The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus, and makes up the visible portion of the Cygnus Loop, a large but faint supernova remnant, which exploded 5,000-8,000 years ago.
“The Veil between the worlds is thin
Our hearts reach cross the sea of time
To bring our loved ones in
Samhain, Samhain we honor all our kin
We honor those who’ve gone before
As the Great Wheel turns again…”
The man at the eye of the storm in Saudi Arabia is Ahmad Aziz Al Ghamdi. He’s a religious scholar, the former head of the religious police in Mecca, a group officially known as the Committee for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
He has the pedigree of an ultra-conservative. Yet, he stunned Saudis with a religious ruling, known as a fatwa, that is very liberal by Saudi standards. He declared that the niqab, the black face veil that is ubiquitous among women in Saudi society, is not obligatory.
Caption: Saudi Arabian women wear their traditional face covering, the niqab, at a coffee and chocolate exhibition in the capital Riyadh on Monday. A prominent religious figure said on Twitter that the face veil is not mandatory, sparking a heated national debate.
“There’s no doubt the veil is used by some as a way of marginalising, controlling and dominating women. It is used to relegate women to second-class citizens, to deny their sexuality and even to threaten sexual violence. But the veil, a piece of cloth, does not have the power to do that. Only societies do. Focusing on the former does not reform the latter.”