Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 2014

 

Bill Gates Foundation sells shares in Israeli prison contractor G4S

The Bill Gates Foundation appears to have responded to activist pressure over its investment in Israeli prison contractor G4S by selling some, if not all, of its shares in the company.

Stock exchange filings published yesterday show that the foundation’s stake has dropped below the 3 percent threshold above which holdings must be declared.

It is not known how many shares, if any, the Gates Foundation continues to hold, although that should become clear in the next few months when more detailed filings will be published.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation purchased a 3.17 percent stake in G4S for £110 million ($184 million) in June 2013, a move opposed by Palestinian and international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) groups due to the role that G4S plays in helping Israel run its prison system.

G4S has a contract with the Israeli Prison Service to supply and run security and management systems at six prisons where Palestinian political prisoners, including children, are routinely tortured.

In April, protests were held at the at Gates Foundation offices in London, Johannesburg and Seattle. A petition signed by more than 14,000 people called on the the Gates Foundation to divest from G4S because of its role in Israel’s prison service.

A statement signed by more than twenty Palestinian organizations and 130 international groups argued that its holdings in G4S meant that the Gates Foundation “is legitimizing and profiting from Israel’s use of torture and mass incarceration.”

“Pressure is starting to work”

“We are glad the pressure on the Gates Foundation to divest from G4S is starting to work. We urge the foundation to sell any remaining shares it still holds and release a public statement pledging not to invest in corporations profiting from Israel’s military occupation,” said Rafeef Ziadah, a campaigner with the British anti-poverty group War on Want and the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

G4S has already lost contracts worth millions of dollars. Trade unions, universities and other public bodies in Europe and South Africa have canceled many contracts with G4S over concerns about the firm’s role in Israel’s prison system.

Protests will take place outside the G4S shareholders meeting next Thursday (5 June), as they have the previous two years.

Gavan Kelly, advocacy director at Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support and advocacy organization, said that the ongoing hunger strikes by Palestinian political prisoners underlined why the Gates Foundation’s investment appeared so outrageous.

“More than 125 Palestinian prisoners remain on hunger strike after more than 35 days to protest their detention without trial. It’s clear that G4S’s involvement in Israel’s prison system is incompatible with the Gates Foundation’s stated commitment to human rights and equality,” he said.

Harsh punishment

According to Addameer, more than 125 Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike on 24 April to protest being held under administrative detention, a form of detention without trial where prisoners are not allowed to see the “evidence” held against them.

Visiting restrictions make it difficult to get exact figures but it is thought that the hunger strikes have since escalated and may now involve up to two hundred prisoners. The hunger strikes have now reached a critical moment as many prisoners have now gone 35 days without food.

More than 40 hunger strikers were yesterday transferred to a hospital due to their deteriorating health. Israel has responded to the continuation of the hunger strikes with harsh punishments, including isolating the hunger strikers from the rest of the prison population, the denial of family visits for four months, daily searches and beatings and restrictions on access to legal counsel.

A video from Addameer details the role that G4S plays in Israel’s abhorrent prison system:

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Syrian Women battle continues

 

Syria Trojan Women: the battle continues

BEIRUT, by Élodie Morel | iloubnan.info – May 18, 2014, 14h46 <!––>
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In December 2013, around 40 Syrian women performed Euripides’ “Trojan Women” on stage in Amman, Jordan.

All of the actresses were refugees that had fled their country to escape the war that began three years ago. Euripides wrote the Trojan Women in 415 BC.

However, the tragedy could have been written yesterday, for these Syrian refugees. Just like the Trojan Women, they lost everything when they left Syria: their homes, their jobs, their possessions and in many cases, their loved ones.

The co-founders of the project now want to portray this experience through a documentary entitled Queens of Syria.

In a large, bright room, somewhere in Amman, Syrian women, all refugees living in the Jordan capital, are playing Musical Chairs.
All of them are running and laughing like children.
One woman slips and falls on her bottom, trying to sit down, she bursts out laughing with her friends.This surprising and heart-warming scene was filmed during the Syria Trojan Women project, launched in October 2013, where 40 Syrian refugees participating in drama therapy workshops worked together to perform Euripides’Trojan Women tragedy on stage in December.

Those images are striking and truly moving. They will be used to create a documentary entitled Queens of Syria, dedicated to the two-month long process of the project.

This film still needs financing to see the light. You can watch more of the footage in this video, where filmmaker Yasmin Fedaa explains why it is crucial to finalize the production of the documentary:

Journalist and award-winning former foreign correspondent, Charlotte Eagar is one of the co-founders of the Syria Trojan Women project.

Months ago, she got the idea of having Syrian refugees perform in Euripides’ tragedy on stage. She had been familiar with this mythical play since reading it during her time at university: And in 1992, while covering the conflict in Bosnia, she heard it on the BBC World Service.

The words echoed with the reality she was living at that time. This play is a universal, timeless tale about war and its victims.

Charlotte is also an award-winning filmmaker. The year before the Syria Trojan Women project was born, she co-directed and co-wrote a mini soap in Kenya entitled “Something’s Got to Change”, with young amateur actors, in a Nairobi slum for the NGO Emerging Leaders.

“I realized that through this project, the children became confident, proud of what they had done,” she said. ‘“When this project was completed, I was looking for another idea. I discussed with Oxfam about useful initiatives to launch. They suggested that we address the situation of the Syrian refugees in different countries neighboring Syria. The story of the Syrian women made me think of Euripides’ tragedy.”

Just like the Trojan Women, the Syrian women lost everything when they fled their country.

From Lebanon to Jordan

The project was supposed to take place in Lebanon, the country hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees.

There are more than one million officially registered refugees there. “We wanted to do it in Lebanon, but we had to change our plans for security purposes,” Charlotte told us as we contacted her from Beirut. She explained that, as a former war correspondent, she was not really worried about the security situation in Lebanon, but insurance companies most certainly were.

“Not a single one accepted to insure the project.” So the organizers decided to do it in Amman, the capital of Jordan, a much more stable country.

The objective of the Syria Trojan Women project was to help refugees through drama-therapy, but also to publicize this crisis and to raise the audience’s awareness about the humanitarian situation in Syria.

The drama-therapy was really effective.

Charlotte Eagar explained to us that the play “gave a voice to those women. It gave them a feeling of achievement and dignity; it was also a way for them to escape their daily ‘routine’. They were not living in refugee camps; they had found homes around Amman.

They had at one point felt isolated and lonely, but coming to the drama-therapy sessions was a way to build new relationships.

A kindergarten was also set up to take care of the children of the participants. Just like their mothers, the children made new friends as well. This project was great for everyone!”

Two performances took place at the National Centre for Culture and Performing Arts in Amman on December 17 and 18, 2013.

After performing on stage, the women said they felt that people listened to their story. For once, they were directly speaking to the public, without any media between them and the audience.

The audience was composed of the refugees’ families, and also of Jordanian locals and expatriates.

“After the play, people said: ‘now I really feel like I understand what it is like to be a refugee’”, stated Georgina Paget, a London-based film producer. Georgina is also a co-founder of the Syria Trojan Women project.

Paget told us, “After watching and listening to these women, the people in the audience understood what life could be like in such a situation. They understood that these refugees were people just like them. One of the women used to work in her town’s administration services, you know. She could be anyone of us.”

Fighting compassion fatigue

This play is also a way to fight compassion fatigue, which is one of the biggest challenges of the project. “People are tired of caring,” Georgina explained. “There is a compassion fatigue in general and especially regarding Syria. We feel it every day. For example, the amount of money collected by NGOs for Syria is much smaller than the amount collected after the Philippines’ hurricane.”

The Syria Trojan Women performance in December was also a success from an artistic point of view. They have been invited to perform in places such as the UK, the US and Switzerland. But getting visas for Syrian refugees to certain countries is difficult. So, to reach as many people as possible, the organizers are now trying to finalize the documentary, “Queens of Syria”.

“The objective of the documentary is to reach more people, to let as many people as possible hear the story of these women. We filmed the drama-therapy sessions, the rehearsals and the performances, thanks to a grant from the Asfari Foundation and private donations,” Georgina Paget said. “We have 88 hours of footage and we need money to make a documentary out of them”.

A 3’30 trailer for the documentary was released online. It shows the refugees, passionate about what they do, about the play and about being together. It is truly moving. You can watch it here:

To finance the production of the documentary, the Syria Trojan Women Project launched a crowdfounding campaign on Indiegogo, a crowdfounding digital platform.

“We hope that by watching this documentary, just like by watching the performance in Amman, people will begin to understand what is really happening. They will see Syrian refugees as real persons and not only as statistics delivered by the media. They will see individuals telling their stories,” Georgina said, while adding that, “to make the people care, we need to give them something personal and beautiful as well. Out of their own tragedy, the women created something beautiful. They created art.”

