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“Depart Earth”

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER   
 

King Anu issues evacuation decree as catastrophic globalwide flood looms

As the merciless Ice Age tightened its grip and mankind continued to reel from starvation and famine, a flint-hearted Enlil, the Bible’s primary Jehovah/Yahweh, simply looked the other way in a gloating fashion.

 

The kindly Enki approached and implored him: “Let us the Earthlings pond- and canal-building teach, let them from the seas fish and sustenance obtain!” Enlil outrightly rejected the plea. In fact, he underlined to the pantheon that under no circumstances should any of the Anunnaki bigwigs have anything to do with ameliorating the plight of mankind. “This by decree I forbid!  Let the Earthlings by hunger and pestilence perish!” Enki in particular was told he would be closely watched in case he deviated from upholding this declaration.     


Mankind was in a bind. The Anakim, the giant offspring of the Nephilim and their human spouses, had now proliferated and like mankind they too were on their own. They resorted to plundering the little food that mankind had to spare by way of bluster. They would lay siege to a particular human settlement and extort foodstuffs from them on pain of death. As such, mankind came to dub them “locusts”. Locusts, as you may be aware, can swarm a whole field in their billions and eat up all the vegetation in it till only bare ground remains.

 

Then came crunch time, when mankind could not spare a crumb for the Anakim. The Anakim now resorted to feeding on humans themselves, a propensity humans replicated by desperate necessity when they too began to feed on each other. It is this cannibalistic bent that gave “giants” the reputation of man-eaters in legends and folk stories that survive to this day.


By this time, Noah, who was not aware Enki was his real father, was a grown man. He had inherited Enki’s most distinguishing trait – boundless compassion.  As a priest, Noah lived a life of privilege but his heart bled for ordinary mankind. It reached a stage where he could no longer stand the misery that he was seeing all around him and so moved from Shuruppak, where he was based, to Eridu, Enki’s cult city.

 

There, he set up abode in a cottage behind Enki’s Temple, as royal Anunnaki homes were called.  Every day, Noah “wept, bringing oblations in the morning and at night giving attention to dreams”, in the hope that through this medium Enki might convey instructions to him which would serve to allay the hardships mankind was facing. Noah relentlessly bid Enki to try and prevail over his step brother Enlil to exercise mercy on the suffering and dying masses.


Initially, Enki, who was yoked to Enlil’s no-reach-out-and-touch decree, remained dismissively silent. In fact, he began to absent himself from his home, sailing in the marshlands throughout the day as Noah’s tears gave him a lump in the throat. But Noah was not giving up: noting that Enki now had become a scarce commodity, he built a makeshift cabin right on the banks of the river so that the moment Enki came ashore, whether this be at dusk or midnight, he would run to him, throw himself at his feet, and petition him to get Enlil to relax his hand vis-a-vis the fate of mankind.    

ENKI DEFIES ENLIL

Unable to stand the pestering of Noah anymore, Enki finally hearkened. He called Noah, along with some of his advisors, into his inner sanctums and dubbing his eyes with a handkerchief explained to him how of the pantheon he had gallantly opposed Enlil but in vain. Then after sitting in silence for a long while, he announced that that he was going to defy Enlil anyway.

 

He there and then radioed his trusted lieutenants across the globe and made known  to them that as the official “God of the Sea” – Oanness in Greek – he  was giving the green light for mankind to fish from the seas. All the aerial and maritime patrols that had been in place to ensure mankind did not come near the sea were to be suspended forthwith.   In addition, mankind was to be provided with corn from strategic reserves which continued to sustain the Anunnaki.


The stampede was of apocalyptic proportions. It was like the opening up of the sluice gates. The swoop on the bodies of brine was such that some people died in the very frenzy. The pro-Enki Anunnaki joined in the fray too: using sophisticated, mechanised fishing equipment, they came up with huge hauls just to help mankind. 

 

Obviously, such frantic mass activity could not escape Enlil for long. When he got wind of it, he was furious. He there and then summoned Enki to Nippur and before the whole ruling assembly tore into him for his treachery, for being in breach of the surveillance and containment plans. “Just what’s wrong with you Enki?” he snorted. “Why can’t you listen to me for a change? I know you are older than me but I’m senior in rank, mandated to discharge my due functions by King Anu. It’s time you came to terms with that inalienable truth Enki.”


