27 January 2010

Beirut - as mentioned in " LIFE IN THE HOLY LAND "

We gallop over the sandy beach to the Nahr Beirût, entranced by the landscape. The promontory of Beirût, crowned with its cream-coloured sandstone houses, palaces, churches, and mosques, its colleges and schools rising from the water's edge to the ridge of the cape, the pine-crowned ridges of Lower Lebanon to the east, form a picture only equalled by the Bay of Naples . . . .We now enter Beirût, the metropolis of modern Phœnicia, and its most beautiful and most enlightened city. Its situation is all that could be desired, on the northern slope of a promontory which runs west for three miles from the, Nahr Beirût to Râs Beirût . . . .Here where the changes of temperature through the successive months of the year are so gradual that autumn fades imperceptibly into winter, and winter itself is a genial spring, and spring warms into summer with hardly a change of half a degree a day, you have the perfection of climate, and do not wonder that the Greek poet should call it "the nurse of tranquil life." (Source: Picturesque Palestine, vol. 3, pp. 33-34.)



Beirut and St. George's Bay, with Snow Clad Sunnin


Beirût is the Berytus of the ancients, and was probably founded by the Phœnicians . . . . Strabo first mentions the city in 140 B.C., when it was destroyed by Tryphon during the reign of Demetrius Nicator. The Romans rebuilt it and colonised it with veterans of the fifth Macedonian and eighth Augustan legions. It was here that the two sons of Herod the Great were tried unheard and in their absence, and condemned to death by their cruel and unnatural father. The Elder Agrippa greatly favoured the city, and adorned it with a splendid theatre and amphitheatre, besides baths and porticoes, inaugurating them with games and spectacles of every kind, including shows of gladiators. Here, too, after the destruction of Jerusalem, Titus celebrated the birthday of his father, Vespasian, by similar exhibitions in which many of the captive Jews perished. In the middle of the third century a celebrated Roman law school was founded here. Students flocked to it from all countries, including Gregory Thaumaturgus and Apion, the martyr . . . .From 250 A.D. to 550 was the golden age of literature in Beirût, which reached its zenith in the reign of Justinian, who regarded the Beirût school with special favour. (Source: Picturesque Palestine, vol. 3, p. 34.)

Beirut, Street Scene
On the 9th of July, 551, this city was destroyed by an earthquake, and its learned men went for a season to Sidon. In the seventh century Khaled, "the Sword of Mohammed," swept over the land. Beirût fell into Muslim hands, and its decline was rapid and complete. In 1110 Baldwin I., with the Crusading army, captured Beirût, and they long held it as a religious and military centre, the Maronites of Lebanon acting as a friendly barrier to the Muslim hordes of the east. Saladin occupied it for a short period, but the Christians were not permanently displaced until after the battle of Hattîn, in 1187. From that time until the days of the famous Druse prince, Fakhr ed Dîn, it continued in obscurity. This energetic man rebuilt the city and planted new pine groves. In 1840 the English fleet bombarded the city to expel the Egyptian army of Ibrahim Pasha. In August, 1860, it was occupied by six thousand French troops, sent by Napoleon III., with the consent of the European powers, to check the tide of massacre and civil war which had overwhelmed the land. (Source: Picturesque Palestine, vol. 3, pp. 34-35.)

A Beirut Castle


http://www.lifeintheholyland.com/beirut.htm

Lebanon Spring Started in December










25 January 2010

Beirut - Ethiopian jet crash

It was a shocking news to start the morning with... but not painful more that the news was on the families of the  83 people on the crashed Ethiopian airplane. It was a black Monday in Lebanon, 



A soldier inspects debris washed up after an airliner crashed off the Lebanese coast.

Addis Ababa-bound Flight ET409 burst into flames and crashed into the Mediterranean shortly after take-off from Beirut airport in stormy weather.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8478828.stm


Lets pray for the souls of the victims of the crahed plan , and hope that god my be with the families and help the overpass this pain.....


Pray ......



24 January 2010

Beirut is reborn as a glitzy playground for tourists (www.usatoday.com)

By Veronica Gould Stoddart, USA TODAY


BEIRUT — On a mild Tuesday evening in downtown Beirut, the city's young and beautiful are bellying up to the hottest night spot, the bohemian Gemmayzeh neighborhood. Model-chic Beiruti women, sporting skinny pants, stiletto boots and cascading tresses, cluster in groups or with dates inside the hip bars, pubs and restaurants that line this milder Middle East version of Bourbon Street.
Not far away, in the Old World-style Albergo boutique hotel, visiting Michelin-starred chefs from France are dishing out meals for a sold-out crowd that takes Beirut's sophisticated dining scene for granted.


