Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Take Two

Hi Guys,
I hope you're doing smashingly, and getting all pumped up for tomorrow's festivities!

I got in from the dentist this morning to watch another PhillyD segment, and the question he asked was definitely something I've been going on about for the past few days... AIRPORT SECURITY!

So even though I'm super afraid of being perceived as one of those uber-stalkery fans (which believe me I'm not! haha) I thought "hmm.... you're interesting in the subject, and you have something to say, you want more people to hear you, and Phil generally rocks, so why not go for it!"
Which I did.
And now that it's out there I feel kind of stupid.
But then again no one said putting yourself out there (when you're a hard core introvert) would be easy!
So here's to taking it one step at a time!

Here's Phil's segment, followed by mine!

Thanks for listening you guys!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Howdy Howdy y'all,
So apologizes for putting up my latest vid so late.
It was supposed to load by 10am, but due to some technical glitches, it just came up now!
Hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for listening!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kennedy Scandal

Hi Guys,
So I just  put up the most recent video talking about the whole foiled terror plot, and the subsequent mayhem that ensued a few days later when another Nigerian man had to go to the bathroom.
It’s moments like this that I’m glad I’m not a man.
Or Nigerian.

The second story that intrigued me today comes from TMZ who published this photo

According to experts it hasn’t been altered.
Even so, it doesn’t show JFK’s face clearly.
But then again one never knows.
You can check out the whole story here.

Thanks again for listening,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Myth #982: Arabs Were Happy About 9/11 (so let's kill 'em all!)

Hey Guys,

I hope everyone's doing well, and had an awesome/peaceful holiday vacation.

Whenever Christmas rolls round I find myself often wondering about the conflicts going on in the world, and sheer amount of misunderstanding and phooey that took place throughout the year. By 'phooey' I'm referring to the  piles of BS that gets pumped into the air, that the general public is always readily willing to believe. 

I've found that people are far more likely to believe things that are absurdly false, rather than the things that are actually true.
I mean how boring would it be if you always believed what was true.
I mean really.
Snooze fest.

So with that in mind, I've gotten a few messages and comments on the latest video that I did calling the NYTimes rascist. To begin with, I have to say that in comparison to a LOT of other papers (whether in the US or anywhere else)  it does pretty well. But since when was 'pretty well' sufficient, or even acceptable?

I've found that whenever I make accusations like this (that any Western institution is racist against Arabs) whether be it in an academic, professional or personal setting, I often get barraged and attacked by people for uncovering something they've been oblivious to (or even subconsciously promoting) for a while.   Whenever I make an observation about a comment someone has said to me, people within the
'same group' often get very touchy and jumpy, as though I'm attacking them.

Which is DEFINITELY not the case.
Often, people's reactions to my observations and relayed comments reveal more about the way people view different 'groups'.  

I've also found that many times I've pointed out things that seem unpleasant to people from that background, I often get responses that simplify and dehumanize the other group.  A great recent example of this came from my videos, where I got comments about how horrific 9/11 was, and how happy people in the Middle East were about it, therefore it is completely acceptable to make racist generalizations about millions of people. 

I get that a lot, and it never ceases to surprise me.

There are several reasons for this.
That statement alone has SO many things wrong with it, that I'm frequently shocked that intelligent, educated people actually believe it. It's also shocking to see how many people out there automatically believe that without ever rationally thinking about it.

At the time of the 9/11 attacks I happened to be living in Saudi Arabia.
Not the most Pro-American country in the world.

But I remember switching on the news just as it was happened, and the next day EVERYONE I knew was in shock and in a state of mourning.
And this continued for weeks.
People that I knew throughout the Gulf, in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East started fundraising, and tried to do everything they could from there. I know of quite a lot of people that moved there for a few weeks to see if they could help. So it really shocks me that so many people believe that all Arabs/Muslims (as if they are interchangeable) were happy about it.

If anything 99.9% were in complete shock for months. 

But one must never forget the quacks.
There are quacks in every society, and to pretend like they don't exist only gives more power to the people that are violently against you. There clearly were some people who were happy about it. But I can guarantee you that it was nowhere near the amount that the media portrayed, or the Bush administration capitalized on.

So for the people out there that want to keep spouting crap about how happy people in the Middle East were about 9/11, they've either never read anything or been to the region.
Because I have never, EVER, met a single American (or anyone else for that matter) who's actually believed that after visiting/living in the middle east.
And I've met quite a few hard-core Republicans in my day.

So yeah.
Come to the Middle East, then tell me we're all raving lunatics.

Alrighty then, it's midnight and I should prob get some sleep!
Thanks for listening guys,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Haters...

So I have to admit that there have been two things bothering me today.

The first is this article from the NY Times which I talk about in my latest vlog, and the second (and far more personal) is that in my latest video talking about Bahrain "I got my figures wrong”. When I first saw that comment I have to say I was blown away and really hurt. 
Mostly hurt by the fact that I saw it as a personal attack.

And then I saw it for what it was. 

While YouTube is an amazing place where you can find almost everything you want, it also provides haters (along with the ignorant) to be rude, inappropriate and worst of all mean.  The anonymity brings out the worst in people sometimes, but I’m also glad in my case it’s brought me closer to a lot of very supportive people around the world. So again thanks for your support.

Anyway going back to the haters, I sifted through my wrong figures and came up with three possible issues.
  1. That the population distribution wasn’t correct.
  2. The whole thing about the island no longer producing oil
  3. And the whole longest bridge in the world

So let me go through them one by one and demonstrate what was going through my wildly drugged up mind yesterday (don’t worry- it’s all legal).

Firstly  as I said on the note it’s approximate (and I by no means have insider knowledge to the actual intel) that the population distribution was 52-48 %.  These APPROXIMATE figures were based of the Central Bank of Bahrain’s latest findings which can be found here.

As for the whole oil producing thing, since this was supposed to be a mini vid showing foreigners some general ideas about Bahrain I must clarify and say… ok… so Bahrain does produce oil, but in very insignificant amounts, and are already falling short of the oil necessary to sustain the country.  Saudi (out of the kindness of their hearts) have allowed Bahrain to refine oil from their fields as an inadvertent way of supplying the country with the necessary funds, and make refining and upsteam activity financially viable for the Kingdom. So yeah. Slightly inaccurate, but I thought the general YouTuber wouldn’t really want me to go on and on.

FINALLY, about the whole bridge thing. I must admit that I was wrong about that one.  Ever since I was little, people have been telling me that it was the longest bridge in the world, and well…  I’m just going to blame it on the drugs.  And the excruciating pain.
That’ll work.

So for all the haters out there, here are my blurry, and sometimes incoherent thoughts… hope it helps!

Thanks for listening,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where is Bahrain?

Here's the latest vid.
Though please forgive the mumbling, and the general state of awfulness!
Much love,

Dubai Shall Fall

So it's been about 10 hours since the dentist had a field day doing his things, and man am I tired.
All I did was sit in a chair for 2 hours, but I'm completely exhausted. Imagine what it must be like for him (she said while thanking the heavens she never went to medical school). Eugh.

So last night was pretty interesting. I must admit that I've never videotaped in a public-ish setting before.

The overwhelming fear (of getting in trouble... or worse..*gasp*... getting yelled at) must have made me temporarily stupid while I was filming that vlog last night. I guess having the staff be so nice to me really helped, and I know that I would have felt terrible if I'd said something nasty about the place after they'd been so kind.

Anyway.... on to the point I was making about malls... and CityCentre....

Enjoy CityCentre.....eugh... never.
There's just something about that place that I really dislike.
The blatant consumerism, neon lights, and the general type of people that flock to that place really gets to me.

It's like the worst aspects of dubai rolling around into one.
And as I said back in '05. Dubai will fall.
And even though it's taken so long.
I was right, and that's really all that matters.

Thanks for listening,

And here's where you can watch me make a fool of myself.
All for your pleasure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

One Week Later

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to thank al those out there who've been so fabulous the past week. It's definitely been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me.
Given that all the recent attention that I've been getting, (as a result of Phil and a lot of other factors) is wearing off, I've found that I've been taking the sudden drop in views [and unsubscriptions] to heart.

Coming to that conclusion has snapped me back into focusing on what I really should be doing... producing content that I'm proud of and is sustainable.

To all of you out there who've given me the chance to experiment with different things, and given me direction, and stood by me as I've waddled through... well... you're all just fabulous!

I've been thinking of venturing out into the outside world with my trusty video recorder and showing you around a day in my life. It'll be a big step for me... somewhat worried (and dreading!!) it, but I'm sure I won't get yelled at in a public space of anything... hmmm...we'll see.

Anyway thanks again for listening!

Saturday, December 19, 2009



I CANNOT believe that I just crossed the 15,000 mark! Utter madness!

Granted 14,000 of them came through the sxephil response vid (poor people.... they were none the wiser... just clicked on it, and regretted the day they were born...) but seriously though.... 15,000, over a thousand that came from people watching it and deciding to come back for more (agony that is).... it's astounding, and completely blew me out of the water.
You guys rock.

Thanks for joining me on this crazy adventure...
Lots of love,

Thank You. Really.

Hi Guys,

So I woke up this morning somewhat dazed and confused about last night.
Sifting through the events of last night, it turned out I slept at about 4am, after writing that very depressing post. My first instinct with this whole thing is to pretend like it didn't happen, delete the post, and get on my merry way ('tis the season after all!) Until I got a private message from someone who happened to read it.

Having a complete stranger take time out of their very busy day to sit down and write me a long message about how people are watching and that I'm doing great, blew my mind. I haven't been feeling completely comfortable with the content I've been putting up, and I realized that all I've been doing is asking for your support.
And SO many of you have given it.
It's so overwhelming.
And I feel very small for not appreciating it more, and taking the negatives of what people are saying more to heart than all the kind words and notes of support.
It's so much easier to be mean on an anonymous platform like YouTube, and even easier to just be indifferent.  Being supportive and helping other people out takes much more time, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Thank you all for being so great.
It really has put things into perspective for me.

Lots of love from Bahrain,

What to do?

Hi Guys,

So I've been thinking a lot over the past few days on ways to make my YouTube channel (lylaslife) work.
To tell you the truth it's really been bugging me that I lack the knowledge (and mostly the skills) to make something good.

I've spend the past 3-4 days glued to the computer researching, watching the styles of some of my favorite YouTubers to figure out what makes their videos work.

So far I've made a mental list and have come to the conclusion that only a few types of videos work (and these are in no particular order):

1. Comedy- any type whatsoever [as long as you're actually funny]
2. Personal vlogs (if you have have an interesting life and happen to be funny-ie shaycarl)
3. Anything to do with cute fluffy kittens/ things being smashed [hopefully not the kittens]
4. Are a major celebrity or record label
5. How to tutorials (Makeup & Style/Tech/ Interior/Random etc.)

So I thought 'hey... that's quite a bit, I'm sure I could do something  that could fit in with that'.
And the following ensued:

1. Comedy- any type whatsoever [as long as you're actually funny]  Crap. I'm not funny in the slightest.
2. Personal vlogs (if you have have an interesting life and happen to be funny-ie shaycarl) again not funny, and don't really have that interesting a life (plus I'm really bad at conveying it)
3. Anything to do with cute fluffy kittens/ things being smashed [hopefully not the kittens] don't have the patience and my kitten isn't that fluffy (or amusing)
4. Are a major celebrity or record label - clearly not the case
5. How to tutorials (Makeup & Style/Tech/ Interior/Random etc.) I can show you how to tie a knot. That's about it. 

So yeah... I'm can do....... exactly.
I'm so stuck, and I really really really want to make this work.

And at the end of the day who cares about my opinions and what I have to say?
Really though. 

That's right.
No One.

Thanks for listening,

Friday, December 18, 2009

God, Mary & Joseph Billboard

Howdy Howdy,

So for those who wanted to see that billboard, here it is!

Scandalous huh?
I personally don't get what all the fuss is about.... but to each their own I guess!
If you want to check out the rest of the story you can do that by clicking here.
Would love to hear what you guys think!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 4. Check.

Hi Guys,

So I've been having a slight problem trying to get my message across.
I have a feeling it's got to do with my lifelong fear of cameras.

But one never really knows.

According to people close to me I get VERY heated when it comes to discussing controversial issues, and even though I end up on the very unpopular side of a debate, I somehow always (ok usually) win people over. And for some reason it's jut not translating to these vlogs.... maybe it has to do with the fear of never having enough info (and the fact that once it's out there it can never be taken back... maybe).

Or maybe it's just the fact that it's day 4 of my crazy adventure!
Let me know what you think (and if you have any ideas on how I should get better let me know!)

Thanks for listening,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blown Away & National Day (hey! that rhymes!)

Hi Guys!
So imagine my shock when I woke up this morning and found over 4,000 views on the response sent to Philip DeFranco! I came out of the shower 30 mins later and it had jumped to six thousand..... the whole experience left me COMPLETELY blown away.

I'm just so thankful that people are interested in what I'm saying. It's very satisfying and humbling.  So a BIG 'Thank you' to anyone out there who's reading!

After that amazing surprise this morning I got up completely invigorated and did my third video which you can see here..

So it's National Day here in Bahrain, so we all put our head together this morning and decided to go somewhere that epitomizes the Bahraini lifestlye.... lunch at Chilis!

To all our international viewers who've never been to the Gulf before you may be slightly shocked, and not quite understand what I mean by 'Chilis'. Is it a local restaurant? A place? A bird or a plane? Maybe the Arabic word for Superman?


I'm here to let you all know that I really do mean Chilis. 
The American chain.  

Back in the day it was THE coolest place to be on the Island, and it still is to some extent. 

Anyway that was all I ended up doing today. Just trying to get everything up and get some reading done.

I'd love to hear from you all in the comments section (if anyone's actually out there!) and see where you're from, and what you've been up to all day!

Lots of love (and as usual) Thanks for listening,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sxephil and ME! (I know it should be I, but I'm excited!)

So I'm a firm believer in the fact that one should limit oneself to one blog post a day... After all, I don't want to be one of those people who burn out after 2 days (ok ok I'm one of them).... but I"m SO excited!!!

Now since I told my mum, my sis and anyone in the house I could hold captive (my cat) and I'm still all over the place, there's really no one to tell but you!

So I thought it would be a good idea to get the word out there about my new channel (non-friend related traffic), so I thought hmmm.... why not respond to sxephil.   I absolutely love his videos.  It's a good mix of interesting stories, viewpoints and humor.
And I like that combination. 
So I went for it, and well he approved my message, and so far I have 300 views! It's so exciting because a whole people are now subscribers.

Now I know you're looking over at the imaginary person next to you and rolling your eyes and saying 'come on...' but before you do that it's such  great feat that I've been able to convince 7 real people (not  imaginary ones mind you AND ones that I've never met) to want to listen to me even though the videos look dodgy and kind of stiff on camera is amazing!

So if any of you crazy folks out there are reading this thank you thank you!! You really have made my day.

Thanks again for listening you guys.
Lots of love,

Video 2 and Rolling heads: Eritrea Edition

After the complete surprise of yesterday's video, I've decided to keep this up more regularly, and I can already see a difference in the quality of video coming out.

Granted it's still terrible (if not worse), but a bit better than yesterday's, so I'm happy.
Little victories are a good thing.

So in today's video I talked a bit about the whole Eritrean National Football Team disappearing.
Yeah I know.
Quite shocking.  You can read more about it here.
Apparently they went for a match and never came back [no more no more no more no more... hit the road Jack].....
Which begs the question how bad must it be in Eritrea if even the national football team have to get out of there. 
Also, I would like to point out that  I would not have wanted to be inside that room when the president found out. 
Heads must be rolling. 

So if you wanted to check it (my video that is) out [hint hint... nudge nudge] you can right here

Another (not-so-)interesting (but closer to home) story is about how France has returned Frescos to Egypt. Reading the entire story (about how France could never steal artifacts- to 'ok we stole them...sorry!) was hilarious.  Apparently Egypt cut off ties with them in October after demanding the frescoes be returned in the grounds that they were stolen.  And only after they cut off researchers and archeologists from key sites in Egypt did they hand over the stolen property.

Doesn't anyone have any decency and honesty anymore?
Apparently not.

Thanks for listening.

100+ views & Afghanistan

You guys!
This really is SO exciting....To date (and it hasn't been a day yet!) I've got over 100 views, and as I mentioned earlier, I hadn't told anyone! It was such a great surprise.

After hearing a few congratulations from people I know watching the video I have to say I was completely mortified.... it was terrible. I guess I find my self so uncomfortable with people I know watching these things (or even reading this blog...*shudder*) that when someone does I just shut down.

At the end of the day though it's out there, and well, I never realized I looked so stupid talking to people, but there really isn't much I can do about that.... all I can do however is try and get better.
And try I shall!

In other news I just found out that another of my good friends (from school) was in Afghanistan.... and he's barely twenty. It left me wondering why people don't just tell everyone that they're going.... is it a fear of jinxing it, or it just plain fear? Would love to hear your view... let me know.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Hi guys!!!

I'm so excited about this. Ok. Let me just wind that up a few minutes....
So here's what happened.
After our lovely on way conversation (also known as my conversation with myself..) I decided to take the plunge, and make a complete ass of myself and start making videos on my take on life, and events that find themselves in the news a lot. The thought that I could work my way through the fabulous site of YouTube to one day being a host where my thoughts actually matter was enough to bypass my utter embarrassment and general unease about the whole situation.

What also helped was looking at a few old videos of The Philip DeFranco Show, and wow... he had a completely different style back then (to say the least), so my thought was, even if I suck to begin with, I can always get better. So I went with that!

What's been bothering me for the past few weeks was how everyone was going on about the whole Tger Woods thing... as though it was impossible that any of those women could be lying... ppllllleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaase....
So I made a little video about that (which really wasn't that great or funny or well edited or anything... just a few incoherent thoughts, and well..) up until now (1.5 hrs later) I've had over 30 people watch it!!
It's so exciting! I've never had traffic generated towards any of my videos before! I didn't post it or tell anyone... it was such a great surprise!

So from now on I'm going to try and do this pretty regularly, so I can build up a substantial amount of videos, get better (and less nervous in front of the camera), and see what happens from there!

Very good news!
Thanks for listening!
Oh and if you want to see it, here it is...Enjoy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Want To Be The Next Host On The View

So the past few days have been somewhat difficult.
I've found myself tossing and turning each night, about to fall asleep, then I wake up with some crazy thought about something I have to do. It's become very tiring.

What's even more tiring though is the fact that everything I want to do in my life is SO difficult. I don't mind toiling away for years in end if I know that I can get there. But these dreams seem SO farfetched, and there doesn't seem to be information ANYWHERE on how to get there. It's as though I woke up one morning and decided to be a model. Scratch that... I know what I need to do to become a model.... but a professional artist, photographer or a TV anchor. Now how does one get to that point? HOW?

I really really want to get to that point, but I don't know what to do? Anyone out there? Any advice?

Lots of love,

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Attempt at YouTube Fame

Hey Guys,
So I thought I should let you all know that I've started a new channel in YouTube called OnBahrain, and I've decided to put up a video every 2-3 days about different things going on around the Island.... below you'll find my first introductory video on Bahrain....Stay tuned!

A University President, an Ambassador and a CEO walk into a bar...

So last night I ended up going to an event I never thought I'd be invited to.... an AUC alumni gathering in Bahrain.

I have to admit.... it was very bizarre standing elbow to elbow with President Arnold and his charming wife Sherri (I think that's how it's spelt!).  To my surprise quite a few of the heavy hitters of the region were there (CEO's of regional banks, the head of SABIC and the US Ambassador).

All this made me wonder whether in 20 years time a gathering of the people who graduated in my decade will be anywhere near as successful, or have anywhere near the amount of skills necessary to do something productive in their lives.

Based of the people that populated 98% of my classes, my verdict right now is no.

So I walked into this event (absolutely dreading it), expecting there to be a long drawn out speech about how important it is for alumni to give back to the university, and how amazing it is now, and how we're the best in the region blah blah blah, and I don't know whether it was the cold air, failing mic, or that half the people at the dinner were hit hard by the recession, but he kept it short, and for that all I can say is Thank you God.

An with that, may the fundraising continue... far far away from Bahrain.
Thanks for listening to my rants you guys...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Walk Through Muharraq

Alrighty... I'm back.

Apologizes for all of you who've been eagerly waiting for another immensely smart and witty post.
I've been incredibly busy showing a good friend of mine around 'The Island'!

I must admit that even though I've lived here for years I hadn't been to most of the places I somehow heard about through friends who do this sort of thing all the time.

Up until recently, my tour of Bahrain to friends consisted of the usual ..."To your left you'll see one of the oldest shopping malls on the island.... before that we did... well..... nothing.
And to your right a lot of new shiny buildings that were previously just empty desert.
Like here.... here.... here...
Oh and here.
So yeah.
Anyone up for lunch?"

Yeah.  I know. Disgraceful.  For someone who knows the ins and outs of the political, demographic and trend makeup of this island, it was one sad attempt. But the beauty of Bahrain is that everyone loves helping out, and it's pretty easy to find out new (or in this case older) things that can be done here.
One of the most intriguing places that I ended up going to was this quaint little neighborhood in Muharraq.

HE Minister of Culture Sheikha Mai did a fabulous job of restoring that area, giving it a more modern and elegant touch while restoring its old time charm.  She has managed to restore several of the older more prominent houses in the area, and includes The Kurar House (which focuses on Bahrain's phenomena embroidery), The Bin Mattar House (which looks into Bahrain's legendary pearling industry) amongst others.

One of my personal favorites include the Iqra Library which was specifically built for the children of the area, and has the most amazing interiors.  If you're feeling like the taking a break from the usual Seef District bonanza I highly recommend going to the House of Coffee, newly renovated and operated by Maya. Their dark Hot Chocolate is to die for, and the atmosphere is very enjoyable.

If you're interested in learning more about the initiative set forward by HE Shaikha Mai, a great article in TimeOut Bahrain published quite a few months ago talks to the Minister about her efforts to preserve Bahrain's national treasures.

I should run, but I promise to have some more things up soon!
Be safe,

Some of my Vlogs