Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 5th, 2020

Re-inventing Public Health: Covid-19 inequity

COVID-19 and inequity — public health needs a third revolution

For many Americans, George Floyd’s murder ignited a new level of momentum to confront police violence against people of color.

The COVID-19 pandemic — which is killing black Americans at nearly two and a half times the rate of whites — has put a spotlight on our nation’s shameful racial divide in public health.

While the first and second public health revolutions vastly extended life expectancy by making strides against communicable disease (cholera, typhoid and dysentery) and chronic illness (heart disease and diabetes), racial gaps (and minority ethnic groups) remain a persistent contributor to negative health outcomes.

In a nation with growing economic disparities, scarred by centuries of systemic racism, the third revolution in public health must address the root causes of our remaining pervasive health inequities — poverty, pollution, housing, food security and other basic needs.

Since our systems have resulted in these issues disproportionately impacting communities of color, we need to conceive, develop and implement solutions that prioritize the wellbeing of people and communities that have been overlooked for far too long.

COVID-19 and inequity — public health needs a third revolution

It’s a daunting task, to be sure. But, with an approach I call precision community health, we can target our limited resources to be effective at addressing the most urgent public health inequities, while also supporting the eradication of racism throughout our society.

Investment is needed in public health systems, including state-of-the-art data collection and communications tools.

With these we can collect granular data on everything from asthma rates to housing conditions and police violence, broken down by race and income.

That data can then be transformed into knowledge to guide decision-making.

We can leverage social media and other communications strategies to deliver precisely targeted messages to ensure people have information they need, when and where they need it, to make informed decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

We can also invest in people by creating a national Public Health Corps, similar to AmeriCorps.

Recruitment could start with our country’s community health workers, our invaluable set of frontline public health workers who are already trusted members of the communities we serve today.

But importantly, these workers’ expertise and training can also build equity in communities today, by linking people to resources on housing, food security, employment and more.

Community health workers are also uniquely positioned to have an immediate impact on the spread of COVID-19 by performing the critical task of contact tracing — reaching out to those who test positive for COVID-19, helping them identify others they may have been exposed, then supporting them through quarantine and testing.

For any of our efforts to succeed, we must account for and honestly confront the distrust many people feel in our public institutions.

In this time of massive societal upheaval, we have a tremendous opportunity to shift our focus and resources to fully embrace public health solutions. But our field will need to reckon with our own painful history of systemic racism to realize our full potential.

If we are to continue making the breakthroughs that improve and extend lives as public health has done for decades, we must embrace the moment we are in.

It’s time to rethink public health by understanding the inequities that are making people sick and targeting resources where they are needed most.

Bechara Choucair, a family physician by training, was commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health from 2009 to 2014.

He is currently senior vice president and chief health officer at Kaiser Permanente and author of “Precision Community Health: Four Innovations for Well-being.”

Note: My Daydreaming health re-structuring project


What are the background of US ambassador to Lebanon? This Dorothie Shea?

This ambassador of the Extremist Evangelical supporters of Trump was transferred straight away from Israel to Lebanon. Her responsibilities for 4 years in Jerusalem consulate was handling the political files.

Dorothie is a General in the US army and worked in In Tunisia and Egypt and was a member of the National Security under Bolton.

She was dispatched to destabilize Lebanon and enforce the new Trump Caesar sanction law on Syria and Lebanon. This law was agreed upon by Congress and the Senate, which means it is totally an Israeli law.

كتب البروفسور والأستاذ في القانون الدولي والدبلوماسي خليل حسين

“من هي السفيرة دوروثي شيا؟..إنها سفيرة دونالد ترامب في لبنان وليست سفيرة أميركا.

من الأمور التي لا يعرفها الشعب اللبناني العظيم العنيد، عن هذه المرأة وكيفية تعيينها ومن اختارها ولماذا تم نقلها من تل أبيب الى بيروت مطلع هذا العام 2020،

بعد عملها كمسؤولة عن الملف السياسي في سفارتها لمدة أربع سنوات في الكيان الصهيوني وقنصلية القدس.

أن دوروتي شيا خريجة كلية أركان حرب بدرجة ماجستير، يعني رتبتها العسكرية (عميد) بصرف النظر عن عملها في تونس والقاهرة والكيان الصهيوني، المرأة كانت تابعة لجهاز الأمن القومن الذي تولاه جون بولتون قبل إقالته.

