Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Postponed Graduation ceremony

Today I felt so sad that I won't be attending my Graduation ceremony at the Royal Albert hall. I had to postpone it to next year due to some unavoidable circumstances....

And today also marked the last day our department clerk tenure with us. She was instructed to be transferred to the main university administration building with a new post as the employment clerk officer....So it seemed like she got promoted to a better position, but it was really hard on both the department staff and her to accept this transfer. Apparently, this is part of the (weird maybe) university admin policy to deploy their non-academic staff once in every 10 years into some sort of a rotation. It was supposed to give them opportunities to work in a different environment as well as job protocol. However, as educative and beneficial as it appears to be, this transfer process was done without giving any choice whatsoever. They just send you this letter saying that from this date so and so, you will be effectively transferred to another division/job at another office/building so and so and your replacement have been pre-arranged prior to the transitional process which is less than TWO month. In other words, they did not provide any memo in advance asking whether you agree or not to partake in the new job arrangement process.

They should've asked her, my clerk that is, whether she would want it or not...They should not allow this "veto" type of policy to be imposed...this is a little bit too dictatorial! Our head of the dept has tried his best to use his influence on trying to persuade the higher admin board to rule her out for the time being, not especially this year since we gonna be the host for our coming faculty annual dinner in August as well as our chemical engineering colloquium later this year. She has done her job so well that we have been depending on her to materialize those procurement jobs appropriately besides managing her duty in our general office.

This incident reminds me of what had occurred at my old department in my previous college. At one time, those secretaries and clerks were reshuffled around our dept to work for different people at different offices given only 7 working days notice! Many were very upset with this new "harsh" system that seemed to force people off their own will to do whatever "shit" job deemed appropriate by those people at the "higher" place. That was so imperialist of them to exercise such a totalitarian, a bit draconian system. Imagine someone who has been working for 3 lecturers for the past 15 years and suddenly she has to slave for another lecturer who also force her to work for her team-mates, who in turn, are delegating different jobs to her and at the same time expecting her to present the desired format once she commence the job? I bet they presumed that she has been doing her job day in day out for so long already, hence she should not have any problem tackling any new assignment, etc etc.... One of these poor ladies has retired before her supposedly (by union law) retirement time. She was treated rather poorly by her new ladyboss who apparently was a former undergraduate student in the same dept. By the end of last year, this ladyboss tendered her resign letter to pursue with other things away from the college. She probably had a bright future ahead of her...She couldve been promoted to a much higher position had she not practised the superpower attitude to that poor old secretary. Was it karma or perhaps some other reasons beyond our human knowledge that did it.

That "relentless" order was extended to the other "lower rank" lecturers as well. Apparently, those "top" fellas seemed to be well off in their comfort zone...not shaken, not stirred...possibly fortifying their throne being a "full" professor and all...or perhaps too old to be bothered because they have already cemented their ultra-influence in my old department...who knows....Don't you think it's rather funny? Memo could be some kinda "writing on the wall" to those who mattered a little relative to those who are at the higher level.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

July 2005 story

I have delayed writing about my July 2005 stories which I wanted to do so back in August 2005 due to the chockablock schedules trying to finish the last part of correcting my thesis before submitting it at the end of that month for the viva.

So now, during lunch hour at my office, I shall began writing it, to commemorate this month's many big memories, one of the highlights of my life in 2005.

2nd July 2005, it was the World Live Aid Concert, organized by Bob Geldoff. Repeating their success in 1985, this synchronized mega concert was held in big cities across the G8 countries and one of the venues was at Hyde Park, London. I wanted to go to this concert initially but i didn't do it because i was not in a celebrating mood. All my concentration was mainly to do with my thesis writing up and i didnt even have the desire to celebrate my birthday which was on the next day, 3rd July. Earlier on, my french friends planned on having a dinner together in london but on the 1st July evening, my boyfriend called me saying that he wanted to spend that saturday with me so we could celebrate my bday together. And we agreed on inviting Azizah to go have a dinner somewhere. And so, on the 2nd July, i put down my work in the afternoon, started to prepare myself and my mood of course for the special evening. But since i had to do some food shopping and stuff, me, Azizah and her friend who is studying at Surrey, Ziela decided to go out together to hammersmith for that purpose prior to the celebration.

