Shaaz Nasir

Archive for the ‘Ottawa’ Category

Mind the Economy: “Currency War” made simple

In Advice, Beijing, Blog, Business, Canada, China, Economics, Global Vision, Globalization, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, India, Kuala Lampur, Life, Lunch, Malaysia, Ottawa, Packing, Shenzhen, SME, Song, Success, Technology, Television, Traveling, Uncategorized, University of Ottawa, World on October 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

How do Currencies and Interest rates play off each other?

More recently, many developing countries have had to contend with their own currencies rising and undermining their competitiveness.

The problem is that those low interest rates in the developed world have led investors to seek higher returns elsewhere, in emerging markets.

To invest in those markets, they need to buy the currency and that pushes its value up. That in turn makes those countries’ goods more expensive for foreign buyers and the overseas investment money creates a danger of unsustainable bubbles in their property and financial markets.

China has stopped its currency rising much by buying foreign currency. If it were to refrain from that and allow the yuan to rise, it would probably help other developing countries that compete with China, as well as the US which is protesting the most.

But there is another force behind the rising developing world currencies. Their economies are growing robustly, while the rich countries are not.

The tension over between the US and China over currency policy surfaced once again at the International Monetary Fund Talks

USA renewed the pressure on China to allow its currency to rise. The US has a long-standing grievance over China’s currency policy, which limits the movement of the yuan against the dollar. The American complaint is that it gives Chinese exporters an unfair competitive advantage.

There was a vigorous response from Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank (The People’s Bank of China), who blamed the rich countries for problems in the currency markets. Mr Zhou said extremely low interest rates in rich countries had created “stark challenges for emerging market countries”.

My Thoughts on the Gap.

Tensions are rising among the developing world and developed as priorities on currency (non)manipulation begin to clash. However, should a country stop manipulating its currency in the name of “fairness”?

Destabilizing the economy in the short run, running the risk of damaging the private sector as businesses go bankrupt; jeopardizing an economy’s growth and ability to reduce poverty  does not sound “fair”. The notion of “fair” implies morals which begs the question: who is making these moral rules?


International Economics is a game where rules are subjective but actual substantive growth is tangibly objective. I am not for currency manipulation but neither am I for irrational and sudden policies  that would jeopardize  an entire economy….especially not the economy that’s the driving force of world growth in terms of consumer consumption ….

-Articles combined from BBC & CBC


Terry Fox Day in Turkey?

In Advice, Canada, Culture, Exercise, Experience, Globalization, Meeting, Ottawa, Success, World on September 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

Each year representatives from the Canadian Embassy work closely with the Istanbul Technical University to organize the “Terry Fox Run” in October. Every year, the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research, a ten kilometer fun-run and walk, is held in over 5,000 locations throughout the world to raise money for innovative cancer research.

Terry Fox knew first hand the need for cancer research. At age 18, bone cancer resulted in the amputation of his right leg. During the treatment that followed, Terry witnessed the pain and despair caused by cancer and he became determined to do something about it. Terry’s dream was to run across Canada and raise money to help find a cure.

On April 12th, 1980 Terry dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean and set off Westward to begin his “Marathon of Hope”. For the next 143 days he ran an average of 42 kilometres per day. Sadly, on September 1st the cancer had spread to his lungs and he was forced to stop.

Terry died on June 28, 1981. In memory of Terry’s efforts, the run has taken place all over the world, including Turkey. Ankara hosted the 12th Terry Fox Run while Istanbul organized the first of many to come. This important event marked the beginning of a long lasting relationship between the Canadian Embassy, Istanbul Technical University, the Turkish Cancer Society, and in fact, the people of Turkey and those worldwide who will benefit from innovative cancer research.

The will of a Canadian hero has transcended cultures and nationalities across the world. Whenever one needs inspiration look no further than to Terry Fox’s timeless legacy.

Japanese 3D WORLD CUP?!

In Blog, Business, Canada, Economics, Exercise, Fashion, Football, Friends, Frosh, Future, Globalization, Orientation, Ottawa, Technology, Television, Traveling, University of Ottawa, Women, Work, World, Youtube on September 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm

In 2022, the Japanese claim that with over 150 HD cameras and special microphones they can create a 3D World Cup. What does this mean? Well imagine this…seeing Brazil play England in lansdowne park ….what?


The Japanese say forget about sitting in an cinema with some cheap plastic ray-ban rip offs…

Brazil and England play in Japan during the World Cup while you are in Ottawa at Lansdowne park watching a 3D projection of that game on the field….with the sounds of the Japanese fans cheering with you.

This is monumental as the potential profits are simply unimaginable….fields in New York…London…Paris…Hong Kong the list goes on and on….


1 game

90, 000 tickets to sell….

now take that number and multiply it by as many fields you want!

Calm Down

Turning the World Cup into a truly international experience does have its setbacks. The cost structure of setting up a 3D enabled field in the mega cities mentioned above would be key to the pricing of the tickets. Image rights for the players could also be troublesome and the actual technology itself is somewhat questionable….

But this could be the true game changer in Soccer with potential profits quadrupling as long FIFA has a plan to deal with the equal increase in cost and risk.

Where is the juice?

The games will be partially powered by solar panels AND  the kinetic energy created by a stadium full of fans. Simply outstanding as the passion and love for the sport will literally generate/sustain the World Cup  atmosphere.

Final Word

I say give the Japanese a chance with the World Cup in 2022….let  the beautiful game embrace the 3D movement.

Back to school…don’t think so!

In 101 week, Advice, Blog, Canada, Economics, ESA, Experience, Friends, Globalization, Ottawa, Success, Technology, University of Ottawa on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

The Start of the Start?

As the summer comes to an end, the same mundane thought creeps into our mind: back to school again.

Not this time, at least not for me. This is not just another school year; rather this is THE school year. Even before kindergarten, the importance of this year was being instilled in my mind.  From late nights to early mornings, everything was for the final year of my University Degree.

It’s a strange feeling as I approach probably the biggest milestone of my life thus far; it’s a great feeling in fact.  My family has been the sole reason for my success; their relentless belief in me has been my driving force. There have been moments when I have doubted my self or lacked the will power to charge through the obstacles at hand; this is when my sister, father, and mother caught me as I slipped.


Last year was successful in terms of “marks”, but I felt the passion I once had, the same passion that guided me to my degree, was beginning to dim. Don’t get me wrong I loved my third year, it’s just that burning passion to learn from others to further my knowledge in all my classes was being replaced by a misguided and unfortunate pursuit for “high marks”. Studying for tests became a game where I would master techniques to memorize thought processes rather then build my own and critically evaluate the questions at hand…”what would the TA like?”…..not what is my opinion and how can I best convey it?”

The Commitment

My mindset must return to what it was in first year…open and critical…always questioning but with the intent of understanding.

Here are some of my favorite quotes on learning…

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.  ~Alvin Toffler

Learning is like rowing upstream:  not to advance is to drop back.  ~Chinese Proverb

It is not hard to learn more.  What is hard is to unlearn when you discover yourself wrong.  ~Martin H. Fischer

This is not “back to school” …no this is the start of the realization that the next 10 classes, the next 2 semesters, the next 8 months is what I was working towards for the last 20 years of my life.

Time to shine.


Video for Education and Learning

Converting to Gmail

In Advice, Blog, Business, Canada, Experience, Global Vision, Meeting, Ottawa, Technology, University of Ottawa, Video, Youtube on August 21, 2010 at 8:25 am

Mr. Chow strongly recommended converting to Gmail to stay in touch with Junior Team Canada and better organize my life on the web. I have four solid reasons for the switch….

  • Treasurer  of uOttawa’s Tennis League
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Junior Team Canada Graduate / Canadian Trade Ambassador
  • Volunteer on Parliament Hill

All these titles/ jobs mean one thing: A TON OF EMAILS EVERYDAY EVERY MINUTE…which I love…but it can be daunting to manage and very important emails have slipped under the radar.

I also am going to try out “Buzz” from Google, in an attempt to reach out to citizens of the world wide web. One would hope that promoting your  brand to the world will yield some positive results. The transition is going smoothly as I am connecting my old emails to my new account on gmail…hopefully this results in faster response times and better results for the people I work for and with.

add me !

Think the World Bank is useless…think again my friends

In Canada, Economics, Globalization, Ottawa, Technology, Women, World Bank on July 27, 2010 at 8:01 pm

World Bank

“beware of the scary and evil place…no”

Although the responsibility of ensuring high living standards for citizens lie with the state, financial institutions can play a positive role in her assistance.  Many people have insisted that the World Bank is evil or can do absolutely nothing in terms of development. Some even argue that the World Bank is a direct threat to sovereignty of all nations and should be shutdown.

I disagree.

Indeed the World Bank has many opportunities to improve itself, but to label the institution as evil, redundant, and useless is simply not accurate.  Regarding the threat to sovereignty, if the World Bank seeks to increase the living standards of a nation’s citizen, through improvements in productivity and efficiency, it’s only strengthening the nation.

