28.2.07

أحبّك يا أرضي




في الصباح أقوم فأذري حفنةً من ترابك في الهواء… وأتنشّق عبيرك…
في الظهيرة أتفيّأ في ظلال أشجارك… وأتغذى هواءك…
عند الغروب أسدل رجليّ على تلالك… وأقبّل شمسك…
وعند المساء أمدّد جسدي على جسدك… فأتّحد بكيانك…
نعم! هكذا في كلّ يومٍ أجبلك بعرق جبيني، فتكبري وتزهري وتثمري…

27.2.07

With hindsight

On the 23rd of January 2007 and then two days after that Lebanon almost slid into civil war. What initiated these dangerous events was the opposition’s general strike. Many voiced their bafflement on why a “simple protest and road closure” that got a bit out of hand had such disastrous consequences.

The answer is very simple if one looks at those events with hindsight, taking in the whole picture. On that fateful day the opposition tried to rob the Lebanese of their most sacred right: their free will in expressing and acting upon their political views and believes!

Let me elaborate, a couple of days before Tuesday 23 of January the general strike was announced and –this is crucial in understanding those events- it was portrayed as a measure of the popular support that the opposition can muster.

The 14 March coalition responded by a general call to consider Tuesday a normal working day and encouraged all its supporters to make an extra effort to show that Lebanon was a country for life, work and prosperity not for strikes, paralysis and death!

In short it was a political vote of confidence; if you went to work you were siding with 14 March while staying home was a declaration of your support of Hezbollah and its allies.

Personally I promised myself to go to work, as a political statement to express my support for 14 March.

The next day the opposition closed most businesses and most importantly most roads by force, by intimidation, by burning tires and by mounting barricades of dirt and rubble –ironically brought form the building destroyed by the Israeli in the last war- on most main roads, effectively paralyzing Beirut.

Hezbollah robbed the Lebanese, those supporting it and those against it, of their ability to freely express their political choice, their freedom of expression. On that day the Lebanese people could not CHOOSE whether to go to work and support 14 March or stay home and support the opposition, they were FORCED to stay home!!

Hezbollah’s actions were similar to stopping citizens from going to voting booth on Election Day, these actions were not only anti-democratic and terrible dangerous, these actions verged on tyranny, robbing people of their free will in expressing and acting upon their political views and believes! And for me no crime is greater than that!

The road took me three hours instead of 40 minutes, but at the end I arrived to my office, proving first to myself and to all those who tried to force a choice upon me, that my free political will is and shall always remain FREE!

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23.2.07

A Lost Summer: Postcards from Lebanon



During this summer war, many people wrote their thoughts and feelings and sent them to friends and family via emails, blogs, and text messages. After several months of work, a group of individuals (mainly members of a London-based organization named Lebanon United) have been able to compile a collection of quotations from these writings with the aim of capturing the essence of that time. The writings come from Lebanese and non-Lebanese, and were paired (in the form of postcards) with personal photographs that individuals had taken, making this book one for the people by the people.

A sample of this book, which has been called "A Lost Summer: Postcards from Lebanon", can be viewed with this link. For those interested in buying a copy, or if you would like more information, please contact me at xxx, and your message will be forwarded to the proper contacts.

Because of a wonderful sponsor that covered the printing costs, every dollar (or pound or lira) you spend on this will be donated in support of Lebanon.

- L.

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22.2.07

Cold Civil War

Every once in a while someone comes along and coins a memorable term that captures the essence of a crisis. Yesterday, Amin Gemayel gave us "Cold Civil War".

A cold civil war is exactly what is happening in Lebanon today. It is mostly felt in "mixed" environments.

In offices, for example, you can't avoid the sense of "otherness" emanating from the person sitting in the next cubicle. In gatherings, family or otherwise, entire conversations change if someone in the crowd is from the other camp. A rich lexicon of euphemisms has flourished, where you say "Southerner" when what you really mean to say is "Shiaa" and by extension "Northerner" replaces "Sunni".

"Those Syrian Iranian Scumbags" change into "The Opposition" and "Those Zionist American Traitors" become "The Pro-Government loyalists". Among Christians, "Those Aounist Traitors" and "Those War mongering LF Militias" both magically transform into "Our brothers in the other camp".

The fact is: We can't stand each other. We try to hide it but we secretly wish the other never existed.We can't have a real civil war because memories of the previous one are still too vivid. But at the same time, our aspirations, goals and objectives are just too conflicting.

We won't fight each other. We won't make nice. We're stuck at the brink of "mutually assured destruction". It is indeed a cold war. A Cold Civil war.

(This article originally appeared in The Beirut Spring)

Advertisement by Ziad

A friend of mine created a website, 2emmak (Your Mother), to host the latest (is this the first?) ad starred by Ziad Rahbani. The advertisement is for Optimum, Health Insurance Plan. I tried to "borrow" the video and embed it in a blog post, but the task was too time consuming. Hence, I will just provide you the link.

Since the advertisement is in Arabic, I did a quick English translation for the non-Arabic speakers.

Man: [But] this is a humanitarian job.

Ziad: No brother, it is true.

Take for example the medical doctor, with all my respect to him, but what does he wish you? To stay like a tiger? No, he wants to work as well.

And the hospital... Does the hospital wish to stay open day and night and people are running around it like horses?

You see? So, if you put your mother aside, at the end of the day, it is only the insurance people who wish you every good and that no harm, whatsoever, touch you.

What can I do!? But this is the truth.

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20.2.07

The Shift

A good friend of mine sent me this article and asked me if i can share it with you. Here it is:


Let me introduce myself: A former Aounist. Between brackets, the commonest joke around the street these days is "Q: what do you call a neutral Lebanese? A: a former Aounist"!! What makes this joke eerily black is the fact that it is sadly true. For the tenacious-dare I say- few who remain devoted Aounists and who look at us, their former brothers of the cause, in disdain I write this piece. May it help you in understanding the shift in "our" thinking.


I am not, nor will I ever be a political analysist. Whoever might critique my piece by pointing out to this fact, I tell you from the start: You are right, I am not a political prodigy. But do I have to be? I am a citizen of this country who once believed that the Syrian "presence" is wrong and found in the figure of Michel Aoun the embodiment of this idea. The Syrians left, Aoun came back. Although on the surface, he seemed to have become more than a sympathizer of the Syrian regime, I and many Aounists refused and still do refuse to believe that someone who spent 15 years of exile would suddenly become a staunch supporter of those who exiled him. No, this is not why I am no more a Aounist; nor are the general's alliances the cause for that shift. What makes me question my former stand is the general's amazing ability to focus on one goal and march to accomplish it without blinking, without caring for the disastrous consequences. Yes, the current government may have made many mistakes; yes the current government may not be representative of all the Lebanese, and yes the current government might have all the flaws that one can think of. But does this justify camping in the capital's heart for long days and nights thus putting numerous businesses and hundreds of employees out of work? Does this justify blocking roads, burning tires, and preventing people from moving freely? Does this justify the arrogant, hatred-fueling television talks? And most importantly, does this justify playing a role in bringing the country to the verge on an explosive civil war? Aren't there any other civilized ways to ask for changes?

The above questions are, I believe, legitimate. As a Lebanese citizen, I have the right to hear answers. As a Lebanese citizen who witnessed an atrocious and completely meaningless civil war, I have the right to ask that it never gets repeated. No matter what the reasons are, no matter how right the demands are, Aoun and others do not have the right to jeopardize the country's already shaken status quo. As a Lebanese citizen, I have the right to ask for no more hatred, no more years wasted in futile wars.

19.2.07

The Lost Valentine

I would spread the cloths under your feet;
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.


I simply love this verse...I cannot think of any other lines that better express my deepest thoughts about the question one so often searches for the answers to: 'what is love?'I first came across these lines in a book called "The Charmed Circle", whenI was all of 14 years old... To my young and (as yet) unimpressioned mind, it spoke of a love so deep, so earnest and so 'giving' that it stayed with me through the years in the quiet recesses of my mind, echoing gentle reminders in soft undertones... "Tread softly because you tread on mydreams"...The years may have flown by since then and my impressions of love washed in the many colours of experience... but the spirit of this verse remains.

