Sometimes

Sometimes I feel confused. I enter a state of a hiatus. I stop understanding what should I do, and why should I do what I am supposed to do. Sometimes things become so trafficked, so chaotic, so unsorted. In such situations I lose control and retreat.

Sometimes i stop thinking about the “whats next”. I keep my self into “Whats now”. Maybe its avoidance, I dont know, but its a fact.

Sometimes I start a criteria of evaluation between the achieved and the yet to be. I find myself fine with it. Personally satisfied and that is whats keeping me in shape. I retain control over the current and manage perfectly the next step and what may be coming.

Its a time I am passing through currently. Thinking a bit further into where I should be, when a next step has no option except being made. Alternatives are always present but if I am looking for a change its a bit difficult; Many reasons are keeping hindrance, but sometimes what we are looking for and what we want, we reach.

Anyways, things are concluding faster than I can imagine. In a short notice I will find myself into a new kind of a world. I am looking into something more exciting, with a better environment, more challenging, and a personal space to be creative in my own way.

Sometimes I stay awake late, just to write about sometimes.

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Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, in a place not that far away, in a place which is understood to be ethical, true, transparent, intimate, brotherly, and friendly, a short story staged itself without thinking of its end. A story that was meant to remain revolving around its occurrence since it was thought to be build solidly on basis that are unshakable; It was supposed to be an everlasting source of trust and hope, sharing and caring, dreaming and imagining, good unintentional demeanors, and an ever flowing fresh spring. It was supposed to be as pure as morning mist, clear as a newly bought studded solitaire, shiny as the morning sun amid the clear blue sky in a springy day. It was supposed to remain because nothing was materialistic, nothing was mundane, nothing was superficial. At least I managed and meant it to be as such.

Once upon a time things weren’t that complicated. Fluency was abundant above all, throughout all, improvised not acted.  Once upon a time I believed it was a systematic click. I deceived myself of its brotherhood. I bypassed and threw back awkward hints of its impurity. Once upon a time I made my home warmer, my heart wider, my support endless, my listening unconditional, my thinking positive, my food tastier, and my privacy shared. Once upon a time I felt safer, happier, unconditional; I made it till the last second. I surpassed what I knew hurts, I accepted sharing, I never imagined the blackness, my vision was blurred.

Once upon a time I devoted everything for the well-being of it. I progressed, preceded, stood, kept foot, then retreated to manage misunderstanding my way, my own way. Once upon a time I left things as is, I accepted time to heal it, I’ve been proactive or recessive depends. Once upon a time I was nothing but true. I was nothing but clear. I was nothing but a brother. Once upon a time I never cared about slips. Once upon a time i was the most forgiving even when it came to touch my dignity. Once upon a time I was me.

Once upon a time I chose to remain me whatever circumstances may blow. I managed successfully to remain I. And I am still I due to what I inherited thankfully. I will remain me what so ever may happen.

Once upon a time it was all existing. Once upon a time it was a concrete real fact. That was in a time that is not now and will never be.

Once upon a time was something that is not anymore.

AND ?!

And she passed by the door with her endless dress, black as a night, elegant as a queen. I didnt have before & still dont have the audacity to interrupt her path though she may be hinting me suspiciously, wickedly,  smartly, but I felt it. She is mysterious, her way is vague, her location is unknown, but she is present all the time. I enjoy gazing at her while she sues the corridors with her LG in her ears. Her scarf contains the colors of the lushy springy grooves and the smell of nature. her hair is dark, black it or brown who cares? its perfect.

And then silence becomes the highlight, the day light dims, the clouds hovers the sky aimlessly, and she stays she!! She the mysterious, the trendy, the untouchable, the inconceivable, & the intact.

And things remain, and time elapses, and images come & go, and incidents repeat, and her endless dress changes colors, and she remains she, and me remains me; me inside the window, and she out there, free.

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Gaza… “We are sorry!”

Gaza Seiged

As I always do, I dislike image-less posts; I accidently came across this caricature which manifests and communicates the blockade Gaza has been suffering from for more than a year, even way before the Israeli bloody assault, commemorated today.

I don’t want to talk politics since it’s not time and I am not going to debate who is right and who is wrong within the same Palestinian house, but what I know is that there are more than one million inhabitants of this strip who are suffering by all means, from everything due to this status quo.

