The mankind under attack!
First of all, I want to thank everyone put his comment on the first entery and I promise I will reply to most of these comments as soon as possible!
Unfortunately, my second entery is not that pleasent.
On the last few days the world was stunned by the news of the outbreak of swine flu epidemic.Here in Egypt, people are terrified especially after they learned that this disease is fatal and can be transferred from ahumanbeing to another, and there is a general pessimistic attitude throughout most of Egyptian community.As a full-time pharmacist in a community pharmacy, I can tell how people are deepely concerned. Many customers, who enter the pharmacy these days, with common cold symptoms can't now treat this whole matter simply as the past and some of them don't hesitate to ask me if they cought swine flu. Also, I used to be asked about the availability of "Tmiflu" and protective masks. Of course I answer these poor patients with a big a smile on my face that there's nothing to worry about with many of "Stop it!" and "Don't bother yourself!". Frankly speaking, I'm really......really......really worried and afraid to some extent.
Medically speaking, Most types of influinza, including the swine type, share the same symptoms of the the regular flu and we can't reach an exact diagnosis without laboratory test. Also, the WHO says that the current anti-influinza vaccines and the widely known antiviral drug "Tamiflu" showed little effectiveness against swine flu.Added to that, I'm not sure that using protective musks is adequate to protect ourselves from this virus whish is still classified as the strongest micro organism on earth. Absolutely disappointing!!!!!!! Isn't it?
But have you realised that some international reactions was to some sort childish and showing a great degree of lack of responsibility and even sense towards an epedimic that threats the all humanbeings? Especially, these animal rights defending organisations who condemned the Egyptian authorities disicion to slaughter all pigs as a preemptive action to avoid a swine flu outbreak in Egypt. Very rediulous!!!!
So what to do? Just wait and see! The WHO says that a time period of 3 to 6 monthes is needed after the isolation and the identification of the genetic map "genome" of the virus to produce an effective vaccine. Until that time, we should follow strictly the widely known precautions including washing hands properly, wearing protective masks, which I still don't believe in its effectiveness, avoid the change of climate and, of course, stop eating pork.
Next entery, I promise, will be less disappointing!
posted on Friday, 01 May 2009 | comment on this post
To Rachel, with all respect :)
I know that the title may be a little bit strange, but it was just to tell you that I call your name withot the proper way "Mrs Rachel" to avoid violation of the friendly image of the blog. I hope that it won't be percieved as a humulation or a disrespect to you.
Anyhow, I want to ask you to stress in your next enteries on the proper use of punctuation marks. Besides, I will wait impatiently for your tips and remarks on my way of writing to enhance my writing skills and make my essays more understandable and acceptable.
On the other hand, I consider speaking is the most troublemaking skills for me. Due to the nature of my proffission as a pharmacist and the location of the pharmacy I have to speak English, in many cases, to native speakers. You can't imagine how terrible I become when I have to speak, my face flushes and I sweat heavily and my body temperature spikes suddenly, and how many naieve mistakes Imake. For example, a British woman came to the pharmacy to buy her medicine and after I gave it to her I asked her, when I realised her accent, "Mam, you seems to be British" She smiled and saied, " Yes" I think you now noticed how bad I need to fix this ability of fluent speaking.
That's enough for now.
I hope that you have enjiyed your weekend.
Mohammed Jihad Hesham
posted on Sunday, 03 May 2009 | comment on this post
Comments on many comments :)
Oh my God! I don't believe that the first week passed so quickly like that! Anyway, this is the proper time to reply to some of your wonderful comments
1-Me........in brief !
I was impressed and surprised that my introductory entery recieved 20 comments. That was a very warm welcomming attitude I have never expected! Thanks a million. On the other side, I have to tell you that my enteries focus intensively on parts of everyday life in Egypt which, as I think, you will not read about in tourism booklets and, maybe, you can't have the chance to learn about when you visit Egypt as tourists. I hope this will not disappoint you.
2-The mankind under attack!
Cheik Vall from Mauritania and Soroush from Toronto:
The advice about avoiding eatin pork was said by many well known physicians and specialists in Egypt. I know that this disease is airbourne, but I think that this virus has the strength and the fatality of bird flu (H5N1) and the ability to transfer from a human to another of the human flu (H1N1). This makes the way of the disease transfer unpredictable. This is, of course, regardless to the other health hazards of eating pork and the fact that Islam bans eating pork which needs no notice.
Sreenadh from India:
Here in Egypt we have alot of well-equipped labs that can analyse thousands of samples within short time.I think that the real problem is not the availablity of equipments. It's all about how to control the outbreak of the swine flu if happened. This is the chief concern of everyone in the globe.
Cristina from Buenos Aires, Argentina:
I can't agree more with most of what you said except about eating pork and the role of pigs in this dilemma.
3-To Rachel, with all respect :)
Also the huge number of comments was absolutely impressive. I can't tell you how grateful I am. Thanks alot for your supportive comments and useful advices.
4- Dusting dusty dustingly dust!!!!!!!
Ernesto from Chile:
You are 100% right. Spring is not supposed to be that bad, but this is the bitter truth in Egypt. Actually, autumn is the best season in the year in Egypt. Unfortunately, it's the beginning of schools activities, so, I can rarely enjoy the fine weather of this season,
Cristina from Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Well, the sales wasn't that good in this day. It was another slow day. Anyway, every thing emproved after that.
Cheikh Vall from Mauritania:
Actually, I am afraid of that too!!!!!! But I can do nothing!!!! Wish me a good luck, brother!!!!
Hyoshil from The UK:
It's nice to know that Egypt is not alone in suffering. Thanks Hyoshi
Thanks again for your sweet comments and I apologize for those whom I didn't reply to their comments.
Have a nice weekend.
posted on Friday, 08 May 2009 | comment on this post
once upon atime in a line!
How long have you standed in a line inside or outside a bilding to do any thing? And what was the longst duratione you have done that ever? Ten minuets? Half an hour? One hour? Maybe two?
Well, letme break your personal records!!!!!
So, ladies and gentelmen! Now we will celebrate the new world record!!!!!
SIX HOURS!!!!!! HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ladies and Gentelmen, let's applause to our Herooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
Seriously, Egyptians, especially in Cairo, are used to this kind of tidious activity. This is supposed to be natural especially if we are talking a bout a big city with more than 20 million residents. An Egyptian journalist described that as " The worst and most brutal punishmint for your sins!"
Three weeks ago, I had to go to the National Records authority to issue a new copy of this:
Egyptian identity card: image removed by BBC Learning English
This is the "The national ID card" which is the most important document in an ordinary Egyptian life. In fact, you can't make a passport, enroll in courses or buy a car without it, and in many cases your identity is denied if you missed yours!
Actually, I had to change some details in my ID in order to issuing other important documents. And that was the very begining of the story.
10.00 am : I reached the national records building. I supposed it was early.......What a stupid thought! Unfortunately, I found an extremely long line of people extended from the basement to the first floor, department of national IDs. So, I have to take my position in that line.Some people told me that they were here from 7.00 am till this moment!!!!!!!!
11.00 am : The line moved slowly and I put my exhausted feet on the stairs towards my destination.
12.00 am : The electrecity cut off suddenly! This meant, with no doubt, many other precious minuets would be wasted just like that!
1.00 pm : The electricity was back.......Thanks God! The line resumed moving with the same slow speed after meaningless stop.
3.00 pm : Finally, I reached the clerk responsible for finishing my papers. But that wasn't the end of the suffering. She, by the way she was a woman, showed me an ugly smile and said, "This is the end of my shift! See you! Good luck!"
.................No comment! Please, don't lough!!!!!
4.00 pm : After another hour of waiting that left me and rest of the people very furious, the other clerk arrived. Me and the people behind me were so exhausted and tired, my blood pressure dropped and I was near to faint, to blame that man or yell on him. He finished my paper and this drama, that seemed to be endless, reached its end!
Finding a bus that drove me home wasn't that difficult and I layed down on my bed on 5.45 pm!!!!!!
Have you ever had similar experience or even dared to do? Tell me, please!!!!!!!
Thanks alot for your last enteries, especially the last one. They were absolutely useful.
I've read the leaflet and, as you, found it strange to read an expression like " flu friend'. But actually, the statement " Catch it, Bin it, Kill it" is my favourite.
This reminds me with a widely used term in medical books " Typhoid Marry". Marry was a cook used to process meals to many high class families in USA in the third decade of 20th century. Many children and even elderly members of these families died with typhoid that was a fatal bacterial disease at this time. Physicians found typhoid in the samples of food prepared by Marry and, later on, in her blood smear. She had typhoid in her blood but didn't harm her. Nowadays, This term is used to define people like Marry who can spread a dangerous disease, viral or bacterial, unitentionally. In another words, they are called "carriers"
You are right about new situations that give birth to new words. This is also true about Arabic. Anyway, languages are described to be adaptable, I spent more than ten minuets to remember this word. On the other hand, new situations can give " life kiss" to some words that was thought to be burried forever in language books. For example, many English language students, like me, had to deal with words like "terrorism", "tolerance", "mass destruction weapons", "pre-amptive",......etc after 9/11 attacks. During the swine flu crisis, many people I meet and many TV programmes presenters used the word H1N1 in stead of swine flu. I thaught that this word would still forever used only by medical specialists. I was, as usual, wrong.
That's it for now. See you soon, Rachel.
posted on Sunday, 10 May 2009 | comment on this post
Welcome to my world!!!!!
Sorry! Oh yes, I caught flu and I am very sick. Actually, I didn't figure out the cause, but I realise that I have to move temporarily from being a flu friend to a flu victim or even a flu prey. Don't worry! I am just fine right now and it seems like I will pass this anyway.
In one of your enteries you said, "Could you take some photos of yourself at work? I am interested to see what your pharmacy looks like! " Well, Rachel, I can't refuse any thing you ask. I took some photos of the most important moments in my work day. So, let's begin.
10.00 am: I open the pharmacy doors myself
Now, it's time to clean up all this mess of the previous busy night.
I have never been good in cleening my room and making it tidy, and it was hard at first to do that in pharmacy. By time, the whole task has become easier.
After 45 minuets............
I used to sweep this floor then clean it using a mop every day.........Not bad for a young man, isn't it?
It's the time to have my morning tea break.I drink one cup of tea with milk two times daily.
After a while, my mother comes to the pharmacy. She is the manager.
She is a kind woman, but when it comes to work she becomes serious. I learnt from her many things about managing the pharmacy and how to make my pharmaceutical information very useful. She is a good pharmacist and a great manager.
During this, I have to deal with the new drugs coming to the pharmacy. I arrange them in categories, write down their expirey date in the records, put the price lables then puting them in shelves.
At 3.00 pm my morning shift ends. I leave y mother in the pharmacy and stay at home for three hours.
At 6.00 pm the night shift begins. During this shift nothing important happens. I spend some moments watching TV.
I spend most of the night shift with my father.
He was a surgeon, but he had to retire early when he was 29 because of Parkinsonism, a central nervous system disease. In spite of that, he takes part in the management of the pharmacy with my mother and plays successfuly his rule as the leader of the family. Also, he gives medical advice to people gratis. In fact, he is a brave man.
I hope you have enjoyed these pictures and looking forward for your comments.
See you after the weekend.
posted on Friday, 15 May 2009 | comment on this post
When the technology lets you down!!!!!
Nowadays, we are sorrunded by many forms of advanced technology. Many of us have computers, hold a mobile phone or a pocket pc in the trousers pockets, keep flash memory in hand bags, take photos with digital cameras, ........etc. These fancy devices are supposed to make our life easier and that makes us depend on modern technology all the time. But what if I tell you that some of these gadgets can let you down and ruin your life? Ther is an old proverb in English, "The friend in need is the friend in deed". Well, what my computer and mobile, for example, do is very opposite to a friend action.
When I was student I used to deal with the computer breaking down suddenly and in critical times. I had to spend long nights trying to figure out many problems happened without a just reason during finishing urgent works. Last month, my younger sister, by the way I have also a brother, was writing her college assignment. She spent 2 days to gather information and 5 long hours typing the report using the Microsoft Word. Unfortunately, and before writing the last page, a strange error message appeared and the computer shut down without any warning. Yes, the work of 5 hours vanished just like that. What do you expect my sister to do?!!!! Of course she bursted in tears and had to rewrite the report with the tears on her cheaks because the report had to be handed the next day. . Yesterday, also, I had to contact the internet service provider to fix a technical problem that cut the internet connection for three days. Besides, I can't count the number of times my mobile phone turned off during an important call.
