Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
It has been noticed recently that in most refugee camps in the Netherlands, everyday between 8:30PM and till 11:00PM, only non-Arabs have been seen, either walking, passing by on their bicycles or in groups of families sitting somewhere in one of the parks or the restaurant! This has been already going on for some time!
After investigations the answer came out that people from different Arab countries retire to their accommodations quickly around that time so they can watch the Syrian-dubbed Turkish episodes Noor (Gumus) and Sanawat Al Dhaya' (Ihlamurlar Altinda).
Image by jayenems
Saturday, July 12, 2008
"Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir may be charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court." This is one of the headline news for today! The warrant is based on charges against the Sudanese president for the five-year campaign of violence in the country's Darfur region where many innocent people got killed.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is right and fully supported when moving forward and issue a warrant to charge anyone with genocide, whether a president or a shop owner, it doesn't matter, so Al-Bashir is no exception. The ICC move is known to everyone, it is not the first time, in the past there were similar charges issued against leaders and groups, such as the former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, and against those responsible for the Rwandan ethnic cleansing, or the Khmer Rouge regime, to name a few! There are many leaders around the glove responsible for genocide directly or indirectly, some were arrested and have been persecuted, such as Saddam Hussein, others still on the run, like those responsible for genocide in former Yugoslavia, but wait a minute..................... ................ .............. there are those who are known to the whole world for their crimes against humanity but no authority dares to bring them to international justice, despite their horrible acts, such as George W Bush and Tony Blair!
I heard the Chinese are doing good in oil discovery in Africa (equal to their success in the construction and Reconstruction in different areas) and that still a lot of oil to be discovered in many places, including Darfur!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
They don't need introduction, the only rock band during the 1970's that in my opinion can match Deep Purple with the combination of Hammond organ and guitar. “Wake The Sleeper” is the latest album by British rock legend Uriah Heep. It has been many years since I heard an album by this great band, so playing their latest CD some sort of regaining the feel I used to have long ago when listening to songs from “
Most of the songs were written by Mike Box and Phil Lanzon. The album kicks off with the title song, an instrumental that didn't carry that much, for me at least, yet, it is like ordering a delicious menu at a restaurant: the title song was just a starter, cannot be compared with the main course: Screeching guitar followed by the opening riff of “overload” (the second song). It is where the album really begins, embarks into a very powerful song that lasts for more than 5 minutes. Anyone listen to the song for the first time would think that the song ended till a striking Hammond proves it wrong and a marvelous solo that last for few second concludes one of the best harmonic songs ever. Beautiful!
"Tears of the World" is a hit on the face, a fast tempo song, rhythm is equally exchanged between Phil Lanzon's Hammond and Mike Box's guitar for more than 2 minutes then tempo changes to include some measured short breaks based on a three note guitar riff, a longer break to be shattered by a Hammond strike that paves the way to a superb guitar solo before signing the song off. The song ends with a second guitar solo and some wonderful filling in the background by Lanzon's
The hit on the face song intro continues with "Light of a Thousand Stars", mid tempo heavy song, that illustrates the talent and musicianship of this band. The harmonies and the lyrics are stunningly excellent. However, I have to give credit mostly to Trevor Bolder for his bass playing on that song! "Heaven's Rain" is a Uriah Heep trade mark, in my opinion, so progressive with its semi-Celtic mid-tempo, harmonies and guitar arpeggios. "Book of Lies" is really depict a ride through the chapters of a book full of human nature, and love? The guitar solo on that song is short but beautifully put in place in perfect way, thanks, Mike Box! Not to forget the bass soloing at the end of the song, superb! "What Kind of God" is a slow melodic song, the longest song on the album, with a feel of story telling about faith, love, war, and people unity! The main rhythm part of the song is based on a sort of a army marsh beat that changes to a faster pace before the end of the song led by a wah wah sound guitar solo accompanied by a semi Ian Gillan screaming in the background. "Ghost of the Ocean" carries the same hit on the face formula: starts with heavy guitar lead,
Uriah Heep proved on Wake The Sleeper that they are class artists and fabelous musicians. The previous album, Sonic Origami, released ten years ago is fantastic, but did not carry with it the same tightness and heaviness this one delivered. By the way, this is the second album with the same line-up of previous album, except for Drums, played on Sonic Origami by one of Heep's original members, the legendary Lee Kerslake. Uriah Heep is known around the years with their various line-ups which included giant musicians (in addition to permenant members) such as John Sinclair and Ken Hensley.
One last note, and a wish: that Uriah Heep won't wait for another ten years to enter the studio and make another record, because it is not fair at all to wait that long! Uriah Heep deserve big applause from me for their work on Wake the Sleeper.The band:
* Bernie Shaw – vocals
* Mick Box – guitar
* Phil Lanzon – keyboards
* Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
* Russell Gilbrook – drums
1. "Wake the Sleeper" (Box/Lanzon) - 3:33
2. "Overload" (Box/Lanzon) - 5:58
3. "Tears of the World" (Box/Lanzon) - 4:45
4. "Light of a Thousand Stars" (Box/Lanzon) - 3:57
5. "Heaven's Rain" (Box/Lanzon) - 4:16
6. "Book of Lies" (Box/Lanzon) - 4:05
7. "What Kind of God" (Box/Lanzon) - 6:37
8. "Ghost of the Ocean" (Box/Lanzon) - 3:22
9. "Angels Walk With You" (Bolder) - 5:24
10. "Shadow" (Lanzon) - 3:35
11. "War Child" (Bolder/Gallagher) - 5:07
Saturday, July 05, 2008
I love CD's! There is some magic and beauty in going to a record shop and dive deep in among the thousands of CD's, pick one or two, and sometimes three on each visit. My music collection, also includes hundreds of albums in MP3 format. However, I always keep wondering if downloading an MP3 of a certain album would deliver the same satisfaction as it is compare to listening to a CD? I know that there are a lot who switched to IPod and MP3 players - that provide more space for more songs, which made a lot believe that CD's will be obsolete one day. Going to a record shop for those who consider themselves music fanatics (nicely put: collectors) is like a visit to an important place, as I said earlier, there is some magic: searching for a CD, find one, stare at the cover for a few seconds, look at the back cover and the songs listing, sometimes ask the saleswomen to play the CD - a psychological attempt to have 100% conviction that its worth the money paid for it. After a little listen to the CD, a nod to the saleswoman with a satisfactory smile on the face meanining "I would like to buy this CD". The second phase is to go home, unpack the CD, take the inlay out and browse through the pages that contain lyrics, notes and pictures. But the ultimate experience is when playing the CD: no one at home? play it as loud as you can. The family at home: put headphones on, tell everyone in the house not to bother you, even if there is an earthquake and enjoy the new CD.
By the way, does buying CD's from the internet (as an alternative for some) can have the same magic?
Image by: JessicaAM
Why don't Dutch embassies - or any other embassy of any other country in the world - do one joint effort and put a big sign at their compounds' main gates, saying "No Visa for Iraqis"? This will really save a lot of time and energy for both the Iraqi who is applying for the visa and for the embassy employee. Most importantly, maybe for the Iraqi, it would save a lot of money! ...