Tag Archives | Bahrain

Ramadan Kareem (2012)

That time of year has come upon us once again, Ramadan! There are many reasons it's my favorite month (apart from the religious and spiritual context). Here are a few:

  • Vimto becomes the official drink of the month (Vimto gets the BIGGEST boost in sales during this month alone!).
  • Less work, more sleep (never managed not napping in the evening).
  • Some people are calmer, more friendly (note the word "some").
  • For some reason food is much tastier.
  • Related to the above, some food I only enjoy or even eat during Ramadan (like Harees :-P).
  • Roads and some places are much calmer after breaking fast.
  • You have an excuse to stay up at night (or until dawn for some people :-/).
  • Tents, tents and more tents!
  • You may end up being invited to someone's every day for the rest of the month to break fast (this can also be a downside).
  • Eid comes right after ;-).

Of course it's not all fun and games, there are a few downsides:

  • A lot of food is wasted… Come on, you know you won't eat that whole dish! I at least get full pretty fast during Ramadan.
  • If you do eat the whole dish above: some people end up in the hospital's ER soon after breaking fast. Take it easy :-).
  • Some places do not reopen later, so if you need something you better get it in the morning.
  • Some people get grumpy during the month. I blame either lack of sleep or their low glucose levels.
  • Low sugar levels + driving + getting to or from work in a hurry = accidents icon sad Ramadan Kareem (2012) (plus grumpy drivers).
  • You feel like you haven't done anything productive in the day, especially if you end up sleeping to pass time.
  • It's summer, and Bahrain has been witnessing the hottest months in history lately icon sad Ramadan Kareem (2012) (May 2012 was the hottest in 100 years).

To sum everything up, I wish everyone a Ramadan Kareem icon smile Ramadan Kareem (2012)



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Goodbye Brazil… Hello Home

Today is my last day in Fortaleza, Brazil. Although I have not done much tourism wise (not exactly a tourist after all), I have enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of this great country. The past month and a half I met family and friends that I haven't seen for a couple of years, experienced rain that I have never ever seen in my life, enjoyed great food and simply relaxed.

Goodbyes are never easy, after all I am not sure when I will be coming back here again. However I do miss sorely my real home Bahrain, and due to many reasons I am glad to be returning. For someone who had high hopes of actually settling in Brazil, that thought has been pushed to the back of my head. Benjamin Disraeli said it best "travel teaches tolerance". A long travel awaits, but I'm ready.

"A tout le monde,
A tout mes amis,
Je vous aime,
Je dois partir"
Megadeth, A Tout Le Monde

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Bahrain Android App – Update 1

Here is the app idea I had, a Bahrain themed app! I was planning to have it done and in the market before Bahrain's F1 weekend. But progress has been at a standstill: technically I am on holiday :-P, I am more than lazy at the moment and some parts of the app probably needs me to be there (such as photos). Even though the design may leave little to be desired, I feel like a kid having accomplished something big (albeit small) :-D! Anyways, here are some screenshots:

bah app 1 198x300 Bahrain Android App   Update 1bah app 2 199x300 Bahrain Android App   Update 1bah app 3 201x300 Bahrain Android App   Update 1

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Exclusive: Greenisis Sneak Peek

Just got an email from Greenisis (previous post on them), with a bit of good news for those waiting for their launch!

  • Their first shop will open next week, at the Manama Car Park building.
  • Plans start from BD15.
  • Last but not least: TRULY UNLIMITED (fingers crossed that translates to truly uncapped :-p).

The most important line in the email, and I quote: "We will be offering truly unlimited broadband from BD15 per month!"

I'm just as anxious waiting for the full details!

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When Weathers Collide

Here I am in Brazil (Fortaleza to be exact) and it seems like the week will be hot with lots of rain:

fortaleza weather 300x101 When Weathers Collide

Then I compare the weather here with Bahrain's:

bahrain weather 300x97 When Weathers Collide

I wish the cooler weather was here, the rain is OK, but not the heat! Fingers crossed for some cooler weather next week, otherwise it will be mostly indoors for me… At least I've got Internet!

 

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Andrea Bocelli, Welcome to Bahrain!

By the time this gets posted, I am hopefully well on my way to Andrea Bocelli's first concert in Bahrain! Convinced to attend by my mother (a big fan) and I'm sure going to enjoy it. Getting the tickets (on day one) took some patience but it is going to be worth it.

Bocelli 300x225 Andrea Bocelli, Welcome to Bahrain!

The event is just one of many organized by Bahrain to promote culture and is part of the Spring of Culture lineup of events. Hoping for an enjoyable time to all, for this and other events :-)!

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Bahrain’s New “Green” ISP

Within the coming months Bahrain will have a new ISP joining the market. The company will be called Greenisis and they already have a website up (a teaser for now). They are joining the green technology marketing trend since they will be using low emission equipment (hopefully no compromise on quality). They are backed by a company known as Kleos that "is a Telecommunications Company specialized in designing, building and operating the world's most advanced wireless mobile broadband access networks" (Kleos home page).

"Greenisis" appears to be a trade name for the actual company that is running Greenisis: Bahrain Broadband Co. W.L.L. (according to its TRA licence info). The IP address running the Greenisis website belongs to Nuetel (AS35568), that also provides Internet to Amwaj, not sure how they are related though. Most importantly, if true, this means that Bahrain is one of the first countries running "green broadband" and the first in the region.

Fingers crossed for truly unlimited Internet like our neighboring countries ;-)!

GDN article about the launch.
ITP article about Bahrain Broadband's winning bid.

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First Android App – Update 3 + App Idea

It has been a while since I've worked on my first Android app. The basic functionalities are working perfectly as expected. However, the provider I was using had some issues with their API, making my app useless for some time.

I hate it when something so tiny outside my control can mess an entire thing. As a result I am thinking of working on another app while my "first" app is on hold until issues are sorted. The app I had in mind is going to be much more complicated and I have set the deadline for the final finished app just before the Formula 1 weekend in Bahrain. I can release it any time, but a huge event that attracts tourists such as the F1 hopefully increase the odds of someone downloading ;-). The couple of apps similar to my idea on the Android store aren't working at all, so I jumping in to see if I can get a proper one out there.

This new app will be more than just programming. If it is how I envision, I will be working with photo/graphics editing software, taking UI design much more seriously and possibly work with API of external services. The challenge awaits, but the laziness awaits too!

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Better Internet is (Hopefully) Coming

Bahrain, and the rest of the Gulf countries could very soon be experiencing faster and most importantly affordable Internet. A marine cable laid by a company known as Gulf Bridge International (GBI) is finally complete, and is technically live and ready (as of 19th Feb, 2012). It connects the countries in the Gulf region: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (GBI's HQ), UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Iran and Iraq. Furthermore it then connects to countries outside the Gulf for international connectivity, Italy (Europe, eastern US) and India (Asia, western US). Right now it can carry 5.8 terabits PER SECOND and its design supports 10Tbps!

gbics 300x134 Better Internet is (Hopefully) Coming

 

 

In Bahrain, GBI has partnered with Batelco to manage the landing station. There should be no worry with Batelco disputing access to the cable (as it once did with FLAG), since many providers are now connecting through Viva's wholesale services (connectivity through STC's vast international providers) that is managing GBI's landing station in Saudi Arabia (as STC).

How soon should we expect to see faster Internet? With LTE (up to 100Mbps) being commercially deployed around April by Viva and probably soon after by Batelco and so on, so hopefully in that time range. Fingers crossed Bahraini providers (Zain an exception) give up transfer caps!

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A New Chapter Begins!

Just a couple of hours ago I bid farewell to my last class. It has been a long and somewhat tiring number of years. I slacked the first couple of years, but I partly blame that on the registration system we used to have (imagine everyone registering for classes in ONE day!). Then came the courses which were only offered during the summer, which I skipped in order to visit Brazil. The third year I picked up a bit, going on overdrive for a semester, which was not a good idea. I blame myself for taking courses intense in numbers… Final year, I got a chance to really pick myself up. I pledged to finish by taking whatever was offered, regardless of the psychological and physical cost it endured. I also worked on some papers that were published, attended a conference and learned from others. I guess everything happens for a reason.

Thoughts were running through my mind this morning. I thought about what I would do now? I now had time to do stuff I used to brush off since it made me feel counter productive (but I ended up being counter productive anyway). I came up with a list:

1. Start visiting the "office" which I have neglected for the past month or so. Probably "work" for at least 4 hours a day on whatever in there.

2. Educate myself. I have started Android apps development, and I am really enjoying. I should probably go deeper into it rather than just scrape the surface like all other languages.

3. Take care of my body. I am not exactly fit, I haven't exercised in only God knows how long. We've got a treadmill, I guess I should make good use of it with the running shoes I bought ages ago :-P. Or maybe I should join the gym.

4. Go out more. My going out life has been mostly home, university, home, movie and dinner with friends on weekends and basically that's it. Maybe should I try the museum or spend the whole day walking around one of the malls. Basically socialize more.

5. Play music. I have abandoned my guitar and bass for at least a year. They are right in the middle of my house so I pass by it every time I visit the living room or kitchen. Yet for some reason that counter productive thought used to haunt me. Think I should change the strings first though, don't want to get tetanus!

6. Travel. Ever since I came back from Dubai for the first conference I attended I always wanted to go back and do stuff on my accord. Looks like that might be happening soon. I also would really like to visit Salalah again (closest you can get to a Brazilian in the GCC btw, minus erm, the beauties ;-P!).

7. Enjoy life! Can anything be that simple?

Noticed I haven't added anything career wise? Did that on purpose. It's in the list but too serious to be put here… I will be putting up a sort of online CV soon with the stuff I've accomplished and the skills I have (small or large).

Another chapter begins!

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