Thursday, May 31, 2007

what light beyond window prevails..

As it would seem there is still a glimmer of hope in the matter of those who still haven't found a place to stay in with their families..

As the economical committee has met up with the businessmen and those who have an interest in the real estate industry to discuss the issue of basically making the relationship between the landlord and the renter a more compassionate, social and humane one.

It has also been sought out to look at a solution of building cities that would hold in those who have a low amount of monthly income with a government capital to start off the project.

All too good.

But what about everyone else who still lives with their parents or can't find a decent home?

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Link:

- Look to build homing cities with low rents (in Arabic)

public announcement

Since the TimesofOman.com has requested that I take a month off from writing - during the month of June to commence on 1st July, 2007 - then you wouldn't be able to see much of my articles for them during that period.

However, I will be posting articles regarding issues that i consider more important than those that the TimesofOman.com team consider.

So, what this means, is that once a week until the 1st of July, 2007 - you will be able to read an article one the same day that the TimesofOman.com articles usually come out.

I hope you all approve of this decision on my behalf.

YouTube vs. The World

YouTube has attempted to ban a video posted on it's site twice.

OmanTel is now also in on the game - by banning the viewing of the so-called video.

You can still see it on CNN.

Here's a person whom I share thoughts with about the video that would give you a brief idea of what the video contains.


Have you seen Madeleine? - part 3

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A UAE-based relative of the missing child, Madeleine McCann, claims that Maddy has been kidnapped and been taken to an Arab country.

Read on..

Pathfinder


I don't know why I even agreed to go see this movie in the beginning.

But I can tell you that the man in the above picture has obviously never heard of Hanes. And that the movie isn't about a Pathfinder - it's about a Land Cruiser.

:D

It's a good story. But poor action sequence.

You can go if you want to see it as a pastime. Or you can wait until next Wednesday when they show Ocean's 13 (picture on Shatti Plaza website has been uploaded and scheduled for a 6th June, 2007 release).

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Link:

- Pathfinder

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Trailer on YouTube

public .. private.. public..

Recently, a number of companies have been taken down off the trading bourses and especially those in the service sector due to their performance reaching a red line in terms of profit and loss.

Such companies like Oman Air, which was first a government owned company then privatized to give the private sector the chance to revitalize it with new blood and it has been returned to an SAOC state because the Omani government's recent decision to pull out from Gulf Air permanently. Another company that is also disappearing from the economic radar is the Oman Pharmeucitical Company that has also had its share tradings halted pending the negotiations on what aspects of join corporation they could have with the government. And finally, the rumor that everyone has been hearing about: Oman Mobile being gulped up again by OmanTel because of poor management issues.

Whether or not these stories are true is yet still to be seen, but the fact is here is the underlying questions that beckons to be answered? What was the whole point from privatizing these companies if in the first place you were going to re-grip them back into the SAOC state?

It also stands to the question in that which, is the government seeing it as a fit strategical play to bring in these companies into the government sector after making bucket loads of cash from other sources?

Too many question and not enough answers.

ESO takes initiative ... and flunks


“Customers rarely say no to plastic bags and the staff behind the counters are often unaware of the environmental concerns of the use of bags even when someone just buys a bar of chocolate. Sometimes a customer in a supermarket gets up to 50 bags. Therefore, you can imagine how many plastic bags are used every day in the supermarket,” said Al Sabahi. (Oman Tribune)

This is the beginning of the article in the Oman Tribune for Wednesday, 30th May, 2007 on the efforts that the ESO is attempting at in educating the Omani population about the wastage overload issue in the country.

The Under-Secretary of the NGO has probably never been to an actual supermarket here in Oman to say what he has just said above. Because - and as experience has taught me quite well - there really isn't any other choice than having to take a plastic bag for your shopping in any supermarket chain; small or big. Fact of the matter is that you wouldn't have much other choice than to use them and as I know it, most people re-use these bags back at home. So to say that that customers that do their shopping all over the Sultanate rarely say no to plastic bags isn't because they don't want to but because they aren't really spoilt for choice.

As for those who use up 50 bags or more - well.. what can I say? Have a great party. Because that doesn't seem like an everyday issue. Nonetheless it isn't excuse; on that I would agree.

It doesn't take a genius to invent paper bags like the folks overseas use in their daily shopping instead of plastic. Cotton is not a particularly favorite brand, even though it is reusable for a short period of time until it finally wears out, it cannot hold big products that are needed for .. say.. a barbecue out on the beach on a winter's day. That's to say, for instance. It just doesn't work.

Educating the youth in several schools in Oman is a fairly good tactic but isn't quite good enough. You may well be preparing the future generation for the epidamic but then again what resources would you be putting in their palms?

The article also mentions that there are a number of recycling plants that the Sultanate of Oman deals with of which one is in Rusayl and the others in the UAE and the last in India. Why they hadn't thought this up a long time back is beyond me. It's a big investment but with a longterm profit of keeping our environment the safe haven it used to be.

Why is it that we Omanis have to wait until the second that the thing we dread the most to happen, happens, and act thereupon?

Why?

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Link:

- ESO focuses on garbage recycling

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

staying healthy? yeah, right - part 3


The Sultanate of Oman had celebrated today World No Tobacco day in an extravagant bonanza of health schemes that took the country by storm.
Oh, wait - they didn't.

They merely announced today as the World No Tobacco day since it is celebrated on the 31st of May of every year, which, this year, coincides as a Thursday and that day being a public holiday forced the switch.

Coming to the point of this post is also the announcement of making a stricter commitment to the the policy of creating an awareness of how dangerous smoking really is, is how the Ministry of Health & the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will both set a rule for tobacco product manufacturers to place pictograms that show the effect of smoking on an individual's body.

Like that would stop them from buying the products.

"Although the law bans sale of cigarettes to youth below the age of 18 years, they continue to be sold to them. “There is no mechanism to enforce the law. We need some mechanism to enforce the law,” said Al Lawati."(Oman Tribune)

This means that the law in Oman is admitting that it cannot face the problem and that it has gone out of it's control to the point that they cannot tell a retailer to stop selling tobacco products to minors. How ridiculous is that?

We are having to make a decision on our own to be a role model for our children and the generations to come that smoking is a hazardous habit that should be cut off and immediately.
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Link:

- Cigarette packets soon to have pictograms

Arabic Pen: deletion


As you may or may not have known, I had an Arabic blog under the translated name of Arabian Pen.

