Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘professional articles’ Category

For regaining confidence in Capitalism and sustainable growth: What is “Gold-paper currencies”?

Posted on December 1, 2008

I have this gut feeling that, if one major superpower does not adopt for a period gold currency, then confidence in paper money or investment gimmicks is No longer going to fly.

 In these uncertain financial crisis and economical deflation, I suggest a psychological incentive for people to recover some sense of value to their currencies. 

My idea is to issue hard currencies that are an alloy containing the quantity of gold commensurate to the large denominations.  This currency would be almost as thinner than paper money and more durable, and could not be forged, unless the amount of gold is Not the same as the officially issued currencies.

This project should be feasible: Gold can be made as thin as needed, and if we find a cheap metal or plastic that can add resistance and flexibility to the currency to be folded, and handled as paper money then everybody would be satisfied.

At first, the gold paper-like money could be distributed at a rate of say 1% higher over its real value to recover the upfront expenses, in addition to the increase in market value of gold, averaged once a week.

These extra expenses would not discourage the use of paper money for those who could not afford the extra cost of gold currencies.

The higher denomination currencies would be larger in order to keep the same thickness as the other smaller denominations.  As the value of gold would certainly keep increasing, the government would, at interval, retrieve the older currencies from the market and replace them with smaller size currencies containing the market value of the amount of gold in the alloy.

This idea is logical because the gold-paper currencies would require less gold as its value increases.

Travelers could then exchange their State own gold-paper money abroad and register them at any bank for Interpol investigations in case of thefts and get exactly the same money value of the respective States.

Obviously, all governments that signed in to this system would have to submit to international control when issuing gold-paper money for credibility and quality reasons.

I believe that with real gold-paper money then the businesses of currency speculations and rate of exchanges should wane and quickly disappear. 

What might remain is currency trade or the accumulation of gold in rich sovereign funds.

The governments would quickly learn to issue enough gold-paper currency to satisfy internal commerce.

The superpowers and regional powers would exercise political and military “incentives” on weaker and unstable States to issue more gold-paper currency than needed for inner commerce, but then they would have to deliver real gold and good value products to retrieve the surpluses.

The US Administrations do not have real value money or real value economy to hoard gold and will not be able to do so for many decades to come. Only China, India and the rich oil-producing States with small populations would be the major players in currency trade of gold-paper money.

There are several policies that governments would revisit to manage this new system. 

Governments might issues a composite weight of the amount of gold-paper and regular paper money that should satisfy internal commerce. 

Either the gold-paper money would concentrate in the hands of the rich and thus reducing commerce to regular money, with industries specialized in high quality and luxury products for the rich and industries focusing on lower quality and basic products for the masses.

Or the little people would not desist from the gold-paper and use them as personal saving account in their homes and thus deflation would hit the economy due to the lack of currency circulation.

Consequently, governments would have choices to either limit the amount of gold-paper in circulation to encourage circulation of money or eliminate regular paper currencies to force the masses into liberating their hoarded gold-paper.

The same pitfalls and recurrences of the present monetary system would be exhibited, but the remedies would be more straightforward to comprehend by the common people.

An interesting phenomenon will emerge: cultures where mostly little people horde the gold-papers and cultures where gold-papers are concentrated in the class of the rich. 

Well, if there is civilization clashes then this division between the two types of cultures would set the foundations for a new sociology science where the manipulation of hard money is the first principle.

This system would require many fine tuning but the advantages must far exceed the disadvantages for smaller and weaker States. 

Countries with real value-added economies would not be affected by any mischievous financial embezzlement schemes in destabilizing their financial status because the middle classes would have re-learned the value of hard money and desist from speculative schemes for some times.

This re-learning process of the value of real hard money is the fundamental benefit of the new system so that financial history would repeat its cycle of development for the century. 

In any case a genuine International Monetary Control and Management Fund would be instituted to focus on the circulation of money within and among States and help in the synchronization of real commerce.

The crux of this gold-paper currency system is to stabilize growth to a sustainable level for human kind. 

Since gold is limited on Earth and its production has reached a limit, wild GNP rate of increases would slow down; redundant and irrelevant consumer products would make room for basic products essentials for the survival of mankind. 

The new economical strategies would focus on cutting cost, cutting waste, re-cycling and vigorously researching for substitute renewable energies for the benefit of all States.

Lebanon and Palestine: Same and Different(Part 1)

Posted on April 29, 2009

Brief ancient history:

Lebanon is a recognized State by the UN in 1943. The Lebanese State got its fictitious “independence” from France who withdrew its troops in 1946 (2 years before the State of Israel was recognized by the UN).

Palestine was partitioned in 1947 between Palestinians and the minority Jews (barely 40% but allocated 55% of the land of Palestine).

Currently, all of Palestine is under occupation by this Zionist State called Israel.

Lebanon and Palestine were throughout antiquity under the domination of neighboring Empires such as in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq (Mesopotamia). 

The people in the two tiny stretches of coastal lands on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea were mainly mariners, traders, middlemen among Empires, and skilled artisans. (They were united under the Seleucid dynasty, an officer of Alexander army)

Under the nominal or explicit domination of Empires, Lebanon and Palestine had autonomous administration of their society as City-States that were highly democratic within the city limits as Athens emulated in the 7th century BC. 

The famous City-States from north to south are Ugarite, Tripoli, Jubail (Byblos), Saida, Sour (Tyr), Akka (Acre and Haifa), and Askelan. 

The City-State of Jubail (inventors of the alphabet) built Saida; Saida built Sour and dominated the sea routes; and Sour built Akka and relayed Saida in sea domination and expanding the trading posts to Spain. 

These City-States were the masters of the sea and traded with all Empires, and build trading towns: they have resisted many overwhelming sieges, sometimes for years, and occasionally managed Not to be entered and devastated.

Every empire that conquered Syria resumed its drive by dominating Lebanon and Palestine. 

In general, when more than one empire co-existed at the same period and when the empire in Egypt was powerful enough then it governed the southern half of Palestine while the other empire governed the upper half, including Lebanon. 

The strip of Gaza to Yafa was mostly under Egyptian cultural influence.

The coastal strip from north actual Syria to the Sinai was called Canaan. Then, the upper stretch to Akka was called Phoenicia or even Saida (in reference for the main City-State).

The Sea People, called Philistines and probably coming from the Adriatic Sea, destroyed Greece fleet, devastated many coastal cities, and conquered Egypt before they were driven out and settle in Gaza and the southern part of Canaan, called Palestine ever since.

Moses (this mythical story) arrived with an amalgam of nomadic tribes and his successors attempted to occupy part of south Palestine.  These tribes worshiped Yahweh/Yahwa, thus, yahoud and Jews for the Latin people

These tribes under Moses reverted to worshiping the all encompassing God of the Land called El., except a few tribes such as Judea and Benjamin.  During the Roman Empire, and most of the empires that dominated Syria, the district of Tyr administered the upper half of Palestine, including Galilee.

Modern History:

 In the beginning of the 20th century, the military in Turkey deposed the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and started policies focused on Turk Nationhood.  Many in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine immigrated to Egypt. 

During the First World War famine fell on Lebanon along with a devastating wave of locust; they immigrated to the USA, Brazil, Latin America, and many were dropped in Africa by unethical ship captains who claimed that they reached the Americas.

After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, Britain had mandate over Palestine and Iraq; France had mandate over Lebanon and Syria.

Consequently, the bilingual Palestinians spoke English, and their counterpart in Lebanon spoke French.

In 1930, Haifa grabbed the center of trades and many Lebanese flocked to Haifa and Palestine.  The reverse wave occurred when the State of Israel was recognized by a majority of one vote at the UN in 1948.  Lebanon received Palestinian refugees who were installed in camps on the ground that their stay is temporary! and will return under the UN resolution 194

In one chapter of “World Adrift” Amine Maaluf said “The western powers are now paying the price for failing to apply their values in the colonies” 

The European colonial powers of Britain, France, Germany, and the  Netherlands had no intentions of spreading their moral values to those they considered Not worthy of their pearls and gems.

The indigents were to be enslaved, exploited, and humiliated;

The indigents who adopted the western values of equality, liberty, and democracy were persecuted and harassed and imprisoned;

The colonial administrators negotiated with the conservative conformists who were ready to strike deals and cohabit with lesser human rights. 

Dictators in Europe maybe abhorred after their defeat, but the colonial powers readily accept dictators in underdeveloped States to facilitate the embezzling businesses.

Human values had different quality and flavors according to the whims and interest of the exploiting colonial powers. 

Britain used astute diplomatic policies to subjugate their colonies more frequently than France did; but France of the French Revolution had No patience negotiating and communicating with their colonial people and never skipped an occasion to stat its true purpose for domination.and exhibiting arrogant military posturing.

 The colonial powers installed infrastructures that were appropriate for exploitation of the colonies; they established the required administrations for smooth and efficient exploitation.

The other administrative offices for legislation and justices were carbon copies of the ones in their homeland, but these codes could be disposed off and trampled at the first occasion that short sighted interest called for swift and immediate actions.

Contemporary history:

Current Lebanon was created by France during its mandate period and cut out from Syria; it is now a recognized State by the UN since 1943.  Palestine was divided but the Zionist movement conquered the allocated portion for the Palestinians by the UN in 1948. through a detailed pre-planned attack drawn in 1935. 

The Palestinians are now located in the West Bank of the Jordan River and in Gaza where Israel has built 150 Jewish-only colonies and increasing every year. 

The Palestinians who fled their towns and villages in the State of Israel are refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.  And they spread throughout the 5 continents. The UN resolution 193 demands the repatriation of these Palestinians to their hometowns but Israel has been rebuffing that resolution since 1948.

Lebanon suffered many civil wars and calamities for Not being capable or unwilling of absorbing the Palestinian refugees.

Israel has waged four devastating wars against the State of Lebanon on flimsy pretexts based on the Palestinian resistance trying to regain their rights for a homeland.

And three more pre-emptive wars against after the withdrawal of the PLO in 1982.

Note: More detailed facts of the daily business trades between Lebanon and Palestine in Part 2. The implantation of Israel was mainly meant to break down daily trades, and One market, and prevent daily communication among the One people in One Nation: Syria.

Dawn of Philo-Ethics, and eco-philosophy

Posted on January 29, 2010

In the previous post “Twilight for love of knowledge or philosophy”, I explored the theme that philosophy is reaching an end.

Before the 16th century, sciences in Europe were towed by philosophy until Galileo enforced the notion of empirical experimentation and measuring what was Not previously measured.

By the time of Descartes, philosophy started to limp and relied on religion as crutch to survive.

Sciences have taken over: they can extend answers to what can be answered.

Sciences are far more efficient than philosophy: faulty answers go unnoticed very effectively

There are very few practiced scientists, and every man is a philosopher: man can feel what’s wrong with a philosophical system but he does refrains to claim knowledge in sciences.

Knowledge is acquired by reasoning on the alternative options formed by perception of man and universe.  When we investigate our opinions and feelings, we ultimately want to open up alternatives for the mind to discovering the immutable elements in the relationships.

The brain is the field where perceived senses and reasoning procedures or processes interacts: without these interactions there are no perceptions, no actions, and no survival of any species.

It is not necessary to be a practicing scientist to have a scientific critical mind. Otherwise, not many people would feel comfortable believing that they are endowed with sensible rational and empirical thinking.

When I claim that we need to think philosophically, I mean that we need to combine the ethical component to whatever scientific thinking we undertake. The ethical mind should be the guiding rod to solutions or resolutions of any question.

For example, (it might sound a simple interrogation, but it might carry complex implicit ramifications), suppose that I stirred my Nescafe cup with a spoon.  My Nescafe includes No sugar or milk; just plain hot filtered water added to Nescafe.  I got into wondering: should I rinse the spoon in tank supplied water (many germs) or just let the spoon dry when removed from the cup? 

The idiosyncratic reaction is to rinse the spoon no matter what, isn’t it?

If I discover that the accumulated potent germs on a dried spoon are far less than the rinsed one then what would be your behavior? 

The whole exercise is that we generally extend ready behaviors to our answers; we do not take a deep breath to wonder whether there are implicit reasons in the questions.

Philo-ethics (a new term that I invented) is to work on a set of stringent ethical reasoning that you feel are right.

The purpose is that you feel you have the right to state your ethics because you applied them

The other advantage is that you won’t feel obligated to impose your ethics on people you like their company: you are in a position to be lenient and to compromise because relationships are more important than strict rules and regulations.

What can be the immutable norms that distinguish right from wrong?

What kinds of realities are eternal?

Cannibalism is not an immutable norm since many tribes still eat man in this century.

Anyway, mankind is a carnivore and has been eating his own kind with various aspects of ceremonies such as eating the flesh, heart, liver, and brain boiled, raw, or roasted. 

Thus, we need to be more attuned to ethnological studies and observations of the remaining tribes living separate from urban centers.

We need to comprehend the behavior, customs, and traditions of primitive tribes since they resembled ours before we opted for urban life style, within mostly a fast developing virtual civilization.

Arne Naess disseminated the eco-philosophy which stated that western paradigm line of thinking is taking the wrong direction for a sustainable earth: Man is not in the upper chain of evolution and he has no right to destroy the other living creatures for his perceived universe.

We are in a period of technological development that feed on itself and proliferates pretty much independently of any other sciences; technology feels confident that it does not need validation or control by third parties.

Fact is we need to have better understanding of the effects of our behaviors: mankind is on the same boat and everyone is asked to think that he is the captain of the boat.

Things are changing. 

The world can be felt as reduced to a Town Square: instant audio-visual communications around the world is discouraging people to move out and investigate “his universe”.  Mind you that the Renaissance man had to travel on horses for long distances to educate his curiosity and talents.

