Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dr Sabah Al-Ahmad

Kuwaiti Prime Minister received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
June 30, 2005.

For more Information on the Ceremony (KUNA): Link

For more pictures from the Ceremony (Yahoo News): Link

The one on the rights is Edward Gnehm (or غنيم) former US Ambassador to Kuwait (1990-1994).

A peice I found on the Daily Star by Edward Gnehm, it has some reference about Kuwait.


More pictures from the Ceremony (KUNA)
(Click on the links)
Photo1 Photo2 Photo3 Photo4 Photo5 Photo6 Photo7 Photo8 Photo9 Photo10

From Right to Left:
(1) Stephen Trachtenberg, President of George Washington University
(2) Ambassador Nabeela Al-Mulla, Kuwait's Permanent Representative to the United Nations
(3) unidentified lady
(4) unidentified Gentleman
(5) Nada Al-Mutawa, from Political Science Department at Kuwait University
(6) Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
(7) Lulwa Al-Mulla, Kuwaiti Women Rights Activist
(8) Tahani Al-Terkate, Media Attache at Kuwait Information Office (US).

لقاء نسائي مثير

Moved to my scrapbook

He'll be missed

اوف ... بس خلاص مافي وقت ... خلنا نخلص يا مسلم

We will miss your abstentions & statements.


After reading Mark’s post about Podcasting, I updated my iTunes and entered the world of Podcasts.

I wish to listen to a Kuwaiti Podcast soon.

Thank you Mark

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005

Look Smart (NYT)

June 26, 2005

Moleskine Notebook

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Armand Frasco bought his first pocket-size Moleskine notebook at a Restoration Hardware store in a mall in Skokie, Ill. The packaging mentioned that this was ''the legendary notebook of Hemingway, Picasso, Chatwin.'' Frasco's basic reaction to that was, Yeah, right. But he liked the notebook's construction and purchased one. Later he went online and did a search for ''Moleskine'' and ''My Moleskine.'' ''And man,'' he says, ''I saw a lot.'' Modo & Modo, the Italian company that has been producing the notebooks since 1998, sells more than four million a year in about 40 countries. Clearly something not only makes people want to have these notebooks but also makes them want other people to know that they have them. ''We know now that it's sort of a symbol,'' says Samantha Rossini, Modo & Modo's project manager.

The back story (laid out in a multilingual pamphlet that comes with each notebook) goes like this: The original Moleskine notebooks were made by ''small French bookbinders'' and sold in stationery stores in Paris. One devoted buyer was the British writer Bruce Chatwin, who bought them by the score until production stopped in 1986. Rossini says that Chatwin made a point to write his name, address and a reward offer in his Moleskines, should he lose one. Probably he was more interested in saving the words he had written than the object he'd written them on, but never mind. The point is that Modo & Modo decided to revive the notebooks, with a strategy of linking them to the creative people who have used them -- not unlike that old Gap campaign featuring James Dean and Jack Kerouac and other icons who wore khakis. The difference is that the journal signifies not merely style but also creativity. Consumers are encouraged to mail in quotes about writing, for example, for use in a series of postcards and stickers distributed with the notebooks. The core idea, Rossini says, is that these are not just journals; they are ''books without words inside -- your own book.''

This appealing idea brings us back to Armand Frasco. Frasco, who is 42, works in health care and is also a photographer. Early last year, he started a blog called Moleskinerie, which gathers references to Moleskines, observations about creativity, work by contemporary Moleskinners and sightings -- like Sean Penn toting what appeared to be a Moleskine in Tehran. Frasco is by now an informal expert on the relationships between consumers and their notebooks, from the giddy first-time buyers to picky critics to those who treat their Moleskines as fashion accessories. He was ignored by the notebook's U.S. distributor initially, but not long ago he was invited to speak at a trade show. (He says that his site remains independent, and it often includes material about rival products.)

Frasco is onto something when he zeroes in on the physical and aesthetic properties of Moleskines and other journals. He stresses the pleasure of ''analog'' creativity in an increasingly digital world. (He has a separate blog about that.) What may be more important is that the look of Moleskines -- the heavy paper, the elastic band, the pocket on the inside back cover -- does suggest an archetype. That is probably why they were used as props in films like ''Magnolia'' and ''Amélie.'' Modo & Modo pointed me to those films and to an interview in which Dave Eggers talked about designing his book ''How We Are Hungry'' to resemble a Moleskine. ''They're really simple and beautiful,'' he told that interviewer.

