Sunday, 15 March 2015

DDS (***see new link added)

Egypt unveils plans to build new capital east of Cairo

"Egypt’s direction of development is vitally important, though who will benefit from it remains an open question. For all the buzzwords at the conference regarding shared benefits and economic inclusion, Sisi has so far adopted a wearily familiar austerity playbook; although foreign investment could potentially be harnessed for the good of Egypt’s 90 million-strong population, as long as the state and its economy continues to be under the iron grip of military generals who brook no opposition and corruption continues to run rampant, it is hard to see how Sisi’s open-for-business Egypt will turn out any different from Mubarak’s."
Read more:

DDS: The Dreaded Dubai Syndrome. First criteria: Build higher. Build higher. Build higher.

Before I get reprimanded for coining this phrase I should make it clear: Dubai (so I hear) may well be a grand and wealthy habitat for many a native as well as for many a visitor, perhaps even a very welcoming one at that~ and although I hurl no abuse of any kind towards it, I do HOWEVER ask it simply to contain itself.
The DDS is not Dubai's fault.
Dubai strives to endorse its own measures of progress, meriting its own rewards and therefore far be it from me to spurn its efforts or belittle them.
The DDS is the fault of those who follow it blindly and who furthermore defy the rules of nature in order to do so.
The ones who both willfully even if unwittingly ignore the solid, beautiful, wondrous nature of their own environment and wish to replace it with glitz and plainly speaking: a show of pseudo-wealth.
Those bedazzled followers who see an elegant space and convert it to one that screams affluence; those who see the classic features of a hotel as one to crank up a notch by giving it that DDS vibe; those who see a functional and purely styled office space as one that must necessarily include visibly expensive upgrading and an eye-catching feature or two or else forever be disqualified.
Dubai: The invention of artificial pearls in 1926 and the Great Depression in 1929 caused a collapse in the international pearl market, which resulted in Sheikh Saeed looking for an alternative source of income and Dubai becoming one of the leading re-export ports in the world. In 1966, oil was discovered in Dubai, which changed the country beyond recognition and led to Dubai becoming the vibrant, modern, business-centred city-state it is today.
Visibly sophisticated both in technology and decor, Dubai has earned the above phrase. However there we have it. Perhaps it was that turnaround in economy that allowed it to sweep itself into the sky as if effortlessly led by a vision but one thing is more often than not left unsaid: that very direction it chose was only one of many it could have followed. 
For some time now, just as icing is to an already too sweet cake Egypt appears to adopt wherever it can that debilitating concept of high rise in the most disastrous fashion imaginable, brash and inharmonious with environment and even more alienating to the humans who have to endure being cut off from light and ever encroaching walls of cement.  

My responses are purely intuitive and naturally affected by what might indeed be discerning taste albeit acquired on a less than intellectual level. However there are those who can explain this phenomenon in a processed and well-linked up manner relating to their particular field of expertise. There are architects, designers and artists who avoid the DDS like the plague, knowing full well that it harbours germs of all that is non-organic and that more often than not go against the laws of simplicity and elegance, two prime features of harmony and well being intrinsic to purity of design. There are those who indeed abide by that, however they do not match up in number to those who don't.

And now here we have it: Cairo, a city so ancient and prolific in its history, so magnificent in its heritage, so opulent and wealthy in ways measured not only by strict, time-enduring criteria but by echoes that resonate in every Egyptian heart and in many who have visited and felt its energy. A city indescribably invigorating in spite of all the chaos that envelops it. It does not begin to compare with so many other far less inspiring capitals of the world. 
Yes, a capital it is and it appears inconceivable how any one in their right mind could possibly wish to take that title away from it.
All those who wish to escape the capital City of Cairo... by all means do so. By all means build new complexes, new resorts where some of the elite may set up and call it home, where the same wonderful weather and other favourable conditions Egypt offers all year, year in year out continue to exist; where traffic jams are minimised and where only the best services exist. Build yourselves the high rises you aspire to and see as a mark of progress and modernity so infinitely grand so as to come close to the Dubai you choose to so idolise. Build yourselves an idyll and call it what you will.


I could even add that perhaps, with just a little good will involved, some of the profits of a new city may reach the ghetto left behind... the capital written off, derelict and neglected, left to pick itself up with nothing but its own drained resources to rely upon. But saddest of all is the infinite emotional loss felt through such an extraordinary lack of appreciation expressed in the mere thought of its replacement.

It is that feeling of abandonment that hurts most. Amid plans to build that new metropole a rasping scream drifts across the sands: CAIRO, lie still ~ along with your treasures buried. Buried due to a lack of faith in your heritage and your incredible potential. 
Cairo, a city among cities, sucked dry by those who are out to exploit and abuse, pilfer and contaminate, trash...  and who have no desire to do other than just that. 
Cairo... be still, we hear you no more and perhaps if you just lie there and wait we might filter a little across and save you ~ but not before we have had our fill and not before we can convert you with our tender loving care linked affectionately to our so highly prized DDS.
Friday, April 12th 2013 AUC Tahrir Square Learning from Cairo: Panel 1: Urban Political Change: Southern Perspectives Video of Presentation by Khaled Fahmy.
Photo by: João Bolan *

** pic shared on FB by

*Photo submitted by Sara Habiba FB

'Go Back to God'

Facebook statuses and links:

“It’s not Islam; it’s a perversion of Islam, and to label these militant externalities as Islam is to legitimize their actions."
 “If you don’t have religious fallibilism, you have immense problems. This is what happens when you have these exclusivist, self-righteous monsters out there who are absolutely certain and who think their God given certainty enables them to act with impunity.”
“The Prophet said there will be people who look like us and speak with our tongue, but they are preachers at the gates of hell.” He added, “We’re not denying the fact that these people are motivated by ‘religion,’ but it’s a perversion according to our own tradition.”
Read more...  much more, here in this lucid article:

~~Old Syrian woman stands up to ISIL

~~I don't think I can repeat this often enough:
"Out of inhumane conditions, inhumane responses are born." WHY should Muslims all over the world who follow Islam in the spirit of surrender and peace feel ISIL is any more linked to them than it is to those who actually commit nothing but violence and coercion of some kind without mentioning it being in the name of their particular religions? Wake up world, when people become so warped there is an underlying problem that needs addressing and the matter is POLITICAL.
The way the world is condemning Islam for all atrocities and violence committed by ISIL is not just abysmal but actually quite an easy way out. They would rather have every Muslim swear upon the Quran that they do not condone it than address the matter in any depth whatsoever. It adds insult to injury to the principles held by all ordinary law-abiding Muslims and targets a faith that promotes only good-living and never EVER condones the killing of any innocent civilian whatever be their religion, whatever be their race, whatever be their personal and reserved inclination.
Look around you world ~ I mean LOOK and then look again and see what the world has become and how people are suffering... Forget 'IN THE NAME OF WHATEVER' an atrocity is committed.. of which there are so many names in so many guises~ subtle and subtler still ...
Think beyond the last one highlighted by the media, and then ... in the words of the brash interviewers grilling Muslims just for being Muslim: 'WORLD, GET OVER YOURSELF!'

Here is the link referred to above: 
Shared by B. El-Wakil :
"Apparently, unless actively stated, Muslims advocate beheadings because you see, we don't have blood in our veins, but rather a venomous ooze designed to kill one thing: your freedom. So glad this Sky news anchor told me that. Now I can "get over myself".
"I would like to ask her though if she advocates slavery and the economic destruction of Africa. I hear some British people did that. I don't think it's racist to presume she's identical and interchangeable with all white people, right?"

How Muslim of them..! .. ?! Islam teaches us to respect talent and God-given gifts and never to waste them

All Muslims who truly feel Islam running through their veins will not give it up because of a few murderous ignorant blood thirsty people to whom for one reason or another so many are drawn.
ISIL does not and cannot represent Islam in any shape or form, however much they may believe their actions to be in the name of Islam they just cannot be. Islam does not promote any killing of any innocent who are no threat whatsoever and therefore no entity who does so, be it ISIL or any other with political agenda, can be one that conducts itself in the spirit of Islam itself.
ISIL is just another evil personified ~ I am getting to the point i wish to make, please bear with me:
We look into the eyes of evil everyday everywhere and this evil just takes on different forms. In Religion and I here refer to Islam, Allah asks us to beware of him, the evil one, known by so many different names. It alerts us to how it will change its form and creep stealthily into people's minds through whispers and warp their will to its own ends. (Almost there, please continue reading..)
And so I ask you: Why wouldn't it (that evil with so many names throughout the history of mankind) perform its evils in the very name of Islam that threatens its success? Why wouldn't it attempt to break down the very religion which poses as a threat to it?
It can only triumph if it meets its ends which is the renouncement of faith itself.
Yes, Islam is a threat to arrogance, hypocrisy and injustice, all the things evil tends to exhibit all over the place all over the world and in ISIL Islam is its prey: It whispers: 'You are the true Muslims who fight in its cause and who are thus entitled to do the most atrocious of acts in the name of Islam.'
It directs the wills it has subjugated in order to discredit the faith worldwide.
There will be a turn around however, one day,whether we personally witness it or not..
Of that every true Muslim is secure.