Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Yasmine

Selfi Mohammad Chaar: “16-year old is not a Martyr nor a Hero”?

This is another re-post on the subject. This one was selected as one of the top posts on wordpress.com
16 year old Mohammad Chaar is not a Martyr nor a Hero.

I feel like I have no right to even mention your name.

I have been sitting at home reading the #RIPMohammadChaar tweets for the past four hours.

Your friend Yasmine broke my heart.

It’s killing me. Wow, what a weird choice of words.

I am going to make it worse by telling you that it’s not fair. And that no, you are not a martyr and that no, you are not a hero.

You are 16.

You still don’t know what you want to do, you just want to be stupid, have fun and stay up late with friends.

You want to kiss someone under the rain, steal your parent’s car, get into college, get a part time job and dance in the streets.

You won’t.

It’s unfair but you won’t.

You won’t because you were murdered and robbed from your friends and family. You won’t because some lowlife squeezed a button.

You did not pick this battle, you did not look for it.

Heroes and martyrs usually know what they’r fighting for.

Right now you are a murder victim.

You are not a hero. The only way for you to become a Hero is if your death does not go in vain.

The only way for you to be a martyr for a cause is if your death causes a change.

Every time this happens we hear the same reactions; and innocent people are automatically given martyrdom and hero status as if they were looking to die; for some cause that we don’t know of.

None of the innocent bystanders wanted to die.

If we gave them all a choice they would not have wanted to die, especially that it always goes in vain.

We cry and get angry, we organize a march or a sit in and then we forget.

Every single time! We get angry, we cry and then we forget.

This is going to happen again.

That’s the sad part, we all know that another bomb is going to blow up somewhere again soon. We have to do something about it.

We have to, this is unbearable.  We cannot accept this anymore, we cannot just sit and watch as homes are shattered, as people’s lives change in a second for nothing! We cannot stand by when 16 year old kids get slaughtered in mid day for reasons that we do not believe in!

We are not allowed to act cool anymore every time a bomb goes off and go have a drink because “nothing keeps us down”…

We cannot distance ourselves from the victims. Guys, anyone of us could have been there when the bomb went off.

I am sick of making phone calls to make sure everyone I know is alive every time a bomb goes off! (Actually, my nephew called a minute after the explosion to relieve our anxiety that he might be one of the victims)

Do you understand what we are getting used to? This is not the norm.

This has to change, we have a responsibility to change it: like it or not, more sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, cousins and friends are going to die!

Like it or not the bombs are going to keep going off!

Like it or not you are already in this fight! Someone is already killing you!

This is where we decide that enough is enough.

Our friends and families souls are not just statistics and numbers in a newspaper.

Our parents went through even worse times, they had non of the abilities and tools that we now have.

This is the time for us as a generation to say that we have had enough.

Mohammad’s friends are organizing a march that will start from his school “Hariri high school 2″ (next to Lycee Abdel Kader in Zarif) at 10a.m Monday morning leading to where the explosion took place (Details on this Facebook link).

They are asking people to get a white flower with them. They should be joined by students from all over the country. They should be joined by all of us.

This should not end here. I have a feeling it won’t. There already are calls for action.

Once and for all, let us make real Martyrs and real Heroes out of the innocents who have died.

Enough people have died in vain.

“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.”- Søren Kierkegaard

Note: Another repost by Diaa Hadid, Associated Press, this December 30, 2013

‘Selfie’ captures slain teen’s last moments before powerful car bomb set off in ritzy Lebanese shopping district

Warning: Graphic images

It’s a happy moment, a selfie taken by a group of teenagers on a sunny day in downtown Beirut. Mohammed Shaar sits among his friends in a red hoodie and his dark-framed glasses.

The next photos, captured by journalists only moments later, are tragic. The 16-year-old Shaar lies mortally wounded, his red hoodie and his blood forming a scarlet blur on the pavement – an anonymous civilian casualty of a car bomb that killed a prominent politician.

The before-and-after montage of Shaar, who died of his wounds a day after Friday’s bombing, has rattled Lebanese who in Shaar’s ordinary-turned-horrifying day saw their own lives and potentially their own fate.

The Lebanese teenager has since become a symbol of a population held ransom (by the country’s widening violence and swelling tensions between Sunnis and Shiites, exacerbated by the war in neighbouring Syria and foreign powers meddling in our crappy internal affairs).

