Friday, October 12, 2007

A new begining

Eid has finally dawned on us, after a tiring and eventful Ramadan. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody out there a Happy Eid to them and their families, asking Allah to bring upon you prosperity, good health, prosperity and success.

كل عام وانتم بخير

The way it is....
Capt. Arab 12/10/2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mental BS

How convenient it is to claim to be mentally insane, mentally unbalanced, mentally ill, (or any other phrase that has the same meaning); when we do wrong to others.

Shame on the lawyers that use it as their line of defense, cheap tactics to evade prison and the long arm of the law.

Our “mentally ill” friend here schemed and planned his mission out well, it was not a spur of the moment event, or something that he always did and was not aware of. This was a plot, executed in a timely fashion to achieve sexual satisfaction. Buddy.. Who did you think you’d fool?

In my books there is nothing more worse than capitalizing on a child’s innocence for self gain. This is just one story, and I am sure that we have all heard and read of so many similar sick perverted twisted stories that make your stomach churn out of disgust.

Unfotunately... The way it is....
Capt. Arab 9/10/2007

Terror Film (The Kingdom) banned? Get realistic !!!

It's all over the papers, our Ministry of Information has banned the film "The Kingdom" from being released in Bahrain. Why?? Apparently the film covers some of the recent terrorist acts that took place in Saudi Arabia some time back.

According to the reviews the film does tend to be a typical American Hollywood production (guns and glory), but also looks at cultural differences on one hand, and on the other is a story (fictitious) that justifies itself in one form or another.

What are the chances that we will be able to get a decent copy from the DVD street hawks trading all over the Bab Al-Bahrain area (right outside the Ministry of Information Tourist Office) Opps... was I wasn't supposed to say that, Gudaibiya (Awal Cinema), or the Irani Market. For the fortunate ones, I guess can always download it from BITORRENT, Ares, You Tube and various other P2P sharing sites. Come on guys... It's 2007 The Age of Information, lets be realistic... Everything is accessible in one form or another. There are worst films which the Ministry allows to be released, that seriously do test the water and pose a big question on moral issues. Maybe such serious efforts should be spent to eradicate pornograpghy, prostitution, drugs, or even the DVD Street Hawks trading on the Minstry's doorstep.

By the way I forgot to mention that the lead star is Jamie Foxx.. It's bound to be a box-office hit, and find it's way to our home projectors sooner or later.

The way it is....
Capt. Arab 9/10/2007

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Are you kidding me ??

News in the BBC that for the past 6 months this 11 year old apparently used to drop his disabled dad off to hospital for appointments, and his mum to her job at Burger King.

An 11-year-old boy and his parents have been arrested after he fled Louisiana police in a car chase at speeds of more than 100mph (160km/h), it is reported.
The child's mother and father have been accused of letting him drive for about six months, the Associated Press said.
The pursuit began when a patrol car spotted the boy's car speeding on Interstate 310 near New Orleans.
Police gave chase but the car sped away, only stopping at a Burger King restaurant where his mother worked.
The boy had been driving home from a hospital where he had dropped off his disabled father for an appointment when the chase began, police told AP.
His parents have been charged with the improper supervision of a minor and allowing an unlicensed minor to drive - something authorities said had been going on for six months.
The boy was reportedly released to the custody of an aunt after being arrested for fleeing from an officer, reckless driving, speeding, passing on the shoulder, improper lane usage and having no driver's licence.

I remember driving a car when I was 13 years old, the average park the car in the garage, or reverse out, etc.. But nothing of this magnitude.. Frightening is the word for the moment. Any chance that this kid is an Arab, as we always seem to have the ambition to drive cars well before our time.

The way it is...
Capt. Arab 7/10/2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

University of Pune vs Al Wefaq National Islamic Society

Today's GDN "200 Face Expulsion" from the University of Pune, in brief some 200 students will be fined no less $200 US Dollars in respect of overstaying their visa's. On the other hand we have the Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, demanding to know the four W's... Why, Where, What, and Who. The case appears to be simple and as reported, a case where an immigration law has been broken and a fine is necessary.

