Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 12th, 2009

Article #16, April 10, 2005

“Are there any major cross over between HF and safety engineering?”

In most States there are building or civil construction codes for safety standards.

Usually, safety consultant firms are hired to catalogue and study the safety requirements for fire hazards and major risks peculiar in industries that have the potential to cause harm to the workers or occupants.

In many instances, safety engineers are hired to manage the requirements and control their application.

Federal and State occupational safety and health inspectors can use self-inspection checklist for general safety standards and for specific standards tailor made to industries like chemical plants or construction industry.

For example, there are safety checklists for abrasive machinery, confined space entry, compressed gas cylinders, electrical equipment, emergency action plan and emergency response, fire protection, hazardous waste operation, hoists and cranes, lockout/tag out, mandated posters, personal protection from noise and workplace violence to name a few.

There is an international standard organization that many States adopt its quality control accreditation standards for exporting products to foreign countries. 

These standards are mainly for industrial quality processes and procedures that are hoped would improve quality of products and help manufacturers to abide by the specifications of the intended countries.

By and by, these quality processes have included safety procedures designed in and managed by manufacturers.

Many of these accrediting firms hire consultants fitting the job description and qualifications of Human Factors professionals.

There is also a lucrative niche for expert Human Factors in forensic engineering.

After gathering enough credibility in the field through years of teaching and field experience many of our professionals have managed to build contacts with the appropriate lawyers.

Forensic engineers not only need excellent credentials and skills in investigating the errors that led to accidents and injuries but also they need to master the legal terminology and processes. 

A set of ethical standards guide forensic engineers to find the right trade off between truth and not antagonizing their clients, mainly the lawyers who hired them in the first place.  In many instances government agencies might hire expert forensic witnesses in major catastrophic accidents.

In most litigation, the report of the forensic engineer can settle out of court legal proceeding between plaintiffs and defendants on the strength of facts and analysis of the engineer’s report.

Generally, in 10% of the cases the forensic engineer has to submit and suffer the cross examination of the defendant lawyer or vice versa whose job is to discredit his credentials first and then to find untenable facts or proofs in the analysis in order to kill the testimony of the expert.

Thus, in addition to mastering the investigative techniques done in timely matter and the technologies that could be acceptable in court a forensic engineer has to have the verbal skills and the proven logic to answer the offending skilled lawyer.

Massacres in Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camps in Lebanon (June 11, 2009)

For two days and three nights, genocide was perpetrated in September 16, 1982.  Over 2,000 Palestinian civilians were massacred in the camps of Sabra and Chatila on the outskirt of Beirut. The Israeli Army had cordoned off the camps, provided logistics for the invaders, lighted the “field of operations”, and excavated mass graves. 

Israel Defense Minister, Ariel Sharon, was there, supervising the genocide activities.  The head of intelligence branch of the Lebanese Forces militia, Elie Hobeika, was witnessed over a hill overhanging the camps observing the scene through binoculars. 

The Palestinian resistance fighters had vacated Lebanon a month ago and multinational forces, headed by the USA, were supposed to guarantee the safety and security of the Palestinian civilians in the various camps around Beirut.   

In July 2001, Elie Hubeika invited the news media for an announcement. He divulged that Israel tried not to indict Ariel Sharon, the real culprit of the massacres in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatilla in 1982, by shifting the blame to him.  Elie Hobeika offered to witness in front of the Belgium court that was prosecuting claims against Sharon by the families of the victims in the camps.  

 Hobeika insisted that he has evidences to prove his innocence and information that are contrary to what the official Israeli Kahana Commission presented.  Hobeika said “I am one of the wrongly accused in this case; I was set up and will present all the evidences that the Belgium court demands of me.”  said to a friend: “This is a big and dangerous game.  I was waiting for such an opportunity to tell the whole truth for a lie that lasted 19 years. I can no longer sustain the burden of suspicion in the eyes of my family and son.”

            The Belgium head delegation, Roger Dubee, met with Hobeika in Lebanon and recorded the evidences and then promised to fly to Belgium once the court is ready for hearings on the massacres case.

A roadside bomb exploded in the convoy of Hobeika on January 24, 2002, 150 meters from his home.  Hobeika had once told his friend: “The worst section when you are targeted is the stretch close to your house”.  The area was top security because the presidential Palace, the Defense Ministry, and Army headquarter were located near by. 

The investigations led nowhere, but everyone pointed the finger toward Sharon’s PM decision to eliminate Hobeika.  This assassination was to be the first in a series of frequent assassinations after Rafic Hariri’s in February 2005.

Elie Hobeika was born in 1956 in the town of Kulai3at and studied in several private Christian schools.  He studied commerce and banking and worked for a while at the Lebanon/Brazil Bank.  He joined the Phalange Party (Kataeb) in 1972.  

Hobeika always carried his favorite machine gun HK, and Bashir Gemayel gave him the nickname HK after an impossible successful mission of breaking up a blockade on trapped militias.  Beshir dispatched Hobeika in 1977 to south Lebanon.  Hobeika fought the Palestinians around Ain Ebel for 7 months under the code name “Edward” and antagonized Israeli officers.

The daughter of Beshir Gemayel, Maya, was assassinated in 1980.  Thus, Beshir Gemayel assigned Hobeika the task of establishing an intelligence branch.  It was Hobeika who suggested to Bashir to open up communication lines with President Sarkis.  Hobeika wed Gina Nashati in 1981. 

Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and would push foreword and enter the Capital Beirut.  Hebeika joined Bechir on a visit to Saudi Arabia in June 1982 as preparation for the succession to President Sarkis.  Beshir would be elected President on July 23, 1982 under the bayonet of the Israeli army in Beirut.

            Bashir was assassinated on September 14, 1982 before being officially consecrated President.  Elie Hobeika was with Amine Gemayel (elder brother of Basher) in Bikfaya when Saeb Salam PM called Amine to inform him of suspected activities inside the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila.  As head of the intelligence branch Hobeika had no fighting regiment under his orders to dispatch.

Hobeika was elected Deputy after the civil war in 1992 and then in 1996; he was minister of the Lebanese refugees and then minister of Water and Electricity.

 After the assassination of Elie Hobeika, the Belgium court closed the file; as if Hobeika was the only witness to one of the ugliest genocides in this last quarter of this century.  That proves the masquerade of the Western courts when the victims are Palestinians or Arabs.  The families of the over 2,000 civilian victims in the camps of Sabra and Chatila want justice, retribution, and compensation. 

I demand from the Belgium Justice to explain what happened to the case of the camps.  It is a shame that the western Nations don’t take seriously the successive genocides that the Palestinian and Lebanese civilians have succumbed to the Zionist State. 

Lately, Gaza was eradicated after suffering an entire year of embargo on daily trade for survival.  Before that in 1996 the massacre of Qana case was dropped by the US courts. The Horror; the deafening Silence of the able “civilized” Occident.

Traditional Wedding in Kuwait of the 40’s (June 13, 2009)

It is ancient Kuwait City, around 1945.  Kuwait was a fishing coast; contraband activities were the life line; and divers extracted pearls.

Desert storms chased inhabitant in their mud houses; a long sort of minaret at the center of houses with holes absorbed the hot sandy air and sent fresh cool air to the underground chambers.

It barely rain in this region of the Arabic/Persian Gulf, at most 15 mm of rain.  The residences are built around a square large cistern; rain is directed toward a large cloth extended over the cistern that filters rain water off the sand.

It is said that when the tiny Sabbah tribe settled in this region, already two larger tribes were in constant fighting. The two big tribes settled their differences by agreeing that the leader of the Sabbah tribe plays the impartial judge.

This is the marriage transaction for young Ibrahim who never saw his bride.  His bride Mariam is not a cousin and thus Ibrahim did not see her as a child before girls wear the veil before the age of 14.

A specialized marrying lady (for commission) recommended Mariam to Ibrahim’s mother.

Mariam made sure to escape so that the visiting woman does not see her and scrutinize her from head to toe and thus would have no indications on the suitability of Mariam to her son.

The obstinate mother finally saw Mariam and gave her acknowledgment for the transaction to proceed.   Ibrahim’s father got to work; he gathered intelligence on the bride’s family social and financial status. The financial deal between the two fathers set the marriage in motion.

The two families gathered to arrange the date of the wedding and the delivery of the “adaza” or trousseau.  Weding dates are in general on Thursday evenings.  The women of Ibrahim’s family and their neighbors march to the bride’s house singing and banging on tambourine.

The marching women were bringing the cloths, winter and summer attires, blankets, two “abayas”, and carried by a woman over her head. Among the offering is a purse with liquid money.

Fruits, cakes, all kinds of coffee and sugary tasty bits were served.  Then the women examine every piece of garment, except the purse that went straight to the bosom of the mother-in-law.  Ibrahim’s mother was not to attend this part of the ceremony by tradition.

One week after the presentation of the “adaza” the two fathers met to decide on the wedding date.

A few days before the wedding the two father gathered in the mosque to register the marriage in front of the religious “sheikh”; this is the official contract.

In Islam, the bride is to participate in writing the terms of the contract but since they are married young and are practically illiterate, then tradition usurped the brides’ rights.

The evening of the wedding the parent’s of the bride and their neighborhood arrived to the groom’s house and they were assembled in the “diwania”, the spacious formal meeting place of men in a house.

Ibrahim’s father was to attend the fifth and last prayer in the mosque.  The women walked to the bride’s house to bring Mariam chanting “youyou”.  Strong women carried the mattress and the pillows destined for the couple.

The men arrived sprayed with rose water by the masses and perfumed with the smoke of sandalwood.  Ibrahim and his father walked in front.  Ibrahim was left alone among the women waiting for the bride.  Five young girls carried the chair mounted by Mariam who was completely covered; women were sending their benedictions.

This part of the ceremony also Ibrahim’s mother was not supposed to attend.

The new couple was left alone. Ibrahim removed the cover off Mariam.  Mariam was scared and terribly shy.

Before the wedding, an old woman instructed Mariam on the secrets of intercourse and she was to remain close to Mariam for another week after the wedding.  During the first night women kept up the chanting and crying, supposedly to cover up the screaming of the bride.

In the morning, Ibrahim is to leave the tenth of the agreed upon sum under the bride pillow; the mother-in-law knew where to retrieve this sum.  Early in the morning, Ibrahim is to return to his father’s home and leave his wife sleeping, only to return by night fall; this procedure is to last three days.

On the third evening, Ibrahim’s mother and her women friends were to visit with the bride.  The bride was sitting on a throne, in a corner, so that all women could contemplate her at leisure. Mariam was covered with jewelry and looking-like an idol.

A week later, the parents of the mother-in-law were to escort Mariam to her new residence.

The mother-in-law was denied to share in this part of the ceremony; she was to be invited three days later with the utmost fast.

For an entire week Mariam was to sit still covered with heavy jewelries; some jewelry were borrowed for this week to weight on Mariam’s head.  Mariam fainted on the last day.

In general, the bride undergoes thorough epilating process. Both genders are washed and their hair, palm and feet dyed with “henne”.  Henne was used by mariners and fishermen to toughen the skin of their hands and feet.

Black “khol” was smeared around the eyes to detract mosquitoes and flies off the eyes.

It is 1968. Ibrahim gained several inches in rotundity.

Mariam is skinny, supple, elegant, and gorgeous. The couple has seven kids.

Ibrahim is contemplating to marry again under the pretence of needing more boys.  Mariam is not rebelling but Ibrahim is receiving signs of her refusal.  Ibrahim could marry again if he wishes but it is a very costly project: Ibrahim would have to build an extension to the house for the new wife and pay an enormous sum for the family of the new wife and the wife too.




June 2009

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