Benson C Saili THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER Pro-mankind Anunnaki god saves lives as nuclear cloud rages then goes into seven-year hibernation to sleep over the abominable event
Both the upheavalling of Sodom and Gomorrah (by Nergal, Enki’s second-born son at the orders of Jehovah-Enlil) and the ravages of the “Evil Wind” in Sumer took place in 2024 BC. The fateful year was the sixth of Sumer-Akkad ruler Ibbi-Sin, making him an ill-fated king in the greater scheme of things. Although practically all of Sumer was affected by the Evil Wind, the radioactive cloud that emanated from the nuclear bomb blitz on the five cities of Canaan’s Jordan plain, Ur and Uruk bore the harshest brunt.
Says the Uruk Lament text: “When the Evil Storm passed over, the people were piled up in heaps … a hush settled over Uruk like a cloak … The loyal citizens of Uruk were seized with terror … Mob panic was brought about in Uruk … Its good sense was distorted." But it is Ur which is the most documented in the context of the Evil Wind in that it was the seat of the great god Nannar-Sin. The Lamentation Over the Destruction of Ur, a long poem of some 440 verses, is particularly graphic in its portrayal of the woes of the Cloud of Death.
“The city into ruins was made, the people groan … Its people, not potsherds, filled its ravines … In its lofty gates, where they were wont to promenade, dead bodies lay about … Where the festivities of the land took place, the people lay in heaps … The young were lying in their mothers' laps like fish carried out of the waters … The house has become a house of tears … The storm crushed the land, wiped out everything; it roared like a great wind over the land … The cultivated fields are not hoed, no seeds are implanted in the soil, no songs resound in the fields.”
Whereas in the past people would hasten to Sin’s temple-house to seek solace in times of hardship and distress, that simply was no longer the case: practically all the gods were nowhere to be seen. “Thus all its gods evacuated Ur. They kept away from it. They hid in the mountains. They escaped to the distant plains … Ur and its temples have been given over to the wind … The counsel of the land was dissipated … The song has been turned into weeping … Ur has been given over to tears.” Left in chaos, leaderless, and helpless, and as they gasped under a fog of nuclear “poison”, the people of Ur broke into the gods’ abode, temples, and shrines and angrily smashed their contents. “Why did the gods' benevolent eye look away?” they asked as they wailed and gnashed their teeth in anguish. “Who caused such worry and lamentation?"
Productive work came to a total standstill. “In the city's fields, there is no grain, gone is the fieldworker … The palm groves and vineyards, with honey and wine abounded, now bring forth mountain thorns.” Convinced that death was certain, that this was the apocalyptic end of the world, people no longer attached an abiding value to wealth of any guise. “Precious metals and stones, lapis lazuli, have been scattered about …”
In the countryside, both wild and domesticated animals were in dire straits. “On the steppe, cattle large and small become scarce, all living creatures come to an end." The domesticated animals, too, were left to their own devices. "The sheepfolds have been delivered to the wind … The hum of the turning churn resounds not in the sheepfold … The stalls provide not fat … In the storehouses that abounded in the land, fires were kindled …
The ox in its stable has not been attended, gone is its herdsman … The sheep in its fold has not been attended, gone is its shepherd boy … In the rivers of the city dust has gathered … Into fox dens they have become …” Meanwhile, the “holy” city-state of Nippur was equally reeling. "On that day, on that single day: on that night, on that single night … the storm, in a flash of lightning created, the people of Nippur were left prostrate."
NANNAR-SIN TAKEN ILL, NINURTA’S WIFE IS NO MORE
Seized by fear and confusion, the gods were just as frenetic in their panic as their Earthling subjects. It was “each man for himself”: using sky vehicles or sea-borne vessels, they ventured as far away from the vicinities of the Evil Wind as possible. The term “abandonment” features repeatedly in the lamentation texts. Nannar-Sin and his spouse Ningal abandoned Ur. Enlil, “the wild bull”, and his wife Ningal abandoned their temple-abode, the Ekur, at Nippur. Ninmah abandoned her city Issin.
Inanna, “the queen of Uruk”, abandoned her cult city. Ninurta forsook his Lagash-based temple, the Eninnu. Evacuating from Issin, Ninmah “wept in bitter tears” as she jetted off. Nanshe, Enki’s smartest and soulful daughter, was inconsolable: as she departed, she cried over “my devastated city" as "her beloved dwelling place was given over to (the Evil Wind) misfortune".
But it is the equally recurrent phrase “gone by the wind” that is the more telling. “Enlil has abandoned his temple … he was gone by the wind. Ninlil from her temple was gone by the wind. Nannar has abandoned Ur … his sheepfolds were gone by the wind”, and so on and so forth. What was this “wind” that forced the gods to turn tail? It was the Evil Wind, the radioactive cloud that was precipitated by the nuclear blasts in Canaan.
However, the haste with which the gods departed their respective cities was not uniform. At least three gods procrastinated, with the result that one god was taken gravely ill and another actually met her fate. These were Nannar-Sin and Bau, Ninurta’s wife, respectively. When Enki announced to fellow gods by way of radio communication that a death-carrying storm was on its way to Sumer, Sin and Ningal opted to stay put in their cult city Ur.
They vowed that they just could not abandon their people, their Earthling subjects. Instead, they appealed to Enlil to do his magic and either tame or divert the Evil Wind. Enlil told the couple they were out of their mind: neither he nor the all-knowing Enki was capable of averting the looming disaster. The Evil Wind advanced not at the pace of a whirlwind but rather slowly, which made Nannar and Ningal somewhat complacent. “Of that day I still tremble,” Ningal personally stated in a lamentation text she penned herself, “but of that day’s foul smell we did not flee.
As doomsday came, a bitter lament was raised in Ur, but of its foulness we did not flee.” By the time the couple decided to stash themselves in a “termite house” (an underground chamber in their ziggurat), the damage was already done. Sin was already affected and was so acutely ill the couple finally capitulated: early the following morning, “when the storm was carried off from the city”, they took off from Ur. Sin did eventually recover but he required round-the-clock attention from the Anunnaki’s best physicians, who included Ninmah and Ningishzidda.
As the couple overflew Ur on their way out, Ningal wept at the gut-wrenching spectacle below her. "The people, like potsherds, filled the city's streets. In its lofty gates, dead bodies were lying about. In its boulevards, where the feasts were celebrated, scattered they lay. In all of its streets, dead bodies were lying about. In its places where the land's festivities took place, the people lay in heaps. The dead were not brought to burial: like fat placed in the sun, of themselves melted away.”
Ur and its temples had been “delivered to the Wind”. Bau, sadly, was not as fortunate as Sin. Trained as a doctor, Bau had an abiding attachment with the people of Lagash, who had a mutual affection for her and addressed her as “Mother Bau”. She too was adamant that she was going to stay put in Lagash: she just could not leave “my people” to their own devices like her husband Ninurta, who was busy levelling the Sinai Peninsula with nuclear bombs, had. “On that day,” say the Lamentation texts, “the storm caught up with the Lady Bau; as if she was a mortal, the storm caught up with her.” Days later, she was deceased from the effects of the Evil Wind. She was one of very few Anunnaki royals to die on planet Earth.
ENKI CARRIES THE DAY AS EVIL WIND LASHES OUT
Just as Sin, Ningal, and Bau were concerned about the fate of their Earthling subjects in the face of the dreaded Evil Wind, Enki and Marduk were too. Babylon, Marduk’s Sumerian base, happened to be just on the edge of the Evil Wind’s wide sweep. As the Evil Wind loomed large over Sumer, Marduk sent an urgent message to his father Enki as to what he and his people should do to keep its effects at the barest minimum since it was unavoidable.
Enki’s response was that the people of Babylon should head north and as they did so under no circumstances should they turn back or look backwards lest they inhale the full force of the Evil Wind. In the event that the Evil Wind caught up with them in their onward march, they should seek shelter underground. “Get them into a chamber below the earth, into a darkness.” Enki proceeded to advise that once the Evil Wind had run its course and the people returned to the city or resurfaced, they were not to eat any food grown from the soil or drink any beverage for a spell as these may have been “touched by the ghost” as the radioactive wind was dubbed.
Of the Anunnaki pantheon, only Enki and Marduk at the end of the day did not depart Sumer to escape the Evil Wind. And they got away with that for they had taken sufficient and timely precaution. “The Lord of Eridu stayed outside his city.” He “took cover some distance away from the wind's path, yet close enough to be able to return to the city after the cloud had passed”. Quite a number of Eridu’s citizens hovered around Enki, “camping in the fields at a safe distance as they watched – for a day and a half – the storm ‘put its hand on Eridu’.”
But despite Enki’s spirited efforts to alert his people about the approaching poisonous storm, laggards did abound and therefore Eridu too had casualties. “After the evil-bearing storm went out of the city, sweeping across the countryside, Enki surveyed Eridu. He found a city smothered with silence … its residents stacked up in heaps … For the fate of his city, he wept with bitter tears.” The survivors fell at his feet and wondered aloud why a city that was presided over by the mighty Enki had been “cursed, made like an alien territory!"
Using his scientific paraphernalia, Enki calculated that although the Evil Wind had dissipated, the city still was unsafe. As such, he led "those who have been displaced from Eridu to the desert, towards an inimical land,” where he used his scientific knowledge to provide food (manna, the edible form of Ormus) and safe water.
SUMERIAN EVIL WIND HAS BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY BORNE OUT!
The advent of the Evil Wind practically marked the abrupt collapse of the Sumerian civilisation about 4000 years ago. Curious as to why Sumer and Akkad collapsed at such a time virtually in the twinkling of an eye just after the 3rd millennium BC wound to a close, archaeologists, geologists, and climatologists have in recent times teamed together to get to the bottom of the matter. They used radiological and chemical analysis analysis of dust layers of the Middle East of that period, more so of the Gulf of Oman.
Their rather interesting findings were reported in n the scientific journal Geology in its April 2000 issue and in another scientific journal Science in its issue of 27 April 2001. The scientists concluded that “an unusual climate change in the areas adjoining the Dead Sea gave rise to dust storms and that the dust – an unusual ‘atmospheric mineral dust’ – was carried by the prevailing winds over southern Mesopotamia all the way beyond the Persian Gulf”.
This was the very course of Sumer’s Evil Wind! The scientists attributed the unusual “fallout dust” to an “uncommon dramatic event that occurred near 4025 years before the present”. 4025 years prior calculated from 2024 BC gives us the year 2025 BC – barely different from 2024 BC, the year of the Sodom and Gomorrah atomic blasts!
Similarly, Science reported that based on “evidence from Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria”, the “widespread abandonment of the alluvial plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was due to dust storms commencing 4025 years before the present. Again, this is precisely 2024 BC. The scientists did not explain or name the force that gave rise to the “dust storms” but the Sumerian records do: it was Nergal’s atomic blitz on the five “sinning cities” of Canaan. The Sumerian chronicles are not only legit folks: they are scientifically attested.
ENKI IN SEVEN-YEAR HIBERNATION
Yet of the entire Anunnaki top brass, it was Enki who was the most psychologically affected by what he called the “Great Calamity” – the nuclear blasts and the resultant Evil Wind, both of which laid waste to millions of lives. Enki was so downcast and so upset that he decided to withdraw from all interaction with the broader society, gods and Earthlings alike, and become a recluse for seven years. The place he chose to sequester himself was an island on the River Nile in Egypt.
Throughout the entire seven years, he was never seen by a single living being. He concentrated wholly on pondering the total depravity of his fellow gods. He just couldn’t bring himself to understand how beings who were supposed to be at the pinnacle of creation could be so unconscionably evil and baser than the lowest forms of life.
ENKI DECIDES TO DOCUMENT STORY OF GREAT CALAMITY
At the conclusion of the seven years and precisely on February 17, 2017 BC, Enki decided to resume contact with the world and there and then sent for a renowned scribe known as Endubasar, who was a directly descendant of his son Adapa and was based at Eridu. “In the seventh year after the Great Calamity, in the second month, on the seventeenth day, I was summoned by my master the Lord Enki, great god, benevolent fashioner of Mankind, omnipotent and merciful,” Endubasar, who introduces himself as the master scribe of Eridu city, writes in a Sumerian tablet. “I was among the remnants of Eridu who had escaped to the arid steppe (that is, seven years before) just as the Evil Wind was nearing the city.”
Endubasar had set out alone to gather twigs for firewood when a flying saucer suddenly swopped down on him. “I looked up and lo and behold, a Whirlwind (UFO) came out of the south. There was a reddish brilliance (fiery hue) about it and it made no sound. And as it reached the ground, four straight feet spread out from its belly and the brilliance disappeared.” Cognizant of the fact that he had been visited by the gods – the Anunnaki – Endubasar straightaway took a devotional posture.
“I threw myself to the ground and prostrated myself, for I knew that it was a divine vision. And when I lifted my eyes, there were two divine emissaries (an Anunnaki deputation with a special message, called “angels” in the Bible) standing near me. And they had the faces of men, and their garments (airman’s uniform) were sparkling like burnished brass.”
What the two Anunnaki messengers said to Endubasar was most unexpected. “And they called me by name and spoke to me, saying: you are summoned by the great god, the Lord Enki. Fear not, for you are blessed. And we are here to take you aloft, and carry you unto his retreat in the Land of Magan (Egypt), on the island (Abu Island) amidst the River of Magan (River Nile), where the sluices are.”
ENDUBASAR BEFORE THE GREAT GOD
It was the first time Endubasar had ridden in a sky vehicle and he was naturally overwhelmed by the occasion. But it was the grandeur of the great god’s courts and his sort of mystical presence that had Endubasar pass out from the shock of disbelief. “They let me down on the island at the gateway of the great god's abode. And the moment they let go of my hands, a brilliance as I had never seen before engulfed and overwhelmed me, and I collapsed on the ground as though voided of the spirit of life.
My life senses returned to me, as if awakened from the deepest sleep, by the sound of the calling of my name. I was in some kind of an enclosure. It was dark but there was also an aura. Then my name was called again, by the deepest of voices (that is, through the studio-like acoustics of a loud speaker). And although I could hear it, I could not tell whence the voice came, nor could I see whoever it was that spoke. And I said, here I am.”
For a while, there was pin-drop silence. Then the still invisible Enki spoke again. “Endubasar, offspring of Adapa, I have chosen you to be my scribe, that you write down my words on the tablets.” Things then proceeded at the press of a button. “And all at once, there appeared a glowing in one part of the enclosure. And I saw a place arranged like a scribal workplace: a scribe's table and a scribe's stool, and there were finely shaped stones upon the table. But I saw no clay tablets nor containers of wet clay. And there lay upon the table only one stylus, and it glistened in the glowing as no reed stylus ever did.”
Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.
The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.
Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.
At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.
Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.
Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).
This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.
In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.
Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?
Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.
POSITIVITY Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.
“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)
We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”
Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.
Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be. You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”
Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.
When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.
Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.
However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.” “Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)
COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT
Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.
It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.
Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.
Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.
The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.
It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.