Having been pardoned by the gracious Enki, Enlil returned to his temperate redoubt in the Lebanon mountains and tied the knot with Sud. He also gave an undertaking, which he was to inviolably abide by throughout his stay on Earth, that he would never indulge in sexual relations outside wedlock such was the shock of “Sudigate”.
Following his marriage to Sud, Enlil sent for Ninurta, the Nibiru-based son he had with his half-sister Ninmah. Meanwhile, Sud gave him a son, who he named Nannar but who is best known as Sin, a corruption of the Akkadian Suen and after whom Mount Sinai is named. Sin (who was to become the Allah of Islam) has gone into the annals of history as the first Anunnaki to be born on Earth. Enlil had one more child and his last: it was yet another son called Ishkur, also called Adad. Enlil never had daughters and never had concubines.
After siring two children by Sud, Enlil was now confirmed as Earth’s Commander-in-Chief by the Anunnaki top-brass. It was at this stage that Sud became Ninlil, meaning “First Lady” as she indeed had become the highest ranking Anunnaki female on Earth.
When Ninurta arrived on Earth, one of the key responsibilities Enlil entrusted him was to see to timely deliveries of the gold that was being mined in today’s Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland to the mother planet Nibiru. Ninurta, a skilled military service man, became Enlil’s “Foremost Warrior”. In order to ensure that both Enlilites and Enkites obeyed him, Enlil provided Ninurta with the IB missile, “a weapon with 50 killing heads”.
Besides being a skilled soldier, Ninurta was a mineral geologist and metallurgist. Thus when Baditibira, the “Metal City” where gold ores were smelted and refined into ingots was set up in the Edin, Ninurta was appointed as its first governor.
ENKI’S SEXUAL ANTICS
Enki, who was based in Zimbabwe, was in due course joined by his Nibiru-born and firstborn son Marduk. But he was in no hurry to get his wife Damkina to join him too as his sights were set on his step-sister Ninmah. Since his arch-rival Enlil had a son with Ninmah, Enki wanted his turn too, aware that when it came to contending for kingly succession, it was a son with a half-sister that counted, not the firstborn son overall per se. Marduk, who was next in line to the Sirian-Orion throne after Enlil, had been banished to Earth for good by Anu for marrying an Earthling, a story we shall dwell upon in detail at a later stage. As a result, Enki determined to have a son with Ninmah to replace Marduk in the jockeying for the Milky Way Galaxy’s most influential throne. In the process, he invited Ninmah to stay with him at his ostentatious “silver and lapis lazuli” adorned mansion on the banks of the Zambezi River. One thing led to another, bar marriage as Ninmah had a spinster curse hanging over her courtesy of King Anu, who was incensed that she had scuppered his plans to have him marry Enki when she sired Ninurta with Enlil.
Unfortunately, a son was a “no-show”: all the kids, six in all, were daughters and all came in rapid succession such was Enki’s haste to produce a male heir. Of the six, three rose to prominence. They were Geshtinanna, who was gifted at poetry and interpreting dreams; Ninsun (also known as Nina or Nanshe), arguably Enki’s most brilliant and soulful daughter; and Nindaba (also known as Sesheta), reputed as the goddess of writing.
At some stage, Ninmah stayed for an extended period of time at her medical centre in Shuruppak in the Edin. Desperate to sire a bloodline male heir carrying the all-important DNA of Ninmah, Enki sweet-talked Ninsun, who aesthetically was the spitting image of her mother, and had sexual relations with her which resulted in pregnancy. Ninmah was livid. First, she had Ninsun travel to the Edin whereupon she administered an abortion on her. The foetus was buried in her experimental herb garden and a particularly potent herb was grown on the grave. Ninmah, a trained pharmacologist, then prepared a delicious but highly poisonous brew from this herb and had Enki drink it in addition to lacing his food with it. The poison was not meant to kill him but to simply sexually incapacitate him. It had serious side effects though: Enki kept throwing up and was in excruciating pain all day long. In addition, he began to shrivel up and age rapidly, his skin turning a putrid yellow.
