Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ibrahim Pasha

 

 

Main Difference between ISIS and monarchist family of Al Saud

ISIS or Daesh adopted the Wahhabi Islamic sect that the tribe of Saud in the Najd province,  in the Arabic Peninsula, adopted in the 18th century.

This was a religious sect that was the most extreme in denying the worship of prophets, shrines, pictures, music on any form of pleasure.

The Saudi monarchy is a branch of a Bedouin tribe that affiliated with the theocratic extremist religion of Wahhab.

It is the difference between an abstract religious dogma with a set of daily prescriptions and a real living tribe with customs and traditions.

It is like the difference between the Jewish religion, the religious Jews  and the State of Israel.

In the province of Najd in the Arabic peninsula, there exist wide differences among the tribes.

The differences are even wider between the tribes in Najd and the tribes of the northern provinces close to the Syrian and Jordanian borders.

An abyss separate the psychological characters between the sedentary and nomadic Arabic tribes.

The British Palgrave in the 19th century described the Wahhabis tribes in the Najd province:

They are less generous than the tribes in the North.

They quick in understanding difficult projects.

They are Not cheerful people and less candid than other tribes

They rarely express through words their secret feelings

They are firm in their plans

Are terrible in their vengeance

Are implacable enemies

They doubt whoever is Not their compatriot.

The expression of their features denote reserved, hard, and gloomy dispositions: They contrast with benevolent faces of the northern tribes

They have limited intelligence

They are strong and persevering will which makes them capable to powerfully organize their social system and become their neighbors tyrannical masters

Their ambitious dream to dominate the entire Arabic Peninsula will be realized earlier than one think

Their character is reflected in the slightest acts of domestic life.

One should watch his tongue and measure his gestures when dealing with them as he should with enemies.

Ibn Saud, backed by the British, managed to conquer all of the Peninsula and entered Mecca and chased out the Hashemite dynasty. The British offered the Hashemite  a kingdom in Jordan, in Damascus and in Baghdad.  Only the Jordanian dynasty survived the turmoil of the Syrian and Iraqi independence movements.

In order for the Saudi monarchy to survive, Ibn Saud ordered his descendants to follow his strategy in the Arab world:

1. Egypt is the head of the Arab World: decapitate Egypt

2. Syria is the heart of Arabism: Remove this heart

3. Never allow Syria to link up with Iraq under any condition: This would create the Oriental power house in the region.

The USA, Israel and the western colonial powers couldn’t agree better, and kept the Middle East States in constant destabilizing conditions and unable to unite.

Note 1: In 1818, Ibrahim Pasha, the elder son of Egypt Muhammad Ali, entered and erased the Wahhabi capital Deryeh. After Ibrahim left the Arabic peninsula, and two decades later, the Wahhabi tribes were back to their old habit of raiding the Syrian provinces by the border, thanks to the  sustained British aids in finance and military weapons.

Read my review: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/part-2-mehemet-ali-the-last-modern-pharaoh/

 

How Justice was done? Massacres of 1860 in Lebanon and Syria (Part 4)

How Justice was done in Damascus?

You may read Part 3https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/massacres-of-1860-in-syria-and-damascus-memoirs-of-a-french-diplomat-of-the-genocide-part-3/

Fuad Pasha, the Ottoman foreign affairs, was dispatched to head the team and the military contingent of 4,500 troops in order to restore order and security in Lebanon and Syria. He landed in Beirut on July 17, 1860 and detained the governors Ahmed and Khorshid Pasha, the officers of the garrisons in Rashaya, Hasbaya, Deir Kamar, Mekse, and the right hand of Khorshid, Vasfi Effendi, during the Beirut uprising where an innocent Christian was decapitated to appease the turmoil after the death of a Moslem.

He resumed his travel to Damascus, where the fresh massacre alerted the European nations on the fate of the Christians in the Near East.

Fuad Pasha showed zeal and unusual activities to convince the Europeans that it was not necessary of sending troops and meddling in the Ottoman affairs. He rounded up 800 from Damascus, restituted the loots and stopped two large caravans loaded with the loots to Baghdad and Aleppo.

