I am not new here, but I am not a frequent visitor I am from the Middle east and have been on several American forums for maybe 10 years now (on and off ). Maybe from the Y2k times. I had many western friends locally and then gained more friends in cyber space. Mostly I am ineterested in learning family preparedness. Sometimes I get into political discussions but not much. Naturally many of my views are different from yours, but I respect everyone. I especially appreciate forum administration which allows respectful exchange of ideas and views. Let me assure you guys that what I say here , I do say over our local boards. If I say here that ( not all Arabs are bad ) . I did and will say ( not all Americans are bad ) on our local forums. Earlier, I was more active in forums and went further to bridge the gap by (for example) translating Arabic words of sympahty in our local papers, when Katrina hit the U.S. I am not that active these days ( getting older you know ) so I focus on the family as Dr. Dobson says. Especially on the safety and preparedness of the family. One of my goals is prepare for my retirement, like learn gardening and such. I have a small area maybe 16 x 12 feet but know nothing about gardening. I will also use some of my retirement time to promote safety/preparedness in the community. Natural disasters are not common around here but things are changing I guess. There are more stories now about land caving in because of excessive underground water consumption. That is not to mention inflation, unemployment and increasing numbers of foreigners in these countires ( sometimes more than the locals) Many other problems are mushrooming in the area and it just mean future problems to prepare for. Well, that is about it I guess.