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Abe Bags Northern Egypt

and renames it Israel in honour of Allah!

Having secured Jerusalem and having accomplished his devotional ends at Hebron, Abraham, General Atiku, moved on. His destination this time around was the Negev Desert, the principal focus of his mission.

The Negev, which meant The Dryness, a name that suited its aridity, General, was a parched region where Canaan and the Sinai Peninsula merged. The specific place Abraham stationed was known as the Oasis of Kadesh-Barnea. Kadesh-Barnea went by several names, which included Ein-Mishpat, Bad-Gal-Dingir (the name by which Sumerians called it), and Dur-Mah-Ilani (what Sargon the Great called it).

Kadesh-Barnea was the gateway to Tilmun, the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula. No Earthling was allowed to go beyond Kadesh-Barnea without special permission from the gods Utu-Shamash or Nannar-Sin. Kadesh-Barnea was the furthest place Shulgi reached when he militarily campaigned in Canaan. The iconic Gilgamesh also sought the green light to proceed into Tilmun at Kadesh-Barnea.

From Kadesh-Barnea, General, there was only one other place to touch before Tilmun. This was El-Paran, meaning Gods Gloried Place. Also known as Nakhl, El-Paran was the official retreat of Nannar-Sin (the future Allah, the god of Islam) and his wife Ningal (from whom the name Nakhl derived). It was an isolated and highly fortified oasis in the great, desolate plain that was the Sinai Peninsula. It was at El-Paran that Sin and Ningal eventually retired post-2024 BC, after the upheavaling of Sodom and Gomorrah.

It was at Kadesh-Barnea that Abraham ensconced himself with his troops, practically ring-fencing the spaceport from possible seizure by Nabus forces. It was whilst Abraham was at Kadesh-Barnea that two things happened, General.

First, Amar-sin was crowned as the new King of Sumer-Akkad, succeeding his father Shulgi, who had died in a death engineered by Enlil the previous year (2048 BC). In Genesis, Amar-Sin is referred to as Amraphel King of Shinar, Shinar being the Hebrew name for Sumer.

As can easily be gleaned from his theophoric name, General, Amar-Sin (meaning Adorer of Sin) was a protg of the god Nannar-Sin. Second, Abraham received new instructions from Enlil. He was to advance on northern Egypt, sever it from the rest of Egypt, and append it to Canaan.

GENERAL ABE SETS FOR EGYPT

Regarding Abrahams foray into Egypt, General, the Bible does own up on the event. It does state unequivocally that from the Negev Desert Abraham did head for Egypt. The story is related from GENESIS 12:10 to 13:2. The passage says Abraham left the Negev for Egypt to seek grain there as there was famine in Canaan. Flavius Josephus echoes that very closely in the following words:

Now, after this, when a famine had invaded the land of Canaan, and Abram had discovered that the Egyptians were in a flourishing condition, he was disposed to go down to them, both to partake of the plenty they enjoyed, and to become an auditor of their priests, and to know what they said concerning the gods; designing either to follow them, if they had better notions than he, or to convert them into a better way, if his own notions proved the truest.

What emerges as curious, General, is that when Abraham gets to Egypt, hes received not by agricultural traders but by a Pharaoh. Even more curious, when Abraham returns from Egypt, he is not accompanied by wagons of grain or any other agricultural produce. Instead, what were told is that he emerges from Egypt as a filthy rich man heavily stocked with cattle, with silver and with gold.

Clearly, General, theres more than meets the eye here, which the Genesis writers deliberately skirted. They do not even state how long Abraham stayed in Egypt because had they done so, the readers would have become curious as to why a person who left in an emergency situation (in the midst of famine and the vital safeguarding of the all-important spaceport) should have taken so long in a foreign country.

It is only when we turn to the Egyptian records and read intimations in the Sumerian chronicles that we get the true circumstances of Abrahams journey to Egypt, General. The insights we accordingly gain are that the Genesis story took place when Abraham travelled from northern Egypt (ironically called Lower Egypt in Egyptian chronicles) to southern Egypt (equally ironically referred to as Upper Egypt in Egyptian annals). At the time, Abraham was no longer a Canaan-based military general: in what turns out to be one of the Bibles best-kept secrets, General, Abraham was a Pharaoh of Egypt.

ISRAEL WAS NORTHERN EGYPT!

