Zanzibar – One-Square-Mile – BBC. Reply

Zanzibar – One-Square-Mile – BBC.

Reporter Zeinab Badawi, spent two days wandering the seafront, alleyways
and markets of the island’s capital, Stone Town, to try and find out why
modern-day Zanzibar has escaped the conflict that afflicts its East African
neighbours.

In a succession of spontaneous encounters – the purpose of the One
Square Mile format – with politicians, traders, craftsmen, fishermen, students,
musicians and tourists she finds that an investment in the town’s
rehabilitation has helped revive the local economy.

Though she finds that new employment opportunities are scarce, there are
few signs of the ethnic and communal strife that is a feature of life on the
African mainland.

Click Here & LOOK YOURSELF

http://www.oneplanetpictures.co.uk/catalogue/one-square-mile/one-square-mile/zanzibar

 

Nice program- I hope you will Enjoy it.

 

One of the best collections I have seen ……….

KARIBUNI ZANZIBAR NYOTE

Dont make promise when you are in JOY

Dont reply when you are SAD

Dont take decisions when you are ANGRY

Think Twice, Act Wise

 

Tanzania Earthquake June 10 2011 – Magnitude 4.8 Reply

Tanzania Earthquake June 10 2011 – Magnitude 4.8

Photos 1 to 3 Zanzibar – Photo 4 Dar es Salaam – people rush out to the streets.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc000440z.php

http://lukemusicfactory.blogspot.com/2011/06/tanzania-earthquake-june-10-2011.html

Dar hit by tremor

By Felister Peter

11th June 2011
Expert says tremor lasted for about 3 minutes

People rush out of high rise buildings in panic

View of Dar es Salaam, as captured yesterday by our roving photographer shortly after the city was hit by a 4.8 magnitude tremor. (Photo: Khalfan Said)

An earth tremor with a magnitude of 4.8 hit Dar es Salaam city centre yesterday causing
panic among people living and working in high-rise buildings, but no casualties were reported.

The tremor which lasted for between two and three minutes happened at around 11:28:13am,
according to the Executive Director of the Geological Survey of Tanzania (GST), Prof Abdulkarim Mruma.

Explaining, Prof Mruma said the quake measured 4.8 on the Richter scale. He said its centre
was about 10 kilometres under the sea at latitude 7.08 south and longitude 39.628 east.

The tremor was felt 52 kilometres East South East of Dar es Salaam and 105 kilometres
South East of Zanzibar. He said the quake caused no harm to people and properties, and that its cause is yet to be established, adding that such tremors are unpredictable.

“You cannot predict a tremor, not only in Tanzania but worldwide. We can only measure its magnitude after occurrence”, he explained.

He said sometimes, people can use birds and some animals to predict its occurrence, adding that Dar es Salaam felt the tremor because most of its land consists of valleys, mentioning Ruvu and Mzinga Rivers, Wazo and Pugu hills in the city.

Prof Mruma said the earthquake last occurred in Dar es Salaam four years back and was
largely felt in the Northern part of Ruvu River near the army camp.

Interviewed, Yvone Mtefu who works at NIC Life House called on responsible authorities
especially the fire brigade department to have its offices near high rise buildings, so that it becomes easy to rescue people in case of disaster.

Gastro John who works in the same building said: “The tremor was not big, and it lasted for
a few seconds so before we moved out of the office, it was over.”

In April this year, Babati residents in Manyara region experienced a tremor which lasted
for a few minutes. The Manyara tremble caused no damage to human beings or property.

Two strong earthquakes hit northern Malawi and southwestern Tanzania in December 2009
according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) killing two people in Malawi, but there were no death, injury or damage to property on the Tanzanian side.

The 6.2 magnitude Tanzanian quake hit 84 miles (135 km) south of the town of Mbeya, at
a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km).

Acting Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Geological Centre, Anicent Minde told this paper
that the tremors were mostly felt in Mufindi, Iringa Region and Kyela in Mbeya
Region.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

More News
News on the earthquake was first obtained from fiends located in Dar Es Salaam. Some of them felt the shaking while others didn’t, reportedly, some people were evacuated briefly from offices for safety concerns (see photo below).The following  added information was also reported at earthquake-report.com

UPDATE

09:22 UTC :

First reports out of Dar Es Salaam to Earthquake-Report.com  are indicating a MMI IV = light shaking

UPDATE 09:22 UTC
:
Data from other seismological agencies :  EMSC :  4.8 @ 10 km  depth

Around noon, a very shallow coastal  earthquake occurred at a short distance from Dar Es  Salaam. As the area has only very few earthquakes in the past people  have been scared by the shaking.

Most important Earthquake


Data:
Magnitude : 4.8
UTC Time :  Friday, June 10,
2011 at 08:28:13 UTC

Local time at epicenter :  Friday, June 10,
2011 at 11:28:13 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km
Epicenter
almost below Buuni Village very close to Vikindu
44 km (28
miles) SE (125°) from DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

Picture

Source:
http://www.wavuti.com/4/post/2011/06/tanzania-earthquake-june-10-2011-magnitude-48.html#ixzz1P4fITmze

Saudi arrests five women for driving! Reply

Saudi arrests five women for driving!

Released on – Thursday,09 June , 2011 -19:53

Police in Saudi Arabia arrested five women on Thursday for breaking a ban on female drivers in the  conservative kingdom, one of the women said.

The women were arrested north of Riyadh in Hettein district, she told AFP by  telephone, saying that they were training for driving” in three cars at an empty plot when two police officers arrived and detained them.

The women, who are aged between 20 and 30, were taken to a police station in  Sahafa street, and their male guardians were called in, said one woman, who used  a mobile phone which they were allowed to keep.

“We did not break the law. We were not driving on the road,” she said.

The arrests come a week before a nationwide protest by Saudi women who are  planning to take the wheel in  protest against the ban which is unique to the  kingdom that applies a strict version of Sunni Islam.

The organisers of the June 17 demonstration emphasise that no law in Saudi  Arabia forbids women from driving and that the ban is based on a fatwa, or  religious edict, issued in the kingdom.

A Saudi woman was arrested last month after being caught driving in Eastern  Province, triggering a national  campaign urging King Abdullah to release her and  lift the ban on women driving.

In addition to the driving ban, women are not allowed to travel without an  authorisation from a male guardian. In public, they are forces to cover from  head to toe.

Comment – KSA is the only country left in the world where women are banned from driving!

Be Careful In Your Wishes! Reply

Be Careful In Your Wishes!

Have you noticed the strange crude human nature and behaviours that we see lately on the Television News screens – and what a mad world is out there that is all most weird, confusing, mind boggling, baffles sanity, logic and explanation? I look at the painful and hurtful scenes shown now on the Television scenes – and how the same people that once were great statesmen and heroes – and have now become far worse than those that they had replaced!

 I see people rejoicing because the son of the country’s president has been killed in an air raid by ‘foreign forces’ – and how they are celebrating their own country being bombed, devastated and destroyed also by others outside. I see the celebrations well in the night that the president of their country was nearly killed by a bomb blast. And then of course those in authority murdering their own citizens in cold blood and massacres. The same peoples that they are supposed to preserve protect and defend.

I notice also people that are supposed to be normally as dutiful obedient citizens demonstrating against authorities. Is it all copy and emulate blindly – the in-fashion thing to do? Or is it real? I also see forces from
another country ‘being invited’ to murder one’s own citizens of the land – on their ways of life, places of worships and gatherings that at best can be defined as slightly different from one’s own just in packages and in decorations.

I sit and think – Allah God Must be very angry with us! The Great Prophet too – peace be upon him – must be turning in his grave and ‘crying uncontrollably’ that all his good works and his messages have gone to waste.

And then I remember reading this story very well that I had read as a young boy decades back. It is the story of Animal Farm by George Orwell. The book is a satirical outlook at the Russian Revolution that had toppled The Czar Dynasty. It is understood that the book was banned in Russia.

The Author – Eric Arthur Blair – was born in Motihari, India, on June 25, 1903, to English parents. He adopted
the pseudonym of George Orwell in 1933 when he published his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London. A decade later, in 1943, the politically minded Orwell, distressed by the British support enjoyed by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, began writing Animal Farm to illustrate the way in which revolutions can turn into tyrannies.

In that preface, Orwell also described what gave him the idea of setting the book on a farm – …I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.

The Book SynopsisThe animals on Mr. Jones’s farm, fed up with a life of servitude, instigate a rebellion and expel their master. Over time, however, the ideals of the revolution erode and are eventually discarded altogether because of the clever manipulation of the pigs, who ultimately assume their place alongside Man as two-legged tyrants.

Plot Summary Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, calls the animals on the farm for a meeting, where he compares the humans to  parasites and teaches the animals a revolutionary song,  “Beasts of England” .

When Major dies three days later, two young pigs, Snowball  and Napoleon  assume command and turn his dream into a philosophy. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible Mr. Jones from the farm, renaming it “Animal Farm”.

The Seven Commandments of Animalism are written on the wall of a barn. The most important is the seventh, “All animals are equal ” All the animals work, but the  workhorse, Boxer does more than others and adopts the maxim — “I will work harder.”

