Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dragon Flies

The mural of dragon flies was done in one os the apartments on the 42nd.? floor of the Millenium Tower in downtown Dubai.
It was not too invovlved of a painting and did not take too long to complete as the owners wanted just dragon flies and nothing more all over their walls.

I spent the afternoon with my son the Naz, was done by night fall. The owners Chris and Amy loved their dragon flies and I am happy that I have two more happy and satisfied customers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Dunes Bashing

Allahu Akhbar! God is indeed great was the feeling felt when I stood outside in the heat and the sea of sand around me. Imagining beneath all the sand is oil the wealth of the nation, I now have a better understanding of what Ibni Arabi meant when he uttered that "the God you worship is beneath my feet, he was not only refering to the pot of gold coins they years later found buried in the sand at the spot where he stood but he might as well be referring to the oild which would be discovered hundreds of years later. The Muslims of his time executed Arabi for his blasphemous remark however today they would have elected him the President,
At last I am really in the desert! My son Timo and I took a trip with the 'Arabian Nights' Tour group which involved a drive thought the desert in the 'Modern day Camels', the Land Cruiser. The Naz insisted that we do this trip and we were glad we did it as it was an experience like no other for anyone who has never been in the desert of the Middle East before.

The drive itself was as harrowing an experience in driving as one could imagine as we slipped and slided through the sand up and down the dunes at the mercy of our driver and owner of the company, Amir. He drove single handedly like he was going to the super market while talking to his buddy on the cellphone, while i was holding on to the seat for my dear life half expecting the car to roll over.

Driving in the sand was like driving in the snow except that sand has better grip than snow. The drivers would deflate the tyres to a certain pressure before they take the drive as this would stabalize the car better.

It was quite a sight to see a convoy of Land Cruisers racing through the Dunes loaded with frightened tourists and at the mercy of a sadistic Emarati drivers. We arrived at our destination late in th evening to be greeted by a bunch of camels racing after their owners in a pickup truck. It was an added bonus for us to be able to be up close with these awesome creatures, this is their country.

Towards the night we were offered various entertainment including a belly dancing performance and a great BBQ cookout ala Dubai.

Like their counterparts everywhere in the world the tour operators, the BBQ pit men, the guy at the souvenir stand, the hip long haired young stud who has crossed the cultural barriers from being a Desert Beduin to a cool western kick ass punk, all had an attitude towards tourists like us. We are the idiots who are there to be taken care off with all curtersies and respect due, we paid for it but that is as far as it goes. Going the extra mile is for the boss or the owner and bending backwards to bew extra friendly would be too much to ask for and this is as I said, common everywhere in the world of resorts and other hospitality industries. I am talking from experience of having been involved in a few as an employee.

It was also great to meet up with the locals especially Amir out driver and host who was a vast source of information with regards to the local culture and history and the who is who and owns what in Dubai. According to Amir almost 70 percent of the locals in Dubai can trace their ancestery back to Southern Iran. Like in most countries, the drop outs of society those who cant make it in life for lack of education or simply poor can join the army and get a good steady income. Another common topic of conversation in and around Dubai is the price tag of acquiring 'cool' number plates for one's car. The lesser the digits the more expansive off course and the Royal family has their own set of numbers allocated like in most other countries where who is who means alot more than who knows what. The plates can be bought at auctions and the price can be as high as thousands of dollars for the three digits. If I had my way I would get the longest and most difficult number to read on my vehicle just in case I have to outrun the law, my adversaries or my in laws. Only a fool would want his vehicle easily recognized on a public road or in the parking lot where an unhappy customer can walk alongside it with a key in his hand and bad intentions or revenge in his mind. Ahh what we would do in the name of the all mighty ego!!

According to Amir, our host camels have a strong sense of 'revenge' when they are being consistantly abused. Not unlike the elephants I thought to myself.The animal was known to have killed its master after being abused for a long period of time. There are many names given to camels in the Arabic language which coincides with their growing up where each stage from an infant to adulthood they are known by different names. They would eat anything including plastic wrappers and thus are kept away from garbage dumps.

