Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sept 30---atm fraud

One month after ATM fraud was uncovered in the UAE we are still suffering and the banks seem to be laughing all the way to the debit sheet!

How is it that WE pay fees to banks and are told that they are working for us YET the banks have failed us while we pay them to never fail and now we cannot even access our money if we are out of country!


ATM fraud hits UAE banks

DUBAI (AFP) — Thousands of residents of the United Arab Emirates spending the Eid al-Fitr holiday abroad may not be able to gain access to cash as banks block international ATM transactions to combat fraud, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The fraud is believed to have occurred after a network that banks use to share sensitive information such as PIN numbers was breached, The National said.

The incident has exposed most banks in the UAE, the paper said.

It reported that Lloyds TSB said on Monday it had prohibited withdrawals from UAE-issued cards at cash machines in several countries, including Britain and the United States, while maintaining limits on local withdrawals.

In addition to having temporarily "switched off the use of debit cards outside the UAE," Citibank said it had been blocking cards that were "at imminent risk of being compromised".

Banks were closed in the UAE on Tuesday as the country joined most Arab states in celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Sept 30---Duabi sewage crisis

There is no question about it Dubai is in the midst of a sewage crisis and nobody seems to be so worried about it!

And the really worrying thing is that we the public seem to be sitting down while the municipality tries to sort out the sewage issue.

Why are we not doing anything to limit the amount of sewage generated?


Envirolet VF System


The Nation


Prasad Nair/Gulf News

A dark layer of sewage remains in the bay of Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, in Jumeirah. The club has cancelled all dinghy sailing due to the danger posed from the contaminated water.

Raw sewage prevents sailing in Dubai waters

By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Staff Reporter
Published: September 26, 2008, 23:32

Dubai: Dubai Offshore Sailing Club on Friday cancelled its sailing trips as sewage continues to flow into the harbour, members have said.

"This has been an ongoing problem for the past three months," they said, referring to raw sewage floating around the harbour.

A statement from the Club said: "We have suspended all dinghy sailing and children's activities and advised members not to swim and go into the water."

The club conducted its own water sampling tests two weeks ago.

"It showed that the public beach is as contaminated as ours," a member said.

The dinghys are in the process of being relocated to the corner next to the public beach, so that members will be able to at least wade in the water without coming near to the sewage.

'Nothing suspicious'

The ongoing problem worsened on Tuesday night when a closed-off storm drain was reopened and sewage that had collected over several days flooded the harbour.

Despite the contamination in the area, beachgoers continued to swim in nearby beaches and said that they did not know of the pollution.

A maintenance cleaner at the public beach next to Burj Al Arab said that a team of Dubai Municipality employees removed the sewage from all affected beaches on Wednesday.

Dozens of residents were found lounging on the beaches that apparently looked free from any contamination. Many beach-goers said that they did not notice a difference in colour or smell in the waters, and they had no idea that it had been contaminated.

"I did not notice anything suspicious," said Karl Zablan, one swimmer. "It was refreshing to smell the salty water and everywhere I swam was quite clean."

The Jumeirah Beach Hotel continued to keep its beach open to hotel guests.

The public beach next to Union Square also saw its fair share of beach-goers, and none seemed to notice that there was any problem with the waters. "The beach is far from the sewage line and I do not think that this beach will get affected from that," said bather Alvin Tabaniag.

Monday, September 29, 2008

sept 29---sustainability

Annelise Hodge joined us in studio to talk about the sustainability of our lifestyles!

1987 was a watershed year YET the action on the product of this year has been less than glowing.

Yes we have had earth summits.
Yes we have had corporations attempt to be more thoughtful.
Yes we have had movies and a lot of interest in the environment.

But in the end are we or have we really done much to change things?

I hope we don't stand on the edge of the pond as the Easter Island people did and say, "too little too late!"

Our Common Future

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Our Common Future is a report from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) and was published in 1987.

Its targets were multilateralism and interdependence of nations in the search for a sustainable development path. The report sought to recapture the spirit of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment - the Stockholm Conference - which had introduced environmental concerns to the formal political development sphere. Our Common Future placed environmental issues firmly on the political agenda; it aimed to discuss the environment and development as one single issue.

The publication of Our Common Future and the work of the World Commission on Environment and Development laid the groundwork for the convening of the 1992 Earth Summit and the adoption of Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and to the establishment of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

An oft-quoted definition of sustainable development is defined in the report as:

"development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

In addition, key contributions of Our Common Future to the concept of sustainable development include the recognition that the many crises facing the planet are interlocking crises that are elements of a single crisis of the whole [1] and of the vital need for the active participation of all sectors of society in consultation and decisions relating to sustainable development.

Our Common Future is also known as the Brundtland Report in recognition of former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland's role as Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Sept 29---housing in dubai!

One family one villa is the new law in Dubai and as of October 28th it is possible for a landlord to be fined 50, 000 dirhams for not enforcing evictions.

One landlord called Nightline and asked why he was being forced to be the bad guy and if he was happy with who lived in his property was there a problem?

Many people had questions about why this has come about at all and whether the law will extend to flats!

The burning question was where are people suppose to live?


Villas housing more than one family illegal in Dubai - report

The Dubai Municipality ordered the crackdown on villas housing more than one family to prevent unhygienic practices and traffic bottlenecks (photo: Wikipedia)
MANILA, Philippines - Dubai authorities have launched a crackdown on villas that offer shelter to more than one family, online news site Khaleej times reported Tuesday.

Families of expatriate workers, including Filipinos, often resort to living with other families inside a house to cut on the cost of lodging in the oil-rich state.

The Dubai Municipality’s Building Inspection Department has warned residents of villas with more than one family that their water and electricity supply would be cut off immediately.

According to the report, the practice has become a lucrative business for many landlords in Dubai as well as original tenants who decided to partition the villas into one-bedroom units and open it up for rent.

The Municipality had earlier issued a ban on bachelors and single women sharing the same villas.

Omar Mohammed Abdul Rahman, Head of the Building Inspection Section said the move was made to address the health, safety and hygiene problems caused by cramped living quarters.

Rahman added that with several families living under a single house, the area becomes cramped with cars which would result to “major traffic disturbances." -GMANews.TV

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 28---death

Funny thing death. We all know it is coming, our end, but we seem to act as if it will not!

A bit of planning is in order. A will, finances, lists of contacts, a plan is needed because at some point someone is going to have to deal with everything and that person is not you!

Yes the last thing we seem to do is plan!

Listen to the podcast story!

Marina speaks after 30 minutes, fast forward, what a story!

I hope I have friends like her!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sept 24--- power of a smile

Jamal Al Falasi and AliSaleem joined me to talk about the power of the smile!


The Power of A Smile

In the list of little things that you should not underestimate, a smile should be added - yes, a single smile. Your first thought may be in an agreement for the most part. More than likely you may think that a smile is something pleasant to receive and doesn't extend too far beyond that. But, aaaaahhhh it can be so much more. Allow me to share with you one of my experiences and the impact of receiving a smile. Surely if it had such a powerful impact on me, there are others who have had something similar happen to them. It was mid morning or early afternoon and as I was in the midst of running an errand, I was feeling so down about a lot of things in my life that were not going as I wanted them to. In this early part of the day, I was bordering being depressed and felt confidently that I would feel that awful feeling for the rest of the day, maybe the next day and the day after that. In the parking lot of a shopping strip center, I started to walk across the path of a car that was approaching too rapidly. I slowed my walk, took a couple of steps back and looked at the driver to acknowledge her and indicate that I was not attempting to be rude. She brought her car to a stop, motioned to me to cross, and smiled. It seemed so simple. It was in that moment of receiving her smile that something magic happened. My spirits immediately lifted and all traces of the blues, depression, feeling down or anything there of dissipated. I returned with a smile of my own. It was the least I could do for this perfect stranger who had brought me out of a dismal time with a mere flash of a smile.

I crossed her path and proceeded to my destination as she slowly drove off and got on with her day.

God used her to sprinkle his warm, comforting mist upon my spirit. That happened about eight or nine years ago to this writing and it is still one of my most treasured and phenomenal experiences. One of the many gifts from God, a smile, so small yet registered with an impact that positively changed my entire day and maybe more days ahead, and allowed me to pass on good things to others and get on with my day and life, minus the negativity.

I'm sure that this lady who smiled freely without giving it a second thought has no idea the difference she made in that split second. As with her, you never know how you may be positively changing something for someone. So, keep smiling.

Sept 24--- info security and the power of nice

In hour one we spoke with the men behind www.spectrumme.com about our information security needs today!

Amazing how little ongoing attention organizations are paying to information security.


ISO/IEC 17799:2005 Information technology - Security techniques - Code of practice for information security management

Information is an asset that, like other important business assets, is essential to an organization’s business and consequently needs to be suitably protected. This is especially important in the increasingly interconnected business environment. As a result of this increasing interconnectivity,

information is now exposed to a growing number and a wider variety of threats and vulnerabilities (see also OECD Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems and Networks).

Information can exist in many forms. It can be printed or written on paper, stored electronically, transmitted by post or by using electronic means, shown on films, or spoken in conversation. Whatever form the information takes, or means by which it is shared or stored, it should always be

appropriately protected.

Information security is the protection of information from a wide range of threats in order to ensure business continuity, minimize business risk, and maximize return on investments and business opportunities.

Information security is achieved by implementing a suitable set of controls, including policies, processes, procedures, organizational structures and software and hardware functions. These controls need to be established, implemented, monitored, reviewed and improved, where necessary, to ensure

that the specific security and business objectives of the organization are met. This should be done in conjunction with other business management processes.

ISO/IEC 17799:2005 establishes guidelines and general principles for initiating, implementing, maintaining, and improving information security management in an organization. The objectives outlined provide general guidance on the commonly accepted goals of information security management. ISO/IEC 17799:2005 contains best practices of control objectives and controls in the following areas of information security management:

  • security policy;
  • organization of information security;
  • asset management;
  • human resources security;
  • physical and environmental security;
  • communications and operations management;
  • access control;
  • information systems acquisition, development and maintenance;
  • information security incident management;
  • business continuity management;
  • compliance.

The control objectives and controls in ISO/IEC 17799:2005 are intended to be implemented to meet the requirements identified by a risk assessment. ISO/IEC 17799:2005 is intended as a common basis and practical guideline for developing organizational security standards and effective security management practices, and to help build confidence in inter-organizational activities.

Related Press release article:

Related link:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sept 23---Islam


Who was the Prophet Muhammad?

Enjoy a conversation that seeks to answer those questions that we have on our minds but never seem to have the opportunity to ask!

Sept 23---debt and you

The debt crisis can be taken all the way down to the personal level here in Dubai. This year alone 82 people have taken their lives because they see no way out!


The pitfalls of personal debt

  • Last Updated: September 01. 2008 9:07PM UAE / GMT

The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that the UAE’s 24 per cent increase in personal loans during the first half of 2008, which The National reported yesterday, smacks of profligate living in the face of rapidly rising prices.

And they might be right. According to a study by the Dubai Central Jail, more than 40 per cent of inmates were locked up for defaulting on loans. But what looks like an irresponsible, sudden spike in indebtedness only tells half the story. The lending rates for most Gulf currencies, which remain closely linked to the US dollar, are remarkably low compared to high inflation, which rose about 11 per cent last year. The result is that the real cost of borrowing money, thanks to the low interest rates set by the US Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, is actually negative when inflation is considered.

In that sense, the rising consumer debt is natural behaviour in an environment where money can be borrowed for free. And despite accelerating rates of indebtedness, borrowing levels in the UAE are still manageably low. The economic reality is that the sky is not falling – debt is simply not something to be afraid of. The UAE is entering a more leveraged phase in its economic growth as consumers learn to take advantage of high monetary liquidity to consume while also putting their savings to work.

This is good for consumers, good for banks and (of course) good for the real estate market. But such conditions are not without potential pitfalls. Instead of worrying about rising debt, perhaps it is time to read the economic tea leaves in search of a different message. As the UAE’s economy becomes more leveraged, it’s more important than ever to make sure that the proper safeguards and regulations are evenly applied and obeyed.

