Live while you live, the epicure would say,
And seize the pleasures of the present day;
Live while you live, the sacred preacher cries,
And give to God each moment as it flies.
Lord, in my views, let both united be:
I live in pleasure when I live to thee.
Philip Doddridge (1702 - 1751)
English clergyman and hymn writer.
Epigram on his Family Arms
Imam Ghazali woke up one early morning and as usual offered his prayers and then enquired what day it was, his younger brother, Ahmad Ghazali replied,"Monday." He asked him to bring his white shroud, kissed it, stretched himself full length and saying "Lord, I obey willingly," breathed his last.
And underneath his head rest they found the following verses; composed by him, probably, during the night.
Say to my friends, when they look upon me, dead
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow
Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself
In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,
I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh
It was my abode and my garment for a time.
I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
I am a pearl, which has left it's shell deserted,
I am a bird, and this body was my cage
Whence I have now floron forth and it is left as a token
Praise to God, who hath now set me free
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heaven,
Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.
Now I live in truth, with the grave - clothes discarded.
Today I hold converse with the saints above,
With no veil between, I see God face to face.
I look upon "Loh-i-Mahfuz" and there in I read
Whatever was and is and all that is to be.
Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,
Cast away the talisman, it is a token, no more
Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,
I have passed on my way and you are left behind
Your place of abode was no deweling place for me.
Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,
A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,
While in this world, here we are granted sleep,
Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged
Be not frightened when death draweth night,
It is but the departure for this blessed home
Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.
What I am now, even so shall you be
For I know that you are even as I am
The souls of all men come forth from God
The bodies of all are compounded alike
Good and evil, alike it was ours
I give you now a message of good cheer
May God's peace and joy for evermore be yours."
The License of Al Domari (a weekly satirical Syrian newspaper) was revoked by the government this week.
Al Domari was the first (if I'm not wrong) privately owned newspaper that was completely edited and published in Syria, the newspaper is owned by Ali Farzat a well known cartoonist in the Arab World.
The revocation of the license is a sad news especially in Syria's new age where the people are looking for more freedom of speech, modernized new laws and more economic progress.
But as Jonathan Edelstein noticed that the way the government dealt with the issue represents a huge change from what we used to hear from our parents about the *good* ole days.
Al Domari had a very successful start, the first issues disappeared from the stands in a few hours, the people were thirsty for a change from the state-run newspapers, but then the public interest in the newspaper became less and less.
The news paper as it describes itself is satirical and the means it has to criticize and sometime *make fun of* somebody or something, the problem is that in developed country like Syria there's a lot (and more than you can imagine) of issues that the people (or the government) consider it as taboos whether politically or socially, I think that this kind of newspapers needs other than this soil to flourish, it needs an open society that values the freedom of speech, accepts the criticism and welcomes it.
So the distribution figures of the newspaper has fallen and also (and that's based on my personal opinion after reading four or five issues) the value of its content.
The kind of newspapers that I wish to see in my country is a political newspaper like the Guardian with its indepth analysis and genuine reports, but I think we need more time to see something like this.
As I notice, the freedom of speech is declining globally and with the mysterious death of Dr. David Kelly one can say that the braves are in the graves, and what's left for the scared mice like me other than to say:
Long live the president!
God Save the Queen!
Hmmm, since my brain is working again, I'd better spend the night thinking of another plan to rule the world.