– See more at: http://www.iloubnan.info/artandculture/80938/Syria-Trojan-Women:-the-battle-continues#sthash.iD7pzhPN.dpuf

Insipid President (The Void) vacated Palace: Filled the vacant chair and left it vacant. Account in banks by the millions

Lebanon ridiculous shadow State.

This ex-president is Michel Suleiman, the President of the Void per excellence: no one cried when he vacated the Palace, accompanied by 10 new luxury cars of his own, free from taxes.

Suleiman dreamt of extending his tenure 2 more years, as the Parliament did last year and robbed the citizens from their democratic rights, as did the ex-president Lahoud, as did the late ex- president Hrawi…

The hopes of Suleiman were dashed since his passive practices and antagonistic positions on Hezbollah alienated the Shiaa and most of  Lebanese patriots. Three months ago, in desperation, Suleiman referred to Hezbollah as talking with a “wooden mouth” since the resistance insisted on the strategic line of “People, Army and Resistance

In order to demonstrate that he can still deliver on his promises (6 years overdue) if given two more years, Saudi Arabia and the US gave the green light to the Mustakbal (Future) movement of Saad Hariri to help constitute a government that was 395 days in waiting.

The government started with a flurry of decisions, like imposing a climate of security in the city of Tripoli and the regions bordering Syria in the Bekaa Valley and appointed a dozen high-level public servants.

The public service was denied the  appointment of key personnel for a decade and the services in Lebanon were almost non-existent.

The professors and teachers in the public universities were left in the void and the government replaced the University Council in appointing and controlling every decision concerning the universities.

During Suleiman warming of the Chair, no government was formed in less than 200 days, the recent government needed 395 days of gestation.

Suleiman delivered a farewell speech suggesting dozens of constitutional reforms and failed to deliver on his promises for decentralized administration, a project that was finished when he took office, and alienated many parties and organization to boost the economy that has been experiencing a drastic slump for the last 3 years.

He also promised a fair election law, something related to proportional representation, but never acted on it.

He failed in extending rights to women or appointing more women in top posts.

Suleiman failed to efficiently control the flood of Syrian refugees, more than 1.25 million and constituting a third of the population, and allowed the Syrian insurgents free flowing and crossing of the Lebanese borders.

In essence, in 6 years, Suleiman cannot be remembered of creating any institution or bolstering any existing institution.

Suleiman was army chief when the Lebanese political leaders met in Do7a (Qatar) to decide on a replacement “neutral” Maronite  president to “lead” the country for 6 years.

On May 7, Hezbollah counter-attacked the decisions of the government to clip its control on the airport security and land communication lines. The government retracted and Hezbollah succeeded in closing down a dozen of Israeli safe havens for their agents and security offices disguised as providing civil guards to businesses and personalities.

Consequently, with ex-President Lahoud, already out with a vacant Presidential chair, and a government out of function, Qatar angered Saudi Arabia by inviting the Lebanese leaders to meet in Doha and arranged for a compromise President. And Suleiman sat on the chair of the presidency.

In democratic countries, the leader of the largest parliamentary deputies is the one selected to lead. Not in Lebanon with 19 officially recognized religious castes.

Lebanon is a parliamentary system: Nothing is run without the parliament approval, even in the executive or judiciary. But the leader of the largest group is not necessarily the de facto leader: The consensus of the two third of the deputies is required.

As the uprising started in Syria, the propaganda claimed that the regime of Bashar Assad will not last two months. And Suleiman put all his eggs in tha basket of “after Bashar” and refrained from securing Lebanon’s borders from the infiltrations of the Syrian insurgents and refugees.

For two years, Lebanon was the main source for supplying the insurgents in Homs with weapons and medical supplies, and the Syrian insurgents established bases in Lebanon in the north and in the city of Tripoli.

The Lebanese army was not covered politically to established security in Tripoli, and Tripoli was plagued with 20 rounds of civil wars within a year.

And Lebanon experienced waves of suicide car explosion attacks for 4 months due to the open borders that the army was denied the responsibility to close and control

He filled a vacant chair and left the chair vacant: The Parliament failed to elect a new President to Lebanon.

And Lebanon has no President. And this event will keep recurring. As the frequency of Lebanon having no governments.

And no decision can be legitimate without the President review and signature.

Suleiman vacated the Palace with dozens of villas newly built for him and his family members, and $1.6 million in an account in Amsterdam Bank. All the expensive watches that he received in gifts were sold, many of are in the black market. All these financial information were exposed in the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar.

