Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 2013

How Justice was done? Massacres of 1860 in Lebanon and Syria (Part 4)

How Justice was done in Damascus?

You may read Part 3https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/massacres-of-1860-in-syria-and-damascus-memoirs-of-a-french-diplomat-of-the-genocide-part-3/

Fuad Pasha, the Ottoman foreign affairs, was dispatched to head the team and the military contingent of 4,500 troops in order to restore order and security in Lebanon and Syria. He landed in Beirut on July 17, 1860 and detained the governors Ahmed and Khorshid Pasha, the officers of the garrisons in Rashaya, Hasbaya, Deir Kamar, Mekse, and the right hand of Khorshid, Vasfi Effendi, during the Beirut uprising where an innocent Christian was decapitated to appease the turmoil after the death of a Moslem.

He resumed his travel to Damascus, where the fresh massacre alerted the European nations on the fate of the Christians in the Near East.

Fuad Pasha showed zeal and unusual activities to convince the Europeans that it was not necessary of sending troops and meddling in the Ottoman affairs. He rounded up 800 from Damascus, restituted the loots and stopped two large caravans loaded with the loots to Baghdad and Aleppo.

On August 20, 1860, Fuad Pasha  hanged 57 and executed by firing squads 110 officers and soldiers, particularly those who participated in the massacres in Hasbaya and Rashaya in Lebanon.  More than 700 were sent to exile and forced labor.

Most importantly, the former governor Ahmet Pasha, Ali Bey and the commanders of the garrisons were executed. It was rumored that Ahmet Pasha, who had twice warned the Ottoman government of potential crisis in Syria, was quickly executed in order not to clarify the role of the Ottoman government in the planning of these massacres against the Christians.

(Parallel governments were at play in that period in Turkey?)

Ahmed Pasha had lived in Vienna and mastered several languages. It appears that he lacked the troops that he could rely on and the Majlis warned him that any intervention might turn the “insurgents” against the Ottoman troops.

The police chief Ali Ferhad Aga and 300 police sergeants were arrested.

Halim Pasha erased the town of Jeroud and brought to trial all its adult male inhabitants.

As Fuad pasha was speedily and actively restitution order and security, Europe got the fresh news of the massacres in Damascus. Napoleon III and Russia, pressured by public outcries, decided to dispatch a military expedition, though England was very reluctant of giving the French this opportunity to return to Near East.

The French general marquis Beaufort Hautpoul led an expedition of 4,500 troop. Beaufort had previously participated along side the French officer Seves (Sleiman Pasha) in the  many victorious battles of Ibrahim Pasha.

How Justice was done in Lebanon?

After a lengthy delay, Fuad Pasha returned to Beirut from Damascus, after he established order and hanged scores of the perpetrators of the massacre, in order to meet with the European commissions. Fuad Pasha summoned 37 of the Druze leaders to Beirut to stand trial. Only 6 showed up.  And he followed this order by destitution 37 feudal Druze lords (Mukata3tejis) from their privileges and properties

The Maronite clergy handed Fuad the list of 970 Druze that he requested and whom the Maronites claimed to have participated in the massacre.

Fuad Pasha reluctantly rounded up these 970 Druze and set up a military court in Mukhtara, just to render justice away from the intervention of the commissions staying in Beirut.

The verdicts were:

1. The Turkish former governor Khorshid Pasha, Tahir Pasha, Nourin Bey, Vasfi and Ahmet Effendi were to serve life confinement in fortresses in Cyprus and Rhodes

2. Twelve Druze sheikhs, including their leader Said Jumblat and Hussein Talhouk were condemned to death…

3. Over 33 fugitive Druze, including Hattar Amad and Ismail Atrash were condemned to death in absentia.

No public execution took place and the condemned people were exiled or sent to force labor.

Justice in Lebanon was a slap on the hands, thanks to the firm intervention of the British who didn’t want to alienate the Druze  of Lebanon. And Fuad Pasha contemplated to be designated as the Vassal of the Ottoman Empire in Syria and Palestine.

Note 1: The British commissioner Lord Dufferin  suggested that Syria (including current Lebanon) and Palestine be governed by a vassal to the Ottoman Empire, as was done in Egypt, and Fuad Pasha was the consensus name to be the new ruler.

