Monday, April 28, 2008

Arabs & US elections

There is a strong evidence in the media circles suggesting that an Arab American engineer, real-estate developer, and a political activist of Syrian origins named Tony Rezko may end up being the primary cause of ending the democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s chances of becoming president, he may even end up being the main cause of ending Obama’s political career altogether—and--getting him indicted on charges of corruption and money laundering.

Just imagine Obama going from being the first black president of the United States to being indicted on criminal charges stemming from his friendship with an Arab American that immigrated to the United States in the early years of the eighties.

Obama & Rezko appear to have some how become engaged in improper business dealings and wheeling, the deal involves a property and a parcel of land adjacent to the property. Obama appears to have bought the house and Rezko bought the land, the entire transaction has an aura of impropriety to it.

I personally don’t know Rezko but I do know a third person that was also indicted along with Rezko, his name is Ali Ata, this man already plead guilty to corruption charges and money laundering stemming from false allegations he had made to federal corruption officer regarding his relationship with Rezko and with an employment offer that he received in the financial office of the governor of the State of Illinois Rod Blogoyvich.

It is interesting to see how the sequence of events will unfold after the testimony of Mr. Ata before the grand jury on Wednesday. He is expected to spell the beans about everything he knows regarding the governor of Illinois and regarding Rezko/ Obama real estate deals. Ali Ata was at some point in time a real estate developer and a partner of Mr. Rezko’s real estate deals.

Mr. Rezko’s indictment stigmatized the Arab American community in Chicago, it seems like whenever the Arabs had an opportunity to spread the good word about their culture, their ethics, and their ties to the United States, they end up messing things up and making the whole community looks like it is guilty because of the few criminals in it.

It is a very low point right now in the Arab American community in Chicago, every body used to think the world of Mr. Rezko prior to his indictment. It appears as though behind the obvious front that he used to put on, he was nothing but a criminal, using his influence to shake up businesses to extort money from them, and use his influence to obtain loans to finance his failing businesses.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What do you want to be?!

I spent my entire adult life working in management, was I destined to be a manager all of my life?! I don’t know and no body else knows but that is what it is and that is where it stands right now.

But is it possible that at a time when I’m nearing my retirement age still doesn’t know what I really want to be!! I guess by now at this advanced stage in my life it is almost too late to even think about what I want to be.

When I was a kid I thought that I wanted to be a pilot, a lawyer, a journalist, a career diplomat, however, it didn’t happen and I’m still thinking about what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Some of you may wonder what at this stage in life prompted that line of thinking in me. I tell what it is; it is the new kitchen that I have installed/ remodeled in my house few months ago. Still, what the heck is the relationship between a newly remodeled kitchen and my career path?!

Well, it is the art of carpentry itself that I’m interested in addressing for this purpose. It all started when through friend of mine I met this carpenter called Abu Alaa, which in turn convinced me to remodel my kitchen. The idea appealed to me because he told that all we need to do is buy wood, and from the wood he will be able to manufacture a complete ready to use kitchen on his own.

I have always thought that when someone needs a new kitchen all they would have to do is go to one of those places that sell ready kitchens, buy it, and then hire someone to install it for them.

It wasn’t that way with Abu Alaa, he makes everything himself from raw wood, he sands the wood, measures it, saws it, carves it, paints it, and then sculpts it together into shapes using nails and glue. Three weeks later the finished product is a kitchen; it is that simple for him.

In the three weeks that I spent with him putting together a beautiful kitchen from scratch taught me a lot about my self, about the carpentry profession, and about the manual work that the blue color people do.

I was there all day every day when the wood gets purchased from the factory, when the wood gets loaded on the truck, transported to my house, and finally unloaded in my kitchen.

I helped Abu Alaa in every step in the way, I handed him the tool that he needed while he was nailing in a precarious position, I measured with him, and I carved, sanded, and lifted and sawed.

I ate both my breakfast and lunch with him, we drank tea all day long, and at the end of the day I drove him back home to his family house. I tremendously enjoyed doing the manual work with this man; I have never felt more relaxed more at ease the way I felt during those three weeks.

I discovered that perhaps I was meant to be someone that should be working in manual labor rather than working with his mind all the time. I found that manual labor gives me the feeling of serenity, a feeling of placidness that never existed in me throughout my life.

Will I be switching my career? I don’t think so I’m just wondering if God had made me someone that should be doing manual labor but some how Instead was sucked into this management career and didn’t permit myself to think about anything else since the pay was comfortable and authority and prestige that comes with it blinded me from seeking an alternative.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Internet Strike

Oh those urge to splurge:

I think that at the very least the only punishment the people who comply with the call for a strike will get is a verbal counseling or warning from their supervisors for not calling their employers to inform them about their absence and not showing up for work, and at the very most a letter of warning placed in their personal file for failing to come to work. They may even end up losing the wages allotted for that same day. This applies only to people that have occupations which doesn’t endanger the lives of other people. On the flip side of the coin, if the striking employees occupy jobs that may endanger the lives of other people such as police men, fire men, doctors, and air traffic controllers, the consequences may become much more severe, particularly if lives were lost as a result of work stoppage. For instance: if the striking employee is an air traffic controller and his presence on the job is absolutely necessary on that day, and then suddenly and without a notice he doesn’t call or show up for work, and God forbid as a result of his absence to accommodate the strike an air crash occurred and 250 people lost their lives. In this hypothetical scenario we would be looking at a whole new set of rules governing the situation. The same would apply for other critical occupation; some jobs may even have a clause in the employment rules prohibiting the employee from ever participating in a strike or work stoppage under any circumstances. As far as I can remember from monitoring the news the duration of most strikes in Jordan range from thirty minutes to two hours. The most recent one was the doctors at Hamza hospital protesting the detention of their colleague emergency room doctor by the government personnel. My guess is that some people may get severely punished for their compliance with the strike while other people may only get a slap on their rest. It all depends on the type of occupation one is performing.