Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Abstinence

First of all; I would like to reassure all of those concerned that cyclone 'Gunu' (a funny name by the way) is not having any significant effect on Dubai yet. The Met projections suggest that it is going to head north toward Iran. Dubai might experience some mild showers.

Well; whatever will be, will be.

I haven't been posting much recently. I've been extremely busy at work. During the last couple of weeks, I would go to bed dreaming of tons of steel slung over my shoulders, floods of concrete poured around my calves, angry owners screaming in my ears, shackles of penalties and contractual obligations holding my hands in a standstill. This is not a nightmare by the way; it's been an every day's reverie.

But I am not worried, because even in the darkest of my impulses, I am never gagged, I am still able to mumble, talk, shout, curse, cuss…at least for now…

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of our notorious defeat. A very bitter memory, even for those who haven't lived it. I am fortunate to have a father who fought in the 73's October war, a relatively successful war. He was a squad commander. The rule of his group was pronounced more loudly during the attrition war that followed the course of the main war. Those were difficult times when Syria was left alone. Anwar Al Sadat had suddenly decided that Egypt would do a better job singing solo, something that is still gravely disputable till date.

One of the blessing of having blackouts in Syria (and those were aplenty when I was a little kid) is that my father would seize the moment, in which he wouldn't be able to anything else otherwise, to tell me in details about his experience in the combat field.

War memories are never sweet; I still recall the bitterness in my father's tone. He still suffers a punctured eardrum, an injury which he'd been able to disguise through trickery and solemn attitude. He realizes deep down inside, that his very little sacrifice is nothing compared to the tremendous suffering of our Palestinian brethren, either those who were stranded in the exodus, or left inside the occupied territory, floundering in despair.

But let's admit that neither Palestine nor Jolan could benefit from our tears. And just how many tears have been shed, reflecting the agony of the immeasurable pain. I am only hoping that that would not go in vain. With Karma in place, what had gone around would come around one day, and justice will take its course. Peace has been a glamorous word recently, I am not being despondent, but I believe that relying on peace alone is not the answer. I advice those wagering on peace to consider the alternative, a plan B should never be shelved. We need to be honest to ourselves; we need to subordinate our personal and national agendas to the greater cause. Al Quds holds a sacred statue for both Muslim and Christian Arabs alike.

However, the Arabic prospect looks very bleak at the moment, with all the internal troubles hovering in our backyard, restoring Al Quds, and all the other occupied territories, seems to be a purpose held in abeyance.

21 comments:

BuJ said...

bless u and ur dear father.
i see you remembered :)

Lujayn said...

OK, what is plan B? I dont see a plan B anywhere. What I see is governments and leadership using the same old tired excuses they've been spouting for the last 40 years and the only thing that changes is who sits on the chair.

I salute your father for his sacrifice because it was an honest, genuine sacrifice. But I do not believe that is going to help us anymore. Peace is a strategic move, not just an emotional concept. Peace allows us to shed the excuses of the past for stopping all progress until we solve the issue of Palestine and discover how we are going to move forward, and strips Israel of its excuses to arm itself, victimhood, financial assistance, etc.

As for the issue of al-Quds, I disagree with you on giving its sacred status any priority. The city is also sacred to the Jews, and we cannot dispute that. If we are to accept religious factors for allocating al-Quds, then the Jews are justified in wanting to keep it. To me, al-Quds is first and foremost a Palestinian city whose residents were forced to give up their homes in the past or are threatened to do so on a daily basis. It is a city of living people who cannot be disregarded or swept aside for the sake of history and religious traditions. Mecca is a sacred city to Muslims the world over, but nobody disputes the fact that it is the land of the Saudis. No Muslim from Pakistan or Indonesia is going to be consulted if there is ever a conflict there. The same applies to the Vatican. These places should be open for all to visit, but in the end, they are the homes and lands of certain people. That should be the sole justification for our support for Palestinian rights to al-Quds, in as much as I support Palestinian rights to Yaffa, Nablus and al-Khalil.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Lujayn;
Plan B is, regardless of who’s job to envisage it, our alternative reaction to Israel’s reluctance to pursue peace.
Plan B is what you do when your adversary (Israel) says “I don’t give a whit about your peace initiative..”
Plan B is the least you can think of, in case you want to preserve some dignity…
And if governments haven’t been doing much but sputtering sermons for the last 40 years, then it’s their own problem not mine. Prolonging a bad habit doesn’t make it the one and only valid practice..
Remember, plan B doesn’t always mean prompt implementation, but at least it’ll show your enemy that you are able to seek a way to restore your rights by the virtue of your STRENGTH. (this is strategically speaking by the way, not emotionally)
I agree about Al Quds being a city for all religions, it has actually been so since the immemorial, even when it was under the Arabs’ control. I am not vindictive, if we are destined (the Palestinians that is, with the backing of Arabs) to restore control of it, I don’t think we’ll deprive the Jews form the right to visit their wall, nor I think we’ll dig underneath their walls foundations to undermine it.
Now whether you give the statue of Al Quds a priority or not, is entirely not the point. What matters is handling the whole Arab-Israeli conflict as a package. Now that Al Quds with its statue being part of it, would elevates the importance of the cause and the turnout of those involved. It is a gambit that you already have to your side, you can use it even if you don’t believe in its property, so why don’t you? (again, strategically speaking…)

