Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 7th, 2014

Clown-me-in revolt in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Sabine Choucair with ClownMe In and 8 other taken in Hazmieh (Lebanon) ·

The awesome girls from ClownMe In @clown me in joined @clowns without borders on their tour in the Bekaa today  love u so much

The awesome girls from ClownMe In @clown me in joined @clowns without borders on their tour in the bekaa  today :) love u so much

A Clownish Revolt

We were waiting at the airport, where one of the clowns from Clowns Without Borders was picking up the stilts that had gotten lost in transit from his native Seattle to Lebanon.

Upon his triumphant return at the car loaded with clown props, accordions and red noses, he told us:

IMG_2258“At the security check I first pulled out a rope. The guard looked strangely and thought there was something wrong, so he told me to empty my pockets. I pulled out a couple of magic eggs and as the guard exclaimed “what are you doing?!” I could only quickly say “Ana Muharrij!” “I am a clown!” Which magically even made a smile appear on the Lebanese border guard’s face.”

It was in Jab Janine, in Bekaa valley, Lebanon, that we found out more about the true magic of these clowns.

At Jusoor’s new school (Jusoor or bridges is a local NGO providing education services to Syrian refugee children in Lebanon) –– children gathered at the improvised schoolyard with the fields of Bekaa and Mount Lebanon in the background.

It is in this valley that a big portion of the more than a million Syrian refugees, among which 400,000 children, are to be found.

IMG_1811

Once the clowns had set up, put their costumes on and their faces had turned into all the colors of the rainbow, the first children started streaming out into the schoolyard.

Hesitant at first, some of them started laughing and shaking hands with IMG_1817the clowns, who were introducing themselves in their particularly clownish ways – with a lot of missed handshakes and clumsy gestures.

Other children sat down in a large circle, still withdrawn waiting for what was to come.

 

As the show with magic glass balls, clownish musical parades, hoola hoops and of course some good old juggling unleashed, the hand clapping children led the way for their shy friends.

As the show progressed more and more children were engaged with the power of laughter, the wonders of magic and the opening of a whole new array of jokes and nonsense.

It was as if their little worlds of daily impediments, their trauma and mental blockades was turned upside down and dissipated, to make place for the universal wonders of life.

As the show came to an end with some particularly clumsy bowing, the clowns had to run for their lives, as the children all wanted a piece of them and formed groups around them, swallowing them with their handshakes and touches. Sabine, the one Lebanese clown of the international group of four, had to get rescued, raising her purple eyelashes to the blue sky of Bekaa as the children got a hold of her.

Against the power of guns, the art of laughter that these clowns brought to Bekaa, seems somewhat foolish to the hardened spectator or journalist. From Bekaa, where Hizbollah reigns and has broadened their sense of resistance against the ‘Zionist enemy’ to encompass the military aid of the Syrian regime, the tear painted on one of the clown’s faces, seems a drop on a hot plate, quick to dissipate.

To the Syrian children the tear was magical though and so the clown’s performance. It pulled them into a world in which the power of laughter and life is infinitely stronger than that of guns and they embraced it full-heartedly.

It was as if the Syrian Revolution – if only for a moment – had been high jacked not by Jihadist fighters, but by the magical power of this foolish bunch and their revived little spectators.

Clowns Without Borders is touring in Lebanon the coming two weeks to visit Syrian refugee children in different refugee camps throughout the country. The initiative part of the international Clowns Without Borders NGO, was brought to Lebanon by clown Sabine Choucair, founder of Lebanon based ‘Clown Me In’ and with financial support of Layan – a Kuwaiti aid organization for Syrian refugees.

Jusoor is one of the potential partners Syria What Will Be is seeking out for this summer. 

Catastrophic Constitutional Vacuum in Lebanon? Lebanese don’t care...

When Lebanese President Michel Suleiman’s term ended on May 25, he left a vacuum that some fear could further erode the influence of Christians in a turbulent region consumed with sectarian infighting.

 of FoxNews.com published this June 2, 2014

lebanonpres.jpg

Sleiman’s  (tacit “constitutional”) post has traditionally been held by a Christian, in the delicate sectarian balance of a nation made up of (19 officially recognized religious sects).

Currently, the vast majority of the population of Shiite Muslims is supported by Iran. The Sunni Muslims are mainly backed by Saudi Arabia.

Five attempts by parliament to reach a deal to fill the presidency have failed, leaving an impasse that not only exacerbates political and social polarization in the country, but also weakens the Christian community in the Middle East, where Christian presence is rapidly disappearing.

“With Lebanon you can never tell when the combination of internal struggle and external regional struggle will fuse together in a combustible way,” says New York University Middle East expert Mohamad Bazzi.

“The more instability and insecurity in Lebanon, the more likely there will be violence in car bombs and potentially worse. The Lebanese Christians are also watching the fate of fellow Christians in Syria, the violence against them from Sunni jihadists.”

David Hale, the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, urged Lebanon to seize the opportunity “to elect a new president without allowing any other country to dictate the results.” (And what was the purpose of Kerry’s visit to Lebanon, coinciding with election in Syria?)

The Lebanese people need leadership “made in Lebanon,” he said. “The price of a power is “simply too high. The United States supports this Lebanese process.”

As part of the Taif Agreement, a national reconciliation accord that ended Lebanon’s civil war (1975-1990), Maronite Christians, who had historically held the presidency and appointed the government, maintained the position of head of state but were forced to hand over the leadership of the government to the Sunnis.

The Christian president retains powers such as making recommendations for top military posts and the signing of international treaties, but he needs the prime minister’s cabinet approval. A Shiite always hold the position of speaker of parliament. (Nabih Berri, a civil war warlord, has been holding that post for 3 decades now)

This power-sharing arrangement, based on demographics in 1989, forced the Christians, who had historically been in charge of appointing the country’s prime minister, to accept that they had lost their majority to the Muslims after 1 million Lebanese, mostly Christians, emigrated during Lebanon’s civil war.

“The Lebanese Christians are also watching the fate of fellow Christians in Syria, the violence against them from Sunni jihadists,” says Bazzi, explaining why many Christians in Lebanon and Syria have chosen to side with Hezbollah by fighting on the side of the Syrian government of Bashar Assad.

“Christian communities like historic Maaloula have been decimated by al-Nusra and other Sunni militants. For the Christians the Assad regime is the best worst option because at least Assad won’t want to eliminate the Christians.”

Hezbollah and its Christian political allies hold more than one-third (how about more than half?) of the cabinet seats of the Lebanese government. This consolidation of power potentially gives them the ability to overthrow the government. Lebanon has already lost core components of statehood to Hezbollah, which brazenly follows its own military and foreign policy.

Hezbollah’s political camp has boycotted parliamentary sessions to elect the president, claiming that they want a “consensus candidate” rather than the “provocative candidate” (another warlord Samir Geaja who served 11 years of a prison term) the Mustakbal Sunnis want.

Among a field of potential Christian leaders who seek the presidency are heavy-hitters from rival camps. Samir Geagea heads the Lebanese Forces, one of 12 parties that belong to March 14, an alliance of  Christian militia groups and the Saudi-backed Sunni Future Movement, based on the date of a massive rally that pressured Syria to end its occupation of Syria. (It was the Tayyar movement of Gen. Michel Aoun that brought this massive rally)

Of the candidates, he is the most outspoken critic of Hezbollah, running on a platform of independence from Iranian and Syrian interference (but not from independence of Israel and the USA)

Geagea’s main rival is Gen. Michel Aoun, who leads the Free Patriotic Movement that is part of the March 8 alliance (the date of a huge pro-Hezbollah demonstration), an Iran-Syrian-backed coalition of Hezbollah, Amal, another Shiite militia whose leader is Nabih Berri, the current speaker of parliament. March 14 accuses Aoun of being a stooge for Hezbollah.

“Difficulty at filling the post of head of state, which takes a two-thirds majority in parliament, is not new to Lebanon,” says popular Lebanese Christian politician Ziyad Baroud, who served as minister of interior and municipalities for two consecutive governments.

Despite sectarian problems facing Lebanon, Baroud believes that moderate Christians, Druze and Sunni and Shiite Muslims can work together to build a democratic country (if the political climate around Lebanon permit it?)

“Christians play a role of moderation in Lebanon,” according to Baroud, who hopes the current presidential vacuum leads to the selection of a leader who will work to unify the nation. “At a time when there are major problems in the region, it is good timing for Lebanon to offer an example of living together in peaceful coexistence. Christians, more than any other community, have historical responsibility to carry this into the future. 

Lebanon’s presidential crisis of today comes with tremendous internal and external pressures.

Over the past year, Lebanese Sunni jihadis and their rivals Hezbollah have been battling each other in Syria, and the violence has spilled over into Lebanon with at least 16 car bombs and a spate of assassinations. Compounding this unrest are the more than 1 million refugees, mostly Sunni, from the civil war in Syria.

The refugees have increased Lebanon’s population by close to 25% (how about 40%?), creating social pressures and altering the sectarian balance in the small nation. “Try to imagine the United States or France suddenly ending up with an additional 25 percent of their population to cope with, “ says Baroud. “When you add it to the Palestinian refugees, you can imagine what is the impact on this country.”

Staying out of the Syrian civil war is arguably the most critical challenge for Lebanon. “The proxy war that the Saudis (backed by the US and western European States) and Iranians are playing in Syria has unleashed forces that they cannot completely control, both in Syria and the broader region,” says Mohamad Bazzi, who points out that the rival Muslim powers are deeply involved in promoting their agendas in Lebanon.

“The Saudis and Iranians are crafty and can instigate things, but they cannot always control it. When the genie is out of the bottle, you might not be able to put it back in,” Bazzi warns. “That is the case of Syria and the potential danger for Lebanon.”

It may be weeks, even months, until a president takes office in one of the most challenging political environments on Earth and dangerous, too.

There is a long list of assassinated Lebanese political figures — from mayors to prime ministers to presidents. “I don’t have fear,” says Baroud. “The fact that we are still in Lebanon and feel something can be done is what matters. It is not about rational thinking, it is about feelings.”

(And what are these feeling? Of utter disgust of this pseudo State?)

Note: Those parties who refuse to elect Gen. Michel Aoun (leader of the far largest Christian block in the Parliament) have been hinting that Hezbollah (ally to Aoun movement) is blocking an election of a President in order to reform the Taef Agreement and have the Shiaa be represented politically as constituting the third of the population (this sect is actually 50% of the population).

Hassa Nasr Allah said in his recent speech that it was the French who suggested this reform a few years ago, but Hezbollah has no intention of demanding such kind of power sharing.

US report: Foreign fighters (358,000 in total) from 92 countries were engaged in Syria…

Hala Fouaad Mahfoud posted this link:

A US report by a center for strategic research dedicated to the Middle East and Arabic region on the status of Syria stated that out of 358,000 foreign fighters (from 92 nationalities) in Syria, less than 100,000 are still around on the ground.

Since April 2011 till Dec. 31, 2013, over 358,000 foreign fighters were engaged in Syria at some point in the struggle.

About 98,000 were killed, 182,000 disengaged and left, 12,000 are missing.

Some 66,000 are still fighting with the two major Al Qaeda factions of Al Nusra Front and Daesh.

The largest number of incoming fighters was registered in October 2013 at 143,000 fighters.

12,760 “warriors” were from the US and Western Europe: 2085 returned “home” and about 874 of the returnees found their citizenship revoked.

Saudi Arabia ranked first in number of Islamist Jihadist with over 70,000, of which 28,000 were killed.

Tunisia sent the most of women, followed by Saudi Arabia, with a total of 900 women who were used for sex and entertainment. About 208 were killed.

374 Turkish soldiers and officers were killed and accounted as falling during engagement with Kurdish separatist factions.

More than $100 bn were spent on this war: Saudi Arabia spent $21 bn and Qatar $13 bn, followed by Kuwait and the Gulf Emirates.

The Chechen fighters were the most trained, and the Saudis the least. The Lebanese were ever ready to flee at the first serious engagement.

The Turkish clinical centers benefited most from the trade of body parts.

Lately, France confirmed that 800 French citizens fought in Syria.

تقرير أمريكي : عن سوريا
مهم جدا إقراه جيدا
من احد مراكز البحوث اﻻستراتيجية المتخصصة في الشؤون العربية والشرق الاوسط
ربع مليون مقاتل أجنبي في سوريا بقي منهم أقل من مئة ألفأكبر تجمع لمقاتلين أجانب حصل في التاريخ
في دراسة بحثية لمركز أمريكي عن عدد المقاتلين الأجانب الذين شاركوا في القتال في سوريا منذ بداية الأحداث وحتى 31/12/2013.

بلغ عدد المقاتلين الأجانب الذين قاتلوا في سوريا ضد الجيش العربي السوري منذ نيسان 2011 وحتى 31 كانون الأول2013 بلغ 358 ألف مقاتل أجنبي,
قتل منهم98ألف و غادر مهنم182 ألف و هناك12 ألف مفقود بينما لازال66 ألف مقاتل أجنبي يقاتلون مع النصرة و داعش وغيرها من الفصائل المسلحة في سوريا.

– أكبر تجمع للمقاتلين الأجانب حصل في التاريخ حصل بسوريا بواقع 97 جنسية عالمية.

– أعلى رقم للمقاتلين الأجانب الذين تواجدوا في سوريا بوقت واحد كان في تشرين الأول 2013 حيث بلغ عددهم 143 ألف مقاتل بدأ بعدها هذا الرقم بالتناقص السريع.

– عدد المقاتلين الذين يحملون جنسيات أجنبية ( أوربية و أمريكية ) بلغ 12760 عاد منهم 2083 وتم سحب الجنسية من 874.

– السعودية تحتل المركز الأول بعدد المقاتلين الأجانب بعدد 30700 مقاتل قتل منهم حوالي 28000.

– تونس هي الأولى تليها السعودية بعدد النساء المشاركات في الجهاد بسوريا بواقع 900 فتاة وامرأة تونسية قتل منهم 208 وانحصر دورهم بالجنس و الترفيه.

– 34 مليار دولار دفعتها بعض دول الخليج لتمويل المسلحين في سوريا بواقع :
قطر 13 مليار دولار
السعودية 21 مليار دولار
والباقي من دول خليجية أخرى

– المقاتلون الشيشان هم الأكثر تدريبا

– المقاتلون السعوديون هم الأقل تدريبا و خبرة

– المقاتلون اللبنانيون هم الأكثر هروبا

– الجيش التركي خسر 347 جندي وضابط شاركوا بالقتال مع المسلحين لم يتم التصريح بسبب وفاتهم وسجلوا بأنهم ضحايا لهجمات حزب العمال الكردستاني أو أثناء عمليات تدريبية.

– أول عمل مسلح شارك فيه مقاتل أجنبي في سوريا كان بتاريخ 10.04.2011 وشارك فيه مقاتل لبناني من عكار في الهجوم على اوتستراد مدينة بانياس.

– المشافي التركية هي الأولى في سرقة و التجارة بأعضاء البشر نتيجة القتال في سوريا.

متى سيفهم وقود تلك المعارك انهم اما ادوات غرر بهم، او ان الدولار اعماهم


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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