Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 9th, 2009

No food, no medicine, and no oil for Gaza:  just exploding bombs (December 30, 2008)

 

Note: So far, the genocide air bombing of Gaza by Israel has left 775 dead and over 3400 serious injuries; the toll is climbing by the minutes and the Israeli navy is participating. The UN has finally issued a “temporary” resolution for complete cease fire.  The US is not hot about it but abstained (meaning that it wouldn’t mind Israel to resume killing Palestinian babies).  Hamas was not asked for an opinion (babies just cry for lack of food and deafening explosions)

 

The only two leaders who support openly the Israeli genocide are Bush Junior and Germany Merkel; their excuses is that stopping a few artisanal missiles sent by Hamas is worth a genocide and crime against humanity for one million and half Palestinians living in a squeezed strip of 300 square kilometers with no friendly borders. Gaza is the most densely inhabited place on Earth. The European leaders are lambasted for going along with Bush Junior, as they did after the US unilaterally invaded Iraq; no wonder that the Arab and Moslem populations have no faith in the western State leaders.

 

Nasr Allah delivered another speech at a mass gathering in Beirut and urged President Suleiman of Lebanon to convene the Arab foreign ministers to discuss Gaza predicaments.  Israel is threatening to invade Gaza by land but my impression is that Israel is calculating the potential escalations and the intervention of Hezbollah.  Even without Hezbollah intervention the Zionist colonies, 40 miles around Gaza, are in shelters; subjugating  hundreds of Jewish colonies in the north to flee to shelters for a long duration would result in a disastrous internal difficulty or what is called “Home Front”.

I was watching the evening news on December 28 and it was pre-empted because Hassan Nasr Allah was delivering a speech from 8:15 to 9 p.m.  Nasr Allah started by reminding us of the battle of Karbala where Hussein (the grandson of the Prophet Muhamad) was slain. It is Ashoura for the Shiaa Moslem sect.  Nasr Allah declared tomorrow a day of mourning for the Palestinian martyrs in Gaza; it coincided with Ashoura. He asked for a mass gathering in Dahiyeh tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. 

Nasr Allah declared that the war in Gaza is a carbon copy of the July War in 2006 against Lebanon.  The difference is that Gaza has no open borders to friendly States like Syria. (The Egyptian dictator, President Moubarak, has been planning with Israel and the US for an all out war on Gaza simply because Palestine Hamas is believed to support the Egyptian opposition party of the “Moslem Brotherhood”.  Boubarak participated in the complete blockage of Gaza for two months and had closed the only exit out at the Rafah Gates)

Nasr Allah encouraged the Egyptian people to demonstrate by the millions to demand the opening of the Rafah gates for all kinds of supplies to the imprisoned population in Gaza.

Ehud Barak and Levny of Israel are categorical: that this prolonged campaign of terror is to open a new era of peace and prosperity in the region; a carbon copy of the statement of Condo Rice during the terror campaign in July 2006 on Lebanon! The failed hopes of Bush Junior to re-arranging the “Greater Middle East” according to his limited brain power resulted in the onset of the financial crash: investors had stopped in August 2006 believing in the worthless paper transactions of the financial multinationals and the rate of investment had reach a plateau. The Bush Administration decided then on the timing of the inevitable financial crash!

The case of Gaza is both a revenge of the Bush Administration for July 2006 fiasco and also for putting the squeeze on President elect Barak Obama to declare his positions on the Middle East problems before he swears in this coming January.  Most probably, the US wanted to deflect the financial problems for a while by focusing the attention of news media and world community to a bloody and harrowing genocide. The media are certainly thankful because wars are more interesting than attacking problems of economy and poverty and joblessness!

Israel might have the potentials, offered by the US militarily and financially, to wage wars of genocides but the backlash is going to be of a long-term nature for Israel, the US, Germany, and Egypt.  Embassies and consulates would be attacked and burned around the world for many months and Hamas would re-gain more supporters and dominate Palestinian politics.  Israel and the US should certainly be asking the hard question “What next? Where to after Gaza?”

