Last Updated: Mon Jul 18, 2011 21:27 pm (KSA) 18:27 pm (GMT)

Noora Faraj: Of mice (or hamsters) and men

Looking around the office today, I realized how much people in the corporate world can resemble pocket pets. The artificial plants, carpet instead of newspaper, and enclaves where food or water is stored are all common characteristics between your working environment and that of a hamster’s.

There could be a downpour or sandstorm, and you wouldn’t even realize it due to being exposed to artificial illumination and ventilation for the duration of the day.

I remember having that disconcerting revelation when I was still living in Australia. It was pouring rain outside, and I ducked into the nearest shopping center to grab a cup of coffee. The barista was surprised to see I was somewhat dripping due to the erratic downpour, because as far as she was concerned, it was dry and sunny when she came into work several hours beforehand. She asked inquisitively how the situation was like outside as if she were some refugee who had been living in an atomic bomb shelter. I felt sorry somewhat because, after many hours working indoors, that’s exactly what happens – that natural disconnection from life outside, and the various possible events that could happen, but would go unnoticed.

Ah, but thank heavens I’m working in the news environment, because I have reporters to keep me updated on volatile weather patterns. Yes, I have faith in the weatherman, contrary to popular belief.

(Noora Faraj is a Columnist and Senior Producer at Web TV of Al Arabiya English. She can be reached at:

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