Triumphant Ninurta rendered subordinate to younger brother in Enlil’s strategic top-level shuffle
The terms of the peace consequent to the Second Pyramid War in which the Enkites and Enlilites clashed and the latter were victorious were announced by peace broker Ninmah to the rest of the Anunnaki royalty who had not been party to the proceedings in an adjoining hall in Ninmah’s abode at the Harsag.
The moment Ninmah made the announcement, Inanna-Ishtar, Enlil’s granddaughter and daughter to Nannar-Sin, his second-born son, kicked up an angry fuss and made a scene like the Jezebel she was. Inanna was furious that the rulership of Egypt had been given to Ningishzidda. As far as she was concerned, Dumuzi, Enki’s youngest son, was the best fit in that he had played no part whatsoever in the war whereas Zidda had.
But central to her rooting for Dumuzi was the fact that she had a crush on him and like the nymphomaniac she was was already hitting on him not only to satiate her sex craze but to hitch him into wedlock. Sadly, the peace was a fait accompli and there was nothing Ninmah could do to alter the status quo in Inanna’s favour. Once the Enkites had departed, Enlil, the Bible’s central Jehovah, and his clan flew to Jerusalem for another meeting. This was about the redistribution of Enlilite lands in the new, post-war dispensation. Also present at the meeting was Ninmah; Enlil’s wife Ninlil; and Sin’s wife Ningal.
In the revised allocations, Ishkur-Adad, the third-born, retained today’s Lebanon, which incorporated the strategically significant Baalbek, the Landing Place for terrestrial aviational craft. Utu-Shamash, Inanna’s twin brother and who pre-war had been commander of Tilmun under the overall aegis of Ninmah, was entrusted charge of Mission Control Centre at Jerusalem.
As for the Sinai Peninsula, where Tilmun, the spaceport, was sited, and the rest of Canaan, Sin fiercely crossed verbal swords with Ninurta. As Enlil’s legal heir, Ninurta argued that it was he was automatically entitled to the role of administrator of the Anunnaki’s most prized region of the planet. In this view, he was supported by his mother Ninmah, who was Enlil’s half-sister. In a bid to favourably dispose Enlil toward her son, Ninmah rhapsodised on how she and Enlil bumped and ground relentlessly to produce a heir in Ninurta. So desperate in her pleas was she that she even requested that Enki be invited to the meeting to proffer his characteristic wise take on the matter, a suggestion Enlil utterly rejected.
Sin’s pitch was equally spirited. He pointed out to Enlil that whilst Ninurta was Enlil’s heir on Nibiru, he wasn’t here on Earth. Ninurta was born on Nibiru whereas Sin was born on Earth, the first such Anunnaki. As such, Sin had a legitimate claim to inheriting after Enlil here on Earth and to administrating Canaan and Tilmun as he was a son of the soil unlike Ninurta who was to all intents and purposes a foreigner in the eyes of Earthlings. On their part, Ninlil and Ningal urged Enlil to “listen to your heart and not your mind”. Would Enlil heed them?
JEHOVAH DEMOTES HIS FIRSTBORN SON
After pondering the matter over, Enlil responded that with rulership of Earth now alternating between the Enlilites and Enkites thanks to the Galzu dictum, the idea of a heir to Enlil here on Earth was essentially redundant as there no longer would be permanence in the title. That said, Enlil settled for Sin, “a Firstborn (with respect to Earth) of beautiful countenance, perfect of limbs, wise without compare”, as the new ruler of Greater Canaan and Tilmun. Greater Canaan extended from the border of Egypt in the south to the border of Adad in the north, with modern Syria included.
The whole of this area was dominated by Canaanites, who were pro-Marduk and impassionedly anti-Ninurta for his callous and barbarous prosecution of the Second Pyramid War. Needless to say, the Canaanites were bound to warm more to Sin, who had played no part at all in the war. It was at this stage that the Sinai Peninsula was named as such – after Sin. The Sinai Peninsula’s well-watered place known as Nakhl was named after Sin’s wife Ningal, the Semitic rendition of whose name is Nikhal. Ninurta, however, was not left in the lurch: he got the “Olden Lands”, that is, the new Edin, which in time came to be known as Sumer. This is modern-day Iraq predominantly.
As for Inanna, she received no fief whatsoever and for that she threw up a tantrum, shouting, cursing, insulting, kicking, and screaming. She wondered aloud why she had been denied a domain when she had been instrumental in the defeat of the Enkites. “Against Marduk the war I led (an exaggeration as the Enlilite commander was Ninurta),” she raved. She swore she was going to give the Enlilites a real nightmare if she wasn’t allocated a domain of her own and might even switch over to the Enkites.
