Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jan 30---Emotional Hygene

I was joined by Megan Selvay in the 1st hour of the program and we spoke about EMOTIONAL HYGENE!

Give the podcast a listen it does a great job of bringing you up to speed on the idea.

What is it?

Being comfortable with you!

Easy! Now try!

A bit of meditation is sure to help.

Affirmations for Emotional Hygene

By: Samantha Stevens, Wed Feb 15th,

Last week I talked about the need to practice emotional hygiene, that is -- emptying your head of all toxic emotions such as jealousy, resentment, envy in order to create a kind of "blank slate." You need to clean your conscious mind of these emotions so that you can use the power of your subconscious mind to manifest more positive events in your life. I talked about the power of words, and in particular, how negative self-talk can hold you back and disconnect you from the intuitive wisdom of your higher self. It is the words we speak that create our experiences. Saying or practicing these affirmations, several times a day, particularly when you feel particularly hard done by, might help you raise your vibrations and reconnect you with the more angelic energies in your life. Even if you do not feel these thoughts, "fake it til you make it." You don't even have to know what the words mean they are from ancient or wise texts, the part of you that pick ups on the goodness in the divine collective consciousness will recognize the positive message. It helps. Here are a few of my favourites. "Infinite Spirit, open the way for my right home, my right friend (soulmate), my right position. I give thanks now as it manifests in a perfect way." Scovel Shinn (To attract soulmate) "I and my father am one, I and my mother are one, I and my twin flame are one. We are one here and now." Elizabeth Clare Prophet (For better finances) I know that God's power is limitless; and as I am in made in his image,I too, have the strength to overcome ALL obstacles. I possess the infinite power of Spirit. The Infinite Intelligence will guide me and solve every problem. God is my own inexhaustible Divine Bank. I am always rich for I have access to the cosmic storehouse. I will go forth in the perfect faith in the power of Omnipresent Good to bring me what I need at the time I need it. The sunshine of divine prosperity has just burst through the dark sky of my limitations. I am God's child. What I have, he has." Parahnahansa Yogananda (For cash flow problems) "I am increasingly magnetic to money, prosperity and abundance.I create what I want with energy. Good things come to me easily." Sanaya Roman (For prosperity) God is my unfailing supply and large sums of money come to me quickly, under grace and perfect ways." Scovel Shinn (To let go and for health) I am the one with the Power that created me, and this Power has given me the power to create my own circumstance. I rejoice in the knowledge I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning as we move from the old. This moment is a new beginning point as we move from the old. THIS MOMENT is a new point of beginning for me right here and right now. All is well in my world." Louise Hays (For freedom from negative emotions and the past -- if you only say one affirmation at all I recommend this one, particularly if you feel overwhelmed by problems. ) "I cast this burden on the Christ (power) within and I go free!" Scovel Shinn (The Golden Rule) "I expect only the best to happen and it does" Sanaya Roman Master Affirmation-- created by Sam (the idea is these positive words will help you overcome fear of the future) I, (your name) DESERVE TO BE AND NOW AM, happy. My life is rich, rewarding and full of joy, pleasure and fun. I live in the present. Any and all negative unwanted thoughts and fear has left or is leaving my body and am beautiful, vibrant and healthy. I am calm, peaceful and look forward to the future.

About the author: Samantha Stevens was a professional psychic at for many years. Read more of her articles at m If you wish to buy Samantha's books about metaphysics click here http://www

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Feb 11th and 29---show them your love

Suman Manning and her 5 best friends have put together something amazing!

A valentine charity dinner!

What is amazing is that they have done this because it needs to be done, in their spare time!

And even better the funds raised from this event go to two amazing charity groups!
---check them out.

1. The Fred Hollows Foundation---really worth a look!
2. The Little Wings Foundation---here in the UAE.

395 dirhams gets you food, drink, prizes,dancing all at the Four Seasons Golf Club and you are helping line the pockets of a charity not a hotel!


get tickets via email

or call Suman Manning 050-658-1338

November 2007 has been an important month for all of us at The Little Wings Foundation. Many volunteers have supported our aim of raising funds for children with limb deformity in the Middle East and North Africa by selling Christmas cards at numerous fairs. Also, their support and unlimited energy was pivotal in our two first and very successful fundraising events in Dubai. Most importantly, we were able to finalize the affiliation agreement with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) in a combined effort to improve the financial and medical resources for children requiring complex surgery to overcome physical disability. The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund has been known for many years to counter the isolation of the Palestinian children and make necessary treatment available. The Little Wings Foundation’s aims are very close to their cause. Physical disability, inborn or acquired, can lead to isolation. Providing help to those children is the very foundation of our charity. It therefore is my honor to have had the opportunity to spend one week in Ramallah as a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, providing the necessary care to many children with Orthopaedic conditions. This, I am certain, is only the beginning of a long lasting partnership with the PCRF which I am very much looking forward to.

Marc Sinclair


Together, we are dedicated to overcoming avoidable blindness around the world.

The Fred Hollows Foundation is inspired by work of the late Professor Fred Hollows, whose vision was for a world where no one was needlessly blind.

Working to continue Fred's vision, The Fred Hollows Foundation in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have come together to form a global network to increase our collective impact in eradicating avoidable blindness around the world.

Through this new network, together, we will be able to enhance Foundation operations and programs in the countries where we work and bring funding bodies and program entities in a truly equal partnership.

Collectively working in over twenty countries world-wide, with the help of our supporters, we hope to build on our record of restoring sight to well over one million people.

Monday, January 28, 2008

jan 28---the zoo

The most common accusation levelled against zoos is one of cruelty. Is it cruel to keep animals in a zoo?

In the United Kingdom, The RSPCA, guardian of Britain’s conscience in these matters, is ambivalent in itswpe2.gif (219947 bytes) attitude towards zoos. Officially it is neither pro-zoo, nor anti-zoo. Instead it claims to support good zoos and to oppose bad ones. Most zoo visitors are similarly even-minded about the issue. And yet the question is valid nonetheless. Is it possible that we have somehow become inured to the concept of animal captivity, in the same way perhaps as two centuries ago we might have accepted the concept of slavery, or as the Romans accepted the principle of human sacrifice as entertainment? Will future generations look back upon our own as barbaric because of our treatment of zoo animals?

Like so many of the issues that surround zoos, a lot depends upon your assessment of the extremes. Who, for example, would take offence at the sight of a well-fed native pony grazing in an acre field? Few people would see cruelty there. Yet who would not feel sorry for a tiger in a circus trailer, endlessly pacing before the bars. By understanding that there is a spectrum of possible conditions of captivity from national parks to battery pigs, and by appreciating that we all have a threshold beyond which we will point the finger and say 'that is cruel' - we can begin to delimit the types of zoos that we can accept. Of course there will be those will condemn even the captive moorland pony, and for them no zoo will ever meet with their satisfaction. There is nothing wrong with this attitude. It is a perfectly rational point of view, and those that hold it are genuine animal lovers with a real concern for animal welfare.

But most zoo keepers are genuine animal lovers too. They believe that animals in their charge are contented and as 'happy' as their wild relations. Certainly zoo animals do tend to live longer lives, to feed better, and to suffer from fewer parasites or diseases. They live without the fear of predation; they live without famine. And the freedom, that they also live without, is seen by people like Gerald Durrell as a purely human construct, largely irrelevant to the day to day lives of animals.

So how should we determine whether a zoo enclosure is cruel or not? Zoologists can try to assess how similar the behaviour of a captive animal is to a wild animal of the same species - but it does not necessarily follow that, for example, a wolf that sleeps all day in a zoo cage is less happy than a hungry wild wolf whose time is spent searching for food. Similarly it may be unreasonable to assume that animals are happiest in an environment that mimics their own wild habitat. John Knowles of Marwell Zoo theorises that animals like the scimitar-horned oryx, which normally pick out a meagre existence in the semi-desert scrubland of the Sahara, do so not because they choose or enjoy this harsh environment, but because they have been forced to the fringes by species better equipped to out-compete them elsewhere. According to this theory the scimitar-homed oryx should be in heaven among the lush meadows of Hampshire - as indeed they seem to be. The lions at zoos like Chester in the North of England are offered the option every winter day of centrally heated accommodation, or the chill winds of Cheshire. They virtually always choose to brave the elements, even preferring ice and snow to the warmth indoors a reminder perhaps that altlf6ugh we think of lions as tropical animals, they once roamed throughout Europe, and their current range is directly due to human intervention.

For the visitor, trying to assess cruelty is made all the more difficult because we do not always know, and cannot always see, what becomes of the animals at night when all the people have gone home. Very often this is when the real process of confinement takes place. Many zoo enclosures are designed primarily for daytime occupation, with the primary design requirement of the sleeping quarters being to separate animals and keep them from physical harfn until the keepers return in the morning.

