Archive | October 14, 2013

Kiswa Embroidery a Mecca Factory Secret*

Kiswa Embroidery a Mecca Factory Secret*

Mecca: More than 200 men have been laboring in a factory for eight months to produce the gold-embroidered, black-dyed Kiswa, a silk cover for the Ka’aba.

The ornate protective covering produced at the Makkah factory will be draped over the Ka’aba on the 9th of Dul Hijjah, which this year corresponds to Oct. 14.

The stitching of Islamic calligraphy in gold threads onto the silk is a skill that has been passed on from generation to generation, said Hussanian Al-Sharif, head of the embroidery department who has worked at the factory for 37 years.

“No one outside this factory knows how to do the embroidery that we do, so that’s why our old workers have to train the newcomers for a three-month period before they start,” he said.

The old Kiswa will be cut into pieces to be distributed to dignitaries and religious organizations. Recipients regard the fragments as heirlooms.

Nearly all of the 210 workers come from the city of Makkah and most of them have worked there all their lives.

Before the factory was opened in 1927, the 47 pieces of cloth cover were manufactured in Egypt and materials were bought from Sudan, India, Egypt and Iraq.

Today the 658-square-meter covering is made of 670 kg (1,500 lb) of high-quality silk imported from Italy and Switzerland, said Mohammed bin Abdullah Bajuda, the factory’s general manager.

“The silk is dyed black here and we spin it ourselves to make the material, then it is hand-embroidered with 120 kg of pure gold and silver,” he told Reuters in an interview. Machines to help automate the process were introduced 25 years ago, said Salman Al-Loukmani, head of the materials department.

“Before we used to have a lot more workers and it was a very long process to make the material by hand. Now we have a number of Swiss spinning machines that help us,” he said.

Poorer pilgrims sometimes tear parts of the cover during the Haj to take home, but the factory is ready for that too.

“One of the main challenges for the Kiswa factory is the pilgrims who tear pieces of the cover with their hands or other sharp objects, so every hour we have a maintenance team to repair the damage,” Bajouda said.


Related Topics:

Tawaf for Non-Hajjis

Mount Arafah for Non-Hajji’s

Mudhalifah for Non-Hajji’s

The Sermon of Mina

Ancient Chinese Philosophy: The Third Most Popular Course at Harvard*

Ancient Chinese Philosophy: The Third Most Popular Course at Harvard*

Away from the Common Core Curriculum, education works!

By Christine Gross-Loh

 Adam Mitchell, was a math and science whiz who went to Harvard intending to major in economics. At Harvard specifically and in society in general, he told me,  “we’re expected to think of our future in this rational way: to add up the pros and cons and then make a decision. That leads you down the road of ‘Stick with what you’re good at’”—a road with little risk but little reward. But after his introduction to Chinese philosophy during his sophomore year, he realized this wasn’t the only way to think about the future.

Picture a world where human relationships are challenging, narcissism and self-centeredness are on the rise, and there is disagreement on the best way for people to live harmoniously together.

It sounds like 21st-century America. But the society that Michael Puett, a tall, 48-year-old bespectacled professor of Chinese history at at Harvard University, is describing to more than 700 rapt undergraduates is China, 2,500 years ago.

Puett’s course Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory has become the third most popular course at the university. The only classes with higher enrollment are Intro to Economics and Intro to Computer Science. The second time Puett offered it, in 2007, so many students crowded into the assigned room that they were sitting on the stairs and stage and spilling out into the hallway. Harvard moved the class to Sanders Theater, the biggest venue on campus.

Why are so many undergraduates spending a semester poring over abstruse Chinese philosophy by scholars who lived thousands of years ago? For one thing, the class fulfills one of Harvard’s more challenging core requirements, Ethical Reasoning. It’s clear, though, that students are also lured in by Puett’s bold promise: “This course will change your life.”

His students tell me it is true: that Puett uses Chinese philosophy as a way to give undergraduates concrete, counter-intuitive, and even revolutionary ideas, which teach them how to live a better life.  Elizabeth Malkin, a student in the course last year, says, “The class absolutely changed my perspective of myself, my peers, and of the way I view the world.” Puett puts a fresh spin on the questions that Chinese scholars grappled with centuries ago. He requires his students to closely read original texts (in translation) such as Confucius’s Analects, the Mencius, and the Daodejing and then actively

put the teachings into practice in their daily lives. His lectures use Chinese thought in the context of contemporary American life to help 18- and 19-year-olds who are struggling to find their place in the world figure out how to be good human beings; how to create a good society; how to have a flourishing life.