Sometimes, I feel that what happened and happens is, somehow, intentional and these devices do these crimes against me with cold blood because they know that I can't afford discarding them right now. I know that some of you think that this is a stupid illusions, but I wish that I can treat these idiots like humans and give them a piece of my mind!!!!!
How about you? Don't be scared and share with me your experiences with these silent foes.
From flu victim to flu friend! Roger!!!!!:)
Thanks Rachel for your post. I am very glad that you like the photos and I hope I could make you any favour you want. By the way, I liked the humming sound you made in the back ground of your fantastic video. Don't be ashamed from something like that. It's a sighn of you that makes your videos unique. Finally, thanks alot for your advices about collocations,but could you, please, give me the model answers of your challenge because it's hard to find the right answers for these mind binding puzzels!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again Rachel.
For the rest of you, thanks alot for your comments and I hope you have liked the photos.
posted on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 | comment on this post
Time to unwind! (1)
Happy birthday to you. The video is fascinating and I watched it many times. It made my day. Actually, you are very lucky to have birthday presents and a breakfast on bed.Unfortunately, all what I got on my birthday is a cup of black Mocca coffee to help me jump out of my bed and start a new day of busy work. Nowadays, my mother is too busy to make a delicious birthday cake as she used to do many years before. Life is unfair, isn't it?!!!! Don't be sad. My father bought me a new trousers which I can consider it as a good compensation.
Now, Rachel, I will give you a virtual birthday present. I realised that you have to go to work every day and I don't you know if you have a weekly dayoff or, as me, not. I want to take with you a "virtual" picnic in one of the most significant places in Cairo, just to change the rhythm of life and avoid being another Jack. It's only 10 minuits far from the Citadel.
It's Al- Azhar park.
Well........it's not differant from parks in UK, but I hope that the images below will convince you to visit this park when you decide to visit Egypt.
Now, use your emagination and enjoy these wonderful sceneries.
To be continued.......
posted on Monday, 25 May 2009 | comment on this post
Time to unwind!(2)
To be continued.....
posted on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 | comment on this post
Time to unwind! (3)
Hi Rachel, Hi folks,
I am glad you liked the photos but here are a bunch of nice photos of the sunset from the park. I am sure they will give peace to your exhausted souls and end any kind of frustration.
Thanks Rachel for accepting my humble present and I hope I can give you a real one next time.
My next entery will be the last before saying goodbye!
posted on Thursday, 28 May 2009 | comment on this post
Unfortunately......Time is Up!
Ok guys. It's time to say my last words. This a very emotional moment and it's hard to find anything to say.
For the blog visitors, thanks alot for your wonderful comments. Some of them were funny, some were supportive and some held a lot of sympathy, but, on the end of the day, they made the joy and the benefit of the blog. I hope that you liked my few enteries and I am sorry that I did not write many stories about myself, my family, and my country I wanted deeply to write about.
Sincere thanks to the people of BBC learning English who helped me through this great experience by teaching me how to use the blogging area and removing any technical obstacle. I know it is just a small part of your work in your fabulous website, but thanks for your care along this month.
Finally, I can't find suitable words to say to you Rachel. I am very glad to know somone like you and I am really sad that this is maybe the last chance to write directly to you. I will not forget ever your wise advices you gave me and many writing skills you taught me through this short time. An arabic saying tells us, " The person who taught me a letter deserves my respect and true deeds forever". "Thank you" is not enough for you! I hope I can meet you again through the internet, visit you in the UK, or see you in Egypt to show you hw grateful I am.
Now, I have to go back to the commenting area and say good luck to our next blogger. Here is my very warm or even hot wishes from Egypt, it's 32 celsius degrees in Cairo today, to you, Taru, in Finland. I hope they are warm enough to melt the ice in your country and make you feel warm and able to write.
Best wishes for everyone.
Mohammed Jihad Hesham
posted on Thursday, 28 May 2009 | comment on this post
From BBC Learning English
Time has come to say thank you Mohammed Jihad for a fantastic blog and some really breathtaking pictures!
From Monday please welcome our new blog hostess. She is Taru and she is from Finland. Enjoy blogging Taru!
BBC Learning English team
posted on Friday, 29 May 2009 | comment on this post