Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘lebanon

No more Caches for Fiscal Evaders in selected Islands?

Bye Bye Launderers and white washers of plundered wealth?

Since 2009, many nations were trying to find ways to close loopholes in fiscal laws that permitted the rich people to transfer wealth to foreign caches in order to escape paying their due taxes.

In 2020, Lebanon pseudo State has Not even contemplated preventing the militia/mafia leaders from draining our accounts in banks in hard currencies from vacating our territory.

The financial havoc has generated another capital consequence. in every nation around the world.

All these tiny islands and tiny States that were the havens of offshore companies where money were stashed away to avoid taxes are no longer safe havens.

The safe havens were pressured to enact laws that permit any State government to investigate accounts that were immune under “banking secrecy regulations“.

There are five main regions were these safe heavens concentrated their activities.

First, the Caribbean islands of about 14 of them, singly or set of smaller islands, such as: Caicos, Turks, Anguilla, and Montserrat (controlled by Britain), the Virgin Islands (controlled by the USA, the Aruba and Antilles (controlled by the Netherlands), the Bahamas, Caimans, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominic, Sainte Lucie, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Grenada, Panama City, and Belize.

Second, in Europe we got the city of Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Isle of Man, Isles of Guernsey and Jersey, Gibraltar, Monaco, Saint Marin, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Cyprus, and Switzerland.

Third, in the Far East we have: Tonga, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Fourth, in the Arab Gulf we have: Dubai and Bahrain.

Fifth, in East Africa we have: Maurice, Seychelles Republic, Maldives, and then Liberia in West Africa.

For example, the Caribbean islands and particularly the Caimans has residency for 70% of hedge funds and manage about $ 2 trillion or 2,000 billions;

Jersey Island is the prime British offshore center and managing 300 billions;

Liechtenstein with 165 billions;

Switzerland with $2 trillions of offshore money or the third of the world’s caches and which generate a third of the State’s income.

The safe havens in the Virgin Islands are mostly invested by China.

Now most of these safe havens are in the process of regulating their financial activities because most States want the money of their citizens repatriated in order to be taxed.

The problem is that the fiscal laws in most States are so exorbitant and complicated that it is Not worth repatriating any money.

People are just waiting for lenient and simple fiscal laws to be enacted before they get the courage to transfer their money to their home states.

For example, taking into account penalties on bad faith (40%), interests in arrears, tax on revenue, social contribution and other rights and penalties, a French citizen having one million dollars in Switzerland should expect to pay 1,300,000 dollars, far more than what he has saved in the safe haven.

France has evaluated to 20 billions dollars of lost revenue is fiscal fraud, which amount to the total budget for the department of Research and higher Education.

The case of Switzerland banking secrecy laws started in 1934.

In 1932, France confiscated from the Commercial Bank of Bale ten books containing 2000 French clients; the socialist deputy Fabien Albertin divulged the names of the clients representing a wide spectrum of influential personalities from magistrates, to ministers, to deputies, and to bishops.

The State of Switzerland reacted.

Only in 1998 did the wall of banking secrecy fall in Switzerland when the US exercised pressures to recoup 1.25 billions dollars saved by Jewish families during the Nazi period.

There are four criteria to categorize a State as a fiscal paradise:

First, absence or lack of fiscal laws;

second, lack of transparency;

third, the economy cannot support that much funds (basically, a post office State); and

fourthrefusal to exchange judicial and fiscal information.

 

WikiLeaks documents on Lebanon: What’s going on with our pitiful “leaders”?

Posted on March 22, 2011

You won’t believe it. Can you imagine a government demanding from the enemy to invade its land, kill its citizens, destroy its infrastructure, and expand the bombing in intensity and duration?

That’s what happened in Lebanon:  Not once, but several times since 2005 and since its independence, in pre-emptive attacks by Israel, though tacitly for lack of transparency.

In 2006, Israel launched a devastating war on Lebanon and the government of Lebanon, headed by Seniora PM, demanded from the US that Israel extends its war destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure beyond 33 days, on the guise of finishing off the military power of Hezbollah. (Finally, it was Israel that had to beg Bush Jr. to arrange for a cease fire)

Seniora PM, the current PM Saad Hariri, the defense minister Elias Murr, the ex-president Amine Gemayel, the warlord of the civil war Samir Geagea, the deputies Boutros Harb, Naela Muawad, Walid Jumblatt, Marwan Hamadi…demanded that Israel continue its war on Lebanon until Hezbollah is severely weakened.

Hell, Israel killed over 1,600 Lebanese civilians, injured over 5,000, displaced half a million from south Lebanon, dropped two million cluster bombs (dozens are killed and injured every year from these bombs), all Lebanon’s infrastructure was destroyed, the sea polluted after bombing oil tanks…

It took Lebanon billions in foreign aid and six years to reconstruct devastated towns, villages, highways, bridges…just to satisfy short-term interests of midget Lebanese political leaders.

The common people in Lebanon know about these systematic treacheries committed by the successive governments, but now there are documents, black on white.

Hezbollah is assembling a legal file to bring to trial all these traitors of first degree.

These official traitors should be packing now; they should be praying to die before they are brought to justice. (Wrong. these militia/mafia “leaders” are still in total control of Lebanon and brought the State to total bankruptcy at all levels)

The infamy didn’t stop after 2006:  It resumed unabashedly.

On May 7, 2007, the official traitors masterminded a civil war against Hezbollah as the best strategy to weaken this party that defended Lebanon’s dignity and security from frequent Israeli incursions into Lebanon.

The “official traitors” had a plan that was coordinated with the US and Israel.

Hezbollah was continuing his program of securing land fiber-optic communication lines.  That was the excuse to starting the civil war.  The US Cole was offshore waiting, and Israel intelligence agents were hunkered in many secret places around Beirut.

Hezbollah managed to dismantle the plan within 3 hours and the official traitors had no time to carry on their nasty program.

Seniora governed Lebanon as sole dictator for four years, with a reduced cabinet since the third of the ministered had resigned., meaning 60% of the population was not represented in the government, and sit in around the government palace lasted months under tents.

Seniora was unphased:  He had orders not to seek the opinion of the Lebanese citizens.

Tents were erected around the Prime Minister Palace for three months, but Seniora felt that the US support is good enough to remain in power.

The official traitors want the army to be the sole defender of the Motherland.  How?

Our army didn’t have a working single helicopter when battling the terrorists Jund Islam in Nahr Bared camp.  The Muslim Sunni salafists, financed by Saudi Arabia monarchy and via the Lebanese government of Seniora, had far more sophisticated weapons than the Lebanese army.

Funny.  The army is refusing free military hardware from donor States in order Not to antagonize the US Administration!

Are these official traitors serious about defending the fatherland from Israeli incursions?  Most probably, they never considered south Lebanon as part of Lebanon?

In the 2009 Parliamentary election, Saudi Arabia allocated $ One billion to finance the Lebanese election for the benefit of Saad Hariri, a Saudi citizen.  The US presidential election process didn’t cost that much!

What kind of an army the defense minister is envisaging?  The WikiLeaks documents stated the following:

First, since the Christian Maronites and Greek Orthodox are not applying to join the army, the best way to encourage them is by establishing special regiments, quasi-independent from army hierarchy, trained to fighting “terrorism” and equipped with assault helicopter.

Yes, Christian youth prefer to join “elite assault brigades”.  Why?  That’s how the “Christian” defense minister Elias Murr feels.

Second, the Muslim Shia youth, constituting half the population, should have a restricted quota of 25% in the army.  The minister feels proud that he managed to reduce the ratio of Shia soldiers in the army that the official traitors want to fight Israel with.  The Sunni, barely representing 30% of the population have increased their ratio in the army and internal security forces to over 50%.  Do the official traitors want to fight enemies with that kind of obscurantist mentality?

Well, not any longer:  Saad Hariri and company were fired, and a new government representing the enlightened resistance forces should shoulder the difficult problems plaguing our society.

Do you remember ex-British PM David Cameron?

Why did he visited a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon in 2015?

Was Cameron trying to save his position as a compassionate leader? 

No, his purpose is to establish the Syrian refugees in Lebanon for the long term.

Actually, the Lebanese didn’t receive any foreign aid to care for the refugees, although one third are below the poverty line. The refugees get electricity for free and education for free…while most Lebanese are even denied places in public schools.

I’m at a refugee camp in Lebanon, hearing some heartbreaking stories. British aid is doing so much to help.

The visit was meant to bribe and warn the Lebanese government to elect a President who is willing to sign on the settlement of the Syrian Refugees in Lebanon proper.

More than 1.5 million have already flocked into Lebanon and the number is increasing and represent one third of Lebanon population.

Cameron has aided Lebanon with a mere $50 million (in the last 3 years) to educate the Syrian kids in Lebanon.

View image on Twitter

I don’t care if you ignore everything I post as long as you watch this interview with a Palestinian mother from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus

Take my kid to Germany“, a mother’s plea for her daughter to be taken to safety http://trib.al/wemw2P6

 StepFeed posted

Thanks for the attention bro, but maybe next time you come to the Middle East focus on refugees and not your image back home?

British PM talked a lot of talk – but he was basically just talking to himself and voters back home.
stepfeed.com|By Jason Lemon

With the mission of “inspecting” the refugee situation, everyone breathed a sigh of relief knowing the British were here to save the day.

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Never mind the fact that the UK has pledged to take only a tiny percentage of the millions of refugees.

r2y06

But when you see these photos of Cameron sitting with refugee children, don’t you almost forget that fact?

Doesn’t it almost seem like this man cares about their plight despite the fact that he is actively working to keep them out of his country?

Well, friends, don’t be fooled by the photos. Its all one big PR stunt.

what-did-you-just-say

As the Independent reported, Cameron’s visit to a makeshift refugee school was all staged.

Although it was reported that Cameron simply “dropped by” a classroom of students, he actually dropped by a prearranged group of refugee children. The “teacher” wasn’t even their teacher.

Of course, Cameron wanted the folks back home – and the world – to see a caring leader, descending to meet the poor refugees face-to-face.

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Good show sir, good show indeed!

lbP4iQj

What’s that? You think we’re being too harsh?

r2xlo

Sorry for the honesty, but we think he can take it.

 

Reminiscing when Beirut was actually a super Movable fairs 

Personal experience when I were a university student: Movable fairs in Beirut: 1971-74

I decided to re-edit my old article “Wonderful early 1970’s:  Movable fairs in Beirut” in order to demonstrate to the current generation in Lebanon that it is highly feasible to generate a Mass Upheaval as was done in Tunisia and Egypt.

It is a scream against the total impunity that our politicians, in this semi-State of Lebanon, are enjoying, those militia/mafia “leaders” of our civil war, a war that no one was a victor.

Currently, the State of Lebanon is totally bankrupt at all levels and barely may survive remaining in the UN as a State

Our movable fair lasted 4 years, 3 years behind Paris and Woodstock mass upheaval fairs.

If it were Not for the de facto control of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) over our political system, which diffused the purpose of the true upheaval of the Lebanese movement, Lebanon would have reformed against all odds.

Woodstock musical fiesta was organized in 1968 and disbanded three days later.

The French students revolt in Paris of 1968, then joined by the working organizations,  ended 2 weeks later.

The French students revolt of 1968 was a big party with deep lucidity:  banners read “Run, comrade, run.  The old world is chasing after you.” Youth was taking a reprieve by running joyously, a week of total freedom, running as fast as he could, knowing that the old world will invariably catch up with him.

These students and youth movements crossed to Lebanon in 1970 and lingered for 5 years as movable fairs in Beirut, before the civil war set in, at the instigation of US/Israel.

I witnessed that wonderful and crazy period as a university student, witnessing far more than studying.

By 1970 I was attending university, mainly math, physics, and chemistry courses.   Once the morning courses were taken care of, I roamed Beirut freely and all alone. (Would have been more pleasurable and instructive if I had friends to join me then)

For less than 5 Lebanese pounds ($2 at the time) I could see movies, watch theater pieces, or go to the empty beaches in mid September and October, eat local sandwiches of falafel, shawarma, and freshly pressed fruits.

Most of the days I ended up attending conferences, political party meetings, joining regular demonstrations and marches by university students, sit-ins, hunger strikes on the street in front of the education ministry (I tried once for half a day).

Fleeing police tanks and water hoses, or just walking all around Beirut circulating where the “movable fairs” crossed my path, gathering of people chanting slogans against the sectarian and mercantile political system, the defeatist government, not responding to the frequent bombardment of Israel in south Lebanon...

The citizens (mostly Muslim Chia) in the south flocked to the suburbs of Beirut, mainly in Dahieh, and labelled the “Red belt of poverty” in order to flee the successive incursions of Israel, under all lame excuses.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization, led by Yasser Arafat, and its institutions were firmly established in Beirut and in a dozen Palestinian camps.  Cash in hard currency spent by the PLO and the various resistance movements maintained the Lebanese currency very strong.

In May 1972, Beirut Cinema Club in cooperation with the US Cultural Center projected a series of Orson Welles movies such as “Citizen Kane”, “The lady from Shanghai”, “Secret report”, “Satan’s touch”, and “Falstaff”.  Wells mostly recalls the negative critics: for example, a critic said that Orson shouts like a rhinoceros” when Orson played “Candid” of Bernard Show.

Wells and Charlie Chaplin might be the greatest American directors.  Wells prefers that producers invest massively on many movies, even if one of his films are not marketed.  He said: “Without men there is no art.  Without women, men never become artists”

In May 1973, the film “Red Weddings” by French director Claude Chabrol was projected in El Dorado movie theater. There was a curfew in the previous week:  The Lebanese army tried to enter the Palestinian camp of Dbayeh (mostly Christians).

A few feddayins escaped and fled through the valley of river Nahr Kalb (Dog River); and we provided them shelter for three days in Beit-Chabab and they were to resume the trip to Dhour Shweir.  An ambush by the Phalanges (Kataeb) Party killed several of them on the way.

Chabrol has a particular style and a deterministic view on how events should unfold:  His movies are about illicit love affairs, murder, then punishment by the “bourgeois” legal system:  that genuinely falling in-love is irrelevant and thus must be punished, one way or another.

In June 1974, “The hour of liberation has chimed.. Out colonialists” by the young woman director Heine Srour won a special acclaim in Cannes.  This movie is about the popular revolutionary struggle of the people in Zofar (Oman, Hadramout, and south Yemen) from the British colonial power and archaic monarchic structures.

Heine invested two years in preparation and shot the one-hour movie with the rudiment of equipment and finances.  Heine and three technicians walked hundreds of kilometers with the fighters under scorching sun and the bombing of British jets.

Heine conducted interviews in the local Arabic slang the “Himyari” and projected the essential roles that women shared in that revolution along the fighters.

This movie was one of the first to broach situation in other Arabic States outside of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, or Palestine.  Movies on the Algerian revolution were to be produced shortly after.

In February 1975, director Borhan Awalweyeh showed his movie “Kfar Kassem“.  Hundreds of spectators remained in the theater way after midnight discussing the movie.

The film is a retrospective documentary of the genocidal massacre that Israel committed against the Palestinians in the village of Kfar Kassem in 1956 before it invaded Sinai.  Peasants returning from the fields were killed because they could not know about the curfew that the Israeli troops declared in their absence.

This movie was based on the novel of the same name by Assem Jundi.  Issam Mahfouz wrote the dialogue in the Palestinian Arabic slang.

Lebanon of 1974, and particularly the Capital Beirut, experienced extraordinarily cultural, social, and political activities, quantitatively and qualitatively.

First, the number of women writers increased dramatically.  As Georges Rassi wrote: “In the Arab World, every woman writer is worth 100 free minded men“.

Second, many famous authors and poets opted to write columns in dailies; a move that brought them in close touch with the people and the daily difficulties.

Third, artists and thinkers from all over the Arab World settled in Beirut.  Most of these intellectuals were fleeing oppression and persecution for free expressions.  The Egyptian intellectuals flocked in great number as President Sadat had decided to connect with Israel and leave the Arab problems and the Palestinian cause way behind.

Fourth, the Lebanese TV witnessed a big jump in quality of local productions thanks to the director Paul Tannous.

Fifth, many cultural clubs were instituted and Arab States organized exhibitions and cultural events.

Most importantly, women became very vocal and active for women rights and drastic reforms in the laws and social awareness.

Late author Mai Ghoussoub was very young then, but she was one of the leaders of “Committees for Free women.”

Initially, men were permitted to join in the discussions until they proved to be elements of heckling and disturbances.  The committees of free women decided to meet among women because their cause must be priority in urgent reforms and not a usual side-show tackled by reformist political parties.

Arab movies of quality were being shown such as “Events of red years” by Akhdar Hamina;  “Beirut…O Beirut” by Maroun Baghdadi; “May… The Palestinians” by Rafic Hajjar; “The bird” by Youssef Chaheen; “Al Haram” by Henry Barakat; “Hold on… O Sea” by Khaled Seddik.

Karl Marx said:  ”When history repeats its cycles, the next time around is a farce.”  Spring of 68 was a sympathetic and spontaneous farce; it was an innovating and creative revolt with no arms.

Spring in Paris was a movable fair, an all free-invited party.  It was a movable feast for sharing ideas and desires for justice, peace, liberty, and pleasure. There were plenty of generosity and compassion:  Youth was feeling bored of the old world system of unjust order, capitalism, petrified ideologies and dogmas.

It was a humongous fair where affluent lifestyle in the western States of plenty hide the miseries of the lowest classes living in shantytowns.

It was in a period for the third world struggling to emerge from the slavery stage of colonialism.

Spring fairs in the western world spread to most nations where the partying lasted and lasted.

The virus of the movable feast reached countries with old systems destroyed by the colonial powers:  The newer power systems were unstable and mostly haphazard to come chasing after mass movable fairs.

Spring of 68 crossed to Lebanon and lasted 5 years and emerged on a civil war that lasted 13 years and produced 300 thousand casualties (10% of the population!)

Note 1:  Details of this introspection were supplied by Georges Al Rassi in “Stations along the trail of Lebanese and Arab movies

Note 2: This student movement in Lebanon was mostly let by the students of our public university. The public university, in Choweifat, was mostly controlled by leftist-leaning organizations, including the teaching staff. Most probably, the colonial powers got weary of the growing influence of this university that was spreading to the private universities. The right-wing parties , the president and the army were ready to confront this movement by strong arm tactics.

Note 3:  You may read more details on my next post https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/movable-fairs-beirut-1970-74/

 

This town of traditional pottery in Lebanon: Beit Chabab

Last potter in Beit Chabab?

Who is Fawzi Fakhoury?

BEIT CHABAB, Lebanon: Fawzi Fakhoury hands are calloused and brown. Hours  of shaping tough clay and standing in front of a burning wood oven have stained  them shades darker than the rest of his body and toughened them so they are like  leather.

He is rather short, with salt and pepper hair and bushy eyebrows, and dressed  in simple, mud-stained clothes.

His weathered hands stand testimony to the  thousands of pots he has created for the better part of his life.

I have posted many articles on Lebanon, and Michelle  Ghoussoub has this latest.

Michelle  Ghoussoub published in The Daily Star, this June 20, 2013: “Meet  the last potter in Beit Shabab

Fakhoury is the last working potter in Beit Shabab.

Fakhoury, left, works with his brother Assad, who helps out occasionally in the shop. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

The scenic village is nestled in Lebanon’s mountains just outside of Beirut.

Sixty years ago, dozens of Beit Shabab  families produced traditional  pottery, and the heat from 40 burning ovens could be felt on the streets during  the summer, Fawzi explains.

The town’s name was synonymous with pottery, and people came from around the  country to purchase the artisanal clay pots, used for storing everything from  arak to grains, olive oil and wine.

Now, he is the only one left.

Fakhoury’s workshop resembles a hermit’s cave.

Though dark and dusty, it  remains well used and loved. Perched precariously on the edge of a small but  steep ravine, Fakhoury working space has a crumbling old stone facade nestled  into the mountain itself.

An elegant stone archway frames the entrance, with rusted scrap metal and  broken pieces of mortar piled on top to prevent rainwater from flooding the  small room. Bits and pieces of fragmented pots are piled haphazardly in a back  corner.

A traditional stove, or babour, Arabic for kerosene burner, commands the  center of the room. It doubles as the only heat source during the winter months, as nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing.

An old television set crackles in the background, the colors and shapes on  the screen disfigured by poor reception. A fine, white film of dust covers every  surface, and it puffs out of antique pillows on the faded couch when it is sat  upon.

No one knows or remembers exactly how long the workshop has been running.

Fakhoury believes the family folklore and says that Roman potters trained his  forefathers when they came to construct the ancient, colonnaded citadel of  Baalbek in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley around 300 B.C.

When the Romans left, his ancestors searched for the purest clay in the  country, and eventually settled in Beit Shabab to be close to the best natural  source: a small and muddy lake in the forest beneath the village (the mawsel).

Fakhoury’s creased wrinkles deepen and his brown face cracks into a crooked  smile as he recalls a childhood of running among the clay pots. He’s worked as a  potter for 60 years. His father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and  great-great-grandfather all worked in this same space before him.

At no moment in his life did Fakhoury, now 66, wish for an alternative career  path. He loves this job, he says.

Years of hard labor have given him a worn appearance and demeanor, but they  have also kept him strong and tough. Toiling in the workshop where he was  raised, he cuts the figure of a surviving Chinese terra-cotta warrior, stained  by the mud that has defined his livelihood for half a century.

Fakhoury left the village temporarily during the Lebanese Civil War and  worked in trade in West Africa. He always dreamt of returning to his workshop to  continue his family’s legacy.

“I lived there, but I dreamed in Lebanon,” he says with a smile.

Fakhoury returned to find a wall of the workshop blown out by a bomb, but his  tools intact. He wasted no time in repairing the room and reopening his  business.

His wife and he have three daughters, all of whom are married and have long  since left the house. Women don’t do pottery, he says, at least in Beit Shabab.

His face falls, however, when he reveals that he has no heir to continue Beit  Shabab’s trademark industry when he retires.

“This workshop has been running for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, and  when I go, it may all have been for nothing,” he lamented, looking wistfully  around the chamber.

Though customers used to flock from across the country to hand pick his pots,  the advent of plastic containers has slashed demand massively.

Nowadays, customers are often decorators seeking a rustic look, or tourists  looking for authentic Lebanese craftsmanship.

He still ships a couple of hundred pots every year to a Jordanian arak  producer, who uses them to store the anise-flavored liquor.

Producing pottery is like cultivating a crop, he muses. The clay is collected  in the spring when it has the right consistency, then handspun into pots using a  potter’s wheel.

The kiln, an oven designed especially for pottery, is fired up  in August, the hottest month of the year, to accelerate the baking.

During these scorching weeks, Fakhoury stays up throughout the night to  monitor the ovens and rotate the pots, making sure that months of intensive  craftsmanship and exertion do not go up in flames.

The work is hard, and the fruit of his arduous labor much less plentiful than  it once was. While his father would light the oven seven or eight times in one  summer, he now only produces one batch of pots a year.

A pottery festival and exhibition in Normandy, France, once invited Fakhoury  to learn different pottery techniques.

He says it was an honor to be recognized,  but that he found himself underwhelmed by the developed industrial techniques of  French potters. Having made thousands of pots in his life, he says he prefers to  stick to what his father and grandfather taught him as a child.

Nassar Fakhoury, Fawzi’s neighbor and former landlord, shares his surname but  is not sure exactly how they are related. Family lineages and histories go so  far back in the village that they are sometimes impossible to keep track of or  untangle.

“Fawzi is a part of this village in the same way that these streets are. He’s  always in his workshop and his family has always been there. The children call  him ‘the pottery man.’ There’s just no other way to describe him,” Nassar  says.

When asked what has changed about the business since he began over half a  century ago, Fawzi’s answer is simple: “Nothing. I still do business the way my  father and grandfather did.”

It’s a legacy that may end without an apprentice or heir devoted to following  in his forefathers’ footsteps.

It is almost impossible to picture the village without its main attraction,  and for now, Fakhoury will continue to fill that role. He says he cannot imagine  himself anywhere else.

“My grandfather and father died here, and one day, I will join them,” he  says. “What I want is to die here.”

Note 1: In my childhood, I visited and was acquainted with three families of potters in the lower part of Beit-Chabab. The entire family members participated in the production, especially in summer time. Traditional pottery is vanishing quickly in Lebanon, and not even replaced by mass production facilities. There are is few potters in Rashaya Fokhar, and are closing shop for no family members replacing the older ones.

Note 2: A couple centuries ago, pottery was started in the upper quarters of Beit Chabab, but the clay was whitish. The potters in the lower part of Beit Chabab had the reddish and better clay to use, and they supplanted the upper families in that art and industry.

Note 3: A  version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June  20, 2013, on page 2.
Read more:  http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Lifestyle/2013/Jun-20/220923-meet-the-last-potter-in-beit-shabab.ashx#ixzz2WpopbDU6 (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::  http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

How to handle house waste and keep it clean?

How to learn to stay clean? How to handle house waste? 

For decades Lebanon is plagued with how to dispose of garbage. Most of the time, garbage are Not collected in municipalities for weeks and this pseudo-State refuse to resolve this major problems under all kinds of unfounded excuses.

So far, most of land dumps are filled and those by the sea are also filled. As if no other alternatives adopted by most countries should Not be contemplated and emulated.

Jamil Berry posted

DECHETS (Waste)

Tout Parent sait les efforts soutenus et continus pour apprendre à son jeune enfant à “devenir propre” .

Une action pérenne qui ne doit ni reculer ni faillir.

A ce prix, l’enfant devient “propre” et pourra alors sortir à la société.

Comment faire lorsque c’est la Société qui n’est pas proper? Peuple et Responsables

1/ Côté Population:

Il ne suffit pas de fustiger la”dawleh ” (State) et faire rimer et jouer avec mots et slogans.

Si la population triait (sorting out) à l’origine ses déchets ( séparer l’organique qui ne pollue pas la nappe phréatique, du toxique qui la pollue durablement et sévèrement) , la crise actuelle n’aurait pas connue toute cette acuité.

La société n’est pas propre mais n’est pas enfant pour autant.

Le Liban est en train de vivre un Tchernobyl Biologique , moléculaire toxique qui continuera à retentir sur nos générations à venir .( Avortements, Malformations etc…)

Sans compter la flopée des infections intercurrentes.

On peut se soustraire à un bombardement, mais peut-on se soustraire à l’eau et à l’air? (Not on the current atomic conflagration on Beirut by the US)

Une société qui trie ses déchets , gagnera en santé publique, en propreté et fera des bénéfices financiers évidents.

2/ Côté Responsables Politiques :

Le problème n’est absolument pas technique. Il est un BRAS DE FER , en rapport avec la PART DU GÂTEAU ( si puant soit-il ) entre les PROTAGONISTES des déchets et leur circuit au Liban.

Là nous nous trouvons devant un état parent représenté par des responsables qui manquent de coercition vis à vis des mafieux des déchets car ils ont grandi sur la même déchetterie, et qui ne prennent pas la peine d’enseigner à l’enfant peuple la propreté à un échelon social

Car nous ne sommes pas plus idiots que d’autres peuples et nous aurions, malgré notre indiscipline légendaire, fini par apprendre, et appliquer …
( Jamil BERRY )

Daily encounters with Taxi drivers in Lebanon this summer.

It seems everything was said even in 2016.

The Outrageously Racist
The Stereotypically Sexist
The ‘I don’t care about traffic lights

The Truly Kind and Wise
The Intellectual
The Hard Worker

And ‘There’s no more hope for Lebanon’

The Smart/Skilled and  ‘there’s no more hope for anything in life
The ‘There’s no place better than Lebanon’

The ‘Any place is better than Lebanon

Chapters from a book I could write about my daily encounters with Taxi drivers in Lebanon this summer.

I liked my relatives, us

I Like Nous (Written on Nov. 2002)

I need nous (“we” in French), of yesteryears,

Together, an extended family.

Living close to one another

And hopping on a bus for a tour of Lebanon

At a moment notice,

 

I liked nous, children and growing up.

Way before we became professionals,

Married with children

Scattered in the five corners of the world.

 

I am cozy within my new nous;

Of a newer generation:

A very restricted family

Of a new generation who abhors extended families.

 

A new generation who gets busy when called upon to be visited

By an older generation.

Some hide in the attic finishing a much delayed project

A few are locked in the computer room,

Riveted to a stupid monitor.

 

I woke up at 4 am in the morning, read a book for an hour

And I went back to bed.

 

I’m now dreaming.

I read the title of this poem and its first “stanza in my dream.

I remember in my dream, the four of us cousins sitting around a table,

Jihad, Hassib, Nassif and I.

 

It was morning in a well lit room, pretty untidy;

I think we were sitting in the kitchen.

Jihad was reading a newspaper, sipping his cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette.

Hassib was at the other side of the rectangular white table, a pipe helping his readings.

He was restless, acting unperturbed, aloof, and English.

Nassif was cheerful, carefree, not self-centered, an uncharacteristic Nassif.

Nassif is reading in silence, on a white napkin, a piece of poem.

 

A napkin like the one used in Pizza Huts.

Nassif might have guessed the poem was meant to Hassib and written by me.

Nassif handed Hassib the poem who faked to be unconcerned.

 

While I was chatting with Nassif, the “English” surreptitiously read the poem and sets it aside.

Nassif is flipping through reams of computer pages,

Printouts we used ages ago, computer statements inputted on punch cards.

 

Nassif says “This is beautiful” and let me read a few scribbled lines

On one greenish printout.

I said “This is my handwriting. I don’t remember having written these lines”.

 

I was reading the title and the first stanza.

I woke up from my dream.

A sweet dream, sweet nous, of now grown ups.

Note:

Barely meeting altogether, or part of us, once every decades.

Even those living in the same town, we barely meet or visit,

Even before the covid-19 confinement.

During this pandemics, we installed a Whatsapp group to connect every day.

Pretty soon, all overseas cousins disconnected.

 

As I say: the past is a phase to grow up, Not to dwell upon.

You moved forward, keep moving onward.

Just hold your thoughts a few seconds

Once I sneak into your consciousness.

Tidbits #53

Is that how retirement should be? Waking up at 4:30, taking an hour of walk/slow jogging, then have a leisurely breakfast of fruits and coffee/Nescafe while reading for another hour on the balcony, then working for another hour on your blog and commenting on Fb… All these events are facts. The illusions sneak in afterwards

As we learn to see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.

Explain this to me in layman terms: Tesla has never made an annual profit and yet surge in share prices means that the California company has a market value of nearly $210 billion, and edges ahead of Japanese rival Toyota. It is the Federal government skewing the due process in investment

Anthropause? A proposed new term to describe the global halt in human activity due to the pandemic.

Originally composed in 2014, the protest music “The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed,” by Joel Thompson arranged the dying words of seven Black men killed by police into a classical composition based on Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of Christ.” 

This week, India banned 59 Chinese apps, including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, in an attempt to “safeguard” its mobile and internet users. Narendra Modi’s quit Weibo on Wednesday

I used to visit the ruins of the deads. I am paying visits to the ruins of the living.

Lebanon is a striking example of an anomie political system: most the politicians revert to business men, during their long tenure, and own most of the companies in the country. Our politicians, stooges to the civil war militia/mafia leaders, have been for so long in power and elections (democratically or postponed for various reasons).

J’aimerais commettre les folies de l’âge voisin du berceau

A giant blue star has vanished from the sky. It could have become a black hole or… it could just be hiding behind dust.
Gold deposit in Egypt: located in the country’s southeast, is thought to contain 1 million ounces (28,350 kg) of the good stuff.

I think Trump liked this kid concept: if Covid is killed with soap then why a vaccine? Maybe Trump is jumping to one alternative like introducing foamed soap in the lungs and remove the solution as when we have pneumonia?

I have this hypothesis: those who received the flu vaccines for a couple of years will have higher probability to survive a Corona contamination. My conjecture is the immune system will react far more quickly before The C sets in

The Neo-Zionistsstrategic centers” in USA are in fact running Israel society choices: There are No good options for Israelis in order to vote “democratically”. Israel is pressured to be kept in a state of constant war and to increase its apartheid laws

“The great avenues of our larger cities were made extremely picturesque in the dusk of evening by the endless line of bicyclists whose lanterns in the darkness produced the vivid effect of a river of coloured fire.”An 1890s observer of America’s first bicycle boom

American suffragist Susan B. Anthony once said that the bicycle did “more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”

Oxymoron terms like “Free Trade, Free Market, Free Expression, Free Sex…” What is free in these expressions? And how they are that free?

Harvard MIT are suing the Trump administration over new visa rules that force international students taking online classes to leave the country

The current US national debt is over $26 trillion, and while Congress has approved roughly $3 trillion of coronavirus-related spending, only around $350 billion was earmarked for public health and testing

Independent auditors issued a scathing report on Facebook’s civil rights policies. They called out the platform’s “vexing and heartbreaking decisions” that prioritize free speech above all else.

Doubling down on some pre-pandemic tactics for private car  usage:
  • Reward those who don’t use a private car
  • Subsidize bicycle sales by giving citizens vouchers
  • Make public transit free forever
  • Propose new car-free bridges
  • Add bike racks to buses
  • Make bike shares part of the public system
  • Expand time-saving bus lanes
  • Resist the urge to make parking easier or free

It is the deformed and handicapped babies that were sacrificed in mass ceremony in order to alleviate parents gilt and to tame the intransigence of mothers in front of the pressure of the community

Minority ethnic groups in China are experiencing State Eugenics Laws since 1995; the Chinese genetic physician has simply to state that the expected baby of the minority parents is found to be physically or mentally handicapped to sterilize the parents; reactions are lukewarm; as they say “it is economics, stupid”

If paying attention to your breathing for a couple of minutes is so hard, how getting curious of how smoking taste and feel is tagged as a simpler task?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
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