Tag Archives huh?

Math skills are good to have

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For instance, when someone tells you that Bahrain will receive a “flood of 100,000 fans” for the forthcoming F1 (people, not those devices which circulate the air), and you know that the maximum capacity of that venue is 45,000 that means that either someone seriously miscalculated the popularity of that sport and undervalued the capacity of the BIC, or a GDN reporter added a zero inadvertently to that figure quoted in that article, or it could also be that someone is trying to pull our legs and enthuse us, marketing wise, about the event. They might as well pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

No matter, I hope that the F1 will be an unmitigated success.

And hope that brainfarts like these won’t affect the attendance. Oh hang on a minute! Maybe without that brainfart the flood would have increased to 176,000?!


Bernie’s perfect opportunity

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The Middle Eastern state Qatar is the latest name that can be added to a list of prospective future venues for grands prix.

Referring to his country’s existing race, and Abu Dhabi’s newly confirmed grand prix for 2009, Bahrain finance minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa said: “Qatar is also planning to follow the (United Arab Emirates) in starting a similar project, which clearly shows that formula one is a good marketing strategy.”

Sorry your excellency, I have another explanation of how we are so enamored with the F1 circus and Bernie’s magic, and as much as I would like to take your side, I would like to offer this point of view for consideration too:

lemmings contest

And in a few years time, we will still not have a motor industry to speak of, nor locals competing, or people with enough money to be able to afford the tickets to attend one of these events. Maybe that’s our idea of bringing elitist sports to the Gulf, just to be enjoyed by a few at the expense of the majority?

Why else would we have not one, but three F1 races in an area hardly the size of the UK with a quarter of the population? (95% of whom cannot afford even the cheapest ticket!)

And once again we prove that a good salesman is much more important than what he is selling, and as an added bonus we once again clearly exhibit that the Gulf Cooperation Council is anything but cooperative?


New Islamically sanctified energy drink announced

عالم سعودي يجوّز شراب بول الإبل

قال المستشار القضائي بوزارة العدل السعودية الشيخ عبد المحسن العبيكان في تصريحات نشرت أمس (الأحد)، إن شرب بول الإبل جائز ‘’وليس فيه أي محظور شرعي’’ إذا كان لعلاج التهاب الكبد الوبائي.

ونقلت صحيفة ‘’المدينة’’ أمس عن العبيكان قوله إن ‘’شرب أبوال الإبل وألبانها مفيد جداً، وثبت في الطب الحديث أنه علاج لوباء الكبد’’، مضيفاً أن ‘’المعروف والمجرب أنه يخلط البول بالحليب’’

Al-Waqt :: 5 March, ’07

and it’s called Camel Piss!

No no.. I’m not kidding! Muslims are allowed to drink camel piss to their fill! And according to the Saudi “scientist” (aka cleric) Shaikh Abdulmohsen Al-Ubaikan, it’s therapeutic too.

Camel pissing

Take THAT Red Bull! They must be pissing their pants right now that they know that their market is about to dry up in Saudi, possibly their largest market in the Middle East.

The proviso though, says the legal consultant in the Saudi Ministry of Justice, is that it could be used to treat a liver disease and there is nothing wrong with that as far as the Shari’a is concerned.

The knowledgeable gentleman (it seems that he has partaken a few liters himself of the good stuff) carries on and advises his followers that “it has been proven through modern medicine that drinking camel urine and milk is very beneficial and that they cure a liver disease. Custom – he says – suggests mixing camel piss and milk together and drinking the resulting concoction.

I didn’t know that camel piss was heady stuff! Why are the decadent West bothering with their beer which has been medically proven that a person might need to imbibe several pints to levitate to the plain that the good “scientist” is permanently at? Heck, even heavy narcotics won’t get you there faster than the concoction he swears by!

Anyone for a Yellow Camel?

Bottle and sell, baby, bottle and sell! This could be the export that will supplant oil dollars!

Flabbergasted yet? Well, here’s more, he’s going on a documented hadith and incident as precedent:

Anas said, “Some people of ‘Ukl or ‘Uraina tribe came to Medina and its climate did not suit them. So the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) camels and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). So they went as directed and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of the Prophet and drove away all the camels. The news reached the Prophet early in the morning and he sent (men) in their pursuit and they were captured and brought at noon. He then ordered to cut their hands and feet (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron, They were put in ‘Al-Harra’ and when they asked for water, no water was given to them.” Abu Qilaba said, “Those people committed theft and murder, became infidels after embracing Islam and fought against Allah and His Apostle .”

