Sunday, September 26, 2010

Suz's Tip of the Week

Ok, here's a tip that anyone will appreciate.

Having a problem with rusty pipes or car engines? Grime around the bathroom tub and toilet? You've tried everything short of replacing each part individually, yet you cannot get rid of that orange dust. So what can you do?

Not like sitting there drinking a coke will help, but if your pour that stuff all over your engine, toilet, bath, whatever, you'll notice grime and rust disappear. Think about that for a second, something that you may imbibe on a weekly / daily basis, has the ability to strip rust off of a car engine. Mmmm. That's good drinking!

Also, if you have clogged drains, and are too cheap to buy Draino, or cannot find an equivalent in your country (such as Egypt), Coke will also do the trick there :D

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Save the four dolphins!

I felt it would be pertinent to post an update to my blog from earlier today, as really, that was just a repost :p

I've been researching into this whole shenanigans since I first read this story this morning, and the real truth of the matter actually makes me sick to my stomach.

For those of you who know me, you'll know that I've been working with creating a magazine in the Hurghada area. No biggie right? Well...turns out, one of our primary advertisers is most likely the party involved in this dolphin cruelty. What's worse? I just had a conversation with the guy about two weeks ago, where he was so excited that the dolphins were finally here from Japan, that the Dolphin show would open in November as planned. If only I knew what kind of conditions they would be living in. I will leave out specific names for now, until I can in fact verify that they are involved with and aware of the conditions the dolphins are being kept in.

The Red Sea is at our backyard, and if this Dolphin show is planning on keeping the dolphin's in natural environments in their final home, why in the WORLD put them in a backyard swimming pool. Why not invest in the help of HEPCA and construct a temporary marine home for them? Oh that's right, because that would mean more money. And as anyone who has done business in Egypt will tell you, (and sadly this holds true for the rest of the world), whatever shortcuts that can be taken to save a few extra dollars, will be taken. The lives of these dolphins are at risk because of a capitalistic ideology of saving money and exploiting our natural resources, without even thinking twice of the consequences. I'm sure these people won't be laughing if their dolphins die before they can make it to the "show."

And what is it exactly that they are going to be doing? Circus tricks, a'la jumping through hoops. Although originally marketed as a way of people being able to swim with dolphins, after a little poking and prodding you will find that this is not really the case. The dolphins will be a party favour for people who want to watch some of the most majestic animals in the world diving through hoops. Why, when the Red Sea is right there, not go and see them in their natural environment? Or if you must insist on going to these shows, at least support the ones that treat their animals humanely!

Picture this, a 5 metre by 5 metre room. Probably the average size of your bedroom. Now picture 2 male dolphins, and 2 female dolphins, bearing in mind that most adult dolphins range between 2 - 4 metres in length, and anywhere from 150 - 600 kg in weight. Four of these adult dolphins, in one small enclosure, you can only imagine how cramped it must actually feel. To top it off, the "filtration system" on the pool is "broken," meaning, these four dolphins are literally swimming in a bedroom sized shit hole, surrounded by their own excrement and God knows what else.

Worse still, is that I had the conversation with this guy over two weeks ago, and the dolphins aren't expected to be moved for another few weeks. Meaning they have been living in this outrageous environment for over half a month, with no end in sight as of yet. It truly, truly saddens me.

Unfortunately, there is little that we can actually do short of raising our voices and getting the awareness out there. I encourage anyone and everyone to do what they can to get these dolphin's stories out there. Don't let more of God's beautiful creations die at the hands of reckless human abuse and behaviour.

And where is HEPCA in all of this?Urging people to avoid spreading rumours, which I highly advocate. However, short of that, their solution is to just "sit tight," and hope for the best, stating that there is "little that can be done for these animals now." Great. I highly doubt, if these animals' quarantine were handled in the appropriate fashion, that this would have become an issue. Regardless, here is HEPCA's news page that promises to keep updates on the welfare of these dolphins.

Sign the petition here, it's the least we can do, as part of doing out bit to preserve these wonderful animals and the life that they should be living.

For more reading on this story, see below.

Red Sea News

My original post and the story taken from The Sun can be found here.

Shameful behaviour. Really.

This is one of those animal rights stories that just makes you sick to your stomach. Dolphins are in my mind one of the most majestic animals in the animal kingdom, and as much as people may say I'd "love to have one as a pet," I'd never actually have the heart to restrain one.

And these residents in Hurghada, keeping the Dolphins in a dirty backyard pool...Waiting for a new dolphinarium to be constructed. All I can say is that I hope it's not the Dolphinarium I know of being opened, belonging to a large cooperate business here. Here's to hoping I can track down where this is...And see exactly what's happening! The below article is taken from The Sun.


ANIMAL campaigners were last night trying to rescue four dolphins being kept in a filthy swimming pool just 30ft square by 13ft deep.

The bottlenoses, two male and two female, were found by a Brit working in Egypt who was alerted by their distinctive cry.

He found them shielded from view by a tarpaulin in the back yard of the tatty villa in Hurghada on the Red Sea coast.

The water is so filthy the 6ft dolphins disappear from view when they dive. And they swim in their own excrement because the filtration system is unable to cope.

The discovery comes just weeks after The Sun helped free two dolphins living in a pool the size of a tennis court in Turkey.

Concerned Egyptian wildlife campaigners are desperately trying to help the new dolphins, which they fear may die if they are not rescued.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association have taken up the case.

HEPCA says the villa's owner claims the dolphins were caught in Japanese waters and not illegally in the Red Sea. It is understood they are to be the main attraction of a dolphinarium currently being built.

A pair of dolphins should not be kept in a pool smaller than 45ft across and 20ft deep.

Pete Johnson, 47, from Lancashire, who found them, said: "The water is disgusting. The dolphins are forced to live in their mess and close to one another."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not my nose!

Wow this last week has been hectic. With the Eid holidays and everybody getting back into the swing of things after the end of Ramadan, people are on the go what seems like constantly.

Last weekend Karim and I spent a night out in Gouna. It was awesome, Gouna really is a beautiful place.

However, with it being Eid and everything, there were of course a load of people on holiday. The Egyptian version of girls from MTV's show "The Hills," basically having more money than they know what to do with. From these girls, I heard the following, which had me in tears laughing. (You can't make this stuff up!!!)

I walk into the girls bathroom, and there is a girl leaning towards the mirror, fussing over her nose. She had obviously just banged her nose on something, and was frantically trying to see if there was anything wrong. She says (I kid you not); "uch, I swear I hope my nose is ok. If it's not, I'm just going to make my parents buy me a new one."

LOL! How could I NOT share that little bit of excess, Egyptian style. :D

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Suz's Tip of the Week

Ok...I know, another girly tip.

Boys, not that there are many that actually read this ( :p) bear with me.

To get rid of nasty, horrible foot pain as a result of women's need to dress to impress, soak your feet in vodka.

That's right, plain old vodka. After a night on the town, in those new heels that you just had to wear, yet wonder where your common sense was, throw your feet into a tub of vodka.

Note: It is your own personal choice if you choose to consume the vodka after soaking your feet. :p

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Egypt and the proposed boycott

This is a story that I have been following with great interest. Not only because I have been living here for over four years and have been able to observe the political spectrum, but because of how this election can potentially re-shape the face of Egypt.

With the polls opening in November, the question on many Egyptians minds is who will succeed the Mubarak throne. Will Gamal assume the post after his father, or will the Egyptian political sphere be shaken up and a new name ascend to the "regal" title of President.

I have quite a few friends who are actively campaigning on facebook for the succession of Gamal to the Presidency. This stirs my interest for a few reasons. Firstly, by Gamal winning the post, would it not make it blatantly obvious that Egypt is in fact a monarchy? Or will he also win the post with an astounding 90 percent of the votes in his favour (cough cough, previous elections ring any bells?).

I have previously posted a story about the Egyptian Cultural Minister rallying a group of intellectuals around him to oppose Gamal's campaign. Unfortunately the nature of political reporting in Egypt is such that it can be quite difficult to gather all the details surrounding each story, as many journalists fear the backlash that may occur if they publish something wrong, or slighted, or even remotely challenging.

Mr. Mohammed ElBaradei is a leading figure in the opposition in Egypt. He is currently rallying the Egyptian youth and population to entirely boycott the elections in November, as "Anyone who participates in the vote either as a candidate or a voter goes against the national will." Mr ElBaradei later told reporters: "If the whole population boycotts the elections totally, it will be in my view the end of the regime."

My opinion on the upcoming elections aside, how is boycotting them entirely going to help? If the population really wants to invoke change, wouldn't voting be the way to do that? How is sitting back and doing nothing not a way of asserting that the population no longer cares, that they have accepted the fact that they have no control over their political future.

To read the full article, check here.

The idiocy continues

To post an update to the story I posted on here regarding the proposed burning of the Qu'ran by a church in the U.S., here is the latest BBC story on it. For those who missed my original post on this story, you can find it here.

Not surprisingly, Gen. Petraeus believes that should this happen, the lives of U.S. troops in Afghanistan would be in greater danger than they are now. No shit, you think Muslims wouldn't be pissed the eff off by a mass burning of their holy book? sigh.

Petraeus: Koran burning plan will endanger US troops

Afghan protesters in Kabul on 6 September 2010 Protesters burned an effigy of Pastor Terry Jones
The top US commander in Afghanistan has warned that troops' lives will be in danger if an American church sticks to its plan to burn copies of the Koran.
Gen David Petraeus said the action could cause problems "not just in Kabul, but everywhere in the world".
Pastor Terry Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center, plans to put copies of the holy book in a bonfire to mark this week's anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
There have already been protests in Afghanistan and Indonesia.

The US embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning the plans by the non-denominational church in Gainesville, Florida.
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Gen Petraeus said in a statement to US media. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems.

"Not just here, but everywhere in the world, we are engaged with the Islamic community," added Gen Petraeus, who heads a 150,000-strong Nato force against a Taliban-led insurgency.

Lt Gen William Caldwell, the commander of the Nato training mission in Afghanistan, told CNN: "It's their holy book, so when somebody says that they're going to destroy that and cause a desecration to something that's very sacred to them, it's already stirred up a lot of discussion and concern amongst the people."

In Kabul on Monday, about 500 protesters chanted "long live Islam" and "death to America" as they set fire to an effigy of Mr Jones.

The controversy comes at a time of already heated debate in the US over a proposal to build a mosque and Islamic cultural centre two streets from Ground Zero, site of the 9/11 attacks, in New York.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Jones acknowledged Gen Petraeus's concerns, but added: "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam. We will no longer be controlled and dominated by their fears and threats."

The planned protest by Mr Jones's previously little-known 50-member Florida church, whose website labels Islam "violent and oppressive", has prompted protests elsewhere, too.

Thousands of mostly Muslim demonstrators rallied around Indonesia last weekend.
Claims that US soldiers have desecrated the Koran in both Afghanistan and Iraq have caused bloodshed in the past.

There were deadly protests in Afghanistan in 2008, when it emerged that a US soldier deployed to Iraq riddled a copy of the holy book with bullets.

And further lives were lost in Afghan riots in 2005 when Newsweek magazine printed a story alleging that US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet.