Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Where are the natural counter-power intellectuals?

The natural counter-power intellectuals feel helpless when citizens are asked to vote for God or civic laws in the Arab World: The mission has always seemed insurmountable.

The hero is an Intellectual with a jihad mission to go one step further in this 100-year war…It took more than 3 centuries of such kind of “fallen heroes” to gain just a foot-hold…

La pratique intellectuelle a pour mission de s’interroger rationnellement sur le « comment » et le « pourquoi » de toutes choses.
Elle a pour essence le doute ,et le brouillard, et pour objectif le flirt avec la verite’ a travers l’acquisition du savoir pour enfin regarder le monde avec un esprit critique et le penser avec du bon sens.

La pratique intellectuelle a aussi pour mission de questionner et de faire réfléchir, elle est à la fois une gourmandise infinie et un contre-pouvoir.

Elle est même le plus puissant des contre-pouvoirs contre l’obscurantisme et le dogmatisme, l’aveuglement superstitieux et les préjugés.
L’intellectuel, se veut engager.

Or il n’y a d’engagement sans dérangement.

Le confort intellectuel est l’autre nom de la bêtise. Il faut donc frapper là où ça dérange, afin que l’on ait envie de participer activement, ardemment, au débat et finalement à la vie de la cite’.
Le plus scandaleux, c’est quand ceux-la n’alertent plus, n’avertissent plus, ne denoncent plus, gardent leur silence.

Pire c’est quand ils passent d’un cote’ de la barriere a l’autre.
Pendant longtemps, l’intellectuel dit « de gauche » a pris la parole et s’est vu reconnaître le droit de parler en tant que maître de vérité et de justice.

Meme dans notre monde arabe ce fut le cas. On l’écoutait, ou il prétendait se faire écouter comme représentant de l’universel.

Etre intellectuel, c’était être un peu la conscience de tous. (…) Il y a bien des années qu’on ne demande plus à l’intellectuel de jouer ce rôle. (…)

Les intellectuels ont pris l’habitude de travailler non pas dans l’universel, l’exemplaire, le juste-et-le-vrai-pour-tous, mais a ghettoye’ le savoir, de l’instrumentaliser au profit d’une personne, d’un capital, d’un engagement materiel.

Finies les luttes pour l’autre, on lutte pour soi, mais avec quel acharnement.
De generateurs de consciences collectives, de contre-pouvoirs, d’eclaireurs de nouvelles voies, les intellectuels des regimes arabes et ceux du printemps arabe, reduisent leur role a celui de “ la voix de leur maître” et non comme une “Voix” a part.

Ils n’ont garde qu’une cigarette en main et une chemise deboutonnee, et un esprit sclerose.

(Inspire par Bourdieu/ Foucault)

Note: The intellectuals in the Middle-East still are confused about their Nationality. Most of the are sectarians and confine their opinions within their State/regime. Many, and they are majority, implicitly dream of an illusory Islamic/Arabic Nation, just because it is Not founded on any tangible reality and they stay within the realm of daydreaming wishes because they are confused in their political objectives and appease their leaders.

The objective and engaged intellectuals should view the Syrian nation (including the States of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) as the most rational and effective strategy of a unified One People to defeat our existential enemies in Israel and expansionist Turkey of Erdogan.

Among these clichés: What your personal experience Disprove?

1. Good things happen to who can wait…

2. Love can conquer all difficulties…

3. Follow your strong passions…

4. Man is a rational specie…

5. Genes/Nature account for most personal characteristics and life achievement…

6. Timing is everything…

7. Success is the result of consecutive failures…

8. Practice has nothing to do with theory…

9. Formal Education should not be an official obligation…

10. Critical moments Completely change your world view model…

Cases of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya…

Are secular and national concepts anathema to Arab/Islamic spirit?

The successive “freer election” processes in the Arab/Islamic States that overturned dictator regimes are bringing in to power Islamic political parties, with almost landslides. 

In Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, where parliamentary elections have proceeded, the Islamic “Muslim Brotherhood” parties called “Party of Justice”, in emulation of the Turkish Islamic party in power, have captured no less than 40% of the votes. 

In Egypt, even the ultra-conservative Islam (the Wahhabi Saudi Arabia brand of extreme obscurantism) has come second to the “Muslim Brotherhood” party with about 25% of the votes…

The election laws and procedures are very complicated, favoring the political parties with heavy financial funding from foreign States such as Saudi Monarchy/ Arab Gulf Emirate States/USA..

.The Islamic parties are the best organized and have invested in rural areas for decades: Such as local schools, health services (dispensaries, hospitals…), social services for the poorer communities..

.Basically, filling the vacuum that regimes failed to cover and care for…

Religions in all States have the basic power of rallying the poorer classes and downtrodden around mythical concept that play on the hope of better life, if Not on earth, at least in heaven.

Islam is one of the religion that through daily praying practices assemble millions in specific location. These assemblies are perfect for propagating coded orders to elect specific candidates

Fernando Lugo, priest, and President of Paraguay? A return to the bloody 80s…

Andrew Nickson posted in Open Democracy on July 10:

Fernando Lugo, the radical priest and a former Catholic bishop, elected Paraguay’s president in 2008 after decades of authoritarian rule, has been deposed less than a year before the end of his term.

Is this dramatic turn of events, rooted in the strains produced by economic transformation, and the limits of the country’s democratisation?

Paraguay’s capital city of Asuncion  witness a rare constitutional and political drama on June 21.

First, the 80-member lower house of Paraguay’s congress initiated a move to impeach President Fernando Lugo, and voted by a 76-1 majority to support it;

Second, the next day, in a lightning session lasting less than two hours, the 45-member upper house (senate) concluded the process by a vote of 39-4.

Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop, had been elected Paraguay’s president in April 2008 on a platform of social change. The vote ended 61 years of uninterrupted rule by the Colorado Party, much of it under the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-89).

It was the first time since 1887 – when Paraguay’s two traditional parties, the Colorados and the Liberals, were created – that a political party had relinquished power to another through the ballot-box rather than through a military coup (see “Paraguay: Fernando Lugo vs the Colorado machine“, 28 February 2008).

Note: Paraguay is controlled by US multinationals. The border country Uruguay has regained its democracy

What are these jargon: Macro and micro policies, leadership, economics, management…?

Like stating: “Macro-leadership is just as bad as micro-management.” 

During a conversation with Dan Rockwell, Henry Mintzberg explained that, “It’s destructive to separate management from leadership. Leaders need to get their hands dirty.”

No buy in: Mintzberg believes that leaders focused on setting strategy and vision but who are removed from the front lines eventually develop a vision for the organization so out of touch that the rest of the organization fails to buy in.

Frustrated buy in: Mintzberg also believes there’s something worse than failure to buy in. There’s the problem of buying into a pie-in-the-sky vision but being incapable of taking any steps toward realization.

More devastating: Disconnected strategy and vision is one problem with macro-leadership but there’s something more devastating.

“Arrogance comes from detachment.” Henry Mintzberg

When I asked Mintzberg to share the one piece of advice he most loves to share he said one word, “Connect.

Humility: Connecting expresses, creates, and nurtures humility. Withdrawal suggests independence; connecting requires interdependence.

Humility is always practice never theory. (curious to discover all the alternatives and potentials for improvement?)

Talking humility without practicing humility results in arrogance. When Jesus said let the leader among you be as one who serves, he turned leadership on its head and explained the cure for arrogance.

“Humility is common sense… None of us is an expert at everything… Humility is holding power for the good of others.” John Dickson.

Sources of arrogance: Facebook contributors suggest sources of arrogance include:

  1. Fear.
  2. Being surrounded by indulgent “yes” people.
  3. Being a talker not a doer.
  4. Prior success. You think you know how to make it work because it worked before.
  5. Not being okay with saying I don’t know.

See more reader contributions on Facebook.

Mintzberg’s latest book: “Managing


How do leaders connect? What prevents leaders from connecting?

“The most beautiful History of Man”

Apparently, we are not permitted to look at our ancestors, 100,000 years ago, with condescendence:

we are the same in nature, in heredity, in intelligence, in behavior, in mode of life, in our imaginary,…

We have the same identity and we didn’t change much from prehistorical mankind, before he moved up one step in the ladder toward settling down in urban centers (the neolitic phase, 10,000 years ago)

Note: “The most beautiful History of Man” is a French book, a collection of three interviews with Andre Langaney, Jean Clottes, Jean Guilaine, and Dominique Simonnet…

Note 2:

“Two or three things that I know about…” Part two

Sabine de Bustros and Loris Moutran had a bunch of questions.

For two years, they interviewed 28 French personalities whom they never met before, and gathered their responses.  This part include samples of answers.

1  If the night could say a word?

2  What is eternity?

3  If you were an echo?

4  If you were a gesture?

5  What cannot be communicated?

6  What is fear?

7  What do you watch alone?

8  What you could never forget?

9  How do you negotiate with the unknown?

10 You are a tear drop: Where do you stop?

11 You are a caress: Where do you land?

12 What is sadness?

13 What is smile?

14 What is an emotion?

15 What silence holds?

16 What cannot be grabbed?

17 What is the impossible?

18 What is not logical?

19 Any use for the redundant?

20 What is beauty?

21 What is decency?

22 What is leaving?

23 What is your noise?

24 What give eternity to emotions?

25 What gesture for sadness?

26 If pain was a location: Where would it be?

27 If soul could give a kiss: Where would it be given?

28 If tears could form a sentence?

29 What is the Hour of the moon?

30 What is the gift of autumn?

31 What is a terrible love?

32 What is the sound of solitude?

33 If you were an error, a mistake?

34 What season describes best?

35 What mark would you leave?

36 Ask a single question to God

37 What book you like to be?

38 What fictitious love affair you like to have?

39 Where is your ideal  stopover?

40 What is an instant?

41 What’s the origin of solitude?

42 What is your preferred dance?

43 Your preferred water?

44 Preferred light?

45 Preferred rhythm?

46 preferred work of art?

47 Preferred Word?

48 Space you would hate to fill?

49 If you were a lie?

50 Is fire a beginning or an end?

51 If you were a form?

52 A question most revealing about you?

53 In what shape should God appear?

54 A single reason to selling your soul?

55 What would you suppress or delete if you were immortal?

56 What is induced sadness?

57 The single fear you would like to confront?

58 What in life is never anticipated?

59 What justify the truth of a word?

60 What word is as powerful as a storm?

61 The music of your life?

62 How to be reincarnated?

63 The difference between destiny and fatality

64 Name your prime emotion

65 What God should know?

66 A compliment that destabilizes you?

67 Time is a wheel or a stage?

68 Is life a question or an answer?

69 Would you build in space or in time?

70 What would you introduce as a preamble?

71 What is your own question?

Comparing election law alternatives for Lebanon’s Parliamentary election (in 2014)

Note: Mind you that this article was written in 2014.

Since then 17 alternative laws have been presented and none of them were discussed in Parliament, with the tacit intention of renewing their mandate without any election. This parliament renewed their tenure twice and is about to renew it for a few more months.

This year 2017 is witnessing the same process in order Not to change the law. Apparently, a form of proportional is becoming inevitable, though the districts are meant to retain the old feudal and militia leaders.

The new season and collection of political headlines is out in Lebanon, and this year’s theme is the electoral law.

It is all we can read and hear about these days no matter where we turn; national TV, newspapers, facebook, twitter, bakeries, and even coffee shops.

Let’s try to go through our different options together and objectively determine what law to support.


In case you are not familiar with the terms, simple majority means winner takes all.

while proportional representation means you get a seat if your support is just the right size (If small politicians do not support proportional representation then they are not small… they are micro).

The above presents five proposals with coalitions, the government, and independent politicians pushing and shoving for one over the other.

The only thing that is common, and that all our politicians practically agree on, is to keep the sectarian division. This means the Parliament is divided based on religious representation.

Some politicians might claim one proposal is “more sectarian” than the other, but that is just because they will lose a couple of seats in Parliament, not because of their ideals.

The sad truth is that the politicians today are negotiating the results of the elections. They are simply re-dividing the seats among each other and negotiating the distribution of power in Lebanon.

Most voters will continue to vote for the same leader they have been voting for during the past couple of decades.

What we are looking at is a simple game of rotating thrones between lords. The only difference is that we have more than 30 lords seeking the throne, and the Realm is one twelfth the size of New York State.

(Actually, only 5 leaders are deciding of everything in Lebanon. Once they agree, the process follow through)

So to answer the question I posed in the beginning of the article on which electoral law to choose, my answer is none.

I refuse to enter a selection process that is completely separated from the notion of freedom.

I will not wait for the results of the brokered deal to know how free the electoral law will make me. I am free today by making my own choices based on my reason, emotions, and beliefs.

I choose to do what is right for me and for the people in my society. That is the electoral law I will support.

Cedric Choukeir is the regional director of the the World Youth Alliance in the Middle East and North Africa.

Controversy engulfs Oscar-nominated Palestine documentary

Oscar-nominated “5 Broken Cameras” has become a source of controversy among this year’s Oscar nominations, following Israel’s apparent appropriation of ownership in the wake of its nomination in the Best Feature-Length Documentary category.

The film collects together years’ worth of footage of demonstrations surrounding the struggle of the Palestinian villagers of Bilin, near the West Bank apartheid wall, which Palestinian film maker Emad Burnat originally collected together for Electronic Intifada.

Immediately following the film’s nomination, Burnat issued a statement saying:  “This is one of the happiest moments of my life.

Chris Newbould posted on Jan 28, 2013 in Middle East digital production

The village of Bilin is celebrating because of international support of my film. As a child I remember watching the Oscars on TV … I don’t recall seeing films about Palestine, the occupation or our struggles. Times have changed.”

It wasn’t long before the situation became more complicated.

Almost immediately following the nomination, the Israeli press, as well as sections of the US media, began referring to the film as an ‘Israeli’ one, with even the Israeli Embassy in Washington describing it as such when Tweeting its delight at the film’s nomination.

Burnat, unsurprisingly, disagreed, stating on his Facebook page that the film is a: “Palestinian film … My story, my village story, my people’s story, seven years I was working on the film.

Certainly the subject matter is hardly one you would expect Israel to be queueing up to applaud in the absence of an Oscar nomination, but things become yet more complicated as the film did indeed receive Israeli funding, as well as Palestinian and French funding, and also had two directors – Burnat himself, and Israeli co-director Guy Davidi.

Davidi seems to have attempted to play down the furor,  conceding that the film is both Palestinian and Israeli, and stating that he does not feel films should come with citizenship.

Indeed, technically the film’s citizenship should be of no relevance in this case.

It has not been nominated in the ‘Foreign Film’ categories, so no origin needs attaching to it for Oscar purposes, while both the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the Palestinian Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions National Committee have confirmed it is not boycottable under their own regulations, which do not require the boycotting of artists who receive Israeli funding, providing their work is independent from the will of the Israeli state and government.

However, it seems the battle lines over ownership of the film have well and truly been drawn now, and indeed Burnat was quoted recently by a journalist at Australia’s Middle east News Service as saying: “If Israel continues to state that it is an Israeli film, I will pull the film from the Oscars. If Academy awards organizers would present Five Broken Cameras as an Israeli film – I won’t not there … all said and done it’s a Palestinian film. It was filmed here and presents the story of the village.

People in Bil’in say ‘we made a film that documents a seven years’ struggle to remove fence, and in the end you go to Israel and hand them over a gift?’ On the street they do not understand what is a co-production.”

The story seem set to run and run right up to the Oscar’s and beyond”.

The point is that this is not in a category where the national origin of the film is an issue, like in the Foreign Film category. For the Israelis to go around saying this is an “Israeli” production while in fact it is a Palestinian film about the struggle of a Palestinian village against Israel is total hypocrisy meant basically to steal the film’s thunder.

Note: The interview on CNN of Palestinian film maker Emad Burnat


“Purge” by Sofi Oksanen

Zara was born in Vladivostok, on the farthest eastern Russia’s port, facing Japan. She lived with her mother Linda and grandmother Ingel, originally from Estonia and who were purged and transferred to Siberia and then let free after Stalin died.

Grandma Ingel favorite position is sitting by a window and watching the Big Bear constellation.

Zara is planning to go to medical school but cannot afford it. Her school friend Oksanka stopped by in a Black Volga and accompanied by two body guards. Oksanka is wearing a fox coat with the fox head dangling on one side of her shoulder and transparent silk socks, and looking totally gorgeous and luxurious. Oksanka gave Zara expensive brochures on luxury hotels and the promise of plenty of money to reap in Germany, working as waitress.

Before leaving Vladivostok, grandmother gave Zara an old picture of the two sisters Ingel and Aliide, 5 years younger than Ingel. The address of the house in also extended so that Zara might pay a visit and check who is now living in the country house, since Estonia is close to Germany.

Zara was working as sex slave in Germany and handled by Pacha and Lavrenti. These two mafioso are Russians, and Lavrenti is an ex-KGB. Zara is taken to Tallinn, Capital of Estonia, for its booming business in casinos and illegal trades.

Zara managed to run away and ended up in a pitiful condition in the garden of a house facing a majestic forest.

Alliide or Liide is not hot to step out and coming to the aid of this wretched girl: Many incidences of girls bating homes to get inside and valueing what can be stolen are frequent now. And old Allide lives alone.

Zara is permitted to have a hot bath and to sleep over.

The next day, Zara faked that her picture of the two sisters fell from the paint paper in the kitchen and asked more information. Liide didn’t show interest in the picture and falsely claimed that her older sister had stolen from the community farm kolkhoz and was dispatched to Russia in punishment, and that she has no idea where she is…

Engel and Hans were deeply in love, married and had Linda who gave birth to Zara. And Aliide was too jealous of this happy couple.

Aliide had done everything to have Engel out-of-the-way so that she keeps Hans close by, all for herself. (That’s the story to follow)

A couple of days later, the two mafioso parked in front of the house. Aliide hide Zara in the storage room behind a cupboard in the kitchen, the same hiding place where Aliide sustained Hans (the husband of Ingel) for many years from the eyes of the Soviet secret services.

The mafioso started interrogating Aliide faking to be police officers and after a girl who assassinated a person and is highly dangerous. They informed Aliide who are the parents of Zara and Aliide is now wondering about the real purpose of Zara, landing on her garden, and the reality of the two sisters picture she showed her… But Aliide got confirmed on the girl real frightened condition, running away from these criminals, particularly that they were wearing black leather coats and long boots that were used by secret services.

The two finally left on the understanding that they’ll be back the next day if Aliide heard anything from the neighborhood.

The next day, Aliide was ready and shot the two mafioso with the same gun of Hans.

The mafioso carried the passport of Zara and plenty of cash money, and Zara was sent in a taxi to Tallinn and from there to Vladivostok.

Aliide sat down and wrote a letter to her sister Ingel and informed her that she can come back and resume the procedures for getting back the land and forest of the family…

Meanwhile, Aliide is planning to have the house burned down as she is lying down in the storage room, where Hans, her impossible love, had made to suffocate to death…

This is not the story of Zara, Linda, or Ingel or sex slave…. This is the story of Aliide Truu. To be continued.

Note 1: This book was translated to French and was selected as the 2010 Prize of the Readers (Prix des Lecteurs)

Note 2: Follow-up review

Note 3: Short history of tiny State of Estonia

The Hanseatic trade started in the 12th century and the Porte-Glave Knights from Germany Catholisized this country in the 13th century.

The Christian Orthodox,led by Alexander Nevski confronted the Catholics in a battle on Lake Peipsi and the borders were stabilized between the two Christian sects.

Sweden occupied Estonia in the 17th century and Peter the Great of Russia supplanted the Swedes in the 18th century after finally defeating them in Narva.

Slavery was abolished in 1810 and Russian institutions were implanted as of 1885.

Estonia proclaimed its independence in 1918 from Russia after the Bolshevik October revolution and the flag Blue-Black-White was replaced.

Between February and November of 1918, Germany occupied Estonia and vacated after its defeat in WWI

Feb. 1920 witnessed the signing of Tartu Peace Treaty with Soviet Russia and a new constitution was adopted on June 1920.

Estonia became a member of The League of Nations in 1921 and the Communist party was banished.

By the end of 1939 and after a deal with Nazi Germany, Russia entered Estonia and the Germanophiles were repatriated to Germany, and a massive wave of immigration to the USA and western Europe took place. Estonia was declared a Socialist Soviet State in 1940.

The massive deportation to Siberia started in earnest in 1941.

On July 1941 and through 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Estonia and another wave of immigration began. The Jew preferred to go to Russia on the border.

Russia reoccupied Estonia in 1944 and another massive immigration was on its way, especially to Finland. A national resistance was waged in the forests under the “Brothers of the Forest” movement

!945 witnessed forced massive immigration of Russians to Estonia in order to control this country effectively.

1949, another massive wave of deportation to Siberia of Estonians and the massive collectivization of farms till 1952.

From 1956 to 62,and under Krutchev,  massive returns of Estonian deportees to Russia

In 1988, the Supreme Soviet proclaimed the sovereignty of Estonia

Estonia is a member of the UN in 1991 and a new constitution is adopted in 1992.

The last Russian troops vacate Estonia in 1994.




March 2023

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