Friday, August 11, 2006

RESTEZ AU LIBAN

Pour les premières amandes vertes que l'on croque, trempées de sel, et qui sonnent le glas de l'hiver,

Pour l'arbuste du balcon que l'on croyait mort et qui refleurit inexplicablement en décembre,

Pour le grincement familier de la balançoire sur laquelle on s'assoupit, enivrés de soleil, dans le chant des cigales,

Pour les klaxons « sauvages » d'un mariage d'été qui nous précipite pourtant tous au balcon pour voir si la mariée est belle,

Pour ces tribus de parents qui attendent à l'aéroport le retour au pays de l'enfant prodigue, et qui arrivent toujours beaucoup trop tôt,

Pour cette vieille mémé qu'on a refusé de mettre à l'asile malgré l'appartement de Beyrouth trop étroit, et que son fils continue d'embrasser chaque soir,
 
Pour cette femme voilée qui fait, au mois de mai, le pèlerinage de Harissa,

Pour le jeune policier du carrefour qui fait semblant de rêver quand on traverse un feu orange,

Pour le « Ya hala » claironnant du steward qui nous accueille sur l'avion de Beyrouth,

Pour cet automobiliste souriant en trois pièces cravate qui, un soir de Nouvel An très pluvieux, vous change votre pneu, sans vous rien demander

Pour ce soleil lumineux de janvier qui nous fait douter que la tempête terrifiante de tout à l'heure ait vraiment eu lieu,

Pour la voix si triste de Feyrouz qui réveille en nous une âme enfouie de villageoise d'opérette,

Pour l'odeur de la « mankouché » du matin  qui est bien plus qu'une galette au thym, comme la traduit  bêtement le dictionnaire,

Pour ces cerises de juin si  noires qu'elles colorent de violet les langues des enfants,

Pour la maison d'en haut qu'on fait plus belle que l'autre, parce que c'est là qu'au soir de notre mort, on accueillera les gens du village,

Pour les soirs de juin sur la terrasse, pour la vigne de septembre qui finit par nous offrir une grappe, pour les gardénias de mai,

Pour l'odeur mouillée de la terre après la première pluie,

Pour ne pas avoir froid, pour ne pas avoir peur, pour ne pas vivre seul, pour...

Pour tout cela .....  Restez au Liban!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

CIVILIAN CONVOY TO THE SOUTH

Press Release-Lebanon: An Open Country for Civil ResistanceBeirut August 7, 2006
Press Contacts:

Rasha Salti, +961 3 970855
Huwaida Arraf, +961 70 974452
Samah Idriss, +961 3 381349
Wadih Al Asmar, +961 70 950780

On August 12, at 7 am, Lebanese from throughout the country and international supporters who have come to Lebanon to expresssolidarity will gather in Martyr's Square in Beirut to form a civilian convoy to the south of Lebanon. Hundreds of Lebanese and international civilians will express their solidarity with theinhabitants of the heavily destroyed south who have been bravelywithstanding the assault of the Israeli military.

This campaign isendorsed by more than 200 Lebanese and international organizations.This growing coalition of national and international non-governmentalorganizations hereby launches a campaign of civil resistance for thepurpose of challenging the cruel and ruthless use of massive militaryforce by Israel, the regional superpower, upon the people of Lebanon.August 12 marks the start of this Campaign of Resistance, declaringLebanon an Open Country for Civil Resistance.

August 12 also marksboth the international day of protest against the Israeli aggression."In the face of Israel's systematic killing of our people, theindiscriminate bombing of our towns, the scorching of our villages,and the attempted destruction of our civil infrastructure, we say No!In the face of the forced expulsion of a quarter of our populationfrom their homes throughout Lebanon, and the complicity of governmentsand international bodies, we re-affirm the acts of civil resistancethat began from the first day of the Israeli assault, and we stressand add the urgent need to act!," said Rasha Salti, one of theorganizers of this national event.

