qatar...

yes, yes, i said a continent per day… but alas, i got busy and there is only so much time and so many continents… (i am not really visiting all the continents, i’d just like to think so :)) i am currently writing this from qatar. i was in uae earlier (both in sharjah (al-shariqa) and dubai). sharjah reminds me of egypt a lot except for the number of desis and the traffic laws/driving patterns. dubai on the other hand could very well be a city in the us. the cost of living there seems to be very expensive - the price that you pay in the us is the price you pay in dubai, despite the fact that 1 dollar is ~3.6 dirhams. some places are even more expensive - a cup of coffee at starbucks, for example, was 12 dirhams, or roughly $3.33.

qatar is similar to dubai - there’s a lot of building and construction happening there. the building architecture in both qatar and dubai is quite amazing actually. some amazing looking buildings! anyway, so yeah, qatar is pretty cool too… very much like dubai (like a city in the us as well). cost of living is roughly the same as that in dubai, as a matter of fact, most places take the dubai dirhams as well as the qatar riyals. the exchange rate is almost 1:1, maybe one being 0.98 or 0.99 to the other.

one last interesting fact - getting into dubai, with a us passport, cost me nothing. getting into qatar, on the other hand, cost me around $27 for the visa.

london...

surprisingly, it seems quite a bit more liberal than the us… but then again, i feel the same way when i go to the airport in germany or france. with respect to absurd security measures, the airport here only allows one carryon bag - unlike in the us where we can carry a carry on and a “personal item” - they said if you’re a lady and have a purse, you have to put it in your bag or check it in… ludicrous.

was able to get internet access for $9 for a whole day here at the airport… not too bad for 24 hours of wireless access when you have to wait in the airport for several hours for your flight.

speaking of prices, cost of living must be insane in the uk - basically, 1 pound is like $2 or close enough to $2. so like the starbucks here in the airport costs the same as starbucks in the us, except that its really double the price because of the conversion factor. i guess though that the person who lives here would be making their salary in pounds so its kind of the same as when i go to egypt for example and things are the same price but in egyptian pounds, so i have a the conversion factor as an advantage (poor people who come from places like egypt to the uk!).

anyway… haha so now i can say i’ve updated my blog from 2 continents :) lets see if i can add to that number in the upcoming days…

muhammad yunus on y! answers

muslim nobel prize winner, muhammad yunus, was the target of one of yahoo’s advertising campaign’s for answers - i am happy to have a question of his on the site :)

amazing...

according to this article, the average person spends 17.12 years of their life watching tv. amazing… (yes, yes, i know - i spend at least double that in front of a computer :p)

مسلسل حضرة المتهم ابي

مسلسل قوي بجد و راءع

حال الدنيه يحزن - اءول ايه بس - اللهم احفظنا واحفظ شباب و بنات المسلمين… امين

update - try pasting that into google translate and see what it says… apparently, “ameen” translates to secretary and google doesn’t like egyptian slang…

ludicrous airport policies

so i went to visit my parents over this past break… while leaving, i had 2 small bottles of cologne and a stick of deodorant in my bag. at the airport, they of course saw these in my bag, and the man took them out. he said, “you can only have these with you if you have them in a transparent ziplock bag.” i am like, “uh.. i don’t have one.” he’s like “sorry, then you can’t take them unless you check your bag in.” so i asked him, “do you have any bags?” - and he replied, “sorry, we don’t provide bags.” so i lost 2 very nice small bottles of cologne (the alternative was to miss my flight because i was already running late)…

but the thing is - i don’t get it… what difference does it make whether they are in a transparent ziplock bag or not? if the fear is the liquid spilling over stuff, can’t someone just as easily take them out of the ziplock bag and spill the contents all over their stuff? and, if the case is that they examine these liquids separately anyway (which they do), what does the ziplock bag enable that is not enabled without it? and if its so important, why not provide people with it (some airports do this as i found out while i was coming back at the end of the trip, but that did me no good…) i fail to see the wisdom behind these policies… maybe someone can enlighten me?

people will just be people?

i am not one to criticize anyone as i have my own huge list of faults, but some actions of some people really really get on my nerves. i don’t understand the following categories of people:

  1. the provincial people - those who are so set in their own thoughts and ideas (without any basis) and you can never ever convince them of anything besides what they think is true. the best example of this that i can think of is when people outside of america have this idea that america is “heaven on earth,” that life there is really easy, that people have money falling out of their pockets, and so on. they refuse to believe anything else. these people often miss out on seeing a great number of blessings that they have that people living in america lack for example.

  2. the assumption makers - very similar to the above category, this set of people assume things based on what is visible without taking anything else into consideration. this is almost always related to money in some way… for example, someone hears that you got a job, and they automatically assume that you are “making the big bucks now.” or, someone walks into your apartment and sees almost no furniture there but sees a nice monitor or tv and says, “dang, you must be extremely rich.” why do people make these assumptions? if you try to correct these people, they refuse to believe you, even though in most cases, the people who say these things would have several fold more than the person they told the comment to (in terms of both finances and time worked), and so on. reality of the matter is, what is apparent isn’t necessarily what is true because people don’t know the situations of each other. so why do people say these kinds of things?

  3. the nosy people… people who want to ask about everything, especially financial things when they have no business in doing so… “how much do you get paid?” – what business does anyone have asking that? or, “how much did you buy this or that or the other?” why do people ask these kinds of questions?

i could go on classifying these types of people, but i realized that there really is no need to, since they all share a common thread - a lack of content with their current situation and blessings. this leads many of them to not realize the great blessing they are in, and always try to look at ways in which others are better off than them financially.

i guess as imam siraj wahaj said about a year ago in a speech, that his mother used to always tell him, “people will just be people…” (it might have been, “people will always be people,” can’t remember anymore). so yeah… people will always be people…

better permalinks

now switched wordpress to use a more readable url format for permalinks rather than the classic ?p=### style urls. thanks abu hurayrah!

burning crusade beta

thanks to a friend from college (thanks dude), i got on the burning crusade beta. i transferred rad over and played some… looks uber promising, albeit rough around the edges, but i guess that’s why they’re not releasing it until mid january… man playing on a pvp server has a totally different feel than playing on an rp server :)

muslim feminist quran tafsir council!?

so i saw this article on y! news about muslim feminists in new york wanting to start a quran interpretation council - their goal being to break streotypes involving terrorism and women being oppressed in islam.

i don’t know why, but something strikes me as odd about this… “muslim feminists” might be the start of oddity - islam is the first religion that gave women rights and elevated women to a status that is many times higher than that of men. the examples are innumerable, but just one example is that one of the top narrators of ahadeeth who taught the great men of the ummah and whom many of the great scholars took their knowledge directly or indirectly was sayida 3a2isha (ra).

secondly, a “shura council of women to interpret the Quran?” – i mean what do they think this is, “everyone interpret the Quran the way they wish?” – its not about men and injustice as they claim it is - the great islamic universities are open to women just as they are for men - no one stopped any woman from studying islam at al Azhar or Madinah Unniversity and publishing great works on Islam if they want to…

so i don’t get it, how is a group of random women (which is what i think of when reading this article, of course i could be wrong…) simply going to decide that “men are unjust, we are going to make a council to interpret the Quran?”

i have no problem with women writing tafseer of Quran - as long as they are qualified to do so. however, a group of random women (or men for that matter) writing a tafseer? i think not…

does anyone else see this, or is it that perhaps i am reading too much into this article?