Qatar Day
Self-Retreat to find yourself

As a growing child I have been fortunate enough to study in a school where group retreats were a must. I have to endure the same year after year on my growing years. All of us are required to sit in one room and listen to what our facilitator have to say. And most of the time they are saying the same things over and over again, like every year me and my classmates would silently half listen and half say what they were about say, like lip synching into a song. 

Over the years I have found it a pain to listen to the same things over and over again and samples of what they will say are below:

1. You are very lucky that you have both parents with you, but you are showing ungratefulness for not studying enough 

2. You are very blessed to have a family like what you have now, you should tell them you love them everyday

3. You should be thankful that you are alive and you should help the needy more

Imagine the facilitators saying this over and over again and other reflecting comments with a musical background that is so melancholy that a rock can cry tears. Imagine listening to this and that song with over 30 of me and my classmates and at one point someone will cry. And everyone has to cry somehow. If you don’t cry you will be branded as a stone-hearted clown who doesn’t feel anything. So most of us will try to cry. So we can belong.

As I grow older I realized the importance of this self retreat and I would no longer lip synch on what the facilitator would say but I would reflect on what has happened to my life and if I have done the right choices, or had I helped more people? Or have I wronged someone I know? And in this reflecting times I would realize what would have I done better and what could I do to make my life better. 

Now I realized why the facilitators are saying these same things over and over again, it was important that you question yourself these things and reflect if you’ve done enough to make good and be good?

I would do my self retreat every now and then and even without the music I can hear the words clearly inside my head if I have done well? Have wronged someone? What should I do after that? 

If you want to try to search for your inner peace try doing below:

1.     Find a quiet place

2.     Sit on a chair and with your palms side up

3.     Close your eyes

4.     Concentrate on breathing in and breathing out

5.     Do this until the only thing you hear is your breathe

6.     Think of what has happened to you in the past few days and try to reflect as back as possible

7.     Find the time to reflect on your life

8.     Do this often and you will find yourself

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Ramadan Kareem…

The blessed month of Ramadan is approaching. This is the month in which Muslims observe fast for 30 days. But fasting is not the only purpose of Ramadan. There are many things that we must do if we want the Ramadan to be successful time for us. The month of Ramadan is started by sighting the moon (crescent) of Ramadan. The day this moon is sighted, taraweehs are started and the next day starts the first fast.

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…”

The importance of Ramadan can be seen from this hadith which says that one of the pillar of Islam is fasting in ramadan. And pillar of Islam means that the religion Islam is based on five rules, and among these five rules or basics comes the fasting.

Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; fasting Ramadaan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka’bah).”

ALLAH swt started reveling Quran in the month of Ramadan and this Holiest book was completed in the same month.

ALLAH swt says in quran: [al-Baqarah 2:185]

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…”

AND

[al-Qadr 97:1]

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).”

Quran was started reveling in the night which is called laila-tul-qadar, where qadar means decree. This is the night when ALLAH swt makes decision regarding our life and death, and other important matters. But the exact night is not known to us, instead the odd nights of the last ashra of Ramadan are prayed because one of these nights is said to be the laila-tul-qadar.

This night is better than the thousand nights as said by ALLAH swt in Holy Quran Himself:

[al-Qadar 97:1-5]

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”

in a hadith it was indicated that Muhammad s.a.w.w said that whoever worships in this night with full faith, his previous sins will be forgiven, what else could be the best thing in our life other than forgiveness of our sins?

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760.

And Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.”

The greatness and the blessings of the month of Ramadan are countless. One of the blessings is the chaining of the devil, Satan, the biggest enemy of human beings. It is indicated in a hadith.

 It is stated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 1898; Muslim, 1079), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”

So we have many chances in this month to purify ourselves from our previous sins and to start with spirit to be good Muslims and pious slaves of ALLAH swt. If you fast with full faith and out of love then you should be sure that ALLAh swt will forgive your sins from one Ramadan to the next. This is indicate din a sahih hadith.

It was proven in Saheeh Muslim (233) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.”

From the ahadith and the verses of Holy Quran, we have seen that the month of Ramadan brings with it, immense blessings and great chance to be sin free which otherwise is not possible for us. so let us prepare ourselves to welcome Ramadan with the hope that this Ramadan, we will be able to be good muslims and we will be able to continue good deeds throughout the year till the next Ramadan comes

Ramadan Kareem to all.

Alladin.

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Why Fasting in Ramadan in Necessary?

Hello Friends, How are you?

Since Ramadan is about to start and we are just 1 day away from the 1st day of fasting…Let’s talk about why fasting in Ramdan is necessary?

Every Human on this planet is creation of Allah SWT. Allah the most merciful has set some rules and norms while he was creating the human and he ordered them to follow all those roles and norms as per wish of Allah Almighty, but when a human is overcome by a material desire and their worldly needs they become neglected by those rules and norms which have been imposed by Allah SWT.

To remind a human about their commitments which they have made with Allah Almighty before coming to this world Allah has made fasting mandatory once every year for a whole month and that month is called the holy month of Ramadan.

When Ramadan comes some restriction on our eating and marital relationship has been imposed and we are asked to do worship to Allah Almighty to forgive our sin. Fasting is somewhat demanding because its original aim is to make us disciplined and to make ourselves abstain from sin and follow the way which is described by the prophet(pbuh), and to achieve this objective it is mandatory to show full commitment with Ramadan and fast during the month as described by the Prophet(pbuh).

The one example of how Ramadan teach us to make control on our needs and wants is when we are having sehri or sahor and all of sudden we hear Adhan, we immediately stop eating how so ever strong our need for a certain thing but we stop doing what we were doing and we are not allowed to eat anything during fast we do not give to our wishes and temptation, this restriction of not eating and drinking remain till Maghrib until we cannot hear adhan and this timing is also appointed by Allah.

The month of Ramadan gives us lots of knowledge and we gain lot from fasting. 

The most important thing which we gain from fasting is that one’s soul is liberated from the shackles of his wishes and desires and moves a step forward towards knowledge and intellect, he moves a step closer to Allah by rising all above all ordinary needs. This is the purpose why fasting puts all restriction on all those things which results increase in our desires and incline us towards pleasure, when a person restrict such constrained then he is able to break his bond with this world and come closer to the lord of the world, towards his creator this is why Allah Almighty says that fasting is for Him and He alone will bestow the reward for it. 

May Allah SWT show us right path in this year’s Ramadan, Ameen.

Regards,

Alladin.

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The Language of Music…

Hi Folks, I have written about a lot of subjects, events and activities happening around me but today I want to talk about my love for the language of the universe “Music.”

Music brings me back to life…

Now you may ask me…if you love music then why are doing this and not some music director or even a singer…

Although am not a music director or even a singer but I love to play the guitar… 

Well this is what Doha Sumer Dance Festival is all about…you wanted music, and they gave you a complete music store…..

With 14th July being bollywood night with DJ Nawed and accompanied by   DJ Smita, DJ Maky & DJ G…This Doha Summer Dance festival is here to swank to over with amazing events and people to look forward to..

DJ Nawed is one of the biggest names in an ever changing and emerging DJ scene India.  He has played in clubs all over the world and a resident at Dubai’s latest hotspot “Pulse”.

Over the years he has been a part of the biggest names in Bollywood like Yash Raj Films, Red Chillies Ent., T-Series etc…

So if you think that music is in you and you can’t live without music then this party is something that you can’t afford to miss.

Well this isn’t just another Bollywood night where you listen to the latest bollywood numbers but this is a set up which you will remember for the next couple of years and will look forward to…

You can book your tickets by calling…44069090…

The tickets are priced at QR 150 now but over the gate it will be QR 200.

Hope you enjoy the party….

Cheers…

Alaadin..

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Who wants to be a Millionaire?

It is every individual’s dream to become a millionaire…but how many of us are successful in achieving this??

Just a handful of people, that is why we have a list of millionaires but have you ever heard of a list of people who got a new job…

No!!! Never!!!  Well Qatar is a great place with great people and the best part about Doha is that the large corporate here believe in creating millionaires.

Shocked!!! Yeah even I was…what came to my mind was where was I when this tradition of creating millionaires began, may be sleeping at home or rushing for a job interview.

Let me share this wonderful news with all of you today, “Qatar Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has announced the winner of its latest $1mn draw, creating its seventh instant millionaire since the raffle series began in 2006.”

WOW!!! But how often do we ignore these raffle draws and lucky draw tickets.  let’s be honest, personally 8 out of 10 times I throw these coupons in the garbage bin.

However, have you ever given a thought that you could have been the lucky winner and your life could have changed overnight.

Lets face it, 1 million is a lot of money and a lot of people work for their entire life and do not end up saving this amount.

On researching I found out that Qatar Duty Free is not the only such company, we have LULU who has a lucky draw to win a Mercedes S class every 6 months, We have FFC too with a similar kind of offer.

Not to forget Doha bank which offer 50 kgs of gold on making some investment with them.

Honestly never given so much of a thought to a mere raffle coupon but I guess I need to start because it’s totally worth it.

There is nothing to lose since the coupon is free along with the shopping you do or the product you purchase.

So wanna be millionaires, never forget that a raffle coupon could change your life.

Cheers,

Aladdin.

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Turkish General Elections

Turkey’s 17th general election was held on 12 June 2011 to elect 550 new members of Grand National Assembly. It was Turkey’s first non-early elections in 34 years.

Although Turkish PM Erdogan won an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections, his party fell short of the votes needed to unilaterally change the constitution.

With voter participation exceeding 84 percent, the results are a democratic legitimation of the AKP’s third consecutive election victory since 2002. Over the course of the past three elections, the AKP’s support among voters has grown from 34 percent to just under 50 percent, leaving the opposition well behind.

Well there are actually a few reasons behind this victory for the AKP for the 3rd time in just under a decade.

Turkey has enjoyed years of stunning economic growth. Reforms, however, that seek to bring the NATO member state in line with the values and norms of the European Union have lost tempo as the hopes for an EU accession have cooled. Positive developments such as the consolidation of individual and institutional freedoms for all classes have been pushed entirely into the background.

One of the great paradoxes of the election is that the democrats initially feared the right-wing extremists, but in the end were happy that they surpassed the 10 percent hurdle. If they had failed to make into parliament, the AKP might have won the extra seats it needed for its two-thirds majority

Barring a major political transformation, in four years, the AKP will likely achieve the goals that it just missed this time round. There’s little danger that Turkey will turn into an Iran with Recep Tayyip Erdogan playing the role of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A more realistic comparison with Russia’s Vladimir Putin suffices to make one worry about the future.

What’s more exciting is to wait and see what will happen in the next couple of months..and if the election proved worthy for the people of Turkey or no.

Regards,

Aladdin.

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Fight against Corruption

Today while going through my twitter account I came across a story of a Yoga Guru (Baba Ramdev) in India who was on a fast for 9 days to fight against corruption, his demand was to bring the black money back to India from the Tax Free Heaven countries and declare that money as national asset.  

Well on a first look I agree with the guy since millions and millions of dollars gets deposited every year in countries like Switzerland.

Although his demand was not met, and he was forced by some of the spiritual leaders to break his fast today.

Whenever such sought of thing happens in any part of the world, there are a lot of stories & facts which are highlighted, one of which is that people say that the expert himself is corrupted since he has wealth worth INR 1100 crores (almost $US 27 million), now the question here is how did he earn so much money?

If this is the amount of money that a Yoga Guru can make who is in his early 40’s then I would love to be the one.

But a lot of people also say that he has many followers and people come and donate money in his trust, but does that money belong to him? The questions still remains unanswered.

The point here is not to see if he is corrupted or no, what I see is that the man is fighting for a good cause which is required to make the world a better place to live in.

It is very important to practice what you preach, so we hope that the man is not fake and some light which will fade out in a few days.

This is something which only time will tell us…

Let’s hope for a corruption free world.

Cheers,

Alaadin.

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Beyond Technology

A lot of people say that life was much better and simpler when apples & berry’s were just fruits.  But honestly, I don’t agree to this…

We have to accept the fact that we are hooked onto our iPhones & iPads when we are on the move; you are able to capture the moments of your life and share it with your friends immediately if you have these gadgets.

What we are talking about here is how our lives have changed with one of the greatest technology provider in the world “APPLE”.

Earlier this year at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2011, Apple executives gave a sneak peek into the upcoming iOS 5 which was scheduled to arrive later this year.

Well after a long gap, but much before it was anticipated the wait finally got over…Apple launched its new operating system the iOS5 on the 6th June 2011.

Apple iOS 5 seems to be the best iOS till date. The biggest surprise came with the PC Free feature that is complemented by the much-hyped iCloud, a web based data syncing service. That means you won’t have to hook your iOS device to a PC or Mac using a cable. Instead, you can get updates and sync data over the air.

But what is surprising that Apple is believed to be a late entrant for several iOS 5 features that already exist on rival mobile platforms — Windows Phone 7, Android and BlackBerry.

But a great feature of the iOS5 is that it takes notifications to the next stage. It created a drawer that is accessible when the user swipes downward from the top of the screen. This Notification Center groups all the notifications pertaining to emails, texts, reminders, calendar, twitter updates, friend requests, weather, stock updates etc.

Heavily bantered as a BlackBerry Messenger alternative, iMessage is built into the messaging app for sending unlimited texts over 3G, EDGE or WiFi. Users can share photos, videos, audio, locations and contacts among friends with iOS devices. This new feature will work on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running the iOS 5 update.

With this new iOS Apple is aiming to please shutterbugs with better imaging features on your Apple iPhone 4. The iOS5 update will put a camera icon on the lock screen of the iPhone for quick access to capture images by pressing the volume up button.

Wouldn’t you pay for an ad-free experience of the mobile web? Well, iOS 5 brings the Reader mode and Reading List feature for mobile Safari, which enables an ad free web environment. The Reader option can be tapped to read articles or blog posts without any ad-clutter.

With such amazing technology we need to give a standing ovation to the master mind behind this, Mr. Steve Jobs…he is the man who has taken the world to a new level in terms of technology…to name a few the launch of an IPod was a revolution which helps you listen to music if the file is saved in any formats and now the iOS5.

But the most shocking part is that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Off late the news is that he is getting better but has lost a lot of weight.  We hope that he gets well soon.

So are you ready to experience the iOS5? Well I am…Do let me know what you think about this invention.

Cheers,

Alaadin.

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Business World

It is rightly said that “Monopoly is business at the end of its journey”.

March 2009, Vodafone Qatar CEO Grahame Maher detailed the challenges that lay ahead of the operator to commercially launch as the country’s second telecom operator.

Just 1,000 customers were allowed to use the service for a two-month trial period, which started by the end of March. They referred to this as the beta testing phase.  The two-month trial started “sometime in March” 2009 and was limited to within the greater Doha area.

June 2009, Vodafone Qatar finally launched commercially for the people of Qatar, with a lot of complaints initially with regards to network coverage and accessibility they still managed to pull it off and within 15 months reported that they have acquired 100,000 customers.

This is gave an option to the people of Qatar and the word “MONOPOLY” was out of the picture when it came to telecom industry in Qatar.

 Vodafone came up with a lot of offers which attracted the expatriate community with international calling offers.   They brought colors & trend to Qatar which posed a challenge to the country’s telecom giant “QTEL”.

It is rightly said that competition is good when it is played in the right manner and this was taken positively by Qtel which started with all new brand promotion and focused on counter offers and customer loyalty and satisfaction.  This gave an option to choose from for the people of Qatar for the 1st time.

On the other hand Vodafone which is well known for its marketing campaigns which attracts audiences in a great manner.

Throwing offers and reduced rates was just not enough for Qtel to satisfy its customers they had to come up with something exceptional.

The answer to this question was QVMS – Qtel’s Virgin Mobile service.

Virgin mobile with its existence in 9 countries already with a huge customer base would add to the presence of Qtel in Qatar.

May 13th, 2010 Qatar woke up to an exciting new dawn in mobile services, when Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group companies, launched Virgin Mobile in Qatar in a brand partnership with Qtel.

Virgin mobile brought a lot of fun new service to Qatar, offering great value, unbeatable coverage, and the exceptional customer service for which Virgin is famous around the world. The service claimed to be Qatar’s first youth-focused mobile offering, delivered by Virgin Mobile in a brand partnership with Qtel.

The competition gained momentum and lead to price wars which helped the subscribers in a huge way…

In the corporate world, one giant always tries to supersede the other, Vodafone Qatar started complaining that the deal between Virgin’s Richard Branson and Qatar Telecom has broken its license terms.

Vodafone Qatar decided to sue Qtel and said they broke the country’s telecoms law and is a violation of the license. In 2007, they paid $2.1 billion for the license to break Qtel’s monopoly in the state. 

However, Qtel in its defense said that the brand franchise agreement between Qtel and Branson’s Virgin Group is fully compliant with the terms of Qtel’s existing license.

This was a start of a big war, we as individuals could only read the newspaper updates and comment on what’s happening, if Vodafone is correct or Qtel move of bringing in Virgin didn’t break any agreement.

This was not it, Vodafone Qatar even decided that it will take legal action against the country’s telecommunications regulator, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar), for allowing Virgin Mobile’s entry here, which it said it believed was a violation of Qatar’s telecoms licensing regulations.

This made the news even more interesting for the people of Qatar and the questions raised by everyone was who would be the last man standing, whether its going to be VFQ or Qtel and will ictQatar be able to take the correct decision.

With a lot of speculation and almost 8 to 10 months of court case and discussion finally on the 6th June 2011 ictQatar gave the decision in favour of Vodafone and asked Qtel to shut QVMS and transfer all customers to Qtel by the 4th August 2011.

Well this wouldn’t be a difficult task for the authorities but the question which I would like to raise over here is that how Qtel how allowed to launch Virgin Mobile when eventually they had to stop?? Was there no research or investigation before its launch?? If there was any, what happened to them??

Well a few stones still unturned, what bothers me the most is that what happens to the people of Qatar who were working for Virgin Mobile in Qatar?? What happens to the distributors who were selling Virgin products?? What happens to the Retailers who started their new shops for selling Virgin Mobile products??

“Hope” is the only answer I have…Hope that all the affected people get their share of gains out of this decision and everything falls into place for everyone.

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Save the Environment

A variety of environmental problems now affect our entire world.  As globalization continues and the earth’s natural processes transform local problems into international issues, few societies are being left untouched by major environmental problems.

Well we have heard a lot of politicians & celebrities speak about ways of saving the environment but how often do we actually take a step? 

Have you heard of the World Environment Day?

Yes, it is true…The world celebrated environment day on 5th June as an effort to save the environment and reduce the pollution around us.

Most countries in the world were a part of it and Qatar was one of them.

This was a great initiative for that day, but what about the rest of the days?

What we need to understand that how are the wrong steps taken by us affecting the people around us.

Let me give you an example of how things can go bizarre…Did you know that the AC in your house release chloro floro carbons which affects the ozone layer which is really important for us as it saves us from the sun’s high frequency ultraviolet light which is affecting life on Earth.

It is very important that we understand how the environment can be saved….

Well there are a lot of things which we can avoid doing at home here are a few examples:

a) Turn off the appliances when you are not using them. 

On an average a TV consumes almost 10% of your total power usage if kept on stand-by mode.

b) Lower the AC by a few degrees in winter. An extra layer or will not only keep you cozy but will help to reduce your electricity bill significantly. blanket

c) Switch to compound fluorescent light bulbs. They last longer and consume one-quarter of the energy.

Did you even know that these things existed, well I didn’t but on doing my research I found out that by sitting at home you can still save the environment.

You don’t have to get on the streets or start a revolution, if each one of us pledge to take atleast one of the steps towards saving environment then Earth will be a much better place to live in…

Today, I pledge to save the environment…I hope you are going to join me!!! 

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