By Syed M. Aslam
Aug 05 - 11, 2002



*** "HOW MANY TIMES should you repeat the same promises for people and hold conferences and meetings ... snubbing their problems and inflicting high costs of your foreign trips and luxurious life on people?"

(Open letter written by the most important pro-reform Iranian cleric, Grand Ayatollah Jalaledin Taheri, to the 'patient' people of Iran. He resigned from his post as Friday leader of the central city of Isfahan in protest against the 'regrettable' political situation)

*** "I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED to invent something which helps people and makes life easier for farmers. A lawnmower, for example."

(Eighty-two-year-old inventor of assault rifle, which bears his name Mikhail 'Kalashinkov', saying that though he is proud of the weapon he wished he'd designed something to help people)

*** "ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT must take responsibility for this atrocity and do everything to prevent its air force doing this kind of thing in the future... I am also appalled and ashamed of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cold-hearted response to it, stating that it was 'one of our greatest successes'."

(Letter written by Noreen O'Carroll, press officer at the Israeli embassy in Dublin, Ireland, to newspapers strongly condemning Israel's deadly air strike on civilian population in Gaza City. The letter earned her a suspension)

*** "WOMEN ON THE SCENE had their hands tied behind their backs by the US forces."

(A draft UN report accusing US troops of cover-up of civilian casualties caused by bombings of a wedding party saying that coalition forces had arrived on the scene very quickly to 'remove the evidence of shrapnel, bullets and traces of blood')

*** "WHAT ABOUT the security forces? Are they being paid? Are they being fed? No."

(Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah warning that his country could slide back into chaos if world nations continue to hold billions they announced in aid to the war-devastated country)

*** "SEVERAL TIMES. They have asked me to run for the House and the Senate, but I've always managed to keep my virtue intact. I mean, who wants to hang out with those kind of people?"

(US novelist Tom Clancy replying to a question that if he ever been tempted to run for the office?)

*** "HONEST, HARD WORK is an option, even in Sicily."

(Owner of the first 'anti-Mafia' restaurant in Sicilian capital of Palermo, the birthplace of infamous criminal brotherhood)

*** "THERE IS NO MORE CULTURE in the Arab world. It's finished... we are a part of Western culture, but only as consumers, not as creators...What strikes me about the States is the richness of American society on the one hand, and on the other the smallness of its foreign policy."

(Ali Ahmad Said, better known as Adonis, widely considered the Arab world's greatest living poet, commenting on the top inherent weakness of Arabs and the Americans)

*** "MY FATHER lived in his brain while my mother lives in her heart... My mother was really the one who spoiled us. (But) she was a very real person."

(Son of late Philippines strongman and Governor of one of the country's province, Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos, saying that he considers his disgraced mother Imelda Marcos 'the best politician he knows')

*** "NO PEOPLE HURT, just three million chicks."

(Spokeswoman for Britain's Lancashire Fire and Rescue brigade commenting on a fire at a huge hatchery)

*** "YOU'LL HAVE A PALACE in heaven. I'll only have an apartment,"

(Consolation offered by a character of a rich minister to a poverty-stricken commoner in a satirical Syrian play lampooning rampant corruption in the country)

*** "I CAN SEND HOME not only minister... but also the entire cabinet, including the prime minister."

(Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga angrily reacting to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's refusal to sack a minister who alleged during a cabinet meeting that she 'brought bombs to kill the prime minister, the cabinet ministers and herself')