Even during the misery of war, you can find some laughter… at least a smile… below are some images that I mined from the Internet that made me smile although they describe situations of misery! Let me know if they make you smile as well:
A continuous learner who is proud to change his value sets on the fly when a new idea proves its validity. Ideation person where ideas are generated at the speed of thought and meditation is used to curb them down. Connectedness is my drive for perfection where the relationships between multitude on effectors determines the steps I take today.
The fun of Being Lebanese
Trying a new Skin
This is a Morning After skin that should give me more flexibility with my posts… still figuring out what to do.
I installed Google chrome on my computer and found it useful. Its “chromless” concept which give a wide space for browsing is a nice twist on words and concept. Their instruction book is amazing. It sells many concepts at the same time… notice how they introduce all the members of the team that worked on the project. Having each tab the ability to work independently will improve the reliability of the web applications.
Still, it is not replacing my FireFox… the add-ins offered by FireFox are irreplaceable for me… so, I will wait until the Add-ons and extensions matures on the Chrome before I uninstall the Mozilla monster.
The North Lebanon powers signed a peace agreement. 30 years of hate and feud… now, they agreed on living in oeace. Why? Something fishy!
First: some indications.
(1) Egyptian authorities stressed that the situation in North is a cause for a civil war.
(2) Sarkozi and Ruler of Qatar criticized Syrian president, Bashar El Asad, that his comments about the instability in Northenr Lebanon are a violation to their agreement.
(3) Asad “authorized” the Lebanese army to move its strongest betallion from the south to the north.
Suddenly, Sheikh Saad El Hariri spends 3 days in the North to sign the accord. Would he be able to do it if the Syrian did not approve it? Did Sarkozi and Sheikh Hamad of Qatar push Asad to allow the peace to happen? Did Sheikh Harir know about this arm twisitng that made him choose this moment to make a move? Was Eid, the Alawite Leader, requested by Asad to sign the agreement?
Maybe. If this is the case, and since all the arms are still intact, will there be a renewal of feud in the near future?
Anyaws, the move was in the roght direction and for the good of the country. Clearly Hariri and Siniora emerged as winners… while Sheikh Monkara proved to be a sound leader… is he the next Mufti of all Lebanon?
What makes life go so fast?
Technology and Prediction
Today I had an interesting question from a friend that made me think in some new lights. Below is my answer (try to figure out the question.)
Dave: Actually, I have read the book and met the Author in a conference where he was challenging another author called Tapscott who talks about Wikinomics (the 4th wave.) Interesting read.
Your questions are more interesting.
1. The answer to the first part of the last one might answer the others: “wasn’t tech supposed to make life easier?” In my opinion, technology did: today, we work 8 hours a day, have a good income, have a good living standard, own a house, change our cars every few years, take a lot of vacation over a year and we can do more than what we would have done 40 years ago! We have better access to knowledge and we can communicate in real time with individuals that are far away… all of these advancement are caused by technology! Right? (Just try to imagine how your grand pa used to live when he was your age and compare it to today!) So, technology made our life better. Don’t you agree?
2. The market is controlling the technology development. Millions of technical gadgets are introduced every year… the market determine the winner… 2-3 years ago, the iPod was the market winner although other gadgets that were introduced… last year, the Wii took over the other similar products… the web over took over the Superhighway concept… the Internet destroyed the multi-billion “Satellite belt” project… I can numerate a lot… The fate of these technologies were determined by the market… In my opinion, the market and the global consciousness determine what technology should be developed. What do you think?
3. About the cellular phone example: you determine if you are important to use it. In my case, I preferred email over the phone… but that is because I am visual and not and auditory person. I am far more productive with an email than a phone. My wife is the opposite of me: she is extremely effective over the phone for she is an auditory person… A compromise: I use Blackberry to read my emails and my wife send me an email to pick up our grocery… we fight less… I buy the grocery just in time… can you see where I am heading?
4. About predicting future applications: we can predict to some extent. However, you need to know that you must add the human factor to the formula. To predict the wining technology, you must look for the users. For example: Du Chardin, predicted the creation of something like FaceBook in 1960’s… the world laughed at him… however, for his prediction to come true, the number of millennium individuals should have reached a critical mass and the right technology should have matured… this happened in 2006 and his prediction came true! Similarly, Drucker predicted something like the Wiki in 1980’s (he called it voluntary work in non-profit organizations) the corporate world could not understand him and figure out how people can work without being paid… Wikipedia fulfilled his prediction in 2004 when the people were ready! I can quote lots of such predictions likes this one… we just need to see them through the eyes of others and not our own!
Do I make sense?
I really enjoyed your email. It is the first time I prefer to answer an email than having my lunch… I hope we continue the discussion…
I was chatting with my employees and I was advising him not put his passion in his emails for it always come out to be wrong… the discussion lead to the concept of passion and if we should be passionate. He was in the learning mode… he was waiting for me to utter the words that he is ready to remeber for the rest of his life… it is one of the life changing moments… so I had to switch to the “life Experience Juice*” mode and uttered the following wisdom of the moment:
“You need to pick up your passionate beliefs that are worth fighting for… not the one’s that will waste your emotions into useless battles”… I admired my juicer that made me say these words. He asked me about my passionates… it was a moment of truth that made me reflect on my personality and figure out my passions:
“I am passionate about helping the people around me to be successful” is what I said. This is true… I discovered that I have that innate drive to help the people around me to discover their best and make them happy, content and fight for their betterment!
“I am passionate to let people use technology to learn”!
“I am passionate to bridge in cultural and paradigm differences between individual”…
I was so amazed of my self to summarize my passions… and to come up with a new to look at my life… Is this my Karma? Yet to find out…
* The “life Experience Juice*” mode is a mental state where I overcharge my intellectual power to make instant decisions based on pulling together all my submerged beliefs to be summarized in a meaningful phrase!
One of my employees sent me a nasty email and requested seeing me. The email was long. Of importance is a paragraph that states that he feels he is being treated unfairly. The reason is that another employee, who he considers to be of a “lower species” is being paid the same salary.
It was an excellent discussion with him where I convinced him to look at that individual in a different way, consequently, change his mind and discover that he is over paid compared to the other person!
Anyway, the message I want to convey here is the concept of fairness. One comment that my “Life Experience Juicer” gave me is this phrase: “Feeling unfair compared to another person happens when you allow yourself to compare your strength to his weakness”. Wow, I was amazed about myself!. This has a lot of applications! When you hate someone… you look at his weakness and criticize him. To change your attitude towards him… search for his strength! Actually… mine for his strength… put the effort to see his goodness… I know my uncle told me this before: “We Eljamal, never say a bad word about anyone, we always convert their bad characters to positive comments…” I understood his words before… but now I have a different level of the meaning…
As I am blogging this instantaneous wisdom, I discovered I need to start a new habit: For each of my enemies… I need to find 5 good things about them… and I hope I will change my perspective about them…
You are now inside my brain… you will read thoughts that comes to my mind… they might root and become part of my personality or they will be dust blowing in the wind… time only proves.
Welcome to Anas Eljamal weblog. I use AboLuay as my cybername (it literally means the father of Luay… and Luay is my real son!). I am married to Sana who works in Leadership training besides running her CoffeeNews newspaper in Fort McMurray where we live.
The quickest way to describe myself is as a person who like to challenge the obvious to come up with a better understanding of life. My heart is in education and human growth while my brain is in IT and it intriguing applications. I an an open book and you can find more about me on my own website which outlines my experience; on FaceBook that shows you my daily activities (add me to your friends to see more of my life) and few other online places like twitter, wave, google, Wikipedia and MSN.
I have been working in education all my professional life. Different hats and different responsibilities. From the bottom of the education food chain (i.e. assistant instructor) to the top of the Chain (i.e. C.I.O.). Still, I always teach one course every semester just to stay close to the young mind. This helps me to understand the younger generation which allows me to offer them technology that is suitable for their emerging learning style.
You can find on the web my philosophies about work, leadership, Knowledge Technology, education and my favourite topic: Controling Instincts.
My Present Work
Presently, I am working as a Chief Innovations Officer at Keyano College in Northern Alberta. My role is to work with the college on introducing new educational paradigms that suits the learning styles of the students of the area, meet the expectation of the market and above all prepare the graduates of the college to be successful in their future endeavors.
I expect that the EDDL514 course help me evolve my philosophies about eudcation and technology to new levels that were not familiar to me.
- I challenge the obvious to reach a better understanding.
- I prefer pragmatism over traditionalism
- I believe in the rights of others to disagree with me in opinion, beliefs, values and choices. I struggle peacefully to keep these rights applicable.
- I am proud that I change my opinion when I find a better one. Never surrender your right to convince me as long as you are wise, funny and light hearted.
- I do not respect the beliefs of other only, I sincerely believe in what they believe.
- I strive to learn and share… and to help others to discover their full potential to grow.
Another Aside Trial
This is a trial to see how the aside concept work.
Recently, I have been confused. I am struggling to reach the “wisdom” level… i.e. applying my knowledge! I am able to convey information, to learn and convert information to knowledge… but I am finding difficulty applying the knowledge (i.e. become wise!)
Why can’s I make this breakthrough? I understand the paradigm of others well… however I cannot use their paradigm to transfer my knowledge to them…
I hope I can solve this dilemma.
The 3 Management Styles
After attending an agile workshop, I came to a conclusion that there are 3 management styles:
1- Traditional: which is based on the famous watefall approach. It is structured, sequential with a clear start and end. It is suitable for strategising and long term planning with a year as a basic unit.
2- Agile: which is shorter in nature, allows shifting of objectives when needed and always aligns itself to new initiatives. 30 days is a normal duration although shorter could be considered.
Both of the above methods neccessitates the face-2-face synchrnous meetings.
3- Wiki: is a new concept I like to start investigating. It is based on the famous Wikinomics book. Its premises is a derivative of the Agile Management, however, the teams may or may not know each other and they work in an asynchronous modes. The parameters needs to be identified.
The Bottom Line of the Conflict in Lebanon
What is happening in Lebanon? here is my theory:
First, you need to know little bit about Steven Covey’s theory of paradigm. He believes there are 3 paradigms: dependent (always rely on others), independent (rely on oneself) and interdependent (become productive by interacting with others, even those they differe with).
Lebanon struggle is a struggle between entities of the three types:
(1) Dependent: Amal, Syrian Socialists, Franjieh, Baathist are dependent. They cannot make their own decision. Always they have to follow someone else for their survival. Among them, Amal has a potential of being indepedent, but unfortunately, Berri is a fox who prefer to appear following Hezbolla/Syria because of fear.
(2) Independent: Hezbolla and FPM are independent. They truely believe they can achieve what they want without dependence on anybody. Even financially, Hezbolla can survive even if Syria and Iran stop supporting them! The problem with the independent is that they believe in “my way or the highway”. They cannot tolerate or understand those who differs with them for they have a strong conviction that their way is the only truthful way.
(3) Interdependence: The 14 of March guys have evolved to become Interdependent! If you look at all parties of 14M you will find that each one hates the guts of the other (Sunni against LF, Druze hates Sunni’s and Maronites, The democratic left hates the Future Movement capitalists! Jumayel hates Jeajea, etc…) but they decided to collaborate driving strength from their differences. This is interdependence.
In my opinion, the 1975-2000 civil war was the evolution of Lebanon from “dependent” to “independence”. The present struggle is evolving from “depednent” to “interdependent”. If 14M prevails, Lebanon will grow in culture and history. If they lose, the evolution will be delayed.