والذي اختار شيّا لتكون سفيرة في لبنان، هو ترامب شخصياً، وفرض الموافقة عليها فرضاً على الكونغرس لمهمة تأزيم الوضع في لبنان، والإشراف على تنفيذ العقوبات وقانون قيصر خدمة للمصالح الإسرائيلية، ولا شيء غير ذلك وهذا ما حصل منذ أن عُيّنت نيسان 2019.

المرأة لا تتمتع بأي حس دبلوماسي،

بشهادة اليزابيث ريتشارد السفيرة الأميركية السابقة التي استلمت مكانها شيّا، وقد أسرّت ريتشارد لبعض أصدقائها قبل مغادرتها، بأن شيّا ستفتح عليكم باب جهنم كما نقل أحد التقارير السياسية.

جماعة 14 آذار في لبنان يعتبرون دوروتي شيّا (غازي كنعان الأميركاني)، فهي تشبههم وهم يشبهونها ويعولون عليها كثيراً.

نبيل خوري دبلوماسي أميريكي من أصل لبناني عمل في الخارجية الأمريكية لأكثر من 25 سنة، وكان من مهامه تدريب السفراء والقناصل الذين سيعملون في الشرق الأوسط،

وقال بعد تقاعده على إحدى القنوات، كنت أقول لكل سفير وقنصل سيعمل في لبنان انتبه الى الساحة اللبنانية، لأنها كثيرة الانقسامات وقبل الحديث عن حزب الله.. يجب أن تعرف أن هذا الحزب يمثل أغلبية لبنانية، وله ممثلون في البرلمان ثم قال خوري عن شيّا: “أنها سفيرة حرب من المحافظين الجدد ومهمتها تنفيذ أجندة إدارة ترامب.”

How many “role playing acts” can you sustain before people unmask your characters?

I am using the first subject to give weight and credibility to this story. I prefered to use He to mean by brother-in-law.

I submitted a formal complaint on my brother-in-law to the municipality for his nonchalance on a serious health problem that can affect, not only people living in the same building, but the potential epidemic that might spread to the community.

The 4 water tanks , each for an apartment, are located in one of the enclosed roof: water used to washing hands, taking showers, washing dishes and doing laundry…come from these sources.

He has been breeding and raising chicken in that section of the roof for many years.

Once I went up to the roof to check on something.

As I opened the revolving door, I felt dizzy of the foul smell emanating from there, as if a dead foul was left forgotten for days. I could Not enter because all the ways inside this roof were blocked by years of accumulation of junks.

Actually, He has a serious psychological problem that is well documented of people who keep “saving” totally unimportant objects and are unable to clear the depots of a single object or even to try to sell anything they “hoarded”

For a long time, and way before the Covid-19 pandemics, I warned him of Red-Level health danger of breeding and raising chicken there. And told him this is Not within the building codes of any municipality.

In my mind the potential for aviary flu and other kinds of serious viruses was serious enough.

He displayed a yellow smile and said: “I am cleaning after the chicken

His nonchalance in Not taking my inputs and suggestions in a serious manner almost drove me to the wall.

This attitude smacked of considering me as a Non-entity and of no consequence. He has been behaving as the entire building was his own and he could decide what to do without asking permission from anyone, or even throwing a suggestion.

Ten years ago, before He was forced to retire from the military, he constructed a chicken coop but never had “time” to care for it. Since my mother favored raising chicken I agreed to take care of this dirtiest of jobs as long as he purchase the chicken feed because I was almost penniless at the time.

Rain or shine, I was feeding the chicken, cleaning the place, digging and burying the dead fouls and trying to sell the extra eggs to the neighboring shops.

After several years of this stupid and insane toil, He stopped purchasing the feed. Either the chicken will die of famine or I close this costly “business”.

I spread the word that I am closing and people flocked from everywhere and on motorbike to rid me of the chicken. I sold them cheap because time was of the essence in this case.

Mother understood the predicament though she preferred to keep about 7 chicken.

200 or 7 chickens are of the same level responsibility, headache and dirtiness.

Even after submitting my written complaints, He kept entering my apartment without knocking and carrying his cart loaded with chicken feed through my apartment. Though there are two outside entrances to the chicken “farm” of over 200 fouls.

Maybe He is jealous of me and his reactions towards me are meant to humiliate me and degrade my goodwill.

The day I complained, He dispatched my sister (His wife) downstairs to warn me. She was shaking like a leaf and said: “If you don’t retrieve the complaint, He is coming down to kill you”.

I told her: “Let him come down”.

