Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 3rd, 2008

October report on Lebanon (November 2, 2008)


Politics in Lebanon is like the weather condition in Southern California: all you need is a brief report by the end of the month stating “sunny clear skies, but hot hot hot!”  Go figure, hundreds upon hundred of politicians, deputies and ministers leading the high life for being totally redundant.

October witnessed a heavy schedule for all kinds of detours. The President to the Republic Michel Suleiman visited head of States around the world; from France, to Syria, to Saudi Arabia, to Italy, to the Vatican, to Canada, to the USA, and the UN. The Prime Minister Seniora would not be outdone but his visits are mainly for private business representing the Hariri clan interests in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait. General Aoun visited Iran for a week.  Samir Geaja was hosted by Egypt.  Saad Hariri is sleeping in his private jet and barely visits Lebanon.

The second kind of activities relates to a caste system scheme of dual (peaceful understanding meetings) “mousalahat” between the various political caste leaders.  The purpose of these dual meetings is to reach a comprehensive plan for rigging the next parliamentary election so that the two alliances (government and opposition) obtain equal numbers of deputies (60 deputies each) and so that the President of the Republic be allotted 8 deputies; the undersecretary to the Egyptian secret services came to Lebanon to confirm the agreement of the regional powers to that deal.  The most ridiculous drama is that all these leaders still claim that the next election is the crux of the matter: it should be most crucial for Lebanon because it will guide the strategies of this tiny State for decades to come!

For the time being, the leaders of Hezbollah (Shiaa) and The Future Movement or Mustakbal (Sunni) have finally met face to face.  The second line leaders of Hezbollah and Druze Walid Jumblatt met several times.  The real difficulty is among the Christian political leaders of General Michel Aoun, Suliman Frangieh and Samir Geaja.  The main problem is not related to the dogmatic stands of their respective Parties but mainly to the figure of Geaja.  Geaja had already served over 11 years of prison terms for assassinating a Prime Minister, the father and mother of Suleiman Frangieh, and for waging a brutal war against the Lebanese army.  Without Geaja leading the Lebanese Forces Party there would be no problems on meeting and reconciliation.

What about the hundreds upon hundreds of political “leaders” and small political parties?  Well, they are stooges (comparses), including the leaders of the clergies of 18 sects.

What about the ministers in this “National Coalition” government?  The main figure is the Minister of the Interior so that he may appose his stamp proclaiming fairness in the election process and that it was conducted in due form according to the new laws.

            The third kind of activities is defining the responsibilities of the Vice Prime Minister so that the Orthodox Christian sect would enjoy some kind of standing among the five prominent sects/castes. 

For November expect news of the the general meeting of all the main leaders of the castes. The secular and oldest political parties are discarded: Saudi Arabia and Egypt (through their mouthpiece of Saad Hariri) do not like this idea of a rejuvenation of the political system.

Persian poets

Khayyam and Hafiz, (November 1, 2008)

I finished reading a French translation of the quatrains of the Persian poets Khayyam and Hafiz.

Although four centuries separate the two poets, the style, idea and philosophy are the same! The enemies are the same: tight hypocritical clerics and rigid rules governing daily moral behavior.

The main philosophy is that your life has been written before you were born, and so why all these constraints that hamper joy in this ephemeral life?

Drinking wine is the main symbol for breaking into all the prohibitions.

I read in the French book “Pintades de Tehran” that many girls there brandish the collection of Hafiz poems as their amorous poetic Bible.

Many critics go a long way differentiating between the living lover and the mystical idea of a God.  There is no difference; it is a matter of level of energy and the power of abstract notions.  You cannot compare the passions of an old man with a youth, qualitatively and quantitatively.

Even a young man full of energy and zest can be lead astray by an abstract notion that he thinks cannot hurt him, and that he may manipulate it to his convenience any time he desires.

Let a young man fall in love with a real person and quickly disappointment overcomes him:  A living lover is Not as convenient as an abstract notion of a God, liberty, freedom, independence and human dignity.

What happens to a healthy person who awakes early and is invigorated by the morning breeze?  Wings develop to the mind and spirit and everything seems possible and alternatives boom.

What happens to a healthy person, tired of a day’s work, who sits down in the evening to get slowly drunk?  Wings develop to his subconscious mind and his spirit gets loose; but what his mind imagines in real.

In every language the same imagery and selected “poetic” words in poems recurs indefinitely.  You finally realize that one good poem is representative of the spirit and poetical aspiration of a whole civilization; you read one poem in one style and you feel you read them all.  

And you realize that you are glad that you can read several languages so that you may compare the richness in imagery.

The process is as follows:

Once a poet start writing, abstract notions gradually replaces real life constraints and inadequacies.  As the poet realizes that he is indeed talking in abstraction, he explodes and soars into incomprehensible symbolism of the antiquities; the sort of odes that hard neck poets appreciate.

And what are the interests of the general public in all that?  Just leave it to the specialists to explain the meaning and beauty of the imageries and symbolism.

A one directional mind is dangerous and counter-productive to the re-birth of the spirit, and discovering newer individual truths.

Time, more time and some experiences are pre-requisites for forming minds “below average”, but time is the arch-enemy of the spirit.

It is ridiculous that youth has to cater for survival when he should be expressing his spirit.




November 2008

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