By  Bryan Denton for USA Today

Seize the night: Clubbers party at Bubbles, the outdoor lounge on the rooftop of the Palm Beach Hotel on Beirut's Corniche, or seaside boulevard. Beirut is renowned for its rooftop nightclubs, where the young and beautiful flock every evening.






During the summer, the trendy flock to swank rooftop clubs — Noir, Sky Bar or White Bar, where Champagne bottle service can run $10,000 — to dance till dawn.


Call it Sex and the City meets South Beach.


Beirut's sizzling nightlife, from gritty to glam, helped drive a record tourism year in 2009. Overcoming a reputation as a Middle East trouble spot, Lebanon welcomed nearly 2 million visitors last year, a 39% increase over 2008. It was the No. 1 destination for tourism growth in the world, according to the World Tourism Organization.


'Joie de vivre' draws Arabs, Westerners


"Lebanon is back," Nada Sardouk, Lebanon's tourism director general, told the Middle East news agency AMEInfo.com in December. "We've had 80% to 90% hotel occupancy this year. But it's more than about just numbers. ... It's about the joie de vivre."


That exuberance is drawing mainly Gulf Arabs for the liberal lifestyle, Mediterranean climate and beaches; returning Lebanese expats; and intrepid Westerners. After years of political turmoil and war, a newfound security and calm has settled over this parliamentary democracy, ushering in a renaissance, however fragile. Although Lebanon is still on the U.S. State Department travel warning list, Beirut itself was virtually free of sectarian violence last year. The peace dividend is evident in tony new hotels, sleek malls and office towers, and a vibrant arts and music scene, which draws the likes of Snoop Dogg and international DJs.


One anticipated newcomer is Le Gray, a chic boutique hotel that British hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray opened in November. Over roasted quail in its rooftop Indigo restaurant, Campbell Gray gushes about this city of 2 million. "Beirut is a real city, with real history and edge. That makes it sexy," he says. "I find it beguiling, exciting, damaged, vain, beautiful. This is the new hot place."


Four Seasons president Kathleen Taylor is equally bullish. "We're very pleased with our timing," Taylor says of the new seaside Four Seasons, which opened this month. "There's a real resurgence of interest in Beirut."


Hotel guests will find a heady mix of cultures and religions — European flavor, French colonial legacy and Middle Eastern intrigue in arguably the most tolerant city in the Arab world. In this pluralistic society with 18 religious groups — primarily Muslims and Christians — one's religious affiliation defines one's politics. "My identity is my religion first, and Lebanese, second," says Rita Aad, who works for a foreign embassy.


The mosaic can be disorienting: Mosques sit cheek by jowl with churches and monasteries. Image-obsessed women in revealing outfits — some showing off their nose-job bandages — stroll alongside women covered from head to toe. The muezzins' lilting call to prayer mingles with European techno blaring from passing cars. And the trilingual locals are apt to greet each other in a mélange of Arabic, French and English while cheek-kissing — three times, no less.


As this onetime Paris of the Middle East dons its new face, gleaming skyscrapers brush up against pockmarked cement skeletons that still await makeovers 20 years after the end of Lebanon's civil war. Meanwhile, Beirut's 5,000-year-old historic core is being transformed by urban development group Solidere. Restored golden limestone buildings, aglow at sunset, now house cafés and boutiques, where fashionistas can mainline Cartier and Fendi.


This area "symbolizes the whole country," says Solidere's development head Angus Gavin. "All the different religions are represented here."


Indeed, layers of history reveal a Roman bathhouse, St. George's Greek Orthodox Church, the landmark Mohammed al-Amin mosque and showpieces from the Ottoman and French Mandate eras. To reconcile Beirut's brutal past — the city has been destroyed and reconstructed seven times — Solidere is creating a Garden of Forgiveness and an interpretive heritage trail that's due this spring.


New buildings are going up, too. Traditional souks have been reborn as a modern open-air mall lined with designer stores. In the new Sayfeh Village, the moneyed live in chic pastel condos surrounded by antique shops and galleries.


"Beirut bounces back quickly," Gavin says. "It's an extraordinary characteristic of the Lebanese, like a life force."


A playground among the ruins


That survivor mentality causes people to seize the moment — partying with passion, despite power outages and brutal traffic. "Beirut is like a Lebanese Babylon, where Arabs can dance on tabletops, swim in bikinis and kiss their girlfriends in public," says British journalist Warren Singh-Bartlett, a 12-year resident. In summer, the famous beach clubs hold their own against the playgrounds of Greece and Spain.


Whether on the beach or in the smoky cafés — Lebanon has one of the world's highest smoking rates — conversation inevitably turns to politics, given the volatile history and many minorities all jockeying for position.


With a frisson of danger never far from the surface, "there's a subversive appeal," Singh-Bartlett says. "You go to a swanky restaurant serving Japanese-Spanish fusion and leave and see bombed-out ruins. But you don't have to worry about being mugged on the street, only about being invaded."


Indeed, the legendary Lebanese warmth and hospitality engenders a sense of safety. When this visitor asks directions of a male pedestrian, she is graciously offered a ride to her destination — and doesn't hesitate to accept.


"Beirut is a very strange and complex city," says Sandra Dagher, Lebanese co-director of the year-old Beirut Art Center, a warehouse-turned-exhibit space that would be right at home in SoHo. That complexity is on full display along the Corniche, the palm-lined boulevard hugging the coast for miles, which draws tout Beirut. On soft evenings, people gather to suck on hookahs packed with flavored tobacco while knots of men pole-fish patiently. Young couples stroll hand-in-hand, oblivious to soldiers in fatigues.


And everyone, it seems, deeply inhales the balmy sea air as if to hold onto this moment of peace forever.


http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2010-01-21-beirut-bounces-back_N.htm

23 January 2010

Beirut

Beirut a city that Breaths freedom , a city that knows how to live the pain and turn it into smiles, a city where ciaos is there rule and rules are made to be broken, a space to scream cry laugh learn, a place to find yourself in and a place you get lost in , its the city of contadictions, reliogons and love.





Beirut my city, the place i love, and belong to. For those who dont know beirut , this page is to post all what you can find in beriut ..... peace

Snow Is Here


Finally and after wainting long SNOW IS HERE :)

Mzaar Kfardebian web cam is now showing the snow covering the place

picture is displayed on
http://www.skileb.com/webcam/mzaar/





22 January 2010

Saudi girl, 13, sentenced to 90 lashes after she took a mobile phone to school Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1244689/S

By MAIL FOREIGN SERVICE
Last updated at 12:45 AM on 21st January 2010

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1244689/Saudi-girl-13--sentenced-90-lashes-took-mobile-phone-school.html#ixzz0dLyoxocr

A 13-year-old Saudi schoolgirl is to be given 90 lashes in front of her classmates after she was caught with a mobile camera phone.

The girl, who has not been named, was also sentenced to two months in jail by a court in the eastern city of Jubail.

She had assaulted her headmistress after being caught with the gadget which is banned in girl schools, said Al-Watan, a Saudi newspaper. The kingdom's use of such punishments has been widely condemned by human rights organisations.

A criminal gets a public flogging by two officials in Saudi Arabia

Brutal: public floggings, such as in this archive picture, are a common punishment handed down by religious courts in Saudi Arabia

Three years ago 16 schoolchildren, aged between 12 and 18, were each sentenced to between 300 and 500 lashes for being aggressive to a teacher.

Under Saudi's Sharia or Islamic law, flogging is mandatory for a number of moral offences such as adultery or being alone in the company of an unrelated person of the opposite sex. But it can also be used at the discretion of judges as an alternative or in addition to other punishments.

Al-Watan said a court in the northeastern Gulf port of Jubail had sentenced the girl to 90 lashes inside her school, followed by two months' detention.

The punishment is harsher than tha dished out to some robbers and looters.

Saudi Arabia, a leading US ally in the Middle East, is an absolute monarchy controlled by the Al-Saud ruling tribe, and lacks any legal code.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Absolute monarchy: King Abdullah, ruler of the oil-rich state, meeting Gordon Brown on a 2007 visit to Downing Street

King Abdullah has promoted some social reforms since taking the throne in 2005 but diplomats say he is held back by religious clerics and princes.

Cinemas and music concerts are banned, while many restaurants and even some shopping centres cater to families only, especially on holidays.

Religious police roam streets to make sure no unrelated men and women mix.

The Saudi court system is exclusively controlled Wahahbi/Salafi clerics, and bans the employment of non-Salafi citizens, especially as judges.

Saudi Arabia is the world's leading country in the use of torture-by-flogging, public beheadings and publically crucifying condemned prisoners.

The country crucified two people in 2009, including one in the capital Riyadh during President Barak Obama’s visit last April.

In September, 20 Saudi teenagers who ransacked shops and restaurants were publicly flogged.

Newspapers reported that the teenagers received at least 30 lashes each in a public square.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1244689/Saudi-girl-13--sentenced-90-lashes-took-mobile-phone-school.html#ixzz0dLyvuZZ1

21 January 2010

Save Our Station

A group of Lebanese photographers has been gather by there love to our history our heritage and our country , all through their lens. This love was to save , preserve and classify the Tripoli Railway Station.
Many new pappers and tv stations has covered this event that took place in Beirut Ministry of Tourism - Glass Hall - Hamra Str.

Photographers that participated in this event are (Abou Taam Abbass - Alameddine Maya - Beyrouth Mokhtar - Elias Ata - Jabra Saydé - Korek Mahmoud - Mneimneh Husam - Sammour Richard - Seifeddine Mohamad(Mido) - Semaan Hanna. )


These are some posts from some newspapers that covered the event

صرخة «فوتوغرافيّة»: أنقذوا محطّة طرابلس

زينب مرعي
معظم أجزاء القطار صدئة، بعضها بلون التراب وبعضها الآخر مهترئ. الصور طغى عليها لون الصدأ، فيما رثى المصوّرون، بالأبيض والأسود، قطارL>orient express في محطة طرابلس. معرض «أنقذوا محطتنا» في القاعة الزجاجيّة لوزارة السياحة، هو المشروع الرسمي الثاني لمجموعة «أصدقاء محطّة السكّة الحديديّة في طرابلس»، إذ عرضت سابقاً شريطاً وثائقياً بعنوان «إعادة إحياء شرايين لبنان»، تناول المحطة التي اقترب موعد الاحتفال بمئويتها (2011)، فيما هي غارقة في النسيان والإهمال.
«أصدقاء محطّة السكّة الحديديّة في طرابلس» الذين اتخذوا لهم موقعاً على «فايسبوك»، يناضلون للحفاظ على ممتلكات محطّة طرابلس. أبرزها قطاران ألمانيان يعودان إلى عام 1885، وأربعة قطارات أخرى تعود إلى عام 1901. وهم يطالبون بتصنيفها كمحطّة أثريّة وتحويلها إلى متحف. المجموعة التي يديرها الياس خلاط، تواصل جمع التواقيع على عريضة أطلقتها سابقاً في طرابلس، في مناسبة المعرض الحالي الذي يشارك فيه عشرة مصوّرين.

معرض فوتوغرافي لإحياء السكّة الحديد التي كانت تصل طرابلس بباريس

الأعمال الفنيّة هي سلاح أساسي لتسليط الضوء على أهميّة المشروع. لذا سيسافر الفيلم والعريضة إلى «معهد العالم العربي» في باريس في 7 شباط (فبراير) المقبل. ولا يخفي خلاط طموحه بإعادة دورة الحياة إلى محطة طرابلس التي تأمّمت في عهد الانتداب الفرنسي، إذ يخطط لإشراك مندوبي السكك الحديد الفرنسيّة في النشاط الباريسي، من خلال دعوتهم إلى المعهد.
السكّة الحديديّة التي يدور حولها معرض الصور، تأسست عام 1911 وكانت تصل طرابلس بباريس. ثم توقّفت كغيرها من السكك في لبنان مع بداية الحرب عام 1975. وكان سكّان طرابلس قد أسّسوا بأنفسهم هذه المحطة، كشركة مساهمة، ليواجهوا التهميش الاقتصادي الذي لحق بمدينتهم لدى تأسييس خط بيروت ــــ دمشق (1901). اليوم الطريق أمام «أصدقاء محطة السكة الحديدية في طرابلس» صعبة وطويلة. يدرك خلاط أنّ العريضة وحدها لا تكفي: «نحتاج إلى مشروع قانون كي تتمكّن وزارة السياحة من تصنيف المحطة وممتلكاتها بالأثريّة... بما أنّ مديريّة الآثار لا تعدّ نفسها معنيّة بهذا المعلم المهم في تاريخ لبنان الحديث».


معرض صور جماعي لأصدقاء في الحمرا
محطة قطارات طرابلس أنقذوها !

قطارات يأكلها الصدأ على السكة. (وسيم ضو)
في 21 تشرين الثاني الماضي، إجتمع عباس أبو طعم، مايا علم الدين، مختار بيروت، الياس عطا، سيدة جبرا، محمود قرق، حسام منيمنة، ريشار سمّور، محمد سيف الدين(ميدو)، وحنا سمعان، في محطة قطارات طرابلس، وأمضوا النهار في تصوير مختلف الزوايا لتليق اللقطات بالمحطة التي يعملون ما في وسعهم لحمايتها وتصنيفها معلماً تاريخياً. وكانوا إلتقوا عبر الـ"فايس بوك"، بعدما إنضموا إلى المجموعة التي ألّفها إبن طرابلس، الياس خلاط وأطلق عليها تسمية "أصدقاء محطة قطارات طرابلس". وبعد النهار المشوّق، إختارت مايا علم الدين والياس خلاط 50 صورة تعبّر عن واقع المحطة المنسيّة وكان أول من أمس إفتتاح المعرض الذي يلخّص سيرة المحطة في القاعة الزجاجية في وزارة السياحة في شارع الحمراء. واختار الأصدقاء عنوان: انقذوا محطتنا"(save our station-sos)، ولم يمنعهم الطقس العاصف من أن يلتقوا في وزارة السياحة التي غصّت بالمهتمّين بهذه القضية التي يأمل الياس خلاط والأصدقاء في أن تغيّر مصير المحطة لتجعلها مستقبلية الطلّة.



« Save our Station » : un SOS pour l’ancienne gare de Tripoli


Qui va donc réveiller la «diva» de Tripoli?

20 January 2010

A try

a try .... not more

Lebanese Women Rights & Nationality Law Project -

The current nationality law in Lebanon (decree 15 dated January 19, 1925) discriminates against Lebanese women and undermine their status as equal citizens. Lebanese Women married to foreigners cannot grant their nationality to their children and spouses and thus, they are deprived of their basic rights as citizens. The nationality law is negatively affecting not only Lebanese women but their families as well. Some of the negative aspects are access to education, access to health and social services, and the right to work in certain professions.

Such discriminatory laws send the message that women do not enjoy a direct relationship with the state. Until women in Lebanon are recognized as full nationals and citizens, they cannot participate fully in public life, nor claim the other rights to which they are entitled as equal members of their societies.



It is time to reform the current Lebanese nationality law
It is time to reiterate women’s right to equality
It is time to isolate politics from equality

Lebanese women should have the right to grant their nationality to their spouses and children. This is their right and it must be acquired.


Therefore,

We the undersigned, call on the Lebanese government to reform the legislative decree No. 15 of January 19, 1925 (Nationality Law) towards equality between men and women.

to sign the petition check this link

17 January 2010

BBC News - German government warns against using MS Explorer


The German government has warned web users to find an alternative browser to Internet Explorer to protect security.

The warning from the Federal Office for Information Security comes after Microsoft admitted IE was the weak link in recent attacks on Google's systems.

Microsoft rejected the warning, saying that the risk to users was low and that the browsers' increased security setting would prevent any serious risk.

However, German authorities say that even this would not make IE fully safe.

Thomas Baumgaertner, a spokesman for Microsoft in Germany, said that while they were aware of the warning, they did not agree with it, saying that the attacks on Google were by "highly motivated people with a very specific agenda".

"These were not attacks against general users or consumers," said Mr Baumgaertner.

"There is no threat to the general user, consequently we do not support this warning," he added.

BBC News - German government warns against using MS Explorer

Be my painting

My wings are broken , i cant fly with my dream
My voice is gone , i cant say a word
My colors are dry, i cant draw my life

My wings are broken , i cant fly with my dream, lift me up and fly with me.
My voice is gone i cant say a word, read my eyes and sing my words
My colors are dry i cant draw my life, be the colors, be the water ,be my painting


14 January 2010

Pon And Zi Quotes

Oww! You Kissed My Eye, Buttwipe!
I'll Just Pretend To Hug You Until You Get Here.
Even If You Were Horrifically Disfigured In A Freak Accident And Looked Like Thiiiis I'd Still Love You.
Hugs $5
'I Love You'.,,,'Lalala..lala..la'
Keep Me Safe While I Sleep.
Holding A Heart : I Hope Now That I Took It Out, You Will Keep It Cuz I Don't Have A Clue How To Put It Back. And If You Don't Want It Cuz It's Full Of Blood. Don't Worry Cuz I Can Wash It Off, And Put A Ribbon Around It. Anyways Just Wanted To Say I Love You...By The Way, I'm About To Faint, So Take It Fast...
Aww...The Sky Is Crying.
Pointing At A Flower : You Should Meet My Girlfriend. I Bet She Could Teach You How To Be Pretty.
Pouting : When I Put My Lips Like This, I Want You To Kiss Me.
I Made you A Cookie But I Eated It.
You Won't Go To Heaven Because You'll Make The Other Angels Look Ugly.
Looking at Heart On Floor : Oh, Look It's Beating For You.
If My Heart Had a Face, It Would Be Smiling.
Teddies Don't Hug Back, But Sometimes They're All You Have.
You Made My Heart Too Happy, So I Vomited Blood.
Can You Get The Plague From Loving Someone Too Much?
Wake Up, Love! The Sun Came To See You!
If I Promise Not To Kill You, Can I Have A Hug?
Hands Over Heart Please Don't Break This.
Even Heaven Is Hell Without You.
If I Can't Hear Your Heartbeat, Your Too Far Away.
I Went To Pick Your A Flower, But It Was A Venus Fly Trap And It Bit My Head, So I Killed It And Got You This Piece Of Grass Instead.
'Did You Know That When A Penguin Has Found It's Mate, They Stay Together for The Rest Of Their Lives?'...'Be My Penguin?'
Holds Umbrella Over Other : If You Get Wet, You'll Get Sick.
Hearts Blown Up : Look what You Diiid! It Started Feeling Funny When I First Saw You And Nooow Look At It...
No Matter How Much I Practise, I Can't Get Drawings Of You Pretty Enough.
I Tried To Write A Poem Today, But I Had A Writers Block...So, This Is All I Came Up With: 'Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, There's Only One Way To Say This, And Thats "I Love You"'
Hugging Each Other : Did You Swallow A Magnet Too? I Feel Like I Can't Pull Away.
Holding Bleach : If You Stop Loving Me...I'll Swallow It.
Pointing To A Big Bug : Umm, Be Happy, Ok? I Killed It For You.
Holding A Dandelion : I Wish You would Love Me.
Reaching : I Would Hug You If My Arms Weren't So Nubbly.
Holding Key: I give You The Key To My Heart.
Under Water If You Leave I Might Die.

    BBC News - Haiti earthquake: Thousands feared dead

    Haitian President Rene Preval has said thousands of people are feared dead following a huge quake which has devastated the country's capital.

    Mr Preval said the UN mission chief in Haiti was among the dead, but the UN cannot confirm this. It said 14 other UN staff had died and 56 were injured.

    The 7.0-magnitude quake, Haiti's worst in two centuries, struck on Tuesday.

    Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told US network CNN he believed more than 100,000 people had died


    BBC News - Haiti earthquake: Thousands feared dead

    12 January 2010

    Our Common Ground - The Lebanese La�que Pride

    Our Common Ground



    I am a lebanese citizen,
    I believe that all women and men "are born and remain free and equal in rights",
    I believe that my country should give equal civil and political rights to all,
    I am for the lebanese State's neutrality toward religion: neutrality means making no difference
    between a religion and another, and no difference between religion and non-religion,

    I am against the interference of religion in the functionning of the lebanese State,
    just as I am against the interference of the State in the citizen's religion,
    I believe in democracy, in freedom of speech and opinions.

    Our Common Ground - The Lebanese La�que Pride

    .. من قتل المصريين في يوم العيد؟

    علاء الاسواني

    في العام 1923 تشكلت لجنة لوضع أول دستور مصري.. إلا أن الوفد (حزب الأغلبية آنذاك) أعلن مقاطعته لهذه اللجنة، لأنها تشكلت بالتعيين لا بالانتخاب الحر. وبالرغم من ذلك فقد ضمت اللجنة مجموعة من أفضل العقول المصرية وشهدت سجالا سياسيا وفكريا رفيعا حول البنود المقترحة للدستور المصري.. وقد ارتفعت أصوات تنادي بالتمثيل النسبي للأقباط، بمعنى أن يكون للأقباط دائما نسبة معينة من المقاعد في المجالس النيابية والمحلية. تحول الاقتراح بسرعة إلى قضية رأى عام كبرى.. المؤيدون للتمثيل النسبي كانوا يريدون إنصاف الأقباط وتفويت الفرصة على التدخل البريطاني في مصر بحجة حماية الأقليات، أما المعارضون فكانوا يرفضون اعتبار الأقباط أقلية دينية بل يعتبرونهم مواطنين مصريين يجب أن يُقّيموا بمعيار الكفاءة وحدها... المدهش أن معظم من عارضوا التمثيل النسبي كانوا أقباطاً.. فبالإضافة إلى الدكتور طه حسين المسلم عارض الاقتراح المفكر سلامة موسى والأستاذ عزيز ميرهم الذي جمع توقيع خمسة آلاف قبطي من المعارضين والقمص بطرس عبد الملك رئيس المجلس الملي العام ورئيس الكنيسة المرقسية الكبرى وأقباط آخرون كثيرون. وهكذا سقط الاقتراح ليسجل الأقباط واحدة من أعظم الوقائع في تاريخنا الحديث عندما رفضوا التمتع بامتيازات طائفية تحت أي مسمى .. تذكرت هذه الواقعة وأنا أقرأ عن مذبحة نجع حمادي البشعة التي راح ضحيتها سبعة أقباط تم قتلهم بالرصاص أثناء خروجهم من الكنيسة يوم العيد.. السؤال لماذا رفض الأقباط منذ 90 عاما أن يتمتعوا بأي امتياز طائفي ولماذا يذبحون اليوم في ليلة عيد الميلاد على أبواب الكنائس؟!

    ... هذه في رأيي بعض أسباب الأزمة:
    أولا: يؤكد لنا تاريخ مصر أن الفتنة الطائفية تنتشر دائما في أوقات الإحباط القومي. في بداية القرن العشرين انتابت المصريين حالة من اليأس بسبب الاحتلال البريطاني سرعان ما تحوّلت إلى فتنة طائفية قبيحة (لعبت فيها الأصابع البريطانية كالعادة) ووصلت إلى ذروتها ما بين عام 1908 وعام 1911، ولكن ما إن جاءت ثورة 1919 حتى انصهر فيها الجميع، بل إن بعض الأقباط مثل القمص سرجيوس، وكانوا من دعاة الفتنة، فتحولوا مع الثورة إلى أكبر المدافعين عن الوحدة الوطنية. في مصر الآن الكثير من الإحباط والكبت والفقر والظلم. هذه العوامل كلها تؤدي بالمصريين إلى التناحر الطائفي .. تماما كما تؤدي بهم إلى العنف والجريمة والتحرش الجنسي.
    ثانيا: في العام 1923 عندما رفض الأقباط الامتيازات الطائفية، وبالرغم من الاحتلال البريطاني، كانت مصر تناضل لتؤسس دولة مدنية ديموقراطية يتساوى فيها المواطنون جميعا أمام القانون. كانت هناك قراءة مصرية متسامحة للإسلام أسس لها الإمام المصلح محمد عبده (1849 ـ 1905) الذي استطاع أن يخلص العقل المصري من الخزعبلات والتعصب. فشهدت مصر نهضة حقيقية في كل المجالات، مثل تعليم المرأة والمسرح والسينما والأدب. ولكن منذ نهاية السبعينيات، بدأت مصر تعرف فهماً آخر للإسلام، الفكر السلفي الوهابي المتشدد الذي اصطلح الفقهاء المصريون على تسميته بفقه البداوة... وقد ساعد على انتشار الفكر الوهابي عدة عوامل: أهمها ارتفاع سعر النفط بعد حرب أكتوبر مما أعطى للجماعات السلفية قدرات مالية غير مسبوقة استعملتها في نشر أفكارها في مصر والعالم، كما هاجر ملايين المصريين للعمل في دول الخليج، وعادوا بعد سنوات مشبعين بالأفكار الوهابية، وقد انتشر هذا الفكر برعاية مؤكدة من أجهزة الأمن السياسي في مصر، التي تعاملت دائما مع مشايخ السلفيين بتسامح كامل، بعكس القمع الشديد الذي تمارسه ضد الإخوان المسلمين.. والسبب في ذلك أن السلفية الوهابية، تساعد على ترسيخ حكم الاستبداد لأنها تدعو المسلمين الى طاعة الحاكم وتحرّم الخروج عليه ما دام مسلماً.. المشكلة أن الأفكار الوهابية تحمل رؤية معادية للحضارة بمعنى الكلمة، ففي ظلها يكون الفن حراماً والموسيقى والغناء حراماً والسينما والمسرح حراماً والأدب كذلك .. الفكر الوهابي يفرض على المرأة العزلة خلف النقاب أو البرقع التركي الذي تحررت منه المرأة المصرية منذ مئة عام.. وهو يعلن بوضوح أن الديموقراطية حرام، لأنها تعني حكم الشعب، بينما الوهابيون يريدون تطبيق حكم الله (وفقا لإرادتهم بالطبع).. الأخطر في الفكر السلفي الوهابي أنه ينسف فكرة المواطنة من أساسها. فالأقباط في نظرهم ليسوا مواطنين بل أهل ذمة، أقلية مهزومة مستسلمة في بلاد فتحها المسلمون. كما أنهم كفار مشركون قريبون من كراهية الإسلام والتآمر عليه، لا يجوز الاحتفال بأعيادهم ولا مساعدتهم في بناء الكنائس لأنها ليست دور عبادة بل أماكن للشرك بالله. ولا يجوز للنصارى في نظر الوهابيين أن يتولوا الحكم أو قيادة الجيوش مما يعني انعدام الثقة في ولائهم للوطن.. وكل من يتابع صورة الأقباط في عشرات القنوات الفضائية ومواقع الإنترنت السلفية لا بد أن يحس بحزن. فهذه المنابر التي يتابعها ملايين المصريين يومياً تعلن بوضوح كراهيتها للأقباط واحتقارها لهم، وكثيرا ما تدعو الى مقاطعتهم وعدم التعامل معهم... الأمثلة بلا حصر لكني سأورد هنا ما قرأته في الموقع السلفي الشهير «حراس العقيدة» الذي خصص موضوعاً كاملاً بعنوان «لماذا المسلم أفضل من القبطي ..؟!» فكتب ما يلي: «أن تكوني فتاة مسلمة قدوتك زوجات الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم اللائي فرض عليهن الحجاب أفضل من أن تكوني مسيحية قدوتك الزواني»... «أن تكون رجلا مسلما مجاهدا تدافع عن العرض والدين أفضل من أن تكون مسيحيا سارقا مغتصبا قاتلا للأطفال». «أن تكون مسلما قدوتك محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وصحابته الكرام أفضل من أن تكون مسيحياً قدوتك بولس الكذاب وأنبياء زناة».
    مع انتشار كل هذا العداء للأقباط ألا يصير الاعتداء عليهم طبيعيا بل محتوماً؟!..
    ثالثا: انتقلت عدوى التطرف من المسلمين الى الأقباط فنشأت أجيال منهم منعزلة عن المجتمع وتورط بعض الأقباط في خطاب التعصب والكراهية ذاته وليس هناك أشهر من القس زكريا بطرس الذي تفرغ للطعن في الإسلام وإهانة المسلمين (والذي لا أشك في قدرة الكنيسة على إسكاته فورا لو أرادت). لقد أسبغت الكنيسة حمايتها الكاملة على الأقباط لكنها زادت من عزلتهم وتحولت من سلطة روحية الى حزب سياسي يتفاوض باسم الشعب القبطي (تأمّل دلالة التعبير ).. وخوفاً من صعود الإخوان المسلمين أعلنت الكنيسة على لسان كبار مسؤوليها، قبولها التام لفكرة توريث الحكم من الرئيس مبارك الى ابنه جمال.. هذا الموقف، فضلاً عن كونه يتناقض مع التاريخ الوطني العظيم للكنيسة، فإنه يلحق بالأقباط أشد الضرر لأنه يقدمهم وكأنهم عملاء للنظام المصري ضد بقية المصريين.. كما أن بعض أقباط المهجر، في ما يبدو، لم يتعلموا شيئاً من دروس التاريخ فقرروا الارتماء بكل قوتهم في أحضان الدول الأجنبية التي لم ترد الخير لمصر قط، والتي رفعت دائما شعار حماية الأقليات كذريعة لأطماعها الاستعمارية... أقباط المهجر لهم مطالب، عادلة في معظمها لكنها للأسف طائفية تماما، بمعنى أنها تريد حل مشاكل الأقباط بمعزل عن مشاكل الوطن.. إن أقباط المهجر يفعلون اليوم عكس ما فعله أجدادهم العظام الذين رفضوا التمثيل النسبي في العام 1923. إنهم لا يطالبون بالعدل والحرية للمصريين جميعا بل يلحّون في تحقيق امتيازات طائفية لهم فقط وكأنهم يقولون للنظام المصري «أعطنا نحن الأقباط الامتيازات التي نطلبها ثم افعل ببقية المصريين ما تشاء فإن الأمر لا يعنينا».
    إن مذبحة نجع حمادي البشعة لا يجوز أن نراها إلا بطريقة واحدة: «إن مواطنين مصريين قد قتلوا يوم العيد وهم خارجون من الصلاة».. إن الأبرياء الذين سقطوا قتلى وهم يتبادلون تهاني العيد، مصريون مثلي ومثلك، عاشوا معنا وحاربوا معنا ودافعوا عن الوطن بدمائهم.. إنهم مصريون، يتكلمون ويفكرون ويحلمون مثلنا تماما.. إنهم نحن.. والذي قتلهم ليس من أطلق الرصاص عليهم.. بل قتلهم نظام فاسد مستبد جثم على صدور المصريين ونهب أموالهم وقمعهم ودفعهم الى اليأس والتطرف والعنف...
    ..الديموقراطية هي الحل

    11 January 2010

    Nature says it all


    The love that still dare not speak its name

    In the week that two Malawians go on trial for violating anti-gay laws, Daniel Howden finds that their experience is all too common in a continent of legalised homophobia

    Uganda's capital, Kampala, accusing Paul Semugoma, a doctor, of being a predatory homosexual, actively recruiting younger men into his "vice" with the help of foreign conspirators. His home and business addresses have been published online and he has received a string of death threats. "They are saying that I'm the 'gay tycoon', spreading the infectious disease of homosexuality in Uganda," he says with a bitter laugh. "It's such nonsense."

    In reality, he is a respected doctor who has volunteered his time to help with HIV and safe sex education programmes and writes a weekly medical advice column for a popular newspaper. But in the last month he has been publicly outed as a homosexual four times with government officials offering money to anyone willing to inform on his private life.

    The doctor is living a lonely preview of the nightmare that life is about to become for the gay community in Uganda if new legislation is passed this month making homosexuality punishable with life imprisonment or even the death penalty. Uganda's minister for ethics and integrity has said it will be every citizen's duty under the new laws to denounce friends, family or acquaintances they suspect of being gay.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/the-love-that-still-dare-not-speak-its-name-1863913.html