Adonis Diaries

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Trading Rights for Security? how_Boston_exposes_americas_dark_post_911_bargain
We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals
“In America after 9/11, we made a deal with the devil, or with Dick Cheney, which is much the same thing.
We agreed to give up most of our enumerated rights and civil liberties (except for the sacrosanct Second Amendment, of course) in exchange for a lot of hyper-patriotic tough talk, the promise of “security” and the freedom to go on sitting on our asses and consuming whatever the hell we wanted to.
Don’t look the other way and tell me that you signed a petition or voted for John Kerry or whatever.
The fact is that whatever dignified private opinions you and I may hold, we did not do enough to stop it, and our constitutional rights are now deemed to be partial or provisional rather than absolute, do not necessarily apply to everyone, and can be revoked by the government at any time.
The supposed tradeoff for that sacrifice was that we would be protected, at least for a while, from the political violence and terrorism and low-level warfare that …is nearly an everyday occurrence in many parts of the world. (Low-level wars? What weapons should be used for that categories of warfare?)
According to the Afghan government, for example, a NATO air attack on April 6 killed 17 civilians in Kunar province, 12 of them children.
We’ve heard almost nothing about that on this side of the world, partly because the United States military has not yet admitted that it even happened.
But it’s not entirely fair to suggest that Americans think one kid killed by a bomb in Boston is worth more than 12 kids killed in Afghanistan.
It’s more that we live in a profoundly asymmetrical world, and the dead child in Boston is surprising in a way any number of dead children in Afghanistan, horrifyingly enough, are not.”
 published in Salon this April 21, 2013:

To put it mildly, this has been a bad week for democracy and a worse one for public discourse.

In the minutes and hours after the bombs went off in Boston last Monday, marathon runners, first responders and many ordinary citizens responded to a chaotic situation with great courage and generosity, not knowing whether they might be putting their own lives at risk.

Since then, though, it’s mostly been a massive and disheartening national freakout, with pundits, politicians, major news outlets and the self-appointed sleuths of the Internet – in fact, nearly everyone besides those directly affected by the attack – heaping disgrace upon themselves.

We’ve seen the most famous TV network in the news business repeatedly botch basic facts, while one of the country’s largest-circulation newspapers misreported the number of people killed, launched a wave of hysteria over a “Saudi national” who turned out to have nothing to do with the crime, and then published a cover photo suggesting that two other guys (also innocent) might be the bombers.

We’ve seen the vaunted crowd-sourcing capability of Reddit degenerate into self-reinforcing mass delusion, in which a bunch of people whose law-enforcement expertise consisted of massive doses of “CSI” convinced themselves that a missing college student was one of the bombing suspects.

(He wasn’t – and with that young man’s fate still unknown, how does his family feel today?)

We’ve watched elected officials and political commentators struggle to twist every nubbin of news or rumor toward some perceived short-term tactical advantage.

It was as if the only real importance of this horrific but modestly scaled terrorist attack lay in how it could prove the essential rightness of one’s existing worldview, and — of course! — how it would play in the 2014 midterms.

On the right, people were sure the Boston bombings were part of a massive jihadi plot – no doubt one linked to al-Qaida and Iran and Saddam Hussein and all the other landmarks in the connect-the-dots paranoid worldview of Islamophobia.

(In fact, many people are still convinced of that.)

On the left we heard a lot of theories about Patriots’ Day and Waco and Oklahoma City, along with the argument that it would be better for global peace if the bombers turned out to be white Americans rather than foreign Muslims.

(I sympathize with the underlying point David Sirota was making there, by the way, but the way it was phrased was deliberately inflammatory.)

How long did it take conservative pundits and politicians, after the bombing suspects were identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, immigrant brothers of Chechen heritage born in Kyrgyzstan, to seize on that fact as a reason to walk back the supposed Republican change of heart on immigration reform? Was it even five minutes?

Never mind that the young men in question came here as war refugees in childhood, one was an American citizen and the other a legal resident, and we still have no idea what role their religion and national background may or may not have played in motivating the crime.

It’s hard to imagine what possible immigration laws could have categorically excluded them, short of a magic anti-Muslim force field.

And don’t even get me started on the irrelevant but unavoidable fact that the shameless, butt-licking lackeys of the Senate’s Republican caucus (with a few Democrats along for the ride) took advantage of the post-Boston confusion to do Wayne LaPierre’s bidding and kill a modest gun-reform bill supported by nearly the entire American public.

I might have assumed, in other circumstances, that the Family Research Council’s press release suggesting that the Boston bombings were caused by abortion, “sexual liberalism” and hostility to religion was actually an Onion article.

Or that right-wing pundit Pat Dollard’s now-famous tweet (“GEORGE BUSH KEPT US SAFE FOR 8 YEARS”) came from some Brooklyn hipster’s parody account.

But nothing, it seems, is too painful or stupid or wrong for this particular week. There are many reasons why this happened: A terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon is a big news story by any measure, and this news story happened in a disordered media climate that’s changing so fast no one can keep up with it.

Our political culture is so fundamentally broken and divided that people on all sides seized on the story as a weapon and a symbol long before we had any idea who was behind the crime.

(It would be almost too perfect if the loaded question of whether the Boston bombings were foreign or domestic terrorism turns out not to have a clear answer, as now seems possible: A little bit of both, but not quite either.)

But I think the real reason why this gruesome but small-scale attack sent the whole country into such an incoherent panic lies a little deeper than that.

As a New Yorker who lived through 9/11, by the way, I’m aware that the trauma felt by people in and around Boston, whether or not they were directly affected, is real and likely to last quite a while.

What I’m talking about is the media spectacle of fear and unreason delivered via TV, news sites and social media, the nationwide hysteria that made a vicious act apparently perpetrated by two losers with backpack bombs seem like an “existential threat” (to borrow a little bogus “Homeland”-speak) to the most powerful nation in the world.

Because it was, in a way.

We are supposed to be protected, and then something like Boston comes along, a small-minded and bloody attack that appears to have been conducted by a couple of guys flying under the radar of law enforcement or national intelligence, pursuing some obscure agenda we will probably never understand.

(We have recently learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family were interviewed by the FBI in 2011, apparently at the request of Russian intelligence, and agents found “no derogatory information.” Is that the right’s new Benghazi I smell?)

Not only does it conjure up all the leftover post-traumatic jitters from 9/11 – which for many of us will be there for the rest of our lives – it also makes clear that our Faustian bargain was completely bogus, and the devil never intended to hold up his end of the deal.

