Shaaz Nasir

Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

We All Dream

In Advice on March 14, 2011 at 12:09 am

We all dream, just some more than others. Many dream in the night but those who dream while awake can steer their destiny with open eyes. You are your only limit. Facing reality does not mean submitting to it. When people accepts reality they take one step towards controlling it, understanding it.

Mind The Gap is a philosophy that links economics to fashion to world issues and much much more.

MTG was a dream I had while awake.  Soon enough and thanks to the Vice President of Communications (William), MTG will morph into something beyond my dreams and beyond me.

It is most definitely a risk to put my dream on the line. But as I said earlier, accepting reality is one step closer  to understanding it.

The world is moving at a rate I cannot keep up with and thus I have to accept that sometimes we have to let go of things when we love the most. It may mean less of me and more of MTG.

It will all make sense when the real MTG is launched when the dream is finally realized.

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Boys are just Not Good Enough

In Business, Canada, Economics, Experience, Globalization, Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

A unfortunate gap between females and males continues to grow. It’s great that females are improving their skills in general, but the males are falling behind which means half the world is struggling.

I was reading the PISA 2009 assessments and below are some major points to be noted (the entire document is over 20 pages)

Introduction

Throughout much of the 20th century, concern about gender differences in education focused on girls’ underachievement. More recently, however, the scrutiny has shifted to boys’ underachievement in reading. In the PISA 2009 reading assessment, girls outperform boys in every participating country by an average, among OECD countries, of 39 PISA score points – equivalent to more than half a proficiency level or one year of schooling.

  • On average across OECD countries, boys outperform girls in mathematics by 12 score points while gender differences in science performance tend to be small, both in absolute terms and when compared with the large gender gap in reading performance and the more moderate gender gap in mathematics.

The ranks of top-performing students are filled nearly equally with girls and boys. On average across OECD countries, 4.4% of girls and 3.8% of boys are top performers in all three subjects, and 15.6% of girls and 17.0% of boys are top performers in at least one subject area. While the gender gap among top-performing students is small in science (1% of girls and 1.5% of boys), it is significant in reading (2.8% of girls and 0.5% of boys) and in mathematics (3.4% of girls and 6.6% of boys).

Similar prosperity…different educational results

  • Countries of similar prosperity can produce very different educational results. The balance of proficiency in some of the richer countries in PISA looks very different from that of some of the poorer countries. In reading, for example, the ten countries in which the majority of students are at Level 1 or below, all in poorer parts of the world, contrast starkly in profile with the 34 OECD countries, where on average a majority attains at least Level 3. However, the fact that the best-performing country or economy in the 2009 assessment is Shanghai-China, with a GDP per capita well below the OECD average, underlines that low national income is not incompatible with strong educational performance. Korea, which is the best-performing OECD country, also has a GDP per capita below the OECD average.
  • Indeed, while there is a correlation between GDP per capita and educational performance, this predicts only 6% of the differences in average student performance across countries. The other 94% of differences reflect the fact that two countries of similar prosperity can produce very different educational results. Results also vary when substituting spending per student, relative poverty or the share of students with an immigrant background for GDP per capita.

Enjoying the Learning: NO

In all countries, boys are not only less likely than girls to say that they read for enjoyment, they also have different readinghabits when they do read for pleasure. Most boys and girls in the countries that took part in PISA 2009 sit side by side in the same classrooms and work with similar teachers. Yet, PISA reveals that in OECD countries, boys are on average 39 points behind girls in reading, the equivalent of one year of schooling.

Why?

PISA suggests that differences in how boys and girls approach learning and how engaged they are in reading account for most of the gap in reading performance between boys and girls, so much so that this gap could be predicted to shrink by 14 points if boys approached learning as positively as girls, and by over 20 points if they were as engaged in reading as girls. This does not mean that if boys’ engagement and awareness of learning strategies rose by this amount the increase would automatically translate into respective performance gains, since PISA does not measure causation.

But since most of the gender gap can be explained by boys being less engaged, and less engaged students show lower performance, then policy makers should look for more effective ways of increasing boys’ interest in reading at school or at home.

