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!


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:


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


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.



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.



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.



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!


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).



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.



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


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.



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!



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?!




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:





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






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

Take care all.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture


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!

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?



Earth Day, 2013


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.


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.


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!


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.


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)

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:


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



Mancakes (blogger legend!)

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



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.





Weekly Photo Challenge: Up


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

Who knows what’s round the corner?!

Warm greetings to you all lads
Weather improving at home, and getting hotter out here by the day. Late 30s most days at hottest time (bit of weather talk from MB).


In future lads MB will try to introduce some single subject blog posts. MB is attempting to get his blog to appear on a section of the website where good stuff gets posted by the blog site owner gurus for all bloggers to see (it’s called ‘Freshly Pressed’), but its impossible to get onto this with a blog like the HX, as it has too many topics and is just too general. Even though it’s still awesome. As you all keep telling MB lads. Thanks.

So it’s MB’s intention to make one of the blogs just like it is at the moment, and put a single mega sexy topic (if MB can think of something decent) onto another separate post, that just might catch the eye of the mandarins. Maybe every second week lads. MB still mulling it all over in his brain.

Only in this way lads can MB get up to tens of thousands of followers and sit back watching the advertising revenues pour in. MB can then spend one day each week writing, 2 days (if MB really wants to work hard that week) taking photos (in Africa or China) and take 4 days rest, as the good Lord no doubt intended for MB. Inshallah.

So lads, you will all agree that sounds like a plan. We do not know how it will pan out and we just never know what’s around the corner. Best of luck MB. Thanks lads. MB will not forget you all when he is stinking rich. Ya right!

This week’s pics
Still using MB’s pics from Dubai World Cup race night lads. Last 2 weeks MB gave you flavour of the people. This week MB gives you flavour of the occasion & the venue. Featured people hanging from the sky. Aerial display plane doing tricks in the dark of night. Fireworks. The fantastic Meydan stadium. Truly incredible occasion. Get there sometime if you can lads. Big recommend from MB.

Similar to the previous occasion MB attended 3 years ago, it was a real ‘spectacular’, giving great PR to brand ‘Dubai’. MB’s skill with the camera is on full view for all to see. You are really awesome MB. Don’t mention lads.


MB wants you all to be aware lads that you are part of the wordpress.com community. This is the website that hosts the HX blog and allows MB to compose the brilliance week after brilliant week. Approx 370M people around the world are reading blogs each month hosted by wordpress.com. We (you) were in the news this week when the site came under a hacker attack which attempted to plant malware on all (your) computers.


Ok lads. You will all remember the brilliantly witty & amusing piece MB did last week on the Munch painting The Scream. Well lads, be pure coincidence, the  website also featured another blog on the artist Munch last week that MB discovered mere minutes after he posted his own.

MB decided he would say hello to a fellow blogger, ‘chew the Munch fat’ so to speak, and left comment in the comment box, complete with link to MB’s blog which MB thought might be of interest to all Munchers.

But just to prove how nerdy the art nerds really are lads, the blogger comes back all high ‘n mighty ‘n all, and tries his pathetic best to insult MB in front of the whole art blogger community. MB’s initial thought was just to tell Art Nerd to f**k off, but decided to take pity on the nerd, and merely explained that MB’s piece was ‘tongue in cheek’. Art Nerd did not have the good grace to reply lads so presumably he did not understand the phrase ‘tongue in cheek’. MB suspects he is American.

Art Nerd also informed MB that he too had written humorous piece on The Scream. What a joke lads. MB made the mistake of finding and reading the ‘humorous piece’ and discovered that there is more humor at a Saudi beheading.

Well, having looked at your blog I’m pretty sure you can’t have seen much of Munch’s work to draw your conclusion, but respect your right to express your opinion.

I have also written a more light-hearted assessment of The Scream entitled ‘The Scream – doesn’t it make you want to scream’ after one version sold for $120 million at Sotheby’s, New York in May last year. (Yes Mr Art Nerd, I mentioned that in my blog which you said you read!)
You might want to look at that.

So lads, whats the moral of the story? MB does not really have a clue. And is still trying to think of one.

The End lads!

God rest the victims in Boston and bring some comfort to the families. Three dead and 150 approx injured. Loads of news time. And an inhuman Godless crime.