Defeat as I see it, is a mental state of mind, not a loss of land or property…

Lujayn said...

Dubai Jazz, then Plan B is actually what we have now. Posturing.

I do not believe there is an alternative to peace. We, as Arabs, have proven that our strength is not something we can count on. We do not have a united front on anything, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the Arab world who is willing to lose his life if called upon to do so by his regime for the sake of Palestine or anywhere else (except unfortunately the fundamentalists). We do not have any strength and if there is a trace of strength, it lacks all moral ground. The bad habit you talk about is exactly why we no longer have any strength. Its a fact of life, and we cannot go back to the days of high morale and hope and patriotism. What we have is demoralized citizens, who have been screwed from every side possible. Dignity is not an option, for the time being.

The only option is to play the game in exactly the same way Israel plays it. By cleaning up our image, playing it right in the media and proving to the world that we can be partners. I realize its not what Israel wants, and it would much rather maintain the status quo in order to maintain its place as the Middle East's victim, but why do we help enforce it? Thats what I meant by peace being strategic. Its not about living happily ever after with the Israelis. Its about putting us on an equal footing and pulling the rug from underneath their feet. I strongly believe that the day we make peace with Israel is the day Israel ceases to exist.

kaya said...

DJ
U can't put Gunu and the war together.
Reason being I had a wicked flippant comment to make, and in observation of the latter part of the post, feel it would be disrecpectful.
I am not a big fan of war, and especially a long drwn out (pointless) one.
But i was thinking this morning, if all the idiots who have to fight, would at least set apart one city just for women and children, it would be a good thing.
That way anyone should know that this part of the country is completely hands off.

SALUTE ur baba and salaams to him.

Lujayn said...

Kaya, I know plenty of men who dont want war. Can they join us in your no-war city? After all, we need some fun :))

BuJ said...

hi guys.. interesting debate.. lujayn.. i kinda support your point on al quds and religious status.

as a muslim i understand that al quds has great significance.. but i believe the problem in palestine/israel is more about people and ethnicity rather than your God versus mine.

Palestinians who have ties to Palestine need to have the right to live without fear or persucution in their land.

Non-natives should have the right to visit and live there if they behave appropriately according to the laws of the land and do not jeapordize the way of life for other people. This applies to a Somali, a Jew, a Syrian, or a Chilian!! I don't care to be honest.

Based on that I feel that a 2-state peace solution is doomed to fail as it divides a land among artificial lines.

I would also like to see the Arab side with much more muscle than it has or is allowed to have. Once we are on par with Israel in terms of armies and the like then Israel will start to sing the song of peace much better.

True and lasting peace is when both sides negotiate from an equal footing. There is no point at all to talk about peace when Israel is more powerful than us in almost every single way.

Lujayn said...

Buj, and you think the Arab armies will be allowed to arm themselves on par with the Israeli army? Ideally we would be allowed to, but I seriously doubt it will happen. Therefore that is not an alternative we should consider in our strategies with Israel.

BuJ said...

i know we won't be allowed to arm ourselves.. look at some of the arm deals between UAE and USA.. it took something like 6 yrs or so to agree a deal for some F16.. after that time i bet u what we got was spare parts that were out of date anyway.

in this un-ideal world, i don't know what the other option is for us? u know we can't arm.. look at what happened to iraq's nuclear program in 1982? The israelis had the gall do fly inside iraq and bomb it.. or at what iran is doing now.. and what will happen to it.

i feel at an individual level my job is to expose the lies and educate those who do not know.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Bu Jassem and Lujayn;
Thank you so much for the well-informed feedbacks.... it is sadly true that the situation is not ideal...the opportunities are not equal....let's hope that either peace and justice be done, or the other circumstances get changed (i.e. The world partiality toward Israeli...)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hi Kaya,
First of all don't worry about commenting in any shape or form you desire...no strings attached....(except for the violins' and the guitars' interludes, end of the day I am Jazz ain't I?:)))

what would you have liked to say about Gunu otherwise???

