Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 2009

The Tunnel (Ch. 37 of autobiography)

 

The Dean, who was from India, refused me a grant as a former graduate in Industrial engineering. Dr. Foote, my former MS advisor, failed to actively support me as I expected of him.

I had no choice but to enroll in order to straighten my visa status from business to graduate student. I paid the full exorbitant tuition for 12 credit-hours and was completely broke by the end of the semester.

I had to take three undergraduate courses, two of them I had taken but the third one (Experimental Design) turned out to be the most interesting and very important for my field.  I settle for the Human Factor specialty within the industrial engineering department because Dr. Purswell agreed to be my advisor the next semester.

Dr. Purswell managed to offer me a quarter-time scholarships that allowed me to reduce the tuition rate.  Dr. Purswell was more interested in the health and safety aspects in this field: he had a private company in forensic engineering for work related accidents. 

There were not enough graduate Human Factors courses in the industrial engineering department for a PhD program: the human factors field was not well developed as the other industrial engineering specialties and the university lacked qualified professors in that field. I was lucky to complement my course requirements in many other departments which offered me new perspective and approach to the human element in all these artificial human made systems.

            I enrolled in a couple of graduate courses in the Psychology department and I felt at home; my heart got set on the cognitive aspect of human capabilities and limitations, instead of the physical aspects that is known as Ergonomics and the modeling of the human body versus the functions of the brain.

Thus, I ended up taking courses in various departments such as marketing, business, economics, education and others to fulfill the required number of graduate credit-hours.

I had taken many courses in cognitive psychology and various statistical modeling and software analysis programs that are frequently used in marketing, business, psychology and econometric  

One professor by the name Getty gave me credits for the Pascal programming language that I had audited and did all the homework and exams as I paid for the course the next semester.  

I was hooked to the cognitive field in Human Factors but my advisor would have none to do with cognition for my dissertation: he was not interested in such a field and it was not in his line of business.  To be fair, Dr. Purswell was more than patient with me and let me write two proposals related to cognition that both were turned down within a year. 

Finally, Dr. Purswell had to deliver an ultimatum or he would have no choice but to suspend my scholarships.

I was ordered to stop all part-time jobs. I obeyed and within a semester I wrote the proposal, designed the experiment, finished setting up the fictitious chemical lab and carried out several intelligence testing protocols just to divert the true objective from the over 120 “subjects”

The subjects were mostly first year Psychology students because they are required to submit to experiments for credit-hours. That semester was hectic but a lot of fun.

The next semester was the worst of all semesters because I had to input thousands of data and read hundreds of pages of computer statistical results and the gruesome task of writing up my dissertation.

I had Dr. Schelegel in my advisory team and he forced me to use a specialized word processing program, simply because the print was professional and versatile. The problem was that no one could interpret the error in the program and fix it when I got stuck except him. I occasionally had to wait a couple of weeks to meet with him in order to untangle stupid word processing glitches.

Islam: The Prophet Mohammad (Part 1, January 31, 2009)

Note: This essay is mainly a historical account of the genesis of Islam and does not intend to delve in any religious belief system,

Mecca at the time of the prophet Muhammad was built four generation ago to cater for desert caravans bringing goods from Zafar and Yemen. After resting in Mecca and delivering the merchandize to the four major clans, fresh new caravans took the relay and headed toward Egypt, Iraq/Iran, or Syria/Turkey and back to Mecca. 

It barely rains in that region and the only potable well was called Zamzam.  The story goes that Abraham abandoned his Egyptian wife Hagar and his son Ismail to their fate in this unforgiving area.  Luckily for Hagar, Angel Gabriel (Gibreel) uncovered for Hagar the well Zamzam and she survived with her newly born son. 

Once a year, the Bedouins of Arabia who adored 360 idols, which are imported from the neighboring countries, to encourage pilgrimage to the Black Stone (Al Ka3ba), celebrated the passage of this same Abraham (Ibraheem) in the vicinity.

