Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Arab

World, Make Room (1998)

1.   Lebanon is Not just for the Christians.  True.

Lebanon is because of its Christians.  True.

Created by Christian Colonial powers.  True.

2.   Lebanon is an “Arabic” country, like it or not.  True.

It was clear for most.  It is now clear to all.

Lebanon can be a bastion

Of freedom:  Free from dictators

Persons, political parties or religious parties.

3.   Lebanon can be a heaven

Of Choices:  Freedom of speech, of affiliations, of education and of growth.

Lebanon can be the cornerstone

For Liberties:  Liberty in beliefs, in trades, in equality of opportunities.

Lebanon can be a lot and far more if

The Arab Lebanese Christians stay;

The Arab Lebanese Christians shed

Their blood for the land, all the land;

The Arab Lebanese Christians take a stand

Against the Feudal system, the sectarians, the isolationists and the apathetic;

The Arab Lebanese Christians proclaim

That they are Arabs, proud to be Arabs,

In Lebanon and every corner of the World.

If all the Christian sects take a firm stand against our existential enemy Israel

A colonial implants, emulating the ancient colonial behaviors of racism and apartheid laws.

4.   Christians or Muslims, the World doesn’t care.

Why should we?  Christians or Muslims, we are Syrian “Arabs”.

Leaders in intellect, in spirit, in work,

In ambitious dreams to fulfill a few of the meanings of life.

Syrian Arab Lebanese, just get your identity straight.

Arabs we are and more.  World, make room.

Make room.

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 141

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

French women got Full citizenship in 1944

English women snatched the right to vote by 1914

US women got the right to vote around 1912

Women in Japan are encouraged to commit suicide to safeguarding their “honors”, but they are cleverer than the stupid males; they leave such honor to the competitive militaristic disciplined males.

Credit is an idea. Credit is not wealth. No work is used in the creation of credit other than a book entry. It is expressed by bookkeeping entries and computer symbols. The manipulation of words and their meaning is the key to controlling what people think.

I try to draw democracy. I start with people voting and asserting their rights. And it strikes me that people are being possessed with an overarching ideology that a leader transmits, that they are held by their throats to be able to survive financially, that they have to rebel and kill and watch their children get killed to be heard.

I try to draw a nation, a government, a political order, a land…And I fail again:  I cannot depict the famine that our “Arab” world is witnessing, the murder, the torture.  And at the same time, and simultaneously at the other end, you witness people not showing a single sense of empathy, or even the slightest human concern.

The ancient Akkadian Empire in current southern Iraq, around the years 2,000 BC, used the word Aribi (Arab) to designate “the neighbors”, the nomads exchanging incense, myrrh, and precious stones with the urban centers in the kingdom.

The major nomadic tribes or “bedwins, bedouin” were hired by merchants and the central governments of the existing Empires to safeguard the main land trade routes.

The main trade route “The King route” crossing Syria to the port of Aqaba on the Red Sea. The Jewish tribes would be hired to keep this route safe from minor nomadic clans.  Later, there would be established the “Silk Road” from China to Persia to Turkey to Venice and Europe.

The Hebrew word of “Arabah” means desert. Thus arabah meant tribes leading a nomadic life in desert-like regions.  The tribes in the southern regions of the Arabic Peninsula such as Yemen never considered themselves as Arabs.

The word Arab in Yemenite documents of the second century AC refers to people not urbanized or living off agriculture; it is the same meaning that the Prophet Muhammad used.

 

“Beyond, beyong Obama”: Bi-weekly report (#27); (July 21, 2009)

 

            Do you recall the slogan “Beyond Haifa, and then beyond, beyond Haifa”?  This most effective warning of Hassan Nasr Allah was intended to Israel if it contemplated a full fledge war on Lebanon in July 2006; Hezbollah missiles did hit Haifa and beyond, beyond Haifa.

            Sayyed Hassan revamped this slogan and extended it beyond the limited borders of the Near East region.  To the Arab and Moslem masses he proclaimed that the successive US Administrations will never pressure Israel to abide by the UN resolutions and behave as one of the normal States; Sayyed Hassan warned that our problems will worsen “beyond, beyond Obama”. 

