Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jezzine in Lebanon

George Mitchell and I; (Apr. 16, 2010)

            George Mitchell is the current US negotiator to establishing a Palestinian State; he is also President of a US university.  Mitchell was once the lead Democratic Senator and had many important functions and public positions; I don’t have the habit of depressing my readers by enumerating viable glorious responsibilities.

            Lebanese journalist, Samir Attallah, interviewed George Mitchell at the “Plaza Hotel” in NY during lunchtime.  George arrived in a Yellow cab and left waving down a Pakistani taxi driver. If George was currently visiting Lebanon for pleasure then the Lebanese government would insist on allocating a limousine and a detachment of internal security guards.

            The mother of George Mitchell, late Muntaha Saad, was originally from the town of Jezzine in Lebanon and immigrated in 1920 to the State of Main.  Muntaha means “the end of what to come”: her father was in a way warning his God that Muntaha was to be the last of a string of four daughters.

            It happened that a neighboring Lebanese family in Main adopted an Irish boy from an orphanage.  By the by, Muntaha and this growing up boy fell in love and got married.  Muntaha’s main conditions were to get married at the Christian Maronite church and that her first boy to be baptized Maronite.  George or Jersis as he was called until he started secondary schooling earned his day and thus enrolled in evening study program; he also enrolled in the evening program at Georgetown University graduating a lawyer.  George worked a doorkeeper at a hotel; I guess this job is excellent: you are the first person to meet before entering the hotel and thus you are the principal representative of the institution; you are necessarily highly respected if you want your stay to be facilitated and enjoyable; and you earn much tips; I could never hope for such a job: I am short and not photogenic.

            There are other discordances between George and I.  My tuition fees were three times more expensive (I was not a US citizen) and I was ordered to work in jobs within university limits at mostly minimum wages. I soon stopped counting the years it took me to earn a PhD in engineering: counting was becoming an onerous luxury.

            George told this joke: “Muntaha used to tell everyone not from Lebanon in Main “See this tree? You should see the one we have in Lebanon.  See this fruit? You wouldn’t believe the ones we harvest in Lebanon.  See this river? It cannot compare with ones with have in Lebanon.”  One year, George managed to save enough and sent his mother Muntaha and his sister to pay a visit to Lebanon. At a gathering in Lebanon Muntaha stood and said: “See this tree? It is a dwarf compared to the ones we have in the State.  See this fruit, this river, this…? Well, better not to compare!”

            There is a high probability that the career of George ends as the other famous Lebanese/US diplomat Philip Habib. Philip Habib was Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador Plenipotentiary to end Israel invasion to Lebanon in 1982.  Israel has even entered the Capital Beirut and Habib ended up negotiating the retreat of the Palestinian military factions from Beirut.  Habib succeeded in negotiating a peace treaty for the Vietnam War but failed in his mission to Lebanon and Israel.  George Mitchell was successful in negotiating a peace treaty of the civil war in North Ireland but now Israel is intent on letting George down: Israel is adamant against establishing a separate Palestinian State.

            I know George Mitchell: I read dailies.  George cannot know me; my hometown people don’t know me: I have been away for 20 years, among other reasons.  In the last ten years I settled a mile away from my hometown; nobody visited me.  People occasionally visit my folks and I happen to be there: I live with my folks.




October 2021

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