Enki’s terse response was that if Enlil were in his shoes, he would be just as empathetic: it was he, Enki, who created mankind and it was therefore natural to feel for them. Enlil angrily retorted that what Enki had created were second-rate beings who were so dumb and unruly that he, Enlil, was made to spend sleepless nights just to ram sanity into them and bring them in line.

 

“You cannot pride yourself on fashioning such imbecilic beings,” Enlil charged. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself Enki. Look at how your Lulu’s  have multiplied and filled every inch of the globe, all  because the only think they could ever be good at is having sex. You created beings, Enki, whose brains reside not in their skulls but in their groins.”    


Enlil once again restated his earlier decree: mankind, the Nephilim, and the Anakim were to be left to their own devices. Their fate was extermination arising from hunger and disease. If any one single “god” so much as extended a charitable hand to them, he would incur the full wrath of he Enlil.  

NIBIRU THREAT HAS ANU ORDER ANUNNAKI EVACUATION

This time around, Enki steeled himself and stoically bore the suffering of his own creation for a much longer time. Whilst deep down he was aching and seething and Noah was relentless in badgering him to take the desperately needed remedial action, he remained aloof for fear of ruffling Enlil’s feathers. Everything has a limit though and in the seventh shar after the onset of the Ice Age, Enki once again buckled.


Mankind was “starving and disintegrating”. They were “like ghosts of the dead”. Enki just could not bear the sight of these wraith-like human figures. At the time, mankind was now worshipping the Anunnaki gods formally, in the manner we do today. Wherever they were, they would congregate once in a while and air intercessions and supplications to the Anunnaki, particularly Enlil, Enki, Ninmah and Marduk although the Enkites as a rule abhorred the rite of worship. Humans were doing this out of sheer desperation in the hope that their “gods” might hear them and do something to put an end to their woes.  


Enki assembled all the Enkites and loyal elders at his mansion at Eridu and pronounced these instructions: "Make a loud noise in the land. Send out heralds to command all the people: ‘Do not revere your gods, do not pray to your goddesses.  There is to be total disobedience!” In other words, Enki decided to force the abolition of religion so that mankind should not remain in a docile, long-suffering state but actualise the inert power in him and become more militant. What this amounted to was an instigation to rise up against Enlil and his fellow Enlilites, who had introduced religion in the time of Seth’s son Enosh.  


Enlil of course knew who was behind the whole humdrum and wasted no time in summoning the ever intractable Enki before the Assembly of the Gods. For much of the meeting, Enki and Enlil exchanged caustic words, Enki in defence of his actions and Enlil spewing venom at him for his intransigence.


Meanwhile, Nibiru was in its way back to the Solar System ecliptic in its 3600-year orbital journey around the Sun and its preliminary effects were already being felt. Using seismological instruments, Ninurta had already detected “quakes and jitters” in the Earth’s crust. Perhaps the most chilling of developments was a report submitted to the Assembly of the Gods by Enki’s second-born son Nergal and his wife Ereshkigal, who were based at Cape Agulhas, the astronomical, climate and Earth-monitoring station in South Africa.

 

They had just returned from the Antarctica and had found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet was slipping and was already at its most precarious angle in relation to the sea. What that meant was that the gravitational tug of a nearing Nibiru was certain to dislodge it into the sea, causing an apocalyptic globalwide flood.


Shortly after receiving the Antarctic Report, Enlil filed his own to King Anu on Nibiru thus: “The next time Nibiru the Sun shall be nearing, Earth to Nibiru's net force (gravity) exposed shall be, Lahmu (Mars) in its circuits on the Sun's other side shall a station take. From the net force of Nibiru Earth in the heavens protection shall not have, Kishar (Jupiter) and its host agitated shall be, Lahamu (Venus) shall also shake and wobble.

 

In Earth's great Below (southern hemisphere), the snow-ice of the Whiteland (Antarctica) its footing is losing; the next time Nibiru the closest to Earth shall approach, the snow-ice off the Whiteland's surface shall come a-sliding. A watery calamity it shall cause: by a huge wave, a Deluge, the Earth will be overwhelmed”!


After studying the report and following consultations with his advisors, King Anu made the decision that both Earth and Mars were to be evacuated and all the Anunnaki were to return to Nibiru. The gold mines in Africa and the smelting and refining facilities at Badtibira were to be shut down. All the Earth-based Anunnaki were to abandon their postings and converge at Sippa, the space station.

