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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a modern celebration honoring one’s own mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna’s mother—held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865. Anna Jarvis never had children of her own, but the 1905 death of her own mother inspired her to organize the first Mother’s Day observances in 1908. On 10 May of that year, families gathered at events in Jarvis’s hometown of Grafton, West Virginia—at a church now renamed the International Mother’s Day Shrine—as well as in Philadelphia, where Jarvis lived at the time, and in several other cities. Largely through Jarvis’s efforts, Mother’s Day came to be observed in a growing number of cities and states until U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday. The holiday Anna Jarvis launched has spread around much of the world, though it’s celebrated with varying enthusiasm, in various ways, and on various days—though more often than not on the second Sunday in May. In much of the Arab […]

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Goodbye Mom!

I read this story sent to me via WhatsApp today and just wanted to share it with everyone. A young man shopping in a supermarket noticed a little old lady following him around. If he stopped, she stopped. Furthermore she kept staring at him. She finally overtook him at the checkout, and she turned to him and said, “I hope I haven’t made you feel ill at ease; it’s just that you look so much like my late son.” He answered, “That’s okay.” The old lady said: ”I know it’s silly, but if you’d call out ‘Good bye, Mom’ as I leave the store, it would make me feel so happy.” She then went through the checkout, and as she was on her way out of the store, the man called out, “Goodbye, Mom!” The little old lady waved and smiled back at him. Pleased that he had brought a little sunshine into someone’s day, he went to pay for his groceries. “That comes to $1,211.85,” said the clerk. “How come so much? I only bought 5 items.” The clerk replied, “Yeah, but your Mother said that you’d be paying for her things, too.”

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Dim sum, Hummus & Falafel

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It was 30 March, Jaya’s stitches on her right wrist were removed. Things were looking okay. Her abdomen stitches would be removed next day. It was getting into evening, Jaya was in no mood to return to the hotel so early. I was a bit hesitant whether she would be able to roam around as she was recovering from her […]

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Bollywood Flavour in Diplomacy: Lebe Jetzt

German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner paid tribute to the soft power of Bollywood by making his acting debut in a video on Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan-starrer 2003 romantic drama “Kal Ho Naa Ho”. The lip syncing of Ambassador Steiner is perfect. Awesome performance! The German Embassy on their YouTube page says: “Traditional diplomacy was about government-to-government relations. Modern diplomacy is more about people-to-people relations. And culture is central here. This is why Michael Steiner, German Ambassador to India, and Salman Khurshid, former Foreign Minister of India, without taking themselves too seriously, plunged into uncharted waters. Together with Eliese Steiner and under the direction of Sumit Osmand Shaw, they pay homage to the Indian film by reenacting one of its most famous music videos – thus connecting people across borders. The original video from 2003 – featuring Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan and the “King of Bollywood” Shah Rukh Khan – was filmed in the USA. This remake, instead, has been shot in India. It is an Indo-German tribute to Bollywood movies, which have a huge fan base not only in India, but also in Germany.” “Bollywood is a cultural institution. This is the one instrument to connect to the world and it is a very good instrument. Me and my wife are Bollywood addicts. She has seen more than 150 Bollywood films… we have seen them together,” the German ambassador said. The title says “LEBE […]

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My Birthday 2015

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It has been 6 weeks now that I underwent twin surgeries. I can’t thank you all enough for your prayers. It’s comforting to have so many friends praying for me. Today’s my birthday. Since last midnight, I am getting birthday wishes from my family, friends and relatives. It’s truly comforting to get so many good wishes, I feel loved. Among […]

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#SaveTheInternet

The Internet has become so much a part of our lives that it is easy to imagine that it will always remain the free and open medium as it is now. We’d like to believe it will remain a place where we can always access any lawful content we want, and where the service providers delivering that content can’t play favorites because they want to charge more money for faster delivery. Network neutrality should be maintained. Net neutrality means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. It prohibits the owner of a network, that holds itself out to all-comers, from discriminating against information by halting, slowing, or otherwise tampering with the transfer of any data (except for legitimate network management purposes such as easing congestion or blocking spam). Why would the telecom companies want to interfere with Internet data? Answer: Profit and other corporate interests. Companies might also interfere with speech that makes them look bad, block applications that compete with their own, or increase their profit by forcing developers to pay more to avoid having their data blocked or slowed down. I am worried. On one fine morning, I may not be able to access my blog due to very slow speed of internet for accessing my blog! New technologies now allow telecom companies to scrutinize every piece of information we send […]