حدثنا سليمان بن حرب قال حدثنا حماد بن زيد عن أيوب عن أبي قلابة عن أنس قال قدم أناس من عكل أو عرينة فاجتووا المدينة فأمرهم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بلقاح وأن يشربوا من أبوالها وألبانها فانطلقوا فلما صحوا قتلوا راعي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم واستاقوا النعم فجاء الخبر في أول النهار فبعث في آثارهم فلما ارتفع النهار جيء بهم فأمر فقطع أيديهم وأرجلهم وسمرت أعينهم وألقوا في الحرة يستسقون فلا يسقون قال أبو قلابة فهؤلاء سرقوا وقتلوا وكفروا بعد إيمانهم وحاربوا الله ورسوله


I have no idea if this hadith is genuine. I would like it to not be for many reasons: I couldn’t find a reference that any kind of body waste is “good for you”, I could not find it in myself to believe that the Prophet – peace be upon him – would be so cruel as to order the death and mutilation of even criminals in this manner. He was sent as a savior to mankind, not a killer. So logically I just cannot bring myself to believe any of this. It is just so against the essence of Islam that it just boggles the mind.

This hadith is narrated by Bukhari who collected and categorised thousands of hadiths, so maybe that this is the one that just slipped in unnoticed and unsubstantiated.

Or am I indulging in denial?


Libel case going ahead

Unfortunately the mediation between the minister of municipalities and agriculture and myself to resolve the dispute and perceived libel has not been successful. I have demonstrated my good will over the last few days by amending the original article, but that it seems is not enough for the right honourable gentleman.

The minister wants to pursue his legal right and extract his pound of flesh.

I re-iterate that I do not believe what I published was libelous in any way. The intention was never to besmirch his person, but rather I was criticising his ministry, an executive body which not only should accept criticism, but also welcome and encourage it with open arms.

He now wants to take me to court. So be it.

I enjoy the support of a large body of people and also have a lot of human rights and freedom of expression lawyers and advocates standing by me to offer real and direct support in defending this case.

I didn’t want this as I still feel that it is a frivolous case at best, which now will probably turn into a benchmark that will further sully Bahrain’s reputation internationally. You can be sure that this case will now be included in all the press indicies for 2007 as a black spot against this country, thanks to a minister who cannot take criticism.

A press release from the Bahrain Journalists Association will follow shortly. Again, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who stood and will continue to stand by me at this time.

I have restored the article to its former and original glory.


Do what I preach, not what I do

Imagine how my jaw dropped when I read the following in this morning’s Al-Waqt:

“كان من الأفضل للموظف المتضرر اللجوء إلى مكتب الوزير قبل القضاء”

Which translates to “It would have been better for the wronged employee to have sought the minister’s office before going to the courts”

Who said that!

None but the effervescent minister of municipalities and agriculture, and for once, I actually agree with him! Yes I do!

Mansour bin Rajab

His reported position; however, lacks legitimacy, especially that he himself not only directly resorted to the courts without any attempt whatsoever to resolve a dispute amicably, yet he finds it quite natural – it would seem – for him to tell others to follow what he preaches, but obviously not what he actually does.

For someone in his excellency’s position, one would hope that he leads by example, don’t you think.

I do hope, for our sake at least, that this position is nothing more than yet another momentary lapse of reason rather than an ingrained habit.

Goose and gander?


First ministerial lapse of reason of the season

And it belongs to (tat tarat taraaaaa):

Mansour bin Rajab with Municipal officials

أكد وزير شؤون البلديات والزراعة منصور بن رجب حق أعضاء مجلس النواب في‮ ‬مساءلة الوزارة،‮ ‬قائلاً‮: »‬لا‮ ‬يوجد أي‮ ‬تقصير من وزارة البلديات بخصوص تجمع الأمطار التي‮ ‬هطلت على المملكة مؤخراً‮«‬،‮ ‬مضيفاً‮ ‬أن‮ »‬أي‮ ‬تقصير من الوزارة سنعترف به‮«.‬
جاء ذلك على خلفية ما‮ ‬يتوارد من أنباء حول مساءلة وزيري‮ ‬شؤون البلديات ووزير الأشغال والإسكان من قبل مجلس النواب بسبب الأضرار التي‮ ‬خلفتها الأمطار على بعض الأسر البحريني

Al-Ayam :: 22 Dec, ’06

6 May, ’07: Due to a libel case brought against me by the Right Honourable Minister of Municipalities and Agriculture, the exalted Mr. Mansour bin Hassan bin Rajab, Esq. I have had to amend the original article by altering some descriptive words and removed an explanatory sentence He has taken umbrage with.
This is part of the agreement to rescind the libel court case brought against me by the RH Minister.

The honourable brand new minister (it’s the guy in the middle with the rather fetching grin), who was an insignificant member of the previous Shura council with nary a proposition to his name, declared thus in the above paragraph during an award ceremony for previous municipal officials he patronised that “There is no default whatsoever from the Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture in removing the various collections of water due to the recent rains“.

