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Saturday, January 24, 2009

un-Enchanted

She untucked the tail of my shirt, sneaked two delicate fingers down the small of my back, rubbed circuitously then whispered gently: ”Is that where it hurts?
I’m aching here and all over”, I winced, the sharp pain stabbing down my leg.
She wrapped her arm around me. I leaned on her and we resumed our unhurried amble on the waterfront.
Chasing her silhouette in my eyes, she despairingly called me “un-Enchanted” then held her breath and plunged deep within. We kissed till eternity, or so it seemed.

I’ve been lifeless since Israel had commenced its savage and indiscriminate decimation of Palestinians in Gaza, Palestine. How careless we are with words. It’s as if this furious warfare against humanity had been between a lawful state and a renegade “strip”. It’s not! It never was anything but a war for survival between an illegal entity and the native inhabitants of a country that is Palestine. In the short run Israel might have massacred a thousand or more Palestinians and physically and emotionally maimed an untold number of others. But even the most optimist of Israelis should be rational enough to consider that there will be consequences. Nothing goes unpaid or unaccounted for in the long run or larger scheme of events. Tears will be further shed, blood spilled, lives lost. Should I be offended and appalled when the next bomb explodes in a busy restaurant or on a crowded bus in downtown Tel Aviv killing half a dozen “innocent” Israelis? Should I join the chorus of distressed western politicians around the planet or bond with the representatives in the United Nations Security Council in condemning this barbaric act of terrorism? Don’t I have the option of counting the dead and wounded on the Israeli side and keep my peace till the balance of terror and bedlam evens out? Counting Palestinian casualities is what the rest of the “official” world did, including all of the Arab governments. Don’t expect me to be more civil and humane than them. Don’t you dare expect the Palestinians to turn the other cheek.
Un-enchanted I am.

On their way to Jerusalem in 1098 the Crusaders attacked Maa’ret Al-No’man* (معرة النعمان ) in Syria and wreaked havoc for three consecutive days and nights. When the carnage was over the few thousands dwellers were all killed. The Crusaders, blond, strong, pious, devout and secure in the knowledge that they are acting in the name of God “boiled the adult dead Muslim inhabitants in pairs in large pots and ran wooden spits through the bodies of dead children to roast them then devoured them.” In the name of Jesus they reverted to cannibalism since it was the holy thing to kill a Muslim then to eat him afterward. More munificent Western historians had another explanation, hunger. “Members of our group did not hesitate to eat the dead Turks and Arabs, they even ate the dogs.” How romantic the Crusaders were and still are in the minds of the masses of Europe and America. Shall I tell you about the reaction of the rulers of the neighboring cities? Don’t you want to learn about the ancestors of our present day Arab leaders? They sent their ambassadors laden with gifts to greet the Crusaders. The forebears of our monarchs and heads of state offered these European savages gold and silver, Arabian horses and beautiful maidens. Not only did they act so graciously with those cannibals but they betrayed each other and sacrificed their subjects to appease the beasts. How can Palestinians, descendants of sacrificed subjects, expect them, descendants of cannibals and traitors to come up to their rescue?
Un-enchanted I am.

And the 1960’s came then passed away. I have lived in the land of plenty. I have played by the sea not far from a house with blue shutters and expansive verandas overlooking an endless horizon. I have run wild with the wind and danced in the rain in rubber boots and a yellow parka. There were no poor amongst us and no rich. I had shot marbles large and small until my knuckles chipped and cracked. My knees muddied, my fingernails soiled and my heart bursting with joy I would come home with the setting sun behind a black veil of raining clouds. While the lightening ripped the chest of the sky apart and the thunder shook the earth beneath my feet my mother would hold me tight to her bosom then usher me to bathe. Oblivious to what was going on all around me, I would sit on a stubby wooden stool, the steaming hot water resting in a large tin pot eager to cascade over my dirty little body. With loofa in hand I would scrub and scrub what I can reach of my back and the whole of my chest. From an engraved copper-coated tin tassa I would pour the water over my soaped shoulders and watch it run down my genitals to the marble floor. I had no poor friends. I had no rich friends. I had friends and they are all gone. Their shoulders hunched from years of despair. Their hair thinned by the calamities of an unforgiving world. Of waves of marauders who took the smiles away. Of a compulsory equality that made us all unequal at home. Of Gaza in Palestine. Of Jerusalem, of Haifa, of Yafa and Akka.
Un-enchanted I am.

A whole generation grew up in the 70’s and 80’s in my land of plenty without bananas. The yellow fruit became a status symbol in the time of the colonels and generals who ruled the motherland. We would smuggle shortening and white bread, toilet paper and toothpaste. Everything was considered a superfluous luxury for the repressed masses. We could not breathe, we could not eat, we could not laugh or let go of our inner souls. We were in a state of war with an unpitying enemy who took our land and pride. We had to sacrifice and keep our mouths shut. We surrendered our dignity, our past, present and future to the officers who would fight for us. They possessed an insatiable appetite to rise above their humble beginnings by tramping the middle classes with army boots then to drown in self indulgence. They wore suits whose designers’ names they can’t even pronounce. They puffed at cigars which they would never learn how to smoke. They rampaged the cities and the countryside and built villas and palaces to fend the enemy away. We grew older while they ruled and we waited exasperatingly till they pass away. And they did.
Un-enchanted I am.

A decade followed and time stood still for us. No one talked, no one cared to talk. We drank tea and Matteh and watched the world go by. We said NO to everything and everyone, including those who said NO. Breadwinners chiseled their day to day existence with resilience and ingenuity. Fax machines were forbidden, cordless phones were suspect of being used for grand treason, TV remote controls, FM radios, pocket calculators. We had to think collectively and praise our failings. We were asked to sacrifice more, and yet some more. We could never liberate Palestine if we didn’t put our petty personal needs and ambitions aside. We had to eat shit and appreciate its bouquet and flavor. We had to sit down and watch while the Bedouins of the desert came to term with concrete and glass. They took flight and soared beyond the sands and touched the heavens with satellite TV. We, the sons and daughters of Hannibal, of Dagon, Ishtar and Zanoubia had to sit back while their petro-money dictated our mornings, our evenings and our afternoons. Men with brains in their testicles spoke on our behalf. Women, with eyes barely visible from behind thick veils of ignorance and oppression, elucidated on the egalitarianism of Islam in our stead. They left it to us, the fight against the Israeli oppressors while their white-robed men bedded Slavic prostitutes and their women in black screwed Pakistani and Indian chauffeurs. The dream of Palestine was laid as a burden on the shoulders of those countries on the forefront. We held it with a steady hand, folded it neatly then wiped our filthy ass with it.
Un-enchanted I am.

The Junta became a thing of the past. Just at the turn of the century, a starred officer was worth a mobile handset, no more. The businessmen arrived. A new ruthless, vampiric, parasitic and bloodsucking breed of men with no past took over. The enslaved millions were let loose or so they were told. It’s an economically free land where people can pursue happiness and riches. The intellectual elite which stood the abuse of ideology and time was sidelined. A nobody was all of a sudden somebody. Doctors, engineers, scientists, men and women of the pen packed their suitcases and flocked east and west. Those who can read and write but chose to stay behind became strangers in their own land. They were silenced by virtue of the nonsensical noise all around them. Haifa started singing and swaying her ass. Young tattooed men with metal earrings attended the concerts. Women with full makeup and colored Hijab bent their voluptuous bodies with the senseless lyrics. They wanted their Wawa kissed without showing off their hair. A mélange of Levantine narcissistic vanity tinted with Khaliji adulterated religiosity and North African despicable promiscuousness took hold of an emerging generation. They were teetotalers who lustily sucked on their narghiles. They substituted their crave for sex, the urges of their over-testosteroned loins, the hunger of their progesterone-ridden vulvas with the sucking and blowing of smoke. At least 1,033 Palestinians were killed and 4,850 injured in the span of a month when George W Shoe was the lame duck he should’ve been all of his life and while Barack Obama was busy memorizing his inauguration speech. Then it stopped and the Arabs met. A son of a bitch donated a billion dollars. Another waved his hand and reminded the descendants of sacrificed subjects that the blood of their brothers and sisters shall not go in vain. A faggot nodded, a psycho agreed then they all kissed as if nothing had happened.
Un-enchanted I am.

l'Histoire des Croisades, Michou (1817-1822, pp. 357-7)
Les Croisades Vues Par Les Arabes, Amin Maalouf (1997, p. 63)

40 comments:

Abu Kareem said...

Thank you, Abu Fares for this post. I too have been in an unshakable funk for the past month and this post has been cathartic.

Mariyah said...

You've rendered me speechless, Abu Fares. All I can say, as I sit here utterly stupefied: You've brilliantly summed up all the pain and agony suffered by so many for so long. You've brought everything to the surface that I had suppressed in order to cope day to day. I think you'll find many "un-enchanted" to stand along with you.

Ayman said...

Brilliant writing. Can't say more.

XTR said...

Brilliant! I couldn't agree more!

Az3ar's Fan said...

Our new Mutnabi.

Thank you.

saint said...

Very satisfying post, make me feel good. I’ve been struggling with voicing out that we can not consider this shit is better than the other one. If you paid a billion or 15 millions, Gazans needed a real people with solid resolute not talkative smiling chaps.
Here is the link to the story of the cannibalism of crusader at Maarrat Al Numan,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Maarat’

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Excellent post Abu Fares, many will resonate with what you’re saying. Gaza is the epitome of arabs’ collective failure.

And yes, I didn’t live in the 60s and has barely seen anything through cognitive eyes in the 70s, but I remember the gas cylinder mounted LUX lamps in the 80s when the electricity was cut off and how we were told that all the missing power was diverted to electrocute the enemies.

Abir Sabeel said...

Wow this is amazing but so so so bitter. I'm glad ur back...you always leave it too long between blog posts. I want to read the next one NOW!

abufares said...

@Abu Kareem
I craved to read this post even more than I needed to write it.
Ever the generalist, I didn't take the time to go into the gory details of our collective vanity.
I needed to Fesh My 7ele2 (blow some steam) before I can get back to normal,as if we can ever lead normals lives.
Thank you my friend for being here.

abufares said...

@Mariyah
un-Enchanted! What an enchanting word to describe eyes filled with bitterness, despair, graciousness and hope.
un-Enchanted I am.

abufares said...

@Ayman, XTR Az3ar's fan
Thank you for your humbling praise. I needed your kind words to get back on track.
I miss your comments as much as I miss writing.

abufares said...

@Saint
Thank you for pointing out the link. However, the correct one is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Ma%27arrat_al-Numan

In a way, even us, the sacrificed subjects are accomplices to Israel. History tells us revolutions would always come in the nick of time. It is more likely that there will be bloodshed and plenty of it. Peace treaties will remain fragile if the rights of the Palestinian People are not fully secured.
Neither Israel nor her partners in crime can have a shuteye now or in the future because they know that they are the result of freak historical accidents.
The Empire will fall.

abufares said...

@Dubai Jazz
You brought memories back. Lux lamps in the 80's.
You'd think that we've gotten over that but we haven't. I walked the Hamidieh souk last week and the background hubbub was muffled by the humming of a hundred little Chinese generators.
We're still rationing electricity. We're also short on humanism, science, literature and art. We have plenty of religiosity, rhetoric and bullshit to consume and export. And, we're doing just that.

abufares said...

@Abir Sabeel
Thank you for accepting and appreciating my bitterness.
I visited your blog

http://3abirsabeel.wordpress.com/

and I extremely enjoyed what I read. Please come again.

Lujayn said...

Akhhhhhhhhhhhh, Abu Fares, akhhhhhh! You put a voice to our voicelessness. I'm so tired of the shit that we've been fed all our lives about a struggle so holy and noble, in the words of our leaders, that every step forward had to be considered and reconsidered. Decades later, we have yet to take a step forward and that struggle we've been contributing to with our collective stagnation, has rendered us and the people we've been 'struggling' for, waist-deep in our own shit. While most of the world can expect to be screwed once, we are screwed twice. Once from the outside and once from the inside.

david santos said...

