Monday, April 30, 2007

Muscat Municipality discusses taxes, & smoking publicly

According to the Oman Tribune, Muscat Municipality headed a discussion about several issues such as the possibility of banning smoking in public places (have we not heard about this before?) and banning also vehicles from carrying advertisements that promote tobacco products.

There was also a discussion on increasing Municipal taxes and fees to cope with the 'impressive developments in Muscat', as the fees would be used towards funding Municipal services all over the capital. This could mean that there is a bigger rise in taxes that are being implemented on corporations on which would pass this burden down upon the consumer. So you could possibly see a rise in product prices somewhere along the way.

It is of note that such discussion are held in joint committees that involve various organizations headed by Muscat Municipality and any other organizations that are involved in projects related unto.

It is probably due to the economic boom that the Sultanate of Oman is now seeing that these panels of joint discussions are being held more frequent than they were in the past, which was only 2 or 3 times a year.

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Link:

- Smoking ban in public areas likely

TimesofOman.com: Giving back to society

This is the newest article in the series of articles that I have published on a weekly basis on the TimesofOman.com website.

Do leave a comment if you feel like it.

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Giving Back to Society

There are many charitable organizations in Oman that take care of several health and elderly cases here. To pinpoint every single one of them would need a dissertation just to give each one of them the credit that it deserves for a job that is more than well done.

Many of these organizations have been set up by sole individuals and other groups of people who had one common goal that they wished to reach in the aspiration that they could make this society a better place. Some of these organizations, if not all, are privately funded, except for the matter of special funding that each of them receives, thankfully, from the government of the Sultanate of Oman.

But there seems to be two issues that these charitable institutions lack and are in desperate need of –– charitable donations from the public and volunteer helpers.

When I say charitable donations from the public, I speak about more than the just regular ‘zakat’ that the public in Oman gives out for charity about once a year due to religious obligations. We are talking about funding them for more than just the bear necessities like food, water, accommodations and other utility bills.

I speak about how they are in need to feel that they are part of the society as well by joining them in frequent visits, strolling them around to enjoy the beauty that Oman has come to in the current day and time. It isn't just about the money, its also about how you reach out to a person and touch their heart to show them that you are here for them and that they are not alone.

Volunteer help is a matter of utmost importance here in the country, too. Instead of letting our teenage and adult-aged children wander off to just 'hang around' and do nothing, they can be motivated to help out at these organizations that are in desperate need of any type of help they can get their hands on.

Whether it is in terms of labour, or assistance to the residents at these organizations or just helping out with the regular chores. There is a need to educate our youth that while it is great to get something that they yearn for, that it would feel a lot better when they gave back to the society in return. It would also be a matter that changes their future perspectives on various subjects and in turn making a profound mark in their lives forever.

If we start with our children, they would pass on this education to their children and those to theirs and so on; thus, having a meaningful and positive effect on future generations to come.

Shouldn't we start now?

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Link:

- TimesofOman.com: Giving Back to Society

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Indian worker dies of abuse in Malaysia


An Indian worker employed in Malaysia has just died a while back after being brutally abused mentally and physically, if that is the word to be used here.

I would have rather used the term 'torture'.

This man was left without a decent meal for a period of 8 months without anyone knowing the condition or the state how he was being treated by his employer or his employer's family.

"They hit me with sticks, rubber hose and iron rod. I was also deprived of food and water. They chained my hands and legs before locking me up in a dark room in their house every night," he was quoted as saying - Oman Tribune.

It is tragic to see how people seem to see themselves superior to the other races worldwide and not just in this region. I have not heard of any case in the Sultanate of Oman nor in the entire GCC or the Arab world - let alone the Middle East. But to fathom that you can have a stone cold heart to treat another human being in the manner that you only treat dirt and Earth is simply and undeniably a taunting task in itself.

This brings me to the question of how badly we Arabs abuse the Indian labor workforce that work more harder than any Omani I have ever known or seen. How we seem to treat them as trash or low lives just because they have the skills and professions that we can't seem to do on our own because we think too proudly of ourselves.

I've seen people I know - unfortunately for me - that disgust these races as being 'inferior' and 'slaves' to them and treat them with utter disrespect that even I feel sick sitting or standing next to them that I just have to give them a piece of mind.

It's completely infuriating.

And what does anyone do about it?

...nothing.

Boy; are we civilized..

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Links:

- Malaysian employer may face murder charge after death of Indian worker

- Worker 'dies of abuse' in Malaysia

- Report: Malaysian family may face murder charge after abused Indian worker died

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best of what?

You've all no doubt have all read all these Omani magazines and newspapers that commend from time to time certain establishments in the country for being the best in business, or best customer service or perhaps even just the best product ever?

But have any of you ever considered when they do elect these organizations (i.e.: private organizations) that how are these votes carried out and howcome you never got to participate being you - a citizen of the Sultanate of Oman?

Like, BankMuscat gets chosen almost every year to being the best bank in the GCC or the Middle East region? But ever fathomed as to why? For all I know, BankMuscat, to me, is the worst bank that anyone could ever come to have an account with. They never transfer on the date that you agree with them upon, they never send you your monthly card bills (whether its a debit or a credit), and mostly when you send a question to them through their online portal - BankMuscat - you never get a reply.

That to me says worst bank ever. I'm even considering transferring my entire funds and starting up a whole new account with National Bank of Oman; NBO.

I could use the OmanTel example, along with Oman Mobile too, but you've all gotten a bit too bored with that and probably know the outcome, too.

TheWeek's entire Oman Restaurants Awards is a crap idea from the beginning, since I was told that in order for you to participate, you have to pay to be enlisted. If you're planning up an awards ceremony on behalf of the restaurants in, say the Muscat area, you'd be organizing it by encouraging people from all over the dinner table, so to speak, to participate and not make it exclusive to people who are willing to pay only. Right?

Main point here is that the validity of these 'awards' is just about as good as my days' old socks.

I just cant stand them.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

inspired: Dirt & Love

'Dirt falls off and is swiped with the wind
Love is called upon but misses the beat
Blood is drawn but there's not one way to deny
The dream I built with you was just a lie'

He'd pass by and gaze her way
She would look, pause, and smile away
His heart would miss a beat
His defenses - defeat
A child within him, screams
Someone to say hi to, to call your own, to your feelings - be discrete

'I didn't know that it's your hear that I was aiming for in the beginning
I like your looks
The way you posed
And your confidence in your solitude

But to say that I am the one
Whom you built your dreams upon
And cherished, all those nights long
And torn apart, one by one
Is just your way to make sure that someone else takes the blame'

'As I walk past the halls, I'd see your face
You'd be with your friends, laughing, giggling like there was nothing to worry your day
I'd walk past and feel so sad
I'd be diminished by false hope and pretense
I'd crawl within my own soul, if I could
I'd tear a hole in the time continuum, would it serve this good

Yet, me being tortured this way
A cause for valiant display
Sadness dispersed of instead of being happy
A challenge to my heart, it would be

I still walk the halls in the thoughts of your past
And I still wish the time would come on and tell me why
But to repent is to pay for your crime
And truth to be told, I still have no idea as to why'

confessions

I've noticed quite a change in my style of 'posting' on my blog (i.e.: Sleepless In Muscat).

I've become more obsessed with the news about the world, which, although is something commendable, it is also somewhat influencing my thinking pattern by closing up other creative avenues for me like my old posts which include poetry; my often rant about my own life; and my other time to time focus on local worries that I tend to raise that are in no way related to the news in the local newspapers.

I'm starting also become more aggressive than I was before, and I'm not just talking about when I am online posting or otherwise. I have become more or less someone who is, as the phrase would be; more possessive over the right to be just that - being right. That whenever I am confronted with something, my immediate reaction would be to deny it completely. That I would defend my opinion to the point where I would shove my own foot into my mouth so far, I could feel coming out of my own ass. Something that is just not too comfortable for me.

And although I have become more and more occupied with my college and my part time odd jobs here and there (that I have yet to announce, of which will come at a later stage), I still find the time to blog but I feel as if it is become just about that - just to blog. It's like, gone the days whereby I used to blog for the feeling that it would give me, the sense and joy from just ranting on one issue or just the need to express how I felt at that specific time or whatever it was.

I guess I'm not enjoying it that much anymore. Maybe because I am considering more of a chore more than it would be a hobby; again, something I am not too comfortable with.

Starting now, I am reviewing my entire blog for further development into the future to get back to the roots that it started it out to be the success holder back in the old days.

Starting also now, I will stop posting videos from YouTube unless it would be something about Oman that I would personally record. I am sorry to the others that feel this is a wrong decision to be taking but I feel that video posting on a blog just does not define the actual term of blogging unless it speaks about a certain issue that I feel is worth posting about. If any of you have any suggestions as to how I could make this blog a better one, feel free to drop a comment here.

And just in case those who don't have nicknames or blogger accounts feel discouraged that they can't post anything here, I am glad to announce that anonymous posting is back and here to stay. However, I will delete any comment I see that deviates from the topic and leans towards slander and insults. You guys have a chance; use it well.

Cheers..

accident? call the insurance - not the ROP

Beginning June of this year (i.e.: 2007), the Royal Oman Police will experiment with a new strategy to ease the mental and physical stress that is laid upon the drivers when it comes to matters of minor accidents and simple car damage in the Muscat governate - ranging from Bait Al Baraka roundabout to the service roads inside Muscat, itself.

What this means, is that if you should have a minor accident with your vehicle within the Muscat area, then you would immediately (you and the other party that had the accident) proceed to your own insurance company to file a claim.

This new strategy is due to be experimented for a 3 month period, upon which, the decision to make it permanent would be made by the ROP pending the results of this experimental period.

I have two questions though; 1) How would they know whose telling the truth between the two parties? and; 2) if they hit a lamp post, for instance, how would they get the other party to sign over a no claims admittance? :P

On a serious note, though; details have not been released for this specific piece of news. I am guessing they will probably come to that once the date looms closer to the ingratiation of the so-called new strategy.

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Link:

- Insurance companies take over accident claims from ROP (in Arabic)

Friday, April 27, 2007

inspired: Shattered

She breathed a sigh
Looking up at the starlit sky
She wiped a tear that fell from her now red eyes
All she could do now, was let it all out with a sigh

She kept herself that it's not for her to say who or when
She kept telling herself that it's just not meant to happen
She tried to convince herself that what had happened was only meant to happen
But all she could do was let it all out with a sigh

Now..

Now she walked down a lonely street
She met people holding hands
Couples looking into each other's eyes
But all she could was hide her emotions by stopping herself from starting to weep

Shattered in devotion
She went on with her sad notions
She asked herself why this was all happening
And sighed

She sighed so heavily
That the wind stopped for a moment
The moon looked down upon her
And the stars lit her way to her home

Heartbroken, facing the truth
She said, 'Crying over you, is like walking naked through and through'

Back To The Future

"Do you remember .. the future?"

The classic line to the every Back To The Future movie that ever came out in all its glory back during the late 1990s.

The movie site (http://movies.go.com) rated this trilogy as the third in line between 10 movies that had 'it' in terms of time travel.

Seeing as I don't agree at all with that rating, I thought I would post this tribute video for the trilogy that is put together one great fan - of course, all the clips in the video are from the Back To The Future trilogy.

Hope you enjoy remembering it, as it can be bought on DVD now.

Spiderman 3 premiere


I met my best friend someplace today and to my surprise he presented to me with two free tickets to see the Spiderman 3 premiere at Al Shatti Plaza on Tuesday - 1st May, 2007.

Apparently, what happened was that he bought some items from TOYS 'R' US for over R.O. 10 worth and they gave him the tickets free of charge. He told me that he wasn't going to be able to see the premiere and that he would catch the normal global release on the following day - Wednesday, 2nd May, 2007.

So, now I have two free tickets to watch Spiderman 3, and I'm thinking - who am I going to take with me?

Hmm....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

tongue tied


I can't think.

I have so many things to be done at one time that I am unable to think one single straight thought. And I can't come to confess about what's on my mind because it would seem unprofessional of me.

I wish I could take a break, but there's no way I can.
God help me.

It's Not Over - Chris Daughtry

Chris Daughtry, ladies and gentlemen.

A great solo singer that got voted off American Idol for no good reason (not that I follow that program).

But you should listen to his other tracks they are just simply amazing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Horizon newsletter: The World of Media

This article was meant to be in the Horizon newsletter at the Sultan Qaboos University by yesterday, but because of my ever busy schedule that has me by the neck, it was submitted only late last night and is still to be reviewed this morning.

An initial 'go' was given for the article pending the review of the content, so hopefully you will see it in the foreword of the late issue of the said newsletter.

I hope you enjoy it.

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The World of Media

When was there ever a time that you ever watched program or read an article or even heard a radio show that had a profound affect on you and your life?

This is something that we forget think about in the conscious sense up to the point that we neglect the various effects and disadvantages that it may have in effect on our life, whether or not we realize those changes is something up to our perception and our lifestyle of living.

In the past it used to take a month or more for information to cross from one country to another let alone another continent, and in contrast, nowadays, all it takes these days to learn about what is happening on one side of the globe is the flick of a remote control.

Information has become the new weapon in the current period of time that we live in now while technology is merely a factor about increasing the velocity of it reaching from one end to another.

Chances are, in the current time, that we learn more from the media than we do from affirmative and established older sources for real news. Ranging from politics to latest teen rave that is now in trend; information controls our choices; our voices, and our very pattern of thinking, too.

If we play our cards right, then we stand a chance to filter out the right information that involves the positive influence on us as a society and community. But if the latter were to happen, then we can only behold the power of information controlling the country and caging it within its own fears and fictitious demons that hold no existence in our world of reality.

How is it then that we control the effects of this powerful two sided sword, then?

The first and most important method is self-censorship; not only does this filter out the wrong type of information that may affect us negatively but it also develops the sense of responsibility within ourselves and towards our society. Another suggestive method that could be used is to cut the path of this negative piece of information from its source.

But in the end, should the person really feel the need to find that piece of information in complete disregard to its nature – good or bad – then there's a large possibility that probably nothing would stop them from finding it out.

I Will Survive

This is a really good animation music video for the hit single 'I Will Survive'.

Although it is quite old, I still find it funny.

There's another one on YouTube that depicits Jesus, but that as - of course - too blasphemous for me to be posting here.

Enjoy this video.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

nice to know



It's nice to know that you're blog's comments are so empty because people who feel interested in reading the articles that you post online think that they are either 'too heavy' a material to read or just 'interesting' as a read and go.

I appreciate all the interest you folks take into consideration about reading my blog.

Thank you..

Love is..


Link: - Love is..

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - At World's End

Yet another blockbuster movie that you don't want to miss this summer.

Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End has a wide release on May 25th, 2007.

There is rumor that, however, there could be a plan to make two more sequels to the movie franchise.

Good news/bad news?

Monday, April 23, 2007

the cost of modern development in Oman

Qurum, Madinat Qaboos, Seeb, Khuwair and a number of other Omani vital areas within the Muscat governate are all suffocating from one epidamic: modern development.

The recent rush for the real estate sector has probably pushed the government to start make better use of the money involved of selling land sectors all over the Sultanate in terms of making better road networks, better sewage systems and a more proper grouping of residential and commercial villas and flats altogether with their main services attached.

But it is this push that is creating a bottle neck all throughout the capital where not a simple 3km drive between one area and another do you see one development project or another from the Qurum - Naseem Park express highway, the Al-Amerat to Quriyat interlink, the flyover project at Seeb International Airport and the Muscat City Centre.

Modern development may have been what Oman and its residents have been asking for all along, but to have several projects start up simultaneously at the very same time each with a specific deadline, the citizens and residents of the capital are having a hard time accepting it as it creats bottlenecks, traffic jams and most of all, accidents that none of us hope to ever be in.

Not only that, it has also gone to the lengths of invading the privacy of people's private homes and causing noise pollution, too as some of these projects - such as the Qurum - Naseem Park express highway passes by just parallel behind a few private homes and the construction of its roadworks is being conducted through breaking down mountain slopes behind a few others.

Muscat Municipality issues the Tenders to these projects, and gives out the requirements to specific construction company who specialize in those necessary fields. My question would be to Muscat Municipality; could this all not have been better planned?

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Update:

The information within this post has been corrected respectively, as the only organization in the Sultanate of Oman that has the authority to look over road development projects throughout the Muscat governate is Muscat Municipality none other. Hence, the necessary ammendants had been made therefore.

TimesofOman.com: Looking back

Below is the new article that has now been published onto the online edition of the TimesofOman.com website.

You will also find a link to the article below under the post in case you are unable to read the font on this blog.

Do join in with your opinions.

Enjoy.

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Looking back

Student life is a wonderful thing. At least, that's what I believe from my experience.

I may be quite old to be talking about such a topic, but believe me when I say that there would come a day in your life when you would go back in your mind to say 'I wish I could relive my past days'. Perhaps, even now, you are saying that to yourself. And it's only natural that you should, because plenty of people have been where you have been and done what you did (to some extent).

It's all part of human nature that God has bestowed upon mankind. Like happiness, sadness and anger. This human notion is what science would call 'reminiscence': calling up on past memories to remember the emotions those we lived through in that specific date and time; possibly to the point of overpowerment. Something, that none of us should ever allow ourselves to succumb to.

My parents used to tell me – when I was younger – to not only work hard in my studies, but to also cherish the days because those would be the days that I could never return to or ever repeat in the future. I took advantage of that and had my fun in a responsible way, though.

But I also had great fun, enjoyed the friendships that I accumulated over the years and probably lost a few, too. In the end, it was an experience to endure and of personal benefit. Opening up my eyes to the world; the people; the environment that surrounded me; and the many various ways of life.

But it does not end there.

Your experience as a student goes on further beyond the borders of books; lectures and the relationships that you forge.

It is passed on to the new generations through the lessons of life that we teach and are still taught along the way.

The experiences that make us into what we are today formulate tomorrow's generations. And it is in that sense that we must act responsibly in our lives to learn to become better role models to the youth of tomorrow.

Is that not our ultimate goal after all?

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Link:

- TimesofOman.com: Looking back

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Russel Peters

Who doesn't know this genius?

