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Marduks Tower of Babel

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

… but it was not a stairway-to-heaven tower block: it was a rocket-launch tower

The astrological Age of Taurus lasted from 4380 to 2220 BC. Taurus was an Enlilite age, an age in which Enlil, the Bible’s Jehovah/Yahweh, and his brood were mandated to rule. If you recall, Galzu, who King Anu had exposed as a fraud but whose ordinances he declared binding anyway, had stipulated that the Enlilites were to rule Earth for the first three ages after Leo, that is, Cancer, Gemini, and Taurus, which amounted to a mathematical total of 6480 years (a zodiacal age spans 2160 years mathematically), or just under two shars.   Taurus was therefore the last age Enlil/Enlilites  would exercise supremacy over Earth, after which Marduk/Enkites  would take over in the Age of Aries.

Taurus, symbolised by a bull, was in particular dedicated to Enlil himself, the reason why he was known as  “The Bull of Heaven”. In 3760 BC, Enlil introduced the world’s first calendar. This was exactly 3600 years – a shar, amounting to 1 year on Nibiru – after the year of the Deluge and exactly 40 years (in honour of Enki, whose rank was 40 and who had tabled the idea of bringing civilisation to mankind)  since King Anu had so decreed.

Numerologically, the number 3760 added up to 7, the celestial number of Earth,  which was Enlil’s celestial counterpart  as the planet’s Chief Executive.  The calendar, called the Nippurian calendar since it was announced at Nippur, Enlil’s cult city,  was a compromise between the lunar year and the solar year. It comprised of 12 lunar months totalling 354 days (29.5 multiplied by 12) plus 11 days, which brought the number of days in a year to 365 days. To date, the Jews follow the Nippurian calendar: as such, to them the base year, or year 0, is 3760 BC.  Resultantly, the year 2017 in Israel is year 5776.

Now, kingship had been conferred on Earthlings  by King Anu, with the first human king post-the- Deluge being Nimrod, who ruled in Kish, which  was designated as the pilot city-state for human kingship. However, Enlil had decreed that Sumerian kingship was not going to be the preserve of only one city-state: it was going to rotate from city-state to city-state after a certain, appropriate  period of time. Kish would be the incipient seat of the human king, followed by Uruk and Ur respectively. The problem was that  all these three cities were power centres of Enlilites, a state of affairs  that did not sit well with Marduk.

MARDUK SEES RED OVER ENLILITE DOMINANCE IN SUMER

Marduk had only relatively recently returned to Earth after an absence of 4870 years. In 8670 BC,  when his younger brother Ningishzidda at the expense of Marduk  supplanted Horus as the King of Egypt on the basis of a peace pact between the Enlilites and the Enkites at the conclusion of the Second Pyramid War, Marduk had blasted off  from Earth in a fit of revulsion. But before he departed the planet, he had made it clear to Zidda that in truth, he was simply holding fort for him. “Thou art no more than a place taker,” Marduk underlined.   “Thou shalt be in my place: that’s all there is to it.”  Years later,  when Zidda inquired as to exactly where his eldest brother had gone, he received word from Marduk (through a sophisticated   inter-stellar communication device) that, “I’m here in the sky, in my proper place”.

The ancient Egyptian text that documents this  exchange does not elaborate but it is clear Marduk had gone on an indefinite sabbatical to the SSS World, the throne city of the Orion star system. Marduk was born on the SSS World, what he liked to refer to as “a pure place”. Like Enki, he regarded himself as an Arian (beings of the SSS World, also known as the Serpent race) primarily and a  Sirian (beings of the Sirius star system, where his mother Damkina came from) only secondarily. One interpretation of his very name, Marduk, says it means “Son of the Pure Mound”. The “Pure Mound” as per Robert Morning Sky was a metaphor for the pubis  of the Orion Queen. It was pure – in a putative sense – because  as  the Goddess of the Sirian-Orion Empire, the most  powerful in the Milky Way galaxy, she was  the “Holy Mother”, a title akin to the Pope’s “Holy Father”, or Mary mother of Jesus’s “Virgin Mary”.  

