Archive for the ‘people’ Category

Recently, a video of 11 years old Yemeni girl whi decided to fight against her family in marrying her off went viral (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J7_TKgw1To). She brought up the subject that most of us did not want to hear nor acknowledged. That despite we are living in 21st century, not all women are given equal opportunities to pursue their dreams and to be educated. This case especially true to a greater extent in certain countries, such as Yemen and India, of which the latter had been heavily criticized due to a case of young women brutally raped in a bus.

As hurtful to read, this fact needs our attention. According to UN, in many countries, gender inequality persists, and women continuously facing discrimination in regards to education access, work, economic asset, and participation in the government.  A clear example would be, that in developing countries, fewer women hold secure jobs than men, often in rather small benefits.

Moreover, in some countries, even fewer percentage of women continue their secondary education than their male classmates. Their chance to education is often exacerbated due to poverty.  In addition, violence against women and limited efforts from government to improve women’s living conditions just make the matter worse. This needs to change.

We need to acknowledge women’s critical role in local economies and well-being of the families, by providing them equal access to education and eradicate gender disparities.

According to Care.org, educated women are more likely to have fewer children. They also tend to immunize their children much often. HIV/AIDS spread is also much less within women with some schooling than those without.

Improving maternal health will resulted in increasing women’s capacity to work and generating income. Thus, will help overcoming poverty. Therefore, it is critical to build self-confidence, educate and empower young girls who live in poverty to enable them make informed decisions about their lives and those of their communities. To enable them fight what its wrong and not silently accepting deep-rooted gender discrimination in their society.

So, what we should do to unleash women’s potential? 

First, combating poor nutrition which often faced by pregnant women in developing countries. Lack of nutrition often make child’s brain does not developed completely. By providing iodized salt (a frugal product at a cost of couple pennies per person per annum), we can make girls smarter! 🙂

Secondly, keep the girls in school! Provide donations in form of scholarship for girls to make them stay in school and get education that they desperately want. Do not let their (often) dysfunctional family take them away from school. A girl who gets an education often will have fewer children, earn more money and will be able to help their family and younger siblings.

Third, empowering women to fully participate in economic activities. One successful initiative is conducted by KIVA and grameen bank where they provide micro-loans for woman to start their own business. By doing so, they enable women to feed their children and afford for their education. A cycle that move us one step closer to poverty eradication.

Forth, fight for any gender discrimination,  including those that are done by ourselves unconsciously or by our societies. Even us, women, tend to undermine the full potential of women to excel at her work or as a leader. We should embrace other female colleagues and support each other in unleashing our potential. This can be achieved through knowledge sharing, providing mentorship as well as encouragement. We should keep in mind that when it comes to achieving objectives and result realization, gender does not matter!

We as a women, are the most responsible for eliminating any gender disparities which exist today! If we didn’t act, it won’t changed!

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I read a book by Izzeldin Abuelaish, entitled “I Shall Not Hate”, which described by Sunday Times as ‘a remarkable study of compassion, and of daily life in the Gaza strip’. It was one of the most powerful and moving notes i had ever read regarding exceptional humanity, and one’s ability to forgive. The following is the summary of his extraordinary life’s journey.

Izzeldin Abuelaish, was amongst one of the Palestinians that have to live in Gaza strip, following the Israel’s state declaration. Living day-to-day under extreme poverty and worry to feed their little brothers and sisters, he had grown to be a strong-willed boy, hungry for education to lift up his family. When he was 15 years old, he then worked at a israeli’s jewish farm where he experienced warm welcome, and came to understand that there are more similarity than differences between Palestinian and Israelis. That peace and coexistence are things that desired by both and its possible to be reached. Soon thereafter, he then witnessed the destruction of houses instructed by Ariel Sharon to widen the road for the tanks to patrol.

Despite all the misfortune, he managed to get a medical education in Egypt, even goes further to pursue study in Harvard.

Although most of the world has heard of Gaza strip, but only few really knew what its like to live here, blockaded, impoverished that span on period over decades. Abuelaish provides view of daily life in Gaza and tells remarkable story of how he became first Palestinian doctor that works in Israeli hospital. Abuelaish has devoted his life for medical purpose, helping everyone who needs it, despite their origin. Whether they are Palestinian or Israelis.

Unfortunately, recently in 2009, three of his daughters were killed by shells fired directly to their bedroom. The events were shocking as Abuelaish was well-known to the Israelis.  His eye-witness reports for Israeli TV was heartbreaking and eye-opener.  Despite his great lost, he refused to hate or commit a revenged. Instead, he hoped for common understanding and co-existence as a means to counter violence and bloodshed. His hope is that his daughters will be “the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis”.

This book is a great read and great example of a man’s character. As honest as it is, sometimes its often painful to read. The characters has shown a great strength to endure all the pain and losses without thinking for a revenge or hate.  A definite must read to understand the conflict in Gaza strips and what we should do to end it. Not with hatred, but rather, common understanding and embrace co-existence… Hopefully both Palestinian and Israeli leaders read this book and got to their common sense on not to provoke wars and increasing death toll, but rather, to seek for peace….

Lately my weeks was not the best. Thousand meetings with different groups and characters to finish tons of tasks, coupled with other bunches of self-reflection, unexpected disappointment as well as confusion regarding what i really want to do in the future had made my days as gloomy as Glasgow’s weather. And.. it sucks!! as suck as Glasgow weather which is cloudy with a 99% kiss-goodbye chance to the sunny day.

Though i am suspecting that the hormonal activity graph may play parts in this soaking-blue situation, i guess the main reason of my unreasonable feeling was more because of the uncertainty of the future. So many things i want to try yet i am clueless as prioritizing what really matters for me.

Thankfully, an unexpected encounter with a portrait of poverty in Glasgow had gave me the slap in the face. A wake up call to stop worrying and get to the bottom of my utmost desire, which is to be useful for other.. (fingercrossed…). This encounter made me remembered one advise from my friend who (might) found my bitterness and gloominess last week as annoying as Sadako (from The Ring).  He said “happiness is depend on how you choose the way you look at life. You might be filthy rich but still feel sad or.. you might not have anything, but you are grateful to every second on your life”.

I found this video in Youtube which really sweet and captured exactly the essence of my friend’s advise..

So now..   though my days might be crappier, i will try to see it differently 🙂  Quoting the invictus poem, “I am the captain of my soul, i am the master of my fate”. Its all coming back to us to decide whether we will be happy.. or not..

In addition..  We have issues, but there are bigger issues than ours. We have problems, but yet.. there much bigger problems out there..

here is one video to raise our awareness of the poverty in the world.

 

We might be no-one, but we can be one to help others..

I had recently finished reading “Like the Flowing River”, a collection of life’s reflection and thought from Paulo Coelho. Perhaps, some of us knew Paulo is the author behind some of the best sellers novels such as “The Alchemist”, “Brida”, and other numerous titles.

This work presents the story of Ghengis Khan and the Falcon that teaches about the danger of anger, as well as the beauty of a friendship. He also told a story about Manuel, an ordinary man who had spent his whole life busy working..  Which taught us that a work can be a blessing if it help us to think about the meaning of life, but in the other hand, it can also become a curse when its solely use is to keep us busy to truly understand the purpose of life.
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As a field engineer in oil and gas industry, we often need to hop on and off from one rig to another to log.  From offshore sea to the remote area in the middle of rain forest to the swamp.  Living no longer become a daily habit, but rather..  a continuous adventure as we are facing surprises by surprises on finding the next assignment, new challenges as well as the rush and pressure on ensuring all the job preparation as well as the job operation itself delivered with a perfection.  Albeit all difficulties, shortages of backup equipment or even number of people/talent needed to perform the job.
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Great movies will never come alive if there is no great directors behind it.  Behind the screen, they worked their magic and talent on producing some of the finest film ever!!  So.. who was on top of their game in directing actors by far? Here is the list of my most favorite directors :

1. Francis Ford Coppola

With movies like “The Godfather”, “Godfather: Part 2”, and “Apocalypse Now”, Coppola is undoubtedly one of the most talented directors. Not many movies made.. but few of them enough to left great impression amongst us. Simply genius!!

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So.. spring is coming!!! Yay!! And as such, we start seeing some green color in our dearest in-the-middle-of-nowhere Tyumen (siberia). The scenery becomes more lively and no longer only white anymore 🙂

One thing that we didnt expect coming together with the spring though, is the aggressive attacks from all those mosquitos army!! Lots of them!!  They are huge, crazy, and starrrving (probably as a result of fasting during the winter).   I was small enough already but those mosquitos seem does not have any mercy. Big or small, as long as it has some sweet blood, its all the same. It means : “MEAL time!!” for them, resulting in HUGE red itches all over my skin!! 😦 I should admit, the mosquitos here are even worse than their families in tropical countries… :/

Anyway.. i wasnt planned to bitching about the mosquitos here. So, spring here, and the city get prettier like this :

And as i mentioned in my previous post bout Moscow, Russia is celebrating their 65th years victory over Nazi in WW2.  And therefore, even Tyumen also has some thing going on regarding that.  People participated in a parade!!  They dressed up in military suit, also there are military cars running around, and even hillarious costumes seen as part of the parade.

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