Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Near East region

Religious stories: Nutcases in awe of jokers’ fiction storytellers…

Note: Re-edit of 2012 post

Even the most confirmed nutcase among clerics would never claim that stories in religious books were generated from eye-witness people…So why all clerics refuse to admit that all these stories are fiction?

What’s wrong with fiction stories?

Fiction stories are the norm and the most appreciated form for readers and writers…

Why clerics of religions and sects insist that these horror stories were inspired by a God?

Stories of sacrificial ceremonies of virgins, kids, animals…sprinkling blood and semen around tents of potential enemies…And killers nutcase emulating the stories by the letters, through the ages?

Religious stories were fiction stories based on common daily customs and traditions among tribes, clans and communities. They were believable because they were describing life-styles, common to the period.

They were told from generations to generations by appointed storytellers, in “broken-telephone” fashion, edited and transformed to match the customs and tradition of a newer period…

It was the custom of appointing a higher-power as the cause or genesis of whatever happens in life and to community events…

This higher-power was tailor-made by each tribe and community to represent its interests and securing its continuity and survival…

Many civilizations transformed the verbal transmission of the myths into writing, and these civilizations were considered to have acceded to truth and the light…Why? Very few people could read, much less  write, and the clerics had the monopoly of this magical power.

Even today, the written material conserves a magical power of high credibility: You hear people say “It is written in black on white…Here, you read for yourself…”

Any book relegating pages of reference “source materials”, even if never read by the author, extends the illusion of credibility to any manuscript.

For example, Prophet Muhammad labelled the tribes in the Arabic Peninsula who didn’t yet read from a written Book, such as Christian or Jewish sects, as having not reached the truth and the light, and thus were called ignorant “Jahel”.

The Babylonian, Egyptian, and Phoenician civilizations did that, though what is found is in stone tablets and not many of them remain.

It happened that a group of Jews who settled Alexandria (Egypt) in 200 BC decided to gather, codify, and re-arrange the Hebrew fiction stories into easier to handle written materials.

Mind you that all these fiction stories and myths were common to the civilization in the Near-East region, and not much editing was required for the content sources.

The higher power was selected to be called Jehovah (the warrior God idol of the Jews in the City of Jerusalem during the Canaanite civilization), and many prophets were added to the string of the biographical history.

Since then, hundred of sects split, sorting out and re-editing the fiction stories they preferred, as representative of their culture, the accredited stories, the apocryphal (hidden truth), the heretic, the devilish…burning the books that do not suit the sect…

Why governments have to keep subsidizing clerics and their institutions? Are current fiction stories not good enough or versatile enough?

Why Presidential contenders have to use religious beliefs as the main dividing line in the campaign?

Why children in schools have to memorize these fiction stories and be graded accordingly?

Are current fiction stories for kids not good enough?

Can we stop these charades?

Can we live in peace?

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 235

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

The Near-East region (current Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine) was the crossroad for all the ancient warrior empires. The people were more educated (had schools), more cultured, and more urban. The educated people spoke at least 3 languages, their mother tongue Aramaic, the previous occupier language and the current occupier.

During Jesus period, the educated people in the Near-East (current Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine) communicated in 3 languages: Their mother tongue Aramaic, Greek/Seleucid, and Latin. The Romans started their incursions in 60 BC.

The Jews in southern Palestine, mostly Bedouins, adopted the customs and tradition of the Land (Near-East civilization). In 200 BC, a few Jewish scholars wrote a mythical history (stories) for the Jews and codified customs as religious laws. They added a few restrictive customs that corresponded to their Bedouin life-style.

Jesus was Not a Jew, as agreed upon by the sect in Jerusalem through the Sanhedrin. The charismatic Jesus is from the province of Tyre (including Galilee and Sidon). The Temple of Jesus’ sect was in mount Carmel. All Jesus life was spent in that region, before he decided to march toward Jerusalem in the last 6 months of his life

The people in the Tyre province were forced to accept more restrictive customs (religious laws) from the extremist  Bedouin Jews in South Palestine who rebelled 100 BC against the Greek/Seleucid empire with capital in Damascus

Why Jesus decided in the last 6 months of his life to march toward Jerusalem? Most probably, he wanted to disseminate his teaching to the people in South Palestine. Trying to get inducted in the Sanhedrin would facilitate his mission.  The Sanhedrin was Not ready to admit this charismatic Stranger from the Tyre province and rob them of total control over the people in their “enclave”

La religion c’est toujours la religion: Les riches peuvent s’en passer quand leurs privileges sont assures er securises. Mais elle est necessaire pour nous les pauvres: Il n’y a que la religion pour endormir nos peines et aussi l’amour.

J’ai mes crises…Ce que le monde souffre aujourd’hui

March 30, 2018: Israel injured 1,100 unarmed Palestinians during their mass demonstration for “Homeland Day”. Most of these injuries were from live bullets.  A dozen were killed (martyred), particularly on Gaza border and the nasty Hebron (al Khalil) settlers

Notre Pere qui est aux cieux “Guide nous dans nos tentations”. Les passions sont bonnes: si seulement on a quelqu’un de bien et experimente’ pour nous guider. Si seulement on est pret a entendre et prendre au serieux les plus ages

En regime “democratique et liberal” les gouvernement dependent du bon vouloir des patrons

Tfadalou. Bi 2ool: drouri intifada sha3biyya 3aarimat. Lan antakheb, wa ma intakhabt saabikan. Keslaan baddo al naass tontofed 3anno.

7osni al 7ousayni insa7ab min al intikhabaat. Wa leish Walid 3am ye rekk 3ala eksaa2 Nabih? Ma houwi shriko bi kel business al fassaad


Plausibly, Arabic is one of the dialects of the Levant language (Near-East region of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine)

No, Lebanese is not a “dialect” of Arabic

Nassim Nicholas Taleb Follow 

It would be an anachronism to assert that Italian is a dialect of Catalan, but safe to say that Italian comes from Latin. But when it comes to Lebanese (more generally NorthWestern Levantine region), the “politically correct” Arabist-think-tank view is that is is derived from Arabic (Lebanese “dialect” of Arabic) to accommodate sensitivities

 Even linguists find arguments to violate the arrow of time to serve the interest of pan Arabism.

In situations where there are similarities between a word used in Lebanese and Arabic, they insist it comes from Arabic not from a common root.

(Most Lebanese are confused by diglossia as one is not supposed to write in the spoken language). Unlike Indo-European languages, Semitic languages have a criss-cross of roots and considerable areal diffusion to assert clean descendancy.

The points are

1) Lebanese (more generally NorthWestern Levantine, neo-Canaanite) is a standalone Semitic dialect (or language) that descends from other languages, including Arabic (which itself was influenced by these predecessors) but has not inherited from it as much as marketed (broken plurals but not its rich verb forms).

2) Its grammar, as we will see below, remains largely non ArabicMany words that are in both Leb and Arabic but not common in Aramaic happen to be in North-Phoenician (Ugaritic). Unlike genetics that has rigorous mathematical formulations and clear-cut flows (haplogroups show direct, vertical, rather than lateral transmission), linguistic categories are fuzzy and, for Semitic languages, monstrously non rigorous.

3) I took a list of the most frequent statistically used words (by Zipf law, > 80% of vocabulary) and looked for words that exist in both Leb and Akkadian, Ugaritic (North Phoenician), and show that very few exist in Arabic but not other Semitic roots (Lamine Souag did the same with a poem by Said Akl, without statistical methodology), hence could have only come from Arabic.

The anachronism shown. The Phyla and Waves Models of Classification by Semiticists is not very scientific. Note that areal diffusion makes transmission arrows very fuzzy.

4) The “Arabization” mission promoted by the American University in Beirut in the 1860s (starting with the translation of the Bible) seems to infect the most low IQ Westerners of the think tank/ State department Arabist types, not locals — most people who disagree with the point and support the orthodoxy don’t speak either Leb or Aramaic, or fail in basic reasoning (many Syriac scholars I’ve spoken to agree with the point)

5) The latin alphabet (actually Phoenician) lends itself better to Lebanese, with such accents as é — but that’s another note.

6) From a scientific standpoint, linguistic claims that Lebanese is a dialect of Arabic (or some conveniently abstract construct called Proto-Arabic) are:

a) totally unrigorous handwaving believed from sheer repetition,

b) fitness to few rules made on the fly (and subject of over-fitting: you pick the rules that makes a language be part of the group you like),

c) with claims of mutual intelligibility between Leb and Arabic (or Proto-Arabic); all of these presented without any attempt to meet minimal standards of scientific evidence.

What do people call “Arabic”?

In a skit an ISIS man goes to a Christian Lebanese village, Zghorta, and shouts in Classical Arabic (“raise your hands!” “ارفع يديك”) to a Zghorta villager, who answers him “speak to me in Arabic!” (7ki ma3é 3arabé).

Likewise, in Saudi Arabia, I once heard a Lebanese fellow asking the hotel manager: “don’t you have Arabic food?” (meaning East Med/Lebanese) as all they had was… Arabic food (Saudi preparations of rice etc.)

The White Mountain (Mount Lebanon) from my window in Amioun

The very etymology of “Arabic” has confused people, since it may mean “Westerner”, that is, non Arab (and homonym with 3araba which might be another root). Speak to me in Arabic may mean “speak to me intelligibly” (3arabé mshabra7) — since 3araab means grammatical and intelligible — and people got confused about what language they were speaking.


The Lebanese have been saying “bét” for at least 3200 years, now they say “bét” but it suddenly said to be from a “dialect” of Arabic. It is foolish to think that a population will speak a language, say Aramaic, then suddenly, tabula rasa, switch to another one for the same words.

Many people who are fluent and Levantine and classical Arabic fail to realize that the distance between the two is greater than between many languages deemed distinct, such as French and Romanian… Slavic “languages” such as Ukranian and Polish are much, much closer to one another than Levantine and Arabic.

Same with Scandinavian and Germanic languages. But there is a bias in believing that whenever a word exists in both Levantine and Arabic, that it is of Arabic origin, never Aramaic or Canaanite-largely because of the typical lack of familiarity with Levantine languages.

So Mar7aba is deemed to be Arabic when it is in fact just Aramaic.

(The IYIs are slowly and reluctantly accepting the Aramaic influence on the Arabic holy book). Also note that if Northern Arabians share vocabulary with Lebs, it is because of Aramaic rather than the reverse.

(If the Lebanese know Arabic, it is from education system and Television, not from speaking it).

Levantine uses the French é sound (the diacritical rboso) where Arabic has an “i” (kasra) or long i. (batyté, Ghassén, etc.) (Zré2 is arabized as Zurayq at the American University of Beirut. Someone should tell them.)

The Lebanese army march (one-two-three) is in Syriac “7ad, Tr(n)en, Tlete, Arb3a” (not Wa7ad, Etnen, …).

Mim-noon: mim in Arabic (beytohom) become noun in Aramaic and North Levantine (beyton, beytkon). Even Ibrahim becomes Brohin.

Ma: The classifiers claim that of Semitic languages, a marker of Arabic is the negative “ma” for “la/o” in Canaanite.

1) “Ma” is a negation in Indo-European languages, so it came to the area to affect all languages,

2) “ma” is found in Bibilical Heb. (Kings, 12:16).

Verb-Subject Agreement: The grammatical stucture of Leb is somewhat similar to Aramaic. For instance, we use the plural form for a verb before a plural subject; in Arabic the verb is singular.

SVO Arabic has necessarily an VSO structure: Verb-Subject-Object (zahaba el waladu ila il bayt vs lwalad ra7 3al bét), Lebanese not necessarily so (varies).

Roots and distanceUsing the Arabic innovation of a non Arabic root (2rdh for 2rtz) should not allow one to classify the term for scientific (informational) and cultural purposes as “derived from” Arabic, even if it makes sense from a linguistic standpoint in a refined toolkit.

So if someone has been saying lb for years (for heart) for a few thousand years, then added an aleph (2a) to make it ‘lb (2lb, 2alb), is is to be treated the same as someone saying corre or schmorglub for heart, now saying ‘lb? It is not the same distance!

This is what linguists fail to get about their classification heuristics. Minor adaptations such as “al” for “ha” or “han” should not be a basis for calling a change of language.

It is no different for Hebrew where Ashkenazis use a Germanic pronunciation for gutturals, which doesn’t make them speak a variety German. Linguistic classifications are a mess!

Colinearity doesn’t allow strong categorization: Traditional linguistics categorizes languages as independent variables, failing to take into account co-linearity, i.e., if Y= a_1 X_1+a_2 X_2 + \eta (noise), the effect will show loading in a_1 or a_2, not both.

So if Levantine resembles Arabic, and Arabic resembles Aramaic, and Aramaic resembles Canaanite/Phoenician/Hebrew, and to make things worse, Arabic also resembles Canaanite, the tendency is to believe that Levantine comes from one (the a_1 with the highest load) not another.

Accordingly, simplified linguistics fail with Semitic languages because of confounding, much more consequential with Semitic tongues than Indo-European ones. In English we know that what comes from Latin has no co-linearity with Northern European sources, except for remote roots.

So if someone claims: Leb is a dialect of (Arabic/Aramaic/Zorgluz…) it is a weaker statement than Italian is a dialect of Latin. We should say: Leb is a dialect of Semitic.

The only remedy is to do, as in genetics, PCAs (orthogonal variables that are abstract) hence show that Levantine in x% from Arabic, y% from Phoenician, etc. (or, more rigorously, Semitic languages represented as dots on a 2–3D map). This is not done by Semiticists and I consider the linguistic critiques to this piece invalid and highly unscientific (not even at the level to be wrong).

Areal Influence: If there is a continuum of dialects through the area, from the Levant to the fertile crescent, it can be due to areal features rather than genetic ones. In other words, lateral influences rather than vertical ones.

Verbs forms: Arabic has 15 forms; Levantine and Aramaic have the same 4–6 forms (depending on regions).

The definite article: the “Al” in Arabic doesn’t exist as a prefix in Aramaic (it is suffixed), but does in Phoenician as ha 2a, and proto-Canaanite as hal and “l”. And it is not clear that old Lebanese distinguishes between lunar and solar, as Arabic does.

So it looks after deeper investigation that in fact except for broken plurals, and a few other words, what resembles Arabic is what is in both Aramaic and Arabic, or in both Arabic and Canaanite. (Note that broken plurals represent very little of a vocabulary, again, by Zipf’s law).

The Phyla and Waves Model used by Semiticists is not very convincing: we are not dealing with the clarity of genetics; “evidence” is not stochastically elaborated.

Ana bi-Amioun is Levantine for “I am in Amioun”. In Aramaic-Syriac (most versions) it would be “Ana bi-Amioun”. In Arabic “Innani fi-Amioun” (sometimes, but rarely, “bi”). Same with words that have hamze, i.e. Mayy in Levantine is water (as in Aramaic), Ma2 in Arabicetc. But the “y” in Arabic can become olafYaduhu in Arabic is ido (Yad->Iyd) in both Syriac and Levantine.

Cannanite and Phenician shift: In Northern Lebanon, “Allah” becomes “Alloh”, “Taleb” is pronounced “Toleb”, even the y becomes “oy” (lésh in Beirut, loish in Bsharré. My first name is prounounced “Nsoym”). But unlike Eastern Aramaic where Sarah is “Saro” while for us it is “Sora”. (Incidentally, Toleb is present in Ugaritic/Phoenician).

The 3ayn shift: An argument (Louag) is that the dhad in Canaanite became a 3ayn (Eretz in Hebrew became Ar3a in Aramaic), not in Leb hence we got it from the Arabs. There was a shift that stayed in Aramaic and Levantine use the Arabic dhad that does not have the shift (which is believed to imply that we did not get these words from Aramaic).

But note that Arabs did not pronounce the dhad as modified tzadeh ( which shows that past pronounciations were not necessarily as current). Note that in North Leb people may conflate ar3a with al3a, for ardh, as in Amioun. It may have come from Arabic, but odds are it did not, as we will see next.

Strong a “2”: Lebanese has an emphatic silent “a”, known as “Basta” accent (“shu b22ello?”) but also in other parts for other words “ya 22alla” in Amioun (Oh Allah). (I’ve heard it sometimes in Syriac when they say “22aloho”).

Roger Maklouf’s idea is that that the Arabic strong “ص”, “ض”, “ط” etc. are just consonants followed by emphatic 2a: “t22aleb”, “d22arab”, “shu s22ar?”. Hence, in the presence of the 22a, which does not exist in Arabic, we don’t need these letters. Roger surmises that if we don’t have them, it is because Phoenician letters didn’t have them; we just never used them (by Brownian bridge: neither then nor now). This explains the absence of 3ayin switch into Lebanese.

Write in Lebanese!

Regardless of its origin, there is no point insisting on degrading the spoken language.

It remains that that Arabic sounds so foreign (especially to people who didn’t study in it), which explains why people send notes in French or English, not Lebanese. (data point: I sold 97% of my books in French and English in Lebanon, 3% in Arabic. I don’t know any Leb my generation and younger who reads Arabic except for legal docs. I have never received a letter/email in Arabic from another Lebanese.)

More examples:
“Zammar 3a l’kou3” Levantine (Horned at the curve)
“Zammar 3a kou3” Aramaic
“Inshud 3al mun3atif” Arabic

For A***le:
“Bu5sh tizo” Levantine
“Bu5sh tizo” Aramaic
“Thaqb iliatihi” Arabic (or mu2a55ara)


ARABIC vs LEVANTINE( Beirut, Amioun)

1s Ana Ana, ana
2ms Anta inta, int
2fs Anti inte, int
3ms Huwa huwwe, hu
3fs Hiya hiyye, hi
2d Antuma into, ont
3md Huma hinne, hinn
3fd huma hinne, hinn
1p Na7nu ne7na, ne7no
2mp Antum into
2fp Antunna into
3mp Hum hinne, hinn
3fp Hunna hinne, hinn

(long a, 2) long eh
1s 2akl 3am bekol [3am means “in the process of “ in Syriac] (food I’m eating)
2ms ta2kol 3am btekol
2fs ta2kulina 3am tekle
3ms yakulu 3am yekol
3fs takul 3am tekol
2d ta2kulani 3am bteklo
3md yakulani 3am byeklo
3fd na2kul 3amnekol
1p takuluna 3amteklo
2mp takuluna 3amteklo
2fp takulna 3am teklo
3mp yakuluna 3ambyeklo
3fp yakulna 3ambyeklo

ARABIC vs Amioun vs Beirut

Akaltu Kilt Akalt
Akalta Kilt Akalt
Akalti Kilte Akalte
Akala Akol Akal
Akalat Aklet Akalet
Akaltuma kelto Akalto
Akalat eklo Akalo
Akalata Aklo Akalo
Akalna kelna Akalna
Akaltum Kelto Akalto
Akaltunna Kelto Akalto
Akaltu eklo Akalto
Akalna eklo Akalo

Note the difference: mim in Arabic (beytohom) become noun in Aramaic and North Levantine (beyton, beytkon). Even Ibrahim becomes Brohin.


(using the list from Bennett. The orthography is not fully standardized. Lameen Souag has been nitpicking my list based on g->j, s<-> sh, k->kh, etc. pronounciations, which, again, don’t make it part of a language group.

For we say Yesou3 for Yeshou3 (Jesus) which comes from Aramaic (Arabic is 3issa), Juwwa from Aramaic bgaw, etc. The “j” can be easily Persian. It would be classifying Mod. Hebrew as Germanic because w->v, 7->ch, p->ph.)

Origin of English Language? Turkey and Near East region?

English language ‘originated in Turkey’

Image caption Words in common use betray the language of our past

Modern Indo-European languages – which include English – originated in Turkey about 9,000 years ago, researchers say. (The eastern seashore region of the Mediterranean sea)

Their findings differ from conventional theory that these languages originated 5,000 years ago in south-west Russia.

The New Zealand researchers used methods developed to study virus epidemics to create family trees of ancient and modern Indo-European tongues to pinpoint where and when the language family first arose.

Their study is reported in Science.

A language family is a group of languages that arose from a common ancestor, known as the proto-language.

Linguists identify these families by trawling through modern languages for words of similar sound that often describe the same thing, like water and wasser (German). These shared words – or cognates – represent our language inheritance.

According to the Ethnologue database, more than 100 language families exist.

The Indo-European family is one of the largest families – more than 400 languages spoken in at least 60 countries – and its origins are unclear.

The Steppes, or Kurgan, theorists hold that the proto-language originated in the Steppes of Russia, north of the Caspian Sea, about 5,000 years ago.

The Anatolia hypothesis – first proposed in the late 1980s by Prof Colin Renfrew (now Lord Renfrew) – suggests an origin in the Anatolian region of Turkey about 3,000 years earlier.

To determine which competing theory was the most likely, Dr Quentin Atkinson from the University of Auckland and his team interrogated language evolution using phylogenetic analyses – more usually used to trace virus epidemics.

Fundamentals of life

Phylogenetics reveals relatedness by assessing how much of the information stored in DNA is shared between organisms.

Influenza virus
Image caption The researchers used methods developed for tracing virus epidemics

Chimpanzees and humans have a common ancestor and share about 98% of their DNA. Because of this shared ancestry, they cluster together on phylogenetic – or family – trees.

Like DNA, language is passed down, generation to generation.

Although language changes and evolves, some linguists have argued that cognates describing the fundamentals of life – kinship (mother, father), body parts (eye, hand), the natural world (fire, water) and basic verbs (to walk, to run) – resist change.

These conserved cognates are strongly linked to the proto-language of old.

Dr Atkinson and his team built a database containing 207 cognate words present in 103 Indo‐European languages, which included 20 ancient tongues such as Latin and Greek.

Using phylogenetic analysis, they were able to reconstruct the evolutionary relatedness of these modern and ancient languages – the more words that are cognate, the more similar the languages are and the closer they group on the tree.

The trees could also predict when and where the ancestral language originated.

Looking back into the depths of the tree, Dr Atkinson and his colleagues were able to confirm the Anatolian origin.

To test if the alternative hypothesis – of a Russian origin several thousand years later – was possible, the team used competing models of evolution to pitch Steppes and Anatolian theory against each other.

Image caption Cognate words represent our language inheritance

In repeated tests, the Anatolian theory always came out on top.

Commenting on the paper, Prof Mark Pagel, a Fellow of the Royal Society from the University of Reading who was involved in earlier published phylogenetic studies, said: “This is a superb application of methods taken from evolutionary biology to understand a problem in cultural evolution – the origin and expansion of the Indo-European languages.

“This paper conclusively shows that the Indo-European languages are at least 8-9,500 years old, and arose, as has long been speculated, in the Anatolian region of what is modern-day Turkey and spread outwards from there.”

Commenting on the inclusion of ancient languages in the analyses, he added: “The use of a number of known calibration points from ‘fossil’ languages greatly strengthens the conclusions.”

However, the findings have not found universal acceptance.

Prof Petri Kallio from the University of Helsinki suggests that several cognate words describing technological inventions – such as the wheel – are evident across different languages.

He argues that the Indo-European proto-language diversified after the invention of the wheel, about 5,000 years ago.

On the phylogenetic methods used to date the proto-language, Prof Kallio added: “So why do I still remain sceptical? Unlike archaeological radiocarbon dating based on the fixed rate of decay of the carbon-14 isotope, there is simply no fixed rate of decay of basic vocabulary, which would allow us to date ancestral proto-languages.

“Instead of the quantity of the words, therefore, the trained Indo-Europeanists concentrate on the quality of the words.” (Like what words can be classified as quality? Eating, running, killing, war, stealing, raping, fruits, grains, earth, land, mountains, rivers, water…?)

Prof Pagel is less convinced by the counter-argument: “Compared to the Kurgan hypothesis, this new analysis shows the Anatolian hypothesis as the clear winner.”

Note: Civilizations centered around major rivers and estuaries.The meeting spots for all the people fleeing catastrophic events and shortage of food.

The Euphrates and Tiger Rivers, along of where they flow in Syria and Iraq, have been centers of great earlier civilizations. The hot bed of civilization where all the migrant people lived and developed for many thousands of years.

It is from these centers that civilizations spread to other regions and constituted this unified DNA for mankind.

Turkey was the transit stage toward Europe and the Caucasus.

Longer-term cause for destabilizing the Near-East region: Pipelines for Water Resources

The main water resources for the Near-East originates from Turkey, and to a lesser degree from Lebanon and the Golan Heights.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan have planning to divert part of the water through water pipelines and aqueduct.

In fact, Israel has been “stealing” water from Lebanon and the Golan Heights for over 50 years, and denying the Palestinian their share in the water.

Turkey is very rich in water estimated at 3,000 cubic-meter per person, and the two main rivers of Euphrates and Tigres have their sources in Turkey.

The Euphrates run in Syria for hundreds of miles and continue into Iraq.

The Tigres run in Iraq. The two rivers join before the Basra delta in Iraq, close to Kuwait borders.

Turkey has constructed artificial lakes and dams on the two rivers.

Turkey has !0 artificial lakes and 3 under construction. The largest is Ataturk of 49 cubic km.

Syria has 880 million cubic-meter available per person and has built 6 lakes and the largest is Tishrine (14 cubic-km) and 74% of this water comes from Turkey.

Iraq has 2,600 million cubic-meter available per person and 53% of that comes from Turkey. The largest lake on the Tigres is Saddam (11 cubic-km).

Turkey has been frequently blackmailing Syria and Iraq, using water as a weapon.

The other State in the Levant with water resources are:


1. Litani river (920 million cubic-meters per year)

2. Hasbani (150 million cubic -meter per year)

3. Al Assi (Orontes) that mostly runs in Syria and for 500 km

4. Nahr Awali

5. Nahr Ibrahim

6. Nahr Kebir Janoubi

7. Nahr Awali


1. Orontes

2. Banias (160 million Cubic-meter)

3. Dan (260 million c-m)

4. Awach

5. Barada

6. Nahr Kebir shamali

7. Nahr Afryn

8. Nahr Qweyk

9. Balikh

10. wadi Red

11. Khabour

12 Euphrates


1. Wadi el Hasa

2. Wadi Mujib

3. Nahr Zarka

4. Nahr Yarmouk (500 million c-m)


1. Nahr Kebir in West bank

2. Jordan River (560 million c-m)

3. Nahr Naaman

As of 2008, the Jewish colonies or settlements in occupied Palestine were getting 325 million c-m per citizen, while the Palestinians merely were allocated 125.

The Palestinian refugees are distributed (transferred) as of 2008:

In Jordan 2 million

In Gaza 1 million (transferred from the other regions in Palestine)

In West Bank 750,000 from other parts within Israel

In Syria 450,000

In Lebanon 415,000

Note 1: As of 2013, there are already over 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, fleeing the civil war in Syria, and 500,000 in Jordan.

Note 2: Lebanon has a confessional political system: The public servants, deputies and government ministers are allocated according to the ratios of the various religious sects. Lebanon don’t dare conduct a census and the available statistics are drawn from election periods. The number of Lebanese has been estimated to be around 4 million, and this number is not about to change.

The Moslem Shiaa represent at least 31,5% officially, but are way more numerous

The Moslem Sunni about 29%

The Christian Maronite 20%

the Other Christian sects represent 14%

The Moslem Druze 5.5%

If the Syrian refugees who are mostly Sunnis and international communities decide to makethem settle in Lebanon, Lebanon political system will have to be drastically reformed.

By the end of 2014, The Syrian refugees will be more than 50% of Lebanon population.

Near East: Levant Union States?

Levant (Rising sun with respect to Europe) is the name given by the French mandated power to the Near East independent States of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine.  The current total population of the Levant is about 30 millions, or less than half each of Turkey, Iran, or the third of Egypt and about the number in Iraq, and the Arabic Peninsula (all bordering the Levant region).

Thus, focusing on internal trades among the Near East States will not make a serious dent toward expanding economic development in the short-term, but that is the best economic strategy for establishing a complementary economy that satisfy internal needs.

At least 70% of the land of this union is mostly desert and its total area is barely the third of France, but it is relatively rich in water compared to the neighboring larger States with the exception of Turkey.

The advantages of a policy of opening up the borders among these States for trades and easy communication are enormous.

For one thing, an economic coordination of the Levantine States can negotiate better deals with the bordering larger States by constituting a larger common market that may ease up the frequent tensions and anxiety that the people have been experiencing for so many centuries.

A few guidelines may go a long way toward a project of common market.

First, it is inevitable that all borders among the Near East States be definitely demarcated, resolved, and registered in the United Nation.  This first step will eliminate foreign interventions in our internal affairs and appease unfounded fears of forced or implicit annexation.

Second, The Levant Union States (LUS) should drop all territorial claims with the neighboring States (except with Israel) that do not agree with the UN drawings.

Third, the LUS needs to institute a restricted Parliament that deal with the most urgent laws applicable to the union.  The prime areas for legislations are: Water resources, agriculture and industrial production coordination,  financial coordination, infrastructure, education, military, and energy resources.

Fourth, the establishment of a unified internal currency for internal trades among the States and leaving the States independent national currencies for external trades.  Thus, the central banks in each State will set aside reserves for the internal united currency to cover up any internal difficulties for conversion into particular “national” currencies as the internal market expand.

Fifth:  The institution of a central bank for managing and administering the internal currency to satisfying the growing internal trade.

Sixth, establishment of standards for armed forces and internal forces in the eventual coordination for securing the borders of the LUS.

Seventh, establishment of standards for public schooling systems in order to facilitating transfers of students among the States. It is essential that uniformed textbooks in geography of the region, its common history, and the various civic educational systems be introduced to all citizens.

Eight, establishing “Free trade zones” with neighboring States.  For example, one in Iskandaron (Alexandretta) between Turkey and Syria on the coast, one at the junction among Turkey, Iraq, and Syria (in the Kurdish populated zone), one between Syria and Iraq in the desert region on the Euphrates River, one among Jordan, Syria and Iraq, one in Gaza between Egypt and Palestine, and one in Aqaba between Jordan and Saudi-Arabia.

Nine:  Having coordinated foreign political positions with respect to the UN assembly.

Tenth, setting up a high political command in charge of negotiating any peace treaty with Israel as a Union of common interests.  The piece meal negotiation process with this antiquated vassal mentalities is not going to insure any lasting peace.

Note: This post is an ongoing process and will be frequently edited for more details.  Your focused comments will enrich the re-editing process.




April 2020

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