It’s a shame when 22 Arab countries were never able to break down the Israeli dominance throughout this conflict. It’s a shame when children are deprived of their simplest rights i.e. food & freedom to play safe in a time thousands of tons of food are disposed from the kitchens of our rich. It’s a shame when the only access for Gazzans to the outer world is shut regardless of the accusations of weapons smuggling. It’s a shame when international activists take the lead to support while we remain diluted.

It’s not accepted for our children to remain out of schools, it’s not tolerated to keep them play among mine fields and under the fire range of Israeli occupiers. It’s not accepted to accept clean water deprivations. It’s not accepted to allow the strip suffer from food and medicine shortage from one side and the continuous destruction of the grooves by IDF bulldozers for unjustified reasons especially when it comes, as usual, under the same excuse of salvo attacks or rocket-launchers bases. What I know is that a humanitarian disaster is relentlessly taking place in Gaza and the whole world is just shut while Israel remains its expansionist plans demolishing Palestinian houses in the west bank and expanding their settlements over the hills claiming demographic and security reasons.

I think debating, blaming, falsifying, & analyzing are not accepted from now on. As Arabs we are just good in blaming & accusing. We never did take actions. Press conferences, Arab summits, diplomacy, & the like are not feeding the hungry, are not providing shelters, are not bringing peace. What I do think is bringing this responsibility to the lower authoritarian level. The level of ordinary people, journalists, bloggers, human right activists, students, … who now possess powerful technological means of spreading the word, raising the alert, communicating the true picture to the outer world. When the public’s are reached, then they can exert pressure on their leadership which in turn abides; that’s what should be done to reach a consensus.

 Until then, were are sorry Gaza for keeping you suffer.

The “@” Era

Its strange when we leap from one conception to another in such a short time interval. If the introduction of social media was famously manifested by Facebook & the like, the concept now has changed with Twitter.

If Facebook was a tool intended to link friends and re-bridge lost friendship connections, Twitter added a new dimension: To mingle anonymously with people you never met, and may never meet.

Last Thursday (Dec 17, 09) I had the chance to attend the GeekFest at Al Qouz-Dubai. Well I knew I was one of the many among the herds feeling myself a complete stranger. In the back of my head, I was looking to meet many @s I know on Twitter. But how? Twitter is a micro blogging tool where rarely do people share their own photos. It was a problem of recognition.

Well not so long when I started bumping people with white labels on their heartsides; Me being one, we started approaching each other in a strange manner: “hello @blabla, nice meeting you” and so on. I felt weird but got used to the idea.

But for God’s sake, any idea of what will the next step after Twitter be?

Busy November

Jazeera acquires ART Sports Sweet November! Well that’s true so far despite the negative interpretation of my horoscope for this particular month of this year.

 Everything is moving as I plan it to always be: timely, smoothly, and on time. Many things took place in October 09 the biggest was the Al-Jazeera acquisition of our ART TV station where I work. The picture wasn’t that clear and justified in the beginning, but now we have a vivid interpretation of what happened; The takeover will be to our benefit; I am glad.

November then started with the huge scale media fuss; that’s on the professional level. On the other side, & at the personal end of my life, today Mom will arrive for a 1 month visit to Dubai. No need to express my feelings, everyone can take a measure from his/her side.

 Mid November, my close-to-the-heart and intimate cousin will arrive to Dubai as well coming from KSA. It has been pretty a long time since I had the chance to see her and have our long funny but serious dialogues. I am looking forward for this.

 November will conclude when I will be already packed and heading to Munich on the way to Amsterdam. Excited “YES”, looking forward “YES”, & adventurous “YES YES YES”.

 Before I wrap, one thing I discovered recently. It is my ability to bypass hangover effects in a pretty short period of time. Last night Sho Cho was on fire. I had an array of tastings, I was a bit wasted, but today I woke up earlier than usual, I feel energy in the veins. 🙂

 

Demarcation Lines

In a very casual gathering at one of the most attractive and lively open-air pubs in Dubai (i.e Shochos), I came to this conversation with Dana about Beirut life and living. I was stunned by her way of thinking regarding the previously called demarcation lines that used to split the Eastern Christian Beirut from its Muslim west during the bloody civil war that broke out from 1975 till 1990.

