Long Live the Sufis!


On Friday last, over 300 Sufi Muslim worshipers were killed during prayer time at a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. Many more were injured. MB read in some reports that the attack on the Mosque was unexpected. This is not true. The mosque was in a remote out-of-city location and was a prime target for the fascist DAISH/ISIS murderers who consider the very spiritual Sufis to be heretics who must be killed whenever the chance arises. Similar to their views on Shia Muslims, other Muslim sects or any others who do not fit into their extremist fascist Sunni Islamic view of the world. Any imbecile would have known that the mosque was a target. Target – with a capital ‘T’.

MB has a fondness for the Sufis since he encountered them on his trip to Sudan three years back when he wrote a post about his encounter and including many photos. The following is MB’s final paragraph of that post:

The Sufis consider themselves the original Muslims from the time of the Prophet (PBOH). All spirituality, chanting to Allah, playing drums and enjoying the celebration. And at same time putting on a real spectacle for the many non-Sufi observers who attend just to observe and enjoy. The more extreme Salafi & Wahabi schools of Islam would consider the Sufis to be heretics or some such and would not have kind words for them. In fact, many on the extreme wing of Islam (like ISIS) would have all the Sufis killed if they could. MB prefers the Sufis, with their dreadlock hairstyles and their music and drum playing, and the happy smiles on their faces. Smiling is not a strong point with their Islamic opponents.

Long live the Sufis!

Sudani Sufi (he’s the one in the middle!) at the graveyard in Khartoum, with 2 European teachers who were on a short UN programme teaching female teachers from Yemen. It was unsafe to carry out the programme in Yemen. August 2014.

IMG_5491

 

 

Foto Friday – Fanar Mosque (Qatar)


Shot of the top section of Fanar Mosque, at the Souq Waqif area, Doha, Qatar.

img_7713

7 Days Of Doves – Final Day


IMG_0318

Heroes


Dia Dhuit lads
Hope all in the full of your health.
The lads head for prayer
MB arrived back in Dubai on Sunday last and has a few more days left in the Desert Oasis before his return to Saudi. Dubai is looking good, full of tourists and lots of activities for all.The biggest event of the annual Dubai social calendar takes place this Saturday night – The Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race. Huge corporate entertainment night, big style night for the ladies (hats, hats & more hats), and will see 60,000 or so attend the event. You have never seen a racing stadium like Meydan, which hosts the event. The grandstand is 1.2Km long and the lighting after dark provides a spectacular backdrop. Inshallah I will be there with the camera ladies and will give you few pics next week. If you like the horse racing, and aware many of you do, then take look at the following links:

The awards night of the big Photo Contest I mentioned some months back (hipa.ae) was on recently lads and sadly MB did not feature. Some great pics in the winners enclosure, so pleased to give you link to take a look. Next year for MB inshallah!

Where’s my whip?!

Music

Was traveling in the car of a young Saudi guy recently. He is a young judge in the courts in Riyadh, but presently on time out to finish his Masters. He had CD of illegally downloaded songs in the car player, so he obviously has not yet read the chapter in the law book about copyright. Anyway, his CD had one or two decent songs including the following one which is very catchy addictive tune by young Portuguese singer called Michel Telo. A kind of ‘one man boy band‘ and he is big hero with the young ladies as you can see. Anyway, have played it loads of time, great tune, hope you like:
So just click on the tune lads, and let it play while you read this weeks HX!

 

This Week’s Pics
Dropped a few young lads to the local Mosque last Friday  (see next story) and took a few shots. Nothing special, but will give you flavour of the buying and selling outside, before the prayer starts inside.

And in new addition to the blog lads I have challenged work colleague and friend OL, who likes taking pics, to give me one pic per week for next four weeks which I will feature. Trying to motivate lazy OL to get off his ass and start using his camera again. And am also featuring great pic from young HX based apprentice Shooter TM. This pic is a real gem. In honour of the two contributors I am calling this section of the blog The Tom & Osama Corner (HX native & Egyptian).

This lad seems to have bought that red blanket

So now throwing this invitation out to all lads – anyone can send pic to MB to include in the HX – until I change my mind – which is a man’s prerogative! But if MB thinks the pic is garbage he will just delete and inform you that (sadly) it did not meet the minimum MB requirements (which are unspecified and ever changing!)


