from the blogosphere to pure fantasy

Taking a break from blogging. Most of my free cyber time now spent on Second Life... which goes in the category of things that fascinate and amaze me.

Maybe I'll be back...or maybe not. Time will tell.

carnac, the truly magnificent

You may have heard of Carnac... no, not "Carnac the Magnificent" the Johnny Carson (I can hear many young people saying "Who?") character. This Carnac is in Brittany (France) and is, in many opinions, the most important megalithic site in the world, surpassing Stonehenge. It's comprised of thousands (as in over 3,000) prehistoric megaliths (from the Greek meaning "large stone") which were placed sometime between 3,300 and 4,500 B.C. Standing amidst the stones, placing your hand on them and looking at the vast field of perfectly placed menhirs (some up to 180 tons) is a truly unique experience.

We often are filled with arrogance, thinking that we're the smartest most advanced civilization since time began, and that those who came before us lived in ignorance...just seeing this and pondering how a society that lived some 7,000 years ago was advanced enough to conceptualize and create such a site, whatever its purpose (religious, astronomical, its purpose will remain a mystery) is humbling and inspiring.

constructive beauty

Who knew what beauty could be created from a stack of construction paper!?! see more pay a visit to

danes "liberate" muslim women? not...

I don't usually borrow from other blogs, but saw something so shocking on Svend White's thoughtful and incisive blog called Akram's Razor (link added to my list) about the Danish People's Party's new campaign targeting Muslim women.

Called "Free Yourselves," they offer an escape for Muslim women as though they are trapped in a cult and in need of an intervention to "deprogram" them. The image speaks volumes of the message they wish to send out, and it's highly offensive. Now I'm not a big fan of the veil, but I also believe it's every Muslim woman's right to choose her path...clearly this group doesn't agree. The text of their campaign webpage, which Svend translated, reads:
If you as a Muslim woman free yourself from old Muslim traditions that require you to submit to male family members, you can become an independent woman and member of modern society. A woman who is not dependent on a man. A woman able to create for herself a career on the job market and not just stand over the stove or serve as a baby machine. You can show your children what a woman's potential is by having a job, home, and family while remaining a good mother. Women in the West have done it for decades. We live well and are thriving. You can be one of us.

One of us, indeed. No thanks.

tony + maria, david + fatima

Fifty years after "West Side Story" filled the stage, the Israeli-American filmmaker Ari Sandel brings his reinterpretation, "West Bank Story," to the world. Winner of the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film, it's available for download for a mere $1.99 (or so it was at press time) from iTunes.

Politically incorrect to make a film about a war between West Bank Arabs and Jews, owners of "Hummus Hut" and the "Kosher King?," perhaps... A good innocent laugh for partisans of both sides?...definitely.

quran in tamazight

It was shocking to me to read that the very first translation of the Quran into Tamazight is being published, funded by the Religious Affairs Ministry of Algeria and the Saudis. Considering the fact that North Africa has been Muslim since the Arabs arrived in the 7th century, I can't believe that it took that long.

Portions of the Bible were published in Tamazight as early as 1919, with equally old and even older translations in multiple other berber languages including Tachelhit, Kabyle, Tarifit, etc.

One of the things that always encouraged me to forge ahead when learning the prayer in Arabic was the story a friend once told me of his mother, a Kabyle berber who spoke no Arabic. Throughout her life she performed her prayer regularly, having memorized the basic verses and simplest prayer as a child in Arabic, but without ever understanding the words she said. While she clearly understood the general meaning, the Arabic words were as foreign to her as, say, Chinese.

the blue of chefchaouen

Nothing really to blog about. Thinking a lot about the movies I saw this weekend, Babel and The Last King of Scotland. Both haunting and frightening.

Also, finally was able to get my photos off my camera onto my computer, so I just had to share one. This is a picture I took this past September, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Chefchaouen, Morocco. My visit there coincided with the King of Morocco's, who stayed several days (I was shuffled up to a front-row seat to be able to wave to his motorcade as it cruised by)...the man has good taste in vacation spots, although I must admit that I didn't join him in shooting boar!