Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 18th, 2009

Day After the Epic War; (August 17, 2009)

 

Note: I am mining my diary

 

            It is 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2006. A lady from the daily “Al Balad” called for me to resume my subscription that ended yesterday. I was hoping that Victor might share in the expense of the $160 and I told her that I need to think about it; most probably I might forgo the subscription for a while and see how the habit of my father would change without a daily.

            Israel will withdraw from almost all of south Lebanon save a strategic position in Maroun Al Ras by the border; this town was the first target of the IDF from day one of the 33 days war and barely managed to hold on it for a couple of days.

            Khaled is leaving to Paris on a grant today via a French convoy departing by sea.  Wajdi might be leaving to Canada through Damascus; he has been waiting for the airport to reopen but this possibility is not very promising any time soon.

            I am being bothered by Adrea and her cohort of little girls trying to set up a program for learning different kind of arts in the basement.  They showed up about 10 a.m. and William was still sleeping and then he endeavored to do his meditation; in the meanwhile the girls had to use my study room.  The public electricity went out as usual and then it was restored half an hour ago. (Even in 2009, I have to wake up at 3 a.m. in order to take advantage of the public power)

            Libya has earmarked $100 million for our civil defense organization.  The British secretary of development is in Beirut with the mission of earmarking around 10 million Euros for temporarily rebuilding a few major bridges.  The French are urging Israel to remove its blockade on Beirut; why just Beirut?  It is becoming very unnerving!

            The Lebanese government will meet at 3 p.m. to finalize the procedures of deploying the army south of the Litany River and will scrap any arguments concerning the disarmament of Hezbollah.  The Lebanese army has been off this region of Lebanon for 30 years; the army might enter the Palestinian refugee camp of Rashidyeh because it is located near Tyre and therefore south of the river.

            The multinational force is not about to be constituted any time soon: France will not join this force until Hezbollah is disarmed up to the north of the Litany River, which means never!  I sincerely hope France does not join in because we might end up with trouble if it does not open diplomatic venues with Syria and because we do not need further exacerbation with a member having a veto power in the UN. Turkey and Malaysia are ready to join the force.  Germany is still debating the issue.  Sweden is preparing an economic conference to support Lebanon’s financial needs.

            George W Bush valiantly claimed that Israel is the victor, a claim that Israel has been shy to put forward while big controversies are emerging within its political parties after it accepted the cease fire.  Anyway, who is listening to Bush nowadays?  Everybody is convinced that this US President is a certified crazy matured for incarceration into an asylum.

            I have to quit for now.  It is 12:20 p.m. and my mom is hollering for me to join them for lunch; I made it a habit not to have breakfast on the ground that we need to detoxify our blood for 12 hours, nicotine excepted.

            I retrieved the colored center fold of the daily “Al Balad” of the pictures representing the refugees and their plight during the war and proceeded to clip the speeches of Nasr Allah and a few political editorials from Lebanese, Israelis, and foreign journalists.

            The Lebanese Seniora PM delivered a live speech setting the tone for a responsible, transparent, and just government in all aspects of our autonomy, economy and equitability regardless of regions and religious sects.  He said that development will start from the south and we should expect a modern democracy in our institutions. Most of our politicians talks well but we never take them seriously; they know it too.

            President Lahoud promised that Israel would be accountable for the usage of the prohibited cluster and depleted uranium bombs; if the UN vetoes these charges then Lebanon will press charges to the international tribunal of war crimes.

            On August 14, the day before the official cease fire, 300,000 Lebanese internal refugees from our southern regions were moving back to their home towns.  They are carrying their mattresses and blankets stacked high over their cars.  They did not wait for any kind of permissions from anyone; they did not wait for the army to lead the way, and certainly, they did not wait for Israel to give the green light to their return. The locals at the nearby destroyed bridges and roads are repairing as best they can and facilitating the convoys of the returnees.  The refugees installed their tents outside their destroyed homes and started to reconstruct, to harvest what was left in their fields, and to saw for the next season.

            They are the heroes that clenched our total victory over the despicable Israeli enemy.  It would take months for the Israeli citizens to return to their targeted settlements at the urge and plenty of incentive from their government.  The nation that won the war is the one whose citizens returned promptly to their lands and did not wait permission from anyone.

            On Monday August 14, a new nation was born. It is not one of the 5 veto power nations in the UN; it is not one of the dozen goliath nations in size, population, and natural resources. Tiny Lebanon was born as a nation because its resistance fighters held their ground for 33 days of total bombing by air, sea, and land. Tiny Lebanon earned to be respected as a nation because its internal refugees returned before the formal cease fire.

Christmas Eve in a Christian family: Lebanon; ( Written in 2006 and posted onAugust 17, 2009)

Note: I am mining my diary and this day is on a Christmas Eve

It is Sunday 10:20 a.m. of Christmas Eve 2006.  The sky is clear, sunny, and somehow cold in the 15 degrees C . I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and my mom was already working in the kitchen.

My little niece Chelsea (6 already) was helping her out through countless suggestions; mom’s fingers were so cold that they felt crippled and then she decided to heat some water.

Nephew William was already gone. (Forgot to where)

I worked for an hour in the garden and gathered greens.  Victor and family are off to Orthodox church (in M7idssi).  Victor had to pick Cedric up from work late last night because Cedric had misplaced the car keys.

There was an explosion across from the American University in Beirut; we learned that it was a gas container of a small eatery.

I read and wrote till 11 a.m. and drove to Beit-Chabab. I did not find aunt Montaha. I dropped off three books at the local library and walked to visit my cousin Joseph Ghoussoub. I visited my aunt Theresa on my back home.

Victor dropped off Adrea home and resumed driving toward the supermarket Spinneys and returned around 4 o’clock.

I helped niece Adrea carry a few groceries. Joanna showed me the area where the gifts are stacked in a corner of the dining room in her grand-mom apartment.

I counted about 36 wrapped gifts and it seems that Yuhanna (Joanna’s beau) contributed about 5 gifts and helped Joanna last evening in wrapping gifts before they went out together.

I had lunch with mom because dad had already eaten, and Cedric and Adrea were eating in front of the TV screen.

I had a siesta from 2 to 4 p.m. Mom was exhausted and had a sponge bath.  I picked up the dried clothes off the lines and went to my study room in the lower floor.

Adrea asked me whether I saw Joanna and she checked William’s bed because Joanna sometimes slept there for total privacy.

Mom is at my sister Raymonde’s on the third floor, helping her put the last touch for this evening dinner.

Ethiopia, backed by the USA, started the war against the Somali Islamists who are supported by Sudan and Eritrea.  They found another 46 unidentified bodies in Iraq and half a dozen US soldiers were dead and injured yesterday.

Italy’s Brodi PM is in Lebanon and had visited his troops (the UNIFIL) in the south within the multinational forces.

I would like to spend my night at the Downtown where the opposition has erected 1,500 tents and four huge tents complete with all the amenities; each one of the large tents can accommodate 2,000 persons; a midnight mass will be held at St George’s cathedral there.

Joanna and Yuhanna had left around noon and spent 7 hours walking City Mall for a last spree of buying.

Ashley did her hair and dyed it and left about 2 p.m. with Cedric carrying a box of cake.

Cedric went jogging about 4 p.m. in the cold and froze his ass off.

The former boyfriend of Joanna, Hikmat, paid us a visit; he is on vacation from Toulouse (France) and working on lab research for the electromagnetic switches of micro robots (nano-technology) that are injected in the human body to perform non-invasive controlled surgery.  In addition of grant money for his graduate studies, Hikmat teaches courses and loves Toulouse. As long as Hekmat is excited in his research project there are no chances that he might return to settle in Lebanon.

I joined the entire family after 8:30 p.m. and had a light dinner of salad, asparagus soup, an assortment of cheese and cold cuts, some pizza, and wine and Coca-Cola.

My dad went to sleep around 9:15; he usually sleeps by 8 p.m.

As usual, by 9:45 , little Chelsea started whining that she wanted to open the gifts so we moved to the sitting room and the unwrapping of gifts began.

William, Victor, Ashley, and Adrea took turn taking digital pictures.  It took the better of two hours for this exercise and everybody was satisfied with his gifts; after much hugging and trying out of the gifts the midnight mass project was shot.

Adrea did not have to complain and cry this year because she got more than she expected and spent an awful lot of time trying everything she received.

Chelsea was ecstatic with the skirts and the red bunny pair of slippers.

My mom said that by tomorrow Raymonde will have to make room for the new clothes and send the older ones to the “Bon Pasteur“, a close-by Christian institution of nuns, where the offered bundles are supposedly redistributed to the needy.

Joanna prepared four copies of a 1.2-meter laminated board spread of her photos with her friends and family.

Yuhanna complained that the dog Micha had twice more photos than he had; worst, his two photos were not satisfactory because they showed him wearing the baggy white suit that he and Joanna were asked to wear while cleaning up a stretch of a beach for cleaning it up of oil spill during the July War.

Cedric was sprawled on the carpet amid his gifts of Jeans, the deodorants, and the underwear heaped upon him.

William received a “tak wan doo” white suit and a very long woolen shawl that he wrapped over his head as the Sikhs.

By midnight William went to sleep because he had to wake up at 4 am in order to join the yoga ashram in Gemaizeh; Cedric hit the sac also.

Yuhanna brought with him the saxophone, expecting that we might enjoy a family concert with Joanna at her Jazz flute, and Adrea at my classical guitar (that I never touched), and William at my accordion (that I never played). This concert did not happen.

Around 12:30 we had cakes and most everybody was feeling drowsy; Yuhanna was to sleep overnight and William prepared him the folding sofa downstairs in the basement floor where he had set up his study, by my room study.

By 1:30 a.m. my mom and I carried our gifts down to our first level flat. (Funny why I failed to mention what where the gifts I received or the one I gave…I usually offer books that go unread, or small cash…)

Documentary movies on civil wars; (Written in 2005 and posted on August 17, 2009)

I am mining my diary.

From September 21 to 25, 2005, The City Theater (Masrah El Madina), in Hamra (Lebanon) and located at the former movie theater called Saroula, exhibited documentaries from different regions of the world dealing with civil wars.

These documentaries of about 90 minutes each and free of charge covered the start of the civil war in Lebanon between 1975-76 by Volker Schlondorff and called “Circle of Deceit”, and from Bosnia by Laurent Becue-Renard entitled “War-Wearied”, then about Rwanda by Anne Aghion, and about Chechnya by Johann Freidt, then about Kurdish Iraq close to the border with Turkey by Bahman Ghobadi called “Turtles can Fly”, and culminating with the atrocities of Sabra and Chatilla, initiated by Israel while occupying Beirut in 1982, by Borgmann, Slim and Theissen.

I attended the first two and the last two documentaries and missed the ones on Rwanda and Chechnya because my back pain exacerbated and prevented me from driving my shift car; I could not convince anyone to drive me there, a 30 minutes drive, and to join me to watch these rare showings.

I liked “Turtles can Fly” best among the ones that I was fortunate to see.  This documentary show how the Kurdish children, mostly crippled, in a refugee camp manage to follow a leader their age in order to survive by organizing themselves in groups removing land mines and selling them.

The 14 years old leader falls in love with a 13 years old refugee girl from Halabja (the town that they say Saddam pounded with poisonous gas). You must know the town in Iraq bordering Iran which was exterminated chemically by Saddam Hussein during his war with Iran.

The girl has been raped in her destroyed home town by a few Iraqi soldiers then gave birth to a blind boy whom she hates and tried at least 4 times to murder her child only to be saved by the children.

She succeeded by drowning her bastard child and then jumped from a cliff. The whole camp and surrounding towns were relying on the kid leader to provide them with a satellite dish in order to follow the impending war by the USA against Saddam Hussein only to be faced by news in English.

I guess the cable Al Jazeera must have been a mane for them, later on, because it provided coverage in Arabic. The movie ends by the proclamation of the fall of Saddam and the return of refugees to their hometowns.

The documentary about the massacre of Sabra and Chatilla tries to extract eye witness testimonies from 7 Christian militias who participated in the massacre.  The perpetrators claimed that, in the beginning, they were ignorant wretched kids of 15 when they were driven to take part in the war and they are still wretched adults and still addicted to drugs and as poor as can be.

They were addicted to Neoprene, LSD, and half a dozen drugs which were abundant during the civil war and were actually distributed freely.

These murderers affirm that Israel planned this massacre to the minutes details, providing transportation, logistics, driving the bulldozers, digging the huge pit near the Camille Chamoun stadium to bury the more than 2000 dead bodies, providing the plastic bags for the last three layers of bodies dumped in the pit and the chemicals to squelch the putrefied odors and lighting the areas during the night for the militias to resume their rampage.

At 6:30 a.m. the next morning these killers witnesses a few of their colleagues executing Palestinians over the pit, ordering the living Palestinians to throw the dead into the pit, knowing very well that they are next to be shot.

One of the killers was a butcher by profession and he opted to slaughter his victims.

One of the murderers kept a vivid picture of slain beautiful horses and wondering why innocent animals had to be killed.

The orders came directly from Israeli officers and the high command of the Lebanese Forces, among them Elie Hobeika, Maroun Meshaalani, and George Malek.

Maroun ordered them that every one in the camp is to die, man, women and newly born babies so that Elie Hobeika could construct a fine garden in these razed places.

Most of the killers were trained in Israel for at least 6 months before Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

One of them said that, at one point, in their military training in Israel they were driven to Eilat to a nude beach.

One morning, a female Israeli officer showed up stark naked and ordered them to undress completely for the morning training.  These fighters have never seen a naked girl before and were utterly embarrassed to obey such an order, but they ended up jogging totally naked along the length of the nude beach.

They claimed that they feared their fathers and would have respected their dads’ orders but unfortunately, it was their fathers who encouraged them to pursue war trainings and get involved in the fighting.

We have to pity these mothers who married the worst kind of husbands; more on that first showing of the film later on.

The film on Bosnia review the psychological rehabilitation of 4 mothers, for a whole year, in a special surrounding after their husbands and families were massacred.

After the rehabilitation they were supposed to go back to their home town to restart their lives.  Now, consider the wonder of the Lebanese experience of sending back people to their home towns just because money has been disbursed for reconstructing their destroyed homes.  Why do you think only 13% returned?

Joanna has started her European tour on the first of the month and will last for the duration of the month. She purchased her Schingen train ticket in Lebanon for about $600.

Janna will be visiting Germany where she will drop her girl friend at the university then on to Belgium, then France, then Italy, then Spain, then Holland for an interview to a graduate graphic design program next year, and back to Paris and lastly returning from Germany.

She has been forwarding e-mail news from time to time but I got the news from her mother (sister) Raymonde when she is in a talkative mood.

It appears that Joanna wrapped her arms with toilet paper so that they let her in the Vatican, and after another failure to enter she crossed over to the nearby merchant, cursed him for his high priced shawls that are not worth a dime, then paid him 3 euros for a shawl instead of 15, then snatched it and fled inside the Vatican.

She was invited by a taxi driver at Venice to stay overnight at his house and he gave her a tour of Venice the next morning for free.

By the way, taxi drivers take home 600 euro a day.  No doubt that this exclusive trip on the canals will be the most memorable adventure in her life.

Cedric has been working his ass off as a trainee in the management program at the Sheraton Hotel in Verdun. He finally got a sort of a girl friend. He spent a whole day at her bungalow in Delb Country Club and took her to Kfarselwan, a summer retreat of his uncle Nicolas.

Kfarselwan is 1600 meters above sea level and Cedric slept over night under a genuine nomad “bedouin” huge tent made of goat skins. I did not ask him if she slept over too.

William spent at least a whole week, days and nights, backing up his hard disks and those of Joanna’s.  He used up 43 DVDs’ for that purpose, each with a capacity of 4.7 gigabytes.

Most of the files are audio-visual, digital photos, animations and graphic and architectural design projects.  My more than a thousand pages of word processing files would occupy a meager space on a lousy CD.

The LAU engineering departments at Byblos is hard pressed this year.  There are no enrolments, even for major courses and thus might cancel many required course this fall.

The industrial engineering department hired a visiting professor to teach operations research courses; these courses were taken away from full time faculty members.

I told the chairman that I can generate 50 students to enroll in my elective course of “Risk assessment and occupational safety” if they offer it this fall, but it was clear that they didn’t considered this course to fit strictly in an engineering program. They will create a new course called “Reliability” to fill the quota for a faculty member.

I called up the chairman of engineering at AUST and told him that I could teach 5 of his courses in the BS curriculum.  He told me that these courses are slated to be graduate courses and not about to be offered any time soon.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2009
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