31 July 2006

Dans La Rue ! ! !

ANNOUNCEMENT: PEOPLE will march in the street, beginning at the Oakman and Warren intersection in Dearborn, daily at 5 p.m., protesting the violent murderous zionist onslaught.

NOTE: During the uprisings of students and workers throughout the World during the 1960's, people in France, when marching in the streets, would chant "Dans La Rue!!", meaning "In The Street!!", and people would come out of their homes and join them.

REPORT: Peoples from the Arab community in Dearborn, Michigan, and surrounding cities, joined by supporters from all communities, spontaneously flooded the streets the afternoon of Sunday, July 30, in response to Israel's unrelenting barbarist genocide of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, and especially in response to Qana Massacre II, which occurred earlier that day, IN WHICH OVER 50 CIVILIANS WHERE KILLED IN ONE RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX, MOST OF WHOM WHERE LITTLE CHILDREN.

Initially, the police and "community leaders" tried to keep the Dearborn protesters to the sidewalk, and tried to have people hold a "standing vigil" on the sidewalk. But people's anger was overwhelming and people wanted to march, and that is just what they did. As they marched, the police initially kept them on the sidewalk, but people insisted on taking over the street, and that is just what they did, taking over Warrren and Schaefer Roads. Then people wanted to march on City Hall, but the "community leaders," in cooperation with the police, diverted them to Hemlock Park, which people are sick of marching to and rallying in. People do NOT want to have a picnic; they want their voices heard by their government AT the goverment building. Some people, especially a small group of young college-age women, suddenly sat in the street, directly at the police blockade, and demanded to march to City Hall. Countless people did joined them in chanting "CITY HALL..CITY HALL..", but not enough people had the courage to sit down with them. Eventually they joined the hapless thousands who turned the corner into the side street and into Hemlock Park. They insisted they will try again the next day and the next day.


30 July 2006

National Public Propaganda

I was listening to National Public Radio on my way to work Sunday morning, hoping to get the latest on the second Qana massacre*. Like all other American news media, NPR got in line with a very "measured" response to Israel's continuing atrocities. They proved that they are ABSOLUTELY NOT ABLE to speak of Israeli mass murder of civilians, including dozens of children, without justifying it with the official zionist military government excuses.

When it comes to the human rights of third-rate human populations, most especially Arabs and Muslims, the American Liberal Establishment is deeply zchizophrenic, hypocritical, artificial and defective, and downright deceptive. At least the American Right Wing comes right out and says: Them Muslims is animals. Them bad. Them fodder for us tanks. Them must submit. Them satan's people. We kills them. Us God. Us God's children. Us kill is right. Ug.

But American Liberals have internalized the same mindset as the Right Wing, namely a mindset that justifies carnage and domination of others, yet from a secular motivation, and they express it through a politico-academic jargon that specializes in circumventing the truth.

In the end, the only thing that endures is truth. Occupation never endures. Domination never endures. And in the end, everyone gets judged by their Creator, even the bystanders.

*Israel's first massacre in the village of Qana was in 1996:

28 July 2006

Liberty and Life cannot be uprooted ...

... Because the roots of a nation run deep in the veins of its daughtes and sons, not in the concrete of bridges, nor even in the stones of homes. No amount of sectarian sloganeering will ever again divide the will of the Lebanese. They are united in their will to be united.

image copyright aljazeera.net

27 July 2006

International Poster Show on Palestine

I designed this mock poster-ad during the 2000-2002 onslaught on Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza.

(Click for larger image)

Copyright © IbnBintJbeil 2001

The Racist Zionist Wall

What does the Zionist Wall really represent? A "final solution" to the Palestinian claim to return home, a solution that shall never be final, if the people have anything to say about it.

(click for larger image)

Copyright © IbnBintJbeil 2005


Lubnan: Always beautiful, despite the envy and spite of the aggressor.

(click for larger image)

Copyright © IbnBintJbeil 2006

Rouge Environment

I was invited to submit a painting for an exhibit marking the anniversary of the City of Dearborn. I chose to show the Rouge Plant, a beheamoth of rusting furnaces and colossus industrial complexes that dominates the skyline, air quality and life of the South End of Dearborn, where the Arab community had its origins in Michigan.

(click for large view)

Copyright © IbnBintJbeil 2003


This was one of my first ventures into computer-generated graphic collage, circa 2001.

(click for larger image)

Copyright © IbnBintJbeil 2001

25 July 2006

Family In War

As of today:

  • For the time being, my sister Zainab is staying put in her apartment outside of Beirut, but no one knows what's going to happen. She lives in Khaldé, just southeast of Beirut, (in the western foothills of Mount Lebanon, overlooking Beirut, not in Beirut's southern suburbs that have been decimated by the Israeli bombing.) Her daughter Hiba is a student at the American University of Beirut. There are no possibilities for university studies now. We pray that the winds of war will have passed once the fall semester begins, and before any more civilian lives are lost.
  • My nephew, son of my other sister Nouma, also took refuge in his Aunt Zainab's house in Khaldé. He had arrived in Beirut just after his mom and siblings left for the U.S. for summer vacation. He just finished high school, and was supposed to begin a preparatory summer course at the Arab University of Beirut before he begins his formal studies there in the fall, then the bombardment started. He could not go back to his parents' house in the South.
  • My mother-in-law and brother-in-law, who live in Tyr, have taken refuge in the Shouf Mountains, in a Druze village, where it is relatively safe. She had to rent a house there.
  • My uncle Rifaat and his wife fled the southern suburbs of Beirut to Beirut proper where they are also renting an apartment.
  • My aunt Mariam also fled the southern suburbs with her husband and entire family for areas north of Beirut.
  • My uncle Tahsine has fled Beirut northward, to the areas of the Lebanese shores north of Jounyé.
  • My uncle Adnan's wife and children are all out of the country, in Canada. He is all alone in the West Beirut apartment that has been his steadfast home and artist studio through decades of war and peace. This small apartment was a place of political, artisitic and cultural discourse for countless Beirut intellectuals for many decades, dating back to the heyday of Arab nationalism in the 60's. This humble apartment contains a large collection of my uncle's paintings, as well as countless Arab/Islamic/Phoenecian artifacts, and a breathtaking cedar-wood library that my uncle designed himself. As a young man he designed this library, which sits in the middle of his living rooom, based on different architectural motifs, such as Yemeni, Damascene, and Andalusian architectural motifs, which he brought together in a harmonious unity. He handed his design to a master carpenter who was his friend at the time, who took the design and hand-built the beautiful cedar wood library. My 75 year old uncle Adnan now sits alone among this wealth of artistic and cultural heritage, each piece of which cries out for the sunlight from which it is deprived.
  • My very elderly aunt Rose, who is in her 90s and needs assistance in living, has abandoned her apartment and was taken to another apartment where her daughter, granddaughter with young children and many relatives are all staying together. I remember visiting her in 2004. Although she was beginning to forget much of the names and places that surround her, she recited endless lines of poetry to me that her father had taught her as a little girl.
  • My Aunt Nayifa is a school teacher in Beirut. She was already on a summer vacation visit to the U.S. when the bombing started. Her husband and children were left in Beirut. A few days ago, her husband risked his life to drive their oldest son to Syria, so the son can take a flight out to the Gulf, where he is due to begin employment there.
  • My uncle Youssef left Beirut and headed to the South under fighter-jet bombardment to snatch his three children from danger. He has since fled Beirut with his wife and five children for the far North. >> see the full story in my July 20 post
  • My uncle Mohamad abandoned his farm in Bint Jbeil with his wife and fled to the village of Rmeish, just next door to Bint Jbeil. >> see the full story in my July 20 post
  • As of Sunday, there is heavy fighting in Bint Jbeil, where our ancestral house is. We are more worried about the human casualties at this point to think about any architectural/cultural/archeological casualties in Bint Jbeil, of which I'm sure there is much, too much.
  • My aunt Rouhiya and her family fled their home in West Beirut, and have taken refuge in an apartment that my parents still own in Christian East Beirut. This apartment has a very important history: After having moved to Beirut from the village inthe 1950's, my parents went to college, became teachers in the big city, met and got married, and later established and ran a private school together in a poor neighborhood of Beirut. In this apartment and at the height of their teaching careers and as they raised their new family, my parents became very close to their next door neighbors, the Khoury family, a Christian family. When the war broke out in 1975 and the Phalangist militia came for our family as part of the ethnic/religious cleansing that was happening at the time, Dunia and George Khoury stood in front of our front door and prevented the militiamen from entering our home, using themselves as sacrificial shields to protect the undesirable Muslim family hiding inside. The militiamen were taken aback by this and left, threatening that they will be back. Later George drove our entire family to the Green Line, the war-zone separating East and West Beirut, and strongly insisted to the Phalangist militiamen at the checkpoint that we be allowed to cross to the other side safely. Otherwise, they would've killed our entire family based only on our religious affiliation. Ever since then, George and Dunia have looked after our apartment and have stayed in touch with my parents, even as the Atlantic Ocean and thirty years have separated that bygone era of neighborly coexistence.

