Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Didat and Coexistence..

It is all about Coexistence.. Muslims are too arrogant to adhere to..
Not only Sudanese, but all Muslims can not survive further, unless structural changes happen to their epistemic consensus..

Moonfleet Eldai I agree. Remarkably, Muslims should be able to strike remarkable examples in coexistence for Islam is truly diverse given all the races and linguistic and ethnic groups that identify as Muslims across the globe. Some of us are better at coexistence than others but collectively we perhaps should think deeper about emphasizing coexistence and diversity.

I think Christianity are more diverse than Islam, as well as Buddhism. . Muslims are cordially believe that Arabs are distinct and honorable race, at least that the Prophet PBUH had said so in some hadeeth. . Therefore Muslims have their own hurdle to exercise genuine belief of coexistence.. Let us face it..!

Moonfleet Eldai I am not sure about Buddhism geographic distribution beyond the Asian continent. I am trying to recall if there has been ever a hadeeth to the effect of Arabs special place or whatever. If you can refer me to one please go ahead so that I can learn something new. I am aware that politically the earlier Ummayyad empire was particularly pro-Arab and in that effect it allegedly mistreated the Muslims in the lands that came under the Arabian influence. But my source for this information has been the Iranian historical documents which I sort of doubt their absolute impartiality.
الحديث عن بعض الصّحابة:
إنّ الله تعالى اختار لنبيّنا خير الأنساب من لدن آدم إلى أنْ اُخرج من صلب أبيه عبدالله، فجعل خير الناس من ولد إسماعيل، فتكلّم بالعربية وتكلّم إسحاق على لسان أبيه، فولد إسماعيل العرب، ثم جعل خير الناس كنانة، ثم جعل خير العرب قريشاً وخير قريش بني هاشم، ثم جعل خير بني هاشم بني عبدالمطلب، ثم خير بني عبدالمطلب نبيّنا محمّد صلّى الله عليه وآله فبعثه رسولاً واتّخذه نبيّاً وأهبط عليه جبرئيل بالوحي وقال له: طفت مشارق الأرض ومغاربها فلم أر أفضل منك

Moonfleet Eldai Wow, this is very interesting indeed. I'd take this with a grain of salt because the ahadeeth mentioned there sound more like the characteristic self-serving exaggeration of the Shia Imams. On the other hand I have come uponthe Ibn Baz opinion on the correctness of such ahadeeth, they are invariably dismissed as week. We grew up instructed that no Arab is better than non Arab and no non Arab is better than an Arab except in their piety.

Well.. despite the denial or rejection, it had worked perfectly with the sub-consciousness, leading to many atrocities in the names of Islam, civilization and/or honor.. what we had had in South, Nuba and Darfur are just small samples.. Also in Hyderabad, Malaysia and Muritania (which has today more than 150,000 salves) are other examples

Moonfleet Eldai This has happened to me !. I used to play the classical guitar some long time ago. I mastered works by Beethoven and other famous composers. My problem was that, my friends always wanted something Sudanese. It was like, if you do not do that then you do not know how to play. That was not encouraging but of a herd mentality

Change is always associated with denial and resistance.. The more resistant people are, the more enthusiastic for more change (or revolutionary one) they would be..

Moonfleet Eldai: Note that these atrocities were also met by atrocities in response and perhaps fiercer in kind. In Hyderabad, Zanzibar and before that in Spain during the Reconquest Arabs were really massacred in the thousands after the population revolted. The Arab Moriscos in Sapin for example were killed if they spoke Arabic and they were forced into Christianity. They used a language called Aljamiado to at least try to preserve their culture at the face of the new more superior force coming at them.

To avoid double standards.. Had Muslim armies peacefully invaded the regions beyond Arabia? Otherwise, mutual violence is not a surprise.. I strongly believe that there were boundaries that marked the peaceful Muslim spread, or likely so, while beyond it was unwritten and unspoken bloodsheds..

The Prophet PBUH had implicitly called Mua'tah battle as the last one (Junior Jihad); what had happened after was humanely driven, not divinely done, or likely so...!!

Somebody has to start the research by counting and comparing the number of causalities across those early wars.. I shall not be surprised by the results.. Interesting..!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Egypt's New Capital

This is a creation of Capital Region.. despite the failed Megapolis..

Unfortunately, Egyptian Planners did not adhere to the decentralization concepts, which had made many nations, wealthier, healthier and mightier.. Adding 30% to existing urban land is not a solution.. Threats of Eastern-Invasion are not valid anymore..! However, threats of urban poverty are more likely and further destructive..
Egyptian "Urban Lobbyists" had created a distinct culture, which many middle-eastern nations had copied, and further excel.. Property is a market known for secrecy, which enables monetary greed to grow.. Urbanity is synonymous for the Excellence of Living.. Urban poverty is not measured by building quality, but by Tenants Quality, which is not only the GDP share, but scores at MGDs.. Egypt sharply slumps, despite the generous donations and loans.. despite the fantasy homes on the desert..!!

Most officials of Egyptian urban developments are known for their corrupt processing, which had wasted tens of billions during the last 50 years.. Many tycoons had merged from ordinary businesses, construction related or otherwise..

On parallel, Egyptian civic bodies are "discretionally" short of empowerment to stand guarding the codes of practice and standards.. They had evolved their professional roles into politics and transformed into ladders for public offices.. Academics have no feet on the Egyptian development arena, unless needed for cosmetics and decorations.. It is a noisy question about scientific seriousness, integrity and efficiency..!

Egypt, the most populous and historically urban Arabic nation, had influenced both formal and common mindsets among the 400 million Arabic speakers.. The grown media and academic institutions had exercised patriarchy on other Arabs, despite declining economics and deteriorated urbanity.. Inevitably, Arabic bureaucracy had been infested by the early waves of migrant professional workers, who had unintentionally copied their Egyptian inheritance elsewhere.. Yes, Public offices everywhere are known for favoritism, uncreatively and slow, yet when combined with the underdeveloped scenes; it creates toxic mix for urban opportunities and solutions..

If Egyptians live on only 4% of the Egyptian soil, they can spread else where within their one million square kilometers.. However, creating a "Capital Region" will be challenging for City Managers, whom are well known for their inefficiency and short-sighting.. In a way, there is a valid accusation of how short-slightness had infested the Egyptian intellectuality, with little medication..

By default, Corruption and Favoritism allow no excellence to urban structure, therefore, opportunists have no chance in diversifying the new urban profiles, but to profit from the complexity of the existing suffocated one..

Egyptian solutions should not be Satellite Cities, but independent cities and towns; where new demographic, economic and political opportunities would healthily grow.. It is not a matter to respond to public cries for opportunities within current congested fabrics, but leading the public towards sustainable and innovative solutions.. Healthy nations do not have that focal urban spots, but as many as possibly can.. This is the only way to balance the state and the people..

As usual; the happening in Egypt are great lessons for others to learn..

Friday, March 6, 2015

A New Sudanese Passport

During the last few days, I had went through the experience to obtain a new "electronic" Sudanese passport.. It is electronic, thanks to UAE for donating the system, in order to comply with the global database systems.. It is Sudanese, as my only valid ID.. and it is a passport, as being "Homeless" for many decades now..!!

It was a painful, time-wasting, and ridiculous process, at the Sudanese Consulate in Dubai.. On daily basis, tens of Sudanese citizens are making the pilgrimage to the "bizarre" building, which was meant to resemble "Suakin"; to obtain their new documents, as the existing "Green & Hand-Written" one will be obsolete by end of 2015.. They are coming from all over UAE.. Some rumors said from Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait as well..
I had to be there at 7:00 am, where a good citizen had brought a plain paper, for people to list their names.. Then people stand chatting, or seat on the curb.. I had preferred to seat in my car to review some academic papers.. Some where attending since 6:00 am..!!

At 8:00 am, the doors were opened, for the waiting crowd to get in, and rest on the chairs.. The staff starts to report in by 8:30am, bring excitement to the waiting gathering.. A gentleman, starts to call the listed names in the paper, checking availability of supporting documents, then handing over a coded blank forms for the applicant to fill.. It was unnecessary crowded and noisy..!
I proceeded filling the forms, which had included naming the "Tribe".. Then, I asked a gentleman next to me to witness his papers; while he witnesses mine.. Witness-Signature is a British legal code, which Sudan adheres to.. It all took about 5 minutes to complete..
Then, I join a small queue at the migration officer, who reviewed the paper, put his processing instructions, and signature and stamp..  It was another 5 minutes..
The cashier took my 400 Dirhams, fill a receipt, stipulated it to my papers, and gently asked me to seat to be called.. I understood that an officer would electronically filed my data, and coded my paper file..
It took more than 3 hours for my name to be called.. I went upstairs as instructed, to another hall.. Women, kids, and men where crowded there, yet matching the number of chairs (about 20) whereas a long bench divided between 2 officers processing the "National ID" and another 2 processing the "Electronic Passport".. It took about 15 minutes to be called..
The officer inserted my data, scanned my finger prints, asked to stand for a photograph.. Then gently said it is done, and I'm free to go.. Replying my query that it will take about a month to be issued..
When I lift the building, it was 12:30pm..
I had spent more than 5 hours for less than 30 minutes processing..!
Sudan Consulate Dubai
During the time, I was scanning the people around, the officers, and the Indian office-boy.. It was strange mix of voices, chats and kids cries.. Waves of calm and tensions were frequent as some felt sickness waiting.. During my drive away, I recalled the similar processing for UAE ID, Visa or permits.. Apparently, the marvel of UAE is engineering the processing..
Despite the electronic system, Sudanese officers had replaced the pens by keyboards and screen..
Despite being in Dubai, no one has the idea of queuing the officers, so applicants can walk trough to get the job done in less time and more efficient manner..
The current system is burden on officers and people as well..

This is not AlBasheer thing, nor his corrupt court.. It is the intellectual system that fatally rules Sudan.. It is the people who decorate their names with academic and professional degrees, while they almost know nothing.. It is the cycle of greed, selfishness and favoritism, which consumes all good and meaningfulness in our slow-motion life style..
The gaps are getting wider.. The future is getting purple..!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Successful Positioning

How to Successfully Position Your Product or Service
Ahmed Al Akber
Managing Director
ACK Solutions
+971 50 316 4956
If your business did one thing well, what would it be? Is that one thing recognized by your customers as something that is done better by your business than by any other? That is what positioning is about – being positioned in the prospect’s mind. Positioning is about fanatical focus on doing one thing really well.

To reinforce your position in the prospect’s mind, you must sacrifice. You must let go of anything that may detract from the core positioning of your product or service in the mind of the prospect.

No company can create its own position. A position is in the mind of the customer. All you try to do is to influence that position. In the classic book Selling The Invisible, Harry Beckwith asserts, “…your positioning is a place, and someone else puts you there: your prospects. Even services that do nothing to market their company have a position. A prospect simply takes what he knows about the company and positions the company accordingly.”

Beckwith goes on to explain the difference between position and a positioning statement:

A position (or statement of position) is a cold-hearted, no-nonsense statement of how you are perceived in the minds of prospects. It is your position.

A positioning statement, by contrast, states how you wish to be perceived. It is the core message you want to deliver in every medium, including elevators and airport waiting areas, to influence the perceptions of your service.

To understand where you are positioned, the best way to start is to ask your current customers what they care about most when it comes to choosing a product or service like yours. These are the critical factors on which they will compare your business to others. Then ask them to rate how your business performs against these critical success factors. Finally, ask them to rate other competing companies along the same lines. How is your business positioned in your customers’ minds?

Doing this has two distinct advantages. The first is a reality check – is your positioning statement believable, or completely out of touch? Are you claiming to be something that your customers don’t perceive you are? Companies fall in this trap all the time. They claim themselves to be the “leading”, “first”, “best”, and other exaggerated superlatives without really being that at all (a lot of the time they also don’t take into account whether prospects care for dealing with the leading, first, or best).

The second advantage is that in understanding where the gaps in your positioning vs. your positioning statement are, you’ll be in a better position to narrow that gap. The trick is to narrow this understanding of how you are positioned, with how you desire your business to be positioned (your positioning statement). Narrowing this gap will bring you closer to what you desire to be.

Take the example of Long Island Trust Company, a bank that Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote about in the marketing classic Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind. A new banking law allowed for less restrictions for big city names like Citibank and Chase Manhattan to enter the Long Island market. Long Island Trust Company was the biggest bank on the island, and stood to lose a lot from the influx of large competitors.

To help develop a competitive position for the Long Island Trust Company, formal positioning research was commissioned to map the prospect’s mind. Prospects were given a set of six attributes and asked to rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. These included: (1) many branches, (2) full range of services, (3) quality of service, (4) large capital, (5) helps Long Island residents, (6) helps Long Island economy.

The results of the first four traditional attributes (traditional reasons for doing business with a particular bank) were not looking good for Long Island Trust Company. In fact, out of six banks that they were compared to, they fared the worst on these first four factors.
However, they fared the best on the last two factors, which were specific to Long Island. This meant Long Island Trust Company had a strength – a better connection to Long Island than the big city banks. So they decided to leverage this strength, developing advertisements that had the following theme:

Why send your money to the city if you live on the Island?

It makes sense to keep you money close to home. Not at a city bank. But at Long Island Trust. Where it can work for Long Island.

After all, we concentrate on developing Long Island. Not Manhattan Island. Or some island off Kuwait.

Ask yourself, who do you think is most concerned about Long Island’s future?

A bank-come-lately with hundreds of other branches in the greater metropolitan areas plus affiliates in five continents?

Or a bank like ours that’s been here for over 50 years and has 33 offices on Long Island.

Further ads ran as follows: “If times get tough, will the city banks get going? (Back to the city).”

Fifteen months later, the same research was repeated. Long Island Trust Company went from lowest to highest in two of the four traditional attributes, and made solid gains in the other two.

The success in improving the positioning of the Long Island Trust Company is an example from a large, established company. One with large resources. What about smaller companies? How can small companies position themselves in the market?

In my experience, people who sell in small businesses are the most likely to face an inferiority complex. Their business is small, so they link that to their sense of self-worth. “You are small, so you must be lesser in many ways” is what many small business owners think. But there are significant advantages that prospects can benefit from in choosing to work with a small company. Here they are:
  • Greater access to the owner or head of the company. Most large companies bring in their senior most staff on occasion, and usually in the selling process. These senior people tend to disappear once the deal is signed, leaving less experienced staff to fend for themselves and deliver what was promised. In dealing with a small company, customers usually get greater access to the head of the company, who will make sure that the job is done well and customized to fit the need. This is a significant advantage and should not be overlooked!
  • Smaller companies are faster. There is less bureaucracy involved, which means they can make quicker decisions, which in turn means they can serve their clients better. The quicker you can solve a client’s issue, the more money and time you will make or save for the client.
  • Better understanding of customer needs. Small businesses tend to have more face time with their clients, which means they can understand their clients needs better than larger businesses can. Understanding the issues your clients face (and helping to communicate that back to them) is one of the single most valuable things you can do for a client.
  • Excitement. Due to its high capacity for risk, there is a lot of adventure around the innovation, change and challenge of running a small business. You never really know how it will turn out, and this can be very exciting. This will keep your employees excited too, and they in turn will be motivated as their efforts help shape the company, which reflects well on the service they deliver to your clients.
As a small business owner, building these strengths into your marketing is a great way to influence your position in the mind of your customer. It requires focus and attention to detail that takes a lot of work but is worth it in the long run.