Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 25th, 2009

The Near East Dilemma: The Background (Part 1, May 16, 2009)

Note:  This essay is of two parts.  The first part lay down the background story and issues; the second part will explain in details the positions of the various Syrian political parties and intelligentsia of the period during and after the First World War.  At the time, Syrian was the name of the populations comprising the current Syrian State, Lebanon, Palestine and current Jordan.

The year 1919 was critical for the Near East and the entire Arab World. After almost a century we are still reaping the consequences of the resolutions of the League of Nations that met in Paris for many months to divide the spoils of the First World War.

      Jean Dayeh is an author and a veteran journalist investigative reporter; he published recently “Jubran Tueny Sr. and the Century of Renaissance” in the Near East.  The manuscript contains two great chapters on the case of the Syrian dilemma and the Palestinian/Zionism problems.  From old published articles and replies by different daily journalists, thinkers, and politicians Dayeh explained the premises for the confusion and disunity in the Syrian societies of Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and the current Syrian State; the ideological and political divergences prevented an alternative resolution for populations that were just getting out of the hegemony of the Ottoman Empire that lasted over 5 centuries.

      During the war, the British encouraged the Shereef of Mecca Hussein al Hashemy to join the allies for fighting against the Ottoman Empire.  The British promised Hussein of Mecca mandate over Syria and Iraq.  In the same time, Britain and France had a more real politics plan for the Near East.  The diplomats of the two nations Sykes and Pico agreed in 1916 to divide the region so that France would have mandate over Syria and Lebanon and Britain mandate over Iraq, Palestine and Jordan.  Britain Foreign Affairs Balfour had promised the Zionist movement a State in Palestine.

      The sons of Hussein were appointed Kings; Faisal on Syria and Abdullah King on the newly created State of Jordan by Britain.  “King” Faisal entered Damascus as the Turkish army withdrew.  A nucleus of a new Syrian army was formed; the soldiers had to swear allegiance to the King of Mecca and agree to fight in the Arabic Peninsula if duty called.  The flag of Mecca was raised in Damascus and postal stamps and coins left no doubt as to the plans of the King of Mecca to joining Syria in an Arab Nation.  The worst part is that Faisal had promised the Zionist movement during the meetings of the League of Nations in Paris that if the Jews become majority in Palestine then they could form a confederate State with the Arab Nation.

      It is to be noted that the concept of waging war, then and now, that only those parties or nations that effectively participated in the war were eligible to divide the spoil.  The Syrian population did not have an army to fight and they were suffering famine and calamities due to locust invasion and the perpetual requisitions of the Turkish army in foodstuff and coerced soldiers.

      The President Woodrow Wilson of the USA was suffering of critical health problems during the Paris Convention and died shortly after; thus France and England decided on the Middle East spoil.  Nevertheless, the USA sent a fact-finding commission King-Crane to comprehend the wishes and desires of the Syrian populations.  England and France declined to join the commission because they had already decided on the spoil and their armies were on the ground in the Near East and pressured the populations to be biased.  With all the political pressures of France and England, a few Christians in Mount Lebanon preferred a French mandate, a few Palestinians opted for a British mandate, many were in favor of a USA mandate but the vast majority of Moslems and Christians wanted an independent State with Faisal as King in Damascus.

      The Christian Maronite Patriarch Howayek hurried to Paris for the convention and harassed Clemenceau to decide on a Greater Lebanon by adjoining many parts to Mount Lebanon in return for a French mandate. Clemenceau dispatched an army in 1920 and defeated the small Syrian army in Mayssaloun.  King Faisal was sent packing to reign as King in Iraq.

            By 1920, the Zionist movement managed to lure a few Jews to establish agricultural colonies.  Tel Aviv was the main coastal colony.  The Jewish Diaspora had felt the impossibility of establishing a Jewish state and money was trickling.  The Jews in Tel Aviv went on a rampage and confiscate the Zionist money in order to buy food; and the Rothschild delegate in Palestine was ordered to stop payment on land purchased for new colonies.  Nevertheless, the Zionist movement refused hopeless Jews visa exit out of Palestine.  The Palestinian government, under British mandate, had permitted to add Hebrew names to the English and Arabic administrative institutions. Things have changed since then.

Human Factors in Engineering; Article 26, November 13, 2005

“Guess what my job is”

It would be interesting to have a talk with the freshly enrolled engineering students from all fields as to the objectives and meaning of design projects.

This talk should be intended to orient engineers for a procedure that might provide their design projects the necessary substance for becoming marketable and effective in reducing the pitfalls in having to redesign.

This design behavior should start right at the freshman level while taking formal courses so that prospective engineers will naturally apply this acquired behavior in their engineering career.

In the talk, the students will have to guess what the Human Factors discipline is from the case studies, exercises and problems that will be discussed.

The engineers will try to answer a few of the questions that might be implicit, but never formally explicitly explained or learned, because the necessary courses are generally offered outside the engineering curriculums.

A sample of the questions might be as follows:

1. What is the primary job of an engineer?

2. What does design means?  How do you perceive designing to look like?

3. To whom are you designing?  What category of people?

4. Who are your target users? Engineer, consumers, support personnel, operators?

5. What are your primary criteria in designing?  Error free application product?

6. Who commit errors?  Can a machine do errors?

7. How can we categorize errors?  Any exposure to an error taxonomy?

8. Can you foresee errors, near accidents, accidents?  Take a range oven for example, expose the foreseeable errors and accidents in the design and specifically the display and control idiosyncrasy.

9. Who is at fault when an error is committed or an accident occurs?

10. Can we practically account for errors without specific task taxonomy?

11. Do you view yourself as responsible for designing interfaces to your design projects depending on the target users?

12. Would you relinquish your responsibilities for being in the team assigned to design an interface for your design project?

13. What kinds of interfaces are needed for your design to be used efficiently?

14. How engineers solve problems?  Searching for the applicable formulas? Can you figure out the magnitude of the answer?  Have you memorized the allowable range for your answers from the given data and restriction imposed in the problem after solving so many exercises?

15. What are the factors or independent variables that may affect your design project?

16. How can we account for the interactions among the factors?

17. Have you memorize the dimensions of your design problem?

18. Have you been exposed to reading research papers? Can you understand, analyze and interpret the research paper data? Can you have an opinion as to the validity of an experiment?

19. Would you accept the results of any peer-reviewed article as facts that may be readily applied to your design projects?

20. Do you expect to be in charged of designing any new product or program or procedures in your career?

21. Do you view most of your job career as a series of supporting responsibilities; like just applying already designed programs and procedures?

22. Are you ready to take elective courses in psychology, sociology, marketing, and business targeted to learning how to design experiments and know more about the capabilities, limitations and behavioral trends of target users?

23. Are you planning to go for graduate studies?  Do you know what elective courses might suit you better in your career?

Vertical Streets


In my dream,

I was turning a corner,

And I entered a neighborhood with vertical streets.

Obviously, the houses were in horizontal positions.

I was going downhill,

Looking where the neighborhood ends.

Sure enough, at the end of Main Street,

A flat community went about its normal life.

I did not enter any of these horizontal houses:

The secret is always in the inside.

The outside surrounding was too different

For me to investigate any further.

Women in Foreplay

I read a short post on foreplay.  I corrected a few typos and edited it my way, and the comments in parenthesis are mine.  I let her speak:

“Foreplay is a large part of the entire lovemaking experience. Most women will say that if a man knows the importance of foreplay, the experience will be greater for both partners.

There is no such thing as spending too much time on foreplay. The trick is to start intercourse when both partners are having a hard time controlling their desires. Foreplay comes in many forms from hugging, kissing, undressing each other, and all over body petting (oral sex optional).”

She goes on:

“Men who know how to enjoy sensitive foreplay and apply it to their partners will:

1. enjoy their sexual encounter more,

2. their partners will reach an orgasm more easily.

Most women need a lot of stimulation in order to reach an orgasm; and that is where foreplay comes in handy.

To reach this stage (orgasm) you need to understand what will make your partner hot.

Since all women are different, some enjoy gentle kissing while other prefer oral stimulation (including dirty verbal stimulation?).

Women also like to be complimented; tell her she looks beautiful, sexy, how much you appreciate her. Complimenting your partner awakes her sense of security and excitement.”

“Try to set the mood.

Make sure the room is warm, lighting subdued, and the sheets clean! ( Do not worry about that if you are spending the night at her place).

Often women spend a fortune on lingerie: it makes them feel sexy. Therefore, (stupid) kiss around and under the lingerie telling her how good she looks in it. Go as slow as you can; tease with kisses (the lingerie?), long and slow, fast and hard, lots of cuddles and hugs.

Most women complain their partners don’t kiss enough (they might be heavy smokers), just rush directly to the genital area. Don’t be shy (which gender?), experiment, and remember to prolong foreplay with kissing and cuddling.

If she enjoys her sexual experience then she will make sure you enjoy yours!!! (I repeat, men are not endowed to feeling sexual pleasures; they like to pleasure or gratify their “nice” partners).

Practice makes perfect (Virgin women cannot seem to take that advice at heart).”

Rationally, there should be high positve correlation between seduction skills and foreplay teaching skills.

It seems that this correlation applies to seductive men.  Women are much better in seduction, but lousy foreplay teachers.

That is why they prefer to teach kindergarten kids.  Unpracticed women tend to confuse seduction with intercourse.

Women display a wide array of seduction techinques and then play passive: it is more dignified.  They have been trained to remember that at the intercourse stage, love must be the driving force (meaning marriage?): “making love” must mean sharing love.

Actually, sharing is not the correct term.

On the first intercourse with any new beau, many women utter the sentence “You are mine!”, and all of them think it.

Women who swallowed their tongue at the last second, most probably got another occasion (with the same beau).

All that talk is irrelevant if the man is not “beau” or the women not that “belle”.

The longer time is invested in foreplay, the surer the indication that shared love is stronger.  Once this most practical of “quality time” is neglected, then signs of “fatigue” in a relationship emerge.

Man has to keep investing in foreplay if he values his partner and respect her needs to bloom and be of serious support and joyful companion.

3mol mneee7 wa keb bil ba7r.

Foreplay is always a quality time, regardless of genders.

Note: Not sure if that post was not my own creation and invention.




June 2009

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