During his almost 5000-year absence (but only about 1 year and a third in Anunnaki terms), Marduk, who was the Africans’  most  respected  god after Enki,  became known as Amon to the Egyptians, meaning “The Unseen One” – ha-o-mmone in Setswana. That is to say, although he was present in spirit, he  was  absent in the physical, where he mattered the most.  And as Christians prospect about Jesus, Marduk was expected to return some day in a blaze of glory. He did indeed return but not as an all-conquering, White Horse-borne  redeemer with legions of warring angels.  

Marduk returned to Earth early in 3800 BC, when he heard that King Anu was on his way to Earth, his aim to air his grievances directly to the most powerful of Anunnaki sovereigns. Then in 3760 BC, Enlil made the troubling announcement  that kingship would remain in Enlilite territories after Kish and Uruk. Marduk had calculated that by the time the turn of Uruk was over, the Age of Aries will have either dawned or be on the horizon and he would be the new or imminent Enlil.  Marduk’s prospective city would then have to be the one to ideally house the Earthling monarch. But Enlil seemed to want to sidestep Marduk’s destiny when he declared that kingship would move to Ur, the cult city of Nannar-Sin, after Uruk, the cult-city of Ninurta. Understandably therefore, Marduk was incandescent with rage.   “When Marduk all this did hear, greatly he was enraged, his anger no bounds knew,” the Sumerian records relate.”  

Marduk got in touch with his father Enki and wondered aloud to him what on Earth was happening. “Why am I being kept on the peripheries in power politics whilst you just stand by and look?” he demanded of his father. “Aren’t you the one who promised me that you would smoothen the  way for me to land the Enlilship?”

Enki straightaway contacted Enlil to register his son’s concerns but  Enlil simply wasn’t budging. Marduk then vowed before his father that  he wasn’t going to allow himself to be so humiliated indefinitely: he was now going to set about  establishing his own fife in Sumer to pave the way for his ascendancy to supremacy in the Age of Aries  damn the consequences. After all, King Anu had pardoned all his transgressions of the past and had given him the green light to settle in Sumer in a place of his liking. “When Enlil to Marduk's appeal no heed paid, Marduk fate in his own hands grasped,” the Sumerian texts relate. “Enough has my humiliation been, to his father Enki Marduk shouted. A sacred city of his own in the Edin from Enlil he forthwith demanded.”

MARDUK IS PIONEER OF BABYLON

Kish was to be the seat of kingship for about 400 more years after the inauguration of the Nippurian calendar in 3760 BC.  In 3460 BC, there was about 100 more years remaining before kingship was transferred from Kish to Uruk. In that year, Marduk decided to act on his scheme to have a foothold in the Enlilite heartland of Sumer. He was going to found his own cult city in Sumer to bring the number of Enkites who had territory there to two, the other being his father Enki, who was the patron god of Eridu.

Accordingly, Marduk and his firstborn son Nabu set course for Akkad at the head of a huge caravan of followers – comprising of Earthlings and the Igigi – who numbered in the thousands, all armed with implements of all kinds with which to erect new infrastructure on virgin land. This great trek from Eridu, where Marduk had been based to date, to an area in the northwestern part of Akkad, where he was to establish his own city-state, is recorded in a GENESIS 11 passage thus: “And as they (Marduk and his people) travelled from the east, they found a valley in the Land of Shin'ar (Sumer) and settled there.”

The exact site Marduk chose was the one that initially had been earmarked for the construction of Anu’s temple-mansion before it was decided that it should be built at Uruk. This was the very site King Anu had pointed Marduk to when he visited Earth in 3800 BC, which explains why the Enlilites did not make the slightest attempt at thwarting him when he and his people processed into Akkad. Marduk’s city was to be built on the banks of the Euphrates River. Exactly what were his plans for the city?

First, it was intended to be his capital when he superseded Enlil as Earth’s supremo. Secondly, Marduk wanted his city to rival both Jerusalem, the Mission Control Centre, and Tilmun, the spaceport. This hint he did provide when he chose a location that was between Nippur, the prediluvial Mission Control Centre, and Sippar, the prediluvial spaceport.  To put it bluntly, Marduk’s desire was to make his city a Mission Control Centre and spaceport rolled into one and thus do away with the Jerusalem and Tilmun facilities when he was the new Enlil. 

The name he chose for his city was also a tell-tale. He called it Bab-ili, meaning, “Gateway of the Gods”. It would be a gateway of the gods – the Anunnaki – in that it was there they would ascend and descend in their “celestial chariots” (spaceships) as they to-ed and frong-ed between Earth on the one hand and other heavenly bodies on the other, particularly Nibiru, Mars, the Moon, and Earth’s orbit.     Bab-ili is Babel in the Bible and Babylon in English. Its remains are to be found in present-day Hillah in Iraq, about 85 km south of Baghdad.
 
MARDUK SPACEPORT TAKES SHAPE

But first, a temple-residence for god Marduk had to be built.   It was called the Esagila, meaning in paraphrase,  “House of the Lord of Lords”. The name embodied Marduk’s yearning to become the Enlil when the Age of Aries dawned. The Esagila, a seven-storey ziggurat,  “rose within a sprawling sacred precinct, where a plethora of priests hierarchically arranged ranged from cleaners and butchers and healers to administrators, scribes, astronomers, and astrologers”.

Then years later, in 3450 BC, Marduk was ready to embark on his principal, epoch-making project. GENESIS 11 dwells at reasonable length on this one.  A passage in there (properly translated) reads: “Come let us build ourselves a city (Babylon), with a tower that reaches to the heavens (a high-rise launch tower), so that we may make a shem (rocket) for ourselves … lest we be scattered upon the face of the Earth.” In the corrupt, English translation, the word “name” (implying “reputation”) is used instead of shem. 

Marduk undertook to construct a space facility atop a platform (launch tower)  raised for several feet, maybe hundreds of feet for rockets and jets to land and take off. In Anunnaki times, the spaceships were built and kept in underground silos. Spaceships are a mammoth affair: the Apollo 11 spacecraft, for instance, stood 364 feet (101.5 meters) tall. So if we are to assume, for argument’s sake,  that  half of this height was catered for by the underground bunker, then the space platform itself was about 50 to 60 meters high.

In order to motivate his people to devote to the project, Marduk told them it was primarily in their interests, that it was a human-empowerment project.  First, he wanted to give mankind an opportunity to explore space and visit other planets both in the Solar System and beyond, more so the Orion star system where they could meet their Goddess. Second, as they multiplied in number and spread all over the planet, they would need a faster, more convenient mode of transport to visit and cement links with each other. The spaceport would therefore also serve as the principal terrestrial airport, like Baalbek in Lebanon was. The Earthlings were sold on the idea: they assured their god that they were game.   

Says  Zechariah Sitchin and pointedly so:  “We believe that the answers … become plausible – even obvious – once we read ‘sky borne vehicle’ rather than ‘name’  for the word shem, which is the term employed in the original Hebrew text of the Bible. The story would then deal with the concern of mankind that, as the people spread upon Earth, they would lose contact with one another. So they decided to build a ‘sky borne vehicle’ and to erect a launch tower for such a vehicle so that they, too, could – like the goddess Ishtar, for example – fly in a mu (jet) ‘over all the peopled lands’."

I cannot help laugh my head off when I see the  popular sketches of the so-called Tower of Babel by “scholars”. It is a humongous, literally  skyscraping edifice that soars into the clouds (where the atmosphere is so thin everybody would die from lack of oxygen).  What hogwash! The Tower of Babel was far from a monumental stairway to the abode of God attempted by a whole horde of morons as your pathetically ignorant pastor would belt out from the pulpit. It was a space launch facility, period.  

MARDUK DARES ENLIL

Enlil, the Bible’s Jehovah/Yahweh, was alarmed by what Marduk was up to. As far as he was concerned, it was treachery – sin in the Bible.  A spaceport could only be built at the pleasure of Earth’s Chief Executive and that was Enlil himself. Moreover, the ramifications were serious. Marduk wanted to create two centres of power on the planet, which was a recipe for conflict and eventually another war between Enkites and Enlilites.  Enlil had to act forthwith before things spiralled out of control.

To his credit though, Enlil did not act rashly. First, he approached Enki and asked him to ram sense into his wayward son. “Well,” Enki responded, “You are right when you talk of a wayward son. Marduk no longer listens to me. I know he is deserving of his own cult-city but the idea of a spaceport boggles my mind too.”


Next, Enlil pleaded with Damkina, Marduk’s mother to prevail over his son to halt the abominable project.   Damkina, however, stood staunchly by her son. “It’s all your fault Enlil,” she said. “You have treated my son like a lowlife all the while when ideally he is supposed to be the Anunnaki’s highest ranking prince. You are simply reaping what you sowed!”

Finally, Enlil confronted Marduk and his son Nabu.  “To thwart the plan Enlil to the place (Babylon) hurried, to placate Marduk with soothing words he tried,” say the Sumerian chronicles. Marduk stuck to his guns. “This project is going ahead,” he insisted. “I’m not doing it as a dare to your authority. It’s simply a headstart project which will be fully operationalised when I am the new Enlil. So take it easy Lord Enlil. You are at liberty to make all the hay whilst the sun shines in the age of Taurus. My turn comes not now but in the Age of Aries. Do you hear me?”

“But the Age of the Ram, Marduk, is at the very least more than 1000 years from now,” Enlil countered. “Why should you be in a hurry to build your space, communications, and aviational facilities? Doesn’t Baalbek, Jerusalem, and Tilmun suffice? Won’t you be the one who will be overall in charge when you become the new Enlil in the Age of the Ram?”

“Well, I can’t trust you guys,” Marduk replied, referring to the Enlilites in general. “What if you renege on your promise? What if you opt to cling to power? What if you sabotage me? How many false starts have I suffered at your hands in the past? This time around, I’m not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I’m not going to allow you to f… with me anymore, do you hear me Enlil? This planet, Earth, is the only bequest there’s for me. I am destined to rule it come what may. If you and your trigger-happy   boys try to stop me, woebetide you! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

“You must have gone raving mad Marduk,” Enlil said. “You must have gone off your rocker.” “I don’t care a hoot,” Marduk said before he rose and stormed out of the meeting. “To stop Marduk and Nabu in their endeavor Enlil did not succeed,” regrets the Sumerian texts.

What would be Enlil’s next course of action?

NEXT WEEK: JEHOVAH UNLEASHES NINURTA ON MARDUK   

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GONE FISHING

28th March 2023

In recent years, using personal devices in working environments has become so commonplace it now has its own acronym, BOYD (Bring Your Own Device).  But as employees skip between corporate tools and personal applications on their own devices, their actions introduce a number of possible risks that should be managed and mitigated with careful consideration.  Consider these examples:

Si-lwli, a small family-run business in Wales, is arguably as niche a company as you could find, producing talking toys used to promote the Welsh language. Their potential market is small, with only some 300,000 Welsh language speakers in the world and in reality the business is really more of a hobby for the husband-and-wife team, who both still have day jobs.  Yet, despite still managing to be successful in terms of sales, the business is now fighting for survival after recently falling prey to cybercriminals. Emails between Si-Iwli and their Chinese suppliers were intercepted by hackers who altered the banking details in the correspondence, causing Si-Iwli to hand over £18,000 (around P ¼ m) to the thieves. That might not sound much to a large enterprise, but to a small or medium business it can be devastating.

Another recent SMB hacking story which appeared in the Wall Street Journal concerned Innovative Higher Ed Consulting (IHED) Inc, a small New York start-up with a handful of employees. IHED didn’t even have a website, but fraudsters were able to run stolen credit card numbers through the company’s payment system and reverse the charges to the tune of $27,000, around the same loss faced by Si-Iwli.  As the WSJ put it, the hackers completely destroyed the company, forcing its owners to fold.

And in May 2019, the city of Baltimore’s computer system was hit by a ransomware attack, with hackers using a variant called RobinHood. The hack, which has lasted more than a month, paralysed the computer system for city employees, with the hackers demanding a payment in Bitcoin to give access back to the city.

Of course, hackers target governments or business giants  but small and medium businesses are certainly not immune. In fact, 67% of SMBs reported that they had experienced a cyber attack across a period of 12 months, according to a 2018 survey carried out by security research firm Ponemon Institute. Additionally, Verizon issued a report in May 2019 that small businesses accounted for 43% of its reported data breaches.  Once seen as less vulnerable than PCs, smartphone attacks are on the rise, with movements like the Dark Caracal spyware campaign underlining the allure of mobile devices to hackers. Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission released a statement calling for greater education on mobile security, coming at a time when around 42% of all Android devices are believed to not carry the latest security updates.

This is an era when employees increasingly use their smartphones for work-related purposes so is your business doing enough to protect against data breaches on their employees’ phones? The SME Cyber Crime Survey 2018 carried out for risk management specialists AON showed that more than 80% of small businesses did not view this as a threat yet if as shown, 67% of SMBs were said to have been victims of hacking, either the stats are wrong or business owners are underestimating their vulnerability.  A 2019 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests the latter, stating that the majority of global businesses are unprepared for cyber attacks.

Consider that a workstation no longer means a desk in an office: It can be a phone in the back of a taxi or Uber; a laptop in a coffee shop, or a tablet in an airport lounge.  Wherever the device is used, employees can potentially install applications that could be harmful to your business, even from something as seemingly insignificant as clicking on an accidental download or opening a link on a phishing email.  Out of the physical workplace, your employees’ activities might not have the same protections as they would on a company-monitored PC.

Yet many businesses not only encourage their employees to work remotely, but assume working from coffee shops, bookstores, and airports can boost employees’ productivity.  Unfortunately, many remote hot spots do not provide secure Wi-Fi so if your employee is accessing their work account on unsecured public Wi-Fi,  sensitive business data could be at risk. Furthermore, even if your employee uses a company smartphone or has access to company data through a personal mobile device, there is always a chance data could be in jeopardy with a lost or stolen device, even information as basic as clients’ addresses and phone numbers.

BOYDs are also at risk from malware designed to harm and infect the host system, transmittable to smartphones when downloading malicious third-party apps.  Then there is ransomware, a type of malware used by hackers to specifically take control of a system’s data, blocking access or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid such as the one which affected Baltimore.  Ransomware attacks are on the increase,  predicted to occur every 14 seconds, potentially costing billions of dollars per year.

Lastly there is phishing – the cyber equivalent of the metaphorical fishing exercise –  whereby  cybercriminals attempt to obtain sensitive data –usernames, passwords, credit card details –usually through a phoney email designed to look legitimate which directs the user to a fraudulent website or requests the data be emailed back directly. Most of us like to think we could recognize a phishing email when we see it, but these emails have become more sophisticated and can come through other forms of communication such as messaging apps.

Bottom line is to be aware of the potential problems with BOYDs and if in doubt,  consult your IT security consultants.  You can’t put the own-device genie back in the bottle but you can make data protection one of your three wishes!

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“I Propose to Diana Tonight”

28th March 2023

About five days before Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed landed in Paris, General Atiku, a certain Edward Williams was taking a walk in a woods in the Welsh town of Mountain Ash. Williams, then 73, was a psychic of some renown. He had in the past foretold assassination attempts on US President Ronald Reagan, which occurred on March 30, 1981, and Pope John Paul II, which came to pass on May 13, 1981.

As he trudged the woods, Williams  had a sudden premonition that pointed to Diana’s imminent fate as per Christopher Andersen’s book The Day Diana Died. “When the vision struck me, it was as if everything around me was obscured and replaced by shadowy figures,” Williams was later to reminisce. “In the middle was the face of Princess Diana. Her expression was sad and full of pathos. She was wearing what looked like a floral dress with a short dark cardigan. But it was vague. I went cold with fear and knew it was a sign that she was in danger.”

Williams hastily beat a retreat to his home, which he shared with his wife Mary, and related to her his presentiment, trembling like an aspen leaf as he did so. “I have never seen him so upset,” Mary recounted. “He felt he was given a sign and when he came back from his walk he was deeply shaken.”

The following day, Williams frantically sauntered into a police station to inform the police of his premonition. The officer who attended to him would have dismissed him as no more than a crackpot but he treated him seriously in view of the accuracy of his past predictions. He  took a statement and immediately passed it on to the Special Branch Investigative  Unit.

The report read as follows:

“On 27 August, at 14:12 hrs, a man by the name of Edward Williams came to Mountain Ash police station. He said he was a psychic and predicted that Princess Diana was going to die. In previous years, he has predicted that the Pope and Ronald Reagan were going to be the victims of assassination attempts. On both occasions he was proved to be correct. Mr Williams appeared to be quite normal.”

Williams, General, was spot-on as usual: four days later, the princess was no more.

Meanwhile, General,  even as Dodi and Diana were making their way to the Fayed-owned Ritz Hotel in central Paris, British newspapers were awash with headlines that suggested Diana was kind of deranged. Writes Andrew Morton in Diana in Pursuit of Love: “In The Independent Diana was described as ‘a woman with fundamentally nothing to say about anything’. She was ‘suffering from a form of arrested development’. ‘Isn’t it time she started using her head?’ asked The Mail on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror printed a special supplement entitled ‘A Story of Love’; The News of the World claimed that William had demanded that Diana should split from Dodi: ‘William can’t help it, he just doesn’t like the man.’ William was reportedly ‘horrified’ and ‘doesn’t think Mr Fayed is good for his mother’ – or was that just the press projecting their own prejudices? The upmarket Sunday Times newspaper, which had first serialised my biography of the princess, now put her in the psychiatrist’s chair for daring to be wooed by a Muslim. The pop-psychologist Oliver James put Diana ‘On the Couch’, asking why she was so ‘depressed’ and desperate for love. Other tabloids piled in with dire prognostications – about Prince Philip’s hostility to the relationship, Diana’s prospect of exile, and the social ostracism she would face if she married Dodi.”

DIANA AND DODI AT THE RITZ

Before Diana and Dodi departed the Villa Windsor sometime after 16 hrs, General, one of Dodi’s bodyguards Trevor Rees-Jones furtively asked Diana as to what the programme for the evening was. This Trevor did out of sheer desperation as Dodi had ceased and desisted from telling members of his security detail, let alone anyone else for that matter, what his onward destination was for fear that that piece of information would be passed on to the paparazzi. Diana kindly obliged Trevor though her response was terse and scarcely revealing. “Well, eventually we will be going out to a restaurant”, that was all Diana said. Without advance knowledge of exactly what restaurant that was, Trevor and his colleagues’ hands were tied: they could not do a recce on it as was standard practice for the security team of a VIP principal.  Dodi certainly, General, was being recklessly by throwing such caution to the winds.

At about 16:30, Diana and Dodi drew up at the Ritz Hotel, where they were received by acting hotel manager Claude Roulet.  The front entrance of the hotel was already crawling with paparazzi, as a result of which the couple took the precaution of using the rear entrance, where hopefully they would make their entry unperturbed and unmolested. The first thing they did when they were ensconced in the now $10,000 a night Imperial Suite was to spend some time on their mobiles and set about touching base with friends, relations, and associates.  Diana called at least two people, her clairvoyant friend Rita Rogers and her favourite journalist Richard Kay of The Daily Mail.

Rita, General,  was alarmed that Diana had proceeded to venture to Paris notwithstanding the warning she had given Dodi and herself in relation to what she had seen of him  in the crystal ball when the couple had consulted her. When quizzed as to what the hell she indeed was doing in Paris at that juncture, Diana replied that she and Dodi had simply come to do some shopping, which though partially true was not the material reason they were there. “But Diana, remember what I told Dodi,” Rita said somewhat reprovingly. Diana a bit apprehensively replied, “Yes I remember. I will be careful. I promise.” Well,  she did not live up to her promise as we shall soon unpack General.

