Monday, January 30, 2012

Adonis in the Guardian

There are problems in the articles. She said that he "embraced" colloquial Arabic in his journal, which is patently untrue.  He clashed with Yusuf Al-Khal over this and he writes in classical Arabic, always.  I don't know where she got this from.  Also, his position against the Syrian regime are not as categorical as he claims in the interview: I have not read any clear call for the resignation of Bashshar Al-Asad.  Thirdly, it is not true that he has not been in Syria in two years because it is "dangerous".  He has been going to Syria since 1976 and edited the cultural supplement of the regime's mouthpiece AFTER the Syrian army sent its troops to Lebanon in 1976 to crush the PLO and its ally, the Lebanese National Movement.  But here is an excerpt from his interview:  "Yet he is against both armed uprising and foreign intervention. "Guns can't resolve these problems. If everyone took up arms, there'd be civil war." Outside military intervention has "destroyed Arab countries, from Iraq to Libya". As for its humanitarian rationale, "it's not true – it's to colonise. If westerners really want to defend Arab human rights, they have to start by defending the rights of the Palestinians."  Calls for intervention from within Arab countries "are wrong; it doesn't make sense. How can you build the foundations of the state with the help of the same people who colonised these countries before?" At a talk this month in the House of Poetry in Paris, he held up a photograph published in al-Quds of some US soldiers in Iraq apparently desecrating the dead. "American soldiers pissed on Iraqi corpses," he says indignantly. "So these are the same people they want to call in to liberate Arabs, and piss on the living?""