I am an experienced pre-sales/sales engineer with a successful track record of winning bids with converged MPLS based global network solutions.
I have knowledge and experience of gaining an understanding of the business needs of customers and ensuring all the key components of any technical solution have been identified and their costs understood.
Specialties: SIP based voice services, MPLS WAN, integrated Internet, service management wrap, SLA regimes, bid responses
2013 - Present
Solutions Consultant / Vodafone
Working in the Global Markets team
Sales Engineer / Level 3 Communications
Providing Sales Engineering support in the roll-out of a new large project win. The customer has over 100,000 employees delivering mission-critical services to government and private clients in over 30 countries. Directly involved in SIP based voice services over MPLS WAN connected sites.
Pre Sales Consultant / Orange Business Services
I work in the new business team with the principle responsibility of designing the network architecture in our bid responses and subsequently presenting the solution to key decision makers within the prospective customer’s organisation.
Network Specialist / Anixter International
Providing pre-sales support for Europe focusing on wired and wireless networks.Designing network solutions including parts list for order placement, tender evaluation and responses, assessing feasibility of proposed solutions, performing competitive analysis against alternative vendors and arranging vendor assistance with tender responses where appropriate
Software Engineer / Alcatel Networks
Developing and testing real time datacomms software in MPW Pascal and Motorola assembler for the Mainstreet 3612, 36125 and 3660 multiplexers
Software Development / Nortel Technology
Real time telecommunications development for the Nortel DMS100 voice switch.
I’ve been replacing these G9 halogen bulbs on a regular basis. I accept light fittings being fitted with the cheapest sub-standard light bulbs the manufacturer can get away with. It keeps their costs down and is no different to printer manufacturers supplying ink cartridges that need replacing sooner than one would like.
So I wasn’t overly concerned when the 22 odd bulbs around the house started blowing out. I replaced them with Diall G9 halogen bulbs from B&Q. Over the next few weeks, one by one, they too started failing.
I switched to bulbs from ‘Opus Long Life Lamp company‘. Perhaps long life has a different meaning in Guangzhou because they’re no better than bulbs made by Diall. I’ve discussed these G9 bulbs with an electrician over the phone and popped into two electrical wholesalers. Experience of G9 bulbs seems varied with some using them with no issues whilst others complain about premature failure. It might have something to do with the length of time they remain switched on. Halogen bulbs run very hot and perhaps prolonged heat is causing the filament to fail.
I’ve now fitted three Osram G9 bulbs. They cost twice as much as Diall and 3.5 times the price of those from Opus. I’ll see if they last any longer.
The terrorist attacks in Paris has got the analysts and politicians out in force. As a Muslim I feel my very faith has taken another hit as the perpetrators have used Islam to justify their acts of murder.
Muslims have been given a binary choice. To either support the Charlie Hebdo publication or the terrorists. I support neither those who murder journalists nor this vile racist publication.
The French Muslim community has endured generations of institutional and societal racism. They have been excluded from participation in mainstream society. Denied the opportunity to better themselves they are stuck in abject poverty. In this deeply racist society you have little prospect of getting a decent job if you have an Arabic name or a brown complexion. Charlie Hebdo has been instrumental in the persistent dehumanisation of the Muslim ethnic minority carried out under the guise of right to free speech. A right that does not actually exist as many accused of anti-semitism have learnt to their cost.
I didn’t use the #JesuisCharlie hashtag for this reason. I don’t stand with Charlie Hebdo.
Racists and Islamophobes have predictably capitalised on these attacks to target the entire Muslim community.
Condemnation from representatives of the Muslim community has been clear. There is still a tendency however for Muslims to go off topic and start lamenting about the injustices being suffered by the Muslim world. This only serves to dilute the condemnation.
It is important for Muslims to ensure the key message of condemnation to an act of terrorism is not lost in amongst our tendency to lament about the injustices Muslims face around the world.
As Muslims when asked about an incident such as this we should keep our response simple. Reference only the specific event in question and ensure that as a Muslim you stand clearly on the right side of the moral divide. Murder must be condemned in clear and unequivocal terms.
This is vital in the immediate aftermath of the incident. There’ll be plenty of time to do the root cause analysis in blog posts, radio, tv and the print media in the coming weeks. As Muslims we have got to stop reacting with emotion and emptying all the baggage we carry. Yes these are hard times for us. More Muslims have been murdered by Muslim extremists than any other group. We are victims of current and historical injustice but wisdom and restraint is required when we are asked about a specific event.
Muslim extremists are given far too much space within our communities to spread their hatred. Their interpretation of religious scripture that justifies the murder of innocents must be challenged head-on.
The Muslim perspective that I share is covered by Nouman Ali Khan in his thoughts on the Paris shootings. The video below is his sermon delivered to a Muslim congregation. We need more people like Nouman to counteract the extremism that is poisoning our world.
I attended a corporate MindStore personal development course 18 years ago in Kensington town hall. My manager at the time felt I’d benefit from it and I certainly did. I still use the general principles of Mindstore today and will read through the book every now-and-then to recap.
So when a recent email asked me if I’d be interested in attending a Wellbeing course I quickly replied back with a yes please.
The course focused on health and nutrition including the importance of sleep. As an exercise to help us put things into practice we were asked to select 3 things we would do immediately after the training. An interesting piece of advice that I read from Oliver Gray’s book ‘Energise You‘ is that if you’ve resolved to do something 80% of the time you’ll experience the benefit. You don’t have to hit a 100% target to make it worthwhile.
The three changes I selected were:
Drink a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning
Go running twice a week
Replace the mobile with a clock on the bedside cabinet
The lemon water has proved to be the most difficult as we don’t normally have lemons in the house. So I had to use orange squash instead. Overall these changes have made a positive change to my well-being.
Under the Skin by Michel Faber has been turned into a film that I’m looking forward to watching. Its on my blu-ray rental list.
The book is a page-turner that becomes more creepy as the story unfolds. I really wanted to know what happens next? what was the lead characters plan?
A story written in this style builds up the reader’s expectation that all the mysteries will be solved in the resolution at the end of the book.
So does the story end satisfactorily? I am afraid not. I felt it ended rather abruptly. I expect activities at the farm featured in the story will continue much as before. Many questions remain unanswered and I just felt the book ended with the story unfinished.
The war against the Taliban has cost Britain just under £40 billion and 453 lives.
A £40 billion investment would make a huge difference if invested in education, healthcare, infrastructure and many other areas that are suffering from underinvestment.
So what do we have to show for the 13 years of military action?
Afghanistan today is ranked the third most corrupt nation on earth. Opium production is at record levels and its infrastructure remains as broken as ever. Schools remain closed and teachers are threatened if they even think about teaching girls. Afghanistan remains as primitive, patriarchal and misogynistic as ever.
Its not through want of trying. At its peak, in 2010, we had 9,500 military personnel based in Afghanistan. Most of them in the Helmand province. Supported by over 20,000 US troops who arrived to help out in 2009. They’ve been trying to setup and train an in-country security force to self police the country and bring about a degree of stability that is needed to help people develop. Sadly the Afghan forces remain incompetent and corrupt. There is little hope that they’ll be able to retain control of the country for long. It is highly likely that Afghanistan will go back to the rule of warlords within a year or two.
Unlike the Iraq war the intervention in Afghanistan did have some sensible objectives. The 9/11 Al-Qaeda attacks were planned from their base in the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan. The Taliban gave them sanctuary and refused to hand-over Osama Bin Laden. The initial objective of military intervention was to dismantle Taliban control of the country and degrade Al-Qaeda. All this to ensure our future safety here in the Western world. A worthwhile objective in my view.
The expansion of the initial set of objectives turned what should have been a short sharp military intervention into a 13 year war. This ‘scope creep’ resulted in additional objectives being added such as:
Providing education especially for girls
Removing the power base of religious extremism
Creating social and economic stability
The additional objectives are all admirable but you can’t change a nation externally. People have to want to change themselves. No amount of external intervention is going to bring permanent change. There is no desire within the Afghan people to change the way they have lived for centuries. This is ultimately why they will slip back into the social patterns that have always existed.
Comments from Lord Freud, the Welfare minister, has brought back memories of the old Conservative party. The ‘nasty party’ that treats the poor and disadvantaged members of society with contempt.
George Osborne has been fixated with rapidly reducing the budget deficit. A policy that has resulted in a ‘slash and burn’ attack on the welfare bill. A task that Ian Duncan Smith has turned into a personal crusade. A culture of hatred towards welfare recipients has been engineered with the media creating an image of lazy freeloaders who can’t be bothered to find work.
I am all for reducing the welfare bill and targeting anyone who abuses the system. The budget deficit also needs to be reduced to build a stronger economy that can withstand future economic storms. Its how we achieve both of these and the approach taken by the Conservatives that I find troubling.
I’m not a Labour supporter. I would have voted Conservative at the last general election had my flight from Prague arrived on time. As it happened the polls were closing as the taxi taking me home drove out of Heathrow that night. So I couldn’t cast my vote. Recent events however have made me question whether I ought to vote Conservative in the upcoming elections.
What I find particularly distasteful about Lord Freud’s comments and those of Sam Bowman from the Adam Smith institute is the dehumanisation of people. Reducing the worth of a person to an economic asset. Their unrestrained capitalism will take us to a cold heartless society where the value of a person is expressed as a monetary figure.
If we follow Lord Freud’s line of thinking do we arrive at a point where a decision as to whether a medical procedure is made not on the basis of need but whether it would be economically viable to do so. Much in the same way that a car owner might decide against replacing an engine part if the car is old and worth less than the spare part itself.
I thought the Rochdale grooming scandal was probably the worst things could get but I was sadly wrong. Plenty has already been written about the abuse of vulnerable girls by mainly Pakistani men in Rotherham. My views haven’t changed since the Rochdale scandal so I’ve not bothered mentioning anything as its all been said before.
I recently came across this piece from Ruzwana Bashir. A British Pakistani Asian who grew up in Skipton. She suffered abuse from a neighbour when she was a child but despite this went onto making a success of her life and took steps to take her abuser to court. I hope her courage and determination inspire others to seek justice.
In her interview she describes Pakistani culture as deprived, patriarchal, misogynistic and lacking in education. It took her 10 years of living outside of this community before speaking out about the abuse she suffered. She calls for four immediate steps to be taken in response to the Rotherham scandal:
Provide better training of social workers and police to identify victims of abuse
Mandatory reporting by people in authority when they identify signs of potential abuse
Improve support for victims of abuse
Allocate a single person in each community who will be accountable for policy enforcement
Through her education and subsequent career Ruzwana was able to exit from the community. Sadly not everyone in these situations is able to do the same. Many lack the alternative support structure needed to break away from the community that coerces them into silence.
I completed the Muslims in Britain Future Learning course.
I am better informed than I was before I started the course and I’m certainly glad I undertook the study.
The information was delivered in snippets, sometimes via short video clips. You could then engage in an online conversation with other learners to expand your learning.
Personally I’d have preferred a document to read through. A lot more ground could have been covered in the same period. I also felt the subject should have been covered in much more detail. The course covered the subject in a positive way, it should also have focused more on the challenges faced by the Muslim community in the UK. Ahtsham Ali, Muslim advisor for Her Majesty’s Prison Service, summarised the challenges faced by the British Muslim community in a recent lecture. My notes on his talk are as follows:
Disunity, with multiple denominations, castes and tribes that don’t talk to each other
A calcified Islamic ruleset, where scripture is learnt ‘parrot fashion’ with no intellectual engagement
Intolerance, an inability to distinguish between fixed and interchangeable aspects of religion and misunderstanding the underlying messages in religious scripture
Confusion between the ritual and the essence of religious practice
Ineffective mosques, sermons delivered in a language that is foreign to many in the congregation
Idiots and extremists generating a disproportionate amount of ‘noise’
Dysfunctional families, with poor educational attainment and lack of male role models
Constraints for women
Generation gap, with differing value systems
Identity issues, not feeling they ‘belong’
Lack of facilities for youths
Growing secularist/materialistic outlook, losing moral ‘anchor’
Lack of employment and the associated social and economic deprivation
Creation of inner city ghettoes
Growing antagonism with wider society, being labelled as the ‘enemy within’ by a hostile media leading to a feeling of further isolation
I’d like to see the above covered in much more depth on any future course.
Parliament has voted, 524 for 43 against, for another bombing campaign in Iraq. Islamic State positions will be targeted by 6 British Tornado GR4 aircraft from their base in the Greek part of Cyprus.
Some have argued that the Islamic-State/ISIS/ISIL should not even be referred to as Islamic. This in my view is unrealistic. ISIS justify their actions using references from Islamic scripture. We can’t hide from the fact that within the current theological model of Islam there is material that enables an interpretation for the justification of barbarism. This is a problem that needs to be tackled head-on through direct theological debate against these extremist interpretations of scripture.
The scope of military action excludes Syria and any infantry on the ground making this a symbolic gesture. Action in Syria has been ruled out because the Labour leader Ed Miliband wants approval through a United Nations security council resolution. He knows full well that any attempt to pass a security council resolution against Syria will be vetoed by Russia and possibly China.
Rushanara Ali, Labour’s shadow education minister, abstained and resigned from her ministerial role. She cited her decision as one based on principle. The views of a significant proportion of her constituents and an election looming next year was probably the deciding factor. Taking the views of your constituents into consideration is exactly what MPs should be doing and I respect her decision to abstain.
I personally don’t think the military action against ISIS will make any significant changes to the political and social landscape of this region. ISIS is not a conventional army with proper military bases and locations. I expect they’ll just melt away and become absorbed into the surrounding communities once the bombing starts to have an impact. They’ll still be there but in another form.
We need to do more than simply react to events in the MIddle East and start dealing with the root cause instead of symptoms. The greatest threat to our future is not global warming but the oppression and corruption of dictatorships around the world. Its this injustice that needs to be tackled aggressively to ensure the long-term safety of future generations.
Much of what happens in the MIddle East revolves around oppression and brutality. I’ve already made my views clear on Syria and Israel. In Iraq we’ve witnessed a Shia majority use the training and military hardware supplied by the US to relentlessly persecute a Sunni minority. In Bahrain the oppression flows in an opposite direction from a Sunni minority towards a Shia majority.
Across the Middle East dictatorships continue to torture and murder their people. Organisations such as ISIS feed on the resulting hatred that many feel. They couldn’t exist if it were not for the persecution of Sunni’s in Syria by Assad and by Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq.
We ought to be focusing on eliminating the root causes rather than making symbolic gestures.