From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Speaking of Arab News: Yipes! Jail for Black Magic

A Shariah court has sentenced a man to four years in jail and 600 lashes for bewitching a female high school student. The man confessed saying he resorted to magic after all other attempts to get the girl to notice him failed “because of her religious beliefs”. Relatives of the girl say they were alerted to the man’s occult activities when the girl fell ill.

Yipes again! Boys Flogged

Eleven male students were lashed in front of a girls’ school, in fulfillment of a court sentence, reported Al-Jazirah. The students were reported to the authorities after repeatedly harassing female students before and after school. Parents in the area expressed their support for this course of action because of their concern for their daughters’ safety.

Yipes again! Maid Rescued

The Fire Department saved the life of a maid, Al-Madinah reported. The woman locked herself in her room after receiving news that the money she had been sending to her family to buy a house had in fact been used by her husband to marry another woman. Her employers called the authorities who found her

And this just in from Dubai:

The first Arab reality TV show ended yesterday after three months of controversy over its format — parading women before suitors in a luxury apartment for 24 hours a day.

The Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) suspended the show Al-Hawa Sawa (On Air Together), an Arab version of the hit reality TV show Big Brother. The show caused a public outcry in Bahrain where it was being filmed.
The announcement came three days after some 1,000 people, mainly Islamists, protested against the show, which MBC was producing at a villa in a resort called Amwaj on Muharraq island, the second largest in the Bahrain archipelago.

Critics damned the ground-breaking show as too liberal, but fans writing on Internet diary sites said it supported traditional values of limited contact before marriage.

Suitors could view the girls 24 hours a day and contact them before a possible meeting in the flat to propose marriage. In a region of 280 million Arabic speakers, such shows have huge potential audiences and provoke much public debate.

And Yipes again! Sacked Anti-Begging Officers May Become Beggars

The Anti-Begging Department has been forced to terminate the contracts of 16 employees, Al-Bilad Arabic newspaper reported. A number of the men told the paper this made it impossible for them to provide for their families and could force them to turn to begging.

And yipes again! Cell Phone Killer Arrested

A Bangladeshi national was arrested after he killed a compatriot in a dispute over a long-distance cell phone call. The victim, Aziz Ali, 27, was stabbed to death in the city’s Muhammadiyah neighborhood after he refused to pay the attacker an inflated rate for a call to Bangladesh.

And yipes again! 23 Injured In Accident

Twenty-three cleaning workers were injured on the Hada-Shafa highway when a small car plowed into a pickup truck carrying the men to work, overturning it…. A lack of coordination between the ambulance department, health administration and the Civil Defense caused a delay in the rescue operation,

And, perhaps the biggest “Yipes!” of all, good ol’ Prince Bandar wants us all to know that the Saudi Kingdom is Open to All Tourists, even Jews! As long as they’re not practicing witchcraft, I suppose, or trying to smuggle in teddy bears or Valentine’s Day goodies. Well, after reading today’s Arab News, I know I’m just dying to visit Saudi Arabia. I mean, even more so than usual, and you can flog me in front of school if I’m lying. Just kidding.

And, of course, don’t forget today’s disgusting Arab News editorial cartoon, which looks like something that might have come straight out of Der Sturmer (time sensitive link).

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