Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 20th, 2016

And Summer is back to Damascus

Mayssaloun N. published a note. April 19, 2010 ·

شكراً فيروز …
وللشام في قلب كل عربي … صيف
في طريقي إليها … لم تكن لي أحكام مسبقة … كانت اللهفة وكان الانتماء …
بادلتني بالحياة وبعطر الياسمين الدمشقي …
أنا لبنانية الهوى … في فضاء رسمته شآم …

“فأنا هُنَا جُرحُ الهَوَى، وَهُنَاكَ في وَطَني جراحُ
وعليكِ عَينِي يا دِمَشـقُ، فمِنكِ ينهَمِرُ الصّبَاحُ”

لم أكن أعلم أن كل طيور الفينيق في لبنان(ي) … صمّ
لم أكن أريد أن أعلم أن كلما صغرت حدودهم … ماتوا
واليوم على بوابتك، دمشق، عرفت جمال عبد الناصر وأنطون سعادة وميشال عفلق وجيفارا والامام عليّ ومحمد الدرّة …
اليوم فتحت الباب … وجدت توما وبولس وحافظ …
اليوم مشيت من ساحة يوسف العظمة نحو ميسلون …
اليوم نظرت من التكية فرأيت يافا … ومن الحميدية رأيت نابلس … ومن أوتيل سميراميس رأيت صفد …
وعدت من الشآم … وفي طريق العودة يافطات كتب عليها: من هنا لبنان … ومن هنا … فلسطين …

“في الشَّامِ أنتَ هَوَىً وفي بَيْرُوتَ أغنيةٌ و رَاحُ
أهـلي وأهلُكَ وَالحَضَارَةُ وَحَّـدَتْنا وَالسَّـمَاحُ
وَصُمُودُنَا وَقَوَافِلُ الأبطَالِ، مَنْ ضَحّوا وَرَاحوا”

أغني معك فيروز … في طريقي من دمشق إلى بيروت
وأقول لكل من لم يعرف … أنظر بعينيك …

 

Note: Mayssaloun is the town in Syria where a military battle took place between the mandated French troops and the nascent Syrian army that was Not equipp.

Since then, France hated the Syrian people for opposing its occupation for 30 years. France even bombed Damascus for 6 months, with artillery and airplane

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Would Fewer People Get Killed if More Police Officers Were Women?

(WOMENSENEWS)—Last week a Texas police officer was fired for excessive brutality after a video showed him body slamming a 12-year-old girl, in her classroom, to the ground.

The disturbing scene was eerily reminiscent of another video that captured the brutal arrest, last October, of a girl in a South Carolina school.

In that case, an officer tossed the student across the room before violently restraining her.

 By  is a writer whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture.

Her work appears in Salon, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Huffington Post and The Nation.

Chemaly is also the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project. You can find her on Twitter at @schemaly and on Facebook

Adding men, regardless of how diverse, doesn’t reduce the incidence of brutality or improve community relationships. Adding women does. But women are just a…
womensenews.org

In both instances, the officers using excessive force were men. Sandwiched in between these incidents were two others, involving female officers.

Last October, one of those officers diffused a street fight in Washington, D.C., by engaging in a dance off.

In February, a Dallas police officer stopped an active shooter who had opened fire in a busy Wal-Mart. The officer, a woman, did not fire a weapon, but chased the shooter, demanding verbally he stop shooting.

Female officers discharge their weapons at far lower rates and are more effective at negotiating better and less lethal outcomes, even though citizens are not more likely to use less force when officers are female.

In 2002, the National Center for Women in Policing completed a landmark study that revealed marked differences in policing based on gender.

It found male officers, who make up 88 percent of the U.S. police force, are eight and a half times more likely than female officers to face sustained charges of excessive force and to discharge their weapons, which is clear from the four cases previously cited.

In the years since that study was published, during which time the number of women on police forces has barely changed, follow up studies, both national and international, have repeatedly confirmed these findings.

Proper Framing

Ignoring the role gender plays in police brutality is impairing efforts to properly frame problems and find solutions.

For example, in December of last year the Washington Post published an investigative report on American police killings of civilians.

The newspaper’s year-long study found that 965 people had been shot and killed by police officers. The report found that while black boys and men, only 6 percent of the population, make up 40 percent of unarmed civilians killed, these shootings represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. (On April 7, the Washington Post reported on a study confirming that police fatally shoot unarmed black men at disproportionate rates.)

In an effort, perhaps, to paint a picture emblematic of their findings, the Post focused its reporting on the death of an unarmed white man, David Kassick, who was shot to death in February 2015 by Pennsylvania Officer Lisa Mearkle, also white.

Mearkle was acquitted of third-degree murder, manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter charges.

Les Neri, the president of the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police, warned that cases like this one, which included video evidence and was an example of the debatedYouTube effect,” demonstrate the dangers of “criminalizing judgment errors” and cobbling law enforcement’s ability to do their work.

“Judgment errors,” however, are not evenly distributed in police forces.

Regardless of ethnicity or race, men and women have very different records when it comes to police shootings, killings and misconduct. Mearkle is actually only the second female officer in the United States to be charged for killing in the line of duty, according to a 2015 Al Jazeera report

Women are also more likely to make distinctions between physical force and institutional power, between themselves as individuals and as officers.

Because they can’t so readily and don’t so quickly use force, women are more likely to use other tools to resolve conflict. Male officers are more likely to feel personally challenged in volatile situations, while women, for whom violence is not so salient to gender identity, don’t. Masculinity, in policing as elsewhere, is a “dynamic risk factor” in the possibility of escalating violence and excessive force.

Additionally, female officers tend to treat women’s complaints differently. They are more likely to pursue cases involving intimate partner violence against women, which make up, according to the police, up to 40 percent of calls made to their departments.

Breaking the Brass Ceiling

Law enforcement officials have been aware of the positive impacts of increasing the number of women in police forces for decades, and yet tokenism and the persistent idea that policing – defined as authoritarian, violent, physically demanding – is men’s work remains a serious obstacle to women in policing. Breaking the brass ceiling has proved exceedingly difficult.

In 2013, the last year that counts are available, only 219 women filled senior policing positions in more than 14,000 U.S. police departments. Women still make up only 3 percent of police chiefs in the United States.

All told, women, on average, make up a stagnating 12 percent of police forces, yet only 6 percent of the substantial funds required to pay court judgments and settlements for excessive force involve female officers.

The minority status and marginalization of women in police departments is part of a larger issue of diversity, implicit bias and community relations. In many communities, the percentage of minorities on police forces is more than 30 percentage points lower than the populations they serve, but numbers are improving.

Among men, those belonging to minorities now make up 27 percent of U.S. law enforcement, compared to 15 percent in 1987.

However, the numbers of women joining law enforcement appear, after a period of growth (from 5 percent in 1987 to 12 percent today) to be stagnant or declining.

Black women are the least likely to be represented as members of local law enforcement. At the same time, black women are “over policed and under protected,” a national phenomenon that was thoroughly documented last year in a study conducted by the African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies.

In January of this year, during testimony about “culture and diversity” made before the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Chief Barbara O’Connor, president of The National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, suggested a range of approaches to reduce police brutality and misconduct that included, but were not limited to, improving recruitment and retention of women.

Female officers face sexism, discrimination and sexual harassment. Their burnout rates are higher. If they pursue charges of sexual harassment or gender discrimination, they risk retaliation, similar to the risks encountered by women who bring charges against husbands who are police officers.

Like women in other sectors, their careers are hindered by lack of maternity and child care provisions and by male resistance to opportunities at senior levels.

Despite access and exposure to well-understood data and workplace realities, as O’Connor pointed out, departments are tenaciously ignoring them.

Many departments fail to even have clear objectives for recruiting and retaining women and men of color. In one jurisdiction O’Connor described, newly proposed physical testing standards would mean that 82 percent of current female officers would fail entry tests for a job that desperately requires the skills they have.

Until gender and intersectionality are taken seriously by law enforcement institutions, as critical tools for understanding violent shootings, killings and other abuses perpetrated and tolerated by the police will continue.

If we are coming to more deeply confront the ways in which abusive and authoritarian policing culture developed in the context of historical systemic racism, then we must understand that it indivisibly, simultaneously, also developed in the context of historical sexual discrimination and gender violence.

Living conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

For decades, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been living in poverty and subpar conditions in Lebanon.

Some 450,000 Palestinians are registered as refugees in the country, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

More than 50% live in one of the country’s 12 refugee settlements, “all of which suffer from serious problems, including poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, poor housing conditions and lack of infrastructure.”

As much of the world turns a blind eye on the problems these refugees must deal with on a daily basis, generations and generations of Palestinians continue to be born and die within a harsh and unfair reality. Here are 7 horrible facts about life for the majority of these people.

StepFeed shared this post
6 horrible facts about life in Lebanon for Palestinian refugees
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1. High unemployment

A young man walks in an alleyway of a Palestinian refugee settlement in Beirut. Source: Jason Lemon

A young man walks in an alleyway of a Palestinian refugee settlement in Beirut. Source: Jason Lemon

More than half of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are unemployed, leaving only 37 percent of the working age population employed, according to a 2012 report by ANERA.

Despite educational backgrounds, Palestinians are restricted from even being considered for employment in as many as 20 professions, according to the UNRWA.

Often, the only jobs Palestinians are able to find in Lebanon are menial labor, paying poor wages.

2. Very low average income

An elderly Palestinian woman walking down an alley. Source: Jason Lemon

An elderly Palestinian woman walking down an alley. Source: Jason Lemon

As a direct result of the employment situation, Palestinians on average have a significantly lower income than Lebanese. Out of other countries hosting Palestinian refugees, Lebanon has the highest percentage of Palestinians living in extreme poverty, according to ANERA. Two out of three Palestinians in the country survive with less than $6 per day.

3. Subpar education facilities

An UNRWA school for Palestinians in Beirut. Source: Jason Lemon

An UNRWA school for Palestinians in Beirut. Source: Jason Lemon

Palestinians are not allowed to enroll in Lebanon’s public school system. (The new Syrian refugees can). Although they could enroll in private institutions, with just $6 a day, paying tuition is virtually impossible. Thus, refugees rely on UNRWA schools and vocational centers that are increasingly inadequate to meet the needs of the population.

As many as half of Palestinian teenagers, especially males, drop out of school – usually to work in part-time menial jobs to support their families.

4. Crumbling infrastructure

A Palestinian refugee settlement in Beirut. Source: Jason Lemon

A Palestinian refugee settlement in Beirut. Source: Jason Lemon

While Palestinians have been living in the same settlements for decades, with little support and poor economic prospects, these settlements remain to be some of the poorest and least developed areas in Lebanon.

Increasingly overcrowded, ANERA reports these Palestinian settlements suffer from “Poor housing conditions, leaky pipes, deteriorated water and sewage treatment systems, contaminated water, and jerry-rigged electrical connections.”

5. Poor health

A young Palestinian girl traces a crack with her umbrella. Source: Jason Lemon

A young Palestinian girl traces a crack in the street with her umbrella. Source: Jason Lemon

Its not surprising that all of the aforementioned factors have a negative affect on the average Palestinian refugee’s health. “One out of three refugees suffers from a chronic illness such as hypertension, cancer and diabetes,” according to ANERA.

Additionally, “infant, child, and maternal mortality rates are high.” Numerous disabilities, mental health problems and poor nutrition also plague the community.

All of these factors are complicated by the reality that Palestinians are unable to access Lebanon’s public health system. They rely on UNRWA facilities that are understaffed and underfunded, with one doctor at an UNRWA clinic seeing nearly 120 patients per day.

6. Severely limited travel

Residents of a Palestinian refugee settlement walking. Source: Jason Lemon

Residents of a Palestinian refugee settlement walking. Source: Jason Lemon

Why would Palestinians choose to stay in this situation?

Well, despite the obvious economic problems involved in leaving, traveling outside of Lebanon is extremely difficult for Palestinian refugees. Requiring visas to visit the vast majority of countries in the world makes things complicated.

Add to this the fact that Palestinian refugees’ travel is also limited and controlled by the Lebanese government through a complicated visa system based on their particular legal status within the country, and you have a population of people that is essentially stuck in a dire situation.

And the bad news? With the influx of refugees from Syria, some of whom were already Palestinian refugees residing there, the situation only becomes more complicated and hundreds of thousands of innocent people continue to suffer the consequences.

Note: Many Palestinian refugees have been living in Lebanon for 6 decades since their forced exodus by Israel in 1948.

Many more flocked in in 1967 after the June pre-emptive war against Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

More came in after King Hussein of Jordan drove them to Lebanon in 1971.

Lebanon main reason for denying a Lebanese woman to give citizenship to her children is because many married Palestinians.

Lebanon refused to give Palestinian descendants any rights


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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