Random Rants and Reflections on the State of Everything

I cannot tell you how busy I’ve been – REALLY BUSY!  If you don’t see me blogging for a while, know that it’s because I’m overwhelmed, never because I don’t care, or that I don’t have enough to write about – I have far more things to write about than I can ever have time for.

Anyway, since it’s been a while, where do I begin…?

Ah yes, my recent trip…

I had a whirlwind trip recently to the UK, Vienna and Singapore.  I had a couple of meetings in London, and gave a lecture at my former university, the University of Buckingham.

I have to admit it was a very nostalgic trip.  Buckingham is a sleepy village north of London (in Buckinghamshire).  The most exciting thing there is the university itself – and that only has about 1,000 students.

I gave a lecture there to the students of the -relatively new- Business Enterprise programme, which is really the academic way of saying “entrepreneurship”.   I really enjoyed speaking to the students.  It was nice to see people at such a young age having entrepreneurial ambitions.

Talking to the students. Photo courtesy of Dean M. Junayed Miah.

I must have spoken for about 2 hours, which was followed by a long dinner.  The students asked me question after question and I answered as best as I could.  I was in my element.  I really enjoy consulting, coaching and mentoring, and nothing turns me on more than entrepreneurship.

Some of the ideas of the students were really good, while others needed some tweaking here or there.  I’m actually considering investing in one the ideas, we’ll see…

Vienna

Vienna street corner

After London I went to Vienna for 24 hours to pay my respects to some family friends, whose mother passed away. She was a close friend of my mother’s, and as a child I considered her like an aunt.

Her death made me sad, it reminded me of the changing of the seasons that we all have to go through whether we like it or not.  I’m not even 40 and I’ve already lost most of my uncles and aunts, and of course my father.

Funny, when I was a child I could not wait to grow up, and now I wish it had lasted longer.  Of course it’s futile telling your kids to enjoy their childhood and not be impatient about adulthood.  They will eventually wish it lasted longer too… and so it goes on until the end of days.

The Glory That is Singapore

My trip ended in the futuristic city state of Singapore.  Wow!  What a country!  This is a country that knows what it wants, and is getting it!  I loved how clean and organised it was.  Singapore is a great example of what Bahrain could have been.  They have turned themselves into a developed nation in one generation –  while we have protests, burnings, tear-gassing etc.   *SIGH*

The Bay area at night

I attended an investment course in SMU (Singapore Management University, not the other SMU, Southern Methodist University).  From what I gather, this is a very prestigious university.  I had the pleasure of meeting some very interesting people there.  I hope to keep in touch with some of them over the long term.

And I really hope to visit Singapore on a more regular basis.  I’ve visited before, way back in 1997, so it’s changed a lot, but it was impressive then, and is now.  Don’t get me wrong, the country has it’s problems, and I’m told it’s spectacular growth and transformation in just one generation came at a considerable social price, and don’t even get me started on some of their taxes.  Still, a great place.

The view from my hotel (the Fairmont). FANTASTIC hotel by the way.

 

Mandalay Bay Hotel

Another Young Man is Dead

Bahrain lost another one of it’s youth during a protest, Ahmed Ismael, God rest his young soul. He was shot by a live bullet.  The question is why? And who?  One hears rumours of armed “militia” going to protests, and/or it might be lone gunmen intent in punishing the protestors.  It’s not right, it’s disgusting.  When will the madness stop? God only knows, somehow I still have hope… and God willing, no one’s life (from either side) will have gone in vain.

Rest in peace Ahmed.

Minister of Culture Causes Havoc

I’m sure you’ve heard the story, but I’ll give you an abridged version here, as I understand it.

Some Islamists MP’s were not happy with the Spring of Culture activity Shaikha May organises every year.  And according to rumour, they were particularly upset that she allegedly asked the mosques to lower the volume of the Athan (call the prayer) in Muharraq.

She was brought into questioning in parliament where she was grilled.  In an angry response she accused the MP’s of bringing “child mercenaries” to her events to protest.

With Shaikha May al-Khalifa, minister of Culture, at an EO event.

This caused an uproar and she was kicked out, and on her way out she said something like “there is not a single man among you”, which caused an even bigger furore.  Now the MP’s are calling for her head.

Personally, I think that this whole thing blew out of proportion, and I hope we see some apologies exchanged, and people acting civil again.

I do want to add that I admire Shaikha May and I think she’s an outstanding minister, who has done a tremendous service to cultural awareness in Bahrain.  I give her my fullest support.

The DreamBody Centre Bahrain Mall

Well as can be expected, we’ve been delayed in the Bahrain Mall centre.  Originally, the contractor was supposed to hand over on the 1st of April, but it turns out that was a dream.  The problem is we had sent out sales letters in advance telling people that we’d be open.  To say I’m frustrated would be an understatement.

The new – and hopefully fixed – date is 15th of April.  By the way, we’re doing some amazing special offers for the opening week, if you’re interested, make sure you’re on my email list.  Click here to join my list.

Well my friend, that’s all I have for today.  I’m off to India all of next week, hopefully I’ll blog again soon.

Take care and God bless.

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