Great work, my friend, great!
Congratulations!!!
Have a nice week.

Anonymous said...

قصيدة مظفر النواب عن غزة ... كفرت باسرائيل



في الوطنِ العربيِّ
ترى أنهارَ النّفطِ تسيلْ
لا تسألْ عن سعرِ البرميلْ
والدّمُ أيضاً
مثلَ الأنهارِ تراهُ يسيلْ
لا تسألْ عن سعرِ البرميلْ
والدّمعُ
وأشياءٌ أخرى
من كلِّ مكانٍ في الوطنِ العربيِّ تسيلْ
لا تسألْ عن سعرِ البرميلْ
فلكلِّ زمانٍ تجّارٌ
والسّوقُ لها لغةٌ وأصولْ


النّملةُ قطعتْ رأسَ الفيلْ
والبّقةُ شربتْ نهرَ النيل
والجّبلُ تمخّضَ
أنجبَ فأراً
والفأرُ توّحشَّ يوماً
وافترسَ الغولْ
والذّئبُ يغنّي
يا ليلي..يا عيني
والحرباءُ تقولْ
بلباقةِ سيّدةٍ تتسوّقُ في باريسَ
" تري جانتيلْ "

معقولٌ..؟
ما تعريفُ المُمكنِ والمُتصوّرِ والمعقولْ؟

يا قارئ كلماتي بالعرضِ
وقارئ كلماتي بالطّولْ
لا تبحثْ عن شيءٍ عندي
يدعى المعقولْ
إنّي معترفٌ بجنونِ كلامي
بالجّملةِ والتّفصيلْ
ولهذا
لا تُتعبْ عقلكَ أبداً بالجّرحِ وبالتّعديلْ
وبنقدِ المتنِ
وبالتّأويلْ
خذها منّي
تلكَ الكلماتُ
وصدّقها من دونِ دليلْ
بعثرها في عقلكَ
لا بأسَ..
إن اختلطَ الفاعلُ
بالفعلِ أو المفعولْ
الفاعلُ يفعلُ
والمفعولُ به
يبني ما فعلَ الفاعلُ للمجهولْ

هذا تفكيرٌ عربيٌ
عمليٌ
شرعيٌ
مقبولْ
في زمنٍ فيهِ حوادثنا
كمذابحنا
ومآتمنا
أفعالٌ تبنى للمجهولْ

خُذ مثلاً
ضاعتْ منّا القدسُ
وقامتْ دولةُ إسرائيلْ
من المسؤول؟
فعلٌ مبنيٌّ للمجهولْ

خذ مثلاً
دبّاباتٌ ستٌ في بغدادَ
ونشراتُ الأخبارِ تقولْ
سقطتْ بغدادُ
من المسؤولْ؟
فعلٌ مبنيٌ للمجهولْ

خُذ مثلاً
في الوطنِ العربيِّ
ترى أنهارَ النّفطِ تسيلْ
لا تسألْ عن سعرِ البرميلْ

والدّمُ أيضاً
مثلَ الأنهارِ تراهُ يسيلْ
لا تسألْ عن سعرِ البرميلْ

والدّمعُ
وأشياءٌ أخرى
من كلِّ مكانٍ في الوطنِ العربيِّ تسيلْ
لا تسألْ عن سعرِ البرميلْ

فلكلِّ زمانٍ تجّارٌ
والسّوقُ لها لغةٌ وأصولْ

أمّا نحنُ البُسطاءُ
فأفضلَ ما نفعل
أن نفرحَ حينَ يفيضُ النّيلْ
أن نحزنَ حين يغيضُ النّيلْ
أن نرقصَ في الأفراحِ
ونبكي في الأتراحِ
ونؤمنَ أنَّ الأرضَ تدورُ
بلا تعليلْ
والموتُ هنا
مثل الفوضى والرّيحِ
يجيءُ بلاسببٍ
وبلا تعليلْ
والحربُ هنا
حدثٌ ميتافيزيقيٌ
فاعلهُ إنسانٌ مجهولْ
وضحيّتهُ أيضاً مجهولْ

