Mutawwa-ing Second Life

22 08 2009

As reported by Al-Watan newspaper on the 17th, the mutawwas and the PVCV of Saudi Arabia are growing in the virtual world of Second Life. Apparently, there are going to be lectures and “methods to excite the young people” on the virtues of Ramzan and its benefits. Also, apparently, (apparently coz I’m depending on Google Translate), using computers and Internet for this purpose was an Islamic no-no, but it was justified since “Arithmetic has a very large value in Islam”.

Declared the island “Middle East” in a “Alexand Live” that for the first time will be held on Tuesday a lecture by a senior official in the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, has been the world’s second default under the title “Ramadan guys” to raise awareness of spirituality to seize the holy month.
The lecture will be delivered by Director General of the religious police in Mecca, Sheikh Ahmed al-Ghamdi, the default in the mosque, which was inaugurated recently in the “taste of Arabia” island “Middle East”, which belongs to participants from Saudi Arabia.”

Nice! Now virtual lectures on how women should keep only one eye uncovered, why they should not drive, how to claim to be the bastions of Islam in the world and at the same time destroy all evidence of the objects present at the time of the Holiest figure of Islam. (article from 2005, even more damage now)

Historic Mecca, the cradle of Islam, is being buried in an unprecedented onslaught by religious zealots.

Almost all of the rich and multi-layered history of the holy city is gone. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades.

Now the actual birthplace of the Prophet Mohamed is facing the bulldozers, with the connivance of Saudi religious authorities whose hardline interpretation of Islam is compelling them to wipe out their own heritage.

It is the same oil-rich orthodoxy that pumped money into the Taliban as they prepared to detonate the Bamiyan buddhas in 2000. And the same doctrine – violently opposed to all forms of idolatry – that this week decreed that the Saudis’ own king be buried in an unmarked desert grave.

A Saudi architect, Sami Angawi, who is an acknowledged specialist on the region’s Islamic architecture, told The Independent that the final farewell to Mecca is imminent: “What we are witnessing are the last days of Mecca and Medina.”

According to Dr Angawi – who has dedicated his life to preserving Islam’s two holiest cities – as few as 20 structures are left that date back to the lifetime of the Prophet 1,400 years ago and those that remain could be bulldozed at any time. “This is the end of history in Mecca and Medina and the end of their future,” said Dr Angawi.

The driving force behind the demolition campaign that has transformed these cities is Wahhabism. This, the austere state faith of Saudi Arabia, was imported by the al-Saud tribal chieftains when they conquered the region in the 1920s. Read the rest of this entry »





So, there’s this dude…

22 08 2009

… whose name is Steve Oman! Oman! His name is Oman! How, what, why?! What does that even mean!? How did his parents come up with that name??

Apparently, there are 2500-odd unique last-name-Oman people in the USA. That’s pretty rare and pretty odd if you ask me.

The point of this post? Nothing!! 🙂

-TFK





H1N1: Schools, Ruwi & Lulu

15 08 2009

Really brief. After the case of an Indian School student falling ill and passing away due to swine flu, the Indian Schools have closed for an extended holiday. That comes after an annoouncement that they would not close. But they are now closing.

The Pakistani School had announced that they would not close. But they had ‘off-d’ primary school kiddos. Seeing the severity of the cases (and the huuge amount of snot-nosed not-so-kids), vacations have been announced for another week, 15th to 22nd Aug.

Rwui Ruiw Ruwi has had a general sweep by the baladiyah, handing out masks and forcing the general shopkeepers and shopassistants to wear them. Gives Ruwi a sterile look. Now you can’t even identify the person who is giving you the eye (or the x-ray eye). Same for all medical centers, where HongKong-esque masked smoochers were seen by your truly.

Lulu is as much a cesspit of all kinds of virii as usual, human-type and others. I’m sure that if there is any place where H1N1 and H1N5 are going to mutate, that is going to be Lulu; where, this friday, I saw 200 people per minute (ppm) entering and exitting the doors. And Ramadhan shopping still has to commence, with people going starking mad, buying wholesale items (I saw a local buying atleast 7 cartons of red Jello, swear). Consider with that the amount of cars parked (in their newly opened multi-tier parking space), the humid, wet smell of coconut in the air there, open fruits (and flies) and you can get an idea of the genetic experiments going on in Lulu’s atmosphere. shudder. And no masks, mind you. When pharmacies are going to sell facemasks @ R.O. 5/- per box (50 pcs), why would Mr. Raj, with a family of 5, buy a whole box!? Especially when no one has told them that the friggin masks have to be replaced after a couple of days of use (the flimsy ones).

Here’s to me, heading for all the lonely places. Yo, beach up in Yeti, here I come!

