Category Archives: Life

In the name of the father

17 September 1983, my mother had just brought me to life in a hospital in Ashrafieh. As they drove through the war torn streets, the USS New Jersey was pounding the Lebanese coast in a conflict that was going strong for the eighth year with no signs of stopping. Cotton buds stuffed in my ears, my father, then 32, drove us in his yellow Datsun to safety in streets that were ruled by war thugs and watched over by snipers.

This certainly wasn’t the scenario my parents had envisioned for their life. This wasn’t the Lebanon that was celebrated in songs nor the pearl of the orient that was the hottest destinations to go to. All dreams were broken at this time. Survival was the dream and the way was the challenge. While some people packed their bags and left on a one way ticket, they decided to stay hoping that by the time I’m young enough to dream, guns would have been silenced and life would have picked up again.

Years passed on like pages quickly flipped in a book. A relative peace came to my country in the early 1990s and from there on, my father helped me dream. He inspired me at a very young age to manage a business when he taught me the nuts and bolts of his trade and showed me how to be respectful and humble when dealing with others. My father also helped me define many moments in my life when he backed me to choose my education and encouraged me to venture abroad.

Looking back at all the sacrifices he made, at all the lessons he gave me and at the love he provided me with, I can’t be but luckily thankful to him and I only wish that one day, I can be the person he has been to me. I love you dad.

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Which apple are you?

The human relationship is a complex domain. Driven by a complex web of basic instincts, social pressures and personal motivators and detractors, our dealing with others in life is a daily challenge as every action we do or word we say serves to accomplish a need that is nestked in that web.

Yesterday I enjoyed “surreal” humoristic conversation with a friend where we compared people to fruits. As much as humor is the essence of such material I pondered on the subject a little bit…

When shopping for fruits, we select ones that are fresh, colorful and not spoiled. Picking our friends is no different. We tend to cherry pick our friends thinking they are the best people to surround ourselves with. Our friends’ presence enlightens us, colors our lives with knowledge or small talk that amuses us and their wisdom when we need them serves as a torch to our fears and insecurities.

Fruits left in the fridge for so long lose their vitality. The same is true with any relationship that is not nurtured well enough. Lovers break up if their love is a frail lacklustre thing that had its glories in the past.

You bite that perfect apple only to find a worm crawling its way out for some sunshine. Things may look beautiful on the outside of any relationship yet scratch the surface to find the underlying negative thoughts. They don’t exist everywhere but when they do, they are labelled as hypocrisy, hate, envy among others.

Now who will you think about when you bite that apple?


Making an addiction universal

Say goodbye to BlackBerry’s exclusivity on mobile messengers, relieve yourself from the pressure of owning a BB…Whatsapp is taking over and it is available on almost every smartphone. RIM, the people who brought you the BB, did not foresee the potential market of mobile messenger service beyond their phones. Had they stepped in and sold or developed their messenger on other devices’ platforms, there would not be Whatsapp today or to say the least, Whatsapp would have struggled to penetrate and differentiate itself in this service. To all non BB users, there is no need anymore to buy a BB and pay a subscription charge to benefit from a messenger service! To BB users, a gradual migration from BBM to Whatsapp will gain pace as users grow tired of the small circle of the BB. Universality in tomorrow’s mobile apps is the name of the game and Whatsapp has set a beautiful example.

I like the Whatsapp experience and its simplicity…after all, it’s a messenger built for phones, unlike other messengers (MSN, Gtalk etc.) who moved from p.c. to phone.  In contrast to BBM, I don’t have to memorize complex pin numbers to add contacts and I can quickly tell who from my mobile contacts uses the application and reach them.

What worries me on the other hand, is that as we use this service more, we will be talking less and we’ll be spreading the “BB like addiction”, the one Jerry Seinfeld brilliantly mocked. So going forward, expect less phone calls and more “heads down” and if you’re a Whatsapp user, my remedy advice to you is to create a new status: “socializing…will get back to you when done”.

Roland

 


Houston…do you read me?

Write on my wall, tweet me, tell me where you are,  like me, connect with me, tell me what’s hot what’s not??, tag me, comment on my post, follow me, react to me, chat with me , poke me, google me, disqus me, quora it, email me??? (dying I know), flicker me…ok, enough I think you get my point. The internet has leapfrogged into a whole new jargon and meanings that no one would have been able to interpret just few years ago and its new tools that are built around the new digital social fabric are becoming more powerful and creative by the day, empowering us and leaving a high impact on whatever we do in our life, be it for business, fun or any other purpose.

What we are living today in my opinion is the climax stage of the information age. Just twenty years ago, we had to go to a library to do our research, we had to use costly mediums to market to a limited audience and we had to call friends to invite them to a party…examples just to name a few. All three activities can be taken care off today from the comfort of one’s house without the need to go out, to talk to humans,  to see the sun.

Although we are getting more and more into the eye of the revolution in this information age, we are starting to miss out more on the human factor. Gradually, we are satisfying more needs that involved frequent interactions and communication with others by clinging to our laptops, ipads, iphones, etc. and exploring what the web with its fantastic offerings has for us everyday.

I am no social psycho analyst trying to see the measured effect of this trend on every one’s life. That requires years of research. However, it all starts for me from personal awareness on how we should think in the future about managing our new life while making best use of the digital world and leveraging the importance and sheer joy of engaging in direct human relations . So instead of going through your friend’s 500 photo album for 1 hour tonight, call him/her and go for a coffee.


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