Mustapha writes that the images of Ashura online are “unfair to the majority of Shiaas who don’t run around cutting themselves and spilling blood on babies.” He then continues, calling spilling blood “a public health risk” and a “PR disaster.” In short the question is for Ashura to “evolve” in a manner that retains its religious significance but also seems compatible with “today’s world.”
Based on a fellow bloggers idea, which is linked to in the post and contains some fairly graphic images, Mustapa suggests that Ashura should be a day to donate blood. Doing this would “allow more people to take part in the commemoration” and involve better “PR” the blogger suggests – in fairness not something this ancient practice cares too deeply about.
Dar El Akhdar writes of how – on assignment in Bahrain – his closest neighbor is the Seef Mosque. He’s says there’s nothing quite like “stepping into the carpeted terrain and serene atmosphere of the Mosque.”
He reveals he’s started praying again, but also how a TED talk by Lesley Hazleton, about the “beauty, uniqueness and relevance of the Holy Qur’an” got him thinking.
The video is embedded to the lower left. He picks out several quotations, which point out that this is not just any book, that can be read in the normal way. Rather the Qur’an has a “incantatory, almost hypnotic quality, that begs to be heard rather than read”, and which translation alone can rarely capture.
Boat with 70 Iraqi refugees smashes against rocks in Australia
Covers the disastrous route some Iraqi’s and Iranians take by sea to try and reach Australia, as over 28 people die – screaming men, women and children – as their boat is smashed against jagged rocks, just off the tiny Christmas Island.
The blog talks about how local handlers can sometimes make as much as 10,000 USD from such crossings, and that the circumstances of the trip are kept deliberately vague until the very last minute. The blogger describes the circumstances in Iraq as terrible, speaking of how his brother was kidnapped, but that many would rather die at home than on foreign seas.
Have TV shows like “Desperate Housewives” or “David Letterman” really changed attitudes in Saudi Arabia? Even if they have, is that a good thing? American Bedu suggests that shows like “friends” may represent the younger generation of American more accurately, as well as the aspirations of young Saudi’s.
She talks of how her husband was instinctively drawn to cowboy movies – for their code of honor and sense of freedom – leading her to ask readers to what extent American TV does influence the Kingdom, and if so, why?
Susie of Arabia writes about shopping in Jeddah, in particular the complete lack of female changing rooms. She says this is due to lots of reasons – women stealing clothing, men molesting them, and the fact there are no female sales clerks.
In essence, she argues, Saudi is very “big on the prevention of sex” no matter how “remote the possibility.”
And yet these conditions also set the stage for an exchange of trust: the shopkeeper gave Susie and her husband three dresses to try on, and simply asked her to return them and only pay for the ones she wanted. Phone numbers and names were not taken. Susie asks if such a scenario would happen almost anywhere else.
The ugly duckling, after a lot of thinking, may have come up with a way to drive safely in Amman… or at the very least parallel park. Using a series of diagrams she introduces her concept: the sideways wheel.
The physics might be a little shaky, but the logic seems good – cars can go backwards and forwards, so surely they should be able to move sideways too?