Puett began offering his course to introduce his students not just to a completely different cultural worldview but also to a different set of tools. He told me he is seeing more students who are “feeling pushed onto a very specific path towards very concrete career goals” than he did when he began teaching nearly 20 years ago.  A recent report shows a steep decline over the last decade in the number of Harvard students who are choosing to major in the humanities, a trend roughly seen across the nation’s liberal arts schools. Finance remains the most popular career for Harvard graduates. Puett sees students who orient all their courses and even their extracurricular activities towards practical, predetermined career goals and plans.

Puett tells his students that being calculating and rationally deciding on plans is precisely the wrong way to make any sort of important life decision

The Chinese philosophers they are reading would say that this strategy makes it harder to remain open to other possibilities that don’t fit into that plan. Students who do this “are not paying enough attention to the daily things that actually invigorate and inspire them, out of which could come a really fulfilling, exciting life,” he explains. If what excites a student is not the same as what he has decided is best for him, he becomes trapped on a misguided path, slated to begin an unfulfilling career. Puett aims to open his students’ eyes to a different way to approach everything from relationships to career decisions. He teaches them that:

The smallest actions have the most profound ramifications. Confucius, Mencius, and other Chinese philosophers taught that the most mundane actions can have a ripple effect, and Puett urges his students to become more self-aware, to notice how even the most quotidian acts—holding open the door for someone, smiling at the grocery clerk—change the course of the day by affecting how we feel.

That rush of good feeling that comes after a daily run, the inspiring conversation with a good friend, or the momentary flash of anger that arises when someone cuts in front of us in line—what could they have to do with big life matters? Everything, actually. From a Chinese philosophical point of view, these small daily experiences provide us endless opportunities to understand ourselves. When we notice and understand what makes us tick, react, feel joyful or angry, we develop a better sense of who we are that helps us when approaching new situations. Mencius, a late Confucian thinker (4th century B.C.E.), taught that if you cultivate your better nature in these small ways, you can become an extraordinary person with an incredible influence, altering your own life as well as that of those around you, until finally “you can turn the whole world in the

Decisions are made from the heart. Americans tend to believe that humans are rational creatures who make decisions logically, using our brains. But in Chinese, the word for “mind” and “heart” are the same. Puett teaches that the heart and the mind are inextricably linked, and that one does not exist without the other. Whenever we make decisions, from the prosaic to the profound (what to make for dinner; which courses to take next semester; what career path to follow; whom to marry), we will make better ones when we intuit how to integrate heart and mind and let our rational and emotional sides blend into one.  Zhuangzi, a Daoist philosopher, taught that we should train ourselves to become “spontaneous” through daily living, rather than closing ourselves off through what we think of as rational decision-making. In the same way that one deliberately practices the piano in order to eventually play it effortlessly, through our everyday activities we train ourselves to become more open to experiences and phenomena so that eventually the right responses and decisions come spontaneously, without angst, from the heart-mind.

Recent research into neuroscience is confirming that the Chinese philosophers are correct: Brain scans reveal that our unconscious awareness of emotions and phenomena around us are actually what drive the decisions we believe we are making with such logical rationality. According to Marianne LaFrance, a psychology professor at Yale, if we see a happy face for just a fraction of a second (4 milliseconds to be exact), that’s long enough to elicit a mini emotional high. In one study viewers who were flashed a smile—even though it was shown

quickly for them to even realize they had seen it—perceived the things around them more positively.

If the body leads, the mind will follow. Behaving kindly (even when you are not feeling kindly), or smiling at someone (even if you aren’t feeling particularly friendly at the moment) can cause actual differences in how you end up feeling and behaving, even ultimately changing the outcome of a situation.

While all this might sound like hooey-wooey self-help, much of what Puett teaches is previously accepted cultural wisdom that has been lost in the modern age. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do,” a view shared by thinkers such as Confucius, who taught that the importance of rituals lies in how they inculcate a certain sensibility in a person.  In research published in Psychological Science, social psychologist Amy Cuddy and her colleagues found that when we take a power stance (stand with our legs apart, arms thrust out, taking up space), the pose does not only cause other people to view us as more confident and powerful; it actually causes a hormonal surge that makes us become more confident.

At the end of each class, Puett challenges his students to put the Chinese philosophy they have been learning into tangible practice in their everyday lives. “The Chinese philosophers we read taught that the way to really change lives for the better is from a very mundane level, changing the way people experience and respond to the world, so what I try to do is to hit them at that level. I’m not trying to give my students really big advice about what to do with their lives. I just want to give them a sense of what they can do daily to transform how they live.” Their assignments are small ones: to first observe how they feel when smile at a stranger, hold open a door for someone, engage in a hobby. He asks them to take note of what happens next: how every action, gesture, or word dramatically affects how others respond to them. Then Puett asks them to pursue more of the activities that they notice arouse positive, excited feelings. In their papers and discussion sections students discuss what it means to live life according to the teachings of these philosophers.

Once they’ve understood themselves better and discovered what they love to do they can then work to become adept at those activities through ample practice and self-cultivation. Self-cultivation is related to another classical Chinese concept: that effort is what counts the most, more than talent or aptitude. We aren’t limited to our innate talents; we all have enormous potential to expand our abilities if we cultivate them. You don’t have to be stuck doing what you happen to be good at; merely pay attention to what you love and proceed from there. Chinese philosophers taught that paying attention to small clues “can literally change everything that we can become as human beings,” says Puett.

To be interconnected, focus on mundane, everyday practices, and understand that great things begin with the very smallest of acts are radical ideas for young people living in a society that pressures them to think big and achieve individual excellence. This might be one reason why, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education, interest in Chinese philosophy is taking off around the nation—not just at Harvard. And it’s a message that’s especially resonating with those yearning for an alternative to the fast track they have been on all their lives.

One of Puett’s former students, Adam Mitchell, was a math and science whiz who went to Harvard intending to major in economics. At Harvard specifically

and in society in general, he told me, “we’re expected to think of our future in this rational way: to add up the pros and cons and then make a decision. That leads you down the road of ‘Stick with what you’re good at’”—a road with little risk but little reward. But after his introduction to Chinese philosophy during his sophomore year, he realized this wasn’t the only way to think about the future. Instead, he tried courses he was drawn to but wasn’t naturally adroit at because he had learned how much value lies in working hard to become better at what you love. He became more aware of the way he was affected by those around him, and how they were affected by his own actions in turn. Mitchell threw himself into foreign language learning, feels his relationships have deepened, and is today working towards a master’s degree in regional studies. He told me, “I can happily say that Professor Puett lived up to his promise, that the course did in fact change my life.”


Related Topics:

Labour Pains of a New Worldview

Test the Poor until they are Brain Dead, and Educate the Rich!

Checking out of the Matrix: Life without Stress!

Growing List of British Academics Condemn Education Policies*

Raising Children Off-Grid*

The Secret History of Western Education Behind the Common Core Curriculum

Family that Homeschooled their Children Harassed from Germany to France, the US and Back Again*

The Inner Technology of Islam

Beyond Mass Control

The Last Illusion

What’s Keeping You?*

Vets, Truckers and those Who Can Verging on Washington

Vets, Truckers and those on Food Stamps Verging on Washington

It is unfortunate that a situation has to get personal before one acts, because by then, the many governmental steps are in place though not indestructible. After a steady policing, infiltrating, and incarceration of members Occupy Movement (2011 -12),  the whole U.S. situation has become quite personal.

It might be part of the rigged government shut-down plan to stir the people up as vehicle to implement laws waiting in line, regardless we have a scheduled protest (October 11-13, 2013) of truckers driving into Washington DC for the “Truckers Ride for the Constitution,” with the aim of shutting down Washington.

October 13 a scheduled Million Vet march to the White House carrying baracades from the war monuments. War Veterans removed the barricades blocking the WWII Memorial and carried them to the White House and deposited them at the White House gates

Veterans for Ron Paul are marching to the White House chanting END THE FED!

Record rains, intervention by law enforcement along with confusing reports from rouge truckers hampered turn out but they are there and locals are cheering them on . Truckers are throwing full support to vets!

The National Guard has put out a statement that they will not be interfering with the protest at all.

EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card/food stamp programs shut down nationwide on Saturday 12, the situation could not get more personal.

Customers staged a disturbance, took unpaid for  groceries and walked out of a Mississippi Walmart after they were unable  to use their food stamp cards on Saturday.

People  in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their food  stamp debit-style cards Saturday after a routine check by vendor Xerox  Corp. resulted in a system failure.

The mini riot, happened  at the Walmart in Philadelphia, Miss. Shortly thereafter, managers  decided to temporarily close the store.

Million vet march riot police

To add to the momentum of the occasion, on Monday 14 2013, comets were busy in the skies of Washington DC., just as they when Egypt’s elected President Mursi was ousted on 3 July 2013.

The American Meteor Society received over 60 reports of fireball sightings on the east coast of the United States on Monday night, stretching from Washington DC to Connecticut.

Fox 5′s Greg Redfern and WTOP’s space expert said it was “bright as tonight’s moon”.

UK Vaccine Policy Taking One Step Closer to US Policed State

UK Vaccine Policy Taking One Step Closer to US Policed State

Along with the dramatic rise in unemployment, manipulating public education so that more achieve less, and calling out the Red Cross to feed the people, the U.K. is beginning to look strikingly similar to it Atlantic cousin.

By Arjun Walia

The UK government has set aside five hundred million pounds for the next two years to help struggling A&E departments in UK hospitals to deal with the added pressure during the winter months. The financial boost comes with one condition, if the staff partake in yearly flu jabs. Is this really fair?

For hospital staff choosing to opt out of the flu vaccine, should the whole hospital, staff and its patients be punished? How could the UK government refuse this financial benefit if they already have the money available to help out?

Potentially risking the health of more people. Regardless of whether you think vaccinations and beneficial or not, this decision seems to be very controversial, and possibly unethical.

To be exact, hospitals will need to convince 75% of their staff to vaccinate during the 2014/2015 season. The Milton Keynes Hospital in the UK has just over 40% of the over two thousand staff involved with direct patient care that were given the flu shot last season. Across the entire country, only 45% of front-line staff were vaccinated. Clearly, those who oppose the shot, including medical workers, are in the majority, and for good reason. What’s worse is that these vaccinations could possibly be GMO based vaccines, given the fact that the FDA recently approved the very first ones expected on the market in 2014.

A lot of information has surfaced over the past few years that have led people all over the world to refuse vaccinations. There is so much that it can be hard deciding where to begin.

Not long ago, doctors from the University of British Colombia revealed that Government experts have known about the dangers associated with vaccinations for over 30 years. These documents are elaborated on here.  There have also been hundreds of studies conducted that look into vaccine ingredients and their potential harmful effects on the human body. As far as the benefits of vaccines, they are usually pushed by corporate media who is even harder to trust.

We are bombarded with the same corporate media that owns all of the major vaccine manufactures and most medical research. It’s not always a bad idea to research something for yourself, instead of handing our information over constantly to an external source. Studies with regards to the potential harmful effects of vaccinations are worldwide, illustrating neurological adverse events following vaccination (5). There is evidence on both sides of vaccine safety, and while some vaccinations might be effective, that does not mean that all of them are. Nobody can really deny the dangers associated with many of them.

Flu shots in particular don’t have the best track record. A study published in the journal Vaccine found that flu vaccines can cause a measurable increase in inflammation in pregnant women, this in turn can lead to multiple health consequences. Another study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that 85 percent of newborn infants experienced abnormal elevations of CRP when given multiple vaccines and up to 70% in those given a single vaccine. CRP is a protein found in the blood, a rise in this protein is a response to inflammation. Overall, 16 percent of infants were reported to experience vaccine-associated cardiorespiratory events within 48 hours of immunization.

More people are choosing to opt out of their yearly flu vaccination due to new information surfacing that shows they can be harmful to your health. Instances like children in Europe developing narcolepsy after the H1N1 pandemrix vaccine adds to decisions as well. Periodic infectious challenges are natures way of strengthening our immune system. With such a rigid vaccine schedule, our immune system becomes reliant and weak instead of strong and developed.
In 2009, Canadians actually increased the rate of medically attended pandemic H1N1 infection. Vaccines may actually decrease the resistance to viral infection via their immunosuppressive actions.

There is nothing wrong with presenting information on the other side of the coin, you should never be fearful of anything. If you do decide to vaccinate, be in your own knowing that the decision was right for you, not simply the recommendation of another. If you decide not to vaccinate, be in your own knowing of this decision as well. Your consciousness also plays a key role when it comes to health and remaining aware of that is an important step also. There is just a tidbit of information of vaccinations in this article, but I hope I’ve inspired you to further your research if concerned or interested.


Walia, “A Government Threatens to Stop Funding Hospitals that Refuse to Force Vaccinate Staff”

Related Topics:

Now It’s U.Ks Turn for Enforced Vaccines!

CVS Flu Shot Kills 23 Senior Citizens

Poor Asian, African, and Latin American Children Targeted by Gates and Others with Questionable Vaccines*

Food Aid for Brits Courtesy of the Red Cross*

Poisoning the Next Generation: Fluoride Plan in School Milk*

GMOs Are Mutating Microorganisms and Spawning Deadly New Life Forms‏

Thousands Protest in the UK Over Health Cuts*

Australia’s Eugenics Agenda *

The West in a Panic!*

Checking out of the Matrix: Life without Stress!

Drug Free Psychiatry and Beyond Globalized Eugenics

It’s About Shutting YOU Down!

It’s About Shutting YOU Down!

“Americans are being treated to political theatre at its finest. It’s not a theatre of entertainment, however, but a coliseum of enslavement where in the world of deception, perception becomes reality.

This theatre requires audience participation, where we, the theatre-goers, become part of the play.

We are a truly captive audience, entranced into mindlessly choosing sides at the frenzied urging of the corporate media and partisan cheerleaders firmly seated behind the microphones and television cameras of the nationally syndicated media.”

Related Topics:

Court Order: The Re-Education of Lauryn Hill for Speaking the Truth!

U.S. FEMA’s Refugee Camp for Americans*

Government Shutdown!?*

The Real Reason Why NASA Is Being Shut Down*

“The Closer You Look, the Less You See”: The Mind Control Entertainment Industry*

Obama’s Manipulating the Brain Project

Checking out of the Matrix: Life without Stress!

A 12 Year-Old Kid Explains What’s Going On*

One Economy, One Government, Your World!

A 6,387km Trek to Mecca*

A 6,387km Trek to Mecca*

One man found an age-old method to prepare himself for hajj….

By Rizwan Khatik

A Pakistani national has covered 6,387 kilometers on foot to make his hajj to Makkah , the Al Arabiya television channel said on Sunday.

Kharlzada Kasrat Rai, 37, began his trip from Karachi on June 7, travelling 6,387 kilometers (3,968 miles) through Iran, Iraq and Jordan on foot. Kharlzada Kasrat Rai, who twice staged the longest peace walks in the world, announced to march from Karachi Press Club to Makkah, Saudi Arabia on foot to promote global peace.

“I want peace in the world, equality, and a union of the Muslim Ummah like the European Union,” he said.

He arrived in Makkah on Oct. 1 to a hero’s welcome.

Kharlzada was received by Saudi government officials and a representative of the holy Ka’aba’s imam in addition to members of Makkah’s Pakistani community and supporters from various Muslim countries.

Kharlzada is an experienced walker. In 2007, he walked 1,999 kilometers across his home country in 85 days. In 2009, he covered a distance of 327 kilometers from Lahore to Islamabad in 14 days and another 22 kilometers from Islamabad to the settlement of Chakuti in nine days.

Saudi Arabia announced that more than 1.3 million people will be performing this year’s hajj, with more than half of them coming from outside Saudi Arabia.


Related Topics:

Those Who Love Peace…

The Peacewalker

Colombia: Manifesto for the Land and Peace

International Peace Day 2011

Libya: 11 Imams From Peace Mission Massacred

Mayans Call on UN for New Era of Peace!

Philippines Indigenous Excluded from Peace and Development Agenda*