-FK





H1N1: Respawn

10 08 2009

Amazing what a couple of well-placed headlines and the bottomless-gossip-pit of school staff rooms can do. With the arrival of August and the return of snot-nosed children to school, the seemingly common statement of “… she caught it from school …” has taken a very different meaning. Debates are raging in the management circles of almost every school as to actions to be taken with regards to the H1N1 threat and reopening rules.

As being proclaimed (pretty unnecessarily loudly, I’d say), the Indian Schools are not going to be closed/remain closed any more than their original vacation schedules. The local schools are not even taking note of the issue, as all is well as per govt. releases. The Pakistani Schools have reopened with the kiddies (primary sections) remaining closed. Elsewhere, peace reigns.

The cesspool of H1N1 that kids threaten to be is being tried to be allayed by an excess of MoH posters all around school buildings, distribution of facemasks and mandatory requirements of forced absences for ill students. Alternately, we can just keeps our kids clean, yeah right!

Be prepared to see overly concerned parents queuing in private hospitals for runny noses, a case of the sniffles and ailments as tinny as an overly red nose. Also, feel free to see and report mask faced people at City Center which is going to be a usual assortment of overly-cautious touch-me-nots, kids being forced by parents to wear ’em, people who wear them just ‘coz  and the sub-group that wants this opportunity to hide their faces and make catcalls.

Found this nice infographic. click to enlarge (3.6 MB)

AntigenicShift_HiRes

Stay Safe.

-FK





Rembrandt Visits Oman

29 07 2009

Gulf News has an article titled “Rembrandt show to draw Omanis and Dutch closer”. Basically, it is about a month-long (Ramadhan long) exhibition of Rembrandt’s original paintings at the Grand Hyatt from 10 am to 12 midnight, non-stop.

Expect more of such images, Its titled The Jewish Bride

Expect more of such images, It's titled "The Jewish Bride"

“A hundred original works of Dutch artist Rembrandt will be displayed for the first time anywhere in the Middle East or North Africa (Mena) region when the Grand Hyatt Muscat hosts an exhibition during Ramadan.

“Rembrandt’s original paintings and etchings have travelled world over but this is the first time they are being brought to the Middle East,” the Dutch ambassador to Oman, Stefan van Wersch, said.”

It opens on the 19th of August.

“Al Salmi Library, a family enterprise, is bearing the cost of the Rembrandt exhibition. The total expenses involve 600,000 Omani riyals (Dh5.7 million) plus the insurance cost.

“They are obviously insured and would be well guarded during the month-long exhibition,” said Shaikh Abdullah Al Salami, chairman of Al Salmi Library.

“It is being held for the first time in the region and only in Muscat.”

“The Grand Hyatt Muscat would be transformed completely to look like a Dutch palace,” revealed Ashok

This is not what it looks - The Return of the Prodigial Son

This is not what it looks - "The Return of the Prodigial Son"

Suvarna, CEO of NPA Events, who are managing the exhibition.
The Royal Oman Police will take over security of the exhibits once concerned agencies from the Netherlands hand it over for the exhibition in Muscat.

Entry for the show will be free from 10am to midnight during Ramadan.”

Now since Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salmi has mentioned twice about the security measures and about the paintings’ insurance, it seems security was a hurdle in bringing the multi-multi-million dollar paintings to the region.

This all shall be followed by a reciprocal 7-month event in Amsterdam, featuring something of Oman. Wonder how they pulled ‘that’ off!!

NSFW - I don't think this one'll be there (click to enlarge) - "Bath Seba"

Now since the age of consent in Denmark hovers around the 15-year-old mark, and hash is almost-legal, I’m sure bringing Omanis and the Dutch closer will be all for the good! Atleast no one will be ‘robbed‘ in Thai hotels, that’ll happen in Dutch hotels!

I’m sure the “unclothed art is art, totally fit for viewing” theory shall be useless here, so I think the exhibition shall be kiddo-safe, however I have no idea on how to keep an exhibition safe from a kiddo. And I don’t think a Rembrandt exhibition is the place for a kiddo, especially if they’ve decked out the hotel “in the style of a Dutch Palace”. What does that mean? Is the Dutch foortbaarl team going to be there? I’m sure they live in a castle!

-TFK





Vegetables, Steam and In-laws

22 07 2009

As I departed in the immortal words of Arnold, with a resolution of “I’ll be back”, little did I know that my solid confidence and regards for the Queen to uphold my blog and keep the visitors coming would be brought crashing on by her solitary post with all its tartiness in effect. The detrimental effect of having the amount of unique visitors drop from 40-something to a measly 10 for the last 4 days shows how tempered and generally non-tarty-minded my readers are (all 4 of them; the rest 36 are, I think, accidental Stumblers).