I have deleted the blog due to the lack of interest on my behalf, my increased amount of work considering studies at the College, and my sorry excuse for being a lousy Arabic typist.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who added that blog to their Google Readers' lists but I am hoping to come back with a new blog after everything settles down - one way or another.

Thank you again for your kind attention.

proposed - Horizon newsletter: LIFE

Below is the new foreword that will hopefully be carried on the Sultan Qaboos University's, Horizon newsletter issue.

Feel free to comment on it.

Cheers..

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LIFE

La Bruyere once said; "Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think."

One too many times we are caught in a gap of time whereby everything in our lives goes wrong, things that we have set our minds to and hoped to achieve one day. We get caught in those moments not because of what we know we are going to miss in the future but because we are focusing our entire energies on what misery has been set upon us.

A child that runs along the ground falls on his face only to get up, smiling, laughing – why should we be any different? Does it really take the innocence of an infant to keep us in our tracks and set us again on our destined paths?

Life isn't life if we were to smile, laugh and playfully enjoy all our times, simply because we would never learn anything in our life and what experiences we could ever meet in times to come. Therefore, the miseries that we are bound by – just as much as the happy moments that pass us by – are nature's way of striking a balance, even though it would seem that things are quite unfair to us in the most hideous ways.

It is wrong to forgo the chance to become a great personality in submission to anything that comes our way. In the way that most people who give up easily are surely bent on their short term needs and have no idea of what the bigger picture is all about. It is those who are bent on using their passion more than their minds in the obstacles that they need to overcome. Thus, allowing them to repeatedly be 'stabbed' in the heart over and over again because they indulge their hearts into the issues at hand more than they care to look at it in a much bigger perspective.

For what is true and what is not; the mind cannot bare. The life; the solitude; the feelings we care not to share. For what life has in store; it has in store for us all. And with it lies the truth; that awaits us all.

Wild Hogs


Although Wild Hogs has already been screened in the US, its unfortunate late arrival in the GCC market will not suppressed, what with the great star casts of Martin Lawrence; John Travolta; Tim Allen; and William H. Macy.

Wild Hogs is basically a movie that shows us the tail of 4 men in their 'middle aged' periods of their lifetimes asking themselves what they have done so far to show for it. And, as circumstances during the movie would show, that their lives are heading for a nosedive if they don't do something about it. Therefore, they decide to take a road trip on their motorbikes and just drive off .. into nowhere in particular.

You can see the YouTube video here.

Incidentally, the producers behind the movie are working on making a sequel dubbed Wild Hogs 2.

Shatti Plaza will be screening this movie sometime during the month of June, 2007.
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Link: - Wild Hogs website

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

tourists: don't get ripped off

Local newspapers have carried news of the developments of metric taxis introduction in the Sultanate of Oman. The reports - as of yet unconfirmed - says that these new taxis would be introduced by the end of September, 2007.

Here is, though, where it gets quite interesting for those who are looking forward to come to Oman and would rather use the means of public transformation than having to rent a car because their stay isn't long enough. These new taxis will have already been charged up by a small amount of 200-300 baizas and then after that an extra 100 baizas for every kilometre ($US 1= 0.385 RO).

There are currently two types of taxis available in the Sultanate of Oman; the first goes by the mood or rather the conscience of the taxi driver while the other type is metric but charges up its meter initially by 1.600 Rials (as told to me by someone who uses them frequently).

So, all in all, it seems that people who will be using this new taxi system will benefit a great deal, not to mention a great service as all of these new taxis will have air conditioners; proper seat covers and a dispatch system for you to call them at a place of your convience.

Although, these taxis will not be included in the pricing scheme to hotels, and will intially only operate in the Muscat region pending its success.

Shura elections..

No doubt you are all aware of the momentum that has been gathering in regards to this issue here in Oman and how 'important' it is to the people of the country. Unfortunately, though, there are always two sides to the story.

The first side of the story tells us how exactly our beloved Oman is such a great country and how far we have come in terms of democratic elections and procedures that allow the entire Omani population to take part in this process and help along the way in making our country a much better place in exact parallel to the government's efforts to surface the country to being a 'developed' nation one day. This is in form of establishing a Shura Council that allows several members of the society that are elected by the people of Oman to represent their hometowns/cities/wilayats in order to bring up to the government officials - in a face to face Q&A session - their concerns, complaints, suggestions and claims. And of course there is also the Oman Council where all the government officials meet up with His Majesty the Sultan of Oman to bring him up to date with the requests of his loyal Omani subjects and what developments are being made towards those issues (although most of those sessions are done behind closed doors).

Then there is the other side of the story that has so many questions and queries to ask and begs to differ with the situation at hand. The fact that our country has come a long way in the last 36 (not counting the upcoming Omani national day) years and what development has been done so far in the progress of this country in many aspects in terms of democracy; freedom of speech and the term of applying worldwide adaptable standards upon the country so that it runs in a more efficient and productive manner.

The reason why this is being posted is because the names of the Shura election candidates have been finally announced in the local newspapers, thus bringing me to one question; if the Shura elections have been made to help people represent individuals of the society to bring in the claims needed for the Omani population then what about changing the ways of the country - who is it that we talk to and 'suggest' to, in order to bring our expectations up to par?

Monday, May 28, 2007

expecting to be kicked off timesofoman.com - part 2

So everyone on this blog knew of my decision to basically kick the bucket with the TimesofOman.com because of their decision to impose on me strict mental barriers of which topics I should and should not write.

The answer came in today..

I was told that none of the topics I would have in mind would ever be able to get published. Asking me also to consider my decision over a period of one month's time that they gave all the columnists as a vacation up until the 1st of July, 2007.

If I throw this down the drain, then all you'll ever see from me is the regular posts on my blog apart from the other posts that actually discuss the current status and problems that Oman is in for.

I ask that you all participate in taking this decision with me to help me think straight because I can't seem to.

Having said that, this is the last article that has seen it's way to being published on the TimesofOman.com website.

Thanks again for all your support.

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Why do we run away from the truth?

The world is in such a grim mess these days, or has no one really ever noticed that lately?

