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





Kill ’em Infidels!! The Fatwas

12 07 2009

(from Part 1)

The prevalent attitude of the Saudi ruling family pertain to something like “do what you want to do, just let us do what we want to do. If you interfere in what we want to do, you get snapped”. Consider it a zero-tolerance, mutual existence governance. In order to defer the responsibility of running the country, the govt has many councils and committees who act almost-independently, working to keep the country running, while the Saud family do what they do best. This manifests itself as a collection of organizations that are one another’s peers and have their own fields of activity, working independently, sometimes overlapping. Conflicts are often resolved on a case-to-case basis, often with the intervention of a Saud family member, since no governing rule exists. Placeholding rules are there, but they are precisely that, placeholders.

This has given the CPVPV (and other councils/committees) a very free hand to do whatever they want to do. And since the CPVPV has learnt which toes not to step on, they run pretty much scot free. The fatwas they decide to get implemented, they do themselves, since they have their own force, no police co-op required. And since words are cheap, they say pretty much whatever they want to. Add to this mix the cold-war with the al-Azhar university to become the official voice of Islam, and you have a plothera of fatwas, left and right. Below are some of the more wonderfully stupid samplings. Note: I do NOT follow, believe, nor promote these in any way. Sources might be biased. Make your own decisions.

Shias are infidels. The scholars are definitely infidels, the people, unknown.

...unislamic pic unrelated...

All Shias are infidels

Pokemon is haraam.

Saudi Women must cover one eye.

Pet animals are a threat to morality

OK to slap wives

Pigeon-breeding forbidden: act of sodomites

Soccer is forbidden.

Mice are to be exterminated: Mickey Mouse is haraam

Travelling haraam during Swine ‘flu

International Jihad haraam

Women-only health clubs haraam (arabic)

Women cannot go online without a male guardian

Women can hit back: outrage over fatwa

Cheating on non-Muslim wives/women okay

Islamic banking unIslamic (okay, this one is from Pakistan)

and so on…

I’m sure if there are any reader from the Kingdom, they’ll attest to the day-to-day challenges and issues that arise out of a simple inconvenience of following rules and regulations that are quite unique in the Islamic world. True, that following the Islamic law to the spirit is not very prevalent in the current world scenario, but there are places where that does happen, and it does not look anything like what SA has going on.

The ruling hierarchy in SA most often than not turns a blind eye on these rulings. In individual cases, their acts can overrule the religious fatwa (such as the release of the film produced by a Prince, support for soccer, traveling to the USA during swine flu season etc), but not vice versa. Also, they have the luxury of getting fatwas issues, such as fatwas against a few writers who were critical of the Saudi regime. After all, they are the rulers, right.

But the religious faction is all set to exercise its ruling rights too. Sweeping powers to issue laws and get them implemented does get to the head after a while. Currently, the Saud family has managed to curb the need-to-rule of the religious fraternity, but this need has previously, and again shall rise. The religion-fuelled activities in the wake of 9/11 led to some activity which was squashed. Something might gel them again. Think of it as two balloons with equal length strings in the same hand, both trying to occupy the same place and constantly bumping into one another.

The Saud family’s bump is currently stronger.

-FK





Emot-Iran

16 06 2009

Take a horse. Should be dead. No, kill him, just arrange to obtain a dead horse. Lay him down (or if you can, make him stand up)….. and then beat him. Beat him and Beat him to death!

Just what did you achieve? The same as I’ll achieve by speaking about the spin media puts on events.

The elections in Iran. Ever since Ahmadinejad even hinted at his victory, the media, international ofcourse (CNN & Bloomberg, that we I get here) has been ranting and raving about foul, rigged, cheated, fradulent and what-not elections. Regardless of what happened on-ground, why does an supposedly independant 3rd party have the gall to point out one viewpoint so loudly as to defean others. Just like writing 30,000 billion and then 1 trillion and saying the billions are more. Twisting, turning, churning, pivoting, manipulating everything to suit one way or the other.

NatGeo: Iran

NatGeo: Iran

Why just can’t we have a newsflash that says “It is believed by so-and-so that the elections were rigged. However, so-and-so says they were not. The Iranian leaders announced the win of so-and-so but have now called for a recount”. Phrase that properly and ta-da, news! But even here, the possibility of manipulation is so much. The first so-and-so could be someone of clout, the 2nd one a known crankcase, one viewpoint with videos and graphics, the 2nd one delivered with a smirk across the face etc etc etc. Bah!

