Friday, August 29, 2008

Died in vain part "II"

The year is 1976, and the death counter is still rolling over fast. What follows is a mention of a few series of events (and not only death toll) which had in impact on Lebanon.

7th January : Battle of Tal Al Zaatar and Jisr Al Basha, numerous dead on both sides (over 2000).

16th January : Lebanese aviation (yes we did have one) raid over Khaldeh and Aramoun, 30 dead.

20th January : Damour massacre, 350 dead.

30th January : Ahmad El Khatib declares the creation of "The Army Of Arab Lebanon"

11th March : Failed coup attempt by Ahmed El Khatib.

21st March : Mourabitoun enter down town and take over the Holiday Inn hotel, 365 dead.

1st June : Syria intervenes in Akkar and brake the siege in Kobeyyate from the Army Of Arab Lebanon.

16th June : kidnapping followed by the murder of US Embassador Francois Meloy, US economic adviser Rober Waring and their driver.

21st June : The Arab Peace Keeping Force enters Lebanon.

27th June : The battle of the Palestinian camps started.

12th August : Death toll in Tal Al Zaatar reaches 2000.

17th August : PSP & PLO Shell Ouyoune Al Simane and Faraya.

28th September : Syrian and Christian forces attack Palestinian factions in Sannine, Aintoura and Mtein.

16th Novemeber : Death toll reaches 60,000.

More GLOOMY reminder to come later !


Died in vain part "I"

Tensions are running high lately and our nation’s future never looked gloomier. Speculation, analysis and even wishful thinking are polluting the blogosphere which I frequent daily. A new breed of even more FUCKED UP Lebanese has emerged and is utilizing the technology, we (children of the 60’s) never had in order to, not only foresee the future; but to make our martyrs roll over in their graves.
Walid Jumblatt’s latest (but not last) 180 degree turn, Michel Suleiman call for all nations to extend the arm of friendship towards our sister in the north, and the latest army helicopter mishap; made my blood boil once again. That very same blood that I am more than willing to shed once again in order to ensure freedom and PRIDE for my son within the 10452 Km2 that was once this great nation of ours.
The events are too numerous to count (but if I find the time), I will remind you of them, even in small parts. Therefore I will start with the following LOCAL historical facts (with no analysis and opinions) in the hope that I will have the stamina, time and courage, to see it through the end.
Unfortunately there is no end, as we are still encountering the remaining of a war that did not end (la ghaleb wa la maghloub). So bare with me, my devoted (few readers) for this is nothing but the first part of many.
Here we go counting the dead:
13th April : Bus incident Ain Al Roummaneh, Kataeb V/S PLO (from Tal Al Zaatar) 31 dead.
20th May: Dekwaneh, Kataeb V/S PLO, 24 dead.
27th October: Morabitoun take over Murr tower, no official accounts of dead people.
1st December: Israel attacks south of Lebanon, 111 dead.
And this is only a few months within the start of the civil war.
The following posts will depict my own recollection of 15 years of USELESS MURDER, one year after the other. But be aware that the conclusion will not fall short of a call to arms and total refusal to bow down to the present power. The power of the Hizb and all that it entails. Today I am no longer a pacifist, nor am I a bystander who is willing to look upon veiled women with a smile upon his face.
Today (once again) I declare my own (Lebanese) “Jihad”.


Monday, August 25, 2008

I got a name, and it is Abou Tarek!

Like the pine trees lining the winding road
I’ve got a name, I’ve got a name
Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
I’ve got a name, I’ve got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did
But I’m living the dream that he kept hid
Moving me down the highway
Rollin me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

Like the north wind whistling down the sky
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
Like the whippoorwill and the baby’s cry
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, Ill go there proud
Moving me down the highway
Rollin me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

And I’m gonna go there free
Like the fool I am and Ill always be
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
Oh, I know I could share it if you want me to
If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you
Moving me down the highway
Rollin me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Through the (Lebanese) barricades"

"Mother doesn’t know where love has gone
She says it must be youth
That keeps us feeling strong
See it in her face, that’s turned to ice
And when she smiles she shows
The lines of sacrifice
And now I know what they’re saying
When the sun begins to fade
And we made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades
Father made my history
He fought for what he thought
Would set us somehow free
He taught me what to say in school
I learned off by heart
But now that’s torn in two
And now I know what they’re saying
In the music of the parade
We made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades
Born on different sides of life
We feel the same
And feel all of this strife
So come to me when I’m asleep
Well cross the line
And dance upon the street
And now I know what they’re saying
When the drums begin to fade
We made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades
Oh, turn around and Ill be there
There’s a scar through my heart
But Ill bare it again
I thought? we were the human race
But we were just another border-line-case
And the stars reach down and tell us
That there’s always one escape
I don’t know where love has gone
And in this trouble land
Desperation keep us strong
Fridays child is full of soul
With nothing left to lose
There’s everything to go
And now I know what they’re are saying
Its a terrible beauty we’ve made
So we make our love on? Wasteland
And through the barricades
Now I know what they’re are saying
As hearts go to their graves
We made our love on? Wasteland
And through the barricades."

Hard to listen to, but poignant !

A word of caution. Some of you might need to have ear plugs handy; but still I find it less annoying than listening to our hatred filled politicians.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A simple dedication.

This one is for you "Jester the court fool".

My favorite part starts with "the fool escaped from paradise". Many of Marillion's songs remind me of the Jester in me, until the lead singer ( Fish ) left the band I think in 1984.
If you ever have the chance do check their music and their lyrics.


Can't stand it anymore

Almost everyday I check Blacksmiths of Lebanon 's page (amongst others), which has been idle for a while ( the hosts are on vacation). And from there I pick up links to news feeds (yes I am lazy). For a while now as soon as open their page and scroll down (just a few clicks on the mouse), I get the picture of a smiling Walid Mouallem.
Please Blacksmiths enough already! Cut your holidays short and update your page, this has become torture.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Future

Not in the best of moods once again; so I gave the jester in me the night off and replaced him with the prophet of doom. I guess that frequenting almost daily blogs dealing with Lebanese politics is hazardous to one’s mental health.
Living in Lebanon can be hazardous as a friend of mine, David, discovered lately.
No matter how hard I try to hold on to optimism and sanity, the forces of LOCAL evil always find a way of dragging me down. I had decided lately not to watch the local news in order to bring back a false sense of well being, but found myself drawn back into this cesspool of hatred that is the main ingredient in Lebanese daily life. I thought I was over David’s encounter with “Divine” Lebanese terror when I saw him with Nat and the kids all healthy; until by mistake, I watched an array of more bearded men giving me a clear view of what the future might hold. As if the understanding between Yellow and Orange was not troubling enough, a bunch of Salafists (if the terminology is correct) extremists joined in the club of those narrow sighted bigots.
So I switched off the TV and decided to listen to some music. How appropriate it was that the first song on I heard was the Future by Leonard Cohen (An artist that is banned in Lebanon for being Jewish).
At the risk of being labeled once again a “3amil” I will share with the few readers I have the lyrics and the song, which I dedicate to all the peace loving people who are as disillusioned as I am.

“ Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.
Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant.
You don't know me from the wind
you never will, you never did
I'm the little jew
who wrote the Bible
I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
but love's the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It's over, it ain't going
any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future:
it is murder.
Things are going to slide ...
There'll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road
and the white man dancing
You'll see a woman
hanging upside down
her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets
coming round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
and the white man dancin'.
Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder.
Things are going to slide ...
When they said REPENT REPENT .”

If only this song was not written and sung by Leonard Cohen, maybe then my fellow Lebanese would get the true meaning !

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ă bon entendeur salut !

