27 July 2008

Divorces, TV shows & Fatwas

You know Islam has reached a new low when it's clerics start forbidding popular TV shows.

Over the past few months, a hit Turkish soap under the name of Nour was aired on MBC; nothing really extra special about it, besides the fact that Muhannad, the main actor, is (supposedly) a charming romantic hunk. As the months passed, the show started to gain increasing popularity, as many tuned into to watch the tragic love story.

Soon after, however, something funny started happening. News surfaced of a husband in Saudi Arabia who divorced his wife after her constant obsession with Muhannad, and her constant complaints that he should be as romantic as the actor.

A Jordanian newspaper also mentioned a divorce, sparked by a jealous husband after his wife uploaded Muhannad's picture onto her cellphone.

Another case included a divorce after a heated argument, where the wife reportedly told her husband: “I want to sleep with Muhannad for only one night and die afterwards.” At least five other 'Nour-based-divorces' were reported, and the way it's going, there are probably a few more to come.


Ok, so we already know Middle-Eastern people have issues, but divorces over a TV show? Come on guys...

But it doesn't stop there. The all-knowing, all-wise mufti's (high-level holy men) have to butt their heads into the situation, and make the whole thing a religious issue:

Mufti of Saudi Arabia prohibts watching the TV show Nour

The Saudi Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh has described the Turkish soap 'Nour' which aired «MBC» as «criminal, malicious and harmful». He added; «It is a sin to watch the show, which is a plague of evil, a demolition of morality and a war against virtues».

Al-Sheikh said in his fatwa published on the Internet yesterday in response to a question about the Turkish soap: The broadcast of the soap is a «declaration of war against Allah and His Messenger», pointing out that Nour «calls for and encourages vice, helps spread it, and supports it's causes».

Errrr... Ok dude; I understand if you don't really like the show, but is labeling it 'a plague of evil' really an appropriate description? I also love the part where he mentions how airing it is declaring war against God. Yep, sure, that's what MBC was thinking when they decided to broadcast the show:

MBC Executive #1:
Hey, you wanna go to war against god?

MBC Executive #2: Yeah, let's do it! I have the perfect attack plan!

MBC Executive #1: Really?! Tell me!

MBC Executive #2: We'll broadcast this Turkish soap called Nour! It's a definite no holds full out attack!

MBC Executive #1: Yeah! Let the devil join us tonight! MWAHAHAHAA (evil laugh)


Umm, yeah... Okay... I'm hoping to catch that last episode of Bold & the Beautiful before they start banning that, too.

Aren't you sick of these supposed holy men making a total mockery of the religion? I guess we really need to get some new mufti's up on that fatwa-making chair. Any takers?

The original Turkish version of Nour is called Gümüs, and Muhannad is played by Kivanç Tatlitug

Link to original Fatwa article (in Arabic)

24 July 2008

Rock, Paper, Scissors Explained

I've always wondered about Rock, Paper, Scissors; if you don't already know it, it's a game we used to play as kids; two players shake their fists in the air then form a shape; closed fist = rock, open palm = paper, and extending two fingers = scissors.

Depending on which you choose, you could lose or win: rock beats scissors (because you can supposedly break the scissors with the rock), scissors beat paper (because you can supposedly cut the paper with scissors), and paper beats rock (because supposedly, erm, not sure why). Anyhow, through the years, i've always wondered how paper beats rock, and it seems I wasn't the only one. I just found this online, someone seems pretty worked out about it (a reasonable level of profanity follows, so proceed with caution) :

Aha. So definitely rock for me next time we play this.

20 July 2008

Violence for Children

Times are getting more violent by the day, to the extent that guns and weapons have managed to make it into little children toys and rides. Here's a little pony ride I spotted yesterday in Marina Mall:

Sure, at first it looks like an innocent pony ride. Drop a coin in, and your children can enjoy a ride on a cute little animal, accompanied by happy happy joy joy melodies.

But, let's look a little closer...

Yes... There is actually a gun on that pony's head. A GUN! Who puts a gun on a pony's head? I mean, what frame of mind was the designer of this ride in when he came up with this concept?!

I understand when you have a ride that looks like a tank, yeah, that's a war thing. Or even if the ride was a scary dinosaur or lion, then I might have accepted it. But a gun on a PONY? And then people complain about the increasing levels of violence all over the world...

A shot of the Pony of Destruction in action:

13 July 2008

Smiling at Inefficiency

One thing about our public sector's total disregard of how an efficient organization is supposed to run; if it doesn't help u solve your problem, it at least gives you a smile for the day.

Decided to call up the Ministry of Information hotline for info on where to go to get some data on my "Smart-Card" updated. Yup, i just want a location and name of a place. No time of opening and closing, no details of paperwork I need to take with me, no questions on the process and what it involves. Nope. Just name me a place.

Went through the regular 20 minutes of redialling their number because A- no one answers or B- the line is busy, but that was already anticipated.

When she picked up, her voice was fun and cheerful; "Hello!" she said in an upbeat tone.

Hmm. Not your typical Public Service reply, but yeah, i'll take it; "Hello. Im looking for where to go to update my smart card details please?"

Her: (cheerfulness still there) Uuuuh.. I dunno!

Me: ....

Her: Can I help you?

Me: Umm, yeah, I need to know where to go to update my smart card details please? (didn't I just ask that?)

Her: Sorry, dunno! (still cheerful)

Me: (confused now) Emmm.. So, uh, is there like, anyone else, who can like, you know, answer my question?

Her: Nope! I'm new here..

Me: New.. Aha.. So they just left you alone with the phone and no one to help you out?

Her: Yeah, it's my first day! (all cheerful again).

Me: Do you have another number I can call or do you have any idea where I can ask about this?

Her: No, not really?!

Me: Ummm.. Uh.. Okay? Well, thanks, I guess? Bye..

Her: Bye! (all giggling)

Me: ...

Well that was awkward. Anyway, most people's reaction would be to get upset or angry, but i've pretty much gotten to the point where this sort of thing is almost expected, so it just gives me a good laugh at how sad/funny/ridiculous this whole thing is. Called in for some information and got comic relief; not what I was originally looking for, but hey, at least I got something!

10 July 2008

Current Regional/Local Headaches

1- Iran Missile Testing; So Iran decides to show it's muscle (missiles?) and launches a good nine last night, prompting shock and horror from the rest of the World. Iran claims no direct hostility, but that these tests are just a warning message to any potential attackers, and they have what it takes to stand up to anyone.

Ho hum. Meanwhile, we're sitting here sick of the wars in the region that won't stop. The US says military confrontation really is the last option on the table, but the way things are going, I doubt that's what they really mean.

One thing comes out of this though; if we do have a war, and Bahrain becomes a direct target of Irani missiles (since we have a beautiful US military base here), land prices will drop suddenly, and we'll all finally be able to afford houses and so on again (if you don't know already, land prices have escalated so ridiculously over the past few years that most locals can't even afford to buy their own property anymore), and owning a house with rockets flying overhead is always better than not owning one. So yeah, always look on the bright side of life.

2- 50 Dinars of Depression; Inflation in Bahrain has hit the roof, and our dear government has decided to put down a reasonable budget to help people combat the rise in prices. Our Parliament decides it would make a lot of sense to just give people the money in the form of an aid package, and so the past few months have been a cat & mouse game of trying to list down all the people who need the money, and to give it to them. You would think that with such a small population, this shouldn't be a problem, huh?

Nope. Yesterday, hundreds of people protested outside the Ministry of Social Development, against not having their names on the third (and supposedly final) list of beneficiaries for the scheme. I'm not so much angry about this as I am sorry about the fact that our Bahraini people have had their emotional and financial needs toyed with for almost half a year, for a measly 50 dinars a month. Very sad...

More on this Here

Think you're depressed?

Sure, everyone's got a lot on their mind nowadays, whether it's day to day issues, money problems, family situations, fighting with friends, unfair treatment at work, and so on.

You think you're depressed?

You think YOU'RE depressed???

Well, you better shut up and SMILE buddy! I don't think i've ever seen anyone more depressed than this poor little thing! From the look on his face, whatever is bothering you probably doesn't compare to half the stuff he's going through, so just suck it up and smile, ya hear!

And if you were in a happy mood already, sorry for bringing you all down! Life ain't all peaches and cream ya know, so stop smiling like everything is perfect!


5 July 2008

HalaBahrain Magazine; Get the first online issue, out now!

Finished working on the first issue of HalaBahrain magazine, which has just been launched! Pass by HalaBahrain.com to download your copy today, and sign up to get it directly in your email every month!

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