They took the form of Cherubims, Seraphims, and the “Glory of God” known as the Kabod!
Aircraft – skyborne vehicles of all sorts – were the primary means by which the Old Testament gods moved from place to place. It’s all very apparent in the Bible. Of course the Bible does not call them planes, choppers, or flying saucers because such terms didn’t exist then. In ancient times, any unusual object in the eyes of mankind was described in terms either of its closest resemblance in nature or a familiar man-made structure. Hence, sky vehicles were variously called eagles, wings, winds, whirlwinds, dragons, horses, chariots (horse-pulled carriages), sky/celestial boats, sky chambers, etc.
There’s an English expression which says, “taking somebody under one’s wings”, that is, assuming their care, guardianship, apprenticeship, or any other such periodical responsibility. Most people are not aware that the expression has its roots in the Bible. It had to do with the privilege on the part of Earthlings that came with riding in a rocket, chopper, jet, or flying saucers owned or operated by their Anunnaki gods.
The Old Testament is replete with statements about Yahweh – any of the Anunnaki gods but Enlil fundamentally – taking to aerial flight. For instance, in EXODUS 19:4, Yahweh says to the children of Israel, his chosen people, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Me”. Of course your preacher or brain-dead theologian will tell you this is all symbolic language. Well, it isn’t: what Yahweh was saying was that at least some of the elite Israelites had the opportunity of being transported in his jet or flying saucer in the great trek from Egypt to the Sinai.
When welcoming his widowed relative Ruth into the broader family fold, Boaz, a wealthy landowner of Bethlehem in Judea, says to her, “May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (RUTH 2:12). It is likely that Ruth was brought along to Boaz’s place in Yahweh’s aircraft. A number of psalms (e.g. PSALMS 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; and 63:7) talk about singing or taking refuge “in the shadow of thy wings”, that is, the shadow of Yahweh’s aircraft, figuratively meaning coming under Yahweh’s protection. PSALM 18:10 characterises Yahweh as “flying upon the wings of the wind” and PSALM 104:3 says, “He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind” – all of which assert loud and clear that the gods of Israel travelled in aircraft.
THE CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM
In the Bible, there are three types of flying machines that have confounded so many a scholar they are largely mis-translated from the Hebrew into English. These are Cherubim (cherub for singular); Seraphim (seraph for singular); and Kabod. We will begin with the Cherubim. The term Cherubim occurs more than 100 times in the Bible. It can denote a whole host of things. They include the Anunnaki themselves (generally called angels in the Bible); anything that symbolises the Anunnaki as minders of God’s throne, such as the two, golden graven images of winged beings atop the Ark of the Covenant (EXODUS 37:7);
and demigods (part-human, part-Anunnaki) who were given a chance to visit Baalbek and ride in a shem. In the latter sense, for instance, the King of Tyre was described as “an anointed cherub” (EZEKIEL 28:14). In Akkadian, the Cherubim (Karibu) were intercessors – blessed/consecrated ones who spoke to Anunnaki gods on behalf of the human population. That is to say, the Cherubim were high priests.
The term Seraphim is less frequent than Cherubim in the Bible. It occurs five times in the Old Testament (NUMBERS 21:6–8; DEUTERONOMY 8:15; and ISAIAH 6: 1-3, 14:29, and 30:6) and once in the New Testament (REVELATION 4:4-8). In ISAIAH 6:1-3 and REVELATION 4:4-8, the connotation is that of an angelic guard/choir of God. In the book of Enoch, the Seraphim are the highest-ranking angels followed by the Cherubim.
However, all the above meanings are secondary. They constitute evolutionary meanings and not original meanings. The original meaning of both Cherubim and Seraphim had to do with flying machines. The original meaning of seraph was “something that burns”. You will be aware by now that that is how the Sumerians described a shem, a rocket, because it billowed down fire as it upthrusted into the sky. When referring to Jets, or Mu’s, the term seraphim meant “flying fiery winged serpent”. If you recall, Ningishzidda was called Quetzalcoatl by the Mayans because he rode in a flying craft that looked like a flying winged serpent – a seraphim. A jet of course does not billow out fire but the overriding assumption was that all flying craft were powered by fire. The Seraphim as flying machines were also known as dragons.
