Art is the proper task of life

There are some stories which are sad and speak for themselves. This is one of those stories. Especially for people from South Asia, Philippines and even Indonesia who are poor and are working in KSA Muttawa can be a force to be feared not because they ‘enforce’ religious edicts but because of their harsh attitude and act as if they control everything. Here is an excerpt from a story at Yahoo!

A Bangladeshi man died of fright after being arrested by Saudi Arabia’s controversial religious police for washing a car instead of praying, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

The unnamed man died last week in the holy city of Medina after being detained by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Al-Jazirah reported.

The Arabic daily said the man “convulsed in fear after he was arrested, leading to a drop in his blood pressure and causing his death.”

The man was arrested by members of the commission, commonly known as the Muttawa, for washing a car during a time of day when he should have been at prayer, the paper said.


{August 10, 2007}   The Carnival of Islam – XII

The 12th edition of the Carnival of Islam in the West is up at Samaha‘s website. Check it out at:

{August 9, 2007}   Shut up Aliana you Fake!

You may have heard of Inferno or Javed Nama, of Virgil and Rumi, of epic journeys of Dante and Iqbal. I also have a guide of sorts. She is always positive and supportive but our recent conversation was “interesting”. It started with me pretending to be someone else (hey its the internet, anything is possible) and her finding out. It started out with the mandatory, “Shame on you Aliana on pretending to be someone that you are not.” “I thought you would understand,” was what I could muster and then I continued “It was a literary experiment. Its not that I was trying to deceive them or something.” And then she gave me that look so I had to say, “Ok, ok. You are right. It is some sort of deception but that is not my primary aim.” Then she hit me again, “Excuses excuses, excuses.” This went on for 20 minutes until I got her point. So now I am in a conundrum, if I tell my new friends about myself then they won’t understand so I ask myself, “No, seriously Aliana what the hell are you trying to do here. No, seriously!” That’s the problem with literary experiments, they can become too real sometimes. What is little Miss Aliana supposed to do? “Shut up Aliana you Fake! You self-immolating genius!” That’s what she said. Look at the bright side, at least she think I am a genius.

{August 8, 2007}   Still hanging in

Its not that I decided to quit its just that I have not been feeling like blogging. Someone sent me the following e-mail (in Urdu) so I had to post something.

Ranjish hee sahee, dil hee dukha nai kai liyai aaa

Here is a somewhat loose translation:
Be it for another heartache, come, just come. Come even if you are going to break my heart.

et cetera