Enkis Wrangling Brood
Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER
Although Enki was a most benign and peaceable soul, his clan was a tumultuous lot. They scarcely came to terms and feuded and warred more often than not. Occasionally, some of them even allied with the Enlilites to wage war against a fellow Enkite.
When his brood scuffled or fought, the equable and gentle-natured Enki was largely a spectator. They were so intractable Enki simply locked himself in a closet to invoke the “Creator of All”, as the Anunnaki referred to the true God.
Enki, who had an Achilles prick, had children galore, some with fellow Anunnaki and others with Earthlings, but by far the overwhelming majority were female. This, arguably, was on account of the fact that like all the SSS males (the people of Orion, where Enki hailed from), he was born from an unfertilised egg and so his genetic proclivity was predominantly toward female offspring.
Sumerian records list the following as Enki’s pure Anunnaki sons: Marduk, Nergal, Gibil, Ninagal, Ningishzidda, and Dumuzi in that order. Of these, the most chronicled are Marduk, by virtual of his being Enki’s heir, and Ningishzidda, by virtue of his surpassing exploits and milestones across a spectrum of disciplines.
MARDUK THE GOD OF BABYLON
The name MARDUK is OME-ORI-DA-EKE in full, meaning “Supreme Divine Spirit/Master” (from ome [divine], ori [spirit or master], da [supreme], and eke [holy]). It was informed by the deity of the Orion Queen, Marduk’s paternal grandmother who was the most revered, venerated, and deified being in the Milky Way Galaxy at a time when Orion was the most powerful empire in our section of the cosmos. EKE was the title both of the Orion Queen and Enki himself. As Enki’s heir, it was fitting that Marduk bear the same title too.
Besides being Enki’s firstborn son, Marduk’s fame stemmed from two other attributes in the main.
First, he ruled Egypt, the capital state of Africa, for 1000 years (from 9670 to 8670 BC) under the title RA, meaning “The Bright One”. As Ra, Marduk was the Sun God, that is, one who like the Sun was there at the very beginning. He was also known as AMEN-RA. Amen meant “The Hidden One” or “The Unseen One”. This was the title of the real God who brought the Sun about. Amen-Ra thus merged First Source and the Sun into one entity personified in Marduk.
Second, at some stage during the astrological Age of Aries (2160-0 BC), Marduk assumed the title of Enlil. In other words, he became Earth’s Commander in Chief, though for a very brief spell only as the Enlilites soon spurned him and installed Enlil’s second-born son Nanna-Sin to rival him. Exactly how Marduk became the Enlil we will relate at a later stage. As the Enlil, Marduk renamed planet Nibiru after himself and introduced the decimal mathematical system (Base 10) we use today.
Marduk had from birth been tipped to inherit the Sirian-Orion throne after Enlil as per the terms of the merger of the Sirian and Orion empires. But he was disinherited when he went against the Anunnaki matrimonial code and became the first Anunnaki to marry an Earthling known as Sarpanit, which set a precedent for rank-and-file Anunnaki to follow. The Anunnaki were permitted to copulate with Earthlings all right and even procreate with them but marriage was strictly prohibited. For marrying Sarpanit, Marduk was also banned from ever returning to Nibiru or the throne planet of Sirius.
In earlier times, Marduk was based on Mars where he presided over the Igigi, the Anunnaki astronauts who manned the space stations and satellites in the orbits of both Earth and Mars. After the defeat of Kumarbi, however, he was recalled for a while but was reinstated in due course.
Marduk was a go-getter, by means foul or fair, even if it meant slugging it out with his brothers. For example, he precipitated what has become known as the Second Pyramid War when he had his youngest brother Dumuzi accidentally killed. He was sentenced to a slow death by entombment in the Giza Pyramid but the pleadings of Sarpanit saved him and his sentence was ultimately commuted to exile. At around 3113 BC, Marduk ejected his other brother Ningishzidda from the Egyptian throne, forcing his departure to South America.
During the zodiacal Age of Taurus, Marduk decided to build a spaceport in Babylon, where he was based, to rival the one in the Sinai Peninsula which was controlled by the Enlilites. A pro-Earthling dude like his father, Marduk wanted to train humans as astronauts too so that they could explore space and visit other heavenly bodies such as Mars and the Moon, but Enlil was having none of that. He had Marduk’s spaceport destroyed and Marduk’s people scattered all over the world where they were taught new languages and scripts that alienated them from each other. In the Bible, this incident is referred to as the Tower of Babel.
Marduk had three sons with Sarpanit. They were Shu, Tefnut, and Nabu. Of these, Nabu was the closest and the most ambitious on behalf of his father. It was through the instrumentality of Nabu that Marduk decided to capture the Sinai spaceport in 2024 BC with disastrous results: his armies were intercepted by the Enlilite forces commanded by the now famous General Abraham, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which according to Abraham’s spies were sheltering Nabu were struck with nuclear weapons, causing Enki, who had brought mankind into existence, to go into a period of mourning that lasted seven years.
Marduk never quite got along with his father Enki, who he panned as too meek and too docile compared to Enlil.
Initially, Marduk’s numerical rank was 10. It rose to 50 when he became the Enlil in 2023 BC. He is historically associated with the planet Mars as the god Ares. His emblem was the mus-hus, described as a “a scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline (lion-like) forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest” (see accompanying sketch).
Marduk’s cult centre was Babylon, of which his name is largely invoked. In the Bible, Marduk is referred to as BEL (BA-AL in Akkadian, which simply meant “Lord”, in this case the Lord of the enemy – the Babylonians who were at odds with Enlil’s Hebrews) or MERODACH. The Old Testament scriptures ISAIAH 46:1 (“Bel bows down, Nebo [Nabu, his son] stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary) and JEREMIAH 50:2 ("Announce and proclaim among the nations, lift up a banner and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, 'Babylon will be captured; Bel will be put to shame, Merodach filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror) both are talking about Marduk.
NINGISHZIDDA THE GOD OF KNOWLEDGE
If Enki was the Anunnaki’s foremost genius, Ningishzidda was not far behind. Although he was best known as the God of Knowledge, Ningishzidda actually mirrored Enki in a whole host of respects, the only difference being that unlike his skirt-chasing dad, he had very strong moral scruples. The Greeks invoked him as HERMES TRISMAGISTUS (“Thrice Greatest”: greatest of kings, greatest of magicians [magic here referring to ancient technology], greatest of priests).
Ningishzidda is the builder of the iconic Giza Pyramids. The Anunnaki’s Sinai spaceport and the famed Stonehenge were also built by him. It was Ningishzidda who carved the Sphinx, and the face it initially carried was his. When Enki genetically engineered mankind into existence in a laboratory in today’s East Africa, he was partnered by Ningishzidda. Ningishzidda was also capable of raising people from the dead if they had been dead for only a few days and this was just one of the many wonders he was capable of.
Like Nanna-Sin, the second-born son of Enlil, Ningishzidda was born on Earth. His mother was not Sarpanit though but Ereshkigal, the granddaughter of Enlil. That, coupled with his innate good-naturedness, made him a bridge-builder between the Enlilites and the Enkites and therefore a rallying point. Indeed, the name Ningishzidda means “Great Soul”, something he lived up to as he was the most spiritual and soulful of the Anunnaki.
When Marduk was banished to Babylon in 8670 BC, Enki and Enlil by a compromise compact installed Ningishzidda as ruler of Egypt. Ningishzidda ruled Egypt for 1560 years. During the Second Pyramid War, it was Ningishzidda who rescued Marduk from deathly confinement in the Giza Pyramid on the pleadings of his wife Sarpanit. This was in spite of the fact that the two brothers had long been estranged. The Egyptians called him THOTH, meaning “Teacher” as he was a seamless repository of knowledge.