Who are we, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea shores? (Part 2; March 1, 2008)

 

Sidon (Saida) and Tyr (Sour) in Lebanon built trading posts all around this Mediterranean Sea,  promoting commerce and exercising their own brand of beliefs and traditions.

Elissa, a daughter of the king of Tyr, fled and built Carthage in Tunisia.  Once Carthage solidified its institutions, it built Cadis (Cadesh) in Spain, and thus controlling the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean. Carthage aimed for a higher level of trade by taking hold of the strategic isthmuses in the Mediterranean Sea such as Messina (Sicily and Italy) and the strait of Gibraltar that leads to Portugal, Britain and Ireland.

 No maritime commerce could be undertaken without landing in one of Carthage “contoires” or trading posts. Carthage conquered most of the islands like Sardinia, Corsica, Cyprus, and Sicily and settled in Spain.

The Phoenicians dominated all the Mediterranean Sea trade for over one thousand years

The maritime power of their Greek competitor had been destroyed by invasions coming from the north (the Philistine), and left the Phoenicians masters of the sea.  The barons of this tertiary industry or the commissioning of maritime and even land transports of goods, from one producing country to consuming countries, were located in either Tyr or Sidon.

These barons hired rammers and soldiers and workers from all over the region. They had also their own sophisticated depots and handled the transactions from beginning to end and exported contracting jobs and skilled workers. 

The main Phoenician cities, and especially Tyr and Sidon, concentrated on the secondary industries where semi finished goods were transformed into quality products. The Phoenicians applied the current colonial trade strategies thousands of years ago, without the backing of indigenous military power such as the Greek and especially the Roman Empires did.

 

It is worth mentioning that the Canaan entrepreneurs didn’t focus much on the artistic part in their culture, or in their constructions and monuments during periods of autonomy, but they lavished their ingenuity when they were under the domination of powerful Empires so that they could rely on “State funding” for great and beautiful monuments. (Revenues generated from taxes they paid to the occupying force)

The Arab Islamic conquest of this region didn’t contribute much in the numbers of immigrants, since the Arabian Peninsula was scarcely populated and the glory of this Empire in the sciences, medicine and the translation of ancient cultures were rooted first on the scholars in Syria and Lebanon during the Umayyad dynasty, then the Persians during the Abbasid dynasty, and the various Moorish dynasties that ruled Spain (mainly Andalusia).

The main inhabitants of northern Africa, Spain, the southern parts of France and Italy and the eastern countries of the Mediterranean Sea are essentially immigrants from Central Asia, Iran, East Africa and Egypt after having settled in Canaan for several centuries.  

The wave of immigrations were East to West, except in few periods were the skilled workers were transferred under duress by conquering Monarchs to build new emerging capitals by the Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane the Moguls.

I tend to consider that the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, which includes Greece, were mostly immigration waves coming from Eastern Europe, but the culture, the religions, and the trades were mainly the endeavors of the Canaan’s population, of which the Phoenicians are the famously known mariners and comprador traders.

The northern Turkish sea shore were natural extention to the eastern shores, though the central Turkish plateau witnessed successive waves of immigration from the Caucasus region. 

The current Christian residents of Mount Lebanon are a mixture of two big waves of immigrations:

The first wave occurred after the conclave of Nicee in 325 during Emperor Constantine.  In that epoch, the new friend of the Christians, Emperor Constantine, who lived as a pagan most of his life, summoned to the conclave all the bishops of the various Christian sects.   This major event transformed drastically the Christian doctrine and dogma as well as the church institution.  The conclave decided by a slight majority to confer divine nature to Jesus, declared his mother Mary a virgin, selected only four Books to represent the New Testament as orthodox and banished the hundreds alternative versions that were available at the time and banished women from the clergy institution and ordered the bishops to done luxurious attire and then gradually introduced the pagan symbols to lure in the pagans to the newly adopted religion and then gave the pagan festivities Christian meanings and connotations. 

