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في أوروبا صدر كتاب تحت عنوانLe Crime de l’occident«جريمة الغرب» قامت بوضعــه الكاتبـة الفرنسيـة «ڤيڤيان فورستييه» شرحت فيه كيفية ارتكاب الغرب جريمته بحق الشعب الفلسطيني،

وهي في عمقها جريمة اوروبية ارتكبت بحق اليهود، ومن ثم أطلقوا وعد بلفور البريطاني، وبتأييد من الأوروبيين، الذين منحوا اليهود حق ارتكاب مجازرهم البشعة بحق الشعب الفلسطيني، وفي تشريدهم وتهجيرهم، وصولاً لاحتلال وطنهم فلسطين.

الكاتبة الفرنسية فيفيان فورستييه وجهت للحكومات الأوروبية وللمجتمع الأوروبي أسئلة واضحة.*مَن أحرق مَن؟ أهم عرب فلسطين الذين أحرقوا يهود أوروبا أم الأوروبيون هم الذين ارتكبوا المحرقة؟

*مَن جوّع مَن؟ أهم عرب فلسطين الذين جوّعوا يهود أوروبا أم إننا نحن من قام بذلك؟*مَن أقام المقابر الجماعية أهم عرب فلسطين الذين قاموا بذلك أم نحن الأوروبيون؟*مَن قام بتهجير السكان الأصليين لفلسطين ومن ثم احتلالها بالقوة والترهيب، اهم الفلسطينيون أم اليهود؟تشير الكاتبة في كتابها إلى أن اليهود كانوا معنا يعيشون وفي الأندلس كانوا مستشارين في مصارف بيروت وبغداد والقاهرة وسورية والعراق وفي المغرب العربي كان لهم شأن ومقام كسواهم.تضيف الكاتبة نحن الأوروبيين،

صنعنا هذه المأساة للشعب الفلسطيني والفوضى للعالم العربي،نحن الأوروبيين، لفظنا اليهود ورمينا بهم في فلسطين.

نحن الأوروبيين، غسلنا عارنا بدماء الفلسطينيين، وتركنا اليهود يتفننون في قتل وذبح وهدم بيوت الفلسطينيين، وتهجيرهم والاستيلاء على أرضهم، واحتلال بلدهم تحت أعيننا، وجعلنا من المظلومين إرهابيين ظالمين.

وتختم الكاتبة قائلة: ردوهم إلى أوروبا، وابحثوا عن محارق اليهود وأفران الغاز في أوروبا وليس في فلسطين.حين تنشر صحيفة يدعوت أحرونوت الإسرائيلية مقالاً تحت عنوان «الهجرة المعاكسة وشراء شقق خارج إسرائيل تحسباً لليوم الأسود» فذلك يعني استحالة قيام دولة يهودية وتفكك الكيان الإسرائيلي صار متجذراً في وجدان الصهاينة،

أما جملة، تحسباً لليوم الأسود، فهي تعني أن العمق الصهيوني صار متأكداً من حتمية زوال إسرائيل

Christopher Pisarenko

25.1. 2018

Note: Zionist problem does not stem from American Jewish support for Israel. Rather, it is entirely rooted in the pro-Jewish culture, that the initial immigrant Calvinists who fled England imposed the myths and customs of the Jewish religion

Actually Google did its best to discourage anyone from opening these links.

Long before John Locke set about writing his late 17th century works which laid the foundations for political liberalism in the Anglo-Saxon world (and the broader West), there existed the already deeply entrenched religious views of Martin Luther and John Calvin.

The works of these two founding fathers of Protestantism greatly influenced the spiritual, cultural, political, social and economic Weltanschauung of Americans far more than anything written by Locke or any of the other social contract philosophers of the Enlightenment (e.g. Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, et al.).

This unique American worldview, or more specifically culture-soul, which arose on the rocky shores of New England during the first half of the 17th century, can indeed be classified as “Calvinist” as it exhibits many distinctly Calvinist traits such as the Protestant Ethic, staunch individualism, an obsession with the concept of God’s Chosen People, the belief in exceptionalism, a universal world mission, etcetera.

However, there is a specific ideological catalyst within Calvinism which itself provided the foundation for the tradition of Christian Zionism to take root – a tradition which for the past 400 years has flourished in North America and indeed is flourishing today like never before among evangelical Christians, Neoconservatives and a variety of other groups.

The ideological catalyst alluded to is Judeocentric prophecy interpretation.

Without this fundamental ideological catalyst firmly in place (implanted as it was in early Protestant theology), it is highly doubtful whether the subsequent doctrine of Christian Zionism would have ever arisen – a doctrine which has had an enormous influence not only on American religion and politics but on American culture and identity as well.

Without question, the strongest advocates of Christian Zionism in the United States today are evangelical Christians.

Here it is important to understand that the evangelicals are not only a religious group, but they are a highly mobilized political bloc who enjoy an enormous amount of support nationwide (especially in the South and Midwest), and thus they wield a great amount of political power.

The defining characteristic or trait of evangelical Christians is Not their belief in Jesus (which would make them no different from other nominal Christian groups) but rather their unconditional support for the modern terroristic state of Israel.

It is their unabashed Zionist fanaticism which has caused many to refer to evangelicals as “Christian Zionists” – and indeed, in the author’s opinion, these two terms (“evangelical” and “Christian Zionist”) are synonymous.

Understanding the two intertwined facts that

(1) Christian Zionists possess a great deal of power in the U.S. and

(2) they are absolutely fanatical when it comes to supporting Israel also helps one to understand why a pro-Jewish lobbying organization like AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has so much political influence in the United States.

But then the following questions naturally arise:

Why are there all of these Zionist Christians?

Where did they come from?

Why is Christian Zionism so prevalent in America, etc.?

To answer these questions we must study both the historical and ideological bases of Judeocentric prophecy interpretation, as well as the Judeocentric tradition of biblical hermeneutics in general. We must therefore begin our study in the most obvious place: the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther.

What to know about Luther with regard to Judeocentric prophecy interpretation is his absolute emphasis on biblical literalism – i.e. his insistence on the idea that when one reads and interprets the bible, it must be taken literally.

Luther inaugurated this patently Protestant view which, it should be said, fundamentally differs from medieval hermeneutics.

For example, medieval theologians tried to embrace as many approaches as possible when interpreting biblical texts – they were quite literally Catholic (i.e. universal) in this sense. They would interpret the bible metaphorically, allegorically, analogically – as many ways as possible in order to extract every last drop of biblical “juice” or meaning from the text.

But Luther went in a very different direction. He insisted on literalism. Thus, Luther insisted on interpreting all history through a narrow biblical lens. In other words, he insisted on looking to historical events for confirmations and clues to past and future prophecies.

As the unequivocal founder (or “first father”) of Protestantism, Luther had obviously made prime enemies with the Pope and the entire Catholic Church as a religious and political institution.

Accordingly, Luther directed his most passionate attacks against Catholicism. Nevertheless, there was another very powerful religio-political force which Luther frequently denounced – the Ottoman Empire.

And so, in his interpretation of biblical prophecy Luther considered the Antichrist as being a two-headed demonic entity, which is to say a “Turco-Catholic” Antichrist.

Both Muslims and Catholics were considered to be two sides of the same satanic coin

Regarding the Jews, it is well known that Luther became notoriously anti-Jewish later in life, going so far as to publish a work in 1543 entitled On the Jews and Their Lies.

Nevertheless, Luther was the first theologian to advance the notion of Jewish national conversion – a belief that still persists among some Christian Zionists. Those who subscribe to the doctrine of Jewish national conversion essentially believe that preceding Christ’s return, there will be a mass conversion of Jews to Christianity, and that this conversion will actually hasten the Second Coming of Christ.

It must be stressed that John Calvin also believed in the idea of Jewish national conversion, in addition to all of the other biblical-literalist ideas advanced by Luther.

Many of the English followers of Luther and Calvin were absolutely captivated by the prospect of a Jewish national conversion – and it is precisely in England where Christian Zionism first rears its head as a popular religious force.

It was on account of the pro-Jewish advocacy and intellectual influence of a number of English Christian Zionists that Oliver Cromwell was persuaded to reverse the centuries-old prohibition on Jews entering England, which had been enacted in 1290 by King Edward I. Thus, in 1657 Jews were once again permitted (and even encouraged) to settle in England.

The English Puritans were, needless to say, very elated to see the Jews return. They interpreted this historical event in the same way Luther or Calvin would – as a clear sign from God which would mark the imminent return of Christ.

And so they immediately began trying to convert as many Jews to Protestantism as possible, only to find (to their great chagrin) that they were in fact converting no one.

The Puritans soon discovered that the conversion of a single Jew was something which was extremely rare. Moreover, they soon realized that the Jews only wanted to be left alone – they wanted to remain in their own communities, maintain their own culture and traditions, to conduct business and to go about their lives.

The Jews wanted to remain Jews.

This fact greatly disappointed the English Puritans because, quite clearly, their apocalyptic hopes were “riding” on a different outcome (as it were) and were thus not being fulfilled in a literal way.

Their hermeneutical interpretation changed from having a strong emphasis on literalism to favoring a more allegorical interpretation along the lines of preterism. (Preterist theology maintains that the prophecies described in the bible are not really prophecies but sets of allegories for events which have already occurred.)

Thus, preterist interpretations started to arise among the Puritans of England, and philology began to be used in hermeneutics by leading European philosophers like Hobbes, Grotius, Spinoza and others.

It is important to stress, at this point, that on account of the relative isolation of the American colonies from the events taking place in England, the turning away from literalism in hermeneutics did not take hold in America.

