Sunday, May 25, 2008

The day after ....

The storm seems to have passed. I have no idea how and why and for what reasons those who have died or suffered just did ... Since i don't know why things have worked out, i have no way of knowing if it will presist .. Maybe we have to hope Syria and Israel "indirect" negotiations work so that we can have this summer ...
We are capable of healing like no other people and capable of living when given the chance ...
Some pictures a day after the "demonstration" in downtown had ceased and a day before the "election"

my baby sister

2 hours of traffic to get to downtown Beirut

All the cafes were full .. you had to wait for half an hour to get a table anywhere..

All the beaches and resorts that weekend were full capacity..

Street traffic in Beirut

And i went out drinking and dancing for the first time in almost a year.. No reason to celebrate .. Just drinking away the stress of the past days and reloading for another round of insanity..

Oh let's just laugh and be silly for now ..

let's try to look fresh and put together

let's celebrate old beirut and new beirut

let's try and leave that Lebanese cynicism and pessimism behind for one season ..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two years and some ...

So what becomes of her .. Your love
When it gets dark and her head falls resting, far from the light,
When a moment of bliss dissipates in the dark,
When the waves shatter explode splatter
Absolutely no where
When the lack of screams squeeze her heart
With despair
What becomes of years,
Alone, in life, out there,
When the images fade and the soul of her soul wilts away
When rays of dryness melt away
Leaving tracks of deafness of colorless days
What becomes of a whisper, a smile, a face
Notches in the fabric of time
Shades that creep away
What will become of her
Will you still love her?

Two years and some since i started writing, since i started hoping to keep you close,
since i gave myself the right to keep you alive through my words ...
Two years and some ...
I have been waiting ...

Weekend with the kids ...

Friday, May 16, 2008

The politicians are out of the country.. Life is back to normal

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Round one!

It seems that it had passed. Those who died died. Those who stayed are only more depressed and frustrated and feel a little more worthless. Those who were contemplating coming back to this country are now thinking twice. Boys and girls that belong to the social and intellectual ranks, we would all be richer and luckier having them come back and invest what they learned and what they are able to achieve in this country, are now, again, hesitating. People i was proud when i met, human rights activists, human rights lawyers, scientists, writers, thinkers and even diplomats, the Lebanese expariates who will now almost live and die in the hope of a chance of rebuilding their country. People who should, they are the ones who should, invade our culture and invade our streets and our hearts, and not the aspects of violence and backwardness.

On a positive note, it had indeed calmed down. I know how worried we usually are when we are stuck outside of Lebanon feeling totally helpless, so do not worry. It was another political hiccup, let's call it that, and it's dissolving as we speak.

The 'fitne' already happened? Something leaders are chanting, as if a sectarian split is another bargaining card right now, as if one side could be threatened without the other. As if the leaders are threatening with death and destruction that will reach each and everyone of us. They cannot possibly mean that. We cannot possibly come out of each others' hearts. We cannot hate anyone, let alone the people we grew up with, our families, our partners, our neighbors (neighbors in Lebanon had taken a negative connotation with Syria and Israel being our neighbors, but i mean your neighbor who will protect your home when you're weak) and people we share a language, a history, a culture and a country with.

We do not and will not hate each other under any command and never for any leader! What will we be left with if we did?

I don't know, let's try ..

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The USSCole is coming back to the Mediterranean
Typical American manoeuvre.

I find it curious that the policies in Syria shifted after Assad the father, leading to a manifestation of these policies (assassinations in political figures in Lebanon/reinvention of some old symbols/Militia-based forces in the region) that is totally in-sync with the manifestation of the American policies in the region.

I find it curious that the Americans are staging a state of fundemental clash with Iran while they seem to work harmoniously over the split of benefits with the Iranis in Iraqs. At the same time, the major benificiary of instating Iran as a major Arabic enemy and threat is the US arm trade. I find it interesting that Iran (along with its allies) is playing along.

Who knows? Who cares?

What i am saying is either it is very obvious or very wrong or very well the opposite.

The drive, however, is always money. Such as the contractors and the oil in Iraq. Such as the American arm industry. I just find it sad that in this day and age, we still lose life for more money and that the wars are always engineered in our part of the globe, as if it is easier to sell to the public opinion since we are already labeled as barbarians.

I do not see a future war in between Sicily and Sardinia to keep the American arm money going. After all, western countries are too busy advancing humanity. For that, wars should never end on our side and our reasons to start wars will always be encouraged and stressed upon.

Eastern Europe is impoverished, African states have their fair share of disasters and the post-USSR world and the -stan world is left under check. The 'civilized' west is compliant and in fear, the 'moderate' Arabic states are good investments which leaves China and North Korea for future uses ...

Our region is keeping the money flow for now. The tools, the collaborates ... Who cares? the political scene changes all the time. In the meantime, the victims are always the same.

My first observation when i first started interacting with Americans was that they are not very well-rounded as far as politics went. I think this is blissfull. They did not care much because they did not need to. Because they would never find themselves having to be directly involved in individual conflicts to defend some political party. This is mainly because they are not driven by ideologies or tribal feelings. We are. We care about politics. I wish we cared less. I wish we knew less. Americans are sadly now driven by blind nationalism in the post-9/11 world, towards war. It is always the ignorant bunch, the poor bunch, the desperate bunch.

Ideologies, racism, nationalism, religion, just mere hate .. reasons to kill each other, to destroy each other's homes and streets and hopes, to want to humitiate each other ..

Forget about all what i said. Forget about Conspiracies and about politics all together.

I want to believe that HA, albeit financially supported by Iran, is a mere resistance movement that wants to free Palestine or defend Lebanon in the future against possible Israeli invasion etc. Let's say this is the case (which is something i had believed in for a while). Taken all this as 'fact' if you will and after what HA did these past days, i do not want it as Lebanese resistance. Why should i live with such threat to be prepared in the event of another. why do i have to harbor a power that turned against me? against my home? against the street that raised me?

Why do i have to accept a political side, a resistance, that does not give me a choice, better yet, that condemns any alternative opinion i might have and considers it reason to persecute me and threaten my well-being, leaving no room for tolerance and understanding, reminiscent of the perpetrator this resistance opposes. Why can't i choose how to fight? Why am i belittled if i did not share the same ideology? Why do i have to respect their titles when they do not respect my life? Why can't i fight, as a human being, with my mind? Why can't we build consistently towards a culture, towards winning? Why are we not allowed to learn from our mistakes? Why are the children being raised on divides, on hate? Why do they raise future generations ready and willing to fight and to follow blindly, if they do not plan on keeping us in the dark and keeping us fighting each other for their gain? Why don't they raise minds like others did?

Why do i have to turn to politicians to know if i will be able to go to work the next day, if i will be able to leave the country if i want to, come back to my country and not be trapped in some foreign country that, soon, would want to expell me, if my nephews will be able to sleep in their beds, to sleep, if they will go to their schools, if i will be able to follow up on my medical treatment, if i will get paid ..

Why are we to be kept weak? kept silent, kept hypnotized, kept distracted, kept busy kept stupid. Why are we kept small? kept divided?
Why is my life made wortheless?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

العربية: قتيل و 3 جرحى في إطلاق نار على موكب تشييع في الطريق الجديدة
or 4 dead and 6 injured according to other sources.

Currently they say things calmed down after HA (i say HA because it is) had taken over west Beirut.
Some March 14 leaders are still stuck in their homes, the roads are blocked again ...
I still don't get it

Saniyoura is speaking at 2:00 pm

Friday, May 09, 2008

During the war last summer, i cried the most when i heard that the Baalbek ruins are being threatened.
Not equally dramatic but equally tragic, it seems that all the archives of future tv got totally destroyed! (18 years worth of records)
Some local treasures, including history in all it forms, belong to no one to destroy. It is far more important than any of us.
Discussing the Palestinian cause with Israelis was always hard on me. I always found their rhetoric to be exhausting but it always helped, at least for the sake of keeping my sanity, to go back to the basics. To go back to the facts, away from propaganda and inflammatory name calling and useless history lessons.
To me, it was always easy and logical to try and set a platform of commonly accepted undisputed facts, in the hope of reaching some common understanding.
The equation was that unfairness and a bullying attitude had to emanate from power:
Fact: Israel is obviously more powerful and it exercises a very tight control over Palestinians.
Fact: Israel had launched wider scale attacks on its opponents.
Fact: Israel had trespassed to land given to the Palestinians by UN resolutions.
Fact: Israel had controlled the media inside Israel/Palestine and had been able to solicit international support.
Power is a tricky one. It always leads to unfairness. It must be easy, for some, to cross lines of human rights of safety and freedom of one’s religious expression and political loyalty, when one is drunk with power.
Fact: power corrupts
Fact: the party trespassing is automatically held accountable for all what follows. Especially when trespassing while spreading fear and chaos.
Fact: muffling media outlets is the highest form of corruption and the closest form to injustice and totalitarian control.
Fact: wi2am wahhab is a total freak, and delusional no less.

