Category: Wars


الطفلة جنى كمال الدين

يحب الكآبة عندما تغنى… عندما تصبح لحنا شجيا يطرب نبضات القلب…

يعشق الوحدة الخرساء …

لا أعلم لماذا حاول لبنان الانتحار لكنه لم يمت بل أمواج الموت باتت تلف من كل الجوانب…

تبحث في جيوب معطفها عن بقايا ذكريات… محرمة نسيتها في الجيب الأيمن تحمل آثار عرق يدها من شدة توترها عند سماعها طلقات الرصاص…

تبحث عن تلك اللحظة…لكنها ستجد دائما تلك الكلمة الماكثة في قعر فنجان قهوة ممولي السلاح…

يحب تلك الكآبة المرتدية قناع الفرح والمتعة متعة الجنون نعم…متعة الفوضى والسلاح… أحلام صغيرة تتحول إلى إعصار…

جنى كمال الدين تسأل بكل براءة  لماذا القتل “عن غير قصد”؟ ولكنها ستجد دائما تلك الكلمة: القدر

يرقَع حياة لا يملكها بأوراق الخريف..هل ينجح في تغطية الفتنة والطائفية  بأوراق الخريف المتآكلة؟ … لا يعلم لماذا وكيف يرقع…

لماذا معارك القتل؟؟

لبنان يريد سماع لحن الموت فقط لا غير …

*توفيت الطفلة جنى كمال الدين جراء الاشتباكات التافهة بين جبل محسن وباب التبانة

 

 

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I hated it… that moment…the wrinkled faces are so dear to me…so dear you can’t imagine how dear they’re …the wrinkled faces… the thick glasses… the tired eyelids… the shivering hands…You can’t imagine how dear the wrinkled faces, the thick glasses, the tired eyelids, and the shivering hands are so dear to me… you can’t because you haven’t inhaled the moment of death …

The shivering hands… the blooded eyes… are so dear to me … but you still can’t imagine how dear they are because you haven’t sipped the coffee of death…

There is the torn part of me… a shadow that lurk beneath the dying sun….

I hated it. I just did.

The Arab spring is struggling death… Revive it before it perishes.

Reporting from Denmark-

The ghastly figures of the bloodied and removed-fingernails children who started the Syrian revolution hung over the frozen eyes of Mohammad S.’s three kids. The children’s “crime” of casting the famous spell of the Arab Spring “The people want to bring down the regime” on their school’s wall haunted the three kids’ minds defining for them what freedom of expression means.

“I couldn’t stand the fact that my wife and kids are in Hama and I’m in Beirut, so I asked them to come to Beirut,” says Mohammad S. who had been working in Beirut in cleaning the stores. He adds, “The situation is very difficult there. The killings start after 6 p.m. No one is allowed to walk on the streets after that time.” “They (his family) came and lived with me for a month, but I couldn’t afford their expenses so I sent them back.” When asked if he sought aid from charity organizations, he said that most of the aid organizations are situated in the north of Lebanon and he didn’t receive any help.

Not Enough Aids for 5,000 Syrian Refugees

Refugees aren’t facing only the bleak fact that there is no enough aid for them; some are actually being hunted down after crossing into Lebanon and other neighboring countries and are attacked by the Syrian forces. Ali al-Khatib was killed on Thursday when the Syrian army vehicles crossed the border near Saaba, in the Bekaa region in Lebanon and attacked farmers and their houses. On Monday, a similar event happened during the escape of some Lattakia residents to Turkey via Al-Hamboushiyeh. The security forces fired at them, which resulted in the death of a young man, Haytham Asfar, and two other people being injured. In other situations, kidnappings of refugees have taken place where the kidnapped Syrians were handed over to the Shabiha gangs and the Shabiha handed them over to the Syrian security forces, Mohammed Kizle, a refugee from Homs near the Lebanese border town of Wadi Khaled told Al-Arabiya.

Abdallah Dabbousi, the head of the emergency and relief committee at the Islamic Medical Association in the north of Lebanon decries the shortage of funds,” The amount of aid is negligible. There are 5,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon right now. They have been here from around 7 months, so it’s not that easy to secure their basic needs for a long-period of time.” Rabih Dandachli, the President of the Muslim Student Association that lead one of the most prominent campaigns for collecting donations for the Syrian refugees in the north of Lebanon, says that they are left with less than $4,000 from the $35,000 collected donations. Dabbousi says in this regard, “We have a mobile clinic, a doctor, a nurse, and medicine. We had done so far 30 medical surgeries for which one had cost $17,000 and another had cost $12,000. We distributed 500 sleeping bags and 800 nutritional food units. But we are running of funds.”

Syrian refugees have been relying on support from the Lebanese government’s High Relief Commission (HRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), NGOs and the local community for several months since fleeing the fighting in nearby Syrian towns.

 

A Syrian refugee child looks out a window in Wadi Khaled, Lebanon's impoverished mountain area near its northern border with Syria, on September 21, 2011. (AFP Photo/Anwar Amro)

 

The Lebanese government not admitting the existence of a real crisis

“We have limited potentials. The Lebanese government’s role in providing help for the refugees is not crucial. There are 25 charity organizations involved though. It’s related to the political situation in Lebanon where the government currently supports the Syrian regime,” Dabbousi says.

Dandachli agrees with Dabbousi on this issue, “When the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the number of displaced Syrians in Lebanon reported by the media is inflated and denies the existence of the crisis, this means that the Lebanese government doesn’t have the will to help these refugees.  The Lebanese government’s role is bad. It’s even part of the current problem.” However, the Lebanese Prime Minister Nagib Mikati said on Thursday that Lebanon is committed to protect Syrian refugees in Lebanon. “My approach to these refugees coming to Lebanon is purely humanitarian. We are assisting these people … providing them with medical assistance, schooling and shelter.” Miqati told Agence France Presse. Regarding the schooling of the children of the Syrian refugees, Dabbousi acknowledges the government’s role in offering them free schooling at public schools.

What’s more ironical is that the media affiliated with the Syrian government and its allies consider the fleeing Syrian refugees as regular visitors paying visits to their families on the Lebanese border. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4Y9cSlfhqk)   

 A Cow-Slaughterhouse to accommodate Syrian refugees in Lebanon

The main problems at the moment lie in the housing and the medication of the refugees. “Currently, approximately 15 family members live in a small one-room apartment. Others who don’t have relatives in Lebanon to stay at their houses and who can’t afford the rent reside at regular shops or schools. One of our projects we are working on is building a refugee camp in North Lebanon,” Dabbousi says. He explains that the local community and NGOs found an abandoned cows’ slaughterhouse to which they hope to turn into a refugee camp after renovating it and making it suitable for living.

Amid the hostility of Russia and China towards the Syrians where they pushed the UN Security Council to reject imposing sanctions on Assad’s regime via their veto, the Syrian spring seems will blossom more blood. Syria’s spring seems also to witness more cultivation of thorny warnings where the first one came on Sunday announcing that the Syrian authority will retaliate against any country that formally recognizes the National Council set up by opponents of Assad.

This gloomy spring drove and is still driving many Syrians to seek haven in the already impoverished area in Akkar, north Lebanon and other neighboring areas permanently or temporarily as with Mohammad’s family.

*Originally posted here

Denmark honors its soldiers that contributed to international operationsin the Arab/Muslim world a decade after 9/11 events. Two important events; each with a different impact on the other’s world.  

He gives his infant a gaze full of apprehension. The soldier then cuddles his baby leaving a faint smile behind which hopes not to remain just a memory in the Christiansborg Palace Square.

The Square witnessed on Monday September 5 the celebration of Denmark’s National Flag Day for honouring the country’s military personnel sent abroad for the third time in Danish history. Prior to the celebration, a memorial service was held at Holmens Church for commemorating the fallen soldiers. The human cost of the wars the Danish troops took part in was devastating for the soldiers and for Iraqis and Afghans as well.   

The Iraqi invasion and occupation, an exemplar for chaos, divisions and mayhem, is currently undergoing a “Lebanonization” process. The freedom-embedded slogans used by the Bush administration made the war a holy cause for some. The picture of the “Abu-Ghraibian” war style is contradicted by what the United States and its allies rationalized as an opportunity to make from Iraq an exemplar for development and democracy. This however is viewed sometimes as a mere PR stunt for the American government and its confederates.

Denmark contributed and is still doing so, both on the civilian and military levels, to various international missions, “including the UN Interim Force mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL), NATO’s maritime counter-piracy operation, Operation Ocean Shield, off the Horn of Africa and  its involvement in Afghanistan” (Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook, 2011).

Klavs A. Holm, Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, comments on the civil-military Danish approach towards the Arab/Muslim world in the broader context of societal development there. He says, “Combating Taliban in Afghanistan is part of the Danish foreign policy. By doing this, we also contribute to the Afghan society. What we do is we link our development system to our military operations there, so we have a civil program.”

In this regard, Ole Kvaerno, the director of the Copenhagen Middle East Research Programme (COMER) at the Royal Danish Defence College says, “The Danish government is committed to a state-building process in the Middle East. We are going to widen our civilian encounters in Afghanistan. In 2014, we will be withdrawing our troops deployed there.”

A Distressed Soldier at Christiansborg Palace Square

 

For more information on the Danish Flag Day 2011, see this video:

Is it the Oil Curse or a War for Democracy?

The projects proposed by the Western world that aim at reform in the Arab/Muslim world are sometimes viewed as “descending on the region from above”, as put in “Developments in Civil-Military relations in the Middle East”, a 2008 report by the Royal Danish Defence College.

The skepticism surrounding these projects including the dialogue projects originates from the fact that the West has traditionally been supporting Arab authoritarian regimes as long as they facilitated the implementation of Western agendas in the region. Another reason for the mistrust-based relationship between the Middle East and the Western world is that “the Arab-Israeli conflict has served as a legitimizing device of the dominance of the militaries on grounds of protecting society from the Israeli threat”, as put by Developments in Civil-Military relations in the Middle East, 2008.

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 readdresses the divide between the Muslim/Arab world and the Western world. Denmark, being part of the Western world, finds itself included in the existent triggered “clash of civilizations” between the Western and the Muslim worlds.

The current Danish war stance in the Middle East might be interpreted as to emblemize a mission for democracy and development or as to represent Western hidden agendas and interests in the region. Despite how differently the situation looks the patriotic soldier at the Christiansborg Palace Square remains looking at the Danish flag and kisses his baby.

Danish Flags at the Christiansborg Palace

The cartoon crisis still nibbling at the margins of Denmark’s initiated dialogue projects

Ambitious inter-cultural programs pave the way for better relations between Denmark and the Middle East

 The contradictory image of the West perceived by the Middle East was even more convoluted by the caricature crisis distorting the Danish reputation in particular.  

Ole Kvaerno believes that the cartoon crisis has definitely damaged Danish reputation and hence there is a need for repair at the public diplomacy level.”We have to live with the consequences of the crisis and try to manipulate them. The dialogue projects aim to do that at least at the rhetorical level,” he adds.

 However, Mehmet Ümit Necef, Associate Professor at the Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies, University of Southern Denmark, sees that the cartoon case had a good effect. “There has been a genuine desire on behalf of the Danes to truly understand the Arabs and their culture,” he says.

Victory for both worlds?

 In 2003 the Danish Government launched the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme.

The project aimed at initiating a base for a constructive dialogue between Denmark and the Arab world. Recently the initiative is said to establish a separate thematic focus for promoting dialogue between Israeli and Arab partner organizations. “DKK 10 million was to be set aside in 2011 for this particular purpose” (Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook 2011).

 

 In a speech at the Foreign Policy Committee of the Danish Parliament-25 May this year, PM Rasmussens said that more than 220 Danish civil society organizations and public institutions and 400 Arab partners were part of these professional partnerships -including dialogue projects- between Denmark and the Arab world. In fact, the Danish Youth Council (DUF) ran a project called Dialogue Ambassadors last year where young people from the Middle East and Danes with an Arab background went on tour in Jordan, Egypt and Denmark and held workshops. It was a way to give a better mutual understanding of the different cultures at play.

 

  CARTOON ROW

30 Sept 2005: Danish paper publishes cartoons

20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors complain to Danish PM

10 Jan 2006: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons

26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador

31 Jan: Danish paper apologises

1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons

4-5 Feb: Danish embassies in Damascus and Beirut attacked

6-7 Feb: At least eight killed in Afghanistan as security forces try to suppress protests

9 Feb: Hundreds of thousands protest in Beirut

 Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4727606.stm

 
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