As a Lebanese, I used to hear here and there that most people tried to stay away from this area after the war in order to avoid any suffering that may result in the sensitive instability in the yet unrest country. Usually “birds of feathers flock together” applies perfectly to the Lebanese multi-factional society. Christians accumulate in Christian “labeled” areas and Muslims do the same despite the educated minority from both side who already surpassed this divisional thinking and are enlightened enough knowing the dangerous consequences of such unhealthy inbound seperation.

Dana was different. Although she lived in the same bloody area and still, she insisted on the idea that these areas are the most interesting places to live at in Beirut due to the cultural & educational mixture; to her, its compelling how much experience someone may get living in such environment; he/she can know the other more easily and understand him through daily interaction and erase the border of difference the war had created among fellow Lebanese citizens away from political-driven media reports that triggers vagueness. I liked her thinking approach, and I wish it gets some more insight.

Dana is a Lebanese expat in Dubai; She works at MAGNA GLOBAL media agency as an account director.

(I refrained from mentioning her religion due to my own belief in religious in-differences)

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Does Twitter Has Teeth?

 

twit-teeth

 

Don’t be the one to let this cute little blue bird reveal his teeth upon you.

Twitter, the social networking and micro blogging website is becoming the “hype” without any doubt. Enormous popularity is spreading in all directions across the globe to an extent it is pulling away  facebook’s immense flourishing it  has enjoyed in the last couple of years.

The tweeting phenomena is still vague to a wide stream of middle eastern audiences as well as to marketers. Lacking the know-how of  twitter’s operation, they are still hesitant to take a further forward step exploring it. The ad-free and clean page the website has in the Middle East is raising a lot of questions about how to make use of this new online technology. Will it be possible to acquire the rights to media-represent the website and sell banner ads on it? If yes, how much is the plain cost, what’s the profit margin, and how to follow up on the consumer behavior accompanied with such site where most of its users may have unspecified real names, addresses, ages, and tastes?

But as a tool so far, Twitter can be extremely helpful. Word-of-mouth advertising always proved to be a very efficient way in triggering consumer actions (trial, purchase, re-purchase). Recommendations and advices from other twitterers in addition to their own experiences may all add to support brands, especially those who are suffering in this harsh economic downturn and market lull. But not everything can do the job. I believe brands will be facing the same problem they do over traditional media: competition & clutter. Establishing a good market position and breaking the media clutter requires a lot of work among which are quality, favorable customer experience, & “creativity”.

We are living in a brand bubble these days. Millions of brands are competing against each other on a open-market global scale. Each and every claims to be the best in his category. If not price wars come to the front. Customers are no longer loyal to their brands who are losing credibility day after day due to substantial degrading in quality due to market shrinking or due to the availability of several other options claiming to offer the same benefits at a discounted price.

So, where does the chance lie? It lies first of all in being creative. Creativity raises customer awareness about the product. Its creates a favorable attitude towards it, triggers sales, and increases word-of mouth. Here where the potential with twitter comes. Nowadays everything outstanding is being tweeted heavily, driving retweets (RT), opinions, discussions, and debates. It’s all publicizing the brand. But the picture isn’t that smooth!!

With twitter, breaking news are streamed at the first place on the internet before it got broadcasted on TVs. This fast way of information dissemination is a two-sided blade. Any pitfall or mistake is really expensive at all levels. The word will be roaming the world in seconds. The trust will be shaken.

Climate Change & Resources-Populations-Relocations

I dedicate this post to the global cause of “Climate Change” as part of the Blog Action Day: www.blogactionday.org

Watching Climate Change

Time is running out, changes are evident & luminous, casualties in millions, resources depleted, temperatures rising, nature retaliating, weather patterns severe, climates unusual, ice melting, & the bell is still intact waiting for someone to ring it, hopefully soon.

The given is clear. The equation is set. The longer we decide to turn our backs, the worse the situation. Are we ready for a war for food? Can the world handle another war of a different kind? Can any country bear mass population relocations looking for better life and abundance in resources? I doubt.

It will be a war of different kind. A war for resources, a war for water, a war for existence, a war for well-being. You name it;

The incremental global temperature increase is not a theory anymore. It’s a fact. Polar ice is melting, desertification in progress, storms are strengthening, water supplies are drying out, food distribution is imbalanced, and people are suffering. Why? Let’s ask the G7. They have the answer; they have the solution; but they lack the will.

Whenever the issue is raised, the answer comes “It will affect our economy”. In this game of global economical competitions, no one seems to give way. If the emissions of green house gases cannot be controlled, then why not invest in finding green technologies to take care of this. Such technologies are worth investing in. Comparing the casualties and losses after a single hurricane, it will be profitable to divert some of the budgets towards environmental friendly manufacturing.

But will the environmentalists win against the capitalists?

Most of the global policies are governed based on the interests of capitalist moguls. Oil, metal, & gas are the largest investment sectors globally. They constitute the basis of all manufacturing. The conglomerates behind such companies play a significant role in policy making especially in the West. They work in accordance to their interests. Politicians always base their legislations and decisions on input they get from them.  Some reports were stating that the disappearance of the North Polar ice cap will create a new convenient & economical short cut for energy supplies from Russia and Northern America and specifically the USA, the highest energy consumer in the world. Instead of taking tens of thousands of miles from the source to destinations, the new path will be only few thousand miles.  

But what will happen to millions of people living on the coasts worldwide?

Reports say that a slight increase in sea levels will drown Florida, New York, The Netherlands & significant parts of Northern European low lands, Venice & province, Egyptian Delta (Egypt’s food basket), some of the Gulf, & most of Bangladesh.

We all know that 90% of Egypt’s 80 million populations live around the Nile Delta. Most of the 100 million people in Bangladesh live on the coasts. What will be the result of mass translocations of around 1 billion person globally? How will the governments act to secure water and food for this massive trekking? It is important to ask.

The issue is escalating, we should not sacrifice the well being of millions for the benefits of a slight-tiny minority who are exploiting 80% of the global wealth & resources.

For the well being of humanity, animal kingdom, & the plant cover, I say ACT.

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The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt Shutdown

It would be fruitful and educative to start discussing the climate change process that if it continues to exacerbate, we will be witnessing tremendous physio-natural appearances that will turn our life upside down.

I would like to talk today about the valid possibility of the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt shutdown and the outcomes of such process if we succeeded to let it happen. I mean succeeding in the negative sense of the word.

The global climate is a process of heat transfer from area to area. Hot areas transmit their heat towards cold ones and vice versa. This is as simple as a word can say about the climate. Any change in the heat equilibrium will definitely mix the features contributing to the global climate.

The main heat transmitter on the Earth is the Great Ocean Conveyer Belt. It circulates all over the oceans, as seen in the above figure, and its takes about 10,000 years to finish one cycle.

Sun heat on the equators increases the surface heat and evaporation. Thus the water becomes warm and salty. This water moves North-West towards the Caribbean and then along the Eastern American coasts, deflects towards Western Europe, and turns to the north towards Greenland and then sinks down when cooled by the Northern chilly winds where it becomes cooler than the surrounding waters thus it sinks deep into the ocean. This movement prevents Europe from a veil of ice and snow by rising the temperatures there by about 7-8 degrees.

With the continuous global warming process, more and more evaporation will generate more precipitation. River run-offs will increase and melting polar ice will dump bigger amounts of fresh water into the ocean especially in the Eastern coasts of America. This will dilute the salty stream waters and thus will refrain it from sinking deep into the ocean to continue its journey. The result is the Conveyor Shut down. The thing here is what amount of fresh water is needed to shut the Conveyor down. Till now, scientists are not sure about it. Thus in the coming 100 years and with the 0.5 degrees global temperature increase per year will not supply the sufficient amount of fresh water into the ocean.

Latest reports about the Green House Effect are expecting a 1 degree celcius increase in the global weather in the coming few years, while CO2 and warm gases are still being emitted into the air with huge amounts without any global agreement to be set by the G7 Group.

Fearing economical traumas from decreasing production as a result of lower gas emissions should be justified. Natural disasters, especially weather-related ones, are causing the global economy billions of dollars in losses. What recently happened in the Philippines is just a sample to mention. Hurricane Katrina alone created mass destruction which was summed up into a couple of billions of dollars. Should such incidents not ring the bell for the Giants, then fearfully we are definitely triggering our global weather to retaliate, mercilessly this time.