This Must Be Day 4; Keeping Humor Alive in the Midst of Seriousness; Wrong Ways to Meditate; Boss Man from Sri Lanka Delights; Further Insights From Dr. Azeem: Dazzle With Fine Footsteps and Cannot Teach a Dog New Tricks Explored; Photo of Paper Plates from Japanese Store

Ramadan mornings are most unusual. One wakes up extremely early 5-5:30 and shoves food down your throat before sunrise. This morning it was Special K, instant coffee with milk and dessert from last night – a delicious rhubarb crumble. One must eat enough to guarantee that you are going to make it through the day until sunset which today shall be at 18:39 (military time). I have begun to regard food as fuel, particularly in the morning. After sunset food becomes a reward, the reward for fasting all day. I cannot overeat at night because of my GERD – last night had soup (lentil, my very favorite), a delicious version ordered from room service. It was supplemented by some cheese and some Arabic bread. I had overeaten the night before, had problems, almost called in Rashid to take over but was brave. Glad I was brave.

To digress for a moment. I have decided to maintain a level of humor in my Ramadan blogs, speak of serious matters but, at the same time, bring a bit of joy. The New Yorker is my source of humor. This from a few days back, a series of cartoons entitled Wrong Ways to Meditate. I shall copy the captions.
1.In an Uber: You’re just trying to avoid conversation. Which is honestly valid, but is not meditation. Meditation is about connecting and speaking a lot.

  1. During naps: This is just sleeping.
    3.In a meditation group: This is for meeting eligible men only. You have to stay focussed on the goal—that’s what mindfulness is all about.
  2. Drunk: Meditating is more about appreciating how boring it is not to be drunk.
  3. With the TV news on, warning you to evacuate your region: Who still has a TV?
  4. In an earthquake: It doesn’t count as meditating if your body isn’t still. Besides, that’s not what earthquakes are for. Earthquakes are for texting your crush if he’s O.K.
  5. After you discover that you’re the last person on Earth: There’s actually no point in meditating now, because you don’t have anyone to brag about it to.
  6. During the apocalypse: Actually, if your phone’s already stopped working, you don’t really need to meditate. “Turns out it was your phone, not the raging fires of Hell around you, that took you out of the moment.”

You may see the article as a whole, more wrong ways and the cartoons by following this link;

Now back to yesterday. Total exhaustion struck so cancelled plans for a trip to the Yas Mall Apple Store (on today’s agenda). Instead went up to the pool (up as it is on the roof of this hotel). While there met an extremely interesting man from Sri Lanka – Boss Man is his nickname as he is a manager at this hotel A very kind man, well regarded by his staff (I asked a few of them and they all seem to respect him.). We have been texting on WhatsApp. Did some reading on Sri Lanka, impressed him with my knowledge.
Me: Research makes me want to go there. It is near Malaysia. Correct?
He: But I advise you not to go there now.
Me: I shan’t
Then Boss Man sent a map of the region, showing me where everything was.
Me: Thanks for map. You are a genius!! I have travelled extensively but not to that part of the world.

Now onto extremely serious matters, picking up on yesterday’s emphasis on the treatment of women in the Islamic faith compared to their treatment in the Christian and Jewish religions. Dr. Azeem poses this question:: “Do Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have the same conception of women? Are they different in their conceptions? Do Judaism and Christianity, truly offer women a better treatment than Islam does. What is the Truth?”
He then explores the task of finding the truth saying that the Islamic faith insists that one be, at least, fair and objective. “O you who believe stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor. (4:135)
He speaks of his sources in discovering the truth. “This interest in the sources relates to the fact that understanding a certain religion from the attitudes and the behavior of some of its nominal followers is misleading. Many people confuse culture with religion, many others do not know what their religious books are saying, and many others do not even care.”

That is so fundamentally and absolutely true. Reread that sentence culture is confused with religion, many do not know what their religious books say and many others do not even care. I have found this to be so true. My introduction to the Islamic faith was rather unique but actually very pure. People keep telling me what I am doing wrong, some specific rule I am not following. One man, actually rather likable, differed with me about an issue.
He: I have read the Qur’an twice. I was raised in the faith!
His wife agreed with him on the issue being discussed.
I had the grace to merely smile and shrug my shoulders.
Me: I disagree but do let us not argue. The final Judge and Jury is Allah, not you and not me.

I suppose I could dazzle him with my fine foot footsteps and start quoting the Qur’an from memory, but what would be the point? Allah is the Judge and Jury, not him. What does dazzle with my fine footsteps mean? It is an idiom with the following meaning. If someone or something dazzles you, you are extremely impressed by their skill, qualities, or beauty. To dazzle is to blind someone for a moment with light, like a deer in the headlights. You can also dazzle by impressing people, and not just by wearing a sparkly sequined shirt.

I am on with my day. May go out and buy some groceries accompanied by S.A.D. of course.
Me: Sitting in the car and shopping for groceries does not take a great deal of energy
He: I shall try to make your energy.
Me: Okay!!! Laughter helps. See you are two???

Photograph is of paper plates purchased at the Japanese store at the Yas Mall. They were found in the Ramadan celebration section of the store. Not the Easter celebration section of the store. Hahaha 🤪🤪🙃. I just figured out how to add emojis. Who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks? That is a phrase used to say that a person who is old or is used to doing things in a certain way cannot learn or does not want to learn a new way. Used in a sentence: I tried to get my mother to start using a computer, but she says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But actually it is not true (apparently): Training an older dog is totally possible, and in some cases might even be easier than training a puppy. Dogs are lifelong learners, and generally speaking they love to please their owners and receive attention. You can leverage these characteristics to train any dog, no matter their age or training background.

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