30.11.07

بين الخلود و الفناء


أكتب هذا الموضوع القصير بوحي من الصديق "شمس الزناتي" الذي أرسل لي دعوة على الفيسبوك لأنضم لجماعة محبي السادات، فما قرأت هذه الدعوة حتى علت فمي ابتسامة خافتة، و رأيت أن أكتب هذا البوست المقتضب، الذي أوضح فيه كيف أرى السادات مقارنة بالزعيم الراحل "جمال عبد الناصر" من خلال مقارنة ما كتبه شاعر مصر الكبير "أحمد فؤاد نجم" في مناسبة وفاة الرئيسين، و غني عن الذكر أن علاقة "نجم" بالزعيم "عبد الناصر" لم تكن سمنا على عسل بيوم من الأيام ، لكن مع وفاة ناصر و وفاة السادات، خرجت المشاعر العميقة و المعبرة لعمنا أبو النجوم ، و التي أراها معبرة كل التعبير عن رأيي في الرئيسين
وفاة الرمز

;عندما مات الزعيم الكبير قال "نجم" في رثائه

السكه مفروشه تيجان الفل والنـــــــرجس

والقبه صهوة فرس عليها الخضر بيبرجس

والمشربيه عرايس بتبكي والبكا مشـــروع
من ده إللي نايم وساكت والسكات مسموع
سيدنا الحــــــــــسين ؟ ولا صلاح الدين ؟
ولا النبي ؟ولا الإمـــــــــــــــــــــــــــام ؟
دستور ياحــــــــــراس المقـــــــــــــــــام
ولا الكـــــــــــــــــلام بالشكل دا ممنوع ؟
موسى نبي عيس نبي، كمان محمد كان نبي
ويا قلبي صلي ع النبي، وكلنا نحـــب النبي
وكل وقت وله أذان، وكل عصــــر وله نبي
وإحنا نبينا كده، من ضلعـــــــــــــــــنا نابت
لا من سماهم وقع ، ولا من مرا شـــــــابت
ولا انخـــــــــسف له القمرولا النجوم غابت
أبوه صعيدي وفهم قام طلعه ضــــــــــــابط
ضبط على قـــــــدنا وع المــــــــزاج ظابط
فاجومي من جنسنا .. مالوش مــــرة عابت
فلاح قليل الحيا إذا الكــــــــــــــلاب سابت
ولا يطاطيش للعدا مهما الســـــــهام صابت
عمل حاجات معجزه ، وحاجات كتير خابت
وعاش ومات وسطنا ، على طبعنا ثـــــابت
وإن كان جرح قلبنا ، كل الجـــــراح طابت
ولا يطولوه العـــــــــــدا مهما الأمور جابت


إغتيال رئيس جمهورية

أما عند سماعه لخبر اغتيال السادات في العرض العسكري ، فقد أنشد "نجم" مرتجلاً

لا إله إلا الله

مات الكلب وموته دواه

كان الله لا يقدس روحه

يندار صاحبه يعض قفاه

***

لا إله إلا الله

ما يغركش جنازه دي زفه

عالم رابش عبي ف قفـــه

اللي مشــــيع واللي اتوفى

قطع المـــــيت واللي وراه
في تقديري أن الفجومي شاعرنا الكبير، و المعادل الموضوعي لابن عروس في زماننا قد أوجز المقارنة بين الاثنين الذين تعاقبا زمانا، مع الشتان بينهما

26.11.07

Glorifying Freedom

On Islam & Slavery Abolition

A drive had urged me to write this post, a blockbuster post by the amazing Lotus, Egypt Rose, about harem and why Islam did not directly and aprubtly prohibit slavery, in the comments the commenters asked as well, and why other faiths prior to Islam specially among Abrahamian religions did not do? Talking about slavery prohibition, and why it was not prohibited by Abrahamic faiths, I questionned myself; Why we expect religions to sort out all our problems with a direct doctrinal decrees? Is this the role of religions? or the role wanted for religions by clergies? Therefore promoted to us? As female slavery was part of slavery concept at large, we preferred here to discuss the wider concept of slavery itself.

