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    • Salam! Sorry I've been on a bit of a blog-stalking spree since I recently re-joined SC!  But I must say I found this to be a very interesting and observant blog entry Haji - one that also hit close to home! Kids graduating from top schools in my country (traditionally a 'drainee' country) have always been slapped with that label of being responsible for the 'brain drain' in the country that direly needs them. The emphasis on trying to send them on a guilt trip back back to their country if they decide to move can sometimes get really out of hand (coverage and negative publicity in the press etc). The argument is (at least for private schools) if someone was put on their mettle to get into these schools and pay the exorbitant fee out of our own pockets (or private loans etc) then they have every right to take the brain where they want without feeling guilty. If they were born in a 'drainer' country, they'd probably be able to achieve just the same (or more) without the added guilt if they decided to move elsewhere.  These drainee countries arguably and potentially keep these brains from reaching their full potential leading to a 'functional drain'. For example, over time many of these countries have developed decent undergraduate programs in STEM specialities but have not been so successful for postgraduate/doctorate programs. So how far are the brains themselves responsible for the drain if they leave the drainee country just to get access to greater academic opportunities?  Finally, the academic fraternity often argues for the pursuit of a global academia without borders - where institutions are not defined by their geographical location. With that argument in mind, it's interesting to consider that this pattern of moving from one institute to another exists even within 'drainer' countries (so people who complete their medical school at Yale are less likely to also pursue their PhD at Yale in favor of another institution). Here these brains do it for professional growth. If brains from drainee countries do the same with the same goal, they also have to live with the label that they fueled the drain.  Some more interesting thoughts in these articles from people I know: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1275995/ https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e938/e1c2d3d77c1b947cf4f74c061524e361a7ac.pdf
    • The idea of everything being made up from the four elements is an ancient myth with origins in classical Greek academia probably. The early Muslims just regurgitated what had come to them from ancient sources. It was only after the Mutazzalite tradition and the Asha'ri movement to counter them that the scientific tradition started flourishing in Islam.
    • There is more evidence accumulating that they did have the methods for transporting stones e.g. the discovery recently of a ramp. https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/giza-pyramids-ramp-scli-intl/index.html For me, the value of a human Egyptian civilisation is that it highlights how you can have a belief system that, for many centuries keeps coming up with amazing technology and artefacts. And yet in the fullness of time, the significance of Egypt for later generations has been to provide the realisation that as far as their religion was concerned, other than providing modern day Egypt with a tourism industry, it was pretty much a waste of time. As far as we are concerned today, there are and have been ideologies (such as capitalism and democracy) that may serve to motivate people to achieve great things in the short term and indeed much longer than that, but in the millennia to come they may be seen as anachronistic.
    • Nice to meet you people then from my village 
    • yeah trust me I sensed it! hahah, only weirdos have the same humour as @3wliya_maryam and i. 
    • I have a feeling youre a very weird and crazy person... 
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About this blog

The official ShiaChat.com Blog!

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Ali

[This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama!  I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives]

Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days!

Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 yearold me was still trying to make sense of it all. 

In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial-up modem was.  Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) -  I digress.

Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in endless debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia.  (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups.  This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”.  The “Hashtag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today).

For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client.  It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as a member of their chat room.  Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.).  Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years.  I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people.  Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course, the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15-year-old.

In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia.  As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggybacked on one of our member’s servers and domain name.

The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam.  As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style.  Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way.

A thought occurred to me.  Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use?  The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today.  The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at any time from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users.  I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just set up was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com.

[More to follow, Part 2..]

So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?

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