Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Green Card

Atmospheric physics? Who is Toufic Hawaat?

For 50 years, scientists have been visiting the North and South Poles to study the atmosphere and matching their various models to data gathered painstakingly, under harsh climatic conditions…

Toufic Hawaat is one of these researches and physicists who spent 8 years in the Poles, three months at a stretch during the Poles summer seasons: The temperature drops to minus 122 in the winter and you’ll be stuck for an entire year there if the team makes the grave mistake of visiting the Poles in winter time.

The temperature in the South Pole in summer time is a mild minus 80 degrees Celsius, and the team members of researchers live within iced walls, and feed on biscuits tasting beef and pizza and canned food…

Toufic Hawaat is born in Lebanon in the town of Bte3bourat in the district of Koura.  He got his engineering degree from the University of Lebanon and resumed higher education in Paris, receiving his Ph.D on the physics of atmospheric constitution and phenomena…

For 6 years, Toufic worked for the French public CNF and had to travel to the North Pole in 1994 at the age of 25. He visited the North Pole 6 times and planted the Lebanese flag (the first time ever).

In 1998, Toufic met with an American research team from the University of Denver, doing the same kind of research. The US team offered Toufic the Green Card and dispatched him to the South Pole.

Antarctica is 5 times as vast as the USA and snow is 9,000 meters thick, and it takes 38 hours to reach destination.

So far, Dr. Hawaat has published 48 peer-reviewed scientific articles and will deliver a speech at Rio 20+. The collected and analyzed data reveal a steady increase in natural calamities since 1972, and going worse by the year.

Toufic do visit his hometown in Lebanon, now and then, with his family (his wife is also from Lebanon), but he claims that the air and water in Lebanon are too polluted to reside here. He has no plans of settling in Lebanon…

Note: This post was inspired from an interview conducted by Pascal Azar to the Lebanese daily Al Nahar.

“Why am I how I am?”: Four Supporting Factors

 

Reason #6: Ideology

 

The next year I joined a political party. 

With next to nothing in political awareness I was carried away.

I was approached by close friends who already joined the party.

I attended secret lectures on the principles and doctrine of the party.

I read many of its literature and the writings of its leader.

I agreed on many terms of its principles and moral standings.

I still would not have joined if not for urgent nudging.

Even after joining I was not satisfied until I read the literature

Of the alternative political parties to compare and strengthen my belief.

I did not care for the positions of the right wing political parties.

I focused my ideological education on those claiming to be leftists.

I read all the volumes of Karl Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tse Tong.

I even read Kim Il Sung, go figure!

I slaved for that party:  I spent my scares financial resources which I did not earn.

I invested much time and efforts in organizing, marching in demonstrations,

Participating in ceremonies, attending the required meetings, and basically,

Wasted the better of my university years in chimera.

I failed to excel in my academic studies.

I failed to striving for good grades and looking forward for a brighter personal future.

 

Joining wholeheartedly a political party or any civic association could have advantages.

It could be an excellent decision that open varied opportunities for youth.

It can develop their personal potentials and connect with proper referrals.

Not this particular party and not for me.

My political party was a pariah to the Lebanese system of governance.

Theoretically, your application for joining the party is kept a secret;

Absolutely not true, but what youth knows?

Many political parties offer ways for advancement and jobs.

In my case, all public services and administrative position in the State were closed to me.

Even teaching in the public schools and most private schools were prohibited for me.

Political parties need leaders, directors, managers, and mostly “soldiers”.

The leaders are usually selected from the outspoken and the well connected.

My fate was to slave in the dark, spend my money and be an extra number.

Time is of the essence and the most critical at this juncture of my life.

I wasted time and efforts amply in the wrong direction and purpose.

 

These university years were the best in cultural development.

I spent countless hours seeing movies, watching theater plays and attending conferences.

Alone, always alone.

 

Reason #7: Smoking

 

I started smoking at the age of 26, just to fit in a bar exhibiting girls dancing nude.

I could not stand the taste or smell of cigarettes but managed to finish a box.

Slowly but surely I got hooked to smoking even though I still could not enjoy it.

I never even tried a single puff before then or was tempted to try.

This addiction to smoking precipitated my downfall:

I have been noticing substantial declines in whatever cognitive abilities I had.

I experienced lack of concentration on any subject for more than fifteen minutes.

My memory deteriorated even further.

I felt shortness in breathing, continuous coughing, and vocal degradation.

Smoking is nefarious for social relationships, especially among women.

Smoking is categorically not appreciated in a working environment.

I quit smoking for ten days: a beautiful girl made me promise for just that duration.

I fasted for 40 days because I wanted to share the fast of a Muslim friend of mine.

I excluded smoking from the constraints.

 

Reason #8: A social naïve

 

I am basically very naïve in social machinations.

This may not be a reason but a by-product of the previous reasons.

I keep my word even when I realize that the given promises were deceptive.

I once promised a manager to stay for a year as his assistant at a certain monthly pay.

The pay turned out to include the cost of many perks.

I resigned after a year.

I keep my part of any contract even when I discover that I have been abused.

I worked for four years at a job that was not within my domain:

I was promised a higher position after the work is finished.

I suffered stomach aches for six months:

The physical diagnoses didn’t show any cause.

It was a purely nervous work stress or a psychological factor.

But I fulfilled my contract.

I worked for five years in Real Estates, listing and selling private properties.

After two years of literal hunger I managed to earn a decent return on my persistence.

I spent lavishly on advertisement from my own pocket.

I had to convince the Internal Revenue Services of my poverty for months.

My profit was not commensurate to their assumptions by a long shot.

I consistently lowered my share on percentages which I thought were outrageous.

My position on commission rates raised the angst of my associates:

They activated a campaign to curtail my business and even kick me out of the syndicate.

 

Reason #9:  Lack of financial support and proper connections.

 

This reason might also be categorized as a byproduct;

It is at best a supporting factor;

As opposed to the previous basic and fundamental reasons.

My parents could not initiate another successful business after they returned to Lebanon.

While in the USA for higher education the civil war in Lebanon was raging.

My folks had no money coming in.

They even lost the remaining of their financial resources.

The devaluation of the Lebanese pound reduced their savings to nothing.

I had to fend for myself though the original plan was to visit every summer.

Now, many overseas Lebanese students were purchasing the latest car models.

I was pedaling a two-speed bicycle; the only transportation available to me.

There were no public transportation facilities in town.

I slung a backpack over my shoulders for provisions and whatever errands.

As a matter of facts all the cars that I bought were old and cheap.

Cars ruined me and I ended up giving them away to charity organizations:

I could not afford to repair them.

I had no family or relative connections whatsoever to providing any recourse or news.

Many students could get married for the purpose of obtaining the American citizenship.

I lived for over 20 years in the USA and did not secure even a Green Card;

An essential mean and requirement to be hired by any established company.

Strong connection or backed by powerful referrals do secure good jobs.

Many worthwhile jobs were denied me on the basis of not having this lousy Green Card;

It also disqualified me from a few important university projects.

The projects were directly or indirectly financed by the all pervasive Defense Ministry.

Something on my life since I returned to Lebanon in 2000

 

The “suicidal” decision

 

            My diary covers the period since 2004 but it includes basically many events in most of my life and my impressions and should be used to fill the gaps in my shortened autobiography. 

At Re/Max I was doing fine with my associate Marlon, from the Philippine, and then I sold a property and the owners of Re/Max wanted the percentage on the bonus that the seller offered me and I got pissed off and asked a Real Estate lawyer I deal with to negotiate that bonus problem but I got no responses.  I decided to pay Re/Max $7,000 for past dues instead of settling for the 30/70 cut on a commission; that was a huge mistake on my part and I paid dearly for it.  I joined another Realtor in Gaithersburg as independent with a modicum monthly due but I had to change all my signs and posters and my business went downhill for the same hours of work and toil and misery.

And then surprise; finally after 7 years, the immigration got on my file as a political refuge applicant. My former lawyer had told me that if my file is not opened in that a six years lapse of time then I could apply for residency status; her information was not correct, I think. I had to visit the immigration office in Virginia for an interview; the case officer told me that I was entitled for residency after 20 years in the USA but as a political refuge case he has obliged to defer me to a judge and would not give me residency.

I was tired of fighting my case as a political refugee and I had not the financial means or the necessary support to linger any longer in the USA; I was practically sick and tired of my lonely life; I had lost or lacked any purpose there since my work in Real Estates was not saving me any money after the frequent expenses for promoting my line of business.

            On a whim, I ordered my lawyer to ask for voluntary deportation.  Consciously, I knew that this is the moment in my live that I decided “suicide” in the long term.  There were no major opportunities in Lebanon and I was never fit to live and transact in the social fabric of Lebanon.  I have always been introverted and could not be voluble as society would expect from me.  I had no friends and I didn’t expect to have learned much on how to make friendship.

I sold my car for cheap $1,000 to my landlord and left him everything that I could not carry in two traveling suitcases, including the Japanese “futon” that I cherished, my expensive hair cutter and my cellular phone and everything in my lousy room.  I made the mistake of leaving over $1,500 in the bank, an amount that the bank would not return to me on the tacit understanding that the government has taken the money to cover taxes due.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
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