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MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2009, 05:24 PM

My name. Your space.

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but we’re up and running now.I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of

It might have my name on it, but this is your space too. It’s a place where you can contact me directly…give me feedback… post photos… blog back…debate ideas…be part of a global campaign…suggest things for me to do and see…learn more about education…exchange information…and take action on issues we both care about it.

C’mon! What have you got to say for yourselves?

Have a look at My 5 for some inspiration…

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

On recent posts: my two cent opinion.
Claudia - a Queen of that rare beauty who covered her face would denying humanity a rare gift of a person born with a physical beauty on the outside, the uplifting wisp of a grin as she told a funny joke or spoke an enlightening line, and the full face glare (very intense) as she delivered an intelligent, pointed, lesson for humanity and her own culture of Arabia - that women can CHOOSE their destiny and that men who allow that choice will be the richer for it.

Men are physically bigger. If we wished most of us could all beat our wives into submission: many men do regularly. I was a law clerk - it can be an ugly world. What I have found is that giving a woman freedom to learn, to earn, to stay at home if she wants or work or become an artist or ??? what she wishes - develops her intelligence, her own independence and strength, often the value of the gold in her purse and the intelligent lessons in her words and she becomes a cherished, valuable fountain of many things for the family she CHOOSES to be part of. A man with that kind of sister, wife, daughter or neighbor is blessed. A man who denies the women in his life those options and freedoms is creating his own curse - and he will by natural process, surround himself with timid, stupid, abused women who are barely better than cows in that condition. I would prefer to surround myself with Queens, Princesses and wise Sages which many women become if inspired and given a choice. Let us never forget that Western Science has clearly demonstrated in tests and data that if you give 1000 men and 1000 women the same educational opportunities, generally the women score higher on the tests. It is in their nature to think faster than men - it is part of their biology and physiology which I can explain elsewhere - but they are smarter and faster than men if given a chance to learn and grow. Now what intelligent man would rob himself of a chance to meet and cherish that kind of friend? Just my two cents.

And DW - there are many parables we can teach - and I use them also - so let me try this one.

Two cowboys in the old West are hot and thirsty in the Middle of the desert. They have never met before but they come across a water hole - an Oasis - and unfortunately there is only one place for a horse to stand and drink. They both see that other cowboys and horses tried to drink from other areas around the water hole and there was quicksand there - and all that was left were cowboy hats on the sand and horses bones sticking up from the quick sand.
So they look at each other and say "Lets not make that mistake." and spot the one place they can get a drink safely.

Except thirst, fear and desperation make people do stupid things. As one cowboy goes to the watering hole safe spot, the other realizes that horse might drink all the water and he pulls out his gun and says "Me first pal." and the other guy is a fast draw and says "No way buddy." and pulls out his gun and the shoot each other. Both horses get a drink and leave.
Along comes two other cowboys and sees the littered hats and horses bones and next to the oasis - the two cowboys who shot each other dead over a glass of water.
The first cowboy says to the second cowboy "Why don't you go ahead and get a drink for you and your horse - I'll stand here and watch." and the second cowboy says "No - you first. I'll hold the horses."
So the cowboy being a wise man, fills his canteen - takes a sip and stands up and hands it to the cowboy holding the horses and says "You look pretty thirsty. I don't think you ought to wait any longer." and from that day forward they are the best of friends and learn to share water and horses like brothers.

Did I mention one cowboy was white and one was black?

Did I mention one was a Jew and the other was a Muslim?

Did I mention the black cowboy's mother was Chinese and the white cowboy's father was Japanese?

Did I mention that the two cowboy's both had brothers? Yup - and those were the two cowboys who shot each other earlier in the story. They figured out later that their brothers had killed each other and a lot of people would have started a war over that, but these two wise cowboys knew that there was no point: dead is dead.

Let the world of the living be shared by the people who come to the watering hole in peace, charity and cooperation, and let the rest of the violent people who make up humanity gun each other down - you can't stop them from doing what is in their nature.

I grew up in East L.A. - a lot of violence there - gun play - gang shootings and I will never forget the lesson of a high school counselor who told us all - told the mexicans - the blacks - the whites - the same message "Don't you kids get it? The peaceful people at this school hope that all of you violent people will go into an alley on Saturday night and kill each other."

Now of course, we would prefer they'd leave their guns at home and come to a nice picnic in peace and sit together at the table like the rest of humanity - but if they insist on violence - let them meet every week and get it over with. You can ASK them to be peaceful and you can give them lessons and stories on the benefits of peace and cooperation, but you can't change their nature or force them to stop: let them learn for themselves the hard way and create an example for others. Perhaps the others will learn the lesson early - perhaps not. In a world based on free choice, you can't control that either.

These "stories" or parables were part of an agenda I have regarding Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Yemen, Egypt and the land that stretches West to Morocco and the Western Sarhara and East to India.

For thousands of years tribes have fought over the water of each Oasis. It is a natural process. Your family prospers around an oasis, your crops flourish, your population grows, and one day a new tribe shows up. You accept the first one as friends (why make war - there is plenty of water for everyone) but soon more and more arrive and there is not enough water or crops - and rules begin to "EXCLUDE" new arrivals. They can stay for one night - but must leave in the morning. This allows you to "hoard" your water (called conservation) and still be charitable to strangers - and your tribe - complete with other people integrating into your tribe - grows very large. One day it is too large for the water you have and people begin to grow thirsty and crops begin to die and along comes a stranger for a drink. You kill them and cross the line from charity to a murderous animal. You make excuses of "Protecting your tribe" or "They had bad religion" or "They spoke a different language" etc., but it is still the act of a murderous animal - no one argues that fact. That death causes a war between many tribes in the region and this is the Middle East today. From India and Pakistan to Morocco and the Western Sahara - you can all say it is a war of religion ("the excuse") or of "heritage or destiny or chosen people and chosen land" etc., and that's ok: politicians and rabbis and priests and clerics can all use flowery words and messages to describe the reasons for isolation and war, of non-cooperation and murder: it has been this way for 1000s of years so this must be the truth...right?

Perhaps it was the accepted "truth" when people were un-enlightened....but the truth is its all about water, oil, food, fuel and crops and land for farms and limited resources. You can hang a cross, star or moon on your neck but that doesn't change the underlying basis of the disputes or the cooperative ventures. You can lie to your people, lie to your neighbors, lie to the folks at the U.N. or lie to yourself, but you can't lie to this old law clerk and historian who has seen similar disputes - even in East L.A. Its all about turf and control of resources within that turf.

Before the invention of desalination, improved crop production and renewable energy (i.e. solar panels) these disputes and wars were a natural event - almost inevitable. That history is so recent that many of these disputes are still in full force and motion today and the tribes and people in the lands from India to Morocco are often at war with each is their nature, their heritage and they believe their inevitable destiny...and pin their hopes on some text in a holy book that says eventually they will inherit the land: ok - delusional thinking is a nice escape from the harsh reality. The harsh reality is the water supplies are already drying up and the people in all of these nations - whether isolated or not - have a major problem coming at them all like a freight train at 90 MPH.

There might be a smarter way - that provides abundant water, crops, food, fuel and energy for everyone and the acts of charity and cooperation among neighbors who have abundant resources can begin again - IF - they can forgive and forget the wars of the past - and learn to move together rapidly towards a much brighter, more enlightened future. If they has spent their money lost on bullets and rockets on water production equipment there would be plenty of food and water and everything else for everyone no matter what their religion, language or belief.

WHEN they learn that lesson THEN there is a chance for peace and prosperity for this region of the planet and that lesson may inspire other nations outside of the region to become charitable and cooperative also...and if so...then the Middle East will have performed is assigned role - the role God gave the Middle East to perform - which is to demonstrate that people who hate can learn to forgive - people who mistrust can learn to cooperate - people who killed can learn to live in peace and prosperity by lifting their neighbors rather than burying them under desert sands - and people who do not learn these lessons are destined to perish thirsty and hungry.

This is the lesson of the Middle East for all of humanity to learn from. Surely we are blessed for the war that has raged there for 1000's of years, burning this lesson into all our minds - at the expense of billions of children over the centuries - martyrs on all sides of the conflict who are the heroes that sacrificed their lives so we who are alive today - could learn this lesson.

So I ask you all reading this now: have we learned this lesson yet and can we get on with the "cooperative, charitable, productive, sustainable" phase of history, or do we still need to swear on a stack of holy books that the war must continue while the children suffer and the farms shrivel under drought and the kings and queens and politicians of the area search in vain for "some lasting peace and solution" - when the answer is as simple as giving a cup of water and a loaf of bread to every stranger you meet who comes in peace - no matter what jewelry they wear around their neck or what holy book is in their bag.

tamz 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

yes it's true :)

DW Duke
Monday, August 23, 2010

Will the peace talks stall? Both Israel and Palestine are hopeful that negotiations will prove successful. One of the "sticking points" however seems to be Israel's continued construction in the settlement areas. For the Jew, this is land conferred upon Israelites and for the Muslim, this is their homeland. Who is right and who is wrong?

A rabbi and a cleric, who were quite good friends, had entered into an argument in a cafe in Jerusalem about the proper resolution of this issue. The rabbi insisted that the land belongs to the Jews and the cleric insisted that it was the homeland of Muslim peoples who had lived their for many centuries.

As the rabbi and cleric debated the issue of construction both became annoyed with the other and they began to raise their voices. After listening for a while, a seven year old girl walked over and said, "I don't understand the problem. The solution is very simple. For every home built for an Israeli, immediately next door will be a home built for a Palestinian. The CC&R's will contain a provision that anyone living in one of these homes will forfeit the deed and obtain a refund of his investment, if he is convicted by a jury of peers of engaging in any act of violence predicated upon ethnicity or religion."

At first the rabbi and the cleric looked at the young girl as if she were insane, then they looked at each other and burst into laughter. The reason was that the rabbi and the cleric were next door neighbors and many years earlier had entered into a covenant with each other that they would never discriminate on the basis of ethnicity or religion. The young girl had simply shown them a solution they had discovered many years earlier but had forgotten.

DW Duke
Monday, August 23, 2010

A sage once had the opportunity to interview a very influential and powerful queen. She was a said by many to be the most beautiful woman in the world. He asked of her “What is your greatest treasure as the queen of one of the most advanced and influential nations on earth?” He fully expected her to tell of her great accomplishments and charities and other activities where she sought to better humankind. Instead, her answer surprised him. She said,

“My greatest desire, and my greatest passion, is to love my husband, my king, with all of my heart and to honor my children by teaching them values that will produce their highest actualization. My greatest happiness comes when my husband causes me to laugh with a silly comment at a formal event that would have no meaning to the rest of the world. My greatest happiness comes when my son says, ‘Mommy, I love you.’ When I hear those words from my children, it makes me want to cry tears of happiness. When I hear those words from my husband it makes me want to laugh with joy.”

As the sage left the office of the queen he could not help but reflect upon her words. They were not the lofty self-glorifying comments he expected to hear. Instead, they were words he could have heard from any woman in the world. They were the rapture of humility and majesty combined into a single blessing conferred not only upon her family but upon every family in the world. “This is a true queen” he whispered softly to himself. “Indeed,” said a little boy with a smile who happened to be within hearing distance of the sage, “she is my queen.”

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hi Queen Rania
I am Scottish and I have heard that you are in Scotland this week? A child from our mosque is very poorly with heart and liver failure and is currently in Edinburgh's Sick Kids hospital(intensive care) awaiting a heart transplant. His name is Abdullah and is 14 years old and he his parents are from Jordan. He loves Jordan and goes every year for his Summer holidays. I know that he would be absoloutely delighted if you could spare some time while you are in Scotland to visit him at Sick Kids.
Many thanks

DW Duke
Friday, August 20, 2010

I was requested to elaborate on my post of August 17, 2010. Further to same:

לג. וְכִי יָגוּר אִתְּךָ גֵּר בְּאַרְצְכֶם לֹא תוֹנוּ אֹתוֹ:

לד. כְּאֶזְרָח מִכֶּם יִהְיֶה לָכֶם הַגֵּר הַגָּר אִתְּכֶם וְאָהַבְתָּ לוֹ כָּמוֹךָ כִּי גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אֲנִי יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:

These verses are affirmative mitzvahs given to the Children of Yisrael. They are found at Leviticus 19:33-34 and in English mean:

33. When the stranger lives with you in your land, you shall not taunt him.
34. The stranger who lives with you shall be as a native from among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God.

Who is the stranger today?

This is a serious mitzvah. How did this get lost in the translation from Moshe to today?

DW Duke
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ט. וַיִּקְרָא יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱ־לֹהִים אֶל הָאָדָם וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַיֶּכָּה:

לג. וְכִי יָגוּר אִתְּךָ גֵּר בְּאַרְצְכֶם לֹא תוֹנוּ אֹתוֹ:

DW Duke
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Your Majesty,
I smile when I hear those words too. :)

Good post. LOL

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hi Jeff-USA-RedSox (p.s. I'm a Yankee fan but we can still eat together...right?) Anyway, here is what I have found at this site and what I've learned about Queen Rania. Now I live in San Francisco and not in Jordan or Israel, Kuwait, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco or the Western Sahara...though I have friends in all those places (I work with/know a lot of kids and politicians all over the world)...anyway THIS site and THIS Queen...

...actually from a historical perspective...its a Cinderella story of a girl who studied hard, did the business route and because of her charm, beauty and good fortune, managed to land in a Queen's role. I believe most "men" around the world would agree the King of Jordan managed to marry talent and beauty and a caring heart...a great mix for a King to be blessed with.

Is she perfect? Probably not: ask her kids if she is always right. Like all kids the older they get, the more they'll question her rule. Ask her "subjects" or "citizens" if she is always right. Probably not...or if they disagree with her or didn't get what they wanted, like kids and business partners, perhaps she gave what she could at that time...and wishes, like all of us, she could have given more. Its a human condition.

Then there's the "publish this, or spoke that, and those critiques loved it and others did not." It is a common condition of all people "in the news" to please some folks and not others. That's life. There's always someone and some reason to complain. Humans are like that.

I tend to look at the overall "motives" or "methods" of a person before I judge some "mistake" or "flaw" because we all have both. One of mine is being "long-winded"...I think I hold records in that dept. I publish a lot and type me.

I think probably, overall...she's genuine...her beliefs are real...her statements have the power of integrity...and unlike many politicians who make flowery speeches to get re-elected, she doesn't have that issue in mind. When she says something or writes something she has the freedom to look you straight in the eye and speak her mind. That sort of integrity is sorely lacking in 99% of the world's politicians and it makes her rare and with her ability to get the word out (and sense of humor which is pretty good too), she has a series of positive messages for humanity, she's been trained in the arts of digital communication, and she's pretty good at delivering it, thereby educating an entire planet.

She has power...a positive power that (my opinion) should be cherished and whenever possible, expanded upon through others who can emulate the message, whether its bringing women up in the work place to a position on par with men, or perhaps some healing words for the torn Middle East.

And she's not an idiot...most people with a good sense of humor are usually pretty bright. I sincerely doubt that she'd publish a book on "acceptance" of others or "healing" the rift between Israel and the rest of the Middle East, and then ask that it not be translated into any language...anywhere...anytime. I can't think of a single author in history who has asked that one of their books not be translated, thought one may exist somewhere.

So, from an reasonably intelligent analysis of "this author" and Queen, I am going to go with my personal "belief" that she never "forbid" that something she wrote be translated...and I am going to go with my "belief" that if more people read her work or laughed at her jokes, the world would be a better place for us all.

...just this Yankee Fan's two cents, (er...three)

claudia donohue
Monday, August 16, 2010

Hi Dear your Majesty Queen Rania,
Excuse my ignorance, but I would like to know why you don't cover your face and you wear regular clothes.

I admore you as powerful women and I think you are one of the most humanitarian women alive this century.
Thank you for sharing all you do with the rest of the world!