It was not until Enki’s right-hand man, Isimud, pleaded with Ninmah that she provided the antidote to reverse the effects of the poison. From then on, Enki never touched her. Following his spurn by Ninmah, Enki had his wife Damkina join him from Nibiru and more children followed. Altogether, Enki had four Earth-born sons with Damkina. They were Nergal (the origin of the term “Negro”), Gibil, Ninagal, and Dumuzi. Enki’s other eminent son was Ningishzidda (also known as Thoth), who like him was an all-round genius. Enki had Ningishzidda with Nanna-Sin’s daughter Ereshkigal. Ereshkigal was at once a grand-daughter of Enki in that Ningal (also known as Asherah), Ereshkigal’s mother, was Enki’s daughter by another mistress known as Ningikuga. Ereshkigal had been sent to run the Cape Agulhas astronomical, climate and Earth-monitoring station in South Africa. It was in the aftermath of this posting that Enki begot Ningishzidda with her.
Meanwhile, Nergal, also known as Erra, had been given overall superintendence over African mines by Enki. Nergal resented the prominent presence of Ereshkigal, an Enlilite, on a continent that should have been the preserve of Enkites. He also hated the fact that her unborn child, Ningishzidda, who had the more politically superior Enlilite blood, might in future contend with him for the dominance of southern Africa. These factors made Nergal plot to kill Ereshkigal. However, when he was just priming to do so, Ereshkigal sweet-talked him into marrying her. Hence it was that Nergal married a half-sister and raised a step-son who was at once his half-brother. The marriage clearly was dictated more by politics than anything else.
Enki, however, was not yet done. He had another child, a daughter, with his granddaughter Inanna-Ishtar (whose mother was Enki’s daughter Ningal), a sister to Ereshkigal. Inanna fell pregnant when she visited Enki in Zimbabwe with a view to get her hands on the vitally important computer chips known as MEs. The daughter was named Sharra.
On his part, Ningishzidda had a steady relationship with Geshtinanna which did not culminate in a formal marriage or a child.
ENKI EXPERIMENTS WITH HOMO ERECTUS
Not long after he had transferred to the Abzu from Eridu, Enki set up an alternative home in present-day East Africa in addition to the main one along the Zambezi River. The new home was again situated on the banks of a river. It was a superlatively equipped laboratory, which he later manned with Ningishzidda. Enki called the laboratory BIT SHIIMTI, which means “Place Where The Wind of Life is Blown In”. Here, Enki wanted to further inquire into nature. “Of the differences between what on Earth and what on Nibiru appeared he wished to learn,” his master scribe Endubasar writes on his behalf in The Lost Book of Enki. “The mysteries of living and dying of Earth’s creatures to unravel he sought.” Put differently, Enki and his son were engaged in a genetic engineering programme. Because his time was so much taken up by scientific inquiry at Bit Shiimti , Enki appointed Ennugi to take care of the day-to-day oversight of mining activities in Zimbabwe as his son Nergal was busy exploiting new mines in West Africa, notably today’s Ghana.
Enki had set up Bit Shiimti in East Africa chiefly because there was one creature there which had fascinated him and which he wanted to study at close quarters in its natural habitat. This ape-like creature is what we today call Homo Erectus, or Ape-Man. Enki describes the creature thus: “They lived among the tall trees, their front legs as hands they were using … Erect they seemed to be walking … They eat plants with their mouths, they drink water from lake and ditch. Shaggy with hair is their body, their head hair is like a lion’s. With gazelles they jostle, with teeming creatures in the waters they delight!”
Enki had noted that Ape-Man had a bit of intelligence and compassion. For instance, when Enki laid traps for game animals and they got ensnared, Ape-Man untangled them to safety. Obviously, there had to be something special about this creature and indeed there was. So Enki decided, first, to study and map the genome, that is, the genetic blueprint, of Ape-Man. To his surprise, he found Ape-Man’s genes and those of the Anunnaki differed only be a few hundreds! In only a few million years’ time, Enki reckoned, Ape-Man was going to evolve into an intelligent, versatile being like the Anunnaki were! Ape-Man and the Anunnaki were of the same genetic seed!
At some stage, the Anunnaki miners began to grumble about the exertions of underground mining. Like the naturally sympathetic man he was, Enki thought a way had to be found to relieve the toil of the Anunnaki miners not through mechanical means anymore but by organic means. So Enki and Ningishzidda embarked on the endeavour to bring about improved creatures through not only tampering with the genetic order of Ape-Man but also by mixing two life forms. The ancient historian Berossus gives us a hint of what transpired in Enki’s laboratories in the following words:
“Creatures appeared with two wings, some with four and two faces. They had one body but two heads, the one of a man, the other of a woman. They were likewise in their several organs both male and female. Others had legs and horns of goats. Some had horses’ feet; others had limbs of a horse behind, but in front were fashioned like men, resembling hippocentaurs. Bulls likewise bred there with the heads of men; and dogs with fourfold bodies, and the tails of fishes. Also horses with the heads of dogs. In short, there were creatures with the limbs of every species of animals.”
Enki and Ningishzidda finally were close to coming up with a perfect hybrid creature and it was at this stage that Enki contrived a miners’ go-slow to get Enlil to come over to the Abzu so he could coax him into giving the nod to the creation of a LULU AMELU, a primitive worker, to “bear the yoke on the gods’ behalf”.
“LET US CREATE A WORKER RACE”
In the 40th shar, or 144,000 years since the Anunnaki arrival on Earth, Ninurta, who was in charge of Badtibira, noted that shipments of ores had become less frequent. Concerned, Ninurta filed a report to his dad at Nippur. Enlil immediately instructed him to travel to the Abzu (Africa) to investigate.
When Ninurta arrived in modern-day Zimbabwe (then called Ophir, the root word for Afur-ika, or Africa), he was met by mining superintendent Ennugi. His uncle Enki, the overall overseer of mining operations, was nowhere to be seen. Ninurta supposed the reason production had plummeted could be put to Enki’s seeming detachment. Little, if at all, did he know that the curtailed production was deliberately designed by Enki!
Ennugi reported to Ninurta that the Anunnaki miners were on a go-slow, which was now verging on a complete downing of the tools. They found the excavation toil just too arduous and taxing. After all, they were not miners by trade: they were astronauts. They had auxiliary instrumentation at their disposal all right, but this only minimally lessened the strain. Ninurta asked where Enki was as he was best suited to address the miners’ grievances. Ennugi told him Enki was not even based in Zimbabwe anymore: he spent the bulk of his time in modern-day East Africa, where he had set up a research facility to whet his scientific appetite.
Ninurta radioed Enki to alert him of the gravity of the crisis at hand. To Ninurta’s surprise, Enki responded that even he was not in a position to defuse it; only Enlil as Earth’s Chief Executive could. Enlil was forthwith sent for and wasted no time in flying over.
Enlil, the Bible’s Jehovah/Yahweh, arrived in Zimbabwe with guns blazing. He was fuming and snorting: heads were certainly going to roll. The miners’ gesture amounted to treason, he charged: if sufficient quantities of gold were not being shipped to Nibiru, the planet itself would be sabotaged, with incalculable losses of lives from the Ozone breach. But if Enlil thought by flexing executive muscle he was throwing a deterrent scare into the miners, he was in for a rude shock. For the moment he arrived, the miners upped the ante: they set all the mining tools on fire, besieged his residence near the mining plant, and swore they were not going to let him go back to the Edin till he had issued instructions that they be put on a spaceship back home.