Before Abraham, the crack Hebrew general, set out on an epoch-making campaign to conquer northern Egypt, General, Enlil, the Bibles Yahweh-Elohim, meaning Lord of the Anunnaki, reiterated to him what was expected of him.

First, he was to create a buffer zone between northern Egypt and Canaan. This would serve one major purpose to deny the Enkites, who were being rallied by Marduk and Nabu, immediate access to the all-important spaceport at Tilmun in the Sinai Peninsula. The spaceport was the Enkites prize target, without which their rightful rule of the planet in the near-at-hand astrological Age of the Ram would be nominal rather than substantive.

Since Canaan was under the godly jurisdiction of Nannar-Sin, Enlils second-born son, Abraham would be acting in the immediate interests of Sin, who in Canaan was simply known as El, meaning Lord. Hence the Enlilite buffer territory that Abraham would carve off from the Egyptian landmass would be known as I-Sira-El, which translates to Sins Shield. Isnt that so sweetly interesting General?

It must be. When people read about Israel in the Bible, General, they automatically assume this is referring to the Palestine of first century times. One cannot fault them though as that is exactly the picture the Genesis authors wanted to portray as a kind of blindfold.

The fact of the matter, however, General, is that from the time of Abraham up to part of the time of David, the term Israel referred to northern Egypt. On the other hand, when the Bible uses the term Egypt, it is actually referring to southern Egypt, which being dominated by indigenous Egyptians was consequently referred to as Upper Egypt, meaning Principal Egypt.

The second brief Enlil reiterated to Abraham, General, was that once he had taken northern Egypt, he was to introduce monotheism the worship of only one clan of gods, the clan being that of Enlilites. Every Egyptian living in northern Egypt was to be converted to Enlilite allegiance both politically and religiously as the two were inter-twinned. Observes the notable Egyptologist Ralph Ellis:

This is the essential core conundrum of the three Judaic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). These religions wanted to project a new, fresh image of a religion that was descended directly from god. However, the history of their peoples indicated strongly that they were descended from the pharaohs of Egypt, a nation that they had begun to despise because of the later treatment of the Israelites at the time of the exodus.

What were they to do? If they admitted that their patriarch was a pharaoh, they admitted that they were part of the very regime that had rejected them and sent them into exile, and which they now hated with an unbelievable passion. That was utterly unacceptable.

Once Abraham had fulfilled his assigned mission, General, he was to be installed as the Shepherd-King of the Hebrews with authority over all lands east of the Nile River all the way to the Euphrates River in Sumer. That was the reward promised him by Jehovah-Enlil.

GENERAL ABES TROJAN HORSE DEVICE

The conquest of northern Egypt by a pale-skinned Asiatic race known as Hyksos is well documented in ancient archives, General. But the role of Abraham in this regard is scarcely mentioned, if at all. This is because in Egypt, General, Abraham was known by a different name.

This was Pharaoh Mehibre (Mo-Hibiru) Kheti. In Sumerian, this translated to The Exalted Hebrew. Remember, the name Abraham (Ibru-um in Sumerian) as we demonstrated in earlier pieces was also rendered as Mo-Hibiru, meaning The Main One of the Hebrew, or in paraphrase, The First Person of the City of Eber (Nippur/Nibruki), where he was born and bred. You will also remember, General, that Abraham was The Chosen One in that he was Enlils choice for Shepherd-King of the astrological Age of Aries.

When historians relate the Hykso take-over of northern Egypt, General, they characterise it as an influx, a sudden invasion. That is far from the truth. Abraham, who was the Hykso leader, was of course armed to the teeth by his god Enlil, General. He was said to have sophisticated weapons that could smite an army of ten thousand men in hours.

But what made him seize northern Egypt with such ease was the overwhelming presence of the Hyksos, the progenitors of the children of Israel, in this part of Egypt. The proliferation of the Hykso population in Egypt was a key component of Enlils long-term strategy to subdue Egypt, with the Hyksos having been planted in Egypt as early as 70 years before General Abrahams forces laid siege.

Hyksos was a term by which the Hebrews were known in Egypt. It meant Elite Sheep (Hyk-Ku) literally but Shepherd Princes figuratively. In antiquity, sheep were known as Ewes, which is Jews in modern parlance. The sheep symbolism derived from the emblem of the forthcoming astrological Age of Aries, which was the Ram, a male sheep. The Hebrews were therefore designated by Enlil as the Elite Sheep of the Age of Sheep.

However, General, the Bantus, who dominated greater Egypt at the time, did not call them Hyksos: they called them the Akhu, or Makgoa in Setswana. This was in mocking of their predominantly white, Caucasian skins, which made them turn red in the blazing Sahara sun.

When they first arrived in Egypt whilst Abraham was Pope of India (under the pretext that they had been expelled from a part of that country known as Maturea), the Hyksos were allocated their own settlement in a corner of the ancient city of Heliopolis in the Nile Delta east of the Nile River. They renamed the settlement Maturea in honour of their place of origin in India. Maturea is today known as El Matareya and is part of Greater Cairo.

It was the massed presence of Hyksos in northern Egypt, General, that Abraham utilised to full effect to overrun the region. The Hyksos were the Trojan Horse Abraham deployed to finally strike. They were the proverbial camel which after having been given shelter in a corner of the tent at long last ejected its Bedouin master to appropriate the entire tent to itself.

GENERAL ABE IS PHARAOH OF NORTHERN EGYPT

When Abrahams forces thrust into northern Egypt, General, the city they first targeted was Memphis at the mouth of the Nile Delta, about 20 km south of todays Cairo on the West bank of the Nile. Memphis was the strongest city in the region. It also had great religious symbolism being the bastion of Ptah worship, Ptah being the Egyptian name for Enki, the first god and ruler of Egypt for 9000 years before he handed over to firstborn son Marduk.

Having captured Memphis and effectively the whole of northern Egypt, General, Abraham declared Avaris, modern Tel El Daba, as the Hykso capital. He was then crowned as Pharaoh Mehibre Kheti of northern Egypt. This was toward the end of 2047 BC. Once again, Egypt was split into two nations, comprising of the Hykso-ruled north and the Bantu-ruled south, with its capital at Thebes. The fact that Abraham was able to take northern Egypt in a matter of months and not over years as was typical in most wars of conquest testifies to just what a genius of a military strategist he was, General.

If there was one thing going for Abraham as the new ruler of northern Egypt, it was that unlike him, his wife Sarah was not a total stranger. If you recall, General, Sarah was the daughter of Terahs second wife Tohwait, who before marrying Terah had been the wife of Intef the Elder, the departed nomarch or governor of the province of Thebes. In a way therefore, Abraham had a bit of legitimacy in Egypt.

Be that as it may, General, to mainstream Egyptians, the Hyksos were usurpers. In time therefore, the name Hyksos was corrupted to Heqa Khasut, a derogatory term meaning Occupier Rulers.

What circumstantial evidence do we have that Abraham was indeed an Egyptian Pharaoh at some stage of his pilgrimage in life, General? There are several pointers to that effect but three particularly stand out. The first has to do with his concubine Hagar. The second is hinted in the name-title of his half-sister wife Sarah. The third is suggested by the name change on the part of Abraham himself.

PART-EVIDENCE THAT GENERAL ABE WAS AN EGYPTIAN PHARAOH

The Bible, General, is categorical that Hagar was an Egyptian slave, a clear-cut confirmation that Abraham had a stint in Egypt: he didnt need an Egyptian woman in Sumer, his traditional base. However, General, we should not take this statement at face-value as it is obviously loaded with prejudice.

The Genesis writers, who were Jews, wanted to denigrate Hagar and therefore diminish her standing in the eyes of posterity given that it was through her that the Arab race, their mortal enemies, arose. It was a case of exalting Isaac, Sarahs pre-eminent son, and scorning Ishmael, Hagars son and the direct progenitor of the Arab race. For the fact of the matter, General, is that Hagar was not a slave: she was part of the Egyptian aristocracy. A Pharaoh, as Abraham was, would never marry a slave.

There were so many beautiful women of high social standing who the monarch Abraham would have chosen from. Thus the idea that Hagar was a slave is pure hogwash. Abraham hitched her with a view to currying political favour with the indigenous Egyptian nobility, whose blessings he desperately needed as an occupying ruler. In antiquity, General, it was typical of kings to marry purely for political and strategic reasons, with King Solomon being an outstanding case in point: he married from practically every nation on the globe.

In GENESIS 17:5, General, were told that Abram at long last had his name changed to Abraham, which the Bible defines as Father of a Multitude. This was to formally ordain him as the Father of the Nation of Israel. That, however, is the spin. It was not the real or fundamental reason the name was changed. The name change was tactical: it was meant to obscure Abrahams connection to the throne of northern Egypt.

The subterfuge paid off rather handsomely as even today, very few historians are able to relate the name Pharaoh Mehibre to Abraham. Again because the Genesis writers wanted to sever completely Abrahams royal connections with Egypt, General, they presented him as a simple Jewish shepherd when he was in fact a royal personage of high pedigree and an iconic military general who conquered the great land of Egypt to boot.

The Egyptologist Ralph Ellis, General, underscores the same point thus: Pharaoh Mam-Aybre (another rendering of Mehibre) was a Hykso Shepherd-King of Lower (that is, northern) Egypt, but the Israelites later despised the Egyptians and so Mam-Aybres pedigree was a bit of an embarrassment. But what should be done about this situation? The simple answer was to change the name Mam-Aybre to Abra-Ham and make him a pastoral shepherd instead of a Shepherd-King.

NEXT WEEK: GENERAL ABE SPREADS TENTACLES

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GONE FISHING

28th March 2023

In recent years, using personal devices in working environments has become so commonplace it now has its own acronym, BOYD (Bring Your Own Device).  But as employees skip between corporate tools and personal applications on their own devices, their actions introduce a number of possible risks that should be managed and mitigated with careful consideration.  Consider these examples:

Si-lwli, a small family-run business in Wales, is arguably as niche a company as you could find, producing talking toys used to promote the Welsh language. Their potential market is small, with only some 300,000 Welsh language speakers in the world and in reality the business is really more of a hobby for the husband-and-wife team, who both still have day jobs.  Yet, despite still managing to be successful in terms of sales, the business is now fighting for survival after recently falling prey to cybercriminals. Emails between Si-Iwli and their Chinese suppliers were intercepted by hackers who altered the banking details in the correspondence, causing Si-Iwli to hand over £18,000 (around P ¼ m) to the thieves. That might not sound much to a large enterprise, but to a small or medium business it can be devastating.

Another recent SMB hacking story which appeared in the Wall Street Journal concerned Innovative Higher Ed Consulting (IHED) Inc, a small New York start-up with a handful of employees. IHED didn’t even have a website, but fraudsters were able to run stolen credit card numbers through the company’s payment system and reverse the charges to the tune of $27,000, around the same loss faced by Si-Iwli.  As the WSJ put it, the hackers completely destroyed the company, forcing its owners to fold.

And in May 2019, the city of Baltimore’s computer system was hit by a ransomware attack, with hackers using a variant called RobinHood. The hack, which has lasted more than a month, paralysed the computer system for city employees, with the hackers demanding a payment in Bitcoin to give access back to the city.

Of course, hackers target governments or business giants  but small and medium businesses are certainly not immune. In fact, 67% of SMBs reported that they had experienced a cyber attack across a period of 12 months, according to a 2018 survey carried out by security research firm Ponemon Institute. Additionally, Verizon issued a report in May 2019 that small businesses accounted for 43% of its reported data breaches.  Once seen as less vulnerable than PCs, smartphone attacks are on the rise, with movements like the Dark Caracal spyware campaign underlining the allure of mobile devices to hackers. Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission released a statement calling for greater education on mobile security, coming at a time when around 42% of all Android devices are believed to not carry the latest security updates.

This is an era when employees increasingly use their smartphones for work-related purposes so is your business doing enough to protect against data breaches on their employees’ phones? The SME Cyber Crime Survey 2018 carried out for risk management specialists AON showed that more than 80% of small businesses did not view this as a threat yet if as shown, 67% of SMBs were said to have been victims of hacking, either the stats are wrong or business owners are underestimating their vulnerability.  A 2019 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests the latter, stating that the majority of global businesses are unprepared for cyber attacks.

Consider that a workstation no longer means a desk in an office: It can be a phone in the back of a taxi or Uber; a laptop in a coffee shop, or a tablet in an airport lounge.  Wherever the device is used, employees can potentially install applications that could be harmful to your business, even from something as seemingly insignificant as clicking on an accidental download or opening a link on a phishing email.  Out of the physical workplace, your employees’ activities might not have the same protections as they would on a company-monitored PC.