This idea failed. Finally, a few weeks before the date of the retreat of the French expedition on June 5, 1861, the European commission met in Istanbul and decided to have Mount Lebanon governed by a outsider Christian, appointed by the Sultan. This was to be known as the Mutasarefiya consensus.

The first Moutasaref was the Armenian Christian Daoud Pasha and who was promoted to Mushir or Marechal, the first highest rank bestowed on a Christian in the Ottoman army.

 

8 Years After Committing Suicide: Man Found Dead In His Apartment

Posted on Weird News this Oct. 23, 2013 “Man Found Dead In His Apartment 8 Years After Apparent Suicide”

A man who recently purchased an apartment in France experienced quite the shock when he opened the door of his new abode and found the previous tenant’s body inside. (The Realtor never visited the property? And who showed the property before the purchase?)

According to Le Parisien, a man was recently found dead in a Bussy-Saint-Georges flat, 8 years after an apparent suicide.

On Wednesday, police identified the body as Thomas Ngin, a Cambodian man who worked as a security guard before his death in 2005.

Ngin, who would have turned 50 this year, is believed to have hanged himself after he was let go from his job.

Since Ngin had previously cut ties with this family, there was no one to report him missing, Radio France Internationale reports.

His mummified corpse was not discovered until last Friday, when a locksmith and the new owner of the apartment entered the property, according to local reports. Ngin was found hanging by a bed sheet behind the front door.

While it may seem outlandish that Ngin’s corpse was undisturbed for eight years, as France’s The Local notes, there have been several recent reports of bodies being found months or years later.

In Ngin’s case, though bills and letters piled up throughout the years, it appears no one attempted to enter the apartment.

As Le Parisien reports, neighbors knocked on his door and emptied out his mailbox at times but assumed he had left the country.

Receiving no response from the tenant, the resident’s association ultimately decided to sell the property.

But with debts mounting against Ngin, it was instead seized by his bank and sold at auction earlier this month. It wasn’t until days later, when the new owner came to clean out the apartment, that the gruesome discovery was made.

This is the tragedy of the greater Paris area,” a source familiar with the case told the Agence France-Presse, “that capacity of being isolated in the middle of the crowd.”

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Where Kids Sleep around the world?

Pinar posted this Nov. 26, 2013

Portraits of Children Around the World and Where They Sleep

Alex, 9, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Where Children Sleep is an eye-opening project by photographer James Mollison that takes a look at children from all across the globe and the diverse environments they go to sleep in.

The series presents a portrait of each child or adolescent accompanied by a shot of their bedrooms. While some have a bounty of possessions and a lavish bed to rest their head on at night, the images reveal that some are not as fortunate.

Mollison gives an intimate perspective of these children, offering some sense of their lifestyle through their personal bedroom.

At times, it can be difficult to even refer to the space they sleep in as a bedroom as there is no actual bed. In the case of Bilal, a 6-year-old Bedouin shepherd boy, the young boy is left to sleep “outdoors with his father’s herd of goats.”

Alternatively, 4-year-old Kaya in Tokyo is adorned in frilly dresses that her mother spends $1,000 on every month, which is reflected in the abundance of toys and luxury items that fill her room.

The series is currently available as a photo essay and fine art book that offers a variety of lifestyles, as seen through the portraits of children and their bedrooms.


Anonymous, 9, Ivory Coast


Indira, 7, Kathmandu, Nepal


Dong, 9, Yunnan, China


Ahkohxet, 8, Amazonia, Brazil


Alyssa, 8, Harlan County, USA


Li, 10, Beijing, China


Bilal, 6, Wadi Abu Hindi, The West Bank


Joey, 11, Kentucky, USA


Kaya, 4, Tokyo, Japan


Jaime, 9, New York, USA


Ryuta 10, Tokyo, Japan


Nantio, 15, Lisamis, Northern Kenya


Kana,16, Tokyo, Japan

James Mollison website

Teens attack people just for fun: The ‘Knockout game’

Pennsylvania schoolteacher Jim Addlespurger was walking home, when a group of teenagers knocked him out in broad daylight with no warning at all. He dropped face-down to the curb.

It’s called the “knockout game”: teenagers knocking people out for the fun of it. They even target women and children.

Cases are piling up, and police are on high alert.

‘Knockout game’: Teens attack innocent people just for fun

Jeff Rossen and Avni Patel posted this Nov. 25, 2013

Addlespurger said “I was hit with one punch that knocked me to the cold concrete.  It’s a horrific thing to see, and I’m fortunate that I’m alive here to tell you about it.”  He has since recovered from the attack, which was caught on video.

Police fear the knockout game has been spreading, with cases from San Diego to St. Louis and Chicago.

In Syracuse, N.Y., two men were killed in a possible knockout case. In New York City, police are investigating at least 7 attacks.

One knockout game video shows a woman walking down the street when a stranger runs up and clocks her from behind — a sucker punch so brutal, the victim lies on the sidewalk, unable to move.

In New Jersey, it appears suspects filmed their own attack, laughing and bragging about it.

"Knockout game"

TODAY. Surveillance video shows an apparent victim of the “knockout game” fallen on the street.

Former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt said “It appears these are just random acts of violence. There’s no robbery, there’s no rhyme or reason; it’s just simply youths making a decision they’re going to punch somebody out — sometimes as simple as $5 bet between themselves.”

Seventeen-year-old Marvel Weaver admits he played a version of the knockout game using a stun gun. He was caught and is now in jail.

Weaver told TODAY: “It was a lesson learned. Someone throws it out there: ‘Want to play this?’ And people go along with it and one thing leads to another, and it just goes all downhill.”

“These kids are acting, maybe not thinking and not knowing the consequence of what could happen,” said knockout game victim Jim Addlespurger.

In New York City, a man arrested for playing the knockout game has been charged with a hate crime.

As these videos end up on YouTube, officials are worried about copycat attacks in cities nationwide.

Hard time remembering the previous wonderful documentary

For the second time, I find myself spending a lot of time recollecting what was the previous movie/documentary that had grabbed my attention, and this in the same sitting period.

It is 2 am and I’m still not sleepy, but I have to get in bed since mother has this habit of trying her hardest to wake me up if I linger beyond 8 am. On the ground that the day is over by this time.

I finished watching a mesmerizing movie and I have this lingering embarrassment for not remembering the immediate previous movie or documentary that I loved watching.

And I have to remember it:

1. I loved it and I want to think about it

2. I don’t want Alzheimer to catch me by surprise

3. I have to train my failing memory, particularly the current events. Thus, keeping a diary is a must for a youthful brain…

The last movie is about a thirty-somthing astro-physicist who suffered an aneurism (a neck artery that feed the brain going bust). The man Gus (short for Gustave) survived but his “current memory” has been shattered: Every day is a new day for him to recognize people he met the previous day.

I know someone named Ghassan and he likes to go as Gus (technically, it should be GAS, but this bad smelly connotation wouldn’t do). How many names that start with GUS do you know?

Gus can remember the older part of his life, up to the ailment.

Sleep erases all the people he met and event he attended during the previous day, and he is living a day-to-day process. His sister is organizing his day by providing him with the necessary tools to start his day: a daily folder to read, a voice recognition device that has a voice recording capability for saving conversations (pen-like shaped), post-it small papers all over the apartment…

Obviously, Gus falls in love and this love is shared, otherwise the movie would turn a medical documentary.

Interesting movie. I think I have seen a similar movie, and this time around the deficient current memory is of a beautiful girl (Barrymore with Sanders in a Hawaii setting).

Now, I have watched a wonderful documentary prior to this movie, and I can’t recall what it was about.

And it was about Brigitte Bardot (about 78 of age now), this famous French actress that showed her nudity in almost every film, and has been living the life of a recluse since 1980 after she retired at the peak of her glamorous life, surrounded by a bunch of animals of all kinds, sort of a private zoo.

This wonderful documentary is a biography of Brigitte since childhood and relies also on Bardot autobiography.  I had this opportunity to see portions of Bardot’s movies and videos of all her relationships with her ex-lovers and husbands.

Bardot loved dancing ballet and acting was not her vocation. Somehow, friends of her mother got her photos in a Woman magazine and one of the issues displayed Brigitte on the cover.

Brigitte suffered from this feeling that her mother ignored her in favor of her second sister and did her best to attract her mother attention. Her father never ceased taking videos of Brigitte on all occasions and since she was a toddler.

Her first love affair was with the French movie director Roger Vadim at the age of 15.  Her family refused that she marries him until she is 18.

Bardot fell in love with her co-actor Jean Louis Trentignant  in “And God created the woman” and spent the best 10 days on Christmas 1958 in a shack.  This is the same Trentignant who played the old music composer in “Amour”, taking care of his bedridden old wife.

She married a second time with (Jacques Charrier?) while on tour in London, and had a son from him. She adamantly refused to take care of her son, though she posed in front of the camera holding her 6-month old son, and her husband wearing dark glasses to hide his tears.

She fell in love with another co-actor Sami Frey where Brigitte has the role of facing a jury in the trial for crime committed. It is related that Frey wooed Brigitte by telling her that his mother ordered him to hide under the bed until she returns, and his Jewish parents were taken to prison while he was hiding…

The chain-smoker Serge Ginsburg fell in love with Brigitte and composed for her two songs about “Harley Davidson” and “Bonnie and Clyde

She acted with Michel Piccoli in The Despising (Le Mepris) and excelled in her first serious character.  In this movie, the term “Do you love my ass?” was coined.

She acted with the most famous French actors, including Jean Gabin who had said: “Isn’t this girl who strolls naked in movies?”. Gabin ended up appreciating Brigitte, acting with her. Still, Brigitte’s role was to walk naked in Gabin’s movie.

One of the memorable scene is Brigitte nude in bed, lying on her stomach, her ass covered but dancing and wiggling on the rhythm of a song.

Brigitte marries a third time with Gunter Sacks in Las Vegas while on tour to New York, but the marriage didn’t last. It was reported that Gunter married her on a bet.

Bardot is one of the staunchest friend for treating animals humanly and contribute lavishly for organizations and associations that care for animals.

And for the second time, I managed to recall the previous interesting movie/documentary. So far so good.

I guess that I should restart my previous habit of writing my diaries before I go to bed, for emergency sake, like people losing their current memories.

Filthy rich: 0.03% of Lebanese adults own 50% of the country’s wealth
Published this October 18, 2013

At least 48 percent of Lebanon’s privately-held wealth is concentrated in the hands of some 8,900 citizens — just 0.3 percent of the adult population — according to calculations based on a new report.

The nation’s staggering wealth inequality is detailed in Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook 2013, released last week.

The distorted wealth figures help to push the country’s Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, to 86.3 percent — the fourth highest globally behind Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan (see chart, below left).*

While Credit Suisse did not directly publish how much wealth is in Lebanese millionaires’ hands, Executive was able to estimate a lower bound based on the report and Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires.

Lebanese worth more than $1 million own at least 48 percent of the country’s wealth (see chart above).

This figure, however, is a minimum estimate. It also implies that the rest of the country owns less than 52 percent of private wealth, valued at some $91 billion.

The richest Lebanese are six billionaires, all from the Mikati and Hariri families.

According to Forbes, their combined worth is $14 billion — some 15% of all private wealth.

Wealth inequality (higher Gini coefficient = less equal): Russia, Lebanon, US, Egypt, Saudi, Israel, UAE, France,

The concentration of cash in a few hands skews other figures as well.

According to the report, a Lebanese adult’s wealth averages $30,868. However, the median wealth is just $6,076 — meaning, counter intuitively, that half of Lebanese adults own less than a fifth the average wealth.

(In Beirut, renting any small apartment is up to $1,ooo per month)

Furthermore, a full two-thirds own less than $10,000, while most of the rest (almost 30%) are worth less than $100,000.

Unfortunately, while these figures provide a rough guide to the nation’s wealth distribution, the numbers cannot be trusted completely.

Credit Suisse rates the quality of Lebanon’s data as “poor”, as all other kinds of data: Transparency is terribly lacking, at least for the Lebanese common citizens.

* Executive excluded Denmark, whose Gini coefficient was reported the highest overall at 107.7 percent, due to a lack of confidence in the figure. Credit Suisse’s 2012 report assigned the nation a Gini coefficient of 70.1% per.
Note 1: Figures do not add to 100 due to rounding
Note 2: Mind you that the 18 officially recognized religious sects own more than 25% of the land. (mine note)
Source: Credit Suisse, Forbes, Executive calculations

adonis49

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