And Suleiman satisfied the policies of US in the Near East, and consequently he can rest assured that he will not be prosecuted for any kinds of embezzlement or any kinds of political harassment or denied visas or any headaches

In this total void, and the illegitimacy of the highest institutions to properly function, Israel is increasing its violations on the southern borders. Pretty soon, Hezbollah would set up a trap to the incursions of Israeli troops. And Israel will be faced with a hard decision on how to respond. And the Lebanese will be convinced that all the shouting of relying on the State is totally unfounded and premature.

 

Mexico’s Zapatista rebel leader resigns

Subcomandante Marcos flashes the "v" sign as he takes part in a march in Mexico City, May 1, 2006.
Subcomandante Marcos said he no longer spoke on behalf of the Zapatista rebels

The head of the Zapatista rebels in southern Mexico, known as Subcomandante Marcos, has announced that he is leaving the group’s leadership.

In a statement, he said he no longer spoke on behalf of the movement.

He added he was stepping down because of “internal changes” within the 20-year-old, far-left guerrilla group, and denied rumours that he was unwell.

The group has been fighting for greater recognition of the rights of indigenous people in the state of Chiapas.

“I declare that the one known as Insurgent Subcomandante Marcos no longer exists,” Rafael Guillen Vicente, better known by his nom-de-guerre Subcomandante Marcos, said on a Zapatista website.

“The voice of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) will no longer come from my voice,” he added.

Subcomandante Marcos wears his trademark ski mask and holds an assault rifle in Chiapas, August 20, 1997.
Subcomandante Marcos led an armed uprising in 1994

For some time there have been rumours that he was in ill health, but he rejected those out of hand, saying that such reports had been spread by the rebel army for their own benefit.

‘Unexpected’

His announcement comes just a day after he was seen in public for the first time in many months, when the enigmatic masked rebel attended a memorial for another key Zapatista leader in Chiapas, one of the poorest regions of Mexico.

The BBC’s Will Grant in Mexico City says there appeared to be little outward sign that the rebel leader was about to retire from public life.

Subcomandante Marcos has reinvented himself in the past, launching himself as an alternative presidential candidate one year.

But it seems likely his time at the forefront of an organisation which once rocked the Mexican political establishment to its core has come to an end, our correspondent adds.

Subcomandante Marcos led an armed uprising in Chiapas on New Year’s Day 1994.

The rebellion sparked several days of sustained fighting with the federal government, leaving dozens of people dead.

A peace pact was later signed but the Zapatistas’ demands were never met and they created their own autonomous justice, health and education systems in several communities.

World  also posted this May 26, 2014

Subcomandante Marcos, an iconic revolutionary figure in Latin America and a symbol for anti-globalization movements, said he was stepping aside for younger leaders to take his place.

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“The voice of the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] will no longer come from my voice… Marcos no longer exists.” Subcommandante Marcos

Marcos posted a lengthy message May 25. He denied rumors that he was ill, as well as the government’s assertion that he is a former philosophy professor named Rafael Sebastian Guillen. He appeared in public days earlier for the first time in months, or possibly since 2009.

Chiapas, Mexico

January 1, 1994

The EZLN, known as the Zapatistas, launched on Jan. 1, 1994, the same day as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the group opposes.

It set off 12 days of clashes with the Mexican army that claimed at least 140 lives.

The government eventually signed a peace treaty with the group.

The Zapatistas have championed rights for indigenous populations, the poor, women, and farmers.

The Mexican government created laws to give more rights to indigenous people in 2001, but the group rejected it and set up autonomous justice, health, and education systems and sustainable farming in impoverished rural areas.

The impact of the departure of the mysterious Marcos on the Zapatistas is uncertain but likely minimal.

He has shunned the spotlight for years, and recently others have spoken on behalf of the group. The Zapatistas have also established links with like-minded groups around the world.

Iraqi novelist Ahmed Saadawi wins Arabic Booker 2014

Sayed Mahmoud in Abu Dhabi, posted this Apr. 29, 2014
Iraqi writer and novelist Ahmed Saadawi has won the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for his novel Frankenstein in Baghdad
Ahmed Saadawi

Iraqi winner receiving his prize from the head of the judging panel

The $50,000 prize was announced on Tuesday during the opening of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in the United Arab Emirates.

The shortlist, announced on 10 February, included Egypt’s Ahmed Mourad, Syria’s Khaled Khalifa, Iraqi authors Inaam Kashachi and Ahmed Saadawi and Moroccan authors Youssef Fadel and Abdel-Rahim Lahbibi.

All shortlisted finalists receive $10,000.

This year’s judges panel was headed by Saudi critic Saad A. Al-Bazei and included Ahmed Al-Faitouri, Libyan journalist, novelist and playwright; Zhor Gourram, Moroccan academic, critic and novelist; Abdullah Ibrahim, Iraqi academic and critic and Mehmet Hakki Suçin, a Turkish academic specializing in Arabic language instruction and the translation of Arabic literature into Turkish.

The IPAF is an annual literary prize supported by the Booker Prize Foundation in London and funded by TCA Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

The prize was launched in Abu Dhabi in April 2007 with the aim of atracting more international attention for high quality Arab fiction. 

Both the winners and finalists can look forward to increased book sales both within the Arab world and internationally through translation.

Although the prize is often referred to as the Arabic Booker, the two prizes are not connected.

The winner:

Ahmed Saadawi is an Iraqi novelist, poet and screenwriter.

He was born in 1973 in Baghdad, where he works as a documentary filmmaker. He is the author of a volume of poetry, Anniversary of Bad Songs (2000), and three novels, The Beautiful Country (2004), Indeed He Dreams or Plays or Dies (2008) and Frankenstein in Baghdad (2013).

He has won several prizes and in 2010 was selected for Beirut39 as one of the 39 best Arab authors below the age of 40.

Short Synopsis: Frankenstein in Baghdad

Hadi Al-Attag lives in the populous Al-Bataween district of Baghdad.

In the spring of 2005, he takes the body parts of those killed in explosions and sews them together to create a new body. When a displaced soul enters the body, a new being comes to life. Hadi call it “the-what’s-its-name“, while the authorities name it “Criminal X” and others refer to it as “Frankenstein”.

Frankenstein begins a campaign of revenge against those who killed the previous owners of its body parts. As well as following Frankenstein’s story, the novel follows a number of connected characters, such as General Surur Majid of the Department of Investigation, who is responsible for pursuing the mysterious criminal, and Mahmoud Al-Sawadi, a young journalist who gets the chance to interview Frankenstein. 

Frankenstein in Baghdad offers a panoramic view of a city where people live in fear of the unknown, are unable to act in solidarity and are haunted by the unknown identity of the criminal who targets them all.

 

US Senator Richard H. Black of Virginia: Thanks the brave Syrian army for wiping out terrorists factions

May al Awar (A3war) shared this article on FB this May 27, 2014

 

