Life is a series of choices. Every step is a choice, an option, a decision. We try our best to make these choices based on what we know. What we pick may not be based on what is right and what is wrong, but what we believe in our minds and hearts. Whatever we do decide, we have to compromise. It is always one or the other.

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Blog Action Day: What 10KD means to you

Here are some things you can do with 10KD:

  • 2 or 3 trips to the gas station.
  • A full meal at Fridays, Applebees, Chili’s.. etc.
  • Half, or even less than half of a pair of jeans, a shirt, or accessory.
  • A small fraction of a phone bill (average is around 50KD a month I’m assuming)
  • 3 trips to the cinema alone, or one trip including popcorn and drinks with a snack.
  • Half or two thirds the price of a DVD movie.

Here are some other things you can do with 10KD:

  • Buy some (minimal) groceries.
  • Buy lots and lots of small sandwiches.
  • Buy lots and lots of bread.
  • Buy lots and lots of drinking water.
  • Buy (mostly) lots and lots of sweets.

The price and usefulness of each item varies. You can buy a lot of stuff with that amount of money. You can do something even greater with only 10KD, something much bigger, better, and more effective. You can make a difference in someone’s life. You can help someone live, learn, eat, and give them shelter.. with only 10KD.

What you can do is, sponsor a child. Bait Alzakat will give you the opportunity to sponsor a child (Kafalat yateem) for only 10KD a month. Imagine the difference you will make in someone’s life with such a small expense.

The issue of poverty is a never ending issue. There will always be people who are in poverty, and we who do not have a chance to extend a helping hand.

Today’s Blog Action Day topic is Poverty. Find out what other people are saying about poverty around the world by going to http://blogactionday.org/.

Make a Difference

Blog Action Day: Poverty In exactly two weeks, on October 15th, you can make a difference. A huge one. The opportunity is here, all you have to do is post and entry on your blog on that day!

What I’m talking about is BlogActionDay. On this day, thousands of people will post on their blogs about a certain topic. Last year, we talked about the environment, and this year, the topic is poverty.

The biggest question you may have is: How will I make a difference by posting an entry on my blog? Let me tell you how.

  • You can influence people.
  • You can motivate people.
  • You can motivate yourself, giving yourself an initiative.
  • You can make people aware.
  • You can spread the word.

Ever heard of the butterfly effect? As you may have heard this in a movie, or somewhere else; the butterfly effect is when a small action, can start a whole range of chain reactions that create huge change in the world.

Look at inventions for example. The discovery of oil was an important catalyst in leading people to travel using jet planes. Every action in this world usually has an effect that further affects the world we live in today. We can influence these actions. We cannot guarantee the effect, but we can try to act, and hope that it does create a positive influence in the world.

We act based upon what we know and what we hope to achieve right? If we do not act, things don’t usually happen on their own.

This is your chance to act, to spread the word, to make a difference. Speak up, and let yourselves be heard.

For more information please visit the Blog Action Day website, where you can submit your blog URL and sign up for the cause. [http://blogactionday.org/]

Day of Action: October 15th.

Ecological Change, The garden that once was

thick grass In 1986 we used to play around in the garden in front of our house. It was a public garden, not one of those large ones, but just big enough for us and our neighbors to play around in. We used to play soccer in the street as well next to the garden. And how can I forget, actually eating some of the flowers in the garden.

We used to run around in it, exploring, the grass was long, and we liked that because if laid down we would be almost invisible. We’d also love watching the tiny grasshoppers jump out as we ran around the garden. If we’d spot one on a leaf, we’d slowly come up to it and try to catch it. We even developed our own grasshopper-catching strategy — by placing our hands in a certain position and a certain distance, so that even if it jumps we can catch it.

butterfly We let them go, and try to catch them again. What we also loved to catch were small butterflies as well — you’d think I’m talking about some fantasy land, no, this is in Kuwait, right in front of our house in Bayan. One of the last insects we’d run after and try to catch was the ladybird. There were tons of them. We weren’t mean to the creatures, we’d let them go, but exploring was such a fascinating thing to do then.

Fast forward a few years later, and we’re into video games, and running around the house more — breaking things — and not going out as much as we used to. A few years later I remember going out in the garden, it was quiet. I didn’t see any grasshoppers, or butterflies, or ladybirds. There were a few caterpillars. We entertained ourselves with them, but soon enough, we stopped going to the garden.

Ladybird When I look outside the window now at the garden. I see garbage around the edges, and the neglected plants. The flowers were all gone, all that was left was grass, and even it, looked like it was in a terrible state. On one part of the garden there was a huge pile of sand and pebbles for construction.

I went out to look at it, but there was nothing there. I hoped that as I stepped into it, a grasshopper would jump out, or a butterfly would flutter away — there was nothing.

I wondered if these were all gone because of urbanization. Was it all because we were changing the ecology so much? New people had to move in, and the creatures had to move out. Thinking about it that way, I’d suppose the people are more worthy of the place. Somehow.

Racism: Erasing the social identities

Standing out Every time I look at someone, I pass judgement – quickly and swiftly, and most likely unconsciously as well. I can’t help but analyze what the person is wearing, doing, and even who he/she is with. I examine their surroundings and establish a basic stereotypical judgement. However because I have been taught better, I do not act alone based on these preconceptions. Instead, I slowly eliminate these identifiers that allowed me to think that way. Slowly, but surly I see in front of me, a man, or a woman just like any other person.

Still, whatever I decide to do with my preconceptions, does not change the truth and reality about a person, or situation. A person may be proud of themselves for being a certain color, or of a certain race – with or without arrogance. Would I truly be doing him/her justice by making them equal to everyone else? To better understand this, it would make sense to define equality.

Ms. Dorman, a 9th Grade American History teacher defines equality on her web site as:

The condition of possessing substantially the same rights, privileges and immunities, and being substantially responsible for the same duties as other members of society.

I can’t help but come to the conclusion, that we cannot all be equal, except with regards to the law, even then some laws might apply to some, and not to others.

We are still all very different. We take pride in who we are and where we come from. I don’t see racism as calling someone black, or white, or red, or yellow. I see racism as oppression of these attributes. If I belittle someone, regardless of color, gender, social status, then that is racism.

Now, I do not see people as the same anymore, or equal in every way. I see them as being different and unique, and recognize the pride they have in who they are, where they are from, and what they’re all about. Solving the issues of racism shouldn’t erase our social identities, but rather enforce our pride, without arrogance in who and what we are.

Hala February Carnival Aftermath

I haven’t been to the carnival neither have I seen how pretty it was. The only thing I saw was later that evening when we went to see Jumper at Al Fanar. We were shocked to see these scenes. The next day however, everything was very clean and tidy, but none the less. It was very dirty that night.

Hala February Carnival Aftermath

Hala February Carnival Aftermath

Hala February Carnival Aftermath

Hala February Carnival Aftermath

I only have one question. Did it really have to be that way?

My take on: Planet In Peril

Planet in Peril Today I finished watching CNN’s two part two hour special, Planet in peril. I haven’t been so moved in a very long time! At first, I was very reluctant to watch it. Everywhere you turn there is a natural disaster. You are always reminded of the sad stories around the world in the news and everywhere around us. I acknowledged it, but I didn’t want to get myself exposed more than I already have been.

What got me to watch this show was that I wanted to see the big picture of what is really going on. What I saw was something far beyond what I had expected, I also discovered a few things I did not know about myself.

The program brought up the issues of global warming, deforestation, over population, and species extinction. Some of the cast went around the world to confront these issues and expose first hand what is happening at the source or the areas most affected by these issues.

Sure it was sad to see some of the effects of these issues in the world. However, what affected me the most was the pollution in China, and how it affected innocent families. We may not like to see and hear repeatedly how we are destroying our own world, but this does not mean that we should turn our back, and close our eyes and ears.

Since we are all a part of this world, we all should play an important role. Whatever it may be, and no matter how little it is, be sure that you can make an impact on the future.

The World Around Us

Today marks the day when bloggers unite under the Blog Action Day event. Actions speak louder than words, we all understand that, however without words of guidance how can we initiate a guided action? Today we speak, in order to start moving in a direction we should all consider; that of which is saving the environment.

We live in a country that exports oil, where many would argue is a primary cause of pollution. Saving the environment however isn’t only about eliminating pollution, but it is coexistence with the world around us. Saving animals, plants, terrain, forests, seas, lakes, mountains, all ecosystems, and even people. We can all take part in our personal and working lives to make a change.

I’ve always had this vision of living in a world, with the current sophisticated elements but without all the destruction of nature and such. What I have in mind probably seems more like a fantasy world, who knows, maybe we will only reach that stage after getting into big trouble with the current state of the environment. Alright, I know that sounded a little negative but we can work to make the current world better, not only by fixing what is currently broken but by creating new ways of doing older things.

The idea is to study nature and adopt the studies into current technology. An example would be the invention of the airplane. The idea is based on bird wings. The invention of sonar is based on some animal’s ability to send signals and track object locations and surroundings. When, however, we use nature in a negative way then we get negative results. I’m not saying that burning oil for energy is bad, but there has to be more to it to make it more natural.

As a Blogger You can Change the World

Blog Action Day

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyones mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.

http://BlogActionDay.org/

Already very known blogs have joined this initiative. I think it would be great to talk about an issue that is important for every soul in this world. I’m calling on to you, the reader to participate. All you have to do is go to http://blogactionday.org/ and submit your blog.

Real Tarsheed. Energy Conservation Tips.

Wind Energy
Here are some details energy conservation tips from a great website called Flex Your Power. Even though most of these tips are related to those living in the U.S. I’m sure we can apply some of these concepts here in Kuwait.

Note: Some of these have been copied directly from the Heating & Cooling Tips article, others have been modified for regional purposes.

  • Close drapes, blinds and shades to keep sun’s rays out of the home during the warmer months.
  • Clean furnace filters monthly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Keep the furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted to save up to 5% of heating costs.
  • Remove and clean room air conditioner filters monthly. Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner.

Conserver Water, Navy Style

This video is perfect for our current situation :) Someone should dub it in Arabic and publish it on Kuwait TV.

from: Conserve water and save money with the Navy Shower

Reserved, going to add something here later.