Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bad Hair Days and Halloween

I called up the hair styling salon where I go to get my haircut and asked if my hair stylist barber was present. She wasn't. She is on leave and won't be back for a week. Aagh.

Yes, I have a favourite hair stylist. It's someone I have found who will cut my hair just the way I want it. Good barbers are like good mechanics, reliable, cheap and hard to find.

It was different when I was a student on a budget. Then it was straight to the $5 Chinese hair cutting place where a bunch of fellow desis used to line up outside on Friday.

No wonder no one returned my calls.

You see my hair has this weird habit. It will co-operate with me until suddenly, one day, it decides you know what, from now on every day will be a bad hair day unless you get a haircut. So my options are limited to either going for a shower and then slapping a lot of gel, backbrushing and then looking like something out of Grease, or go out wearing a crow's nest on my head, or wearing a cap.

This is where this Indian lady steps in. I found her when I was looking to get a quick haircut at our local mall. And voila - she has never disappointed since. Yes, she does talk about her son and her new born grandson and the latest cute thing the little bugger did but at the end of 15 minutes you walk out looking ready to hit the party. She's great. And now she's AWOL.

It's not that no one else knows to cut hair. I am a guy after all. However, I don't want to entrust this particular aspect of my social life to someone and then having to hide from the world for the 2 weeks if it's a bad cut.

I never understood the concept of going to a particular barber / hair stylist before. In my final year of university I was TAing an intro computer course and the students were asked to draw a flowchart of the sequence of operations for booking a hair appointment. All the students in that class of mine were girls.

So the girls wrote:

1. Call hair salon.
2. See if favourite stylist is present.
3. If not, book appointment on another day ->Call (Appointment).
4. If yes ....

And there was I, looking at the answers with a puzzled frown. Then I turned to the girls.

"Now why would you care if this particular stylist was present or not? Just get someone in the store to do your hair for you."

And 20 girls looked at me as if I had grown a horn.
* * *

I am a Halloween Grinch. I do not like this time of the year.

The nice part of Fall is over. It's dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home. A long six month winter lies ahead. And on the top of that, it's Halloween.

Halloween sucks. I never liked the holiday much, nor cared for it a lot. You don't get a holiday off work, you get no gifts and it's not even a religious thing.

What turns me off about Halloween is the carving up of a perfectly good fruit. Why can't they use plastic pumpkins each year? No, while thousands of kids in Africa can't get one meal a day, thousands and thousands of pumpkins will be spoilt (just literally destroyed) all in the name of fun.

Maybe I should just leave my crow's nest as it is as part of a Halloween costume of Crazy blogger and try to scar(e) the kids for life when they ring the doorbell.

Current mood: *foul*


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dhoom 2 Trailor

A (funny?) post for "Bollywatchers". So we went to Woodside to see an Indian movie. They showed the trailor of the multi-starrer Dhoom 2 before the start of the movie.

First came this guy on screen.


All the girls whistled loudly.

Then came her.


It was the turn of us guys to make catcalls.

And then came him.


Loud cheers again from the females.

Then came Miss Word.


Solid, solid catcalls from the guys.


Then came him.





From all.

PS. I will miss her. She was a Bong too - bonus.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Women In Ads

Nowal started this debate and I am taking the topic a little further. She links to a NY article where the author bemoans the fact that women's bodies are now sexualized to such an extent that we don't feel the impact when women are singled out for a crime - such as the recent school shootins in USA where the gunmen separated the girls before killing or molesting them.

Now, Jack Straw wants to have a debate as to whether women who wear the niqab are secluding themselves from society. Fine, I say, but we also need a debate as to how sexualized we have made women and their bodies in today's society. If Saudi is a repressed society where the hint of a women's ankle allegedly drives men crazy, in the West we don't think nothing of it when pole dancing toys are made for girls as young as six years old by Peekaboo toys. Christiana Aguilera shows her butt in a music video and it's rated PG13.

Here are a few snaps I took around Toronto yesterday. Here, I must add that while I am commenting on the sexualization of women's bodies in commercials, as a young man I am not complaining ...

Tame, enough ...

She's selling what again?

Catch the name of the store?

Twenty years ago you wouldn't see such billboards in a respectable corner of the town. Before they argue as to how we immigrants should assimilate into their culture, they should debate how morally depraved their culture has become.


Thursday, October 26, 2006


I hate liars.

There's the type of lie that I can understand. For example if you are unemployed for the time being but are ashamed to admit it, I can understand if you lie and say "Oh I am in school" or "I am on a little sabbatical".

We had a friend while in school who once said, "O I loved this course so much I am taking it again" - he fooled no one but himself but the lie was excusable as he didn't want to admit to failing the course.

Then there's the selfish liars. These people are ever ready to accept and ask for your help. The moment you need a little favour, however, the lies start coming right and left.

"Oh, I would love to take my car, but my mom needs the car just at this time ..."

"Oh yes, I had the DVD, but just last week my cousin borrowed it. Just last week."

"Oh no, I had that book, but I can't seem to find it now."

Selfish people.

Then there's the group who lie for no reason at all. This to me is most perplexing and puzzling. I met someone at a party and she told me she was studying to be a pilot.

OK. Not something I heard everyday, especially from a brown chick, but I can handle female pilots. Then later I learnt from someone else she is studying to be a nurse. And yet another person could swore she said she was going to be a journalist. And then her husband tells us his wife is taking some courses to be a chef.

What for?

And what really gets me, is how easily many people lie. And I am not talking white lies. Their imagination as they go from lie to lie is praiseworthy. During our final year in university, a friend once had a book I wanted to borrow, but he was leaving shortly. So I called up this other guy who lived nearby and asked him if he could pick up the book.

"Oh my car is in the garage since yesterday."

"Really?" I tried a shot in the dark. "I could have sworn I saw it in your driveway when I drove by your area this morning."

"Oh yea it was fixed but when they returned it, my mother noticed something that was not correct and we gave it back."

"Oh, you must give me the number of that garage that is open on Sundays I really need one."

"Well its usually not open but the guy specifically drove the car to us."

Sometimes I just string them along for the fun of it, but there's something wrong with a selfish liar. Especially those that selfishly lie to friends.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Ek Shararat Hone Ko Hai

A Very Happy Eid Mubarak to everyone.

There is a song from the movie Duplicate. It goes something like 'Ek Shararat Hone Ko Hai' before breaking into a nonsensical tune of 'La lai lai lai lai'. The video is on Youtube.

I LOVE that song. It is the ultimate carefree song. I am going to sing La lai lai lai without any care in this world as to what people think of me, Shah Rukh Khan seems to be saying. You sing that song when you are very happy.

That's how I felt when Dad told me, at 11.45 pm, that Nugget mosque has declared that the moon was seen, and Eid is tomorrow (Monday). I had taken a day off tomorrow and it would be pretty weird to go back to work.

"Hey, didn't you say you had ... what you call it .. Eid ... today?"

"Ya, um, about that boss, heh heh, funny story ..."

My sister had called up her girlfriends for a Mehndi night, where the girls practically dress up in Eid attire and apply henna to each other's hands and then stare at each other for two hours while it dries. Sounds like fun. There was some dancing and singing as well. Singing mostly by our CD player blaring out re-remixed Himmesh songs, while the girls did bhangra (which is basically a dance you do when you don't know how to dance). Hmm - I lie, some of them did know how to dance.

I was told to go out of the house as some of the girls were shy.

Ya, fat chance. I told my sister I am going to see a movie. Then I went out after Maghreb to eat out with some friends. And then returned with them. It's the end of Ramadan. I don't have to be the nice guy anymore.

Now I am under house arrest in my room.

La lai lai lai lai ... la lai lai lai lai...


Friday, October 20, 2006

Better Than A Thousand Months

It was over. And then it began all over again.

A hush had descended across the congregation as the imam started to recite Surah Naas, the final chapter, of the Quran.

Say, I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of mankind ...

His voice started to break up, and he had trouble declaiming the glorious verses.

.. The King of Mankind ...