            The speech was for the people to get over the propaganda of the State leaders that would want us to believe that the US is ready to bring a resolution any time soon.  Sayyed Hassan lambasted the Arab and a few other Moslem States who are constantly ready to oblige the dictates of the US Administrations and extend hands to Israel without any practical returns. As if 60 years of experimenting with Israel pre-emptive wars need further dialogue to comprehend the Zionist ideology.  The Secretary General of Hezbollah clearly proclaimed that Israel has become a mercenary State for the interest of the US in the region (since 1960); he was adamant that he never asked for any political guarantees for retaining the military potentials neither from Lebanese leaders nor from foreign powers.

 

            Sayyed Hassan is willing to extend the prime minister designate Saad Hariri all the time he needs to form a unity government.  This is simple rhetoric to cool it down. Everybody else is demanding Hariri to get on with his job and have a government running by the end of July. I warned in  my previous bi-weekly report (#26) that the more Hariri lingers the readier is Israel to start another wave of assassination to destabilize Lebanon. What do I know?  I can review the events in the last three years and extrapolate the consequences.  It is no secret that Israel has started heating the south borders by trying to antagonize the UNIFEL with the Lebanese citizens waiting for the UN report and decision in August with respect of extending the mandate of the UN forces with a few alterations.  August is going to be a hot month unless a Lebanese unity government is running before then.

 

            Pakistan military incursions into the Taliban type Swat region are no longer in the media.  The US is already proclaiming military defeat in Afghanistan.  India is urged to relieve pressures on Pakistan so that it can focus its forces to resolving its internal serious problems.  Political solutions in Afghanistan are already contemplated.

 

            Iran election was no fraud.  Late Ayatollah Komeini demanded that election of the President and the supreme leader be done by popular vote and the procedure and process are very detailed and controlled that prevent any kinds of technical frauds on the scale the media would like us to believe.  The duration of the counting of 7 hours was the same as the election in 2005 since it didn’t involve parliamentary or municipal voting members.  There were in total 61,000 voting centers, 47,000 in fixed locations and 14,000 moving centers so that each center welcomed 500 voters.

            The duo Ahmadinajad and Kamenei were investing resources in the rural areas and bypassing the clerical cast. Besides the Capital Teheran that has 13 millions citizens, 17 other urban cities of over half a million each contain about 13 milions.  The remaining 45 milions dwell in towns of less than 100,000.  Ahmadinajad focused his economical aids on the rural areas and alienated the clergy cast by not using it as intermediary in the financial distribution.

            The demonstrators were not the pro-reformists attributed to the other candidates but the supporters of the clergy cast fearing a crackdown on its privileges.  The duo Ahmadinajad and Kamenie sent the strong signal to the clergy to make room for reforms. The Iranian clergy cast thought of riding the wave of the western media and uncovered its schemes.  Iran is poised for reforms; its top priorities are internal; the external pressures are “beyond Obama” but they are the least scary or worrisome to the regime.

Turkey and Iran: Same and Different (April 25, 2009)

 

Brief history

hroughout antiquity till our modern days, three main empires dominated the landscape of the Middle East. Turkey, Iran, and Egypt were vast empires and advanced urbanely and economically before the advent of Islam.

Turkey and Iran managed to enjoy a semi-continuous existence of empires but Egypt had large vacuums of many centuries in between empires since the Pharaohs.

Egypt enjoyed special status during the Greek, Roman, Arab, and Ottoman empires and was a world apart as wheat basket and advanced civilization. Turkey and Iran could benefit from stable “national” entities but Egypt experienced foreign leaders as kings or sultans and relied on foreign officers to lead its armies, the latest dynasty was from Albania with Muhammad Ali

The three empires are currently mostly Moslems and they were in general lenient with the minority religious sects. 

The three empires have vast lands, rich in water, and have currently about the same number of population of around 70 millions and increasing at high rates, especially Egypt (90 million).

The Iranian empires relied on the Afghanistanis and the central Asian tribes for their armies.  As the frequent Mogul raids descended on Persia its armies went on the defensive.

