Friday, August 25, 2006

Death trap

Quick post here out of shear frustration and surprise.

A major intersection here in Doha near the Toyota tower was partially closed for a while as they were rennovating the roads. It was opened finally about 20 days ago with brand new roads that make you feel you are driving on roads of marble.

Today while crossing the traffic light going from Corniche road towards the C-Ring road doing about 80Kms, I was horrified by the sudden appearance of a manhole extruded about 15cms above the surface of the new road *think trunk of a cut down tree sticking out of the road*.

It is accurately placed infront of the right wheel of cars driving on the right lane. Needless to say, running into it produced a horrible bashing sound that is closer to an accident than a bump in the road.

Just to think I was going to buy the Honda Jazz a few days ago. I am sure at that speed in that small a car (Honda or other make) would've caused more than an unpleasant accoustic experience.

It could kill someone, and just to think this was a road recently signed off by some project manager as good and ready for public use.

What comes to mind now is memories of conversations I used to have about how extremely long roads take to be finished and how that is justified/balanced by how high the quality of the resulting work is.

This one took a long time, and was released with what can only be described as a death trap, an accident waiting to happen, an overhyped media scandal of a poor quality contract.

I really like Qatar, and I would hate to see this kind of thing become a regular item, especially with the flood of visitors expected in the few coming months for the Doha Asian Games 2006.

I am going to report this to whoever I find in Ash'3al on Monday, and I ask everyone in Doha who reads this to go take a look at it (and avoid it) and report it.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

النفاق القومي


يا اخي يعني ايش قلة هالحيا؟

طول النهار والليل هالشله قاعدين بيعيطو من القمع والاضطهاد وانهم مش قادرين يحكو رأيهم من ورا هالديموقراطية المزيفة والظائعة بالظاء.

ولما بيجي واحد معهوش خبر بالنفاق اللي هم فيه و بيحكي رأي غير رأي هالشلة، اللي من الواضح انو رأي منزل، بتقوم القيامة وما بتقعد؟! وبيقسمو حالهم واحد متنبي وواحد فرزدق ووحدة تخصص تقيس الرجولة وتقييم انتماءات وغيره وغيره وغيره!

طيب ولكو ما لما عندكو هالمراجل وين بتروح وقت الشغل؟ ليش ماحدا بحكي مع النواب والوزرا غير عالواسطه وشغللنا هالولد؟ وين بتطير هاللسانات المدلدلة وهالعبارات المكوية؟ ليش بعدنا هيك؟

بس الصحيح انكم -واحد يقول للثاني- "غنم"، يعني بتسمعلهم صوت مثاغاه بس وقت الجد كلهم
عالذبح.


طيب مش فاهم انا لما هذول قاعدين بيكتبو اللي بدهم اياه، بالطريقة اللي بدهم اياها وبالمكان اللي بدهم اياه وبقلة الحياء وقلة الادب اللي هم فيها، ليش بشكو من القمع؟!

والادهى كمان، لما زعلانين من الاضطهاد والقمع و بتحكو انكو بتآمنو بالديموقراطية وحرية الرأي، حلوا عني خلوني احكي

ولما الواحد بيقمع غيره في نفس المكان اللي بشتكي وبيتبكبك فيه من القمع بيكون منافق ومستاهل للقمع والشلاليت! فالله لا يرده وينزع صباحه دنيا وآخرة!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Civilization East and West

This is an interesting read. A bit of history first, person A is travelling to Canada, person B says "Bring back some civilization", Person C says "Yeah, some fake civilization". Person B writes the following:


I'm not really sure where you have lived in the past,
nor how long it's been since you've experienced life in the middle east
and/or
north america.

I think you have misinterpreted my
statement about
civilisation, I wasn't really talking about civilisation in
the global sense,
which encompasses foreign affairs, wars, politics and so
on. What I was
referring to is the basic, fundamental principles of
civilisation that has been
known to man since the invention of the wheel. To
be more specific:

  • Understanding the concept of waiting in line
  • Attempting to be punctual, it's nice and dandy to own a
    $15,000 watch, but it would also be nice to learn how to use it sometimes.
  • Making a simple effort to meet promises and commitments,
    living by the old saying "a man's word"
  • Being open to the idea that reading a book is not a
    waste of time, which will ultimately lead to the great idea of actually having a
    public library to take books out and read (what a concept!)
  • Realizing that spending 14 million Riyals (over $4
    million) on a "moumayaz" phone number is a bit unreasonable and is not such a
    great achievemt.
    knowing that it is not mandatory to have a maid, driver and
    cook per every household resident, and that some people actually serve
    themselves with their own hands!
  • Smiling will not shorten your life.
  • Customer Service: you can actually get something as
    complicated as a phone line at your house without having to speak to the
    company's CEO and threaten to throw a revolution and then wait aything between a
    month and 2 years to get the service is possible
  • building a few towers and a flashy mall does not
    constitute "advancement, prosperity and the ultimate in
    civilisation"

I can go on and on, but I think I have made myself clear.
I can litterally write a memoir of a couple of hundred pages of my limited
experince in Qatar during the last 2+ years of where I have questioned if
civilisation has reached this part of the world yet.

As you can
see, you have touched on a pretty sensitive issue with me, and I can not really
accept people denying that we're so far behind and not admitting that there's
better ways to do things, cause that's how we will stagnate and things will
remain status quo, as it's been for the past who knows how long.

I'm also a believer that we should lead by example and not just
criticize, but believe me it is not easy convincing people that throwing soda
cans out of the car window is wrong. (Why is it wrong? that's why we have
garbadge men cleaning the streets...)

Now, once we can accomplish
some of the above, we can talk about civilisation in the global sense, but until
then, let's keep working on the waiting in line concept.

Please
note that no offence was intended to anyone.

Regards,



OUCH!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Replacement UN

This is my reading of some political events that happened during my conscious observation of the world in politics.

Israel and its larger twin USA managed together to anger enough countries and people to allow for an alternate UN.

Just looking at the level of meek submissiveness that the UN is in at the moment, and sighting the ineffectiveness and uselessness of it in the face of the current US/Israeli attack on Lebanon, and on the other hand the speed and efficiency of its move against the Iranian nuclear program. It becomes very clear that the UN is just a tool used to drive the US/Israeli agenda in the world.

The power of the UN comes from the legitimacy given to it by countries of the world that subscribe to that model. If enough key countries withdraw from the UN and form a new alliance called FUN (Functioning United Nations) it could restore some political balance in powers.

I suggest this FUN be lead by China or Russia and have a number of members that include the countries of the former UN that are at a deliberate disadvantage like Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi, Egypt, Korea N ... etc.

This way at least, when the UN meets on any random purpose the outcome would be predetermined by design rather than by expectation. For instance, we no longer have to think of UN as the United Nations, but as the US/Israeli axis of the devil and therefore, all decisions, meetings, condemnations, drafts and resolution from that point on can be published years ahead of time instead of just deciding them and waiting for the right time to publish.

This of course renders it illegitimate and useless, as it is in fact. In other words, United Nations minus Functioning United Nations (UN-FUN) = -F (minus Functioning) which can in other words be described as Dysfunctional.

I call for FUN and the Dysfunctional to be put forward to the states of the world for debate and prompt decision.