Why do I always get the impression that the majority of us tend to break the law, overrun the landing strip and then expect others to understand. This is 2007, and it is due time we all wake up and understand that the law is the law. Just because you are being fined through self-inflicted sloppiness, we expect intervention and help from others. No Sir !!!!

As for Al-Wefaq, sorry to say that I fail to see the effectiveness of their intervention. Will they attempt to convince the Indian Immigration Authorities to waive this fine, or the University Student Office to cut the Bahraini students a bit of slack because it's Ramadan. The best way to learn is when you get a wrist slap from the law, the law has clearly been broken and there is nothing more to it... Shouldn't our Foreign and Education Ministries be advising students on the Do's and Dont's, or am I just babbling... The same way that you safeguard your passport, ID cards, credit cards and credentials; then it is just essential that you ensure that they are validated accordingly. Or maybe just because it is India, you think that the law can be broken and ultimately you will get away with it.

In simpler terms... University of Pune [1 - 0] Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society

The way it is.....
Capt. Arab 4/10/2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm back...

Been away (not in jail) for a good few weeks, actually was on a business trip which always seem to happen at the worst of times, and for the longest periods, and yes the hotel had internet, but the charges were quite silly and guess what.... A DIALUP. I actually miss that squelching sound of the hand-shaking between devices, reminds me of the Batelco days.
I will be posting more about my happenings in the next few days, that is once I get back into the swing of things.

A Ramadan Kareem to all...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lollipop Man

To me the Lollipop man has always been associated with the zebra crossing. The Lollipop man wore his bright yellow and orange luminous jacket, and held his “STOP” sign, like a gigantic lollipop whilst he guided pedestrians across the busy road.

One thing I’m sure of, all if not the majority of readers will agree that in Bahrain there is totally no regard for the zebra crossing or pedestrians in general. Most drivers will actually see a pedestrian standing at the zebra crossing waiting to cross (obviously), and still even if traffic is slow, will actually make no effort to stop to allow the crossing. Funny enough, some will actually try to tip-toe their car over the crossing just to avoid allowing the pedestrian to cross. I mean, What the hell is this… How long will you get delayed? A couple of seconds…. Wawwww… Sorry for interrupting your busy schedule.

From living in the UK, you tend to learn some driving ethics, just as thanking somebody when given a pass or opportunity to slip in, makes a big difference for all. Stuff like indicating, lets others know your next course of action, over-taking in the right manner is safe driving. I once parked near a zebra crossing, and got fined 40 pounds, and got 3 points on my driving license for blocking the pedestrians view whilst crossing. At the time being a rebel, I didn’t appreciate the concept that much, but over the years I have learnt that sometimes if you give, you can take and ultimately reach home in one piece, with a smile plastered on your face. Nobody can ever imagine the thought of running somebody over, when you actually had a chance to help them cross safely. I mean, Who could sleep knowing that he was indirectly involved in somebody’s death. It’s a feeling that I wish it upon nobody.

Would it be wishful thinking to hope that our Traffic Directorate would one day actually implement some form of system, where violators are penalized and fined. Maybe one day when the actual traffic warden stops somebody for having an infant in the front seat, without any seatbelts… (seatbelts already buckled but from behind the seat), I guess that will be the day. The cost is easily justified by fines, and awareness is made public. When people get their wallets pinched, trust me… The word travels like wild fire.. Until then, drive safe and give others a chance, and remember that pedestrians have rights on the road too !!!

The way it is….
26/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Hizbollah's Game

The controversial Hizbollah game has received various reviews being positive from the supporters, Islamists; and negative reviews from the moderate conservative. The situation has reached the on-line petition stage as per the GDN today.

To properly analyze the situation, a review of the background “is a must” to be able to reach an understanding and ultimately a conclusion. If you ask me, there is just too much hype surrounding the whole deal. The game just like any other computer game of the same caliber is the after-sales complimenting a movie, modern day war, an event and so on… No one disagrees (even the Israeli government) with the unexpected battering by Hizbollah. The game is even reviewed by on-line magazines; take PC-World and Digital Battle (to name a few).

Remember 1991 the Coalition Forces with their Desert Storm, games such as Desert Storm 1 and 2 made huge success in the computer games industry. Films such as Rambo, Die Hard, Navy Seals, Get Away and Auto-Grand Theft Series (just to name a few) have been undoubtedly popular amongst the younger and older gamers. These games display an undeniable amount of profound foul language, teaches violence, knowledge of weapons and their capabilities, and finally it allows you to splatter your opponent through graphic images.

These games by law have the obvious warnings and ratings displayed to advice parents prior to purchase. Unfortunately, these warnings are not taken seriously in our part of the world. Youngsters can purchase violent games, and rent and buy pirated DVD’s without a word of caution or advice from the seller.

If a campaign is to be started to activate proper regulation of the above (all games), then I am definitely game, otherwise we are wasting our time and energy, as all that hot air will take us nowhere. What will ultimately happen is that some will consider this action as being one-sided; i.e. just because the game is a Hizbollah (Shia) product, and believe me that this could turn out into a compounded issue that has no answer, we will end up with another Sunni/Shia issue that has no beginning or end.

On the other hand, if banned and to be realistic we all know what will happen… Just like everything else the game (cracked version) will be downloaded off the internet, and distributed like-wise through illegal and unregulated trading.

The funny side to all this is that the Israeli’s have not reacted the way we have, and I have the tendency to believe that they accept criticism or just prefer to ignore the whole issue as being trivial. Arabs are portrayed as terrorists, just as Blacks are portrayed as criminals, and it’s a stereotype.

It’s high time the Ministry of Information did their job more professionally, by implementing strict guidelines and regulations on the purchase of all violent games, films, and other materials/products where a parent is held responsible to decide, rather than a teenager who knows no better. If you live in a glass house, you better not throw stones.

The way it is…..
26/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gulf Air black-listed

Due to the nature of my business, for the last 15 years I have always been a frequent traveler especially within the GCC. Since 2001 Gulf Air has always held the # 1 spot on my black-list for being the worst airline to fly with (within GCC).

Don’t get me wrong, Gulf Air on the long-haul flights are pretty good, competitive in service and price, and have won awards on an international level. From time to time, at least twice a year I fly the BAH-LHR route and no complaints, except the odd late take-off which is always blamed on the ATC (Air Traffic Control).

My frustration comes on the regional routes between the GCC states. The reason why I refuse to use GF is because they always mess up my schedule on both inward and outward journeys. Some of the typical mishaps:

  • late take-off
  • over-booking
  • wrong seating allocation
  • old aircraft
  • unfriendly crew member (only to Asian passengers in economy)
  • price
  • duty-free items not being available

We all know that Gulf Air is going through a management phase, you could compare it to adolescence. There is confusion all over, alleged corruption, embezzlement, high turnover of staff, cut-backs, complaints, and the media has had the spot-light of our national carrier for past few weeks.

My last trip to Dubai was arranged by a client, and due to the last-minute decisions, I had to get there faster than ASAP.. My Alternatives???
Air Arabia (lands in Sharjah, and I just didn't have the time to do the Sharjah to Dubai journey)
Emirates (full flight, besides I needed a late flight back)
Other airlines did the home-base transit as a must (inconvenient for me)

Well Guess what… the only option was Gulf Air, the ticket cost BD93, and I had no other choice but for once to take Gulf Air off my list and give them another try. The result was not impressive, on both the outward/inward flights, my findings:

Outward (BAH-DXB)

