Borowitz Humor Appealing Only to USA Readers; Optimism When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade; NEFF’s Poetry Based on the Qur’an; The Concept of Ummah Discussed; Eon Defined; Photos from the Louvre”s Phoenix and the Dragon Collection and Me at a Louvre Lunch

I am becoming more mindful of my readership these days, since becoming aware that they are increasingly from the Middle East and less from the USA. I am also becoming decidedly disinterested in American politics in all of its forms. But I do rely in Andy Borowitz’s humor to cheer me, and hence you. The most recent entry will hold no appeal to most reader’s abound the world. But nonetheless, here goes. It concerns the Supreme Court which is increasingly becoming less Supreme and less like a Court. “ As reports of a United States Supreme Court Justice retiring spread on Wednesday, millions of Americans were bummed that it wasn’t Clarence Thomas.In interviews across the country, Americans revealed that their momentary elation was followed by deep disappointment when they learned that a jurist other than Thomas was departing the bench..

Now that is not particularly funny but it does turn so at the end. “When I heard that someone on the Court had retired, my first thought was, Please, please, please let it be Thomas,” said Carol Foyler, who lives in Milwaukee. “I guess it was too good to be true.”“I’m grateful that Breyer is leaving the Court at a time when President Biden will be able to nominate his replacement,” Stacy Klugian, who resides in Nashville, said. “Still, it totally blows that it wasn’t Thomas.”Harland Dorrinson, who lives in San Mateo, had a more positive view of the day’s events. “Stephen Breyer has earned a wonderful retirement,” he said. “And I hope he sends back a lot of postcards to the Court showing him on amazing vacations, and that makes that bastard Thomas decide to retire, too.”

One has to admire the optimism of Harland. I am reminded of the saying: “When life gives you lemons – make lemonade. Of course I Googled it to learn: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life; making lemonade is turning them into something positive or desirable. And just in case you wondered where the phrase came from, I have the answer for you.” The proverbial phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” was first coined by writer Elbert Hubbard in 1915.”

Along the same vein, do you not you love this from George Bernard Shaw? “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” I guess one could say that I have led a honorable and useful life because goodness knows, I do make mistakes. I am not known for sitting around and doing nothing.

My optimism is often supported by my cadre of new friends. NEFF recently sent a song by Sir Henry Lauder, Keep Right On to the End of the Road “
She: In keeping with your Scottish heritage, to get in the spirit.
Me: It is absolutely perfect! No idea how you found it. I do love him, the recording and indeed that is my Scottish heritage.

Later she sent this.
She: Inspired by Henry Lander’s song that I decided to input the Islamic mindset based on the opening surah of the Qur’an. I jotted down this poetry for you.
Keep right to the straight path in life. Your courage every day is granted by God’s compassion and mercy tis’ all around you in your journey through life. Keep ‘right’ straight til the last breath you take. Your family tartan pattern may be where your heritage began but Allah bestowed favor upon you among your family tribe. Now let’s see where you take your tartan lines. Keep right onward into the Ummah.
Me: You are utterly fantastic as usual. I shall incorporate you on the blog!

As I typed her poem into this email which will go to Chris to be posted I became even more touched. It is such a gift. It does give me courage, and I do need it, for many reasons. It also blends my past and my present which is so important as my life has so radically changed.
She has made the Qur’an speak to me on a personal level . I do agree, love and am inspired that “Allah has bestowed favor upon me among my family tribe.” I feel privileged, honored and rather amazed that He has and holds me in such high esteem. I am humbled by Allah’s entry into my life. The Qur’an says None shall enter the Fire of Hell who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of Iman and none shall enter Paradise who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed.of arrogance. “

Ummah is a fascinating word and concept, integral to the Islamic faith. This from Wikipedia: Ummah is an Arabic word meaning “community”. It is distinguished from shaʻb (شعب [ʃæʕb]), which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history. It is a synonym, for a collective Islamic community.
There are 62 instances of the mention of unman in the Qur’an. The concept is pivotal and allowed for the expansion of the Islamic faith beyond tribal boundaries. More information from Wikipedia.
“At the time of Muhammad, before the conception of the ummah, Arab communities were typically governed by kinship. In other words, the political ideology of the Arabs centred on tribal affiliations and blood-relations. In the midst of a tribal society, the religion of Islam emerged and along with it the concept of the ummah. The ummah emerged according to the idea that a messenger or prophet has been sent to a community.[Unlike earlier messengers, who had been sent to various communities in the past (as can be found among the Prophets in the Old Testament), Muhammad sought to develop an ummah that was universal and not only for Arabs.[2] Muhammad saw his purpose as the transmission of a divine message and the leadership of the Islamic community. Islam sees Muhammad as the messenger to the ummah, transmitting a divine message, and implying that God is directing the life affairs of the ummah. Accordingly, the purpose of the ummah was to be based on religion by following the commands of God, rather than kinship.”

My blog writing is strange, to say the very least. I get started and it just goes in different and unknown directions. Believe you me, when I started the blog this morning had no idea whatsoever that a discussion of ummah would arise. This is rather improbable but the woman who contributed mightily to my thinking and writing does not read the blog. Her contributions are used with her permission but she does not read it. To say the least my life is unusual.

It is photograph time. The photographs were taken at the Louvre exhibit on The Phoenix and the Dragon. They were not taken by me but by SAD (Sheikha Awesome Driver). I was not aware that he took photos of the exhibit, I was too busy reading and getting blown away with the exchange between the Middle East and China eons ago. Despite a rather thorough grounding in history, this all came as a big surprise. Need to go back to the exhibit before it closes on February 12 to take picots and to take more in. To say the very lease I am so happy to be here in Abu Dhabi at this time. SAD and I spoke of that day together.
Me: What a wonderful day. All praise to Allah
He: Alhamdulilah- very good day in our life.
When he sent the pictures I wrote.
Me: Wow Sheikha is impressed!
He: Allah and I bear witness the muhammadan is the Messenger of Allah.
The statutes were found in graves of Chinese rulers eons ago. Eon is an indefinite and very long period of time, It is an epoch, an era, an age.

It is also and equally improbable that a taxi driver from Bangladesh and an old lady born in Canada should be spending the day at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, sharing photographs and Arabic thoughts with one another.

The other photograph is also from the Louvre.- lunch yesterday. A magnificent day on the patio. My pictured waiter served Fois Gras and Mashed Potatoes. A rather unusual combination but Fois Gras forbidden in California – therefore so much fun to consume when possible. As you can see I was wearing Muslim garb, looking like a Sheikha. .

Today promises to be a lazy day as my left knee is swollen and painful. So no Louvre, no nothing for me. Perhaps the jacuzzi on the roof to ease some of the pain. I do live a blessed life.

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