Malik Bennabi


Prof. Malik Bennabi (1905-1973) intellectual career begun with his seminal work, The Quranic Phenomenon, which appearing at a time when some Orientalists were making subtle and serious efforts to subvert Islam under the guise of scientific inquiry.

This master piece laid down the epistemiological and methodological foundations of Bennabi’s subsequent intelectual works in dealing with various issues pertaining to human society and culture. In it, he generally developed his philosophical argument concerning the place and function of religion in human life and existance. The central thesis of the book is religion appears as a cosmic phenomenon regulating human thought and civilization as gravity regulates matter and conditions its evolution.

His ideas was rather misunderstood in the 70s. At the time when struggle for independance in Algeria was gaining momentum, both militiarily and politically, Bennabi as an Algerian aspired to put himself at the service of the Algerian revolution by being closer to some of the its leadership who are operating in Cairo. He, therefoer moved from France to Egypt seeking political asylum. Upon arrival in Cairo in 1956 carrying with him the manuscript of his book L’Afro-Asiatisme he was well-received by Pres. Gamel Abdel Nasser and his book was published in 1957.

Seen from the atmosphere of bloody confrontation between Ikhwan and Nasserite regime, his association with Nasser had tarnished his image in the eye of those involved with Islamic movement.

However, from Prof Fahmi Jad’an view point, Binnabi was the most prominent Arab thinker, since the time of Ibn Khaldun to have concerned himself with the question of civilization.

Therefore, his legacy has been recovered during the 80s and 90s esp. those aspect with regard to the concept and meaning of culture, civilization, the cyclical conception of historical evolution and social change, and the relevant of all that to the present and immediate preoccupation of Muslims.

His work include the Memoirs of a Witness of the Century and the Origin of Human Society.

Self-Affirmation


In frustration, we used to say to ourselves, “finish lah..’, worst still ‘mampus lah..’. Do we realized, that this silent, internal communication is negative and counterproductive to our self-esteem. It is indeed, the voice of doubt, worry, limitation and self-hate.

Why don’t we change to something more self-fulfilling. It is known as self-affirmation. Start by saying, “Yes”. Yes, I can do it. Yes, I will face all the trouble. Yes, it is an obstacle, but I can face it.

Please notice, self-affirmation has three main characteristics:
1. It is stated in the first person (using the pronoun ‘I’)
2. It is stated in the present tense
3. It is stated positively.

Of course, to be able to self-affirm, you must trust yourself first. Otherwise, it is merely a joke. Then you get to be patience and persistence. If you just say once and at other times, you say you will fail, most of the time you will fail rather than pass.

Then you got to create optimal learning environment to yourself. If you just say yes, you can, but the environment will lead you to failure, it is more sensible that you will fail after all. If you are students, then tidy up your desk, file your notes, clean the mess and start revision. Remember, behavior change is a slow, painstaking process in which immediate tangible result will take time. Slow and steady is better than immediate and short-lasting change.

Now let us look at the effect of self-affirmation. Once you say yes to your inner being, you internalize self-love and your self-esteem increase. You feel important, you have strong sense of self, you are proud of what you are doing, you strongly believe in yourself, you have high tolerance for frustration and you have good self-control.

The enemy is shame. It is not a usual shame as I will called it a toxic shame. Toxic shame occurs when you internalizes negative feelings and see yourself as a flawed and defective human being. Toxic shame will leads to emotional distress and low self-esteem.

(Hey, don’t you think, those are all Erickson. As experience grows, you learn to expand the theory and put them into practice. Yes, you can!)

Till then, cheers!

Jokes On Marriage


The Wife is too Jealous

There was once a wife so jealous that when her husband came home one night and she couldn’t find hairs on his jackets she yelled at him, “Great, so now you’re cheating on me with a bald woman!”

The next night, when she didn’t smell any perfume, she yelled again by saying, “She’s not only bald, but she’s too cheap to buy any perfume!”

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Finding Perfect Men

At a local coffee bar, a young woman was expounding on her idea of the perfect mate to some of her friends.

“The man I marry must be a shining light amongst company. He must be musical. Tell jokes. Sing. And stay home at night!”

An old granny overheard and spoke up, “Honey, if that’s all you want, get a TV!”

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Marriage Pessimism

1. Marriage is not a word. It is a sentence–a life sentence.

2. Marriage is love. Love is blind. Therefore, marriage is an institution for the blind.

3. Marriage is an institution in which a man loses his Bachelor’s Degree and the woman gets her Masters.

4. Marriage certificate is just another word for a work permit.

5. Married life is full of excitement and frustration:
* In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens.
* In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens.
* In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.

6. Getting married is very much like going to the restaurant with friends. You order what you want, and when you see what the other fellow has, you wish you had ordered that.

7. Son: How much does it cost to get married, Dad?
Father: I don’t know son, I’m still paying for it.

8. There was a man who said, “I never knew what happiness was until I got married…and then it was too late!”

Smile!

Close Up On Deforestation


In an attempt to improve environmental governance of Sumatra’s once-extensive tropical forests, a publicly accessible Web site showing detailed maps of widespread deforestation on the Indonesian island over the past few decades has just been launched. Scientists, government officials, and anyone else can log on to view the maps of the diminishing rainforest, which houses a diversity of tropical wildlife, including tigers, elephants, and orangutans.

The lack of free and easy access to reliable maps of Sumatran forests has limited Indonesia’s efforts to protect its natural heritage, according to David Gaveau, a landscape ecologist based at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, who designed the site. “Maps of tropical deforestation are generally not available outside of the scientific community and government agencies,” says Gaveau. “Well-informed public opinions oblige governments and corporations to take actions against illegal activities they may engage with, for example, illegal logging.”

The Web site uses Google Earth technology and satellite images to create interactive maps up to a scale of 1:150,000. (By: Claire Thomas)

China Cracks Down on using ECT for Treating Internet Addiction


The Chinese government has banned the controversial application of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for so-called Internet addiction.

Although there is no meeting of the minds on whether Internet addiction is a genuine disorder, Chinese researchers have sought to put diagnosis and treatment on a more solid footing. Casting a shadow over legitimate clinical practice and research, a clinic in Shandong Province in eastern China had gained notoriety for applying electric shocks to unanesthetized teenagers whose parents had admitted them to the clinic against their will.

In an 8 July, 2009 policy letter to Shandong’s health department, China’s health ministry ordered Shandong Province to cease such a clinical application of ECT. The ministry explained that it had convened an expert board, which concluded that ECT “does not show any clear safety and validity to treat Internet addiction” because of a “lack of scientific support from clinical studies and evidence-based trials.”

The health ministry did not rule out future use of ECT for Internet addiction and left the door open to clinical trials on “associated therapies” as long as such trials are free of charge for subjects and obtain informed consent. (By: Richard Stone)

Cold Snap Death Toll Rises Across Europe


This may  not be a breaking news in Malaysia. But as told by my friend, who is a Consultant at the local Birmingham Childrens Hospital’s Community Child & Adolescent Mental Health service in his Christmas Greeting to me recently, temperature in Birmingham goes to subzero, freezing cold, almost a disaster.  Read this:

FREEZING WEATHER brought further disruption across vast swathes of northern Europe as the death toll from the unusually severe cold snap, mainly among homeless men, continued to climb.

As forecasters warned of dangerous conditions continuing today, commuters and air travellers bore the brunt of the cold, snow and ice, while demand soared for home-heating energy.

The bad weather is expected to last for another two weeks, draining European gas supplies. Britain’s national grid warned that record gas demand might exceed supply for the second time this week after a drop in supplies from Norway, as dozens of big industrial users switched to other fuels to ensure heating for households.

The deaths from the cold include 122 people in Poland, 22 in Britain, nine homeless men in Germany, and 22 people who were killed by avalanches in the Swiss Alps.

Yesterday thousands of schools closed and thousands of homes were left without electricity in Britain, while 17 rail service providers said they were hit by delays or cancellations.

A Eurostar passenger train travelling between Brussels and London was stuck in the Channel Tunnel. The train, which was carrying 236 passengers, had to be dragged from the tunnel by a rescue locomotive, leading to a suspension of services.

Flights were disrupted at airports in Britain, France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. In Britain EasyJet cancelled 73 flights, Ryanair cancelled four while British Airways also warned of cancellations.