Showing posts with label Middle East. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle East. Show all posts

Saturday, March 11, 2023

11: News Bulletin

Blue Origin Says It Can Make Solar Panels Out of Moon Dust
This Box Wing eVTOL Will Run on Hydrogen and Have a Range of 620 Miles
This 3D Printed Community Is Printing One House per Week for a Year
Cutting Out Just a Muffin a Day Can Make You Age More Slowly, Study Finds
Robots Could Be Doing Almost Half of Our Household Chores Within a Decade

Humans Didn’t Invent Mathematics, It’s What the World Is Made Of the Pythagorean school of thought in ancient Greece .... reality is fundamentally mathematical. More than 2,000 years later, philosophers and physicists are starting to take this idea seriously. ......... mathematics is an essential component of nature that gives structure to the physical world. ....... Bees in hives produce hexagonal honeycomb. Why? ..... bees have evolved to use this shape because it produces the largest cells to store honey for the smallest input of energy to produce wax. ........ There are two subspecies of North American periodical cicadas that live most of their lives in the ground. Then, every 13 or 17 years (depending on the subspecies), the cicadas emerge in great swarms for a period of around two weeks. ...... Why is it 13 and 17 years? Why not 12 and 14? Or 16 and 18? ....... 13 and 17 are prime numbers. ......... cicadas have a range of predators that also spend most of their lives in the ground. The cicadas need to come out of the ground when their predators are lying dormant. ........ Suppose there are predators with life cycles of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 years. What is the best way to avoid them all? ......... Once we start looking, it is easy to find other examples. From the shape of soap films, to gear design in engines, to the location and size of the gaps in the rings of Saturn, mathematics is everywhere. ......... mathematical facts are discovered: not just by humans, but by insects, soap bubbles, combustion engines, and planets. ........ Plato also maintained that mathematical objects exist outside of space and time. But such a view only deepens the mystery of how mathematics explains anything.......... physical reality is made of mathematical objects in the same way matter is made of atoms. ....... the idea that reality is a simulation. A simulation is a computer program, which is a kind of mathematical object. ....... reality is made of mathematical objects and minds. Mathematics is how the universe, which is conscious, comes to know itself. ........ Mathematics gives matter its form, and matter gives mathematics its substance. ........ As the boundary between physics and mathematics blurs, it becomes harder to say which parts of the world are physical and which are mathematical. ..... The time has arrived for a Pythagorean revolution, one that promises to radically alter our understanding of reality.

Pythagoras’ revenge: humans didn’t invent mathematics, it’s what the world is made of
Mathematical Explanation: A Pythagorean Proposal
Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses? A religion scholar explains the history of the often misunderstood group 8 million members across 240 countries. ........ understood “Jehovah,” a version of the Hebrew “Yahweh,” to be the name of God the Father himself. ........ looked forward to Jesus Christ establishing a “millennium” or a thousand-year period of peace on Earth. This “Golden Age” would see the Earth transformed to its original purity, with a “righteous” social system that would not have poverty or inequality. ....... look forward to the Golden Age that Russell and his Bible students expected. ........ the group’s belief in a literal thousand-year earthly reign of Christ ....... they do not vote in elections, serve in the military or salute the flag. Such acts, they believe, compromise their primary loyalty to God...... Jehovah’s Witnesses have no political affiliations, and they renounce violence. However, they make an easy target for governments looking for internal enemies, as they refuse to bow down to government symbols. Many nationalists call them “enemies of the state.” ......... Jehovah’s Witnesses were jailed as draft evaders in the U.S. during both world wars. In a Supreme Court ruling in 1940, school districts were allowed to expel Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused to salute the American flag. Through subsequent legal battles in the 1940s and 1950s, Jehovah’s Witnesses helped expand safeguards for religious liberty and freedom of conscience both in the United States and Europe. ......... In Nazi Germany, Jehovah’s Witnesses were killed in concentration camps; a purple triangle was used by the Nazis to mark them.

Company Raises $100M After Announcing Shift to AI, But Has No Discernible Product We're in the middle of an AI gold rush — but is there any gold?
Report: Elon Musk is Building His Own Town in Texas Musk wants his own company town where people live and work for him. ........ a "Texas Utopia" along the Colorado River where SpaceX, Boring Company, and Tesla employees can live, work, and play, and never have to leave. .

Iran-Saudi ties: China-brokered ‘win-win’ deal could bring Yemen war to a close, analysts say Tehran and Riyadh have agreed to restore diplomatic relations following the Beijing-led talks that experts dubbed as ‘a major development in the Middle Eastern diplomacy’....... Analysts say the easing of tensions between the rivals could also prompt Saudi and Iran to end hostilities in Yemen by agreeing to a ‘face-saving’ resolution .......... The Chinese-mediated agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume diplomatic relations after a seven-year hiatus is widely expected to de-escalate conflicts across the Middle East. Although details of the deal reached during five days of talks in Beijing have not been made public, many analysts believe they include an understanding on bringing the eight-year war in Yemen to a negotiated close. .

Monday, November 04, 2019

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Of Dubai Has A Major Social Media Presence

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor is a name I came across early while I have been digitally exploring Dubai for the past several weeks. He is the founder of the Al Habtoor Group. What is striking though is that he has a major social media presence. He has taken to social media like duck to water.


"A self-made man, he is Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group – one of the most successful conglomerates in the Gulf........ his extensive knowledge of international political affairs ...... he has long acted as an unofficial ambassador for his country abroad....... Writing extensively on both local and international politics, he publishes regular articles in the media and has released a number of books. Al Habtoor’s articles are available on

He has an honorary doctorate from Illinois College.

As you can see, he is quite outspoken.

Trump’s dangerous policies imperil our world (2017) #America’s allies and adversaries are appalled by his decision to throw a grenade into the #Middle_East by unilaterally declaring #Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State. ...... This reckless act by a dangerous/self-absorbed individual has killed all hopes of peace. ..... #Trump’s loyalties do not lie with #America’s interests or with #Israel’s. In fact, he has made the world a far more dangerous place for Israeli and American travellers by putting targets on their heads. His gross provocation is a gift to terrorist recruiters and could spark lone wolf attacks in Western and Arab cities. ...... #Trump is a ‘me-me’ man who uses every speech to trumpet his own achievements, both real and imaginary, or to disparage his presidential rival Democratic nominee #Hillary_Clinton with whom he harbours a weird vendetta-like obsession. ...... It was a populist wave that swept this underqualified president to power, giving him free reign on not only his country, but the entire world. ...... Initially his candidacy was written-off as a joke. Voters tired of political dinosaurs cast their ballots in his favour despite his often racist statements, disreputable behaviour towards women and acclaim from white supremacist groups. ....... Disappointed in former US President Barack #Obama’s pro-Iran stance and his affiliation with the terrorist #Muslim_Brotherhood, before I discovered the flaws in #Trump’s character I had high hopes that a businessman could invigorate #America’s economy and bring a fresh perspective to US #Middle_East policy.......... I quickly realized my mistake and wrote several columns strongly advising the American voters not to elect this erratic individual..........

the US is up there with the countries I most admire and many of my dearest friends are American.

....... the Machiavellian bully Steve Bannon known for his incendiary anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric....... #Trump’s #America First mantra was disconcerting when the US has traditionally been seen as a force for good worldwide. I soon understood its core implications – the rest of the world does not count.......... Almost the entire international community was shocked and dismayed by his ditching of the Paris Climate Accord and since, his executive orders have illustrated his disregard for maintaining a healthy environment and preserving wildlife. ....... With all my respect to the American people and to their amazing nation, this time voters got it badly wrong. Donald #Trump does not think before he speaks and does not heed advice. The danger is that his mammoth ego could easily envelop not only the US but much of the planet in a nuclear conflagration. He is no aficionado in the Art of the Deal but rather an expert in the Art of Bullying......... the US is ‘taking a tougher stance’ against #Saudi_Arabia’s ‘role’ there, while urging the Saudi-led coalition to ‘completely lift the blockade’, and to wage its military campaign in a more measured fashion. That must be music to the ears of the Iranian mullahs and the primitive Houthi rag-tags who slaughtered former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh....... I must, therefore, appeal to the leaders of #Saudi_Arabia, the Emirates, #Bahrain, #Egypt and #Jordan to adopt independent policies free of American restraints or promises as long as the #Trump #White_House exists. ........ We must be united to project power in order to protect our part of the world that has suffered so terribly from foreign interference and we should show our displeasure by collaborating with other world powers while diversifying our suppliers of aircraft, weapons, technological items etc. ...... If Mr #Trump is hell-bent on keeping the US in a cosy bubble with #Israel, he cannot demand the loyalty of any other nation. He has created a dog-eat-dog atmosphere in which it is every country for itself....... In the meantime, we Emiratis should work closely with our trusted friends to repair the damage done by his folly to ensure #Jerusalem will always be the capital of #Palestine in our hearts – and, if God wills, in reality.

Putin’s leadership qualities outshine Obama’s (2014) It’s no accident of fate that #President #Vladimir #Putin’s approval rating hovers around 87 percent as opposed to #President #Obama’s which is at an all-time low of 34 percent....... #Obama has singlehandedly removed the word ‘super’ from the superpower........ the French #President Francois Hollande, is hobbling along with a 17 percent job approval....... a leader requires more than a glib turn of phrase, a Hollywood smile and a bespoke tailored suit to be effective. Charisma may help win elections but the public soon sees through the façade and demands tangible results.............. Neither #Putin nor Merkel can claim natural charisma; he’s cool and dour and portrays unfashionable machismo; she’s frumpy, unflappable and no-nonsense. Yet, they have won respect for doing what they say, for standing strong for what they believe........ As a man, I actively dislike him. He’s managed to collect a rogue’s gallery of allies who’ve greatly benefited from his military, diplomatic and economic largesse. #Russia’s protection of the monstrous Syrian dictator, Bashar Al Assad, directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of over 140,000 of his own people, is chilling. Humanity can never forgive Assad for his crimes, committed not only with #Putin’s approval but also Russian-made weaponry. Moreover, #Putin’s allegiance with the Islamic State of Iran that presents one of the greatest dangers to the region via its proxies and its divisive ideological dissemination igniting sectarian conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain, is nothing short of contemptible. ......... #Putin’s loyalties are misplaced. He’s guilty of prioritising national interests and a geopolitical power play over ethics and morality. ............ #Obama did nothing to counter Moscow’s annexation of Crimea except complain and, together with the EU, slap #Russia with sanctions which have boomeranged to shoot European economies in the foot........ sanctions should hurt the sanctioned side more than they hurt those doing the sanctioning.......... While Washington and Brussels discuss what further punishments to mete out to bring #Putin into line, Moscow has banned agricultural imports from the West and wasted no time in finding eager new suppliers. And if the situation turns any nastier, #Russia could turn off gas pipelines leaving #Ukraine and parts of Europe shivering in the winter. As a side effect to this icy relationship, Moscow and Beijing have reaffirmed ties with a US$ 400 billion deal for #Russia to supply the world’s most populous nation with 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually, expected to flow in 2018...............

Historically, sanctions rarely work.

...... unless the West is willing to light a match on World War III, #Obama and friends are virtually impotent to halt #Putin in his tracks........ In the unlikely event, my path ever crosses with #Putin’s, I would salute to him, saying, “I may not like you as a person and I don’t approve of your policies, but you have my appreciation for being a man of your word. You’ve taken some difficult decisions that only a leader who’s confident and strong can take and for that you’ve gained my respect”.

Saudi and the UAE, the ‘Shield of the Gulf’ Our region is war-torn and fractured. We are facing multiple threats of multiple kinds. This is the most dangerous era I have ever lived through ........ While almost the entire world is shining a spotlight on the so called Islamic State in #Syria and #Iraq, #GCC States must not take their eyes off our neighbourhood’s greatest threat – the Islamic Republic of #Iran and its militias in #Lebanon, #Syria and #Iraq......... those enemies are using slick propaganda for the purposes of making us doubt one another. They speak of rifts between the Kingdom of #Saudi_Arabia and the United Arab Emirates when there are none........ The relationship between the Kingdom and the Emirates is based on a shared history, culture and bloodlines. It is unbreakable. Threats to #Saudi_Arabia are the same which threaten the #UAE.

#Iran’s ultimate goal is to seize our territories, strip-us of our natural resources and take control of the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina

....... As I write, highly-trained, battle hardened pro-Iranian Shiite fighters from #Lebanon and #Syria are heading to #Iraq to further destabilise #Iraq in support of their Iranian masters........ #Russia’s goal is to become the dominant regional power and to further his endgame President Vladimir #Putin is throwing his country’s weight behind #Iran. During his meeting last month with #Iran’s Supreme Leader, he presented Ali Khamenei with a replica of #Russia’s oldest handwritten Quran.......... #Putin, who has never recovered from the disbanding of the mighty Soviet Union, is on a roll following his illegal annexation of Crimea, a move met with little more than a slap on the wrist from the US and its allies. Emboldened, he is calling the shots in #Syria as though he is that country’s leader while ingratiating himself with the world’s greatest terrorist funder, #Iran, which due to its murky affiliations has escaped becoming a target of terrorism. Of course, even terrorists do not bite the hand that feeds them!........ We were burned by the overthrow of the elected government in #Yemen by the emissaries of Tehran and if we do not stem the growing threat in #Iraq, we will have only ourselves to blame........ If we imagine we can place our trust in global powers, that strove to empower and enrich #Iran via a nuclear deal, we are mistaken because they are driven solely by self-interest. .......... Our destiny cannot rest with fence-sitters or pretend friends..... The only significant forces in the #GCC are those of the United Arab Emirates and #Saudi_Arabia. We are the shield and the sword of all Gulf States ..... It is time for all regional leaderships to be transparent, and those suspected of playing both sides or of hiding their true intentions should be banished behind a virtual Trump-style wall.

It's time the Lebanese removed their shackles (2012) Al-Hassan is yet another prominent #Lebanese assassinated because murderous lowlifes objected to something he said or did....... I remembered with a shudder that terrible day, the 14th February 2005, when I learned that my dear friend former #Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri had suffered a similar fate and rushed to Beirut to offer my personal condolences to his widow and children. Al-Hassan was Mr. Hariri’s Chief of Protocol and a leading figure in the March 14th movement.........

When we think of Lebanon nowadays, our thoughts no longer dwell on spectacular God-given landscapes or the wonderful times we enjoyed in what was once our prime vacation destination. Now, the first thing that springs to mind is murder and mayhem.

........ Lebanon is supposed to be a democracy with a parliament made up of sophisticated, often glamorous politicians who put on a good show. Yet all their carefully-crafted speeches and promises of reform aren’t backed with action. Each time a good man is cut down in his prime for trying to make a difference, they make another plea for “national unity”. Unfortunately, unity doesn’t feature in the #Lebanese collective psyche. They’re privileged to live in a small gem of a country. They’re dynamic and well-educated. But rather than put those gifts that many people of other nationalities would die for to good use, they remain glued to a self-destructive path, strewn with vengeance and vitriol, that has brought them nothing but violence, civil war and damaging outside interference. As if they don’t have enough problems already, they’re fighting each other over Syria!!.................. many of the divisions and consequent bloodshed within Lebanon stems from the country’s vulnerability to outside influences........ It’s surely beyond time that the #Lebanese, whether Christians, Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims or Druze, refuse to permit their land to be used as a proxy battlefield and reject leaders who are little more than marionettes manipulated by foreign powers.......... the system of governance requires urgent overhauling. Lebanon’s citizens should quit labeling themselves according to their religious beliefs and become one people........ a nation smaller than Switzerland, consisting of just over 4,000 square miles with a population of well under five million, is not in a position to act as a surrogate regional player for other, far larger countries. Instead, it should declare neutrality. The #Lebanese should focus on prosperity, not others’ hostility............... Lebanon should be cleansed of all weapons and explosive materials except those in the hands of the #Lebanese military and state security forces. Militias and guerilla groups should be outlawed as they are in every other state that calls itself a democracy....... the #Lebanese were the first to ignite the ‘Arab Spring in 2005 when their demonstrations helped oust the Syrian occupiers, heralding a new era of independence. Now they must grab the bull by the horns once more to rid their country from politician wannabe ‘religious leaders’ and false guardians, purporting to be Lebanon’s ‘friends’. Only a popular storm can topple the current cabal that is leading the nation into darkness.......... I would appeal to the #Lebanese people, don’t be slaves to the will of self-interested, agenda-led politicians and religious leaders from all religions. They have misled you and manipulated you long enough

The West isn’t duty-bound to solve Arab problems (2014)

For decades, Arabs have looked to Baba America and its allies for protection, knowing full well that US foreign policy is geared solely towards its own security and geopolitical interests.

......... I have a fondness for the American people. Many have been unfailingly kind to me. But US policy is another matter entirely; it knows no friends, only interests........ “We [the US] are trying to cope with the cumulative consequences of multiple failures. Just about every American project in the #Middle_East has now come a cropper.”......... US “policies have nowhere produced democracy. They have instead contrived the destabilisation of societies, the kindling of religious warfare, and the installation of dictatorships contemptuous of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities.”........ Washington is a good friend when its interests happen to coincide with ours or when there are coveted natural resources at stake. Heaping blame on the West for directly or indirectly triggering our woes has become an unproductive mind-set throughout the Arab World. We are wrong to blame the US for hesitating to come to our aid. America has its own economic and security priorities. ........ Our region would be well-served if Arab governments and peoples spent less time bashing America and more time learning how best to depend on ourselves........

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing articles appealing to Arab governments to deal proactively in ending regional conflicts and to become more diplomatically assertive.

We have well-trained armies, sophisticated intelligence apparatus and advanced weaponry; all it takes is enough will and determination to shake-off our victim mentality inherited from the Ottoman era, Western imperialism and security treaties with European powers. What will it take for Arabs to wake up to the fact that those days are long gone, and now we stand alone? ........ “Why don’t the Arabs…send in their armies to sort out Assad and ISIS?” .......

Iran that openly boasts that its proxies now control four Arab capitals – Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana’a

...... We have enemies without and within plotting to invade our homes. ...... From the perspective of US policy-makers, oil rich Arab nations may have outlived their usefulness. ......... the US is now not only energy self-sufficient but has a surplus. American production of shale oil has surpassed the outputs of Saudi Arabia and Russia’s crude. Today, America is the world’s number one producer of gas and, next year, is set to take the top oil producer’s slot......... the Gulf “is where international oil prices are set” and “without stability in West Asia, the global economy is also unstable.”........ ...we can no longer live like ostriches pretending Washington, London and Paris are concerned with the safety of our peoples or working to further secure and stable societies. ........ the underlying message from Western capitals is basically, “Thanks a lot; it was nice knowing you”. ....... ....I won’t be surprised to wake up one day to find the Iranian Supreme Guide has been tapped to be our de facto governor, just as the Shah was until he became too big for his boots.......... My concerns rest with what we plan to do when Daesh is on the rampage against Sunnis. What steps are we going to take to thwart the takeover of Yemen by Shiite Houthis knocking on the gates of Saudi Arabia and Oman? How much longer will we give the Assad regime a free pass to continue its cancerous rule which, a few years ago, could have been cured with a dose of chemotherapy before its metastasis?......... Only our future trajectory is alterable. We can shape tomorrow, and we must, else the tears of our children and grandchildren will be our legacy of shame.

America! Don't dim your inspirational light (2013) #America, whose people I consider to be amongst the most enlightened on earth....... Our young people have graduated from American universities, our families have been treated in American hospitals; many cured thanks to your medical advances. We have adopted your business practices and banking systems. The aircraft carrying us beyond our borders are products of American innovation and it is thanks to your finest minds that today we take instant communications via mobile phones and the internet for granted. Several Arab countries continue to rely upon US military aid and training programs. It’s undeniable that without #America’s outstretched hand, we might have remained captive to the 20th century......... I value my personal friendships with Americans from all social and political strata, from hoteliers to shopkeepers, businessmen, doctors, celebrities, diplomats and politicians. I frequently visit the US to spend quality time with my American friends who often travel to Dubai to see me.........

the White House and Congress consistently fail to understand our traditions, our way of life and our style of communication. It’s as though they wilfully remain in a bubble of ignorance when it comes to Arabs.


Americans famously question ‘Why don’t they like us?’

.......... a bungling engineer unequipped to run one of my construction companies, let alone a country of 90 million people.......... religious ideologues without an ounce of loyalty to their country, a group bent on destroying the region to create an Islamist caliphate? ...... As a friend to the United States, I have often been invited to speak in your universities to bridge the gap between Arabs and Americans. I explain the age-old systems of governance within GCC states to eager students, systems that don’t depend upon ballot boxes but are geared towards the well being of citizens who are cared-for 100 percent with the provision of homes as well as cost-free medical treatment and higher education both at home and abroad. Our governments even cover wedding expenses for low-income couples. There are no beggars on our streets. I tell those students that our systems are beyond democratic because when our leaders make promises, they actually deliver on those promises............ Allow our neighbourhood to solve its own problems – and believe me, left alone, we can do it. By staying out of our affairs, anti-Americanism will dissipate when young Arabs and young Americans would be free to bond as equals in an ambience of mutual respect.......... You make #Egypt your business, but neglect #Syria where up to 100,000 have been deprived of life. We understand the game plan you and your colleagues have cooked up for the Middle East but, frankly, we are tired of being manipulated by a country thousands of miles away which treats us like minors without a say in our own future........ #America’s nurturing of the Ayatollah Khomeini to replace its former best friend the Shah was abhorrent. George W. Bush’s use of false pretexts to invade Iraq was unconscionable. This former great Arab nation, the Cradle of Civilization no less, was turned into a hellish land, a magnet for terrorists where people are being blown up because of their religious beliefs. The US is responsible for nurturing Sunni-Shiite hostilities that did not exist under the former regime. Then, adding insult to injury, Iraq was parcelled-off to the ayatollahs in Qom. ........... so that our children and grandchildren are no longer separated by misunderstandings and hurts......... (comment) Intervene in a country, and everyone hates you, don't intervene, and everyone blames you.

Egypt needs ‘tough love’ to reject Iran’s overtures (2013) Talk about the pot calling the kettle black when Iranians are among the most downtrodden people on earth! ........ ..the Arabs of Ahwaz and Iranian Sunnis that have been persecuted and treated like second-class citizens for decades. Iran’s treatment of its Arab and Sunni communities is a disgrace and its ‘concern’ for Syrians nothing but a sham. .......... the Sheikh Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayyeb told the visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not to interfere in Bahrain or attempt to influence #Egypt’s Sunni majority. .........

We are used to Iranian aggression but the fact that this violation of our sovereignty occurred in #Egypt, which used to be considered “the heart of the Arab World” when Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak were at the helm, makes my blood boil.

......... Abdullahian went on to tell the press that he had held a “constructive discussion” with Al-Araby with whom he “exchanged views especially on Bahrain, #Syria and Palestine.” How dare this Iranian official equate the issues of Bahrain and Palestine with the tragedy unfolding in #Syria! Bahrain’s problem arises from an Iranian fifth column on the island, instigating traitors to rise-up against the monarch. ............. The extent of Tehran’s meddling in Arab matters has reached an intolerable level. Why has Al-Araby and #Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamel Amr provided Tehran with a free pass to express its dissatisfaction with #Arab_League positions? .........When the Muslim Brotherhood’s man President Mohamed Morsi first moved into the Al-Ittihadiya Palace offices last year, I adopted a wait-and-see attitude. ‘Let’s give him a chance’ I thought based on his speeches and statements pledging that #Egypt would remain the Arab World’s heartland and the guardian of Arab interests......... Initially, he talked a good talk and promised to be a president for all Egyptians regardless of their religious or political affiliations. Yet, not only has he let down the Egyptian people, driving the country towards bankruptcy and internal conflicts, he has laid out a red carpet for Iran’s ayatollahs, ministers and the secretive Revolutionary Guard Al Quds Force, which, by the way is grossly misnamed. Iran has no right to name a terrorist organization, currently murdering Syrians, after one of Islam’s holiest places, Jerusalem, site of the Haram Al-Sharif and it’s a mystery to me why the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the #Arab_League and Muslim leaders haven’t voiced their objections. .......... GCC leaders and the few remaining true Arab leaders must take a firm stand against #Egypt which is sinking under the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime before our very eyes. Constructive intervention is urgently needed before it’s too late. Today, Tehran’s representatives are strutting around Cairo presiding over press conferences and there are numerous flights arriving from Iran packed with “tourists” eager to visit #Egypt’s tourist sites. Iran estimates as many as 2 million Iranian “tourists” will head to #Egypt annually. Tomorrow, we’ll see the nation’s Sunni mosques flying Shiite flags and Khomeini’s portrait on billboards like in Lebanon............ Egyptian cleric Safwat Hijazi told Al Arabiya that Iranian tourists won’t come simply to enjoy what the country has to offer, but will actively spread religious doctrine. Iran tends to “stir problems wherever it exists” like in Iran and #Syria, he rightly noted........... The time for coddling Cairo with billions in financial aid/loans should end as long as it embraces Iran, which, by its actions in Iraq, #Syria, Lebanon and Bahrain, has proved an enemy of Arab states. ........ An iron hand must be used to push Cairo in the right direction; they must choose – them or us?

GCC must react to the Pentagon’s ‘Total war on Islam’ (2012) I used to believe that the Obama administration had a policy of reaching out to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims in an effort to mend fences incinerated by George W. Bush’s wars. I was gratified by his efforts because, like many Muslims and Arabs, I have been working to bridge the gap between east and west and in a small way have striven to bring all of the Prophet Ibrahim’s children together in peace; notably with my gift to Dubai the Al Farooq Omar Ibn Al Khattab Mosque and Centre that welcomes visitors of all faiths and the #Khalaf Al Habtoor Leadership Center at Illinois College and through many other efforts. Just recently, I hosted one of the college’s students in Dubai – his prize for coming second in an essay competition I sponsor – and he later wrote that his negative preconceptions of Arabs had been replaced with admiration.............. Dooley based his instruction on the premise that there is no such thing as “moderate Islam”. “This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated,” he said. “Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction”.

His solution included nuclear attacks on Mecca and Medina without any regard for civilian lives

............ the FBI has been driven to vet its own course materials when it was discovered that counter-terrorism agents were being taught that “American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers” whose charitable donations equate to a “funding mechanism for combat”. FBI materials refer to the #Prophet_Mohammed (PBUH) as a “cult leader”.......... revealed by the New York Times, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has been infiltrating mosques and Muslim community centers. The department’s officers were shown a documentary called “The Third Jihad” contending that the Muslim leadership in the US harbors ambitions to “infiltrate and dominate” in which the NYPD’s chief participated. The film was also endorsed by NYC former mayor Rudolph Giuliani. ........... In the #Arab_world we’ve become used to dismissing crimes perpetrated by US soldiers in #Iraq, #Afghanistan and Pakistan as ‘mistakes’ that run counter to official US policy............. The idea that the US government knew nothing about this philosophy of hate sounds like the most fantastical fairy story............ We need answers from the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. These latest exposes could merely constitute the tip of the iceberg. Just how deep does the contagion go? Soldiers who burn holy books, humiliate Muslim detainees or urinate on Muslim corpses can hardly be blamed if their officers are advocating using nukes to wipe Muslims from the face of the earth................. as to Washington’s true geopolitical goals. How hard do we need to be hit on the head before we get the message? ....... Given the turmoil in Arab countries ostensibly in pursuit of American-style democracy that was partly instigated by US Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the potential for slicing apart of #Iraq and Libya in the same way that Sudan has been split, and the possibly orchestrated divisions between Sunnis and Shiites (to the detriment of Sunnis), it’s possible that the U.S. has a clandestine policy of inciting Arabs to destroy each other as a continuation of imperialist Britain’s ‘Divide and Rule’. .......... in accordance with America’s policy of hate towards Muslim, reflected by the invasions of #Afghanistan and #Iraq that resulted in up to one million deaths..........

the #GCC must unite, become a federation and build an independent, powerful military capability.

We can’t rely on fair-weather friends to protect our peoples. Sleeping while our enemies pretend to be our friends even as they plot our destruction is no longer an option. If our leaders fail to take ‘Total war on Islam’ with the seriousness it deserves, we are doomed.

Al Arabiya should vet its guests for brains (2012) With tens of professional Arabic TV channels to choose from, over the years, I have narrowed my viewing down to just two –

Al Jazeera and #Al_Arabiya

. Why? Because in my opinion those have evolved into our Arab world’s trusted flagship network providing viewers with comprehensive reporting and balanced viewpoints. ............ She said she’s visited two mosques in the US that advocated an Islamic White House and says British Muslims are out to convert the monarchy to Islam which, according to Ms Darwish, explains why Islamophobia is rampant in the West........ There’s an Arabic saying that says it all. When a man called Hanoun, who had a reputation for being useless, converted to Islam, people around said

‘Hanoun did not enhance Islam and neither did he damage Christianity’.

I could say the same about Ms. Darwish who’s no loss to Islam and no credit to Christianity. ........

Ignore Trump’s bigotry at your peril! (2015) Donald #Trump is smashing red lines at the rate of knots ........

The more vulgar and offensive he is, the more the voters love him.

........ He is successfully exploiting people’s fears of ‘the other’ with racism and bigotry his tools of trade,

echoing the strategy of a certain Austrian painter, who was democratically-elected as the president of Germany with catastrophic results

. .......... The voices of Republican presidential candidates may be muffled but what I find baffling, not to mention highly disturbing, is the silence from the #Muslim and #Arab leaderships. The world’s 1.7 billion Muslims are under attack by an individual aiming to be the ‘Leader of the Free World’. #Muslim-Americans say they are fearful. #Islamophobia is on the rise.......... #Britain’s Prime Minister #David_Cameron has characterised #Trump’s statement a “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”. #France’s Prime Minister #Manuel_Valls tweeted, “Mr. #Trump, like others, fuels hatred: our only enemy is radical Islam”. #Canada’s Foreign Minister #Stephane_Dion said, “It’s something we cannot accept in #Canada… We have never been as far removed from what we’ve just heard in the #United_States”.......... Britons have launched a petition to ban #Trump from entering the #UK which has garnered over half a million signatures requiring its demand to be debated in Parliament......

#Arab leaders have responded with deafening silence.

........ Profits aside, how can anyone of good conscience continue to do business with this person or his companies when #Trump the man and #Trump the brand are one and the same? I will repeat what I told journalists over the past days, if he turned up at my office I would not let him in. How dare he bolster his bank account from business ventures in predominately #Muslim countries when he is engaged in disparaging all Muslims as potential terrorists!.............. We Muslims are the target. Our faith is under attack. Non-Muslims around the world are appalled and they are speaking out. But we are behaving like lambs to the slaughter – and I suspect that if #Trump has his way, we would be slaughtered.......... And now he wants all #Muslim visitors barred from entering his country, while brushing off questions as to the logistics when most passports do not indicate the holder’s religion........ Almost one-fifth of #Daesh (#ISIL) terrorists are nationals or legal residents of Western states........

During the period 2001 – 2013 (the most recent CDC data), 406,496 Americans died from firearms on US soil, as opposed to 3,380 who died from terrorist attacks, a figure that includes the victims of 9-11.

......... I have received calls from some great friends of mine in the US asking why the governments of #Muslim states are not banning #Trump from our countries.......... “It’s time to recognise this is really happening…Tick Tock!” ......

Ends up, he was one of those people who did warn us about Trump!

I am an avid blogger myself.

Formula For Peace Between Israel And Palestine

A Creative Solution To The Palestine Problem
The Stupidity Of The Ayodhya Dispute
Saudi-Iran: Imran Is The Only One Who Can
The Dubai Sheikh Is A Business School Case Study
South Asians Working In The Gulf

Jassim Mohammed Al Seddiqi: Renaissance Man In The Gulf
My Real Estate Tech Startup Has A Loan Investment
To: The Crown Prince Of Dubai
Elon Musk's Giant Blind Spot: Human Beings
Dubai's Remarkable Economic Transformation

Sunday, July 21, 2013

One Gig Is The Real Deal

Image representing Cisco as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
Israel's 1Gbps fiber will show the world what superfast broadband can really do: Cisco CEO
Chambers predicts the network will bring in major changes: healthcare where doctors are connected instantly to providers' and hospitals' databases, with all records kept electronically and updated constantly; an education-anywhere system, where students can learn at home, in class, or elsewhere, communicating with teachers and fellow students over the internet; safer roads and streets (a major issue in road accident-prone Israel), with traffic authorities able to keep better tabs on speeders and unsafe drivers; and a proliferation of "internet of things" technology, with sensors keeping air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, front doors, and more connected to systems than can enable better and more efficient allocation of electricity and other resources. In a few years, all of this should be in place, according to Chambers...... unlike most other places, Israel "is truly a start-up nation". ..... "Israel is second to the US in the sheer number of startups, but because of the population differences, Israel's 'per capita startup' ratio is much higher," he said.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Twitter In Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz in 2002
King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz in 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As someone who would like to see an Egypt style uprising also in Saudi Arabia - I could live with a constitutional monarchy there - I read this with great interest.

Twitter Gives Saudi Arabia a Revolution of Its Own
Open criticism of this country’s royal family, once unheard-of, has become commonplace in recent months. Prominent judges and lawyers issue fierce public broadsides about large-scale government corruption and social neglect. Women deride the clerics who limit their freedoms. Even the king has come under attack. All this dissent is taking place on the same forum: Twitter.
In its early days Twitter was often derided as the place where people posted things like, so I had coffee.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

60 Milli Seconds

Bathymetric/topographic map of the Arctic Ocea...Bathymetric/topographic map of the Arctic Ocean and the surrounding islands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The ocean route might make sense for inter-continental destinations, but I think air is still the best option for dense cities.

ExtremeTech: $1.5 billion: The cost of cutting London-Toyko latency by 60ms
the first ever trans-Arctic Ocean submarine fiber optic cables ...... a smattering of branches that will provide high-speed internet access to a handful of Arctic Circle communities ....... All three cables are being laid for the same reasons: Redundancy and speed. As it stands, it takes roughly 230 milliseconds for a packet to go from London to Tokyo; the new cables will reduce this by 30% to 170ms. This speed-up will be gained by virtue of a much shorter run: Currently, packets from the UK to Japan either have to traverse Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean, or the Atlantic, US, and Pacific, both routes racking up around 15,000 miles in the process. It’s only 10,000 miles (16,000km) across the Arctic Ocean, and you don’t have to mess around with any land crossings, either. ...... The massive drop in latency is expected to supercharge algorithmic stock market trading, where a difference of a few milliseconds can gain (or lose) millions of dollars. It is for this reason that a new cable is currently being laid between the UK and US — it will cost $300 million and shave “just” six milliseconds off the fastest link currently available. The lower latency will also be a boon to other technologies that hinge heavily on the internet, such as telemedicine (and teleconferencing) and education. Telephone calls and live news coverage would also enjoy the significantly lower latency. Each of the fiber optic cables will have a capacity in the terabits-per-second range ..... Currently, almost every cable that lands in Asia goes through a choke point in the Middle East or the Luzon Strait between the Philippine and South China seas. If a ship were to drag an anchor across the wrong patch of seabed, billions of people could wake up to find themselves either completely disconnected from the internet or surfing with dial-up-like speeds. The three new cables will all come down from the north of Japan, through the relatively-empty Bering Sea — and the Arctic Ocean, where each of the cables will run for more than 5,000 miles, is one of the least-trafficked parts of the world. That said, the cables will still have to be laid hundreds of meters below the surface to avoid the tails of roving icebergs
New Scientist: Fibre optics to connect Japan to the UK – via the Arctic
In mid-August, construction should start on the first submarine fibre-optic cables to cross the Arctic Ocean ....... The longest of these links will become the world's longest single stretch of optical fibre. ....... the biggest threats to cables in warmer waters: fishing trawlers and ships' anchors ........ Reduced transmission time will be a boon for high-frequency traders who will gain crucial milliseconds on each automated trade. Optical amplifiers will boost signal strength every 50 to 100 kilometres. The firm also plans to drill a tunnel 40 metres deep to take a shortcut through the Boothia isthmus in the Canadian Arctic ....... Isolated Arctic communities will also be connected by extra sections of cable that branch off from the main one. ........ "choke points" such as the Luzon strait near Taiwan, the strait of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaysia, and the crowded and politically unsettled Middle East. ....... Ships must be built to withstand the pounding of ice as well as waves. ...... Icebergs can plough more than a metre into the ocean floor, endangering cables. Greenland's icebergs extend to depths as great as 170 metres below the sea surface, so Arctic Fibre will lay cable at least 600 metres deep in the Davis strait, where icebergs are most likely. The underside of sea ice also has ridges, or "bummocks", that reach depths of 18 metres, so Arctic Fibre aims to stay at least 50 metres down.
Ars Technica: Europe moving 60 ms closer to Japan with new undersea cables
The climate change-induced retreat of Arctic ice has had one positive effect. The Arctic Ocean is now sufficiently navigable that cable-laying ships will be able to plant undersea cables directly linking London with Tokyo. ...... 6 pairs of fibers with a 1.6 Tbit/s capacity per pair will be laid, and minimum latency between London and Tokyo will be 76.58 milliseconds.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Thanks For Asking"

This was between high school and college. I was in Kathmandu living on my own. My friends and I would drop by the British Council Library once in a while. On one of those trips a British tourist approached my friend.
Kathmandu store, NepalImage via Wikipedia
"Excuse me, would you have change for 1,000 rupees?" the tourist asked and briskly pulled a thousand rupee note. That was a lot of money.

"Sorry, no, but thanks for asking," my friend promptly replied, feeling flattered.

"Do You Have An Email Address?"
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Long March Of Democracy

During the recent Blogger outage, a whole bunch of my blog posts got lost. And then all of them came back except this one at my Barackface blog. Since it had already been cross published at Technorati, I still had a copy.

Just One More Missing Blog Post
Miracle: The Lost Blog Posts Are Back
Lost A Whole Bunch Of Blog Posts
And Blogger Is Back

The Long March Of Democracy

The military action in Libya has absolutely been the right move. And a limited military action in Syria might be called for soon enough, something that is a week max. But military action is not an option when the tide of democracy finally hits Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and China.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Libya On My Mind, Libya On Your Mind

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (in Dimashq, Syr...Image via WikipediaRight now is a great time to follow me on Twitter. I have been reading up on the Arab democracy movements and sharing the links with abandon. I have also been blogging. My blog posts automatically show up in my Twitter stream.

2011 is 1989. This is big, this is historic. This will be a year to remember. Nothing like this has happened in Arab history ever before.

I am thinking Libya. I am thinking Saudi Arabia. Heck, I am thinking China, and I am thinking Burma.

Pray for Libya. Meditate for Libya. Every ounce of mental energy counts. It does not matter where you are. People braving the streets deserve to be in your thoughts.

And, yes, Iran's time will come all over again. 2009 was not a wasted year. That was dress rehearsal.