Now Going To Be Silent!
This website is now going to be silent!
Wishing you all the very best!
Sincere apologies and Take Care!
Majid Al Suleimany
Now Going To Be Silent!
This website is now going to be silent!
Wishing you all the very best!
Sincere apologies and Take Care!
Majid Al Suleimany
Brain drain could end up doing irreversible damage
Sunday Beat – By Saleh Al Shaibany – Times of Oman – January 26th 2014
Muscat: The depressing reality is that Oman is beginning to witness its human capital transferring to other countries for the simple reason that the Sultanate cannot anymore satisfy the higher wages that its skilled workers demand.
Talented local workers with years of experience are looking for better paid jobs abroad leaving the country in a brain drain zone. The gap they leave behind cannot be filled by graduates. The human flight can do an irreversible damage on a long-term basis if employers continue to pay low wages to its most experienced Omani staff.
And the problem is deeper than that. Oman is also losing its new talents as well for greener pastures.
With the government investing so much money in education and vocational training, the job opportunities need to match the college and university leaving students’ expectations for wages. For the record, the Ministry of Finance has allocated OMR2.6 billion for education this year, twice the budget allocated for the same sector last year. The huge capital investment will need to translate into better paid jobs if we have to keep young talents right here at home.
Most of the Omanis who are leaving are emigrating to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the prime targets are the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. That means that we are losing professionals and skilled workers that the government has paid millions at different levels of training and education. The areas in which we now face the brain drain are in Information Technology (IT), medicine, the financial sector and academia. In a fledgling economy like Oman, we cannot leave talent gaps and then hope that things will remain alright. Employers must match the wages paid by our neighbours instead of hoping that someone from abroad will fill these positions when Omanis vacate them. For that to happen, attitudes must also change.
Top on the list is trusting local skills. Oman has become so dependent on importing talent and the mind set is now embedded deep among the employers that only foreign workers can do a better job. These employers are now being proved pleasantly wrong. While we shun our own skills, the GCC states hold these in high esteem and companies there start to poach Omani talents. So where does it leave the huge effort of the government which is spending about OMR4 billion a year on projects, trade subsidies and education to inject funds in the private sector? Yes, it does create jobs but now Omanis want to be paid enough to compensate for their talents.
It took 40 years to create a powerhouse of local skills. The ammunition of that powerhouse is better financial packages. Omani managers know that they are worth much more across the border than here.
In the UAE or in Qatar, a senior IT manager with 10 to 15 years of experience gets a monthly package of around OMR7,000. Here, they only get paid about OMR3,500. New doctors get a maximum of OMR700 per month in the Sultanate. They would get paid about OMR2,500 when they land jobs in those two countries. One would say it is not exactly patriotism to abandon one’s country in its moment of need but better standard of living is what drives people these days.
The funny thing is that 20 years ago, Oman barely had any experienced and skilled people to work in the high profile jobs in the private sector. It was natural to import these talents from different countries to push the wheel of development forward. It is a different scenario now. We have the right people now but we are beginning to export local talents when it is mostly needed here. The trend is threatening to wipe out any advancement we made in the last two decades in the build up of skilled workforce. The result, if we don’t watch out, is the loss of senior managers to foreign bidders and that will give the Omanisation process a severe knock.
It goes without saying that to continue to compete on the global basis, Oman must invest on its local workers by paying them much more than the present wage scales if it wants to retain its skills.
From A Fan! We are not stupid, Sir!
Please Keep Your Head High, Sir!
Yesterday night a group of us good getting together friends were having a meal at this Arabian Restaurant in Ghobrah and the subject starting moved to your columns articles. And your call about more Omanis to be needed represented in the especially English press and media as it is now being controlling and dominated by Indian people mainly and also some British peoples.
You also called for more stronger quality powering Omani Managers in the Press and media. Believe me Sir that people mistake us to be not knowing and not smart people and they can fool and play with us. But if they cannot learn than they will never learn in future. We are not stupid peoples. We aware and knowing too.
So Ustaadh please rest now. You have said it but they ignore you and not listen. You have done your job and duty as few Omanis that really care and feel. You take rest because you are now done and take rest Sir. Look after family only now.
Like you always tell us to take care! Ever admirer and fan to you Sir. We will never forget you till end of us.
Please forgive my English.
Omani (Youth) Fan…
The Arab Management Books by Majid Al Suleimany
Return To The Right Path and Ways Now!
Before it is too late for you!