In the same token, the US with Bush Administration is dependent. Europe is independent. Most of the Arab countries are dependent… except for UAE, where interdependence has been practiced since 1991 in Dubai, and 2005 in Abu Dhabi.
A Year in Review
it has been almost a year since I contributed to this blog. I have been contributing to other blogs, especially the one I communicate with my son. I felt I need to write something to this one for future discovery.
During this year, many things happened:
(1) I started losing weight without dieting. It is either I am fatally ill, or Louise hay’s theory works. During this year, I was able to overcome feeling guilty. One complexity down, few hundred to go. But since I did that, I started losing weight although I am eating normally! Are they related? is it coincidence? Louise says “No” why reason says “yes”
(2) My wife and I felt the prosperity of Canada. We bought another house for $850K. This was a major step that made us understand the brilliant Canadian way of living. The value of both houses on the mortgage side is 1.2M, while their market value is 1.5M! So, we made a profit of $300K in spending more! Brilliant.
(3) Another characteristic of Fort Mac is the boom factor. The mortgage payment of both of our houses is $6400/month. We rented the first house for $3500 and the second one has a potential of renting the basement for $2500. So, practically, we bought both houses for $400 per month… it is the beauty of Canadian economy and the boom of Fort Mac, or as they call it here, Fort McMoney!
(4) My wife’s business is booming. The first year, she made around $25,000. The second year, it reached $60,000. Now, it has approached $80K. Canada is a great place.
(5) My son is growing in wisdom. He mazes me. I am convinced that if we protect our children from ourselves (as parents) we create wise children. it is a paradox, but for some reason, it is working with my son. 80% of his knowledge is created by himself (not from school, society or family.) By himself. To date, I taught him 3 things: How to be independent, how to be a life-long learner and how to make cappuccino with our new “push one button to make cappuccino” machine. I am so proud of him.
Ya 3ami.. badi ifham
The past few weeks caused turmoil in my conscience at all level. My perpetual disgust with the Israeli aggression against my people as if the Lebanese are roden deserve of organized and scientific extermination faces the new shocking of defining victory.
The Lebanese resistance kidnapped two Israeli soldiers to free up 3 Lebanese prisoners. In return, more Lebanese are dead, the whole infrastructure is destroyed, all Lebanese became prisoners in their houses, 1 million displaced and we are victorious! I cannot understand this logic… I am finding it more difficult to accept this reality… can anyone please explain it to me? I truly want to be proud of what the Lebanese has achieved… I want to feel the we really won this war… I really want to feel this war is giving me a better future… I want to walk in demonstration every year in July saying that we liberated our land (did we?) freed our prisoners (did we?) proved we deserve to live with dignity and prosperity (did we?) I really want to do that… but my logic prevent me from convincing myself… I need the help of those who solve this dilema for me!
I know many of the fighter are going to heaven because of their martyrdom. This is a well believed fact! But how I get to this heaven if I do not believe in their realm? Should I die to live in paradise? Is there any special death? Smashed under the stones of a building… or from debris of a mortar that was supposed to hit some one else? Should I kill someone to be eligible to go to heaven? What if I do not kill and die? Would I lose my chance to the glory of the glories?
Why me, or the poor inhabitant of the beloved south, were not given shelters or the minimum protection while those who belive in martyrdom the way to heave live in bunkers under the 7th earth?
Ya 3ami, badi ifhan… If I should feel proud… I need to know why? Who can help?
Do Arabs Learn (3)
Here we play the same game again… a game we have been playing since 1948, and we as Arabs we are losing… we do not learn… we do not cope to leave NOW without being influenced by the past.
Hezbolla impressed me with the way they handled the latset war. They played the media well… they played restrain well… they convinced the Lebanese that they are winning although their country is being destroyed, building at a time, bridge at a time, TV antenna at a time… Hezbolla fighters showed overwhelming courage and persevrance. Their fighters showed defiance to death and taught the Isareli army the real meaning of bravery. The Israeli’s are protecting theselves with tanks, jet fighters and smart weaponry. Hezbolla figheters are protecting themselves with their bare chest, prayer and faith… this is overwhelming.
However, are they wining the war? It is a matter of point of reference!
Hezbolla is playing a “tarneeb” card game following “Leekha” rules. Everytime they “eat” a hand, Hezbolla feels victorious, while Israel feel it is giving a box! Both are playing in a different paradigm rules:
Hezbolla do not believe in the social economy. They do not understand that a country need to have an income to reduce inflation. Their money comes from God. Israel survives on strong economy. The last war destroyed Lebanese economy but not the Israeli.
Hezbolla thinks if their leaders survive, they win the battle. Consequently, their battle will be considered “mars” (i.e. double victory) if the Israeli government collapses. This is wrong. Israel is something while government is something else.
… (I will continue some other time)…
Hezbolla will win this war because the chest, prayer and faith will survive. They will win a war that they really believe in. They do not believe in economy. They do not believe that the roof is necessary for the survival of any human. If a wall is destroyed, it will be built again. Hezbolla is not driven by Mosley Hierarchy of Needs. Israel is. You may destroy all of Lebanon, from North to South, but if Nasrollah survives then Hezbolla will win. Hezbolla thinks if a n Israeli government goes due to war, Hezbolla wins. This is their winning point of reference. Not Israel point of view.
However, Hezbolla is losing the battle. For me, an Arab, Moslem, Lebanese, I really feel Hezbolla is losing the battle. For them to win the battle, and consequently the war, they need to follow the international point of reference. They need to fight the Israelis according to Israel point of reference… not Hezbolla point of reference. Fighting Israel with weaponry and bravery will always make Israel win. Israel get its “teriak” through war. With evey military war we fight with Israel will give Israel 10 more years to survive (Do your calculation.) When Israel reach a point where peace is on the corner, a military starts miraculously (and stupidly, we always give Israel the reason to start a war!)
The way to win the war with Israel is through PEACE not WAR. If we have a 15 years of continuous peace, Israel will seize to exist. Or in other words, the Arabs will over shadow Israel existence. With 15 years of Peace, all the Arab contires will have a 10 times stronger economy over Israel! This will abosrb the Israelis. The Arab population in Israel will out number the Israeli population. Then any election will give supremacy to Arab voters…. Think about it
Hezbolla: you have shown bravery in war. Do you have the bravery to show bravery in peace? Fight Israel weakness:PEACE not their strength: WAR.
Do we learn?
I do not know.
Do Arabs learn? – Part 2
As promised, here is the continuation of the topic (check Part 1…)
Most Arabs believe changing your mind or beliefs is an example of deviousness. They bring up their children with the concept that a “Man is worth his word.” I accept this saying when you give a promise to someone else… you should keep it. However, I oppose the extended application of this sentence which prevent an individual from changing their mind or beliefs to the better.
For example: The Baathi leaders, especially in Syria, believe that their ideas, that were developed in the 1960’s, are still applicable today. They take pride in the belief that they never change their stand point. That their old beliefs are still firm and strong. Everyone around them have changed their standpoint but not them. They are proud of this stand. While, in my opinion, these leaders are committing a crime against themselves as well as their people. They did not learn from History or Politics. They are not willing to learn to change. They cannot comprehend that they did not achieve their objectives (their land is still occupied, freedom was not achieved, unity was not achieved and socialism is far fetched. These are the objectives of their regime!). Their people are suffering, and they left the country in a bad situation… Why? Why they are afraid of change? Why they are not ready to evolve their “culture”? Is it because they do not know how to learn? (again, check my definiton!)
Another Example: Some Moslems of today, espcially the fundemantalists, refuse to revisit ideas of their beliefs that were formulated at least 200 years ago (Yes. Check Islamic history. The fundematalist beliefs evolved many centuries after the death of the prophet! Check history my friend. They still refer to ideas and wisodm of individuals who died few centuries ago). They refuse to question any illogical concept that contradicts the saying of these elderly wisemen. They are afraid of facing a new realities if it contradicts a saysing by any of these old wise men. Why? Why they do not want to look at enriching the Islam to meet the challenges of new realities? is it because they do not know how to learn?
Yet another Example: In Lebanese politics, many leaders accuse other leaders that they change their mind based on new situations? (Please note that I do not refer to the hypocrites who change their mind for their personal gains… I am refering to leaders who are ready to meet the challenges of new political situation.) Why is this a mistake? Why shouldn’t a leader change his mind when he discovers a better way or if politics of today dedictates a new mindframe? Why shouldn’t Lebanese Forces partner with the Moslems? Why shouldn’t the Moslem vote for the Christians? Is it because the Lebanese donot know how to learn?
These are questions I am leaving them for myself hoping to get an answer sometime in the future.
Do Arabs Learn?
Going back to learning. My definition of learning is “the process of converting information to knowledge”, where knowledge is self generated information that we personify for ourselves. Based on this, do Arabs learn?
First, little philosophy: Learning does not happen at school only. In an ideal scenario, a person should be learning continuously. It should be a natural longlife process where whenever we get exposed to an information (which could be written, an experience, an interaction with other, or otherwise) we should reflect on this information and translate it to something that relates to us thus converting it to knowledge that pertains to us. This process is learning.
Ideally, this process should happen continuously as long as we live. Weirdly enough, I notice that most religions beleive that this is the essence of death! For example, the concept of the the purgatory in Christianity is an example where suffering leads to personal change (based on my definition of learning), similarly, in Islam, the period spent by believers in suffering after death is an example of a necessary change required to move to heaven. Obviously, the concept of reincarantion aligns with the same idea where change an evolvement happens after death. religions!
One obvious outcome of learning (again, according to my definition) is change, hopefully to a better self. Whenever learning happens, something in our character changes. In my opinion, a lifelong learner is someone who changes and evolves (or devolves?) whenever he or she is exposed to an new learning experience. In such an evironment, change in any form is virtue.
However, in the Arab culture (and yother world cultures as well) this did not happen in the last 300 years! To the contrary, it is basic to the Arab culture that change is a crime. In some cases, it is a capital punishment (fro example if an Arab discovers that opening a dialogue with an Israeli is a good idea, then, in most Arab coutnries, this person is considered a traitor that might lead to death!)
— I have visitors now and have to leave… this will be continued later… sorry!-
Yesterday, I faced a situation which showed me that I still have to work a lot to become a “trans-paradigmatic” person. This means, to become an individual who can understand individuals from different paradigms.
Etienne calls the paradigm: Learning Communities. This is a concept where he classifies individuals into groups who have common value sets, knowledgebase and experience. Individuals within the same learning community can understand each other with no problem. The vocubulary used has the same connotation to all. An individual from the outside who joins the community will face difficulty understanding the termonology used although it is common spoken language.
Uptill now, I though I was able to develop a width of understanding that would allow me to gel well with any learning community. My move to Canada was a great successful proof, at least for me, that I am able to do it. It worked well with the new Fort Mac community where I was able to fit so well with all its social strata. Even I was able to communicate and understand the aboriginal community although I have never been exposed to them except through movies. I was happy. Until yesterday when I had to perform a “conflict resolution” excercise with one of my employees… to discover, after 2 hours of discussion, I was not able to get to his paradigm… consequently, I was not part of his learning community. And this caused more conflict for me than any solutions… so, I still have to work on it.
When I analysed the situation… and I am still… I discovered that I had many influences from outside that made me inclined to be on a different paradigm… This eye opeener made me rethink about the decision triad… are they 4 actually? Or are the external influences part of the passion instigator? This will require further soul searching.