For years zoos have responded to accusations of cruelty by adopting a defensive attitude. They have used a 'we know best' approach, lecturing their visitors in an attempt to persuade us all to accept their definitions of what is cruel and what is not. But, Canute-like, the tide has begun to engulf them. Public attitudes have changed faster than zoo cages. Cages that were hailed as liberating and progressive ten years ago are now seen by visitors as unacceptable. This is undoubtedly frustrating for the zoos, but if they are to survive they will have to understand that the customer is always right. They will have to learn to measure public attitudes and to keep their collections one step ahead of the moving window of public opinion. And in the end zoos ought to be prepared to accept that there may be species (like the dolphin perhaps, or the polar bear) for whom they cannot realistically recreate the fundamentals of life. If they wish to avoid accusations of cruelty then they will need to put their money where it can best be used, to help species that can best benefit with the best regard to welfare.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

jan 27_08---Atomic energy

We had a lively discussion about atomic energy last night!

Give the highlights a listen.

To use or not to use atomic energy was the question!

Here is an email from a listener.

Hi James,

A very, very interesting topic, I really wish I participated. I switched on the radio and heard the show right about the time when one of the listeners was talking about nuclear, saying that it was the only viable method of reducing CO2 emissions RIGHT NOW, and provide that 'baseline'. Thing is, it was only about a 5 minute journey and I missed the phone number and the SMS was down, so I thought I'd email even if a little late.

I refuse to believe that nuclear is the only viable option readily available to us today, for reducing CO2 emissions and providing that 'baseline' he was talking about. Nuclear is old-fashioned way of producing power, still requiring the need of a very inefficient centralised power facility, whereas decentralised generation should be what people should be thinking about now.

It is a known fact that most of the world's energy is consumed in buildings - in some cases up to 60% of a city's energy. This is a fact that was stated in the recent Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. I believe that by building 'green', and using smart/intelligent grid technology we could EASILY cut down emissions by 60%. Energy efficiency can be a source of extra energy in itself. Now I'm not an expert in smart grids or green building, however I do know THEY should be the way forward and NOT nuclear. The technology is available, and in the long term MUCH MUCH cheaper. Imagine the cost of containing the nuclear waste for God knows how long - and it'll probably seep out. Also God forbid another Chernobyl happens, how much will that cost to clean up? We're talking about CO2 emissions today, why risk the possibility of another worldwide problem of another nature when we know and understand today the consequences?

I'd also like to take this opportunity to reach out to anyone out there who understands smart grid technology well to learn more about it from them - people who have actually worked or are currently working in that field. Would that be possible?


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jan 23---arranged marriage

Well what an amazing conversation!

The young lady Hana who called, 10 years into an arranged marriage and loving it!

Another gentleman 25 years plus in an arranged marriage but not looking to do the same for his children as we live in a changed world.

The SMS was on fire and so were you all!

WOW is all I can say.

nightline on National Public Radio NPR

We spoke to Ivan Watson about media, freedom, censorship and the interview was pieced into a larger report.

Not bad actually give it a listen!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jan 22---j walking

Your fault that you cross where it makes sense to cross the street OR is it the government's fault for poor planning?


Ensure safety of pedestrians too

Gulf News
Published: January 22, 2008, 00:54

Jaywalkers in Abu Dhabi will be fined on the spot. This is good news, as the pedestrian death toll keeps rising despite extensive awareness campaigns across the country. The awareness campaigns didn't seem to really work. Statistics show that 91 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the capital alone last year. But if they are faced with immediate fines, pedestrians will certainly be forced to pay attention to the rules.

According to Colonel Hamad Adil Al Shamsi, Director of the Traffic Department of Abu Dhabi Police, "if a person is not able to pay the fine on the spot his or her labour card or identity card will be confiscated until the payment is made."

But there is another side to the issue. There is a serious shortage of pedestrian crossings in the UAE. Musaffah Road in Abu Dhabi and Sahara Centre Road in Sharjah are just two examples. So it is good to enforce the rules to save lives, but equally important is the provision of safe passages.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jan 21_08---UAE Students in Antarctic!

www.studentsonice.comSTUDENTS ON ICE is an award-winning organization offering unique learning expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic. Our mandate is to provide students from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of our earth, and in doing so, help them foster a new understanding and respect for our planet.

Noor Khalifa Bakhit and Jamal Al Falasi join us to talk about their trip to the Antarctic!