 

King Anu was to dispatch a fleet of “celestial chariots” (shuttlecraft) to transport the Anunnaki to the Mothership and onward to Nibiru. Of course all this would not happen overnight: it would take several years for preparations to be made, which in Anunnaki time amounted to mere weeks.

GALZU’S STAY-THE-COURSE MESSAGE

During these hectic days, a most interesting virtuoso of a being touched down at the spaceport at Sippar unannounced. Spaceport commander Utu-Shamash promptly got in touch with Enlil so that he meets him as Earth’s Chief Executive. The gray-haired being, who looked Anunnaki in every respect and sounded like a sage, introduced himself as Galzu, meaning “Great Soul”. He said he was coming from Nibiru as King Anu’s “emissary plenipotentiary” and had a special message to deliver. He asked that Enki and Ninmah also be present to hear the message.


Galzu raised suspicions in the mind of Enlil as Enlil had not received advanced notice from King Anu as to Galzu’s mission. Naturally, Enlil demanded that he shows his bonafides. Galzu produced a sealed and encrypted digital message and handed it to Enlil. Having opened and examined the message tablet, the IT experts at Nippur found that it indeed was consistent with other such tablets they had received from King Anu before: it was authentic and its coding was aboveboard. There was no need to request a confirmation from King Anu.  The message from King Anu in part said, “For King and Council Galzu speaks, his words are my command”.


Enlil then sent for Enki and Ninmah, who were prompt in their arrival. The first thing Galzu noted about Ninmah was how old she looked when she and him had, so he said,  gone to school together on Nibiru at some stage. “Do you remember me Ninmah?” Galzu asked. “We’re of the same age and were classmates.” On her part, Ninmah could not remotely remember the man, who thanks to the slowed biological clocks on Nibiru looked young enough to be her son.


Galzu said he had been sent to Earth to deliver final instructions about the Anunnaki evacuation from Earth ahead of the now near-at-hand Deluge that was certain to arise from the Antarctic Ice Sheet’s precipitate slippage into the Antarctic Sea.   It was not in the interests of the three to return to Nibiru as they simply would be returning to their death. Galzu said when Dumuzi came to Nibiru with Adapa and stayed there for one shar, his body chemistry was closely studied and it was found that if he stayed longer, he would die way much earlier than he could if he stayed on Earth. This was because having lived on Earth for all his life, his biological processes were now attuned to Earth’s circadian rhythms and were not amenable to Nibiru’s.


Galzu went on to say all the Anunnaki who had returned to Nibiru after their tour of duty had died after living for only a few shars. “Those who on Earth the longest stayed by the returning harshly were afflicted: their bodies to Nibiru's cycles were accustomed no longer, their sleep was disturbed, their eyesight was failing, the net force of Nibiru weighted their walk,” Galzu said. “Their minds were also affected, as sons were older than the parents they had left! Death, my comrades, to the returnees quickly came; of that I am here a warning to give!”

ENLIL OUTRAGED AT CONFINEMENT TO EARTH

 In a nutshell, Galzu’s message was that Enki, Enlil and Ninmah were to spend their entire lives on  Earth, where they stood a better chance of living longer than they would on Nibiru: they would return to  Nibiru only when staring death in the face so that the last rites were read on the planet of their origin. As such, they should ride out the Deluge and begin life on a new slate once the waters had receded. But the rest of the Anunnaki could return to Nibiru if they so chose.


“Now this is the secret command from Nibiru,” Galzu proceeded. “The three of you on Earth will remain; only to die to Nibiru you will return! In celestial chariots, the Earth encircling, the calamity you shall outwait; to each of the other Anunnaki, a choice to leave or the calamity outwait must be given. The Igigi who Earthlings espoused must between departure and spouses choose: no Earthling, Marduk's Sarpanit included, to Nibiru to journey is allowed! For all who stay and what happens see, in celestial chariots they safety must seek! As for all the others, to depart for Nibiru forthwith they ready must be.”


Enlil was furious as the implications were profound. If he was now confined to Earth, it meant he would no longer inherit the Sirian-Orion throne and he would have to continue contending with Marduk for supremacy on Earth. He ranted to Galzu that he regretted having come to this planet, which Enki and the Lulu’s he created had turned into a cesspit. He didn’t know that as a master, he would become the slave to slaves (Earthlings) and that he would end up being imprisoned on this backward planet.


