Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 16th, 2014

“I’m intent on contemplating the two symmetrical hills…”

The truth before the last one.

The reality we are conscious of, as it was already displaced for quite a time.

Only our automatic reflexes, gestures and night dreams confirm the new reality, which our consciousness steadfastly refuses to see, admit and confront.

Time out of joint?

I am riding in a familiar environment and suddenly I see dozens of regular buildings growing from earth, on both sides of the road. The scene damaged my expectation of how beautiful the quaint village looked like, a few months ago.

I got a ride with Iranian acquaintances and they paid a quick visit to a young Iranian woman. They said that she is having an open house to rent or sell her apartment.

The young lady was sitting on a couch outside the door of her apartment to welcome the visitors, mostly Iranians. No one stepped inside. They simply handed her small amount of cash as “down payment” and they left.

She told me that the word spread that she needs a plane ticket to definitely go back home, and this is the custom to financially aid the departing Iranians.

This first part was a night dream before I realized that I was dreaming, and my partial consciousness started to weave a story and getting engaged in the dream.

Now, we are heading to another Iranian guy whom I don’t know and I read the name of “Jean Dayeh” on one of the houses in the entrance of the complex. I’m surprised and wondering “What this Lebanese history investigator on the life of Antoun Saadeh and his Syrian Nation Social party is doing here?”. I decided that I should be paying him a visit before I leave this quaint village.

It is dark. As we are driving back, and on a whim, I asked the driver to drop me at the Iranian lady’s apartment, to the astonishment of my acquaintances.

This part is the semi dream-like phase and I got up, wide awake. I read for an hour and re-integrated the bed, eyes closed and I resumed weaving a story around the dream, since I decided that the young lady is beautiful and worth conversing with her.

Feyrouza welcomed me, as if it was the most natural of behaviors. I felt comfortable and I wanted to indulge in a friendly, open-hearted conversation. The expectation was shared, and that was my feeling.

I said: “I overheard that you recently divorced”. She admitted this fact with no further explanations, and I was not about to ruin the conversation with platitudes.

I said: “Do you feel that going back home is a decision to leave behind any hopes for a better life and prosperous future?”

A minutes silence revealed a realization that was sinking in. She said hesitatingly:

“My uncle, from my mother side, has a project for me.”

With a chuckle, she resumed “And I think that an old school friend has been investigating my whereabouts and my recurring status”

I cannot make small talks: I usually don’t speak unless I have a solution, even if I had no experience or expertise on the subject.

Uncharacteristically of me, I felt talking just to open up opportunities for Feyrouza to vent off the complex ideas that were clinking in her brain, producing more noise than harmonious string of possibilities.

I said: “I feel that your mind is set to get married and have children in your homeland. Sort of assuming that the extended family will provide the proper support system to raise a family?”

She replied: “Most of the married women who are expecting children abroad find their mothers and sisters visiting them for extended time when waiting to give birth. My apprehension is that I don’t find myself trained to be a good host for relatives who are not used to the customs in this country.”

I said: “I never were able to invite anyone of my family to pay me a visit. I never were able to rent an apartment or even purchase an old car. Playing host requires plenty of abundance and means, since our families are used to a lavish life-style back home. Is that part of your difficulties? Unable to figure out a financial self-autonomy status?”

It seems I gave her an exit reply: “We don’t talk about finances in our customs. And I’m sorry you had difficult years studying abroad without much family help and support”

I said: “I have this character flaw: I was never able to ask a favor from anyone. I don’t recall demanded any stipend from my father or mother. I lived the frugal life and denied myself the experience of appreciating luxury items, simply because I could never bring myself to ask for money.

You know, only by asking for favors you open up the best opportunities to making long lasting friends.  The problem is that most connections require exchange of favors, and I never had this confidence that I’ll be capable of returning favors in kinds.”

I had to change the subject and said: “I did my studies in a university town. And it was completely flat for miles around. Your university is located in a versatile landscape.  For example, when the students leave for Thanksgiving, how you used to fill the time and space? Did you go trekking with a group of friends in the neighboring wilderness?”

She replied: “Great idea. Wonder why my group is not into such relaxing physical exercises in nature?”

We decided for a backpack trekking to the northern chain of hills, an hour walk uphill, after we drove for half an hour to the base of our destination.

The climb was mostly smooth with a few difficult abrupt section that are surmountable without rope and gears: We didn’t bring any kinds of gears since we were no professional climbers and never thought of discovering serious troubles on a small hill.

I usually wrap my head with a large handkerchief or a light towel under my hat or cap. The towel keeps my head cool and protect my neck from sun rays. All I do is to wring the towel from sweat and recover my head.

The view on the top was glorious. I had not been to the Himalaya for comparison sake, though I managed to climb the Sannine Top in Lebanon to the “French Room” and the clouds obstructed the views of the environs.

As usually, once on the top, I get off all my shirts to dry my skin and dry my shirts, as well as removing my shoes and socks. I laid down and rested my head on my backpack. Kind of a habit.

Feyrouza was not disturbed, but she had to insert a comment. She said: “You selected the best spot. Gallantry is no longer a la mode once we live for a short period in a western State.”

She was standing over me, all her tops removed.

I ended giving my spot to my companion.

She had a wonderful view, all the way to the seashores. My view shrank to two symmetrical small hills, my head resting on her lap and facing her eyes.

One of the hill was more exposed to the sun rays and was covered with a thin layer of transpiration. This shiny hill looked more active and the other sister stoically rooted in the shadow of the shiny hill.

Within an hour, a thick cloud obscured the sun and we felt the chill. It was time to descend from the top.

The covered hills followed in our foot steps.

Covered, uncovered.

That’s how Mystery rules.

Covered with myths, most of them lacking imagination, and idiosyncrasies based on customs and traditions of daily life.


That is how I felt when I suddenly decided to definitely return home: I didn’t expect any bright prospect to come to me once I reached home. No valid job, mostly unfamiliar environment after decades of  self- “exile”, a long time of living alone, no relatives and incognito in a large city.

I was leaving my individual freedom with no relatives around me and was about to have family and community meddling in my life… what they expected from me, how the neighbors perceive me…

LBC News cuts off its own show in self-censorship row

A leading Lebanese TV channel has cut short its flagship politics show over a perceived crackdown on media freedom.

 posted in THE BUZZ this March 14, 2014

LBC News cut off its normally one-hour Nharkom Saeed (meaning “Have a Good Day”) politics show after just 7 minutes on Friday after the host Dima Sadek repeatedly and sarcastically cautioned her guest – political analyst and blogger Imad Bazzi – that various topics were out of bounds.

Among the issues that Sadek said they were not allowed to discuss were religious conflict in the country, the failures of the judiciary, President Michel Sleiman and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and who was minister of energy and water.

In recent weeks, following the formation of the new government, a number of media publications in Lebanon have faced increased political pressure over their coverage of various issues.

A blogger, Jean Assy, was recently sentenced to two months in jail for insulting the president on Twitter, while Bassil is currently suing this publication over allegations of malpractice.

Bazzi himself recently tweeted that he had been called in for interrogation by the “cyber crimes office” over a blogpost he wrote.

“I got a call from cyber crimes office requesting me for interrogation tomorrow because of a blog post I published a ew months ago #Lebanon“. Imad Bazzi (@TrellaLB) March 12, 2014

At one point, Sadek sarcastically implores Bazzi to be a “responsible journalist” and not discuss such controversial topics.

After 7 minutes, Bazzi agrees that there is nothing left to discuss and the show is called to a close. The screen then reads: “This is our screen image as they like it,” with the “they like it” crossed out in red and replaced by “we reject it.”

You can watch the whole video below (in Arabic).

Lebanese politics show cut short in protest over media freedom – Executive Magazine
شو فينا نحكي ؟ ما فينا نحكي لا عن الدين و لا عن الفساد و لا عن رئيس الجمهورية و لا عن
السياسية لا عن حزب الله و السلاح … أحسن شي مسكر ألهوا و هيدا اللي عملنا . حلقة نهاركم سعيد أخدت ٥ دقائق اليوم … احلى شي ! يرجى اكبر عدد من الشيرز تضامنا مع حرية الاعلام
Note: The daily Al Akhbar columnist Ibraheem Al Ameen is to be brought to court for expressing his opinions on the positions of the President Suleiman.




March 2014

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