Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Famous Bukhatir Brothers

During every Ramadan in the UAE, one Imam is very popular amongst the locals (Emiratis) and expats alike.

Salah Bukhatir has very strong followers. Last 10 days of Ramadan in Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman, everyone would like to join his tarawih at 'Bukhatir Mosque'. Every inch of the mosque will be filled-up as well as on the streets surrounding the mosque.

Bukhatir is a well-known and wealthy family residing in Sharjah with business all over the region.

While with Yusuf Islam, there was a deal that never materialised. Yusuf kept telling about this guy whose voice and song really touched our hearts. We tried to contact him.

The mission was to get Salah's brother, Ahmad Bukhatir out of the UAE into to the world stage. He is popular but shying from public eyes. He has his own stands and we respect him.

Anyway, he is one of my favourite singers.

Let's hear from our top nasheed singer.

Where Are my children


Last Breath

Ya Akhi

Dear My wife

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More career opportunities in the UAE.

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The Putrajaya Report in Emirates Business Today

The article is bad publicity for our image but that is reality that we have to face and improve.
Putrajaya is another Tun Mahathir's legacy which was supposed to be the grandiose city under the Malay/Islamic theme. It could be realised with better planning and maintenance but it would come with heavy price as well as waste to our resources.
Do we need Putrajaya in the first place? Yes, KL is too crowded and No, not that far from KL.....but even Tun Mahathir has joined the detractors...of course he blames everything to Pak Lah!

Malaysia's unloved new capital begins to show the cracks
by Sarah Stewart

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AFP) - On a hillside overlooking the grandiose administrative capital that Malaysia has built at vast expense, vacant lots marked with the names of dozens of countries lie empty.
It's a diplomatic enclave without diplomats, embassies or limousines -- and one of the most visible failures of Putrajaya, a multi-billion- dollar extravaganza of monumental avenues, lakes and dome-topped buildings.
Putrajaya was the branchild of former premier Mahathir Mohamad who ordered construction to begin on the site of an palm oil plantation in 1996, despite the economic firestorm that swept the region the following year.
Mahathir, who turned Malaysia from a tropical backwater into one of Southeast Asia's biggest economies, was a fan of mega-projects including the Petronas Twin Towers, which was for a time the world's tallest building.
The massive scale, cost and ambition of Putrajaya sets it apart as perhaps his biggest achievement, but less than a decade after it was unveiled, the cracks are beginning to show and Mahathir has joined the ranks of detractors.
"At night it is deserted, because all there is there is government offices. We want to see a living town," he said earlier this year, accusing his successor Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of losing interest.
"When I see broken tiles and broken pavements, I feel saddened," said Mahathir, who envisioned Putrajaya as a triumph of Islamic development, as well as relieving congestion in the overcrowded capital Kuala Lumpur.
"If leaders don't take an interest, neither will minor officials."
Kuala Lumpur lies 25 kilometres (15 miles) north, and clogged highways and poor public transport links make Putrajaya an often unpopular destination for those compelled to visit for business or bureaucracy.
Most government ministries have relocated there, despites the grumbles of employees, but private business has been slow to follow despite government incentives and encouragement.
Mahathir said that not enough has been done to attract the private sector, or the foreign missions that were supposed to occupy the diplomatic enclave that has already been established with access roads, shops and landscaping.
Many countries have bought plots, but so far only the Iraqis have broken ground, and most diplomats have no intention of giving up their missions in central Kuala Lumpur, and their elegant colonial-era residences nearby.
While those in Kuala Lumpur may sneer, Putrajaya's 60,000 residents are generally full of praise for their purpose-built town, with its clean air, wide boulevards and lush parks.
Most are public servants who have been won over by subsidised housing, and facilities like shopping centres and cinemas that have gradually sprung up.
"Initially everyone complained but now they are more comfortable as there are no traffic jams, not like in Kuala Lumpur," said education ministry employee Robiah Kamal, 33.
"The facilities are very good -- schools, nurseries and clinics -- and you don't have to rush for everything," she told AFP at the gleaming Alamanda shopping complex where office workers converge at lunchtime.
Despite the pleasant surroundings and the topiary along the highways, critics of Putrajaya say it was a massive waste of money and that its architecture is grandiose and culturally inappropriate.
The overwhelmingly Islamic-style buildings are out of place in a country which is dominated by Muslim Malays, but also home to large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, says architectural academic Mohamad Tajuddin.
He criticises the magnificent lakeside mosque as being designed more for tourists than the faithful, and says the prime minister's office, a giant edifice topped with a green "onion dome," is downright arrogant.
"Palatial is alright if you're a king who owns the country, but we are a democracy and we're supposed to be ruled by the people," he said.
"If you want to go and see your leader, it should be easy to do so. If you want to pray, it should be easy to do so -- instead of creating a fortress-like atmosphere."
A spate of problems at the grand Putrajaya ministries last year, including collapsing ceilings and a burst water pipe that inundated the immigration department, raised more questions.
"I feel ashamed. These are new buildings and there are problems. There must be something wrong," Abdullah said at the time.
Tajuddin argues Putrajaya should have been designed in sympathy with Malaysia's harsh sun and tropical storms, with shaded path and breezy verandas instead of baking hot avenues and expanses of paved plazas.
"If you're going to have a kingdom designed to show opulence, it's going to be maintainance- intensive. Things are going to get broken very fast. Landscaping and flowers are all very expensive," he said.
Samusudin Osman, president of the Putrajaya Corporation which runs the town, has heard all the complaints before and good-naturedly urges critics to be realistic.
"People have very high expectations of Putrajaya, they expect it to be world class," he says.
He admits his own children aren't keen on the place and complain it's too quiet, "but for heaven's sake, this is an administrative centre, it has to have some air of formality."
The total cost of building the capital -- shared between the government and the developer -- has never been released but at least 20 billion ringgit (5.9 billion dollars) has come from public coffers.
"There are much better things to do for the money," said veteran opposition figure Lim Kit Siang who dismisses the project as a symptom of Mahathir-era "megalomania".
"My first impression of it was that it was a monstrosity and I don't think my views have greatly changed."

Zayed vision: Transforming desert into green haven

Long before the need for sustainable development became widely recognised, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was achieving an environmental miracle: he was transforming the desert into a green haven.
Hamdi Tammam, in his book Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Leader and the March, wrote that the former president devoted much of his time making enquiries about the topography of the region.
After much research, Shaikh Zayed discovered that 15,000 years ago, the Arabian Peninsula was a very different place. Enveloped in thick forests and full of greenery, the land got transformed to a desert only after it was exposed to a long spell of drought that also forced its inhabitants to move in search of water. In time, the forests were buried and gradually transformed into the region's black gold or oil.
Shaikh Zayed charted a course to return the desert to its greener origins by increasing the number of trees, farms and palm orchards.

Enduring quest
And so began the leader's enduring quest. From promoting agriculture and wildlife conservation to literally pushing back the desert, he changed the face of the UAE and gave the country an environmental conscience.
Shaikh Zayed's primary motive was to offset the effects of desertification, which studies revealed were dramatically affecting Abu Dhabi. A process in which desert sands drift onto plantations and farms and stifle the growth of crops, desertification spelled bad news.
Shaikh Zayed developed extensive projects to level dunes and sand hills and cover surface areas with mud. He set up green belts around farms to protect them against the wind and to stabilise the soil. Additionally, he worked to protect cities against sandstorms and restrict humidity ratio by ensuring that forests were set up around city borders.
In 1946, Shaikh Zayed launched a pioneering project for the development of a water resources management system that was centred in Al Ain. By using both the traditional 'aflaj' or underground canal system of irrigation and modern technology, he was able to raise productivity in existing agricultural lands and introduce new varieties of produce in farmlands.
Water was UAE's most precious natural resource, according to Shaikh Zayed. He encouraged finding new mechanisms for effectively conserving water and was always looking for ways to boost ground water reserves.
Agricultural experimentation played a key role in transforming the desert landscape, especially in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi's Al Sa'adiyat islands. Pilot experimentation stations were established in these areas in the 1970s, with more than 283 farms initiated in different locations in Al Ain.
However, the visionary leader knew that all efforts to expand greenery would be rendered useless if the desert continued to encroach on productive land. He encouraged the introduction of indispensable measures, by erecting dams, taking care of ground water, using fertilisers, building fertiliser factories and growing salt-tolerant plants.

Tree-planting project
One of the most visible and enduring results of Shaikh Zayed's efforts can be seen on both sides of the road between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. A tree-planting project that began at the end of the 1960s continues to prosper even today, with more than a 100 million trees currently existing within the borders of the UAE.
The city of Al Ain alone has more than 75 modern forests, each with an average area ranging between two to three square kilometres. The variety of trees planted were chosen carefully and assessed for their ability to survive in the harsh summer climate of the region, with greater emphasis on local breeds. It is no wonder Al Ain is known as the "Garden City" of the UAE.
Along with protecting the land, Shaikh Zayed shouldered the responsibility of building nature reserves and conserving wildlife. Often commended as his greatest achievement in this regard, Sir Bani Yas Island is a haven for endangered species such as gazelles.
Under his directives, breeding programmes in Al Ain Zoo helped increase the number of the Arabian oryx from four in the 1960s to its present number of 2,500. Such programmes were also extended to birds such as falcons and the Asian Houbara Bustard.
What began as a vision has now transformed into a reality. Additionally, about 20 per cent of the world's date palms exist in the UAE with a myriad species of plants and flowers.
As for sustainable development, Shaikh Zayed said it best: "On land and in the sea, our forefathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so only because they recognised the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live and to preserve it for succeeding generations."

Timeline: Zayed's directives
- 1970 Established an agriculture experimental station in Al Ain.
- 1973 Visited Dalma Island to establish agricultural projects.
- 1974 Visited Sila'a to establish agricultural projects.
- 1975 Under his directives, the number of farms in Al Ain rose up to 319.
- 1977 He banned fishing in Abu Dhabi to counter over-exploitation.
- 1977 He ordered Al Ain Zoo to begin breeding programmes for the Asian Houbara Bustard with the aim to breed 10,000 annually and release them into the wild.
- 1983 He ordered the planting of forest trees such as the lotus jujube, Salm, Samar and Al Ghaf. The trees now number more than 5 million.
- 1984 125 farms were established and distributed to UAE nationals.
- 1985 He ordered public parks to be introduced along Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. A total area of 53 km was grown with palm trees.
- 1992 He received a Japanese delegation to conduct a comprehensive survey for developing water resources and utilising them in agricultural expansion.
- 1993 The Federal Environment Agency was established to oversee environmental issues on the federal level.
- 1995 Shaikh Zayed Falcon Release Programme for releasing falcons began.
- 1996 The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (formerly the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency) was set up to help achieve sustainable development.
- 1997 He ordered all farmers in Al Ain to grow 400 palm trees, each.
- 2000 The total area of planted forests amounted to around 300,000 hectares where the number of trees reached 600,000.
- 2002 The total number of palm trees in the UAE reached 41 million, with the production of 40 million tonnes of dates.
- 2002 Under his orders, several environmental conservation initiatives were launched, including the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (ADGEI), which was designed to collect relevant environmental data at home and abroad.
- 2003 UN Agreement for Desertification Combating Conference was held in Abu Dhabi.
- 2004 He issued a federal decree whereby the UAE joined the International Treaty on plant gene resources.
- 2004 The UAE also joined the Arab Water Council in Cairo, which is concerned with conservation and protection of Arab water resources against waste.