I wasn't aware of Arif (boyfriend) and azizah's plan of putting up a surprise party for me at her place. When Arif reached my place, I was ready to go out. He was in his cheerful mood, wearing bright red t-shirt and a big smile. We spent a few moments together at my place dancing to the music. It was funny because we are not so used to hold each in that manner and so we stopped a few minutes after that. Then we left and headed to azizah's place. Much to my surprise, Azizah and Ziela have been preparing food for the evening and there u go, my 2nd actually surprise bday party after the 1st one I had during my A-level college year in 1995. I was touched by their sincere efforts. Arif went out to the nearest indian takeaway and bought more food for the party. We then had our dinner while watching the Live Aid (live 8) concert on the telly (tv).

6th July 2005, London won the Olympic 2012 bid. There was a huge crowd at Trafalgar Sq where many people including big athletes like Dame Katie Holmes waited patiently for the result. London lost to Paris for the 1976 bid and they faced each other again for 2012 bid. This time London was chosen. I watched the event on the telly in the comfort of my room. FYI, i have been spending more time in my flat (and my room esp) and would only go out to college to meet my supervisor, or doing food shopping or other miscellaneous activities like going to the park to fresh up my mind, that sort of thing during the writing up period.

7th July 2005, the joy felt across london the day before was blanketed with fear, anxiety, shock and grievance as there were bombing attacks occurred in the heart of london. One bus at Tavistock Square and three tubes (passing edgware road, kings cross, and another one between liverpool st and moorgate) exploded resulting in carnage and casualties. The chronology of the bombing event as reported in Wikipedia:

08:50 — Three bombs on the London Underground exploded within fifty seconds of each other :
The first bomb exploded on an eastbound Circle Line sub-surface Underground train, number 204, travelling between Liverpool Street and Aldgate. The train had left King's Cross St. Pancras about eight minutes earlier. At the time of the explosion, the third carriage of the train was approximately 100 yards (90 m) down the tunnel from Liverpool Street. The parallel track of the Hammersmith and City Line from Liverpool Street to Aldgate East was also damaged.

The second bomb exploded on the second carriage of a westbound Circle Line sub-surface Underground train, number 216. The train had just left platform 4 at Edgware Road and was heading for Paddington. The train had left King's Cross St. Pancras about eight minutes earlier. There were several other trains nearby at the time of the explosion. An eastbound Circle Line train (arriving at platform 3 at Edgware Road from Paddington) was passing next to the train and was damaged, along with a wall that later collapsed. There were two other trains at Edgware Road: an unidentified train on platform 2, and an eastbound Hammersmith and City Line train that had just arrived at platform 1.

The third bomb exploded on a southbound Piccadilly Line deep-level Underground train, number 311, travelling between King's Cross St. Pancras and Russell Square. The bomb exploded about one minute after the train left King's Cross, by which time it had travelled about 500 yards (450 m). The explosion took place at the rear of the first carriage of the train, causing severe damage to the rear of that carriage, as well as the front of the second one. The surrounding tunnel also sustained damage.

09:47 — An explosion occurred in Tavistock Square on a No. 30 double-decker bus operated by Stagecoach London travelling its route from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick.

