Friday, February 20, 2009

What ever happened to the Arabic dream?

Yes the video is long and so are the lyrics, but so is the way towards an equitable solution to the Palestinian problem. Keep in mind that the clip was made before the rise of Hamas, and when many Arab nations still "relatively" cared about the plight of the Palestinian people.
After this last war on Gaza, I wonder how many representatives of those Arab nations would have participated in this clip, and what the lyrics would have read.
If you have time (and only time) to kill, watch and read; and draw your own conclusions.
N.B: Enclosed are the only translation of the lyrics I could find in English, since I am not capable (nor do I have the time) to translate them myself.






Our dream will live in the hearts of generations after generations.
And what we say today will be our life-long commitment.

Chorus:
Perhaps the darkness of the night will distance us,
But the light's rays can reach the furthest sky.
This is our dream, for all our lives, an embrace to enfold us, all of us.

The dream is not impossible, so long as its fulfillment is conceivable.
And if the night becomes long, definitely afterwards there will be dawn.

Live up to all that you are, even when the truth is the difficult path.
Try, and you shall arrive; the dignity of the attempt will suffice.

Prove yourself to your own Time; believe in your ambitions, you will succeed.
Let your eyes see the truth, and the truth will be seen by others.

Challenge the world and revolt, and learn to remain courageous.
The journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step.

Justice needs strength, so that you can protect it.
Never, by rhetoric and complaints, will the rightful land return.

Love has fire and spark, and eyes filled with hope.
Children, with stones in their hands, will reinvent the world.

From anywhere in the world, we speak the Arabic language.
And in the loudest voice and heartbeat, we call unity a rebirth.

Our children everywhere, are the light of the nations' eyes.
Fairness, Love, Goodness ... , are our message for all Time.

Sing and say with us: Art is aspiration and success.
From sadness, we create joy, from our thoughts, a path and a life.

A word of truth in a song, is spoken and passes in a second;
Perhaps after years, it may change the world with it.

Let the songs be true, and plan your time for action.
Love will find a door for all the closed paths.

The song cancels borders, and the heart is its nation;
As long as we live, we'll sing; as long as we can, we'll love.

Love is not by words, but by actions and feelings.
Be a light, a smile, a song, and a guide for the paths of others.

Our dream, for all Times, is the unity of all nations.
All the disagreements will disappear; it is enough that you are human.

Your art is your homeland in the exile; you'll find the proof wherever you go.
Sing of people and friendship, you'll find the world to be beautiful.

Love, in all the world's languages, and condense the years into seconds.
The bird's destiny is to fly, and our destiny is to sing these songs.

We hope the dream will become real, and break all hardened silences.
It is not too much for the truth to be bright, even while they call it foolishness.

The tree was a seed, and the story was an idea.
And since we love and dream, we'll reach the path of tomorrow.

[words printed in the video...]
The seed began with a vision ...
and the vision was a dream ...
A dream ... ended with a touchable reality
Operetta ... The Arab Dream
23 Arab dreamers participated in the singing ...
They came together from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf.
95 performers, in love with the dream, fulfilled the dream
... and the dream continues

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Waiting on the world to change




Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There's no way we ever could

Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's hard to beat the system
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

That's why we're waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's not that we don't care,
We just know that the fight ain't fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

And we're still waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Monday, February 16, 2009

IF, you are LEBANESE


















When open mindedness takes precedence.
When you acknowledge (and accept) the fundamental difference with your fellow citizens.
When political correctness is no longer the only priority.
When your past becomes a lesson to be learned.
When true patriotism is the way forward.
When over used slogans no longer move you.
When you accept that the enemy does lie within.
When your are convinced that your current leaders no longer represent your aspirations.
When you truly feel that your well being is being threatened and change is needed.
When you accept the fact that you have a say in your future.
When you stop taking the easy way out.
When you take a firm stand, a stand that reflects your own aspirations; and the Lebanon you would like to see your children live in.
When fear of obliteration is a consideration if you remain silent.