If anything, the intertwined ideas of biblical literalism and pro-Jewish sentiment would only grow stronger becoming a staple of American religion, thereby distinguishing it greatly from its British counterpart.

In his famous 1630 “City upon a Hill” speech, John Winthrop (the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony) compared his fellow Puritan settlers to the Jews of the Old Testament.

Winthrop stated that, like the Jews, the Puritans were expelled from their homes in England; like the Jews, they were persecuted; and like the Jews, they had a special covenant with God, which is to say that the Puritans believed they were given a special mission by God and that they had a special or “exceptional” role to play in history.

This 1630 speech by Winthrop – which was actually just one part of his sermon, entitled “A Model of Christian Charity” – constituted the beginning of what would emerge to create not only Christian Zionism but a general kind of ethos in America, and a general idea of American exceptionalism.

The next major “American” figure to mention after Gov. John Winthrop is the Reverend John Cotton (1585-1652).

Beginning in 1639 Cotton delivered a number of millenarian and Judeocentric speeches which also tied in the idea that the people of the New England colonies were a special people who possessed a special divinely ordained mission from God – that they were “Chosen,” just as the Old Testament Israelites had been “Chosen.”

This line of thought was developed further in the work of one of Cotton’s close friends and associates (who happened also to possess a rather strange first name): the Reverend Increase Mather (1639-1723).

In 1669 Mather published a book entitled The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation.

In this work, Mather insisted on a literalist interpretation of biblical prophecy and of the entire bible in general. A man of considerable erudition, Increase Mather was definitely aware of the anti-literalist (preterist) trends which were gaining ground in England (trends with which he strongly disagreed), and so he committed himself to defending biblical literalism against all other tendencies.

Mather strongly believed that if one does not interpret the bible literally – if people allow themselves to get caught up in metaphor and allegory – then eventually the concept of religious faith will lose its entire meaning.

Mather also repeated in his work many of the same themes of his Christian Zionist predecessors, going all the way back to Calvin and Luther. Themes such as: Jewish national conversion paving the way for the return of Christ, the destruction of the Catholic Church, the return of the Jews to Palestine and the concomitant destruction of Islam which would accompany the return, etc.

Meanwhile, back in England, there was not only a growing sense of anti-literalism taking root, but there was also a growing indifference to the overall destiny (spiritual or otherwise) of the New England colonists themselves.

For example, in 1634 the well-read English bible scholar Joseph Mead (1586-1639), when asked for his opinion of the New England colonists, essentially said that he wished the colonists well but he did not think that the colonies – or more specifically, North America – had any importance in an eschatological sense.

Mead even went as far as to say that he believed America was the land to which Satan and his armies had fled at some point in the remote past, because Christ’s message (which had been spread throughout the rest of the known world) had not been received by the indigenous peoples prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

So according to Mead’s embarrassingly simple logic, Satan had retreated into the vast American wilderness in order to prevent the Indians from coming to Christ – and this would then explain the fact that the Indians had no clue as to who Christ was or what Christianity was all about.

One should understand that at this time in history, when Mead made his judgment on North America, there already existed widespread speculation among Christian settlers as to the biblical origins of American Indians – because at this time, it was still believed by most Christians that the origin of every race, tribe and people on earth could be found in the pages of the Book of Genesis.

The “discovery” of indigenous non-White peoples in the New World presented the Christian theologians with a great conundrum. It was not enough to simply state that the indigenous peoples had always lived in North America; a formal explanation would be required.

So, many began to assume that the Indians might have been the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. However, speculation about this eventually died out after countless attempts to convert the Indians had completely failed.

In time, Joseph Mead’s negative view of North America and its indigenous population eventually found a significant base of support in England. Some people began to believe that the New World was in fact Satan’s den and that the Indians were nothing more than reincarnated “Canaanite” heathens, i.e. savage, idol-worshipping pawns of Satan. (Stupid. They were damning the origin of their development: it were the Canaanites/Phoenicians who were the master of the seas and trade for over 1000 years)

It was only after Joseph Mead had been dead for more than half a century that a few New England colonists began responding (in the 1690s) to what he had said about America all those decades before.

\One of the New England respondents was Judge Samuel Sewall (1652-1730). Essentially Sewall stated in his response that he not only disagreed with the late Joseph Mead’s view that America would have no place in the Millennium (i.e. millennial reign of Christ), but Sewall went so far as to say that America would host the actual physical location of the future New Jerusalem.

Accompanying this assertion was an unmistakable expression of colonial patriotism, as Sewall was unquestionably offended by Mead’s statements.

Another New England respondent was the famous colonial preacher and polymath Cotton Mather (1663-1728) – the son of Increase Mather and grandson of John Cotton. In his response to Mead, Cotton Mather did not exhibit as much patriotism as Sewall. For example, he did not dare espouse the unorthodox view that the future seat of Christ’s Kingdom on earth would be located in America. Nevertheless, Mather did state that it was unreasonable to believe that, upon Christ’s return, America would have no role to play in the coming Millennium.

Overall, in these responses one could clearly detect an emerging, nascent American nationalism mixing with the older Puritan tradition of Judeocentric prophecy interpretation. Indeed, both American patriotism and Judeo-centrism coalesced to create an unmistakable civic religion in what would become the United States.

The person of Cotton Mather should be discussed here a bit further because, in all honesty, he was quite an interesting historical figure and one who is perhaps underestimated in his contribution to helping form American identity.

As a prolific author and confirmed polymath, Cotton Mather was interested and knowledgeable in a wide variety of subjects, and one of these subjects was Islam. He was very interested in Islamic culture, history, the Ottoman Empire, etc.

It should be said that at this time in colonial history it was very popular to read the narratives of those who had been abducted and taken captive by the various American Indian tribes. Thus in a similar fashion (due to his great knowledge of Muslim cultures), Mather produced a number of popular stories on the experiences of Anglo-American sailors who had been taken captive by the infamous Barbary pirates.

Consequently, Cotton Mather’s writing contributed quite significantly to the formation of early American nationalism. For example, he would write about the various trials and degradations suffered by the American captives, and of the great need for them to persevere and hold on to their Christian faith. So these stories served to confirm and consolidate American national identity, and to foster an already growing sense of patriotism in the colonies.

As Cotton Mather grew older he became more acquainted with the non-literalist trends and hermeneutics back in England. And he saw that many people had been routinely disappointed with the literalist interpretations of various ministers – which is to say, many had become disappointed with those ministers who, based on their own literal interpretations of biblical text, had predicted that the Millennium would arrive on such and such a date.

For example, some pastors predicted the Millennium would come in 1697, others said it would come in 1716, etc. Needless to say they were all proven wrong.

At that point, after seeing the late 17th and early 18th century “great disappointments” among the religious masses, Cotton Mather began to question whether a purely literal approach to interpreting biblical prophecy was correct.

Thus, Mather tried to establish something of a hybrid approach. Toward the end of his life, however, he became a convinced pre-millennialist like Joseph Mead, which is to say that Mather no longer believed the Jews had to be converted as a precondition prior to Christ’s return, and that the only thing preventing the events of the Apocalypse from being set in motion is the Will of God.

In other words, Christ could return at any moment and there are no essential preconditions for the Second Coming.

In any event, by the mid-eighteenth century, after more than a century of Judeocentric indoctrination and pulpit-based propaganda, the English colonists of North America (and especially those in New England) began to see themselves as Jews, which is to say they began to strongly identify themselves as a Second Israel.

This belief comes out especially strong in the years leading up to the American War of Independence – to form what the historian Nathan Hatch refers to as civil millenarianism.

What Hatch means by the term “civil millenarianism” is that the idea of civic or patriotic duty and political involvement eventually coalesced with millenarian prophecy to create a civic belief system in which one’s political and national identity combines with one’s religious beliefs.

And indeed, this was a phenomenon which was occurring to an enormous extent throughout New England and, by extension, throughout all of the other colonies as well – because, compared to all of the other colonies, New England dominated in terms of intellectual influence.

So it is important for the reader to comprehend that practically all of these early “American” ideas and works have their origins in the long-deceased minds of New England’s foremost religious zealots.

And so, as we pass into the second half of the eighteenth century, when the British government intensified its perceived “tyranny” against the considerably free and prosperous colonials (via the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, etc.), the long-established tradition of Judeocentric prophecy interpretation (as well as the age-old belief in the “Turco-Catholic” Antichrist) was easily combined with American civil millenarianism in such a way as to portray the British government – and the embodiment of that government, King George III – as being the Antichrist or Satan incarnate.

Naturally then, the eventual war against Britain came to be seen by many of those descended from Puritan stock as a grand cosmic, apocalyptic struggle between the forces of Good and Evil.

Of course many traditional American historians like to emphasize the mainstream view that the founders of the United States were great admirers and followers of the ideas of John Locke, and that they all categorically believed in “libertarian” type principles which include religious tolerance among other “enlightened” views such as freedom of speech, civil rights, limited government, property rights, etc.

However, this mainstream view is not at all accurate.

The truth of the matter is that the influence of millenarian Puritanism (aka Judeo-centrism aka Christian Zionism) on the ideological foundations of the United States is grossly understated and underrepresented in the historiography of the American experience.

This is a tradition which fundamentally denies religious tolerance, denies minority rights and denies freedom of expression. And this is the tradition upon which the United States was fundamentally founded.

Indeed it was civil millenarianism, specifically, which was the driving ideological engine behind the so-called American “Revolution” (i.e. War of Independence).

Then, upon independence, the civil millenarian idea became embedded in the American national identity and consciousness and it became a part of what it means to be “American.”

Thus, more and more Americans, post-independence, came to view themselves as the New Israel, the New Chosen People, the holders of another covenant with God, the Redeemer Nation, the last bastion of freedom on earth, etc., etc.

The “snowball” began rolling downhill, so to speak. Hence it takes no great effort for one to see how this kind of civil millenarian belief system led to the modern civic religion of American Exceptionalism and the patently false and hypocritical view that America stands for “freedom and democracy” around the world.

Note: Literalism is a common phase in all religions. Islam literalism took hold, after the Golden Age of Interpretation, when successive illiterate Islamic warrior tribes took hold of power and annihilated the rational/scientific ascendency in Islam at the beginning of the 10th century.

4 November 2021

Par Yara Hawari

Le « processus de paix » fictif que la conférence de Madrid a lancé il y a 30 ans a eu pour seul effet de permettre et de solidifier l’occupation israélienne de la Palestine.

Du 30 octobre au 1er novembre 1991, une prétendue « conférence de paix » parrainée par les États-Unis et l’Union soviétique s’est tenue à Madrid pour traiter le conflit palestino-israélien.

Étaient présents des délégués d’Israël, de Palestine, de Jordanie, du Liban et de Syrie, ainsi que les deux parrains et l’État hôte, l’Espagne. (It is to be noted that Israel Shamir PM did Not want this conference and left it the same day)

C’était la première fois que Palestiniens et Israéliens étaient impliqués dans des négociations directes.

La conférence était censée être l’étape préliminaire des négociations de paix entre Israël et la Palestine et elle a ouvert la voie aux accords d’Oslo qui ont été signés deux ans plus tard.

Elle a en réalité jeté les bases du prétendu « processus de paix » – le paradigme dominant pour la résolution des conflits entre Israéliens et Palestiniens, et trente ans plus tard, nous pouvons affirmer avec certitude que cette initiative n’a pas rapproché les Palestiniens de l’autodétermination… Elle a plutôt permis à Israël de renforcer son système de domination.

Bien que Palestiniens et Israéliens étaient supposés négocier sur un pied d’égalité à Madrid, ils n’ont guère été traités sur un pied d’égalité.

Les Palestiniens ont subi condescendance et humiliation dès le début.

L’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP), qui menait la lutte palestinienne depuis son lieu d’exil en Tunisie, a été officiellement interdite d’y assister, sur l’insistance d’Israël et des États-Unis, et en lieu et place, les délégués palestiniens ont dû s’intégrer dans une délégation conjointe palestino-jordanienne.

Pour ajouter l’insulte à la blessure, deux des conseillers officieux qui avaient accompagné la délégation palestinienne, Faisal Husseini et Hanan Ashrawi, ont été exclus de la salle de négociation parce qu’ils étaient des habitants de Jérusalem.

Pour les Israéliens, leur présence signifiait la reconnaissance de fait que les Palestiniens avaient un droit légitime à Jérusalem. Ce traitement avilissant des Palestiniens continuerait à s’imposer en bonne place dans tous les « pourparlers de paix » qui ont suivi.

Cela s’est également reflété dans l’accord de reconnaissance mutuelle entre les deux parties conclu lors des négociations d’Oslo.

Alors que les Palestiniens reconnaissaient Israël à l’intérieur des frontières de 1967, les Israéliens n’ont jamais reconnu l’OLP que comme le représentant légitime du peuple palestinien, mais sans reconnaître aucun droit à la souveraineté.

En effet, tout au long du « processus de paix », Israël et ses bailleurs de fonds étrangers ont délibérément dissocié le peuple palestinien de son territoire en omettant le mot « Palestine » de leur lexique.

Lors de la conférence de Madrid, les droits fondamentaux du peuple palestinien ont été mis de côté, ce qui continuera de se produire tout au long du prétendu « processus de paix ».

Par exemple, les discussions sur le statut de Jérusalem et le droit au retour des réfugiés palestiniens ont été reportées indéfiniment, car elles étaient considérées comme trop difficiles à aborder.

Ces questions, bien sûr, sont au cœur de la lutte des Palestiniens.

Malgré les concessions mentionnées ci-dessus et faites par les Palestiniens, Israël a quand même réussi par le biais d’une habile propagande à faire en sorte que la partie palestinienne soit blâmée pour l’échec final du « processus de paix ».

Les responsables israéliens aiment souvent répéter les propos du diplomate israélien Abba Eban, qui a affirmé que les Palestiniens « ne manquent jamais une occasion de rater une occasion ».

Beaucoup adhèrent à cette rhétorique anti-palestinienne, ignorant délibérément que le régime israélien a été le plus grand obstacle à la paix.

Prenez par exemple le fait qu’Israël n’a jamais cessé de construire des colonies illégales en Cisjordanie depuis 1967 – même pas pour prouver sa prétendue bonne foi. Il n’a également jamais cessé sa campagne d’expulsions forcées de Palestiniens de leurs maisons et de leurs terres à Jérusalem.

Le « processus de paix » a simplement été un moyen plutôt commode pour le régime israélien de détourner l’attention de toute mesure de sa responsabilité.

Aujourd’hui, 30 ans après la conférence de Madrid, les Palestiniens n’ont vu leur situation qu’empirer. Dans son discours d’ouverture de la conférence de Madrid, le Dr Haidar Abdel Shafi, responsable de la délégation palestinienne a décrit la situation en Palestine en ces termes :

« Nous venons à vous d’une terre torturée et d’un peuple fier, quoique captif, ayant été priés de négocier avec nos occupants, mais laissant derrière nous les enfants de l’Intifada, et un peuple sous occupation et sous couvre-feu, qui nous a enjoints de ne pas capituler ni d’oublier. Au moment où nous parlons, des milliers de nos frères et sœurs croupissent dans les prisons et camps de détention israéliens, la plupart détenus sans preuve, inculpation ni jugement, beaucoup cruellement maltraités et torturés lors d’interrogatoires, coupables uniquement d’avoir été en quête de la liberté ou d’avoir osé défier l’occupation. »

De Madrid à Oslo et les diverses autres tentatives de « paix » depuis lors, ce qui est tout à fait clair, c’est que tout « processus de paix » qui ne reconnaît pas les droits fondamentaux palestiniens comme point de départ et ne reconnaît pas le déni systématique de ces droits par le régime israélien, n’aura rien d’un processus pour instaurer la paix.

Auteur : Yara Hawari

Yara Hawari est Senior Palestine Policy Fellow d’Al-Shabaka (the net). Elle a obtenu son doctorat en politique du Moyen-Orient à l’Université d’Exeter, où elle a enseigné en premier cycle et est chercheur honoraire.
En plus de son travail universitaire axé sur les études autochtones et l’histoire orale, elle est également une commentatrice politique écrivant régulièrement pour divers médias, notamment The Guardian, Foreign Policy et Al Jazeera. Son compte twitter.

November 20, 2021

Rolling out artificial intelligence in healthcare still faces barriers. But even small-scale solutions are helping the NHS face its biggest problem

Artificial intelligence is already being used to read medical imagery, help patients manage conditions such as diabetes, and even suggest new cancer-drug regimens.

But with the world still reeling from the pandemic, AI is now needed to help an even more pressing problem. “The biggest pressure is trying to marshal our resources against the waiting list,” said Catherine Pollard, director of tech policy at NHS, speaking at a recent Microsoft Health breakfast at WIRED Health: Tech. “We have really significant staffing challenges. That needs solutions – ones that are really practical.”

5.6 million people in the UK are currently on hospital waiting lists.

Digitization is helping: remote appointments, for example, soared in popularity during the pandemic and can cut down time spent on non-urgent cases.

“We’ve got 55% of our adult population registered on our app. 600,000 patients total, over a million consultations,” explained Omar Din, managing director of primary care at AT Medics & Operose Health. “63% of those consultations are purely administrative. We spend time looking at that and then triage it to the right person in the team. When someone requests a sick note, I don’t want that going to my GP, I want it to go to someone else who can deal with it.”

However, not all patients can attend appointments remotely, and many hospitals still lack the required digital tools and skills to manage patients’ electronic records, let alone deploy AI solutions.

Even when systems are digitized, poor implementation can mean they’re not used effectively. “When I worked in a hospital, we had 100 different forms on the EHR [electronic healthcare record,” said Emma Stratful, transforming digital health at OX.DH. “Clinicians do not have time to navigate 100 forms – so everything went into progress notes.”

That’s where practical AI can come in useful. Enabling doctors to use voice assistant technology can save time that would previously have been used typing up notes.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) can then help clinicians and researchers access those notes more effectively. “Primary care data is the richest data in the NHS because of the way in which it is populated by clinicians – but it’s the unstructured data that’s got value to it,” Din said. Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospital trust, for example, are involved in a project using NLP to identify social factors associated with mental health problems.

“For example, if the patient said they’re having housing issues, or they have had trouble at home, I can now get my social prescriber or my mental health practitioner involved, and it’s not hitting the GP,” Din explained.

Genomics England is using NLP to analyze patient notes in the National Cancer Registry, connecting that phenotypic data to imaging and genomic data in order to get a better understanding of cancer progression.

The main barrier for AI solutions in health is still data.

Even just within the NHS, there are 223 hospital trusts, often running siloed IT systems and reluctant to share. The challenge is around a meaningful data strategy. “They just don’t talk to each other,” Stratful explained. “Their data is there, but it’s how do you get access to it in a meaningful way?”

Part of that challenge is finding ways to manage data in a transparent and secure way, while maintaining patient privacy. Genomics England has taken a novel approach: “Put the patients in charge,” said Genomics England CEO Chris Wigley. Participants in its 100,000 Genomes Project elect representatives to sit on an access review committee; any researchers or companies that want to access GE’s 50 petabyte database must first receive the committee’s approval.

