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Originally posted on Today In Gaza:

by Enas F Ghannam

She closes her eyes, holding his photo between her hands, his voice and laugh in her memory. She falls asleep hoping to dream of him alive coming to visit her with a gift in his hands, saying “I chose it for you.” Or preparing for their impending wedding with her. If he wanted something that she didn’t like he would change his mind, and say “I didn’t like it anyway.” He might have bought her something she had admired, without telling her. He might have done something he knows will irritate her just to tease her and see her angry. Or he might yell loudly at her to go and change her clothes into full Hejab, and after she nervously obeys he takes her to a beautiful place and says or does silly things until she finds herself laughing, forgetting that she was mad at him…

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Fireflies in Southern Michigan


a night of fireflies
has arrived…
my spring-planted willow ~ Issa

Photographer: Ken Scott; Ken’s Web site
Summary Author: Ken Scott; Jim Foster

Shown above on this long exposure (40 minute) is a flock of fireflies on a midsummer’s eve, beneath a starry sky as observed near Willis, Michigan. With dimming light after sunset, fireflies (also called glow worms or lightning bugs) emerge from their daytime lair in grassy lawns, meadows and tree canopies. Initially they cling close to the ground but tend to drift higher up — though rarely above the tree tops. As the sky darkens their blinking bioluminescent glow, used to attract mates or prey, seems to increase. Note the lone fire-walker; seemingly daring others to cross its yellow-green line. Photo taken on July 19, 2014.

Al-Ghazali – His Life (450-505/ 1058-1111) and His Personal Crisis

Originally posted on Loving God & Neighbors:

By: Norani Abu Bakar (04/29/2010)


Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali’s is a legendary Sunni thinker and writer who made a significant contribution to scholarly work in Islamic religious sciences in the eleventh and twelfth century. His renowned systematic works cover multiple areas; philosophy, theology, law and Sufi mystics. Al-Ghazali is well reputable in the Muslim and the non-Muslim world, but he was an extraordinary man who undergone phases of crisis in life and continuous evolution of thoughts, just like others. After the journey of self-discovery and healing, al-Ghazali prolifically authored great volumes of writing which reflected the renewal of his thoughts. His work, especially on Sufism, carries significance scholastic values and is highlighted until today. 

This paper discusses how al-Ghazali’s life contributed to his personal crisis, causing him to pursue about two years of intentional isolation in order to seek deliverance from his doubt. This writing is divided into…

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Originally posted on hocuspocus13:


I give greetings to the Goddess of things wild

Of Trees

Of Skies

Of Waters

Let now thy great light come into me

I am a cup to be filled

Special Spirit

I have invited into my home

To Protect

To Help

I honor this Spirit

In this symbol of its being

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Bust out the grill, it’s taco time!

Originally posted on V in Minneapolis:


I have been meaning to tell you about these tacos for several weeks, but life has been a bit hectic. I recently quit my job and have been pretty ambitious in efforts to find my place in this little world. More about that later, back to those tacos…

At the end of March we had an amazing sunny 70 degree day during this never-ending winter. If my memory serves me correctly, we also had a snowstorm shortly after in true Minnesota fashion. So what do you do on an amazing day?

Bust out the grill!

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Saint Petersburg ~ Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ ~ Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood

Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is known to Petersburgers as the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood – or even just the Church on the Blood – as it marks the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded in an assassination attempt on March 1, 1881. Designed by Alfred Parland in the style of 16th and 17th-century Russian churches, the Church of the Resurrection provides a stark (some would say jarring) contrast to its surroundings of Baroque, Classical and Modernist architecture.


Alexander II died of wounds inflicted in an attack by the terrorist group People’s Will. Immediately, his heir, Alexander III, declared his intention to erect a church on the site in his father’s memory, and moreover to have this church built in “traditional Russian” style – in distinction to what he saw as the contaminating Western influence of Petersburg.


Savior on the Spilled Blood is an architectural landmark of central St Petersburg, and a unique monument to Alexander II the Liberator.

It features Russia’s largest collection of mosaics (over 7,000 sq.m.), Italian coloured marbles, decorative stones from the Urals and Altai region, as well as a collection of Russian heraldic mosaics.


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Pasta alla Norma- Macaroni with Eggplant

Featured Image -- 3038

Originally posted on cookingitaliancomfortfood:

This has to be one of my all time favorite macaroni dishes. And it’s pure Sicilian.

When I was 14 years old and traveled throughout Italy with my brother Richard we spent two weeks with my Aunt Angie and Uncle Benny in Sicily. We stayed at a small family run resort near the seaside town of Riposto, not far from Taormina. Riposto was the town my Uncle Benny was from.

A memorable dish they served us for dinner one night was a plate of macaroni with a slice of fried eggplant draped over the top. I never tasted something so wonderful in my life. The macaroni was dressed with a simple light marinara sauce made of fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. And sitting on top of the plate of pasta was two fried slices of eggplant. It couldn’t be more simple than that. We cut the eggplant into the macaroni and…

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Libyan Aseeda (عصيدة) Recipe

Arabic Boiled Flour Pudding: Asida العصيدة

Asida is a boiled flour pudding cooked directly in water. It is a popular traditional dish served in Libya during celebrations such as births or Eid. It is made of wheat flour or whole-meal flour dough cooked in water, and is eaten with honey or date syrup and melted butter. Some people use olive oil or samn (ghee) instead of butter. It is usually eaten for breakfast. Like bazeen, asida is a communal meal served in a large flat plate or gas’a, and it is generally eaten with the fingers, although spoons can be used. While Bazeen has Amazigh origins and is a purely North African dish, this boiled flour pudding has an Arabic name and versions of Asida are made in the Arabian Peninsula.

Take a look at the steps for the smiley face asida for children.

Serves 4

25g butter
1tsp salt
300g flour
1 litre boiling water

Served with:
Honey or date syrup
Melted butter or ghee

Fill a deep pot with 1/2 litre hot water. Add 25g butter and a teaspoon of salt.

Leave on medium heat until the water starts to boil.

Sift the flour then pour it into the pan all at once then remove from heat.

Immediately start to stir the flour into the buttery water.

Press the dough against the side of the pot to remove lumps.

Devil Woman


Domande e risposte

Originally posted on Il mio giornale di bordo:

nature-pictures-dark-clouds-rain-nautre-pictures Li dove
nel proprio essere
domande e risposte
in sospensione
in quel vivere
che nell’assenza
trova il coraggio
di raggiungerle.

Antonio De Simone

Eng_Questions and answers
Where them
the topical
in your being
questions and answers
in suspension
in that live
that in the absence
find the courage
to reach them.

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Vittorio De Seta 1954 – Lu Tempu Di Li Pisci Spata





William Butler Yeats: The Rose of Peace

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

William Butler Yeats
The Rose of Peace


The Rose of Peace

If Michael, leader of God’s host
When Heaven and Hell are met,
Looked down on you from Heaven’s door-post
He would his deeds forget.

Brooding no more upon God’s wars
In his Divine homestead,
He would go weave out of the stars
A chaplet for your head.

And all folk seeing him bow down,
And white stars tell your praise,
Would come at last to God’s great town,
Led on by gentle ways;

And God would bid His warfare cease.
Saying all things were well;
And softly make a rosy peace,
A peace of Heaven with Hell.

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Miniature Donkeys are the CUTEST Things Ever


The miniature donkeys at the Amelia Rise Donkey farm in Australia are some of the cutest creatures on this earth. They are small, they are happy and they are fuzzy.

Prepare for your blood pressure to be lowered and your day to be brightened:

Iranians celebrate Persian New Year


Iranians are celebrating Norouz which marks the beginning of the Persian New Year.

Norouz, which means New Day, has been celebrated annually for at least 3,000 years. It is one of the oldest and most cherished festivities in Iran.

The UNESCO has recognized the occasion as an “intangible cultural heritage of Persian origin.”

Spring is considered by many nations as a symbol of rebirth when flowers bloom and nature casts a green spell of fresh vitality.

In Iran and many other countries people welcome spring with the ancient Norouz celebrations which coincides with the astronomical Vernal Equinox Day or the first day of spring.

Norouz is the first of Farvardin, the first month of the Persian calendar which falls on March 21.

Now people in Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan mark the Persian New Year on the same day with various types of festivities such as games, songs and dances.

For Iranians, Norouz is a celebration of renewal and change, a time to visit relatives and friends, and pay respect to senior family members. They prepare to welcome the New Year days before by spring cleaning and buying new clothes.

After celebrating the festival of fire, Iranians start preparing the Haft Seen, a table with seven items starting with the letter ‘S,’ which is set to welcome the Persian New Year.

Apart from the main Haft Seen items, people also put the holy Qur’an in hopes of being blessed by God in the coming year.

Mirror, goldfish, eggs, dried nuts and fruits, candles, coins, hyacinth, and milk are also among the items Iranians include in their Haft Seen.

The whole table is a thanksgiving table for all the good bestowed by God, and symbolizes light, warmth, life, love, joy, production, prosperity, and nature.

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Syria celebrates occasion of Eid al-Nowruz



Damascus, (SANA) Ministry of Social Affairs, in cooperation with National Reconciliation Committee at People’s Assembly held a celebration on the occasion of Eid al-Nowruz under the motto “Syria, Home to All” at Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus.


Minister of Social Affairs Kinda al-Shammat stressed that Syrian Kurds are part of the Syrian people, adding that the victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army are an outcome of national unity of all spectrums of the Syrian citizens.

For his part, Minister of State for the National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar pointed out that Syria forms a pattern of co-existence among all its spectrums.


Chairman of the National Initiative for the Syrian Kurds Omar Ossi said that Eid al-Nouruz is a day for the co-existence and tolerance among all Syrian people, affirming that steadfastness of Syria’s leadership, citizens and army will defeat the conspiracy to which Syria is exposed.

During the celebration, scores of martyr mothers were honored.

National Kurds Movement for Peaceful Change congratulates Kurds on Eid al-Nowruz

Meanwhile, National Kurds Movement for Peaceful Change congratulated Syrian Kurds on the occasion of Eid al-Nowruz.

The Movement said in a statement ” We congratulate the Kurds around the world, particularly the Syrians who proved their national belonging to Homeland in confronting the foreign-backed terrorism that targets the country.”

B. Mousa/ Mazen

Polenta fritters – Sgagliozze

Originally posted on Culinaria Italia - Italian Food and Cooking:

Sgagliozze finished dish

Sgagliozze finished dish

Bari crestSgagliozze. From Bari. They don’t generally eat polenta in the south of Italy. In fact a nick name here for northerners is “polentone” which roughly translated means “polenta eaters”. One of the exceptions is this dish from Bari. It is often available as a street food, especially in the old town. Many thanks to Memma for the recipe. She says they are her husband Michele’s favourite.

  • 250g polenta flour, the quick cooking kind is fine.
  • 1 l water
  • salt
  • oil for deep-frying
Sgagliozze ingredients

Sgagliozze ingredients

Boil the salted water, add the flour and mix it with a wooden spoon without making lumps.

Sgagliozze cooking polenta

Sgagliozze cooking polenta

When it is cooked (follow the instructions on the packet) pour it onto a board and form it into a thick rectangle. Let it cool down.

Sgagliozze cooked polenta

Sgagliozze cooked polenta

Cut the polenta into squares about 2cm thick. Allow them to dry out a little.

Sgagliozze sliced Sgagliozze…

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Billie Holiday – My man don’t love Me

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

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Vík í Mýrdal ~ Black Sand Beach on South Coast of Iceland


Photographer: Mari Wirta; Mari’s Web site
Summary Author: Mari Wirta

The photo above shows a black sand and pebble beach near the town of Vik i Myrdal, the southernmost settlement in Iceland. This sand originated from the basalt lava that covers much of the area. Because black sand isn’t routinely replenished like most beach sand when storms and tides wash the sand away, black sand beaches tend not to endure very long.

The geology of Iceland is comparatively young — it owes its existence to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that splits the island in half. Volcanoes along the ridge, such as Katla, erupt with some regularity continuing to add surface area and mass to the “land of ice and fire” and to augment the black sand beaches. Photo taken near sunset on October 3, 2012.

Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D800; Lens: 16.0-28.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 16mm (35mm equivalent: 16mm); Aperture: f/4.5; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 400; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.2 (Windows).




The village of Vík or Vík í Mýrdal in full, is the southernmost village in Iceland, located on the main ring road around the island, around 180 km (110 mi) by road southeast of Reykjavík.

Despite its small size (291 inhabitants as of January 2011) it is the largest settlement for some 70 km (43 mi) around and is an important staging post, thus it is indicated on road signs from a long distance away. It is an important service center for the inhabitants and visitors to the coastal strip between Skógar and the west edge of the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plain.

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Street Sellers of Nairobi

Originally posted on Dogma and Geopolitics:

Nairobi 01

Jimmy Kariuki sells hats on from his own bicycle in Mathare slums, Nairobi, Kenya Filippo Romano/LUZ/Redux


Nairobi 03

Peter Abok, 22, is a student and sells hot pots in the slums of Nairobi. He earns between 250 to 400 Kenyan shillings (KS) per day and half of the money goes to the Indian wholesalerFilippo Romano/LUZ/Redux

Nairobi 05

Daniel Ndunju, 24, sells stuffed animals using his bike along Juja road in Mathare slum. He makes 500 KS per day.Filippo Romano/LUZ/Redux

Nairobi 08

Lesiamon, 26 years old, from the Masai tribe sells herbal medicaments from the masai tradition in the slum of Nairobi, the plastic tank on his left hand contains a red syrup used to cure malaria. He sells it 20 Kenyan shillings a glass.Filippo Romano/LUZ/Redux

Nairobi 11

Muraje Thionga sells homemade wooden spoons, brooms and straw baskets. He has 13 children.Filippo Romano/LUZ/Redux

By Filippo Romano/LUZ/Redux

[More at Newsweek]

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Ancient City of Aleppo ~ Historical Souk ~ Syria


Published on Apr 16, 2012

A walk through the labyrinthine souk market of the northern Syrian city Aleppo. We pass a traditional olive & laurel soap seller from one of the oldest soap families in Aleppo, a metal-worker who hammers designs for brass tea trays, a cane-seller, a lingerie seller who’s inexplicably a man with two Naqabi women customers, a woodworking shop crafting kitchen utensils, and lastly a Halwa sweets-seller.

Documentary film by Isabelle Carbonell. Edited by Sarah Cannon.

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The Old City of Aleppo is the historic city centre of Aleppo, Syria. Many districts of the ancient city remained essentially unchanged since its construction during the 12th to the 16th century. Being subjected to constant invasions and political instability, the inhabitants of the city were forced to build cell-like quarters and districts that were socially and economically independent. Each district was characterized by the religious and ethnic characteristics of its inhabitants.

The Old City of Aleppo -composed of the ancient city within the walls and the old cell-like quarters outside the walls- has an approximate area of 350 hectares (3.5 km²) housing more than 120,000 residents.[1]

Characterized with its large mansions, narrow alleys, covered souqs and ancient caravanserais, the Ancient City of Aleppo became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.[2]

Aleppo has scarcely been touched by archaeologists, since the modern city occupies its ancient site. The site has been occupied from approximately 5000 BC, as excavations in Tallet Alsauda show.

Early Bronze Age
Aleppo appears in historical records as an important city much earlier than Damascus. The first record of Aleppo comes from the third millennium BC, when Aleppo was the capital of an independent kingdom closely related to Ebla, known as Armi to Ebla and Arman to the Akkadians. Giovanni Pettinato describes Armi as Ebla’s alter ego. Naram-Sin of Akkad (or his grandfather Sargon) destroyed both Ebla and Arman in the 23rd century BC.[5][6]

Middle Bronze Age
In the Old Babylonian period, Aleppo’s name appears as Ḥalab (Ḥalba) for the first time.[6] Aleppo was the capital of the important Amorite dynasty of Yamḥad. The kingdom of Yamḥad (ca. 1800-1600 BC), alternatively known as the ‘land of Ḥalab,’ was the most powerful in the Near East at the time.[7]

Yamḥad was destroyed by the Hittites under Mursilis I in the 16th century BC. However, Aleppo soon resumed its leading role in Syria when the Hittite power in the region waned due to internal strife.[6]

Late Bronze Age
Taking advantage of the power vacuum in the region, Parshatatar, king of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni, conquered Aleppo in the 15th century BC. Subsequently, Aleppo found itself on the frontline in the struggle between the Mitanni and the Hittites and Egypt.[6]

The Hittite Suppiluliumas I permanently defeated Mitanni and conquered Aleppo in the 14th century BC. Aleppo had cultic importance to the Hittites for being the center of worship of the Storm-God.[6]

Iron Age
When the Hittite kingdom collapsed in the 12th century BC, Aleppo became part of the Aramaean Syro-Hittite kingdom of Arpad (Bit Agusi), and later it became capital of the Aramaean Syro-Hittite kingdom of Hatarikka-Luhuti.

In the 9th century BC, Aleppo was conquered by the Assyrians and became part of the Neo-Assyrian Empire until the late 7th century BC, before passing through the hands of the Neo-Babylonians and the Achamenid Persians.

Souqs and Khans

Main article: Al-Madina Souq

The city’s strategic trading position attracted settlers of all races and beliefs who wished to take advantage of the commercial roads that met in Aleppo from as far as China and Mesopotamia to the east, Europe to the west, and the Fertile Crescent and Egypt to the south. The largest covered souq-market in the world is in Aleppo, with an approximate length of 13 kilometers.[11]

Al-Madina Souq, as it is locally known, is an active trade centre for imported luxury goods, such as raw silk from Iran, spices and dyes from India, and coffee from Damascus. Souq al-Madina is also home to local products such as wool, agricultural products and soap. Most of the souqs date back to the 14th century and are named after various professions and crafts, hence the wool souq, the copper souq, and so on. Aside from trading, the souq accommodated the traders and their goods in khans (caravanserais) and scattered in the souq. Other types of small market-places were called caeserias (قيساريات). Caeserias are smaller than khans in their sizes and functioned as workshops for craftsmen. Most of the khans took their names after their location in the souq and function, and are characterized with their beautiful façades and entrances with fortified wooden doors.

The most significant khans within and along the covered area of Souq al-Madina are: Khan al-Qadi from 1450, Khan al-Saboun from the early 16th century, Khan al-Nahhaseen from 1539, Khan al-Shouneh from 1546, Khan al-Jumrok from 1574, Souq Khan al-Wazir from 1682, Souq al-Farrayin, Souq al-Dira’, Souq al-Hiraj, Souq al-Attarine, Souq az-Zirb, Souq Marcopoli, Souq as-Siyyagh, The Venetians’ Khan,*Souq Khan al-Harir from the second half of the 16th century, Suweiqa, etc.

Other traditional souqs and khans in Jdeydeh quarter (outside the walled city):

Souq al-Hokedun or “Khan al-Quds”. Hokedun means “the spiritual house” in Armenian, as it was built to serve as a settlement for the Armenian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. The old part of the Hokedun dates back to the late 15th and early 16th centuries while the newer part was built during the 17th century. Nowadays, it is turned into a big souq with a large number of stores specialized in garment trade.

Souq as-Souf or the wool market, located at Salibeh street, surrounded with the old churches of the quarter.

Bawabet al-Qasab, a trade centre for wooden products.[12]

LEAKED: FSA Filmed Their Burning of Ancient Souq in Aleppo Feb 17, 2013

With crying eyes each Syrian follows the daily news of a fake revolution led by NATO & its stooges in their country.

Saddened to hear of the deaths of innocent people in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, troubled to see their country infested by fanatic Wahhabi Sex Jihadists wanting to create an Islamist (not Islamic) Caliphate where they can get their Harem while their masters in the west get their land’s riches.

Shocked to see their infrastructure destroyed so some unknown will come to power, and devastated to see their heritage robbed.

But what hurts most is covering the crimes of these fanatic criminals & blaming the Syrian Army for it. Burning the ancient souq in Aleppo is just one of thousands of such examples.


The Black Panther Party Had a Funk Band Called ‘The Lumpen’

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

Band members L to R: James Mott, Bill Calhoun, Michael Torrance, Clark Bailey. Ducho Dennnis/ It’s About Time Archives

The Lumpen performing at Merritt College, 1970. Left to right: James Mott, Michael Torrance, and Clark Bailey. (Ducho Dennis, courtesy of It’s About Time Archives)

The heyday of soul and classic R&B is full of socially conscious empowerment anthems: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” “People Get Ready,” “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” But the stars didn’t get involved in radical politics. (James Brown, rather infamously, supported Richard Nixon and performed at his inaugural ball.) So when Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party’s Minister of Culture, heard Bill Calhoun and his friends singing harmony, he had an idea: a revolutionary black power singing group, complete with dance routines and costumes.

The band was called the Lumpen, from Karl Marx’s lumpenproletariat. That may be the least funky band name ever, but Calhoun knew…

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Long Cold Winter …

babiesinsnowjan2014 207


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Northerners, got the winter gardening blues? ~ Grow Bulbs Indoors ~ How to

Originally posted on Auntie Dogma's Garden Spot:





Amaryllis blooms brighten the home in winter. What’s more, they are among the easiest bulbs to grow indoors.

Growing bulbs indoors lets you enjoy the colors and fragrance of spring when it’s still months away. The key to success with indoor bulbs is to plan ahead.

Many people don’t realize that there are two types of bulbs for indoor growing: those you need to chill and those you don’t. Here’s how to tell the difference.

It’s Easy to Coax Bulbs into Bloom All Winter Long


Forcing bulbs into winter bloom was all the rage in the 1800s. Hyacinths were especially popular, since they’re so easy. Here’s everything you need to know to start enjoying this traditional winter-time pleasure yourself.







tulips in snow

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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