Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 23rd, 2013

Best coin ever spent

I don’t cry. I got my eyes wet.

A girl deposit a coin in the hat. And musicians in the corner get out and join and form an orchestra.

And the people join in the singing.

And the girl is standing in the middle, surprised at this magical miracle.

Best coin ever spent.

Massacres of 1860 in Syria and Damascus: Memoirs of a French diplomat of the genocide. Part 3

French expedition of 1860 to Lebanon and Damascus...

During the decade long occupation of the Egyptian leader Ibrahim Pasha, the Christians in Syria and Lebanon enjoyed the same rights as the Moslems. The Christian Maronites in Lebanon learned to exhibit their short-lived power and kept reclaiming their acquired privileges after the Egyptian troops vacated Syria and Lebanon at the pressure of the western nations, a behavior that antagonized the Ottoman governors and the Druze.

However, the Christians in Damascus kept their traditional low profile, shunned external forms of ostentatious behavior,  and the custom of respecting even the low ranked Moslem officials and refrained from mounting horses. The exterior of the houses looked decrepit, but the inside was fabulous and richly furnished.

Actually, the Christians in Damascus, mostly Orthodox who split into the Oriental faction (Shark) and the sect that pledged allegiance to Papal Rome (Gharb), were busy in their their internal political rivalry.

Most of the public accountants in the government were Christians and they delivered “clean” balance sheets while accumulating wealth.

After the genocide committed by the Druze on the Christian Maronites living in the Druze canton or Kaemmakam in 1860, the mass assassination spread in all of Syria, from Aleppo, to Hama, Homs and the Capital Damascus.

An insidious letter, having the format and bearing the look of an official document, was disseminated throughout Syria. The letter briefly said:

“With the beginning of the reign of Sultan Abdel Majid, the Christians in the Ottoman Empire got used to openly despise the sacred laws of Shariaa.

The Christians have transgressed the limits and obligations which were imposed on them since caliph Omar el Khattab.

Currently, the Christians have gone as far as downgrading the principles and belief system of the Moslems.  They pretend that a Moslem must stand up to receive a Christian guest and give him priority in reunions and public gathering…

These exigencies are meant to establish equality among the minority sects… They ignore that the vizirs, ulemmas and fakihs  have been meeting secretly to fine tune a plan for their total extermination, a plan based on the tenants of the Shariaa:

1. It is licit to shed the blood of the Christians, not to respect their properties and honor, to burn their churches, destroy their houses…since they started not to pay their due tax for being Christians under the protection of Islam…

2. Most of the fatwas issued in India and Boukhara absolutely forbid to allow the Christians from gaining power. The fatwas are demanding to annihilate their descendants and derange their businesses…

3. No regards should be given to the infidel Christians…

4. The testimonies of a Christians are null and void , and illegal. Even the testimony of an Alawit Ansari is preferred…

Let us remind you of the words in the Koran: Make no difference among the infidel nations

Islam nations, wake up and destroy the race of these serving the Cross, in this sacred land that they spoiled…

The European nations are weak and enfeebled after the Crimea war. This is the time to take the opportunity to defeat them once and for all, before they recover their strength and come back to dispossess us from our wealth…

We are secretly meeting with the purposes of:

1. Assassinate sultan Abdel Magid who deviated from Islamic laws…

2. Since the Christians in our Empire are in complete accord with the western nations, and particularly the Christians in Mount Lebanon (numbering 200,000) who are known for their intrigues and conniving with the infidel nations to enter our Empire, the Christians will be exterminated in Mount Lebanon, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus and everywhere they exist in our midst…” End of letter

How the content of this letter matches the current Moslem extremist movements and organization and goal.

This letter smacks of a Wahhabi agenda, and totally inspired by England that backed the Druze in order to weaken the growing power of the Maronites who relied on France and papal Rome since the crusading periods in the 11th century.

Governor of Damascus, Ahmed Pasha ordered the garrisons of Rashaya and Hasbaya in Lebanon, which participated in the slaughter-hood in both towns, to converge to Damascus. The Christians there felt very apprehensive of the arrival of these recruited soldiers, more intent on looting than protecting properties.

Sheikh Abdallah Haleby of Damascus was the most vocal against the Christians.

The plague of the Druze chieftain of Huran, Ismail Atrash,  who had massacred the Christians in Rashaya, Hasbaya and Zahleh, progressed toward the nun convent of Saidnaya, bordering with the desert. Women from all religions (Christians, Moslems and Druzes) made frequent pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary. It is reported that the head nun must have paid a substantial tribute to the Ismail before his hoard retreated.

On July 9, 1860, young Moslems insulted the cross, and the governor detained them and made them sweep the street in chains.

The amassing storm of hatred broke up. And by night fall, and within hours, the Christian quarters were ravaged, burned and looted.

No less than 4,000 victims were massacred, and this time around male, female and children. The looting lasted 4 days. The homes of the French, Russian, Dutch and USA consuls were burned down. The English and Prussia consuls were saved from invasion. (England had a policy of weakening the power of the Christians who supported France or Russia)

Both, the patriarchates of the Oriental and Occidental Orthodox Christian were looted from their century old treasures.

Abdel Kader, the famous Algerian resistance leader against the new colonial power of France, was the main protector of the fleeing Christians. The Citadel hosted about 10,000 refugees, living in open air and dying out of famine and thirst.

Five months later, skeletal and cranes were still dug out of the rubble. Many of the victims are of females and children who had fled from Hasbaya and Rashaya a few months ago to the safety of Damascus.

When the new governor arrived over 150 women were incarcerated in harems.

Ironically, the most fanatic of Moslems in the Meidan quarter protected the poorer Christians living in the quarter. It appears that the houses were so close and packed around that any burning house would spread to all the other houses.

The Jewish quarter was left untouched for two reasons:

1. The Jews were despised and not just hated

2. The looters knew that the Jews will buy back the stolen goods and relieve them from the spoil

The next post will describe “how justice was served” in Lebanon and Damascus

Note 1: Read part 2

Note 2: Damascus is a city that always managed to rebuild after countless invasions and ransacking. The main reason is that this geographic strategic city is floating on fresh water sources and enjoy fertile lands.

Note 3: 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.

You need to live in London once: 101 Reasons…

Tempted to move to London when you graduate? We tell you why it’ll be the best decision you ever make…

Deciding what to do with your life is tough. Apparently professional bed tester jobs are few and far between, and very few people are lucky enough to leave university with the small fortune you need to go travelling.

Robin Edds posted on May 13, 2013

101 reasons you need to live in London once

You’ve probably got one of three options. Stay in your uni town and get a job. Move home and get a job. Or follow the yellow brick road (or grey tarmac motorway) to London… and get a job.

It’s big. It’s busy. It’s loud.

It’s without doubt the most fun place for someone in their twenties to spend the last few care-free years of their lives before things like matrimony, mortgages and *whispers* children are thrown into the equation.

It’s not for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to find out.

Here are 101 reasons why everyone needs to live in London once…

1. You feel really smooth when you use your Oyster

2. You WILL bump into people more than you think…

3. …and when you do it feels like the greatest thing ever

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4. When you understand the tube map you’ll realise how painfully simple it is

5. Everyone knows someone who lives there

6. Online dating is totally acceptable

7. No matter what you want to do with your career, you can do it in London

8. The Natural History Museum is totally free

9. As is the Science Museum

10. And the British Musem

11. And the Tate

12. And the Tate Modern

13. OK, naming all of them would probably be cheating – but there are a whole world of free galleries and museums

14. There are 4500 pubs & bars

15. Sitting in the park on a summer’s day

16. You don’t have to be nice to strangers

17. There are hundreds of thousands of single people

18. You see famous people all the time

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19. You feel really smug when you go back home and tell your friends about London life

20. It’s one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world

21. Whatever type of food you want, you’ll find it

22. Your commute will take you past some of the most famous landmarks in the world

23. It rains a lot less than it does in the north

24. The view from Waterloo bridge looking east

25. The view from Waterloo bridge looking west

26. Drinking by the Thames

27. It’s more expensive, but you’ll earn more there than anywhere else

28. Topshop on Oxford Street

29. Westfield Stratford is the largest urban shopping centre in the EU

30. The Olympics showed that all Londoners can be nice when they want to be

31. Miss the countryside? There are urban farms

32. Once you know you way around, there is no greater feeling than a tourist asking you for directions and you actually knowing the answer

33. The fancy double doors on the Jubilee Line

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34.  So many Markets

35. London gets less rain per year than anywhere else in the UK – just 700mm, compared to 1200mm in Cardiff

36. People who live in London live 5 years longer than the national average

37. Every band who tours plays in London

38. You can just hop on a train to Paris when you get bored

39. It’s home to some of the most famous sporting venues in the world – Wembley, Twickenham, Lords, Wimbledon…

40. Home is always just a few hours away

41. You can never be bored with TimeOut telling you what to do

42. Nightbuses. You can always get home thanks to nightbuses

43. The top deck on nightbuses: the party continues

44. Stunning views from The Shard, The London Eye and Primrose Hill

45. EVERYONE goes for drinks after work

46. You can always drink without worrying about how you’re going to get home. NO ONE drives

47. Want to still feel like a student? Move to Clapham

48. Infernos

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49. When it rains it never lasts that long

50. Running along the river makes running much less depressing

51. When you watch the Apprentice you’ll be able to recognise everywhere they go

52. If leaving uni is making you feel old, moving to London will make you feel young again

53. There are a seemingly endless number of high-end burger restaurants

54. Getting angry at tourists who are getting in your way is weirdly liberating

55. Boris

56. Curries on Brick Lane

57. Laughing at the word ‘Cockfosters

58. In depth conversations with taxi drivers

59. Warehouse parties where no one looks twice if you enter wearing a horse’s head

60. You’re always going to meet someone who is stranger than you

61. Free gigs – up and coming bands that can either be sh*t or become mega superstars

62. Sample sales

63. Vintage markets

64. Boris bikes

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65. There are endless exercise fads for people who hate the gym – e.g. sober disco dancing

66. It’s a great place to be single

67. It’s a great place to be in a relationship

68. Musicals

69. Fringe theatre/ performance art: where else can you see a woman crack an egg using her lady parts? OK, maybe Bangkok.

70. When you live here, you can do all the tourist things during off-peak times

71. Retrace favourite film character’s steps: Notting Hill, 28 Days Later, Harry Potter…

72. Christmas markets the size of your uni town

73. Top hairdressing schools = free hair cuts galore

74. Book exchanges = free books

75. People back home will think you’re really tough for living in London

76. Museum Lates – you can get drunk AND learn

77. Zoo Lates – you can get drunk AND look at animals

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78. You can watch a play at the Globe for a fiver

79. There’s always a house party

80. There’s always an after party

81. There’s always a new street, a new park , a new pub to discover

82. Love hipsters? East London is your Mecca

83. Hate hipsters? Move to South London. They’re too scared to cross the river

84. When friends visit you, feel really smug about how scared they are

85. The Queen lives here

86. You’ll almost certainly bump into Prince Harry on a night out

87. When you leave work, your town is coming alive not winding down

88. There are outdoor swimming pools all over the city

89. 14.5 million tourists visited London in 2010, ranking London the most visited of all European cities. They can’t all be wrong

90. Wherever you go on holiday it will feel cheap by comparison

91. We have buildings called things like the Gherkin, the Shard, the Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie

92. The circle line pub crawl has 27 pubs

93. We throw a great party…

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94. You’ll fall in love on the tube around 17 times a day

95. Everyone passes through London at some point, so you don’t have to visit anyone

96. You can go out on any night of the week

97. In the summer it’s always hotter in London than anywhere else in the country


99. There are more hot people here than anywhere else

100. There are a LOT of airports if you need to get away

101. is based here – feel free to drop by and say hello, or Like us on Facebook and we’ll say hello to you with more lovely articles like this!




November 2013

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