“We’ve had 139 companies work on the data, and no whisper of complaint from anyone.” Wigley said.

Another way is to circumvent the traditional healthcare system altogether.

In early 2020, Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and co-founder of the ZOE diet study app, decided to pivot to study COVID symptoms. Four million people have now taken part, opting in and logging their data on the Zoe app.

“What we’re trying to do is to change the culture of healthcare research,” Spector said. “We did a mental health survey of a million people, a diet survey of a million people, and we had results in a week. Before, it would have cost us five years of writing grants and at least £5 million to do that.”

Jacob West, director of healthcare at Microsoft UK, explained how Microsoft is supporting healthcare providers through its Cloud for Healthcare, NLP tools, as well as technology including HoloLens.

“The pandemic has actually crystallized our approach to healthcare, as a first responder to the first responders,” West said. “We’re really interested in how we can help create what I would call intelligent health systems, so we can unlock unstructured data, curate it, analyze it and then feed it back in real time to people who need it.”

For example in the US, Ochsner Health has trialled an AI system which monitors deteriorating vital signs, and has helped to reduce patient codes by 44%.

Microsoft is also supporting AI projects to detect cancer, detect cardiovascular disease, and prevent blindness. In each case, the solutions combine reliable, widely available technologies that together can make a measurable impact – in a single hospital, or at scale. “We must also invest in enabling and upskilling our healthcare workforce and future leaders so that they can understand, embrace, and scale trusted, reliable, human centered AI” said Junaid Bajwa, chief medical scientist at Microsoft Research. Done right, even small-scale AI solutions can help cut the waiting list – and let doctors spend more time with their patients.

Read more about Microsoft’s AI for Health program here.

This common story of a mother totally neglected by her educated and well-to do children and dying in a elderly house

By محمد نقري

تحدث لواء مصري شهير اسمه سمير فرج أنه حينما كان رئيسا لإدارة الشئون المعنوية بالقوات المسلحة المصرية جاءته ذات مرة سيدة فاضلة تريد أن تحظى برعاية بعض أسر شهداء الحرب مع إسرائيل التي عرفت بحرب أكتوبر 73م

فرحب سيادة اللواء وكفلت تلك المرأة قرابة مائتي أسرة كفالات مالية وعلاج وزواج وحج.. إلخ… وكانت تعطي عطاء من لا يخشى الفقر حتى لكأنها حاتمية النسب ثم وصل عدد الأسر التي كانت تدعمها إلى ألف أسرة ولما عُرض عليها مقابلة حرم رئيس الجمهورية لتنال تكريما رفضت وقالت” كدا يضيع الثواب

مرت سبع سنوات وانقطعت عني أخبارها وذات يوم وبعد خمسة عشر عاما من تركي الشئون المعنوية تلقيت اتصالا من إحدى مديرات دور المسنين وفاجأتني أن هناك عجوزا تريد الحديث معي فعرفت أن الصوت ليس غريبا فذكرتني أنها” أم الشهداء” وكنتُ أطلق عليها هذا اللقب وتذكرتُ أول لقائي بها قبل اثنين وعشرين سنة وعرفت أنها بدار المسنين منذ خمس سنوات،

فزرتها وجلست معها وسألتها عن أولادها فأخبرتني بولدها الطبيب العالمي المقيم في أمريكا وولدها الثاني الذي أصبح ثريا مشهورا في دبي وابنتها المتزوجة المقيمة في القاهرة

طرق خيالي مدى الثراء الذي هم فيه ولمحت بين عيني العجوز كبر السن وضعف البصر وهشاشة السمع ورقة العظم ووحشتها وقربها من عتبة الموت وبعد فلذات أكبادها عنها والعصا التي لا تقدر أن تمشي خطوة واحدة إلا بها..لق

أصبحت ضعيفة نحيفة متعبة مهدودة ليس كما عهدتها قبل عشرين عاما تطوف مصر بأكملها بحثا عن أرملة تشتر لها الطعام وتؤانس وحشتها…

لقد كان آخر عهدها بولديها قبل عشر سنوات

قمت بالاتصال عليهما ودعوتهما لزيارة أمهما فأجابني الطبيب المقيم في أمريكا: – “إن أمنا ثرية ولديها من المال ما يكفيها للعيش في دار المسنين دون مشاكل”فقلت له ألا تشتاق لأمك…؟ فتعذر بانشغاله رغم أنه يزور مصر كل عام..

وسمعت نفس الكلام من ولدها المقيم في دبي..وتعللت البنت بأولادها وكثرة مشاغلها..

فبقيتُ ثلاثة أشهر أزورها في كل أسبوع وحديثها العذب المصفى في كل زيارة حكاياتها مع أولادها..وفي كل زيارة تخرج لي ملف ذكريات عبارة عن صور و (ألبومات) لأولادها وهي فرحة مسرورة بنجاحهم وتفوقهم وتخبرني عن بذلها الغالي والنفيس في دراسة ولدها الطبيب..

وأكبر متعة لها الحديث عن أولادها…وذات يوم حدثتني برغبتها العارمة بزيارة أولادها لتفرح بهم وبأحفادها.. وتكحل نظرها برؤيتهم قبل وداع هذه الحياة ومغادرة هذا الكوكب وهي الثرية القادرة على السفر..

فاتصلت بولديها لترتيب أمور سفرها إليهما واستقبالهما لها ومعرفة عنوان كل منهما..فكان الرد واحدا وهو: ” *الأمور هنا صعبة وعندما نزور القاهرة سوف نراها*”

وفي يوم من الأيام الحزينة جاءني اتصال لا أنساه من مديرة دار المسنين تبلغني بوفاة العجوز فذهبت سريعا أجر خطاي وأسحب قدماي سحبا وأكاد أن أتعثر في المشي…

ولما وصلت الدار ورأيت العجوز الوحيدة المسجاة التي ماتت وهي تتمنى أن تنظر نظرة واحدة لأولادها أو يكونوا عند رأسها في لحظة السكرات ولم يلبوا طلبها ولم يردوا حتى على اتصالاتها

انهار دمعي ولم أتمالك مشاعري..وكانت لحظات بلغ بي الهول فيها مبلغه…

فاتصلتُ بولديها فكان الرد: – لا نستطيع الحضور ولا داعي لمشقة السفر من أجل هذا الأمر. فاتصلت بابنتها فأخبرتني أنها مع أولادها في الإسكندرية للمشاركة في مسابقة رياضية وحضورها صعب.يخبر اللواء بعد ذلك أنه قام بتجهيز تلك المرأة ودفنها ومشى وحيدا في جنازتها في حين أنها سخرت مالها لتدريس ولدها ليحصل على أرقى الشهادات العالمية في الطب..والثاني..كانت هي السبب الرئيس في نجاحه..والبنت ويا للبنت من بذلت مهجتها في تربيتها..

يخبر اللواء أنه ولأول مرة يبكي كالطفل تماما تذكر ببكائه هذا بكاءه يوم ماتت أمه الحنون..بعد أسبوع من دفن العجوز حضرت البنت لدار المسنين تطالب بشهادة الوفاة ليبدأ حصر الثروة الطائلة لتلك العجوز التي كانت تعول ألف أسرة من أسر شهداء مصر ليبدأ تقسيم التركة..

وبعدها حضر الولدان واستلموا شهادة الوفاة ..يا لتلك الشهادة…إنها شهادة وفاة القيم ..إنها شهادة موت الضمير..شهادة موت الخلق، والعطف، والرحمة، ورد الجميل، شهادة العقوق الصارخ..وقلة الحياء وموت العاطفة”.

حين قرأت هذه القصة الحقيقية تذكرت قصيدة ابو قاسم الشابي عن الإبن الذي اغراه المال فغرز خنجره في قلب أمه وتعثر واقعا على الأرض فناداه قلب الأم : ولدي حبيبي هل أصابك من ضرر…

..هذه قصة واقعية ما زالت أحداث مماثلة لها تصل إلى محاكمنا ومسامعنا كل يوم… محمد نقري

A History of the Middle East since the First World War – Book Review

November 18, 2021

By Jim Miles

(Contested Lands: A History of the Middle East since the First World War.  T. G. Fraser.  Haus Publishing, London, 2021.)

It is a daunting task to write a history of any region over a period of 100 years in order to encompass it fully, and in particular, the Middle East as it contains so much of ‘western’ (colonial) history and influences that it becomes, depending on interpretations, global history.  

In short, reflecting on the length of the book,  “Contested Lands” is not up to the task.

The writing itself is academic, technically correct, and the overall effect is to think of the work as a “Coles Notes” version of events: short, shallow, sanitized, bereft of advocacy or passion. 

While not pro-Israel by advocacy it becomes pro-Israel by dissimulation, by not discussing important aspects beyond dates, names, and what happened.  

Unfortunately, the very size of the book, 218 pages, makes a full history impossible.  The best I can say is it makes a good starting point for further reading – the essential “Coles”.

Contested Lands: A History of the Middle East since the First World War

by  T. G. Fraser. (Photo: Book Cover)

Contested Lands

The title itself reflects the dissimulation, the use of language to hide certain realities of a deadly conflict, and even conflict does not do the situation justice.  

There is not much of a ‘contest’ if “contest” is regarded as being a competition between equals within the same league, of which Palestine and Israel are decidedly not. 

While there has been severe combat, the powers of empires have backed the colonial-settler foundation of Israel since where and when this work begins its journey.

No reference is made to Zionism’s original recognition of the need to remove the Palestinian population, an idea referenced by Jabotinsky, Herzl, Weizmann, Ben Gurion, and on up to today’s current ultra-right-wing positions. 

