Friday, November 30, 2007

Aamus part 1

Captain Khalid Muhammad sat feeling troubled in his ready room sipping his warm cup of tea and contemplated what his communications officer had told him earlier. He had been having a rather pleasant conversation with his first officer Commander Fadel Shaker whom he had served with for over 10 years now and the Sensors Officer Lt. Kathem El-Saher a young go getter from the planet Khalwat, over a dinner of spicy curried beef, rice and lemon grass soup, about the new star system they had just slid into. The crew was excited as the second planet’s surface was 65 per cent covered in oceans and had an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere. The sensors had also showed and abundance of plant life and with an average temperature at sea level on the equator of 26c. The sensors had also shown that the planet was teeming with life.

They had been joking about where they were going to build their retirement homes on the planet, which they were currently calling Aamus, with Lt. Kathem El-Saher saying he would want to find where the best ski slopes were on the newly discovered world and build a large home there, when Sub-Commander Amr Diab the communications officer had interrupted saying that he had just picked up some video transmissions coming from the planet.

“Aliens?” asked Lt. El-Saher eagerly his face bright with anticipation.

“No, not Aliens” replied Sub-Commander Amr Diab a no nonsense man in a slightly annoyed tone, looking at Kathem El-Saher he thought if the man had a tale it would be wagging right now. He had then gone on to explain further, it was this further explanation which was bothering the captain.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Attar, "Rabi'a"

Rabi'a asked someone to buy a blanket for her, giving the person four coins. The person asked: 'Do you want a black blanket, or a white one?' Rabi'a took back the coins, threw them in the Tigris river, and exclaimed: 'Must we divide even blankets into distinct groups?'

-Attar, "Rabi'a"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Muhammed Ahmed Faris

Muhammed Ahmed Faris was born May 26, 1951 in Aleppo, Syria. He was a pilot in the Syrian Air Force with the rank of a colonel. He specialized in navigation when he was selected to participate in the Intercosmos spaceflight program on September 30, 1985.

He flew as Research Cosmonaut on Soyuz TM-3 to the Mir space station in July 1987, spending 7 days 23 hours and 5 minutes in space. He returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-2.

Muhammed Faris was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on July 30, 1987. He was also awarded the Order of Lenin.[1]

After his spaceflight, he returned to the Syrian Air Force and lives in Aleppo. He is married and has three children.

FLIGHT LOG; Manned three crew. Transported to the Mir orbital space station a Soviet-Syrian crew comprising cosmonauts A S Viktorenko, A P Aleksandrov and M A Faris to conduct joint research and experiments with cosmonauts Y Romanenko and A Laveykin. Maneuvered from initial 231 X 217 km orbit to Mir's 311 X 359 km orbit. Docked with rear Mir port at 3:30 GMT 24 July. Undocked with rear port 30 July and docked to forward port. Undocked 05:55 GMT 29 December. Returned Aleksandrov, Yuri Romanenko (Soyuz TM-2), Anatoly Levchenko (Soyuz TM-4) to Earth. Recovered December 29, 1987 09:16 GMT. Landed near Arkalyk.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal for aspiring writers is to write a 50,000 word novel (about 175 pages) starting no earlier than November 1 and finishing before November 31.
By signing up at the National Novel Writing Month website (also known as NaNoWriMo), you can create a profile and access the participant forums, where you can finds tips, hints and helpful encouragement. You can post excerpts of your novel for others to read. When you are ready, you can submit your novel for an official word count, which is "read" by a computer. If you succeed, you get a certificate and the satisfaction in having finished a novel.
According to NaNoWriMo, the key to success is to worry less about the quality and more about quantity. The brute force method must work, because every year more and more people finish as "winners".

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hasan Al-Basri in Nurbakhsh

Hasan Al-Basri in Nurbakhsh: Hasan Basri, 174

Good humor and character is manifested in a cheerful face, generous giving, and not imposing one's problems on others.

-Hasan Al-Basri in Nurbakhsh: Hasan Basri, 174

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Malaysia's first astronaut

Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was born Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie bin Sheikh Mustapha on July 27, 1972 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sheikh Muszaphar attended high school at Maktab Rendah Sains MARA in Muar. He then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India.

Sheikh Muszaphar is an orthopedic surgeon, and a university lecturer in medicine at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. In 1998, Sheikh Muszaphar worked at Hospital Seremban, followed by a move to Kuala Lumpur General Hospital in 1999, and was on staff at Hospital Selayang from 2000 through 2001. Sheikh Muszaphar is also a part-time model.
Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is the first Malaysian cosmonaut to go into space. He was launched to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz TMA-11 with the Expedition 16 crew on October 10, 2007.Sheikh Muszaphar was flying under an agreement with Russia through the Angkasawan program.

Space experiments Sheikh Muszaphar will carry out experiments on board the International Space Station relating to the characteristics and growth of liver cancer and leukemia cells, the crystallisation of various proteins and microbes in space.
The experiments relating to liver cancer, leukemia cells and microbes will benefit general science and medical research, while the experiments relating to the crystallisation of proteins, lipases in this case, will directly benefit local industries.

Lipase are a type of protein enzymes used in the manufacturing of diverse range of products from textiles to cosmetics, and the opportunity to grow these in space will mean a possibility for Malaysian scientists to take a crack at an industry worth some USD$2.2bil (RM7.7bil) worldwide by producing these locally.

Spaceflight and religion Since Sheikh Muszaphar is a Muslim, and as his time in space will coincide with the last part of Ramadan, the Islamic National Fatwa Council drew up the first comprehensive guidebook for Muslims in space. The 18-page guidebook is titled "Guidelines for Performing Islamic Rites (Ibadah) at the International Space Station", and details issues such as how to pray in a low-gravity environment, how to locate Mecca from the ISS, how to determine prayer times, and issues surrounding fasting. The orbit of the ISS results in one day/night cycle every 90 minutes,so the issues of fasting during Ramadan are also addressed. The guidebook will be translated into Russian, Arabic, and English.Anan C. Mohd, from Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development said that fasting while traveling is optional, so Sheikh Muszaphar could choose what he would like to do, but if he did decide to fast in space, the times would be centered around local time in Baikonur, where the launch takes place.Sheikh Muszaphar will celebrate Eid ul-Fitr aboard the station, and packed some satay and cookies to hand out to the rest of the crew on Saturday, October 13, to mark the end of Ramadan.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Rumi, "Mathnawi"

Every prophet to the world came alone,
within him carrying a hundred unseen worlds.
The cosmos was charmed by his depth
and folded itself into his modest frame.
The foolish thought he was lonely and weak.
With the King as his companion,
how is he weak?

-Rumi, "Mathnawi"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Muslim Astronaut

Sultan Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud Payload Specialist
Born June 27, 1956, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Completed his elementary and secondary education in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He later went on to study communications and aviation in the United States. In 1982 he was appointed to the position of researcher in the Department of International Communications at the Ministry of Information in Saudi Arabia.In 1984 he served as Deputy Director for the Saudi Arabian Olympic Information Committee at the Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Later that year, when the Department of Advertising was created at the Ministry of Information, he was appointed its Acting Director.In 1985 he flew as a Payload Specialist on STS-51G Discovery (June 17-24, 1985). As one of a seven member international crew, which also included American and French astronauts, he represented the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT) in deploying their satellite, ARABSAT-1B.Upon conclusion of his space flight, he helped in founding the Association of Space Explorers, an international organization comprising all astronauts and cosmonauts who have been in space, and served on its Board of Directors for several years.In 1985 he was commissioned as an officer into the Royal Saudi Air Force. He holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and is qualified in several military and civilian aircraft.For several years he headed the Advisory Committee for the Science Oasis Project to be built in Riyadh.In 1989 and then again in 1992 he was elected to the position of Chairman of the Saudi Benevolent Association for Handicapped Children; where he also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Prince Salman Center for Handicapped Research.In 1991 he accepted an invitation from the Board of Directors of the Saudi Computer Society to become Honorary Chairman, and in 1993 due to his special interest in architecture he agreed to serve as Honorary President of the Al-Umran Saudi Association (a society of specialists in the fields of the built environment).

Prince Sultan told a television interviewer that another big moment was when he had first glimpsed Saudi Arabia from space. "Once," he said, "I was woken up by some crew members who said: 'Come and see your country.' I was looking from the upper deck window. The earth was above us, and I saw the Eastern Province with its lights. It was a very moving sight."

At the same interview, Prince Sultan praised the team of Saudi scientists, who had been monitoring his experiments from earth. "We don't lack talent in the Arab world. We have plenty of it," the prince said. "All we need to do is give people the chance to prove themselves." Prince Sultan also displayed the small Koran he had carried into space; inside was a prayer dictated by his mother asking God to take care of travelers - and the prince's Saudi pilot's licence. "I was saying the prayer during take off," said Sultan. "And the pilot's license?" he was asked. "I took that with me in case we had to land somewhere and I needed to hire an areoplane."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, "Fayuz E Yazdani

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, "Fayuz E Yazdani"

Have faith in God the Omnipotent,
the Eternal, the First and the Last,
who grants life and determines death.
He bestows bounty,
and only He can restore crushed hopes.
Have faith, do not lose hope, wait patiently.
He indeed will create a way
to deliver you from your hardships.

-Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, "Fayuz E Yazdani

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Junayd, "Tawhid"

Consider the way for ordinary people. They should believe in the unity of God. They should expel from their minds all ideas of other gods, or other beings which are similar to God; they should know that God has no equals. Yet equally they should realize there are spiritual forces which are opposed to God. They should trust God, and fear all that are opposed to him.

Junayd, "Tawhid