Mecca was structured around concentric dwellings starting from the Black Stone and fanning out.  Houses closest to the Black Stone belonged to the most prominent personalities in the city council and their respective clans in the extended Kuraich (Shark) tribe.  There were four main clans and each clan was specialized in one kind of commerce. For example, the Scarlet tents sold spices and scents, the Black tents the cloth and leather, the Silver tents precious metals and swords and the fourth colored tents or the owners of the Dappled Camels specialized in entertainments, wine, hashish, and the slave trade.

Water carriers were despised because any overflowing of water would damage the streets and homes built out of sand.

Around the year 600, the businessmen in Mecca were losing trade to the sea transports.  Worse, another new and famous Temple was built in Sheba in Yemen and pilgrims were investigating these new regions.  Thus, the pilgrims were trickling to Mecca because they realized that they were being milked from every penny they had and young girls were abducted for ransom. 

Consequently, the Kuraich tribe encouraged vile entertainment activities during the pilgrimage season to attract more customers to Mecca.

A climate of uneasiness prevailed among the “puritanical” souls and the majority of the city inhabitants who could not afford to participate in the merriments, luxuries, and the debauch of the festivities.

           

The Black Stone enshrined about 360 idols brought from around the neighboring civilizations to entice pilgrims in from all around the regions of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and India.  For example, The Black Stone housed the colossus idol Hubal, representing the shepherd, the idol Kain was the patron of musicians and blacksmiths, Astarte (He-of-Shara) of the Nabataen, the saturnine Nakruh; Manaf was the sun god, Nasr of the eagle-form, See Quzah that held the rainbow; Uzza the goddess of beauty and love, and Lat the all powerful mother goddess.  The idol Allah had some sort of overall authority, an all-rounder in an age of specialist idols and thus was not that popular and didn’t generate money.

           

The all powerful Ummaya clan owned the three most famous goddesses of Al Lat, Manat, and Uzza.  Young Muhammad was an orphan and his clan Abi Taleb, a clan of lower stature and thus was not represented in the city council. The business woman Khadija had hired Muhammad to lead and manage her caravans heading to Damascus.

           

Mohammad had the opportunity during his commerce ventures around Damascus to meet with many Christian and Jewish sects.  Many Christian sects in Syria were persecuted as heretics by the Byzantium Empire. Their monolithic belief systems were rooted in what we call Christian-Jews religion; they believed that Jesus message was a continuation of the Jewish religion and they abided by the Jewish traditions, customs, and Laws in their daily life.  They were monophysists in the sense that some of these Christian-Jews sects believed that Jesus was spirit and the son of God and others that Jesus was plain human and the last prophet before the end of time. Marie, the mother of Jesus, was not honored as a viable interceder to God via Jesus.

Khadija was barely 10 years older than Mohammad when she married him; she later was the first person to believe in the predication of Muhammad.  By the age of 41 Muhammad message of “no God but Allah” was not making any major breakthrough among the city dwellers.  The young and most prominent poet lampoonist nicknamed Al Aasha (the near sighted) had pinned up all over town his poem “Messenger, do please lend a careful ear.  Your monophilia, your One, One, One, isn’t for Jahilia. Return to sender”.

Beside his uncle Hamza and a few poor fellows not many were paying any attention to Muhammad’s revelations. 

Among those poor individuals who were staunch believers in the new monolithic religion were Khalid the water carrier, Salman from Persia (who later would suggest to dig a wide ditch around Medina to prevent the cavalry of Kuraich to enter the town), and Bilal the mighty slave that Muhammad set free from his owner and would later be appointed the first official “muezzin” calling the believers to the five prayers of the day.

           

As Muhammad got richer, his message attracted more followers and the squeeze was tightened his followers were harassed on a daily basis. Many had to immigrate to Christian Ethiopia to make a living. The preeminent leaders of the larger tribe tried to strike deals with Mohammad in order to keep the peace for the flourishing industry of the City, and not to alienate Khadija. 

