King Moses is Toppled
Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER
Nibiru-focused Cult of the Aten precipitates Pharaoh’s downfall
Pharaoh Amenhotep III, Moses’s father, was renowned as a temple builder. He had a temple at Hermopolis in northern Egypt; two temples at Karnak in southern Egypt; the great Luxor temple as well as a mortuary temple at Thebes; three temples in Nubia, today’s Sudan; and at least a temple each in nearly every Canaanite city that was an Egyptian garrison town. These temples, which he started building from the second year of his reign, were dedicated to various Anunnaki (Enkite) gods.
In propagating the Cult of the Aten, Moses followed after his father: he embarked on a programme to erect temples dedicated to Aten only months after he became co-regent with his father. Two temples were built in close succession, one within the very precincts of the Amen-Ra temple at Thebes and another within the very courts of the Amen-Ra temple at Luxor.
In other words, what he was saying was that Amen-Ra (Marduk) and Aten (planet Nibiru) were one and the same – call it a merger. In a way, he was correct: since becoming the new Enlil, Marduk had named Nibiru after himself, so that “Ra was Marduk and the celestial Marduk was Nibiru”.
But there was a subtle difference in the way the Amen-Ra and Aten temples were architecturally oriented: whereas the Amen-Ra temples were oriented toward the sun (“Ra” meant “sun”), that is, on a southeast-northwest axis, the Aten temples were oriented away from the sun, that is, on an east-west axis.
MOSES SO ORIENTED THE ATEN TEMPLES BECAUSE WHEN NIBIRU APPROACHED, IT DID SO FROM A DIRECTION OPPOSITE TO THAT FROM WHICH THE SUN EMERGED AT SUNRISE.
Every time he presided over a major festival, Moses made it clear to the Theban priests that they were disinvited. In the fourth year of the co-regency, his father attained 30 years on the throne. The tradition was for a festival known as the Sed or Rejuvenation festival to be held on every 30th anniversary of the incumbent pharaoh. On the occasion, the pharaoh had to perform a series of fitness test to make the case that he indeed was healthy enough to continue ruling.
Thereafter, the Sed festival was celebrated every three years till the king’s death. Under Amenhotep III, there were three Sed festivals. On every such occasion, Moses decreed that no god other than Aten would be invoked, which meant that the Theban priests, who for one reason or the other did not recognise Aten, would be totally quiet.
In order to reinforce the fact that he was Nibiru-oriented, Moses erected a special monument at his Karnak temple to honour the Ben-Ben – THE FIRST OBELISK (four-sided, tapering stone pillar which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top). The Ben-Ben was the space vehicle which Marduk was said to have used when he first came to Earth from planet Nibiru.
THEN IN THE 5TH YEAR OF THE CO-REGENCY, MOSES CHANGED HIS PHARAONIC TITLE, FROM AMENHOTEP IV TO AKHENATEN, MEANING “SERVANT OR WORSHIPPER OF ATEN”.
MOSES ESTABLISHES “NIBIRU CITY”
It goes without saying that the Theban priests were madly incensed by the disparaging way Moses was treating them and his attempt at practically replacing their age-old religion with a new one. It was not necessarily about the acceptability of Aten worship: Marduk, their principal god, was also known as the Aten.
It was about upstaging them as the custodians and exponents of Egyptian spirituality. What they preached to the people was that a god had to be familiar and sentient – a flesh-and-blood god who could be seen, as all the Anunnaki gods were. The deceased god Osiris was the only exception but he had a living representative – his son Horus, so that Osiris was worshipped through Horus: the father was worshipped through the son, very much an echo of the gospels.
The Aten, on the other hand, was nothing more than a celestial body – a planet. It was absurd to worship a planet. Even if the Aten represented King Anu, “Our father Who Art In Heaven”, Anu was not exactly a friend of the Egyptian priests: he was believed to favour the Enlilites at the expense of the Enkites. Anu and the Enlilites were of Sirian heritage, whereas Enkites were of Orion heritage. It explained why in Egypt, the Queen of Orion, Anu’s ceremonial wife, took precedence over Anu. Both Isis and Nut, the female Egyptian goddesses, bore names that constituted some of the many titles of the Orion Queen.
With mounting priestly antipathy toward Moses, his mother Tiye persuaded him to leave Thebes and settle in a completely new city of his own, a rival, so to speak, to Thebes, a place that had never been dedicated to any god. There, his followers would be free to worship Aten. Moses took heed and in the fourth year of the co-regency, he set about establishing a new political and religious centre on the east bank of the Nile right within southern Egypt.
This was about halfway between Thebes and modern Cairo. He called the city Akhet-Aten, meaning, “Aten of the Horizon”, clear-cut homage to planet Nibiru. This is modern Tell El Armana. It took four years for Armana to be complete. At Armana, Moses also built a new temple, which he called the Gempaaten, meaning “The Aten is found in the Gleaming Estate of the Aten”. A huge building filled with tables for offerings to Aten, it consisted of six rectangular courts. Outside the great temple in the southeast corner was the house of Panehesy the Chief Priest.
Moses relocated to Armana in the 8th year of the co-regency and decreed that no god other than Aten would be worshipped or venerated in his city. Just uttering the name Amen-Ra was forbidden: it didn’t matter that the two names were interchangeable though Amen-Ra projected Marduk as a Sun God whereas Aten projected him as the personification of the planet Nibiru.
ATEN CULT TAKES SHAPE
The way Moses proceeded about embedding the Cult of the Aten in the psyche of his people was gradual rather than precipitate. He went about this in stages. Writes Ahmed Osman in his book CHRISTIANITY: ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RELIGION:
“Early representations of Aten showed the deity as of human shape with the head of a falcon, surmounted by a solar disc, in keeping with the conventional way gods were depicted in Egyptian art.
At the end of the second year, or early in the third, of the co-regency, an important development took place in this representation. The human figure vanished. Only a golden disc appeared, whose rays descended over the king and queen as well as over the temple, altar and palace. This golden disc did not represent the sun but was the symbol of Aten, who had no physical image. The rays, in their turn, were not the endless rays of the sun.
They ended in hands, and the hands held the ankh—the Egyptian cross, a symbol of life, not death—before the nostrils of the king and queen. To indicate the kingly statues of Aten, a uraeus (cobra) hung from the disc in the same way as a uraeus adorned the brow of the king. At the same time the name and epithet of the God was placed inside two cartouches, matching the manner in which the ruling king's name was written.
“Toward the end of Year 9 of Akhenaten (Moses) the name of Aten received a new form to rid it of any therio-anthropomorphic (worshipping a god presented in a form combining animal and human elements) or pantheistic (heathen worship of all gods) aspect that may have clung to it as a result of the hieroglyphic (symbolic) use of images. The falcon symbol used to spell the name Ra-Harakhti, which in this form would represent the Sun-God, was changed to abstract signs.
Thus the word ‘Ra’ no longer represented the god of Heliopolis (Marduk) but achieved a new abstract meaning, ‘The Lord’… The new form of the God's name read: "Ra (The Lord), the Living Ruler of the Horizon, in His Name the Light which is in Aten." Note Osman’s characterisation of the term “The Lord” as “abstract”. Clearly, Osman hadn’t done his homework thoroughly here, for had he consulted the Sumerian records, he would have come to know that “THE LORD” WAS ANOTHER NAME FOR PLANET NIBIRU. Moses’s focus was no longer on Marduk per se but on the planet he represented – Nibiru.
MOSES RUNS RIOT AS SOLE PHARAOH
Amenhotep III ruled Egypt together with Moses during the last 12 years of his life, though it was Moses who was the real ruler. After being Pharaoh for a total of just under 40 years, Amenhotep III passed away and Moses was installed as the sole pharaoh. He had two separate coronations, one at Thebes in southern Egypt, where he wore the HEDJET, a white crown, and another at Memphis in northern Egypt, where he wore the DESHRET, a red crown.
Scenes in the Amarna tombs show him receiving gifts from foreign dignitaries. THE ACCESSION OF MOSES TO THE EGYPTIAN THRONE MARKED THE GENESIS OF THE RULE OF A SUCCESSION OF FOUR PHARAOHS WHO BECAME KNOWN AS THE AMARNA KINGS.
By this time, Moses already had four daughters. Indeed, on the lintel of the doorway in the tomb of Huya (steward of Tiye, Moses’mother ), there’s a captioned painting of Moses (under his Egyptian name Akhenaten) and Nefertiti with their four daughters, and on the right Amenhotep III, his wife Tiye, and his youngest princess Baketaten. Moses would eventually have six daughters with Nefertiti.
Part-evidence of Moses’ Hebrew origins can be deduced from his appointment of a man with Hebrew-sounding name as his chief minister. This was Aperel, a former high priest. “Aper” is the Egyptian word for “Hebrew” and “el” is the shortened form of “Elohim”, what the Hebrews called the Anunnaki’s ruling pantheon. “The tomb of Aper-el,” writes Ahmed Osman, “is the first evidence we have of a link between a pharaoh and someone of Hebrew stock living in Egypt during his reign.”
Now that he was the sole ruler of Egypt, Moses upped the ante in the enforcement of the Cult of the Aten. That he was an Atenist to the core can easily be gleaned from his 5-Fold Titulary – the mandatory minimum of 5 titles a pharaoh was supposed to bear. All except one had the term Aten in them. They were "Beloved of Aten"; "Great of Kingship in Akhet-Aten"; "Exalter of the Name of Aten"; and Akhenaten itself. The only title that was a direct to tribute to Marduk was Neferkheperure-Waen-Re, meaning “the Unique One of Ra”.
Moses moved fast to accentuate the Cult of the Aten. First, he declared Aten as the only god of Egypt and the only god of planet Earth and abolished the worship of any other god. Second, he declared himself Aten’s only prophet. Moses increasingly referred to himself as “the god’s prophet-son”, one “who came forth from the god’s body,” and to whom alone the deity’s plans were revealed. “There is no other that knoweth thee except thy son Akhenaten,” he bragged in song. “Thou hast made him wise in thy plan.”
But there was more. Ahmed Osman: “He closed all the temples, except those of Aten, dispersed the priests and gave orders that the names of other deities should be expunged from monuments and temple inscriptions throughout the country. Units were dispatched to excise the names of the ancient gods, particularly Amun, wherever they were found written or engraved. Even the plural word NETARU for gods was proscribed.”
Referring to the same religious repression at the hands of Pharaoh Moses, a Karnak temple stele reads thus: “Now when His Majesty (Moses) appeared as King, the temples of the gods and goddesses from Elephantine down to marshes of the Delta had gone to pieces. Their shrines had become desolate, had become mounds overgrown with weeds. Their sanctuaries were as if they had never been.
Their halls were footpaths. The land was topsy-turvy, and the gods turned their backs upon this land. If the army was sent to Djahi (Palestine-Syria) to extend the frontiers of Egypt, no success of theirs came at all. If one prayed to a god to seek counsel from him, he would never come at all. If one made supplication to a goddess similarly, she would never come at all.” Moses, folks, was killing people to get them to discard their gods and embrace his own, Aten, like a jihadist. Religious persecution comes a long way folks. This Earth, My Brother …
MOSES AND AARON ARE CO-PHARAOHS
It goes without saying that the Draconian measures Moses took to enforce the Cult of the Aten did not sit well with the Theban priesthood, who as the country’s religious authorities had enormous sway over the Egyptian masses. In fact, what made it possible for Moses to stay in power for 17 years was the loyalty of the army. The army was under the command of Ephraim (Aye to Egyptians), Joseph’s second-born son and Moses’ maternal uncle. But there’s a limit to which even one’s own flesh-and-blood can protect them.
The religious authorities, who resented the fact that Moses had usurped their role as the primary custodians of spirituality in Egypt, set about inciting the equally disaffected ranks of the army to depose Moses. Receiving intelligence to that effect, General Ephraim had no option but to seek an audience with Moses. The priests were untouchable: it was Moses who just had to toe the line and not the other way round.
Ephraim was concerned that if Moses was to be overthrown, that would be the end of their clan as Josephites. As important, it would bring to an end the Enlilites’ designs to bring Egypt in their sphere of influence. Already, there were vociferous calls from the body politic for Moses to step down forthwith and hand over power to whoever was next in line. That was the proposition General Ephraim put to the now beleaguered Moses.
Ever the headstrong man, Moses refused to vacate the throne and counter-proposed that for the sake of placating his myriads of detractors, he would rather go for a co-regency with a royal family member of his choice. Now, Moses had at least five wives. Ideally, the heir should have come from his Great Wife Nefertiti, but she only gave him daughters. So he settled for the eldest son by his second wife Khiya. This was Tutankhaten. At the time though, Tutankhaten was only 8 years of age and therefore was too young to be a co-leader. The person Moses thus proposed was Smenkhkare.
Smenkhkare (Smenkhkaraon in full) was the son of Ephraim and his Hebrew and Jacobite wife Tey. Since Ephraim was a brother to Moses’mother Tiye, it meant Smenkhkare and he were first cousins. Moses and Smenkhkare, having been born only 2-3 years apart, were nursed together by Tey at Tiye’s summer palace at Zaru. Indeed, in the tomb she shared with her husband, Tey is described as “the great nurse, nourisher of the god (Pharaoh Moses), adorner of the King (Moses)”.
TO MOSES, THEREFORE, TEY WAS A HONORARY MOTHER AND SMENKHKARE WAS A VIRTUAL BROTHER. It explains why in the Old Testament, Smenkhkare, who is called Aaron (a truncation of his full Egyptian name), is referred to as Moses’ brother.
Moses not only was close to Aaron but he reposed a great deal of trust in him. The moment he appointed him as co-regent, which was in the 15th year of his reign, he offered him his eldest daughter, Meritaten. For about a year, Aaron and Meritaten lived in the Armana palace with Moses, after which they relocated to Thebes. There, Aaron was caught in the powerful orbit of the Theban priesthood and before long, he had begun to reverse Moses’ religious reforms but only in Thebes alone – where he built a new temple to the national god Marduk – and not in the whole of Egypt.
MOSES FLEES EGYPT
The co-regency between Moses and Aaron by no means appeased the Theban priests. Aaron, who was more inclined to the status quo ante of the pre-Moses years, was still overshadowed by Moses: he only had jurisdiction, effectively, in Thebes. The priests wanted Moses to cede power wholly to Aaron and they made that clear to General Ephraim.
Confronting Moses, Ephraim did not mince words: he was categorical that sentiment against the pharaoh in the country was such that when push came to shove, he could not guarantee his safety as army general. Moses therefore had no option but to climb down from his pedestal.
Initially, Moses refused to step down. He dug in his heels for another two years or so, at which time signs became more than apparent that a revolution was brewing in the country and word reached the Armana palace that whether Moses left the throne voluntarily or otherwise, he was a marked man anyway. A mutiny soon was abroad in the land. “It is clear that in his Year 17, Akhenaten faced an army rebellion led by Horemheb, Pa-Ramses and Seti,”writes Ahmed Osman.
“General Aye, supported by General Nakht Min, but unable to crush the rebellion, made a deal with them to allow the abdication of Akhenaten and the appointment of his young son.” Thus driven to the wall, Moses finally capitulated, whereupon Ephraim and Aaron immediately made arrangements for him to be spirited out of Egypt. Once he was safely out of the country, Aaron was crowned as the sole pharaoh but in a stand-in-capacity as the rightful heir, Tutankhaten, was snapping at his heels.
The Bible’s version of events is that Moses was forced to flee Egypt when a bounty was put on him by the pharaoh after he killed an Egyptian who was altercating with a Hebrew slave. That is pure fiction. Moses was a pharaoh and he left Egypt to escape a violent ouster of he himself on account of his wayward religious reforms and his sidelining of the deathly influential Theban priesthood.
It is the Old Testament itself which says, “Moses was very great in the land of Egypt” (EXODUS 11:3). Sadly, it fails, or rather, omits, by deliberate design, to showcase just how great Moses was. Thankfully, we have the Egyptian records, which lay bare the fact that Moses was a great man in Egypt primarily because he was Pharaoh.
NEXT WEEK: AARON GIVES WAY
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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.
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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!
“I Propose to Diana Tonight”
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 – The Blessed Month of Fasting
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.