24 July 2006

Golnaz Fathi

Paintings by Golnaz Fathi, as featured in ArteEast 's virtual gallery. Click each image for a larger view:

Or click here for the Golnaz Fathi article and gallery at ArteEast:

23 July 2006

In Spanish (and in All Languages)

In Spanish, all together now:

Dodgeball is a Very Elusive Game

If what the map shows is legitimate zionist self-defense, then dodgeball can be considered a peaceful boardgame.

Click here for an updated map....

And I shall Rise.....

Lebanon: A people abandoned, but not helpless as long as they rely on their own will and on their unity. The world community stands as a silent witness/accomplice. Allah will judge.

Civilians continue to be targeted in the unrelenting, arbitrary, mass zionist campaign of civilian destruction and murder.

Picture above: A man searches for survivors in the wreckage of a mosque that was destroyed by Israeli air strikes in Sidon, south Lebanon July 23, 2006.
Photo: REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

22 July 2006

6eeba Explained

Q: Why is there a 6 in the word 6eeba in the previous post? And how is it pronounced?

A: It is pronounced TTeeba, using the hard Arabic consonant ط (TT) pronounciation instead of the regular, softer t found in the English language. Arabs who do not have access to an Arabic keyboard, and who have to revert to typing transliterated Arabic speech using Roman letters when they want to correspond in Arabic, have recently developed a way of using certain numerals and other symbols to represent Arabic letters and consonant sounds that do not exist in the Roman alphabet. For example, the throaty ح (H) sound is represented by the numeral 7, just because the numeral 7 looks like it somewhat.

The throaty ح (H) sound, such as in the word "hayat," meaning life, is an altogether different letter than the softer (H) sound, such as in the word "hawa," meaning air. is the letter that sounds exactly the same as the English H. Hence the problem: How does a transliterating Arabic typer distinguish between and ح? Solution: The numeral 7, which resembles the letter ح, has come to be used in its place, just as the numeral 6 is used to represented the harder (TT) ط sound, which is an altogether different Arabic consonant than the regular . sounds the same as the English letter t.

There are many other examples:

  • the numeral 3 is used to represent the letter ع , a sound that does not exist in the Roman alphabet. Example: ...inab, meaning "grapes," is missing the ع sound the beginning of the word, so it is written like this: 3inab.
  • the numeral 5 is used to represent the letter خ , a sound that does not exist in the Roman alphabet. Example: a...khi, meaning "my brother," is missing the خ sound in the middle of the word, so it written like this: a5i
  • the numeral 2 is used to represent the letter ء , the gluttoral stop that does not exist in the Roman alphabet. Example: asmaa..., meaning "names," is missing the ء glutteral stop sound at the end of the word, so it written like this: asma2.

21 July 2006


When I related in an earlier post the story of my uncle who was saved by his friend of another faith, it made me think of something that has been threatened lately in Lebanese or Arab society: the 6eeba (teeba) of people. Even though we know of stories from all over the world and from every society, stories about people protecting members of other communities in times of war, such as during WWII in Nazi Europe, or the great Underground Railroad during the slavery period in the U.S., I couldn't help and think particularly of Arab society and the current social and moral crisis that it has been going through lately, as well as Lebanese society particularly and 3Amili (Southern Lebanese) society specifically.*

I have always had a deeply felt admiration and love for the "6eeba" of 3Amili people, that pure, innocent, friendly, affectionate, compassionate, giving, good-natured, goodwilled charactersitic that is found in those agrarian villagers that are now dying away. In the U.S., such people are called "salt of the Earth." In my mind and imagination, this characteristic represents the true Lebanon that people of all faiths have known for centuries, and have lived together and with each other accordingly. The Lebanon of goodwill and purity of heart, "teeba", not the Lebanon of imposed sectarian strife that stealthily crept into that ancient land, during a dark, moonless night, in the briefcase of diplomats, or in the underbelly of a military supply ship, or in the bloody ink of spiteful propaganda. This characteristic of people is especially found in villagers, and I have come to know it in the villagers of Jabal 3Amil. You can still touch it when looking at or listening to the old people.

* [The hilly/mountainous region of South Lebanon is also called Jabal 3Amil, or Mount 3Amil, a reference to one of the 12 migrating tribes of the ancient Yemeni civilization of Sabaء, the tribe of 3Amila, which finally settled in South Lebanon during the pre-Islamic era.]

20 July 2006

My Three Cousins and My Other Uncle

We just heard two dramatic stories of escape in Lebanon. I'm sure they are only two of 100,000 similar stories that have occured in the last week, but these two hit close to home.

My Three Cousins
My uncle and his family live in Beirut, and go to Bint Jbeil to stay in their country house for the weekend sometimes. My uncle and his wife were in Beirut with their smaller children when the bombing started, while three of their older children (late teens/early twenties,) were in Bint Jbeil by themselves. Their father was adament about driving down south, all the way to Bint Jbeil from Beirut, under the bombing and through all the bombed-out roads and villages, to save his children, and that is just what he set out to do. In the meantime, the three kids left Bint Jbeil, which was getting word that it will be bombed severely. They had no car so they hitchhicked north from village to village with other fleeing families. They somehow got to the Tyr area and their father somehow drove south from Beirut to the same area. (I don't know if they somehow communicated about this and agreed that they would meet half way.) When they got there, they couldn't get to him because there was a bombed-out bridge separating them, and water of some kind, (don't know if it was a river or what...) so my three dear cousins swam across, under this bombed-out bridge, to the other side to their awaiting father, and moments after they got to the other side a bomb fell into the water, missing them by moments.

My Other Uncle
My other uncle lives in Bint Jbeil year-round. After having been a nurse early in his life and living in the United States for more than twenty years, he went back to Bint Jbeil a few years ago to become a farmer. He grows koussa (squash), tomatos, sunflowers, and keeps goats, bees, chickens, pheasant, ducks and a turkey. After tens of tousands of people had left Bint Jbeil once the bombing started, he was adamant about staying and said he would not leave the house and the land. There were only a few hundred people remaining in the town, (mostly helpless old people who have no family there to begin with.) Bint Jbeil, a Shiaa village, is the next door neighbor of Rmeish, a Maronite Christian village. Over the last few years, my uncle had become very close to a man from Rmeish who shared his love of hunting and fishing. They go hunting for wild fowl almost every day. After most of the town had fled and my uncle stayed, his Christian brother from Rmeish came to Bint Jbeil and insisted that my uncle leave with him. He actually forced him to leave and come with him to the (relatively) safer Rmeish (we hope,) where he and his family are hosting my uncle and his wife in their home.

Yesterday Guernica, Today Beirut and Gaza

Guernica by Pablo Picasso


Politics & War: Attempting A Definition

--- Politics: A methodology for governance
--- Conquering for management
--- Seizure and allocation of crumbs

--- Money hyped up on super-systematic crack
--- Guns at the ready
--- Sharp, sharpened bullets that pierce flesh
--- Politics is smoke: Snaking its way from under a magicians bowtie,
--- Or monumentally rising above a hill of concrete ruin

--- Politics wants to rule you nicely,
--- With your consent and cooperation
--- Or seize and bind you tightly,
--- If you are a determined Adamant

--- A pistol, a cannon, a bomb falling towards the Earth's gravatational pull
--- Politics embellishes death with words
--- Pretext, postext
--- People are to swallow the bomb, the smoke and the word

--- Politics gives you roads, schools, cities and other mass-organized activities
--- With one swoop of a fighter jet, politics takes away roads, schools, neighborhoods, family homes, a little girl's happy morning, a ceramist's studio, olive groves, the paint off of market signs, the skin off of a mother, a father, a baby doll

--- Politics is tricky:
--- One day coexisting with its human counterparts,
--- Then in a synaptic snap: losing all control of itself to rain upon them its ruin, horror, suffering, weeping, fleeing, hiding, help me I can't find my child, help me I can't find any words, help me I can't find any words, help me I can't find my family house, it was just here on this block when we left yesterday, or was it that other block over there? It all looks the same now... I can't tell the difference.

--- Entire neighborhoods collapse. Smoke and fire sear the color off of cars, buildings, lips, ears and people's clothing to make everything gray and bleak. This color of death and hate has been heaped upon the villages and cities, into the homes and onto the playgrounds, onto the roads and bridges, even into the sea and rivers.

--- In times like ours, politics rises to dominate with its ultimate methodology of governance: War.

19 July 2006

We Came Together

Photo: Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit NewsYesterday, we marched to show solidarity with the people of Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq who are being slaughtered everyday. More than ten thousand people marched in the heart of their community in Dearborn, Michigan. Christian, Muslim and Jewish speakers all solidly voiced their stances against the continued zionist policy of violent hegemony. I think that when people step out of their homes and march together to voice their solidarity with people on the other side of the globe, they know somewhat that their demonstrating will not stop or affect the suffering over there; but what motivates such protests is a desire to create unity over here, and to express a position that cleanses our own conscience, whereby history does not pass us by, and we have not stood neutral to an unholy, unjust aggression. We cannot resist an aggression that is taking place a world away, nor can we affect the government here that is unwilling to change its policy towards it. But we can resist the media and propaganda onslaught within our own minds and hearts, an onslaught which aims to divide us from our brothers and sisters who are enduring a hyperbolic, bombastic violence that aims to destoy their homes, lives and determination.

18 July 2006

Don't look at the computer for too long

On this blog you can read or just look at the pictures, or you can exit this page and find something else to do, maybe go outside and sit under a tree. It is much better than letting the poking, goring elusive blue light of your computer screen pierce the flesh of your cornea for too long. trees and flowers and clouds are your friends, as intended by your Creator.

test 2

test 2




Man attends a Demo on Sunday, July 16, 2006, in front of the Lawyer's Association Offices in Cairo, Egypt.
Photo: Hasan Jamali/A.P.

Lebanon is Burning

People watch as Lebanon burns. It has been burning for six days, but this will not be over like the six day war of forty years ago. These past six days will have been only the beginning of this bloody battle. People are not only watching Lebanon burn on tv, but also on the internet, on the pages of newspapers and magazines, and Lebanon burns over the radio waves. And the people of the world watch and permit lebanon to be burned alive, be chopped into pieces and spat on. And I am far away: helpless, with a silencer over my mouth. I have no one to speak to about how I feel. Many of the people around me are going through their own emotional trauma about Lebanon, each in her or his own way, but for some reason I feel completely alone. I guess if a bomb would fall on me from a fighter jet it would kill me only once, but Distance is a killer that keeps on killing. I am thankful to Allah, the creator of all humanity and all life and all that is above and below, that in the safety of my exile I am spared from the killing, but I also feel ashamed that I have such luxury, the luxury of staying alive, while others are visited by the slaughter. I have been hopelessly going through the internet, going from news outlet to diary entry to picture series, trying to learn the latest, and I finally landed on a blogger in Beirut who has been documenting his experience under the rain of bombs through drawings. He inpired me enough to start this blog this morning. I have been up for six hours, since 4 a.m., and now I am three hours late to work. This is my first blog entry. This is my first real venture into the solitary world of interactive internet participation.

I was able to visit Bint Jbeil in 2004 for the first time since 1978; here is Bint Jbeil as it appeared before it was just bombed........

Photo: Imad Bedoun/bintjbeil.com