Thursday, August 14, 2014

Here is the wind in the morning; The kind red face of God Is looking over the hill

Since I am too busy with school and work to travel much, let along focus on my blog until next year, I will try my best to post at least ones a month a profile of a region/city/country I am planning to visit in the near future. Today, I would like to profile one of the most fascinating and rarely known places, Nuristan, Afghanistan. Formerly known as Kāfiristān or Kāfirstān (Pashto: کافرستان‎). Its a historical region that covers present-day Nuristan Province in Afghanistan and its surrounding areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Its a beautiful place with fascinating indigenous population called Kalashi, many of whom still practice their own complex autonomous culture and believe of ancient Hinduism mixed with Islam.

Apparently selfies are not just limited to urban areas

the Kalash people live in three isolated mountain valleys

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability

I don't know about laziness, but summer has been a welcoming sight for us Canadians, thanks to a brutal winter we've had this year. Looking back at all the pictures I took since January 2014 was a display of extreme weather patterns many of us have not seen in recent times. We've had ice storm, snow storm, then ice storm and another snow storm in April (the spring season that never was). So, let me take you down memory lane….aka Canadian weather in the past 3 months.

May / June 2014
March / April

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.

Peace and democracy hasn't come easy to many countries around the globe, the continent of Africa in particular. Without getting into the political mess that is the horn of Africa, I wanted to congratulate Somaliland for the courage and political will it showed 23 years ago on May 18th, 1991 to rise above tribal/religious friction and revenge for wrong doing, to become a united country. 

Without their youth (which compromises close to 60% of the country) patriotism and rejection of terrorism in the face of economic struggles and hostile neighbours, they would not be celebrating such achievement today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one

Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum famously saidWe, in the UAE, have no such word as “impossible”; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. When one doubts his potential and capabilities as well as his confidence, he will lose the compass that leads him to success and excellence, thus failing to achieve his goal. I require you, youth, to insist on number one.” 

Well he did achieve in turning Dubai, into one of the most famous commercial cities in the world, and a major player in terms of trade and tourism. As well as a leading conference and exhibition venue in the Middle East with its beautiful infrastructure, amazing night life and appealing fashion centres (even though Kuwait and Bahrain might challenge the title).  Here are the rest of the pictures from my trip to Dubai:

I think this is self explanatory, I don't need to spell out where I'm @ :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A nation without a past is a nation without a present or a future

Stated by His Highness, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder & Former President of the United Arab Emirates. Unless you have lived in the Gulf region/Arabian Peninsula like my family for five decades now, or you have been to any part of the region in the past ten-twenty years, its phenomenon how much UAE have changed, Sharjah and Dubai in particular. Sharjah is the more conservative and in my opinion calmer, more historical spot to enjoy an authentic version of the country, besides Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, despite its reputation as the 'Venice of the Middle East, or Vegas of the ME,' Dubai is a tourist paradise, if you are willing to spend a bit of money to tour some of its top architectural divine and night life, or lucky enough to have your family and friends who live there to give you the local tour. Not to mention its amazing malls and gold/silver market for the shopaholic among us and of course some of the best restaurants and local cuisines for food connoisseur's.

Here is Part I of the pictures I took while travelling the Gulf region, Sharjah and Ajman fish market in particular. I took over 1000s pictures since I haven't been back to these 2 cities since I was 8 years old, close to 20 years now. I will post the rest including mostly Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah in a week's time (yes, I'll try not to neglect my blog for another month).

Ajman Fishing Market