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Marduk Takes Harran!

Benson C Saili


A cunning Jehovah sets snare for the popular Enkite god

Besides a clutch of grandiose religious works, Ur-Nammu instituted a new moral revival. Mankind was called upon to turn away from evil ways to a course of righteousness according to a newly promulgated code of justice and social   behaviour. The Code of Laws was a list of do’s and don’ts. According to the Code, “the orphan did not fall prey to the wealthy, the widow did not fall prey to the powerful, the man with one sheep was not delivered to the man with one ox”, etc.

In time, Ur-Nammu would be highly spoken of by posterity for having ensured that justice was restored in the land of Sumer. He was said to have “established equity in the land, banished malediction, ended violence and strife". Ur-Nammu also registered great feats in the field of commerce and industry.  Writes Zechariah Sitchin: “The inscriptions, the monuments, and the archaeological evidence attest that Ur-Nammu’s reign, which began in 2113 BC, witnessed extensive public works, restoration of river navigation, and the rebuilding and protection of the country’s highways.

He made the highways run from the lower lands to the upper lands, an inscription stated. Greater trade and commerce followed. There was a surge in arts, crafts, schools, and other improvements in social and economic life, including the introduction of more accurate weights and measures. Treaties with neighbouring rulers to the east and northeast spread the prosperity and well-being.”

Yet it is a mystery why Ur-Nammu, the “Joy of Ur” as his name meant and who was such an accomplished leader, was made to perish in so tragic a manner by the gods. It so happened that whilst he was on a campaign against the so-called “sinning cities” or “rebel lands” (places bordering the Mediterranean that were spiritedly pro-Marduk and his son Nabu) in 2096 BC, his chariot got stuck in the mud in the midst of a raging battle.

“Ur-Nammu fell off it, but the chariot like a storm rushed along, leaving the king behind, abandoned like a crushed jug,”say the Sumerian chronicles. “The tragedy was compounded when the boat returning Ur-Nammu’s body to Sumer in an unknown place sunk. Then the waves sank it down, with him on board.”    Not only was Ur-Nammu crushed to death by the wheels of his own chariot but there wasn’t even a body to bury. 

Upon learning of the devastating  news, the people of Ur where convulsed with sorrow, disbelief, and outrage. They vented against the gods, who they blamed for having deliberately set a snare for their beloved king. In particular, they laid the blame on King Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”; Enlil; Nannar-Sin; Utu-Shamash; and Inanna-Ishtar.

“How did it happen that the Lord Nannar did not hold Ur-Nammu by the hand?" they wondered aloud. “Why did Inanna not put her noble arm around his head?  Why did Utu not assist him? Why did Anu alter his holy word? Why did Enlil deceitfully changed his fate-decree?” I am sure you will now appreciate why the mass of mankind were pro-Marduk:  the Enlilites were so crafty and so callous.  They just were not trustworthy as they were liable to sacrifice their most loyal man for very obscure ends.  


In the same year Ur-Nammu died, there were two pivotal developments in Sumer. First, the successor to Ur-Nammu was installed. Second and even much more significant, Terah and his family moved from Ur to Harran. The new king of Sumer was Shulgi. Shulgi had been specially conceived to take over from Ur-Nammu under an arrangement masterminded by Nannar-Sin.  Whereas his father was indeed Ur-Nammu, his mother was a high priestess of Enlil at the Ekur, Enlil’s temple-home in Nippur.

A high priestess was known as an Entu and to be an Entu, one had to be a daughter of a king. Thus Shulgi not only was of royal pedigree but he also was a demigod. Having been born at the Ekur, Shulgi called himself “a Little Enlil”. By the same token, Shulgi referred to Ningal, Sin’s wife, as his mother and to Utu-Shamash, Sin’s son, as his brother, not in a literal sense but to underline his demigod status and his closeness, familywise, to Anunnaki royalty.  The woman who brought him up was not even Ningal: it was Ninsun, Enki’s daughter with stepsister Ninmah. 