Most of the so-called heretic Christian sects that were comfortable with the temporal nature of Jesus and Mary and had their selected preferred and unified versions of the New Testament had to flee persecutions to inaccessible mountains.  Those living in Turkey moved to the Anatolian Plateau, Kurdistan, Armenia and the Caucasus and those in Syria and Palestine moved to Mount Lebanon.

The second major modern wave of immigration occurred around the year 1000 when Byzantium recaptured the western shores of Turkey from the Seljouk dynasty and the “Orthodox” Christian sects chased out the other “heretical” Christian sects such as the Maronites living on the Oronte River.

The Mameluk Empire had dislodged the last remaining Crusaders’ strongholds and stopped the drive of the Mogul invasion in Palestine. I believe that the new fundamentalist converts to Islam in Central Asia and Kurdistan, the regions of which the Mameluks originated from, exercised great zeal to solidifying the Sunni Moslem sect.  Mount Lebanon was a refuge for these Christian immigrants and the archeological finds show that women wore multi layers of colorful dresses as currently wore in these remote regions. 

This natural Nation, comprised of the current States of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, is self-contained; self sufficient and well delimited by natural borders, but was never able to constitute an independent political entity in modern time.

This natural Nation by any criteria of what define a Nation simply was opened to the expansion of far more populous Nations under highly centralized governments on all its borders, and because it proved to be a major crossroad for immigrations westward. 

It is the case even today at a more accelerated pace after the US invasion of Iraq and the strategic plan of the US to controlling the Greater Middle East in a Pax Americana.

Note: Before the Arab hegemony that started in around the year 640, almost all the family names and cities were Aramaic or having Aramaic roots.  The fourth caliph, Imam Ali, once wrote that his ancestors before “Kusai” had Aramaic names and that his tribe Kuraich (an Aramaic name) came from “Kawssa” nearby the current city of Kufa in Iraq. 

The Aramaic language survived the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods until way into the Arabic period. 

The Arab language, the language of the Koran, is basically a branch of Aramaic and the spoken Arab is a dialect. It is well known that Christ spoke Aramaic and before Jesus died on the crucifix he addressed his God Eely for abandoning him to his destiny. 

Eel was the name of the Aramaic God and not Jehovah, a tribal God, of the strict Jews in Judea.

The Koran uses an Aramaic root for Eel such as Elle and Allah.

Oklahoma City, (Diary, continue 21  January 9, 2009

 

I arrived in June 1975 at the Oklahoma City airport and it was my first trip alone and way outside my country Lebanon.  I was 25 of age, had a degree in physics, and had no relatives or acquaintances or any sort of connections in the USA. It was a long and exhausted trip of over 22 hours.

 

Half an hour before we landed, a young, blonde, and beautiful stewardess felt my disarray and offered me a drink and a blanket; it looked promising.  I landed in an empty airport after midnight.  My cheap carton “suitcase” was busted and barely holding together, and I sat haggard and totally disoriented. 

 

An elderly black employee directed me to the nearby Holiday Inn for the night.  It was humid and the weather felt different.  I slept in an air-conditioned room. The next morning was a very different weather for me; the sun was scorching and the atmosphere was humid and suffocating. 

 

I boarded a bus to the town of Norman, over 30 miles down south, and was hosted at the temporary student dormitory next to the main and humongous cafeteria; it is an all you can eat buffet type for a fixed inexpensive price of less than two dollars at the time. It turned out that there were several universities in Oklahoma.

I had applied for the field of industrial engineering at the Oklahoma State University at Stillwater, but my acceptance to the advanced English program for the summer was at the University of Oklahoma at Norman.

I didn’t realize the mistake until the end of summer when I visited Stillwater and learned that my application was denied. I then applied for industrial engineering at the university in Norman.

 

Norman

 The program coordinator for advanced English decided that I didn’t need any further English study, but since the dues were paid, I had to finish one month of English.  I learned how to navigate the library and hunt for the appropriate manuscript and enter the classroom bare feet as I have noticed American students doing. 

 

Wrong, foreigners had no such rights of freely entering classroom not wearing sandals and I was admonished by the ugly, skinny Jewish lady teacher never to show any further disrespect. One of the teacher was amazed that I used the term “petrified” in my essay; he had no idea that I mastered the French language and my vocabulary was very formal and Latin rooted: I would learn the slang and the American expressions in due time.

I rented a room with another Jordanian older student at a house, a few blocks away.  The Jordanian student was accepted in San Antonio for graduate studies in economics.  The house belonged to a tall and skinny widow and she lived at the house.  The next summer, I learned that she married a zealot Moslem Syrian graduate student in chemical engineering.  She was to wear long tunic and a scarf. The blue-eyed Syrian student was renting a room that summer and he was not that aloof, but not talkative: I had no idea that he was the extremist type until later; I was told that he used to spread his praying rag in class before exam.

To fill my time after the month was over, I enrolled for a two-week program to lean swimming.  I never learned to swim and was feeling left behind everytime I joined parties at beaches in Lebanon.  Consequently, I preferred to go alone to beaches, particularly in September and October when beaches were practically empty, except for a few German tourists.

That is how I got hooked into swimming three times a week for many years after my formal swimming lessons.  The first project everytime I relocated was to find a covered and heated swimming pool around my residence.

The next summer, I participated in aiding a missionary organization specializing in linguistic, with my Arabic language.  The organization rented a flat in a university building during summer vacation. I was paid two dollars per hour.

Introspection (continue 20)

Something about my university years in the USA from 1975 to l979

I had written in details about many events on my stay in the USA and in many files; this section is basically a compendium and a coherent time line account. I lived in the USA for about 20 years; the first trip extended from 1975 to 1979 and I received a MS in Industrial Engineering with emphasis on production; the second stay stretched uninterrupted for 15 years from 1985 to 2000 and I returned to Lebanon without even applying for a residency status and didn’t save anything worth financially.

I graduated in Physics from the Lebanese University in May 1975 and decided to continue my graduate studies in the USA, just to get out of my stagnation and the closing of any horizon in Lebanon with the beginning of the civil war.  This decision was taken before the civil war started in the same year but it gelled when the situation aggravated.  I had no idea what to specialize in but the label of “Industrial engineering” as one of the fields offered in a few US universities struck me as a viable alternative, especially that I had no practice whatsoever that related to manual or mechanical work, and I was under the impression that the US universities would provide valuable hands on experiences.

Thus, I had no idea about the curriculum in industrial engineering and I would not be the wiser if I read it.  There were no facilities at the time for orientation meetings or internet or group help.  Actually, I was not even accepted by any university for graduate studies by the time I left Lebanon but I was admitted for an advanced English language program for foreigners for a summer session which permitted me to obtaining a visa.

Paris

My first leg was a two-week visit of Paris where I intended to having a few good days with cousin Nassif. Unfortunately, Nassif was in London spending a vacation with a girlfriend and I used his room at the International dormitory in the university.  I mostly spent my time all alone roaming Paris and using the metros to visiting the historical sites, the Latin Square, Notre Dame, the Louvre, and on and on. Although I knew a few Lebanese students in Paris and who lived at the Lebanese International House, nobody felt like wasting time on touring with me or showing me around or even inviting me to any place or to introducing me to anyone.

I loved best the breakfast ceremony in the International House; it smelt of fresh breads, fresh coffee, fresh fried eggs, fresh milk, and a vast variety of fruits, cheese, and jelly.  I think that an ideal life is to be lucky having a cozy bakery at walking distance; a bakery that actually bakes bread and croissant and serves fresh coffee, fresh milk, and fresh eggs. Starting a day with the aroma of primeval time is worth a whole day of whatever is “produced”.

I left Paris before Nassif returned but it was my first adventure overseas and I got proficient with the metros of Paris.  After the delicious breakfast I went out to get lost in Paris and walking, walking all alone and discovering Paris.  It was a good month to see Paris and the weather was mostly fine.  I had never had another opportunity to see Paris again.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

January 2009
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