Having henna painted on your skin is another of the freebies that is offered at the camp.
The delicious dinner consisted of rice and dal curry with beans. Chicken kebeb on sticks and BBQ minced beef. Also included were the typical Middle Eastern food like the felafel and homus dip. Everyone were stuffed by the time we left the place and not before we had a taste of the shisha or water pipe while more stories were told of the th life in the desert.

My 5th Mural

Proud owner of "The Fall" standing before the painting in his living room. Awesome! was his immediate remark and looks like I am really standing with the mountains behind me after he looked at the picture from the camera. Not bad if i may say so myself and it was fun doing it tooo!!

After words got around that there is a Malaysian Artist running around the building and painting on the walls in the living rooms at the Al Manazel, I was again commisioned to do yet another wall on the 4th floor. The owner another Emerate Pilot wants something form his home scene in the US. He is from Colorado and wanted a fall scene of mountains and lakes.

I got some help this time from my son Timo who seem to have the talent for it and enjoyed painting just like his dad. He seemd confident at it as i sat and watched and came up with a well drawn mountain range much as u had expected if I had done it myself only i was a little slowere because of getting sore in my arms and back.

The Naz is now the 'manager' making sure his dad got enough works lined up for the future, and quite good at it too. If it all works out I might have something going here for my Art as a source of lucrative income. Although I charge the works relatively very cheap I can still make it a go once i break into the Dubai art scene. It is a matter of time and connections or advertisement through word of mouth.

Again I raise my heart towrds my Maker and in all humility say Alhamdullilah!! Thank you Ya Karim, Lord for Your bounty comes from sources that I never dreamed of as always, InSha'Allah!.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Son arrived the other day, he came to the world..

If anyone spots this kid running around in the airport terminal do tell him his dad is looking for him.

My Swiss boy arrives today and i am both anxious and excited wondering what he looks like. What a life Bahari! Look what you have got yourself into. Dont even have any idea what your son looks like and he is 23 already!

Well chill out Dude! Everyone makes mistakes only some makes em bigger than others.

So, what do you do when you have an adult kid on your hand? Just put him to work, nothing heals the soul better than pure ordinary work.

Friday, April 24, 2009

When The Buddha Kicks back and relax

Who's the the lucky man? The naz decided to take Eli and i for a Thai dinner at the Madinat whre you have to take a boat to get to the restaurant. I wondered if they ever had guests falling over and having to be rescued out of the waters before they got to the place, what with all the drinking and so on.

The best deep fried shrimp wrapped in noodles was something out of this world and the rest was history. When you pay a price for the evening you expect the best and no less and the services at the Pat Thai Restaurant at the Jumeirah Madinat lived up to its standard in all respect, like four thumbs up for good food and dining.

Yep it is hard to digest that this is a scene from Dubai. One would think that i was in Bangkok or Chengmai. I got to watch out for those long nails!
But this is what the maktoum must have in mind when he decided that Dubai serves nothing but the best even if it is from foreign cultures. Most of the employees except for the chefs were Philipinos I found out but they were as equally charming and one could never tell the difference if they were Thais or not.

Oh what a life it is! Not too long ago I had to give up my lodging because I could not pay the rent in Penang. I was forced to beg and borrow from friends and relatives just to make sure my daughter had some money for her school needs and dumped my son Karim with his auntie and marissa with yet another, but.. hey such is the Buddha once said such Is. I am the elegant beggar a man with nothing to show for as so called successful men goes but I glad that I am able to enjoy life every once in a while and this makes it twice if not ten times more relishing than if I had been wealthy myself.

If all these are illusions then so be it as this ttoo will pass...but in the meantime, this Buddha is going to soak it all in with gusto! Three cheers for the needy and for the rich for it is all relative and a matter of being able to go with the flow and ride the waves of success and defeat without drowning in the process.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Taste of culture

One of the sources of income in the Dubai Emerates region was pearl diving. Most of the pearl divers lived along the coast and were also fishermen when not diving for pearls. The local used to live a simple life with most of their homes built out of tatched reeds and strips of wood barks. most are double rooms with a varandah set oustside for guests to sit and shoot the breeze. I am at the "Creek" visiting the cultural exposition center for the benifit of visitors to have a taste of what was Dubai like not too long ago.

