Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nits & Lice

I know that its gross and disgusting and it sends chills down your spine when you hear about it, but hey according to Alghad Jordanian daily more than half of our school children are infested with this pesky insect that invades the person's head and settles in there very comfortably until it gets properly treated with appropriate shampoo, combing, and eradication of the active nits that have great tendency of mutating time and again.

I'm not bringing up this topic to highlight the prevalence and pervasiveness of the problem, it is broad enough to speak for itself.

I'm writing to inform anybody who might be interested that there is a business opportunity that can be extracted out of this miserable situation, it may not be the most glamorous business opportunity but nonetheless it is worth exploring in more depth.

The ministry of education spends large sums of money every year on shampoo that they give to the schools for free, the schools in turn probably gives to the students to treat their heads. It is unknown whether the students use this medicated shampoo or they use other primitive archaic methods such as pouring kerosene on the head or something like that.

Irrespective of method they have been using it appears to be not working and more kids are getting more lice in their heads, more than half of all of the kids combined.

So for those of you that still have that die hard entrepreneurial sport, you can start lobbying the ministry of education to look at your business proposal which entails opening shops similar to the Barber shop in every Jordanian governed, the purpose of this lets call it lice eradication shop would service every school age child every year prior to entering the school grounds. In other words, the ministry of education would issue a decree, edict, or whatever you want to call it stating that no child will be admitted to the school yard until he/ she provide the principal with a certificate indicating that this person is totally and completely free of any lice. That he has been checked and either treated or found to be not needing any treatment and thus was given the certificate.

It would be something like the mandatory liability car insurance which dictates that no one will be granted permission to drive unless they can furnish a proof that they have at the very minimum a liability insurance that will protect the driver in the event of an accident.

I don't know how or why did I come up with this crazy idea, I'm not sure if my motive was to create another business idea for someone or to help those poor children to get their heads cleaned up from the nits and lice that not only bothers them to passes on the problem to other students that come in close contact with them.

Nits and Lice are no laughing matters, they aren't a disgraceful matter either, just because someone gets it doesn't mean that they aren't clean, there is a great deal of possibility that they got it from someone else and not from their own lack of good hygiene practice.

So there you have it go jump at it, I want to see a lice eradication shop approved by the ministry of education and funded by the same ministry opening in Amman, Salt, Irbid, Maan, Tafilah, Zarqa, Karak, Balqa, and somewhere in between.

The shops don't have to cater to school age children only even though they seem to be the ones that are in need of it the most, it can cater to adult and seniors and any age group that will need this type of service.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Messenger of Allah Unites us

I don’t think that the demands made by Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist, in this report appearing in the Jordan Times today, August 22, 08.; were very highly outrageous ones.

The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba where they have been held since their capture made similar demands and were accommodated. They demanded that the food that they eat doesn’t contain any type of pork in it; they asked for and received a copy of the holy book Quran. They were given pieces of rug to prey on it as well as bathrooms to perform their ablution prior to the prayers.

The part that I don’t understand is whether Mr. Westergaard was sincere in asking for these things or whether he was trying to show case the fact that pork is prohibited in the Muslim world as well as the prisoners are prohibited from reading books, magazines, or any other literature.

Given the fact that he is a septuagenarian man, I would have to take his word for it and not accuse him of trying do more mocking about the pork, the prison cell, conditions and the reading material.

I honestly would like to see Mr. Westegaard come to Jordan and confront his accusers in an open court, I’m sure that the Jordanian government is more than capable of providing the necessary arrangement for his protection as well as for his accommodation during his stay in Jordan.

His is a real classic case about the clash between freedoms of speech, freedom of expression, versus theological interpretation of what is blasphemous and what is sanctimonious. I mean why not, let justice take its course, the man says that he has nothing against Islam, he doesn’t feel that he has done anything wrong, he isn’t about to apologize for doing something that he feels falls under his freedom of expression rights.

His accusers believe that he slandered the prophet of Islam by depicting him in very provocative manners. If he can prove his innocence then he will be off the hook, and if he get convicted he will understand that he wasn’t within his rights and he may have stepped off the line. All in all it would be very interesting to watch and see justice take precedent over personal animus.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Danish cartoonist story revisited

Last month I argued on this blog that it was okay to sue the Danish cartoonist in the Jordanian courts irrespective of the out come of the law suit. Less than one month after wards we learn in this report that the cartoonist is ready, willing, and able to stand trial. The only thing that is standing between then and now is that he hadn't been officially notified through the proper channels about the law suit, nor did he receive a subpoena summoning him to appear before a judge. He isn't sorry and he doesn't believe that he did anything wrong, he firmly believes in his freedom to express himself in the way he sees fit and willing to defend that even under unusually difficult circumstances. It would very interesting to see how this highly publicized story continue to develop. I wonder if he would indeed come to Jordan to confront his accusers. Can you imagine the type of security that would have to be put in place by the Jordanian authority to protect the life of this cartoonist during the length of his trial. I wonder also given all of the publicity that this story has been a given, a fair trial can be conducted with all of the hype taking place outside the court building. I finally wonder if there was not enough evidence to convict him, would he in deed be acquitted of the charges against him, and by contrast if he were to get convicted whether he would serve time in the Jordanian jails or he would be sent back to his country to serve jail time over there. I know that I'm probably already over reacting and there is a big possibility a trial may never take place and he may never set a foot on the Jordanian soil. All I'm doing at this point is trying to think of all of the possibilities that might happen. This is a very unique case and I'm not sure if the Jordanian judicial system has ever been faced with such a complicated international situation that extends not only beyond the Jordanian borders and the regional borders but rather all the way to western Europe. I'm going to keep a close watch on this story and should there be any new developments I'll update it on my blog accordingly.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hate Mail

Following is a hate mail I received today:

Anonymous has left a comment : I hate all Arabs. They are evil. They have no reason to live in America, in fact, they have no right to live at all! They are not God's children, they're the Devil's children. They're the ones who caused the 9/11 tragedy. You have to be a brainless idiot to believe Arabs are not evil. They should be killed, murdered, treated to slavery, beheaded, burned, and shot. I say down with them bearded animals and up with us Intelligent Americans!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Citizen Journalism and me.

I recently learned that the comments that I leave on other people's blogs, stories published in the main stream media, or any comment I leave on any Internet website is classified as a form of citizen Journalism.

When I learned that I said to myself holy cow I'm and have been a citizen journalist all along and I don't even know about it.

And this comes at a time when I started thinking seriously about being part of citizen journalism group like Amman Net, 7iber, or any other alternative journalistic Jordanian group that I find suitable to my way of thinking.

In this case I feel that I'm absolved of this responsibility and don't have to join any group and all I need to do is continue doing what I have always been doing and that is leaving comments here and there and every where on the Internet and on main stream printed press.

You know the number of comments that I authored over the past twelve years or so, I can't even begin to estimate it, it could be any where from ten to fifteen thousand.

Grant you, some are as short as twenty five to thirty words but some is longer than one thousand words.

I have no way of knowing how many people read those comments or what on earth do they get out of it if anything, but I did receive responses from very interesting people over the years including major US publications, mind you, not offering me an opportunity to become a citizen journalist in their outfits or anything like that.

They were merely supportive, passive, or strongly opposed to the view point that I have presented at the time.

In a way I can appreciate their concerns because those who have known me for a long period of time probably realized that over the years or as I aged I started moving back from the center of the left to the center of the right.

I'm not entirely sure what caused that shift but most likely it is the kind of people that I associate myself with them and the type of material that I read have something to do with it.

I'm not sorry about that and I see myself as someone that is evolving all the time in a dynamic way. I can't under any circumstances adhere to one school of thought, an ideology of some kind of a dogma.

I consider myself as someone that calls the shots as he sees it, yes, I do exercise self sensorship, but that is only in reference to staying out of scandalous things, slanderous issues, and so on, but I don't feel that I exercise self sensor-ship regarding my fundamental rights to freedom of speech or freedom of expression.

So yeah I'm writing today to welcome myself into the world of citizen journalism and to congratulate myself on the ten to fifteen thousand comments that I have written.

Who knows may be some how some where somebody may have read one or more of these comments and benefited out of it.

I really don't know that and don't even care to know since when I do comment on something I do it because this is what I love to do, I enjoy it tremendously and appreciate having the opportunity to express my view unhindered, unfettered, in its entirety, without an editor scissors slashing some of it out.

The burden is entirely my own, and the consequences are my own as well. Whether I make somebody happy, I make a fool out of myself, or write something reprehensible, it is all my choice and it is all part of this citizen journalism that I have chosen to be part of it at the dawn of this twenty first century.

So from here in on if I'm going to be biased it will be biases toward citizen Journalism, the information is totally unfiltered, unslanted, free of partisanship.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Clarion Call