70,000+ Killed in Syria in 2 years, maybe a million homeless. Disappearing from the news. A few pieces from MB. Irish charity ‘Goal’ is on the ground doing its best.


Handsome Arabs
Amusing story from Saudi Arabia this week which occurred during a cultural festival. A group of young males from UAE were performing some traditional dance that was attracting large crowds. Suddenly a member of the Religious Police jumped onto the stage shouting that the show was Un-Islamic and haram. But the Religious Police donkey did not know what was around the corner – real police! Then real police then grabbed the RP donkey and kicked him out of the venue.The Police then decided that 3 of the Emirati men were too good-looking and likely to cause sinful thoughts amongst the Saudi female onlookers. They grabbed the 3 lads, escorted them to the airport and immediately deported them back to Dubai.

The whole story got lots of coverage in the Arabic newspapers in Saudi, but MB could not get the full story on any English site. The chucking out of the Religious Police guy is posted on YouTube but MB has not seen.

Only in Saudi Arabia!

Tasty chicken available at the fast food outlet

Dubai Police Cars

The Dubai police will not be outraced by boy racers. No Siree. No way. In recent weeks lads we have acquired a:

  • Ferrari FF
  • Lamborghini Aventador, &
  • Chevrolet Camaro

Dubai Property
We are starting to see the early stages of a recovery in the property market. 400 queued for the latest bargains:


Was given to you all by the Arabs lads. From the bbc:


Willie Nelson’s brother was also in attendance

Reluctant Emigrant – Earthquake
There were 2 large earthquakes in Iran in recent days lads and DH is blogging about her experience of ‘the earth moving’ in her Abu Dhabi home. She was probably wondering what next, on a normal day. Little did she realise that just around the corner was – earthquake!http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/earthquake/

The End!
Ok lads. Gotta go solve world hunger and other stuff. Have a good weekend y’all. Take it easy.

MB (taking a quick look around the corner!)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change


It’s a scream

Msa al khair lads
Inshallah you are all in good health lads and have big smiles on your multicultural faces. God only knows home many nationalities the HX Blog now goes out to lads. Masha’allah! It’s become almost impossible to keep track of it. Think was approx 30 nationalities last time we checked. But since MB went on this new Blog site, and became even more internationally famous, we now have people joining up to ‘follow‘ MB from all over the world (and beyond), and MB does not even know half of them. They are merely (& understandably) attracted by the mega awesome writing, and the even more mega awesome prize winning photos. Albeit MB has not yet won any prizes, but that time can not be far away lads.

MB got big surprise earlier in the week lads when he logged on to his stats to discover that a person had just logged on in place called Reunion. MB is not joking lads – it’s called Reunion. But MB never heard of the place previously lads, so had to look it up (yes Cla, there are a few things in this world the MB does not know – but only a few).

It’s in the Indian Ocean lads, East of Madagascar, and get this lads – it’s part of France! Not just some place they steal minerals and plunder other natural resources from, like most of their colonies, but it’s actually considered part of the French mainland, and is the most Easterly part of the EU – even part of the Eurozone for God sake lads! They have population of 800,000 Frenchies, all speaking Frog, and eating fresh croissants every morning with their double espresso. Mais oui lads.
One can only assume that MB will shortly receive communication from the Mayor of the Island (or whatever he’s called – maybe ‘Chief’ or ‘Le Chief’) asking for permission to put MB’s blog on the school curriculum – so the kids will be worldly wise and well prepared for life outside the Island when they jump into the boat with their Tiger and head off in the direction of Ireland or USA, seeking Nirvana. Anyway lads, don’t ever say that MB does not provide you all with education, take a read of the following:

Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) south west of Mauritius, the nearest island. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Réunion is also one of the 27 regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, is part of the Eurozone.

Let the music play lads, and read on:
This week’s pics (& last)
Great reaction to last week’s pics lads, with emails flooding in so quickly there was stage last Saturday when MB thought he was under attack from some hacker group. One 83 year old female follower informed MB that she looked at the Lady pics every night since she received them, to take admiring look. She was happy that MB had sacrificed his time for the good of others by taking photos of young shapely sexy ladies with tight fitting dresses with lots of leg and flesh showing. MB assured her he was concentrating mainly on the hats and barely noticed the shapely bodies at all.