On August 20, 1860, Fuad Pasha  hanged 57 and executed by firing squads 110 officers and soldiers, particularly those who participated in the massacres in Hasbaya and Rashaya in Lebanon.  More than 700 were sent to exile and forced labor.

Most importantly, the former governor Ahmet Pasha, Ali Bey and the commanders of the garrisons were executed. It was rumored that Ahmet Pasha, who had twice warned the Ottoman government of potential crisis in Syria, was quickly executed in order not to clarify the role of the Ottoman government in the planning of these massacres against the Christians.

(Parallel governments were at play in that period in Turkey?)

Ahmed Pasha had lived in Vienna and mastered several languages. It appears that he lacked the troops that he could rely on and the Majlis warned him that any intervention might turn the “insurgents” against the Ottoman troops.

The police chief Ali Ferhad Aga and 300 police sergeants were arrested.

Halim Pasha erased the town of Jeroud and brought to trial all its adult male inhabitants.

As Fuad pasha was speedily and actively restitution order and security, Europe got the fresh news of the massacres in Damascus. Napoleon III and Russia, pressured by public outcries, decided to dispatch a military expedition, though England was very reluctant of giving the French this opportunity to return to Near East.

The French general marquis Beaufort Hautpoul led an expedition of 4,500 troop. Beaufort had previously participated along side the French officer Seves (Sleiman Pasha) in the  many victorious battles of Ibrahim Pasha.

How Justice was done in Lebanon?

After a lengthy delay, Fuad Pasha returned to Beirut from Damascus, after he established order and hanged scores of the perpetrators of the massacre, in order to meet with the European commissions. Fuad Pasha summoned 37 of the Druze leaders to Beirut to stand trial. Only 6 showed up.  And he followed this order by destitution 37 feudal Druze lords (Mukata3tejis) from their privileges and properties

The Maronite clergy handed Fuad the list of 970 Druze that he requested and whom the Maronites claimed to have participated in the massacre.

Fuad Pasha reluctantly rounded up these 970 Druze and set up a military court in Mukhtara, just to render justice away from the intervention of the commissions staying in Beirut.

The verdicts were:

1. The Turkish former governor Khorshid Pasha, Tahir Pasha, Nourin Bey, Vasfi and Ahmet Effendi were to serve life confinement in fortresses in Cyprus and Rhodes

2. Twelve Druze sheikhs, including their leader Said Jumblat and Hussein Talhouk were condemned to death…

3. Over 33 fugitive Druze, including Hattar Amad and Ismail Atrash were condemned to death in absentia.

No public execution took place and the condemned people were exiled or sent to force labor.

Justice in Lebanon was a slap on the hands, thanks to the firm intervention of the British who didn’t want to alienate the Druze  of Lebanon. And Fuad Pasha contemplated to be designated as the Vassal of the Ottoman Empire in Syria and Palestine.

Note 1: The British commissioner Lord Dufferin  suggested that Syria (including current Lebanon) and Palestine be governed by a vassal to the Ottoman Empire, as was done in Egypt, and Fuad Pasha was the consensus name to be the new ruler.

This idea failed. Finally, a few weeks before the date of the retreat of the French expedition on June 5, 1861, the European commission met in Istanbul and decided to have Mount Lebanon governed by a outsider Christian, appointed by the Sultan. This was to be known as the Mutasarefiya consensus.

The first Moutasaref was the Armenian Christian Daoud Pasha and who was promoted to Mushir or Marechal, the first highest rank bestowed on a Christian in the Ottoman army.

 

Massacres of 1860 in Syria and Damascus: Memoirs of a French diplomat of the genocide. Part 3

French expedition of 1860 to Lebanon and Damascus...

During the decade long occupation of the Egyptian leader Ibrahim Pasha, the Christians in Syria and Lebanon enjoyed the same rights as the Moslems. The Christian Maronites in Lebanon learned to exhibit their short-lived power and kept reclaiming their acquired privileges after the Egyptian troops vacated Syria and Lebanon at the pressure of the western nations, a behavior that antagonized the Ottoman governors and the Druze.

However, the Christians in Damascus kept their traditional low profile, shunned external forms of ostentatious behavior,  and the custom of respecting even the low ranked Moslem officials and refrained from mounting horses. The exterior of the houses looked decrepit, but the inside was fabulous and richly furnished.

Actually, the Christians in Damascus, mostly Orthodox who split into the Oriental faction (Shark) and the sect that pledged allegiance to Papal Rome (Gharb), were busy in their their internal political rivalry.

Most of the public accountants in the government were Christians and they delivered “clean” balance sheets while accumulating wealth.

After the genocide committed by the Druze on the Christian Maronites living in the Druze canton or Kaemmakam in 1860, the mass assassination spread in all of Syria, from Aleppo, to Hama, Homs and the Capital Damascus.

An insidious letter, having the format and bearing the look of an official document, was disseminated throughout Syria. The letter briefly said:

“With the beginning of the reign of Sultan Abdel Majid, the Christians in the Ottoman Empire got used to openly despise the sacred laws of Shariaa.

The Christians have transgressed the limits and obligations which were imposed on them since caliph Omar el Khattab.

Currently, the Christians have gone as far as downgrading the principles and belief system of the Moslems.  They pretend that a Moslem must stand up to receive a Christian guest and give him priority in reunions and public gathering…

These exigencies are meant to establish equality among the minority sects… They ignore that the vizirs, ulemmas and fakihs  have been meeting secretly to fine tune a plan for their total extermination, a plan based on the tenants of the Shariaa:

1. It is licit to shed the blood of the Christians, not to respect their properties and honor, to burn their churches, destroy their houses…since they started not to pay their due tax for being Christians under the protection of Islam…

2. Most of the fatwas issued in India and Boukhara absolutely forbid to allow the Christians from gaining power. The fatwas are demanding to annihilate their descendants and derange their businesses…

3. No regards should be given to the infidel Christians…

4. The testimonies of a Christians are null and void , and illegal. Even the testimony of an Alawit Ansari is preferred…

Let us remind you of the words in the Koran: Make no difference among the infidel nations

Islam nations, wake up and destroy the race of these serving the Cross, in this sacred land that they spoiled…

The European nations are weak and enfeebled after the Crimea war. This is the time to take the opportunity to defeat them once and for all, before they recover their strength and come back to dispossess us from our wealth…

We are secretly meeting with the purposes of:

1. Assassinate sultan Abdel Magid who deviated from Islamic laws…

2. Since the Christians in our Empire are in complete accord with the western nations, and particularly the Christians in Mount Lebanon (numbering 200,000) who are known for their intrigues and conniving with the infidel nations to enter our Empire, the Christians will be exterminated in Mount Lebanon, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus and everywhere they exist in our midst…” End of letter

How the content of this letter matches the current Moslem extremist movements and organization and goal.

This letter smacks of a Wahhabi agenda, and totally inspired by England that backed the Druze in order to weaken the growing power of the Maronites who relied on France and papal Rome since the crusading periods in the 11th century.

Governor of Damascus, Ahmed Pasha ordered the garrisons of Rashaya and Hasbaya in Lebanon, which participated in the slaughter-hood in both towns, to converge to Damascus. The Christians there felt very apprehensive of the arrival of these recruited soldiers, more intent on looting than protecting properties.

Sheikh Abdallah Haleby of Damascus was the most vocal against the Christians.

The plague of the Druze chieftain of Huran, Ismail Atrash,  who had massacred the Christians in Rashaya, Hasbaya and Zahleh, progressed toward the nun convent of Saidnaya, bordering with the desert. Women from all religions (Christians, Moslems and Druzes) made frequent pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary. It is reported that the head nun must have paid a substantial tribute to the Ismail before his hoard retreated.

On July 9, 1860, young Moslems insulted the cross, and the governor detained them and made them sweep the street in chains.

The amassing storm of hatred broke up. And by night fall, and within hours, the Christian quarters were ravaged, burned and looted.

No less than 4,000 victims were massacred, and this time around male, female and children. The looting lasted 4 days. The homes of the French, Russian, Dutch and USA consuls were burned down. The English and Prussia consuls were saved from invasion. (England had a policy of weakening the power of the Christians who supported France or Russia)

Both, the patriarchates of the Oriental and Occidental Orthodox Christian were looted from their century old treasures.

Abdel Kader, the famous Algerian resistance leader against the new colonial power of France, was the main protector of the fleeing Christians. The Citadel hosted about 10,000 refugees, living in open air and dying out of famine and thirst.

Five months later, skeletal and cranes were still dug out of the rubble. Many of the victims are of females and children who had fled from Hasbaya and Rashaya a few months ago to the safety of Damascus.

When the new governor arrived over 150 women were incarcerated in harems.

Ironically, the most fanatic of Moslems in the Meidan quarter protected the poorer Christians living in the quarter. It appears that the houses were so close and packed around that any burning house would spread to all the other houses.

The Jewish quarter was left untouched for two reasons:

1. The Jews were despised and not just hated

2. The looters knew that the Jews will buy back the stolen goods and relieve them from the spoil

The next post will describe “how justice was served” in Lebanon and Damascus

Note 1: Read part 2 https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/slaughterhood-of-1860-in-lebanon-part-2/

Note 2: Damascus is a city that always managed to rebuild after countless invasions and ransacking. The main reason is that this geographic strategic city is floating on fresh water sources and enjoy fertile lands.

Note 3: The British commissioner Lord Dufferin  suggested that Syria (including current Lebanon) and Palestine be governed by a vassal to the Ottoman Empire, as was done in Egypt, and Fuad Pasha was the consensus name to be the new ruler. This idea failed. Finally, a few weeks before the date of the retreat of the French expedition on June 5, 1861, the European commission met in Istanbul and decided to have Mount Lebanon governed by a outsider Christian, appointed by the Sultan.

This was to be known as the Mutasarefiya consensus. The first Moutasaref was the Armenian Christian Daoud Pasha and who was promoted to Mushir or Marechal, the first highest rank bestowed on a Christian in the Ottoman army.

Massacres of 1860 between Druze and Maronite: Eye-witness Account of French diplomat in the field

In 1860, Mount Lebanon was composed of:

1. About 120,00 Christian Maronite

2. 30,000 Druze, claiming to be Moslem

3. 40,000 Christian Orthodox who were called Melkite or Royalist affiliated to Byzantium instead of Papal Rome

4. A few thousand of Shiaa called Metwalis

After the animosity of 1840 between Druze and Maronite, as the Egyptian occupying troops, headed by Ibrahim Pasha, vacated Lebanon and Syria and Emir Bechir II was sent to exile to Malta by the British, Mount Lebanon was wrecked with violence and massacres.

The resolution of the situation ended up dividing Mount Lebanon in two Kaemmakam, or two cantons, self autonomous: One canton administered by the Druze and the second one by the Maronite.

The dividing line was the Beirut-Damascus road. This line was somehow arbitrary since many villages in the Druze cantons were mixed. The Maronite canton was not mixed.

The Ottoman foreign minister, Chekib Effendi was sent to Beirut in 1845 to execute the resolution.

The Druze were not happy with the privileges that Emir Bashir II extended to the Maronites during his over 40 years of reign and were ready to have the Christians pay back as Bashir was exiled to Malta by the British.

Before Egypt Ibrahim Pasha retreated from Syria in 1840, he summoned the Moslem clerics and leaders of Damascus and gave them this warning:

“I have protected the Christians. If I learn that you are back to persecuting and harassing them, I will be back with my army and will take revenge…”

All the while the Maronite exacerbated the Ottoman administrators for demanding the acquired rights and privileges after Ibrahim Pasha vacated Lebanon.

