17 September, 2006
So the businessinnovationinsider.com is being amazed that Arabs are embracing innovation. Well I think QSTP is a great step and the way the authorities are tieing it up with academia and funding sources it might just be the next silicon valley of techie startups from the region.
I got a statement from QSTP management:
"There is a strong spirit of entrepreneurship in the Gulf region, which has traditionally been focused in areas such as construction andtrading. What Qatar Science & Technology Park is trying to do is broaden that out to include technology entrepreneurship - taking new technologies from the lab and building them into profitable businesses.We are building a business incubator now which will open mid 2007, and this will be supported by programs such as seed funding,entrepreneurship training and mentoring. This is an exciting time forthe Gulf's entrepreneurs and we look forward to building relationships as we near our opening."
Looks promising, already they have tied up with Carnegie Mellon,Weill Cornell, Georgetown and Texas A&M, which is no doubt a good step forward
Read on and please enlighten us with your views
Not content with always having the biggest or most expensive of something, Dubai can now proudly announce that it is home to one of the "quirkiest" hotels in the world
According to TravelAdvisor, The Al Maha Desert Resort comes in at 6th place in the Funky Hotels race, snuggled between a treetop hotel in Brazil and a Wigwam motel in Arizona.
1. Ice Hotel Quebec, Canada (ice everything; near Quebec City)
2. Malmaison Oxford Castle, Oxford, England (old jailhouse)
3. Imperial Boat House, Koh Samui, Thailand (converted rice barges)
4. Fantasyland Hotel & Resort, Edmonton, Alberta (indoor park)
5. Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel, Manaus, Brazil (70 feet high up in treetops)
6. Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (“Bedouin” oasis)
7. Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Ariz. (teepee-style concrete tents)
8. Yunak Evleri, Urgup, Turkey (cave rooms)
9. Quinta Real Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico (built around defunct bull-ring)
10. Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, Calif. (Barbie moves in with Barney Rubble)
Number 10 sounds kind of interesting
"Life is sweet here. New arrivals at the spotless Dubai International Airport are sometimes greeted with free tubs of Baskin-Robbins ice cream to soften the shock of the sweltering heat."
Never heard of that happening before; but it’s definitely a positive thing.
Aside from double chocolate chip ice cream; some people may find this report, entitled “United Arab Emirates: International Religious Freedom Report 2006” interesting
"......spread the faith by the sword......"
The response from a certain religious leader as quoted in today's newspaper is to "hunt down" and kill the Catholic leader.
Now that's going to help us on the road to world peace.
16 September, 2006
"Innovation" is the dirtiest word in the world to a Moslem.
16 September, 2006 12:52
Taking this comment from uaecommunityblog posted in responce to my post on Qatar Science and Tech Park I want to enlighten readers about some historical facts. A few very good sites that would provide more insight than my words are MuslimHertiage.com and 1001Inventions.com. A quick scroll through these websites would show how the Muslims scholars contributed to human civilization and its advancement.
"It is highly probable that but for the Arabs modern European civilization would never have arisen at all; it is absolutely certain that but for them, it would have not assumed that character which has enabled it to trascend all previous phases of evolution. For although theres not a single aspect of European growth in which the decisive influence of Islamic culture is not traceable, nowhere is it so clear and momentous as in the genesis of that power which constitutes the permanent distinctive force of the modern world and supreme source of its victory--natural science and the scientific spirit".[R. Briffault: The Making of Humanity ]
It is a brain stimulating debate. Please read on and give thought provoking, heart warming and spiritual comments.
Pope Benedict XVI drew rising anger on Friday over comments he made Tuesday about Islam, as Muslim leaders around the world accused him of dividing religions and demanded an apology.Full story is HERE.
In Britain, Gaza, Iraq, Syria and Indonesia, Muslim leaders registered their protest. The Parliament in Pakistan passed a resolution against the pope’s statements, and the government later summoned the Vatican envoy to express official displeasure. In Lebanon, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, the most senior Shiite cleric, demanded “a personal apology — not through his envoys.”
I'm not usually one to prognosticate, but let me give it a shot here:
The Pope -- all Germanic and much more hardcore than John Paul -- will probably not offer a personal apology. Equally hardcore Islamists will begin screaming for a boycott of something, let's say for the sake of argument it's Italian olive oil -- because as we have all recently discovered -- most hardcore Islamists are unable to differentiate between NEWSPAPER CARTOONS and CHEESE.
Even after this, the Pope will probably still not apologize.
Then someone somewhere -- probably Pakistan -- will start a riot and burn down a KFC. Hundreds of people will perish in the ensuing rampage and Italian olive oil (or whatever) sales will plummet.
It is at this point that the Pope will issue a clarification which will be interpreted as a complete and total victory over Crusaders and Zionists -- sort of like the way having most of Southern Lebanon destroyed is defined as victory.
It sounds crazy, but it's true. Every time a bunch of religious fanatics in this part of the world gets a hair up their collective ass, a Pakistani KFC gets burned to the ground -- which, by the way is usually owned by a local Pakistani merchant and not some greedy American imperialist.
For more on the Global War On Chicken, go HERE.
For a guy that has been silent so long, he has really exploded on the scene with force! As the “papa” of an institution that has launched the inquisition to cleanse souls, burned scientists to keep thoughts pure, lynched progressive woman to prevent witchery and slaughtered millions in pointless crusades, you would think that he would confine himself to debates about the currently fashionable form of papa-approved ™ contraceptives.
Alas, what did the world expect of an institution that has approved ignorance when it was to its advantage, condoned Nazi and Fascist believes when it was fashionable, Refuses to apologize for the massacres against humanity during – but not limited to – the crusades and has turned a blind eye to the atrocities that have happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
My advice to the papa-papa-pacy is to have a long, frank and self revealing conversation with Michael Jackson about their mutual interests and other initiatives to save little boys from around the world.
As for Kofi Anan, well…in the last war in the Middle East the enemy openly declares its use of at least 1,000,000 cluster bombs, numerous phosphorous shells and their dependence on targeting civilians as strategy. Not only Annan has been silent over these issues and the fact that some of the U.N troops where annihilated by “Surgical-Smart-Missiles”, he has played the role of a top diplomat well. That is if you consider playing dumb and ultra-objective as being diplomatic.
Roll Over and have a biscuit.
"He began his speech by quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, in a conversation with a "learned Persian" on Christianity and Islam -"and the truth of both."
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," the pope quoted the emperor."
It's worth mentioning that the Indian and Pakistani authorities seized all newspapers that printed the Vatican thing's allegations towards Islam for fear of retaliation. This has enraged me even further, so you people, who've been feverently attacking Etisalat's censorship, I hope you will find this humoring too.
Shaikh Khalid Al Jindi has just been interviewed on the MBC1, and said about this Vatican thing: it is one of two things, either this thing doesn't read, in which case it's a disastour, or he does read, in which case it's malicious. He thinks it is the latter. A very precise accusation wrapped in the gentle folds of quoting someone else.
Another source says: As the criticisms gathered force, the Vatican worked quickly to quell a potentially damaging confrontation with Muslims. It issued a statement saying that the church seeks to Âcultivate an attitude of respect and dialogue toward other religions and cultures and obviously also toward Islam.Â
So much for respect for other religions. Tell you what, when you starpracticingng what you preach, go on the limb and accuse someone else. Furthemore, if Islam has really spread by the sword, how come there were only 63 wars and the totally number ofatalitieses on BOTH sides was 386, all in the 23 years in which the PropheMuhammaded spread the word of Islam? I bring to your mind the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and the VaticanÂs relations with Nazi Germany, all attesting to the Vatican's BLOODY HISTORY.
He and his Vaticancan can scramble all they want for excuses, thank you: point taken. Hatred just spilled!
15 September, 2006
|A touching poem by Saudi poet Hamed Zaid. The video clip contains some rare footage of the Leader. No doubt, leaders like him are born in centuries. May his soul rest in peace.|
"Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."
"Dubai is being perceived as a fusion city, where Middle Eastern values mix with those of the rest of the world"
I feel that progressing towards a melting pot will take a long time... (read further).
14 September, 2006
Dear readers, anyone familiar with the day-to-day functioning of media organisations — be it newspapers, 24/7 news channels or news agencies — would know what these unrealistic, unreasonable and completely illogical restrictions mean for the journalists and media professionals. The business of news being what it is just cannot be controlled, monitored and censored the way the Chinese authorities want it..:read more:.
Lets see what happens we have got four more years ago.
"A lawsuit accusing rulers of the United Arab Emirates of enslaving and forcing tens of thousands of young boys to work under brutal conditions as camel jockeys over the past three decades, has been filed in the US."
Read more here, here and here
By the looks of things it's on the AP wire or somesuch; it will be interesting to see if any media in Dubai mentions it...
Please keep commenting sensible or I'll disable it.
13 September, 2006
Etisalat has announced yesterday the launch of Weyak, the country’s first comprehensive and bilingual portal fully accessible over Internet and mobile devices, exclusively for its customers.
Weyak, which means ‘With You’ in Arabic, is designed to offer the best and most relevant community content to people living in the UAE, along with services that are highly personalized and secure. It can be reached on www.weyak.ae for Internet and “mobile.weyak.ae” for mobile devices.
The fully customizable content and services portal includes the latest entertainment services and news from around the nation and around the world, Islamic content, and community resources ranging from e-mail, blogs and discussion forums to shared photo albums, downloadable content and gaming.
Etisalat customers using conventional Internet connections or GPRS-enabled mobile phones will be able to subscribe to the Weyak portal for free through their existing user IDs and prepaid or post-paid mobile numbers. Customers seeking premium content to download can pay for it securely over their existing connections.
To access Weyak from a mobile phone, consumers can send an SMS with the message ‘a weyak’ to 1010, and will immediately receive setup instructions.
Etisalat unveils Weyak, UAE's first virtual community (AME Info)
Anybody have the slightest clue as to why Etisalat would block WorldLingo.com?
Last friday, Al Khaleej had an article about Delma Island. Fortunately, WAM translated it into english & posted it on its website here.
The island, which is located at about 160 kilometres west of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, is about 10 kilometre long from north to south and 5 kilometre long from east to west.I searched google & found this interesting site by one of the residents of the island. It was a pleasant surprise for me to read this:
Being a volcanic island, Delma's terrain is a combination of mountains hills, valleys and plains. It is home to about 6000 people.
The island has been inhabited for the past thousands of years, thanks to the numerous water wells and springs which provide fresh water for the inhabitants and enabled them to lead stable life.
Like pearl diving and fishing in the Gulf waters, selling of fresh water also provided a source of income for the people who used to transport fresh water from the island to other parts of the emirate to earn a living.
Delma Island does not look like a desert strip. Rather, it is as if a giant farm has been torn out of a fertile European country and transferred to Abu Dhabi. Visitors to the island are surprised to see cabbage, cauliflower, onion, cucumber, tomato, melon, pepper, parsley, banana and mango growing here. They are even more surprised to see such trees that are alien to the area as apple, pear, strawberry, fig, almond, grape, orange, lemon, olive, kiwi and cedar.Archaeological discoveries made on the island, showed its civilisation dated back to seven thousand years. People with interest in archaelogy will be interested to read this information about the island.
Moral of the Story: UAE is not just "Sandland" :-)