Sunday, 12 September 2010

Noah’s Flood And The 9/11 Eid

For some odd reason everyone spells it as ‘Eid’ but I prefer E’ed, just as I prefer spelling ‘Quaid-e-Azam’ as Qaid-e-Azam and ‘Haque’ as Haq. Spelling choices aside, I wish all the readers a very happy Eid.

Before I went to the mosque this E’ed morning, I sent nearly two hundred short messages through the mobile phone to all the relatives and friends. Thus far, I have received almost a hundred reciprocal greetings. Back in the old days, we bought E’ed cards for the near and dear ones, wrote inside the cards what we truly felt and went down to the post office to affix real stamps on the envelopes. Now everything is boringly instantaneous and digital. They claim digital is convenient but I say it is impersonal and most of what one does is destined for the computer’s recycle bin. Hence, when I delete all those E’ed messages sent to me, I cannot ever pull some nice cards out from the cupboard twenty years later and wonder how life was in 2010.

People seldom get creative with prayers so they sent me ‘showers of blessings’ and ‘unlimited bounties of God’. My original SMS to them was simple: "Have a sober E’ed. Too many blessings are a test". Actually, none of them saw in my message what I wished to convey and continued sending me tried and tested replies. The odd thing was that as I stepped into the shower, I could feel the spray of blessings—less the Bounty chocolates. On this E’ed, the Imam (prayer leader) for the E’ed prayers only asked the good Lord for forty-nine items; last year I counted sixty-five must-have things. I uttered a quiet ‘Aameen’ to most of his demands, and at some I smiled because God Almighty could not be expected to grant us world domination while we gleefully disobeyed His direct orders.

Nevertheless, really, is there festivity around us? Last night I drove down to the old city and noticed that the roads had a haunted look. Up until last year, one found it hard to move about due to late night traffic congestion—such would be the festive mood. The shoppers’ attendance at the malls was thin and perhaps the urban population, tired of giving to the flood victims, preferred staying indoors due to the fear of facing explosive terrorism at crowded places.

In addition, exactly nine years after American 9/11 (‘good for Israel’) happened, Muslims are celebrating E’ed on September 11. Some will mourn, the rest will rejoice, this is the way of the world. An American pastor is dilly-dallying whether he ought to publicly burn copies of the Qur’an to protest against 911 (actually, to enrage Muslims globally), while NATO soldiers in Afghanistan have killed Muslim protestors; such is the ebb and flow of Time. As for the recent flood in Pakistan, the citizens and the foreigners are quite tired of handing out aid because disaster after disaster follows us around.

A German friend asked, “I contributed one hundred Euros; what if you face the same situation next year and the year after that?”

I had no satisfactory answer to the pointed query; indeed our aid-fed government failed us five years ago when a massive earthquake shook Pakistan’s northern areas. The government did not rebuild, it gobbled up aid, it became a spectator to the irony of free aid items sold openly on the streets, and it did nothing to prepare us for the next jolt.

We have the flood now that has drowned out nearly half of Pakistan, destroying standing crops, separating children from parents, killing relentlessly, and causing millions to assume the status of displaced persons. I wonder if the media is really helping the situation with its neck-breaking headlines. The TV anchors, interruptive and loud as they are, seek opinions of the ignorant who utter a now familiar mantra: “Nobody from the government is here to help us!”

The government cannot survey and airdrop aid packets over such a large expanse of land unless it utilizes all its resources that are being utilized to serve Project American Wet Dream. I wonder what happened in the Mogul era. Did the rural folks send carrier pigeons with SOS messages tied to their feet or did they despatch fast horse riders to Delhi—the seat of power—to seek royal flood relief? No, nothing of the sort happened because after many months when the news probably reached the royal ears, the reagent regarded it as punishment meted out by the Hand of God to sinners; the most that he probably did for them was forego the agricultural tax for a year. And people fended for themselves or emigrated to get their lives back in shape.

In this age, our government requires a huge machinery to run—one that runs us over every step of the way to real progress. Members of provincial and national assemblies and senators with dubious educational qualifications need to be bottle fed with perquisites such as armed guards, bulletproof cars, protocol services, foreign tours, and free pilgrimage trips to the Holy land. Petty bickering, inter-departmental squabbling, idiotic participation in the G-WOE (America’s Global War of Error), and the inability to pass a single law with unanimity which might uplift the condition of the downtrodden, these are only some of the favourite things these men do non-stop for themselves at a great cost to the exchequer.

Is there a God Perspective to the flood? The destruction appears to be a repeat telecast of the pre-historic flood of Prophet Noah (Nuh). It is clear that sinners do not mean much to the Creator, and though we see their sobbing faces on the television day and night, let us see what might be their intentional and unintentional sins.

To begin with: murderous family feuds that span over decades; property disputes that feed the lengthy and costly legal system; committing ‘shirk’ (creating partners with God) by begging dead saints for help (this is the only sin that is marked out as ‘unpardonable by God’ in the Qur’an); never questioning those they help into offices; always voting the same looters into power; not moving together as a nation, and siding with the enemies of the country and religion. Have we missed something?

So how does God really see the violators? His Word is the command and let there be no doubt that the Word right now is: DESTROY. When the character of a nation fits into each abominable definition given in the Qur’an and it remains heedless and unrepentant, no matter how much one prays for the welfare of this Islamic state, God will do what He has promised the rebellious. To ask Him for the forgiveness of sinners attracts even more Wrath.

“How can that be?” you might ask. The Qur’an explains the entire moral lesson in the following verses from chapter 11:

(11:42) At that [moment] Noah cried out to a son of his, who had kept himself aloof [from the others]: "O my dear son! Embark with us, and remain not with those who deny the truth!"

(11:43) [But the son] answered: "I shall betake myself to a mountain that will protect me from the waters." Said [Noah]: "Today there is no protection [for anyone] from God's judgment, save [for] those who have earned [His] mercy!"
And a wave rose up between them, and [the son] was among those who were drowned.

(11:44) And the word was spoken: "O earth, swallow up thy waters! And, O sky, cease [thy rain]!" And the waters sank into the earth, and the will [of God] was done, and the ark came to rest on Mount Judi.
And the word was spoken: "Away with these evildoing folk!"

(11:45) And Noah called out to his Sustainer, and said: "O my Sustainer! Verily, my son was of my family; and, verily, Thy promise always comes true, and Thou art the most just of all judges!"

(11:46) [God] answered: "O Noah, behold, he was not of thy family, for, verily, he was unrighteous in his conduct. And thou shalt not ask of Me anything whereof thou canst not have any knowledge. Thus, behold, do I admonish thee lest thou become one of those who are unaware [of what is right].”

(11:47) Said [Noah]: "O my Sustainer! Verily, I seek refuge with Thee from [ever again] asking of Thee anything whereof I cannot have any knowledge! For unless Thou grant me forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon me, I shall be among the lost!"

There you have it, plain and simple from the Creator Himself! To expound upon in detail the entire moral lesson will require one more article on this site—something that I am better off postponing until the next ‘natural disaster’. Now, by quoting the above verses, I do not advocate that the rural majority be left alone to die helplessly; surely, there are innocent and pious people amongst them. The question now is not how do we understand God’s family planning move but rather how do we brace ourselves against repeated punishments?

Shall we ask the djinns, which the fake holy men claim they control, to build us dams and reservoirs overnight? Should we not repair and fortify our extensive irrigation system? Must all of us pay yet more taxes to the flooded folks—something that we did in the past to help East Pakistanis (now Bangladeshis)? Even Bangladesh has announced it will build more dams and reclaim land from the sea. India already has dozens of dams with their spillways pointed at us—just in case we refuse to watch Bollywood-meets-Hollywood movies.

Billions of tons of river water empties itself in the Indian Ocean each year during the monsoon season, how can we harness water to generate hydel power and also use it for humans and plants alike? We need huge foreign investment, which means more compound interest, more economic subjugation and gradual destruction. The real landholders in this country are the feudal families whose hold over the poor farmers has remained unchallenged ever since 1947. Many of these lustful families have destroyed their adversaries’ lands by diverting floodwaters to save their own palaces and cultivable areas. In addition, the foreign aid the politicians shamelessly seek in our name is actually the bribery of foreign governments who push their satanic agendas in regions they have no business being in. These and nothing else are the bitter facts.

Do I have a grand solution then, a Moses’ like strategy that liberates my people? Thinkers need not be confused with doers.

33 comments:

  1. Very nice and compelling to think deep !!!!

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  2. Excellent! I enjoyed reading your article. Keep it up my friend! E'ed Mubarik.
    Azad

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  3. Mohsin Maqbool Elahi12 September 2010 at 12:05

    Tahir: You certainly know how to write. You know your subject well and expound your facts, leaving no doubt about its meaning whatsoever!
    I could not help myself from smirking when you mentioned 'begging dead saints' and 'shirk'. In 1992, while working for a weekly, I mentioned the same thing and the assistant editor made sure to delete those lines, thinking it would be infuriating those who believed in piri-faqiri!
    Blogging is the right thing for you to do as this would never find a place in 'Dawn'. But then you already know this.
    We can't criticise the US and its slanted policies, we can't talk about the army and its greed, we can't discuss religion, and we can't raise a finger on Asif Ali Zardari and condemn his foreign trips where Bilawal becomes a part of the entourage. What do you do when the press itself imposes restrictions on you!?
    Kudos to you on a job well done. Keep it up!

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  4. "Nevertheless, really, is there festivity around us? Last night I drove down to the old city and noticed that the roads had a haunted look. "

    Which city was that? definitely wasn't karachi! it was still as jam packed as ever!!!

    yesterday my mom asked my bhai, what my brother in law said, after returning from helping the flood victims, and it was quite similar to what u'v written. so i told my bro, to change the channel from geo news, to ary digital! where he told me they were showing a comedy , sarey ghaat kee farzana!! did u gett see that???

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  5. Mr. Tahir, Eid Mubarak from all of us to you & your family indeed. Jazak Allah Khair.
    Mashallah you have very well highlighted the bitter realities without using any artificial language & phrases.
    Certainly Allah's Will is bound to prevail. Allah is not just Rehman & Raheem but at the same time Just & Adil & His wisdom & His intentions for such brutal hypocrites of the highest order is indispensible.
    Flood affected areas are mostly in Sindh & Northern areas where Pathans & Sindhis are the real culprits as they have all committed treason with Pakistan. They eat from our beloved Homeland, use our resources without any exception & do not pay a single penny to Make Pakistan a flourishing state rather are too prejudiced.
    I believe Allah has certainly put a challenge not only to this ruthless govt but at the same time to these illiterate villagers out of which they will never able to come out nor survive to their fullest.
    Allah ka Azab aise chez nahi hai jisko lalkara jai uske ghazab ko dawat dena apni maut ko dawat dene ke barabar hai.
    I 100% agree about the false belief systems these rural people are deemed to follow for many many years & if somebody even of Holy Prophet Muhammad pbuh caliber would come & preach among them the knowledge of truth these ruthless people will persecute him but wont accept his followership. So whatever is done is justified for such people i suppose.
    But at the same time we must pray & repent for our deeds. May Allah bless this nation with prosperity in future. Ameen . Bunty

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  6. This is the reality. Change, albeit through a conflict of opposing forces, is inevitable....so go with the flow.. . . . . not the watery kind ENOUGH of that!Great writing Tahir....wish we could all stop being selfish and see the larger perspective for the betterment of all!

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  7. Thanks for dropping by yet again, Tayyaba sahiba!
    I hope I'm not too compelling! :))

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  8. Thanks for making your debut character-actor appearance Azad bhai! If YOU have scratched your head pondering over some of my lines, my effort has been worth the trouble. :))

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  9. Thanks Mohsin for being very open and expressive. You're a good man!
    The time has come to call a spade a spade. If we keep worrying about offending others with God-sanctioned truth, we'll never actually follow THIS Sunnah! Think about this for a moment. Do the required thing in your area of responsibility; forget what's convenient. :))

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  10. No I did not see "sarey ghaat kee farzana", I have better things to do than get myself involved with Farzana!
    So your bro-in-law did manage to find out some truth? :))

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  11. Bunty, you're vocal as ever! Thanks for not mincing words and being here. I'd like all like-minded folks to interact on this blog; even unlike-minded ones are welcome! :)) Stay well!

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  12. Tina mohtarma! Your support and understanding is appreciated. Where's that clown Tahir M. and moulana Naveed and rest of the FB bunch? Be a good whip-masterani now! :))

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  13. Mr. Tahir I have liked you on Chowk and i like your writing style but i have short attention span .
    I don't know if you mentioned the flood is similar to Flood of Lut which was result of extreme degradation of society of Sodomy . Atleast partly ...i like to think ...this flood be considered warning by Allah lest you may face even worse misery .

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  14. Thank you very much; you must be from the USA! The Qur'an only says (in 7:84):

    "The while We rained a rain [of destruction] upon the others: and behold what happened in the end to those people lost in sin!"

    Footnote: Contrary to the Biblical account; according to which Lot's wife only "looked back" inadvertently (Bible, Genesis xix, 26), the Qur'an makes it clear in 11:81 and 66:10 that she remained behind deliberately, being at heart one with the sinning people of Sodom and having no faith in her husband.

    My comment: This is generally accpeted as fire and brimstone, possibly a meteor shower, becaue I've seen craters of all sizes around Damascus (near the Dead Sea). Bible-readers believe, Lot's wife 'physically' turned into a pillar of salt as she looked back!

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  15. News just in:

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\14\story_14-9-2010_pg7_1

    The investigative story in the journal points towards a “nexus of interests” between feudal families and senior bureaucrats, who benefited from the decision, while 1.5 million were displaced, 51 people killed and 337 schools destroyed.

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  16. Malerie Yolen-Cohen's post of Wednesday at 01:53 on FaceBook:

    The Founding Fathers of the United States were grappling with the same issues, Najam, back in 1776. Every country goes through its own struggles. By the way, I read the above blog about most Muslims rejoicing over 9-11, which understandabl...y upsets me (considering it took place 30 miles from my house and I knew victims). You'd never find Americans celebrating over catastrophes - divine or man-made - in your part of the world. I know that there are Muslims who want to build bridges to other ways of life, but it doesn't sound as if Tahir is one.

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  17. Miss Cohen, when will American learn to understand others on this planet? Their knowledge of geography leaves a lot to be desired, and that's a fact. Where did I say we celebrated Eid on Septmeber 11 because your 9/11 happened on the same d...ate? Why must our Eid upset you; you're not alone on Earth? Please re-read my blog.
    Our festivals depend on sighting of the moon. In some parts of the world, Eid was celebrated on the 10th, in Pakistan this was done on the 11th. Do you think we need Washington's permission for our religious festivals?
    Peace.

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  18. Malerie Yolen-Cohen's post of Wednesday at Wednesday at 01:08 on FaceBook:

    Tahir - I reread, and yes, I read it incorrectly. Eid does not upset me - I have Muslim friends here who celebrate it. Haha - no I don't think you need Washington's permission for your festivals any more than I expect to have its permiss...ion to participate in mine - also depending on the sighting of the moon. The Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. People are free to practice their own religions here without repercussions, and on that note, the crazy, looney idiotic pastor who almost-burned Korans does not represent the United States. He is just as despised here.

    And here's another similarity; during Rosh Hashana and Eid, Jews and Muslims celebrate the same thing: The story of Abraham is read in synagogues and the shofar (ram’s horn) serves as a reminder that God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram i...nstead of Abraham’s son, Isaac.
    If people want to look close enough and see through the hate, they will find many more similarities than differences, I think.

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  19. Ultra-nationalists and miltant religious bigots are the highway robbers who threaten all religions. Only revealed religions lead us to to the One God.
    This Eid came after a month of fasting, the other one will celebrate our collective freedo...m from the evil of human sacrifice.
    Shalom.

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  20. Malerie Yolen-Cohen's post of Wednesday at 02:29 on FaceBook:

    saalem to you and to all reading this. I'm coming up to my Fast Day - Yom Kippur on Friday to Saturday (24 hours, no eating no drinking for 24 hours; to feel more spiritual and closer to God...the toughest thing for me is caffeine withdraw...al headache - I drink too much coffee)
    Najam - I'll be praying for the souls struggling in the flood ravaged areas and for the basic rights of your countrymen that you referenced in your post.

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  21. My following comment on FaceBook invited the wrath of a proud American friend:

    "An American DRONE aircraft base was 'saved' to 'flood' OUR people living by the river Indus in Pakistan. Who instructed them to do so? Why the Americans themselves!"

    "...the US military refused to allow it (the base) to be used as a staging base for aid." --actor Feryal Gauhar

    ***
    Cari Pittman Huson's comment on Thursday September 2010 at 01:35

    So, some actress talked to a contractor and surmised all of this herself? Very ingenious, although I have to agree with her comment "the state is meant to protect the people; it’s actually protecting only its own interests at the expense o...f the people." Sadly that is true! But...yes there is a but...More than 250 U.S. marines and naval personnel, using 15 military helicopters and seven civilian planes, are engaged in rescue and relief operations in different parts Pakistan. Also, the United States offered $150 million in aid to flood victims in Pakistan.

    My point at all this, is...do not try to perpetuate the negative, but see the positive and the beauty of what people do to help others in a time of need. Unfortunately bad press travels faster and is retained longer in the minds of people than the good, but we can all change that!

    ***

    My response to Cari:

    Thanks for caring Cari but the covert negative policies of successive American governments is something that historians of the future will continue to put in the same category as that of decadent Rome whose global expansion caused its downfall.
    The American government must drill its own oil, dig its own minerals and stop chasing after other people's treasures. There is no blessing in tyranny disguised as democracy.
    Protest in Washington; I know the good people there can change things.

    ***

    Cari's answer:

    I figured you wouldn't get what I was saying...I do not disagree that we have had some bad politicians...what I am trying to state is that instead of focusing on negativity (not all Americans are bad or can be judge by the acts of others) j...ust the same as Americans here shouldn't lump muslims in with terrorists...get my point...stay focused on the positivity of humanity, not the few bad apple politicians. By forwarding on bad press (which isn't even accurate I might add) and blaming "Americans" in general is bad form. That would be like me forwarding on some links to many websites here stating that all muslims are evil to all of my facebook friends. It is unconscionable and frankly naive.

    I understand your meanings about corrupt governments (and I do say government(s) plural...However...what I was saying to you was do not lump it into "Americans". That is like saying all Muslims are terrorists! Just more propaganda perpetuating falsities!!!

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  23. My response to Cari:

    Cari:, I blame my own corrupt politicians more than I blame yours. Its all there in my articles on the blog.
    Please remember that now whoever sympathisizes with the condition (through forceful coercive means: diplomacy) of the Muslims is bra...nded al-Qaeda by Washington.
    The fighters (originally called MUJAHIDEEN: holy fighters) were equipped and supported in every way by Washington to do what? To break up Russian influence in the region, Hell, where is America's OWN region? What is her soldiers doing thousands of miles away from home and all over the globe--from the rapes on Japanese islands to the killings in Iraq and Afghanistan? The same men became Taliban (with Washington help, of course) and are now called al-Qaeda.
    The river that flows through Pakistan is called INDUS and the word industry comes directly from it, along with the word HINDU (original name was river Indu)!
    And as the Iranians said during a discussion with an American think-tankish man: "The USA has got no business sponsoring regime changes, toppling elected governments or assassinating leaders it doesn't like. Who do they think they really are?"
    These rivers run very deep. Switch off the TV, do your own research.
    Regards.

    ***

    Cari's response:

    Thank you for the unnecessary history lesson. This is not new news!! I am not referring to anything but the statement that YOU (TGH) made yourself. "Who instructed them to do so? Why the Americans themselves!" I am sorry but I thought that the flooding in Pakistan was due to the rains...not the "AMERICANS" breaching a river bank...which to generalize like that is like an American saying that "ALL" Muslims are terrorists. It is naive, incredulous and as a blogger completely irresponsible!

    ***

    My explanation of the term 'Americans':

    Okay, what I MEAN (and this should've been quite clear to you to begin with) by 'AMERICANS' is:
    The expansionist neo-colonial killer government of America that has been voted into power by apparently oblivious Americans, and whose tax Dollars are being wasted all over the globe in order to fulfil the American wet dream (oil, you could say).
    Happy?

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  24. Charlene Jones Lerch comes to Cari's support on FaceBook:

    TGH - That is the problem with the world in general - we cannot learn to forgive and move on and heal curent wounds due to the constant stabbing of older wounds. We constantly want to say "them" instead of "us". You know what they say about... pointing fingers - three are pointing back at you.

    If I didn't watch TV, too, how would I know how do do my own research completely? Do you really believe everything in historical books or the internet is the truth? You have to learn to discern from careful examination from all sources and to deny that is paramount to another form of mind control which I abhor. Thank God I live in a country that allows me that freedom to decide for myself by utilizing many sources including yours. Listening to all sides of a problem is how a problem is resolved. Not by fighting and blaming but by understanding and standing up to right that is within us by loving means.

    Even Muhammad (pbuh) stated - "Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first." (SM 145) and "That person is nearest to God who pardons when he has in his power the person who would have injured him. (SM 194)

    I feel that was Cari's intent by asking us to acknowledge the good and not the bad in our neighbors - whether they be near or far neighbors because we are all children of the Creator - we are all family.

    Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me (us). If everyone laid down their weapons (including the pen) and emotionally and physically embraced one another as "family" - right this very moment - we would have a better world - maybe not perfect - but at least better

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  25. Charlene, thanks for the peace message and quoting Muhammad (peace on him and the prophets of God before him).
    The American society is the most controlled society in the world. How can you preach "lay down the weapons" when...? Oh, never mind, I'd be repeating myself and annoying Cari to no end. She has already agreed that we'll plead our 'US(A) versus the rest' case before God on Judgement Day...

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  26. And so they lived happily ever after! Now read Cari's FINAL one-word response on FaceBook!

    "LOL!!!"

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  27. A one-time flood tax will have to be imposed on the well-to-do and people with means to help shore up the relief and rehabilitation efforts, President Asif Ali Zardari said on 29 September 2010.

    COMMENT: Reduce the number of parliamentarians, slash your own non-productive expenditure, and behave yourself as President!

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  28. Reading your blog at leisure today – and I came across this, and read it more than once...and each time it made me sadder than than the first. How many things do I mourn here? Loss of that old sepia-coloured time when letters were written, and the post anxiously awaited? The ignorance and naiveté that allows me to think a country’s government will only act for the good of its people? Loss of all hope that any wastrel’s monies, like my own would have gone towards building hope after the floods. So much to reflect on, and so little I dare to say – except that I feel every word, and every ounce of remorse and anger – perhaps I have no rights to. but I still do. Damn the world, and all its ways – take me back to days I have never seen – and will never see. I love your words Taahir, keep writing always.

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  29. Thanks very much for making a BEST GUEST appearance on my blog! You're much too kind. Please don't make ole' Keetu jay-luss now! :)
    Patience (not NOT doing anything but rather keep on trying) and prayers, THIS is the Quran's formula for believers.
    The show MUST go on.
    Regards

    PS: Here's something...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16VSqbj9meA

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  30. A wonderful article TGH with many facets to ponder and take action on. I feel creating awareness like this is the most honorable thing to do and you being the enlightened one have done this perfectly. I ve noted down each and every point that you have discussed here and believe me I am going to get a data on what is happening on every front in 2011. Bravo and keep up the good work. Your pen is far lethal for the croonies than the sword.

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  31. Thanks for your kind comments AZK! You're pretty (and) good yourself, so what can I say?
    Doing what I do feels great, and the thinking minds rest assured that there are others on this island working their tails off to set things aright.
    I only stop and think about the kinds of titles you've given me when someone comes up with them!
    And THEY have always been afraid of writers who can move minds.
    Do the right thing then!
    :)

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  32. I don't know whether I am a thinker or a doer, but a little confused because of this relation of Flood with 9/11...?

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  33. Read my lips:
    "In addition, exactly nine years after American 9/11 (‘good for Israel’) happened, Muslims are celebrating E’ed on September 11."

    Last year's Eid was celebrated on this date!

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