We do have a fact of history, neither Islam nor Christianity and Judaism had prevented slavery in the ancient times. It was not before the 18th century, when the talks about freeing slaves became strong and noticeable. Why?
We support a very simple answer of this; it was “Vapor Power”“William Garrison” the founder of the “American Anti-Slavery Association” started to be reputed, and then the “Second American Revolution” lead by “Abraham Lincoln”"Faisal ibn Abdelaziz" abolished slavery from Saudi after Nasser of Egypt commented this negatively in a public speech, criticizing "Faisal" for continuing enslaving humans in the 20th century.

rising up as an alternative to slavery arms to support production economics. It was then when honorable men initiated the talks of ceasing slavery as an inhuman system, that is no more a necessity for production. Names like put an end to the matter in the westernmost side of the globe. On the other side, in the old world in 1794, France abolished slavery and freed all enslaved people in her colonies. Then by time, slavery became part of the past in most of the globe. Unfortunately, a country like the Saudi monarchy was one of the very late states to abolish slavery, it was not before 1964 when

However, when we talk about terms like war prisoners’ ransom today in the 21st century, it will look very odd, but it was a regular practice in the medieval chivalric world in Europe. Capturing war prisoners to be released against a sum, usually paid by the prisoners’ tribe or family was also known and practiced in Arabia, and whoever will not be released, shall be enslaved. It was the ancient world daily bread though it looks strange today. Islam, only likely to all other religions, did not try to denounce slavery abruptly, as it was essential to maintain production economics in that time in the 7th century. This we think was the same reason called Judaism and Christianity to tolerate slavery for centuries. However, Islam had developed several temporal regulations to limit slavery and to improve living conditions of the poor humans who were trapped as slaves. We dare to claim Islam had developed organized quantitative limitations as well as some qualitative limitations to slavery and its suffering.

Quantitative Limitations to Slavery:

  • Granted to war prisoners –as the first source of supply- different options to avoid being enslaved. First was ransom, second was social performance (e.g. educating a group of illiterates like the case of Badr war prisoners) and the third was converting to Islam.
  • Prevented capturing children as the second major source of suuply.
  • Set freeing slaves as a repentance condition for many sins and wrong deeds, like accidental murders, preaching an oath …etc.
  • Entitled the female slave who gives birth for immediate freedom. Also mandated her husband to consider her as a free wife on spot.

    This last regulation was behind a great misperception of Islamic attitude against family planning and contraceptives. When a group of men came to Apostle of God, informing they practice coitus interruptus with their slave girls, then apostle prevented them doing so. It was perceived by many jurists as rejection of family planning. While it was about disarming these people from the trick they used to keep enslaving their girls, preventing them from the right God granted to them when they conceive. Therefore, Muhammad rejected these trials. We support our understanding with what “Omar ibn El-Khattab” when asked about coitus interruptus with wives for family planning, stated, confirming it was used freely during apostle’s life, and was not prohibited by Islam.

Qualitative Limitations to Slavery Morbidities:

  • Improved their living conditions in terms of food, clothing and shelter. Mandating it to be relative to their masters’ socio-economic status. Also advising masters to treat their slaves in the same manners they would like to be treated if they were enslaved themselves. Moreover, nominated slaves to be "brothers" of their owners.
  • Prohibited employment of slave-girls in prostitution. An act that was common & was not considered socially shameful before Islam. "Umayya ibn Harb", the ancestors of the later Umayyads employed his slave girls in prostitution in Mecca before Islam.
  • Encouraged Muslims to free and marry their slave girls even before they give birth as proven by apostolic teachings.

Based on what we listed here, we can say: Yes, Islam tolerated slavery system as a necessity in the seventh century, and applied regulations to decrease the magnitude of suffering of slaves. However, from the general direction of Islam, we can say, if Apostle was alive by the 18th century he would have supported slavery abolition to the fullest extent. Religions give us a broad direction or trend to follow, not a literal doctrine to apply. Islamic trend was absolutely against slavery, only with the cautious treatmen that shall not harm social composition and production relations in the 7th century.

18.11.07

Consumer Orientation

DTC Branding of an SMBG System


While in PoCGT systems targeting institutional business, the approach to build a marketing mix, product positioning, message and promotional mix is quite closed to that of ethical pharmaceuticals, medical consumables, and medical equipments. The case remarkably differs when we talk about an SMBG system tailored to meet home testing needs.

In the home use glucose monitoring systems world, three approaches were tried;

  1. Ethical Like Model: Capitalizing on prescription creation from major diabetologists and internists. This model was applied from 1997 to 1999 in MEA. However, when the massive investments in HCPs awareness programs and promotional projects did not fruit satisfactorily in the majority of countries, excepting France, a sort of mind resetting was required.
  2. Telecoms Like Model: Applying the very consumerism model of high tech consumer products like mobiles, modems .. etc. Supplying a flood of technical info together with massive ATL campaigns. More importantly offering FOC meters to consumers. While this approach succeeded in the first world, it did not achieve much in third world. Due to the extremely low frequency of testing (1.3 box of 50 strips a year). Wherein free meters shall never be justified as a cost!
  3. Consumer Health Model: as SMBG systems are too simple to be dealt with like a high tech., and too complicated to be treated like a consumable. A midstream applied in MEA at a later stage was in my viewpoint the best of the rest. It relied mainly on;
  • Simple message that is palatable to averagely educated diabetics
  • Consumer orientation in promotional mix designing. Yet, not to the extent of free trip contests and sweepstakes! A rationalized degree of consumer orientation, presenting to customer the health facts and the product's added values is what it takes to get him as a loyal customer. Price gaming and sales promotion here is of 2ry role, as no one will be taking bribes on the expense of his own health.

Message Simplicity Applied

OneTouch® Ultra Launch- Egypt North Africa- 2004

  • Linking the three major added values to the initial section "Con" to facilitate memorization process and support message engraving in consumer mind.
  • Focusing of the Precision Checker was of great value in low socio-economic countries wherein the ability of frequent testing is minimal. Accordingly the patient appreciates the benefit of autonomous precision checking to increase confidence in a single test.







  • Wide temperature range of increasing important in hot climates, specially for EC based devices









  • Convenience formula summarizing what the diabetic patient needs to comply with SMBG recommendations. Reduction of pain, sample size and simplicity of steps was a proven pro testing motivation




  • Benefits Summation in three statements all starting with Ultra and "Con" to further brand memorization


OneTouch is a registered brand name of of LifeScan Johnson & Johnson.
Copyrights© 2003. Eyad A. Harfoush

5.11.07

A Filter of Logic

When Faith Blinds the Man



I do not remember how old I was when I got to Badway mosque in Tanta for 1st time. Seeing the claimed foot print of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) there, down to the box where they displayed it, was the box of donation, despite my young age, I did not swallow it at all. The feet was overtly odd, the transverse dimension of it does not match longitudinal dimension to be of human foot, plus the curvature of foot is absent, more than any known degree of flatfoot, a man with such a foot will definitely suffer from severe instability standing and walking. This is apart from the size that will be surely not less than fifty something. I think if Leonardo da Vinci with his known studies of human anatomy through corpses dissection wanted to fake this sculpture he would have made something highly convincing compared to this stupid piece. Moreover, what is the origin of the piece? I meant the claimed origin? It is supposed that prophet had a foot print over the Dome of the Rock only, and it should be still there, and even this story is not supported as a miracle by Quran verses. But he was not definitely walking all time on the rocks barefooted to live prints to us as memories. Then, we know the Prophet was of middle stature, and his feet must match such a stature, can't be as big as the one who faked this imagined.


Did it stop at this level, No. Seeing the photos and videos of Virgin Mary in Zeitun in the 60s of last century, I laughed loudly saying "Ignorantly fake". To the amazement of my surrounds, who were all very impressed with what they saw, they wondered and I replied "whoever the ignorant who fake this, he has forgotten that the halo around the holy family faces, was an artistic symbol to symbolize holiness and the enlightened soul they had, it is originally a pharaonic art and was conveyed to Christianity through Coptic art. Now, he is making the Virgin appearing with a halo around her head as if it is a part of her. And even if her head is lighting, it will be simply lighting without this circular symbol. And why she is taking the exact shapes and positions of icons and with the same garments? Whoever draw these icons was imagining and symbolizing" others around me seemed to be astonished for a while, then they started talking, they had never been out of the usual framework of "don't kill everything thinking about it" and the other vague statement "not everything we can't understand is wrong, sometimes just we can't" and so on and so forth.

A third event happened during a visit to Manfalout monastery, with my friend Khalid, visiting the corpse of "Anba Lucas the Knowledgeable" who died in 1965, it was supposedly to be miraculous with his body unchanged since then. shown to visitors in a glass box. During the way to the monastery, everybody was talking about how life looks his mouth specifically. Stepping into the room. Looking on the face of the corpse, on the mouth specifically, it took me like 3 minutes to figure out the wrong thing. The gums are merely pink, but God pink color in gums comes from blood flow only!!!, minutes after death it turns white and shortly after it starts to darken. Then the teeth is glossy, shining like alive man, but this gloss of teeth is not something relate to its material, our teeth gloss with the saliva, a living man with absolutely dry mouth will not have it, then how regular it is, how symmetrical? Sorry monk, whether you had an artificial teeth fixed before you die, or simply the faking clerics fixed to you later on to increase the impression of your visitors. Nothing here is miraculous, the rest of the body was simply in a state of slow decaying, the humidity inside this glass was Zero. I am sure the visceral organs are 100% gone and the abdomen is burst, this is why he is dressed in this complete opaque satin dress. Yet, in another 50 years there will be no soft tissue at all, the monastery then will remove the body, maybe after he will visit one of the monks in a dream and ask him to rest his corpse in peace. What applies to "Anba Lucas" in Manflaout applies to another corpse in Damietta of Saint Beshoy, same legend, same tricks.


How many times you hared about the miracles of martyrdom in Afghanistan? It was my first time hearing about it when I was 13. At this early age, and upon reading a book named "Miracles of God in Afghan Jihad" I started the skeptical era in my life, that seems to be everlasting, standing like a mind-filter that is always on. The author of the book is quite famous, he is Abdallah Azzam, one of the premium class terrorism philosophers, and here is some of his delusions, A martyr shakes his father's hand 3 days after his death, wounds of martyrs sending lights and perfume scents after their death, their nails and hair grows for years after death, birds offer an umbrella above the mujahedeen protecting them against Russian air forces, Russians claim they are attacked from 4 directions with American machine guns while mujahedeen were in one direction with manual guns (of course now we know this is true as American troops were really in the other three directions), and finally he tells about the winged angels fighting with them hand by hand. Today, having all cards on table, we knew these mujahedeen to be trained by CIA officers in Pakistan, armed with USA armies, under Saudi finance and with Egyptian Saudi volunteers support. Some of these mujahedeen were Ayman Zawahry and Osama bin Ladin!!! So, it was not miraculous at all. And whoever can swallow all these miracles of Afghan, can he explains why we do not hear them now? any new blockbuster miracles against US troops? I guess no, at least not that sophisticated and numerous. You know why? because US today stays on the other end, so does Saudi Arabia, so unfortunate to Afghan, there are no sponsors or media advisers today, they lost all their allies except their own cultivated opium that stands as the keystone of economy in this claimed Islamic state. In the image here we see the real Jihad now, the one that proetcts the cultivation and commercialization of opium harvest.

I believe in God, and believe his almighty is omnipotent, but does this mean miracles to happen everyday? For me it is big NO, simply because God created this universe with a built-in system to run. He created it with the roles of nature and physics. Any break to this system must have a very good reason and very rare circumstance to happen, because God, the creator of universe will not ruin its roles. But for some mindsets, miraculous events are very important to silent the doubts and fears they have, as their faith is not logically based, it is based only on emotional faith, they need emotional boosters very frequently.