‎السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأسد يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ"مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة"، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..<br /><br /><br />
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله "المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف" بينما سلك "المتمردون" سلوك "اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين"، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..<br /><br /><br />
السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأسد يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ"مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة"، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..<br /><br /><br />
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله "المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف" بينما سلك "المتمردون" سلوك "اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين"، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..</p><br /><br />
<p>رئاســة الجمهوريــة العربيــة السوريــة</p><br /><br />
<p>ترجمة رسالة السيناتور ريتشارد هـ. بلاك:</p><br /><br />
<p>بشار الأسد<br /><br /><br />
رئيس سورية<br /><br /><br />
دمشق، سورية</p><br /><br />
<p>عزيري الرئيس الأسد<br /><br /><br />
إني أكتب لكم للتعبير عن شكري للجيش العربي السوري للبطولات التي أبداها في سلسلة جبال القلمون والتي أدت إلى إنقاذ أرواح المسيحيين هناك. وأشعر بامتنان خاص لنصركم الرائع في يبرود حيث قام الجيش العربي السوري وسلاح الجو بتحرير المسيحيين وغيرهم من السوريين الذين وقعوا في قبضة الإرهابيين طيلة سنوات عدة. إننا نشعر بامتنان عميق لمهارة وبسالة القوات السورية التي أنقذت ثلاث عشرة راهبة كان الجهاديون الجبناء قد اختطفوهن واستخدموهن دروعاً بشرية في يبرود.<br /><br /><br />
من الواضح أن الحرب في سورية يخوضها إلى درجة كبيرة مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة. إن هذه الجماعات، على غرار النصرة والدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام ترتكب جرائم حرب بشكل روتيني وكجزء من سياستها المعتمدة. وهم يقومون بكل فخر ببث مقاطع فيديو على "يوتيوب" تبين إعدامات جماعية لأسرى الحرب، وقطع رؤوس الرهبان وغيرهم من المدنيين، بل وحتى أكل لحوم البشر. وفي حزيران الماضي في حلب، تباهت النصرة بأنها أجبرت أُمّاً على مشاهدة عملية قتلهم لابنها البالغ من العمر أربعة عشر عاماً عبر إطلاقهم النار على فمه ورقبته. إنه من الصعب أن نفهم كيف تقوم أي أمة متحضرة بالدفاع عن أعمال أولئك المجرمين المتعطشين للدماء.<br /><br /><br />
ومن الواضح أن الشعب السوري قد تعب من مشاهدة المرتزقة الأجانب يدخلون بلادهم للقتال ضدهم، لقد عانى شعبك من الأعمال الإجرامية التي ارتكبها هؤلاء الجهاديون الذين جاؤوا لاغتصاب وقتل السوريين الأبرياء.<br /><br /><br />
وللأسف، فحتى يومنا هذا، تدرك قلّة من الأميركيين أن المتمردين في سورية إنما تسيطر عليهم القاعدة – عدوك الألد. إنهم لا يعرفون أن أعداءك قد أقسموا يمين الولاء للمنظمة نفسها التي قامت في 11 أيلول 2001 بتنفيذ عملية ارتطام الطائرات ببرجي مركز التجارة العالمي ومبنى البنتاغون، فقتلوا ما يزيد عن 3000 من الأميركيين الأبرياء. واليوم يقوم المقاتلون المرتبطون بالقاعدة باستخدام التفجيرات الانتحارية ليقتلوا نساءً وأطفالاً لا حول لهم في بلدك، تماماً كما ذبحوا المدنيين الذين لا حول لهم في بلدي.</p><br /><br />
<p>إني لا أستطيع أن أفسر كيف أن الأميركيين الذين عانوا ضرراً عظيماً على يد القاعدة قد خدعوا بحيث يساندون الجهاديين. إلا أني أعلم أن عدة مسؤولين في الولايات المتحدة لا يوافقون على سياسة تسليح وتدريب الإرهابيين الذين يعبرون حدودكم قادمين من المملكة الأردنية ومن تركيا.<br /><br /><br />
إن أسوأ ما يمكن أن يحدث هو أن يسيطر المتمردون على العاصمة ويرفعوا علم القاعدة الأسود الشنيع فوقها. ولهذا السبب فقد مُنع المتمردون من الحصول على الأسلحة المتطورة. إن المخططين العسكريين يعلمون أن الإرهابيين مخادعون ولا يمكن الثقة بهم. ولا شيء سيمنعهم من تصويب الصواريخ المضادة للطائرات على طائرات الركاب المدنية. ولو أنهم تمكنوا من السيطرة على الصواريخ السورية المضادة للطائرات والتي تشير التقارير إلى أن عددها يناهز الأربعة آلاف صاروخ، فإن الإرهابيين سيحولون الطائرات في مطارات واشنطن ونيويورك ولندن إلى كرات لهب مشتعل، ويصيبوا الطيران المدني التجاري عبر العالم بالشلل. إن مساعدتهم على تحقيق ذلك الهدف هو ضرب من الجنون المطبق.<br /><br /><br />
لقد واصلت نهج والدك بالتعامل المتسم بالاحترام مع جميع المسيحيين ومع الطائفة اليهودية الصغيرة في دمشق. لقد دافعت عن كنائسهم المسيحية وكنسهم اليهودية، وسمحت لهم بأن يتعبدوا بحرية وفق معتقداتهم. إنني ممتن لذلك.<br /><br /><br />
وبالمقابل فحيثما سيطر المتمردون، سلكوا سلوك اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين. فمارسوا أعمال الاغتصاب والتعذيب والخطف، وقطعوا رؤوس الأبرياء. كما أنهم دنّسوا حرمات الكنائس. لقد فرض الإرهابيون ضريبة "الذمّة" البغيضة على المسيحيين واليهود وعاملوهم كبشر من الدرجة الثانية. إني أصلي لكي يطرد جيشك الجهاديين من سورية ليتمكن السوريون من جميع الأديان والطوائف من استئناف حياتهم المشتركة بسلام.<br /><br /><br />
وإلى أن يتحقق ذلك، فإنني أصلي لكي يتابع جنود القوات المسلحة السورية إظهار جسارة استثنائية في القتال ضد الإرهابيين. أرجو منك أن تنقل شكري الشخصي لرجال الجيش وسلاح الجو السوريين لقيامهم بحماية الوطنيين السوريين، بما في ذلك الأقليات الدينية، الذين يواجهون الموت على أيدي الجماعات الإرهابية.</p><br /><br />
<p>المخلص<br /><br /><br />
ريتشارد هـ. بلاك<br /><br /><br />
سيناتور ولاية فرجينيا، المقاطعة الثالثة عشر‎ Translation of text in Arabci

السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأس

يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ”مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة”، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله “المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف” بينما سلك “المتمردون” سلوك “اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين”، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..
السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأسد يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ”مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة”، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله “المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف” بينما سلك “المتمردون” سلوك “اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين”، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..

