Monday, June 25, 2007

Moved!

This blog has finally moved to a new home:


Don't ask why. Just visit me there. Thank you! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kidnapped Employees Returned Home

4 of our employees were kidnapped by armed gunmen since June 1st, 2007 from an African country. 

They have finally been released unharmed yesterday (June 23rd) to the relief of their families and the rest of us. Not that I know them, but I'm glad they're safe and sound. Since we work in the same company, it sort of gives everyone else the jitters sometimes.

Nobody is sure if Big Blue ever paid any ransom or not, but we sure have one helluva security team to be able to bring them back. Bravo boys (and/or girls).

Remember Proof of Life? FYI, it's quite real and these sort of companies DO exist. They're popularily known as PMCs or Private Military Companies. Also FYI, major corporations hire these people to do the dirty work for them. In a certain few, there is an in-house department that employs: professional negotiators, armed security personnel (mercenaries) and several other types of 'special' people.

Here is a list of some of the popular ones:

1- Blackwater Security Company (Remember the fiasco in Iraq?)


3- DynCorp International (Currently available in Kuwait)


Interesting info, no? :)


Sniff, Snort...Bloody Nose.

From the Daily Star:

KUWAIT: Dubai Airport security forces have arrested a Kuwaiti TV presenter for being in possession of drugs.
The presenter was apparently body searched upon his arrival in Dubai from Kuwait, with the narcotics being found in his possession.
He is said to be still in custody pending further investigations before being taken to court for trial.


He will be back in Kuwait in no time at all, with charges dropped. That's how idiots like him still exist and entertain us with their generous stupidity.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Salman Rushdie vs. The Islamic World

Satanic Verses started it all. It was published in 1988 and violent protests against it's publication occurred. I read that book, heck..I even own it. I admit it's one hell of a good read. Salman is an excellent writer and my personal favorite is The Moor's Last Sigh.

And yes, I bought this book off of Amazon and had it delivered to me in Kuwait. Along with the Kama Sutra and several other BANNED books. I'm curious like that. :)

Anyway, back then Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, offering x-amount of money for Salman's head. Personally, that's a load of crap.

True that Rushdie re-wrote the history of Islam in his novel. It was about the struggle of Satan against the angel Gabriel. And the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was involved. Etc..etc..I'm not in the mood to tell you the whole story, go buy the book yourself.

People can you tell me how many books out there mention specifically Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)? I'll answer it for you: THOUSANDS! And they don't necessarily mention our Prophet and/or our religion in a nice way either.

So what's the point? Want to issue another fatwa? Thousands of them against authors who may have put in a bad line or two about Islam?

Killing someone doesn't solve the problem. He wrote one book and decided not to write another that may enrage 1.5 billion Moslems. Make it 1.4 or so..don't include me. I'm a bookworm and I enjoy my books...

I also hold a neutral view over whatever has been written.

Why not ban The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown? It's an insult too. Claiming that Jesus had a child from Mary Magdalene? I mean he IS a revered Prophet of ours isn't he?

All I can say is, Salman just got a "Sir" title added to him. Doesn't make him a superpower. It's just a friggin title everyone, so cool down! Just like the Queen of England is just a figure, she has as much political power as a rabbit.

I'm a Muslim and proud to be one too. I defend my religion too, but not to the point to murder an innocent person. (That goes for you morons in Iraq and elsewhere.)

Get over it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Royal Homocide in Qatar

A mother of 9 from the Al-Thani royal family in Qatar gave birth yesterday in an unnamed hospital. After delivery, the husband (not from the royal family) walked in on her and shot her twice, killing her.

Initially it was rumored he shot her because the baby wasn't his. But in the police report, it indicated that he has asked her to borrow money from her family and she refused. So he shot her.

Their eldest child is 12 yrs old and youngest is a day old.

What will their family tell them about mommy and daddy, I wonder?

Of course, this hasn't hit the newspapers due to her 'status'. I learned of this from my source within the family, thanks for the info!

You see readers, these are the sort of stories that you hear about in the Gulf countries, INCLUDING Kuwait. But they are never reported. Stories like these are usually buried and dismissed as rumors.

Murders, rapes and etc. This is so sad. I feel sad for the kids.

Nobody ever remains above the law, especially the law of God.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Full Frontal Apple Attack on Microsoft


Apple has released the 1st public beta of it's amazing browser, Safari for Windows! Now that is good news. Safari is blazingly fast, in benchmark tests on Windows. It has outperformed Firefox and Internet Explorer.

You can download the Safari 3 Public Beta from Apple here

General Jobs has lead his Apple Army into another sweeping victory in a battle against the Dark Microsoft Forces. Goddamn Windows. I hate it.

Enjoy!

Mouse the Cat


Now she can't say, "Marry me I want to have your kittens! Bwahaha! Damn that hurt."

I wonder what would happen if they start a neutering campaign for humans in China & India? Or should they spay? Depends on who 'needs' it more, eh?

I say we should chlorinate the human gene pool, starting with Kuwait.

Another one of my wacked posts.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Attention Wakeboarders!


For all the wakeboarders in Kuwait, I'm putting together a team to give wakeboarding lessons & in the future to participate in competitions. If you're interested in helping out, then I'd appreciate it if you can email me your info: burqiyou@gmail.com (or comment here if you're too damn lazy).

Anyhow, what we're looking for is a boat that already has an overhead pylon, or an underwater gear attachment. And...get your own boards n gear! (Please no yachts. I'll keep my arms in my sockets, thank you very much.)

The boat expenses, repairs & such will be paid for from the training fees.

So if you're interested, drop me a line and let's organize something fun. Keep in mind, we don't have any decent wakeboarding 'schools' in the country. So let's make one official!

From the Arab Times: Police dog found dead in 'residential suburb'

I gotta admit: I'm impressed. PAWS sure really know how to get things done, not now, not tomorrow...no..yesterday. After a series of emails & phone calls with quite a sweet person, they have published the article as promised.

It's not about being in the papers, it's about waking them up. I wish we had the cartoonish newspapers in which you open, and a huge mouth pops out and screams the headlines in your face. Now that would be quite useful for the careless & the lazy.

Anyhow, the article with the picture is available in the hard copy of Arab Times. Here's the online version of the article.

PAWS (Protecting Animal Welfare Society) have a very informative and interesting website. Also they can be contacted on e-mail: pawsq8@yahoo.com Tel: 9440089

Thanks PAWS! :)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Update II: Dead Police Dog


I decided to pursue the mystery of the dead German Shepherd found outside my building. On my lunch break I went to the nearby Guard & Tracking Dogs Dept. for the Ministry of Interior.

Nice place I admit, very neat & very quiet. No telltale smell of any animals. The officer who greeted me at the gate was very polite & courteous. I simply said hello & wanted to talk to his superior, or whoever is responsible for the dogs. When he asked why, I switched on my camera & showed him the picture of the dead dog. He was VERY surprised and asked me to wait. So I waited for the length of a half a cigarette. He came out & told me, "We thank you for coming all the way out here, but we don't have any missing dogs, they're all accounted for. Please call the Customs Dept. in Shuwaikh Port and I'm pretty sure it's their dog."

For clarification, he DID state that this dog IS an official police dog used by General Customs Dept. & Ministry of Interior.

I called Customs when I got back to my office, oh man what a runaround I was given! I called, hold on let me check my phone...8 different numbers they have given me & none cooperated. I finally reached a dead end when a man said that they DON'T have sniffer dogs. (WTF?!).

Ok fine by me, thanks to PAWS and an email I have just received, they will publish this story in tomorrow's English newspapers & Arabic newspapers.

Note: Last night I took a good long look at my cat (remember? his name is Mouse). And interrogated him thoroughly, he didn't do it. He meowed his innocence & claimed that the Feline Mafia did it. His surgery is on Monday, snip-snip.

Dead Police Officer Found in Sabah Al-Salem

So this is what they do to fellow officers?

I found this body right outside my building when I looked out the balcony. After calling 777 and reporting it, they asked me to call the appropriate department. Of course, nothing was done about it. So much for our Ministry of InFerior.

There were no signs of physical harm done to it. Nor were there any signs of torture (ask CSI:Kuwait). mo 7aram? :(

Update: PAWS were notified of this & will publish an article about it in tomorrow's papers. They were literally shocked out of their wits, due to the lack of interest on MoI's part & the condition of the dog. I've seen these dogs in action, they're very well taken care of. Bleh.






Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Letter to Muna Al-Fuzai - Kuwait Times

Hello. Below is an email I sent in response to this article and the one previous which Mark has provided (Kuwait Times removed the original article.) If I have said anything wrong, then I would welcome your comments. Let the Games begin! :)

Dear Ms. Al-Fuzai,

First of all, I am not generally a reader of your esteemed newspaper, but sometimes a few articles attract my attention. Such as yours that have been spread all over the blogosphere recently, which was titled, "What Not To Do In Kuwait".

Furthermore, no one could disprove the truth of what I had written, even though it was an exaggerated satire.

What part of it was the truth exactly, to be disproved? All you have written was baseless with no facts to back it up. Satire? This is not called satire, this is called tasteless. What you have written in that article alone should be posted in the National Enquirer alongside with "The King is Alive!" headline. If you want state the truth, then state it with facts to back you up.

Today, Local Spotlight will shed some light on those who had thrown stones even though homes are made of glass.

Here's a proper quote for you from a true writer, "Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die." - Voltaire.

Yes, I'm a Kuwaiti. Yes, I love my country. I'm honored to be writing for Kuwait Times and to be given the chance to make this country better by being honest about both its good and bad points. Because I love my country, I want the best for it. I hate to see injustice; unfairness, laziness and willful ignorance by anyone who wants to destroy this great nation.

I am Kuwaiti too, I love my country too. I'm honored to defend the right of free speech and I would shed blood for my country. Yet, 'free speech' is a gray area in which everyone defines it in many different ways. You definitely are not being honest about the bad points, please back up your article with f-a-c-t-s and not half-truths. If all bosses and taxi drivers were rapists, then this country would descend into anarchy. Many people, in fact the majority want the best for Kuwait. You are not the only one, but in order to do the best for your country, do it the RIGHT way. Not by smearing it's image with baseless and tacky information.

I also hate to see guests of my country live in improper ways and think badly about Kuwait, or for people in other countries to disparage Kuwait because of its human rights problems. I believe it is a Kuwaiti citizen's duty towards their country to call for reform for any current conditions that is not in the best interest of Kuwait.

A little too late for that, don't you think? You among others, already did a good job of making others 'think badly' about our beloved country. We're not monsters, we are known world-wide and throughout history that Kuwait is a peaceful nation. We are not a nation of rapists, warmongers nor thieves. If you think it is your duty to call for reform, then once again I tell you, do it the RIGHT way.

What is the rule of journalism? Is it to print colored pictures of pretty girls, singers and celebrity news? Is this what many people want to read and learn about nowadays? Sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword and honest writers don't need a weapon because their pen can talk truly and freely. This is why no matter how we disagree over many issues in Kuwait, we love Kuwait and this is our way of making it a better place for all and not only Kuwaitis.

This is my favorite part, I hope you're still reading this because this is where it gets really good. Tell me ma'am, define journalism. There are different forms of journalism of course. There have been great journalists that I have read about (also read their works). Yet there are a few, who paint a ghastly picture with their pens. They are so good, that the gullible believe every single word. Are you aiming for the gullible, or are you aiming for the intelligent masses? If it's the latter, why bother? If it's the former, then congratulations they are probably nodding their heads in agreement over every single word you have printed.

If you consider your pen a weapon, then use it to fight against realistic issues. Invention is for fiction writers, what sort of writer are you exactly?

You keep mentioning that you want to make this country a better place to live in. Then why not work harder on it? Write about the prodigies that we have in this country. Write about realistic problems which are happening on a daily basis and are actually affecting everyone's (including 'guests') view on Kuwait. Do you have actual statistics about the number of taxi-related rapes? Have you been out and about lately? Have you seen what kind of sexy clothes Kuwaiti women are wearing? Do you see the secret police in every nook and cranny where they can hear us grump about the laws and the way the gov'mint is running things?

Finally, here are the basic rules of journalism for you: Don't make things up; don't take credit for someone else's work; don't become bigger than the story; attribute your information; seek multiple sources. Also, I advise you to look up the word 'satire'.

"Journalism reflects the values of our culture. Unfortunately, it has been infiltrated by some who prefer hype to honesty. We live in a time when it is better to look good than to be good." - Janet Kolodzy

I believe that real press is the one that focuses on the misfortunes of people in order to draw the attention of officials to the needs of all residents and not only the citizens. A real press is one who encourages many Kuwaitis to work for the betterment of the country and believe in their abilities to make Kuwait better by their own pens with their real names open for every one to see and not hide behind fake names and fake email addresses.

You see my name in the header field? It's [CENSORED] and I am a proud Kuwaiti citizen, who does in fact try the best I can to make things better, to the best of my own abilities. I'm sorry to say, the Kuwait Times would not be considered 'real press' in my dictionary. Their articles are badly written (if not quoted from other news sources) and the editorial staff could use another English language course. To better your country (this is to the Kuwait Times staff in general), better your attitudes and have an open-minded view in regard to your sources and to your reader. Also, get a proper proof-reader.

How many local daily Arabic newspapers do we have in Kuwait? They used to be five and now they are eight, so there are eight newspapers for the Kuwaiti people to express their wishes and demands.

I don't see the point of this paragraph. What are you aiming at? Yes, I see people expressing their wishes and demands.

Why is it weird to find a group of honest Kuwaiti writers talk about the problems of their own country? Should we sit back and ask someone from the moon to talk on our behalf??? How are we supposed to develop and advance if we ignore our nation's problems and do nothing for our country except hang out in the malls and say, "Wow, how dare he/she talk about Kuwait like that???"

Trying to transliterate quotes and words from Arabic to English is really not a good idea, such as "ask someone from the moon". If you consider yourself honest, why do you call it a satirical article then? You're contradicting yourself. Either the article was satirical with no truth to it, or completely true...where are the facts though? Do I have to come sit with you and walk you through the steps of writing and journalism? I would be glad to give you some pointers for free, honestly. Believe it or not, a lot of people are working extremely hard to develop and advance this lovely little country. You just need to go out more, come visit my company. Go visit the hospitals, police stations and fire stations. Look at how HARD our boys and girls are working on making Kuwait glow bright on the map.

Here's another rule for you, do not generalize. It is one of the mistakes any journalist can do and can result quite a few ugly run-ins. Such as this one.

Giving advice to others in order to help them avoid possible risk or commit mistakes is the Islamic way. You can read more in the Islamic Sunna from the life of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to learn how important it is to give advice and what blessings you can get out of it. This is the mission of the honest press and this is what my column Local Spotlight is all about.

You may give the right advice and you may not generalize. What blessings are you getting by saying all taxi drivers are maniacal rapists? What blessings are you getting by smearing another's image? That definitely wasn't part of the Prophet's (PBUH) Sunnas.

My advice to you, review what you have written carefully. Read HOW you have written it and you may notice where your mistakes are. I'd like to remind you, that this email is referring to the articles in question, as for the others; I have read them and I consider some of them quite good, so it's a shame to see your quality of writing drop down a few notches.

We need good writers, we need good people. Not hypocrites.

Thank you for your time and patience, and please keep an open-mind when reading it.

Sincerely,

[CENSORED]
System Analyst