— Source: Environment Agency Abu Dhabi website :

Kau (Pak Lah) Pergi Jua

malam-malam terakhir
di bilik kelam sebuah istana
mimpi pun menjadi igauan buruk
bersama suara-suara gamat memekak
di luar pagar yang kenyang
memakan padi dari dulang emas

berbalam musim-musim indah
dari ikon suami mithali
ke duda tua paling diberahi
meriah sebagai pengantin baru
bertukar menjadi foto-foto lapuk
yang tersadai dalam album usang

gemilang hari-hari terlelap
dari mesyuarat ke majlis negara
adalah memori tidak cemerlang
buat marhaen yang dendam terluka
oleh pembohongan manifesto terbilang
dan seribu keputusan flip-flop perdana

pujukan rayu dari anak dan menantu
keluarga dan rakan terdekat
semakin tenggelam dan karam
digilis cemuhan dan ketukan bertalu
mengetuk pintu kewarasan tersisa
tentang realiti semasa negara

berbuih di putrajaya kau berjanji
semuanya telah dimungkiri
yang tinggal hanya seluar dalam khairy
masih menjadi topeng kuasa
kerana tong taik ameno bila-bila masa
akan meletup oleh pengebom berani mati

dalam jaga dan terbang sana sini
masih kau belum temui
mutiara kata-kata shafie dan ghazali
yang tercicir hanyalah fail-fail korupsi
disorok berdikit menjadi bukit
bahan lucah ke mahkamah umum

ke mana kan kau bawa diri
sebagai statesman atau estate-man
mengharung wajah-wajah membenci
biar kau pergi jua, pergilah ke zimbabwee
tiada siapa tangisi, kecuali kroni
biar hidupmu di sana di panggil Tun Hadhari!

Palm Jebel Ali
21 september 2008

Yemeni wins International Holy Quran Award

The first prize winner of the beautiful recitation contest from Malaysia opened Saturday's grand ceremony with his breathtaking recitation.

Dubai: The Yemeni contestant was awarded by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, first place at this year's Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA).
During a grand ceremony held on Saturday at the Cultural and Scientific Association in Al Mamzar, 85 contestants were honoured by Shaikh Hamdan for their participation in the 12th edition of the international award, including the 10 top winners, who participated in the awards held from September 8 to 19.
Fares Al Aagam from Yemen, Noor Al Deen Al Younsi from Libya and Khalid Al Ainati from Kuwait won the top three prizes respectively.
The Islamic personality of the year was was awarded to the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran, which had a representative from Saudi Arabia present at the grand ceremony. The Madinah-based King Fahd Holy Quran Printing Complex has produced more than 200 million copies of the Quran.
The complex produces 10 million copies annually. If necessary, its annual cap-acity can be increased to 30 million copies. "This award will be cause for great pride and gratitude within the King Fahd Complex for its status internationally and regionally," said Dr Mohammad Al Ofi, General Secretary of the complex.
The prize for the Islamic Personality of the Year is Dh1 million in recognition of contributions and achievements in the Islamic world.

Cash prizes
The first three winners of the Quran recitation competition receive Dh250,000, Dh200,000 and Dh150,000 respectively. The fourth to tenth positions receive Dh65,000, Dh60,000, Dh55,000, Dh50,000, Dh45,000, Dh40,000 and Dh35,000.
Winners below the tenth position will be rewarded according to their evaluations as those above 80 per cent are rewarded Dh30,000 each, from 70-79 per cent receive Dh25,000 each and below 70 per cent get Dh20,000 each.
Ebrahim Mohammad Bu Melha, Chairman of DIHQA's Organising Committee, said: "Each year the award is progressing and becoming one of the top awards offered on the international arena."
The 20-year-old Yemeni contestant was also rewarded at the beautiful recitation contest for holding the fourth position, part of DIHQA.
The first prize winner of the beautiful recitation contest from Malaysia opened Saturday's grand ceremony with his breathtaking recitation.