  1. We were boarded on board 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.
  2. Sat on the flight for 25 minutes before take-off.
  3. Besides the refurbishment of the old plane (new carpet/seat covers), it was still tatty and everything has that broken look to it (typical wear and tear).
  4. The food tray lock was worn and kept releasing the tray (from vibration).
  5. The flight attendant mentioned Abu-Dhabi rather than Dubai as our destination.
  6. The in-flight refreshments improved from a small box to a medium sized box full of goodies (rock hard roll, cold hummos, fruit salad literally frozen and a little cup of water). As a matter of fact, food is not a rating factor on short flights (less than an 90 minutes) for me. By the way the stewards had difficulty collecting and storing food boxes in their trolley (obviously a flaw in the box design).
  7. The majority of passengers came from Asia, yet no one could speak their languages. The announced languages on board were Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Tagalog. I did look around, but no looked like they could speak any European languages.
  8. The takeoff made the plane rattle with vibrations, landing the beast was like the wild west rodeo.. yeeee-haaaa !!!!

Inward (DXB-BAH)

  1. All the above points, plus..
  2. Air-conditioning was terrible, on and off warm air before the actually push-back. A good 45 minutes was spent sweating on board. Mind you, GF did bribe us with a cold can of sprite.

I still refuse to travel on Gulf-Air for the time being until they decide to improve their services to be competitive in service, and in price. I remember Gulf Air in the 80’s as being the bird in the sky, the Golden Falcon that could spread it's wings. What has happened? Smaller and new regional airlines are emerging fast and are capitalizing on Gulf Air’s incompetence to hold on a market she has created. Gulf Air should not forget that the Gulf sector has and will always be a good source of revenue for them, it’s time she (GF) got this mess properly addressed and sorted out permanently in a proper and logical manner, it has been lingering for far too long.

I always remember my friend (who loves creating acronyms/abbreviations out of names), when I asked what GULF AIR stands for..

He replied “Get Used-to Late Flights Always In Repair”.

Have fabulous and wonderful a nice weekend (I know I will).

That's the way it is…
23/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blame America !!!!

Why do we always have the tendency to blame America for everything that we can’t sort out. It got me thinking realistically.. Yes, a lot of us do not agree with the American policies especially when it comes to the Middle-East, but we never consider the other side of the equation. We as Arab countries (just like any other country) have our good points and our bad points, put that in a scale and believe me you, we don’t differ that much in retrospective.
Looking at America realistically, we tend to forget that America provides aid to some of the starving countries which we as Muslims should be sympathetic to. America has done some good deeds in her life-time, think about the Arab’s (Palestinian, Iraq, Syria, even GCC countries) who were forced out or exiled from their homes by occupation, injustice, war, etc. Did any Arab country open their arms and say.. “come along, our home is your home?” Nope… Instead, America welcomed them, provided a source of hope, security, citizenship, and schooling for them.
Look at America on the legal side, America is court marshalling the soldiers who were implicated in inhumane treatment towards Iraqi prisoners at Abu-Gharieb and Iraqi civilians. Which of our countries would do that? At least America exposes their flaws even when it comes to the President, rather than brush the crumbs under the carpet and hope that the problem will disappear.
There are many examples that could be elaborated on.. Look at America on the Aid side of things, they provide annual budgets for various programs in various countries, not necessarily with a political agenda, but more on the humanitarian side.
What really annoys me though are the religious misfits which we have, they always point the finger of blame towards America a.k.a. (The Great Satan) according to them. They seem to forget that their car (Ford Grand Marquis, Crown Victoria, Chevrolet, and Caprice) are all American. Their pirated version of Windows XP comes from? (America is it?), Who invented air-conditioning? Arabs.. Nope.. Americans?? The telephone? America again… How do they justify their pathetic remarks? They say, I quote.. “you shouldn’t buy brand new American products, but it’s ok to buy second-hand”. When it comes to software, they say “it’s ok to pirate the software, because you are not benefiting them financially”. The best one though… They say “if you can use them or their technology, products to your benefit it’s ok, as long as you don’t benefit them directly”.
That is a heavy load of BS (JCB style), the kind that a shovel could not handle, How much more hypocritical can we get… This is coming from fools who wear the “thoub and turban” of Islam, and proclaim to adhere to the manners and teaching of the Holy Prophet. Take a hike buddy !!!!
Next time you go on holiday, make sure you change you money into some other currency, other than the US Dollar.
Maybe it’s time we quit flapping our gums, and do something about something, rather than whine about America being unfair (boo-hooo). That my friends is light years away. By the time we figure out our heads from our tails, in the meantime America will remain to be what it is and nothing will change that.
Just to conclude with something worth mentioning from the Holy Quran, Surah 13 (ar’Rad) Verse 11: “أن الله لا يغير ما بقوم حتى يغيروا ما بأنفسهم”, translated as: “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves”

That’s the way it is… (for now unfortunately)
21/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It was expected...

Me for one, spent my teens in the 70's, 80's and 90's enjoying music of Bob, Motown, Soul Train and yep... Michael Jackson.. Hell yeah !!! I got the Off the wall, Thriller, and Bad albums. However, I won't lie... After the first molestation case, I guess the whole world had their assumptions that MJ could have been setup because he was famous, sensitive, "pure and wholesome" and he had the whole world by the balls. Over the years more cases emerged, and then doubts about the man, opps.. I mean the weirdo started to emerge... He had a couple of flops with his recent albums, and basically he lost his popularity..

When the news emerged that MJ was moving to Bahrain as a guest, and in light of all those "pending" child molestation court-cases against him, plus the fact that he had settled out of court on more than one occasion; The million dollar question remained.. Could MJ ever regain his popularity ever again.. The media played a big role with snippets of news that the Governor Sh. Abdulla bin Hamed Al-Khalifa had cut a deal with MJ, there was news about Two Seas Productions, and a record for the Katrina victims and an upcoming album.

The Al-Wasat Newspaper yesterday published a news article that the Governor is apparently suing MJ for $5 million for breach of contract, plus the cost of his stay (12 months) in the Kingdom. It will be very interesting to see how far this one goes and if MJ will honor his contract, or even show up for court.. I really hope that H.E. The Governor will be able to recuperate his losses, and maybe sign-up and invest in some prosperous and promising young local talent, and build on that.

Even more recently on ABC's "Insiders Edition", MJ was charging Japanese fans $1,000 a pop for a 30 second chat and picture, which the average conservative Japanese thought was pathetic. In addition fans had paid a substantial amount for a long awaited come-back concert, well guess what... He left them waiting for two hours, the organizers had no other option but to let the "wannabe bands" take the stage. When MJ showed up, he gave the crowd a 2 minute performance before leaving. Thats what you call value for money.

Reality is that MJ is currently is debt, his millions have been blown away through a lavish and pathetic life style, all he has left is probably his assets and his "Neverland Ranch". If he keeps doing what he has been doing, he won't last long. MJ won't be remembered for his hits and platinum albums, but for his life-style that has led to nothing. Sad but true...

I guess that's the way it is...
17/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Fate my arse!!!

What really annoys me is when you are driving and some idiot is tail-gating you. I mean what is wrong with this fool.. He’s driving a mini-bus with tinted out windows, full of veiled female passengers (apparently being transported from some summer camp or educational institute).
I’m driving down the Hamala Avenue doing around 80km/h; there are three cars ahead of me and it obvious day-light. The fool is flashing me with his headlights… Where am I supposed to go? So I give him the hand gesture..

Anyway, some way or another he manages to overtake me and slips right in front of me, only due to an on-coming truck. Funny thing is… There’s this slogan on his rear window, you can’t miss it, it says..
“نمشي على الدرب ولا ندري عن المكتوب” translated as: “we take the path, and have no knowledge about our fate”.

WTF !!!! Come on… If you think risking people’s lives with pure stupidity with little or no consideration for others will get you from A to B safely.. Think again.. You were lucky this time.

Where were the traffic cops when you need them, then again… What would they do? Slap a BD5 fine? It’s time the traffic implemented some form of points system just like the UK and most European countries. Only then will people appreciate and follow the law when it comes to seat-belts, children, speeding, parking, and general driving rules.

I guess that’s the way it is…
16/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Monday, August 13, 2007

A blast from the past..

My three nephews have been real upset and restless for the last couple of days, the reason being that their PS2 is busted and the repairman has not been able to repair and deliver, at the speed they were expecting.

I always encourage them to spend their time collectively in different activities, other than PS2 and the internet, so the conversation gets initiated by my eldest son when he asks me how I spent my summer holidays as an eleven year old. Honestly speaking the question did put a smile on my face, because I remembered that we never had much in the sense of electronic/electrical gadgets, but we did have an excellent time.

Some of things we did:

We would find an old bicycle rim, which we would roll about using a wooden stick.
We would play hoops with a bicycle tire, basically fling it and make sure it landed in/over the street lamp.
We would take an empty bottle of mineral water (Gulfa, I remember) and wedge it between the back tire and the bicycle frame, producing a motor cycle sound effect (brm-brm-brm-brm).
Ramadan was the best time, we would burn steel wool and run like crazy creating lines of sparks and flares in the dark, and play hide and seek with the kids from the fareej.

I continued enlightening my kids that in those days the streets were empty by 9pm, people went to bed by 10pm. They were surprised !!! But what really got them is when I mentioned two things:

The fact that cars did not have air-conditioning, and that windows were manually operated.
The first mobile phone was similar to a suitcase (Ghazal), and the first handheld mobile weighed around 1kg.

That made me wonder that in the years to come, all those gadgets and technology that we utilize today which we consider as world-class achievements, will be looked upon by our grand-children as primitive.

I guess that’s the way it is…
13/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Three Million...

Last Thursday was the anniversary of the 7th Shia Imam Moosa Ibn Jaffar Al-Khadim, as with everything I believe credit should be given where due. For those who are a bit vague on the subject, Imam Al-Khadim rests in Khadimiya in Iraq, where his tomb was blown up twice.
Looking at this situation from a different perspective, and not comparing it to other religious sites or to the number of visitors, and basically not wanting to get into a religious debate, etc..

In reality to see 3 million visitors flock into Khadmiya to pay their respects to the late Imam is touching, amazing and well deserved, and calls for some light to be shed on the life of Imam Moosa Al-Khadim.
Whether you are religious or not, whether you are Sunni or Shia, it does not really matter, call it knowledge if you may… Next time you hear that name pop up, you’ll know who they are referring to. So here is a brief wrap-up to bring you up to date..

Name: Moosa Ibn Jaffar Ibn Mohammed Ibn Ali Ibn Hussain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Taleb.
Epithet: Abul-Hassan, Khadim (one who swallows his anger), Al-Abd Al-Saleh (virtuous slave of Allah), Bab-Al-Hawaaj (door to fulfilling ones needs)
Date of Birth: 7th Safar 128 Hijri (6th November, 745)
Place of Birth: Abwa (between Mecca and Medina Al-Munawara)
Date of Martyrdom: 25th Rajab 183 Hijri (31st August, 799)
Place of Martyrdom: Baghdad (Iraq)
Father: Imam Jaffar Ibn Mohammed Al-Sadiq (6th Imam)
Mother: Hameeda Bint Saeed

Prior to his Imamate period, he spent around 20 years under the guidance of his father (Imam Jaffar Al-Sadiq). One of documented conversations between the Imam Moosa (who was 5 years old at the time) and Abu-Hanifa:

Abu-Hanifa: “O son of the Prophet! What is your opinion about the deeds of a man? Does he do them by himself, or does Allah make him do them?”

