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Expat wanderer

Backbiting

Our New Testament reading for today included this passage:

Galatians 5: 13-15
13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

I love the way this passage describes the truly awful way the things we can say about one another can destroy. “Devour” is a very strong word, and fits perfectly with backbiting, doesn’t it?

I remember one of my first Ramadans, and my friends who were explaining Ramadan to me explained how one of the most important things during Ramadan was absolutely NO BACKBITING.

Answers.com says this:

Back·bit·ing
n.
Secret slander; detraction.

Backbiting, and bearing of false witness.

so I wonder if this is exactly the same in Arabic as in English. The impression I got is that backbiting in Arabic is more like gossip. Backbiting seems to imply that it is not true, but gossip can hurt even if it has a thread of truth. My impression from what my friends were telling me was that saying anything negative or unkind about another during Ramadan was severely discouraged, true or not.

Can you clarify this for me?

June 29, 2007 Posted by | Books, Communication, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Language, Lies, Relationships, Social Issues, Spiritual, Words | 10 Comments

Kuwait: Chinese Seafood Imports?

First it was illegal – and poisonous – additives in pet foods, then in toothpaste. Pets and people died. Now, it is illegal antibiotics in the seafood – additions that exacerbate plagues like the MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) virus being fought in hospitals around the world, because it has become antibiotic resistant. My own father’s death was hastened by his vulnerability to this virus, and his lowered immune system couldn’t fight it off. For me, this is personal.

And I think a lot of the canned shrimp, frozen shrimp and scallops we buy here in Kuwait are also from China. Who is monitoring these foods?

US halts Chinese seafood imports

Chinese exports have surged as their prices have stayed low
The US has said it will halt imports of five types of farmed Chinese seafood, claiming they contain antibiotics that are not allowed in North America.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would detain shipments of catfish, basa, shrimp, dace and eel.

But the FDA said it was not recalling seafood already in the US, and that drug levels were not dangerous and only slightly above detectable levels.

This is the latest in a number of US warnings about Chinese products.

In past weeks there have been concerns about contaminated toothpaste, dog food and the paint used in toy trains.

China countered that its exports were no threat to health and “guaranteed” the safety of its products.

The FDA said it had found that Chinese seafood tested between October 2006 and May 2007 was repeatedly contaminated with antimicrobial agents.

Some of the substances included nitrofuran, malachite green and fluoroquinolone, which, according to the FDA, may help build up a resistance to antibiotics when used in food animals.

You can read the rest of the article HERE at BBC News.

June 29, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Cooking, Health Issues, Kuwait, News, Shopping, Social Issues, Technical Issue | Leave a comment

   

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