Thursday, October 27, 2005

Knocking On Heaven's Door


My phone kept vibrating endlessly this afternoon; call after call a friend trying to drag me out of the fog of sleep. When I finally managed to pick it up all I heard was hysterical sobbing, it was like a shockingly cold splash of water in my face. I asked what’s wrong and I couldn’t grasp what she’s trying to say through deep gulps of air and her sobbing. Then she managed to say my close friend’s name coherently, and from somewhere deep within me, I started feeling a chill crawling through my whole body. When I asked again what’s wrong, she finally managed to gasp out that he has had a car accident. I jerked out of bed, that single word “accident” reverberating through my whole body. I had a flashback of his phone call last night asking me if I’m going to meet up with him and the rest of the guys. Flashbacks of that joyride we had several months ago, six hours of driving around aimlessly and talking, no other sounds except our endless talking that has made our bond indestructible. She sobbed telling me he’s gone and I stupidly asked, “Gone where?” Denial. I am utterly in denial, like a whirlwind I called my best friend, the last person who was with him last night. Jerked him out of his sleep with the news, more phone calls…my brain is busting fuses; I’m starting to slow down. My body’s sirens shrieking and system shutdown is imminent. The whole day was a haze, hot tears coursing down my face. At the funeral I can’t look in his dad’s eyes. His little brother smiles at me gently, I forced a smile back and hugged him tight telling him my brother will come to see him tomorrow. I felt like a faucet crying on and off all day and night. The last I ever heard of him was “ha katkoot, wainek? Are you coming man?” and I remember laughing & telling him I might be really late…I never made it there. I know you’re in a better place now, with one heart we all miss you. I will never forget your elf like smile and your hilarious outlook on life. I thank God for that brief chance of hearing your voice only a mere one hour before all this. Capt. Amer Al-Ajmi – Rest In Peace – You dreamed of being a pilot, flying high through the blue skies. Your dream has finally been realized…fly safe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Pantomime


As I sit here in the early hours of the morning, contemplating the silence. Silence that I have always listened to throughout my whole life. No, not pure silence…the loudest sound I can hear is my own heartbeat, beating to the accompaniment of faint whispers from the world around me. The sharp sound of my cracking knuckles as I prepare for this long journal, more felt than heard.

I have always asked myself, what is it that is really worth hearing? Thanks to modern technology I may be able to answer that question. And the answer is: Life.


I remember clearly that one fine summer morning a few years ago. As I walked towards my car, I heard such a strange sound…I stop in my tracks and try to trace the source of it. So unused to the cacophony of sounds around me…the rustle of the trees, birds competing with each other, the whine of the distant tires upon the hard highway. And this alien sound, I finally found it in the pigeon coop within our garden. Stupefied, I stare as I study the way their throats rhythmically contract to produce such a lovely sound. The soft cooing, gently caressing and overdosing my ears to such music, I stood there staring for five minutes, drinking in the cooing greedily. It felt like forever. That was one moment in my life I will cherish forever.


One can never grasp the true feeling of pure silence, unless it has been there for a lifetime. One can never even
guess how pure and beautiful the sound of a child’s laughter may seem after such silence. I spent hours and hours just sitting at some café, or in some mall just to listen to the children. I can see the actual waves of laughter rippling through the air, making my lips quirk lightly to form a small smile.

God takes from one, yet gives in return. He may have taken my hearing, yet He has given me such a great gift: to be alive in this vibrant and colorful world.


To you my universe, you are so full of lovely sounds. Yet it is your silence that I hear, I smile now and I heard the purity of the unspoken words.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Resurrection


Okay, I’ve been asked countless times on why I have stopped writing. I honestly have no clue what’s the real reason. Writers’ block, or did I simply get bored of it? Actually it’s none of this, as I have explained a few nights ago, I will explain again here. When I used to hold that old pen, hovering close to my sheaf of loose-leaf paper, I used to wait for something. Just before the pen touches the paper, I wait for that special moment to be taken away somewhere. From another person’s point of view, it might be seen as a trance or to use the popular expression, ‘spacing out’. As soon as my eyes glaze over and the torrent of colors and pictures whirl meaninglessly, no…they had a meaning I just can’t really recall what. It was literally a torrent of intertwined thoughts that simply rush by, with no relation to what the ink in my pen is pouring out. As described by a few people when they have had that rare chance to see me write, they claim that I don’t look at the paper; I either look through it like some window showing me the other world, or my eyes peer over at the edge of the desk/table that I write at. The ink pours forth my words, my very thoughts. It seems to one, that the pen itself speaks, not me. Now, here I am trying to get used to this keyboard and wondering if I will ever get into whatever world I used to escape to. As one teacher has jokingly said to a classmate of mine, “He is in a world of his own!” Which was so very true. I was a prolific writer, hundreds of countless pages, most still in my possession. Some have been forever lost or in one of my rare rages, torn to irreparable pieces. Journals, short stories and poems…when I dig up that old box, I marvel at the sheer amount of pages I wrote on a daily basis. Now I ask myself, can I do that again? Can my trusty laptop replace that old chewed up pen? Will this keyboard be able to suddenly animate itself like how my pen did? Honestly, I have no idea…maybe practice makes perfect as everyone seems to believe. My restless mind does need an outlet, some form of plug to ground itself against the lightning storms raging inside me. A conduit into which I may be able to channel this energy, through my fingers and out onto the screen. The very simple act of typing this out right now is giving me some sort of relief…I’m hoping this may be the start. One of countless storms I may be able to navigate through. At your urging, here I am again, resurrecting that old private world of mine. Thank you from the deepest part of my soul. I thank you for being that mirror, the very same old mirror I have covered years ago. Only to uncover you and discover you, my universe.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wheel of Time Series


Robert Jordan has done it again! Book 11 in his WoT series has finally been released after a VERY long period of absence. Just when I decided that my library has taken up too much space, with the WoT series having their very own shelf, and I boxed all my books in order to make more space for other things. Then suddenly I see another release of another great novel by our modern day J.R.R. Tolkien.
For those of you who have never heard of Robert Jordan and his series, well if you liked Lord of the Rings then you're bound to love this series. For those who are avid followers of his Wheel of Time series, then the good news is that Book 11: Knife of Dreams has been published recently. Click on the following for more information on this great series by Robert Jordan.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Apple Death Knell Counter


Its pretty funny that while browsing for news on Apple products (I own a Powerbook, it rocks!), I still see sp many articles still forseeing the doom of Apple.

Check out the Apple Death Knell Counter here. Enjoy the laugh ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Our Future Kuwaiti Astronaut? Why Not?!


On Saturday the 27th of August a young Kuwaiti ham radio amateur finally realized her dreams and made a rare contact to outer space. No, she didn’t contact any aliens or another planet. She contacted the cosmonaut Sergie Krikalev, the commander of Expedition 11 on the International Space Station, on his birthday! She created a new record by being the first Kuwaiti, thus setting this as a historical event due to its sheer rareness. Expedition 11 has only made contact to Earth only twice, one day during the month of June and the 2nd was her rare contact. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our next astronaut (inshallah!) Maryam. Hopefully she will do us proud and represent the Muslim and Arab world, into realizing her dreams and ambitions. We as a country are so proud of you and God bless you! Below is her blog and a link where you can hear her conversation with Sergie Krikalev:

So I Want To Be An Astronaut

ISS Radio Contact

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Racing to the Grave



On October 9th, three boys and a girl were driving home from school. The driver being a boy in high school, with his sister next to him and his two younger brothers in the back seat. Driving a nice dark blue Chevrolet Lumina, yet the only glitch is that the boy was driving OVER 120 km/h in an 80-km/h zone.
They came roaring down the street only to suddenly ram right into steel & iron sunshade (weighs about a ton or so) built to cover 5 cars. Uprooting the iron girder right off the ground and simultaneously ramming into a brand new water cooler (almost 200kg when filled) placed next to it for the public. The Chevy is a mess; the girl’s head connected & shattered the windshield. All of them were casualties. The sunshade half collapsed on top of the Yukon parked underneath, smashing the rear into twisted metal.
The iron post that was holding the sunshade was buried ½ meter in concrete, just to show you the lethal force in which it was ripped right out of the concrete.
The kids have been taken to the hospital, and I have only seen the resulting mess about 4 hours later, the accident happened right in my aunt’s driveway. And the story has been recounted from eyewitnesses and the police who came again to take more detailed notes and pictures of the accident site.

According to the following statistic:

[Kuwait, with about one million vehicles on its roads, has reported an 18.1 per cent rise in the number of deaths from traffic accidents.
Interior ministry assistant undersecretary Major-General Thabet Al Muhanna said 372 people died in 2003, 57 more than in 2002, as a result of 45,400 traffic accidents.
In addition, 405 people were seriously injured and 927 others received light wounds.]

Till when are we going to put up with this? Lax laws and even laxer enforcement is plaguing the country, including the gross lack of traffic education and awareness.
From my point of view, our roads are the quickest way to the grave. The feeling of your body tearing & breaking apart during a road accident is NOT a nice way to go at all.

Drive safe.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

2005 vs. Stone Age Cavemen


The following article has caught my attention, isn't it about time we move on? Islam DOES encourage technological advancement that benefits mankind. Or am I wrong? Happy reading...

'Controversy' surrounds moon sighting methods; 'Variations' seen on important dates
KUWAIT CITY: A seminar on "Fasting in the Perspective of Visual and Astronomical Methods" was held at the Diwaniya of Mohammad Baqer Al-Madhi, secretary-general of the Congregation of the Shiite Olama in Kuwait, reports Al-Seyassah daily.The seminar highlighted the controversy surrounding the sighting of the moon to determine the first day of Ramadan.Fadhel Al-Haidari said in the Islamic calendar, the first sighting of the new crescent moon by the unaided human eye traditionally marks the beginning of the month.In particular, such sightings are considered essential with regard to the start of Ramadan. However, the unreliability of the dependence on physical visibility of the moon has led not only to variations in the three important dates within the same country, but also to a great disunity among Muslims. Astronomer Adel Al-Saadoun was quoted as saying the scientific or astronomical method is based on physical conditions when the earth, the moon, and the sun, are in the same vertical plane but not necessarily in the same line, and the moon is between the earth and the sun.This condition is known as the 'conjunction'.


In scientific or astronomical terms, the 'conjunction' is defined as the condition when the sun and the moon have the same 'right ascension'.In effect, this condition is the mark of the start of the lunar month. Moreover, the moment of its occurrence can be precisely calculated Ñ being independent of any terrestrial locations. In fact, it is so accurate that it is possible to use the conjunction to calculate the lunar calendar for hundreds of years ahead. He added one must accept the fact that the required condition of identifying a lunar month will be met, as long as the scientific method guarantees the presence of the crescent moon, irrespective of whether the crescent moon is visible to the naked eye or not.At conjunction, the moon is not completely shadowed as viewed from the earth. However, the degree of illumination is so low that for us it is completely invisible.


The apparent eastward motion of the moon then produces changes, in the shape of an illuminated disk, as a result of the changing geometry of the moon with respect to the sun and the earth. These are called the 'phases of the moon' and the Islamic New Moon is the instant of the start of the crescent phase. Thus, just after conjunction, although the crescent moon is not visible to the naked eye, there is no doubt that it is present in the sky. Hence, scientifically speaking, it can be regarded the crescent moon as physically present and the only thing needed to know is the exact time when it appears. Some moon sighting committees favor sighting the moon with the naked eye, while others settle for the astronomical method. It is this disunity that has led to disharmony among Muslims.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Women are EVUL!


Here's a little joke a friend emailed to me recently...I got a twinge in my brain just thinking what women would actually do to us men...enjoy! ;)


A girl and her boyfriend go to the pub. When it's her turn to buy a round, she tells him of a wonderful new drink that he simply must try.
She returns with the usual lager for herself but for him she has two glasses and a salt shaker.
One glass contains a measure of Baileys, and the other has lime juice.
"Okay, what you have to do is to put a large pinch of salt on your tongue, swig the Baileys, hold it in your mouth and then drink the lime juice."
He looks a bit dubious, but she's very enthusiastic so he decides to give it a go.
First the salt...fine, he handles that.
Next the Baileys...lovely, smooth, creamy warm feeling in the mouth... a bit odd with the salt though.
Then he takes the lime juice.
One second passes and the cream in Baileys curdles...
Three seconds pass and the boyfriends face turns to the same color as the lime juice...
Six seconds pass and the boyfriend calms his stomach and swallows the gunge...
Eight seconds pass and she whispers in his ear... "It's called a Blowjob's Revenge."

Plaintive Complaints From the Citizens


Last night I got a call from a friend asking me, “Do you want to come with me and join the peaceful protest?” I had to scratch my head over that one and asked, “What protest?”
He explained to me it’s about the government waiving our loans and told me a pretty interesting fact…6 MPs have signed the petition already.
Ok, here’s my question everyone: Why the fuck are you protesting for that? And do you realize how MUCH the government has to pay in order to drop all our loans?
Earlier this evening I put those two questions to my circle of friends which consist of a very bright lawyer, a couple of students and a bum like me. They all presented very logical arguments and now I see why people are protesting.
The government is spending literally billions of dollars in charity. This year alone we have spent a record of almost $600 billion. We work and they send to others? Ok, Iraq is struggling to get on its feet again. Why are WE responsible? Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are both acts of nature. Why are WE responsible?
Till when are WE going to go around wiping a billion noses and comfort them with our hard-earned money?

1- Our roads are completely shit.
2- We don’t have phone lines in South Surra.
3- The rate of jobless people is at an extreme high.

And the list will keep going on and on…

That 500 million we donated, fine we are such a nice and loving country, yet we DO need that money to reorganize this country’s infrastructure. Solve the jobless problem and for God’s sakes…how hard is it to install phone lines in South Surra?
But the Government still has this chronic disease of ignoring it’s own internal problems. All they do is put one or the other MP under grilling. Toss a few people into prison to show everyone that they are fighting corruption. Yet this epidemic is growing out of proportion. Soon this country will suffer one massive implosion after the other.

Am I for dropping all our loans? Yes and no, yet I will not bother myself with an explanation because I’m sure a lot of people will be antagonizing me.

A message to the government: Don’t go too long ignoring your own citizens’ complaints. Iraq can wait, America has been around for 200+ years, they can survive another century without us. After all, take a look back into history, what really made the great Roman Empire collapse?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ramadan


Ramadan:
n 1: the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; the month of fasting; the holiest period for the Islamic faith

The above definition can be found at www.dictionary.com, I'm too lazy to search for much more detailed definitions, but this will serve the purpose for now.

As mentioned, it is the holiest period for us, yet what I see around me in Kuwait makes it a joke! I'm sure many others have observed how people act, I swear our ancestors are probably turning in their graves from what's going on around here. Women suddenly take a DEEPER interest in their looks (before iftar of course) and flaunt it for the whole world to see. MORE guys seem to chase after girls (again, before iftar) than any other "normal" month of the year.

I really can't say much about the ratio of people who fast & those who don't. Yet I have a strong suspicion that not many people actually keep it up.

Won't go any further into this, yet here's food for thought. We are hurtling head first into hell. I'll be the one holding the door open for everyone. ;)