Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 2nd, 2009

Islam: Triumphal return to Mecca (Part 3, February 1, 2009)

Mohammad had a dream while sleeping with Aicha that he shaved his head and performed the pilgrimage to Al Kaaba (Black Stone) in Mecca.  Aicha encouraged him and Muhammad left Medina with 700 unarmed men to Mecca with his wise and matured wife Um Salama instead of Aicha.  The favorite camel of Muhammad named Qaswa parked in Hudaybiya, close to Mecca, and would not move any further. Qaswa was the same camel that selected the location for the Prophet’s house and the Mosque in Yathreb.  The Kuraichi’s tribes sent delegations and they reached a ten-year non-belligerence treaty with a promise that Muhammad would be permitted pilgrimage next year. 

Although Muhammad was not allowed to enter Mecca, he wanted to perform the rites in Hudaybiya but the Companions refused. Um Salama then encouraged Muhammad to perform the sacred rituals and shaved Muhammad’s head and he slaughtered his sacrificial camel; then the believers hurried to follow suit and the party returned to Medina sanctified.


Mohammad conquered the fortified Jewish town of Khibar, North West of Madina in the year 630.  The lands were turned over to Mohammad and his closest Companions and the Jews agreed to relinquish their treasures and to cultivate the land as serfs for 50% on the return for their subsistence.  Um Salama escorted the Prophet in this raid and recounted to the harem that a Jewish girl roasted a lamb for Muhammad that was poisoned; when asked why she poisoned the lamb she replied: “You killed my father, brother, and husband. If you are a King then good riddance; if you are a Prophet then you must discover the plot.”  The girl was not punished for the rational that she will spread her conviction that Mohammad is indeed a prophet for discovering that the food was poisoned. 

Mohammad married Safiya, a Jewish beauty and of high grace from Khaibar who was married to a brute of a husband that died during the battle. Um Salama said that Mohammad liked his new wife very much: he didn’t wait the customary 40 days grievance and married her on the way back to Medina and spent four whole days and nights with Safiya.  With virgins, the husbands spend 7 whole days and nights!  Aicha thought that Um Salama could have spared her so much anxiety.


Mohammad married Um Habiba, the daughter of Abu Suffyan, his arch enemy of Kuraich; she was one of the first Moslem converts to flee to Ethiopia after the Kuraich persecutions.  Muhammad married Maria, a Coptic slave sent as gift by Egypt’s Christian Governor. Maria became immediately the concubine of the Prophet until she converted to Islam and he spent most of his time with Maria, raising a revolt within his harem. Maria gave Muhammad a male son called Ibrahim who also died at age of two as his first son Qassem with Khadija,

Aicha took a definite advantage over the remaining wives. Prominent dignitaries who wanted to offer the Prophet gifts learned that the best moments were when Muhammad was with Aicha.  Aicha thus enjoyed the best fabrics and gifts and the other wives revolted again wanting fair distribution of the gifts.  Mohammad told Um Salama that his revelations descend when he is with Aicha, but the revolt went on and the Prophet decided to retreat from his harem for a whole month, sending fear and frustration in the community of the believers.  After a month, Mohammad revealed a message placing men as superior to women and admonishing wives to obey their husband, and permitting husbands to punish their wives if they disobeyed.  Mohammad re-conquered his authority in the harem; wives had to pay the price of this revolt for centuries after.

In 630 or the 8th year of Mohammad emigration to Yathreb, the Prophet assembled ten thousand fighters for his pilgrimage to the Kaaba and entered Mecca and destroyed the pagan Gods and became the uncontested leader of all the tribes in the Arabia peninsula.  The prophet’s arch enemy Abu Suffian converted to Islam before the troops of the Moslems entered Mecca.  The famous Hind, wife of Abu Sufian, reluctantly converted to Islam. Hind is the woman who opened the chest of Muhammad’s uncle Hamza in the Battle of Ohud; she ate raw Hamza’s liver in order to avenge her father’s death in the battle of Badr; Hamza had killed Hind’s father in a singular fight before the battle of Bard and had also killed her two “masked” younger brothers ten years ago in Mecca. Hind secluded herself in one room for the duration of two years.

The 360 idols were destroyed and the prophet kept the same old worshiping ceremony at the Black Stone with different connotations to the meanings in the procession.  The Persian Salman had fled Yathrib incognito back to Mecca.  Salman was the official scribe to Muhammad who got suspicious with the increased rate of rules issued every day to organize and manage the lives of the Moslem followers.  Salman had started experimenting and tampering with the verses recited to him by the Prophet and then he realized that Muhammad was about to find him out. 

The poet Al Aasha took refuge in the famous whorehouse called the “Curtain House” or Hijab for over two years.  The Prophet had taken the suggestion of Abu Sufian not to close the Curtain House right away because the conversions of the citizens of Mecca were at best skin-deep. The poet Al Aasha had suggested to the Matron of the House that each one of the 12 whores emulate one of the Prophet’s wives in name and in historical incarnation.  Business was brisk and the 12 whores then got the crazy idea of asking the blinding poet to marry them all as the Prophet did. 


Mohammad married Maymouna, a relative of both tribes of Abi Taleb and Hashim to the fainting and shock of the harem.  A revelation descended that the messenger is allowed all the women he desires.  Besides his nine wives, Muhammad had two concubines, Maria and Rihana, and uncounted numbers of women who wanted to offer themselves to him to gain Paradise.  Once, Fatima told the harem that her husband Ali wanted to take another wife and she intervened with the Prophet and Ali refrained to carry out his desires.  Aicha was beside herself to learn that Fatima, the plain woman and not as educated as she, could enjoy one husband and generate four offspring, two of them males.  Aicha realized that she could not get pregnant with all her gained expertise.

    The Prophet’s adoptive son Zaid was killed at a battle in the north against the Byzantium Empire. Muhammad organized an army of 30,000 fighters in the year 631, recruited from all over Arabia and marched to Tabuk, a city within the Syrian borders, to avenge the death of his adoptive son Zaid; he took Aicha with him on this campaign.  The Governor of Syria didn’t deign to challenge the Prophet for a battle. Muhammad returned to Medina after securing many treaties with the neighboring tribes and oasis in Syria.  The whole of Arabia was converting to Islam.

Ibrahim, the son of Mohammad from Maria and aged 18 months, died.  The Prophet cried and lamented, a behavior which was not the custom of the male believers. The Prophet went on pilgrimage to Mecca the next year with 30,000 pilgrims and the entire harem went this time.  Mohammad gave a speech alluding that it might be his last pilgrimage. The prophet closed the Curtain House.  The whore girls were incarcerated.  For 12 days, the former polemist Al Aasha would show up in front of the prison and recite wonderful and touching love odes to each one of his wives.  The guards finally realized that the names corresponded to the Prophet’s wives and the poet was taken prisoner. The girls were stoned to death. 

During the trial, the public would not believe Al Aasha’s story and thought that he was jesting which aggravated the Prophet’s mood who said “In the old days you mocked the Recitation; then too these people enjoyed your mockery.  Now you succeed in bringing the worst out of the people” Before being decapitated Al Aasha said to Muhammad “Whores and writers Muhammad; we are the people you can’t forgive.”  The Prophet replied “Writers and whores, I see no difference here.” (Extracted from Salman Rushdi’s manuscript)

When the Prophet Muhammad died Hind wore all her jewelry and ordered a sumptuous banquet and invited the citizens of Mecca.  No one shared the banquet with her, not even her husband.  Hind said “I cannot change the course of history but revenge is so sweet!”

Shortly after his return to Medina Muhammad suffered from terrible headaches; he asked Abu Bakr to preach in his place when he was bed ridden.  Muhammad was mortally sick for at least a month and he knew his days were counted because Angel Gabriel gave him a choice between this world and the Other World and the Prophet opted for the Other World.  Muhammad had time to think about the succession of power and the appropriate processes but no revelations were forthcoming.  The Prophet dies on June 8 in the year 632.  The prophet Muhammad was 63 years old.

The tribal spirit was to dominate the political landscape, the same spirit that Muhammad intended to re-direct toward a Unique God and unite the “Umma”.  The Arab and Moslem World were tribal in structure and ended up with a caste system when the newly converted Central Asian tribes overpowered the Kuraich tribal rights for leadership.

The remaining direct blood family of the Prophet consisted of his two grandsons Hassan and Hussein, and his two grand daughters from his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali (his nephew). The prophets three other daughters Zainab, Rukaya, and Oum Kulthum had died; I have no information so far if they left any offspring.

Part-time jobs within campus; (Ch. #38)


I was denied any kinds of scholarship in my first semester (1985) and my saved money ($5,000) had evaporated by the second semester.

