Video

Nationalism

I heard this podcast (a rant by George Hrab) about Nationalism, and thought I’d share it over here.

What do you think? Does his rant make sense? Why, or why not?

قصيدة الشاعرة التونسية حنان العوادي

عفواً..

فأنا المواطنُ المستقيم..
أستأذنُ إن أردتُ الكلام..
أستأذنُ إن أردتُ دخولَ الحمام..
اعتدتُ أن أنحني حينَ تهبُّ الرياح..
ثمّ استمعَ بكل إجلالٍ عندما يُجهشُ الحاكمُ بالنباح..

عفواً..

فهل أنا إنسان؟

 فقد تعودتُ دوماً أن أكونَ ذلك الشيءَ الجبان..
تعلّمتُ الخوفَ حين صفعتُ أولّ مرةٍ في المدرسة..
تعلّمتُ أن أبتسمَ مجبرةً مكرهة..
تعلّمتُ ألا أستاء، فهل يستقيمُ الإستياءُ مع الغباء؟
عفواً.. وشكراً.. وهلّا سمحتم لي بالمرور،،
فأوّلُ شيءٍ تعلّمته في وطني قانونُ العبور..
يقفُ الضئيلُ فيمرّ الجميع..
بعوضٌ، وديدانٌ، وغربانٌ، وكلابُ الحاكمِ الفظيع..

فهلّا سمحتَ لي بأذُنٕ لأهمسَ فيها سرّي الخطير:
إنّي… أريد الحياة!

حتى لو كنتُ غائباً عنها في سُبات..
إنّي أحبُّ الحياة وأكرهُ ذلك الحاكمَ الحقير..
فحينَ رحيلهِ لم يقل: عفوا،ً كما تعلّمت مذ كنت جنين..
عفواً لجلدي، وإذلالي حتى أنّ الذلّ تعلّم مني كيف يكونُ ذليل..
لم يقل: عفواً.. إني أريدُ الفرار..
إنّي سرقتُ أموال الشعب في جرار..
وإنّي تركتُ هدية لكلّ من قال: إنّي مواطن..
قنّاصٌ ورصاصٌ، وتركتُ للوطن الدمار..
ألم يعلم، فقد تركَ لأبناءهِ وأحفادِ أحفادهِ عاراً وعار..

عفواً..

عفواً، لأنّي مواطنٌ له إحساس..
عفواً، لأنّي لم أخشَ يوماً الرصاص..
عفواً، فالرضيعُ فيّ تعلم تواً الكلام..
قالَ أبي.. قالَ أمي.. ردّد القرءان..
واعتادَ أن يرُد كلّ تحيةٍ بالسلام..
فصدّق أنهُ لم يَعتد أن يكنّ للحاكمِ الخائنِ الاحترام..
لأنّه ببساطة.. لم يقل شكراً، فعفواً لأنّه ذاك السرطان،،
الذي اغتصبَ بدني السليم..

فعفواً..

 أنا المواطن المستقيم.

When I’m In The Rain

When I’m In The Rain
By Rachael M. Costello

I feel so complete when I’m in the rain,
I feel no sorrow I feel no pain,
I may give me a cold but I don’t care,
There’s a calming sensation from grass to air,
The feeling of love I don’t have, I will gain,
Because my heart falls open as I stand in the rain.

Homsawi In Bahrain

February 10th, AlFatih mosque, Bahrain.
On this previous February the 10th, I was in AlFatih Mosque attending a rally supporting the Syrian revolution (if I’m not mistaken, it was on “Russia is Killing Our Children in Syria” Friday). Goose bumps were creeping all over me as the overwhelming chants started escalating. All you could hear was the dominating voices of courageous, desperate, and angry Syrians chanting for their people; for their land; for their revolution. I felt like I was in Syria.

Something happened the day after the rally, but I didn’t know about it until yesterday. One of the Syrians who attended the rally in AlFatih  received a phone call on the following day:

“We know you went to the rally yesterday; we have your name and all the others [Syrians] who went too.”

Obviously, this was a threat from the Shabbiha meaning to intimidate the Syrian, but he couldn’t care less. All he cared for -like every honorable Syrian- was to see his country freed.

This detail was revealed to me yesterday in our weekly family gathering as my aunts spoke of this Homsawi Syrian. As I sat tapping around in my phone, something one of my aunts was saying grabbed my attention. I lifted my eyes from the screen and listened intently.

“I had some work to do, and it happened to be near the restaurant M I always deal with. The one where the nice Syrian works…” As she approached the restaurant to greet him on her way, she saw that he was watching TV (which was always switched on either Safa or Wesal TV).
“…I noticed that his face was thinner than usual, and he had an air of tiredness about him.”

“How are you doing?” she asked.
“Alhamdulillah” answered the Syrian with an acknowledging smile.

She asked him another question, which she always asked out of concern, but this time she quite regretted asking it; for his answer broke her heart.

“How is your family?”

The Syrian, a stout man who appears to be in his thirties, broke down with tears streaming down his cheeks. “What am I to say? May Allah help them.”

He and his brother had two homes in Baba Amr, but they were crushed to the ground by the Syrian regime leaving their families to destitution with no safe shelter to hide at.

“It’s only a matter of time till the Shabbiha barges in wherever the Syrians are hiding.”

Sooner or later, the Shabbiha would find the innocent Syrian victims to butcher them with cold blood.

“It’s been a month since I’ve last sent any money to my family… I have no address to send it at; they’re always on the run.” And when it came to phone calls, the line always broke as he said.

I can’t imagine how horrible it feels to him to be so far away from his family, knowing what kind of atrocity is lurking around them… I can’t imagine the amount of grief he has in his heart every time he sees the grotesque images of slaughtered Syrians… I can’t imagine the amount of fear in his heart that these images might be of members of his family…
No one but a Syrian would know how horrible all of this feels; for no one is suffering but the Syrians themselves.

As I was close to ending this post yesterday past midnight, the sound of raindrops accompanied my finger taps, and I could only think of one thought: While it’s raining drops of water over here, it is raining drops of raped blood elsewhere on this wretched planet.

I am speechless; I am helpless; and I do not know what else to expect anymore.

Yet, I am certain that Allah; the AlMighty who is mightier than any tyrant on this universe, would conquer the injustice in Syria…

I am certain that Allah the Great; greater than any power on this planet, will give the Syrians the strength and courage needed to continue, and win this revolution…

I am certain that Allah the Merciful; who holds more mercy towards us than a mother towards her child, would end the pain and grant the Syrians the victory they deserve…

And I am also certain, that only Allah the All Knowing, knows when the right time for all this to end is.

#SyriaOnMyMind

مساءُ الناسِ نهاري..

ونهاري مساؤهم..

إلى أوسدة ناعمةٍ توجهوا..

وإلى صحبةٍ ورقيةٍ وجهتي..

كلٌ وجَدَ في حلمه متنفساً..

وأنا بعيداً عن دروسي لا أتنفسُ..

في قرب موعد الفَرج أواسي نفسي..

وبحريةٍ مستحقّة أعد نفادَ صبري..

وحتى ذاك الحين المنتظرِ يظلُّ:

مساءُ الناسِ نهاري..

ونهاري مساؤهم..


رحاب العباسي

 

دكان الحلوى

إلى ذلكَ الطفلِ الصغيرِ نَظرتُ.. ومِن إنبهارِهِ وحيرتهِ إبتسمتُ..

وقفَ عندَ عَتبةِ ذلك الدكانِ مذهولاً.. بزهوةِ ما رأتهُ عيناهُ مأسوراً..

تقدّمَ بِخُطواتٍ فيها تَردُدْ.. وكَأنّهُ في حُلْمٍ مُهدَدٍ بالتبدُدْ..

واصَلَ التقدُمَ حتى توغل.. في عالم من الألوان والحلوى مكلل..

فَتارةً يَلتفتُ حتى يَرى احمراراً… وتارةً يَلُفُّ حتى يرى اصفراراً..

وعلى يمينهِ يَرى قطراتٍ من ندىً أزرقْ.. وعن شِمالِهِ ألواناً مُغريةً كأنّها تقولُ:

“من يتذوقْ؟”

واصَلتُ مراقبتَهُ وهُوَ في قمةِ حيرتهِ.. بأي هذه الثمار يبتدئ؟

أبِطعمِ الكرز الأحمرِ يتلذذُ، أم بطعمِ العنبِ البنفسجيِّ قَبلَه؟

نظَرتُ إليهِ وكأني علمت بما يفكر.. فقد قرّرَ أن يَقطفَ من كلّ بُستانٍ زهرَة..

أسرعَ ذلكَ الطفلُ الملهوفُ لِيجمعَ ما يطيبُ لهُ.. حتى امتلأَتْ يداهُ بأكثرَ مما تحتملُ..

إتّجهَ إلى صاحبِ الدُكانِ حتى يُعطيهِ حقهُ.. وإذا بِجَيبهِ لا يَحملُ حساب كل ما قطفهُ..

فأخفضَ الطفلُ الصغيرُ رأسهُ بخَيبةٍ.. ونَظَرَ إلى حَلواهُ بحسرةٍ..

“إعذِروني على إختيارٍ عليهِ جبرتُ، ولكم مني وعدٌ بالرجوعِ يومُ.”

فاختارَ الطفلُ من الحلوى ما أمكنهُ.. وأعطى صاحبَ الدكان ما طلبهُ..

وما إن التفتَ الطفلُ ليغادرَ.. حتى رأيتُني أنا ذلك الطفلُ الذي كنت أناظرُ..

فكذلك الطفلِ المأسورِ أكون أنا.. في عالم من الرفوف والصفحات قد امتلأ..

فهذا هو حالي الأزلي كلما.. دخلت إلى محل الكتاب باحثة..

عن صديق جديد يكون لي مرافقاً.. يؤنسني ومن ضغوطِ الدنيا يكون لي مخلّصاً..

فكحيرةِ الطفلِ في اختيارِ ما يطيبُ لهُ.. أحتارُ في اختيار ما يُستأنس بهِ..

أمن بستان الخيال العلمي أقطفُ؟ أم من حقول الأدب الجميل أستحصدُ؟

أو من بحيرات الروايات الممتعة أنتعشُ؟

وكانبهاره بألوان الحلوى المختلفةِ.. أنبهر بجلود هذه الكتب المتنوعةِ..

وكلما دخلت هذا العالم الفريد تعتريني رغبةٌ.. في تخليص هذه الكتب من رفوفها المتخشبةِ..

أريد أن أعطيها ملجأً يضمها لتحتمي.. بين عينايَ وراحةِ يداي حيث تنتمي..

ولكني كذلك الطفل الصغير تمنعني.. إمكانياتُ جيبي المتواضعِ..

ففي نهاية رحلتي أجدني حاملةً.. كماً من الكتبِ لا يسعني أن أنقذه..

فكالطفلِ المعتذرِ لحلواهُ أقدم إعتذاري.. لأملٍ أعطيتهُ لهذه الكتب بإختياري..

وأعدها بعودة قريبة لأسعفها.. من الوحدة القاتلة التي إليها أرجعتها..

وبذلك أكون لهذا العالم مودعةً.. بأيد بالغنائمِ ظافرة..

وأقول لسُكّانِهِ معتذرةً:

“لكم مني وعدٌ بالرجوعِ يومُ.”

رحاب العباسي-

Ian Black’s “Bitter Rivalry”

Note: After reading this post, Mr. Black replied to me and corrected his wording in the part I have expressed my objection on in this post.

Dear Mr. Black,

I hope this finds you well… Or in this case, that you find it well.

My name is Rehab, and I’m a Mass Communication student at University of Bahrain, intending to -hopefully- major in Journalism.

I have read your article: Bahrain protests: ‘The repression is getting worse’ and I have some remarks on it. Well, they are actually more than remarks, but I’ll settle with that.

I won’t comment on the main objective of this article; which is obviously an invitation to sympathize with the opposition regardless of their heinous doings, but my main remarks are on this depiction you have written (highlighted):

I admit that I am nowhere close to having the experience you have acquired in this field, but there are certain concepts that every journalist, no matter how experienced or inexperienced , has engraved in his mind. Now the phrase “…Sunni Caliph Omar and “bitter rival” of Ali…” trespasses these concepts outrageously. Fortunately, what I have learned –and still am learning- about Journalism remains very fresh in my mind. Since I have noticed that it is very common for journalists to forget such concepts at certain junctures in their careers, I think it would be beneficial to revise some of Journalism’s ABCs. Shall we?

Source Verificaion:
We all know that Journalism relies mainly on sources (people, books, websites…etc), and without them no news could possibly be published. That, of course, applies to Journalists who cannot write or cover topics unless they have trusted sources. Why should the sources be trusted? Simply because Journalism emerged from the first place to spread out the Truth. When it comes to sources, we know that not all of them are credible. Many individuals colorize the tips they give to journalists with their personal views in hope of conveying them via media. That is exactly why a journalist is required to check different sources from different sides for the sake of Neutrality, and enable to achieve -some of- Journalism’s first, and foremost aims: Honesty, Integrity, and Transparency.

You have mentioned in the article that revered Caliph Omar is a “…bitter rival of Ali…”. Caliphs Ali and Omar? Bitter? Rivals? Who on earth told you that (like I can’t guess)? Which historic books have you checked to verify the correctness of this information? How many books were they? How many specialized historians have you headed to to verify this so called fact?

Topic Sensitivity:
Regardless of how liberal some countries may be, there is a taboo triangle of three topics which are to be addressed carefully (of course the degree of prohibition differs from every society) in Journalism: Governments (it’s true worldwide whether we like it or not), Sex, and Religion.

Since you have mentioned Caliphs Ali, and Omar, you must be very aware of their significance in Islam; regardless to which sect. By the truth-lacking fact you have stated, you have invented a totally new scenario which misleads the public readers who haven’t an idea about these revered Caliphs. It is known that a person must never philosophize in a topic which he is not well-informed about, let alone if that person is a journalist!

I have a question Mr. Black,
Have you ever seen a rivalry in which a man marries his daughter –his precious offspring- to his “bitter rival”? If Caliphs Omar and Ali were rivals, how did Caliph Ali give his blessing to his daughter’s marriage to Caliph Omar? How did he let his daughter Um Kulthoum marry him? And how can Caliph Ali, be the “…, founder of Shia Islam.”? How can a Caliph found a sect after he has passed away? Shia Islam emerged after his death, and it was not founded by one individual. One of the main contributors to the beginning of the sect’s foundation was Abdullah Ibn Sabaa’; a Jew from Yemen… Just in case you feel like mentioning anything further on the topic in the future.

Bottom line, I only give your inaccuracy two justifications, Mr. Black:
1) You weren’t aware by the truthful fact; that the Caliphs are the farthest thing from “bitter rivalry”, and you were “mislead” by your sources to believe the opposite.

2) You slipped this piece of info intentionally for reasons I will pretend not to know.

Both justifications are disgracefully unacceptable. As a journalist, it is your duty to verify the information you publish, to maintain your neutrality, credibility, and transparency, and to enlighten the crowds instead of misleading them by changing facts related to religious icons. Such mistakes may ignite more clashes between sects –like they already haven’t.

I must say that it is very disappointing for me, as a young journalist to see senior journalists commit such unforgivable mistakes (and I am addressing other senior journalists out there as well).

When will the textbook facts we are daily taught be practiced in the real world?

Frustrated journalist in the making,
Rehab.