Galzu listened to him sympathetically.  His response at long last was a philosophical one. Was the Anunnaki mission to Earth a matter of fate, which was avoidable, or destiny, which was unavoidable? “On Nibiru much thinking and soul-searching deep questions were being raised,” he said soothingly. “Should Nibiru to its fate have been left (when need arose to plug the Ozone hole with a canopy of gold particles)? Or was the coming to Earth by the Creator of All (God) conceived and we only unwitting emissaries? Of that, my comrades, the debate will continue!” Enlil cursed under his breath. But was Galzu indeed the genuine article he presented himself as or simply an impostor?

NEXT WEEK: ENKI’S BOAT OF SALVATION

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A Begrudged Child

21st June 2022

Princess Diana was at once a child of destiny and a victim of fate

It is no secret, General Atiku, that the British monarch constitutes one of the most moneyed families on this scandalously uneven planet of the perennial haves on the one hand and the goddamn havenots (such as you and me General) on the other hand.

In terms of residences alone, the House of Windsor lays claim to some 19 homes, some official, such as Buckingham Place and Windsor Castle, for instance, and the greater majority privately owned.
Arguably the most eminent of its private residences is Sandringham House at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England.

It is at this sprawling, 8,100-hectare estate the Queen spends two months each winter, at once commemorates her father King George VI’s death and her own accession to the throne, and more often than not celebrates Christmas. King George VI and his father King George V both drew their last breath here.

A 19th century Prince of Wales, Albert Edward (who would later become King Edward VII), acquired Sandringham in 1862 and it has remained royal property ever since. On the death of King George VI in February 1952, the property passed to his successor Queen Elizabeth II, the incumbent monarch, who assigned her husband Prince Phillip its management and upkeep. The estate also houses a parish, St. Mary Magdalene Church, which the outwardly religious Queen attends every Sunday.

Albert, General, had several additional properties built on the estate the year after he acquired it, one of which was the ten-bedroomed Park House. The house was built to accommodate the overflow of guests at Sandringham House. In the 1930s, King George V leased Park House to Maurice Roche, an Irishman and a bosom friend to his second son, who at the time was Duke of York but would in future be King George VI.

Roche was the 4th Baron Fermoy, a title in the Peerage of Ireland created by Queen Victoria way back in 1856. He and his wife Ruth had three children born at Park House, the second-born of whom was Frances Ruth Roche (futuristically Frances Shand Kydd), born in January 1936.

In 1956, Frances married John Spencer, a fellow noble, and following an “uneasy spell” at Althorp, the Spencer family estate of 500 years, the couple took up residence at Park House, which would be their home for the next 19 years. On July 1, 1961, Frances, then aged 25, and John, then aged 37, welcomed into the world their thirdborn child and youngest daughter, Diana Frances Spencer.

She would, on a positive note, become Her Royal Highness Princess Diana of Wales and the most famous and popular member of the Royal family. On the flip side of the coin, she would, as you well know General, become the most tragic member of the Royal family.

GIRL CHILD WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN A BOY

If there was one thought that constantly nagged at Diana as a youngster, General, it was the “guilt” of having been born anyway. Her parents first had two daughters in succession, namely Elizabeth Sarah, born in 1955, and Cynthia Jane, born in 1957. Johnnie was displeasured, if not downright incensed, that his wife seemed incapable of producing a male child – a heir – who he desperately needed as an aristocrat.

He even took the trouble of having his wife see a series of doctors in a bid to establish whatever deficiency she possessed in her genetic make-up and whether it was possible to correct it. At the time, General, it was not known that it is the man who determines a child’s sex and not the woman.

John’s prayers, if we can call them that General, were as much answered as they were unanswered. The longed-for male heir was born on January 12, 1960. Named John after his father, he was, as per the official version of things, practically stillborn, being so piteously deformed and gravely ill that he was dead in a matter of only ten hours, a development of which Earl Spencer would in future remark thus, albeit with tongue-in-cheek: “It was a dreadful time for my parents and probably the root of their divorce because I don’t think they ever got over it.”

Again as per the official version, General, John was gutted and hurriedly got into stride, this time around utterly positive that having had two daughters in succession, it would be two sons in succession. But nature, General, is seldom that predictable or orderly.

