Month: June 2010

Just Like A Child

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“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. “
Pablo Picasso

There are times when we wish we could return the torn calender pages back to the time when we were children. Life was much simpler back then; when our decisions were being made for us on what to wear and where to go, when we didn’t have to think twice about the people in our lives because the world seemed to rotate around us after all, when we were fed and clothed and our biggest interest in life was the next toy, baloon and ice cream we’d get if we cried loud enough. We hadn’t been introduced to betrayal, so it was easy to trust everyone. We did not understand pain so much, so it was easy to love unconditionally…Love everyone and everything that is. The sight of the flowers and the bees would make us stare for hours at awe, because we hadn’t been stung yet.

But then again, would you really want to live your life over? And even if you would, would you have made any changes in your life?

After all, if you hadn’t fallen down many times, would you have been able to walk? If you hadn’t been hurt when you were misunderstood, would you have developed the capacity to understand people? What about the endless lessons that you keep on learning with every fall, blow and shock…

What about your journey in academia, and the boring times spent stuck to the school chair when you’d rather be outside playing in the rain or curled up in bed…would you like to go through all that again?

So I wonder, if we could meet our kid selves again, what would we tell them?
To face life with the innocence of a child, and the responsibility of an adult
To continue dreaming like a child, and work hard to live those dreams like an adult
To forgive people like a child, and be there for them like an adult
To tell the truth like a child, and speak your mind like an adult
To unconditionally love like a child, and learn to sacrifice like an adult
To smile crazily like a child, and stay quiet like an adult
To ask questions like a child, and seek answers like an adult
To want like a child, but be patient like an adult
To shout like a child, but listen like an adult
To break things like a child, but fix them like an adult To explore life like a child, and analyze it like an adult
To take risks like a child, and stay grounded like an adult
To live with the spirit of a child, and the mind of an adult

Written by AH with some help from NS


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Countries Going Green

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In a discussion with a friend about “Oil vs. Alternate Energy,” we were talking about how Middle Eastern countries have the resources to push green technology forward but don’t have the initiative, since their number one product is oil, and since these countries are consumerist by nature, green initiatives would need a shove from the government. The exception of this could be Masdar City in Abu Dhabi; an emerging global clean-technology cluster located in what aims to be one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments powered by renewable energy.

On another front, “Kenya is going green,” an article in Daily Nation’s newspaper announced today. “Kenyans who plant more trees and use energy-saving techniques that reduce carbon emissions will in the near future get paid for this.”

However, a question posed is; Is Kenya ready?
African Carbon Asset Development announced grants to two projects underway in Kenya: The Lake Turkana wind power project, and a biomass fuel substitution project being developed by Athi River Mining Ltd.

Additionally, Jordan and Sudan are reported to have launched solar projects [1].
“The solar programme in Sudan may well become a new world-class model by integrating renewable energy resources in the surrounding land while producing dispatchable elecricity and water,” the Sudanese secretary of energy and mining Omar Mohammed Kheir said in March.

According to the report, “The Jordanian and Sudanese national programmes to develop low-carbon energy are among the most aggressive in the region. They may still develop faster than the generally smaller renewable energy programmes of far richer Gulf oil exporting states. That is because in both Jordan and Sudan, energy development is a pressing, basic human need.”

This poses the question; would green technology advance faster in rich countries or poor countries?

What are your opinions on the topic?

[1] http://blogs.thenational.ae/the_grid/2010/06/jordan-and-sudan-launch-solar-projects.html


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Butterfly Effect of Unsung Heroes

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“The world is divided into people who do things, and people who get credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class, there is far less competition.” »Dwight Morrow

Sometimes we cross paths with people who pass us by like a breath of cool air that cause dew drops to appear like crystals across a green meadow. They pass in and out of our lives so subtly, and leave behind valuable gifts without even realizing that they did. These gifts do not have to be covered in fancy wrapping paper, and are usually not expensive watches, diamond necklaces or cars. Instead, they may simply be memories that we cherish, smiles that make our day, kind words that touch our hearts, moments that take our breaths away, or lessons we will never forget….things that are more precious than diamonds, and much cheaper as well.

Their lessons are not necessarily shared as you-tubed lectures or written facebook notes and published books, but rather, they’re shared through the example of their life stories. They are inspiring in the way they hold true to their beliefs, in the way they courageously confront trying situations, in the way they make others laugh when they’d rather cry themselves, in the way they sacrifice their own dreams and passions to watch others realize their full potential.

And these unsung heroes may not even be known to the world outside their own. Some of them do not have many friends, and you wouldn’t find them on the news, on television or even online. What’s even funnier – or rather, sadder – is that even though we know that these people are amazing, and deserve the best in life for the differences they make in the lives of others, some are not accepted by their own people, and are labeled and shunned by the society they are in, because they dared to be different and stood up for what they believed in.
Whether these unsung heroes are parents, teachers, family or friends, they’re always in our lives, yet we don’t always see them. Sometimes we do, but we form our judgments about them based on what we hear from others, without taking that step forward to interact with them in an attempt to understand them. Sadly, when it comes to judging others, it’s really rare for us to follow the advice; believe only half of what you see and nothing of what you hear. So we listen to false accusations and judgments, justifying it by the phrase, “there can’t be smoke without fire” so we end up missing out on opportunities to enjoy the presents from their presence.

So if your eyes have suddenly opened to such an unsung hero who’s left your life, leaving a precious gift behind, then the least you could do is remember them in your prayers, and carry their gift forward. The memories, the smiles, the moments, the lessons…carry them forward, for you might contribute to the butterfly effect of their actions. That way you show appreciation for what they’ve done, and you become to others what they were to you once upon a time.

And if you are one of those unsung underappreciated people who don’t really see the immediate effects of your actions, believe in Allah’s rewards in the Hereafter for good deeds done with the right intentions. Additionally, think of the butterfly effect of your own actions.

So what is the butterfly effect? It’s how a small action today may cause large changes tomorrow. The theory of the butterfly effect is based on how what you do today might change the world someday, for you never know who might carry it forward.


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Welcome To Kenya

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I finally reached Kenya alhamdullilah, after one of the most tiring trips we have ever had in our lives.Our Pride of Africa (Kenya Airways) did not let us down when it comes to delaying their planes.Now we are used to one-two hour delays but FIVE hours? Or at least that was what they told us when we checked in, that our 2am flight was delayed until 7am.Naturally, we flew at 8.30 am.

Note to self; next time carry a tent to the airport, just in case. Or book a camel as plan B to send us to Kenya.

Our second flight from Nairobi to Mombasa got delayed by 20 min.
’20 min is a blessing.’ one of the passengers (1) said.
‘I hope it’s really 20 minutes not 20 hours.’ another said.
‘Well if it’s 20 hours, I think we will start walking to Mombasa.’ The first one said.

Suddenly, the Kenya Airways crew appeared to apologize because they were delaying some more. Passenger 1 demanded to see the manager and when he returned he told us the cause of this delay; They were understaffed and they didn’t have a shuttle bus to carry us from the departure gate to the plane. So basically, we had to walk the distance to the plane. Thank God we didn’t have to walk the distance to Mombasa.

Ilmohem, my mother asked the Kenya airways crew,’Are you guys on strike again?’ remembering the strike we got stuck in the middle of in 2009 (to find out more, click here ). The woman just laughed.

Finally we boarded, flew and landed in Moi International (aka ina tabu = tiresome) Airport in Mombasa. We took our bags and on the way out, the lights went out.

Welcome to Kenya.