One small step for Wujdan, One HUGE leap for Saudi Women!

So today I was on the sidelines when history was being made…. The words “being proud” is often thrown around, and is maybe overused these days, but not today! Today I was proud, today Saudi women were proud, today Saudi as a nation was proud… (well almost). This morning I attended the Olympic Judo matches and saw Wujdan Shaherkani make history, in becoming the first Saudi Olympian! What a feeling that was. I had shivers down my spine while her name was being called out to take her place in the arena – and the crowd cheered so loudly for her, and I would say almost as loud as the cheers for Team GB!

The 16-year old Saudi barely had a minute when the high-ranked Puerto Rican fighter easily beat her, but in my eyes she didn’t lose! she was a champ! She made a whole nation proud of her achievement. She competed in the greatest sporting event of mankind and without a shred of help from the Saudi government. In fact, the government (unlike any other country) not only didn’t support her, but stood in her way. At school they forbid her from participating in sports, and physical education just for being born a women. Outside school by not providing gyms and facilities for women, and as an athlete by not providing any funding for her to compete in the Olympics. Yet despite all of this, she managed to compete in this global event that had hundreds of millions of viewers- What an achievement! She has not only competed for herself, but for every Saudi women out there with a dream. Her accomplishments will loudly tell them that they can do anything they desire, and being a Saudi women will not stand in the way of there dreams! What a role model to be proud of!

Unfortunately, her performance today has highlighted a very horrible treat we have in Saudi – Racism! Because of Wujdan’s historical roots from outside the Arab Isles, she has been targeted with racial slur. The worrying this is, the Saudi authorities don’t take racism seriously, so I expect nothing will be done, and no support will be provided for her to deal with this unacceptable behaviour.

I hope and wish that Wujods participation in the Olympics will highlight the importance of women in sports, and highlight the URGENT need to create facilities and gyms in schools and beyond for females in the Kingdom.

To find out more, read my opinion in the Wall Street Journal at

and then to the Associated Press at

22 year old, the youngest Member of the European Parliament, not in Saudi

Ok well this is not going to happen in Saudi any time soon, and I don’t mean getting an “elected member of parliament”, but just having a young senior official holding any office….european-parliament-brussels-inside

With the Lisbon Treaty being signed by all European Union member states, the Pirate Party has gained another seat in the European Parliament. The second Pirate Party seat will be occupied by the 22 year old Amelia Andersdotter, who will become the youngest Member of the European Parliament.

Ironically, The Pirate Party was against the Lisbon Treaty, which has now doubled the number of seats the party has in the European Parliament.
Amelia Andersdotter, will become the youngest Member of the European Parliament. In order to free up time for her political career, Amelia recently decided to quit Economics and Spanish at Lund University in Sweden.

Amelia will officially take her seat in Brussels on December 1st, where she will be joining Christian Engstrom. The two will have plenty of work to do in the years to come, countering the growing influence from pro-copyright lobby groups.
Although some may argue she is far too young to take such an office, I think the fact you can have young blood and passion in such institution can only be a force of good. Lets face it, she had thousands of votes to get that seat, and for that I salute her and her ambition… next stop, Saudi politics? Ya riiight!

Four Lessons About How To Treat People

I came across this and I thought I should share!

1. First Important Lesson – “Know The Cleaning Lady”

During my second month of University, our professor gave us a test. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy, and on many occasions Dorothy became my saviour in unlocking doors I had no access to, that I would have otherwise ended up waiting for the next day to do.

2. Second Important Lesson – “Remember Those Who Serve”

A 12 year-old boy entered a coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked. “£4.50,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “£3.50!” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she started to look around, and you can see her eyes started to swell-up. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, was a fifty pence, two twenties and a ten pence!. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

3. Third Important Lesson – “The Obstacles In Our Path”

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand – “Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.”

4. Forth Important Lesson – “Giving When It Counts”

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to hear a story of a little girl who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. He hesitated for only a moment before taking a deep breath and said, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

أربعة دروس مهمة تعلمتها في حياتي…

1. “اتعرف على عامل أو عاملة  النظافه”
بعد شهرين من بداية دراسة الجامعة، قدم لنا أستاذنا اختبار. بدأت أجاوب الأسئلة حتى قرأت آخر سؤال: “ما هو اسم المرأة التي تنظف القسم”اعتقدت أن من المؤكد ان هذا السؤال دعابة من الاستاذ… خصوصاً لأني لا أعرف اسمها!  سلمت ورقة الأجوبة، وترك فارغاً عند
السؤال الأخير… قبل أن نخرج من الغرفه، سأل أحد الطلاب إذا كان السؤال الأخير يحتسب في درجة الاختبار ؟

“بالتأكيد”، قال أستاذ. “في حياتكم المهنية سوف تتعرف وتتقابل على الكثير من الناس. بعظهم مهمين وستعتقد انهم وحدهم يستحقون الاهتمام والعناية، ولكن في حقيقة الأمر، كل إنسان تقابله يستحق الاهتمام حتى عاملة النظافة – كل ما عليك فعله هو ابتسامة…

لم أنس أبدا ذلك الدرس. و بعدها تعلمت اسم عاملة النظافة في القسم- اسمها دوروثي- وأكثر من مرة أفادتني في فتح أبواب مغلقه بالمفاتيح، بدلا من أن انتظر دوام اليوم الثاني…

2. “تذكر أولئك الذين يخدمونك”

دخل صبي لا يتجاوز من العمر ١٢ عاماً مقهى وجلس على طاولة بجواري. جاءت الموظفة وسألها الولد “كم قيمة الآيس كريم سندي؟” (سندي عبارة عن أسكريم فوق موزة و عليها شكلاطة ). أجابة الموظفة  “4،50 £”

سحب الولد من جيبه القروش و بدأ عدها. سأل مرة أخرى “طيب، كم قيمة صحن من الآيس كريم فقط؟” .  لأن كثر الزباين و بدأوا ينتظرون الموظفة في الطاولات الاخرى، فردت عليه الموظفة متوترة “3،50 £!”
عد القروش المعدنية مرة أخرى. “سآخذ الآيسكريم العادي”، قال. جابت الموظفة الآيس كريم، وطرحت  الفاتورة على الطاولة.
أنهى الولد الآيس كريم، ودفع المبلغ وغادر. ريجعت الموظفة لتجمع القروش و تنظيف الطاولة للزبين الجدد، عندما تفاجأت و بدأ عينها تدمع. قد وضع الولد على الطاولة في الطبق الفارغ، و1£!
أدركت الولد لم يطلب السندي ايسكريم، لأنه لو طلب السندي، لم يتمكن من ترك ما يكفي للبخشيش.



3. “عقبات في طريقنا”

قصة معنوية لا أعرف مصداقيتها  في العصور القديمة:

وضع الملك صخرة فى نصف طريق مدخل مدينته ، لأنه أراد أن يعرف من الذي سيزيل الصخرة الضخمة من الطريق…
وجاء بعض من أغنى تجار المملكة وحاشيتهم، ولكنهم ساروا ببساطة من حوله الصخرة.
ثم جاء فلاح بسيط يحمل شحنة من الخضروات. وحاول نقل الصخرة الى جانب الطريق بعد عبء و وقت طويل نجح! لاحظ  الفلاح وجود حقيبة حيث كانت الصخرة تتضمن محفظة نقود ذهبية كثيرة ومذكرة من الملك تشير إلى أن الذهب كان للشخص الذي يزيل الصخرة من الطريق.
قصة الفلاح تعلمنا – ” وراء كل عقبة فرصة”.



4. “الإعطاء”

قبل سنوات عديدة، كنت أعمل كمتطوع في أحد المستشفيات في مقاطعة دفن، جنوب غرب بريطانيا. و اتعرفت على قصة حدثت قبل عملي من قبل أحد زملائي في المستشفة…

كانت في المستشفى فتاة صغيرة تعاني من مرض نادروخطير ويتطلب الأمر أن ينقل دم من شقيقها الذي يبلغ من العمر 5 سنوات.
جلس الطبيب لوضح الوضع للولد الصغير، ثم سأله إذا كان مستعدا للتبرع بالدم لأخته. تتردد للحظة وقال: “نعم، سأفعل ذلك لاختي”.

حينما كان يرقد في السرير المجاور لأخته ابتسم،  وسأل الطبيب وهو يرتجف: ” هل سأبدأ أموت على الفور؟”.
كونه صغير العمر، ساء فهم الطبيب عند الشرح، لانه أعتقد بإعطاء أخته دمه، هو سيموت من أجل انقاذ حياتها.

Saudi under Cyber attack!

Saudi Arabia tops all Gulf countries in attacks by Internet hackers, UAE daily Emirates Business reported on Thursday, citing software firm Trend Micro. Of all the recorded cyber attacks in the first nine months of this year in the Gulf, 64 percent were directed at Saudi Arabia and 20 percent at the UAE. There were 769,698 cases of “compromised systems breakdown” in Saudi Arabia and 248,034 in the UAE, according to Trend Micro data. Kuwait recorded 94,910, followed by Bahrain at 60,440 and Oman with 37,105 cyber attacks. Due to high concentration of wealth, Internet security experts put the Gulf at high-risk of cyber threats as criminals try to steal vital data from the public, including information such as bank details and credit card information. UAE Daily

SHOCKING: Saudis will be allowed to buy firearms openly

It’s clear that there is a strong correlation between gun manufacture, and distribution and gun related deaths. However that said, soon Saudis will be able to buy handguns and other personal firearms openly for the first time, changing the law to that of license privately owned gun shops (which isn’t any better, but was highly regulated). The law change will allow anyone over the age of 25 with a clean criminal record and a bank guarantee of $135, 000 USD (why do they seem to think people with more money have more common sense?) can apply to open a gun store (as if this will discourage militant recruiters!).
Some have argued that this is aimed at curbing access to the widespread illegal ownership of handguns and assault weapons. Hunting and sport shooting weapons are currently sold in specialty stores and all weapons have to be licensed. The conditions for carrying firearms include a fresh antecedents certificate and a copy of the civil status card accompanied by three photos (Fantastic!).

Today in Saudi, there is currently no statistics on how many guns exist in private hands in the Kingdom, and one reason is that some Saudi argue that need handguns to defend themselves. However, everyone knows that civilians with guns do more harm than good. Lets face it, criminals are always going to get the first shot anyway.

So what I propose is a call for a total nationwide ban on handguns! We need to move forward people, not back! Shocking news Saudi! So I ask, Won’t it be better to make guns illegal in Saudi Arabia?

Devils Advocate note: No. I don’t believe it would be better to make guns illegal because it just makes it harder for the honest people to defend themselves. Illegal or not, criminals get guns no matter what the laws are.

Ahmadinejad wins confidence in Iran vote

The official result gave Mr Ahmadinejad a resounding victory – 63% of the vote against 34% for reformist candidate Mr Mousavi. To be honest, I feel sorry for the Iranian people… I really do! and I feel sorry for the whole region that has to deal with this looney!

Whilst thousands of people hit the streets of Tehran in support of Mahouds victory, the reality is that most of them are usued as media of propaganda. Iranians are now tasting the bitterness of tyranny and dictatorship more than ever. The idea that this election is infected by fraud is not as far fetched as many would like you to believe, as there was unprecedented turn out just because many people hoped to get rid of Ahmadinejad.

To be honest, does it really matter which nutcase is running Iran? Of course yes! the country is developing nuclear weapons, and when it succeeds, it will spark a nuclear cold war and the region will bare the brunt!