As for Richard Kay, Diana made known to him that, “I have decided I am going to radically change my life. I am going to complete my obligations to charities and to the anti-personnel land mines cause, but in November I want to completely withdraw from formal public life.”

Once she was done with her round of calls, Diana went down to the hair saloon by the hotel swimming pool to have her hair washed and blow-dried ahead of the scheduled evening dinner.

THE “TELL ME YES” RING IS DELIVERED

Since the main object of their Paris trip was to pick up the “Tell Me Yes” engagement ring  Dodi had ordered in Monte Carlo a week earlier, Dodi decided to check on Repossi Jewellery, which was right within the Ritz prencincts, known as the Place Vendome.  It could have taken less than a minute for Dodi to get to the store on foot but he decided to use a car to outsmart the paparazzi invasion. He was driven there by Trevor Rees-Jones, with Alexander Kez Wingfield and Claude Roulet following on foot, though he entered the shop alone.

The Repossi store had closed for the holiday season but Alberto Repossi, accompanied by his wife and brother-in-law,  had decided to travel all the way from his home in Monaco  and momentarily open it for the sake of the potentially highly lucrative  Dodi transaction.  Alberto, however, disappointed Dodi as the ring he had chosen was not the one  he produced. The one he showed Dodi was pricier and perhaps more exquisite but Dodi  was adamant that he wanted the exact one he had ordered as that was what Diana herself had picked. It was a ploy  on the part of Repossi to make a real killing on the sale, his excuse to that effect being that Diana deserved a ring tha was well worthy of her social pedigree.  With Dodi having expressed disaffection, Repossi rendered his apologies and assured Dodi he would make the right ring available shortly, whereupon Dodi repaired back to the hotel to await its delivery. But Dodi  did insist nonetheless that the pricier ring be delivered too in case it appealed to Diana anyway.

Repossi delivered the two rings an hour later. They were collected by Roulet. On inspecting them, Dodi chose the very one he had seen in Monte Carlo, apparently at the insistence of Diana.  There is a possibility that Diana, who was very much aware of her public image and was not comfortable with ostentatious displays of wealth, may have deliberately shown an interest in a less expensive engagement ring. It  may have been a purely romantic as opposed to a prestigious  choice for her.

The value of the ring, which was found on a wardrobe shelf in Dodi’s apartment after the crash,  has been estimated to be between $20,000 and $250,000 as Repossi has always refused to be drawn into revealing how much Dodi paid for it. The sum, which enjoyed a 25 percent discount, was in truth paid for not by Dodi himself but by his father as was the usual practice.

Dodi was also shown Repossi’s sketches for a bracelet, a watch, and earrings which he proposed to create if Diana approved of them.

DIANA AND DODI GUSH OVER IMMINENT NUPTIALS

At about 7 pm,  Dodi and Diana left the Ritz and headed for Dodi’s apartment at a place known as the Arc de Trompe. They went there to properly tog themselves out for the scheduled evening dinner. They spent two hours at the luxurious apartment. As usual, the ubiquitous paparazzi were patiently waiting for them there.

As they lingered in the apartment, Dodi beckoned over to his butler Rene Delorm  and showed him  the engagement ring. “Dodi came into my kitchen,” Delorm relates. “He looked into the hallway to check that Diana couldn’t hear and reached into his pocket and pulled out the box … He said, ‘Rene, I’m going to propose to the princess tonight. Make sure that we have champagne on ice when we come back from dinner’.” Rene described the ring as “a spectacular diamond encrusted ring, a massive emerald surrounded by a cluster of diamonds, set on a yellow and white gold band sitting in a small light-grey velvet box”.

Just before 9 pm, Dodi called the brother of his step-father, Hassan Yassen, who also was staying at the Ritz  that night, and told him that he hoped to get married to Diana by the end of the year.

Later that same evening, both Dodi and Diana would talk to Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi’s dad, and make known to him their pre-nuptial intentions. “They called me and said we’re coming back  (to London) on Sunday (August 31) and on Monday (September 1) they are

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RAMADAN – The Blessed Month of Fasting

28th March 2023

Ramadan is the fasting month for Muslims, where over one billion Muslims throughout the world fast from dawn to sunset, and pray additional prayers at night. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to Allah, and self-control. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. As you read this Muslims the world over have already begun fasting as the month of Ramadan has commenced (depending on the sighting of the new moon).

‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed as guidance for people, in it are clear signs of guidance and Criterion, therefore whoever of you who witnesses this month, it is obligatory on him to fast it. But whoever is ill or traveling let him fast the same number of other days, God desires ease for you and not hardship, and He desires that you complete the ordained period and glorify God for His guidance to you, that you may be grateful”. Holy Qur’an  (2 : 185)

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars upon which the structure of Islam is built. The other four are: the declaration of one’s belief in Allah’s oneness and in the message of Muhammad (PBUH); regular attendance to prayer; payment of zakaat (obligatory charity); and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

As explained in an earlier article, fasting includes total abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking, refraining from obscenity, avoiding getting into arguments and including abstaining from marital relations, from sunrise to sunset. While fasting may appear to some as difficult Muslims see it as an opportunity to get closer to their Lord, a chance to develop spiritually and at the same time the act of fasting builds character, discipline and self-restraint.

Just as our cars require servicing at regular intervals, so do Muslims consider Ramadan as a month in which the body and spirit undergoes as it were a ‘full service’. This ‘service’ includes heightened spiritual awareness both the mental and physical aspects and also the body undergoing a process of detoxification and some of the organs get to ‘rest’ through fasting.

Because of the intensive devotional activity fasting, Ramadan has a particularly high importance, derived from its very personal nature as an act of worship but there is nothing to stop anyone from privately violating Allah’s commandment of fasting if one chooses to do so by claiming to be fasting yet eating on the sly. This means that although fasting is obligatory, its observance is purely voluntary. If a person claims to be a Muslim, he is expected to fast in Ramadan.

 

The reward Allah gives for proper fasting is very generous. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) quotes Allah as saying: “All actions done by a human being are his own except fasting, which belongs to Me and I will reward it accordingly.” We are also told by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that the reward for proper fasting is admittance into heaven.

Fasting earns great reward when it is done in a ‘proper’ manner. This is because every Muslim is required to make his worship perfect. For example perfection of fasting can be achieved through restraint of one’s feelings and emotions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that when fasting, a person should not allow himself to be drawn into a quarrel or a slanging match. He teaches us: “On a day of fasting, let no one of you indulge in any obscenity, or enter into a slanging match. Should someone abuse or fight him, let him respond by saying: ‘I am fasting!’”

This high standard of self-restraint fits in well with fasting, which is considered as an act of self-discipline. Islam requires us to couple patience with voluntary abstention from indulgence in our physical desires. The purpose of fasting helps man to attain a high degree of sublimity, discipline and self-restraint. In other words, this standard CAN BE achieved by every Muslim who knows the purpose of fasting and strives to fulfill it.

Fasting has another special aspect. It makes all people share in the feelings of hunger and thirst. In normal circumstances, people with decent income may go from one year’s end to another without experiencing the pangs of hunger which a poor person may feel every day of his life. Such an experience helps to draw the rich one’s conscience nearer to needs of the poor. A Muslim is encouraged to be more charitable and learns to give generously for a good cause.

Fasting also has a universal or communal aspect to it. As Muslims throughout the world share in this blessed act of worship, their sense of unity is enhanced by the fact that every Muslim individual joins willingly in the fulfillment of this divine commandment. This is a unity of action and purpose, since they all fast in order to be better human beings. As a person restrains himself from the things he desires most, in the hope that he will earn Allah’s pleasure, self-discipline and sacrifice become part of his nature.

The month of Ramadan can aptly be described as a “season of worship.” Fasting is the main aspect of worship in this month, because people are more attentive to their prayers, read the Qur’an more frequently and also strive to improve on their inner and outer character. Thus, their devotion is more complete and they feel much happier in Ramadan because they feel themselves to be closer to their Creator.

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