Monday, August 28, 2006

I Passed

I passed my pathology boards.

I opened the envelope minutes ago to the drum of my hurrying heart.

And there it was, in fine, elegant print, as if specifically designed for the nearsighted, the infamous and less often received than awaited "congratulations!"

Yes. Fifteen letters and a resounding exclamation mark, summing up the culmination of fourteen years of uncertainty and hard work. Fourteen years. One fifth of a lifetime doing one something more than anything else, almost instead of everything else, fighting all possible odds to finally grab it, and maybe rest like a warrior between two battles.

I grabbed it. To find out that it is no more than fifteen letters on a piece of paper on a dusty desk. No popping corks, no fireworks, no dancing divas. No nothing.

Just me.

Me, minus fourteen years of my life, and a certificate to that effect.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

Screaming in Silence


Screaming against injustice, suffering, violence, child abuse, child labor, crimes against nature and humanity... All too many reasons to scream.

Some, like this tree, find ways to scream in silence and give out life.

Some just scream loudly. Some just whisper. Many just breathe. Or barely.

I, little I, feel somewhat less than the tree. I scream, but I don't give out life.

I just scream out in silence.

(Thank you Zanzoun for bringing this image to my attention. I'd completely missed if it weren't for you.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

With all the Walls around it


Just a tree rooted deeply, in cold and barren sidewalks
Garnishing empty houses of grey bricks and concrete
Freedom is all it thinks of, with all the walls around it
And I, the one who found it, all I see is defeat

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Small is my Life


Outside the frame
Small is my name
Small is my fate
I almost thought it was too late
Wish I could gather up and yell
Wish I could tell
But I shall wait
For it's too early
Just too early
To translate

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Google Talk

I just came up with this.

What is Google Talk called in Saudi Arabia?

Weish et google? :)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Political and Social Activism Through Art..

Real Art... the kind that speaks to the darkest alleys of the soul, and stirs awake those who have not yet lost their humanity, but were lazy enough to forget they were human(e).

This is Banksy on the Gaza wall (as well as many other places), for those of us who can still see through their thick personal walls into the open and vibrant fields of life.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006



(to PM)

This is the coffee shop where I sit down and look at the future, bittersweet coffee in hand, to see nothing but recurring glimpses of past, with deeper wrinkles, greyer hair, and a million more people dying uselessly on the alter of power lovers, heaven seekers, and detached conceited fools.

I look away and it's all the same around me. I close my eyes, but the images remain.

I lie to myself, and find myself dreaming.

Dreaming of a world only half as insane.

Oil and Water: The Unfortunate Reality of the Lebanese Divide

Why should I be upset about what happened when the people who have been displaced, whose country has been dismembered, whose houses have been destroyed and whose kids have been massacred, are boasting victory, and sporting Nasrallah's picture and Hezbollah's flag?

How do you deal with a people whose cause and beliefs are so deeply entrenched in their leader's mission and ideology that not death nor devastation is strong enough a deterrent to perpetual claims of victory and unwavering honor and pride?

The massive hordes moving back to the South are a loud and clear statement of how resilient and stubborn the people of the South are and have become. And while I wear my slightly fogged objectivity lenses, I cannot but admire those attributes in the face of such a humanitarian disaster.

This is not where the problem lies however. The problem lies in the victory-cost equation as perceived by different factions of the Lebanese community. I, for one, would compromise for peace. The safety and prosperity of my people is what takes precedence over anything else. Not because I am oblivious to the crimes committed around me. I do feel the pain of the Palestinian people, I see the criminality of the Israeli state and the atrocities Palestinians are subjected to every day. And if given a chance I will not hesitate one second to lend them a helping hand. I would do the same for any ailing group of people in the world. And I would most certainly be more inclined to help those with whom I have a common ancestry, common roots, and a common cultural background. But I also cannot forget that the same people I am now willing to help were ready at one point in time to bestow upon me the injustice they were subjected to, and rid me of my land to make it their own. In other words, when it came to their own interests versus mine, the unfortunate people of Palestine hesitated not for a single second to put their own lives ahead of mine and patch their plight with my own. Fighting injustice with injustice, no matter how breaking and unbearable the initial injustice was, is what I cannot forgive nor forget.

But let me go back to my initial point. In the wake of this ongoing, yet temporarily suspended conflict, I see at least two people. The people who's energy and brio is directed primarily towards fighting Israel and the Zionist plan at any cost, and protecting, in the Islamic and tribal tradition of the people of the peninsula, the pride of the Umma and its foremost religion Islam, and the people who see the brutal enemy that is Israel, and yet are willing to compromise in order to avoid devastating conflicts, and tentatively achieve peace and prosperity within their national borders.

These two political and ideological attitudes are sadly incompatible within the same community and under the same roof.

The worst part in this equation is that there is no right answer. And no matter how we approach this matter and attempt to solve it, the fundamental divide in concept and perspective within the Lebanese community as it is being dramatically affirmed by the current conflict, makes it almost impossible for me to see how common grounds of agreement will ever be reached.

And being part of the second group of people who are willing to compromise for peace, and in answer to the question I asked at the beginning of this post, yes I should and I will feel upset by the tragedies inflicted on Lebanon and the Lebanese people, because first and foremost they are suffering human beings, and also because they are my people and the bonds that tie us together are outside all conflicts and all disparate ideologies. But whether I can live with them within the same borders without eternally falling in the cycle of violence, hatred and retribution is what remains to be seen.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm Sorry Who WON?

Just listen to this garbage.

George W. Bush declares Israel the winner over Hezbollah, Olmert claims success saying the offensive eliminated the "state within a state" run by Hezbollah group and restored Lebanon's sovereignty in the south, and Nasrallah claims a strategic historic victory of Hezbollah against Israel.

Have these people got no eyes to see what's going on??

No no no. Foolish moi. Each of them is but an ugly black widow, with eight ugly eyes and a murderous sting.

And it's true. They all won.

PM Olmert, dumb as you are, you temporarily regained control of the northern border of Israel, so Congratulations.

President Bush, you've yet again established your leading role in the war against terror, and this is one more victory to pile over the countless you've already accumulated in Iraq, so Congratulations.

And Sayyid Hassan, you've held your own against the second most powerful army in the world, you did it with cunning resilience and tenacity, and inflicted more israeli military casualties than was ever anticipated, so Congratulations to you too, your holiness.

Then, and only then is there a thousand people killed and a million displaced.

And a country torn to shreds and brought to the ground.

But so it is. In the game of stupids, giants and megalomaniacs, the latter two are spare change, and no matter what losses lost and what lives destroyed, murderers such as the ones above will always find a way to stand up and claim their blood-tainted sickening victory in the end.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Storm before the Calm..

What an eloquent testimony to the murderous logic of war and destruction practiced by the Israeli Demolition Forces. Fourty-eight hours before the agreed upon cessation of hostilities and the israelis unleash their widest and wildest military effort to date, with the sole purpose of destroying as much as they possibly can before they temporarily muffle their guns and let the dust settle over the dead bodies of the South.

I wonder what kind of ill-conceived and ill-expressed justifications the rabid israeli supporters have in store to defend themselves and their actions. For that's what the poor souls of Tel-Aviv have spent most of their affected existences doing, defend themselves against the unmeasured aggression of the Arab Beast. The Arab beast who, like myself, naively believes that when a cease-fire is accepted by willing parties, it is to be implemented IMMEDIATELY, because there are hundreds of thousands of people in dire need for help and humanitarian aid. This, however, is only true of nations that respect human life and attend to human suffering. The Israeli government and its sympathizers are of course innocent of such accusations. For THEY are the only ones who die, THEY are the only ones who suffer, THEY are the only ones constantly on the defensive against widespread antisemitism, and THEY are the perpetual scapegoats of humanity, constantly trying to proclaim their right to exist with freedom and peace in their land, the land of figs and olives, the land of prophets and blood.

One has to admit, though, that being God's chosen people is not an easy feat, in a world rampant with angry envious non-chosens who seek to steal the chosen's heavenly title and promised land.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

We Shall Rebuild


Friday, August 11, 2006

I Feel for the People of Kiryat Shemona

I do with all my heart, as I feel for every innocent civilian subjected to unnecessary violence and terror.

But while ONE MLLION of my people are displaced or stranded without food, water, or medication, while HALF A COUNTRY and HALF A CAPITAL are made into piles of rubble, dust, burnt flesh and torn bodies by the friendly liberating Israeli Demolition Forces, while our beaches are inked black with oil and not one bridge is still standing (well, except for the lawziyyeh bridge as per the latest news reports), a YAHOO news story about firefighters battling blazes set in acres of dry grass and bamboo, how they stretched their hoses to their full length, and how "the entire area was covered with thick smoke and dancing black ash", is a tad more than my cool can handle.

Go to the link, and if you're able to stay calm, go on to read the flurry of comments, at your own risk that is. If after that, you're still breathing and haven't poked your eyes out, come back here and please share with me and the rest of us your mantra, for yours is the way of not too many souls.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Quoted from a Dutch-Israeli IDF 1982 War Veteran

This is a comment by lennybruce to Delirious's post on LBF

It is heart warming to find that some people can still see clearly through the thick fog of war.

Take my hand.......

I am dutch-israeli, an IDF veteran of Lebanon 1982, and since that experience a committed peace activist. My thoughts on the current human tragedy:

Civilian deaths and displacement are UNACCEPTABLE regardless of one's point of view.

You can say whatever you want about who started what and when and why, but the fact remains that the human suffering in Lebanon is absolutely and totally unacceptable. If you believe it is acceptable, then please explain your view: why the great majority of the dead, injured and displaced, who have NOTHING to do with Hezbollah should deserve what they are receiving? Why? What crime have they committed? And if you say, well.. you know.. lots of them support Hezbollah.. then I say to you, since when is someone's opinion or feeling about something justification for death? I must have missed that lesson.

So again, whatever side of the debate you are on, Israel's actions and reactions to Hezbollah, is causing a humanitarian disaster. (Yes, I know there are lots of disasters around the world, but that doesnt mean this is not one so spare me that line). And you can believe what you want that the ultimate responsibility is Hezbollah's, (and there is some truth to that which will have to faced in honest introspection) but I guarantee you, all the dead in Lebanon are lying under Istraeli bombs and shells.

True military victory is not possible.

Anyone with any knowledge will know that short of a level of destruction and death, which everyone will have to face as meeting normative criteria of war crimes, there is no military solution. No modern conventional army has succeeded in defeating an entrenched 'guerilla' movement once it has reached a critical mass of military prowess and social support. So you have two choices: stop because killing isnt going to achieve the goal anyway or raise the level to that which will undeniably be one of war crimes. Or do like the babylonians and romans used to do... kill indiscriminately in huge numbers and forcibly disperse huge numbers in order to pacify a country. Anyone here really willing to do that? So, you can just as well stop now then.

And last, yes my Lebanese friends, at some point, you too will have to make a choice.

You do know, that a democratic country can not function with an independent militia that is actually stronger than the army of the central government. I understand what Hezbollah has meant for you. They were the ones who lead the way to Israel's withdrawal from (almost all of) Lebanon. They fulfill a vital function in many areas in education, healthcare and welfare. I appreciate that. And I appreciate the fact that your country is still a fragile democracy, an emerging democracy, with many rivalries that if not managed delicately can threaten your emerging democracy. So tell us, tell the world, how we can help, what we can do (after stopping this war) to aid your country move to the next level of stable democracy. But first, you do have to decide about an independent army that can, if it wants, probably bring down the central government.

I know one thing, to solve my pain I need your cooperation and you need my cooperation to solve your pain. We are then each other's key to solving the other's pain. And I will start by saying, no more will I try and prove that my pain and suffering is greater than yours. And make that my justification for inflicting more pain on you. Pain is pain. A dead baby is a dead baby regardless of color, religion, place or time. The mother hurts the same. So take my hand, and lets stop this nonsense. Together, in peace, jew, muslim, christian, druze, shia, sunni, whatever.... together we can recreate the garden of eden in the middle east.

peace and love


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Olmert: The False Sympathy and Murderous Logic of a Murderous Mind

Olmert's address to the Knesset a week ago. Just got it. Maybe I missed it but I haven't seen it circulated, so I thought I'd share it with a slightly larger crowd than myself.

July 31, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, I am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy.

Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon. The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.

We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time you understood:

The Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centers in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you.

A voice for six million citizens.

Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe. In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinjad proclaims.

And you - just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again.

Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives.

Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction - those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility. Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all. You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not.

Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.

The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians their chance to build a new reality for themselves.

The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak's peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children.

I don't remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya?

What can you do - that's the way we are. We don't wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly. We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy's children - we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behavior of our enemies.

Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more. In a loud and clear voice.

And Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza: What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don't recall you reacting with such alarm.

And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on his way to Jerusalem - and from there to Paris and London. An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees.

And make no mistake - we won't go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us. So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don't recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans - and the world remains silent. And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya. And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population - then you also kept silent.

What is it about us, the Jews, “the minority�, “the persecuted�, that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don't?

In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize.

I will not capitulate.

I will not whine.

This is a battle for our freedom.

For our humanity.

For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders.

It is also your battle.

I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don't, you may regret it later, when it's much too late.

When Words Fail You


Sunday, August 06, 2006

To Die for a Cause but Not for a Country

Because a Country is not a Cause? Safeguarding your roots, your people, your identity, your life as you know it, is not a Cause?

Would you care to remind me what Cause the Palestinians are dying for? And what Cause did the sixteen people whose memory stands tall in Martyr square as an ever renewed symbol for sacrifice, sovereignty and liberation die for?

What are your Lebanese passport and nationality. Are they clauses in a contract between your interests and a readily replaceable land that is providing you with stability and comfort? Is that what they are?

And why do you stand livid in the face of the ongoing crimes against Lebanon and the Lebanese? Because you stand for The Cause of human life and rights and against violence and war crimes? Have you felt and done the same for people dying of poverty, hunger, and disease in the forsaken corners of the world? Have you felt and done the same for people subjected to bona fide genocide in Darfour?

Say you choose to live and fight for a Cause, than die for it, and I'll embrace you and your choice, but to say that you would die for a Cause but not for a Country while you're vociferously protesting and condemning attacks against your people and your country, is either misguidedly foolish, or downright hypocritical.

Ok. Maybe not hypocritical. That was impulsive and not well thought out. I apologize to anyone who took offense. To me a Country is a Cause, because it represents much more than a piece of land with a borderline. And I strongly believe that we cannot build or rebuild a country, or fight for its freedom, if we don't believe in it as an entity, and as a Cause. If you disagree with that, then you're not hypocritical. You're just wrong :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Who of You is Willing to DIE for Lebanon?

Who of you is willing to sacrifice their life for the salvation of their country? And if not your life, are you willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of your country? Will every Lebanese citizen who visits this blog please answer this question with all the truthfulness they can gather in their hearts? Will non-lebanese visitors answer the same question with regard to their own nation?

Thank you for humoring me.

Add: The few replies I got made me realize I somewhat misstated my question. Of course it is better to live for one's country than to die for it, but what I would like to know is whether you would be ready to put your life on the line for something you believe would make a difference. And I intend it to be from a peaceful perspective, ie to die while trying to KILL the "enemy" does NOT count.

Thanks again.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Let the People March for Peace

I have very few words left to say. The cycle of violence is feeding on its own blood. Hundreds, if not thousands of innocent lives are, and will be falling in vain, victims to our arrogance and misguided ideologies. I wish that the people of Lebanon and Israel, who stand against hatred and war, would all walk on a Peace March towards the Lebanese-Israeli border, and hold hands across the separating line. Maybe will that send a message to the rocket-yielding, blood-thirsty powers that be. Nothing can stand in the way of two million people marching together, towards each other, for peace. Not an ideology, not a guerilla, not an army, not the most powerful country in the world. I believe that the people's fate lies within the people's hands, and as elusive as it seems, Peace, of all the goals set on either side of the conflict, remains, by far, the easiest goal to achieve.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How Much Longer...