An Open Message To Those That Use Others To Kill, Maim and Destroy!
Images – Orphans of The Sahara
I was watching this documentary – Orphans of The Sahara – see my article here – https://majidsn.com/2014/01/11/orphans-of-the-sahara/ – and it made me realise that the world is full of problems that left unsolved would come to haunt and torture us in the future! I similarly believe that the unjustified invasion of Iraq under guise of WMDs and Israeli intransigence are the main causes of what the world is today – a dangerous world – full of calamities, destruction, havoc, miseries, decadence and malaise! Full of hatreds, animosities, divisions and splits amongst peoples – and even within some of the countries too!
We will all die one day – as did Sharon – https://majidsn.com/2014/01/15/sharons-legacy-only-death-is-irreversible/ – and before we meet our Maker – and The Punishment on Earth, The Grave and Eternal Hell Fire! We will leave the world empty handed just like we came – see Alexander’s Three Wishes below! No one is going to stay in this world for ever – however powerful and great that you think yourself to be!
Read this one too – http://majidall.com/2011/12/09/why-do-we-do-all-these-things-to-each-other-now/
Read also Why I Like Oman Foreign Policies here! http://majidall.com/?s=why+i+like
The problems that we are facing in the world today is people thinking they are always right, correct and ethical – and others are not. And twisted ironies where legal becomes illegal – and illegal becomes legal by use of force, torture, victimisation – and blind support from bigger more powerful forces – who should know better and are acting against the very principles, ethics and focuses that they really and originally stood for – in order to achieve quick short term personal and selfish interests!
And shouting Wolf – Fire – in order to scare and frighten people to think and act like them! Or to heed their calls! It is, therefore, very important for us especially The Believers – even if in vain and name only! – to return to the Right Path and Ways – before it is too late for you!
The Religious Leaders, Elders and Heads need to do more to bring people in together – instead of dividing peoples and nations! Lead by examples, deeds and actions – by ethics and principles – and how to behave and interact with others in life – knowing we will all die one day – and held responsible for our actions – and inactions too!
May The Good Lord Have Mercy and Compassion on us – and Guide us back to the right fold and ways – Amin Amen
Sayings – Return To The Right Path (and Ways)
The Three Final Wishes of Alexander the Great Alexander
Alexander was a great Greek king. As a military commander, he was undefeated and the most successful throughout history. On his way home from conquering many countries, he came down with an illness. At that moment, his captured territories, powerful army, sharp swords, and wealth all had no meaning to him. He realized that death would soon arrive and he would be unable to return to his homeland. He told his officers: “I will soon leave this world. I have three final wishes. You need to carry out what I tell you.” His generals, in tears, agreed.
“My first wish is to have my physician bring my coffin home alone. After a gasping for air, Alexander continued: “My second wish is scatter the gold, silver, and gems from my treasure-house along the path to the tomb when you ship my coffin to the grave.” After wrapping in a woolen blanket and resting for a while, he said: “My final wish it to put my hands outside the coffin.” People surrounding him all were very curious, but no one dare to ask the reason. Alexander’s most favored general kissed his hand and asked: “My Majesty, We will follow your instruction. But can you tell us why you want us to do it this way?”
After taking a deep breath, Alexander said: “I want everyone to understand the three lessons I have learned. To let my physician carry my coffin alone is to let people realize that a physician cannot really cure people’s illness. Especially when they face death, the physicians are powerless. I hope people will learn to treasure their lives. My second wish is to tell people not to be like me in pursuing wealth. I spent my whole life pursuing wealth, but I was wasting my time most of the time. My third wish to let people understand that I came to this world in empty hands and I will leave this world also in empty hands.” he closed his eyes after finished talking and stopped breathing.
Ariel Sharon maps out his vision of an Israeli security zone stretching deep into the West Bank on land Palestinians see as part of a future state, Dec. 5, 1997. (photo by REUTERS)
Sharon’s legacy: Only death is irreversible
Summary – The late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s legacy, including the disengagement from Gaza, was designed to hinder an agreement with the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Author: Akiva Eldar Posted January 13, 2014 – Al Monitor
It was in the spring of 1992, a number of months after the Madrid Conference, which began the peace process, and before the elections to the Knesset that ended 15 years of Likud Party rule. Ariel Sharon, then the minister of housing in the Shamir government, invited me to tour the Samaria region. From the heights of one of the hills near the Alfei Menashe settlement, he pointed to innumerable, randomly scattered clusters of red roofs, and many gleaming asphalt roads crisscrossing the landscape.
AuthorAkiva EldarPosted January 13, 2014
Translator(s) Aviva Arad
“You’re probably asking yourself, what’s the point of scattering small settlements on every hilltop, instead of concentrating all of them in one settlement?” Sharon thundered in his unique voice and explained, “This dispersion is intended to prevent any government established in Israel from returning to the borders of the Green Line and enabling the creation of a Palestinian state.”
Twenty-two years later, cabinet members who passed before Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coffin, knew that not too long from now they will have to choose between the creation of a Palestinian state, with a western border based on the Green Line, and a diplomatic-security crisis and the risk of an economic boycott. The motto “Another goat and another dunam” that Sharon inherited from the leaders of the mother party of Israel’s Labor Party, Mapai, who founded the state, has ended its role. The 1977 plan, “A million Jews in Judea and Samaria,” which was meant to thwart the plan to divide the land, has passed from the world.
Despite the generous aid that Sharon and his heirs have offered, and still offer, the settlers, less than 400,000 Jews, 5% of Israel’s population, have chosen to settle in the West Bank. Two-thirds of them are crowded in areas abutting the Green Line. The vast dispersion of isolated settlements all over the West Bank has not swayed the international community to abandon its insistence on the 1967 borders and on territorial exchange as a key to a diplomatic agreement. There is no phenomenon that causes more damage to Israel’s status in the world like the settlement enterprise.
As defense minister in Begin’s government (1981-83), Sharon’s goal was to destroy once and for all the idea of dividing the land and perpetuate the vision of Greater Israel. On this issue, too, he achieved the opposite of his intentions. The pursuit of the leadership of the PLO, and Palestinian Authoriy Chairman Yasser Arafat specifically, into Beirut, in the Lebanon War (1982), which was meant to create a “new order” in Lebanon and push out the PLO, embroiled the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a bloody war and strengthened the Shiite, pro-Iranian forces in Lebanon.
More so, the loss of control in Lebanon was the main incentive for Arafat and his exiled friends in Tunisia to recognize Israel within the 1967 borders in 1988, on the basis of UN Resolution 242. From there, the road was already paved for international recognition of the PLO, the convening of the Madrid Conference, the return of the Israeli Labor Party to power, led by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and to the Oslo Accord.
From his seat in the opposition, Sharon acted as a vocal trumpet for the extreme right, which did not shrink from incitement against Rabin. In an interview with the Kfar Habad ultra-Orthodox journal in 1995, extensively quoted in the daily press, Sharon claimed that Rabin had gone mad. After a short period of calm in the foreign minister’s office in the first Netanyahu government (1996-99), Sharon made his way to the prime minister’s office, upon the ruins of the Oslo process.
His provocative ascent to the Temple Mount in September 2000, at the height of the efforts to revive the failing negotiations at Camp David, gave the signal for the outbreak of the second intifada. The journalist Uri Dan, who was Sharon’s good friend, later recounted, “Arik would call me and ask, do I think there’s a connection between his ascent to the Temple Mount and him becoming prime minister? I answered him in the same way that he asked, ‘And what do you think, Arik, is there a connection?’ There was silence on the other end of the line.”
The series of suicide bombings, whose peak was the murder of 30 Israelis gathered for a Passover traditional meal at the Park Hotel in Netanya, was the grounds for Prime Minister Sharon’s decision, in March 2002, to launch Operation Defensive Shield. While the IDF assault on the cities of the West Bank fatally damaged terrorist elements, it also heavily damaged the physical and political infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority.
Moreover, in his book, A Look at the Resistance from Within, Mohammed Arman, a member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, who is sentenced to 36 life sentences for the murder of more than 40 Israelis, tells how Sharon played into Hamas’ hands. The arch-terrorist revealed that all Hamas units received directions from above to thwart the Arab peace initiative on the eve of its anticipated approval at the Arab League summit in Beirut. The initiative was approved on March 28; the bombing in Netanya took place on March 29. On March 29, Sharon announced Operation Defensive Shield. The din of battle in Jenin and Ramallah drowned out the regional voice of peace from Riyadh to the Maghreb.
A few months before Sharon directed the IDF to surround the Muqata and isolate Arafat from the outside world, the former head of the Mossad, Shabtai Shavit, who was one of Sharon’s advisers, said in an interview with the Israeli daily Yedioth Aharanoth (Dec. 7, 2001) that if Israel could get rid of Arafat, “No one could step into his shoes to open doors among world leaders, and the Palestinian question will fall from the international agenda.” In the same interview Shavit also argued that [Palestinian Authority Chairman] Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) is “a member of the Bahai faith,” and therefore his appointment as Arafat’s heir “is like appointing a Samaritan as president of the State of Israel.”
Abu Mazen, as we know, was appointed prime minister, a fact that did not prevent Sharon from calling him “a chick who hasn’t sprouted feathers” in a government meeting. When it became clear that despite his efforts to ground Abu Mazen, the two-state solution wasn’t disappearing from the world’s agenda, Sharon formulated the plan for disengagement from the Gaza Strip. The problem was that the disengagement, which was not coordinated with Abu Mazen, led to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, the diplomatic process was launched again.
The followers of the “new Sharon,” who claim that the evacuation of the settlements of Gush Katif testifies to Sharon’s reversal in his final political days, are urged to read the interview/confession Sharon’s right-hand man, Dov Weissglass, gave the Israeli daily Haaretz in October 2004.
Here are some enlightening quotations: “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde in which you put the president’s [George W. Bush’s] plan, so that it can be kept for a very long time. It supplied the necessary amount of formaldehyde so that there wouldn’t be a diplomatic process with the Palestinians. … Arik [Ariel Sharon] does not see Gaza as an area of national interest today. He does see Judea and Samaria as a region of national interest. He justifiably thinks that we are still very, very far from the time where we could reach final arrangements in Judea and Samaria.
“What I basically agreed with the Americans was that we don’t deal at all with some of the settlements, and with other settlements we won’t deal until the Palestinians turn into Finns. … Basically, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all it entails, has been removed from our agenda for an unlimited time. And all this is officially authorized. All this is with a presidential blessing and the approval of the two houses of Congress.
“There was a very difficult package of commitments that they expected Israel to accept. They called this package the diplomatic process. It included components that we could never accept and components that we can’t accept today. But now we have succeeded in taking this package and pushing it past the mountains of time. With the right management, we’ve succeeded in removing the issue of the diplomatic process from the agenda. And we have educated the world that there’s no one to talk to.”
There’s something symbolic, perhaps historical poetic justice, in that the man who dedicated his life to creating an irreversible reality in the occupied territories has passed away just as the diplomatic and political reality at the beginning of 2014 reminds us that only death is irreversible.
Akiva Eldar is a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse. He was formerly a senior columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz and also served as the Hebrew daily’s US bureau chief and diplomatic correspondent. His most recent book (with Idith Zertal), Lords of the Land, on the Jewish settlements, was on the best-seller list in Israel and has been translated into English, French, German and Arabic
The 50th Anniversary of The Bloody Zanzibar Revolution!
Today 12th January 2014 is the Fifty Years since the bloody ethnic cleansing Revolution in Zanzibar – and that is also full of deceit, double dealings, betrayals and letdowns!
On the morning of Sunday January 12th 1964 – we heard shots from the suburbs family rented house that we were staying in MwembeTanga Mapembeyaani in Zanzibar. My late Mother had this very strong intuition – May Allah Bless her and my father – and all the parents – for eternal peace and the highest of heavens – for my late Father to come in! He was chatting with our neighbour who was in all aspects a full fledged local African – near a Telephone booth.
My late Mother told me – tell your father to come inside NOW! So I shouted to him. Lucky for him he heeded the call and came in. A few minutes later – these Africans neighbours of ours lay dying – after being fatally shot by some rogue elements (fellow Africans too!) They were randomly shooting at everything and at everybody!
That morning my brother and I had an argument. So he tore at the picture of a Chicken Cock I had put up! That weird action saved our lives – because all those houses that had this picture – representing the Ruling Party were butchered in their homes… Read on!
Extracted from – The Glass Is Bent! – Book 9 – Short Takes 2 – Between Us Only!
Short Takes Two – Between Us Only!
***Aged 14 – 12th January 1964***
The shot rang out! They have killed my son, the Mother cried out to the rest of the Family huddled inside. Everybody was crying! We have lost our son, the Mother cried to the Father. The shot rang out again. It was all quiet outside the house, nobody knew what was happening. The one who said he was a Police Official and had lost his job – because of you peoples – had taken the boy outside. I want your eldest son, pointing his pistol at the family. I want to ask him some questions.
When a loaded pistol is pointed at you, there is hardly anything you can do, even if you are many. Besides, this was a new experience the family had never met before. An armed man who comes into your house, and wanting to kill someone because you come from that group of peoples who had made him lose his Sergeant job – though he was not an Islander, but came from the Mainland. From even a different country for that matter. And another faith too!
Like they say, what goes around comes around! If you do good things to peoples as part of your family’s focus and aspirations, you will be recognized – and good things will come back to you. The other armed men were now shouting to the Ex Police Man, what are you doing to the boy? They are innocent peoples, they respect everyone. Besides, they just came to this place. Leave him alone. They were pointing guns at him. Give us your pistol, they said to the man. The man gave it up unwillingly. They hit him by the butt of the rifle. He fell down. Now run they told him – or we shall shoot you next. Like also in each basket, there are good and bad fish or fruits – take your pick!
Your son is alive – the men told the family – Do not cry! He shot at him, but he missed him! It is God’s wish to send us to save you all. You need to come with us, to come to the refugee centre. This town on the outskirts are no longer safe for you peoples. The boy went in, they all hugged him – including his younger brother who was always picking fights with him, trying to undercut him being the leader of the pack!
***Now – 7th June 2009**
Now – I was watching this film. Just a few days before my birthday two days back. The bullied man was saying to the ‘stronger man’. I do not care, you know what? I am happy as what I am. As I am. You think you are better than me? No, you are not. I know what I am, I do not need to think of who I am. I am proud of myself. I know my strengths and my power points, my shortfalls – and whatever you want to say about me. Do not expect me to be like you, and follow you? You think you have won? That you are master of your fate? No, you are just kidding yourself. You only think in your mind that you are better than me, but you are not. You cannot create me, nor can you change me. I am what I am – like I said am proud of myself!
I sympathise with the man. I remember that day clearly. When my strongest of the country adversary – not sober and completely not in control of his faculties – said to me – Do you know why I hate you as your boss? Do you know why? I said, No Sir – I do not know why! Then he retorts – what kind of a person are you? Always trying to look good and be nice? Always the Actor? The one who is always after a popularity contest? To impress and show off to peoples. Pretending you do not smoke. You do not drink. You have no other vices? Whom are you trying to kid? I know you well. 15 years ago this was!
And then that call at 2 am at night 15 years ago again. I am going to board my plane now, the expatriate British man said. Please M – Do Not Change! Remain as you are. Follow your ethics and principles in life. Your focus. You think you have lost? No, you have won. You are far better than all the rest of all the competition to you put together, including even the top ones. They wish secretly they were like you, but cannot be. You care and feel for people. They know it, and cannot accept it. I can tell you now – one I am not sober, and two I am leaving your country forever. I respect and esteem you a lot, forever you will be on the top of my honours and respectable list. Please don’t change!
5 years ago in that other place, it was the Messengers of the place (from another country).Always the lower echelon who felt more. Two weeks ago in my own country, as I was leaving the place, one of the Expatriate Directors came to my room – he caught my hand and kissed it. He hugged me tightly! He then said almost the same very things to me. He was sad and desolate that I was leaving so soon.
I still have it in me – to touch everyone in one way or the other! That is me, and will never change. Hate me – like me – that is M for you!
Watch these videos too..
The Full Story There!
Orphans of the Sahara
Documented on Al Jazeera
Orphans of the Sahara is a documentary series about the heartbreaking circumstances of life for the Sahara’s Tuareg people, one of the most isolated and impoverished groups in the world.
May Welsh, award-winning Al Jazeera filmmaker, captures the complex conflict and events in Mali and Niger as they unfold within the Tuareg community.
Due to the presence of al-Qaeda, these desert people have been cut off from aid workers and the rest of the outside world. Welsh’s three films offer viewers rare and exclusive access and insight to the Tuareg separatist struggle in their homeland as well as exploring the rival al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Welsh comments, “The Tuareg story is one of an extremely impoverished people whose land harbours the largest energy reserves on the African continent, and who have been fighting for various forms of self-determination for 50 years.”
The first film in the three-part series, Orphans of the Sahara – Return, documents how thousands of Gaddafi’s Tuareg mercenaries return to their Saharan homeland after fleeing from Libya. Terrible poverty, hunger and drought await them in the areas to which they return which are spread across northern Niger and northern Mali.
With few other skills and largely unable to feed their children, the men in Mali rise up to establish their own country while those in Niger risk their lives to return to Libya.
“The story of my son is a man chased by poverty. Hunger that you can see if you look at the women and children around us. He was forced to travel to Libya, so he went. It wasn’t a choice,” says Amamatou Bint Tigzali, mother of a Tuareg fighter.
Orphans of the Sahara – Return, airs on Al Jazeera English on 9 January at 20h00 GMT.
Watch and embed the promo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4ADnH- 6UbI.
To us the Sahara means our origins. We are people who live in the Sahara, journeying in the Sahara. It represents our real nation.
Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, lead singer of Tinariwen
The Tuareg of the Sahara are a people orphaned, literally and figuratively, the filmmaker writes [Al Jazeera]
The Tuareg of the Sahara desert are a people orphaned, literally and figuratively, by colonial history and borders, by distant governments, by poverty, corporate exploitation, pollution, drought, and war.
Their Saharan homeland stretches across five countries and straddles the largest energy deposits in Africa. And they have risen up against their governments seven times in the past 50 years to demand forms of autonomy and independence.
Yet the decades-long Tuareg struggle is one of the world’s least covered stories.
In Orphans of the Sahara, Al Jazeera takes the viewer deep inside the Tuareg world.
To us the Sahara means our origins. We are people who live in the Sahara, journeying in the Sahara. It represents our real nation.
Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, lead singer of Tinariwen
We will go to their impoverished camps in the desert where life hangs by a thread, journey inside “Azawad”, the unrecognised Tuareg state in northern Mali, and into Timbuktu under al-Qaeda control. We will travel to the French uranium mining zone in northern Niger, an area now out of bounds to journalists, and into the refugee camps in exile, where Tuaregs and Arabs are calling for an independent state.
This is a story you won’t see or hear anywhere else. For a number of years, the Tuareg have been cut off from the world, surrounded by a vast “red zone” of al-Qaeda kidnappings and killings, preventing journalists, aid workers and tourists from travelling to the places where the Tuareg really live.
As a result, they have become increasingly isolated and poorly understood – seen and interpreted for the outside world through the eyes of their enemies. They have few friends and no state allies.
Their music has been one of the only genuine insights the outside world has into their stories and struggles. And for many Tuareg bands, their songs are a way to relay the message of their people and help the world understand their plight.
‘A generation of orphans’
“I was young when the army took my father from here,” he said. “They took him and killed him. And then they killed our animals. I left with my grandmother for Algeria. And I grew up there. I always think about that day and this area.”
In exile, Ibrahim met other Tuareg youths with similar stories and experiences. Together they learned how to fight in Muammar Gaddafi’s military training camps in Libya. Then, in 1990, they returned in their thousands to Mali and Niger where they launched rebellions against their governments to fight for their rights as a people.
We spent hours mesmerised by Ibrahim’s stories and thoughts as he smoked cigarettes, slowly searching for the right words, often staring out through the crack of the door into the sand storm whirling around us.
The last thing he said was “my generation of Tuareg is a generation of orphans”. It was really important to him that we understand his story was no different to those of thousands of others who became rebels – that his pain was not unique.
After we returned to Doha, I put Ibrahim’s interview on a shelf and forgot about it. We are a news channel and I wasn’t sure what to do with such a long and deep interview on a subject that is obscure to most people and requires a lot of background and explaining. But he and his words lodged somewhere deep in my consciousness.
In late 2011, Al Jazeera returned to the region to document the new exodus of Tuaregs back to northern Mali and Niger following the fall of Gaddafi in Libya. We noticed a high proportion of orphans, both among the young returning Tuareg mercenaries, and among the families they were supporting in the desert.
In 2008, Al Jazeera met Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, the lead singer of the Tuareg rock band Tinariwen, at his home near Tessalit in northern Mali.
We had just come from spending days in the Sahara with Tuareg rebels fighting the Mali state and there was a sand storm brewing. We wanted to stop somewhere and thought it would be interesting to know Ibrahim’s opinion of the rebellion.
As we took shelter in a small hut from the roaring wind, Ibrahim shared his powerful personal story — one that will be familiar to all fans of Tinariwen.
Many of the fighters had lost one or both parents as children, to undiagnosed illnesses due to malnutrition and lack of medical care. Some had lost a parent to war. And every one of the men had tried his hand at both armed rebellion against his government, and emigration to Libya in search of work – the two options many Tuareg see available to them to improve conditions for their families and their people.
Many ended up entrapped as mercenaries for Gaddafi during the recent Libya war. They cried as they talked about the death of their relatives and friends in NATO bombings, and the immense pressure they feel to provide for their families – loved ones who they see deteriorating before their eyes in the harsh conditions of the desert.
One of our subjects died during the course of filming, leaving behind three orphans. Most of these stories remain on the cutting room floor because there is barely time, even in three hours, to cover the essential ground on this complex story.
We realised that Ibrahim Ag Alhabib’s story has not lost its relevance. New generations of Tuaregs from northern Niger and northern Mali are simply living a modified version of the same old cyclical story of the Tuareg people: rebellion, exile, return, rebellion, exile, return …
The reason for the stubborn resilience of this pattern is that the conditions which give rise to Tuareg rebellion have essentially not changed.
It is something I found myself wondering more than once during the nights we spent sleeping in freezing cold deserts, living the same way our Tuareg hosts do every day. Even the physical stamina required to live in a tent in the Sahara is incredible and always reminds you of your vulnerability and mortality. Just a few weeks of the constant exposure to sand, wind, heat and cold debilitated me to a point of exhaustion it took months to recover from.
On the other hand, far from being merely harsh and empty, the Sahara is a soulful place, embracing you with its solitude and beauty, its open space, and the company of gentle living things. Even the deepest parts of the desert are not dead, but filled with animals, people, culture, and history. All the feelings of being there – from sublime comfort and peace to terror and loneliness – are satisfying in their truth and draw you back to the desert, in spite of its hardship.
The Sahara enriches and impoverishes the Tuareg. It is their mother and source, but also their destroyer and grave.
Parts of this trilogy were filmed in the Sahara proper, and others in cities and deserts of the Sahel, the belt of scrub that lies to the immediate south of the Sahara. But wherever we found Tuaregs, even if they were knee deep in yellowing pasture, or standing on a busy city street, they always referred to their land as “the Sahara”.
“To us the Sahara means our origins,” said Ibrahim. “We are people who live in the Sahara, journeying in the Sahara. It represents our real nation.” Orphans of the Sahara can be seen each week from January 9, 2014, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600; Monday: 2000; Tuesday: 1200; Wednesday: 0100
The physical conditions of Tuareg existence in the Sahara have hardly changed in decades. Even now, sleeping in the Sahara is like lying alone on a boat in the middle of a vast ocean.
You are lying in the sand at 2am when suddenly a primordial wind howls up from infinite corridors of emptiness and time – terrifying in its loneliness, as awesome as the stars in the night sky – to confront you with the essential fact that you are alone in the universe, and everyone you have ever loved will die.
If the Sahara can inspire that terrible feeling of cosmic loneliness in an adult, what would it feel like to be a child in this environment who had actually lost their parents?
With the fall of Gaddafi, thousands of Tuaregs return to Mali and Niger and launch their fight for an independent state. ( 09-Jan-2014 )
Images – For Demonstration Purposes Only! Narrations Below
The Tuareg are the indigenous people of the Sahara, the world’s largest desert
They are divided by colonial history between Mali and Algeria, Libya, Niger and Burkina Faso
The Tuareg of the Sahara are among the poorest and most isolated people in the world
The Tuareg are the indigenous people of the Sahara desert.
They are one of the poorest and most isolated peoples in the world – and one of the most militarised.
They are an army of the poor in a land of astounding natural wealth; an animal-herding people in a dying world of drought.
For decades, many Tuareg men have left their homes in search of work in neighbouring countries. Thousands ended up in Libya, as workers and fighters, and many as mercenaries for slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In late 2011, after Gaddafi’s death, thousands of them returned to their Saharan homeland in Niger and Mali.
But having lost access to the country that was their only source of livelihood, they came home to find little more than crushing poverty, hunger and drought.
Barely able to feed their children amidst total state neglect, the men launched a rebellion to found their own country – for which they had already chosen a flag and an old Tuareg name: Azawad.
But the Tuaregs would not be the only ones to emerge from a collapsing Libya with a lot of guns, and a plan. Al-Qaeda was also preparing for a fight
More Omanis For English Media & Press! And Strong Omani Management & Leadership!
One of the hidden dangers in our strategic outlooks is to have allowed Foreigners – mainly Indian Nationals – and some European and Others to dominate the English Media and Press – including the even Government owned The Oman Daily Observer – and others like The Times of Oman and perhaps The Tribune too.
It is a strategic fact that the locals should control and dominate these sectors. Apart from a few figure head Omanis in Management positions – the underneath layers and reporting echeleons are mainly foreigners! They make sure that they reign supreme – with contesting for positions from the locals that are usually sidelined and marginalized by these shrewd Mafias – and with real ineffective weak docile local Managers! Some of them have poor levels in English – and thus depend entirely on the expatriates in order to survive!
Like I always like to say in my columns and in my Arab Management books – www.myown-ebooks.com and www.myownmajid.com – some of these Managers are like those same very Generals shooting at ‘their own troops’ – because they do not trust their own – and have little faith and confidence on them too!
*** The expatriates are a cunning and shrewd lot – and know this – and know how to play their cards closely to their chests! And a lot of underground below the surfaces mischief making – and causing troubles, splits and divisions amongst the Omanis! Not all of them – but a substantial lot of them – scared and afraid of their jobs – Omanis – and those wanting to say The TRUTH ONLY! For sake of The Nation!
The Omanis Top Guys are typical docile and Weak Managers – lack leadership – and ‘that do not want to rock the boats’ – and that includes not upsetting especially The Indian Mafias. This is the sad and bitter truth! Just do not take my words for it! I know – because I suffered myself many times in these aspects! Even the others say ‘quietly on the sides’ in affirming what I am saying here!
One time I had an argument with a Top Profile Press Guy (Local) when I complained about an expatriate below him who had treated me very badly unprofessionally – and unethically – he retorted to me – I can give my soul to this Indian guy when I go to sleep – and when I wake up – he will give it back to me! To which I retorted back to him – Sorry Brother – You just left the fold of The Believers in associating a human being (not even a Believer too!) to God status – and that is blasphemy least said!
For our future and for the strategic and all valid reasons – The Leadership is urged to look at this situation more critically now! Time is of the essence!
Coming from a Columnist local for 13 years – and that is why my columns died a natural cause – and Author of 10 books – 2 in Arab Management – see my websites above! Also here – www.trafford.com/08-0889 – Psychology of Arab Management Thinking – which won The USA Gold Seal of Literary Excellence Award 2013 – Also A Cry For Help!
By – Majid Al Suleimany
*** OUTPOINT – Not all of them are anti-Omanis – like in most things – there are good fish (eggs) in each basket! Some of them – some! – are very proactive and dynamic in supporting, helping and in assisting Omanis – especially Junior ones under them – or budding New Columnists…
A Personal Note – Celebrating Christmas & Happy New Year 2014!
My Book Had Said It! A Cry For Help! So did My Columns!
Since my family had returned and I came to Oman in 1972 – I have never seen people being so ‘unfriendly and lesser tolerant’ not only for those celebrating – but even those that had joined in – and sending messages and greetings – even if they are not celebrating! The most few emails that I ever got in my life was for this year – and shows sadly where some elements in society is turning to nowadays! There maybe many reasons – but I believe my book published in September 2009 – before the Arab Springs – said it!
Trafford USA Publishers – Quote – Addressing the increased extremism, fundamentalism, and lack of tolerance and forbearance in the Arab workforce, Author Majid Al Suleimany presents A Cry for Help!: Arabian Management Services – Context and Perspectives.
In three parts, A Cry for Help! concentrates on the management styles and aspects of companies located in the Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council that encompasses Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. It discusses the:
• Growing radicalization of local staff • Misbehaving expatriates • Unhappy, dissatisfied staff • Poor treatment of staff, especially by European Western staff • Increasing extremism and fundamentalism in offices • Sensitive, related issues
In A Cry for Help!, Suleimany, a management expert, focuses on what is particular about the type of Arab management, its context and perspectives, and what is peculiar, special, or particular to that work in the context and comparison to management styles of other nations. Using personal experiences, examples, and illustrations, Suleimany exposes the new reality and truth and moves away from the trend and approach of hiding issues and problems – Unquote!
Unfortunately, this lone voice that stood out to speak more for ‘live and let live’ – more patience, tolerance, co-existence and harmony – between societies and peoples was subjugated and killed by The New Peoples under control of my columns in the newspaper! At least it was a voice that preached the right messages – and especially directed at our Youth!
I am not the enemy or the adversary as some may perhaps think – but those that targeted and aimed this voice from speaking The Truth – are only doing a big disservice to not only themselves – but everybody else in the society!
Do I need to say anything anymore? Sad and tragic really!
Today another Arab country (Iraq) is using its own Air Force to target its own peoples! So what is next – I ask??
Best Wishes and Regards,
Majid Al Suleimany
The following images on problems – and dealing with problems – are only for demonstration purposes only!
Images – Problems and Dealing with Problems! For Demonstration Purposes Only!