This weeks pics lads come from the same night, and are another collection of characters. More interesting even than last week I think, with some great faces and costumes. These were the more normal people and formed the vast majority of the 60,000 in attendance, rather than the dressed up doll babes from last week. Hope you all like.

Face Your Troubles – Dont Facebook them!
Attended a Photography workshop in Dubai few months back lads, which was about using Social Media to publicise your photography. Was hosted by some world famous American Photographers who, unlike MB, needed more publicity. MB attended, much like a paleontologist studies dinosaur fossils.

But one comment caught MBs attention (which he put in his brain to tell you later), when a guy mentioned people who post their ‘issues’ and personal problems up for all to see. His comment was: Face your problems – don’t Facebook them! Pretty clever words (for an American) thought MB to himself!

Child Brides
Have mentioned this topic to you many times lads, and sad that it’s prevalent in various parts of this region. Following story tells tale of a 15 year old girl who was granted divorce from her 90 year old husband. The old lad told the court that the first wife had just got too old, and they had not lived as “husband and wife” for a long time, so he needed another. He informed the court that he did not want the dowry money back (fair play to him), and just wanted his new wife to come home. But it was also discovered he had married another teenager some time back, and she had also run away. Sad story really.

90 Year old husband & 15 Year old wife

Why Edvard Munch is not as great an artist as MB
In 1895 the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch painted what would become the most valuable paintings in the world, called ‘The Scream’. http://www.sothebys.com/en/sales-series/2012/impressionist-modern-art-evening-sale/overview.html He actually painted 4 versions of the painting over a number of years.

This is Munch’s explanation of how he came up with the idea:
I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

If you believe the above lads, you have the IQ of the mug that contains the tea or coffee you are presently drinking. Munch is talking complete BS!

MB has a different theory. Herewith:
The diarrhea preventing drug Immodium had not been invented in the year 1895. The guy in the picture seems to be in a state of extreme discomfort. I think we can safely add 2+2 and come up with 4 lads. Munch painted a picture of some friend in a state of diarrhea induced stress. I think we will all agree that this is far more plausable explanation than the BS “infinite scream passing through nature” explanation. Thank you & Sukran lads.

Munch v MB
And now lads, let us partake in a critique on the so called great painting ‘The Scream’ by Munch, and a recent MB effort that has yet to gain international recognition called ‘The Yawn Scream’. But recognition can not be far away lads – if God is even half fair.
The Scream – by EM

Munch - Scream

  • The Man: Edvard Munch
  • Nationality: Norwegian (enough said!)
  • Trade: Painter (the term is used very loosely in the case of Munch – unless we want to say ‘house painter’ – assuming he gave the occasional lick of emulsion paint to the walls & ceilings of his apartment).
  • Work: The Scream
  • Clarity: Totally blurry. Possibly painted whilst under the influence of alcohol. Or Munch was extremely short sighted.
  • Attempts to get it right: 4. Munch painted this open mouthed buffoon 4 times, as he obviously came to conclusion that each effort was complete crap
  • Artistic Merit: Sweet FA (as we say back home in HX)
  • Could Homer Simpson have produced it: Definitely – yes. Or even his son Bart. Or even the cretinous neighbour Ned Flanders.
  • Similarities to The Mona Lise – You gotta be kidding!
  • Profound in any sense: You are having a laugh. Total no.
  • Monetary Value: USD 120M, at auction in 2012 (what a joke).
  • Will anyone still remember it 100 years from now: Absolutely no f*****g way – assuming increasing IQ levels in the intervening period. If we regress as a people to the level of the chimpanzee, then Munch will be the most popular dead Painter on the planet.
  • Nett value to the world of art: Minus 100
The Yawn Scream – by MB

  • The Man: MB
  • Nationality: HX
  • Trade: Photo/Scribe Man
  • Work: The Yawn Scream
  • Clarity: Tack sharp!
  • Attempts to get it right: One shot. And he didn’t blow the opportunity! (thanks Eminem!)
  • Artistic Merit: Loadz
  • Could Homer Simpson have produced it: It would be foolish to underestimate HS. He always seems to find a solution in the end. So we will answer the question initially with a – No (‘La‘ in the Arabic lads). But if Homer could find 5 or 6 Photographers who were on week off from National Geographic, and they pooled their entire photographic brainpower, and spent a week editing it on Photoshop – then maybe, just maybe, Homer & the lads from Nat Geo might come close. But match it – not!
  • Similarities to The Mona Lisa: There are many. The Mona Lisa – Was it a happy smile or a sad smile? The Yawn Scream – Is it a yawn or is it a scream? Is she a 3rd World lady screaming against the injustice of the 1st world, in the location of the mega rich in Dubai, on the occasion of the richest horse race in the world? Or is she just tired of working endless hours for a tiny maid’s salary in some wealthy local villa or palace – and it’s a yawn of fatigue? So many questions lads. So few answers.
  • Profound: Hugely. See last.
  • Monetary Value: Presently zero (but for how much longer?).
  • Will anyone still remember it in 100 years from now: It will be revered.
  • Nett value to the Artistic World: Beyond infinity.
I leave you to draw your own conclusions lads. MB forever!

RM in WA – Flat Back Turtles
Every so often lads I encourage you all to consider writing something for the HX Blog, and you have produced some masterpieces in the past which all have enjoyed.
This week we have a gem, from the pen of RM, who works as a Paramedic in the mining industry in Freemantle, Western Australia. RM hails from HX back home, and enjoys the distinction of having made it onto some HX soccer teams in the past (under the management of MB on one or two of those occasions), down the left wing where his tasty left foot could put a football in your eye from 50m.

We actually featured pic of RM few weeks back standing in front of a giant mining truck. And I am lead to believe ladies that this 20 something hunk of Irish manhood is still single and available. And if he can write like this ladies you can just imagine the sweet nothings he might whisper in your ear as he took you to Glynn’s Fish & Chip Shop in Bruff village for the 1st date. Emails of interest please to MB ladies, and MB will pass them on.

RM’s piece is a little long (and we do not want him stealing MB’s thunder, do we lads?!) so I have created link to the full piece on my Dropbox a/c. I urge you all to take a read. Fascinating piece.
The pics sent by RM were not great, as were taken at night with only a camera-phone I suspect, but I give you one of them (next pic), to give you idea of the size of these tiny creatures.

TVM RM. Great story about the turtles. Great writing and must have been an absolute pleasure to have been on that gig. A memory for life I am sure. Would love to receive further pieces from you. Please consider. A star is born!
A few short excerpts from RMs piece lads:

This is a project I was asked to go on by the company I currently work for. It appealed to me because this was not your typical mine site job. The job involved providing medical care to a group of environmental scientists who are monitoring a breeding program for flat back turtles offshore on an island approx 30k off the mainland…………

The job itself ran over 10 days and was all night-work. This involved getting on a catamaran style boat and traveling 30km to the island. We would anchor off the island waiting on tidal changes to allow us assess to the island via a small dingy with an outboard motor. While at anchor we would eat our dinner looking out at some of the best sunsets and surrounding I have ever seen, and the odd lighting show far off in the distance out at sea……….

I was unsuccessful in finding any hatchlings until the second last night, when I was digging out a nest, and there about 2 feet down – a little hatchling. It was amazing to see this process. When they come out of the shell they have a food source like the yoke of an egg attached to their tummy. They eat this and get the energy to dig their way out of a nest that is 3 feet down in the sand, make there way down to the beach and swim for the next 24 hours for survival. Truly amazing stuff when you see how small there are……… 

RM’s full story:
English Words from Arabic
A number of ‘wordy’ followers were interested in a recent similar piece, so here is another one for you lads:
Tom Cruise
TC was in Ireland last weekend as you may have read lads to publicise his latest movie. Our Irish tourist chiefs did not miss the opportunity, and presented TC with history of his Irish heritage – which featured Knights in the 12th century, Rebels in the 17th and a real live hero in the 19th. TC will never want to holiday anywhere else again I am sure!

A smiling racegoer!

Jack Warner – From KH
Football fans will remember the name Jack Warner from the FIFA corruption scandal 2 years ag0, which was related to the story of Qatar winning the 2022 World Cup. One of our HX Crosser number lives and works in Trinidad & Tobago (Irish & still single also ladies!) and send me great piece on the flamboyant JW. How much longer can this donkey survive?! KH has promised updates as and when. Thanks KH, keep ’em coming.


From KH:
On a somewhat related note, we all know you and your readers are always interested in a little local or international scandal / gossip so revert to the following website for a recent up-date on Jack Warner (Minister of Defense in Trinidad & Tobago, also Former VP of FIFA). Some of you may remember FIFA suspended him two years ago pending an investigation following allegations he and Mohamed Bin Hammam had offered financial incentives to members of the Caribbean Football Union around World Cup bid time….
Will keep you posted if there is any truths / developments on this going forward. Some colorful comments from readers follow after the article also…

MB has featured the plight of Syria many times recently. The butchery continues with hundreds dying every day. The situation just gets worse and worse daily for all the citizens according to my Syrian friends.

Found some great pics from Aleppo on another blog site, from 2 years back as the trouble were just starting. Mainly pics from Aleppo, one of the oldest cities in the world, where a good number of the HX Blog followers come from:
God help Syria.

Dubai Airport
We are now Nr 2!
Many gay people in the Middle east move to Dubai, due to the tolerant ‘live and let live’ attitude. But there is no openly gay scene as its totally illegal if caught.

Khalas lads (finished!)
Ok lads. Too much this week I think. Not at all MB, more, more, more, please! Thanks lads, you are most kind.
Have nice weekend lads. TC.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

The aquarium at Dubai Mall. Dubai, UAE. Taken few weeks back, March 2013. You are looking at the largest sheet of acrylic in the world, certified by Guinness Book of World Records.


Greetings lads

Hope all well with kith & kin. MB arrived back in Saudi on Wednesday after 10 days in Dubai.

Apologies for all the spelling mistakes & typos in last week’s effort lads. Made the corrections in due course but alas after I published. Also had thought might mention a few small things to you this week that might make the blog reading experience more enjoyable. So please note:

  • If you click on the blog title at top of the email (the word ‘Style’ this week) you will be automatically redirected to the HX website which gives a better ‘read experience’ than the basic email that you receive.
  • Even if you just read the blog from the email (or from the website), you can enlarge any photo for a better look – by double clicking on the particular photo.
  • Feel free to leave comment in the comment box at the bottom.
  • Also feel free to join anyone else up to follow the blog by using the email/follow system at the end.

This week’s pics are entirely from MBs visit to the Meydan race track in Dubai last Saturday night. Mentioned to you last week was intending to go there, and al hamdallah was able to attend. Took many pics, but this week I give you pics of some of the style on view. Some very tasty, some not. But all very interesting. Hope you enjoy.

Music – Conor Linnie
The idea with the music every week lads is that you click on the link, let the music play, and continue reading the blog. Got it?!

Ok lads – this week’s music suggestion comes from RQ, who has recommended her guitarist friend called Conor Linnie. Looked him up – he comes from Wicklow in SE Ireland. Happy to oblige RQ. Hope you all like lads:


A camera or a wife?
Met an Arab work colleague in recent days lads and remembered that a few months back he informed MB that he was about to buy decent camera. MB offered words of encouragement at the time and wished him well. On inquiring if he had made the purchase when our paths again crossed, he shocked MB with his answer.

No MB, I did not buy the camera. Instead I am looking for a wife“.

MB was speechless. Dumbfounded. Stuck to the ground, and momentarily dizzy before regaining his composure. A wife instead of a camera. Are you serious? replied MB, calling the teaboy at same time to fetch some camomile to help the brain relax from the shock. Yes MB, I am serious.”  Some moments of quiet reflection between us followed.

And are you looking for any nationality in particular? asked MB as the camomile kicked in, and the brain suddenly returned to ‘razor sharp’ mode. Local perhaps?” enquired MB. “I would love to take a local lady MB” he answered, “but for financial reasons I will now go for Phillipino or other“. “Masha’allah(Praise the Lord) said MB, not exactly knowing what else to say, but added quickly can you explain further?“.

Yes indeed MB. To take a local will involve immediate expenditure of 30,000 Dirhams (Euro 6,000) to her family – just to take permission from them for the marriage. Then I must immediately buy her jewelry to value of minimum 10,000 (Euro 2,000) as is the local custom. And that’s before any marriage costs, good accommodation for her to move into, clothes, and many other things. I cannot afford. So that is my reason MB“.

Well my friend, life is never simple said MB, and you must do what you must do. But can I suggest that you review your original decision to chose the wife before the camera. For fraction of the cost of a local woman you could acquire top of the range Canon. Might I suggest the ‘5D Mark 3’ model, as it has many advantages:

  • will always produce a clear sharp result, unlike a local lady perhaps
  • will generally never let you down, if it receives even minimal attention, unlike a local lady for sure
  • and will always give a big performance in ‘low light’ conditions, for certain unlike a  local lady” 

The young Arab lad sat back in his chair and looked to the sky in deep thought. No more words were exchanged between us as he pondered the life advice he had just received. MB stole quietly from the room, and wondered what the coming weeks and months might bring for his young friend. A camera or a wife? Just another of the forks in the road we meet on life’s journey.

Time for another camomile!

Dubai Style (forget Gangnam!)

As I already informed you lads, went to the horse racing at Meydan last Saturday night. Some very fine fillies on view, in addition to the horses. Haha lads!

Will give you some different pics next week, also from same night but with different theme. In the meantime take a look at the Dubai ladies. My personal favourite must admit is the Indian lady in the blue Sari, Nr 65 towards the end. And to make Irish ladies really sick, please note ladies that all the pics were taken between 7pm & 10pm on a beautiful warm Dubai night. No wind, no rain, no sleet nor snow!

Pleased to receive any feedback from female Crossers – what do you like or not like. Have given them numbers for easy reference. To all male Crossers – please keep comments and thoughts to yourselves! Enjoy:









































































































































The End!
Ok lads. Thats it for another week. Enjoy weekend. Regards to all.



Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

For me its a Middle East construction project:





The End!


Dia Dhuit lads
Hope all in the full of your health.
The lads head for prayer
MB arrived back in Dubai on Sunday last and has a few more days left in the Desert Oasis before his return to Saudi. Dubai is looking good, full of tourists and lots of activities for all.The biggest event of the annual Dubai social calendar takes place this Saturday night – The Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race. Huge corporate entertainment night, big style night for the ladies (hats, hats & more hats), and will see 60,000 or so attend the event. You have never seen a racing stadium like Meydan, which hosts the event. The grandstand is 1.2Km long and the lighting after dark provides a spectacular backdrop. Inshallah I will be there with the camera ladies and will give you few pics next week. If you like the horse racing, and aware many of you do, then take look at the following links:

The awards night of the big Photo Contest I mentioned some months back (hipa.ae) was on recently lads and sadly MB did not feature. Some great pics in the winners enclosure, so pleased to give you link to take a look. Next year for MB inshallah!

Where’s my whip?!


Was traveling in the car of a young Saudi guy recently. He is a young judge in the courts in Riyadh, but presently on time out to finish his Masters. He had CD of illegally downloaded songs in the car player, so he obviously has not yet read the chapter in the law book about copyright. Anyway, his CD had one or two decent songs including the following one which is very catchy addictive tune by young Portuguese singer called Michel Telo. A kind of ‘one man boy band‘ and he is big hero with the young ladies as you can see. Anyway, have played it loads of time, great tune, hope you like:
So just click on the tune lads, and let it play while you read this weeks HX!


This Week’s Pics
Dropped a few young lads to the local Mosque last Friday  (see next story) and took a few shots. Nothing special, but will give you flavour of the buying and selling outside, before the prayer starts inside.

And in new addition to the blog lads I have challenged work colleague and friend OL, who likes taking pics, to give me one pic per week for next four weeks which I will feature. Trying to motivate lazy OL to get off his ass and start using his camera again. And am also featuring great pic from young HX based apprentice Shooter TM. This pic is a real gem. In honour of the two contributors I am calling this section of the blog The Tom & Osama Corner (HX native & Egyptian).

This lad seems to have bought that red blanket

So now throwing this invitation out to all lads – anyone can send pic to MB to include in the HX – until I change my mind – which is a man’s prerogative! But if MB thinks the pic is garbage he will just delete and inform you that (sadly) it did not meet the minimum MB requirements (which are unspecified and ever changing!)

MB receives verbal attack!
Did a good deed last weekend lads but paid a heavy price. Let me explain.

Some of the young lads in my hotel needed lift to the Mosque for Friday prayer and asked MB if he would oblige. “No problem young Muslim lads” MB replied, “I am a brother to all” and threw 5 of them into the 4×4 for the short spin. Had the camera with me (of course) and lads asked me to take shot outside the mosque so they could send to family members back in home countries of Egypt, Yemen. India & Bangladesh.

Photo taken, lads disappeared into Mosque, and then MB noticed loads of Muslim traders selling everything you could think of around the outside of the mosque. Fruit, veg, blankets, male perfumes, batteries, holy books, arabic clothing, and loads of other stuff. MB immediately thought of the story in the Bible where Jesus  (the Prophet Isa, as the Muslims refer to him) gets angry with all the traders in the temple, gets out his whip, and lashes the hell out of the sinners for making money in holy place, and kicks them all out.

As MB did not have whip in the car he instead decided to take some pics, as future evidence against the sinners. So politely and as discreetly as MB could, he mingled with the Muslim lads, cracking a few jokes as he wandered around. All went well, as the traders obligingly gave permission to MB to take some pics of the buying & the selling.
Happy Muslim
But then MB came up against an elderly conservative Muslim man. He had big beard, and his taub (white dress) was above his ankles – a sign of Wahabi Muslim, the very conservative Saudi version of the religious practice. His brand of Islam would consider photos to be haram (forbidden) I am informed, especially photos of the face. But he could hot have been in any doubt about MBs photo as MB was clearly pointing the camera away from him, in preparation for the shot.

He was buying some goods from a trader at same time trader gave permission to MB to take pic of his goods, which were nicely laid out on blue sheet on the ground. Picturesque for sure. But as soon as MB raised the camera to his eye, the old lad started screaming and shouting at MB in excited Arabic. MB had no clue what the lad was saying, but he certainly was not enquiring if MB uses Canon or Nikon.

So MB, trying to avoid a crowd gathering around and maybe lynching MB, lowered his camera, and said “lau samah, mafi photo” (excuse me, no photo), trying to stop the old lad shouting.

So MB moved away as quickly as possible, and the shouting thankfully died down. MB, calm as one of the cucumbers he had just seen at the veg stall, moved onwards towards the Mosque entrance and saw great photo opp in the hundreds of shoes lying outside the door, which is the Muslim custom.

But just as MB raised his camera to take yet another prize winning pic, a large rough hand grabbed MB by the shoulder from behind. The same lad. Lots more shouting ensued into the face of MB, which finished in a question the MB understood fully – “Muslim?”. “La, Christian” (no, Christian) replied MB. The shouting then continued, and MB understood that it roughly translated as ” Please Mr Christian gentleman, would you be so polite as to leave the grounds of the Mosque” – or words to that effect. So MB, still keeping his personal safety foremost in his thoughts, lowered his camera, and his head, walked quickly to his car, and drove off.

Some nice spring onions lads

But MB still needed the ‘shoe shot’, so drove around the block few time until the shouting man had entered the Mosque, and took the shot from the car with the window lowered. Success!
And that lads is the story of how MB got all the pics for this weekend’s HX Report. Allah U Akbar!


Getting Older – Your skin
Getting older ladies? Worried about all those wrinkles? Then worry no more ladies – MB gives you the solution. Surgery – no. Knife – no. Just a quick visit to your doctor from time to time ladies and you will have skin as smooth as a babies bottom! Read on ladies:

A cure for ageing?
With life expectancy soaring, we’re desperate for new tricks to stop the outward signs of ageing, but can you turn back the clock without resorting to plastic surgery? Kelly Rose Bradford investigates the cutting-edge – but knife-free – secrets to eternal youth.

Yes, I’ll take them

Enemy at the Gates

Did you see that Movie lads – Enemy At The Gates. When Russia was losing badly against the Germans at Stalingrad and they needed a hero to motivate the people. And so the young sniper Vassili Zaitsev becomes a Russian folk hero as he battles his wits against the German sniper Major Konig. Take a look at the movie trailer lads –
And take a look at the full movie if you have not seen. A good one.
As the line from the movie says – ‘What we need are heros‘. And that is exactly what we found in Saudi Arabia last week lads.

Fire fighter Abdullah Badhan Al Subai had to rescue a young boy from a burning building in Jeddah lads, and there is great pic of him in the below link as he brings the boy out. He has removed his own oxygen mask to place it  over the boys head, at risk to himself. “Ara twas nothing” said Abdullah (using Irish English), as the media heaped the praise on the new Saudi hero.

Weighing the veg


UAE Death Sentence
I have often mentioned the death sentences in Saudi Arabia lads. But the UAE also has the same penalty for certain crimes. In Saudi its the swordsman who cuts off the head. In UAE they use firing squad. The punishment was confirmed last week for a man found guilty of the murder of a prostitute. He will now face the firing squad after Sheikh Mo signs the order to proceed:

Dubai: A Pakistani man will be executed for repeatedly slitting a prostitute’s neck and stealing her cash and mobile phones. The 29-year-old murderer A.K. lost his petition on Monday before the Dubai Cassation Court that confirmed the capital punishment against him. Dubai’s highest court rejected his plea to have his capital punishment cancelled or reduced to imprisonment.

There is no outcry over here when someone gets the death sentence like you would see in some Western countries where the punishment still exists, or where people campaign against it. Its not that people are worried about protesting from what I can see, it’s that they generally approve of such a punishment for those guilty of extremely serious crimes. Think all surveys in Western Europe show majority opinion against it.

France & Head Scarfs
Interesting court decision in France last week where a court sided with a Muslim lady, who was fired by a Nursery School for refusing to remove her head scarf. 85% of the public are against the court decision, and the Politicians are also speaking out against the ruling. As we have seen in recent years the French are at the forefront in bringing in legislation against dress codes they believe are contrary to the freedoms they espouse. Which in the Muslim world is just seen as anti-Muslim legislation.
Some holy books & some head male head scarfs

Paris: Backlash is growing in France against a court ruling in favour of a Muslim employee of a private nursery school who was fired after she refused to take her headscarf off. A new poll has found that four-fifths of people in France would back a proposal to ban Muslim headscarves and other visible signs of religion in private companies. France’s Interior Minister, who is in charge of religions as well as being the top security official, came out against the ruling last week. In the poll released Monday, 85 per cent of respondents opposed the decision, and more than 80 per cent said they back a ban in private workplaces and schools.


Mentioned a few times recently to you lads about the preferential treatment I get out these parts due to fact that I am Westerner (a white bread). But thinking about it, my treatment may also be because of my management position – very high lads! Hard to tell. But what is very clear is that many non-Westies will treat me much better that they will treat members of their own community. Must admit that I also saw some of this during my London days. It was often said in the construction trade that nobody treated an Irish man worse than another Irish man. Not generally true of course, but the statement did contain grains of truth.
I was recently discussing some of the above with my young Sudanese work colleague, who seems to be getting weekly blog mention at this stage. I told him the story of the TV programme ‘Roots‘ back in the 1970s which was controversial at the time in America, telling the slavery story and how the Africans were treated on arrival. There is famous clip in which the Plantation boss forces the African worker to admit his new slave name. I found it on YouTube and young Sudan lad enjoyed it immensely. He now refers to himself as ‘Toby’ – his new slave name. Thankfully a whipping did not prove necessary.

Truck load of spices & seeds


Reluctant Emigrant – DH
Had the pleasure of visiting DH at her Abu Dhabi palace during the week lads. DH & her blog were featured in a recent article in the Irish Times. So big congrats from MB, and urge you all to click on the link and become followers. Amusing read each week.
This week DH tells us about her recent trip to Beiruit:

MB went through torture to get the ‘shoe shot’

The Tom & Osama Corner

Tom’s Shot from HX. Can you see the fox & the duck lads?

Osama’s Shot from Dubai:

Slan lads

Ok lads MB has exhausted his creative juices for this week. Sin e for now. Enjoy your weekend.
Regards & Happy Easter to all.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

Future Tense

Taken in Jeddah Old Town, Saudi Arabia, few months back.