Mohammad could keep preaching his message for 13 years in Mecca without major disturbances. Maybe one of the deals was for the Prophet Mohammad not to focus his attack on the three major idols of the clan of Ummya through the verse “Have you thought upon Lat, Manat, and Uzza, the third, the other?  They are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”.

           

Probably, Muhammad’s found harsh resistance from his devout followers for his concession.  Muhammad hurried to Mount Cone and spent the night in the cave, 500 meters below the top of Cone facing the vast desert.  The Prophet returned with a counter verse and recited it in the House of the Black Stone in front of the praying pilgrims of the three idol female Goddesses and he recanted the previous verse by the verse  “Shall He have daughters and you sons?  That would be a fine division!  These are but names you have dreamed of, you and your fathers.  Allah vests no authority in them.”

It happened that the uncle of Muhammad, Hamza, killed two masked young men during one night of the festivities; they were the brothers of the powerful Hind, the wife of the most powerful Ummaya leader. In the same period his wife Khadija died and Muhamad had no protection anymore in Mecca. The Kuraish tribe decided that it was an excellent timing to eliminate Muhammad.  A new period is beginning and that they would have to leave Mecca pronto.

While Muhammad was mourning Khadija for 40 days in seclusion he ordered his disciples to leave to the northern city of Yathrib in small groups.   The prophet Mohammad managed to flee Mecca and his trip to Yathreb (later named Medina) lasted a month in order to confound the search party of the Kuraich assassins. The satiric poet Al Aasha composed a valedictory ode: “What kind of idea does “Submission” seem today? One full of fear.  An idea that runs away.”

If the Koran can be published in chronological order then the true message of Islam in the first 13 years of proselytizing would be discovered to be a cohesive blend of the monolithic belief system of the “heretic” Christian-Jew sects in Syria.  At that period, the Moslems were to face Jerusalem for prayers.  The next 10 years of Islam were mainly the period of legislating for a community of Moslems.

Introspection: Suhail, (continue 36)

 

This is my second trip to the University of Oklahoma at Norman, 1985. I am planning for a Ph.D degree in Industrial Engineering.

 

In the meantime, I had contacted the university student foreign office and it was run by Sue. A lovely structural engineering undergraduate student, Suhail from Tunisia, agreed to share his university apartment with me.  Suhail loved everything that is Lebanese, food, music and all, but I was not up to his expectations. 

 

Suhail was a bright and caring person; he finished his PhD in no time and wrote an “artificial intelligent” computer program for structural engineers; the program would prompt you with inquiries and at the end it would suggest the proper equation to use for your problem or project.  The notion of artificial intelligence was the rage at the time and I had audited a course on that topic because I could not afford tuition and read many books on the topic.

 

The next year, Suhail got married with a Palestinian/US girl in Norman and got a son; he did all these things while I was plugging in to get past my General Exam. I think Suhail’s wife name was Wafaa and she helped her parents in a restaurant that specialized in Near Eastern food. I recall that we occasionally had the specialty of the day around lunch time; probably Suhail’s visits were much more frequent.

 

Suhail aided me greatly in writing the computer program for my computer generated experiment: I started writing the program in Pascal but I was not that proficient in programming, and Suhail translated my ideas into C++.  I had audited a course in C++ because I could not afford any tuition but had to stop coming to class. I thought that I was taking an introductory course in C++ but discovered quickly that the computer engineers were already proficient in that programming language. The funny part was that the team I was added to were gracious enough to deliver me the programming instructions of its final project.

 

Suhail obtained his Ph.D before me, and was working with his advisor, capitalizing on the artificila intelligence program he had written. I met him once before I left Norman and he had a son already and had visited Tunisia with his wife.

 

Note: The cynic in me could not find a fault in Suhail: He has all the capabilities and rare deficiencies that I could think of. He his handsome, smart, sober, funny, smiling…and can be all he sets his mind at doing and being.  I hope that Tunisia after the Spring upheaval will find a place for Suhail to prosper and be the change that this lovely people deserve. It love Suhail and it would be nice to meet with him again.

