The World's Worst Places to Work

A friend e-mailed me a part of an article about the world’s worst places to work, so, I had to go search for the full story to see what’s going on.

It’s an article published on the businessweek magazine about a study made by ORC (a HR consultancy company) about the cities that fall in the hardship tag.

Now, before I go and list these cities, I have to say that this article is not fair, not because the cities don’t fall in the hardship tag, but because of the reasons it was chosen for.

There it is starting from number 1;

No. 1 Lagos, Nigeria
Overall Grade: Very High Risk Location
Severe Problems: Infrastructure, Crime
Major Problems: Pollution, Disease & Sanitation, Medical Facilities, Availability of Goods and Services
Other Problems: Climate, Education Facilities, Physical Remoteness, Political Violence & Repression, Political & Social Environment, Culture & Recreation

There's no more challenging place on ORC's list than the largest city in Africa's largest country. Lagos not only has a severe crime problem and extremely poor infrastructure, the city has inadequate housing, sanitation, and medical facilities. Moreover, according to ORC, "the risk of being caught up in sectarian violence is another concern."
I’ve never been there, but from what I see in the news, that might be true.

No. 2 Jakarta, Indonesia
Overall Grade: Very High Risk Location
Major Problems: Pollution, Disease & Sanitation, Medical Facilities, Political Violence & Repression, Political & Social Environment, Crime

Indonesia may be holding up better than many other developing countries during the global recession, but that doesn't make life in Jakarta much easier for expatriates moving there. Despite problems common to many Third World cities—risk of disease, poor sanitation, and excessive pollution—the Indonesian capital "can be an enticing location," according to ORC. However, Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country and has suffered several high-profile attacks by Islamic terrorists targeting foreigners. "The threat of violence, from Islamic extremists in particular, is a serious drawback to living here," says ORC.
Now, I see where they are coming from, “IT’s THE WORLD LARGEST COUNTRY” I don’t have to say more, guess who’s next!!

No. 3 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Overall Grade: Very High Risk Location
Severe Problems: Political Violence & Repression, Political & Social Environment
Major Problem: Culture & Recreation Facilities
Other Problems: Housing, Climate, Disease & Sanitation, Education Facilities, Physical Remoteness, Communications

No surprise here. Life in the Saudi capital is not easy. "The possibility of a terrorist attack is an ongoing threat," according to ORC, "while wide-ranging restrictions on dress, movement, conduct, food, alcohol, travel, and communications limit expatriate life." The city is especially hard for foreign women. Finally, adds ORC, "violating the country's strict moral religious codes is a particular danger in this conservative city."
I agree, life there is hard, I’ve tried it, but not because it politically violent, especially for the Americans and Europeans, it’s because after work, there is absolutely nothing to do there but to kill yourself out of boredom.

No. 4 Almaty, Kazakhstan
Overall Grade: Very High Risk Location
Major Problems: Pollution, Disease & Sanitation, Medical Facilities, Physical Remoteness
Other Problems: Housing, Climate, Education Facilities, Infrastructure, Communications, Culture & Recreation

The remoteness of Almaty, largest city in Kazakhstan, is one of the city's biggest problems as far as outsiders are concerned. Other significant hardships include pollution, the threat of disease, and poor medical facilities. "Inadequate infrastructure, substandard housing, crime and difficulties with communications are additional drawbacks," says ORC.
I can’t argue with that, I don’t know anything about Kazakhstan, not even from the news.

No. 5 Mumbai, India
Overall Grade: High Risk Location
Major Problems: Pollution, Disease & Sanitation, Infrastructure, Political Violence & Repression
Other Problems: Climate, Medical Facilities

India's financial capital has some of the country's best architecture, restaurants, and museums. It also has some of the worst slums, traffic jams, and security problems. "While some may be energized by the hustle-bustle of this cosmopolitan city and by its beautiful setting," writes ORC, "many more are likely to be overwhelmed by its crowded and chaotic conditions and by the poor sanitation and violence."
I don’t know about that either, but I saw some photo’s of Mumbai and I have friends who’s been there, and they all say it’s like every other city, it has some good places and some bad ones to be.

I will settle for the top 5 and will add the link to the full article at the end of the post.

It’s really annoying that they kept on using high crime risk as one of the top reasons, it’s not that London or New York has the lowest crime rate in the world!

The Seven Arab Girls You Should Never Date

P.S. No images were included for lack of authentic material or time for creativity. Image donations are accepted and will be attributed to the donor!!

This one is inspired by the post at, which in turn is inspired by the one at!! But since the purposes of dating vary hugely, and since I would assume that the purpose implicitly stated in the previously mentioned posts is a long lasting relationship, then I will build the list based on that assumption. Because honestly speaking, the list might become the most wanted in case you were looking for something else.

It is also worth mentioning that I didn’t try to categorize girls based on their favorite hangout, hobbies, clothes, or upbringing background, but more on their mentalities.

I’m not sure whether the point I’m trying to make here is clear to everyone, or is it just clear in my head. Anyway, there goes nothing. Below is a list of eight girls you should not date in Amman.

1.The “ENNU” girl!! a.k.a The “I WAS LIKE” girl:

Boosted with a couple of private school years under her belt and a self-induced feeling of sophistication, she sticks the above mentioned words/phrases in every sentence replacing all punctuation marks. She thinks that the world revolves around her, and that guys would die at her feet just because she knows how to say Oh My God and she remotely resembles Europeans. She spends her time hours on end gossiping with her equally light-headed friends, usually about the other group of her light-headed friends and vice versa. She is usually rich.

She usually wears shades that cover half her face, and makeup covering the other half. Has more bags than an airport belt and relentlessly brag about her love for shoes.

2.The feminist:

-And no, by definition, not all females are feminists- Usually she’ll smack you with a speech about how women are equal to men, and how they can perform almost all tasks and duties a man can do! For obvious reasons, she will not come to mention semen. She will use every chance to mention her passion for work, and the nightmares about marrying a guy who will stop in the way of her career. Usually will complain about guys manners in queues, buses and restaurants because they don’t behave as gentlemen towards women, and will make no secret of her desire to quit work a few years from marriage.. Sighting numerous reasons, one of which is the presence of the kid!

No single dress code usually fits the group. As it is more related to an age bracket.

3. The plastic girl:

Usually have done a couple of surgeries to enhance her assets! And as much as it is pleasing to us, all will become negligible next to the empty space between her ears. She thinks that cars and clothes are assets, and believes that a guy’s love is directly proportional to how much money leakage he is willing to accept. The most annoying treat in a man for her is; him being stingy.

What she is wearing? Brands, brands and more brands. And more brands.. and yet more brands

4. Shareefet Makka:

The girl whom you were the first to kiss!! Touch or, exercise any kind of foreplay with. Because according to her you are the first… but the truth is, there is a long line of firsts. Note: Virginity is not a measure, since this type of girls is so accommodating through other entry points.

5. The Ugly one: For obvious reasons

6. The age-conscious girl.

She is so insecure about her age, and about still being single. You can easily spot that type because they talk a lot about marriage, and their refusal to marry the first guy knocking at her door. She is keen on mentioning all suitors knocking on her door, and the reason why she allegedly “rejected” them. Reason for not dating her is simply because she will hook up with a monkey if he is coming close to raising a marriage LPO. Turn on your detectors around those older than 26, because this is the threshold for Jordanian girls. Usually it takes them 2-3 years after graduation to get over the career dream, and then they develop into men-hunters!

7. The “not so sure about this” girl:

Testy girls who want to make a challenge of every little thing. She wants you to get into her heart through a treasure hunt contest. Reason for not dating is simply because she should go fuck herself. There is a lot of fish in the sea, and it has been proved times and times again that it is not worth it!

The purpose of this post in not primarily to be funny… It has a point, and if you don’t get it, then you are beyond help.

Messi... The New Miracle!

Messi... He is a miracle!

Validation can actually make your life better!

I haven't seen an idea as genuine in a long time!!! And I must admit, Mohammad Abbas looks funny as a Yasser Arafat :)... But I get too many parking tickets here in Dubai to be able to overcome that particular trauma!! :S

Beautiful Morning

Today I woke up early in the morning at around 8, had my coffee, smoked a couple of cigarettes before I dare to open the window blinds and look outside, as it’s usually dusty here, I thought it would be another lousy weekend, but to my surprise, the weather was great, sky was clear, no dust in the air, and it’s not so hot.

What a beautiful morning, after a stressful week at work, I must go out and have breakfast somewhere “on the beach”, since I live on one of the smallest islands in the world, you would think that is actually what I should be doing everyday.

Moving on, I jumped in the car and drove all the way to my friend without even calling him, because I know he would be sitting in the same sh…place to have his morning sheesha, it’s a great morning, which is something that doesn’t happen a lot in Bahrain, and all he want’s to do is to sit and have sheesha and post some videos on FaceBook.

Anyway, we had breakfast and did some boring stuff, then I drove him home, and was going home too, but then I decided not to was this beautiful gift, so what to do? Of course hit the beach! But then again I hit another wall; I live on an ISLAND where there is no public beach, not even one.

I really wanted to seize the moment, I really wanted to enjoy this lovely day, so, I went to one of the clubs that enjoys having a “beach” and was ready to pay $60 to enjoy a 20 meters beach, and I’m not kidding here, it’s really just 20 meter, and guess what, they didn’t let me in because weekends are just for members!

So I went home mad, frustrated, and here I am lying on my couch, writing this boring story, and asking myself after each word I write, why the hell am I writing this?

On Problem Solving!!

This post has been inspired by Ali, Kababji, and obviously Scott Adams!!

And I can swear I've seen happening before!!

Difference between Focusing on Problems and Focusing on Solutions

A couple of days a go I received an interesting e-mail from a freind, and i thought it would be nice to share it, read it below.

"Case 1

When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens wouldn't work at zero gravity (ink won't flow down to the writing surface). To solve this problem, it took them one decade and $12 million. They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C. And what did the Russians do...?? They used a pencil.

Case 2

One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soapbox, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty. Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly! line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soapbox went through the assembly line empty. Management asked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent a whoopee amount to do so.

But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc., but instead came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line."

It's true isn't it, we always work really hard to solve a problem, sometimes we come up brilliant ideas to solve it, but most of the times you don't need a brilliant solution, we just need a solution.

Webster- Arabic- American Dictionary

As they say, different words mean different things to different people! This is only a small sample;

Webster: a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse especially for money.
Arabic: Arab female Singer with her main talent being her body.
American: A female whose father was a junkie and/or used to hit her mother and occasionally refused to let her get away with whatever she does. Occassionaly a figure hosted on the famous TV show Dr. Phil

Webster: harmony of conduct or practice with profession.
Arabic: Status Quo.
American: Making the same mistake, as in electing George W. Bush twice.

Political Change:
Webster: the act, process, or result of changing political direction and approach to social and international problems.
Arabic: Face left.
American: Using different words to describe the same action. e.g exchanging KILL with Neutralize, Crusade with Dialogue, and Elephants with Donkeys!

Webster: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
Arabic: Dillusion.
American: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections, while not being held responsible for its action whatsoever. Another definition would be a political version of American Idol.

Webster: a person who engages in fraudulent or criminal practices
Arabic: Politician.
American: A politician or businessman who doens't fully cover his ass.

Experiencing the Ugly side of Yourself

You know these days in which you feel you have transformed into a grumpy old fart! You feel like you've abruptly grown 60 years in age without knowing when the metamorphosis happened. Such days make you want to stay away from everyone because quite frankly you are not very fond of yourself.

All of a sudden I have a headache and acidity in my stomach which is something that happens once in a decade! I feel like throwing up and my bladder starts working its magic to add a cherry to the cake! What a wonderful cake. I kind of feel like I've been stuck in this mood for the past centinnial, and more and more I feel like the best place to be is my bed! Or as my fellow jordanians coined it, in the Farsheh Club. Which means The Mattress Club in English.

Dusty weather is not helping, and the excorciating heat of Dubai is looming in the horizon reminding me and agonizing me for the wasted winter days.

Being the old grannie that I'm these days makes me notice things only Abu El Abed would notice! The tackiness of Diana Haddad's Haifa-esque
new clip. The stupidity of a discussion on how big or small lebanese asses are on a certain blog!. The tag of dominance a group of jordanians stamped on a neighborhood in Dubai, which is something I'll soon be sharing with you.

These days few things cheer me up. Watching Messi play! Listening to a nice song. Beating traffic on the way back from work, and having a moment for myself and away from everyone. But it'll soon be over! This is not me, and it shouldn&'t be. Something ought to happen and things will be back on track!... And since music was mentioned somewhere in this post, I think I owe it to myself and anyone who made it through the first paragraph and up till here to say that U2's new album SUCKS!Big time.

P.S. I'm posting this from my car in the parking lot of Burjuman!.. No status update to be published anytime soon because it's going to look ugly!! Cheers!

Sent from my mobile device

This is how arabs make the world laugh at them. Courtesy of Mona Al Tahawy

I know a lot of people who would love to be called pundits, who like to shine on us with their wisdom and educate us and the world about all sorts of things!! Recently, I came across one of them. An Egyptian lady who posts on her website a long and impressive CV stamped by an award and a recognition as a columnist and speaker about Arab & Muslim affairs. Her last dose of wisdom was a lecture at the University of Delaware. It was titled understanding the Arabs!

Now, you would assume that the purpose of this lecture by an Arab "independent" pundit would be to help the world understand the Arabs. The People. How they think? What are their priorities? What are the causes that matter to them the most? And how can those interested reach out to the Arab people for the greater good. However, what you get is an incosistent and lame trial to promote and push and shove in everybody's head certain beliefs and certain agendas that will actually give "Those" interested all the needed tools to keep us as the most shattered nation in the world for centuries to come!

Ms. Al Tahawy took pride in announcing to her audience that Arab Unity has been shattered and forever. She did her best to throw about assurances that Arab Unity "and I'm talking about the Arab Street here" is an outdated legend that no one believes in anymore. In fact, she made an interesting announcement, and I quote "There is no such thing as an Arab Street". It feels like the kind of message a zionist would like to send to the American Government assuring them that no matter what you do to this pathetic nation they shouldn't worry about any comeback or a resilient and meaningful stand from them. It's an invitation for everyone to come and wreck havoc in the middle east!

But you kind of understand where that declaration she made comes from. Al Tahaway spent the most part of her lecture talking about regimes! and to be more specific four regimes. Carefully selected and for different but mirrored reasons. I think it was an ill-advised decision to call this lecture "Understanding the Arabs". It should have been called "Understanding America's proxies and its enemies".

I don't see how more than an hour of talking about the Egyptian, Saudi, Qatari and Syrian regime would help the west understand the Arabs! Aren't these the same regimes that made the world misunderstand us in one way or another? Aren't these regimes the screens put between us and the world that makes us look useless, violent and unready for democracy? How can she make such a mistake?... Or was it??

For someone who takes pride in being progressive, moderate and egyptian, it surprises me to hear the loaded words she was gracing the crowd with. She is actually promoting Saudi now! Talking about an important and commendable change in the highly conservative Saudi government. Pushing people to accept that change in Saudi is hard and has to be done slowly. You know, that kind of change with a pace that you will live you entire life without ever noticing. And then, she shrinks Qatar and its policy into the role of the jealous loser brother!! One that is desparately trying to piss the Saudis off!! Like a girl crying during her elder sister's birthday to get some attention. According to her, whatever Qatar does is merely the opposite of what Saudi does! Along the way, she did her utmost to shatter the reputation of the most reliable media outlet in the Arab world, Aljazeera. The only station where arabs can listen to the real story. The only channel that can actually reach the world, and tell them in English our point of view and what the other channels don't show. According to her, Aljazeera entices the masses by showing unnecessary and biased information and images from Palestine and Iraq. It's very depressing to see an "Enlightened" arab denounce the only free media in the arab world, and for the same reasons Bush and Netenyahu will flag. Again, in the process she promoted Al Arabiyya! A biased station built to counter Aljazeeraa and sell out to the masses any idea that comes to the head of the american government or any of its clowns in the region.

Altahawy carried that same analogy to compare the Egyptian government and the Syrian government. As expected, Egypt although a dictatorship, has a major role in the region and has structured its policy strategically for the greater good. Syria is just like Qatar, trying to piss off Egypt.

In very few sentences did Mona say anything about the people. What they want. how they think. Are they united or not, do the same things matter to them or not. These things clearly didn't mean anything to her, apparently because she didn't notice any uprising or support in favor of Gaza during the Israeli savage campaign. Basically, she didn't explain how the eguptians felt when their government took that shameful stand from the war, and as usual she downgraded the Islamic movement to a last resort, that people go to because of lack of options. Totally disregarding any value those parties might add and calling them "Nut Heads" in the process!!

One more nail in that lectures' coffin was the exclusion of 18 Arab nations and God knows how many muslim nations! Nothing about Palestinians, jordanians, iraqis, Sudanis, lebanese or the rest. and if you want to argue the small impact of these countries on politics, although it would be silly, how can she explain the absence of turkey in her hour or so of wisdom!?!

Promoting Saudi and Egypt, Bluntly denouncing Aljazeera and subtly denouncing Qatar and Syria. If you look at the political directions of these countries at the moment and the powers they are close to you start to wonder what agenda and purpose people like Mona Al Tawahy is serving?

She opened her speech stating that she intends to confuse her audience about their ideas of the Arabs and Muslims. One guy in the audience actually told her that she succeeded. But I think I was confused more than the whole crowd put toghether. It was the worst portray of the arabs I've seen in awhile, and sadly it came from an arab!!

For the video you can go to this link:

Today's Dose of Wisedom

"A person who follows in another's track leaves no footprints."
Arthur Schopenhauer

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret."
Ambrose Bierce

"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."
George Kettering

"There is no way to make people like change. You can only make them feel less threatened by it."
Frederick Hayes

"Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up."
G.K. Chesterton

World's Friendliest Countries

A couple of months ago David Sutton wrote for a very interesting story about the world’s friendliest countries, when I saw the title the first country that came in my mind was the UAE represented Dubai, but after reading the conditions that make the country friendly in their views I thought no way the UAE or any GCC country can win this, below are some parts of the article;

“The country that once welcomed the tired, poor, huddled masses is now asking for a little reciprocation. And Canada, Germany and Australia are heeding the call.
They top a list of the countries most welcoming to expats. There, relocators have a relatively easy time befriending locals, joining a local community group and learning the local language.”

By reading the above lines, it becomes easy to anyone to figure out why the GCC countries can’t be the friendliest, becoming friends with the locals?? It’s really not that easy!

And we continue;

“Canada is the most welcoming; almost 95% of respondents to HSBC Bank International's Expat Explorer Survey, released today, said they have made friends with locals. In Germany, 92% were so lucky and in Australia 91% befriended those living there. The United Arab Emirates was found to be the most difficult for expats; only 54% of those surveyed said they'd made friends with locals.”

There were some talks about China and India in this article but I don’t care about it that why I will stop quoting here.

Now in the writer’s and survey’s point of view, you should go to one of the top three if you are considering relocating, and try not to go to the UAE or India or China, in my point of view he is totally wrong, and this survey just shows how willing the expats to melt into the local communities and not how hard the local community accepts them as part of it.

The country can be friendly is you can live freely, live the life you’ve had back home, or at least something close to that, and from my experience with a lot of western expats, they all said the same exact words “everyone wants to come to Dubai” “not just for the money”, as they told me that the money is one of the top priorities, but the most important reason is that they feel SAFE more than in their home lands, not as free, but free enough.

That is a friendly country….

For the full article please visit