Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's a blunderful life

During his boring speech in Dubai (Pertemuan dengan Rakyat), Pak Lah made a few blunders (not to mention his infamous tardiness like one and the half hour late..). The most significant when he said that. "Qatar is a part of Emirates..!!!!!!!" Read HERE

It’s a blunderful life

If speaking in public isn’t your forte and you’re famed for messing up your words, you’re not the only one - celebrities do it tooYou’re in front of a crowd - the pressure’s on.

You’ve learnt your lines word for word and have even practiced the right spots to pause for breath.

But as you see the eyes focusing on you and begin to sweat, it becomes harder and harder to remember what you wanted to say.

Most of us have been there at one time or another. Whether it’s been in the office or making a speech at a wedding, even those who have had all the training in the world to help them speak well in public make mistakes from time to time.

Well, you’ll be pleased to know those in power can and very often fluff their lines too.

Fair enough, we all know it wasn’t Barrack Obama’s fault when he seemed to forget his words during his swearing into office ceremony.

It was Chief Justice John Roberts, who pronounced crucial words in the wrong order.

The judge, who has been dubbed the ‘oaf of office’ by one American newspaper, was conducting one of the highest profile and most watched ceremonies in the world when he messed up his lines.

But he’s not the only high profile character to get his lines wrong.

7DAYS has listed just a few of the most famous blunders.

Britney Spears
The American pop star doesn’t seem to know her geography very well as she once said: “I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada.”
It’s also alleged she swore about the positioning of her audience without realising her mic was on in Brazil.

Gordon Brown
Only last year the British Prime Minister was left red faced after addressing politicians about his multi-billion pound bank bail out and saying “We not only saved the world...”
Embarrassed as the House of Commons erupted in laughter and jeers, he attempted to clarify what he meant by adding: “We not only worked with other countries to save the world’s banking system.”

Michael Jackson
Back in 2002 at the MTV Video Music Awards, which was broadcast live, popstar Britney Spears invited Michael Jackson on to the stage to present him with a birthday cake and he thought she had said she was presenting him with the Artist of the Millennium award. He began to give a speech about how grateful he was to receive it. There is no such award and Spears had only used the phrase to describe her admiration for the star.


Charles De Gaulle
The founder of the French Fifth Republic and its first President, General De Gaulle famously made the rather obvious comment: “China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.”

Princess Diana
In 1983, Prince Charles and Lady Diana visited Australia and New Zealand on a Royal tour. One day on a ‘walkabout’ in South Australia, Diana found herself shaking hands with a one-armed man.
“My,” she said, “you must have fun chasing the soap around the bath!”

Leonid Brezhnev
The Soviet leader was renowned for making stupid mistakes. His speeches were said to be up to six hours long because he read not only the original, but the carbon copy too. On one occasion, Brezhnev allegedly visited the south of Russia to do a speech on science and accidentally gave the wrong speech - on culture. He didn’t even notice until it was over.

Neil Armstrong
It’s long been believed that the world’s most famous astronaut said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he became the first man to land on the moon.
But after acoustic analysis of the recording of the speech was released he claims he’s finally been vindicated by the evidence of the missing ‘a’, revealing Armstrong did, in fact, say “One small step for ‘a’ man”.

George Bush
This article wouldn’t be complete without at least one reference to George Bush. So apt at muddling up his words that his nonsense quotes now have their own name - ‘Bushisms’.
We all know the one about fool me, you can’t get fooled again but here’s a lesser-known gem.
We think the last word was meant to be ‘destruction’.
“The law I sign today directs new funds and new focus to the task of collecting vital intelligence on terrorist threats and on weapons of mass production.”

Pengakuan dan Ketakutan perasuah politik UMNO Malaysiakini


Dari Mingguan Malaysia

SOALAN
Dalam pemilihan yang lalu, saya reda menyatakan bahawa saya ada berjumpa dengan seorang maha guru dekat Gunung Ledang, juga tok
batin di Segamat, tetapi saya kalah teruk, terduduk! Duit juga habis banyak, beratus ribu, termasuk membawa rombongan ke Medan. Lama juga hendak hilangkan rasa kecewa, sehingga saya seumpama “down,” tidak ada semangat, menyebabkan saya selalu teringatkan mati.
Bulan lepas orang kuat saya meninggal dunia, menyebabkan saya seumpama jatuh ditimpa tangga. Wajahnya selalu terbayang,
suaranya seumpama terngiang-ngiang di telinga, menyebabkan saya terlalu takutkan mati, lebih-lebih lagi setelah mendengar kuliah ustaz di surau tentang seksaan mati.
Orang yang banyak melakukan dosa akan diseksa ketika sakaratul maut, seumpama dibelasah dengan pedang, atau seperti kambing dikuliti hidup-hidup.
Bagaimana hendak menghilang rasa ngeri yang ada pada dada saya supaya dapat menjalani kehidupan seperti manusia biasa. Adakah benar mati iaitu ketika sakaratul maut itu menyeksakan?- Orang politik
JAWAPAN:
Saudara tidak jelaskan pemilihan apa yang menyebabkan saudara berjumpa dengan maha guru juga tok batin. Mungkin yang dimaksudkan ialah pemilihan ketua, sama ada ketua bahagian ataupun ketua cawangan. Ketua pemuda, ketua kampung atau ketua jabatan.
Lumrahnya, orang yang jumpa dengan “maha guru,” tok kiai atau sebagainya juga yang menggunakan wang beratus ribu ringgit dan rasa down bila kalah teruk itu ialah dalam pemilihan politik, yang melibatkan ketua bahagian, ketua pemuda atau seumpamanya, macam tanam modal seumpamanya. Keluar duit dahulu bila menang segala-galanya boleh cover. Ada kuasa ada power. Inilah tingkah laku mereka yang terlibat, yang melibatkan salah guna kuasa, namun saudara tetap kalah.
Perlu dijelaskan di sini, di Gunung Ledang tidak ada orang yang dikenali sebagai “seorang maha guru”. Orang Muar dan Melaka semua tahu. Mungkin “maha guru” ini ialah individu tertentu yang dikenali dan dipanggil oleh mereka yang terlibat seperti saudara, termasuk mereka yang mengamalkan ilmu kebatinan, tidak ubah seperti hikayat-hikayat zaman dahulu yang menyatakan adanya puteri, iaitu Puteri Gunung Ledang. Satu legenda khayalan yang hakikatnya langsung tidak masuk akal, menyebabkan Sultan Melaka akur untuk membina jambatan emas dari Gunung Ledang merentas hutan belantara ke Melaka. Menghantar hati nyamuk, kecuali semangkuk darah raja.
Tidak ada puteri di Gunung Ledang. Yang ada ialah jin-jin atau iblis dan syaitan daripada golongan jin, kerana makhluk jin ini tempat kediaman yang digemari ialah di bilik-bilik air, di jamban-jamban, tempat-tempat kotor, seperti buangan sampah, tempat sembelihan binatang, di kubur-kubur, termasuk kubur yang dianggap keramat, tempat pemujaan ekor, yang jauh daripada manusia seperti di lautan, di lembah-lembah, gunung-ganang termasuk termasuk Gunung Ledang dan tempat-tempat lain seperti ini.
Biar dalam keadaan apa pun yang jelas, saudara tetap kalah, kalah teruk setelah berhempas pulas berikhtiar, berfikir siang malam, jumpa kawan-kawan sama satu pemikiran, lobi sana sini, berembun di malam hari, kumpulkan kawan-kawan, mereka fitnah, cara kelemahan lawan, belanja makan minum tetapi tetap kalah, sehingga ‘terduduk.”
Kalau saudara seorang yang boleh berfikir, kekalahan saudara sehingga “terduduk” itu memperlihatkan atau membuktikan bahawa Allah itu Maha Berkuasa. Manusia berusaha, bermati-matian untuk menjadi ketua, membelakangkan agama, tidak peduli halal haram, tetapi yang menetapkan qada dan qadar ialah Allah SWT juga.
Memang benar, bukan mudah untuk menjadi kuasa. Kena selalu belikan kain sarung, kain samping, baju dan yang paling istimewa ialah rombongan ke luar negara, paling tidak ke Medan, Jakarta, Bukit Tinggi, Bali, sambil makan angin boleh main golf. Satu trend yang tidak termaktub dan dilarang, tetapi itulah yang sebenarnya berlaku, yang diajar sejak dari dahulu, sebenarnya tidak sukar untuk dinafikan sekiranya setiap pihak jujur.
Pada pandangan zahir, orang yang menerima nasib seperti saudara bukan mustahil menjadi “kecewa” dan tidak ada semangat, maksudnya “tidak ada semangat untuk berjuang dalam politik.
Pada saya, saudara sebenarnya tidak perlu kecewa, tidak perlu hilang semangat kerana selama ini saudara berjuang dalam politik pun bukan ada semangat politik” dalam erti kata sebenar, untuk membela bangsa, negara atau masyarakat. Saudara tahu di sebalik jawatan ketua dalam politik. Buktinya, saudara bermati-matian untuk memperolehnya dengan bertemu maha guru di Gunung Ledang juga tok batin di Segamat.
Saudara sepatutnya bersifat gentleman, masuk bertanding, tidak wajib menggunakan wang untuk merasuah pengundi, tidak menggunakan khidmat “maha guru” atau tok batin. Amalan saudara ini sebenarnya termasuk dalam perbuatan sihir. Salah satu daripada dosa besar yang membinasakan. Membinasakan diri sendiri, orang lain, masyarakat dan agama.
Allah Maha Berkuasa. Saudara kalah biarpun telah banyak mengeluarkan wang ratusan ribu dan mengamalkan perbuatan sihir. Saudara sepatutnya bersyukur kepada Allah kerana kalah. Allah menyayangi saudara, iaitu dengan cara menjadikan saudara kalah. Allah Maha Mengetahui apa yang sewajarnya dilakukan ke atas hambanya yang melakukan dosa iaitu saudara, dosa sihir dan melakukan rasuah. Ditakdirkan saudara menang, perbuatan sihir dan rasuah tidak akan terhenti.
Berkemungkinan saudara menjadi ketua dan akhirnya menjadi wakil rakyat contohnya tidak mustahil rasuah saudara semakin besar, amalan sihir saudara akan lebih menjangkau jauh, kerana ketika itu saudara lebih berkuasa, lebih banyak duit dan lebih banyak pengaruh. Logiknya kalau ketika hendak mendapat undi sebagai ketua saudara boleh mengamalkan sihir untuk mengalahkan lawan, juga mengeluarkan wang beratus-ratus ringgit, adakah mustahil kalau tabiat tersebut terus menerus saudara lakukan, kerana manusianya adalah sama.
Allah menyayangi saudara, iaitu dengan menyekat tabiat atau budaya buruk saudara dengan cara mengalahkan saudara dalam pemilihan yang lalu dan akhirnya saudara ingatkan mati. Takut diseksa oleh Allah di akhirat kelak, terutamanya ketika sakaratul maut. Bagus betul ustaz yang memberi kuliah tentang seksaan mati di surau itu yang kebetulan saudara hadir. Berkemungkinan kalau saudara menang, saudara tidak sempat hadir kuliah yang diberikan oleh ustaz tadi kerana saudara akan terus berkempen di tempat lain.
Dalam surah al-Baqarah: 26 dijelaskan, berkemungkinan sesuatu yang tidak kamu sukai itu, adalah lebih baik bagi kamu dan mungkin sesuatu yang kamu sukai itu adalah lebih buruk bagi kamu. Dan Allah Maha Mengetahui walhal kamu tidak mengetahui. Demikian qada dan qadar ketentuan Ilahi, yang hanya dimaklumi hakikatnya oleh Allah SWT.
Maka saya jelaskan bahawa saudara sepatutnya bersyukur kepada Allah kerana kalah dalam pertandingan yang lepas biarpun setelah banyak memberi rasuah dan melakukan amalan sihir. Kekalahannya itu adalah rahmat bagi Allah, yang dengan sendirinya saudara berpatah balik ke pangkal jalan.
Sesungguhnya Allah mahukan, setiap hamba itu reda dengan qada dan qadar ketentuannya. Apabila sesuatu itu telah termaktub di Loh Mahfuz, maka tidak ada seorang hamba yang boleh mengubahnya.
Benar! terdapat keterangan daripada ayat-ayat al-Quran dan hadis-hadis yang menyatakan tentang seksaan sakaratulmaut, terutamanya mereka yang banyak melakukan dosa juga mereka yang melakukan dosa-dosa sihir yang boleh menyebabkan syirik, juga mereka yang memberi, menerima juga orang perantaraan rasuah. Saudara perlu bertaubat agar Allah tidak menyeksa ketika sakaratulmaut. Taubat nasuha dan tidak melakukannya lagi. Jangan taubat ketika kalah sahaja, tetapi bila pertandingan semula menang dan ada pangkat menjadikan lupakan kepada Allah. Kalau ini berlaku, orang seperti ini Allah telah menutup hidayah, dan baginya seksaan yang amat pedih.
Dalam sebuah hadis kursi dijelaskan bahawa apabila seorang hamba itu menghampirkan diri kepada Allah dengan melakukan amalan-amalan sunat, terus menerus, lalu akhirnya dia menjadi kekasih Allah, maka ketika itu Allah akan memberi kekuatan pada dirinya juga rohnya. Ketika itu, andainya hamba berkenaan memohon, Allah akan memperkenankan dan apabila memohon perlindungan, Allah akan melindunginya. Manusia yang berkasih-kasihan, sayang menyayang sama sekali tidak akan menyakiti jauh sekali menyiksa kekasihnya.
Allah Maha Pengasih lagi Penyayang. Apabila seseorang hamba itu menjadi kekasihnya, dengan melakukan amalan bertakarub, menjadikannya manusia warak, zuhud lagi takwa, adakah akan diseksa ketika di akhirat kelak, termasuk ketika sakaratulmaut.
Saudara tidak perlu takutkan mati dengan syarat saudara mesti menjadi kekasih Allah. Sebaliknya, kalaulah saudara terus menerus melakukan amalan sihir juga rasuah, maka benarlah kuliah ustaz di surau tentang seksaan ketika mati. Tidak ada gunanya kalau hanya takutkan mati tetapi kelakuannya seumpama mencabar mati.

Tyson and Holyfield to fight in Abu Dhabi

Boxing legends Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield will stage an epic third fight in Abu Dhabi this October, Arabian Business can reveal.

Full details of the historic fight will be announced on Feb. 1. It is understood that the bout will be held at the open air Zayed Sports City Stadium in front of 25,000 boxing fans, with sources indicating it will be the “richest fight in history.” The Tyson/Holyfield fight will be the finale to an evening that will first feature two separate world title bouts. One tentative date is Oct. 31, the night before the first ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Tyson, the 42 year old former world heavyweight champion - facing financial troubles - last stepped into the ring in November 2005, when he lost to Ireland's Kevin McBride.

Holyfield, now 46 years old, fought for the WBO heayweight belt in October 2007 when he was outpointed by Russian holder Sultan Ibragimov. Holyfield won both the previous two encounters with Tyson, including the famous “bitten ear” incident during their second meeting in 1997.

Holyfield, who knocked out Tyson when they first met in 1996, was paid a record $34 million for their second meeting. Sources suggest that each fighter will earn more than $34 million for the Abu Dhabi clash, which is expected to be televised world-wide.It is also understood that a chunk of the earnings from the October event will be donated to an Autism charity.

The fight is being put together by Hydra Properties CEO, Sulaiman Al Fahim, who said in a telephone interview on Sunday: “We have agreement from everyone needed and will make the official announcement next week. The idea is to stage the biggest ever fight in boxing history and to do it in Abu Dhabi, which would be a great global event for the UAE capital.”

Pengalaman makan sate ular

Dari Mingguan Malaysia

INDONESIA memang terkenal dengan perubatan tradisional yang bukan sahaja melibatkan pelbagai rempah ratus, tetapi juga banyak amalan mistiknya. Berjalan-jalan di sekitar kota raya Jakarta pasti kelihatan banyak gerai-gerai menjual pelbagai ubat sama ada tradisional atau moden bagi menguatkan tenaga batin, selain pelbagai khidmat urut untuk faedah yang sama.
Bagaimanapun seorang rakan mengesyorkan saya mencuba sate daging ular tedung yang bukan sahaja dapat melancarkan perjalanan darah, tetapi turut meningkatkan kemampuan seksual.
Demi mendapatkan bahan berita, penulis bersetuju berkunjung ke kawasan Mangga Besar di Jakarta yang dikatakan mempunyai beberapa buah gerai yang menjual sate ular tedung. Pada gambaran penulis pastinya sate berkenaan telah siap dipanggang dan tentunya kelihatan seperti sate ayam sahaja.
Gerai sate berkenaan hanya dibuka pada sebelah malam. Dari jauh telah kelihatan kain rentang "Sate Kobra" dengan gambar ular tedung yang sedang mengembangkan kepalanya. Sebaik kereta berhenti bersebelahan dengan gerai berkenaan dan perasaan geli, lagi menyeramkan terus menguasai diri penulis. Mahu tidaknya terdapat sebuah sangkar yang dipenuhi dengan ular tedung. Penulis terus memberanikan diri menyapa peniaga berkenaan yang memperkenalkan dirinya sebagai Ricky Hermanto.
Penulis bersama rakan terus memesan dua ekor ular untuk dibuat sate kobra iaitu seekor ular dijual pada harga RM15 siap dicampur ramuan dan dibuat sate.
Ricky mengambil penyepit yang diperbuat daripada buluh untuk menyepit kepala ular tedung yang sedang kembang.
Dia yang mempelajari kemahiran itu daripada bapanya terus memenggal kepala ular itu dan darahnya diletakkan ke dalam sebuah cawan. Kulit ular kemudiannya disiat dan perutnya dibelah bagi mendapatkan hempedu dan sum-sum tulang. Hempedu dan sum-sum tulang itu turut dicampur bersama-sama dengan darah ular berkenaan. Selepas itu ramuan tersebut dicampur dengan madu lebah dan arak kemaluan buaya. Daging ular kemudiannya dipotong kecil-kecil dan digaul dengan rempah sebelum dicucuk dengan lidi serta dibakar.
Sehingga semuanya selesai, kepala ular tadi masih lagi bergerak-gerak dan sejak mula lagi penulis memang tidak merancang memakan ramuan tersebut kerana tekak terasa mual. Bagaimanapun setelah lama merenung ke dalam cawan berisi darah ular itu dan demi memastikan kebenaran khasiat yang didakwa peniaga berkenaan, penulis menarik nafas dalam dan sekali teguk sahaja habis darah ular itu ditelan.
Selepas itu tekak terus terasa hanyir dan penulis segera meminta air masak dan air limau untuk diminum bagi membuang rasa hanyir tersebut. Sampai di rumah, penulis terus meminum kopi pekat kerana masih terasa hanyir, namun semuanya sia-sia kerana rasa tersebut berterusan sehingga pagi esok. Bagaimanapun khasiatnya memang benar seperti yang dikatakan oleh peniaga. Badan terasa panas, tekak terasa lapang, pernafasan terasa cukup puas dan bagi yang belum mempunyai teman hidup eloklah tidak mencuba ramuan tersebut kerana kesannya cukup cepat.

Why Israel fears Mitchell, a true honest broker

Perhaps it was anxiety that prompted Abe Foxman to be so unfortunately blunt in his assessment of President Barack Obama’s new Middle East envoy. “George Mitchell is fair,” said Mr Foxman, president of America’s Anti-Defamation League and doyen of the Israel lobby.

“He’s been meticulously even-handed. But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been even-handed. It has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical US support. So I’m concerned. I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach.”


Mr Foxman’s complaint should be cause for cautious optimism among those who seek a fair solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The appointment of a seasoned diplomatic troubleshooter on Day 2 of the Obama administration is certainly not what Israel had in mind.

George Mitchell is the man you send when you want to broker peace between intractable enemies: his signature achievement was the Good Friday Agreement that laid the foundation for ending decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. But since 2001, that is what Israel has sought to avoid. It doesn’t want to be treated as one party to an unresolved political dispute: it wants to be treated as a western ally facing a foreign terror threat, demanding unqualified US support for its efforts to blast the Palestinians into quiescence.

Mr Mitchell’s appointment signals that President Obama is serious about jump-starting peace efforts, and that he is not necessarily prepared to restrict himself to Israel’s priorities and prescriptions in doing so. The senator, remember, has been here before: he was appointed by President Clinton to make recommendations on restoring the Oslo peace process amid the violence that broke out after the failed Camp David summit in 2000. His return, as Mr Foxman so perceptively observes, signals an approach that treats Israel and the Palestinians as two parties to a conflict that urgently needs solving.

“From my experience in Northern Ireland I formed the conviction that there is no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended,” Mr Mitchell said on Thursday. “Conflicts are created and conducted by human beings. They can be ended by human beings.”

The envoy will be limited or enabled by the brief provided by his bosses, and his efforts will be hobbled unless the new administration reverses two key flaws of the Bush policy: seeking to marginalise and destroy Hamas, and the refusal to restrain and reverse Israel’s occupation activities.

That President Obama continues to say there can be no talks with Hamas until it symbolically renounces violence, recognises Israel and adopts past agreements is worrying, because Mr Mitchell has made clear that you can’t solve an armed conflict without engaging the combatants. The idea that Gaza can be rebuilt by a Palestinian Authority that remains – with questionable legal and political basis – the exclusive preserve of President Mahmoud Abbas is a recipe for failure and further violence. It is an open question as to who can more legitimately claim to lead the PA: Mr Abbas’s presidential term expired on January 9, and Hamas remains the ruling party in the Legislative Council.
That is why most of the international community is now urging the formation of a Palestinian unity government. Even Mr Abbas has echoed that call, although not necessarily with much conviction since he knows it would expedite his own passing into political oblivion: Hamas will almost certainly win the next round of Palestinian elections. But if the reality is that Hamas is more representative of the Palestinians than Mr Abbas is, then any reality-based approach to resolving the conflict will have to engage Hamas.
To enable progress, the US need not actually talk to Hamas: it simply has to reverse the Bush policy of actively resisting and sabotaging efforts to bring Abbas and Hamas into a unity government. Hamas’s decision to contest the elections three years ago signalled a pragmatic decision to operate the machinery of Palestinian governance created by Oslo (and the recognitions and treaties that define it), and even then it immediately sought a unity government with Mr Abbas, in which he would be allowed to continue negotiating with the Israelis.

Its leaders have repeatedly signalled their desire for engagement, and hinted at movement towards an ambiguous embrace of the two-state concept. Hamas leaders wouldn’t bother to exhort the US to talk to them if they didn’t have anything interesting to say. Integrating Hamas into the Palestinian Authority and a wider peace process will be difficult, but neither the Palestinians themselves nor outside stakeholders in solving the conflict can afford not to do so. Finding the formula for bringing them into a pragmatic peace dynamic will be one of Mr Mitchell’s primary challenges, and he will face resistance not only in Israel, and perhaps in Ramallah, but also in Washington, where pro-Israel hawks will continue to wield considerable influence.

The second challenge will be to pick up where he left off in 2001 in pressing for Israel to freeze settlement activity and reverse the other trappings of occupation (including the blockade of Gaza). Allowing Israel to expand its grip on territory that would form part of a Palestinian State actually diminishes the chances of reviving peace talks. And Mr Mitchell’s challenge here will be made more difficult by the probability that, within three weeks, Israel’s new prime minister will be Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made clear he has no intention of ceding any territory to the Palestinians and rejects the very idea of “final status” talks.
Pressuring Israel remains exceedingly unpopular in America, but it cannot be avoided if a viable two-state solution is Washington’s goal. And if Mr Obama were not serious about reviving peace efforts, he would not have appointed an honest broker. Hopefully, advocates of the status quo such as Abe Foxman have good reason to concerned.

Tony Karon is a New York-based editor and analyst who blogs at Rootless Cosmopolitan: tonykaron.com

Heavy snowfall near Dubai - Malaysiakini


Heavy snowfall on Ras Al Khaimah's Jebel Jais mountain cluster
By Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter Published: January 24, 2009, 19:47
Ras Al Khaimah: Snow fell heavily on the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah on Friday night, leaving the Jebel Jais range covered in a thick white blanket of snow.
The extreme cold spell brought the temperature on top of the Jebel Jais mountain cluster, situated at a height of 5,700 feet, to as low as -3 degree Celsius on Friday night, as the snow blanketed an area extending over 5kms.
Major Saeed Rashid Al Yamahi, Manager of the Air Wing of RAK Police, who flew a helicopter to the top of the Jebel Jais mountain, said that the entire area was covered with 10 cm of snow.
"The sight up there this morning was totally unbelievable with the snow-capped mountain and the entire area covered with fresh, dazzling white snow. The snowfall started at 3pm on Friday afternoon and heavy snowfall began at 8 pm and continued till midnight, covering the entire area in a thick blanket of snow," he said.
The temperature on top of the mountain cluster remained extremely cold during the daytime on Saturday with the temperature rising to just 1 degree Celsius in the afternoon. "Much of the snow was still there even when we flew back from the mountain this afternoon. It is still freezing cold up there and there are chances that it might snow again on Saturday night," Major Al Yamahi added.
M. V. Varghese, Observer at the RAK Airport Meteorological Office, said that there were scattered rains in Ras Al Khaimah on Friday night which brought the temperature down. "The rain along with the cold easterly winds and low-lying clouds could have bought the temperatures further down on the mountains," he said.


Plans for mountain resort
Ras Al Khaimah had experienced heavy snowing on Jebel Jais mountains four years ago on December 28, 2004. "I had flown there in 2004 when it snowed, but this time it was much bigger and the snowing lasted longer as well," said Major Al Yamahi.
The Jebel Jais mountain cluster is situated around 25kms from Ras Al Khaimah City and normally has significantly lower temperatures even during the peak summer months.
Ras Al Khaimah has plans to capitalise on the attractive climate and spectacular scenery of Jebel Jais by building a mountain resort and ski slope on top of the mountains.

Take a Break and change other people's lives



Breaks that change lives

An increasing number of people are setting off on volunteer holidays that take them to exotic locations they would otherwise never have thought of venturing into.
Spending money on a break where you give something back to society or gain new skills seems to be a trend that’s getting stronger all the time.
There are several projects around that need skilled and unskilled volunteers for tasks such as helping with community development, teaching languages, PR, marine conservation and wildlife protection.



Rewarding experience
Not only is it far more rewarding to spend your cash on experiences rather than possessions, says Rachel Morgan-Trimmer, founder of http://www.thecareerbreaksite.com/ but volunteer breaks are now considered an important investment in one’s personal and professional development.
“There has been a general trend over the past ten years to take care of our planet and of other people, rather than just looking after oneself,” explains Morgan-Trimmer.
Your new adventure could take you deep into the heart of South America, Asia, Africa, Europe or the Middle East — so think about a place where you could imagine yourself spending a long time.
If you are taking a career break to volunteer, there are a number of ways you can use your professional experience to help others.
“Almost anything you can do as a professional you can do as a volunteer,” added Morgan-Trimmer.
She suggests thinking about an activity you have always wanted to try, whether it’s working with children, caring for the environment, looking after animals or leading a team.
Some career breakers have even gone to work for a company they volunteered with, while others have set up their own organisations.
However, if you are planning on coming back home, it is always a good idea to do it during major holidays to catch up with family and friends.
That way, when you eventually return from a long break the transition will be easier.



Prepare before you get set and go
Rachel Morgan-Trimmer gives a few helpful tips for volunteering abroad:

Stay healthy: Make sure you have had all the necessary vaccinations, especially malaria protection and a have first aid kit with you.
Keep safe: Trust your intuition and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home.
Home and bills: For those who are selling up or moving out of rented properties, settle your bills before you travel.
Budgeting: Look out for special offers on flights and packages but never skimp on insurance, backpacks, medical items and footwear.
Keep in touch: Having a travel blog is a good way to stay in touch with family and friends as well as having email or mobile phones.
Homesickness: It is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed in a new country, but get stuck in to your volunteer project and you will soon feel more comfortable.
Visit http://www.thecareerbreaksite.com/ for more info.
Also check out http://www.travellersworldwide.com/
http://www.theleap.co.uk/ http://www.ecoteer.com/
http://www.gapyearforgrownups.co.uk/
http://www.realgap.co.uk/