad, I hope things do work out for the best.
Today, 4 months after the foundation was laid, the first floor is almost completed. The main living room is done, the dining room is done, the kitchen is alright, and the garage is complete as well. The stairs will be constructed this week, plus the ceiling will be put in place!!!!

I will post more pics tomorrow,,,

Until then,


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sami Al-Hajj...39 days on hunger strike

For 39 days running, without a single morsel of food, Sami Al-Hajj continues his hunger strike in the hell hole that is Guantanamo, of which the Americans are to blame. Captured in 2001 by Pakistani Forces and sold to the Americans, probably with a hefty amount, to be the scapegoat of the day and sent to Guantanamo, where he has seen a rainbow of torture techniques.

What do the Americans want from all detainees in Guantanamo? That they confess their alleged crimes? That they indict themselves and claim to be "the enemy combatants" they want them to be? Till when will they watch this man and all the other detainees die a slow and torturous death?

Sami Al-Hajj was a camerman for Al-Jazeera. American intelligence saw him as a threat when he was in Afghanistan after the fall of Taliban.

For 39 days, without any food. Can you imagine anyone doing that? How tortured he must have been to continue his hunger strike for so long.

May Allah help him through this and send him to the son who is now 6 years old and who has never seen his father.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Photo of the Week

The Irony of writing on the wall....
The translation:

Please do not write on the wall

Yes, your highness!

If not the US...?

My favorite blogger, Gardens of Sand, has commented on the Al-Aqsa mosque post of yesterday, and she is of the view that we should not blame the US for our failings especially the desecration of the Holy Al-Aqsa mosque.

I just want to clarify a few points regarding the Palestinian Question:

  • It is true that Arabs and Muslims have done little, if not nothing at all about the Palestinian issue, this is apparent as Palestinians refugees are scattered everywhere in the Arab World and elsewhere, and most of them are still stateless.
  • It is true that many Arabs have diplomatic relations with the Terrorist State of Israel, some go as far as exchanging ambassadors.
  • It is true that some history books would say that many of the Palestinians sold out their own lands in exchange for huge amounts of money that would be of no value today, as they have been made homeless, stateless.


  • It is also true that Israel has the World's Superpower as its main ally.
  • It is also true that the neo conservatives and zionists of America virtually control the lobby/parliament and can funnel support and financial aid to the Jewish State, ever year, 2 Billion US Dollars of American tax money!!
  • It is also true that the US manipulates the United Nations as an organization, like marionets on a string!!
  • It is also true that the US is usually the only country that backs Israel in the Security Council and has never condemned any of the millions of massacres Israel has committed against the Palestinians.

If the US is not to blame for raising a spoilt brat of a country that has grown into a hungry monster, then I don't know who is.

Israel continues to confiscate Arab lands, only today there was a protest in the Golan Heights, by its Arab population for having Israel impose the Israeli identity on them. Israel continues to shed Palestinian blood, and Arab tears. Unfortunately, our Arab leaders are all deaf, dumb and blind to everything that is happening around us. They prefer to hold on to their seats and not upset the greeen hairy monster that commandeers their every move.

May Peace prevail in Palestine and in Iraq.



Malfoof Ma7shi

Hey everyone, I just ate the most scrumptious Malfoof Ma7shi my dad has ever made. The way it melted in my mouth, with the cabbage and the rice in it, I could not help but post it to the world.

Tislam Eidak Baba.

For everyone who has never heard of it. Malfoof Ma7shi is cabbage leaves enfolding a mixture of rice and minced beef with Lebanese spices and hint of dried mint leaves, cooked for at least 4 hours on low heat, and stacked one on top of the other.

I just love it. It makes my day.



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Seriously, now. Where is everybody? What are we doing? Where are we going? Do we see what's happening? Do we read the papers? One of Islam's most holiest sites is about to be demolished by the enemy and what do we do?
No one has really done anything about it. Palestinians live and die everyday, while we watch, and nothing ever happens. No one ever speaks up. All afraid of good old Uncle Sam, the big butch, who is able to crush all the Arabs like roaches, while guzzling up their black gold in a big gulp, using Iraq as his funnel.

Congratulations, to us. Congratulations to all the Arabs and Muslims everywhere. Don't come crying when other holy sites will be next on the American agenda.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Quote of the Day

"God did not intend religion to be an exercise club."
-Naguib Mahfouz

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Books II

Dear World,

I've treated myself to more books this week. I just finished reading a hefty novel by Steinbeck called East of Eden, which was deep and amazing.

I've started reading Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie, in which the main character is an ambassador's daughter "India" living in the States.

Now, many of you may know that Salman Rushdie is not very popular in this part of the world, after his reference to the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), in his Satanic Verses. But I was intrigued by the reputation behind the author. This is the first time I read anything by Salman Rushdie, and so far so good. Nothing special thu.

Another book I want to read soon is "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck. This book won the Pulitzer prize in 1932.

I love diving into the world that is a novel. It takes me into a realm of imagination and excitement and rolls like a movie in my head. I can't say enough about reading. To be surrounded by the comfort of my library of books is so amazing. It just gives me warmth and comfort and feeling of peace and serenity.

Other books that have won a special place on my bookshelves are A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice, Lightning by Danielle Steel.

These are treasures I want to keep for my children. I want them to find my tagged pages, my notes at the back of the book, my name signed on each one, and the date I purchased or started reading the book.



Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Peres in Qatar

Thank you to all the wonderful patriotic Qataris who shook hands with visiting Israeli official Shimon Peres.

Thank you for making him feel welcome amidst all the Arabs that you are.

Thank you for shaking hands with the enemy who, on a daily basis, plans and executes, major steps to traumatize our fellow Palestinians.

Thank you for making him feel he is at home.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I'm sure your generosity and your deep-rooted Arab sentiments are much appreciated by your fellow Arabs, especially those who have been destitute and homeless thanks to the mighty Israeli war-machine that is run by the honorable dignitary currently visiting your country.

Please, I hope you haven't forgotten to lay the lavish buffets for him, and serve him your famed Qouzi, and other Arabic dishes, so he can savor the tastes of Arab delicacies, as he is loves the taste of Arab blood.

Thank you for turning your back on the Palestinians who have been refugees for the past 60 years.

Peres deserves to be amongst our midst telling us to forget history, and look to the future instead. He spoke so confidently the other day with Tim Sebastian on the Doha Debates.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

21st century

This was a cool forward. Loved the last line.
Thought I'd share it ...

In the 21st Century...

Our communication - Wireless
Our dress - Topless
Our telephone - Cordless
Our cooking - Fireless
Our youth - Jobless
Our food - Fatless
Our labour - Effortless
Our conduct - Worthless
Our relation - Loveless
Our feelings -Heartless
Our attitude - Careless
Our politics - Shameless
Our education - Valueless
Our follies - Countless
Our arguments - Baseless
Our boss - Brainless
Our Job - Thankless
Our Salary - Very less !!!



We Are Superwomen

We cook, we clean, we dust, we wash, we teach, we reach, we drive, we strive. We are Super women. Every single day, from the day we are born, we walk the walk, we talk the talk. And yet we are treated as second class citizens in this part of the world. We are seen as people who are emotional, or weak or both. Some people (both men AND women) think we are incapable of ever undertaking a tough, macho task.

Well, to those people I would like to say, TOUGH. You need to take a second look at what women do everyday, and since the beginning of time. Women are mothers (and sometimes the fathers as well), sisters, teachers, managers, accountants, lawyers, doctors (who usually save your life), engineers, bankers, and what have you. Recently in the Arab world, Judges. As a matter of fact we have a woman judge right here in Bahrain, and our first ever female pilot. Go get 'em girls.
And yet, whatever we achieve is never enough.

What really pisses me off is that women themselves don't believe in themselves, or in other women. Recent parliamentary elections are an example. Not a single woman won a seat in parliament, save Latifa Al-Guood who won her seat uncontested. She ran in the previous elections 4 years ago and was labeled with all sorts of labels I don't even want to mention any of them. And she didn't win. Neither did any other woman, many of whom were more qualified than any of their male counterparts. But no, our society probably needs 50 or more years to realize that women can not only do their jobs better than most men, but can even handle their kids, their lives, their families, and much, much more.

I have lived amongst women who have battled their ways thru life and have succeeded and won the respect and admiration of everyone around them. Women who have raised their children on their own, women who dedicated their lives to lobby for women's rights, women who fought financial instability to get their children the best education the country has to offer, and women who managed to put a meal together every day despite the fact that her husband was unemployed.

