Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Good new Bad News

For full size please click on the image

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Eating our way to our doom!!

The chart is dated 2002, and believe me things are not looking any better

According to the latest figures released by the ministry of health “61 per cent of Bahrainis, aged 19 to 65, are either obese or overweight”
I have seen more alarming figures but I can’t locate the article. Still 61% people!! We are killing our selves slowly but surely!! Personaly I think this is a more serious problem then smoking, we all know how bad smoking is, but do we know how bad junk food and other processed food are?? They cause all kind of health problems and diseases, you name it, it will be some how linked to obesity (Cancer, diabetes and much much more)

So the question is why are Bahrainis Oboist??
Well basically it comes down to our life style, we drive everywhere, our food is high in carbs (rice and bread) and fat (fried) and we always take the weather as an excuse not to walk to places. BUT my favorite excuse is “ I DON’T HAVE TIME”.
How many times have you heard this??? They do have time to go out, eat, hangout with friends and EAT again!!! but they don’t have time to workout for an hour 3 times a week. It has been proven that % of girls over weight is more then guys in Bahrain, well some is due to cultural constrains (which I don’t buy) but I feel our girls take less care of their bodies then guys, have anyone noticed?? They only take care of their face and hair. As for the guys, have you seen Bahraini guys these days?? They are going to the other extreme (steroids and Growth Hormones) !!
A final thought: being skinny doesn’t mean you are healthy at all!!! How many skinny people have you seen with diabetes and other problems??
Healthy life style = Good food + Exercise

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Assessing al-Wefaq’s Parliamentary Experiment

The following article was written and posted by Carnegie Endowment for international peace. It provides a high level review of Wefaq’s parliamentary experience.
I my self think that before we judge Al Wefaq’s performance we need to give them some more time. It is there first time in the parliament which is dominated by Anti-Wefaq parties. As for Haq, I like their strong position on several issues, but let’s be fair, it’s easy to criticize when you are sitting outside. Going inside and doing the changes is extremely difficult.
My take on Al-Wefaq experience is that they going to give the reforms a chance by participating in it but once the four years are over and no tangible changes are being done. I think they going to announce the reform DEAD!! And back to the streets!!

Bahrain: Assessing al-Wefaq’s Parliamentary Experiment
Jane Kinninmont
It is almost one year since al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Bahrain’s largest legal opposition group, ended its boycott of parliament and won seventeen of forty seats in November 2006 elections. Compared to the repressive era of the 1990s, it is a remarkable achievement--for the group and for King Hamad’s program of gradual political liberalization-that al-Wefaq’s leader Sheikh Ali Salman, a former political prisoner and longtime exile, is now the head of a recognized parliamentary opposition. As yet, however, al-Wefaq has few clear gains to show from political participation. Differences are reported to be arising within the group, which also faces criticism from al-Haqq, an opposition group that broke with al-Wefaq.Al-Wefaq's MPs have little real legislative power within Bahrain’s current parliamentarysystem, in which the limited powers of the forty elected MPs are largely counterbalanced bythose of forty royally appointed MPs. Al-Wefaq, whose constituents mainly belong to thecountry’s Shi’a majority, has no ministers in the cabinet, where Sunni ruling family membershold most of the key posts. Nevertheless, al-Wefaq can claim to have influenced governmentpolicy in several areas. The government is increasing investment in public-sector housing, apriority for al-Wefaq’s constituents in a country where land and mortgage financing arescarce. The government is also trying to reduce unemployment, disproportionately highamong the Shi’a. It will soon introduce the country’s first ever unemployment benefits, whichwill be funded with an unpopular 1 percent levy on salaries--essentially Bahrain's first incometax. Pressure from al-Wefaq MPs also seems to have contributed to the recent dismissal ofHealth Minister Nada Haffad.
Although it is likely that al-Wefaq has contributed modestly to shifts in government policy,signs of dissatisfaction with its parliamentary experiment are increasing. Sheikh Salmanhinted on October 8 that he is considering resigning, suggesting he might be more influential from the outside. The Bahraini press has since reported widespread disagreement within al-Wefaq about whether to finish out the current parliamentary term (ending in 2010) or towithdraw sooner in order to shore up al-Wefaq’s credibility with the public. (The group denies these differences.)

At the same time, al-Wefaq faces relentless criticism from al-Haqq, a protest movement that disputes any gains from political participation. For example, when Sheikh Salman intervened with the government to procure the release of three non-Wefaq opposition leaders, includingal-Haqq’s leader Hassan Mushaima, in February 2006, al-Haqq dismissed the idea that Salman’s mediation had been effective, ascribing the activists’ release instead to riots and protests by Shi’i villagers on their behalf. In the end, it is quite possible that the government’s moves have been motivated by a combination of al-Wefaq’s polite pressure from inside parliament and the noisier demands of al-Haqq from without, with al-Haqq essentially playing
the bad cop.Among the challenges al-Wefaq faces is how to make the transition from an opposition movement to a parliamentary bloc, as shown in the income tax law episode. Al-Wefaq’s MPs
initially approved the law, badly misjudging the public mood. Many al-Wefaq constituents were angered by the introduction of even a small income tax when the government budget is in surplus and prices for essentials are rising. Moreover, the country’s leading Shi’i cleric,Sheikh Issa Qassim, declared the tax to be un-Islamic, arguing that wealth should be taxed rather than income. Al-Wefaq then belatedly tried to oppose the bill that it had already approved, with a predictable lack of success. The law went forward over al-Wefaq’s
objections, although the government did agree to a 15 percent rise in public sector salaries.
Meanwhile, al-Haqq and other activists press for government concessions through street protests and other forms of direct action. When a local landowner deployed fish traps that prevented Shi’i villagers from fishing the waters off Malkiya village in August, opposition activists removed them by force. Clashes with police ensued, but the King eventually ordered the traps to be removed. Access to the sea is an issue that resonates in the tiny island of Bahrain, where many beaches are privately owned, and supporters of direct action have publicized the Malkiya incident as a victory for their approach.
Al-Wefaq’s participation in politics is still young, and it would be unfair to judge its success purely on legislative grounds. The group's entry into parliament is not just a means to opposition ends; it is also a signal of conciliation to the ruling establishment at a time whenregional tensions are rekindling fears that the country’s Shi’i opposition groups are a potential fifth column for Iran. Meanwhile, al-Wefaq will face the challenges of a ruling establishment that resists significant concessions to the Shi’a, internal arguments about how to proceed, anda rival opposition group that threatens to draw al-Wefaq’s supporters away from electoral politics and into the streets to make their demands heard.

Jane Kinninmont is a Middle East editor and economist at the London-based Economist
Intelligence Unit.

1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036 n Phone 202-483-7600 n Fax 202-483-1840 n

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another Racist Article in Akhabr AlKhaleej

Click on the picture for the full size This article was sent to me by my friend "Golgo13". I asked my friend to comment on the article and the following is the commets:
During press conferences the Prime Minster of Bahrain has repeatedly expressed that inducing racial, ethical hatred or any other defamatory is not allowed in Bahrain society. Therefore it's the responsibility of the whole community to promote tolerance message. The Bahrain constitution states that [People are equal in human dignity, and citizens shall be equal in public rights and duties before the law, without discrimination as to race, origin, language, religion or belief].
So when Akhbar-Alkhaleej (Pro-Government Newspaper) allows a letter from one of readers to incite racial hatered against one sect (The Bahraini Persians) which the information is fabricated ..........................what does that mean? Why now? Why the Persians?

Let me just add this, Does the writer really thinks 3ajam taking 3ajami is a threat to Arabs?? Or maybe just maybe 3ajams talking Arabic and pretending to be Arab is more of a threat?
I guess its okay for Arab to talk English and for all Indians (with Bahraini passport) not to speak any word of Arabic!!
This racism only divides us, we need to treat these remarks as racism, neither Islam nor our culture accepts such racism. I say to all who don’t like Persians or 3ajams,

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Now we know where all the oil money goes!!

The following article was sent by a friend. It's about Arab owned yachts in Europe.
There nothing surprising about this article, but its nice to get more details on who owns what (some of the names i am sure you will recognize). These are only yachts, i wonder how much their planes costs??