Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 5th, 2008

What is this “Greater Syria Nation”? (December 3, 2008)

Syria, “Syrie”, or “Souria” is Su Rya in the Sanskrit language which means the “Land of the Sun“.

There are other names for Syria such as Suraqia (a combination of Syria and Iraq) or the Fertile Crescent.  The Arabic/Islamic occupation called it “Al Sham” or the land on the left side of Mecca or westward.

This potential nation is bordered from the East by the Zahgross and Bakhtiyari Mountain Chains (in present Iran and facing the Arab/Persian Gulf) that link with the Kurdistan Mountain Chains up north and the Taurus Mountain Chains in present Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea.

The south east merges with the western desert of the Arabian Peninsula; the south is bounded by the Arabian Sea; the south west by the Sinai Desert and the west by the Mediterranean Sea.

Thus, this potential nation included present States of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, part of west Iran, and part of south Turkey.

The Syriac or Aramaic language calls it Shu Riash, the Assyrian (Ashur) and the Ancient Testament of the Jews called this land Aram with qualifiers. For example, we have Aram of the two Rivers (Iraq), Aram Damascus, Aram Soba (Bekaa Valley in Lebanon), Aram Maakat (Hasbaya, Banyas in Lebanon), Aram Rahoub (Golan Heights in Syria).

Theoretically, “Greater Syria” has formidable delimited natural borders.

Practically, the topography of the inner land was wide open and there were no difficult barriers for any invader to move in with a large army.

Unfortunately for “Greater Syria” it was a most fertile land with mighty long rivers and multitudes of rich, skilled, and self contained City-States “merchant Republics” that were willing to pay the requisite tribute in order to be left in peace to resume their way of life and for accumulating more treasures.

The “Land of the Sun” has the sun shining most of the years and its ancient religion adored the Sun as the highest unique God (fundamentally monolithic) in the name of Eel or Enlil (Babylon) or Allah in the Arab Peninsula.

All the ancient Empires in that region adopted the same religion with slight variations.  Each religious sect had an assortment of minor Gods (males and females) with specialties and attributes such as Baal, Ashtarout (Astarte), Nabu, Hubal, and Lat and so on.

All the Empires in Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome adopted the same structure for their religions.

The specialized minor Gods overshadowed the generalist mightiest Unique God. 

Thus, each City-State was jealous of it minor God or totem on whom it lavished qualities of its main trade.

I think that is how caste systems were created: each City-State considered its self-autonomy as symbolic to its minor God or sect.  Trade exigencies were the only reasons for these City-States to communicate among one another or associate with for duration.

These City-States were “merchant republics” with democratic institutions within city limits; they were unable to unite or form any long lasting Empires against the invading warlike Empires coming from Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Rome, the Crusaders, and finally the European colonizers.

A few City-States confronted mighty Empires and sometimes managed to defend themselves victoriously like Sidon (Saida).  Many times the City-States burned themselves and their cities (again Sidon) and Cartage.  Tyr accepted that Alexander enters the sanctuary of Baal but refused him the permission to enter with his officers.

Syria was unified most of the time under foreign Empires of domination.

The first time that Syria enjoyed unity as a Nation was under the Seleucus dynasty (one of Alexander officers) with Capital in Antioch for barely 3 centuries.  It was a nation of compatible cultures with the Greek City-States mentality.

Even then, Syria was unable to institute a central army. That was the period when Hannibal was defeated in Zama (Tunisia/Cartage) by the Romans.

Cartage, the typical City-State of caste system and founded by Tyr, signed cooperation treaties with the Seleucus empire against their common enemy Rome, but the support failed to materialize when needed against Rome.  It was after his defeat that Hannibal fled to Syria; but it was too late to check mighty Rome militarily.

Before Islam, Syria was a prized region for frequent razzias by the Bedouin tribes, originating in the northern part of desert Arabic Peninsula.  Many of these Arabic tribes settled in Syria and a few converted to Christianity before Islam conquered Syria.

There were two other periods when Syria had a special nation status during the Arabic Omayyad dynasty and Saladin Al Ayyubi with Capital in Damascus.

Mostly, Syria was divided in small kingdoms or fiefdoms as extensions to City-States variations.  Thus, Syria is a mix of various nationalities and ethnic groups that have common cultures and language but never managed on its own volition to form a central government with a central army. 