I was completely dumbfounded and shocked and worried sick, all mixed into one. I was still in my room that morning when it happened. I was supposed to attend a meeting with my supervisor, one of the most important meetings that was. I got more and more worried....worried for myself, my supervisor, my friends and worried that my family in Malaysia as well as my brother in Dublin, 2 sisters in Brimingham and Bradford and another sister in Irbid, Jordan, were trying to contact me but they couldnt because of the network disruption. I tried to SMS whenever some calls from my friends, and boyfriend as well. I was such in a really frantic state and dead anxious during those hours. I kept praying to God to protect all these people who mattered to me the most. And i kept praying to God that my supervisor was safe because he normally goes to college using the northbound picadilly line train at that very hour. I needed him at my critical PhD stage! Had he not delayed taking the next train to college, he would be one of the victims near King's Cross Station. London was at a stand-still the whole day. What was actually a big day on Wednesday, 6th july, became one of the worst nightmare the following day. Good thing none of my friends as well as my supervisor were affected. It was summer holiday for the universities and schools across london and the UK and many people (especially students) have left the country, or london itself, for a holiday.

The good news of that eventful day was that my supervisor told me on the phone that he was satisfied with my correction work. Also, my area and my college area were a bit away from the bombing scenes,practically located at a safe distance. I only started to use the bus to college again on the following week. Due to the fact that these bombing were suspected as the (horrible) act of 4 muslim suicide bombers, muslims were on alert everywhere. Nevertheless, that did not make me wanna lose my headscarf just for that reason. As i boarded on the bus 70 to college, i carry a friendly image with a casual smile so that people won't be put off (or annoyed for that matter) by my presence. You just gotta do it esp if you're the only one wearing the headscarf at that moment or else, you'd be scrutinized with suspicious and vicious looks. Fortunately, I succeeded to avoid any unwanted encounter. I even initiated some idle, friendly conversations with the passengers who sat next to me and nearby so that it would ease the tension that was there already across london. As traumatic as it was, I myself took like a week before I could board on a double decker bus. FYI, bus 70 is a single-deck bus.

Things was about to return to normal for me until I went out with 2 of my friends, Azizah and Waheedah to london for some summer sale shopping on the 19th July 2005. I had tried to avoid going to the main oxford street section and did my summer sale shopping elsewhere like between oxford circus and tottenham court road, high street kensington and so on to name a few. Unfortunately for me, i lost my wallet amidst the heavy crowd at United Color of Benetton. This could not be happening to me as I was supposed to go to Bradford on the 21st July to attend my 3rd sister, Nahlah's graduation day there. I wanted to cry on the spot, but i had other better thoughts rather than being one big sissy. I already felt weak on my knees but I must act immediately to resolve more important issues like my bankcards and so on. So I called Natwest to block my Switch/Maestro Card, and some other cards as well and the three of us went to the nearest police station to lodge the report. I lost my old malaysian IC card (the one before mykad), my malaysian driving licence and some other stuff as well as one ten pound note.

On the 21st July, 2005, another bombing scare occurred and this time it happened not so far away from where I lived. Shepherds Bush tube station on Hammersmith and City Line was closed down before any explosion took place. These bombing attempts were also found around midday at Warren Street and Oval stations on London Underground, and on a bus in Bethnal Green. All these has resulted in massive traffic jams (gridlock) esp during after office hour. I was supposed to get on the National Express Coach to Bradford that evening. I got so worried that i might miss the coach at Victoria Coach Station since I had to wait for my important parcel which was supposed to arrive that afternoon. It carried my new bankcard replacement. Once i found out that the parcel force service was forced to be cancelled due to the bombing shenanigans, I proceeded to take bus 7 and then changed at Ladbroke Grove for bus 52 which would bring me to Victoria. I seriously thought that I have missed the 6.30pm coach to Bradford as I arrived 5 mins late. God must be soooooo merciful to me that somehow, there was a major delayance on the road which caused another delay for the coach. They had to change the bus schedule to 7.30pm. And for that reason I finally managed to reach Bradford that night. Alhamdulillah, I still got the opportunity to attend my sister's graduation ceremony the following day (22nd July 2005).

What a month that was.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Do the Brokeback Mountain, mates!