On Monday, hundreds of Shaar’s fellow students marched to the Starco building, outside of which the bombing took place. They held signs saying “We are all Mohammed,” waved the Lebanese flag and left flowers.

The powerful car bomb targeted Mohammed Chatah, a former finance minister (allied with the Hariri clan and Al Moustakbal movement).

Chatah’s allies in a mainly Sunni political coalition, backed by the West, quickly pointed the finger at the Shiite Hezbollah guerrilla group, which denied the accusations.

But the blast, on a main avenue of the ritzy downtown shopping district, killed not only Chatah and his driver but also 8 passers-by – including Shaar.

Friends said Shaar was out in downtown celebrating the end of the school semester, having coffee with his three friends at a Starbucks.

They strolled through downtown to the Starco building, a complex of offices and shops. There, they took that last selfie (before going to play basketball)Moments later, the district was shaken by the blast, which sent a plume of black smoke over the area – and Shaar fell with a bleeding shrapnel wound in the head.

At his funeral on Sunday, sectarian anger bubbled up, with some mourners chanting anti-Shiite slogans.

But more prevalent was anger over being caught in the crossfire as powerful factions – whoever they may be – fight out their political differences. Shaar, a Sunni, wasn’t political or particularly religious, those who knew him said.

Several hundred emerged for his funeral, and tens gathered outside, some holding signs protesting the deaths of civilians.

“Every one of us imagined ourselves in that place,” activist Mohammed Estateyeh said outside the Khashakhgi mosque in the Sunni-dominated Beirut neighbourhood of Qasqas after Shaar’s burial. “The picture of Mohammed lying on the ground – and the picture just before the explosion – they were four guys who were just hanging out.”

Estateyeh, of the Muslim Students League in Beirut, printed black-white-and-yellow posters of Shaar, with the Arabic-language hashtag slogan scrawled underneath: “#We-are-not-numbers.”

The slogan caught on online, with some people posting pictures of themselves holding it on Facebook.

Montages of Shaar’s life-then-death photos circulated widely on Facebook and Twitter.

“Kill the person you want to kill – that’s why they invented guns,” Shaar’s former geography teacher Dalal Batrawi wept at the funeral. “If that’s the path you want to take, leave the rest of us alone.”

Earlier Sunday, at a memorial ceremony carried live on Lebanese television, Shaar’s teachers and students from the private Hariri High School – named after an assassinated Sunni former prime minister – described the teen as a bright, goofy student who loved basketball, lasagna and Harry Potter.

Mohammad often bought cookies, croissants and milkshakes for his friends. Friends recalled him chatting with them at 5 a.m. on the instant-message system “Whatsapp.”

“You know what sucks?” his friend Rahaf Jammal said at the memorial, speaking in English. “It’s the fact that he didn’t finish the book I got him for his birthday. He didn’t finish Harry Potter (movies) because he kept asking me to watch it with him.”

“It’s the fact he had his whole future planned out and he couldn’t accomplish anything, because of this stupid, cruel and crappy country.”

The grief over Shaar is given greater resonance by the fears among Lebanese that they are lurching back into the abyss, still battered from their own 15-year war, which ended in 1990.

That civil war was partly ignited by sectarian tensions among Lebanon’s Shiite, Sunni, Christian and Druse minorities.

AP Photo

AP PhotoIn this Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 photo, a Lebanese policeman helps 16-year-old Mohammed Shaar who was injured at the scene after a car bomb explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

Sunni-Shiite tensions began growing after a powerful car bomb in 2005 killed the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, who called for an end to neighboring Syria’s domination of the country and criticized Syria’s ally Hezbollah.

Hariri’s assassination was followed by over a dozen other assassinations of anti-Syrian figures. His allies blame Syria and Hezbollah for the killings; both deny involvement.

(A cliché disseminated by the opposition March 14, as if all the other car bombings on Hezbollah strongholds in last month were perpetrated against themselves. Blame it on the Wahhabi Saudi monarchy who are the main funding source for all the terrorists factions…)

AP Photo

AP PhotoIn this Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 photo, a Lebanese policeman helps 16-year-old Mohammed Shaar who was injured at the scene after a car bomb explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

Although some of the assassinations and attempted assassinations over the past years also targeted Christians, Druse, and Shiaa, Lebanon’s Sunnis have felt the most threatened.