Obviously the work of Hemingway and Picasso had about as much do with their Moleskines as it did with their khakis (which both men wore, according to that Gap campaign). Yet the Moleskine just looks like a thing that holds interesting, and possibly important, jottings and sketches. Even if you're carrying it to another boring staff meeting to take notes about sales projections, the notebook makes for a fantastic emblem of creative possibility. Of course, people who actually write for a living sometimes have a different relationship to blank pages. One quotation that probably won't be used to sell Moleskines is John McPhee's 1996 sardonic remark in the journal Creative Nonfiction: ''Anything beats writing.'' Maybe he wouldn't have felt that way if he'd had a cooler notebook.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

AhmediNejad & two bloggers

While surfing the web I came across two bloggers:

The first
is just like most of the Kuwaiti Bloggers, an anonymous one. What I know about him/her is being conservative.

On his/her blog there is post, where he/she congratulates the Iranian President-elect AhmediNejad, and prays for Allah to support AhmediNejad against the 'enemies of Allah'.

On the other Hand, I found a Blog that belongs to the Godfather of the Iranian Blogosphere (according to LA Times). He’s called Hossein Derakhshan (aka ‘Hoder’), blogging since June 2002.

In his blog, I found two interesting posts. The first one is about text messaging (aka texting) during the elections in Iran. (A similar post in my blog).
While in the other more interesting post, he compares the condition in Iran between what Happens today, and what will happen when AhmediNejad officially takes office.

(BTW Kuwaiti Bloggers: The New President will take office on 02-08-05!!!)

Conservative Kuwait (Blog)
Editor: Myself (Blog)
Hoder Voting (flickr)
Kuwait Blogs
Blogs by Iranians
AhmediNejad (Wikepedia)
Kuwait's Official reaction to the Iranian Elections results (Kuna – Arabic)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Run, Dick, Run (Friedman)

June 22, 2005

George Bush has a Dick Cheney problem.

It's not the one you think: an overbearing, archconservative vice president imposing his will and ideas on a less-seasoned president.

No, George Bush has a different V.P. problem. It is the fact that his vice president has made clear that he is not running for president after Mr. Bush's term expires in 2008. So Mr. Bush has no heir apparent. And that explains, in part, why his second term is drifting aimlessly, disconnected from the problems facing the country.

"If President Bush had a vice president, or someone who was clearly designated as heir apparent to his administration, [the president] would have a more immediate incentive to widen his political base, to offer policies that would appeal more to the center," argued Don Baer, a former senior adviser to President Clinton. But if one looks at the sorts of policies that Mr. Bush has chosen, or not chosen, for his second term, it suggests that Mr. Bush "is not thinking of the bigger implications" for three years down the road, Mr. Baer added.

For instance, the spending and tax cutting by the Bush team is ridiculously out of control. It will be a miracle if there is no market-induced implosion in the economy or the housing market in the next three years. But you can bet the farm there will have to be a huge correction after 2008 to get taxes and spending back in line. If Mr. Bush had a V.P. who was clearly anointed to succeed him, and whose success would be viewed as part of Mr. Bush's own legacy, it is hard to believe the president wouldn't be interested in a more sane fiscal policy. One thing for sure, his vice president would be.

Instead, Mr. Bush seems to be governing as though he were on a permanent campaign - much like Bill Clinton did. But Bill Clinton was on a permanent presidential campaign. Mr. Bush seems to be governing as if he were on a permanent primary campaign against John McCain in South Carolina.

So far, the second Bush term, to the extent that it has any discernible agenda, seems to be to cater to the far-right wing of his party - period. It's been urgent midnight meetings about Terri Schiavo and barely a daylight session about energy.

With gasoline prices soaring, and the biggest beneficiaries being the very Arab dictatorships who are tacitly sponsoring the terrorists killing Americans in Iraq, it is blindingly obvious that our country needs a comprehensive strategy for reducing our energy consumption and developing alternative fuel systems. The president has utterly failed in this regard.

To travel around America today is to find a country also deeply concerned about education, competition, health care and pensions. It is a country worried about how its kids are going to find jobs, retire and take care of elderly parents. But instead of focusing on a new New Deal to address the insecurities of the age of globalization, the president set off on his second term to take apart the old New Deal, trying to privatize Social Security, only feeding people's anxiety. It won't fly.

Yes, Mr. Bush has laid down a bold proposal for also fixing Social Security, but by not putting that front and center, it has gotten lost behind his private accounts obsession, which is not the country's priority. A president with a V.P. running behind him never would have let that happen.

Mr. Bush would also not be taking the head-in-sand positions he has in opposition to stem cell research, climate change, population control and evolution - positions from which centrist Republicans are now distancing themselves. Just last week, the Senate's top Republican energy-bill negotiator, Senator Pete Domenici, split from Mr. Bush and indicated that he believes the science is clear - climate change is occurring - and we need to do something about it.

If Mr. Bush's hope is to make the Republican Party into a permanent majority party and sustain his legacy, he would have picked a handful of significant proposals to widen the party's circle - especially with the Democrats so clearly out of ideas. But instead of widening and broadening, by focusing on getting things accomplished that would benefit the vast middle of the country, Mr. Bush is catering to right-wing fetishes.

