Consecutive word game… 25, June 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
Tags: consecutive words, Word game
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I am writing away but am thoroughly bored, so I’ve have decided to start a thrilling new word game. How many words in the English language can you put consecutively with the sentence still making sense? My best effort is:
“Did you think that that that that that boy said was one too many?”
Ok. So its not the most sensical sentence ever, but it’s good and grammatical.
Any advance on 5 then?
Ban Ki Moon slammed in FP magazine 25, June 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
Tags: Ban Ki Moon, Foreign Policy Magazine, Jacob Heilbrunn, National Interest, The UN
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Jacob Heilbrunn launches a scathing attack on Ban Ki Moon in Foreign Policy Magazine. Slating Moon for being idle in the midst of crisis, employing too many South Koreans, collecting too many honorary degrees and buying too many Samsung TVs, Heilbrunn clearly steps far, far over the line from objective analysis to angry, has-an-agenda, patronising, ill-informed ranting. And what a surprise, Heilbrunn is a commentator for the National Interest. What a surprise.
Dubai police chief: ‘end sponsorship” 25, June 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in Bahrain, The Emirates.
Tags: Dubai, Emirates, Gulf workers, Kafala system, Migrant workers, Worker's rights
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Dubai’s Chief of Police has called for the ‘old’ and ‘outdated’ system of sponsorship that is responsible for the country’s legion of foreign workers to go. The kafala system, as it is known, is widely seen as one of the prime causes of the systematic abuses that are found with migrate workers throughout the Gulf. Under the current system workers are contractually as well as effectively tied to one employer whose job it is to hire workers from abroad, process their paperwork, arrange their accommodation and medical insurance. This has led to wide-spread abuses with employers seeking to cut costs where ever they can often to the detriment of living and pay conditions. Additionally, employers usually and illegally confiscate employees’ passports so can not move on.
The Chief’s comments do not come, however, from a humanitarian stand point. Indeed, he sees the current system as simply being a burden for Emirati employers. No changes are expected it the near future.
Bahrain was the first state that mooted changes to this system a month ago. However, the Bahrain business lobby soon set about reducing any changes to the bare minimum. It remains to be seen what, if any, changes will come out of the other end of this process.
Britain as old Great Satan 25, June 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in Iran.
Tags: Ahmadinejad, Britain, Empire, Great Satan, Iran, Iran elections, Obama
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Just a quick thought on my earlier article on Britain as the New Great Satan. I’ve spoken to a few people about this and had some interesting comments. I am well aware, though my title might have belied that, that Britain and Iran’s relationship goes back some distance and that Iran has a long, seething and passionate hatred for the UK. I’ve spent most of this year reading about the 17th, 18th and 19th century history of the Gulf and Britain’s involvement along with many other powers.
Whilst I do agree with some the sentiment of David’s comment that ‘Britain has ALWAYS been enemy number one in Iran’ I do feel that recently, at least, the empirical evidence disagrees. It is not Britain’s name that Iranian’s have been castigating as the Great Satan for the last thirty years in Friday prayers. It seems to me, moreover, that Britain as the arch-enemy is a straw-man, which has a nice, familiar and potent resonance in Iranian history. I don’t think for one second that Ahmadinajad et al really believe the the UK has been up to anything particularly nefarious in Iran. But that with America being so manifestly popular at the moment and a chance of detente potentially around the corner, they need to go to their back-up enemy, the British.
Ali Ansari from St. Andrews has a peice in the Times of London discussing briefly the background of the Iranian-British relationship. Also, David points to a fascinating article in Prospect Magazine. I think that this article must be taken, however, with a pinch of salt. The author is selling his book, after all, which – as luck would have it – takes something of a controversial tone repletajade with ornate, verbose language and somewhat clumsy ‘I was there reporting’.