A N N I V E R S A R Y
I S S U E A ED
CO M P L IM E NTARY
D i s c o v e r i n g
m i n d s ,
c o n n e c t i n g
s e n s e s
Sep t e m b e r - Nove m b e r 2007
w ww. s al aam. ae
2646465 - 4 - Phone: 971+ 2646130 - 4 - Fax: 971+ E-mai: email@example.com
ANNIVERSARY ISSUE SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER 2007
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REV IT UP
I arrived in Africa to find the happiest people I have ever met. They may have had only one small meal…
A very old tradition in Malabar tells of King Chakrawati Farmers who observed the splitting of the moon...
Th on e a An th ll n d e P ew th or A e w sc u in he 9 di R ne 1 8 ri 1T t s… u ak rb es o.
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EW I V ER
SELF DEVELOPMENT 12
VE O C
Strange things happen in life. At times many failures lead to success. Remember, it took Edison 1200 failed experiments to finally invent a light bulb that worked. So was the case with Salaam. Jamil Idris Kasmani CEO Younis Abdul Karim Editor-in-Chief
Salaam is one year old today! This issue is a celebration of the youth power that made this possible. It was a tough start - when so many people wrote us off, things seemed almost impossible at one stage. But fortunately impossible does not have a place in our dictionary. We dedicate this overwhelming success to all our readers.
Maha Al Kurd Managing Editor
So enjoy our anniversary, in this fusion of fun where the focus is on you – read your comments on the Campus section, and send in your contributions to our new poetry and photography forums to win exciting prizes! Our cover story addresses a concern every fresher has with the beginning of the new academic year – Bullying. On a more relaxing note why not plan your next get-away from our Travelogue or perhaps go for a spin in the Audi 2008 or Porsche (take your pick). Also, there’s a lot more to discover in our sections on Signs, Health and Technology. Don’t miss out on Reflections and an interview that just might help make a difference.
Basma Salah Publishing Editor
There’s a lot to celebrate, a lot to congratulate. This is for all you Salaam readers, Happy Anniversary!
Maisoon M. Jamal Editor Maliha Ali Senior Editor
Naufa Jaffer Associate Editor Devina Divecha Madina Yusuf Maria Tariq Zahra Al Yusef Aya Mahmoud Asma Zulfiqar Atifa Aleem Editorial Team Amina Banawan Mariam Banawan Amna Salah Shazil Rehman Hanan Fadali Writers Saleh Al Nuaimi Art Director Touseef Ashraf Graphic Designer
Letters 04 Anniversary issue
Thanks so much for the beneficial article on“Conformity”. I must say that reflects so much on our daily life routine. The article approaches our bearing on past events and what our responses were, it sure did that to me! Without doubt it’s the best article I’ve read since early 2007. Dr. Walid Al - Deeb Gulf Medical College, Ajman
Feras Sobh Faria Khalid Assistant Designers
A blend of both the contemporary and the traditional style of writing that we have missed in the current youth magazines, this magazine makes it nearly impossible for you not to finish reading it all in one go. The ‘ramblings’ part is exceptionally thoughtful.
Arsalan Pirzada Photographer
Mohammed Ali American University of Sharjah, Sharjah
Sajid T.S Marketing Manager Ayub Kazia Circulation Manager Sumaiya Maklai Saadia Tabrez Mahmoud Mazin Lara Sulaiman Circulation Executives Muzzamil Ali Mirza Abrar Ali Advertisement Managers Yaser Ali Fatima Faris Banan Maged Advertisement Executives Idris Seraj Public Relations Manager
From the many magazines that I have read, SALAAM magazine is one of the best. I really liked the article on Friendship it was very inspiring and made me do a lot of thinking. Thank you for shedding light on such important meanings. Great job! All the best!! Shehzeen Manji Heriot-Watt University, Dubai I have been a reader of your magazine since its first issue, and now four issues down the road I thought it is time for me to tell you how much I enjoy reading Salaam. I really think that it is a change from the usual everyday college magazine we read and that it provides youth with a whole new field of ideas. I know that it is Salaam’s anniversary and I was hoping to be the first one to say Happy New Year Salaam! Rouba Matari Ajman University of Science and Technology, Ajman WHILE EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT OF THIS PUBLICATION, WE ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORS, OMISSIONS OR CHANGES TO INFORMATION PRINTED. VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THE MAGAZINE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE PUBLISHER. ANY REPRODUCTION OF THE MATERIAL, EITHER WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL FROM THE EDITOR IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
In 1998 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to share their idea with the world there were no takers. But that did not discourage them. Despite being broke and rejected several times, Larry and Sergey did not give up and decided to make it on their own. In a few years they had turned an idea that had taken root in a Stanford dorm room into what is now a billion dollar company – Google! Besides telling you that you’re really lucky if you own a few Google shares right now, the point I’m trying to make is that a good idea is often ignored and made fun of. Howard Aiken, a pioneer in computing, once said, “Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats”. That is exactly what happened when a bunch of college students decided to start SALAAM. We did not just face the expected pessimism, but there was also the share of snorting, jeering, scolding and humiliating that penniless-dependent-under 25-enthusiasts like ourselves had to endure. Call it our youthful insolence or just sheer determination; the idea was so fresh and so exciting that the more we were disappointed/rejected/snorted at, the harder we worked. We wanted SALAAM to be the country’s first ‘for the youth, by the youth’ magazine that would network our creativity on a professional level and be completely managed by us. It would be different; not just your regular campus-journal publication, but a product of students from different educational backgrounds, that would draw intelligent as well as entertaining perspectives, to be shared inside as well as outside campuses. And this was really a whole new ball game! Taking professional exams is one thing, but starting something from scratch, believing in it enough to establish it, figuring out the technicalities, convincing ourselves that we were up to the challenge, and then convincing others to support us, was really one bumpy ride. But it was fun! SALAAM was our baby and naming it, taking care of it, feeling for it, and making sure we kept it alive became and still is a passion. The members of team SALAAM; the editors, writers, PR personnel, marketing executives, designers, distributors, photographers; some of whom acquired and developed skills in-house, others who volunteered their talents, are really people one can be proud of. After more than 18 months since its conception, we look back at the times when the stimulus of new ideas stole away at our sleep, at the times of serial telephone calls, when we practically had to stalk people for appointments, at the many closed doors of which a few were banged opened, at the written and numerously re-written articles, at the abundant criticism and mild praise, and we say…WOW, we made it! New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” (Arthur C.Clarke) At its first anniversary, with a team of more than thirty, and our fifth issue, it is heart-warming to say that SALAAM is definitely not just an idea any more… and you can only take a guess at which of the three periods we stand today!
Team Salaam ‘ Magazine is the product of the creativity and talent of students in colleges across the country. It is a ‘by the Youth, for the Youth’ enterprise that aims to network young expertise on a professional level.’
To advertise in Salaam, write to firstname.lastname@example.org P.O Box: 20165, Ajman, U.A.E | Tel: +971 6 7441421 | Fax: +971 6 7441423 E-mail: email@example.com
Letters 05 Anniversary issue
One Up, Many to Go...
Photos Arsalan Pirzada
Among the many visual delights of the U.A.E are its roundabouts. Their iconic nature can depict a part of the heritage of this country. Even though some do not exist today, these pictures show that roundabouts are much more than sometimes traffic congested circles. Just stop to look and you may find an interesting and scenic relief!
Home 08 Anniversary issue
The Grand Dame of the Seas Madina Yusuf
“Alas! After 40 years of service and success, it is time for her to rest. Stroked with shades of black and white, her beauty still stands out. Till date, she has sailed across 6 million nautical miles, undertaken 25 world cruises, crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and ferried more than 2.5 million passengers; tired she must be! It is time for the Grand Old Lady of the seas to find herself an everlasting abode.” And indeed she has! The legendary ocean liner “Queen Elizabeth II” was purchased from the Cunard Line Division of Carnival for US$100 million by Istithmar (the investment arm of Dubai World and the government agency that owns the real- estate developer Nakheel). Queen Elizabeth II will savor the golden moments of her career as an ocean-going passenger vessel. She will bid her farewell in a journey across Atlanta and the grand finale of her voyage is scheduled in November 2008 where she will leave Southampton to be welcomed at the shores of Dubai. “And still the old lady wishes to live to continue shining her glory, if not across the ocean waters, then a historical monument in Arabia.” In 2009, the iconic vessel will be berthed at a specially constructed pier to create a 21st century luxury floating hotel, an entertainment destination and a shopper’s paradise at The Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest man-made island. A year will be dedicated to pamper the old lady. Yes, the ship will be refurbished to restore the ship’s original 1967 interior decor and fittings. Maybe history won’t be about boring dusty scripts anymore, for a museum will be created to celebrate the rich heritage. This is a chance to say “I was there”.
So what is all the hype about? It’s a ship at the end of the day, right? Well, not exactly. Queen Elizabeth II is everyone’s dream - the perfect holiday on board. The ship boasts exotic restaurants, fabulous spas, health clubs and a library stacking 6,000 books. The deck favors sports like golf, paddle tennis, basketball and many more. The only floating Harrods store in the majestic liner is likely to stay open even here in Dubai. What will add to the unforgettable experience is the stroll along the promenade of such a historic vessel. Time is just not enough to get a share of everything, for the ship has a world of its own. A professional hotel operating firm will be hired to manage the hotel which will expand as the 9 cylinder turbo-charged diesel engines will be removed to aid more space. The Palm Jumeirah hopes to receive an estimated 20,000 visitors per day. Though, it still has to be decided if QE II will be open to all or will there be controlled access. Well for sure, all the readers of Salaam would love the former. What an experience awaits us!
“Bon voyage, Dame”
Did you know? • •
The QEII was not named after Queen Elizabeth II, who launched her in 1969, but after the previous Queen Elizabeth. In 1982, she took part in the Falklands War, carrying 3,000 troops of the fifth infantry brigade and a crew of 650 volunteers to the south Atlantic. She is the longest-serving ship and flagship in Cunard’s 168-year history. It was built at a cost of £29 million. The Ocean greyhound is 70,327 gross tons, 963 ft long aced up with a speed of 32.5 knots, making her one of the fastest passenger ships afloat Queen Mary II, her sister ship is now an established floating hotel and museum in Long beach, California.
