Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Essays’ Category

You have got to Ask for feedback: Feedback don’t come easily and without much specific prompting…

There was a time when the term feedback was associated with some kinds of “production process“.

Coming from an engineering background, particularly industrial and human factors engineering, feedback meant receiving the reactions of clients and customers in the usage of products, such as safe usage, easy manipulation, health consequences, quality of product, of processes…

Feedback has acquired a life of its own and expanded to mean “How do you perceive my behavior, and how do think people are judging me…?”

Thus, feedback in the workplace on how I control, manage, and connect with people, employees, clients…

When was the last time you received useful feedback?

When it was not too late to nurture and mentor this “good person” who is trying hard to communicate with you?

An angry person will vent his feelings, turn and bang the door…How much of a feedback you think you received?

Do you think receiving feedback from someone who is Not an expert in the field or didn’t work on the field can give use any useful feedback?

“How am I doing?” is not a great beginning: It doesn’t sound serious or honest.

Everyone who really craves excellence craves feedback.

You need to know how you’re doing and how to improve.

Honest feedback is rare. And you don’t receive feedback because you don’t ask.

The primary problem in feedback is the level of Honesty:

The higher your level in the hierarchy, the more likely people say what they’re expected to say, not what they believe. Honest feedback is rare.

Try full sentences for a change, like: (extracted from a short list by Dan Rockwell)

  1. What do you think I was trying to accomplish by the way I______? (Fill in the blank with an outcome, “Led the meeting,” Leader, manager, coach, spouse, etc.)
  2. What did I do that made you think I was ______? (Fill in the blank with their response to #1.)
  3. How could I improve what you think I’m trying to accomplish
  4. “How/where do you fit into what I’m trying to accomplish?” (Nathan, Thanks for giving me this powerful question.)
  5. How can I help you better fit in?

The feedback question that changes everything uses behaviors to identify what’s really going on.

It doesn’t begin with a list of job responsibilities.

How can leaders invite feedback?

What questions invite useful feedback?


Mon cher Ado/Farouk. Part 20

Pris dans le tourbillon de la vie , on s’adonne , mon cher Farouk , corps et âme au présent qui nous occupe à plein temps , délaissant le passé , enfui au fond de nous . Et les années passent …

Puis un jour quand nous n’avons plus rien à faire , lorsqu’on ne sert plus à grand-chose , on reste là à ressasser nos souvenirs. (Comme apres la retraite?)

On se retourne alors vers le temps qui n’est plus, que notre mémoire à sauvegarder et qu’elle nous restitue par tranches de vie plus ou moins lointaines , plus ou moins claires .

Ce retour dans le passé fut déclenché le jour où , installé au balcon du quatrième étage du ” Ciragan Palace ” à Istamboul, en train de siroter un bon café turque en face du Bosphore qui scintille à mes pieds par une belle matinée d’automne !

Ce jour -là, sans que je ne puisse me l’expliquer , me mit du baume au cœur .Faut-il croire que ces réminiscences sont le remède nécessaire pour échapper à cette funeste sinistrose qui m’ opprimait depuis quelques mois?

Toujours est-il que ces réminiscences me rendirent euphorique . Je jouissais d’un bien-être comme au temps de ma jeunesse lorsque je m’ installais sur la terrasse de notre maison à Beit-Chabab pour lire à l’heure de la sieste les tragédies de Corneille et de Racine ainsi que les romans de Zola , de Saint-Ex. , de Dostoievki , et j’en passe …

Hier, de retour au Liban , je me suis arrêté chez mon ami d’enfance, Assad Tannous qui vit toujours en face de notre vieille maison , et là , je regardais cette maison où j’ai grandi , avec nostalgie et un pincement au cœur…

Plan D? Zionism devised that plan in 1935 to cleanse the Palestinians from their lands and villages

Plan D or beginning of “war of conquest”.

Zionism had many plans to be executed as the political climate and timing were appropriate. In the 100 years since the implantation of first colonies in Palestine, many plans have been carried out to occupy all of Palestine for the only the Jews, coming from all corners of the world.

With respect to Haifa, IIan Pappé writes:

From the morning after the UN Partition Resolution was adopted in November 1947, the 75,000 Palestinians in the city were subjected to a campaign of terror jointly instigated by the Irgun and the Hagana.

