Conversations


Salam from Riyadh

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It’s a balmy Saudi evening outside the hotel entrance door as MB writes his blog. Meanwhile, inside the lobby, MB is listening to the loudest painters making the loudest noises since Michael Angelo (another legendary Michael) dropped his bucket from the ceiling scaffold onto the marble floor miles below all those years ago. The artists in front of me are presently giving a touch-up to the ceiling which suffered some water damage during the recent 3 week monsoon. If you have seen the movie ‘Best Marigold Hotel’ you will get the picture. Each time the long-handled roller is dipped into the metal paint bucket it is producing a sonic wave throughout the entire city and structural damage is already reported to some major bridges. MB needs Panadol, or something stronger, asap. Or maybe MB is just tired and cranky after a busy week in the dusty desert. Maybe.

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MB would seriously love a large cold bottle of White to relax the brain and quench the thirst, but such life pleasures are strictly forbidden in this stricter than strict Island of Islamic. If MB was in any other jurisdiction on the entire planet, a bottle from the ‘new world’ would presently be planked on the table in front of him with a long-stemmed glass sparkling in the evening sunshine . Or if that location happened to be some 3rd World haunt, then maybe a bottle of some local hooch would suffice, and the thirst would also be no more. So the thirst remains for the moment and the solution must await MBs return to the homeland next month alas.

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Yes indeed lads, MB is heading home to kith & kin next month which coincides with the HX Festival. To be very truthful there is actually no HX Festival. But there are 3 festivals happening at same time in the surrounding localities. So MB will refer to them collectively as the ‘HX Festival’. In recent days it was announced in the local Press that Caroline Kennedy, daughter of assassinated US President JFK, will attend the event on account of the family connection with the HX locality. MB explained to some non-Irish Muslim Arabs yesterday that the ‘F’ in ‘JFK’ stands for the Irish name ‘Fitzgerald’. In 1852 one Thomas Fitzgerald emigrated from HX and a few generations later his grandson was President of the USA. The emigrant story that dreams are made of.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Kennedy

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The HX Festival will host a multitude of other events and MB will give you all the full itinerary next week. One event does however merit special early mention. Namely, the Photo Workshop hosted by none other than Irish/Arab Photo Shooter  Supreme MB! Yes indeedee lads, for the paltry miserly sum of 20 Shekels (Euro) you can partake in the MB Photo Master Class at the HX lake front, which will ensure that you too can produce the Nat Geo standard pics that MB produces week in week out for the blog, and which you have now come to expect as a right. MB will not be bringing his camel, in case you were wondering, although he would provide nice backdrop to some shots. (Note to self – rethink the camel). It’s not yet publicised lads, but already the class is almost full, so get your booking application in asap.

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It is not yet known if Caroline will book in for the Photo session with MB. Ok, MB will admit she is stinking rich multi millionairess with access to the entire professional photographer class of USA, probably for free. But have any of those Yankee Dog photographers ever produced an irreverent weekly blog from the land of beheadings and limb amputations? I am sure not lads. And could any of them milk a cow by hand, or make a wynde of hay with a pitchfork, or castrate a young bull turning him into a useless mutant good for nothing other than burger production? Yes lads, I think you will all agree – Caroline would indeed be selling herself very short if she chose other than MB. Inshallah she will choose wisely.

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What else to tell you lads? Conversations lads, yes, conversations.

A few days back MB was traveling home from work in the company of an Aussie coworker and the young Sudan lad that MB has mentioned few times in the blog of late. MB & Aussie (Whities) sat in the front sea while Sudan lad (non-Whitie) sat in the back. All in their rightful place lads, hahahahaha! Joke lads – In case any followers with sub 150 IQ levels might be thinking MB has turned into some kind of racist Neanderthal. But am sure the blog has no sub 150 followers as it’s a minimum entry requirement.

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Anyway MB & Aussie were shooting the breeze about the events of the past & the coming months. MB mentioned the HX Fest, photography, some wineries MB had visited on trip down under few years back. Aussie mentioned upcoming 25 holiday he will take on a beach down under, when he & surf board will hit the waves for few hours each morning. Wifey will set up camera on a tripod on some headland overlooking the waves to get the awesome shots of husband exiting the wave tubes just in time. Remainder of the days will be filled with restaurants, bit of shopping, friends. The good life down under.

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We dropped Aussie to his hotel when MB gave permission to Sudan lad to sit in front seat! Sudan lad then said to MB – “MB, what the hell was that conversation?”. “What the f*ck are you on about Sudan lad” replied MB. “That entire conversation you had with Aussie, with talk of surf boards, festivals, photography – it was a totally and completely Whitie conversation. Two people from the 3rd world could not have had it. They would not even have understood it” shot back Sudan lad.

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For once MB shut his mouth, and reflected on what Sudan lad had said. And came to conclusion that Sudan lad had said a mouthful. All conversations are products of our backgrounds. Pretty obvious I suppose when you think about it, but MB never had. Maybe you need to work in places like this to sometimes see the obvious, or have it shown to you.

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This Weeks Pics
Are all from last years HX Festival, to give you flavour.

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Hypnosurf
Mentioned Aussie pal above lads. He is very interesting character in his own right. Along with the day job he has spent time in recent years designing a self hypnosis app for surfers, designed to get them to perform at highest level every time, rather than the hit& miss performance that many experience during a surfing season. Now available for iPhone & Android. Am wondering if this app could be applied to other sports like tennis or golf? What say you Mr M?

So check it out lads on http://www.hypnosurf.com

Bare Breasts!
Saw on the net yesterday that 3 young European girls made a topless protest outside a courthouse where a young Muslim girl is being tried for upsetting some Salafist Muslim group and allegedly insulting Islam. I hope the embassies of the 3 girls get them home quick. Such behaviour out these parts is very much ‘haram’ and would be considered akin to behaving like a prostitute (‘sharmuta’ in the Arabic). And you will never hear any words of sympathy out here for sharmuta or any sympathetic words why girls might get into that game like you might do in the west. So MB hoping they get tickets home real fast. They will not receive kind treatment in prison if they sentenced. To put it mildly.

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As for the Muslim girl, she previously posted a topless photo of herself on facebook, which caused huge controversy. Although this is not why she is on trial. Read both links below if of interest:

http://arabia.msn.com/news/world/1886342/3-femen-women-held-in-tunis-after-baring-breasts-afp/

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/tunisia/feminist-on-trial-topless-protesters-held-1.1190787

Note to Muslim visitors – do not eat John Finn’s sausages – they are pork (khanzeer) so haram for you. Ask him for beef burger instead.

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Harassment in Saudia Arabia
MB has told you all many times that the Saudi version of Islam is stricter than strict, and laughed at by people of other Islamic countries. Some of the behaviour seen here would probably get people locked in mental institutions in other countries, but not here.

