Thursday, March 29, 2007

I am an arrogant idiot

This is a quickie...

I live in Qatar. It is quite the diverse place here. Today I made my way into a mosque I never prayed in before. Turns out 99% of all the people who prayed there were Pakistani or Indian.

After prayer finished, one man stood up and said something in his own language which was probably Urdu. He looked poor, like most of the people around me. I assumed he was telling everyone he was having a hard time setteling a debt or paying his rent as sometimes is the case.

I looked at the Imam hoping he would explain to me what the man said, but he was busy with his after praye doaa' and tasbeeh. A man next to me was looking at me and smiling, he could clearly make out that I was puzzled.

He tried to explain to me saying in Arabic "Hatha fi Jawlah, Jawlah ... Jawlah". But I had no idea what he meant. These words don't really mean much unless you understand what he means by Jawlah which really means a "round". Another man explained to me he is asking people to come over for food.

He was not asking people for money, he was asking us to come over and share his food.

How arrogant of me and stupid to assume that everyone looking poor and addressing the people in a mosque is asking for money.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

3 in 1 tag

Tagged by Naryat

1- If there was a fire at your house and you could save only one thing (item) what would that be?

My external hard disk. It has all my photos and personal files.

2- What is the most embarrassing situation you have been in?
I still remember it like it was two minutes ago.

1st grade. I don't remember why I went to my older brother's class but I think we'd already finished school for the day and he had one more class.

I don't know what it was, but it wasn't unusual for people to take interest in me and try to be friendly. So the teacher in Ghaith's class (Ghaith being my older brother) decided to ask me to solve a puzzle in front of the class. He asks me about who would be the owner of an egg laid by a "rooster". Would it be the owner of the rooster or the man who had the egg laid in his land.

I said the owner, because the owner was feeding the rooster. And was so angry when the teacher was laughing at my response and told me I was wrong. I remember I was red and started defending my case.

To calm me down, he told me that roosters don't lay eggs, chicken do. But I didn't hear him in my struggle to make him understand my point of view and kept arguing about who should be the owner, at which point, the whole class broke into hilarity and fits of laughter.

My brother then told me the thing with the rooster not chicken again and I was very, very embarrassed.

I still remember the teachers face, laughing uncontrollably.


3- If you can do over a part of your life, what will you change?

At the risk of sounding cliche, I really wouldn't change a thing. In retrospect, all the bad times and pains have taught me lessons that came in handy at some later part of my life.

But if I have to change something, I would change the the few minutes before and during I fell in that cursed basketball game and broke my ankle. I would change that to just finished the game and went home.

I tag ... I will decide later.

UPDATE
I tag TeaLover.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why working at home isn't for everyone

I just had an epiphany. I know now why working from home doesn't work.

I colleague got sick and couldn't come to the office today, and while he said he would be available on mobile and email, it is still not the same for completing job tasks.

When he is in, I see something in my email and I want to talk to him, I pickup the phone, dial his extension and he is there. Question answered. If not, I will just walk into his office and get my answer.

And while I do get my answer through email if he is not in, it is not the same. You loose your string of thoughts and things become lazy and unresponsive and eventually you loose your momentum.

There is a certain added value in physical presence that makes sense when you need to make decisions quickly. Which I believe is 80% of daily work.

Still, if you're going to spend 2-3 days writing a document. It would actually make more sense for you to do it at home, uninterrupted.

Friday, March 16, 2007

3-Rings-of-Light on my 360

After a while of crashing and freezing, expectedly, my XBOX 360 has finally given me the 3 finger salute known as 3RL (3 Rings of Light).

Error code is 0102. Which basically for a while meant that its dead beyond repair.

Now however there is a number of alternative methods that may revive it. I have nothing to lose that I didn't already.

I'm starting with the eraser.

Will keep you posted.

UPDATE

My XBOX 360 is fixed and I went through the whole Nurnburgring on PGR3 and everything except for the fans seems to be working fine.

The fans are much louder now.

Monday, March 12, 2007

iPark or/حدائق الانترنت

I was surprised to see this today. My friend Ali Al-Suwaidi sent me a link to this video today. This is about the iPark that I talked about in a previous post.

Enjoy.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Idiots can ruin your iPark day

ictQATAR, the place where I work, has cooperated with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture in Qatar to bring about the iPark.



You can now go to the bigger parks in Doha and get free wireless internet access on your laptop.



A great step forward in my view and an idea that should be studied and possibly extended to cover all of Qatar and may be have the idea implemented all over the region.



The launch was a mega event, to which I was invited. I had enough time to go home from work, have lunch, rest a little and the go there with the family.



Only when I got there the police insisted on seeing the invitation card to let me go in. Only THERE WAS NO INVITATION CARD. All my attempts to explain my this fact to the thick and impolite police man were unsuccessful and I decided to forfeit the day and go do something else with the family.



I parked the car at a different part of the Doha Corniche, and Yelsmin asked if we could take a boat ride, so we did. And then I had the idea to have the boat drop us near the park where the launch taking place. Which we did and made an appearance there and everyone was happy. Especially Yelsmin as she got to take another trip on the boat on the way back to the car.



The worrying part is that I had my whole family, Yelsmin's bike and I got all of us including the bike into the launch event with out really having to think about it. What kind of security is this? I guess the police man is there only to ruin people's days as quite clearly he is not securing the place.



It is a fact of life that one idiot can ruin one or more days for one or more people. What makes it more annoying is that this can be easily avoided.



And in this case, the police man was supposed to be keeping the place safe but lost focus and turned his attention to working the car park. Thank God Qatar is a safe family place, otherwise we would've had a mess on our hands.

Diversity in my work place

I just have to write about this.

I was reminded yesterday while in a meeting of a fact of my daily work routine that I found especially interesting. And that is that I work in a widely diversified environment.

The aforementioned meeting was between four of us. My self a Jordanian, one South African, one German and one English man, all working on a project who's team is just as diverse.

The project is run in a division run by a Singaporean. The program manager is Qatari. The project owner is Greek but lived in Austria and married to a German (who's sun by the way speaks 5 languages fluently).

The project team contains two Nigerian/English guys, a Syrian/Iraqi/English, a Lebanese, an Australian, an Irish, an Indian and three English guys one of which speaks English so posh that you think the Queen is about to walk through the door.

When preparing for this project back in December 06, I remember a lunch we had. One Russian who lived in Brazil. The afore mentioned Greek/Austrian. One Indian, one Jordanian, one Syrian American and one German/French. All of whom are well traveled and well cultured.

You can imagine the conversations we have at lunch. We talked for 20 minutes about the different types of red meet in the world, once about pros vs cons of Sushi. One time we shared what body language means in different parts of the world. So much to learn, so little time. :)

I am fortunate for this part of my work.