I don’t know whether it was a fluke, aberration or what. Soon after my last blog about Jordanian bloggers not blogging any more, or not as often as they should be blogging. Jordanian bloggers started showing up one after another. Basem was one of the bloggers that didn’t blog about anything since he got married. I’m not sure that marriage is a cause for not blogging as Samer returned to blogging about a week after he got married. Lina surprised us from New York; she is pursuing masters in Columbia’s school of journalism, one of the best if not the best Journalism school in the USA. Nassem, are you listening, that is where you need to go if one day you decide to follow suit or your mind is made up about spending the rest of your life in journalism, media or what have you. Although I think that you would be better off getting into politics so you can become a minister of something or heck even a prime minister. Rami came back from the wilderness to tell us about the Russian attacks on Georgia. Let us see who else, Iman, oh my God, she hasn’t blogged for ages, her last dozen or so posts consisted of one word, one phrase, one sentence, and at the very most one paragraph. Ahmad Humeid, usually a very succinct bloggers came back but still not as powerful as he used to be, heck he used to publish a bi weekly article in Jordan Times weekender. By the way whatever happened to that insert, I guess they quit publishing their week end edition. Mohammad Omar is back, Roba & Dima, the dynamic duo showed up again.To a lesser extent Khalaf and Mariam, although these last two have been posting once a while but again with a lesser frequency than they used to do before. As for me believe my people that I’m trying very hard to find something interesting to talk about but it has to be something that is worth talking about such as the ice melting in one of Hani’s coke glasses faster than the other glass although both glasses were subjected to the same freezing conditions as well as the same thawing conditions. It is really weird. I’m fascinated by Tololy’s Haza3 and Jonger story and how one of them thought to be a boy turned out to be a girl, or is it the other way around. And then last but not least our fearless leader Nas, this guy doesn’t quit no matter what happens, you open Jordan Blogs early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or two o’clock after midnight you are going to find a new and interesting post written by him. When he gets tired of writing on the black Iris, he moves and writes on 7iber, and then he goes back and forth, arranging meetings, attending work shops, working full-time for a magazine, doing charitable work, pushing for reforms. Some times I think that he is taking some sort of herbal enhancements like sage, or mint, or I don’t know what. Mash Allah, he is in my view a super human, God bless his parents they must be very proud of him. I’m really ecstatic to see all of these bloggers coming back in droves. I know that Some day I don’t know when we need to have Nas lead us or at least lead the coordination for us for the first Jordanian bloggers summit to be held in Amman two or three years from now it doesn’t really matter, but I think that there is a room for us to start building up on this concept of citizen Journalism, I’m starting slowly but surely to believe in this viable concept. An alternative way of making news, pure, impartial objective reporting, free of bias, slant, or partisan view point. Yes, that is right.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

why they don't blog?

I can name at least 50 individual listed in the right hand side of Jordan Blogs page that don't blog at all, and another 15 to 20 other individuals that rarely blog and when they do blog it is usually about something of very little value to anyone on the list. I'm mind full of the presence of millions of blogs in cyber space that are read by no one other than the blogger, yet I'm exclusively talking about Jordan Blogs, a community of about 150 or so bloggers and another 500 to 1000 reader, these are just rough estimates based on the number of people that have 24 Internet access in Jordan. Still, that is no reason for anyone to bring their blogging practice to a screeching halt. So what actually caused all of these people to stop blogging, the simple answer is I don't know and I'm not about to speculate since each individual have special circumstances only they and no one else is aware of its intimate details.

Since I'm considered one of these bloggers why don't I start with myself and try to figure out what is it that prevents me from blogging on a daily basis or even as frequently as twice a day. As far as time is concerned I have all the time in the world I have high speed internet access 24-7-365. so it isn't time, what is next, things to blog about, there are so many things to blog about for the next 100 years, so lack of topics to blog about isn't it either.

How about my inability to create the necessary changes to affect the things that are shaping my own life . Yes, that must be it but what exactly does that mean?

I have no idea what it means all I know is that it is like I'm living under siege and this siege is constantly telling me that there is no point in blogging, there is no point in being part of the community, this is a very mean world and you need to stay alert and vigilant 24 hours a day otherwise the sharks may seize the opportunity and bite you during the time that you are preoccupied with typing or thinking about a topic to blog about.

I know this sounds crazy and I don't know of too many people that share me this type of feeling but that is the way it is.

Okay so now you know why I'm not blogging that much that often, what is the reason all those other Jordanian bloggers not blogging.

We have a bunch of highly talented bloggers on the list but some how their blogging has stopped without any explanation.

May be we should start a blog about why everybody especially those in dormant status can explain to us why aren't they blogging?

I think that it would make an interesting post to find out what makes people stop doing what they used to love doing.

I never thought few years back that several months will go by without any written post on my blog. But here I'm suffering from extreme blogger's fatigue syndrome.

If any one have any medicine for this condition I would sure kindly request an immediate prescription be sent to me.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Contemporary slave wages

This report about the salaries paid to the cleaners put me in a state of depression and gave me a bitter taste in my mouth. I mean how can someone especially with a family is expected to continue living after all of the living expenses are deducted out of his check nets only 8 Kuwaiti Dinars a month. This translates into less than $ 1 dollar a day.

Even the newly enacted legislation which stipulates a 40 Kuwaiti Dinars to be paid as a monthly salary for the cleaners is still way too little compared to other cleaner salaries working in the western world.

For instance, in the United States the average non unionized cleaner earns in monthly salary about $ 1,666 that is more than 11 times higher than the $150 which the cleaners get paid monthly in Kuwait.

I think that the cleaners deserve to be paid much higher salary than that, I think that their living expenses including room and board ought to be free & at the expense of the Kuwaiti company that sponsors them to come and work for it.

It is a high time for this travesty to come to an end, the cleaner is a human being just like anybody else; he needs to be treated with dignity and respect. He ought to be paid an honest wage for an honest day of work.

Cleaning budget is probably the lowest operating expense in any structure if compared with other expenses such as maintenance, energy, security, and other up keep of all of the other aspects of the physical structure.

Let us pay those cleaner what they deserve and end this modern day slavery.