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This week some nutball religious conservative posted a suggestion on Twitter that people should harass women working in shopping centres to show them the error of their ways and prevent them becoming sharmuta. Thankfully, in a sign that the country might be going in a different direction, hundreds of Twitter people turned on the guy. But others supported him. Such is the thinking, sadly, of many in thee parts. MB read in separate report that Muslim Imams (Priests) are making weekly presentations to the office of the Ruler, King Abdullah, to change the law to ensure that women could no longer work in shops and shopping centres. Crazy in any other country. But not here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22705573

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In a related story MB saw the following from a fellow blogger earlier this week. No comment:

Kuwait shows respect for Saudi women driving ban
Last Thursday, Brig. Saleh Al-Najim, the head of a Kuwaiti delegation, stated that out of respect for the Saudi ban on women driving, his country will make the exception of not issuing driving licenses to Saudi women until they provide proof of their male guardian’s permission. I’m shocked and disappointed that the Kuwaiti government would exploit how politically weak Saudi women are to gain favor. But that isn’t why I’m writing this post. I’m writing it because this particular tactic of expressing an opinion about a sovereign nation’s internal laws by altering yours is something that has occurred to me before. A few years back I either dreamed or read somewhere that a politician proposed to the European Union that Saudi men not be allowed to drive in the EU until they end the ban on women driving in Saudi. Judging by the last Olympics, that type of restriction on Saudi men could actually work in making a change. How weird would it be for those banning people from driving their hard-earned cars because of their gender to have a taste of their own medicine?

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My watch!
Like this story. Husband presented future wife with expensive watch as gift. Watch broke and upon taking it for repair wife was informed that the watch was a fake! She is now divorcing the cheapskate husband:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/courts/dubai-woman-seeks-divorce-over-fake-chopard-watch-she-received-as-dowry-1.1189099

http://www.chopard.com/?___store=en_gb&___from_store=en_gb

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Malala
Nice to see Pakistani girl Malala Jousafzai in Abu Dhabi last week to say thanks for the air ambulance supplied by UAE to take her to UK for treatment after she was shot by the Pakistani Taliban in her Swat valley homeland. Still under a death sentence from the crazies. She met with future ruler Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nihayn, son of UAE ruler.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/government/general-shaikh-mohammad-bin-zayed-al-nahyan-praises-pakistan-rights-activist-malala-yousafzai-1.1189368?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=&utm_term=%26285867

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Reluctant Emigrant
Have not had chance to read DH blog this week. Think it’s about the expat wife and kids heading back to the cooler climates of the west leaving hubby to toil under the hot desert sun:

http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/annual-migration-2/

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Adios lads!
Have a nice weekend. I see some sunshine appeared in the Irish this week after long absence. Inshallah it continues to shine.
Take care all.

MB

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the background


Pigeon

Pigeon & friends. At a temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. October 2012.

The Future


Greetings lads
Hope all well with you & yours.

A depressing week in many ways. Was talking to a Syrian friend in recent days and he made the point to MB that many people and groups in this region are becoming more & more extreme, wrapping a cocoon around themselves and their group, and totally intolerant of other groups and other beliefs. In years past people lived peacefully together and knew tolerance. The fathers and grandfathers of groups now killing each other once drank coffee together and farmed side by side and attended family weddings and funerals of the others. He reminded me that the birthplace of Christianity is Damascus, not Jerusalem  He knew one family growing up in Damascus where one brother and sister were a Christian nun & priest, and another brother & sister in the same family were Muslims. And everyone lived in peace together. This region of the world would seem to be on a journey to a dark & dangerous place.

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But let us not talk of depressing things. The same Syrian introduced MB to some music. Or rather a musician, called Omar Farouk. Something different:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmvKQ0fmBdU

Hope you like lads.

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This weeks pics, excluding match maker ones, are about the future. Have you ever wondered about the future lads? What type of houses and environments your grandchildren and their grandchildren might live in. Well, there is one partially built mini city in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which may provide some of the answers. It’s called Masdar City, and it adjoins Abu Dhabi airport.

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Masdar city is a carbon neutral development and is a completely sustainability themed habitat. Uses design and materials combination to provide a way to live for large populations of humans that will not harm our planet. So the sun is used to generate heat and electricity. Building design provides courtyards where the surrounding building provide shade from the hot sun out these parts, and a lot more. In 2030 the daytime population of Masdar city will be 90,000 and habitant population approx 45,000. MB called recently to see it, avec camera. It’s presently small-scale, but extremely impressive. So arty architectural pics for you this week lads.

Masdar City
A place where businesses can thrive and innovation can flourish, Masdar City is a modern Arabian city that, like its forerunners, is in tune with its surroundings. As such, it is a model for sustainable urban development regionally and globally, seeking to be a commercially viable development that delivers the highest quality living and working environment with the lowest possible ecological footprint.
It is a community where cutting-edge cleantech research and development, pilot projects, technology testing, and construction on some of the world’s most sustainable buildings are all ongoing. As such, Masdar City offers a fertile environment that inspires creativity and growth to organisations operating in this strategic and dynamic sector.

http://masdarcity.ae/en/105/visit-masdar-city/

Match Making – The Outing
Few weeks back guest blogger Miss L told us all about arranged marriages out here in the Middle East. Irish followers of this blog will all be aware of the famous arranged marriage festival we have every August back in Ireland in the small town on Lisdoonvarna on the West coast of County Clare. Where match making has taken place for  years and years, and where many a man has found a life partner. It’s fame is such that bus loads of American ladies are turning up in recent years to find that hunka hunka burnin (Irish) love.

T and TB

I am reminded of a great story told to me many years ago by a friend who was born and raised in Lisdoon, as many Irish refer to the town. Concerns a farmer from West Limerick, who attended the festival each Summer in search of a life partner, driving down each year on his old Massey Ferguson tractor, as he did not possess a car.

He attended the event over a number of years until eventually match maker Willie found a young lady who had no qualms about marrying a ‘tractor man’. Tractor Man now had a new wife to help him with milking the cows, saving the hay, plucking dead hens, feeding pigs and all the other bonding activities that farming couples engage in the world over. Bliss.

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And being respectful of the occasion and the town that brought them together, the happily married couple continued in future years to take their summer holidays during festival time in Lisdoon to relive the thrills and spills of their first courtship. But they still had not acquired a car. And as there was insufficient room on the tractor for the new wife, the farmer, in most romantic fashion, threw a bale of straw into the transport box each year, hooked it up to the tractor, and off they would journey into the Lisdoon sunset. Happy as pigs in muck, as we say back home.

There will be many followers who do not know the joys of driving a Massey ferguson tractor or even recognise one, or of sitting in a transport box, or who would not even know a bale of straw if it fell on their head from the sky. So MB is giving you two pics by way of explanation – just for all you city slicker blog followers.

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Lisdoon caught MB’s attention earlier this week when he noticed that the Lisdoon festival is going ‘pink’ this year, with the introduction of a gay & lesbian match making weekend as part of the overall event. Live & let live says MB, wish them well with all the craic! Match Maker Willie is handing  over the reins to drag queen Panti for that weekend only. Maasalama to all who may journey there!

