Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 14th, 2014

In hindsight: “What could have happened if Beshir Gemayel was not assassinated in 1982?”

Beshir Gemayel was assassinated on Sept. 14, 1982 along with scores of other people who came to the meeting in Achrafieh.  Beshir was elected President of Lebanon under the bayonets of the Israeli army that occupied the Capital Beirut. He was to officially take on his duties the next day as President.

On April 13, 1975, the civil war started in Lebanon and lasted 18 years: It was a Palm Sunday. This year Palm Sunday was on April 13, and even the people in the second largest city of Tripoli celebrated in the streets, after 20 street battles last year.

This coincidence got me into thinking:

“what could have happened if Beshir Gemmayel was not assassinated in September 14, 1982, a single day before the official ceremony inducting him as President of the Republic of Lebanon?”

What if he governed for at least a year before being assassinated?


1. Israel would not have entered West Beirut and sacked the city and stole all kinds of documents and artifacts…

2. The genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila might Not have taken place. Over 3,000 elder people and children (Palestinians and Lebanese) were slaughtered in 2 nights, under the watch of a Lebanese army stationed in the nearby and claiming to be helpless.

3. Israel would have retreated to the 40 km “buffer zone” in the south, far quicker than it did, after the fighters of the Palestinian Resistance Movement (PLO) were evacuated from Lebanon.

4. The massacres in the Chouf province between the Christians and the Druze would not have happened (Samir Geaja and his militias The Lebanese Forces entered the Chouf at the instigation of Israel)

4. The massacres in East Saida between the Christians and the Sunnis would have been spared (Samir Geaja militias entered the Saida province at the instigation of Israel)

5. The thousands of new Christian refugees to the Christian canton would not have fled their towns and villages, at least not in such a hurry

6. The division of Lebanon into sectarian cantons would have been slower in the formation

7. The regular army would have assisted the UN forces in the south and the militias associated with Israel would have been disbanded.

8. A “peace treaty” with Israel would have been ratified with better terms than what was written during Amine Gemmayel tenure, and which failed to be ratified any way.

9. The Syrian troops would have stayed in the Bekaa Valley and refrained from approaching Beirut.

10. The sieges and massacres perpetrated against the Palestinian camps by the Amal militias of Nabih Berry (instigated by Syria) would have been delayed, at least.

11. The civil war would have taken another turn and saved Lebanon further deeper chasm among the sectarian forces

12. The Druze militias of Walid Jumblat would not have invested Mazra3a in Beirut with their tanks

13. Amine Gemmayel would not have been elected president and the Lebanese currency would not have devalued quickly to 1,500 times less

14. The second largest city of Tripoli would not have turned extremist Islamist, and the secular parties of the Communists and Syrian National Social would have retained stronger presence in that city

15. Yasser Arafat might not have returned to Tripoli and re-armed the Palestinian camps and cause thousands to be killed during two months of siege.

16. And most likely, Samir Geaja would not have ended up leader of the Lebanese Forces militia and left trails of calamities for the Christian population everywhere he got engaged militarily

In hindsight, which governments or political organizations were behind the planning of the assassination of Bashir Gemmayel? Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Resistance, any of the Lebanese resistance factions… All of them had a reason for this assassination

Mind you that Islamic Iran was engaged in a protracted war with Iraq of Saddam Hussein that lasted 9 long years of savage fighting.  The cease fire for that war was decided by Ayatolla Khomeini as he learned that he had a few months to live: He decided to extend a survival breathing space for his Islamic regime that was on the verge of collapse.

Question: Would Hezbollah be created?


1. Hezbollah would have been instituted simply because the question of Palestine opens the door wide to Islamist Iran to tamper with our internal affairs. The peace treaty would have been an excellent excuse to rally the Shiaa around Iran positions.

2. The frequent tampering of Israel in South Lebanon would have inevitably alienated the Shiaa against the Israeli occupiers.

Note 1: In hindsight, the administrative institutions would have been re-structured and a semblance of a State re-constituted for a while, instead of the current militia/mafia political system

Note 2: Most probably, the Lebanese based “Syria National Social Party” took seriously the decision of Bashir to target their members and responded in kind.

Note 3: Israel tasted the spirit of resistance of the National coalition to any invaders and occupiers of Lebanon, after the Shiaa in the south welcomed Israel army with rice and flowers to get rid of the Palestinian “resistance” forces of Arafat. Arafat didn’t care of fighting Israel: He was content on settling in Lebanon and control it politically. This warmonger Sharon aided the Lebanese of ridding them from a Palestinian army and helped us breath more freely.

Abdulnasser Gharem’s  Solo Show, The Awakening

It was a cool spring evening in Dubai and the opening reception of Abdulnasser Gharem at Ayyam Gallery was but a few minutes away.

I learned from the news that Ayyam Gallery is owned by a Syrian who fled the civil war in Syria and moved his Gallery from Damascus to Dubai and is doing well.

The owner (Samawe?) has been paying the plane tickets for the Syrian artists who wanted to resume their art work in Dubai.

 posted this April 6, 2014

Ascending the escalator leading up to DIFC, I braced myself for a special experience.

Abdulnasser Gharem’s Solo Show, The Awakening

Certainly I will be stirred in the same way I did the first time I saw Abdulnasser’s work at XVA Gallery 4 years earlier and every time thereafter.

corinnemartin_abdulnassercover 1

This would be a particularly significant step for Abdulnasser as his first solo show following the historical sale of Message/Messenger at Chrsitie’s Dubai, which earned $842,500, the largest sum ever paid for a work by a living Arab artist.

For the people following Abdulnasser’s path and the events which lead to this point, it is impossible to separate the man from the work.

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Gharem is tall and broad shouldered. His bright amber-colored eyes exude wisdom and kindness, and his confidence is an art in itself.

During our conversation he shared the story of his artistic life.

Growing up, his early landscape and portrait techniques were self taught. When in the late 1990s Saudi towns and cities got their first internet, it gave him a way to engage with the world outside.

Gharem’s understanding of the world was transformed and he began reading every book he could possibly get his hands on.

“My art only began when I understood that there are many voices. I think you can also say that my education started when I left school.”

He perfected the ability to condense ideas of great complexity into forms of pure simplicity. This was a key element in getting his work authorized.

In 2009 when he created concrete barriers in response to the wave of terrorist attacks in Saudi, he put it very simply,

“I’m not against anyone. I’m with the subject. What interests me here are concrete walls, what they keep out. In Berlin, yes. In Baghdad, yes. In Israel and Palestine, sure (why?). But most of the all it’s the concrete barriers in my town and in my country that I’m interested in… These walls are temporary… We should see beyond them.”

corinnemartin_abdulnassercover 4

Much of his work has roots that appeared out of personal experiences dating back to his childhood.

“Rich people in Saudi keep horses, everyone else catches pigeons or doves and keeps them instead,” he explained about Message/Messenger. “It’s easy you set a trap using a basket or any kind of dome, and you leave out some water and sugar. Soon you have a bird. Keep the bird in that trap for twenty days and it knows that this is its home. It will not leave you.”

corinnemartin_abdulnassercover 16

Like much of his previous work, Abdulnasser continues addressing difficult issues in his latest solo exhibition, Al Sahwa (The Awakening). The title of the exhibition is a reference to the “Al Sahwa” movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s that gained force in public and university life both in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East.

In this exhibition, Abdulnasser examines a new kind of Awakening, based on creativity, dialogue, exchange of knowledge, discourse on art and education and an attitude of tolerance.

I am “hoping to launch a request for the restoration of the real Islam, which believes in pluralism and diversity, and together is committed against extremism.”

Walking up to the gallery, the first thing I noticed was the concrete block placed at the very front of the entrance, as they are always in his shows and galleries.

There is the initial observation of the art from afar, then there is the intimate interaction with the pieces, where he allows for discovery and a slow reveal of messages hidden in the work.

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Hemisphere and Camouflage are two of the largest stamp paintings Abdulnasser has made so far.

In Hemisphere an ancient warrior’s helmet is paired with a green dome of a mosque. The green on the dome represents the grandeur of the Muslim world and the faith that stands for peace. The dome and crescent in the work reference his previous installation, Message/Messenger.


Hemisphere, 2014

Rubber stamps, digital print and paint

240 x 360 cm


Generation Kill2014

Rubber stamps, digital print and paint

160 x 200 cm


Generation Kill, 2014

Rubber stamps, digital print and paint

160 x 200 cm


Camouflage, 2014

Rubber stamps, digital print and paint

240 x 480 cm


Pause, 2014

160 x 400 cm (Diptych)

Rubber stamps, digital print and paint


Concrete, 2014

Rubber stamps, digital print and paint

120 x 240 cm


Flex Your Nerd Muscle to These Pop Culture Workouts

Have you ever wanted a body like Batman? Now you can get an intense workout fit for Jamie Lannister, a Jedi or even your favorite superhero.

Fitness blogger Neila Rey combines motivational fitness routines with nerd culture in these visual workout plans.

Inspired by movies, games and television series, geeks everywhere can whip themselves into shape while still paying tribute to their favorite fandoms.

Rey’s workouts require absolutely no equipment and can be done anywhere with a free range of movement.

Don’t be fooled, though. Just because Rey is catering to the stereotypical sedentary doesn’t mean these workouts will be a cake walk.

Fitness fans should be prepared to push their bodies to the limit, just like their favorite pop culture heroes and heroines would.




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