Monday, August 31, 2009

What is your logic exactly?

We decided yesterday to go on a picnic in one of the most spectacular places in Lebanon. Kannoubine Valley (located near Bcharre in the mountains of north Lebanon, just before the Cedars) also known as Kadicha Valley, was our chosen destination. It is a beautiful place as you will see in the photos below.

But what I couldn't make out and get through my thick skull is understanding how do these group of people think and process things such as leaving their f*ckin garbage behind?

I mean, here we are bi ekhir ma 3ammar rabna, in the middle of nowhere, there is no municipality (not that it's a valid reason), where people go on purpose so they can be in the nature, far from the city noise and its pollution, near fantastic landscapes, and then here comes their garbage? Inno who do you expect will clean after you? Are there like magic elves who live in the forests that we don't know of and whose job is to clean after dirty people?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vote climate change for Blog Action Day 2009

Blog Action Day is a single day–October 15–when bloggers write about a particular topic in order to raise awareness. Last year, the issue was poverty, and over 12,000 bloggers covered it, reaching a total audience more than 13 million readers., the organizers of Blog Action Day, are running a 5-question, multiple-choice survey to determine the issue for this year's event.

As you might imagine, we think that issue should be climate change. Because it falls on October 15, Blog Action Day presents an excellent opportunity to set the stage for October 24's International Day of Climate Action. Plus, climate change negotiations on the Copenhagen scale don't happen every year.

If you agree, take 30 seconds and complete the Blog Action Day survey, selecting 'climate change' as the answer to the first question.

(And no I am not sorry for nagging your head about this issue!)

Who's against doing something about climate change - Fact #1

Saudi Arabia does not want rich countries to cut on carbon emissions, because if they do, they won't buy a lot of fuel anymore, and if they don't, the Kingdom won't sell a lot of fuel anymore. Monetary compensation did not convince the kingdom, why you ask? Because it's all about power.

Saudi Arabia influences smaller and weaker Arab countries in the climate change negotiations.

Power vs Survival

And we wait to see what happens in COP15, Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Protest-Camping in London to raise awareness about Climate Change

Ah... civilized societies!

The first day of 'Climate Camp 2009' proved a drizzly one for the hundreds who pitched up to Blackheath to raise awareness about climate change.

They had gathered at six London locations before noon, waiting for a text message telling them where the campsite would be.

The ruse served not only to confuse the police but the protesters as well, as there was a two-hour delay in relaying the information.

But just after 2pm yesterday, the messages started coming in.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Topic Selection for Blog Action Day 2009 - Help us pick Climate Change

Hi Everyone,

Blog Action Day takes place every year on October 15th, where all blogs blog about the same topic all over the world. They're doing a survey in order to select the topic that all blogs will be talking about, so let us all vote for Climate Change and spread it as much as we can.Kind Regards,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Blog Action Day Team <>
Date: Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 4:08 AM
Subject: Big News: to lead Blog Action Day 2009

Hey BAD bloggers!

It's almost that time of year again, and this time I have some
exciting news to announce.

When we started Blog Action Day two years ago, we had no idea
how large it would become.  Now that it's grown beyond our
wildest expectations, we've decided that it's time Blog Action
Day had a more permanent home where it can continue to expand.

To that end, we've asked the social issue blog network to take over the project and make Blog Action
Day bigger than ever.  I'm thrilled to say that they've
agreed, and their team has already started working on
preparing for this year's event on October 15th.

As a first step, the team wants to get your
thoughts on the selection of this year's topic.  To give
your feedback on the topics being considered or suggest
your own, click the link below to a short 5-question survey:

If you have any questions, additional suggestions, or want to
get involved beyond blogging, email Robin Beck,'s
Director of Organizing, at

Thanks for all the support – we look forward to having you
all involved in this year's event, and you'll being hearing
more from the folks at over the coming weeks as
we all get ready for Blog Action Day 2009.

Finally, don't forget to add us on Twitter:


BAD Coordinator 2007/2008

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Geeks get it

With the risk of sounding geeky, one of my favorite moments at work is when something finally works after being stuck, and it being the only obstacle from finishing your task or project.

I am not sure if this is only IT related or it happens in all fields, but I can emphasize that in IT we do a lot of programming sometimes or designing architecture for solutions or whatever the task is, and it would be the first of its kind where you work, so there isn't really anything you can rely on besides what's on the net and some books. At one point, after spending hours and sometimes days between researching and performing some trials and errors, after you think this is not working, why am I even assigned with such a task, I can't do it, and then BAM it works. Beautiful feeling!

Of course, your ego is boosted again, and you feel like you're the best IT person in Lebanon and Google should hire you as soon as they open in Lebanon.

Monday, August 17, 2009


3ashr sneen. Bta3rifeh shou sar bi hal 3ashr sneen. Sar ktir, aw2et b2oul ya raytik ba3dik mawjdoudeh, la t3isheh w tshoufeh shou 3am min shouf w n3ish, w aw2et b2oul mni7 yalli fallayteh w khloste min hal 7ayet wil 2araf yalli bit khallikeh t7issih bi wa2et mnil aw2et.

Ma ba3rif iza ba3dik mawjoudeh shi ma7al, bi hal dineh, bi hal 3alam, bil hal kon. Ana ma b2emin inno fi ghaymeh el kil bi 3isho fiya, 3laya bil a7ra. Gharib inno ba3dneh bitzakkar sawtik. W tari2et 7akyik. W nazertik.

Bis2al 7aleh la 7adit lyom, lei 7abbaytineh, w lei 7abbaytik. Sara7a, ana w bi iyem zighareh, ma kenet fattish 3ala fata el a7lem, kenet fattish 3an sadi2a! btitzakkareh Gibran shou al? w 7solet 3ala sadi2te, yalli la ekhir 7ayeteh ma ra7 ensiya.

Bi oulo el 3atra 3alli ra7. Mazbout. Ana bkhaf rou7. Bass inte ya inseneh, ya niswen (mitel ma kente t2ouleh), ma khefte trou7e. 7adan bi 3omr el sitta3sh, bya3rif inno ma3o saratan, w bi dal yebtessim?

Sinten min ba3da, ana kenet bi balad teneh, w bi layle ma fiya daw amar, seret ibke mitel el hable, kenet 3am fakkir fike, 7asset fike. w min ba3ed ma rje3et 3refet inno nshallayte w dtarrayte titirke el madrasseh. tballsheh bi awal khoutwe la tark el 7ayet.

Bfakkir ktir law ba3dik ma3na 3al hal ared, ana b2oul kente bit kouneh architect, w 7emle mastra w 3am bit 3ayte 3al mwazafin, la2anno ghalbato, bass hineh ma ra7 yiz3alo minnik, inte ma byinza3al minnik.

Inte ya inseneh, labbasoukeh fostan azra2 nhar yalli kente 3am bit filleh fi... bitzakkar el fostan, mitel taba3 snow-white.... w ya 7elwe, keno ra7o sha3ratik, w keno 7attinlik sha3er istina3e, bouclé, roux, w ana abla kenet eylitlik inno ktir ken lebi2lik. Alileh inte yalli kente el marida, w jiteh tallayte 3laye la2anno kenet 3am bedrous, w kheyfe es2out.

talfanet 3ayyadtik bi wa7ad Ab, mitel el majdoubeh, eltellik 3a2bel el miye. bass ma... tisata3sh ken el ra2em la ilik.

gharib nhar el dafen, gharib, deyman gharib, houwe bi koun absha3 nhar, w a7la nhar. absha3 la 2anno taraktina, w a7la la2anno kenit a2rab marra lal 7ayet min shoufik fiya.

w halla2 inte wein, w ni7na wein. el 7ayet sakhife. sakhife ktir. w 3alam mitlik hineh yalli bya3touwa imeh. alla yer7amik ya benet. akh... ila al lika2

Friday, August 14, 2009

We nag, while they have no choice

After reading this post by Human Province, on how maids or nannies are treated while tagging along the family they work for when going to a private beach and such, it triggered another thoughts in my brain that I do think about from time to time, but never thought of writing them down.

I always wondered about Maids in general, the 24/7 maids who live with the family, and I've heard horrid stories about locking the door on them, because they might escape, etc... I don't deny that it's a bummer if your maid escapes, but there is actually two reasons for that, either you're treating her badly, and in case you're not and she escapes, just stop at the word escape and think for a minute.