Found something rather amusing from IHT, click here.

three gay blokes doing brokeback mountain...dont mess with them bad-asses....u guys make me laugh! Posted by Picasa

Too bad, i missed my london gay parade!!! everytime they put up something down at Hyde Park, i had something else came up, or preoccupied with experiments and simulations (bit of a college boffin was i...?). The closest i got to see their flamboyant party was when i was on the bus down Park Lane en route to Oxford Street. They never ceased to amuse me....and i dont mean in a negative way, but in the fun way.

u wanna twist my nipples? go ahead...make my day Posted by Picasa

There was one time i went to the Notting Hill Carnival, August 2002, and I got sore feet after all those walking from Westbourne Park Road amidst a heavy crowd, crossed to Elgin Crescent and all the way to Latimer Road tube stn coz they close all the nearby tube stns due to security reasons. I was staying at South Ealing that time. So I took the tube from latimer rd stn to hammersmith and changed to the picadilly line from hammersmith all the way to south ealing. I took loadsa pictures that day, but i must scan them first. I only got my digicam (fuji finepix E550) last september 2005 from, before i went to Istanbul later in the same month.

FYI, Notting Hill Carnival is an annual festival, celebrated on the bank holiday at the end of august every year. Similar to the mardi gras, u get to see all those fancy floats, OTT (over the top) costumes and loud noises everywhere. Lotsa sexy exotic girls too if i may add, coz i did take couple of photos of these sexy ladies showing off their sexy "batties" and ample boobs in skimpy costumes.

I used to be the hag to my "fag" fren. Those days...yeah...having a fag-hag time together over a cuppa...and I also have a bisexual close male friend (i tell u that later on)....Ooooohhh, what a psychedelic world.....

Monday, May 15, 2006

Positive Quote of the Day


The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything-- Lee Iococca

Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
-- Rene Descartes (1596-1650), "Discours de la Methode"

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
-- Plato (427-347 B.C.)

The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake
- Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Talent does what it can; genius does what it must- Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
- J. Paul Getty (1892-1976)

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
- Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.-- Jimi Hendrix

Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together. -- Georg Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates (470-399 B.C.)

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.
- Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975)

Silence is argument carried out by other means.
- Ernesto"Che"Guevara (1928-1967)

FIFA World Cup 2006 Germany

banner source

World Cup 2006 will begin on the 9th June 2006 where Germans will play against Costa Rican in Munich. Click the mast banner above to go to the official world cup site.

I was in the UK during World cup 1998 France and 2002 Japan-South Korea. French won the cup at their home ground in 1998 while Brazilian claimed their world championship title in Japan.Both teams are still gonna play this year and some of their veterans like Zinedine Zidane (pic below) was reportedly saying that that will be his final world cup appearance after having decided to retire as a football pro by the end of 2007. He and his teammates defeated Brazil in 1998 and became his nation's hero scoring 2 out of 3 winning goals.

photo source

For all the football fans out there, this will be the ultimate football match: surprises, upsets, newcomers, underdogs, old enemies, bad bias referees, potential rivals, tears, joy, and whatever else emotions/football jargons may exists, just be prepared for it and please do not cause any havoc, chaos and so on. Stop this hooliganism if you may. This is not the end of the world. Nevertheless, people will naturally remember the champion. There is no number 2 in this game or any other sport game. However,having said that, people will also remember some of the main highlights such as when the underdog North Korea beat Italy 1-0 back in World Cup 1966 in England as well as Diego Maradona's Hand of God, all of which became part of the world cup history.

In malaysia, this time of the year, people will have to stay up late at night just to catch the live match, as we are 6 hours ahead in the time zone. As for myself, maybe i'll just settle for the weekend live match.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Billionaires' boudoir- burj al arab

I reckon I should replace the word "if" to "one day" because it makes it sound more realistic and implying something positive as in: one day i'll come over and stay at this one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. This 7-star hotel, burj al-arab, is inspirational indeed. It reminds me that you could achieve anything you wanted badly enough if you really work hard towards it with all your might, perseverance, faith, and tawakkal (put the trust) to God. Abraham Lincoln (the 16th President of the US) once quoted: "You can have anything you want - if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose. "

Rude Food!!!