As they had only arrived in recent decades, the Jewish settlers had built their houses higher up the mountain. Thus, they lived topographically above the Arab neighbourhoods and could easily shell and snipe at them. They had started doing this frequently since early December.

They used other methods of intimidation as well: the Jewish troops rolled barrels full of explosives, and huge steel balls, down into the Arab residential areas, and poured oil mixed with fuel down the roads, which they then ignited.

The moment panic-stricken Palestinian residents came running out of their homes to try to extinguish these rivers of fire, they were sprayed with machine-gun fire.

In areas where the two communities still interacted, the Hagana brought cars to Palestinian garages to be repaired, loaded with explosives and detonating devices, and so wreaked death and chaos.

Prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappé notes that, in Israel’s Plan Dalet (also known simply as Plan D), “veteran Zionist leaders” created “a plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” They dispatched military orders in March 1948, Pappé explains:

“The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

Plan D “spelled it out clearly and unambiguously: the Palestinians had to go,” writes Pappé.

“The aim of the plan was in fact the destruction of both the rural and urban areas of Palestine,” he adds, and it “contain[ed] a repertoire of cleansing methods that one by one fit the means the U.N. describes in its definition of ethnic cleansing.”

Morris is correct that Plan D did not explicitly call for “expelling as many Arabs as possible from the territory of the future Jewish state”, as Blatman suggests. But neither did it order that “neutral or friendly villages should be left untouched”, as Morris contends.

Under Plan D, brigade commanders were to use their own discretion in mounting operations against “enemy population centers”—meaning Palestinian towns and villages—by choosing between the following options:

—Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.

—Mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be wiped out and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.[66]

Thus, while Plan D allowed for Arab inhabitants to remain as long as they did not resist the takeover of their villages by the Zionist forces, it did not order Haganah commanders to permit them to stay under such circumstances—as Morris falsely suggests in the second of his responses in Haaretz.

Nor is Morris incognizant of the critical distinction. In 1948, he explicitly notes that “brigade commanders were given the option” of destroying Arab villages (emphasis added)—which would obviously necessitate expelling their inhabitants—regardless of whether any of the villagers offered any resistance.

“The commanders were given discretion whether to evict the inhabitants of villages and urban neighborhoodssitting on vital access roads”, Morris writes (emphasis added). “The plan gave the brigades carte blanche to conquer the Arab villages and, in effect, to decide on each village’s fate—destruction and expulsion or occupation. The plan explicitly called for the destruction of resisting Arab villages and the expulsion of their inhabitants” (emphasis added).[67]

As Ilan Pappé expounds, “Villages were to be expelled in their entirety either because they were located in strategic spots or because they were expected to put up some sort of resistance. These orders were issued when it was clear that occupation would always provoke some resistance and that therefore no village would be immune, either because of its location or because it would not allow itself to be occupied.”[68]

By these means, by the time the war ended, the Zionist forces had expelled the inhabitants of and destroyed 531 villages and emptied eleven urban neighborhoods of their Arab residents.[69]

Pappé further notes how the facts on the ground at the time challenge Morris’s characterization of the Zionist’s operations as having been “defensive” prior to the implementation of Plan D:

The reality of the situation could not have been more different: the overall military, political and economic balance between the two communities was such that not only were the majority of Jews in no danger at all, but in addition, between the beginning of December 1947 and the end of March 1948, their army had been able to complete the first stage of the cleansing of Palestine, even before the master plan had been put into effect. If there were a turning point in April, it was the shift from sporadic attacks and counter-attacks on the Palestinian civilian population towards the systematic mega-operation of ethnic cleansing that now followed.[70]

In Haaretz, Morris adds that in the larger urban areas with mixed populations, under Plan D, the orders were for the Arabs “to be transferred to the Arab centers of those cities, like Haifa, not expelled from the country.” Morris also writes that the Zionists “left Arabs in place in Haifa”, and he cites it as an example of a place where Arabs “were ordered or encouraged by their leaders to flee”—as opposed to them being expelled by the Zionist forces.

But the details Morris provides in 1948 of what happened in Haifa tell an altogether different story.