After August 12, the campaign will continue with a series of civilactions, leading to an August 19 civilian march to reclaim the South."Working together, in solidarity, we will overcome the complacency,inaction, and complicity of the international community and we willdeny Israel its goal of removing Lebanese from their land anddestroying the fabric of our country," explained Samah Idriss, writerand co-organizer of this campaign."An international civilian presence in Lebanon is not only an act ofsolidarity with the Lebanese people in the face of unparalleledIsraeli aggression, it is an act of moral courage to defy the will ofthose who would seek to alienate the West from the rest and create anew Middle East out of the rubble and blood of the region," saidHuwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement andcampaign co-organizer. "After having witnessed the wholesaledestruction of villages by Israel's air force and navy and havingvisited the victims (so-called displaced) of Israel's policy ofcleansing Lebanese civilians from their homes," continued Arraf, "itis imperative to go south and reach those who have stayed behind toresist by steadfastly remaining on their land."

If you are in Lebanon and want to sign up and join the convoy, contact either:

Rasha Salti. Email: convois.citoyens.sud.liban@gmail.com . Tel: +9613 970 855
Rania Masri. Email: rania.masri@balamand.edu.lb. Tel: +961 3 135 279or +961 6 930 250 xt. 5683 or xt. 3933

If you are outside Lebanon and want to sign up and join the convoy,you should know:

1) You need to obtain a visa for Lebanon and for Syria if your plan isto enter Lebanon from Syria.
2) We don't have the funds to cover for the cost of your travel,however we can help with finding accomodations.For questions and help for all internationals please contact AdamShapiro at: adamsop@hotmail.com

You can also sign up on our website: www.lebanonsolidarity.org

This campaign is thus far endorsed by more than 200 organizations,including: The Arab NGOs Network for Development (ANND), InternationalSolidarity Movement (ISM), Cultural Center for Southern Lebanon,Norwegian People's Aid, Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, LebaneseAssociation for Democratic Elections, Frontiers, Kafa, Nahwaal-Muwatiniya, Spring Hints, Hayya Bina, Lebanese TransparencyAssociation, Amam05, Lebanese Center for Civic Education, Let's BuildTrust, CRTD-A, Solida, National Association for Vocational Trainingand Social Services, Lebanese Development Pioneers, Nadi Li KoulAlnas, and Lecorvaw.

Sign2Help


Please Visit http://www.sign2help.com/ and sign the petition.
By signing the petition you will be donating 10 cents for free to the lebanese children's.

Every day Lebanese children are exposed to fear, violence, hunger, lack of water... Approximately 750.000 people have lost their houses and have sought refuge in overcrowded shelters with very limited electricity or access to water, or gathered in public areas.
By signing this petition you will help the Lebanese children and their parents to get clothes, food, medicine, protection and support. For every signature we get, you donate 10 cents to the Lebanese people in need. Our aim is to reach 10 million signatures that will translate into $1 million in funds.

Please help us spread the word in any way you can and invite your friends and family to do the same

Thank you for your help.

