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25 December, 2005

Born is the ki-ing of Is-rae-[BLOCKED]

2005: the year Christmas exploded in Dubai. Malls competing for the tackiest grotto. Filipino elves carolling through the shops. Endless hotel promotions, Christmas gift specials, and expats snickering in guilty glee as "Is-ra-el..." trills out in the supermarkets.

It's enough to make anyone wrap themselves up in in tinsel and self-immolate.

A fearsomely large faux-fir has been assembled at Cell Block G, towering up to the ceiling and in a right angle along the length of the room, due to confusion in Safestway between "six feet" and "sixty metres". Originally twinkling with multi-coloured fairy lights, shining gold-wrapped chocolate bells and glittering angel hair, it is now bare, bedraggled and rather bent-of-branches. It took only a week for inmates to devour the bells, half the fairy lights to fail and the angel hair form dreadlocks.

All that is needed now is to cremate a bird in the inoperable oven (settings: (1) furnace (2) inferno), suttee a pudding in half a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and char a few mince pies into ashes, and this year's ritual sacrifices will be complete.

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41 Comments:

Blogger _sublime_ said...

I don't know what you're talking about vis avis the tree but I have to say that I'm quite surprised how in your face the christmas bling has been this year.

IMHO it's a touch excessive considering that this is supposed to be a muslim country and I sort of enjoyed christmas more when it was more of an 'underground' thing in years past.

Anyhow, merry xmas to you SD, glad to see I'm not the only one on the net on christmas eve. :)

25 December, 2005 04:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm up too! Merry X'mas.


Also, that story didn't make a lotta sense.

25 December, 2005 04:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell is Cell Block G?

You probably meant some of the residential areas in Dubai, NO?

Anyhow, merry christmas!

25 December, 2005 06:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must of been having a couple of Christmas drinks when you wrote that ! Cheers and a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!!

25 December, 2005 08:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD and all the rest.

X'mas is a time of joy, of giving and of peace and love. Let us remember those who are less fortunate and hope and pray that the true message of Christmas is realised by the world leaders.

WISH YOU ALL A VERY MERRY AND JOYFUL X'MAS.

25 December, 2005 09:19  
Blogger sandsOfTime said...

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year everyone.

25 December, 2005 09:33  
Anonymous trailingspouse said...

Sorry for the cut-and-paste, but it seems to fit SD's tone.

Santa Resigns

T'was the night before Christmas - Old Santa was pissed
He cussed out the elves and threw down his list
Miserable little brats, ungrateful little jerks
I have good mind to scrap the whole works
I've busted my ass for damn near a year
Instead of "Thanks Santa" - what do I hear
The old lady bitches cause I work late at night
The elves want more money - The reindeer all fight

Rudolph got drunk and goosed all the maids
Donner is pregnant and Vixen has AIDS
And just when I thought that things would get better
Those assholes from IRS sent me a letter
They say I owe taxes - if that ain't damn funny
Who the hell ever sent Santa Clause any money
And the kids these days - they all are the pits
They want the impossible ...Those mean little shits

I spent a whole year making wagons and sleds
Assembling dolls...Their arms, legs and heads
I made a ton of yo yo's - No request for them
They want computers and robots...they think I'm IBM!

Flying through the air...dodging the trees
Falling down chimneys and skinning my knees
I'm quitting this job...there's just no enjoyment
I'll sit on my fat ass and draw unemployment
There's no Christmas this year...now you know the reason
I found me a blonde.. I'm going SOUTH for the season!!

Bah Humbug!

25 December, 2005 10:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot more Christians in this country than most people would probably like to admit. Driving on Christmas Eve and Day, I found the streets remarkably traffic snarl free and wondered if it had anything to do with the holiday.

25 December, 2005 10:30  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Enjoy the ritual sacrifices. BTW is that a picture of you and your tree on the Community Blog?

Have a great day!

25 December, 2005 10:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, you are hilarious!

25 December, 2005 10:39  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

It was packed out at midnight mass last night. We need a cathedral in Al Ain...

Happy Christmas everyone!

25 December, 2005 10:39  
Blogger Moona said...

lol @ cathedral

i didn't get the meaning of all of this 0_o

what's your point about xmas Secretdubai?

25 December, 2005 10:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

methinks SD's pissed off looking at those filipino elves carolling the shops. he likes to think that christmas is only for the westerners.

geez...i've had one too many shots fo tequila last night.

merhy xscthmas everyone!!!

25 December, 2005 10:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, have anyone dared to tell you that your quality of writing is no longer interesting?

You're good with tabloid reviews undoubtedly. But somebody's got to tell you that you are not obliged to comment on everything that goes on in Dubai! I mean, you comment on the stuff that you're good at and that's it. This site gets boring if you write because you feel obliged to do so.

25 December, 2005 11:15  
Blogger scarlettepimp said...

for all the retards who don't understand creative writing, it is a nicely assembled piece of christmas satire. i personally liked it immensely. ho ho ho sectret panties.

25 December, 2005 11:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone noticed how drastically less was the morning commute time and traffic ?! I guess there are a lot more ppl celebrarting Xmas than i imagined.

Also why is it so quite at my work today?

25 December, 2005 12:29  
Blogger Moona said...

"retards"

i'm sorry if i don't understand the british-oxford-ish humour

25 December, 2005 13:03  
Anonymous balushi said...

i dont know what this BIG hoho about X'mas???

-It's celebrated as the day Jesus was Born BUT wait! Christianity says jesus was not born this day.

-Santa Claus does exists, but wait Christians do know how he looks like, black in africa, brown in philipines and white in west.

-Bible critises the decoration of Xmas trees.

-Jesus nor Bible ever mention the word Xmas.

-America wants to change the name to Happy Holidays!


etc etc.


Now we Muslims what do we have in our Arse to allow all this hoho?

25 December, 2005 13:10  
Blogger Moona said...

balushi ask this to literated people who understand "satire"

the 25th was chosen because -as i read- it was the Sun celebration among Romans and when the christianity took the power the calendar got changed and they replaced the sun celebration with the birth of Jesus (a.s)
got it?

25 December, 2005 13:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

moona, it wasn't the sun god they celebrated on the 25th it was saturn, the god of sowing and harvest and his wife, ops - the goddess of fertility. During the weeklong celebration the roles of slave/servant and master were swapped and morality was loosened for a week of feasting, drinking and general naughtiness. It was the most popular holiday of the Roman Year, which is probably why the Christians decided to take it over and make it a "Christian" holiday. However, the tree, the decorations, the gifts, the eating and drinking - they are all pre-Chrisitan pagan traditions that have carried on to the present.

So, Happy Saturnalia to all.

25 December, 2005 13:58  
Blogger Moona said...

thanks for explaining
saturnalia were carnevals

25 December, 2005 14:15  
Blogger kaya said...

MazelTov. Happy HANNUKKAH.

25 December, 2005 14:36  
Blogger humblemuslimah said...

I Was staying in Beach Rotana last week and I was absoluteley digusted at the amount of xmas carols and tack that was going on their esp when you think its a muslim country . This year in uk it seems a lot quiter than it normally is.

I got fed up of seeing reindeers and filopinas dressed up as santas helpers in the Abu Dhabi mall.

25 December, 2005 14:37  
Anonymous balushi said...

One Copy and paste Coming Up!


The History of Christmas

In ancient pagan times, the last day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere was celebrated as the night that the Great Mother Goddess gives birth to the baby Sun God. It is also called Yule, the day a huge log is added to a bonfire, around which everyone would dance and sing to awaken the sun from its long winter sleep.

In Roman times, it became the celebrations honouring Saturnus (the harvest god) and Mithras (the ancient god of light), a form of sun worship that had come to Rome from Syria a century before with the cult of Sol Invictus. It announced that winter is not forever, that life continues, and an invitation to stay in good spirit.

The last day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere occurs between the 20th and 22 December. The Roman celebrated Saturnalia between 17 and 24 December.