No mention is made of the heritage of British colonial-settler behavior and its history of ethnic cleansing.

  WW I is discussed within 20 pages and the subsequent Versailles peace covers four pages.   Other works, in particular several by Barbara Tuchman and Margaret MacDonald, cover these events in thousands of pages, covering not just the who, what, and where, but also the motivating passions of the different “contestants”. 

Between empires, “contestants” might be valid for all their pretensions of civilization and goodness.

Property Disputes

Perhaps not technically incorrect, there are some usages of language that do simplify or negate the importance of events.  The intifada of 1987 discusses Israel as having a “more pervasive presence” as the “Israeli acquisition of land “ covered “50 percent of the West Bank and 30 percent of the Gaza Strip”. 

 Yes, they were pervasive – in a highly militaristic, internationally illegal fashion – and they did “acquire” land as a result of that pervasiveness.  The softening of language and intention continues on into the conclusion where the 2021 “crisis…was provoked by a long-running property dispute in Sheikh Jarrah.” (p. 218)

A property dispute, really? 

The land originally held Palestinian tenants, and after the Nakba, housed mostly refugees.  By using their Absentee Property Law, and various legal and administrative laws, the Israeli military protected the civic destruction and/or occupation of the Palestinian houses.

The Other Lands

While Israel is the focal point of the Middle East (from the USA perspective, if we forget the oil/gas exploitation real purpose), the other “contested lands” receive very limited discussion.  More importantly, is what is omitted from the discussion. 

Oil is certainly mentioned, but not as a combination strategic-ideological concern (keep it away from the Soviets) but also a financial-ideological concern.  The latter refers to the U.S.-Saudi agreement – seemingly unwritten – where the Saudis sell their oil in US$ only for the protection of their country (the alternative being…dissolution?).  

Involved in this is a whole range of financial arrangements implicating the Bush family and major U.S. financial institutions and continues today with massive support for Saudi’s war in Yemen – ideologically to weaken the Saudis, protect Israel, and antagonize Iran.

The pre-WWI British interest in Iranian oil is mentioned, but not within the “great games” ideologies of the Middle East.  The 1953 Mossadegh coup is not described, involving both MI6 and the CIA; the follow-up, the 1979 overthrow of the Shah is not related to these earlier events. 

The Iraq-Iran war receives a scant page and a half without mention of Israeli and U.S. interference/assistance designed potentially to keep the war going. 

The shooting down of the Iran Air flight 655 is not mentioned although it became a major news incident (with the commanding officer being commended and promoted.)

The only true error noted is the author’s treatment of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 war.  Israel claimed it was an accident; Fraser, without providing any evidence, concludes “it was the probable explanation” while several major studies of the incident conclude it was no accident.  (Over 6 hours of bombing of the ship)

In a way a small error historically, but supportive of the pro-Israel bias presented in this critique.

The “Contest” Goes on

The Middle East wars, in Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan (which stretches the definition of Middle East) are more than “contests”.  They are ideologically driven imperial wars that have created carnage and misery throughout the region.

Fraser ends “Contested Lands” with the statement that “Another bitter Israeli-Palestinian clash had been brought to an end, yet resolution of the gulf between the states remained…elusive.”

Surprise, at least he recognizes Palestine as a state – perhaps inadvertently – but regardless, it is more than a series of clashes, it is an ongoing settlement project, created through military violence over the land for ethnic cleansing and the current creation of an apartheid state – elusive is putting it mildly.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles. 

His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

Note: Before WWI, all Europe were connected with trains that transported tourists between all the States with minimal borders troubles. Europe was witnessing another glorious “Renaissance” in all aspects of life and standard of living, except what these colonial powers were doing in their “colonies” of Not imageable atrocities.

Now that England was greatly worried about Germany becoming the second world trade powerhouse, next to USA, with the second largest merchant ships, was the main excuse for escalating sanctions on Germany financial weaknesses, since Germany was a late-coming colonial capitalist nation.

Looking out across a battlefield from an Anzac pill box near the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders in 1917. When German forces met stiff resistance in northern France in 1914, a

Looking out across a battlefield from an Anzac pill box near the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders in 1917. When German forces met stiff resistance in northern France in 1914, a “race to the sea” developed as France and Germany tried to outflank each other, establishing battle lines that stretched from Switzerland to the North Sea.

Allies and Central Powers literally dug in, excavating thousands of miles of defensive trenches, and trying desperately to break through the other side for years, at unspeakably huge cost in blood and treasure.

Late during the summer of 1914, train stations all over Europe echoed with the sound of leather boots and the clattering of weapons as millions of enthusiastic young soldiers mobilized for the most “glorious” conflict since the Napoleonic Wars.

In the eyes of many men, pride and honor glowed in competition with the excitement of a wonderful adventure and the knowledge of righting some perceived infringement on the interests of their respective nation.

Within weeks however, the excitement and glory gave way to horror and anonymous death, brought on by dangerous new machines of war which took control of the old fields of honor and turned them into desolate moonscapes littered with corpses and wreckage.

This new great war, called World War One, began as a local disturbance in Southern Europe but eventually spread into a worldwide struggle which produced two of the greatest bloodlettings in history; the battles of the Somme and Verdun.

The western portion of this conflict took place mostly in Belgium and France, and started as a war of “grand maneuvers” as had been theorized before the fighting began.

But when more troops were poured into an increasingly cramped area, there came a time when the antagonists could no longer maneuver against each other in any operational sense.

When this occurred, the forces involved began entrenching in the face of more and more lethal concentrations of firepower, and the war of the machines and trenches had begun.Bombardment of the Cathedral of Reims, France, in September of 1914, as German incendiary bombs fell on the towers and on the apse during the German invasion of northern France.

Bombardment of the Cathedral of Reims, France, in September of 1914, as German incendiary bombs fell on the towers and on the apse during the German invasion of northern France.

The main theatre of fighting in World War I was the Western Front, a meandering line which ran from the Swiss border in the south to the North Sea.

Most of the Western Front’s 700 kilometer length traversed the north-east of France, with its ends in Belgium and southern Germany. The largest battles of the war – Marne, Ypres, Verdun, the Somme, Passchendaele and others – were fought along the Western Front.

Though the death toll from Western Front battles will never be accurately known, at least four million were killed there. Despite the size, frequency and ferocity of attempts to break through the line or push back the enemy, the Western Front remained relatively static until 1918.

Many aspects of the Western Front have become symbolic of World War I: mud-filled trenches, artillery bombardments, appalling tactical blunders, futile charges on enemy positions, periods of stalemate, high death rates and atrocious conditions.French soldiers on horseback in street, with an airship

French soldiers on horseback in street, with an airship “DUPUY DE LOME” flying in air behind them, between ca. 1914.

The Western Front began to take shape in the autumn of 1914, after the German advance through northern France was halted at the Battle of the Marne.

The Germans then retreated to the Aisne River, where they dug a network of trenches to consolidate and hold their position. The Allies, believing the Germans were awaiting reinforcements and preparing a further assault into French territory, reciprocated by constructing their own trench system.

Over the next few weeks both sides extended their trench systems further to the north, racing to outflank each other and to reach the North Sea coastline. Their aim was to prevent an enemy advance, to secure supply lines and to seize control of key ports and French industrial areas.

As the Allies and Germans carried out this ‘race to the sea’, a major battle erupted at Ypres in Belgium. At the personal order of the Kaiser, German generals launched a massive assault on the Allied line, using divisions of their most experienced infantry and cavalry – but the attack was repelled at the cost of more than 40,000 men.

By the end of 1914 the Western Front trench-line had grown to more than two-thirds of its eventual length.

Commanders on both sides developed grand plans to outmanoeuvre and outflank the enemy, or to break through the front. But as weeks passed, home-front enlistments pumped hundreds of thousands of reinforcements into the area.

By early 1915 many parts of the Western Front were thick with soldiers on both sides of ‘no man’s land’. This weight of numbers contributed to the front’s impenetrability and the stalemate that developed through 1915.

Germany’s early defeats in northern France also shaped its tactical approach. German military strategists embraced defensive positions, determined not to be forced out of France.

Victory, they asserted, would pass to the side that could better withstand assaults and lose fewer men. German military planners abandoned the Schlieffen Plan and adopted a strategy of attrition, aiming to inflict death and injury on as many Allied men as possible. (The German chief of staff, Erich von Falkenhayn, famously declared that his goal was to “bleed France white”).

The consequence of this was that Germany launched few major assaults in 1915; they instead relied on weapons like artillery and poison gas to weaken and debilitate Allied personnel.A French pilot made an emergency landing in friendly territory after a failed attempt to attack a German Zeppelin hangar near Brussels, Belgium, in 1915. Soldiers are climbing up the tree where the biplane has landed.

A French pilot made an emergency landing in friendly territory after a failed attempt to attack a German Zeppelin hangar near Brussels, Belgium, in 1915. Soldiers are climbing up the tree where the biplane has landed.

In contrast, British and French generals were more committed to battlefield offensives and attempts to break through the front. They tried to penetrate the German line at Champagne and Loos during the autumn of 1915, but against positions fortified with artillery and machine-guns this proved almost impossible.

Falkenhayn changed tack in early 1916, hoping to lure the French army into a gigantic battle from which it could not retreat or withdraw; his aim was to inflict maximum casualties and to sap French morale.

For this showdown the German commander chose the town of Verdun, near a heavily-fortified section of the Franco-German border. The Battle of Verdun, which began in February 1916, was the longest and the second-deadliest battle of World War I, claiming between 750,000 and 1,000,000 lives.

It ended with no decisive victor: neither army was able to achieve their objective. Even more deadly was the Battle of the Somme, from July to November 1916.

