Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘biographies/books’ Category

Mort de Charles Aznavour après une longue et belle vie de bohème

DISPARITION – Le légendaire artiste franco-arménien s’est éteint à l’âge de 94 ans. Avec des chansons telles que Emmenez-moiJe m’voyais déjà ou La Bohème, l’éternel Charles Aznavour a traversé les époques, les générations et les frontières.

«Chanteur de variété le plus important du XXe siècle».

C’est le titre attribué en 1988 à Charles Aznavour par la chaîne américaine CNN et le Times.

Plus de 1200 chansons dans sept langues différentes, des spectacles dans 94 pays et plus de 100 millions de disques vendus dans le monde entier.

Mais aussi plus de 60 participations à des longs-métrages.

Très discret sur sa vie privée, le chanteur – décédé dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi à l’âge de 94 ans – a été marié trois fois et a eu six enfants dont trois avec sa dernière femme Ulla avec qui il était marié depuis plus de 50 ans.

Icône de la chanson française, Charles Aznavour était une star mondiale, au point d’avoir son étoile sur le «Walk of Fame» à Hollywood en 2017.

70 ans de carrière en haut de l’affiche pour cette légende de la chanson française. Il revenait ces derniers jours d’une tournée au Japon, après avoir été contraint d’annuler des concerts cet été en raison d’une fracture du bras après une chute.

Charles Aznavour avait inauguré son étoile sur le Walk of Fame de Hollywood en 2017.

Ses premières années débutent comme un roman. Ses parents, Misha et Knar Aznavourian, viennent de Salonique, en Grèce. Son père est le fils d’un ancien cuisinier du tsar Nicolas II, sa mère appartient à une famille de commerçants arméniens de Turquie qui avaient fui le génocide de 1915.

Aznavour, à l’époque Varenagh Aznavourian, naît en France, le 22 mai 1924. Ses parents attendent à Paris un visa pour les États-Unis. Finalement, la France sera leur terre d’accueil. Son père mène une carrière de restaurateur et de patron de café laborieuse,  il préfère chanter.

» LIRE AUSSI – En direct: les réactions après l’annonce de la mort de Charles Aznavour

Encouragé également par sa mère, actrice, le jeune homme joue du violon dans les rues, entre à 9 ans à l’École du spectacle et se donne comme nom de scène «Aznavour».

Rapidement, la chanson devient une évidence. Un certain Charles Trenet, devient son idole. À 17 ans, en pleine guerre, il rencontre un jeune compositeur fou de jazz, Pierre Roche. Le duo «Roche et Aznavour» commence à courir les cabarets. De cette collaboration naîtra notamment J’aime Paris au mois de mai.

Il y a un an, Aznavour déclarait : «Ce n’est pas important que l’on se rappelle de moi»

Le «petit génie con» de Piaf

Edith Piaf venue féliciter Charles Aznavour après son spectacle à l'Alhambra à Paris le 9 octobre 1958.

1945, période creuse pour les deux artistes, malgré un contrat d’enregistrement signé avec Jacques Canetti chez Polydor.

L’année d’après, la rencontre avec Edith Piaf les relance. Elle les invite à la suivre pendant une tournée de deux ans en France et aux États-Unis. La chanson swing du duo ne s’impose pas vraiment en France, mais a du succès au Canada… Et Pierre Roche finit par s’y marier. La carrière solo d’Aznavour débute… difficilement.

Pendant huit ans, l’artiste travaille dans l’ombre de la chanteuse. «Le petit génie con» devient l’homme à tout faire de l’icône, alors au sommet de sa carrière.

Il conduit la voiture, répond au téléphone, s’occupe des éclairages et du son pendant les tournées… De temps à autre, il lui présente une chanson qu’il a écrite, sans grand succès. Piaf lui répète qu’il ne percera jamais comme chanteur.

Mais Aznavour persévère, s’accroche et écrit plusieurs chansons pour Gilbert Bécaud, Juliette Gréco, Patachou... Piaf elle-même fait un succès avec Jezebel.

En 1955, ses fossettes et son regard profond font leur première apparition à la télévision. Les mains dans les poches, l’air décontracté, presque désinvolte, Charles Aznavour entonne Le Palais de nos chimères:

1960 et la naissance de la star française et internationale

Aznavour est sur la voie du succès: la critique a beau ne pas croire en lui, le public commence à s’attacher. Sur ma vie, Parce que, Sa jeunesse, Au creux de mon épaule sont ses premiers succès.

Un début de carrière qui aurait pu se terminer tragiquement.

À l’été 1955, le chanteur est victime d’un violent accident de voiture sur la route de Saint-Tropez. Hôpital, convalescence: plusieurs mois éloigné du métier, il doit tout reconstruire.

L’année suivante, Charles Aznavour fait sa première à l’Olympia. Mais les critiques sont toujours virulentes sur la voix et le physique du chanteur. Des propos qui le blessent profondément et pourtant, les propositions de contrats s’enchaînent.

«D’autres ont réussi avec un peu de voix mais beaucoup d’argent, Moi j’étais trop pur ou trop en avance, Mais un jour viendra je leur montrerai que j’ai du talent.»

Charles Aznavour, Je m’voyais déjà

La légende Aznavour est née un soir de décembre 1960. À l’Alhambra, le grand music-hall près de la place de la République, à Paris, sa carrière se joue en une soirée.

Après six chansons interprétées dans une atmosphère glaciale, l’artiste sort sa dernière carte: Je m’voyais déjà. L’histoire d’un artiste dont la carrière ne décolle pas. Charles Aznavour entonne le dernier couplet: «On ne m’a jamais accordé ma chance, D’autres ont réussi avec un peu de voix mais beaucoup d’argent, Moi j’étais trop pur ou trop en avance, Mais un jour viendra je leur montrerai que j’ai du talent.» C’est l’ovation. Un succès énorme et définitif: Aznavour ne quittera plus le haut de l’affiche, il a 36 ans.

La Bohème, La Mamma, Sa jeunesse, Toi et moi, Mes emmerdes, Non je n’ai rien oublié, Désormais, Les Comédiens, Emmenez-moi, Tu t’laisses aller

Charles Aznavour enchaîne les tubes et, en 1963, entame une carrière aux États-Unis. Il séduit les Américains, qui se pressent pour assister à sa représentation au Carnegie Hall de New-York. Près de 400 New-Yorkais sont présents dans la salle. Le chanteur alterne les chansons en anglais et en français. Une soirée qui marque le véritable point de départ de sa carrière internationale.

À VOIR AUSSI – Mort de Charles Aznavour: «Aux États-Unis, il était très aimé»

Mort de Charles Aznavour : «Aux États-Unis, il était très aimé»
Le chanteur mythique Charles Aznavour est décédé à l’âge de 94 ans. François Aubel, rédacteur en chef culture du Figaro, rappelle sa notoriété outre-Atlantique.
Share

Aznavour au grand écran

En France, Aznavour devient une référence. Et quand, en 1989, il fait appel aux artistes français pour venir au secours de l’Arménie, son pays d’origine, qui vient d’être ravagé par un tremblement de terre, ils sont quatre-vingt-dix chanteurs et comédiens à se presser derrière le micro pour chanter Pour toi Arménie – le single sera vendu à un million d’exemplaires. En 1997, il est nommé officier de la Légion d’honneur.

«Un taxi pour Tobrouk», l'un des films références de Charles Aznavour.

Chanteur reconnu, Charles Aznavour aura aussi une carrière dans le cinéma avec 63 films au  compteur. Si beaucoup ont été des nanars, il joue ses plus beaux rôles dans les années 1960: Tirez sur le pianistede Truffaut, Le Testament d’Orphée de Cocteau, Un taxi pour Tobrouk de La Patellière, Paris au mois d’août de Granier-Deferre…

En 1968, la star internationale tourne son premier film en anglais: Candyde Christian Marquand avec Marlon Brando, Richard Burton et James Coburn. Il joue également en allemand, dans Le Tambour (1979) de Volker Schlöndorff qui obtient l’Oscar du meilleur film étranger.

Héros dramatique, il tourne sous la direction de Claude Chabrol en 1982, Les Fantômes du chapelier dans le rôle d’un homme écrasé et réservé.

Aznavour compose de nombreuses musiques pour ses films, écrit le scénario de la comédie de Paul Boujenah, Yiddish Connection. Dans les années 1990, il se fait plus discret au cinéma, tournant principalement des téléfilms.

Aznavour, toujours et «Encores»

Huit kilos, c’est le poids de l’intégrale de l’œuvre d’Aznavour, sorti en 1996. Un imposant coffret de 33 CD en forme de colonne Morris qui donne toute la dimension de la carrière du chanteur.

Aznavour entre dans le XXIe siècle. Chaque tournée est alors présentée comme la dernière.

En 2000, il annonce ses adieux, puis finalement fête ses 80 ans en 2004 au Palais des congrès, son port d’attache. L’année d’après, il entame une tournée d’adieu nord-américaine et poursuit ensuite cette dernière à l’international, en chantant en Asie, en Europe, en Océanie et en Amérique du Sud.

Sa «dernière rentrée» était prévue en 2007. Mais chaque année, Aznavour savoure l’ivresse d’être en haut de l’affiche. 2009 est un nouveau marathon nord-américain.

» LIRE AUSSI – La dernière interview de Charles Aznavour au Figaro: «Chanteurs, soyez intellos, mais fermez vos gueules»

Un an plus tard, Charles Aznavour n’est toujours pas rassasié. Il sort Aznavour toujours, son 50ème album et enchaîne directement avec la tournée européenne Charles Aznavour en toute intimité.

En 2013, on se souvient de son duo avec Johnny Hallyday sur le titre «Sur ma vie» à l’occasion des 70 ans de l’idole des jeunes.

En mai 2015, il sort Encores, son 51e album, mais son 46e original.

Auteur de nombreux volumes autobiographiques, le chanteur était passionné de littérature et confiait en 2017, dans les colonnes du Figaro: «Je m’instruis, parce que j’en ai besoin pour mon travail, pas pour briller en société. Mon nom brille pour moi, c’est déjà assez emmerdant.»

En 2018, Charles Aznavour repartait à 93 ans sur la route des concerts. Après sept ans d’absence, il s’était produit dans six villes en France en janvier.

Celui qui voulait chanter jusqu’à l’âge de 100 ans, devait effectuer une tournée en novembre à travers le monde.

● Duo avec Johnny Hallyday sur le titre «Sur ma vie» à l’occasion des 70 ans de l’idole des jeunes.

Advertisements

Fahed Rimawi describing Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah

Abu Hadi, (father of Hadi, the elder son of Hassan Nasrallah who fell martyr fighting Israel) is Not a leader of a country, Having no official army, Not an oil billionaire or any kind of multinational, who has no multinational media outlet, who don’t pay official visits to State leaders (except Iran and Syria), and yet is the most listen to when he delivers a speech and all his foes know that he can deliver and do deliver on what he promises.
From the bottom of despair and helplessness in Lebanon and most “Arabic States”, Hezbollah, led by Hassan, reaped victories after victories and cornered Israel into a defensive position, after Israel conducted 8 pre-emptive wars on Lebanon and destroyed the infrastructure of Lebanon 8 times since its creation in 1948.

 كيف يقود ابو هادي قافلة الانتصار في زمن الانهيار

فهد الريماوي*
رئيس تحرير صحيفة
المجد الاردنية

August 24 2017

ما اروع ان يخرج الحي من صلب الميت، وينبجس الماء من عين الصخر، وينبت الخير في بوادي الشر، ويطلع الفجر من غياهب الليل، وتنبعث العنقاء من كومة الرماد، وتنطلق البطولة من جراح الشعوب المقهورة، وتنبثق المعجزة من تضاريس الزمن الصعب، وتشرق شمس السيد حسن نصرالله وسط آفاق عربية ملبدة بالهزائم والهموم وعلامات التعجب.

هذا الرجل سيد جليل في قوله وفعله، وليس فقط في حسبه ونسبه.. وهو قائد مقدام في المعارك السياسية والاعلامية، وليس فقط في الحروب العسكرية والامنية.. وهو مبدع خلاق في عوالم البلاغة والخطابة والجملة السحرية، وليس فقط في ميادين التعبئة والتنظيم والادارة اليومية للمستجدات الطارئة والقضايا الواقعية.

هذا الرجل له من اسمه نصيب كبير، فهو نصرالله وناصر العرب الذي ما دخل معركة حربية الا وكان النصر حليفه، وما خاض مساجلة اعلامية الا وكان النجاح رفيقه، وما اطل من الشاشة التلفزيونية الا وكان مالئ الدنيا وشاغل الناس، وما طرح فكرة او اطلق رؤية الا وكانت محل اهتمام واحترام العدو قبل الصديق، والبعيد قبل القريب، والمختلف معها قبل الموافق عليها.

هذا الرجل/الرمز ليس رئيس دولة وازنة، ولا ارطبون جيوش عرمرمية، ولا زنكيل مليارات نفطية، ولا قيصر امبراطورية اعلامية، ولا سندباد رحلات وجولات ومؤتمرات دولية.. ومع ذلك فقد بز كل قادة العرب ورؤسائهم واثريائهم وادبائهم وجنرالاتهم في الشهرة العابرة للقارات، وفي القدرة على حصد الانتصارات،

وفي الشجاعة الطالعة من كربلاء، وفي التضحية البالغة حد الجود بالابن البكر، وفي المصداقية التي يشهد العالم بها ويبصم باصابعه العشرة عليها. هذا الرجل يشكل منحة سماوية جادت بها الاقدار، ويجسد صدفة عبقرية وفرها لنا التاريخ، ويمثل ظاهرة كاريزمية لم تتحقق لغير جمال عبدالناصر بالامس القريب، ويعبر عن اعلى درجات النبل والترفع والاريحية، سواء في مواقفه السياسية، او مبادئه الوطنية والاسلامية، او شمائله الروحية والاخلاقية والطهرانية.. وسيكون من سوء حظ العرب وبؤس طالعهم، ان يفوّتوا فرصة وجود هذا القائد الملهم في مقدمة صفوفهم، دون ان يلتفوا حوله ويشدوا ازره لكي يحرروا التراب الفلسطيني ويمحقوا الكيان الصهيوني الغازي والدخيل.

من حق اي عربي ان يعارض حزب الله، ويختلف مع بعض مواقف السيد نصرالله وطروحاته، فاختلاف الرأي لا يُفسد للود قضية، كما تقول الحكمة المعروفة..

ولكن من العيب، بل العار، على من تسري دماء العروبة في عروقه، ان يمقت هذا الفارس الشهم، ويتحامل عليه، ويشكك في غاياته وولاءاته، ويشترك مع امريكا واسرائيل في محاولات تشويهه واتهامه بما ليس فيه من مثالب ومعايب ونعرات طائفية ومذهبية وجهوية ضيقة.

حسن نصرالله ليس فرداً، بل جمع مذكر سالم، وقاسم مشترك اعلى لابناء امته العربية كافة، وليس لطائفته الشيعية، او ديرته اللبنانية، او ركيزته الايرانية.. وهو صاحب حضور شعبي هائل يتجاوز الارقام القياسية لدى ملايين العرب والمسلمين.. وهو على موعد حتمي مع التاريخ الذي طالما فتح صفحاته الذهبية للزعماء العظماء.. وليس في صالح هذا الرجل، او في حسبانه، ان يهبط من علياء هذه المكانة المرموقة الى درك المربعات الفئوية والمسطحات المذهبية.

هذا الشيخ المعمم ليس يسارياً ولكنه اقرب للكادحين واحنّ على الفقراء والمظلومين من اساطين اليسار واقطاب الاشتراكية..

وهو ليس قومياً ولكنه رفع رؤوس العرب عالياً حين هزم اسرائيل بالنيابة عنهم جميعاً..

وهو ليس مسيحياً ولكنه من اشد المسلمين احتراماً للمكون المسيحي العربي، والتزاماً بالعيش اللبناني المشترك..

وهو ليس فلسطينياً ولكنه اكثر حرصاً وولاء واخلاصاً لقضية فلسطين من بعض زعاماتها وقياداتها التي سكرت بكؤوس الوهم، وهرولت لعقد “سلام الشجعان” مع رابين وبيريز ونتنياهو وتسبي لفني.

مشكلة هذا الرجل ليست كامنة في ذاته ومواصفاته، بل موجودة لدى اعدائه وغرمائه.. فهم مغتاظون من استقامته وليس اعوجاجه، ومن امانته وليس انحرافه، ومن تسامحه وليس تزمته، ومن نجاحه وليس اخفاقه، ومن مجمل فضائله وحسناته وليس سلبياته وسيئاته..

شأنهم في ذلك شأن المثل الشعبي المصري الذي طالما ردده المرحوم ياسر عرفات : ‘مالقوش في الورد عيب، قالوا له يا احمر الخدين’.

اما جريمة هذا الرجل الكبرى التي لا تُغتفر عند الاعداء والعملاء، فتتلخص في كونه صاحب مشروع كفاحي تحرري حاسم ومتصادم على طول الخط مع الصهاينة والمتصهينين العرب والاجانب،

وليس في حياته وبرامجه واجنداته ما يتقدم على هذا المشروع الاستراتيجي العظيم، وليس لديه ذرة شك ان الصراع العربي مع الصهاينة صراع وجود وليس حدود، وان الجغرافيا الفلسطينية وحدة واحدة لا تقبل القسمة على اثنين، وان العدو الاسرائيلي لا يفهم سوى لغة واحدة قوامها النار والبارود.

من نقاء العقيدة استخلص’ابو هادي’ قوة الارادة، واكتسب مضاء الهمة والعزيمة، وامتلك بُعد النظر وعمق البصيرة، ورفض الدخول- بالمطلق- في لعبة الكلمات المتقاطعة والاواني المستطرقة التي تورطت فيها منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية..

فما هادن ولا ساوم ولا فاوض ولا تنازل ولا اقترب من اثم الصلح والتطبيع مع الكيان الغاصب..

ذلك “لان ما اخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة”. في خطابه الاخير الذي اعقب تحرير جرود عرسال اللبنانية من قبضة جبهة النصرة الارهابية، زف لنا ‘ابو هادي’ بشرى الانتصار الوشيك في سوريا،

ورغم ان كل الوقائع الميدانية تؤشر الى هذا الاتجاه، الا ان للبشرى الصادرة عن هذا الرجل نكهة عذبة، وعبق طيب، ومعنى فصيح ومريح وباعث على الثقة والتفاؤل..

وطوبى لهذا البشير الذي يبصر بعيني ‘زرقاء اليمامة’، ويرى قبل الآخرين، ويحظى بفراسة المؤمن، ويغشى الوغى ويعفّ عند المغنم.

Late Helen Thomas: She uttered the truth and died with great regret for this hypocritical USA she served a lifetime

Helen was young once. She died at age 95. The US newspapers commemorated her on the second year of her passing away.
She is from Lebanese descent. She represented the major medias to ask the first question to all the successive President in all the Presidential announcement in the White House lawn.
She accompanied Nixon first visit to China.
She lambasted Bush Jr. when he announced that he is invading Iraq for the “Cross and God” and said: “For the Devil is the case”
A year before her death, she dispatch a letter to all the newspapers who refused to publish it for the first time in her life.
Helen warned in that letter that USA, France and England are executing a plan to re-divide the Middle-East and redraw the borders as they did in 1916.
She claimed that the CIA in the USA is run by Israel and is the main culprit in creating terrorist factions and running them all over the world.
She said: “The Zionist Jews are running our main newspapers and media outlets” (It would be more accurate to say “The Christian Evangelical Zionist movement””
To please the Zionist lobby in the USA, Barack Obama forced her out of this privilege as she voiced her sincere opinion: “Jews from all over the world must return to their countries and let the Palestinians return Home” 
Mohamad Mourad shared a post2 hrs · 
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

Al-amir Chbaro to لبناني عطيق مهاجر Lebanon.O.S..23 hrs

المرآة التي فضحت الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية والكلام الممنوع من النشر حتى “ماتت “وتركت كلمة ” المنطقة العربية ستزول بالكامل.
المرأة التي فضحت أميركا، وعلاقتها بالإرهاب في الشرق الأوسط


في يوليو الماضي احتفل نادي الصحافة الأمريكي القومي بالذكرى الثانية لرحيل عميدة مراسلي البيت الأبيض، وأول امرأة تتولى منصب رئيس نادي الصحافة الأمريكي، والتي عاصرت أهم رؤساء أمريكا،

ورافقتهم وغطت أنشطتهم، وكانت مع نيكسون في أول رحلة تاريخية للصين، عام 1971، والتي رفضت أن ترافق جورج بوش الابن، وأعلنت رفضها لعبارته الشهيرة: ” إنه يحارب في العراق من أجل الله والصليب ” وقالت: ” بل إنها حرب الشيطان وليست حرب الله “.


هي هيلين توماس، التي ماتت في الخامسة والتسعين، وكانت كما قال تلاميذها في حفل تأبينها: ” أجرأ صحفية في تاريخ الولايات المتحدة الامريكية “.


توماس قبل رحيلها بعدة أيام، كتبت مقالة خطيرة للنشر في كبريات الصحف الأمريكية، وتم رفضها في حادثة لها للمرة الأولى، مما جعلها تصرخ في محاضرة بنادي الصحافة قائلة: ” اليهود يسيطرون على إعلامنا وصحافتنا ويسيطرون على البيت الابيض “.


وأضافت، أنا لن أغير ما حييت، مؤمنة به؛ الإسرائيليون يحتلون فلسطين، هذه ليست بلادهم. قولوا لهم ارجعوا لبلادكم واتركوا فلسطين لأهلها.
إنني أرى بوادر حرب عالمية ثالثة، طبخت في مطبخ تل أبيب ووكالة الاستخبارات الأمريكية، والشواهد عديدة، أول خطوة ظهور تنظيمات إرهابية ، بدعم أمريكي لا تصدقوا أن واشنطن تحارب الإرهابيين ، لأنهم دمية في أيدي السي آي إيه.


وأضافت، إنني أرى أن بريطانيا سوف تستحضر روح البريطاني ” مارك سايكس ” وفرنسا سوف تستحضر روح الفرنسي ” فرانسوا بيكو ” وواشنطن تمهد بأفكارهما الأرض لتقسيم الدول العربية بين الثلاثة،

وتأتي روسيا لتحصل على ما تبقى منه الثلاثة، صدقوني انهم يكذبون عليكم ويقولون: ” إنهم يحاربون الاٍرهاب نيابة عن العالم وهم صناع هذا الاٍرهاب والإعلام يسوق أكاذيبهم، لأن من يمتلكه هم يهود اسرائيل”.


هذه كلمات هيلين توماس منذ عامين وأعيد نشرها في ذكراها، يوليو الماضي، بالطبع قوبلت بعاصفة هجوم عاتية من اللوبي الصهيوني وطالب نتنياهو بمحاكمتها بتهمة معاداة السامية لكنها رحلت بعد أن قالت الصدق وتلقف كلماتها المخرج العالمي ” مايكل مور ” في فيلم تسجيلي.


ومور هو من فضح بوش الابن وعصابته من أصحاب شركات السلاح من اليمين الأمريكي مثل ” ديك تشيني ” و ” كوندليزا رايس ” وحصل فيلمه الشهير فهرنهايت 11/9 على أكثر من جائزة.


ما يهمنا وسط الأحداث الاخيرة، بداية من حادث سقوط الطائرة الروسية التي راح ضحيتها أكثر من مائتي مدني، ثم حادث بيروت الذي خلف عشرات القتلى والجرحى ثم حادث باريس، مرورا بحوادث في العريش، والعراق، وليبيا، وسوريا،

أنّ التنظيمات الإرهابية لا يمكن لها أن تقوم بكل هذا العنف البشع بمفردها، وأن هناك أجهزة استخبارات تدعمها، وتشيطنها لتشعل المنطقة وتدفعها لأتون جحيم لا ينطفئ، فتراهم على حافة الفناء.


والفناء هنا يعني تسليم المنطقة للقوى التي خططت، ودعمت، وأشعلت لإزالة القائم وزحزحة المستقر وإزالة المعترف به. وما يُؤكد هذا، كلام ” جيمس وولسي ” رئيس الاستخبارات الأمريكية السابق الذي قال بوضوح: ” المنطقة العربية لن تعود كما كانت، وسوف تزول دول وتتغير حدود دول موجودة “.


نفس المعنى تقريبا قاله ” مارك رجيف ” المتحدث باسم الحكومة الإسرائيلية: ” المنطقة على صفيح ساخن، ونحن لن نسكت، وننسق مع أجهزة الاستخبارات في الدول الكبرى للقضاء على الاٍرهاب، وسوف نتدخل معهم لمحاربة الاٍرهاب حتى لو اندلعت الحروب، لنضمن حماية دولتنا “.


إذن تتحقق نبوءة ” هيلين توماس ” تل أبيب وواشنطن خلقت أسطورة التنظيمات الإرهابية في المنطقة التي خرجت من معامل تل أبيب وواشنطن لتشعل المنطقة والعالم، وتحرك الأنظمة نحو هدف واحد، وإعادة الترسيم وتوزيع النفوذ والغنائم،

فماذا انتم فاعلون يا عرب ؟
أعيدوا قراءة مقالات ومحاضرات ” هيلين توماس ” التي اقتبس منها مقولة ” الغرب يعيش على غباء العالم الثالث والدول الفقيرة .


هل يصلح هذا الحل، في وقتنا مع كل المتغيرات الدراماتيكية؟

نعم فقط جربوا أن تتوحدوا وتكونوا على قلب رجل واحد. إنه حلم، لكنه ليس مستحيلا،

ومرة أخرى اقرأوا هذه السيدة التي هاجمها الصهاينة، وحاربوها، لكنهم لم يكسروا قلمها، إنها هيلين توماس”.

Poor? Even in school?

Low-income strivers face uphill climbs, especially at Ball High School, where a third of the girls’ class failed to graduate on schedule.

By the time, the triplets, Angelica Gonzales, Melissa O’Neal and Bianca Gonzalez donned mortarboards in the class of 2008, their story seemed to validate the promise of education as the great equalizer.

“I just didn’t understand the extent of the obstacles I was going to have to overcome.”

Who is this Lucy Parsons?
Photo
 Published in nyt on December 22, 2012 under: “For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall”

GALVESTON, Tex. — Angelica Gonzales marched through high school in Goth armor — black boots, chains and cargo pants — but undermined her pose of alienation with a place on the honor roll.

Angelica nicknamed herself after a metal band and vowed to become the first in her family to earn a college degree: “I don’t want to work at Walmart like mother“, she wrote to a school counselor.

Weekends and summers were devoted to a college-readiness program, where her best friends, Melissa O’Neal and Bianca Gonzalez, shared her drive to “get off the island” — escape the prospect of dead-end lives in luckless Galveston.

Melissa, an eighth-grade valedictorian, seethed over her mother’s boyfriends and drinking, and Bianca’s bubbly innocence hid the trauma of her father’s death. They stuck together so much that a tutor called them the “triplets.”

Affluent Students Have an Advantage and the Gap Is Widening

Angelica, a daughter of a struggling Mexican immigrant, was headed to Emory University. Bianca enrolled in community college, and Melissa left for Texas State University, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s alma mater.

“It felt like we were taking off, from one life to another,” Melissa said. “It felt like, ‘Here we go!’ ”

Four years later, their story seems less like a tribute to upward mobility than a study of obstacles in an age of soaring economic inequality.

Not one of them has a four-year degree.

Only one is still studying full time, and two have crushing debts. Angelica, who left Emory owing more than $60,000, is a clerk in a Galveston furniture store.

Each showed the ability to do college work, even excel at it.

But the need to earn money brought one set of strains, campus alienation brought others, and ties to boyfriends not in school added complications. With little guidance from family or school officials, college became a leap that they braved without a safety net.

The story of their lost footing is also the story of something larger — the growing role that education plays in preserving class divisions.

Poor students have long trailed affluent peers in school performance, but from grade-school tests to college completion, the gaps are growing.

With school success and earning prospects ever more entwined, the consequences carry far: education, a force meant to erode class barriers, appears to be fortifying them.

“Everyone wants to think of education as an equalizer — the place where upward mobility gets started,” said Greg J. Duncan, an economist at the University of California, Irvine. “But on virtually every measure we have, the gaps between high- and low-income kids are widening. It’s very disheartening.”

The growing role of class in academic success has taken experts by surprise since it follows decades of equal opportunity efforts and counters racial trends, where differences have narrowed.

It adds to fears over recent evidence suggesting that low-income Americans have lower chances of upward mobility than counterparts in Canada and Western Europe.

Thirty years ago, there was a 31 percentage point difference between the share of prosperous and poor Americans who earned bachelor’s degrees, according to Martha J. Bailey and Susan M. Dynarski of the University of Michigan. Now the gap is 45 points.

While both groups improved their odds of finishing college, the affluent improved much more, widening their sizable lead.

Likely reasons include soaring incomes at the top and changes in family structure, which have left fewer low-income students with the support of two-parent homes.

Neighborhoods have grown more segregated by class, leaving lower-income students increasingly concentrated in lower-quality schools.

And even after accounting for financial aid, the costs of attending a public university have risen 60% in the past two decades. Many low-income students, feeling the need to help out at home, are deterred by the thought of years of lost wages and piles of debt.

In placing their hopes in education, the Galveston teenagers followed a tradition as old as the country itself. But if only the prosperous become educated — and only the educated prosper — the schoolhouse risks becoming just another place where the fortunate preserve their edge.

“It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that a low-income student, no matter how intrinsically bright, moves up the socioeconomic ladder,” said Sean Reardon, a sociologist at Stanford. “What we’re talking about is a threat to the American dream.”

High School

No one pictured the teenagers as even friends, much less triplets. Angelica hid behind dark eyeliner, Melissa’s moods turned on the drama at home, and Bianca, in the class behind, seemed even younger than she was.

What they had in common was a college-prep program for low-income teenagers, Upward Bound, and trust in its counselor, Priscilla Gonzales Culver, whom everyone called “Miss G.”

Angelica was the product of a large Mexican-American family, which she sought both to honor and surpass. Her mother, Ana Gonzales, had crossed the border illegally as a child, gained citizenship and settled the clan in Galveston, where she ruled by force of will. She once grounded Angelica for a month for coming home a minute late. With hints of both respect and fear, Angelica never called her “Mom” — only “Mrs. Lady.”

Home was an apartment in a subdivided house, with relatives in the adjacent units. Family meals and family feuds went hand in hand. One of Angelica’s uncles bore scars from his days in a street gang. Her grandmother spoke little English.

With a quirky mix of distance and devotion, Angelica studied German instead of Spanish and gave the fiesta celebrating her 15th birthday a Goth theme, with fairies and dragons on the tabletop globes. “Korn chick,” she fancifully called herself, after the dissonant metal band.

But school was all business. “Academics was where I shined,” she said. Her grandmother and aunts worked at Walmart alongside Mrs. Lady, and Angelica was rankled equally by how little money they made and how little respect they got. Upward Bound asked her to rank the importance of college on a scale of 1 to 10.

“10,” she wrote.

Melissa also wanted to get off the island — and more immediately out of her house. “When I was about 7, my mom began dating and hanging around a bunch of drunks,” she wrote on the Upward Bound application. For her mother, addiction to painkillers and severe depression followed. Her grandparents offered her one refuge, and school offered another.

“I like to learn — I’m weird,” she said.

By eighth grade, Melissa was at the top of her class and sampling a course at a private high school. She yearned to apply there but swore the opposite to her mother and grandparents. Protecting families from their own ambition is a skill many poor students learn. “I knew we didn’t have the money,” Melissa said. “I felt like I had no right to ask.”

New to Upward Bound, Melissa noticed that one student always ate alone and crowded in beside her. “She forced her friendship on me,” Angelica said.

Bianca joined the following year with a cheerfulness that disguised any trace of family tragedy. As the eldest of four siblings, she had spent the years since her father’s death as a backup mother. To Bianca, family meant everything.

She arrived just in time for the trip at the heart of triplets lore — the Upward Bound visit to Chicago. While they had known they wanted more than Galveston offered, somewhere between the Sears Tower and Northwestern University they glimpsed what it might be. The trip at once consecrated a friendship and defined it around shared goals.

“We wanted to do something better with our lives,” Angelica said.

Ball High was hard on goals. In addition to Bosco, a drug-sniffing dog profiled in the local paper, the campus had four safety officers to deter fights. A pepper spray incident in the girls’ senior year sent 50 students to the school nurse. Only 2 percent of Texas high schools were ranked “academically unacceptable.” Ball was among them.

Melissa now marvels at what a good parent her mother has become to her younger brother after she stopped drinking and was treated for her depression. But when she returned from the high school trip to Chicago, the conflicts grew so intense that Miss G. took her in one night.

“I really put her through a lot,” said Melissa’s mother, Pam Craft. “Everything she did, she did on her own — I’m so proud of her.” Miss G.’s notes variously observed that “there are limited groceries,” “student is overwhelmed” and “she’s basically raising herself.”

While faulting her mother’s choices in men, Melissa made a troubling choice of her own with her less ambitious boyfriend. Among the many ways he let her down was getting another girl pregnant. Yet as many times as they broke up, they got back together again. “He is going to bring her down,” Miss G. warned.

Despite the turmoil, Melissa earned “commended” marks, the highest level, on half her state skills tests, edited the yearbook and published two opinion articles in the Galveston newspaper, one of them about her brother’s struggle with autism.

Working three jobs, she missed so much school that she nearly failed to graduate, but she still finished in the top quarter of her class. It was never clear which would prevail — her habit of courting disaster or her talent for narrow escapes.

Returning from Chicago, Bianca jumped a grade, which allowed her to graduate with Melissa and Angelica.

Angelica kept making A’s on her way to a four-year grade-point average of 3.9.

“Amazingly bright and dedicated,” one instructor wrote. A score of 1,240 on the math and reading portions of her SAT ranked her at the 84th percentile nationwide. When the German teacher suddenly quit, the school tapped her to finish teaching the first-year course.

Outside school, Angelica’s life revolved around her boyfriend, Fred Weaver, who was three years older and drove a yellow Sting Ray. Fred was devoted — too devoted, Mrs. Lady thought, and she warned Angelica not to let the relationship keep her from going to college. Fred’s father owned a local furniture store, and everyone could see that Fred’s dream was to run it with Angelica at his side.

Senior year raced by, with Miss G. doing her best to steer frightened and distracted students though the college selection process. Despite all the campus visits, choices were made without the intense supervision that many affluent students enjoy. Bianca, anchored to the island by family and an older boyfriend, chose community college. Melissa picked Texas State in San Marcos because “the application was easiest.”

Angelica had thought of little beyond Northwestern and was crestfallen when she was rejected. She had sent a last-minute application to a school in Atlanta that had e-mailed her. Only after getting in did she discover that she had achieved something special.

Emory cost nearly $50,000 that year, but it was one of a small tier of top schools that promised to meet the financial needs of any student good enough to be admitted. It had even started a program to relieve the neediest students of high debt burdens. “No one should have to give up their goals and dreams because financial challenges stand in the way,” its Web site says.

Plus an unseen campus a thousand miles away had an innate appeal. “How many times do you get the chance to completely reinvent yourself?” Angelica said.

Rich-Poor Gap Grows

If Melissa and Angelica felt that heading off to university set them apart from other low-income students, they were right. Fewer than 30% of students in the bottom quarter of incomes even enroll in a four-year school. And among that group, fewer than half graduate.

Income has always shaped academic success, but its importance is growing. Professor Reardon, the Stanford sociologist, examined a dozen reading and math tests dating back 25 years and found that the gap in scores of high- and low-income students has grown by 40%, even as the difference between blacks and whites has narrowed.

While race once predicted scores more than class, the opposite now holds. By eighth grade, white students surpass blacks by an average of three grade levels, while upper-income students are four grades ahead of low-income counterparts.

“The racial gaps are quite big, but the income gaps are bigger,” Professor Reardon said.

One explanation is simply that the rich have clearly gotten richer. A generation ago, families at the 90th percentile had five times the income of those at the 10th percentile. Now they have 10 times as much.

But as shop class gave way to computer labs, schools may have also changed in ways that make parental income and education more important. SAT coaches were once rare, even for families that could afford them. Now they are part of a vast college preparation industry.

Certainly as the payoff to education has grown — college graduates have greatly widened their earnings lead — affluent families have invested more in it. They have tripled the amount by which they outspend low-income families on enrichment activities like sports, music lessons and summer camps, according to Professor Duncan and Prof. Richard Murnane of Harvard.

In addition, upper-income parents, especially fathers, have increased their child-rearing time, while the presence of fathers in low-income homes has declined. Miss G. said there is a reason the triplets relied so heavily on boyfriends: “Their fathers weren’t there.”

Annette Lareau, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that the affluent also enjoy an advocacy edge: parents are quicker to intervene when their children need help, while low-income families often feel intimidated and defer to school officials, a problem that would trail Melissa and Angelica in their journey through college.

“Middle-class students get the sense the institution will respond to them,” Professor Lareau said. “Working-class and poor students don’t experience that. It makes them more vulnerable.”

Matthew M. Chingos of the Brookings Institution has found that low-income students finish college less often than affluent peers even when they outscore them on skills tests. Only 26% of eighth graders with below-average incomes but above-average scores go on to earn bachelor’s degrees, compared with 30 percent of students with subpar performances but more money.

“These are students who have already overcome significant obstacles to score above average on this test,” Mr. Chingos said. “To see how few earn college degrees is really disturbing.”

Triplets Start College

Melissa lasted at Texas State for all of two hours. As soon as she arrived, her car battery died, prompting a tearful call to Miss. G., who arranged a jump. Her dorm mates had parents to haul boxes and hover. Melissa unpacked alone. With four days left until classes began, she panicked and drove 200 miles back home.

For all the talk of getting away, her tattoo featured a local boast: she was “B.O.I.” — born on the island. Her grandparents ordered her back to school. “I really didn’t want to leave” the island, she said.

Midway through the semester she decided she had made a mistake by going to Texas State. She had picked the wrong time to leave home. She would move back to Galveston, join Bianca at community college and transfer to a four-year school later. But when she tried to return the financial aid to Texas State, she discovered it was too late. A long walk across the hilly campus led to an epiphany.

“I realized there was nothing in Galveston for me,” she said. “This is where I need to be.”

Angelica had a costlier setback. For an elite school, Emory enrolls an unusually large number of low-income students — 22% get Pell grants, compared with 11 percent at Harvard — and gives them unusually large aid packages. But Angelica had failed to complete all the financial aid forms.

Slow to consider Emory, she got a late start on the complex process and was delayed by questions about her father, whom she did not even know how to reach. Though Emory sent weekly e-mails — 17 of them, along with an invitation to a program for minority students — they went to a school account she had not learned to check. From the start, the wires were crossed.

As classes approached, she just got in the car with Mrs. Lady and Fred and drove 14 hours to Atlanta hoping to work things out. But by then Emory had distributed all of its aid. Even with federal loans and grants, Angelica was $40,000 short. The only way to enroll was to borrow from a bank.

Forty thousand dollars was an unfathomable sum. Angelica did not tell Mrs. Lady, to protect her from the worry. She needed a co-signer, and the only person she could ask was Fred. That would bind her future to her past, but she feared that if she tried to defer, she might not have a future — she might never make it back.

“I was like, ‘I don’t care what kind of debt it puts me in — I’ve got to get this done,”‘ she said.

Fred answered her request with his. They got engaged.

A few weeks later, Hurricane Ike hit Galveston, with Katrina-like consequences. About a sixth of the population never returned. Mrs. Lady lost her apartment and much of what she owned. Fred, consumed with rebuilding the store, reduced the modest sums he had promised to send Angelica.

Social life was awkward. She often felt she was the only one on campus without a credit card. Her roommate moved out, with no explanation. But one element of college appealed to Angelica and Melissa alike: the classes. Other debt-ridden students might wonder why the road to middle-class life passed through anthropology exams and lectures on art history.

But Melissa was happy to ponder tribal life in Papua New Guinea and Angelica stepped off the 18-hour bus ride home and let slip an appreciative word about German film.

“My family said ‘O.K., now you go to some big fancy school,’ ” she said.

With A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s, her report card looked like alphabet soup. “I was ready for Galveston College — I wasn’t ready for Emory,” Angelica said. But she salvaged a 2.6 GPA and went home for the summer happy.

“I thought the hard part was over,” she said.

At the end of the summer, Angelica and Melissa marked their ascent as college women with the perfect road trip. Melissa had decided to become a speech therapist. Angelica would practice child psychology. Somewhere between the rainbow in Louisiana and the blues bar in Orlando, they talked of launching a practice to help poor children. Fortune smiled all week.

“We were where we should be and we had the world at our feet,” Melissa said.

Melissa

She returned to a campus that was starting to feel like home. She had a roommate she liked and a job she loved, as a clerk in a Disney store. But despite the feeling of deep change — or perhaps because of it — she got back together with her high-school boyfriend. “That was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done,” she said.

In the middle of Melissa’s sophomore year they became engaged. He moved near the campus to live with her, and Melissa charged most of their expenses on her credit cards. He was enrolling in the Job Corps program, and they agreed they would pay down the bills together after he became an electrician.

Melissa hit an academic pothole — a C in a communications course, which kept her out of the competitive speech therapy program. But she decided to aim for graduate-school training, and her other grades soared, placing her on the dean’s list both semesters her junior year. When her mother made a rare campus visit, Melissa hurried to show her the prominent display on the student center wall.

“That was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Melissa said.

Just before her senior year, Melissa planned a trip to celebrate her 21st birthday. Preparing to leave, she discovered her money was missing. Only one person had her bank code. After finishing Job Corps, her boyfriend was jobless once again and acting odd — as if he were using drugs.

No one but Melissa was surprised. Although she returned the engagement ring, she could not return the $4,000 in credit card debt he had promised to help pay. With her finances and emotions in disarray, she started her senior year so depressed she hung up black curtains so she could sleep all day. She skipped class, doubled her work hours, and failed nearly every course.

“I started partying, and I was working all the time because I had this debt,” she said.

If the speed of her decline stands out, so does her lack of a safety net. It is easy to imagine a more affluent family stepping in with money or other support. Miss G. sent her the names of some campus therapists but Melissa did not call. She waited for an internal bungee cord to break the fall. She came within one F of losing her financial aid, then aced last summer’s classes.

She is now a fifth-year senior, on track to graduate next summer, and her new boyfriend is studying to be an engineer. At home, she had a way of finding the wrong people. “I haven’t found any wrong people out here,” she said.

With more than $44,000 in loans, she can expect to pay $250 a month for the next quarter century, on top of whatever she may borrow for graduate school. She hides the notices in a drawer and harbors no regrets. “Education — you can’t put a price on it,” she said. “No matter what happens in your life, they can’t take your education away.”

Bianca

Bianca missed the Florida road trip, though no one remembers why. She liked to talk of getting away, until it came time to go.

Among the perils that low-income students face is “under-matching,” choosing a close or familiar school instead of the best they can attend.

“The more selective the institution is, the more likely kids are to graduate,” said Mr. Chingos, the Brookings researcher. “There are higher expectations, more resources and more stigma to dropping out.”

Bianca was under-matched. She was living at home, dating her high-school boyfriend and taking classes at Galveston College. A semester on the honor roll only kept her from sensing the drift away from her plan to transfer to a four-year school.

Her grandfather’s cancer, and chemotherapy treatments, offered more reasons to stay. She had lived with him since her father had died. Leaving felt like betrayal. “I thought it was more important to be at home than to be selfish and be at school,” she said.

The idea that education can be “selfish” — a belief largely alien among the upper-middle class — is one poor students often confront, even if it remains unspoken. “Family is such a priority, especially when you’re a Hispanic female,” Miss G. said. “You’re afraid you’re going to hear, ‘You’re leaving us, you think you’re better.’ ”

In her second year of community college, Bianca was admitted to a state university a hundred miles away. Miss. G. and her mother urged her to go. Her mind raced with reasons to wait.

“I didn’t want to leave and have my grandfather die.”

“I had to help my mom.”

“I think I got burned out.”

Bianca stayed in Galveston, finished her associate degree, and now works as a beach-bar cashier and a spa receptionist. She still plans to get a bachelor’s degree, someday.

“I don’t think I was lazy. I think I was scared,” she said. In the meantime, “life happened.”

Angelica

After the financial aid disaster in her first year, Angelica met the next deadline and returned as a sophomore with significant support. Still, she sensed she was on shakier ground than other low-income students and never understood why. The answer is buried in the aid archives: Emory repeatedly inflated her family’s income without telling her.

Angelica reported that her mother made $35,000 a year and paid about half of that in rent. With her housing costs so high, Emory assumed the family had extra money and assigned Mrs. Lady an income of $51,000. But Mrs. Lady was not hiding money. She was paying inflated post-hurricane rent with the help of Federal disaster aid, a detail Angelica had inadvertently omitted.

By counting money the family did not have, Emory not only increased the amount it expected Angelica to pay in addition to her financial aid. It also disqualified her from most of the school’s touted program of debt relief.

Under the Emory Advantage plan the school replaces loans with grants for families making less than $50,000 a year. Moving Angelica just over the threshold placed her in a less-generous tier and forced her to borrow an additional $15,000 before she could qualify. The mistake will add years to her repayment plan.

She discovered what had happened only recently, after allowing a reporter to review her file with Emory officials. “There was no other income coming in,” she said. “I can’t believe that they would do that and not say anything to us. That seems completely unfair.”

Emory officials said they had to rely on the information Angelica provided and that they will not make retroactive adjustments.

“The method that was used in her case was very standard methodology,” said J. Lynn Zimmerman, the senior vice provost who oversees financial aid. “I think that what’s unusual is that she really didn’t advocate for herself or ask for any kind of review. If she or her mother would have provided any additional information it would have triggered a conversation.”

Unaware she had any basis for complaint, Angelica found a campus job she loved, repairing library books. It was solitary and artistic work, and it attracted a small sisterhood of women who appreciated her grandmother’s tamales and her streak of purple hair. One day her boss, Julie Newton, overheard her excitedly talking about Hegel.

“She was an extremely intelligent woman and an unusual one,” she said.

Yet even as Angelica’s work hours grew, so did the rigor of her coursework. Meetings with faculty advisers were optional and Angelica did not consult hers. When it came time to declare a major, she had a B-plus average in the humanities and D’s in psychology. She chose psychology.

By the end of her second year, she felt exhausted and had grades to show it. Her long-distance love life was exhausted, too, and she briefly broke up with Fred. She went home for the summer to work at Target and dragged herself back to a troubled junior year.

She moved off campus to save money but found herself spending even more. “I would sit and debate whether I could buy a head of lettuce,” she said. Fred was no longer helping, and her relationship with him snapped. That he had backed a $40,000 loan only made the split harder. They had been together since she was 15.

“It was days of back and forth, crying,” she said.

This was no time to tackle Psychology 200, a course on research methods required of majors. The devotion of the professor, Nancy Bliwise, had earned her a campus teaching award. But her exacting standards and brusque manner left student opinion divided.

“Quite possibly the greatest professor at Emory,” wrote one contributor to the Web site Rate My Professor. Others found her “condescending,” “horribly disrespectful,” and “plain out mean.”

Midway through the semester, Angelica just stopped coming to class. Professor Bliwise called her in and found her despondent. “She was emotionless and that scared me,” the professor said in an interview. Angelica said she had to work too much to keep up, but could not drop the course without losing her full-time status and her aid. So she planned to take an “F.”

Alarmed, Professor Bliwise raised other options, then asked — empathetic, the professor thought — if Angelica had considered cheaper schools. She herself had worked her way through Cleveland State then earned a doctorate at the University of Chicago.

Angelica sat stone-faced, burning. All she could hear was someone saying she was too poor for Emory. “It was pretty clear if I couldn’t afford to be there, I shouldn’t waste her time,” she said.

That was the beginning of the end. Angelica failed that course and three others her junior year, as her upside-down circumstances left her cheating a $200,000 education for a $9-an-hour job. She was not one to make it easy, but Emory never found a way to intervene. “Is there a way to reach out to her?” Professor Bliwise asked in an e-mail to the dean’s office.

The dean’s office left messages. Angelica acknowledged that she was slow to respond but said she got no answer when she did. The school did an electronic key card check to verify whether she was still on campus. More professors expressed concerns. “Personal issues are interfering with her ability to concentrate,” one warned. Angelica contacted campus counseling but said all the appointments had been taken.

Emory can hardly be cast as indifferent to low-income students. It spends $94 million a year of its own money on financial aid and graduates its poorest students nearly as often as the rest. Its failure to reach Angelica may have come up short, but that is partly a measure of the sheer distance it was trying to bridge.

When Angelica finally found a way to express herself, she did so silently. Her final piece for a sculpture class was a papier-mâché baby, sprouting needles like a porcupine. No one could mistake the statement of her own vulnerability.

“It was a shocking piece,” said her professor, Linda Armstrong. “She had a way of using art to tap into her deepest emotions and feelings. I don’t think she understood how good she was.”

Angelica spent the next summer waiting for an expulsion letter that never came. Another missed deadline cost her several thousand dollars in aid in her senior year, and Emory mistakenly concluded that Mrs. Lady had made a $70,000 down payment on a house. (In describing the complicated transaction with a nonprofit group, Angelica failed to note that most of the money came from a program for first-time home buyers.)

Emory officials said the mistake did not affect her aid, but the difference between the school’s costs and her package of loans and grants swelled to $12,000 — a sum she could not possibly meet.

She skipped more classes and worked longer hours.

“I felt, I’m going to be on academic probation anyway, I might as well work and pay my rent until they suspend me.”

Finally, Emory did — forcing her to take a semester away with the option of reapplying.

The tale could be cast as an elite school failing a needy student or a student unwilling to be helped, but neither explanation does justice to an issue as complicated as higher education and class.

“It’s a little of both,” said Joanne Brzinski, a dean who oversees academic advising. “We reached out to her, but she didn’t respond. I always fault myself when students don’t do as well as we’d like them to.”

“It’s such a sad story,” she added. “She had the ability.”

Ms. Newton, Angelica’s former supervisor at the library, wondered if her conflict went beyond money, to a fear of the very success she sought. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say she was committing self-sabotage, but the thought crossed my mind,” she said. “For someone so connected to family and Grandma and the tamales, I wondered if she feared that graduating would alienate her.”

A long bridge crosses the bay to Galveston Island. Angelica returned a year ago the way she had left, with Mrs. Lady and Fred at her side. She is $61,000 in debt, seeing Fred again, and making $8.50 an hour at his family’s furniture store. No one can tell whether she is settling down or gathering strength for another escape.

A dinner with Melissa and Bianca a while back offered the comfort of friends who demand no explanations. Melissa suggested they all enroll at Texas State. But Bianca does not know what to study, and Angelica said that she had gone too far to surrender all hopes of an Emory degree.

“I could have done some things better, and Emory could have done some things better,” she said. “But I don’t blame either one of us. Everyone knows life is unfair — being low-income puts you at a disadvantage. I just didn’t understand the extent of the obstacles I was going to have to overcome.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Boat flotilla Leader of Al Awda, ‘The Return’ is freed: Zohar Chamberlain Regev tells her story

Zohar Chamberlain Regev (Israel)
Freedom Flotilla Coalition
FFC Boat Leader of Al Awda, ‘The Return’

Zohar has now been released from unlawful detention in Israel.

Read an interview with her here, which describes the attack on ‘Al Awda’ and its participants and Press Freedom.

Please continue to demand release of all Political Prisoners and #DemandPressFreedom
#SOSjustfuture4Palestinehttps://www.facebook.com/hashtag/sosjustfuture4palestine?source=feed_text

Zohar Chamberlain Regev is an Israeli citizen (born and raised in Kibbutz Kfar Hahoresh, near Nazareth) who has lived in Spain for the last 14 years, and has participated in the coordination of Rumbo a Gaza, the Spanish component of the Freedom Flotilla, since 2012.

Zohar is the owner of the Women’s Boat to Gaza Zaytouna-Oliva, seized in 2016 and still the object of court proceedings in Israel.

Currently, she represents Rumbo a Gaza in “Right to a Just Future for Palestine” Steering Committee and is the Flotilla’s boat leader on board Al Awda.

“As a human being first of all, but also as an Israeli of Jewish origin, I am appalled by what is being done by Israel in Palestine in general and in Gaza in particular.

We have always been told ‘how could the world be silent during the Holocaust’, now we know how…

we have to stand by our Palestinian sisters and brothers in Gaza to save our own humanity.

As an amputee, I can only begin to imagine what it is like for people in Gaza who have lost their limbs in the brutal attacks and are still waiting to be fitted with prosthetic limbs, as one of the many consequences of the illegal Israeli blockade.”

Zohar can be interviewed in English, Hebrew or Spanish.

Here is some recent media that features Zohar: https://truthout.org/articles/freedom-flotilla-sails-again-to-gaza-in-support-of-the-palestinian-great-march-of-return/

Zohar, boat leader on AlAwda (The Return), with Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network :
Diary of Syrian Kidnapping: Richard Engel Reveals…

NBC News’s Richard Engel was dispatched to cover Syria’s civil war last December (2013?).

He and his crew were dragged from their car at gunpoint, blindfolded, gagged, and held captive by the shabbiha militia for 5 days.

Engel documented his captivity in April’s 2013 issue of Vanity Fair in a journal-like format, of which this is an excerpt. 

A group of about 15 armed men were fanning out around us. Three or four of them stood in the middle of the road blocking our vehicles. The others went for the doors. They wore black jackets, black boots, and black ski masks. They were professionals and used hand signals to communicate.

A balled fist meant stop. A pointed finger meant advance.

Each man carried an AK-47. Several of the gunmen began hitting the windows of our car and minivan with the stocks of their weapons. When they got the doors open, they leveled their guns at our chests.

Time was slowing down as if I’d been hit in the head. Time was slowing down as if I were drowning.

This can’t be happening. I know what this is. These are the shabbiha. They’re fucking kidnapping us.

“Get out!” a gunman was yelling as he dragged Aziz from the car.

Then I saw the container truck. It wasn’t far away, parked off the road and hidden among olive trees. The metal doors at its rear stood open, flanked by gunmen.

We’re going into that truck.

I got out of the car. Two of the gunmen were already marching Aziz to the truck. He had his hands up, his shoulders back, his head tilted forward to protect against blows from behind.

Maybe I should run right now. But the road is flat and open. The only cover is by the trees near the truck. But where?

I saw John standing by the minivan. Gunmen were taking Ian toward the truck. It was his turn. Like me, John hadn’t been touched yet.

Our eyes made contact. John shrugged and opened his hands in disbelief. Time was going very slowly now, but my mind was racing like a panicked heart in a body that can’t move.

“Get going!” a gunman yelled at me in Arabic, pointing his weapon at my chest.

I looked at him blankly, pretending not to understand.

Foreigners who speak Arabic in the Middle East are often assumed to be working for the C.I.A. or Israel’s intelligence agency the Mossad. The gunman took me by the finger, holding on to it by the very tip. I could have pulled it away with the smallest tug.

John was the next to join us in the back of the truck. He walked slowly, as if being escorted to a waiting limo. John is a New Yorker and was dressed entirely in black. He has long white hair and a devilish smile, and his nickname is the Silver Fox.

John and I had been in a lot of rough places—Libya, Iraq, Gaza. John, Ghazi, and Aziz were among my closest friends in the world.

At least I’ll die with my friends.

The rebel commander Abdelrazaq was confused. He thought this was a misunderstanding. He thought that this was a group of rebels who’d gone rogue and were acting like commandos.

“What are you doing?” he yelled to the gunmen as they loaded him into the truck. “We are Free Syrian Army! We are Free Syrian Army! I am a commander with the Free Syrian Army.”

We were traveling in rebel territory. Government forces weren’t supposed to be here.

“Oh, you’re Free Syrian Army?” one of the gunmen answered. “Here’s to your Free Syrian Army.” He kicked Abdelrazaq in the face, then smashed a rifle butt into his back.

The gunman seemed to be in charge of the others. We would learn that his name was Abu Jaafar. He spoke with a thick Alawite accent.

Alawites are a sect of Shiite Muslims, and for 4 decades Alawites and Shiites have ruled over the rest of Syria.

Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite. But Alawites and Shiites are only around 10 percent of the population. Almost all of the rest—and all of the rebels—are Sunni Muslims.

This is a sectarian war. So are most of the conflicts these days in the old Ottoman provinces of the Middle East. We’d become part of a long fight that wasn’t ours.

“Do you love Bashar?,” Abu Jaafar asked.

“Of course I love President Bashar,” Abdelrazaq replied.

“You don’t even deserve to utter his name, you animal,” Abu Jaafar said. Once again he kicked Abdelrazaq and beat him with his rifle butt.

“We are journalists from American television,” I said in En­glish.

One of the gunmen grabbed me by the hair and smashed my head against the metal wall of the container. “Who are you?” he asked in Arabic. I pretended not to understand.

“We are journalists. We work for American television,” I said again.

Everyone was in the truck by now. The metal floor smelled of diesel fuel and machine oil and was very cold and slippery. I kept sliding down as I sat with knees at my chest and my back to the container wall. I was watching Abu Jaafar beat the commander.

Several of the gunmen closed the doors to the container and stayed with us inside. They turned on flashlights. They were prepared.

Two of them lifted me to my feet and wrapped duct tape around my mouth, eyes, and wrists. They stripped off my belt and shoes. They did the same to the rest of the group. Now blind, I felt hands reaching into my pockets and taking my phone and my passport.

They’ve done this before.

I didn’t have much else on me. I had deliberately left my main mobile phone in Turkey.

I’d cleaned my laptop, too, removing files and contacts that could be incriminating to a suspicious mind. We had each pared down before coming in. Kidnapping is always a threat in this life of reporting on men hurting one another because of religion and politics.

An Israeli business card left in a wallet could be a death sentence. I knew that many of the shabiha gunmen would assume we were spies anyway—conspiracy theories are a weed in this part of the world.

An Egyptian newspaper once publicly identified me as the C.I.A. station chief in Cairo. It seemed so stupid at the time. I was only 24, a little young to be a station chief, and, of course, I was never with the C.I.A.

The truck started up and eased out of the grove. We could feel it traveling over bumpy roads.

I’ve reported on Shiite militias butchering Sunnis, and on Sunnis bombing Shiites in Iraq. I still felt like a reporter. I was still on a story. This was sectarian violence. This wasn’t happening to me but to them. I was angry with myself for thinking that.

Stay focused. You are here. You need to survive this. The first few hours are the most dangerous.

The truck came to a stop about 20 minutes later. Metal scraped against metal as the rear doors creaked open. Light and cold air rushed in.

“Where is the gunman?,” Abu Jaafar asked.

“That’s me, sir,” said the young man in the green fatigues. Abdelrazaq’s bodyguard could not have been more than 20.

Abu Jaafar’s men took the bodyguard out of the truck.

“Finish him,” Abu Jaafar said.

The gunmen had their AK-47s set on burst. They each fired four or five rapid shots, paused, then squeezed off another burst. The bodyguard didn’t scream or utter a word. He died too quickly for that. I heard his body hit the ground.

Abdelrazaq started to shout at Abu Jaafar.

“These people are journalists. They have nothing to do with this. I brought them here. I am responsible. Kill me. Let them go.”

Abu Jaafar said, “Get the gasoline.”

They drenched Abdelrazaq with liquid from a bottle.

“No, no!” Abdelrazaq begged.

“Burn him,” Abu Jaafar said.

They splashed Abdelrazaq with more liquid.

It was water.

They wanted to break us and terrorize us and make us docile. They were having fun doing it.

Abu Jaafar was laughing most of the time. In the coming days we would become familiar with his short, repetitive, girlish laugh: Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

The doors of the container were closed again. The gunmen left us alone in the back of the truck. We could hear guns being charged outside. AK-47 rounds were chambered and ready to fire.

Now they’ll spray the truck with gunfire and execute us all. 

We all lay down in the truck, hoping they’d shoot over us. My face was pressed against the floor. I tucked my hands under my cheek to get it off the cold, greasy metal. I drifted off to sleep. There’s peace in sleep. Aziz was lying on top of me. I could feel his heat. He was wearing cologne and it smelled good. In sleep I could escape.

Am I sleeping or am I awake? I’ll pretend to stay sleeping. Sleeping is invisible.

To read Engel’s full diary, click here to subscribe and receive the issue.

Film director Ang Lee

jeffjlin posted on

In 1993 I interviewed film director Ang Lee before the US premiere of his second movie, “The Wedding Banquet,” at the Seattle International Film Festival (at the time I was editor of the International Examiner and we were one of their media sponsors).

At the time, Lee was an unknown in the U.S., an anomaly as a Taiwan-born immigrant director in the United States, mostly notable for having been the NYU classmate of the more famous director Spike Lee.

Nearly two decades later, it’s Ang Lee who’s up at Sunday’s Academy Awards for Best Picture (his fourth nomination) and Best Director (his third), for “Life of Pi.”

And in terms of overall tally, “Life of Pi” (11 nominations) trails only Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” (12 nominations).

It’s hard not to root for Lee — an unassuming, down-to-earth guy that sends his kids to public schools, does the cooking and shuttles his sons to cello lessons when he comes home.

I have always had a personal affinity for him, partly because he was super-nice to my parents (they were seated next to him at the premiere of “The Wedding Banquet”); partly because he was gracious both times I interviewed him; partly because he’s from Taiwan (he has the same accent as my parents) and is kicking ass but not in semiconductors, manufacturing or medicine. Those are all factors.

But the thing that I perhaps relate to most (and the part that you hopefully find as inspiring) is the part of his story that’s between the lines, specifically these lines:

1984: Graduates NYU, signed by William Morris agency after winning the Wasserman prize with “Fine Line”
1990: Wins prize for two scripts in a contest sponsored by the Taiwanese government. Gets backing to direct his first feature, “Pushing Hands”

From age 30 to 36, he’s living in an apartment in White Plains, NY trying to get something — anything — going, while his wife Jane supports the family of four (they also had two young children) on her modest salary as a microbiologist.

He spends every day at home, working on scripts, raising the kids, doing the cooking. That’s a six-year span — six years! — filled with dashed hopes and disappointments. “There was nothing,” he told The New York Times. “I sent in

It wasn’t until 1991 that Lee finally got a chance to helm his first movie, “Pushing Hands,” which wasn’t even released in the U.S. But after “Pushing Hands” came “The Wedding Banquet,” the film that would be his U.S. breakout and net him a Best Foreign Picture nomination;

Two years later, “Sense and Sensibility” would bring him into worldwide prominence; then a string of hits: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Brokeback Mountain,” and now “Life of Pi” that have made him a common figure in the Oscar proceedings and the box-office charts ($576 million and 11 nominations for “Life of Pi” alone).

Of course, looking at the Ang Lee story now, who wouldn’t want to trade places: what’s six, seven, ten, even more years if you knew it would result in massive worldwide commercial and critical success?

It’s common to hear “follow your bliss” or “do what you love and success follows.” Sounds great, right?

Except here’s one small detail: You never get to know if it’s ever going to happen. You don’t get to choose if and in what form the success manifests; you don’t get to choose when it arrives.

It’s not as if you say, “Okay, universe, I’m ready for my turn! Any day now!”

For some people it happens immediately; for others they get steady bits of success over time; and for others, they have long, long stretches of nothing over years.

Another detail that I’ve always wondered about: during this long period at home, his NYU classmate Spike Lee releases three films, including the commercially successful and universally acclaimed “Do The Right Thing” in 1989. Having been in similar situations I can only imagine it stirred a very complex set of emotions.

If you’re an aspiring author, director, musician, startup founder, these long stretches of nothing are a huge reason why it’s important to pick something personally meaningful, something that you actually love to do.

When external rewards and validation are nonexistent; when you suffer through bouts where of jealousy, wondering “How come so-and-so got signed/is successful/got a deal/etc?”; when every new development seems like a kick in the stomach, the love of what you are doing gives you something to hang onto.

Much is made of genius and talent, but the foundation of any life where you get to realize your ambitions is simply being able to out-last everyone through the tough, crappy times — whether through sheer determination, a strong support network, or simply a lack of options.

On Sunday, as they announce “Life of Pi” as a contender in its 11 categories, make a note to remember it the next time you hit another rough patch — a series of rejections, a long stretch of nothing. Your achievements of tomorrow may be very well be planted with the seeds of today’s disappointments.

P.S. “Life of Pi” is an adaptation of Yann Martel’s 2001 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. It recently surpassed sales of 3.1 million volumes.

Of course, first it was rejected by five London publishing houses before being picked up by Knopf Canada.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

November 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Blog Stats

  • 1,206,656 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 625 other followers

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: