Ramadan Kareem moon

I have finally gotten around to making a Ramadan Kareem image for my side bar.  This image of the moon is courtesy of NASA.ramadan kareem

Posted in Arab culture, Religion. Comments Off on Ramadan Kareem moon

Ramadan Kareem – images

Ramadan Kareem. رمضان كريم

[The traditional greeting means “Ramadan is generous”.]

Some Ramadan images :

ramadan kareem

ramadan kareem mosque

ramadan tan1

Image credits:

#1 Yellow with mosque silhouette. Artist: Tarqdz.  More from the artist’s gallery.

#2  Sepia tones with mosque. Artist: Saeed33Gallery from same artist.

#3 Yellow with brown calligraphy. Artist: NABDH. More from the artist’s gallery.

Have been listening to this Ramadan Kareem animation playing on a loop.  The sound quality is surprisingly good–wish I knew what it was from.


Note: I am fasting today, the first day of Ramadan. (“The rest of the year is for you, Ramadan is for Allah.”) It’s easier when Ramadan falls in December, as it did when I lived in Jordan, and the sun sets earlier.

When is sunset?  According to Channel 9, today’s sunset is at 7:39 PM.  The Bridgeview mosque site says adhan at 7:43 (the call to prayer is when the fast can be broken–many the time I waited for the call to prayer to light up a cigarette at a Jordanian bus station) and the iqamah at 7:48 PM.  (The DC mosque I link to in my sidebar says adhan 7:57 PM, iqamah 8:07 PM) Technically the Koranic answer, which depends on neither websites nor wristwatches, says sundown is when a white thread cannot be distinguished from a black thread.

Since it can be difficult to stay occupied without eating or drinking (Moslems are also supposed to abstain from tobacco and sex), until sundown, here are my Ramadan links from other years–from a definitely non-Moslem perspective:

Insha ‘Allah (two examples of Salma Arastu’s calligraphy for Eid at the end of Ramadan)
Ramadan kareem, are you fasting? (image of King Hussein mosque in Amman)
Pokemon Eid cards?–what is going on in Pakistan (more Salma Arastu artwork thumbnails for Eid)
Fasting music for Ramadan–mystical planets (links to Gustav Holst downloads)
Spiritual recordings for Ramadan 2008 (explanation of duas and some dua links for YouTube and others)
Is the reward of goodness aught but goodness?-Koran translation and recitation (Koran portals and some links to recitations)

Codex Sinaiticus

The oldest known Bible is now online at www.codexsinaiticus.org

Codex Sinaiticus, a manuscript of the Christian Bible written in the middle of the fourth century, contains the earliest complete copy of the Christian New Testament. The hand-written text is in Greek. The New Testament appears in the original vernacular language (koine) and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. In the Codex, the text of both the Septuagint and the New Testament has been heavily annotated by a series of early correctors.

Posted in Religion. Tags: , . Comments Off on Codex Sinaiticus

Useful Links


I can never find these when I want them.

Dictionaries and English Tools

Common Errors in English

An historical syntax of the English language, Visser (various digitized parts)

Encarta online dictionary

ESL: List of free online journals from talktotheclouds

Learner’s Dictionaries (ESL): Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Longman English Dictionary Online, Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (also Learner’s, AmE, idioms, phrasal verbs, English-Turkish), Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

Memidex dictionary and thesaurus

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary of English Usage

Mythology – Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

OneLook (1024 dictionaries) (use help file to add to search bar)

ODLIS — Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science

Online Etymology Dictionary

Perdue Online Writing Lab

Philosophy meta-encyclopedia | Dictionary of Philosophy (Ancient – Medieval – Modern)  Dagobert D. Runes

Rhyme generators:  Write Express, Rhyme Brain

Style Manuals-Online Stylebooks–search 43 manuals of style

Unicode-Alt keyboard sequences for special characters, alt codes

Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Webster’s New World College Dictionary

Wikipedia Manual of Style

TV shows (and radio) Firefly (a space western) wikipedia|episodes (often broken)|Chinese language phrases (mostly Mandarin) (incomprehensible by real Chinese people)

Fireflyfirst five episodes (HULU)(now they have five rotating episodes)

Fireflyfrom sling.com beta (same episodes as HULU, with smoother display) on sling.com

Fireflyepisode guide.  Maybe can download some episodes.

La Femme Nikita episodes (starring Peta Wilson)

Naruto (Japanese manga cartoons, English subtitles)

The Prisoner free online (Patrick McGoohan)

BBC Radio 4

Bible portals

New Revised Standard Version: Oremus with Godweb browser and OBB browser, Bible studytools (with commentary and parallel translations)

Today’s New International Version

Revised Standard Version

Arabic translation (Bible Gateway)

Q Bible (Hebrew & English)

Parallel translations (commentary and cross references)

Codex Sinaiticus (earliest known Bible–in Greek)

Bible Gateway (a dozen English versions including TNIV but not RSV, plus languages including Arabic but not Greek or Hebrew)

Roman Catholic Bible in French, key documents of the Catholic faith: Magisterium (in Latin), Liturgy and the Fathers of the Church, saints and their writings, created from CD-ROM Ictus 3.

Koran portals

Al-Tafsir (Jordan)

Shakir (U. of Virginia)

Shakir (U. of Michigan)

Yusuf Ali, Pickthal, Shakir (U. of Southern California)

Online Quran Project (60 trans. + Arabic)

Ayat al-Kursi (Throne Verse) [2:255] Tutorial

Open Quran (9 reciters + Arabic text)

“Wahhabi” translation

Koran Today (side by side comparison of translators Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Zohurul Hoque, T.J. Irving, T.U. Hilali & M. Khan, M. Pickthall, and M.S. Shakir)

(For prayer times)

mosque: Bridgeview

mosque: Adams (DC)

Language Dictionaries

University of Texas archaic languages: Old Norse, Armenian, Baltic, Old English, Old French, Gothic, Classical Greek, N.T. Greek, Hittite, Old Iranian, Old Irish, Latin, Old Church Slavonic, Sanskrit, Tocharian [Asia silk road])

Ultralingua:  English, Esperanto, French, German, Italian, Klingon, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dictionaries, Spelling & Grammar Checkers, Audio Learning Tools

Your dictionary–Online dictionaries for 300 languages


Akkadian: Klinopsis (Old Babylonian Text Corpus by Cuneiform Circle)

Amharic: Dictionary of the Amharic Language by Charles William Isenberg (1841), Basic Amharic Dictionary: Amharic-English, English-Amharic. Leslau, Wolf (1970) (Free download.) , Online Amharic-English dictionary with search box, A small Amharic glossary

Anglo-Saxon: Anglo-Saxon Dictionary of Bosworth/Toller 1898, consistent alphabetic index to An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (Bosworth and Toller)-Univ of Texas

Arabic: Edward William Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon and Koran indexed by roots, new library (so far several translations of Koran and a users dictionary), Andras Rajki’s Arabic Etymological Dictionary (transliteration), database query semitic etymology (Russian website), M. Piamenta’s Dictionary of Post Classical Yemeni Arabic (Gbooks searchable but not online)

Catalan: Enciclopedia (with etymology)

Cornish: Warlinnen lexicon

Danish: modern Danish dictionary, pronunciation guide, historical dictionary of Danish

English: Middle English, Dictionary of Old English-University of Toronto, dictionary of slang, jargon & cant: embracing English, American, and Anglo-Indian slang, pidgin English, tinker’s jargon and other irregular phraseology, Volume 1(google books full text)

French Dictionnaire Français (Encarta), Orthonet [French lexicon proposed by the Conseil International de la Langue Française (www.cilf.org)], Le Tresor de la Langue Francaise Informatise (etymology)

Gaelic: Gaelic – English Dictionary by Malcolm MacFarlane, dictionary in Gaelic, medieval old and middle Irish glossary by Dennis King, Lexicons–MacFarlane, Gramadach

Georgian: Georgian/German dictionary, Georgian/English site down but try http://sisauri.tripod.com/lexicon/INDEX3.htm on the wayback machine   http://web.archive.org

German: LEO Deutsch-EnglischWörterbuch

German: English/German dictionary, user sourced, also Italian/German, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hungarian, Russian, Danish, Esperanto, Norwegian

German: Das Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (German OED), Beta–completion date 2012, Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm (etymology)

Greek: (etymology)

Hindi/Urdu: from Slovarus.info, Platts (some etymology)

Irish: dictionary online

Italian: Dizionario Etimologico

Lakota: Lakota lexicon;Lakota translation (short dictionary); Lakota language, keyboard, fonts, grammar, Bible translation in Lakhota and Dakhota, translation of texts;Lakota-Useful phrases from Omniglot; Lakota Grammar +; Lakhota letters (alphabet) and sounds; Wikipedia: Lakota language with grammar; Smithsonian winter count calendars with pronunciation of tribal group names in Lakota.

Latin: Glossarium mediæ et infimæ latinitatis, L. Favre, 1883-1887 (annotated), Wordsonline dictionary, translation assistant, grammar aid

Mongolian: from Slovarus.info (via LH)

Mongolian: (from read)

Norse/Icelandic: Ross Arthur’s English-Old Norse glossary, Old Norse lexicon, Freelang English/Old Norse, Northvegr Old Icelandic (Geir T. Zoëga’s 1910 dictionary of Old Norse), Wiki English glossary, Old IcelandicAn Icelandic-English Dictionary Cleasby and Vigfusson 1874, J. Frizners ordbok (The standard dictionary of Old Norse,in Norwegian) Univ. of Oslo., Modern IcelandicÍslensk-ensk orðabók / Concise Icelandic-English Dictionary 1989

Norwegian-Bokmåls: og nynorskordboka i felles søkevindu

Norwegian-Nynorsk: Grunnmanuskriptet, based on field work in the early 20th century (the book was never published, maybe because of the great depression, maybe because of a political backlash, I don’t really know), but intended to finally be printed on paper for the national jubilee in 2014.

Portuguese: Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa (with etymology)

Sanskrit: from Slovarus.info

Spanish: Real Academia Española diccionario

Scots: Dictionary of the Scots language: (not Gaelic), Scots-Online dictionary (not Gaelic)

Turkish: Cambridge Dictionary Online includes English-Turkish translation

Digital Dictionaries of South Asia:

Assamese Kashmiri Pali Tamil
Baluchi Khowar Panjabi Telugu
Bengali Lushai Pashto Torwali
English Malayalam Persian Urdu
Gujarati Marathi Rajasthani Comparative
Hindi Nepali Sanskrit
Kannada Oriya Sindhi

The English one is the Hobson-Jobson Anglo-Indian dictionary; “comparative” is A Dravidian etymological dictionary and A comparative dictionary of Indo-Aryan languages.

Urdu/Hindi: from Slovarus.info, Platts (some etymology)

Welsh: Univ of Wales online dictionary, Mark Nodine’s lexicon,

Language tools (translation, tutorials, and grammars)


Classical languages: The Stoa Consortium-links to texts, blogs, Athens archeology…

Dicts.info-English lookup to 105 languages

*Foreign Services Institute Language Courses U.S. government – public domain. Audio and text. The site is back up as of April 13, 2013, and has posted a dozen new texts.
Mirror/alternative sites at:

Forvo All the words in the world. Pronounced.

Language learning forum

Lexicity Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic,  Coptic, Egyptian, Ethiopic, Georgian, Gothic, Greek Hebrew, Hittite, Latin, Old Church Slavonic, Old English, Old Irish, Old Norse, Sanskrit, Sumerian, Syriac, Ugaritic.  Comprehensive index for ancient language resources, including dictionaries, grammars, charts and aids, and biblical and non-biblical texts.