Jan 20_08---flu

How much thought are you and I giving to the basic facts of the BIRD FLU and the possibility of a global pandemic being just around the corner?

Not much I suspect.

Xan Blacker and Musarat Daud spoke to me about this issue on our usual Sunday panel.

Maybe we don't care?

maybe the idea of 50 million or more people dieing in a year because of the flu is too much to process?

Maybe we have better things on our minds.

Or maybe we are not tuned in because it really is not an issue?

Here is what the Canadian government suggests!

Avian Influenza A (H5N1)

Updated: December 21, 2007

H5N1 is a severe avian influenza A virus that continues to be reported in birds around the world including Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It has been circulating and causing disease among birds since 2003. In rare instances, humans have become infected with the H5N1 virus. People who become infected with H5N1 can become seriously ill, and in some cases die.

For update on occurrence of human avian influenza A (H5N1) across the world, refer to, and

The symptoms of H5N1 resemble those of human influenza, including fever, cough, aching muscles and sore throat and may develop into serious respiratory infections, such as pneumonia. Nearly all human cases of H5N1 have occurred through direct contact with infected poultry or surfaces and objects contaminated by their feces. For general information on avian influenza,

Although the risk of contracting H5N1 is generally considered low for travellers, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself.


For most travellers, the risk of contracting H5N1 is extremely low since H5N1 is an avian disease. Nevertheless, you can take the following precautions to minimize your risk of infection:

Avoid unnecessary contact with domestic poultry and wild birds as well as surfaces contaminated with their feces or secretions. This includes poultry farms, back yard flocks and markets where live and slaughtered animals such as chickens and ducks are sold.

Wash your hands! Travellers are advised to maintain high standards of hygiene and to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, as disease-causing microbes such as viruses and bacteria can often be found on the hands. Washing with hot, soapy water and lathering for at least 20 seconds is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. Alternatively, if your hands are not visibly dirty, you can use a waterless, alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If your hands are visibly dirty and soap and water are not available, you can remove the dirt with a moist towelette and then use a waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Ensure that all poultry dishes, including eggs, are thoroughly cooked. Itis always advisable to avoid undercooked or raw poultry dishes, including eggs and egg products. In thoroughly cooked poultry juice runs clear and there is no visible pink meat.

Monitor your health. Travellers, who on their return to Canada develop flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, aching muscles and a sore throat, should seek a medical assessment from a physician. Travellers should inform their physician that they have been travelling or living in an area where H5N1 occurs.

In addition to protecting your own health, travelers are encouraged to refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) guidelines for information on how to prevent the introduction of H5N1 into Canada's animal population, as follows: CFIA Fact Sheet on Avian Influenzanew window.

As a reminder…

The Public Health Agency of Canada routinely recommends that Canadian international travellers seek the advice of their personal physician or travel clinic at least eight weeks prior to international travel, regardless of destination, for an individual risk assessment to determine their individual health risks and their need for vaccination, preventative medication, and personal protective measures.

Travellers who become sick or feel unwell on their return to Canada, and exhibit symptoms including fever, cough, aching muscles and sore throat, should seek a medical assessment from a physician. Travellers should inform their physician that they have been travelling or living outside of Canada, and where they have been.

Additional Information

Information on Avian Influenza from the Public Health Agency of Canada

External Sources of Information

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Adrain Hayes pt 2

A website worth looking at for the images alone!

Wed Jan 16---change your life!

After a night of rain in the UAE, and some people waiting hours (9) on the highway maybe you want to change your life!


Meet Adrian Hayes!
Life Coaching

As coaches we aim to unlock the huge potential we believe everyone possesses by getting clients to fully understand who they really are; by using a variety of techniques to discover what and where they wish to go in life and how they are going to achieve it; by giving clients that all important self-belief, and, above all, by holding them accountable for the choices they make in the coaching process.

Coaching deals with a client’s whole life, and can be used for any of the following:

• Personal Growth
• Career Development
• Living your dreams
• Relationships
• Work/Life Balance
• Financial Management
• Health and Fitness
• Family
• Living your life as you wish it to be

As coaches, we believe everyone, at various if not all times in their lives, needs someone to bounce ideas off, brainstorm, motivate, inspire, mentor and force us to make the choices we know we have to make to enrich our lives.

Above all, it can be for everyone – from a junior clerk to a chairman of a company, from a storeman to a rock star.

Summitting Mt. Everest is deemed by many as the ultimate goal and achievement. As a coach, I am committed to helping you, my client, to identify and achieve your own Everests, whatever they may be.

