Blog Announcement

Dear Readers,

I hope you’re doing well. I am writing this post to inform you that there will be a new twist to my blog.

Starting this month, I will be hosting articles from guest writers who are subject matter experts, thinkers, philosophers, activists and creative minds to be shared with you. The aim is to spread some knowledge and inspiration. Not only that, but also to shed light on some of the individuals I believe are worth being put under the spotlight for who they are, what they know and what they’ve achieved.

Moreover, I will continue posting as usual with a special focus on an over-arching theme of “Simplification” or “Simplifying the Complex” as I believe our world is full of wonderful things that get lost in complexity …so my aim is bring it closer to you in a simplified version…hoping it would intrigue you to dig deeper if interested.

Stay tuned!

Awarded the Ambassador for Peace Certificate by UPF

I have recently been awarded the Ambassador for Peace certificate by the Universal Peace Federation and so it was a delightful surprise to know that I joined a network of leaders from all walks of life all around the world in further promoting Peace, Inter-religious and human development.

Consequently many started asking me, “So what does it really mean? What do you do?” …so here’s a small briefing about it hoping it will quench your curiosity 🙂

What is an Ambassador for Peace?

Ambassadors for Peace are part of a global network of leaders representing thereligious, racial and ethnic diversity of the human family, as well as all disciplines of human endeavor. They stand on the common ground of shared principles and arecommitted to the path of promoting reconciliation, overcoming barriers, and building peace.

So what is the Ambassador for Peace Award?

The Ambassador for Peace award honors achievement and signifies a new appointment to a mission to serve the common good.

What do Ambassadors for Peace do?

  • Exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others.
  • Promote universal moral values, strong family life,inter-religious cooperation, international harmony, renewalof the United Nations, responsible mass media, and the establishment of a global culture of peace.
  • Transcend racial, national and religious barriers.
  • Contribute to the fulfillment of the hope of all ages, a unified world of peace, wherein the spiritual and material dimensions of life are harmonized.
  • Serve as members on national, regional and global peace councils promoting and safeguarding world peace.
  • Develop a broad strategic alliance of partnerships among individuals, educational institutions, organizations, reli-gions, corporations, the media and governments.

So I hope you all join me in this life long journey of serving the community, being at peace with ourselves, families and community and further promoting ethical values.

فلتحيا مصر، فليحيا الشعب العربي و لتحيا العروبة

 

    .نادراً ما اكتب باللغة العربية ولكن في هذه المناسبة وفي هذه الظروف لا يمكنني إلا أن اكتب بالعربي

    هنيئاً لمصر وهنيئاً للشعب العربي في كل البلاد العربية. لقد رفع الشعب المصري رأس كل عربي في هذه الثورة، تمكنت الإرادة الشعبية من أن تنتصر على سنين من الظلم والإستبداد، على حكومات وانظمة متامره ومتخاذلة وذليلة. لقد عاد الشعب العربي يتنفس العروبة والقومية والكرامة والعنفوان.

    .ما ابتدى في تونس تنامى في مصر وكبر وحقق نصراً على عقود من الذل والقهر.  11 شباط يوماً لن ينسى بعد اليوم، ستبنى عليه امالنا وأحلامنا

    .فلينتفض الشعب العربي أينما كان للم شمله وإعادة العزة والكرامة لقاموسه

    !!!فلتحيا مصر، فليحيا الشعب العربي و لتحيا العروبة

Arab Nations Are Awakening


Mohamed Bouazizi, a name that made it into history on December 17th 2010. From Tunisia, a man self-immolated himself to defend his dignity, his poverty, his own values and principles. This was enough to ignite an already suppressed, angry and dignified nation.

Tunisia, lead by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, a dictator for 23 years with full support from the US, France and the so called “International Society”, has been liberated by the people on the 15th of January 2011.

Days after, the light of dignity and sense of empowerment of grassroots revolution reached Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Algeria.

Egypt’s “Day of Anger”, on the 25th of January 2011, started a wave of protests and demonstrations in the various Egyptian cities asking for the dictator Husni Mubarak to step down. Until this day, the dictator didn’t leave and the protests have not stopped and are infact growing in numbers and power in spite of all the government’s cheap moves.
Husni Mubarak, a dictator that asked his police and secret service to wear civilian clothes and cause chaos, made the police in most cities leave their positions and let the cities be populated with looters and chaos makers to reek havoc in the streets, houses and important historic sites. The government shut down internet and phone connections, turned its back on the jails to let the detained flee to cause more chaos in the streets in an attempt to make the righteous demands and civilized demonstrations of the Egyptians seem more like a war zone. All the attempts to make the people seem like they are thieves and killers, instead of the dignified nation they are demanding for their rights, for democracy, for a government that represents them and their thinking, a nation asking for a leader that works for them and not a corrupt dictator that is failing his country.

Sooner or later, Husni Mubarak will leave, because the Arab Nation is awakening and what started in Tunisia will not end in Egypt.

It is about time that the Arabs shed that old worn-out cloth of humiliation, division, discrimination, dictatorship and so called “leaders” who are puppets in the hands of the US, Europe and Israel.

The sense of dignity, faith in values, and belief in principles will rise again. That once visible and lately invisible line that has always been connecting all Arabs wherever they are on the globe will come back strong and proud.
I am not a fortune teller and definitely not a political analyst. I am a proud Arab, a thinker and an activist that has always been wondering when will this phase of shame in the Arab world depart, and now that flag of dignity, pride and magnanimity is rising… slowly but surely!

May all free men, all the thinkers, all believers in democracy, all supporters of grassroots, all human rights activists stand side by side with the Arab Nations as they stand up and demand for their rights…a new sun is rising!

Time alone will tell…

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Lebanon & Its Sovereignty: An Irony

Well I wasn’t planning on publishing a post today, but the current political stance in Lebanon is just too much for me to stay silent.

I ask myself, and all those reading my post, to take a deep breath and reflect on all what is going on and consider the following.

The US, Saudi Arabia, Syria, France, Qatar, Iran and last but not least Turkey are all supporting the Lebanese sovereignty, civil peace and rule of law. Nevertheless they allow themselves, so freely and so publicly, to engage in Lebanese politics, meet politicians, make deals, negotiate, threaten, support one group over the other…etc.

All that just to ensure our SOVEREIGNTY … ironic right?

Well it doesn’t stop there…they even hold meetings in their own countries (ie Saudi/US meeting in US, Turkey/Qatar/Syrian meeting in Syria..etc) to discuss and agree on HOW should Lebanon be governed in the coming phase. After that they exchange agreements, refuse deals, work on others and they come here to discuss it with the Lebanese politicians (not strictly the officials…they visit anyone and everyone they want from heads of political parties to individual parliamentarians to ex-ministers…etc) …so much for sovereignty!!

Mind you I’m not against diplomacy, international affairs and all the care that Lebanon has always had from the fellow Arab nations and the world, yet I don’t think any country EVER has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs.

It’s funny and sad at the same time to see nations coming to teach us about diplomacy, democracy, rule of law, what’s right and what’s not…yet most of them just support one party and work with them in a way that ignites polarity in the country, links all the politicians’ decisions and actions with what is agreed on outside the country and put pressure on how should our government and officials act and work to suit the international agenda.

Lebanon..my dear beloved country, is struggling …gasping for a breath …and yet all those countries come in to support its sovereignty, but instead of saving it, they’re strangling us all!!!

Ironic…and very very sad

 

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Google, Cloud Computing & Web Apps

———– Michael Liedtke – Associated Press———–

SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc. will sell the online services of other business software makers in an effort to fill its own product gaps and persuade more companies to rely on applications piped over the internet.

The online store that was announced late Tuesday marks another step in Google’s crusade to convert the world to “cloud computing,” the idea of running applications in web browsers instead of installing them on individual hard drives. The information entered in the programs also is stored in data centers run by third parties such as Google.

More than 50 software makers have agreed to sell their Internet programs through Google, which will keep 20 percent of the sales. The prices are expected to range from $50 annually to several hundred dollars annually per user.

All the applications sold in Google’s store can be melded with Google’s own cloud-computing services, said Vic Gundotra, the firm’s vice president of engineering.

Google views cloud computing as a way to deepen people’s dependence on its services and generate more revenue beyond the internet search advertising that provides virtually all its income.

Cloud computing also provides Google with a weapon that could weaken one of its biggest rivals, Microsoft Corp.

Although it’s introducing more online alternatives, Microsoft still makes most of its money from individual computer licenses of its Windows system and software programs.