Je ne vais pas mâcher mes mots, à bon entendeur salut !
Regardless of politics and the latest bilateral talks with our sisterly neighbour; I would like tonight to rant about MY own perception of Lebanon. Lebanon my country of origin, the Lebanon I once vowed to protect, the Lebanon I believed in.
In the mid seventies, hell broke loose and many Lebanese took up arms. Each and everyone fought for what they thought was the Lebanese cause by “excellence”. Allegiances were made, broken, replaced; while Lebanese shed their blood (in vain). Hundreds of ceasefires were agreed upon, but never respected; hatred grew stronger. The Palestinians turned from refugees to main instigators of death and destruction in their vain attempt to create a state within a state (the Kissinger plan), the Syrian army switched from a member of an Arab Peace Keeping force into an invader. Even Somalia (via its mercenaries, thanks to the Iztaz and Amal) became a source death. Our neighbour in the south, one moonless night decided to join in the bloodiest show of force. Some (Lebanese) did see in the southerly incursion a way towards salvation and the establishment of their own vision of Lebanon.
But this is war, one might say; all is allowed.
All is allowed. Even snipers on roof tops being paid by the kill. People being tied to car bumpers (alive) and being dragged down the street until dead. People having their throats cut with a Boucher knife from ear to ear for belonging to a different sect. Entire villages and towns massacred...etc.
Remember those days my fellow Lebanese; but also remember those who sponsored such terror (both local and foreign). Those are the same people whom today claim to have your best interest at heart.
Guns, canons, mortars, ammunitions, shells, tanks, and hefty banker’s checks were given to us graciously by those who today claim to have our best interest at heart, and yes I am repeating myself.
10 years within our civil war, all conflicting parties knew that an absolute win was nothing else than a pipe dream. This fact did not stop them from further pushing Lebanon into the abyss.
Our neighbor from the north waved its magical wand and the war stopped (invasion of Kuwait, Desert Storm, American foreign policy, Syria being the last Arab country to give its OK, Michel Aoun in the French embassy in pajamas...etc) and we became a satellite state for an oppressive neighborly regime. Meanwhile the biggest threat to Lebanon was growing stronger; Hizbullah was enjoying a free reign.
From endless months of camping paralyzing down town Beirut and causing many business to close, to yet another divine victory when a child killer was freed; this cancer was further injected into the few remaining healthy limbs of our country.
Wake up people of this once great nation, for M14’ers have sold out and Hizbollah has officially taken over. Do not expect much from the upcoming elections, Syria’s influence is once again predominant.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Legalized robbery !

I live in the mountains in an apartment comprising of two bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, Bath and a garden.
The electricity I use goes mainly towards the following:
PC always on
Washing machine 3to 4 times a week
2 fridges
A water heater on a timer from 5 to 7 AM and PM
VAP mosquito killer at night
Extractor fan over the oven when I cook
And other NORMAL activities.


Today when I came home after a hard day's work the attached was on my door.


424,000 LBP (About 283 US Dollars) electrical bill. Last time such a gift was presented to me I called upon an electrician who checked the entire house and even changed the "resistance" on the water heater just to be safe. I was also told that there was no use in complaining as the electrical meter was properly read and accounted for. My bills did go down after that but, were always above the average of ALL my neighbors (even those with A/C). EDL checked the meter and claims that all is working fine
I think that every month subscribers are drawn like lotto, and EDL adds to their bills a few of those belonging to our "Divine Protectors" who until today refuse to pay their dues.

So do not be surprised if next time you come over, we will be drinking on candle light and playing guitar and singing in lieu of music.

Shame on a nation !

What to say and how to say it without further aggravating the situation to those who were forcibly silenced.
Shame on a nation that doesn’t protect its citizens from a blatant attack on their freedom!
Shame on a nation that sits idle while its citizens are prohibited to do their jobs!
Shame on a nation that doesn’t provide its citizens with legal recourse against barbarism!
Shame on a nation that openly allow thugs access to its citizens private data!
Shame on a nation that claims democracy and freedom to its citizens, but does nothing to uphold it!
Shame on a nation that has a policy of turning a blind eye under the excuse of “avoiding conflict”!
Although unaware of the details of this sordid affair, today I am once again ashamed of my Lebanese identity.
To my friends at CB I apologize for my country.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A blast from MY past !

The glow
Around your face
When you see
The lightning race
I know
I'm very near
And I can hear
The thunder

A woman
Of perplexity
A woman
For eternity
A woman
Of the land
A woman
For a man
I'm down
On my knees
And I'm saying
Please believe me

It's hard
To fall out
Of love
It's harder
To find a way
To come back
To speak
Of things anew
To weep
In quiet blue

Brocade upon your bed
Memories should fade
At least of you
A scepter
Of ice and fire
A specter
Of my desire
A girl-child
Of such loveliness
The woman
Of my emptiness

A woman
Of famed
A woman
Who kicks the clown
A woman
Of the land
A woman
For a man

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bob Dylan and me.

The times they are a changing, or are they?
Mama took the gun away from me, for I wasn’t supposed to shoot it. But little did Mama know that guns could be borrowed, owned or hidden. Many were the roads taken for a man to be free, all drenched in blood and hatred; and the answer is still blowing in the wind. Mr Tambourine man and puff the magic dragon were daily visitors offering their services for free. The chimes of freedom rang loudly with the promise of a victorious dawn whilst in the rare moments of reprieve or sanity, lay lady lay and I want you brought some twisted humanity. We are, and will remain forever young for God has blessed us; and our wishes will come true. How many times did I say farewell to my darling just to see that another day was dawning. Death is not the end, is what kept me going along with my refusal to surrender to King Crimson’s Epitaph.
Years later, and the blessed arrival of Tarek, to my dismay; a hard rain is gonna fall.
Although my son Tarek is a fan of Dylan, I wish for him not to have to relate to the following song.

“Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded with hatred,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest dark forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and speak it and think it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.”

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The turn of a not so friendly card!

There is no reprieve from the stress of daily (Lebanese) life and from family ties which I thought I had severed a while back. The past month has been nothing but what I could easily compare to scenes from a B movie. Just when I thought “it was safe to get back into the water”, and having laid the dead to rest, Beelzebub raised it’s ugly (but familiar) head once more.
I started to let go of my family years ago, after many failed attempts to hold a middle ground. My separation was finally successful (or so I thought) when I was neck high in shit and was left alone to my own demise. To the dismay of many I am still here today alive and kicking and living my life free of them all.
But am I ?
Painful circumstances have brought me back to my grandfather’s house in our little village in the south, where I still have vivid memories of a very happy and innocent childhood away from family feuds. My son of twelve, until this past Sunday, never knew that he had so many, uncles, aunts, cousins, great uncles...etc, if it was not for the anticipation of yet another loss.
This past Sunday, most of my close relatives gathered in Selim’s (my grandfather) house in an attempt to bring joy to my uncle’s heavy heart (having lost a young son 3 weeks earlier).
Tarek (and all the other kids in my family) were nothing but a bundle of joy who brought back life into what once was a vibrant home at the very end of quiet and quaint piece of Lebanon we claimed our home.
There I also got reacquainted with my Godson, whom I haven’t seen for more than 9 years. When he first saw me and called me (Jokingly) Godfather, my heart crumbled. I remember how we rushed his mother to hospital his father and I when his was due to be born. I remember the look on his father’s face when his birth was announced. This joy I felt inside was somehow short lived when he told me that he couldn’t recollect much of the time we spent together in England (when I left he was not even 4 years of age); but my heart rejoiced when he made me feel that the bond we had is still stronger than ever.
My son last Sunday had the chance the experience a part of what I lived every summer when I was growing up. My son last Sunday witnessed firsthand that he is part of an extended family. My son last Sunday had the time of his life.
I wish for my son to nurture this new feeling of belonging, to uphold true family values; and not to fall victim to elderly misconstrued pride and vanity.
No matter whom holds the deed to my Grandfather’s house now, this house has always been, and will always remain a meeting place for all our kids, and their kids to come.
Jeddo Selim, your legacy will always live on, in my heart, and I know of others as well!



Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hallelujah !

Oh happy day, for those murderous crooks we call politicians took turn late tonight, reassuring us (retarded inhabitants of a country called Lebanon) that they have finally reached an agreement as to the long awaited ministerial statement.
Hallelujah !
The long awaited couple of pages filled with dribble and crap is about to be made public, for all of us (stupid idiots) to analyze and argue over.
What will follow is and endless stream of opinions and ill founded studies as to what this statement (when adopted by the cabinet, or shall I say” kabbineh”) actually means.
All parties are victorious. All parties have registered their own reservations in order to save face and not admit that they have been outsmarted by the greatest evil this land of ours (and of many others for what it seems) , has encountered throughout its long history. Nitpicking over a few words written in the language of imagery and vagueness by excellence, will never dispute the fact that EVIL has won yet another battle. And by evil I specifically point my finger (and the middle one)towards Hizbullah.
As I am writing this text, the “ministerial statement” is not out yet; but I wouldn’t hold my breath, for I know for sure (and I am willing to bet my life) that it will fall short of every single iota of what we once called the Cedar Revolution.
Most of, if not the majority of those morons we call Lebanese will actually believe that “national unity” is now at hand.
Wake up you deranged, amnesiac, selfish, cowardly bastards and realize that the mere mention of the “MOUKAWAMEH” is a capitulation.
An advertisement should be placed in the “al wassit”, reading :
“A country is seeking patriots from all ages. Applicants should have a sense of pride and dignity, firm belief in the history of the motherland, willing to work long and hard hours for the benefits in the long term are well worth it. Syrians and Iranians need not apply.”