If you're interested in obtaining the DVD it's called 'Russel Peters Outsourced'.

Enjoy the video.

the invasion of privacy in Oman


From advertising pamphlets on your house's gate, and others that are left under your windscreen wiper to the annoying junk emails and worthless SMS you get in your mobile phone; the invasion of one's privacy in Oman has become a common tendency for companies that are seeking to woo customers to try out their services and products at special introductry prices and the such and all in the name of business.

Has it become the common practice for a business to invade someone's privacy to annoy you with phone calls at inappropriate timings throughout the day just to find out if you are interested in listening to their sales and marketing representative? And since when has it ever been seen in any telecommunications company around the world that if a certain business is targetting a certain segment of the society that it is allowed to convey the information that would allow or help such a business to get to the right people?

Such questions that need to be answered by the Omani Consumer Protection Agency instead of having them fight a useless battle that is being argued by the Ministry of Industry & Commerce to be a clear violation of consumer rights when most - if not all - Omani businesses serve the policy of 'goods once sold shall not be returned or exchanged' in matters of printed bills or motion of selling products.

If a person was to buy a certain garment, then most likely they would try it out at the same time to find out if it works out for their size or not before choosing to buy it. Whereas the example that is looked upon by the Consumer Protection Agency is that whatever the goods that are sold the consumer should always have the option of exchanging or returning the product no matter what the reason may be.

Sounds a bit daft, doesn't it?


In any case, it is the beginning of having to make it clear that the Omani Consumer Protection Agency is indeed in the business of protection consumer and customer rights, nationwide. A message, that was meant to be sent off ever since the formation of the said Agency.

Better late than never.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Oman Tribune mocks BBC reporters' kidnapping


"Johnston is privileged. In life or death, he will be revered as a hero. If he is alive and is freed from captivity, he is destined to sit on a mound of money for telling his story. And if his murder is confirmed, paeans will be sung in praise of him and his heroism. Members of his family may not have to worry about their financial security. The BBC no doubt will contribute generously towards their welfare. Other too may pitch in to help."

This is what the Oman Tribune writer Mr. Raphael feels as he writes in the local newspaper about the incident that has occurred over a month ago that involved the kidnapping of the BBC reporter Mr. Alan Johnston.

He - Mr. Joyce Raphael - feels that there is some sort of predijuice against Third World country journalists versus that of the already Developed country journalists. Where such cases would include media hype and over reaction towards their own reporters but amidst the dying flames, no one is to care about the other few hundred journalists that had died in the Philippines, Iraq, for instance, to name a few.

Apparently, what this columnist in the Oman Tribune asks for is quite clear, as he states;

"The western media monopolies have to grasp a single sacred truth: All journalists are fighting the same battle. They cannot leave some to the vultures and put others on a pedestal."

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Link:

- Western Predijuice by Joyce C. Raphael

Rush Hour 3

For some odd and peculiar reason, the person who posted the Phil Collins music video went and changed his mind to disable embdedding the video and thus not allowing anyone to post it on their blog.

So, I've had to change the video and gone and replaced it withe trailer for Rush Hour 3.

Rush Hour 3 is due for a wide release on 10th August, 2007.

Horizon newsletter: The Kahlil Gibran Experience


This would be the foreword that you would, inshallah, see (or have already seen) in the new edition of the internal Horizon newsletter for the Sultan Qaboos University.

I ask that you would leave your opinion about it in a constructive manner.

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

The Kahlil Gibran Experience

A few sentences read from a book that collects together all the astounding and rather mesmerizing in the sense that it takes you on a journey that truly and without a doubt a whole new world. Escape would be the keyword here. As Kahlil enchants us to his honey well of poetry that describes almost everything in his own perspective from life, to love, to pain and heartache and the world he drowns himself into - the world of fantasy that he succumbs to himself and in turn encapsulates the reader into.

By this time and century, almost everyone on this planet has a pretty much good idea about who Kahlil Gibran is (although in the proper English Language, that is clearly not the way you would pronounce his name, but that is beyond the point here) and what was his role in this world as an artist and a person that has the qualities of a leader in his field; poetry and literary.

As it is known, Kahlil Gibran was Lebanese poet that migrated to the United States of America. It is not apparent as to why he chose to migrate, but, perhaps chose it for its chosen title amongst the hype of being known 'the land of opportunity'. And although he had migrated to the land where some of the people who do learn to forget what background they are from and how they got to be where they are – Kahlil clearly does not. For he shows this all throughout his workings such as 'The Prophet'; 'The Three Earth Gods' and 'The Madman' to name but a few.

To read the works of one of the greatest Arab artists that the world has ever known in time, one comes to realize the true meaning of professionalism, all this before the time of our modern civilization's revolution, perhaps. But, with it, marking probably the beginning of an era for other modern poets to follow into the footsteps of, a legacy, if you like.

While Gibran's work has no comparison to other English Language poets such as Shakespeare, he asserts for himself a certain standard that only he can attain and only he can ever come to - setting also a challenge for every living poet to write such wealthy material such as his; but to no avail, of course.

It would be an understatement to say that Kahlil Gibran was a genius in his time only. He was genius for all time as his work speaks for him as much as the plays and other media related inspired workings do the same, too.

Friday, April 20, 2007

we're all going on a summer holiday..

...Are we really?

With many factors playing against us, it seems our only chance for survival this year is just to stay home or our home away from home.

Recent happenings around the world have been building up to the point of catostraphy, with deaths rising in the Middle East region, the recent and unreasoned Virgina massacre, global weather changes due to the greenhouse effect that is in full effect now down to the simplest and probably the most effective of all factors - the media and their blockbuster sequel summer for the year 2007.

Natural calamities have taken quite a toll beginning the year with a Tsunami in The Solomon Islands only 2 years after the biggest ever Indian Ocean earthquake ever to hit the face of the Earth in 2004 leaving a toll of over 100,000 dead victims and millions other injured and without food, natural water resources and most of all, shelter. Forest fires and ice storms had been reigning in on Australia, and some parts of the USA. But what was more stranger was the strong 100 mph winds to hit the city of London, and the flooding of Southern Malaysia by overnight rainfalls drenching the city and its sewer system.

