How touching when thousands of Palestinians cheered President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank last week after he announced a “Palestinian Spring” following his historic speech to the UN last week demanding that the UN recognize Palestinian independence. You would have mistaken the crowd for that of Tahrir Square when President Hosni Mubarak announced his departure. Question is, how much rope is Israel willing to give him before they snap it? Like President Barack Obama says: “Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians, not us, who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.”
Weird world this. When the Saudi King fell sick, he was promptly jetted abroad for treatment. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez sought cancer treatment in Cuba. Many other leaders in Africa are whisked abroad for treatment to such places as India, the UK, USA, France or Switzerland. India is a favourite and affordable destination for many Kenyans, but when ruling Congress chief Sonia Gandhi fell ill, she was flown to the US for surgery. Is there something wrong with my view of things or are we not putting our money into medical facilities and would rather take a long flight across oceans for treatment?
And still on royalty, moderniser and a reformist Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud last Sunday promised that women would be given the right to vote and vie in elections by 2015. Whether the octogenarian is under pressure for social and democratic reform to avoid the scenes he saw in Tunis, Cairo, Abidjan, Tripoli and Damascus is hardly the point. He has seen the light, and that is all that matters. And while he is at it, he could also allow the women to drive cars. So basic and simple a request don’t you think Your Excellency?
And finally… [email protected]
Undoubtedly, the most revolutionary gadget today is the cell phone and it seems glued to hand and ear around here. Now, research by cloud security firm Westcoastcloud says one-third of children aged under ten years old in Britain have their own mobile phones. Of these, 16% owned a laptop, 18% had a flat-screen TV in their bedroom and many more have an email address and social networking account. Wow!