With many French generals occupied at Verdun, the Somme assault was planned and led by the British, particularly General Sir Douglas Haigh.

It was to be part of a simultaneous three-way offensive: with the Russians attacking on the Eastern Front and the Italians from the south. But the choice of location, the Somme River, was problematic.

German defences there sat on an elevated position; they had seen minimal action since late 1914 so had been able to construct a comprehensive system of trenches and bunkers.German officers in a discussion on the Western Front. (The man 2nd from right, in fur collar is possibly Kaiser Willhelm, the caption does not indicate). The German war plan had been for a swift, decisive victory in France. Little planning had been done for a long-term, slow-moving slog of a battle.

German officers in a discussion on the Western Front. (The man 2nd from right, in fur collar is possibly Kaiser Willhelm, the caption does not indicate).

The German war plan had been for a swift, decisive victory in France. Little planning had been done for a long-term, slow-moving slog of a battle.

The Somme assault began with an artillery barrage that lasted seven days and used more than one million shells. This assault did not wipe out or push back the Germans, who sat it out in deep bunkers; it also failed to destroy the masses of barbed wire strewn in front of German trenches.

At 7.30am on July 1st 1916, more than 120,000 British soldiers leapt from their trenches and advanced on the German line. Expecting to find obliterated trenches and dead Germans, they were instead met by machine-gun fire, artillery shells, mortars and grenades.

In the coming slaughter, more than 50,000 soldiers were killed in just one 24-hour period – the deadliest single day in British military history.French soldiers in a bayonet charge, up a steep slope in the Argonne Forest in 1915. During the Second Battle of Champagne, 450,000 French soldiers advanced against a force of 220,000 Germans, momentarily gaining a small amount of territory, but losing it back to the Germans within weeks. Combined casualties came to more than 215,000 from this battle alone.

French soldiers in a bayonet charge, up a steep slope in the Argonne Forest in 1915.

During the Second Battle of Champagne, 450,000 French soldiers advanced against a force of 220,000 Germans, momentarily gaining a small amount of territory, but losing it back to the Germans within weeks. Combined casualties came to more than 215,000 from this battle alone.A downed German twin-engined bomber being towed through a street by Allied soldiers, likely from Australia, in France.

A downed German twin-engined bomber being towed through a street by Allied soldiers, likely from Australia, in France.Six German soldiers pose in a in trench with machine gun, a mere 40 meters from the British line, according to the caption provided. The machine gun appears to be a Maschinengewehr 08, or MG 08, capable of firing 450-500 rounds a minute. The large cylinder is a jacket around the barrel, filled with water to cool the metal during rapid fire. The soldier at right, with gas mask canister slung over his shoulder, is peering into a periscope to get a view of enemy activity. The soldier at rear, with steel helmet, holds a

Six German soldiers pose in a in trench with machine gun, a mere 40 meters from the British line, according to the caption provided.

The machine gun appears to be a Maschinengewehr 08, or MG 08, capable of firing 450-500 rounds a minute. The large cylinder is a jacket around the barrel, filled with water to cool the metal during rapid fire.

The soldier at right, with gas mask canister slung over his shoulder, is peering into a periscope to get a view of enemy activity. The soldier at rear, with steel helmet, holds a “potato masher” model 24 grenade.Harnessed dogs pull a British Army machine gun and ammo, 1914. These weapons could weigh as much as 150 pounds.

Harnessed dogs pull a British Army machine gun and ammo, 1914. These weapons could weigh as much as 150 pounds.German captive balloon at Equancourt, France, on September 22, 1916. Observation balloons were used by both sides to gain an advantage of height across relatively flat terrain. Observers were lifted in a small gondola suspended below the hydrogen-filled balloons. Hundreds were shot down during the course of the war.

German captive balloon at Equancourt, France, on September 22, 1916. Observation balloons were used by both sides to gain an advantage of height across relatively flat terrain.

Observers were lifted in a small gondola suspended below the hydrogen-filled balloons. Hundreds were shot down during the course of the war.French Reserves from the USA, some of the two million fighters in the Battle of the Marne, fought in September of 1914. The First Battle of the Marne was a decisive week-long battle that halted the initial German advance into France, short of Paris, and led to the

French Reserves from the USA, some of the two million fighters in the Battle of the Marne, fought in September of 1914.

The First Battle of the Marne was a decisive week-long battle that halted the initial German advance into France, short of Paris, and led to the “race to the sea”.Soldiers struggle to pull a huge piece of artillery through mud. The gun has been placed on a track created for a light railway. The soldiers are pushing a device, attached to the gun, that possibly slots into the tracks. Some of the men are in a ditch that runs alongside the track, the rest are on the track itself. A makeshift caterpillar tread has been fitted to the wheels of the gun, in an attempt to aid its movement through the mud.

Soldiers struggle to pull a huge piece of artillery through mud. The gun has been placed on a track created for a light railway. The soldiers are pushing a device, attached to the gun, that possibly slots into the tracks.

Some of the men are in a ditch that runs alongside the track, the rest are on the track itself. A makeshift caterpillar tread has been fitted to the wheels of the gun, in an attempt to aid its movement through the mud.Members of New Zealand's Maori Pioneer Battalion perform a haka for New Zealand's Prime Minister William Massey and Deputy Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward in Bois-de Warnimont, France, during World War I, on June 30, 1918.

Members of New Zealand’s Maori Pioneer Battalion perform a haka for New Zealand’s Prime Minister William Massey and Deputy Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward in Bois-de Warnimont, France, during World War I, on June 30, 1918.In France, a British machine-gun team. The gun, which appears to be a Vickers, is mounted on the front of a motorcycle side car.

In France, a British machine-gun team. The gun, which appears to be a Vickers, is mounted on the front of a motorcycle side car.A German prisoner, wounded and muddy, helped by a British soldier along a railway track. A man, possibly in French military uniform, is shown behind them, holding a camera and tripod, ca. 1916.

A German prisoner, wounded and muddy, helped by a British soldier along a railway track. A man, possibly in French military uniform, is shown behind them, holding a camera and tripod, ca. 1916.Dead horses are buried in a trench after the Battle of Haelen which was fought by the German and Belgian armies on August 12, 1914 near Haelen, Belgium. Horses were everywhere in World War I, used by armies, and caught up in farm fields turned into battlefields, millions of them were killed

Dead horses are buried in a trench after the Battle of Haelen which was fought by the German and Belgian armies on August 12, 1914 near Haelen, Belgium. Horses were everywhere in World War I, used by armies, and caught up in farm fields turned into battlefields, millions of them were killedRuins of Gommecourt Chateau, France. The small community of Gommecourt sat on the front lines for years, changing hands numerous times, and was bombed into near-oblivion by the end.

Ruins of Gommecourt Chateau, France. The small community of Gommecourt sat on the front lines for years, changing hands numerous times, and was bombed into near-oblivion by the end.British soldiers standing in mud on the French front lines, ca. 1917.

British soldiers standing in mud on the French front lines, ca. 1917.German soldiers make observations from atop, beneath, and behind large haystacks in southwest Belgium, ca. 1915.

German soldiers make observations from atop, beneath, and behind large haystacks in southwest Belgium, ca. 1915.Transport on the Cassel Ypres Hoad at Steenvorde. Belgium, September, 1917. This image was taken using the Paget process, an early experiment in color photography.

Transport on the Cassel Ypres Hoad at Steenvorde. Belgium, September, 1917. This image was taken using the Paget process, an early experiment in color photography.Mountains of shell cases on the roadside near the front lines, the contents of which had been fired into the German lines.

Mountains of shell cases on the roadside near the front lines, the contents of which had been fired into the German lines.Battlefield in the Marne between Souain and Perthes, 1915.

Battlefield in the Marne between Souain and Perthes, 1915.Soldiers in trenches during write letters home. Life in the trenches was summed up by the phrase which later became well-known:

Soldiers in trenches during write letters home. Life in the trenches was summed up by the phrase which later became well-known: “Months of boredom punctuated by moments of extreme terror.”At Cambrai, German soldiers load a captured British Mark I tank onto a railroad, in November of 1917. Tanks were first used in battle during World War I, in September of 1916, when 49 British Mark I tanks were sent in during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.

At Cambrai, German soldiers load a captured British Mark I tank onto a railroad, in November of 1917. Tanks were first used in battle during World War I, in September of 1916, when 49 British Mark I tanks were sent in during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.At a height of 150 meters above the fighting line, a French photographer was able to capture a photograph of French troops on the Somme Front, launching an attack on the Germans, ca. 1916. The smoke may have been deployed intentionally, as a screening device to mask the advance.

At a height of 150 meters above the fighting line, a French photographer was able to capture a photograph of French troops on the Somme Front, launching an attack on the Germans, ca. 1916. The smoke may have been deployed intentionally, as a screening device to mask the advance.British soldiers on Vimy Ridge, 1917. British and Canadian forces pushed through German defenses at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April of 1917, advancing as far as six miles in three days, retaking high ground and the town of Thelus, at the cost of nearly 4,000 dead.

British soldiers on Vimy Ridge, 1917. British and Canadian forces pushed through German defenses at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April of 1917, advancing as far as six miles in three days, retaking high ground and the town of Thelus, at the cost of nearly 4,000 dead.An explosion near trenches dug into the grounds of Fort de la Pompelle, near Reims, France.

An explosion near trenches dug into the grounds of Fort de la Pompelle, near Reims, France.Canadian soldiers tend to a fallen German on the battlefield at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.

Canadian soldiers tend to a fallen German on the battlefield at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.French soldiers make a gas and flame attack on German trenches in Flanders, Belgium, on January 1, 1917. Both sides used different gases as weapons during the war, both asphyxiants and irritants, often to devastating effect.

