Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Union du Maghreb Arabe, 18ans deja

Quel gâchait historique..

18 ans d'inaction, de négligence et d'indifférence envers des aspirations des peuples...

Ailleurs, une telle union aurait déjà porte des fruits tangibles en l'occurrence

1) Une route trans-maghrébine

2) Une monnaie unique

3) Une intégration économique parfaite assorti d’un marche commun

4) Une mobilité de ressources humaines et naturelles fluide

5) Un bloc économique, énergétique, sans égal

6) Une politique étrangère commune et forte

Même sous les pires conflits frontaliers, les disparités idéologiques, et les variétés ethniques...

Dommage, vraiment Dommage...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tunisia Inc.

Below is my vision of a global organization with operations in Tunisia, also refered to as "Tunisia Inc"

1) English will be the language of the workplace, spoken and written. Tunisian Arabic will be the common language, French supported but not recommended

2) The company will be run by a Tunisian CEO reporting directly to the board, which is made of Americans, Canadians or Asians

3) Employees will be Tunisians only

4) Employees will be hired through referrals only, no posting on any job boards

5) Employees will work for free the first month, and then get compensated onward

6) Employees will earn shares of the parent company, as they gain seniority, their shares grow

7) Employees will have to sign non-disclosure agreement and agree to pay penalties (deducted from salary in an escrow account) should they be proven guilty of breach of trust in a Tunisian court of law

8) Termination for cause or without cause is permitted, as long as it’s not abusive, there will be no job security

9) All employees will be granted a paid 4 days leisure travel once per year to any European city of their choosing, granted that ¾ of them over-achieve

10) Training is at the own time and expense of the employee

11) 2 major mistakes are allowed per year, termination thereafter, to the sole discretion of the manager with review from the Board

12) The Tunisian office can shutdown anytime and relocate somewhere else, at the sole discretion of the board. All employees will be fired with 2 weeks notice

13) The office will feature an open concept cubicle setting, with a game room equiped with a state of the art sound and video system, and a WII console.

14) Internet connection will be handled by a satellite link. No TunisieTelecom crap

15) Work hours will be flexible, minimum 6 hours per day, maximum at the discretion of the employee

16) There will be no maternity benefits, but 1 over 4 employee must be female

17) Working from home will be allowed

18) There will be 3 weeks vacation per year, and 1 week sick leave

19) There will be whistleblower policy in place. I.e. it is the responsibility of every employee to report unacceptable behavior of another employee or manager. Abuse of this rule will lead to immediate termination

20) There will be no business travel overseas

21) The office will not be located in the Capital

22) There will be 3 special days. One family day where employees bring their spouses and kids, one Civic day where employees debate and discuss their community issues and one cleanup job day, where they pick a location and clean it up!

23) There will be 360degree review of immediate managers per year

24) Security will be handed to a strong private security company

25) Dress code will be 'dress down', that is shorts in the summer, and jeans in the winter, except when there are visitors, dress code will move up to be formal neck and tie for managers, skirts and heels for the ladies, and business casual for the rest.

26) Last but not the least, i will not look after this company :)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I had to fight hard to snatch few days from my work schedule to make a trip to Tunis. After a trip to Seattle, LA and London, my VP decided that I deserve a break and allowed me few days in Tunis as long as I check my emails and be online to attend meetings over VOIP…it was not that fair but a good deal by North American Standard.

So here I am enjoying a unseasonably warm weather. Actually, I can confirm that global warming is at 100% full throttle, with winter in Canada starting 2 months behind schedules, no rain, yet Spring weather in Tunis, Warm weather in London, UK and Extra rainy in Seattle and LA. Tom hanks would throw “Houston, we have a serious, lasting problem….” from his Apollo capsule.

Tunis is busy as hell, but at least I can get some business done with people working 2 shifts a day, compared to the few hours of summer time. However traffic is chaotic as usual (no surprise) and internet is crap at best. I’ve got a 256k line that sometimes acts as 300k line but most of the time throws the infamous ‘cannot display page’, I don’t know if the Folks at TT know that our infrastructure does not help convince foreign IT investors to setup shop here, our customer SLA is at best 50%.

In Tunis, one’s schedule gets filled up fairly quickly….there is no shortage of meetings, cafes, gossips and inquiries. A friend I met yesterday, told me that he can get Canadian Citizenship without even setting foot in Canada in 6 months time, he turned out to be misinformed, he mixed, VISA with Immigrant Status and Citizenship, but he insisted that he got such info from the Canadian Ambassador himself who apparently is a distant family relative…so go figure.

Worth mentioning, is the increase in number of girls’ only group. Few days ago, I visited some up-scale neighborhood and there were large groups of girls, sitting and having fun, with no single guy around. I don’t know if Guys are becoming a scarcity or these girls have discovered a way around guys….whatever is the reason, I found it weird. During my times, guys were much more numerous and were the hunters, not the hunted.

It didn’t took long for friends to flag my cell phone as outdated and obsolete, since many of them have the most sophisticated technology out there. I was also lambasted for not renting a luxury car, since by their standards, someone who works overseas, must get a 307 or above…Lessons Learned. Thankfully, only a minority of my friends think like this...

Nonetheless, it’s always fun to be around family, and friends…especially when I hear the crazy and outrageous gossip…aka ‘Le Shoot’. I missed the Derby…I was so close to getting tickets at the black market, but these were way overpriced.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Seattle, L.A, London, Tunis??, Toronto...

To Start, a 3 day visit to the University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering department, for joint Research & Industry workshop. We (the industry) want to explore the new optimization tools they recently developed and they (Phds, and Masters) want funding (like any thirsty research facility).

Then, onto Los Angeles for a 4 day training. I like this part, coz I miss Los Angeles allot, even though there is no such thing as Los Angeles downtown.

Then come back, spend barely one day at home, then on to an overseas flight to London, UK for a 3 day Conference (I hate conferences, papers, and all the research crap, it’s dull, but that’s my corrupt opinion). It’s my first time to the UK so I need to order some maps and especially the map of ZE UNDERGROUND, switch to the English accent, because over there, there is no such thing as Elevator, it’s called lift, and there is no truck, it’s a LOOOOOOORY Bloody hell. And Ohh everything is charming, Sir :-)

I’m trying to squeeze in, a few days to go to Tunis, but there is neither a conference, nor a training there, so I need to find a good excuse…suggestions are welcome

I’m grateful to the 'calendar and the gods' since this is occuring while Wifie and Kiddo are still out…otherwise that will cost me dearly. Wifie charges 50$ (in value or kind) for a missed diaper change.

Ok, i think i need to go do some laundry....

Friday, January 05, 2007

The time machine exists after all...

I wish i can use it to explore the future :)))))

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

L’immoblilier fi Tounis…

Brabbi ya jme3a, someone explain to me why the hell l’immoblier fi Tunis is skyrocketing every year.

Behi, let me start. I was looking for something back in 2003, not really interested in buying but just assessing the market.

Let’s consider a semi-detached unit (duplex) in an average-to-good neighborhourd. At that time (2003) it was sitting at 150MD. In 2004, it went up to 200MD, in 2005, to 250MD, last year to 300MD and projected to hit 350MD by 2007,

Ok, I can understand the price of copper went up 25% the past year, concrete/cement 25% due to privatization (a huge mistake) add to that the dramatic increase of fuel costs, all compounded with inflation, yet that can’t justify a sustained 25% increase on a yearly basis.

I heard that Europeans can now own property in Tunisia (yet another mistake), but could that be the major trigger for such an increase ?

Someone, please provide a scientific/financial explanation to this, granted there is one eventually. This is driving me nuts coz even Real estate in Bel-Air, California, or Monaco are not experiencing such jumps. Mind you this may turn to be an opportunity as well, longer term.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Tunisia goes Nuclear full speed !

(L'Express 15/12/2006)

La Tunisie et la France ont signé jeudi un accord sur la coopération dans l'utilisation pacifique de l'énergie nucléaire, qui couvre les domaines de la protection environnementale, du traitement des déchets nucléaires et la production énergétique.

Avec la signature de cet accord, la Tunisie est entrée dans une nouvelle étape de la recherche et du développement de l'énergie nucléaire, a indiqué Taieb Hadhri, ministre tunisien de la Recherche scientique, de la Technologie et du Développement des compétences.

Souffrant d'une insuffisance en ressources pétrolières, la Tunisie attache de l'importance à l'exploitation de l'énergie nucléaire ainsi que de ressources alternative et recyclables.
En mars et novembre derniers, le président tunisien Zine el Abidine Ben Ali avait convoqué deux sessions du Conseil des ministres pour étudier les questions énergétiques qui se sont résultées en une srtratégie en faveur de la recherche et du développement de l'énergie nucléaire.

Je pense que c'est un tres bon choix strategique d'opter pour le nucleaire, vu que d'ici 50ans il n'y aura plus de petrole (chez nous, bien avant cette echance) et que les technologies pour produire de l'energie renouvlable ne seront pas 100% efficaces et suffisantes, alors le nucleaire est le meilleur choix pour le moment.