Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 19th, 2016

Depth of field

Focus is a choice.

The runner who is concentrating on how much his left toe hurts will be left in the dust by the runner who is focusing on winning.

Even if the winner’s toe hurts just as much.

Hurt, of course, is a matter of perception. Most of what we think about is.

We have a choice about where to aim the lens of our attention. We can relive past injustices, settle old grudges and nurse festering sores.

We can imagine failure, build up its potential for destruction, calculate its odds.

Or, we can imagine the generous outcomes we’re working on, feel gratitude for those that got us here and revel in the possibilities of what’s next.

The focus that comes automatically, our instinctual or cultural choice, that focus isn’t the only one that’s available.

Of course it’s difficult to change it, which is why so few people manage to do so. But there’s no work that pays off better in the long run.

Your story is your story. But you don’t have to keep reminding yourself of your story, not if it doesn’t help you change it or the work you’re doing.

University of California Adopts Policy Linking Anti-Zionism to Anti-Semitism

The regents of the University of California unanimously adopted a new policy on discrimination on Wednesday that links anti-Semitism to opposition to Zionism, the ideology asserting that the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in historic Palestine.

At a meeting in San Francisco, the UC Board of Regents approved a working group’s recommendation for a set of “Principles Against Intolerance” that accepts the argument that “manifestations of anti-Semitism have changed” as a result of debates over Israel on college campuses and “expressions of anti-Semitism are more coded and difficult to identify.”

Robert Mackey. Mar. 23 2016

“In particular,” the report stated, “opposition to Zionism often is expressed in ways that are not simply statements of disagreement over politics and policy, but also assertions of prejudice and intolerance toward Jewish people and culture.”

To address the concerns of pro-Israel students and faculty, who claimed that supporters of Palestinian rights who disagreed with them were practicing a form of discrimination, the working group was formed in September to expand on a draft statement that had said, “Intolerance has no place at the University of California.”

In January, the working group proposed that the declaration should read instead: “Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.”

But that proposed language was criticized — by, among others, the ACLU, the Middle East Studies Association of North America, student activists and faculty members like Michael Meranze, Saree Makdisi and Judith Butler — for erasing the line between legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and hate speech aimed at Jewish students and faculty.

Just before the regents voted on the policy on Wednesday, a member of the working group, Norman Pattiz, further amended the reference to anti-Zionism so that it now condemns “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism.” (I am totally baffled with this non sense amendment)

Before the vote on Wednesday, Bonnie Reiss, the vice chairwoman of the Board of Regents, argued that students opposed to Israeli policies, and those questioning the state’s unequal treatment of non-Jews, had fostered a dangerous environment for Jewish students by supporting the effort to pressure Israel to change its policies through a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, known as BDS.

It was necessary for the university to address anti-Semitism, Resiss said, because “members of the Muslim Student Association or Palestinians for Justice groups… that are anti-Israel have brought BDS resolutions” which have “created emotional debates.”

Anti-Semitic acts against many in our Jewish community have resulted from the emotions over the debates over the BDS-Israel resolutions,” she insisted, without citing evidence of the linkage.

As my colleague Alex Emmons reported, that view was endorsed earlier this week by Hillary Clinton, who called the Israel boycott movement “alarming” in her speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee this week, and accused activists of anti-Semitic “bullying” of Jewish students on college campuses.

Later the same night, Bernie Sanders, who has been critical of Israeli policy, told Chris Hayes on MSNBC that he agreed with Clinton that “there is some level of anti-Semitism” in the BDS movement.

Supporters of the BDS movement, including those who call for Israel to grant full civil rights to Arab citizens of East Jerusalem and the millions of Palestinians who have lived under Israeli military control for nearly half a century in the West Bank and Gaza, strongly reject the claim that opposition to a state that privileges Jews is in any way anti-Semitic.

That the backlash against Israel on college campuses might be caused not by unreasoning hatred but by Israeli actions — like the ongoing blockade of Gaza, punctuated by three rounds of punishing airstrikes in the past seven years, the building of illegal, Jewish-only settlements across the occupied West Bank, or the refusal to recognize the rights of Palestinians driven from their homes in 1948 to ever return — seems not to have occurred to students, faculty or politicians whose support for the Jewish state is unquestioning.

As Omar Zahzah, a Palestinian-American graduate student at UCLA who spoke against the proposed policy before the regents voted on Wednesday, observed later:

We all agree that anti-Semitism and racism must be combated on campus. Where we disagree is in the claim that anti-Zionism is bigotry.

Palestinian and Jewish students alike should have the right to say that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 was morally wrong and that Palestinian refugees should have the right to return home to a state where Palestinians and Jews live in equality rather than in a discriminatory Jewish state.

Butler, who teaches at UC Berkeley and spoke against the policy before the vote, said later that the amended language was still problematic. “If we think that we solve the problem by identifying forms of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, then we are left with the question of who identifies such a position, and what are their operative definitions,” she wrote. “These terms are vague and overbroad and run the risk of suppressing speech and violating principles of academic freedom.”

In 2003, after the then-president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers, argued that academics who held “profoundly anti-Israel views” were “advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent,” Butler responded in the London Review of Books:

…it is important to distinguish between anti-Semitic speech which, say, produces a hostile and threatening environment for Jewish students – racist speech which any university administrator would be obliged to oppose and regulate – and speech which makes a student uncomfortable because it opposes a particular state or set of state policies that he or she may defend.

The latter is a political debate, and if we say that the case of Israel is different, that any criticism of it is considered as an attack on Israelis, or Jews in general, then we have singled out this political allegiance from all other allegiances that are open to public debate. We have engaged in the most outrageous form of ‘effective’ censorship.

The vote in favor of the policy was celebrated by supporters like Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at UC Santa Cruz whose AMCHA Initiative led the campaign to have the university specifically condemn expressions of anti-Zionist activism, calling it “the driving force behind the alarming rise in anti-Semitism” on campuses.

But as the Los Angeles Times reporter Teresa Watanabe noted, “both the U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights office and a federal judge have dismissed complaints by UC Jewish students that such activities have created a hostile climate and violated their educational rights.”

The policy was also welcomed by Avi Oved, the student representative on the board of regents, who spoke from behind a laptop with a heart-shaped pro-Israel sticker that is used by the Israel advocacy group Stand With Us. Oved said the policy was necessary to defend pro-Israel students who have been subjected to abusive language, like being called “Zionist pigs,” or told that “Zionists should be sent back to the gas chambers.”

The chief executive of Stand With Us, Roz Rothstein, thanked the regents for endorsing her view that “denying Israel’s right to exist and opposing the rights of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland is racism, pure and simple.”


Len Leonor Talon. March 12, 2016

You say you love rain, but you open your umbrella.
You say you love the sun, but you find a shadow spot.
You say you love the wind, but you close your windows.
This is why I’m afraid,
You say that you love me too

13 of the funniest Egyptian proverbs and sayings

How common with your idioms?

Egyptian society has its own set of popular proverbs and sayings, passed down from earlier generations and protected like a prized cultural possession, but Egyptians manage to make proverbs a lot more fun.

Noha Medhat posted

While the sayings often express truths or offer valuable advice, sometimes they make no sense at all or are just so ridiculously funny that you forget the point they’re trying to make, however valid that point may be. These are some of the craziest.

1. “Emshi Fe Ganaza Wala Temshi Fe Gawaza”

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The proverb “walk in a funeral but don’t walk into a marriage” could possibly mean that you shouldn’t get involved into someone else’s marriage, or that you shouldn’t arrange a marriage.

Either way, why are both of those worse than getting involved in a funeral? We’ll never know.

2.”Ya Wakhed El-Erd Ala Maloh Yeroh El-Mal We Yeod El-Erd Ala Haloh”

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This proverb “If you take the monkey for money, the money will go away and the monkey will stay” basically means you shouldn’t marry for money, which is valid advice that just happens to be wrapped up in a ridiculous sentence.

3.”En kan Habibak Asal Matlhasoush Kolo”

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“If your sweetheart is honey, don’t lick it all” is often used in situations when a loved one is being taken for granted, as you would take for granted of a jar of honey apparently.

4. “Temot El-Raa’sa We Westaha Beylaa’b”

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“The belly dancer dies while her waist is still moving” is the funnier Egyptian version of “old habits die hard”.

5. “Ekfei El-Edra Ala Famaha Tetlaa El-Bent Le Omaha”

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Turn over the jar and the girl becomes like her mother” is one of the most widely used Egyptian proverbs in situations when a girl acts like her mother. But what does the jar have to do with that?

