Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Importance of Ramadan ( just to remind ourselves)

Ramadan is important for Muslims is because it is believed to be the month in which the first verses of the Holy Quran (the divine scripture) were revealed by Allah (God) to Prophet Muhammad (570-632 C.E.).
From time to time, Muhammad used to go out from Makkah, where he was born and where he worked as a caravan trader, to reflect and meditate in solitude. Like Abraham before him, he had never accepted his people's worship of many gods, and felt a need to withdraw to a quiet place to reflect on the One God.
One night, while contemplating in a cave near Makkah, he heard a voice call out, telling him to "Read!" Muhammad protested that he was unable to read. The voice insisted again, and then a third time, and Muhammad found himself reciting the first verses of the Quran:
"Read, in the name of thy Lord, Who created–
Created man, out of a clot (embryo).
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,
He Who taught the use of the pen–
Taught man that which he knew not.
Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds,
In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient.
Verily, to thy Lord is the return (of all)." (ch.96: 1-8)
The voice was that of the angel Gabriel, and he confirmed that Muhammad was selected for an important and challenging mission–he was to call people to monotheism and righteousness.
Muslims consider the Quran to be God's speech recorded in the Arabic language, and transmitted to humanity through Muhammad, who is considered the last of the prophets.
This tradition of God-chosen prophets or messengers is believed to include such figures as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus.
Muslims believe that over a period of twenty-three years, various verses and chapters of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad through Gabriel. The Quran is comprised of 114 chapters of varying length, with titles such as "Abraham," "The Pilgrimage," "Mary," and "Repentance."
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset every day. This means not consuming food and drink, including water, during the daylight hours.
For married adults, it also includes refraining from marital relations during the hours of fasting (i.e. the daylight hours).
In the Arabic language, fasting is known as Sawm. Muslims arise early in the morning during Ramadan to have a pre-dawn breakfast meal, known as Suhoor. At the end of the day, the fast is completed by taking the Iftar meal, which usually includes dates, fresh fruits, appetizers, beverages and dinner.
Later in the evening, Muslims attend special nightly Tarawih prayers at their local Masjid.
Each night during Ramadan, approximately 1/30th of the Quran is recited in the Tarawih prayers, so that the entire scripture is recited in the course of the 29 or 30 days of the month.
Why Muslims Fast
For Muslims, fasting has a number of benefits:
1. It helps one to feel compassion for those who are less fortunate and underprivileged, since each day Muslims feel greater appreciation for what they have as a result of feeling hunger and thirst.
2. It allows one to build a sense of self-control and willpower, which can be beneficial throughout life in dealing with temptations and peer pressure. Through fasting, Muslims learn to control their natural urges such as hunger and thirst, and thus are able to better resist temptations for things which are not necessary, such as drugs or other unhealthy or harmful substances and behaviors.
3. It offers a time for Muslims to "purify" their bodies as well as their souls, by developing a greater sense of humility, spirituality and community. Ramadan is a very spiritual time for Muslims, and often they invite each other to one another's homes to break the fast and pray together. A greater sense of generosity and forgiveness is also characteristic of this time.
As with other duties in Islam, fasting becomes obligatory (i.e. one becomes accountable) after the age of puberty. So keep in mind you are accountable .

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Folklores and betime stories

Today I was reading some African stories and it so happened that I remembered my granny (May she rest in peace) who used to be like a great book that you never wanted to put down. Every evening we as children would sit around the fire where were expecting some evening tea with kimis plus something that was close to a movie but very oral. (Stories). Granny used to tell stories that used to mesmerize us so much we never wanted to go to bed despite the next morning being a school day. We could snuggle around her and she would tell us about lions hyenas and why they looked the way they did. Sun, Moon and Stars There are many tales told of the sun, moon and stars. Some stories say that the sun was once a man from whose armpits shone rays of light. He dwelt alone in a hut and his light shone only for himself. Some children belonging to the first Bushmen were sent to throw the sleeping sun up into the sky, from where he now shines upon all. In the evening, he draws his blanket of darkness over himself to keep warm. But the blanket is old and has many little holes in it and at night the sun still sparkles through them to make stars. Another story tells of a lonely young girl who awaits the return of her hunter companions. To light their way in the dark of the night she throws up a handful of white wood-ash. This becomes the Milky Way and even when there is no moon; its light guides the hunter’s home. The moon, say the Bushmen, is really an old shoe belonging to Mantis, who threw it up in the air to guide himself. As it rises, it is red with the red dust of Bushmanland, and cold like old leather. They say the sun is jealous of the moon when it is full as it is a challenge to the sun's brightness. So with its sharp rays the sun cuts bits off the moon until there is just a little left and the old moon cries, 'Oh! Oh! leave a little backbone for the children!' Then the sun goes away, and soon the moon starts growing back, little by little, to its normal size and the process starts all over again. Some say that when the moon is hollow and young, she is weighed down with the spirits of the dead which she carries; clouds that pass are really the hair of the dead, and the wind blows to sweep the footprints of the dead from the sand. The Bushmen believe that the world was made by the spirits which are all around them. Whatever tale they tell comes from within them and as one Bushman says, 'There is always a dream, dreaming us!' Without a story, a Bushman is without a home.

Times you need agiggle..

There was this Somali man fresh of the boat, who knows just few words of the English language. The housing department of the respect country he arrived to, gave him a temporary house. The Somali man, after sleeping in the house for few days, came back to the nearest office of the Housing department and complained about problems with the house, which was a very old house and full of cockroaches. The Somali couldn't speak very well, and didn't know what they called "cockroaches" in English, so he kept on telling the office workers. "Insect in the house, many insect" . The department office just ignored him for few days. But the SOmali kept on coming back and complaining. Luckly, someone from the depart heard his cries at last. So an official from the department went to his house to check out what was going on there. When the official came into the house, the Somali quickly showed the kitchen which was full of "cockroaches". As soon as the official saw awful thing he went "oh! Jesus!!", the Somali guy who was frustrated about the ordeal, didn't loose a second and screamed "YES! too many Jesus!" Thinking the word "Jesus meant cockroaches"...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hilib Geyl

Astory by Filipino expertriates. Check out the Somali reaction:)

Hilip Geyl
The above pictures are of Foreigners enjoying the best of Somalis fvourite foods the camel meat known as (Hilib Geyl). Doc Benny (with a cap) and his hilip geyl. With Danilo and the manager/owner of the restaurant.

Hilip means MEAT, Geyl is CAMEL. The Filipino Bulshada was able to find the place where the best camel meat was served. It's a small restaurant frequented by Somalis. They were shocked to see 4 Filipinos entering. We learned how to eat camel meat by watching the Somalis of course. The meat is served with hot marak (clear camel soup), you pour marak when you see the fat drying up. Meat is sliced on the table, pick it up and straight into your mouth it goes. It also comes with chili where you dip the meat first.
One fellow just couldn't resist, he approached us and asked our nationality and said "Europeans treat camel meat as we muslims treat pork, so you wouldn't see any white foreigners here." "We were told that this is the best hilip geyl restaurant in town" I said. "Yes, you guys seem to be enjoying what you are eating. Thanks for being different" he added.

Net power!

Here, at last, was proof positive that the internet changes everything... hey, it even changes movies! Hollywood was scared, of course, but they usually are. They understand, finally, how to use TV, and now, all of a sudden, something new to worry about.
Given the success of snakes on a plane, is blogging going to be the norm where free rants of what a movie should be like are going to be order of the day. Apart from blaming the internet for movie piracy, is Hollywood now embracing what the geeks have to say about their products and even help in the consultation process. We see the influence the internet has had on Snakes on a plane and how successful the results have been. Do we see a future for a Hollywood style production on the net with producers from all over the world?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Funny Meanings

Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool on the other. Divorce: Future tense of marriage. Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the Lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either." Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present. Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece. Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine will-power is defeated by feminine water power... Dictionary: A place where success comes before work. Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on. Classic: A book which people praise, but do not read. Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight. Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life. Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

Fashion victims

Fashion today has become part and parcel of our daily lives. We can’t seem to get away from it as it part of us and that its there in some form or other on us. If you are going for dinner, wedding or party in an hour or two, one would be seriously thinking of what to wear be it cloths, perfumes or shoes to look good and smell good. A Versace labeled T-Shirt, Gucci shoes and perfumes like Dolce Gabana or Blue waters would be something they would be wearing depending on ones taste makes you a victim of fashion as you would want to make what has come to be known as a fashion statement. If on the other hand you are surfing the net or watching your favorite program on TV or reading a fashion or style magazine, then you definitely fashion conscious as your reading ahead or seeing what the future fashions would be like. Keeping abreast as some call it. Can we become too clothe conscious? The fact is fashion can become an obsession. Fashion trends are constantly changing. Nothing goes out of fashion faster than fashion itself. This means that people can spend much of their lives trying to keep up with what's 'in' and 'cool'. A case in one is where any Somali lady will never wear a Diraac (Somali Dress) and its accessories twice as part of fashion. It is said that you have to look different every time your picture is taken or you would be the talk of town.
I need to point out that the term "fashion victim" doesn’t only concern women, but also men. In the most common sense, it’s obviously that fashion victims are those people who blindly adopt and worship fashion trends, run with them regardless of how they look on them, no matter if those particular trends are appropriate or not. In their quest to be trendy, such people are usually excessively wearing a lot of accessories they find out trend-setters hint for every season, ending up to completely miss the most important part of being stylish: customizing a trend to suit their own body, age and circumstance.
Having said the above who thinks otherwiseJ

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Five Germans in an Audi Quattro

Five Germans in an Audi Quattro arrive at the Italian border. The Italian Customs Officer stops them and tells them: -"It's a illegala to put a cinque people in a Quattro." -"Vot do you mean it's illegal?" asks the German driver. -"Quattro meansa four" replies the Italian official. -"Quattro is just ze name of ze automobile!" the German says unbelievingly. "Look at ze dam papers: ze car is designed to karry 5 persons." - "You canta puta thata one on me!" replies the Italian customs officer."Quattro meansa four. You have five-a people in a car and you are breaking the law." - "I vant to speak to someone viz more intelligence zupervisor over !" - "Sorry. He can'ta come righta know. He'sa busy witha 2 guys in a Fiat Uno

The above picture speaks for itself.....Global warming has certainly landed:)

Evolving To Rationalism

It is foolish to think that men and women are equal. Just because people have equal human rights, does not mean we are all equal. There is no divine entity making sure each individual has a balance of merits. We all know that in the divine game of genetic dice, some people get all the worst attributes, and some get all the good ones, and the rest of us get a mix. Anyone who believed the nonsense from the 60's metaphysical crowd merely has to have a couple of children to notice that boys and girls are very different creatures, and there differences have little to do with their environment, and everything to do with genetics and body chemistry. Women have a greater predisposition toward consensus, manipulation, organization, generalization, inclusion, altruism and communication. Men have a greater predisposition toward force, reason, specialization, competition, and [recognition for individual success.] What I have found fascinating during my entire adult life, is that despite the fact that women favor consensus, they will try to kill each other socially and politically, usually destroying each other in the process. Men on the other hand, who are not regarded as inclusive, will generally form a loose team and eliminate the non-team players. The trick for both men and women in business is to find the place where you provide the greatest value. An employee who is successful is genderless. They possess the same qualities regardless of gender. They pursue the goals they are given, and produce increasing value for the business with the minimum direction, input and attention. If they can produce this value and be pleasant to work with as well, then that's even better. If they can convince others to pursue those same goals, and produce higher value, then that's yet even better. But in the end, those employees who produce increasing value, and can be trusted to do so repeatedly, are the employees that have value. Gender has nothing to do with the hierarchy of value.

Kudos and Greetings

Greetings to all the young men and women out there. It is not only apleasure to join this unique hotspot of Mali bloggers but also am emanation of the right vibes. To start with, I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to talk about which is proving to be a little worrying given that I've got about a week in which to figure it out. Besides this is my first blog so Im trying to be cheeky but at the sametime neat in content. I also chose to come here for the wit and brevity with a critical edge when it counts. Also it's nice to read poms who aren't whinging for a change :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Scary world

The world today is avery scary place to live in and it really doesnt matter where one lives. I have found out that lately people dont really care about other people as long as they are safe and watching from asafe distance far away from trouble. War on TV is such that you find people watching get used to people dying everyday without really caring and taking it in as part of acommando raid in amovie. We as humans used to be troubled by such horrid realities and used to do something about it through lobbying and ofcouse uniting and demonstrating against such onslaughts on human life.
Today no one defends those who cant those who cant defend themselves. The daily average news consists of blood shed and adults and children being blown apart either in Iraq or Lebanon and many of us just look in amazement rather than fear of whats to come as a result of these atrocities. Kids watching their parents being blown and parents watching their kids blown apart while politicians are debating about the difference between "Ceasefire and Session of hostilities". War today is different in that there is no respect for human life and certainly the rules of engagement have been re-written on the field. I really feel for the innocent who are dying every day without the rise of an eyebrow from those that have the power to stop such atrocities.
I wonder where history will leave them and ofcouse having created achange of attitude with the distruction of awhole nations infrustrature and lives. What will the future be like? Do you ever wonder why the victims of such wars end blowing themselves in revenge after going through such horrors? The future is pretty scary.