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Archive for January, 2009

Anger Management by: Christopher Dickey

Posted by Khaled on January 22, 2009

Newsweek

Anger Management

If they want help from Obama, Arabs in the Middle East should learn the lessons of Martin Luther King.

Christopher Dickey

Newsweek Web Exclusive

Martin Luther King Day is celebrated. Barack Hussein Obama is inaugurated. The confluence of dates at the beginning of this week seems a culmination of hopes from the past, an auspicious omen for those with even greater hopes for the future. And in a general sense among Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East (whose satellite channels delight in using the new president’s middle name) there is a shared sense of new possibilities opening up. This, even though their attention—their fear, their anger—has been focused on the carnage in Gaza these last three weeks.

What the vast majority of Arabs have been slow to realize, however, is the profound connection that exists between the history of the struggle that opened the way for Obama to become president, and the future of their own fight for freedom and dignity, and not only in the face of Israeli occupation, but under the tyrannies of so many Arab dictators. We talk about remembering Martin Luther King because of the power of his vision, of his language, of his morality and of his faith. But mainly we remember him because he adopted a strategy of nonviolent confrontation with an insidious and pervasive system of repression—and broke it—and broke through it. We remember him because his way worked.

What we know about the Middle East today is that wars no longer end in victories, and the process of peace never delivers more than the process itself. A new approach has to be found, and the leaders of the governments in the region don’t seem up to the task. The most promising is nonviolent resistance: mass protests, boycotts, refusal to obey unjust laws.

Again, consider what we are seeing on the Mall in Washington today. As we look at that enormous crowd we do not, unless we are interested in the footnotes of modern American history, remember apostles of the gun like Eldridge Cleaver or Huey Newton or Stokely Carmichael or the rioters shouting “burn baby burn” as America’s cities—their own homes—went up in flames in the 1960s. Violence drew attention to the civil-rights movement. It expressed the anger that had built up for years. That is unquestionable. But what it did to advance the cause of building a new world with new ideas, if anything, is hard to measure. What King’s strategy of nonviolent resistance achieved is unquestionable: just about everything we are looking at now.

White Americans did not need to be taught to fear black Americans, after all. Jailers, deep down, will always fear their prisoners, slave-owners their slaves, the occupiers the occupied. That much was deeply ingrained in the white American psyche long before the Black Panthers posed for posters. What white Americans needed to be taught was to respect black Americans. And that fundamental change in attitude, so long coming, was the direct result of the sit-downs, the marches, the boycotts—the bravery of the resistance to oppression that King’s life and history and, indeed, his martyrdom epitomizes. It was the bravery of the righteous, not only in the religious and moral sense, but in the pure common-sense sense that King and his followers were doing much more than acting out their anger or fighting for revenge. They were correcting an aberration in society so wildly irrational that, to look back on it today, one must wonder how and why it ever existed.

Forty years from now—and possibly in less time than that—we could look back on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and on what now seems the endless Age of Despotism in the Arab world, as something almost inconceivable. But for that to happen the people who hunger for that moment, and I believe that almost everyone in the Middle East does hunger for that moment, will have to reject the idea that only violence can appease their fury, or that some day some outside force will simply recognize their rectitude and fix the problems they can never seem to resolve on their own.

Over the weekend I was in Doha, Qatar, where two conferences took place. One was a confab—call it a quasi-summit—of a few Arab and Muslim leaders (including the head of Hamas and the president of Iran), which preceded another summit of other Arab and European leaders in Egypt, which came before another summit of most Arab leaders in Kuwait which tried to repair the damage done by the earlier summits. And what all of these leaders contributed to the cause of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East was, as far as I can tell (and I have watched a lot of these things) precisely nothing new at all.

The other Doha conference was more interesting. Attending were a couple of hundred people assembled from all over the world under the rubric Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow. Unlike the Muslim leaders of today, this group was less interested in posturing and intramural rivalries than in finding some practical solutions to the many problems that address their people, whether in Gaza or Rotterdam, Kabul or Los Angeles. There was a lot of talk about community organizing. One well-attended seminar on the subject, conducted by a Palestinian lawyer, held up Obama’s presidential campaign and even his 2004 speech at the Democratic National convention as paradigms to study.

Obama, you will recall, started as a community organizer. So did Dr. King. Of course it’s obvious that more will be required than a few marches, sit-ins and boycotts to change the habits of occupation and internal repression in the Palestinian territories. It took a lot more than that to bring the United States as far as it has come. But civil disobedience in the Middle East has some promising precedents, even in the blood-drenched Holy Land.