If this is how he intends to use his political capital, that's his business. But if Mr. Bush had a vice president with an eye on 2008, I have to believe he or she would be saying to the president right now: "Hey boss. What are you doing? Where are you going? How am I going to get elected running on this dog's breakfast of antiscience, head-in-the-sand policies?"
iDip: If I may add...
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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

سأعيش في جلباب أبي

Lebanon is the first democracy in the Middle East, but it has its own identity that I can't summarize in a post.

At least, let's show a glimpse of it: Inheritance.

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P.S.: I have nothing against Saad Hariri, and I don't think anyone could have anything against him. He's a Brand New Politician trying to fill his father's shoes, as most of the Lebanese Politicians do.

MoleBlog2: Who's Next?

Launching iDip's Initiative: MoleBlog

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Kuwait Independence Day

19th June 1961 - 19th June 2005

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photo taken by: iDip

44 Years of Independence

The State of Kuwait is now 44 years old. Maybe it's not old enough, but I think this small country had a hectic history, full of controversies & crises, the most remarkable of which was the Iraqi Invasion (1990-1991).

I'm one of the 'Baba Jaber Generation', I didn’t have the opportunity (it wasn't my choice) to live the era of Late Sheikh Abdulla Al-Salem Al-Sabah (1950-1965), the Father of Modern Kuwait.

I don't regret living our time, it did have a very horrible memory (see: Invasion), but living through this severe crisis made me feel more patriotic & closer to my homeland in a very young age.

Some people may not know when Kuwait gained independence, or may not remember it. 19th of June to scores of Kuwaiti is just a boring sizzling hot summer day, to iDip it's not.

Why 25th February??

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photo uploaded by: chek chak

The latter date was Sheikh Abdulla Al-Salem Accession to Throne (1950), our National Day -and holiday- became 25th February in honour to the Late Emir of Kuwait, a.k.a 'The Father of Independence' & 'The Father of Constitution'.

This anniversary is special

Kuwaiti women have the right to choose their representatives, and participate in legislating for their country after more than 4 decades.
We have a female Minister, two [appointed] members of the municipal council and a female ambassador. There is a long list of distinguished female Kuwaitis but I prefer to mark the four most-known of them all, at least these days.

By posting this topic, I hope people will remember this un-forgettable day, when Kuwait bloomed as a young nation amongst its sisters, growing older & staying younger in our eyes. I have no nostalgia for our past, not because I think it was good or not, but because all I posses is an eager look to our future.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Never Again

Never Again, originally uploaded by iDip.

What a place!!

Yes I do mean it but in a negative sense.

I went to Ruby Tuesday [in Kuwait City] last weekend, it was my third & last time there.

This time I had chicken enchiladas (I think it’s called so), they served us the food so fast, and it looked extremely “microwaved”.

If you’re sensitive or easy to be disgusted don’t continue

I ate it, then I had a severe pain in my stomach, maybe someone said "ma6ra7 ma yesry yehry!". My destination was the toilet, and I think you can assume what happened there.

I came back to the table and told my friend “never ask me to visit this place again!” in Arabic, he was like “what!?”.

We paid with 0.000 KD tip

My other two incidents were almost the same. In the he first visit I had pasta with lobster, and in the second one I had a burger with bacon. In both visits the consequences were the same, but at home.

Will our municipality (Baladia) visit this poisoned restaurant? I hope they will!
Unless it’s owned by SOMEONE!

Bangalore: Hot and Hotter (Friedman)

Moved to my scrapbook

Saturday, June 11, 2005


While reading Al-Seyassah Newspaper (Kuwait), I came a cross a report about Guantanamo detainees (a.k.a. prisoners), where I found the photo below,

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Click on the image for a larger version

The caption reads [in Arabic]:
احد معتقلي غوانتانامو مكبلا خلف الاسلاك الشائكة

Then I went like "WHAT!?"

This picture is NOT from Guantanamo the prisoners camp, but from a play called 'Guantanomo'. I attended this play while visiting london last year. It was an anti-American play, showing what its makers see as "false american allegations against the detainees".

The main two detainees in the play were an Iraqi in exile & a Brit [decending from the Indian sub-continent], who is shown in the photo above.

(The play is discontinued in London)

If the editor or journalist who made this report has some sense of responsibility, objectivness, honesty or proffesionalism; he would read the comments on the top-left corner!!

What a [just 5 newspapers, no more] journalism we are proud of!!

Obsolete Logo

eL wa6an newsPAPer, originally uploaded by mOseQar.


iDip comment:
Al-Watan (Kuwait) is a newspaper that has an irony in its logo,

I don't know how many times looked at the logo, but don't you see something else behind it?

The Logo shows the Arab World in light blue, the newspaper is called

Al-Watan = Al-Wa6an Al-3arabi !

but I think this newspaper is the anti-arab newspaper of Kuwait... how ironic!

I have a suggestion:

Dear Al-Watan,

Change your obsolete logo, or change the way you publish news and opinions.

It doesn't look authentic.

iDip - Kuwait

Starbucks in Kaifan

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Behold everyone

Starbucks is comming sooooon to Kaifan!!

It reminds me of a caricature made by MadM2000.

I'm wondering... What will it look like? What will Al-Tabtabaee do?

check MadM2000's related post

ENGRISH, dedicated to ForzaQ8

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I took this photo last week while heading south, it reminds me of a recent post of forzaq8's.

In this place an order must be:

"Ice Creem" for Ice Cream,
"Katbsheenu" for Cappuccino,
"Thurki Coffe" for Turkish Coffee,
"France Coffe" for French Coffee
"Xpress" for Espresso

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What do I think of Thomas Friedman?

Introduction: This post is a reply to “Q8iBlogger”, who asked me this question while commenting on a previous post, and apologies if this post came hours late than promised.

1-Getting to know Friedman:
I came across the name “Thomas L. Friedman” back in 2000, when a programme on Al-Jazeera News Channel was reviewing a week in the International Press. I forgot what was Mr. Friedman’s article about, but I liked the way this journalist handled the Middle East issues.

Every now and then I red some of his articles, in 2002 he wrote his most famous articles (according to me), titled “An Intriguing Signal from the Saudi Crown Prince” [another link] on 17th February.

This article launched what was later called “The Arab Peace Initiative”, the Initiative that Prince Abdullah [Crown Prince] of Saudi Arabia came up with, it is simply “Calling Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 war borders, in return Arab Countries will make peace with Israel”.

2-Being obsessed with his work:
Since 2002 I became obsessed with reading his articles, following his interviews and reading his books, and I didn’t fully do it.

I bought his book “The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization” (2000) in Arabic (yes in Arabic), and found it [as a book not as a translated version] so useful. Now I have two more books of his, his first one “From Beirut to Jerusalem” (1990), and his third book “Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World after September 11” (2002), plus his latest book that I got hold of recently “The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century” (2005), and I’m half the way reading it.

I wasn’t satisfied with the Arabic version that I bought, so I got the English one.

You can find in this blog a record of his articles in NY Times since 20th March of this year, the first of which was titled ‘a Nobel for Sistani’.

3-Meeting Thomas Friedman:
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to encounter Mr. Friedman twice.
The first was in 2003, when he visited Iraq via Kuwait to cover Post-Saddam Iraq and to attend the “Ur Meeting”. I met him to say “Hello”, “Welcome to Kuwait”, “enjoy your stay” and to process some paper work for him, that’s it.

The second time happened in New York last year, when he had a seminar and briefed the audience about his upcoming book [at the time].

Once he finished, I headed for him with my copy of his first book, my digital camera and a pen. We had a very brief talk (regretfully, wasn’t longer), in which –of course– I reminded him of our first encounter, then got the book signed, an un-forgettable picture and his business card.

Now I’m answering the question!

4-What do I think of him?
Thomas Friedman has a good pen style. He goes from making complex and massive issues simple, to creating a deep thinking in un-thought-about situations and events. In addition, he can link simple stories, proverbs and a regular human being talk and behaviour, into a rich analysis.

Friedman is –compared to the American Journalists– a specialist in the Middle East, having his first correspondence experience in Lebanon & Israel (more than 20 years ago). This experience could be found in a rich summary and record within his first book.

In the States, when it comes to Israel & Palestine, he’s regarded as a “pigeon”, that softly-approaches the Middle East dilemma, and as a “Rightist-Leftist Hawk” while handling the 2003 War in Iraq (a.k.a. the War ON Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Occupation/Invasion of Iraq).

In the Middle East, scores of people, politicians and media/press personnel see him as a “Pro-Israel American Jewish Zionist”!!, but I –as a son of this region– do see him as a real honest journalist who understands this area of the globe, and presents it to the western and international community in a proper and transparent way.

He does acknowledge [precisely] the American mentality when he shows what’s happening here, and brings it in a way of simplicity and genuineness.

I don’t know if what was mentioned above gives a clear Idea of what do I think of him –I suppose it does–, Long story short: He’s a rare American window to our issues.

P.S.: Hopefully, –if by chance, accident or “Googlism”– Thomas Friedman will read this post, and will keep my Identity obscure as a blogger. And he will.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Indulge yourself

My Sister (God bless her) made us some tasty Chocolate Fondue, I didn't want to miss it photographed & eaten.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005