In the second semester I received a quarter time scholarship that enabled me to pay tuitions at the same rate as US students. My scholarship was raised to half-time the next year. 

Throughout my PhD program, I had to work on at least three part-time jobs, at minimum wages inside campus by regulation, to make ends meet:  I could not earn a residence status to work outside the perimeter of the campus. Not many foreign students cared about these mean limiting laws, but I was raised to obey the law!

I used to wake up at 4 a.m. to start my first job cleaning libraries and class rooms, buffeting the floor, vacuum cleaning the sofas and on. I then rushed to attend a few classes, and off to serve lunch in banquets of hundreds of persons… I tried to study some more and then back to the main library in the evening to dumping the waste baskets, cleaning the restrooms before it closes at midnight.  I had to keep clean from trash four ultra vast floors of the university. A clean space for the students to have a proper place to study and chat:  The Students job was to dirty the floors again and again.

Other “sanitation engineer” employees would make the round once before closing; I did more than two rounds.  I had a kernel in the library to study in isolation, but I mostly used that tiny quarter for moments of solitude.  In addition to all these menial chores, I had to correct and grade countless homework and exams to satisfy the requisite hours for my scholarship.

The worst part was that I was excluded from the exciting projects that I applied for, of grants received by my department from companies. Most of the time, I was denied access to projects under the pretense of military or security credentials. For example, operation and quantifying the capabilities of jet pilots, or the control and displays in the redesigned new Ford motor series.    

I had attempted twice to present proposals not in the line of my advisor’s wishes, until he finally gave me an ultimatum to do according to his directives because he would no longer extend any grants.  I thus worked hard for a semester on his project that was related to safety and risk perception within a make-shift experimental chemistry lab environment. 

I have to mention that the company contracted by the university to publish dissertations sent me a letter stating that there is a page lacking and it needed corroboration or correction and I was no longer in the mood of handling anything related to my dissertation. 

I had paid over $100 for my dissertation to be published and for a copy left in the main library. All that I know is that I borrowed money to officially graduate, and I paraded in my gown, taken pictures and my diploma handed to me by my advisor.  Enough was enough. 

The light at the end of the tunnel was barely visible and my Golgotha road was just starting.

I experienced all kinds of part-time jobs after graduating PhD in Industrial engineering: Working at all kinds of fast food chains, all kinds of small and large restaurants, facilities for the elderly persons…

My dad had sent me a letter telling me that Maitre Emile Bejjani managed to reserve a position for me at the AUB in Beirut, but this harrowing and grueling period for graduating forced me to shun academic positions for years. 

I recall that I filled the application to the AUB but didn’t send it: I had to experience life in the USA a little more, and get my fill of humiliations and indignities. 

Islam: Legislating in Medina (Part 2, February 1, 2009)

Note: This essay is mainly a historical account of Islam during the Prophet Muhammad life; it does not intend to delve into any religious belief system since I am not a theologian and don’t want to be. The essay is of four parts: Genesis, Legislating in Medina, return to Mecca, and successors of the Prophet.

We are picking up the story at the time the Prophet Muhammad had to flee Mecca; he was about 54 of age.

In the previous 13 years of proselytizing, the Prophet Muhammad’s fundamental message was almost identical to a particular Jewish-Christian sect based in Mecca: One of Muhammad’s uncle was the Patriarch. 

Given the various Christian sects at the time and even today (including Protestantism, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Orthodox and on) it is very probable for a Christian theologian, after serious analysis, to classify Islam into one of the Christian sect categories.  Islam of the early period was a synthesis or one of the coherent monolithic belief systems.


Mohamamad ibn Abdullah ibn Hachim was an orphan brought up by his uncle Abi Taled,  who was the father of Ali.  Ali would became the fourth Caliph. Mohammad was not illiterate as the Muslems would disseminate.

Khadija was widowed twice and hired Mohammad to lead her caravans to Damascus.  Khadija was almost 7 years older than Mohammad when she asked him to marry her and gave him a son Al Qasem who died at age of 2 and four daughters Zainab, Rukaya, Oum Kulthum, and Fatima.  

Two of Mohamad’s daughters were repudiated by their husbands because they refused to be married to girls who converted to Islam. Muhammad had adopted Zaid ibn Haritha, aged 12, who was Khadija’s slave. Zaid later became Muhammad’s personal messenger to his 8 formal wives after each battle. Zaid was very learned and translated and interpreted the Jewish Books to Mohammad and was devoted to his adoptive father.

Khadija was the first person to believe in Mohammad prophesies and for 13 years protected him from the mockeries and sarcasms of the inhabitants of Mecca and cared for him during his fits of epilepsies when Archangel Gabriel used to appear to him. Mohamamad had to marry Sawda (Black) after Khadija died because he needed an experienced woman to run and maintain the household.  Sawda was widowed to an Islam convert who fled to Ethiopia from the Kuraich tribes’ persecution.

At the death of Khadija at 70, Mohammad realized that he won’t be protected anymore from certain death.  After foiling an assassination attempt on his life Muhammad fled Mecca to Yathreb (Medina) in the year 622 in company of the influential convert Abu Bakr

It took Muhammad and Abu Bakr almost four months to arrive at Yathreb, a mere six days travel in normal time, to avoid the head hunters of the tribes of Kuraich.  Most of the Prophet’s followers had preceded him to Yathreb and welcomed him as a hero.

The Moslem emigrants in Yathreb were suffering from miseries. First, they were not used to the humid climate and the existing marshes and many died of the malaria fever.  Second, the emigrants could not find suitable employments and had to accept temporary jobs at the Ansar (supporter) tribes and Jewish households and farms.  Consequently, the emigrants had to revert to what the tribes did when they were hungry and penniless. 

They decided to raid a major caravan coming from Damascus that was lead by Abu Suffyan, a most powerful person in the Ummaya clan. The caravan was to stop at an oasis called Badr.  The Moslems won the battle of Badr, their first.

Sawda’s father and brother were killed in the battle of Badr fighting against the Moslems. Sawda was greatly grieved and lambasted the prisoners parked in front her house and told them that they should have fought instead of being taken prisoners. Mohammad repudiated her for a while until she asked forgiveness and she opted not to have intercourse with him as the tradition regulated Mohammad’s permutation nights among his wives.

 Muhamamad married Aicha (Abu Bakr’s youngest daughter) in Yathreb; she was then ten years old.  Abu Bakr was one of the first to convert to Islam and was Mohammad’s closest Companion and guide, and later became the first Calif.  Aicha had a vast memory and was well educated to read and write and she was the person who transposed most of the verbal messages into written verses during the revelations.

 The Jewish tribes in Yathreb (later called Medina) were apprehensive of the growing power of the new Moslem community and started scheming to clipp its wings. Mohammad encircled the fortified castle of the Jewish tribe Banu Qaynoqa because the tribe decided to break the treaty with Mohammad rather than pay the ransom for a murdered Moslem emigrant.  The Jewish tribe capitulated when it realized that the succor from the Arab clan of Banu Khazraj was not forthcoming.  The clan of Bany Khazraj was one of the clans in Yathreb that invited Muhammad to settle in it and thus its members were called Ansar (supporters).  

Muhammad had set his mind to beheading all the males of the defeated Banu Qaynoqa tribe as the revelation dictated but the chief of the tribe of Khazraj prevented him saying: “I am a man who fears the reversal of circumstances” The Jewish clan of Banu Qaynoqa were allowed to leave the city and it settled in the Jewish town of Khaibar, around 20 miles north west of Yathreb.

 The Kuraish tribe of Mecca wanted revenge for the battle of Badr. The Moslems lost the battle of Ohud. The forces of Kuraich did not pursue their objective to entering Medina and retreated to Mecca.  Khaled Ibn Al Waleed was leading the cavalery of Kuraich at Ohud; after conversion, Khaled would defeat the Byzantium Empire in Yarmouk.  The Jewish tribe of Banu Nadhir had secretly supported Kuraich in the battle of Ohud.  Muhammad directed his angst against this Jewish tribe and ordered it to leave Medina; the eye witness accounts related that the citizens in Medina never saw a leaving caravan as opulent, rich and luxurious in their lives. 

It is after the battle of Ohud that Muhammad reversed his instructions: the Moslems were to pray toward the Black Stone in Mecca instead of Jerusalem.

This was a political decision meant to send the clear message to the Moslems that the focus in to be on Mecca, and first on how to conquer Mecca

Muhamamad married Hind, a recent widow of the convert Abu Salama who was mortally injured during the battle of Ohud.  Hind or Um Salama was about thirty of age and had many children and declined to marry Abu Bakr, Omar and even Muhammad.  Muhammad asked her hand a second time and promised to care for her many offspring.

 Othman Ibn Affan, later the third Caliph and husband of Muhammad’s daughter Rukaya, ran away during the lost battle of Ohud and had vacated a strategic position held by the archers.  After Rukaya died, Muhamad offered Othman his other daughter Um Kulthum as wife because he needed Othman’s clan on his side. Omar Ibn Khattab, later the second Caliph, wanted Othman to marry Afsa, his widowed daughter, but Othman declined the request repeatedly.

Consequently, Mohamamad married Afsa aged 18 because he needed Omar’s total loyalty.  Aicha, the beloved wife of the prophet, was crestfallen and suffered her first jealousy attacks. Kuraich returned the next season with a fresh attack as the Moslem community was gaining new alliances. Muhammad repulsed the attack by following the suggestion of Salmane the Persian convert. Salmane supervised the digging of a large and deep trench around Madina that the cavalry could not jump over.  A violent wind followed by a torrential rain convinced the Kuraichi armies to retreat.  Then, Mohammad surrounded the hold up of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah for 25 days because they were tacitly allied to Kuraich.  The Prophet beheaded 700 of the male captives and dumped their bodies in a large ditch and ordered Ali (his nephew) and Zobayr (the husband of Aicha’s sister Asmat) to perform the executions.

After this mass cruel beheading, the troops of Muhammad had easier tasks convincing the neighboring tribes to join Islam and they frequently plundered the caravans arriving from Damascus and Alexandria. Mohammad asked the hand of Rihana, a Jewish captive girl, to marry him but she declined. After she converted, Mohammad asked her hand again and she preferred to remain slave than marry someone with several wives; Rihana became Muhammad’s concubine.

Zainab, one of the daughters of Mohammad, was married to Aboul-Aas whom she loved so much that she preferred to stay with him in Mecca; Aboul-Aas fought against Mohammad at the battle of Badr and was made prisoner and later decided to convert in order to keep Zainab. 

.Mohamamad married Zainab, the daughter of the clan leader of Bani Assad, who was widowed and 30 years of age. Zainab died three months after her wedding. Mohammad then married Zainab bint Jahsh, a great beauty and the former wife of Zaid ibn Haritha, Muhammad’s adoptive son. 

Zaid had to separate from his wife because she welcomed Muhammad almost nude “to entice him and throw trouble in his heart”.  Zainab then harassed Muhammad reminding him that she separated from Zaid because of him.  The Koran was very strict on the top number of only four wives for the believers if they could afford equitability among the wives.  This time Muhammad received a message from Gabriel telling him that Zainab is an offer from God that cannot be rejected.  The aggrieved Aicha interjected that God has a tendency to accord his Messenger all his desires.

  Aicha joined a raid against the Harith tribe; she lost her favorite collar that the Prophet had offered her during their wedding. The Moslem fighters were utterly upset for wasting precious time searching for the collar because the time for prayer was close and they were far from the nearest oasis. Mohammad had to receive a message allowing ablution with sand when water is not available:  This most important revelation allowed the Moslem armies to expand their raids far in the deserts. Mohammad married Juwayriah, the daughter of the chief clan of Harith. The Harith tribe and their allies converted to Islam.

  Aicha lost the same collar a second time and was left behind while she was searching for it.  Safwan, a young and handsome convert, found Aicha alone and returned her to the camp.  Rumors spread saying that, while the sixty years old prophet is resuming his mania of marrying far more than the four allowed by the Koran, his younger wives are cheating on him.  Aicha fell dangerously sick and was moved to her folks’ domicile and Mohammad didn’t pay her a visit for 28 days because he started to believe the rumors.  When Muhammad finally decided to see Aicha the Angel Gabriel had showed up and revealed to the Prophet that Aicha was innocent. Um Roumane told Aicha to welcome the Prophet and Aicha retorted: “By God I will not!  I will praise but God who finally decided to declare me innocent

17 revelations were dedicated to these awful circumstances; calumny was revealed a crime as dangerous as adultery and specific penalties prescribed.  Mistah (a cousin of Aicha), Hassan ibn Thabit (the poet of Islam), and Hanneh bint Jahsh (the sister of one of the Prophet’s wives) were flogged 100 times for their crimes of calumny without having four witnesses for their accusations.  Aicha regained her position as the most favored “Um al Mu’mineen” (Mother of the believers).  

Since then, the wives of the prophet were asked to wear the veil when going out and to stay in their residences unless accompanied.  The independent minded women of Yathrib could divorce their husbands by just turning their tents around; the custom in Medina was for the husbands to settle in the wives’ clans, contrary to the customs in Mecca. 

The prophet had to issue many verses to reduce the women of Medina into submission and follow the customs of Mecca and obey their husbands and seclude themselves in their homes and wear the veil when out.  

Entering Mecca was not a problem: In order to tame Mecca it was imperative to emulate the customs and traditions of the “noble peopl”e in Mecca, and women were to pay the price for this political decision.

Muhammad and the new Moslem immigrants had a hell of a time submitting the women of Yathrib.

Turkey: A Regional Power out of hibernation (February 2, 2009)


Erdogan, Turkey’s PM is undeniably the most powerful leader criticizing the Zionist State for its genocide in Gaza.  Turkey, under Erdogan, is currently more powerful than the whole of Europe in the Near East for establishing peace, stability and equitable political resolutions.  Turkey is a self sufficient independent Nation and has ruled the whole Middle East for four centuries. Turkey has awakened from a long hibernation and decided to be a major regional power broker. 

For over seven decades, Turkey was the main effective ally to the US in the region during the cold war with the former Soviet Union, had turned its back to the Arab problems, and allied to the State of Israel.  Things are changing fast after the horrors of Gaza and the tearing down of the mask of the Zionist ideology of terror, expansion, and apartheid.  The so-called “moderate” Arab States of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are cowering down and taken by surprise to the emergence of the new revitalized Turkey. 

Turkey is demanding and acting as the main power broker in the Near East because it has interest in the stability of Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.  So far, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq were peons for the larger policies of the US, Europe, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.  Turkey’s current policies beg to differ: “no more war zones at my borders and in my back yards”.  The US and Israel must have understood the message clearly and loudly.

We are not hearing anymore about the Turkish war on the Kurdish self-autonomous movement.  I wholeheartedly wish that negotiations are secretly and seriously underway with the Kurdish Workers’ Party for a peaceful resolution.  The Kurdish problem was used by the USA and Israel to blackmail Turkey.  I have a feeling that the Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran appreciate the new directions of Erdogan’s government and would find in Erdogan a viable interlocutor and would cooperate with Turkey to lighten up this heavy burden of a useless and fruitless civil war.


In December 18, 2004 I wrote a short article on Turkey and then four months ago published it on “A Regional power in the making”.  I decided to re-post it.

 Turkey is the new pivotal power in the Middle East in the coming decades. Turkey will be asked to exercise its beneficial influence in restoring peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.  It will inevitably join the European Union with the unavoidable important changes that Turkey will have to accept and undergo in matters of democracy, liberty, human rights and social and economical constraints.

This transformation of a powerful neighbor will transcend into a drastic transformation of the societies surrounding Turkey. The benefits are already materializing in closer ties with Syria, pressures on Israel to agree on a Palestinian State and greater normalization with Iran.  Turkey is obviously the main power that can provide autonomy to the Kurdish nationalism spreading among Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Turkey is the main power that can efficiently check US imperialism in the Middle East and any resurgence of Russia militarism. Turkey prevented Bush Junior to invade Iraq through its territory; the US air base in Interlink was prohibited to launch air raids on Iraq.  I have great hope in this new power amongst us, especially that the current Turkish government has proven to be far sighted and confident in its power and role in this region.

Since writing this excerpt Turkey felt the need to crawl in a cave and hibernate after surmounting the imminent obstacles to joining the European Union. Turkey thinks that it can relax for a while but it will quickly learn that it has to keep pace with the culture of Europe and to fight harder to catch up with lost time. Human rights problems are reemerging, demonstrations are being broken by brute force; its dialogue with Syria not much publicized except the frustration of Turkey of the US pressures not to return the diplomatic visit of its President to Syria.

Turkey’s involvement was badly needed in our current problems with the UN resolution 1559 and it failed in this critical moment to demonstrate its regional power.


Note:  Europe must be appreciating the decision of Turkey to play a major in the Near East. A powerful and active Turkey should weight heavier in the decision process for joining the European Union.  The frustrations of Turkey with the EU must have given it a clear hint of what its policies should be based on and where its focus should be directed to.




February 2009

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