30 May 2005

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

Wow! Had an audit lunch Monday afternoon and it was shocking! 10 of us ate for over R3000- that’s more than most people spend in a month! the food was great but not worth soo much- I had a Buffalo mozzarella and pumpkin starter, Honey & Mint Salmon and Pistachio ice cream for desert- looks better than it tastes! I would rather go to Bismillahs and have a much tastier chow for a whole lot less… But these corporates have access to so much money that is totally squandered! The things that are done in the name of marketing and customer relations are all just a ploy by the white man to use company money to have a good time with his friends:p

Joey Rasdien called me on Monday- wanted to apologise for not being able to make it for the braai! How cool is that? He promised to make himself available at our next function if we give him advance notice- I can’t wait to plan something and invite him- will be really cool having him making jokes about all us “Moslem Peoples”! In the interest of helping the Muslim community by encouraging them to think about things they have been doing blindly for so many centuries, I believe that we need to create a platform for Joey and other Muslim comedians to make fun of us!~?

My tennis game seems to be improving- the only bit of exercise I’m getting at the moment so hope to carry on playing till I make pro :p
Went for the MSA meeting last Tuesday- it was sad; the demise of Ashfaaq:( He is leaving for Qatar this week, so give him a farewell shout if you have his number… I think Joburg is really going to miss “Ashfaaq- The Man”; but if you do miss him, don’t despair; just get ITV:p

Totally over-rated, is the power of the dark side! The big fuss, I really can’t understand. And what are they, the Wookies? The whole thing does seem to have a bit of a Sufi vibe to it, but really a glorified love story, it just is! Learnt some good words though- the younglings:)
Your time not waste, my advice would be- rather something more constructive, in my opinion, valuable time be spent on! Get a life, say I, to all Master Yoda fans!

Had lunch with Irv and Ned on Wednesday- actually therapeutic to be on campus; an environment where you can actually smell the care free attitude in the air! If only these young na├»ve souls can appreciate and understand the value and also responsibility of being so lucky to still be on campus! Enjoy it while it lasts- you miss it when its over! And what you accomplish on campus, can’t be done while you working!

There was some big game on so all the guys came home for the match & a braai- about 12 of us, started the braai at 8 and it carried on till the game ended! Initially it was not that exciting, but turned out to be quiet an eventful evening. My neighbours were definitely not impressed, unless they also watched the game- but it’s amazing how exciting 20 grown men running after a ball can become:p The sad thing was, the game had to be decided in penalties and the weaker team fluked a win:( And an interesting observation of the game- the Liverpool defence was rather porous!

Thursday saw our division challenge another in action cricket- the prize being the glorified Rubber Duck! Talk about the scams of the white man!
But anyways, in the interest of networking and interacting, I decided to make a fool of myself and participate- we lost but it was not about winning or losing; it was about the participating:p Well, we are Fin Services(the intelligent division!)- and you can’t be both clever and good at sport:)

Special mention needs to be made of Yusuf Areif- he was here on Friday and joined us for Friday Nite program. Probably be seeing a lot more of him in the future:) We had a video of the Cape Town march- they are so much more alive and vocal than the brain/virtually dead Indian Muslim communities of Joburg and Durban!!

The weekend was a series of disappointments- planned to buy a car; it turned out to be a bad buy… planned to go to ermelo and badplas; no new car so couldn’t go… planned to go ice-skating; got lost on the way and reached too late:(
But didn’t end up that bad-
Went bowling with the youths and I scored 161; not being vain or conceited- just feel the need to encourage others to improve their bowling skills:p
Ended the evening with pizza on the curb- huge sheikh, huge!

I hardly did any work at work the whole of last week, I’ve been idle… But on Sunday worked almost the whole day! Consortium stuff- watch this space! Anyone interested in investing money? Contact Copper Lake Investments for lucrative investment opportunities…

Plans for Moz trip coming along quite well- still looking for another 4x4 and any advice from people who’ve been…

23 May 2005

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.

I’m sure some of you have already received at least 2 other ‘life&times’ in the past few days- and since those were of premium quality, I’m aware this might seem a bit weak:(
But since this weekly (weakly) email has become such a habit- here goes… (if you are really, really tired of getting them- just ask and you can be removed from the list…)

Had an extremely tiring week of training- was actually worse than work- had to be attentive from 8 till 5 everyday of the week! But I tried to make it fun and almost paid dearly for it- at the end of the training we had an exit interview. The course presenters were carefully watching us the whole week and taking notes! the review goes on your file and affects your salary increase! I scored poorly in the main sessions for sleeping, not paying attention, constantly making my group laugh and distracting others and for always being late:(
But scored extra well on the break-away sessions so managed to round up with a average rating- scored for being a strong leader (hehe), interacting well with my group (social slut:p) and keeping the ‘group morale’ up (I should become a comedian:p)…
The good thing bout training was had whole of Friday afternoon off!

Went to a PC expo at Sandton Convention Centre after Jumah- very big and hi-tech event. I just tried to get as many freebies as possible- its just comes naturally to Indians. Got a water bottle, few mouse pads and a few pens- also learnt a bit so can justify spending my whole afternoon there… The whole Linux open source stuff is flipping amazing. I haven’t really got my mind around it but it seems to be the new big thing! There was a Hip2bSquare stall there that had people queuing for ages to get copies of some open source software- think I should do some research into it… Anyone understand the reason for the big fuss behind all this…

Did my good deed for the week- went to help out with the tutoring at rau- some of the guys there are really picking up fast! I haven’t been in a few weeks and they noticed- will try and be more punctual from now on. Anyone else interested in joining us? It’s really very light and relaxed and even quite fun! Let me know if you’re keen and will sign you up for this week… Durban also has tutoring program, so you Durbanites can also get involved…

Had a totally relaxed Sat nite- just chilled out with the guys… Very interesting topic came up: How do you know that you’re still on track and have not stopped progressing? It’s pretty easy to convince yourself that you’re doing wonders and are still on course to take over the world! But, seriously speaking, how should we be evaluating ourselves critically to ensure that our lives don’t become meaningless and purposeless? Any comments… If you are sincere and committed then you should constantly be gaining a better understanding of what is required of us- because the danger of being content or getting stuck in a comfort zone is something we should always be aware of… think, don’t think, respond, don’t respond- up to you:p

There was a braai on Sunday at the Zoo Lake- purpose was to get young Muslims together to keep in touch with each other and have fun. I sent out an email invite and had dozens of responses daily- many people were keen and interested but I had a good number of serious criticisms- how can we organise a braai for Muslim males and females at the Zoo Lake? I don’t see why that is such a bad thing- and I’ll repeat once again what I said before- the longer that intelligent thinking people keep quiet, stupid retards will be speaking up and trying to lead!
But anyways- the braai went well and we had a fairly good response- think we should be doing this more often- at least once every 2 months or so…

Folks came in Sunday afternoon so had to take them around- went to lenz (2 weeks in a row:( ok, not that bad) and kala-kala’d till late in the night… good to spend time with folks- been away from home for soo many years and haven’t really been home much this year… growing up is a bit strange- you wake up one morning and realise that, ‘Wow, I’m all grown up and independent now!’ Don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly feels a bit odd- can’t pinpoint a specific time when I changed from being a liettie to being kinda ‘grown up’… hmmm…

Here’s a little bit of useless info: (courtesy of Sader)
- 727 - the number of airports in SA, only 143 of which have paved runways. - Stratus: Uniform low grey cloud with a surface of about 460m. - Your taste buds are replaced every 10 days.
- Newcastle fact no.3: 'Small town' actually has 3 malls: Victorian, Scott Street and Amajuba malls. Not so small nemore ha!!! In your face!!!!!!!!!!

And btw, thanks to all who contributed to the latest newsletter- it should be out by tomorrow sometime, so make sure you assist with distribution- if you can make copies and distribute, let me know and will email you the soft copy…

And road trip to Mozambique being planned for first week of July- me, Mr Irv, Dr Raiman, Zaheer Suli and The Laher going. It’s partly off-road so need a 4x4- ours is full but if you have one or know of anyone who does please let us know- there’s lotsa others keen on joining us so if we get another 4x4 it’ll be easy to fill up. Also, if anyone has any advice/tips please send through...

17 May 2005

Truth Stands, Even If There Be No Public Support.

Howsit? Hope all is good! I’ve been inundated with queries regarding the radio show last week…

Well, there was no concrete answer to the question of a perfect Muslim spouse, besides the fact that there is no such thing! Everyone has their own personal preferences and mine tends to change on almost a daily basis… besides the normal things that any guy will say he is looking for (he may say it, but is that really what he’s looking for!), there were a few things that I remember us saying on the show-
Most definitely somebody who can understand you and grow with you- scary! Probably the biggest decision of your life…
Someone who’s prepared to make some sacrifice (time, money, effort, etc) if the guy plans to be involved in some type of Islamic work…
Someone who’s elegant- difficult to elaborate… just elegant!
Someone who’s fun and maybe even ‘naughty’- got a bit of slack from the Durban guys for this, but what was meant was- be as funky and creative as possible within the confines of shariah and in the privacy of your home…
And of course all the usual requirements- know how to cook(we almost forgot to mention that!), make u laugh(life can get pretty boring without some fun!) the makings of a good mother(it’s a right your children have over you!), reasonably similar worldviews(there’s some opinions that just can’t gel and you just can’t change!), etc…
I would just like to add a disclaimer here- the views expressed above are not only/necessarily mine- I tend to change constantly… this was just written due to popular demand…

Had my weekly tennis game on Tuesday- the lights were on so we couldn’t play ‘Reset’! Still trying to improve my tennis game- it’s much more difficult than squash, but will hopefully master the game soon!

Black Management Forum launched at Wits on Wednesday night- attended the function with Mr Irv. They had some good motivational speakers; CEO of Transnet, a Partner from KPMG and one of the Kunene brothers. We mingled with the locals at the post launch cocktail party and made an effort to network. It’s very important to network and meet people at these events, because nowadays it’s ‘who you know’ and not what! And besides, the better someone knows you the more likely they are to listen to your plans and views… The attendees at functions like this, only know of Muslims like Shabir Sheikh and that guy fighting with Mandela- Ismail Ayob. Don’t know what that guy is thinking- almost every single person in the world just loves Madiba, and this oke is like his worst enemy! Ironic that two of the most important people in South Africa (Mandela and Zuma), are both involved in some crap with Muslims!

Thursday was my worst day of work this year! Had to redo an entire Financial Statement and do the cash flow from scratch! It was a good learning experience but hope I never have to work like that; under extreme pressure and such complicated stuff… but covered up by doing no work on Fri!

Went to lenz on Sat to meet the guys- I hate the red sand in lenz! Reminded me of the days when I was young and living in lenz- the red sand just is so flippin messy- you just run around or play for a few minutes and you totally messed! Watched a bit of that Da Vinci Code documentary- there’s such hype over the book now I think I have to make sure I read it- if just to be on par with like almost every single person I meet! Anybody have a copy that I can borrow for a few days?

On Sunday we had an inter-corporate social challenge with Sanzaf. There was a pro20s cricket game between a team of from Absa against others working for other multinationals. I was impressed to hear that Standard Bank in city centre has almost 800 Muslim employees- so the purpose of this event was to get young Muslim professionals to meet and network. (network is the new buzz word! Ooh) If we start setting a few (not too hectic) long term plans, then I believe that we can accomplish something amazing! Think about it…
Btw, we planning a big braai this Sunday for everyone- look out for details and come along this Sunday. It should be at bout 11 at the Zoo Lake. Bring your families and some meat, salads, etc…

Well, getting bored out of mind- got training this whole week! Audit fundamentals- sounds exciting huh:p

09 May 2005

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes!

The past week was pretty ordinary- just the usual work, play and more play…
We invented a new game- it’s called Reset: played in a dimly lit tennis court with at least 5 players. 4 guys on the court at a time and the idea is to hit the ball over the net and into the other court. The first guy to mess up twice is kicked out and the 5th guy comes on. The points are then all ‘reset’ (you have to say it out aloud:-p ) and a new round begins. The fact that sometimes you hardly see the ball and there’s rarely communication between guys on the same side, all add to the excitement of the game. I can just see it becoming the next Olympic sport!

Had a busy weekend- On Friday Night we had a guest speaker. Imam Abdul Alim Musa from the States. Had excellent discussion session with him- he’s Imaam of Musjid in Washington and very active with youth groups in the States. As he said, there’s a global revival of Islam especially from the youth, so if we not part of this, we definitely going to get left behind!

Sat morning went with ZakP to get a Doc from the airport- he was here for the Muslim Aids Program (MAP) workshop. Didn’t stay there long- had to rush to cii for a talk show. Went on with Zak, Laily and the guys from Durban- it was interesting! 7 guys of marriageable age (but not yet married) talking about the perfect Muslim spouse! An hour was not enough for us- but hopefully got some message out there… (hopefully;p)

Came back to the MAP thing for lunch:) We had to help out and serve! Had some good discussions with the Docs and Ml Bham there.
Awqaf had a volunteer meeting- they looking at setting up more waqfs and getting the new breed of young Muslim professionals involved. Do you know about the waqf system? If you earning and would like to participate, all you need to do is contribute 1% of your salary to a waqf that would form part of a capital investment and generate revenue to be used for Islamic projects… 1% is not much at all- ask me how?

Franchise convention was on in Sandton, so went to check that out on behalf of the Consortium- it was one of the biggest scams I’ve ever seen! You want to make money quick and easy? Tell others how they can and charge them for it! Honestly, what an ingenious idea- everybody just wants to know how they can get rich quick and are willing to spend money to find out how! The white man- he’s just too smart…

Went to watch Kingdom of Heaven- it’s about the Crusades and Salahudeen, if you do watch movies then you should go see this. It’s not historically accurate, but probably the best we can expect from Hollywood with regards to Islam. We had a 2 hour discussion about our understanding and knowledge of the history behind this movie, and another hour of deconstructing it after! I’m busy working on an article for the Alumni site, so wouldn’t want to spoil the movie for you by discussing it here. Check out the Alumni site for my article after you watch it- http://msaalumni.blogharbor.com/
It should be on there by the weekend if I manage to finish it on time… Instead of this just being another movie that you go see, it should be used as an opportunity, firstly for us to brush up on our history, and secondly for us to influence the perceptions of others… There’s probably going to be quiet a few guys at work this week that’ve also seen it, and having seen it myself and critically analysing it, maybe I’ll be able to change their misconceptions due to the inaccuracies (minor and easily missed, but still inaccuracies!) of the movie…

The Kallas had a Meelad program in Laudium on Sunday- don’t know why they call it Meelad or what the word even means… It was just a bunch of lectures by some pretty dynamic international speakers. Highlights were- Zafar Bangash from Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought in Canada, who also writes for Crescent International Magazaine; and Imam Abdul Alim Musa- the guy from Friday night… the theme of the day was a celebration of the life of the Prophet S.A.W- I think maybe that’s how a Meelad is supposed to be; an educational experience more than a cultural event…

Today and tomorrow I have training at work- its some personal skills crap; how to communicate with people, but better than doing actual work…

03 May 2005

Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

My good people… back to work on a Tues morning after almost a whole week in Durban!
It was really nice to be back in warm, comfortable surroundings and spend a few days on the beach… I was like a real tourist there- on the beach everyday regardless of the weather!
Got a lift to Durban last Tues night with two RMB people- had a real interesting time and spent the entire 6 hours of the trip talking about stuff that affects us as young Muslims in this country…

By the way, the new MSA-KZN magazine is out so get your copy now!- (ask me how!) And to all those who contributed and assisted with the National Freedom Day Newsletter; the responses have been great!

It was a really relaxing week, besides a few incidents in Durban- watch out for cockroaches and extremely rude and bad mannered baldies at 2GO- really left a bad taste in our mouths!!

My old campus seems to be doing ‘pretty well’ without me:p
Walking around campus brought back great memories of the good old days! The chaps seem to be doing an excellent job though- it you there and aren’t helping out, please do- it’s for your own good!

On Saturday morn, me and Habib joined the MSA people for a tutoring thing in Hazelmere- the students there are more needy than the guys we tutor here in Joburg, and it made us think whether the little time we spend with them makes any difference… the future for those kids seem bleak, but I honestly feel that what ever little we can help out with; in the long run is would definitely assist them in getting somewhere with their lives! So if you’re in Joburg or Durban and haven’t joined one of these tutoring programs; I implore you- do so asap!!
While we were in Hazelmere, took a walk around the township and it seems like nothing on the outside has changed since the fall of apartheid- people do have ‘Freedom’ now, but most still seem to be entrapped in extreme economic slavery- what does this have to do with us? I don’t know- you tell me!

But anyways, stopped in Newcastle on the way back yesterday, but just for a short time! Need to go home for another weekend soon- just to balance out my somewhat regular weekend outings…

That’s all for this weeks folks! Didn’t have my pc with me in Durban, so was not able to type a little everyday as I usually do…
So excuse the lack of substance and depth:) Will try to cover up for that next week!