Anyway, the in-laws are still in, with an impending travel date finalized. Things are fine (and those two sentences are not related, mind you) and going well.

The atrociously weird post heading brings me to the vegetable market in WadiKabir next, where a bulldozer was spotted digging up the floor and wrecking general havoc. At the risk of upsetting dear wife, I managed to stop the car and get a peek and saw these great large trenches and deep pits all dug up, which proclaimed a “they’re resetting the drainage system” comment from an elder, after which they’ll have to re-do the flooring with new tiling. No signs of any accelerated work, nor are hordes of little dark workers being dumped; no urgency to completion, not even regular speed, as there has been no work in evidence for 3-4 days now (based on when I manage to drive by there). I did take some pics, but currently don’t have the mechanism to make them reach this pc, so that’s all pended for a later update.

Humidity and heat in the atmosphere elicited a comment from a 10-year old who pompously stated that it was so hot because of all the steam in the air. Trust good ol’ brain-farted me, who spent a good 10-minutes explaining to him the difference between humidity and steam, only for him to remark, in the manner of all 10-year olds, “I know!”, leaving me feeling pretty uncomfortable. Sadly, I avoided a 10-year old kid for the rest of our excursion trip.

Otherwise things are going on. Life goes on and the dents you try to make are pretty soon popped out by the pressure of everyday events. The huge dent put in by MJ with his death and memorial and all has already started filling in, where you can spend 3/4 hours on the telly without seeing an MJ story. QoT’s rant on Joe Jackson’s mug notwithstanding, the key players in the children’s money custody drama to emerge are more busy with lawyers and stuff than ever, who shall be ignore by the media until something untoward happens, such is the twisted demand of the viewing masses.

The Renissance Day holiday has been announced on Saturday, the 25th. All talks of the govt joining the Islamic Holiday of Israa’ wal Me’raaj and Renaissance Day have evaporated with only 2 discrete off days in 2 consecutive weeks. Good thing though that the extended weekend shall bring more people out of their houses if the current overcast condition prevail till Saturday, as it did Monday.

Stay In Peace.

-FK





Who me?

16 07 2009

I was supposed to write here? wtf? Oh, hiya all. My name is the Queen of Tarts and I’m quite Tarty in that respect. I was checkin’ out my old stuff and discovered a finely honed talent of mine that is the inability to throw away old stuff. I don’ frikkin’ wanna be like those old dodgers on Opera who’ve gotten these whole warehouses o’ stuff in them there 3 room houses. Ugh!

Anyz, here what I think I look like

I like me more tarty than that

I like me more tarty than that

Of course I’m not a redhead. I’m beach blond.

Last night, returning from a footy, there standing in front of me, in all his grimy glory was a playa from the match. The bastard had managed to catch my eye and was “mistakin y’ all for a friend o’ mine, nevermind you”. Pompous ass. It was high mighty fine time for a chunder but somehow I stopped meself and decided to give him a gobful. That turned out the right thing to do, as the playa was a mighty wuss, running away without a single word to say to me!!! LOL! Poor thing must’ve gotten all his gonads in hyperdrive on seeing a sheila, turned out all his bluster and grace was as useful as tits on a bull for all I saw, wonder what they  feed these players nowadays, musta been all them drugs.

Police refuse to take mugshots of Joe Jackson, they say their lenses crack

Police refuse to take mugshots of Joe Jackson, they say their lenses crack

Wacko Jacko splenidified all of us mere mortals in his memorial service. I know FK likes MJ so I won’t go in my Morpheous-stance on the matter. On the other hand, if I had a dad as evil looking as joe jackson, I’d probably throw an acid dish on his face as well as mine. Jacko did the latter, forgot the former. I think this is the same reason all of MJ’s siblings have their plastic surgeons on speed dial, their pops’ face. Damn if he ain’t ugly.

I know this blog is s’posed to be be all neat and clean and shit, and that I’m supposed to do some political post too, but whateva. I mean weve got a Pompous Ass as the Prime Minister whose head is inserted somewhere where the sun regularly shines, that place gets so much outing. I’ll marry the person who does something and removes the PA from where he is right now.

Formula 1 is all frickked up. Looks like them dead beats governin the sport kno they’re about to die, so they decide to mess with the FOTA’s head. I bet they’re snikkering over all this over a coldie in whatever manor they hold their orgies parties in.

Gotta stop yabberin’. don’t stop readin’ what FK writes coz of me. ignore me. I’m just an ashtrayon a motorbike! 🙂

Bye.

-The Queen ‘O’ Tarts