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Inannas Grand Thievery

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

Enki robbed of the strategically crucial MEs by Jehovah’s granddaughter

Before Inanna-Ishtar, Jehovah’s self-willed granddaughter, set off to attend her late husband Dumuzi’s funeral at Nergal’s palace in today’s South Africa, she had told her handmaiden, who had remained behind in her Sumerian cult city Uruk,  and her  foreign affairs secretary Ninshubur that in the event that she was not heard from  within three days, they should raise an alarm. This was because she was not absolutely sure of her safety when she faced her elder sister Ereshkigal, who was the funeral ceremony’s hostess and who had insisted Inanna not show up at all.

Thus early on the third day of Inanna’s disappearance, her handmaiden contacted Ninshubur, who was still camped outside Nergal’s palace along with the rest of Inanna’s entourage, all of whom had been prevented from setting foot onto the palace courts by Ereshkigal. Ninshubur immediately messaged Nergal’s son, requesting him to establish whether Inanna was among the gathering in the palace hall. The young man had not seen her aunt and so he sent word to his father, who in turn alerted Enlil.

Having confirmed that Inanna had indeed arrived for the funeral two days ago but was nowhere on the palace premises, Enlil was alarmed: he had a hunch something sinister had befallen his granddaughter and the obvious suspect was Ereshkigal. Without wasting time, Enlil assigned Enki to urgently look into the matter. The choice of Enki was suiting: not only was he Inanna’s grandfather too on her mother’s side Ningal but Enki could be counted upon to restore Inanna to life if  she had succumbed to foul play at the hands of Ereshkigal particularly that she would not have been dead for more than three days.

Enki took Ereshkigal aside and demanded that she owns up as to what she had done to Inanna as it was crystal-clear she was the one behind her disappearance. Ereshkigal, who was at once Enki’s granddaughter, daughter-in-law, and the mother of his son Ningishzidda (that’s how incestuous the Anunnaki were), did not equivocate:  breaking down into copious tears,   she recounted all that had transpired and even provided the coordinates of the exact spot Inanna had been left to die.

Enki went to work straightaway. It was summer time in South Africa and the chalky-white-skinned Anunnaki, like Enki was, just could not venture out in the blazing sun being rather susceptible   to the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays. So drawing on his genius, Enki fashioned two androids from clay in a matter of hours, who he named Kurgarra and Galatur,  electronically animated them, and detailed his dark-skinned Anunnaki pilots to take them to where Inanna was. Meanwhile, he was monitoring the situation using a facility similar to video-conferencing in the air-conditioned ambience of Nergal’s palace.

Enki had equipped the two medical androids with an “Emitter” and “Pulser” respectively. The metaphor for the reanimation substances the androids carried was “Food of Life” and “Water of Life” respectively. Arriving at the scene of Inanna’s ordeal, the search party found an already dead Inanna still strapped to the tree. There was no time to waste. Enki immediately activated the androids by remote control.   “Upon the corpse a Pulser and Emitter they (the androids) directed,” the Sumerian records relate. “Then the Water of Life on her they sprinkled, in her mouth the Plant of Life they placed.” The measures taken worked like a charm. “Inanna stirred, her eyes she opened: from the dead Inanna arose.”

INANNA IMMORTALISES DUMUZI IN SEX RITUAL

Within a week’s time, Inanna had been nursed back to full health by Enki. Now bursting with vitality and strutting her stuff as usual, she demanded, first, that her regal regalia be returned to her by Ereshkigal. Then she asked for Dumuzi’s body, which she took with her back to Nubia, where he had ruled. There, she had the body “washed with pure water and anointed with sweet oil”. She then clothed the body with a shroud and laid it on a lapis lazuli slab. That done, she placed the body into a tomb carved out of a specially preserved rock formation in the centre of the city. The body was to remain there till Nibiru was back in the ecliptic, whereupon she would accompany it to the planet for the very last rites.  

Yet Inanna remained haunted by the death of her Romeo for the rest of her life. She always dreamt about Dumuzi and even had broad-daylight hallucinations of him. In a vain attempt at consigning him to total oblivion, she introduced, in her cult city of Uruk, what became known as the “Sacred Marriage Rite”. At her ziggurat temple-house, the Eanna, there was a standalone structure known as the Giparu (“Night Time Abode”) and in a wing of the Giparu was a sex den known as the Gigunu (“Chamber of Night Time Pleasures”).

It was in the Gigunu that Nibiru king Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”, made love to her every time he came to Earth. Even more significant, it was in the Gigunu that she and Dumuzi had their first one-night-stand and where their first sexual act after the wedding ceremony took place. Thus the Gigunu, rather than make her forget about Dumuzi, in fact achieved the contrary purpose – to reinforce his memory.

Now, the Sacred Marriage was far from a marriage: it was purely for recreational, one-night-stand sex romp. Initially, this took place once every year on the anniversary of Dumuzi’s death, when an aristocratic demigod was invited by Inanna to “sample” her in the Gigunu. In due course, the rite had a spin-off, whereby an Anunnaki groom was invited to “taste” her on the night of his wedding day before he consummated his marriage with his own bride.

“To this Gigunu, young heroes (Anunnaki), on the night of their weddings, with sweet words she lured,” say the Sumerian chronicles. “Long life, a blissful future to them she promised.” All the while, Inanna imagined she was being mounted by her beloved Dumuzi. Sadly, almost every such man who slept with her in the Gigunu died of what is called “cardiogenic shock” arising from too much “sexual sweetness” (even in our day, such deaths account for approximately 0.6 percent of all sudden deaths).

KINGS FEATURE IN SACRED MARRIAGE RITE

The sexual fatalities so scared the daylights out of wedding grooms that they ceased and desisted from responding to Inanna’s Gigunu overtures, as a result of which she now turned to priest-kings of Uruk with a twist in terms of the bait dangled forth.  To the priest-kings, it was not simply about sex only: rather, it was more about eliciting her blessings as the superintending goddess once every year. This new dimension of the Sacred Marriage Rite which involved priest-kings became part of the yearly, 12-day long Akiti (“On Earth Bring Life”) festival.  Zechariah Sitchin describes the ritual in some detail as follows:

“Inanna began to invite the king to her Gigunu … The essence of the procedure was to find a way to have the king spend the night with the goddess without ending up dead … The outcome depended not only the king's personal fate, but also the fate of the land and its people—prosperity and abundance or the lack of them in the coming year. For the first four days of the festival, the gods (Anunnaki) alone participated in the re-enactments (of the death of Dumuzi and his replacement by a new ruler). On the fifth day the king came on the scene, leading the elders and other dignitaries in a procession through a special Way of Ishtar…  

“Arriving at the main temple, the king was met by the High Priest, who took away the king's insignia and placed them before the deity (Inanna) in the Holy of Holies (symbolic dethronement of Dumuzi). Then, returning to the dethroned king, the High Priest struck him in the face and made him kneel down for a ceremony of Atonement in which the king had to recite a list of sins (particularly the killing of Dumuzi) and seek divine forgiveness.

Priests then led the king out of town to a pit of symbolic death; the king stayed there imprisoned while above the gods debated his Destiny. On the ninth day he re-emerged, was given back his insignia and royal robes, and led back the procession to the city. There, at evening time, washed and scented, he was led to the Giparu in the sacred precinct.

“At the entrance to the Gigunu he was met by Inanna's personal attendant, who made the following appeal to the goddess in behalf of the king: ‘The sun has gone to sleep, the day has passed. As in bed you gaze upon him, as you caress him, give Life unto the King … May the king whom you have called to heart enjoy long days at your holy lap …  Give him a reign favourable and glorious.  Grant his throne an enduring foundation … May the farmer make the fields productive.

May the shepherd multiply the sheepfolds … In the palace let there be long life.’ The king was then left alone with the goddess in the Gigunu for the conjugal encounter. It lasted the whole night. In the morning the king emerged, for all to see that he had survived the night (that is, had not died from sexual sweetness . The Sacred Marriage had taken place; the king could reign on for another year; the land and people were granted prosperity.”

Inanna so popularised the spirit of the Sacred Marriage Rite that long after the advent of Dumuzi,  Sumerian kings described poetically the ecstasy of such memorable nights with her. The “death and resurrection”  of  Dumuzi itself continued to be commemorated by the Jews once yearly on what  was designated “The Day of National Mourning”, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing. For example,  the prophet Ezekiel (EZEKIEL 8:14) was wroth when he saw Israelites “weeping for Tammuz,” the Hebrew rendering of the name Dumuzi, which is Thomas in English.  

ENKI DENIES INANNA THE CRUCIAL “MEs”

Following the death of Dumuzi, Inanna decided to turn Uruk (Erech in the Bible) into a city along the lines of the glittering Kish, which was the Paris of Sumeria. She just wasn’t patient enough to await the appropriate time for her allocation of an own domain   which had been promised her at the conclusion of the Second Pyramid war at the say-so of King Anu of Nibiru. It was the same King Anu who gifted her Uruk as her cult city as part of the dowry that automatically entitled him to conjugal rights every time he visited Earth and every time she visited Nibiru, which she did periodically.

The person she chose to transform the city was Enmerkar, officially  the grandson of her twin-brother Utu-Shamash. Enmerkar was the son of Meskiaggasher, or Meshack in short. Born to Shamash by an Earthling concubine, Meshack was the first priest-king of Uruk, which he ruled for 324 years before handing over to Enmerkar. But Enmerkar, apparently,  was no more than a legal son of Meshack as Enmerkar made a point of trumpeting the fact that he was actually a demigod, his real father being Shamash, very much an echo of Marduk’s double-entendre relationship with Osiris, who was at once his son (biologically) and grandson (legally). Enmerkar would rule Uruk under the auspices of “goddess” Inanna for    420  years, nearly a 100 years more than his father did not least because he was a maniac  in bed – exactly the type that appealed to the nymphomaniacal  Inanna.  

