Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Just like that ..
tlat no2at ...
she always says it so smoothly, right from the heart and straight to the heart. no2ta 3al sater.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rage (pic)
Many things stress me out, much more i get sad about, some frustrate me but i get angry about few things in life ...
i am happy then sad sometimes my emotions cover the spectrum from the ultra euphoric to the infra vehement depressive in the span of a span. I strut around with a flick and a bounce making staccatos with my stilettos then I grump and I slouch and I hide in my couch. I am bipolar and multipolar and I oscillate with unexpected amplitude and heightened attitudes but I get angry about very few things in life …
I get frustrated with details, with endless altercations, with meaningless compilations, with out of tune personalities. With people who talk too much. With stories with no punch lines. With cabs in Manhattan. With waiting for someone without knowing the time. With waiting for someone and knowing the time. With long lines at the supermarket that the best gossip column can’t divert me from. With people who drive too slow. With people who drive too fast, other than myself. With people who talk on the phone next to me, in any social scene. Now, in loud places and at the movies. I get frustrated with slow computers and slow minds and slow speakers and I’m a slow speaker myself. I get frustrated with being sad, with being happy and with being frustrated, but I get angry about very few things in life …
I get stressed out when I get frustrated …

Anger beyond control is a very rare feeling. It is a very rare exercise of our rights as well when its effects surpass us to affect others. It is a rare exercise because, only when rare, it might be understood, forgiven or even accepted.
I give you the right to be introverted but not to hold grudges, to be a loner but not to hurt, even to be passively rude but not purposefully impolite.
Anger is an emotion we allow ourselves based on feelings of moral superiority, based on being wronged and unfairly treated. Anger has to emanate from a tremendous sense of self and sense of one’s worth and it is a feeling completely emotionally detached from others and from the environment. Most examples of anger, and the reactions that it dictates, are acute and result of a sudden feeling of loss or wrong or accumulated frustration that builds up to a moment of exaggerated hate and the need for retaliation. I truly think that the most balanced of us must be able to fire up in anger once we face a subject of hate. Chronic anger is more characteristic of psychosis and a weak psyche in general. It builds up as a result of delusional paranoia and an overwhelming sense of betrayal by family and society that leads to dangerous self-pity. Chronic hate towards a specific subject might exist in all of us once faced with the subject of our hate. It is a conditioned response that will trigger the same reaction. The threshold to our rage depends on the nature of the trigger and how we internally label it.

Anger is then a personal feeling and in most cases might not be a feeling of the moment.

I understand collective hysteria (an aftermath), collective depression and even collective euphoria. Where does collective chronic anger come from?

I will assume that a whole population has the same reason to be angry about so in this case it is not a personal feeling anymore. I will also assume that this whole population cannot be psychotic so a whole population cannot be angry all the time unless it is under collective hypnosis and a severe manipulation of thoughts masquerading as anger. Whole populations brainwashed to believe that they have been wronged to the same extent by the same entity can undergo a wave of collective hysterical rage.

The reasons to get angry being true or false, a person cannot remain angry for a long time and anger might appease into frustration with time unless that anger comes from chronic hate. When we talk about a whole population being ready to fire up in anger at the same time to the same trigger, we have to be talking about chronic hate.

Do we chronically hate each other?
No leader can fire us up so quickly unless we already hate each other …
That is one of the few things that make me angry and I get angry about very few things in life …

Saturday, January 27, 2007

My mama is very depressed

My mom is your typical strong smart do-it-yourself, be fair, treat others like you want them to treat you, always look at the positive (la takraho shay2an 3asaho khayran), always throw your sorrow in a prayer to God, always be patient and all will happen in time, Lebanese woman.

Her life was and is her family and children and now her grandchildren. She believes that work is like religion and she worked hard all her life. She loves to paint and to write and she loves her brother and her country and Rafi2 Hariri.

She was not afraid during all the wars we had and she got us through. She took care of her mother and of us under the shelling and this last bombing she got my sisters and my nephews and even my brother-in-law through.