رئاســة الجمهوريــة العربيــة السوريــة

ترجمة رسالة السيناتور ريتشارد هـ. بلاك:

بشار الأسد
رئيس سورية
دمشق، سورية

عزيري الرئيس الأسد
إني أكتب لكم للتعبير عن شكري للجيش العربي السوري للبطولات التي أبداها في سلسلة جبال القلمون والتي أدت إلى إنقاذ أرواح المسيحيين هناك. وأشعر بامتنان خاص لنصركم الرائع في يبرود حيث قام الجيش العربي السوري وسلاح الجو بتحرير المسيحيين وغيرهم من السوريين الذين وقعوا في قبضة الإرهابيين طيلة سنوات عدة. إننا نشعر بامتنان عميق لمهارة وبسالة القوات السورية التي أنقذت ثلاث عشرة راهبة كان الجهاديون الجبناء قد اختطفوهن واستخدموهن دروعاً بشرية في يبرود.
من الواضح أن الحرب في سورية يخوضها إلى درجة كبيرة مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة. إن هذه الجماعات، على غرار النصرة والدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام ترتكب جرائم حرب بشكل روتيني وكجزء من سياستها المعتمدة. وهم يقومون بكل فخر ببث مقاطع فيديو على “يوتيوب” تبين إعدامات جماعية لأسرى الحرب، وقطع رؤوس الرهبان وغيرهم من المدنيين، بل وحتى أكل لحوم البشر. وفي حزيران الماضي في حلب، تباهت النصرة بأنها أجبرت أُمّاً على مشاهدة عملية قتلهم لابنها البالغ من العمر أربعة عشر عاماً عبر إطلاقهم النار على فمه ورقبته. إنه من الصعب أن نفهم كيف تقوم أي أمة متحضرة بالدفاع عن أعمال أولئك المجرمين المتعطشين للدماء.
ومن الواضح أن الشعب السوري قد تعب من مشاهدة المرتزقة الأجانب يدخلون بلادهم للقتال ضدهم، لقد عانى شعبك من الأعمال الإجرامية التي ارتكبها هؤلاء الجهاديون الذين جاؤوا لاغتصاب وقتل السوريين الأبرياء.
وللأسف، فحتى يومنا هذا، تدرك قلّة من الأميركيين أن المتمردين في سورية إنما تسيطر عليهم القاعدة – عدوك الألد. إنهم لا يعرفون أن أعداءك قد أقسموا يمين الولاء للمنظمة نفسها التي قامت في 11 أيلول 2001 بتنفيذ عملية ارتطام الطائرات ببرجي مركز التجارة العالمي ومبنى البنتاغون، فقتلوا ما يزيد عن 3000 من الأميركيين الأبرياء. واليوم يقوم المقاتلون المرتبطون بالقاعدة باستخدام التفجيرات الانتحارية ليقتلوا نساءً وأطفالاً لا حول لهم في بلدك، تماماً كما ذبحوا المدنيين الذين لا حول لهم في بلدي.

إني لا أستطيع أن أفسر كيف أن الأميركيين الذين عانوا ضرراً عظيماً على يد القاعدة قد خدعوا بحيث يساندون الجهاديين. إلا أني أعلم أن عدة مسؤولين في الولايات المتحدة لا يوافقون على سياسة تسليح وتدريب الإرهابيين الذين يعبرون حدودكم قادمين من المملكة الأردنية ومن تركيا.
إن أسوأ ما يمكن أن يحدث هو أن يسيطر المتمردون على العاصمة ويرفعوا علم القاعدة الأسود الشنيع فوقها. ولهذا السبب فقد مُنع المتمردون من الحصول على الأسلحة المتطورة. إن المخططين العسكريين يعلمون أن الإرهابيين مخادعون ولا يمكن الثقة بهم. ولا شيء سيمنعهم من تصويب الصواريخ المضادة للطائرات على طائرات الركاب المدنية. ولو أنهم تمكنوا من السيطرة على الصواريخ السورية المضادة للطائرات والتي تشير التقارير إلى أن عددها يناهز الأربعة آلاف صاروخ، فإن الإرهابيين سيحولون الطائرات في مطارات واشنطن ونيويورك ولندن إلى كرات لهب مشتعل، ويصيبوا الطيران المدني التجاري عبر العالم بالشلل. إن مساعدتهم على تحقيق ذلك الهدف هو ضرب من الجنون المطبق.
لقد واصلت نهج والدك بالتعامل المتسم بالاحترام مع جميع المسيحيين ومع الطائفة اليهودية الصغيرة في دمشق. لقد دافعت عن كنائسهم المسيحية وكنسهم اليهودية، وسمحت لهم بأن يتعبدوا بحرية وفق معتقداتهم. إنني ممتن لذلك.
وبالمقابل فحيثما سيطر المتمردون، سلكوا سلوك اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين. فمارسوا أعمال الاغتصاب والتعذيب والخطف، وقطعوا رؤوس الأبرياء. كما أنهم دنّسوا حرمات الكنائس. لقد فرض الإرهابيون ضريبة “الذمّة” البغيضة على المسيحيين واليهود وعاملوهم كبشر من الدرجة الثانية. إني أصلي لكي يطرد جيشك الجهاديين من سورية ليتمكن السوريون من جميع الأديان والطوائف من استئناف حياتهم المشتركة بسلام.
وإلى أن يتحقق ذلك، فإنني أصلي لكي يتابع جنود القوات المسلحة السورية إظهار جسارة استثنائية في القتال ضد الإرهابيين. أرجو منك أن تنقل شكري الشخصي لرجال الجيش وسلاح الجو السوريين لقيامهم بحماية الوطنيين السوريين، بما في ذلك الأقليات الدينية، الذين يواجهون الموت على أيدي الجماعات الإرهابية.

المخلص
ريتشارد هـ. بلاك
سيناتور ولاية فرجينيا، المقاطعة الثالثة عشر

Beer: Built the Pyramids, caused the settlement of mankind, and amassed Capital

232 million of gallons of beer were needed to build the Giza Pyramid. Each worker was compensated with 2 gallons of non-alcoholic  beer for along  day work. Beer was most nutritive and safest liquid to drink by everyone one, including kids.  Water was too polluted to dare drink and the brewing process eliminated many bacteria in the water .

Just figure out the quantity of barley that was necessary to produce and import for the brewing of beer.

For example, if not for beer drinking, far more than 50% of the Europeans in Medieval period would have died before the age of 6.

Beer brewing was discovered about 9,000 years BC, while bread was invented less than 6,000 years ago.

Nations were considered wealthy according to the amount of beer produced.

Beer was used as medicine as well for gum diseases and for bowel problems. The tetracycline (an antibiotic) in beer cured many illnesses.

Alcoholic beer is a modern product and consequently, women and children were banned from drinking beer on the ground of not that healthy for consumption on a large scale.

Beer was the first and most widely traded commodity, and remained so even in our time.

Mariners survived on beer during their long voyage since it didn’t spoil.

People in Europe of the 16th century consumed beer 6 times as much as today and everyone drank beer for fear of drinking water and because it was very affordable.

The monks in monasteries were the main brewers on an economical scale and the monasteries were filthy rich and prosperous. And beer was promised to people attending mass.

In the Arabic Empire, the Christian monasteries in Iraq and Syria were very prosperous because they were the main beer brewers. The caliphs and government officials paid regular visits to monasteries in order to drink at their leisure.

Actually, Wine or Khamra in Arabic and Persian poems referred to beer.

Beer brewing was the first means for amassing capital.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams… were brewers of beer on large scale.

Taverns, the first communication hubs, were created to cater for beer drinkers during breaks, before workers return home and during trips to other villages.

Do you believe the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston was the catalyst for the Boston Tea Party insurrection?

The melody of America’s national anthem (the Star Spangled Banner) is a 17th century beer drinking song.

Refrigeration was developed for the beer brewing industry and applied to control the temperature for the Lager kind.

And Carl von Linda invented the first commercial refrigerating machines in 1881.

Michael Owens invented in 1904 the mass automated production of beer glasses. This automation almost wiped out child labor within a decade.

Benjamin Franklin said: “Beer is the proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy

Note 1: Inspired by an article of Jean Maroun Aziz published in the Lebanese magazine Beryte

Note 2: If the beer industry start producing very affordable non-alcoholic beer at a large scale, maybe mankind will have another chance to survive from these heavily polluted rivers and water sources.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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