Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘novel

Hardworking Mina on a war path; (Apr. 12, 2010)

            Eleven years ago, Mina found a job weaving carpet in Morocco.  Her more “experienced” co-worker incited Mina to check with syndicate for membership and was chased out beaten.  Mina then paid a visit to the work inspector who let the owner of the factory on Mina visit. The boss convoked Mina and treated her worthless whore with no sense of loyalty: Mina was supposed to appreciate the boss as a “father figure” and then she was dismissed.  For 6 months Mina could not find work in the same city: all the bosses were informed of Mina’s “disloyal” behavior.

            Mina worked for 10 years weaving carpets and then had hone of her wrists broken. Mina was dismissed with no compensation or even for covering medical expenses. Mina worked and was paid daily and had no papers or documents as a working citizen.  Her highly educated friend, Fatima Mernissi, paid Mina a visit to the hospital and then mindlessly suggested to Mina to have recourse to the work inspector. Mina got in a state of anger and frustration and threw her veil to the ground and replied: “Fatima, you are very educated but I am no stupid” and she told her friend the story of her work conditions. Mina resumed: “Allah is my defender, my work inspector, and my syndicate. God said “if any of my servants asks for my intervention then I will be by his side”. May Allah hear my demands; I want the factory burned down and the boss broken to pieces”

            A few nurses barged in to cool down the shouting and Mina chased them out saying: “If you don’t leave immediately then I will add your names to the list of the work inspector and the syndicate.”  In Mina’s mind, the incidences that she experienced 11 years ago with the work inspector and the syndicate are still valid: nothing has changed since then in the relationship of workers and bosses and control institutions.  Mina’s assumptions might be correct but lack of stable and equitable institutions drove Mina from a rational thinking person to an extremist “khawarej” attitude: she wouldn’t mind taking the most extreme of measures if supported in her frustration.

            Extreme codification of life behaviors, even in developed States with strong central institutions, to controlling and managing people generate extreme reactions in periods of civil unrest.  For example, the USA is witnessing terrorist acts (kamikaze) by its citizens against targeted institutions such as the Pentagon and the IRS (tax revenue) offices. It appears that the life of little people is extremely codified in developed States but the barons of industries and elite classes get off with a slap on the wrist: huge loopholes in laws for the barons and a justice system based on financial means is dooming little people for lack of serious justice.

            At least, in Islamic world, people have this exit alternative to lamenting to Allah and have the right to ask Allah to chastise unjust people.  Just figure a citizen in the developed States asking his God to burn and maim the boss: the boss might probably have a claim to drag to justice the disgruntled worker for incitement to physical hurt intentions.

            Democracy in most of the developing States is a mystery with no corresponding physical application; democratic institutions are shells devoid of any democratic rights to individual responsibilities and serious participation.  The UN Charter is a super law relative to human and civil rights and freedom of expressions but this charter is still the best kept secret to most students and adult people in developing States.  In kindergarten, kids learn their religious laws but the UN super laws are not available or taught or even required to be exhibited.

            Colonial powers didn’t practice their brand of democracies operating at home: as soon as a semblance of democratic institutions (such as parliament) were established that the colonial power flaunted it and disbanded it at the first free expressions of freedom, liberty, and equality.  Even today, the former colonial powers have no interest of witnessing democratic institutions in the developing States as long as oil is available at low prices and the market for arms is booming.  Bush Junior claimed that democracy had priority on his list of changes in the Greater Middle East! Bush Junior never was specific on what kinds of democracies he had in mind; anyway, the method he applied to invading Iraq in 2003 had nothing democratic about it!  Saudi Arabia is still disseminating and financing terrorist tendencies and all the Arab despots kept their martial laws that were instituted 40 years ago.

736.  Date Zero: Pre-Islamic period is untouchable to investigation; (April 1, 2010)

737.  “Man was created weak” (Apr. 2, 2010)

738.  Another dick; (April 3, 2010)

739.  What changed between 1991 and 2003 Iraq invasions? (Apr. 3, 2010)

740.  Wild marathon run in the city; (Apr. 4, 2010)

Wild marathon run in the city; (Apr. 4, 2010)

            I got in bed before 10 pm and then got up at 2:30 am; my body was telling me “either you get up and take a walk or you suffer an itching trip that I can’t guarantee the consequences.”  I emptied my bladder.  It is too early to go down to my study and read and write. I prepared a cup of Nescafe and flicked on the TV.  I am watching “What eats Gilbert…”  Johnny Depp (Gilbert) is saying in the background “Endora is a place where you dance with no music” (It is your regular US one Main Street town.)  The main event is when a streak of caravans spend a few days or weeks every summer.

            Gilbert is the grown up boy of four working overtime to feed the family and repair the house that his dead father built. Seven years earlier, the father hanged himself in the basement; the wife would not get out of the shock; she ended up not stepping out of her home and she is now as vast as a whale. Gilbert shows understanding when kids come over to take a peek from the window at his mother.  The mother could no longer escalate the staircase to her bedroom.  She watches TV 24/7.  Once, Gilbert experimented with his napping mother: when he turns off the TV she wakes up and when he turns on the TV she goes back to napping.

            Erny (De Caprio) is the younger mentally retarded brother who was not supposed to live beyond the age of 12; he is 18 now.  Erny’s mother wants to throw a big 18 years birthday party. Gilbert still bathes his brother.  Once, Gilbert had to return to his new girlfriend touring the USA with her grandmother in a caravan; he gives Erny instructions of what to do after he finishes bathing; Erny almost drowned in his bathtub as Gilbert returned home. Erny is now scared of water and is left to stink for a week.

            There are the eldest sister taking care of the house and cooking. The youngest sister is 15 and just removed her teeth braces; she plays the trombone with the school cheerleaders’ team; she can’t wait to move away from this troubled family. Erny likes to play the “disappearing game” hiding in trees or hanging from the roof top; he waits for Gilbert to shout “have you seen Erny? I can’t find him” for Erny to laugh out loud and jump.

            Well, after the birthday party Gilbert presents the girlfriend to his mother who never received guests. Then, the mother decides to make the extreme effort to climb to her bedroom; she said to Gilbert “you are my shimmering knight”; Gilbert rectifies “you mean the shining knight” but the mother repeats “shimmering, glowing boy” and then asks him to send up Erny.  Erny finds his darling mother dead.  Gilbert says: “The police officers will order for a crane to take her down. I will not permit this ultimate humiliation for mother.”  They decide to remove all the furniture and set fire on this crumbling house.

            I saw the second half of another movie of an American baseball player hired to win Japan’s series.  It is 5 am and I feel sleepy; I decided to go back to bed. Then I had this fantastic dream. I don’t know how I met this file of joggers and I joined the runners. The run led to a city.  We are running on different kinds of streets; crowded streets, streets reserved for walkers or cyclists, others are routes among restaurants and shops. Here I am running by the side of a long and immaculate “trottoire” fast food chain.  I say to my running mate: “It feels as if we are crossing a cultural and educational area” He replies: “This is a university medical complex center; the homes are for physicians and psychologist.”  I look down and see the old sprawling medical center with plenty of tall green trees; it feels as if we are running  on an over ganging passage way: I am seeing through a window cars flowing on the highway crossing this hyped region. The passage ends on a blocked wooden wall.  The running mate takes a quick look on his booklet and says: “We must backtrack and climb the (Papal staircase)”.  I figured that this tight rickety wooden staircase is but two flights high; but no.  We are climbing and climbing various kinds of staircases; the last sort is a rope variety that ends nowhere and I would have to jump over.

            Just then, my mind or body is telling me: “time to get up and empty your bladder.”   I am having hard time opening my eye. It is 7:45 am and dad is preparing Turkish coffee.

730.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) failed in its mission; (Mar. 27, 2010)

731.  Not a grain of faith in me darling; (Mar. 28, 2010)

732.  In “Rainbow over the Levant (Near East)” novel: Dialogue; (Mar. 28, 2010)

733.  Militias covering all States in the USA; (Mar. 28, 2010)

734.  Nomad pragmatism versus submission to Allah; (Mar. 30, 2010)

735.  How markets can function in developing countries? (Mar. 31, 2010)

736.  Date Zero: Pre-Islamic period is untouchable to investigation; (April 1, 2010)

Dialogue In the novel: “Rainbow over the Levant (Near East)”

Note:  In the dialogue, Gergis, Mariam,and Mustafa are respectively the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Education, and Defense.  This novel is set in 14th century Mount Lebanon.

Preparations for the second revolution

The First Emir Antoun summoned Gergis, Mariam and Mustafa to a secret enclave to discuss the current State affairs and how to plan to counter decadence and class dysfunctions invading society from the top down.  Gergis rehashed on the principles, articles, and organization of the Aram Umma (Nation) Party that the three ministers developed without the prior consent of the Emir.  Discussions ensued:

Antoun said: “I have serious problems with many articles and terminologies in your program.  First, I feel that we must not mention borders delimiting the Aram Nation. Actually, we have to erase any hints relating to borders, period. If this article is circulated in writing then the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt will have material evidence that we are preparing for independence and I am not ready for this dangerous and potentially disastrous leap”

Gergis said: “We can drop this article but if we are asked about the boundaries of the Nation, and we will be asked, then I propose that we verbally ask for suggestions to that effect and analyze the reaction of the adherents”

Antoun replied: “Do your best to avoid responding to that question.  The best is to generate responses instead of offering your own opinions.  Now I have two more concerns; first, the word Umma is reserved to defining Moslem communities wherever they are. Since our society is multi-religious with dozens of sects then a more pertinent word should be created that avoid any religious connotation. “

Gergis: “It is unavoidable to locate a word in Arabic that has no religious undertone. Do you suggest that we search in the Syriac language or the archaic Aramaic language?”

Antoun said: “Your irony tends to be misplaced Gergis.  Anyway, manuscripts in Syriac will have strong Christian connotations.  You can always try.  You guys have to take the demographic structure of our society.  Mount Lebanon is mostly of Christian sects while the urban centers along the coastal line are mostly Moslem Sunni.  The main objective is economic stability and eradicating joblessness that is the major cause of social distress.  Whatever is the ideology of the Party it should be plainly a support system for stable economy.  Now, my next concern is the hierarchical structure of the Party.  Although this historically adopted structure is logical and well-intentioned, I feel that it will scare away good potential citizens from joining and participating as full members. I am under the impression that you are expecting already disciplined citizens to be attracted, especially the military officers.”

Mustafa said: “I guess that this structure is meant to encourage adherents to continue learning and improving on their potentials. I have some understanding of a few organizations that divulge the duties and responsibilities in stages when members have accomplished what was required of them to do previously.  Training is done gradually and we have to wait until the members are ready to assume higher responsibilities.  May be we could emulate their systems by keeping the requirements secrets until the time is ripe for the next stage in the hierarchy?”

Gergis replied:  “I am aware of these secret structures and they worried me as to their consequences in forming ignorant zealots who are ready to commit unimaginable atrocities in the name of performing their duties and obeying orders.  We cannot take this direction if our principles are clear and our purpose open and honest.”

Antoun said: “I understand the genuine attitude of Gergis and I would be ready to take my chance with transparent teachings upfront as evidence of our confidence in our people and his capabilities.  We are in the business of enlightening the masses and not forming passive leaders waiting to be spoon fed at every stage of their organizational development; true leaders are ready to take initiatives and plan their political development as leaders should. I am under the impression that you guys are adopting the thinking and attitudes of the civil servants. Children of well off families tend to think that they have privileges for higher ranks than common people; this normal behavior has to be challenged by further dialogue on the field based on merit.”

The room was silent and heavy with accusations.  The face of Mustafa turned from pale to hot purple and intoned defensively: “What are you trying to convey my Don?”

The First Emir smiled lightly and said: “At least we guys have worked hard for our living before we engaged into politics and we know the value of work that the people understand; but we have engendered a class of civil servants who is entertained by the hard work of our people and yet sincerely believes that they are doing them a favor.  Our civil servants are into politics big time and have raised the motto that “everything in life is politics” so that they hide their indolence and refusal to try work that can add value to society.  They want the government and the people to feed them throughout their retched life as a deserved right for their sacrifices to the well-being of the working people. If we found a political party we are also creating another brand of civil servants living at the expense of the party members and still believing they are the best and chosen ones among them.”

Gergis replied: “I understand your concerns my First Emir and many times I have been recollecting the happy and good period of our youth but our job right now is much harder emotionally and I can barely have a good night sleep. I feel that you have a recommendation to suggest and I cannot provide a satisfactory answer of how to bypass the formation of a professional class of political administrators and managers.”

The First Emir voice started low and then its pitch grew in crescendo saying: “I abhor the idea that any sane civil servant is set for life remunerated by another group of people.  I suggest that civil servants at the pay of the Party should not hold full-time positions for more than two years; they should have an earning job before taking a political assignment and return to the real life of earning their bread after the assignment is over; new blood has to circulate continuously in the Party if it has to serve its purpose.  I suggest that we include a separate article stating that members are not required to serve in administrative and political positions unless they feel the drive and have the talent to serve in a party position.  Members have to understand that joining the Party is not a hindrance to continuing living the way they like but a school of life improvement if they have the drive for it.  Back to my third concern…”

Mariam interrupted the Emir saying: “Excellency, sorry to cut you in but I feel it important to expand on your second concern.  As far as I can recollect, the status of civil servants was one of the hottest issues immediately after we won the insurrection and most of us felt uncomfortable holding government positions because we were unfamiliar with their demands, rules and procedures.  We meant well to shorten government assignments but circumstances and lack of funding prevented us to hold on our commitments. According to our wishes exiting civil servants were to be compensated so that they could open their private trades but we found it more economical and more expedient to extend their appointments at the expense of our principles and the trend stuck with practically no incentives or courage to change our administrative structure.  We need practical means not to revert to previous expedients in the Party hierarchy.”

The First Emir replied: “Yes, I do remember and several times I thought that we should hold fast to the commitments of our revolution and failed to communicate my worries in due time. I guess the Party has to consider business infrastructure to sustain its growth and not rely on the government fund or Party members’ dues. It is my position that any political party that cannot offer services to its members and their families over and above what the government is able or willing to offer then the party would become a serious liability to society.  Imagine adherents fed on principles and emotions bottled up with no positive outlets for practical changes then I can foresee rash and irresponsible responses funneled through incompetent leaders. Now back to my third concern; I wonder why there is no mention of religions in these principles”.

Gergis answered: “It is a dangerous subject to approach and the best we could come with is freedom of beliefs which is what we have been practicing but still is a momentous milestone to be able to state it bluntly”.

Antoun replied: “Our society is founded on dozens of religious sects and hiding this fact under the carpet would not strengthen the unity of the Nation. I remember my lack of patience with the confessional elements during the preparation for the insurgency and I do recognize that we failed to approach this fundamental problem through rational discussions. I suggest that we openly study this problem emanating with each district identifying itself according to its religious affiliation first; this trend is extremely stubborn and is spreading havoc to our concept of a united Nation”.

Mustafa said: “Do you suggest my Don that we should adopt a religion as the main one for the land so that we retain a distinctive identity?”

Antoun replied: “I think that you are attempting to be sarcastic. We never stated it formally but I believe our actions tended to distance State affairs from religious meddling.  May be it is time to officially announce to the citizens that there should be a separation between State governance and religious beliefs.”

Mustafa retorted: “To the best of my knowledge no citizen ever contemplated such a separation, not only because it has never been an issue but because they sincerely believe that governance is not possible without the blessing of religion. Besides, we have been doing fine without this announcement and any confrontation with the religious hierarchies at this junction might exacerbate the political climate.”

Gergis said: “I believe that it would be a great idea to include the principle of separation between State affairs and religious beliefs in the Party’s articles.  The application of this principle might turn out to be extremely delicate and requiring a lot of tact but it certainly might allay the fears of many minority sects which are the most virulent in time of scarcity and instability.”

Antoun replied: “Indeed, the future generations should be able to accept this necessary trend as most normal if it is adopted by the grass-roots first and made an obvious statement as time goes on.”

Mariam cut in: “I still cannot delineate the fine line where State affairs starts and where religion stops. Suppose that I believe 100% in one religious dogma then my faith in these doctrines should take precedence over anything else that is of this World. If we have to boldly approach this topic we might as well identify the basic issues that are harmful to the professional running of a government and how religion can be of support.”

Antoun said: “Religions should preach what is all about the after death and State affairs is about enjoying our life, running society in an ordered fashion, and what is needed to survive as a society in an independent Nation.  I am not attempting to pin Reason against Faith but these concepts are the main delineations with the implicit understanding that Faith is in no way synonymous to Spirit”

Mariam said: “With due respect Your Excellency, this is a pretty simple concept that is basically trying to sweep the problem under the carpet as you mentioned previously. The population is basically very religious and relying on reasoning will not cut it. For example, what if a citizen secretly belonging to a minority sect has cheated in his true religious affiliation and is elected to the highest position in the Nation, then would his election be valid on the basis of separation of religion and State affairs?”

Antoun replied: “You certainly are devious Mariam and I appoint you as the devil advocate to Gergis. I am inclined to reason that in this instance it is politics rather than cheating since it is none of our concerns his personal religious beliefs if we are sincerely secular as long as the candidate never offered to divulge his religious affiliations. I have been hearing rumors, which I am inclined to believe, that many Christian sects allow parallel pagan traditions among agrarian people. These peasants still worship Mother Earth for its bounty and do indeed offer human sacrifices to ward off calamities and dry years and they could not shake it off as far as I know.  Now, no sect is going to confess or proclaim that these ancient rooted beliefs and traditions are part and parcel of its religious principles although it is a pagan religion anyway you consider it.  Would you think Mariam that these pieces of information might complicate your example? All I can tell you is that I am not good with abstract notions. I do believe that anyone who reaches a stage in his growth to claim that his faith is total in the after death then he is a liar and not worth a dime anymore.  I also believe that whoever claims that we are just dirt and nothing else is also a liar and not worth a dime. Even if I still have a tiny pride it would be impossible for me to accept that we are just reduced to dust and dirt after death.  I am a good judge of character and the scoundrel is anyone who wholeheartedly believes that clinging to life is the best attitude to preserve and yet keeps preaching about the after life.”

Mustafa said: “I think that I agree with your premises my Don though I am afraid that you will have the whole population against you if you proclaim that whoever claims has total faith is a liar.”

Antoun replied: “I guess you are in an ironic mood today and your attitude may be taking the edge off our heated discussion but hope that you will put a break to your behavior.  What I mean is that as long as we have a whiff of energy left in us to struggle for survival then our faith is necessarily within the range of the two extreme positions. Once we reach an extreme point in our beliefs then we are reduced to either stones or carrying on irrational behavior.”

Mariam came back to her previous position and said: “I still need to grasp the dividing line where we can bring to court a religious movement with a political position that we deem it out of its jurisdiction. I can offer several examples that are very pertinent; first, there are a couple of sects that prohibit carrying arms or using them against their fellow-men and second many sects insist on reading verses from the Bible or the Koran before starting classes or even providing an answer or delivering a speech. Another issue is shouldn’t the full-time religious clergy have the right to vote, and why the clergy has to appoint representatives as it is applied now instead of the people electing these representatives?  It is time for the people to have a direct say on matters that impact their daily life and send a strong message to the clergy that more transparency is needed in their internal dealings and the community has to have a share in their financial discussions.”

Gergis said: “Now we are talking business.  Abstract notions have to be explained in procedural forms if justice is to be applicable in any governmental action.  I can see the usefulness of not prohibiting the clergy from participating fully in elections though I can guess that the outcome of any election would be biased toward the clergy interest because they clearly have the power to easily impress and dissuade well-intentioned voters.”

Antoun replied: “In response to the first example of Mariam I guess we were successful in enlisting many families in the army after they initially refused on moral grounds by increasing the pay and benefits of the soldiers.  I believe that adequate incentives and direct and patient communications with the members of these peaceful sects can open acceptable alternatives. As to the second example I sincerely do not see it fitting within the framework of our concerns. I think the most serious difficulty is that the clergy will meddle one way or another in the implementation of State decisions and programs.  For that reason we need to set higher standards for candidates otherwise the clergy representatives will dominate the floor and weaken any fair law.  Also, our work is going to be much harder now because the clergy is on the offensive big time. We will have to analyze every proposal from different perspectives and test the people’s responses to the proposals first before submission.”

Mariam said: “I can see that the struggle is going to be tough for decades and only dedicated and highly learned servicemen would be able to turn the tide.  Stable nations had the vast majority of its citizens believing in our religion and a so-called secular government could be camouflaged under the implicit recognition that it is functioning within the nation’s religious beliefs. In our case with no overwhelming majority for a single religion we might be playing with fire attempting a distinct separation.  I don’t think Mustafa was joking when he alluded to the need of adopting a religion for the Nation. This was the case with the exception of the Roman Empire though most societies then were pagans, similar in their practices and traditions and their Gods were not invisible and all that encompassing in a single unifying God. It is my position that change would be won by secular schooling and eliminating any notion that requires the support of religious dogma in the reading materials. Let the mind guide the kids in school and let their parents decide on their religious education outside of school”

Gergis said: “I am inclined to include in the principles of the Party that religious beliefs are intrinsically personal matters but once a person is given State responsibilities or given a civil service appointment then he should adopt reason as his guiding God and the articles of the Constitutions as his guiding principles.”

Antoun tried to close the meeting and said: “I think we are agreed, you and I, though I see Mariam fretting in her place and doubt that she is about to accept your opinion.”

Mariam replied: “I understand your position Sir and the need of proclaiming Reason as our guiding power in managing our State affairs but I suspect that if this principle is formally included in the articles of the Constitution then one day the State will persecute religious beliefs under one reason or other. What sound like reason to you is within the abstract frame of mind to me; I have been around to know that many excellent civil servants, not of your political inclinations, will be sacked on the basis of preaching his faith at some point in his service, a right that is guaranteed in the Constitution also.  I demand that any censure based on stating religious principles should be examined by a regular civil court and all expenses paid by the State. ”

Antoun said: “I think Mariam that your apprehension might be founded.  Gergis, would you include in the Party principles something to the effect that faith is necessary for the spiritual stability of the Nation but that human Reason is capable and well endowed of forecasting changes in society and providing the appropriate remedies for the survival and development of the Nation?”

Mariam replied: “I suggest that we add in the Nation’s Constitution a clear article that no authority in the land should have the power to persecute any citizen based on his religious beliefs or to proclaim any religion unlawful unless we are ready to ban religions all together as anathema to unity and progress of our Nation”

Antoun said: “Mariam, you are driving a good bargain that should satisfy the Party and the Nation.  I guess we have to bite this bitter pill since we have a wide variety of sects and refrain by law from forced persecution no mater how small a sect might be or to our distaste. I have to agree that the Aram Nation is going to be a precarious nation unless it enjoys a long peaceful reprieve with strong infusions of unifying and tolerant leaders. Are we all agreed on Mariam’s article?”

Mustafa said: “I can go along this line of thinking if we could overcome the material power of the clergy.  I think that we have to target the essence of their power, mainly their riches. We already have taxed donations in money and their best parcel of lands which allowed us to study the trend in people behavior toward the hegemony of the clergy; now we need to study the problem of pro bono work on the clergy lands simply because the peasants are scared on the status of their after death.  I suggest that the clergy properties and profits should be taxed as any business. Donations should be taxed more heavily and pro bono work need to be revisited.   If the peasants are not paid by the clergy then part of the fruit of their labor that increases profits should return to the State to invest it for the benefit of all the society.”

Gergis added: “These suggestions are pleasant to my ears because their rationales are sound and just. I move to adopt this taxing scheme.”

Mariam said: “Don’t you share my view Mustafa that this new tax is proposed in the worst time?”

Antoun said: “I tend to disagree with you Mariam. I think this tax is an excellent idea and very timely.  We know that the citizens are aware of the clergy injustices and unfair privileges. We could use the citizens’ restlessness and anger to our advantage by concentrating our effort and public pronunciations on that important platform. It is kind of killing more than one bird with one shot. If we all agree then I order Gergis to write-up the required laws and establish a list of priorities targeting the financial worth of the richest monasteries.”

Mustafa said: “May we add another criterion for the priority list?  I have been wondering whether to annex a few properties that are strategically important to the military?  The clergy has been giving us hard time and was successful in baffling our plans.”

Antoun replied: “You may coordinate with Gergis on that list.”

Mariam said:  “I think that we may have an opportunity to expand our schooling institutions by appropriating annexes to the monasteries or suitable lands by providing tax breaks in these instances.”

Antoun replied: “Am I familiar with your machinations Mariam!  Your alternative could be acceptable only on a case by case basis and only if the negotiations are done openly and the townspeople participate vigorously in the negotiations.”

Mariam flushed and said: “May I ask why the military is exempt from open and transparent negotiations?”

Antoun replied: “I could see that coming.  Actually it has nothing to do with paternalism or chauvinism. Historically, there is no love affair connecting the citizens with any military institution although no Nation was able to safeguard his integrity, independence and interest without a strong military institution.  In your case, every parent wants to educate his children and the odds are high that you will win your negotiations.  The way I look at it is that the service ministries are the cornerstones in the victory over the clergy. The more negotiations you win the more the people will grasp that this tax is for their interest and in no way intended to harass or persecute the clergy.  The victory of our platform resides in your zeal, stubbornness and continuous success.

Mustafa wanted clarifications and said: “I am interested in the strategy contemplated to win victory over the clergy’s power.”

Antoun replied: “The clergy is powerful because it is the people who lent them acceptance and support to manage their spiritual needs and they will revert to them at the first spiritual malaise once their stomach is empty and opportunities scarce.  Anyhow, back to your strategy Mustafa. First, this tax law should be a tight secret.  Second, the tax law has to pass the legislature quickly.  To achieve passing the law fast we need to select a judicious timing for convening the House; the meeting of the House could be held close to major religious celebrations so that the clergy representatives would fail to attend the meeting. Once the tax law is passed, legality would assure us a hefty leverage in our struggle.  Timing, readiness and quick actions are the means to our victory.”

 It was decided in that enclave that political parties would be legalized with conditions that their leaders, ideologies and funding be made public with the implicit primary objective of the government to acquire the necessary intelligence without undue pressures or disruption of the political situation.  It was also decided that the Aram National Party be funded through a special appropriation to the education ministry for only two years but kept a State secret and that Gergis would take a year sabbatical from his government functions to concentrate on the organization of the Party.  The First Emir planned to appoint each year a new leader for the Party and run his corresponding government functions in order to have a deeper and detailed comprehension of the intricacies of the government. Once the idea of forming a political party took hold in the First Emir’s mind his life regained some of its earlier enthusiasm.

The First Emir discovered a few days later that the ideas and principles of the Party had been disseminated slowly but surely in the last two years and he implicitly resented being kept in the dark for so long and this message came to him as a shock that he has been out of touch in the day-to-day running of the State and neglecting to frequently meet with his close associates and the citizens.

697.  Ultra orthodox Jews in Israel have lost it; (Mar. 9, 2010)

 

698.  Part 6: “Wild trails of Mount Lebanon” (Mar. 9, 2010)

 

699.  Your irascible kid will be ordered to get psychiatric treatments; (Mar. 9, 2010)

 

700.  Most magical liquid glass; (Mar. 10, 2010)

 

701.  Memoirs of a Nobel Peace Prize on Iran Islamic Revolution; (Mar. 10, 2010)

 

702.  Part 7: “On the wild trails of Mount Lebanon”; (Mar. 11, 2010)

 

703.  Part One: First love of Gibran K Gibran: Josephine Peabody; (Mar. 11, 2010)

 

704.  Who is Josephine Peabody (Gibran K Gibran first true love)? (Mar. 12, 2010)

 

705.  Part 8: “On the Wild trail of Mount Lebanon”; (Mar.13, 2010)

Part One. First true love of Gibran K Gibran: Josephine Peabody; (Mar. 11, 2010)

The Lebanese author Salim Mujais published “Letters of Khalil Gibran to Josephine Peabody”.

It is an Arabic book and the author decided on a new style: Gibran’s 82 letters are translated and Josephine diary “Psychic” is included, date to date, so that you are reading a joint diary of two people in love with no interference of the author’s opinions or comments.

When Josephine poems relates to Gibran, they are included in the daily commentary.  In addition, when Gibran’s works relate to Josephine then excerpts are attached to the joint diary.  It is unfortunate that Josephine’s letters to Gibran are still not found, although Gibran’s letters were gathered by Josephine.

Gibran met Josephine when he was barely 15 of age at a painting exhibition in Boston around 1898. Josephine was much older than Gibran. He sent her a drawing through his mentor FH. Day with these words “To the dear unknown Josephine Peabody”.

In the meantime, Gibran had traveled to Lebanon to learn Arabic and French at the college of Hekmeh (Wise).  Three months later, Gibran receives an unexpected letter from Josephine. The letter says something to the effect

“Mr. Day showed me many of your drawings and paintings in his possession; we talked about you.  I felt ecstatic the whole day after seeing your drawings because I could understand you through them.  I think your soul lives in a beautiful space.  This is the fate of people who can create beautiful things in arts; they enjoy complete happiness when they share their bread with others.  I live in an environment of noise in a crowded city.  I feel like a lost child seeking his true self.  Have you seen any deserts?  I think you listen to silence.  Forward me your news and I will tell you mine”

Gibran replied on Feb. 3, 1899 from Lebanon. The letter says: (words in brackets are as they were written)

“(when I received your letter) O, how happy, I was? How glad? So happy that the tongue of poor pen cannot put my joy in words. I feel (discontent) when I come to write (English), because I know not how to translate my thoughts as I want, but perhaps you (want) mind that, and I think I know enough to tell you that will keep your friendship in (midest) of my heart, and over that many miles of land and sea will always have a certain love for you and will keep the thought of you near my heart and will be no separation between you and my mind.  You wrote in your letter “I always keep things of that sort” and for a certain thing I am just like camera and my heart is the plate. I will not forget when you spoke with me that night in Mr. Day’s exhibition.  I asked Mr. Day “Who is the lady in black?” He said “She is miss (Beabody), a young poet and her sister is an artist”… I wonder “do you ever sit in a dark silent room listening to the music of the rain so calm that is”… With this letter I send a little drawing for remembrance.”

Note: Gibran’s English was still tentative, and it will take him years to master this language

The correspondence lasted till 1908.  Many letters are not dated and Josephine must have thrown away many letters during period of disagreement. Josephine died in 1922; she was married to Lionel Marx and had children.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2020
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Blog Stats

  • 1,376,502 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 720 other followers

%d bloggers like this: