Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
On Wednesday, May 21st 2008, the world has watched a great soccer spectacle; the champions’ league final match opposing Chelsea FC to Manchester United. The game was there to be won for both teams fighting for Europe’s soccer elite trophy. Manchester United beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a dramatic 1-1 draw. Kalou and Drogba families in Abidjan have spent an eventful evening that day.
Manchester United and Chelsea FC offered a good soccer spectacle the evening of May 21st May. Ivorians felt honoured as two amongst the cream of their gifted soccer players, namely Salomon Kalou and Drogba Didier were on the spot. In Abidjan, the economic hub of Ivory Coast, shops started to shut theirs doors two hours before the event, posters of the two prodigal sons could be seen everywhere, traffic jams with horns of cars and people comings and goings gave a festive and colourful picture to this evening…Nothing that one can put into words can express the fever that caught Ivorians that day. On the other hand, nothing that one can put into words can express the range of emotions that Ivorians supporting Chelsea FC, fans of Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba, and Kalou and Drogba families watching around the football event went through during this game. Nothing anyone can say or write will ever capture the celebration of the equalizer; no words can express the emotions of the crowd gathered at Kalou and Drogba’s homes during the drama of the penalty shoot-out. It was simply “great”.
Most of the interviewees predicted the victory of Chelsea FC over Manchester United and asserted that this final match was an opportunity for Chelsea to break out from the yoke of Manchester United. Then, they started to celebrate the victory of
At 17:45 GMT, one hour before the starting of the match, the Drogba family has welcomed a crowd of kids and male and female adults who came to watch the match with the Drogba family on a high screen set up for the occasion. When the Slovakian referee Lubos Michel blew his whistle to let the match start, clamours raised from the crowd and Albert Drogba, Didier Drogba’s father and other members of the Drogba family clapped their hands.
The crowd gathered at Drogba’s felt sad and disappointed when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first goal through header from Wes Brown’s cross 26 minutes after the beginning of the match. But Lampard scored the equalizer through an Essien pass just before the interval and the whole crowd was as caught by spasms, running here and there; some of the spectators embraced Albert Drogba, Didier Drogba’s father, and raised his hands up. The game was there to be won for both teams in normal time. During the interval the house got livelier with singing and dancing. During this while, Albert Drogba, the father of the international soccer player Didier Drogba was happy to answer to some of the questions we asked him. “I really didn’t expect to see my son Didier Drogba becoming a soccer player and reaching such a high level today. Yes, indeed, Didier Drogba has reached the top highest point of his carrier today…Actually, when I sent him to school, I expected that he become a lawyer or a doctor but not a soccer player. Today, Didier Drogba is showing that he is more useful as an international soccer player and his mother and I and the other members of the family are his very first supporters” asserted Albert Drogba.
The second half time was dramatic; Lampard and Didier Drogba hit the woodwork and when Didier Drogba was sent off four minutes from the end of extra time by the referee for slapping Vidic, the public started booing while Didier Drogba father’s held his head within his two hands. Then, the public claimed Kalou Salomon to come to
The second half time and the extra-time elapsed, letting the public and the members of the Drogba family disappointed, doubtful and with the fear of losing the European soccer elite trophy.
Some of the spectators, those who have no spirit to support such a decisive test, decided to leave the place when the soot-out started. When Terry missed the penalty that would have given
On May 21st 2008, the people of
reporting from Kalou and Drogba’s homes in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Monday, May 26, 2008
I know I am sending this after 20 days of the actual event time, but my knowledge that culture, music and art never age :) made me cross the barrier of time...
The evening started with a lovely piece called “Prelude Henda” : Sailors voices intermingling, and then the program went on, at times he left the stage to let the musicians perform either solo or play a renewed piece for famous kuwaiti musicians.
Although I was very tired the day before and had a long day, but I definitely enjoyed my night out with the genuine Kuwaiti music mixed with western instruments and eastern ones as well, he incorporated that mix to give us pieces filled with passion, joy and art. The last piece in the concert called “Helwat El-Leban” an expression that refers to the mother and its famous in the Gulf region and in Kuwait, it literally means “she, with the sweet milk” and that comes form the fact that a mother feeds her kids her milk when they are young, so every one go tell your mother I love you “Helwat El-Leban” :}
With Helwat El-Leban I end my post, wishing this small artistic event to reoccur in Kuwait on a wider scale, art is a form of community and culture growth, lets not keep it quiet.