The early Christians

To avoid persecution during the Roman pagan festival, early Christians decked their homes with Saturnalia holly. As Christian numbers increased and their customs prevailed, the celebrations took on a Christian observance. But the early church actually did not celebrate the birth of Christ in December until Telesphorus, who was the second Bishop of Rome from 125 to 136AD, declared that Church services should be held during this time to celebrate "The Nativity of our Lord and Saviour." However, since no-one was quite sure in which month Christ was born, Nativity was often held in September, which was during the Jewish Feast of Trumpets (modern-day Rosh Hashanah). In fact, for more than 300 years, people observed the birth of Jesus on various dates.

In the year 274AD, solstice fell on 25th December. Roman Emperor Aurelian proclaimed the date as "Natalis Solis Invicti," the festival of the birth of the invincible sun. In 320 AD, Pope Julius I specified the 25th of December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas official, but not generally observed

In 325AD, Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor, introduced Christmas as an immovable feast on 25 December. He also introduced Sunday as a holy day in a new 7-day week, and introduced movable feasts (Easter). In 354AD, Bishop Liberius of Rome officially ordered his members to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December.
However, even though Constantine officiated 25 December as the birthday of Christ, Christians, recognising the date as a pagan festival, did not share in the emperor's good meaning. Christmas failed to gain universal recognition among Christians until quite recently. In England, Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas festivities between 1649 and 1660 through the so-called Blue Laws, believing that

Christmas should be a solemn day.

When many Protestants escaped persecution by fleeing to the colonies all over the world, interest in joyous Christmas celebrations was rekindled there. Still, Christmas was not even a legal holiday until the 1800s. And, keep in mind, there was no Father Christmas (Santa Claus) figure at that time.

Christmas becomes popular

The popularity of Christmas was spurred on in 1820 by Washington Irving's book The Keeping of Christmas at Bracebridge Hall. In 1834, Britain's Queen Victoria brought her German husband, Prince Albert, into Windsor Castle, introducing the tradition of the Christmas tree and carols that were held in Europe to the British Empire. A week before Christmas in 1834, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol (in which he wrote that Scrooge required Cratchit to work, and that the US Congress met on Christmas Day). It was so popular that neither the churches nor the governments could not ignore the importance of Christmas celebrations. In 1836, Alabama became the first state in the US to declare Christmas a legal holiday. In 1837, T.H. Hervey's
The Book of Christmas also became a best seller. In 1860, American illustrator Thomas Nast borrowed from the European stories about Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, to create Father Christmas (Santa Claus). In 1907, Oklahoma became the last US state to declare Christmas a legal holiday. Year by year, countries all over the world started to recognise Christmas as the day for celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Have a merry Christmas

Today, many of the pagan uses are reflected in Christmas. Jesus was born in March, yet his birth is celebrated on 25 December, the time of solstice. The Christmas celebrations end the 12th day of Christmas (6 January), the same amount of days that the return of the sun was celebrated by ancient and Roman pagans. It thus is no surprise that Christian puritans - or even conservative Christians - often are upset that Christmas "is not as religious as it was meant to be," forgetting that Christmas was not celebrated at all until fairly recently.

http://www.didyouknow.cd/xmas/xmashistory.htm

25 December, 2005 15:34  
Anonymous balushi said...

What Did Jesus Say About Christmas?

The Christmas Experience

The perfect Christmas tree is bought. Adorned with ornaments and glittering with tinsel, it stands by the window. The stores are crammed with shoppers hunting for presents and the little ones anxiously waiting for Santa.

Busy with Christmas fever, wonder did you ever, did the Bible or Jesus made any injunction on Christmas ever?

Ponder upon the following analysis on Christmas, and the Truth will become clearer and clearer.


Does Christmas have Biblical Evidence?

The word 'Christmas' does not exist in the Bible. The Bible has closed lips on the entire feast of Christmas, with one exception, the decoration of a tree. The Bible itself criticizes the decoration of the (Christmas) trees:

"The customs of the people are worthless, they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel, they adore it with silver and gold, they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter" (Jeremiah 10-3,4).

European Pre-Christian pagans superstitiously believed that the green trees had special protective powers. In fact the use of the Christmas tree began only in the 17th century in Strasbourg, France and from there it spread to Germany, Britain and then to the U.S. "Tree worship was a common feature of religion among the Teutonic and Scandinavian peoples of northern Europe before their conversion to Christianity…German settlers brought the Christmas tree custom to the American colonies in the 17th century. By the 19th century its use was quite widespread". (Compton's Encyclopedia, 1998 Edition)


Was Jesus born on Dec. 25?

Neither the date 25th Dec. nor any other date on Jesus' birth is mentioned in the Bible. It was not until the year 530 C.E. that a monk, Dionysus Exigus, fixed the date of Jesus' birth on Dec. 25th. . "He wrongly dated the birth of Christ according to the Roman system (i.e., 754 years after the founding of Rome) as Dec. 25, 753". (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998 ed.) This date was chosen in keeping with the holidays already indoctrinated into pagans beliefs.
Roman pagans celebrated Dec. 25th as the birth of their 'god' of light, Mithra.

"In the 2nd century A..D., it (Mithraism) was more general in the Roman Empire than Christianity, to which it bore many similarities" (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, 1995 ed.)

Other pagan 'gods' born on Dec. 25th are: Hercules the son of Zeus (Greeks); Bacchus, 'god' of wine (Romans); Adonis, 'god' of Greeks, and 'god' Freyr of Greek-Roman pagans.


What about Santa Claus?

If aliens descended on earth during the Christmas season, they would undoubtedly believe Christmas as being Santa's birthday. The words 'Santa Claus', appear nowhere in the Bible.

However, Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) was a real person, a bishop, who was born 300 years after Jesus. According to legend, he was extremely kind and set out at night to bring presents to the needy. After his death on 6th of Dec., school boys in Europe began celebrating a feast day each year.

Queen Victoria later changed the celebration date from Dec. 6th to Dec. 24th eve.


Did Jesus or his Companions Celebrate Christmas?

If Jesus meant his followers to celebrate Christmas, he would have practiced it himself and enjoined it on his followers. There is no mention in the entire Bible that any of his followers ever celebrated Jesus' birthday like Christians do today.

"The church did not observe a festival for the celebration of the event of Christmas until the 4th century" (Grolier's Encyclopedia)
Thus we see that neither the Bible nor Jesus and his companions say anything about the celebration of Christmas which currently involves fanfare, commercialization, and extravagent spending, devoid of any spiritual relevance.


(Excerpted from http://www.islamhouse.com/en/module...article&sid=106)

25 December, 2005 15:35  
Anonymous balushi said...

HakunaMatata EveryOne!


Hoho ho!

25 December, 2005 15:36  
Blogger secretdubai said...

black in africa, brown in philipines and white in west.

See, I think this is a really nice facet of Christianity - how the messiah is "universalised" so people of different cultures and ethnicities can relate. If you've ever seen a carved African crib set, all the figurines - Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the shepherds - are done in the style of black African people. It's nice. It shows it has meaning for everyone, a symbol that transcends cultures and skin colours.

We will never know what Jesus really "looked" like - even if we can speculate with reasonable certainty that he was semitic-featured - but the point is that it really doesn't matter.

25 December, 2005 15:39  
Anonymous balushi said...

[i]We will never know what Jesus really "looked" [/i]

Actually what i was saying is that People have never seen santa and everyknows he doesnt exists! THOUGH PEOPLE KNOW HOW HE LOOKS LIKE.


Back to your point, jesus does have a universal face.

But the Blacks think that Jesus is actually was a Black man...

This is a Religion and should bare evidance and hardcore facts and convictions! - and not for every man to come up with changes and omitting the word of God.

Bible clearly mention the last Prophet(PBUH) Its also forbids meat of Swine, it also forbids and says its a Great Sin to asociate God with anyone! God is One. Its Eternal, it was never born nor It gives Birth! And those who believe in christanity than they should be Muslims by default.


but you guys have given God! Son, Cousins and aunties!


Jesus (PBUH) is and was only a messenger of Allah. You will be faced with the surety! How long are you going to live in this immortal world for?

25 December, 2005 17:25  
Anonymous NostalgicLocal said...

BTW, just to add to the informativeness going on around here,

Emperor Constantine was himself a lifelong pagan, he was baptised against his will on his deathbed, though he bitterly resisited to the end. He consolidated his rule by presiding over the council of Nicea which formalised christianity through the formation of one single Roman Catholic Church, which declared itself the 'one true church'. Constantine recognised that paganism was on the wane, and Christianity was growing, and he needed to act to preserve the unity of the Empire. He consolidated the practice of christianity into one single state-sanctioned Roman Catholic Empire, with one Emperor, himself. Any christian practice other than through the conduit of the catholic church was banned. The concept of the Holy Trinity and Jesus's elevation from a prophet to a divinity was also formulated at the council of Nicea, and the Christian day of worship was moved from Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) to the day of the pagan Sun god, Sunday. History was re-written and paganism was implanted, rather than supplanted, at the heart of Christianity. To this day, the pope is even called 'pontiff', from the Latin 'pontifex' - a member of the highest pagan council of priests in Ancient Rome. The pagan practices are inextricably intermingled with modern Christian observance.

Merry Christmas, y'all!!

25 December, 2005 19:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since the UAE allowed the infidels to work and live here, they might as well make money out of the infidels festivities. we saw a muslim woman decorating a tree in their store. she might not have the slightiest idea what's it all about but probably her arbab instructed here to do because a little spirit of infidel holiday is good for business.

even the atheist chinese make an effort to have some xmas spirit going on because they reckon its good for business even if they dont have a clue what's the celebration all about.

25 December, 2005 19:32  
Blogger kaya said...

Mzuri Jambo @ balushi

25 December, 2005 20:53  
Blogger samuraisam said...

THE INFIDELS ARE COMING!

ANON @ 19:32 LOOK OUT! THEY'LL STEAL YOUR CHILDREN! AND IMPREGNATE YOUR CAMELS

25 December, 2005 22:01  
Blogger CG said...

ugh....tainted meat

25 December, 2005 23:02  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

Congratulations to Balushi for being informative!

I was acutally wondering about the pagan origins of Xmas myself the other day :D

26 December, 2005 01:38  
Anonymous NostalgicLocal said...

ummmm, that was me with the last bit of pagan news, sublime...

Though Balushi was right on with what he said!

26 December, 2005 06:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balushi.. stop being an idiot
this is not a place for religious discussion. Wherever you are, whatever you are , Christmas is a festival celebrated by people of all ages, races, classes and most importantly little children.
Most importantly, let's remember that the birth of the messiah is a time for contemplation, introspection and above all giving to those less fortunate.

26 December, 2005 09:20  
Blogger The Lady said...

I'd like to especially thank humblemuslimah and anon@19:32 for their rather portentous remarks. They may now retreat to the desert and stick their heads back in the sand. For obviously, this is where their heads must have been to make them so thick. How else can one justify such ridiculously idiotic comments?

The majority of non-Christians (at least the ones I've ever met) enjoy the "spirit" of the season, and are not affected/deterred by its religious affiliation.

Enjoying Christmas doesn't mean they're going to convert to Christianity - it means they enjoy taking their photograph with Santa. duh.

Its halfwits like you two that cause relgious strife. Personally, I thank the UAE for welcoming the season.

26 December, 2005 10:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys are funny...ok happy hanukkah!

26 December, 2005 12:33  
Anonymous Publius said...

Balushi, thank you for your excerpt, but this section of the Bible...
"The customs of the people are worthless, they cut a tree out of the forest..." (Jeremiah 10-3,4).

...is not talking about Christmas trees. Jeremiah was originally written in the third and fourth centuries BCE, and this refers to some of the customs of the peoples of Palestine.

The custom of putting up a Christmas tree, on the other hand, was a Germanic/Nordic tradition. It was taken up in England and the U.S. only in the nineteenth century (from the 1820s on). See Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas (Norton, 1996) for a fuller explanation of this.

27 December, 2005 06:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a surprisingly large Hindu community in the UAE but they hardly get any publicity. There is just one small temple in Dubai. I wonder why.

28 December, 2005 00:25  
Anonymous Sreekanth said...

Muslims need to learn tollerance. Many of them, have no qualms about attacking the faiths of others, but cry foul when some one brings out aspects of Islam they aint so comfortable about discussing.

Bottomline: Religion is a personal choice.

04 January, 2006 08:49  

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