MB receives verbal attack!
Did a good deed last weekend lads but paid a heavy price. Let me explain.

Some of the young lads in my hotel needed lift to the Mosque for Friday prayer and asked MB if he would oblige. “No problem young Muslim lads” MB replied, “I am a brother to all” and threw 5 of them into the 4×4 for the short spin. Had the camera with me (of course) and lads asked me to take shot outside the mosque so they could send to family members back in home countries of Egypt, Yemen. India & Bangladesh.

Photo taken, lads disappeared into Mosque, and then MB noticed loads of Muslim traders selling everything you could think of around the outside of the mosque. Fruit, veg, blankets, male perfumes, batteries, holy books, arabic clothing, and loads of other stuff. MB immediately thought of the story in the Bible where Jesus  (the Prophet Isa, as the Muslims refer to him) gets angry with all the traders in the temple, gets out his whip, and lashes the hell out of the sinners for making money in holy place, and kicks them all out.

As MB did not have whip in the car he instead decided to take some pics, as future evidence against the sinners. So politely and as discreetly as MB could, he mingled with the Muslim lads, cracking a few jokes as he wandered around. All went well, as the traders obligingly gave permission to MB to take some pics of the buying & the selling.
Happy Muslim
But then MB came up against an elderly conservative Muslim man. He had big beard, and his taub (white dress) was above his ankles – a sign of Wahabi Muslim, the very conservative Saudi version of the religious practice. His brand of Islam would consider photos to be haram (forbidden) I am informed, especially photos of the face. But he could hot have been in any doubt about MBs photo as MB was clearly pointing the camera away from him, in preparation for the shot.

He was buying some goods from a trader at same time trader gave permission to MB to take pic of his goods, which were nicely laid out on blue sheet on the ground. Picturesque for sure. But as soon as MB raised the camera to his eye, the old lad started screaming and shouting at MB in excited Arabic. MB had no clue what the lad was saying, but he certainly was not enquiring if MB uses Canon or Nikon.

So MB, trying to avoid a crowd gathering around and maybe lynching MB, lowered his camera, and said “lau samah, mafi photo” (excuse me, no photo), trying to stop the old lad shouting.

So MB moved away as quickly as possible, and the shouting thankfully died down. MB, calm as one of the cucumbers he had just seen at the veg stall, moved onwards towards the Mosque entrance and saw great photo opp in the hundreds of shoes lying outside the door, which is the Muslim custom.

But just as MB raised his camera to take yet another prize winning pic, a large rough hand grabbed MB by the shoulder from behind. The same lad. Lots more shouting ensued into the face of MB, which finished in a question the MB understood fully – “Muslim?”. “La, Christian” (no, Christian) replied MB. The shouting then continued, and MB understood that it roughly translated as ” Please Mr Christian gentleman, would you be so polite as to leave the grounds of the Mosque” – or words to that effect. So MB, still keeping his personal safety foremost in his thoughts, lowered his camera, and his head, walked quickly to his car, and drove off.

Some nice spring onions lads

But MB still needed the ‘shoe shot’, so drove around the block few time until the shouting man had entered the Mosque, and took the shot from the car with the window lowered. Success!
And that lads is the story of how MB got all the pics for this weekend’s HX Report. Allah U Akbar!

IMG_5618Mar


Getting Older – Your skin
Getting older ladies? Worried about all those wrinkles? Then worry no more ladies – MB gives you the solution. Surgery – no. Knife – no. Just a quick visit to your doctor from time to time ladies and you will have skin as smooth as a babies bottom! Read on ladies:

A cure for ageing?
With life expectancy soaring, we’re desperate for new tricks to stop the outward signs of ageing, but can you turn back the clock without resorting to plastic surgery? Kelly Rose Bradford investigates the cutting-edge – but knife-free – secrets to eternal youth.

Yes, I’ll take them


Enemy at the Gates

Did you see that Movie lads – Enemy At The Gates. When Russia was losing badly against the Germans at Stalingrad and they needed a hero to motivate the people. And so the young sniper Vassili Zaitsev becomes a Russian folk hero as he battles his wits against the German sniper Major Konig. Take a look at the movie trailer lads –
And take a look at the full movie if you have not seen. A good one.
As the line from the movie says – ‘What we need are heros‘. And that is exactly what we found in Saudi Arabia last week lads.

Fire fighter Abdullah Badhan Al Subai had to rescue a young boy from a burning building in Jeddah lads, and there is great pic of him in the below link as he brings the boy out. He has removed his own oxygen mask to place it  over the boys head, at risk to himself. “Ara twas nothing” said Abdullah (using Irish English), as the media heaped the praise on the new Saudi hero.


Weighing the veg

IMG_5621Mar


UAE Death Sentence
I have often mentioned the death sentences in Saudi Arabia lads. But the UAE also has the same penalty for certain crimes. In Saudi its the swordsman who cuts off the head. In UAE they use firing squad. The punishment was confirmed last week for a man found guilty of the murder of a prostitute. He will now face the firing squad after Sheikh Mo signs the order to proceed:
 

Dubai: A Pakistani man will be executed for repeatedly slitting a prostitute’s neck and stealing her cash and mobile phones. The 29-year-old murderer A.K. lost his petition on Monday before the Dubai Cassation Court that confirmed the capital punishment against him. Dubai’s highest court rejected his plea to have his capital punishment cancelled or reduced to imprisonment.

There is no outcry over here when someone gets the death sentence like you would see in some Western countries where the punishment still exists, or where people campaign against it. Its not that people are worried about protesting from what I can see, it’s that they generally approve of such a punishment for those guilty of extremely serious crimes. Think all surveys in Western Europe show majority opinion against it.

France & Head Scarfs
Interesting court decision in France last week where a court sided with a Muslim lady, who was fired by a Nursery School for refusing to remove her head scarf. 85% of the public are against the court decision, and the Politicians are also speaking out against the ruling. As we have seen in recent years the French are at the forefront in bringing in legislation against dress codes they believe are contrary to the freedoms they espouse. Which in the Muslim world is just seen as anti-Muslim legislation.
Some holy books & some head male head scarfs

Paris: Backlash is growing in France against a court ruling in favour of a Muslim employee of a private nursery school who was fired after she refused to take her headscarf off. A new poll has found that four-fifths of people in France would back a proposal to ban Muslim headscarves and other visible signs of religion in private companies. France’s Interior Minister, who is in charge of religions as well as being the top security official, came out against the ruling last week. In the poll released Monday, 85 per cent of respondents opposed the decision, and more than 80 per cent said they back a ban in private workplaces and schools.

IMG_5626Mar

Racism
Mentioned a few times recently to you lads about the preferential treatment I get out these parts due to fact that I am Westerner (a white bread). But thinking about it, my treatment may also be because of my management position – very high lads! Hard to tell. But what is very clear is that many non-Westies will treat me much better that they will treat members of their own community. Must admit that I also saw some of this during my London days. It was often said in the construction trade that nobody treated an Irish man worse than another Irish man. Not generally true of course, but the statement did contain grains of truth.
I was recently discussing some of the above with my young Sudanese work colleague, who seems to be getting weekly blog mention at this stage. I told him the story of the TV programme ‘Roots‘ back in the 1970s which was controversial at the time in America, telling the slavery story and how the Africans were treated on arrival. There is famous clip in which the Plantation boss forces the African worker to admit his new slave name. I found it on YouTube and young Sudan lad enjoyed it immensely. He now refers to himself as ‘Toby’ – his new slave name. Thankfully a whipping did not prove necessary.

Truck load of spices & seeds

 

Reluctant Emigrant – DH
Had the pleasure of visiting DH at her Abu Dhabi palace during the week lads. DH & her blog were featured in a recent article in the Irish Times. So big congrats from MB, and urge you all to click on the link and become followers. Amusing read each week.
This week DH tells us about her recent trip to Beiruit:

MB went through torture to get the ‘shoe shot’


The Tom & Osama Corner


Tom’s Shot from HX. Can you see the fox & the duck lads?




Osama’s Shot from Dubai:


Slan lads

Ok lads MB has exhausted his creative juices for this week. Sin e for now. Enjoy your weekend.
Regards & Happy Easter to all.
MB

Habemus Papam


Hello lads
Salam to you all. 

We have new Pope al hamdallah lads. The German was a non-entity I think. But had impossible act to follow after JP2. All the TV commentators caught wrong footed when the name was announced, as they struggled for info on Francie. Was nice to see!

Washing before prayer. Like the way you caught the sun on her face MB. Don’t mention lads. Take these kind of shots all the time.

Two things struck me about him. He has warm smile and I suspect a very good sense of humour. MB said to himself, after the brief initial words at the window balcony, that MB could easily spend a night in the pub back home in HX with Francie. Talking about the price of cattle Why Mrs Dillon’s chickens are not laying as many eggs as they used to. What local sinners might be up to, or even how the HX football team are doing at the mo. Being from Argentina he might have some useful pointers for us on the football. Yes lads MB could easily shoot the breeze with Francie over a few glasses of Red I think.

Anyway, good luck to him – Habemus Papam!

Ex Catholic lady, now a Muslim married to local Muslim, explains the traditions & Islamic practices

This weeks photos lads….. Come from very interesting recent visit to Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai, and from the back streets of an area called Bur Dubai (in Dubai) which is a haven for tourists seeking fake (or real but cheap) designer bags and such like, plus one or two other pics besides. Hope you like.

Who says a lady in a Burka can not be glamorous?!

The Jumairah mosque just mentioned is one of the venues for the ‘Open Doors/Open Minds’ centres for cultural understanding founded by the legend himself Sheikh Mo. They also run cultural breakfasts & lunches in one of the oldest areas of Dubai (Bastakia area) & also heritage tours of that particular locality.

Inside the Mosque – the dome ceiling

The mosque is open to non-Muslims at 10am every morning and a Muslim lady (a very glamorous one on the morning MB visited with family & friends) separates the fact from the fiction for the visitors. It’s explained that many beliefs that non-Muslims may have about Islam are very often absolutely nothing to do with the religion itself, but more probably geographical cultural traditions from the different areas of the Arab world. Like the Burka for example. Anyway lads, if ever you are lucky enough to come out these part I give a high recommend to visit Jumairah mosque in Dubai.

Picture is the Kabba at Mecca, the holiest shrine of Islam


The Great White Satan

So there I was on Wednesday night lads, watching the Barca game in the hotel lobby, in the company of a work colleague from Sudan – Khartoum, in the Arab Muslim North of that country. He happened to invite 2 fellow Sudanese friends along, one of them was only very recently ‘off the boat’ and just getting to grips with the scene in Saudi.

Mohammad shows us how its done

This guy threw intriguing question at MB……

“Sir, are you treated well in Saudi Arabi or do they treat you like a Great White Satan, as Saudi is very strict Muslim country, and you are kaffir (non-believer)”.

Preparing to pray

Or similar word to that effect lads. My work colleage, his friend, smiled broadly, as he has witnessed many times recently how MB is treated by the average Joe out these parts. Yes indeed lads, the average Saudi Mohammad treats MB (or any Western lad) with extreme politeness and respect, which is often in contradiction to the way he treats his fellow Saudi’s. It is amusing for me at times to take it all in, and thankfully am blessed with GSOH to smile at it all.

A listener

A few examples lads:

Was passing through Security going to work last week in company of colleagues from India & Sudan (same Sudan lad as above Barca story). Security Guard made everyone show their ID cards. But when MB moved his hand towards his bag to get his ID, Security Guard immediately indicated that in the case of MB the card was not necessary. On seeing the more favourable treatment received by MB, young Sudanese friend nearly got sick!

I definitely prefer her without the veil!

A few days later I had to leave the project during the working day, and had to pass through exact same Security gate. As I approached the barrier, Security Guard (a different guy) asked me to get out of the car. Most unusual behaviour thought MB, as they never check MBs car boot (trunk) and normally wave him through, unlike the treatment they give to 99% of others.

Anyway, on getting out of car SG asks MB to enter the Security Gatehouse. At this stage there are 2 or 3 vehicles stuck behind MBs car waiting patiently. On entering the gatehouse SG immediately presents MB with glass of cola and slice of cake – it’s his birthday! MB wishes him well in broken Arabic and SG is v pleased to receive the warm MB b/day wishes. MB, feeling guilty about the waiting fellow motorists, wolfed back the cake & cola asap and shook hands with SG wishing him luck for life. SG smiled from ear to ear at his new Irish friend.