In 1940 and again in 1845, the Maronites launched two offensives in the Druze canton and were smashed hands down.

The Druze warlords and chieftains behaviors were close to Medieval tradition: The Maronite were laborers at the sold of the Druze feudal lords and treated as chattel.

The village of Deir al Kamar was the largest Maronite conglomerate, smack within the Druze canton, followed by Jezzine (on the south) and Beit Merry (at the north and within the Metn district). Zahleh was the far away Christian main town in the Bekaa Valley.

Hasbaya, in the southern part of the Bekaa, was mainly mixed with Christian Orthodox who were very industrious and amassed wealth.

In 1857, the Christian Kaemmakam Bechir Ahmed Abi Lema3 was kicked out of office by the Christians, leaving a serious void in the administration. The Ottoman administration wanted to bring back this Kaemmakam to his post.

At the same period, the Christian feudal Khazen clan in Kesrouan had been chased out of the district for serious egregious mistreatment of the peasants, trying to abuse of them as chattel. Consequently, the Maronite canton had no one to administer it: The Maronite clergy was the sole power remaining to keep the peace.

The peasant appointed the illiterate Tannous (Tanios) Chahine as leader of the peasant revolt. They gathered in Antelias and promulgated the human rights for the peasants and work ethics.

The Maronite peasants in the Druze canton got contaminated by the spirit of the revolt in the Maronite canton and started demanding basic rights.

This revolt lasted two years until the Maronite clergy felt the heat and reversed the objectives of the revolt. A year later, the Maronite clergy appointed the young Youssef Karam from Bsherri (up north) to militarily lead the Maronites. Karam was closely linked to the clergy and France and welcomed the Europeans visiting the Cedars and gave them lodging and dinner.

The Druze Kaemmakam Roslan was very young and basically this canton was administered by Said Jumblat, residing in Moukhtara, and the assembly of Okkal in Bayyada.

Said Jumblat was filthy rich and had acquired vast properties. He was a bastard, very short, ugly, and wore Turkish attire instead of the Druze traditional sherwal.

In 1960, a row took place in Beit Mery, where the European traders and consuls lived for the summer season. This fight spread and the Druze assassinated a few Maronites and burned property.  In general, the Druze men do the killing and their women follow them to burn properties that have been vacated.

The first blood was shed. The European vacated the town, back down to Beirut, a couple hours of horse ride.

Beit Mery was legally in the Maronite canton, but the Metn district was tacitly considered a buffer zone. Consequently, the Nahr el Kalb (Dog River) was the Lebanese Rubicon river not to cross by either parties in period of military upheavals.

The Druze committed another massacre in Jezzine and calmly went back to harvest the silk worms.

The winter of 1961 was spent in both cantons in war preparations.

In Beirut, the Maronite bishop Tobia was the most active politically and harangued the Maronite for revenge.

The Druze attacked Deir al Kamar and the villages of East Saida. The Christians around Saida, fleeing the massacre, were denied safe entry to the city by the Moslems and more Maronites suffered this calamity. (Story to be followed)

Note: Memoirs of a French diplomat who participated in the French expedition of 1860 to Lebanon and Damascus. The book was published in 1903.

The modern Pharaoh: Who is Mehemet Ali Pasha?

Muhammad or Mehemet (in Turkish) Ali spoke only Turkish and was illiterate: He could not read or write in any language until he was in his 50’s.  A few European consuls suspected that Mehemet understood Arabic but faked his ignorance in order to double-check on the accuracy of the translation

Mehemet Ali lived in an environment of Turkish culture and believed that “White colored” people (including the Turks) were far more intelligent, more brave, more educated, and more developed than the Egyptians.

To Mehemet Ali, forcing military service on the Egyptian peasants was a necessity that drives this racist law: The Albanian and Turkish mercenaries rebelled several times and Mehemet had to constitute a national army, a new order army or Nizam Jadid.

His son Ibrahim had at several occasions pressed Mehemet to consider training the Egyptian to carrying arms in his army, but Ibrahim had to wait long time before necessity knocks on the door: Mehemet had extended his territory to all Sudan and the Arabic Peninsula, and he needed a large modern army, trained by the French!