Campus 10 Anniversary issue
would you react if you knew someone is talking behind your back?
in ything /her n a n a n’t me nt him nd do I’ll confro correct the r Pesh a s u a o b y , u Ab I may ter to d one ng yo Alifya , Dubai ’t mat rom a love e it alone. oint bangi n o E d , f H v MA -stab No p mes e lea o back act? If it co is otherwis ard or not. h w e l e e r “Peop e, so why r the matte ng to be h if oi er your l ify whatev s if I am g d egos!!” r d a n l e s c jah g- ize ep and , Shar yed but d behind kin h a n a S j o r i a t a e a s Salm sity of Sh situ ans. W I d lung m n u a r e h s v l d i ause e al Un hea , we’r st me, bec the d n e s in again n the ause i backbites o. Anyway ething c e b , t o r m i ord past t hoeve orget aid so tally f I forgive w akes in the omebody s le. Every w o t d l b t u s . “I wo e mistakes e some mis eserve. If d accounta d l k e n a y o h e m d h e all ’ve ll b at t that I ey wi ts wh know erybody ge e, well, th m v end, e ous about d .” n horre is recorded y we sa
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do you tackle stress?
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“I am never stressed. I take life as it comes. I try not to plan very far ahead thus reducing the risk of stress. If a situation arises that has the potential of being stressful, I just stay calm and try to figure out a way to resolve the problem. I believe that getting tense or stressed only adds to the problem.”
“While I’m st ressed I usually become irritabl detached and e, I’m not my us ual active self. Around these times, I like to listen to music go for long wal , ks or visit the beach and this helps a lot! Oh, also I binge ea t, which is not a good thing, but it really he lps remove my stress.”
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University of Hertfordshire, UK
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English How are you? I am fine
ARABIC Kaif al haal? Alhamdullilah
URDU Aap kaise ho? Theek hu
Kenya Habari yako? Mzuri
SPANISH Cómo estás? Bien
FRENCH Bonjour. Çava? Je suis très bien
Campus 11 Anniversary issue
Self development 12 Anniversary issue
do today for a better tomorrow
spend the majority of our life working to earn a living to provide for ourselves and our family. Little wonder then, that most of us pursue a degree in order to secure a decent job. However, is getting a degree all that you need to get the job of your dreams? If you think that’s all you need, then you’re gravely mistaken. While working, you’ll need a multitude of skills to perform well, and not just the book knowledge you’ve received during your education. If you haven’t already started developing your skills to endear yourself to your future employer what are you waiting for? Start NOW! Your value as an employee comes from the skills and knowledge that you possess combined. Figure out what your strengths are and build on them. Follow up by identifying your weaknesses and building on them. Think of it like conducting a SWOT analysis on yourself. Of course, anything that motivates you will help you perform better, so as a start make sure to find a career path that will give you the most job satisfaction. This way you can start working in that direction from an early age. In case you think you cannot figure out your skills or the career towards which you’re most inclined, take the easy way out! Don’t waste time in soul-searching if you think it won’t do any good. Simply go to a trained individual like a psychologist or a career counsellor at your school or university and they should be more than happy to help you. Perhaps you might even have to take a test to determine your inclinations (I’ve taken a few; they’re fun!) which will make your task all the more easier. The degree, while not being the be-all and end-all of getting a job, is important as well. This is precisely why you need to choose a degree that’s right for the career you intend to take up. What’s the point of studying say Biotech, when you’d rather spend your life working as a journalist? Studying for any degree is a challenge and you need to make sure that you gain the most out of it. If you haven’t started university life, you should spend your time gauging which degree will benefit you the most. If you’re already a degree pursuer, I hope that you’ve chosen something that is right for you. However, at any time, should you feel that you’re in a place that is not suited for you, you can either change your degree or take defensive measures. Completely overhauling your degree can be difficult, so most people will avoid that. So what measures can you take? Part-time work is an example of such measures (I will deal with this in the next section). Take myself for example: I’m interested in the field of media but I am pursuing a Business degree. What am I doing to ensure that my media interest is still active? I write for Salaam!
Another way to build career-related skills is to gain work experience relevant to the career of your dreams. As a university student, you can either work part-time during vacations or fulltime throughout the year. However, if you think that you cannot possibly balance the stress of a full degree along with work, then I suggest part-time work will suit the purpose just as well. Also, try not to be too choosy! You’re a university student; don’t expect highly paid jobs. Frankly speaking, don’t even expect paid jobs! Voluntary (ergo, unpaid!) internships can also help you develop your career and personal skills. Dealing with real-life work situations will give you an excellent idea regarding what skills you already possess and those that you don’t.
Besides working, there are other ways to develop skills for your future career. Join some sort of sports or extra-curricular activities in order to experience working in a team. Responsibility, accountability and initiative can be acquired this way. Working implies dealing with other people. If your people skills aren’t too good, polish them up immediately. You will be interacting with many people in almost every career you follow; knowing how to deal with them gives you an advantage. Find a way to be unique to your employer: learn a new language for example, or a new kind of software, that not many other candidates might be proficient in, but would be useful for getting that job. If you possess some unique quality or skill, it will make you hard to replace. Behind every successful candidate who gets the job is… you guessed it: their curriculum vitae (C.V.). Your degree, your extra-curricular activities, your skills, a part-time job, basically everything mentioned above combined together is just what you need to add that extra edge over other candidates. It’s a chain reaction: you carry out all the aforementioned steps, you use that to make a C.V., which in turn will impress prospective employers and voila! We have a career in motion! All this cannot be achieved in a day. Developing skills for your career takes time and you need to be aware of yourself and the environment around you. All of us have something we’re interested in. Tap into that interest and match it with your potential. How then, can you not succeed?
y r o t s untold
â€œJust do whatever I say and donâ€™t you dare tell anyone I did this!â€? These words still echo in the years of the twenty-year old as she remembers a day in first grade. A tall girl had pulled her ear down by her earring, and held it until a few drops of blood started to trickle, when she finally succeeded in intimidating her victim into obeying her. Fifteen years later, the then small and fat girl has not yet forgotten...
Cover stroy 13 Anniversary issue
g n i y l l Bu a Devin
Cover stroy 14 Anniversary issue
a punching He essentially became bag for them Bullying? Here? In good ol’ U.A.E? Sadly, it’s true. Contrary to what most people might think, bullying is rampant everywhere. Bullying, unfortunately, doesn’t know geographic boundaries. A recent and known case is that when, in September 2006, twelve senior students from BITS-Pilani, Dubai campus, based at Knowledge Village were suspended for ragging juniors and bullying them into doing what they wanted. Out of those twelve, one was expelled, a number were given mild punishments, and few were cleared of all charges. Even then, the secrecy surrounding this fracas was so tight. It was as if CIA secrets were being protected! The problem here is that such cases are not widely publicized: either the bullied themselves or the schools/ colleges choose to hush it up. The hushing up is so widespread that it has given bullies a chance to be ‘invisible’ and get away with misdemeanors. Bullies have long ago outgrown their typical persona of young men staggering and throwing punches each way. Today, bullies come in all shapes and sizes.
Students against Students • Sulyman told us how his class used to ‘gang’ up on him, hold him down, and begin punching and kicking him. He essentially became a punching bag for them. • Dana, a university student living in the dorms, also, experienced severe bullying. She said she was constantly harassed and bullied by a group of older students. Dana said “I know this sounds stupid, but I kind of felt stalked.”
As students, we’ve seen forms of bullying almost everywhere but never really bothered to analyze it or worry about it, most of us think that it’s part of school/college life and wonder what we can do to change it. Dr.Jawad A.Q.Fatayer, a socio-psychological therapy consultant at Al Noor Hospital (PH.D, CCS.LPT, LCDC) and a Professor of Clinical Sociology at U.A.E. University, College of Humanities, says that bullying is a social-psychological phenomenon and exists in almost all human aggregations. “Bullying is a social power game, where the stronger dominates, humiliates and/or takes advantage of the weaker.” If you thought that bullying is restricted to physical terms, think again! The world of bullying is much broader than just physical abuse (direct bullying). In fact, there are two other forms: psychological abuse (indirect bullying), which is aimed at demeaning the individual and inflicting emotional pain, and a combination of psychological/ physical abuse, in which the bully desires humiliating the victim through physical means. Interestingly enough, it’s stereotypical of most of us to assume that males indulge in more physical forms of bullying and females only bully their counterparts with verbal or emotional barbs i.e. the psychological aspect. The truth is both genders use either tactic to get what they want. Dr. Fatayer is of the opinion that while bullying is more common among males, it is not strange to find it amongst females. Bullying is related to “machoism”, or power which is historically associated with men more than women.
Teachers against Teachers • Mohammed revealed how one of his high school teachers actually promised to reward the entire class five extra bonus points, if the class would drive a certain teacher ‘crazy’. • Mr. Richardson, a History teacher in a private school, confessed he felt all the other teachers formed a gang against him because of his Western background.
So what is it that mak es these teachers, students, and parents resort to bullying? Why are they so intent on dominating and humiliating other people?
So what is it that makes these teachers, students, and parents resort to bullying? Why are they so intent on dominating and humiliating other people? Bullies bully often because they feel inferior. They doubt their own abilities and physical strength and feel threatened by the ‘victim’. In most cases, the bully feels that by using aggression they will gain something, whether it’s a cool reputation or even a higher grade. Khalid, a self-professed bully, summed it up when he said, “I bully to feel strong, to feel superior, and to get what I want.”
Why don’t victims spea
But perhaps there’s another reason underlining why bullies bully. As long as bullies feel secure and confident they won’t be punished, they’ll just keep at it. A recent graduate from a college in India told us that bullying in her college reduced after laws were passed against it. “The seniors did indulge in a bit of fun at the beginning, but it was nothing too serious mostly because they were afraid of getting caught and having action taken against them.” Which brings us to the next question, “Why don’t victims speak up?” In reality, most victims of bullying don’t reveal they’re being bullied because they feel ashamed; ashamed they are being taken advantage of and most of all, ashamed they can’t stop it. It gets even more complex when they feel they will be losing more than just their pride. For instance, teachers who are bullied often allow their students to become dictators or cave in to parents because they fear they will lose their jobs. Students don’t admit to bullying because they feel that if adults step into the fray, they will have to face worse from the bully later on.
Students against Teachers • Nadar boasted about a student in his class who reputedly threw an apple from the window of his bus at a teacher, screaming “Go feed your family”. • Heba told us about how her entire tenth grade would consistently make animal noises whenever their Chemistry teacher would enter the classroom. • Tariq’s eleventh grade class illegitimately found out private information about their Mathematics teacher. They used this information to repeatedly harass and humiliate him, even in front of other teachers.
“I bully to feel strong, to feel su perior, and to get what I w ant.”
Teachers against Students • Mona, a twelfth grader, said her physical education teacher used to repeatedly make comments about her weight and size even when she asked her to stop. She admitted she’d cried several times, she’d been so devastated. • Pooja is another student who was bullied by her science teacher. “It was like every time the entire class would be talking only I’d get in trouble. I mean, I’d have to write five hundred times, ‘I won’t talk in class’, but nobody else would. And this didn’t just happen once. It was like every time. One time, I got so angry and hurt, I just started shouting ‘Why is it only me?’ That just got me into more trouble and he started bullying me even more. Picking on me in class…”
Cover stroy 15 Anniversary issue
In high schools and universities especially, it’s quite complicated. You just can’t box bullying into one category wherein students bully other students. Bullying can vary from students bullying students, students bullying their teachers and vice versa, teachers bullying other teachers and sometimes, even parents join the fray and bully the teachers!
Cover stroy 16 Anniversary issue
The scars caused by bu llying are amongst the hardest to heal. Dr. Fatayer says on this issue, “Speaking about being a victim of bullying is tough. We tend to hide our shame and lack of confidence to look good and save our image. Nothing they do has meaning or emotion in it. They always tend to swallow their own sorrows, to protect their self-image which gives advantage to the bully to go on. It’s a vicious cycle.” The scars of both physical and psychological abuse remain imprinted on the mind and/or body of the victim for a long time even after the bullying stops. The bullied remain scared, hostile, angry or helpless. It damages the psyche of the victim for ages to come. According to Dr. Fatayer, its effects could be very damaging and might manifest as: phobia, withdrawal, depression, violence, lack of productivity (deteriorating performance in school), lack of concentration & most dangerously suicide.
As a bullying victim, it may become impossible for you to escape
Parents against Teachers • Reem told us how the valedictorian speech she’d worked so hard for had been stolen from her when parents of another student complained, pressured, and bullied the school into giving their daughter the award.
The scars caused by bullying are amongst the hardest to heal. So what can these victims do to help themselves? “Helping themselves is based upon sharing their experience (fear, anger, lack of confidence) with someone they can trust. This is step1: support. Then they may need to have therapy so they can understand why they have been accepting this trauma. A bullied person in most of the cases is emotionally troubled. It can be improved by simple CEBT: Cognitive-Emotional Behavioral Therapy. “This trouble can be treated & overcome with therapy, social support and will,” says Dr. Fatayer. Just because something has existed for ages doesn’t make it right. According to Tim Fields, from Bully OnLine, website of the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line, “Being bullied by a serial bully is equivalent to being stalked or being battered by a partner or being abused as a child and should be accorded the same gravity.” It’s serious and it’s a crime. Just because no one else has bothered to step up and go against this evil (yes, it is evil, there’s no other term for it) system of bullying doesn’t mean you have to keep quiet. Yes, YOU! Don’t wonder about what just one person can do. Lead by example. Start a revolution. You don’t have to put up with this anymore. You’re always being told to ‘Say NO to smoking/drugs/stealing’ … now we’re telling you to say NO to bullying. It’s just as harmful as smoking or taking drugs, even if it doesn���t seem that way. Remember, bullies in school go on to bully in the workplace. The bullied will then remain bullied… as a bullying victim, it may become impossible for you to escape. Is that what you want for yourself?
A A N A S R K I E S K O E G F
A P A L T N E D Y U H B W D S
B M X T H E F M A C U T Q H W
S V U Z R T K L D A D H G A B
U L L S O A A L R I D B C U E
B B E Y C L K R Q H V Z A S I
D E K S U A E A K L A M I I R
H O R M S B T B J E D U R M U
T C P L N U N S P D M O O D T
A U A A I X R P M W A T A R L
R X C O N N E B Z E N R T I B
M L O H K C O T S N A A H Y Z
N A R H E T J T V L M H E A U
B P A R I S O K D T A K N D W
Win 3 Magrudy’s Bestseller Books! I S U C S A M A D U R A S H U
Take a shot at this puzzle by finding the capitals of the 20 countries listed below Clues: Greece, Iraq, Lebanon, Germany, Belgium, Egypt, Australia, Syria, Indonesia, Sudan, Malaysia, Bahrain, Oman, India, France, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sweden, Iran, Japan.
Send your entries to Salaam Word Puzzle P.O. Box : 20165, Ajman, U.A.E.
Anagram Here is your chance to discover new skills. Sort the anagrams using the clues written after the word in bold. The first letter of the anagram is given to make your task easier. Good luck! Sentence
Change false into- small insects, cats and dogs sometimes have in their fur.
Change general into- a word that means make bigger.
Change impart into- a part of the body.
Change insures into- something related to sun.
Change later into- another word for change.
Change master into- a small river.
Change ocean into- a type of water transport.
Change limes into- a facial expression indicating pleasure
CONGRATS Last Issue Winners! Ankit Jain, BITS Pilani, Dubai Farinoosh Younus, IITM, Dubai Shahid A.Gani, GMC,Ajman
THESOQUOTE When ambitions are high and spirits are low, all we need to motivate us is an inspiring quote! The underlined words are synonyms for the original words of a quote you might know very well. Find out the original words using a thesaurus & tuck them in! If you can put in the merciless 60 seconds With a minute value of interval run Yours is the world and everything that’s in it, Plus, which is more; you’ll be a human, my son! - Rudyard Kipling Terms & Conditions 1. Incomplete entries will be considered invalid. 2. Each participant is allowed one entry. 3. All correct entries will enter a draw. 4. Decision of the Editor-in-Chief is considered final
rts OTE -Shi SOQU T & Winsh disks for THE.com il rs la ts, F winne iz@gma 7 e s 5 u 0 en ve P RAM & alaamq 20th , 20 i s u Excl ANAG ers to s ember v r sw rs fo our an ate: No e n n y D i d 10 w Sen Closing Sponsored by
Competitions 17 Anniversary issue
Ashes to Ashes... Dust to Dust... Oil your Brain...Before it Rusts! It’s Quiz Time! Work those brain cells!
Time to Get Snapping!! Our photography section is giving you yet another chance to show off some of your best photos, and win some very nice prizes!! All you have to do is wipe your camera lens clean & start clicking!
Closing Date : 20th Nov. 2007
This issue’s theme ‘Labouring at work’ captures the efforts of those important people who are often undermined. The Winning Photograph wins AED100 cash prize. Send in your photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org Next issue’s theme ‘Heritage & Culture’ A day in the life of a construction worker Jamil Kasmani
Mohd. Al Amin
Catching ‘forty winks’
Building a new skyline
Mohd. Al Amin
Open air ride
Mohd. Al Amin
Photography 18 Anniversary issue
Snap & Win
Mr. Clean strikes again!
Technology 19 Anniversary issue Abrar Ali
Are you sick and tired of all the wires you
have to constantly connect and disconnect? Tired of replacing your faulty mouse every now and then? Don’t you wish that the clatter of typing in your office would just disappear? Well Microsoft has granted those wishes! On Wednesday May 30th, Microsoft launched its promised coffee table shaped surface computer. This “computer miracle” bridges the physical world with the virtual world, where the mouse and keyboard are replaced by pens, touch and voice. Sounds impossible? Read on… This “huge step into technology marvel” contains five cameras used for recognizing the items placed on its surface and the hand motions. Microsoft Surface doesn’t differ much from your average computer hardware-wise and runs on a modified version of Microsoft Vista. It also has a wired, wireless and a Bluetooth connection built in. It allows multiple users, using it all at the same time and multitasking on it.
Its name speaks for it, implying how it can be used. With no mouse or keyboard, all interactions with the computer can be made through touches with hands, brushes or wirelessly through smart phones. Not only that, this computer operates as if it has eyes, by recognizing things put on its surface. So for example putting your mobile phone on the surface will trigger the option for you to pay your bill or buy a ring tone. Amazed yet? Wait there’s more! It’s quite common for you to hesitate over which mobile phone you would like to purchase. If you had this computer all you have to do is place both phones on the surface, the device will show you the specifications of both devices making it easier for you to choose between them.
You can move things around with your fingers, resize pictures by opening up your fingers through the picture. Want to download music from your mp3 player to Microsoft Surface? Simply place your mp3 player on the surface and transfer them easily, or even place your camera and transfer your pictures. This ability is unique for Microsoft and it never existed before on any other device.
Microsoft has not revealed the actual price yet, but it will probably range from $5000 - $10000, which is very expensive for the average household. But that also doesn’t mean you can go look for it around anytime soon. Instead, Microsoft intends to sell it to commercial enterprises first like hotels, restaurants and retail locations. Don’t frown yet, Microsoft intends to make it available for households within 3-5 years. So in 3-5 years, no more tripping over wires, no more annoying transfer software, and you can finally hear yourself think at your office where you can get some peace and quiet! Our dream of wireless lives is getting closer. Don’t you just love technology?! Bet Charles Babbage didn’t know that the invention of computers was going to get this far!
Interview 20 Anniversary issue
Life, Lessons & Love
Life is an ocean filled with stories to be told, lessons to be learned and most importantly opportunities to love and be loved. In our journey to conveying this to our readers, we meet Jennefer Boyer who speaks to us about life, its lessons and the love of people. Growing up in Seattle, Washington, USA, Jennefer always hoped to pursue medicine so that she may work with underserved populations one day. With such intentions at heart and such great plans on her mind she studied Human
MEET Jennefer BOYER Name: Jennefer Boyer AKA Ajua in Ghana, meaning â€œborn on Mondayâ€? Age: 27 Profession: Public Health Professional Position: Communications Coordinator at Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), New York, USA Maliha Ali
Biology, French and International Development at Brigham Young University (Utah, USA). While at college Jennifer had the first of many opportunities to do volunteer work in Africa. Her experiences there influenced her to become a Public Health Professional. She recently completed a Masters in Public Health degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
That was a memorable experience! While I was at college, in April 2001, I learned of an opportunity to do research in Zimbabwe, so I volunteered. I lived in a village called Mutoko where I taught science and health at the local school and assisted at Mother of Peace Orphanage with orphans that either had HIV/AIDS or had lost their parents to AIDS. I also did outreach trips with hospitals giving immunizations and medicines. On the side, I did research on the socioeconomic causes of HIV/AIDS. While I was there, I also worked as an intern at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa.
You have also worked with Humanitarian Aid Relief Team (HART). What were your activities? HART is an NGO started by university students that focuses on a disease called Buruli Ulcer (BU). As volunteers we collected medical supplies, increased awareness and held fundraisers. Once or twice a year, we organized a medical trip to send doctors and supplies to Ghana, an area hardest hit by BU. In addition, we began sending out students to do research and educate communities about BU.
What was the situation in Africa and your experience there? Before I left for Africa, I pictured that people in such poverty could not possibly be happy. I could not have been more wrong. I arrived in Africa to find the happiest people I had ever met. They may have had only one small meal a day but they had each other and they were happy. I also realized that I should not be there to help people. I should be there to help people help themselves. Africa made me humble.
What did you gain from your time in Africa? I learned SO MUCH! I went there to help others, but the people of Africa helped me much more than I helped them. They taught me a lot about what is important in life; that relationships will always be more important than anything materialistic. I learned that differences in another culture do not mean that one culture is right and the other is wrong. They are just differences â€“ nothing more, nothing less.
What keeps you motivated? Honestly, itâ€™s my belief in God that motivates everything I do. It brings me peace in knowing who I am, where I came from before this life, and where I am going after this life. When I need to make a difficult decision, I know that I can pray. I am sure that those strong in any faith can relate to my feelings.
Who is your role model? I am lucky to have many people who have inspired me to be better. I really would be nothing without my parents. Sometimes, I catch myself acting out a characteristic that is similar to one of my parents and I always consider that a good thing. My husband makes me want to be a better person every day. Also, I can never forget the energy and virtue of my teachers and friends in the public health sector.
Interview 21 Anniversary issue
Tell us about your first experience in Africa.
Interview 22 Anniversary issue
What are your ambitions and goals for the future? I hope to travel and do more grass-roots level work. I will soon be traveling to Haiti. I also hope to have children one day and be a mother and instill in them the idea that they can accomplish anything that their heart desires and that they have a responsibility to help others. I also want to continue with my career by working in the non-profit sector, in positions that focus more on field work than administrative duties.
Tell us about a difficult moment in your life and how you coped with that? You know, it is funny – I don’t really consider myself to have had a difficult life. One of the first things that come to mind is surprisingly from my childhood. I am the eldest of 6 children. My mother, however, suffered from Rh Incompatibility so that 4 of her children died. This was very difficult for my parents. My mother wanted a large family and had to go through hope and disappointment cycles over and over. My father had to work extra hard to pay for the hospital bills and a new family. When I was only three years old, I found my mother in her room crying and asked her why she was upset. She told me that it was because my two brothers had died. I gave her a hug and paused for a moment and said, “Mom, when I am older and I have a baby, I will give it to you.” That made my mom’s tears come even faster, but that time it was paired with a smile.
Any achievements you are proud of? Some days I think it is an achievement to get out of bed! The things that make me really proud are more like, meeting a wonderful husband, having a sister who is a talented photographer, having the two most adorable nieces in the world. I guess those aren’t my achievements, but I am proud of them anyway!
Would you like to say something to our readers? One thing I have learned in life is to always step back and look at the big picture. When making a decision, always ask yourself, ‘What will make me the happiest or most proud when I have neared the end of my life?’ When personal problems seem their worst, try to lose yourself in the service of others who are less fortunate than yourself and you will begin to forget about your own problems and realize how blessed you really are. Despite the many problems in the world today, we cannot get so overwhelmed that we forget the good that exists in the world.
A Memorable experience Many of my most memorable days and most growing experiences took place in Africa. I will give one example of an experience that still stands out in my mind: Near my village of Danchira, Ghana, there was a 12 year old child named Obeku with a severe case of BU on his right leg. We met him one day at the home that my research partner and I were at. As we unwrapped the home-made bandaging, which consisted of leaves and herbs under a layer of cloth, the smell of rotting flesh became almost unbearable. Obeku’s BU had advanced with a secondary infection. He sat quietly with tears wetting his cheeks, as the process of cleaning the wound was very painful. We knew that he needed a surgery and probably an amputation, but we obviously did not have the skills to do it ourselves. A couple of days later, we had someone show us where he lived. The father explained to us that Obeku could not do anything with such pain in his leg, including going to school. Even without the pain, he would be ostracized for the smell of BU. We cleaned his wound once again, to prevent any further secondary infection. But we could do nothing to really help. I told his father that he needed to go to see a doctor, but that did not seem to be a reality. Instead he offered us some fish (probably their meal for the day) in gratitude for our services. What services? I felt helpless. It would be an insult not to accept the gift, so we did graciously take the fish, telling him that we would pray for Obeku. My partner and I made plans to get him to the doctor at our own expense. The next time that we returned, Obeku was not there. He had died. I spent days with a heavy heart, wishing I’d the skills to make a difference in Obeku’s life. It was then that I made a resolution to develop these skills and devote my life to helping people like Obeku.
2008 Audi R8 vs 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo
side from their six-figure price tags, no two cars could be more different than the new 2008 Audi R8 and the 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo. And yet here we are at the drag strip of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a shiny, new example of each. We’ve got five hours to find out if the new midengine, V8-powered Audi R8 supercar can dethrone the legendary Porsche 911 Turbo, the car that has ruled the world of the daily-driven supercar since the mid-1970s. With only hours with the cars in the same place at the same time, we couldn’t hope to work through our usual protocol of test procedures. But getting the 2008 Audi R8 and the 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo together helped provide perspective. We’re calling this a guerilla comparison test, and both cars have come loaded for bear. Like anything that trades in fantasy, the 2008 Audi R8 invites you to dream about speed and style. It’s a showcase of modern automotive technology: 420-horsepower V8 with direct fuel injection; all-wheel drive; an elaborate space frame made from aluminium; and leadingedge aerodynamics. It sums up everything Audi knows about the automobile, and yet it’s different from any Audi we’ve ever driven. It’s sure to be the top lust-object of the moment when it debuts in the U.S. this fall. Whether you’re looking for a quick, sweaty fling or a lifelong partnership, the Porsche 911 Turbo can be all you imagine. It’s an automotive marvel of enduring appeal, and the kind of fantasy car the Audi R8 will be measured against. In its latest form with all-wheel drive and 480 hp, the Turbo is also blindingly fast, beautifully made and easy to live with. Let
the bullets fly!
Our wandering eye Like the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Audi R8 exterior has a few wild details, yet it appears to be about function, not just form. Exterior designer Frank Lamberty has created subtly chiselled body lines that have an elegant restraint to them, while a unique “sideblade” accentuates the engine’s location in the middle of the car. The Audi designers did, however, let themselves loose with the R8’s lighting. Each of the standard bixenon headlights is surrounded by 12 LED lights that shine day and night, and LEDs also create a threedimensional effect for the taillights. Even the glass-enclosed engine compartment lights from within. Audi was the first car company to get serious about the aluminium chassis and the R8 takes the art to a new level. Extruded aluminium sections are attached with complex castings, then reinforced with aluminium panels. The 463-pound structure is assembled with 325 feet of welded seams, 782 punch rivets and 308 self-tapping screws.
Rev it up 23 Anniversary issue
Rev it up 24 Anniversary issue
At the business end
The R8’s 90-degree, 4,163cc Audi V8 is familiar, but now equal-length intake runners feed the twin throttle bodies, and direct fuel injection helps make possible a 12.5:1 compression ratio. Dry-sump lubrication enables the engine to be located low in the chassis.
Although it has just two seats, the Audi’s 104.3 inches wheelbase is much longer than the Porsche’s, which measures only 92.5 inches. And it’s that long wheelbase that gives the Audi a measure of practicality that rivals the Porsche, because the cockpit affords enough leg- and headroom for even big drivers. The 911’s rear seat is too tight to really be considered an asset, but a third can ride along if the passenger and the ride are short.
The bottom line is 420 hp at 7,800 rpm, and the engine won’t quit spinning until 8,250 rpm. Some 317 pound-feet of torque is available between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm, and 90 percent of peak torque is achieved between 3,500 rpm and 7,500 rpm. Meanwhile, Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system distributes as much as 35 percent of power to the front wheels depending on conditions, but the default setting is 10 percent. Also packing all-wheel drive, the turbocharged Porsche is powered by a smaller 3.6-liter flat-6, but it’s the more powerful beast with 480 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
The R8 has a cockpit-style design theme that Audi calls monoposto, an arc of controls that wraps around the driver in the style of a single-seat racing car. In the Audi fashion, the instruments are notable for their clarity and the controls are ergonomically correct. With the fussy little buttons of the Porsche 911 Turbo for contrast, it’s easy to appreciate the R8’s systematic layout. Reflecting modern design and processes, the R8 feels good everywhere you touch it. The tall, wraparound seats provide a secure embrace. The steering wheel has a core of lightweight magnesium, yet it is wrapped in soft leather, and the flat-bottom design makes it easy to climb in and out of the car. Like a Porsche, the R8 has a dimension of practicality, with long doors for easy ingress and egress, storage cubbies and even cupholders. There’s a storage shelf behind the seats that will even accommodate two golf bags.
‘The Audi V8’s 420 horses arrive at a stratospheric 7,800 rpm’
Rev it up 25 Anniversary issue
Taking the wheel
There’s nothing like the push in the back that the Porsche’s turbocharged flat-6 gives you, as if you were surfing an enormous wave. The Turbo also has a wonderfully elastic band of power, with peak torque available from 1,950-5,000 rpm. The Audi V8’s 420 horses arrive at a stratospheric 7,800 rpm, and the engine leaves behind a ripping exhaust note, like a NASCAR V8 that’s been to charm school. Surprisingly, this engine also delivers 90 percent of its peak torque from 3,500-7,500 rpm, so there’s a power band wide enough to back up the statement of authority made high in the rpm range. The R8’s transaxle might make you love the Audi V8 even more — or it might not, depending. The standard six-speed manual gearbox works great, as the short lever on the center console operates smoothly and with little effort. The optional R tronic transmission is the glamorous choice — an automated, sequential gearbox with a refined single-clutch design (completely different in concept than the twin-clutch Audi DSG). It has both a “Sport” and “Normal” shift mode, and our R tronic-equipped test car confirmed that the gear changes are swifter and smoother than those we’ve experienced in similar transmissions from Aston Martin, BMW and Ferrari.
Yet we have mixed feelings about the R tronic. Like so many similar designs, it can work great, if what you’re asking of it precisely matches its programming. At full chat on a racetrack, it’s lovely, cracking off quick upshifts and nicely rev-matched downshifts with just a wiggle of a finger on the shift paddles located on the steering wheel. Yet in daily traffic, the R tronic is less perfect, either taking a few beats too long to give you what you ask, or even just doing the wrong thing. The R tronic doesn’t suck the life out of the R8, but it’s not ideal. Unless we were planning a lot of track days for the R8, we’d be old-fashioned and jam our own gears.
‘It catapulted to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds’
Rev it up 26 Anniversary issue
Getting down to business Once you get after it, the R8 feels stuck down hard to the ground yet delightfully willing to change direction. Even when you leave the stability system engaged, you feel a faint tickle of risk, and the tail of the car leans out just a bit as you flail around a track. Reduce the stability system’s intervention by selecting Sport mode or shut off the system entirely, and you get to play the hang-it-out hero all by yourself. The R8 is plenty lively in that mode, but still not twitchy or evil or unpredictable. As we squeezed out all the Audi had to give on the skid pad and slalom course, the R8 felt marginally more capable than the 911 Turbo and, more important, much more user-friendly around the limit. After his turn at the wheel, Senior Road Test Editor Josh Jacquot noted, “In the Porsche, the limit of grip and the limit of control arrive about the same time, but the Audi lets you step over the line and then pull it back.” When you get right down to the numbers, the Porsche’s 0.92g skid-pad performance and 68.3-mph slalom speed were trumped by the Audi’s 0.96g and 69.2 mph. In a straight line, though, the Turbo, which was equipped with the five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, would not be denied. It catapulted to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds, making the R8’s otherwise excellent time of 4.4 seconds seem glacial in comparison. In the quarter-mile, the R tronic-equipped R8 made the run in 12.8 seconds at 110.2 mph, but the 911 Turbo proved to be untouchable, with a run in 11.6 seconds at 118.5 mph. When it comes to braking performance, the Audi R8 puts up a strong number thanks to weight distribution and wide tires, plus strong brakes with eight-piston front calipers rubbing on 15.0-inch rotors. Yet the 3,572-pound Porsche 911 Turbo stops fractionally shorter from 60 mph, coming to a halt in 103 feet while the 3,450-pound Audi stops in 115 feet.
The big picture When you look at the bottom line, we’re expecting the Audi R8 to come in at a starting price of $120,000. The Porsche 911 Turbo’s base price is $123,695. Once we completed all of our rating, measuring and testing, the Porsche eked out a narrow victory over the R8. Its crushing advantage in acceleration as well as a few unique features made the difference. Yet we never felt the Audi R8 suffered in the comparison. In fact, the Audi R8 makes the Porsche 911 Turbo feel old. With good reason, you will have to grant us. The Audi designers have stretched a taut arresting shape over a lightweight, rigid aluminium frame. They’ve taken a normally aspirated V8 engine and delivered a lusty output, good flexibility and lovely noises. They’ve also placed the engine where it belongs in a sports car behind the driver in the middle of the car. And the combination of a long wheelbase and a carefully refined chassis delivers a finely calibrated balance between great handling and a comfortable ride. And the whole package especially the cabin shows a sure sense of style, craftsmanship and quality. When you’re at the wheel of the Audi R8, its easy, controllable poise imparts the sense that the most modern, refined technology has been harnessed to make this a genuine roadgoing sports car. As fast and thrilling as it can be, this is also an exceedingly comfortable and friendly automobile for daily commuting and long-distance touring. You might want to put the similarly flexible Porsche 911 Turbo in this class, but the Audi still feels more sophisticated and more capable. The R8 successfully extends Audi’s model line beyond coupes and sedans into the realm of the pure fantasy machine. The fact that this car makes you dream about a long-term commitment just makes the whole fantasy that much more enticing.
The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation. Copyright Edmunds Inc. All Rights Reserved. First published on Edmunds.com and reprinted with permission. Edmunds & Edmunds.com car logo are propriety trademarks of Edmunds Inc.
Once again, Mma Ramotswe has a case to solve- a domestic case, that is. Mma Holonga, a famous wealthy hair braider, needs the detective’s expertise to find out if her four suitors are only after her money. But Mma Ramotswse also has her own difficulties to deal with; her fiancé, the gentle Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, won’t set a date for the wedding. In his defense, he does have a lot on his mind, including battling with snakes and facing off with one of the most powerful mechanic companies.
Author: Alexander Mc Call Smith Publisher: Anchor Genre: Fiction - Mystery & Detective ISBN: 978-1-4000-3181-8 Amina & Mariam Banawan
While it is true that the detective story is not much of a mystery, this book is not meant to be read as a suspense novel. It is, instead, a charming story of ordinary heroes and heroines in a beautiful country struggling to maintain the “Botswana way” of helping others. It is a tale that explores values, manners, traditions, and above all, the human heart. So as Mma Ramotswe would say, “get out a cup of bush tea” and enjoy!
Author: Cecelia Ahern Publisher: Harper Collins Genre: Fiction ISBN: 0-00-716500-5 Amna Salah Al-Arnawoot
How many books can you think of that are titled with love but are in fact much too far from the expected candlelit romance? Well, perhaps now you can add one more book to that odd bunch because PS. I Love You certainly falls under that category. PS. I Love You (Cecelia Ahern’s 2nd novel) is one of the most unique bestsellers on the shelves today. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it deals not with accepting that a loved one is going to die but that a loved one is already dead. You see, the novel relates the events of Holly’s life in the immediate aftermath of her husband’s death. Gerry, had left a bundle of letters addressed to his wife, each signed with “PS. I Love You” to guide her through her new life where he is no longer around. Those letters are what drives the book’s plot, telling Holly and the readers when to laugh, cry, party and most importantly when to let go. All in all, the novel tells of a period of time when a person is weakest and most vulnerable. It depicts the life of a person at a point that could possibly be considered as the rock bottom of life. However, most inspiring of all, it gives a step-by step guide to recovery; something we might all be looking for. So, if you are looking for a hopeful, enjoyable yet bittersweet read that guides you to the hopeful streak of light amidst the dark and if you’re not afraid of shedding a few tears; then PS. I Love You is probably the weekend read you are looking for!
Books 28 Anniversary issue
With chapters iced with titles such as “How to Handle Young Men Through the Application of Psychology” and “A Woman Who Knows Much About Hair”, a sprinkle of warm wit, and a cocktail of delightful characterssome wise like Mma Ramotswe, some irritating like the owner of House of Hope, and some, like the two apprentices, just plain silly- the story “A Full Cupboard of Life” provides the perfect retreat from the scorching summer heat.
Fiction Paperbacks 1 The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth 2 Like the Flowing River by Paulo Coelho 3 The Collectors by David Baldacci 4 Act of Reason by Vince Flynn 5 False Impression by Jeffrey Archer Non-Fiction Paperback 1 The Innocent Man by John Grisham 2 Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope By Shirin Ebadi 3 Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones 4 The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman 5 The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford
He grew up in my powerful arms As I watched him, a shepherd guarding a thousand farms
Boarding his yellow bus, he’d call out “MOM bye!” And being without my Henry would make my heart sigh A pang in my heart when he wanted to serve his nation Better still my heart sang his admiration Would sit in his wardrobe, while he was gone Missing my child all along the next dawn A flag covered corpse, I saw at my door My eyes in daze searched no more They made my child a bullets’ hive With a pair of eyes once alive Lonely in his wardrobe, would let my eyes soak With memories of my child, the dark night awoke While at his grave, my mind gave a moan Do you think he is there in the dark all alone? With my child in its grasp, death had its fill Can you hear him? As I can hear him still…
Don’t worry mama, I shall not cry I promise, I won’t even sigh I shall be as quite as death when I die But mama I just wanna say goodbye To you, to daddy, to my friend Tye And to every other soul that Had to suffer the torture of this “peace” lie
A Child from Palestine
He was my only precious child Who made every tough battle look so mild
Mama forgive me, For not writing my homework the other day I never knew that I will die so fast Never has it crossed my mind, That this day will be my last And that the kiss of death, Will be so painful and vast But mama don’t moan, don’t cry, don’t lament Just pray that your son is a hero And scream “Amen” I might not be like Vandam, When he chews burning tires Nor like James Bond, When he walks through blazing fires But I still look for a hero inside me to shine Even though I’m just a child of nine Ornamenting with my blood, The narrow streets of Palastine Facing the heinous “Truck” of death, With a “Stone” Hoping to change, This sonorous “peace” death tone
Basma Salah Al-Arnawoot
Men raise wars daily; some do it for land, others do it for power, but regardless of the reason, those who pay the price at the end of it all, are innocent souls trapped in the middle. And the saddest line of the story is when a little child pays the price… Thousands and thousands of war heroes go unnamed and unheard of after their dedicated services for the national security and for the well being of our lives, which sometimes cost their own lives. Let us take this opportunity to salute those valuable lives which are today on the ‘Line of control’.
win exciting prizes and get a chance to publish your poems, send them to salaampoetry@gmail.
Poetry 29 Anniversary issue
I Can Hear Him Still
I could hear him call me from my womb Never had I thought I’d hear him from his tomb
Recommended Hanan Fadali
Never having heard of Johnny Carino’s, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first time I heard the name Johnny
Carino’s I thought it was a name of some character from the Wild West. Either that or some member of the Italian mafia! Located in Dubai Festival City, Johnny Carino’s other outlets can be found also at Bur Juman and they are opening very soon in Jumeirah. On arrival, we were greeted at the main desk by one of the staff and promptly led to a non-smoking seating area as per request. The helpful waitress introduced herself and asked us which soup we would like to start with. We ordered chicken and mushroom soup and Italian bread soup. To be honest, I’m not a soup person, but I soon changed my mind! Don’t be fooled, the modestly named Italian bread soup consisted of pieces of chicken as well as bread and was truly the most incredible feast my taste buds have devoured in a long time. My colleague had chosen the safer chicken
and mushroom, however, it was by far the best she had tried thus it was the topic she discussed for the rest of the lunch! The soup was accompanied by the traditional bread basket- a loaf, fresh from the oven, full of delicate aromatic herbs and buttered to perfection and as if that wasn’t enough, for a more Italian flavor, we were presented with a saucer of dry fried garlic with olive oil swirled onto it.
Soon after, we were handed the drinks menu and after looking through their exotic selections of Italian sodas as well as numerous cocktails, I opted for my trademark Pina Colada. I order this drink at every possible occasion and I chose it here to judge how well theirs compared. I would say it ranks at an impressive number 2. For those who are not mocktail aficionados, the Pina Colada is a drink made of pineapple and coconut (milk). My colleague opted for the Triple Sanza, a rather attractive looking drink layered with mango, banana and strawberry with a strawberry garnish. Needless to say she thoroughly enjoyed it. Johnny Carino’s is not your average restaurant by far. They have considered everything! The floor-plan segregates it into many entities within one restaurant. Allow me to elaborate. The smoking area is not a flimsy penetrable screen or worse still a few tables division apart from the non-smoking. No. It is an ingenious stone-walled, architectural feast of a confine with an arched doorway, in a designated area of the restaurant. They also have an open kitchen. This is wonderful as you can see the food being prepared in a very clean environment which is always reassuring. It banishes the need for those moments where you wonder if a) any of your lettuce leaves were nibbled on by organisms you’d rather not think about b) the cooks just took a spitting contest in your soup because you complained about it being served cold c) or if the crunchy thing you just bit down on was actually a cockroach shell and not a carrot!
