29 August 2006

Forgive your enemies but remember their names.

That guy was a South African! Ok, maybe not a true ‘South African’ but the dog was born and brought up right here. He is from a land, that just recently experienced suffering and oppression but he goes somewhere else to serve as an instrument of pain and suffering! Sorry, seem to be rambling- the guy I speak about is partly the cause of the evil Israeli forces killing innocent Lebanese & Palestinian men, women and children. He was one of the captured soldiers…

But its not just bastards like that who go and become Israeli soldiers- those who go and serve in the Israeli army, oppressing and killing innocent people, and then expect to come back here to lead a ‘good life’ and enjoy the benefits of freedom and struggle that is somewhat accessible here! There are laws against that. There are laws against citizens of this country becoming mercenaries somewhere else. We need to do something about them! We need to find out who they are, expose them and make sure they are prosecuted to the maximum degree

MSA in Cape Town hosted a seminar entitled, Reviving the Islamic Spirit. Host of yesteryear superstar presenters like Jamal Badawi and Mahmood Rashdan who really educated, informed and impressed. Others were also good but I guess the organisers desire to be inclusive found many deadbeats droning on for ages as well! Nonetheless, an amazing, informative and fun trip to Cape Town with my coastal crew… The mountain proved more of a challenge than usual- effect of all those takeouts!- but the overwhelming beauty of the city, its people and its sights never seize to amaze…

Had the good fortune of getting upgraded to business class on my flight there! Alas, good fortune, as is Gods plan, eventually runs out and sometimes with a bang- in a matter of mere minutes I was unfortunate enough to have my uninsured car stolen! Yes, it sucks big time. A major loss, the magnitude of which will take many a laborious months to recuperate. But what can you do? Just forget about it and move on. Life has its ups and downs and you learn invaluable lessons along the way. If you ever happen to see a green golf with LSD gp registration- call the cops!

21 August 2006

'Well done' is better than 'Well said'!

I remember it clearly. It was almost exactly a year ago. The old man was angry and frustrated. He was bitter- no disrespect intended but the man was honestly not a bundle of happiness. And at that time I didn’t feel very cheerful myself! We had spent almost three weeks in the West Bank. The cruelty of the soldiers, annoyance of the check points, and ugliness of the Apartheid Wall and the overbearing sense of insecurity had just about worn me out! [see palestine stories]

We were taking notes, trying to interview those we met so that we could better understand their lives and bring their stories home.
His words went more or less like this, ‘What is the use? People come and people go but nothing changes! We still suffer. The world doesn’t know what we go through. The world doesn’t care!’

Some do. A few brave souls braved the cold to hold a vigil at the US consulate. It was more a symbolic show of solidarity but something productive nevertheless. A friend from France emailed to ask how she can help. Whether I knew if they needed help in the refugee camps. I’m sure they do. I don’t know for sure. Would like to go if I could.

But alas I the chains are heavy. They weigh me down- a dreaded exam looms. If wasn’t the last, the end, the culmination of many years of strife and toll, I would abandon it in a wink! Just trying to qualify to write it is proving to be exceedingly difficult. I blame it on too many distractions, too many friendly encounters, too much reality, too much travelling and experiencing life not like I had ever known it before! I sit and try to study but find myself drawn to late night infomercials! I sit and try to write the qualifying test and find myself daydreaming about far off lands!

Speaking of far off lands, it seems to be getting difficult to get visas for far off lands- Germany and France to be precise. This guy, probably the best guy around, the type that wouldn’t hurt a fly and does everything he can to help others. I would say- peace itself personified! But he fits the profile~ young Muslim!

And to just conclude a discussion that started off my last post- someone asked what I think about women covering up. I think we need to look at why Islam encourages men AND women to dress modestly. And also encourages men AND women to lower their gazes. This can, and has rightfully been interpreted differently all over the world. In fact, in Zanzibar I saw an amazing amalgamation of cultures- a single woman’s dress had African, Indian and Arab influences. Unique and modest, yet quite stylish. A bit of that is needed here: will help bridge the gap between ‘dull boring black garbs’ and utterly shameless and immodest norm of many a young Muslim!

Look at the logic behind everything. That should help you better understand and then want to implement. Like I said in the aforementioned discussion- men were instructed to grow beards so that we can ‘be different’ from the fire worshippers. Men and women need to dress modestly, cover up in public, so that integrity, honour and chastity can be protected. Any action or practice that weakens the family structure leads to problems in a community and possibly an eventual breakdown of society. So protecting ones modesty is ultimately serving mankind…

That’s enough for now- next time go to askimam.com! or try the Majlis- hear they have a website too:-P

Registrations for the Argus open next week. Anyone keen to join a group of semi-professionals cyclists? Register on the website and give us a shout. Just make sure you don’t have any impending operations or anything!

10 August 2006

travel, murder and beards...

I could smell the adventure before I left. Just me and my backpack. No real plans, no timetable, no expectations.
The guidebooks were sketchy; a map of East Africa revealed a few small ports, a lot of mangrove swamp and a road passable only in the dry season.
Googling the place names had opened enticing windows of possibility:
the ruins of a Persian city-state that had World Heritage status;
a cheap airline doing hops along the coast;
and places to stay that included a bedroom built around a baobab tree;
neat, swept streets of coral-stone cottages with shaggy thatch and a grand old German fort renovated by an Englishman.

Ibn Battuta would have been proud! Like early explorers, I explored. Inexorably drawn to those parts of the globe where few others venture…
And now back. Back to work and studying and cold weather! Detailed report of the adventure to be documented soon. *watch this space*

The world is still mad! Death toll up to over a 1000 from the 300 mentioned in my last email- the Israeli oppressors totally blasé in the unabated mass murder spree. The world mumbles occasionally and shuffles a bit but nobody has the guts or even ability to stop it. I don’t understand it!

The Palestine band I wear allowed me to have many discussions- with locals and tourists from all over the world. And every single person I spoke to and those I speak to now, are all against this bloodbath. Or any carnage for that matter! Not that many actually know what is going on or even the history behind the conflict. And I guess that’s the best place for us to start- educating ourselves and all those we come into contact with. Maybe that will help.

A friend in Sri Lanka sends word that things are quite messed up there as well. What is with the world? I remember before I left, there was some news reports about rich white kids beating and killing each other. So much ugliness just clouding up so much beauty.

50 years ago, women marched to the Union Buildings in defiance of the proposed Apartheid pass laws. A memorable event but in cynical terms- where they no women who took the hideous proposals as a sign of the Apartheid barbarians wanting to treat women as equal to men:) ok, ok- just joking!

Hash- I think you should shave your beard dude:P For your own sake. What that guy said is probably what many others are thinking anyway… But I guess him shaving his beard will not solve the problem- the problem is that this idiots slip up is an indication of how the words Muslim and Terrorist have become synonymous. Not that a beard = a Muslim, Hashim has done well to make it known that he is a good, practising, ‘orthodox’ [can that word even be used in Islam??] Muslim. Ah well, the guy has apologised…