Perhaps it is nature's way of saying that it's fed up with mankind not responding to its plea of bring down the CFC and other gas emissions on a global scales like many countries around the world should be especially those who pulled out of the Kyoto treaty.

This is where it - nature - forces the people to stay at their homes and attend to their own needs and try to escape from everyday life routine and its boredom. Thus implementing the cue for the media in Hollywood, Bollywood and Honeywood (Egyptian cinema) with sequels coming out like potential golden eggs from Hollywood starting it off with Spiderman 3, The Bourne Ultimatum, Pirates of The Carribean: World's End, Rush Hour 3, Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4), and Shrek The Third, to name but a few.

With all these reasons and temperatures rising a few degrees every summer should there be any more reason to leave the comfortability of your air-conditioned home?

Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy Wit It

This would be my mobile's ringtone.

So bring it on - Big Willie style. :P

Thursday, April 19, 2007

remember this?


I had posted not too long ago about the not so distant kidnapping of a BBC journalist by the name of Alan Johnston.

Having gone back to the BBC website, they have added a way for bloggers to help support the cause of releasing Mr. Alan from his ordeal, and I think you will all agree with me that this is the least any of us can do given the circumstances that he is in and our limited physical ability to do anything else.

If you feel you are interested in knowing how to help; please visit their how to help page to learn more.

I urge all of you, even if you are in the process of opening up a new blog to help out with this cause. Just think; if it was you, we would have all done just the same.

--------

URGENT UPDATE:

Missing BBC Correspondent alive!

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

You Had Me by Joss Stone

Once upon a time, there was a great singer who had all the guidance in the world to show her the right path to achieve her dreams of becoming a true star.

But she impatient and threw that all away by the time she thought she had it all by announcing herself as an executive producer for her third album and throwing herself off course from a successfully set career path that was drawn for her in her album 'Introducing Joss Stone'

Too bad.

She was doing so good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

neighbors

"Neighbors
Everybody needs good neighbors
With a little understanding
You can find a perfect friend

Neighbors
Should be there for one another
That's when good neighbors
Become good.. friends"

At least, that's how it should be. But apparently, it's not the case here in Oman.

Our fine neighbors behind us have decided to blow out their steam - or whatever it is - in their own fashionable way. With a bang.

It was around 5pm when I had left the house today for some errands and coming back home at around 10pm, to my surprise, they were partying, like it was 2999.

You'd think there be some sort of decency because of the type of neighborhood and culture that we adhere to here in Oman and that the people who live across you would ask you about such things. But this is very uncommon.

Perhaps their foreignors. Then again, maybe not. That's the not the point here.

Courtesy calls for respect in all manners of life. Especially in neighborly relationships.

I guess no one thought about that when they started building that flat apartment behind our house that these kind folks are now partying in.

Now tell me that this has nothing to do with Muscat Municipality or the Ministry of Housing's plans.

Fumbling Away

'So, I fumble and fumble'
I hear her say
'I think about the future
And come what may'

She looks surprised to see me smile
She twitches her fingers lets out a sigh
'Forgive me', but for what?
I only see her Angelic face in my daydreams, my thoughts

She chooses to push me away
To say that she cannot deal with it
I can't let go of her, for its my heart she stole
To let go would be taking out my own soul

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

calling all Omani Spiderman fans!


Are you a Spiderman fan?

Do you live in Muscat, Oman?

Do you want to catch the premiere on the 2nd of May, 2007?

Leave your comment and contact details here before April 20th, 2007 so that you can join in with other people to enjoy the premier of Spiderman 3 here in Muscat and a large group of dedicated fans.

*Please be prepared to pay up R.O. 2.500 on behalf of every person to join in.

is there a doctor in the house?


Today, there was a small insight by a columnist at the Oman Tribune about how inadequete the health system is to our doctors and in turn resulting in malpractice towards the patients because of the pressure excerted on the physicians.

According to the article, a lot of doctors (whether or not they are Omani is not mentioned) at our local hospitals are attending over 32 hours of continued shifts thus resulting to symptoms of utter fatigue, accidents at the emergency room whilst treating patients and poor performance of the doctors themselves. Some of them are even working 50 continuous hours in some departments.

These shifts not only endanger the lives of the patients and the doctors themselves, but also result in the doctors losing out on much needed rest with many of them having accumalated leave days over the years that are still to be spent away but can't get a moment's rest even when they are on holiday because they would be called in for emergencies.

An oath maybe something sacred that a doctor would need to take, but to be serious how would anyone expect a doctor to cope with that much pressure and still develop their skills and be at their top performance level at all times when they are very rarely given the chance to do so?

Something that has sadly been going on for several years here in Oman and is still yet to find a solution, unfortunately.

When will there be any action taken in this issue of utmost importance?

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

Link:

-
Doctors reveal their sorry plight

Thriller: wedding version

You really have to appreciate the people's passion behind rehearsing for these dance sequences.

I think I might do something similar at mine. :P

free Alan Johnston


It is absurd to even think that someone has gone to provide pain for anybody else in the world through disaster or mayhem than to have kidnapped someone very dear to them just because they were doing their job.

Alan Johnston is the BBC Gaza Correspondent since 2004 and was due to finish his work there by the end of March, 2007 for a safe return to his home in Scotland, UK. Unfortunately, though, he was abducted for over a period of one month ago and since then no news has been given about his whereabouts or his welfare.

His parents are both worried sick about his health status. His colleagues at the BBC office in London had staged a rally in support of his case to call out to his kidnappers for an immediate release. People all over the world have joined in to make his cause the number one priority.

And although it has not been verified; there has been news that his so-called abductors - the Tawhid and Jihad brigades - had already 'carried out a death sentence' on him in exchange for the release of their fellow Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Now, let's take a small look at this situation, here..

I am an Arab and I do not approve in the very least of what had happened in the very beginning of kidnapping an innocent person that has no relation to the issue between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the first place; let alone that he is a man of the media which only serves their image as a very bad reflection of the Palestinian cause to the world over no matter how this may end with all our hopes that Mr. Johnston comes out this alive, healthy and safe by God's grace.

The least we as bloggers can do is to spread the message in honor and tribute of our brother in media and make it well known that none of us will go down as cowards in the face of threat against our very lives.