She believes that every human being is prone to error and should be humble and she raised us to never be afraid when we are right. She liked listening to Nasrallah during the July events saying he made sense back then. She is future movement all the way.

She does not support Nasrallah in the recent developments. She thinks this sort of behavior is fueling our sectarian tension and divide. She is with Sanioura with all what he did and is doing and i respect her views and her opinions and i think we should all respect each other's opinions.

My mama got a threatening phone call today at her work. A person she helped a couple of days ago heard her cursing at all politicians, including Nasrallah. He got her extension, as she later found out, from a colleague and he called her to tell her that if she ever says anything about Nasrallah again .... you figure it out!!

A religious leader who can come up with any fatwa whenever he likes and that people follow blindly like a god is now the leader of opposition. It is one thing to oppose the ruling to get equal representation and equal rights. It's one thing to want to take the country in a different direction, politically. To discourage help from any Arabic country and western country, to discourage talking to other countries, to encourage acts of violence, for people to feel oppressed and not free to talk like we did under Syrian control.. What the hell is going on? Where are we heading? I am against hariri and co to say the least and against the american/israeli control in the region but i never gave anyone the right to sell me to Iran or to Syria. I never want to be afraid to say my opinions outloud ...

She said she's depressed ... I told her it's time to leave ...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

... And they called it "Black Thursday"

“Killkon 3al yamine tashouf”
“Wa22ef 3ajanab”
“Mabta3ref ana meen wle?”

Shwayyet 7ake rbeena 3leh. It was funny to see it in ‘West Beirut’ but we sure as hell still remember the horror. We remember sleeping in shelters, standing in line for bread and storing water in the tub.
Jarrabna nkoun a7san. Eh sara7a a7san. Jarrabna nkoun la2eddem. Ahlna marabbouna zo3ran bass maba3ref min wein ijo kill hal zo3ran. Hot headed idiots. We ba3den? Maba2 ili 3ein oul baddi irja3. we aswa2 ba3ed, bi ayya 3ein baddi oul la ayya 7adan yirja3? Kirmel shou? We iza ana mish di3ani bil balad, ghayri yimkin di3ano. We asesan shou ya3ni balad iza el 3alam frata? Show ya3ni balad?

“Yalla shou haida balad asesan”
“3am yetkhena2o 3ala ardna”
“hay mou2amara”

wlak tidrabo malla sha3eb. Tidrabo min bein el 3alam. Tidrabo iza bitseero 3alam.

In the midst of this past war lamma kinna 3am ninda3as bilsirmeye i stood up high and said i’m lebanese. Halla2 shou baddi oul? Shi biya22es we shi bikhajjel. We lashou mabaddon ykassro? Ykassro.. asesan byistehalo ba3od we makharjon balad.

Kiss ikhto malla balad.

Labadde ghanne 3al e7doud wala yashaware3 wala 3alliha 3alli 3alliha. Wattiha khayye bikoun a7san. Wattiha we yaret btiksirha abel matmedda 3ala khayyak we khayye.

El lubnan sayabka… wlak ayya lubnan?

You said, “this is Beirut that you keep defending? Do you now understand why I say Dubai is my country? Do you see why I gave up?...”
You won… I give up …

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bonjour tristesse ...

I look at the ceiling. I look to the skies. No more balconies to transcend into …
No more windows to append one’s hurt … All I see is empty roads and empty skies.
And I dream of places far away. I feel tight and stuck and out of breath, and now I drown in my own uncertainty. The cold dark desk is killing me and San Juan is calling ...

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And I don’t dream about you every night and I don’t love you anymore… and I don’t hide you in my thoughts and I don’t smile to you once a day. no and I don’t need to see your eyes and I don’t pray for you every step of the way. And i don't love, why should i love ...

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Squinting eyes and smirking lines
and thin lips are all I see
Unkind nonchalance is all I feel,
except for my warm blood.
Thoughts stomping through
my head
raging boiling imploding,
spreading darkness
in my gut
translating through my limbs,
abrupt gestures.
Angry looks exploding
at the last hour
and now easing through
appeasing through,
as the warm grains
of darkness eat me through,
only to leave blankness
of heart
numbness of feelings
fault of proper reaction
short of understanding …
A state of non-existence
has to be more noble
than a state of hardly existing
than anger beyond self-control,
than a state of constant sorrows …
I don’t see the light and I don’t see the end,
and I don’t see a point of tomorrow …

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Avec toute la tendresse du monde ...
Je t’embrasse et je te laisse ...

And here it goes ...

Three taps on a glass and grains of water on pale dunes.
Her rhythmic cycle uncouples falls out of phase out of tune,
suddenly, all the mistakes of a lifetime align in mockery --
the facts melt the details turn in a daze of reverie …

A tap on her back sends shivers down her soul to freeze
The weight of the world presses on her crumbling knees
She looks for her own reaction in a moment of stupor,
Her body rendered stiff gelled on her feet like an armor.

And a mystical touch of fortune and the tales of the days,
Green the color of his soul piercing glistening auburn rays.
Was it the magic of the night or was it the stories to tell --
Was it original madness taste of sin or was it a spell to expel?

Come to my heart come to my arms come beside my eyes,
She said, come sad come joyful come a blessing to the skies
With all the tenderness of the world and with all that she is
She wore her coat took her ring off and gave him a goodbye kiss …

Here it goes ...
Life …

Monday, January 15, 2007

3anjad de2 khil2na

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Not just sick and tired of the politicians and the fights and the despair and the keeping in mind anything but people’s businesses and lives and struggles, I’m sick and tired of me and you. I’m sick of the sound of my own complaints and opinions and ‘solutions’ and I’m sick of the arguments and the bickering and the weak spirit. Honestly I’m sick of Lebanese issues. I have been since I was born. I always defend my country and its people. I truly appreciate a lot about our culture. I love the spontaneity and the warmth and the passion. However, with spontaneity comes rudeness, with warmth come intensity and intrusiveness and lack of respect for personal space and personal lives and with passion come anger and fits and lack of tolerance. We’re sexist and racist and judgmental. We’re lazy and crazy and we’re always right and we’re all the victims of the world and history and society. The country is not good enough for us, the government is always the reason for all of our shortcomings and the world is against us. We also think we’re God’s gift to the earth wherever we are, we are competitive unkind and we act superior. Most of us are freeloaders and the rest complain. We all want to leave our country because it’s not good enough and when we do we all act superior wherever we are and want to go back, only then to act superior around our countrymen because we live abroad. A lot of us care about money and appearances more than decency and empathy and the real beauty of friendship and love and helping others. We are a country stuck at high school. A lot of our women are hysterical prima-donnas and a lot of the men chauvinistic aholes. Any 14 year old thinks he or she understands the world more than anyone else does. We all need to leave the country and exist on our own for a couple of years to get in touch with who we really are and to get a dose of reality. I’m sick of us. I’m sick of the tekbeer ras. De2 khil2i. I had missed Lebanon for the longest time but I have been reminded of all that lately and I think I’m good for a while.
De3an hal balad feekon we feena ...
sem7ouna ...
Chic chac choc ...
(pic. from downtownbeirut.com)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The dream of a global citizen

Too bad no human will survive to witness it. By the rate we're going, no human will survive to witness the next century.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ben Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah and The Mossad eliminated Jews

Banned in Israel and the United States, Iraqi-born Jew Naeim Giladi’s book is again available worldwide. Buy it from this website.

“After reading Mr. Giladi’s devastating first-hand account of Zionist pillaging and massacres even of other Jews when necessary, it is not surprising that the book was banned,”states Carol Adler, president of Dandelion Books.
Giladi reports about the crimes committed by Zionists in their frenzy to import raw Jewish labor from the Middle East. Newly-vacated farmlands had to be plowed to provide food for the immigrants and the military ranks had to be filled with conscripts to defend the stolen lands.
States Giladi: “I write this book to tell the American people, and especially the American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors.
I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called ‘cruel Zionism.’ I write about it because I was a part of it. “Alex de Tocqueville once observed that it was easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth. Certainly it has been easier for the world to accept the Zionist lie that Jews were evicted from Muslim lands because of anti-Semitism, and that Israelis, never the Arabs, were the pursuers of peace. The truth is far more discerning; bigger players in the world stage were pulling the strings.”
Giladi adds: “These players, I believe, should be held accountable for their crimes, particularly when they willfully terrorized, dispossessed and killed innocent people on the altar of some ideological imperatives.“We Jews did not leave our ancestral homes because of any natural enmity between Jews and Muslims. And we Arabs--and I say Arab because that is the language my wife and I still speak at home—we Arabs on numerous occasions have sought peace with the State of the Jews.
“And finally, as a U.S. citizen and taxpayer....we Americans need to stop supporting racial discrimination in Israel and the cruel expropriation of lands in the West Bank, Gaza, South Lebanon and the Golan Heights.”
An Israeli Defense of Jimmy Carter
by John Nichols-- The Nation, Jan 09, 07

"There is an ugly cynicism to the attack on Jimmy Carter that has been launched by Americans who well recognize that the former president's newbook, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, says nothing that has not already been said about the Middle East conflict by Israeli politicians and commentators. So why is Carter, a longtime friend of Israel and the Jewish people, being smeared as an anti-Semite for suggesting that the occupation by Israeli forces of Palestinian territory inspires troubling comparisons with the apartheid system that white South Africans once imposed on their country's black majority?

One of Israel's most prominent political figures suggests that it has a lotto do with the determination of Carter's critics to allow their emotions to trump the facts."The trouble is that their love of Israel distorts their judgment and blinds them from seeing what's in front of them," argues Shulamit Aloni, a veteran of Israel's war of independence who went on to serve in the Knesset and as aminister in several Israeli cabinets. "Israel is an occupying power that for 40 years has been oppressing an indigenous people, which is entitled to a sovereign and independent existence while living in peace with us."

In a defense of Carter penned for the mass-circulation Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot, the woman who served as former Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin's education minister wrote that, "Indeed apartheid does exist here." "The U.S. Jewish establishment's onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies," explains Aloni. "Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp. All this is done in order to keep an eye on the population's movements and to make its life difficult. Israel even imposes a total curfew whenever the settlers, who have illegally usurped the Palestinians' land, celebrate their holidays or conduct their parades."
Aloni should be reminded that the battering of Carter has as frequently come from non-Jews as Jews in the U.S. But, with that clarification, her message is one that merits serious attention from Americans who are frustrated by this country's inability to engage in a serious discussion about Middle East policy.This does not mean that everyone must agree with Aloni's every point. A recipient of the Israel Prize, the highest honor awarded by her country's government, the internationally-respected parliamentarian has long been acritic of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. Some will disregard her remarks for that reason. Others who respect Aloni's history may disagree with her current critique. But no one who has followed Israeli affairs can doubt that she speaks for a meaningful number of her countrymen and women when she defends Carter.
In fact, the website of the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom recently featured a call for visitors to" "Please consider adding your voices to those who are grateful to Jimmy Carter for writing a brave and important book, Peace Not Apartheid. While the media tries to blank him out, and some would cast aspersions at President Carter for being 'anti-Israel,' in fact the book offers much needed wisdom about how to support a just peace in Israel and Palestine."Aloni and Gush Shalom certainly do not speak for all Israelis. But their response to Carter's book should be instructive for Americans. It is not necessary to share all of Aloni's views to recognize that the veteran of the Hagana paramilitary organization that fought for Israeli independence has done a service not only to Carter but to all Americans who would like to see this country engage in an honest dialogue about MiddleEast affairs. While Israel enjoys a reasonably vibrant debate with regard to how the Jewish state should relate to Palestine, the United States suffers from a crude and dysfunctional discourse about the same question. The attacks on Jimmy Carter highlight just how ugly and dishonest that discourse has become. Perhaps that is why Shulamit Aloni's pointed response to those attacks is so important. It took an Israeli to remind us of how much more realistic the dialogue could -- and should -- be."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I think he's funny... simple but funny