The Sunni community’s leadership is fractured. Religious hardliners preach they are being targeted by a Shiite plot to crush them. Ordinary Sunnis, neither particularly political nor religious, complain they feel marginalized.

Those feelings have sharply grown since Syria’s uprising against President Bashar Assad began three years ago.

Rebels seeking to overthrow Assad are mostly Sunni, and the most powerful are al-Qaida extremists.

Syria’s sectarian splits have enflamed Lebanon’s, with its Sunnis mainly lining up behind Syria’s rebels and its Shiites backing Assad. Hezbollah has dispatched its fighters to shore up Assad’s forces, infuriating opponents in Lebanon.

The result has been violence rooted in Syria’s war.

Two car bombs targeted Sunni worshippers at mosques in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli this year; another two exploded in a Shiite neighborhood in south Beirut. Another twin-bombing targeted the Iranian embassy, apparently to punish Iran for supporting Assad.

Civilians have been the majority of the victims.

Amid the grief, the sectarian sentiments emerge.

At Shaar’s funeral, hundreds of mourners chanting against Hezbollah trapped the country’s top Sunni cleric in the mosque, because he is perceived as sympathetic to the group. Soldiers with assault rifles had to muscle into the mosque to protect Mufti Mohammed Qabani and hustle him into an armored vehicle to get away.

Angry worshippers pelted the soldiers with rocks, eggs and shoes.

Shaar was forgotten amid the mourners’ anger, something not lost on his friends.

People are using his death as an excuse for war,” said his friend Jammal. “But really all we should do is pray, pray, pray, and keep praying.”

AP Photo

AP PhotoIn this Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 photo, Lebanese men carry the body of 16-year-old Mohammed Shaar who was injured at the scene after a car bomb explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

AP Photo/Bilal HusseinLebanese students of the private Hariri High School, named after a prominent assassinated Sunni leader, broadcast a short film about 16-year-old Mohammed Shaar, who was one of seven people killed in a car bomb that ripped through the upscale downtown district of Beirut, during a memorial ceremony, in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Dec. 30, 2013.
AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein A Lebanese friend of 16-year-old Mohammed Shaar, who was one of 7 people killed in a car bomb that ripped through the upscale downtown district of Beirut, is comforted by others as he mourns during a sit-in at the scene of the explosion, in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Dec. 30, 2013.

Jasmine and Rose; (October 14, 2009)

 

            Jasmine is white and smells good.

            A rose is white, yellow, pink, or red.

            A rose is beautiful and can smell good too.

            She smells better than Yasmine.

            She looks prettier than Rose.

            She is Chelsea.

 

Note: I handed my 11 year-old niece Chelsea this poem; each line in different color; I think she felt good: I got no thanks.

A Gentleman (continue 8)

Antoun met Yasmine on an April of Palm Sunday (Chaanine) accompanied by Noura as her chaperon.  Yasmine was 17 years old, pretty, shy and introverted. She talked little and Antoun barely heard what she was saying and did not pay much attention to her during the procession. Noura later told him that she was the official health provider for Yasmine’s family.  The family members were suffering not so much of any major physical illnesses but mainly from a kind of depression, sadness and isolation.

Boulos Bakhour, the father of Yasmine, was in earlier times a prosperous merchant who had wide connections with the merchants of the city of Venice. Boulos exported incense and spices to Venice and imported finished woolen cloth (usually imported by the Venice merchants from England through the port of Antwerp in Holland), stone marble, navigation accessories and mechanical wooden toys. Two of his sons had died; one from a ship wreck and another from the plague that devastated Italy on one of his trips. Boulos business went under shortly after and he had to sell his trading facilities at a loss.

Yasmine was highly educated in matters that were considered totally useless, especially for females:  She could write in Latin, speak fluent French and play an exotic musical instrument which resembled a “clavecin”. She also tried her hand at small aquarelle paintings of landscapes and flowers and had reserved a room for that hobby.

Yasmine could not believe Noura when she assured her that Antoun could procure her an updated clavecin, more Latin books and especially those exquisitely varnished mechanical wooden toys if she could afford the price. This information inflamed Yasmine and set her on a journey of conniving for Antoun’s heart and soul.

Noura became frantic and alarmed at Yasmine’s excitement; she was not thrilled with the development shaping out under her watch; her imprudence and pride prevented her from disrupting the unfolding intimate relationships between Yasmine and Antoun.  Noura was reduced to reason logically that, if they indeed might wed, which eventuality should not be a done deal, this wedding might provide a perfect cover up for Antoun’s dangerous activities. The old merchant Boulos knew about the illegal trading business of Antoun but hard times and the newly discovered excitement of Yasmine for life were irresistible.

Most often, love has devious ways of punishing the inattentive to its subtle signals, so that Noura reaped a few lame satisfactions imagining Antoun spending his spare time listening to the harpsichord, attending to Latin poem recitations and entertaining a stuffy entourage in endless boring parties.  Four months of studious courting resulted in Yasmine and Antoun getting married; his eldest sister Latifa represented the Fares family because his father could not make the trip while Antoun’s official situation with the Emir of the Metn was still unresolved.  The honeymoon was spent in Cyprus at the request of Yasmine who had never traveled overseas, a request that suited Antoun’s business transactions too.

The first act of change in class status was for Antoun to buy himself a black pure blood Arabian stallion and a fancy coach hitched to two long-legged bays to take Yasmine on tours of the city and for official invitations. New rich silk outfits for the couple were remarked with appreciation in town and many households had a hard time imitating the expenditure of the newly wealthy couple.  Yasmine nagged Antoun for clinging to his flat turban and assiduously urged him to change to a Venetian headdress and tight thigh molding pantaloons.  Antoun went along with Yasmine’s extravagances for a month until his closest friends started to shun him in the streets and then uncalled for innuendos flooded the neighborhood.

Three months in his new social status confirmed to Antoun that marriage is anathema to his cherished liberty and freedom but rather a very useful formal social contract to establish credibility as a reliable man and setting valid ground to acquire stable status among the prosperous merchant families. Antoun expanded his business by building carriages and subcontracted the mismanaged postal service in and around Beirut and later on to the Metn region.  The regular postal carriages were served by on board scribes who offered their services of reading delivered letters to the illiterate clients and immediately replying to the returned correspondences.  Abundant intelligence information was accumulated via that service along with immense prestige attached to a client friendly enterprise rarely emulated.

The first-born son was named Adhal (muscle) but, to the chagrin of many, Yasmine could only manage the sound of Adl (justice); and thus Antoun’s close friends and associates attributed to him the pseudonym of Abu Adl (father of justice), a name that he grew to like because he thought matched his temperament.  Yasmine hated the name Adhal and screamed recriminations and shed hysterical cries for she hoped her first son would have a French name of Augustin or Christoph as an alternate.

Gergis became a constant fixture at Yasmine study room; he hired her services under the pretense of learning Latin so that she would translate for him passages from the Roman codes of law and books that described how the Romans governed their vast multiracial Empire.  Somehow, Yasmine felt that Gergis made her repeat passages that were connected to Sicily.

Antoun had different code names among the civilian and the armed groups.  His code name for the civilian association was Abu Adl (father of justice) and for the armed group Abu Ghadab (father of anger). A propitious event offered Antoun the opportunity to expand and affirm his leadership.  The Emirs of the regions were summoned by the Viceroy of Damascus to raise their small private armies and advance to face a renegade Emir from the north around Aleppo.  Antoun was frustrated with the heavy demands levied on his business and the mass forced recruitment of the youth and able bodies.  He started by helping the young males from the Metn who refused to be enlisted in the army to flee into the outlawed areas and he prepared to resist any onslaught of the mercenaries of the Emir of Beirut

Neighborhood night watch groups were organized to forewarn against any sudden descend of the Emir’s troops. The sea was opened to evacuate distressed families. Many widowed women and orphans joined the insurgents for food and shelter because foodstuffs were seized and the black market prices were exorbitant. Gergis was spared the draft because he was deemed a valuable middleman to the rich Christian class.

At this junction, Antoun had no choice but to join the resistance movement hiding in the mountains. He took his son Adhal with him to visit his grandparents in the mountains. Yasmine, who was pregnant for the second time, stayed home in Beirut with her parents. The married gentleman Antoun was tolerated again in his hometown which was located at a cross-road between the Capital Mtein and Zahle in the Bekaa Valley.  He had bought a small cottage in the village of Mrouj, very close to his hometown, where his eldest sister Latifa was caretaker.


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adonis49

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