The Other Six Commandments – Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy – Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend – No animal shall wear clothes – No animal shall sleep in a bed – No animal shall drink
alcohol – No animal shall kill any other animal – All animals are equal (the most important one!).

Though the story centers on many animals, the rather starring one is Boxer. After a farm fights with their neighbours, Napoleon sends for a van to take injured Boxer to the veterinarian, explaining that better care can be given there. Benjamin the donkey, who “could read as well as any pig”, notices that the van belongs to “Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler”, and attempts to mount a rescue; but the animals’ attempts are futile.

Squealer reports that the van was purchased by the hospital and the writing from the previous owner had not been repainted. He recounts a tale of Boxer’s death in the hands of the best medical care. Shortly after Boxer’s death, it is revealed that the pigs have purchased more whisky.

Years pass, and the pigs had learn to walk upright, carry whips, and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are reduced to a single phrase: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and the humans of the area, who congratulate Napoleon on having the hardest-working animals in the country on the least feed.

Napoleon announces an alliance with the humans, against the labouring classes of both “worlds”. He abolishes practices and traditions related to the Revolution, and reverts the name of the farm back to “Manor Farm”.

The animals, overhearing the conversation, notice that the faces of the pigs have begun changing. During a poker match, an argument breaks out between Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington when they both play the Ace of Spades and the animals realize that the faces of the pigs look like the faces of humans and no one can tell the
difference between them.

Bottom line and Final Analysis is this. When the animals took over the farm, they thought that it is the start of a better life. Their dreams are of a world where all animals are equal and all the property is shared equally. But soon the pigs took control and one of them, Napoleon, became the leader of all the animals. One by one the principles of the revolution are abandoned, until the animals have even less freedom than
before!

The Final Crunch is the expression – All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Take Care!

 By Majid Al Suleimany

THE GENERAL’S SON! Reply

THE GENERAL’S SON 

UNFORGETTABLE WORDS FROM AN ISRAELI GENERAL’S SON

They will shake you to the core.

“So those people who want to associate themselves with Israel, Zionism and drape themselves in the Zionist flag – the flag that has come to symbolise intolerance, hatred, racism and brutality –
they can feel free to do so.

But, they need to know this:

That when the trials begin and the tribunals take their place, and when the truth and reconciliation commission  begins its work and they are finally shamed into admitting they were wrong, they need to remember to go down on their knees and beg forgiveness from the people they so greatly wronged.

They need to realise that we will never forget them and that their conscience will never allow them to forget that they supported the killings,  that they draped themselves in the flag and that they mocked the bereaved. 

The rest of us will move on in line with the rest of the Middle East which will follow the example of the people of Egypt to create something that will  surely be a tremendous accomplishment – a democratic,
secular state in our own shared homeland – a state where Muslims, Christians and Jews live as equals and educate their children to love their homeland with its multitude  of cultures, its rich history and its promising future.”

SO ENDS MIKO PELED’S NARRATION.

YOU MUST WATCH THE WHOLE OF THIS POWERFUL VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=c4ZfnpN4Dfc

28.25mins

Please send on to family, friends, lists – spread as widely as possible.

The book “The General’s Son” will be available later this year.

Sonja Karkar

Editor

Australians for Palestine

http://australiansforpalestine.com

Netanyahu on the Hill. Bibi and the Yo-Yos! Reply

Image Uri Avnery

Netanyahu on the Hill

Bibi and the Yo-Yos

By URI AVNERY

May 26, 2011

It was all rather disgusting.

There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.

It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could
find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.

What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?

The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.

The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert?

Many years ago I visited the Senate hall and was introduced to the leading Senators of the time. I was rofoundly
shocked. After being brought up in deep respect for the Senate of the United States, the country of Jefferson and Lincoln, I was faced with a bunch of pompous asses, many of them nincompoops who had not the slightest idea what they were talking about. I was told that it was their assistants who really understood matters.

* * *

SO WHAT did the great man say to this august body?

It was a finely crafted speech, using all the standard tricks of the trade – the dramatic pause, the raised
finger, the little witticisms, the sentences repeated for effect. Not a great orator, by any means, no Winston Churchill, but good enough for this audience and this occasion.

But the message could be summed up in one word: No.

After their disastrous debacle in 1967, the leaders of the Arab world met in Khartoum and adopted the famous
Three No’s: NO recognition of Israel, No [] negotiation with Israel, NO peace with Israel. It was just what the Israeli leadership wanted. They could go happily about their business of entrenching the occupation and building settlements.