In the Bible, Yahweh could ride in a cherub (2 SAMUEL 22:11/PSALM 18:10). Also in the Bible, the seraph is primarily an aircraft-type weapon of destruction as it “spouted fire” (DEUTERONOMY 8:15; NUMBERS 21: 6; and ISAIAH 30:6.) It is clear that the Cherubim and Seraphim were flying objects because they had connotations of fire (like a rocket); wings (like those of a plane); wheels folded against them (like those of a plane in flight); noise (like that of a landing or taking off plane or rocket); and a cabin (called a “throne” in the Bible); protection (shems were deemed as ‘protecting” one from death as they were a means by which eternal life was conferred); and communication (the Anunnaki gods sometimes proclaimed [that is, broadcast] messages from low-flying aircraft such as choppers.
If there was a difference between Cherubim and Seraphim craft, it was primarily in their shapes and sizes. Cherubims were smaller. In GENESIS 3:24, God stationed Cherubims on the peripheries of the Garden of Eden with a view to ensure that the banished Adam and Eve did not find their way back in. These were simply rotorcrafts (rotary wing aircraft, such as a helicopter). The Seraphim were bigger and took the form of a plane basically.
In time, the Anunnaki themselves came to be called cherubims/seraphims, just as they were called rocket men, after the machines they flew in. Moreover, since flying machines were associated with sanctity/perfection, a good-looking person was also referred to as a cherub (Kgarebe in Setswana). By the same token, since Seraphim sky vehicles were shaped like a flying snake or reptile, snakes too came to be known as seraphs or dragons. The Assyrians referred to Nergal, Enki’s second son, as sharrapu, meaning “a fire-breathing god” (by virtue of the role he played in the nuking of Sodom and Gomorrah), or simply dragon.
There was also another airborne vehicle, smaller than both the Cherubim and Seraphim, that was used by Ishkur-Adad when he spearheaded the Israelites into the Sinai wilderness. This small craft was actually a mobile throne. Called a Kabod, wrongly translated as “the Glory of God” (e.g. EXODUS 24:15-18), it appears about 200 times in the Old Testament. The Kabod was camouflaged in a mass of fire/light veiled in a cloud. The Kabod was a short range craft: for long-haul trips, it was carried in the much bigger Cherubim, just as huge planes carry choppers in our day.
Zechariah Sitchin provides further context for us thus in relation to the experiences of Prophet Ezekiel: “The Chariot, Ezekiel reported, was engulfed with a bright radiance; this, he said, was ‘the appearance of the Kabod of Yahweh’. On his first prophetic mission to the exiles dwelling at the River Khabur, he was addressed by the Lord in a valley where ‘the Kabod of Yahweh was stationed, a Kabod like the one seen before’. When he was carried aloft and taken to see Jerusalem ‘in divine visions’, he again ‘saw the Kabod of the God of Israel, as the one I had seen in the valley’. And when the envisioned visit was completed, the ‘Kabod of Yahweh’ stationed itself upon the Cherubim, and the Cherubim raised their wings and ‘lifted off the earth’, carrying the Kabod aloft.”
THE ANUNNAKI’S FLIGHT UNIFORM
Besides being called Eagles, the Anunnaki pilots/astronauts were known as Abgals (“master who points the way”) in Sumerian and Akpallu in Akkadian. Inanna-Ishtar’s principal pilot was known as Nungal, or Pushan in the language of the Indus Valley. According to one Vedas text, Pushan “guided Indra (Inanna) through the speckled clouds in the golden ship (flying saucer) that travels in the air’s mid-region”.
Of the Anunnaki pantheon, it is Inanna who is most depicted in flight gear. Her twin brother Utu-Shamash may have been the god of the shems but it was Inanna with whom Earthlings were besotted with regard to flight. The Sumerian records describe seven objects Inanna wore in relation to her sky-borne travels. They were a Shugarra (helmet); measuring pendants (earphones); chains of small bluish stones around her neck; twin stones on her shoulder; a golden cylinder in her hands; straps clasping her breasts; and the Pala or ruler’s garment, the clothing around her body.
In 1934, archaeologists excavated a full-sized statue of Inanna at Mari, in modern Syria, that showed her dressed in pilot gear. Zechariah Sitchin furnishes the following account on the statue: “On her head she wears not a milliner's chapeau but a special helmet; protruding from it on both sides and fitted over the ears are objects that remind one of a pilot's earphones. On her neck and upper chest the goddess wears a necklace of many small (and probably precious) stones; in her hands she holds a cylindrical object which appears too thick and heavy to be a vase for holding water.
“Over a blouse of see-through material, two parallel straps run across her chest, leading back to and holding in place an unusual box of rectangular shape. The box is held tight against the back of the goddess's neck and is firmly attached to the helmet with a horizontal strap. Whatever the box held inside must have been heavy, for the contraption is further supported by two large shoulder pads. The weight of the box is increased by a hose that is connected to its base by a circular clasp.
“The complete package of instruments – for this is what they undoubtedly were – is held in place with the aid of the two sets of straps that crisscross the goddess's back and chest.” If you recall, when a disinvited Inanna dared to attend her husband Dumuzi’s funeral at the palace of Nergal in Cape Agulhas in South Africa, she had to go through seven gates and at each gate, one of seven objects on her person was confiscated.
What she had been brashly wearing was the same aeronaut’s uniform described above (worn only by ranked gods), which her estranged sister and hostess, Ereshkigal, insisted she leave behind before she entered her presence just in case she was hiding a subtle weapon underneath. Ereshkigal wanted Inanna to stand before her stark naked to humiliate her. In sum folks, the Anunnaki not only flew aircraft but they wore a special airman’s uniform when they so did.
SIN’S BOUNTIFUL BROOD
Reading the Sumerian chronicles, and indeed the works of noted Anunnaki chroniclers themselves such as Zechariah Sitchin, one gets the impression, generally, that Utu-Shamash and Inanna-Ishtar were Nannar-Sin’s only kids. That simply wasn’t the case. The fraternal twins were his seniormost kids with his wife Ningal, Enki’s daughter who was known as Asherah to the Canaanites. Of all the Anunnaki here on Earth, Sin in fact had the largest number of children.
Sin, the future Allah of Islam (just as Enlil was the future Jehovah of Judaism and the tragically grafted-upon Christianity) had upwards of 70 children, the reason he was known as Aten, meaning the “Fertile Lord”. If you think Enki had a rabbit’s libido, maybe you should spare a thought for Sin. However, whereas Enki mounted and sired children with practically every breasted being of his fancy, Sin’s children all were official, meaning they arose in full conformity with the parameters of intra-marital and extra-marital procreation.
Of the 70-plus children, 30 were with his official consort Ningal: surely, the stress of repeated childbirth must have worn the poor woman to a frazzle. The rest were born via a harem arrangement. We have already talked about the Gipar, Inanna’s night-time abode, within which was a Gigunu, her chamber of night-time pleasures. Sin also had his own Gipar and Gigunu at his sacred precincts in Ur, his cult city, where he could carouse with the hierodules, or pleasure priestesses, and sire children with a myriad of concubines with the full knowledge and sanction of Ningal.
In any case, Sin was renowned in two other respects. First, he was the best looking Enlilite. It is the reason the term Adonis (from Adonai, the Hebrew name for Sin, which stems from his other name Aten, also rendered Adon) came to mean a very handsome man. Second, he was enormously gifted south of the waistline, a trait Shamash inherited and was fond of flaunting. One poetic Sumerian text tells how two females who spotted Sin taking a leisurely stroll stark naked on a beach were charmed by his colossal member and following a threesome that same night in the Gigunu ended up bearing him two sons. Indeed, an ancient Phoenician coin depicts him with a very prominent prick.
Now, of the totality of Sin’s children, the eldest was Yam, who he had with a concubine. The fraternal twins Shamash and Inanna, with Inanna technically the older of the two since she arrived first, were next. The fourth was Mot, yet another son Sin had with Yam’s mother. According to the Anunnaki succession rules, the rightful heir was Shamash as not only was he male but he was born to the official spouse Ningal. But Nannar-Sin was equivocal as to his own preference and the upshot was serious feuding between Shamash, allied with his sister by blood Inanna, and Yam, allied with his blood brother Mot.
SHAMASH IS KILLED
Shamash clashed at least once with each of his two half-brothers. The first, with Yam, was over the succession. The second, with Mot, was over Baalbek. The initial conflict was sparked when Yam somehow prevailed upon Sin in some secret meeting to bestow the succession on him, a scenario not unlike the stunt Jacob pulled on his elder brother Esau. For some reason, Sin did not think Shamash had what it took to step into his shoes as he neared retirement from the public stage. At some stage, he even engaged in a showdown with Shamash to demonstrate to him that he, Sin, was still in charge and he had better toe the line, an event we shall go into in detail at the appropriate time.
The first to get wind of this private pact between Sin and Yam was Inanna. The moment she learnt about it, she rushed to Shamash to alert him that “El (Sin) is overturning the Kingship”. Alarmed, Shamash immediately appealed to the Enlilite Council of the Gods. Although the council invalidated Sin’s gesture and reinstated Shamash, Yam refused to take the matter lying down and declared war on Shamash.
When the two faced off, it was Shamash who had the upper hand. Inanna had helped him secure two formidable weapons from Ningishzidda, the “Craftsman of the Gods”. The weapons were known as the “Chaser” and the “Thrower” which “swoops like an eagle”. Yam simply was no match and was in dire straits. As Shamash poised to finish him off, his mother Asherah materialised from out of the blue and begged him to spare his half-brother. Shamash obliged but subject to one strong condition – that Asherah should prevail over Sin to declare him as the Lord of Zaphon (Baalbek) in perpetuity. Sin duly contacted Ishkur-Adad, the overall Lord of Lebanon, and underlined the point that only Shamash of all his sons was entitled to preside over Baalbek.
Shamash’s encounter with Mot had to do with his installation at Baalbek of the “Stone of Splendour”, described as something that “Heaven and Earth it makes converse and the seas with planets”. It was a sophisticated contraption that could send or intercept secret message electronically relayed on the planet and therefore was in the realm of espionage, something akin to the USA’s National Security Agency’s global surveillance programme that was exposed by Edward Snowden.
Disturbed by this development, Mot demanded that he inspect the installation so that he exactly figures it out. Shamash showed him the middle finger, whereupon Mot requested that Shamash come to his place to at least explain the installation’s full ramifications. Shamash cooperated, only to walk into an ambush. The moment he showed up, Mot took him on in a one-on-one fist fight and in the process Shamash was killed. All this happened long before the era of Gilgamesh, which means Shamash did not actually cross over. Exactly how did he once again live to be the Lord of Zaphon? Did he dramatically reanimate himself like the phoenix?
In recent years, using personal devices in working environments has become so commonplace it now has its own acronym, BOYD (Bring Your Own Device). Â 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.Â 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.Â Yet, despite still managing to be successful in terms of sales, theÂ 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 ÂŁ18,000 (around P Âź 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 whichÂ 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 didnât even have a website, but fraudsters were able to run stolen credit card numbers through the companyâs payment system and reverse the charges to the tune of $27,000, around the same loss faced by Si-Iwli. Â As the WSJ put it, the hackers completely destroyed the company, forcing its owners to fold.
And in May 2019, the city of Baltimoreâs 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 Â 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.Â 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 employeesâ 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â Out of the physical workplace, your employeesâ 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 employeesâ productivity. Â 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,Â 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 clientsâ 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.Â Then there is ransomware, a type of malware used by hackers to specifically take control of a systemâs data, blocking access or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid such as the one which affected Baltimore.Â Ransomware attacks are on the increase, Â predicted toÂ occur every 14 seconds, potentially costing billions of dollars per year.
Lastly there is phishing â the cyber equivalent of the metaphorical fishing exercise – Â wherebyÂ cybercriminals attempt to obtain sensitive data âusernames, passwords, credit card details âusually 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,Â consult your IT security consultants.Â You canât put the own-device genie back in the bottle but you can make data protection one of your three wishes!
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 Â had a sudden premonition that pointed to Dianaâs imminent fate as per Christopher Andersenâs book The Day Diana Died. âWhen the vision struck me, it was as if everything around me was obscured and replaced by shadowy figures,â Williams was later to reminisce. âIn 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.â
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. âI have never seen him so upset,â Mary recounted. âHe felt he was given a sign and when he came back from his walk he was deeply shaken.â
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. HeÂ took a statement and immediately passed it on to the Special Branch InvestigativeÂ Unit.
The report read as follows:
âOn 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.â
Williams, General, was spot-on as usual: four days later, the princess was no more.
Meanwhile, General, Â 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: âIn The Independent Diana was described as âa woman with fundamentally nothing to say about anythingâ. She was âsuffering from a form of arrested developmentâ. âIsnât it time she started using her head?â asked The Mail on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror printed a special supplement entitled âA Story of Loveâ; The News of the World claimed that William had demanded that Diana should split from Dodi: âWilliam canât help it, he just doesnât like the man.â William was reportedly âhorrifiedâ and âdoesnât think Mr Fayed is good for his motherâ â 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 psychiatristâs chair for daring to be wooed by a Muslim. The pop-psychologist Oliver James put Diana âOn the Couchâ, asking why she was so âdepressedâ and desperate for love. Other tabloids piled in with dire prognostications â about Prince Philipâs hostility to the relationship, Dianaâs prospect of exile, and the social ostracism she would face if she married Dodi.â
DIANA AND DODI AT THE RITZ
Before Diana and Dodi departed the Villa Windsor sometime after 16 hrs, General, one of Dodiâs 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. âWell, eventually we will be going out to a restaurantâ, that was all Diana said. Without advance knowledge of exactly what restaurant that was, Trevor and his colleaguesâ hands were tied: they could not do a recce on it as was standard practice for the security team of a VIP principal.Â 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. Â 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. Â Diana called at least two people, her clairvoyant friend Rita Rogers and her favourite journalist Richard Kay of The Daily Mail.
Rita, General, Â 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 Â 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. âBut Diana, remember what I told Dodi,â Rita said somewhat reprovingly. Diana a bit apprehensively replied, âYes I remember. I will be careful. I promise.â Well, Â she did not live up to her promise as we shall soon unpack General.
As for Richard Kay, Diana made known to him that, âI 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.â
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.
THEâTELL ME YESâ RING IS DELIVERED
Since the main object of their Paris trip was to pick up the âTell Me Yesâ engagement ringÂ 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. Â 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, Â had decided to travel all the way from his home in Monaco Â and momentarily open it for the sake of the potentially highly lucrativeÂ Dodi transaction. Â Alberto, however, disappointed Dodi as the ring he had chosen was not the oneÂ he produced. The one he showed Dodi was pricier and perhaps more exquisite but DodiÂ was adamant that he wanted the exact one he had ordered as that was what Diana herself had picked. It was a ployÂ 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.Â 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 Â 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.Â 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 Â may have been a purely romantic as opposed to a prestigious Â choice for her.
The value of the ring, which was found on a wardrobe shelf in Dodiâs apartment after the crash, Â 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 Repossiâs 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, Â Dodi and Diana left the Ritz and headed for Dodiâs 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 DelormÂ and showed himÂ the engagement ring. âDodi came into my kitchen,â Delorm relates. âHe looked into the hallway to check that Diana couldnât hear and reached into his pocket and pulled out the box âŚ He said, âRene, Iâm going to propose to the princess tonight. Make sure that we have champagne on ice when we come back from dinnerâ.â Rene described the ring as âa 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 boxâ.
Just before 9 pm, Dodi called the brother of his step-father, Hassan Yassen, who also was staying at the Ritz Â 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, Dodiâs dad, and make known to him their pre-nuptial intentions. âThey called me and said weâre coming backÂ (to London) on Sunday (August 31) and on Monday (September 1) they are
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).
âThe 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’anÂ (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 oneâs belief in Allahâs 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 âfull serviceâ. This âserviceâ 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 ârestâ 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 Allahâs 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: âAll actions done by a human being are his own except fasting, which belongs to Me and I will reward it accordingly.â 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 âproperâ manner. This is because every Muslim is required to make his worship perfect. For example perfection of fasting can be achieved through restraint of oneâs 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: âOn 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: âI am fasting!ââ
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 yearâs 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 oneâs 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 Allahâs pleasure, self-discipline and sacrifice become part of his nature.
The month of Ramadan can aptly be described as a âseason of worship.â Fasting is the main aspect of worship in this month, because people are more attentive to their prayers, read the Qurâan 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.