Dear Mr. President: Send Even MORE Troops (and you go, too!) ...
from Michael Moore

Dear Mr. President,Thanks for your address to the nation. It's good to know you still want to talk to us after how we behaved in November.
Listen, can I be frank? Sending in 20,000 more troops just ain't gonna do the job. That will only bring the troop level back up to what it was last year. And we werel osing the war last year! We've already had over a million troops serve some time in Iraq since 2003. Another few thousand is simply not enough to find those weapons of mass destruction! Er, I mean... bringing those responsible for 9/11 to justice! Um, scratch that. Try this -- BRING DEMOCRACY TO THE MIDDLE EAST! YES!!!You've got to show some courage, dude! You've got to win this one! C'mon, you got Saddam! You hung 'im high! I loved watching the video of that -- just like the old wild west! The bad guy wore black! The hangmen were as crazy as the hangee! Lynch mobs rule!!!

Look, I have to admit I feel very sorry for the predicament you're in. As Ricky Bobby said, "If you're not first, you're last." And you being humiliated in front of the whole world does NONE of us Americans any good. Sir, listen to me. You have to send in MILLIONS of troops to Iraq, not thousands! The only way to lick this thing now is to flood Iraq with millions of us! I know that you're out of combat-ready soldiers -- so you have to look elsewhere! The only way you are going to beat a nation of 27 million -- Iraq -- is to send in at least 28 million! Here's how it would work: The first 27 million Americans go in and kill one Iraqi each. That will quickly take care of any insurgency. The other one million of us will stay and rebuild the country. Simple.

Now, I know you're saying, where will I find 28 million Americans to go to Iraq?Here are some suggestions:

1. More than 62,000,000 Americans voted for you in the last election (the one that took place a year and half into a war we already knew we were losing). I am confident that at least a third of them would want to put their body where there vote was and sign up to volunteer. I know many of these people and, while we may disagree politically, I know that they don't believe someone else should have to go and fight their fight for them -- while they hide here in America.

2. Start a "Kill an Iraqi" Meet-Up group in cities across the country. I know this idea is so early-21st century, but I once went to a Lou Dobbs Meet-Up and, I swear, some of the best ideas happen after the third mojito. I'm sure you'll get another five million or so enlistees from this effort.

3. Send over all members of the mainstream media. After all, they were your collaborators in bringing us this war -- and many of them are already trained from having been "embedded!" If that doesn't bring the total to 28 million, then draft all viewers of the FOX News channel.

Mr. Bush, do not give up! Now is not the time to pull your punch! Don't be a weenie by sending in a few over-tired troops. Get your people behind you and YOU lead them in like a true commander in chief! Leave no conservative behind! Full speed ahead!

We promise to write.
Go get 'em W!
Michael Moore

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

A useful comparison

I could not help while watching the funeral for the late president Ford to draw the comparison. I was wondering what kind of crimes did the late president commit and which, of these crimes, are already declassified. No one argues. Saddam was a terrible terrible man, but as always, I could not but feel humiliated at the idea of an Arabic politician/leader/dictator/butcher being executed, at the first day of the Muslim holiday no less, and an American politician/leader/dictator/butcher being honored and well remembered. The article answers my questions.

On a different note,
In response to a simple question to an Israeli commentator by mone which was if he thought the war on Lebanon this past summer was a crime against humanity, the Israeli point of view was that the Israeli government owes it to its people to defend the borders against any act of war. If that is the case, i wonder why governments do not owe an explanation to their people when they start an act of war or an act of invading another country or occupying foreign land. Americans do not blame Iraqis when they attack their troops. How come Israelis don't pressure their government to withdraw from the occupied lands? They encourage their leaders to defend them against acts of resistance. Why not encourage their government to eliminate the reasons that brought on this resistance in the first place? Ho come they don't hold their leaders accountable? I don't get it.
Only those New York nights ...

