Libyans fight for freedom and Gaddafi solves the one of world’s mysteries

I don’t whether I should laugh or cry. Libyan peaceful protests are being faced with extreme violence.

A while back, the same Gaddafi behind the violence and killings gave the long awaited answer behind the origin of Cola.

If Hosni Mubarak had stepped down on day 1 of the Egyptian revolution, he would have probably been remembered as a progressive hero. Now he is synonymous with a boyfriend who just does not get that its over. All his actions and belongings will be scrutinised and all the dirt will be revealed.

Gaddafi has a lot more dirt to cover and his brutal regime has caused a lot of suffering to the Libyan people. If anything, he should know that this time around, it is different. You are not a leader if you don’t have anyone to lead. Saddam thought he was invincible. Mubarak thought it was a couple of days and all would go back to normal. Why would not these guys get it?

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The story of Wael Ghonim

I have been extremely busy since I started working at Google last year so I have not been posting much. Wael Ghonim – a fellow Googler, an Arabic brother, and a freedom fighter – has been released from arrest in Egypt. Here is a video of his first interview after he was released:


This is the truth behind the Internet revolution in Egypt. No foreign interference. No Muslim brotherhood. The video tells much more than I can ever write.

Half a life نصفُ حياة

This is a great script by Khalil Gibran that I came across. I found an OK translation below.

 

لا تجالس أنصاف العشاق، ولا تصادق أنصاف الأصدقاء، لا تقرأ لأنصاف الموهوبين، لا تعش نصف حياة، ولا تمت نصف موت، لا تختر نصف حل، ولا تقف في منتصف الحقيقة، لا تحلم نصف حلم، ولا تتعلق بنصف أمل، إذا صمتّ.. فاصمت حتى النهاية، وإذا تكلمت.. فتكلّم حتى النهاية، لا تصمت كي تتكلم، ولا تتكلم كي تصمت.

إذا رضيت فعبّر عن رضاك، لا تصطنع نصف رضا، وإذا رفضت.. فعبّر عن رفضك، لأن نصف الرفض قبول.. النصف هو حياة لم تعشها، وهو كلمة لم تقلها، وهو ابتسامة أجّلتها، وهو حب لم تصل إليه، وهو صداقة لم تعرفها.. النصف هو ما يجعلك غريباً عن أقرب الناس إليك، وهو ما يجعل أقرب الناس إليك غرباء عنك، النصف هو أن تصل وأن لاتصل، أن تعمل وأن لا تعمل، أن تغيب وأن تحضر.. النصف هو أنت، عندما لا تكون أنت.. لأنك لم تعرف من أنت. النصف هو أن      لا تعرف من أنت .. ومن تحب ليس نصفك الآخر.. هو أنت في مكان آخر في الوقت نفسه

نصف شربة لن تروي ظمأك، ونصف وجبة لن تشبع جوعك، نصف طريق لن يوصلك إلى أي مكان، ونصف فكرة لن تعطي لك نتيجة.. النصف هو لحظة عجزك وأنت لست بعاجز.. لأنك لست نصف إنسان. أنت إنسان.. وجدت كي تعيش  الحياة، وليس كي تعيش نصف حياة

جبران خليل جبران

Do not love Half lovers .. do not entertain Half friends .. do not indulge in works of the Half talented, do not live Half a life .. do not die a Half death ..

If you choose silence, then be silent .. when you speak, do so until you are finished .. do not silence yourself to say something, and do not speak to be silent .. if you accept, then express it bluntly, do not mask it .. if you refuse then be clear about it, for an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance ..

Do not accept Half a solution .. do not believe Half truths .. do not dream Half a dream .. do not fantasize about Half hopes ..

Half a drink will not quench your thirst .. Half a meal will not satiate your hunger .. Half the way will get you no where .. Half an idea will bear you no results ..

Your other Half is not the one you love .. it is you in another time yet in the same space .. it is you when you are not .. a life you didn’t live, a word you have not said, a smile you postponed, a love you have not had, a friendship you did not know .. to reach and not arrive .. work and not work .. attend only to be absent .. what makes you a stranger to them closest to you, and they strangers to you ..

The Half is a mere moment of inability .. but .. you are able .. for you are not Half a being .. you are a Whole that exists to live a Life .. not Half a life.

اليقين

سُبْحانَكَ ما اَضْيَقَ الْطُّرُقَ عَلى مَنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ دَليلَهُ، وَما اَوْضَحَ الْحَقَّ عِنْدَ مَنْ هَدَيْتَهُ سَبيلَهُ، اِلـهي فَاسْلُكْ بِنا سُبُلَ الْوُصُولِ اِلَيْكَ، وَسَيِّرْنا في اَقْرَبِ الطُّرُقِ لِلْوُفُودِ عَلَيْكَ، قَرِّبْ عَلَيْنَا الْبَعيدَ وَسَهِّلْ عَلَيْنَا الْعَسيرَ الشَّديدَ، وَاَلْحِقْنا بِعِبادِكَ الَّذينَ هُمْ بِالْبِدارِ اِلَيْكَ يُسارِعُونَ، وَبابَكَ عَلَى الدَّوامِ يَطْرُقُونَ، وَاِيّاكَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهارِ يَعْبُدُونَ، وَهُمْ مِنْ هَيْبَتِكَ مُشْفِقُونَ، الَّذينَ صَفَّيْتَ لَهُمُ الْمَشارِبَ وَبَلَّغْتَهُمُ الرَّغائِبَ، وَاَنْجَحْتَ لَهُمُ الْمَطالِبَ، وَقَضَيْتَ لَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْمَآرِبَ، وَمَلاَْتَ لَهُمْ ضَمائِرَهُمْ مِنْ حُبِّكَ، وَرَوَّيْتَهُمْ مِنْ صافي شِرْبِكَ،  فَبِكَ اِلى لَذيذِ مُناجاتِكَ وَصَلُوا، وَمِنْكَ اَقْصى مَقاصِدِهِمْ حَصَّلُوا، فَيا مَنْ هُوَ عَلَى الْمُقْبِلينَ عَلَيْهِ مُقْبِلٌ، وَبِالْعَطْفِ عَلَيْهِمْ عائِدٌ مُفْضِلٌ، وَبِالْغافِلينَ عَنْ ذِكْرِهِ رَحيمٌ رَؤوفٌ وَبِجَذْبِهِمْ اِلى بابِهِ وَدُودٌ عَطُوفٌ، اَسْاَلُكَ اَنْ تَجْعَلَني مِنْ اَوْفَرِهِمْ مِنْكَ حَظّاً، وَاَعْلاهُمْ عِنْدَكَ مَنْزِلاً، وَاَجْزَلِهِمْ مِنْ وُدِّكَ قِسْماً،  وَاَفْضَلِهِمْ في مَعْرِفَتِكَ نَصيباً، فَقَدِ انْقَطَعَتْ اِلَيْكَ هِمَّتي، وَانْصَرَفَتْ نَحْوَكَ رَغْبَتي، فَاَنْتَ لا غَيْرُكَ مُرادي،  وَلَكَ لا لِسِواكَ سَهَري وَسُهادي، وَلِقاؤُكَ قُرَّةُ عَيْني، وَوَصْلُكَ مُنى نَفْسي، وَاِلَيْكَ شَوْقي، وَفي مَحَبَّتِكَ وَلَهي،  وَاِلى هَواكَ صَبابَتي، وَرِضاكَ بُغْيَتي، وَرُؤْيَتَكَ حاجَتي وَجِوارُكَ طَلَبي، وَقُرْبُكَ غايَةُ سُؤْلي، وَفي مُناجاتِكَ رَوْحي وَراحَتي، وَعِنْدَكَ دَواءُ عِلَّتي وَشِفاءُ غُلَّتي، وَبَرْدُ لَوْعَتي، وَكَشْفُ كُرْبَتي، فَكُنْ اَنيسي في وَحْشَتي، وَمُقيلَ عَثْرَتي، وَغافِرَ زَلَّتي، وَقابِلَ تَوْبَتي، وَمُجيبَ دَعْوَتي، وَوَلِيَّ عِصْمَتي، وَمُغْنِيَ فاقَتي، وَلا تَقْطَعْني عَنْكَ، وَلا تُبْعِدْني مِنْكَ، يا نَعيمي وَجَنَّتي، وَيا دُنْيايَ وَآخِرَتي، يا اَرْحَمَ الرّاحِمينَ .

“اللهم اقسم لنا من خشيتك ما تحولُ بيننا وبين معاصِيك، ومن طاعتك ما تبلِّغنا به جنتك، ومن اليقين ما تُهوِّن به علينا مصائب الدنيا، ومتِّعْنا بأسماعنا وأبصارنا ما أحييتنا، واجعله الوارث منا، واجعل ثأرنا على مَن ظلمنا، وانصرنا على من عادانا، ولا تجعل مصيبتنا في ديننا، ولا تجعل الدنيا أكبر همِّنا، ولا مبلغ علِمنا، ولا تسلط علينا من لا يرحمنا”

كان عطاء الخراساني لا يقوم من مجلسه حتى يقول: “اللهم هبْ لنا يقينا بك حتى تهون علينا مصيباتُ الدنيا، وحتى نعلم أنه لا يصيبنا إلا ما كُتب علينا، ولا يأتينا من هذا الرزق إلا ما قسمتَ لنا به”

Some unknown poet said:
يــا أمتي وأقــول اليــوم فـي ثقــة.. … ..إني اليقـينُ فلا شيءٌ يزعزعـني
إني العـقـيـدة والإقـــدام فيـصلهـا.. … ..وليـس غـيرُ نــداء الله يسـحـرني
أذود عنه وفـيــها عـلَّ خــاتـمـتي.. … ..تكـون في ظلهــا يــومًا فتقبـــلـني
فاللـــيل يعــقـبـه فـجـر ومـئـذنــةٌ.. … ..والله أكـبـر نبــراسٌ علـى الـزمـن
الهول في خطوي والنورفي دربي.. .  وأظل أسمع صوتَ الحق في أذني

اللهم ارزقنا يقينا لا يتزحزح، وقرة عين لا تنفد

Arabic poems

Sorry for English readers. These are poems that I like. The first few are for Imam Al-Shafii and the last one is for Al-Shirazi

الإمام الشافعي

ما في المقام لذي عـقـل وذي أدب … من راحة فدع الأوطان واغتـرب

سافر تجد عوضـا عمن تفارقــه … وانْصَبْ فإن لذيذ العيش في النَّصب

إني رأيت ركـود الـماء يفســده … إن ساح طاب وإن لم يجر لم يطب

والأسد لولا فراق الغاب ما افترست … والسهم لولا فراق القوس لم يصب

والشمس لو وقفت في الفلك دائمة … لملَّها الناس من عجم ومن عـرب

والتِّبرُ كالتُّـرب مُلقى في أماكنـه … والعود في أرضه نوع من الحطب

فإن تغرّب هـذا عـَزّ مطلبـــه … وإن تغرب ذاك عـزّ كالذهــب

………………….

سأضرب في طول البلاد وعرضها … أنال مرادي أو أموت غريبـا

فإن تلفت نفسي فلله درهــــا … وإن سلمت كان الرجوع قريبا

………………….

الدهر يومان ذا أمن وذا خطـر

والعيش عيشان ذا صفو وذا كدر

أما ترى البحر تعلو فوقه جيف

وتستقر بأقصى قاعـه الـدرر

وفي السماء نجوم لا عداد لهـا

وليس يكسف إلا الشمس والقمر

………………….

أبو إسحاق إبراهيم بن علي بن يوسف الشيرازي رحمة الله عليه

لبست ثوب الرجا والناس قد رقدوا

وقمت أشكو إلى مولاي مـا أجـد

وقلت يا عُدتي فـي كـل نائبـة

ومن عليه لكشف الضـر أعتمـد

أشكو إليك أمـورًا أنـت تعلمهـا

مالي على حملها صبرٌ ولا جلـدُ

وقد مددت يـدي بالـذل مبتهـلاً

إليك يا خير من مُـدتْ إليـه يـد

فـلا تردَّنَّهـا يـا رب خائـبـةً

فبحر جودك يروي كل مـا يـردُ

New challenge

End of July, I had surgery to take the shunt out of my head. After that in August I got another procedure called Endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Overall, I feel like I have recovered quickly but I have fallen behind on working out and my Japanese. Things at work are getting busier than ever and now I’m managing all of North America and Japan by myself.

Beginning of July, I ended a 3 months challenge to improve health, work, and Japanese. I feel like the surgery set me back months behind. I’m at 170 lbs now (10 pounds more than my target weight), have not touched Japanese in weeks, and work is super busy. I may sound negative, but really I think overall things are actually going pretty well considering that people usually take many months to recover from brain surgeries. Mostly, I’m frustrated cause I couldn’t work out. Working out really helps me stay focused and makes me more productive at work. I even sleep/eat/and function better when I have a steady consistent workout schedule.

I just got a green light from my doctor to start working out – lightly however – but its a start. So I decided to set a new challenge. By Nov 10th, 2010 (إن شاء الله), I need to get back to my target 160 lbs weight. I missed registering for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test this year and the next time its offered is in July 2011. This gives me time to improve and maybe even test at a higher level. As for work, just gotta be on top of things and come up with ways to allocate my time carefully. I’m also trying to hire another account manager to help reduce the load.

I won’t record my progress online on daily basis but I will be posting about it as I go along to make sure I stay on track.

June 6th – Day 36

This is a summary of the 90 days challenge that I started a while back. The challenge covered 3 areas; health/weight, work, and Japanese.

My current weight is 167LBS. Need to lose 7 more pounds. Losing the first set of pounds was relatively straight forward, just work out and eat healthy. Now even though I have been eating good and working out regularly my weight is fluctuating between 166LBS and 170LBS. I may have reached a balance point where I need to go beyond the regular working out/eating healthy routine. I gotta get hungry and watch my calorie intake 🙂

Work is going well. With E3 coming up, we have been busy preparing for it. Also a couple of trips coming up end of June and mid July. Those trips usually totally mess up my challenge schedule. So I figure I will extend the challenge deadline whenever I have a trip or any other emergencies.

Kanji is the hardest part of the challenge and been kicking my butt. Reading the Kanji is not an issue once you learn the vocab but remembering how to write it is another story. I came up with a few techniques to improve the learning process but really it comes down to putting the time to learn. The Kanji set for this week is:

強盗:ごうとう robber, mugger, robbery, burglary
強い:こわい  stiff, hard, inflexible, stubborn  
強い:つよい strong
強いる:しいる to force, to compel, to coerce
盗む:ぬすむ steal
弱い:よわい weak
犯人:はんにん criminal, offender
犯す:おかす to commit (a crime), to perpetrate, to transgress, to contravene
国境:こっきょう national or state border
越える:こえる cross over, pass through
通勤:つうきん commuting to work
勤める:つとめる to work for, be employed at
代表: だいひょう Representative
航空:こうくう aviation, flying
借金:しゃっきん debt, loan
抱え:かかえ armful, employee
抱える:かかえる to hold or carry under or in the arms; to have (esp. problems, debts, etc.); to employ; to engage; to hire; (P)
潰れる:つぶれる (v1,vi,uk) to be smashed; to become useless; to cease functioning; to go bankrupt; (P)
更生:こうせい rehabilitation; regeneration; rebirth; resuscitation; reorganization; reorganization
法:ほう (n,n-suf) law; act; principle; method; mood;
法律:ほうりつ law
律:りつ (n,abbr,n-suf,ctr) law (esp. ancient East Asian criminal code); regulation; vinaya (rules for the monastic community); Ritsu (school of Buddhism); lushi (style of Chinese poem)
建て直す:たてなおす to rebuild, reconstruct
裁判所:さいばんしょ courthouse
申し込む:もうしこむ (v5m,vt) to apply for; to make an application; to propose (marriage); to offer (mediation); to make an overture (of peace); to challenge; to lodge (objections); to request (an interview);
申す もうす (v5s,vt,hum) to be called; to say;
経営:けいえい (n,vs) management; administration; (P)
直接:ちょくせつ (adj-na,n-adv,adj-no) direct; immediate; personal; firsthand; (P)
原因:げんいん cause, origin, source
世界的: せかいてき global, international, world famous
争う:あらそう (v5u,vi) to compete; to contest; to contend; to quarrel; to argue; to dispute; to be at variance; to oppose; (usu. in negative form) to deny (e.g. evidence); (P)
争う:あらがう (v5u,vi) to go against; to fight against; to oppose; to resist; to deny
景気:けいき business, condition
自体:じたい itself
地域:ちいき area, region
抗議運動:こうぎうんどう (n) protest campaign; demonstration
抗議 こうぎ (n,vs,adj-no) protest; objection; (P)
抗 こう (pref) anti-
少なくとも: すくなくとも at least
武器:ぶき weapon, arms, ordnance
無理矢理: むりやり (adv,n,ateji) forcibly; against one’s will; (P)
無理 むり (adj-na,n,vs) unreasonable; impossible; overdoing; (P)
無 むち (adj-na,n) ignorance; (P)
無 む (n,pref) nothing; naught; nought; nil; zero; un-; non-
運動:うんどう motion, exercise
政府:せいふ government, administration
抑え込む:おさえこむ (v5m) to shut out one’s opponents; to stop the other side from scoring
抑え おさえ (n) weight (e.g. paperweight); rear guard; control; check; pressure
抑える おさえる (v1,vt) to pin something down; to hold something down; to hold something back; to stop; to restrain; to curb; to seize; to grasp; to arrest; to gain control of something; (P)
抑 そもそも (conj,uk) in the first place; to begin with; from the start; originally;
浴びる:あびる to bathe, to shower, to bask in the sun
農村:のうそん agricultural community, farm, village
貧しい:poor needy
生活:せいかつ (n,vs) living; life (one’s daily existence); livelihood; (P)
生 なま (adj-no,adj-na,n,n-pref,col,abbr,pref) raw; uncooked; fresh; natural; unedited; unprocessed; crude; unprotected (i.e. not wearing a condom); live (i.e. not recorded); inexperienced; unpolished; green; impudence; (P)
都市:とし town
差: さ difference, variation
交換し:こうかんし exchange
追い抜く: おいぬく (v5k,vt) to pass (a car); to outdistance; to outsail; to outstrip; (P)
追う:おう (v5u,vt) to chase; to run after; to pursue; to follow (i.e. a set order, a trend); to drive out; to oust; to expel; to drive (i.e. a herd); (in passive voice) to be pressed (for time, etc.); (P)

June 1st – Day 31

The 90 days challenge is still on. Trips and getting sick got in the way, but I won’t let that bring me down. Back on track. I managed to get down to about 167LBS which means I only need to lose 7 more pounds to be at my target 160LBS.

Things at work are going well. I have another trip coming up to Japan pretty soon. I’m hoping to be able to give presentations in Japanese at some point. The technical language needed for a presentation is way beyond me right now so I need to start practicing. I should include that as part of my challenge and incorporate it in my everyday routine.

Kanji is the hardest part of my 90 days challenge and I am learning new ways to become more effective at it. The best way to actually memorize the Kanji is to always associate it with a number of things. I noticed that when a I create a brain map for a character, its much easier to memorize it and recognize it quickly.

Grouping and classifying words really works. When I see a character, I get an instant flash of the whole group that it belongs to instead of just that one character. The problem is that brain maps are very complex and writing them down on paper (while great because of its muscle memory association) is just too time consuming. I started using Free Brain Map software called Free Mind but its taking too much time to do things effectively with it. I need to research more brain mapping software and see which one really fits my learning style.

For today, the Kanji words are (some Kanji characters are new to me, I will tally them up later):

映画: a movie
写真: a picture
趣味: hobby
音楽: music
料理: cooking
番組: program
思考力: thinking power
原色: primary color
白鳥: swan
黒板: blackboard
赤字: deficit
特色:a characteristic
上映する:to show a movie
映す:to reflect
画家:a painter
画面:a screen
練習:practice
原料:raw materials
画数:stroke number
料金:fee
天気予報:weather forecast
三ヶ国語:trilingual
記号:symbol, sign
説明する:to explain
動作:action, behavior
動詞:verb
助詞:particles
名詞:noun
自動詞:intransitive verbs
他動詞:transitive verbs
寝室:bedroom
寝台車:sleeping car
遊ぶ: play
遊園地:amusement park
返事:answer, reply