The new wave of occultism, New Age, alternative lifestyle, mysticism, spiritualism, healing, astrology, clairvoyance, and telepathy are consequences of collecting mass “coincidental” happenings among the billions of people and which are relayed instantly on the Internet. 

These coincidences can be explained rationally, especially if we believe in the power of the subconscious for erratic behaviors.

The worst part is that millions are still brandishing old Books/Bibles …claiming every word for “truth”; as if we are in the Dark Ages. 

Sciences and technologies have done serious empirical attempts to answer most of the dialectical problems in philosophy, such as how the universe was started, how knowledge developed and progressed.

What is outside the realm of sciences is in the domain of faith, which should not be confounded with religious philosophical belief systems.

A few facts can now be settled that set the stage for the dawn of philo-ethics or for questions related to the dignity of man for freedom, liberty, free opinion, shelter, clean water, health, safety, food, clean air, voting rights, anti-discrimination attitudes relative to color, religion, gender, and country of origin.

The hardship that you subjected yourself to is to keep sensible relationship working: a climate of genuine compassion to human frailty gives incentives to overcome shortcomings that may be surmounted.

Ziad Abi Chaker wants to replacing stolen metal drain covers with recycled materials that last longer and cost less (and do Not entice the robbers to resume their beneficial enterprises?)

Saving Lebanon’s streets: the engineer with a sustainable fix

Using recycled single-use plastic, the industrial and environmental engineer applies a technique known as extrusion to melt the raw material and form it into the required shape.

In this case, Mr Abi Chaker repurposes plastic waste to make drain covers to replace stolen ones.

Where other people see rubbish, he sees opportunity.

“I’m an industrial engineer, so my job is to find resources for manufacturing,” But I’m also an environmental engineer, so I find these resources among discarded, recyclable material.” Mr Abi Chaker told The National

Mr Abi Chaker makes use of all single-use plastic, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, food packaging and more, and turns them into long-term sources of raw material to give them a new life.

His line of thinking offers a creative solution to a mounting problem in Lebanon.

Metal theft is becoming increasingly common as the country’s economic situation continues to deteriorate.

The stolen materials are being sold for scrap in US dollars as people grow increasingly desperate to generate income in a country with scarce jobs and a depreciating currency.

Ziad Abi Chaker, Lebanese industrial and environmental engineer and CEO of Cedar Environmental. Courtesy of Ziad Abi Chaker
Ziad Abi Chaker, Lebanese industrial and environmental engineer and CEO of Cedar Environmental. Courtesy of Ziad Abi Chaker

Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces confirmed the increase in these crimes to The National, with at least one person arrested for stealing a drain cover off the streets.

Other recent thefts included steel wires and pylons from power stations, plunging Lebanon further into darkness in March.

Eleven metal graveyard doors were also stolen from a small Lebanese town in Bekaa on April 4, prompting protests against sanctity violation.

Yasa, a Lebanese NGO for road safety, warned of the dangers of missing drain covers after a car got stuck in an uncovered manhole in Jnah, Beirut in April.

But with his simple and sustainable approach, Mr Abi Chaker is saving the environment and the streets.

So far, the engineer has been able to manufacture three manhole covers, with 20 more in the works, out of his own pocket.

Capable of supporting 100 kilogrammes, up to 400kg, they are fit for human and road traffic. He is also producing a cover able to carry up to 800kg.

The first manhole was set to replace a missing lid in the south of Lebanon, while the two others were placed near Beirut River.

According to Mr Abi Chaker, the plastic covers are much more cost-effective than metal ones.

“The human traffic covers are between $20 and $30, while the vehicular ones cost between $40 and $60,” he told The National. “They’re 50 per cent cheaper than steel covers.”

The plastic drain covers are also faster to make, taking two to three days to complete each piece, which is “a record compared to casting iron”.

Although the plastic covers are a highly efficient quick fix, Mr Abi Chaker cannot carry the cost burden on his own.

He is on the lookout for contributions from supporters of the project in the Lebanese community. “It’s the best way to go,” he said.

Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani showed interest in the project, telling The National he is open to receiving a proposal from Mr Abi Chaker team on the details of the initiative to study potential collaboration and methods of implementation.

“Of course we’re interested in an alternative, replacing the metal covers with new metal ones costs a fortune,” he said.

But Mr Abi Chaker would rather secure funds independently from the municipality owing to the urgency of the matter and lack of faith in Lebanon’s officials – a sentiment shared by many who took to the streets in October 2019 against political corruption and mismanagement.

Mr Abi Chaker is working with lawyers to pursue legal action against the municipality for “failing to properly and hastily respond to an imminent danger affecting vehicles and pedestrians of the city”.

Manholes in Lebanon have been coverless for some time after the thefts began during the first quarter of 2021.

Despite the huge risk to pedestrians and vehicles, authorities have yet to take action. The open drains join a long list of malfunctioning public properties, alongside failing traffic lights and low-grade infrastructure.

The manhole covers are not the first initiative by Mr Abi Chaker to take the country by storm.

One of his projects, the Green Glass Recycling Initiative Lebanon, was ranked eighth out of 10 most innovative companies in 2021 for the Europe/Mena region after recycling 125 tonnes of discarded glass after the Beirut port blast.

The August 4 explosion killed more than 200 people, injured more than 7,000 and destroyed large parts of the city, leaving huge piles of shattered glass in the streets.

Instead of discarding the glass in Lebanon’s overrun landfills, the initiative collected the material and provided it to the few remaining glass packaging factories in the northern city of Tripoli, supporting the country’s glass industry and one of the poorest cities in the Middle East.

When asked why he continues to give to a country that does not give back, Mr Abi Chaker said: “When you love someone, do you give up on them in their time of need?

“Our country is afflicted with a disease of the ruling class, and I won’t give up on it now. Even though I was tempted by numerous offers to do the work I do over the world, I love being here, I love the work I do here, I love the impact we make here, I love the people and places here, and this is why I won’t leave.”

READ MORE

German firms unveil $7.2bn proposal to revamp Beirut port

Explained: Why Lebanon has an ongoing trash problem

Why Nadine Labaki believes Beirut blast marks the ‘birth’ of a new world: ‘There’s a revolution inside us’

How Monetary Currency instituted mendicancy?

Posted on November 9, 2010

Since mankind shifted from a barter economy to dealing with currencies, societies turned steadily and consistently away from production to a specie of mendicants.

In the barter trade, every individual in the tribe, clan, women, men, and children had a special task to support the survival of the tribe. 

Once a member is entirely incapacitated to be a productive entity in the order of the small community, or unable to get moving at a regular pace with the tribe to better seasonal greener pastures then, the member was relocated to a shady place near a source of water to tend to his peaceful death a “paradise for the old spirits“.

Most probably, a core of compassionate individuals delegated their services to aiding these old spirits as best they could.   They extracted from these elders oral stories of myths and traditional laws of conduct.

