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No politics?

No politics?

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despairI wonder what life would be in this little dot of an island of ours if we had to live without having to worry about politics; in as much as actually living in a modern democracy where human rights are not only protected, but cherished, and where people would feel free to write and voice their opinions without fear of persecution. I’m 50 now, and reflecting back, I can’t remember a time where these conditions existed here. Nor do I remember a time where in my lifetime that this region, for that matter, has enjoyed relative peace either. I find that I’m holding myself back from writing, for standing up for what I believe should be the norm and when I do write, I censor myself. All because I know – through personal experience – the terror of that 3am banging on the door, the hood, the tight wire-wraps around my wrists, the shoves and insults, the incarceration and the shear terror of realising that all that you’ve stood for, all that you’ve fought for, and all that the moderation you espoused all your life are worth nothing to your jailers and their masters. Their agenda is completely different from yours and they have the tools, all the tools, to ensure that theirs is paramount. So the question remains, why bother? I know I can’t be bothered any more. Not exclusively due to the real fear of the real possibility of incarceration once more, no, but much more importantly because I know that I won’t make a difference and that if I do attempt to do so, then the rest of the country will just continue to trudge along and inexorably and actively try to ignore what’s happening right in front of their eyes just to carry on with their miserable and mundane lives. Future generations shouldn’t be subjected to this. Enough! A solution is required if sustainability is a consideration, and it must be, it should be. A solution is staring everyone in the eye; however, it cannot be enacted without real and courageous political will, both of which are in very short supply at the moment. Realistically, that will has been patently absent for decades, so much so that it has become a de facto standard religiously followed by those in power. Struggles will continue by sincere people in this country and unfortunately some will pay for it with their incarceration while others still will ultimately give their very lives all as a sacrifice to exerting more pressure to wrench those basic rights for everyone to enjoy, and through which future generations can thrive. Some have already realised; however, that life is short and this fight ain’t worth fighting; as such they’ve made exit plans to install themselves in other countries where they feel they might be welcome and in order to allow their children a chance at growing normally. I can’t say I blame them. That’s not an answer for the vast majority of the population though. To them, the only option is to push and continue to push until their demands are met. While they’re doing that, they will continue to eek out a living from the jaws of despair. The end-game can’t be that far ahead. The Bahraini struggle will soon commemorate its hundredth year. To put this in context, the Bahraini story is older than the Palestinian issue.

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Arabs dismal showing at the Olympics
Briefly, what is journalism?

Briefly, what is journalism?

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george orwell: journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.

An apt quote from George Orwell which the press in this part of the world in particular need to mull and head. I know that they won’t, but it’s worth reminding them of their duty. Even if one of the thousands of journalists gets a pang on conscience after reading this, then that’s a good step in the right direction.

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.

— George Orwell

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30 Day Challenges

30 Day Challenges

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I’ve become a junkie for self-improvement. I’m eating books, that’s how much I’m going through them. The secret? Having an iPad and going to the gym every day. I just plonk that thing on whatever machine I’m on while doing cardio work and just read. The time passes much more quickly too and I’m healthier for it.

I’ve come across Matt Cutts before and his 30-day challenges and I was just reminded of it again this morning, so I thought I’d share his TED talk he gave last year. Hope you take that on board as I think it’s a really good idea and I’m going to give it a whirl too. I’ll let you know how I got along in 30 days 😉

click for video

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Peace through Media Award

Peace through Media Award

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A well deserved award for Dr Mansoor Al-Jamri and his paper. Al-Wasat has proven itself the only independent newspaper in Bahrain if not the Gulf and beyond. While I have become more skeptical of late, I tend to give news articles much more credence than any of the other papers in Bahrain and its columns, more thought.

Well done Al-Wasat. Onward and upward and leave the others eating your dust!

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HELP! Creating a Diabetes Awareness Campaign

The Rotary Club of Salmaniya are creating a campaign for diabetes awareness. Part of this campaign will be in the form of video testimonials of people who have been affected by diabetes, both directly or indirectly and how diabetes has impacted their lives. Gulf Broadcast will be producing these videos.We need real people to give personal testimonials about how knowledge of preventing diabetes could have changed their lives. These short testimonials shall be in Arabic. The main message will be diabetes is preventable and bad consequences do not need to happen. Do you know of anyone who could be on camera to help others realize the benefits of early intervention? Someone who is:

  • A young mother who has lost a parent to diabetes before a child was born such that the child will never meet their grandparent?
  • A teenager who may have lost another family member (parent/sibling) to diabetes?
  • A teenager/person in 20s diagnosed with type 2 DM?
  • A person who has lost their sight due to diabetes?
  • An amputee due to diabetes?

If you do, please do contact me by email or fill in the form. We and your community will for ever be in your debt. The first phase of fighting any disease is awareness and your help with this will go a long way to help us help others.

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Oh the hard life!

Oh the hard life!

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George, tired, just after a full night of rest :)

This is just too cute not to share here. This is
George, tired again after just waking up this morning!

Have a great, energy filled morning my friends 🙂

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Hearing the furious beating of the wings of Capital

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Another day, another mindless attack on businesses in Bahrain, this time in Jiddhaffs.

I don’t give a damn what religion, sect, colour or sexual orientation of the criminals who’ve done this and other crimes against businesses. What I do care about is that this, much more than demonstrations and, dare I say it, burning tyres, are the things which scare businessmen and their capital to take flight. Let alone the complete discouragement of foreign direct investment in this country.

The onus is now on the police to actually catch these criminals and bring them to justice, not chase protestors and drown whole villages in tear gas and other assorted chemicals chased by bird shot and other miscellaneous weaponry.

Jiddhaffs robbery

Jiddhaffs robbery

Source: Al-Wasat – 24 April 2012

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Practical Marketing Lessons

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Lessons in practical marketing: on the left are warm colours, bright but warn environment, hi end tv running a high end looping advert, ‘welcome’ used at the ticket machine, services clearly shown with simple icons and a nice well maintained plant inside and a quick service machine outside.

On the right, dark, dingy and old. Mismatched lights, scored desks, claustrophobic blacks, mismatched ad boards, two old tv screens with static content, empty feedback form stand and a pretense at living the environment by having a phone recycling box but no plant in sight, negating the caring message.

Which would you give your business to?

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Bahrain, a year on

I don’t have much to add about the situation in Bahrain with the first anniversary of the Bahraini Spring just three days away other than to reiterate that there still is no honest attempt to find a solution and get us on the path of reconciliation.

The general “wisdom” seems to be to crush the spirit of protests and demands for a better and more equitable future. Well, that ain’t gonna happen. So better take that fact on board, comprehend it, understand it, embrace it and think of what’s best for this country, rather than just a few individuals.

Like everyone else, I’m fed up of this situation too, but I’ll be damned if I would simply give up my rights for a better future and to be treated as an equal human being.

Deal with it.

On the 14th of February 2012, I shall be remembering and honoring the martyrs of this country who sacrificed their very lives in order for us all to have a better life.

They shall never be forgotten.

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