Article # 1
The secret life of a doomed hotel: remembering Islamabad’s Marriott By Mark Corcoran of ABC’s Foreign Correspondent
It’s hard not to get emotional and very difficult to play the dispassionate journalist as I sit here, watching the Marriott Hotel burn on my computer screen courtesy of online news. Initial reports say rescuers still can’t reach the upper floors. How many colleagues, friends, acquaintances lie buried in the wreckage is unclear. [–snip–]
I write this tonight from the safety of a suburban home in Australia. The floors and attic are filled with vibrantly coloured Afghan and Pakistan rugs bought from the carpet wallahs who ran the rug shops along the Marriott’s ground floor arcade.
The real bargains lay far from the hotel, in their warehouses off in the backstreets. Most of the traders, like the owner of the Marriott, were from Islam’s Ismaili sect: astute, outstanding businessmen and great survivors. [–snip–]
Unlike me, a privileged visitor, they choose to continue living and working in Pakistan, facing the constant threat of the assassin’s bullet or bomb – over the safer, quieter life of exile. They are some of the bravest people I know. [—source—].
[–Comment: A very emotional article written by a journalist who called this Hotel his second home]
Article # 2
Discrimination against Muslims in Saudi Arabia – Though tentative steps towards tolerance have been made, the plight of Saudi Ismailis shows how far the country has to go – By Christoph Wilcke, Guardian UK
[–snip–] Saudi Arabia’s Ismailis are estimated to number up to one million, mostly living in the southwestern Najran province, a remote area which was the House of Saud’s last territorial conquest, in 1934. The Ismaili community is a subset of the country’s Muslim Shia minority, which represents 10 to 15% of the Saudi population. Discrimination against Ismailis is part of a pattern of discrimination against the wider Shia community. [—source—].
[–Comment: The article refers to Sulemani/Najrani Ismailis of Saudi Arabia, Yemeni descent. They are not Nizari Ismailis].
Article # 3
‘Ismaili Lunar Calendar’: An ideal base to unite the ‘Ummah’ – Part I – By Dr. Qazi Shaikh Abbas Borhany PhD (USA), NDI, Shahadat al A’alamiyyah (Najaf, Iraq), M.A., LLM (Shariah) Member, Ulama Council of Pakistan.
The purpose of the following dialogue is to promote tolerance and intellectual understanding among the Muslim community of the global village. The Modern World humiliates the Muslims with the fact that while astronauts have landed the Moon, and other scientists are busy in discoveries of the universe, majority of the Muslims are still following the directions of the clergy, regarding the sighting of the Moon, instead of following the scientific course, upon which religion of Islam is based. [–snip–]
It was Bani Fatimah who realized the need of the Lunar Calendar, and they introduced it to the world at large, as soon as they established their vast Empire, even spreading across Europe. This Lunar Calendar remained in practice officially for more than 225 years, in North Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean. The same calendar is in practice officially by the Ismaili Nizaries & Musta’alavis (Dawoodi, Sulaiymani, & Alavi). The notable powerful dynasty of the Sumrahs of Sindh (Pakistan) followed the Lunar Calendar from 365(A.H) to 974(A.H) for more than 609 years, and without any alteration. [—source—].
[–Comment: Seems like a good advise.]
Article # 4
His Excellency Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General 0f the Organisation 0f the Islamic conference appreciating United States Special Envoy Sada Cumber and his work in his speech at Columbia University.
[–snip–] I sincerely hope that the dedicated efforts of Special Envoy Ambassador Sada Cumber will be allowed to bear lasting fruits. That may require consideration by the next US administration of extension of this useful mechanism. I have always believed that the United States epitomizes one of the best examples of how peoples of differing faiths and ethnic backgrounds can live, work and interact within a spirit of a unified community. We are ready to do our best to cooperate to strengthen this praiseworthy character of the US society and fostering mutual understanding with the Muslim World. [—source—]