Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Quick comment on Israeli elections.

It is very interesting to note the surprising victory of the Pensioners party, a single issue party that was formed less than 45 days before the elections.

The party has only one declared position, that of giving every Israeli citizen a pension. It has declared no position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its leader is an enigmatic ex-spy who was protege of Sharon.

Appearantly, the party only came to the attention of the public two weeks ago when it ran ads encouraging people to vote for them as the equivelent of putting in a white slip.

So much for advanced democracies.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Very sad week

This week has been devastating for me, my mentor, ex-boss, and very good friend Faisal has passed away unexpectedly on Wed. Morning, all of us were in state of shock, and I don't think it has sunk in yet.
I traveled to Jordan with friends and Faisal's family to say goodbye to him, and it was very very sad.
Things were compounded by hearing that a close family friend that I call uncle, is in critical condition in the hospital in Jordan after an emergency surgery to remove a tumor that was just discovered in advanced stage. I could not get to see him unfortunately, but I was thinking about him and his family the whole time.

I came back to Dubai early this morning, at 10:30 am today, my parents called to say that my grandmother has just passed away in the West Bank.

I just want this week to end.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Just Back from Qatar

I had to fly to Doha, Qatar for a short business trip, and while I don't enjoy the travel very much (had to wake before 5 am to catch the plane), it was nice to see different scenery. A part of the different scenery was nearly missing the plane because a huge convoy of over 100 US military (Army) vehicles was passing from the port to the bases, and of course the domestic civilian traffic has to be held until all the troops has passed.

I have never in my life seen anything like this, that must have been a full battalion with their complete gear, Tanks, APCs, Bradley fighting vehicles, supply trucks, C&C Humvees, the whole load, I was tempted to take pictures but did not want to risk arrest. It was obvious that these troops have just arrived from the US or Europe, looking fresh and the armor was all new and shiny.

A lot of things happened while I was away, the UAE market fast-forwarded its meltdown (ouch!), the Israeli election campaign started with a show of force and Palestinian blood being spilled (and further humiliation to the Palestinian Authority), the death of the Tyrant of Belgrade, and several other things worthy of notice. I promise to provide my usual irritating commentary of those items once I recover a bit.

It feels good to be back (home).

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Excellent op-ed!

I can only say that I totally agree.
This is a link to the Op-Ed in the NYT.

An Arab heroine!

When things get too dark that you lose the tiny bit of hope that you harbor about Arab society, voice of reason and modernity come out, defying the fear barrier, declaring to all, that being Arab and Muslim is not interchangeable and that the image of monolithic society is a mirage, and that there are many secular Arabs who refuse to be hushed by the oppressive force of the organized (and televised) religion and conformist pressure..

Dr. Wafa Sultan is a heroine of mine, I just wish that there are many Wafa Sultans in the Arab World, enough to remove the veil of ignorance.

This is a link to her profile by the New York Times.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Make a quilt out of these thoughts!

Wakeup call: A serious blow to ego and confidence gives a new lease on life, with clearer goals and less illusions, focus and purpose is restored.

Reunion: A homage trip to the East provide many moments of clarity, with few epiphanies thrown in for good measure. Domo Arrigato Gozaimashta Hakkai-san.

Defensive morons: I hate it when people think that any body criticizing his society is only concerned with his image in the west, rather than how the society is looking to him/her. There is a clear possibility that I actually care about this society's direction!

Haunting Past: I hate it when more than a year later, "moving on" is a daily struggle, even when others came and went.

Age: Yet another birthday passed, with more candles than I care to count, surprisingly, I feel fine, with no rush or urgency or any ticking biological clock.

Human weaknesses: This goddamned body lets me down every once in a while, and is less and les tolerant of the abuses I heap upon it. I cannot wait for the first bionic shop to open.

Calling: A thing to ponder on, am I destined to roam the business world, or should I walk away to write or create, in relative poverty, but possibly happier?

Home: Is becoming more and more a hypothetical place, even when I am paying for an apartment (at home) that I have no intention to ever live in. Maybe Mahmood Darwish was wrong for me, and my home(land) is my suitcase, and I am a traveller.

Senses: It is amazing how sensory signal reignite memories, the smell of fresh towels, a sip of purple Shiraz, the sound of hissing wind, all have attachments to certain people and places that flood back uninvited.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A post about not posting!

As my regular readers (all 3 of them) have noticed, I have been slow to post lately, taking an average of 10 days between posts.
This forced scaling down of my blogging schedule is the result of two things, a new job which is proving very challenging, and a recurrence of a medical condition that has impacted me badly once again.

As I deal with these twin challenges, I am sure I will find my rhythm again and get back to posting 3-4 times a week.

For the mean time, you just have to bear with me!