We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals, who promised us certainty and security in a world that offers none.

We should have known better, and in fact we did. At the literal birth moment of American democracy, Benjamin Franklin summed it up in a single sentence: “Those who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Palestinian Document of 1919: Palestine is the southern region of Greater Syria

Document sent to the Syrian Conference in Damascus

shared ‎د.عدنان عبود‎’s photo. (Adnan Abboud)
لكل من لا يعلم أن فلسطين الجزء الجنوبي من سوريا الكبرى: ++++++++++ هذا ما اقره اجدادنا وثيقة وقعها فلسطينيون في مدينة الرملة في فلسطين سنة 1919 واهم ما جاء فيها: ان مطلبنا نحن الموقعين ادناه بخصوص مستقبل بلادنا هي ما يأتي : اولا: ان تكون سوريا التي حدودها من جبال طوروس شمالا وتنتهي بالعريش ورفح جنوبا مستقلة استقلالا تاما ضمن الوحدة العربية . ثانيا : ان تكون فلسطين جزء لا ينفك عن سوريا مستقلة استقلالا داخليا تنتخب جميع حكامها وتستمد قوانينها الداخلية وفقا لرغبات حكامها الوطنيين وحاجات البلاد. ثالثا: نرفض هجرة اليهود الى بلادنا رفضا باتا ونحتج على الصهيونية بكل قوانا ، اما اليهود الأصليون المتوطنون في بلادا قبل الحرب نعتبرهم وطنيين لهم مالنا وعليهم ما علينا . رابعا:اذا الغيت المبادىء القاضية بتحرير الأمم والمصرحة بأن لكل امة الخيار في تقرير مصيرها وارغمت على اختيار ارشاد اي دولة فأنا نوكل ذلك لقرار المؤتمر السوري الذي يعقد في دمشق والمؤلف من مندوبي المقاطعات السورية ونكون اسوة ببقية سوريا ولا ننفصل عنها نهائي
لكل من لا يعلم أن فلسطين الجزء الجنوبي من سوريا الكبرى:
هذا ما اقره اجدادنا
وثيقة وقعها فلسطينيون في مدينة الرملة في فلسطين سنة 1919 واهم ما جاء فيها:
ان مطلبنا نحن الموقعين ادناه بخصوص مستقبل بلادنا هي ما يأتي :
اولا: ان تكون سوريا التي حدودها من جبال طوروس شمالا وتنتهي بالعريش ورفح جنوبا مستقلة استقلالا تاما ضمن الوحدة العربية .
ثانيا : ان تكون فلسطين جزء لا ينفك عن سوريا مستقلة استقلالا داخليا تنتخب جميع حكامها وتستمد قوانينها الداخلية وفقا لرغبات حكامها الوطنيين وحاجات البلاد.
ثالثا: نرفض هجرة اليهود الى بلادنا رفضا باتا ونحتج على الصهيونية بكل قوانا ، اما اليهود الأصليون المتوطنون في بلادا قبل الحرب نعتبرهم وطنيين لهم مالنا وعليهم ما علينا .
رابعا:اذا الغيت المبادىء القاضية بتحرير الأمم والمصرحة بأن لكل امة الخيار في تقرير مصيرها وارغمت على اختيار ارشاد اي دولة فأنا نوكل ذلك لقرار المؤتمر السوري الذي يعقد في دمشق والمؤلف من مندوبي المقاطعات السورية ونكون اسوة ببقية سوريا ولا ننفصل عنها نهائي

Case for engineering our food?

I am a plant geneticist.

I study genes that make plants resistant to disease and tolerant of stress. In recent years, millions of people around the world have come to believe that there’s something sinister about genetic modification.

Today, I am going to provide a different perspective.

0:35 First, let me introduce my husband, Raoul. He’s an organic farmer. On his farm, he plants a variety of different crops.

This is one of the many ecological farming practices he uses to keep his farm healthy. Imagine some of the reactions we get: “Really? An organic farmer and a plant geneticist? Can you agree on anything?”

we can, and it’s not difficult, because we have the same goal. We want to help nourish the growing population without further destroying the environment. I believe this is the greatest challenge of our time.

genetic modification is not new; virtually everything we eat has been genetically modified in some manner.

Let me give you a few examples. On the left is an image of the ancient ancestor of modern corn. You see a single roll of grain that’s covered in a hard case. Unless you have a hammer, teosinte isn’t good for making tortillas.

Now, take a look at the ancient ancestor of banana. You can see the large seeds. And unappetizing brussel sprouts, and eggplant, so beautiful.

to create these varieties, breeders have used many different genetic techniques over the years. Some of them are quite creative, like mixing two different species together using a process called grafting to create this variety that’s half tomato and half potato.

Breeders have also used other types of genetic techniques, such as random mutagenesis, which induces uncharacterized mutations into the plants.

The rice in the cereal that many of us fed our babies was developed using this approach.

today, breeders have even more options to choose from. Some of them are extraordinarily precise.

I want to give you a couple examples from my own work.

I work on rice, which is a staple food for more than half the world’s people. Each year, 40% of the potential harvest is lost to pest and disease.

For this reason, farmers plant rice varieties that carry genes for resistance. This approach has been used for nearly 100 years. Yet, when I started graduate school, no one knew what these genes were.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that scientists finally uncovered the genetic basis of resistance. In my laboratory, we isolated a gene for immunity to a very serious bacterial disease in Asia and Africa. We found we could engineer the gene into a conventional rice variety that’s normally susceptible, and you can see the two leaves on the bottom here are highly resistant to infection.

the same month that my laboratory published our discovery on the rice immunity gene, my friend and colleague Dave Mackill stopped by my office. He said, “70 million rice farmers are having trouble growing rice.”

That’s because their fields are flooded, and these rice farmers are living on less than two dollars a day.

Although rice grows well in standing water, most rice varieties will die if they’re submerged for more than three days.

Flooding is expected to be increasingly problematic as the climate changes. He told me that his graduate student Kenong Xu and himself were studying an ancient variety of rice that had an amazing property. It could withstand two weeks of complete submergence. He asked if I would be willing to help them isolate this gene. I said yes — I was very excited, because I knew if we were successful, we could potentially help millions of farmers grow rice even when their fields were flooded.

Kenong spent 10 years looking for this gene. Then one day, he said, “Come look at this experiment. You’ve got to see it.” I went to the greenhouse and I saw that the conventional variety that was flooded for 18 days had died, but the rice variety that we had genetically engineered with a new gene we had discovered, called Sub1, was alive.

Kenong and I were amazed and excited that a single gene could have this dramatic effect. But this is just a greenhouse experiment. Would this work in the field?

I’m going to show you a four-month time lapse video taken at the International Rice Research Institute. Breeders there developed a rice variety carrying the Sub1 gene using another genetic technique called precision breeding.

On the left, you can see the Sub1 variety, and on the right is the conventional variety. Both varieties do very well at first, but then the field is flooded for 17 days. You can see the Sub1 variety does great. In fact, it produces three and a half times more grain than the conventional variety.

I love this video because it shows the power of plant genetics to help farmers. Last year, with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, three and a half million farmers grew Sub1 rice.

many people don’t mind genetic modification when it comes to moving rice genes around, rice genes in rice plants, or even when it comes to mixing species together through grafting or random mutagenesis.

But when it comes to taking genes from viruses and bacteria and putting them into plants, a lot of people say, “Yuck.” Why would you do that? The reason is that sometimes it’s the cheapest, safest, and most effective technology for enhancing food security and advancing sustainable agriculture. I’m going to give you three examples.

First, take a look at papaya. It’s delicious, right? But now, look at this papaya. This papaya is infected with papaya ringspot virus.

In the 1950s, this virus nearly wiped out the entire production of papaya on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Many people thought that the Hawaiian papaya was doomed, but then, a local Hawaiian, a plant pathologist named Dennis Gonsalves, decided to try to fight this disease using genetic engineering. He took a snippet of viral DNA and he inserted it into the papaya genome.

This is kind of like a human getting a vaccination. Now, take a look at his field trial. You can see the genetically engineered papaya in the center. It’s immune to infection. The conventional papaya around the outside is severely infected with the virus.

Dennis’ pioneering work is credited with rescuing the papaya industry. Today, 20 years later, there’s still no other method to control this disease. There’s no organic method. There’s no conventional method. 80% of Hawaiian papaya is genetically engineered.

some of you may still feel a little queasy about viral genes in your food, but consider this: The genetically engineered papaya carries just a trace amount of the virus. If you bite into an organic or conventional papaya that is infected with the virus, you will be chewing on tenfold more viral protein.

take a look at this pest feasting on an eggplant. The brown you see is frass, what comes out the back end of the insect. To control this serious pest, which can devastate the entire eggplant crop in Bangladesh, Bangladeshi farmers spray insecticides two to three times a week, sometimes twice a day, when pest pressure is high.

But we know that some insecticides are very harmful to human health, especially when farmers and their families cannot afford proper protection, like these children.

In less developed countries, it’s estimated that 300,000 people die every year because of insecticide misuse and exposure.

Cornell and Bangladeshi scientists decided to fight this disease using a genetic technique that builds on an organic farming approach. Organic farmers like my husband Raoul spray an insecticide called B.T., which is based on a bacteria.

This pesticide is very specific to caterpillar pests, and in fact, it’s nontoxic to humans, fish and birds. It’s less toxic than table salt. But this approach does not work well in Bangladesh. That’s because these insecticide sprays are difficult to find, they’re expensive, and they don’t prevent the insect from getting inside the plants.

In the genetic approach, scientists cut the gene out of the bacteria and insert it directly into the eggplant genome. Will this work to reduce insecticide sprays in Bangladesh? Definitely.

Last season, farmers reported they were able to reduce their insecticide use by a huge amount, almost down to zero. They’re able to harvest and replant for the next season.

I’ve given you a couple examples of how genetic engineering can be used to fight pests and disease and to reduce the amount of insecticides. My final example is an example where genetic engineering can be used to reduce malnutrition.

In less developed countries, 500,000 children go blind every year because of lack of Vitamin A. More than half will die. For this reason, scientists supported by the Rockefeller Foundation genetically engineered a golden rice to produce beta-carotene, which is the precursor of Vitamin A.

This is the same pigment that we find in carrots. Researchers estimate that just one cup of golden rice per day will save the lives of thousands of children.

But golden rice is virulently opposed by activists who are against genetic modification. Just last year, activists invaded and destroyed a field trial in the Philippines.

When I heard about the destruction, I wondered if they knew that they were destroying much more than a scientific research project, that they were destroying medicines that children desperately needed to save their sight and their lives.

Some of my friends and family still worry: How do you know genes in the food are safe to eat? I explained the genetic engineering, the process of moving genes between species, has been used for more than 40 years in wines, in medicine, in plants, in cheeses.

In all that time, there hasn’t been a single case of harm to human health or the environment. But I say, look, I’m not asking you to believe me. Science is not a belief system. (how people can easily discriminate science from pseudo science?)

My opinion doesn’t matter. Let’s look at the evidence.

After 20 years of careful study and rigorous peer review by thousands of independent scientists, every major scientific organization in the world has concluded that the crops currently on the market are safe to eat and that the process of genetic engineering is no more risky than older methods of genetic modification.

These are precisely the same organizations that most of us trust when it comes to other important scientific issues such as global climate change or the safety of vaccines.

Raoul and I believe that, instead of worrying about the genes in our food, we must focus on how we can help children grow up healthy.

We must ask if farmers in rural communities can thrive, and if everyone can afford the food.

We must try to minimize environmental degradation. What scares me most about the loud arguments and misinformation about plant genetics is that the poorest people who most need the technology may be denied access because of the vague fears and prejudices of those who have enough to eat.

We have a huge challenge in front of us. Let’s celebrate scientific innovation and use it. It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to help alleviate human suffering and safeguard the environment.  

14:19 Chris Anderson: Powerfully argued. The people who argue against GMOs, as I understand it, the core piece comes from two things.

One, complexity and unintended consequence. Nature is this incredibly complex machine. If we put out these brand new genes that we’ve created, that haven’t been challenged by years of evolution, and they started mixing up with the rest of what’s going on, couldn’t that trigger some kind of cataclysm or problem, especially when you add in the commercial incentive that some companies have to put them out there?

The fear is that those incentives mean that the decision is not made on purely scientific grounds, and even if it was, that there would be unintended consequences.

How do we know that there isn’t a big risk of some unintended consequence? Often our tinkerings with nature do lead to big, unintended consequences and chain reactions.