LISDOONVARNA is going pink!!
Yes, Europe’s oldest and boldest Matchmaking Festival is getting more inclusive and is opening this season with a gay-themed weekend. 
The media are already very excited about it, judging from the chatter, and that’s just day one!
Dubbed ‘The Outing,’ the weekend will feature matchmaking events, concerts and more, all hosted by drag-queen Panti.
Event Director Donal Mulligan said, “We’re taking the best of old Ireland – music, dancing and matchmaking – and putting it together with the variety of entertainment on offer in the LGBT community.”

http://www.matchmakerireland.com/

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Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mo
Often make joking references to Sheikh Mo lads, as you are all aware. But he does fantastic job generally with his Emirate and it is the tolerant jewel in this MENA (Middle East North African region). This week Sheikh Mo is cracking the whip with his Ministries to ensure that all Government services will be available on smart phones within a short while. Plucked the following from his Facebook page earlier in the week:

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Met with around 1000 Government officials today and announced our vision for the Government of the future. The Government of the future works 24/7 and 365 days a year. It is as hospitable as hotels, fast in delivering & strong in its procedures. The Government of the future is innovative and adaptive. It improves the quality of life and helps people achieve their happiness. We started working on this vision. Today, we launched the “m-Government” project with the goal of providing all services via smart phones. Through m-Government, we aim to reach people instead of them reaching us. Through their smartphones we can make their lives easier. Our deadline for the m-Government project is 2 years. We will never tolerate any failure in achieving this goal.

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Healthcare job opps in Dubai
If anyone interested lads:

http://www.zawya.com/story/Numerous_healthcare_job_vacancies_in_Dubai-ZAWYA20130515031459/?utm_source=zawya&utm_medium=web&utm_content=most-popular&utm_campaign=story

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Raha Moharrak
RM has just become the first lady from saudi Arabia to scale Mount Everest. When MB read the story he was more surprised that a/ she was allowed to do so by her family, and b/ that she did so in the company of 3 men, which I read in another report. Her family are obviously not of the traditional Saudi variety. Well done Miss Raha!

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Katmandu: The first woman from Saudi Arabia to scale Mount Everest said she doesn’t intend to inspire a movement, but would be happy to change people’s opinions of Saudi women and Saudi women’s opinions of themselves.
Raha Moharrak told reporters in Katmandu on Tuesday after returning from the mountain that her next goal is to climb the highest peaks in all seven continents. She said she has already scaled five of them.
Moharrak, 27, was among hundreds of climbers who reached Everest’s 8,850-metre summit in recent days because of favourable weather conditions on the mountain.
“It was very personal thing. I didn’t do it to cause a movement, did not do it because of anything, but If I can change people’s opinion or the world’s opinion on Saudi women and if I can change Saudi women’s opinion about themselves I would be really happy,” Moharrak said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/female-saudi-everest-climber-raha-moharrak-happy-to-change-views-1.1186848

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Syria – Robert Fisk
Interesting commentary as ever from Robert Fisk. Just returned from Syria.

DW: Mr. Fisk, you’ve just returned from Syria. What were your impressions?

Robert Fisk: What you find is that there are large areas which have been destroyed, large areas which are largely depopulated, and large areas which are not only undamaged, but in which life more or less continues. This applies not only to the center of Damascus, it applies mostly to the city of Latakia, where there’s a large Alawite community, and the same applies to Tartus. So you do find certain areas of Syria where the government is still firmly in control and where some semblance of life goes on. You can go out to lunch; you can shop; you can go to your office.

http://www.dw.de/robert-fisk-syrian-war-could-go-on-for-two-three-years/a-16823404

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Arab Hospitality
In a week when the words ‘Islamic’ or ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslim’ or even ‘Arab’ were mentioned in not too flattering terms on world news TV channels MB would like to mention that about 2 hours ago he took break from writing the blog to go to the local supermarket. Got into a chat with a Saudi man and his son at the hot oven counter. After a few minutes chat they invited MB back to their house for dinner. MB went along and had great fun with the entire family (4 sons and 1 daughter), except for wife who remained in the kitchen as is the custom. Nice meal and great hospitality.

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Have a good weekend
Deutschland uber alles! Champions League final Saturday night so final game of the season for the footy fans and something to shout about, apart from fact that its 2 German teams playing. And generally there is little or no support outside of Germany for either. To watch or not to watch – that is the question.

Ciao for now lads.

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MB

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape


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From the Dubai World Cup horse racing night at Meydan Stadium, Dubai, end March 2013.

Marhaba


Salam lads

May you all have some salam/peace in your lives. Its a good thing to have for sure.

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Mentioned last week that we had some heavy rains out these parts in recent weeks. MB also mention the tornado that  he recently got caught up in (& survived) and the earthquake that shook the UAE that had its epicenter in Iran. We certainly don’t do weather stuff out here by half. If MB saw a swarm of locusts outside the hotel this evening he wouldn’t be half surprised.

So just to give you break from the jaw-dropping shots of famous world structures and places of recent weeks lads, MB has decided to give you some pics this week of the recent weather. Took a few shots coming home for work on night of the tornado, plus sat outside the hotel that night and took a few Nat Geo standard shots, for sport, of passing cars as the rains fell. Both arty & awesome then MB? For sure lads!

We are now back to to the regular hot hot hot. Today was circa 40 degrees and not at all exciting for the camera, just too bright, so it’s now packed away until MBs June trip back home.

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Big congrats to MB on reaching 40 blogs this week on this website. Thanks lads. Granted, some of the blogs are single shot photos in the Weekly Photo Challenge thingy, but they all count officially. And in their own way are as equally awesome as the regular effort you will agree.

Was a busy week workwise and the brain a tad tired. But we persevere lads. Onwards!

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Music

One of the comments says that Bob Dylan said this song was written by God. It’s probably true.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq3YLhtuzTQ

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Thought

Stumbled across this earlier in the week on one of the blogs I follow:

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat on you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Mother Teresa

 

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Maharaba

Have mentioned the Afghan restaurant where MB goes on occasion to you previously lads. It’s bit (or a lot) 3rd worldish, with flies having free reign and the decor & furniture certainly not of the 5 Star variety. If you are into hygiene and all things clean, then do not look too carefully at the plate you are eating from, or the basket that holds your delicious hot bread which has come straight from the mud oven. The little dish that holds the obligatory side order (served with everything) of raw chopped onions and raw green chillies will also not allow you to see your reflection.

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But there is not a single piece of processed food in any of the steel pots that contain the tasty grub. And as MB has said to you previously, he suspects the very tasty mutton is killed and skinned out back behind some sheets of plywood before landing few minutes later in the mutton pot in the kitchen. It doesn’t come any fresher than that lads! (must take look back there next time). In any event, the human body seems to develop a resistance over a few visits to anything that might more normally prove terminal, allowing the regular punters to just concentrate on enjoying the fine food and bottled water.

The Aghani staff are all very friendly types with smiles on faces when MB and others enter, and it’s generally part of the custom to shake a few hands on entering. For MB at least. The natives are always welcoming and seemingly happy to see a rare Westie enter the premises to eat amongst them. MB suspects that he is only one of one Westie who does. In all MBs visits he has experienced only an open friendly welcome and some natural curiosity about the part of the world MB comes from – and is he Amriki?. La, Irelandee boys, not too far from Britawnya.

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But MB had different experience yesterday when he went in for the evening meal. Was a staff lad sitting watching TV in middle of the small eating area and upon passing MB extended his hand, greeting the lad with a ‘marhaba/hello’. The lad was dressed in typical Afghani dress and had the beard and head gear of a conservative Muslim. Not that his appearance mattered to MB, who takes all as he finds them.

The lad did not accept the hand of MB and for a second or two MB thought he was distracted by the TV programme he was watching. But after another second or two it was obvious that the lad just did not want to acknowledge or accept MBs greeting. So MB withdrew his hand and proceeded to the food area to place his order from the owner who had no issue to shake the hand of MB and whom he knows well at this stage. With a strong honest grip and a wide friendly smile on his face.

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MB was in the company of his young Sudanese friend, a Muslim lad himself, who was intrigued as to why Afghani lad would refuse to shake the hand of MB. So on finishing our food young Sudani challenges young Afghani in the Arabic language. And the following is more or less the conversation that followed, with the Afghani giving his answer and reasoning for his behavior:

“Why did you refuse to take the hand of the Westie?”

“Because I want to refuse and because I hate him. Is he American or British? Damn his soul to hell if he is”

“No, he is Irish”

“It’s the same”

“And what if he is a Muslim? Or not. How can you judge the man before you know him?”

“Is he a Muslim?”

“No, he is not”

“Then I did not misjudge him”

MB could analyse the above conversation ’till the cows come home. But he won’t. It’s said that education is the solution to most of the world’s problems. MB agrees.

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Don Of All Trades

Want to introduce you to a blogger that I follow who writes some very funny stuff, usually. Unusual name – and a multi-tasker by the sounds of it. If you like your food or cooking, the following DOAT blog will be to your liking and put a big smile on your face. MB was in stitches reading it. Brilliantly funny composition!

http://donofalltrades.com/2013/05/09/chopped-a-time-i-didnt-win-10000/#comment-1799

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Syrian Women
Not a good time to be a Syrian woman. Especially if you are single, and your family have no money or food, and maybe you are stuck in a refugee camp in Turkey or Jordan hundreds or thousands of miles from home, with very little hope. In such desperate circumstances a young woman can become a possibly solution of sorts for her family, but at terrible cost. Which would not happen if times and circumstances in Syria were different. But this is life for many at the moment:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22473573

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Dubai Police Force Cars

This story is still getting great PR for brand Dubai on the net. And they are not finished yet.

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Irish Bus Strike

Ireland had a bus drivers strike during the week. Was interesting to read that the head of Bus Eireann (the bus company) lives permanently in Dubai, and just goes to work each day via skype! The tone of the reports was not generally favourable as you can imagine. But if those Irish journalist do-dos stopped to think about it – why would a lad like him who can afford to do so, chose to live in wet & miserable Ireland when he can have 24/7/365 heat and a 5 star life of luxury in Dubai Marina. No contest!

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/bus-chief-based-in-dubai-as-first-major-strike-looms-29255497.html

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Palm Island Hotel

And in case the bus lad needs another plush 5 Star to head to for after-work (after-skype) cocktails he will shortly have a 200M Euro hotel to visit on the Palm Jumairah, 5 mins drive from the Marina where he can shoot the breeze with fellow expats and gargle the fine beverages in the tax free Dubai sunshine.Allah u akbar!

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https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/?ui=2&shva=1#inbox/13eabf9b77efa240

IMG_6043MarReluctant Emigrant – DH

http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/136-sharing-is-caring/

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So long lads

Another week down lads and our weekend already started over here. Yours just about to commence back home. Have a good one.

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MB

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern


Aman Jordan

Amman, Jordan. August 2011. Shot from the Amman’s hilltop Citadel & the Temple of Hercules.

Tall, Taller, Tallest


Greetings & Salam to all

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

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Hope all well lads. We are getting belted with rain in the Middle East at the moment. This weeks blog from DH (below) is all about the rain in UAE, and MB can confirm that we are also getting rain of biblical (or Qoranical) proportions in Saudi for last few weeks. It’s very late to get such rain in this region so we are not sure if just one of mother natures little quirks, or the rain gods are displeased, or global warming. Who knows?!

And then the sun came out for a moment

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http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-search-and-rescue-operations-continue-in-flood-hit-areas-1.1180665
http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/citizens-praised-after-rescuing-family-trapped-by-saudi-floods-1.1179412

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And if you thought you are getting heavy rain in Ireland this past while lads then please think again. It seems that in 2,345 BC Ireland suffered 20 years of continuous rainfall, and numerous umbrella millionaires were born. The following link gives you that story lads and there is also mention of 10 years non stop rain in 540 AD. So please all Irish lads, quit your moaning and belly aching about a mere 9 months of wetness. There could be plenty more on the way:

Irish Rain
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Discovery-of-20-year-long-rainfall-in-Ireland-in-2345-BC-revealed-206179261.html

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MB has no clue what to write about this week lads so he will have a cuppa qawah (coffee) + some choc to try to kick-start the brain. This week’s pics are mainly from last week’s visit to Dubai and MB had the good fortune to be outside the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower – in English) on a cloudy evening & night with his best camera, and he just went mental with the pics. The pics are over a few hours, and go from early evening daylight to later dark of night. Hope you all like.

Evening descends

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The Burj, as some of you might know, is the tallest building in the world at approx 830M high. When you are on the viewing deck on Floor  Nr 126, there is still a height equivalent to the height of the Empire State Building in NY to get you to the top. MB’s pics do not convey the height of the structure, as they are all too close range. If you are a few kilometers away, looking at the adjoining 50 & 60 story buildings then you can really see the perspective and appreciate the scale of it all.

From wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burj_Khalifa

MB still wondering what to write about!

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Tornado in the desert
Yes lads, MB got caught up in a tornado in the Saudi desert this week (yesterday actually) and for once MB did not really have a solution if his office complex got sucked up into the Saudi sky. It came upon us in an instant lads, and within seconds our bright sunny mid afternoon sunshine disappeared, to be replaced by night-time like darkness and a thunderous noise.

Met this dog with his owner on the street. Owners were happy when MB emailed them the pic. Even in liberal Dubai there are many areas where you are not allowed to own or walk a dog. Dogs are considered unclean by Muslims so they do not have them. Saudi Arabia has population of some 25M people but I have never seen a single dog!

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MB was in his office being his beautiful brilliant best when the deafening tornado noise erupted without warning and went on for 10 or 15 minutes. The amount of desert sand sucked up by the wind took visibility down to almost nothing as deepest darkness descended. Within 30 seconds the entire interior of the offices were covered in fine sand dust as it blew in through every possible orifice – doors blown open, tiny cracks at edges of windows and others. Computers, desks, humans – all covered within seconds. Many seasoned locals immediately had scarfs over their faces with only eyes visible as they sat at their work stations. But most like MB did not have such attire, and just choked on the dust.

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The office complex immediately started to shake with the ferocity of the force of nature at work, and it seemed for a while like everything would come away from the foundations and we would all end up in Iran within a short while. Mercifully (God is Irish surely) the building structure held good and eventually the storm passed. We were then battered by extremely heavy rainfall for 2 hours or so, which caused huge flooding throughout the locality. Driving home later involved trying to find shallowest parts of road-lakes to drive slowly through, with some Arab lads struggling in their broken down cars in middle of the lakes (haha!).

But MB survived to tell you the tale lads. So all’s well that end’s well. Allah u akbar!

Still wondering what to write about!

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Where the hell is Matt
MB is sure many of you will have seen the Matt Harding videos online, where he dances in numerous locations around the world with the local people. And just conveys a great sense of fun and the goodness of humanity, regardless of race, creed or colour. It’s referred to as a ‘jig’ on Wikipedia, but its unlike any Irish jig you will have ever seen. Really great great stuff, and MB defies anyone to watch this without a smile on your face. I see some of the YouTube comments admit to crying while watching. Can understand why.

