July 11, 2006

Random pictures from Riyadh

I’d like to share (and comment on) these random photos I took throughout last week.

For those who were in Saudi up to the early nineties this will definitely sound nostalgic, a vantage yellow taxi with an old Saudi plate number and hand scribbled side “stamp".

I found it abandoned next to our office this morning out of the blue, given that it’s against the law to be driving a car with old plate numbers, the rusty condition of the car and the fact that 99% of yellow taxis were righted off long back, it seems this one simply dropped down from the heavens!

Next is something that goes well with the plenty of strange encounters you come across here in Saudi, where else in the world will you find the national dress worn by most being banned from entering neutral places (I’m aware that national dress is not allowed in Dubai bars)?

This is the walk-in entrance of one compound (Sahara towers) clearly stating that no one wearing the Saudi national dress is allowed in! it look like a military camp entrance by the way.

Many housing complexes over here have various irrational rules, some decline tenant families whose female members wear veil (not even Niqab), others make it explicitly clear that visiting Saudi guests (Saudis are usually not allowed to live in by default) must wear their national dress, the Kingdome compound is notorious with this rule… its all but erratic, offensive and pointless!

Though I strive to boycott American products, but I found myself inclined to buy this soda for the mere cheeky statement they printed on the Arabic tag (as a token of arrogant novelty), it reads:

صنع في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية و نفخر بدعم قضية العرب و المسلمين من أجل السلام و الوحدة

“Made in the United States and we are proud to support the Arabs & Moslems cause for peace and unity”

It's poorly worded and doesn’t make any sense! What freaking "unity" are they talking about? I bet a business development manager of some sort thought in a clear moment of dulisinal intuitiveness “We might as well tag our exported goods with positive statements that will boost our sales, address any anti-American sentiments and dodge any boycott outbreaks” arrogance I'd say!

Visiting the company’s website (it’s called Blue Sky), there was no monition of their alleged “support” of “The Arab & Moslem just cause for peace & unity”, in fact the only cause they seem to be supportive of is adopting stray pets! The other me would probably write to them demanding an explanation on how exactly they support the latter “cause” or otherwise refund the overpriced “organic” drink they easily lured me to drink with blunt deceit.

Finally, the other day I complained to the restaurant manager of my favorite steak joint about the new burger buns they started using, and so the manager treated me with a Chocolate brownie, I’m not fond of sweets, but this one was exceptionally delicious at the time… the next day I ordered it, nothing was special about it anymore!

July 09, 2006

Blog wars, now is it?

A comment spammer(s) managed to lure me into clicking on what apparently seems to be yet another new Jordanian aggregator.

What seemed wrong right from the start was the statement made under the coming-soon banner, which clearly drives off all those who are already registered with another existing Jordanian aggregator!

Unless the creators of the two sites were fuming foes, I see no reason why the new site should be blunt in stating the above!

Better still, they could've been subtle about it and simply dismiss any applicants who are listed else where to avoid the bad karma and be more inclusive at face-value.

I must admit however, being listed on a credible aggregator (or gracious fellow bloggers rolls) is an important milestone.

If it wasn’t for Allah’s will and the good bunch behind the planet; I wouldn’t have had half the exposure I’m getting now, not that I know how many people visit my blog, but I like to think there are significant few to say the least.

I once stumbled upon a major Palestinian blogs aggregator, and found many JP blogs listed over there, not that I have an issue with it, but it got me thinking if it really matters? Does submitting my blog to another aggregator will do me any more good?

A bit of an unsolicited public advise to the folks behind the new site:

You're not offering anything new! You have JP incubating most of the "blogs" you're targeting, toot is hand-picking the good stuff (as they claim) and apparently they’re good at it, dwwen, tadween, dewanji and all other spelling variants are… will, I’m not sure what they are doing, but being just another "aggregator" will be self-defeating in a crowded market place.

Update: It seems the same people are behind both sides, but I still think they should get rid of the statement.