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Iqbal Ebrahim

As much as we may not like to think about it or even dread it, death is our constant companion – there is that day when all living things will have to leave this world for the existence beyond. When the time comes for the Resurrection and the Day of Judgement we will all be called to account for our life on this earth. Whether we like it or not we will be held to account for each and every of our actions during our lifetime.

‘On that day every soul will be confronted with all the good it has done, and all the evil it has done, it will wish that there were a great distance between it and its evil deeds. And Allah cautions you to remember Him. And Allah is full of Kindness to those that serve Him.’ (Quran 3:30)

The Bible says: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the grave shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation”. (John 28-29)                                                                

A person's day is filled with thoughts and actions. Usually they are done and forgotten. Forget them we may, but we will be reminded of them and we will have to answer for them on that Day. There are times that we do things never to think of or see them again – Especially, if it is a hidden deed, like our evil thoughts, jealousy, hatred for others, desiring bad fortune to befall others, etc. But come resurrection nothing will be hidden, all our actions, our inner thoughts, good, bad or evil will be laid bare.

‘Behold We have appointed two Angels to record his doings… not a word does he utter but there is a watcher by him ready to note it.’ (Quran 50: 17-18). These two Angels register all out thoughts, words and every action we take: one Angel records our virtues and the other records our vices, hence nothing will be hidden. ‘On that Day men will proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they had done. Then anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it. And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it’ (Quran 99: 6- 8)

The Bible declares: “But I say unto you, that every idle word that man shall speak, they shall give account thereof on the day of judgement.  For thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”. (Mat 12: 35-36).

If we are to heed this message, we must start preparing our soul for that day when we will be called to account. We may not be aware of it but we all have that ‘inner’ voice built in our minds. The one that guides us to the right path, and the other, of the evil whisperer (Satan) leading us astray. Satan is continuously creating, inciting and assaulting us with chatter, doubt, confusion conflict in order to create instability in our minds, resulting in confused behaviour.  

In the ‘disturbed’ world that we live in today society has moved away from spiritual values and piety, and now looks to materialism, self-gratification and pleasure as a priority. This allows the ‘evil whisperer’ to play havoc with our minds and thinking. When we allow him to take over and control our thoughts, we tend to put our religious beliefs and values on the back burner.

We have all been blessed with both a conscious and a subconscious mind. A conscious mind will remind us of what is right and what is wrong, and what will add value to our lives and what is irrelevant. A conscious mind will assist in ensuring that the right thoughts enter our subconscious minds. We must feed our subconscious minds with good, positive, creative, healthy and worthy thoughts – this will assist our subconscious mind to positive behaviour in our spiritual, mental and physical being.
So, how and where do we start? This will mean that we have to start disciplining our thoughts and actions – for this we need to closely undergo self – examination to see if our thoughts and actions are in congruence with the guidance and teachings of our faith and religion. Here we have the answer:  ‘Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves with their own souls’ (Quran 13: 11).

For this to happen we will need to open our hearts and minds, contemplate and act on what Allah has guided us to – this will assist us in making the right choices in life. It is up to us to change our inner self through self – examination. This examination of our actions is at three levels; before the action, during the action, and after the action. Thereafter we should train ourselves to obey the commands and dictates of Allah.

Before the action: we should ensure that our thoughts and minds steer away from evil thoughts and behaviour. We should train our minds to focus on what is acceptable and what is not in terms of the dictates of our Lord and Creator. This will strengthen, fortify and protect ourselves from that evil inner voice that attacks us from within.
We must learn to pay attention to our conscience – conscience is that inner feeling and thoughts that tugs at our minds and urges us to steer clear of certain things and it guides us onto the right choice. It is that inner judgement that tells you ‘it is wrong’. It goes without saying that our thoughts and action must be based on sincere intentions. But regrettably many of us tend to ignore that inner voice and follow the dictates of our worldly self. ‘It is We who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him; for We are closer to him than his jugular vein’ (Quran 50: 16)      

During the action: if train our minds towards sincerity in our intentions, during any action that may be against that sincerity it will automatically set off our sub-conscious mind to become aware of the evil whisperings of Satan. Our minds will remind us that what we are doing is against what is righteous behaviour and therefore giving us the opportunity to perfect our actions so that they are indeed righteous.

After the action: after we have done wrong we will need to turn to our Lord in sincere prayer and ask Him for forgiveness. After taking oneself into account and realizing that we are in a loss, we should discipline ourselves by doing good deeds hoping that the good deeds will wipe out the evil deeds.
We have been given choices in life, however those choices have consequences; we are masters of our own destiny – the choice is ours do we want to be raised amongst the sinners or do we want to be amongst those closest to our Lord and Creator. You decide.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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