Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

warبينما تتجه أنظار العالم إلى الشرق الأوسط بوصفه البؤرة الأكثر سخونة آنياً، و بينما ترسل كبرى الدول أساطيلها و مدمراتها إلى شرق المتوسط يجد ابن هذا الشرق نفسه مفعولاً به آكثر منه فاعلاً في المعركة الدائرة على أرضه وإن كان يشكل هو آحد تفاصيها… ولا بد مع تشابك خيوط اللعبة السياسية وتعقيدها وانكشاف بعض عناصرها كتكرار ممل لحروب القرون الوسطى وما قبل القرون القرون الوسطى أن نبحث عن جذور المشكلة في ما هو أبعد من السياسية الآنية، لا سيما وأن إشارات كثيرة تدل على الامتداد التاريخي للأزمة الراهنة من صراع الشرق والغرب إلى صراع السنة والشيعة… إلخ. فهل حقاً أن جذور الصراع تكمن في ما يزعم له من مبررات أم أن عوامل أخرى اجتمعت المرة تلو المرة وقادت الجماعات البشرية إلى تصادم حتمي؟ (more…)

Read Full Post »

The news of mass demonstrations in al-Anbar, Nineveh and other regions of Iraq has been a headline since more than a week. It all started after PM al-Maliki ordered to arrest bodyguards of the Sunni finance minister; a step considered to be another offence against Sunnis by the Shiite dominated government of Baghdad. Since then thousands of people are rallying under slogans of Iraqi Spring calling to bring down the regime of Nouri al-Maliki.

Old Iraqi flag in al-Anbar demonstrations. (Reuters)

In sharp contrast to Arab Spring events which did not carry any religious color, the political movement in Anbar is pure Sunni. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Nasrallah acknowledges responsibility for launching the drone and justified the presences of Hezbollah members fighting in Syria.

After acknowledging responsibility of the drone downed over al-Naqab last week and claiming its members fighting for “self-defense” in Syria, Hezbollah (and consequently the whole country) is put in the face of two looming wars and an increasing gap between Lebanese religio-political groups. In his speech last Thursday, Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyid Nasrallah claimed he has the right to launch aerial reconnaissance drones over Israel and promised to send more in the future. He also justified the presence of Hezbollah members fighting against rebels in Syria, saying they are protecting their homes. Nasrallah kept for Hezbollah the right of military supporting president Assad whenever suitable.


Read Full Post »

In search for a decent “qaf” for this blog I found out that the Phoenician letter “qaph” is written exactly as the capital Latin Q. Several other Latin and Greek letters are believed to originate from the Phoenician alphabet. Letters like M, S, K still carry this resemblance.

Gold plates with Phoenician writing

If such small similarity between alphabets is sometimes clear, the differences are much clearer.

Other than being written from right to left, Semitic alphabets have no vowels. Vowel sounds are not usually depicted in a script even when a vowel changes the whole meaning of a word. Semitic nations considered vowels not worth of being written. Even though Hebrew and Arabic contain minor signs (not letters) to express vowels visually (nikkud and harakat), you may notice that these signs are usually ignored. In some words the constants written are not more than half of the real sound of the word. You have to know by heart how a word sounds or guess which vowel to supply for a given constant in it. Such writing systems are called “abjad” systems.

Russians say: east is a peculiar case. East cannot be understood. It should be accepted as it is. This may apply perfectly to Middle East where the expressed part of life is not more than half of what people experience. Political problems are half expressed. Solutions are half solutions and the easiest way to resolve a conflict is simply to hide its consequences, just like a vowel, while it actually does not seize to exist there wouldn’t be any-verbal reference to it.

A Tunisian girl raped by police last September is now facing jail for ‘INDECENT BEHAVIOR”. Tunisian justice seems trying to suppress any voice disturbing the newly-set order of things in this pioneering arab-spring state. The easiest way to do it is to hide vowels, to stop victims from appealing to courts rather than directly addressing the problem.

A Tunisian protester holds a placard reading ‘Congratulations Madame Hillary for this thief and rapist government’ on September 28, 2012, in Tunis, during a meeting of support to a woman who was raped by two policemen. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

In Lebanon any discussion regarding the 15 long years of civil war is still a taboo. It is not that Lebanese people have already jettisoned sectarian animosity. It is only that no one wants to talk about it.

Examples of the “abjad system” applied in Middle East everyday life are plenty.  Duality between what is said and what is seen, what things are and what they are officially called has become a part of the functioning system. Will Arab Spring change this pattern? The Tunisian example is not promising.

Read Full Post »