Countries are at war within themselves, such as; Lebanon – the radical group that goes by the name of 'Fatah Al Islam' (Opening of Islam) are in a clash with the Lebanese army for destabilizing the country's internal security. The deteriorating insecure situation in Iraq where we hear and see every day-in and day-out that the country is becoming more and more stabilized after more than four years of bringing down the Saddam regime; but, reality begs to differ. We hear of escalated tensions between the UN Security Council and Iran because of Iran's development of their nuclear enrichment program, of which, Iran claims that it is solely for peaceful purposes.

Global warming and economic stability is now also amongst the top priorities of the upcoming G8 meeting, where the nation's leaders are at quarrels between themselves because the standards have not been met between their respective countries which were set by themselves and the standards that their nations through the expectations that they anticipated of their leaders yet ill-achieved.

The planet is also giving in, gradually through the increased climatic changes that are happening on a worldwide scale – this is seen through the increased after-effects of the greenhouse effects in which, for example, less harmful ultra violet rays are absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere on their way from the sun – harmful because they pose a very dangerous potential of inflicting skin cancer upon an individual. The polar ice capsules are also both melting, thus, resulting in a rapid increase of sea levels globally, and ultimately not only endangering its direct environmental habitat but also indirectly posing a threat to Polar Bears, other Arctic animals and weather changes all over the world.

Where does one find time – between all of these disasters, catastrophes, and other regional and climatic changes – to make any sense of anything?

It is of no wonder that today's generation escapes to the movies that hold a promise of hope such as the ever reliable superhero type that people turn to in times of peril such as Superman Returns, Spiderman or the other type of escape that relies on the ever basic charm and wit of comedy to let go of tension and stress of the world that we see so much tragedy of.

But it is one thing that we must all understand – we can always; but we could never hide from the truth.

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Link:

- TimesofOman.com: Why do we run away from the truth?

Saudi Arabia - last place to be

A recent report through the Gulf News reported the death of a young Saudi Arabian married man because he was severely beaten up by the religious police (Commission for promotion of Virtue & Prevention of Vice).

The report indicates that the religious police broke open a house door, arrested several family members amongst of which were women and started beating the man in front of his father then took him (the youth) to their centre to recieve medical help but later on died from having a bleeding eye. And all this from a nosy suspicion.

The members who took part in beating the man to death are now being questioned and held responsible for the young man's death.

In another case, a woman and her daughter had filed a case against the same group several years ago because one of the members of the so-called religious police insulted her. The court dimissed the case due to the fact that they were of this 'righteousness' group.

Which brings me to the reason why I posted this piece of news..

Several years ago, I had attended Umra in Mecca along with some female family members. During the time that we were in the Holy site of the Ka'aba, there was one of those religious clerics shouting at my relatives in a demeaning way. When he noticed that I was looking at him, he asked me to tell them to stay away from the male population around the Ka'aba.

Not as if it's any of his business, but who gave anyone the right to tell anyone what they should and shouldn't do. That is why God gave us free will. There is right and there is wrong. We all have a mind and using it is our God given gift whether in good or evil.

Personally, I hope the men behind the death of the young Saudi youth hang for what blood their hands had spilt.

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Link:

- Three moral policemen held in Saudi man's death

Al-Baal: You've Been Hit by ... A Smooth Muslim?


Shaykhspeara Sha'ira has posted on her a blog a rather amusing video on a Muslim's interperation of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal famous song.

I am therefore posting the link to her post so that you are able to give the actual people the credit they deserve for their work in bringing this to our attention. Not to mention in being able to make us laugh.

I would like to thank Shaykhspeara Sha'ira in advance for this.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ocean's 13


The third and final installment of this movie is set to be released on June 8th, 2007. Although, it has still not been announced when will it be due in the Sultanate of Oman.

You can all watch the trailer to the movie here.

Interestingly, though, Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer is being released in Oman (according to the Shatti Plaza) on the 13th of June, 2007.

Doesn't that serve as a conflict of interest?

Hmm..

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Link:

- Full movie details (requires Flash)

Clinging On..

Clinging on to hope
That there would be a light at the end of the tunnel
Clinging on to tomorrow
To forget all the pain and sorrow

Clinging on to a day
That I would be able to a smile that would take away all my pain
Help me laugh
Feel the joy under the rain

Clinging to a time
Where I would look out to the sea
Where life is life
And agony is besieged

But more importantly
Clinging on to a life
That I would be able to no longer feel lonely
That I would cry joyful tears
The darkness should disappear away with the fear

And destiny would finally have come to say
'This is your life, enjoy it for the rest of your years'

Arab UAE Community Blog: Withdrawl


This is my second withdrawal from a sister blog that I used to participate in - the UAE Arabic Community Blog.

I have removed myself from the blog because of lack of member interest in posting on the blog in addition that everyone is having to focus much more on their 'real' lives and their private businesses each in their own field.

You can still reach the blog through the link provided in this post or on the right-hand-side sidebar.

I apologize again for the inconvenience..

Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End - review


In my opinion - Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End was by far much better and action packed than it's first two predecessors.

Without spoiling the movie for those have not watched it yet, you can expect a lot more comedy in the movie, a lot more action sequences along with graphics and visual effects that would you go 'holy cow'. Disney have finally outdone themselves with the right equation in a perfect family movie. And the story, although left with an ending that regards a question, rounds up the trilogy very well and leaves you satisfied yet eager for more swashbuckling Pirates' movies.

But would Disney go for it?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

expecting to be kicked off timesofoman.com

Let's just say I did what I felt like doing a long time ago and I am expecting to be told that they will be no longer needing my services anymore.

Feel free to criticize or insult me or even giving me the silent treatment that I often get.

Update coming soon..

Friday, May 25, 2007

the video YouTube attempted to ban

Malcom from Wally World tried posting this video on YouTube but they censored it and banned his account permanently.

Elegante tried posting it on her blog and then got a surprise when the link she posted no longer worked.

CNN picked it up from someone else who republished the video on YouTube.

This is the video that everyone's been talking about and that YouTube attempted to censor but got carried in to - as Malcolm would have put it - 'mainstream media'.

Don't watch this video if you have a sensitive heart. I am not responsible for it's content. I just felt that this video should have been posted to let the world know what kind of freedom the coalition forces have delivered.

have you seen Madeleine? - part 2

It's been 3 weeks since Madeleine McCann has been kidnapped while her family and her were on a holiday in Portugal.




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Link:

- Developments in the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann

this is for the foreignors out there

A lot of tourists or foreigners in Oman have widely begun to feel displeased at the price rates in some, if not most, of the high class restaurants, cafe's, coffeeshops and other five star category establishments. Their displeasure is targeted at how the price rates in Oman vary from window-shop price to the time that they actually buy the product in name.

This is mostly due to the fact that Ministry of Tourism along with Muscat Municipality requests such establishments to add an extra tax for allowing them to operate in the Sultanate of Oman. Such as the 5& municipal tax, and the other 5 or 10% (I'm not sure about the figures, so if you know them, please correct me) tourism tax and in some other establishments such as Pizza Hut where you also pay an extra 8% service tax of the establishment. In all cases, such taxes are waived to a minimum if you happen to order the product as a take-away or delivery.

Such establishments and organizations get blasted because they are not informed of the policy when it is right there in front of them above with the hanged menus where you choose what you want to buy. Others deny to take out an extra 200 or a merely 50 baizas to just finish up the tax-included-price, and end up making such a fuss that this goes against the policy of having to encourage tourism.

Which, to them, I would like to address the following; you all live in different countries where a dozen taxes are asked of you and no you have no problem to pay to them your debt so why should it make any difference to you if you end up paying a small amount of money that you would scarcely miss in a day or two if it does end up in the hands of people who would invest it into a development project here in Oman of which could mean that you would also benefit and contribute to a greater good?

It has been once said that in order for tourism to become a force that a country can rely on, it must have the entire support and focus of all the industries in one country put together.

ain't it the truth


I've taken this character drawing from Al Watan just to show you guys how badly things in Oman really are in order to just to get a few things done - say like permission for some job to be done on your land or something.

The drawing shows just how bad the bureaucracy is in Oman - in terms of getting permission - to the point that you would have to wait to get so many signatures until it is finally approved.

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Link:

- Al Watan Cartoon (25/5/07)

Never


If a shy eye stops just to stare
If a tear holds in it's path than to carry on with it's affairs

If a lie is just a lie
And the truth is to be denied

Then laugh, I will

The joy I spill

Frantically, I cannot quit


Because I can't seem to forget

You

Thursday, May 24, 2007

if only you knew

"It takes great patience to have a man become who he wants to be and what he wants to achieve."

If you look at the end of last week, you could take it from two perspectives. One of them is the positive look - that it's just the end of last week; or you could look at it from a pessimist's point of view - its merely the beginning of next week.

That's the classic empty/full glass theory.

What brings this to mind?

Read along, if you're interested to know:

If you're left on your own. And you know that there is something inside of you that you have no control of unless you utilize mental pressure on it to keep it at bay instead of letting it control you and taking you over.

The sheer feeling of being alone can tend to make think suicidal at times. I try so hard to push it away by making a busy, funny atmosphere around me and in the end resulting that I would just feel happy.

But let's face it. I can't come to exert that sort of pressure on myself all the time because of the fact that it would seem too weird to me if everything just went right as well as the fact that it would throw the balance of nature off it's course. Another reason is because control is just an illusion to us all. We think we have the ability to control our desires, our actions but the truth is we are merely pawns in a never ending story of life. The lives that we lead.

And before I get carried away in philosophy, I return to the question at hand.

If we are left with a destiny that we are to accomplish, if we are destined to bump into each other no matter the odds, why then.. the torture?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

have you seen Madeleine?

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I am posting this small banner on my blog because I have read so much about the case of this little girl who has been abducted while her family was on a trip to Portugal. The family believes that their innocent child is no longer in that place and therefore are spreading the message worldwide to get her back as soon as possible, safe and sound.

I am asking that you spread the message on your blog/website or even through a chain email to your friends, family or relatives. You may have a significant influence in getting the message across to her captors and help them, once again, reunite.

If you wish to learn more about this particular case, click on the banner above.

Edit: I had been asked earlier to include on my blog the pictures of Arab individuals who have been captured for no cause by several parties in our region. I am not against the idea. But having no specific banner or picture to go along with or perhaps even a link, I cannot support the idea one-handed. If you know of any specific case, please specify the cause, provide the link and/or the picture or video download. Thank you.

what is the point?

Yet another association has been declared by the government.

I ask you all. Honestly. What is the point of declaring these associations if they have no rights? If they cannot take decisions that would turn into actions? What is the point other than to show off their badge to the community and society whilst boasting 'Look. I belong to this club'?

A lot of non-governmental organizations have seen their way to being declared with the blessing of the government. So many that listing them here would be a tiresome exercise.

But more to the point, what is the the goal of such an organization than to meet up and say their opinions and gather up to have tea, biscuits and the such under the name of a 'so & so' organization that has no power to take any action towards helping their members? Such are the examples of the Environment Society of Oman; the Omani Workers Association; and the Omani Consultants Association?

What is the true point behind establishing these organizations apart from the fact that all they do is waste important assets such as time, money and unfocused efforts?

What is the true point?

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Link:

- Decleration of Omani Pharmaceutical Association by Juma'a Al-Juma'a

Secret Arabian Journal: Withdrawl


I have decided that I would withdraw from A Secret Arabian Journal due to immense pressure on me because of exams, studies and mental discomfort in general with life's advances.

I have posted a topic about this on that very same blog here.

I apologize for any inconvenience caused by such a surprise decision, as this was not planned ahead. But, rather came up suddenly.

Please understand..

what's happened

So here's the lowdown on what I've done as a recap for all of you out there..

- I've seen the Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End - And I want to see it all over again. It is that good.

- My motor insurance test has been postponed for a week where we are examined in the fields of motor and health insurance - bummer. Now I have double an amount to read for it.

- I officially hate life. And it seems to hate me back for putting me through such misery. I mean, I know I have to go through an exam of sort to test my patience. But isn't 10 years long enough already?

- I checked out the new Arabic FM - Hala FM - on 102.7. You should try turning it on in the morning time on the way to work - it has some great Arabic song remixes. I've heard that its on for a full 24 hours. Does anyone know whether that's true?

- Lastly, I think I will shave my head bald. This heat is really getting to my hair making it all itchy and scratchy. LOL.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

No Second Chances

If you can't be here for me
Then I would just head for fate
The choice I have been given
The option I take

Bells toll away
Children laugh and play
A silent tear on my face
I cry before I meet my fate

The chosen surface of hypocrisy
I wish not to live
The style of regret and negativity
That push me to this

Square one
Parturition
The flower that lives no more
The broken heart, the solitude

You are not here
You want me not
I choose to end this all
Forgive me, dear Lord

As I take this step
Into the never ending pit of Hell
I think of the feelings I had for you
The untamed desire

Alas, no one can understand what true love is
Nor romance
This is how I will meet my fate
As I no longer wish for a chance

Monday, May 21, 2007

Transformers

I'll be straight with you. I'm not very familiar with the original Transformers cartoon series that was out in the 1980s except for a few flicks of the remote control.

And to this day, I still can't believe that Hollywood is delivering some really good movies out of cartoons and video games. Its every nerd's dream come true.

Naturally, I've been following the line of movies that are coming out this summer and one of them was interesting because of the mere title. But I had never seen a full featured trailer to further anticipate my drooling appetite for more and more great movies.

That is, until I saw the full featured trailer of the Transformers.

I'll just leave you to see it here and you decide whether it is worth the watch or not. As for me, I'm eagerly awaiting it because of all the action packed moves that I saw in it.

So without a further ado..




Edit: Forgot to add that the production company behind Transformers has already confirmed that there would be a Transformers 2.

keeping healthy? yeah, right - part 2


Ever wondered how much smokers love to smoke their cigarettes endlessly with nonsense excuses such as having to relieve their stress or tension? Or how they boast that it provides them with that magical sense of 'being cool' or 'more manly'?

Yet have you noticed how when they get into the car and start lighting one up, the first that they do right after that is to bring the window down?

So basically, they're stating - through their body language - that they love to smoke, but hate to actually inhale the disgusting smell that comes out of the filthy disgusting habit?

Ever wondered how your loved one feel once they catch the smell of that stench?

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Get the picture?

SMOKING KILLS!!

lucky number sleven



Seems like 7 and its multiples are my lucky numbers.

I just got my insurance test results today and found out that I got a great 70%. I mean, is that cool or what? I never thought I had a chance at scoring that much an average because I had been answering so damn fast that after submitting my exam paper and reviewing my own answers in my head, I had big doubts.

Now I have another test in motor insurance coming up this Saturday, so wish me luck on that people.

:D

TimesofOman.com: Snatching Success From the Jaws of Defeat

I would like to present to you the new article from the TimesofOman.com series under the title 'Snatching Success From the Jaws of Defeat'.

If you feel that you would like to add any comments related to the article, please don't hesitate.

Cheers.

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Snatching Success From the Jaws of Defeat

A lot people think that having to fail at anything means you're not worth the trouble of having to educate you with the correct method or solution – thus, committing to the idea that you really are a failure.

This is a wrong practice that should be stopped because basically no one is perfect in this world and the reason to that is that God created us all with imperfections. It is our imperfection that helps us collaborate with each other and completing the tasks or specializations that we find as an easy task – ultimately, completing one another.

Our failures are probably the only motivation we have in our lives to makes us better, stronger, wiser, and more considerate of many various factors that ever affect our lives. And it is to them, that we should embrace in because it really isn't our successes that make us and that would be because they only make us gloat and feel happy. But they don't actually teach us anything. But our failures are there to tell us that we did something wrong; granted, in the worst ever way rather than in a scuttle manner.

Failures are also there to help us to look around and realize the realization of the situation and the environment that surrounds us; bringing us back down to Earth, so to speak. They also teach us on pushing harder and harder to get a better, more successful result in the job that we seek to finish; something, which does not come easily.

There is a question that is always asked by people who are interested in the psychological field. You are asked to observe a half glass of water and then after doing so, you are questioned as to whether – in your perception – if you see the glass half full or half empty. It is a serious question that simply analyzes how your mental state is in the time of the question. Saying that the glass is half full means that you are a positive person, and that you look forward to life and that you are happy with your current position in time. On the other hand, saying that the glass is half empty clearly states that you are pessimist, a person who thinks very negatively – and to great lengths – and thus, probably, wishing that you were not born.

Whether it is this or that is entirely up to you and how you control your emotions and your mental physique on every problem you face.

After all, life is all about 'snatching success from the jaws of defeat'.

Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End - tickets


If you live in the Sultanate of Oman and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the second sequel in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, then you're in luck.

Since Shatti Plaza will be the only cinema in Oman screening the new movie (as far as my knowledge goes), they will be offering the tickets for sale beginning this Tuesday from 5pm onwards.

So get those advanced ticket orders ready, get your cash if you're desperate enough to catch this last sequel in the series of which is set to last 2 hours and 48 minutes in total.

the Friday - Saturday holiday

There has been news about some government bodies requesting some industrial and commercial establishments in the Sultanate of Oman to perform a study to see how would such a decision to have to change the current weekend from a Thursday-Friday to a Friday-Saturday end of the week holiday and what kind of advantage it would bring to such establishments in Oman.

It is rumored that such a decision - if applied - would be implemented by 1st January, 2008.

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Link:

- Study to change weekend to Friday & Saturday (in Arabic)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

proposal - Horizon newsletter: Is Enough Really Enough?

Below is the latest foreword for the Sultan Qaboos University, Horizon newsletter that I have proposed to be published soon, inshallah.

Please take a few minutes to review it's contents and tell me what you think of it.

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Is Enough Really Enough?

At times of distress and possible danger, our bodies respond by circulating adrenaline in our veins to make our reactions faster, stronger to avoid the perils caused by the hazard that we are in face. In sports, we are pushed further by the rush of testosterone levels in our blood streams to respond to the level of pressure we exert on ourselves in order to reach the goals we want to achieve. It is also an established fact that the human brain only uses a fraction of the Oxygen that we inhale to reach the mental capacity that we use in our everyday lives.

These facts and more are positive proof that the human body and mind are both capable of extraordinary things if the right circumstances are available or if there was pressure implied upon the individual. Meaning which, that, both the human body and mind are capable of extraordinary doings if one was to exert pressure upon themselves – but what about ordinary circumstances? What about the time that we are left by ourselves on our own to exert our very own normal duties and chores? What about reaching the unreachable?

The human body is perhaps one of the world's unsolved mysteries due to miraculous happenings the world over and this is all due to the factor of perception. The human perceives as it wants to not as it should or as we want it to. If we perceive that we are in negative situation then our body would respond accordingly and vice versa in terms of being in a positive situation.

The point of perception is to make you believe. But that in itself, is a two edged sword. If one is lured into the perception that he has many weaknesses then that person would be greatly disappointed and his body activity would respond by making him feel much worse in hormone changes and such.

It is here that we grasp this weapon and turn the tables on the enemy here – our very own demon – and say to ourselves that although we have lost so much in such a period of time we still have our determination, our pride, and our invigorative spirits to keep us ahead. Making us more and more stubborn whilst at the same time enforcing on ourselves that understanding on our minds to the point whereby our bodies would respond and push on further ahead in the same direction.

The point is here: if we are capable of doing extraordinary things at only certain times and circumstances, then that should mean we are more than capable to do the very same things in our normal daily lives.

Which begs the question: Is our enough really ever enough?

Surf's Up


Duuuuuuuuuuuudddee - rad surf board

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Link:

- Surf's Up Official Website

don't get fooled


I've been approached numerous times about this issue and I just wanted to make it clear to those who are lured into this small scheme of 'positivity'.

Now, before I go any further, let me just say that I may sound too pessimistic for my own good most - if not all - of the time. But that doesn't neccessarily mean that I am someone who looks for tragedy and goes on like Pigglet graving around in slogans of 'woah is me'. On the contrary, I am very a cheerful person looking always for the chance to make people smile, laugh and enjoy their lives to the edge and for those who don't believe in it go bungey jumping.

So when you are reading this post - please bear that in mind and consider it very carefully before making any judgment calls.

Now to the topic at hand..

I've been approached a number of times about having to get in touch with my positive sense because people seem to make the assumption that I am always down on myself and my own rotten luck. So they recommend to me that I should watch this movie by the name 'The Secret'.

The Secret is mostly a how-to televised guide made to introduce you and encourage you to think positively but for all the wrong reasons. The reasons that it uses is based on the so-called 'Laws of Attraction'. And while I try as much as I can to not judge a person by their beliefs and their understandings of mother nature & what else destiny holds in store for every single human being on this Earth - I believe The Secret is a total waste of time, effort and money both for us the viewers since it doesn't really teach us anything new but I also believe that the true purpose behind The Secret's production is to lure those who are faithless and also those who of other faiths - no matter which religion they may follow - but of the poorest 'standard' (i.e.: believing in their religion but not to the point that they could ever prove their point of view to be right in many cases).

The Secret offers a western and capatilist approach to the theory of 'Laws of Attraction'. Being that it implies strongly all throughout the movie that your positive thinking patterns is what brings to you what you wish the most just by thinking hard about it and at the same time applying this theory to everything you think badly about making, for instance, your day even more worse for you should you just think only negative thoughts all throughout the day.

The Secret has been devised so deviously that it provides the backup those who are weak in their faith in the western civilization by offering the neccessary 'nudge' by several religious and scientific figures to make you think that whatever it is you are about to endeavor is truly the right thing.

Its not amazing to me that such a movie has caused such disturbance and criticism in the West by both critics and science folk alike of which oppose the very idea that the concept of The Secret pushes forward to. And it does not amaze me either that this movie has been a large success in the US market and making its original book adaptation a best-seller. As the way The Secret has been made up - I am surprised that there's no '555' number at the end of the credits.

The only advantage that you would get out of the entire movie is that pushes you to think more positively about your life, which is commedable enough. But that's just about it.

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Links:

- Laws of Attraction: The Secret - Official Website of The Secret

- Wikipedia: The Secret

- Amazon.com: The Secret - Books: Rhonda Byrne

- The Secret Law of Attraction Blog: The Official Laws of Attraction Blog

Saturday, May 19, 2007

IELTS



So I got my British Council IELTS test results today. And it was a consistent 7.0. Thank God I did that well on it, because I thought I had really messed it up in the 'reading' section.

I'm getting my insurance test results by Monday or Tuesday because the tutor was not bothered to finish marking the test, for one reason or another.

keeping healthy? yeah, right


Here are the facts..

  • Smoking has now been proved to be a serious cause to lung cancer.
  • Passive smoking has more dyer consequences on an individual than a loyal smoker who smokes 5 cigarettes a day.
  • It has been proved that the nicotine your body absorbs through the habit of smoking leads to bigger and more hyper effects than that of being drunk after drinking a whole bottle of wine.

And here are the ironicies..

People who eat all healthy food and insist that they are doing all this to maintain a healthy body by drinking freshly squeezed Orange juice whilst smoking a cigarette.

Anyone else think that there is something terribly wrong with this picture?

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Get the picture?

SMOKING KILLS!!

how the Omani media is so pathetic

There is no way to undertake this subject objectively, in my humble opinion. Therefore, you can expect me to lash out irrationally at the several media peers in our beloved Sultanate of Oman during the continuity of this post.

Getting on with the topic at hand..

The Omani media - in all it's classes - from radio, TV, and printed media has proven over and over again that it is by all means the worst ever machine to ever work in the industry of 'making the news'.

There are several reasons to that, in my opinion. One of them being that there isn't scope for adventuresome in the way that the media approaches its audience to lure it, to grab it - there isn't a source of creativity to lure the population to stories that haven't yet seen the light of day.

There hasn't been much of a much creative approach as to what should be given up on the table. It is more like a routine job. We're basically working our asses off to these 'media giants' and acting out as if we were relay stations for the news that gets printed off in the worldwide press.

There's never been an exclusive story by the Omani media in general unless it happens exclusively in Oman. Like when there are torrential rains. Our local news sources are rumors for God's sake. How low could ever get to the point whereby we rely on the rumor mill to give in the news like it is?

Take, for instance, the last few two weeks of frantic tourists keeping away from the beaches because there was a rumor about Oman expecting a Tsunami: people actually believed it. And who do we have to thank for that? A Shahman.

In terms of freedom of press, there's not much room for it here in Oman because most of the topics that are handled by the media are all pretty much government controlled to a certain extent. So there isn't much of a whisper that this country does not hear. A complete outcry to the democratic values of the first amendment.

There are a number of other issues that need to be addressed but would be deemed far too controversial and extremely sensitive to be discussed.

So, I leave it here for you to decide on whether you think I am right or wrong through a proper justification of reasoning.

Friday, May 18, 2007

tomorrow

I am all in anticipation for what tomorrow holds..

Since I get two results tomorrow; my real IELTS test results from the British Council that I think I may have messed up big time because it was far too fast for me but I am hoping that I at least would have passed this one because I know that I did so many mistakes on the test, especially in the 'reading' section of the exam.

As for the second result that I am waiting for, it would be the results from the pop quiz sort of test that we had on the subject of insurance. I am expecting that I did extremely well in it because I had finished a one hour's exam in less than 20 minutes.

But the biggest factor to it would probably be because it was mostly made up from mutliple choice questions. :P

Wish me luck, people..

Ubisoft introduces: Prince of Persia Classic

I am am making this small exception for this brief trailer of the XBOX Live Arcade version for Prince of Persia Classic; the new adaptation that will be announced formally by Ubisoft soon offering the new graphics of the Prince of Persia world in conjunction with the classical debut of the series Prince of Persia 1.





In other news, Producer Bruchheimer is moving on ahead with the future trilogy movie adaptation of the game in regards to Prince of Persia; The Sands of Time; Prince of Persia: Warrior Within; and lastly, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. The project is due to start prodcution mid-2008 finishing by either late 2009 or early 2010 to make it in time for a summer blockbuster release.

turn of events

I can't say that I feel because that would be lying. And I can't say that I have the solution or that I understand why I am feeling like this, either.

All I do know that, although I am having a great time at College and still have my old but good friends - which, are a handful, only - I still feel lonely.

I still feel that there is something missing in my life. And it grasps me from within. Haunting my every thought. My every move. My every action. It won't go away and it has devoured my soul to the point that I find myself just wanting to be with the perfect one that would have a meaning to my entire existence.

I've been through this, I tell myself.

I have been through similar circumstances. Only what is different from this situation is the fact that I am older, and beginning to rot by the second because - and let's face it - I'm not getting any younger.

I've given up on romantic appearances. On the notion that something out of a movie would ever happen to me. I have given up to the fact that I would never have the carpet taken from under my feet at first sight. I've given up on fairy-tales.

I have long dealt with depression enough to know that I can back it off when-ever I can because I have the power within me to think more positively. To appreciate the finer things in life. To long stand the fight to which I wish to prove myself that I am human being worthy of living. Worthy of another chance. Worthy of something so elite that it goes beyond compare.

But I need support, damnit. I can't do this on my own.

There's only a limited number of times whereby I can tell myself to push further; to be stronger; to go farther. I can only tell myself a number of times that there is going to be a brighter day. That I am going to find the perfect human being to share my life with. That I would, one day, find the one true meaning for all my past miseries.

I am only - a human being.

it's a first


Nothing to say..

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Songs of the Birds


To the one lady that will, forever, change my life's course:

She sings the songs of the birds and then she cries
Her tears fall gently as she weeps silently in the dark night
She hums the song as she dwells
She hums and hums so silently so no one can tell

How far scared she is
How far, in life, she is
How far, her pressure, would seem to be
How hard, for her, to keep her composure, so elgantly

She sings along and then she stops
She looks out the window of her bedroom as if to focus on a spot
She seems so silent
So peaceful
So calm
She sings the songs of the birds as time carries on
She rocks back and forth as if to be calm
She rocks and sways
Everytime hitting her on the wall but nothing to say

She thinks on
She carries on
She gets up to the bed, to where her thoughts should belong
She closes her eyes and sings on still
She hums along as she pulls over her, her quilts
She opens her eyes one last time
She lets out a tear, before wishing the air goodnight

And as she closes her eyes, one more time
She sings along the songs of the birds in the dark, dark night

sorry your Highnesses - but I don't agree with you


The recent proposition by the GCC leaders to 'Israel' has left me quite astonished. How the people that we look up to as role models have just taken a decision that basically takes pride and shoves into the dirt and mud. Leaving us, the people of the GCC countries without a proper explanation as to why we should even follow suit having put into consideration what has happened for over 50 years of illegal occupation of Arab lands - Palestine; the Golan Heights; and Shiba'a farms in Southern Lebanon.

The GCC leaders have put forth what they seem to think is the most suitable solution to the ongoing struggle between the 'Israelis' and the Palestinians. When they know very well that the solution they put forth-hand has clear implications on the impact of cross cultural and religious aspects in all GCC states.

The fact that they have asked that 'Israel' come to the negotiation tables to them by going back to the borders of the 1976 war that they overtook the Arabs forgetting about the Palestinian refugees of 1948. Which begs the question; do they just want to get it over with?

And what about the Arabs all over the world? What do they have to say? Or since we live in a world where there is semi-democracy that our voices have no strength in this important issue?

I don't agree one bit with the proposal.

And I have to say that I wish the GCC leaders reconsider their proposal to at least justify the struggle that the poor Palestinian people have had to deal with probably their entire lives.

I am sorry your Highnesses - but please reconsider..

Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer


Another Wednesday release, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the awaited sequel to Tim Story's comic book debut a couple of years back. Set to be released on June 13th, 2007; the turned superheros now face a new nemesis from out of their world.

You can check out the trailer on YouTube or through the movie's official website.

Or if you're like me, you'll just wait until the babylicious Jessica Alba steps up on the red carpet of fame sometime soon. Not that I'm anticipating it happening, but we can still dream, right?

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Links: - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer official website

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the Tuesday that never existed

I had my first insurance test today at the College and although I am yet to know the result on Saturday - which, happens to be the same day I get my IELTS test result from the British Council here in Muscat - I think I did exceptionally well.

The reason behind that would probably be because the entire test was formulated out of multiple choice questions - thank God. :P

I had been extremely busy to the point that I hadn't one minute for myself between all the things I am committed to that I wouldn't think of anything else unless I am left alone to myself.

It would just get to me.

God, what a sad story I am turning out to be.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Heroes


Heroes is by far, the best series ever to hit television since Scrubs aired.

It has been rumored, though, that, it is a one-time series.

I am hoping that this rumor would turn out to be not true, at all.

TimesofOman.com: I want to relive those days...

Below is the latest article in the series that gets published online on the TimesofOman.com website.

Before I leave you to the article, I would just like to say that I am very much a man who would like none other than have his work speak for himself. Basically, without intereference, apart from times where a change has to be done to the work to make it more appetizing to the reader. The article name you see in the title of the post isn't mine, it was altered. My title was a straightforward 'This is for you; Dad'.

I have no idea as to why the title had been changed but I feel it is very much regrettable and something that pushed me further to the edge by stopping the sending of my articles to he said newspaper online edition especially when you know that I am not getting paid one single penny for my hard work and dedication to the writing profession, through them.

I'll leave you with that thought as I publish this article with the original title and a firm message to the online editor - don't test my patience.

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This is For You; Dad

I was out one day dining at a local restaurant and noticed whilst waiting for the food to be set that there was a father and his very young boy sitting together eating. That small moment of the father and his son reminded me very much of my childhood and what I sincerely miss so much.

I remember a lot of moments that I had shared in the past with my father much like any grown man who has done the same. But to me, it feels like I have missed out on so much.

I feel that I would like to get to know my father more. Get to see him more. Get to go out with him like a friend. And I guess the age difference between the two of us has that affect on our relationship –– as a son to his father. In more ways than one; the misunderstandings, the quarrels, the bonding between me and my dad, but most of all, the ever lasting memories.

I consider myself a very sensitive man when it comes to emotional issues. And more than often I have seen myself drift away into my world of thoughts that would remind me of what we used to in the past when I was a young child and my father was –– as he is still now –– the handsome young man back then.

It has sunk into my pool of thoughts of how I wish that time would just turn back to the good old days and just stay there for eternity so I could relive those days over and over again.

My father, as I am sure that any other father would, has been with me through thick and then. Through my sick period and over looking my best interests just to make sure I came out alright. The ever watchful eye, the ever preventing impenetrable wall that would stand in the way of anything that would harm me in any way.

He was always there for me. And I am afraid of the day that I would lose out on the one soul, the one person, and the one figure that I had always put in my mind as a role model to aspire to and make him proud of me.

My only hope that I would have that chance before it is time, God forbid.

This is for the man that has always had a smile on his face for me. The great wisdom and guidance that has always been by my side. The never-ending love that has come out of this man's soul for the only son he's ever had.

I only wish I had it in me to repay you for everything you have given me to this day.

This is for you, dad.

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Link:

- TimesofOman.com: I want to relive those days...

Sultanate to spend US $40 billion to build 5 airports


...And you all thought that the Sultanate of Oman was going to keep using the 'middle-class; upper-class' tourism for ages to come. Plus this is a huge blow for everyone in the environmental field because there is no in Hell that such a project that has been announced that there would be no environmental repercussions.

The Minister of National Economy, whilst on a trip to several Asian countries had agreed with the Chinese government - on behalf of the government of the Sultanate of Oman - to jointly invest a whopping sum of 40 billion US Dollars in the seven five year plan (2006-2010) to build a number of 5 airports in the country.

Do you still wish to shut me up about enviornmental, cultural and economical affects of this so-called decision?

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Link: - HE Macki discusses joint investment opportunities in Guadong, China (Arabic only)

1st proposal - Horizon newsletter: The Internet: A Luring Web of Deceit

Since this is article has not been approved - as of yet - for publishing in the Sultan Qaboos University's, Horizon Newsletter; I am posting it for your kind review in a hope to see what you all think of it and the topic it embodies.

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The Internet: A Luring Web of Deceit

How many times have we ever felt the need to address certain domestic issues, not in our country, but within our very own families?

Unfortunately, the Internet boom has had such an impact that it has seriously affected the general relationships that a normal household usually has. This is in the form of first introducing itself as a form of technology that is new and tempting to the eyes and mouth of tech savvy individuals, slowly yet gradually luring them into the cyber world, affecting the very fabric of their each individual relationships with their respective family members - taking away precious time that cannot be easily regained.

Later on, as they get hooked, they start to discover the world that they have now found, exploring its every corner – good and bad. Trying out everything they can click their mouse upon and type away what they have been holding back in the very depths of their souls. Thus, going through the exploration stage of their basic human emotions – sadness; happiness; anger; deception and submission – but with one exception; they share it with no one.

The next stage is often dealt with confusion and frustration as they start to question the very values that they started their life off with, asking themselves what is right and wrong; asking themselves about the certain basic principles in life and the issues that surround it. Coming in to a clash between what they used to believe in and now what is apparent to them and perhaps trying to find a solution or even a compromise between the two.

The digital may have delivered a competitive advantage to the people behind the keyboard and the mouse; but it has also taken away their voice, their dignity; the value for trust, integrity and the most important factor of living a basic normal life; the sense of realism.

The Internet is here to stay – would you succumb to its luring web of deceit?

Chime in Time

She says it with sadness in her heart
She looks as if she will start to weep, and I want her to stop

She starts with a tear
Within me, grows my fear

I stop, frozen in time
As I look into her deep hazel brown eyes

I feel weak
I cannot speak
I feel a coldness touch my heart
As it sinks into the depths of my soul

I only wish I had known altogether
That this wouldn't have been forever

As her lips start to part
I heard those words that broke my heart
She would say them with tears drowning her eyes

'I can't love you'

A moment of silence
The sense of despair
Clouds moved on by
In the soft breeze of the air

I closed my eyes and I wished this was all a dream
Shattered emotions as I begun silently to weep

As I chose to stand there in time
I stood there silently attempting to comprehend my crime
Time never stood still for me
As it went on to chime

Sunday, May 13, 2007

messed up

God, I have such a headache.

At this very point; I have to write two new articles - one for this week and another for the next. Plus I have to study for my insurance test on Tuesday and I feel like I have totally messed up on that subject because I hardly understand anything on it.

I can't seem to focus this last few days for some reason - is that even a reason to not do my chores? I don't know why, but these second thoughts keep roaming in my head about leaving the College for some reason.

I've discussed this with a friend of mine and he thinks that I should just keep it at bay and keep both ambitions of mine parallel to each other for future endeavors.

But it goes beyond that.

I have now serious thoughts about giving up blogging and I've no idea as to why.

I can't think straight at this point about these issues. Maybe if I just focus on the priorities all these feelings will go away taking my paranoia with it, too?

Hmmm