Yet many businesses not only encourage their employees to work remotely, but assume working from coffee shops, bookstores, and airports can boost employees’ productivity.  Unfortunately, many remote hot spots do not provide secure Wi-Fi so if your employee is accessing their work account on unsecured public Wi-Fi,  sensitive business data could be at risk. Furthermore, even if your employee uses a company smartphone or has access to company data through a personal mobile device, there is always a chance data could be in jeopardy with a lost or stolen device, even information as basic as clients’ addresses and phone numbers.

BOYDs are also at risk from malware designed to harm and infect the host system, transmittable to smartphones when downloading malicious third-party apps.  Then there is ransomware, a type of malware used by hackers to specifically take control of a system’s data, blocking access or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid such as the one which affected Baltimore.  Ransomware attacks are on the increase,  predicted to occur every 14 seconds, potentially costing billions of dollars per year.

Lastly there is phishing – the cyber equivalent of the metaphorical fishing exercise –  whereby  cybercriminals attempt to obtain sensitive data –usernames, passwords, credit card details –usually through a phoney email designed to look legitimate which directs the user to a fraudulent website or requests the data be emailed back directly. Most of us like to think we could recognize a phishing email when we see it, but these emails have become more sophisticated and can come through other forms of communication such as messaging apps.

Bottom line is to be aware of the potential problems with BOYDs and if in doubt,  consult your IT security consultants.  You can’t put the own-device genie back in the bottle but you can make data protection one of your three wishes!

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“I Propose to Diana Tonight”

28th March 2023

About five days before Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed landed in Paris, General Atiku, a certain Edward Williams was taking a walk in a woods in the Welsh town of Mountain Ash. Williams, then 73, was a psychic of some renown. He had in the past foretold assassination attempts on US President Ronald Reagan, which occurred on March 30, 1981, and Pope John Paul II, which came to pass on May 13, 1981.

As he trudged the woods, Williams  had a sudden premonition that pointed to Diana’s imminent fate as per Christopher Andersen’s book The Day Diana Died. “When the vision struck me, it was as if everything around me was obscured and replaced by shadowy figures,” Williams was later to reminisce. “In the middle was the face of Princess Diana. Her expression was sad and full of pathos. She was wearing what looked like a floral dress with a short dark cardigan. But it was vague. I went cold with fear and knew it was a sign that she was in danger.”

Williams hastily beat a retreat to his home, which he shared with his wife Mary, and related to her his presentiment, trembling like an aspen leaf as he did so. “I have never seen him so upset,” Mary recounted. “He felt he was given a sign and when he came back from his walk he was deeply shaken.”

The following day, Williams frantically sauntered into a police station to inform the police of his premonition. The officer who attended to him would have dismissed him as no more than a crackpot but he treated him seriously in view of the accuracy of his past predictions. He  took a statement and immediately passed it on to the Special Branch Investigative  Unit.

The report read as follows:

“On 27 August, at 14:12 hrs, a man by the name of Edward Williams came to Mountain Ash police station. He said he was a psychic and predicted that Princess Diana was going to die. In previous years, he has predicted that the Pope and Ronald Reagan were going to be the victims of assassination attempts. On both occasions he was proved to be correct. Mr Williams appeared to be quite normal.”

Williams, General, was spot-on as usual: four days later, the princess was no more.

Meanwhile, General,  even as Dodi and Diana were making their way to the Fayed-owned Ritz Hotel in central Paris, British newspapers were awash with headlines that suggested Diana was kind of deranged. Writes Andrew Morton in Diana in Pursuit of Love: “In The Independent Diana was described as ‘a woman with fundamentally nothing to say about anything’. She was ‘suffering from a form of arrested development’. ‘Isn’t it time she started using her head?’ asked The Mail on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror printed a special supplement entitled ‘A Story of Love’; The News of the World claimed that William had demanded that Diana should split from Dodi: ‘William can’t help it, he just doesn’t like the man.’ William was reportedly ‘horrified’ and ‘doesn’t think Mr Fayed is good for his mother’ – or was that just the press projecting their own prejudices? The upmarket Sunday Times newspaper, which had first serialised my biography of the princess, now put her in the psychiatrist’s chair for daring to be wooed by a Muslim. The pop-psychologist Oliver James put Diana ‘On the Couch’, asking why she was so ‘depressed’ and desperate for love. Other tabloids piled in with dire prognostications – about Prince Philip’s hostility to the relationship, Diana’s prospect of exile, and the social ostracism she would face if she married Dodi.”

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

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RAMADAN – The Blessed Month of Fasting

28th March 2023

Ramadan is the fasting month for Muslims, where over one billion Muslims throughout the world fast from dawn to sunset, and pray additional prayers at night. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to Allah, and self-control. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. As you read this Muslims the world over have already begun fasting as the month of Ramadan has commenced (depending on the sighting of the new moon).

‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed as guidance for people, in it are clear signs of guidance and Criterion, therefore whoever of you who witnesses this month, it is obligatory on him to fast it. But whoever is ill or traveling let him fast the same number of other days, God desires ease for you and not hardship, and He desires that you complete the ordained period and glorify God for His guidance to you, that you may be grateful”. Holy Qur’an  (2 : 185)

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars upon which the structure of Islam is built. The other four are: the declaration of one’s belief in Allah’s oneness and in the message of Muhammad (PBUH); regular attendance to prayer; payment of zakaat (obligatory charity); and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

As explained in an earlier article, fasting includes total abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking, refraining from obscenity, avoiding getting into arguments and including abstaining from marital relations, from sunrise to sunset. While fasting may appear to some as difficult Muslims see it as an opportunity to get closer to their Lord, a chance to develop spiritually and at the same time the act of fasting builds character, discipline and self-restraint.

Just as our cars require servicing at regular intervals, so do Muslims consider Ramadan as a month in which the body and spirit undergoes as it were a ‘full service’. This ‘service’ includes heightened spiritual awareness both the mental and physical aspects and also the body undergoing a process of detoxification and some of the organs get to ‘rest’ through fasting.

Because of the intensive devotional activity fasting, Ramadan has a particularly high importance, derived from its very personal nature as an act of worship but there is nothing to stop anyone from privately violating Allah’s commandment of fasting if one chooses to do so by claiming to be fasting yet eating on the sly. This means that although fasting is obligatory, its observance is purely voluntary. If a person claims to be a Muslim, he is expected to fast in Ramadan.

 

The reward Allah gives for proper fasting is very generous. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) quotes Allah as saying: “All actions done by a human being are his own except fasting, which belongs to Me and I will reward it accordingly.” We are also told by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that the reward for proper fasting is admittance into heaven.

Fasting earns great reward when it is done in a ‘proper’ manner. This is because every Muslim is required to make his worship perfect. For example perfection of fasting can be achieved through restraint of one’s feelings and emotions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that when fasting, a person should not allow himself to be drawn into a quarrel or a slanging match. He teaches us: “On a day of fasting, let no one of you indulge in any obscenity, or enter into a slanging match. Should someone abuse or fight him, let him respond by saying: ‘I am fasting!’”

This high standard of self-restraint fits in well with fasting, which is considered as an act of self-discipline. Islam requires us to couple patience with voluntary abstention from indulgence in our physical desires. The purpose of fasting helps man to attain a high degree of sublimity, discipline and self-restraint. In other words, this standard CAN BE achieved by every Muslim who knows the purpose of fasting and strives to fulfill it.

Fasting has another special aspect. It makes all people share in the feelings of hunger and thirst. In normal circumstances, people with decent income may go from one year’s end to another without experiencing the pangs of hunger which a poor person may feel every day of his life. Such an experience helps to draw the rich one’s conscience nearer to needs of the poor. A Muslim is encouraged to be more charitable and learns to give generously for a good cause.

Fasting also has a universal or communal aspect to it. As Muslims throughout the world share in this blessed act of worship, their sense of unity is enhanced by the fact that every Muslim individual joins willingly in the fulfillment of this divine commandment. This is a unity of action and purpose, since they all fast in order to be better human beings. As a person restrains himself from the things he desires most, in the hope that he will earn Allah’s pleasure, self-discipline and sacrifice become part of his nature.

The month of Ramadan can aptly be described as a “season of worship.” Fasting is the main aspect of worship in this month, because people are more attentive to their prayers, read the Qur’an more frequently and also strive to improve on their inner and outer character. Thus, their devotion is more complete and they feel much happier in Ramadan because they feel themselves to be closer to their Creator.

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