The Turkish and Ottoman empires relied on the Caucasus tribes from current Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia States, and also from Albania and Romania.  As Russia started to expand southward and occupied many of these regions then Turkey curtailed most of its vast military campaigns and went on the defensive. 

The Caucasus triangle of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia is still a hot spot for domination among Russia, Turkey, and to a lesser extent Iran, especially with the oil and gas pipelines that pass through them.  My post “Cursed Cities: Kars” would shed detailed historical accounts on that tragic triangle.

 

Modern Status

In around 1920’s two military dictators ruled over Iran and Turkey

Rida “shah” in Iran and “Ataturk” in Turkey were attempting to modernize their infrastructure and civil administrations by emulating the European examples.  Ataturk went as far as changing the Turkish alphabet to Latin and abolishing the Caliphate in Islam. 

Both dictators confronted the religious clerics for establishing secular States with unequal long term successes.  Iran has reverted to religious oligarchy after Khomeini came to power.

While Iran was historically more clement with its minorities it appears that Turkey is practically taking steps to outpacing Iran in that advantage. For example, Turkey is translating the Koran into the ethnic languages such as Kurdish. 

Women in Turkey are prominent in businesses such as Goler Sabanji; 9% of women are represented in the Parliament.  In Iran, Shireen Abadi is Nobel laureate for defending women’s rights; Iranian women represent only 3% in the Parliament though they represent 65% in universities.

In the 70’s Iran was flush with oil revenue while Turkey was struggling to establish an industrial infrastructure. It appears that in the long term oil is definitely a curse for emerging nations because wealth is not invested on the human potentials and stable modern political structure.

In 2008, foreign investment in Turkey was 14 billions dollars and increasing while it amounted to just one billion in Iran.  Turkey has expanded its representation in Africa by opening 12 new Embassies and 20 new consulates.

Nisreen Ozaimy is from Iran by origin and fled to Turkey; when her family lived in Turkey it was impressed by the confidence that the Turks valued their various ethnic nationalities and they implicit feeling that Turkey is in fact a bridge between East and West.  The Turks managed to blend harmoniously the secular and religious inclinations.

The current crisis in the middle-east is changing the landscape: Turkey has alienated most of the Arab world by getting involved and engaged in “Arab” spring upheavals, siding with the Moslem Brotherhood movements, while Iran is heading the resistance front against extremist islam.

What link Nude dancers, Graduate studies, and city of Norman?  Introspection

City of Norman (Summer 1975, chapter 22 of autobiography)

The program coordinator for advanced English decided that I didn’t need any further English study. But since the dues were paid, I had to finish one month.

 I learned how to navigate the library and hunt for the appropriate manuscripts and enter the classroom bare feet, as I have noticed American students doing.  Wrong behavior: Foreigners had no such rights of freely entering classroom not wearing sandals, and I was admonished by the ugly, skinny Jewish lady teacher never to show any further disrespect.

One of the teachers was amazed that I used the term “petrified” in my essay; he had no idea that I mastered the French language and my vocabulary was very formal and Latin rooted: I would learn the slang and the American expressions in due time.

I rented a room with another Jordanian older student at a house, two blocks away from the university.  The Jordanian student was accepted in San Antonio for graduate studies in economics.  The house belonged to a tall and skinny widow and she lived at the house; the next summer I learned that she married a zealot Moslem Syrian graduate student in chemical engineering; she was to wear long tunic and a scarf.

The blue-eyed Syrian student was renting a room that summer, and he was very aloof: I had no idea that he was the extremist type until later:  I was told that he used to spread his praying rag in class before exams.

I enrolled for a two-week program to lean swimming and that is how I got hooked into swimming three times a week for many years. I think that these two weeks were kind of initiation to befriending with water, since I was no fish in the water at the age of 25.  

My first project, as I relocated to another city, was to find a covered and heated swimming pool around my residence.

The next summer of 1976, I participated in aiding a missionary organization, specializing in linguistic, since I knew the Arabic language (I am under the impression that I used formal words instead of the Lebanese slang, especially when it comes to food); the organization rented a flat in a university building during summer vacation. I was paid two dollars per hour.

