Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Amine Rihani

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 127

Note 1: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains months-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Without firm comprehension of the customs and traditions in the Levant (mainly, current Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria) and its geographical, historical, and religious context, the Christians, in their entire spectrum of sects, will stay disoriented and out of touch with their identity.

Watch closely how Vice President Pence is distancing himself from Trump in the coming 3 months. (actually, he stuck more closely with Trump because he was one of the main staunch supporters of Jerusalem pronouncement)

Actually, this 3-month period for closing the file of Palestine Independent State is neither feasible or practical: It is what the inner circle of Trump consider the window for the impeachment proceeding to begin

US/Israel want a single urgent mission from Saudi Kingdom Crown Prince: closing the file of Palestine Independent State within 3 months

The downfall of Saudi Kingdom Crown Prince will come from the internal enemies he selected to be his allies, and who have been intrinsic allies with US/Israel, before he even was born

It is these “leaders” of minority political parties who keep hammering in their rhetoric: “My nation is first” who are first exploited by foreign powers to destabilize their countries. 

In the game of Petanque (Bachi) you usually have 2 teams, each team of 3 members, each member plays 2 metallic balls (boules). Thus the max score in each round is 6. The team of Adonis scored 4. Adonis screamed: we have got 7. JP responded in anger: How can you score 7? Adonis replied: On mesure.

Change comes: 1) in small steps 2) in consistent effort 3) within group support

Every village had a burying ground facing east and guests, by the custom of hospitality, could be enjoying the same facilities. Afroun replied: “Abraham you are a reverend and I shall bury your deceased member in the best of our graves” Abraham had set his mind to settle in Canaan and wanted his own burial ground, thus he asked to buy a piece of land.  Afroun replied: “A land of no more than 400 silver shekels should not be an obstacle” Abraham got the hint and sent the amount.

Success is a personal standard: What you set is what you get. (Sweet, but better not believe yourself superman)

Your worldview is a unique model that you tailored-made throughout your life, experiences, conditions, situations… in order to survive the thousands of daily problems, frustrations and barriers.

Everyone else makes bad decisions, is shortsighted, prejudiced, subject to whims, temper tantrums, outbursts and short-term thinking. Once you see it that way, it’s easier to remember that we’re everyone too.

15,000 scientists just sent out an SOS — a “warning to humanity” that if we don’t stop polluting, our planet is doomed: species are going extinct at 1000 times the natural rate. 90% of the Great Barrier Reef is dead or dying. Oceans are so choked with plastic that fish are addicted to eating it.

Kad kaana deeny fi jayb kombazi, wa naza3tahou (my religion) 3anni lamma rakebt al ba7r, ba3eedan 3an watani. 

I didn’t re-stuff them back or emulated them, my religion and my traditions, when I came back home(Amine Rihani)


Notes and comments on FB and Twitter. Part 17

I don’t mind a broken day-dream. Just badly need to recollect any dream I ever had

Defeat is Not in the realm of many: Got to act on your beliefs to earn this opportunity: to dance hysterically.

They stole the 10 commandments, and erased the 11th: You were born Free.

Don’t fret too much: it is common events that changed the direction of your destiny

Even very sad circumstances were prepared as a feast

Love is what happened between us, except literature. Such a large vacuum could have been the best part in our relationship.

Recounting your recollected past events and stands is what precipitate our demise. People don’t care how you changed: They never changed.

That women had no rights to vote or have a bank accounts in the last century didn’t prevent males to think that women deserved more consideration, and vice versa. Currently, women have most of the rights, work and go to universities, but the level of “consideration” has shifted direction

“Consideration” is a perception of the others’ mental state: A certified certification of your learning is one of the Minor factors

You were born Free? Take active positions and respect others’ opinions to retain your freedom

“You are courageous?” Does that mean you are as hard as nails? This is a quality that rare people dare to admit they have.

To all Lebanese living in Lebanon, including the wealthy and leaders, Are you addicted to slow death and proud of it?

Just creating this lame excuse of going abroad to earn another certificate or MBA: If you are Not used to read a lot, you are wasting your parents’ dear money for a short outing

Amine Rihani said it concisely: England was the land for the foreign intellectuals persecuted in their countries. They could publish anything they want totally freely. However, the British intellectual was sanctioned if his writings didn’t match the establishment views on traditions.

More bitter than security is who is let to inherit fear.

Tout ce que voit l’homme, il le prend pour un jouet. On ne devient jamais un sage adulte.

East Aleppo must fall quickly: The Hezbollah fighters want a great reason to withdraw to the eastern Lebanon mountain chain to clean our borders from Daesh and Al Nusra

East Aleppo must be retaken quickly and the Syrian army enters Al Baab: Erdogan plans to dominate northern Syrian territory must be checked.

Any religious sect demanding that the ratio of soldiers and officers be commensurate to its size is to tacitly admit that its moral and spiritual forces are waning. It wants an alternative force to retain its domination. This ratio suggestion is Not adapted to keep the community united.

In 1902, 114 years ago, Amin Rihani replied to the reforms of the new Ottoman Moutassarref to Mount Lebanon, Mozaffar Pasha. Rihani’s set of reforms priority was:

1) Establish public educational institutions. The religious clerics Must be forbidden to run or teach in these public schools.

2) Religious clerics must be denied interventions in any civic decisions or civic laws.

3) Public employees must submit to exams and be selected according to their capabilities.

4) Confiscate religious real estates and pay back the private owners who donated their lands.

The Town (a century ago): Currently, simply hometown Beit-Chabab (Lebanon)

Home-town of Beit-Chabab Al Day3a): Time and circumstances were not friendly

Many years ago, Beit-Chabab was called The Town (al Day3a) by over a dozen villages in a 7- kilometer radius, and for a great reason: It was the town that offered almost everything to trade that people at the period needed and wanted.

People from the surrounding villages converged to The Town for trading, buying excellent home-made manufactured products, and contracting out for skilled artisans in ironwork, carpentry, civil work, stone cutting, roof fixing…

The Town was famous for its clothing fabrics, particularly silk-work, home produced from start (silk-worm…) to finish: almost every family had its weaving equipment.  Families: working a couple of hours or 20 hours a day. The city of Lyon (France) relied on the silk production of The Town for its manufactures…

The Town was also famous for its fabrication of church bells, exported around the world, and pottery of every kinds like for saving olive oil, dried fruits, lard, fatty mincemeat…every kind of container needed for the winter season…

The Town produced all kinds of vegetables and fruits, and sent forth caravans to fetching cereals, wheat…from Syria and the Bekaa Valley…

And WWI hit the country and people died of famine and endured the harshest period during three years: Many had to exchange their lands for a loaf of bread.  The Ottoman Empire had sided with Germany and needed food and conscripts for its front in Suez against the English…

By the time the war was over, The Town tried to make a comeback, but a third of the surviving  inhabitants had immigrated to Africa, joining extended family members who had started their own trading businesses…

Late author Amine Rihani (born in the nearby village of Freikeh, see note 2) described my hometown eight decades ago.  Apparently time and circumstances were not friendly with The Town: “Beit Chabab is a striking beautiful town of green land, white stone houses, red tiled roofs…The lower location is at 600 meters altitude and the highest at 750. A town is important for what it produces, and I wonder why the people in Beit-Chabab insist on calling their town The Town. Beit Chabab had a history of production and skilled men and women, but the skilled people are no longer there….”

The people of The Town were self-sufficient peasants and skilled artisans, and they were hidden kings on their own right.  Currently, the inhabitants have retained a huge misplaced sense of dignity: They have to import everything and purchase almost everything from the neighbouring village shops…

The former The Town is supposed to be the next biggest town in number of voters (after Baskinta), but it never managed to put forth a single candidate for the parliament. All the successive governments since 1943 never considered a single one from The Town as minister…

The municipality is of 24-member, but no one really think that he has a job to do.  The Mayor was elected for two terms without much fight, and before the third election he disseminated the good news that he is bored and tired.  Come election time, the Mayor changed his mind and spent $700,000 to bribe voters, entire chattel families…   How do you  think the mayor will recoup his expenditure?

It turns out that the municipality may not report projects costing over $7,000 to the ministry of the interior: Most of the projects are basically reworking the walls by the road, even if not needed…The mayor charge for the civil work equipment he has for the various jobs…

The dozen villages have grown many folds in residents: The Town has no policy of renting homes, and it has no high-rises…No restaurants, no movie theaters, no centers for youth to meet…Nothing.  Beautiful sleeping town.

Funny, a student doing a thesis on Beit-Chabab had to select his topic on the 14 churches, every family clan having its own church.  The only money “invested” is on remodeling the church and building an extension “salon” for people to gather to offering condolence to the dead.

Note 1

Note 2: Amine Rihani was born in 1876 in the village of Frikeh (Lebanon) and immigrated to the USA and settled in New York, and toured all of Lebanon on donkeys, the Arabic peninsula and most of the Arabic World, visited with the leaders and reported on the conditions. Among his works are: “Khaled”, “Heart of Lebanon”, “East and West public figures”, “You, the poet”…

What is this French Academy? Who is Amine Maaluf?

The French Academy (L’ Academie Francaise) for the illustrious literary individuals who wrote in French (regardless of origin, genders, or religious affiliation) was instituted by the Cardinal Richelieu who was the Prime Minister of the monarch Louis 13 in the 16th century.

Among the  pantheon of the literary figures you find, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Poincare, Alexander Dumas the Son (of African descent), Leopold Cedar Segor (Senegal), Asia Jabbar (Algeria)…Amine Maaluf (Lebanon) was inducted a member two week ago. (He will officially deliver his speech and get the chair, exactly a year later)

Amine Maaluf joined the Lebanese daily Al Nahar at the age of 22 in the foreign section.  He used to bring a book to work and read it hidden under the desk.

Amine undertook trips to Vietnam, Ethiopia, Haiti…to cover events.

You cannot be a successful journalist if you fail to read books everyday!  For example, how could we comprehend the Napoleonic war against Russia if we fail to read “War and Peace” of Tolstoy, or about France if we failed to read Balzac, or about Italy without Luigi Bazetti...?

Amine Maaluf was born in a small village of Lebanon (Ain Kabo) and immigrated to France in 1976, as the civil war in Lebanon set in.  He wrote many books about Lebanon, Iran, the Crusaders, his Origin…

How can we feel the feudal system in Lebanon without “The Boulder of Tanios“, or the century of Omar Khayyam in Iran, or how the Arab viewed the Crusaders at the time, or how the Lebanese immigrated and prospered overseas…

Maaluf earned the French Goncour Prize for “The Boulder of Tanios” (Sakhrat Tanios) and the Spanish Literary Prize.

His productions were translated in over 20 languages.  I read all his books in the original French language (about a dozen books) and reviewed extensively many of them in English, in my blog under “Book Review” category.

Many Lebanese authors wrote in foreign languages and were famous.  For example, Jubran Khalil Jubran “The Prophet” (the highest read in the USA after the Bible), Amine Rihani who corresponded with the New York Times in the 20’s and wrote “Khaled” and many other books, Andre Chedid, George Shehadeh, Salah Stitieh

Note 1: This article was inspired by the article of the Lebanese journalist Samir Attallah, published in the daily Al Nahar (June 29, 2011)

Note 2: This Nov. 10, 2013, Amine presented his latest book during the exhibition of French book production in BIEL (convention place in Beirut), and the President of Lebanon offered him the Medal of Honor during a reception.




February 2023

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