هذا تفكيرٌ عربيٌ
عمليٌ
شرعيٌ
مقبولْ
في زمنٍ فيهِ حوادثنا
كمذابحنا
ومآتمنا
أفعالٌ تبنى للمجهولْ

فعلٌ مبنيٌّ للمجهولْ
عفويٌ
مثل شروقِ الشّمسِ
بديهيٌ
مثل التّنزيلْ
أمرٌ مفروضٌ
حتميٌ
وقضاءٌ مثل قضاءِ اللهِ
بلا تبديلْ

فعلٌ مبنيٌ للمجهولْ
وعلينا أن نصبرَ دوماً
فالصّبرُ جميلْ

ما أسخفها تلكَ الجّملةُ
" الصّبرُ جميلْ "
ولدتْ جملاً أخرى تُشبهها
خُذ مثلاً
الخوفُ جميلْ
الذّلُّ جميلْ
الموتُ جميلْ
الهربُ من الأقدارِ جميلْ

وجميلٌ أن يُقتلَ منّا
في غزّة يوماً
مائةُ قتيلْ
وجميلٌ أن ننسى في اليومِ التّالي
فالنّسيانُ جميلْ

وجميلٌ أن تأتينا أمريكا
بجيوشٍ وأساطيلْ
وجميلٌ أنْ تحترقَ الأرضُ
فلا يبقى زرعٌ ونخيلْ
وجميلٌ أنْ تختنقَ الخيلُ
فلا يبقى نزقٌ وصهيلْ
وجميلٌ أنْ تتهاوى كلُّ عواصمنا
كي تبقى
دولةُ إسرائيلْ

ياربِّ.
كفرتُ بإسرائيلْ
وكفرتُ بكلَِ حوادثنا
المبنيّةِ دوماً للمجهولْ

ياربِّ
كفرتُ بإسرائيلْ
هي وهمٌ
كالنّملةِ
والبّقةِ
نحنُ جعلناها كالفيلْ
وتركناها
تتدحرجُ فوقَ خريطتنا يوماً كالفيلْ
وتدوسُ علينا مثل الفيلْ
وتدكُّ قُرانا مثل الفيلْ

ياربِّ
كفرتُ بإسرائيلْ
هذا الوهمُ الملتفُّ على الأعناقِ
إذا قررنا يوماً
سوفَ يزولْ

ياربِّ
كفرتُ بإسرائيلْ
الموتُ الموتُ..لإسرائيلْ
الموتُ الموتُ..لإسرائيلْ
الموتُ الموتُ..لإسرائيلْ

abufares said...

@Lujayn
Being screwed twice is not bad. It's actually great since it means that we've already paid our dues.
May be we can start, for once in our lives, to screw the rest of the world without feeling guilty and hopefully get to enjoy it.

abufares said...

@david santos
Always a pleasure to see you here my friend.
Thank you.

abufares said...

@Anonymous
Thank you for the poem. Sad but so true.

Jabi said...

for the past month i couldn't complete a news article, an analysis or anything else without getting frustrated halfway through turning the pages to read something else. But when i was reading this, I believed every word you said and found myself captivated by what you had to say next. Thanks for a magnificent post.

Isobel said...

Well, the positive side of bitterness is brilliant writing. You have inspired me, Abu Fares. I have never read a more poignant rant.

The Syrian Brit said...

Un-enchanted??..
So am I!..
For all the reasons that you have so eloquently and incisively stated..
And for all those reasons, I cannot see any light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel...
Un-enchanted??.. So am I!.. and expect to remain.. for the foreseeable future..

abufares said...

@Jabi
I think I was able to hold on to your attention simply because I was voicing our collective frustration rather than seeking a magic solution. Like my article, I have nothing to offer to the Palestinians except perhaps tell them that they are really on their own.
In the short run they are screwed. In the long run everyone will be screwed, including their enemies, the Israelis.

abufares said...

@Isobel
Being un-Enchanted is like living in a state of limbo.
Despair can kill you or make you do (or write) the unthinkable. So does the inbred hope in its own sort of way. It can make you happily ineffectual or lift you to heights beyond your own imagination.
I am ranting Isobel because it's the only option I have if I don't want to remain on the sidelines.

abufares said...

@Syrian Brit
I can't see any light either, but just may be, we're better off this way.
It might sound strange of me to say that but looking at the other lights all around I tend to favor and embrace the familiar darkness.

Anonymous said...

Abufares, the south ameriacan colonizaitions´histoy was not different,all those who were not baptised were concidered soalless, that´s how the catholic portugues church could justify the murder of milions of natives and steel their land,

Anonymous said...

Abufares, i don´n know if the Tarusi have the (jazarie) marmel made of carrots, but i know that Latakians are especialist in making the JAZARIE, may you please post a recipe,
thank you

Anonymous said...

OHHH! Abu Fares! Rants are good...in fact, I've taken to doing a bit of it myself. Traded in the recipe for the rant. One cannot help but rant at the state of things these days...Om Anastasio

Sean said...

Powerful stuff.

You know well my love for Syria, but I recognise that I see the country through the rose-tinted glasses of an outsider. I always find your posts provide something of a welcome reality check to my opinions. And I think your line about defending the country with palaces and villas is one of the best and most apt that you've ever come up with.

And as for Israel/Gaza: I really got the sense during the recent outrage that there will never, ever, ever be two states. I just hope for humanity's sake that Israel goes the way of South Africa rather than the way of Algeria, because I think they're the only two possible outcomes for the country at this stage.

abufares said...

@lê
Everyone have blood on their hands and unfortunately we are not learning from history.
As for the Jazarieh, we don't make it in Tartous and those who like it indeed get it from Lattakia. I have no idea how it's prepared. I'll check for you and see what I can do.

abufares said...

@Om Anastasio
I read your rant and loved it.

http://suffonsifisms.blogspot.com/

I look forward reading more and more on your wonderful blog.

abufares said...

@Sean
Thank you for sharing your point of view with me and with whoever happens to read this blog. My love for my country and my ultimate desire for peace can't, however, blind me from the truth. We have had saboteurs in our midst, parasites and usurpers with only one goal in their minds all along. To make the whole country work to their advantage.
On the other hand, Israel is my ruthless enemy and it had raged war with no concern or respect for civilian lives and with racist intentions all along.
I'm greatly disturbed by both of these evil forces as they have robbed me of many years and they have caused pain and agony to millions.
In all honesty, and for humanity's sake, I personally hope that Israel goes somewhere else... and take our shitheads along.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Abu Fares! And thanks for the plug...but I've moved to Wordpress. Lots more ranting there! :)Take care and I'll look forward to your next post! Om Anastasio (Isobel)

http://suffonsifisms.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

There seem to be no solutions for this craziness. I do not like it... Es desconcertante como la gente puede odiar tanto y como los políticos se aprovechan de ese odio para enriquecerse sin escrúpulos.

I will go outside and search for peace looking at the sunset...

w.b. yeats

abufares said...

Dear Tariq
I kindly ask you to stop hitchhiking on my blog. Common sense and netiquette tell us that the comment section should not be used to advertise any product or cause, be it our mobile phone numbers, or our intention to save the whales.

abufares said...

@w.b. yeats
How I will love to find peace with you, looking at the sunset.

Anonymous said...

Did not strictly find World peace, but peace for my soul... I share my peace with you : )

Our birthdays are coming soooooon!

Do I dread it? Not really, but for some reason I keep thinking more about it than usual. Maybe the fact that I'm getting closer to the middle of my life without getting anywhere with my work has me all distorted.

Mucho Love,

w.b. yeats

Rime said...

Jesus! I saw the beginning of your post when it appeared and could not gather the strength to read what I thought was a Gaza-focused piece. I was too drained. Now, having finally read it, I realize it was much much more, and that I needed much more strength.

We're so screwed, and yet I feel a raging will to smash the status quo and declare payback time has arrived. Don't ask how.

Man what a post, Abufares.

abufares said...

@Rime
I couldn't move along, write something new and get this out of my system until you read and comment on a post such as this.
I'm very glad that you ran out of reading material and had to eventually read it all.
Thank you for being here.