French soldiers make a gas and flame attack on German trenches in Flanders, Belgium, on January 1, 1917. Both sides used different gases as weapons during the war, both asphyxiants and irritants, often to devastating effect.rench soldiers wearing gas masks in a trench, 1917. gas mask technology varied widely during the war, eventually developing into an effective defense, limiting the value of gas attacks in later years.

French soldiers wearing gas masks in a trench, 1917. gas mask technology varied widely during the war, eventually developing into an effective defense, limiting the value of gas attacks in later years.Gassed patients are treated at the 326th Field Hospital near Royaumeix, France, on August 8, 1918. The hospital was not large enough to accommodate the large number of patients.

Gassed patients are treated at the 326th Field Hospital near Royaumeix, France, on August 8, 1918. The hospital was not large enough to accommodate the large number of patients.French soldier in gas mask, 1916.

French soldier in gas mask, 1916.British soldiers and Highlanders with German prisoners walk past war ruins and a dead horse, after the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, part of the Third Battle of Ypres in September of 1917. The sign near the railroad tracks reads (possibly):

British soldiers and Highlanders with German prisoners walk past war ruins and a dead horse, after the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, part of the Third Battle of Ypres in September of 1917. The sign near the railroad tracks reads (possibly): “No Trains. Lorries for Walking Wounded at Chateau [Potijze?]”.A gigantic shell crater, 75 yards in circumference, Ypres, Belgium, October 1917.

A gigantic shell crater, 75 yards in circumference, Ypres, Belgium, October 1917.A horse is restrained while it is attended to at a veterinary hospital in 1916.

A horse is restrained while it is attended to at a veterinary hospital in 1916.Cleaning up German trenches at St. Pierre Divion. In the foreground a group of British soldiers are sorting through equipment abandoned in the trenches by the Germans when St Pierre Divion was captured. One soldier has three rifles slung on his shoulder, another has two. Others are looking at machine gun ammunition. The probable photographer, John Warwick Brooke, has achieved considerable depth of field as many other soldiers can be seen in the background far along the trenches.

Cleaning up German trenches at St. Pierre Divion. In the foreground a group of British soldiers are sorting through equipment abandoned in the trenches by the Germans when St Pierre Divion was captured. One soldier has three rifles slung on his shoulder, another has two. Others are looking at machine gun ammunition.

The probable photographer, John Warwick Brooke, has achieved considerable depth of field as many other soldiers can be seen in the background far along the trenches.Bringing Canadian wounded to the Field Dressing Station, Vimy Ridge in April of 1917. German prisoners assist in pushing the rail car.

Bringing Canadian wounded to the Field Dressing Station, Vimy Ridge in April of 1917. German prisoners assist in pushing the rail car.On the British front, Christmas Dinner, 1916, in a shell hole beside a grave.

On the British front, Christmas Dinner, 1916, in a shell hole beside a grave.British MkIV

British MkIV “Bear” tank, abandoned after battle near Inverness Copse, on August 22 , 1917.A mine tunnel is dug under the German lines on the Vosges front, on October 19, 1916. The sappers worked at a depth of about 17 meters, until they reached a spot below enemy positions, when large explosives would be placed and later detonated, destroying anything above.

A mine tunnel is dug under the German lines on the Vosges front, on October 19, 1916. The sappers worked at a depth of about 17 meters, until they reached a spot below enemy positions, when large explosives would be placed and later detonated, destroying anything above.Men wounded in the Ypres battle of September 20th, 1917. Walking along the Menin road, to be taken to the clearing station. German prisoners are seen assisting at stretcher bearing.

Men wounded in the Ypres battle of September 20th, 1917. Walking along the Menin road, to be taken to the clearing station. German prisoners are seen assisting at stretcher bearing.Soldier's comrades watch him as he sleeps, near Thievpal, France. Soldiers are standing in a very deep, narrow trench, the walls of which are entirely lined with sandbags. At the far end of the trench a line of soldiers are squashed up looking over each others' shoulders at the sleeping man.

Soldier’s comrades watch him as he sleeps, near Thievpal, France. Soldiers are standing in a very deep, narrow trench, the walls of which are entirely lined with sandbags. At the far end of the trench a line of soldiers are squashed up looking over each others’ shoulders at the sleeping man.

(Photo credit: Bibliotheque nationale de France / National Library of Scotland / National Archives).

Note: Beyond the cliche’ narratives on Lebanon and the causes and sources of the civil war, the pseudo-citizens in this forced created State never managed to establish a viable State with sustainable public institutions.

Lebanese Civil War photos

Holiday Inn Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon, damaged by the Lebanese Civil War.

The Lebanese Civil War was both an internal Lebanese affair and a regional conflict involving a host of regional and international actors. It revolved around some of the issues that dominated regional politics in the Middle East in the latter part of the 20th century, including the Palestine-Israel conflict, Cold War competition, Arab nationalism, and political Islam.

Conflicts over these issues intersected with longstanding disagreements in the Lebanese political elite, and in parts of the population, over the sectarian division of power, national identity, social justice, and Lebanon’s strategic alliances.

During 15 years of fighting, around 90,000 people lost their lives, according to the most reliable statisticians, Labaki and Abou Rjeily (1994). However, it is possible that the real number exceeds 100,000.

Of the 90,000 killed, close to 20,000 are individuals who were kidnapped or disappeared, and who must be assumed dead as they have not been accounted for.

Nearly 100,000 were badly injured, and close to a million people, or two-thirds of the Lebanese population, experienced displacement. (Currently, many displaced who live in different locations, are Not happy of losing their root communities)

In addition to a large number of dead, much of Lebanon’s infrastructure was shattered, as was Lebanon’s reputation as an example of cross-sectarian coexistence in the Arab Middle East.Lebanese Civil War photos

Damaged Beirut, 1975-1989.

The Lebanese Civil War was one of the most devastating conflicts of the late 20th century. It left a number of political and social legacies that make it paramount to understand why it involved so many instances of mass violence.

The establishment of the state of Israel and the displacement of a hundred thousand Palestinian refugees to Lebanon during the 1948 and 1967 exoduses contributed to shifting the demographic balance in favor of the Muslim population.

The Cold War had a powerful disintegrative effect on Lebanon, which was closely linked to the polarization that preceded the 1958 political crisis since Maronites sided with the West while leftist and pan-Arab groups sided with Soviet-aligned Arab countries (Meaning Gamal Abdel Nasser).

Fighting between Maronite and Palestinian forces (mainly from the Palestine Liberation Organization) began in 1975, then Leftist, pan-Arabist and Muslim Lebanese groups formed an alliance with the Palestinians.

During the course of the fighting, alliances shifted rapidly and unpredictably. Furthermore, foreign powers, such as Israel and Syria, became involved in the war and fought alongside different factions. Peacekeeping forces, such as the Multinational Force in Lebanon and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, were also stationed in Lebanon.Lebanese Civil War photos

A couple poses near their home on their wedding day in East Beirut, 1989.

The question of Civil War memory is acute for many Lebanese, who have come together in the post-war period to debate the war and create public commemoration. In their view, the war has continued through other means in the post-war period, and the periodic rounds of the violent conflict plaguing Lebanon since 1990 are directly related to the Civil War.

The Ta’if Accord that ended the war in 1989 failed to resolve or even address the core conflicts of the war, including the sectarian division of power in Lebanon, the Palestinian refugee issue, the presence of Syrian forces on Lebanese soil and Syrian tutelage, and Hezbollah’s status as the only armed militia.

The killing of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005, the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, and continued political instability in the country have only added to the sense among many Lebanese that political violence is endemic to their body politic.

Since the end of the war, the Lebanese have conducted several elections, most of the militias have been weakened or disbanded, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have extended central government authority over about two-thirds of the country.

Following the cease-fire which ended on 12 July 2006 Israeli-Lebanese conflict, the army has for the first time in over three decades moved to occupy and control the southern areas of Lebanon. Lebanon still bears deep scars from the civil war.Lebanese Civil War photos

Christian militia fighters firing a bazooka near Damascus Street.Lebanese Civil War photos

Muslim Lebanese Army soldiers set up a Christmas tree on the Green Line to celebrate the holiday with Christian soldiers on December 23, 1987.Lebanese Civil War photos

Civilians take shelter in an underground parking garage during heavy fighting in downtown Beirut.Lebanese Civil War photos

Downtown Beirut in 1969 was a bustling center of commerce and culture.Lebanese Civil War photos

After more than a decade of war, parts of the Green Line had been reclaimed by nature in 1990.Lebanese Civil War photos

Beirut in ruins.Lebanese Civil War photos

Beirut in ruins.Lebanese Civil War photos

A fighter among the ruins.Lebanese Civil War photos

A Muslim militiaman aims his automatic rifle at Christian forces on the other side of the Green Line in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1982.Lebanese Civil War photos

L’Ensemble d’Arcy playing on the demarcation line separating Beirut in the 1980s.Lebanese Civil War photos

Pedestrians crossing the line by foot.Lebanese Civil War photos

French troops patrol Damascus Street in the 1980s.Lebanese Civil War photos

Pedestrians and cars cross the Barbir-Museum checkpoint on the Green Line, July 4, 1989.Lebanese Civil War photos

The verdant Green demarcation line, downtown Beirut, in 1990.Lebanese Civil War photos

A mother and her children wave to soldiers during a military parade on Beirut’s Green Line for Lebanese Independence Day, November 22, 1992.Lebanese Civil War photos

A 1990s Martyrs’ Square street vendor selling posters of the same place in the late sixties.Lebanese Civil War photos

Traffic outside the Barakat building in 2018. Now a civil war museum, the structure is one of the few buildings preserved in its war-damaged state. (Photo by Patrick Baz)

(Photo credit: AFP / AP / Getty Images / Text based on Historiography and Memory of the Lebanese Civil War 1975-1990 by Haugbolle Sune).

Note: I wish those Lebanese who call themselves the movement of Civil Society assemble in front of Fayrouz house and light thousands of candles and wish her long life.

مصطفى ديلو
November 18, 2020

  · عيد ميلاد السيدة فيروز التي ولدت في ٢١/١١/١٩٣٥ في إحدى قرى لبنان من عائلة فقيرة،وبدأت الغناء وهي طفلة صغيرة عندما كانت تقطن عند جدتها..وها هي اليوم تعبق في أيامنا ببوح شفّاف راق، يحرّك الروح والقلب والخاطر، ومابين الولادة والعالمية مسيرة طويلة من التعب والحبّ والجمال والموسيقى والشعر والروح ،

ولن يؤثر تجاهل محرّك البحث(Google) لهذه المناسبة وإن أشعرني بالمتعاض والأسف، إذ لم يحتفِ بنِهاد حدّاد وميلادها كعادته بالاحتفاء بمشاهير العالم والمناسبات العالمية!

أذكر فيروز في جميع المواقف واللحظات أسأل الآن نفسي لماذا؟ ولا أجد جواباً …صحبت فيروز طويلاً،مع أنّني لا اذكر تماماً متى كانت اول مرّة استمعت فيها لفيروز سماعاً قصدياً من أجل أن أستمتع بها في الصوت واللحن والكلمة من عذوبة وسلاسة وجمال ورونق، ليتشكل عندي في خاطري هذا الرأي :”فيروز حالة إبداع لن تتكرر”،أ

تذكر الآن أُمّي عندما كانت تدندن ببعض مقاطع لفيروز وأنا صغير ، فما زال ذلك الصوت عالقاً في الذاكرة وهي ترّنم”هيك مشق الزعرورة ياأمي هيك“و”ع الروزانا ع الروزانا كل الهنا فيها” فكنت أعيش إحساساً غريباً،أو كأنَّها تغرس فيّ إحساسها لأكون مثلها.. لم أكن لأسأل أمي وقتها عن هذه الأغاني..وعندما كبرت وسمعت واستمتعت تذكرت ما كانت تشدو به أمي صاحبة الصوت الشجي الذي كان يفيض حزناً دفيناً يخرج حاراً بزفرة جارحة لم أدر إلى الآن أسبابها!!! الآن أن أستذكر ماقد تشدو به السيدة فيروز يومياً في أي أثير وفضاءٍ”عودك رنان”،”أنا لحبيبي وحبيبي إلي”،”سألتك حبيبي”،”اذكريني”،”ياليل الصب”،”شقيق الروح”،

والموشحات والقصائد والمسرحيات ،ولكنني أحببت سماع فيروز في أغنيتين:”جايبلي سلام “،واغنية”ياجبل البعيد”،أغنيتين تبعثان الفكر من رقدته والذكر من غفلته والحب من غفوته والشوق من سهوته ،على مايرتبط بهما من ذكريات وأمنيات ،وعلى ماتحملان من شجن وحزن شفيف ناعم..

ستظل فيروز اغنية الصباح للعالم والمساء”لي” حالة إنسانية دائمة الهطول في نهارات بني الإنسان مثقّفين وكتّاباً وموظفين وطلاباً وعشّاقاً وصوفيين ودينيين ولادينيين ،

ستظل فيروز تشدو تغازل ارواحنا المجهدة ،فتستند الحياة صلبة ،وتشد عزيمتها ،فلا يتوقف نبضها عميقاً حساساً مجبولاً بأناتنا المتعبة التي تحن إلى راحتها بين يدي الحبيبة نستحضرها في الصوت واللحن ومكامن البوح من صباحات فيروز ،لنرى كل شيء كأنه هنا ،وهنا لامحالة،تعانق شيئاً من ذكريات وأمنيات يتقاذفها الوقت وفنجان القهوى الدافئ!!!

فكلّ عام وأنتِ بخير فيروزةَ الصباح وأيقونة الفن الراقي الساحر الخالد، خلود الحب والعشق والهوى ،وإبداع الإنسانية الذي لايخفت له النور ،ولايمكنه أن يموت ،بل سيكبر فينا الحنين يافيروز ليظل شابّاً مهما تقدّم العمر ،

فلتغنّي لنا كلّ صباح وليعمرْ بكِ المكان والزمان وتمتلئ بكِ الروح العاشقة!!#مصطفى_ديلو

في حياتنا لا مكان لفيروز، كلّ المكان هو لفيروز وحدها. أنا أركع أمام صوتها كالجائع أمام اللقمة، أحِبُّهَ في جوعي حتى( الشبع، وفي شبعي أحِبُّهَ حتى الجوع.أضم يديّ كالمصلّين وأناديكَ : إحفظْها ! إحفظها ! ..(أنسي الحاج)

ممكن تصير حروب ومجاعات وأفقد أحبائي وما أبكي وممكن غنية لفيروز تبكيني…!(محمد الماغوط)#نِهاد_حداد❤#أيقونة_الفن_الشرق_أوسطي

Written by Dyami Millarson

Aug. 13, 2021

I was profoundly inspired as a teenager by David Crystal’s Language Death, David K. Harrison’s When Languages Die, Daniel Everett’Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes, Claude Hagège’On the death and life of languages, Lenore A. Grenoble’Saving Languages: An Introduction to Language Revitalization, and to a lesser extent Suzanne Romaine’s Vanishing Voices, Nancy C. Dorian’s Investigating obsolescence: Studies in language contraction and death, R.M.W. Dixon’The Rise and Fall of Languages and Mark Abley’s Spoken here: Travels among threatened languages.

Thus, I started doing linguistic fieldwork in Southern Italy in the early 2010s. That is where and when I got acquainted with Molese and Griko.

Most of my work at the time was focused on phonetics because I had developed the view that pronunciation is the pillar-stone of spoken languages.

Giovanni Pinto assisted me during my investigations in Southern Italy during the early 2010s: he helped me with communication with the locals, translation and grammatical analysis.

When I visited Giovanni Pinto in Mola di Bari, Southern Italy, during the summer holidays, my interest was piqued when I discovered there was a local language, which I called Molesian at the time. I observed that Giovanni Pinto’s grandparents and elderly relatives spoke Molesian.

I realized that only the elderly mostly could speak Molesian properly, and I recognizsed it as an endangered language. It was my first impulse to start studying its phonetic structure.

I listened to the spoken speech of the elderly in Molesian (or Molese) and Griko: I listened to both folk stories and daily conversations, and I did interviews where Giovanni was my intermediary for communication.

I concluded that Molesian is Not mutually intelligible with Italian, and therefore cannot be considered the same language. I took a great deal of phonetic notes and I made recordings as well. I used the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for making transcriptions.

I still recall all the details of what I learned back then. I helped lay the foundation for a writing system, Giovanni Pinto was inspired by this and later revised and modified my writing system further for actual use.

We had been aware of the writing systems others used, but we preferred developing a new one based on our own phonetic studies that we had been conducting.

At the dinner table of Giovanni Pinto’s grandparents. I was a bit drowsy that afternoon due to the hot weather.
Local people usually take a nap during that time of the day, the weather makes you want to sleep.

Ever since I discovered Molese on my vacation in Italy, I have been encouraging Giovanni Pinto to study it. I deemed it fit that, he as a local, should learn to speak and write the local language of his native Southern Italian area and thereby help preserve the local heritage.

Giovanni Pinto, encouraged by my work, continued the study of the Molesian language over the course of many years, he collected many old words and pronunciations with the help of his grandparents and relatives.

Recently, Giovanni Pinto has published the first Molesian articles on our blog, see here and here. Giovanni Pinto is using the latest version of our spelling for the Molesian language, and he will continue publishing articles on our blog about the language. It is our goal to become the only blog on earth where you can find articles “regularly” published in Molesian.

In the early 2010s, we travelled to the Griko-speaking areas further in the South from where Giovanni Pinto was living. On our way to where Griko is spoken, we passed by Lecce where we inquired the locals about the Leccese local language.

For instance, we asked them to tell us the word for horse. We wrote down some words in a notebook. I made a quick study of the phonology of Leccese and managed to get a decent impression of it in a short amount of time.

When I was satisfied, we parted ways with the locals who had been so kind to answer our questions and we continued our journey to the Griko areas. Once we had arrived in a Griko-speaking village, we quizzed elderly locals for Griko words and we wrote them down in the same notebook as we had used to write our notes on Leccese.

The locals, who had become convinced of our genuine interest in Griko, introduced us to the local priest Renato Delos, a native speaker of Griko, who took us into his church and shared a lot about the Griko language, its history, the current situation and his own family background.

The meeting with Renato Delos felt truly like a miracle, he could help a lot with the language and shared our passion for Griko. He supported our desire to study. So much so that he allowed us to make use of his accommodation for free, he gifted us some books on Griko, some Griko music albums, he arranged for some elderly Griko speakers to meet up so we could listen to their conversations, and he let me make a recording of him translating a Bible passage to Griko.

Renato Delos, with whom we had built a special connection through language, passed away in 2018. We will forever remember how we met him and how great it felt being able to gain insight into Griko through him.

Operation X is a team of young and enthusiastic language learners who wish to save, promote and study (critically) endangered languages. We have already adopted Klaaifrysk, Aasters, Eilaunders and Hielepes. 

View all posts by Operation X


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