Imam Moosa Al-Khadim: “O Abu Hanifa!” the 5-year-old Imam replied. The doings of a man are confined to three possibilities: (i) That Allah alone does them while the man is quite helpless; (ii) That both Allah and the man equally share the commitment; (iii) That man does them alone. Now, if the first assumption is true, it obviously proves the injustice of Allah who punishes His creatures for sins, which they have not committed. If the second condition be accepted, even then Allah is unjust if He punishes a man for sins in which he is equally a partner. But the undesirability of both these conditions is evident in the case of Allah. Thus, we are naturally left with the third alternative to the problem that men are absolutely responsible for their actions!”

Imam Moosa Al-Khadim succeeded the imamate after the death of his father on 25th Shawwal, 148 Hijri (13th December, 765). During the first ten years he practiced the execution of religious responsibilities and teaching of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the period after that was spent being pursued by the Caliphs (Mansoor Al-Diwaniqi, Al-Mahdi and Haroun Al-Rasheed) of his time, with a great number of years being spent in various prisons under various managements.
The Imam was known for his generosity and virtue, his help for the poor by secretly providing them with the basic necessities was a riddle for the beneficiaries. The secret was only revealed after his death by his followers, that the Imam was the benefactor.
Due to the period that the Imam lived in he was not able to establish religious institutions like his father and grand-father had previously done, he was banned from addressing congregations, delivering sermons and addressing the people directly. He managed to sustain the teachings through secret meetings with his close aides and followers, he authored a number of books, the most famous being (Musnad Al-Imam Moosa Al-Khadim).

Caliph Haroun Al-Rasheed visited Medina in 179 Hijri (796 Georgian), and was unhappy with the popularity, influence and respect the Imam enjoyed amongst the people. He ordered the arrest of the Imam during prayer time in the Mosque of the Holy Prophet, and was sent to a prison in Baghdad where he would live for the next four years under the close observation of the Caliph’s government, and intimidated by various jailers.
On 25th Rajab 183 Hijri (31st August, 799), the Imam was poisoned and his body was handed to his followers, where his funeral procession took place over the Bridge of Baghdad to his final rest place in Khadmiya.

Imam Moosa Al-Khadim has earned his place in history, the historical facts from various schools of thought, his literature and sayings contribute to that. Definitely a great man, who lived in a perilous era. Salaam Allah Alayk Ya Abul-Hassan.

The way it is....
12/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hope for Bader Mubarek

The basic thought of just imagining something (God forbid) happen to your own child, can at the best of times be tormenting in thought. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of Bader Mubarek, who have no idea of where their son is, will he ever come back, and the worst thought of all is what could have happened to him.

Sadly the more the days elapse, the dimmer the light at the end of the tunnel. At the same token, getting their house rebuilt on the instructions from H.E. The Prime Minister, and their house re-furnished by Batelco, is all in good faith and the intention being to somewhat lessen their pain. Nothing can replace their missing Bader, God willing they may forget with time, but the thought of not knowing will always remain unanswered.

Tomorrow completes a month since his disappearance on 10th July, 2007. Friends, let us all pray for his safe return God willing. Let us not give up hope, let us no allow the shadow of doubt ever to make us loose momentum. I appeal to whoever has information leading his whereabouts to inform the authorities, and bring an end to the waiting and anguish being suffered by his parents.

There is an old saying… You can not hide in Bahrain, it’s too small and everybody knows each-other. Enshallah, is all that we can say…

I guess that’s the way it is…
9/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Monday, August 06, 2007

What are they gonna do about it??

Don't know if any of you actually pay attention to the news every once in a while, there is always an article about someone being caught in a drugs bust, or quite recently the 300kg haul, the drugs warehouse in Sitra or Eker (can't remember), and the every other-day bust of some teenager being clipped for being stoned and parked on the highway and acting weird.

The question that always occurs to me, especially when the article mentions that the accused has a history of drug abuse is... Why is nothing being done in terms of rehabilitation for the drug addict. I know in some countries such as the US and the UK, and clearly evident in their films, soaps and TV episodes that the Judge would normally offer the accused a second chance in life, by sentencing him on conditions and rewards.

Some good recommendations for such sentencing would be like...
  • Community Service (haul the lot of them over to Zallaq Beach and let them clean up)
  • Clinical Rehab (stage by stage treatment for the serious ones who really wanna quit)
  • Vocational Training (offer them alternative training to further help them get a job)
  • Counseling & Guidance (assign a case worker, offer forums where reformed ex-addicts get to share their experience with them)
Basically what happens over here is that the accused gets busted, goes to court, depending on the quantity in question gets a custodial sentence, bail or a pathetic fine, out on the street again, no job, nothing else to do, gets busted again... and the circle repeats itself.

Obviously, different addictions require different approaches, and different people respond differently to change. The same goes for petty thieves, joy-riders, and other minor crimes.. If we do not attempt to address the wrong with the right, we will always have those frequent visitors who keep the prison system occupied.

Most times the opportunity prospect of a second chance, with the correct guidance, end result and system mechanism in place, can change a person for the better... A half-assed effort will always yield the same result, if not worse...

I guess that's the way it is...
7/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Fake Jobs? Really..

What do you mean fake jobs as reported in todays GDN.

The funny side to this situation is that we seem to know that a lot of labor from the Asian continent are making their way to Bahrain, obviously after paying vast amounts, and believe it or not these poor folks actually take loans from loan sharks with high interest payments, guarantee their family property, and resort to various means in order to make it over here to earn a few Dineros to send home.

Coming to think of it... I guess that accounts for the door-to-door knocking of Bengali's trying to score a few Dinars by washing cars, attending to gardens, etc...

Why can't the Immigration be more vigilant in their entry regulations, I mean when I travel to another country, we get asked the various questions (even though we have a valid visa), and which we have already answered on our visa application.

Some questions like:

Who are you working with; i.e. (employer)?
The profession being employed into?
What is your agreed monthly salary?
Do you have a copy of your work contract?

Questions like these, raise other questions which can ultimately provide an explanation surrounding mysterious visa circumstances that we always hear about. In reference to the article, Where is the Employer of these people? Obviously, they will be let loose to be absorbed into the free-visa labor market. Another funny thing is that, there is an amnesty for all free-visa workers.

I guess that's the way it is....

6/8/2007 Capt. Arab

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Job Seekers Finale

Recently in Al-Wasat Newspaper (Friday 3/8/2007) published an article of hundreds of job applications being dumped in a dumpster in A'ali.

Apart from the various explanations provided by the Ministry Officials, basically clarifying that these applicants have already been entered into their systems electronically, etc.. In my view if such is the case, then as all government ministries are annually audited by the big names in town, such as Ernest & Young, KPMG; Then obviously there are ways that information is supposably destroyed.

From my working experience on various projects with the BMA, and Government Institutions; all information that is deemed of a confidential nature and which is no longer needed can be destroyed. However, there are various guidelines which must be followed on an international level such as:

  1. The information must be stored for a set time, such as six months.
  2. When destroying, paperwork should be shreeded or burnt; in the presence of an official where a sign-off is necessary.
  3. A log-sheet of what was destroyed should be kept on file for future references.
In light of the above, the question remains... How did these applications end up in a dumpster? Who is responsible? and last but not least.... What will be done or What procedures are in place to ensure that such an incident is not repeated?

I think the Ministry owes all the job seekers an apology, and has to provide some form of convincing evidence that the evidence in the dumpster is nothing but documentation which was required to be destroyed.

On the other hand... I believe the feelings of the unfortunate job seekers has been hurt...

I guess that's the way it is.
5/8/2007 Capt. Arab