Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swine Flu Fever

swine flu fears are growing, may affect Haj: Dry Bones cartoon.
By the "Fever" in "Swine Flu Fever" I am referring to the wave of flu fear washing across the Middle East. The upcomming pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca may be a casualty:
"TEHRAN/JEDDAH — As swine flu fears are growing, Iran has banned `Umrah during the holy fasting month of Ramadan while Saudi Arabia ordered mandatory measures for pilgrims during hajj.

"We will have no pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during the month of Ramadan," Health Minister Mohammad Bagher Lankarani said, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Wednesday, August 5.

He said Iranian pilgrims will leave Saudi Arabia before the start of Ramadan, expected on August 22.

Lankarani said restrictions will also be placed on Iranians going on hajj, expected to begin on November 19." -more

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Meanwhile, here in Israel we're taking a much more "pro-active" approach. In order to stave off the H1N1 virus, a plane-load of kabbalists has circled the country, praying, reciting incantations, and blowing trumpets and rams horns (shofars) while aloft. The story, as reported in Ynet:
"On Monday morning an Arkia airlines plane took off from Ben Gurion Airport carrying rabbis and kabbalists and flew over the country in a flight aimed at preventing the swine flu virus from spreading in Israel through prayers.

The purpose of the flight was to "stop the epidemic, thus preventing further deaths," explained Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri whose father, Rabbi David Batzri had initiated the flight. "We are certain that because of our prayers danger is already behind us," he added.

During the flight the passengers blew the shofar seven times and said prayers intended for abolishing illnesses." - more

Fighting the Flu
I found this photo in coverage by JerusalemOne.

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So how is Swine Flu Fever in YOUR part of the world?

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