Many rooms for Happiness (January 29, 2009)

1.      Happiness is: good health short on memory (Ingrid Bergman)

2.      There are pieces always missing in happiness (Bossuet)

3.      It is difficult to find happiness within us; it is impossible elsewhere. (Buddha)

4.      Happiness requires talent; misfortune none (Cocteau)

5.      When you swim in happiness don’t forget keeping a toe on firm ground (Escayrol)

6.      Happiness is not acquiring nor enjoying; it is not desiring to be free (Epictetus)

7.      Happiness is the blues at rest (Leo Ferre)

8.      Happiness is kid’s dream realized in adulthood (Sigmund Freud)

9.      Happiness is rarely current (Gusdorf)

10.  Happiness is attention to details (Liu Hiang)

11.  Happiness is not of reason but of imagination. (Emmanuel Kant)

12.  Happiness is to resume desiring what we already have.(Saint Augustine)

13.  Two serve happiness: faith and love (Charles Nodier)

14.  The largest room in the House of Happiness is the waiting room (Jules Renard)

15.  Happiness doubles every time we share it. (Albert Schweitzer)

16.  Do not proclaim a person happy before he dies (Sophocles)

17.  I have decided to be happy: it is great for health (Voltaire)

18.  Happiness is learning to enjoy solitude (Adonis49)

19.  If you can’t be happy then scrap Heaven: we enjoy what we know. (Adonis49)

20.  Cultivate your garden: happiness is sprouting (Adonis49)

21.  Are you a survivor? Stop searching: you are wrapped with Happiness (Adonis49)

22.  Give me fairness; I’ll be happy for both of us (Adonis49)

Cloning therapy: not a science fiction (January 29, 2009)

This is no longer the realm of science fictions: you can repair any sick organ with cloning parts and if you are rich you can extend your life to 150 years.  We don’t need male sperms to clone a complete entity, human or animal.  We don’t need a female nucleus in eggs to clone a complete entity, human or animal.  Soon, we won’t need female eggs; labs would be able to manufacture the “pouch” or envelop of the female egg.  It is going to take some time before human invest on research to circumvent female uterus for incubating fetuses during nine months.  There are human clones on earth. 

Italian gynecologist Severino Antinori announced publicly in 2003 that he has cloned three babies; he was forced to recant and moved his business to Ukraine.  There are many professional institutions cloning human, for a price, after they have been cloning favorite pets of the rich and famous.  No State or institution is about to go public on human cloning; they don’t have to, they just do it.

Let us examine the protocol for clone fertilization which is very close to cloning spare parts.  First phase, a female egg is removed; its nucleus, which contains the genetic instructions, is extracted. A male non-sexual cell (generally taken from the skin) is treated to extract its nucleus (containing the DNA) and implanted in the de-nucleated egg.  Let me remind you that the cell can belong to the same female person of the ovary and it would work equally well!  The new egg contains all the DNA information of the donor.

Phase two: A special cocktail of electric shocks and chemicals aid the cell to regress to a primordial cell that replicates.   Phase three is the process called “blastocyst” that can generate either an embryo for fertilization or the production of specialized spare parts of the various organs such as kidney, liver, heart muscle, or even hair.

Phase four cultivates the different organs by immersing the cell “souche” in a “soup” of proteins and enzymes to normally develop and then be transplanted to the sick donor in order to repair the failing organ.

Three main obstacles for assuring complete success have already been conquered. The first hurdle was taming the chaotic replication of cells; the second problem was the immunological aspect where virulent tumors developed in reproduced cells; and the third problem was the longevity of the organ due to the atrophy of the telomeres.

China, Britain, and the USA are publicly leading the research on cloning therapeutic spare part organs but they are the tip of the iceberg; many specialized institutions in Asia, Turkey, Israel, and India are working full time.

Senator George Mitchell dispatched with pre-conditions

 

The European envoys and leaders are talking with Palestinian Hamas and resistance factions though not publicly.  George Mitchell is ordered not to meet with Hamas.  If Obama and Hillary refuses to negotiate with Hamas who represents 65% of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank then with whom Mitchell is to dialogue for a settlement of the Palestinian/Israeli crisis?

We, in the Middle East would like to assume that Mitchel trip is to present recommendations for opening direct negotiation with the Palestinian resistance movements. The Obama administration might need a fresh and current document to discuss the new phase after the gaza horrors before negotiating with Hamas; that is what we want to believe, otherwise Mitchel is set up for failure and he should know it. 

     

I cannot help but to re-publish a previous article that is as current as it can be “A Walk in the Park for Barak Obama: Gaza (January 10, 2009)”

Within two weeks and single handedly, Bush Junior and Cheney have shredded the mask of Zionism.  For a century, the Western establishments have tried restlessly to design a human mask for the Zionist movement because Zionist ideology suited their interests in the Middle East to perfection.  The Western intelligence communities have studied and analyzed completely the characteristics of the Zionist movement and it was no mystery to them at all.  Zionism was the ideal candidate to destabilize a region rich in oil and strategically located to hamper colonial commerce and exploitation of the India and the Far East if the Middle East region united to preserve their natural resources and behave as an independent and self autonomous people.

 

 

            It has taken the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the murder of 600 babies and the injury of 2,000 babies and the traumatizing of 600,000 babies to finally removing the tattered mask of Zionism and exposing the true ugly face of reality.  The World Community and populations needed this crazy couple of Bush-Cheney to steadfastly believe that crime against humanity is good if it suit their goals; that blessing war crimes against human dignity is their prophetic calling.  Yes, the New-Conservative, New-Born Baptist “Christians” finally succeeded to take revenge on the Jews who crucified their brand of “Jesus”; they must be feeling wonderfully good for this rebirth on the third millennia and at the expense of the “homeless” Palestinians.

            Now that the little people all over the world know the fundamental barbarity and apartheid ideology of Zionism then it should be a walk in the park for President elect Obama to resolve the Palestinian/Israeli problems, if he wills it.  If Obama refuses to resolve the Near East problems, then he might as well give the green light to his mercenary State of Israel to design a vast park of 300 square kilometers in Gaza so that Obama might enjoy a warmer location than Camp David.  Either way, it all depends on what kind of a park Obama wishes to have in Gaza.  The first drastic decision should be to open direct lines of negotiation with Hamas and the Palestinian resistance movements who represent over 65% of the votes.

 

Note:  The true deservers of the Nobel Peace Prize have proclaimed their shame that Shimon Peres (Israel’ President) was also awarded this noble prize.  Simon Peres declared that Israel can defend its babies from the Palestinian babies in Gaza.

Something about my second university period in the USA (1986-1991;continue 35)


I applied for a Canadian emigration visa in 1984 in Jounieh but it was denied me; the representative in the interview did not interview me at all; he told me never to apply again.  The unique question that he asked me, but that he was not interested in hearing the answer, was: “Why did you lie saying you had no job?”  I have been told that my job is at an end since the construction project was over in Maameltein.  But the arrogant Canadian representative did not wait for an answer; probably, Canada had reversed its decision for further immigration of Lebanese due to the desires of the Maronite Patriarch.  I thus decided for a PhD program at the same university, the University of Oklahoma at Norman, with a tacit understanding that I would benefit of a partial grant.

I obtained a visa to the USA for 5 years and bought a returned ticket; I never used returned tickets in both trips. I did not apply for graduate studies or anything.  It was a decision of the moment and I obtained a business visa. My parents were taken by surprise as a climate of peace was rumored to last.  A month after I landed in the US, civil war resumed in Lebanon and this time it was between the Lebanese Army of General Aoun PM and the “Lebanese Forces” of Samir and it was localized in our district. This round of civil war was among the Maronites and in the mainly Christian districts and it was the worst; people huddled for 6 months in their basements.  I had to contact the Red Cross in Oklahoma for news on my folks and relatives.  I received encouraging news two weeks later by mail from the Red Cross.

