Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The Guardian (G2), Friday, June 6, 2003, page 4
The work of God
Decent pay, flexible hours, good benefits package - but being Saudi Arabia's state executioner does have its down side, as Muhammad Saad al-Beshi tells Mahmoud Ahmad
Muhammad Saad al-Beshi beheads up to seven people a day."It doesn't matter to me: Two, four, 10 - as long as I'm doing God's will, it doesn't matter how many people I execute," says Saudi Arabia's leading executioner. Al-Beshi began his career at a prison in Taif, where his job was to handcuff and blindfold the prisoners before their execution. "Because of this background, I developed a desire to be an executioner," he says. When a position became vacant, he applied and was accepted immediately.
His first job was in 1998 in Jeddah. "The criminal was tied and blindfolded. With one stroke of the sword I severed his head. It rolled metres away." Of course he was nervous, he says - there were a lot of people watching, after all - but now stage fright is a thing of the past. He says he is calm at work because he is doing God's work. "But there are many people who faint when they witness an execution. I don't know why they come and watch if they don't have the stomach for it. Me? I sleep very well."
Does he think people are afraid of him? "In this country we have a society that understands God's law," he says. "No one is afraid of me. I have a lot of relatives, and many friends at the mosque, and I live a normal life like everyone else. There are no drawbacks for my social life."
Before an execution, none the less, he will visit the family of the victim of the criminal to obtain forgiveness for the man about to die. "I always have that hope, until the very last minute, and I pray to God to give the criminal a new lease of life. I always keep that hope alive."
Al-Beshi will not reveal how much he gets paid per execution, as this is a confidential agreement with the government. But he insists that the reward is not important. "I am very proud to do God's work," he says.
However, he does reveal that a sword costs something in the region of 20,000 Saudi riyals (£3,300). "It's a gift from the government. I look after it and sharpen it once in a while, and I make sure to clean it of bloodstains. It's very sharp. People are amazed how fast it can separate the head from the body."
By the time the victims reach the execution square, they have surrendered themselves to death, he says, though they may hope to be forgiven at the last minute. Indeed, the only conversation that takes place is when he tells the prisoner to say the Shahada, their covenant with Allah. "Their hearts and minds are taken up with reciting the Shahada. When they get to the execution square, their strength drains away. Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner's head off."
He has executed a number of women without hesitation. "Despite the fact that I hate violence against women, when it comes to God's will, I have to carry it out."
There is no great difference between the execution of men and women, except that the women wear hijab, and no one is allowed near them except Al-Beshi when the time for execution comes.When executing women, he has a choice of weapon. "It depends what they ask me to use. Sometimes they ask me to use a sword and sometimes a gun. But most of the time I use the sword," he says.
As an experienced executioner, 42-year-old Al-Beshi is entrusted with the task of training the young. "I successfully trained my son Musaed, 22, as an executioner and he was approved and chosen," he says proudly. Training focuses on the way to hold the sword and where to hit, and consists mostly of the trainee observing the executioner at work.
But an executioner's work is not all killing; sometimes it can simply be an amputation. "I use a special sharp knife instead of a sword," he explains. "When I cut off a hand, I cut it from the joint. If it is a leg, the authorities specify where it is to be taken off, so I follow that."
Al-Beshi describes himself as a family man. He was married when he became an executioner, and his wife did not object to his choice of profession. "She only asked me to think carefully before committing myself," he recalls. "But I don't think she's afraid of me. I deal with my family with kindness and love. They aren't afraid when I come back from an execution. Sometimes they help me clean my sword."
A father of seven, he is a grandfather already. "My daughter has a son called Haza, and he's my pride and joy," he says. "Then there are my sons. The oldest one is Saad, and of course there is Musaed, who will be the next executioner."
Monday, February 25, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Over 12 years ago Elaine an hour 7000 miles apart we both were lonely. We both were broken hearted. We met on the computer dating service. We fell in love. We have lived happily for the past 12 years. Not every story has such good outcome. Christian mingle.com is a dating service for Christian people 1 lady was on the service she met a man on the service. She invited him over to her house to meet. The man came to our house and violently rape your. The moral of the story is would you meet a stranger meet them in a public place and be careful you never know who you're dealing with.
I thought you might be interested in this story: Pentagon checking story for bin Laden raid secrets, http://m.sfgate.com/sfchron/db_106665/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=g4lLw7Ad Sent via the SFGate.com Android App. Download the app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sfgate.android
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
The magical kingdom
Friday, February 15, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
It was such a beautiful day yesterday. It was great to be alive and payment for all the dark and bad days that one has to suffer through. Elena, Luah, and I went to Pacifica Thai Cuisine restaurant near the house. We had driven by it for nine years and never bothered to go in. Then we got curious. We had lunch there and it was really a pleasant surprise. The food was great and the service was warm and friendly. Later that evening I watched the latest Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome. It was a brilliant show that lived up to the proud traditions of this great series. Now the work week begins.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
I thought you might be interested in this story: Hunt for fugitive resumes in Calif. mountains, http://m.sfgate.com/sfchron/db_106665/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=nwCQSIDh Sent via the SFGate.com Android App. Download the app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sfgate.android
Friday, February 8, 2013
I thought you might be interested in this story: Ex-DA denies misconduct in wrongful conviction, http://m.chron.com/chron/db_273428/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=KIBLJ9VE Sent via the Chron.com Android App. Download the app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chron.android
Thursday, February 7, 2013
I have read over 3,000 books on this subject. It is very important to me that we never forget the incredible courage and suffering of the Russian people.
The internet television service Hulu gave me a rare treat. It was a multi-part documentary from Russia. Its title was "Soviet Storm-World War II In The East. It is a documentary that was beautifully researched and produced. After 43 years of study I was learning new things. This is a wonderful program!!!
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
Sunday, February 3, 2013
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
might have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood, who strives valiantly,
who errs and comes up short again and again. Because there is no effort without error, there can be no achievement
The credit belongs to the man who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms and the great
devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause.
Who at best, in the end, knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, should he fail, at least fails while
For his place shall never be among those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
I have spent this afternoon Bing mesmerize. I'm watching the new Netflix original show house of cards. Kevin Stacy place a US congressman. It is set in Washington DC. I started in politics in 1966 in Houston. That's 47 years ago. This is what it's really like. This is a great show I recommend it for everyone.