Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's Inaugural Address (Imagine)

 

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.

Transcript - Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address - Text - NYTimes.com

Imagine this happened here in Kuwait. Imagine someone talking to you. Telling you to get your act together; you can do it! That we have gone through difficult time but we will come out on top. That our economy will flourish, our nation will rise and our spirits will be lifted. Imagine this person was chosen by merit not family name. Imagine he or she had an agenda and popular support. Imagine looking up to this person and dreaming along. Just imagine..

Monday, January 19, 2009

Museum of Islamic Art Doha

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Islam has continually been a tolerant and progressive force, adopting, adapting and passing on ideas within and across its borders.

Dr Oliver Watson

Director, Museum of Islamic Art

Doha - Qatar

On a trip to Doha, Qatar I took the opportunity to visit the new Museum of Islamic Art. I was impressed in every sense. Starting with the apparently simple yet articulate design of the landmark building by the renown architect I. M. Pei. The collection  is equally impressive. A reminder of the openness and diversity of Islam in a day and age it got "purified"  out of its beauty.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Speaking the Truth

 

Nine Israeli human rights groups called on Wednesday for an investigation into whether Israeli officials had committed war crimes in Gaza since tens of thousands of civilians there have nowhere to flee, the health system has collapsed, many are without electricity and running water, and some are beyond the reach of rescue teams.

Israeli Rights Groups Call for War Crimes Inquiry - NYTimes.com

Commendable action by the Israeli groups. They had the courage to speak the truth rather than repeating the lies of their government of protecting Israel against Hamas. Despite Hamas' actions against Israel this is a disproportionate reaction lacking any justification.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We're Not Arabs Anymore

Why should we care about Gaza?

We're not Arabs anymore

Call us Americans

Call us Westerners

Call us anything

But we're not Arabs anymore

We love too much our lifestyle

We love our coffee in the morning

Make it Starbucks then a stroll in the mall

A drive in our fancy cars

That stash of money in the bank

We love our properties

Our comfort our laziness

Damn you take all that away from us

Why should we care about Gaza?

We are a bunch of gazers

Ravishing earth of its goods

Filling our pockets and emptying our souls

Forgive us people of Gaze for all our earthly gains

We have lost our dignity

And stood watching you in vain

Friday, January 09, 2009

Our Hearts Go Out to Gaza

 

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

Op-Ed Contributor - What You Don’t Know About Gaza - NYTimes.com

More than 700 Palestinians killed, mostly civilian including children, by the Israeli war machine because Hamas rockets killed about dozen Israelis, some of those soldiers. The message is not only to Palestinians that they are a defeated people, but to all Arabs and Muslims. Unfortunately defeatism has inhibited our consciousness and became a way of life witnessing such atrocities as silent bystanders.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Atheist Bus Campaign in London

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Supported by the scientist and author Richard Dawkins, the philosopher A. C. Grayling and the British Humanist Association, among others, the campaign raised nearly $150,000 in four days. Now it has more than $200,000, and on Tuesday it unveiled its advertisements on 800 buses across Britain.

“There’s probably no God,” the advertisements say. “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

London Journal - Atheists Send a Message, on 800 British Buses - NYTimes.com

Interesting way to counter the religious campaigns, which we are seeing more and more of in Kuwait. I don't know why so many people are concerned with what people believe or not believe in?! Live and let live. Keep your preaching one way or another out of our sights!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Democracy Tax

 

Of the 522 members of India’s current parliament, 120 are facing criminal charges; around 40 of these are accused of serious crimes, including murder and rape. Most Indian politicians are presumed to be corrupt, which is less surprising.

The democracy tax is rising | Economist.com

 

We are not alone! I don't mean to accuse our Members of Parliament of such corruption, but it seems the democratic process is taxing to development. However, the tax is well worth paying. Let's hope the process improves and we get better representatives.

Monday, January 05, 2009

War and Peace, Volume II

First of all happy new year. I am glad to report that I achieved my goal of completing Volume II in time.

Volume II takes us away from the war scene. After the landmark battle of Austerlitz, peace was struck between France and Russia. Russia embarks on political reforms such as those pioneered by Napoleon (Kuwait's legal system is based on French or Napoleonic code).

Away from the battle scene, the characters of the book engage in a different sort of battle but no less intense to find meaning to their existence. In search for such meaning we witness struggles and transformations: love and hate, life and death, embrace of religion and disillusionment, work and idleness, youth and maturity.