And yes you shouldn’t turn a blind eye or a deaf ear (IF you are Lebanese), when a turban wearing war crazed lunatic says out loud that he reserves the right to use ground to air missiles (which he might, and might not have) against whom he pleases, and anytime he pleases.

Friday, February 13, 2009

That was then and this is now !

Call it what you want: my own twisted way to justify what “you” might call fanaticism, a way of masking the truth, or even a proof that I am nothing but an atheist son of the devil sprung from a sordid affair. A drunken arse who spits incoherent words filled with hatred whilst pretending that tolerance is his forte, I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK!
To those who’s paths I have crossed, and made the effort to try and comprehend what makes me tick, tickle my fancy, and gets me tangled up in knots; I dedicate the following.
I dedicate the following for I know you, an only you will understand what I truly mean.
















To those who knew me I say: I was not born and bred a fanatic; but I am not alien to facts nor am I blinded by religion. I am a citizen of this world aware of its people’s past and admitting it shortfalls. For those of you who don’t know me I say: “label me as you wish and call me names”, for you are still blinded by preconceived ideas deeply engraved in your psyche and evolution has passed you by. Yes I deem myself better (at the risk of being crude), but at least I call it as I see it; and moreover I am open for debate.
So give me your best shot !

NO, I d not pretend to be King Arthur, but I relate to Sir Lancelot and I long for the days of the Knights of the round table; days when honor still prevailed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why we should all vote against Michel Aoun


(Letter to the editor, Times newspaper UK)

As a disgruntled ex “Aounist” and a “true Lebanese”, I can’t help but feel not only disappointment but hatred towards what I consider (especially after his latest “propos”) as the biggest traitor Lebanon ever witnessed. Whatever happened to “The World Movement for the Liberation of Lebanon “and your slogan of “Independence, Sovereignty and Freedom”? I guess “Beit Al sha3b” who drew thousands risking their lives, you have now rented (cheap) to those who ousted you wearing only pajamas. Came a time when you had the support of many from all creeds and religions (Druze, Sunnies, Shia, Christians, rich and poor) provided you with a human shield against those whom once you considered as being the foes of what Lebanon stood for. Even the Lebanese Diaspora voluntarily mobilized itself and became a patron to your cause; the cause (of what they thought was) the way towards a free and truly independent Lebanon.



London Marathon


Said Akl (that half crazy has been local poet) recited poetry praising your accomplishments (although at the time they were none), people danced on the road to Baabda, restaurants delivered free food to all those who protected (risking their own lives) you by staging a sit in anxiously waiting for you to grace them with a few (unfounded) promises.
And (along with many others) me in my country of exile, I demonstrated in front of embassies in harsh weather conditions, convinced that this was my patriotic duty. We collected money when you could no longer afford to pay the wages to those Lebanese army soldiers (who whole heartedly) believed that they could finally protect their fellow citizens from the Syrian sword that had caused so many martyrs, and transferred them to your bank account. Many of those very same soldiers who believed in you and your cause were slaughtered, and those who survived were stripped naked and made to walk and spit on posters depicting your “moronic” profile in your military suit by the hands of those you now swear allegiance to, and I quote my dear “traitor”: “The Syrians and the Iranians helped Lebanon, and I do not care if these words anger anyone”.
Well these words anger me and the families of those soldiers who died when you decided to flee to the French embassy. These words anger every single Lebanese (and there still aren’t enough of them) whom for one second believed that you could have been the protector and liberator of this holly land. You pissed on all that was sacred to this once great nation of ours.



Now you claim to be the epitome of the true “wifak watani” with your alliance with those outlaws that don’t even recognize the rule of law; which not long ago was part of the war you fought against fellow citizens (LF to be precise).
I won’t spend any more time detailing your failures and showing your true face (of the traitor and demented general that you are) for I know that many share my views, and the few followers you have are moved by the (false) need to have a so called Christian representation to follow, lacking another alternative (that of the LF).
Dear General, you have recently given us enough material enabling us to write volumes on the subject of traitor, deceit, megalomania, dictatorship…etc. You remind me of one of my favorite “bande dessinee” character, that of IZNOGOOD : “je veux etre califee a la place du calife”.
Well to you my dear general I say : “not in your wildest dreams”, just like Iznogood we will all laugh at all your failed attempts; the only difference be it that in comic books no one gets hurts. I guess that you never understood the difference!
A disgruntled ex Aounist.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Our Phoenix and their Eagles.

We all remember the days (end of the seventies) when every single local band in order to prove it prowess felt obliged to play “sultans of swing” and “hotel California” the best they knew how. We all sat applauding and enjoying those minutes passed regardless of how out of tune the band was. It was nothing more than (at that time) an escape route from the path of “self” destruction that still prevails today. From Samy Clark, Guss Farah, Dany Labaki, Julia Sadaka singing Grace Slick … to the Electric Warriors; such was our only “d√©foulement “. After a day of dodging sniper bullets, mortar fire, and a night of heavy drinking and celebrating being still alive; another morning dawns. Another morning creeps upon you with much less promises than the day before, which you tried your best to drown in alcohol. I remember crossing the “ring” (in 1981) while listening to “the last resort”. I did manage to get to my destination with 3 bullet holes in my car.
This song is forever engraved in my mind; engraved with a sweet/bitter memory.



She came from Providence,
the one in Rhode Island
Where the old world shadows hang
heavy in the air
She packed her hopes and dreams
like a refugee
Just as her father came across the sea
She heard about a place people were smilin'
They spoke about the red man's way,
and how they loved the land
And they came from everywhere
to the Great Divide
Seeking a place to stand
or a place to hide

Down in the crowded bars,
out for a good time,
Can't wait to tell you all,
what it's like up there
And they called it paradise
I don't know why
Somebody laid the mountains low
while the town got high

Then the chilly winds blew down
Across the desert
through the canyons of the coast, to
the Malibu
Where the pretty people play,
hungry for power
to light their neon way
and give them things to do

Some rich men came and raped the land,
Nobody caught 'em
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus,
people bought 'em
And they called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea

You can leave it all behind
and sail to Lahaina
just like the missionaries did, so many years ago
They even brought a neon sign: "Jesus is coming"
Brought the white man's burden down
Brought the white man's reign

Who will provide the grand design?
What is yours and what is mine?
'Cause there is no more new frontier
We have got to make it here

We satisfy our endless needs and
justify our bloody deeds,
in the name of destiny and the name of God

And you can see them there,
On Sunday morning
They stand up and sing about
what it's like up there
They call it paradise
I don't know why
You call someplace paradise,
kiss it goodbye

Friday, February 06, 2009

A voice from our bloody past !

Not long ago this following statement was painted all over the walls of what was once known as the Christian sector of Beirut "it is the duty of every Lebanese to kill a Palestinian". Such words were deemed extreem by many on both sides of the divide, to the extent that the political party who had such "propos" documented in ink within its dogma, never gained too much ground. Almost no one in the mid seventies paid much attention to the rest of this party's political agenda and philosophy (this politcal party in question is the Guardian Of the Cedars). What follows is a recent interview conducted with its founder Etienne Sakr AKA Abou Arz.

"1 – What is the status of the Guardians of the Cedars Party?
The question is indeed more painful than it is embarrassing. It is painful because of the feeling by party members that the generous sacrifices they made for Lebanon during the war, without anything in return, particularly the dead martyrs and the handicapped, have all been in vain. The dream that we promised them has also faded, namely to build a new and modern state that is worthy of those sacrifices and the aspirations of the Lebanese people. Underlying this feeling is that the state which came to being after the war is much worse than the state that existed before the war, and this is what really hurts me, my comrades, and the Lebanese in general.
The party’s supporters and partisans who are in Lebanon and in the Lebanese Diaspora worldwide feel alienation and estrangement, as well as disgust and frustration, not to say despair, at this situation. The feelings of alienation and estrangement stem from the absence of the party’s president from the headquarters in Beirut (19 years to date) and the inability of the presidential board which we formed in 2005 to substitute for the president, which is due to three reasons. First is the fact that the president is also the founder of the party, which makes filling the vacuum difficult and complicated. Second, the wrongful judicial pursuits against members of that board as a result of the press conference they held in September 2005 and from which they were exonerated. And third, the decaying political environment in which the country finds itself, and the control exerted by parties with non-Lebanese allegiance over every facet of public life, prevent the Guardians of the Cedars Party – which holds Lebanese nationalism as its sole ideology – from maneuvering in an environment that is 100% hostile to its own.
As for the feelings of disgust and frustration, they are shared by the majority of Lebanese, having reached this point after losing any hope in change, particularly through the existing political establishment which is corrupt in its vast majority and by any measure of corruption, and whose sole concern is to renew its grip on the country every 4 years. People are despondent and disheartened. Young people’s ambitions have become limited to securing emigration visas that get them out of the hell in which the political establishment keeps them. Life without hope is a true hell, let alone the stifling living conditions that continue to humiliate people and that have eradicated the middle class. The wealthy have become wealthier and the poor have become poorer.
2 – Has your cause won?
The answer is no, at least for now. If our cause had won, Lebanon would be in great shape. But right now, unfortunately, the anti-Lebanon side has won, which is the side whose allegiance is to outsiders before its allegiance to Lebanon. The sectarian, religious and fundamentalist mini-states have won over the one Lebanese state; the private armies have won over the one Lebanese army; the security zones have won over broader national security; and the political merchants and traitors to their nation who have generated this sick, impotent, corrupt and dismembered state have won over the capable, clean and healthy state for which we have always called in our conferences, statements and party literature. All of this reinforces in us the idea that the state of clinical death in which Lebanon finds itself, rather to which they have brought Lebanon, is no longer responsive to ordinary medicine; it requires another kind of treatment, or divine intervention maybe. Who knows?
Hence, in short, the Lebanese Resistance which we launched in 1975 has failed. The so-called Islamic Resistance has instead succeeded, even though the chances for success were stronger for the former than they were for the latter, and this is due to the stupidity of political Maronitism, at both its spiritual and temporal levels, which became adept at missing all opportunities. In addition, the struggle between Maronite leaders for power and money has been ongoing since the early 1940s and to this day. This is the bitter truth that ought to be said, and incidentally, “The Bitter Truth” is the title of the new book which I will publish upon my return to Lebanon.
3 – Are you with March 14 or March 8?
A question that many ask us every day. The March 14 group believes in an Arab Lebanon allied with the Saudi-Egyptian axis, and we all know the negative role played by that axis at the time of the Palestinian-Syrian war against Lebanon and during the infamous Syrian custody over Lebanon. The March 8 group also believes in an Arab Lebanon allied with the Syrian-Iranian axis, and no one is oblivious to the danger posed by this axis to Lebanon, in the past, at present and in the future. We, on the other hand, believe in Lebanon’s Lebanese identity, in a constant and absolute faith, and we believe in a complete and final Lebanese nation that belongs to no other nation. We declared this belief from the first day we took up weapons, i.e. on April 13, 1975, we continued tirelessly to reiterate this position, and we will never abandon it, regardless of the cost, the pursuits and persecution campaigns to which we are subjected. Speaking of pursuits, we draw the attention of the “honorable” regime that it has to hunt down the intellectuals of Lebanese nationalism, the likes of Charles Corm, Michel Chiha, Youssef al-Sawda, Said Akel, May Murr and others, and ban their books from the schools before it thinks of hunting down the Guardians of the Cedars. Let us not forget Fakhreddine, the founder of modern Lebanon on the basis of Lebanese nationalism.
