Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘State out of subject matters

A State “out of subject matters”: Lebanon, by Dr. Jamil Berry (Part 2, November 10, 2008)

In this section I will expound and even extrapolate on Dr. Jamil Berry understanding and views on the Lebanese social and political structures.

It was an opportunity for me to recall at least a dozen articles, essays and book reviews that I published on wordpress.com.

Dr. Jamil Berry discussed and reported a few of his observations and his friends’ perceptions and concepts on Lebanon’s geo-political and social structure.

Dr. Berry agrees with Israel’s confirmed view on the State of Lebanon as a “Lie” since Lebanon’s independence in 1943, as if the existence of the State of Israel is not the greatest “Lie” in this century.  Israel’s position on the State of Lebanon coincides to some extent with the view of the regional powers as “a dismembered State” that the colonial powers’ objective for Lebanon was to be a corridor or a land aircraft carrier for intelligence gathering and the front to any destabilization schemes to the Middle East region.

The same can be said about the State of Israel: an advanced US land aircraft carrier meant to exploit the Jewish mercenary religious beliefs in order to keeping the Middle East in a state of disorientation and preventing any serious unification process that may jeopardize the flow of inexpensive oil and facilitate inexpensive commerce.

Dr. Berry comprehends the caste system of Lebanon which is represented by 19 closed sect castes and increasing each year.  This caste system views as anathema for the State of Lebanon to establish a strong central government because their respective free float interests would be imperiled.  Thus, Lebanon is meant to experience a civil war every 30 years so that to destroying and exhausting any accumulation of energy and good will for instituting a strong government.

All the foreign powers and regional powers know these facts except the Lebanese citizens who prefer to survive on chimerical dreams of a full fledged “nation”; sometime referred to as Phoenicia, or Canaan or Arab or even French or Switzerland of the East.

Dr. Berri knows the “maternity of this tiny State.  It was at London, on May 1916; at 10 Downing Street exactly.  Mark Sykes (England) and Francois-Georges Picot (France) gave it birth by dividing the Near East region after WWI. Lebanon was part of the Syrian steppes and then became a geo-political corridor” (under the administration of the Christian Maronite sect).

The idea of Israel was created by England around 1907 when England realized that it needed a buffer zone to protect its interests in India through Egypt by eliminating any kind of unification in the foreseeable future.  The Balfour declaration in 1917 was to give it body by naming the owners of this buffer zone; indeed, the “Jews arrived carrying their Bible as an act of ownership” for the Prime Real Estate called Palestine.

Consequently, Lebanon has a concentration of 600,000 Palestinians within 4 millions Lebanese.

The successive governments in Lebanon, in order not to destabilize the sectarian ratios, got hold of the UN resolution 193 for “the right of the Palestinians to return to Palestine” by forbidding the Palestinians citizenship and even the rights to work within Lebanon but solely within their delimited ghetto camps!

Dr. Berry at one point felt that all his paragraphs might all ends in exclamation marks! (That would change the title to “The current history of the State of Lebanon: a string of exclamation marks!”)

Israel had constantly claimed the security of its borders to wage offensive preemptive wars against the Arab States surrounding it. At each war, Israel would nibble a small or a large chunk and after digesting it then it would repeat her “border security tactics claims”.  In fact, Israel is the only state in the UN that refused to define its borders; I wonder if Israel can be considered a legitimate State under the UN requirements.

Dr. Berry wrote an open letter to Israel. The gist of it is that Israel has a heavy density of scientists and we have the water; so why not cooperate and start sharing our strengths?

The answer would be when the US would stop considering oil as a strategic product and permit Israel to mingle as another Near Eastern society, which it is, in matter of fact, by the majority of Jews of Arabic or Islamic extractions who immigrated to Israel.

Note 1: I have stated in part one that the Classical French language is fraught with polysemism (a word that might have several meanings) but its slang is much worse because the root of the word has no relationship with the meaning of the other half a dozen meanings.

In the formal Arabic language almost any word might have several meanings, out and in context, if the consonants are devoid of accents.  The language do have all the vowels in addition to the accents that have the same vocals of a, o, u, e or i, neutral sound, and impression on the consonant that represents repeat of the consonant.  Thus, a word of three consonants can have a combination of a dozen meanings but still firmly related to the root of the word.

Actually, the original Jahilia Arabic, during the period of the Prophet Muhammad, Arabic had no accentuation marks whatsoever.  It is after the conquest of Persia and Syria and Egypt that Arabic had to diversify and then to expand in order to accommodate the most civilized societies in this period of history.

Note 2: Following on note 1, beside remote China and India, were the other advanced civilization along Persia and Syria (represented by the Byzantium hegemony).  The civilizations of Persia and India were intertwined.  The civilization of Syria (present Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine) is fundamentally Mediterranean; it influenced and assimilated the cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Arab and then the Crusaders coming from Medieval Europe.

A State “out of subject matters” (Lebanon), by Dr. Jamil Berry, (November 9, 2008)

I am reading in French “Le Liban, pays hors sujets?” by Dr. Jamil Berry.

This manuscript is 164 pages, funny, tragic, and within the subject matter.  It is a partial autobiography covering 4 years of a Lebanese surgeon who decided to return from France and practice surgery in 1992, just after Lebanon was getting out of 17 years of civil war.

Dr. Berry, of the Moslem Shiaa sect and from south Lebanon of the town of Tebnine, was absent of Lebanon for 22 years and he arrived in 1992 to share in rebuilding of the medical institutions and surgical staff.  He was first confronted with a pseudo Lebanon of what he had in mind.

It is a story of a State where the higher the mark of luxury of the car and the more sumptuous the palaces, the higher the indication of a personality within the State’s affluence. In the same time, this affluence is inversely proportional in the scale of redundancy.

Jamil Berry was 17 year-old when he landed in Bordeaux, France, to join a medical university. Berry’s French is highly classical but he was extremely unfamiliar with the slang of this nation.  He was under the impression that “bagniol” (car) might imply a girl friend. His French friend invited him to a ride in his bagniol which he used to lend to his father, and clients of his father and which bounces nicely. Jamil first refused the ride with “bagniol”; when Jamil’s friend came for breakfast before going out for the ride Jamil asked him “Why your bagniol is not joining us? Do call up your bagniol”. 

The Classical French language is fraught with polysemism (a word might have several meanings) but the slang is much worse because the root of the word has no relationship with the meaning of the other dozen meanings. For example, “pepins” (seeds) might mean seed, umbrella, minor troubles, redundant objects, and others.

The main characteristic of Downtown Beirut was dust, dust and more dust and heavy-duty vehicles removing debris and crashing down crumbling building.  The Lebanese “citizen” was in a period of classifying in his memory the events, images and horrors that he went through and thus was in a haggard state, confused and mighty serene with his unfocused eyes; a young man bumped the rear of a parked car and the profusion of his excuses meant that he was actually looking intently in front of him but still he didn’t see the car!

Dr. Berry received clients in clinics on West and East Beirut but he charged higher fees his Christian patients because they could afford it.

In a month time, he saved $100 and invited his French wife to a restaurant; it turned out that the $100 bill was faked! Once, Dr. Berry applied to the hospital “Hotel Dieu”, fundamentally a French hospital and run by Christian administrators and physicians; his application was denied: the highly professionals are still endemic sectarians and regional.

A year later, Dr. Berry joined a French delegation for the program of twining 4 public hospitals with corresponding hospitals in France for gaining training and experience in running hospitals.

The staff at “Hotel Dieu” was beside itself for having to answer to Dr. Berry in order to receive financial aid.

Many public hospitals applied for the twining program and were denied: the applications were rhetorical and lacked graphs, charts and scientific compactness in contents and presentation.

Every Friday, Jamil practiced a day in his hometown Tebnine at its public hospital that was directed by a Colonel in the Army.  The Colonel was complaining that young people, no more than 35 years old, were dying suddenly. It happened that Israel was bombarded this area for 45 minutes and sucked up all the energy in Dr. Berry.

Jamil told the Colonel that these deaths can be explained and it is related to economy: the people in south Lebanon never have the time to recuperate their energies and one day the high energy deficit reclaims sudden death.

In the summer of 1993, Israel launched a 5-day preemptive war on Lebanon from air and sea and south Lebanon was under heavy fire.  Dr. Berry volunteered to join Tebnine’s hospital.  The Minister of Health took him aside and said “Reflect well. This is a real war. Your patients would not be victims of car accidents”.

The horror was reaching Tebnine in Red Cross ambulances.  At one junction, an Israeli Apache helicopter hovered in a stand still position for 7 minutes in front of their ambulance; each minute was an eternity because Israel shoots on purpose ambulances and then claim “collateral damage” incidents.

Going toward Tyre to unload medicines and board another ambulance, the 28 year-old nurse Carla was sitting beside Jamil: her job during the trip was to shield Dr. Berry with her body from any Israeli rocket. In Tebnine, the veiled nurses kissed and hugged Dr. Berry: customs are out in frightening moments.

The Minister of Health decided to visit two public hospitals in the south after the war.  He brought rhetoric instead of dire needed cash and medicines and equipments! This State is outside the subject matters and their officials and counselors out of subjects.

Then came the full-scale preemptive war of April 12, 1996 when Israel bombarded Lebanon for 15 days and destroyed for nth time all Lebanon’s infrastructures or what was left of them; it culminated in the slaughter in the town of Qana where citizens were taking refuge in a UN compound, 107 died instantly and hundreds would die in later days from injuries. Dr. Berry was in the hospital of Tebnine that accommodated over one thousand refugees; he also witnesses an Israeli F16 rocket 4 times a poor potable water reservoir that served 200, 000 inhabitants of the region!

Dr. Berry expounded on how the 150 private hospitals are blackmailing the government and siphoning $400 millions from the treasury just for reserving “beds” for surgery cases that the public hospitals are equipped to perform and how the powerful lobby of the owners of private hospitals are pressuring the governments from investing in public sanitary institutions and also preventing any accounting, inspections or control.

This manuscript contains many more stories, an open letter to Israel and another to the Lebanese government and political structure.


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adonis49

adonis49

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