At the height of his rivalry with Marduk over the Egyptian throne circa 3113 BC, Enki advised Ningishzidda to simply throw in the sponge and head far afield in Mesoamerica, where a new Anunnaki colony was to be founded. He took with him a band of faithful African followers now known as the Olmecs, with whom he brought about the Mayan civilisation. There, the Incas called him VIRACOCHA (“Creator of all there is”) whereas the Mayas and Aztecs called him QUETZALCOATL (“The Flying Serpent” because he was of serpentine evolutional ancestry through his father Enki and flew in a plane). His other title was KUKULCAN (which can be paraphrased as “Wise Being Who Flew in a Bird-like Craft”).
Ningishzidda contended for hegemony in Mesoamerica with Enlil’s combustive son Ishkur-Adad. As a result, the trouble–averse Ningishzidda departed the place and settled in Asia, where he sparked a new age of enlightenment as the first Buddha. The countries Nepal (“Nepa-El”, meaning “Righteous God”) and Japan (whose name is actually Nippon, “NEPA-EN”, meaning “Righteous Lord”) are named after him. So too is the Himalayan Mountains (“Herma-Laya”, meaning “Great Teacher”). The principal tenets of Tibetan Buddhism (to me the most truthful religion on Earth) are based on the teachings of Ningishzidda, who was a vegetarian through and through.
After his Mesoamerican exploits, Ningishzidda came to be associated with the number 52 after he promised the Mayans that he was going to return after 5200 years. According to the Mayan prophecy, the return fell due in 2012, but Ningishzidda was nowhere to be seen. Their calculations apparently were out by a very long shot.
Ningishzidda’s consort was Geshtinanna, his half-sister, who was born to Enki and Ninmah.
MARDUK’S BLOOD BROTHERS
To us Africans, it seems the most influential of Enki’s sons was Nergal. It was from Nergal we get the term “negro”, the black race. Nergal, Enki’s second son with his official wife Damkina, initially ruled southern Africa but it seems he later moved to West Africa as the river Niger is obviously named after him. Because he ruled southern Africa, the Abzu, which over time was miscomprehended as abyss, and was in charge of underground mines, he is in mythology referred to as the god of the underworld, also characterised as Hell.
His African warriors, the Kutheans, a formidable fighting force, at one time conquered swathes of Mesopotamia for a while during his short-lived alliance with Inanna-Ishtar, Enlil’s granddaughter. Circa 2024 BC, Nergal, who was also known as Erra, turned against his elder brother Marduk, resulting in the nuking of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by Utu-Shamash, Enlil’s grandson, and he (Nergal). Nergal was married to Ereshkigal, who in turn was Ningishizidda’s mother. Enki had Ningishzidda with Ereshkigal before she married Nergal thanks to the Anunnaki’s labyrinthine incestuous relationships.
Gibil, Enki’s third son with Damkina, was a metallurgist who worked very closely with his father in the Abzu mines of modern-day Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Ninagal was Enki’s fourth son with Damkina. Known as “Lord of the Great Waters”, that is, the seas, he was the Anunnaki’s greatest navigator and superintended over the shipping of ores from the Abzu to the Edin in Sumeria. It was Ninagal who assisted in the construction of Noah’s ark (actually a submarine) and it was he who piloted it throughout the duration of the floods, the only Anunnaki who remained on the Earth surface at that tempestuous time.
The ill-fated Dumuzi was Enki’s last born son with Damkina. Dumuzi, one of Enki’s most beloved sons, was an expert in animal husbandry. When he fell in love with Inanna-Ishtar and was in the process of tying the knot with her, Marduk took very strong exception and whilst Dumuzi was being pursued by Marduk’s men, he fell off a cliff and passed away, a death which precipitated the Second Pyramid War in which Inanna sought vengeance against Marduk. Most of the love poems in the Bible’s Song of Solomon are based on the Romeo- and-Juliet-like romance of Dumuzi and Inanna. When Adam was taken to Nibiru to be shown off to King Anu, he was accompanied by Dumuzi and Ningishzidda.
OSIRIS, SET AND HORUS
Osiris (Ashur), the most famous Egyptian “god” alongside Horus, was Enki’s most beloved grandchild. He was one of four children of Geb and his wife Nut. Geb and Nut had married as half-siblings, being the children of Marduk. Their four kids were sons Set and Osiris, and daughters Isis and Nephtys. But the state of affairs was not as straightforward as that.
Although Osiris was legally the son of Geb, his real father was Marduk, again thanks to the incestuous proclivities for which the Anunnaki were famed. Isis too was only legally the daughter of Geb: her real father was Ningishzidda. The only true children of Geb were Set and Nephtys. This had implications for the politics of succession for what it entailed was that Osiris, though younger than Set, ranked higher in the line of succession senior since Marduk was of senior pedigree. Moreover, Osiris was married to Isis, his half-sister, which further cemented his eligibility to the throne as according to the Anunnaki succession code, a half-sister took precedence over a full sister.
But in 8970 BC, Geb divided Egypt into north and south. The north he bequeathed to Osiris and the south to Set. Set, however, wanted all of Egypt to himself and therefore had Osiris murdered. To ensure the likes of Ningishzidda did not do a resuscitation job on him, Set had Osiris’s corpse cut into 14 pieces which he scattered all over the Egyptian wilds, then a lush jungle. Isis launched a dogged search, assisted by her father/uncle Ningishzidda, and at long last managed to retrieve all the parts except the genitalia, which were crucial as she wished to extract semen from the scrotal sac and impregnate herself with a view to raise a heir.
It was the inimitable Ningishzidda who did his “magic”. Using a process known as artificial meiosis (which still resides in the realm of theory in our day), Ningishzidda was able to create sperm cells from Osiris’s retrieved non-sexual parts. These were inseminated into Isis when she was ovulating and that’s how the legendary Horus was born.
When Horus came of age, after being raised secretly by her mother, he waged war against Seth, the First Pyramid War, and drove him out of Egypt. Seth’s wicked act against Osiris would over time see his name, SET-EN in full, meaning “Prince Set”, become a synonym of SATAN.
NEXT WEEK: THE GODDESSES
LIKE MESSIAH LIKE JESUS: The mus-hus as depicted on the Great Gate of Ishtar which stood at the entrance to Babylon. The mus-hus, from which Messiah, the title of Jesus, derives, was the emblem of Marduk, Enki’s firstborn son who was the god of Babylon in modern-day Iraq. It has been described as “a scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline (lion-like) forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest”. In addition to Marduk, Enki had five other sons, of whom Ningishzidda, a genius only second to Enki, is the most renowned. Enki’s most famous grandson and great grandson are Osiris and Horus, both of whom were prominent Egyptian gods. The Enkites were in the habit of fighting each other, far much more so than the rival Enlilites.
You may like
In recent years, using personal devices in working environments has become so commonplace it now has its own acronym, BOYD (Bring Your Own Device). Â But as employees skip between corporate tools and personal applications on their own devices, their actions introduce a number of possible risks that should be managed and mitigated with careful consideration.Â Consider these examples:
Si-lwli, a small family-run business in Wales, is arguably as niche a company as you could find, producing talking toys used to promote the Welsh language. Their potential market is small, with only some 300,000 Welsh language speakers in the world and in reality the business is really more of a hobby for the husband-and-wife team, who both still have day jobs.Â Yet, despite still managing to be successful in terms of sales, theÂ business is now fighting for survival after recently falling prey to cybercriminals. Emails between Si-Iwli and their Chinese suppliers were intercepted by hackers who altered the banking details in the correspondence, causing Si-Iwli to hand over ÂŁ18,000 (around P Âź m) to the thieves. That might not sound much to a large enterprise, but to a small or medium business it can be devastating.
Another recent SMB hacking story whichÂ appeared in the Wall Street Journal concerned Innovative Higher Ed Consulting (IHED) Inc, a small New York start-up with a handful of employees. IHED didnât even have a website, but fraudsters were able to run stolen credit card numbers through the companyâs payment system and reverse the charges to the tune of $27,000, around the same loss faced by Si-Iwli. Â As the WSJ put it, the hackers completely destroyed the company, forcing its owners to fold.
And in May 2019, the city of Baltimoreâs computer system was hit by a ransomware attack, with hackers using a variant called RobinHood. The hack, which has lasted more than a month, paralysed the computer system for city employees, with the hackers demanding a payment in Bitcoin to give access back to the city.
Of course, hackers target governments or business giants Â but small and medium businesses are certainly not immune. In fact, 67% of SMBs reported that they had experienced a cyber attack across a period of 12 months, according to a 2018 survey carried out by security research firm Ponemon Institute. Additionally, Verizon issued a report in May 2019 that small businesses accounted for 43% of its reported data breaches.Â Once seen as less vulnerable than PCs, smartphone attacks are on the rise, with movements like the Dark Caracal spyware campaign underlining the allure of mobile devices to hackers. Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission released a statement calling for greater education on mobile security, coming at a time when around 42% of all Android devices are believed to not carry the latest security updates.
This is an era when employees increasingly use their smartphones for work-related purposes so is your business doing enough to protect against data breaches on their employeesâ phones? The SME Cyber Crime Survey 2018 carried out for risk management specialists AON showed that more than 80% of small businesses did not view this as a threat yet if as shown, 67% of SMBs were said to have been victims of hacking, either the stats are wrong or business owners are underestimating their vulnerability.Â A 2019 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests the latter, stating that the majority of global businesses are unprepared for cyber attacks.
Consider that a workstation no longer means a desk in an office: It can be a phone in the back of a taxi or Uber; a laptop in a coffee shop, or a tablet in an airport lounge.Â Wherever the device is used, employees can potentially install applications that could be harmful to your business, even from something as seemingly insignificant as clicking on an accidental download or opening a link on a phishing email.Â Out of the physical workplace, your employeesâ activities might not have the same protections as they would on a company-monitored PC.
Yet many businesses not only encourage their employees to work remotely, but assume working from coffee shops, bookstores, and airports can boost employeesâ productivity. Â Unfortunately, many remote hot spots do not provide secure Wi-Fi so if your employee is accessing their work account on unsecured public Wi-Fi,Â sensitive business data could be at risk. Furthermore, even if your employee uses a company smartphone or has access to company data through a personal mobile device, there is always a chance data could be in jeopardy with a lost or stolen device, even information as basic as clientsâ addresses and phone numbers.
BOYDs are also at risk from malware designed to harm and infect the host system, transmittable to smartphones when downloading malicious third-party apps.Â Then there is ransomware, a type of malware used by hackers to specifically take control of a systemâs data, blocking access or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid such as the one which affected Baltimore.Â Ransomware attacks are on the increase, Â predicted toÂ occur every 14 seconds, potentially costing billions of dollars per year.
Lastly there is phishing â the cyber equivalent of the metaphorical fishing exercise – Â wherebyÂ cybercriminals attempt to obtain sensitive data âusernames, passwords, credit card details âusually through a phoney email designed to look legitimate which directs the user to a fraudulent website or requests the data be emailed back directly. Most of us like to think we could recognize a phishing email when we see it, but these emails have become more sophisticated and can come through other forms of communication such as messaging apps.
Bottom line is to be aware of the potential problems with BOYDs and if in doubt,Â consult your IT security consultants.Â You canât put the own-device genie back in the bottle but you can make data protection one of your three wishes!
âI Propose to Diana Tonightâ
About five days before Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed landed in Paris, General Atiku, a certain Edward Williams was taking a walk in a woods in the Welsh town of Mountain Ash. Williams, then 73, was a psychic of some renown. He had in the past foretold assassination attempts on US President Ronald Reagan, which occurred on March 30, 1981, and Pope John Paul II, which came to pass on May 13, 1981.
As he trudged the woods, Williams Â had a sudden premonition that pointed to Dianaâs imminent fate as per Christopher Andersenâs book The Day Diana Died. âWhen the vision struck me, it was as if everything around me was obscured and replaced by shadowy figures,â Williams was later to reminisce. âIn the middle was the face of Princess Diana. Her expression was sad and full of pathos. She was wearing what looked like a floral dress with a short dark cardigan. But it was vague. I went cold with fear and knew it was a sign that she was in danger.â
Williams hastily beat a retreat to his home, which he shared with his wife Mary, and related to her his presentiment, trembling like an aspen leaf as he did so. âI have never seen him so upset,â Mary recounted. âHe felt he was given a sign and when he came back from his walk he was deeply shaken.â
The following day, Williams frantically sauntered into a police station to inform the police of his premonition. The officer who attended to him would have dismissed him as no more than a crackpot but he treated him seriously in view of the accuracy of his past predictions. HeÂ took a statement and immediately passed it on to the Special Branch InvestigativeÂ Unit.
The report read as follows:
âOn 27 August, at 14:12 hrs, a man by the name of Edward Williams came to Mountain Ash police station. He said he was a psychic and predicted that Princess Diana was going to die. In previous years, he has predicted that the Pope and Ronald Reagan were going to be the victims of assassination attempts. On both occasions he was proved to be correct. Mr Williams appeared to be quite normal.â
Williams, General, was spot-on as usual: four days later, the princess was no more.
Meanwhile, General, Â even as Dodi and Diana were making their way to the Fayed-owned Ritz Hotel in central Paris, British newspapers were awash with headlines that suggested Diana was kind of deranged. Writes Andrew Morton in Diana in Pursuit of Love: âIn The Independent Diana was described as âa woman with fundamentally nothing to say about anythingâ. She was âsuffering from a form of arrested developmentâ. âIsnât it time she started using her head?â asked The Mail on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror printed a special supplement entitled âA Story of Loveâ; The News of the World claimed that William had demanded that Diana should split from Dodi: âWilliam canât help it, he just doesnât like the man.â William was reportedly âhorrifiedâ and âdoesnât think Mr Fayed is good for his motherâ â or was that just the press projecting their own prejudices? The upmarket Sunday Times newspaper, which had first serialised my biography of the princess, now put her in the psychiatristâs chair for daring to be wooed by a Muslim. The pop-psychologist Oliver James put Diana âOn the Couchâ, asking why she was so âdepressedâ and desperate for love. Other tabloids piled in with dire prognostications â about Prince Philipâs hostility to the relationship, Dianaâs prospect of exile, and the social ostracism she would face if she married Dodi.â
DIANA AND DODI AT THE RITZ
Before Diana and Dodi departed the Villa Windsor sometime after 16 hrs, General, one of Dodiâs bodyguards Trevor Rees-Jones furtively asked Diana as to what the programme for the evening was. This Trevor did out of sheer desperation as Dodi had ceased and desisted from telling members of his security detail, let alone anyone else for that matter, what his onward destination was for fear that that piece of information would be passed on to the paparazzi. Diana kindly obliged Trevor though her response was terse and scarcely revealing. âWell, eventually we will be going out to a restaurantâ, that was all Diana said. Without advance knowledge of exactly what restaurant that was, Trevor and his colleaguesâ hands were tied: they could not do a recce on it as was standard practice for the security team of a VIP principal.Â Dodi certainly, General, was being recklessly by throwing such caution to the winds.
At about 16:30, Diana and Dodi drew up at the Ritz Hotel, where they were received by acting hotel manager Claude Roulet. Â The front entrance of the hotel was already crawling with paparazzi, as a result of which the couple took the precaution of using the rear entrance, where hopefully they would make their entry unperturbed and unmolested. The first thing they did when they were ensconced in the now $10,000 a night Imperial Suite was to spend some time on their mobiles and set about touching base with friends, relations, and associates. Â Diana called at least two people, her clairvoyant friend Rita Rogers and her favourite journalist Richard Kay of The Daily Mail.
Rita, General, Â was alarmed that Diana had proceeded to venture to Paris notwithstanding the warning she had given Dodi and herself in relation to what she had seen of him Â in the crystal ball when the couple had consulted her. When quizzed as to what the hell she indeed was doing in Paris at that juncture, Diana replied that she and Dodi had simply come to do some shopping, which though partially true was not the material reason they were there. âBut Diana, remember what I told Dodi,â Rita said somewhat reprovingly. Diana a bit apprehensively replied, âYes I remember. I will be careful. I promise.â Well, Â she did not live up to her promise as we shall soon unpack General.
As for Richard Kay, Diana made known to him that, âI have decided I am going to radically change my life. I am going to complete my obligations to charities and to the anti-personnel land mines cause, but in November I want to completely withdraw from formal public life.â
Once she was done with her round of calls, Diana went down to the hair saloon by the hotel swimming pool to have her hair washed and blow-dried ahead of the scheduled evening dinner.
THE âTELL ME YESâ RING IS DELIVERED
Since the main object of their Paris trip was to pick up the âTell Me Yesâ engagement ringÂ Dodi had ordered in Monte Carlo a week earlier, Dodi decided to check on Repossi Jewellery, which was right within the Ritz prencincts, known as the Place Vendome. Â It could have taken less than a minute for Dodi to get to the store on foot but he decided to use a car to outsmart the paparazzi invasion. He was driven there by Trevor Rees-Jones, with Alexander Kez Wingfield and Claude Roulet following on foot, though he entered the shop alone.
The Repossi store had closed for the holiday season but Alberto Repossi, accompanied by his wife and brother-in-law, Â had decided to travel all the way from his home in Monaco Â and momentarily open it for the sake of the potentially highly lucrativeÂ Dodi transaction. Â Alberto, however, disappointed Dodi as the ring he had chosen was not the oneÂ he produced. The one he showed Dodi was pricier and perhaps more exquisite but DodiÂ was adamant that he wanted the exact one he had ordered as that was what Diana herself had picked. It was a ployÂ on the part of Repossi to make a real killing on the sale, his excuse to that effect being that Diana deserved a ring tha was well worthy of her social pedigree.Â With Dodi having expressed disaffection, Repossi rendered his apologies and assured Dodi he would make the right ring available shortly, whereupon Dodi repaired back to the hotel to await its delivery. But Dodi Â did insist nonetheless that the pricier ring be delivered too in case it appealed to Diana anyway.
Repossi delivered the two rings an hour later. They were collected by Roulet. On inspecting them, Dodi chose the very one he had seen in Monte Carlo, apparently at the insistence of Diana.Â There is a possibility that Diana, who was very much aware of her public image and was not comfortable with ostentatious displays of wealth, may have deliberately shown an interest in a less expensive engagement ring. It Â may have been a purely romantic as opposed to a prestigious Â choice for her.
The value of the ring, which was found on a wardrobe shelf in Dodiâs apartment after the crash, Â has been estimated to be between $20,000 and $250,000 as Repossi has always refused to be drawn into revealing how much Dodi paid for it. The sum, which enjoyed a 25 percent discount, was in truth paid for not by Dodi himself but by his father as was the usual practice.
Dodi was also shown Repossiâs sketches for a bracelet, a watch, and earrings which he proposed to create if Diana approved of them.
DIANA AND DODI GUSH OVER IMMINENT NUPTIALS
At about 7 pm, Â Dodi and Diana left the Ritz and headed for Dodiâs apartment at a place known as the Arc de Trompe. They went there to properly tog themselves out for the scheduled evening dinner. They spent two hours at the luxurious apartment. As usual, the ubiquitous paparazzi were patiently waiting for them there.
As they lingered in the apartment, Dodi beckoned over to his butler Rene DelormÂ and showed himÂ the engagement ring. âDodi came into my kitchen,â Delorm relates. âHe looked into the hallway to check that Diana couldnât hear and reached into his pocket and pulled out the box âŚ He said, âRene, Iâm going to propose to the princess tonight. Make sure that we have champagne on ice when we come back from dinnerâ.â Rene described the ring as âa spectacular diamond encrusted ring, a massive emerald surrounded by a cluster of diamonds, set on a yellow and white gold band sitting in a small light-grey velvet boxâ.
Just before 9 pm, Dodi called the brother of his step-father, Hassan Yassen, who also was staying at the Ritz Â that night, and told him that he hoped to get married to Diana by the end of the year.
Later that same evening, both Dodi and Diana would talk to Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodiâs dad, and make known to him their pre-nuptial intentions. âThey called me and said weâre coming backÂ (to London) on Sunday (August 31) and on Monday (September 1) they are
RAMADAN – The Blessed Month of Fasting
Ramadan is the fasting month for Muslims, where over one billion Muslims throughout the world fast from dawn to sunset, and pray additional prayers at night. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to Allah, and self-control. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. As you read this Muslims the world over have already begun fasting as the month of Ramadan has commenced (depending on the sighting of the new moon).
âThe month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed as guidance for people, in it are clear signs of guidance and Criterion, therefore whoever of you who witnesses this month, it is obligatory on him to fast it. But whoever is ill or traveling let him fast the same number of other days, God desires ease for you and not hardship, and He desires that you complete the ordained period and glorify God for His guidance to you, that you may be grateful”. Holy Qur’anÂ (2 : 185)
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars upon which the structure of Islam is built. The other four are: the declaration of oneâs belief in Allahâs oneness and in the message of Muhammad (PBUH); regular attendance to prayer; payment of zakaat (obligatory charity); and the pilgrimage to Mecca.
As explained in an earlier article, fasting includes total abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking, refraining from obscenity, avoiding getting into arguments and including abstaining from marital relations, from sunrise to sunset. While fasting may appear to some as difficult Muslims see it as an opportunity to get closer to their Lord, a chance to develop spiritually and at the same time the act of fasting builds character, discipline and self-restraint.
Just as our cars require servicing at regular intervals, so do Muslims consider Ramadan as a month in which the body and spirit undergoes as it were a âfull serviceâ. This âserviceâ includes heightened spiritual awareness both the mental and physical aspects and also the body undergoing a process of detoxification and some of the organs get to ârestâ through fasting.
Because of the intensive devotional activity fasting, Ramadan has a particularly high importance, derived from its very personal nature as an act of worship but there is nothing to stop anyone from privately violating Allahâs commandment of fasting if one chooses to do so by claiming to be fasting yet eating on the sly. This means that although fasting is obligatory, its observance is purely voluntary. If a person claims to be a Muslim, he is expected to fast in Ramadan.
The reward Allah gives for proper fasting is very generous. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) quotes Allah as saying: âAll actions done by a human being are his own except fasting, which belongs to Me and I will reward it accordingly.â We are also told by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that the reward for proper fasting is admittance into heaven.
Fasting earns great reward when it is done in a âproperâ manner. This is because every Muslim is required to make his worship perfect. For example perfection of fasting can be achieved through restraint of oneâs feelings and emotions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that when fasting, a person should not allow himself to be drawn into a quarrel or a slanging match. He teaches us: âOn a day of fasting, let no one of you indulge in any obscenity, or enter into a slanging match. Should someone abuse or fight him, let him respond by saying: âI am fasting!ââ
This high standard of self-restraint fits in well with fasting, which is considered as an act of self-discipline. Islam requires us to couple patience with voluntary abstention from indulgence in our physical desires. The purpose of fasting helps man to attain a high degree of sublimity, discipline and self-restraint. In other words, this standard CAN BE achieved by every Muslim who knows the purpose of fasting and strives to fulfill it.
Fasting has another special aspect. It makes all people share in the feelings of hunger and thirst. In normal circumstances, people with decent income may go from one yearâs end to another without experiencing the pangs of hunger which a poor person may feel every day of his life. Such an experience helps to draw the rich oneâs conscience nearer to needs of the poor. A Muslim is encouraged to be more charitable and learns to give generously for a good cause.
Fasting also has a universal or communal aspect to it. As Muslims throughout the world share in this blessed act of worship, their sense of unity is enhanced by the fact that every Muslim individual joins willingly in the fulfillment of this divine commandment. This is a unity of action and purpose, since they all fast in order to be better human beings. As a person restrains himself from the things he desires most, in the hope that he will earn Allahâs pleasure, self-discipline and sacrifice become part of his nature.
The month of Ramadan can aptly be described as a âseason of worship.â Fasting is the main aspect of worship in this month, because people are more attentive to their prayers, read the Qurâan more frequently and also strive to improve on their inner and outer character. Thus, their devotion is more complete and they feel much happier in Ramadan because they feel themselves to be closer to their Creator.