Make it bearable ...

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Thesis done!

and print ..
Morning coffee with the counsel general

The flag comes peeking off of 5th avenue, after a short strut on, what seems to be, the most detached block in New York city. The upper east in its cold clean monotonous feel always reminds me that I am in a foreign country. The early hours seem to be the dog-walking hours. It resembles a dance out of an old musical. It is almost surreal in its denial. It is surreal in its suburban defiance contrasting the jolt of the city of misfits and the city of colors and sounds. It is deafening in its brightness and coldness. You almost want to walk up facing one of the park-facing condo royalties and see if they were for real. The flag comes peeking off of 5th. Our little consulate in the heart of Manhattan is nothing like the foreign upper stretch on the west of the park. The golden numbers marking the addresses guarded by those ridiculously dressed doormen disappear under the flag. A modest garden surrounds the plain aluminum windows. A rusty doorbell that consists of a white bump of plastic oddly reminds me of many tasteless Lebanese official buildings. Sure enough, I peak through the window and Gaby buzzed me in. A small room, a coffee table in the middle with an Arabic yellow page book that Tarek made and some magazines, a sad plant in the corner and a glass partition. A typical minimalist d├ęcor of the inside of a Lebanese official building.
- Hi Gaby
- Hi. Waynik ya 3ammi. We missed you on New Year’s Eve. We were all there.
- Yeah, been busy …
I met Gaby a year ago. I hated him at first. He had just left Lebanon and hasn’t been tamed yet. He still had the macho attitude. It has been a year and he seems to have adapted.
- wein el rayess?
- I’ll call him for you
His unmistakable smile
- Monsieur Harake, bonjour, keefak?
- Ahla Mirvat. Gaby Start her papers, we don’t want her to be late.
- Kint 3am teb3ak 3al CNN with Paula Zahn. Bayyadtellna wejna.
- Tislameh. Tinzakar we matn3ad. Please, tfaddaleh rte7e bilmaktab 3abel the coffee to be ready.
- Thank you
His office is a full-furnished all-oak very pretentious all Lebanese office. As every year, I sit in the comfy leather chair behind the oversized desk and he asks me,
- What do you want to ask me?
- What do you know about the situation back home? Any inside news?
- I don’t know a thing more than you do. I heard from Tarek you’re going back
- Yes. So what do you recommend?
- Not to.
- Ouf. Why?
- There are certain things you have to keep in mind
- Such as?
- See how you are dressed right now. Casual, a cap and no manicure. Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re a fantastic lady but, well, this won’t work in Lebanon. People still care about their appearances. Men and women. It’s suffocating. Also, people are never really judged by who they are. You know how it is.. Who you know and what you have ...
- I am always good with the who you know part ... See I know you and it’s why my passport will be done in a couple of minutes. What’s wrong with that? I like the perks of it …
We go on talking about the social, the economical and the political pros and cons of here and there. He points out that he had lived in the US for 8 years, that this country is good to have a small business or to get education out of. He reminds me that life needs a balance and that I should stop working too hard.
- I respect girls who are serious about their careers, but you should know when to put your life first.
- Yes of course. That’s why I’m moving back. It’s the sparkle left in my eyes. It’s my secret happy place.
- Yes? I think you should stay here. I, on the other hand, am moving to Japan.
- Japan? Are you going to like living there?
- Yes I loved it there. I just went with the Sanioura convoy and I loved it.
- Hmmm ... Japan!
Gaby comes in with the papers and gets the final signature.
- Ok here’s your passport
- Thank you. I’ll be going then
- Stay. Finish your coffee.
- I have an early day. Yalla.
- See you next year?
- In Japan or in Lebanon?
- Here
- Yes

(pic, Puerto Rico)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

C’est quoi l’amour?

It’s the only thing you can’t live without
It’s not being sure of anything but one thing
It’s going against all odds
It’s the one thing you don’t need to discuss
The one thing you don’t think over ...
Oh yes, and …
Drama drama drama …

(pic, Wilfrid Hoffacker)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007