Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Kawssa

Who are we, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea shores? (Part 2; March 1, 2008)


Sidon (Saida) and Tyr (Sour) in Lebanon built trading posts all around this Mediterranean Sea,  promoting commerce and exercising their own brand of beliefs and traditions.

Elissa, a daughter of the king of Tyr, fled and built Carthage in Tunisia.  Once Carthage solidified its institutions, it built Cadis (Cadesh) in Spain, and thus controlling the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean. Carthage aimed for a higher level of trade by taking hold of the strategic isthmuses in the Mediterranean Sea such as Messina (Sicily and Italy) and the strait of Gibraltar that leads to Portugal, Britain and Ireland.

 No maritime commerce could be undertaken without landing in one of Carthage “contoires” or trading posts. Carthage conquered most of the islands like Sardinia, Corsica, Cyprus, and Sicily and settled in Spain.

The Phoenicians dominated all the Mediterranean Sea trade for over one thousand years

The maritime power of their Greek competitor had been destroyed by invasions coming from the north (the Philistine), and left the Phoenicians masters of the sea.  The barons of this tertiary industry or the commissioning of maritime and even land transports of goods, from one producing country to consuming countries, were located in either Tyr or Sidon.

These barons hired rammers and soldiers and workers from all over the region. They had also their own sophisticated depots and handled the transactions from beginning to end and exported contracting jobs and skilled workers. 

The main Phoenician cities, and especially Tyr and Sidon, concentrated on the secondary industries where semi finished goods were transformed into quality products. The Phoenicians applied the current colonial trade strategies thousands of years ago, without the backing of indigenous military power such as the Greek and especially the Roman Empires did.


It is worth mentioning that the Canaan entrepreneurs didn’t focus much on the artistic part in their culture, or in their constructions and monuments during periods of autonomy, but they lavished their ingenuity when they were under the domination of powerful Empires so that they could rely on “State funding” for great and beautiful monuments. (Revenues generated from taxes they paid to the occupying force)

The Arab Islamic conquest of this region didn’t contribute much in the numbers of immigrants, since the Arabian Peninsula was scarcely populated and the glory of this Empire in the sciences, medicine and the translation of ancient cultures were rooted first on the scholars in Syria and Lebanon during the Umayyad dynasty, then the Persians during the Abbasid dynasty, and the various Moorish dynasties that ruled Spain (mainly Andalusia).

The main inhabitants of northern Africa, Spain, the southern parts of France and Italy and the eastern countries of the Mediterranean Sea are essentially immigrants from Central Asia, Iran, East Africa and Egypt after having settled in Canaan for several centuries.  

The wave of immigrations were East to West, except in few periods were the skilled workers were transferred under duress by conquering Monarchs to build new emerging capitals by the Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane the Moguls.

I tend to consider that the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, which includes Greece, were mostly immigration waves coming from Eastern Europe, but the culture, the religions, and the trades were mainly the endeavors of the Canaan’s population, of which the Phoenicians are the famously known mariners and comprador traders.

The northern Turkish sea shore were natural extention to the eastern shores, though the central Turkish plateau witnessed successive waves of immigration from the Caucasus region. 

The current Christian residents of Mount Lebanon are a mixture of two big waves of immigrations:

The first wave occurred after the conclave of Nicee in 325 during Emperor Constantine.  In that epoch, the new friend of the Christians, Emperor Constantine, who lived as a pagan most of his life, summoned to the conclave all the bishops of the various Christian sects.   This major event transformed drastically the Christian doctrine and dogma as well as the church institution.  The conclave decided by a slight majority to confer divine nature to Jesus, declared his mother Mary a virgin, selected only four Books to represent the New Testament as orthodox and banished the hundreds alternative versions that were available at the time and banished women from the clergy institution and ordered the bishops to done luxurious attire and then gradually introduced the pagan symbols to lure in the pagans to the newly adopted religion and then gave the pagan festivities Christian meanings and connotations. 

Most of the so-called heretic Christian sects that were comfortable with the temporal nature of Jesus and Mary and had their selected preferred and unified versions of the New Testament had to flee persecutions to inaccessible mountains.  Those living in Turkey moved to the Anatolian Plateau, Kurdistan, Armenia and the Caucasus and those in Syria and Palestine moved to Mount Lebanon.

The second major modern wave of immigration occurred around the year 1000 when Byzantium recaptured the western shores of Turkey from the Seljouk dynasty and the “Orthodox” Christian sects chased out the other “heretical” Christian sects such as the Maronites living on the Oronte River.

The Mameluk Empire had dislodged the last remaining Crusaders’ strongholds and stopped the drive of the Mogul invasion in Palestine. I believe that the new fundamentalist converts to Islam in Central Asia and Kurdistan, the regions of which the Mameluks originated from, exercised great zeal to solidifying the Sunni Moslem sect.  Mount Lebanon was a refuge for these Christian immigrants and the archeological finds show that women wore multi layers of colorful dresses as currently wore in these remote regions. 

This natural Nation, comprised of the current States of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, is self-contained; self sufficient and well delimited by natural borders, but was never able to constitute an independent political entity in modern time.

This natural Nation by any criteria of what define a Nation simply was opened to the expansion of far more populous Nations under highly centralized governments on all its borders, and because it proved to be a major crossroad for immigrations westward. 

It is the case even today at a more accelerated pace after the US invasion of Iraq and the strategic plan of the US to controlling the Greater Middle East in a Pax Americana.

Note: Before the Arab hegemony that started in around the year 640, almost all the family names and cities were Aramaic or having Aramaic roots.  The fourth caliph, Imam Ali, once wrote that his ancestors before “Kusai” had Aramaic names and that his tribe Kuraich (an Aramaic name) came from “Kawssa” nearby the current city of Kufa in Iraq. 

The Aramaic language survived the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods until way into the Arabic period. 

The Arab language, the language of the Koran, is basically a branch of Aramaic and the spoken Arab is a dialect. It is well known that Christ spoke Aramaic and before Jesus died on the crucifix he addressed his God Eely for abandoning him to his destiny. 

Eel was the name of the Aramaic God and not Jehovah, a tribal God, of the strict Jews in Judea.

The Koran uses an Aramaic root for Eel such as Elle and Allah.




August 2022

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