Survival Phrases

Mojibake online decoder (for non-standard character sets in Cyrillic, etc.–then put result into Google Translate)

Master list of free language learning resources (including Arabic)

The Open University (podcasts) (British)  French, German, Spanish, business English

Online dictionaries: English/Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian,  Italian,  Latin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

Online Verb Conjugator 66 languages, modern and archaic: Catalan, runic Old Swedish, Old English, vulgar Latin, Welsh…

YouTube: Learn a language on YouTube (Arabic, Chinese, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Maori, Old English, Portuguese, Sign language, Swedish, Welsh) Languages.

By language:

Akkadian: cunieform from Knowledge and Power in the neo-Assyrian Empire website

Amharic: Amharic keyboard and font to download (scroll down for font), Senamirmir fonts, (to start using font, close the browser and open again; this website has an Amharic “welcome” message you will be able to see if your font is working); Road to Ethiopia, blog written by a student of Amharic language

Anglo-Saxon: consistent alphabetic index to An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (Bosworth and Toller)-Univ of Texas

Arabic: list of proto-Semitic roots, Foreign Services Institute Arabic free downloads

Chinese: language phrases (mostly Mandarin) from Firefly TV series (it is said that real Chinese people cannot understand these)

Chinese: grammar sample (from Bathrobe)

Darija (Moroccan Arabic): Speak Moroccan Arabic (French version available)

English: (15th to 19th c), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE0MtENfOMU: The Canterbury Tales Prologue in Middle English

Georgian: alphabet and grammar, pronunciation of letters (in German)

Greek (classical): Getting started tutorial, British Museum digitized manuscripts Greek (Homeric): Clyde Pharr’s Homeric Greek – A Book For Beginners, starts with alphabet then read Iliad in original

Greek (just added): , Stoa Consortium, Univ of Texas (classical and N.T.)

Univ of Frankfort index (also Hittite, Lydian, Tocharian, Old Indic (Vedic?], Old, Middle, Modern Iranian/Persian/Avestan, Armenian, Italic/Old Latin/ Umbrian/Oscan/Picenian, Celtic/Gaulish/Celtibarian/Ogham/Old and Middle Irish/Middle Welsh):

Hebrew: Balashon — Hebrew Detective (etymology), dictionary with 2 hour reading tutorial, dictionary, keyboard, and translate tool, Animated Hebrew games and tutorials website, Hebrew “coal mine letters” tutorial video, Hebrew resources post

Latin: St. Louis Univ materials, immersion course with podcasts, Babylon lookup, Ohio State grammar, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar online, Perseus library Greek and Latin texts, U of Tartu links (including obscenities), wikibook Latin textbook, links to list of Greek and Latin roots, Latin on Youtube

Latin (classical): Getting started, Stoa Consortium

Norse: Old Norse for Beginnners, Yahoo Norse course group, Peter Pettersson’s Old Norse Language

Proto-Indo European (PIE): online books by Winfred P. Lehmann et al. about Indo-European languages and historical linguistics

Proto-Semitic: list of proto-Semitic roots

Scot: Scottish Gaelic sounds, Scots-Online (lowland Germanic, not Celtic Gaelic)

Spanish: Effective Swearing in DF (Mexico), Antonio de Nebrija’s Gramática de la lengua castellana (1492),  Old Spanish readings (and history-google books full text)

Thai: mp3 downloads (webmaster in jail, download fast?)

Computer downloads for new computer setup

Portable Firefox (for flash drives)

100 plugins from Mycroft Project (Urban Dictionary)

FoxLingo toolbar

American English spellcheck dictionary

Irfanview image editor

Zoombrowser EX (camera)

Zoombrowser EX (But where’s the install file? Can’t find it on Vista.)  Sure Canon gives you a disk, and they are said to be very proprietary about their software, but what are you supposed to do if you have a netbook with no CD player? Do they really think someone would want to use the program if they didn’t already have a Canon camera? Something to think about when it comes time to upgrade the camera.

Zoombrowser Canon A560 (and others) update from Canon (must have EX installed first)

Foxit fast PDF reader free download

Viruses and malware:

~Ad-awareSpybot Search and Destroy


~(AVG now with annoying popups and demands for system restarts)

~*****Microsoft one time scan (IE), malware info page with definition updates for 32-bit and 64-bit systems

Canon printer utility

Quicktime and iTunes download

iTunes 64 bit Vista download

Realplayer download

How to enable Arabic on Vista: Start button->Control Panel->Classic View; select Regional and Language Options->Formats tab (set format to language i.e. “Arabic Egypt”); Location Tab (make location match setting for current format “Egypt”);  go to Keyboards and Languages tab-> click on “Change Keyboards”

Picasa 3 Image editor for photos


The Jordan Times

Jordan news RSS feeds

Petra News Agency

Middle East

Asharq Al-Awsat (London)

Search for world newspapers by country

James Zogby on Huffington Post (archives on Washington Watch)

Audio (see also Language)


Cohen, Leonard: Official YouTube channel2009 Tour (albertnoonan’s high quality YouTube), DrHGuy blog, Speaking Cohen link page

Earsense Chamberbase.


Gaida Hinawwi–from Chicago Music Festival

Holst, Planets

Lo Cor de la Plana,  Spain, a capella male voices-from Chicago Music Festival

Mor Karbasi–, oh, yes!-from Chicago Music Festival

NPR Music (click live concerts for Neko Case)

Leonard Cohen


HeckOfaGuy (DrHGuy)

Leonard Cohen official website

Leonard Cohen Photo Blog (haunting images from someone in Iran)

The Leonard Cohen files (I get quoted here for the Chicago concert–in windows use edit, then find for “camel”)

Speaking Cohen


Music (Cohen)

Covers of Cohen music

Cohen’s “Hallelujah”:

  • Leonard Cohen in Dublin July 23, 2009 (thanks, Albert Noonan)
  • cover: Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris for 2010 Haiti fundraiser
  • cover: KD Lang at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. This is easily her best rendition, from the official Olympics website with high sound quality.
  • cover: Jeff Buckley
  • cover: four Norwegians–Espen Lind(on guitar), Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, Kurt Nilsen(World Idol)

Interviews and art videos:

Leonard Cohen At Mt Baldy Zen Center, interview with Armelle Brusq, 1996  (thanks, DrHGuy) 1/6, 2/6, 3/6, 4/6, 5/66/6.

Miami Vice cameo, speaking French as Francois Zolan in the episode, “French Twist”.

Language and International blogs

(amateur and professional)

Bulbolovo (bulbul in Slavakia) (alt URL?)

Desbladet (tracking Dutch Snökaos and Gavle goat burnings)

Filius Lunae Romance languages: Spanish, Catalan, French, Galician, Latin, Occitan, Portuguese, Romanian, Sardinian

Idiocentrism (Emerson in Oregon), Trollblog (NSFW), Haquelebac

Martian Spoken Here (French) (Siganus in Mauritius)

The Old Hack (Paul in France)

Poemas del Rio Wang (Spanish, sometimes) (Studiolum, a Hungarian)

John Cowan: minimalist home page | Recycled Knowledge blog

CJVLang (Bathrobe’s days of the week in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese), Sibagu (Bathrobe’s Bird Names in Oriental Languages-Mongolia, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam)

Tetradki:  A Russian review of Books (Sashura)


Endangered Languages and Cultures (by and for Australian linguists)

Fully (sic) (Crikey‘s language blog by linguists, for the public–Oz)

Language Johnson (The Economist‘s language blog)

On language (Ben Zimmer NYT), Visual Thesaurus, Facebook, Twitter

Speculative Grammarian (Satirical Linguistics)

Throw Grammar from the Train (Jan Freeman– Boston Globe The Word)


FlorealMente on Facebook


Iconic Photos.

The Kingston Lounge. Urban archeology.

Loic Brohard Photography (places and travel)

Arabia blogs

Maybe this is a good place to post a list of proxy servers by country and to mention Tor (oops, blocked in most of these blogs).