Johnny Carino’s also has a terrace. Can you get much more Italian than that? A beautiful patio-style extension of the restaurant, housing a row of plants along the balcony. Perfect for cooler climates. In such a beautiful place one can only imagine the lovely ambience created by the candles which are lit in the evening; a perfect setting for a romantic meal! However, it is every bit a place for families as it is for couples and to prove it, they have high-chairs for babies so everyone can enjoy their food in peace. Next came our appetizer and main course.
Dining 31 Anniversary issue
We had ordered Chicken Caesar Salad and the dish of the day which was a lemon and pepper butter salmon steak served up with fresh Italian vegetables. It did not disappoint us. The Classic Chicken Caesar Salad is a humble looking salad that will leave a lasting impression on you. You won’t ever want to order Caesar salad from any other place for fear of disappointment. Romaine lettuce leaves are torn up and combined with strips of chicken, gorgeously juicy black olives, tomatoes, onions, croutons, smothered in Caesar sauce and then topped with shaved Parmesan cheese. The flavours are so unique, all of Italy can be tasted in this salad; it is pure escapism.
Johnny Carino’s is not your average restaurant by far. They have considered everything!
Next came the lemon pepper salmon steak- it was cooked to perfection and while it melted in the mouth, the rich buttery sauce left a distinctly tangy lemon kick to tickle your senses. The chopped spinach, artichokes and tomatoes were a nice touch and the vegetables were steamed to preserve their nutrients as well as their crunchy texture and included carrots, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus and red peppers. It’s the little things that please at Johnny Carino’s such as the fact that they slice their crisp vegetables into cute thin manageable slices so customers can dine elegantly without having to either shred them first on the plate or to open their mouths wide enough to fit a miniature Dubai tower inside! Finally, desserts. Perhaps it was the fact that the meal was filling or that I am exceptionally fastidious when it comes to food that, although presented impeccably, I found our selection of tiramisu and chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream to be too rich for my liking. However, the fact that my colleague disagreed goes to show that it depends on your personal taste. If you don’t mind a little indulgence and are not bothered with counting calories, go ahead and try it. The chocolate cake would have been better with a thinner layer of frosting and perhaps a swirl of caramel sauce on the ice-cream would ease the palatability. The tiramisu, would have been much better served with the cream thinned a lot more; it was too thick and hence a little hard to swallow (pun totally intended!)
Overall though, I would rate the experience 7.5/10. The service was excellent with friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff (who ask you if you would like to pack the leftovers to take away of their own accord!) and the appetizers are to die for. There is a fantastic selection of main courses unlike most other restaurants which covers everything from pastas, pizzas, grilled panini’s to seafood dishes, dishes with chicken, beef, veal and family platters. In addition, if you like the taste of fire on your buds they cater to you via their spicy dishes. The price depends very much on your budget and what you order but is reasonable at best, especially if you have a small appetite and are going to share with a friend. Definitely a place I will be going back to with family and it’s recommended that you put this on your list of things to do before you die/turn 30/relocate to a remote part of Africa. Go pay a visit to possibly the best Italian joint Dubai has to offer-even if it’s just for drinks. Johnny Carino’s…one of life’s little pleasures.
Travel 32 Anniversary issue
My mind was in a sleepy daze as I
walked out of the Al-Nozha airport in Alexandria at 3am in the morning. It was an exciting yet sleepy moment for me to enter this enchanting country finally!
Alexandria, Shazil Rehman
The Pearl of th
After the hot and humid weather in Dubai, I felt it was unusually chilly outside the airport. There were a bunch of cab drivers waiting to pounce on me outside the airport and I obliged one of them out of no choice. My hotel, called the Union Hotel was right on the corniche in the heart of the city - which is a lovely necklace shaped area just like the Marine Drive in Mumbai, India. Apart from providing spectacular views, the best thing about my hotel was that it was really cheap yet had a lovely heritage feel to it. As I drifted off into deep and weary slumber that night, I reflected upon my thoughts of Alexandria. I was already in love with it!
Early next morning, I headed for the nearby tram station. It was pouring rain but straight, to the Roman Catacombs I went as I unfortunately only had limited time in this beautiful city. The Catacombs is a burial ground from during the Roman reign of Alexandria centuries ago, consisting of tombs and graves up to 100 feet below the ground. Apparently this place was accidentally discovered when a donkey fell into one of the graves in 1900, and since then they have excavated a whole area of ruins. It was amazing to think of how they must have constructed such a precise and perfect place for their dead deep down under the ground, it was almost like a mortuary there with places for so many bodies! Pompeyâ€™s Pillar, a tall landmark from the times of Alexander, The Great was just a stones throw away from there.
The best part about Alexandria to me was that luckily, the city is still living in the 1960s or 1970s. Of course, the modern city life is visible in some areas, but there is this other side that you see as well. The normal day to day life of the people is unhurried and in a slow pace; most of the roads are made of cobble stones, and side by side the outdated Lada and Fiat cars and taxis there are horse carts rolling along even as the sweet scent of sheesha envelopes the air. It was just a few days before Eid Al Adha and from the numerous cafes dotting the street sides came the sound of takbir from the televisions as the Alexandrians huddled around the screens and sipped on their black tea. Elsewhere, children giggled and pulled their exasperated parents to the nearest shop as they excitedly walked the rainy streets desperately trying to finish some last minute shopping before the big festival. It was magic all around, the magic of peaceful Alexandria!
Travel 33 Anniversary issue
My next stop was the location of the ancient lighthouse in Alexandria, which was once one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, but had got destroyed in floods and quakes. These days the impressive Fort of Qaitbay has taken its place; a massive well maintained fort providing an excellent view of the city skyline and corniche from the other side. After wandering around for a while checking out the beauty of the Fort and also making a friend in the form of the friendly gate-keeper at the fort, Kom Al-Dikka or the Roman Amphitheatre was my final destination in Alexandria. It is a famous location of many
archaeological discoveries and is also a good spot to click many photos for some beautiful memories. It was time to leave Alexandria and head to the capital city next â€“ Cairo!! Fortunately, Egypt has an excellent, punctual and inexpensive train network. The 220 km journey from Alexandria to Cairo should take me just 2 hours and cost me just around US$ 7 in first class. So be there for the next issue of Salaam and let me take you to Cairo!
Sports 34 Anniversary issue
Bravo Br uno! Jamil Idris Kasmani
Born in Coudekerque in France, his football career began with Valenciennes in the 70â€™s. It lasted just one season following which he played for a few other clubs. He may have had a forgettable stint going by his ability as a player, but Frenchman Bruno Metsu needs no introduction for people in this region. He is an icon for football lovers across the globe. After hanging his boots, he joined as a technical staff at Beauvais for six years. He coached clubs Valence, Sedan and the Guinea national team. In 2000, Bruno took over the reins at Senegal and this was the beginning of a new chapter in the already exiting world of soccer. Senegal not only finished as runners-up of the 2002 African Nations Cup, but also beat defending champions France and reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup! After this famous win over France came the surprise announcement of Metsuâ€™s acceptance of Islam. Bruno took up as the coach of the United Arab Emirates football team in 2006. Under his guidance, the UAE won the Arabian Gulf Cup for the first time and fans believe that there is much more to come. Though the performance of the team at the Asian Cup was disappointing, fans hope that his never-say-die attitude, astute man management skills and love for the game will eventually steer the UAE into the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
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Closing Date 20th November 2007
Nutritional Info at a Glance
Dates contain: 70 – 80% sugar, 2.2% protein, cellulose, fiber, vitamin A, B1, B2, folic acid, nicotinic acid & trace elements potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc
f you were ever given the opportunity to check the kitchens and pockets of people in the olden days of Arabia, the conclusion you would most likely come up with is these people loved dates. Love probably wasn’t the case. Dates were the earlier version of the “food-onthe-go” as they provide an excellent source of energy and complete nutrition.
Now one would ask what kind of nourishment could I possibly get from these tiny fruits? The good answer to that is the saying “Good things come in small packages”. It couldn’t be put better! Dates contain carbohydrates, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. All of which are responsible for strengthening the body and keeping its internal organs in perfect shape. Dates have been found to lower the cholesterol level, treat anemia, constipation and help improve rickets as they contain abundant amounts of iron, copper, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium and phosphorous. Also due to the above mentioned components, along with potassium and magnesium, dates have been found to prevent aging and the building of cancerous elements. They are of great value in keeping a healthy respiratory and cardiovascular system. Additionally, dates have high levels of cellulose and fibers. More magic? Coming right up! Recent studies have discovered that dates contain certain stimulants that help strengthen the muscles of the uterus in the last few months of pregnancy. Dates also contain the hormone oxytocin which helps in uterine contractions during labor. It has been mentioned in the Noble Quran that Allah ordered Maryam (peace be upon her), the mother of Prophet Eesa (peace be upon him), when she was in labor, to shake a palm tree and eat the dates that fell off it (chapter Maryam: verse 25). In fact, dates contain good levels of serotonin, tannin, linoleic acid and Prochcidas anzime, all of which play a significant role in helping uterine contractions and controlling bleeding after delivery.
The Prophetic tradition of placing a piece of date (or honey) in the mouth of a new born also carries its benefits. A study sited in the British Medical Journal found that placing a sugary substance in a newborn’s mouth reduces pain sensation. Have you ever been in a bad mood and wished that the whole world would just fade out? Eat dates! Enjoy the sweetness in your mouth for a while, open your eyes and you’ll feel better as dates can improve anxiety and bad moods. If all the benefits of dates were to be summarized, it would produce nothing short of a health guideline titled: “Dates and You”. So what are you waiting for; grab yourself this magical fruit, grab some dates, because it seems that a healthy and happy life can be just a bite away!
Health 35 Anniversary issue
So Much of Goodness in So Small a Fruit!
Shoping 36 Anniversary issue
hopping, shopping, shopping!!! The glossy ads are out, the shopping lists are getting longer. Yes!!! Its time for another wardrobe makeover! All you shopaholics out there craving for new trends in town, watch out! Salaam brings to you some of the coolest stuff that’s out there....the countdown begins, 3 2 1 action!!! Dhs.
Designer Belt from Candella 0.50ct Solitaire Look Heart Diamond Necklace from Lifestyle Dhs.
Keychain from Candella Dhs.
Try on with the trio colored Necklace and bracelet - Splash
Time to party, drop by Splash to grab Nexus’s black top with a glittery belt of white stones
Red leather Bag with jeans equals to funky!!!! Splash
Go Green!!! Lee Cooper’s sleeveless shirt - Splash Dhs.
Put your best foot forward in this feathered Beverly Fieldman heels - Candella
IS SKIN DEEP Hanan Fadali
This is a well known adage and what better way to address it than by showing our readers how to achieve the wonderful even-toned, blemish-free skin that we all dream of! Follow our tips for a beautifully flawless look.
Choosing the right foundation
• It’s all too common that in an attempt to appear lighter, women tend to choose drastically wrong colors. Believe it or not it IS possible to go a couple of shades lighter or darker and still look natural, if you’re careful.
• Decide whether you prefer a more moisturizing liquid foundation (dry or combination skin) or powdery foundations often available in a compact or stick form (great for oily skin and time-saving). • Whilst testing, apply directly onto your jaw line, blend well and go into natural daylight to see the color. Testing it under the bright lights of the showrooms can be misleading. Find a foundation which is absorbed easily by your skin and that you can’t ‘see’.
Moisturize & Conceal:
• Wash your hands and face and apply a moisturizer or sunscreen. Wait a few minutes for it to dry.
• If you use any skin correcting base, concealer or highlighter now would be the time to apply it.
• Apply foundation in sun light. The mode of application depends on the consistency. Creamy foundations can be applied using the fingers, sponge or foundation brush, whereas powdery ones are best applied with the fingertips. Mousses need fingers, sprays work best with sponges. • Dab dots of foundation onto forehead, cheeks, nose and chin and blend outwards ensuring even coverage. Go beyond the hair and jaw line for a natural appearance. And don’t forget to apply it on your eyelids. • Use a second slightly darker shade to contour some areas of the face such as the nose. Apply either as a single layer or repeat the process to build up the foundation coverage but BLEND WELL!
• Finally, its time to dust off with a touch of powder! Powder helps seal make-up by avoiding the foundation from slipping underneath. • Grab a large flat powder brush, load it with a little powder and blow off the excess. Keep a little on the brush and pat it lightly onto the skin. Don’t go overboard with this step, there’s nothing worse than ‘seeing’ a veil of powder on someone’s face! • Don’t forget to remove your make up before you sleep to allow your skin to breathe and regenerate itself effectively.
This is it for now; do wait for more beauty tips in our next issue and until then may you always have a beautiful skin with that perfect, natural, pure foundation glow.
Beauty 37 Anniversary issue
AN AN A
ED H T A DA Y, KEEPS
Ever since I can remember any smart kid in class was told that he or she should consider a career in medicine. Growing
up, I would hear phrases like “What a waste, if I had a child with those brains, I would force them into medicine”. Personally, I disagree. I don’t think Doctors are all that intelligent, they just study a lot. To prove my point I searched and re-searched and came up with a wonderful list that simply proves my point. I’m going to share some notes with you that were actually documented on hospital charts in various countries, by doctors and interns; which illustrates how important punctuation is and how hilarious phrases can be when taken out of context. I added my own little comments in parenthesis to take our fun to another level! Enjoy! 1. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year. (Err… I’d get chest pain, bedsores and a LOT more if I lay on my left side for over a year too!) 2. On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared. (Wow, disappearing knees? Great job Docs but I’m not coming there when I’m sick!) 3. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993. (That’s not something I would want to admit to, you know, bad publicity and all!) 4. Discharge status: Alive but without my permission. (Oh, sorry Doc didn’t realize your patients had to take your permission to stay alive!!) 5. The patient refused autopsy. (I’m pretty sure this doctor meant biopsy. Somehow, if I’m dead, I don’t think I’d have much say in the matter of autopsy or in any matter come to think of it!) 6. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital. (Note to readers: We hate it when you leave your white blood cells lying around. Please gather them all up at once and reinstate them back inside your body where they belong. You need them!) 7. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40-pound weight gain in the past three days. (Either this doctor is morbidly obese so 40 pounds weight gain in 3 days seems insignificant to him or he has no sense of measurement. I’m guessing the latter!) 8. She is numb from her toes down. (I think they forgot to teach us what part of the body comes after the toes in Anatomy class!) 9. The skin was moist and dry. (When in doubt, use both options available to you!)
10. Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches. (This one is just plain confused!) 11. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid. (I was never very good at Anatomy but last time I checked, I was pretty darn sure my thyroid was in my neck. Oh wait. It still is. Oh good!) 12. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce. (Well I never came across a husband being a cause for constipation but thanks for the information!) 13. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy. (This hospital practices one intense physiotherapy session. Poor patient...still under the car!) 14. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall. (See what a missing comma can do! On the off-chance, had this doctor actually meant that a large brown stool is indeed ambulating in the hall, I would really like to know the name of this hospital, so I know to avoid it!!) 15. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities. (Just think of the joy our parents will be in when they find out that having a teenaged child is an abnormality!!) We are all humans, we make mistakes! So everyone, after reading this, watch your punctuation! And any doctors or doctorsto-be, this is a humor page so don’t get offended. Oh, and for the record we don’t think you’re intelligent… We KNOW so!!!
Here’s a little joke in keeping with this issue’s medical theme of our Humor page: PSYCHIATRIC HOTLINE: Hello, welcome to the psychiatric hotline. If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly. If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2. If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4,5 and 6. If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want, so please stay on the line so we can trace the call. If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press. If you are anxious, just start pressing numbers at random. If you are phobic, don’t press anything. If you are anal-retentive, please hold.
Humor 39 Anniversary issue
Doctors Punctuated Hanan Fadali
Signs 40 Anniversary issue
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“Now among His signs are the night and the day, as well as the sun and the moon” (Noble Quran, Chapter Fussilat: Verse 37) There is nothing more beautiful than gazing into the stars and looking at the glorious full moon. White and perfect, it is a mystery. But it is also a clear and luminous sign. A sign that has withstood the test of time for centuries and one that the Quran sheds light on… “THE LAST HOUR draws near, and the moon is split asunder!” (Noble Quran, Chapter Al-Qamar: Verse 1) Anas bin Malik, a renowned companion of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him), narrated: “The people of Mecca asked Allah’s Apostle to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hira’a mountain.” 1 Yes, indeed! The moon was split into two halves. Besides his Companions who attested to witnessing this great miracle, the Prophet’s own enemies never denied seeing the moon split. They, too, witnessed the great event, but finding no other rational explanation, they (as numerous historical accounts and textbooks have recorded) deemed it as nothing but a magical illusion. But could it really have been just that? A great hoax? “But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, ‘This is (but) transient magic’” (Noble Quran, Chapter Al-Qamar: Verse 2) Hardly likely for one simple reason, strangers that the Prophet never knew, strangers who lived thousands of miles away, also attested to seeing the moon split.
King Chakrawati Farmas, in fact, was one such person. It is quoted in the book “Muhammed Rasulullah”, by Mohammed Hamidullah, “There is a very old tradition in Malabar, South-West Coast of India, that Chakrawati Farmas, one of their kings, had observed the splitting of the moon, the celebrated miracle of the holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) at Makkah, and learning on inquiry that there was a prediction of the coming of a Messenger of God from Arabia, he appointed his son as regent and set out to meet him. He embraced Islam at the hand of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him).” 2
This king saw the moon split from where he was in India. Understanding it to be a great sign, he set out on a journey all the way to Arabia, seeking the truth, and he found it. And yet, he wasn’t the only one who sought to understand what happened because he was confused about what he saw. Caravans who travelled to Arabia admitted to the Qurashi people that on a specific night they had seen the moon split into two halves! They had been curious about what it had meant too. You may feel that this is all questionable evidence…evidence from long ago. But what about NASA, the National Aeronautics Space Administration in the US, uncovered? According to NASA, rilles appear all over the Moon. There are sinuous rilles (which are characterized by winding curves), arcuate rilles (which form “sweeping arcs”), and straight rilles, such as the Ariadaeus Rille pictured above. Although scientists believe they understand how sinuous rilles were formed (they are supposedly the remains of ancient lava flows), they do not have an explanation for the arcuate and linear rilles, rilles which can extend for hundreds of kilometres. Perhaps they should look in the Quran… “We will show them Our Signs in the universe and within their themselves until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth” (Noble Quran, Chapter Fussilat: Verse 53)
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The Silver Lining Devina Divecha
D oes anyone know what it’s like to live with an autistic person? Not many people whom I know do. It’s something that cannot even be
imagined and must be experienced to be understood. One of the first things that affect you is the lack of the sibling itself. Whether the sibling is verbal or not, they are definitely behind their age-mates and you are deprived of the normal experience you would hope to have with him or her. After 11 years, I know I’m still waiting for my first pillow fight. I’m still waiting for him to run in and tell me about his day at school. I’m waiting to bribe him with a chocolate, so he wouldn’t tell my parents the secret I told him. I’m waiting for so many things that I’m not quite sure I’ll get. I don’t suppose many might understand this until they evaluate what their siblings truly mean to them. You take for granted that which is readily available to you. I’ve heard people complain about how their brother broke their cell phone, or how their sister spilt nail polish on their essay, and I complain too. But I try to do that as little as possible, because I don’t want to complain about the little that I do have to complain about! These people have their siblings to talk to, to share things with, to help pass the time…among many other things; things that I may not ever understand or experience. But I am extremely glad for the one thing that this has given me: unconditional love. I cannot begin to describe the look of undying adoration I see in my brother’s eyes when I hug him or when I come back home after being out for a long time. Even if I get angry, he gives me a loving look and smiles and everything (well, almost everything) is forgiven. One of the hardest things to handle is the self-injurious behaviour. It’s one thing to see a child you love fall down from his or her bicycle and scrape their leg, but it’s a completely different matter when the child causes deliberate harm to himself or herself unconsciously. You’re going to have to deal with bruises caused by their own fists, teeth marks all over their hands from their own mouth, among other things. But the happiest time comes when the self-injurious behaviour lessens at least to a minor degree if not extinguishes completely. Some self-injurious behaviour ceases and makes your heart leap with unadulterated joy. But then, the same behaviour might return for a variety of reasons after a time-period. That’s when your heart literally breaks into a million pieces. I know mine has.
Does anyone know what it’s like to live with an autistic person?
After 11 years,I know I’m still waiting for my first pillow fight
The major factor that needs to be looked into while living with an autistic person is the routine they need to follow. The activities of the day need to be planned out for every single day. Autistics find comfort and safety in familiarity. But sometimes, I find constancy and invariability in it all. And that upsets me. There was an interesting quote I chanced upon, that said: “I do not like my life being disrupted by routine” and it seemed so apt for what I think. But for the last 11 years I’ve been dealing with a lot of routine, and adjusting to that which one does not like but must put up with is tough. I don’t really mind, but when it sometimes makes me adjust my life outside of my family according to my brother’s needs, I – selfishly no doubt – feel wronged. And I hate myself for feeling that way. But sometimes that just seems darn unfair.
