"Lubnan Al-Akhdar" (Green Lebanon) is the famous song (by Fairuz), usually aired a lot during "independence day" celebrations, claiming that the world is now more beautiful because of our paradise on Earth: Lebanon. But the fact is we are now facing desertification at an alarming rate. The situation would have seemed hopeless if it were not for the appreciated efforts of a few local organizations like the green line, protection of nature, shouf cedars and the local branches of some international organizations. Although we are highly politicized, it seems that we are not so aware when it comes to environmental issues. Environmental clubs in universities and schools are not that popular yet, and environmental activists are looked down upon. The activities of the Ministry of Environment have yet to show their fruits. "Lubnan Al-Akhdar" is more than just a perfect photo for a post card. It is the livelyhood of the Lebanese. It is our source of income as well as good health. We should all be held accountable.
30 November 2005
26 November 2005
The Liberians have elected a new president. She is Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. By this Liberia has added another first in its history. In addition to being the first African country to gain independence, it is now the first African country to have a woman as a president. Congratulation Ms. President, congratulations Liberia.
25 November 2005
Fairuz chants in favor of immigration
Fairuz longs for a small peaceful house in Canada "bayt sghir bi Canada". This is the theme of one of her latest songs. It wouldn’t have caught my attention had it not been the Fairuz of the Rahbanis’ who is singing. Actually this is a red alert.
Fairuz is a symbol of Lebanese nationalism. (She is also a symbol of Palestinian struggle and of Syrian nationalism too. Have fun figuring that out.)
The echoes of her chanting call “sa narja3u yawman illa hayyinna” (we shall return someday to our neighborhood) still reverberate today. So for her to sing and support leaving and immigrating to as far away from Lebanon as Canada reflects the darkness looming in the horizon of the land of the cedars.
It seems that the prophecy voiced in the play “natourit al mafateeh” (the keeper of the keys) by the Rahbanis, in which Fairuz played the major role, is being fulfilled.
In the play, all the dwellers of a kingdom decide to leave as a result of the corrupt and unjust rule of their king. So they leave the keys of their homes with “the keeper of the keys” played by Fairuz. The king wakes up and finds that he rules empty houses and only one person. The plot then goes on.
Our politicians should be warned that they might end up ruling “nobody” if the political hypocrisy, “racist” sectarian splits, economic divide, ugly bullshit, etc. continue.
Quoting Ali: “Talking about the immigration of brains, (hijrat al admigha) I think I should immigrate too, this will prove I have a brain.”
23 November 2005
Lebanon needs to be independent from the whims of its sects. All the sects should be "disarmed".
22 November is the national independence day of Lebanon. This year, Prime Minister Saniora’s government came up with “Independence, Liberation, Freedom” as a motto for the celebration of 22/11.
“Independence” from the French mandate in 1943, “Liberation” of the South of Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000 (thanks to Hezbollah, Syrian and Iranian help) and “Freedom” from the Syrian interference in Lebanese public life.
P.M. Seniora’s objective is obvious: an attempt to bring together the two major divides in Lebanon, or what have come to be known as 8th of March and 14th of March with a dash of history. But this did not work.
On the eve of 22/11 clashes in the South, between Israeli forces on the one hand and the Hezbollah and Lebanese army on the other hand (four Lebanese died), show how fragile “independence and liberation” are.
Disregarding recent Israeli violation of Lebanese sovereignty, some of us Lebanese started “shouting” that we should disarm the “resistance” because it is a “threat” to the sovereignty of the State.
I see another "greater" threat to the sovereignty and unity of the State of Lebanon. Not only Hezbollah and as a consequence the Shiites have weapons, but almost each of the other sects is "armed" with a total control of at least one major facet of our life. This gives each sect the power to decide and guide wholly one or more of the economic, military, educational, foreign, and other policies which influence the entire population regardless of their sect. This control over each one of these aspects – which is distributed among the sects by law or enforced by tradition – contradicts the principles of sovereignty, unity, the role of the State and the concept of equality among citizens.
If we really seek democracy, development, freedom, equality, liberation, independence… then I believe that all the sects should be “disarmed”. No sect should have, for any reason, any authority, above or greater than the authority of the State.
Michael Moore’s letter to President Bush on Iraq:
Dear Mr. Bush:
I would like to extend my hand and invite you to join us, the mainstream American majority. We, the people -- that's the majority of the people -- share these majority opinions:
1. Going to war was a mistake -- a big mistake. (link)
2. You and your administration misled us into this war. (link)
3. We want the war ended and our troops brought home. (link)
4. We don't trust you. (link)
Now, I know this is a bitter pill to swallow. Iraq was going to be your great legacy. Now, it's just your legacy. It didn't have to end up this way.
This week, when Republicans and conservative Democrats started jumping ship, you lashed out at them. You thought the most damning thing you could say to them was that they were "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party." I mean, is that the best you can do to persuade them to stick with you -- compare them to me? You gotta come up with a better villain. For heaven's sakes, you had a hundred-plus million other Americans who think the same way I do -- and you could have picked on any one of them!
But hey, why not cut out the name-calling and the smearing and just do the obvious thing: Come join the majority! Be one of us, your fellow Americans! Is it really that hard? Is there really any other choice? George, take a walk on the wild side!
Your loyal representative from the majority,
12 November 2005
The small Arabic script in this cartoon says "conflicts of the Arabs", but I think this cartoon by Naji is also representative of Lebanese dialogue or alhiwar al lubnani that is so "in" these days.
Mutapha Akkad (1935 – 2005) was a Syrian-American producer, director and actor. Born in Aleppo, Syria. He and his daughter Rima were murdered by terrorists in the Nov. 2005 Amman bombings in addition to more than 70 innocent civilians.
Mustapha Akkad made an effort in his life bridge the gap between the west and Islam and to remove the stigma of terrorism that Islam has been accused of ...
He was in the process of producing a film about Saladin. Speaking of the film, he said,
"...Saladin exactly portrays Islam. Right now, Islam is portrayed as a terrorist religion. Because a few terrorists are Muslims, the whole religion has that image. If there ever was a religious war full of terror, it was the crusades. But you can't blame Christianity because a few adventurers did this. That's my message."
In an interview, in 1976, about his film Al Risala, he said:
"I did the film because it is a personal thing for me. Besides its production values as a film, it has its story, its intrigue, its drama. Beside all this I think there was something personal, being Muslim myself who lived in the west I felt that it was my obligation my duty to tell the truth about Islam. It is a religion that has a 700 million following, yet it's so little known about it which surprised me. I thought I should tell the story that will bridge this gap to the west."
"Prevail" is the "in" word in America just now. We are not going to "win" in Iraq - because we did that in 2003, didn’t we, when we stormed up to Baghdad and toppled Saddam? Then George Bush declared "Mission Accomplished". So now we must "prevail". That’s what F J "Bing" West, ex-soldier and former assistant secretary for International Security Affairs in the Reagan administration said this week. Plugging his new book - No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah - he gave a frightening outline of what lies in store for the Sunni Muslims of Iraq. more... (by Robert Fisk )
10 November 2005
How the Bush administration is spreading the seeds of democracy and peace in the world. Fire Bombs in Iraq: Napalm By Any Other Name
The Israeli Defense Forces are also helping in the sowing of the "good seeds": IDF using phosphorus shells in populated areas
Jordan hotel blasts kill dozens
Nothing can justify such brutal acts that target innocent civilians... acts like these just makes things worse for the rest of the population in this already ill-fated region...
"I lost my father and my father-in-law on my wedding night," he added. "The world has to know that this has nothing to do with Islam."
-The groom Ashraf al-Khaled who was hosting a wedding
reception at the Radisson SAS, Amman, when the bomb went off.
A call from Beirut Spring:
The "We Trust Mehlis" Petition is now available
online. Everyone who believes that Detlev Mehlis is doing a good job should
sign it. Tell your friends, your family, post it on your blog/website and
encourage your readers to sign it. do whatever you can to let our opinion out.
We cannot allow credibility of this man to be tarnished.
07 November 2005
A 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Ahmad Khateep, shot in the head and chest this week by Israeli soldiers died of his wounds on Saturday, Nov. 5. His father said his family had decided to donate the boy's organs to Israeli children who needed them.
Ahmad was shot in Jenin, West Bank.
The boy's father, Ismail Khateep said, "We want to send a message of peace to Israeli society, to the Defense Ministry and the Israeli parliament," he said. Israeli forces "killed my son who was healthy and we want to give his organs to those who need them."
This would make Ghandi look like an amateur. Hattallu wizik.
06 November 2005
Visit this site. The people of Syria are caught in a complex political
game outside of their control. Having suffered for decades from internal
oppression and external threats, they now stand powerless in the face of the
Bush administration's latest campaign to change the Middle East, according to
its own interests only....
Friends of Syria support the continued peaceful and
strong relationship between the people of Syria and the people of Lebanon, and
call upon both countries to respect each other's sovereignty and support each
other's national interests....
The people of Syria are caught in a complex political
05 November 2005
04 November 2005
Secret Prisons run by the CIA. So much for human rights?!!!.
He: Walla shi nice, the Aouniyin have some good plans and slogans, can they fulfill them…
She: Because they are Lebanese!!
Happy Holidays?!! It is difficult to celebrate, with all the death and trouble around us. From trying to cope with the assassination of Mr. Hariri and all the repercussions that followed in Lebanon, to Iraqi kids who stay indoors to escape the explosions that are growing in frequency and in number of casualties. And to Palestinians who have to deal with daily killings in addition to occupation, poverty and an illegal apartheid wall of separation. And one can go on and on.
Wishes for Happy Holidays have no meaning unless they are wishes for better times in the future.
InshAllah tin3ad 3llaykun bilkheir.