Transmitters of oral teaching and education are called “marabout” or “grios” in Africa:  They have been transmitting the oral spiritual traditions of communities around bonfires.

A few of them decided to institute religions, based on the captured myths told about the creation of the universe and what happen to the souls after death; until the written languages codified the sacred religious knowledge within the sacerdotal classes.

Currently, old people are still Not that scared of death: Just fearing a state of lack of liquid currency, lest they are forced to beg to staying alive.

They are Not afraid of dying of hunger:  Just apprehensive that no aides will come, unless they have to beg.

After years of toils and unconditional disposition to raise a family, sending them to universities, marrying their offspring, and distributing properties to their married children, old parents are dragging their arthritic feet as best they can and feeling ashamed to ask for small money.

I am witnessing a grandmother, wrecked with arthritis, barely able to shift its body during sleep, and having to do dishes, sweep, do laundry, preparing jams for the winter season, and even cook for her married daughter with six children, many of these children are way over 25 years of age.

I am witnessing a grandfather, having difficulty getting in a car and thus, deciding to stay home, dragging his feet three flats up in order to replenish water in the water tanks on the roof:  He had plenty of reasons not to trust automatic systems and the damage they did when they failed.

Old people are worried that their children will not make it in this new harsh world: They were not adequately trained to fending for their survival.

Old people without any social covering are waiting to die in pain and hopelessness.

Old people of the middle and upper classes, with health coverage, are willing to undergo heart surgery at the age of 80, only to survive three lousy months in pain and suffering.

I am pretty sure they were warned by surgeons of the humiliating conditions they will suffer, but sacrifice is forgotten at a senile age.

We beg for food and pocket-money, though we are entitled to vote, to drive expensive cars, to join armies, and to kill for “motherland”.

We beg for better grades; we beg for jobs; we beg for a raise; we lick asses to keep our jobs; we forget morality and ethical conducts and obey the boss; we claim that we are skilled survivors.

There was a time, still as valid now as ever, when materially fallen noblemen, had priority over the most disinherited people for the money collected in churches.

Poor Noblemen had to be secured firstlest the social structure disintegrates and chaos reign supreme.

Multinational financial institutions have to get first help:  They worked so hard to bilk people out of their earned money.

Multinational do Not beg: They demand their rights as knights and barons of the establishment.

The verb to “beg” was created for the poor people and it does not apply to the rich barons of industries who demand their rights to financial aids:  They invented the social and economic structure for the begging citizens.

We are effective beggars: we keep the mask of revolting against mendicant behaviors.

Wild animals and pets search for a shady and isolated place to die when the time approach:  They refuse further unnecessary suffering and pain.

They leave the company of the tribe:  They cannot expect the community to feed them; this is contrary to the nature of the specie.  Mankind is willing to beg mercilessly and assiduously to the last moment.

Millions of kids faking work, selling chewing gum on streets for a loaf of bread.  

Millions playing the meditative game, so that their collective spirits in prayers will bring about world peace, in exchange of one daily meal.

Billion of people are producing nothing.

They are the ones who cannot teach art but expose the results of art.

They cannot teach how to make shoes, but display instead varieties of shoes for you to select from.

The shopkeepers, working a lifetime in a box, collaborating with wholesalers, quickly turning over products in warehouses.

Engineers, supposedly trained to design products and services and ending up working salesperson.

Engineers  are hired to selling products and services, thinking that they can extend the illusion to consumers that they know something about the product or engineering practices.

It never crosses the mind of this engineer to make the effort of “re-designing” the product/system he is selling.

Sales people selling whatever there is to sell, uttering big technical terminologies: they have no ideas what these words mean.

Lawyers, shuffling papers and documents, bilking people, communicating with the lawyer of the other party, hammering out settlements, because they were Not trained or lack the talent to defend clients in courts.

Teams upon teams of “hygiene engineers” cleaning offices, gathering trash, vacuuming,  and then collecting garbage.

The lower middle class, learning technical skills, working around conveyor belts, assembling consumer products and canned food.

Now and then, facilitating modern lifestyle by updating plumbing and electrical systems:  running water, ready electrical power, and automatic appliances that were meant to liberating essential time for a real productive life, but falling short on target.

Who are the producers?  

They are the peasants in remote areas, no one paying them a visit, except wholesalers at harvest time.

Millions working in sweat shop factories:  the modern sacrificial lambs targeted to die at young age for disastrous workplace conditions.

Millions working in underground tunnels, extracting raw materials, trapped in worse conditions than taupe.

Millions working in open grounds, extracting raw materials, dying young, in polluted environment, for their daily meals.

If those are the people producing something then, how come so many trillions of dollar-kind money have been accumulated?

Trillions being talk about like we are meaning billions of dollars.

The world is currently  posting $60 trillion GNP per year; $15 trillion are saved by the “poorer” developing States so that multinational financial institutions move the surplus to the “powerful” States to maintain their higher standards of living.

The financial institutions cut out their commissions for facilitating the transfer of money from the poor people to the “richer” people maintaining high State indebtedness.

Last century, people were producing.  

In this century, worthless paper money are being printed, shifted, transacted, and transferred around as valuable earning: Fictitious wealth backed by the power of aircraft carriers and lethal killing equipment.

Millions of “men of war” in 200 official armies, begging for their daily meals in exchange for killing their own kinds, fighting for the “fatherland”.  

Millions of men of war enlisted in militia organizations fighting for the honor of the tribe, the trampled dignity of a local  leader, a religious cleric.

There was a long period in mankind history, tribes going on razzias expeditions against richer tribes and rounding up livestock.  Tribes expected razzias: They were meant for survival purposes under harsh conditions.

In the last three centuries, razzias on grand scale, are directed for pure greed.

Mankind: a specie of mendicants, with no dignity and no shame.

A specie that convinced itself that life is precious, even if they are totally worthless to producing anything spiritual.

Compassion is meant to help the abler body.

A specie toiling a lifetime not producing a dime’s worth;  unable to write an article, even an illegible one.

A specie no longer worth surviving.

Can Capitalist systems be reformed? Part 3.

Posted on September 26, 2010

In the previous two articles, I discussed the foundations of Capitalism, the variations in capitalist systems, communist/capitalism systems, the ideology of private property ownership, and the reforms needed.

This part will discuss the practical political and legal reforms needed if change is to be effective.  

First, let me summarize the last two articles.

One:  Capitalism is based on four  foundations:

  1. Private property of means of production;
  2. free internal people movement and exchange (products, services…);
  3. open free market for commerce; and
  4. availability of a vast pool of people willing to work for salary. The main driving force is that the owner of the means of production (the bank, the partners, the shareholder, or the family)  should earn as much as the total salary that all workers receive.  Consequently, an employee is hired when the owner can generate profit, at least as equal to the total salary of the hired worker.

Two:  The foundations of capitalism have proven not to function except within strong richer State institutions, which are almost totally controlled by the capitalist classes.

