Life with the Big Blue

Sunday, October 23, 2005

يا أبا فيصل - رثاء الملك فهد بن عبدالعزيز رحمه الله

للشاعر :غازي القصيبي

لَمْ نَجدهُ... وقيل: «هذا الفِراقُ!»
فاستجارت بدمعِها الأحداقُ
كانَ ملءَ العيون فهدٌ... فما
حِجّةُ عينٍ دُموعها لا تُراقُ؟!
عَجبَ النعشُ من سكون المُسجَّى
وهوَ من عاش لم ينلهُ وِثاقُ
عَجبَ القبرُ... حين ضمّ الذي
ضاقت بما في إهابه الآفاقُ
عجبَ الشوطُ... والجياد قليلٌ...
كيف يهوي جَواده السبّاقُ
هدرت حولك الجموعُ وماجتْ
مثل بحرٍ... والتفّتِ الأعناقُ
هو يومُ الوفاءِ... حبّ بحزنٍ
نتساقاهُ... والكؤوسُ دهاقُ
وقفَ الموتُ في الطريق... ولكنْ
زحفتْ... لا تخافُهُ... الأشواقُ
يا أبا فيصلٍ! عليك سلامُ الله...
ما خالجَ القلوبَ اشتياقُ

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bush to Blair: First Iraq, then Saudi

"George Bush told the Prime Minister two months before the invasion of Iraq that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea may also be dealt with over weapons of mass destruction, a top secret Downing Street memo shows."
Full Story

It's funny how rediculous these "leaked" memos could get.......

BOOASH.......WAISH estefadt min 3'azoo al3raaag??........Ma kaffook elly warrook njoom al-9'e7a bal-falloojah wella elly tsammoonh "the Sunni triangle"? Yal-3'ebi!!..........yal-Mejrim!........yal-7maaar!.........Ya Geleel Al-Adab!!.........EHEBB ya Wajheh!! .........BOOASH.....Allah ye6'herk min al-Ardh w'ye36eek al-3goobah elly ma te56eek!!!

(make sure your speakers are working and your surroundings are friendly when you click on this link)

Wa7id MRI wa7id cola ya m3allim!...Bsur3ah law sama7t!

I just had my very first MRI scan of my lower back area in an Alexandria clinic......I never knew it could take this fast and be this cheap!!.....It costs hundreds and even thousands of dollars and requires a long waitlist elsewhere.....but in Al-Saraya hosptial.....all u need is a paper from the spinal cord consultant and the next thing you know: ur laying on a rotating rectangular pad with a huge plate on top of it, listening to constant fart-like tunes for 40 minutes!

I'll go to pick up the results tonight at 11pm-2am inshallah........He refused to give me an appointment,,,,,,,you gotta love the Egyptians' flexibility when it comes to time!
Total cost of consultation and MRI scan: 60+350 = 410 Egyptian pounds = approx. 41 British pounds!
Total wait time: 30 minutes (which bought me time to go get some cash from the ATM!)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Saudi Students Facing Exchange Rate Issues in Europe

جناية "الدولار" على السعوديين في الخارج: كيف نصف "الفقر" في غربة المبتعثين
سأبقى اليوم مع المبتعثين، وسأتحدث عن مشكلة تخص الغالبية منهم، سبق أن كتبت عنها في هذا العمود، ولم تحدث استجابة، وعندما أقول الغالبية منهم فإنني أقصد جميع المبتعثين خارج أمريكا، فهؤلاء جميعاً تصرف مكافآتهم بالدولار، ومعروف أن سعر الدولار يتراجع أمام العملات الأخرى، فهذا طالب مبتعث في فرنسا يقول إن الـ 1200 دولار التي تصرفها وزارة التعليم العالي له تتراجع عند الصرف إلى 800 يورو أو نحوها، وفي المقابل تتزايد أسعار السكن والمواد الاستهلاكية والغذائية، وفاتورة الكهرباء ستصل إلى الضعف خلال الشتاء القادم، فماذا يفعلون؟ لقد بدأ بعضهم هناك يبحثون عن عمل على الرغم من صعوبة التوفيق بينه وبين الدراسة، وهذا يعني إطالة أمد البعثة، في ظل عدم الاستجابة بزيادة المكافأة، أو على الأقل تثبيت سعر الصرف.وهذا طالب مبتعث آخر ـ إلى بريطانيا يتحدث عن نفس المعاناة ويقول "أود أن أذكرك أنكم تحتفلون باليوم الوطني ونحن هنا لضيق الحال لم نستطع الذهاب إلى السفارة للمبايعة فكيف بالاحتفال"، وهذا ثالث من ألمانيا يقول" لم نطلب المساواة بمنح دول الجوار مثل الإمارات والكويت فذلك ضرب من الجنون، لكن نتمنى مساواتنا بمنح بعض الدول العربية الأخرى غير البترولية"، وهذا رابع من كندا يقول "ندرك أن التعليم باهظ التكلفة، لكن فاتورة الجهل أعظم وأقسى على المدى الطويل".ولا أريد أن استطرد فالشكوى عامة، لذا فإنني أرجو من وزير التعليم العالي الدكتور خالد العنقري أن يعطي الأمر ما يستحقه من اهتمامه الشخصي، وبصورة عاجلة، وأن يؤخذ هذا الأمر في الحسبان مع الجيل الجديد من المبتعثين الذين بعثتهم الوزارة هذا العام. هؤلاء المبتعثون يشتكون من الفقر يا دكتور، وإذا كان الفقر في الوطن غربة، فكيف يكون الفقر في غربة المبتعث

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Anonymous Confessions

Have you ever done a horrible thing and feel like taking it off your chest? Are you bored or frustrated and need a laugh at other people's misery? Is it that you simply can't find a group hug when you need one? Check this site out:

Friday, September 30, 2005

Yana Al-Hewaa Yaaana

Another post written in Oman:

Swahili is almost an second official language in Oman. Most of the people who speak it come from Zanzibar/Zinjibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania once ruled by Omani dynasties. Almost all of them trace their roots back to Omani ancestors but some do have African blood in them. Sometimes they're derogatorily referred to as "Zinjibariyyeen". Good People, though!

The African connection is not always obvious. Some of them would look like Me7mas al-3taiibi or Njir al-Bgomi but would go: OGA BUGA MOMBA SAKALAWLAW as soon as he meets one of his kind.

Mohammed Badar, Marmul's Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment (QHSE) officer. A Swahili speaking Omani and also a great person.

w'Yana el-hewaaa yaaaaaaaanaaaaiii……..yaaanaiii min ZINJIBAAAAR!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Nose-Kissing Problem

Disclaimer: this post was not written under the influence of mind-altering substances.

Visitors of Arabia are always confused by how homosexual the behaviors of traditional Arab men could seem, like holding hands and public embraces. However, perhaps one of the most revolting sites to foreigners is nose-kissing. Two men would stick their noses together then make kissing sounds with their lips. In certain cases, one would kiss somebody else's nose. Kissing somebody's nose is a sign of respect and a recognition of superiority. Look at the figure below for clarification.

hey...don't look at me that way!......i find it repelling too.....neither myself nor any member of my extended family do it.....

In the oilfield you run into interesting cultural phenomena. One of them I like to call: "the Nose-Kissing problem". Since workers in oil locations are required to wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), which include hard-hats, nose-kissing ability is impaired. See the illustration below.

Nose-kissing attempt with hard-hats, introducing the nose-kissing problem

The Nose kissing hard-hat trick!

The Omani Bedouins, being the brilliant problem-solvers they are, came up with a solution to this problem. It's simple! One party would tilt their heads to one side and the other would stand steadily to graciously receive the traditional greeting. Unfotunately, I couldn't convince any of my colleagues to perform the trick on camera!

By the way, I got an answer to why oil locations are given female names in Oman....cuz they're full of sexually-deprived men who are there to drill holes! :-p

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Gay Omani Oil Wells

I couldn't help but notice the benign (mostly feminine) names of Omani oil regions. You'd have to understand Arabic to notice.

Oil Regions in Saud Arabiai: Haradh, Shedgum, Udhailiyah, Shaibah,Khufff, AbGAIG, Tanajeeb, Khrais, Barri, ZULUF, Ghawwar, Hawtah

Oil Regions in Oman: Amal, Al-Noor, Bahja, Reema, Osfoor, Rajaa, Zomorrod, Kaukab, Raihan, Naseem, Salwa, Zahra..........and many more......the list goes on

I guess it's because our regions were named by Bedouins whereas their regions were named by the government. Can you imagine a Bedouin calling a place Zomorrod? Well, maybe their badoo were gay.....Allahu A3lam....

Speaking of gayness,,,,,Omanis' reputation among expats is not of sexual Canadian manager told me about the "famous Omani saying": "women are for children and men are for fun"...........I gave him that "aiiiiiiiiish 3arrrafak?????!" look........

Another Omani saying:
اذا جاك مطوع صغير....ف شل وزارك وطير....
واذا جاك مطوع كبير....ف غطي فقحتك بحصير!!
Comments very welcome....