Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 4th, 2012

Are you talking of an individual or a person?

It is important to weight the innuendo of your terms in writing and in speaking.  It is good to start differentiating between an “individual” and a “person”: They project different meanings in the collective mind.

Confusing the individual (the Greek atom) of a living biological entity with passions, with the person endowed with spiritual and moral value system is very harmful in disseminating a line of thinking.

Confusing the individual (the subject in experiments) with the person leads to considering individuality as a mass of numbers to be used statistically for commercial and financial interests, projects, and material planning…

Confusing the individual with the person confound liberal capitalism with materialist communism, both of them viewing mankind as means for instituting absolute ideologies, based on abstract notions and fundamentally founded on the abstract individual that has no mind of his own and no will of his own…The individual is thus abstracted and good to be used and abused as any object (living or inanimate).

The more we tend to confuse the two terms, the more frequent is the habit of subjugating communities in the name of the power-to-be political system.

Becoming a “person” with a complex system of moral values, and positions on “what is life”, and “what is death”…is not an automatic transition from the state of individual with huge ego to a community member wishing the good entente and reconciliation among the “cluster” of individuals…

Becoming a person is a community undertaking, starting with the extended family, that nurture the basic individual into a responsible citizen, teaching him that he is entitled to freedom of expression, and questioning authority figures, and voting, and paying taxes…

Becoming a person is a community undertaking to learn to respect the living, their dignity, their spiritual needs, their customs, their opinions…

A dead individual is not the same as a dead person: The value added to mankind can be measured on a logarithmic scale of magnitude…

Life is series of contradictions and passions, evolving by the day…Life is not a philosophical or mathematical unifying structure in order to judge people on how they behaved long time ago: Stay attune and alert to time change, to the most current development, and base your opinion on the emerging changes in the “person”.

Note: The essay was inspired from a section of the interview that Carlos Catania conducted with late Ernesto Sabato and published in a book “Between the letter and the blood

The scary refreshed Insolence of Lebanese youth: Graffiti Night

Activists in Lebanon communicated on social platform and scheduled a Graffiti Night within “Freedom of Expression Day” on Tuesday at 6 pm.  The gathering was to assemble in front of Beirut Theater on Hamra Street, armed with spray cans and the will to send a strong message to the pseudo-government that engaged in cracking down on freedom of expression and harassing activists.

The Graffiti Night was a prolongation to a week-long demonstrations and sit-ins in front of prisons and the ministry of the interior in order to free the artist Semaan Khowam, the activists Khoder salameh and Ali Fakhry, and the actor Edmond Haddad. The government gave in within two days and freed the activists.

The youth also hacked into most government institution electronic sites, the first of its kind Anonymous activity in Lebanon…

The over 200 activists marched toward the wall of “Bank of Lebanon”; the next stop was the Murr Tower, and Fouad Chehab Bridge, and advanced to Riad Solh Square and finished the walk in front of the new mosque of Muhammad Al Amine in Downtown Beirut and sprayed the board-walk “The revolution will pass here” as a reminder that the Hariri family, owning Solidere Real Estate, has stolen old Beirut district and transformed it into skyscrapers owned by the Arab Gulf Emirs. And “Beirut is no longer to the Lebanese

The graffiti read:

“Free Abd Hadi Khawaja in Bahrain”, “Down with Hamad (Emir of Qatar)”, “Lebanon President (Suleiman) is President on Twitter”, “Free Gizawi”, “Beirut is not Dubai”, “Our country is an eraser”, “Big Brother is watching”, and a sheep complaining “I am Maaa…”( I am with this sectarian militia leader), “Soldier on whom?”, “Is it rational that leaders for peace are our warlord militia leaders?”, “You lack a sectarian leader support? Prepare to be humiliated by the Law and Order”

The multi-theocratic and pseudo-government in Lebanon have been indoctrinating the Lebanese and the world community that it is impossible to have a people’s revolution in Lebanon…Why? The same logic as Qadhafi: “You cannot revolt against me. I have no political position in the running of the government. I am not President, Prime Minister, a minister, or even a deputy…”

The pseudo-State of Lebanon is disseminating the same nonsense as Qadhafi: “We are not really a central government. We take our decisions based on the consensus of 18 officially religious sects,  the owners of banks, the militia leaders (represented in the government and the Parliament, the regional powers, and most importantly, the superpower dictates…”

As long as the popular revolution in Egypt is strong, alive, and changing the Arab World political structure, it is inevitable that serious political reforms will take place in Lebanon.

Note 1

Note 2:

Note 3: Post inspired from the report of Salim Lawzi in the daily Al Nahar

“Rights without power are lost rights, and Power without rights is Tyranny”: Nawal al-Saadawi.

The successful people revolution can’t but includes women

Many forces have vainly sought to sabotage the Egyptian revolution’s national movements, those dedicated to the objectives of the January and February 2011 revolution. Many forces used their power, loud voices, money and even “God’s law” (Chariaa) to crush the revolution.

