Thursday, May 31, 2007
"That light in his eyes has certainly died,
Heroism will not rescue him, nor will the humiliation of prayer."
I can't get over the hummus article. Look at the stupidity of the
"Messabha – An Arabic word, believed to derive from the word "morning" (subuh in Arabic). A dish that is almost identical to hummus but in different consistency: the chickpeas remain whole and are covered with tahini sauce and olive oil." I mean Mussabaha obviously comes from the root "sabh" (to swim/float) and is ALWAYS pronounced that way. The name comes from the consistency of the dish -- the chickpeas are swimming in the tahine. It has nothing to do with subh (morning)."
"So let it be...
I have to reject death
and to burn the tears of
the songs that are soaked with blood
and to strip naked the olive trees
from all the fake bushes
And if I am singing for joy
from behind the frightened
it is because the storm
promised me wine...
and new toasts
and because the storm
brushed away the sound
of lazy birds
and the borrowed bushes
from the standing trees
And let it be...
I have to brag about you,
o, wound of the city
You are the portrait of
lightening in our
The street frowns at my face
and you protect me from
the shadow and the looks
I will sing for joy
from behind the frightened
since the storm hit
It promised me wine,
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
"Celebrate Women! Honoring the Accomplishments of Women
• HE Hunaina Sultan Ahmed Al Mughairy, Ambassador of Sultanate of Oman to the US
• Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah, Wife of Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the US
• Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)....
Keynote Speaker: Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah* of Jordan, Recipient, ADC
Global Humanitarian Award
State of Qatar, Recipient, Global Benevolence Award for Compassion to Victims of
Federal Employment: Challenges and Opportunities
This panel is being sponsored by the US Army National Guard
Facilitator: Nawar Shora, ADC Director Diversity Education and Law Enforcement
• Shaarik Zaafar, DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
• George Piro, FBI
• Haytham Faraj, US Marine Corps (Judge Advocate General), Former ADC Intern
• CPT Hatem Abdine, Army National Guard...
• Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
• Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV)
• Former Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK)
• Former Congressman Paul Findley (R-IL)
• Senator Joseph Biden* (D-DE)
• Senator Hillary Clinton* (D-NY)
• Senator Chris Dodd* (D-CT)
• Former Senator John Edwards* (D-NC)
• Senator John McCain* (R-AZ)
• Senator Barack Obama* (D-IL)
• Congressman Ron Paul* (R-TX)
• New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson* (D-NM)
• Former Wisconsin Governor & Former Secretary of Health and
Human Services (HHS) Tommy Thompson* (R-WI)
• Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney* (R-MA)"
Of course, none of the "distinguished guests" will appear with the exception of Paul Findley.
Update: "Delegates at the inaugural UCU congress voted this afternoon in favour of a motion calling for 'the full text of the Palestinian boycott call to all branches for information and discussion'.The delegates earlier overwhelmingly (just one vote against) voted to accept the recommendations of a report from a body set up in the fallout of the 2005 decision by AUT to impose an academic boycott of Israel."
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
PS Thanks to one reader, we know more about Dr. Mhanna. Apparently he is "Professor of Strategy and International Business at major universities in the U.S. and Lebanon."
And my favorite part is this: "Occasionally, he writes the Economic Column in major newspapers." Occasionally? Does that mean that whenever he feels like it?
Here is an English translation (I will put the French translation in the comments' section): (thanks to Zeina for English translation, and to Ghada for French translation).
Accusations and Appeals
We, the undersigned:
Accuse the majority of our Lebanese leaders of using the Palestinian people and its resistance for their sectarian and petty agendas.
We accuse them of covering up the attack on an over-populated Palestinian-Lebanese camp by using the slogan of ‘sovereignty,” that is often employed in
We accuse them of adhering to a fascist ideology similar to the one that justified the siege of Tal Al-Zaatar and Dbayyeh camps in the mid-seventies, and of adopting Bush’s discourse on terror, as if the Palestinian people as a whole are supposed to carry the burden of a gang that Lebanese authorities themselves admit has no popular base in the camp.
We accuse them of covering up the creation of a security apparatus that is not subject to the jurisdiction and monitoring of the people and their representatives; just like those, who falsely claim sovereignty today, covered up the security apparatus during the period of the Syrian-regime’s control in Lebanon.
We accuse the 14 of March group in particular of propagating a project/plan that targets the arms of the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance, while reinforcing the weaponization of sectarian gangs. Such a policy will undoubtedly lead to an intensification of the conflict in
We accuse part of the ‘opposition’ of standing silent vis-a-vis the plans of the ruling dynasty simply because they are targeting a ‘sect’ that currently has no protection in Lebanon –namely, the Palestinian people. We also accuse part of the opposition of regurgitating the discourse of hostility against the Palestinian people.
We accuse many of the Lebanese of closing their shelters and schools to the Palestinian refugees escaping from Nahr al-Barid camp, while Palestinian camps had opened their doors wide to the Lebanese displaced during the summer Israeli war on
We accuse our liberal intellectuals of propagating a discourse of sovereignty and revenge instead of solidarity, citizenship, and true humanity. We accuse them of hypocrisy when they condemn the killing of Israeli civilians, but do not lift a finger at raizing a camp on its inhabitants. In addition, we accuse them of advocating human rights in only one Arab country.
We accuse Lebanese ‘nationalism’, which attempts to build a country on the shattered pieces of the victims of random bombing of Nahr Al-Barid camp, of despicable racism.
We condemn some of the Palestinian leadership who due to sectarian, material and shameful interests, have worked to cover up this ongoing war.
We accuse the fanatical salafis (supported and funded by the same entities that support and fund the current ruling Lebanese government) of spreading hatred, sectarianism, the culture of ‘takfeer’, exclusion, and one-dimensionality.
We accuse those Lebanese who claim that the American aerial bridge is an innocent or humanitarian act of political naivety at best, and complying with the escalating war at worst.
Based on what was presented above, we demand:
- An end to all acts of war against Nahr al-Barid camp and a rejection to invade the inhabited camp.
- That the Lebanese Army’s leadership reassert that it is
, not the Palestinian people, that is the enemy (not the 'neighbor'). Israel
- A condemnation of the sectarian agitation that has become the normal strategy of the ruling dynasty especially since the north elections in 2005.
- Working to change the current inhuman circumstances in the Palestinian refugee camps in
Lebanon, and providing the Palestinian people in Lebanonall civil rights until their eventual return to their homeland, . Palestine
- Ending all meaningless talk of ‘Lebanese services’ to the Palestinian cause, given that significant political actors in
have transformed this country into a den of conspiring against the Palestinian cause. Lebanon
- That national and democratic parties, loyal to the long history of Lebanese-Palestinian common struggle, take the initiative to save the camp and its inhabitants.
PS Neither Pepsi, nor Coke. Neither paper, nor plastic.
"My land..! My friends!..
My stolen treasure..! My history..
The bones of my father and
grandfather are denied to me,
so how can I forgive?
If they mount the gallows for
me...I am not forgiving
These green villages of ours
have all become our blood
and scattered traces
Ones have remained
and still fighting
Do not tell me..do not tell me..!
Even tombstones have been scattered."
Monday, May 28, 2007
"Brother, if a Westerner brags
after the war about his exploits,
and if he honors the memory of
the dead and glorifies the violence
Do not celebrate those who prevailed,
and do not despise those who fell,
but bow down like me, with a bloodied
and modest heart
to cry over the lot of our dead
Brother, if a soldiers returns home
after the war
to his homeland
and if he throws his exhausted body
in the lap of his kinsfolk,
Do not ask if you return home
Because hunger did not leave us
but the ghosts of our dead
to converse with
Brother, if a farmer returns home
to till the land,
and to build after a long absence
a hut destroyed by a cannon
our streams have dried up,
and humiliation smashed our
and the enemy only left us
the corpses of our dead
as plants in the land
Brother, what happened would
not have happened without our will,
misery has spread, and we could
have prevented it
Do not mourn, the ears of others
do not hear our grievances
But follow me, to dig a trench
with a shovel
to bury our dead
Brother, who are we? No homeland,
no folks, and no neighbor
If we sleep, if we rise up, we are
covered with shame and dishonor
Life has stunk with us, as it has
with our dead
Bring the shovel and follow me
to dig another trench,
to bury our living..."
"It is the night; all the borders
sank in its pitch-darkness
and it wrapped the existence
O, Arab beware
The desolute open ranges
are filled with the steps of enemies
from behind the banks of
the Euphrates and the Gulf,
And numerous thives,
all are greedy and deceptive
They came from behind the seas
stealing the food of the hungry
They descended upon the dark-skinned
stealing furits and dates
taking away the ground and air
capturing dew and light
They will deprive you, if they can
the green of the smiling trees
suffocating the tender songs
preventing sleep and dream
They are blocking the road,
obstructing all paths
Wake up, Ye noble Arab"
"Yellow papers these days
are distributing titles
kissing the hands of killers
bestowing on quasi-men
throwing sand on
and the noise of flies
can be heard in its
and dogs bark in its rivers
its heroes are the forgers
of currency, history, and ideas
and the players with ropes
and the confidants/clowns
and the choir of evil and nasty
I saw them on every land
that is pregnant with
lightening and rain
under the shoes of toilers
and the hand of revolutionaries
those who lower the flags
in their eyes are
humiliation and shame
for the sea water to wash off the shame"
*A member of the Bayyati family sent me an email the last time I posted a poem by the poet. She said that it should be Bayati. She said: "The name Al-Bayati refers to membership in one of the divisions of the Bayat tribe, which can be found in Iraq, Iran and Turkey and which can be Sunni or Shiite and Turkman, Kurd, or Arab (linguistically and now politically-speaking). It is thought that the Bayat arrived in Iraq with the Oghuz Turks. There are individuals called Bayati in Iraq, Bayat in Iran and BayatlI in Turkey. Nice people. I married one of their finest some 46 years ago. According to the family of my husband, Saadoun, bayat translates as “the people who camped overnight.”
"I was born carrying my corpses
on my shoulder
I was born, to my sorrow
I had no say over my
arrival or birth
I am the victim of my
history and chains
Damn. The big damn
is chasing me,
it afflicted my grandparents
Tomorrow, it will embrace
my children and grandchildren
and they will realize as I did
in my eagerness
that I came to this world,
to my sorrow
I came carrying my corpses
over my shoulder
Sunday, May 27, 2007
وصفي التل: القومي العربي الأصيل
أسعد أبو خليل *
كان وصفي التل قومياً عربياً حتى إنه كان يزعم أنه طُرد من الجيش البريطاني بسبب ميوله القومية العربية. قلة تتذكر أن وصفي التل التحق بحركة القوميين العرب. وكان ناشطاً قومياً في الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت، التي تخرّج منها. كم كان فخوراً بشهادته من الجامعة الأميركية. كان يستسيغ التحدث باللغة الإنكليزية حتى إنه فضّل التحدث الى المراسلين الأجانب لترى الأمة أن ابنها البار يتحدث بالإنكليزية. يا للحضارة. يا للرقي. ووصفي التل كان يرفض بإباء وشمم أن يخضع لفحص دم في وطنيته. ولم؟ ألم يمش في تظاهرة أو تظاهرتين في شبابه ومن أجل فلسطين؟ ألم يهتف ــ هو هتف ــ ضد الغرب والاستعمار؟ ألا يكفي هذا ويمحي كل ما صدر عن وصفي التل بعد ذلك؟
وصفي التل ارتبط اسمه طبعاً بحملة أيلول الأسود: تلك المجازر التي ارتكبها الجيش الأردني ضد المخيمات الفلسطينية في الأردن. كان اسمه يثير اشمئزاز الشعب الفلسطيني في كل مكان. لكن وصفي التل كان يصر على أنه من أنصار القضية الفلسطينية. كان دوماً (في حمأة المعارك) يردد كلاماً جميلاً عن المقاومة «الشريفة»، مثله مثل بيار الجميل الجد أثناء حصار تل الزعتر. هو كان يعادي «الإرهابيين»، فقط الإرهابيين. ما ذنب النظام في الأردن إذا كان المقاتلون الفلسطينيون يتحصّنون بين المدنيين؟ أما المدفعية فهي كانت من الضرورات العسكرية، ومن أجل كرامة الجيش والوطن. ونفي وصفي التل أن يكون النظام آنذاك تلقى دعماً إسرائيلياً (لم يكن صادقاًَ في نفيه، لكن ما علينا؟ اتركوا الرجل في دار الحق).
وصفي التل كان معتدلاً. الحكومات الغربية (ما نسميه اليوم في لبنان «المجتمع الدولي») رأت فيه رجل دولة محتذى. كم رُبِّت على كتف وصفي التل؟ والتربيت على الكتف من أرفع علامات الرضى الأميركي. وينسى البعض أن وصفي التل بعدما عالج «شأفة» الإرهاب في المخيمات، تطرق الى الاقتصاد. فهو أطلق بعد تصفية المقاومة مشروع الاتحاد الوطني في 1971، والذي تبنّى شعار «الحياة الأفضل». وصفي التل كان يعمل ما في وسعه ضد ثقافة الموت، ومن أجل ثقافة الحياة. وصفي التل كان «يحب الحياة»، وما الضير في ذلك؟
الحكومة الأردنية حوّلت بيت وصفي التل الى متحف وطني. من أجل الاتعاظ فقط.
* استاذ العلوم السياسية في جامعة ولاية كاليفورنيا
My article "Wasfi At-Tall: the Authentic Arab Nationalist" in Al-AKhbar newspaper.
"We were a large group of Arab intellectual, journalists, and politicians touring with the Prince of Riyadh after the opening of the new Government Palace in old Riyadh...Dazzled..."
"Gentlemen, you have transformed
our country into a graveyard
You have planted bullets in our heads,
and organized massacres
Gentlemen, nothing passes like that
All what you have done
to our people is
registered in notebooks"
He was a shameless beggar
regurgitating what is contained
in the books of the dead
or stealing from the living
He sang in the brothels
and in the feasts of kings
he was shameless
He was in my city doing
what he wished
and begging on the street
in the evening
His craft is kissing
people's hands and singing
and cursing them, because he
is a chameleon
who knows how shoulders
are eaten**, and breasts
He sang without a voice
He appeared in his
black clothes everywhere,
riding his leprous mule
followed by crows and diseases
when Holaco invaded Baghdad
and when Troj surrendered
and gallows were mounted
in the heart of Madrid,
and at its gates
because he was without timing
appearing at every time,
riding his leprous mule
followed by crows and diseases"
*This is the name of a character that appears in the famous classical Arabic literary work known as Assemblies (Maqamat) by Al-Hariri (1054-1122).
**The old classical Arabic expression "knowing how shoulders are eaten" refers to somebody who knows how to seize opportunity; somebody who is a wheeler and dealer, as you say here.
"Against the revolutionaries of my
country injuring a spike
Against a child—any child—carrying
Against my sister studying the muscles
of a rifle
Against whatever you want….but
what does even a prophet or a prophetess to do
when their eyes drink the horses
Against a child becoming a hero
Against the heart of the tree bearing
Against the bushes of my orchard
Against the basin of flowers in
my land becoming gallows
Against whatever you want…but
after the burning of my country,
my comrades, and my youth"
PS I forgot to add that the discussion on Al-Arabiya was moderated by an "independent" anchorperson: Najwa Qasim, who worked for Hariri TV before joining Al-Arabiya TV. (I don't want to bother you, but when will the oxygen masks drop from my ceiling?)
PS But this could be explained by the very close relationship between New TV and Emile Lahhud (the president of Lebanon, if anybody still remembers that, or cares).