Pamela Ronald: Okay, so on the commercial aspects, one thing that’s really important to understand is that, in the developed world, farmers in the United States, almost all farmers, whether they’re organic or conventional, they buy seed produced by seed companies.

So there’s definitely a commercial interest to sell a lot of seed, but hopefully they’re selling seed that the farmers want to buy.

It’s different in the less developed world. Farmers there cannot afford the seed. These seeds are not being sold. These seeds are being distributed freely through traditional kinds of certification groups, so it is very important in less developed countries that the seed be freely available.

CA: Wouldn’t some activists say that this is actually part of the conspiracy? This is the heroin strategy. You seed the stuff, and people have no choice but to be hooked on these seeds forever?

PR: There are a lot of conspiracy theories for sure, but it doesn’t work that way. For example, the seed that’s being distributed, the flood-tolerant rice, this is distributed freely through Indian and Bangladeshi seed certification agencies, so there’s no commercial interest at all.

The golden rice was developed through support of the Rockefeller Foundation. Again, it’s being freely distributed. There are no commercial profits in this situation.

And now to address your other question about, well, mixing genes, aren’t there some unintended consequences? Absolutely — every time we do something different, there’s an unintended consequence, but one of the points I was trying to make is that we’ve been doing kind of crazy things to our plants, mutagenesis using radiation or chemical mutagenesis.

This induces thousands of uncharacterized mutations, and this is even a higher risk of unintended consequence than many of the modern methods.

And so it’s really important not to use the term GMO because it’s scientifically meaningless. I feel it’s very important to talk about a specific crop and a specific product, and think about the needs of the consumer.

CA: So part of what’s happening here is that there’s a mental model in a lot of people that nature is nature, and it’s pure and pristine, and to tinker with it is Frankensteinian.

It’s making something that’s pure dangerous in some way, and I think you’re saying that that whole model just misunderstands how nature is. Nature is a much more chaotic interplay of genetic changes that have been happening all the time anyway.

PR: That’s absolutely true, and there’s no such thing as pure food. I mean, you could not spray eggplant with insecticides or not genetically engineer it, but then you’d be stuck eating frass. So there’s no purity there.

Note: In Africa Burkina Fasso, Monsanto is monopolizing vast lands for genetically modified crops and Not distributing  any of its seed to local farmers

Patsy Z  shared this link

One of my favorite TED talks this year: Pamela Ronald makes a strong case for engineering food:

Pamela Ronald studies the genes that make plants more resistant to disease and stress.
In an eye-opening talk, she describes her decade-long quest…|By Pamela Ronald

The Revolutionary Practice of Endurance

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[Sunset in the Black Cloud, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)] 
[Sunset in the Black Cloud, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

Cairo, Winter 2015

The feelings of claustrophobia, exhaustion, and asphyxia are familiar to all of those who inhabit Cairo’s kinetic and crowded urban core.

Everyone living between Tahrir and the plateaus of Muqattam breathes the same polluted air that chokes much of the city, saturated with particulates from leaded car exhaust, factory emissions, scorched crop leftovers, and burning garbage dumps.

It is within these atmospheric conditions that people are born and live their lives, always-already arriving in the middle of and inheriting complex and overlapping global pasts with each breath.

Following Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s rise to power during the summer of 2013 in a highly dramatic military coup, a dark affect has also come to saturate the air of the Nile valley.

Many of the democratic and material gains of the Egyptian revolution seem to have dissolved with the return of military rule, and new emergency anti-protest laws have sent hundreds of revolutionaries to prison for years simply for attending demonstrations.

It is tempting at times to feel that everything that had become possible in Egypt during the eighteen revolutionary days of 2011 has now been completely curtailed by the security state, leaving little room to breathe anything other than the stale exhaust of smoldering dreams.

Blogger Sarah Carr has poignantly described these years as “that time we jumped off a cliff reaching for the moon” while asking

“whether it was worth it, whether those lives shattered and destroyed have laid the groundwork for something or are just gone.”


[Sunset in the Black Cloud, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

And yet those living within the black cloud of Cairo overflow with collective forms of activity that seemingly shake off many of the harsh realities of the city, thoroughly entangled with one another in thousands of tiny gestures of solidarity that largely escape notice.

In downtown’s outdoor cafes where groups gather in the mornings and evenings to drink coffee and tea or smoke shisha, reading the daily newspapers or watching football matches, people relax together and sustain informal spaces of sociality.

In the vast networks of baking and delivering inexpensive bread, recycling every form of trash, and building cheap brick housing complexes in Cairo’s ashwa’iyyat, the city’s poor find a way of sheltering and sustaining one another’s lives, however precarious. And occasionally, in the streets surrounding Tahrir Square, in the chaotic accumulation of demonstrations, occupations, and riots of the past years, people have found ways of building fragile yet tangible imaginations and futures with one another.

Each of these tiny acts are part of much more prolonged and expansive forms of solidarity and care that people lend each other over spans of years or even entire lives, an aggregate that not only preserves life but also preserves the conditions that make life possible.

These gestures of solidarity are framed by the histories that they arise from, as well as by the futures they call into being.

Each act is figured by, as well as prefigurative of, complex economic relations, urban transformations, social controls, and transnational as well as local migrations and settlements, all unfolding in the context of Egyptian neoliberalism.

As Salwa Ismail notes in her book Political Life in Cairo’s New Quarters: “Part and parcel of the political economy transformations is a remapping of the city whereby new lines of division and fragmentation of the urban fabric have emerged.”

Therefore “we should direct our attention to the actual living conditions in the quarters, to the efforts undertaken by the residents to change these conditions and fashion modes of living in the face of grinding political and economic constraints.”

It is here, in the manifold practices that “fashion modes of living”, that we can glimpse how heterogeneous and unresolved economic, social, and political pasts are enmeshed with the plural futures of the city’s diverse inhabitants, each vibrantly modulating the conditions oh possibility and impossibility for various forms of life.

I now think that many of us have too often thought of revolution only as a kind of rupture, an intense and radical departure away from the old and towards the new.

Even the given name of the “Arab Spring” has framed the revolt in Egypt as a passing season, already historically contained. From this perspective every revolution is an already-failed revolution, always stopping short of completely undoing past injustice.

Instead, I wonder what it would mean to think of revolution in terms of its continuity rather than its potential to break away, pushing our attention towards the importance of duration and patience with the same gravity that has otherwise been given to dramatic street battles and demonstrations.

How can we come to think of revolt as an exercise of perseverance and stamina, a collective technique of producing futures through durational practices in the present? What could we say constitutes the revolutionary practice of endurance?

Endurance of Different Kinds

Ever since the military formally returned to power in July 2013, Egyptian police, soldiers, and state-organized thugs have attacked demonstrations incessantly.

Those who are lucky have managed to slip away from these attacks with only the sharp burning of tear gas in their lungs, either escaping into an open restaurant, quickly catching one of Cairo’s many taxis, or disappearing into the bustle of a nearby metro station, all while evading the plethora of plainclothes police that roam the area before, during, and after demonstrations.

Others are beaten in the streets or in the back of police trucks, detained and sentenced to years in jail, tortured at police stations, or killed. The protests that have repeatedly filled the streets in this context have done so under threat of extinction, as the military regime has not only consistently dispersed protests when they appear but has also attempted to strangle the very conditions and relations from within which resistance is possible.

One of the means the military regime has used to forcefully establish its power in Egypt is the assault on communities that have practiced informal forms of refuge and care.

The state’s systematic attacks on homosexuals, political dissidents, students, artists, and women are each meant to suffocate instances of being-together that have the potential to reorganize the forms and practices of endurance that do not rely upon the state.

In place of these precarious refuges, the regime has implemented spaces of security that are solely meant to be defended by the military against a diversity of persistent existential threats, either described as “terrorism,” “foreign influence,” or “indecency.”

This has led to policies such as the de facto ban of nongovernmental organizations that receive any kind of funding from outside the country, the proliferation of security checkpoints in universities and on roads, as well as the destruction of entire neighborhoods in the Gaza border region. The military regime organizes to ensure that the possibility of everyone’s survival wholly relies upon a military-imposed security, and in turn extinguishes the conditions of possibility for varied forms of survival and endurance that differentially manifest.

[Youth Burning Garbage, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

This “differential endurance,” the survival and duration of a different kind of life in Egypt, is something that has persisted despite the deep intensities of state repression.

Organizing to produce different environments and relationships within which to endure has manifested as a form of resistance against a military that means to totalize its control over the practice of survival itself.

Endurance is revolutionary in this context not only in the ways that individuals come to survive the violence of the state, but importantly in the encounters, exchanges and proximities that necessarily arise from the practices of endurance that produce new conditions of possibility for living, surviving, and revolting.

This configuration of endurance-as-resistance both precedes the power of the state and exceeds the state’s organization, moving us to consider not only the way new practices of living become possible within the fleeting revolutionary periods of turbulent riots and street battles, but also within the prolonged revolutionary forms of survival that erode the logic of security.

Asef Bayat has described these practices of endurance as “the quiet encroachment of the ordinary”, illustrating how vast informal economies and decentralized forms of autonomous organization among the poor manifest as potent political and historical forces in relation to more widely recognized forms of power.

What this description does not emphasize, however, is the way in which all of politics hinge on various forms of duration; just as the informal communities in Cairo’s slums struggle to endure, so too does the state engage in “quiet” and “ordinary” practices that produce its duration.

The important distinction is in locating how these encroachments aggregate and disaggregate sets of relations that allow for or disallow assorted practices, differentially supporting the duration of some bodies, things, and environments over others.

The repeated military closure of Tahrir Square has perhaps been the most obvious manifestation of the military regime’s attempt to impose totalizing spaces of security in Egypt in the interest of its own survival. In the past weeks, any sign of possible unrest has led to widespread military mobilizations that have included the complete closure of Tahrir on all sides, attempting to dissolve any potential for a revival of the intensity of the eighteen days of revolt in 2011.

The closures of Tahrir take place in a downtown that has also been shaped by a pervasive military presence, with armored personnel carriers regularly stationed around government buildings, accompanied by young conscripts with automatic rifles that are often too big for their small frames.

These military strategies have, over time and through their repetition, taken on their own “ordinariness” and have set into motion the duration of a militarized Cairo.

[The Ashwa’iyyat (the “randoms”), Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

Following the Muslim Brotherhood’s weeks-long occupation of Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in defiance of al-Sisi’s coup, and its end in a massacre of more than one thousand protesters in August of 2013, many groups have refused to share the streets of Cairo together in any meaningful way. Mutual perceptions of betrayals and failures persist, despite a shared opposition to the military’s seizure of state power.

However, recent protests against Hosni Mubarak’s acquittal on charges related to the killing of protesters have been composed of more diverse aggregates of groups that have gone against these sectarian trends. In the largest of the demonstrations against Mubarak’s acquittal, the chants from the revolution found new voice in the crowds, and a mixture of students, ultras, revolutionaries, journalists, and Islamists appeared together in the streets for the first time in many months.

The appearance and accumulation of crowds such as these is felt as a threat to the military order. It suggests the possibility that strangers might find one another across fields of political and social difference, united by a shared precarity and vulnerability to violence.

The Transversality of Alliance

The act of appearing in alliance together in the streets threatens to make porous the boundaries that both separate and tie together, reorganizing the limits of the social and potentially engendering new practices and relations of survival and endurance.

As much as the political divides in Egypt seem to foreclose the potential for new coalitions and alliances, what must be stressed is that one’s positionality is never entirely resolved nor fixed, but rather is incessantly reproduced in the encounters that occur when people appear together and to one another in shared spaces.

As Judith Butler has argued: “The body is constituted through perspectives it cannot inhabit; someone else sees our face in a way that none of us can. We are in this way, even as located, always elsewhere, constituted in a sociality that exceeds us.”

To congregate in this way is to be with, think with, act with, appear with, and endure with people that are ineradicably different from one another, and to engage in collective forms of transformation and endurance that cannot be fully anticipated in advance.

When people protest together, as they have against Mubarak’s acquittal, or when they mourn together, as they recently have on the third anniversary of the Maspero massacre, they enter into situations that have unpredictable outcomes by virtue of the diverse individuals involved, introducing noise into an otherwise calm present and creating turbulence where unpredicted futures filled with novel relations can take hold; this noise is what makes resistance possible.

The scattered and transversal movements that occur in the noisy aggregation and disaggregation of alliances produce plural futures that dislocate otherwise regulated social and political arrangements.

A necessary component of any revolutionary project is a radical re-evaluation not only of the order and hierarchy of individual parts of a society, but also of what fundamental ethical responsibilities exist or could exist between those parts.

To understand endurance as a practice of resistance is to grasp how survival is always framed by an uncompromising fragility, vulnerability, and interdependency that shapes all of life in disproportionate ways.