We say escape, when we are leaving someplace we are obliged to be in without the consent of those who have the power in that location, i.e. JAIL

Working from 8am to 6pm, makes me feel like a prisoner, or sometimes get bothered if my boss asked me in an indirect polite way about not having finished my job on time. But let's talk about the schedule, for example right now, I want to get out and go sit in the nature and contemplate an ant idiotically like I used to, without having anyone to ask me why, or to criticize what am doing, and so on and so forth. My obstacle? I don't have many days off anymore, yep, that's the only obstacle. And not because anyone makes me sit without having the freedom to leave. While I have a relatively decent salary, a car, a mobile phone, I travel once or twice a year, my health, friends, going out 5 or 6 times a week, and the whole package. And I nag! Yes, sometimes it's good to keep yourself on your toes in order to improve on all levels, but really technically in the end, it's called nagging.

On the other side, those poor people, who are not inferior to us, who some of us make them sit in the back seat while the front seat is empty, yet there is no child in the car in the back to be taken care of (like that is not a good reason still), while we lock the house's door on them when we go out, while we go out and have fun and go to our jobs to nourish our thoughts, our life, our life style, they sit at home, cleaning and cooking. All day, everyday, for the whole week, the whole month, and year.

I do know of few exceptions though, where these maids are treated as a part of the family, and the maids themselves refuse to leave.

p.s. I would hate myself if I even start telling the maid to get me water and coffee and pick up after me, unless am paralyzed of course. Should keep reminding myself, if I ever get a maid, not to become an asshole.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Socializing, remember those days on the balcony?

Whatever happened to having friends over, chit-chatting over beer and "loz", or talking, listening and dancing on the music, playing "Dirbakkeh", after having tabbouleh, fries and a "Labneh" plate, sitting on the balcony contemplating the neighbors, who found a parking spot, who came home early and who came late, and then inviting them over.

The forms of socializing is changing, dinner parties at home, or a small modest buffet, or a Lebanese "tawleh", are decreasing with time. When you want to see your friends now, you decide to meet at some restaurant, not that I mind, I love restaurants, but I honestly miss having people over, or being over at people's houses from time to time, you know, it's that sense of familiarity of feeling at ease. I keep thinking of inviting people over and preparing something, but I always stop myself on: "Okay, but what will I tell him the reason for this gathering is?"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Climate Change v/s Global Warming, What is Climate change?

In this post, I will be talking about what Climate Change (also referred to as Global Change) is, what Global Warming is, and the difference between them.

Global Warming

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the last century.

The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface.

So in summary, with the greenhouse effect, the more the CO2, the more the absorption of the sun's radiation by the Earth, thus the increase of the global temperature. (See Photo)

Climate Change

Climate change is any long-term change in the statistics of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. Climate change may occur in a specific region, or across the whole Earth.

Lately, a change in the climate is occurring fast, and we can see those changes today. To name a few, increase in the sea water level (see previous post about the Maldives Islands to disappear, causing what we call Climate Refugees), increase in the spreading of diseases (e.g. the Dengue fever in Bangladesh), increase in the number of cyclones (e.g. in Oman), bleaching of coral reefs, glaciers melting, etc...

As now climate change will be affecting the whole Earth, it is also being referred to as Global Change.

Difference between Global Warming and Climate Change

Put in simple words, we can say that Climate change (the recent of course) is the consequence of Global warming. Global warming already happened, climate change is happening as we speak, and the target of these NGOs by December 2009 in Copenhagen is to introduce a treaty that will let the countries work on mitigating (decreasing) the effects of climate change on Earth as much as possible, by setting the goal of decreasing the gas emissions by 80% by 2050, to reach the 350 ppm (parts per million) CO2 in the atmosphere (it's around 378ppm now), to prevent from letting the temperature of the earth increase by 2 degrees Celsius (more details on this in future posts) which if they don't, it will have catastrophic and disastrous effects on Earth.

In future posts, I will be telling you about the effects of Climate Change on Lebanon directly, the difference between Mitigation (increase in gas emissions activities) and adaptation (in case the tipping point in climate change is reached, what will we do then), the science and the politics behind Climate Change and the most common words and expressions you will be hearing that are related to Climate change.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I ask you kindly my fellow bloggers/readers to:

We have this saying in Lebanese "Money attracts money". But today I want to talk about procrastination, truth is "Procrastination attracts procrastination". Surprisingly and amazingly, it is one of the 7 sins.

Ever noticed that the day you get lazy doesn't end, and you start feeling that you're even lazier than the minute before, and can't even bring yourself, to get up and shower and get going?

You say to yourself, I deserve this, I need to rest, just drool and watch TV all day, I have been working my ass off all week barely had any time to pee. Truth is, which days did you enjoy more?

Ever wondered how a 24 hours days is just perfect, sometimes we say it's too long, sometimes we say it's not enough. I personally think it's perfect. You run from work to whatever commitment you have afterward, be it learning a language, going to the gym, attending classes that might boost your career, volunteer work, visiting someone, doing freelance job or working a second a job. You barely get home and sleep. And it's perfect.

When I feel I have more time to do something, I end up having a lot of free time doing nothing and guess what, bored to death, depressed, sad, unproductive.

And finally, if you think you don't have enough time to know more about Climate Change, you're partially right. 40 years and the world we got to know the way it is may not be anymore. There are many campaigns in this world, and you think other people might handle this, but not this one and I hope that you (my smart readers, "intelligence attracts intelligence") might trust me when I ask your help to help me
spread the word about Climate Change. I know you're still reading the words and wondering, it's not that serious, is it? It doesn't sound serious. Yes because I haven't said anything about it, but I will in the next few months and until the Copenhagen December 2009 negotiations happen. And I kindly ask you to follow me, and to share and tell others, and if you are interested in volunteering, and knowing more and more about the "politics vs science" in this matter, I will be more than happy to re-route you to IndyACT and transmit what I have learned so far.

And I promise you if by 2050 we are all still alive with a normal climate similar to the year 1990, I will give you a gift then (I will be 68 and probably very rich).

p.s. I am not accusing anyone of procrastination, I just started the post like that and it turned to Climate Change, I think all my future posts will have the same fate, bare with me these next few months!

p.p.s I am sorry for not providing any picture in this post, boring ey!?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Time to change in climate change before it's too late

IndyACT and 350

I had the pleasure and the great opportunity to attend the Climate Change Media Workshop that was organized by IndyAct, an NGO based in Lebanon and who is playing a big part in this whole story. It took place on 5 and 6 August 2009, where we also met Bill McKibben, from 350 campaign which I will tell you all about in a future post.

I added the below movie so everyone can understand what 350ppm (parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere) means. Because the world needs to know.

Climate Change

As the next person, I had heard about climate change, but I thought its consequences were something to happen in the next century or the one after, but sadly it's much less, we're talking 40 years only. I can't tell you what I learned in this workshop in 1 post, however I will pass these information along the next weeks to you so you can share as well... Actually, please share, it's your life and my life at stake here.

Climate change is a direct threat to our lives and the lives of our children. It would be completely unfair to ruin this world for them while we have the chance for once to make history and actually do something good.

Copenhagen December 2009

In December 2009, we will all be hoping for the leading countries to sign on an agreement and not just any agreement that will abide them to decrease gas emissions. More on Copenhagen December 2009 in another post.

Small Islands to disappear from the face of the Earth

I will share with you this video of the President of the Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, in which he talks about how the Maldives, as small Islands will disappear before 2050 due to the sea level rise that is caused by climate change. Think about it, a whole country will disappear? Where will the population go? Plus, a whole country will disappear under our own eyes!!!!

Watch this video here please.

As the President of the Maldives put it: "Please, don't be stupid"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dalai Lama day

One of the things that I didn't like about myself was the
over-thinking, and I think I have successfully managed to decrease it,
I think, wait, let me think about it, ... (5 minutes pass) yep, I
think I'm good.

Anyway, there is another negative aspect of my personality that I need
to work on and it is "jumping into conclusions" a little too fast.
Many people do that, and I understand why. There is a thrill , an
adrenalin rush (sometimes) after a person jumps into a conclusion and
it turns out to be right. Maybe the trick here, is to play a game, but
make sure you don't let that conclusion close your mind from accepting
or considering any other possible conclusion or explanation for that

In theory, we are born neutral. Our surroundings and society lead us
to be more tolerant or more prejudiced, more accepting or more racist.
But that doesn't mean we cannot change this if we don't decide to. In
conclusion (was that fast?), most of the time you don't to convince a
person of a certain issue or way of thinking, or an idea, it's more
important to just convince him that it's not wrong to change his
principles, or beliefs, or way of thinking, and all it matters is to
be open. And then if you trust your idea enough, then the person in
front of you will get there on their own.

Dalai Lama signing off.