Gilbert Hage

http://www.sign2help.com/
Le Liban
par Amin Maalouf
Le Liban est un rosier sauvage. Si vous vous approchez des fleurs, gardez-vous des épines. Et si vos mains s'en trouvent lacérées jusqu'au sang, prenez quand même le temps de caresser les fleurs. Je parle de rosiers, ayant à l'esprit cette pratique, répandue en Bourgogne et dans le Bordelais, qui consiste à laisser pousser des rosiers, justement, en tête des rangées de vigne. On a constaté, en effet, que cette fleur souffrait avant toute autre des maladies qui s'attaquent aux plantes, et qu'elle pouvait donc servir de sentinelle pour alerter les vignerons et leur donner le temps de réagir. Mais les hommes ne comprennent pas toujours le message. Certains, par paresse, par ignorance, par aveuglement, lorsqu'ils voient apparaître des taches sur les feuilles, se disent que le rosier est, de toute manière, une plante fragile, délicate, frivole, et que leur vigne ne risque rien. Il y a trente ans, le Liban est entré dans l'une des phases les plus éprouvantes de son histoire. Une société qui voyait dans la diversité sa raison d'être, et dans la liberté d'expression le fondement de la paix civile, venait de sombrer dans la crispation identitaire, les massacres, la peur de l'autre et la destruction de soi. Pendant quelque temps, le pays est apparu comme une exception, affligeante pour ses fils comme pour ses fidèles amis, mais ne suscitant, chez bien des gens, que des jugements détachés et condescendants. Que voulez-vous ? Le rosier est une plante si fragile ! Puis les affrontements ethniques et communautaires se sont multipliés à travers le monde. Non seulement au Proche-Orient, en Afrique, ou dans le sud de l'Asie, mais également dans l'ancienne Yougoslavie, aux premiers contreforts de l'Europe. Et au-delà. Ce qui semblait naguère, le triste apanage de quelques banlieues de Beyrouth, a aujourd'hui pour théâtre la planète entière, de Manhattan à la Tchétchénie, en passant par Londres, Madrid, et jusqu'à Bali. Crispation, massacres, peur de l'autre et destruction de soi. Il est vrai qu'avec la chute du Mur de Berlin, nous sommes passés d'un monde où les clivages étaient surtout idéologiques à un monde où les clivages sont identitaires.
Je n'ai aucune nostalgie pour l'époque de la Guerre froide, qui a causé, au XXe siècle, les drames que l'on sait. Mais elle avait pour caractéristique d'éveiller, en permanence, le débat. Quand les clivages sont identitaires, il n'y a ni débat ni dialogue. Chacun proclame ses appartenances à la face de l'autre, chacun lance ses imprécations ; puis retentissent rafales et explosions. Le rosier est une plante délicate, me dit-on. Le Liban est une mosaïque de communautés qu'on ne s'y trompe pas, il ne s'agit plus seulement du Liban, la Terre entière est une mosaïque de communautés. Ethnies opprimées, religions chatouilleuses, nations inassouvies, elles sont chaque jour un peu plus apeurées, et tentées par le recours à la violence ; pour se protéger, pour s'affirmer, ou pour se venger. Si l'humanité d'aujourd'hui se révélait incapable de faire vivre ensemble, dans l'harmonie et dans la dignité, sur le minuscule territoire du Liban, des communautés qui, depuis des siècles, pratiquent la coexistence ou, à tout le moins, le côtoiement, comment diable pourrait-elle gérer l'incommensurable diversité planétaire ? A cette interrogation angoissée, ce début de siècle nous apporte un début de réponse, qui n'a rien de rassurant. Ni pour les pays où cohabitent depuis longtemps des populations mêlées, ni pour ceux qui viennent tout juste de découvrir les contraintes de la diversité. Il suffit de promener son regard sur cette planète déboussolée pour constater que la violence ne recule pas, et que le fossé entre les plus grosses communautés humaines ne fait que s'élargir. Pas un événement majeur qui ne soit vécu, des deux côtés de la faille, et notamment sur les deux rives de la Méditerranée, avec des sentiments opposés. Amis du Liban, ne perdez pas des yeux le rosier sauvage qui a poussé précisément au bord de cette faille ! Si vous voyez s'épanouir, puis triompher, le vaste élan de liberté et de coexistence dont Samir, Gebran, May et leurs compagnons ont été les courageux porte-drapeaux, c'est que la vigne des hommes donnera demain des grappes saines. Mais si vous voyez les fleurs trembler, chanceler, puis s'abattre, si vous voyez la pourriture se former à la naissance des feuilles, c'est que la vigne entière est menacée, et que le vin de l'avenir sera aigre.

Monday, August 07, 2006

"I DON'T WANT TO BE PART OF YOUR CONFLICT (BUT I AM)"

Call for Interventions
Global Webcast, Saturday, August 12 2006, 9-11 PM(CET)URL: http://beirut.dischosting.nl http://streamtime.org

Outraged at Israel's ongoing aggression on Lebanon -which since July 12 2006 has killed over 900 people (mostly civilians),displaced nearly one million people (1/4 of Lebanon's entirepopulation), and wrecked Lebanon's infrastructure and economy - we say:khalas!enough!

We call for an immediate end to the violence and destruction.We call on the international community to open itseyes - and on you to make your voice heard.With our fellow activists, artists and other bloggersin Lebanon - and input from Iraq - we will produce a collaborativeglobal webcast on Saturday August 12, from 9 to 11 p.m. Central EuropeanTime/10-12 p.m.

Lebanon timeThis unique free style web jam around 'frequentlyraised despair' will be produced at Waag Society in Amsterdam byStreamtime's Cecile Landman, Jo van der Spek, Geert Lovink and Jaromil incollaboration with Tarek Atoui, Nat Muller, Paul Keller and manyothers.The Global Webjam will consist of an audio and videostream, and feature live interviews and conversations, videoclips, cartoons and blog blurbs, soundscapes, DJs and VJs, a lively mix of
Wahid el-Solh, a Lebanese DJ based in the Netherlands,will provide us with the unrivalled nightlife ambiance of Beirut.We see this as a precedent for future collaborations -to create a platform fitting the spirit of Beirut, in defiance ofwar, and in search for solidarity.We shout out for our friends in Lebanon and elsewhereto contact us if they want to join, share, participate in andcontribute with their recent experiences and productions.Contact the team in Amsterdam with all your questions,suggestions, contributions at: beirut@dischosting.nl

If you are in Lebanon and you want to contribute youcan also contact Tarek in Beirut: atouitarek@yahoo.fr
mobile:+961-3-190985

If you have material to contribute please upload it to our
ftp server:ftp://dischosting.nl (username: upload password:streamtime)
Web-site: beirut.dischosting.nl
Skype: streamtime-khalas cileland jo-streamtime
Chat: freenode #nida
Telephone: +31206279661 (Solidarity Fund X-Y)
This event is funded and facilitated by SolidarityFund X-Y
http://www.xminy.nl/
and initiated by Streamtime http://streamtime.org/


Founded in 2004, Streamtime is an international support campaign for Iraqi bloggers and engages with tactical media initiatives of artists and activists throughout the Middle East.
A terrible thought occurs to me - that there will be another 9/11
Robert Fisk
Published: 05 August 2006
The Independent

The room shook. Not since the 1983 earthquake has my apartment rockedfrom side to side. That was the force of the Israeli explosions in thesouthern suburbs of Beirut - three miles from my home - and the airpressure changed in the house yesterday morning and outside in thestreet the palm trees moved.Is it to be like this every day? How many civilians can you makehomeless before you start a revolution? And what is next? Are theIsraelis to bomb the centre of Beirut? The Corniche? Is this why allthe foreign warships came and took their citizens away, to make Beirutsafe to destroy?Yesterday, needless to say, was another day of massacres, great andsmall. The largest appeared to be 40 farm workers in northern Lebanon,some of them Kurds - a people who do not even have a country. AnIsraeli missile was reported to have exploded among them as theyloaded vegetables on to a refrigerated truck near Al-Qaa, a smallvillage east of Hermel in the far north. The wounded were taken tohospital in Syria because the roads of Lebanon have now all beencratered by Israeli bomb-bursts. Later we learnt that an air strike ona house in the village of Taibeh in the south had killed sevencivilians and wounded 10 seeking shelter from attack.In Israel two civilians were killed by Hizbollah missiles but, asusual, Lebanon bore the brunt of the day's attacks which centred -incredibly - on the Christian heartland that has traditionally showngreat sympathy towards Israel. It was the Christian Maronite communitywhose Phalangist militiamen were Israel's closest allies in its 1982invasion of Lebanon yet Israel's air force yesterday attacked threehighway bridges north of Beirut and - again as usual - it was thelittle people who died.One of them was Joseph Bassil, 65, a Christian man who had gone out onhis daily jogging exercise with four friends north of Jounieh. "Hisfriends packed up after four rounds of the bridge because it was hot,"a member of his family told us later. "Joseph decided to do one morejog on the bridge. That was what killed him." The Israelis gave noreason for the attacks - no Hizbollah fighters would ever enter thisChristian Maronite stronghold and the only hindrance was caused tohumanitarian convoys - and there were growing fears in Lebanon thatthe latest air raids were a sign of Israel's frustration rather anyserious military planning.Indeed, as the Lebanon war continues to destroy innocent lives - mostof them Lebanese - the conflict seems to be increasingly aimless. TheIsraeli air force has succeeded in killing perhaps 50 Hizbollahmembers and 600 civilians and has destroyed bridges, milk factories,gas stations, fuel storage depots, airport runways and thousands ofhomes. But to what purpose?Does the United States any longer believe Israel's claims that it willdestroy Hizbollah when its army clearly cannot do anything of thekind? Does Washington not realise that when Israel grows tired of thiswar, it will plead for a ceasefire - which only Washington can deliverby doing what it most loathes to do: by taking the road to Damascusand asking for help from President Bashar al-Assad of Syria?What in the meanwhile is happening to Lebanon? Bridges and buildingscan be reconstructed - with European Union loans, no doubt - but manyLebanese are now questioning the institutions of the democracy forwhich the US was itself so full of praise last year. What is the pointof a democratically elected Lebanese government which cannot protectits people? What is the point of a 75,000-member Lebanese army whichcannot protect its nation, which cannot be sent to the border, whichdoes not fire on Lebanon's enemies and which cannot disarm Hizbollah?Indeed, for many Lebanese Shias, Hizbollah is now the Lebanese army.So fierce has been Hizbollah's resistance - and so determined itsattacks on Israeli ground troops in Lebanon - that many people here nolonger recall that it was Hizbollah which provoked this latest war bycrossing the border on 12 July, killing three Israeli soldiers andcapturing two others. Israel's threats of enlarging the conflict evenfurther are now met with amusement rather than horror by a Lebanesepopulation which has been listening to Israel's warnings for 30 yearswith ever greater weariness. And yet they fear for their lives. If TelAviv is hit, will Beirut be spared. Or if central Beirut is hit, willTel Aviv be spared? Hizbollah now uses Israel's language of an eye foran eye. Every Israeli taunt is met by a Hizbollah taunt.And do the Israelis realise that they are legitimising Hizbollah, thata rag-tag army of guerrillas is winning its spurs against an Israeliarmy and air force whose targets - if intended - prove them to be warcriminals and if unintended suggest that they are a rif-raff littlebetter than the Arab armies they have been fighting, on and off, formore than half a century? Extraordinary precedents are being set inthis Lebanon war.In fact, one of the most profound changes in the region these pastthree decades has been the growing unwillingness of Arabs to beafraid. Their leaders - our "moderate" pro-Western Arab leaders suchas King Abdullah of Jordan and President Mubarak of Egypt - may beafraid. But their peoples are not. And once a people have lost theirterror, they cannot be re-injected with fear. Thus Israel's consistentpolicy of smashing Arabs into submission no longer works. It is apolicy whose bankruptcy the Americans are now discovering in Iraq.And all across the Muslim world, "we" - the West, America, Israel -are fighting not nationalists but Islamists. And watching themartyrdom of Lebanon this week - its slaughtered children in Qanapacked into plastic bags until the bags ran out and their corpses hadto be wrapped in carpets - a terrible and daunting thought occurs tome, day by day. That there will be another 9/11.