Saturday, November 03, 2007
"I desperately wanted to be an ambassador to the Middle East because I never saw anybody who spoke my language on TV". With this line, Omid Djalili, the British-Iranian comedian, simply summarises the entire issue. It's the media. Most of what non-Muslims know about Islam and the Islamic world comes from biased media that shows what it wants to show and hides what it wants hide. Those who seek the Truth must search for it from its true sources. And here is where the blessing of being bilingual reveals its utmost importance. Here is where the responsibility of English-speaking Muslims lie.
I believe that those who truly hate Islam are a minority and that most non-Muslims have a mistaken perception about Islam. That is why I meant to post these two videos together. The first is an excerpt from a lecture by Moez Masoud, an Egyptian Muslim, that was a part of a conference entitled "The Search for Mutual Understanding". In the second tape, Omid Djalili, and after laughing a bit with circumcision, talks about biased media.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Surrounded by Apollo Command Module Pilots (from left): Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Richard Gordon (Apollo 12), Stuart Roosa (Apollo 14), and Alfred Worden (Apollo 15) at a 1994 "Salute to Apollo" in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
During the Apollo years, Dr. El-Baz joined NASA officials in briefing members of the press on the results of the lunar missions. His appeal rested in a unique ability to simplify complex issues in clear, succinct and easily understood words. His remarks on the scientific accomplishments were regularly quoted by the media during the Apollo missions.
In Episode 10 ("Galileo Was Right") of the TV series "From the Earth to the Moon," produced by Tom Hanks for HBO, his role in the training of the Apollo astronauts was featured in a segment entitled: "The Brain of Farouk El-Baz." In his honor, the popular television program "Star Trek: The Next Generation" featured a shuttle craft named "El-Baz."
Star Trek's shuttle "El-Baz"
In 1973, NASA selected him as Principal Investigator of the Earth Observations and Photography Experiment on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), the first joint American-Soviet space mission of July 1975. Emphasis was placed on photographing arid environments, particularly the Great Sahara of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, in addition to other features of the Earth and its oceans. Emphasizing the study of the origin and evolution of arid landscapes, he collected field data during visits to every major desert in the world. One of his significant journeys took place, soon after the United States and China had normalized relations in 1979, when he coordinated the first visit by American scientists to deserts in northwestern China. The six-week journey was chronicled in National Geographic and the Explorers Journal. His research on the origin and evolution of the desert resulted in his election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Dr. El-Baz served his native land as Science Advisor to the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat from 1978 to 1981. Because of population growth and the attendant food requirements, Sadat believed that Egyptians should not continue to be confined within the Nile Valley and must reclaim more land from the desert.
First meeting with the late Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, in 1974
His desert research, spanning over 25 years, helped in dispelling the public misconception that deserts were man-made and explained how arid lands originated and evolved in response to global climatic variations. His research methods are now commonly replicated in desert studies throughout the world.
Throughout his career, Dr. El-Baz has succeeded in conveying the excitement of scientific research and the importance of using advanced technology. One of his efforts resolved the 1995 controversy about the crowd size in Washington DC's "Million Man March". He estimated the number of participants in the march using the same computer techniques applied to counting sand dunes in the desert.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
The ground-breaking surgery was carried out on 20 February. Sir Magdi performed Hannah's original heart transplant when she was two.
Heart size doubled
The original operation saved her life because she had cardiomyopathy, which made her heart double the size it should have been and therefore likely to give out within a year.
Experts said a modern approach to the problem would see the enlarged heart removed to rest, while a mechanical heart took over its job temporarily.
Her donor heart worked fine until last November when a routine check-up showed that her body was rejecting it.
Hannah's mother, Elizabeth Clark, said the operation, which had been expected to take at least eight hours, was finished in just four.
The piggy-back heart allowed the patient's own heart to take a rest
Professor Peter Weissberg
She said: "They also said she could be in intensive care for weeks, maybe months - they just didn't know because it was the first time it had been done.
"Hannah recovered so well she was able to come home within five days.
"Nobody thought she would be like she is now.
"She is just enjoying her life and is looking forward to going back to school after Easter."
Following the operation, Hannah no longer needs to take strong anti-rejection drugs she had to take with the donor heart.
She has also battled lymph cancer in recent years but is now in remission following a successful course of chemotherapy in January.
Hannah Clark is looking forward to going back to school
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, described the operation as "an exciting and important event".
He said: "Surgeons have thought for some time that if a heart is failing because of acute inflammation, it might be able to recover if rested.
"This seems to be exactly what has happened in this case.
"The piggy-back heart allowed the patient's own heart to take a rest.
"Today the approach would be to implant a mechanical heart, called a ventricular assist device, to take over the work of the inflamed heart in the hope that the heart will recover and the device can be taken out after a few months.
"Ten years ago such devices were not sufficiently reliable, which is why Hannah received a donor heart alongside her own.
"This is a great example of how a pioneering and novel approach to a medical problem can lead to surprising results that tell us a lot about how some heart diseases progress.
"In the past, patients with inflamed hearts either died or were transplanted before their own hearts had any chance of recovery."
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
This is just a small sample from the tons of movies that portray us Arabs negatively. When will the world "unlearn their prejudices against Arabs?" Most of what reaches the world about Islam and the Arabs is either clear lies or over-exaggerations of the faulty actions of a handful that are used to tag an entire nation. I am hoping that it is through websites, such as this one, that the true image of Islam is presented. Therefore, I shall be posting a series of articles entitled "Outstanding Arabs" in which I intend to shed some light on several Arab individuals whose brilliant achievements in different fields have changed humanity. Just trying to change the sterotypical category in which we Arabs are placed.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
From "Moses and Akhenaten" By Ahmed Osman Many websites claim that there is a contradiction between the Quran and Egyptology concerning the person who adopted Moses. The Quran says that it was Pharaoh's queen while the books of Egyptology, based on the Old Testament, mention the Pharaoh's daughter. I believe the following lines can help solve the riddle. A Philological Explanation The word for 'daughter' and the word for 'house' were written identically b_t in early Hebrew and open to misconstruction by anyone not familiar with the Egyptian usage. To an Egyptian the word 'house' was also used -and indeed, still is- to signify a wife: to a Hebrew it meant either 'house' in the sense of a building or 'household'. Later, both Hebrew and the language of Ancient Egypt, which had no written vowels, began to use some consonants like y to indicate long vowels. Thus,for example, we find a slightly different spelling for b_t Phar'a in the Book of Genesis account of events when Jacob, the father of Joseph, died. Joseph, who wanted permission to take him back to Canaan for burial, did not speak to the king directly but to the b_y_t Phar'a , the Hebrew word signifying 'the house of Pharaoh': 'And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, if now I have found grace in your eyes, speak I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh...' (Genesis 50:4). 'Pharaoh' itself means 'the great house'. Thus b_y_t Phar'a signifies the 'house of the great house', which in the Egyptian sense would mean the queen whose intercession he sought in the matter of his father's burial. There is an example of similar usage earlier in the Book of Genesis when the brothers who had earlier sold Joseph into slavery made their second trip to Egypt at a time of famine. On this occasion Joseph revealed his true identity and was so moved that he 'wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard' (Genesis 45:2). This had been construed as meaning that Joseph's weeping was so loud that it was audible in the royal palace, but I interpret it as meaning that the queen heard the news of his brother's arrival. In this second example the word used is again b_y_t Phar'a. However, in the Book of Exodus, where we have the story of the Pharaoh's daughter going down to bathe, finding the Hebrew child in the rushes and later adopting him, the y is absent and we have simply b_t Phar'a. My suspicion was that during the ninth century BC, the early stages of written Hebrew when the Old Testament was given permanent form, all three words had been written in this way, referring in each instance to the 'house of Pharaoh', the reigning queen and the y in the two Genesis references had been added late, as written Hebrew developed, because the scribe did not understand the special Egyptian usage of the word 'house'. This, while not easy to establish, proved to be the case. The Hebrew Masoretic text we have now goes back only to around the tenth century AD and could not throw any light on the matter. Nor could sections of the Old Testament found in the caves of Qumran, near the Dead Sea, some of which belong to the second century BC. Confirmation was eventually provided by the Moabite Stone. This black basalt inscribed stone was left by Mesha, King of Moab, at Dhiban (biblical Dibon, to the east of the Dead Sea) to commemorate his revolt against Israel and his subsequent rebuilding of many towns ( II Kings, 3:4-5). This stone was found by the Revd F.Klein, a German missionary working with the Church Missionary Society, on 19 August 1868 and is now in the Louvre in Paris. The inscription refers to the triumph of ' Mesha, ben Chemosh, King Of Moab', whose father reigned over Moab for thirty years. he tells how he (Mesha) threw off the yoke of Israel and honoured his god, Chemosh.
The Moabite StoneAccording to the American archaeologist James B.Pritchard, a professor at t6he University of Pennsylvania; ' The date of the Mesha Stone is fixed roughly by the reference to Mesha, King of Moab, in II Kings 3:4-5, after 849 BC. However, since the contents of the stela point to a date toward the end of the king's reign, it seems probable that it should be placed between 840 and 820, perhaps about 830 BC in round numbers'. The text reads: 'I [am] Mesha, son of Chemosh...King of Moab... I said to all the people:" Let each of you make a cistern for himself in his house."' The inscription, written in the Semitic language used for writing at the time by the Jews of Israel, confirms that the word for house was then written simply b_t, without the the insertion of y and was the same word as daughter. This is also true of the way it was written in the Phoenician language. When 'house' and 'daughter' were written identically there was no cause to differentiate between them. The situation changed when development of the Hebrew language made it possible to alter the spelling slightly to give two different words. The scribes then found themselves in a dilemma, based on the ignorance of the fact that 'house' had the Egyptian meaning 'wife'. It now becomes clear what has happened. If the word simply meant 'house' or 'household', it made sense that Joseph approached the house of Pharaoh on the subject of his father's funeral and that his weeping could be heard in the king's house, but it made no sense at all to suggest that the whole of the king;s household had come 'down to wash herself at the river' (Exodus, 2:5) or had become the mother to the child. The scribe therefore decided in the Exodus reference to retain the alternative meaning of 'daughter' whereas it, too, should have been changed to 'house', signifying the wife of Pharaoh, his queen. Oh, and by the way, it almost impossible that the 'Egyptian' queen would give her adopted son, a name derived from a Hebrew root, even if she had been sure that he is a Hebrew child.( drawn out of water means moshe i.e mose in Hebrew). "Mose" in ancient Egyptian language means "son" and the name formula god+mose was common e.g Amen mose = Amen + Mose= son of Amun Thut mose = Thut + Mose = son of Thut Ramose= Ra + Mose =son of Re They did not give a "real name" for the child whom they drew out of the water, they just called him 'the son" i.e "Mose".
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Minutes later the opposition leader was completely forgotten when Dr.Fareed presented a golden folder to the major country's delegate as a simple gift from his country apologising for the inconvenience caused by the opposition leaders demonic ideas; a gift which filled the eyes of the visiting President and his wife with tears in a time in which several close acquaintances to the visiting President swore that nothing brought them closer as this gift did. "You son of a ...." said the President to Dr.Fareed when he flipped through the pages of the folder before sending it to the major country's delegate. The golden folder was more than just a folder. It was actually a personal diary that was filled with many sweet memories. Pictures of the villa where the visiting President and his wife lived when he was an ambassador, his favourite yacht that he used to rent for his romantic Nile cruises with his wife, his favourite historic mosque, the church that he repeatedly visited in the country's finest Christian quarter, even his personal Egyptian chef. Everything that was related to the three years in which the visiting President spent in the country was present inside that folder that Dr.Fareed prepared with the help of a special handpicked team. "Make me a folder like that Fareed. My wife will be very pleased". The President, who did not possess the ability of being easily surprised, was fascinated, to the extent that he could not use his lovable insults, when Dr.Fareed stood up, gave a theatrical bow and presented to him another golden folder with pictures of the President and his wife who spent several nights after that in reminiscence, with the children, about when and where each and every picture was taken. Dr.Fareed skyrocketed. Nobody could stop his ascent. His colleagues were not able to catch up with his diabolical mind. They began to curse the day in which the visiting President decided to visit the country for if it had not been for that day, Dr.Fareed might not have reached his current status. The Ministers' secretaries spent some rough time thanks to "that damned Dr.Fareed". Each Minister gathered his subordinates and showered them with insults; the likes of "you useless, mindless blokes !! What good ever comes out of you or out of the loads of money spent on you if you can not do anything right, you mother....?!" Even the editors of the state-owned newspapers fell in a dilemma. Their traditional methods of kissing the President's butt have become obsolete compared to the waves of hypocritical creativity that Dr.Fareed help spread across Egypt. The Editor-In-Chief of the second largest state-owned newspaper held an article-writing competition between young columnists to find the best creative idea to be published in light if the Presidential visit. The competition led to a disaster when the newspaper published a two-page article on " the ideas that the visiting President learnt from the wisdom of our President during the years he spent as an ambassador while our President, may God Make him live longer so that we may prosper during his reign, was still in his early ruling years." The young columnist spent a week in research to prove that all of the political, social and economic advances that occurred in the major country were inspired by the thoughts, speeches and strategies of "our great President" and ended his lengthy article by a quote from the visiting President in which he describes how the world needs "our President, may God Protect him". The columnist did not finish his first day in the all expenses paid vacation at the coastal resort. The newspaper's Board summoned him immediately and gave him the sack because his damned article led to a crisis between both countries that nearly led the visiting President to cancel his visit especially after another newspaper questioned, on its first page, whether the aim behind the President's visit was to thank the real President who was ruling the major country.
A day after that, the same newspaper mentioned that a strong rumour is circulating that the visiting President decided to cancel the visit and that he refused to talk with his counterpart who offered to permanently close the newspaper as a sign of his utter refusal of every word that was published. Only Dr.Fareed could save the day.
The next day, every newspaper published an interview done by a journalist from the major country who was one of Dr.Fareed's colleagues during his scholarship and whom Dr.Fareed summoned immediately by a private plane. There was a folder waiting for him when he arrived that contained questions concerning the special relationship that bounded between the two friend Presidents and how the major country's President was the source of inspiration behind many of the decisions that were taken in the country and he provided the support in the reform plans that the country had witnessed in the past years. Of course the folder did not only contain questions. It also contained the answers that Dr.Fareed spent several nights preparing with the researchers of the only Strategic Studies Centre in the country. Once again, thanks to Dr.Fareed, things went smoothly.
Dr.Fareed's enemies had no other way to stop his ascent but to take a decisive action, as their previous choice of waiting till the visit ends has become useless. They might find him Prime Minister or leading a military coup by the time the visit ended. Therefore, they had to screw him and screw him now. He did not leave a flaw behind him except for the fact that he always sought the pleasure of the President and ignored the forthcoming successor who was the one who first put him on his current track.
They, therefore, decided to leave Dr.Fareed drowning in his euphoria, from the President's constant pleasure and from those phone calls that he would end in the military style "Yes, sir", and spent their filling the mind of President Junior, as the citizens called him, with hatred and despise against Dr.Fareed who did not bother to thank the real caregiver who it if were not for him, he would have remained a nobody. And into a nobody, he must return.
To Be Continued...
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The author is the editor-in-chief of the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm
I never did Like Saddam Hussein nor did I like Iraq during his reign or after the fall of his regime but I have come to hate the United States even more. Not because of the fact that it deliberately humiliated and insulted us, for the umpteenth time, in our most sacred festivals, not because of the fact that it treated an ex-President of an Arab country with such obnoxiousness that made him appear in front of the world as a "sheep" being led to the "slaughterhouse" but because it sent a very clear message to us, Muslims and Arabs, : " We despise you for you are a nation of cattle."
The message was signed by George W. Bush, the rightist extremist, who revealed the truth, willingly or unwillingly, after 9/11 when he clearly announced that is a "Crusade" . And although he and his henchmen repeatedly tried to dilute its repercussions yet what happened Saturday morning proved that it is indeed a Crusade or else what can justify the choice of the timing of the execution on the first day of Eid-ul-Adha [Muslim Festival of Sacrifice] ?
The Americans did not spoil our festival for our lives have run out of festivals. We celebrate in order not to forget that we are Muslims. But the days of "joy and happiness" have disappeared from the houses and streets. How can we be joyful and happy while we live a sour reality created by our rulers for decades with the help of the obscure silence of the crippled Arab citizens?
I never did like Saddam Hussein for he was a tyrant and a dictator yet I wished that he would receive a fair trial in a free country and not under the dictations of the American invasion. I never did like the Arab rulers because they are all similar in essence yet differ in the mode and method. I will neither be sorrowed nor angered if anyone of them is put on trial in the courts of his people for questioning because if a free independent country judges its ruler, it will never perform it in the comic and hilarious way as was done with Saddam and will never hang him during a festival but might even give him a pardon or a short vacation to visit his family because Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance.
In my opinion, the current debate between the Arabs about Saddam deserving the death penalty or not is not the point. It is more serious than that. If the man has led Iraq to a bloody and mysterious destiny, then there are rulers in the region who have committed sins and crimes and have not been held accountable for. If someone says that the Iraqis did not choose their "hanged" President and that they suffered for many years from his oppression and his reign then allow me to say : "And who did choose his ruler with free will?! Which Arab ruler led his country to democracy, collective participation in ruling and stability?". It is the same version of Saddam but with many faces; the same production line for producing Arab kings and rulers.
Do not curse Saddam for he is a legitimate son of a corrupt Arab system and do not show sympathy for him for he has oppressed, killed and destroyed. Just think about the mysterious future and do not believe the dialogue-of-civilisations-mirage because the Americans, and in front of them and behind them the Israelis, repeat it day and night, over and over again: "You are a nation of cattle and you deserve your rulers." And Saddam Hussein was nothing but an old ally and an obedient member of Washington's men who in a moment of political stupidity tried to revolt and was doomed to be sacrificed on Eid-ul-Adha [the Festival of Sacrifice] and that itself is another message to Washington's other men in the region!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
To Be Continued...