Archive for the ‘democracy’ Category
For all those of you who missed the action oon TV.
Mohamed Bouazizi, the fruit vendor who died after setting himself on fire, has become a symbol of defiance in Tunisia.
The revolution in Tunisia was born through a slap in the face of Mohamed Bouazizi by a honest but arrogant lady municipal inspector, Faida Hamdy, 45, in Sidi Bouzid, a police officer’s daughter. This revolution was not triggered by a political speech or by some provocative act of repression by the dictator. It was set in motion by an altercation between a honest but cruel municipal inspector and a honest and poor vegetable vendor.
Let us read this great story. Mohamed Bouazizi, the poor fruit vendor, spent his whole life on a dusty, narrow street here, in a tiny, three-room house with a concrete patio where his mother hung the laundry and the red chilis to dry. By the time Mr. Bouazizi was 26, his work as a fruit vendor had earned him just enough money to feed his mother, uncle and five brothers and sisters at home. He dreamed about owning a van.
Faida, the honest Municipal Inspector during the course of her duties inspected buildings, investigated noise complaints and fined vendors like Mr. Bouazizi. It was not known whether his business was legal or not.
Other vendors said that on the morning of Dec. 17, Faida tried to confiscate Mr. Bouazizi’s fruit, and then slapped him in the face for trying to yank back his apples. This act of bravado by the lady inspector humiliated a man who eked out his living by hard work.
Bouazizi, who became embarrassed and angry, wrestled with Ms. Faida. In the meantime, two of her colleagues started beating Bouazizi and confiscated his electronic scale. Then, the disheartened vegetable vendor walked a few blocks to the municipal building and demanded his property. But he was again beaten. Then he marched to the governor’s office, demanding an audience but he was refused.
Unable to bear with this humiliation, the frustrated man, sometime around noon, in the two-lane street in front of the governor’s high gate, drenched himself in paint thinner and then lit himself on fire. He was immediately hospitalized and the doctors treated this as a case of 90 percent burns. Ultimately, he died on Jan. 4. This incident immediately triggered street protests that started over Mr. Bouazizi’s treatment in Sidi Bouzid and then spread to cities throughout the country.
The blood of this martyr brought about a revolution in Tunisia and drove the dictator away from the nation.
via – Allvoices
The all girls team from the American University of Kuwait won the Gulf’ Microsoft Imagine Cup, beating nearly 2,000 entries from the Middle East.
The competition asks participants across the world to come up with ideas on how technology can be best used in relation to set themes. The 2010 theme asked students to ‘imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems’ and Mariam Al Al-Najdi, Abrari Amin and Aisha Al-Ruwaished from Kuwait came up the idea of TWTD.
The young girls, all in their twenties, won the Gulf Microsoft Imagine Cup with their ‘TWTD‘ entry – a multi-touch tutoring system for the disabled that was developed using Visual Studio 2008 Professional and MS SQL.
A prototype of TWTD was tested in Kuwaiti schools where students without hands were unable to use the computer, becoming completely dependent on their teachers to do tasks on the computer. The team demonstrated how, using special markers that could be tracked using the educational software and a webcam, the same students were able to use a computer independently for the first time and take part in interactive English, mathematics and science lessons based on the Ministry of Education’s curricula.
During their presentation, the team also reassured the judging panel that TWTD could be used to browse the Internet and complete regular computer-related activities using the software and a virtual keyboard. One of the other key factors that made TWTD stand out was its relatively low cost and ease of use in comparison to expensive software and hardware that currently exists for the physically challenged.
Kudos to the 3 young girls for making Kuwait proud.
I think this should serve as a fitting reply (or to say it in a phrase – slap-in-the-face) to those parliamentarians and fundamentalists who advocate that the role of women in the Arab World should me limited to their homes.
The media can play a more active role towards the empowerment of the women folks by telling the world of their talents, capabilities and achievements, which will not only make them proud, but also change the perception of the male bastion towards the potential of women folks be giving their due freedom and space.
Cheers again to Mariam Al Al-Najdi, Abrari Amin and Aisha Al-Ruwaished.
It looks like the World War 3 – Iran v/s Rest of the World has started at the UN conference.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entered into a war of words, calling the other nation’s nuclear capability as the principal threat to international stability.
Ahmadinejad fired the first salvo at a special UN conference on the global nuclear non-proliferation regime Monday, accusing the US of leading a skewed international system that seeks to deny peaceful nuclear power to developing nations while allowing allies such as Israel to stockpile atomic arms.
Demanding that the world’s nuclear-weapons states agree to a clear timetable for the disbandment of their arsenals, Ahmadinejad said: “The possession of nuclear bombs isn’t a source of pride; it is disgusting and rather shameful.”
“And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons, which isn’t even comparable to any crime committed throughout the history.”
Sadly rather than confronting him with a suitable reply, the leaders walked out.
SHAME! SHAME!! SHAMEFULL!!!
What he said is a fact, that he made explicit to the UN & the world. US may be a superpower and maybe the other nations lookup to it for something. But the fact remains that the US has the largest stockpile of Nuclear War heads and is strategically supporting Israel (who has some nuclear warheads and is the main bone of contention in the Middle East peace process).
It is a great opportunity for brokering world peace, given the initiative taken by Ahmadinejad to come to the UN Nuke meet and clarify Iran’s stand on nuclear power vis-a-vis the world.
Rather than grabbing the opportunity to break the ice and arrive at a consensus on nuclear weapons and energy, it is very much shameful, that the world leader, walked out on him, rather than putting their defense.
It this opportunity is lost, the nuclear issue across the world will be pushed back into troubled waters, with Iran carrying back bitter memories of the UN meet.
Is it that the leaders are bribed by Arms Lobby into derailing the UN Nuke meet, so that their business does not suffer?
Well what ever the reasons, I think President Obama should attend the meet and shake hands with Ahmednijad & understand Iran’s stand negotiate peace. Afterall, he has always said that “Dialogues are better ice-breakers, rather than swords”.
The world is going to blame the world leaders for walking out rather than coming to a table to arrive at a consensus which can foster world peace.
Lord, GOD, Allah – give the world leaders sense to make the world a peaceful playground, as YOU had intended.
An overseas holiday used to be thought of as a reward for a years hard work. Now, an European country has declared that tourism is a human right and pensioners, youths and those too poor to afford it should have their travel subsidized by the taxpayer.
Under the scheme, the pensioners could be given reduced price trips to other countries, while teenagers could be taken around to old industrial unused to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.
The idea was formulated by a government official of Italy, the EU said.
I think, going by the news reports over the years, the idea would have been taken from the Kuwait press reports.
Well here in Kuwait, a similar idea in is being reported in the local press for a long time now. The folks here are going abroad for an extended medical treatment. This is in-spite of the Kuwait medical industry boasting of the latest medical treatments being available locally.
Many reports have claimed that the idea of an abroad medical treatment is merely a guise to claim a state-sponsored holiday, given the fact that these trips are usually to a Western nation with great shopping and holidays locations.
I don’t know how much truth is there in these press reports, but state-sponsored abroad trips (for whatever reasons) is the brain child of some clever Kuwaiti minister, for sure. Of course, medical reasons are counted among human rights.
As far as human rights is concerned, on the other issues which are more serious, the HRW is keenly watching Kuwait and has also issued reports about its gross violation.
Well whatever be the reasons of travel, justified or not, the idea of state-sponsored foreign tourism, is the brain child of Kuwait. (Does it need to be patent protected?)
Since the inception of IPL, it has acted as a magnet for people with big money (with or without any due credentials) and looking for a quick road to fame. Over the last 3 years, everybody joined the bandwagon of the IPL circus.
All those who did, made good money, exploiting the passion of the cricket hungry India and business of all sorts related to IPL cropped up over these years. And all of them shared the booty.
Now with the Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor spat gone sour on the Kochi team owners, that the IPL circus elephant has turned into a hydraheaded monster, all those even vaguely or remotely profited from the IPL name, no wonder, want to ditch it like a leech.
Day by day, the IPLGate is getting wider and wider and opening up new players with hidden agendas.The IT dept has gone full force into the scandal and much heavy steam is expected in the coming days. Many top notch people will find their faces scalded by this. Everybody who got money in the name of IPL is currently under the IT scanner; right from players, organizers, sponsors, team owners, fund managers, telecast & media rights owners, associated IPL brand companies.
Match-fixing and betting is another angle that is being investigated, with tons of money going into it. Being illegal, nobody wants to officially comment on it.
Even the BCCI officials and ministers are believed to be hand-in-gloves with those high profile IPL managers. Some heads have already rolled out and many more are likely.
Much heat is being generated from the politicians and are blaming the government, probably because they did not get the share of the booty. All those tainted parliamentarians, who made a killing with the earlier scandals are now raising their voices to blame those connected to IPL.
Well, in the whole deal, the game of cricket has been sullied. The perception in the minds of the people has changed, though a bit temporarily. Given the time, the fans will forget all this and clamor to cling to the stadiums and the TV screens to enjoy a good game of cricket.
The end result in this game is still awaited and will surely be a long bloody final.
About two dozen women drew a crowd of onlookers when they shed their shirts and marched downtown in Maine’s largest city to promote what they call equal-opportunity public toplessness.
Organiser Ty MacDowell said the point of Saturday’s march in Portland was that a topless woman out in public shouldn’t attract any more attention than a man who walks around without a shirt.
By the end of the march, more than 500 people had amassed — a mix of marchers, young men snapping photos, oglers and people just out enjoying a sunny, warm day.
It’s not illegal for a woman to be topless in public in Maine. Jai Ho !
Where else is such a feast not illegal? Anybody knows?
Whats your opinion?
“In what is being seen as a backlash against the hijab,nightclubs in Cairo are refusing to allow hijab-wearing women in.
In trendy clubs and cafes across Cairo the hijab is increasingly being shunned as unacceptable dress.Several bars and restaurants where alcohol is served now essentially ban veiled women from entering.The policy is more open in some places than others but seems to apply to at least half a dozen Cairo venues.”
This raises certain questions:
- Is Egypt an Islamic nation or no?
- Is there a common Arab culture?
- Are all Arabs Islamic?
- Can a nation have only Islamic people & none others?
- Is multi-faith worship acceptable among Arab nations?
- What exactly is the dress code for women, as prescribed and accepted by Islam?
- Is the world looking towards Islam in a biased way, due to the fact that their dress code makes them Islamic & look separate from the others?
Well these are just common questions that come to the mind to anybody from outside the Arab / Islamic community.
Afterall one should respect all faiths.
Yet another blot to the Kuwait Sports scenario.
Politics has marred the sports arena for a long time and its time that Kuwait learns a lesson, to give independence to certain bodies. Yes, Kuwait is a democratic country, so let the democracy percolate down to all spheres of Kuwait life.
Its a shame that, inspite of being warned and given time to rectify & reorganize the Kuwait Olympic Committee, the politicians have not heeded to the advise of IOC.
Now they have the face the backlash of the sportsmen and sports enthusiasts in Kuwait. Its time that a movement be started by the sportsmen and sports lovers to make the Kuwait OC take the necessary steps to make IOC remove the suspension.
This is a urge to all to ACT NOW. Please spread the message, thru you blogs, columns, speech, etc.