At once staggered and humiliated, Enlil summoned Enki from his East African base. Enki arrived with his son Ningishzidda, followed by Ninmah. Enlil wondered to Enki what on Earth was happening; Ninurta had already intimated to his father that Enki’s laid-back approach to supervision had precipitated the rowdy indiscipline that was now in evidence. Enki said the miners were not being insubordinate: their gripe was understandable and their direct supervisor Ennugi would be the first to vouch for this. Indeed, when Ennugi was fetched to give his side of the story, he sided with the miners. “Ever since Earth’s heat has been rising, the toil is excruciating, unbearable it is,” he stated according to Enki’s reminiscences (The Anunnaki had come to Earth during an Ice Age). Ninurta too was sympathetic with the plight of the miners. “Let the rebels to Nibiru return,” he suggested. “Let new ones come in their stead.”
Enlil of course would not countenance such a course of action: it would reflect a jelly-kneed cave-in by the planet’s ultimate authority. So turning to Enki, he implored: “Perchance new tools you can fashion? For the Anunnaki Heroes the tunnels to avoid?” In other words, Enlil was suggesting that Enki create robots to mine the gold on behalf of the Anunnaki! Enki excused himself to confer with his son Ningishzidda. Father and son huddled in a corner and after deliberating for some while, they came up with a humdinger of a suggestion which Enki announced thus to the assembly: “Let us create a LULU AMELU, a primitive worker the hardship work to take over. Let the Being the toil of the Anunnaki carry on his back!”
Enlil and others were nonplussed. How feasible was such an idea? they wondered. On her part, Ninmah averred: “The task is unheard of! All Beings from a seed have descended, one being from another over eons did develop, none from nothing came!” With an ironic twinkle in his eye, Enki replied: “A secret of the Abzu let me to you reveal: the Being that we need, it already exists! All that we have to do is put on it the mark of our essence!”
Does Enki’s statement ring a bell? Well, this is what GENESIS 1:26 reads: “And God said let us make man in our own image and likeness”. Now, the term translated “God” in the verse is actually “ELOHIM” in the Hebrew original. Elohim is a plural term (the singular is “El” or “Eloah”) and it was another name for the top-brass Anunnaki, the so-called Pantheon of the 12 and their immediate families. By “essence”, Enki was referring to what the Anunnaki called the “TE’EMA”. And what was this Te’ema? It was what we today call DNA, which indeed is life’s essence! In short, Enki was saying all the Anunnaki had to do was graft their genes onto the “Being” he was talking about, thereby binding their image and likeness on it and thus enabling it to behave and act intelligently.
The being in question was none other than Homo Erectus.
In recent years, using personal devices in working environments has become so commonplace it now has its own acronym, BOYD (Bring Your Own Device). 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. 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. Yet, despite still managing to be successful in terms of sales, the 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 £18,000 (around P ¼ 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 which 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 didn’t even have a website, but fraudsters were able to run stolen credit card numbers through the company’s payment system and reverse the charges to the tune of $27,000, around the same loss faced by Si-Iwli. As the WSJ put it, the hackers completely destroyed the company, forcing its owners to fold.
And in May 2019, the city of Baltimore’s 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 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. 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 employees’ 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. 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. 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. Out of the physical workplace, your employees’ 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 employees’ productivity. 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, 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 clients’ 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. Then there is ransomware, a type of malware used by hackers to specifically take control of a system’s data, blocking access or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid such as the one which affected Baltimore. Ransomware attacks are on the increase, predicted to occur every 14 seconds, potentially costing billions of dollars per year.
Lastly there is phishing – the cyber equivalent of the metaphorical fishing exercise – whereby cybercriminals attempt to obtain sensitive data –usernames, passwords, credit card details –usually 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, consult your IT security consultants. You can’t put the own-device genie back in the bottle but you can make data protection one of your three wishes!
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 had a sudden premonition that pointed to Diana’s imminent fate as per Christopher Andersen’s book The Day Diana Died. “When the vision struck me, it was as if everything around me was obscured and replaced by shadowy figures,” Williams was later to reminisce. “In 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.”
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. “I have never seen him so upset,” Mary recounted. “He felt he was given a sign and when he came back from his walk he was deeply shaken.”
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. He took a statement and immediately passed it on to the Special Branch Investigative Unit.
The report read as follows:
“On 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.”
Williams, General, was spot-on as usual: four days later, the princess was no more.
Meanwhile, General, 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: “In The Independent Diana was described as ‘a woman with fundamentally nothing to say about anything’. She was ‘suffering from a form of arrested development’. ‘Isn’t it time she started using her head?’ asked The Mail on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror printed a special supplement entitled ‘A Story of Love’; The News of the World claimed that William had demanded that Diana should split from Dodi: ‘William can’t help it, he just doesn’t like the man.’ William was reportedly ‘horrified’ and ‘doesn’t think Mr Fayed is good for his mother’ – 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 psychiatrist’s chair for daring to be wooed by a Muslim. The pop-psychologist Oliver James put Diana ‘On the Couch’, asking why she was so ‘depressed’ and desperate for love. Other tabloids piled in with dire prognostications – about Prince Philip’s hostility to the relationship, Diana’s prospect of exile, and the social ostracism she would face if she married Dodi.”
DIANA AND DODI AT THE RITZ
Before Diana and Dodi departed the Villa Windsor sometime after 16 hrs, General, one of Dodi’s 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. “Well, eventually we will be going out to a restaurant”, that was all Diana said. Without advance knowledge of exactly what restaurant that was, Trevor and his colleagues’ hands were tied: they could not do a recce on it as was standard practice for the security team of a VIP principal. 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. 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. Diana called at least two people, her clairvoyant friend Rita Rogers and her favourite journalist Richard Kay of The Daily Mail.
Rita, General, 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 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. “But Diana, remember what I told Dodi,” Rita said somewhat reprovingly. Diana a bit apprehensively replied, “Yes I remember. I will be careful. I promise.” Well, she did not live up to her promise as we shall soon unpack General.
As for Richard Kay, Diana made known to him that, “I 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.”
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“TELL ME YES” RING IS DELIVERED
Since the main object of their Paris trip was to pick up the “Tell Me Yes” engagement ring 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. 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, had decided to travel all the way from his home in Monaco and momentarily open it for the sake of the potentially highly lucrative Dodi transaction. Alberto, however, disappointed Dodi as the ring he had chosen was not the one he produced. The one he showed Dodi was pricier and perhaps more exquisite but Dodi was adamant that he wanted the exact one he had ordered as that was what Diana herself had picked. It was a ploy 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. 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 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. 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 may have been a purely romantic as opposed to a prestigious choice for her.
The value of the ring, which was found on a wardrobe shelf in Dodi’s apartment after the crash, 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 Repossi’s 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, Dodi and Diana left the Ritz and headed for Dodi’s 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 Delorm and showed him the engagement ring. “Dodi came into my kitchen,” Delorm relates. “He looked into the hallway to check that Diana couldn’t hear and reached into his pocket and pulled out the box … He said, ‘Rene, I’m going to propose to the princess tonight. Make sure that we have champagne on ice when we come back from dinner’.” Rene described the ring as “a 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 box”.
Just before 9 pm, Dodi called the brother of his step-father, Hassan Yassen, who also was staying at the Ritz 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, Dodi’s dad, and make known to him their pre-nuptial intentions. “They called me and said we’re coming back (to London) on Sunday (August 31) and on Monday (September 1) they are
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).
‘The 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’an (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 one’s belief in Allah’s 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 ‘full service’. This ‘service’ 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 ‘rest’ 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 Allah’s 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: “All actions done by a human being are his own except fasting, which belongs to Me and I will reward it accordingly.” 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 ‘proper’ manner. This is because every Muslim is required to make his worship perfect. For example perfection of fasting can be achieved through restraint of one’s 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: “On 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: ‘I am fasting!’”
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 year’s 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 one’s 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 Allah’s pleasure, self-discipline and sacrifice become part of his nature.
The month of Ramadan can aptly be described as a “season of worship.” Fasting is the main aspect of worship in this month, because people are more attentive to their prayers, read the Qur’an 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.