For recent testimonials please click here

For more information, or booking, of Adrian please click here

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jan 15---internet and curiosity

Has the internet dulled our curiosity and created a culture of cut and paste?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Dr. John Davies, Dr. Jane Verbitsky and Dr. Shashikala join us to talk about migration!

Migration is a Dubai and global issue.

Sussex Centre for Migration Research is where Dr. Davies comes from.

Why care?

Migration is a critical issue of our times, and a major interdisciplinary field of enquiry in the social sciences. In western discourse, population movements are regarded as a threat to stability and a challenge to established lifestyles, but in much of Africa and Asia, movement is the established pattern. With increasing globalisation, migration has become a key element in north-south relations, and in the domestic politics of many developed and developing countries. It is also central to issues of identity and citizenship.
Through our DFID-funded centre on Migration,Globalisation and Poverty and other externally-funded research projects, such as the EU Network of Excellence on 'International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe' (IMISCOE) we seek to influence both understanding of migration and the policies that affect migrants. We provide doctoral and masters-level training in Migration Studies, and also publish the internationally-recognised Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Sussex Centre for Migration ResearchSchool of Social Sciences and Cultural StudiesUniversity of SussexFalmer, Brighton BN1 9SJFurther contact information

Jan 13---Being expat.

Masarat Daud and Xan Blacker joined me for a 2 hour conversation on the idea that we expats do more bad than good when we move to a new land.

Interesting to listen to the podcasts!

The talk constantly came back to the simple point that are we not worth something? We expats and should we not be given more rights.

What tights is the good question.

We know the rules coming in why do we expect them to change?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More on the BUSH comments.




Letter to George W. Bush

Gulf News
Published: January 10, 2008, 23:32

Dear Mr. President;

Lest you forget. Invasion of Iraq. Thousands of dead. Looting the National Museum. Disbanding the Iraqi army. Donald Rumsfeld. Shock and Awe. Jay Garner. Paul Bremer. Inciting sectarianism. Abu Ghraib. Thousands of detainees without charges. Torture. Oil. Ghost WMDs. The Niger connection. Halliburton. Blackwater. Deadly security contractors. Mercenaries. Fallujah. Haditha massacre. Blind support of Israel. Instigating the suffering of Gaza. Ignoring the expansion of illegal colonies. Defying United Nations resolutions. Securing "a Jewish State". Allowing Israelis to extend the destruction of Lebanon in the 2oo6 war. Providing Israel with new Bunker Buster bombs to attack Lebanese towns. The War on Terror. "The Crusade". Clash of civilisations. Where is Osama Bin Laden? Afghanistan. Bagram massacre. Bombing media offices. Guantanamo Bay. Kangaroo courts. Indefinite detention. Presidential orders to ignore Geneva Conventions. "Unlawful enemy combatants". Illegal National Security Agency wiretapping. Fingerprinting visitors. Black prisons. Kidnapping foreign citizens on foreign lands. Khalid Al Masri. Abu Omar. Maher Arar. Central Intelligence Agency. "Aggressive interrogation techniques". Destroying the torture tapes. Iran tension. Isolating Syria. Embracing Syrian opposition Iraq style. The Chavez coup. Denial of global warming. Rejecting Kyoto Protocol. Marginalisation of the United Nations. John Bolton. Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank. Carl Rove. Alberto Gonzales. Firing attorneys. Nepotism. False democracy promises. Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney and Dick Cheney.

Mr President;

The list goes on. You might not be able to recall some of it. But the people around you, Cheney and Condoleezza Rice especially, would. And they realise that on the subject of human rights, your administration has had the worst record of all, surpassing most Third World countries. The tension and the misery in parts of this region can very well testify to this.

Mr President;

In a famous speech in 2003 you announced an "historic" shift in US foreign policy. You pledged to support democracy and liberty while declaring "victory" in Iraq. More than four years later, Iraq is in chaos. It has virtually disintegrated and "the surge" did little to stop the killing or ease the sectarian tension. At the same time, you gave up on your freedom-for-all prophecy. We are all back to the old ways of doing business - arms and oil. The agenda of your current tour is evident.

Mr President;

This is your first official trip to a land you long claimed has a very special place in your heart. The land of the Prophets. However, you started out wrong. By maintaining your support of an Israeli "Jewish State", you are flouting your own ideals upon which your great country was founded more than two centuries ago. So much for the promise of democracy. What you advocate in fact is the creation of states on religious and racial lines, thereby justifying the atrocious actions of terrorists who hate and seek to eliminate the followers of other religions: The same terrorists you like to blame for every ill on earth and every failure of yours.