When kingship (for humans under the aegis  of Anunnaki “gods”)  was transferred from Kish to Uruk circa 3000 BC in accordance with the rotational setup decreed by Enlil, Inanna detailed Enmerkar to turn Uruk from a mere sacred precinct to a thriving metropolis that should rival Kish in every respect. Enmerkar’s first major statement in this brief was to refurbish and enlarge the Eanna, erect a 6-mile long wall around it, and pave the entire city with  “limestone blocks from 50 miles to the east”. True to the spirit of his name, which conveyed the meaning of being “diligent”, Enmerkar would   ultimately carve himself lasting renown as “The Man Who Built Uruk”.

At this incipient stage, however, Enmerkar, who for some reason called himself “Sumeria’s Junior Enlil”, could only go so far. To turn Uruk into the Utopia Inanna envisaged, he needed certain enablers in the form of transformational codes known as the MEs. Indeed, it was with only 50 MEs that Ninurta had  turned Kish into the full-fledged centre of urban civilisation it was. Exactly what were the MEs?      

The MEs have been described as “physical objects that one could pick up and carry, or even put on, and which contained secret knowledge or data. Perhaps they were something like our present-day computer chips, on which data, programs, and operational orders were minutely recorded. On them the essentials of civilisation were encoded”; as “portable objects which held all the knowledge   and other aspects of a high civilisation … In the current state of modern technology, one can envision them as some kind of computer disks or memory chips which, in spite of their minute size, hold vast amounts of information.

In a few decades, with more advanced technology, one might compare them to some other marvelous store of information (yet to be invented)”; and as “a kind of computer or data disks— which held the information needed for the sciences, the handicrafts, and the arts. Numbering more than a hundred, they included such diverse subjects as writing, music, metalworking, construction, transportation, anatomy, medical treatments, flood control, and urban decay; also, as other lists make clear, astronomy, mathematics, and the calendar.”

The problem, however, was that the MEs were held by Enki, their  inventor and  custodian as the Anunnaki’s god of knowledge, who released them at the appropriate time to any Anunnaki god in charge of a city-state or an entire domain and for the benefit not of the god himself but of humans in his charge.  Thus when Inanna approached Enki and begged for some of the MEs, he politely turned her down in that her aim, he discerned, was not to improve the quality of life of mankind – his creation – but to stroke her own outsized ego primarily. Enki feared that if Inanna was availed the MEs, her sense of self-worth and delusions of grandeur would be such that she might go on a land-grabbing rampage like the pinheaded daredevil  she was.

As things turned out by and by, Enki read her correctly. Be that as it may, Inanna simply was not the one to yield sedately to any sanction or obstacle thrown her way. She vowed to Enmerkar, as she busily gave him a blow-job and greedily gulped on his jizz, that she would get the MEs by hook or crook. Exactly what did she mean?  

ENKI COAXED INTO PARTING WITH 100 MEs

As everybody else, Inanna was all too aware that Enki had quite a weakness with the opposite sex that mirrored her own. It is this weakness that she sought to exploit and land herself a few “divine formulas” as the MEs were otherwise known. Enki was aging and having lost much of his sex appeal of yesteryears – though still a stud under the sheets – he was even all the more toast and was liable to go to every length to bed a delectable beauty like Inanna.  

Having received word that Inanna was on her way over to see him over some crucial matter about which she didn’t go into details, Enki was ecstatic. He instructed his chief steward Isimud to “sweet wine prepare, the beer vessels to the rim fill up!”    Arriving at Enki’s seaside villa in her “sky chamber” on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Inanna was dressed literally to kill. She wore not conventional clothing but a negligee – a  see-through bed time gown that left nothing to the imagination. “With jewelry was Inanna bedecked, by her thin dress her body she revealed,” Enki himself relates.  

Enki straightaway ushered her into his exquisite bed chamber which doubled as his study and was the repository of a whole range of  classified and confidential subject matters. Inanna wasted no time in working her bitch-ish charms on the already salivating randy Casanova by indulging in all sorts of seductive antics. “When she bent down, her vulva by Enki was thoroughly admired,” the Sumerian texts relate. Soon the duo were flirting, feasting, and carousing. “From the wine cups sweet wine they drank, for beer drinking a competition they had.” Before long, they were making whoopee on Enki’s King-sized bed. “Enki would thrill her with advanced sexual practices and she would show him a thing or two as well,” the Sumerian records voyeuristically inform us.   

The combined effects of the alcohol and the repeated rounds of exceedingly sweet rumpy pumpy robbed Enki of his sense of scruple, whereupon Inanna, who had been drinking only sparingly so as not to unduly compromise her mission, popped the request. But she was not rash: she made her ME entreaties step by step, about seven times altogether, and each time Enki readily obliged her.  By the time the clock struck midnight, Enki had parted with 7 monarchical MEs and 94 dealing with matters of economic, scientific, military and technological advancement. Having attained the object of her mission, Inanna tip-toed out of Enki’s bed chamber as he lay drained of all energy in a manner reminiscent of a deflated tyre, made her way to  the parked flying saucer, and jetted off to Uruk at breakneck speed in a fever of yipping and hooraying excitement.       

NEXT WEEK:  INANNA LANDS DREAM POSSESSION!

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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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