I left with $5,000 of my own saved money, much devalued by inflation. Again, I had no one to receive me at the airport and had no acquaintances to shelter me; it was the same lonely and frustrating process as my first travel, it was as if I never learned anything, but I knew my destination this time around and what to expect to see. There were no internet facilities at the time and no versatile communications means.

I stayed two days at the temporary university boarding building.  A bright Lebanese undergraduate student in electrical engineering named Ghassan visited me at the dorm and connected me with a Lebanese graduate student in Environmental Engineering who rented a house far from campus; he agreed to take me in for a week and I used to accompany him in his car mornings and evenings.

Ghassan was to obtain his PhD in the same year of my graduation and worked with Cisco in Oklahoma City. I forgot the name of the Environmental engineer: my memory is the weakest element of my brain, especially in recall. I remember that I aided this student during his PhD project; I connected him with the specialized person in data design and acquisition and then I helped him imputing data for statistical analysis; he insisted on paying me and when I finally asked for $100 for a whole month of work (I was totally broke at the time) he got furious for accepting money since he took me in for free, 5 years ago for a week.  This is a typical Lebanese testing gimmick for loyalty or whatever you label it; they insist and your role is to continue refusing, but I was not proficient in that custom and abhorred it.

Note:  Most of my jobs and positions after graduation in 1991 with a PhD in Human Factors Engineering were not related to my specialty, a specialty that I am still trying to define and explain to myself.  Luckily, 15 years later, I had the opportunity to teach at a university in Lebanon, on part-time basis, two courses related to Human Factors in engineering and I ended up writing over 50 professional articles to explain this discipline to myself and also for lack of textbooks and professional magazines that the university dragged its feet in acquiring them.  Twenty five of these articles were my way to re-discover what this field is all about and transmit its concept; I thus published on wordpress.com the category “What is that concept of Human Factors in Engineering?”.  I think that I learned to think properly in designing experiments in my PhD years and getting familiar with the various Statistical packages mostly used by social and economic disciplines


Targeted Therapies:  for cancers (January 28, 2009)

            It is projected that in the developed nations of Europe, Japan and the USA one out of 3 people will be over 65 years by 2050; currently, the ratio is one out of five.  By the year 2020, one out of 3 people will be treated of at least one kind of cancer and the total number of sick people treated will double. It is also known that people over 65 are the heaviest consumers of all kinds of medicines and that health cost in the last year of an individual over 65 of age amounts to over all the combined health cost during his life.

            Furthermore, the various sorts of targeted chemo treatments of cancers are exploding exponentially; currently, there are over 600 new generation chemo treatments under development.  Anti-cancer pharmaceutical products are the most lucrative in the business; one injection cost over $1000 or about 100,000 per year per cancer patient.

            In the long run, it is not as costly to cure cancer patients as statically exposed.  Treatment costs will decline sharply with the combined efforts of politics and economical mass production.  Most of the patients will be completely cured and will return to the market place to generate wealth and consume as normal people do.  There have been many similar cases where estimated costs didn’t match reality. For example, replacing hips with prosthetics when the upper femoral bone is broken; it turned out that the patients returned to normal life as productive and consuming individuals.  What is needed is that States recognize that the growing number of older people are very much functional and are ready to work and thus, a change in the culture of accepting older people in the work force with special skills needs to be nurtured and encouraged with incentives.

            The United Nations should have started a mechanism for health care on a global scale.  A quota of cancer treatments for each of the 190 recognized States should be negotiated and the fund should include pharmaceutical products as taxes in kinds generated by the pharmaceutical industries, simply because the are mainly funded by States people’s taxes to support research and development.

Initiation to music (continue 34)

It was during that period that I tried to learn musical instruments; I purchased an accordion and a classical guitar but gave up quickly. I enrolled for music lessons on Saturday mornings at the University of Kasleek but had no musical ears and learned that it was too late for me to acquire any musical skills. I recall vividly that the class of “solfege” got very excited as my turns approached for reciting musical codes.  The laughter started before I started and it grew to a deafening crescendo.  The next room music teachers used to immediately come in and join the merry. I didn’t believe the students serious: I was damned sure that my voice was correct since my ears were telling a different story. At long last I had to fake that my voice was not suitable and started preempting laughter; well I simply agree, there is no coordination between the brains specialized in ear and voice performances in my head.  My musical instruments didn’t go to waste; they are used by my nieces occasionally.

I enrolled in aerobics because it was the fashion; I was trying to catch up with any activity that I was denied as a kid and trying to discover any innate skills that I could develop as a hobby; I was to discover no genuine artistic or physical skills and blamed it on age.

I had many trips to the sky resort of Faraya; I had a second-hand Peugeot 404. I purchased all the snow skiing equipments and outfits.  Most of these trips I took alone during week days when I lost my job; the weekend trips I drove with Rose, a neighbor. I enjoyed swimming in the sea and covered heated swimming pools.  My best months for beaches were from mid-September to mid-November; the kids are in schools, the sand and sea water are cleaner, and I am practically master of the location.

Horrors of civil war, (Ch. 33)

In 1984, I experienced bombing while on the road and close to home; I think I parked my car for less than a minute and resumed my drive.  

I was once taken to interrogation by the Mourabitouns (a Sunni militia) as I was crossing to West Beirut.

Patrick, my cousin anesthesiologist, was accompanying me in that trip and he believed that we would be eliminated and our bodies dumped; “no see, no hear, never existed”.

We were whisked behind a building for interrogation, and there was a tree in the dirty courtyard.  We were set free (ejet 3ala salameh)  

I visited West Beirut many times to see cousin Jihad and Nada, to have a feel of that section of Beirut, and I tried to link up with a political Party.

The leaders objected to any communication with them, and warned me never to set foot again in West Beirut, on account that the Party could not protect me if I was apprehended in East Beirut.

They said they lacked any leverage  (incapacity) to swap me with other much more important prisoners. 

And All that I wanted is a change in environment and people and “quality” time off. Life was then terribly boring and insecure in the Christian sectors.

I also witnessed in the street of Mazraa in West Beirut a militia tank of the Druze warlord Walid Jumblat driving hard, back and forth , in a show of force to the Amal militia of Nabih Berri (he is currently the head of the Parliament, for life it seems).  I felt worried but not terribly afraid.

I was under the impression that the Druze militia took advantage of a few firing shots to check the functionality of their unique tank. (I reserved a category on my blog adonis49.wordpress.com for eye-witness accounts on the horrors of the Lebanese civil war and many other articles in the category Lebanon/ Middle East).

It was a period of relative peace in our district of Metn after the Israeli vacated Beirut in 1982.

I remember vividly that about seven soldiers of the Israeli “Defense” force (a force that has never been on the defensive since the creation of the Zionist State in 1948) camped for over two weeks at the entrance of lower Beit-Chabab, (my hometown and one mile from my location in Koneitra) but they never installed a checking point (at least not when I visited my town during the day).

The Israeli soldiers just read books under the shade of large trees.  A few girls visited them on evenings while taking walks and a few chatted with them.  I made sure not to drive frequently to Beit-Chabab while the enemy was there.

The Palestinian resistance forces were shipped out to Tunisia on French boats; but it was not that peaceful in the Chouf or south Lebanon. In the Druze Chouf district the Israelis encouraged the Maronite Lebanese forces to re-enter that district after they were chased out when Kamal Jumblat was assassinated a few years ago. 

The “Lebanese Forces” humiliated the Druze under the watch of the Israeli forces. 

In south Lebanon, many kamikaze martyrs exploded cars in Israeli headquarter and check points.

The first such martyrs were young girls, about three girls in three successful attacks.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

January 2009
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