Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bridging the 'digital gap' in Tunis

Well Highlander is travelling again, yep no resting yet .. this time yours truly is in neighbouring Tunis which is hosting the World Summit on the Information Society ( this is the UN link here ) or WSIS. This is a map of the venue. There is also an exhibition going on at the same time. The expositon centre is called Le Kram as per photo on the left above. No efforts have been spared.I have been to the stands yesterday and I could vouch that they are awesome even Kofi Anan was present :). The security measures also for this event are tremendous, you could feel it from the airport and at the hotels and almost everywhere. I mean imagine being asked for your badge in your own hotel?

The city is decked in the red Tunisian flag, and the plain clothes men are not being discreet at all, I guess no risk is to be taken when you are expecting 17000 guests including foreign dignitaries and heads of states, especially with the sad recent news from Jordan.

My favourite stand is of the course the Japanese one , they have all sorts of gadgets.This is my dream vehicle, GPS, motorbike , laptop , internet cool eh?

The WSIS objective is to come up with solutions 'to help poorer nations benefit from the digital revolution' , but according to various programs and interviews on TV and articles it seems that there is an argument running on who should run the net.

Here are yesterday's results of a vote on the BBC website to the question 'Does the US have too much power over the internet?'
and this is my screenshot of it- on the left.

We shall see what the participants come up with. In the meantime it's wonderful to meet with people from all over the world including Israel. The Israelis were pleased to attend for the first time it seems in Tunis and to find out a different image from that provided by the mainstream media. I think this summit and the exhibition have if nothing achieved to promote dialogue between many peoples.

Part II will be blogged tonight or tomorrow.
Out for now H.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Jordan sequels

A Jordanian reader, and blogger Lina has graciously left the following comment to my previous post which I thought was worth highlighting here : "I am so thankful to God that you were not at the Radisson SAS that night!! I know this sounds very selfish of me to say, but I hope you would still consider coming to Amman... just as people still go to London and still go to New York! I hate to see those terrorists have their way, and succeed in shattering our sense of stability and security.(and if you don't want to stay in a hotel then you are most welcome in our house :) )"

Thank you Lina for the offer of course it would be a pleasure to meet you anytime.
With regards to my post, I meant to say that with the grace of God my plans had changed and I was not in Amman that day because I had other obligations elsewhere.

However, I intend soon to visit beautiful Jordan again just as I have not been deterred by terrorists to go to London or Egypt or Lebanon again.

In my view death comes in its own time according to God's will so I will never cower or be afraid.

On another note the media and many bloggers have mentioned that Syrian-American producer Mustafa Akkad was among the victims, apart from Halloween he was famous for producing 'The Message' and 'Lion of the Desert' as previously mentioned on this blog. So I won't dwell on that much longer .

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jordan's 9/11

(image courtesy of BBC)

This latest in the series of bombings by Al quaeda franchises was not unexpected. Jordan had it coming, I was just wondering 'when'? and hoping it would not. Thank God I canceled my trip to Amman I was actually supposed to be there yesterday and specifically at the Radison SAS . This is the second explosion I miss in one year , first it was 7/7 comment . May the victims RIP ; and at this moment I cannot offer any solution since the perpetrator was a suicide bomber anyway. This will not stop soon I'm afraid and the Middle East is going up in flames. Maybe I should keep to Libya for a while ? Now let me go check on friends and loved ones ...

Update 13/11/2005

Appart from two people , everyone I know is accounted for, maybe they are just travelling abroad ...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Eid Fitr Mabrouk from good old Tripoli

Yes folks there is nothing like Eid with the family, and the noise of the kids and our sweets and visitors .... It is such fun to see twice removed cousins and discover ones you never knew existed and find out the recent additions to one's family . All this to announce that I am back home from this recent trip to London and I'm basking at the moment in the glow of Eid after missing most of Ramadan abroad.

So to all friends ( cyber/blogger and flesh ones ) and family عيد مبروك علينا وعليكم و انشاء الله عايدين فايزين

Now let me go enjoy the final episodes of the Ramadan series ...yes and that includes the Hur al3ayn one as well ....blogging will resume afterwards.

out for now Highlander