Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 17th, 2009

Elections’ Aftermath: Iran and Lebanon; (June 15, 2009)


            Iranian President Ahmadinajad won the election by a landslide; over 80% of the Iranians lined up to vote and Ahmadinajad got 64% of the vote. On June 8, I posted “Bi-weekly report (#25) and stated “Iran is having its Presidential election on June 12, 2009.  The candidates Ahmadinajad and Mossawi faced off in a television debate.  Moussawi suckered to the public opinion of the western nations’ demands: he is speaking as a foreign affairs minister and not a candidate to win the presidency.  The attitude of appeasing the western public opinions is considered very disgusting in Iran and not the characteristic of a candidate of vast Empire.”  The Iranian people didn’t vote for reforms, for bread, for appeasing the USA (Obama is already appeased), for their right to build nuclear power plant (they have them), or to own their nuclear arsenal (they could if they wish).  The people vote according to their perceived high dignity.  The Iranians have acquired strong sense of identity.  The Iranians sent the clear message that they are not going to cow to the threat of a tiny and puny State such as Israel. If the Israeli government planned that their threat during Election Day is going to turn the balance toward the more “moderate” candidate then it failed to comprehend the current spirit of the Iranians.


            Moving to the election in Lebanon you can feel the lack of dignity and weakness in identity.  Foreign interventions and the purchase of voters are preponderant; the laws controlling the election process are not meant to be applied except on the weaker candidates and their supporters. The opposition had a definite program for reforms and change of the political system; the opposition was to win the election by a slight majority; it did not.  Foreign projects of a tacit alliance among the USA, the EU, Syria, and Saudi Arabia dictated that a victory for the opposition is not in line for appeasement at “this junction”.

            Syria is going ahead for a “peace” deal with Israel supported by the US Administration and Saudi Arabia; Turkey is to resume its mediation.  The other hot “problems” such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian State would be negotiated after Syria is fully satisfied for the completer withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Golan Heights to the borders of 1967.  Barak Obama has Pakistan to worry about and the resurgence of virulent Taliban to tame and control its spreading activities.


            Thus, the Lebanese extremists Sunnis were denied representation in the Parliament.  A surprising influx of Lebanese immigrants of over 100,000 within a week destabilized all polling estimates.  Syria was allocated a major role to bring to power the government coalition in the district of Zahle.  The Maronite Patriarch was allowed to give a warning declaration on the eve of the election that defied election laws; the Patriarch proclaimed a pack of political lies that everyone in politics knew is false; his speech galvanized the ignorant and sectarian citizens to vote for the government coalition.

            Hezbollah knew that the opposition was not meant to win and it suited its interest at this phase of the struggle. The real “cosmic” battle was focused on defeating General Aoun and the coalition of the Tayyar.  The Tayyar won against all odds: it increased its bloc from 20 to 27 deputies and captured the two additional districts of Baabda and Jezzine.  The Tayyar defeated Patriarch Sfeir and the President of the Republic Michel Suleiman by a wide margin. Syria did not appreciate that Michel Aoun defied her staunchest ally Nabih Berry (head of AMAL and Chairman of the Parliament since 1991) in Jezzine; actually, the bloc of Nabih Berry lost five deputies in this election but will be re-elected at the head of the Parliament.

            Michel Aoun proclaimed that he will participate in a national government that allocates ministerial seats on relative victories; thus, if the government is to be of 30 ministers then the Tayyar bloc should enjoy seven portfolios. It is my contention that the Tayyar will be satisfied in the next government simply because no one, internally and externally, is ready to spare time and counter attack the frequent rightful exigencies of the sole truly  opposition bloc in this election.

            What General Aoun has to plan for is another serious trip to Syria and Iran for two reasons; first, to establish direct communication lines for timely advices and updated intelligence offered by States instead of relying solely on his advisors and his personal reflection; it is known that General Aoun is judged “unpredictable” and unbending on principles of autonomy in decisions and the strengthening of the Central State. Many powerful foreign officials are reluctant to meet face to face with Aoun for fear of “losing face” suggesting advices that go counter to Aoun’s principles.  Second, General Aoun has to revamp the misinformation and understanding of his concept for a Third Republic and setting a schedule of formal meetings with foreign officials in Syria and Iran.

Uncontested Palestinian Leader: late Yasser Arafat (Abu 3Ammar)

Known as Yasser Arafat; code named “Abu Ammar”; full name Muhammad Abdel Raouf Arafat Al Koudwa Al Husseiny was born in Jerusalem in 1929.

Yasser studied civil engineering at Cairo University and worked in Kuwait. In the summer of 1965 he started guerilla activities inside Israel with 10 feddayins, among them the future leaders Khalil Wazeer (code named Abu Jihad; assassinated in Tunisia by an Israeli air raid), Salah Khalaf (code named Abu Ayad), and Abu Ali Ayad (died in battle fighting the onslaught of the Jordanian army in 1970).

After the defeat of the Arab armies in June 1967, Arafat decided to take matters into his own hand: the Arab States can no longer be counted on to reclaim the Palestinian rights to a homeland and the return of the refugees since 1948 (date of recognition of Israel as a State).

Arafat set out to organizing the Palestinians into a resistance force called “Hurricane” (Al 3asifat) and resumed incursions into Israel at higher rates. An acceptable resolution would be a secular State on the West Bank with East Jerusalem as Capital.  He would repeat:

“As I liberate a single square meter then I would raise the Palestinian flag.  One day, a boy or a girl will hoist the flag in Jerusalem. We may differ as Christians and Moslems on many issues but we are unified on liberating Jerusalem and consecrating it our spiritual and political Capital”

Jerusalem was the cornerstone in any negotiation of more importance to him than the “right of return” of the UN resolution 194.

In fact, during the Arab Summit in Beirut 2002 Arafat was ready to accept the Saudi proposal of “land for peace” that did not mention the right of return.  Luckily, the Lebanese President Emile Lahoud was adamant on including this cause since the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon question is “a time bomb ready to detonate anytime”.

The uncontested Arab leader Gamal Abdel Nasser recognized that the nascent Palestinian resistance activities are reactions to the failure of his leadership, and he met with Arafat.  Gamal Abdel Nasser gave Arafat’s organization political cover to preserve control of Arab politics and introduced Arafat to other Arab State leaders. Thus, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1968, which included many Palestinian factions such as the national and Marxist faction of George Habash and the splintered faction of Nayef Hawatmed.

Syria would later include another faction with a military wing called Al Sa3ikat (Thunderstorm).  Arafat was the leader of the largest faction called Fateh (Conquest) and thus was elected Chairman of the PLO; Arafat was to hold the purse or the treasury of this organization to keep all factions in line.

King Hussein of Jordan defeated militarily the PLO in 1970 and the resistance fighters had to flee to Lebanon and Syria.  The Egyptian leader forced the hand of the Lebanese government to allocate a strip of land in south Lebanon called “Al 3arkoub” from which the PLO could wage guerilla attacks on Israel.

This was a top secret deal; Deputy Raymond Eddeh would persist and insist in the parliament to divulge the details of the deal at no avail.

The mostly Shi3a Lebanese citizens in south Lebanon were caught in between the military retaliations of Israel, the exactions of the PLO and the non-existence of the weak Lebanese government in that region. South Lebanon was de facto controlled and governed by the PLO.  The Lebanese army controlled every resistance movement in the south before 1970 but relinquished its hold after that secret deal.

The PLO quickly established political and administrative headquarters in the Capital Beirut and was immersed deeply in Lebanon internal politics. The Palestinian resistance fighters occupied all the Palestinian camps and transformed them into bunkers.

Israel didn’t mind the transformation and the involvement of the PLO in Lebanon’s politics. Israel goal was to displace the Lebanese citizens from the south and then conquer it. In fact, thousands of citizens in the south moved to the southern outskirts of Beirut in Haret Hrik, Ghobeiry, and Dahieh.  These areas would become the “belt of misery” and shantytowns.

In April 1973, an Israeli commando (headed by Ehud Barak) assassinated 3 Palestinian leaders in Beirut Kamal Edwan, Kamal Youssef, and Abu Youssef Al Najjar; it failed to locate Arafat.

In May 1973, the Lebanese army was encircling the Palestinian camps and Arafat took refuge in Embassies.  Arafat had a sixth sense on personal dangers and he did sleep in Embassies when the tough got going.  His best strategy for avoiding detection and maintaining security is to be “unpredictable”; thus he frequently moved from one residence to another and never informed anyone of his displacements, even his driver or bodyguards.

Arafat highly valued Medias and used it to the hilt. He also lavished on and befriended the cheikhs of mosques so that their Friday preaches increase his positive exposure. Arafat was not that good in rhetoric, but his charisma and large smile compensated greatly on other verbal deficiencies.

Arafat was super patient, like fish hunters.  He didn’t mind waiting for years until his enemy is caught in his nets.  He fundamentally used persuasion and then extending financial bait and then blackmailing when everything failed.

Arafat could focus under extreme dangerous situations and keep his cool for the sake of his surrounding assistants. He slept a few hours on early morning and then had siesta after lunch.  He extended aid to the needy and took excellent care of the martyrs’ families.  He owned only two military suits.

Arafat read every piece of mail and replied in details.  He carried a small booklet and noted down information. He once said “if one of my small notebooks is published monarchies would disappear and Presidents fall.”  Arafat was feared by Arab leaders because of his wide connections and the vast intelligence pieces he had on each one of them; thus, the PLO coffer was replenished on demand.

Arafat visited India PM Indira Ghandi. A guru asked Arafat “How many Palestinians are there?”  Arafat replied 8 millions. The guru retorted “I have 9 million followers who worship me as their God.”  Arafat said with a large smile “The difference is that everyone of the 8 million Palestinians thinks that he is indeed God

On November 1974, Arafat delivered a speech to the UN assembly and offered two alternatives: the olive tree or the gun.  He also talked to the UN General assembly in Geneva on December 1988 and declared his willingness to end armed struggle and the recognition of Israel; the USA decided then to recognize the PLO.

Arafat played a central role during the Lebanese civil war that started in April 13, 1975.  He tried to maintain a balanced position in the tag of war between Hafez Assad of Syria and Sadat of Egypt at the expense of the Lebanese civilians.  The leftist Lebanese organizations relied on Arafat for logistics in arms and ammunition and he controlled them completely.

Arafat once declared in Ramallah around 1998 that he was the de facto governor of Lebanon for over 20 years, even before the civil war. Lebanon would have been saved 13 years of mindless civil war if Arafat had decided to relinquish Lebanon to Syria and dealt with Israel in 1977 instead of 1993 for part of Palestine as he was forced to do later.

After the signing of the Oslo agreement with Rabin, Arafat returned to Gaza on July 1994.  He signed an agreement for the return of the West bank in September 1995.  Rabin was assassinated by one of his body guard. Netanyahu refused to go along with the agreement but finally submitted to the USA pressures and retuned Hebron (Al Khalil) after the negotiation of Wy River in 1998.

On September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon entered the Masjed Akssa during the tenure of Ehud Barak PM.  The second intifada started.  Ariel Sharon was elected Prime Minister in February 2001 and he invaded Rammallah (headquarter of the Palestinian Authority) and encircled Arafat in his quarter. George W. Bush said to Sharon “Leave Arafat to God” and Sharon relied “I will give God a nudge

Arafat had food delivered through Israeli check points. He suffered acute ailment and knew that he has been poisoned by small doses.  Before being hospitalized in France Arafat said to his personal physician Ashraf Kerdi “The Zionists got me…”  Mohammad Dahlan (Fateh officer) told Arafat “When you are back your authority and power will remain intact” Arafat replied “In that case you are coming with me to France

Mahmoud Abbass replaced Arafat and refused to have an autopsy performed on the body of Arafat.

Arafat managed to hold together an organization of many factions for 40 years by centralizing the disbursement of the financial import he secured from the Arab States and from investment.  Arafat struggled hard to keep the Palestinian decisions independent of the vagaries of the multiple Arab States leaders’ interests of abusing of the “Palestinian cause.”  Probably, most of Arafat’s “peace deals” with Israel emanate from the disunity of the Arab States toward a strategic plan for checking the Zionist plans.  Arafat had to juggle Arab States priorities concerning their people interests.

Arafat sculpted an image of Palestinian resistance by wearing the special “koufieh” headdress and the military attire. He forged a logo for the Palestinian cause.

Don’t Mind Living


I experienced comfort, family or some;

         I’ve been homeless too long.

I experienced a glimpse of exhilarating love;

         I wallow in my swamp of hate.

I experienced a flinting unsurpassed confidence;

         I wizened up in lack of faith.

I experienced moments of immortality;

         I breathe the fear of death.

I experienced the joy of the fight;

         But, I don’t mind living, and living long.

I Say

I say, every one must have his identity:

           Death has forced on us the I.

I say, what exists must be discovered:

           Death impressed on us to know.

I say, every feeling must be experienced:

           Death created stages for us to grow.

I say, there must be a meaning to life:

           Death did not leave us a choice in that.

Article #20, April 18, 2005

“How could we fit Human Factors in the engineering curriculum?”

First of all, I would like that at least one Human Factors course be a required to all the engineering disciplines and architects.

The engineering students were awe struck that there is a whole body of knowledge specifically targeted to improving their designs and new important set of criteria which they agree with but were never exposed to in their design training.

This course was an eye opener to the various problems that engineers will have to deal with once they leave the university setting and move on to the working environment. Engineering students were following a one dimensional view of the world through equations, number crunching and manipulation of formulas that permitted them to solve simple engineering problems and may be a few design problems that never included the end users in the equation.

Now they realized that they may be exposed to problems of shift work, discrimination based on age and gender, occupational mental stress, occupational physical pains and aches, potential risks and injuries, human errors and their consequences, and the urgency to target the end users whom will use their designs.

Next, I would like that all engineering disciplines be required to take the design of experiment course. It is a pre-requisite for industrial engineers in their last two years curriculum.

This course of experimental design is highly important for several reasons: first the course material in Human Factors is pregnant with statistical results drawn from experiments which use human as subjects in the experiments.

Unfortunately, the design of experiment is not required for the other engineering disciplines and not even offered or encouraged as an optional alternative.

I have a real hard time explaining through examples the difference among the independent variables, the dependent variables and control variables from the Human Factors course. 

May be a couple of students finally end up comprehending how experiments are designed but learning the process and procedures to run a valid experiment require long training and many special courses.

How could an engineering graduate update his education and continue to keep pace with the practice if he cannot read research papers and critic them? 

The process of designing and conducting experiments is tedious, time consuming and requires skills.

Engineering students have no idea how experiments are done and their final projects are very inefficient.

Their experiments are basically of the type one independent variable and one dependent variable like scientists used to perform in the 18th century. 

Students have to perform several sets of these inefficient experiments for their final project while one well designed experiment would do.

Nowadays, inference experiments or cause and effects experiments can easily be designed with three factors or independent variables and two dependent variables and still permit good interpretation of the statistical results which provide a wealth of information on the interactions of the factors in a single experiment.

Thirdly, I would like that industrial engineers be offered an optional course on the cognitive aspects of Human Factors since computer information processing and communication is the sin qua of this age of technological advancement and mass accessibility to information.

More importantly, this follow up course will allow students to design, conduct and run a complete experiment using human subjects, learn the process and procedures of comprehending research papers, analyze the validity of the experiments and have a hand on designing a simple interface.

I am leaning toward starting with the design of an interface from the beginning and whenever common sense assumptions dictates certain parts of  the design to actually ask the student designing an experiment to validate the common sense assumptions.

Feasting on Gore


1.   X-Rays don’t hurt: no pain.

Chemo is different:

You lose your mane.

Hospital appointment, cancer, hospital confinement, terminal.

Convicted criminal, prison, delayed execution, terminus.


2.   Dressed in apron, back naked, abandoned, forgotten

Robbed of your money, robbed of dignity, robbed of life.

A case study you are, for all to learn.

The more cases the better the knowledge.

Many more cases for many more knowledge.


3.   You lived.  Lived enough.  Let others learn and live

A while longer.

The right to live folks need to hang the Kevorkians,

Every single one of them,

Those who help the terminally ill to die with his own choice.



4.   Pain, constant pains, no end in sight, no cure.

      Wait till those healthy, spineless souls of the right to live

      Need a Kevorkian

But surrounded with pale faces

Feasting on gore.


5.   I have the power to predict the end.

I know the odds: 

You either die instantly or you live,

In the mind of all you know,

A half-man.


6.   You may listen to the pillars of moral characters,

You may nod to the Talking Heads: 

They talk well.

I have decided on my destiny.

It shall be quick.

362.  Legitimate, Temporary, and Necessary; (June 5, 2009)


363.  Sex Tales (June 6, 2009)


364.  I have a position: I am voting today; (June 7, 2009)


365.  Love Tales; (June 8, 2009)


366.  Bi-Weekly Report (#25) on Lebanon and the Middle East; (June 8, 2009)


367.  Seduction Tales; (June 9, 2009)


368.  The culprits:  vegetative Ariel Sharon and Hubeika; (June 11, 2009)


369.  Reactions to Seduction, Love, and Sex Tales; (June 12, 2009)


370.  Traditional Wedding; (June 13, 2009)


371.  Arab Sex Art: Star of the Internet; (June 14, 2009)



372.  Right to Return: for the Palestinian refugees; (June 15, 2009)


373.  Elections’ Aftermath: Iran and Lebanon; (June 15, 2009)


374.  Uncontested Palestinian Leader: late Yasser Arafat (Abu 3Ammar); June 15, 2009


375.  Mystics and Sufis; (June 16, 2009


376.  Headdress; (June 16, 2009)




June 2009

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