Sunday, September 5, 2010

In the Year 3000

* Bahrain has finally removed the ban from (some of) the banned sites, temporarily.

* For the first time ever in Asia, Bahrain has made an Intranet completely isolated from the outside world. Bahrain’s Information Authority assured, “This Intranet site has everything we think (say) the people of Bahrain will ever need”.

* Since surfing the net could cause mental harms and moral degrading, officials in Bahrain decided that people are not to own PCs without acquiring license to use it. This is done (smoothly) via Bahrain’s First IT License Authority. Now, with just 2 months in queue for a chance to enroll in classes, and several (impossible to pass) tests, for a simple nominal fee (get a loan!), you can finally surf the censored & monitored net.

* Bahrain to allow some mild pornographic sites, in its believe that these sites are of some kind of education to the newly wed, and ensures that this is not just to distract the visitors of the few (almost none-existent) political blogs and forums.

* Because of their influence on readers’ attitude and point of view, blogs are now lawfully monitored in Bahrain. Therefore, government officials decided to ensure that only those who are scientifically qualified, who are good citizens with good manners, and saturated with moderation and renouncing violence be allowed to speak in them (Déjà vu?).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

(not) Amazing Thailand

This Spring of Culture event was all about Thailand and Thai folklore. I was so excited to be able to attend this event, especially after I have missed two of the most magnificent events of this cultural celebration; The OUD AROUND THE WORLD and FARIDA MOHAMMED ALI (THE IRAQI MAQAM ENSEMBLE).

Anyway, I have missed the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble: Farida Mohd Ali’s event cause I arrived there a bit late and the Cultural Hall was overcrowded with Iraqi Maqam fans. Therefore, I learned my lesson and arrived for this Amazing Thailand event early.

Although I was there before the event’s start by 45 minutes, many have arrived already and plenty were arriving rapidly. I guess I wasn’t the only one who learned his lesson from the previous events :D I parked my car and waited a bit for my friend to arrive. A person yelling at a woman for parking carelessly and wasting valuable parking space entertained me while I was waiting.

My friend arrived and we entered the Hall. I was surprised the auditorium’s seats were almost full; still the time indicated there are 20+ minutes left until the start of the show. I felt so proud of my nationals for being ahead of time. Maybe this ‘Arab Timings’ shameful culture is becoming a part of the past gradually. When I noticed that 80% of the audience is foreign, I shook off that silly optimistic idea and shrugged hopelessly.

Well, that did not entirely ruin my night and just slightly doused my flames of excitement. Someone – Thai – who was possibly the Ambassador of Thailand or the Thai Cultural/Educational Attaché, introduced himself and the band of performers. Then the light went out and the show was about to start.

Soothing music started playing accompanied by a video display introducing Thailand and what it’s famous for and such. A princess entered the stage followed by a guy walking like a monkey wearing a white lion-face-like mask. Followed that the entrance of 3 Thai-boxing fighters, and then 4 dancing ladies.

Their dance was a bit out of sync, but I thought they were saving their best performance for last (but I was wrong unfortunately). The performers left the stage after a minute or two, so that the next part of the play is presented on the video screen.

The love story of the Monkey King (so that’s who the guy with the mask resembled) and the Princess was next. The princess entered the stage treading lightly like a feather. I thought that was great performance of her prestige as a princess (I was wrong again), but it turned out her dress was tight and the heavy crown over her head were the reason she was walking on eggs during her stage time. I’m not going to talk about the Monkey King’s performance in order to preserve the political relations between Bahrain and Thailand!!

I noticed there was as imbecile of a camera man which apparently had no proper training on shooting a play on stage. This genius actually entered the stage from the right stage house to shoot the play. While this method is ok in shooting a musical concert, it is not when shooting a stage play. In a stage play the concentration of the audience must not be stolen by anything else on the stage but by the play itself. I’m just so glad that this fool didn’t ruin a good play at that.

Then was the play of the Lotus Dance where 4 ladies danced while their palms resembled the floating flower on water. Their dance was out of sync to a laughing degree. I was about to grab my jacket getting ready to leave, when my friend told me to give them more time.

“Maybe the best is yet to come”. He said (and this time he was wrong).

Next was a bit about the famous Thai boxing. Having been to Thailand before and witnessed the well-respected and very entertaining Thai-boxing style, I was convinced to hold my angry whining horses.

The same 3 fighter from before entered the stage to play a tribute to the great sport. However, instead of performing a series of gymnastic flips, kicks, and punches to show their athleticism, all they did was a silly pop/rap dancing moves, which were done in a disharmony considered dangerous to the human taste and may cause mind degeneration!

One of the foolish moves they danced was one where they shook their Johnsons back and forth imitating humping. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Almost running, I dashes out of there as if pursued by hellhounds.

Thailand is s great and beautiful country, and it was supposed to represented by a much professional and well-trained performers (which I’m there are plenty).

Was it the Spring of Culture Committee’s fault to invite such poor performers to such a major event? Or was it someone else’s?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Watch Out for Others' Mistakes" !!

This is such a !#$&ed-up message to be promoted by the General Directorate of Traffic.

It sounds like “We officially give up on efficiently educate the new drivers, or severely punish the accidents’ perpetrators, so the only thing we can do now is try to warn/educate the victims, and show them how to drive even more careful in order to avoid the maniacs out there”

What a typical government way of avoiding responsibility by making the public do half of its job, and sometimes all of it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ministry of Vapor - Part 1

A couple of months ago I was in the middle of a career crisis. I resigned from my job for extreme reasons, and found myself unemployed with no proper career planning.

A friend advised me to hit the Ministry of Labor (MoL) for career guidance and possible unemployment financial coverage. I knew that MoL procure the vacancies they offer to registered candidates from organizations of the private sector only. I was terrified from how unsecured the jobs in the private sector have become, especially with many researchers claiming that Bahrain’s private sector did not fully recover yet from the hit of The Financial Crisis, unlike what companies advertise to save face.

Before that, I registered my application with the Civil Service Bureau (CSB). Hmmm… I just googled the CSB’s site to attached a hyperlink to their name, but to my amazement the site doesn’t seem to have an English version. Oh, wait; it does have an English version, but there is no link to it :) I had to replace the ‘ar’ from the URL (site address) with ‘en’ in order to reach the English version. Furthermore, the layout and design of the website encourages a completely separate thread -_-; but let’s leave that to the web design pros bloggers.

Supposedly, the CSB is the “only” government body controlling any hiring for any public sector vacancy. I wondered how was it possible for me to wait a considerable amount of months without a single peep from the CSB ever since I registered with them (still nothing to the day of writing this thread).

Last night at dinner, my brother explained this dilemma to me. He told me that in order for ministries to recruit without going through CSB they simply advertise the need of professionals e.g. doctors, teachers, engineers. While all they actually need, are recruits for clerical/office jobs. However, they do not want to deal with CSB (I leave ‘why’ to your imagination). Through this loophole, ministries are bypassing recruitment via CSB.

And I thought that all this time of wasted waiting for them to call was actually because there wasn’t any open vacancies in the whole public sector (O_o;) How naive was I?

After a period of constant but futile follow up (and simtimes plain hassle) with the CSB, i finally gave up and went to the MoL. Next time is the story about my 'wonderful' experience there.

Till then,


Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring of Culture 2010 - Mar 1

It was a breezy night. Fuzzy clouds tucked-in the stars. The trickle of rain complements the ambiance in a magical way. It was a perfect spring night and perfectly set the vibe for the first event in Bahrain’s 5th Spring of Culture.

The Trio Tomb – or TriOrient – is a Lebanese band blessed with three vocalist sisters specialized in the remaking of legend famous songs by various artists e.g. Fayrooz.

The good thing about the Cultural Hall - near Bahrain Museum – is its spacious parking lot. It can easily accommodate all of the audiences’ cars. The organizers, security, caterers, etc. were prestigious and neatly organized.

The event was supposed to start at 8pm, but because this is Bahrain, it started 20 minutes later. Someone with a high position – I do not really cares who - introduced the band with a weak voice and fragile wordings. You would expect that someone who is introducing the first event in a big-deal event like this would at least be more confident in his/her speech and fluent with his/her wordings.

The musicians and maestro looked very professional. Although I still do not understand, what is the role of maestros in bands? Every one in the band has his own musical notes, so why would they need the maestro’s guidance?

The trio had perfect voices, but I sensed disharmony when they sang altogether. I was having fun for a couple of songs, then I got bored and left.

Why did I go to this event?

Do I feel the need to close a cultural gap?

Did I want to do something different, other than cinema, cafés, and clubs?

Or was it just an attempt to live new moments to recall them later and have a laugh?

See you in the next event: My Dream – China Disabled People’s Performing Troupe.