Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hopenhagen

The people of the world are awaiting the World's Leaders meeting for the UN Climate Change Conference December 07 - 18 at Copenhagen. Great expectations are pinned on this conference but most think it will not amount to much.

Hopenhagen "When People Lead, Leaders Follow is a movement, a moment and a chance at a new beginning." It is a movement of people across the world telling our leaders that we demand change. Change that will provide a better future for the planet and its inhabitants. It is a demand for a greener economy. It is a change powered by us, the people.

Scientists and Politicians are still debating whether climate change is caused by mother nature or is induced by human activity. At least, we all agree that there is a climate change. A climate change that may threaten the way of life we are used to. Even if this climate change is a natural thing, is it that wrong to help ma nature to reduce it.

Charity starts at home. We all can contribute to the well being of the planet from energy saver light bulbs, car pools or even walking, to recycling and using recyclable material. This is not sufficient, what we need is a green revolution, government intervention to stimulate a move towards a greener economy. This intervention should be in the form of incentives to stimulate innovation in greener technology, tax credits for individuals that install solar power panels or insulate and reduce the carbon foot print of their homes and in the form of taxes on services that involve carbon emissions to ensure that alternative energy forms are given the chance to reach competitive and sustainable levels.

Oh, I can hear the loud screams of conservatives against taxes and government intervention that will affect our lives in the immediate future. We need to look at the long term at the sustainability of the standards of living we enjoy and would aspire to continue enjoying.

Change was never easy and people will resist change even when they know it is good for them. But change we must if we want our children and grand children to have a clean environment and a habitable planet.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

THANKSGIVING

This Thursday is Thanksgiving in the USA and the start of the rites leading to Eid Al Adha (The festival of Sacrifice) and the end of the Pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims.

It is an occasion for us to collectively and individually give thanks to the Lord for his graces and gifts throughout the past year. The last 12 months have been very difficult for the whole world. A global recession is not an easy thing to cope with, for those who have lost their jobs and means of livelihood goes our prayers. Even for those who did not lose their jobs it has been a stressful time of uncertainty.

For me on a personal level it has been a stressful time professionally with being involved in a start up airline in such a recession and dealing with people, who may mean well, but have no idea of what they are involved in.

I am sure all of us have things to be thankful for, the love and support of our families and friends, our health and that of our beloved ones, for the ability to maintain friendships and make new ones, for being able to contribute in a small way to the improvement of the planet or an act of kindness that improves some one's life in this world, and many many others.

My sincere wishes to all for Eid and Thanksgiving regardless of religion or nationality, it is time to celebrate.

Live Long and Prosper





Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dubai Air Show #dxb09

First of all I am writing this blog from my Blackberry, a first for me, so if it looks awful blame it on technology.

It is the last day of the Dubai Air Show #dxb09. It has been a hectic week for all of us. It has been a show that had been different than previous ones, it still had aviation professionals hurriedly going from one stand or chalet to another, looking for, following up or concluding business.

The first noticeable thing is the lack of mega commercial aircraft orders, so what, it is a recession and I see no reason why the region should bail out the industry again. A refreshing thing actually happened, we got to hear about all the equipment and services contracts that used to be drowned by mega aircraft orders, a reminder that the industry is more than a few aircraft manufacturers.


The other thing is the use of social media to cover the event, a thrilling experience which I am priviliged to have taken a tiny tiny minute part in along with giants like Flightglobal and @flightblogger, @runwaygirl, @mtargettuk and many others. We had probably the first Tweetup in an International Air Show.

For me, other than business meetings, it was an opportunity to meet friends and coleagues that I have not seen in many years. The real highlight and thrill was the making of new friends, ones that I followed and networked with on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media. They became real live and fun people to be around.

It reminded me that an Air Show is not all business. It is about fun and enjoying one's friends company around something we all feel passionately about, aircraft and aviation.

#dxb09 has been a fun experience enriched with friends old and new, so, keep well guys and be good.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dubai Air Show 2009 Tweetup

True to Tweeples or Twitteratis (take your pick) while tweeting on #dxb09 it was spontaneously agreed to have a Tweetup on Monday at 2:30 pm under the Qatar Airways B777. All sponsored by Flightglobal.

Well, we had a Tweetup, well maybe a mini or some would say micro. At the time under the shadow of the QR B777 and during the Flying Displays, we all connected the Flightglobal Team , those who were not tied up blogging.

The roll call included @stefanthepilot @inflightcuisine @sumudu @tangosix @obsalah @runwaygirl @mtargettuk @spetrovic and a few more. It was great to meet the team behind Flightglobal easily the most extensively visited aviation news website.

The highlight was the introduction of @stefanthepilot to all of us, quite a character. Well @stephanthepilot is a pilot action figure (. Honestly, I was surprised, never thought of an action figure, chalk one for the Flightglobal team.

We had a few pics and red T shirts (click here), we chatted, of course over the roar of fighters using their after burners (something only persons in aviation will do, normal people will go indoors).

It was great fun and I enjoyed it, the highlight of the day

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dubai Air Show, the Twitter Experience

This is the first day of the Dubai Air Show and guess what, I was not there. However, I had a different Air Show experience, a social media coverage of the Air Show #dxb09. Sure, it is not the same as being there experiencing the buzz and excitement, but nevertheless this is my first experience of whether social media works in a venue that I am familiar with (my 7th air show).

Keeping an open mind, I followed the events as they unfolded and yes it was still exciting. Best thing is Breaking News, I actually got to hear about events, equipment orders and aircraft developments as they were actually being announced. Even the flying displays were reported by @flightglobal.

Credit has to go to @flightblogger and @RunwayGirl among many others for bringing about this experience.

It certainly was interesting, tomorrow will get to meet all those tweeples responsible for keeping us in the know

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dubai Air Show

Sunday the 15th of November the Dubai Air Show 2009 will officially start. It promises to be the highlight of an otherwise very grim year for aviation for many reasons;
1. The number of exhibitors have increased over those of 2007.
2. It is held in an area that has bucked the trend and is actually shows growth.
3. As always people are intrigued to hear what Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have to
order.
4. The first show held when Social Media is so popular and the ability to catch up through
Twitter and Facebook, great fun.

For first timers Dubai Air Show is an awesome event, with all these aircraft on static display or the 2 hours of flying displays. It fills me with awe every time I watch, even though some o them are the same routines from previous shows. The exhibition halls that house all these big, famous and not so big and famous that make up aviation, all under one roof, so accessible and so friendly and easy to talk to is an inspiration.

For me personally, it is a time of catching up with friends, yes old friends. The ones I thought I lost track of, somehow we all surface again at air shows. Time to check on families and careers; where they were and where are they heading.

It is a time of feeling proud of being part of an industry that refuses to be beaten or put down by recession, terror or politics. An industry that innovates its way out of trouble and never gives up.

In a region where aviation is at the leading edge of technology and all its innovation and creativity.

In a region that showed the world that "yes we can" through 9/11 and all its persisting conflicts, SARS, Avian Flu, H1N1 and recession.

In the course of the coming week I will blog and share events and feelings, I am so looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why are they hated?

About three years back Zeina (my eldest daughter) called me from MSU and asked me "why are Human Resources (HR) professionals hated?" Huh, well she was taking this course and she had to write a couple of paragraphs. I gave her a few ideas and some thoughts at the time.

Well, three years later a change of jobs and a deep recession, my views have not changed much, that only emphasized in my mind that it takes a special kind of talent to be a great HR professional.

Not all HR are hated, most are pretty good. I think it all depends on how the Senior Management views employees. If they are regarded as valuable assets that have to be nurtured and developed, then invariably HR is viewed more favourably. However if the employees are viewed as people who need to be controlled and kept in their place, then HR could shine or be at its worst.

Having said that their are two categories of HR, those who consider themselves the advocates and protectors of the employees rights within the organisation and those who are the hatchet men of the big boss.

It takes a person of great moral strength to stand up to top management bullying and demand just solutions. Most people will go with the flow and tell you, we are just an employee.

But then you get the HR manager who is a real devious politician, that lies to employees with a straight face and gives all the text book answers, the real slimy and sleazy character. The boss's real hit man, the one that embodies hypocrisy and a real talent for lying.

The short answer, they are hated because they are perceived as the people who implement management policies employees do not like.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

VIOLINS

I was never a great musician, as a matter of fact I am awful. Mom insisted that I take music lessons. So I joined the Jordan Music Conservatory. I actually learnt to read notes but could never convert them into tunes in my head. Needless to say, I had an attempt at the Clarinet for a year and then the Accordion the next year. After which mom just gave up, what a relief.

However, one instrument I particularly hated, was the Violin. Oh that sad, moaning and whining sound, used to to drive me insane and straight to sleep.

Until one day I heard Vanessa Mae and her awesome Violin playing The Devil's Trill and the Matrix Reloaded Mix. The Violin became my favorite instrument and it opened up a whole new world of musical celebration ranging from The Hip Hop Violinist and Michael Flately Dueling Violins and many many others.

It is no more the whining and moaning sound, it is the sound of celebrating life.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Diversity

Mona, Rebellious Arab Girl , posted a blog entitled Open your minds to the possibilities, which discussed open mindedness. A worthy discussion point of something the world seems to lack.

When one lives in the Gulf or a new adopted country like the USA or Canada, one is exposed to diversity whether one likes it or not. One can live in a closed community, but the moment one steps outside his home, it hits. It comes in different shapes, colours and sounds and it can be intimidating and overwhelming.

Keeping an open mind diminishes fears and eases the transition.

Yes, transition to a wonderful world of multiple cultures, friendships, tolerance and acceptance. A world of enriching experiences. Kids seem to cope with it better than adults, they have no prejudices except when those are instilled by parents. Acceptance of different ethnic and religious groups does not detract from ours, on the contrary it enriches it.

Needless to say this is not a situation faced by expatriates and immigrants only, it is becoming a fact of life. With the globalisation of business and the growth of multinationals and outsourcing, almost everyone in this world is exposed to diversity.

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