They say men don't cry, but the quietness of the mosque crowd was broken by the sobbing of a few men around me. For a brief moment my thoughts went to one of my sister's classmates who was involved in a car accident. Last Ramadan he had been here, at this mosque. Today, his elderly father has lived to see another Ramadan, another Khatam, but not he.

.. The Judge of Mankind ...

The imam was visibly moved, as was I. Another Ramadan has come, and almost gone. They say deprived is the one who lives through this month and does not avail himself of His blessings. I know I have not done too much this Ramadan as I did before. It seems there is a cycle. When you are younger, you want to do all you can. You read the Quran once in the month, even twice. You religiously attend all the prayers.

... From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper) ...

... (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind ...

And then cynicism sets in. Materialism rules. You start to lose faith in faith. Am I somewhere in the middle of this cynicism and belief? I don't know. At that moment, I prayed fervently to see another Ramadan. The next one will be better, I promise O Lord.

... Among Jinns and among Men.

There. It was done. For 39 hours during the last 26 nights this congregation has stood and listened and prayed. My non-Muslim friends sometimes comment 'only 3 more days to go, eh?'. What I cannot explain is that it's just 3 more days to go.

The imam stands up, and for the second rakat he goes back to the first chapter of the Quran.

...This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah, who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.

May Allah accept whatever good we have done in this month, and forgive all the evil we ever did.

PS. Man was Nugget mosque ever crowded! I think pretty soon we have to start issuing visas to Muslims for mosques. You live in this area you go this mosque and no other. And since I live near the biggest mosque in Toronto that's all right by me. Even the Tim Hortons guys and girls were there (you know who you are - the 'young' people who leave after 8 rakats not to go home but to sit at the cafe opposite the mosque, opposite each other, until your parents emerge *wink wink nudge nudge*).


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yes Dear

I am in the Scarborough Town Centre last night, looking for a new pair of shoes. As I wander into Walmart, I observe a Bengali couple. They looked to be in their late 30s, and have a daughter called Munmun. How do I know? Here:

Husband: I hate coming to this mall. It's always crowded.
Wife: Oh, Munmun's father! Look at this clock. It's what we need in our kitchen.
Husband: Isn't there a clock on the microwave? Why do you want another clock?
Wife: C'mon Munmun's father! Sometimes we need to tell the time quickly.
Husband: Don't we already have a clock in the next room? How many clocks do we need?
Wife: Oh don't be so cheap.
Husband: This is what is wrong with Bangladesh. People don't know how to budget.
[Wife mumbles under her breath. Husband shakes head.]
Husband: Well, I suppose we could get a clock for the kitchen.
Wife: Thank you Munmun's father.

I think it's a dying tradition amongst Bengali women now not to call husbands by their names. I never understood the reason for it though. Amongst all my older uncle and aunts, and even my parents, no woman would call her husband by his name. It was usually 'Father of [insert first born's name here]' and so on. Which leads to the interesting question as to what do you call when you are yet to have a kid.

I think when I am married I would want my wife to call me by my name. "♪Mezba♫". That sounds more sexy that "Ei!" which is what most Bengali wives call their husbands - and could be loosely translated to "Yo!".

I don't think I need to worry though, most of my cousins who are now married get called by name by their wives. Sometimes their wives even call them names. "Ei - tumi ekta gadha!"

Ofcourse nowadays we get the reverse culture of husbands not calling their wives by their names.
"Darling." "Shona". "Baaaaby!"

Yes, nowadays men can do anything a woman can do.

Interestingly if you are man who wants to marry a strict Muslim wife because you are of the false assumption she will be more submissive - just make sure she doesn't know her Islam fully. Because - and ducking brickbats here - it is sunnah for the groom to wash the feet of his new wife.

Ok, that is also so not happening. I think I prefer our macho desi culture of "Yo!"


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shadher Lau

Since it is getting winter-like cold this early in the Fall, I stripped our garden of the last remaining fruits. It's amazing how tasty a fruit or vegetable can be when freshly plucked, cooked and eaten immediately. This is where a house definitely beats a condo.

Assorted Fruits and Vegetables.

Shadher Lau.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Bangladeshi Wins Nobel Peace Prize

UPDATE: Samiha Esha has a page with profile of and to congratulate Dr Yunus on his achievement.

Was just on the way to work when I heard on the radio that Dr. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank have been awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Yunus, from Bangladesh, founded the bank which offers loans to the poor in Bangladesh who have no financial security (usually women) [BBC]. He set up the bank in 1976 with just $27 from his own pocket. Thirty years on, the bank has 6.6 million borrowers, of which 97% are women, according to the Grameen website, and the defaulting rate is astonishingly low.

The theory is that rural poor women are more responsible with money than their husbands, who may blow it on gambling, drinks or prostitutes. The women use the money to start home businesses which if prospers can be used to pay back the loan with interest.

The Nobel Peace Prize honours those who do the "most or best work during the year for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies or for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

It's a proud moment to be a Bangladeshi. Historically the other person of note to win the Nobel prize from Bangladesh was Rabindranath Tagore, for Literature.

Muhammad Yunus - Wikipedia profile

Grameen Bank - Website | Wikipedia


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lameass Conversations of The Week - 2

This is important.

Mezba is a guy's name. Repeat, Mezba is a guy.

This is the second time it happened this week. I am emailing a contact for some parts, and he replies back that the shipment is ready, would he come and deliver it? I email back yes. Now, my non-personal emails are usually curt and to the point. Hello. Refer to my last email ... blah blah.. Sincerely, Mezba. End of story.

So the guy comes and walks into our place. I am sitting at the computer.

"Hi, I am looking for a Miss Mezba."

I am sitting there with the biggest WTF look on my face. He's a white, definitely non-desi dude who would never have heard the name Mezba before. And he thinks it's a girl's name? Thank God my name isn't Abeer, Rumi, Shaymol, Pat, or Huda.

A Marriage Talk (again)

No, not me. Not yet.

A friend was going to Bangladesh to get married. His parents throw a small party to celebrate the fact. I ask him about the bride-to-be.

"Oh she's really nice .. yadda yadda yadda .. but she has got straight hair." He announces.


"I like curly hair." He makes a face. "That was my initial reason I delayed saying 'yes'."

"Well, she can always get a perm, you know." His mother cuts in.

"Ya," his father, eager to not be left out, offers his comments as well. "Marriage is compromise. You can't always get everything you want. Everyone has to compromise. For example, when I married I had to ..."

As soon as the words were out of his mouth he froze.

Aunty turned on him.

"Yes, continue? What did you compromise when you married ME?!"

"No, dear, I was just saying, example-wise..."

"Three proposals, THREE proposals my father turned down for you, that also one from a Chowdhury bari, I will have you know..."

And I thought the party was going to be boring.

For the record this happened over a year ago and all concerned parties are happily married.

So far.

PS. Is it my imagination or do most Bengali husbands appear to be henpecked?

Link: Previous Lameness


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Car Dealer Conspiracy Theory

"I have stumbled on the perfect conspiracy." An uncle confided to other uncles at the iftar party I had to attend the other day.

Now if you are wondering what I was doing in the uncles' section - the iftar party had 20 guys and 3 girls - and I got tired of the guys whose only topic of conversation seemed to be lamenting the fact that there were only 3 girls. So on the pretext of getting more haleem I wandered over to see what discussion the uncles were having.

"Yes, the perfect conspiracy designed to suck our money," this uncle was saying. "I went to this car dealership the other day to lease a car for 4 years. But the warranty was only for THREE YEARS!!! Imagine that. They want me to pay an extra 100 dollars for one more year! What a fantastic conspiracy to grab the money of a hard working Muslim and send it to Israel!"

"But," one other uncle was clearly confused. "Didn't you say the dealership was owned by this muslim Saudi friend of yours? A Mohammad-something?"

"Hmmph!" The original uncle turned defensive. "I bet the manufacturer still forces him to contribute money to Israel!"

Never let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. I like this one. Arabs have oil that drive cars that the West makes and sells to Arabs and this funds Israel. However you need oil to drive the car which benefits the Arabs. No wonder there is no peace in the middle east.

On a side note I have another slightly sacrilegious question for the religious.

In Islam the act of intimate relations between a husband and his wife is considered to be an act of ibadah or worship, right? And in Ramadan, every act of worship is rewarded thousand times more than usual, right?

So logically, in Ramadan, shouldn't you be having more sex, not less?

Those 20 guys should thank me once they are married.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

New York Pics

Apparently Flickr lets you create only 3 sets if you are a freeloader - which is kind of an aaaagh feeling. I guess I have to rejig my sets. I am placing a few pics below, the full slideshow can be started from here.

Times Square.

Grand Central Station.

St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Atlas holds up the world.

A stealthfighter above Liberty Island.

That statue.

A view from the ferry.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jack Straw's Comments On The Veil

So Jack Straw wants to suggest that Muslim women ban themselves from wearing the veil [BBC].

Now before we get ourselves all worked up, let's examine and debate the issue a bit.

First, read Maliha's letter to an Imam who suggested in a khutba that women in the West should wear the Niqab. She also posted an update later.

Mr Straw's statements seem to be directed at the niqab which covers the whole face. In fact, I will come out with a stronger statement.

I wish all Muslim women would STOP wearing the niqab and the burqa. Simple hijab, yes. Niqab, no.

There, I said it. I think the Niqab is old fashioned, outdated, un-Islamic, and not helpful to practicing your religion at all. It has nothing to do with being pious. It's a piece of cloth. Some Muslim women are the first to say, judge me not by what I wear but what I am. And they are the first to pass judgment on a women not wearing the hijab. The courtesy of such a judgment extends both ways, sister.

The Quran discusses hijab here:
"Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..." (Qur'an 24:30-31)
From the verse, we see that Allah has only loosely defined the meaning of the word modesty. That's for the better, as different situations require different applications. In Saudi Arabia, where some men are lecherous pigs who do not know how to behave with a women, the niqab is a necessity. In the West, the niqab is a barrier.

In fact, there appears to be a hadith that contradicts the niqab.
Ayesha (R) reported that Asmaa the daughter of Abu Bakr (R) came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands." (Abu Dawood)
From the rules of pilgrimage, we know that a women must NOT keep her face covered while on Hajj. Clearly therefore, Allah does not think that a women who does not cover her face is immodest. Why then, must a women cover her face?

People forget that Hijab is not merely a covering dress but more importantly, it is behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public. Dress is only one facet of the total being. I have seen many hijabis (and I mean MOST hijabis I have encountered) to forget this fact. I don't mean a slight on any sister, but sometimes it is better for these women to NOT wear the hijab. They are not ready for it, and crave the attention that the hijab denies them. Therefore they seek attention in other ways, more sinful than had they just left their hair uncovered.

Having said all of this, however, recall that last November, Imperial College of London decided to ban hijabs and hoodies. In addition, conditions for hijab wearing women in Europe have been worsening. Schoolgirls in France cannot wear the headscarf anymore, while several Dutch and German constituencies prohibit the women teachers in public schools from wearing scarves. Therefore, should the Minister's statements be seen in the context of this new anti-hijab mentality?

Reflecting on the issue for a bit, I don't think so. Given that I myself (and some other Muslims) say the same thing, it would be hypocritical of me to criticize him. Mr Straw has said he just wanted a debate on the issue within the Muslim community in the larger context of integration, and we should take him at his word. Allah has asked us several times in the Quran to not spy or suspect each other, and the Prophet has asked us several times, if possible, to take others at their word and believe good of them. Therefore we should show maturity and debate the issue.

Given the radicals that seem to be present in the British Muslim community, I am not too hopeful of this, though.

PS. BBC has good pictures of a hijab, niqab, almira and chaddor, along with descriptions.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Islamiat Period

In our formative school years in the Middle East, the Islamiat teachers were an extra special bunch. While it must have been a downer that not many pupils chose Religious Studies for O'Levels (and let's face it, O'Levels were tough), our Islamiat teachers refused to let that fact bother them.

Ours was a middle aged Egyptian man, slightly stocky, who had the unfortunate accent of mispronouncing (as most Egyptians) the 'j' and the 'p' sound. For example, he would pronounce 'jump' as 'gump' (the 'g' as in 'gone'). The mispronunciation of the 'p' sound, however, was especially unnerving.

I had just switched schools, and on my second day of class, he rounds up on me as the new kid.

"Ho, do you bray?"

I looked at him. "Um, bray?"

"Yes, do you bray five times a day? Answer me!"

It was only my natural familiarity of Arabs pronouncing 'Pepsi' as 'Bebsi' that led me to replying, "Yes sir. I bray five times a day. I bray in the morning, then I bray in the afternoon, and I bray again when I go home. Sir!" He was ofcourse asking me about praying.

Islamiat was to him a funny subject to teach, as he was not very 'Islamic' himself. However schools in the Middle East weren't too selective about teacher qualifications. Any Arab knowing a bit of Islam qualified to be an Islamic teacher - after all he knew Arabic and was Muslim - end of story.

Once in class he was teaching us the Battle of Badr, and he started to talk profusely.

"You see, these were kids, as young as you all." He referred to Samra Ibn Jinid, aged 13, who wanted to join the Muslim army. "And they wanted to fight in the heat while fasting! And you-" he looked at us disdainingly. "-you don't even want to attend P.E. class in Ramadan."

"But sir," A Tunisian boy stood up, "those Sahabis didn't have to write a ten page essay on why the Battle of Badr was a pivotal moment in history also."

Needless to say the student was punished. We are usually not known for our sense of humour regarding religion. Once they were discussing Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) in class. I had the audacity to say, "Wow, he was the most handsome man ever created, he was King, and he was a Prophet of Allah! Some guys have all the luck!"

Needless to say, rather than explaining to me that Prophet Yusuf was thrown down a well as a kid, enslaved as a teenager and spent his youth in prison, so he didn't have "all the luck", I was made to copy Chapter 1 of The Virtues Of Salah into my notebook 4 times.

However the best part of Islamiat was that it was a great time to do the homework for other subjects. They were usually teaching something that we all knew anyways. For example there would be a chapter on respecting your parents. The teacher could drone on, but you knew the bottom line. Allah wants you to respect your parents. All the time while I would be copying the Pure Maths assignment from T.

However, now I come to think of it, those classes had a very good value. Like it or not, they imbibed in us a sense of our culture, and pride in our religion. I did not grew up confused about being a Muslim, unlike some kids who grow up here and receive no education at all about religion at home, because not only did I encounter many different types of Muslims while growing up to know Muslims are not all of the same type, but I also had a good solid education about the fundamentals of the deen. I think in the end, it's important for parents and older siblings here to teach the young ones about their religion and why we believe what we believe. This Ramadan, in addition to trying to understand a part of the Quran in English, we should also try and impart a sense of pride and knowledge of Islam into the children.


Monday, October 02, 2006

ROM Exhibits For Nuit Blanche

A few friends came over after Taraweeh on Friday night and we headed over to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for the Nuit Blanche event. The literal English translation of Nuit Blanche is White Night, which also means 'sleepless night' or a 'night without darkness'. All night long, art exhibits at various places throughout the downtown core were open, for free, and throngs of people clogged the museums and galleries and bars. Reminded me of Ramadan in the Middle East, where the festivities used to start at 10 pm (right after Taraweeh) and continue till 5 am (Suhur) when people had to be 'good' again.

One interesting exhibit at ROM was the conceptual Babel of Knowledge University.

The caveat of the university was that students would be forbidden to socialize until their final year - rather they would spend time isolated from each other so they could devote themselves to the pursuit of knowledge.

Each citadel-like structure in the model is a dorm, and paths led away from the dorms to the classrooms and laboratories. Each class/lab was scheduled in a way so that students going to and fro in the paths would encounter as few fellow students as possible. Each dorm itself further isolated the students, ensuring no disturbances, so students could devote time to studies alone.

Another interesting concept was the following miniature city.

Students were asked to design buildings that imitated either a historic structure or a incorporated a futuristic look, which then city planners fused to create the ultimate mix of old and new.