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From Wikipedia:
Where the Hell is Matt? is an Internet phenomenon that features a video of Dancing Matt (Matt Harding) doing a dance “jig” in many different places around the world in 2005. The background music in the video is the song Sweet Lullaby Dancing Remix by Deep Forest. The video garnered popularity on the video sharing site Youtube. There are now five major videos plus outtakes and background videos on YouTube.

In 2007, Jawed Karim, one of the founders of YouTube, stated that Harding’s video was his favorite on YouTube at that time.[9]

Clouds wrap around the top of the Burj Khalifa

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So for those who have not seen previously (and for those who have):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwe-pA6TaZk

Go on lads – play it again!

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The Hasidim
Think I mentioned BBC World News programme recently about the Hassidic Jews in their native Israel, where there is much conflict with the secular majority. But because they hold balance of political power they are influencing the whole political situation in the country to a far greater degree than their 20% of the population might merit. And like religious zealots everywhere, tolerance is not a quality they possess in any great abundance. Preferring to look in tunnel vision fashion at everything from their own very narrow perspective. And when you believe that God is also on your side, and only on your side, then you become one seriously difficult group to deal with.

Follower MOD posted the following link on Fb recently which tells story of the Hassidim in USA and issues that are arising. Long read but very interesting, if you are into this kind of politico/religious stuff like MB:

http://nymag.com/news/features/east-ramapo-hasidim-2013-4/

Still wondering what the hell to write about!

The Burj disappears into the clouds

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Dubai Police Cars
Think I mentioned recently lads that the recent purchase of some dream machine cars by Dubai police force was possibly big PR exercise by the Ruler to promote brand ‘Dubai’ around the globe. The following article confirms same, with confirmation that the Ferrari will spend most of its time in the tourist spots, rather that chasing boy racers on the major highways.

And to blow everyone away lads it has been decided that the Ferrari will be driven by female officers. MB smiled when he read that one – living as he does in Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed drive cars – at all. Dubai’s Sheikh Mo is really giving a poke in the eye to the backward thinking of many out these parts. As MB has often said – Long Live Sheikh Mo!

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What oh what to write about!Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
MB though that the 70s or 80s band Depeche Mode were all dead with only some remaining memories in Madam Touseau’s or some musical museums. But how wrong can MB be lads? (not a serious question lads). DM will play the after-race gig at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – for God sake!http://gulfnews.com/about-gulf-news/al-nisr-portfolio/tabloid/depeche-mode-to-close-abu-dhabi-f1-1.1180240?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=&utm_term=%26282937If MB does not think of something to write about soon lads he just might give the whole thing a skip this week!

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Reluctant Emigrant – Let It Rain
In keeping with this week’s theme lads DH is also writing about the local weather, with great style.

http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/let-it-rain/
Met this Arab couple on the street who were trying to take self-portrait with their camera phone. MB appeared before them like a Photo God and took this shot, which he email later. They are still smiling!

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I Quit!
Just could not think of anything decent to discuss this week at all lads. Humblest apologies (a rarity for MB). Will produce better effort next week inshallah. There will be days like this!

From one of Ireland’s finest – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-h2AgbaVNA

Have a good one lads!

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MB

Weekly Photo Challenge: From above


From above

From my hotel balcony. Hamra St, Beirut, Lebanon. February 2012.

Daughter of Dad Nr 2


Greetings to all 

Something different this week lads. Guest blogger Miss L is having her say, at the invitation of MB. If you read last week’s ‘Marriage’ blog you will remember the story of Dad Nr 1 & 2. If you did not read it please take a moment to read in particular the story of Dad Nr 2.  

Muchos gracias to Miss L for accepting the invitation and hope we can get some more from her in the future.

Enough from MB!

MB

Assalm Alykom, Marhaba, Ahleen  (different Hellos  in Arabic)  MB lads.

I am pleasured to be the blog guest of the blog for this week. Many thanks to MB for giving me this opportunity! I appreciate it.

Just an overview about myself.. I am a Muslim young lady in my mid-twenties originally from Palestine, born & raised in Saudi Arabia.

I am Business Administration graduate & luckily working in a successful firm doing  brand development & research for large entities. I am fluent in both native Arabic & English & for the matter of fact… i am the DAUGHTER of DAD no 2… & that was indeed my story told by MB, a good friend of the family.

Luckily, I am a lady who visited lots of countries abroad such as USA, UK, Greece, etc… & got  exposed to many different people with different cultures & beliefs.

One common thing I have noticed is a misperception  westerners  had about marriage in the Arab Muslim.

What resulted in this misperception I was wondering?! Is it the fact that we are totally at odds with the west when coming to this subject! Or is it because westerns sometimes neglect the fact that Arabs & Muslims are very diverse belonging to different social status & education level & thus they should not at  all be perceived the same?

Anyhow, Lads  the difference in values, opinions, marriage style, religion, & all of that helps enrich us as humans by  getting exposed & mingling with each other.

That is why, I am honored today to hold the microphone MB granted me & candidly dig deeper  to give you  a closer look of marriage in our culture!

In our religion ”Islam”, it is forbidden for  a male & female to indulge in  affairs unless they are tied with marriage. The rational justification of this  the many problems that may  occur from illegitimate relationships that occur such as illegitimate children. In addition to  the countless psychological problems that may negatively affect  both the society +  both the  male & female  who get really affected when getting  involved in affairs  that are sometimes temporary, doubtful in continuity, & doesn’t protect both parties.

Marriage in Islam Ladies & Gentlemen is  a sacred  binding contract that bonds a male & a female  and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom and bride. Marriage must be declared publicly & divorce is permitted and can be initiated by either party.

What you probably don’t know ladies & gentlemen is that  Islam  indicates that ladies should never be FORCED into  marriage & should always have a say about the man of which they will get married to!

However, sorrowfully some uneducated Arab families have forced their girls into marriage & thus implied to Westerners that this the case in our culture !

I assure you audience that this  injustice  act  made by some uneducated, illiterate families is not in any way related to our religion  which   touches upon the lives of humans with mercy!

For example, humbly,  I  am a daughter to parents  who strongly believes a girl should receive an equal high standard education just as a boy! I am educated, I have freedom of speech, & I am totally empowered by my family to make my decisions lead by their mentor-ship & advice when needed.

Hmm….you must be wondering??! How does marriage happen then?!!

OK! In conservative societies such as ours, how do we get married??

This is how it goes!

As our religion states, If a lady  gets to meet a prospect  guy at work, in a family gathering , or elsewhere & he is interested in her, He must first approach her  family & come to her house  (& not the way around as the west..)

If a guy  is interested to know a lady  better, he should get permission from her  father & then  they  starts  to see whether things goes fine or not…

Yet, what is the other  case scenario in which you have not met anyone on the way?!

Just as what happens in the west where a friend, sister, or acquaintance sets you up for a date with some guy they feel might be interesting to you, in our culture the family does that! Families help set up the date!  Just as simple as that…:)

In a wedding, a party, or a gathering…Arab ladies mostly  tend to be  (like all ladies all over the world 😉 interested in being well-dressed, beautiful, & attractive J (must note Arab Ladies love shopping J )

In these social gatherings, parents get exposed to a number of ladies…. & keep hidden intentions  looking for a BRIDE for their sons! (just as the ball Cinderella went to when the prince was looking for a BRIDE J ) However, in our case the ball is running all year long J

If a mother happens to like  one of the ladies….she gets to approach her family & ask them for  that her son meets the daughter!!