People bring up the dependant argument, which can be summed up as “the country will be dependant on the World Bank to succeed”. Far too many flaws render this argument useless; if someone is lending money, you would hope the borrower would work with the lender. Teamwork is not a bad thing. Oh God forbid, actual communication between the two parties involve in a financial transaction.

No one can legitimately argue that it’s better to remain a poor but “autonomous” state, than a robust and active country. International trade, open economies, working with international organizations is not being dependant, it’s reality.

Again I stress that the World Bank is not perfect and as they need to work on their own efficiency in terms of people management and  financial resources.

Let’s take a look at an actual project the World Bank has been working on with Bangladesh.

Female Secondary School Assistance Project

The project will support a major increase in secondary school enrollment of girls in about a quarter of the country by providing stipends for 1.5 million girl-years of secondary education, financing the cost of additional teachers required by the growth in female enrollment, supporting an occupational skills development program for school-leaving girls, assisting with a female education awareness program, providing a school-based water supply and sanitation program, and financing an institutional development program for implementation and capacity-building support to the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) in the Ministry of Education.

That was the longest run-on sentence I have ever read.

I will showcase this project in the next post.

Check the blog tomorrow!

Lets have a Quickie

In Canada, Global Vision, Greeting, Ottawa, University of Ottawa on July 27, 2010 at 7:05 am

Good Morning everyone

In preparation for the Asian delegation ( I love rhymes), I have been meeting with City Councillors in Ottawa. The goal is to understand how to represent Ottawa on the international stage.  So far each meeting has been very eye opening and informative. This will be my last meeting with a City Councillor before the trip and I have many things to discuss because…

Well I got to run the meeting is in 1 hour

wish me luck

Halal KFC !?

In Food, KFC, Ottawa on July 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm

A while back we discovered a Halal KFC in Ottawa. They only have halal chicken pieces, but that’s a good start!

Now we all can have heart attacks at age 10.

I took an amusing picture while ordering, hope you enjoy it.

Good ol’ KFC man next to the Halal certificate….indeed it is a taste of time

Sing The Night Away

In Beijing, Canada, China, Experience, Friends, Global Vision, Guitar, Life, Meeting, Music, Ottawa, Singing, World on July 25, 2010 at 10:04 am

Last Friday, the preparation for China/Malaysia mission was finally taking its toll on me. The constant GO GO GO GO mindset needed a time off.

So I was glad to have a relaxing lunch with some old friends at a french pub in downtown Ottawa. Will, Sal, Benazir, and I reflected on the “olds times”, it’s always nice to revisit the past. From there I took my Sal on a journey of self discovery, lets tone down the seriousness. We went window shopping as I recommended some styles to him. Eventually Eryou and I crashed Brown and Ana’s house, again I apologize to them as I thought Eryou asked before we came barging in.

That’s when Eryou sang us a song. (He’s a great writer and a good singer).

After a few good laughs, Eryou and I met up with Glendon and Lopez to have dinner at the classic mexican place in d-town. We decided to chill on Lopez’s epic balcony. They sang the classics as Lopez had the ability to play every song known to man kind on his guitar….

The honourable Natalie Melanson jumped into the signing party and we sang the night away….

in short,

Sal+ Benazir+Will + Eric Eryou + Ana + Eric Brown + Nat + Glendon + Lopez = epic times.

Now I am fully charged to carry on.

P.S. this video is for Glendon!

The infamous grey suit..WHERE ARE YOU!!!

In Beijing, Canada, Experience, Fashion, Global Vision, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, Meeting, Ottawa, Shenzhen, Suits, University of Ottawa on July 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I have searched far and wide, to the depths of hell and have returned empty handed. I can not find the infamous grey suit, at least in Ottawa. Too big, too short, size 42 means 38 or 48. Or I find a nice one but it’s over half a grand, I am not going to get suits that cost that much until I am worth it. It’s like a 14 year old owning a blackberry bold, NO. I must have been in about 50 stores so far, I am going for one last wild goose chase at Bayshore, no not dark grey, blue grey, green grey, just light grey.

Banana Republic, Mexx, Bay, Sears, La Chateau, Tip Top, even Moores, man I checked everywhere, Hugo Boss, Harry Rosen some random ones in the by-ward, St. Laurent mall, nothing at all… not what I need.

No there is not a deep message in this post, I just want a light grey suit for China.

Anyone help is needed!