Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 10th, 2014

Monastery of Deir Mar Moussa: Pilgrims (Christians and Moslems) eat and sleep free of charge

Deir Mar Moussa is located half an hour from the village of Maaloula and 2-hour walk in the desert of Nabak from the highway joining Damascus to Homs.

Maaloula is the village whose people still speak Aramaic (the language of Jesus). Last year the terrorist Al Nusra faction kidnapped a dozen of Orthodox Christian nuns and liberated them 6 months later for about $8 million (Paid by Qatar?)

The church of Mar Moussa (named after the monk Moise of Ethiopia al Habashi) is organized as a Mosque: Carpets, cushions, you leave shoes at the entrance, a traditional cylindrical stove with large pipes as at homes, Bibles of different languages, low tables covered by candles and flowers, walls embellished by medieval icons and fresco… You just feel at home and comfortable.

Surprisingly, there is a “mihrab” inside the church for the Moslem pilgrims to face and pray.

You find various kinds of musical instruments, guitar, oud, tambourine… and the underground library contains manuscripts  in Arabic, French, Italian, magazines…and new books, poetry and novels left by tourists and pilgrims.

There is this feeling of brute primitive environment surrounded with warmth and intimacy.

You could sleep in the church when the dormitories are filled.

No one is asked to fill pages of information or shows his identity card or passport.

No one is asked to pay anything for the lodging and food offered at noon and in the evening.

Everyone is invited to partake in the cooked dishes of rice, lentils, bourgol…served in big caldrons, sort of self service buffet.  Meat, vegetables and fruits are rare: everything on the table is grown by the monastery.

In the evening, you are served cheese, marmalade, Syrian bread. zaatar and olive oil. You dip a piece of bread in the oil and then re-dip it in the za3tar.

There are no shops of any kinds and everything served is free.

You may volunteer to help in the kitchen and the washing of the dishes.

This church is a far cry from the European Cathedrals. You have to pay a hefty fee just to enter. When you enter a Cathedral, you have to follow directional arrows, sit on hard benches, cold sips through your bones, you are denied to speak and converse, you are looked upon with suspicion if you are not faking to pray: the place is not a cool place for taking a short break.

And all kinds of shops surround the Cathedral, at exorbitant prices.

Deir Mar Moussa is a representation of Syria. That’s Syria before this ugly civil war and the hordes of Wahhabi-type religious sects terrorizing the Syrians.  Extremist religious factions funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Arab Gulf Emirates.

Note 1: It is a good read of Stephan Chaumet’s “Au bonheur des voiles“, (Cruising amid women’s veils in Syria)

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/the-host-the-guest-the-fear-the-ghetto-and-the-mosque/

Leaders said on the bravery of Syrian people…

For invaders of Syria and occupiers of its lands:

The founder of Saudi Arabia monarchy, King Abdul Aziz Al Saud said:

“Syria does not need men. Syria’s men are the most steadfast…”

Fidel Castro said:

“The French are fools: They occupied a country with people who never lose patience and never weaken…”

Dictator Saddam Hussein of Iraq: “In every Syrian blood drop is born a Mujahed

Kissinger said: “There will never be found a more courageous, hardworking, and steadfast men outside of Syria…”

Hitler said: “Give me a Syrian soldier with a German weapon and I will let Europe crawl on its fingers…”

The bloody Omayyad governor of Basra, Al Hajaj bin Youssef said:

“Never be tempted to believe that the people in Syria (Ahel Al Sham) are patient or weakly: If they support you they will make you king, and if they revolt against you they end up chopping your head… Be warned of three:

1.”Stay clear from the Syrian women: they’ll eat you as a lioness devours its victims

2. Never try to invade their land: The rocks of its mountains will fight you

3. Don’t obstruct their religion, otherwise they’ll burn your worldly wealth

The French philosopher Ernest Renan said: “I have two nations. Syria is my motherland”

Note 1: Since antiquity, almost all war-type empires invaded Syria. Due to its topography, it is easy to invade inland Syria via the plains, but the mountainous regions have been spared, where minority sects have taken refuge from frequent persecutions. It is easy to invade Syria, but in order to retain it, all invaders were forced to give the people self-autonomy.

Note 2: The Crusaders never attempted to occupy any city in inland Syria: They were satisfied with the coastal cities.

Note 3: The Arab armies that vanquished Byzantium and the Persian Sassanian empires were mostly composed of Syrian soldiers. During the Omayyad dynasty, with Damascus as Capital, the Arabic empire expanded all the way to north Africa.

Note 4: It is when the Capital was moved to Baghdad during the Abbasid dynasty that the Arabic empire started its decline by relying on other nations soldiers. It was no longer an Arabic empire, but a Moslem empire. The saying that “Syria is the heart of the Arab world” should be taken very literally.

Note 5: It is Syria educated and urban people who started the cultural trend in the Arabic empire and developed the Arabic language to become the language of sciences, math and medicine.

Note 6: It is the Syrian support for the Caliphs that defeated the frequent minority revolts against the central power, regardless of the location of the capital of the Arabic empire

Note 7: Israel knows that it’s main nemesis is the Syrian people. As long as the Syrians regard Israel as a foreign implanted State, Israel has no chance to survive.

Note 8: The Arabic text
Samir Asmar shared George Abo Rashed‘s photo on FB
George Abo Rashed's photo.

Antifragile: what can Gain from Disorder (Incerto)?  And Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

I have reviewed and developed on the Black Swan theory in several articles https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/part-1-black-swan-model-can-rare-catastrophic-events-of-man-made-systems-be-controlled/

Black Swan is a term coined after discovering a black swan a couple of years ago.  People firmly believed that all swans were white:  A few might have observed a black swan but refused to identify it as a swan; or black swans are common sight in particular regions and people had no idea that black swans are considered rarity all over the world and might be purchased for their weight in gold to be raised in zoos!

You know the adage: “If an event can occur, it will happen“, meaning, it does not matter how low the predicted probability of occurrence of the rare events, it will strike “unexpectedly”.

If there is a chance in a million for an asteroid to smash onto earth, an asteroid will fall on our head: Asteroid did fall and transform earth several times in the last four billion years.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many phenomena in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil.

What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

The Black Swan theory states: “In complex systems, especially man-made complex systems, it is not feasible to comprehend all the interactions among the hundred of variables affecting outcomes. In man-made systems, we have to allow natural fluctuations that are at work.

The rare predicted calamitous events  will strike unexpectedly, and we will fail to react accordingly and adequately if we consciously avoid to consistently take them into consideration in our analysis and reports.”

The unexpected events cannot be analyzed as odds in card games or casino games:  Human behavior with thousands of variability in moods, emotions, conventions, conviction, personal experiences… cannot be predicted as games are.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world.

In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

The antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events.

Why is the city-state better than the nation-state,?

Why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all?

Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak?

Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job?

How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives?

The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine.

And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb said:

The most rewarding moment in an author’s career. Finally, I am no longer the author of several books. I am now the author of a single book in 4 volumes: INCERTO, plus technical companions.

Why does it matter? I don’t know, but it is a big, very big deal to see your work as a single large coherent and self contained unit, to which you keep adding pieces to, ultimately, leave very few stones unturned

   

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 1,442,423 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 784 other followers

%d bloggers like this: