Pimping my friend out

I finally feel liberated. I managed to end the relationship that was bothering me lately..or at least assume I did so.

It happened all on Friday. It didn't go out very well as I felt like I have screwed things up. I didn't manage to say the speech that I've prepared in advance. I ended up saying my true gut feelings in a very frank way. I blurted out statements like "this relationship is so stressful", "I am not gonna answer unknown numbers for a while just in case it turns out to be you" etc. I was involuntarily very harsh on him. He kept on listening before at last I gave him a ride back home.

On the way back home, he was silent all the time. It kind of pissed me off coz I was hoping he'd retaliate, attack me back, or at least defend himself. I mean the whole point of this was that to listen to any final words he got.

When we were at the door steps of his home, he started speaking. At first, he scolded me for the way I decided on ending this friendship, saying that we are guys and we shouldn't have this kind of conversation, because this is the conversation that guys use when breaking up with girls. Fine..he was right. I shouldn't have been over-dramatic.

At the same time, he believes it would be inappropriate if I decide to suddenly ignore him and stop answering his calls. He was even frustrated when I said: "I think this is the best way forward as I have consulted many people and this is what they say". He didn't like the fact that I consulted others. God only knows how he would react if he knew I wrote 2 whole posts about this subject.

Later, he kept on defending me and saying how great I am and how he considers me his best friend and more like a brother. I felt kind of ashamed that he stressed all the good things in me while I stressed his bad traits. He also believes that I kind of misjudged the situation as he was depressed only lately and how he regrets opening his heart to me and being very honest with me.

I tried to close the topic and use reverse psychology in the form that he deserves better friends than me and just wish him luck for the rest of his life. He replied that one day all my questions would be answered and that this moment will be a dramatic turning point in his life. Initially, I thought it would be a step forward for him to realize that life is not all rosy and that he'll wake up and take steps to improve his situation. However, he didn't mean that at all. On the contrary, what he really meant is that he shouldn't be blamed if he ever commits suicide. It kind of sent chills down my spine and I almost panicked as I know I'll never forgive myself if he ever commits suicide.

At the end, he tried rationalizing and bargaining for a middle solution where we kind of "phase-out" the friendship slowly by less phone calls like a call a month and after 3 months, I do a re-evaluation. I refused and I remained firm on my position as I felt that this was kind of faking an existing friendship and delaying the fate that we both know will eventually happen.

I dropped him and as I was driving back, I kept on thinking on all the mistakes I've did, and how I might have misjudged him and that I know that I couldn't completely cut him off. While we never agreed on it, I know that if he ever attempts to contact me, I might (and I hope not) respond back. The only thought that keeps reminding me of him was the idea of "what would happen if I dropped him at tahliya venue at around 4 a.m?"

Last Wednesday, (2 days before the whole break-up situation), I was extremely busy and I only managed to see him after 1 a.m. We cruised in the car till it was almost dawn. By the time it was 4 a.m. I was tired and wanted to go home. For him, he'd refuse to go back. He pulled one of his stupid moves where he lied to his family and that he was going for UMRA with me and that him coming home after only 3 hours would be unrealistic. He needed to stay in a place, a coffee shop or somewhere for at least another 2 hours before he can go back. This is a sample of the kind of many moves he pulls that make me build up the rage inside me. How am I supposed to find an open place at around 4 a.m.?

My last hope was in checking the Tahliya Avenue. We parked my car and went for a walk around the area. The situation was not promising at all. It was not deserted. On the contrary, it had many people. People who were organised in groups...groups that looked like gangs...Gangs that kept staring at us and specifically at him. I kept teasing him and threatening that I'd leave him to entertain those ass-rapists. Minutes later, the joke no longer became funny as 3 of the 5 gangs started closing on us. What was even worse is that he was not co-operative at all. He kept on giggling like he was some whore waiting for a customer to pick him up. His giggling attracted two cars that started roaming around us like a pair of predators waiting to feast on their prey; being him of course.

Thankfully, we managed to escape the place safely but I always wished I had left him there for the night. The guys would have avenged for all the rage I have built up and...

I could have sought an alternative career in pimping...pimping guys out.

Wow, what a unique profession to be proud of.

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Cleansing Negative Energy

With the exception of the nights that Acmilan win their games, I rarely manage to end my day in a positive mood. Despite the fact that I start my day energetic and happy (especially this last month), I usually find myself going to sleep feeling miserable, sad or depressed.

I have come to realize that this drainage is due to the negative energy orbiting me. I concluded that there were 2 sources of negative energy in my life. 2 sources in the form of two people, in the form of two friends.

The first is one of my close friends who I'll never abandon because of the great memories we share and the strong bonding we have. However, the only thing that bothers me about him is that he is becoming more and more passive. He is not ambitious at all. He never talks about it as if he is satisfied by the way his life is going. It really annoys me that I care about him more than he cares about himself. Since I'd never consider abandoning this friendship, I feel I am restricted by one option; which is to take a break from him every once in a while. E.g. taking a break of two weeks or less where I seize all forms of communication with him which unfortunately means I'd have to lie and give lame excuses about how busy I am. On many occasions, this break proved to be fruitful in recharging me to handle the negative vibes caused by him.

My second source is another close friend who lately became more of a blackhole of all the joy I retain in my day. He is by far the most miserable person I've ever met in my life. He rarely opens a joyous discussion. For months, I've tolerated his endless daily complaints and utterly depressing suicidal attitude towards life in the hope that it's an unlucky phase he is going through. But this phase has prolonged for over 15 months is extremely illogical. As a friend, I tried extending all form of support that I can but I couldn't see the will inside him to help himself. Slowly, I started to lose all hope in him. It reached the tipping point around a week ago when we were discussing him. We concluded its either he is extremely unlucky that he might be cursed (I don't believe in curses but I tried to play along) or he is a loser beyond redemption. I questioned him, what if he was really a loser?. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown when he shocked me by saying that he thought about it but concluded that if he was really a loser, then I wouldn't be still talking to him.

I was like OH MY GOD. What have I done? And that's why I decided to put an end to this friendship.

Things are easier said than done. Usually, if I want to avoid someone, I just ignore them, never pick up their calls and stop seeing them. However, this is the first time I feel that I can't do the same here. I tried ignoring but it didn't work out. For the sake of all the things we shared together, I believe that this guy deserves a closure.

The thought of finding the best way to deliver my feeling has been stressing me alot lately especially since he arrived to Jeddah last week and he'll stay for a couple of days. I decided to use this time to play along and give him the best week he'll ever have. And on the last day, we'll have a face-to-face confrontation with no limits where I admit to him how I feel and why our friendship shouldn't continue.

Efffff. I can't believe that I've reached a stage where I had to write this. I feel like a drama queen. In fact, I think this is worse than breaking up with a girlfriend.

48 hours to go. I hope that they'll pass in peace.

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Knowledge Based Economy

That was the theme of the conference I attended from 12 January to 13 January named "Arabian Knowledge & Economy Association". It was the first of its type in the region and it was so advanced that I felt I was in Finland or Sweden or any one of those very developed countries.

The Conference hosted several world class speakers from all over the world. The agenda of the first day was about presentations explaining the theory behind "knowledge-based" economies and that it is the next big thing after Agricultural Era (19th Century), Industrial Era(Early 20th Century) and Information Technology Era (21st Century). It introduced new buzz words like "KIZ" (Key Innovation Zones), BenchLearning rather than Benchmarking, intellectual capital and its relation to structural capital and human capital, 7P Blueprint (P7), transforming competition to collaboration, and replace Business Planning with Innovation Strategy.

Alot of successful stories were shared such as Malaysia's Experience in building the World's Intelligence City of CyberJaya, Australia's Desert knowledge Experience, Microsoft's efforts in driving innovation through its own innovation centers & research labs spread all over the world, and SAP's experience in corporate innovation where they discuss their funnelling ideas and an example of how they are thinking of having decentralized electrical transmission system by installing smart grids in place of the existing ancient ones, and 2 more presentations that I can't recall coz I snoozed in them (HEY, I blame it on the lunch). So overall, my mind was blown with the rich density of information absorbed during those 2 days.

Other than the rich density of information that blew my mind over the 2 days, we had fun for a while in one of the workshops called "youth of the future". The point of this workshop is to assume you sit with 3 other individuals and try to come up with an innovative idea that could capitalize on the knowledge of the resources available at hand. Money is not an issue as they would provide you with at least $ 500,000. Unlike the rest of my colleagues, I decided to participate in a new group. It is a chance of meeting new people and a rare opportunity where I hoped to be proven wrong that the mentality of the new generation of Saudi youth is not as silly as I've always seen it.

Case 1: a group of young high school students demonstrated their creation of building a small robot hand whose sole task is to open and close a pipe valve. Sounds simple? Think again. The valve is at a depth of 1500 meters. Not a single human being can dive that deep because of the pressure. Diving in would take 8 hours and getting out is another 8 hours. Apparently, something malfunctioned and they needed to close that valve. ARAMCO's best solution was bringing a German Consulting company who'd do a feasibility study and had to import their machinery from Germany so they could do the simple process of closing the valve, for an amount around 60 000 dollars. The whole process would take around 7 to 8 months. So this group demonstrated a prototype of their creation and it showed us the process of how it hugs to the pipe and align itself with the valve and open it and close it. I was amazed. Its a greaaaaaaaaaat idea.


Case 2:

In an attempt to be a little friendly to those who were with me in the table (actually, I have some business cards that I wanna distribute :P), I introduce myself to and I ask him..."so, what encouraged you to come to this conference..?"

And what an answer I get: "7areem 7areeem 7areeem" (Women, women, Women).

My God, those Bedouin animals never cease to exist.


Case 3:

Part of our exercise was to deduce the capabilities & aspiration of your fellow colleagues where each one of them would discuss a unique project that each one of them participated in. I met this elegant, ambitious, extremely professional gentleman who is launching a new website, unique in its service of building local social networks all over Saudi Arabia through Event Management. It is like building facebook with the events application tailored to each individual's interests. E.g. you'd be notified about car or art-related events if your area of interest were in the following areas. I believe that this service would be cruicial since the country lacks in the service of promoting its events. You only know about events, or conferences through word of mouth or from fortunately being in one of those few random active communities. I was impressed by the idea and the presentation. His website is supposed to be launched in 2 weeks. It's called www.feinak.com. I'll definitely be the first one to use it.


Case 4:

So a coffee break. I wanted to know more about the identity of the other, shy member of our group. He was not very talkative. So I tried getting something out of him.

"so, where you from?"


"aha...mashalla, you travelled all the way from there to attend this conference. I really applaud you for your ambition"

"Actually, I just came coz my father SENT me. I am not really interested."

WHAT THE...? :S. COZ HIS FATHER SENT HIM? :S :S. What a shame. I hold my rage and try to move on...

"so where do you wanna study?"

"ah here in khobar. I don't wanna go outside KSA. I hate travelling. I feel homesick. In fact, I am feeling homesick right now"

:S :S...HOME SICK? ITS JUST 2 DAYS and Jeddah is only 600 kms away. Its not like he went to Canada or something.

I concluded that there is no point to further proceed in this silly discussion


Case 5

Part of our exercise is to pass by other tables and explore other teams' projects and attempt to contribute and add ways to develop their ideas. While there are some good ideas, you'd be astonished by the amount of ridiculous ideas out there such as this guy.

"well, unlike the rest of the businesses, our business would be unique in its service. It will help in serving the shareholders..."

A moment of silence as we were still anticipating more from him.

"yep, that's my idea"

"that's your idea? Fine... what's the name of the project?"

"no name"

*sighs* "so give me an example of one of the services you'll provide to the so-called 'shareholders' "

"well, we could use the money to fund our university education & use the rest for our wedding"

Good God. Is this what they call business these days..

I wish I was in Texas. At least guns are legal there

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"Love in the time of cholera" (Review)

Overall, I think that this book should be taught in schools & universities under the literature course. There are endless metaphors and character development possibilities that can be discussed or analysed.

+ things -

1- one of the best coherent books I read. The flow of the ideas in the book as it goes from an event to another or from a character to another is amazing. The novel never stops at an idea till the chapter ends. E.g. It'll be talking about the character after they got married and how they are settling in the house..describing the house..the garden around it..then describing the neighborhood around it then describing the history around neighborhood till it connects to a story involving Person A & his history in neighborhood..then they discuss Person A etc etc.

2- A very good story that will be memorable for years. It could be classified as a classic in Romance & Drama genre especially when talking about hte love of Florentino Ariza

-ve things:
1- Despite its coherence, the book was sometimes tough to read. I don't know whether it was the language, the lack of action, the lack of conversations, or even monotone in the way it described things.
2- Sometimes more descriptive than informative. I was disappointed that the author didn't tell us about the actual content of each letter which I think is vitally important since the only action in the whole novel is involved around exchanging letters.

Opinion about Conclusion: when I reached half the book, I knew that i shouldn't expect surprises in the conclusion. I figured it out 10 pages before reaching the end. The best thing about it is that the final 10 pages justify the actual title of the book. Overall, I guess it was a happy & a classic ending.

Character I loved: Its not Fermina or Florentina or Juvenal Urbino. I really loved the character of Leona Cassini. I liked her ambition towards success and her obsession about finding the man of her dreams who she only met at her teenage years.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Confused about...

The weather has been lovely this week. It is perfect. You have this breeze in the air that does not have the chilling touch and the sun is not hot anymore. Personally, no one could ask for a better weather.

But considering the weather forecast for the next 10 days, it doesn't look like its going to rain anytime soon.

So no rain? what's the solution? go read this interesting article.

What this article is saying is that the Government have issued a statement urging all the citizens of KSA to pray the "Rain Prayer" today as it has not rained this season.

Even the Sheikh on the Friday prayer talked about this. He even went further and said that the prayer will be done in groups all at same time and it was chosen that it'll be the first period for schools students. (i.e. they should be praying it as I am writing this).

So if it rained, then it is because God answered our prayers. If it didn't, then this means that we have not prayed hard enough or God is punishing us for our sins.

I am confused about how I should feel towards this. I cannot contest against doing a "Rain Prayer" but yet I don't see myself as doing it. But I wonder about one thing:

why we never pray this in the summer?

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Egypt Trip (part II) – The Eid’s Bull

The third day of our trip must have been the most exciting day of our whole trip.

We woke up early at around 6:30. We prayed the Eid Prayer in the small mosque near the hotel where we shared the joy of the Eid with the other locals there. After that, we split to two groups. Some of us went back to the hotel to rest a bit and continue their sleep, while the rest went to the hosting family's house to give our farewells to "Tutu" (as his owner preferred to call him) before he goes under the knife as the Eid sacrifice for the year.

So get introduced to Tutu; A 2 year old, 350 KG in weight male bull. Alot of years has passed since the last time I witnessed sacrifices being slain in front of me. And this was definitely the first time I see a bull being sacrificed. And there is no way I am gonna miss it.

By the time we arrived, they were already untying the rope that connected the bull to the tree. They were slowly walking it to its final resting place; the sacrificial sanctuary that was in the form the building's parking lot. The car garage, located at the basement of the building, has been cleaned and prepared to be the sacrificial haven for all those sad animals sitting there waiting for their fate.

Since Tutu was the only bull among many sheep, it was decided that it'd go first. The pair of butchers was eagerly waiting to demonstrate their swift slaying skill on their first victim. We kept on cheering as they walked the bull. And I am behind them taking photos.

However, the uneventful happened. The bull refused to succumb to his fate and started retaliating against his capturers. He knocked one of his capturers in the chest. That aided in his escape and he was running freely in the garage.

I was taking this picture before I realized that I was 2 seconds away from being flown by this raging animal.

Instinct instantly kicked in. I jumped sideways (like the way Lara Croft jumps in Tomb Raider games). All those who were cheering moments ago has panicked and haphazardly scattered to hide from the raging bull. The bull circled the garage twice, doing some mild damage to few cars on the way before he managed to find the exit. It kept on running till it reached the main street. It kept running on the sidewalk till no one managed to keep up with its pace.

The problem is that those family friends' house resided in the neighbourhood that was close by to the President's mansion. Our worries has been further escalated when 10 minutes later, news arrived that bull has reached the President's mansion. It had gone past the first park, and the second park. This was sufficient enough to alarm tens of guards patrolling the mansion. If the bull dared to pass by the third and last park leading to the Mansion, the guards would have shot it dead. This will not only mean that we lost the sacrifice but it means that the owner of the bull (the family friend) will be further interrogated by the intelligence agencies and God only knows how will they handle this situation.

The bull in the 2nd park

Luckily, the bull stopped by itself in the 2nd park (looks like bulls even know their limits). This gave us some time to get more people on site to try and capture him.

Yet the outbreak is not over yet. It seems that this short stop at the park was just a pause to catch on its breath. The bull was further raged when more people (especially the Mansion Guards) surrounded the area. the bull started his run once again back to the road he came from. It breezed by me as I was trying to avoid its path.

His 2nd stop was in front of the Air Forces Gate. He went through a narrow gap in the road block set up there. The guards immediately circumvented to block its escape. They immediately covered both exits and were using their sticks to scare the bull. The bull's rage slowly diffused and it was being replaced by grief. It slowly realized that this crowd is on to it and that they will not let it go. for it when It started moaning with its sad voice. I slowly realized that this new sparkling in its eyes is only a reflection of the light on the tear drops that are forming. My heart ached for it. I could no longer be like the rest of the crowds who enjoy videotaping and photoshooting this unforgettable moment.

In front of the Air Forces

The bull was slowly succumbing to its fate and allowing people to drag it. But some idiot decided to cover its head with a bag to prevent it from seeing where it was going. This has raised the fear of the bull and gave an adrenaline injection that prompted it to start running again. Blinded by the cover, it didn't know where it was going. It ended up crossing the highway. What alarmed it to stop was the screeching sound of the cars' tires that had to stop before they knock the bull off. Finally, someone managed to hold the bull off and drag him off the street. Before further actions, they tied the back pair of legs so his running would be restrained. The drama is over.

After stopping the cars on the highway

With the exception of that guy who got knocked in the chest, we were thankful that there were not further accidents. They slowly walked the bull back to building's garage where they managed to knock it on the floor. What really pissed me was the careless butcher.. Usually, you should use a huge knife so that you slay the throat with one or two hits. The purpose is that the animal should die and shouldn't be made to suffer.

However, this idiot butcher used a small knife, like the ones you use to cut fruits, to slay this huge bull. It was devastating to see him cut through his throat like he is cutting a shawerma stick. He kept on cutting but it is not deep enough. So he put his hand inside and started pulling the bull's gut while it was still alive. ( A picture exists but the last thing I need is animal rights people come chasing me)

What a disgusting scene it was. It was not the first time I see animals being slaughtered but it is the first time I feel disturbed by the carelessness in such a sacrifice. The last scene I saw before I walked away was the fountain of boiling blood spilling from the bull's gut

And that's why I decided to become a vegetarian...

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