Flower box outside the Mosque

IMG_5500MarMar

On asking for mutton stew at the Afghan cafe last weekend the owner and I watch together as he spooned the warm aromatic meat and sauce into the bowl from the big pot. On seeing a chunk of meat with some fat on it he immediately flicked it back into the pot knowing that this particular piece of meat was not honouring his Irish guest. He flicked his eyes to the rest of the customers and smiled at MB. The clear message was that this piece of meat would be ok for the regulars but he was ensuring the MB only consumed the best cuts. MB said ‘sukran jazilan’ a few times (‘thanks very much’) and owner was very happy & proud man.

A Muslim cat lazes in the morning sun at the Mosque entrance

So lads, I did not give full answer to the question asked by young Sudan lad watching the Barca game. Merely told him that I am treated very well. Too well in fact. Have reported to you a few times in the past that I experienced preferential treatment a number of times in the UAE on account of fact that I am Western expat. The fact that I am not a Muslim is not even a consideration. But in Saudi I must say that the experiences are even more numerous. Maybe its a cultural thing. I have not quite worked it out yet.

So in the meantime lads, I guess I will just keep drinking the cola & eating the cake!


Blood Money
If a man or woman is sentenced to death out these parts there is possibility under Sharia law that the family of the dead person (assuming the death sentence was imposed for murder) might accept blood money instead of seeing the guilty party executed (by beheading in Saudia Arabia). Recent case is causing some disquiet as the family are asking for millions of dollars to spare the life of the guilty party. Read on lads:

“We need to have a ceiling to avoid the tragedies that are unfolding today,” a blogger posted on the site of Sabq, a news provider. “The victim’s family should pardon the culprit, ask for a sensible amount or refuse to pardon him. The option to ask for incredible amounts of money should be ruled out and the government should step in,” the blogger, I Am Here, wrote.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudis-outraged-by-12m-blood-money-demand-1.1156591

Outside Dubai Museum

And in a related story lads the Saudi Gov are thinking of switching to Firing Squads from the more traditional ‘beheading by sword’ method. The Swordsman’s Union of the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia (SUKSA) is none too pleased at the moment. Negotiations are ongoing:

Firing squads could replace executioners
Manama: Saudi Arabia could soon replace beheading with a sword by a firing squad when carrying out the death penalty in public.

“A specialised committee made up of representatives from the ministries of interior, justice and health as well as the commissions of investigation and prosecution, the public security and the prison general directorate are looking into a study that replaces beheading by a firing squad,” sources told local Arabic daily Al Youm.

However, the country’s area governors have already been given the right to resort to the firing squad, the sources said.

“They can use their own discretion for the execution if the court does not specify how the capital punishment verdict is to be carried out,” the unidentified sources said. “Using the firing squad is not against Islam.”

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/firing-squads-could-replace-executioners-1.1156280

Entrance Door – Dubai Museum


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
How many times have I informed you in the past lads that Sheikh Mo is a total lege? Too many to count lads.

Well this week lads he has gone and done it again. On Facebook. SM stuck up a post few days back informing us that the Government is disolved, some new appointments have taken place, this ministry is no more, some new Ministry is now in place and the Dubai ship sails merrily onwards. First I heard of it lads. And now with one simple posting on Facebook Sheikh Mo gives us the glorious news that that he has disposed of some tyre kickers and introduced some fresh young blood into the scene of Government. Allah u Akbar!

Imaging the scene in Ireland lads if you wanted to do the same. Endless sleep inducing debates in our Parliament, long winded BS speeches from lacky gobshite politicians, election fever (disease actually), loads of TV time taken up at the expense of football & golf, and just general time wasting mayhem. But not in Dubai lads. No Siree lads. Call them in. Hire them. Fire them. And post it all on Facebook following day.

Any brand you like lads!

IMG_5530Mar


From Sheikh Mo Facebook page

Brothers and Sisters, The formation of a new Cabinet in the UAE government will be announced soon. It will include new and young faces. We will have four new ministers and a new ministry, in addition to some structural changes. The former team of ministers have performed their duty, serving their country. UAE never forgets the achievements of its loyal citizens. Such amendments are made to accelerate the pace of development in our country and to further achieve the aspirations of our people. There will be young faces with new ideas and energy to keep up with the rapid changes and to deal with our people’s top priorities.


Ned Kelly
I recently thanked an Australian friend for giving Irish Aussie legend Ned Kelly a decent burial after all these years. Nice to see respect for Ned and his Irish homeland, from the sons and daughters of the criminal classes of Britain from few centuries back. Good on ya sports!

A crowd of up to 200 people gathered at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Wangaratta, 252kms north east of Melbourne, Australia, to attend a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating the life of Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly (1855-1880). The son of John ‘Red’ Kelly of Moyglass, Co. Tipperary and Ellen Kelly (nee Quinn) of Ballymena, Co. Antrim. Ned Kelly was the last and arguably the most famous outlaw in Australian history. The Kelly Gang – Ned, his younger brother Dan, best friend Joe Byrne and Dan’s friend Steve Hart – were all born in north east Victoria, still known as Kelly Country.

The fame of Ned Kelly today thrives in Australia and abroad, and the story of the Kelly Gang is still a polarising one. Most commonly, Ned Kelly is considered a folk hero, while others decry him as a criminal. Regardless of personal opinion, it remains true that a great Australian compliment is still to say that one is “as game as Ned Kelly”. 

Ned Kelly’s wish, for his body to be given to his family so it could be buried in consecrated ground, took a long time to fulfil – 132 years, to be exact. After his execution, the outlaw was interred within prison confines, and it wasn’t until 2011 that the remains of condemned prisoners were uncovered, and subsequent mitochondrial DNA testing through a descendant of Ellen Quinn Kelly positively identified Ned Kelly’s skeleton.

Ned Kelly was buried in a private ceremony at a tiny rural graveyard; where he finally rests in the arms of his family and the heart of Kelly Country.

A purse or wallet of your choice


John Brennan – New CIA Chief

As part of the ongoing Irish take over of Planet Earth and the entire Universe lads, I am pleased to announce the appointment of one John Brennan as new head of the CIA in the good old U S Of A. Non-disclosure agreements prevent me divulging if the HX & Crosser Brotherhood had anything to do with the appointment lads, but let us just say that not much goes on in this world in terms of Irish advancement without the guiding fatherly hand of the the higher echelons of Crosserhood. 

Brennan is the son of of Roscommon emigrants to the US and no doubt served his time back home every summer helping the cousins pick potatoes and milk the cows. If any of you fancy private trip around CIA HQ in Langley, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA lads, please drop me discreet email and will see what I can do.  

Perfumes & Handbags

Brennan, the son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon, was raised in North Bergen, New Jersey.[10] He attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School, and graduated from Saint Joseph of the Palisades High School in West New York, New Jersey before enrolling at Fordham University in New York City.[6]

While riding a bus to class at Fordham, he saw an ad in The New York Times that said the CIA was recruiting, and felt a CIA career would be a good match for his “wanderlust” and his desire to do public service.[6] He received a B.A. in political science from Fordham in 1977.[3] His studies included a junior year abroad learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies courses at the American University in Cairo.[3][6] He also received a Master of Arts in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980.[6] He speaks Arabic fluently.[10]

Ladies Purse

IMG_5533Mar

The Oatmeal – At The Gym: Who is looking at whom
Every time I read one of the comics by the Oatmeal I laugh out loud! If you have ever been to the gym you might recognise some of the characters in the following:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/gym

A belt for your man ladies


Was The Irish Famine Genocide?

For the history buffs amongst you lads. Recent book on the Irish famine. Case not proven it seems:

http://robertnielsen21.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/was-the-irish-famine-genocide/

Inside a mud oven – for cooking the bread

SONY DSC

Happy Iranian/Persian New Year lads
As  part of the HX ‘Open Doors/Open Minds’ programme lads, I give you little piece on Persian/Iranian New year which is only few days away:

Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.

Reluctant Emigrant (DH) – Growing Old Gracefully
Thanks yet again to DH for putting smile on the face of MB. This week DH is faced with the potential beauty of Botox! 

http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/grow-old-gracefully/

Afghani man sorts the bread

Enough Lads!
It has been another bumper rewarding HX lads, am sure you will agree. Thanks MB. Don’t mention lads.

Hope all have nice weekend lads. Be careful out there!

Ladies from the 3rd World arrive at Riyadh airport to work as maids for the locals. From Indonesia or Bangladesh by the looks. Some will be treated well, others will not. Such is the lot of women from the 3rd world who must earn money to support families at home

MB