Women today, are subjected to all kinds of pressures, they are raised in an ignorant manner by which they are trained to be meek, and to hide behind the shadows of their fathers, their brothers or their husbands. They are never encouraged to make their own decisions, or to be creative or to be outgoing. They are made to believe that religion teaches them to be quiet, meek, weak and dependent on men. However, what men don't want us to know is that Islam empowers women. They forget that the wife of our Prophet was a prominent businesswoman who was very successful. Women in Islam led armies of men, to fight against their sworn enemies. And yet, society teaches us to hide behind the veil, and to remain ignorant, and better yet, remain behind closed doors.

Its about time we wake up. The veil or hijab is not a tool by which to bind us, rather women in Islam wear the hijab to be able to go everywhere, and are trusted to be fully capable of living their own lives as well as managing the lives of everone around them.

How many times have we heard, "No, you can't go out, you are a girl", "No you can't do this, you can't do that, you are a GIRL" as if being a girl is "wasmat 3ar" or shame that follows us whereever we go. Damn it, "BECAUSE I am a girl, I can go out and face the world" "Show them what I'm made of"

We can bear your children, feed them, raise them, but we can't be trusted to make our own decisions?

Young girls need to be empowered to believe in themselves, to be creative, to be decisive, to be independent. It starts very early in life. The hand that rocks the cradle with one hand can move the world with the other!

Basically, my message is women can, and will, and do everything expected and more. They run their lives, their jobs, their commitments and can be as strong as any other man.

I believe in all you women out there, I believe that we can survive in this cruel world with a huge smile on our face, especially when we reach the top of our mountains, our success entailing.

Have you started climbing your mountain?



Monday, February 05, 2007

False Protection

To be shelled inside a prison of thoughts in a narrow mind
Is what you look for what you want for me to find;

Out of freedom, give me space to breathe and to live,
That little freedom is too much for you to give;
While I try to mend the pieces of my broken heart,
I watch you stop the flow of love between two hearts;
Carefully cocooned in the hours of your captivating past,
You still hold on to angry thoughts, raged and made outcast;
King upon your throne, your aura is dull but all around,
Beneath the sky of purple haze, your dominance can be found;


Friday, February 02, 2007

The Juffair Gang

Being the beginning of the long awaited weekend, my hubby and I decided to go out and grab a bite. We were thinking of something fast and in the car, so we turned into the new restaurant cluster in Juffair, near the US Navy base. And boy were we in for a show...

We were going around the new Juffair road that has all the "cool" places to hang out like Starbucks, Chilli's, and Fakhruddin, (sorry, that place is old news now) and the amount of people just amazed me. Any girl caught driving on that road was clearly a target to Saudis sticking their tongues at her (is that supposed to be sexy???#$%), Qataris trying to give her their mobiles (and not just the number), Bahrainis trying to look too cool for school.

At that moment, I was glad I wasn't alone on that road, as my trustee spouse was in the driver's seat but, I really felt sorry for the girl who was in the car in front of us. Now, I can't tell for sure if she was enjoying all the attention (whether negative or positive) but I wouldn't have wanted to be in her shoes, even if I was looking (desperately) for attention.

This fiasco also happens on a daily basis in Adliya, Bokowara, and the famous Exhibition Road, althu the legend of this place has now been overtaken by Saudi males and Moroccan females.

While the rest of us sleep in the comforts of our homes, Life continues beyond our doorstep.


p.s. On a second thought, am I getting old?!#$%^&

Life Happens when...

As you read this, please note that more than 60 Iraqi people died in yet another bomb blast today. A few other Palestinians lost their lives while 3 or more million Palestinians live under the rubble of their destroyed homes. Also please note that thousands or millions in Darfur are way below the poverty line, they can't seem to remember ever seeing a line anywhere above them.

People in the warzone that is Iraq are dying. Being killed by blind rage, or pure evil. They are people, flesh and blood and probably felt every pain that the explosion caused in their poor bodies. There will probably be a wife mourning, or a husband dying or an orphan confused. A brother lost a sister on the brink of insanity or a mother who will never feel like a human being again, after having lost her precious child.

While we while away our days, worrying about our cars, our roads, our vacations, our bank accounts.

Life can have an eternal number of view points.

What's yours?


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Desert in Bloom

I woke up this morning to the soft sound of the rain against my window, and the AC. It was still too dark to wake up, but I stood outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.

After taking my daughter to school, I came across this beautiful patch of tiny yellow flowers. I had to stop the car and take a picture. It was amazing to see.

Thought I'd share it with you guys...