But then again, its Iran we’re talking about here. A nation of people who lost an entire generation battling the Iraqis. Who saved their land from invading forces and lived to tell the tale. A land where if walk the streets you see many more women than men. Going from the Middle East, you pause and stand seeing male:female ration of 1:3. Where women police officers are as much, if not more, active than men. A nation of proud people, defiant in the face of the West. Ostracized by the international community, scraping and making inroads by sheer force of resilience and on the back of their God-gifted natural resources. Deeply religious, fanatic Shiites. One can judge their emotions by the fervor during the ’79 revolution, the annual religious festivals, the ’83 war. Why wouldn’t they be having strong opinions about the election? English hooligans anyone?

I started off with ideas and things to write about,  but scenes of the horse pass in front of my eyes. Poor horse. Dead and still taking a beating.

-FK





Pigeon-headedness

28 05 2009

Seems that in their astoundingly successful quest to achieve the lowest form of distorted truths and moral values possible, people living across the mountainous borders have once again numbed my senses and rendered me speechless, hapless, unable to move, respond or cry/laugh. The only possible response that I can evoke at a time like this are zangjillion thanks to the-powers-that-be that I am not living, forced to live, or planning to live in that country anytime in the foreseeable future.

A court in SA has ruled that the testimony of pigeon-breeders is inadmissable in court. And to justify the ruling, the esteemed personality added that this was because pigeon-breeding was an act of the people of ‘Lut. Google-translate, in all its wisdom tranlsates this to “…because pigeon-breeding was an act of sodomites”. Furthermore, the presence of these birds on rooftops reveals the presence of houses of sins!

God! Just typing that has again numbed half my neurons and threatened to fry the rest!!

Original and Google Translate Version:

شهادة مربي الحمام غير جائزة

Pigeon breeders testimony inadmissible

عبد الله المقاطي ـ ظلم Abdullah Almqati injustice
أكد لـ «عكاظ» عضو هيئة كبار العلماء الدكتور صالح السدلان أن شهادة مربي الحمام أمام القضاء غير جائزة، وقال «إن شهادة مربي الحمام مرفوضة شرعا؛ لأن اللعب بهذا الطائر كان من فعل قوم لوط، إضافة إلى أن القائم على هذه المهنة يعتلي أسطح المنازل ويكشف عورات البيوت»، لكنه استدرك «إن تربية الحمام للاستثمار شيء طبيعي ولا غضاضة فيها».

He told «Okaz» Member of the senior scientists, Dr. Saleh Alsdlan pigeon enthusiasts that the testimony inadmissible in court, and said «The Certificate of pigeon enthusiasts religiously unacceptable; play because this bird was the work of the sodomites, in addition to that based on these dot the rooftops of profession reveals SINS houses », he added« The pigeon is natural to invest in the no objection ».
I don’t fark on SA. Infact I seethe, burn, ponder and rant on my own, but I won’t fark on it. Because it is so skullnumbing that the people who wrestled control over the world’s most resource-rich country, who have control of the undividedly holiest places in the Muslim world, who are center to Mecca, Medina, the general area of hijaz, who were handed over the holiest relics of the fastest-growing religion in the world…. they are nimbnomcoops.. and that too an extent that is unmatchable. Infact, I believe that it is going to be a very close contest of moral stupidity between the Taliban and these people.
But then again, Bin Laden is a Saudi national!
My anger is not over this case of pigeon breeders, I just thought that I’d post this cause it was in the ‘funny’ category. But just thinking about the mechanisms that bring such people and such judgments to fruition are the cause of my neurotic aneurysm. Dead expats, torture cases, pedophilia, rampant social and moral vices, flagrant disregard for the law, stupid laws itself, corruption, homo-hetro rape…ergh! C’mon,  “Custodians of the Holy Mosques”?, I’d not let you custode my dead cat, let alone the Holy Mosques!
I must stop before I really do burst an artery.
-FK




(Ir+Om)an

18 05 2009

My algebra’s a bit rusty. However I think this works. It equates to Iran + Oman.

And that’s what’s going on. Oman and Iran are pretty much becoming an item!

There are many news articles on this appearing. Mostly low-key. As if the authorities are saying  we’ve got ‘a good thing going, but lets not make much noise about it’.

