Congrats Dubai!


World Expo 2020 award
http://www.thenational.ae/uae/expo-2020/celebrations-and-school-holiday-across-uae-for-dubais-expo-2020-win

Dubai Mall. September 2013.
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Monday Mono – Ajman Fish Market, UAE


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The Recipe


Greetings lads

Words
It’s only a few short days away from MB’s departure back to the homeland, to kith and kin. MB will take break from the blogging for few weeks ’till he gets back from the Emerald Isle. But as will be burning out the camera with pics, will post up some good ones for all Crosser followers to drool over. Yes lads, drooling will be the order of the day for you all over next few weeks. Inshallah the sun will shine when MB is at home and he will blow you away with the awesome images. Read More

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:
Reunion

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.

Music
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!

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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.

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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…

Syria
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.

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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.

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MB

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Style


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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-BVNo8EKV4


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:


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

MB

 

Heroes


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?!

Music

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!

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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

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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.

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Racism
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.
MB

Yum Yum


Salam lads
We had Iranian/Persian New Year celebration on Wednesday lads, which was Spring Equinox back home in HX. The Persians/Iranians work from the lunar calendar, as I think I told you last week in the piece on Nowruz – the name the Iranians give their New Year.

Atlantis On The Palm Hotel, Dubai
To celebrate Nowruz lads, MB went to expensive (what else would you expect lads!) hotel with Iranian colleague and had the crack. The food was good of course but these Saudis could badly do with being introduced to nice Sauvignon Blanc, to assist with the washing down of the tasty meals. As the entire country is ‘Dry’ in the alcohol sense lads, due to the religion, St Patrick’s Day last Sunday also passed off with only an extra cappucino available to drown the non-existant shamrock. And thanks to all friends of MB for posting or emailing a few photos of your St Paddy’s Day occasions to keep MB informed how things went at home. Appreciated.
 

MB arrives at the Atlantis
 
We had sand storm on Tuesday In Riyadh, followed by rainfall & wind on Wednesday night, and back to sunshine on Thursday.  An unusual mix.

Lots of expensive shops selling top end designer goodies
Wednesday was also International Happiness Day lads, so inshallah you all had big smiles on your faces. UAE featured very high up on the international index of happiest countries lads, which did nor surprise MB. Told you recently that there will be no revolt against the Rulers in UAE, as the locals are very well looked after, have very high incomes generally, have good schools, reasonably good health service and some very good infrastructure. Unlike some Muslim countries there is high level of tolerance of others beliefs and there is also much to do socially. So in short lads the locals are v happy. UAE was 17th overall on the index – ahead of Britain!

 

Lights mimic sea shells

Ajman: The UAE ranks highest among Gulf countries — as well as and above Britain and Iceland — in the World Happiness Report, it was revealed during the Quality of Life conference in Ajman on Tuesday.

Out of 156 countries ranked, the UAE is 17 — the regional best — beating Saudi Arabia’s 26. A step below the UAE is Britain at 18 while Iceland ranks 20.

Denmark is the world’s happiest country while the least happy is Togo, a small West African state, the report suggests.

The conference, at Kempinski Hotel Ajman, was held a day ahead of the International Day of Happiness (March 20)

Fish tank displays in the public area corridors built into the walls 



This Week’s Pics
Come from the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai lads, where MB dined on his trip back there few weeks ago. The food pics are from one of the superb restaurants out there called Kaleidoscope. It features huge array of international food from all over the world, and is a food experience to remember.The hotel is mega 5 Star joint, with approx 1,500 rooms and suites, and is a tourist attraction in itself, not just a hotel. It is located at the tip of the Palm Jumairah (Palm Island) and is owned by Sol Kerzner who is developer and owner of the famous Sun City resort in South Africa. The Atlantis is full of sight-seers every evening as hundreds or thousands visit it just to walk around the public areas and take a look at whats on offer. It also has a great water fun park which includes an area where you can swim with dolphins.
As I have said about many other places out here, if you are ever in the locality do not miss.

Restaurant entrance
Ballyneety Golf Club
Featured Ballyneety Golf Club back home in HX in recent blog. Nice to see the project coming to fruition. A few familiar faces in the pic also, which many from HX will recognise.

http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/business/local-business/a-new-beginning-for-ballyneety-golf-course-1-4906497

One Wife & Six Daughters
I came across an Arab gentleman recently ladies, and he felt the need to tell MB his troubles, no doubt hoping that MB would provide solution. What’s new says you lads! The problem is that he, like most Arab men, wants to produce a son & heir. Think I told you previously lads that when a man (let’s call him Mohammad) has a son (lets call him Abdullah), the man will be happy for all to call him by a new name – Abu Abdullah – father of Abdullah, and he will more or less lose his old name of Mohammad. He will never be referred to as Abu Fatima, if he had a daughter, that is just not the way the system works.
He informed MB that after his 3rd daughter was born his wife did not want to have more children. He had to tell her that he had no problem  with this, if this was her wish, but as he desperately wanted a son he would be forced to take a second wife to continue his breeding quest as permitted by the religion, up to a maximum of four wives if he wished. She would continue to be treated as she had in the past, with greatest of respect and the new wife would not be treated any differently than her – as the Muslim holy book dictates. The wife had a think about the whole situation for a while, and then  decided that she would keep on trying, for the sake of her husband and also, one can only but guess, to prevent a second wife appearing on the scene.
When he first told me the story lads I thought he might be looking for some seed from MB, as his English is very limited and I had some difficulty understanding his request. But on enquiring with my Arabic/English language mixture, he told me that this was against the religion, and he might have to kill MB if MB tried to help in that way. I apologised for the misunderstanding lads, and we put it down to the language & cultural barrier between us, our friendship as rock solid as it had always been. He said black, but I though he said white – sort of thing.
We have now moved on a few years from that conversation he had with his wife lads and we are now at child Nr 6 – all girls. Wife is now pregnant with child Nr 7, expected inshallah in approx 5 months from now. He is hopeful,  like 6 times in the past, that Allah may bless him with a son. We are all hoping and praying for a good result for both of them, to bring this particular breeding exercise to a conclusion. Don’t forget desert!


I asked him how Wife Nr 1 would react if he took a wife Nr 2. He said that there would be a small bit of “crying” but it would not last very long he felt. However, he said that as long as the wife Nr 1 is happy to keep trying to produce a son, he is happy to keep trying only with her. And only if she wants to stop will he look at the Nr 2 option. Masha’allah (Praise the Lord).

I have now asked a Sudanese lad at work if there is an African solution to the problem. He informs me that the Africans use the seed from a certain plant to ensure a son will be manufactured after consumption and consummation,  and a bag of the male fertility seeds is now winding its way to MB from Khartoum.

And then come back for 2nd desert!

An Indian colleague has informed MB that the Indians also have a seed that does the trick, but he also added, with Ghandi-like wisdom, that the physical position of both male and female during the mating exercise is as fundamentally important as the consumption of the seeds. Being the creators of the Kama Sutra lads, I do not dismiss the opinion of any Indian lad when he makes such a statement, so I have now asked for some architectural type drawings from him (he works in construction) that we can give to the Arab and ensure that he does not make any mistakes. MB is now hoping that the combination of the seeds from Sudan, and the Indian positioning, will finally end this man’s misery, if as expected a girl baby Nr 7 arrives in few months.
A friend in need is a friend indeed lads, and think you will all agree that MB does not spare the effort to help his friends!
 
What I really like about what she is wearing lads is the way the combination of jacket, headscarf & glasses work so well together. Stylish, elegant and age appropriate. 

Abu Dhabi Week

The above son-less Arab was not the only request for help that MB received during the week lads. Female Crosser COH contacted MB looking for a very ‘specification specific’ Irish female – she wanted to interview an Irish teacher, working in the UAE, who must come only from the Donegal area in the North West of Ireland. MB immediately called on HX Crosser network lads and within 24 hours we had produced the required result. COH seemingly wants to interview the Irish teacher lady for her Magazine in Abu Dhabi and inshallah we will feature the interview in due course when it is published, with COH permission. Anyway, here is link to COH mag called Abu Dhabi Week, which MB was previously unaware of:

The chocolate fountain & the brown haired girl
 
Declaration On Women’s Rights from UN
Interesting combination of The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, The Vatican & Iranian & Russian authorities opposing certain sections of a recent UN resolution on women’s rights:The Islamist movement that backs President Mohamed Mursi gave 10 reasons why Muslim countries should “reject and condemn” the declaration, which the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women is racing to negotiate a consensus deal on by Friday.The Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party propelled Mursi to power in June, posted the statement on its website, http://www.ikhwanweb.com, and the website of the party on Thursday.Egypt has joined IranRussia and the Vatican – dubbed an “unholy alliance” by some diplomats – in threatening to derail the women’s rights declaration by objecting to language on sexual, reproductive and gay rights.
Salad
UAE Treason Court Case
Mentioned this case to you a few weeks ago lads where a large group of locals are being accused of trying to form a political grouping, along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to overthrow the Rulers of the UAE. They are facing very long jail sentences if found guilty.
And a lollipop to go! 
The below article is worth a read if you have any interest in the politics out these parts, and the judge in the case certainly has a sense of humour, if the following exchange is anything to judge him by:
FlowersOne of the defendants, Eisa Al Serri said he was only allowed five minutes to call his relatives. He complained that was not enough time to phone his mother, and his two wives, to which the judge responded jokingly, “Who told you to trouble yourself and marry two women?!”
Breads

Wine glass – featuring finger print of MB

The Reluctant Emigrant (DH)

Have not yet had chance to read the latest & greatest from DH. Tomorrow inshallah:http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/new-age-emigrant/
The famous aquarium at the Atlantis Hotel, which featured a whale shark when the hotel initially opened in 2008. Public pressure eventually forced the owners to release the shark back into the ocean. Media reports at the time stated that they had paid US 1M for his original capture.

Ana Taaban lads (I am tired lads!)

Ok lads, That’s it for another week. Speak to you all next week again from Dubai where I am heading on Sunday, inshallah. Take care all.

The center piece display at the hotel lobby. The 2 ladies give you a sense of scale.


MB
 


East meets West

Good Hair Day


Salam lads
Am back in the land of the 2 holy Mosques lads – that’s Saudi Arabia to you, or the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia as we often say out here. Spent a very pleasant week in Dubai last week and got in a few photo shoots for you all. Today’s pics come from the Dubai Creek area where a huge amount of boat trade is done with neighbouring countries such as Iran across the Persian Gulf, and even as far away as Somalia on the African east coast. The traditional Arabic timber boats get loaded up with consumer goodies and sold for profit in places where such goodies are hard come by. Hope you like the pics.

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Reaction to last week’s HX was very mixed lads. Many enjoyed MBs spin on world events as usual and were in orgasmic rapture about the the mega pics. But MB received almost violent reaction from some Indian followers of the HX lads. And what were they on about you might ask? Well lads, they informed MB that when they read the title last week (reference to ‘Birds’) and then MB started talking about all the stunning leggy Russian girls he saw in Fujairah hotel – the Indian lads were sure MB was going to include many pics of the Russian birds!!!

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And they were mightily disappointed that MB was referring pics of the feathery birds, and not pics of long legged Russian ones. What was I to do lads? Most of the husbands/boyfriends of the Ruskie babes were Russian bear types, with no necks from all the military training, and am sure any of them could have snapped MB’s neck with their little finger. So MB left the zoom lens in the camera bag, and for once put his health & welfare before the needs of the Crosser brethern. And MB has lived to tell the tale. Enough said lads.

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Hello to ‘The Ms’ who met MB in Dubai last week and are now back in HX eating the non-Muslim bacon, pork, sausages, rashers and all things tasty. Inshallah you will visit Dubai again in the future.

Onwards lads.

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Good Hair Day

There I was in the shower in Dubai last week ladies. The water was perfect temperature as it flowed over the lean muscular body of MB. A little sunlight filtered through the open window and glistened brightly on the bulging MB shoulder muscles. Cool down ladies please – this story is about MB hair and not about MB body.

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Anyway ladies, there I was, as naked as the day I was born, whistling a tune, with not a care in the world at that particular moment. Enjoying my ‘man shower‘. And what is a ‘man shower‘ MB? Well ladies a ‘man shower’ is a shower taken by the average man. It lasts approx 3 minutes, which is just enough time to get wet, apply the shampoo, clean off same, turn off water and dry the ‘man body‘. It is the complete opposite to ‘woman shower‘ or ‘girl shower’ or ‘lady shower’ – which are known to take hours in duration and deplete scarce water resources in many regions of the world. But you have caused me to digress ladies. Back to my story……

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Thirty seconds into the MB ‘man shower’ ladies, MB reaches for the shampoo. Horror of horrors – no shampoo! Or as I would say if I was an Arab – mafi shampoo! WTF! Sudden panic attack ladies. MB likes his shampoo for the standard 20 second usage. But it was not going to be this time ladies – due to ‘mafi shampoo‘. So MB then eyed some ‘conditioner’ – that must have been left over by a previous female tenant of the property, as we all know that only women use this muck, and no manly man would ever be caught dead using the stuff. But sometimes ladies – needs must – as they say, and in absence of shampoo, MB slapped a little conditioner on his head.

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And then ladies, MB had his Eureka moment! MB goes to the young Indian barber lads regularly and gets the Nr 1 blade on the sides and back, with the Nr 4 blade on top. The young Indian barber lads do not even ask MB any more what he wants. They know the spec. It never changes.

