ARTICLE 1 ---------‘Learning to kill’ ---------- --------By Chidi Emmanuel --------------- KUWAIT: Garbage in...garbage out. What goes in through a child’s eyes and ears will definitely have an effect on how he/she thinks, act and react. “I wanna blow his head off”, 8-year-old Mohammed bravely charged, as he pursues his brother with a toy gun in show of strength and prowess. Letting your kids play with toy guns is desensitizing the kids to violence and trivializing the effects of violence. Some sociologists have argued that children that spend more time playing with toy guns tend to be more aggressive. Some children, especially boys, are more susceptible to these bad effects than others. The purpose of play is to learn and have fun and not to hurt. Like it or not, you are a product of what you watch and listen to. And that does include games. Poverty, gangs, drugs, availability of guns, child abuse, family breakdown constitute to the major cause of violence in the society, but adding these factors to -playing with toy guns and media violence could trigger an explosion of violent crime in the society. In this ugly trend, kids are learning violence—and violence is a learned skill. Children learn a lot of things through play. Play is the best method that a child uses to learn about the world around us and to develop new skills. Parents should sit back and imagine what a child will learn by playing with toy guns. Children love to play with toy guns, because they can pretend to be super heroes especially in this volatile Middle East region where the quest for martyrdom is on the surge. Not only that dangerous play can hurt a child mentally, the toy gun can even hurt him physically. There are all sorts of toy guns out there that throw different objects, from small darts to balls. Some of them are dangerous. A child can point the toy gun towards his or another person’s eye, resulting in an unfortunate accident. Parents should avoid letting their child play with toy guns and limit their kids’ access to movies and computer games that promote violence. It is better to buy educational computer games, which will be both fun and useful. I would be far more concerned about parents preaching tolerance for diversity and resolving conflict through non-violent means than I would about his occasional fantasy gunplay. Let us express and model your values regarding getting along with others. As a substitute to these dangerous games, kids can be exposed to quality music. They need to learn to appreciate more subtle kinds of sounds and rhythms. Taking a child out - to the zoo, the aquarium, to museums, to concerts, on ferry boat rides, on walks in the parks will lighten the child’s memory. Simple things like going to the post office or grocery store is how child learns how life works. Play with their kids - active games with running, ball-throwing, swimming outside, and board games, arts and crafts projects. Think up puzzles, trivia questions, trick questions and qualitative jokes. We are steering our kids towards violence as we stock their shelves with toy weapons like handguns, rifles, shotguns, submachine guns etc. Let our son’s birthday gifts change from toy guns to educative games as we gear towards making the world a better place.
ARTICLE 3------------‘All you need is a western passport not a certificate’------ ----------By Chidi Emmanuel---------------------------- KUWAIT: Lots of companies and organizations in Kuwait prefer ‘westerners’ when it comes to employment irrespective of their credentials. All you need is just to get an American, British, Canadian or sometimes an Australian passport, this will automatically skyrockets you to an executive position in the Gulf region. The issue academic status, career, ability and years of experiences don’t matter much in most cases. Also the certificates gotten from those countries don’t really count much for some employers as they are bent on getting a ‘westerner’ not western qualification. There is a situation whereby a doctorate degree holder from a western university is working under a westerner with just first degree. “All what matters in the Gulf is the passport and not the certificate”, an Indian friend told me when I asked him why he is investing much in getting a Canadian citizenship. Even if the westerner is empty upstairs, his or her mistake will be respected, honored and tagged as ‘western style’. No wonder everyone has now resort to ‘ya men!, whats up! and Am gonna! form of English just to pretend to be western-like. On daily basis, one sees lots of agencies that claim to help people secure Canadian, Australian etc citizenships. Many have fall prey to some of these agencies, as they ‘gradually’ demand a lot of money from their clients. But the brain behind getting this citizenship is mostly just to have the passport not even to stay there. This of course will enhance your status in the Gulf region. Lots of importance is attached to nationality than professionalism and academic qualification in this gulf region unlike other parts of the world. The language has been ‘this is the way we do it there’ (in the west) and not necessarily the way it ought to be. I think it is high time we face the reality and focus much on the person’s technical-know-how rather than the passport at hand. The issue of nationality is a privilege, If being a westerner is by passing exams, lots of Asians would have become westerners even more than the ‘westerners’. There is no reason for such an inferiority or rather ‘superiority’ complex, for the way you dress is the way you will be addressed.
ARTICLE 2------------The battle of the faiths (unanswered questions)?----- -----By Chidi Emmanuel----------------- KUWAIT: No X’mas greetings to infidels! No Valentine’s! No more churches! No, No, No…. But in the West, Muslims want their Sharia—they want to have their mosques, even in the White House and Buckingham Palace. “No one can stop us from practicing our religion,” one of my Muslim friends told me in Bahrain. Well, good and right. But is it the same as with other religious groups? “We can practice our religion everywhere, but you can’t practice yours in our land.” This is an implicit message to the non-Muslim nations. There is no country in this world that has no mosque, but why is the case different for Christians in Saudi Arabia and Qatar? Muslims have mosques in almost every country as they go to their places of worship unperturbed. There are hundreds of mosques even in Protestant-dominated Britain, Hindu-dominated India, Catholic-dominated Rome and all over the world. Many airports even have mosques and places of worship for Muslims. In Europe and the US, they go unchecked with their religious practices. Many go as far as using their paid hours to perform their daily prayer rituals all in the name of rights. What about the Christians and other religious groups in the Middle East? Even to open just one church in a country, (Qatar) is generating a brouhaha and triggering a bitter debate. Critics have even branded it as, ‘repulsive’. Many have vowed a capital ‘NO’ to that, while some moderate people are giving a hesitant nod with restrictions - (No cross should be raised in the skies of Qatar). But come to the ancient English city, Oxford, a battle of faith is being waged where the small Muslim community there wants to broadcast a recording of the call to prayer with loud speakers. Muslims are planting mosques like trees in all countries of the world. In Toronto, Canada, they have created a city state called Al-Ahmadi neighborhood with the Paris suburb turning to a Mideast extension. We, and them – Dichotomy As the prophet’s (PBUH) cartoon uproar rages, Iran (of all nations) has shot a film about Jesus. Who cares? Only God will fight for the Christians in this part of the world. A Muslim lady teacher must wear her veil anywhere and anytime with or without law. But Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Nihilists etc., must not be caught eating during the holy month of Ramadan. You must fast or eat discreetly in your house whether you like it or not. For them (Muslims), it is their rights but for others, (Non-Muslims) their Muslim law must be obeyed. We must fight for our religious rights. Yes! We must open mosques and say our five-times-a-day prayers anywhere, anytime even in the aircrafts. We can insult Western leaders, burn US, UK and Israeli flags but don’t dare insult our leaders nor burn our flag. The cartoonist and Denmark must be punished for printing the prophet’s cartoon but what about Iran and the Iranian film director Nadar Talebzadeh, who produced the ‘Islamic Jesus?’ Don’t shout and disturb your neighbors while praying, but we must call for prayers five times a day. (It is our religious right). Are we truly justified by our actions? Only time will vindicate the just.
ARTICLE4------------A cry for the Africa---- By Chidi Emmanuel---- KUWAIT: Africa is a continent blessed with beautiful people, natural resources and good climate. But it is being mismanaged by bad leaders. Everything seems to be working against this world-forsaken continent. Even the HIV virus that was discovered in America is taking its highest toll in Africa. When I hear Al-Qaeda and its cohorts justifying their attack because of Western polices in the Mideast region, I cry for the poor Africans. If there should be any sect or set of people that should take up arms against the West, it should be the Africans. They were humiliated by colonisation and downgraded by apartheid on their land. Africans have suffered the worst form of injustice and humiliation in this world. Many were lynched, a lot were turned into slavery by whites with 'black hearts'. Civil wars and violence can attract the attention of the world only when it is affecting the global interest like oil production. Otherwise it will remain unnoticed till the rival factions become tired of fighting. The Tutsis, Hutus, Darfuris etc can eliminate themselves or could be eliminated without the world's concern. But the Middle East crisis will forever be a global issue. Nobody cares about justice in Africa. Shadowy peace is what West seems to care for, neglecting justice, which is the sine-qua-non to peace. Good a thing- upon all the poverty and penury, many Africans still believe that a living dog is better than a dead lion. They reject suicide bombing and terrorism as the last resort. Many shun the idea of dying in 'honour' than living in disgrace upon all that they are passing through in life. Many blacks of African origin were lynched in the US and subjected to slavery by the westerners. I still wonder why the 'planet demoters' have not demoted this continent as a failed continent or as a dwarf continent. Is only in Africa that everything goes wrong. Aid donors only donate rice, meat, flour and other foodstuffs in Africa whereas they donate money, manpower and even cancel debts in other parts of the world. BBC, CNN and other Western media only see Darfur, war-ravaged Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia and the ugly ailing African faces, there by painting the humiliated continent darker than its colour. Beautiful cities like Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, Abuja, Abidjan, Accra etc will 'rather spoil their camera' if showcased. Just to mention but a few, when Hariri (former Lebanese Premier) was assassinated, the world cried foul and a panel was constituted to investigate his murder. But most of his kinds in Africa were left unnoticed. John Garang and other African ex-leaders that have been murdered only ended up with lips-condemnation by the manipulated UN and western powers. Hostile treatments to people with African origin have become too visible. Whereas illegal immigrants are treated with little respect elsewhere, African illegals are rather treated like the worst criminals, chased with dogs at canary Island, beaten and sometimes killed. You can call them anything but you cannot call them terrorists. Recently, Obama the US senate's only black member (of Kenyan origin) lamented the US absence in Africa. The honourable senator urged Americans to make their presence noticeable in Africa. He noted in dismay how African migrants are being maltreated in Spain and Italy chiding the west to stop treating them like criminals. The cries of dying Darfuris will continue to haunt the world because the whole society is guilty when an innocent man is hanged
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