The 'Pugeater'

Got to watch my son does his thing in the Hockey matches played at the Al Nasr Ice rink. Wearing the number One Jersey of "The Mighty Camels" Naz plays the Goal keeper as he has always played eversince he played for the University of San Jose in Carlifornia. Nope, the guy wearing the Bahari Jersey is not my son but a friend and fellow team member, Alex, another cool Emerate Pilot who just needed a jersey then. So I got Baharis running around the ice rink and getting whooped by the guest team made up of a group of young 'Camel Riders' from Abu Bhabi.
I cannot say that I was totally into the watching the game as the cold of the place got me so much so that my body was screaming with aches and pains and i kept slipping out of the building every so often to get some heat back in me. But to watch my son doing what he loves doing was enough for me even if he got his butt kicked by the younger more coordinated and more agressive team. All in all i must admit that he did a good job at stopping the shots which could have been worse had the goal keeper were not as good. I am not saying this because he is my son but also the fact that he played with the NHL team members on their visit to Dubai and stopped a one on one shot made by Jarri Kurri a player from Finland(?) and got a pat on the back for it. Naz said that it was his proudest moment playing ice hockey as a goalie.

The games were sponsored by Emerates Air and needless to say alot of effort and money is being put into these tournaments. Jack Guererro, another pilot and Naz's friend designed this advertisement stand located in the lobby of the Al Nasr Sports Arena and it has both Jack's and Naz's faces included among the faces of the goalies. This is yet another very far sighted look of whoever is planning for the future of Dubai creating an environment where nothing is left out even as far as sports that is normally played in countries that has snow or winter and definately not a desert country. Not unlike Las Vegas in the US where pyramids are built to import scenes and lures from other cultures for those who love and can afford to travel. Enjoy a hockey game and know that it is warm as ghell outside!

Ice Hockey is a good game for naz as he has in him the Bahari 'Fury' or as some of my relatives had accused me of in Malay Panas Baran sometthing like a rage within ever waiting to explode. I am not proud in admitting this weakness in my nature or as i can feel it in my son either, however frailty of human nature inherent in my gene has seen me through one too many dangerous or threatening situations in my life and travels in the past. My meditational practices was partly learned and developed in addressing this flaw in my character. How bad was it? I used to have to visit a shrink when I was working in San Francisco at my boss's expense to the tune of 75 USD an hour! (with special discount as my former boss was also a client) I told my boss then that I would be alot less angry if he had paid me 75 bucks an hour instead! But I guese that was not how things work inlife even in America.

The practice of Zen Meditation techniques and the Islamic ZikruAllah (chanting God's name) has till now got me to mellow out somewhat with an added bonusses which only this blog and time can tell as i progress in age. I am forever indebted to Bodhidharma's teachings of Dhyana or Zazen or Sitting Meditaton as it was through this practice that i was ably to free my mind from the anger that I had carried with me since childhood some of which is too shamefull or painful to even share with my closest kin and kith.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Simple Twist of Fate....

I spoke to my son for the first time yesterday morning when he called me from Switzerland and it was an awkward if not scary experience for both of us, I know it was for me in the beginning. After a while i realized I am talking to a young adult Swiss who spoke with a heavy German accent. We spoke for a few minutes about him coming to meet me in Dubai and I could tell that he was very excited and yet due to his lack of fluency in English had a hard time communicating his feelings. Timo was almost eighteen when I found out that i had a son living under his grand parents' name in Switzerland and he got in touch with me through the email after discovering who i was via my blogging (?). I never had the slightest doubt and accepted him as a part of the Bahari clan for what it is worth. I sensed a very angry and confused kid back then and not that I can blame him, however he had the Bahari genes in him and the Bahari spirit of, Never say die and there is a meaning to all these if we see it through to the end in a positive spirit of living life rather than moaning and groaning about every ups and down in life.