My former technician at the Dept of Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology, Imperial College London,Darren Palmer has been working his arse off collecting many kind of rude food he managed to find in order to publish it in a book form. Unfortunately, his pure ambition was cut short by another arch-rival who managed to reach the winning line 1st.

Some of my favourite rude food:

But don't fret, I've got here the link to his site, click here.

The President of Iran`s Letter To President Bush

One of those letters commonly dismissed by Doubya Bush yet managed to cause a stir in one's heart:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr George Bush,

President of the United States of America

For sometime now I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena -- which are being constantly debated, specially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them. (photo source)

Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the great Messenger of God, Feel obliged to respect human rights, Present liberalism as a civilization model, Announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs, Make "War and Terror" his slogan, And finally, Work towards the establishment of a unified international community - a community which Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one day govern, But at the same time, Have countries attacked; The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed and on the slight chance of the of a criminals in a village city, or convoy for example the entire village, city or convey set ablaze.

Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, sanctity of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty years. At what price? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and women - as occupation troops - put in harms way, taken away from family and love ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide ant those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of aliments; while some are killed and their bodies handed of their families.

On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with.

Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was toppled along the way towards another goal, nevertheless the people of the region are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the É war on Iran Saddam was supported by the West.

Mr President,

You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can theses actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the Messenger of peace and forgiveness.

There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.

European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe too. I could not correlate the abduction of a person, and him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the provisions of any judicial system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions correspond to the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, i.e. the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH), human rights and liberal values.

Young people, university students and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them.

Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times.

Students are saying that sixty years ago such a country did no exist. The show old documents and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.

I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII, which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war, was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war, they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families.

Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained?

Mr President,

I am sure you know how - and at what cost - Israel was established:

- Many thousands were killed in the process.

- Millions of indigenous people were made refugees.

- Hundred of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.

This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment; unfortunately it has been ongoing for sixty years now.

A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique - or at the very least extremely rare - in recent memory.

Another big question asked by people is why is this regime being supported? Is support for this regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH) or Moses (PBUH) or liberal values?

Or are we to understand that allowing the original inhabitants of these lands - inside and outside Palestine - whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew, to determine their fate, runs contrary to principles of democracy, human rights and the teachings of prophets? If not, why is there so much opposition to a referendum?

The newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office. All independent observes have confirmed that this government represents the electorate. Unbelievingly, they have put the elected government under pressure and have advised it to recognize the Israeli regime, abandon the struggle and follow the programs of the previous government.

If the current Palestinian government had run on the above platform, would the Palestinian people have voted for it? Again, can such position taken in opposition to the Palestinian government be reconciled with the values outlined earlier? The people are also saying "why are all UNSC resolutions in condemnation of Israel vetoed?"

Mr President,

As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in constant contact with them -- many people from around the Middle East manage to contact me as well. They dot not have faith in these dubious policies either. There is evidence that the people of the region are becoming increasingly angry with such policies.

It is not my intention to pose to many questions, but I need to refer to other points as well.

Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific R&D one of the basic rights of nations.

You are familiar with history. Aside from the Middle Ages, in what other point in history has scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements being utilized for military purposes be reason enough to oppose science and technology altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. must be opposed.

Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is reprehensible in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to.

Mr President,

Don't Latin Americans have the right to ask, why their elected governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, why must they constantly be threatened and live in fear?

The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are preventing this from happening. Don't they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth - including minerals - is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?

Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights?

The brave and faithful people of Iran too have many questions and grievances, including: the coup d'etat of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic revolution, transformation of an Embassy into a headquarters supporting, the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents corroborates this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-a-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and collaborating their country's progress), and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.

Mr President,

September Eleven was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world. Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.

All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens. Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems - and even hunts its opponents abroad. September eleven was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services - or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial?

All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For some years now, the people of your country and neighbors of world trouble spots do not have peace of mind. After 9.11, instead of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the survivors and the American people - who had been immensely traumatized by the attacks - some Western media only intensified the climates of fear and insecurity - some constantly talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear. Is that service to the American people? Is it possible to calculate the damages incurred from fear and panic?

American citizens lived in constant fear of fresh attacks that could come at any moment and in any place. They felt insecure in the streets, in their place of work and at home. Who would be happy with this situation? Why was the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity?

Some believe that the hype paved the way - and was the justification - for an attack on Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role of media.

In media charters, correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are established tenets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles. The main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of WMDs. This was repeated incessantly - for the public to, finally, believe - and the ground set for an attack on Iraq.

Will the truth not be lost in a contrive and deceptive climate? Again, if the truth is allowed to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the earlier mentioned values?

Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?

Mr President,

In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them.

The question here is "what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?"

As your Excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a huge problem. Of course these problems exist - to a larger or lesser extent - in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gargantuan expenses of the campaign - paid from the public treasury - be explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?

What has been said, are some of the grievances of the people around the world, in our region and in your country. But my main contention - which I am hoping you will agree to some of it - is:

Those in power have specific time in office, and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures.

The people will scrutinize our presidencies.

Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment?

Did we intend to establish justice, or just supported especial interest groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship, made a few people rich and powerful - thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty with theirs'?

Did we defend the rights of the underprivileged or ignore them?

Did we defend the rights of all people around the world or imposed wars on them, interfered illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them?

Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats?

Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted version of it?

Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors?

Did our administrations set out to promote rational behavior, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity or the force of guns.

Intimidation, insecurity, disregard for the people, delaying the progress and excellence of other nations, and trample on people's rights?

And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true to our oath of office - to serve the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets - or not?

Mr President,

How much longer can the world tolerate this situation?

Where will this trend lead the world to?

How long must the people of the world pay for the incorrect decisions of some rulers?

How much longer will the specter of insecurity - raised from the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction - hunt the people of the world?

How much longer will the blood of the innocent men, women and children be spilled on the streets, and people's houses destroyed over their heads?

Are you pleased with the current condition of the world?

Do you think present policies can continue?

If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states and distinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts were would the world be today? Would not your government, and people be justifiably proud? Would not your administration's political and economic standing have been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?

Mr President, it is not my intention to distress anyone.

If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph or Jesus Christ (PBUH) were with us today, how would they have judged such behaviour? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ (PBUH) will be present? Will they even accept us?

My basic question is this: Is there no better way to interact with the rest of the world? Today there are hundreds of millions of Christians, hundreds of millions of Moslems and millions of people who follow the teachings of Moses (PBUH). All divine religions share and respect on word and that is "monotheism" or belief in a single God and no other in the world.

The Holy Koran stresses this common word and calls on an followers of divine religions and says: [3.64] Say: O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught. With Him and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah, but if they turn back, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims. (The Family of Imran).

Mr President,

According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship one God and follow the teachings of divine prophets.

"To worship a God which is above all powers in the world and can do all He pleases." "The Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the past and the future, knows what goes on in the Hearts of His servants and records their deeds." "The Lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth and all universe is His court" "planning for the universe is done by His hands, and gives His servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness of sins". "He is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors". "He is the Compassionate, the Merciful". "He is the recourse of the faithful and guides them towards the light from darkness". "He is witness to the actions of His servants", "He calls on servants to be faithful and do good deeds, and asks them to stay on the path of righteousness and remain steadfast". "Calls on servants to heed His prophets and He is a witness to their deeds." "A bad ending belongs only to those who have chosen the life of this world and disobey Him and oppress His servants". And "A good and eternal paradise belong to those servants who fear His majesty and do not follow their lascivious selves."

We believe a return to the teachings of the divine prophets is the only road leading to salvations. I have been told that Your Excellency follows the teachings of Jesus (PBUH), and believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous on Earth.

We also believe that Jesus Christ (PBUH) was one of the great prophets of the Almighty. He has been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus (PBUH) has been quoted in Koran as well; [19,36] And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serves Him; this is the right path, Marium.

Service to and obedience of the Almighty is the credo of all divine messengers.

The God of all people in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the Pacific and the rest of the world is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide and give dignity to all His servants. He has given greatness to Humans.

We again read in the Holy Book: "The Almighty God sent His prophets with miracles and clear signs to guide the people and show them divine signs and purity them from sins and pollutions. And He sent the Book and the balance so that the people display justice and avoid the rebellious."

All of the above verses can be seen, one way or the other, in the Good Book as well.

Divine prophets have promised:

The day will come when all humans will congregate before the court of the Almighty, so that their deeds are examined. The good will be directed towards Haven and evildoers will meet divine retribution. I trust both of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy to calculate the actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our nations and all others whose lives have been directly or indirectly effected by our actions.

All prophets, speak of peace and tranquility for man - based on monotheism, justice and respect for human dignity.

Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, belief in the Last Day, we can overcome the present problems of the world - that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the teachings of prophets - and improve our performance?

Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice?

Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally respected?

Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets?

Mr President,

History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted The fate of man to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by Him.

Can one deny the signs of change in the world today?

Is this situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast and come at a furious pace.

The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the world feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do not approve of and accept dubious policies.

The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich and poor countries.

The people are disgusted with increasing corruption.

The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have no faith in international organizations, because their rights are not advocated by these organizations.

Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.

We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point - that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?"

Mr President,

Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.

Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda

Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lord Aragorn, son of Arathorn

My LOTR story. From the book and then into a movie, from 2001 to 2003...Went to see it in the cinema three winters in the row, pre-christmas time in london. The 3rd one of the trilogy, i watched it once in london and once in kuala lumpur. 1st time i read the book, it was during summer 2001 and i had a nightmare of the 9 nazguls chasing after me and some other people i dont even know. And when i saw the 1st movie for the 1st time, i was literally jumping over my seat when i saw those ring-wraiths on the silverscreen and they amazingly looked similar to those in my dream.

I never knew Viggo Mortensen would look much much better in dark hair and stubble on his face. From that moment onward, i started to admire his role as Aragorn, and i even had 1 Empire Magazine Wall poster featuring him riding the horse as in the 1st picture.

I guess i do adore viggo as aragorn rather than he as himself. He was ok in Hidalgo, but i think LOTR trilogy really made a star out of him. He was the baddie in G.I. Jane but Demi Moore stole the limelight. He slept with Gwyneth Paltrow in A Perfect Murder but he was still overshadowed by the movies' other significant cast, Michael Douglas.

Many big hollywood stars started just like him, either as a supporting cast or extras. For eg, Matt Damon 1st made his screen debut in Steeling Magnolias, Paul Giamatti as the hotel bellboy in My Best Friend's Wedding, Philip Seymour Hoffman as that chubby,grungy looking guy named Dusty who shouted "loser!" at Cary Elwes in Twister, Cynthia Nixon was a maid in Baby's Day Out before she turned into successful manhattan lawyer with attitude, Miranda Hobbs in Sex and the City.

A tribute to Viggo Mortensen for having successfully turning Aragorn Son of Arathorn into life and made him an unforgettable character in LOTR alongside with the other casts. Kudos to Peter Jackson who applied that Star Wars formula by using less stellar casts to play huge characters only to eternalize their images forever in everyone's mind.

Madonna: hung up

Madonna....I dunno what to say about this word could sum it all: mesmerized. She's been in the music industry since my primary school years, and she is still around...Should I add her to the same category as Cher? I bet Madonna wouldve had other things in her mind rather than being compared to anyone...but hey, i like Cher too...i think i have a thing on gutsy and feisty people (sure, that finger is pointing right to this author's nose :-) )

1) Hung Up

2) Music

3) Beautiful Stranger

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sir Alan Sugar is fast becoming my tycoon model

Ever since i watched the 1st series of The Apprentice UK version on BBC2, winter-spring 2005, i was completely hooked on Sir Alan Sugar (SAS)'s ways of delivering his lasercutting, acid tongue, almost vicious yet endearingly honest comments to those participants of this reality tv show.
(photo source,click here)
I grew to like him even more when he gave his piece of advice to the 3rd person evicted, Paul, something i can never forget and definitely wise words for my own future reference. I can see him as the boss-and-father figure as well as a guru and wise old friend.

This year, i can only read what is going on, highlights and what not on .Such is an unfortunate thing for me since the BBC began imposing some new licencing law on radio and tv online streaming which was said to be permitted in the UK only. Here in malaysia, we only get to see Donald Trump doing his "you're fired" act in its US version, which to my dismay, is not really my cuppa tea.

Earlier on, SAS made some thought-provoking comments regarding business/professional relationship conduct whereby he openly rejected the idea of flirting with the clients be it through behaviour or dress code. This has caused some sort of an uproar in the UK as seen in the articles in The Times ( click article 1 ), The Guardian (article 2 , article 3), Telegraph (article 4), BBC (article 5), Sunday Herald (article 6) among others.

Despite all that, this grumpy fella is still adored by many including myself, though obviously not in a sexual way. His persona is felt and his aura is everlasting.

OK, i do sound like as if i like him too much, but it's more on his charismatic personality. And i would even laugh to hear his ear-heating comments even if it did intimidate me a bit. And i did laugh again with err...admiration as i watched him hit back at Jonathan Ross on the show "Friday night with Jonathan Ross", BBC2.


The most recent interview with SAS as reported in The Sunday Times (article 7), he was showing his softer sides, something that not many people could see unless they are close to him, i presume....but hey, thats professionalism. Sometimes, we do need to be a little bit ruthless and authoritative whenever we deem appropriate for the good cause so long as not to spoil the whole relationship with our co-workers/colleagues as well as our own credibility. It could be something that made us receive more respect than hatred if it is done in a sensible and reasonable way. SAS is another example of the blunt and crude british tv personalities besides the ever-so-popular Simon Cowell,Jeremy Clarkson and Graham Norton (he's irish by the way).

Maybe I should ask local malaysian tv channel TV3 to air this british version of the Apprentice and lets see the public viewers reception on it.

Oh and by the way, another interesting article about SAS from Haaretz, click here.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Wedding story

I just had my 1st ever sister inlaw recently. The nikah and reception on the lady's side took place at beranang, hulu langat. . It was alright, really. So far, i already have 3 brother inlaws; one married my eldest sister and the other two married my 3rd and 4th sisters.

The photo below was taken on my bro's reception side. From the left, it's me, the bride farah, my youngest sister samihah and my 4th sister naglaa.

Honestly speaking, this reception part sucks big time!!! The whole reception process was handled by my 1st bro (the 5th in the family, i am the second), the groom and his fellow Pekida mates. My parents was not given much of authority in this work. The food was damn lousy and on top of that, it rained heavily in the middle of the event. The only few things that cheered me up were the attendance of my fellow lecturer colleagues and close frens as well as the camaraderie and good cooperation displayed by my cousins, their children and my aunt, thats my cousins' mum. AS much as i am not so keen on wedding ceremonies, exceptional only if it's family or close friends, this whole project sham is something most of my family members will never forget for the rest of our life. All the things that this pekida, my bro and my parents have agreed upon earlier on their discussion for the food and the whole settings were not materialised at all! They took charge of everything, manipulated my parents and worst of all, dominated the preparation much to our disgust. It was rather appalling, and all of us, excluding my 1st bro of course, were very devastated by what had happened.

So far, all our previous 3 weddings were considered successful and all were done in a proper banquet hall.