Now Netanyahu is having his Khartoum. NO return to the 1967 borders. NO Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. NO to even a symbolic return of some refugees. NO military withdrawal from the Jordan River – meaning that the future Palestinian state would be completely surrounded  by the Israeli armed forces. NO
negotiation with a Palestinian government “supported” by Hamas, even if there are no Hamas members in the government itself. And so on – NO. NO. NO.

The aim is clearly to make sure that no Palestinian leader could even dream of entering negotiations, even in the unlikely event that he were ready to meet yet another condition: to recognize Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” – which includes the dozens of Jewish Senators and Congressmen who were the first to jump up and down, up and down, like so many marionettes.

Netanyahu, along with his associates and political bedfellows, is determined to prevent the establishment of a
Palestinian state by all and any means. That did not start with the present government – it is an aim deeply embedded in Zionist ideology and practice. The founders of the movement set the course, David Ben-Gurion acted to implement it in 1948, in collusion with King Abdallah of Jordan. Netanyahu is just adding
his bit.

“No Palestinian state” means: no peace, not now, not ever. Everything else is, as the Americans say, baloney.
All the pious phrases about happiness for our children, prosperity for the Palestinians, peace with the entire Arab world, a bright future for all, are just that – pure baloney. At least some in the audience must have noticed that, even with all that jumping.

* * *

NETANYAHU SPAT in Obama’s eye. The Republicans in the audience must have enjoyed that. Perhaps some Democrats too.

It can be assumed that Obama did not. So what will he do now?

There is a Jewish joke about a hungry pauper who entered an inn and demanded food. Otherwise, he  threatened, he would do what his father did.

The frightened innkeeper fed him, and in the end asked timidly: “But what did your father do?” Swallowing the
last morsel, the man answered: “He went to sleep hungry.”

There is a good chance that Obama will do the same. He will pretend that the spittle on his cheek is rainwater.
His promise to prevent a UN General Assembly recognition of the State of Palestine deprived him of his main leverage over Netanyahu.

Somebody in Washington seems to be floating the idea of Obama coming to Jerusalem and addressing the Knesset. It would be direct retaliation – Obama talking with the Israeli public over the head of the Prime Minister, as Netanyahu has just addressed the American public over the head of the President.

It would be an exciting event. As a former Member of the Knesset, I would be invited. But I would not advise it. I
proposed it a year ago. Today I would not.

The obvious precedent is Anwar Sadat’s historic speech in the Knesset. But there is really no comparison.
Egypt and Israel were still officially at war. Going to the capital of the enemy was without precedent, the more so only four years after a bloody battle. It was an act that shook Israel, eliminating in one stroke a whole set of
mental patterns and opening the mind for new ones. Not one of us will ever forget the moment when the door of the airplane swung open and there he was, handsome and serene, the leader of the enemy.

Later, when I interviewed Sadat at his home, I told him: “I live on the main street of Tel Aviv. When you came out of that plane, I looked out of the window. Nothing moved in the street, except one cat – and it was probably looking for a television set.”

A visit by Obama will be quite different. He will, of course, be received politely – without the obsessive jumping and clapping – though probably heckled by Knesset Members of the extreme Right. But that will be all.

Sadat’s visit was a deed in itself. Not so a visit by Obama. He will not shake Israeli public opinion, unless he
comes with a concrete plan of action – a detailed peace plan, with a detailed timetable, backed by a clear determination to see it through, whatever the political cost.

Another nice speech, however beautifully phrased, just will not do. After this week’s deluge of speeches, we
have had enough. Speeches can be important if they accompany actions, but they are no substitute for action. Churchill’s speeches helped to shape history – but only because they reflected historic deeds. Without the Battle of Britain, without Normandy, without El Alamein, those speeches would have sounded ridiculous.

Now, with all the roads blocked, there remains only one path remains open: the recognition of the State of
Palestine by the United Nations coupled with nonviolent mass action by the Palestinian people against the occupation. The Israeli peace forces will also play their part, because the fate of Israel depends on peace as much as the fate of Palestine.

Sure, the US will try to obstruct, and Congress will jump up and down, But the Israeli-Palestinian spring is on
its way.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is a contributor to
CounterPunch’s book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

http://counterpunch.org/avnery05262011.html

 

Middle East is turning its back on Obama. Its future will be shaped without US influence! Reply

Middle East is turning its back on Obama.

Its future will be shaped without US influence

By Robert Fisk

Monday, 30 May 2011

This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the President of the United States.

More than that, it has witnessed the lowest prestige of the US in the region since Roosevelt met King Abdul Aziz on the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945.

While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and
dying for freedoms they have never possessed.

Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and about America’s new role in the region. It was pathetic. “What is this ‘role’ thing?” an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. “Do they still believe we care about what they think?”

And it is true. Obama’s failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the US most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent on the overthrow of Ben Ali, only joined in the chorus of contempt for Mubarak two days before his flight, condemned the Syrian regime – which has killed more of its people than any other dynasty in this Arab “spring”, save for the frightful Gaddafi – but makes it clear that he would be happy to see Assad survive, waves his puny fist at puny Bahrain’s cruelty and remains absolutely, stunningly silent over Saudi Arabia.

And he goes on his knees before Israel. Is it any wonder, then, that Arabs are turning their backs on America, not out of fury or anger, nor with threats or violence, but with contempt? It is the Arabs and their fellow Muslims of the Middle East who are themselves now making the decisions.

Turkey is furious with Assad because he twice promised to speak of reform and democratic elections – and then failed to honour his word. The Turkish government has twice flown delegations to Damascus and, according to the Turks, Assad lied to the foreign minister on the second visit, baldly insisting that he would recall his brother Maher’s legions from the streets of Syrian cities. He failed to do so. The torturers continue their work.

Watching the hundreds of refugees pouring from Syria across the northern border of Lebanon, the Turkish government is now so fearful of a repeat of the great mass Iraqi Kurdish refugee tide that overwhelmed their border in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf war that it has drawn up its own secret plans to prevent the Kurds of Syria moving in their thousands into the Kurdish areas of south-eastern Turkey.

Turkish generals have thus prepared an operation that would send several battalions of Turkish troops into Syria itself to carve out a “safe area” for Syrian refugees inside Assad’s caliphate.

The Turks are prepared to advance well beyond the Syrian border town of Al Qamishli – perhaps half way to Deir el-Zour (the old desert killing fields of the 1915 Armenian Holocaust, though speak it not) – to provide a “safe haven” for those fleeing the slaughter in Syria’s cities.

The Qataris are meanwhile trying to prevent Algeria from resupplying Gaddafi with tanks and armoured vehicles – this was one of the reasons why the Emir of Qatar, the wisest bird in the Arabian Gulf, visited the Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, last week. Qatar is committed to the Libyan rebels in Benghazi; its planes are flying over Libya from Crete and – undisclosed until now – it has Qatari officers advising the rebels inside the
city of Misrata in western Libya; but if Algerian armour is indeed being handed over to Gaddafi to replace the material that has been destroyed in air strikes, it would account for the ridiculously slow progress which the Nato campaign is making against Gaddafi.

Of course, it all depends on whether Bouteflika really controls his army – or whether the Algerian “pouvoir”, which includes plenty of secretive and corrupt generals, are doing the deals. Algerian equipment is superior to Gaddafi’s and thus for every tank he loses, Ghaddafi might be getting an improved model to replace it. Below Tunisia, Algeria and Libya share a 750-mile desert frontier, an easy access route for weapons to pass across the border.

But the Qataris are also attracting Assad’s venom. Al Jazeera’s concentration on the Syrian uprising – its graphic images of the dead and wounded far more devastating than anything our soft western television
news shows would dare broadcast – has Syrian state television nightly spitting at the Emir and at the state of Qatar. The Syrian government has now suspended up to £4 billion of Qatari investment projects, including one belonging to the Qatar Electricity and Water Company.

Amid all these vast and epic events – Yemen itself may yet prove to be the biggest bloodbath of all, while the number of Syria’s “martyrs” have now exceeded the victims of Mubarak’s death squads five months ago – is it any surprise that the frolics of Messrs Netanyahu and Obama appear so irrelevant?

Indeed, Obama’s policy towards the Middle East – whatever it is – sometimes appears so muddled that it is scarcely worthy of study. He supports, of course, democracy – then admits that this may conflict with America’s interests.

In that wonderful democracy called Saudi Arabia, the US is now pushing ahead with a £40 billion arms deal and helping the Saudis to develop a new “elite” force to protect the kingdom’s oil and future nuclear sites. Hence Obama’s fear of upsetting Saudi Arabia, two of whose three leading brothers are now so incapacitated that they can no longer make sane decisions – unfortunately, one of these two happens to be King Abdullah – and his willingness to allow the Assad family’s atrocity-prone regime to survive.

Of course, the Israelis would far prefer the “stability” of the Syrian dictatorship to continue; better the dark
caliphate you know than the hateful Islamists who might emerge from the ruins. But is this argument really good enough for Obama to support when the people of Syria are dying in the streets for the kind of democracy that the US president says he wants to see in the region?

One of the vainest elements of American foreign policy towards the Middle East is the foundational idea that the Arabs are somehow more stupid than the rest of us, certainly than the Israelis, more out of touch with reality than the West, that they don’t understand their own history.

Thus they have to be preached at, lectured, and cajoled by La Clinton and her ilk – much as their dictators did and do, father figures guiding their children through life. But Arabs are far more literate than they were a generation ago; millions speak perfect English and can understand all too well the political weakness and irrelevance in the president’s words.

Listening to Obama’s 45-minute speech this month – the “kick off’ to four whole days of weasel words and puffery by the man who tried to reach out to the Muslim world in Cairo two years ago, and then did nothing – one might have thought that the American President had initiated the Arab revolts, rather than sat on the sidelines in fear.

There was an interesting linguistic collapse in the president’s language over those critical four days. On Thursday 19 May, he referred to the continuation of Israeli “settlements”. A day later, Netanyahu was lecturing him on “certain demographic changes that have taken place on the ground”.

Then when Obama addressed the American Aipac lobby group (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) on the Sunday, he had cravenly adopted Netanyahu’s own preposterous expression. Now he, too, spoke of “new demographic realities on the ground.” Who would believe that he was talking about internationally illegal Jewish colonies built on land stolen from Arabs in one of the biggest property heists in the history of “Palestine”?

Delay in peace-making will undermine Israeli security, Obama announced – apparently unaware that Netanyahu’s project is to go on delaying and delaying and delaying until there is no land left for the “viable” Palestinian state which the United States and the European Union supposedly wish to see.

Then we had the endless waffle about the 1967 borders. Netanyahu called them “defenceless” (though they seemed to have been pretty defendable for the 18 years prior to the Six Day War) and Obama – oblivious to the fact that Israel must be the only country in the world to have an eastern land frontier but doesn’t know where it is – then says he was misunderstood when he talked about 1967. It doesn’t matter what he says.

George W Bush caved in years ago when he gave Ariel Sharon a letter which stated America’s acceptance of “already existing major Israeli population centres” beyond the 1967 lines. To those Arabs prepared to listen to Obama’s spineless oration, this was a grovel too far.They simply could not understand the reaction of Netanyahu’s address to Congress. How could American politicians rise and applaud Netanyahu 55 times –
55 times – with more enthusiasm than one of the rubber parliaments of Assad, Saleh and the rest?

And what on earth did the Great Speechifier mean when he said that “every country has the right to self-defence” but that Palestine would be “demilitarised”? What he meant was that Israel could go on attacking the Palestinians (as in 2009, for example, when Obama was treacherously silent) while the Palestinians would have to take what was coming to them if they did not behave according to the rules – because they would have no weapons to defend themselves.

As for Netanyahu, the Palestinians must choose between unity with Hamas or peace with Israel. All of which was very odd. When there was no unity, Netanyahu told us all that he had no Palestinian interlocutor because the Palestinians were disunited. Yet when they unite, they are disqualified from peace talks.

Of course, cynicism grows the longer you live in the Middle East. I recall, for example, travelling to Gaza in the early 1980s when Yasser Arafat was running his PLO statelet in Beirut. Anxious to destroy Arafat’s prestige in the occupied territories, the Israeli government decided to give its support to an Islamist group in Gaza called Hamas. In fact, I actually saw with my own eyes the head of the Israeli army’s Southern Command
negotiating with bearded Hamas officials, giving them permission to build more mosques. It’s only fair to say, of course, that we were also busy at the time, encouraging a certain Osama bin Laden to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan.

But the Israelis did not give up on Hamas. They later held another meeting with the organisation in the West Bank; the story was on the front page of the Jerusalem Post the next day. But there wasn’t a whimper from the Americans.

Then another moment that I can recall over the long years. Hamas and Islamic Jihad members – all alestinians – were, in the early 1990s, thrown across the Israeli border into southern Lebanon where they spent more than a year camping on a freezing mountainside. I would visit them from time to time and on one occasion mentioned that I would be travelling to Israel next day. Immediately, one of the Hamas men ran to his tent and returned with a notebook.

He then proceeded to give me the home telephone numbers of three senior Israeli politicians – two of whom are still prominent today – and, when I reached Jerusalem and called the numbers, they all turned out to be correct. In other words, the Israeli government had been in personal and direct contact with Hamas.

But now the narrative has been twisted out of all recognition. Hamas are the super-terrorists, the “al-Qa’ida”
representatives in the unified Palestinian leadership, the men of evil who will ensure that no peace ever takes place between Palestinians and Israeli. If only this were true, the real al-Qa’ida would be more than happy to take responsibility. But it is not true. In the same context, Obama stated that the Palestinians would have to answer questions about Hamas.

But why should they? What Obama and Netanyahu think about Hamas is now irrelevant to them. Obama warns the Palestinians not to ask for statehood at the United Nations in September. But why on earth not? If the
people of Egypt and Tunisia and Yemen and Libya and Syria – we are all waiting for the next revolution (Jordan? Bahrain again? Morocco?) – can fight for freedom and dignity, why shouldn’t the Palestinians? Lectured for decades on the need for non-violent protest, the Palestinians elect to go to the UN with
their cry for legitimacy – only to be slapped down by Obama.

Having read all of the “Palestine Papers” which Al-Jazeera revealed, there is no doubt that “Palestine’s”
official negotiators will go to any lengths to produce some kind of statelet. Mahmoud Abbas, who managed to write a 600-page book on the “peace process” without once mentioning the word “occupation”, could even cave in over the UN project, fearful of Obama’s warning that it would be an attempt to “isolate” Israel and thus de-legitimise the Israeli state – or “the Jewish state” as the US president now calls it.

But Netanyahu is doing more than anyone to delegitimise his own state; indeed, he is looking more and more like the Arab buffoons who have hitherto littered the Middle East. Mubarak saw a “foreign hand” in the Egyptian revolution (Iran, of course). So did the Crown Prince of Bahrain (Iran again). So did Gaddafi (al-Qa’ida, western
imperialism, you name it), So did Saleh of Yemen (al-Qa’ida, Mossad and America). So did Assad of Syria (Islamism, probably Mossad, etc). And so does Netanyahu (Iran, naturally enough, Syria, Lebanon, just about anyone you can think of except for Israel itself).

But as this nonsense continues, so the tectonic plates shudder. I doubt very much if the Palestinians will remain silent. If there’s an “intifada” in Syria, why not a Third Intifada in “Palestine”? Not a struggle of suicide bombers but of mass, million-strong protests.

If the Israelis have to shoot down a mere few hundred demonstrators who tried – and in some cases succeeded – in crossing the Israeli border almost two weeks ago, what will they do if confronted by thousands or a million.

Obama says no Palestinian state must be declared at the UN. But why not? Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says? Not even, it seems, the Israelis. The Arab spring will soon become a hot summer and there will be an Arab autumn, too.

By then, the Middle East may have changed forever. What America says will matter nothing.

By Robert Fisk

: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/robert-fisk/middle-east-is-turning-its-back-on-obama-its-future-will-be-shaped-without-us-influence-16005638.html#ixzz1OHKCfay2

Added Job Responsibilities and Allowances Reply

At My Workplace!

Added Responsibilities Versus Allowances!

The Oman Daily Observer
Features of Wednesday

June 1st 2011

Link to My Website – www.alsuleimany.com

Link to The Oman Daily Observer – www.omanobserver.om

For The Phone Browser –
m.omandaily.om 

A New Column – Every Wednesday!

At My Workplace!

Today’s Subject

Added Job Responsibilities  Vis-à-vis Acting Allowances.

When Are Acting Allowances Payable?

There are a lot of controversies of when one is entitled for Acting Allowances. For example your boss can ask you to be assigned additional responsibilities to the current one under your specified job contract and job description. In many cases we have all agreed to be given such additional responsibilities as and when the  Company feels fit – especially when you are in the Supervisory and above grades.  In some countries they call these positions as being ‘Non Union’ grades! As  such even if you are inclined and tempted, you have no other alternative except  to accept!

Such situations can be for a number of reasons – for example during peak business periods or when the company has to expand fast at short notices due to increased business volumes – or simply because a number of staff are sick, have left or and when a vacuum has been created! If one values one’s career and progression, it is best to accept these additional responsibilities – some may even be higher than your current job status and responsibilities.

It will be better to discuss and get agreement with your boss and Management how you will be handling these added responsibilities – especially if no additional  resources and support are forthcoming your way in these pursuits! Declining to  do the additional job and responsibilities may highlight you as not committed  to the establishment – and not a Team Player too!

It may also adversely affect your chances for further promotions and career progression if you do refuse to do so! What you may well ask yourself whether you could claim any financial benefits for these added responsibilities – and it may shock you even to find that in many cases it is not possible to get direct financial  awards – but more likely in non-financial benefits and awards – or perhaps lead  a bigger annual bonus than otherwise.

However, for some levels of staff there could be direct financial rewards – and these are usually at below or at foreman level – depending from company to company – and as per their Company Policies and Procedures Manuals or Guides.

In my work experiences in Human Resources, I have found that such Acting Allowances in general are being paid as follows:-
The Acting period must not be less than two weeks in one continuous stretch.

  • Maximum period in many cases is three months continuous period as the norm.
  • In some companies it may stretch to even six months.
  • The rates also vary from company to company.
  • The Omani Labour Laws are being changed – but a rate is given currently for job rates and types of jobs.
  • Your Human Resources Department must show you the current rates as per existing laws.
  • Such Allowances are normally paid with your current salaries dates.

A personal advice is to get it in writing what your additional responsibilities are going to be – and your agreement and input on your part is – without having to say it – is essential for the successful completion of the additional tasks and responsibilities being assigned to you.

Live Example

I had to handle a case when one Omani Staff was acting for a position for more than 9 months. The Company Policies stated the maximum period was only for three months – and in the Omani Labour laws is the same period classified as ‘probation period’ in a new job. Here the Company was more at fault than the Staff who was now refusing to continue to act for the job if no financial benefits were
forthcoming to him.

If you have any queries or questions of any sort feel free to send me at

majidalsuleimany@gmail.com or majid@mas-trac.com 

By Majid Al Suleimany

May 20th 2011

The Schemers and The Plotters! Reply

Between Us Only! – This Week Article!

The Schemers and The Plotters!

Plot Against Julius Caesar

Joining Hands

Between Us Only!

The Schemers and The Plotters!

For The Schemers, The Plotters, The Conspirators, The Connivers, The Old Guards, The Renegades, The Rogue Elements and The ‘Mafias’ – Time Is All Just Up Now! Change Now!

I was reading this letter sent in by can you imagine a well-intentioned sincere Western Expatriate to a local magazine (The Week) – and it really touched me that here was a really caring and feeling expatriate – who perhaps may even care more for the country than us some so-called citizens even! He was talking of bottlenecks – and where there was the greatest ‘challengers for change’ was in the middle levels and echelons – and these are the usual peoples that are supposed to implement the changes in society – but whether intentionally, by default and or inadvertently do not cause change to happen. He cautioned that this had lead and would lead to greater problems to the country. I salute you Mr. RR for being so bold and courageous – and coming forward to say your bit! We need more people like you in our country – who have seen a good thing going here – and want it to be protected – to let it grow and be nurtured too!

There are a lot of people in this country – and some even in positions of management, leadership and frontline positions and responsibilities that have still not realised that change has come – and they need to change too – reform and adopt but they still go on unimpeded as nothing has happened – and to their usual tricks, games and ploys. They are smart enough to cover their tracks by trying to use formality – delays and inadequacies and lack of talents and competencies as their main ruse and excuse. Seeing mountains from molehills and exaggerations of the worst kind too!

There is nothing like ‘rogue elements’ that work in the system – pretending to go along and be part and parcel of the system and change – whilst all the time plotting and scheming inside covered and well protected to work against all from the inside.

They may even throw in grand words, encouragement and compliments – but the reality and true actions and intentions betray them! Just like the traitor who wears the army uniform – and giving all the secrets to the facing enemy! Or a set-up force to fight drugs, money-laundering, other fraudulent crimes – whilst they are part and parcel of the opposing force and the system – or lend support and assistance from inside hidden and incognito! I have always warned and cautioned in all my books about such characters and personalities as the people who can do most harm, damages and calamities all around!

I do not personally believe in witch-hunting and head-hunts – but I think now the time for continuing to be docile, nice and pleasant are now all over – and time for exposures and putting a quick and rapid end to such schemes and plots – because of the damages already done and continued to be done!

It is a sickness and disease – and has to be taken out – before the whole body becomes more diseased and damaged!

JFK Kennedy had also said – You cannot fool all the people all the time!

Prince Talal (brother of late King Hussein of Jordan) in an interview with Sir Robert Frost on March 12 2011 said – We all have to put our words in action – and everyone is responsible for one’s own actions (and inactions). He added – There is a vacuum of hope now in the young 19 to 35 (in the Arab world) and many of them unemployed.

 There is also – The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing – by Edmund Burke.

 Also similar – The world is a dangerous place not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who do not do anything about it – by Albert Einstein.

And from Thomas Jefferson ex USA President – All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is people of good conscience to remain silent.

And then from Ghandi – It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings. And also – In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. And finally – You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty; the ocean does not become dirty!

 Silence is a war crime – Arab Protestor placard.

We need to take proper action now before it is too late for everyone – and we allow such people to sink us all! Such people at whatever levels should be exposed and be removed – now! Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

June 3rd 2011