By the end of March 1948, most of the wealthy and middle-class families had fled Haifa. Far from ordering this evacuation, the Arab leadership had blasted those who fled as “cowards” and tried to prevent them from leaving.[71]

Among the reasons for the flight were terrorist attacks by the Irgun that had sowed panic in Haifa and other cities. On the morning of December 30, 1947, for example, the Irgun threw “three bombs from a passing van into a crowd of casual Arab laborers at a bus stop outside the Haifa Oil Refinery, killing eleven and wounding dozens.”[72] (Ilan Pappé notes that “Throwing bombs into Arab crowds was the specialty of the Irgun, who had already done so before 1947.”[73]

And as Morris points out, Arab militias took note of the methods of the Irgun and Lehi and eventually started copying them: “The Arabs had noted the devastating effects of a few well-placed Jewish bombs in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa . . . .”[74]) Arab laborers inside the plant responded by turning against their Jewish coworkers, killing thirty-nine and wounding fifty (several Arab employees did try to protect their Jewish co-workers).[75]

The Haganah retaliated by targeted a nearby village that was home to many of the refinery workers. The orders were to spare the women and children, but to kill the men. “The raiders moved from house to house, pulling out men and executing them. Sometimes they threw grenades into houses and sprayed the interiors with automatic fire. There were several dozen dead, including some women and children.”

Ben-Gurion defended the attack by saying it was “impossible” to “discriminate” under the circumstances. “We’re at war. . . . There is an injustice in this, but otherwise we will not be able to hold out.”[76]

Marking “the start of the implementation of Plan D”, writes Morris, was Operation Nahshon in April 1948.[77] By this time, tens of thousands of Haifa’s seventy thousand Arabs had already fled.[78] The Haganah had been planning an operation in Haifa since mid-month, and when the British withdrew their troops from positions between Arab and Jewish neighborhoods on April 21, it provided the Haganah with the opportunity to put it into effect.[79]

The Haganah fired mortars indiscriminately into the lower city, and by noon “smoke rose above gutted buildings and mangled bodies littered the streets and alleyways.” The mortar and machine gun fire “precipitated mass flight toward the British-held port area”, where Arab civilians trampled each other to get to boats, many of which were capsized in the mad rush.[80]

The British high commissioner, Sir Alan Cunningham, described the Haganah’s tactics: “Recent Jewish military successes (if indeed operations based on the mortaring of terrified women and children can be classed as such) have aroused extravagant reactions in the Jewish press and among the Jews themselves a spirit of arrogance which blinds them to future difficulties. . . . Jewish broadcasts both in content and in manner of delivery, are remarkably like those of Nazi Germany.”[81]

It was under these circumstances that the local Arab leaders sought to negotiate a truce, and in a British-mediated meeting in the afternoon on April 22, the Jewish forces proposed a surrender agreement that “assured the Arab population a future ‘as equal and free citizens of Haifa.’”[82] But the Arab notables, after taking some time to consult before reconvening, informed that they were in no position to sign the truce since they had no control over the Arab combatants in Haifa and that the population was intent on evacuating. Jewish and British officials at the meeting tried to persuade them to sign the agreement, to no avail. In the days that followed, nearly all of Haifa’s remaining inhabitants fled, with only about 5,000 remaining.

While in his Haaretz article, Morris attributed this flight solely to orders from the Arab leadership to leave the city, in 1948, he notes that other factors included psychological trauma from the violence—especially the Haganah’s


While in his Haaretz article, Morris attributed this flight solely to orders from the Arab leadership to leave the city, in 1948, he notes that other factors included psychological trauma from the violence—especially the Haganah’s mortaring of the lower city—and despair at the thought of living now as a minority under a people who had just inflicted that collective punishment upon them.

Furthermore, “The Jewish authorities almost immediately grasped that a city without a large (and actively or potentially hostile) Arab minority would be better for the emergent Jewish state, militarily and politically. Moreover, in the days after 22 April, Haganah units systematically swept the conquered neighborhoods for arms and irregulars; they often handled the population roughly; families were evicted temporarily from their homes; young males were arrested, some beaten. The Haganah troops broke into Arab shops and storage facilities and confiscated cars and food stocks. Looting was rife.”[83]

This, then, is the situation Morris is describing when he disingenuously writes in Haaretz that the Zionist forces “left Arabs in place in Haifa” and that Arabs fled Haifa because they were “ordered or encouraged by their leaders”.

We can also compare Morris’s account of how the village of Lifta came to be emptied of its Arab inhabitants with Ilan Pappé’s. 1984 contains only one mention of Lifta, a single sentence in which Morris characterizes it as another example of how Arabs fled upon the orders of their leadership: “For example, already on 3–4 December 1947 the inhabitants of Lifta, a village on the western edge of Jerusalem, were ordered to send away their women and children (partly in order to make room for incoming militiamen).”[84]

Pappé tells a remarkably different story, describing Lifta, with its population of 2,500, as “one of the very first to be ethnically cleansed”:

Social life in Lifta revolved around a small shipping centre, which included a club and two coffee houses. It attracted Jerusalemites as well, as no doubt it would today were it still there. One of the coffee houses was the target of the Hagana when it attacked on 28 December 1947. Armed with machine guns the Jews sprayed the coffee house, while members of the Stern Gang stopped a bus nearby and began firing into it randomly. This was the first Stern Gang operation in rural Palestine; prior to the attack, the gang had issued pamphlets to its activists: ‘Destroy Arab neighbourhoods and punish Arab villages.’

The involvement of the Stern Gang in the attack on Lifta may have been outside the overall scheme of the Hagana in Jerusalem, according to the Consultancy [i.e., Ben-Gurion and his close advisors], but once it had occurred it was incorporated into the plan. In a pattern that would repeat itself, creating faits accomplis became part of the overall strategy.

The Hagana High Command at first condemned the Stern Gang attack at the end of December, but when they realized that the assault had caused the villagers to flee, they ordered another operation against the same village on 11 January in order to complete the expulsion. The Hagana blew up most of the houses in the village and drove out all the people who were still there.[85]

The lesson learned was also applied in Jerusalem. On February 7, 1948, Ben-Gurion went to see Lifta for himself and that evening reported to a council of the Mapai party in Jerusalem:

When I come now to Jerusalem, I feel I am in a Jewish (Ivrit) city. This is a feeling I only had in Tel-Aviv or in an agricultural farm. It is true that not all of Jerusalem is Jewish, but it has in it already a huge Jewish bloc: when you enter the city through Lifta and Romema, through Mahaneh Yehuda, King George Street and Mea Shearim—there are no Arabs. One hundred percent Jews.

Ever since Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans—the city was not as Jewish as it is now. In many Arab neighbourhoods in the West you do not see even one Arab. I do not suppose it will change. And what happened in Jerusalem and in Haifa—can happen in large parts of the country. If we persist it is quite possible that in the next six or eight months there will be considerable changes in the country, very considerable, and to our advantage. There will certainly be considerable changes in the demographic composition of the country.[86]

Note that all of this happened well before explicit orders were given to destroy villages and expel their inhabitants if anyone resisted occupation by the Zionist forces. From mid-March onward, in Morris’s own words, “In line with Plan D, Arab villages were henceforward to be leveled to prevent their reinvestment by Arab forces; the implication was that their inhabitants were to be expelled and prevented from returning.”[87] The Haganah “embarked on a campaign of clearing areas of Arab inhabitants and militia forces and conquering and leveling villages”.[88] Plan D implemented a

“new policy, of permanently occupying and/or razing villages and of clearing whole areas of Arabs”.[89]

Morris’s contention that what happened wasn’t ethnic cleansing because most Palestinians fled, as opposed to being expelled by the Zionist forces, becomes a moot distinction in light of how, for example, a massacre that occurred in the Arab village of Deir Yassin in April was “amplified through radio broadcasts . . . to encourage a mass Arab exodus from the Jewish state-to-be.”[90]

David Ben-Gurion (center) with Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon during the 1948 war (Israel Defense Forces/CC BY-NC 2.0)

David Ben-Gurion (center) with Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon during the 1948 war (Israel Defense Forces/CC BY-NC 2.0)

In the Galilee, “the Arab inhabitants of the towns of Beit Shean (Beisan) and Safad had to be ‘harassed’ into flight”, according to a planned series of operations conceived in April (“in line with Plan D”, Morris notes). In charge of these operations was the commander of the Palmach, Yigal Allon.[91]

On May 1, two villages north of Safad were captured. Several dozen male prisoners were executed, and the Palmach “proceeded to blow up the two villages as Safad’s Arabs looked on. The bulk of the Third Battalion then moved into the town’s Jewish Quarter and mortared the Arab quarters”, prompting many of Safad’s Arab inhabitants to flee.[92]

After five days, the Arabs sought a truce, which Allon rejected. Even some of the local Jews “sought to negotiate a surrender and demanded that the Haganah leave town. But the Haganah commanders were unbending” and continued pounding Safad with mortars and its arsenal of 3-inch Davidka munitions.

The first of the Davidka bombs, according to Arab sources cited by a Haganah intelligence document, killed 13 Arabs, mostly children, which triggered a panic and further flight. This, of course, was precisely what was “intended by the Palmah commanders when unleashing the mortars against the Arab neighborhoods”—which, “literally overnight, turned into a ‘ghost town’”. In the weeks that followed, “the few remaining Arabs, most of them old and infirm or Christians, were expelled to Lebanon or transferred to Haifa.”[93]

Yigal Allon summed up the purpose of the Palmach’s operations: “We regarded it as imperative to cleanse the interior of the Galilee and create Jewish territorial continuity in the whole of Upper Galilee.” He boasted of how he devised a plan to rid the Galilee of tens of thousands of Arabs without having to actually use force to drive them out. His strategy, which “worked wonderfully”, was to plant rumors that additional reinforcements had arrived “and were about to clean out the villages of the Hula [Valley]”.


Mon cher Ado. Part 19

” Le centre commercial” de Haret él Tahta (lower quarter of Beit Chabab)) , mon cher Farouk, était très animé au cours de ma jeunesse . C’est qu’il y avait à la tête de chaque entreprise un homme d’affaire émérite …

Ces commerçants n’étaient plus de la première jeunesse , mais ils trimaient toujours du matin au soir pour subvenir aux besoins de leurs familles .

Ils avaient tous survécu aux deux guerres mondiales mais aucun d’eux ne fêtera l’An 2000 !

Je me les rappelle tous avec un serrement au cœur et à chaque fois que l’un d’entre eux tirait sa révérence , un peu de moi l’accompagnait dans l’au-delà …

Parmi ces generaux de mon enfance, il y avait Geries Tannous, mon grand-père . C’était le plus beau et le plus fort , surtout si on le comparait à Toufic ou à Hassoun l’ancien ….

(Toufic est mon arriere grand pere, le pere de ma grande mere paternelle Saesta. He lived in New York in his youth and was a member of the town council and the mayor for a brief period. The last time I saw him was prior to departing for the USA to continue my study. He had a severe pneumonia. He died a month after at an old age. Le fils de Hassoun Kablan etait un cordonier aussi, comme Khalil, et il s’est marrie’ avec la petite soeur de mon pere Georgette qui est revenue de l’ Afrique pour s’installer definitivement au Liban)

Mon grand-père comme la plupart d’entre eux cumulait les tâches . Il était épicier , boucher et s’occupait de son jardin où il cultivait toutes sortes de fruits et de légumes ….Mais aujourd’hui  je vais parler de son voisin le barbier-coiffeur, Monsieur Nazem

Son salon des plus moderne se trouvait juste en face de la boutique de Geries Tannous . Monsieur Nazem était une belle personnalité . Avec sa petite moustache , ses cheveux ébouriffés et son pantalon en tire-bouchon , il ressemblait à s’y méprendre à Charlie Chaplin dans son rôle de Charlot . Marcel Pagnol l’aurait bien inclus dans l’une de ses pièces .

Bref, Nazem n’était pas un homme pressé . C’était un flemmard de première classe .

Je me rappelle du jour où mon grand-père m’avait demandé de surveiller sa boutique , le temps d’aller arroser ses tomates…je devais avoir quinze ou seize ans .

Comme il n’y avait jamais foulé dans les boutiques , je me suis assis en face du salon de Nazem qui venait d’accueillir un client pour une coupe de cheveux . Il faut dire amens malgré sa flemmardise , Nazem était très apprécié pour son travail d’artiste …

De mon poste , je pouvais bien observer le bonhomme qui pratiquait son art …Mais alors qu’il avait entamé la moitié des cheveux de Fouad Bouyered , le marchand de peaux de moutons pointa pour récupérer celles que les bouchers déposaient sous le salon de notre coiffeur , qui s’en occupait occasionnellement .

La tâche terminée , (collecter les peaux), la cloche de l’église qui surplombe le centre commercial sonna midi . Du coup Nazem se dirigea machinalement vers sa maison qui se trouvait à deux pas de son salon afin de se sustenter …

Au bout d’un moment , comme Fouad ne voyait pas l’ombre du coiffeur , il m’appela pour aller voir ce qu’il advenait de lui. Je me suis donc précipité chez Nazem que j’ai trouvé attablé devant une bonne salade de saison , un plat riche en couleur, avec de la tomate bien rouge, des concombres, de l’oignon , du persil et de la menthe , assaisonné de sel , de poivre et d’huile d’olive , et pour satisfaire l’appétit du bonhomme , trois œufs au plat qui frétillaient dans la poêle avant d’être gobés par Monsieur Nazem.

Et quand je lui ai rappelé que Fouad l’attendait , il a souri et me dit qu’il pouvait attendre qu’il finissent de déjeuner .

Aujourd’hui encore je me demande si Nazem était fêlé ou philosophe ou les deux à la fois ?
Je sais maintenant que je le suivrais dans la tombe sans avoir eu de réponse à cette énigme éminemment importante…

Are you one of those trying to create the future? Do you have any secret to share?

I read opposite positions from the same authors: Sometimes they laud people looking at the future for inspiration, and sometimes they blame people talking in the future tense in order to hide their lack of achievements, the drifters in a team.

By Dan Rockwell?

For example:

“Frustrated leaders spend far too much time focused on the past and far too little time creating the future. They’re always saying, “What are we doing wrong?”

The past cannot be changed. Stop trying to fix it. If you don’t have clear vision for the future, looking back destroys you…”

Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is create it.” You create the future by building on the past, not fixing it.

The past is disappointing when things are not working in the present. But don’t focus on the past in order to create your future.

Let vision not history create your future.

The first things to ask are, “Where do we want to go and what’s the next step to getting there?”

NOT, “What went wrong and how do we fix it.?”

The past is useful when you have the future in mind. (

Kind of trying to foresee the trend? But it is Not easy to comprehend the paradigm shifts that go counter to the general agreement among the self-serving “professionals” in any field of practice)

Focusing on the past only pulls you into the past, unless you have the future in mind.

The past is a platform only for those looking forward; otherwise, it’s an anchor.

Dan Rockwell wrote:

Your past can be:

  1. A distraction from the present and future. Longing for the past destroys the future.
  2. An object of reflection that helps you know and understand yourself and others.
  3. An anchor or platform.
  4. A teacher that shows you things to repeat and more importantly, things to stop.

How to create your future?

When you see frustration or failure ask:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish?
  2. What are you doing to get where you want to go?
  3. What is the next – most useful – thing you can do, right now?
  4. What should be stopped? (past)
  5. What should be continued? (past)

What are you trying to do right always precedes what went wrong.

The secret to creating the future is first seeing it then looking back.

What future-creating tips can you add?

What role does the past play as leaders build the future?

Mon cher Ado. Part 18

Je suis incapable aujourd’hui de dire comment j’ai fini par me familiariser avec ma nouvelle vie lorsque je suis arrivé à Beit-Chabab, chez mes grands-parents , à l’âge de deux ans , venant de Guinée, avec ma sœur Nawal , mon aînée de trois ans.

Je me rappelle cependant qu’au cours des quatre premières années avant que tante Rose ne se marie et qu’elle nous quitte , j’avais fini par apprécier ma nouvelle vie.

J’avais abandonné totalement derrière moi les deux premières années de mon existence , totalement effacées de ma mémoire , ne me souvenant plus de ma mère et encore moins de mon père .

D’ailleurs, lorsque parfois Farfoura , ma grand-mère , le soir , avant de m’endormir , elle demandait à Saint Georges de ramener mon père de l’étranger , je ne comprenais rien de ce qu’elle disait , de ce qu’elle fredonnait …

Aux cours de ces quatre années , à la Noël , mon oncle Youssef , encore célibataire , ramenait un petit pin de la forêt , et le dressait dans un coin du salon , le coin de gauche, de sorte qu’on puisse le voir de la porte d’entrée , puis on l’enneigeait avec de petits bouts d’ouate qu’on apportait de la boutique de mon grand-père …

De son côté , tante Rose nous confectionnait de petites maisons en carton qu’on coloriait et qu’on accrochait à l’arbre …
Puis on allait dans la forêt qui jouxtait notre maison pour apporter de la mousse qui servait de parterre à la crèche , pour que ça fasse naturel …