The applications store could also provide fodder for the low-cost computers that will run on a Google system called Chrome. The first computers using Chrome OS won’t have a hard drive, meaning they will need Internet access and cloud-computing services to perform the tasks routinely done on Windows-powered machines.

Google began offering a free online suite of e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet and calendar applications in 2006.
It has been selling a more sophisticated package of online services for $50 per user for the past three years.

Cloud computing can be a tough sell to corporate-decision makers worried about security and uninterrupted access.
Google has invested billions of dollars during the past five years to keep its systems up and running.

Nevertheless, Google’s applications users occasionally have been cut off from their e-mail accounts and other services.
According to the firm, some 25 million people working for over 2 million businesses, state agencies and schools use Google’s online applications.

The firm’s revenue from software licensing and other non-advertising sources totaled $762 million last year.

Amazing What They Get Away With

Question:        Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections? ?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:       What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union ?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States , according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana , Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S. ?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because “We control America ?”
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing.
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
Answer:         Israel .

Global & Local Trends…

I was skimming through some of my research material and notes from the past few months and I noticed some trends and themes that are either widespread or are emerging, both on the local and the global level.

This is no way comprehensive but I felt it is worth sharing with you so here is a selection of 7 global and 7 local trends and themes… enjoy!

Globally:

1. General widespread of trends of non-structured, non-standardized approach to education and training. The recent trends focus more on one of the following rather than on the material: Personal Relations, Arts, Sports, Values(religious, cultural, social…etc).

2. General decrease in globalization trend and a major outburst of interest in entrepreneurship, local corporations, social enterprises, SMEs and local based initiatives. This is especially true in countries that were dominated by western products/services/companies.

3. General decrease in the age group of politicians, gov officials, international organisations’ managers..etc with respect to past years. That is, we are seeing younger people take lead in positions and places that previously were solely based on seniority or are in one way or another given to senior citizens.
4. Sharp increase in promoting and empowering women in technology, governmental positions, education, and basic human rights.

5. General increase in the support of the Arab & Palestinian rights towards Israel and the understanding of the dynamics and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This has been seen in the dwindling financial support of some countries and corporations to Israel as well as closing,in Europe and Australia, of some media outlets and PR companies that were strong supporters/followers of the Israeli State.

6. Sharp increase in Chinese and Japanese civil society activeness. This is in number of CSOs(includes NGOs, Clubs, Parties, Media Outlets…etc), the type of projects and the size of projects being initiated.

7. General increase in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Turkish, Iranian initiatives to voice out their interests and culture to their neighbouring countries and major zones of interests in the world (including Levant, MENA and GCC region)

Locally:

1. General increase in the public understanding for the need of less politicised discussions, campaigns, and talk-shows. This reflects in the major shift of many TV to start putting comedy/joke/social shows, less political talk-shows/documentaries, and thinner political sections in daily newspapers.

2. Sharp increase in the interest to go back to the mother language(Arabic). This reflects in the number of NGOs, academic institutes and media outlets that are using more Arabic, promoting Arabic or solely have started to teach/spread Arabic.

3. Sharp increase in the investments and inbound capital put in Lebanon from Lebanese diaspora, Arab states and some international companies.

4. Sharp increase in the interest and pricing of real estate in Lebanon and Beirut in specific, especially that the country has been calm on the “security” level.

5. Sharp increase in interest on banning smoking and drugs. This has been reflected in Laws that the parliament have passed, in the police/army investigations being held and the endless CSO campaigns and initiatives on the above mentioned 2 issues.

6. General increase in the interest towards being “Green” and the environmental impact of our day to day actions on the environment. Soon I expect some major campaigns to be launched on environmental awareness targeting governments,NGOs and the general public. The campaigns will probably be both local and on the Arab region.

7. Sharp increase in the number of cars sold in Lebanon in the past year and still going up. The impact reflects very negatively on the traffic jams in all over Lebanon and Beirut in specific, the pollution bill we’re paying and the deterioration of many roads faster than expected due to the volume of daily cars/buses/trucks passing on it.

I would like you to consider those themes, try to see how are they affecting your life or what is your stance on them and perhaps launch this online-discussion starting from this post….

I’m looking forward for your additions/suggestions/questions/comments.. 😀