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The Negative Rate Mortgage Is Now A Reality

With negative interest rate policy (NIRP) raging in the eurozone and over €1.9 trillion in European government bonds trading with negative yields, many were wondering whether this generosity will spill over to other debtors. Following consecutive rate cuts during this year by the Danish Central Bank, local Danish banks — Nordea Credit, Realkredit Danmark — are now offering a mortgage with a negative interest rate! Negative interest rates aren’t a new phenomenon in Europe, but they’ve been limited to inter-bank borrowing. FT reported Ms Christiansen received a negative interest rate for her three-year loan, meaning the lender — Realkredit Danmark, a part of Danske Bank — is paying for her to borrow money. The interest rate of minus 0.0172 per cent — which equates to her receiving about DKr 7 each month from the bank — is just one sign of the “Through The Looking Glass” effects of extreme central banking measures in Scandinavia. The Scandinavian central banks are going pretty far in NIRP. Sweden’s Riksbank became the first central bank in the world to take its main policy rate — the so-called repo rate — into negative territory. Denmark’s Nationalbanken in turn cut its deposit rate — the amount it pays or in this case charges banks for placing money with it — four times at the start of this year to a world record low of minus 0.75 percent. On April 8th, Switzerland became the first country to sell 10-year […]

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Dubai Airport–Terminal 2

Inaugurated on May 1st 1998 to alleviate congestion at Terminal 1, Terminal 2 catered to scheduled, charter and special interest flights during special occasions. A few years ago, when Iraq was served by charter flights of Jupiter Airlines, we used to travel to Baghdad from Terminal 2. It used to be a small airport with lacking facilities in contrast to the Terminal 1. Now, Terminal 2 is home to Dubai’s budget airline flydubai, which launched operations on June 1st, 2009. Undergoing a massive makeover, Terminal 2, hub for flydubai is now completely transformed. This terminal is also used by low-cost airlines, charter flights and airlines coming in from CIS countries and Iran. Today, I was returning to Baghdad after vacation. This time I was traveling by flydubai. I visited Terminal 2 after a long gap of several years. It’s looking much brighter and filled with a number of shops and eateries. It was in the morning, around 6.30 am. I found people queuing to get into the famous restaurant belonging French chain of bakery restaurants – Paul. As I was traveling by Business Class, I headed towards the flydubai Business Class Lounge. The ground floor was a bit crowded but the first floor is more spacious and good for relaxed seating. I preferred to sit at a corner with a power connection to charge my mobile. I also breakfasted there. The staff at the lounge are quite polite and nice. The […]

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Falcon Gold Lounge, Bahrain

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This time while traveling to New Delhi from Baghdad, I took the Gulf Air flight. I normally prefer the UAE based airlines for convenience. Gulf Air doesn’t service Baghdad on Sundays. Etihad and Emirates haven’t yet started the service since the shooting incident. So, the transit point is Bahrain International Airport. Although it’s quite an old airport but other airports […]

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Jaya Is Going For Total Hysterectomy

Jaya was suffering from pelvic endometriosis since last few years. Endometriosis happens when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus on the ovaries where it doesn’t belong. Currently causes for endometriosis are unknown. There is no cure for endometriosis, but it can be treated in a variety of ways, including pain medication, hormonal treatments, and surgery. If endometriosis is left untreated, it becomes worse in about 4 in 10 cases. It gets better without treatment in about 3 in 10 cases. For the rest it stays about the same. Complications sometimes occur in women with severe untreated endometriosis. During last consultation with her gynecologist on June 20, 2014 Dr. Indrani Lodh advised Jaya that she needs surgery — total hysterectomy otherwise her condition may become worse. Total Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus including removal of cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes. The doctor suggested for laparoscopic hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. A hysterectomy is a major operation. As explained by the doctor, laparoscopic hysterectomy is done using a laparoscope, which is a tube with a lighted camera, and surgical tools inserted through several small cuts made in the belly. The surgeon performs the hysterectomy from outside the body, viewing the operation on a video screen. She further explained that using a minimally invasive procedure (MIP) approach to remove the uterus offers a number of benefits when compared to the more traditional open surgery used for an abdominal hysterectomy. In general, […]

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