Inanna had long been promised the Indus Valley but that promise had not yet materialised. Enlil’s pleas that she bides her time fell on stone-deaf ears. Thus alarmed by Inanna’s threats, Enlil cabled Nibiru requesting King Anu to come to Earth and tame this tigress. “To Earth come,” Enlil entreated his father. “Deal with Inanna.”
“MIGHTY” NINURTA STRIPS THE GIZA PYRAMID
Meanwhile, Ninurta was the toast of the tribe of Shem, who were the Enlilite herd. He was eulogised in both written and pictorial chronicles like Alexander the Great. One such praise-poem went thus: “Ninurta Foremost Possessor of Divine Powers … Hero in whose hand the Divine Brilliant Weapon carries. Lord, the Mountainland (Giza Pyramid) you subdued as your creature … Hero, in fear of thee the city (in which the Giza Pyramid was located) has surrendered. O Mighty One, the Great Serpent (Marduk) the heroic god you tore away from the mountains (Giza) … Like Anu art thou made.” Ninurta’s defeat of the Enkites was marked with the investiture of a new emblem in his honour – “a Divine Bird within a rich wreath, soaring in triumph above the two great pyramids.”
Yet General Ninurta was far from done. His final nail-in-the-coffin act was to enter the Giza Pyramid under the guidance of the “Chief Mineral Master” to inspect and either confiscate or destroy any installation or instruments the Enkites could fall back on in a possible future war with the Enlilites. “As he stopped by each one of them,” writes Zechariah Sitchin in The War of the Gods, “he determined its destiny – to be smashed and destroyed, to be taken away for display, or to be installed as instruments elsewhere.”
The Giza Pyramid was a high-tech labyrinth. Its passages and chambers were arrayed with “the magical stones – minerals and crystals, some earthly, some heavenly (i.e. sourced from other planets), some the likes of which Ninurta had never seen. From them were emitted the beamed pulsations for the guidance of the astronauts and the radiations for the defence of the structure.”
Exploring the Enkites’ astronomical guidance systems and secret weapons stash, Ninurta found “all the MEs, the technology and Hermetic science operating the Bond-Heaven-Earth, a computer loaded with astronomical data and a programme to scan the sky and the Solar System, the technology of a control tower for inter-planetary travels to scan and calculate trajections, as well as the means to communicate with Anu and Nibiru.” In other words, the Enkites had their own clandestine Mission Control Centre courtesy of Enki’s genius: they didn’t need the official Mission Control Centre that was housed at Jerusalem!
In a large chamber for some reasons called “The Vulva” was found the Destiny Stone – a device that held calculus and astronomical programmes as well as the power to track individuals with a “Killing Ray”. The Destiny Stone was the very nerve centre of Giza, the pyramid’s emitting source, where Hydrochloric Acid and hydrated potassium amplified the microwave from the pumped pool beneath the pyramid. “But it (the Destiny Stone) was anathema to Ninurta, for during the battle, when he was aloft, this stone’s strong power was used to ‘attempt to grab me, with a tracking which kills to seize me’.” Needless to say, Ninurta gave orders for the Destiny Stone to be disassembled and pulverised.
In the pyramid’s most “sacred” chamber was located a “Guiding Net”, possibly a radar which “spread out to survey Heaven (the skies) and Earth”. This radar was operationalised by the Gug, a Direction Determining Stone. Ninurta had the Gug and the three stones that underpinned it destroyed. “Now came the turn of the universal stones and crystals positioned atop the ramps in the Grand Gallery.” These were 27 in number. “Several of them Ninurta ordered to be pulverised … Others, which could be used in the Mission Control Centre at Jerusalem, were given to Shamash, and the rest were carried off to Mesopotamia to be deployed in Ninurta’s temple in Nippur and elsewhere as evidence of the great victory of the Enlilites over the Enkites.”
At long last came the Apex Stone of the Pyramid. “Let the mothers’ offspring see it no more,” Ninurta bellowed before it was sent crashing to the ground. “Let the fear of thee (Giza) be removed from my descendants. Let their peace be ordained.” What boggles the mind is that if the Enkites were so phenomenally equipped, how come they lost the war in such an ignominious fashion? Well, it all was the decision of the peace-loving Enki. Enki wanted the war to end at any cost and not allow the Anunnaki to extinct each other on Earth. Marduk actually never forgave his father for so meekly getting the Enkites to yield to the Enlilites. Had Marduk had his way, you would be reading of a radically different outcome of the Second Pyramid War. The Enlilites did not win the war: the Enkites chose to lose it.
THE ICONIC SUMER EMERGES
Since the Giza Pyramid was rendered basically useless by Enlilite general Ninurta, Ningishzidda, the new King of Egypt, decided to build a new Beacon City just north of Giza. He named it City of Annu in honour of his grandfather the Nibiru King. The Greeks would in future call it Heliopolis – the same name they gave to Baalbek – meaning “City of the Sun God” – to venerate not King Anu but Utu-Shamash. To replace the Gug stone Ninurta had destroyed, Zidda built at Heliopolis the now ubiquitous obelisks – towering, four-sided, narrow tapering monuments which ended up in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top – to serve as beacons.
Meanwhile, the reconstruction of Sumer, the new Eden, was in progress. The first to arise was Eridu, Enki’s cult city. It was given priority because Enki was pivotal to the viability of the new Eden. In the midst of Eridu, Enki built a spectacular mansion adorned with gold, silver, and precious stones. And in keeping with his epithet as Oannes the Fish God, he had a cluster of ponds in which all kinds of fishes – some for food, others for the purposes of research – swam cheerily.
Next was Nippur, the city of Enlil. Nippur had been the Mission Control Centre before the Deluge but this time around it had been superseded by Jerusalem (Ur-Shulim in Sumerian, meaning “The Supreme Place of the Four Regions”, these being Africa, Indo-Europe, the Middle East, and Tilmun in the Sinai Peninsula), the new “Navel of the Earth”. When Nippur was rebuilt, Enlil relocated there from Jerusalem, which was now overseen by Shamash, and lived in a heavily fortified, seven-stage “Mountain House” called a ziggurat.
The fortress was equipped with weapons and surveillance equipment such as “The Lifted Eye Which Scans The Land” and “The Lifted Beam Which Penetrates All”. On a platform on the roof of the ziggurat was “The Fast-Stepping Bird Whose Grasp No One Could Escape”, a sophisticated aircraft. This time around, the Enlilites were not taking chances given the sudden and unheralded manner in which they had been set upon and consequently lost the space-related sites to the Enkites.
When Lagash was rebuilt, it was allotted to Ninurta as his cult city. Ninurta, who was the overall ruler of Sumer (though nobody cared a damn about that anyway) wasted no time in erecting there a magnificent Temple-House he called the Eninnu, meaning “House of Fifty” where he lived with his aunt-wife Bau. Although he was for all practical purposes now subordinate to his younger brother Sin in realpolitik, he wanted to make a defiant statement – that he still was very much in contention as Enlil’s real heir. If you recall, he too had been given the Anunnaki rank of 50, the same as Enlil but in a shadow capacity in his (Ninurta) case, after he vanquished “The Evil Zu” to underline the fact that he was next in line. In the Eninnu backyard was parked his famous “Black Skybird” (a plane) known as the Girsu, hence his other name Ningirsu.
The rebuilt Sippar was the fiefdom of Shamash: there, he dwelt in the Ebabbar (the “Shining House”) with his spouse Aya and enacted statues of justice for mankind (Shamash was also at once head of Mission Control Centre in Jerusalem and executive commander of the spaceport as both these were located in Canaan, where his father Sin had overall jurisdiction). At a new site called Adab not very far from the prediluvial Shuruppak, a new medical centre to be run by Ninmah was established.
There, Ninmah built her temple-abode she called “House of Succour and Healing Knowledge”. Sin’s new cult city was called Urim (Ur), “a city with straight streets, canals, and wharves”. Perhaps as a dig at his elder brother Ninurta, he named his temple-mansion “House of the Throne's Seed”, which paraphrased meant heir to Enlil. Adad did not set up in Sumer but in his favourite Lebanon. He called his mansion “House of Seven Storms” as he was known as the Storm God and was a son of the great Enlil whose lucky number was 7. Sadly, Marduk was not allowed to set up his own cult city in Sumer. In fact, he and his son Nabu were restricted to Eridu every time they visited.
Soon mankind was teeming in Sumer in the urban centres of the gods, not as Anunnaki equals but as the worker race – the exact purpose for which he was created. His role was to “tend the surrounding fields, orchards, and cattlefolds in behalf of the gods, and to be in the service of the gods in all conceivable manners: not only as cooks and bakers, artisans and clothiers, but also as priests, musicians, entertainers, and temple prostitutes.”
At about the same time, the Anakim (“giants” in the Bible, the beings resulting from marriages between the Igigi and Earthling women) built themselves two urban cities at a time when mankind dwelt in rural settings. The first was Jericho, reputed to be the world’s oldest town. Jericho (Yericho in Arabic, meaning “Moon City”), was dedicated to Sin, whose epithet was “Moon God”. Besides being the penultimate stop for travellers to refresh and lunch, Jericho was established with a view to police the crossing point to Mission Control Centre in Jerusalem and the giant Anakim were best-suited for this purpose. The second was Kiryat Arba (“Stronghold of Arba”, Arba being the Anakim leader), best-known as Hebron. Kiryat Arba served a similar purpose as Jericho – to guard the route between Jerusalem and the Sinai. When the Israelites conquered Canaan under their general Joshua, the Anakim were a formidable obstacle.
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.