Beirut is surrounded. They say Beirut fell. Was Beirut a war front?
Wanting to intimidate the government? Wanting to parade strength? What is the point of what happened today?
I know people are sick and tired of all politicians. People are craving peace of mind, one carefree summer, going to work, being able to feed their families. They are too depleted to stand against any political compromise, any new decision. Only the politicians have this kind of drive. Only the politicians have this kind of interest, so why are the people being punished again?
The Hariri foundation that had given many loans over the years to many of us students, regardless of sect and religion, had been tampered with. What do you call that?
And it goes on ..

I blame -- for intimidating the other party and all of Lebanon, for the mere fact that they have developed material superiority. I think -- are promoting a state of dictatorship where thay do not take into account the needs, orientation or opinions of the other party. -- are ruling with power (a form of it at least) and keeping the interest of the people, down to the more basic of it, totally ignored and their hope of survival destroyed. At least part of the people anyway.

-- = who cares?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Civil war

For reasons not clear to me, Beirut is being attacked. My mother is stuck and the area where she lives turned into a battle ground (she just told me that my sister's building was hit by missiles, my sister is fine, so are her two children). I cannot get to them and they cannot get to me. It is milishia men, with snipers no less, against unarmed inhabitants of Beirut. It seems armed men are attacking people in their homes, hitting buildings with missiles, stopping people in cars and checking IDs. They're shooting and bombing with no specific aims but unarmed folks. Interestingly too, people are not allowed to flee. The civil war has started?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The curse of the Phoenicians

My goodness.. Since the beginning of our history, we have just been our worst enemy. At every turn of millennium, of century, of decade, we make sure to destroy and clean up any trace of our previous achievements and any kind of contribution to human culture and heritage. We never cease to implode from within. We will never agree on anything from street to the next, from city to the next, from district, governorate, sect, orientation, media outlet to the next. We fight about our roots. From Canaanites to Phoenicians to Levantines, historians, anthropologists and scientists have not agreed on any kind of distinction within our race on the level of geography, religion or tribe. We do not accept that though. We are semites, or not, some came from the Agean sea, some derived from Hittites, from Mesopotamia, we mixed with Aramens, we were visited by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and we were once part of Hellenistic Greece and we interacted with Romans … That not to mention the traces of modern history, the Crusades, the families migrating from the Arabian peninsula, the Ottoman rule, the French… all are different waves of people that had built on the existing semitic race. There is no way to separate religion from another or sect from another, based on roots. Even family by family, the distinction is almost impossible to make. We are, as it turns out, the same race. This has been scientifically backed up. The paternal lineage in Lebanon and neighboring countries follows the same roots. That within Lebanon does not show any significant variation from one region to another or from one religion to another. We do show genetic traces of haplogroups that typically exist in modern European and Arabic populations, possibly due to migration to Lebanon and possibly due to migrations from Lebanon especially in Phoenician times during establishment of Phoenician colonies. The main issue is that all these haplogroups are equally represented in all the religious sects.
So as far as race goes, we are the same race.
But who cares? Right. Following one’s race is just another sorry excuse of bigotry and elitism anyway so there will always be alternative excuses for separation and self-righteousness.
We keep imploding from within.
The Phoenicians, as a culture, were as glorious as the Greeks and the Romans. In fact, at the time, those wondrous traders, writers, philosophers, and artists have given the competing Greek and Roman cultures the alphabet, their Gods (Aphrodite and Melqart), the name Europe (from the myth of Europa, the daughter of the king of Tyre). Politically speaking, if the punic wars have gone the way of the Phoenicians, the whole history of the western worl could have been very different today. Typical to our culture, however, the Phoenicians were city states. As a nation, they never called themselves Phoenicians. This was a name given to them by their neighbors. They called themselves by the city they belonged to and they acted upon it. Their loyalty was to their immediate business and their interest. They helped the invaders against their countrymen and they competed from one city to the next and from one harbor to the next. Due to invasions, all traces of that glorious culture are now gone. The Phoenician art mainly consisted of small pieces that were directed towards gain and of large vessels that were exported to Egyptians and other countries. The writings, the history.. all gone. How different the scenario would have been if the Phoenician had some perspective. If they would have worked together and built a strong nation. If they had focused on defense and if their colonies and trading posts were not autonomous. They could have at least lived more vividly in history books.

It is the curse of our fathers that we should never be together, that we should always be divided. That we should destroy everything we achieve. That we should work against each other. That we should always leave the next generation in dire despair and faced with the challenge of re-building a name for themselves and their country, until we ruin it all, all over again.

Feiruz is stuck at the airport!
Will we ever be taken seriously again, be respected again? When we do not trust ourselves, we exhaust ourselves, we self-destroy and we will .. inevitably .. implode from within!