The Arabs of the little village of Bil’in on the West Bank, working with Israeli and Palestinian activists, have won international attention and the support of the Israeli courts in their fight to change the path of the wall that would have divided their community. But there is an earlier and even more significant example.

The closest the Palestinians have ever come to what Dr. King and President Obama might understand as massive civil disobedience was the first Intifada that began in 1987 and lasted until 1993. It finished forever the Palestinians’ passive endurance of Israeli occupation. Before then, for the first two decades after the West Bank and Gaza were taken by the Israelis in the 1967 war, the Palestinians there had waited for the Arab Nation or their own leaders in exile or maybe the good offices of the United States to end their plight. Then they just couldn’t wait any more. Children began throwing stones at the Israelis, and would not stop, even when soldiers broke their bones. That is not nonviolent, to be sure, but the message was much the same: a popular uprising based on sheer guts against the massive brawn of the occupiers. And the rock-throwers were backed by general strikes and refusals to buy Israeli products.

That sort of resistance, built on asymmetric courage, not asymmetric warfare, can change radically the way adversaries think about each other and themselves. It can open the door to peace, and there was a long moment in the early and mid-1990s when the Middle East conflict was indeed much closer to being resolved than most people remember now. Made possible by massive, mostly nonviolent resistance, it was destroyed by terrorist acts on both sides. An Israeli slaughtered dozens of unarmed Arabs as they prayed in Hebron in 1994. Another Israeli murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as he attended a rally, singing peace songs in Tel Aviv in 1995. Among the Palestinians, Hamas and other groups, including a wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization, embraced the notion that only ferocious, suicidal violence could win respect.

Very likely Hamas still believes that, even after the events of the last month demonstrated how powerless it is to defend its people, and how feckless its little fireworks displays really are. All Hamas’s violent resistance does is make it easier for otherwise sensible Israelis to rationalize the use of overwhelming force, and while many regret the death of so many hundreds of innocents, the general sentiment in Israel is that proportionality is for suckers. You meet fire with fire, and if you’ve got the guns, you use them. Having made its point, the Israeli government has been shrewd enough to pull most of its forces out of Gaza just before Obama takes the oath of office. It might even claim it did him a favor.

So, as the new American president takes power, we will hear many voices in the Arab and Muslim world calling on Obama to impose peace on the Middle East. And, yes, he can help and, I believe, wants to do so. But he has to have something to work with. An Arab movement that shows its unity and courage through stubborn peaceful resistance, not violent potshots and suicidal rituals, would offer a truly new beginning. Civil disobedience is a language of confrontation that leaves the door open to conciliation. It was the language of Dr. King, and it is a language that Barack Hussein Obama, the community-organizer-cum-president, understands very well. Some Arabs know it already. Others would be wise to listen to them.

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أشهر قصائد أمل دنقل : لا تصالح

Posted by Khaled on January 18, 2009

لاتصــالح ولو منحوك الذهب
..أترى حين أفقأ عينيك، ثم أثبت جوهرتين مكانهما
هل ترى..؟
..هي أشياء لا تشترى
،ذكريات الطفولة بين أخيك وبينك
،حسُّكما – فجأةً – بالرجولةِ
،هذا الحياء الذي يكبت الشوق.. حين تعانقُهُ
..الصمتُ – مبتسمين – لتأنيب أمكما
!وكأنكما ما تزالان طفلين
:تلك الطمأنينة الأبدية بينكما
..أنَّ سيفانِ سيفَكَ
:صوتانِ صوتَكَ أنك إن متَّ
للبيت ربٌّ
وللطفل أبْ
هل يصير دمي ماءً ؟
..أتنسى ردائي الملطَّخَ بالدماء
تلبس – فوق دمائي – ثيابًا مطرَّزَةً بالقصب ؟
!إنها الحربُ
..قد تثقل القلبَ
لكن خلفك عار العرب
..لا تصالحْ
!ولا تتوخَّ الهرب
*****
..لا تصالح على الدم
حتى بدم !
لا تصالح !
ولو قيل رأس برأسٍ
أكلُّ الرؤوس سواءٌ ؟
أقلب الغريب كقلب أخيك ؟!
أعيناه عينا أخيك ؟!
وهل تتساوى يدٌ ..
سيفها كان لك بيدٍ سيفها أثْكَلك ؟
سيقولون : جئناك كي تحقن الدم ..
جئناك . كن – يا أمير – الحكم
سيقولون :
ها نحن أبناء عم.
قل لهم : إنهم لم يراعوا العمومة فيمن هلك
واغرس السيفَ في جبهة الصحراء
إلى أن يجيب العدم
إنني كنت لك فارسًا،
وأخًا،
وأبًا،
!ومَلِك
*****
لا تصالح ..
ولو حرمتك الرقاد صرخاتُ الندامة وتذكَّر ..
إذا لان قلبك للنسوة اللابسات السواد ولأطفالهن الذين تخاصمهم الابتسامة
أن بنتَ أخيك “اليمامة”
زهرةٌ تتسربل – في سنوات الصبا –
بثياب الحداد
كنتُ، إن عدتُ:
تعدو على دَرَجِ القصر،
تمسك ساقيَّ عند نزولي..
فأرفعها – وهي ضاحكةٌ –
فوق ظهر الجواد
ها هي الآن .. صامتةٌ
حرمتها يدُ الغدر:
من كلمات أبيها،
ارتداءِ الثياب الجديدةِ
من أن يكون لها – ذات يوم – أخٌ !
من أبٍ يتبسَّم في عرسها ..
وتعود إليه إذا الزوجُ أغضبها ..
وإذا زارها .. يتسابق أحفادُه نحو أحضانه،
لينالوا الهدايا..
ويلهوا بلحيته (وهو مستسلمٌ) ويشدُّوا العمامة ..
لا تصالح!
فما ذنب تلك اليمامة
لترى العشَّ محترقًا .. فجأةً ،
وهي تجلس فوق الرماد ؟!
لا تصالح
*****
ولو توَّجوك بتاج الإمارة
كيف تخطو على جثة ابن أبيكَ ..؟
وكيف تصير المليكَ ..
على أوجهِ البهجة المستعارة ؟
كيف تنظر في يد من صافحوك..
فلا تبصر الدم..
في كل كف ؟
إن سهمًا أتاني من الخلف..
سوف يجيئك من ألف خلف
فالدم – الآن – صار وسامًا وشارة
لا تصالح ،
ولو توَّجوك بتاج الإمارة
إن عرشَك : سيفٌ
وسيفك : زيفٌ
إذا لم تزنْ – بذؤابته – لحظاتِ الشرف
واستطبت – الترف
لا تصالح
*****
ولو قال من مال عند الصدامْ ” ..
ما بنا طاقة لامتشاق الحسام ..”
عندما يملأ الحق قلبك:
تندلع النار إن تتنفَّسْ
ولسانُ الخيانة يخرس
لا تصالح
ولو قيل ما قيل من كلمات السلام
كيف تستنشق الرئتان النسيم المدنَّس ؟
كيف تنظر في عيني امرأة ..
أنت تعرف أنك لا تستطيع حمايتها ؟
كيف تصبح فارسها في الغرام ؟
كيف ترجو غدًا .. لوليد ينام
– كيف تحلم أو تتغنى بمستقبلٍ لغلام
وهو يكبر – بين يديك – بقلب مُنكَّس ؟
لا تصالح
ولا تقتسم مع من قتلوك الطعام
وارْوِ قلبك بالدم..
واروِ التراب المقدَّس ..
واروِ أسلافَكَ الراقدين ..
إلى أن تردَّ عليك العظام
*****
لا تصالح
ولو ناشدتك القبيلة
باسم حزن “الجليلة”
أن تسوق الدهاءَ
وتُبدي – لمن قصدوك – القبول
سيقولون :
ها أنت تطلب ثأرًا يطول
فخذ – الآن – ما تستطيع :
قليلاً من الحق ..
في هذه السنوات القليلة
إنه ليس ثأرك وحدك،
لكنه ثأر جيلٍ فجيل
وغدًا..
سوف يولد من يلبس الدرع كاملةً،
يوقد النار شاملةً،
يطلب الثأرَ،
يستولد الحقَّ،
من أَضْلُع المستحيل
لا تصالح
ولو قيل إن التصالح حيلة
إنه الثأرُ تبهتُ شعلته في الضلوع..
إذا ما توالت عليها الفصول..
ثم تبقى يد العار مرسومة بأصابعها الخمس
فوق الجباهِ الذليلة !
*****
لا تصالحْ، ولو حذَّرتْك النجوم
ورمى لك كهَّانُها بالنبأ..
كنت أغفر لو أنني متُّ..
ما بين خيط الصواب وخيط الخطأ .
لم أكن غازيًا ،
لم أكن أتسلل قرب مضاربهم
أو أحوم وراء التخوم
لم أمد يدًا لثمار الكروم
أرض بستانِهم
لم أطأ لم يصح قاتلي بي: “انتبه” !
كان يمشي معي..
ثم صافحني..
ثم سار قليلاً
ولكنه في الغصون اختبأ !
فجأةً:
ثقبتني قشعريرة بين ضعلين..
واهتزَّ قلبي – كفقاعة – وانفثأ !
وتحاملتُ ، حتى احتملت على ساعديَّ
فرأيتُ : ابن عمي الزنيم
واقفًا يتشفَّى بوجه لئيم
لم يكن في يدي حربةٌ
أو سلاح قديم،
لم يكن غير غيظي الذي يتشكَّى الظمأ
*****
لا تصالحُ ..
إلى أن يعود الوجود لدورته الدائرة:
النجوم.. لميقاتها
والطيور.. لأصواتها
والرمال.. لذراتها
والقتيل لطفلته الناظرة
كل شيء تحطم في لحظة عابرة:
الصبا
بهجة الأهل
صوتُ الحصان
التعرف بالضيف
همهمة القلب حين يرى برعمًا في الحديقة يذوي
الصلاة لكي ينزل المطر الموسمي
مراوغة القلب حين يرى طائر الموت وهو يرفرف فوق المبارزة الكاسرة
كلُّ شيءٍ تحطَّم في نزوةٍ فاجرة
والذي اغتالني: ليس ربًّا
ليقتلني بمشيئته
ليس أنبل مني.. ليقتلني بسكينته
ليس أمهر مني.. ليقتلني باستدارتِهِ الماكرة
لا تصالحْ
فما الصلح إلا معاهدةٌ بين ندَّينْ ..
في شرف القلب
لا تُنتقَصْ
والذي اغتالني مَحضُ لصْ
سرق الأرض من بين عينيَّ
والصمت يطلقُ ضحكته الساخرة !
*****
لا تصالح
ولو وَقَفَت ضد سيفك كلُّ الشيوخ
والرجال التي ملأتها الشروخ
هؤلاء الذين يحبون طعم الثريد
وامتطاء العبيد
هؤلاء الذين تدلت عمائمهم فوق أعينهم،
وسيوفهم العربية، قد نسيتْ سنوات الشموخ
لا تصالح
فليس سوى أن تريد
أنت فارسُ هذا الزمان الوحيد
وسواك .. المسوخ !
*****
لا تصالحْ
لا تصالحْ

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Arab airports

Posted by Khaled on January 6, 2009

So on Sunday we were leaving to Morocco. At the airport right before boarding at the security Check door, me and my boss who is Kuwaiti but wearing jeans like me were shocked to see the police officer dragging a gentelman from Bangladish who is traveling to Dubai (our connection) from his collar like a rag, while the other officer laughing. They asked him for his civil ID and were mean to him.
When we presented our passports (American & Kuwaiti) his orders were: 6OOOF! ordering us to move on.
Kuwait should really think about Airport and security staff if they are serious about becoming a “Financial Hub”.

Then we arrive Casablanca, Morocco. I didnt know should I go get a Visa from the airport or just walk to the passport window, so I walked to the passport window. The guy was incredibly welcoming which surprised me a little, he kept saying “Welcome to Morocco” “We are honored with your visit” “Kuwaities are our brothers” I told him I’m actually Palestinians, which made home become more hospitalatble, so I said wow whatta nice warm welcoming bunch those Moroccans! LOL
Then here it goes, he stamped my passport to get in and he goes : ” Where is my tip? I have been praising you from the moment you came but I haven’t seen any of your deeds till now”
Ofcourse I was shocked and froze, is he kidding? then after an ackward moment, nope he is dead serious.
So, I said oh sure, I reached to my pocket and I found the smallest bill I have is $20 which is alottttttt. But I was stunned and was acting as if a gun is pointed against my head. I gave him the bill and he even gave me his number and told me to call him and he will show me around.
Ladies & Gentelmen A passport police man is a pimp after hours!

So, what the hell is wrong with our airports, I mean in Morocco they have about 8 Million tourists each year and increasing, why not fix this bad habit?

In Kuwait, we keep complaining about Qatar & Dubai and how we were better once. Fix your image, at least at the airport because it is what foreigners first see.

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