Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
"Q. What in your opinion does Washington want from Lebanon?
A. Before Washington, we want to know who killed Rafiq Hariri."
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I always say that there is no humiliation that is visited on Saddam that is sufficient to punish him for his crimes. I should add that there is no punishment sufficient for Saddam or his half-brother Barazan. This pathetic former head of Saddam's intelligence apparatus, whose tenure witnessed an elaboration and development of torture techniques, now wrote a letter that was printed in a Kuwaiti newspaper in which he pleaded with (and with fawning praise) Bush, King `Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and any other leader that he can beg. What a pathetic Ba`thist junta it was.
I finally found it. On October 9th, 2002, Rafiq Hariri arranged for the Key of Beirut to be awarded to the head of Syrian intelligence in
«سعادة اللواء، ايها الاصدقاء، لقد عشنا معاً ما يزيد عن عشر سنوات. لم تكن سنوات سهلة، لكن وجودكم الى جانبنا ذلل كثيراً من المشاكل والصعوبات وازال كثيراً من العقبات التي واجهت الدولة اثناء قيامها. واجهنا واياكم محاولات اسرائيلية عدة لاخضاع الشعب اللبناني. ووقفتم دائما وابدا الى جانب لبنان. ولا أبالغ ولا أقول هذا الكلام للمرة الاولى، بل قلته مرات عدة. كنت اشعر باستمرار أنكم المدافعون الاوائل عن مصلحة لبنان العليا. وكنت أتمنى ان اجد كثيراً من الاخوان اللبنانيين في مستوى تفهمكم لمشاكل الدولة والبلاد والحكومة والوضع السياسي العام والأخطار والتحديات التي تواجهنا». واضاف: «يا اخ ابو يعرب... قمتم وتقومون وستستمرون بالقيام بواجباتكم في خدمة بلدكم سورية ولبنان. والهدية التي اهديتمونا اياها هي الاخ رستم غزالة الذي في اليوم الاول لتعرفه بي، قلت لي: سأعرفك بأخ لي يدعى رستم غزالة، ابو عبدو، وهذا الرجل هو أنا. ما زلت أذكر هذا الكلام. وقد برهنت الأيام خلال عشر سنوات، إن كنا في السلطة أو خارج السلطة، أنكم والأخ رستم كنتم نعم الصديق والاخ الوفي الذي وقف دائما بجانب مصالح سورية ومصالح لبنان». ٌ
ويود المكتب الاعلامي في دار الفتوى أن يذكر صحيفة <<السفير>> وسائر الصحف والكتّاب والمؤلفين بأنه لا يجوز شرعاً اختصار عبارة <<صلى>> في الصحف أو المجلات أو الكتب بحرف <<ص>> أو <<صلعم>>، بل يجب كتابتها بكاملها، وان الامانة العلمية توجب التقيد بذلك>>.
Yesterday, women in the Hirmil area in Lebanon stoned convoys of the Lebanese Army as they were trying to intimidate Palestinian fighters who can defeat them, with their hands tied behind their backs. The women were furious because the Lebanese Army is closing all passage points between Syria and Lebanon, and poor Lebanese have for decades bought fuels and groceries from Syria because they are cheaper.
The gifted artist of Lebanese police is back with a new sketch of yet another suspect. It is the previous suspect with a different shirt and less hair. Upon release of this sketch, 500000 Lebanese were arrested for resembling the above suspect.
عيناءُ حوراءُ من العين الحير
فقل للحواريات يبكين غيرنا, ولا تبكنا الا الكلابُ النوابحُ
In the Qur'an, huru al-`ayn were mentioned of course in Surat At-Tur for example:
مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَى سُرُرٍ مَصْفُوفَةٍ وَزَوَّجْنَاهُمْ بِحُورٍ عِينٍ
(Reclining on thrones arranged in ranks; and We shall join them to huri-l-`ayni companions)
I call upon the readers to express their outrage and displeasure by contacting As-Safir:
Phone: +(961) 1 350001
PS: Be polite. I have friends there.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
American Charm Offensive Gone Awry. You had to be there. David Welsh, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East, was on AlJazeera, and receiving live calls from Arabs around the world. Welsh, as you may have noticed does have some charisma; the charisma of a
tomato, let's say. While he was receiving the questions, if you can call it that, from the audience, he looked as comfortable as I looked when they pulled my wisdom teeth out, but not on live TV. He did what every inexperienced and unsavy public official would do: just attack the audience. His main problem was that he was using the cliched lines of
PS: I also should add the name of Talal Al-Hajj, Al-Arabiyya correspondent at UN as being independent. (Is he Lebanese though?) Kamal tells me that he is Iraqi.
Signs of Lebanese "liberation": this is the new Lebanon. These are signs of the new Lebanon, the Lebanon that is promoted as a model of "freedom" and "independence" by Lebanonese nationalists and by Bush's advocates. RPGs and other not-light weapons were used in those clashes in Ta`mir near Sidon. MP Usamah Sa`d (one of the few members of parliament that I respect, and who managed the great defeat of the Hariri list in the municipal elections in Sidon in 2004) said that a new group in Sidon has been receiving weapons from Hariri apparatus in Beirut (he did not use that phrase, but I know the code language of Usamah).
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The magnificent sketch artists of Lebanese police: an entire force of Lebanese police stormed into the house of a Lebanese citizen yesterday because he looked like the recent sketch of a wanted suspect (shown above). In a short time, it became clear that person in custody was not the wanted man. He was released, and the Lebanese police issued a statement in which it asserted that he really resembled the sketch of the suspect (shown above).
Friday, October 21, 2005
الله عثمان ابو بكر وعلي ... دم السنية عم يغلي غلي
(God, `Uthman, Abu Bakr and `Ali; the blood of Sunnis is really boiling). So much for Lebanonese unity. This reminds me of the comment that Karl Marx wrote about conflict in Algeria back in 1860s for the New York Tribune. Not that I agree with his take on things Eastern or Islamic, but in this case it applies to Lebanon). (Of course, sectarianism is not confined to Sunnis only).
PS In fairness, Hassan Fattah in today's article mentioned "hundreds" of demonstrators. He identified MP Ghinwa Jallul as being "associated" with Hariri's bloc, when she has been a member of the bloc since 2000.
World Press Freedom Index (ranking): 1Denmark0,50 -Finland0,50 -Iceland0,50 -Ireland0,50 -Netherlands0,50 -Norway0,50 -Switzerland0,50 8Slovakia0,75 9Czech Republic1,00 -Slovenia1,00 11Estonia1,50 12Hungary2,00 -New Zealand2,00 -Sweden2,00 -Trinidad and Tobago2,00 16Austria2,50 -Latvia2,50 18Belgium4,00 -Germany4,00 -Greece4,00 21Canada4,50 -Lithuania4,50 23Portugal4,83 24United Kingdom5,17 25Benin5,50 -Cyprus5,50 -Namibia5,50 28El Salvador5,75 29Cape Verde6,00 30France6,25 31Australia6,50 -South Africa6,50 33Bosnia and Herzegovina7,00 34Jamaica7,50 -Mauritius7,50 -South Korea7,50 37Japan8,00 -Mali8,00 39Hong-Kong8,25 40Spain8,33 41Costa Rica8,50 42Italy8,67 43Macedonia8,75 44United States of America (American territory)9,50 (Lebanon is 108)