The monetary authority has recently dropped the Dh250,000 personal lending limit in favour of a cap that would limit borrowers to 25 times their monthly salaries. But without a federal credit bureau, such a regulation is all but toothless. Borrowers can, for example, use the same piece of property as collateral on several different loans at several different banks.

Irresponsible consumers can also take advantage of the legal lacunae between federal and emirate-level banking regulations. Without a national set of regulations, such borrowers will always be able to find banks with low lending standards somewhere in the UAE. As far as consumers are concerned, bad debt is only part of the problem. Bad – or absent – regulations are even worse.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sept 22---Reg Athwal

Reg Athwal joined us in hour 2 to talk about the idea of our potential in life and how we can do what we really want to do and be happy in the process!


'Presenting What Matters'

RAW Group (RAW LTD and RAW LLC) is a leading provider of expert professional speaker services for conferences, congresses, meetings, exhibitions and events throughout United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, with offices established in London and Dubai.

We have presented what really matters to millions of people in 36 countries since 2002. Our vision is to continue to 'present what matters' to people throughout the world. We currently offer extensive value-add services to clients running events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha, Cairo, Karachi, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

Reg Athwal, the founder of the RAW Group of companies is a world renowned presenter and conference chairman. If you are looking for an expert professional speaker to open or close your next conference, meeting or event then look no further.

Reg Athwal chairs conferences as an expert link presenter, livewire moderator, anchor for live interviews, facilitator of panel discussions and forums, and master of ceremonies for prominent gatherings to include Awards Ceremonies, Product Launches, Government Forums, Royal Family Addresses and Celebrity Functions.

A prime-time news review on the 'City7' News Channel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Reg Athwal's 'Unleash Your DNA' Seminar.

A prime-time news review on the 'City7' News Channel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Reg Athwal's 'Unleash Your DNA' Seminar.

Reg Athwal has spent many years building businesses and specializing in human capital management and human potential development, and combines these two areas to be masterful when presenting on the platform, whilst informing and educating audiences throughout their conference experience. What you get with Reg Athwal is a warming and energetic professional delivery style, backed with extensive business expertise and substance.

We understand every event is unique and Reg Athwal customizes speeches and conference chairman services to suit your exact needs. Please contact us immediately and let's explore the possibility of working together and 'presenting what matters' to your delegates.

Sept 22---The University today

Hour one Prof. Ron Wolfe joined us to talk about the university and its role as an educator for life versus a training ground for business.


The head of Cambridge University has criticised the government over pressure on elite institutions to take more students from disadvantaged homes. Vice-Chancellor Alison Richard said universities were there to educate and lead research and not act as "engines for promoting social justice". University and Skills Secretary John Denham and Vice-Chancellor of King's College Rick Trainor discuss the priorities of universities.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sept 21---venture capital

Harvey Klyce of New Enterprise East Investments walked us through venture capital and the changing face of the UAE when we talk about ideas.

R&D, Green thinking, technology all come together.

Hour 2 we looked at the issue of blocking content on the Internet that violates copyright. No clear answers here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

sept 17---greeenwashing and museums

Sept 17 started with a discussion about greenwashing, how companies and groups are telling us that they are environmentally friendly when they really are not!

Think automobile manufacturers!

Hour 2 we spoke about the need for museums and took a look at Sharjha and what they are doing with 18 museums on line and more coming.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sept 16---- banks and then a conversation on Islam

We began the evening asking if there was any confidence in the banks in the UAE.

The short answer is no. Customer satisfaction is at an all time low and there is little being done from a PR angle to fix this.

The ATM fraud that has rocked the system seems to have exposed the weakness of the plastic banking network here.

The big question on peoples minds is who is going to pay for this failure.

In Hour 2 we were joined by Sary Farah a Humanities and Islamic Studies Teacher to help get a better understanding of the issues we confront with our youth today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Srpt 15---what are parks for?

Abu Dabi is now enforcing a ban on bikes in public parks!

So, what are parks for anyway?

Don't we want our youth to adopt a culture of recreation?

If we ban activity that might see physical activity adopted into a lifestyle aren't we sending the wrong message?


A ban that goes too far

Gulf News
Published: September 15, 2008, 23:52

Residents of Abu Dhabi can no longer ride bicycles in the municipality's parks.

According to Abdul Aziz Al Jeraishi, director of Parks and Recreation Facilities Division at Abu Dhabi Municipality, the blanket ban has been in place for some time, but had never been enforced.

The reason for the blanket ban was to prevent large groups of youths from riding their bikes through the parks, disrupting the enjoyment of families and those using the facilities.

The effect, though, of this ban, is to take away the peaceful past time of cycling because of the actions of a few disruptive youths.

Perhaps the municipality should work, then, on providing a network of bike paths through the city.

There is hardly a more relaxing pastime than gently riding around a grassy park, taking in the sun, enjoying the ambience of a beautiful day.

Let not the actions of some youth spoil this for all.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

September 14---taxi

We were joined by Mr. Abdul Azeez Maalik the CEO of Dubai Taxi Agency

It is interesting to note that the taxi industry in Dubai is regulated by the Road and Transport Authority.

And the Road and Transport Authority also owns Dubai Taxi Corporation!

Do taxi's pay SALIK? Yes and every time they go under a sign we are told.

There is a lot of training for the cabbies here in the UAE BUT if you feel that there is something not right with your cab experience it is your DUTY to give the company a call.

Likewise compliments are also welcome.

sept 14---children and a talk about taxis

So the moral grounding of our children is thought to be under siege!

The chief of Dubai police has asked how do we being up our children today to be morally grounded tomorrow?

Who raises children today? Schools, parents, house help, the state?

There are no simple answers and from the sms messages the responsibility rests with parents... so why is the chief of police bringing up this issue?


Calls made for moral grounding when raising children in UAE

By Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporter
Published: September 14, 2008, 00:02

Dubai: The Chief of Dubai Police has raised the issue of bringing up children in the UAE and questioned who is responsible for their development, as schools only focus on education and can neglect to instil solid morals with children.

Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, who is also Chairman of the Juvenile Welfare Association, was speaking during a Ramadan Majlis held on Thursday.

The Majlis focused on a number of aspects related to raising children, including raising children under various threats and changes as well as upbringing based on a national strategy that helps achieve development.

During the majlis, Lieutenant General Dahi questioned who is responsible for children's development, pointing out that schools deal with formal education, but there is little attention being paid to how the children are being raised.

He said that school books only have educational materials, but that raising children with a good moral foundation is not addressed.

"The raising issue is absent from our schools, as nobody has met to prepare the subjects of moral raising," he said.

Lieutenant General Dahi called for a joint council to discuss the issue of raising children because it is a serious matter, as nowadays some youngsters can be seen imitating the West by dressing in ways that diverge from the UAE's culture and religion.

Teachers moving

"The low wages of teachers has prompted the best of them to find other jobs or migrate to other countries which is a loss for our schools," he said.

Sultan Saqr Al Suwaidi, Federal National Council (FNC) member and vice president of the Juvenile Welfare Association, said there is a high-scale media campaign to turn youngsters toward western styles and away from their own culture and tradition. Therefore, governments must guide the media regarding this issue.

Many personalities present at the majlis agreed on the importance of a solid upbringing for youngsters which comes from various factors such as a good family atmosphere, schools and the society.

Ali Humaid, from the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Work Department, said parents must not leave parental responsibility to housemaids, as youngsters must be exposed to their parents' good example.

Khamis Abdullah from the Ajman Educational Zone, said a survey he conducted among preparatory students revealed that 25 per cent of them watched TV for long periods, 35 per cent watched TV after midnight, 44 per cent watched a programme for the appearance of a female presenter and 76 per cent challenged the idea of encoding channels.

Khalifa Al Mehrazi, a family counsellor at Dubai Courts, drew on the issue of an emotional gap between a child and his/her family. This was revealed in an experiment where children were asked to rank five words starting with whom they would prefer to sit. The words were football, playstation, father, school and friends.

"Playstation came first in the list while father came last," he said.


He said statistics revealed that 94 per cent of divorces occur during the first four years of marriage, which affects the raising of children, and in most cases children lose the language of communicating with their parents.

Participants at the majlis also agreed on the importance of establishing an association to coordinate with various society organisations regarding raising children and family counselling, police and other concerned authorities to carry out studies and research related to juveniles and education.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept 10---terrorism

It was all about terrorism!

The calls were amazing and you really need to listen to the show!


What is Terrorism?

Terrorism is not new, and even though it has been used since the beginning of recorded history it can be relatively hard to define. Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter.

That is why preemption is now so important. In some cases, terrorism has been a means to carry on a conflict without the adversary realizing the nature of the threat, mistaking terrorism for criminal activity. Because of these characteristics, terrorism has become increasingly common among those pursuing extreme goals throughout the world. But despite its popularity, terrorism can be a nebulous concept. Even within the U.S. Government, agencies responsible for different functions in our current fight against terrorism use different definitions.

The United States Department of Defense defines terrorism as “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.” Within this definition, there are three key elements—violence, fear, and intimidation—and each element produces terror in its victims. The FBI uses this: "Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." The U.S. Department of State defines "terrorism" to be "premeditated politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

Outside the United States Government, there are greater variations in what features of terrorism are emphasized in definitions. The United Nations produced this definition in 1992; "An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets." The most commonly accepted academic definition starts with the U.N. definition quoted above, and adds two sentences totaling another 77 words on the end; containing such verbose concepts as "message generators" and 'violence based communication processes." Less specific and considerably less verbose, the British Government definition of 1974 is"…the use of violence for political ends, and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public, or any section of the public, in fear."

Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that .draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The terrorists plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. For example, in 1972 at the Munich Olympics, the Black September Organization killed 11 Israelis. The Israelis were the immediate victims. But the true target was the estimated 1 billion people watching the televised event.

The Black September Organization used the high visibility of the Olympics to publicize its views on the plight of the Palestinian refugees. Similarly, in October 1983, Middle Eastern terrorists bombed the Marine Battalion Landing Team Headquarters at Beirut International Airport. Their immediate victims were the 241 U.S. military personnel who were killed and over 100 others who were wounded. Their true target was the American people and the U.S. Congress. Their one act of violence influenced the United States’ decision to withdraw the Marines from Beirut and was therefore considered a terrorist success.

There are three perspectives of terrorism: the terrorist’s, the victim’s, and the general public’s. The phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a view terrorists themselves would accept. Terrorists do not see themselves as evil. They believe they are legitimate combatants, fighting for what they believe in, by whatever means possible. A victim of a terrorist act sees the terrorist as a criminal with no regard for human life. The general public’s view is the most unstable. The terrorists take great pains to foster a “Robin Hood” image in hope of swaying the general public’s point of view toward their cause. This sympathetic view of terrorism has become an integral part of their psychological warfare and needs to be countered vigorously.
Copyright Terrorism-Research.com -

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sept 9---stress

Prakash Chugani joined us in hour one to talk about how to deal with stress.

The way? In one word meditation.

Amal Beck a stress management therapist at www.bodydynamics.com said solutions are really easy and rest on you wanting to change and sticking with the program... meditation, visualization, and other things that anyone can learn!

Peter suggested it is all about exercise and again meditation!

My question as always is so why are more people not doing more to deal with stress?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sept 8--- food safety part 4

Bobby Krishna a food safety officer for Dubai Municipality (bobbykrishna@gmail.com or 04 206 4211) and Abdul Rashid regional director of JohnsonDiversey (abdul.rashid@johnsondiversey.com or 04 881 9470) joined us to talk food safety in the UAE.

Dubai is actually a world leader in food safety! REALLY.

Listen to the podcast and learn why.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sept 7----trends and transportation

Trends Magazine! Are you reading this magazine? 10 years of leading the Arab World and as one listener suggested this mag follows almost any career!

Johnathan Howell Jones, Editor, has agreed to join us monthly to keep us ahead of the curve of ideas!

Col. Augustine MD of School Transport Services gave us the word on what is happening with school transport in Dubai.

And you want to look at the new DubaiEye website (www.dubaieye1038.com)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

September 3----change the world

We went from talking about time and watches to changing the world!

OK, so watches are still a major part of our life if for no other reason they tell a story about us... we are well off or we are sporty... or we are practical... vain....

Shawn Ahmed www.uncultured.com took us to a totally different place as we spoke about his work to make a small change for a few people in Bangladesh.

Go and check out his site... here is a piece!

My name is Shawn and The Uncultured Project is the name of my work inspired by my time as a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame. While there, I got to meet Dr. Jeffrey Sachs (author of the book “The End of Poverty). Shortly after meeting Dr. Sachs, I put my dreams of getting a graduate degree on hold and came to Bangladesh to start this project.

My <span class=Madhupur Gang ;-)" border="0" height="375" width="500">

Who else is involved? I couldn’t do this project if it wasn’t for the help of others. Since starting this project, I’ve received assistance from family, friends, YouTube users, Nerdfighters, as well as help from compassionate and like-minded NGOs, socially responsible companies, charities, and development agencies.

Nick <span class=Downie and Me" border="0" height="291" width="500">

As of May 2008, my friend Matt from Notre Dame joined this project as part of his two month internship to Uganda.

Me and the kids

Why Bangladesh? I have relatives here that make it easy to stay in this country on my shoe-string budget. And, with over 80% of the 150 million people in this country earning less than $2 a day - a large chunk of the global poor live in Bangladesh (even though poverty in Africa often gets more attention in the media).

Hungry, Homeless, Young, and Poor

Why is it called “uncultured”? Uncultured is the description for my background and my approach. I have no previous experience with this kind of work (field work, aid work, or even video editing) nor did I come to Bangladesh with a set plan. I just voluntarily withdrew from Notre Dame (in good academic standing), packed my bags, grabbed my computer, bought a camcorder, and flew to Bangladesh.

I Actually Fell onto the Ground

Where is the project? This project consists of work on the ground and my attempts to share as much as I can while I am still in Bangladesh. I have a photoblog on Flickr, a channel on YouTube, and a Facebook group. Additional material maybe written for (or syndicated with) either NowPublic.com and/or MOLI.com (in their section called Worthy Causes).

Buying School Supplies

Is this a charity or international organization? This is not a charity, this is not an NGO, and this is definitely not an attempt at fame or fortune. It’s just a project that will hopefully inspire others to ask the same question I’ve been asking myself: “are we doing enough to make the world a better place?”

A Community Full of Love

Content Licensing and Sharing

All online content from this project (unless specified otherwise) is free for you to share, distribute, and modify as long as you follow this license.

Contact Information

If you would like to contact me directly, you can email me. I apologize in advance as I may not be able to reply to every email I receive.

How and Why This Project Began

There is a difference between caring about an issue - and actually doing something about it. There is also a difference between wanting to do something about it - and actually doing it. When it comes to global poverty, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t care about this issue and isn’t aware about how serious the problem is. I don’t believe the problem is a lack of awareness or concern about this issue. I believe the problem is that a lot of us see this problem to be so distant, so immense, and so overwhelming - that most of us don’t know what to do. In fact, many people feel global poverty can never be solved - or worse, blame the global poor for their own poverty.

I believe extreme global poverty can be solved in our lifetime - the lifetime of my generation. This can happen if my generation takes its role in history as the generation that not only cares about global poverty - but also actually does something about it. I was inspired to believe in this message while a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame. On September 14th, 2006, Notre Dame decided to close all of its classes so students could attend a forum on global health. It was here that I got to meet and listen to Dr. Jeffrey Sachs - a Harvard economist and professor at Columbia University.

Jeffrey Sachs and Me at the <span class=Notre Dame 2006 Forum on Global Health" border="0" height="354" width="474">

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs is also the author of the book “The End of Poverty”. The message in that book is simple, powerful, and compelling. It was that same message that he conveyed to students in his speech at the University of Notre Dame. According to Dr. Sachs, extreme global poverty can be ended in our lifetime - not in the distant future. Most importantly, we don’t need to have a revolution, turn into communists, or become selfless like Mother Theresa. Simple changes to our global priorities can make the world a better place for the world’s worst off. And making the world a better place for others, makes it a better place for us all.