Iran is, and has been, since the 1979 revolution, a very predominantly Islamic state with the letter of the shari’a followed in word and spirit. While this is not something very unique in the Islamic world, Iran is the only country in the world where the followers of the Shiite sect of Islam are in absolute majority in the population (as much as 98%) and in the government. This marks Iran to be very different from the rest of Muslim world. The only country that comes even close is Iraq, with 58% of its population being Shiite, but this majority had been opressed and prosecuted under the rule of Saddam. Also currently, with the power-sharing schemes and %age-wise representation schemes being discussed for governance in Iraq, Shiites have a shot at being in and around the corridors of the government there too. As a side note, Iraq and Iran are traditional pilgrimage centers of the Shiite sect by virtue of being home to the shrine of the Im’ams or Leaders of the Shiite sect. Out of 12 Leaders of the Shiites, 1 has his shrine in Iran in the city of Mashhad, 6 shrines are in Iraq (Baghdad, Kadhimiya, Samarra, Najaf and Kerbala) and 5 are in Saudi Arabia (in the area known as Jannat-ul-Baqi)

Oman is a low-key, predominantly Sunni Ibadhi country at the north of the south of the Middle East. Oman is a stone’s throw from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen by land; and Pakistan and Iran by sea. Oman is predominantly lived-in by Sunni Ibadhi-muslims who are a mixture of the alongwith Orthodox Sunni, Shiites, miniority Wahhabi and Kharji groups. Oman’s claim to fame have been the ancient seafarers from the country’s generous coastline. This made this area a thoroughfare for ancient pilgrims to Mecca from overseas, a landing/rest area for people involved in the booming trade routes between India and Africa and a safe niche for people, mostly refugees, from the Persian, Roman and MidEastern conflicts and wars.

Oman and Iran, both, have had a ressurection in the late 1970s. In Iran this was manifested in the form of the Islamic revolution. In Oman, this was the emergence of a new ruler from the sands of the desert that blew across and obscured the non-national activities going on in the Dhofar region. Where Iran took the agressive role of taking upon the world, holding (and shaking, kicking and screaming) the bull by its horns (in the form of the American Embassy thingy and its national stance), Oman slowly and steadily built shop, arranging the shelves and laying the carpet and decorating the walls; removing the shroud, one step at a time.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Like a kid running blindly over stones and uneven ground, Iran has emerged from the past 30 years way ahead, up on top of the hill, well on the way to progress and being considered a regional power. But this kid is panting and heaving, his clothes are in tatters, he has bruised and injured his knees from when he fell over in the Gulf War. His knees are recovering, but he is still running in the same careless way as before.

Oman, like the proverbial tortoise (or maybe the green turtle of R’as al Hadd), walked along the same path at a slow and stately pace. In the way, Oman took time to find a sturdy walking stick, whittle and shape it properly. It acquired proper walking shoes, selected the clearest path, managed to avoid getting his robes soiled, generally remained unscathed and has just started climbing the hill.

Now, the kid at the top of the hill’s knees are giving way. He needs shoes, a shirt, but he is at the top. He can see for miles around. He can feel the breeze. The kid at the bottom cannot see much around, but he has the walking stick and clean robes. The two are reaching out to one another. “Find me a stick like that, I’ll tell you what I can see”. “Let me have some walking shoes and I can warn you of the terrain here”, and so on a so forth.

And that, dears, is what is going on.

Even More (google)

Oman navigates between Iran and Arab Nations (NYTimes)

Iranian FM in Oman (BiW – 14/5)

Public Authority for Craft Industries visits Iran (today, 18/5)

Oman seen close to Iran (KT, April 09)

Oman-Iran discuss ways to strengthen ties (March, 09)

Iranian Naval Drills in Gulf of Oman (dec 08)

I’m not done with this yet….!!

-FK





Love You Mom!

10 05 2009

From the Hadith of the Cloak:

[…] My son Hasan came in and said : “Peace be on you, mother”

[…] Husain came in and said : “Peace be on you, mother”

[…]Gabriel, the trusted angel, asked : “Who are under the cloak?”

The Almighty answered : “They are the Household of the Prophet and the assets of Prophethood. They are : Fatimah, her father, her husband and her two sons”

I simply follow what my elders did.

Peace be on you Mother.

Love You!

-FK






WTF!! O_O

3 05 2009

Given the state of religious fatwas coming out from the Taliban & some British Muslim hardliners, I actually had to read the whole thing twice to understand that it …* (end of post)

Nation of Islam leaders today told members they should not contract the swine flu.

“The pig is a nasty foul beast and no man should […] allow it to infect his white blood cells or his red blood cells or take residence in the holy places of his bowels.”

Bill Matthews: Nation of Islam Bars Members From Contracting Swine Flu.

*…was not true.

-FK