Blogging… Re-start!

Has it been at least a year & 5 months since my last post? Life got quite hectic for me.

Things have started to take off for me, as I’m finally settled into a routine day schedule. You may have guessed it – I’m finally employed in Qatar Airways. I know I struggled for quite a while looking for a job, and not even following the indoctrinated old fashion method of CV/resume by the word.

In the Middle east region, they are used to using both words for the same thing. Whereas CVs have a more academic focus area with publications and other scholarly accomplishments, resumes are geared towards more professional/corporate environments. You would use the former if you’re looking to apply to a college/university for a job.

Anyways, it seems that I’m back in my groove and looking to restart proper journal blogging. Let’s see what else props up for me to share…

Oh, I’ve been putting out quirky things on my Tumblr blog – do check it out.

Next step

Recently, I’ve been noticing the amount of visibility that I’ve been getting with the way I’ve been using social media. Not only Facebook and Twitter, but also Foursquare and many more.

I thought it best that I’d use my experience and start a new blog that I proudly call ‘The Social Philanthropist’. Why? I believe that I can provide and open and free resource for young people to use when they entre the professional world. I believe that personal branding supplements the generations old practice of screening via resumes & CV. In the Middle East, though the job market is highly favoring the nationals and any possible full-time opportunities for fresh university graduates exclusively reserved for them, it’s best that prospective applicants learn to carve out their own niche in this competitive and globalized world. Don’t forget that there are unofficial quotas of nationals and expats that companies tend to fill. There would be favoritism for hiring anyone with citizenships out of the 33 visa waiver nations, but there is one harsh reality that they will not deny let alone publicly acknowledge – they need people from the Subcontinent and South-East Asia to help the company run.

Even when you have parents who have gone out of their way to give you a better education at a prestigious college but you’re still judged by the pasport you hold, do not let that be a deterrent to finding a job. I realized that there is a big wide gap for personal branding, and companies don’t even pay attention to it because they feel that their way will always be the right way. They don’t feel like investing the time to learn more about a prospective candidate through various other outlets. It’s an investment of corporate resources when you hire someone new, only to become more expensive when you see the real picture. In a world where social media is now made many things transparent, we can no longer restrict the flow of information. There is a difference between resumes and CV, but the Middle East uses them interchangeably. I want to quell much of this and help educate the youth masses in the GCC. Though the GCC has the money to pull of things, it will always be lagging behind other nations in every other societal aspect.

This blog will remain online for your perusal, but it may not be frequently updated as often as what I have planned for The Social Philanthropist (http://socialphilanthropist.wordpress.com). Make sure to check it out after Tuesday when I’ll be outing my introductory post.

Eye opener

Seems like I’ve got a lot to talk about for this one, but this week has been an eye opener for me. A lot has taken place this week, but I’ll break it down in a detailed list.

I’ve seen the ‘humanity’ or extreme lack thereof in the youth. If they say that the future lies in their hands, then it has just become our undoing. The youth of this generation and even before can’t even prioritize what’s important as they are just focused on being cool and don’t give a shit of what’s happening. If 2012 does unfold, they won’t have a chance to make “big money” as they dream – they might just be facing the ultimate judgement. Just yesterday, I decided to observe One Day Without Shoes as part of TOMS Shoes global movement of raising awareness for those people around the world who don’t have any form of footwear. I had even sent out an email to the entire community, encouraging them to participate.

Imagine young children who walk barefoot across uneven rough land strewn with trash, some of which would be sharp. It’s an open invitation to bruises and cuts, and possibly infections. If we can’t show our support, then why do people choose to sensationalize it only for it to die down after a furore?

“Oh, I’ll get my dress dirty.”, “Who cares?”, “Why should I even bother?”, and more would be kind of responses one would get. “My feet will hurt,” and “just give them money!” are the most obvious ones. Firstly, your feet have to hurt because those who don’t have them are one’s suffering. Second, anyone can give money, but how many of those charity channels are really being honest esp. when you look at the number of charities popping up when a natural disaster takes place (take Haiti and Chile as an example)? I learned that charity begins at home, not just by giving money. It has to come from the heart. I realized just how complacent the youth have become because of all the luxuries that have spoilt them. Even parental guidance plays a role as they never instill the old ethos about how people suffer. If this keeps up with every spoilt teenager entering college and their eyes don’t open up to reality soon enough, life as we know it will be perpetually consumed by all the conflict and wars that we are waging – on terra-forma and the digital cyber plane.

Even with all the jeering I was secretly getting along with the so-called ‘sympathy’, I still stuck to my commitment and successfully clocked 12 hours barefoot. I will take this opportunity to thank those who I felt that they helped observe One Day Without Shoes:
[CMUQ] Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Keghani Kristelle
[NUQ] Moza Al-Derham, Fatma Al-Nasr

Here’s the list with their details

  1. The Dean’s “Six Quotes from Six Years” finally culminated into a nice balance between humor, historical reflection and even professional counseling. I know it because I tweeted the key moments of it, especially his so-called six quotes. It was a nice trip down memory lane, as I remembered all that has unfolded infront of my eyes over the years since I came to this college in 2005. In an instant, plenty of things whizzed by in head for the years we spent in the first two homes.On another note, something spectacular did take place following the dinner reception. Shakir and Florent we’re having a nice conversation about the Dean’s successor, but he’s the Interim Dean until a permanent one can be found. Trust me, for those of you who missed it…..you probably wished you were there. I doubt they can recollect any of those details if you were to ask them now – or I might be proven wrong but won’t have that same level of attention that it had on Wednesday.
  2. In other news, I didn’t get to watch the Student vs. Faculty/Staff football game that took place yesterday – it ended in a tie when I heard it from one of the players. A nice way to have the Dean play as a sendoff to his tenure here at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. David Guetta was also in town performing to his One Love tour, but they raised the age to 21. Big loss for those who bought the tickets earlier. For those who went, and I know some of whom who could have gone, they think the party life is more important than to see the one man who ran the college you study.
  3. I’ve been thinking of starting a technology blog to help simplify anything new to those who don’t have a techy brain to understand the details. Many people are soo absorbed into it but they don’t understand the details. I’m thinking of doing the entries here but categorize them and tagged them as needed. I’ll have to think more as to how to effectively make it compelling for those to read it.
  4. My bucket list keeps growing from my previous post, but I’m not going to add more entries until I’ve shrunk them down to something more manageable. Luckily I submitted the Orientation Application 1 minute before midnight. this will make 5 years on the team if I make it – the same number of fingers that make up my hand.
  5. A new aquatic park is opening up in Qatar, and that also in the weirdest of places – on the road to the industrial area but accessible from the Villagio mall. We’ll see how it fares when it opens this coming June, although it was meant to open this calendar month.

If there’s anything that I’ve noticed when writing this entry is this:

There is a lack of collegial pride amongst the youth here, but students in America are shaped in positive ways if they show some college spirit. it doesn’t mean that you give up your identity and beliefs. If people don’t enjoy their time in college, they have worthlessly outcasted themselves as introverts. Wit the college growing, more and more students will be segregating themselves culturally or so. When the time comes to leave, they won’t be around their friends tow ork with as they’ll have to work with people they don’t know. Now is the time to mix yourselves up, or you’ll regret it later in life.

    By now, you’re probably thinking that this must have been the longest entry on my blog. I’ll leave that for you to judge. But I won’t waver from putting out the truth even if it means that I have to go that extra length to do so. If people do not wake up from the fantasy that they have embellished with reality, then they will be in for a stark surprise when that collapses infront of their eyes, and they reality they will see will be grim as film noir with a dark tone of a graphic novel adorned with violence and corruption – they will be the victims of their own story that ends into a tragedy.

    3 more weeks of classes and summer will be upon us.

    Till next time!

    Recollection

    You’d think that writing a post on this very date would create some sort of a fracas just to keep the mood? April 1st passed by, so I choose to recollect all that I’ve done over the past days into this entry.

    It’s been quite a laborious week but next week gets even tighter. Just running around managing things along with my work isn’t hectic enough. Working on my software development project goes by, but when you try to figure out how to generate PDFs, it’s not as daunting as it seems…IT’s WORSE. Seeking out the original creator of the plugin, I ended up on their Google groups, only to get lambasted by them for posing technical questions with an ultimatum of being banned if I am to even comment one more iota related to the matter. Haven’t even responded to them with an apology so I thought I’d lay low till it cools off. Luckily, I found another tutorial but that didn’t even work. I follow them step by step but they don’t work – WHY? Then a miracle happened as I got it working on a sample project. Sigh of relief for myself and my teammates, as I now focus on bringing that success to the actual project files.

    As for design work, good thing we have a final project as a map. What better place to pick than the harbor infront of the Souk? Our preliminary visit yielded a lot of questions that we fielded to our class, and we realized that we need to extensively research more about the surrounding area if we want to encapsulate the true story of the place that will superimpose the map we create.

    I realised that the weekend is the most priceless thing I look forward to. Just hours ago I was having a nice long insightful chat with Arsalan and Abid over some ColdStone. Arsi and I were remembering the times we spent in the Cornell building, especially when we never broke ground on our space and it was our last year in the Cornell building. then we remembered the key event that really made our day – CMU’s version of SURVIVOR, just like the Reality TV series. I’ve been scourging for the original photos but I know I have them as an album on Facebook; just getting to it will take like who knows how many clicks as I have the record number of albums here. I decided to be generous and save you the effort by giving you the short URL: http://bit.ly/CMUQ-Survivor_Fall-2006. Enjoy it if you want to find out the experience – if any of you graduating seniors missed this event when you were freshmen, you’ll realize how much of your college life has passed by that you have never explored.

    Along with that, we even talked about a lot of things we wanted to pursue, but those will remain a dream…FOR NOW!

    It also reminds me that with every class that has come in, they never truly appreciate the history that we have lived through as they have become soo self-centered and arrogant int heir own pride. They don’t even know how much of a tightly knit community we were when we had a complete turnout for events taking place, with the opposite in the current time period; people have reclused themselves to cliques and introverted groups that seek not to learn from others and adapt, but think that their way is the right way – kind of like any average American who is unaware what’s happening outside their country that think that we should ‘liberate’ them of oppression. One day, this will be their undoing, as I see the community liveliness withering away but I’ll be long gone before the university-equivalent of the financial meltdown takes floods the college.

    Right now, I’ve got a lot of preparations for the coming week with the following ever-growing bucket list:

    1. Get the PDF exporter working with my web project.
    2. Prepare for one hell of an exam happening on Thursday
    3. Continue searching for intern opportunities for the Summer.
    4. See what an impact I can make to kind of close the semester with a high note.
    5. Tina yearns for her cap-shaped dosa, along with those people I’ve taken to Arya’s. In addition, I also have to introduce some people to this amazing savory Indian delicacy – Abid is one of them.

    Because I realised how much I’ve learned from the past days, I thought it’s best that I close this entry with a quote that really shows the inner conscience of humanity that people never take the time to peer with depth:

    The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still, small voice of conscience.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    Till next time!

    P.S: I’d appreciate that you sign up to Dropbox using this link and you’ll also get extra space. You won’t have to carry USBs as everything moves with you across the Net. Just drag and drop through Windows, Mac or Linux! Watch their video for a demo.

    The only way out of hell….is right through it!

    What you read above is literally the journey that I’ve had over the past 2 weeks in the absence of my parents. To top it off with spending sleepless nights in the hospital with my brother for contracting a serious case of poisoning from the school. Stuffing in the work that I’ve had to catchup…and still trying to. Not forgetting to mention the preparations that I have to do for the coming weeks.

    You’d think that I’m living every college student’s worst nightmare to ever unfold in front of their eyes. The truth is….I’ve just lived through 3 seasons of 24 in the past 3 days. The rest were all mashups of Lost, 24, Naruto, Survivor, Bones, Numb3rs, CSI:Miami, Heroes, Prison Break, Fringe, and…….I could go on with the shows I’ve watched that I can help to relate and visualize. I’ll leave that task to you!

    As if runnign around like a chicken without its head wasn’t bad enough, luck has not been favoring me at all for the past 3 years. Why do you ask? I realised that keeping this inside of me is only going to make it worse, so I’m going uncut for this moment:

    1) I haven’t gone on a single college trip that I’ve applied to for the past 3 years, and hoping that there would be a trip to Spain…that’s been called of as well. Talk about luck, and I leave these forsaken walls of academia in December. I doubt that there will be another trip.

    2) Internship and employment for me hasn’t worked out for me over the years, no matter how much I follow every word to the detail for the advice and tips that I receive.

    3) My MacBook Pro is dented near the power socket, but that doesn’t bother me. People who own macs will be crying over such a thing, clinging it as if it’s their baby. So what if you paid more that a trashy notebook that will just sound like a jet engine on steroids? It still works for me – except for the bulge that sticks out on top and my screen only closes so much.

    You’d think that I’m whinning right now that this is one life you don’t want to live. Question is….where do you draw the line? Is there even one, or just an illusion to believe? I think I lived through both fantasy and reality merged into one world that I can’t even tell the difference. Not to mention that…….that……..I’m just sighing with relief that this is over. For now…. Who knows what else is in store?

    So I leave this post with this closing remark….Can you really differentiate fantasy and reality from your facet of life?