Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Karma Works - Qatars Queen!

There was a man called Nasser Al Missned, a commoner living in the Qatari Emirate. He found that his country was prone an unequal distribution of wealth which was a eye sore for him. Not one to keep quiet he voiced his opinion against the then ruling Emir. For this he was detained and jailed; his family in fear went in exile to kuwait.

Years later Missned's daughter returned to her homeland to study, and as fate would have it met with the Crown Prince of the land, the son of the very Emir who had jailed her father and exiled her and her family. The Crown Prince as if in a fairytale fell head over heels in love with her, married her, had 7 children together, her son and not the son of any preceding wife today is the current crown prince of Qatar. The girl is question is Sheikha Mozah, the iron hand in the velvet glove that dominates Qatar.

Sheikha Mozah to her credit has changed life in Qatar, not only for the royal family but also for the lay Qatari woman. Women can vote, drive, dress as they like, work in Qatar - privileges not too common in the middle east.Her daughters Shekha Mayassa and Sheikha Hind too take an active role in the social and political arena.

What i find fascinating in this story is the play of destiny! Had a jailed Nasser Missned ever imagined that it would be his own daughter who would bring change in the Emirat? And that his own grandson would one rule it! Strange are the ways of the Universe!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello, im back :)

Hello folks i had lost touch with this blog of mine. But am back :) Was surprised to see the number of people visiting my dormant blog - Thanx hope u enjoy!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Shift of Power - Jordanian Harem

A picture says a thosand words!! And indeed this one does!

King Hussein had just died. Fortunes of those closest to him had changed dramatically over night. Queen Noor the beautiful ambitious lebanese/american wife of the King and de facto ruler of his heart ( it was she who called the shots where family, succession and importance was concerned) now had to gracefully (or otherwise ) give way to another Queen. Its never easy the shift of power, and especially not so in a middle eastern harem !! Now we know how the legendary Empress Nurjehan might have looked when her niece Arjumand Banu preceded as the new Empress upon Jehangirs death.

I'd say this picture qualifies for a historic archival picture - it tells us a tale.

Ascendancy was on the cards for Rania though, from being the daughter of the Palestinian doctor and wife of the Kings eldest but 'not in line for succession' son Abdallah, she overnight went onto become Queen of the land , the court and the harem including Queen Noor!

If Queen Noor and the son groomed for succession Prince Hamzah were sidelined so were the officially designated Crown prince and princess Prince Hasan and princess Sarvath, the dusky Pakistani princess.... the play of fate is clear - no one can imagine in their wildest imagination tell what tommorrow will hold, who will be king and who beggar?

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Thai coronation - royal gathering

Pic 1: Lalla Salma of Morrocco curtesies to Queen Sirikit; other members of Thai royal family look on.
Pic 2: King Letsie III of Lesotho with his Queen karabo.
Pic 3: Tuanka Nur Zahirah - the Queen of Malaysia arrives
Pic 4: Sheikh Khalifa of Qatar with his 'amazonian' wife sheikha Mozza! greeting the King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.
Pic 5: CP Vajiralongkorn and CPrincess Srirasmi welcome HIM the Empeor Akhito of Japan.
Pic 6: The King and Queen of Swaziland
Pic 7: Queen Sophia of Spain and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant which is an equivalent to crown princess.
Pic 8: The handsome young King of bhutan - Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck
Pic 9: CP Haakon and CPrincess Mette-marit greet King Bhumibol and Q Sirikit
Pic 10: The much respected princess Sirindhorn of thailand receives Kinf Abdallah of Jordan.

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King Bhumibol's 60 years on the Ananda throne

King Bhumibol Adyuladej of Thailand is the worlds longest reigning monarch, second longest reign would be that of Her Majesty the Queen of England. Both for whom i have the greatest regard. Perhaps if they were not the staunch,dutiful monarchs that they are they would not have reigned so long!
Anyways just posting some fabulous colorful pictures that archive this great occassion that took place in 2006. Long Live the King! for God alone knows what happens after him....

Pic 1: Thai's celebrating on the streets of BKK their Kins long reign
Pics 2 & 3: Official pictures of the coronation gathering of royal heads from across the globe - a real treat for royal watchers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sara - crown princess of brunei

In pictures Crown princess Sara's life - begin with pic 5 - sara with her family swiss mother and bruneian father.
Pic 4 : marriage to CP Billah son and heir to the Sultan of brunei - which is an absolute monarchy today like its Middle eastern counterparts. Sara was chosen by CP billah and his mother Queen Saleha.
Pic 3: At her wedding reception with her in laws Sultan Bolkhiah and Queen Saleha.
Pic 2: With her only son -delightful pic :)
Pic 1: Pretty as a picture in traditional bruneian finery - Sara is no wall flower and attends to many welfare programmes in brunei.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Royal Portraits in B & W

SOmehow pictures in B&W always look better than their color counterparts and pictures of the yesteryears look far better then what we have today - i dunno why that is so; perhaps the ladies ( and gentlemen ) dressed better, had more grace, more manners and i more personality than todays gen.
Pic 1: Princess Margaret, sister to Queen Elizabeth II.
Pic 2: Lee Radziwell nee Bouvier on her wedding day with her more famous sister Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Lee married a Polish prince thats she's here :)
Pic 3: Princess Indira of Kapurthala (India)
Pic 4: Princess Grace of Monaco - the most beautiful lady ever - imo no one has ever looked better!
Pic 5: Princess Andree Aga Khan (1898-1976) the 3rd wife of the then Aga Khan
note - all the pictures expect that of princess Grace are taken by NPG (National Portrait Gallery) of London.

