Monday, February 16, 2009

21 Biofuel in Kenya..


Exotic Lady said...

Interesting blog...I am kenyan as well (although not Asian), just stoping by to say Hi! check out my blog at

Ibrahim Ali said...

I thought biofuel was the reason why the farm land has been reduced. That an the fact the Saudi's are buying up farmland in Africa.

Sayyeda said...

well at first I'd have partially blamed biofuels for the rise in food prices but we have to realise this is only the beginning.. The future's bright..they'll come up with higher yield grains of bio fuels some day!

What are saudi's buying the land for? And whatever happened to your blog? lol

Ibrahim Ali said...

But biofuels aren't really good for the enviroment. Infact they're very damaging. Also they'll take a big hit if oil prices fall again. Kenya's big on roses and growing these other types of cash crops which is good in some ways but I think causes a lot of problems in other ways.

What do you blame the high food prices on?

Well the Saudi's (and other arab states) realised rather then spending huge amounts of money turning the desert into farm land it was just cheaper to buy land in other countries. It's the new colonialism. They had a good article about it in the economist last week (click here - let me know if you don't have access).

My blog closed down years ago....I didn't have anything to say.

Sayyeda said...

aren't they? I'd say the name 'biofuel' is very misleading then... I assumed they were...

erm.. oil prices? my knowledge in economics and everything else seems to be going down hill.. I'd have thought 3 years of university would have done just the opposite..

I'll go over the article later on just need to get over with a load of exams!

ooh and I might as well ask you for any good book recommendations.. Need to keep myself busy over the summer!

Ibrahim Ali said...

No biofuel means they're from biological materials...they're supposed to be good for the enviroment but only some are.

Yikes 3 years all done? Where to next, Masters?

Oh don't let me distract you from exams...I'm supposed to be revising myself and hence all the time being spent on the internet.

I'm reading "The Gift of Rain" at the moment which I'm really enjoying. I've also got "Middlemarch" on my bedside table which though long and slow is an excellent read (you may have read it before - I had a deprived childhood). This is a website I use to get cheap books on India (also does fiction). It looks a bit horrible but actually they're quite realiable and if you are looking for something in particular they will track it down for you.

Good luck with the exams.

Sayyeda said...

I'll be doing a PGCE next year. I'm prepared to be traumatized!

I had a deprived childhood too.. never finished Middlemarch.. my copy's left back in doesn't help when you're in between 2 places! I added The Gift of Rain to my Amazon basket.. Have a look at 'It's Our Turn to Eat' It 'looks' pretty good!

Have you heard of the books by Cynthia Salvadori? I'm looking for 'We came in dhows'. Apparently it's out of print! It talks of the migration of the Indians to Africa..

Ibrahim Ali said...

I'm sure as long as you're not in inner London it'll be fine.

Thanks for the reccomendation. That book looks interesting, I had an interesting result when I googled it (here). I can't find the book anywhere but the SOAS library so may have to photocopy it from there during the hols.

I met a famous historian today that had done some work on East African Asians especially the Ugandan Asians. Was interesting.

Sayyeda said...

I won't even be close to London...:-D!

which historian did you meet?

I myself haven't read any of cynthia's books.. I've been looking for them for forever and ever.. It never occured to me to look at other libraries.. They have it at the British library but I don't think I can get it out.. plus I got lost the last time I went there!

ooh and I don't know if you have but have a look at they have an interesting story called vatan se dur. It's only 4 chapters long. Word in the family has it that it's actually 10 chapters but the person who wrote it died and noone really knows what happened to the remaining 6 chapters..

Ibrahim Ali said...

I hope that's not hapiness at being away from my home city....

Mahmood Mamdani...he's launching his new book on Darfur.

SOAS is small and quite friendly. If you have a University of London card you get free access.

I can't get any of the links on the Alloo page to work. Have you read the books of Gurnah and Vasanji?

Ibrahim Ali said...

This book may be of interest. I haven't read it and am unable to find a hard copy but it tell of the Indian experience in's written by an Ismaili Khoja I think.

Sayyeda said...

It's happiness for the temporary change in environment.. lol..

You met Mahmood Mamdani?! wicked! He came across my mind but I din't know he was a historian.. lol.. I saw him as umm... one of those political scientists..
I've semi-read his book 'good muslim bad muslim' never finished it.. I'm really slow when it comes to these sort of books.. lol

okay I googled it..

I've read dessertion and by the sea ages back.. Can't recall much of it lol..

And by vasanjee I've only read in between the world of Vikram lall! I loved the common feeling I shared with Vikram for my country! Alot of it was very factual which I absolutely loved.. I found the corruption he was involved in interesting as it's modern day relation to the corruption scandals we have in Kenya..

Great I've got a few days to make use of my university of london card! lol..

'Day after tomorrow' looks good! I'll read it in a few days.. thanks!

Ibrahim Ali said...

Well you are right, he is a politics writer, except the books of his I'm interested though initially written as political analysis are now used as history books seeing as they were written before I was born. He said the Ugandan Asians were actually put into refugee camps when they first arrived in the UK.

Thanks for the link. It's a really interesting premise for a story.

Vikram Lal was you not think the Indians betrayed Africa in many ways?

Ibrahim Ali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sayyeda said...

Well it's not only Indians that betrayed Africa.. it's also been betrayed by the Africans themselves..

Kenyatta for instance, even though he's revered as a great leader in history but the fact that land distribution never worked out fairly makes me wonder about him.
He has been blamed for the assasination of J.Kariuki a great figure in kenyan history who's relationship with Kenyatta started getting strained as he started speaking against his policies..

here's one interesting qoute by him which I really like:

"We fought for independence with sweat, blood and our lives. Many of us suffered for inordinate days – directly and indirectly. Many of us are orphans, widows and children as a result of the struggle. We must ask: What did we suffer for, and were we justified in that suffering?" "
-J.M. Kariuki

The most recent corruption scandals in Kenya like the goldenberg and anglo leasing scandals do have some Indians involved.. but it's not fair to generalize Indians for betraying do you see Indians betraying Africa? Is it because many of them move to the west after gaining from Africa?

Is it true that Asians in Uganda weren't just given 48 hours to leave? but a lot more time? I heard it from someone who's ex-Ugandan asian..

I'll be leaving UK in a week so I won't be here for Allama's lectures.. Have you read his Reconstruction of religious thought?

event this Friday looks good but I probably won't be able to make it.. my schedule's too cramped up for the remaining days..
Someone recommended me a book a while back: 'the missing peace' I still haven't read it but it looks interesting..

Ibrahim Ali said...

I didn't mean corruption wise. It's a given that people are greedy and will do whatever us needed for financial gain. I meant they way they tried to create a country within a country. Asian only schools, clubs and even Mosques. And yes as you say many moved on to west without remorse or when opportunity suited. Very few feel like Africa was their home. I mean out of everybody that you know that has left Mombasa how many ever plan to go back?

I'm not sure that's true of the Ugandan Asian, I'm pretty sure it's not true of my family at any rate. I started "Fong and the Indians" today which is a sort of comic fiction of the time in Uganda.

I have read the reconstruction of religious thought but I didn't understand any of it. The speaker I've called is the same person that has translated Hali's Mussadass (which I think I told you about before) and we'll be looking more at the politics (which is the part that interests me more).

Sayyeda said...

Well isn't it also given that the minority want a sense of belonging and hence the creation of these premises..We are less than 1% of Kenya's population.. (I'll revisit this later lol)

Anyways many times I do feel like I haven't really experienced the local Kenyan life and this could probably have stemmed from this..

And it's true, not many go back..I'm one of the very few who's going back next year Inshallah.

How was your parents account of moving to the UK?

Ibrahim Ali said...

Well may only be 1% of the population but control a lot more of the economy. If you look at South Africa many of the Indians were really ingrained in the freedom struggle and many are looked up to today.

I'm not trying to make this a criticism of you personally. I consider myself more Indian than African even though my links with India are tenuous at best and amount to speaking broken gujrati (spoken only with my gran) and eating curry.

Will you teach in Kenya? Do you want to go back to live? (Don't feel you have to answer either question).

My parent was okay when he moved here as most of his family was here already. But other Ugandan Asians were kept in refugee centres (apparantly that's why there's a community in Peterborough as one of the camps was in a nearby barracks).

Sayyeda said...

I didn't take that as a criticism let alone directed at me lol..

Yeah I do want to go back to live.. It was always my intention to do so..
As for teaching...I'll be teaching in Tanzania Inshallah

Femme Lounge said...

hey, my first time here,i like your blog and will be back again!

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