Everything About this Picture is Wrong

One of my favourite iTunes applications for the iPad is The Guardian Eyewitness, a photography portal that brings in usually great photos almost every day from the news. Along with The Frame and The Big Picture, I get my daily dose of superb street photography and photojournalism.

A few days ago, the photo below landed on my iPad. According to the website:

An Israeli motorist runs down a masked Palestinian youth who was among a group of boys throwing stones at Israeli cars in the mostly Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

This isn’t the first time I am subjected to such an image, and I have seen much worse on The Frame and The Big Picture.

You can’t stop and think that everything about this photo is wrong.

That’s Great Journalism

Newspapers, especially online newspapers, have it tough these days. Over the past few years I’ve witnessed many online news sources degrade in quality of the news, writing skills, and alleged neutrality of articles. But like @mkdubai pointed out in his post here more often than not we fall into the traps of Journalism 101.

Today’s headlines explored the Bikini Incident. The summary of it is that a British woman had an argument with an Arab woman over revealing clothing (revealing is, of course, subjective) in a mall, and that the British woman, stupidly of her, stripped down to bikini and walked around.


Emirates 24/7 did a brief summary of the event yet labeled the Arab as an Arabic woman. There’s a difference between an Arab woman and an Arabic woman though it’s often easy to blur the line between the two. Of course the bikini shot there is nothing short of distracting. The photo is “supplied”. I hope the supplier has an RSS feed.

My colleague @The_Big_Kahoona wrote a three paragraph reply to the Emirates 24/7 article, pointing out the grammatical fallacies. Post-moderation processing, his comment appeared as this:


You can think of many ways to misinterpret the comment.

Later on I was pointed to an article by @_BiGsAm_ and @Catboy_Dubai to an article by Mail Online, part of The Daily Mail. I haven’t paid attention to the content of the article much as the point of debate here was the image. The incident took place in Dubai Mall, but the image supplied is that of City Center.

I did some research on how this error could have come about, so I carried out a simple search for “dubai mall” on Google Images, and lo and behold, the image is there, alongside one of Mercato Mall at the end. So the chaps at Mail Online wrote an article I didn’t bother to read and just put the first random image off of Google, which by sheer unluck happened to be of a different mall.


How COULD Google get this wrong!

Here are pictures of me on Google if you wish to write an article about me:


As you can see I am a variety of things, including a 468×60 ad space. On page 4 I shape-shift into Sam Worthington and a leather wallet.


Point I am trying to make: GET YOUR SOURCES RIGHT, and when you do, DON’T BUTCHER COMMENTS INTO SOMETHING ELSE. I haven’t been reading newspapers for long but I can place a safe bet that it was better when they were in black and white.

Hello, I’m Another Social Media Expert

Since I joined twitter in April 2009 (thanks to Zaher who nags more than I do), I was introduced to an incredible world of up to date spam, infinite ways to spend/waste time, attention disorders and, more importantly, entrepreneurs and social media experts.

I may sound like a hypocrite as I am a heavy contributer to spam on twitter and Facebook. I do love discovering the web, bringing together photos and links I find interesting, important or funny and share them with my friends. Sometimes a bit too much during the day. I also was introduced to a bucketful of amazing people who have become my friends. And I have used the medium to promote my photo blog and this blog, which did bring in more traffic, as well as find a few freelance jobs and what not. So it isn’t all about spam, on my part of my followers’.

However, I do not claim to be a social media expert.

I do not understand why people have the notion that if they have a Facebook fan page and a twitter account for them and/or their product/corp  that makes them social media experts. Funnier, still, they talk about how their business models presumably changed and share their “expertise” on the subject matter with others who also want to jump on this bandwagon.

There is much more to social media than simply opening accounts on every possible channel. Planning is involved, analytics, monitoring, “engagement”, choosing the right updates at the right time through the correct medium and such jargon an average internet user doesn’t need to be bored with. Pointing out how twitter changed the Iranian elections doesn’t make anyone a social media expert. Having a Facebook page with a portfolio of startups (that have just started) doesn’t make anyone an entrepreneur.

That’s not to say there aren’t social media experts out there amongst all the others. There are people who have a strategy, have and still are planning the paths and focus of their businesses/startups. To those, hats off to you. But if you’re selling stitched socks through twitter you’re no more of an expert than anyone else, me included, sharing links on the medium. بالعربي, مو كل مين صف الصواني .. قال أنا حلواني

Idiotic Parents!

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, and I never mind them crying, or yelling. They’re kids and that’s what they do.

It’s a different story however when it’s early in the morning and you decided to be a parent and punish your kids by locking them OUTSIDE the apartment.

Where’s the logic? Seriously? Let’s forget the fact that they will wake up the entire building with their wailing. Let’s ignore the lesson they will learn and the fact they won’t disobey you ever again (for the upcoming two hours).

What the FUCK where you thinking? Who the heck locks their kids outside the apartment for 15 minutes? Have you no shame? No heart?! What if the kids decided to do something funny, like, run away, or something? The poor kid was banging his head on the door begging to be let in!

Now I understand parents may have unorthodox ways to raise kids, but you can go to great lengths and be creative in ways of punishment but there are psychological limits and throwing your kids outside the house… let’s hope they don’t get a liking to a maul when they grow older.


I was reading a news story today about a Finnish woman – in coma for five years – who finally headed back home to Finland, still in a coma.

While stories of people in coma on the news is not uncommon, what shocked me the most were the series of archived articles related to the main story.

I went through all of them to discover that this woman, who had a stroke while shopping in 2004, has been abandoned by her husband and her family, and has been taken care of at the hospital’s expense for five years.

First off kudos to the hospital for treating a patient like any hospital should.

Secondly, WTF?!

This married woman was abandoned by her husband and her family! Several Finnish people in the UAE have tried contacting the embassy but the woman was also abandoned by her government.


The news made it to Finland a couple of months ago where people shared more than what’s on their mind. The woman was finally taken back to her country where she was (while in coma) reunited with her (obviously) not too happy husband.

How could someone just abandon their wife, mother, daughter, heck… citizen!

In related coma news, a mother whose daughter is in a coma is asking the government to help sponsor a care taker for her (as she cannot afford it), and the government is refusing – even though Gulf News readers donated enough money to afford a care taker.