Shulgi was big, handsome, and breathtakingly impressive in the groin department. And since he had long been earmarked as a future king, it  didn’t take long before he began to catch the amatory attentions of the Anunnaki Super Vixen and Super Opportunist, Inanna-Ishtar. Inanna had long earmarked Shulgi as “a man chosen for the vulva of Inanna" and shortly after the death of Ur-Nammu and following Shulgi’s enthronement, she invited him to her Eanna temple in Uruk and there shagged him like the world was about to come to an end.

This is Shulgi himself in his own words: “With valiant Utu, a friend as a brother, I drank strong drink in the temple (the Eanna) founded by Anu. My minstrels sang for me the seven songs of love. Inanna, the queen, the vulva of heaven and earth, was by my side, banqueting in the temple.”

The following year, in 2095 BC, Shulgi and Inanna entered into holy matrimony as husband and wife. This was a terrible mistake by Shulgi given Enlil’s virulent loathing of his own granddaughter. What it meant was that any slightest transgression against Enlil could cost Shulgi the throne and possibly his own life. 


In 2096 BC, Abraham was 27 years old.  At almost 30 years old,  he was a full-grown man. After Shulgi was installed as the new king of Sumer in that very year, Abraham, Terah, and young Lot moved from Ur and settled in Harran. What necessitated this operation?
The intention  was to counter Marduk. Marduk had indicated that he was going to step up his campaign efforts (for ascendancy to Enlilship) in Sumer, beginning  with the city of Harran, which was the major entry point to Sumer-Akkad when one was coming from Europe.  

Upon the death of Ur-Nammu, Nabu, Marduk’s heir, had upped the ante in his anti-Enlil propagandistic pitch. “The Enlilite gods deserted you,” he  bellowed non-stop from Sinai to the cities and islands of the Eastern Mediterranean.  “They hid from you that Nibiru’s almost here.  Soon shines the home planet of the gods upon Earth in the Age of the Ram – Marduk’s constellation.  Welcome the Era of Marduk the Redeemer, who shall conquer Sumer & Akkad, rule Elamites, Hittites and the whole world.  Nibiru comes, Marduk shall rule.” But  the part about Nibiru’s imminence was pure demagoguery: the planet of the gods was nowhere near although it indeed was scheduled to appear sometime in the Age of Aries.

In their quest for terrestrial supremacy, Marduk and Nabu’s prize target was Tilmun, the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula as they well knew that with Tilmun in the hands of the Enlilites, Enkite hegemony would be a sham. “Marduk's chess move to establish his command post in Harran enabled Nabu to ‘marshal his cities, toward the Great Sea to set his course’,” writes Zechariah Sitchin. “Individual site names reveal that those places included the all-important Landing Place in Lebanon and the Mission Control city of Shalem (alias Jerusalem). And then came Marduk's claim that the Spaceport Region was no longer neutral: it was to be considered a Marduk and Nabu domain.”


How did Shulgi fare as the King of Sumer? We know precious much about him from what are so-called Date Formulas, which are royal records of the most salient developments during his reign. A prolific writer, Shulgi himself made elaborate inscriptions in the Date Formulas, which included   poetry and love songs.

According to the Date Formulas, Shulgi began as a man of peace. At the very  outset of his reign, he sent peace feelers to outlying Sumerian states and the so-called “sinning cities” in Canaan, offering trade, peace, and royal intermarriages with his beautiful daughters. Resultantly, when his eldest daughter married the viceroy of the southeastern state of Elam, he gave him the city of Larsa as dowry in accordance with the connubial code of the day whereby dowry was paid by the groom and not the bride – a practice that endures to date in some countries such as India.

In order to ingratiate himself with the gods, Shulgi first built a temple dedicated to Ninurta and declared Ur and Nippur as “Brotherly Cities”, a gesture that obviously inspired today’s idea of “sister cities”, and had a ship constructed which he dedicated to  Ninli, Enlil’s spouse.  Fancying himself as a modern Gilgamesh, he undertook a pilgrimage to Canaan and the Sinai Peninsula and there built altars to Utu-Shamash, Nannar-Sin, and Ninmah, though he did not set foot on the space facilities themselves as he regarded them as “sacred ground”. During his peregrinations, he vociferously campaigned for Enlil against Marduk and sought to strengthen imperial bonds with other nations.

By the time he returned to Sumer after an absence of 7 years, Shulgi had been to the three space-related sites – the Sinai Peninsula, the “Place of Bright Oracles”, what we call Jerusalem today, which was the Mission Control Centre, and the Landing Place in Lebanon.   One of the first things he did upon his return was to build a temple to Nannar-Sin in the sacred precincts of Nippur, just as he had done for Ninurta. In recognition of this gesture, Sin gave him the titles of “High Priest of Anu” and “Priest of Nannar”. Next, Shulgi built a road network that not only improved logistics both militarily and politically in his empire but further facilitated trade and boosted economic prosperity.

As King, Shulgi was on balance neglectful of the affairs of empire and in that Inanna was his greatest undoing. He revelled in lavish living and sexual binges, becoming a man of banquets and orgies in Inanna’s temple. In the self-laudatory hymns and canticles he wrote copiously, he repeatedly bragged that “beloved Inanna granted me her vulva in her temple” and that he was on first-name terms with the god Utu-Shamash.

His provinces were largely left to the presidency of what he called “Grand Emissaries”, who did not shrink from replicating his bling-bling lifestyle at the expense of keeping vigil over matters of military preparedness. As he got fixated on personal pleasures and the luxuries of Ur, unrest in the Canaanite cities began to fester yet again. Nabu was stirring them relentlessly. After enjoying a long period of peace and having been diverted by hedonistic indulgencies, Shulgi had allowed his regular army to go into a limbo.

In 2055 BC, his 41st year, he received an oracle from the god Sin, instructing him to set out to quell the “rebellion in the sinning cities” of Canaan. In his 37th year, Shulgi had entered into a peace treaty with a powerful king along the Mediterranean seaboard but that had now come apart at the seams.

Caught practically unawares, Shulgi reached out to his son-in-law, the viceroy of the province of Elam, who was in command of the formidable Elamite troops who had been trained by Ninurta, the Anunnaki’s god of war.  The viceroy acceded to his requested use of the Elamite troops as his Foreign Legion. 

The mighty Elamite troops did overrun the Canaanite provinces, venturing as far as the gateway to the spaceport at Tilmun. Their handsome and charismatic commander had been humped by the lecherous Inanna in a special send-off into battle and as he led his troops, he made them chant, “Favourite of the God Who Judges (Utu-Shamash), Beloved of Inanna”. The campaign lasted two years and to tell from his inscriptions Shulgi proclaimed victory, claiming, like Sargon before him,  that, “I am the Hero, King of Ur, Ruler of the Four Regions", these being Sumer, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and the Sinai Peninsula.

The Elamite army, however, was so trigger-happy that Shulgi, who had been associated with peace for much of his reign, now was characterised as “full of vile and eager for battles”.  Writes Zechariah Sitchin: “Instead of peace, the Elamite troops brought more warfare, and the yearly records of Shulgi's reign speak of repeated destruction in the northern provinces.”

The “sinning”  Canaanite  cities proved to be implacably intransigent. Less than two years after the Elamite armies ran rampage through them, the cities once again erupted into their age-old unrest, rallying to Marduk and Nabu. It seemed the peoples of these cities  were so disaffected with the Enlilites they wanted nothing to do with them whatsoever.

Shulgi now seemed to be at the  end of his tether. At this stage, he was jaded out and he decided Sumer would be his principal concern now and to hell with Canaan. So what does he do? He builds  a defence wall from the Euphrates to the Tigris all the way north  to where Baghdad is today. He called it the “Great West Wall”, obviously the precursor to the Great Wall of China. But the wall  did not sit well  with Enlil,  who was wroth that it  had cut off the heartland of Sumer from the northern provinces of Sumer-Akkad. Worse still, it meant Nabu and his loyalists would now have a field day in Canaan and likely capture  Mission Control Centre in Jerusalem and the all-important spaceport at Tilmun.  

In fact, what Enlil feared was already in evidence. When Marduk, who was based in Egypt, realised that Shulgi had walled off Sumer from the rest of Sumer-Akkad, he wasted no time in invading Harran. The year was 1948 BC.   Harran was both militarily and economically significant being an international trade crossroads as well as a gateway to Sumer-Akkad.

Although this incident is hinted at in the Bible, the Genesis  writers are economical with the truth regarding it. GENESIS 12:1 reads as follows: “Yahweh said to Abraham, Go by yourself from your land, from your kindred, and from your father’s house to the land that I shall show you.”In the Sumerian records, this instruction was given to  Abraham, who was now 75 years old, by Nannar-Sin. Why was Abraham  instructed to depart Sumer by the god Sin? Why didn’t he, Abraham, stand up to Marduk given that he was perhaps the Enlilites' greatest military general  of the day  as we shall soon showcase?

The answer has to do with Enlil’s cunning and shrewdness, which, sadly, the Enkites failed to read.  The Enlilites had decided that Marduk should be assisted to capture Harran. Then once he was in Harran, he should be confined there indefinitely so as to facilitate the Enlilites’ scheme to counter-penetrate and annex the land of Egypt, Marduk’s lawful domain.

Accordingly, in making a reality of this scheme, Ishkur-Adad, Enlil’s last-born  son and who was the god of Hattiland (meaning  “Land of the Hittites”), the location of Harran, pretended to have  broken ranks with his fellow  Enlilites and entered into an ostensible alliance with Marduk. It were the Hittites, Adad’s subjects, who helped Marduk seize Harran.  

After Marduk’s baited invasion of Harran, Enlil went to work immediately.  The following is how he set about effecting his new stratagem. First, Nannar-Sin was to relocate from Ur to Canaan, to be the resident god of the region overall. The turbulent politics of the region needed his presence there. Being the most favourite Enlilite god in the eyes of mankind, and having been born on Earth,  Sin would make for a very saleable counter against Marduk.  

Second, Terah, who was now 148 years, was appointed Priest-King, or Melchizedek, of Jerusalem. He was to bring about a pro-Enlil religious revival in Jerusalem and the surrounding area (which in future would come to be known as Judah or Judea) and ensure that the forces of Nabu did not lay siege to the city, which house Mission Control Centre. When HEBREWS 5:10 talks of Jesus being appointed High-Priest (and consequently Priest-King since he was the bloodline  royal descendant of King David) “after the order of Melchizdedek”, it is Terah who is being referred to here.   

Third, Abraham was given a new and urgent assignment. He was to spirit himself into northern Egypt, mobilise the Hykso population there (Hebrews who had been strategically been brought into the country from India to eventually take political control of it), trigger an uprising, and annex the region from the rest of Egypt. The intention was to create a buffer state that would safeguard the spaceport in the Sinai as northern Egypt shared a border with the whole of the Sinai Peninsula. That way, there would  be no incursions into Canaan launched from  Egypt by Marduk’s forces.   

Meanwhile, in what was typical of Enlil’s modus operandi, Shulgi was to be the scapegoat for Marduk’s “invasion” of Harran. He was condemned to die the “death of a sinner”. Sinner in this context meant an enemy of Enlil, akin to the rebellious Canaanites. The concocted indictment against Shulgi was that he had   connived with Marduk given the “ease”with which he took Harran.  Shulgi had “prostituted himself”  with Enkites and “did that which was evil in the view of the Lord".

Yet in truth, it was his association with Inanna that was Shulgi’s greatest sin against Enlil: from the day he hitched Inanna, he was a marked man. No one held a grudge like Jehovah. Did Abraham have the military wherewithal to advance on northern Egypt? And who would succeed the tactfully liquidated Shulgi? 


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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.”


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.


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.


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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