“Son of God” wages chemical warfare in showdown between Enkites and Enlilites
The Second Pyramid War, pitying Enlilites, led by Ninurta, against Enkites, led by Marduk, “The Great Serpent”, was bloodier than the First Pyramid War, in which Seth squared up against Horus. For the first time ever, the Anunnaki employed a combination of conventional and chemical weapons, the latter of which wielded by the more callous Enlilites, the faction headed by the Bible’s main Jehovah. And as usual in wars like these where elephants tangle, it was the grass – poor Earthlings – that bore the harsher brunt. It were the foot soldiers and the totally uninvolved civilian masses who were the overwhelming victims of the carnage.
Ninurta’s onslaught on the Sinai Peninsula was so vicious and so ferocious the hugely outgunned Enkites hastily withdrew to their legal domain, the continent of Africa. When it came to pounding the enemy in high altitude, mountainous terrain, General Ninurta, the Master Blaster, was ruthless and highly effective: he wasn’t called “The God of War” simply for the fun of it. “I am the Lord of the High Mountains (El Shaddai in the Old Testament),” he would later boast. “Of the mountains which to the horizon raise their peak, I am the master.”
Retreating from the Sinai Peninsula, the Enkites perhaps pinned their hopes on much familiar ground in their African ramparts. If so, they had a rude awakening. The Enlilite attack forces were spearheaded by Ninurta and Ishkur-Adad. While Ninurta, the “Whirlwind”, led and sustained the frontal attack, Adad, the “Storm Wind”, zeroed in on the countryside behind enemy lines, destroying and disrupting both food sources and supplies.
“In the Abzu (Africa), Adad caused the fish to waste away, the cattle to be dispersed,” the Sumerian records relate. The aim was to starve the enemy combatants and thus sap their energies, thereby enervating and demoralising them into surrender if they wanted to avoid total annihilation. The Enlilites shelled, bombed, and gassed without let-up.
Although Nergal of the Enkites had opted to tread a neutral path by staying out of the war, that did not insulate him from the Enlilite wrath. Ninurta ordered a pre-emptive, thorough and decisive offensive on Nergal’s cult city Meslam as it was deemed to be potentially the strongest militarily. In doing so, Ninurta reasoned that Nergal’s non-involvement in the hostilities was in all probability a ruse: it was calculated to lure the Enlilites into a false sense of triumphalism, whereupon Nergal would spring upon them and totally obliterate their ranks.
Nergal took the assault on his city as a provocation and consequently threw down the gauntlet to join the war. By the time he did, however, a great deal of damage had been done. “The Enlilite scorched the Earth and made the rivers run red with blood of the innocent bystanders – the men, women, and children of the Abzu,” writes Zechariah Sitchin in The War of the Gods.
But Nergal was far from cowed. From his theatre of war, he gave the Enlilites as much as he took, which spread alarm in their midst. Fearing that the tables could so spectacularly turn, Ninurta, the firstborn “Son of God”, gave orders for chemical weapons to be unleashed on every inch of Nergal’s territory. These poison-bearing missiles had the effect that Nergal’s heartland was laid to waste in terms of the toll of human and animal lives.
The chemical warfare waged by the Enlilites is described in vivid imagery in the Sumerian chronicles. The particular weapon that strafed Nergal’s lands with billows of poisonous gas is called “The Weapon Which Tears Apart”. This weapon “robbed the senses” (caused people to turn mad) and “peeled the skin off”. The result was that “the canals were filled with blood for days, for dogs like milk to lick.”
Ninurta, the Bible’s “Archangel Michael”, was merciless and relentless: when droves upon droves of civilian Africans took to the mountains to escape the chemical blitz, he followed after them using what sounds like napalm bombs. “With the Weapon That Smites, he threw fire upon the mountains,” say the Sumerian records. This utter disregard for civilian wellbeing was so unconscionable Ningishzidda, who like Nergal had initially chosen not to be part and parcel of the hostilities, decided it was time he too reinforced his fighting brood.
ENKITES FORTIFY THEMSELVES IN PYRAMID
Since the Enkites were clearly on the ropes, their general Marduk finally buckled, having lost great numbers of both the foot soldiers and the civilian populace. At the urging of Enki, he ordered a unilateral ceasefire but without an outright surrender. Marduk was not a spent force yet: he was simply counting on one furious, rearguard knockout salvo from the impregnability of the “House Which Is Raised Like A Heap” – the Great Pyramid – into which all the Enkites had retreated.
But Ninurta, the Anunnaki’s “Foremost of Warrior” as was one of his acclamations, was not yet done. His aim was to capture or kill the Great Serpent. Thus he now trained his missiles on the Great Pyramid with a view to rattle the Enkites and get them to capitulate. Well, he had not counted on the genius of Enki. The “Wise Craftsman” took Nergal and Ningishzidda aside and administered to them marathon electromagnetic tips on how to secure the pyramid.
Applying these tips, Ningishzidda raised a protective electromagnetic shield around the pyramid which no firepower could penetrate, let alone what were called “Death Rays”, that is, a kind of electronic weapon that beamed deadly radiation rays. At the same time, Nergal further fortified the pyramid’s defence system by strengthening the ray-emitting crystals known as the Water Stone and the Apex Stone. What that entailed was that the Enkites were now untouchable: there was nothing Ninurta could do to get at them, finish and klaar.
Ninurta, however, was hardly at his wits ends. He was by no means outsmarted by the Enkites. Unable to inflict martial harm on the Enkites anymore, he detailed his nephew Utu-Shamash to cut off the water supply to the pyramid and to mount a hawk-eyed vigil over the pyramid precincts day and night so that anybody leaving or entering it would be taken out in a hail of military fire. This new weapon Ninurta resorted too was famishment.
The Enkites were to be made to wither from hunger and thirst. It took months though for Ninurta’s measures to begin to bite as the pyramid was substantially catered to. It was to all intents and purposes self-contained but not indefinitely so.
When the hunger and thirst began to gnaw away at the men in the Ekur, the Enkites decided that Horus, the youngest of the Enkite pantheon, should steal out at the head of a small party to look for rations. In the dead of night, when the Enlilites were expected to have let their guard down a bit, Horus and a few men accordingly sneaked out of the pyramid, he himself disguised as a ram, the emblem of Marduk.
But Shamash was no simpleton: he was quick to read through the Horus hoax and when the young god and his men had gotten to just beyond the range of the electromagnetic fence, Ninurta gave orders to “blast him with fire”. This was not literal fire but a kind of precision laser beam unleashed from Ninurta’s “Brilliant Weapon”. As such, Horus was not blown to smithereens but simply lost an eye.
The moment Horus was so injured, the men around him radioed Enki inside the pyramid. Enki in turn radioed a neutral Ninmah, the Anunnaki’s Chief Medical Officer, to rush over and attend to the young god’s injuries before they aggravated. Ninurta was deeply opposed to the idea of his highly cherished mother “entering alone in Enemyland” but Ninmah was adamant that she just had to proceed and save the young Enkite’s life.
Ninurta at last caved in but not before he provided her with “clothes which should make her unafraid”, which was simply anti-radiation apparel. Ninurta immediately ordered a suspension of hostilities so as not to unduly put his mother in harm’s way.
NINMAH INITIATES PEACE FEELER
Arriving at the Giza Pyramid with a team of medics, Ninmah’s intention was not simply to attend to the injuries of Horus: she wanted to broker a truce between the Enkites and Enlilites lest the war escalate to a kind of Armageddon. So as her medical team dealt with Horus right on the steps of the pyramid, she radioed Enki and began to sound out peace feelers. In particular, she suggested that Enki meet Enlil face-to-face at the Harsag, her abode at Tilmun, and set about hammering out terms for the peace.
But before that, the Enkites had to surrender control of the Giza Pyramid to a neutral arbiter, herself. After all, her honorary Egyptian title was Hathor, meaning Mistress of the Great Pyramid. It was time now that the title became literal and official, at least throughout the duration of the peace process.
Having consulted his sons, Enki gave the proposition the nod, which was in keeping with his pacifist bent naturally “That which is like a heap (the Giza Pyramid), that which I have as a pile raised up, its Mistress you may be,” Enki said to Ninmah. But, Enki insisted, that was only subject to the Enlilites agreeing to round-table deliberations on a mutually beneficial way forward.
Ninmah, who took with him Horus and put him in a medical clinic at the Harsag, flew to the Mission Control Centre at Jerusalem, where Enlil was now based, and reported what transpired during her exchanges with Enki. Enlil was with Adad when she met him. Adad was not keen on the idea of sit-down talks with the Enkites: he wanted an unconditional surrender. “We are expecting victory,” he bragged to Ninmah.
“The enemy forces are beaten.” The only thing Ninmah had to do was to fetch Marduk and bring him over so that he enunciates his surrender before Ninurta. Only then would the ceasefire hold and discussions take place. “Go talk to the enemy (Marduk),” Adad hollered. “Get him to attend the discussions so that the attack can be withdrawn.”
Although Enlil endorsed Adad’s position, it was Enki, rather than Marduk, he would rather meet. It seemed Enlil too no longer favoured continued hostilities as he spoke in a uncharacteristically conciliatory tone. He put it to Adad that Ninmah, who he referred to as the Mother of the Gods, was acting at the say-so of King Anu on Nibiru and not on her own behalf. She therefore had to be heeded. Then turning to Ninmah, Enlil said: “Go appease my brother (Enki). Raise with him a hand for life. From his barred doorway let him come out.”
Rushing back to the Giza Pyramid in a chopper, Ninmah accordingly relayed the message from Enlil to Enki at the door of the great structure. Initially, Enki was reluctant to emerge for fear that he was being lured into a death trap, but Ninmah swore “by the stars” that his safety was guaranteed. At long last, Enki and his brood trooped out of the Giza Pyramid and got aboard the chopper, whereupon they set course for the Harsag, where Enlil awaited them. At the controls of an escort helicopter gunship right in their wake was General Ninurta.
A PEACE TREATY IS REACHED
At the Harsag, the two clans sat opposite each other, with Ninmah as chairlady and moderator at the head table. On the Enlilite side were Enlil, Ninurta, Nannar-Sin, and Adad. The Enkites were represented by Enki, Marduk, and Nergal. The rest of the clan members sat in the outer hall, eagerly waiting for Ninmah to come and announce the outcome of the deliberations.
At the commencement of the proceedings, the Enlilites were not that favourably disposed towards Ninmah. At least two of them were not convinced she was a neutral arbiter. Nannar-Sin kept referring to her as Tsir, meaning snake, a metaphor for the Enkites, who paternally traced their origins to the Serpent Race of Orion, to which Enki, who was the firstborn son of the Orion Queen and was born asexually without male involvement, belonged.
Adad panned her as a sympathiser with the “demons”, his characterisation of the Enkites. Ninmah had to perform a symbolic neutral-ground ceremony and chant an oracle of total impartiality to demonstrate her merit as a wholly objective peace broker.”Find peace,” she entreated the two belligerents. “We descendents of Anu all must of warring cease.”
The first to speak was Enki. Enki made no pretences at vanity or bravado. With cap in hand, he appealed to his step-brother Enlil reverentially thus: “O one who is foremost among the brothers, Bull of Heaven, who the fate of mankind holds: in my lands (Africa) all the dwellings are filled with sorrow by your attacks.”
Enlil, as heartless as he otherwise was, was seemingly moved by Enki’s lament. Rising to his feet magisterially, he announced: “Removed is the affliction (visited upon Africans by Ninurta in the war) from the face of the Earth. The Great Weapon (Ninurta’s untouchable Imdugud) is lifted.” But for the peace to effect, Enlil demanded two courses of action by the Enkites. First, the Canaanites should dis-inhabit Jerusalem, the site of the Mission Control Centre, and the Sinai Peninsula, the site of the spaceport.
This in fact was a concession by Enlil as Ninurta wanted a total withdrawal from the entire lands of Shem. Ninmah, however, neutralised him, persuasively arguing that ejecting the Canaanites wholesale from the lands of Shem would only be possible if they were carpet-bombed as having dwelt in the region for more than 300 years, they would rather they were forcibly uprooted than leave voluntarily. Secondly, all the Igigis who had taken part in the capture of Tilmun and Mission Control Centre by Seth should be expelled from Lebanon.
Enki readily gave ground. “I will grant thee (the Enlilites) the rulers’ position in the Restricted Zone (the Sinai Peninsula),” he said to Enlil. “The Radiant Place (Jerusalem) I will entrust.” However, Enki insisted that his concession was subject to Enlil undertaking that the Giza Pyramid would forever be under Enkite authority. But the chess match was not yet over. Enlil said that was well and good, but one strong conditionality had to be met.
This was that the Enlilites must be given the right to recommend the ruler over Giza as well as lower (northern) Egypt. Enki duly agreed, whereupon the Enlilites voted for Ningishzidda as the new ruler of northern Egypt and new authority over Giza. Zidda was particularly acceptable to the Enkites because he was the son of Ereshkigal, Enlil’s granddaughter and Sin’s daughter. That’s how Zidda replaced Horus as the King of Egypt circa 8670 BC. Zidda was to rule Egypt for 1570 years in a reign that saw the most peaceful and harmonious relations between the Enkites and Enlilites.
The final prerequisite for peace was tabled by Enki. He demanded Enlil’s undertaking that the Enkites should be free to visit the Edin, which was to be re-established. Enki also demanded the same sovereignty he had over his prediluvial cult city Eridu, the first Anunnaki settlement on Earth which he founded. Ninurta strongly objected to the idea of Enki regaining Eridu, saying it now would be in strictly Enlilite territory, but Ninmah prevailed over him for the sake of peace and Enki’s potential usefulness as the new Edin’s engenderer of prosperity.
On his part, Enlil endorsed his half-sister’s standpoint and said thus to Enki: “In my land (the new Edin) let your abode (Eridu) become everlasting. From the day that you shall come into my presence, the laden table shall exhale delicious smells for thee … Pour abundance onto the land; each year increase its fortunes.” Ninmah also said to Enki: “Lord of Life, God of Fruit, let the beer (wine) pour in double measure. Make abundant the wool.”
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.
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.
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.