Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 17th, 2014

Since the Syrian upheaval: New Lives in Lebanon

Bars and clubs in Lebanon’s capital city Beirut aren’t just for locals.

They also provide a distraction for some young Syrians who can’t go home.

They were forced to leave the country, which borders Lebanon, following the civil war that has raged since 2011, and others have come to study or work.

The life of the Syrians in Beirut can be difficult, many feel this small country can’t cope with the huge numbers that have arrived since fighting began in 2011.

Almost 200,000 Syrians have lost their lives in the conflict between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and those who are against him being in power.

For examples:

Nasser Shorbaji AKA Chyno, 30, Hip hop

I was looking for a new life, I left in 2011, the beginning of all the drama in Syria.

Nasser Shorbaji AKA Chino

It really sucks that I can’t go back home right now, because I feel like that’s the base for me and my family and it’s not there any more. I think the biggest thing my family has lost is the connection with each other.

My grandmother had passed away six months ago… I couldn’t go back for the funeral.

I felt it was so shallow of me to just forget about what’s going on. When I do rap in English, I can reflect what’s going on in my country to the people in the west.

I’m super-proud to be Syrian. Now with this situation happening, with this civil war, it doesn’t make me less proud, it makes me sad.

I can return back to Syria in the future but it’s not the way I remember it any more. That beautiful relationship between the people, it’s not there any more.

Lynn Khouri, 19, student

Lynn Khouri, 19, student

I didn’t know anybody here and felt alone.

You feel guilty when you’re having fun here and are safe and everybody at home is in danger.

You get used to it though because the conflict has been going on for so long. I return to Syria three or four times a year.

It’s changed so much. There is destruction everywhere. The military is all over the place.

People’s personalities have also changed. They’re worried, they’re depressed, they’re scared.

At first I used to watch TV here and be surprised that people are dying at home. But now you just see it and flick the channel. I’ve got used to it.

For now my chances of returning to Syria are gone. I’m hoping to go to Europe instead but I have no plans because everything has changed.

Samer Saem Eldahr AKA Psychaleppo, 25, DJ

Samer Saem Eldahr AKA Psychaleppo is a DJ

I left for lots of reasons, my parents wanted me to leave to start my career or continue my studies in fine art.

Life was very easy, you knew what you were going to do for the next two years, here you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

Life is totally more difficult right now, you have to work harder. I don’t mind, but at some points it gets really intense. I really wish to play back in Syria one day, that’s the dream.

Forat Al Hattab, 23, charity worker

Forat Al Hattab, 23, charity worker

I’ve lived here since 2009 when I came here to study.

The first few years of my studying in Beirut was kind of ok but when I graduated the crisis in Syria started.

Life in Beirut became harder for Syrians here.

A lot of people have a rage about how many Syrian refugees are living here. The fact that you are Syrian, some people might be racist against you.

It became a little bit different to be a Syrian here. Sometimes when I go to rent a house, if you’re a Syrian the rent is higher. These small details make a difference to your daily life.

I miss my real home. I never feel settled here. I miss that feeling of security of having your own home.

We had a nightlife, we had a social life back in Syria but you can’t enjoy anything when there is war. Every day I hope to go home.

Naya, 20, Student

I’m currently studying at American University of Beirut. I left Syria two and a half years ago, it wasn’t as bad as it is now.

I went back last year for two days only. I noticed a very big difference, there was barely anyone on the streets.

People went home early, it was pretty bad. It was really depressing, I just wanted to come back here, I was really sad.

Everyone has been saying stuff and nothing has really been happening so I really don’t know what will happen but I’m hoping for the best.

What I like most about Damascus is that we all lived in a small community, it was safe, everyone knew each other. Of course, I hope to get my life back.


“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.” Peter Principle

You keep being promoted beyond your level of confidence

Published nearly a half-century ago, the book is now a refreshing tonic for all the feel-good, impossibly Pollyannaish management wisdom being passed around.

The Peter Principle is named after Laurence J. Peter, a prominent Canadian scholar of education, who noticed it, began to lecture about it, and was finally egged on to write in more detail about it.

Rather than penning a scholarly tract, he offered up a straight-faced satirical treatment. It’s as if the book were being narrated by Leslie Nielsen circa “Airplane.”

Let’s allow Peter, from the introduction to his book, to have the final word:

If man is going to rescue himself from a future intolerable existence, he must first see where his unmindful escalation is leading him. He must examine his objectives and see that true progress is achieved through moving forward to a better way of life, rather than upward to total life incompetence.

Man must realize that improvement of the quality of experience is more important than the acquisition of useless artifacts and material possessions.

He must reassess the meaning of life and decide whether he will use his intellect and technology for the preservation of the human race and the development of the humanistic characteristics of man, or whether he will continue to utilize his creative potential in escalating a super-colossal death-trap.

On occasion, Man has caught a glimpse of his reflection in a mirror, and not immediately recognizing himself, has begun to laugh before realizing what he was doing. It is in such moments that true progress toward understanding has occurred.

Seth Godin posted on November 11, 2014

A Peter Corollary

The original Peter Principle made perfect sense for the industrial age: “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.”

In other words, organizations keep promoting people up the organization until the people they promote reach a job where they are now incompetent.

Competence compounded until it turns into widespread incompentence.

Industrial organizations are built on competence, and the Peter Principle describes their undoing.

Consider a corollary, one for our times:

To be promoted beyond your level of confidence.”

Too often, the person who wrecks our work is us.

In every modern organization with upward mobility, good people are promoted until they get to the point where they lose their nerve.

You can check out the original Peter Principle here.

Note: It makes perfect sense. How can any one promoted to chief through a hierarchy is able to stay abreast of new knowledge and technology while squeezed under heavy stress?

That is why sabbaticals were innovated in order to allow people in the profession to take a healthy break from the humdrum of daily activities and get updated on the quality of experiences he had witnessed.

How you become the oppressor?

Occupying forces generate oppressors, directly and implicitly.

“The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart on Thursday blasted as “fascistic” the pressure that right-wing Jews put on dissident Jews to prevent them from criticizing Israel or expressing their Judaism in controversial ways.

American Jewish satirist says of Israel, ‘The danger of oppression is not just being oppressed, it’s becoming an oppressor.’

By | Nov. 13, 2014

Discussing his new movie “Rosewater” at the Toronto Film Festival with, the American Jewish satirist began talking about the accusations he’s faced from Iran about being a Mossad agent, then spoke about the pressure he’s come under from Jews outraged at his irreverence toward Israel and the Jewish religion.

“It’s so interesting to me that people want to define who is a Jew and who is not. And normally that was done by people who weren’t Jewish but apparently now it’s done by people who are, and I find that very interesting. It’s more than nationalism,” Stewart said.

Interviewer Jon Dekel: “You can’t criticize Israel, right?

Stewart: “No. And you can’t observe (Judaism) in the way you want to observe. And I never thought that would be coming from brethren. I find it really sad, to be honest.

Interviewer: “I know the feeling.”

Stewart: “Yeah, and you see it and it is pretty vicious. And how are you lesser? How are you lesser? It’s fascistic. And the idea that they can tell you what a Jew is. How dare they?”

Stewart went on to say that his criticism of Israel is meant constructively, but some of his fellow Jews don’t take it that way.

“I always want to say to people when they come at me like that: ‘I would like Israel to be a safe and secure state. What’s your goal?'” Stewart said.

“So basically we disagree on how to accomplish that but boy do they, I mean, you would not believe the shit. You have guys on television saying I’m a Jew like the Jews in the Nazi camps who helped bring the other Jews to ovens. I have people that I lost in the Holocaust and I just … go fuck yourself. How dare you?”

He suggested that Israel’s policies were an overreaction to the legacy of Jewish oppression:

“The danger of oppression is not just being oppressed, it’s becoming an oppressor. Because that will deteriorate a society as quickly as being oppressed. And that’s a real danger.”

Interviewer: “The difference is, in my mind, that the west trumpets Israel as a realistic, functioning democratic society.”

Stewart: “And then you look and say, ‘A thousand more acres in the West Bank? Why?’ But I agree with you. I find it fascinating and troubling.”

Note: First established colony in Palestine was in 1869. Before the end of WWI in 1918, England, France and the USA have ratified the Balfour letter for partitioning Palestine.




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