Mr President;

It has been reported that you are here to "lecture" us on democracy and human rights. But with a record like yours, you will not be very convincing. The people you are addressing have greater respect for human rights and dignity.

You also said that your current tour aims to realise the long neglected peace in the Middle East. Regional peace, Mr President, will not be achieved by escalating tension and threatening to change regimes. And most importantly, it will not be achieved by supporting Israel, which continues to defy international law, occupy Arab lands, oppress the Palestinians and rebuff peace initiatives.

Mr President;

We hope you have enjoyed the trip so far. The scenery is great. The food is exotic. As for the more "serious" things, it is unlikely you will make any difference.

Jan 13----EXPATS are we the problem?

Is it possible that the problems around the world are all part of the flow of expats?

Jan 9---Bush Talk pt2

Funny thing America.

During the last 25 minutes of the show I asked if people thought that GWB coming to the Middle East would make a difference.

Some callers suggested the topic was too sensitive, I even got an email saying the same.

Too sensitive?

Yes talk of the US is passionate.

Yes talk of the US can be animated, even emotional, but sensitive?

If talk about the US is sensitve becasue it provokes people the think clearly about what is on their mind and articulate it in a manner that is coherent and full of passion we are only going to talk about sensitive things in the future!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Jan 9---GW Bush in the Middle East

We talked traffic.

We talked about how money and stuff like success can make us lazy or as some people suggested success and the trappings of success simply offer us different ways to spend our time.


I worry that we do not spend enough time doing the real things in life!

Clean, cook, fix, renovate...

Wash the car!

We can and do find a million excuses for not doing the real things in life!

The best reason last night for not washing your own car was the idea that it is against the municipality by-laws... speeding is against the law and people still do it.

I think we are simply lazy!

And then it was about GW Bush.

Do we care? Will GW make a difference?

JAMESCAST for a taste of what people thought.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Jan 8----teens and work

Now in the UAE youth 16-18 can legally get part-time jobs!

The question was, is this a good thing?

Is there an infrastructure?

Minimum wage?

Youth to benefit from 'labour market exposure'

By Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter
Published: January 04, 2008, 00:42

Dubai: The recent decision to allow young people above the age of 16 to have a part time job will give an opportunity for teenagers to get labour market exposure and grow professionally, said an official at the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Teenagers sponsored by their parents or universities can undertake part-time work, Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi, Minister of Labour, earlier told Gulf News.

He issued a decision that allows people from the age of 16 to undertake part-time work in the country. A part-time labour card also gives an opportunity for university students to get work experience before graduating, he added.

Young people can now acquire a job if they meet the legal requirements, but they cannot work full-time until they reach 18, said Al Ka'abi.

Maurizio Bussi, Deputy Regional Director at the ILO's Regional Office for Arab States, speaking to Gulf News over the phone from Beirut said that the UAE's recent decision to allow youth employment is in accordance with labour market standards and can be beneficial for young people.

"Youth employment gives an opportunity to young people to access the labour market, familiarise themselves with work, upgrade their skills and become more productive," said Bussi adding that this type of work is an international practice adopted by many countries across the world.

Labour shortage

Youth employment can also give an additional boost to the economy if there is a labour shortage in the respective country which young people can partially fill, Bussi pointed out.

However, ILO's regulations stipulate that a clear set of rules has to be in place to ensure that youth work will not endanger the young person at work.

"Protection is the main element in the legalisation of youth employment. The rules must ensure that youth employment will not jeopardise the health, safety and morale of the working teenagers," said Bussi.

The International conventions dealing with youth labour and ratified by the UAE stipulate that governments should prohibit work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

"Young people should take part of light work are totally prohibited in taking up work that will endanger them physically or psychologically," said Bussi adding that each country should establish or designate appropriate mechanisms to serve this purpose.

ILO's general principles

The minimum age 'shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years'.

The country may, after consultation with organisations of employers and workers concerned, where such exist, authorise employment or work from the age of 16 years on condition that the health, safety and morals of the young persons concerned are fully protected and that the young persons have received adequate instruction or vocational training in the relevant branch of activity.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Week that Was with James and Pamela---Democracy

Pakistan is the catalyst for a talk on democracy.

Thursday James Piecowye and Pamela Ritchie bring you the week that was... Look for it!

Read this CBC piece.

The Democracy Project

Selling democracy

The view from Europe

Last Updated December 19, 2006

About Vidar Helgesen

Vidar Helgesen

Vidar Helgesen is secretary general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Stockholm, an organization with a mandate to promote sustainable democracy around the world. A lawyer, Helgesen was Norway's deputy minister of foreign affairs between 2001 and 2005. Before that, he was special adviser to the president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. (Photo courtesy Anders Gunnartz)

As part of CBC Radio's examination of the rise and fall of democracy around the world, Dispatches host Rick MacInnes-Rae spoke with Vidar Helgesen, secretary general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in Stockholm. This is a full transcript of the interview that was broadcast in part on Dec. 21, 2006.

What is your sense of the general health of democracy in the world today?

I would describe it as a mixed picture. Democracy is vibrant in many countries. But globally, the sense of 10 or 15 years ago that this would be a relatively smooth and straightforward development, that belief has been disturbed by some new challenges.

It was a more hopeful time a decade or so ago?

There was a lot of optimism following the fall of the Berlin Wall, following the third wave of democratization in Latin America in particular. There was a sense that democracy was on the offensive.

Today, the picture is more complex. We see a renewed self-confidence among autocrats in some regions and there are constraints in some new democracies that are apparent. But, still, we should keep in mind that more people live under democracy than ever before.

Why do you think autocrats have become emboldened?

In some ways, that is because the political and economic hegemony of traditional western democracies is in decline globally. There are alternative political powers within alternative political systems that have arisen and their economic power is increasing.

Today we have some less-than-democratic regimes with huge resources, not least oil, which have gained ground from the increasing energy dependency [of the West] and the high prices for oil and gas.

Also, in the post-9/11 world, some policies have been met with reactions that have increased polarization. So it is easier for autocrats to claim that democratization is just another word for colonialism or interventionism by Western powers.

Is there a paradox here, that democratization is in decline yet there have never been so many people living under democracy's umbrella?

Spreading democracy is not easily done and primarily has to be done from within countries, by nurturing democratic forces and democratic tendencies within those countries, rather than having it seen as being imposed from abroad.

Also, a number of the measures taken as part of the global campaign against terrorism have created more polarization in countries, like in Europe, for example, between new immigrant communities and the traditional communities. This has repercussions throughout the world, not least the Islamic world.

What kind of repercussions are we talking about?

Well, clearly the Iraq war has created first an anxiety that countries could be subjected to democratization in the form of military intervention.

And then the Iraq war turned out to be not a success, to put it mildly, and so there is an increasing sense among autocrats that they don't risk much with their behaviour. That there is today no longer such a high risk of intervention because the Americans are no longer as willing to send in the Marines.

That's the political angle to it. Combine that with the economic reality that there are now more forces at play in the developing world than the Western ones.

You have the incredible role of China, not only in Asia but in Africa and Latin America. Its investments are high, its political engagement is increasing and, contrary to Western countries, China is not pushing a human rights and democracy agenda.

From a Western point of view, there is no reason to complain about China becoming an economic power. That is good for Western democracies. But the Chinese don't come with human rights and democracy policies as the Western powers normally do.

Is exporting democracy, U.S. style, a good idea?

I don't think it can be exported, for two reasons. One is that democracy is really about people holding their leaders accountable and that accountability measures cannot easily be imposed from abroad.

And secondly, the experience of the last years of that policy has created even more resistance to it, so alternative ways must be found.

Models of democracy can differ. The principle should always be applied but it must be applied in different contexts and allowed to grow from within. That's the challenge.

How do you see democratic models adapting to the times?

I think you have in a number of countries traditional models of governing that can be respected while at the same time putting in place the models of democracy as we know them in the West.

Let me take the example of Botswana, which alongside a parliament that basically has all the rules of the game of Western democracies, also has an upper house of elders that incorporates a traditional African governance mechanism.

It is basically an advisory mechanism but it is still something that carries forth the local and national traditions that people recognize.

How would you see democracy taking hold today in Latin America?

This year in Latin America has been a year of very vibrant democracy — many elections. But elections can be polarizing in their own right because they are about competitive politics.

I think what we see in Latin America is an increasing discontent in democratic institutions and in political parties and political leaders because people sense that even if the economies are growing, social development is not following along.

This discontent is, of course, fertile ground for populism and for the political forces that play to polarization. Populism can win elections but it is hard to run a country from the streets.

The result is that you see in some Latin American countries today a pretty disturbing tendency towards weakened institutions and weakened trust in these institutions.

How much of democracy's problems are of its own making?

To some extent this is a dilemma of democracy. Politics is competitive. But democracy is not only about competitive politics. And the responsibility of political leadership is not only to compete for power but also to collaborate across political and ideological divides where necessary in order to govern.

That last is not always as well undertaken by politicians as the campaigning part is.

Do you see democracy making any headway in the Middle East?

I think there are a number of interesting examples in Middle Eastern countries. It's hard to say whether that is the result of local pressures or international pressure. But you do see reform efforts in Morocco and to some extent in Algeria, Yemen, Qatar and Lebanon, though it is a very, very critical time there.

Still, it is a time of opportunity and potential progress in the Arab countries.

Is democracy really the best system for everyone?

There is little doubt that democracy comes with the kind of accountability measures that limit the scope for abuse of power by politicians.

There is also little doubt that democratic systems tend to generate better economic and developmental results for people. There might be one or two exceptions but they shouldn't fool us into questioning the quality of democracy.

I also think that the popular demand for democracy is there, exactly because of these qualities, and that we should be nurturing and supporting it, not imposing it from abroad.

That imposition is not really necessary. Finding ways of supporting national demands for democracy is the way forward.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Jan 2--old age

Joan Salmaso (68), Ugo Salmaso(77) and Elinor Peck (72) all join me to talk about the getting old!

Are we ready to get old and is society ready for us?

Source URL:
Thursday August 16, 2007

Aging Global Population is "Profound" and "Irreversible": UN Report
States that lowered fertility is the cause, but fails to mention birth control, again

By Elizabeth O'Brien

NEW YORK CITY, August 16, 2007 ( - The United Nations recently released its global population estimates, revealing an alarming population shift that will have serious worldwide consequences within the near future. While blaming the problem on lowered fertility and increased longevity, the report fails to make the connection with contraception, abortion and sterilization.

The report is a 2007 updated version of the 2002 "World Population Aging" report that was published during the Second World Assembly on Aging. Following the demographic trends from 1950 to 2005, the report notes that the population aging is "unprecedented, a process without parallel in the history of humanity." The report indicates that people above 60 years old are starting to outnumber children, those under age 15. By 2047 old people will outnumber children on a global scale, the report states, although developed countries already reached this mark in 1998.

The report projects that by 2050, those aged 60 and over will comprise one third of the population in developed regions. In the developing nations, however, they will account for only one fifth of the population, a ratio at which the wealthier countries have already arrived.

The population trend profoundly affects every area of human life economic, political and social and is "irreversible", the report claims. In addition, the issue has been intensifying for decades; older people comprised 8% of the population in 1950, and this number increased to 11% by 2007. The UN predicts that the number will rise to 22% by 2050.

By the year 2000 the number of old people had tripled in the world since 1950. Only six year later, they had increased by another 100 million. The rate of their increase is 2.6% per year versus the 1.1% increase of the rest of the population. In addition, even those over 60 years are aging, and the number of people aged 80+ is most rapidly increasing.

At present the median age worldwide is 28 years, a number that is expected to rise to 38 by 2050. The oldest country is Japan, with a median age of 43, while the youngest is Uganda, with a median age of 15.

These numbers will have a serious effect on the working population, which will be forced to bear an increasingly heavy burden of retirees. By 2050 the ratio of workers between 15 and 64 to older persons will have decreased from 12 to 1 in 1950 to a mere 4 to 1.

The report notes that the problem of population aging is a "pervasive," worldwide issue. This is due to the fact that people's fertility is reduced, as well as the fact that the aged are living longer. As the document states, "The resulting slowdown in the growth of the number of children coupled with the steady increase in the number of older persons" has deeply impacted the balance of society.

This "unprecedented change, which started in the developed world in the nineteenth century and is more recent in developing countries" is right now "transforming many societies." The report blames the skewed population ratios on the rapid switch from high to low fertility levels and increased life expectancy. Nevertheless, once again a major population report fails characteristically to mention any connection between these alarming population rates and the rapid spread of abortion, contraception and sterilization in the past century.

Read Summary of UN Population Report:

Read related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Aging of World Population, Not Population Growth, is Cause for Alarm: Population Researcher

Aging Population, Low Birth Rate Will Place Massive Economic Burden on Younger Canadians: Report

Canada's Population is Aging at an Alarming Rate: 2006 Census