CLOSE YOUR MOUTH GODDAMMIT! The minister said so didn’t he?

He obviously hasn’t been out to the various villages and even the Capital since those rains. And he most certainly didn’t come and have a look at our very own Al-Yousif de lac.

Well, if this is the first he comes out with, we can rest assured that the state of his ministry by the time he leaves will be as good as those non-present bodies of water we are not suffering from!


Learning to keep mouths shut is difficult!

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pictures of morons on the looseIf these guys had half a brain cell between them they would be even more dangerous than they actually are. Have a look at these snippets, you might want to read it in full in today’s GDN for a bellyful of laughter!

The story is that a restaurant’s female employees claimed to have been locked up and used as sex slaves for quite a while, then yesterday they simply disappeared and dropped their case against their erstwhile employers. The employers in turn – to defend their honour – held a press conference yesterday to “clear things up”, here’s what the manager had to say:

“We were treating the three women very well and tried to keep them happy at all times,” said Mr Kumar, who is also Indian.

“All their allegations are completely baseless and we strongly believe that they staged the whole drama to be given ‘freedom’.

Ok.. notice how the word freedom is put between quote marks. That’s like saying “pah! freedom, hah!” flippantly. The guy obviously doesn’t believe in it.

“The women started building personal relationships with our male customers, which if we did not put a stop to would ruin our business.”

Come again? How the hell does that compute? Wouldn’t a happy employee be more productive? Isn’t creating relationships a right rather than a privilege? Who put this dickhead as a moral guardian on these women? But there’s more…

Mr Kumar said the women were locked in their flat and allowed out only under supervision to keep them safe and out of trouble.

Ah, I understand now. Saving them from themselves, the poor children. Children? How old are these ladies anyway?

Sai Chandrababu, 24, Biji Chacko, 25, and Jalaja Nair, 35

Quite right, they’re not old enough to know any better.

He said new recruits being brought in to replace them would live under the same rule.

And he’s quite sure that the Ministry of Labour are going to issue them new licenses to recruit more slaves? I sure hope not. But then… it’s the Misery of Labour, so what could be any different. The gourmet restauranteur will surely get his visas. Tourism you know.

But the guy is quite humane actually, full of good tidings and cares deeply about his employees:

“They are allowed to go out shopping or for simply leisure, but only if they are escorted by our female supervisor, who stays with them,” said Mr Kumar.

“Only she is allowed to keep the key to their apartment and the three women could not leave unless accompanied.

Of course.. saving them from themselves again.

“We were doing this to prevent the women going out with our customers, because if they were caught somewhere in a compromising or morally unacceptable situation, the authorities would come searching for me first, as I am responsible for them.

Ah, now we get it. That’s called “preventative maintenance”, or covering his ass.

“We would not term it ‘locking up’, but simply security or precaution and the supervisor will be the only one with the key.”

Here’s your definition of the day. It’s NOT called “locking up” you stupid doofuses!

“The women were always given the best food and they wouldn’t eat unless they were served meat,” he said.

Get yourselves OFF the floor, quit your laughing and pay attention dammit! HE SERVES THEM GOOD MEAT! What else does he have to to? Provide them with bloody hot showers in winter? What the hell have YOU been smoking? Remember the guy is quite humane.

Ok, I’ve had it now, I need to know who is to blame really for all of this, and I need to know it now, because Mr. Kumar of course cannot be blamed for anything. He is a responsible human being, and excellent manager who Bill Gates continuously consults with on how to run Microsoft, and it was Mr. Kumar who convinced Warren Buffet to donate most of his fortune for the Gates Foundation. Without Mr. Kumar, the whole world will collapse. Fortunately for us, he also consults with our parliamentary chairman Mr. Al-Dhahrani who heeds his advice to the letter. Mr. Gates is stupid for firing Mr. Kumar and not believing in him. See what has befallen him? He will definitely be fired by June 2008 – purportedly just to take care of the charity organisation he fronts with his wife… but that is just a face saving thing.

Anyway, who is to blame?

Mr Kumar said the women made the allegations out of spite, after being put up to it by their customers.

AH! I knew it! The very people who keep Mr. Kumar in business are to blame! Brilliant, brilliant! But why?

“We know for sure that it is our customers who provoked them to protest, so that they could take them out and also they were annoyed at me for not letting them do so,” he said.

Sex. What can I say. Has driven them mad! And they are rightly angry at the defender of honour for not letting them get some. There must be more to it though… isn’t there?

“Many customers were also not happy with us because we wouldn’t let them drink liquor unless they also ate from our restaurant.”

Is there not end to Mr. Kumar’s righteousness? He does NOT allow anyone to drink alcohol “unless they also ate from our restaurant” Quite right too. For any licensed restaurant. What’s the betting that they’re not licensed to serve alcohol?

Okay, it’s over now.. the women have left and they must have been taken to the airport in police vans, they are criminals aren’t they? Perjury and all that good stuff?

Mr Kumar said that on the night the women left, the airport was crowded with admirers who went to see them off and were showering them money and gifts.

“I even saw a man giving one of the women a gold ring,” he said.

Admirers? What? Film stars-like admirers? Crowds? No way.. Mr. Kumar you should have demanded and apology from these twits.

“Before leaving, the women even apologised to us for causing so much trouble, but now the damage is done.


But where is the restaurant owner then in all of this? Does he have nothing to say?

Mr Hassan said he would be taking legal action against the women.

“We will be filing a case against the women for ruining our name and creating a bad reputation for our restaurant and we need compensation for this,” he said.

“Their withdrawal of the case proves that they were guilty of accusing us for the wrong things and that they would never win the case.

“Two of the women borrowed BD700 each from me for sending to her family and nothing has been repaid, so I have written it off as bad debt.”

These people are all so nice. I wish I could get a job with them, in fact I think I should apply for a position immediately. Being taken care of morally, chaperoned, given money in loans which get written off, and fed MEAT! What else should I ever want in life? Nothing. After their treatment absolutely nothing..

I actually want to give the women a call right now to learn more about how excellent my future bosses Mr. Kumar whom I shall adore and build a shrine to in my house, Mr. Hassan who will write off my generous loans from him, and of course the excellent supervisor who is the only one who needs to have a key and who will always be around to unlock the door in case of a fire or any other disaster, Ms. Shakeela Bhanu.

I wonder if the poor things have any sex slaves waitresses to help them out in this hour of need now?

Two of the women came to Bahrain to work at the restaurant eight months ago and one of them had been there for almost two years.

Ah that’s good. At least their maths skills are good. I’m not sure if the above is attributed to the reporter of this story or Mr. Kumar, but it fits very well into Mr. Kumar’s half brain-cell he didn’t fry so far.

So my friends, based on just this article and its demonstration of the superior intellect the management have been gifted by their creator, I wonder how long it would take our public prosecutor to come up with the real goods. Especially as Mr. Kumar and Co. have done an excellent job of implicating themselves so completely!

What utter morons.

And of course if the Misery of Labour actually issues them with more visas, then they would have demonstrated once again their superfluousity.


Lost, Found, Deported!

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What do you do to a guy who lived most of his life in Bahrain, 36 years in fact, has gone a few years ago back to his original country and brought back not one, not two, but three wives and countless children with him, carried on living in this fair isle running a welding workshop in one of the busiest cities in Bahrain… and all of this time illegally?

Yes, you heard it right: the guy lived amongst us for 36 years without government sanction. A lot of us used his services, interacted with him, talked and argued with him, bartered with him and all that good stuff for years, but the guy didn’t have a proper visa and not one authority figure caught him out! Not only that, the guy leaves and comes back with a bus-load of relatives, gets into the country again and carries on working for a further eight years and only gets nabbed when he goes and complains that his landlord wants to increase his rent!

If a guy is this tenacious and this good and working the system, not only should we give him, his wives and their brood passports, heck, we should give the guy a permanent seat in parliament! He’ll probably do an awful lot better than the morons who make it a habit to discuss things with their fists.

Tomorrow, by my reckoning, we will have 100 days left to boot this parliament out, but a little birdie tells me that it might even be sooner than that.

I can’t wait!

In the mean time; however, leave the guy alone.. after 36 years, he’s more Bahraini than a whole lot of our newly naturalized, and very welcome, citizens.


Musical Chairs?

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A blueprint on national strategy towards promoting tourism in Bahrain yesterday took centre stage as Crown Prince and Economic Development Board (EDB) President Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa received at Riffa Palace a team commissioned to study ways to develop the sector.

The taskforce, led by Works and Housing Minister Fahmi Al Jowder, briefed him on preliminary results of a study undertaken by Iris IDI Content firm to draw up a national strategy and overhaul the tourism sector. The document is expected to be ready late June.

EDB has set up the taskforce as part of comprehensive economic reform initiatives in coordination with government departments and the private sector.

Present were EDB chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Head of Crown Prince’s Court Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa and other EDB officials.
GDN :: 16 Apr ‘06

but but but tourism belongs to the Ministry of (dis)Information!! 1.. 2.. 3… MWAAAAAAAH MWWWWAAH…


It’s going to rain..

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and you can bet your bottom Dollar on this prediction, and it’s going to happen soon.

Why am I so sure? Well, because he asked for the traditional rain-dance! When that happens you better believe that the best forecasters were hard at work predicting when it’s going to happen!

Hang on a minute.. isn’t looking into the future against Islamic teachings?

Time to get the wellies out again.