We Lebanese have the
misfortune of neighbouring Arrogant Baathists, Self-centered Israelis, and
negationists Turks... And our own hubris... And we have Nasrallah and
Al-Asir stoking fires that will burn us all… As a small country, we can only
“resonate” with all the drumbreats around us…
Syria would be lucky if it
managed half as well/bad as we did. It would be lucky if its civil war slides
into Lebanon mode. Yes, lucky. It’s
simply because, throughout our own civil war, we Lebanese maintained a form of
state. We kept some sort of minimal contacts. We kept some sort of perspective.
How did we do it?
No, we’re no better than any
one else. There is no more Lebanon exception as there is
We’re just better
Even when we carp to foreign
powers, we’re unreliable;
we only follow those who pay last, not necessary those who pay more…
In Syria, they have a long way down
The fact remains that the
Baath was the only link between all the parts of country and society, since it
controlled most large scale businesses across the country. The other links that
remain are religious/ethnic, and often regional.
Now, as the Baath glacis
melts away, new divides will appear that Syrian have little experience in
bridging. Today, the divide is between rich and poor. Tomorrow, it could be between Damascus and Aleppo,
since the regime has all but broken the Homs node…. The
day after, who knows?
Jeha sold his house for a ridiculously low price. But he had one condition; “on one of the walls there is a Nail I do not want to sell". The buyer agreed; after all, what did he need the nail for? After a few days, Jeha came back to the house “to visit his nail”. He soon hung his coat on it, then brought his bed and started to sleep there, to stay close to the nail. Then he brought his family to visit the nail… In the end, the only way the new owner could get rid of him was to buy the nail for a price many times higher than that of the house... This goes to tell you; we may leave Lebanon, but we will NEVER sell that nail.
A Very well researched monograph by on the problems on the southern boundary of Lebanon from the time it was first established by the French and British after World War I. It covers the Zionist thirst for the waters of the Litani, the impotence of the Lebanese government and its neglect of the South and its inhabitants, the PLO, Israel's policies and actions, and finally the Israeli invasions of 1978 and 1982.
The focus is on Saudi Arabia, home to the largest proven reserves. It is based on analysis of technical papers by ARAMCO engineers. The largest and most productive fields may be at peak production, and current high production is shortening their productive lives. New Saudi fields are unlikely to replace them; extensive exploration has produced little. Soon, Saudi production may not reach the expected 15-20 million BPD.
I like books that challenge orthodox ideology and make you think. Otherwise, we have plain vanilla CNN and Al-Jazeera, each pandering to their lowest common denominator. Such books, however, have to be methodical and well reasoned. You may or may not like what they tell you, and you others yet disprove their findings, but you can find no fault with the method. I find that I learn a lot in the process.
This is easily a “groundbreaking and essential” book. Tim Flannery “argues passionately for the urgent need to address - NOW - the implications of a global climate change that is damaging all life on earth and endangering our very survival”. I have little to add to that…
By answering two question;: “when was the Bible written?” and “why was it written?”, the author places the Hebrew Bible in its historical/social context, and much of it becomes clearer to understand. He also unwittingly illuminates the pre-Islamic Arab word…
"There are lies, damned lies and statistics"… Enough said, go read the book. The math is not too hard, and it should be required reading for anyone who is ever planning in discussing numbers. There are timeless classic; this is one of them.
This is a reading of the Koran from the perspective of the ancient Jahiliyya dialects, closer in some respects to an Aramaic-Arabic mixed language than to modern Arabic. A challenging read and many may consider that the author oversimplifies. But it makes you think and ponder, and the author makes many excellent points.
Many will disagree strongly with Prof. Saliby’s conclusions, many of which fly in the face of archeological evidence. True, this once acclaimed Lebanese historian now apparently belongs to the group of “everyone's got it wrong, I've got it right" conspiracy theorists, but he does raise a few good questions. The mental exercise of debunking him when he overreaches is worth it; all too often, we tend to forget those aspects of Monotheism that go back to Akhenaton…