17.2.07

حرب السارقين


اجتمعوا في الخفاء، رسموا الخطة والطريق… تواعدوا على الكتمان، فلم يعرف إنسانٌ واحدٌ بما هم مزمعون على فعله… لم يكن ليتصوّر مخلوقٌ بشري مدى خبثهم… ففي حين كان البشر يحتضرون، آخر ما كان ينقصهم أن يسرق أحدهم ما تبقى لهم للحياة بعزّة…
وكالعادة المريرة، نجى كلّ منهم بفعلته، لأنّ الشعب البسيط لم يعتقد يوماً أنّ الخيانة قد تكون من أهل البيت… ولأن القوانين في الغاب مفقودة، لم يسلك الأبطال زواريباً لنقل كنوزنا، بل جالوا علناً…
مصيبة الإنسان، أنّه لا يعرف قيمة الشيء إلا عندما يفقده… وما سرقه هؤلاء، كان أمام ناظرنا في كلّ يوم ولم نعرف به…
سرقوا جنى أجدادنا، وباعوه ما وراء الحدود بأبخس الأثمان… لمن؟! نعم، ويا للأسف لسارقين آخرين، باعوه بدورهم لمن علّمهم ذلك…
عاد السارقون حاملون غلاتنا في جيوبهم، وراحوا يطعموننا بما فاض منها، فتبعناهم ووثقنا بهم كالكلاب الوفيّة… حتى من علم منّا بما فعلوه، غضّ النظر فداءً للمصلحة الشخصية، أو خوفاً من موتٍ…
ولا عيب في أن يحكم من له المال… فكما قال أحد حكماء قريتي (القابع اليوم في السجن بتهمة اختلاس المخابرات!هل يصدّق أحدكم كيف أنّ رجلاً سرق المخابرات في عزّ جبروتها؟): في البداية الشهرة، ثم المال… وعندما يكون لك الإثنان، لا يبقى أمامك إلا السلطة.. وهكذا فعل أبطالنا…
لكن ما إن تمركزوا في مواقعهم، عرفوا أنّهم نسوا بعض الأشياء في الغارة الماضية… طبعاً، فقد بقي لنا سمك البحر، وحجارة الجبال، والهواء… يا للهول! لقد سقط سهواً من أمام أيديهم الكثير…

وكالعادة، الشعب المتعلّق بالقشور، الذي يتباهى بالتمدّن لم يخرج من العشائرية والتبعيّة…
التفاهة هي بسببنا، فلا أحد يجبر أيّاً كان أن يكون بلا معنى أو حتى بلا عزّة نفس، إن لم نقل بلا تفكير… هناك الكثير من غير المتعلّمين في العالم، لكنّهم ليسوا بالضرورة بلا كرامة، يتذلّلون أمام سارق ويعظّمونه في وجهه، بينما يطلقون السباب عليه في غرف نومهم… وما إن تأتي ما يسمّونها إنتخابات، يسكبون بصوتهم الحنون في الصناديق، فيغنّي كلّ الناجحين أغاني العفّة والطهارة، ويطبعون على جبينهم عدد الأغبياء الذين انتخبوهم…
ويا سعدُه الذي يجد اسمه على رأس سيّده القديم المتجدّد… طبعاً يا سعدُه، فانتفاخه الفارغ لن يسمح له برؤية كلمة غبي بقرب اسمه…

مثال الديمقراطية! أكيد! فنحن أحرار في أن ننتخب الذي نريد من بين الأربعين حرامي!
المهم أن تبقى المغارة… وللعلم والخبر “افتح يا سمسم” ليس مفتاحها…

لبنان مثال الحياة الحلوة… الأمن، السلام!
انخدع أبو الكذّابين لوهلةٍ، واعتقد أنّ أبناءه بدأوا يحيدون عن الدرب “القويم”، إذ وصلت إلى مسامعه أنّهم يدفعون لبناء الكنائس والمساجد… بينما هم فعلوا ذلك فقط أملاً بكسب رضىً كاذب للقيّمين الموتى عليها… لعب الوسواس برأسه… طبعاً فقيام مؤمنٍ حقيقي واحد في أحدها يزعجه… وهو يفضّل أن يحرق بلداً باكمله وقائياً، من أن يرى بذرة ممكن أن تزهر في يومٍ من الأيّام… وأيضاً لماذا لا يتلّذذ يوماً بكلّ المال الذي لطالما نصح أولاده بنهبه…
كيف يدخل إلى المغارة؟ سهلٌ جدّاً… قتل واحداً من السارقين، سرق المفتاح… ودخل… بكلّ بساطة…
هنا تساءل السارقون ماذا يفعل الوالد عندهم، وكيف دخل… فقال وهو ينظر إلى قسمٍ منهم: لماذا قتلتم أخاكم؟! فانقضّ الإخوة الأفاضل على بعضهم، نهشاً وتجريحاً وسباباًً… طبعاً، الأجواء بينهم مشحونة على الدوام… من سرق أكثر؟ من تعب أكثر وهو يسرق؟ من ذاق الأمرّين وهو يسرق؟ من حصّته أكبر؟ من يستحقّ حصّته ومن لا يستحقها؟…
أمّا هو فكان جالساً بفرح على الصناديق… وما كان منه إلا أن قام وفتحها على غفلةٍ منهم، فوجدها كلّها فارغة!
جنّ جنونه، فأمسك بعنق أحد أبنائه قائلاً: أين المال! الآن قل لي! أين المال؟
فردّ ابنه قائلاً: قدّمناه هدايا للجار!
قال الأب بغضب: لماذا؟!
ردّ الأبن بحرقة: كي نكون بالسرقة أحرار…
فقال الأب: وكيف تعيشون هنا؟! بأيّ مال؟
قال: إستدنّا أربعون مليار!
فقال أبو الكذابين بغضبٍ وشرّ: أفنوا بعضكم… لا أريد أن أسمع بسلامٍ في هذا البلد بعد الآن… أنا ذاهبٌ لأتبنّى بشّار…

هل تعتقدون أنّ السارقين هم الذين ماتوا؟!
أخطأتم كالعادة!
الذي مات ويموت هو شعبي، لأنّه يرزح تحت حملٍ ثقيل… نعم، على ظهره يركب أربعون حمار…

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16.2.07

The Road Always Taken

Yesterday, I had the chance to watch Sam Rugege (Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Rwanda) give a lecture on Rwanda's pursuit of justice and reconciliation after it's 1994 genocide. He started off with the phrase "A million people killed in a hundred days" as he told the tale of the violence (and history of the violence) that Rwanda suffered. For the next hour or so, he discussed the systems Rwanda put in place to deal with the memory and injustice of its genocide. He discussed how schools teach the new generation about the genocide; not by blaming and demonizing one side, but by dealing with it as a human tragedy.

When the lecture ended, I had the opportunity to ask "How does Rwanda ensure that it doesn't fall back 12 years in time?"

His reply was "Nothing is certain, but we have tried what we think is the best way to break from the past. We have tried to instill a sense of justice into our people. We have tried to break the barrier between the two communities, between perpetrator and victim, and to educate our people on our inherent independence. We have tried to create a path of justice and to attempt reconciliation; both are important, but none of which will survive on its own. And if we fail, at least we can say that we tried. At least we can tell our grandchildren that we tried to make a better place for them."

The question is: Has Lebanon tried? Has it tried anything else besides repeating the (faulty) actions of past generations?

The answer to those questions is much shorter than the answer he gave.

The answer is "No."

14.2.07

Standing Alone

Maher, a Lebanese in Sydney, from M Possible's blog, would like to share with you this post he wrote not so long ago. So, without any further delay, I'll leave you to reading it.

"Stand up for what you believe in... even if it means standing alone!"

I am standing alone...

I believe in striving to create a better world and a brighter one for the generations to come and NOT planting hatred and aggression.

I believe in engaging our youth in their talents and creativity and building upon it and NOT engaging them in political cheer-leading.

I believe in an eternal spark deep down everyone for the love of living, playing and interacting positively and NOT in labeling individuals and misleading them.

I believe in the wonderful times and genuine love, bond and interaction I have with my friends and my brothers and sisters and NOT in the shaky sudden friendships only because of that ID label.

I believe in learning from the mistakes of the past, the tragedies, the dreadful crescendo and the memories of all the affected lives and futures and NOT in being guided into the same trap, by the same people, the same influences, the same media, the same invisible destructive hands and the same mongrels under unfaithful claims and concealed business deals and heritage/patriotic crimes.

I believe in the genuine souls who will stand up against all this chaos and NOT the souls who will be led into blinded hatred and irrational causes.

I believe in Lebanon, my Lebanon, your Lebanon, OUR Lebanon and NOT anybody else.

Tears shedding in my heart...
Agony boiling in my blood...
Glaze sparking in my eyes...
YET... an eternal spirit ever strong in my existence...
to strive in reaching a message, a message of love, serenity, trust, understanding and awakening!

...maher

13.2.07

Wall of Beirut

I decided to go to Beirut Down Town and see what have happened to our nation's beating heart. This is what I saw.....






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The heart of Beirut was converted into the "Wall of Beirut" similar to the famous "Wall of Berlin"; separating supporters of the nation two political sides. Sadness overwhelmed me as I was taking pictures and videos to the sad reality we are living nowadays....

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Shame on Us

We were in class, having a lecture about "Brain strokes", when we got the news about the two bus explosions. We hurried to a TV trying to figure out what the hell has just happened.

"As usual, March 14th decided to fake another explosion so that they can have huge numbers in their protest tomorrow!!!????"

"Surely it is an SSNP act, they are known for such things, they want to stop people from going down to martyrs square tomorrow??!!!"

Shame on us! This all what I can say. How can we simply jump to conclusions and "accuse" each other soo damn easily? Instead of at least have some respect for those innocent poor people who got killed, all what we do is start accusing each other, and go back to our bloody history to support our shameless accusations.

You can talk all you want that what we have come to is the political leaders fault, and that because of them and their awful strategies, people in the streets are at each others throats, but each and every one of us is to blame for this as well! Why do we insist on NOT using our brains, and agree to follow what ever leader says without even thinking about it? Can't we think? Can't we analyse? Can't we see that there's a huge tension in the streets already, and that the only right thing to do is NOT to pour more oil on the fire?

Throwing accusation so easily left and right is an example of how stupid we are! Maybe the leaders are to blame, but we are to blame too....

Shame on us!

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شو إلو معنى بعد العيد؟

كيف قصتنا هيك بتخلص؟
كيف بوساتنا هيك بتموت؟
و حبنا إللي ما كان ينقص
و الذكريات بساحات بيروت

بعدا البوسات و الضمّات
بتعطّر هونيك البيوت
و صدا الضحكات و البسمات
بِتلوِّن نغمات السكوت

عيد الحب بكرا جايي
و انا عنك و عن بيروت بعيد
كيف بتنتهي هيك الحكايي
و شو إلو معنى بعد العيد؟

12.2.07

When The Roses Say I Love You

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11.2.07

It just got personal!

Saturday February 10, 2007 in the lobby of Faray Mazar Intercontinental Hotel, a group of eight couples are sitting around a table chatting about everything and nothing, and of course about the political situation.

Meanwhile, MP Ibrahim Kanan, a follower of General Aoun, the ally of Hezbollah, with three of his bodyguards, passes by. Unfortunately, one of the men sitting in the table utters the three deadly words “We want to live!” made famous by the “I love Life” campaign of March 14.

MP Kanan stops and glares at that unfortunate person and then moves on…Ten minutes later the MP comes back and stand in front of the table, shouting “what do you mean by you want to live.” The unfortunate man stands up and politely introduces himself saying, “I want live, means I want to come to Faray and have fun, means that I want to send my children to school!”

-“The people you have been following for the past year and a half will lead you to your own destruction” vehemently answers the Aounist MP.”

“I am not here to get into a political discussion, I just want to go out and have some fun with my friends. Thank it was nice meeting you!”, answered back the unfortunate person.

-“I am the MP of this Qadaa, and this is my region, you will hear what I have to say!!!”

“No thank you, I told you I am not here to discuss politics!”

The unfortunate man turns and start heading back towards his table to sit down. One of the bodyguards unholsters his weapon, smacks him on the head with its butt from the back and fires two shots in the air!

The unfortunate man is my brother in law, and this happened yesterday in front of my sister and their friends.

Thank you Aoun for your democracy, peacefulness and empty promises, now I can better understand what happened last Tuesday and Thursday. Now I can understand who fired the first shots in those days!

Thank you Ibrahim Knaan and thank you Aoun, we will not fire or even hit you or any of your supporters back, we will just see you in court!

Finally, let me reiterate my brother in law, his wife and my own insistence that “WE WANT TO LIVE!”

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7.2.07

The Solution

Yesterday, Mr. Jeajea was on LBC, and today's morning, a HA official was on LBC too. Watching the two men talking, I've come to be more and more convinced that the conflict is not coming to an end. Each side seems to be -more than ever- clinching to its point of view, and refusing even simple adjustment to how things should go.

It has been clear by now that the country has been polarized so much that reason and logic have no place anymore, and it would be a total waste of time trying to convince the other side about your point of view. It's no longer about right or wrong, it has turned into a "Bone-breaking-contest" that none seems to be interested in ending it.

Looking at the situation, one can easily see that the future is bleak, and that hope for a resolution is far far away. So, what should we do? How can this conflict come to an end?

Well, objectively speaking, we can say that both sides are wrong at the same time, and being stubborn doesn't lead to anything but more and more tension in the streets. It seems that what we need is to simply -eliminate- the worries of each side and establish a new beginning to solve all the current issues.

March 14th says that its main worry is that giving March 8th the "blocking third" gives the opposition the upper hand in the "Council of Ministers", since they can topple the government at any moment. March 8th, on the other hand, says that allowing March 14th to have the "Controlling two thirds" of the government allows them to do whatever they want without even considering March 8th opinions.

Obviously, March 14th is not willing to give the "blocking third" to the opposition, and March 8th is not wiling to give the majority the "controlling two thirds".Then the solution would simply be "disarming" both sides of the "powers" that worries the other side. A 19-10-1 confirmation would disarm March 14th from the "controlling two thirds", so they won't be able to take any decision unless March 8th accepts it, and at the same time, such confirmation would disarm the opposition from the "blocking third", so they won't be able to topple the government.

Such government, would be responsible for:
  1. Reaching an agreement regarding the presidential elections
  2. Reavhing an agreement regarding the Tribunal
  3. Reaching an agreement regarding a new fair electoral law
  4. Reaching an agreement regarding the "Constitutional Council"
  5. And most importantly, solving Liban daily issues and put an end to the paralysis that has infected Liban.

All problems can be addressed in the government or the parliament, while the Lebanese daily life and issues are being run appropriately.

It seems like this is the only "middle" solution available nowadays, especially when knowing that the presidential elections are so near, and if the conflict is not resolved, we will end up arguing about the government, the presidency and the parliament. Paralysing the three institutions is NOT the way; it will lead to a farther ciaos and the chance of running into a new civil war will be higher higher, if it won't be the only last solution then......

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6.2.07

Khalsouna Ba2a!




"Resolve it. Solve it." is a grassroots initiative that developed out of the recent turmoil in Lebanon. On Saturday Feb.10th, this group is organizing a human chain in Beirut, to publicly demand an immediate and peaceful resolution to the political deadlock. To register & be part of the human chain, and for more information, visit here.


Nature & Energy


Will we lose all this for the sake of energy?
A hard question and an impossible response!
Time is running quickly, and the evolution needs more and more… pollution is now just a human habitude, and there is no way to live without it…
Energy! It is not a small word! Almost the majority of last and actual wars are around it…
It is divided in many sources, and used mainly under the electricity and mechanical forms… it uses mainly the petroleum products, nuclear reactors and the other nature resources including waterfalls, wind, and solar electricity producing systems… Regarding the high consumption and needs, the former two sources remain the main way of production.
Do we feel responsible for our consumption?
What if one million people, in a ten millions habitant’s city, just forget to turn off their room light?
What about keeping our car engine’s on for nothing while waiting for someone next door?
What about using our car for a simple short move, while we can do it on our feet?
How much CO2 is pushed in the atmosphere just from one street of our cities, while the cars are waiting the green light to move on?
These questions have no end!
It is already too late… it is not enough to say, we have to act…
There is no one country that is spared… the earth atmosphere is one…
The debates we are making are just a waste of time…
Waiting for our governments to act is not enough, if not worthless…
Governments are full of corruption… full of persons who want to collect millions of dollars, for their and treasury sake… asking them to change now is something we have to work on many years… the petroleum and energy companies are more powerful than governments… not forgetting how they conduct election’s campaigns to pass after their own policy…
A small example about the difference between the laws that are applicable on the people and those who direct companies; everyone of us know that driving faster than 120-140km/h is not accepted by policemen, but policemen accept that a cars producing company makes cars that can run up to 240km/h…
When someone is gaining millions of dollars, he will think that his castle garden is the earth… but what about the real earth?

Don’t be non reactive to what is going on around you… what is going on is so dangerous, and if we don’t want to change our behavior, nature will be forced to change it by herself…

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4.2.07

صباح الغربي


صباحك يا وطني
يللي صباحك خير
بس الدنيي بالغربي
كل شي فيها غير
غير لون الخبز
غير صوت الطير

بتذكرك يا وطني
بعجقات السير
بزمامير السيارات
بجامع حدّو دير
بتذكرك بدمّع و بقول
انت صباحك خير

Bein el-ard wil sama


   

I was browsing the archives of Public Radio International's The World for music (their Global Hit segment is one of the best sources of world music on radio) when I came across 2 segments about music from Lebanon that I must have missed. One was from the days of this summer's war, about Fayrouz; the other, earlier, about Haifa's efforts to raise awareness about AIDS. As commendable as Haifa's efforts are, the juxtaposition couldn't have been any more loaded!

PS: For fans of Aznavour, he was featured with a great English-language interview more recently.

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3.2.07

Blogger Meeting #17: Field Trip

Date: Sunday, Feb. 11th
Departure: Beirut
Destination: South and then East
Duration: All Day
Dress: Comfortable
Dues: Transportation cost over Final Number of people
Duties: Show up, Sing, Eat, Smile, Pretend to have a good time
Dance: Optional
Deal?:RSVP please.

A Cloud Eating The Sun, Akkar



A Cloud Eating The Sun, Aadbel

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2.2.07

صندوق التبرع بالدين

التدوينة أرسلت بها SH. وما على الرّسول إلا البلاغ.

كنت استمع أمس بالصدفة إلى إذاعة "صوت الشعب" حين اتصلت إحدى المواطنات واسمها مريم. أعجبتني جداً أفكار مريم التي كانت تتكلم عن الطائفية والمذهبية المستشرية في نفوس اللبنانيين، وكيف أن الناس باتوا يتصارعون طائفياً وينسون وضعهم المعيشي والسياسي المتجه إلى المجهول. لكن أكثر ما أعجبني هو فكرة طرحتها مريم تدعو إلى إقامة صندوق وطني للتبرع بالدين. نعم أعلم أن الفكرة غريبة. إنشاء صندوق وطني اسمه صندوق التبرع بالدين وبالمذهب بما أن النزاع في لبنان ليس، حتى الآن، طائفياً بقدر ما هو مذهبي. يتم التبرع للصندوق بالدين والمذهب وذلك بهدف استبدال الانتماء الديني والمذهبي بالانتماء الوطني. أي أتبرع بديني لوطني وأصبح أنتمي فقط للبنان وليس لأي طائفة أو مذهب.

والمقصود ليس أن يصبح المتبرع بدينه ملحداً فالفكرة لا علاقة لها بالإيمان. الإيمان مختلف عن الدين أو الانتماء إلى الدين. أنا أقصد أن يتخلى الإنسان عن الكلمة المذكورة في إخراج القيد وعن الفئة التي ينتمي إليها عند الولادة والتي ليس له علاقة بها. ففي لبنان نحن منذ الولادة ننتمي لفئة معينة دون أي رأي أو اختيار. الإيمان هو قرار أما الهوية الدينية فهي ميراث. لذا أعتقد أن التبرع بها من أجل الوطن ليس بأمر صعب.

ومن يتبرع بدينه ومذهبه يتخلى عن انتمائه الطائفي الذي يحدد عن الولادة. أي بعد التبرع يصبح الشخص ينتمي إلى فئة أخرى هي فئة الوطنيين نقطة على السطر وليس الوطنيين المسلمين أو الوطنيين المسيحيين أوالسنة أو الشيعة أو الدروز. يصبح المتبرع: لبناني نقطة. لبناني لا يخاف على حقوق طائفته ولا يشارك في أي مواجهة بين أبناء طائفة وطائفة أخرى. المتبرع يحارب لأجل الوطن ويُعنى بمشاكل الوطن ويقلق على مستقبل الوطن فقط. وباستطاعة المتبرع أن ينتمي إلى أي تيار سياسي يريد طالما أن هذا الانتماء نابع من قرار شخصي لا علاقة له بالانتماء الطائفي وطالما أنه لا يتبع زعيم معين كونه زعيم لطائفته.

فلنفتح الصندوق عبر هذا المقال. من مستعد للتبرع بدينه أو مذهبه؟