The next child was in fact a daughter, the now iconic Diana, for the third time around. Although John is recorded as having marvelled at what a “perfect physical specimen” her newly-born daughter was, he was forlorn beneath the façade, as a result of which Diana, who as a child did sense a lingering frustration on the part of her father on her account, would openly intuit that she was an unwelcome child, a “nuisance to have around”, thanks to her “failure” to be born a boy. From a very age thus, General, Diana had concluded that she was not well-fated and presciently so!

Although the heir, Charles Spencer (the future Earl Spencer) finally arrived on May 20, 1964, Diana perceived very little if any change in the way she was contemplated by her parents. In fact, both she and Charles could not desist from wondering whether had John lived, they would have been born at all. Seemingly, they came to be simply because their father was desperate for a heir and not necessarily that he wanted two more children.  With the birth of Charles, General, John called it a day as far as the process of procreation was concerned.

GODDESS OF THE HUNT

Why was Diana so named, General? Throughout her life, it was taken as an article of faith that her name derived from Lady Diana Spencer, a member of the Spencer clan who lived between 1710 and 1735, dying at a pitifully tender age of only 25. Certainly, the two namesakes turned out to have precious much in common as we shall unpack at a later stage, as if the latter-day Diana’s life was deliberately manoeuvred to more or less sync with the ancestral Diana.

It emerged, however, General, that the connection to an ancestor was actually secondary, or maybe incidental. The primary inspiration of the name was at long last disclosed by Earl Spencer on September 7, 1997, the day of Princess Diana’s burial. Delivering the elegantly crafted eulogy, Earl Spencer had this to say in relation to her naming: “It is a point to remember that of all the ironies about Diana, perhaps the greatest was this – a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age.”

It is significant, if not curious, General, that of John’s three daughters, only Diana was given the name of a goddess. Clearly, there must have been a special reason for this as aristocrats do not confer names casually: every name carries a metaphorical, symbolic, or intentional message. Typically, it honours an iconic personage or spirit or somebody lesser but who evokes memories anyway.

Elizabeth Sarah, for instance, was in all probability named after the Queen’s mother, whose decades-long inner circle included Diana’s paternal and maternal grandmothers, and an ancestor going by the name Sarah Jennings (1760-1744). Charles Spencer was named after the family’s greatest forbearer, King Charles 1 of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625-1649. The ill-fated John was of course named after his father, who in turn was likely named after the 5th Earl Spencer, John Poyntz Spencer (1835-1910).

On occasion in occultic families, as the Spencer family latterly have been, a name, General, connotes a bad futuristic omen associated with its bearer and that was precisely the case with Diana.

THE FIRST DIANA

In its ancient rendering, the name Diana meant “The Heavenly One”, or goddess being a feminine style. The first Diana, General, was Inanna, an Anunnaki goddess whose Akkadian name was Ishtar – Esther in English. As you well know General, the Anunnaki are the Old Testament gods, Aliens from the planet Nibiru, the Solar System’s little-known planet which is seen only once in 3600 years, and who came to Earth 432,000 years ago as we comprehensively set down in the Earth Chronicles series.

The name Inanna is Sumerian, the Sumerians being the best-known civilisation of old who thrived around modern-day Iraq (called Sumer in ancient times) about 6000 years ago and who were indirectly governed by the Anunnaki. It was abbreviated from Nin-An-Ak, meaning “Lady of Heaven and Earth” or “Lady of the God of Heaven and Earth”.

She was so-called, General, not because she had particularly special godly qualities but owing to the fact that she was the earthly mistress of Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”, the King of the planet Nibiru, which humans of the day perceived as Heaven.

Anu was the father of Enlil, the principal Jehovah of the Bible. Enlil in turn had a second-born son called Nannar-Sin, the first Anunnaki to be born on Earth and who eventually became the Allah of Islam. It was Sin who fathered Inanna. Thus Inanna was Anu’s great-granddaughter but every time he visited Earth, Anu was sexually entertained by the stunningly beautiful Inanna, an act which in Anunnaki culture was not frowned upon.

Inanna was amongst other appellations known as the Goddess of Hunting (because of her penchant for, and skill in, waging war) and the Goddess of Love (in the sense of licentious love-making and not conventional moral love). Her other names in different parts of the world and across the ages were Irnin; Anunitu (Beloved of Anu); Aphrodite; Ashtoreth; Astarte; and Artemis, to mention only a few.

Although her celestial counterpart was the planet Venus, she was also loosely associated with the constellation Virgo as well as the moon. Once upon a time, when she was a virgin, Virgo was dedicated to her by her grandfather Jehovah-Enlil, who was Earth’s Chief Executive until circa 2024 BC. With regard to the moon, it primarily had to do with her twin brother Utu-Shamash, whose celestial counterpart was the sun: as such, Inanna’s inevitably had to be the moon. That, however, was only in a putative sense in that the operative moon god of the day was her father Sin.

Since moonlight effectively turns darkness into relative daylight, Inanna has in legends been referred to as Diana Lucifera, the latter term meaning “light-bringer”. Inanna’s association with the moon, General, partly explains why she was called the “Heavenly One” since the moon is a heavenly body, that is, a firmament-based body. It also explains why she was also known as Luna, which is Latin for moon.

A STEERED LIFE FOR GOOD OR ILL

Now, children of royals, aristocrats and other such members of high society, General, are invariably named before they are born. True, when a Prince William or Prince George comes along, the word that is put out into the public domain is that several names have been bandied about and the preferred one will “soon be announced”. That, General, is utter hogwash.

No prince, princess, or any other member of the nobility for that matter, is named at or sometime after their birth. Two names, a feminine and a masculine one, are already finalised whilst the child is in the womb, so that the name the child eventually goes by will depend on no other factor beside its gender.

Princess Diana, General, was named a full week after her birth, as if consultations of some sort with certain overarching figures had to be concluded first and foremost. Apparently, the broader outlines of her future first had to be secretly mapped out and charted in the manner of a child of destiny, though in her case she was as much a child of destiny as she was a doomed child. In her childhood reminiscences, Diana does hint at having been tipped to the effect that she was a special child and therefore had to scrupulously preserve herself.

“I always felt very different from somebody else, very detached,” she told her biographer Andrew Morton as per his 1992 book Diana Her True Story – In Her Own Words. “I knew I was going somewhere different but had no idea where. I said to my father when I was 13, ‘I know I am going to marry someone in the public eye’.” That, General, speaks volumes on the deliberately designed grooming she was subjected to in the formative years of her pilgrimage in life.

Since it was repeatedly drummed in her highly impressionable mind that there was something big in store for her along the way, Diana, General, remained chaste throughout her upbringing, if not an outright virgin to in all probability conform to the profile of the goddess Diana/Inanna before she exploded into a lecherous, loose-mannered nymphomaniac in her adult life as we underscored in the Earth Chronicles series. “By the time I got to the top of the school,” Diana said to Morton, “all my friends had boyfriends but not me because I knew somehow that I had to keep myself very tidy for whatever was coming my way.”

A DISPARAGED BIRTH?

Unusual for an aristocrat, General, Diana was born not in the rather apt precincts of a high-end hospital but within the banality of Park House itself. Whether hired midwives were on hand to help usher her into the world or it was only her dad, mum and closer womenfolk relations who did we can only speculate.

If for one reason or the other her parents were desirous that she be delivered at home, what secret rites did they perform as her mother’s waters broke, General? What incantations, if at all, did John utter over her? Was her birth an occultic one with all the attendant paraphernalia as opposed to a conventional one?

That Diana’s arrival was not a particularly cherished event, General, is evidenced by the fact that she was christened within the Sandringham Estate, at St. Mary Magdalene Church, with only well-to-do commoners in attendance, whereas the more prized child, her younger brother Charles, was christened at Westminster Abbey, in the presence of the Queen, who was designated as his principal godmother.

Anyhow, it was just as well, General, that it was in the hallowed environs of St. Mary Magdalene Church that Diana was committed to the “The Lord” as she was in a manner of speaking the Mary Magdalene of our day.

NEXT WEEK: A FAMILY THAT DABBLED IN WITCHCRAFT

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Challenges in our lives

21st June 2022

Allah Almighty reminds us: ‘On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear’ (Qur’an 2:286). Also: “Be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are the patient.” [Qur’an 8: 46].

Without fail, whether we like it or not there are times in our lives when many things seem to go wrong and as mere humans we go into a panic syndrome and are left wondering; why me? Why now? What have I done to deserve this? We are all tested with adversity, hard times and pain, but these tribulations are the Almighty’s way of transforming us and help us develop spiritually.

