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Showing posts from June, 2011

Blogging for Syria

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In March of 2009 I wrote on this blog: Live and Let Live in response to what I considered to be the latest bigoted outcry on the Syrian blogosphere against homosexuality . I was convinced that whoever was attacking homosexuals and their basic human rights would not simply stop at that but might eventually assault my own rights as a liberal and a secular humanist to freely express myself. It was the first time I enter into a direct confrontation online with some of those who were on the other side of what I always believed to exist in Syria, a social and intellectual chasm of religiosity. I claimed then, and I still do, that Syrian individuals, families and communities are divided along lines defined by their degree of adherence to religious practices and traditional mores. Later I was candid enough to confess that my champion defense of secularism was possible only because I lived in a country where my liberal stand was tolerated as long as I didn’t dig deep into politics or poi

Total Eclipse of the Heart

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My plan for the evening was simple enough. Spray some mosquito repellent all over myself, climb to the rooftop with an icebox full of beer then chill out and witness the longest total lunar eclipse in eleven years. Earlier I’ve read somewhere that the astronomical specter would start at 17:24GMT, that’s 8:24PM local (June 15th, 2011). I invited my son Fares to join me but he declined saying that’s he’d rather “watch” it with his friends. Truth of the matter was that he wanted to ride his bike in the neighborhood and the hell with the moon playing magic tricks and his grumpy old man reminiscing over the good old days. In the meantime, it had completely slipped my mind that I was already booked for the evening. I was going out for dinner with a bunch of guys in celebration of a birthday. I’m not a fan of maudlin songs, well most of them anyway, but a little after midday Bonnie Tyler knocked on my ear. Bewildered by her sudden appearance I let her in. She grabbed a microphone and sta

I Want to Break Free

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Is this the real life Is this just fantasy Caught in a landslide No escape from reality Freddie Mercury (1946 -1991) Born Farrokh Bulsara on the island of Zanzibar (off the coast of Tanzania) to Persian parents, Freddie Mercury is probably the most eccentric oddball musician I truly admire. This particular song is a test to anyone who thinks that he or she believes in freedom. If this clip draw the words RIP Freddie involuntarily out of your throat then make you smile from the heart and if you accept Freddie’s quirks as being on equal par with his musical genius then you’re not lying to yourself, you do want to break free. It goes without saying, of course, that if you don’t appreciate this song as one of the greatest ever, to simply embrace the shackles around your wrists since you are already a prisoner of your own mind.