Monday, December 25, 2006

The "Boo Boo" Report

The Financial Audit Court and its accounts for 2005 was fresh air for this damp year. We're glad to see it, and glad to discuss openly where the public money is being spent.

I haven't read the entire report, but I would like to point out a couple of points that would make 2006's report even more astonishing.

  • First of all, its peculiar that the financial audit court reports to the royal court. I think it should report to parliment (not this one), remidied from there, and then the issue is escalated to the King. The annual report should not overtake legistlation in my opinion.

  • The report did not cover public lands, which is the biggest area of concernt right now.

  • The report was prepared in June. Presenting it around christmas minimizes the findings, since there is a time lag between June and December. Maybe it was to avoid a hectic elections season or something, but hopefully next year its going to be more timely.

  • The big Enchilada of that report was the Formula 1, just like GOSI was the hot potato a couple of years ago. Now can we take this issue a step further and investigate whether some of these grand projects are actually expecting returns based on solid feasiblity studies, or are they individualistic aspirations? The reason I say this is because there are lots of mega projects in the pipeline; namely, a golf course, a desert spa, a financial wharf, a business district, theme parks, a foodcourt lagoon, and the four seasons hotel to name a few. Its unimaginable if one of these mega projects goes bust and the government has to pick up the tab.

The people that worked on this report must be applauded. Thank you once again. Much respect!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tall Flower Syndrome

Some time around the 7th century BC, a tyrant called Periander just took over a city after a lengthy war.

He sent a messenger to his ally, Thrasybulus, asking for advice on ruling. Without saying a word, Thrasybulus takes the messenger out to the garden and starts cutting off the tops of the taller ears of corns and poppies by swinging his stick.

Periander started a pre-emptive death order on anyone that stood out of the crowd and seemed like they could one day challenge his power.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What airline?


A guy sitting at a bar at Heathrow Terminal 3 noticed a really beautiful woman sitting next to him.

He thought to himself: "Wow, she's so gorgeous she must be a flight attendant. But which airline does she work for?"

Hoping to pick her up, he approached towards her and said the Delta Airline slogan: "Love to fly and it shows?"

She gave him a confused look and he immediately thought to himself:
"Damn, she doesn't work for Delta Airlines."

A moment later, another slogan popped into his head. He leaned towards her again, "Something special in the air?"

She gave him the same confused look. He then removed Singapore Airlines off the list.

Next he tried the Thai Airways slogan: "Smooth as Silk."

This time the woman turned to him "What the F*$K do you want?"

The man smiled, then lay back in his chair, and said "Ahhhhh, Gulf Air!"

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Help me find this poem

A long time ago, I read a poem in arabic written by the Iraqi poet Ahmed Matar. I don't remember the name of that poem, or where I read it. The most memorable part of that poem was basically a man yelling at his wife like so ;

SHUT UP! Not Another Word! I'm trying to write an article about freedom of speech!

if anyone knows the poem I'm talking about... please let me know. Have a nice day.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Are you loyal?

Uncovering treason in the last couple of months has been more common than summer wasps! Every day, a master mind plot is stopped at its brink; like the terrorist cell that wants to go to Afghanistan, the Sudanese/British advisor/spy, the mysterious home buyers of Persian origin in Muharraq, the naturalization of scores of immigrants on a “who wants to be Bahraini?” basis, and last but certainly not least, the petition that went to the UN or the FIFA or wherever.

Has everyone gone paranoid? Everyone is accusing everyone else with ridiculous accusations. So what if someone wants to buy a home in Muharraq, or write a report about elections, or send a love letter to Kofi Annan?

I think we’re being very insecure about our loyalty. And I honestly don’t know why they’re worried about the elections being swayed, like parliament is able to do anything anyway.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Buildings

The real estate sector in Bahrain boomed and echo-boomed in the last couple of years. Now I don’t know if this phenomenon is the result of property owners trying so hard to put their offerings on the market while its still hot, but most of the new buildings do not suit, in design and location, their purpose.

These are examples of buildings which I think should be renovated into different facilities.

A’ali Mall:

The building is very elegant, retains the local experience, and the location is the most valuable on the Island. On the other hand, it does not have open corridors, but a rather star-shaped design which makes it hard for impulse shoppers to get around. If I was a business owner, I wouldn’t set a shop in that maze.

I think that building should be turned into a museum of modern arts. The kind of people that will go there will be the kind that is really dedicated to the cause. I think they will enjoy losing themselves in that intricate structure.


Bahrain Financial Harbor

I don’t know if the promoters realized this already, but Investment Banks, or private banks really emphasize on the “PRIVATE” bit. That’s why they’re incorporated under laws that value confidentiality like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. So I don’t think they’ll be very eager to come to the center of Manama, right under the spot light, since their customers want privacy first and for most. Besides, these banks probably don’t want to be next to each other, since all their competitors can see who walks in and out of their office and try to solicit business.

I think the two towers should turn into luxury hotels. The nice connector between the two buildings can make a very nice lobby, with restaurants on the sea side. You can get rid of the “Financial” aspect and call it the Bahrain Harbor. I think the gem will be piano or jazz lounges on the top floors. One with a view of the sea, and the other with a view of the old city of Manama.

The Al Fateh Library

I don’t have a problem with the library they’re constructing in Juffair, next to the Al Fateh Mosque. I just think the building is so beautiful to serve as a library by the sea.
If the project managers built that construction out of the ambit of the grand mosque, and closer to the sea, it would make a very nice opera house, like the one in Sydney. Just imagine.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Not worthy

With the war on terror over the world, the war on drugs in south america, the war on unemployment, and the war on batelco locally.. its a bit of a challenge to notice little details... words that are thrown around by the media.. just to inflate a story maybe.. or make it sound thrilling.. but the subliminal effect they have goes under the radar.

Last week... all over the news.. "Abu-Musaab Al Zarqawi was assassinated".... there was an air raid and "he was assassinated"... "the forces assassinated Al Zarqawi..."

NO HE WAS NOT!

MARTIN LUTHER KING was assassinated...

JAMAL ABDUL NASSER was assassinated

JOHN LENNON was assassinated...

That fat looney got killed! I don't think he was worth being called assassinated.