04 June, 2016

Muhammad Ali, the Greatest Man of My Time

If I am asked to choose or to name the greatest man, the greatest person who lived during my lifetime, that person would undoubtedly be Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali. The greatest boxer, athlete and sportsman I have ever known and will ever know of, defined boxing and sports like no other person. Since the time he knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to his incredible knocking out of George Foremen ten years later in 1974, to his standing up to his beliefs and principals and hence being stripped of his boxing license and being made unable to earn during his prime years; to his facing up and fighting one of the most complicated diseases, Parkinson's Disease, he has done and overcome the impossible; and has seemingly appeared almost superhuman.

Ali was not only a superb, brilliant and very gifted athlete, sportsman and boxer -- he has been a leader, an exemplary, great role model and one of the greatest revolutionaries, activists and humanitarians of our time. He was so outspoken that not even the US government could silence or intimidate him. Always brave and courageous, he spoke out against racism, wars, inequality, injustice; especially in his own country, for his Black People.

He was so much against the war in Vietnam as he saw no reason for that (and for any other wars), that he refused to be drafted to fight in that war and was incarcerated for over three years by the US government for refusing so. And yet despite him not being able to train for those three years, despite not being able to earn, despite intimidation and harassment from his government and racists, he surprised friends and foes alike, when after his release, he went back to the ring and regained the boxing heavyweight title. And continued to be as outspoken, as brave and as courageous as before.

One of the most recognizable faces on Earth, Muhammad Ali could be so arrogant and was so full of pride, and yet he was so humble that, throughout the world, the poor and the common easily identified with him and greatly admired, liked and loved him. Although fiercely proud of his color, race and religion -- he preached love and tolerance. The way people loved him, especially children and the poor; and the way Joe Frazier and George Foreman (two of his greatest and most formidable opponents in the ring) were his closest and best friends -- speaks volumes in how great, humane and lovable Ali was. May he rest in Peace.

Other posts on this site on Muhammad Ali:

1. The Greatest: Muhammad Ali 
2. Happy Birthday Muhammad Ali

Photo: from Google Images        

27 May, 2015

Why Haven't Yemenis Been Using Solar Power?

With abundant sunshine, all year round, 365 days a year; and with electricity very scarce or unavailable in most parts of the country; with most parts of the country having very extreme temperatures (mainly hot); with the world right now, in wonder, following the very remarkable, amazing journey around the world of 'Solar Impulse' (the solar powered plane) ------- it's incomprehensible that most Yemenis have not been using and do not use solar energy. With war raging in most parts of Yemen now; with its air space restricted and sea ports blockaded; with the present serious, crippling fuel shortage; Yemenis would have been much better off using solar power.

04 May, 2015

News and Social Media Reporting on Yemen

In the last one month or so, there has been intense, extensive - and sometimes, frenzied - reporting on Yemen. Most of the news reporting, has been by foreigners; most of whom have very little knowledge or understanding of Yemen. Many, have never been to the country, and of those who have been to Yemen -- they have been to very few places. Many, if not most, of these reporters claim to be experts or to have knowledge of the country; but, from their reporting, for anyone who knows Yemen and understands its geography, history, complex culture, many varied and different regions and its thousands of tribes -- it's clear that most of these reporters do not know or understand the country. How can a foreigner who has been only to Sana'a (or/and a few other main cities), spent a few months or even years in these places, attended a few qat sessions -- claim to be an expert on Yemen? How can someone who does not know Arabic or very little of it, profess to be an authority or a pundit on the country? How can someone who does not know most of the twenty-one Yemeni provinces say "I am an expert on Yemen"? How many of these reporters have been to and have knowledge of: Dhalea, Raymah, Lahej, Hajja, Mahra, Mahweet, Al Jawf, Shabwa, Socotra or the many other Yemeni regions? How many know the historic towns of Tarim and Yarim? How many know that there are several towns/villages in the country, all with the same name: Al Hawta? How many know the differences between Wadi Hadhramaut, Wadi Do'an and Wadi Sa'ah? Even Arab news reporters, and so called 'analysts' and 'experts' -- non seems to have real, deep knowledge and understanding of Yemen: they didn't get it right in 2011 or after that; and they, too, seem lost today.