I like your concept of having hands-off cities during wars.. I agree with Lujayn though, you 'girls' need some law and order enforcements (alright, i just opened the can of worms!), in such city entirely populated by women, hair-pulling could get pandemic, unless there are such a nice and cool guys like me keeping everybody calm and happy...(khaly waly the war-front... lol!)

Well, we have deviated form the subject, but it's always refreshing to circulate some humor...

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Bu Jassem,
First time I heard about the two states solution was through the video segment you've attached to your blog for one of the BBC debate episodes...I really find it interesting, but I also find it next to impossible that the Israelis will accept it, given the fact that their population will get diluted, they will either have to pour in migrants to balance the number, or they will keep certain privileges for themselves..

they can hardly trust Arabs as neighbors, how do you think they will trust them as fellow citizens?

But then again the two states solution is also flawed. It might have the backing of the international community and the SC resolution but it is as you said; dividing the same people on what was once a unified land...

isn't there some light at the end of the tunnel?

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Lujayn,
It was interesting what you said about the extremists being the only people who are truly ready to die fighting Israel. That corroborates the message some of the Arab leaders are trying to get across to the Americans that their presence in Iraq and the un-resolved issue of Palestine are radicalizing more and more people.....

BuJ said...

the two state solution is a bag of old crap.. honestly i'd never live in it if it was presented to me.. i'd just tell em to stick it where it hurts.

that is assuming that it's a fair 2-state solution which i am prepared to bet MY LIFE that it aint!

this is a joke.. if there is ever a 2-state outcome i encourage every single one of you to oppose it and if i was a president of country x y or z i'd never recognise it and continue to treat it as the occupied land that it is.

what we need is an integral shift. think of people as humans not muslim or jew.. and yes i can and will live next to a jewish neighbour like i live today next to an christian, or athiest or hindi neighbour..

if they respect me, i can respect them back tenfold.

only with forcing people to treat others as people rather than labels (e.g. muslim) that we will move out of this quagmire.

Nona said...

ohh guys BUJ, Dubai JZZ, Lujayn,, Am Palestinian and hate the politics to the death, the thing that I believe in i7na will stay fi jihaaad laghayt ma tet7araar o hat2oom il2yami.

The only thing that attracts me in the post is the part about the work; your field is close to mine (projects, construction…). I can feel your feeling when you are overwhelming with all those stuff.
That’s why I fall in love with the week end :)

Lujayn said...

Buj, I agree with you on the one-state solution. However, its the harder option to get to work. It requires trust from both sides, and thats a bit difficult, especially in light of current events. But its still the only option that would work long-term.

We in the Middle East have always had different sects, religions, and people living side by side - but there have been times when there was conflict between them. I dont want to brush the reasons for the conflicts aside or over-simplify the issues, but I think for the most part, they were the result of one community gaining the upper-hand and imposing its will on other communities, with the help of outside forces. In a democratic society, we would have other avenues to resolve our conflicts and as equal citizens, we could live side by side.

Dubai Jazz, I think radical elements in our communities are as much a result of internal circumstances and politics as they are of US meddling and alienation. I totally agree with you that its vital that "the other circumstances get changed (i.e. The world partiality toward Israeli...)". And thats I meant by playing the media game and cleaning up our image. The western world will continue to disregard everything we say, even if its just and accurate, as long as the only strong image that comes out of this area is that of terrorists. And we, the silent peaceful majority, need to speak up and to show the world that there is more to us than being fanatics. Only then will we have gained the credibility to "expose the lies and educate those who do not know" as Buj says.

And Dubai Jazz, I said we need you guys for fun, not law enforcement! Can of worms closed :))

abufares said...

Only maniacs and the mentally deranged like wars.
BUT, a man (or a woman) got to do what a man (or a woman) got to do.
Plan B, as far as I'm concerned is a personal plan. I expext little from governments (any government that is). I personally look forward an all emcompassing and just peace but I'm not holding my breath. If I die before it materializes, I should at least have tried to reach the highest bargaining plateau for my, and other children, to take advantage of.
For the time being, my contribution is in the line of: "Hey Israel, don't expect a free ride, or even an easy one. I wouldn't forget until it's over. And, it's not over yet."

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hi Nona, nice of you to share your views. ... so the part about the work was the one you loved the most? Okay!

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hi ABu Fares,
Thank you for taking the time to comment while you are traveling...
I loved what you said "...a man gotta do what a man gotta do"...a hard choice is not always the appealing one, that is how I see plan B. :)

BuJ said...

how very interesting.

kaya said...

LOL @ Lujayn and DJ
U men! Dont think of missing out an opportunity when it comes to servicing womankind!!

Behave!! I am talking about war. It hurts so much to see the pictures of war causualties, more so of the little ones. I just wish there was someway to avoid them getting hurt.