Going back to the struggle of the axes between March 14 and March 8, the axis to which the Guardians of the Cedars Party belongs is the one extending from the Orontes River in the north to Naqura in the south and not one inch farther. The two axes of March 14 and March 8 belong to the same political school that is responsible for converting Lebanon into this crippled and disfigured state. Without false modesty, I say that the honorable Lebanese, deep down in their hearts and even though they don’t express it, belong to the school of the Guardians of the Cedars.
4 РWhat is your position vis-à-vis General Aoun and his visit to Syria?
No doubt that General Aoun today is not the General we knew during the battle of liberation of Tal Zaatar as chief of operations in Mar Shaya Monastery. He is not the General leading Battalion 13 which defended the frontlines after the two-year war. He is not the General who led the 8th Brigade in waging the glorious battles of Souk al-Gharb. He is not the General who led the War of Liberation against the Syrian occupation, militarily and politically, from inside and outside Lebanon. As for the arguments he gives to justify his new positions – such as: the problem with Syria is over after it evacuated Lebanon; or we must turn the page of the past and look to the future; or his defense of the weapons of the so-called Hezbollah and his choice of the Syrian-Iranian axis, or his demands to release the four officers.... etc. – they are groundless and unconvincing arguments.
We say that Syria has not left Lebanon. It remains very effectively involved in Lebanese security and politics. Its ambitions of hegemony over Lebanon remain where they are, albeit in a different approach. Also, looking forward to the future should not make us forget the past. We must benefit from the lessons of the past in order to handle the future in a sound manner, especially since this past is full of tragedies that have afflicted every Lebanese home and family. How can we seek reconciliation with Syria when it continues to hold our young men in its prisons? How can we forgive Syria when we have yet to hear one word of apology for all the individual crimes and the collective massacres it perpetrated against us like the hordes of Tatars and Mongols once did? How can we defend an axis that brought us nothing but destruction? How can we demand the release of officers whom the international investigator ordered to be held? Is it reasonable that international investigators are biased to one political side against another?
Making pretexts and arguments with the goal of justifying or covering for one’s actions is one thing. But to actually believe them is another. As for the visit to Syria, we commented on it at the time, and we said that we reject it in substance and in form. Attached is the text of our statement.
5 – Why doesn’t Abu Arz return to Lebanon?
When I went to Jezzine in 1990, after the fall of the Eastern regions to the Syrian occupation, judicial warrants were issued against me in absentia on charges of dealing with Israel. Everyone knows that when dictatorial regimes occupy a country, they resort to eliminating their opponents, either by military liquidation or by way of the judiciary. We thought that these warrants will be dropped with the fall of the Syrian occupation, but these warrants remain standing, which goes to show that nothing has really changed in the Lebanese regime. The regime in power today is one way or another an extension of the regime that existed before the liberation, and this is truly unfortunate.
It is incumbent on me to clarify here this ambiguous aspect that has become the hallmark of our political history:
1-We dealt with Israel in the same way that all the parties of the Lebanese Front dealt with it: Phalangists, National Liberals, Tanzim, Lebanese Forces, and others. No more, no less.
2-We say that we dealt with Israel and our relation with it remained one of peers, in contrast to those parties which dealt with Syria and were tools, let’s say “cheap tools”, in the hands of Syria.
3-We dealt with Israel for the purpose of defending Lebanon and to serve Lebanon’s highest interests. Others dealt with Syria against Lebanon and in order to achieve personal goals at the expense of Lebanon’s highest interests.
4-Syria’s agents occupied the highest positions in the state. They pilfered the country’s resources together and in collusion with the Syrian occupation, while we went into exile enduring the anguish of separation and the harshness of life.

Consequently, we leave it to the people to decide who is the agent and who is the patriot. We accept the people’s judgment because, as a matter of principle, all authority comes from the people.
6 – What is your position on the weapons of the Resistance?
We don not consider Hezbollah a “resistance” in defense of Lebanon. It is an Iranian detachment holding a fundamentalist ideology that is alien to Lebanon. Its weapons, therefore, are a danger to the country, today, tomorrow and forever. Those weapons must be removed in application of resolution of 1559. Otherwise, there will never be a State in Lebanon, and all the talk about coexistence between the State and [Hezbollah’s] mini-state is nonsense and merely delays the solution. As for the “defense strategy”, it is a ridiculous contrivance whose objective is to throw a smokescreen; pursuing it is like pursuing a mirage.
Lebanon, at your service"
Abu Arz