As mere humans we all have different reactions when something good or bad happens to us, and usually our reactions depend on the strength of our religious belief and of our righteous deeds and actions.

One person may receive blessings and goodness with gratitude and accepts the bad challenges and patches in his life with perseverance and endurance. This positive attitude brings him peace of mind and happiness, causing his grief, anxiety and misery to ease. Thus, this positivity brings a balance and contentment in his life.

On the other hand another person receives blessings and goodness with arrogance and transgression; his manners degenerate and become evil; he receives this goodness and utilizes it in an unthinking and uncaring manner; it does not give him any peace of mind as his mind is always distressed, nervous and restless.

Thus when faced with loss and difficulty, due to his arrogant nature, he begins to ask why me? What have I done to deserve this and he may even damn and curse others and thinks that they are plotting his downfall.

But every now and then we should stop to ponder over the blessings both apparent and hidden from The Almighty upon us, it is only then that we will realise that our Lord has granted us abundant blessings and protected us from a number of evils; this will certainly ease our grief and anxiety and bring about a measure of happiness and contentment.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Look to those who are lower than you (those who possess less than you) and do not look to those higher than you; this will make you appreciate the bounties of Allah upon you.”

Whether we are believers or disbelievers, virtuous or sinful, most of us are to a certain degree able to adapt and condition ourselves to face adversity and remain calm during these moments of challenge, uncertainty and upheaval.

When people receive affliction with fear, discontent, sorrow and despair; their life becomes miserable, they panic and become short tempered. Such people are unable to exercise patience remain restless, stressed and cannot find contentment that could make life easier for them.

On the other hand, due to a believer’s strong faith and reliance on Allah, it makes him persevere and he emerges stronger than others in difficult situations as this reduces his fear and anxiety and that ultimately makes matters easier for him. If he is afflicted with sickness, poverty or any other affliction, he is tranquil and content and has no desire for anything which has not been decreed for him.

‘If Allah touches you with affliction, none can remove it but He; if He touches you with happiness, He has power over all things’ (Qur’an 6: 17).Therefore the believer prays to his Lord: ‘Our Lord, condemn us not if we forget or fall into error…lay not on us a burden greater than which we have the strength to bear’ (Qur’an 2:286)

However, the one who is weak in faith will be just the opposite; he becomes anxious, nervous, confused and full of fear. The anxiety and paranoia will team up against him because this person does not have the faith that could enable him to persevere during tough times, he is less likely to handle the pressures and will be left in a somewhat troubled and depressed state of mind.

It is natural that as humans we are always fearful of losing the things that we have acquired; we desire and cherish them and we are anxious to acquire more, because many of us will never reach a point where we are satisfied with the material things in life.

When certain frightening, disturbing or unsettling events occur, like emergencies or accidents we find that a person with sound faith is calm, steadfast, and able to cope with the situation and handle the hardship he is going through; such a person has conditioned himself to face afflictions and this makes his heart stronger and more steadfast, which gives him a level of tranquillity.

This shows the difference between a person who has strong belief and acts accordingly, and another who is not at this level of faith. Due to the strong belief of the true believer he is content with whatever Allah Almighty has decreed,

This life is full of ups and downs and uncertainties, but the only certain thing is that from the moment we are born we will be tested with life’s challenges throughout our entire lives, up to and to the final certainty, death. ‘Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, or the fruits of your toil, but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere’ (Qur’an2:155).

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “How wonderful is the matter of the believer! All of his matters are good and this is the case for nobody except a believer. If he is blessed with prosperity he thanks (Allah Almighty) and that is good for him; and if he is afflicted with adversity he is patient and perseveres and that is also good for him.”

During those challenging times you have three choices: either you can let them define you, let them destroy you; or you can let them strengthen you.

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Columns

Train Spotting

21st June 2022

Here in Botswana we are in the throes of winter chills, currently experiencing the tail-end of a deep freeze in South Africa which has brought snow to parts of the Karoo. Conversely, over in the United Kingdom, they are moving into summer and there is a mini heatwave happening, with temperatures in the thirties.

