Interesting parallels between Poland and Lebanon (this probably applies to Ireland as well). Two places where a strange marriage between Catholicism and nationalist projects took place. In both cases, a perceived “external threat” led groups to find in the Catholic church a way to not just defend their interests but also to imagine their national […]Read More Poland, Lebanon, and the Catholic Church
I’m not saying that Zionism and ISIS are identical or anything as simplistic. But in trying to find generalizing labels for ISIS, such as being a fascist organization, or a totalitarian state and so on, and in the effort to draw parallels between different political experiences one can more subtly propose that ISIS and […]Read More ISIS and the specter of Zionism
The recent events in France betray the primacy of the political (and not religious) dimension in the way different communities, groups, and states have handled (and have been handled in) this affair. One facet is Israel’s urge to profit from the situation and attract a few more Jews to the promised homeland to which France […]Read More France and antisemitism: It’s the politics stupid!
Back in September 2009, after listening to a speech by Hizbullah’s SG Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, I wrote this post that was left unfinished. I thought of proposing it today. On the 18th of September 2009, Hizbullah celebrated what Khomeini had instituted as “Jerusalem Day” (that takes place every year on the last Friday of the […]Read More Jews, Jews, where art thou?
That is really funny. A Lebanese NGO is filing a lawsuit against Lebanese political leaders for “violating article 317 of the country’s penal code prohibiting incitement of violence”. The accused include party leaders Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah of Hizbullah, Samir Geagea of the Lebanese Forces, Nabih Berri of Amal, Saad Hariri of the Future Movement, Michel […]Read More New moralists, that is what we needed
There is a little clarification at the end of this post. Some people voiced satisfaction over the idea that the sect was removed from the personal status register (it was already removed from the identity card). I don’t find this that extraordinary. If anything, this consecrates an even more irrational and ill-founded idea of ‘being […]Read More The problem is the identity card not the sect!
Christians writing history Around the start of December 2008, Beirut hosted a multitude of publishers from all around the Arab world and beyond (Iran). I went there practically everyday and noted down a couple of things that struck me for the beloved reader of this blog. Let’s start with an anecdote: In the beginning of […]Read More Walking through the Arabic book fair in Beirut (first glance)
I have been cooking up this post for so long now, ever since the Swiss president paid us a visit, and yet before that, I was thinking that it is time to set the record straight. Yesterday, the leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea (who we love to talk about on this blog, and […]Read More Why Lebanon is definitely not Switzerland
Sometimes Al Akhbar becomes such a trashy Nationalist newspaper. Everybody has been commenting about Michel Aoun’s visit to Syria, some describing it as a visit to the devil (I’ll let you guess which media outlet) and others going as far as saying that it’s the most important post-Taef visit. So the screams of the Lebanese […]Read More Aoun parading in Damascus
Or “Yet another morbid tale from the land of the free” Anyone seen the latest billboard campaign of the Lebanese Forces? Check out how pathetic and empty their slogan is: “You are the Cedar and we are its red line”. What the fuck does it mean? Does it mean that this mostly empty-of-any-historical-signification-symbol the cedar […]Read More The continuous downfall of political Maronitism
This morning, I could overhear from the window of my room a Philipino woman (who works in one of the flats of the building) teaching the young son of the Indian watchman of the building – who lives from where he watches – the Lebanese national anthem. – Repeat after me: qulunaaaa lil watan lil […]Read More The paradoxes of ‘globalization’
How did the “Lebanese” discover that they had a Phoenician tradition? Or for that matter how did the Arabs discover that they had some past glorious tradition that was decimated by the Ottomans? Don’t we read Arabic history as one that stops around the Abbasid era, and that then picks up around the end of […]Read More Unearthing civilizations
For those not interested in academic empty quarrels you can skip this post. Our colleague, friend and fellow blogger Abu muqawama, has proposed to call the conflict that is happening in this little slice of land that came to be called Lebanon another civil war. And here, he provides more evidence of that. I think […]Read More Was this a (mini) Civil war?
I just have a couple of points to make on (before) yesterday’s interview between Hizbullah’s SG and Tayyar’s leader. These are open questions more than anything else. My sentences sometimes are brief and I don’t develop every idea very much. So there is a lot to be said on each. Of course, the purpose of […]Read More Seeing Aoun and Nasrallah on Otv
Angry Arab wrote: The Obituary of Kahlil Gibran (we call him Jubran Khalil Jubran in Arabic). I looked up last night the obituary of Kahlil Gibran in the New York Times from April 1931. The headline went like this: “Khalil Gibran dead; Noted Syrian poet.” The subtitle said: “Wrote in Arabic and English–Native of Palestine, […]Read More R.I.P.
As some of you know, today is ‘independence day’ for what came to be called the “Lebanese”. This time I won’t bother you with my sentences. I’ll just translate Ziad Rahbani’s column that sums well my point of view (bear in mind that the joke is made in the Arabic language and that the gist […]Read More Before the concept of Independence!