 

Graduate studies: The industrial engineering program

I enrolled in the graduate MS program at the University of Oklahoma at Norman in the fall of 1975.  At that time, the administrators in the USA universities were flexible, had larger control in their positions and were friendly with foreigners. The Jewish Dean of the department, Dr. Kumin, valorized all my math, physics and chemistry courses and I was left with just four undergraduate courses to finish my BS in Industrial engineering, as prerequisite courses before I take on courses in the graduate program next semester. 

Back in Lebanon, courses in Physics did not require any projects to do for each course and thus, I felt overwhelmed and totally inexperienced with these kinds of “bothering” projects in engineering. 

Although I learned to program in FORTRAN in Lebanon, I was not that familiar with computer hardware architecture.  I believe that I mostly copied parts of my textbook and another book that I borrowed from the main library as substitute to an individual reflection.  Gary Capshaw, a last year PhD student, was very lenient with me and gave me an “A”.

The industrial engineering program didn’t match my perception and expectation. My expectation of a hand on program was totally lacking; it was merely more of the theoretical concepts with less mathematical formulas to handle.  Except for the stochastic courses, even the operations research courses required simple basic math, a fact that suited me because I was getting wary of the deterministic aspects in the physic and chemistry courses. 

The truth is, however you restrict your research in Industrial Engineering to deal with clean-cut equations, there is no avoiding the human elements operating in industries and thus, most formulas are lacking the deterministic values so cherished in the other engineering fields that deal with inanimate matters.

I enrolled during summer for a two-week swimming lessons and spent the next summers most of my afternoons at the university swimming pool; the advisor for my thesis Dr. Bob Foote, a Zionist non-Jew, who read most of the editorials and student’s opinions in the university daily, including my articles, used to see me frequently in the swimming pool and thus, concluded that I was more interested in the beautiful naked women than in studying.

Nude dancers 

I had my first experience with nude bars, where beauties danced on stage, completely naked.  The Walter Mitty bar was around the corner of my dorm, which  was reserved mostly for foreign students.  My friend Ramez was the RA of the dorm and he was studying History of Sciences, simply because the university library possessed very ancient manuscripts on Arabic sciences.  Why? Ramez could barely read modern Lebanese Arabic newspapers, much less classical Arabic! 

There was this lovely brunette of Maria, a nude dancer.  I sent a letter to my cousin Jihad telling him that Maria looked like his wife Nada.  I am not sure how Jihad took it.  Nada should have appreciated it; shouldn’t she?  I know that years later, Jihad reminded me of receiving this letter.  Eight years later, I returned to Norman for a PhD and Maria was still living in Norman. She was working at the university Power Plant and wearing regulation yellow helmet.  Nude dancing is far harder than even fashion modeling:  In no time you are put to pasture.

I told Maria that I liked her when she used to dance totally naked; she appreciated that I still recalled her.  We had a date and she showed up wearing high-healed long boots and tight, very tight Jeans.  She used to take my arm when strolling and she didn’t attempt to fool around with men in the bars we made the tour of.

Maria showed me her apartment a few days later and I met her sister (maybe half-sister who didn’t resemble Maria). I also visited her at the hospital after her surgery for infected uterus; she was wearing regulation hospital long shirt showing her buttocks. As Maria returned home she invited me to her apartment and asked me if I liked to share a joint of marijuana.  I never learn from my experiences or anything from life:  I told her how marijuana affects me after just two puffs.  Maria told me then that it would be useless to get any further dates. 

There was this tall, skinny, and blond girl dancing nude.  She used to set fire to her pubis every night.  Obviously, she had no pubis hair and would never be able to confirm if her white blond hair was original.  I once asked her to leave together.  I think that she said “Yes”.  I waited till the bar closed and she had left.  I was a very shy guy and I wished that the rules would be that she would sit by my side, take my arm and drag me out.  I still don’t know the rule of asking a nude dancer to actually leave with me: if you truly do know, please forward it.

Worst of all, patronizing this nude dancing bar exposed me to my first cigarette smoking.  I was 26 of age and had never smoke before.  I am now nicotine addicted.  More on that later and the few times with marijuana.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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