Saturday, March 31, 2007

thoughts

Tomorrow I'm starting my new course with a workshop that'll have me locked up there from 9am to 7pm on intensive English language lessons in ELTS. Can you believe that I actually have to go through with this? I'm not saying my English is perfect but its not excatly the type that is widely spoken by the Omani nationals.

I'm considering it a pass-by event. A very long event.

We met up on the charity project that I mentioned in one of my posts that includes fund raising for charitable cause in a fun way through awareness. The most likely candidate is the NACA - the National Association for Cancer Awareness.

We've still got a lot on our hands to start with; we're moving slowly yet steadily.

TheWeek doesn't seem like it wants to post my 2nd article for some reason as I had sent them it some 3 weeks back and emailed them various times and still no reply. I still hold hope in that department, though.

I am going to be also working on two poetry book projects that includes translation of Rapidly Blue and Wonderous World into one Arabic poetry anthology. It seems more appropriate this way because the Omani market has more taste for Arabic books than of ones in the English language.

The second book project that is currently under the title The Dying Days will be the last of the Rapidly Blue anthology. Aiming to put an end to all the misery that I have had in my entire lifetime for once and for all.

Both book projects will take a long time to develop, so don't expect them anytime soon.

And I guess that takes care of my thoughts for this evening..

Ocean's 13

What would you do if robbed several casinos with heightened security that is impossible to penetrate and has an evil mob boss behind the chairman's desk?

I hope they don't make an Ocean's 14 - 14 is such an unlucky number. :P

does stupidity grow on trees?


It's not been 2 or 3 weeks since the demise of those two young quad-bikers from a fatal accident here in Muscat. Everyone in the capital felt the blow from royalties to simple folk such as you and I. And we all thought that by now those young bikers who still rent or own such a bike would either take them back to the dealer's or perhaps picked a better spot to enjoy the sport in a safe and unfatal environment like a sand dune in Azaiba or Bowshar.


But this was not the case.

Wednesday and Thursday saw the 'gang' roll over the cycle all over again. And yet again, drivers and pedestrians as well as the riders themselves were the prey of the asphalt roads and its mercy on their ill-geared bodies and minds.

How ironic it was to see an advertisement issued for the public by theweek basically targetting the issue by saying 'there is a time and place for everything'. Unfortunately, though, it fell upon blind eyes and deaf ears.

I for one will uptake the fight at an even stronger level. Clearly the petition that was distributed electronically over the web was insufficient to drive the authorities to make a case of such irratic and irrational behavior.

So, this is my propostion to you.

If you should see one of these quad bikers, honk as loud as you can. Make the whole neighborhood aware that danger lurks on their streets. If you pass by a police vehicle on the same street, pull them over and report the incident and make sure they do something about it they are there to protect and to serve. Conduct a community service programme that tackles this very issue through awareness by media, pamphlets, posters and even big advertisements.

Nothing will be done unless this community takes a strong stance.

Friday, March 30, 2007

walking on very thin ice



What Iran has come to do after the escalation from a US stand off for a potential war on the state by capturing 15 seamen off the Gulf of Iran was stupid and uncalled for.

If this is to be translated into anything, it would be 'come and get them' and that would be by taking the Bull by its horns.

I was one who was hoping that things would not end up to become to the situation that it is of now; by bringing in the international community and sentencing Iran to oblivion - in a matter of speaking. They may have the nuclear capabilities, but they're not only inviting the entire world to a stand off by their irrational and baby-like behavior but they are also going to bring in the world into the GCC a future so glim and gloomy that God only knows how it would end.

Nuclear winter, perhaps?

What does the future hold from now on?

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Links:

- Iran releases new 'Turney letter'

- Iran airs second sailor 'apology'

Thursday, March 29, 2007

technology shmology


The reason why I haven't been able to update as regurlaly as I used to for today's posts is because I've had to stay up the whole again to reformat my laptop again.

I swear, it's times like these that I wish I had a human punching bag.

Anyone want to volunteer?

PS: I'll be back during the daytime to update some posts so be sure to check back very soon.

bloggers threatened

There's been several cases of bloggers being threatened by death or injury just because of their views on their blogs.

One person, a female blogger has had some 900 ill-comments on her blog and 300 personal emails delivered to her email inbox all either containing sexual, threatening or racist comments against her for her views. Leading her to rethink if it is really all worth it.

As the BBC reports on behalf of Tim O'Reily that there needs to be a code of conduct enforced in the blogshpere by the bloggers themselves and not through some government or external organization lest they want to lose the freedom of talking freely.

The question that is being raised here, though, is, if you were in her shoes, what would you do?

What is your opinion?

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Link:

- Call for bloggers code of conduct

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Prince of Persia: Ghost of the Past


And yes. It's been finally announced by Ubisoft that the new next-generation game in the new trilogy for our beloved Prince of Persia is going to be dubbed Prince of Persia: Ghost of the Past.

Don't ask me where they got the name from or why or who or when. The point is that this game is due to come this September. So, people get your PS3s rumbling and those joysticks toggling.

Here's an excerpt from IGN about the game:

"The plagued prince returns in his first next-gen adventure. Ubisoft has planned a number of adjustments to the series, with a new design for the prince, a new armored gauntlet with incredible powers, and a renewed focus on platforming and physical challenges rather than fighting.

NOTE:
This game has been confirmed as a title in production, but exact platform releases have not been confirmed. Please check back for official info."

The artwork is similar to the soundtrack trilogy pack and can be found on Play.com.

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Links:

- Blogger's entrance: At nine, I was in love with a prince

- Play.com: Prince of Persia: Ghost of the Past

- IGN: Prince of Persia Next-Gen [Untitled]

what does Muscat actually need?

Muscat Municipality has agreed in a meeting headed by His Excellency Abdullah Abass that amongst its list of things that need to be done is the chance to determine the best locations to establish night markets and new commercial districts in Muscat.

While this is a much commendable move on behalf of the Municipality; it still occurs to me that there a number of matters that need to be addressed before that strategy is implemented.

One of which is - with the co-operation of the Royal Oman Police - to find a suitable answer for the ever growing number of vehicles that run on Omani roads and the increased number of fatalities that happen due to recklessness of the drivers for various reasons, and last but not least, the bottleneck situations that we still find ourselves in despite the road alterations and expansions along with future flyover additions.

Besides that issue; why does Muscat need to have night markets?

It might seem like a wonderful idea from a tourism perspective but taking a look at it more broadly you'll find that its just an implementation of an idea of having something like an open-air complex that strides from one end to another in one commercial area.

And the last thing Oman needs is another commercial centre (read: Dubai). Most of the tourists that come over to Oman look for the nature, the quite atmosphere and the relaxing getaway from the town buzz, and what is being done right now is a policy of destroying that image particularly in the environment sense of things (please read post - theweek: In The Name of Development).

There is a fine line between development and crossing the border, that much must be said.

If there is going to be a development here in Muscat, then why not create a natural park with something that a person can come to learn from while having a stroll and buy cultural items on the way. It pleases both the young and the old in whichever angle you may look at it.

Why is there always a need to make another income moneymaker at the price of losing out on something that is oh so more than priceless?

Prophet's Birthdate


It has been announced that Saturday will be a holiday for both the public and private sectors to commemorate the birth date of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him).

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone on this joyous occasion, hoping that you will take the lessons that the Prophet (PBUH) had sacrificed for all the Arab Muslim population to learn from.

Happy holidays.

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Link:

- Saturday is a holiday for Prophet (PBUH) birth-date

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - the movie




Disney Studios has finally announced the different movies projects that it will start on for the following years to come, such as Toy Story 3; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; and most importantly - for me, anyhow - Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

The Prince of Persia movie will be a solid trilogy following the new adventures from the actual game maker Jordan Mechner that was developed alongside the infamous video games company; Ubisoft.

The movie will be co-produced by Disney studios and Jerry Bruckheimer.

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Link:

- Disney making 'Prince of Persia' film


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Update: Blogger went and deleted the images and this was the only one left. I offer my apologies.

new Arabic blog: The Arabian Pen


I have almost finished everything that needs to be done to roll out the new Arabic language blog, although it won't be as up-to-date as Sleepless In Muscat, I will promise you that it will be up to the standard that you seek in Arabic language and topics.

Do take a peak and tell me what you think if you are an Arabic reader and post a comment even if you want.

The blog's title in Arabic translates to The Arabian Pen.

You will see quite a lot of developments on it as it develops itself along the way.

Hope you enjoy the topics there.

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Update: You can find the blog title and address merged into the right hand side blogroll.

big help that is


Following the commencement of the COMEX 2007 exhibition in the Oman International Exhibition Centre here in Muscat, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has announced in the local newspapers that it will be participating in the exhibition to answer upon customer queries; business and individual, alike.

This is mainly to clarify upon its role in organizing the telecommunications sector here in the Sultanate of Oman.

But all that can be said is that it is one of the brainwash methods that it will be using to convince Omanis and non-Omanis about how badly it is doing. Mainly because of the discrepancies that are being hidden by the organization in developing the sector.

If you want to know more, comment here or ask them yourself when you visit COMEX 2007.

------------

Links:

- TRA answers to customer queries (in Arabic)
- TRA

Monday, March 26, 2007

TimesofOman.com: Rain misery needs urgent attention

My new article has just been published on the TimesofOman.com website.

If you are interested in following it up, you can click on the link below this post.

Do comment if you feel the urge to, as I encourage a good debate.

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Link:

- Rain misery needs urgent attention

BBC reports on Oman's flood rains

Below is a report of what happened some three nights ago now when it last rained in Oman. The report is by the BBC World Service:

"At least 14 people have died during two days of torrential rain in the Gulf state of Oman.

Three people are known to be missing and rescue teams fear there could be more casualties as they try to reach remote areas cut off by the floods.

The storms, which hit the country on Monday, have caused extensive damage to property, cut power supplies and uprooted vegetation.

The official ONA news agency put the death toll at 14, although police spokesman Abdullah al-Harthy was quoted as saying 16 had died, including nine Omanis.

Remote

Rescue workers said they expected more bodies to be found in the coming days.

"We still have to go to remote areas which are not accessible because of the floods," one worker said.

Nizwa, south west of the capital Muscat, was among the worst hit with 66 millimetres (2.6 inches) of rainfall, while Muscat itself received 23 millimetres (0.9 inches).

A police spokesman in Muscat said: "People died from road accidents, from houses caving in and others were swept away by floods in the last 24 hours."

The Asha Enterprises construction company is still waiting to hear the fates of three of its employees, missing after their truck was swept up in the floods in Muscat.

"We haven't lost hope. Miracles do happen," said MA Surendran of Asha Enterprises."

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Link:

- Oman floods kill 14

can you say 'huh?'


This post is dedicated to the many people who have just started to install Microsoft's famous new Vista system on their PCs and laptops and had run into the confined errors that they've had to go through by reformatting the hard drive; getting all the necessary drivers for unsupported hardware; and finding supported software and most of all paid a very nasty price for just the fun of it.

Click on the image above and print it on a sticker A4 paper and - I dare you - to stick it where-ever you see the "WoW!" message from Microsoft dealers where-ever you may reside.

It'll be one strong message that even 6 years in the making Microsoft is still so full of crap.

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Link:

- Homegrown Windows Vista "Error" stickers deface the WoW

are you going to stand for it?

Today, the local newspapers carried an advertisement from the Ministry of Telecommunications prohibiting the use of counterfeit or pirated material including computer programs that are either sold, lent, given, shared, or otherwise.

Given the seriousness of this issue in the current time and stage that we all now live in, and being a child of the 21st century technological revolution. It seems quite disappointing that the Ministry in name has started its said 'war against piracy' now without giving the consumers that do have such programs in their systems an alternative.

Most legal computer programs that are developed for retail usage are sold at very expensive prices here in the Sultanate of Oman. So I wonder, how is it that the Ministry justifies this move without raveling about with the companies that sell such programs at hard prices. As not everyone can afford them.

Ten years from now, Microsoft will say that it will no longer provide support for its Windows XP system, pushing users, such as I to pay the a sum of no less than 200 Omani Rials for its new Vista system that has just been launched very recently.

Should the consumer force be pushing the developer and not the other way around? And when has it become the job of an I.T. organization to limit the use of an individual of their system?

There should be a drive to have this kind of a Q&A sit-down during this COMEX. Unfortunately, it seems that all this country is interested in is in making money nowadays without putting customer care at their priority.

When will this ever change?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

ya think?


Apparently, it's taken them this long to come to their senses.

Yes.. the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Regional Municipalities has finally announced that they're conducting a study to develop several damns in the Qurum commercial area here in Muscat. Which happens to have had its more than fair share of the recent floods in the last few downpours in the rainfalls.

This often ranged from the complete drown of the whole area at one time during the 1990s; and another time late last year (i.e.: 2006) which lead to breaking down the newly built super-high Royal Oman Police wall of the immigration department and floodwater taking away some of the police cars away from its sanctuary.

And now, not some two nights ago, when it put the whole Sultanate to a complete halt from one corner to the other.

When these damns will see the light of day is anyone's best guess though. We are all hopeful that it would be before the end of this year but even we know that that would be pushing it. So the safest bet would be sometime next year - we hope.

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Link:

- Consultive Study to build damns in the Qurum area (in Arabic)

COMEX 2007


COMEX 2007 is upon the Sultanate of Oman with the offers kicking off from every known IT vendor in Oman that we may know of with a range of prices.

Hopefully this year it will be a hell a lot of better than the past years' ones.

If you're interested in visiting the exhibition you can visit the website marked down below this post.

People who are in it for the business side will have to take notice that their timings are different than that of the shoppers as they are;

Business (Monday 26th March - Thursday 29th: 10am-1pm & 5pm-9:30pm),

while Shoppers timings will be (Monday 26th March - Friday 30th March: 10am-10pm & Friday: 4:30pm-10pm).

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Links:

- COMEX 2007 Homepage
- COMEX 2007 (in Arabic)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

International Shutdown Day - part 2


Remember when I posted way back about a boycott coming out to encourage individuals to boycott an annual event by the name International Shutdown Day?

Well, the day came. And guess what?

It seems no one participated in it because they either totally forgot about it or simply because it was a Saturday in that part of the world, the people couldn't go without using a computer on their weekend.

As did the people behind the idea, where they had their own servers running on that very day.

Am I the only one who smells fish here?

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Link:

- International Shutdown Day Is Here - you still with us?

dream car

The Volgswagen EOS.

the antognizing warfare between heart & mind

There is a matter with me that I have yet to face its demons soon enough.

The matter of me putting my mind in control instead of my emotions because the truth is that whenever there is a choice to be made and my emotions take control over it, it turns out to be painstakingly horrible in the end.

The chances of my mind taking the decision there and then are closer of that of a polka dot cow with a pair of gliding goggles and a parachute bungey jumping over the moon from Mount Olympus in the US and being seen by the naked eye from the Great Wall of China.

A small curnea in the morning and a grandi English breakfast tea wouldn't do harm in waking me up, though. And that is why I think so much over these things.

It's no longer the matter of having what I want in life - even though those things are crucial to me at this point in time, but there are also matters in hand that need to be handled.

Like, for instance, when I get into the new insurance course, I will have said bye bye for at least 3 years of my life during the morning time. The other half will be dedicated to getting a part time job as a columnist, which is looking promising. But I'm not going to ruin that surprise. There is also the matter of me still blogging everyday on the various blogs that I participate on. Although those have quited down a bit currently. But, hopefully, during the 'peak season' there will be a distraction needed and these will account as a good harness for the creative soul within me.

And, finally, there are two projects, one of which you already know about, the other you don't. But both of which will take a very long time until they come to reality. But once they do, you'll all be facinated, I'm very much assure.

So, again, does this mean that I should let my mind control my emotions or vice versa. Because most of these things that I had mentioned are all within the first category. It's like pretty much asking if life leads fate, or does fate lead life? A choice predestined or otherwise?

Much of the philosophy in my brain tangles me within again and again.

But the one thing I do know is that I will never find true love in the sense that I had been through many ordeals and too much hurt in the past, that everytime I try to push it away, I want to go back again.

Just a chance to feel the warmth to be all over cold again.

I wish that person who invented television never did. He's made the likes of me miserable with all those romantic dramas and music videos.

Time is a choice for all of us; the less we take advantage of it, the more we lose out.

How ironic.

In The End

I know this is a very old music video for Linkin Park. But from time to I feel the need to listen to this exact song because I feel as if it is talking to me and only me.

Don't go buying their new album - Minutes To Midnight - though. It's crap.

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Links:

- http://www.linkinpark.com

what's in a name?

You must have seen this quite a lot.

People standing aside for a so & so VIP person just because they hold a title that no one else holds here in Oman. And what's worse; these people take advantage of this by making demands making other individuals working things out of the ordinary just for little old them.

I hate that. I really do.

God gave you a name and that's what you should be called. And not by 'His Highness' or 'His Excellency'. Because, in all honesty, the only one who deserves for someone to move aside and do anything for him is His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said - the Sultan of Oman. Not because he is the leader, but he also brought us to the day and development that we have come to in this modern day and age.

Those others have done nothing for us.

Yes, I should respect them but that's not going to happen by me or anyone else calling them His Highness or His Excellency.

What's your opinion?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Horizon newsletter: The Truth About Seeking Education

Below is the new forward that you will end up seeing in the Horizon English language newsletter of the Sultan Qaboos University.

Hope you all enjoy reading it.

Please do tell me what you all think about it.

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The Truth About Seeking Education


The truth - we all seek the truth, someway. And somehow, we get it and don't get it at the same time. But, how is that possible?

It pretty much depends on what you seek it for; is it for passion? For glory? For fame? Or just for the sake to be more educated on the 'purpose' behind such a thing (i.e.: whatever it is you are aiming for)?

Your drive for truth is the push that will get you where-ever it is you may want to be. But, it will also be the preceptor - in this case - to how you will comprehend the fact that you stand upon.
The point, though, is that educating one's mind in that sense is to find the actual fact that will open up the gates for further questions and along the way, answer some of them, too.

There is but one way to stay upon the track that you should take, and that is through a book. A book with relevance to the question in mind; the answer you seek and the method or paths that you should so take. But how do you know a book will not deceive you? Technically speaking, it can't. But the author behind it could.

That is why we must have a bright mind to fathom the mental conspiracy that any book's author will want to manipulate to their advantage. No matter how attractive the title; or the topic; or the words may actually be when they are being read.

God gave us a mind to understand and differentiate between what is right and wrong. Therefore, we must be able to utilize that ability to understand what truly the underlying matter, is, within a book.

Or else, we will go astray and lose sight of our true path of which we seek.

a lie

There are times when you think that everything in your life is so bleak and that you can't even shine a candle on the situation you are in no matter how much you may try.

It is all in the mind.

We each have our own good and bad days. There are never any 'great' days for us. There is a day for us and a day against us. It pretty much depends on how you look at the glass. But most importantly, how you feel about yourself.

Are you confident enough?

That's a question I often ask myself all my life about any given situation.

Am I up to the responsibility? I am afraid of responsibility because I feel that I can never own up to it. But once I am set into motion about the matter, I get the hang of things and I move on forward as if there is nothing I can't do.

So, I guess in this case it's a matter of taking the first step.

And to be honest, I have taken the first step in many things in my life, some of them turned out to be great and others....well, not so great. But as I look back at them now, I think what a putz I used to be thinking like that and according to what was happening; I either feel a yearning or a whole in my soul.

Most of the time - I have to say - it's the latter.

And it still lingers within me for sometime, until I am given a wake up call by fate's slap on the back. Telling me that it's time to move on. To live life. To smile. To laugh. To cheer. To glow with enthusiasm.

But would that mean in the end, that I am lying to myself?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

all in a week

So this week may have passed by so quickly but it's events are rather slow. There are a few exceptions, though.

Like, for instance, I went to watch Spartans 300 and felt dissapointed and I am thinking that perhaps that was due to my having Gladiator as my standard. Because in my eyes, there was no movie such as it. So that was a complete failure.

I also got accepted into the insurance course - initially - but, now I am having second thoughts about continuing down that road for some personal reasons because of past experience. So, that's still there as a sort of dilemma tearing my mind apart because I can't make the choice, yet.

I am trying to push my writing hobby further by turning it into a career, hopefully. Don't know how I will, but there's only one way to find out.