I don’t claim to have all the answers. In fact, this project has really been a learning experience for me. It has also been a lot harder than I anticipated. I’ve had to deal with corruption, floods, riots, military curfews, food poisoning, and the hospitalization of one of my family members due to the deadly mosquito-transmitted Dengue Virus. I’ve also seen a lot of things which have changed my life forever - including both the immense suffering caused by poverty but also the suffering caused by tragedies such as Cyclone Sidr. It’s for that reason - and my desire to make an honest and lasting difference in this country - that I keep extending my stay in Bangladesh. What was originally a two month project is now approaching its one year anniversary.

I know this project cannot single-handedly end global poverty. But, hopefully, those who see this project will be inspired to ask themselves “are we all doing enough to make the world a better place?”.

Project Map

Changing the Conversation about Global Poverty

Part of the reason I started this project is because I want to make the issue of global poverty as accessible to my generation as possible. Because - and I do this as well - most of us simply change the channel when we see images of suffering of the developing world (or “third world”) on TV. More often than not, such images in the media are tailored to evoke our pity or guilt in the hopes of soliciting a donation. I believe such a one-dimensional approach of this issue not only does a disservice to the global poor but also a disservice to the issue of ending global poverty.

I also believe that the big name charities and big name organizations are not fully utilizing the power of the internet when it comes to talking about important issues like global poverty. Most of the videos on YouTube made by the big name organizations and charities are nothing more than static documentaries - nothing different than what you would find on television. But the power of the internet - and websites like YouTube - is the community interaction. I don’t consider my videos on YouTube to be documentaries. They are video logs (or “vlogs”) of this project and my work.

I believe this personal approach maybe the reason why The Uncultured Project is more popular on YouTube (in terms of subscribers) than every single Save the Children, CARE, UNDP, UNICEF, UN World Food Programme, Concern Worldwide, and Oxfam channel on YouTube - combined.

My Expenses, Funding, and Support

My plane ticket here and my video camera have been the two biggest single expenses during this entire trip. That’s the point - it doesn’t take that much to make a difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor.

Up until April of 2008, much of what I spent on the ground came from some limited personal savings (saved up from my time as a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant at Notre Dame) as well as family donations. This project is also made possible in large part by my supportive family (aunts, uncles, mom, dad, and grandmother) who have all helped as much as they can.

As of April 2008, I have opened up a PayPal account and have started to accept donations. Even though I have started accepting donations - this project isn’t about fund raising. I just want to be able do for those who donate what I have been able to do for my family - that is to show them where their money can do and what it can do. I’m also just a private citizen and donations to me aren’t tax deductible. I am still encouraging everyone who can only donate to one place, to consider donating to a registered charity.

I would also like to give my heartfelt thanks to Vestergaard-Frandsen for their donations of their award-winning portable water purification straws called LifeStraws, durable long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets called PermaNet, and insecticide treated sheeting suitable for low-income housing called ZeroFly. I am also thankful to the various NGOs, charities, and development agencies that have provided logistical assistance from time to time.

Coverage of The Uncultured Project

I never thought that other people would be writing or talking about me or my work. I’m both honored and flattered to have sparked this kind of interest. Here are a few places that mention my work:

The Uncultured Project has also been mentioned in the blogosphere - click here for the list compiled by Technorati.com.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sept 2----russia and georgia

How much attention are you paying to the Russia/Georgia fall out?

I suspect you are not giving it 5 minutes of your day!

WOW! This is a huge issue that can and will have an impact on geopolitical issues and could lead to some very serious long term change!

On Nightline we tried to start to unpack the issue!

The BBC was a good start!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7583164.stm West condemns Russia over Georgia

Abkhazia residents celebrate Russia's declaration in Sukhumi (26 August 2008)
In Abkhazia, hundreds danced and embraced near a government building

Western leaders have condemned strongly Russia's decision to recognise the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Monday, September 01, 2008

September 1---Dubai Lifestyle

Napur Kalia a reporter with the Indian Express, based out of the USA, joined me to pick the brains of our listeners about what it is that keeps us in the UAE!

Pamela Ritchie--co-host of the Business Tonight and Chris Thornton on the news team at DubaiEYE also sat in to share their views.

Here is a cool little video that gives us one side of the story!