Till the end of his life, Mehemet valued Turkish soldiers and officers as more capable administrators and soldiers than the Egyptians, although the Egyptian soldiers and officers are the ones who won the battles against the Turkish Ottoman army in more than 4 critical battles in Syria.

Mehemet Ali would warn his son Ibrahim: “Never place the Egyptian soldiers in front lines: They will prefer to be prisoners than fight. Never place the Egyptian soldiers in the rear lines: They will flea and retreat. Always make sure that Egyptian regiments are placed in sandwich between Turkish officers…”

Mehemet Ali managed to train a national army or Nizam Jadid.  At first, the forced soldiers from Sudan did not survive the harsh life of camp confinement, and Mehemed decided to try enlisting by force the Egyptian peasants. The Egyptians tried their best to avoid joining the army: They mutilated a thumb, fingers, hands, an eye…in order not to be considered fit for the army.

By the by, after the first initiation to military life and the donning of military outfit, the Egyptian soldier began to boast that he is a soldier in “Mehemet army

Ibrahim Pasha was different from his father Mehemet Ali.

British Prime Minister Palmerston was very worried that Ibrahim might succeed his father because he was a brilliant administrator,  a modern man, a military general who won all his battles against far more numerous armies, and he considered the Egyptians as Arabs and his people…

Ibrahim was raised in an environment that spoke Arabic, in addition to Turkish.  And he led armies constituted of mostly Arabic speaking soldiers and Egyptian peasants…Ibrahim is heard of saying: “I will lead my army as far as there are people speaking Arabic…”

Ibrahim led armies in current Saudi Arabia and quelled the Wahhabi sect tribes, who were funded and armed by the British.  He entered Sudan and conquered it. He won four critical battles against the Ottoman armies and could easily enter Istanbul twice and become the new Sultan.

The European called Ibrahin “Son of Napoleon“.  He ruled Syria and his administrative period of less than 8 years was the most prosperous and most modern time for the Syrian people, extending from Adana in Turkey, current Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

Note 1https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/prosperous-syria-1833-1839-who-is-ibrahim-mehemet-ali-of-egypt/

Note 2: Article taken from the book “The last Pharaoh” by Gilbert Sinoue

Beirut: Crazy Demographics (April 3, 2009)

 

Beirut counted five thousand inhabitants in 1821.  Tripoli and Sidon (Saida) were far more populous and more prosperous. 

When the Egyptian General Ibrahim Pasha defeated the Ottoman armies in Lebanon and Syria and ruled the Near East region (from 1830 to 1840), many Egyptian soldiers married and settled in Beirut. Beirut experienced the highest expansion and wealth for centuries.

The European consulates, mainly France, Britain, Tuscany, and Sardinia, selected Saida for headquarters but the Ottoman governor Ahmad Pasha restricted their commerce.  The foreign traders moved out to Beirut, followed by their respective consulates.

 By 1841, Beirut counted 30,000 inhabitants.  Still, the European insisted on modernizing the port of Saida instead of Beirut.  The problem was that the people in Saida would not hear of it on the ground that the European mariners would ultimately destroy the conservative moral character of the city.

Thus, the Europeans reluctantly were forced to modernize the port of Beirut in 1887.  

In 1859, a road was built to link Beirut to Damascus and then followed by a railroad linking Beirut to Damascus and Houran. 

In 1877, the US Protestant clergy established a university in Rass Beirut and the French Jesuits followed suit by relocating their college from Ghazir to Beirut. It is worth noting that the US Protestants initially contemplated their university to be located in Homs (Syria) because it had many more Christians to convert. Thus, most employees and educators of the American University were from Homs in origins such as the families of El Khal, Refka, Yaziji, and Barakat.

By 1887, the Ottoman Empire decided to concentrate its administrative headquarters in Beirut from where it managed the other provinces (sonjouk) such as Acre, Tripoli and Lataquieh.

