Monday, April 30, 2007

Wadi Rum Trip Pics


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wadi Rum

I just came back from my first trip to Wadi Rum and the word amazing does not even come close to describe what I experienced.

Just like everything else in Jordan, this resource is only half heartedly tapped. Government efforts have no more than 15% to do with the moderate success of this place.

I am not suggesting that there is a need for large scale government interference to improve things. Any large scale government inference usually ends up with disastrous results. I formed this opinion after speaking at length with the "tourist guides" in Wadi Rum.

So what am I suggesting? In the very popular business book "The Tipping Point," the author talks about how the accumulation of small changes can make a huge difference. So following the same kind of thinking I would only suggest some very small changes most of which are "cosmetic" in nature . Or as one can learn from the movie "The Prestige," you might have an excellent magic trick, but you need to dress it up and sell it to the audience if you want to make it big and not just be stuck with small crowds.

So here is the list:

· Do some Search engine marketing. I did a search on Google and there was nothing under hiking in the first 30 results. And on top of it when you visit the following site, you get no information under Jordan:

· Consult with the local people as to whether or not they want mobil transmission inside Rum. This is important if someone needs medical help. Currently there is very limited Mobil transmission.

· I asked the local tour guides: "What if someone broke their legs or was stung by a Scorpio?" His answer was that they take him to an "Arab medicine doctor" because there are no medical facilities inside rum.

· After some negotiations, look at the possibilities of training these tour guides in providing first aid and possibly having them carry first aid kits.

· Have some sort of medical helicopter stationed inside Rum to provide rapid medical aid if there is a need to move people to the closest city hospital.

· Provide some guidelines for tourists in terms of what to visit if they are not physically fit.

· Ask the local camp owners/tour guides about what they need to "improve" Rum for tourism and just do it. The impression I got was that no one really consults with them.

Of course, I am not your run of the mill nay sayer who just complains about the government and then does nothing. I just did some cosmetic changes to the Wadi Rum and the Wadi pages in the Wikipedia.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007


Picture 1
Air port road lights on at 4:00PM!!!!!
Someone should get fired and be replaced by an automatic system

Pictures 2 & 3
Truck piggybacking


Friday, April 20, 2007

Tales of Jordanian Management

This series of posts will remind some people of the letters Scott Adams gets from various employees telling about management stupidity. Lucky for American employees, there is a Scott Adams to publish these letters.

The average Joe here has no outlet to tell about the idiotic management they deal with. So I decided to take it upon my self to report some of the idiotic behavior that I see on the ground while performing my job.

Tale # 1

This company is the largest company in it's field in Jordan with branches in Europe and in America. This company is having a hard time retaining engineers, because despite having double digit sales, and profit growth, this company has a "red line" when it comes to hiring new engineers and is willing to make them work day and night.

Tale # 2

Company X stopped purchasing of any none consumable goods for over 4 months because they have a new purchasing manager.

Tale # 3

Another company missed out on a special offer twice because the maintenance manager was busy with supervising the construction of a new office building and did not have time to sign a PO.

Tale # 4

An underling at a customer of mine tells me that her new boss would not sign any papers because he does not understand how things work. So in the mean time things are on hold.

Tale # 5

I revisited a customer regarding a product that I sell. My contact tells me that after he spoke to the owner, the owner was very surprised that they did not already purchase the product 1 year ago when I first offered it to them.

Then he tells me that they need a few weeks to revisit the subject, because they are too busy with their new plant.

Tale # 6

I visit a customer of mine. They tell me that they were visited by some foreign consultants who told them the same exact stuff I told them three years ago. And now they will consider making the changes. Duh.

Tale # 7

I am still waiting for a purchase order from a potential customer, because the the person who signs the PO has been traveling for the last three weeks. Mind you, this company sells in the millions.

Tale # 8

I call a customer over 3 times so that he would take advantage of a special offer for a limited period. Maybe two months after the special offer period expires, the customer wants to order, but first he asks if it is possible to give him a discount. Duh

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Friday, April 06, 2007

World Overpopulation

I was thinking some more about the problem of world overpopulation and it's effects on the environment and that was when it hit me; why not have a Kyoto like agreement with regard to world overpopulation.

There would be a quota for each country specifying the allowed population growth. And in the same way that Kyoto deals with green house gases, countries would be allowed to have more population growth if they are below their quota and would have to pay dearly if they exceed their quota or make it up in the next cycle.

Additionally, industrial countries with low population growth rates would give some sort of incentives to countries that have a high one. This incentive would be an award based on meeting the targets which would be set for every 10yrs and would be reexamined every 5yrs to make sure they make sense.

Yes, industrial counties are to benefit more in the short run. But in the long run every one would win. Third world countries are in a way like smoking addicts, they know they need to stop their population explosion but do not know how.

The industrial countries probably did not care in the past. But with global warming and the earth's eco system going bankrupt, they should.

Of course, unlike Kyoto, this should be binding and be enforced through the UN.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Last week, I went to a free screening of "An Inconvenient Truth," here in Amman and it scared the shit out of me (as it was supposed to.)

I have been an environmentally responsible person for the last 12yrs, and I never bought arguments from such books as " The state of fear." regarding Global warming not being a threat. Heck, I can experience global warming first hand;. Summers have become unbearably hot and annual snow has become a thing of the past. Hell, we would be lucky if it snowed once every 3-5 yrs.

I think a lot of people in America will wake up and start doing something about it. But as far as China and the rest of the third world, I still think that they need something to wake them up from their slumber.

In my own view Kyoto was not stringent enough on countries like India and China, who sort of have a cart blanch until around 2015.

Jordan, is not better either. And despite the fact that it is a rather small country with per capita pollution slightly less than the world average, I still think that Jordan should take global warming very seriously and set an example in the region.

To the best of my knowledge there is no fuel economy or car emissions standards. I remember, 11 years ago, when I renewed my car registration in the US, they used to stick a device inside the car's muffler/exhaust to test for emissions. Alas, no such thing happens here. I am even willing to speculate that the people in the ministry of environment never hear of such a thing.

Another thing, many people will watch the movie and maybe not pay attention to the part regarding the world population growth. According to the movie, it took 10000 generations to get the world population from 0(2) to 2 billion, but it will take less than 50 yrs to reach 9 billion.

This is a very scary state of affairs. And in it lies one part of the solution. Personally I think that producing children in an overpopulated world is a crime. I know that in all likelihood that I will commit such a crime either once or twice. I know that it is selfish on my part, but I think I will not be able to help it.

I really think population control is a major key for this; I really think that the industrial world should threaten countries with high population growth rates with sanctions.

When I posted my Jordan overpopulation blog, one of the comments was about Jordan not having an over population problem. Considering what I have seen in the movie and other sources that I have found on the internet. Overpopulation is a big problem, not only for Jordan but for the planet in general.

While experts estimate that the earth can only support around 1.2-4 billion people. My own estimates are around 1-2 billions. At this level all of them would have a very decent living standard and none would have to suffer from poverty. They would have lots of riches to share and they would not need to fight over resources.

If we want a good world for our kids, we can not afford to be nice when the world is less than 50 yrs away from total destruction; it is time to educate the vast majority of our population about pollution control, and population control(contraception, etc.)

I still meet people who say that they ended up producing 9 children because they could not help it or because it was God's will. If it was up to me, these people would be in jail by now.

If you want a to help prevent global warming, have less kids. Also visit any or all of the following website:

Some of the energy saving tips will also save you money.

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