These fragilities, vulnerabilities and interdependencies become the foundation for ethical and political projects only when it is acknowledged that people come to survive differently, and that established formations of power differentially privilege the survival of some over others.

The diversity of revolts and occupations that have taken place in Egypt since 2011 manifest as the resistance of the endurant precisely when they are translated and persist beyond the moments of intensity themselves into more prolonged, nuanced, and complex forms of caring relation that threaten to reorganize these formations of power.

[Summer’s Shade, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

The practice of endurance is revolutionary in this sense not only in the care for oneself or for those who are already proximate under the duress of state violence, but also in the production and preservation of conditions within which new forms of proximity and care can take shape, and within which the survival of lives of variously distant and different others can be sustained more generally.

Along these lines, the protests that have taken place across Egypt since the revolution are situated in much more diffuse currents of collective activities, everyday practices, and infinitely subtle forms of support.

These act against the contingency not only of the participants but of the larger contexts within which all of life is lived. In the process of appearing and circulating together, a transversal play between proximity and distance takes place that provides new opportunities for alliance and care that do not conform to the present formations of power.

After several hours, only a few hundred meters away from a blocked-off Tahrir Square, the diverse groups that had congregated in Abdel Moneim Riad Square in response to Mubarak’s acquittal were rapidly attacked and dispersed by the military and police.

People fled onto various side streets in the hopes of escaping arrest; only some of them were successful. Police vehicles chased running protesters around downtown for hours, ambushes were set up and people were dragged out of cars with guns pointed at their heads.

Plainclothes police hunted for those trying to escape unnoticed, desperately concealing any appearance of injury or trauma that they had just experienced that would link them to the gathering. In the end, two protesters were killed, nine were injured, and eighty-four were arrested.

While not forgetting the violent reality of the state’s repression, it is also important to insist here that even though the military was able to disperse the gathering, the relations that drew people together and that people carried away with them are not so easily suffocated. These relations suggest a continuity of the revolution that will continue to transform Egypt in the various forms they adopt, producing new conditions and situations that the military cannot wholly smother.

One of the most striking and visible changes following Mohamed Morsi’s ouster and al-Sisi’s ascent was a repainting of many of downtown Cairo’s facades, as well as the planting of a manicured lawn and installation of a military memorial in Tahrir Square.

Large sections of Mohamed Mahmoud Street, the site of some of the largest clashes between police and demonstrators in 2011, and famous for its elaborate murals memorializing the revolution’s martyrs, have been repeatedly painted over as well.

In the end, such cosmetic projects do little to bury pasts that are not yet passed, but still thickly infuse the air of the city; activist artists have consistently covered Mohamed Mahmoud Street with new murals every time it has been painted over, and the military has just recently removed its own memorial from Tahrir in anticipation of the protests that will accompany the fourth anniversary of the revolution.

After the street battles, in the brief pauses between the gasps of air from those who have just escaped the police’s clubs, tear gas, and bullets, dynamic forms of care allow for new durations to emerge that remake the world itself.

These diverse forms of endurance are ultimately incongruent with the military’s secure present and suggest the potential for differential practices of living to emerge. The revolution persists on the streets of Egypt in the lives of the endurant who, with each breath, carry the unfinished relations of the revolution forward.


On 24 January, the eve of the fourth anniversary of the revolution, the socialist activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was shot and killed by police in downtown Cairo. She was part of a small demonstration that was headed to Tahrir Square to lay a wreath of flowers in honor of the martyrs of the revolution when security forces fired the birdshot that took her life.

This short reflection was meant to help us think about the endurant, but I hope that it also speaks more broadly to the struggle to cultivate the fragile and shared conditions within which we all are born and will eventually die.

Those that have collapsed in the fight for not only the possibility of survival, but also for qualitatively better lives, do not so simply disintegrate and vanish when their breath stops. Rather, their actions and gestures will continue reverberate through the futures that they helped call into being.

This text is dedicated to her life, and to all of the ways her life will continue to find expression in futures and lives that are still in the process of becoming.

Universal campaign for the return of Palestine: Original names of Palestinian towns and villages
Here are a few original Palestinian names of villages that Israel changed into Hebrew names:
Ebl Kame7, zouk fukani, khassass, mansheyeh, katieh, na3oumat, 3absieh, salhieh, khalisah, madahel, nabi yawsha3, jahula, khiam walid, derbasieh, bowayzieh, beysoun, 3alma, 3arab zubeid, mansoura, nabi robin, kfarbar3am, khorbet 3arbeen, tabtaba, marouss, ra2s ahmar, rihanieh, fasoutat, deir kassi, beit jen, bok3at, jet barka, joulss, hossaynieh, yakouk, safed, tabaraya, kerbet naser deen, ghoweirat, abu shoushat, 3ayrboun, ma3ar, karassat, ain assad…
Do add names of Palestinian villages to complete the campaign in order to regain Palestine.
الرجاء من الجميع مشاركة هذه الصورة. هذه خريطة فلسطين التاريخية , مع اسماء القرى والمدن العربية وليس العبرية. شاركوا هذه الخريطة على اوسع نطاق. كل واحد لما يشاركها يكتب اسم كم مدينة وقرية من القرى الموجودة.<br /><br /> هذه اسمها فلسطين وليس اسرائيل. فلسطين لنا وانا اليها راجعون.</p><br /> <p>ابل القمح , الزوق الفوقاني,الخصاص, المنشية , قيطية, الناعومة, العابسية, الصالحية, الخالصة, المداحل, النبي يوشع, جاحولا, خيام الوليد, العريفية, الدرباشية, الملاحة, البويزية, بيسمون, علما, فارة, عرب الزبيد, المنصورة, النبي روبين, كفر برعم, خربة عربين, طيطبا, ماروس, الراس الاحمر, الريحانة, فسوطة, دير القاسي, بيت جن, البقيعة, جت بركا, جولس, الحسينية, ياقوق, صفد, طبريا, خربة ناصر الدين, غويرة ابو شوشة, عيربون, الشعب, معار, القراصة, عين الاسد
الرجاء من الجميع مشاركة هذه الصورة. هذه خريطة فلسطين التاريخية , مع اسماء القرى والمدن العربية وليس العبرية. شاركوا هذه الخريطة على اوسع نطاق. كل واحد لما يشاركها يكتب اسم كم مدينة وقرية من القرى الموجودة. هذه اسمها فلسطين وليس اسرائيل. فلسطين لنا وانا اليها راجعون. ابل القمح , الزوق الفوقاني,الخصاص, المنشية , قيطية, الناعومة, العابسية, الصالحية, الخالصة, المداحل, النبي يوشع, جاحولا, خيام الوليد, العريفية, الدرباشية, الملاحة, البويزية, بيسمون, علما, فارة, عرب الزبيد, المنصورة, النبي روبين, كفر برعم, خربة عربين, طيطبا, ماروس, الراس الاحمر, الريحانة, فسوطة, دير القاسي, بيت جن, البقيعة, جت بركا, جولس, الحسينية, ياقوق, صفد, طبريا, خربة ناصر الدين, غويرة ابو شوشة, عيربون, الشعب, معار, القراصة, عين الاسد

McGraw-Hill destroys textbook to placate pro-Israel bloggers

An image published by Elder of Ziyon from the textbook Global Politics, as part of the anti-Palestinian blogger’s successful campaign to pressure McGraw Hill over maps depicting land loss in Palestine.

The publisher McGraw-Hill Education is destroying all copies of a political science textbook after receiving complaints from hardline supporters of Israel that it features a series of “anti-Israel” maps.The college textbook, titled Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World, was published in 2012. But it wasn’t until early this month that the maps generated criticism from a pro-Israel blogger known as Elder of Ziyon.

Within a week of the initial outcry, McGraw-Hill began destroying all copies of the book, scrubbed the book from its website, promised to reimburse anyone who bought the book and apologized to the offended right-wing bigots behind the manufactured controversy.

According to the publisher’s summary, the book fosters “critical thinking and theory” about global events and “offers students a number of lenses through which to view the world around them.”

The maps, which appear in chronological succession on page 123, show Palestinian land loss from 1946, one year before Zionist militias initiated the displacement of more than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from historic Palestine, to the year 2000, by which point Palestinian land had been reduced to a handful of tiny non-contiguous enclaves in the occupied West Bank and a sliver of Gaza.

The caption reads, “A mix of diplomatic and military actions and expanded Jewish settlements since the founding of modern Israel has led to a gradual decline in Palestinian-held territory – which explains why the territory remains one of the central sticking points in the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The image is sourced to the Middle East Political Research Center.

Fear of maps

Such maps present an enormous threat to Zionist ideologues because they have the ability to cut through Israeli propaganda that portrays Palestinian anger and violence as rooted in religious intolerance and irrational hatred rather than a natural reaction to Israel’s colonial expansionism, land theft and ethnic cleansing, all of which continue today.

That is why any time an iteration of these maps breaks into the mainstream, Israel’s advocates rush to censor it.

Just last year, when MSNBC aired a similar series of maps to demonstrate the dramatic theft of Palestinian land since Israel’s foundation, pro-Israel groups pressured the cable news outlet to retract the segment.

MSNBC eventually capitulated, calling the maps “not factually accurate.”

The first criticisms of the textbook came from the virulently anti-Palestinian and pro-settlement blogger Elder of Ziyon.

Elder of Ziyon’s blog post on the textbook, published on 1 March, urged supporters of Israel to flood McGraw-Hill with emails against the maps, denying, against all available evidence, that Palestinians were ever forcibly expelled from their homes in pre-planned acts of dispossession.

Within hours, the post was republished by The Tower, a self-styled Israel and Middle East-focused magazine and website run by The Israel Project.

TIP is a right-wing pro-Israel lobbying outfit that specializes in crafting and supplying anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim propaganda to journalists and policy makers.

TIP receives funding from major bankrollers of the Islamophobia industry and is headed by Josh Block, former spokesperson for the powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC.

Block gained notoriety for secretly coordinating a smear campaign against bloggers who were writing critically about Israeli government policy.

Independent review?

The Blaze, another right-wing media outlet, soon picked up the story and brought it to the attention of McGraw-Hill, which responded by immediately suspending sales of the textbook pending a review.

Elder of Ziyon celebrated and took credit for the outcome, noting that “the book is being or has been used in courses at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Indianapolis, Western Illinois University, George Washington University School of Business and Marshall University.”

Less than a week later, McGraw-Hill announced it would destroy all copies of the book.

“The review determined that the map did not meet our academic standards,” McGraw-Hill spokesperson Catherine Mathis told Inside Higher Ed, adding, “We have informed the authors and we are no longer selling the book. All existing inventory will be destroyed. We apologize and will refund payment to anyone who returns the book.”

Inspired by anti-Muslim hate group leaders like Robert Spencer, Elder of Ziyon is dedicated to demonizing Palestinians and Muslims, and even argued that the paranoid manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik is “not all crazy sounding – it is scary how sane much of the document seems to be.”

“Some of [Breivik’s] political analysis is actually on target,” Elder of Ziyon stated after Breivik massacred 77 people in Norway, supposedly in an attempt to rescue Europe from what he viewed as the dark forces of Islam and Marxism.

Breivik drew inspiration for his violent ideology from the US Islamophobia industry of which Elder of Ziyon is a part.

Elder of Ziyon conceals his real identity, even when speaking in public.

The textbook’s authors – Mark Boyer, Natalie Hudson and Michael Butler – did not respond to requests for comment.

Asked who carried out the review of the book, Mathis told The Electronic Intifada that it “was conducted by independent academics who determined that the maps were not accurate.”

Mathis did not respond to a follow-up query seeking more details about who carried out the review and how they reached such a conclusion.

As for who pressured McGraw-Hill about the maps, Mathis would only say, “We heard about this from multiple sources.”

Given the highly politicized nature of all discussion related to Palestine in the United States, the definition of who is an “independent academic” would vary widely depending on the perspective of who is making the assessment. And if the “experts” are indeed independent, they should be willing to provide an explanation of how and why they deemed the maps to be inaccurate.

The only way that McGraw-Hill’s credibility can be assessed is with some transparency about the groups or “experts” who made this recommendation.

Otherwise, we are left to assume that McGraw-Hill is effectively burning books to placate the censorship demands of right-wing anti-Palestinian bigots.

Note: Since its creation and the Partition of Palestine in 1947 by the UN, Israel goal was to erase all maps that show  Palestine and the identity of Palestinians.

A trip to Mount Hermon (Jabal Sheikh)

الطريق الى جبل الشيخ مرسومٌ بالوان الربيع وجبال الثلج … نمر في عاليه وبعلشميه وبحمدون وصوفر ثم نعبر ممرات المديرج وضهر البيدر لنطل على سهل البقاع والسلسلة الشرقية من جبال لبنان ، فتظهر علينا قمم متواصلة مكللة بالثلوج وفي نهايتها عند حدود السماء يتربع جبل الشيخ بكل مهابته ووقاره ملتفاً بثوبه الابيض الذي لا يضاهيه سوى وصف ثياب السيد المسيح عندما تجلّى على هذا الجبل امام تلاميذه كما يروي الانجيل .
نمرُّ قرب بوارج ونرمي التحية الى الذين كانوا هنا وقاتلوا سنوات طويلة في مواجهة الاخطار ، وقبل ان نصل الى المريجات نأخذ استراحةً وفنجان قهوة عند صديقي نادر ، ثم نتابع ونعبر في جديتا ومكسة وذكريات لنا هنا لنصل بعدها الى قب الياس وتتوالى الصور الطبيعية الرائعة خصوصاً عندما نمر بمحاذاة ” مستنقعات عمّيق “وهي محمية طبيعية يؤمّها خبراء البيئة وعلماء الحياة البرية لما فيها من نباتات خاصة وطيور مهاجرة تأتي اليها في فترة معينة من كل سنة . بعدها تبدأ كروم العنب وفيها تصطف شجرات الكرمة صفوفاً بديعة الترتيب وعلى كل واحد منها اسم القصر او الكهف الذي يصنع منها الخمر والنبيذ غير المحرّم.
على يميننا تشير علامات الطرق الى مزار ” الست شعوانة ” و”دير طحنيش” وعلى اليسار قرية تل دنوب والمنصورة ولنا فيها رفاق واحبة واصدقاء مر زمنٌ طويلٌ ولم نلتقيهم .
بعد ذلك نمر في ” عانا ” ومن اسمها تعرفون انها قرية قديمة آرامية يقع اسمها ما بين لفظة ” قانا ” ولفظة ” عنّايا ” ولها قرية شقيقة تحمل الاسم نفسه في فلسطين لعلها قرية ” اليعازر” الصديق .هنا تخبرنا الصنوبرات الجميلة عن ايام المخيمات الصيفية وكم مر فيها وتحت ظلالها من اشبال وزهرات تربوا على النظام والمبادئ ثم خرجوا الى الحياة وسافروا الى كل العالم .
في كفريا تتلاقى الطرق الذاهبة الى الشوف او صغبين والبحيرة ومشغرة وتلك الذاهبة الى “جب جنّين ” … ولا يطول بنا الوقت حتى نطلَ على سد القرعون وننحرف منه الى سحمر القلعة الصامدة ، ونعبر من ” وادي مشق” نحو مجدل بلهيص التي حكيت لكم عنها عدة مرات وكنا فيها في مثل هذه الايام من سنة 2014 .. يومها كتبت انني عندما غادرتها كنت افكر فيما اذا كنت ساعود الى هذه المنطقة يوما ما وها قد عدت …
في كفرمشكي ينتظرنا الامين ابو علي جرجي ، وممنوع علينا ان نمر دون ان نزوره ونتغدى عنده فهذا البيت هو بيتنا ولنا فيه ذكريات من ايام النضال الطويلة . في بلادنا بيوت لا تغلق ابوابها ولا تنام الا على هم الوطن وفرح النضال ، ونسال عن الجميع اين هم وما اخبارهم ، اين سناء وهلا ونجاح ومخايل والناس الطيبين ، الذين كنا نلتقيهم وقد اخذتهم الغربة الى القارات البعيدة .
لا يطول بنا المقام فنغادر سويةً الى راشيا ونمر في ” بيت لهيا ” ” وبكيفا ” وهي قرى احتضنت النهضة القومية الاجتماعية منذ بزوغها ، وما زالت . ثم نبدأ الصعود على سفوح جبل الشيخ نحو بلدة ” عين عطا ” وهناك كان القوميون رجالا ونساءا وزهرات ونسورا يعملون بحركة منظمة في وضع اللمسات الاخيرة قبل بدء الاحتفال بذكرى الاول من آذار .

وقد لفتتني اناقة الالوان عند المنظمين عدا بدلات النسور .. ووجدتُ جيلاً جديدا من صبايا وشباب ينتظمون في الحزب القومي خارح الاصطفافات الطائفية والتقليدية .هناك التقينا اناساً جمعتنا بهم النهضة القومية الاجتماعية وكنت قد زرتهم منذ عشرين سنة ، ولا ادري هل اعود بعد عشرين سنة اخرى ؟؟ لكن الاكيد ان هذه النهضة باقية ما بقي الوطن والأمة وان اجيالها تتعاقب ونحن لسنا الا جيلا منها نعبر بعد ان نؤدّي واجبنا تجاه بلادنا وشعبنا الذي يتوق الى الحياة الراقية والآمنة في وطنه الجميل والغني .

في برنامج الاحتفال تم عرض فيلم قصير عن حياة الزعيم سعاده من ولادته الى استشهاده والقت صبية جميلة من المديرية كلمة عن المناسبة … ثم قدمتُ عرضاً شاملاً لمشروع الحزب الذي اعطيناه الى امتنا لبناء حياة جديدة تضع حدا للغزوات والحروب وللفقر وللفوضى وللموت والخراب الذي يجتاحنا منذ قرون فيقتل ويدمر ويهجّر ويحولنا الى نازحين ويائسين وهاربين ومشرّدين في كل نواحي الارض .

بعد انتهاء الاحتفال ودّعنا الحاضرين وغادرنا ” عين عطا ” والسيارة تنحدر على الطرقات الصعبة والضيقة وكنت اتساءل ما الذي جاء بالناس الى هذا الجبل قبل قرون طويلة ليعيشوا هنا مع الثلج والجبل القاسي والقاحل ينحتون الصخر ليزرعوا ويبنوا بيوتاً صغيرة يوم لم تكن هناك سيارات وطرقات ولا كهرباء ولا شبكات مياه ولا اي شيء من تسهيلات الحياة المدنية الحديثة . إنهُ الاضطهاد والخطر الذي عانت منه بلادنا قروناً طويلة في زمن الحروب الدينية الرهيبة .
ترى متى ستنتهي هذه الحروب والمجازر والمخاوف والهواجس وننعم بوطن يليق بالحياة لشعب يرفض ان يموت او ان يرضى القبر مكاناً له تحت الشمس




March 2017
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