Reflections 41 Anniversary issue
I wonder... ...have any of you been asked to leave a restaurant? ...have any of you been forcibly evicted from a public area? ...have any of you been labelled part of a ‘bad family’? I’ve gone through all this. Why? Because my brother is autistic.
Reflections 42 Anniversary issue
People discriminate against my brother and my family because of something that’s not even his fault
But the point right then is to think what is really unfair? Are the changes that I am expected to make unfair to me? Or is it the fact that because of autism, the life of an innocent human being is pre-destined in a way? I use the word pre-destined because there are so many things that are ordained for autistic people. For example, not many autistics have marriages and children successfully. That’s something that touches a chord within me. I’ve always wanted to be an aunt, and have nieces or nephews and the whole package. It took me a while to accept, and to admit to myself that that might not be possible.
Admittedly it’s a roller coaster ride and I assure you that even after reading this article, you are still very far from understanding how difficult it all is. There are many times that I have wished that things could have been different. At that time, I just have to think about all the things I’ve gained in the last 11 years that I could not have possibly learnt otherwise. I’ve learnt patience, I’ve learnt voice modulation (oh yeah I have!), I’ve learnt a lot of psychology, and I’ve learnt the meaning of unconditional love. Its unconditional love that’s truly hard to find, and I have it. I have it right beside me. People often ask themselves through the course of their lives whom it is they love the most. I’m only 20, and I already have the answer to that question. How cool is that?
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Reflections 44 Anniversary issue
THINK BEFORE YOU
ACT Naufa Jaffer
The moment I set my eyes on her, I instantly connected with her. There was an intensity in those huge black eyes set against a lovely face, a pain that I could read, a craving for human touch that aroused maternal instincts from deep within me. In the first hour of our introduction, this child of barely eight months had spoken volumes to me, in a language called humanity. It was my second month of training at the hospital when a kind doctor led me into a room full of babies, none of them over a year old. The brood consisted of all kinds, some restless and some quiet, a few still barely six months old and the rest older, a couple of them busy crying while the others lay still in their cribs. What struck me as different in here from the rest of the pediatric ward was that this bunch looked like they represented babies from across the globe. Most of the lot had mixed Oriental and Caucasian features. Hardly was there a child with distinct features characteristic of a single ethnicity.
I had read the label on the door; it said “social babies”. Yet I could not fathom what that meant. After seeing the group that inhabited the room, there were barrages of questions racing through my mind. Sensing the confusion on my face, the sweet nurse in charge informed me in a whisper that these babies had been conceived out of wedlock. This was a very polite way of saying that these were fallen angels; precious lives destined to end up in an orphanage because of the step their parents had taken without considering the consequence of their action. Did these callous adults not think once of the heavy price their child would be forced to pay for life? Before you form notions on the kind of treatment being meted to these poor souls, let me assure you that they were being fed, cleaned and cared for round the clock by women specially recruited to do the job. Most of them were in good health barring a few exceptions. What bothered me was that these children were not orphans in the strictest sense of the word; yet, for no fault of theirs, they were being forced to live the life of orphans. This meant that they were being denied the kind of environment that is conducive for a child’s normal, healthy development. How much of stimulation can a room equipped with cradles and nappies and milk bottles and little else provide? Can a nanny simultaneously care for a dozen babies for twelve hours at a stretch and do justice to her job?
“Social babies,” I repeated to myself; a euphemism that cuts many a long story short. In the first hour of our introduction, this child of barely eight months had spoken volumes to me, in a language called humanity.
Twice a week, a group of kind hearted volunteers would visit these babies and take them for a stroll in the garden, then head to the play room and finally leave them back in their one- window room. It was certainly not enough, but this routine surely was a refreshing change from the deprived life that these tiny tots otherwise led. The grimness of the situation reminded me of the oath that I’d taken at med school and at once I decided that I would do my bit to enrich their gloomy existence.
I went home that day and considered bringing home my little companion. I was yearning to take her under my wings. It was not fair that she had to live without a parent figure. Yet, a voice within me reminded me that the very society that had orphaned my little girl would never accept our forged relationship. I could not adopt her. I could not make her mine forever. I would only end up doing a half baked job by investing emotions and time into her. She was somebody else’s bundle of joy. Although the chemistry between us had been unmistakable, I could not set things straight for her. Two immature adults had decided her fate the instant they had decided to satisfy their lust, and they had had their moment of pleasure, and then they had finally dumped their baby in a shopping mall and left, never to return. On my last day in that hospital, I walked back through the door with the “social babies” label pasted on it. “Social babies,” I repeated to myself; a euphemism that cuts many a long story short. I found my little cherubic love deep in sleep. Her face looked ethereal. With all the other babies fast asleep too, the aura in that room had a serenity that penetrated somewhere deep inside me and will remain with me always. It is an inexplicable feeling that I shall always hold dear. “From this room to the orphanage some day,” I told myself wistfully. I had done my bit; it was now time for me to move on. I shall always be grateful to the doctor who introduced me to her. My physical presence remained with her only until my days
Reflections 45 Anniversary issue
My gaze reverted to the same child I had bonded with earlier. I carried her into my arms and looked at her tenderly. She reciprocated with a smile. That curve of her lips had a universal implication; it was a physical expression of the language we communicated in. Our attachment was certainly mutual. I decided that her lovely features hinted at an Oriental lineage. My thoughts went back to her selfish parents, who had decided that their offspring would bear the brunt of the consequence of their self-centered action. Consequently, my little friend had been abandoned for life by her guilty parents. I was burning with fury.
Babies are a God send, a gift. How then can babies be illegitimate? as an intern medico, but my prayers will always be with her. If only grown-ups would think twice before acting foolishly, if only people understood the importance of the sacred tradition called marriage. If only people realized that the major task of parenthood begins after the birth of the child; if only… I firmly believe that it is the immoral action that ought to be termed illegitimate. Babies are a God send, a gift. How then can babies be illegitimate? If it is beyond your capacity, and mine, to give these poor innocent children a “legitimate status”, then let us try to at least not make their lives more miserable. It is never too late. Think before you act. Act responsibly. For there is no point crying over spilt milk.
Ramblings 46 Anniversary issue
Don’t Call Me! Maliha Ali
t’s 3 am in the morning and I’ve been called for the fourth time to investigate some mysterious happenings at Level B. Missing dentures, creaking beds, mal-odours, sleepwalkers. A dark shadow makes my blood run cold. It’s Sister Mariamma who has called me. No, this is not a scene of the horror movie that’s going to make me famous, nor is it an excuse to fill this much over-due page, no… this is my job! And though she sounds like a member of holy grace, Sister Mariamma is the nemesis who spits when she talks and wakes up young doctors like myself at evil hours to write panadol prescriptions and make tea “while you’re at it”. First jobs are what dreams are made of. Remember your first job? No, not the one where you had to sell tin cans in summer for pocket money. I’m talking about that first job you got when you graduated out of college, the job that would finally grant you opportunity, independence, respect, and salary! Six months down the line, and I haven’t tasted either. For some reason new employees, as unlucky as myself, almost always get sandwiched between the attitude that you-must-suffer-because-we-sufferedwhen-we-were-in-your-place and the other attitude of hurt-himif-you-want-to-make-sure-he-doesn’t-hurt-you. Squeezed between the arrogance and insecurity of co-workers. After a week of this I sure had no problems finding my place in the work hierarchy: just a few miles below rock bottom, right next to the guy who cleans out blocked drains! Nowadays, synonymous to ‘scum’, I am also better known by my peers as an ‘intern’; supposed to be a young brilliant doctor in the making, also akin to somewhat of a back-up, or back-drop. For the most part being an intern means, wait ‘in-turn’, as in, it’s not your turn to speak or be spoken to, not your turn to touch, definitely not your turn to sit down, and of course it’s not your turn at the coffee machine! Not that I should complain; the forever waiting scenario can actually do wonders for one’s patience, and bladdertraining as well! Though filling my mind with boring facts for 5 years in college had been convincingly a useful mental exercise, my intelligence quotient doesn’t really seem to matter any more. In my new job as so called intern, among other things I am being trained to be a secretary-cum-scapegoat. Which means that whenever a patient pulls out his chest tube and iv lines and runs stark naked in the
halls, or when the ‘real’ doctor forgets her hairclip inside someone still alive, or when a nurse gives the wrong medication, or when a patient suddenly wakes up while his spleen is being removed, I am not only blamed for it (because I was or was not there) but I also have to type all of this down onto paper! But all is not bad. My new job kind of gets exciting at times with its transporter, translator and transfuser features. I can transport anything, living and otherwise, from people, and their body fluids, their cats and dogs, and cat-and-dog body fluids, from ultrasound machines to toilet paper, hairdryers, babies with dirty diapers, clean diapers, doctor’s makeup kit, you name it. If I can’t find something to transport in I can also improvise to find alternate solutions (bed pans do have more uses than one!). Among my numerous achievements at work, one is that I don’t need to worry about communicating with someone who doesn’t speak the same language. Cantonese, Singhalese, Swahili…no problem! As translator I have developed a universally applicable sign language. I do admit that even though explaining the risk of dying on the operating table to a patient can be quite a gruesome animation, my translating abilities have proven to be quite cheering; having succeeded in making several people laugh while giving consent, them not minding at all if the heart stops in the theatre! The transfusing bit is the really strenuous part. Slapping the patient’s arm until it’s bright red, looking for a light blue bulge somewhere in that bed of roses, poking around at a 360 degree radius at that blue bulge, meanwhile ignoring the ongoing death threats, jumping in joy at the sign of a red fluid entering the needle, hating myself for accidentally pulling out the needle in my joy, repeating the above steps and avoiding the last two, connecting to the IV drip, and then holding the IV fluid a meter high for 20 minutes because the same hospital that can’t afford to pay me supposedly does not have enough IV stands. At the end of 36 hours of decoding stacks of strange handwriting and typing out discharge summaries (if you could summarize an encyclopedia!), I look at my life of unpaid bondage and try to look at the brighter side. Ah! What would I do without those lovely left over morphine vials at the trauma center! But honestly, waiting ‘in turn’ has empowered me with an impressive set of skills. If you ever need somebody to type 200 words a minute, make excellent coffee, locate anything that wears a white coat and bleeps, give out the juiciest medico-legal gossip, lay mouse-traps in the O.T, and hey perhaps even perform a CPR, go wear eye-protection and speak to Sister Mariamma; coz I’m just a call away!