Based on so many criteria which families set such as age, education, social status, nationalities, etc.. families either refuse or agree to meet the son!

Then, the Guy meets the Girl!! They get to sit together (OFFICIAL FIRST DATE THING)… to check whether there is a mutual  chemistry between them & whether  they clicked with one another!

They tend to sit a couple more times together (yet always in the lady’s home ) & if things worked out & they CLICKED! They apparently get engaged!!

If not… then they Both are History to each other!

In our culture lads… ladies are not suppressed nor forced….ladies are just treated with extra super care just as a diamond in a  box who should not  be touched  but by who is indeed serious about wearing this precious diamond..

By this, an Arab lady is somehow less vulnerable to the exploitation & the heart-break which ladies in other societies suffer from!

This is exactly what our religion indicated & how things should go…

However, it is always  important to note that some members of our societies started to oppose…

By this, I hope I gave a glance about a culture that may be hidden to many of you!

Hmm..… coming back to my story! Well, like any other lady any else in the world… I have not yet met  Mr. RIGHT…& met lotssssssssss of Mr. WRONGS  just as the drug dealer with the picture MB saw 😉

At the end, allow me to present to you this little gift that tells more about my culture.  I hope you enjoy it:

http://www.inspiredbymuhammad.com/

Remember, NEVER judge the majority by the minority, the minority who serve as bad image models of one’s society….

& forget not to always dig deeper for the  truth to prevail…

Miss L

Lara pic

Cultural


Greetings lads

MB prepares to commence the weekly blog
MB blog prep

Good reaction to last week’s blogs, mashallah. DMc was amused with the tales of the Polygamist Jewelry maker Mohammad from Yemen. And a number of (single) ladies, not surprisingly, reacted most favourably to the ‘Arranged Marriage’ blog.

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MB will continue with the single topic blog lads, for as long as the Gods inspire him. But this week, in a first for the HX, MB hands over total control to guest blogger Miss L. If you did not read last week’s marriage blog, then please do so. Miss L’s personal story featured and she has now accepted invitation from MB to explain to HX Report followers her ‘mid twenties Muslim female thoughts’ on relationships & marriage in this region from her perspective. MB found the read extremely interesting. Big big thanks to Miss L for accepting the invitation and challenge. Would very much appreciate feedback from followers/readers, good, bad or indifferent. TVM. Her blog will go out tomorrow, Friday.

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Received email of desperation (I think) following that same marriage blog from follower RB, who implored MB to send some Arab husband possibilities back to Ireland for her review and delectation. Please note RB – that Mohammad will not travel to meet the Irish Mountain (not to infer in any way that you are large in scale) so you must instead book your ticket, and get on over to these parts to meet the mythical Mohammad.

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When MB receives confirmation of travel booking, MB will prepare chaporoned meetings with suitable boys. And also please note RB, there will be absolutely no ‘delectation’. Maybe some hand holding after supervised date Nr 5, followed immediately by engagement party, followed day later by wedding – then you are off my hands al hamdallah, and must fend for yourself. Inshallah the first born will be a boy named Mike. Best of luck with it all RB!

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This weeks’s pics – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Are just amazing  and unreal lads. Even more amazing and unreal than the normal amazing & unreal weekly pics from MB that you now expect like spoon of sugar with your tea, or icing with your cake or other such like (that MB can not think of at the moment).

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The Grand Mosque is open to visitors every day, except Fridays (the holy day) I think. 8th largest in the world, and just awesome in scale (equivalent to 5 football pitches in footprint). Here is the Wikipedia link lads if any of you would like to swot up on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh_Zayed_Mosque

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But MBs pics paint a million words, and please all feel free lads to blast the Nobel lads with some nominations for the Photography prize this year. Ta in advance lads. Am humbled by your support (not).

Flowers made from coloured marble pieces, cut into white marble cladding

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Too sexy for his love!
You all remember the story of few weeks back lads where the 3 Emirati boys were deported from Saudi Arabia by the Religious Police, as they were considered far too good looking & big danger to womankind in the Kingdom, where 13M women allegedly broke out in non-menopausal hot flushes. Anyway, the blogosphere has been abuzz ever since to discover the identities of the 3 ‘sex on legs’ Emirati lads.

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So big thanks to young Sudanese male follower MH who forwarded the below link to MB which ‘outs’ one of the alleged ‘Man Gods’. This link comes with severe warning to all females – the pic that you are about to view may cause you to rethink your whole existence. If you are presently happy with the man you have or your religion, MB suggests you do not look – as things may never be the same again. Be warned!

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And just to give you idea of just how dashing the Emirati lad actually is lads, MH has confided to MB that he is now considering his sexual orientation, having risked all to take a peek. Powerful or what lads?!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/10019755/Is-this-man-too-sexy-for-Saudi-Arabia.html

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Reluctant Emigrant 
DH all excited this week to see Irish foodstuffs on the Abu Dhabi shop shelves, that can surely do nothing more that bring on nightmarish memories of misery & incessant rainfall:

http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/ireland-over-here/

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HIPA Photos
Some pics from the recent pic competition that failed to recognise the genius of the lens that is MB:

http://hipa.ae/en/media/gallery#imageGallery[9]/1/

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Over & Out
Will leave it at that this week lads. Short but very very sweet! Enjoy the pics!

Take care all.

MB

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture


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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. Shot today 29 April 2014

Marriage – By arrangement


Are you married ladies? Have you found Mr Perfect? Are you still looking? Maybe you found him and he didn’t turn out so perfect after all?

If you can not find him, or you did and he was a donkey, why is this so? Are you the problem? Was he the problem? Maybe your interests/hobbies/age/IQ all combine to make the search a difficult task? And the certainty of a good result is no more than a lottery?

Will he look after you? Will he help you when you need? Will he share the burdens? Will he make you smile? Even occasionally? Would be nice to find the man who makes you smile ladies. After all, girls just want to have fun, said Cindy.  Who would be a woman?! But if someone could offer to help you find him ladies, would you accept? That is my real question ladies.

It’s interesting to see the process at work out here. The girl has help with her search, and the success rate is neither better nor worse than other societies from what I have read. Yes they have divorce here, probably at lesser rates than many Western countries like Britain, which has very high rate. So ladies, when you sit back and really think about it, would you accept or reject the idea of an arranged marriage?

Your family will do the scouting for you, talking to friends near & far. Friends of friends will receive word of you, what you are like, what you do, your education, your interests, you are a happy type, sad type, full of chat, quiet. And so the oldies are put to work using their lifetime experience to come up with a match, a suitable match. Nice.

In the part of the world MB comes from there is much misconception about AMs. There is prevailing idea that vast majority of girls are forced into a marriage regardless of what they may think of the man partner. And we read the occasional horror story which reinforces the view. The phrase used out here to describe the opposite of an AM also helps the prejudice – a Love Marriage. Who wouldn’t want a love marriage? But it’s just the phrase they use, for want of a better phrase. Generally speaking the prevailing attitude mentioned is not an accurate one, and is far removed from the truth.

When a boy is looking for a wife his family will contact the family of a suitable girl. The local culture dictates that the father of the girl will have the big say. If he is not comfortable with the approach, the invitation may never even reach the girls ears. But the father/daughter thing is no different in Havana, Helsinki or HX. Or Dublin or Dubai. Or Rome or Riyadh. (How did you think of all that alliteration MB? Because I am awesome lads). What father would want his daughter to end up unhappy all her days? None that I know. None at all actually.

But a picture paints a thousand words lads (or an MB photo a million!). In recent weeks MB happened upon 2 cases that will give you idea of what can happen. Of how a Dad is human and fallible, can make a mistake, but at end of the day gets it right, putting angel daughter before all else.

Both Dads are friends of mine, both of this region and of the local prevailing religion. Both daughters are also known to MB (totally platonic Cla, may God forgive you your filthy mind), both with great personalities, intelligent, in careers, and of an age when marriage is on the cards, or at stage when the arrangements might start. Both girls, in many many ways, are very attractive ‘catch’ for local ‘fishermen’. So the calls are coming, and Dads must decide.

Dad Nr 1
Dad Nr 1 received call from distant long term family friends who had met daughter at some occasion in recent past and were very taken with her. Early 2012. A suitable boy was available. Introductions followed. Both boy & girl had initial attraction so all good. Engagement party soon followed. All mumtaz (‘excellent’ in the Arabic lads).

Dad actually knew boy as a young child many years back, but had moved to new country so had fallen out of contact with boy and family in more recent years. Dad, not being the strict religious type, invited future son-in-law on family holiday out of the region, so daughter and suitable boy could get to know each other better. Daughter and suitable boy were allowed whole days together, more or less unsupervised to give them good chance to talk and get comfortable (Dad speaks French, which might explain an attitude that would be uncommon out these parts!).

But as daughter fell more & more under spell of new boy, Dad started to notice things he did not like. Even though boy had very good well paid job, he was stingy with money. He might arrange a night out for a meal, but would always expect Dad to pay. He did not seem to be in any any way affectionate or warm towards his daughter, as much as local custom might allow. F**k – could this guy even be gay thought Dad, just getting married for appearance sake, to keep his own family off his back. Double f**k! But daughter seemed happy. Under all the circumstances, what was a Dad to do?

Dad decided to express thoughts to daughter. Took her to the local beach on his day off for a chat. Told her the final decision was hers to make. Absolutely. But explained his concerns and just told her he did not want her to end up married to a donkey and unhappy with life, and maybe ending in divorce after some miserable years. Daughter, he discovered, was also having second thoughts, and considered all that Dad had to say. And after the chat was over, decided to call boy to inform him he was history! The plan was hatched to make the call at 4pm that afternoon.

But as luck would have it, boy was also having reservations, and at 2pm he made call to Dad to apologise profusely, as he had changed his mind about the marriage and did not want to proceed. Dad & daughter were now, also, his history! Dad thanked him for his honesty & candour, wished him well for the future, clicked off the phone, and smiled the broadest smile in the entire Middle East!

Dad Nr 2
Similar to Dad Nr 1, Dad Nr 2 also received call from long time family friends who were now living in different country. The following may not be 100% accurate lads, and the words are my own, but they convey the general gist of what happened:

“We think our boy would be suitable partner for your daughter, and would love them to get introduction”, said family friends. “Great” said Dad chuffed that good friends had a male offspring that would probably be like them, nice decent people, and great match for daughter. “Yes, mumtaz, we will arrange and your lad can arrive on Wednesday, to meet daughter on her coming home from work”. “TVM” said family friends, pleased that boy would probably end up marrying daughter of good friends. All would be good with life and happiness would prevail. Babies would follow. “And we are emailing you pic of our little Tom (Abdullah) Cruise, so your daughter can be impressed, and does not meet total stranger on Wednesday evening”.

Dad breaks the ‘great news’ to daughter and forwards the pic, assuming she will fawn over it all day, thinking of nothing but the beautiful/suitable boy, be in high spirits when she gets home from work, and will dazzle suitable boy with her intelligence, wit and charm. This one is not a shy flower type, I can assure you lads. She does not know how to look at the floor, and occasionally lift her head to flicker her eye lashes. No siree.

Anyway, daughter takes one look at the pic and calls Dad. She informs him accordingly:

“If that Jackass is in our house tonight when I finish work, I will not be going home. I will go to my Uncle’s house instead”.

Poor Dad nearly has heart attack. He worships the ground daughter walks upon, but he has already invited suitable boy to house. He has hours of extreme discomfort wondering what the hell to do. Is daughter just having bad hair day, and making poor judgement? Could ‘apple of his eye’ daughter be totally and utterly wrong? To him, the boy in the pic had potential on a number of fronts. And boy should at least get the chance to present himself and his case. And at this stage boy is on the way. Hells bells!

Dad decided to consult the Homer Simpson Book Of Child Psychology, and went for chat with some man friends. The pic was displayed for second opinion, and the reaction was immediately negative. Upon getting the ‘No’ opinion, MB has never seen a happier man. Dad immediately called ‘treasure’ daughter to inform her that of course she was correct in her judgement, and Dad would right his wrong immediately. Dad immediately calls donkey suitable boy to inform him that he is history even before he starts. Not sure what reaction was from boy, but I would suggest he tell Mom & Dad to stop emailing pics for start, and just let nature (or nurture) take its course.

And did you see the pic MB? Yes I did lads. And what was he like MB? Well lads, if you know the look of young Dublin drug dealers, who have spent a few terms inside, with shaved head and open neck shirt, displaying some orangutan type chest hair (giving indication of IQ level), then lads you have general idea of what daughter was expected to make pleasant polite conversation to on Wednesday evening after hard day at the office. But of course lads, I could be very wrong. So could daughter. But I doubt it!

Summary
What more can I say lads. The world and it’s cultures are fascinating. There is good and bad in all and nobody’s got life off to perfection. Dads (& Moms) do their best for their kids, sometimes with great skill, and sometimes make a mess of it. That’s life. Meanwhile the sun still rises every morning and the world keeps on spinning. The girl our here still hopes for the suitable boy, and the boy for a suitable girl.

So ladies, anyone for an arranged marriage?

MB

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Earth Day, 2013


Nagarkot

Nagarkot, Nepal. October 2012.

Chicken Talata


Salam brothers & sisters (aka lads)
Back in Dubai for few days and all is well.

MB is going to follow this blog with first single subject blog post, and hopes will be of interest. It’s for the ladies mainly lads, so MB bit perturbed about its girlie nature. MB might have to start new blog under alias name to avoid ridicule at the Riyadh Biker Club. Difficult for MB to be writing girlie mush and same time doing all macho stuff with the Saudi macho lads. Inshallah none of them will stumble across MB’s girlie post. Inshallah.

Entrance

Pics this week lads come from last trip back in Dubai, when MB took quick visit to the Global Village market. MB had to say hello to the Yemeni Jewelry lads that he has mentioned in the past, as season was nearly over and MB had not yet had chance to visit. MB received call from Mohammad to come on out, shoot the Yemeni/Irish breeze and drink some Qawah (coffee) with the lads.  MB did just that lads, and first story this week comes from the MB/Mohammad chat.

Ladies who lunch (& shop)


MB & Mr Mo

Mohammad (Mo) is a jewelry maker from Yemen and comes to Dubai every year from November to end March for the market season. He will make most of the money that will sustain him & family during those months for the year ahead. MB met Mo few years back and has kept in touch. Mo is a good egg.

Mohammad on the left is considering Wife Nr 3

About 2 years back Mo confided to MB that he was thinking about Wife Nr 2. Financially he could just about manage it. Wife Nr 1 would “not complain too much inshallah” and would get over it quickly. MB & Mo had not discussed the topic in the intervening period but that old conversation came into the brain of MB as they sipped the Qawah few weeks back.

Nr 3 will have the finest jewelry

“And did you ever find the wife itneen (Nr ‘2’ in the Arabic lads) Mohammad” said MB. “Yes Mr Mick (as Mo calls MB), I did, al hamdallah (thank God). Two years ago, and she has produced 2 children”. “Mashallah” said MB, happy that Mo’s fertility was producing the results and wife Nr 2 seemed to be a good laying hen. “Naam (yes) said Mo, and Nr 1 has produced 3”. Mo smiled the smile of a prize cock (the male of ‘hen’ lads in case of confusion) happy that he was impressing his great friend MB with his prolific breeding skills.

“I can see that business is good” said MB. “Your market stall is twice the size it was last year mashallah, so maybe you will make some more children with the hens wives. Or maybe another wife perhaps?” enquired MB jokingly, as MB is bit of a joker. But little did MB know the plan that was already on the Mo brain. “Yes indeed Mr Mick, business is good inshallah, and in few months – inshallah talata (- God willing Nr 3)”.


Many more inshallahs, mashallahs, and al hamdallahs followed as MB congratulated Mo on his marriages and breeding programme, which all seemed to be going swimmingly (like Mo’s seed it seems). Nr 3 will soon be landed.

MB left his friend with a handshake and a smile, as some punters queued to purchase some of the choice hand-made jewelry. Little  did buyers know that their contributions to Mo’s till would soon find its way to Sanaa, where a portion of it would become dowry cash for the lucky family of the chosen ‘chicken talata’. Long live Mr Mo!

Saudi Style
Gave you the story last week lads of the deportation of the 3 beautiful Emiratis, who were considered a danger to the 13 Million Saudi female population. Follower JMc send me link to same story from Britain, so made world headlines it seems.

The following story is very interesting perspective on the Saudi female thinking lads. And is one you might not have thought existed. MB is not sure how extensive this girls ideas are, but will will carry out some research to establish.

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The story concerns a marriage proposition made by a Saudi male to a Saudi female school teacher. She was willing to accept the proposal on one condition – that he would also marry her two single work colleagues. Now lads, forget about all the cock & bull stuff you hear back home about the burka clad ladies being very conservative. How much more liberal does it get?  – “Yes take me. And take my 2 pals also”.

Imaging Irish woman in same circumstances – “Yes take me, but if you look so much as sideways at any of my friends, or any other woman for that matter  – EVER, I will cut off your reproductive organ and shove it in the blender”.

Now I ask you lads (male followers) – which of the above females would you prefer to have, in the perfect world, as your life partner? The progressive liberal understanding and kind (to her friends) Nr 1, or jealous possessive bitchy Nr 2?

I hope the MB blog is blowing away the misconceptions you may have had in the past lads, and you are looking on the Middle East region with new-found interest and fervour, and might even be considering looking for that elusive perfect mate out these parts.

The End!

Scent



Saudi Arabia bride demands groom marry her friends
Gulf News: A Saudi teacher has reportedly told the man who wanted to marry her that she had only one condition before accepting his proposal: He must marry her two friends at the school at the same time.
The would-be groom was shocked by her unexpected demand, but came under strong pressure from relatives and friends who eventually persuaded him to accept to marry the three women, Saudi daily Al Youm reported.
Under the deal, the bridegroom rented three apartments in the same building and lodged each of his brides in her own flat.
Polygamy is allowed in Saudi Arabia, and a man is entitled to take up to four wives, but must not differentiate between them and must treat them equally physically and emotionally and in regard to sustenance, expenditure, time and all obligations as a husband.

Saudi Arabia – Unfunny
The unfunny side of Saudi Arabia was also in the news this week when the king pardoned a rape victim. It is obvious by the nature of the story & the way it’s written, that even the King, who intervened to stop a terrible injustice, has to be careful when he over-rules the crazy decisions of the Sharia judges. In this case the raped girl would have received the jail and 200 lashes sentence for have ‘sex’ outside marriage. Crazy.
Yemeni lads chew the fat (non pork)


Saudi king pardons rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abudul Aziz has pardoned a female rape victim who had been sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes, a Saudi newspaper reported on Monday.
Saudi Justice Minister Abdullah Bin Muhammad Al Shaikh told Al Jazirah newspaper that the pardon does not mean the king doubted the country’s judges, but instead acted in the “interests of the people”.
“The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair,” Al Jazirah quoted Al Shaikh as saying.
Rights groups have said the punishment for the 19-year-old gang rape victim was unjust.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-king-pardons-rape-victim-sentenced-to-200-lashes-1.218588

Traditional face mask

History of the world in 2 mins
Can not remember where I came across this earlier in the week. Is a student project – a 2 minute video which gives the entire history of the world:
 

Jack Warner – Update from KH in Trinidad & Tabogo

We have done it once again lads. International figure resigns after ‘too hot’ pressure from the HX.KH gave us another update on JW this week lads following the piece he sent us few weeks back, and lo & behold, was all brought to a conclusion on Monday morning when JW announced his resignation.
This should be considered fair warning to all scoundrels & scallywags – get your sh*t together, or the HX hounds will bite very large chunk from your ass! Read on lads:
followed by his resignation…………
A few walnuts lads

Yahoudi Sex
BBC had feature during the week on the politics of Israel. Interesting. Featured much on the 20% of the population who are orthodox Jews. Many of the 80% in conflict with them for many reasons. There was interview in the programme with a teacher at one of their schools for boys. From age 16 to approx age 21 they only study Jewish scripture. No history, maths, geography or anything else. So impossible later for them to have any mindset other than a very strict religious conservative one, which impacts on the politics of the entire country.

Burning Oud (incense)

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Saw the following on BBC website. Sex instruction book written by one of their own, an American orthodox lad. Needed he said, as the young men (& women) go from complete ignorance on the subject to full knowledge for the first time on their wedding night. Daunting for most.It often strikes me that there are huge similarities between the strict Jews & the strict Muslims, due to similar histories I guess. Hardly any difference at all in many respects. Beards & behaviour, and minds that are not so open, from outsider point of view. Anyway lads here’s the piece:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22152700

Reluctant Emigrant
DH had some trouble with the law in Abd Dhabi this week lads. Read on:

http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/wash-me/

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Mancakes (blogger legend!)

Want to introduce you all to extremely witty blogger called Mancakes. Seriously great Adele parody piece as follows:

http://mancakestheblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/i-am-not-adele-and-i-do-not-wish-the-best-for-you/

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Finito lads!

Another day, another dollar lads – as the Yankee dogs are fond of saying. Ok lads, gotta go do some stuff. Take care all. Be careful out there. Have good weekend.

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MB

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Up


Up

Sunrise over the Himalayas, Nepal. October 2012. Beat that!