It is impossible to describe how many things have gone wrong today. IMPOSSIBLE. After massive planning – D Day was launched with less precision…absolutely EVERYTHING went wrong. The ultimate irony. I am heading homeward from Riyadh to Edmonton where the temperature was -32 without my winter coat. There is a distinct possibility that I may freeze to death. I am laughing – of course I shall not. What are the alternatives already decided (and this is early in the game – hour two of a journey that will take thirty two and a half hours. That is with stopovers of course – the longest in Doha – Hamad Airport where I shall spend approximately ten hours.
The day from Hades has continued in fine form. Hades is a word for the underworld; the abode of the spirits of the dead. Its synonyms are frightening, ranging the world the underworld, the land/abode of the dead, the infernal regions, the netherworld, the nether regions, the abyss; eternal damnation, eternal punishment, perdition; BibleGehenna, Tophet, Abaddon; JudaismSheol; Greek MythologyTartarus, Acheron; Roman Mythology Avernus; Scandinavian MythologyNiflheim; British the other place; literary the pit, the shades; archaic the lower world. The antonym is, course, heaven. You will note that there is not equivalent in the Islamic faith. Not that the place, the horrors of it do not exist. It is just simply that the Western world does not know anything about the Islamic faith and refuses to educate itself. That is not my problem and will not be my problem. In a way it is, but I have a solution. I shall continue to write about the faith, caring not who reads it. I basically write for myself – millions of people must think they are me because millions of people read these blogs and have been doing so, these past almost six years. It appears from statistics that most reside in a place called Unknown.
The living perdition of my day is enhanced, if not caused by my lack of intent connection. Goodness knows why, perhaps because I retained my United States telephone number. I have done so case the phone plans in Canada are quite dreadful. I shall look about for a new phone plan, Saudi Arabia n excellent one. At least I would be able to achieve internet connection in their airports. I intend and hereby commit to retaining my primary residence in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada taking forays into other favored countries. Saudi Arabia is, at his moment, my favored country. Plans have already been made for my return. This time round I am making my own plans – the experience with eJourney has been an utter disaster. You shall hear more about it later. Believe me you shall. But this shall wait until I am safely and securely in my Edmonton home – hibernating. I am peopled out and will reveal in my solitude. I enjoy my own company – most of people enjoy my company. I am truly one of the most popular persons ups have ever known. But I need a break. The world is unfortunately inhabited by many parasitic psychopaths. Most of the employees of eJouney fall into that category. Of course there are exceptions but those exception are probably what, we in the legal community, label as part time independent contractors. (Once a lawyer, always a lawyer, the legalize returns.)
But enough of this negativity. However, during Fajr prayer I became aware that I must speak of the evil of eJourney, whose sole motivation was not to enhance my spiritual journey but to use me to promote their business. If other experienced the hardships and incompetence and pain suffered they would loose their faith. I did not, it was enhanced. But others, less strong perhaps, may have been shaken, felt abandoned by Allah. This cannot be repeated. People must be attracted, not repelled by people that must be Satans.
At this moment I am comfortably seated in First Class class seat on Qatar Airways. It is seat 1-A. Disbelievers will see a copy of the boarding pass. We are leaving Jeddah for Doha.This is unbelievable but true. Across the aisle. Seated in 1-C is a black woman dressed in an abaya similar to one I own. I complimented her when she arrived in the First class Lounge, She did not speak English but I was successful in communicating. She there with her family (I think), a son, a daughter and an older man, possibly a husband. As we left to board the plane the man spoke to me, informing me that the woman in ‘matching’ abaya was a princess. A Nigerian princess.princess from Nigeria. This conversation ensued.
Me; My goodness. This is amusing. My Muslim name is Fatimah. People call me Sheikha Fatimah, but of course I am not really a Queen.
The Princess looked very surprised.
She: (communicated somehow) My name is Fatima
I was connected to the Internet, found my blog and with my iPhone pointed to it.
Looking at my blog photo finding me attired in an abaya and hijab.
She: You should always dress like that.
Me: I will never dress like that again!
I was insulted. She telling me how to dress knowing nothing of the prejudice, the discrimination I have suffered. Actually forced to live the County of Marin which I had called home for fifty years, I will wear the abaya and hijab when I go to Mecca – of course I will. But not when I am in the West and not on the plane home. Not in Riyadh when I return there. Perhaps a head covering in Riyadh and sometimes the abaya over my pajamas.
Found it most amusing to see men dressed in their Umrah clothes on the airplane going home. Umrah attire for men is white Terry cloth material draped over their bodies. It looks in a strange way that they just got out of the shower. Some men tie it crooked so that their fat stomach shows. It is not a pretty sight. Of course it is appropriate attire in Mecca but it is not, in my mind and in any thinking person’s mind appropriate attire in an airplane going home from their pilgrimage. Unfortunately, and even direly, many Muslims seem to think that if they dress like a Muslim, they are a Muslim. NO ! You have to behave like a Muslim, follow the ways of Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him). Then you are a Muslim, no matter what you were, as long it is modest for both men and women. I am tired of arguing with the ‘clothes police’ so prevalent amongst the Muslim population. From now on this shall be the conversation.
They: You have to wear a hijab. And abaya You just showed a piece of your leg, or a piec of your neck. Your hair is showing. You need to wear socks. Etc etc etc.
Me; (being smiling and happy and not angry). My only aim in this life is to please Allah, not you in this life. In the afterlife there are no clothes restrictions.
At this moment I am flying from Doha to Montreal. We have more than seven hours left.se I am convinced that the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) travelled from Mecca to Medina faster than this. He took a coast route that mirrored the common route to keep safe. I learned a great deal from my Umrah pilgrimage. More about that is subsequent blogs.
Photos from an incredible treat given to me by me new Riyadh Muslim friend SHOYOS,
She took me on a tour of the UNESCO amazing monument to the early Rulers of Saudi Arabia. It was a sigh to behold, as you shall see. It was so tiring and I did not wear the proper shoes, I was wearing my Jimmy Choos – should have been wearing my Madden shoes. I was so tired. She thoughtfully abandoned her plans for an Arab meal and instead she took me to the Cheese Cale Factory. I was so amazed! It was exactly like the Cheese Cake Factory in the Village in Corte Madera, California. The place that harmed me,, bruised me, haunted me for being a Muslim. No problems at this one in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is the home of the Prophet Mohammed, billions of dollars are being spent by the Saudi government to preserve that heritage. Never mentioned in the Western press – an opposite picture an utter lie is the image of Saudi Arabia. Not so says Alexis, who always tells the truth.
The food was delicious but there was so much as the portions were huge. SHOYAS took hers and gave it to a man who was cleaning the parking lot. Speaking Arabic she gave him the ‘doggie bag’.
She: I do this. The restaurant will just throw out the uneaten food. He is paid so little, he needs and will appreciate the food.
Me: What an amazing thing to do. I will do that when I am here in Saudi Arabia. It is a form of charity so encouraged by the Prophet Mohammed (Peace by Upon Him)
I took mine to my hotel refrigerator and offered it to As If?. He declined by kind offering but the room will be cleaned by a person who receives minimal wages. I am learning and growing in the Islamic faith.
You will hear about As If? later. It is nickname of course. He is an absolutely great guy. This a recent text;
Me: Good night kind sir. You are most kind. The greatest trait of all.
He: Good night. Sleep tight.
Examine the synonyms of kind, you shall see that it is the greatest trait of all. good-natured, kindhearted, tenderhearted, warmhearted, good-hearted, tender, caring, feeling, affectionate, loving, warm, gentle, mellow, mild helpful, considerate, thoughtful, obliging, unselfish, selfless, altruistic, good, cooperative, accommodating, attentive; compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, big-hearted, benevolent, benign, friendly, neighborly, courteous, agreeable, pleasant, nice, amiable, hospitable, well meaning, well intentioned, public-spirited, well meant; generous, magnanimous, indulgent, tolerant, charitable, gracious, lenient, humane, merciful, clement, pitying, forbearing, long-suffering, patient; liberal, openhanded, lavish, bountiful, unsparing, unstinting, beneficent, munificent, giving; philanthropic; handsome, princely; Br. ANTONYMS unkind, inconsiderate, mean, cruel