What character can anyone be proud of by sending my sister to warn me? This ignominy proved what I always suspected of this weak , lying and opportunistic individual.

He entered all shaven and dressed up and said: “Raymonde told me that you want to talk to me?” I replied: “Wrong. I don’t want to talk to you”

And he started to display all his acting and affability and nonsense.

I told Him a 70 year-old person is Not meant to spend his retirement on feeding, cleaning chicken places, fill bags of their shit and pouring this shit in every corner of the garden during the rainy seasons.


Here we go again: Five Majestic Outdoor Destinations in Lebanon. Every country has Majestic sceneries.

The Wilderness Project. June 30, 2020

Nature is a gift to us and we should preserve it well! If you go on an amazing hike do tell us about it and share any pictures, too. We always love to hear from you!

Lebanon is a country truly blessed for its unique topography rich with gorgeous green landscapes throughout, and unlike the rest of the Middle East, it has no desert. (Though desertification and polluted water sources are catching up)

Its temperate, weather and abundance of lush rolling hills, natural waterways and diverse flora makes it an ideal country to explore by foot, pretty much anytime of the year. (This lush rolling hills and natural waterways are exaggerated description with the failure of this pseudo-State to shoulder its responsibilities)

While hiking and camping outdoors have always been popular activities in Lebanon, since the pandemic, more Lebanese than ever before have turned to nature looking for safe ways to unwind and to get some exercise.

As a hiking enthusiast myself, I always suggest to others that the best remedy for stress is a long walk amid beautiful surroundings. It certainly works for me.

In Lebanon you also get to see ancient ruins along the way thanks to the country’s rich and storied past. This could be anything from centuries old water mills, Ottoman arched stone bridges, Roman era terra cotta pottery pieces embedded in the soil to rock structures engraved in Latin letters

(During the second century A.D. the Roman Emperor Hadrian carved more than 200 rocks as boundary markers to control the logging of Lebanese Cedar trees, which were the most highly sought after building materials at the time).

Many hiking trails are also adjacent to historic Lebanese villages, which means if you finish your walk early you can benefit from additional sightseeing for the day (visit the local landmarks), stop by for a beverage or a meal or buy some local Mouneh (homemade preserved delicacies) before heading back home.

Now let me share with you five wonderful places in Lebanon that are definitely worth walk touring “à pied”.

Cedar Tree in Tannourine

Cedar Tree in Tannourine

Mill Trail

Mill Trail

1- Tannourine

Tannourine is perhaps most famous for its cedars forest covering 12 square kilometers which is also one of the country’s most picturesque and pristine areas for walking, some even growing on extreme vertical slopes),

You can spot grottos and plenty of vibrant wild flowers. If you prefer a more rugged terrain with some sightseeing, try the Mill Trail of Tannourine.

You can start this hike at the centrally located historic Medieval Church of Mar Challita (famous for having two alters). Then head towards the nearby Mill Trail, which is alongside the picturesque Walnut River (Nahr el Jawz).

Like the trail’s name suggests, you will come across several old mills (Al Aabara, Al Nsoub and Emm Zahra). You can also visit the impressive Baatara Sinkhole, a natural phenomenon, and sit and marvel at the 255-meter-deep Jurassic limestone cavern.

While it is mainly dry during summer, in winter and spring a dramatic waterfall flowing into the sinkhole can be enjoyed. After a long morning hike this place is great to rest and have your picnic lunch (it also has a few snack areas serving sandwiches and mezza).

2- Qadisha Valley (Holy Valley)

Also referred to as Wadi Qannoubine (Valley of the Saints), this place has an incredible vibe, landscape and legacy (all three).

This place is an UNESCO World Heritage Site (Lebanon has five in total) so it is a protected zone, with the few people living on the premises comprised of those in the monasteries and churches.

Qadisha valley is a breathtaking gorge marked by rocky hillsides covered with natural caves, which have been used as shelters and burials going back to the Paleolithic period. Later on it became a refuge for those in search of solitude or escaping religious persecution, from Sufis to Christians (It has hosted monastic communities since the earliest years of Christianity, and again in the 12th, 17th and 18th century, for those fleeing persecution at the hands of the Mamluks and later the Ottomans).

Often penned the Lebanese mini Grand Canyon, this utterly peaceful sanctuary is 1,400 meters above sea level with sweeping views all around and has a river that carves out the floor of the valley with water flowing through it in the springtime.

There are various entrances to begin a hike in this valley, but the most commonly used is Mafraq Qannoubine (the main road in Bcharre).

Once you enter Qadisha you can follow the signposts and walk towards Mar Elisha monastery or Qannoubine monastery. Otherwise you can plan ahead and seek the advice of Lebanon Mountrail Trail (LMT) which has mapped out most hiking trails in the country

(I did this hiking expedition with the steepest and awkward of stairs for many miles)

Rocky cliffs dotted with ancient natural caves

Rocky cliffs dotted with ancient natural caves

St. Marina the Monk Church

St. Marina the Monk Church

3- Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve (JMBR)

Our next hiking gem is a biosphere reserve. JMBR has an exceptionally rich biodiversity hosting 750 species of flowers and trees.

In addition, 137 migratory and soaring bird species and 25 mammal species make this mountainous area their home (among them are foxes, squirrels, hedgehogs, wild boars and the very rare striped hyenas).

You can also find historic sites, such as Roman era stone stairs, a Byzantine church, a centuries old watermill and olive press, several ruins of old houses, an abandoned Ottoman settlement and rocks with the famous Emperor Hadrian’s inscriptions.

The reserve covers an area of 6500 hectares and offers 10 different trails, which can be accessed from three main entrances: Qehmez. Mchati and Chouwen.

I highly recommend the hike to its highest summit Qornet el Mzar (1600m) that shelters the ruins of a Roman temple; it offers sweeping panoramic views of the entire country, and on a clear day you can see as far as Cyprus and Syria.

There is a small entrance fee of 8,000 Lira (4,000 Lira for the under 16) to enter Jabal Moussa. On your way out check out their kiosk selling Mouneh and handicraft products made by local women. You can support them with your purchase!

Floral diversity of Jabal Moussa

Floral diversity of Jabal Moussa

Remains of an old house

Remains of an old house

Forest boundary marker of Emperor Hadrian

Forest boundary marker of Emperor Hadrian Picture Credit:

4- Jannet Chouwen

If there is a place to be crowned heaven on Earth, Jannet Chouwen on a sunny day might come pretty darn close. This stunning area is ideal for hiking, camping out, going for a swim and just basking in nature for as long as possible.

The hiking hotspot is most famous for its stream that runs down the mountain and flows into the Nahr Ibrahim River, also known as the river of the God Adonis (a.k.the river of immortal love!)

A year ago I swam in this pristine stream and I can assure you, being in this fresh invigorating natural bath outdoes any spa! This river is accessible through JMBR’s Chouwen entrance. From there you need to walk downhill for about 45 min until you reach the area.

(You may read my humoristic trekking adventure on this supposed Promised Paradise)

Aerial view of Nahr Ibrahim

Aerial view of Nahr Ibrahim

5- Darb El Mselha (Mselha Walkway)

This hiking destination takes its name from the Mseilha Fort in Batroun, which was built by Emir Fakhreddine II in the 17th century to protect the city from enemy attacks.

The actual walk begins from the Mseilha Fort and is parallel with the picturesque Nahr El Joz so you can also enjoy the beautiful water canals as you stroll along. The trail can take you all the way to Kaftoun village, which is approximately 12 kilometers away.

This is actually a new hiking spot in Lebanon and has been immensely popular with hikers and families alike looking for areas to have a nice walk and even stop for a picnic along the way.

Parts of the trail have cement blocks with small gaps in between which can be unsafe for younger children, so just make sure they are well attended to if you bring them along with you. Dogs are also forbidden on this trail.

Darb Mseilha is easily accessible from the Batroun highway before Chekka. You can conveniently park your car at the entrance of this well maintained public trail and see where it takes you!

Glad you enjoyed reading about five of my favourite hiking areas in Lebanon. While I only mentioned a few, the country has countless excellent nature destinations so you are spoilt for choice.

You can read more about the various trails via LMT, which I previously mentioned. So, wishing you all happy trails if you go for an outdoor adventure! Remember wherever you go, keep the area clean and respect the rules in any reserve or outdoor area.


First Picture: Arz Hadath El Jebbeh in Bcharre taken by Alia Fawaz. All pictures (with the exception of Hadrian’s Rock in Jabal Moussa) have been also provided by the author taken during her hikes.

What are you worried about Becky-Sue?

Becky-Sue (1998)

1.   Are you worried Becky-Sue about the asteroids?

One of them slamming earth any time soon?

I’m not worried.  I’ll still be around.


Breathing or not,

Above or underground,

Mostly under for added protection.