Sign the online petition to help save Alan Johnston's life; so that he may return to his family - safe and sound.

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Links:

- Free Alan Johnston Petition

- BBC man's 'killing' not verified

- Parents of BBC man plead for son

- UN Chief urges release

- Timeline: Alan Johnston missing

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spiderman 3

Sandman.

The Lizard.

And Venom.

Spiderman 3 comes out in May 2nd here in Oman. So keep that date open no matter what.

TimesofOman.com: Life is what you make of it

Below is this week's new article that you can find on the TimesofOman.com's online website.

Hope you all enjoy it.

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

Life is What You Make of it

Have you ever thought about what life is truly all about?

I have had my times in the past when I used to think about it all the time but now I couldn't care less – something that I will explain as to why later on. But, focusing on the point of what life really is all about; we should be asking ourselves one very important question – what do we really want to achieve in our life?

It is in my experience that should you want to understand what life is all about you must identify the way you wish to take down that long unpaved road to where your future may lie. Some people associate life is their career, relationship or perhaps their continued course of higher-education to obtain a better position in the job of their dreams. Whatever it may be, that would the one thing that would show you what your life is about in your perspective.

Forget about the scholars, the people who you read quotes about and the such. They are there for one reason and one reason only; to inspire. But the real originality in coming up with a true goal of life lies within your very soul. The passion that drives you to become who you want to be.

Take me for instance; I want to become a writer. I would like to become a writer and while I know that that goal is unachievable unless I develop the skill day after day without stopping for one minute; one hour; or one day from the habit of taking a pen and just jotting down what I feel, think and see. As far as I recall, I read from the Internet a quote by someone – who, for the life of me I cannot come to remember their good name, for some reason – saying in a matter of speaking that to become a writer you must ask yourself are you doing it for fame. For love? For glory? For recognition? Because none of those matter in this field because when you are writing, you are writing because there is a passion inside of you that pleads you to let it out. To let out the pain and the sweetness of the emotions that erupt inside of you. And to write for any other purpose is just sheer hypocrisy.

You see, the way I see it is that when you know what you really want to become or achieve in your life you will then understand what life is all about. Something, which some people in this world take a whole lifetime just to understand. Whilst others figure in a small matter of time. Others may never come to know what their true calling is and end up being at a loss

And believe me that no matter what that decision is that you make, it will always be the 'right decision' because – simply – it came from within your heart. And whatever your heart chooses, it chooses because it wants that particular thing. And if you are really attached to it, then your mind will help you along the way.

So the conclusion?

Life is just what you make of it.

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

Link:

- TimesofOman.com: Life is what you make of it



True Wonder


She asked for the stars in the sky
He pondered for a second before going away into the night

She thought he had given up and had lost her one chance

To finally find the one and only true romance


Later that week he dropped by her house

He left her a giant cardboard envelope with a card inside
On it was a youngsters drawing of stars at night
Inside he wrote 'You are the true wonder; my only delight'

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Had A Bad Day

Gotta love this video on a bad day.

promoting tourism and Oman Air


Following Muscati's post about how the Omani government is now going to focus its efforts on developing Oman Air instead of Gulf Air after an agreement had been reached to hand over total management of the latter airline to the Kingdom of Bahrain; there have been a number of press issues in the local media about how Oman Air is promoting tourism.

I can only agree with one thing here, and that is the role that Oman Air would need to play in the near and far future of the Omani tourism industry by expanding its number of stations internationally and regionally and not just focusing on the Indian Subcontinent and other ill-planned stations that bare no value to encourage tourists and businessmen to come and discover what Oman has to offer in value of location, local culture, and general investment opportunities with the local businessmen and the public sector, per say.

It is in my opinion that should Oman Air be willing to go further into the distance of expanding its role in promoting the Omani tourism industry it must drive further into the diversification of its brand - of which it published its details in a local newspaper through the overall change in its long term planning of the airline, its line of products and services, and the type of investments it is/should be looking into. Such as opening a number of hotels and resorts under its flagname - Oman Aviation Services Company. Complete change of the airport system and its layout, and knowledgable team with international standards set in the field to look into a number of other products that could be developed along the way.

All that and more could help put Oman Air onto the map of international recognition as a well known carrier that helped push its country and government reach the 2020 vision set by His Majesty, the Sultan Qaboos bin Said - Sultan of Oman.

----------

Links:

- Oman Air pushes tourism forward

- Oman Air's role in promoting tourism

ow ow owww

It's painful coming back after the first day of College - for which the only reason I can be glad for is that the actual classes are to start the coming Saturday since today was only an induction into what we will be tackling.

And to tell you the truth, even though I threw myself into this situation, I feel somehow that I am pushing myself too much with a lot of things. Being that the course which would run on a 3 day basis a week morning times, plus working on my writing for 3 establishments, another 2 books of poetry - one in Arabic and the other in English and plus a surprise job for translation amongst other things.

I mean, wow.

I am lucky to be able to breathe in between.

But it's not I am feeling bad about the whole situation. On the contrary, I feel very much alive. Tired and aching. But all alive. Senses tingling and all that.

I just hope I can actually adapt to the needs to all that and the study requirements along the way.

Ow.

Horizon newsletter: The Preservation of Our Environment


Below is the new foreword/article that would be appearing soon in this week's issue of the SQU's internal English Language newsletter; Horizon.

Do let me know of your opinion about it.

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

The Preservation of Our Environment

Global warming has always been an issue ever since the dawn of time and it wasn't just the Earth that was threatened by it. But, as it appears in the daily news these days, other planets in our solar system are affected by it. So it's nothing to say that mankind has inflicted this upon him, but it is safe to say – however - that the Earth's magnanimous population of over 6 billion people has certainly contributed towards escalating the phenomenon in the last 200 or so years.

So what is there that can be undone in order to slow down the process before it reaches the critical stage?

There is very little that can be undone simply because the very issue has gone, as the term would state 'overboard', what with the polar ice capsules melting; the ozone layer over the North and South Earth poles detoriating rapidly and the after effects that has been caused by this catastrophic chain of events, as if they were out of some Hollywood movie. What with the Tsunami that happened a couple of years back, the increase in rainfall over regions and countries that had never experienced such an event and other events around the world ranging from snow storms to forest fires; to say the least.

Unfortunately, not too may people in the world believe that they can play a significant part in decreasing the level of danger we are unleashing upon ourselves in the near future because they only think of their present and care not for their own future and their generation's future.

The Sultanate of Oman, however, is attempting to enforce this 'unknown' culture on its population to help the community and the social gathering all over Oman to realize the importance of helping to preserve the environment through the establishment of a Non-Governmental Organization by the name of the Environment Society of Oman. The main role of the ESO is to educated the public about how a few can do so much through gathering the many hands that could help contribute to revitalizing the Omani environment through implantation methods; coral reef and beach cleaning; and general scouting in natural spots all over the Sultanate of Oman.

Oman has long played a role in preserving the environment it seeks to endure to ensure that generations to come will always realize the important role of the environment in our daily lives and the methods we, as human beings, can play in ensuring that it is us who give back to the environment, ever so kindly.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Let Me Lie To Myself

Everyone and everything in my life
Has had some sort of effect on me
The will; the power
A choice; not an option - imposed on me

Let me lie to myself
That my life is wonderful
That the sun shines outside everyday for me
And that the world around me is as pink as a baby bath's bubble

I wake up everyday
To the grief and the naked truth
Destruction. Mayhem. Possession of one's very soul.
But no one gives a damn; they just want to be subdued

Let me lie to myself
That the sky is clear blue
That the oceans are zodiac green
The love; the passion
Everyday we recieve

Let me lie to myself
And laugh away the fears
The options that I've always been given
All throughout my younger years

After all
We live in a world of deceit
Where we smile at disaster
And embrace the pain
Push away the love
And happily cut our very veins

Let me lie to myself
So that I may live

Earth Song by Michael Jackson

Global warming is still an issue that we all are a contributing factor to.

Act now.

Before it's too late.

ATTENTION BLOGGERS


'One case does not justify the need for group punishment'. Something that I would have to totally agree with. Unfortunately, it seems that a prominent blogger by the name of Tim O'Reily has other plans for the online blogging community.

This all happened after a certain incident that has happened to a friend of his online who got numerous hate-mail in her inbox, countless death threats on her blog and now lives all alone in a locked up apartment somewhere unknown to probably the little part of the 'real' community she lives in that actually cares about her.

Now, he demands that there would be guidelines for bloggers worldwide to stop anonymous comments being published on their blog's posts and furthermore, the need to implement a certain code of conduct amongst the vast online social buzz.

This would mean further restricting freedom of speech online that is already under threat by local and international law institutions that do not believe in this concept and a certain decrease in the number of people who would go about commenting on each other's posts.

This demand does not justify having to pass on this as a law amongst the online community because of one person's endeavor into what she knew she was getting herself into. For all we know she could have pushed the people online to do such an act on her blog and email by posting something that almost everyone disagreed on and passionately so, may I add. In addition, she could have stopped these comments and emails from coming to her by simply pressing the 'delete' button in either cases - but she didn't. Which is all the more reason to say that she was actually inviting in the comments.

I feel no sympathy for this woman. There are bloggers everywhere that have worse cases against them by being locked up by their governments because they publish information that their country's officials consider highly sensitive and would rather keep it under wraps.

This woman, knew what she was getting into when first signing up to open up a new blog and she knew there would be a consequence for every post she published online there. So it seems no surprise to me that this would happen to someone who thinks that the entire world is supporting her 100% all the way.

...Because that is just simply childish.

Question is now; would you submit your blog to these demands? And why?

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

Links:

- Now, a civility code for bloggers?

-
Weblogs 'need content warnings'

Friday, April 13, 2007

commencing studies


College sessions start this Sunday.

Music And Lyrics

If you like Hugh Grant's acting and are a hopeless romantic then you're definitely going to love this movie.

Set in the current period we live in, an ex-80s pop star wants to make a comeback through any open door he can scratch himself in.

Along the way he meets someone special (Drew Barrymore) after she accidentally helps him out with some lyrics for a teenage superstar.

The story evolves from thereon and knowing Hugh, you can expect all the good one-liners that you'd ever expect from a British comedian.

----------

Link:

- Music and Lyrics official movie site

speed praying

I'm almost certain that everyone's heard of the term of speed reading as it began during the World Wars I & II and spread like crazy all over the globe.

It has its advantages because people could differentiate between enemy and ally planes in the sky in the blink of an eye so as to know what needs to be done next so that they could save their lives.

Although it still has its advantages nowadays by students and employees alike by saving time to read through a whole document, some people have taken that skill to their religious chores in praying and reading the Qur'an in the mosque that they do their religious tasks.

That in itself is very wrong, and I have noticed it only just today in the Friday prayers at the mosque with some people finishing their prayers faster than I would and others reading the Qur'an so quickly that I don't think that they even understood and took the small amount of time of reading into the meanings of the words that they were reading.

If the Prophet (PBUH) was alive and saw this, he would have asked them all to redo their prayers and recitles of the Holy Book.

This is definitely not the way that we are asked to practice our religion nor was it ever, neither in the past, present or the future to come.

And it doesn't need educating because as an example if you read something very quickly you're most certainly not going to understand what is being said unless you're a descendant of Einstein.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Arabia Calling: shutdown

As you may have noticed in the last two posts below; I have transferred some and not all of my posts from my previous blog Arabia Calling.

I say previous because I have shut it down due to the ill-attention it got from visitors and contributors alike. It was a good idea at the time because it always focused on serious issues from the perspective of different contributors from all over the Arab world.

Alas, everything good must come to an end.

I thank those who had gone and visited it in the past and probably even contributed. I appreciate their support and who knows? Perhaps there would be a new one in the future that really works on several issues that actually get the attention of bloggers worldwide?

The future is always full of surprises.

transferred from: Arabia Calling - rape between couples: perception through a Middle Eastern Islamic culture

The increase of cases that go announced in Arab countries especially in the GCC countries of a husband raping his own wife is alarming and asks for immediate attention towards the reasons behind such a rapid increase in such cases.

The first question that comes up to any mind is how can a husband rape his own wife? Something that is often raised as a question here in the Middle East. The answer to that is simple coming from the definition of rape, a sexual act that is carried out against the other party's own free will and submission.

Many westerners often mistake that couples in the Middle East get married for the very sake of satisfying their sexual desires without having to put into mind what other consequences they must abide by after consent to their newly found spouse. This is mainly because of fact that the West sees the Middle East region through the perspective of the Gulf visitors that mostly comes from Saudi Arabia; Kuwait and even Qatar with their high spending and often repulsive habits that more than often come into conflict with Islamic boundaries.

For that, it is something that you cannot blame the Western media in it's attempt to focus on stereo-typing the Arabs as the typical pimp that looks more for the base than the face in a slang offering.

But it is unfair and unjust to generalize such an image on other nations that offer a more true meaning to the Islamic world such as the cultural and Islamic habitat that flourishes throughout other Arab countries.

transferred from: Arabia Calling - Dee Dee Dee by Carlos Mencia

Carlos Mencia is by far the best at telling you the right thing in the wrong way.

You go Carlos.

freedom lives on


The newspaper that I deal with may have hindered my voice from being heard through it by choosing to oppress freedom of speech, but that does not mean that their control over my words extends to the list of blogs that I deal with.

They can try all they like.

But they will never succeed.

Sand Painting

Simply takes your breath away.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

inspired: Lost

I have a headache
I don't know why
I have a grief
Of a thousand souls that have crossed the other side

I search for the freedom
That will enable me
To become the person
That I want to be

I have search the gallows
The skies and the milky way
I have searched high and low
Beneath them is where I stay

I have lost touch
Of life and love
I have lost faith
And gained no trust

I have lost the will
The power to be a better man
The cherished dreams I always had
Why - I could never understand

I search for her
For I know she will lift me up so high
She'll show me the world
In so many ways that I have come to deny

I search for the passion
And for the trust
Is it really all over?
Can I not gain ever.. even much?

progress report on insurance course - part 2

I got a message on my mobile phone today.

The message said;

"CBFS... CONGRATS!! YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR THE INSURANCE COURSE!"

Some marketing, huh?

Well, I hope this is a start of good things to come my way because God knows how much I need some positivity in my life at this phase that I am in.

..Anyhow.

You get the jist - I'm in.

what started it all - part 2

This is the 2nd article that I had sent off to the unmentionable newspaper here in Oman - the place where it is claimed that there is a right to freedom of speech - of which, after reading it, I am more than sure you will all agree with me that the article should have not been rejected in the first place nor placed in the 'sensitive' category.

Not like anyone in this country gives two shits anymore about what they should be caring about anymore - according to the newspaper unmentioned here.

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

What Does Muscat Actually Need?

Muscat has become quite the buzz in the Gulf region, in general, and in the Sultanate of Oman, in specific, amongst its very own population; starting with the sudden increase of tourism into the country; the booming of the real estate industry; the increased expenditure into the tourism industry. Along with the other developmental projects that are set to put Oman into the limelight of the international scene of the world map.

Among those projects that are set to boost the tourism industry in the main Muscat area is the establishment of the very first of its kind, state-of-the-art opera house. Another project is the development of a new all-in-one tourism facility in the Qurum commercial area, which would consist of an international 5 star hotel; a commercial complex and a cinema.

Those are but a few of the high standard projects that the government of the Sultanate of Oman is aiming at to provide leisure and entertainment for those who seek to have a fun time in their own special way.

Last week, though, Muscat Municipality had agreed in a meeting that it would carry out a study to establish night markets in unknown parts of the Muscat area to promote tourism and the Omani culture & tradition to tourists and locals alike so as push forward the future for rejuvenating the Omani handicrafts industry and increase the income that would only serve the Omani economy further and further.

As much as this move is commendable on the part of Muscat Municipality, it sets the wheels of thought into motion thus coming into the phase whereby we ask ourselves: Is this really what Muscat actually needs to promote eco-tourism?

Eco-tourism is a campaign that the government of Oman aims to promote itself to; to people who are considered to be in the upper and middle class of tourism customers from countries that it promotes itself to; targeting people who appreciate the solidarity that the country has to offer to the tourist who wants to flee from the ever-buzzing ticks of life itself.

So, having that in consideration, does Muscat really need a new few commercial areas – especially in the night? When the weather is weary during summer and cold as ice in the winter time?

Does the public get to have a say in these matters, this writer wonders?

Or it is simply another 'project'?

what started it all

The reason why you see me so damn pissed off these last few days at some certain people is because I had sent off two articles to them and they both got rejected on grounds being 'sensitive'.

The first of the two; that I list below, just displays the way that I think about certain unthinkable subjects or topics you would see elsewhere in the Sultanate's media in any form.

I urge you all to take a read at it and tell me what you all think about it and based upon that what your opinion is as to why it was rejected.

Your opinions are highly appreciated.

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

Freedom of Expression

Last year, a Royal Decree was issued stating that it is within the rights of any citizen or national of the Sultanate of Oman to express what they feel but in a peaceful manner so as not to disrupt the common daily practice of other people's lives or turn 'the situation' into a turmoil.

The move was hailed by all from the standard public citizen to the high-end local media owners, here in Oman. But, the happiness was cut-off by the Minister of Information's declaration that it does 'not allow certain stories to be published because the Omani public is still not ready to be in that open a position'. Or so it is said.

Freedom of expression may have its own set of pros and cons; being that it would eliminate the invisible security cloak that the Omani public is hooded under. It would also help the governmental and private institutions – alike – to become more transparent in its operations, its validity and loyalty from consumers and customers would both grow because people would see that these institutions are going out in the brink to serve them in terms of services, products, and news (whether or not they are listed in the Muscat Securities Market is a different issue altogether, though).It would, ultimately, lead to a more open and truth-seeking society about issues that are involved internally.

But, as with all types of change, it is a two edged sword; thus the issue of freedom of expression has to be dealt with clarification of certain rules and regulations that would regulate the information sector and in specific news in the media industry from newspapers, magazines and such.

So, what then, is the judgment to be passed down on the freedom of expression act that has been enforced?

I leave unto you, to conclude.