Three:  The one foundation that all economic systems in developed States share is free global trade, which means the liberty to exploiting the developing countries in natural resources and cheap labor. 

How this work and corollaries to capitalist systems:

First, the developed States are allowed to subsidize their agriculture, but the developing nations are Not to do it and they cannot, even if they realize the need to do it .

Second, the developed States are to flood the markets of developing countries with affordable products with No “legal rights” for the developing nations to increase import taxes in order to safeguarding their own means of productions.

Third, the developed States can find financial resources at low-interest rates with a phone call, but Not the developing nations that have to borrow at at least twice the interest rates.

Fourth, in return for blatant exploitation, the developed States agree “voluntarily” to setting aside a small fraction of their GNP to developing the infrastructures in the poorer States.  Mainly, self-serving their interests to improving infrastructure to facilitating exploitation efficiently.

Fifth:  All “international” institutions such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Commerce and Trades are dominated by the US, China, and a few European States. Thus, transparency and access to timely information and intelligence are denied the developing nations.

Sixth:  Financial institutions (banks, insurance companies…) are the real owner of means of production in capitalist systems.  They own 30% of the total wealth of a nation and represent only 1% of the population.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Fact is, financial institutions generate three times more money than the combined tax collected by the government.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Any reforms should first target the level of profit that financial institutions are permitted to generate.  “Effective” interest rates should be lowered accordingly, and tougher regulations imposed of these behemoths.

Community banks with excellent transparency in decision process and lending policies should be the norm.  The current status of financial institutions is generating abnormal profit with No risks whatsoever.  

The aristocratic political family class (representing 10% of the population and hoarding more than 20% of the nation’s wealth or what is called “Old Money”) is the main beneficiary of the current capitalist system dominated by the financial barons.

Seventh:  If capitalism needs salaried people, it must secure the fundamental right to work, a wide range of jobs that satisfy varied opportunity, access to affordable education, safe workplace, universal health coverage, caring for the elderly, and justice for people who worked most of their life for a comfortable retreat.  Has capitalism satisfied the basic needs of its workforce?

Basically seuring Equal starting life to all its kids.

Eight:  States should start taxing according to the number of employees hired and total revenue generated:  These two criteria are the most objective representative of net profit and are easy to investigate.  This gimmick of taxing on “net profit” is an accounting fraud that is not objective or fair.

Companies relocating for cheaper workers must be taxed according to the original “national wages” of the workers.  Companies substituting workers for robots should be taxed according to the number of workers substituted.  States will then be able to subsidize unemployed people, until they find jobs and be imaginative enough to opening up newer job opportunities…

Ninth:  There is a trend for owners with strong ethics and moral standards to including employees as shareholders and participating in management decisions:  These companies are doing very well and not suffering from financial crashes.  Institutions and companies for profit are amoral and do not deal in ethical conducts. 

Ethics and morality are individual characteristics:  The more such individuals gather in groups to reclaiming fairness and justice in actions, the more institutions will be reminded of what is best for society.

Tenth:  Historically, land and private property were the basis for the emergence of the “bourgeois and merchant” classes and which initiated the major leap forward into creating wealth. This system of private ownership lead to the abolition of feudalism and absolute monarchic powers, backed by the clergy.

The structure of private ownership of land and properties materially weakened nobility and clergy and eventually displaced them. Private property of land should be revised…Read part #4.

Eleventh:  Private ownership of land and properties are not currently economically essential for capitalist system to function properly:  Enterprises can lease properties and resume their business as usual.  It is the political ideology behind private properties that is the culprit.

 Private property ownership remains as a reminder that aristocracy image of power must not vanish in order to retaining political power in “democratic” political system.

Twelfth:  Ownership of land and real estates must be legally abolished in order to having a serious chance for political reforms.  Land should be owned by communities and regulated by community councils.

Land and real estates should only be leased for durations, and never owned by individuals and never renewed for any member of the family in order to dissuade political inheritance of images and statuses.  Inheritance of private real estates and money is the main reason for the existence of aristocratic lineage in wealth and politics.

The inheritance mentality encourages sustaining ancient beliefs that the aristocratic class is better fit to rule, guide, and lead simply because this class created the system that perpetuates its interests and egoistic power.

I then offered the required necessary reforms on property ownership.  For example, enterprises may be allowed to renew the lease for specific duration as long as the nature of the business did not change or will not change after the renewal.  For example, transforming from a manufacture to real estates development.

This section of the series will develop on Election processes and laws reforms.

In the current “capitalist democracy”, the judicial system obeys laws decreed by the parliaments (supposed to be representing the common people) that are dominated by the richest and political “aristocracy” classes.. And the executive branch is intrinsically dominated by the highest classes, directly and indirectly.  

This entire political system is called “capitalist democracy” where people have the illusion of electing their representatives for a duration.  After election, people are to behave as spectators:  Any serious disturbances are crushed in the name of Law and Order.

It is imperative that real political power in reformed election laws should  shift the odds for the middle class and lower classes to acceded to legislative and executive positions.

Private enterprises within a free internal movement and exchange of people and merchandise, and supported by a smooth flow of liquid money, as commerce increases and develop, are the basis for creating wealth.  

The State should not be doing business, but regulating laws and order, and securing the well-being of  all its citizen “equal under the law of fairness to work, opportunity, and happiness.”

Thus, the sole reason for the existence for State government is doing politics.  

Mainly, equalizing the odds so that all its citizens live equally in dignity.  So far, the current capitalist system appears to  running smoothly only for the survivors of the holocausts of financial crisis and degradation of normal living conditions.

Election laws and regulations reform targeting all citizens, regardless of gender, ethnic minority, and wealth status must be undertaken relentlessly and closely monitored and supervised by ethical, moral, and just citizens.

First, No fee  charges should be levied for submitting any documents to being candidates to any representative community, council, or State chambers and Houses.  This costly application favors the well-to-do.

Second, contribution to campaigning is strictly done on individual basis and having a fixed limit representing the capacity of lower classes for contribution.  Thus, flow of contribution from rich classes and enterprises are off-limit in election campaign.

Third, stiff penalties should be levied on owners, executives, and managers of enterprises (not the entity) who bribe or press upon employees to get biased toward candidates and extending bonuses at election periods.

Fourth, quota should be imposed on rich and aristocratic classes in number of candidates, commensurate to their representation of the entire population.

Fifth, the campaign should be made easy to comprehend and run, so that many citizens would be encouraged to participate.

Sixth:  All candidates should have equal air time and receive fair contribution from the State to running an equitable campaign and supporting staff.

Seventh:  Prison terms should be attached to officials in any enterprises  or interest lobbying groups who are backing candidates by fraudulent financial means.

These are sample example for fairness in election laws so that many more common people get into the legislative chambers on their own potentials, without feeling indebted to any rich baron or political aristocrat.  

Either power is democratically obtained or anarchy is the end result for the state of injustices in capitalist systems.

Market cannot regulate itself for the interest of the common people.  Rich classes are not just following their interests, but also their overextended egoism to grabbing more power when left at their own volition.

Enterprises have No moral or ethical standards regulating them.  

Only external pressures, for example State politics of fairness to all and justice to all, can make a difference.  

Practicing democracy is hard work and it requires constant vigilance, reflection, and mass actions.

“Émile” by Jean Jacques Rousseau (Book Review, part 1)

Note 1: Rousseau cherche à développer et préserver l’Individualité des enfants face aux forces des institutions qui veulent se servire de la personne pour leurs intérêts. Développer la force de l’individu dès ses premières années c’est la responsabilité de la mère.

I am reading “Emile” by J. J. Rousseau , published in the 18th century. He was persecuted and forced to exile for many years. This universal and timely book is applicable to all societies as to the proper development of kids and their education in their early age.

Je propose les idées que les gens ne croient pas faisable, dont la vérité ou la fausseté impose a connaître, et qui font le bonheur ou le malheur du genre humain.

Pere et mere, ce qui est faisable est ce que vous voulez faire, repeter le mal qui existe? Dois-je répondre de votre volonté?

Les lois, toujours si occupées des biens et si peu des personnes, parce qu’ elles ont pour objet la paix et non la veritu, ne donnent pas assez d’autorité aux mères, surtout les veuves, pour élever leurs enfants.

Presque tout le premier age des enfants est maladive et danger. La moitie perit avant l’age de 8. Les epreuves faites, l’enfant a gagne les forces necessaire pour poursuivre la vie.

(Je crois que les enfants des “nobles” périssent en plus grand nombre parce que la mère ne les allaitent pas et ne les entretien pas la plupart des journées. Et l’enfant vit plutôt en solitude et ne sentent pas l’amour et la tendress de leur parents)

La nature n’est pas les habitudes: la seve de la plante redirige la direction de la plante quand les forces extérieures cessent de s’appliquer sur elle.

La mere a la responsabilité de former de bonne heure une enceinte autour de l’âme de son enfant (protection, l’amour, jugement et respect de la nature…) et poser les barrieres. La société en peut marquer le circuit (les prejuges, l’autorite, les institutions…) qui vont submerge l’enfant et étouffe en lui la nature qui tu lui as préservé comme une jeune pousse…

La mere prend soin de sa plante par la culture: les homme et les institutions par” l’éducation.”

Les gens ne se souviennent pas pas de leur enfance: ils cherchent toujours l’homme dans l’enfant et leur transmettent les savoir des hommes.

Tel s’est fait enterrer a 100 ans qui mourut dès sa naissance: il n’a jamais vécu et agit de toutes ses senses.

L’homme civil nait, vit et meurt dans l’esclavage des institutions: A sa naissance on the coud dans un maillot, a sa mort on le cloue dans une bière. Tant qu’il garde la figure humaine, il est enchaine par nos institutions.

Le vent de tous ses catégories et la mer de toutes ses forces sont naturelles: Prend garde, jeune pilote du vaisseau, que ton cable ne file et que ton ancre ne laboure pour ne pas dériver. C’est ça l’éducation fondamentale quand on est jeté dans la société a composantes variantes.

L’homme urbain est une unité fractionnaire qui tient au denominateur commun, les lois civiles qui s’appliquent a tous: Ôter son existence absolu pour creer une nature relative dans l’unite commun.

Les Guerres des Républiques sont plus cruelles que celles des monarchies. Pourtant, la vie en paix dans une monarchie (et ses classes d’elites) est terrible comme sujet et pas comme citoyens.

Le combat de l’humanité est entre élever un homme ou un citoyen. Dans les deux cas, la majorité silencieuse a manque aux deux choix et entrave le développement des droits des hommes et la coopération entre les genres, les races et la liberté d’expression.

Note 2: It might take me a long time to finish “Emile”: For each page I read, I feel pressured to fill another page of notes and comments.

Ready or not, we need to start talking about menopause in the workplace

By Lisa DeShantz-Cook. Senior editor, ThinkHR. May 3, 2021. (Borrowed from Quartz with a few editing)

What is menopause anyway?

Speaking of menopause and its precursor perimenopause aloud can clear a room.

While everyone knows it’s something we have to deal with, no one wants to actually talk about it—especially Not in the workplace, and certainly not in mixed company.

But in this era of bringing our whole selves to work (whether that’s in the physical presence of our coworkers or from our home workspaces), it’s high time we introduced the topic.

Menopause, meet the workplace. Workplace, say hello to menopause.

Employers are okay discussing and making accommodations for pregnancy and breastfeeding, but menopause seems somehow different, a workplace taboo best swept under the proverbial carpet. As a result, they’re missing opportunities to support us.

What is menopause?

Menopause isn’t just a time when we stop having periods. A whole host of symptoms related to menopause can affect us in our 40s, 50s, and into our 60s.

These symptoms include hot flashes, cognitive changes, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, stress and burnout, to name just a few.

Mind you that Menopause can occur earlier due to certain health conditions, surgery, or chemotherapy.

My own experience with menopause just happened to coincide with a worldwide pandemic. With work travel effectively shut down, I could suffer symptoms over video meetings, where luckily my co-workers were unlikely to notice my pounding heart and shirt-soaking hot flashes.

Experiencing the indignities alone in my home office, and being able to shut off my video camera to run outside, is a luxury many of my friends aren’t afforded.

When menopause arrives, we may be at an age where we may have more time to devote to work or other interests now that children may be off to college or grown and gone.

We might also have fewer responsibilities outside of work, so more time to dedicate to work, education, certification, or other interests.

Conversely, menopause can happen when we have even more demands—like caring for older or ill parents or family members—on top of other family stressors.

Menopause can be a cruel twist in a life that might just be hitting its stride or yet another challenge on top of an overfilled plate.

If you’re in it, you know. You’ve probably raced into a meeting and gotten situated at the table, only to be overtaken by the internal fire that signifies an oncoming hot flash—and had to race for the door.

Your co-workers might be confused by your constant fanning, or your need for dressing in umpteen layers and peeling them off at seemingly random times. You might have snapped at someone for little reason or pushed past someone in the hallway in a rush for fresh air.

Worse still is the brain fog.

Routine tasks might get hazy, or you may have forgotten where you were in the middle of a meeting or presentation, or dropped the ball on your part of a team project. These slips can be brutal to your ego, but if you’re supported in the workplace, they don’t have to derail your career.

How employers can support women going through menopause

Menopause does affect the workforce—recent studies show 20% of the current workforce is experiencing it—so employers should acknowledge it.

Here’s how they can begin:

  • First and foremost, actively work to demystify and destigmatize this very normal life phase.
  • Encourage open and honest discussion about menopause and its side effects. Acknowledging that symptoms can be both emotionally and physically challenging can go a long way.
  • Build policies that help us feel supported in all phases of our work life, and facilitate conversations that help co-workers and managers understand when support and understanding is needed.
  • Create a safe space for us to express our needs to managers and supervisors, such as flexible hours if sleep is being interrupted, access to fresh air during the workday, proximity to bathrooms, or breaks in meetings. Our having to say “I’m having a hot flash and need to step away” shouldn’t be met with ridicule, shame, or personal questions.
  • Make room for menopause in workplace health programs.
  • Is there a place to get information on menopause for those experiencing it or those wishing to provide support? Does the employee assistance program (EAP) offer guidance? Do health and wellness talks include information about menopause?
  • Educate managers on menopause, symptoms, accommodations, and appropriate support, and teach them what they can do to keep their employees experiencing menopause symptoms engaged, productive, challenged, and feeling valued.

If those of us experiencing menopause aren’t acknowledged and supported by workplace policies and initiatives, we’ll feel alienated, invisible, less valued, and may bow out of the workforce well before we’re ready, taking with us valuable wisdom and experience.

Support from company leaders, openness and efforts to destigmatize menopause in the workplace, and employer policies and programs that support our health at all ages benefit everyone.

Can Capitalism be reformed? Part 2

Posted on September 25, 2010

This part will discuss ownership of private land properties in capitalist systems and the practical political and legal reforms needed if change is to be effective.  

In the first part I wrote:

One:  Capitalism is based on four  foundations:

1. Private property of means of production;

2. free exchange (products, services…);

3.  open free market for commerce; and

4. availability of a vast pool of people willing to work for slave salary.

The main driving force is that the owner of the means of production (the bank, the partners, the shareholder, or the family)  should earn as much as the total salary that all workers receive in the business.

Consequently, an employee is hired when the owner can generate profit, at least as equal to the total salary of the hired worker.

Two:  The foundations of capitalism have proven Not to function except within strong State institutions, which are almost totally controlled by the capitalist elite classes, especially the Old Money classes that generated the wealth in previous slave working system.

The judicial system obeys laws decreed by parliaments that are dominated by the richest and political “aristocracy” classes, and the executive branch is intrinsically dominated by these classes, directly and indirectly.  

This whole political system is called “capitalist democracy” where people have the illusion of electing their representatives for a duration.  

After election, people are to behave as spectators:  Any serious disturbances are crushed in the name of Law and Order.

Three:  The previous article described Communist economic systems (Russia and China) and then, capitalism in Western European social-democratic States.

Four:  The one foundation that all economic systems of developed States share is free global trade; which means the liberty to exploiting the developing countries in natural resources and cheap labor.

The developed States are allowed to subsidize their agriculture, but the developing nations are not to do it and they cannot, even if they witness the need to do it .  

The developed States are to flood the markets of developing countries with affordable products with No “legal rights” for the developing nations to increasing import taxes in order to safeguarding their own meager means of productions.

The developed States (colonial powers) can find financial resources at low-interest rates (at 3%, even if they accumulated far higher sovereign debts than the poorer States), but not the developing nations( at least over 7% interest rates on loans

In return for blatant exploitation, the developed States agree “voluntarily” to setting aside a small fraction of their GNP to developing the infrastructures in the poorer States; mainly, self-serving their interests to improving and facilitating exploitation and transport of raw materials efficiently.

Five:  All “international” institutions such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Commerce Trades are dominated by the US, China, and a few European States. Thus, transparency and access to timely information and intelligence are practically denied the developing nations.

Six:  Financial institutions (banks, insurance companies…) are the real owner of means of production in capitalist systems.  They own 30% of the total wealth of a nation and represent only 1% of the population.  This is NOT acceptable.

Fact is, financial institutions generate three times more money than the combined tax collected by the government.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Any reforms should first target the level of profit that financial institutions are permitted to generate.  “Effective” interest rates should be lowered accordingly and tougher regulations imposed of these behemoths.

Small community banks with excellent transparency in decision process and lending policies should be the norm. 

The current status of multinational financial institutions is generating abnormal profit with no risks whatsoever.  

The aristocratic political family class (representing less than 10% of the population and hoarding more than 20% of the nation’s wealth or what is called “Old Money”) is the main beneficiary of the current capitalist system dominated by the financial barons.

Seven:  If capitalism needs salaried people, it must secure the fundamental right to work, a wide range of jobs that satisfy varied opportunity, access to affordable education, safe workplace, universal health coverage, caring for the elderly, and justice for people who worked most of their life for a comfortable retreat.  

Has capitalism satisfied the basic needs of its workforce?

Eight:  States should start taxing according to the number of employees hired and net revenue (not based on financial sheet profit):  These two criteria are the most objective representative of net profit and easy to investigate. 

This gimmick of taxing on “net profit” is an accounting fraud that is not objective or fair.

Companies relocating their factories or main business for cheaper workers must be taxed according to the original “national wages” of the workers. 

Companies substituting workers for robots should be taxed according to the number of workers substituted. 

States will be able to subsidize unemployed people until they find jobs and be imaginative enough to opening up newer job opportunities.

Nine:  There is a trend for owners with strong ethics and moral values to including employees as shareholders and participating in management decisions:  These companies are doing very well and not suffering from financial crashes. 

Institutions and companies for profit are amoral and do not deal in ethical conducts.  Ethics and morality are individual characteristics:  the more such individuals gather in groups to reclaim fairness and justice in actions the more institutions will be reminded of what is best for society.

Land and private property are the basis for the emergence of the “bourgeois and merchant” classes and which initiated the major leap forward into creating wealth.  

This system of private ownership lead to the abolition of feudalism and absolute monarchical powers that were backed by the clergy.

The structure of private ownership of land and properties materially weakened nobility and clergy and eventually displaced them.

Private ownership of land and properties are Not currently economically essential for capitalist system to function properly:  Enterprises can lease properties and resume their business as usual.  

It is the political ideology behind private properties that is the culprit.  Private property ownership remains as a reminder that aristocracy image of power must not vanish in order to retain political power in “democratic” political system.

Ownership of land and real estates must be legally abolished in order to have a serious chance for political reforms.  Land should be owned by communities and regulated by community councils.

Land and real estates should only be leased and never owned by individuals or enterprises.  Why?

First, inheritance of private real estates and money is the main reason for the existence of aristocratic lineage in wealth and politics.  The inheritance mentality encourages sustaining ancient beliefs that the aristocratic class is better fit to rule, guide, and lead simply because this class created the system that perpetuates its interests and egoistic power.

Second, land and properties leasing laws prevent inheritance problems and its successions of hate, suffering, and legal procedures.  

Land and real estates should be leased for a period No longer than 30 years and never renewed for any member of the family in order to dissuade political inheritance of images and statuses.  

Leases can be extended for three years under particular circumstances. For example, father, mother, and grandparents have the right to die in their property and not experience humiliation and exacerbation at old age.  I guess children will make sure that their folks remain at home and not be sent to specialized rest homes in order to enjoying a free location.

Third, leases on unused properties or uninhabited could be canceled.  Consequently, homes will be properly maintained and the homeless people will have the availability of shelter in unoccupied properties.  Families with crippled or handicapped children will have priority for occupying uninhabited properties.

Fourth, leased land and real estates offer greater opportunities for the newer generations to different life-style in habitat, sustainable energy, and better community life.

Fifth, enterprises may be allowed to renew the lease for specific duration as long as the nature of the business did not change or will not change after the renewal. For example, transforming from a manufacturer to real estates development is Not acceptable.

The third part of this series of articles will develop on election processes and laws reforms that would shift the odds for the middle class and lower classes to acceded to legislative and executive positions.

Note:  You may read about the Real Estates bubble that won’t burst and is converging to another financial crisis in https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/obama-praying-mantra-next-f-crash-not-on-my-watch/

Syrian Women battle continues: Euripides’ “Trojan Women”

Posted on May 30, 2014

Syria Trojan Women: the battle continues. BEIRUT, by Élodie Morel | iloubnan.info – May 18, 2014, 14h46<!––><!–
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 In December 2013, around 40 Syrian women performed Euripides’ “Trojan Women” on stage in Amman, Jordan.
All of the actresses were refugees that had fled their country to escape the war that began three years ago.

Euripides wrote the Trojan Women in 415 BC. However, the tragedy could have been written yesterday, or these Syrian refugees. Just like the Trojan Women, they lost everything when they left Syria: their homes, their jobs, their possessions and in many cases, their loved ones.

The co-founders of the project now want to portray this experience through a documentary entitled Queens of Syria.
In a large, bright room, somewhere in Amman, Syrian women, all refugees living in the Jordan capital, are playing Musical Chairs.

All of them are running and laughing like children.One woman slips and falls on her bottom, trying to sit down, she bursts out laughing with her friends.

This surprising and heart-warming scene was filmed during the Syria Trojan Women project, launched in October 2013, where 40 Syrian refugees participating in drama therapy workshops worked together to perform Euripides Trojan Women tragedy on stage in December.Those images are striking and truly moving. They will be used to create a documentary entitled Queens of Syria, dedicated to the two-month long process of the project.

This film still needs financing to see the light. You can watch more of the footage in this video, where filmmaker Yasmin Fedaa explains why it is crucial to finalize the production of the documentary:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/92822753
Journalist and award-winning former foreign correspondent, Charlotte Eagar is one of the co-founders of the Syria Trojan Women project.Months ago, she got the idea of having Syrian refugees perform in Euripides’ tragedy on stage.

Charlotte had been familiar with this mythical play since reading it during her time at university: And in 1992, while covering the conflict in Bosnia, she heard it on the BBC World Service.The words echoed with the reality she was living at that time.

This play is a universal, timeless tale about war and its victims.Charlotte is also an award-winning filmmaker. The year before the Syria Trojan Women project was born, she co-directed and co-wrote a mini soap in Kenya entitled “Something’s Got to Change”, with young amateur actors, in a Nairobi slum for the NGO Emerging Leaders.“

I realized that through this project, the children became confident, proud of what they had done,.When this project was completed, I was looking for another idea. I discussed with Oxfam about useful initiatives to launch. They suggested that we address the situation of the Syrian refugees in different countries neighboring Syria. The story of the Syrian women made me think of Euripides’ tragedy.”Just like the Trojan Women, the Syrian women lost everything when they fled their country.

From Lebanon to Jordan

The project was supposed to take place in Lebanon, the country hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees.There are more than one million officially registered refugees there. “We wanted to do it in Lebanon, but we had to change our plans for security purposes,” Charlotte told us as we contacted her from Beirut.

She explained that, as a former war correspondent, she was not really worried about the security situation in Lebanon, but insurance companies most certainly were.

“Not a single one accepted to insure the project.” So the organizers decided to do it in Amman, the capital of Jordan, a much more stable country.The objective of the Syria Trojan Women project was to help refugees through drama-therapy, but also to publicize this crisis and to raise the audience’s awareness about the humanitarian situation in Syria.

The drama-therapy was really effective.Charlotte Eagar explained to us that the play “gave a voice to 
those women. It gave them a feeling of achievement and dignity; it was also a way for them to escape their daily ‘routine’. They were not living in refugee camps; they had found homes around Amman.

They had at one point felt isolated and lonely, but coming to the drama-therapy sessions was a way to build new relationships.A kindergarten was also set up to take care of the children of the participants. Just like their mothers, the children made new friends as well. This project was great for everyone!”

Two performances took place at the National Centre for Culture and Performing Arts in Amman on December 17 and 18, 2013.After performing on stage, the women said they felt that people listened to their story. For once, they were directly speaking to the public, without any media between them and the audience.

The audience was composed of the refugees’ families, and also of Jordanian locals and expatriates.“After the play, people said: ‘now I really feel like I understand what it is like to be a refugee’”, stated Georgina Paget, a London-based film producer.

Georgina is also a co-founder of the Syria Trojan Women project.Paget told us, “After watching and listening to these women, the people in the audience understood what life could be like in such a situation. They understood that these refugees were people just like them. One of the women used to work in her town’s administration services, you know. She could be anyone of us.”

Fighting compassion fatigue


This play is also a way to fight compassion fatigue, which is one of the biggest challenges of the project. “People are tired of caring,” Georgina explained. “There is a compassion fatigue in general and especially regarding Syria. We feel it every day. For example, the amount of money collected by NGOs for Syria is much smaller than the amount collected after the Philippines’ hurricane.”

The Syria Trojan Women performance in December was also a success from an artistic point of view. They have been invited to perform in places such as the UK, the US and Switzerland.

But getting visas for Syrian refugees to certain countries is difficult. So, to reach as many people as possible, the organizers are now trying to finalize the documentary, “Queens of Syria”.“The objective of the documentary is to reach more people, to let as many people as possible hear the story of these women.

We filmed the drama-therapy sessions, the rehearsals and the performances, thanks to a grant from the Asfari Foundation and private donations,” Georgina Paget said. “We have 88 hours of footage and we need money to make a documentary out of them”.

A 3’30 trailer for the documentary was released online. It shows the refugees, passionate about what they do, about the play and about being together. It is truly moving. You can watch it here:
https://player.vimeo.com/video/86996865

To finance the production of the documentary, the Syria Trojan Women Project launched a crowdfounding campaign on Indiegogo, a crowdfounding digital platform.“

We hope that by watching this documentary, just like by watching the performance in Amman, people will begin to understand what is really happening. They will see Syrian refugees as real persons and not only as statistics delivered by the media.

They will see individuals telling their stories,” Georgina said, while adding that, “to make the people care, we need to give them something personal and beautiful as well. Out of their own tragedy, the women created something beautiful. They created art.”

Related Articles

– See more at: http://www.iloubnan.info/artandculture/80938/Syria-Trojan-Women:-the-battle-continues#sthash.iD7pzhPN.dpuf


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