American Bedu

Blue Abaya

Crossroads Arabia

Dave’s internet cafe, general

David’s English



Expat focus

Sand Gets in my Eyes (blocked in Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Woman



Saudi TV ch1 official website streaming

South Shore commuter train schedule


mosque of omar The_rock_of_the_Dome_of_the_Rock_CorrectedIs there really a fissure under the Dome of the Rock that leads to the navel of the universe? Tradition says so.  The hole in the southeast corner (the top of the photo is south) leads to a cave underneath called the Well of Souls.  Graham Hancock, in The Sign and the Seal, even speculated on the possibility it once concealed the Ark of the Covenant.

klein bottle1That would have been a physical hole. But what about a spiritual hole? Islamic architectural design in particular is meant to mask a building’s architectural edges in order to emphasize the unseen spiritual reality. Somewhere here in the courtyard outside the mosque of Omar, to the north and east, there is said to be a spiritual hole in the universe that leads directly to Allah. In this spot, a prayer is a thousand times more influential than anywhere else.

I am trying to picture this disturbance in the spiritual realm. Would it look something like a Klein bottle, with a hole in the middle leading to the whole universe? (link to photo credit)

Yes, I was told about this place, and was left there near that spot right at prayer time while my companion went to perform his prayers, after cautioning me not to speak English, as it was during the Intifada and only the Faithful were allowed inside the mosque enclosure.

So what would you do if you found yourself standing alone at the brink of the whole spiritual universe?  Would you try interact with it in some way?  Would you wish to put something in, take something out, or just take notice?

mosque of omar photo album500px

Un-Establishment of Religion: Chicago Mayor Daley Freaks out the Methodists

Note: if you arrived at this thread looking for information about disability events Friday and Saturday (from chicagotemple.org):

The Disability Community Open Mic will be hosted by the Temple on July 24th from 6-8:30pm in the James Parlor. This is an annual event that provides a forum for people to share their thoughts, writings, and poems about the disability experience. Food and drinks will be provided.

Come watch the Disability Pride Parade on Saturday July 25th with your family and friends. Parade steps off is at 11am from Van Buren St and marches north on Dearborn to Washington St, ending at Daley Plaza. Over 40 disability groups march as a way to increase disability awareness and promote the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity. Stay for the fun post-parade celebration with music, performances, and speakers in Daley Plaza. There are also exhibit booths where the Temple will have a booth to share information about our church.


Can you close down a church with uneven parking regulations? The Methodist church in the historical Gothic building across the street from Daley Plaza is about to find out. Churchgoers who tried to park in front of the church Sunday found themselves greeted with the following sign:


Do Not Park Here

After 30 years of cooperation the city has decided to withdraw its permission for us to park on Washington and Clark Streets on Sunday mornings. They will tow without regard for our attendance at worship services.
You may park for $5 at the Washington-Wells Madison Self Park Garage. Enter at 172 West Madison or 170 West Washington. Get an over-ride ticket available from the person on duty at the Temple’s Washington Street entrance.

The street, usually parked full on Sunday morning all around Daley plaza, was totally deserted.

Methodists during 11 am service

but a few did make it into the church:

Do Not Park with handicapped cart

Compare this to the vibrancy of the city on Easter Sunday:

Easter Sunday-Washington avenue

How does the city deal with other churches about parking?  I walked over to the Gold Coast to see how the Mayor’s own church, Holy Name Cathedral, was faring.  As it turns out, God is on vacation over at Holy Name:

Holy Name on vacation

but the parking situation couldn’t be better.

Holy Name across parking lot

In case anyone is wondering, the parking lot belongs to Holy Name Cathedral and the Archdiocese of Chicago:

Holy name parking sign1

And other churches?  I walked over to St. James Episcopal, also a historic church, famous for their weekly rush-hour wine-tasting concerts, and found a quiet side street equipped with paid parking machines, as is the area surrounding Holy Name.

St James Pay to Park

Although the city is no doubt desperate for more revenue to pay for it’s O’Hare expansion and other projects, “Pay to Park” is not a viable option for Washington Avenue where the Methodists hang out–it’s a very central street prone to rush hour gridlock.

Instead of trying to shut the city down to residents during the weekend, City Hall should be trying to open it up.  Like most American cities, Chicago experienced a decline in the 60’s , and is now beginning an upward trend. The city has a new vitality in the city center, typified by overall gentrification and some new condo developments on the near south side.  Although not as well funded as institutions like Fourth Presbyterian and the Pacific Garden Mission, the above church has done way more than its share for those who have fallen through the city’s safely nets–the homeless, the addicted, the mentally ill–even though it has meant church members being accosted on their way in and out of the church and some older church members being afraid to walk even as far as the bus stop. Now many of those social services have been shifted elsewhere and I no longer see large numbers of panhandlers and homeless in the immediate vicinity of the church and plaza.  But the city should be taking advantage of the new atmosphere of security to promote the city, and to turn it into something the residents can use, rather than trying to turn it into a ghost town and shut down those who are making a positive contribution.

Here is an example of what the plaza should look like.  It’s a group of children playing on the Picasso during one of the festivals last year.

I love photographing the Picasso and somehow manage to take a picture of it almost every time I’m downtown, which isn’t that often due to parking and transportation costs.  But at any rate, this is what art is for. This is what Chicago is for.
picasso eyes

temple and picasso picasso with children temple and picasso1

*”Unestablishment of Religion”:

The First Amendment
“ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ”

UPDATE: Temporary signs have been posted permitting Sunday parking with a permit.

Fake Koran Video

This makes me sick.

Today I ran across this link to a video of some children. It’s being billed as a video about children singing the praises of Obama, but it’s pretty obvious to me it’s not. It looks to me more like Koran memorization. The children are supposed to be from Kenya but they look vaguely Indian. The language is Arabic. You can hear the phrase bismallah al-rahman al-raheem, (In the name of God the merciful the compassionate) the phrase that begins most chapters of the Koran, at the beginning of both recitations. It’s also pretty obvious that neither the word “Obama” or “America” (Arabic pronunciation ahm-ree-ka) is used at any time. For comparison here is a video of boys memorizing the Koran in Bangladesh.

koran-children-poppinfreshtvImbedding is disabled, so I can’t put it on this page. The comments are disabled too, or maybe someone would have left a message saying which Koran verse this is (I’m sure that’s the last thing the person who posted it wants), but here is the URL :

The explanation of the video by “PloppinFreshTV ” is “I leaned everything I know about film editing from Michael Moore. Thanks Mike! Alpha Omega. ”
The text of the “translation” subtitles is:

The Kenyan Muslim
Will soon destroy the great Satan from within
He will speak of hope and change.
but the greedy Americans will be defeated!
Yes we can.
Destroy the Satan of America!
yes we can.
Praise the Kenyan!
Praise Allah!
Soon we change America.
With the help of the fellow Muslim!
He will open the door for us to enter with ease
Bring me, bring my allies to your shores,
Oh brother.
We strap on a bomb to teach American pigs a lesson!
when our mission is complete
martyrs we will be!
Praise Attah, the brave martyr!
Praise our Kenyan brother
who will bring down the great Satan from inside!
All praise Allah!

There are some thousand google hits altogether for the video.  The ones I see were all in the October 2008 timeframe, just before the election.  None recent, until now.  The fact that it seems to be reemerging now, and with no good explanation, is interesting.  If anyone knows what it is please do comment so people googling it can have an answer.

The saddest thing is that although it’s obvious to me that it’s a fake, some are taking it at face value.  Even Snopes initially speculates that it’s a “generic anti-American recitation”.  It gets posted here in a comment thread at Huffington post, and at a seminary of the Apostolic Church. But this forum defines it as the salat magreb evening prayer.

Here is the Evening Supplication (Du’a).  I really don’t think this is it.

koran-magrib-dua-1In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. I beg You, O Allah, the causes of Your mercy and intents of pardon and salvation from Hell and from all trials, Heavenly success and Your esteemed attention in the land of peace and from all trials and the proximity of Your Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (S.A.W.) peace be on him and peace on his progeny. O Allah, whatever talents I have got, it is but from You. There is no god but You. I beg Your pardon and seek atonement.