2.   Are you worried Becky-Sue of Earthquakes,

Volcanoes, El Nino, tornadoes, tidal waves, ozone depletion?

I’m not worried.  They tend to visit my neighbors.


I see them on the TV screen when the President or his Vice

Hovers in choppers

Over the devastated areas.

3.   I am somewhat worried about the toxins

Created by Man, about radioactive materials

Dumped in my backyard.


But I already outlived my ancestors

Way before Man meddled with Nature.

4.   I am surely worried, Becky-Sue, of the forced issues:

Women shortening the periods of breastfeeding,

Child rearing age, post pregnancy recovery


Because promotion at work matters,

Because equality with the stupid man matters.

5.   We are what we are

Because mothers made the human specie

Grow and stay alive, against all odds, wars and calamities.


Because mothers stayed and gathered moss

While men wandered, rolled and rumbled.

6.   Are you worried, Becky-Sue?

I really don’t know you:

Take me to the movie, tonight.

Tidbits #51

Phenology is the “science” of observing Nature, especially in this new dangerous period of Climate Change? In 2018, Slate recommended keeping a phenology journal for this exact purpose: “In so doing, you can anchor yourself in place and be a witness to the way nature is actually responding to change, instead of dwelling on the disasters that might come.”

In 1860, Henry David Thoreau translates his nature diaries into climate charts.

People with a pure heart should be able to differentiate among laws designed for the Elite Classes and those for all the citizens

Les Etats rentiers sont characteristic par une forte concentration du pouvoir. Le véritable noblesse de base n’appartient qu’à ceux qui ont l’esprit de clan. Les revenus des butins sont difficiles a distinguer parmi le souverain et la classe de nobless. Ibn Khaldoun

Is Israel set to annex much of Palestine in 6 days? Violating international law (for a 2-State system) and ending the possibility of freedom for the Palestinian state. Europe and others can make Israel think twice, and we cannot let this pass without outcry.

On a besoin d’une colère généreuse et un rêve utopique pour confronter des actes contre nature et contre la nature: Les expériences atomiques en plein air, les camps de concentrations, les régimes totalitaires, le racism endemique et les systems apartheid, l’extermination des tribus indigenas… Et la pureté qu’il faut pour causer de grandes massacres.

La puissance politique du souverain dépend du niveau des richesses produites par le travail de l’homme et des conditions de la répartition de la richesse générée. The Asabiyya (3assabiyat) of the tribe deteriorate with the decline of the economy.  Ibn Khaldoun

Is Formal Marriage important for just raising kids? Otherwise, it is formal enslavement of both parties within the sick “ownership” concept. Am I encouraging out of wedlock relationship? Unless marriage is split into two phases: the first stage is a “temporary marriage” of both parties explicitly acknowledging a purpose for having kids. The second phase is promising to raise the kids together.

Never ask someone “Do you believe in a God?“: It is none of your business. Unless it is for you own benefit to re-affirm your belief system, after having done your due diligence.

It should be a personal matter in believing in a God: if your mind couldn’t be of much help, is it the responsibility of a “God” to guide you to “His existence”?

Dans l’esprit de la majorité, reconnaître l’apport des Noirs et des minorities á la construction de la nation Française  (or any other colonial power) serait amoindrie la grandeur d’une nation qui pense se suffire á elle-même.

Greek former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said:  Lebanese must have the courage to nationalize the banks and restructure the Central Bank, issue a new currency and desist from seeking IMF money…”

The notion that Covid-19 is meant to reduce earth population does Not stand the count. Degraded air quality, water pollution, traffic accidents, famine, radiation and poisonous shells… harvest 100 fold what this virus can kill. Actually, the fear is that population might increase “exponentially” with this confinement and improved air quality.

By the year 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish. And more debris in outer space than birds?

Si vous cherchez un parti politique unifiant le monde, considérez les paysans isolés: ils ont les points communs  (common denominators) partout dans le monde.

Il était devenu un autre homme et le cousin n’était pas suffisamment curieux pour découvrir le changement: il lui parlait du passé.

La déportation des Amérindiens (Red Indians), le Passage du milieu, la Piste des Larmes...sont pour les American Blancs de simple catastrophes naturelles qu’il fallait remédier. Une entreprise criminelle de domination et d’expansion

L’opinion publique est un juge absolu: tous les pouvoirs lui sont subordonnés. Sauf quand l’executive décide d’aller en guerre





July 2020

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