6. “Labes El-Bosa Tebaa’ Arousa”

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It says “dress up the stick and it becomes a bride”, which could mean that looks can be deceiving or perhaps it cautions against false advertising? Interpretations are open to suggestions.

7. “Alil El-Bakht Yelaa’i El-Adm Fel Kersha”

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It says “the unlucky one finds even bones in tender meat”, which is a popular Middle Eastern dish. The proverb is used when something unfortunate happens.

So instead of comforting the “unlucky” person, this doomed saying tells them that they can’t get away from bad luck!

8. “Ya Dakhel Ben El Basala We Eshretha Ma Yenobak Ela Sanetha”

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“If you get between an onion and its peel you won’t get anything except its foul smell” is also an Egyptian version of “Keep your nose out of my business”.

9. “El Yetgawez Omi Aoloh Ya Ami”

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“The one who marries my mother, I call him my uncle” is used in situations when you are forced to deal with someone you don’t want to deal with, so if you can’t beat them, join them!

10. “El Arousa Lel Arees Wel Gary Lel Mataees”

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The bride gets a groom and everyone else becomes miserable” is a proverb that basically means weddings are unhappy occasions for everyone except the newly weds. But why?

11. “Ya Meamen Lel Regal Ya Memaen Lel Mayah Fel Gherbal”

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“If you trust men, you trust water in a sieve” tells you all men can’t be trusted, or no one at all can be trusted, it’s not entirely clear.

12. “En Sarat Esraa’ Gamal We En Asha’t Esha’ Amar”

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“If you’re going to steal, steal a camel and if you’re going to love, love someone as beautiful as the moon”. So basically it means live life to the fullest, or just steal a camel.

13. “Seketnaloh Dakhal Be Homaroh”

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We let him be so he came in with his donkey” is a popular proverb that means don’t let someone walk all over you or take advantage of you. The donkey’s role in this is not clear.


Bored. Boredom. An environment, you got to invent excitement

An environment, no matter how hard you look around,

Nothing is to be found to hang on to it for a hint of excitement.

Pain is more powerful than death

And boredom is next to pain in power.

Too hot to take walks.

No car to flee the premises of confinement

The idea of laying down and imagine a hot sexual encounter is to much of an old trick to sustain

The idea to figure out a day dreaming project is an old hat.

You already know that the Witch Wang will Not function

Alcoholic people are bored people.

A few addicted smokers need this break to figure out the next task

To reschedule a general plan for the long day.

Housewives keep dusting, vacuuming, re-arranging, re-designing…

Bored. Boredom

Zeh2en. Shi bi zahe2

Kind of feeling healthy with no pains

Any mild pain would do to focus your mind on

One constipation per week that would last a day and a night

A stomach ache once a month, the kind of gases, that no farting will do to alleviate the uneasiness.

This feeling that something is rotten inside.

Or the intestines is too dry to absorb extra gases

Just lay down and hope to sleep it off.

In downtown, many marches, demonstrations and sit-in.

By youth movements that have gotten fed up of a locked out future.

Treated like chattel by militia leaders who still control the political system.

Even hunger strikers whom the government had ignored for 10 days.

Joining the hunger strikers is a great idea.

Now I need a ride, but no one to volunteer.

Mother would not mind if I joined the hunger strikers,

On condition that I include quitting smoking.

7erak madani. 7erak shababi. 7erak for social changes.

Great events taking place, but no where to go.

7erak to vanquish boredom. To imagine hope in the horizon.

To cling to any reform, before illusion sets in.

Bored. Boredom.

A state when it dawns on you that life sucks.

Lucky the people who die early on.

Before they get convinced that life simply sucks.

Before they experience utter boredom.

Living with an elderly mother who would welcome a good storyteller

Or any TV stories and series

I know no stories and I’m a lousy story teller.

No patience for stories.

No one visiting us to hope that mother will spend quality time.

The purpose of the very few who pay us a visit is to raise mother’s blood pressure

And increase her frustration and despair.

Waiting for the night fall so that mother go to bed.

The night is my free time and hope for good movies and documentaries to fill the time.

I refuse to get up before 9 am: the days are too long to suffer

I have been mulling a second life change

On another continent and far away from relatives

Never to return or be in contact with any one I knew.

Does life provides a second change for older people

To try a new life?




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