Thursday, June 07, 2012

July 7: Mumtaz. a remarkable woman; Gaddaf

1631 [Sources differ as to date.] While on a campaign with her husband (Shah Jahan, Mughal Emperor of India), Mumtaz Mahal (born Arjumand Banu Begam), died.
The Taj Mahal, described by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as "a tear on the face of eternity", is often said to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, and is her tomb. The grand Taj Mahal stands as a monument to the love of a man for a woman.

As she lay on her deathbed, it is said that Mumtaz whispered to Jahan a dying wish for him to build a monument that would express the beauty of their love for each other. Stricken with grief, Shah Jahan remained indoors for a week; when he emerged his hair had turned white, his back was now bent, and his face lined with despair. He ordered his entire kingdom into mourning for the next two years, and it is said he was inconsolable to the point of contemplating abdication in favour of his sons.
Some believe the great building was designed by Geronimo Verroneo, an Italian in service to the Mughal (Moghul) Empire, and certainly many European craftsmen were among the 20,000 workers who worked on the tomb, bringing with them Renaissance skill and vision – not that the Moghul culture was lacking in either skill or vision. Craftsmen from as far as Turkey came to join in the work ...
Read on at the Mumtaz Mahal page at the Scriptorium
1942 Muammar Gaddafi, ruler of Libya since a military coup on September 1, 1969, when he overthrew King Idris, establishing the Libyan Arab Republic. His 42 years in power make him one of the longest-serving rulers in history. Gaddafi renamed the Libyan Arab Republic to Jamahiriya in 1977, based on his socialist and nationalist political philosophy published in The Green Book. In 1979, he relinquished the title of prime minister, and was thereafter called "The Brother Leader" or "The Guide" in Libya's Socialist Revolution.

Somewhere, I believe there's one of me in April, 1987 when I was a Sydney magazine editor, with Gaddafi standing behind, from a curious visit I had for six days or so at the request and payment by the Jamahiriya so I find these Images of Gaddafi of "Ower Lidder", or Our Lidder, as his name sounded when often chanted by citizens led by Secret Service men (or the Libyan equivalent) very interesting. I also find it particularly interesting that Gaddafi's house has been bombed, because on the first anniversary of the US bombing of Gaddafi's private home, I toured through it (and surreptitiously took Gaddafi's large brass ashtray, and gave it to an old friend of mine in Australia. The ashtray is still there in Red Hill, Canberra, and I fully intend to have it engraved one day soon. I still have very many Libyan publications downstairs, and I think even one copy of 'The Green Book'. Maybe I'll put more of this in my Memoirs. I'm working quite a bit on those, as well as Microminibliss and other web pages that can quite easily be found around Wilson's Almanac (


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