So ladies, MB is essentially hairless. Therefore MB has no use for shampoo, or the girlie conditioner. A quick rub of the soap bar on his 6-Pack stomach (max 5 seconds) serves the exact same purpose. And now MB does not need to buy shampoo – ever again! Financial savings will ensue, maybe a little extra can now be set aside for the chocolate budget – for example, and all will be well with the world. Joy of joys!

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So ladies. Take a look at your man’s head. Does he really need ‘volumising‘ or the ‘moisturising’ or the ‘for normal hair types‘ that you pick up for him in Tesco each week, or in the Carrafour out this neck of the woods. May I suggest experiment ladies. For one week only, when the shampoo bottle is almost empty, do not buy another bottle, leave small bar of soap in the shower, and wait for the reaction. You may get pleasant surprise!

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Saudi Fatwas & The Ladies

Interesting (for some) article on ‘Fatwas‘ lads. Religious pronouncements made by Muslim Imams/Priests normally, sometimes absolutely ridiculous and without any basis other than their own limited view of the world and warped view of their own religion:

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Suddenly the net was flooded with all manners of fatwas or edicts. Some seemed sound and rational while others bordered on the ridiculous. There was a fatwa which called for the separation of the genders to prevent the mingling of the sexes at Islam’s holiest worship site in Makkah by adding extra floors around the Kaaba and dedicating one solely for women.

Another fatwa which defied foundation and drew a lot of ridicule was the one that called for working women to breast feed their male associates at the workplace, thus developing a symbolic bond between unrelated men and women who regularly come into contact with each other and making it permissible for women to mingle with the males there. And then there was the fatwa against women driving.

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UAE Thinking & The Ladies
The biggest defenders of the political status quo in Dubai and the rest of the UAE are local women. And a big reason is that they can see the bullshit lives that Muslim women have to tolerate in many Arab countries, and are extremely grateful for the freedoms that exist in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the other Emirates. The below article shows the huge contrast that exists between UAE & Saudi Arabia for example, which are neighbouring states. Its not all plain sailing as the article states but at least there is a tolerant and forward thinking mindset amongst the UAE leaders:

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The evolution of women’s role in UAE society has been spurred by the leadership’s recognition of the pivotal role women can play in economic and social development. It is a testament to the government’s strategic vision to enhance their roles in both the public and private spheres and to ensure that all career options are open to them.

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The Gay Mormon & Coming Out

Read the below story during the week lads about a young Mormon lad who decided to video his coming out to family and friends over the period of a year as he broke the news to them all that he was gay. Amusing to say the least.

It reminded me of similar incident in my own past many years back. No lads, I was not ‘coming out’ for God sake,  you are having a laugh surely lads. But very good friend of mine decided that it was time for him to break to news to all his friends that he was gay, and he decided that MB would be his guinea pig and the first lad he would hit with the good news.

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Gay Friend (GF): MB my friend, I have some big news for you.
MB: What?
GF: I am gay, homo, etc
MB: What’s ‘etc’?
GF: ‘Etc’ was joke MB
MB: So was my question, hahahaha!
GF: So what’s your reaction MB? To fact that I am coming out to you, and selected you to be the first to whom I would give the news?
MB: I dont care what you or anyone else gets up to in the privacy of your bedrooms GF, or anywhere else for that matter. Or what your ‘orientation’ is. Makes absolutely no difference to me. You are friend but from now on you may call yourself ‘GF’ if you wish.
GF: Thanks MB, So it makes no difference?
MB: I don’t care if the entire world is gay GF. Apart from fact that I would have to find hetrosexual alien women from outer space to make a few babies with, and save the entire human/alien race with my reproduction activities.
GF: Jesus!
MB: No – MB!

To be continued next week……..

Indian Women & Smartphones

Lots of hassle for ladies in India as we have seen from some serious disturbing recent stories from the subcontinent. the smartphone is finding new uses:

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Reluctant Emigrant – Ping Pong

Thanks to DH for another good one this week.

http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/

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HX Report – The times they are a changin!

Met up with mentor & mother figure DH last week in Dubai lads, and she got me thinking. DH is author of the above referred Reluctant Emigrant blog and like MB she too in the past sent out weekly blog email. But she no longer does so, as she uses a facility on this blog website to invite everyone to ‘follow’ the blog. This means that if you accept the invitation to ‘follow’ then you will receive the blog automatically by email, and MB will not have to send out any more emails. Enabling him to give more time to his creative genius and produce yet more side splitting and highly intellectual ‘stuff’ for you all. Masha’allah!

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So expect invite from MB during next few days lads and become a HX Report – FOLLOWER

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Take care ladies

That’s it for another week ladies. A pleasure as ever. Take care, and don’t forget – when you receive the email – become a FOLLOWER!

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MB

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