Marrat al-Numaan II

Wrote about Marrat al-Numaan. In terms of what is left, the minaret is (or was, as of 2013) still standing, plus maybe 3,000 of an earlier population of some 60,000:

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Marrat al-Numaan

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Mosque, Marrat al-Numaan
October 15, 2012
Ho, Shaam News Network, AFP

Found this short Reuters article in a Metro page one time set aside (Metro, Thursday, June 6, 2011: 8):

Troops push north

Thousands of Syrians fled the historic town of Marrat al-Numaan on Wednesday to escape troops and tanks pushing into the north in a widening military campaign to crush protests against president Bashar al-Assad.

“Cars are continuing to stream out of Marrat al-Numaan in all directions,” one witness said by phone. “People are loading them with everything: Blankets, mattresses on roofs.”

Short article. Wondered how the “town” of Marrat al-Numaan (population 56,000 as of the 2004 census) was doing these days. Then read about the Battle of Maarrat al-Nu’Man (2012), with a predecessor history being the Siege of Ma’arra (1098).

Repetitions, of a sort.

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Maybe saw, didn’t see

Wrote about the death of an aunt here and here. Told by my mother, throughout my life, that it was alcohol-related and class-based. A later take on the class issue, by other family members, with other facts, and other conclusions.

Now someone commenting, who has had occasion to view the death certificate and the medical records of my aunt. Not caused by alcohol. Cancer, when too late and too young. Not liver.

What my mother stated repeatedly as fact, based on having been there with her sister, turns out to be a form of myth. Could also be seen as tasteless and wreckless rumour. Tragic and disparaging, irrespective of what my mother believed she saw and knew, and irrespective of her great love for her sister. Should have perhaps suspected, having written that “Her sister lied about her age and her illness”, shortly before death.

My mother died of bowel cancer. When in the terminal stages, she died suddenly, unexpectedly and without autopsy. My brother thought he knew what had happened, relative to the people who had been around her, prior to her death. Started repeating what he thought he knew.

Somewhere, I have my mother’s death certificate. It doesn’t say what my brother says, and what I don’t repeat.

The inaccuracies often associated with “I was there” recollections. Why first person history is often suspect.

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Robin Williams, David Crosby

Very sharp, intelligent wit, partly from a shared drug zone.

Interview, part 1:

Talking about organ donation…

Interview, part 2:

Crosby: “The simile is so apt.”

Discussions of advances in communication through the internet; Williams speaking of Gutenberg and changes in printing.

Robin Williams, 2002:

David Crosby:

Given such ability to connect…

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Aboriginal Religious Wars

There aren’t any, it would appear. With things referenced to the Great Spirit and what one sees in same every day, though nature, there seems to be this direct, daily connection that is largely peaceful, comforting and supportive. What concept of sin…

When one looks to intervenors, interpretations of intervenors and differences in interpretation, separate from what is all around, every day…

Maybe it’s the direct connection. reinforced by what is all around, every day, that renders religious conflict nonsensical.

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Random

Looking for a positive image. Found it, above. Image linked to an article with related theme, but no image to be found. Theme of “Believe in Good”:

It is hard to “believe in good” these days. We live in a world where violence, negativity, horror seem to be burying the good in this world alive…

A random act of kindness is the opportunity for “good” to dust off its shoulders and hold strong against evil.

Needing no sweet revenge for anything…

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Replanting Considerations, Predestined

Blended some sentiments from a couple of friends on a similar page, as follows (reproduced with permission of both):

We are a long way from good. We are morally bankrupt hypocrites who preach a corrupt gospel without even being aware that we are doing so. Somehow we became post-Christian, and didn’t notice were drifting because we took an axe and chopped ourselves off at the roots.

Unless we are replanted there is only one future: we will wither and die.
Was it we who chopped down the tree that bore no fruit? In the Bible it is The Lord, I think, metaphorically, who threatens to do so and the gardener who pleads for another year, promising to provide fertilizer.

And in another place, The Lord (metaphorically) says let the weeds grow with the grain. At the harvest, the weeds can be separated and burned.

Then there is the Calvinistic predestination and election. We form a society together but some are headed one way and some another way. It’s in Galatians where we’re not the judges but the penitents, because I suspect that the claiming to be the elect is the proof one is not.

On the other hand, we can’t claim be be elected, at least not on our own merits. Salvation comes through the grace of God as a free gift for all who accept it. It’s not a matter of claiming to be the elect, but acknowledgement of a Truth.

“For all who accept it” is the catch. These days. rejecting God is the dominant ideology. When God asks someone, after s/he passes, why she/he did not accept, they can argue they were just doing what everyone was doing – nothing personal.

I wonder what God will think? If it were me, I’d be tempted to reincarnate them, Hindu style, for a re-do.

On the other hand, it seems that predestination has largely been abandoned as a Christian doctrine, since people misunderstood it. It’s always there, however. A God who transcends space and time knows the end of all things. What is legitimate free will to us is a choice already known to God.

As Larry Norman used to say, “I’m not a pessimist, I’ve just been thinking”.

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