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Unlike the French, the Brits do it with a smile

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Remember my less than ideal experience with the French Embassy recently? Well, we applied for a British visa, took an appointment via their website, arrived at the prescribed time in the Bahrain Financial Harbour, did the required security checks and took the lift to the 23rd floor. There we were greeted by security guards with those metal detection wands, waved them at us and off we entered a well lit and airy office with an electronic …

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The Arrogance of the French Embassy

I was supposed to travel to Greece later this month to attend a Middle East Conference at the invitation of the Greek Foreign Ministry. Unfortunately for us poor souls from this area of the world who intend to go to Greece, we have to go through the hallowed and completely arrogant portals of the French Embassy first. With my documents almost completely in order apart from a stamped letter from the hotel I am supposed to …

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A room with a view

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A room with a view, originally uploaded by malyousif.This is what I see when I open my hotel room’s window… 180 degrees of almost uninterrupted view of the Dead Sea! And now that I’m changed into my toggs, I’m off for a dip. Chat to you later! …

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Amman

Amman, Jordan, originally uploaded by malyousif.Just arrived in Amman a few hours ago. This is a series of stitched shots from the window of my hotel room on the 20th floor which produced this panoramic vista Quite a nice (and green!) city isn’t it? The last time I was here I got to see the city and walk up and down the streets whenever I had a chance. This time; however, I will be spending …

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Mahmood’s Den Scapegoat of the moment

Mahmood’s Den Scapegoat of the moment

In keeping with the Den’s traditions, I have the honour in announcing the Scapegoat of the Moment who will have the unbridled responsibility of carrying ALL of the world’s ills on her shoulder; moreover, she will have to wear a beaming smile while doing so. Frowning and grumbling she is absolutely not allowed. This she will do while I freeze my butt off in Washington DC and New York until my return to the homeland on …

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Washington DC here I come!

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I’m honoured to announce that I shall one of the speakers at a RAND Corporation conference, this time in Washington, DC: Creative Use of the Media II: Washington, DC February 28th, 2008 Location: The RAND Corporation I’ll be staying for a few extra days in the area and will enjoy the sights and sounds of Washington, DC and hopefully New York City too. Any pointers on what I should do and what to see will be …

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No passports needed to visit Saudi

Finally, after 25 years or so of establishing the Gulf Cooperation Council, citizens of both Bahrain and Saudi will soon be able to visit each other’s country by just using their identity card rather than a passport. This will take effect in 30 days due to an agreement signed at the Interior Ministers’s meeting in Riyadh yesterday. Thanks! That should make things a bit easier. You wouldn’t believe the number of times that I found out …

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Off to Amman, Jordan

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I’ll be off for a couple of days to Jordan, the first in my life! But, as I told my wife this morning, all hotel lobbies and conference halls look virtually identical, down to the smell of the cleaning solvents they use! It’s the semi-annual meeting of the IREX advisory council. Any idea as to who should be the Scapegoat this time? …

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Yumm, good breakfast!

Some days are just special… today is one of those days, I can tell. The alarm clock woke me up at 4.30am. I hit the snooze button a couple of times and eventually dragged myself out of bed and into the shower 10 minutes later. Before doing that however, and as I do not use the alarm clock that often, I switched on the bedside lamp to shut the bloody thing up for good so as …

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Goooood Morning Kuwait!

It was a good show and I met with great people who I have admired for a long time. It was wonderful to put faces to name and online personalities. The discussion was excellent, though probably too short of course to cover all the topics we wanted to cover; however, it is enough to entice the viewer to investigate blogging and maybe think of starting a blog themselves, which would be an excellent result of this …

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