Author Ussama Al Aref in his “This Life, my Sweetheart” said that his wife was frustrated for marrying a resident of Beirut.  She was from Beirut but her family was of Crete in origin. Ussama was from Beirut but his family was Turcoman from the neighboring city of Dyar Bakr in Turkey. The family had relocated to the northern borders with Syria of the town of Zara. They had no relatives outside Beirut to flee to during Lebanon civil war (1975-1991).  They were stuck in Beirut and had to dance the dance from street to street.

Not a single resident of Beirut is of Beirut in origin.

Ussama’s friends from Beirut have various origins; Kamal is of Orfeh in Turkey, Jalal from Mardine (Turkey/Syria), the Armenian Gerar from Adana (Turkey), and Jamal an Albanian.  Most of the famous families in Beirut that produced Prime Ministers and political leaders are not of Beirut and most of them not of Lebanese descendents.

The Moslem families such as Hariri, Seniora, and Solh are from Saida and south Lebanon; the families of Itani, Hoss, Biham, and Idriss are from Morocco; the Chatila from Wadi Taym, the Tuweiny and Fara3un from Houran (Syria), the Majdalani from Rashaya, the Sehnawy and the Kassatly from Damascus; and the Bustross from Cyprus.

The Christian families of Tutunji, Obaji, and Kneider are new comers from Aleppo and they considered the Lebanese Maronites as peasants compared to their bourgeois ranking. 

In fact, each of the families of Solh, Salam, Bustross, Tuweiny, and Sursok owned a dozen towns and villages in south Lebanon and north Palestine; they sold most of their vast real estates to Zionist organizations and removed to Beirut to purchase political power.

Beirut prospered with the influx of foreign and Arab oil money. With each military coup in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt (and they were many and frequent), more political and “financial” refugees flocked to Beirut.  Beirut became the hotbed of various political parties and a center for freedom of opinion, dailies, and publishing.

As the Palestinians were organized under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), they moved its headquarters to Beirut along with the millions of dollars in contribution and support from Arab States.

The cost of living in Beirut skyrocketed by the 70’s. Beirut was invaded by all foreign mafiosos who transformed it into an international bordello and a Carrefour for flesh and slave trading The original residents of Beirut vacated it to the suburbs such as Aramoun, Burj Barajina, Ghobeiry and Dahiya: they could no longer afford its high cost of living. 

Every Prime Minister or politician who claimed that Beirut is the heart of Lebanon was not worth a penny of charity in his heart; they never contributed a dime from their own money. Those residents that vaunt Beirut the loudest are the strangest in it. They are the ones staunchly resisting social and political reforms.  They oppose administrative decentralization. They oppose equitable distribution of funds to all the districts in Lebanon. They oppose equitable distribution of electricity; they want to enjoy power 24 hours while the rest of Lebanon has to be satisfied with only six hours.  

Beirut has lost its popular souks and business versatility around Martyrs’ Square where dozens of movie theaters showed movies of every nationality; it lost its cosmopolitan character around the triangle of the American University, Hamra Street, and Rass Beirut.  Foreigners of all nations lived in that triangle and didn’t feel strangers and out of touch with their home states.

Beirut was a cultural center of the Arab World and there were more dailies than Arab States. Beirut is currently the depot of mounds of detritus and its seashore welcomed thousands of massacred civilians during the civil war. Beirut is a carcass of tall modern buildings built by investors lacking the Levantine soul and spirit and trying hard to submit us with illusions of modernity that no one sees or can afford to taste and experience.

Beirut is not for the Lebanese anymore. Ask any former middle class citizen if he can afford to buy any items in Beirut.  Ask any former bourgeois if he can rent a studio in Beirut. 

Beirut has suffered many earthquakes that destroyed it through the ages.  It has not been spared wars and plagues.

Beirut has never been a port until recently. Beirut has lost its character and its spirit.

As far as I am concerned, Beirut is a cursed city.  Anyone who wishes to own a piece in it he can have it all; stock and lock.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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