Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You Cut The Cable, you FOOL!

The recent undersea cable ‘cut’ had resulted in severe disruptions to internet and international phone services in MENA nations such as Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and other nations such as India and the Maldives. The cables carry over 70% of all data traffic between Europe and the Middle East.

According to the report, this is not the first time there has been a disruption in internet and international phone services in the Middle East. In January and February 2008, four undersea cables were damaged in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf.

The FLAG Europe-Asia and the SeaMeWe-4 near Alexandria, FLAG near the Dubai coast and FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran were all submarine cables that sustained damage earlier this year.

I have been involved in several major fiber and submarine (proud to say, satellite communications and earth station) installations, relocations as well as interruptions since managing IT & Telecom infrastructure projects.

With the fast-paced developments in Dubai, cable installations are increasingly vital for telecommunication networks. I may be fortunate or in certain circumtances, unfortunate to be part of this manic period. Looking back, it was a great experience after all.

Few years ago, I received an emergency call after midnite from a very upset voice. My sub-sub-contractor Pakistani man had inadvertently cut a major fiber optic network that connected more than 30 TV stations to the satellites! He was working on site excavation without consultant's or my approval during weekend.

The fiber ran through our new development project. Ironically, I was earlier involved in installing the same cable while working with the former company which then owned the earth station and media city.

As per Dubai laws, any persons who distrupt public order or destroy public property can be jailed immediately and in this circumstance, the managing director and project manager of the contractor, sub-contractor companies would be detained.
As the project manager on behalf of the developer, I was called to rectify the problem by coordinating with all relevant parties. I was panicking and did not know what to do for a while. My former colleague and boss had made sure I would not sleep as they would not sleep over next few days. Disaster management theory was now put into exercise.

I had to face not only the wrath from service provider but from its major clients as well. They lost the precious air time as their transmissions were cut off for several hours. Imagine one particular international TV station lost its transmission and the viewers only stared at blank screens all over the world while waiting the no.1 programme then, the arabic version of "Who wants to be a millionaire!"

Fortunately, we managed to re-install a temporary cable before morning by engaging a contractor company which had worked wonderfully with great precision. But the damage had been done.

Both the service provider company and its clients later claimed millions Dirham in loss and I had very tough time to write reports, meet the upset service provider bosses as well to work on compensation. It was a silly accident that occurs frequently as most sub-contractors are not disciplined and professional.
The episode gave me a very good lesson in managing consultants, contractors and sub-contractors, not to mention, in facing the wraths that costed millions. I survived for another day and become wiser to respond to such an emergency.
Unfortunately though, well maybe, fortunately for some disaster management experience, it was not the first and last one a sub sub contractor cut the same cable at the same area!

Hadhari versi Syiah

Pak Lah kini berada di Iran untuk lawatan rasmi, mungkin sebagai siri lawatan terakhir sebelum dilucutkan jawatan Perdana Menteri menjelang Mac nanti. Kerjasama dengan Iran memang penting dan sepatutnya hubungan ekonomi serta perdagangan telah lama dipertingkatkan.

Kecuali tentunya, fahaman Syiah. Dimana sesuatu yang sensitif. Ada penganut Syiah dari golongan Melayu yang masih dalam tahanan ISA manakala baru-baru ini, pemenang Hadiah Nobel dari Iran, Shirin Ebadi tidak dibenarkan oleh kerajaan Malaysia untuk membuat ceramah.

Iran memang mempunyai banyak wang hasil dari petroleum dan dikatakan kerajaan Iran telah mengambil balik simpanan di banyak negara. Bayangkan kalau bilion USD ini di simpan di Malaysia.

Banyak beda antara Pak Lah dan Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Presiden Iran itu naik melalui proses demokrasi yang jauh lebih terbuka, telus dan adil, manakala Pak Lah naik kerana dipilih oleh Tun M yang sampai sekarang masih menyesal dengan pilihannya itu dan tidak langsung mempunyai ketokohan untuk ke pentas dunia.

Ahmadinejad yang mempunyai ijazah kedoktoran itu juga ada blog sendiri. Orangnya amat sederhana dan tidak mempunyai anak dan menantu yang sama jadi penasihat negara. Ahmadinejad juga berani untuk berdepan dengan Setan Besar.

Begitupun, tidak pasti Pak Lah dalam hari-hari terakhir sebagai PM ini akan sama mengekspot mazhab Hadhari dengan versi Syiah.
Apakah usaha meng'hadhari'kan dunia Islam ini akan terus disambung oleh Najib yang tentunya tidak lupa untuk membawa Hadhari ke negara-negara dunia ketiga lain, terutama Mongolia!

Baca surat Ahmedinejad kepada Bush di sini.

Iran, Malaysia sign 3 documents for economic cooperation
Iranian and Malaysian officials signed three letters of understanding on Tuesday for Tehran-Kuala Lumpur cooperation on scientific, technological and auto manufacturing fields as well as campaign against drug trafficking.
The documents were inked in a ceremony attended by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmed Badawi.
During the ceremony, Iran's Zagros Khodro company signed an agreement with the Malaysian Proton company to carry out joint auto manufacturing projects.

Peraduan Ratu Cantik Dengan Hadiah Jutaan RM di Gurun UAE

Dengan hadiah bernilai 40 juta Dirham, ribuan perserta sedang berhimpun di Madinat Zayed, sebuah bandar pedalaman di kawasan Barat Abu Dhabi untuk beradu kecantikan.
A camel beauty contest in Abu Dhabi is awarding dhs40 million in prizes, The world’s most lucrative camel beauty contest began yesterday, with thousands of dromedaries fluttering their long eyelashes and swaying their giant humps before waiting judges.
The Al Dhafrah Festival in the remote Western Region will give away dhs40 million and 143 trucks to celebrate Bedouin culture, dwarfing the prizes given to Miss World, or Miss Universe.
While the contestants may not be declaring their desire for world peace and to travel the world, their attitude before the judges is a key factor in choosing a winner. Thousands of camels have entered the beauty contest, where camels are assessed on strict criteria, including the shape of their ears and the size of their nose compared to the rest of the face.
The festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage as a way of preserving the UAE’s love of camels. As well as a beauty contest, the event includes a camel auction, date-wrapping competition, handicraft market and a photography and poetry competition.
The beauty contest will feature camels from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries. Prizes include new Range Rover and Toyota cars and millions of dirhams in cash. Last month, Australian camel expert Paddy McHugh had a chance to view one of the chief contestants, a gargantuan-sized black camel showed to him by a Sultan who organises UAE camel racing. “He was the biggest thing I’d ever seen in my life. He wasn’t a racing camel. He’s only role in life is to stand there looking like a million dollars,” he said.
McHugh, who organises a UAE-sponsored camel race in Australia, said the camel was worth approximately $5 million, as are many other top beauties.
He said his Australia race, the Sheikh Zayed International, included a beauty contest that was an enormous success with UAE visitors and Australians spectators alike. “There are now two very distinct forms of camel worlds in the UAE, the racing animal and the beauty competition. Both bring huge money and prestige to owners,” he said.
McHugh said that only camel experts can spot real beauties, but there are very obvious signs of a serious contender, such as body type, size and hump size, while the general attitude of the camel is also a key factor when prizes are awarded. He said the scores of judges also consider “add-ons in the dress up side of things”, such as flags and rhinestone harnesses.“Its very hard to explain what makes a good camel, but when you see it you know,” he said.

Peserta yang terdiri dari unta-unta.
Dancing celebrates camel’s victory

MADINAT ZAYED, AL GHARBIA // A group of judges huddled in the middle of the central competition area comparing notes on the 10 towering camels tethered to the sides of the pen.After much deliberation, the results were announced in reverse order.
The three most beautiful of the 10 finalists stood in front of the stands before the name of No 9’s owner was announced to great applause.
It was the first event of the mazayina, or camel beauty contest, at this year’s Al Dhafra Festival. A light Asayel camel belonging to Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan, was declared the most beautiful in its class by the judges from the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
As the winner was announced, gutras were thrown in the air and dozens of spectators rushed down onto the judging grounds. Some of them hoisted their canes in the air as they joined a traditional celebratory dance to music blaring from loudspeakers.
Other winners on the first day of the second edition of the annual festival included Mabroukan, a camel belonging to Sheikh Mohammed bin Sultan, who bought the animal for a record Dh15 million at the first one in April.

Preparations in full swing for Al Dhafrah camel festival
The Al Dhafrah Festival organising committee is preparing to kick off the big event on December 23 in Madinat Zayed, Al Gharbia (Western Region).
It will run until January 1.
The festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and is part of its strategy to preserve cultural heritage in the UAE.
It has been organised under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The festival started last year as an annual event and is dedicated to give life to the traditional camel-raising culture; the event includes a camel beauty contest, camel auction, date-wrapping competition, handicraft market and a photography and poetry competition.


Last year approximately 15,000 competitors from the UAE and GCC took part in the event and this year the number is expected to rise.
This increase is expected because of the recent transfer of camels from neighbouring GCC states to the UAE.
Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazrouei, general manager, ADACH, said: "The festival aims to preserve the authentic breeding line of local camels known as Asaile and Majaheem. The festival also aims to create awareness about Bedouin culture and encourage heritage-related tourism, which will make Al Dhafra an international tourist city."

Lagi gambar di SINI