Love the beard :)

Why didnt he grow it earlier? does nt he look much much better with that beard? Not that he can compare with bro Harry - atleast in my books;
And his choice in women sure sucks!

Feast your eyes....

The late princess Diana was never one of my favorite people but a beautiful picture ought to find its place here.

Feast your eyes on this fantastic portrait of the princess by artist Nelson Shanks.


My Travels....

I have visited two great monarchies in the last five months, both have been fantastic experiences! I intend to write long posts on both these great rulers but not now ... im feeling lazy so im just posting some very wonderful royal pictures in my following posts.
Dubai is a dream (albeit the dream is supposedly crumbling ) but its amazing what this one man done , has tried to do - truly the Sheikh is very innovative. I was there to see the Dubai World cup 2009 - it was a fantastic experience to see it live, and though i saw the men of the royal family pretty close up i didnt manage to see Princess Haya even though she was very much there somewhere in a beige outfit :)
Thailand is extraordinary as well, the thai people their culture and most of all their sincere devotion to the King is unparalled. I do not thing anywhere in the world there exists such devotion for one man. Its amazing, every thai person you meet is so devoted to their king, my best friend who is a non thai - thai citizen is crazy about him as well. What a fascinating status the king commands its almost unreal to be worshipped by so many across all boundaries of class, creed and religion. South Thailand is inhabitated by Muslim thai's but too feel no different from their Buddhist counterparts. The more i learn about this great king the more i seem to become his admirer as well :)
More posts on these two great men later.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Maoist Priest! What next?

Pic 1: King Gyanendra blessing a holy man.
Pic 2: The king and his wife blessing nepalese people. Around 5000 people gathered outside the former kings residence on a holy day to be blessed. This was in October 2008 and around early jan 2009 Maoist priests were given positions in the most ancient shrine of Nepal - Pashupathinath.
It is clear Prachanda did not approve of Gyanendra's religious head status.
Beware King Gyanendra.

When the Maoists abolished the 240 year old monarchy and discharged the king from his royal residence i was scared for what would happen to the royal family. All revolutions throughout the world have resulted in a compete annhilation of the royals. Why was this so? Succeeding leaders have always always considered those of the royal blood their biggest threat. It is not a million Koirala's that Prachanda is afraid of. It is the unpopular King Gyanendra that he considers his biggest threat. It has always been so throughout history. Prachanda fears because he realises that popularity is just a bubble, a man who is loved today can be hated tomorrow and vice versa.

I had initially thought that some drastic action would be taken against the King and his family, when nothing happened my friends laughed at my pessimistic predictions. I hope what i say will never come true yet i am not so blind as to assume that Prachanda and his band of Maoists are going to let King Gyanendra live in peace for the rest of his life. Prachanda has fought for this all his life and now that he finally wears the crown he is especially worried that none should steal it from him. The saying 'uneasy lies the crowned head' is true for all rulers yet it is more true for those who have fought their way upto their crown. Those who have merely inherited it without a fight usually take it for granted. But those who have finally won it after many privations take especial care that there is no harm from any quarter whether real or imagined. And it is these latter types that can and will be ruthless.
Why didnt Prachanda act?

Because he still wasnt sure he was in full control. The army! Were they all his men? No, clearly no. There are two factions that generally decide the leadership of a country. The obvious one is the army - until Prachanda has not fully infiltrated his maoist army into the Nepalese army he dare not risk harming the king and his family. I am certain the slowly and surely he is replacing all those in high commands in the army with his own people.

The other thing that decides the status of a rulers crown is the socio-economic-religious factors. Prachanda is well aware that it was Nepals acute poverty that was the real reason for the revolution against the monarchy. When people are starving they just want to believe that a change in leadership will blow away all their sufferings , however if that new leadership also fails then they quickly revert back. Now since the economy of Nepal is in shambles and there's nothing much he can do about it quick, he knows people will begin 'liking' the hated Gyanendra again. When they realise that their children are still sick, their women still without cloth and themselves still starving they will begin to believe that maybe it is Prachanda who is the bad guy and maybe Gyanendra was not so bad after all.

To add to Prachanda's worries Gyanendra is regarded as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu by the devout. And remember the poor are generally devout and of great faith. He realised that this would be a great great threat to him. The ancient temples of Nepal and India still hold the hindu monarch in high esteem. And all men somewhere fear the Gods. Whether they be in the army or the temple.

Therefore Prachanda has astutely realised that this has to be cut from its roots, Gyanendra must have no influence in the temple's. Well his men are now governing in the temples, soon they will be ruling the armed forces. Then when he is in a relatively safer position he will eradicate his main rival - King Gyanendra.

I hope and pray that this does not happen.

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So much in love..!

OMG!! They are so much in love and it shows in the pics!! How cute:) and whats so fascinating is that he is perhaps the first and only (?) Sheikh who is seen in such a public display of affection for his wife. For those who have not yet placed them (duh! thats a lack of GK really) he is Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, the ruler and co creator of modern Dubai. She is his wife (not his chief wife - that salvo belongs to his first wife Sheikha Hind), Princess Haya of Jordan; Step sister to the current king Abdallah and daughter of the late king Hussein of Jordan. Last year the princess gave birth to their first child Princess Aljalilah (ive got pics of her too, she's a carbon copy of Sheikh Mo). Nice name there!
It was an out an out love marriage between the two who share an immense passion for thoroughbred horses. And it was horses that brought them together. Haya used to show jump and has been passionately involved with these beautiful animals since forever. The Sheikh who claims it is in his blood to love these beautiful arabians (check out his website :www.godolphin.com ) has been perhaps the biggest promoters of horse racing around the world. That reminds me - i am going for the Dubai carnival this year - Yayyyyyy!! (God willing)

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