A cultural political movement in Lebanon (December 4, 2008)


You would realize that the term “social” is not included in the movement because it would be both redundant and misleading.  It is redundant because a movement is ultimately targeting a society and cannot prosper and advance without appealing to a broad spectrum in the population.  It would be misleading to insert “social” because the movement is focusing on the individual to facilitating a climate of study, discourse, dialogue and communication with others regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious sect, professions, or social economical class or status.  The movement is “in” Lebanon because the guidelines are meant to be valid to most under-developed States but will start application in Lebanon.

The crux of the problem in under-developed countries is that the social structures are variations on caste system; a caste is a self-autonomous, closed community with its own tradition, customs and civil laws.  When a social caste system develops into a political system then the consequences are variations of “juntas of theocratic castes” dedicated to restricting the representation of other caste and generating economic and financial oligarchies through the power of State laws and institutions.

In social caste systems communications among the different castes are very restrictive and basically limited to a few representatives in the political and administrative institutions.  There are no feasible alternatives within these kinds of societies to develop, progress, change, and survive in an environment of competing interests.  What is needed is to work on the individuals of the new generations and offer them a climate of individual reflection, study groups, and communication platforms that entice them into recognizing the cultural characteristics of the various groups.


The two secular political parties in Lebanon (the various factions of communists and the Syrian Social National Party) have so far failed to make any headway, after over 75 years of their foundation, in the caste political system. The impression is that these two secular parties have been absorbed in the general spirit of the social caste system and the biased election laws have prohibited the institution of any democratic platforms for reforms.  The bottom line is that all our leaders never dared submit a secular law to the Parliament or tried to form a coalition of secular parties and associations.  It is thus paramount that a new secular movement be created that would project hope for snatching reforms through a grass root movement and working for the long haul.


Why this movement is about the individual? The only living “Truth” is what you arrived at individually by your own reflection and spiritual labor.  Any teaching that robs the individual of his own capacity of discovering his set of Truths is bogus; organizations and associations that claim to offer their unique way to spirituality by releasing the individual from his responsibility to think his way out have goals of amassing power through the unity of spiritually lazy members who lost confidence in their worth.

We exist because we still have the drive to find the Truth, and find it individually with confidence in our mental, rational, and spiritual ethical potentials.  The day-to-day struggle for survival may be the path to our sure death if we fail to find time to reflect on our spiritual power, to find time to exist as a free person regardless of the opinions imposed upon us by the masses surrounding us.

The fundamental basis for this movement is to consider the common denominators that the new generations in most castes are ready to agree with.  The leading value is equitability which is the under current of all the philosophical and moral concepts of equality, freedom, liberty, democracy, justice, security and the rest.  Citizens want to be listened to seriously and for their opinions to be considered at their just values after deep reflection and investment in time and energy.


First of all, the new movement has to declare it loyalty to the recognized State of Lebanon by the United Nations.  This movement should not be used as a platform for discussions on whether Lebanon is a Nation or not a nation or what are the basis for being labeled, Phoenician, Syrian, Arab, Moslem, or the dozen other exotic sources for an exclusive and elusive identity.  Tiny Lebanon is one of over 170 States recognized by the UN and not having the basis to be a nation in population or land sizes.

The notion of a nation is real and will still exist for years to come.  I suggest that the study of our nationality be done in study groups, of individuals who are interested enough to read, invest time and energy to discuss and dialogue and analyze.  Outside study groups, it is tantamount to return to our current states of affairs of dogmatism and infantile demagoguery.


Second, the movement should recognize plainly and bluntly the reality of our current socio-political system, analyze it clearly and then never bring that subject again.  The new movement should not be used as promotional medium for the confessional parties to inculcate our caste system, through repetition, into our psychic. Consequently, the members of the new movement are not to even indulge public challenges based on caste and confessional platforms and through the audio-visual communication media.  To the general public we may confidently say that we studied the system, we acknowledged its shortcoming, we set it behind us and we resumed the struggle according to programs and plans.

Confessionalism, feudalism, sectarianism and all the “isms” will be around for many years and approaching these realities should be done under serious study groups and communication platform research.


Third, the members are Lebanese who are striving for a modern civil society and central civil status register and working to instituting civil marriage laws and inheritance programs.  Any program that tends to open up the communication lines among castes is good enough to start with.  Any program that facilitates inner trade and association is good enough for a start.  Communication platforms designed for investigating and encouraging members of various castes to dialogue should be studied and adopted and disseminated.

It is plausible under the current circumstances that optional civil marriage law is acceptable until the legal institutions and corresponding administrations are firmly installed and functional.


What name to give for this secular movement?  How about “Communication Groups Movement” (CGM)?




December 2008

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