Both countries have one thing in common – they are heavily reliant on tourism revenues and both have accordingly suffered due to Covid which severely curtailed all movement and travel, most of all for leisure and pleasure. However, earlier this year the UK cast off the last of its Covid restrictions and travel requirements and basically declared the pandemic to be over. Britain was back in business!

So the very hard-hit hospitality sectors finally had some good news. The crowds would be returning, needing hotel and bed & breakfast accommodation, snacks and sit-down meals, pub lunches and all manner of ancillary services. Other related sectors also put out the metaphorical flags – theatres, cinemas, theme parks, camping & caravan sites, all of which had suffered hugely during the pandemic and all could now re-open their doors to paying punters.

If you’ve ever visited the UK you will know of its many attractions. London is not only a vibrant, multi-cultural city, it is also very historic, with centuries-old palaces and cathedrals and world-class galleries and museums. Outside the capital, there is glorious scenery, from rolling pastures in the south to the breath-taking Lake District and the Highlands and lovely lochs to the far north in Scotland plus all manner of coastal delights and cultural experiences.

For everyone even remotely involved in leisure, hospitality and entertainment, it was cash registers and swipe machines at the ready!

But then green for go suddenly and without warning changed to red for stop. It began with misery for air passengers. Only last week the UK Guardian reported ‘It has been another ” week of chaos at UK airports, with hundreds of flights cancelled and holidaymakers facing long queues, with reports of waits of up to eight hours. Pent-up demand for travel and staff shortages have combined to put pressure on airports and airlines.’

The Prospect union, which represents thousands of aviation staff, ” warned on Tuesday that “things could get worse this summer before they get better”, quoting staff shortages across the industry, with a huge reliance on overtime to get by day to day. The problem stemmed from the massive, industry-wide lay-offs over Covid and a sector seemingly taken by surprise by the lifting of travel restrictions. Airlines are now scrambling to replace staff made redundant, many of whom were forced to find employment in other sectors.

In addition some specialised staff such are aircrew had no option but to let their licences lapse and now find themselves technically not fit for flying duties. Ironically, one of the country’s largest and longest-established airline – British Airways – appears to be the one most severely affected with many of their former cabin crew members reporting that they had been laid off during the downturn with the promise of potential re-employment later but who are now being told their services are not required.

One BA pilot has warned of potential staff exodus and further delays that could last through to winter. When talking about ongoing staff shortages in the industry he predicted: “We might be correctly crewed by winter time. There is no chance this will be sorted this summer.

The last month (August) might be okay.” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps put the blame squarely on the industry for the widespread chaos, saying some airlines had cut too many staff during the pandemic. “The decisions as to whether or not to lay off in the end were airlines’ decisions. They clearly in the end, looking back, cut too far on that,” he told the BBC.

Lufthansa is also joining the party in announcing cancellations. The airline will be scrapping 900 flights from its schedule, from next month. Affected flights will predominantly be on Fridays and weekends to a number of European destinations, from Frankfurt and Munich.

The airline stated: “After …two years of the pandemic, Lufthansa group airlines report high demand for air travel this summer……At present, however, the infrastructure has not yet been fully restored. The entire aviation industry, especially in Europe, is currently suffering from bottlenecks and staff shortages. This affects airports, ground handling services, air traffic control, and also airlines.”

Of course some flights are taking place and some tourists are managing to make it into the UK on a much-needed holiday but for many of them sadly, the airport might be as far as they get because to add to the flight misery, members of two large transport union, the RMT and Unite, will bring the London Underground to a grinding halt next week with planned strike action.

Simultaneously, but in a separate dispute, other RMT members will also be staging a series of strikes on Network Rail and other mainline UK train operators. So should those tourists wish to proceed to some of the country’s top holiday destinations, they’d be well advised to seek an alternative means of transport.

Economists are already predicting this wave of strikes to cost the UK economy at least £91million, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, proving devastating for the night-time and hospitality industries in particular. Hospitality chiefs estimated the national rail strike alone will cost the sector £540million over the week amid a 20 per cent drop in sales, the combination of which will hit ‘fragile consumer confidence’ and could ‘deliver a fatal financial blow’ to some firms.

In response, Transport for London (TFL), presumably in all seriousness, said its teams from Santander Cycles will be ensuring hire bicycles are ‘distributed at key locations according to demand’ and told commuters that ‘walking or cycling may be quicker for some journeys’ during the strike action.

Sounds to me like the message is ‘On yer bike’!

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