While Israel is pounding Gaza and killing in the hundreds, demonstrations in support of the Palestinians and Hamas’ fight are taking place all around the globe. Of course this doesn’t reflect dominant public opinion in the West that still is apologetic of Israel’s actions. Not one official state declaration has condemned the Israeli attacks. If […]Read More The Lessons of History: Thoughts on the events in Gaza (part I)
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?
Listening to the Maronite Patriarch Mar Nasrallah Butros Sfeir giving the noon Christmas mass today in Beirut, confirmed what I was thinking of yesterday. At some point in the unfolding of the celebration, Sfeir tells the story of the birth of Jesus and so mentions his birth in Bethlehem. “In the city of Bethlehem, in […]Read More A Christmas lesson (bis)
In Christian festive times, Al Manar TV uses such rituals in order to focus attention on a political cause either pertaining to internal Lebanese issues (Jesus and messages of co-existence), regional (usually related to the Palestinian cause) or even international. On Christmas Eve for example, the seven o’clock news broadcast has most of its content […]Read More A Christmas Lesson
I am soon going to write a comprehensive post about electoral campaigning in this place that came to be called Lebanon. But I can’t help myself not to send you previews such as the one in the last post. It is quite amazing how far imagination can take one to uncharted territories. Check for example […]Read More Grand, petty concerns, and other electoral events
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)
Even Fawwaz Trabulsi, in his new book, The Modern History of Lebanon, thinks that Mount Lebanon (The ‘Imara that is) enjoyed some ‘degree of autonomy’, since the 16th century. I have a problem with the concept of “autonomy”. I am reading the Arabic version of the book, that Trabulsi himself wrote (he originally wrote in […]Read More Autonomy, independence and other treacherous words
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.