Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jesus was a Capricorn

"Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.
He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
Reckon they'd just nail him up if He come down again.

'Cos everybody's got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin' somethin' dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

Egg Head's cousin Red Neck's cussin' hippies for their hair.
Others laugh at straights who laugh at freaks who laugh at squares.
Some folks hate the whites who hate the blacks who hate the clan.
Most of us hate anything that we don't understand.

'Cos everybody's got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin' somethin' dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

Help yourself, brother.
Help yourself, Gentlemen.
Help yourself Reverend."

I Love Kris Kristofferson, although I know he doesn't have the most beautiful voice, his songs have always been so evocative to me. Actually, this song was written by John Prine, another fav of mine.
Anyway, what inspired me to write about ol' Kris? Well, it was watching Hardball with Chris Matthews last night. He had Ann Coulter on, and she was unpardonably obnoxious and repulsive! I don't understand what is happening to the world/US when people such as her are held up as pundits and knowledgeable. She has made fun of John Edwards' son's death, called Arabs 'ragheads' and called Edwards a 'faggot'. She has said that the US should invade the middle east, kill the leaders, and convert everyone to Christianity.
She is supposedly an educated person, which makes her hate-mongering that much more pernicious, and she has a huge, supportive audience.
What I can't understand is why do people feel placated by hate? Is it necessary to hate the 'other' in order to be content?
I guess some people can only view themselves worthy juxtaposed to the 'enemy'. And who is the enemy du jour? Right now, it seems to be the Muslims, oh wait, not all of us, just the 'fascist Islamist'. Although, in my life, I have seen it be African Americans, 'hippies' (or liberals), Jews, etc.
People are choking with hate and looking for a place to release it. 'Radical Muslims' are the group that it is ok to hate now. Of course, in the US, most people are not knowledgeable enough about Islam to be able to differentiate between Muslims, and think that the Muslims who drink alcohol and act like 'regular Americans' are the only kind of Muslims who are ok.
The sad thing is that there is a void. On the one hand, there is the lack of media coverage of American Muslims speaking out about what Islam really is, and on the other, there is the continuous coverage of the vociferous, hate-filled speech of other Muslims lashing out at who they deem 'the enemy'.
Nothing is as clearcut as it seems. People who hate, hate from a simplistic, ill-informed opinion of the unknown other. It is easier than searching out, learning for oneself. What does the Qur'an say? (paraphrasing here...) "Had I wanted to, I would have created you all the same, but I created you with differences, so that you might come to know each other."


Monday, June 25, 2007

Some Signs of the End of Times

Of course no one knows when the Last Day will be, but there is an abundance of thought-provoking information in the Qur'an and hadith. Even if you don't believe, it is interesting:


In the End Times of the community of the faithful, people, those who adorn the mosques but leave their own hearts in ruins, who fail to look after their religion as much as they do their clothes, who forsake their religious obligations for the sake of their activities in this world, will increase in number. (Agreed upon)


The Last Hour will not be established until there will remain those people who will neither be aware of the virtures and never prevent the vices. (Ahmad)

The Hour will come when voices are raised in the mosques. (Tirmidhi)

The Hour will come when leaders are oppressors. (Al-Haythami, Kitab al-Fitan)

When the Qur'an is read as if singing a song, and when a person is esteemed for reading in that way, even though he is not knowledged …(Al-Tabarani, Al-Kabir)

'The Hour will come, when people believe in the stars and reject al-Qadar (the Divine Decree of destiny) (Al-Haythami, Kitab al-Fitan)

Undoubtedly, a period will come upon people wherein not a single person will be saved from indulging in interest. If anyone avoids direct indulgence in interest, yet he will not escape from the smoke (effects) thereof.. Its effects will somehow reach him. (Narrated by Abu Hurairah)

The day of Judgment will not come until the very lowest people are the happiest.
(Tirmidhi)

Only people one knows will be greeted with the salaam... (Ahmad Diya'al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith)

When the old have no compassion for the young, when the young show no respect to the old … when children grow angry … Judgment is at hand. (Reported by Omar (r.a.))

In the Last Days, there will be such people, who, when they meet, curse and abuse each other instead of greeting (with salaam). (Allama Jalaluddin Suyuti, Durre-Mansoor)

Bribes will be called gifts, and will be considered lawful. (Amal al-Din al-Qazwini, Mufid al-'ulum wa-mubid al-humum)

The Last Day will not be established until …time will pass quickly. (Bukhari)

Great distances will be traversed in short spans of time. (Ahmad, Musnad)

The Last Hour will not come before time contracts, a year being like a month, a month like a week, a week like a day, a day like an hour, and an hour like the kindling of a fire. (Tirmidhi)

My community will find such well-being at that time that the like will never have been seen before. (Ibn Majah)

My community, both the good and the bad, will be blessed with blessings they have never seen before (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)

Another hadith describes the richness of this period:

During the period, the earth will throw out its treasure…(Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi 'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Blessed Teeth


I'm trying to get everything wrapped up before we move to Kuwait in a couple of weeks, and so I go to the dentist to get a cleaning....ends up, I'm getting another root canal! This will be my fourth. Can I chalk that up to my British heritage (sorry yall :P)? Anyway, each time before I have this done, I ask them, "Can't we just pull the tooth?" And I guess it's a good thing they say no because I would be looking a bit snaggle-toothed by now, but this is getting ridiculous.
Anyway, if it has to happen in KW too, does anyone know of a good endodontist and dentist there? I have always heard the best trained dentists and doctors work in the public sector, but I am not crazy about going and sitting and waiting and then being booted out before they are finished. Has anyone had a root canal and crown in KW?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Time is Drawing Near


I got our tix for KW the other day...time is drawing near. I guess we will be arriving just in time for the electricity outages and blistering heat (and I don't even like hot weather!).
We decided to take the non-stop to KW. I don't know which is worse, but I do hate getting off the plane in Heathrow just to sit and wait in the lounge with all of the other dilapidated looking folks, and with children too.
There is something very leveling about travel, especially by plane. People are all equally at the mercy of greater forces; (meaning air traffic control, pilots, etc.) I know we are always under the control of a greater force, but international travel just brings it down full force! It is definitely a test of patience.
I must ashamedly admit that last time I flew Kuwait Air, I got so mad at the flight attendants, I think I thoroughly embarrassed my husband. But, I had had enough of their unequal treatment of folks, and when I saw one of them being rude to a child from a southeastern Asian country, I just lost it!
Alas, my rantings did nothing but purge my anger, and no one else seemed to give a crap about it.
I think I get a little crazed too, being cooped up all that time. And I try to not think about the fact that we are flying over the ocean. (For a crazy period in my life, before I got my Master's, I was a flight attendant for Delta, and so I remember practicing for ditchings, a.k.a. crashing in the water!)
Yes, there is nothing like flying to make you fully appreciate the fact that, at least for the interim, you have absolutely no control over your life.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Yuck!

I was watching the new season of Top Chef and some of them had to cook this, Geoduck, pronounced 'gooeyduck'. It is a saltwater clam found on the Pacific coast of the US and Canada. They are dug up here and shipped to China, where they eat them. I must say, this is one of the most repulsive looking 'clams' I've ever seen! Glad to be a vegetarian...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I Love Nasruddin/Joha Tales


Once Nasruddin bought some meat and asked his wife to prepare kababs.
But his wife felt tempted and ate it all herself.
When asked, she blamed the house cat.
The amount of meat being one kilogram,
it was hard for Nasruddin to believe that a cat could eat so much.
So he weighed the cat on a balance. It weighed exactly one kilogram.
Nasruddin exclaimed: ''If this is the same cat, then where is the meat?
Or, if this is the meat, then where has the cat gone?''

Friday, June 15, 2007

Family and Misunderstandings

Some of my family members came to visit and see the new baby the other day, and I was again confronted, and still surprised, by the ignorance (and I mean this in the true sense of the word, not being insulting) and bias that they, as well as soooooooooo many other Americans have in regards to Arabs/Muslims.
Their first concern was for my safety in living in Kuwait. I understand that, heck KW has some iffy neighbors, but when I tried to bring up the fact that we are not so secure and safe in the US, they were like, "Whaaaaaaaaaaat, what are you talking about?" (Ok, so I'll bite my tongue and move on...)
"Well what about women, then? Will you be able to drive? Will you have to wear a burqa?!" (Please, I know they did not just ask that! It's not like we haven't had this conversation over the past 14 years countless times, but I guess the more they show their spin on the news, the more I have to answer redundant questions).
"Well what about the kids and you if things go wrong...did you see (no, no, no, please don't say what I think you're going to say...) Not Without My Daughter?"(Damn!, and yes, I did)
And we are not talking about uninformed, uneducated people here. They both graduated from Ivy League schools!
I won't even go into the political discussions, cause they get me tooooo heated. Like how there was some sort of link between Saddam and Osama..."Well, don't you think Saddam was funding Osama?" (What the hay??!!!) Or "The Palestinians weren't even farming their land..." (Count to ten, twenty, thirty......ok, it's not working!!!!)
I love yall, I really do, but next time, let's just talk about the weather.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

To Be a Vegetarian

I have been a vegetarian since 1985, and I have come to rely on all of the wonderful meatless companies here in the US. But what will there be in KW? The last time I was there, about 6 years ago, there was nothing in the way of soy products and not much in the way of fast foods, except for Haloumy cheese. I know being a vegetarian is not popular in KW, but is anyone else out there in the same boat?

Oppression

So, Oprah is going to visit Israel and see the people she says are suffering the most from terrorism...It is a shame that the truly oppressed go almost unnoticed by the world.
It is hard to imagine the blessings that are taken for granted until you take a walk in the life of another less fortunate than yourself. For some perspective, I have included a link to this wonderful Power Point about the lives of Palestinian women. You will have to download it from the site, but it is worth it...take a look.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Have Absolutely Nothing to Say

Ever notice how those with nothing of substance to say are always the most vociferous? You know those loudmouths who yack on and on thinking that everyone within earshot should be enthralled by their erudition.
Or how about those people who talk about inane, superficial drivel? Have you ever been stuck at a party or gathering talking to someone who just went on: "Look at what X is wearing...can you believe that she did...and then they went to that new store and bought....he left her and told her that he never...."
The fact that a person really has nothing to say isn't often enough a deterrent for gibberish. It seems that people are somewhat unnerved by silence. It is too difficult to be in the presence of another and not make some kind of conversation, even if it is completely vapid inanity................

.................................kind of ironic ain't it?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What to Bring to Kuwait?

We just came back from my niece's high school graduation. I can't believe how quickly time has flown. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was graduating high school, in actuality it was MANY moons ago, and getting ready for college. Anyway...

As the time draws near, I am starting to panic about packing all of our things up and getting them to KW. Then I started thinking about what things I should really stock up on to bring there. I know some things are much cheaper or more accessible here. My husband always says sheets are better and cheaper here. Does anyone have any other 'must brings'?

I must add that I am simply dreading that flight with two children and a little baby! I always get so anxious: baby crying/people staring.