(En pension, durant la period de Noel, on nous donnait des cartons, des crayons de couleurs et je confectionais de petites maisons dans la grande sale d’etude ou une demi douzaine  se rassemblaient. Une fois, Nadia Abboud nous a invitait mon frere Ghassan et moi chez eux, elle travaillait dans cette ecole et n’etait pas encore marriee’, et c’etait une soiree’ de Noel memorable autour d’un poile avec une grande famille et j’ai trouve’ des bonbons dans des chausettes le matin. Je me suis perche’ sur un lit tres eleve’ et j’ai dormi tres bien)

Et voilà ! Et le 24 au soir on nous réveillait , ma sœur et moi , pour assister à la messe de minuit , à Mar Sessine , suite à laquelle nous rentrions dormir de bon cœur , la tête pleine de rêves éblouissants ….

C’étaient les cadeaux de notre enfance , les plus beaux que nous ayons jamais eus ….

Complementing an aunt (wife of the father) by Mario Vargas lliosa

Note: I asked the reviewer Mortada Al-amine to share with us a few important sections of the book that are representative of the “No, no” descriptions. I got no reply. so far. If I ever stumble on the book, I might fill this gap and frankly.

إمتداح الخالة ـــ ماريو فارغاس يوسا
تصيب الرواية قارئها بالإرباك. يظن في البداية أنها رواية عن الحواس. الحواس كأداة للمتعة.

فالفصول تتابع في وصف مهام تلك الحواس وكيف يمكننا أن نستفيد منها في غرف النوم. تمر بالتأكيد لحظات يستغرق فيها الكاتب في الوصف فتشعر بالقرف أو الانزعاج..

ولكنك تتابع القراءة. وحين يزيح النص، لتصير علاقة الطفل بخالته، زوجة أبيه، قريبة من الممنوع،

يتضخم سؤالك: ما الذي يريده الكاتب؟.
لا يمكن متابعة قراءة هذا النص إذا كان القاريء لا يتمتع بحدود معلومة من التسامح. فبراءة الصفحات الأولى لا تلبث، مثلما هو الطفل في الرواية، أن تظهر كل شياطينها.

الطفل الذي يصفه الكاتب فكأنه يصف يسوع، ثم التحولات التي تصيبه فتصير تصرفاته تدل على شيطان كامن،

(تحولات يترك لنا الكاتب حرية أن نحزرها بدون أن يصفها مباشرة، لا بل إنه يزيح عنها، وينكر وجودها)..

لا يغيب عن بال القاريء من هو المقصود بهذا الطفل، ولذلك فإن بإمكاننا القول إن يوسا افتقد، هو أيضاً، الجرأة في القول. رغم فاهنا المفغور على آخره دهشة واستنكاراً.
يحدس القاريء أن الكاتب يستهدي في كتابة فصوله بأساطير معينة جسدتها لوحات تتم الإشارة إليها. أساطير لا توصلنا إلا إلى حكاية واحدة: رواية الحواس.

يرويها بدون تحفظ ولا موانع. رواية حسية تطيح بكل ما نكون اختزناه من جماليات وأوهام عن العلاقة التي تقوم بين ذكر وأنثى.. لأنها تختصرها (تمسخها؟) إلى علاقة جسدية لا تبحث إلا عن المتعة

. حتى في الفصل الذي وصف لقاء مريم بالملاك الذي أرسل ليخبرها بأنها اختيرت لتكون أماً، أضاء الكاتب على مريم كإنسانة تفتقد الثقة في نفسها.. تعرف أنها غير قادرة على حمل ما أريد لها من أعباء، فراحت تدله على “القادرات” من صديقاتها على ذلك.

أختم بالقول إنه لا يمكن للجرأة أن تساعد في الحديث عن كتاب كهذا. فكيف إذا أردنا كتابة واحد مشابه؟
بقي أن أقول أنني منذ عهدي بالقراءة، التقيت لأول مرة كاتبين (نصين) يحكيان بتفصيل عن بطلهما المشغول بنزع شعر أذنيه. روايتان،

قرأتهما بالصدفة في يومين متتاليين حكتا عن هذا الأمر، يوسا في امتداح الخالة، ورينيه الحايك في سنة الراديو.




September 2018
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