Gaza, A Call for Media Support

9 01 2009

Watching the news day and night has been the flagship activity of the Syrian people for the last 2 weeks. Even though there’s a certain atmosphere of disappointment, everybody knows there’s nothing they can do to make the situation any better (they can’t fight, and humanitarian aids are not getting anywhere near Gazza thanks to the Egyptian president’s utterly stupid philosophy).

And even though I’m hating the current media more and more each day, mainly because I was never pleased by watching real-time transmissions of missiles falling over people’s heads, I’m a bit glad at the same time. Because IT IS crucial -at this point in history- to use every form of media to spread the word (the true words I hope) about the Israeli massacre happening right now in Gazza.

AlJazeera is doing a great job I think, covering the events minute by minute. But even more important than that is the worldwide medias and TV channels. I gotta say, the American TV networks (according to the news broadcasts on MBC4) are doing a nicer job than that of the Iraqi war. Leaning more towards realistic facts, and a bit more unbiased than they used to be, but still, disappointingly very very far from neutrality.

Apart from TV channels, there’s also an internet war going on too. One that is fought in social networking sites & services, blogs, and video sharing services. Well, that’s a media that we can contribute to. So instead of standing still, we’re able to fight back this time, by spreading the real facts and news about this horrible war, we’ll be able to increase awareness among those blinded by their biased media networks. Which will, in turn, help boost the global pressure on Israel to stop the war immediately.

So, those of you reading this, if you have any kind of presence on the internet (i.e. Blog, Facebook, Hi5, Twitter accounts, etc…), please start pointing your readers and followers to the right direction, by providing links and references to websites and news agencies that are trying to tell the bare truth of this war. A good starting point is the links found in this blog post: Gaza and New Media Resistance.

The death toll, at the time of writing, was: 763 palestinian casualties, over 300 of them are children. It’s by far the most disgusting war I have ever seen. Let’s hope it will be the last one.

KSA, Supercomputers, and Science!

21 10 2008

Well, here’s an interesting news to open up the blog after a month of total absence: Sixth most powerful supercomputer coming to Saudi Arabia

It really shocked me to hear about that. Not only because I never thought an Arabian country would ever get a supercomputer, let alone the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also because I never read an article putting the words “Science” and “KSA” in the same sentence!!

I mean, it’s a great move for them, and the KAUST project looks so damn promising to the point of disbelief! A university for both sexes is a first for the KSA, a supercomputer in a university is a first in the whole Arab world. But having a “…huge, nearly unlimited resources for research work…” is a shocker!!

So, congratulations to the KSA, and hats-off to you guys for diverting all that money from the skyscraper business to the educational sector. I only hope they will not use it to calculate prayer times in the entire solar system for the next 10 centuries!!… No, that was a joke, so, chill..

Seriously, I hope they put it to good use, maybe something that would benefit the entire region, or their fellow Arabs as a whole.

Anyway, as with ‘most’ of my posts, this one has a purpose. The purpose of this post is to remind the Syrians that, to this moment, we STILL don’t have any kind of scientific research in our universities. Which is a VERY, VERY disturbing fact, considering that research is a major role-player in a country’s cultural and scientific state.

Just as an FYI, I’m not implying that we need supercomputers, or unlimited resources, or any of that fancy stuff. Because I know we don’t have that kind of advantage. But, I think I can prove that we COULD do some kind of research with what we have. Let’s just do some research. Nothing fancy, I’m not talking AI or bioengineering, I’m talking simple stuff. We can do it theoretically, we can at least look at our options taking into account our limited resources. I’m quite confident it could be done.

You have to forgive me for being so pushy about this thing, it just saddens me to go through the whole 5 years of engineering school without doing any kind of valuable work. I know many others of my colleagues who are just as enthusiastic as I am. The only thing we need is projects and support (maybe spiritual support), both of which are in the hands of our college professors. So, obviously the whole system has to be reconstructed to account for all the variables. So it is not an easy story. But change is always hard. The most important thing we need to do is take the first move toward that goal.

And, as long as we don’t see any sign of a first move, one thing will remain certain: we’re not moving forward. The KSA has taken a HUGE step forward, in a massive scale too. I know it looks shiny and makes for a great news headline, but we don’t need all that. All that matters is: usage, and outcome. Everything else is just paparazzi stuff..

Bill Gates, Forever!

28 06 2008

Yesterday, 27/6/2008 is a day to remember. Bill Gates officially retires from his job at Microsoft. He will be dedicating most of his “new-found” time on his charity organization.

It is a day to remember beause the man has accomplished so much, he became a legend. He had a dream, to make the PC as easy and reliable as any other electronic device we use today. And he delivered.

I know many of you may disagree with me due to well-known legislation problems concerning his products. But I for one, will never forget the first day I laid my hands on a keyboard. My first PC had a DOS 6.33 operating system, and even though I used it only for gaming at that time (I was 12), it really inspired me, and it didn’t seem that hard to learn either. This is IMO a great achievement; to make a PC with all its complications easy to operate even for a 12 year old kid!

And then came Windows. The OS monster sitting on ~80% of today’s PCs. Windows 3.11 was the beginning for me, and it was jaw-dropping at the time that I thought it was a miracle!! And look how that miracle evolved into a sophisticated platform for almost any kind of task. For me, my PC is a platform for gaming, programming, DVB-S TV, home theater, internet device, PDA, student-tools, and many more tasks than I can ever think of…

So, thank you Bill Gates. You’ve certainly made an impression on me, and many others. Your work will never be forgotten. & I hope one day I’ll be able to make a similar impression on other people, it is really the dream of my life.

There are so many details I didn’t want to get into here. Here’s a very interesting article written by Wolfgang Gruener at Tom’s Hardware with some more details about this event.

Change Wins!

4 06 2008

I’m writing this post because right now, Barack Obama (The US Democrats
presidential candidate) is only minutes away from claiming his nomination.

The U.S. (as I can see it on CNN) is shaking over that win, claiming it to be
a moment of history. The moment when, for the first time in U.S. history, an African-American have been nominated for president.

I almost know nothing about him, or about his campaign. But, I wanted to
write this to take my part in this so called “historical day”.

For me, as a Syrian citizen, all I want from the world’s most powerful man is
to bring peace to the Middle-East region, not by force, not by war, but by politics. And we
all know that he could do that if he wanted. So, Obama is campaigning to change,
and I believe that peace in the Middle-East is exactly the change the people of
this region really need.

If this is really a day in history, then let’s all hope it would be a change
to the better of all mankind. U.S. is currently the world’s most powerful
nation, and being its president holds a great responsibility. (And let’s hope I won’t regret writing this post)

Change wins = peace wins, please!

P.S.: I’ll post again when we get to know for real who’s the next U.S.
president, and try to get a clearer image about him.


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