Abraham ousts southern Pharaoh to become undisputed King of Egypt
Having become Pharaoh Mehibre Kheti of northern Egypt toward the end of 2047 BC, Abraham soon decided to take a second wife. This was fundamentally for political reasons: as a de facto Egyptian now, it was needful that he marry an indigenous woman to help raise his esteem in the eyes of the disaffected indigenous Egyptians. Her name was Hagar.
As we pointed out last week, Hagar was not Sarah’s slave: that simply is a slur tagged on her by the Jewish authors of Genesis with a view to undermine her pedigree. She was a daughter of the Egyptian nobility. Since the dominant peoples of Egypt populationwise those days were blacks, the odds are Hagar was black too. It could explain why the pale-skinned Genesis authors contrived such a demeaning outlook of her.
Yet to Abraham and his people anywhere, Hagar was just as reverenced as Sarah. Hagar was not her original name: it was given to her when she married Abraham. She was named after a prominent river in the Indian subcontinent –the Hakar. The Hakar River was a tributary of the Saraisvasti River and if you recall, the Saraisvasti was named after Sarah to honour her as Terah/Krishna’s seniormost daughter. India had a special place in Abraham’s heart in that Terah was born there and the Hykso-Hebrews, who now abounded in northern Egypt and who had facilitated Abraham’s smooth landing there, originally came from India.
Exactly in what year Abraham and Hagar tied the knot is nor certain but it was somewhere between 2047 and 2040 BC. It was during this same period that Abraham had his first biological son. This was Ishmael, born to Hagar. If we are to go by the Genesis account, Hagar stole a march on Sarah reproductively because Sarah was barren. That, of course, is a sublime pack of lies. In the days of the Anunnaki, no royal woman could be infertile, let alone sterile. The Anunnaki were genetic wizards.
If Sarah was unable to conceive, all she needed to do was to call upon Ningishzidda, Ninmah, or Enki – all of whom were genetic fundis and nine months later she would be cradling a little bundle of joy. For God’s sake, Zidda for one was capable of cloning beings from even non-sexual cells (a process known as artificial meiosis), which he did with Horus, the posthumous son of the iconic Egyptian Anunnaki god Osiris.
What most likely happened was that Sarah initially had girls only and as a result, Hagar beat her to it when her first child turned out to be a son. That could explain why Sarah had such a virulent loathing of Hagar: she feared that Ishmael would inherit after Abraham in the event that she was unable to produce a boy, leaving her progeny in the lurch. I enjoin you not to take everything you read in the Bible as incontrovertible truth: the “Holy Writ” is not without its share of concoctions, distortions, and outright disinformation. Luckily, Sarah was not destined to be sonless. Not every long after Hagar had Ishmael, Sarah begot Isaac. But was Isaac Abraham’s biological child? You will be surprised to hear this, but he wasn’t!
SARAH IS WIFE TO TWO PHARAOHS
At long last, Abraham received a letter of acknowledgement from Pharaoh Mentuhotep I that his prospective emissary was welcome and was being awaited in Thebes, the capital of southern Egypt. Abraham was ecstatic: instead of sending down his chief aide, he decided to travel himself. That he would do incognito. He would pose as his own high priest rather than travel on his own behalf as Pharaoh Mehibre Kheti. The reasons he did this were two-fold.
First, if he went as a Pharaoh, Mentuhotep was unlikely to welcome him as he regarded him as a usurper. He might even be held for ransom by the highly disgruntled southern pharaoh. Second, he wanted to deploy his queen Sarah as a Trojan Horse with which to endear himself to Mentuhotep and strike at the most opportune moment. Abraham’s camouflage would not be easy to see through as Mentuhotep I had never met him in person. Very few people were as cunning as General Abe.
When Abraham arrived at the royal palace in Thebes, he was very well-received by Pharaoh Mentuhotep. And in keeping with his stratagem, he did not introduce himself as Pharaoh Mehibire Kheti: he introduced himself as the pharaoh’s high priest primarily and his chief steward secondarily. Moreover, he did not introduce Sarah as his wife: he introduced her simply as his half-sister.
Now, Sarah was stunningly beautiful. In 2046 BC, she was 67 years old, having been born in 2113 BC. By human standards, she was old, but since like Abraham she had a lot of Anunnaki blood in her, she did not age as fast as ordinary Earthlings did: she in all probability looked between 35 and 45 years at the time. Inevitably therefore, Mentuhotep was smitten. But there was an even weightier reason as to why Mentuhotep began to hit on Sarah.
Sarah, it transpired, was related to him. She was actually a maternal full sister of Mentuhotep. Remember, Sarah’s mother Tohwait was married to Intef the Elder, the deceased ex-governor of Thebes before she got married to Terah. Whilst married to Intef, she had a son with him and this was none other than Mentuhotep I. Sarah and Mentuhotep were therefore maternal siblings.
As Abraham was busy spying on Thebes under the pretext that he was trying to familiarise with the gods of southern Egypt as a high priest of the northern Pharaoh and promoting Nannar-Sin at the expense of Amun-Ra, as Marduk was known in Egypt, Sarah, who remained at the palace, was being gallantly propositioned by Menthuhotep. There was nothing incestuous about this as Egyptian royals of old did marry their sisters, whether half-sister or full sister.
If you recall, the diabolical Egyptian Anunnaki god Seth was married to his full-sister Nephthys. It was this same setup Mentuhotep wished vis-à-vis his full sister Sarah and before long the two had tied the knot. Sarah found herself married to two pharaohs though of course Mentuhotep was not aware she was Abraham’s wife. On his part, Abraham didn’t care an iota about this development as it perfectly conformed with his scheme to unseat Mentuhotep and appropriate the whole of Egypt.
ABRAHAM DEPOSES MENTUHOTEP TO RULE WHOLE OF EGYPT
It did not take long before Sarah had a child with Mentuhotep, a son. This was the famous Isaac. This may take the Christian fraternity by surprise as the Bible seems to suggest that Isaac was Abraham’s biological son. Well, that was yet another spin the Genesis writers put on the affair. At the same time, the Genesis writers did drop sufficient hints that Isaac was not a true-blue Jew but a foreigner.
First, there is the case where Abraham decided to sacrifice Isaac to his god Enlil (GENESIS 22:1-19). If Isaac was the true heir of Abraham, he wouldn’t have been Abraham’s choice for a sacrificial killing: he’d have chosen Ishmael. The fact that he opted for Isaac demonstrates quite clearly that he had a very low regard for Isaac, who indeed wasn’t his real son.
Second, there’s the curious case of Esau, Isaac’s firstborn son, selling his birthright to his younger brother Jacob (GENESIS 25:29-34). The reason advanced by the Genesis writers is that Esau did so out of famishment with hunger when Jacob offered him a tantalising morsel of mouthwatering stewed meat subject to forfeiting his right of primogeniture. Of course the story is nonsensical. No one would sell a birthright on account of pangs of hunger.
In any case, Esau and family were not ordinary, struggling people as the Genesis writers would have you believe: they were royals, a dynastic family of substantial means. And hunger amongst the royals is unheard of anywhere. What Genesis doesn’t tell you is that Jacob wrested the birthright from Esau simply because Esau had an Egyptian mother whereas Jacob had a Hebrew mother: the two were not twins at all but half siblings. The twin phenomenon was a pure concoction.
Indeed even the Bible itself tells us Esau’s descendents are Edomites, who racially are Arabs. Herod the Great was an Edomite, which was one reason the Jews loathed him like the plague. Like all biblical patriarchs, Isaac had several wives – comprising of Egyptians and Hebrews – and Jacob succeeded after Isaac because he had more Hykso/Hebrew blood than Esau, who carried a substantial portion of indigenous Egyptian blood being the son of the half-white, half-black Isaac: it was as simple as that.
Meanwhile, as Mentuhotep’s concubine wife, Sarah was highly doted upon. She took advantage of the fervid affection she enjoyed to tactfully inquire about the strategic secrets of Thebes from her husband and these she passed on to Abraham. Then when Abraham had gathered sufficient intelligence, he told Sarah to confess to Mentuhotep as to her true relationship with him. Upon learning that Abraham was at once Sarah’s husband and half-brother, Mentuhotep was irate. But he was not prepared to let go of the voluptuous Sarah: instead, he compensated Abraham with “flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses,” without the merest idea though that Abraham was actually Pharaoh Mehibre of northern Egypt.
At the time, however, General Abraham was already in his stride. The mighty Hykso army had already stolen into Thebes and before long Mentuhotep was overthrown. Pharaoh Mehibre Kheti of northern Egypt was now Pharaoh of the entire land of Egypt. Abraham no doubt was a brilliant military tactician.
ENKI, MARDUK MAINSTREAMS ORMUS IN CANAAN!
Meanwhile, in Sumer-Akkad (the East) and Canaan (the West), Nabu was making significant political and territorial gains. Arguably the greatest demagogue of his day, Nabu had managed to win over the loyalty of five Canaanite kings who ruled what were known as the “Cities of the Plain”, that is, the River Jordan plain. They were Bera King of Sodom; Birsha King of Gomorrah; Shinab King of Admah; Shemeber King of Zebim; and Zoar King of Belah.
However, the five kings were not sovereign: they were subject kings who were under the rule of an overarching, Sumer-based King known as Khedorlaomer, the king of the militarily efficient Elamites. It was Nabu who persuaded the five kings to rise against Khedorlaomer after promising them full sovereign status when his father Marduk was the God of the Age of Aries. With five powerful Canaanite kings in his sphere of influence, Nabu now poised to capture the spaceport. With the spaceport in the bag, it would be curtains for the Enlilites as it was the ultimate symbol of Earthly authority.
With Abraham, Enlil’s trump card, ensconced as King of Egypt, it fell to Amar-Sin, the King of Sumer-Akkad, to step into the breach. Accordingly, Enlil ordered Amar-Sin to launch a major military campaign against the “sinning cities” or “rebel lands” as he called the five cities of the Jordan plain. What heinous sin had they committed in the eyes of Enlil?
According to DEUTERONOMY 29:22-27, “they had forsaken the covenant of the Lord (Enlil) … and they went and served other gods (Enkites).” But other sources furnish hints for a more crucial reason – Enki and Marduk had had begun to mainstream the consumption of Ormus, or gold dust, in Canaan to ready its people for the dawning astrological Age of Aries. This Ormus, which was obtained from the Dead Sea, the Canaanites now guarded jealously from expropriation by the Brotherhood of Gold – the Enlilites, who didn’t wish mankind to partake of it and therefore prolong their lives indefinitely and gain staggering metaphysical insights.
In a text known as the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 109 A reads as follows: “As for the Earth, out of it cometh bread; and under it it is burned up as it were with fire. And it has dust of gold … They said (the Canaanites): since there cometh forth bread out of Earth, and it has the dust of gold, why should we suffer wayfarers, who come to us only to deplete our wealth?. Come, let us abolish the practice of travelling in our land.”
The Canaanites, who had fanatically rallied behind Marduk and Nabu, now regarded the Enlilites as “wayfarers”, or encroachers whose principal goal was to deprive them of access to and the utilisation of Ormus. They therefore decided to bar Enlilites and their Sumerian human minions from setting foot on Canaanite soil. That meant fighting them to the death. The term “bread”, as we have long explained at length, referred to shewbread, which was the directly edible bread-loaf form of Ormus.
In a Sumerian text titled Enki and World Order by the great Sumerologist Samuel N Kramer, we learn something very similar about “bread”. The text partly reads, “Enki placed the nourishing bread, the bread of all, in charge of the black-heads”. “Blackheads” was the Anunnaki term for mankind and the nourishing bread of all was a metaphor for Ormus.
INANNA HIJACKS CANAANITE SIEGE
Since Amar-Sin was aware he was faced with a very formidable enemy, he decided to form a coalition to reinforce his forces. He allied with their ancillary kings of the principal Sumerian city-states. They were Eri-Akhu of Larsa; Khedorlaomer of Elam; and Tidal of Goim, with Khedorlaomer as the military commander. The ensuing confrontation became known as “The War of the Kings”. It pitted “Four Kings of the East” (The Khedorlaomer Alliance) against “Five Kings of the West” (The Canaanite Coalition), and took place in 2041 BC. The war was of such eminence that the GENESIS Chapter 14 is wholly dedicated to it.
Amar-Sin’s brief was to “reassert Enlilite control over Tilmun (the spaceport), to sever the sacred region from the ‘rebel lands’, then pry loose those lands from the influence of Nabu and Marduk by force of arms”. Enlil’s get-set instructions to Amar-Sin were to sieze and defile Babylon, Marduk’s cult centre. Says the Khedorlaomer Text: “The gods … to Khedorlaomer, king of the land Elam, they decreed: ‘Descend there!’ That which to the city was bad he (Marduk) performed: Babylon, the precious city of Marduk, sovereignty Khedorlaomer seized. In Babylon, the city of the king of the gods, Marduk, kingship Khedorlaomer overthrew. o To herds of dogs its temple Khedorlaomer made a den; flying ravens, loud shrieking, their dung dropped there.”
Next was Borsippa. “The stronghold of Nabu, with weapons be despoiled”, Enlil said to Amar-Sin. It was from Borsippa, south of Babylon, that Nabu had orchestrated the insurrection of the five Canaanite cities against Khedorlaomer and rallied Sumer-Akkad cities west of the Euphrates. Marching under the banner of Nannar-Sin and in heed of the strategic guidance of the irrepressible Inanna-Ishtar, Khedorlaomer “with wicked thoughts against Marduk, the shrine of Borsippa with fire he destroyed and its sons with a sword he slew” before he and his three allies proceeded to smite one Western land after another.
Enlil’s emphasis to Amar-Sin was that under no circumstances should the spaceport fall into the hands of Nabu and Marduk for if that happened heads would surely roll. The principal role of the Khedorlaomer Alliance was to protect the spaceport. Hearing this, the ultra-ambitious Inanna decided to capitalise as the overall military strategist of the Western Kings.
She sweet-talked the frontline commanders into not safeguarding the spaceport as such but seizing it on her behalf so that she uses it as leverage to ascend to the lordship of Earth at the expense of the deserving Marduk and to hell with her father Nannar-Sin and her grandfather Enlil. Having been promised their own tiny fiefdoms in the new dispensation, the frontline commanders undertook to do likewise. Thus the campaign turned full cycle: it was no longer under the auspices of Nannar-Sin: it was under the auspices of Inanna-Ishtar.
KHEDORLAOMAR FORCE THRUST INTO CANAAN
Exactly how did the Khedorlaomar Alliance advance? Zechariah Sitchin: “Acting in accordance with an oracle of Ishtar, the army put together by the Kings of the East arrived in Transjordan using the southern route from Mesopotamia to Canaan. The invaders proceeded southward in Transjordan, along the King's Highway, attacking in succession key outposts guarding crossing points on the Jordan River.
“First to be attacked was a stronghold in ‘the high land’, then Rabattum. The route was the same as the one described in the Bible: from the highland in the north through the district of Rabattum in the center, southward around the Dead Sea. Thereafter, El-Paran (the city just before the spaceport) was to be captured, and the Canaanite cities (including Gaza and Beer-Sheba in the Negev) were to be punished.
“According to the biblical tale, a place called El-Paran was the real target of the invaders, but it was never reached by them. Coming down Transjordan and circling the Dead Sea, the invaders passed by Mount Se'ir and advanced ‘toward El-Paran, which is upon the Wilderness."
But as they approached El-Paran, the invaders were intercepted by a formidable stumbling block in the form of one referred to in the Khedorlaomar Text as “the Son of the Priest, whom the gods in their own true council had anointed.” This dude, Enlil’s chosen Shepherd-King of the Age of Aries, was indeed the son of Melchizedek, the Priest-King of Jerusalem. He was General Abraham.
NEXT WEEK: ABRAHAM CONFRONTS THE INVADERS
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!
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
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.