ْUseful links for the event coverage:
- Awan: Kuwaiti Newspaper
- Aljarida: Kuwaiti Newspaper
- Kuwait News Agency
- Alnahar: Kuwait Newspaper
- Al-Rai: Kuwaiti Newspaper
The following is a clip from a concert he made long ago, the piece is called "Allah Ma'ak" meaning may Allah be with you.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
A late May afternoon, 33 cars with intense drivers, and a 2.5-mile (4 KM), oval track in Indianapolis, Indiana, all combine to make “the greatest spectacle in racing”: a 500 mile (805 KM) race.
They have been doing this since 1911, (except during WWI and WWII), making the Indy 500 one of the oldest automobile races in the world. Indy cars qualify at over 200 miles per hour, but the best race time has an average speed of 187 mph for the full 500 miles.
The crowd runs about 300,000 with many celebrities putting in appearances. There are many events leading up to the race and some interesting traditions, such as the winner drinking milk in victory lane.
While a lot of people find this exciting, many others find it boring. While I don’t watch the race myself, I do know that it has spurred innovations in car performance and safety, which is a nice side effect.
This year’s results: Scott Dixon of New Zealand wins!
[My closest experience of this famous race was the 2 hours I sat on the neighboring highway, waiting for the traffic to clear after one of the races :-P]
photo credit (2006 race)
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Today, May 22nd, 2008, is Corpus Christi, a Catholic holiday which is celebrated in Haiti. There is no work and no school. It's also the day chosen for a book fair called "Livres en Folie" which literally means "Books in Folly". Each year, "Livres en Folie" is held during Corpus Christi which is known here as "Fête Dieu".
During the fair, Haitian books are sold at 44% less than their normal cost, to the general public. Many authors come to sign their new an old titles. Last year, about 20000 books were sold during the fair. The event is a joint initiative of a local newspaper, "Le Nouvelliste", a local bank, "Unibank" and a local rum company, "Rhum Barbancourt". "Unibank" also offers an additional 10% rebate to its clients who use their credit cards to buy books at "Livres en Folie".
Additionally to the one day event, an online store (in French) has been opened since May 19th for online buyers in Haiti and elsewhere.
This year a total of 1409 titles will be available with 60 writers who will be present at the fair to sign their books for their readers. It's the 14th edition of "Livres en Folie" which was first held in 1995 at the initiative of Le Nouvelliste. It's the most important book fair in the country.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
There is an estimated 13,000 tons of computing waste piling up in Costa Rica, which is a direct danger to the environment. Unless it is treated, this can become a menace to the human population as well. Monitors, scanners, filters, USB cords, digital cameras, batteries, fax machines, batteries and cellular phones are only some of the products that are usually thrown away without receiving any kind of special treatment.
They contain lead, acid lead, mercury and cadmium, all exceedingly harmful to humans and the environment.
Despite this fact, representatives from the Health Ministry admitted that there are no existing collection or treatment programs for this kind of trash.
It is hoped that eventually, a collection program will be established for the waste that needs to be dealt with in order to either treat it before getting rid of it, or in most cases, recycle it.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Ceremonies are being held across Turkey on Monday to mark the May 19 Youth and Sports Day, one of the most important days on the Turkish calendar.
May 19 is the day that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk landed at Samsun on the Black Sea as the opening step in launching the War of Independence with led to Turkey expelling foreign forces from its shores and becoming a secular, democratic republic.
To commemorate this day, Atatürk later decreed that the day should be dedicated to the youth of the country, which he saw as its future, and sporting activities, which he said were important to the nation’s health and well being. The day also commemorated the role played by Ataturk in founding the modern Turkish nation.
One of the first major events of the day was the visit by President Abdullah Gul, along with other senior state officials, to Anitkabir, the tomb of Ataturk in central Ankara.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Yes we have crude oil. This topic has been so over-flogged that all I will say is yes, there is crude oil in Nigeria.
Friday, May 16, 2008
The Bibi Heybat oil field will be turned into a sports park. “The Bibi Heybat oil field will turn into a big sports park. This plan has already been implemented from the technical point of view. The turning of oil field into a sports park will bring a big success to Azerbaijan,” stated German experts in the event on occasion of Azerbaijan’s preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games. The German expert on preparation to the Olympic Games Paul Bader said that huge funds are required to implement this project. According to Bader, some 1.5mln euros were spent for each hectare while laying this kind of park in the Western Europe. The experts said that Baku does not make an impression of sports city as yet. A total of 7 cities have stated their wish to hold 2016 Olympic Games. According to calculations, the Chicago has the best chances for holding the Games. http://www.baku2016.org.az/
The German expert on preparation to the Olympic Games Paul Bader said that huge funds are required to implement this project. According to Bader, some 1.5mln euros were spent for each hectare while laying this kind of park in the Western Europe.
The experts said that Baku does not make an impression of sports city as yet.
A total of 7 cities have stated their wish to hold 2016 Olympic Games. According to calculations, the Chicago has the best chances for holding the Games.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Grains are a principle part of the Central American Diet. To help staunch the looming food crisis, Costa Rica has begun thinking about how to help its citizens. And to start, four weeks from now, the Costa Rican government plans to give ¢50,000 monthly (approximately $100) to 16,000 poor families to supplement what income they have.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Today was my graduation party, labeled as a university graduate! Though the event is quite celebratory, and personal, one cannot stop pondering at the past..and to those whom we owe to be here..and successful..!
When I traced it back, to my professors, school teachers, books, and my parents.. I went back to the origins, to the man who founded my faculty, and is the father of all Egyptian Luminiers , Refa'a Al Tahtawy
Al Tahtawy has been a pious man, a man of religion, quite a scholar, who believes in his role to enhance his country's status! Under the reign of Muhammed Ali Pasha, Refa'a traveled on a mission as the religion man along some of the students to France… in order to be their 'religious guide'! However, Refa'a extends his role, and starts learning himself French, and educating himself more about French politics, constitution, economics, investigating thoroughly the western culture, and on his behalf representing a true picture of the Eastern Muslim man!
He intended to bridge the gap between the east and the west, via translation! And indeed did he master the French and Arabic language in order to present worthy translations of major books on different subjects, enriching both cultures, for he was never parroting or a blind imitator!
And thus, it was his goal, as a true teacher to establish a school for teaching languages, law, translation, and preparing promising translator! The graduation of a student was conditioned by submitting a whole book translated, and with him more than 2000 books have been translated on quite various subjects!
This school of his he names "School of Al Alsun'' (Alsun means tongues, figurative standing for languages"..was founded in 1832…and I've just graduated (class 2007)!
Despite the exile, the hardships, Refa'a Al Tahtawy knew that his mission was his pride in his Arabic language and culture, his country, his betterment of society, enlightening it , and leading the nation towards a better life in a 'pursuit of Perfection' as Mathew Arnold says!
Indeed, we owe Refa'a a lot, not only the graduates of his school, but all his grandchildren who have a vision for the future, and believe in culture and liberty as means of betterment..and to be nurtured to their own sons and daughters!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Today I want to talk you about a Romanian site. It is called http://www.comenziintrafic.ro/ Why I publicize their site? I don't know exactly why I'm doing this. Maybe because of the infernal Bucharest traffic jams.
Let me tell you the short story. The Bucharest's traffic sucks. You can spend like 1.5h for 10km. There are multiple causes: the number of cars have increased each year because the growing wealth of Romanian citizens, the Bucharest infrastructure is not able to support the 1million cars that are running through the city each day (they work on this - slowly, but they do = Good), the traffic lights are not well synchronized (the authorities don't have a plan on this as in other cities like Pitesti for example = Bad Bad), the development of industrial parks in a limited area of Bucharest(I heard this will be changed soon = Ok). Maybe there are other issues on this, but I am not an expert. What I can tell you is the everyone in Bucharest is complaining about traffic. Almost every conversation I hear is about traffic jams and the amount of time people had to spend commuting to their workplace (the necessary amount of time have doubled in the last 4-5 years)
(c) www.iloveyouromania.com All rights reserved
Ok. So haw is the traffic related to this site? I'm pretty sure you'll not understand anything from their site because it is Romanian. Maybe you can get something from their video but let me tell you their idea. The traffic being so awful people spend a lot of time commuting (like 3h a day) This way you get less time for your personal activities. The business is like this: they do the "daily" shoppings for you so you can have more free time for yourself and you pay 5% of your shopping cart. They get your order at a traffic light, they transmit the information to their stuff 3 traffic lights away and those ones will buy and deliver your order because the cars are moving so slow. I think their idea is nice :)
Hello beloved authorities. Anybody there? Do something with the traffic everybody is talking about..
Friday, May 09, 2008
Hi to everyone from everywhere!. I'm so glad of this opportunity; I'll be representing Uruguay in this Project.
Something about me:
I’m Ismael, 22 years old, and I live in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. I study law and work in an Exchange of Money.
Location: South America
Introducing my country: I think this will be really hard work, because people know something about Argentina, or Brazil, but most of them don’t know anything about my little country. The full name is: República Oriental del Uruguay (Eastern Republic of Uruguay). The name Uruguay comes from the Uruguay River, which divides Argentina and Uruguay. Uruguay means in Guarani (the language of the original habitants) “river of painted birds”. Location: in the southeastern part of South America between Argentina and Brazil.
Uruguay makes the difference on Latin America: is the second least corrupt (Transparency International) and the most literate (U.N.O.). Uruguay's economy is on the whole more stable than in its surrounding states, and it maintains a solid reputation with investors.
Some data: Capital: Montevideo.
Language: Spanish (no other languages).
Independence: 25 August 1825.
94.6% are of European descent, most of them Spanish and Italian. No native population.
Politics: From the beginnings of this country was always in its people a strong democratic feeling. Uruguayans love democracy. Elections (once each 5 years) always are a big event, all people get involved.
We have the oldest political parties all over the world, the Partido Colorado, and Partido Blanco. Considering the “Democracy Index”, Uruguay is a full democracy, located between the 28 countries of that list. It is also ranked 27 in the "Freedom in the World" index.
Uruguay is a free country. Everyone is allowed to come and go in a total freedom, and to live their lives in the way they want. Discrimination of any class is forbidden in our country.
In November 2007 it became the first Latin American country and the second in all of the Americas to recognize same-sex civil unions at the national level.
Sport: Uruguay is very famous for football. It’s the main sport. In 1930, Uruguay hosted the first ever World Cup and went on to win the competition. Uruguay won the 1950 FIFA World Cup as well, famously defeating the favored hosts, Brazil, 2-1 in the final. Uruguay is by far the smallest country, population wise, to win a World Cup. Out of the World Cup winners, the nation with the second smallest population is Argentina (winners of the 1978 and 1986 editions) who currently have just over 40,000,000 people; the 2002 census has Uruguay's current population slightly under 3,400,000. The Uruguay national team has also won the Copa América 14 different times, a record it shares with Argentina.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Gobustan occupies the south-eastern spur of the Great Caucasian Range and situated 60 km south of Baku. It is a monticulate semi-desert area dissected by numerous gullies and ravines and Gobustan, in translation, means "ravine land". Caves and rock outcroppings surround the region. Settled since the Stone Age the area is one of the major and most ancient museums of rock engravings (petrogliphs) in the world.
The petroglyphs of Gobustan were not discovered by an archeological expedition. In fact, their revelation came about quite by accident. In the 1930s, work was going on there in a stone quarry. The area is full of huge boulders and rock formations. One of the quarry workers noticed some unusual carvings on the rocks. The more the rocks were cut out, the more the paintings could be seen. Before they had been hidden from view inside a huge pile of boulders. Even more paintings were found inside what appeared to be man-made caves. Work at the quarry soon stopped so that the paintings could be examined more carefully.
The rock drawings dating back to remote centuries suggest that the climate of Gobustan in the distant past was damp and close to subtropical. This is evidenced by the pictures of people wearing loin-cloths as being typical of the inhabitants of tropical countries, and also by the representations of bulls, deer, and pigs whose existence is impossible without perennial water reservoirs and rich pastures. Rainfall was heavy enough in those ancient times, rivers and springs abounded in water, the herbage of the area was rich and diverse. An abundance of food made it possible for countless herds of herbivorous animals to graze in the pastures of Gobustan.
The rock drawings of Gobustan occupy a prominent place among the similar cultural monuments of Karelia, Siberia, Central Asia, and other parts of the world. Many of them possess quite a number of common features with kindred rock drawings of Scandinavia, the Pyrenees, and Africa.
Biologist Laura Fournier examines a day old scarlet macaw chick that is part of a breeding program at the ZooAve Center for the Rescue of Endangered Species in La Garita, Alajuela. Endangered scarlet macaws born in captivity are reproducing in the wild for the first time in Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
IJahman Levi, the living figurehead of Reggae Music gave a high concert performance on Friday 2nd May 2008 at ‘Palais de la Culture’ in Abidjan, the economic hub of Ivory Coast.
A day before his colourful performance, IJahman Levi has been welcomed by the President of the Republic, Mr. Gbagbo Laurent and the chairpersons of the trade unions and the political authorities gathered at the presidential palace for the celebration of the International Labor day. There, IJahman urged Ivorians to unite in order to give peace a chance and help the country comes out of the dreadful situation it is still living for almost eight years now. IJahman’s legendary chant ‘‘I’ve got to carry Jah heavy Load’’ was sung by all these VIPs, gathered in that place, as a single chorus lead by the reggae star himself. IJahman has been congratulated by the President of the Republic and all the representants of the salaried workers for his unrelenting struggle for Africans’ freedom.
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
May 6, 2008 - Chaiten Volcano Erupts
“…After more than 9,000 years of silence, the Chaiten volcano of southern Chile erupted on May 2, 2008. The plume of ash and steam rose 10.7 to 16.8 kilometers (35,000 to 55,000 feet) into the atmosphere, reported the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program. According to news reports issues by the AFP news service, ash blanketed the town of Chaiten, 10 kilometers away, forcing the town’s 4,000 people to evacuate by boat.
On May 3, ash and steam continued to billow from the volcano. The MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this photo-like image of a long, cloud-like plume flowing southeast from the volcano’s summit on May 3 at 10:35 a.m. local time (14:35 UTC). The plume rises high over the Andes mountains, drifts across Argentina, and dissipates over the Atlantic Ocean. Ash closed schools, roads, and an airport in Argentina, hundreds of kilometers away from the volcano, said AFP.
Radiocarbon dating of the last lava flow from the Chaiten volcano suggests that the volcano last erupted in 7420 BC, plus or minus 75 years, says the Global Volcanism Program. The volcano has a history of explosive eruptions with pryoclastic flows associated with dome collapse. During an eruption, some volcanoes build a dome of lava. Eventually, hot blocks of lava break away from the dome, triggering a fast-moving avalanche of hot volcanic ash, gas, and lava, called a pyroclastic flow. As of May 5, ash continued to rise from the volcano, but no pyroclastic flows had been reported...” (Source: http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov)
More than 3% of Estonian population of 1.3 million (50,000 people) were out this Saturday to clean the forest, roadsides and other public areas from illegal waste. Volunteers had mapped more than 10 656 garbage dumping sites all over the country by the beginning of April.
This is a quick summary of Teeme Ära 2008.
Here are some news about that in English:
Monday, May 05, 2008
Me and Kabelo
I traveled 350 km to attend a music show in commemoration of our late First Lady. A year has passed since she passed away.
The show brought together artists from across Africa in the names of Nameless(Kenya), Tay Grin(Malawi), G-Force, Joze(RSA), 2 Face(Nigeria), Kabelo(Channel 0), Dan Lufani(Malawi), K'Millan(Zambia) etc. These put up a very exciting show. I enjoyed it.
The president also came for about 30 minutes. It was nice