And I had started something that I thought of myself doing so many times, and it has sort brought me some kind of peace inside of me. Yet it still leaves me with some unanswered questions that will gradually, one day, evaporate - hopefully.

SQU graduates

This is not a rumor. This is a true fact of any Omani higher education graduate in the Sultanate of Oman.

It has been known for quite a while that companies and governmental organizations will give preference in job positions to a Sultan Qaboos University graduate rather than that of any other University College in Oman.

But why is this so?

Does this mean to say that SQU graduates are better than other University graduates? Or is it because they just graduated from that University?

The land of equal opportunities clashes within itself.

As to the reason; nothing is concrete.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

not open for discussion

I have to make this very, very clear.

I will not tolerate anyone who leaves stupid, racist, sexist remarks with the comments outline of any of my posts.

If needs be, I will turn this public blog into private mode and only allow the people I choose to read it.

Don't persuade me.

Rapidly Blue: exist

For every choice we make, there is a direct and opposite consequence.

I suppose that makes no difference here, though. Since you may or may not read my poetry, let alone to comment on it - if it is pitiful.

I had just posted a new poem on Rapidly Blue.

It lies under the title 'exist'.

Maybe, if you are interested, you could take a peak at it and perhaps even leave a word or two on it.

not in theweek this week

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, theweek will not be carrying my monthly article for the current week.

It should - however - be published by next, upcoming, week.

I apologize if you were anticipating the publishing of the so said article.

I am trying as much as I can to keep you all in perspective of what new articles I have published, since I know that many of you like to browse through the contents of my blog to read what it is I have to say about certain 'internal' issues in the country.

I can only offer you my sincere apologies.

Red Nose Day - part 2

A while back I had posted about the topic of a Red Nose Day back in the UK and how a similar fund-raising event should be presented to the Arab world - specifically, the Sultanate of Oman as a starting point.

The point of this even was to involve the community and society both into a charity day that not only presents the fun factor that all the festivals could not claim to have come to (although the event is not in direct competition to make a standard against such attractions) but to also create the awareness that is much needed to educate people - the youth, mostly - amongst themselves to push open the boundaries between different lives that we walk among.

I am happy to announce that I am looking into the possibility of having such an event come to reality here in the Sultanate.

We are still at the starting point and details along the way will be given away on a need-to-know basis.

Just thought I'd let you all know that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spartans 300

Everyone remembers Gladiator as the epic that started the true battle in 'historical' features.

Then came Troy, which to me was a big dissapointment.

Now Spartans 300 is asking that you all restore faith in the historical franchise business of Hollywood.

Will you abide?

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This film is supposedly to debut in Muscat by this Wednesday, 21st March, 2007.

Rapidly Blue: The Truth

I have just posted a new poem on my poetry blog; Rapidly Blue.

The poem is under the title; The Truth.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much I had fun writing it.

Enjoy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

TimesofOman.com: Protect our pristine environment

My latest article in the Times of Oman website has just been published.

It is under the title: Protect our pristine environment.

Do have a look at it and let me know what you think by leaving a comment here.

when is someone going to do something?



























Honestly, I was so pissed off the last time this happened, that I thought that there would be at least some form of temporary solution put into effect since then - at least - should things such as this happen that it would protect anyone from harm.

But I have been prove wrong, yet again.

This goes to show that there are idiots running the organizations that have anything to do with emergency situations like the latest torrential rains that we had last night in Muscat and all over Oman, too.

When is someone going to do something about all of this?

The horrors you witnessed above certainly show that I am not exaggerating at all.

---

Link:

- English Sabla photos

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Red Nose Day



I remember when I was in the UK way back in the 80's. They had this concept of raising charity money through an annual fund-raising event dubbed Red Nose Day.

Fast forward some 21 years to the year 2007 and they're still at it.

I believed then that it was a great idea not only to raise money, but to create awareness through the community, to help make the social atmosphere become more humane. And I still believe it is just as it was then, it is now.

My question is though; howcome we don't have a similar annual event being us so damn pissed off at our situation and how we want things to change and all that la di da? Isn't it about time that we looked into creative awareness amongst the social community instead of having to make needless tourism festivals that we spend on far more than we get in profit?

The people in their armchairs should be thinking very deeply about this whole issue instead of wasting billions of the annual budget - and I'm not talking about just Oman - on defense upgrades, on luxuries that we don't need.

Think of it as a form of zakat that half of the Arab population don't recognize anymore because they're so busy making millions.

the very best

Does anyone besides me see that the world is truly a boring place unless you see to have some sort of purpose in your life?

Like for instance, a farmer would do no good as a firefighter - although, he would do his very best at becoming that; he just won't get there. There being the one place that you aim to be.

The very best.

You know you're good at something and that you have a knack for being that certain someone that no one else in your shoes could ever be. And you want to know why? Because, deep inside of you there is a talent within that nags right at you to nurture it; to nourish it - to be, again - the very best at you can do.

For me, that would mean not only writing my opinion. That would also mean going beyond writing - understanding, contemplating, discussing, accepting mistakes about whatever stupid image I had over something and changing my path to the better.

Things that would change my perception on my own writing skills; courses, brushing up on my own language by challenging myself over and over again to reach higher heights.

It's things like these that you need to ponder about. To see what you can really do with them. Things that would go a long way in changing your perception about the world that you perceive, you watch; and try to unravel its mysteries to the blinded audience that reads your perspectives.

To be the very best - you would have to challenge yourself.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

consumer protection day - Omani style

So, it's not enough that prices all over the Sultanate are driving consumers mad and crazy to the point that we all have to think a gazillion times over what we buy, why we should buy it and how much it would set us back - but there's also going to be a 'celebration' to mark World Consumer Protection Day, here in Muscat at the Holiday-Inn Hotel, Al Khuwair.

What to know what the programme is for that day in that particular sight?

Well, let's see, an opening speech by His Excellency, the Minister of Muscat Municipality; a small documentary about consumer protection; giving away awards for the 4th annual drawing competition - 'my favorite picture' and meeting the talented youngsters at different Muscat governate schools, and 4 lectures about consumer protection.

All so sweet.

But having in consideration the deep escalation of the consumer protection laws that are being violated on a daily basis, maybe they should have put into their mind that they should have dedicated that day to addressing that certain topic.

If you're interested in attending that session, it's at the Holiday-Inn at Al-Khuwair and it starts at 9am on Saturday, 17th March, 2007.

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Link:

- Consumer Protection 'gathering' - in Arabic.

a surprise ... in the making

I was up all night for a few nights now doing work on a special project that will help me come out to the open with a brand new look for the Arabic audience.

It's a blog that is written, typed in full in the Arabic language.

Unfortunately, my plans to roll it out the coming week have diminished because of personal linguistic problems of mine. So, I am going to have to postpone the debut indefinitely, until I get a full grasp on the language and the topics that I wish to put out.

I thought I would let you all know about this small special project of mine to know what's been keeping me busy besides my everyday posting, here at Sleepless In Muscat or any other participating blog.

You'll all be notified - in due time - about when the blog will be fully ready for your public reading leisures.

Friday, March 16, 2007

anger

I'm angry.

Angry at all the opportunities that I have missed because of my foolishness. Of my stupidity over the years that I could have had a better way to dealing with things instead of having to become where I am today.

My choices, yes.

But my choices need a little winding up from now on; because, there is no evident fact that they will ever help me on the way unless I say yes to them and see the end results. So matters in this field will have to be thrust in the first gear, per say. They will have to 'see the light of day' and not a minute too soon.

So, from now on, taking opportunities, no matter where they are as long as they can be in within my grasp is a necessity to become more happier with my life. To achieve more. And to gain much more. Instead of contemplating on the why, who, what, when and hows.

It's time to fight back and with full force.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rapidly Blue: Numbness

I have posted a new poem on my poetry blog Rapidly Blue.

The poem is under the title Numbness.

I hope you all enjoy reading it.

what will your choice be?


The threats have been coming in left, right and centre on Iran from the United States because of Iran's nuclear enrichment plans that it claims are for peaceful purposes (i.e.: creating power needed for its major cities).

Yet, so far, we have not seen the US put down its rifles and shotguns in the escalated movement to a nearby future war on Iran.

While I have my own personal views about each party, this post is dedicated to cutting the losses quickly and swiftly by asking both parties to step down from their arms' race and look at the bigger picture of the people that will suffer if the war is conducted and what dyer consequences there will be on the region after that. The aftermath will be our nightmare come true.

There has been a movement in the US from different American Iranian parties that have chosen to fight this course of future action and stop it from ever happening. They have assigned a petition and a blog dedicated to this cause.

The blog is under the title: Stop War On Iran. While the petition online is dedicated to sending a strong message to both the US Congress and President George W. Bush to stop the war on Iran. The petition can be found here. Alternatively, you can also visit the dedicated website to this cause, which is under the name of StopWarOnIran.org.

Help us stop this madness.

There are lives at stake, here.

What will your choice be?

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Update:

You may also find this same post on A Secret Arabian Journal; Arabia Calling; & UAE Arabic Community Blog.

The Prestige


The Prestige is a movie that offers a twist of it's own, setting itself apart from other magical stories such as The Illusionist.

A movie that not only stars great actors but also a great performance by the magic itself within the movie about the rivalry between two fellow magicians, each obsessed to outdo the other in their field until the very last moment.

Without giving away the ending to this epic, it's not too grand to say that in the line of things that magic has to offer, this particular story wounds, patches, wounds again, patches again, and re-wounds all over again until the audience cannot tell what is real and what is fake anymore.

That is, until the final act.
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Links:

- Official DVD website (Disney)

- Trailer (Apple)

Rapidly Blue: A Brand New Beginning

I have just posted a new poem on my poetry blog.

It is under the title; A Brand New Beginning.

Do check it out and let me know what you think of it, and, if you like, leave a comment about it.

Enjoy.

the truth about being pretentious

At some point in time, people feel the need to follow an icon; taking the first step to developing a personality of their own. Some may call that as being pretentious. Others find it highly humiliating.

That's where developing your own character, believing in yourself comes in to form that image that you so want to be in your life. The part that you thought you had lost but you had never, you only were blinded by it because you were so ..obsessed, to get that special something that you never had in your life. Something that was linked to an emotion that you felt in your past, or perhaps something that you lost along the way of your childhood, or even maybe the truth that you always have sought out - at which point, the latter would take you back to square one, again.

The art of being pretentious is to be to deceive, to connive, to allude your fellowship from your true goal. A skill that is, in part, attained by many, but to their dismay, mastered by minority of the pack.

The chance of a lifetime lies within that split second when you finally realize what you have sought out was always there and it is waiting there for you to take it, to grasp it, to manipulate it and mold it into any form you so wish. The hand may be quicker than they eye, but the mind is swifter than them both put together.

To which, at this point, you have mastered, and regained your position in your life by opting for the path that you were so chosen for. Setting yourself back onto track. Setting your life back into the tracks that you should have laid years ago, but, yet again, were blinded by your 'obsession'.

The true wonder of life, isn't what you have achieved, or the amount of people you so please, but it is measured by how truly you spent your life.

And by this measurement, I so choose not to lie to myself anymore. By taking the path that I have been set to from the day I was born.

For what little can become so great
Of the great; the little wonder
Of passion and lover's fate
Attraction is not a test, but a plunder

For life's eminence is a truth
Of white lies and grey
The question to which we owe ourselves an answer
Is the mind and its open gates

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

removal from BizzWhizzDubai

Although you will still see the link for Bizz Whizzards Dubai on the blogroll in the right hand side sidebar, I declare that I have officially removed myself as a contributor from that blog.

While it has been an experience for me to write in that said blog, it was too much of a constraint for me since I was only contributing business news and nothing much else to go along with the flow.

I apologize to anyone, for this small inconvenience.

I hope that you would also see this from my point of view and try to understand.

Thank you all for your never-ending support.

Horizon newsletter: Muscat International Book Fair 2007

Below is the approved format for the Horizon newsletter at the Sultan Qaboos University. I felt quite strongly about this topic; hence, the reason as to why I wrote about it three times on my blog including this time through a public gazette.

I am hoping that you would all read it and tell me of your opinion on it.

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Muscat International Book Fair 2007

n regards to the topic of books, the Muscat International Book Fair 2007 had just passed by with many book titles offered by published from all over the Arab world and a few foreign countries, too. But, there was one very simple mistake that was made. A mistake that has seen itself being repeated over the ten year span from the time the Oman Exhibition International Centre had started the very first international book fair here in Muscat.

The focus at the book fair this year – as it is every year – was completely on the Arabic language speaking books that talked about almost everything from religion, culture, societies and communities at whole, to even politics. But there was very little or no regard to any English language speaking books in similar topics except for the few books that offered educational material for little children, pre-school teens and first-year university students. But that was it.

The purpose of a book is to broaden your horizon about a certain topic, culture, language, or problem in discussion. And more so in the case in the English language, with world renowned philosophers, mathematicians, chemists, thinkers, and politicians who have covered vast areas of science and technology, education and the way the world around us revolves – each in their own perspective from Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

So – the question at hand is why was there a non-existent presence of the English language speaking books at the Muscat International Book Fair? As the whole idea behind reading a book is to educate you of the world that surrounds you in many aspects depending on your field of interest.

Maybe it was the exhibiting company’s fault, or perhaps the publisher’s, or some other formal body that failed to inform the party involved that there was such an exhibition in the Sultanate of Oman. But wouldn’t you consider it curious to have it happen ten straight times in a row?

All in all, we stand to lose out a lot more from not reading foreign books that offer intellectual material in a foreign language (i.e.: the English language).

It is high time that the concerned authorities took a serious approach to the problem to avoid it in next year’s book fair or else we shall have change its name to the ‘Muscat Regional Book Fair’ from thereon, instead.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

get freaked out

Some say black magic exists. Others say that it is a load of baloney.

This video is an example of such and it is up to you to judge.

the golden age

Have you noticed how nowadays we have lost touch of the reality of the life that we should be living? That the actual years that have gone and passed by were of the 'golden age'?

To some, it simply does not matter since the over all case is that they have their friends, their family, their relatives while everything for them is so hunky dory. Others - and they are a lot, of which I am one of them - have this strong sense that since we have began to depend so much on technology in our lives that we have actually lost touch with what is actually important.

The talks that we used to have at a meal. The gatherings. The laughter that we share. The endless arguments that we used to have and live on into the future to have them as memories. Basic intangible things that we used to enjoy but have now taken for granted because technology has made us so busy and distracted with it. Time is so precious these days that we end up chasing our dreams so valiantly yet end up forgetting about the things that gave us the necessary emotional and essential self-esteemed boost that we needed to move on to the next level.

Are you going to be amongst those people who will succumb to such advances in life or will you carry on the legacy of your past and cherish the tradition that has always brought your loved ones together in harmony?

Monday, March 12, 2007

TimesofOman.com: Plagiarism is no different than cheating

My latest article in the Times of Oman website has just been published. It is under the title: Plagiarism is no different than cheating.

Feel free to visit the link above and leave your comments below on the topic.

I am sure many of you - that reside in the Sultanate of Oman - agree with opinion that is presented in the said article.

new posts on Rapidly Blue


I've just posted some new poems by the titles Suddenly & We, The People on Rapidly Blue.

Feel free to check them both out and leave a comment on what you think of them.

I hope you enjoy them both.

jail

It's amazing the amount of crap that come out of people's mouths these days about the country being so transparent and how modern it wants to be when we don't see what is happening in reality.

I'd rather be telling the truth as I see it than having to lie about my emotions and surrendering in to the 'enactments' made by the imposers just for the sake of those lovely lovely people who call themselves as loyalists to the country and the system to which it is underlying beneath.

There is no transperency in the country when the officials say that they have nothing to hide. But if that were the case, then why not go out in full force by actually saying what is happening and why like the inflation in the country, or the hike in prices in certain goods, or how the country is really playing around the rules (more like dodging the bullets) in the subject of privatizing the telecommunications sector in the Sultanate of Oman (the Minister of Telecommunications heads the TRA, OmanTel & Oman Mobile) but expect the country to have a competitive standard between different companies.

There is no freedom of speech in the country even when there is a law that states as such by a Royal Decree, but the Minister of Information goes on to say that they decline the local media the right to publish such matters but without giving proper reason.

Politically, I have no beef against our leader nor the government, but when there is an annual budget, howcome is it that we don't get to know the reason behind such political decisions instead of having to hear or read about 'strengthening political ties'?

It's like someone saying to me or everyone in that matter who thinks that asking a question is illegal; 'take it or leave it'.

I could go to jail for asking such queries or theorizing based on opinions and facts that are up to date. But I really could not care less. I am in it to reveal the truth and that is, above all, the noblest deed any person can come to.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

the rebel within

There's nothing for me to cry about. There's only life all around me. All I should be focusing on is the light that will guide me to where I should take the path that will fly me up high.

I should be focusing on the good things and not the bad. Not the dark but the light. Not the inevitable but the hopeful. To where there's a dead end there would be a million other open doors.

After all isn't that what God has in store for us?

My life wouldn't be the life if I hadn't been a bit depressed between now and then. Otherwise you can't call it a life, can you?

The choice between happiness and sadness has been given and handed down to me. I just have to reach out to it and want it from the bottom of my heart.

The real treasure of this world is not monetary nor is it emotional.

It's facing the truth that God knows whats best for you no matter how good things may be or how bad things may get.

I now awaken the rebellious soul within me.

defeat is not in the vocabulary

I think I will postpone my latest poetry project until I have gathered my thoughts on my career, my life amongst other things.

But I will be pursuing the chance to become a writer and columnist with a free and open minded opinion in a bid towards revealing the truth.

Once things do get into a roll with me sometime soon this month, I shall know when.

Until then, I guess I am in the dark as much as you are of my future but not on my perspectives, my wants, and my solid beliefs, of which that will never change as long as I live.

For to change for something is to admit your defeat to the world unless your whole soul is convinced and adheres thereunto.

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Post can also be found here

Saturday, March 10, 2007

shocked &appalled


I saw the book that you see the image for it above in the local Family Bookshop display here in MQ.

Now I know that there is hardly any censorship on books as much as there is on magazines, tabloids and other foreign reading material that enters the Sultanate of Oman, but this is just going over the boundary of acceptability in a society that is both considered to be socially and religiously moderatelly conservative.

The GOD Dillusion is a book, to which, its author is attempting to break down the believers beliefs in religion itself while at the same time promoting Aethiesm.

Something of a first.

So, comes the question to my mind: where are the authorities in censoring these material or is it that they are just fond of censoring material that is considered to be only of miniscule affects such as movies and woman health magazines?

This actually says a lot about our censorship body and how seriously it takes its job (not!).

clothes do not make the man


I am constantly asked on what nationality I hold.

There was a time when I considered to be Russian or a Philippino because of how my face looks or the way I always dress in western clothing. To me it doesn't matter to me what people think of me in that matter.

But when they hear that I am an Omani and take a glance of clothing they're startled since the only Omanis they know or are aquaintances with are those who wear the traditional Omani dress, namely; the dishdasha.

Here's where I draw the line.

To me, it shouldn't matter if you're of a specific nationality but not wearing the national dress just as much as not to show whether your support for the national football team just to show your national pride - because - in the first case - anyone who wore a national dress were considered to be a national then foreignors would also be wearing them, too. And in the latter case, if national pride was measured by how much we show support for our national football team, then there would be ultimate chaos in the country - more worse than the rattle and rumble that happened not to so long ago in the 18th Football Gulf Cup.

To me, national pride is in your heart and how you react towards different surroundings that affect the direct environment that is around you and not measured by the clothes you wear.

Friday, March 09, 2007

torture


There was a time in my life when I thought I was going to be somebody. That I would become someone who is responsible, attainable towards different affairs and different matters that no matter how escalated they were, they would always come through for me to the light at the end of the tunnel - so to speak.

There was a time when I thought that I can become responsible for myself and my doings. That I would day host a family of my own and become the 'man of the house' for a change instead of having to depend on other people.

I got through several years of sickness to the point that it matters no longer.

I got through heartbreaks and forgot about pas bad experiences only to teach me how to avoid similar future mistakes.

I got through most of what life had thrown my way.

But this is by far the worst ever torture I can ever live through having to live without.