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The Dark Side of Dubai

13 Dec

I think many have preconceived notions of Dubai which might change 180 degrees after reading this.

I’m really sad about what is going on and feel helpless. Actually in Singapore, workers do not have the best living and working conditions. Fortunately, there is HOME an organisation which advocates for their rights. This also reminds me of how fortunate i am here. Alhamdulilah.

Please read here to understand what i am trying to mean.

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Uni life can be so rich if…

21 Oct

…i had more friends to accompany me to events, seminars, dance workshops, all sorts of crazy workshops they have at NUS.

Currently, i am at the stage of my life in which friends and family are important people but i wont stop myself from doing what i like even if i do it alone. Similar to the stance i took when i was in Finland for exchange, something was up with the girls i travelled to Finland with so i didnt let it bother me and plan my journeys alone. If i were to wait for others, i would have not met the wonderful people on my journeys and witnessed the beautiful places (Masyallah).

Back to the matter at hand, rich university life if i had company to attend all the wonderful events. I signed up for a few to date just because the topic interest me and now i had the time to attend them.

Today’s event was a dialogue session; the Second China-India-Singapore Dialogue on Higher Education held at University Hall.

I was quite excited for it because education in the western world has received so much attention and recognition for as long as I’ve studied, besides education in Singapore of course. Of late, I have been reading and hearing on higher education in India and the richness of the Indian culture intrigues me.

There were 3 speakers in the first half of the session which i attended. I left after lunch as i had a lecture to attend.

The first speaker was the President of South University of Science and Technology of China. He spoke of challenges of setting up a new university and bringing it up to 1st class standards in the shortest possible time through the use of a different education model from the west. As science and technology is continually evolving beyond just the single discipline and employment opportunities are looking at not just the depth but breadth of knowledge as well, they are looking at abolishing department and having research institutes instead.

The second speaker was Professor Pankaj Chandra from an Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) He discussed the higher education framework from a very macro perspective with regards to governance. Interesting point to note was that universities are around for hundreds of years and the difficulties of self-regulating and improving, moving forward. There are multitude of opportunities for the sector to grow, change and improve.

Lastly, Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, President of NUS.

Firstly i must comment on how he looks, very young! I imagined the President looking like the President of Singapore; matured with white thinnning hair. The President of NUS looked like he was in his 30s and really tall. I think many students dont know the Presidents/ Chairmans/ Deans of their school/ institutions like i didnt know how the Head of NYP School of Business Management looked like till perhaps the day of my graduation.

He shared alot of stuff i didnt know and it happened right here in Singapore like the corporatization of NUS in 2006 and what it involved and still going on.

After which, a Q and A followed and i quite enjoy some of the questions asked and comments made. One thing i took away was what Prof Zhu from China said when asked why are they trying to redesign the university model when the world’s best universities in the west have the model which is most used now througout the world? According to international rankings, you (China University which is aiming at a different model) wont score so well because the ranking system is according to a different education model. He also spoke of Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton who were drop-outs and so what is all the fuss about competing to be better in higher education?

I dont know if the Prof answer was to the point but i still liked it.

China and India have existed for so much longer than the west and have very rich cultures and long heritage thus they look at the world as a whole but the west breaks the world into many pieces and then try to put them together piece by piece.

I think he is trying to mean the different disciplines and how we have to look at them together.

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Madrasah pattinam

20 Sep

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Seemed like the epic love story of the century but the ending was not that predictable and sad:(
I loved how the story developed and grow into the climax. It goes without saying that I LOVE the setting; of the 40s.
Thinking about it, I just realized it is a kind of female oppression as the girl was not allowed to marry the man of her choice but to marry another person.

Another thought about the plot: I concluded that she married her fiancé but turns our he died too so I wonder why she couldn’t go back to India earlier and only after the death of her husband.

Unrest in Egypt

30 Jan

Sometimes i really wish i followed up with the news so i’d know what is going on in the world.

Only a while ago i heard about the unrest in Cairo due to the political situation. When we were there, uncle talked to us a little about the government and how Egypt used to be in the past and how it has changed so much because of leaders in the country.

Around 30 minutes ago, i heard on the malay channel on the radio that a few Al-Azhar students are back and they said the unrest was not in all areas but mainly in tahrir and perhaps downtown area. I remember our bus arrived at Tahrir when we returned to Cairo from Siwa. Its a really crowded area especially at night.

From BBC news, i gathered a little more information about the situation in Cairo. Many people are being killed, the army have been called down, a curfew has been made, the police is arresting people…

From Al-jazeera English:

I cant really believe this is happening! We were just there around a month ago and things were well and peaceful. We visited the museum so full of amazing and well-preserved ancient artefacts. It will never be the same again.

From CNN blog:

Egypt’s information ministry announced the shutdown of the Al Jazeera channel in Egypt and the withdrawal of its media license to operate in the country, state-run Nile TV reported Sunday.

– A body was found in front of the country’s interior ministry Sunday morning, but there was no police presence nearby. Meanwhile, military tanks and hundreds of protesters were out on Cairo’s Tahrir Square. No violence was spotted in that area.

– Vandals ripped off the heads off two mummies and tossed relics onto the ground in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, said Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. The vandals were arrested and jailed, Hawass said. The museum has stepped up security and is now guarded by Egypt’s army, he said.

– Four people admitted to looting in the Cairo area, according to state-run Nile TV, which aired their confessions.

– People who were trying to protect their property said they are worried about criminal gangs armed with samurai swords, clubs or rifles. Every time a motorcycles drove by, people rushed out to make sure such criminals didn’t stop.

– Ahmed Rehab of the Council of American Islamic Relations said police were absent on Cairo streets. “People are walking around with baseball bats and knives,” Rehab said early Sunday. “We didn’t get any sleep all night.”

– In Alexandria, the scene at hospitals was chaotic. The facilities were short-staffed, and injured protesters said they were not being treated quickly enough.

– At least 31 people have been killed in protests in Alexandria, hospital authorities told CNN Saturday. Earlier, the state-run Nile TV earlier reported that at least 38 people died in the country’s unrest. It was unclear whether the Alexandria deaths were part of that toll.

After reading a few other sources that i understand the gravity of what is going on there now. I really hope aunty and uncle are doing ok there. Ameen.

There are a number of videos and latest updates about what is going on there now on this site.

does everything have to do with the elections?

26 Jan

The sensitive nature of this topic calls for extra careful measures thus it might not be very clear but i would try my best to get the message across.

X said that when s/he wanted the RC’s to help out in some event, they didnt ever so willingly. However, after the elections and political party A (i guess related to the RC’s) lost to political party B (independent party), the RC’s didnt want to help with the event anymore because they ‘wanted to show the residents this is what will happen if they vote for the political party B.

Even though i expect things like that here, it still came as a surprise. Social services can be affected by the politics thus one must be aware of what is going on in the political arena too 🙂

Recently, while reading about property prices, i came across:

“There’s no denying that the recent measures are an election move to placate the public to show that the government is doing something,” says an analyst who wishes to remain anonymous.

Minister Mah confirmed this recently during an interview with the TODAY newspaper.

“If you ask me whether it has got anything to do with the elections, the answer is yes. Everything has got to do with the elections,” he was quoted as saying.

Source: Fit to post

Life is so different now, without me realising it has evolved and now my concerns are so different.

Property prices definitely affect alot of Singaporeans, including myself. While others search for other avenues, others just choose to wait and see. Perhaps the cooling measures might take effect but we have to be patient.

In the movie, HumTum (me and you) the message which the leading actor kept saying throughout the movie was,” Life is a long while.” Is it? And who guranteed you a long while? I feel that my youth is only beginning but it seem to be moving so fast. I look forward to the weekend, and in the blink of an eye, it is over. The question plays in my mind, over and over; is this it? is life supposed to be like that? *gee i sound like im a mid life crisis, only am i not too young to be in such a crisis and too old to be in an identity crisis*

p.s. im quite looking forward to the elections because it is the first time i would be able to exercise my rights to vote.

political jokes

5 Sep

There was a worldwide survey conducted. The question was:

How can the problem of shortage of food be solved in the rest of the world?

China had problems because they didnt know what was shortage.

Africa had problems because they didnt know what food was.

USA had problems because they didnt know what was the rest of the world.

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My professor shares a number of political jokes during lecture but jokes, riddles never stay with me. They just magically disappear. (i just recalled a dirty joke, 2 actually) Ain’t sharing those 😉

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A man was watching this American little girl in a park in New York. Suddenly a little dog came to her and started playing with her. After a while the dog started becoming violent and attacked her.

The man sprung into action and hit the dog and killed it! The little girl is saved! Yay 🙂 The policeman came up to the man to thank him.

Policeman: The newspaper would publish,” A New Yorker saved a young American girl’s life!”

Man: I am not from New York.

Policeman: ok, then the newspaper would publish,” An American man saved ayoung American girl’s life!”

Man: Im not an American.

Policeman: Ok, where are you from then?

Man: I am Pakistani.

Policeman: The newspaper would pulish,” A Pakistani man killed an innocent American dog!”

Disclaimer: I might have left out a detail or two. Might have mixed up some stuff.

 p.s. the moon is staring right at me while im typing this post…its beautiful!

pursuit of happiness

21 Jan

Its funny, even i feel happy at Barack Obama’s inaugaration.

 ” With great power, comes great responsibility,”

your friendly neighbourhood spiderman. 

” With great expectations, comes greater disappointments,”

as quoted from some political figure. ( not exact quotation)

…………….      ………………..   ……………….         ……………….    ……………………   ……………. 

Life is beautiful, my friend said. 

Urm, i do not disagree but it is definitely not easy. Well, nothing is easy.

When we reach a crossroad, a decision has to be made but we are as clueless as a new born child. Not only are we unsure of what we should do but what we want. Even if we are sure of what we want, we might not be able to get it.

Should we pursue what we want? What if that path’s future prospect seems bleak? Do we go ahead? Urm…hello the world doesnt just revolve around you! Wake up to reality, if you choose the wrong path you’d just remain jobless when those who went to primary one with you attain high ranking positions in todays’ evil world.

Should we listen to our parents and do what we are not interested in but there are higher chances of getting a job even in a recession of the century? What if there is truth in what they say, like go NIE. Good job, good pay, what else you want? Uhh…happiness or satisfaction from doing what you enjoy? Contradicting my statement ain’t i?

Irony. We are asked to pursue our dreams, as long as it is not out of the league. Who measures that? Confusion evades our minds as we decide between what we want and what we should pursue.

Life would be beautiful if i wanted to be a doctor and im gifted with brains which will grant me that dream. A straight path towards my goal. Will i be happy? I think so since that is what i want. Perhaps.

Good pay, stable job => get what i want in life, in terms of material aspects. Will i be happy? So are we still on the path towards the pursuit of happiness? I have no idea.

I want to do what i enjoy, my passion. That will make me happy so i guess im still on THAT path. 🙂 I realised though that i have to pick and choose the paths because im not young long enough to do all of them…

Know what is going on… in Gaza

16 Jan

Go read this article!

Painful

11 Jan

What is happening in Gaza, even as not a very news person, I know… I cant help it that im not a news person. That is not the point though…

Why is this happening in the world? Some countries are more affected than others, some offer more aid than others.  Some can only offer humble prayers, in hope that things will get better.

Perhaps, we could all do our parts and offer prayer, maybe it will make a difference. An ustaz mentioned that we should make a point to Do’a for them at the end of our daily prayer. In anyway possible of course.

I cant help but wonder how is it for the Palestianians. When i went to Bosnia, seeing the ruins from the war more than ten years ago had a weird effect on me. There is a 10 minutes film depicting a little boy whose family, died, in just the 10minutes he took to go and collect water.

Not for the faint hearted but worth the watch because it won the best short movie in Europe title, or so i’ve heard. I cant imagine the impact on this boy and many other boys like him. Kesian nye!!!

Irony is, you’d think something would happen to the little boy because he is more exposed to the shelling but…

Did you know that cigarettes had more value during war time? And ohh its so heart wrenching.

Remember my account about this Palestianian guy i met in Finland? I bet there are many more lucky ones who fled Palestian and how would they feel. I cant help but wonder.

There is even chaos in Indonesia, what is the point in creating more conflict amongst innocent people in Indonesia? Perhaps they want to do something to stop the Israelis from the destruction they are causing in Gaza but i think the Israelis are unstoppable.