I met his mother while i was living and practicing Zen Buddhism at the green Gulch Zen Center in Sausalito, Marin County, California. We did the practices period together and got to know oneanother up close and personal too close perhaps that resulted in my having a child without knowing about it untill eighteen years later. God Is Great! That was how I felt when I first receved the news in my email and yes He works in mysterious ways indeed. To have a child out of wedlock is a big NO! NO! by any dogma or religious equations but to deny my resposibilty of
my actions is an even greater sin in my equation. So as i said before in every prayer or when I tyalk to my Maker I say a special prayer for me and my son that we can one day make right what was considered wrong, how, when I left it to the AlMighty in His infinite grace and Compassion. In my life there finger pointers and accusers of my 'wild and irresponsibles ways', these ther will always be forever till the day I depart this physical life. To these I can only say that if their fingers are absolutely clean of sins they have not lived life and what a bloody shame to have merely occupied space and time while all the time hiding behind their piety and selfrighteousness.

On the twenty fifth Timo will arrived here to be with me and his older brother and we will get to know one another on this neutral ground of Dubai, half way from Swistzerland and Malaysia, where we will be together without any close relatives or friends to interrupt or distract us with their curiousity and judegemental minds. The Creator has arranged for this to happen for me perhaps to enlighten the burden I have been carryin g in the form of self guilt and regrets. He has given me the opportunity to perhaps erase my Karma with my son and truly embrace him as mine here and in the hereafter. To perhaps be able to ask for forgiveness for the blunder that has caused him his early years in life without knowing who his Dad was. I have no regrets for what is done is done and the AlMighty is to me still OftForgiving and allows for things to happen for His reasons and His alone, I am merely the player and played my role as I am still. I welcome my son with open heart and soul and if as written in the scriptures that I shall suffer the wrath of my Maker for my transgressions in the afterlife, InSha'Allah, so be it.

In this life, today, I have four children, three boys and a beautiful girl and what more blessings can I ask? Three are Americans and one a Swiss their grandparents on my side are made up of my father who was from Sri Lanka and my mother who was born in Medan, Indonesia, how global can one get in a gene tree.

I was

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Livestrong! - The Lance Amstrong story

Yesterday my son and I sat in his 'mini theater' and watched Le Tour de France which showed Lance Amstrong's ride of the decade into being 7 times Le Tour's wearer of the 'yellow jersey'. I had just completed reading his book entitled; Lance Amstrong, 'It's Not About the Bike' and in some instantces was moved by the man's discriptions of his struggle with Testicle cancer which almost robbed him of his life and later came back to become the 7 times Tour champion. It was a very straight to the core and a revealing kind of sharing of one's experience with fear and death, about being brought to one's knees and about rising to overcome and rebounding against all odds. It is about a human triumph against the most feared of deseases- cancer.

I have often enough ran my mouth to those who likes to moan and groan about all their misgivings in life like yours truly, not to make it a cancer case and this is a quote from my one time Love of my life Ms. Debby Marsh who used it on me ever so often. It has stuck with me ever since to a great extent has become an antedote to alot of moments in my life when things got too tangled up. Having read Amstrong's challenges against this number one killer among deseases I felt humbled by reflecting on how my own mother spent nine years of her life as a 'guinea pig' in the search for the cure of Tuber Culosis at the Lady Templar general Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. How my family was torn assunder by the very fact that she was not with us for the most part of her life to make right the wrongs that befell each and every single member of my sibblings as we grew up at the mercy of others, for a mother is othe one person who will protect her children come what may and without her one's life and future is an open game. Amstrong's mother and not his wife was the totem pole of his life in his hours of need.

last year I lost someone I love to cancer of the throat, my brother-in law Syed Ahmad Syed Abd. Rahman who passed away while in the Cancer Resaerch Institute(?) in Kuala Lumpur. I was with off and on while he s suffering from this killer and held his hands and massaged his frail and fleshless body while whispering meaningless words like dont give up, hang in there and at the very end before they took him to the hospital from Kuala terenggnau to KL, I whispered for him to 'letting go, which was the most painful thing for me to do but needed to let him know that clingign on to this life is what is holding him back and prolonging his pains. There was apoint in our touching each other's hand that he was abled to held and squeezed my hand an I felt like it was a farewell gesture just before i left to return to Penang. The very next morning they removed him to KL Hospital where he passed on. Had i came across Lance Amstrong's book in facing his ordeal I am positive that i would have done alot more, understanding how.

I was also moved to reflect upon the fate of my present wife Nancy Buss Bahari who is at present sitting in a Nursing Home somewhere in Southern Illinois, withering away from the effects of Altzeimer's desease. There is no known cure for her as two medical specialists wrote to me and so the chances of being with my wife as i had known her is gone forever unless the AlMighty is merciful enough to grant me yet another Saving Grace and make things happen, its a Miracle of miracles, it would be but hey the Creator is full of surprises if one believe in Him absolutely and nothing id beyond His mysterious ways... I am a believer!

The day before I left Penang to come here I made a donation of one of my paintings valued at 4000RM to the TB Foundation in Malaysia under the auspices of the USM Organizers of an expositon held a day earlier at the G Hotel and officially opened by the Vice Chancellor, I was there for the ceremony. This was my contribution towards the quest for cure of this almost forgotten number two killer in- the past at least, it was for the memory of my mother, may Allah protect her and keep her safe in His mercy for she had suffered long enought when she was alive. I know of this first hand as in my teenage years i used to share the same bedroom with her and watched her across from me every night sitting up to breath and the pain the was written on her face with every breath and burps she made, it was painful for me to even watch at times and i would bury my head into the pillows pretending I was asleep. Such Is Life!

Yesterday as i was strolling with my son inside the Video shop at the Mall of the Emerates I came upon a book and started reading it because I was attracted to its title.."The End of Karma" by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. When I first saw it I thought to myself, yep, here's another spiritual guide towards better lving kind of book but what the heck, lets see what it has to offer. I was pleasantly surprised that the book is about spiritality based on the teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Another gift, another perspective another door another road sign towards that which i seek only from someone I have long heard of but never got know about. So be it, while my son got his purchase of videos I got my spiritual reading.


"God is only One, the Doer of everything...this is also your true identity..."
As a Muslim, whenever I seethe word 'God' I replace it Allah(SWT), and this statement is my personal statement to myself over the years although with slight reservation out of respect (adab) towards my Maker. I believe that only the essence or (Zat) of The Creator is hidden within me or that I am merely a twinkling or His pressence or manifestation and further more I do not trust that I have complete power over my ego, Thus with every positive affirmation I make upon myself from whatever sources i might have learned throughout my journey the Islamic way of saying 'Insha'Allah' of God willing is added silently to myself. Yes I believe in His will and not mine that dictates my every move, thoughts and actions, right or wrong is my personal choice. If our great modern day 'Ulama's and religious teachers could express the Devine knowledge in the language that i can comprehend best, (which is English for me) I would more than gladly had read them and put them to the task of understanding. Unfortunate to my sense of regret I amnot well verse in Bahasa Melayu and even worse when it comes to the Quranic language of the Arabs, so when a book comes to me and my gut feelings whispers in my ear that this is it, I grab the book and make it my companion for the duration of the journey.

I am hooked for the next few pages and the shop sold another item and the Author got another disciple for the duration of the reading. Such too Is Life!

Everytime i pray to the AlMighty, ( which is almost daily) I have asked Him, among other things to protect and guide my children adding with, wherever they are. Yesterday evening when we returned from the mall and opened my email I found a mail from my long lost son who happens to be in the Swiss Alps somewhere. Although I never expressed my thoughts and feelings to many but in my heart whenever I spoke to my Maker I had included and special prayer for my Swiss boy and last night i felt overwhelmed to receive his email after months of being incognito. Alhamdullilah!! Just knowing that he too is thinking of me was a blessing to my undeserving heart. Thank you Lord for this miracle of blogging! Alhamdullilah!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Touching base with what Is.

Almost a month now that i have been here in Dubai and just like another fleeting dream another journey is about to come to a close. It is a dream of a traveller in seeking the fortunes of life far beyond the just material and emotional gains, it is the dream path of a seeker whose confusion and ignorance has lead him to undertake these journeys that his eyes may be opened and his heart may be broken. It is a path of unveiling the truths only the seeker can come to eventually comprehend for his own understanding and ultimately his own salvation. It is the journey towards The Lord of Power as that taken by master Muhyideen Ibni Arabi (May Allah bless his soul), a journey towards the Lord of Truth as that taken by the Sheikh Kadir al Jilani (May Allah protect his secrets) and it is the journey taken by Gautama The Buddha some two thousand six hundred years ago to attain towards the Liberation of His soul.

A few nights ago i sat alone facing the PC listening to "Amazing Grace" On the youtube, i listened to the song sung by just about everyone who sang the song from Willie Nelson to Eretha Franklin, and all the in betweens great singers.

"John Newton wrote the words to one of the most beloved hymns of all time between 1760 and 1770, while working as an evangelical pastor. Son of the commander of a merchant ship, Newton was captain of a slave ship for many years, until he underwent a dramatic religious conversion while steering his vessel through a storm.
Repenting and regretting the misery he had inflicted on the thousands of human cargo he had transported across the Middle Passage for many years, he devoted his life to the Church, and wrote the lyrics to many hymns which are still popular today.
In 1780 Newton left Olney to become rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Mary Woolchurch, in London. There he drew large congregations and influenced many, among them William Wilberforce. Newton continued to preach until the last year of life, although he was blind by that time. He died in London December 21, 1807."

Amazing Grace (How sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,

T'was Grace that heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

After listening and watching the performances by these greats in every style and in every places, especuially the one sanf infront of the President of the US, Barak Obama on his inauguration day in front of hundreds and thousands of people, I was moved. If only each and everyone of us could awaken to the words and its meanings regradless of who we are, that we may come to be a little more humble and less arrogant in dealing with our fellow man. That we may at least acknowledge of a higher authority than our puny human minds can ever come to comprehend that is dealing the cards for us regardles if we be kings or paupers, idiots or geniuses, black or white. Perhaps with this small realization we may come to understand ourselves better and our place among humanity, our roles towards our fellow man and worship less our personal egos and its crave for domination of the spirit.

The Greatest Miracle of the Century is at my fingertips! With this instrument I can reach out and touch each and every single internet user, well at least those who take the trouble to read blogs or own one, however the computer is what it is, a product of the Collective Mind of the Universe expressing itself in every possible form and subjects addressing each and every pressing issues faced by man, giving hopes and destroying them (when abused). This is only the beginning of the 'Real Cyberspace', the edge of the galaxy of the the collective spirit that is edgeing towards the center of humanity's conciousness, the center of 'our universe'. It is the journey that we are all taking, we are all seeking, that each and everyone of us has in one form or another arole to play no matter how small or significant for better of for worse so long as we are attached to this 'Univesal Life', breathing the same air and drinking the same water that has evolved on our planet.

If we deem ourselves free from any form of collective attatchment, that we are single and anwserable only to our personal 'selves', so bet it, it too is okay for there is no laws that say one has to or not except those laws that governs Nature. The law of nature is basic and simple, you breath the same air and drink the same water and are a product of the four basic elements you are subject to a certain irrefutable laws of nature. You are never free from this natural laws and these laws are univesal for all beings and no I am not going to ask you who created these laws. I am not going to subject myself to asking you who said you have to have this amount of water each day to live or that if you stop breathing you are dead. Nope, these simple truths your mind has been asking you since the day you could ask questions to yourself, like how come i got five fingers instead of six, wouldn't six be more efficient? Why must there be seven days in a week why not eight? Yes, you asked these questions in your head for lack of better things to do and its been there all along and there is nothing you can do to remove it but to find the answers for yourself, why me? Ultimately, who am I???

Personally, I am a man who at sixty is still without a home and my wife and children scattered all over and cared by others. 'I have squandered my resistance for a pocket full of marbles' as Bob Dylan wrote in one of his lyrics, today I am still lost in the dark wandering all over the world seeking for answers while making bwelieve that i have a goal in life. Truths be spoken are often painful and to reveal my inner being and my thoughts are even more so, it is like peeling an onion layer by layer in the effort to make sense out of non-sense. Failing to ahcieve any satisfirable answers i sought help from great teachings and worthy teachers of old and contemporary and read like an addict every form of materials from whatever sources i could lay my hands on that I may untangle the tangles. Still I am lost in the dark groping for what is and what should be or could have been for my mind is such that it has become addicted to contemplation for answers to what life is and what it meant to me, why am I alive in the first place and how can altruistically, I benifit my fellow man in being here other than occupying space, sucking up air and polluting up the waters around me.

The blog has become yet another tool fo me in my long search for answers just as the convenience of my son being an airline pilot has allowed yet another veneu to make travelling possible or at least cheaper. My life I have come to realize is more and more dependant on the 'Whole', I am as i set out to be, becoming a Universal Man. My thoughts are slowly but surely evolving towards merging with the collective thinking of 'Humanity' as my quests and the ups and downs are no less greater or smaller than that of the next man only through this 'Great Miracle of the Century' I am able to share them with the few that care or dare to wander into my domain. At the very least before I depart this stage i can say that i have lived life and was able to untangle some of its tangles that i have created along the way and in livng and in trying to understand my life i have come to understand who I am and my relationship to the rest of the Uiversal Mind at least those that are in tune with my frequency and channels of existance. This is the Cheeseburger Buddha having his small state of Satori as the dawn breaks over the city of Dubai in the Emerates.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The New City

My nephew Jamal came to Dubai and stayed a day or two while on his way to Italy together with his Boss. Naz and i picked him up at the Grand Hyatt and took him out for a branch at the Dubai Mall. It was a weekend and the too early in the morning for the locals to be out of bed and attacking the Mall yet and so we had an easy time checking the mall out. The Mall has one of the biggest indoor salt water aquarium I have seen and it held a good variety of fishes from the seas around the Gulf.

We took Jamal later to Naz's apartment to kick back abit and enjoyed 'The Planet Earth" at naz's 'Movie theater', I could tell Jamal was impressed. By the look at him in the picture I could not imagine that this was the kid I used to lug around when he was a baby and today he is among my favorite nephews and nieces and not because he is successful in life alone but mainly because he has a very down to earth humble and highly spiritualized discipline about him despitwe his successes in life.

The Naz and his cousin are about the same age and the last time they met was when the naz was sixteen or seventeen and had visited Malaysia with his Mom. The grew up in two totally different environment and circumstances but both has accomplished great heights in their fields of endeavors and occupations. Looking at them, they are still kids at heart and I am a lucky father and uncle.

Walking through the Gold Souk part of the Mall can turn your heart upside down if you are into wealth and riches in the material world. Some of the watches and jewelleries on display could easily buy a comfortable home in Malaysia or Indonesia, or feed a family of four for the entire year. Such is, whoever has the means to own these items I am sure does not have living in Malaysia or Indonesia as their ultimate dream in life.

Dubai five to ten years down the road when all the dust of costructions has settled down and the Global economy has bounced back, will become the hub of trade and tourism for the Middle East if not the Eastern Hemisphere of this planet as a whole. It is the dream of the Maktoum and his far sightedness to invest into the construction of Dubai as a Mega Mall or the Mall of Malls for the Global Consumers.

The infra structures are being maticulously laid out and all ammnities and conveniences of serving a Global Market is carefully studied. Personels from different countries and backgrounds are being hired and trained to upkeep a high operational and performance standard albeit running a six or seven star hotel or workijng the checkout counters at Hardees or Lu LU's.
Dubai may be owned by the Emeratis Arabs but it sure as hell is run by foreigners in almost every aspect of the business as well as physical management of the city. As most expatriates here has expressed it will take many years for the Arab locals to come to a realization that they will have to get their butts off their sheepskin rug and start to learn how to do real work if they are to survive in the own City. At present they are mostly living in an Arabian Nights dream as the Emerates Governement is amking sure tha they are fully catered to in all their creature comforts.