Adonis Diaries

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The Sultan famous host

Rainbow over the Levant (a novel)

Antoun, President of Mount Lebanon, drove in a modest caravan to Acre and boarded a Levantine navy ship to Alexandria where he was met by the dignitaries, the remaining personnel of the Levant Consulate and emigrants…

After two days of sight seeing in Alexandria, he headed out in a lush caravan to Cairo to meet the Sultan.

The Grand Vizier of Egypt welcomed him with the customary protocol and the President was made to wait a whole week for an appointment with the Sultan.  The President of the Levant offered his valuable gifts and presented to the Sultan the respect of the Levantine government and citizens and reminded him of his loyalty toward the maintaining of peace, security and prosperity throughout the Mameluke empire.  The Sultan accepted the gift with modest thanks, followed by immediate denouncement:

The Sultan: “We have been hearing disturbing news about your lack of loyalty to our authority.  We will allow the Grand Vizier to speak now”.

The Grand Vizier (GV): “We have been receiving very alarming reports for many years of your friendship with many infidel Monarchs and Princes.  As you surely know, His highness the Sultan and his forefathers have sacrificed dearly to defeat and chase out the infidel Crusaders from our lands.

We have been vigilant and swore to God Almighty never to permit the infidels to desecrate our Holy Lands again. You have been dealing with the infidels for more than 25 years and you graciously welcomed them to travel throughout our dominion with your full knowledge of how it displeased our Highness the Sultan of all Egypt, Syria and Palestine.

You fled like a rabbit before the barbarian Tatars, leaving our riches and interests to be captured and our Moslem believers at their mercy without any opposition to save our Majesty’s Honor and Dignity.

You have been gallivanting in the infidel’s kingdoms, eating their bread, salt and their dirty pork meat, drinking wine with total disrespect to our values, tradition and customs.

We have been very patient with your behavior and allegiances because you paid the requisite tributes on time and managed to establish peace in his Majesty’s kingdom with little financial recourse to our treasury, but we have run out of patience lately.  You have been killing and executing Moslem believers without due recourse to our religious legal system or the approval of the appointed Viceroys.

You have disturbed our governing system, proclaimed a heretical written Constitution against the well founded rules and laws of the Chariaa and the Holy Koran.

You went even as far as giving yourself a new title of President that His Majesty the Sultan loath from the bottom of his heart. We have every reason to suspect that you intended to part company with our cherished Sultan of all Egypt, Syria and Palestine.  Can you respond to these charges of treachery and disobedience?”

The President calmly retorted:

“For 25 years, not a single European army dared to set foot on our Holy Land from the confines of Turkey to Northern Africa and our honor is preserved.  His Highness knows perfectly well that had we had the means to fight the barbarian Tatars we would have fought them as lions and would have saved Aleppo and Damascus from the infamy of falling in the hands of Timorlank.

I chose a harsh exile from my homeland, including Egypt, to save our citizens from Timorlank wrath to carry out his threats of invading our lands as reported to me by Ibn Khaldoun the messenger.

I kept my part of the bargain and stayed away as long as Timorlank was in Damascus.  I don’t eat pork and don’t like wine; otherwise my people would be too drunk to keep the peace.

I delayed as much as I could to ratify the written Constitution, but public pressure, without your political support in that difficult period, forced my hands to signing a system of government that was not to my liking also.  I would be pleased if your Majesty deigned to mention the names of his counselors who dared to spread calumnies in his presence.”

The GV: “I humbly ask his Majesty to permit the deletion of the last infamous sentence of this long list of unfounded rejoinders.”

The Sultan: “It would be almost impossible to restrict the number of informers and advisers, since we have been listening to these charges for many years with accumulated validation.”

The President: “I empathize with your Majesty.  I have been surrounded also with many close counselors who said what they thought would please my ears and chased away from my presence the just and honest people who had valid claims and recriminations.”

The GV: “Your Majesty, it seems that this infidel Emir from Mount Lebanon is taking much liberty in your presence.”

The President: “Your Majesty, before the infamous invasion of the barbarous Tatars of Syria, Mount Lebanon enjoyed prosperous trade relations with mighty Egypt and every one was well off and praying for the long life of Your Majesty.  If these trade embargoes are lifted we certainly would have the means to save the integrity of His Majesty’s territory. We always have been straight in keeping our word and delivering on agreements as the Grand Vizier acknowledged.”

The Sultan: “We will be hearing more of you in the coming month.  You may dispose safely and in honor.”

The Sultan was biased to his close counselors who harshly denounced the President as an agitator to foreign powers and kept reminding the Sultan that he was the sole Emir in the Mameluk’s Empire who dared visit the kingdoms of the execrable European invaders. These couselors mercilessly hammered the fact that for two centuries the Crusaders desecrated the Moslems religious sites and prevented the Moslems going on pilgrimage (haj) to Jerusalem.

 A month later, the President was confined to a small villa.  The retinue of the President was drastically reduced and visitors had to be granted special permission from the Grand Vizier of Egypt.  Three months later, the President of the Levant was officially detained.

The government back home showed unanimous support for its leader and decided to put up an all out resistance to the aggressor coming from Turkey in honor of the new pride, freedom and self determination they had enjoyed for three decades.




January 2023

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