Still Working After Sixty!

Old Couple  Old Engineer

Images Old People Working – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

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For Wednesday – November 6th 2013.

Between Us Only!

Still Working After Sixty!


  • Education is the best provision for old age! – Aristotle
  • The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young – Oscar Wilde
  • No man loves life like him that is growing old – Sophocles
  • If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing – Benjamin Franklin

 Before I start – I would like to apologise for some few weeks missed articles! Frankly and truthful speaking, I was just not in the mood! You see I have thought that things have really changed – but in reality they have not! Forgive me for being a sucker – and a naive person too – forgetting I had read many times – Animal Farm by George Orwell – as my literature study book! I have also forgotten also that I had written the article 12 years ago titled – Sorry Sir, You Are Over 50! – when I was looking for a job in HR – after the collapse of my Consultancy business post early retirement!

You see I was trying hard to get a Hire Purchase loan for replacing my old 8 years old Toyota Camry – and I went with cup in hand to all the Financial places – but vehemently rejected – even by the so-called Islamic ones – because as I was told – I was 65! It is better for me not to trouble anyone – and go to the Saih Dhabi funeral grounds to just wait for my day to exit this world!

Old People Working

Man sharpening knifes on the street, Colaba. Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Images Old People Working – For Demonstration Purposes Only!


Anyway – back to realities – I was watching this Television Programme in Al Jazeera about The World Elderly – and was comparing about how the elderly are being treated now in different parts of the world! It is a very interesting programme and comes as part of the segment of The News Programme. If you are a Jazeera fan – you might have noticed it – unless you switch ofF after the main segment of the news!

No wonder the whole word is now becoming agitated, traumatised and in despair, confusion and in depression watching these news! In one of the news bit – a Syrian young woman laments cuttingly – why their families are trying to smuggle their way to Europe – with young children with them – and with the dangers of sinking overloaded boats to unwelcome ports – because she believed ‘The sea will be more merciful to us than people are here to us (another Arab country) – at least when we get to Europe – we will be human beings again! Very sad – and very much telling!

The programme looks at what those challenges are, how the elderly can keep contributing to society and whether enough is being done to support them. This is because the world is getting old fast and within the next 10 years, there will be more than one billion people over the age of 60. The UN is calling for governments to take action and face this new reality.

In these elderly programmes they show how they are being treated in different countries – with live examples and interviews of the old people involved! The question comes into mind what is old? Reminds me of an incident of a young Omani graduate recruited casually remarking to my then British boss that as he was 52 – he must be old! Old? retorted the good man. You think I am old at 52?

He was so upset that I had to use my best persuasion skills to make the young lad not lose on his being planned education abroad! Trust our youngsters to say whatever quickly comes to their minds – without really thinking! In another incident – an Omani Manager was throwing out my short listed best candidates for an Engineering job – because the top candidate was over 50 – even though the Manager himself was far much older! But that is how the cookie crumbles – as our good friends the Brits say!

Coming back to the programme – the elderly in Afghanistan fare very badly ‘as the worst place on earth to be elderly’ – as the programme points out! By tradition, the elderly are expected to be looked after by their children – and as the unemployment is so high – and people are struggling to make ends meet – the youngsters are abandoning their old ways of doing things in looking after their parents and the elderly!

As a result – the old people are forced out to go out and find menial work in order to survive. It is so disheartening and so sad to see some of them chopping wood with the feeble remaining strength they have to earn pittance money in order to survive! This is supposed to be a Muslim traditional conservative environment where people are bound to respect and esteem their parents – and look after them!

In a more secular and modern environment – we are shown in later programmes – of how the elderly are being treated in South Korea – where the State has jumped in to help the elderly by incentive programmes given to The Private Sector to still recruit experienced and qualified citizens into jobs – and to continue working well after even 65 to 70s – because they want to avoid the social problems in the country – when the youngsters continue to fail dismally to look after their parents – and the elderly!

In one of the real sad things I have seen in my life – is to see this old woman doing pittance menial job followed behind by her sick mental patient daughter – because as she the Mother says – she will do everything she could till her last breath then to put her sick daughter into a mental institution – even if she will be looked better there than she could ever imagine!

My son got married, I had to work to ‘save face’Retiree at Son’s Home – Korea.

Yet here we are complaining of such petty things – and forget that there are people out there really and really trying hard to survive – with the very little things that they have! And that includes me too for that matter – for over dramatising – for not being able to get a new car – unless my children guaranteed it for me – as being high risk factor due to my age!

Though, I have seen so many youngsters die early than me – some from nasty road accidents – that even prompted me to write the book – Being The Safe Driver! – . I am very much convinced – frankly and honestly and genuinely speaking – that somewhere, someplace there is someone dead set jealous at least I have an old car!!

Take Care – and Keep Smiling! Happy New Islamic Year 1435 AH

*** The Programme ***

Go Here

Inside Story – Looking After An Ageing World.

“I think this is a cause for concern because the young’s fertility is declining and life expectancy is increasing all over the world … these issues are not clear to many of the developing countries. This is a social as well as a demographic issue and the government is very concerned about how to tackle this issue.”

– Hafiz Khan, former Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing

The Pain Inside!

Pain Inside C
Pain Inside B
Pain Inside

For Wednesday August 28th 2013

Between Us Only!

The Pain Inside!

• A mirror shows the outside, but never the pain on the inside! – Anon
• Turn your wounds into wisdom! – Oprah Winfrey

The Pain Inside is an Al Jazeera Television World series programme. Al Jazeera explains – After military service, many young Israelis travel abroad to distance themselves from distressing experiences. In Israel, military service is compulsory for most people over the age of 18, with men serving three years and women two. Exemption from military service is a hotly debated issue in Israeli society.

Many feel that military service is a matter of family obligation and loyalty to their ‘homeland’ For some, joining the army is about the connections they make. Some employers also hesitate to recruit Israelis who refuse to serve in the army.

Following their army stint, tired and stressed, thousands of ex-soldiers travel to India and elsewhere to party and hang out with each other – it is a rite of passage for many. As Israelis do not need a visa to enter Europe so many young Israelis also emigrate to cities in Europe, such as Berlin.

Nowadays, around 30,000 of them live in Germany’s capital, many having chosen to leave all the restrictions and constraints of life in Israel behind.
Other Israelis become conscientious objectors, these are people who say they understand what the word ‘occupation’ really means, and therefore refuse to serve in the Israeli military. For many, life in Israel – with its military conscription and occupation – is turning young people into what one Israeli interviewee describes as “monsters in a distorted reality”, revealing deep psychological issues which remain unaddressed.

There is a sense of a lost generation – of people who are deeply troubled and alienated from their own humanity. People talk of living in a “bubble” in Tel Aviv and the future of Israel “hanging by a thread”. The film reveals this agitation in Israel, at times manifesting itself through exodus, which is the very opposite of the Zionist dream.

• We live in the Middle East but we refuse to accept the fact that we are part of it. I think this pretty much indicates that there is an identity crisis in Israel – a Gabriel Moses, exempted from military service

In my Book One – Between Us Only! Article – ‘Lost Blood’ – I recall the incident of my first encounter with one Israeli boy – a Diplomatic student in the High School I used to attend in that distant land. Quote – That ended the friendship, though the day he left he took my address. I never expected to get any response from him.

Years later he sent me a small note in the same place – it just said ¬ – Thank you for trying to make me feel welcome and as a friend! I still remember your words. I hope one day I can invite you to my country and there will be peace amongst our peoples and that we can be Real First Cousins!

In my holiday stay in a hotel in Zanzibar a few years back – I was approached by this sort of ‘foreign Arabic’ looking pretty girl asking about a certain place she and her friends wanted to visit – thinking I would know the place as I was speaking the local lingo to the hotel staff. When I told her I do not know the place – she was very much surprised till I explained that I came from Oman. She then said to me – So you are Arab? I said – I think so! In that case – she retorted – Then I should not be speaking to you!. Because I am Jewish! The last part was in perfect Arabic.
So I replied – I think conversely – because we are cousins – and should be talking to each other! That is a new one – she retorted – I will tell all my friends back at home on this! She and her parents actually originally came from Yemen! She too was in the ‘The Pain Inside’ group – and narrated to me how she had helped a Lebanese old woman during the Lebanese invasion. The shock on the old woman’s face was not the war – but ‘the uniform she was wearing’!

When I was a young boy and during the colonial times in that distant island – the District Commissioner then used to speak in Arabic to my late Father. This surprised the locals very much – until they came to realise that his origins were also Jewish!

In my latest book Wipe My Tears! – – I said – The book also carries many family, offices and human based articles that are applicable to us all – as bottom line we are the same human being in that same a person – with the same needs, wants and fears – devoid of race, religion, creed and colour! Many of the articles are highly emotive and heart rendering – and that is the reason of adopting the title of Wipe My Tears!

Some more ‘The Pain Inside’ Footnote sayings: –

• Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it – J. K. Rowling
• Life is a pain! Anyone who says differently is selling something else – William Goldman
• Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength – The Dalai Lama
• There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds – Laurel Hamilton
• One thing that you cannot hide is when you are crippled inside – John Lennon

Take Care!

By: Majid Al-Suleimany

The Family: In Crisis!

For Sunday – April 7th 2013

Between Us Only!

The Family: In Crisis!

The Family is a real-life documentary in 2-parts by The Television Al Jazeera English. In a tale of politics, power and greed, this two-part series examines the Mubarak family – close and in detail – like that of any family – when facing crisis – whether from within or outside – if real or created and as artificial.

As Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president, lies on his deathbed, The Family offers a fresh perspective on the history and inner workings of the man, his wife and his family. It is the story of Hosni Mubarak – along with his wife Suzanne and their two sons – is a tale of politics, power, ambition and greed. It is a story of a humble birth and a rise through the ranks of the Egyptian Air Force, culminating in a 30-year reign over the fulcrum of the Arab world – all set against the backdrop of a tumultuous region.

The first of these two-hour documentaries shows Mubarak as the unassuming and loyal lieutenant of the famous Egyptian President – Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar al-Sadat – who found himself thrust into the top job – brought to power by a twist of fate.

Family 1

Family Images – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

The second shows Mubarak as president, developing into a dictator and surrounded by a family with an insatiable appetite for self-interest. Distanced from his people by those in the inner circle – advisors and the family – and not knowing what was really happening on the grounds!

This is a tale of how power corrupts, of how a once-modest man turned into an all-powerful pharaoh who rode roughshod over the wishes of his subjects – and of a dramatic downfall.  The Family includes testimony from those who served with Mubarak as well as members of his family and inner circle and photographs from the family album.

Two parts that really touched and moved me and where I could touch base and associate – is seeing poor Hosni Mubarak really traumatised – broken down and shocked beyond belief – when his favourite grandson Mohamed at age of about 12 died by a mysterious disease. At this particular time – he really wanted to quit politics – because he simply could not take it – handle it anymore! He had literally given up in life – and just wanted to disappear from the lime lights! But he was persuaded to continue by his family and the ‘inner circles’ – because the ‘country needed him to continue in that position’! Sometimes that first ‘gut feelings’ are always proved right!

Family 2

Family Images – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

The second part was when the sons fought furiously blaming each other for the downfall of their father the president – and his destiny and legacy. The army warning that the family had to abdicate and move on to Sharm-el-Shaikh – and Madam Wife refusing – and had to be literally dragged by her sons to the waiting military helicopter!

It is an intriguing documentary – that made me watch both the two parts continuously! And like most families – whether you are a President of a country – or just a retired HR Professional like me – at the time of crisis – especially from within – and even from the outside more – the true identity and ingredients – the mantle and the makeup of the family comes out! Whether you will rise to the occasion – and take the high road – or disintegrate and break up into pieces – and families split in the middle – or as many cases – more than two sides – with some deciding to remain ‘neutral’ – or move between sides – as the time ensues and proceeds!

Hosni Mubarak Family

Hosni Mubarak Family Portrait – The Good Old Times!

This documentary – according to my assessment – is a study of human nature, approaches, attitudes and focuses in life – that and the students in social studies should undertake – including Historians – and those who write bibliographies too! Not just to study this family in history – but if I was an Egyptian and with access – as a record for future history and records – and as a learning process for future Arab Leaders – specifically and in particular!

I know personally people that we used to work in the same places – and who are now millionaires – whilst poor me continues to depend on my pension money – and the few money in writing – columns and my books! People who were so economical that they were looking for the cheapest airfares and holidays that they could find – to now having all the money in the world – and their own private jets and yachts too! Have they remained the same – or have they changed dramatically now? For the better or worse? A one million dollar question!

Family A

Family Images – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

I always like to quote Alexander The Great 3 wishes when he was on his death bed – I came with empty hands in this world – and I go now with empty hands to my grave. All the power, fame and riches I leave behind me! And the other expression – I wanted to change the world – but the world changed me – instead! (Anon)

It is easy to talk about others and preach – but if you ask me honestly and frankly – that is what most of us are doing nowadays and as the-in fashion and style thing to do! But a long time ago – when we were kids and were rich – we had our heads in the clouds – and treated rather raw and badly the other children that were poor and in need. Was it God’s punishment that by misfortune of fate – and wrong choices in life – we went broke and bust – and got to learn what it was to be in need and in want – to find the real truth and bitterness in life? I guess so! Pride always goes before a fall!

The other day I met this young man driving this oldish type of 4WD. So I was interested in talking to him – and found an excuse to do so! There is no good picker of conversation than to admire and comment on a car – and I had recognised the numbers as something uniquely linked to my date of birth! Yes – he was the son of my good friend and work peer who had died a few years ago. The car is still going strong years later – whilst the poor man’s bones in the ground are all that is left now!

Whatever belief you have in life – the basic and fundamental teachings and outlooks in living with others in life – and those that are poorer and more in need are basically the same! Even from those pagans that worship the baobab tree – the river or others! But will we human beings ever learn? I doubt so!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

Cyber Bullying!

Between Us Only!

Cyber Bullying!

I was watching this Al Jazeera Television programe titled One on One showing increased Cyber Bullying in Australia to the extent and to dynamic proportions that one out of four College students have admitted as having been victims and suffered from Cyber Bullying! There are also increased suicides amongst teenagers because of the shame and stigma being felt under Cyber Bullying!

CB 1

According to Wikipedia, Cyber Bullying (CB) is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. As it has become more common in society, particularly among young people, legislation and awareness campaigns have arisen to combat it.

Cyber bullying is defined in legal glossaries as

  • Actions that use information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others.
  • Use of communication technologies for the intention of harming another person
  • Use of internet service and mobile technologies such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or SMS text messaging with the intention of harming another person.

CB 2

Examples of what constitutes cyber bullying include communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior intended to harm another. Cyber bullying has been defined as – When the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.

A cyber bully may be a person whom the target knows or an online stranger. A cyber bully may be anonymous and may solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target. This is known as a ‘digital pile-on’

CB 3

The programme shows the teenagers suffering alone in silence – and it interviews the teenagers and asks them why they do not report the cases to their parents – or the Authorities. The common answer being that they are afraid to do so – because the first thing that the parents normally do – is to take away the gadgets from the teenagers! Wrongly thinking that in this way they are shielding and protecting their children – but this does not stop the cyber bullying – because there are other gadgets – and other people – were it is continued to be shown!

CB 4

Images CB For Demonstration Purposes Only!

Sometimes, it becomes too much – the pain, stigma and all the shame – that some opt out by committing suicides! It looks like that these people desperately need fun and humour on the expenses of others in order to survive! A few months back we had the case of the Indian UK Nurse committing suicide as a result of an Australian Radio prank! It seems that the more ‘advanced’ you become in life – the longer the pecking line (order) of your victims below you are given for your choosing! In this case of CB –  it is usually the ‘lonely quiet keeping to themselves’ type of characters and personalities that bear the brunt of the CB attacks!

In all my articles, I keep stressing on the same point. The other day, I received a letter from Zanzibar from a friend and he asked me to deliver a personal message to one of his relatives. When I went to the house – Big Boss was watching football matches in one room – whilst the Madam was watching soap operas in another room. When I asked about the teenager children – the answer came out the same from both – They must be out somewhere – because the cars are both out!

In a Regional Television programme (Arabic) – there was this beautiful television advertisement where it shows a young girl in need of something – or needing to talk – approaching her mother. The mother cuts in – Don’t you see I am talking on the line? Talking to her friend was more important than listening to her daughter. She goes to the father who cuts her short abruptly – Now what do you want? Thinking she wants some money or favours. The girly wryly replies – Nothing Dad – nothing!

The girl goes on to tell her problems to an ‘Aunty Advisor’ – who advises the girl to put her name in the chat rooms – and she soon gets connected to a young boy – and they start video love chats on line.

In another office place – the Boss calls his assistant – but he seems to be busy on the chat lines (office time?). And the boy brags to the boss – See my new find girlfriend! She is really hot for me! The man looks – and sees his daughter as the chatted up girl of his assistant! The advert ends with the advice and counsel – Your children are the most important part of your life – do make the time and efforts – and do listen to your children!

I fully endorse that message. I am not saying I am perfect – but I am trying hard! Very hard!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

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