Member's Blog


Written by Malek Saturday, 14 September 2013 17:38


Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!  Job 1:21

Perhaps the most popular argument against the existence of God is based on the timeless question: "If there is truly a good God, then why is there evil in the world?" Typically the argument runs as: "Since our world is full of evil and a good, all-powerful God would never allow for evil, God therefore cannot exist." This argument involves more emotion (usually anger) than reason, but the question is important to consider. It can be phrased many ways and a few will be considered here.

First we must consider the meaning of evil. There are two kinds of evil: moral and physical. Moral evil is willful sin, while physical evil is natural harm. Examples of moral evil are murder, adultery, fornication, theft, sorcery, abortion...(Didache 2:2). Examples of physical evil are famine, illness, natural disasters and death. Now evil is not something in itself, but a lack of something that should be present, e.g. a lie lacks in truth. God does not create evil since it is not a thing to be created. Evil is an imperfection, lack or void in God's creation.

Focusing first on moral evil, the question could be phrased as: "If there is a good God, then why did He create morally evil people?" In considering this question, we must realize that God does not create evil people (Gen. 1:26-31). Being all-knowing, God does knowingly create people who will be sinners, but knowledge and control are different. God created us with the gift of free will - the ability to willfully choose Him or reject Him. We choose to sin - to reject God - through willful disobedience. This rejection is a void in God's plan for us.

Written by Malek Saturday, 31 August 2013 02:12


By JAY CHESHES  NYTimes traveler - I was finishing an aperitif on the porch at Villa Clara while other guests tossed pétanque balls in the nearby yard. The hotel’s 4-year-old namesake cozied up to her papa, showing off her latest crayon creation. “Oh, c’est magnifique,” said Olivier Gougeon, a French chef and an owner of the property with his wife, Marie-Hélène, an editor of a French-language home décor magazine.

The tiny boutique hotel, its restaurant and guest rooms stocked with Parisian antiques, opened last year around the corner from an Asterix chicken shack and across the street from its neighborhood boucherie. But this was not Marseille or Lyon, it was the eastern edge of Beirut.

“A Frenchman can easily live in Beirut without feeling displaced,” said Mr. Gougeon, who moved to the Lebanese capital from Paris in 1999, as he sipped local wine in Villa Clara’s leafy backyard after cooking a dinner of crispy-skinned duck confit and old-fashioned île flottante.

For more than a century, through all manner of turmoil, including a 15-year civil war and, more recently, ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria, a distinctly French character has pervaded the city. Much of it is the legacy of the French colonial period — the mandate that lasted from 1920 to 1943 — but a cultural kinship goes back much further than that.

Written by Malek Friday, 30 August 2013 22:45

The Internet is a decentralized global network, designed to be resilient and hard to take down. But it's still possible to black out a certain area, or even an entire country, disconnecting it from the rest of the world.

That's what happened in Egypt in 2011 and three times in Syria in just the last year.

Were these waves of blackouts the result of technical failures? Or does Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime have stronghold over the country's Internet access? Most likely yes, according to experts.

"This is only possible if the government has complete control over the telecommunications infrastructure," said John Shier, of the security firm Sophos.

Even if Syria doesn't have complete control, it has a stranglehold over the network's single point of failure: the state-controlled Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), which maintains "the primary flow of Internet traffic in and out of the country," according to David Belson, the editor of network security firm Akamai's State of the Internet quarterly report.

Written by Malek Wednesday, 28 August 2013 13:40

Written by Malek Monday, 26 August 2013 20:09

Written by Malek Thursday, 22 August 2013 15:34

Written by Malek Saturday, 17 August 2013 14:09

In Lebanon there is one gunshot a year that isn’t part of a scene of routine violence: The opening sound of the Beirut International Marathon. In a moving talk, marathon founder May El-Khalil explains why she believed a 26.2-mile running event could bring together a country divided for decades by politics and religion, even if for one day a year.



Why you should listen to her:

The beautiful city of Beirut, Lebanon, has seen its share of tragedy, as a seat of Lebanon's long-running civil war (1975-1990) and the Israeli-Lebanese conflict that came to a head in 2006. But in 2003, May El-Khalil, a local sports official, decided: It's time to start a marathon, open to all, as an antidote to sectarianism. And despite ongoing political and security pressure, the Beirut Marathon, now entering its 11th year, has become not only the largest running event in the Middle East but a powerful force for peace.

El-Khalil was inspired to start the marathon after a personal tragedy: a near-fatal running accident. Doctors told her she would never run again. She was hospitalized for two years and had to undergo a long series of surgeries. But the resolve from this personal struggle created an event that, each year, draws runners and fans from opposing political and religious communities in a symbolic act of peace. Case in point: In 2012, on a rainy and windy November day, more than 33,000 runners turned out. Other countries around the region are now thinking of replicating this model.

Written by Malek Friday, 16 August 2013 21:02

The concept of Big Data applies to nearly every business sector, from retail and healthcare to sports and politics

The solution use Business analytics!