PISA reveals that, although girls have higher mean reading performance, enjoy reading more and are more aware of effective strategies to summarise information than boys, the differences within genders are far greater than those between the genders. Moreover, the size of the gender gap varies considerably across countries, suggesting that boys and girls do not have inherently different interests and academic strengths, but that these are mostly acquired and socially induced. The large gender gap in reading is not a mystery: it can be attributed to differences that have been identified in the attitudes and behaviours of boys and girls. Girls are more likely than boys to be frequent readers of fiction, and are also more likely than boys to read magazines.

However, over 65% of boys regularly read newspapers for enjoyment and only 59% of girls do so. Although relatively few students say that they read comic books regularly, on average across OECD countries, 27% of boys read comic books several times a month or several times a week, while only 18% of girls do so.

Many issues will arise as females become more capable in contrast to their male counter parts. Although International Women’s day has just past…let us not forget the other half.

Ohhhh Those Eyes

In Advice, Canada, Experience, Globalization on January 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Your eyes are one of the most important ways to  communicate. When words fail your eyes will pick up the slack and transmit messages beyond comprehension. Eye contact in any scenario from work to friends, heightens the connection at least  two fold. One can determine lies, nervousness, confidence, and truth through the eyes. There have been many times when people would be saying one thing but their eyes another.  Eyes also have tendency to break down barriers of language and culture as through my travels I have been able to understand people simply by the eyes. Physical distance can be destroyed when engaged in eye contact, while people could literally be standing in front of each other, but without eye contact they feel a cold distance.

So I end this post with a quote

“Those eyes will be your saviour as her voice whispers closer but her eyes scream run.”

How to lose 5 pounds without Exercise

In Advice, Blog, Business, Canada, Culture, Exercise, Experience, Failure, Faith, Fashion, Fasting, Fat, Food, Friends on January 3, 2011 at 11:01 am


Dream of dropping 5 pounds without intense exercise,
or maybe you are already fit and are struggling with the last five. Fret no more and GTF…what!?

WAIT and read

I will begin a new series based on sharing some of the tips and tricks that helped me shed the 52 pounds. Alongside with international economics, the latest fashion movement, and other important topics will come short bursts of advice on dropping  weight. Soon a cultural study on what it means to be attractive in various societies and why the western concept of  “hotness” has prevailed  will be released.

For now something a tad lighter …

Shaaz’s Green Tea Flood (GTF)…

Step 1 – Drink 4 cups of green tea a day

Step 2 -Drink 5 to 6 glasses of water a day

Step 3 – Reduce your salt intake

Green tea has a trillion benefits from  externalities such as lush extravagant hair to flushing out those bad toxins in your body. If you do not classify yourself as a very active person chances are you have a good amount toxins in you. These toxins slow your body down and prevent your natural hair, nails, and  skin from reaching their true potential. The biggest impact is how green tea speeds up your metabolism. When combining green tea with the increase in water consumption, your body at first will..logically… want to pee a lot. However, give yourself three days and your body should regulate itself accordingly. When your body lacks water it tends to keep your fat from leaving since it truly believes you are going to die.

Lacks water..how do I know?

The moment you become remotely thirsty…you are dehydrated. Sounds weird and wasteful, but it’s the truth. You should never feel thirsty which means keeping a healthy surplus of water in your body.

Wait…can I just keep GTF’ing and lose 5 pounds all the time?!

No. Your body will experience diseconomies of scale as the impact of green tea will diminish as you consume more over time.

Problems with GTF

I am a 6 foot 2 inch Indian man that weighs 200 pounds. If you are a 5 foot 1 blonde cheerleader from spain or a 70 year old man living in China…well first thank you for reading MTG… but…. I cannot say this will work for you. However, as a general guideline anything less than 4 cups a day will not have much impact. Plus if you eat like a pig no amount of GTF will help you.

Let this be your first step to a healthier you not just your only step.

Within 10-14 days you should feel the difference through your nails, hair, skin, and weighing machine  (please get one)

Alright now I am off to find the meaning of beauty around various cultures to report on the gaps and reasons behind them.

Before you try anything please talk to your doctor as MTG is not your doctor.

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How to lose 20 pounds

In Advice, Attire, Blog, Exercise, Experience, Failure, Faith, Fashion, Fat, Film, Food, Uncategorized on December 27, 2010 at 1:20 am

Why 20?

Since 2006 I have been on the quest for a healthier lifestyle. As mentioned in one of the most popular posts on MTG, https://mindthegapcanada.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/how-i-lost-52-pounds/ , phase one was covered.

Now I stand weighing 200 pounds at 6 foot and 2 inches and ready to enter the final phase of reaching my potential.

200 pounds leaves me at 25.7 on the BMI which is still considered overweight

at 180 pounds allows me to enter a sweet spot of 23.5 which is classified as normal.

Phase 1 was mainly based on cardio through sports and especially a ruthless treadmill regime. The “icing on the cake” was to switch over to jogging 5 km around 3-4 times a week.

Phase 2 will bring things back to the basics as I embraced the treadmill once again but introduce heavy amounts of weight training. Starting as soon as possible, regular sessions will be scheduled among my school work and such. Aiming for 4 times a week at uOttawa or/and Good Life.

Mind the BMI!!!

Some flaws with the BMI, I am sure some healthy football players are classified as overweight as weight and hieght are the only things factored in. Furthermore, some healthy guys are big boned and may be misdiagnosed as overweight in which loosing more would actually be unhealthy.

Since I would be weight training there is a strong chance of me actually gaining weight. But as long as I feel and look superb who cares about some number?

I shall use the 180 as a motivator

Before
Now
Future
?
note to readers: please talk to your doctor before trying anything. MTG does not replace your doctor.

Don’t Drop It

In Advice, Friends, Future, Uncategorized on December 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Not that many people know, but I truly enjoy art in all its forms from creating to consuming. From short films, amateur photography, attempting abstract art, to some lame poetry, art is where I am content. My passion for economics is matched or sometimes overtaken by the desire to embrace a side of me neglected for far too long. While in Oxford, art class opened a new world of processing information from places within me I never knew existed. This feeling for art was further developed when visiting museums in Paris, London, Brussels, and New Delhi. I was truly fortunate to have experienced such an eclectic mixture of artwork from around the world.

I have made many short films /simple clips that I will now begin to share with you. For the past 4 years during the chase for success while studying international economics and developments, I dropped one of my passions on the way. Below is just one of my works. It’s a drive some friends and I took while on our break. Around 4 hours of video is showcased in under 2 minutes on the backdrop of one of my favourite songs “Don’t Cross”.

There are many more to come, some from Hong Kong, Beijing, and even old paintings from the past might be shown on MTG. At the end of the day we must refocus on what makes us content with our-selfs. If you had a passion in the past and was forced to drop it, go back and pick it up because with very step we take we must mind this devastating gap. The gap between doing the things we love versus doing the things we must.

Mind the Fakes

In Advice, Canada, Culture, Experience, Failure, Faith, Fashion, Fasting, Globalization, Uncategorized, World on December 24, 2010 at 12:46 am

the fakes stay close , like a shadow , during the sunshine

but those fakes leave us when we must enter the shade

be afraid of being played while you enter the meadow blindly

led ever so kindly

 

 

Mind the Laugh

In Experience, Failure, Friends, Future, Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Laugh….it’s all I can do. At the mirror, everyone, the world… just laugh it all out….lol or lmao whatever you call it, it’s all I can do

I must admit.

Laugh with or at over some chit-chat or combat

who wants to have the backbone to be the last one laughing on a self made thrown

all alone ?

Where does a uOttawa Muslim go eat?

In Advice, Attire, Business, Culture on November 15, 2010 at 7:48 am

The quest for Halal at uOttawa

I have been wandering around Campus for around 4 years now, and I thought to myself what has changed in these past years? Knowing me the first thing that came to mind is food (do not judge…  I AM HUNGRY!!); halal food to be specific. I hear that our Student Federation is working on adding options around campus which is definitely a step in the right direction. Carleton has a well-developed cafeteria with options that include halal. However, Carleton is also located in a luxurious oasis that is the middle of nowhere; it is expected of them to have decent internal options. On the other hand uOttawa may be a tad gray but at least it is centrally located with hundreds of restaurants at our finger tips. So there is no beef with uOttawa because it’s adapting to demographic shifts and embracing reality.

Until the day comes when real halal options (not just the ones at SITE) are provided through the appropriate venue, what are people to do?

Here is a list of the best alternatives on our campus!

Yum Yum List

  1. Upper Crust in UCU – They have one amazing double cheese, tomato basil, cheese induced baguette. Yes they only have one veggie option but WOW this sandwich is amazing (Ignore the upper crust in FTX… YUCK) cost : $7
  2. Crazy Garden Something – Name does not matter, location does. It is located right past the Royal Oak. This is a veggie heaven with all vegetarian and organic options… wow choice? What do I do! Watch out as some foods are strange to say the least, as for advice, try the tofu tammari something with wild rice, too good. (desert: the oh so decadent brownies which make brownies anywhere else seem like a bad joke) cost $7-14
  3. Chip Wagon in near 90U – Veggie dogs and a decent burger as well! Order the combo with fries and a drink for around $8 (Veggie POUTINE… yum). Sometimes the lines are long and with it being -40, a 10 min wait is not too fun.

Hot Dog Man near Arts – Shout out to my bro who makes the best veggie dogs out there.  If only he listened and ordered some halal sausages from Toronto with the rest of his inventory. He sells one thing and unlike the Upper Crust UCU, it’s not filling.

Despite everything being overpriced and limited in options I am happy we have some options!

Now for the list that will cause beef, not halal beef, just beef.

Worst Places on Campus

  1. Cafe Alt – Hold on now; take a breath now; take another one. I respect the intent of this place and the people committed to this cause but the implementation and actual reality forces me to admit how terrible Cafe Alt is. Back to basics: overall food is not well put together; choices are limited; and menu is poorly made. Prices are through the roof for what is student made food that you could have made at home for 95% less. I encourage everyone to visit it the place and make up your own mind but for me, Cafe FAIL. (The atmosphere is relaxing sometimes though).
  2. Subway near DMS – Veggie delight, there is nothing delightful about fake bread and rabbit food. Harsh and true, the veggies are rarely fresh and the pricing makes little sense to the consumer but to Subway oh baby it has to be their biggest “marked up” item. Tuna does not taste like tuna and must have high levels of mercury; so I pay to slowly damage myself?  Do not even talk about those veggie patties nor the lobster; do not even think about it! (I eat subway a lot but  never did I say I enjoy it. When you have to study it is the fastest way to recharge).

So my fellow people please state your case in the comments box below!

Have a Reason

In Advice, Beijing, Business, Canada, China, Economics, Global Vision, Globalization, Ottawa, Success, Traveling, World on July 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Time to Mind the Gap,

A while back I was lucky enough to attend the Canada China Business Council meeting in Ottawa.  As a private, not-for-profit business association, the CCBC is dedicated to building its members’ business success in China and Canada by offering unmatched business service and support to corporations based in both countries. Its members range from the largest and best-known Canadian and Chinese firms to leading innovators and SME entrepreneurs in both countries.  Members are competing in a diversity of sectors including financial services, legal services, information and communications technology, education, manufacturing, construction, transportation, mining and energy.

I met this very successful man (international consultant, mid 30’s) during the networking event (looked like Matt Damon; no jokes, but taller) as we were talking about my adventure and what I want to do in life. He cuts me off, “Shaaz, you have the tools in place; I don’t know if you will be successful but ya got the tools. Make sure you got a reason, you got to have some type of purpose in what you want to do.” His cell rings; he checks his cell and grumbles to himself: “Well I guess I am off to Beijing  in a few hours”. He exhales heavily, I cut him off, “Sir, let me tell you, you have an amazing life. How did it…” The man cuts me off, he raises his raspy voice and says as he leans into me:  “Listen, yeah it’s fantastic, but if you don’t have a reason…” He looks off into the distance, almost in regret or with some type of mysterious gaze. He continues: “If you don’t have a reason, you get tired Shaaz, you get tired.” He looks at me right in the eye: “Shaaz, I am tired”.

He wished me luck on my journey and we parted ways.

I learned a lot that day, but that conversation put things into perspective for me. Never chase the money, the cars, the women (well some times it’s… no… never mind… no), that whole glamourous  brouhaha people run after, no do not chase that.

Focus on your strengths and weaknesses; find a reason to do great things for yourself and others, and the success will chase you.

That is what I mean by Minding the Gap, not just between people but the gap within us. We got to self analyze what we want in life and above all why, find that reason or I guess we will be tired or just not happy despite all that glamourous brouhaha ( I had to use that word twice in my blog)