The dark forces have learned that the best way to sabotage a revolutionary movement is to divide it and scatter the youth, women, men and children into rival teams that are more vulnerable as individuals.

Attacking the Egyptian women’s movement, or any other individual target, scatters each component of the revolutionary force into smaller groups that are divided over short-term interests. By doing so, the authority can compel these groups to narrow their leadership.

A Real Revolution Includes Women (and Everyone Else)

A woman holds the Egyptian flag during a protest demanding the army to hand power to civilians, at Tahrir square in Cairo January 27, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

Nawal al-Saadawi, Dean of the active and experienced Egyptian Women’s Union, posted on Apr 25, 2012:

“Were the authority to succeed in denying women any unified revolutionary movement, the women would then direct their efforts to serving the first lady, her chaperones, and the national council for women.

Any woman (or man) in Egypt who raises her head in dignity and refuses to bow in the face of authority was immediately removed from her post, her reputation smeared. This was characteristic of Egypt’s tyrannical rule.

If the revolutionary forces have this time failed to organize, there is always next time, or the time after that. There is no room for despair, lest we desire to return to square one.

In spite of its repeated failures, the revolution cannot succeed without renewed hope. The Egyptian Women’s Union was able to reconfigure itself despite the setbacks it faced during the previous regime. It was able to gather thousands of young women and men of all ages and disciplines to take part in revolutionary organizations and raise the collective voice of Egyptian women after it was muffled by the religious currents.

The woman is no longer stuck in the harem tent. She is now in the streets and fields. Her face looks bright under the light. She shouts the slogan “A woman’s voice is the revolution, nothing to be ashamed of.” The children are also happy to chant alongside the millions of people, “A woman’s voice is climbing higher and higher, in the fields and in the streets.”

I remembered my childhood in elementary school. I took part in the demonstrations shouting “Down with the king and the British.” Along with the other girls we added, “Down with the school’s headmistress.” The headmistress then struck the poor student with her ruler and smiled at the rich one.

My voice blended with those of other girls and boys, young men and women. We all walked in step. There is no difference between a boy and a girl, a man or a woman. I felt happy from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet — happy about the sense of justice and freedom I feel. Happy about the sense of dignity and individualism. My eyes tear up. My body blurs together with those millions of others. My ego melts into the rest of the crowd.

I feel happy being part of the others. I completely lose myself. But my happiness remains in myself and in my person. How can that be?

The happiness I have experienced over the past 60 years of my life resembles the happiness of love, creativity, friendship and fellowship. “Who loses himself, finds himself.” Which philosopher said that again (Jesus)?

Freedom from the tyranny of the ego. Freedom from blood ties, from the tribe, the clan, the caste and religion. Freedom from restrictive identities which kill our humanity and teach us to be selfish.

There are those who are unable to learn from the revolutions. They stick with their party, religion, clan, family, sheikh or hometown. They worship the individual, the father or the grandfather. They await a “savior president.”

Many have gotten used to black-market work. They have submitted to the authority of whatever leader comes next and await the Mahdi (savior). They fear clarity and honesty. They dodge, they lie, they betray the covenant. They go behind the backs of others, they believe in secret deals. For them, the ends justify the means. They follow a philosophy of weakness, fear, imprisonment and exile. They avoid the wrath of the security forces by collaborating with them. They play the game of submission. They bite the hand that feeds them. They seek compassion from the powerful.

They strike at the weak person among their colleagues: mothers, wives, sons and daughters. We saw them in all the revolutions, movements and marches. They dodge and they turn. They strike at those who trusted them.

The criteria for selecting members of the constitution committee must include people from all classes. Women are half the population, and young people are more than that. Will the women and youth be properly represented? 36% of women are the heads of families. They work both outside and inside the home. They carry the stone on their backs.

But national statistics still count them as unemployed. Most housewives who have no maids work 20 hours a day within the home — more than any man, farmer or active employee.

A women’s voice is essential in developing a just and equitable constitution. Without the participation of women, there can be no justice, freedom, dignity or democracy in any society.

The women’s movement fought for and defended the rights of women for centuries. The gains made by women and children through the recent passage of laws cannot be linked to the work of Jehan Sadat, Suzanne Mubarak, or Queen Nazli (the wife of Egypt’s King Faruq).

They are rather the basic human rights of women and children, no one of conscience can rob them of that. But rights without power are lost rights, and power without rights is tyranny, even if those in power cite religion and higher principles as justification for their actions.

We are living in a jungle and not in a humanitarian, advanced society. The strong take advantage of the weak. The big eat the small. It is the caste system of patriarchy that is ruling the world. There is no way to change it except through collective organization by women, men and children too. Did you not hear the shouts of the children in the streets saying, “Down with injustice?”




Blog Stats

  • 1,516,076 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 822 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: