End of the Road – A Poem by Mustafa Mohamed Said (PDO Retiree). 1

                    

    Mustafa

End of the Road

 

كأني بكَ تنحطّ                  الى  اللحْدِ  و  تنْغطّ            

                                                            و
قد أسلمَك الرّهطْ             الى  أضيَقَ  منْ
سمّ                                                                                   هُناك الجسمُ
ممدودْ            ليستأكِلَهُ       الدّودْ

الى أن ينخَرَ العودْ             ويُمسي العظمُ قد رمّ


(المقامات الحريري)

 

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small  ones and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task  go to sleep in peace……..GOD IS AWAKE”   — Victor Hugo

 From times immemorial, ancient scripts, rock paintings,

drawings etched on cave walls and so on, all depicted that

Men was worshiping some deity or another. The pharaohs

of Egypt had their Ra, the Hindus their Lord Krishna;

while the Greeks and Romans had their Zeus and Jupiter,

ruling supreme, supported by a host of lesser ranked gods. 

A host of other pagan religions flourished; the fire and sun 

worshipers, Idolaters, etc… 

 Somewhere in Men’s simple brain a genetic knowledge

 probably informed him that there were powers or a power to

whose will he should  bend and turn to in time of trouble.  

 Then came the religions of the “heavens” ; Judaism followed

by Christianity ending with Islam, all the three firmly believing

in the oneness of God.

 Most people believe in life after death, some believing in the

reincarnation of the human soul but a very tiny few believe

in neither.  Let me quote some lines from

“The Garden of Proserpine” by Swinburne.

 

“From too much love of living,

From hope and fear set free,

We thank with brief thanksgiving

Whatever gods maybe;

            That no life lives for ever;

            That dead men rise up never,

            That even the weariest river

Winds somewhere safe to sea.”

 

But Men sooner or later realizes he has a bigger stake to lose.

While young and powerful he arrogantly mocks at what others

believe in.  Too late, when sick and weak he recants his past

and then repents.

 

The early days of youthful years,

With their days of joy, smiles and tears.

As we courted damsels, young and fair;

And strutted around with a haughty air.

 

We dined on roasted lamb and swine.

Drank champagne sweet and vintage wine;

Bragging until our throats got sore.

Glittering clothes we daily wore.

 

Short sightedness has made us blind

Aimless we wander but fail to find,

The solemn path to righteousness

Confined to a fake life of ignorance.

 

Suddenly the inevitable call does come,

Without a trumpet, without a drum

Unprepared we depart one and all;

Each in response to his final call.

 

As the funeral moves to right and left,

With some lamenting; some bereft.

Others thinking of riches left by the dead.

While crocodile tears are being shed.

 

And as the mourners hug and part,

And when the kith and kin depart,

And when all is silent and lonely dark

The midnight dogs start to bark.

 

All the barking dogs will never wake

The dead; who their final slumber take

Dust to dust and unto dust

God’s ordinance is a simple must.

 

Full five feet deep under the soil,

End all our labours all our toil.

There, when the cold flesh rots;

A feast for the swarming maggots.

 

In the dark narrow confines of the grave,

A daunting residence even for the brave.

We await the day of Mercy or Torment.

A thin white shroud our only garment.

 

There’s no company to cheer and please.

No friends to laugh and joke or tease.

Pitch darkness and loneliness for a friend;

There all the worldly things come to end.

 

And woe betide the sinners there,

Though dead they lie but well aware.

The squeezing earth is pressing hard.

Their terrible screams remain unheard.

 

Then comes the day when all arise,

Doomsday; a day of reckoning and surprise

There we meet no parents, kith or kin.

All dumb-struck; atoning for each sin.

 

God!  Forgive this sinner who now repents.

Poor, and weak, he kneels and bents

O God, Thou knew this sinner and his whim!

Show him Thy mercy, be kind to him.

 

Mustafa Mohd Said                  Ruwi, 20th May 2010.

 

 

“Belief in our mortality, the sense that we are eventually going

to crack up and be extinguished like the flame of a candle, I say,

is a gloriously fine thing. It makes us sober; it makes us a little

sad; and many of us it makes poetic. But above all, it makes it

possible for us to make up our mind and arrange to live sensibly,

truthfully, and always with a sense of our own limitations.”

 

– Lin Yutang

 

 

Giving Thanks

By Michael Masterson

I woke up this morning in pain again. I injured my shoulder

wrestling a few weeks ago, and it doesn’t seem to be healing.

Certainly not as fast as it would have healed when I was in my 30s.

This is one of the many execrable things that happen to you when

you reach 60. But it’s hardly the worst. The worst is that you can’t

avoid thinking about death. People you know — colleagues, friends,

and family members — are seriously sick or dying.

 

Right now, I see death as a hateful thief — ready to rob me of the

time I need to accomplish the goals I have yet to accomplish.

There is so much still to do: books to write, movies to make,

business to conduct, and places to see. But most of all there

are relationships I owe time to.

A reader recently wrote asking me why, when discussing how

I spend my day, I don’t talk about the time I spend with my family

and friends. The main reason is that I don’t feel I should be

dragging them into public view without their permission. But

another reason is that I write mostly about what I’ve learned… and

 I haven’t learned how to do a very good job of that.

When I think about making good use of the time I have left, it’s

clear to me that working on my personal relationships should be

my top priority. So why don’t I do that now?

I once read a book called The Denial of Death. I don’t remember

much about it, but I do remember what I tookaway from it: It is

frightening to consciously recognize our mortality — to be fully

aware that one day we will cease to exist. The fear of death is so

great, in fact, that the reality of death must be suppressed from

our consciousness so we can go forward with our lives.

In other words, we deny death in order to live fully.

I think this is true. especially for the young. But as we age,

it becomes more difficult to keep death away from our thinking.

And eventually, we come to a crossroad where we must decide:

Should I continue to deny death, to “rage against the dying of

the light”? Or should I learn to accept the fact that we are all

dead men on leave and learn to live, as Thomas Ken said, “that

I may dread the grave as little as my bed”? I think we can do

both. We can continue to live our lives fully and purposefully –

even embracing long-term goals — while gradually allowing the

reality of death to sit comfortably in our psyches.

 By Mustafa Mohamed Said

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Palestinians make history at UN Reply

Palestinians make history at UN

(Reuters)24 September 2011, 6:42 AM

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas made history in his people’s long quest for statehood asking the UN to admit Palestine as a member state, stirring US and Israeli anger. Abbas handed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter requesting full UN membership, which the Security Council will discuss on Monday. The United States has vowed to support its Israeli ally and use its veto if a vote is held.“I do not believe that anyone with a shred of conscience can reject our application … and our admission as an independent state,” Abbas told the UN General Assembly in an impassioned speech that won a standing ovation even as Israeli and U.S. delegates looked on stone-faced.

Trying to head off a clash in the Security Council, a quartet of Middle East mediators urged a return to peace talks within four weeks, “substantial progress” within six months and an agreement to be struck within a year.

Highlighting the divisions in the Palestinian camp, Hamas, rejected Abbas’ move as “begging” for statehood. “States are not built upon UN resolutions. States liberate their land and establish their entities,” said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The Quartet — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — asked Israel and the Palestinians to submit proposals on territory and security within three months.

“The Quartet proposal represents the firm conviction of the international community that a just and lasting peace can only come through negotiations,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, urging both sides to seize the chance to talk.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Quartet’s special envoy,said the major powers believed they were closing in on guidelines that both sides could accept.

But previous proposed timetables for negotiations, such as a one-year deadline set by former U.S. President George W. Bush in 2007 and one by Obama a year ago, have run into the sand.

Abbas’ statehood ploy exposes waning U.S. influence in a region shaken by Arab revolts and shifting alliances that have pushed Israel, still militarily strong, deeper into isolation.

In their speeches, Abbas and Netanyahu both said they extended their hands to the other party, but each blamed their opponents for the failure of past peace efforts.

“We cannot achieve peace through UN resolutions,” Netanyahu said, demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, something they reject because they say that would prejudice the rights of Palestinian
refugees.

Netanyahu offered to meet Abbas immediately in New York, minutes after Abbas said settlement activity must cease first.

Loss of faith

 The Palestinians say they will give the Security Council “some time” to consider their request, but if that fails may ask the General Assembly for upgraded status short of full membership that could let them join international bodies.

Abbas’ statehood bid reflects a loss of faith after 20 years of failed peace talks sponsored by the United States and alarm at Israeli settlement expansion in occupied land Palestinians want for a state.

“This (settlement) policy will destroy the chances of achieving a two-state solution and … threatens to undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence,” Abbas declared.

It was the first time he has spoken so starkly of the PA’s possible demise, highlighting problems faced by a body set up as a state-in-waiting but now seen by its critics as little more than a big municipality, managing the civilian affairs of the main Palestinian cities under Israeli occupation.

Dissolution of the PA would throw responsibility for ruling all of the West Bank back to Israel as the occupying power.

Israeli and U.S. politicians have threatened aid cuts that could cripple the PA, the source of 150,000 jobs.

Israeli delegates stayed in the hall during Abbas’ speech, which was punctuated by applause, especially when he recalled his predecessor Yasser Arafat’s 1974 admonition to the United Nations: “Do not let the olive branch
fall from my hand.”

In the West Bank, flags and portraits of Abbas and Arafat, draped buildings in a Ramallah square where Palestinians watched a live broadcast of Abbas’ speech.

“We have come to take part with our people in asking for our rights,” said Mohammed Hamidat, 40. “With the current closed horizons, it’s the only thing we can do, even if the result is failure. It’s been years since we have seen anything new: this is a first step.”

Israeli settler Meir Bartler, 25, said: “We don’t care what they’re up to at the UN We have the bible, which says the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people.”

A gulf of mistrust separates Israelis and Palestinians, who each feel their existence is at stake in a bitter struggle over borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem.

Political rifts among Palestinians, and the constraints of U.S. domestic politics, where support for Israel is strong, further complicate efforts to bridge the gaps.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said the Quartet proposal would be discussed in Ramallah but indicated there could be no compromise on the core issues of the 1967 borders and Jewish settlement construction.

Burden of history

 The divisions are rooted in a heavy burden of history, painfully contested narratives and recurring bloodshed.

The United Nations partitioned Palestine in 1947, but Arab states rejected that and declared war on the new state of Israel, which then captured more territory than it had been allotted under the UN plan and dispossessed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, who became refugees.

Two decades after Israel seized the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war, which it launched fearing Arab states were about to attack it, the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized Israel and reduced its demands to a state on those territories.

In 1993, PLO leader Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands at the White House on a plan for Palestinian self-rule, which was never fully implemented.

Israel has expanded its settlements in the West Bank, although it dismantled them in the Gaza Strip, now ruled by Hamas who refuse to recognize the Jewish state.

Abbas accepts that negotiations are still necessary, but argues statehood will put Palestinians on a more equal footing. Israel sees the UN bid as an attempt to destroy its own legitimacy.

Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 66th United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, September 23, 2011.- Reuters

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas made history in his people’s long quest for statehood asking the UN to admit Palestine as a member state, stirring US and Israeli anger.

Palestinians take to streets to cheer on UN bid 1

Palestinians take to streets to cheer on UN bid

September 24, 2011
Associated Press
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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Thousands of jubilant, flag-waving Palestinians, watching on outdoor screens across the West Bank, cheered their president on Friday as he submitted his historic request for recognition of a state of Palestine to the United Nations.

Mahmoud Abbas’ defiant stance, pushing for U.N. recognition over strong objections from the U.S. and Israel, has struck a chord with Palestinians increasingly disillusioned after nearly two decades of failed efforts to bring them independence. At the U.N. General Assembly, Abbas’ announcement was met by a standing ovation, a stirring sight for Palestinians who felt their plight had largely been forgotten.

In the city of Nablus, thousands packed into the main square, decorated with large Palestinian flags and posters of Abbas. Fathers came with children on their shoulders. Young men climbed onto surrounding rooftops. Elderly women were assisted by younger relatives.

The crowd cheered throughout the speech, roaring ecstatically when Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, announced from the podium of the General Assembly that he had submitted the request for full U.N. membership.

“We are here celebrating because Abu Mazen is making us a state. We want to have our own state, like any other country. All countries must support us,” said Reem al-Masri, a 30-year-old schoolteacher, who lost a brother and two cousins in fighting with Israel during the second Palestinian uprising against occupation a decade ago.

“This is our land. We’re going to be strong in it until it’s liberated. When you have a state all your dreams come true,” she said.

In Ramallah, the seat of Abbas’ government, a crowd of several thousand cheered, whistled and chanted “God is great” during Abbas’ speech. Fuad Ashilla, 50, said it’s important Abbas not succumb to American pressure to withdraw his request.

Some Palestinians said they were inspired by the wave of protests across the Arab world calling for political freedom.

“As you saw in the Arab world, when the people go to the street they say what people want,” said Ghassan Jabr, 47, at Yasser Arafat Square in Ramallah. “If this is what people want, then this must happen.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the General Assembly shortly after Abbas, saying he was ready to make painful compromises for peace, but that the Palestinians must take Israeli security concerns seriously. In the West Bank city of Hebron, several spectators threw shoes at an outdoor screen during Netanyahu’s speech in a show of contempt.

The joy over Abbas’ move was marred by violence just hours earlier. Near the West Bank village of Qusra, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man during rock-throwing clashes between the villagers and Israeli settlers, according to witnesses and military accounts.

Earlier Friday, Palestinians supporting the recognition bid clashed with Israeli soldiers in three West Bank locations.

At Qalandiya, a major Israeli checkpoint between the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli troops fired tear gas to disperse Palestinian stone-throwers. The confrontations lasted several hours, and by late afternoon, medics said some 70 Palestinians had been injured by rubber-coated steel pellets or suffered tear gas inhalation.

In the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, demonstrators carried a chair painted in the U.N.’s signature blue to symbolize the quest for recognition. They burned Israeli flags and posters of President Barack Obama, and threw stones before being enveloped by tear gas fired by Israeli troops. Clashes were also reported in the nearby village of Bilin.

Abbas has called for peaceful marches in support of his bid to win U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War. Friday night’s rallies indicated that his people are heeding that call, though both Israeli and Palestinian officials have expressed concerns that demonstrations could spill over into violence.

Late Friday, the Israeli military said it had gone on high alert for what it called an imminent Hamas attack along its border with Egypt. Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, an army spokeswoman, said there was “concrete intelligence” that Hamas and maybe other militant groups were trying to infiltrate the border — in a potential attempt to torpedo the Palestinian statehood bid at the U.N., which Hamas opposes.

Last month, militants infiltrated Israel from Egypt, killing eight Israelis. Six Egyptian soldiers were killed as Israel pursued the attackers.

An Egyptian official said he received reports from the Israeli side that there were plans by militants groups to plant a car bomb on the border. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said authorities in Egypt briefly closed the border crossing, but it has since reopened.

Full U.N. membership can only be bestowed by the U.N. Security Council, where Abbas’ request will almost certainly be derailed — either by a failure to win the needed nine votes in the 15-member body or by a U.S. veto if the necessary majority is obtained.

The Palestinians say they are seeking full U.N. membership to underscore their right to statehood, but have left open the option of a lesser alternative — a nonmember observer state. Such a status would be granted by the General Assembly, where the Palestinians enjoy broad support.

Siding with Israel, Obama has said a Palestinian state can only be established as a result of negotiations, and that there is no short-cut to independence.

Abbas has said negotiations remain his preference, but that he will not resume talks — frozen since 2008 — unless Israel agrees to the pre-1967 frontier as a baseline and freezes all settlement construction on occupied land. The Palestinian demands are widely backed by the international community, including the U.S., but Obama has been unable to persuade Israel’s hardline prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to agree to them.

Netanyahu says he wants to negotiate without preconditions and accuses the Palestinians of missing an opportunity for peace. Abbas says settlement expansion pre-empts the outcome of negotiations by creating facts on the ground.

Abbas enjoys broad popular support at home for his recognition bid, but his main political rival, the Islamic militant Hamas, opposes it. Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since seizing it from Abbas in a violent takeover in 2007.

Gaza’s Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, said Friday that Abbas was giving up Palestinian rights by seeking recognition for a state in the pre-1967 borders.

On Friday evening, several Hamas officials watched the speech at an office in Gaza City, taking notes and exchanging text messages with leaders of the movement in Syria and Lebanon.

Hamas’ founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel and a state in all of the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

“The Palestinian people do not beg the world for a state, and the state can’t be created through decisions and initiatives,” Haniyeh said. “States liberate their land first and then the political body can be established.”

Associated Press

Israeli press wary over Obama’s ‘Zionist’ UN speech Reply

Israeli press wary over Obama’s ‘Zionist’ UN speech

(AFP) – 1 day ago


//

JERUSALEM — Israeli newspapers were unanimous on Thursday in characterising US President Barack Obama’s UN speech as hugely supportive of Israel, but some argued it was perhaps too much of a good thing.

“The American embrace” was the front-page headline of the Maariv daily, while the top-selling Yediot Aharonot took a similar line, summing up the impact of Obama’s remarks for Israel and the Palestinians as “The hug and the snub.”

“Obama not only adopted all of the Israeli arguments against recognising a Palestinian state by means of the UN, he adopted the basic Israeli narrative,” Yediot said.

“It is no wonder that Abu Mazen, who sat in the auditorium during the speech, hung his head in his hands in disbelief and despair,” it said, using the  nom-de-guerre of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Most papers made veiled reference to next year’s US presidential elections as a major factor in determining the tone and content of Obama’s address.

The right-leaning Jerusalem Post reprinted large chunks of his speech and, in a commentary entitled “Obama tells Israelis what they’ve been waiting to hear,” said it contained “a dose of empathy and understanding” which had been missing from his previous addresses.

“That is not an insignificant message,” the paper said.

In his speech to the General Assembly, Obama reiterated his opposition to the Palestinians’ attempt to win UN membership for their state, saying there was no “shortcut” to peace.

“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now,” he said.

The address included references to Israel’s hostile neighbours, to suicide bombs on its buses and to the trauma of the Holocaust — but made no mention of its settlement building on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

Openly delighted with the speech was Israel’s hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who told the Haaretz newspaper the address was “the best he has ever delivered.”

“This speech told the Palestinians that there is no shortcut,” he said. “I hope it will convince them to come back to reality and to resume peace negotiations.”

But Yediot columnist Eitan Haber cautioned that there would be a price for Israel to pay further down the line.

“The Zionist turns of phrase that were uttered yesterday have a price tag affixed to them, and payment will be due — if not tomorrow, then on the day after,” he wrote.

“The United States has not changed the principles of its policy since 1967, and there was one thing that could have been understood from the president?s speech even though it wasn?t said — just you wait, your day of reckoning will come.”

Haaretz took a much dimmer view of Obama’s UN address, with columnist Akiva Eldar slamming the president’s “passivity” and his “graceless courting of the Israeli government.”

“Speeches like those presidential candidate Obama gave on Wednesday will not advance peace one iota,” he wrote.

“Worse yet, Obama’s passivity could pave the way to a (Palestinian) civil uprising against Israel and its American patron, and/or lead to the loss of the Palestinian partner to the two-state solution.”

A bloody shame …just shows how Israel is now the master and boss of USA! A shame! So sad and tragic……!

The End of The Road! 1

Between Us Only!

The End of The Road!

You simply cannot change a person’s behaviour, traits and character – just as you cannot remove dots (spots) from a leopard – or stripes from a tiger.

Images – End of The Road!

This too comes from the theme of our then ex farm (plantation) in Mafia Island (aka Chole). Our place was famous as ‘Wayaani’ – that is the place that has been wired. You take the road from town – and there directly facing you is the farm.

Wayani Farm – Wired Fence!

There is no usable road after that but other farms! The locals – and especially the bullies – used to say to us – Leave them alone – they are children of ‘The End of the Road’! Besides, they used to fear our late grandparents and father too as ‘those Arabs with magical powers’ – so in a way it worked out well for us too for that matter!

Last week, I was in this wedding social gathering and a good old fan of mine walks up to me and asks if I could send him one of my articles he liked very much. He had saved it in his PC but it had crushed and he had lost all his documents including this one which he had not saved especially outside his PC. I asked him if he remembered the title or what was the subject about? He says to me – The one you wrote about people ‘acting but not being really sincere and genuine in reality and in intentions’! I replied to him that many of my articles carry such themes – but he could find it in my books at www.majidbooks.com – or in my previous sites before this at www.betweenusonly.com  and first one at www.alsuleimany.com . Then he commented to me – I also liked your last column – That Is The Way It Is! All real and practical – he added in.

At one time, when I was working in one famous town in Oman and where they gave me real taxing hard time ‘because of jobs’ and I do not know who told them that I was a ‘softie and a helpful type of guy’ – I was leaving next day back to Muscat Head Offices when some girls came to my flat to take whatever they wanted from my things as I was not taking them to Muscat. In that morning, I had cooked a lot of eggs as planned for my dinner too – but I did not know they  had arranged a surprise party for me. So these two girls asked if they could have the eggs and as usual me most welcoming.

The shock was more mine – they had never tasted such nice eggs before and what did I put in my eggs. At first I thought they were teasing and joking me – but only then later I realized they were dead serious. They said to me – you have a good cooking hand too!

Those of you who know me well will recall that I had never ever planned in my life to become a writer, columnist or author whether by design and or by intention – but ended inadvertently and by default. That takes me to another point that I want to make here once again – without sounding redundant, mundane and repetitive!

Just as I had said last two weeks back in my article – That Is The Way It Is! – it is a belated realization that sometimes in life it is better to let go and ‘walk like that dog with its tail between its legs’ because everyone is not hearing you, avoiding you and not wanting to come to near you either! That you have banged your head against brick walls and it is all swollen, bloodied and painful – and there is simply nothing you can do about it.

The Titanic hitting the Icebergs before it sank!

The 4WD stuck in the sand!

To spare you this – I will not repeat my usual Roman saying – or who is really deaf, dumb and blind in life. Because the truth is this – it is like that 4-wheel-drive vehicle stuck in the sand – and the more you try to make ‘The pull and push’ out – the more it gets stuck in! Or those younger captains on deck as they watched in horror and shock as the Titanic speeded towards the icebergs and towards its utter destruction and demise. History and books had both recorded their protestations to no avail.

Or what my late Father had said to us – Even if you have two eyes still – please close one eye if you are in a ‘group (ship) of one eyed can see only people’ before they take one out. You end the loser – not them!

Being One-Eyed – and The Blind Men with The Elephant!

Frankly and honestly too, I am a simple unassuming person and not a vain and proud conceited person that likes to boast – again and again – like ‘I told you so’!

My books, writings and articles will only be my only defence in supporting and substantiating this – and all that I have said before! Now please leave me alone – I will now go quiet and just watch what will just develop in time!

Take Care!

By:-

Majid Al Suleimany

Muscat – Oman.

Extras …….

The famous Roman saying of the times – Those that the gods want to destroy make them not see, hear or able to speak!

Or the one near home and better one too – Do not bang your head against brick walls. You only make your head swollen and bleed! More importantly there is no one so blind as with eyes but cannot see; one so deaf with ears but cannot see; one with mouth but cannot speak!

Besides you cannot change a person’s behaviour, traits and character – just as you cannot remove dots (spots) from a leopard – or stripes from a tiger.

Just as the younger captains could not stop The Titanic from hitting the icebergs and to sink!

Robert Fisk: Why the Middle East will never be the same again! 1

Article by – Robert Fisk: Why the Middle East will never be the same again!

The Palestinians won’t achieve statehood, but they will consign the ‘peace process’ to history.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

 EPA

N.B. – Reproduced also by Times of Oman – Perspective – September 21st 2011.

After years of mistrust, the Palestinian move at UN indicates how far away a two-state solution is

The Palestinians won’t get a state this week. But they will prove – if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power – that they are worthy of statehood. And they will establish for the Arabs what Israel likes to call – when it is enlarging its colonies on stolen land – “facts on the ground”: never again can the United States and Israel snap their fingers and expect the Arabs to click their heels. The US has lost its purchase on the Middle East. It’s over: the “peace process”, the “road map”, the “Oslo agreement”; the whole fandango is history.

Personally, I think “Palestine” is a fantasy state, impossible to create now that the Israelis have stolen so much of the Arabs’ land for their colonial projects. Go take a look at the West Bank, if you don’t believe me.

Israel’s massive Jewish  colonies, its pernicious building restrictions on Palestinian homes of more than one storey and its closure even of sewage systems as punishment, the “cordons sanitaires” beside the Jordanian frontier, the Israeli-only settlers’ roads have turned the map of the West Bank into the smashed windscreen of a crashed car. Sometimes, I suspect that the only thing that prevents the existence of “Greater Israel” is the obstinacy of those pesky Palestinians.

But we are now talking of much greater matters. This vote at the UN – General Assembly or Security Council, in one sense it hardly matters – is going to divide the West – Americans from Europeans and scores of other nations – and it is going to divide the Arabs from the Americans. It is going to crack open the divisions in the European Union; between eastern and western Europeans, between Germany and France (the former supporting Israel for all the usual historical reasons, the latter sickened by the suffering of the Palestinians) and, of course, between Israel and the EU.

A great anger has been created in the world by decades of Israeli power and military brutality and colonisation; millions of Europeans, while conscious of their own historical responsibility for the Jewish Holocaust and well aware of the violence of Muslim nations, are no longer cowed in their criticism for fear of being abused as anti-Semites. There is racism in the West – and always will be, I fear – against Muslims and Africans, as well as Jews.

But what are the Israeli  settlements on the West Bank, in which no Arab Muslim Palestinian can live, but an expression of racism?

Israel shares in this tragedy, of course. Its insane government has led its people on this road to perdition, adequately summed up by its sullen fear of democracy in Tunisia and Egypt – how typical that its principle ally in this nonsense should be the awful Saudi Arabia – and its cruel refusal to apologise for the killing of nine Turks in the Gaza flotilla last year and its equal refusal to apologise to Egypt for the killing of five of its policemen during a Palestinian incursion into Israel.

So goodbye to its only regional allies, Turkey and Egypt, in the space of scarcely 12 months. Israel’s cabinet is composed both of intelligent, potentially balanced people such as Ehud Barak, and fools such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Ahmadinejad of Israeli politics. Sarcasm aside, Israelis deserve better than this.

The State of Israel may have been created unjustly – the Palestinian Diaspora is proof of this – but it was created legally. And its founders were perfectly capable of doing a deal with King Abdullah of Jordan after the 1948-49 war to divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs. But it had been the UN, which met to decide the fate of Palestine on 29 November 1947, which gave Israel its legitimacy, the Americans being the first to vote for its creation. Now – by a supreme irony of history – it is Israel which wishes to prevent the UN from giving Palestinian Arabs their legitimacy – and it is America which will be the first to veto such a legitimacy.

Does Israel have a right to exist? The question is a tired trap, regularly and stupidly trotted out by Israel’s so-called supporters; to me, too, on regular though increasingly fewer occasions. States – not humans – give other states the right to exist. For individuals to do so, they have to see a map. For where exactly, geographically, is Israel? It is the only nation on earth which does not know and will not declare where its eastern frontier is. Is it the old UN armistice  line, the 1967 border so beloved of Abbas and so hated by Netanyahu, or the Palestinian West Bank minus settlements, or the whole of the West Bank?

Show me a map of the United Kingdom which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and it has the right to exist. But show me a map of the UK which claims to include the 26 counties of independent Ireland in the UK and shows Dublin to be a British rather than an Irish city, and I will say no, this nation does not have the right to exist within these expanded frontiers. Which is why, in the case of Israel, almost every Western embassy, including the US and British embassies, are in Tel Aviv, not in Jerusalem.

In the new Middle East, amid the Arab Awakening and the revolt of free peoples for dignity and freedom, this UN vote – passed in the General Assembly, vetoed by America if it goes to the Security Council – constitutes a kind of hinge; not just a page turning, but the failure of empire. So locked into Israel has US foreign policy become, so fearful of Israel have almost all its Congressmen and Congresswomen become – to the extent of loving Israel more than America – that America will this week stand out not as the nation that produced Woodrow Wilson and his 14 principles of self-determination, not as the country which fought Nazism and Fascism and Japanese militarism, not as the beacon of freedom which, we are told, its Founding Fathers represented – but as a curmudgeonly, selfish, frightened state whose President, after promising a new affection for the Muslim world, is forced to support an occupying power against a people who only ask for statehood.

Should we say “poor old Obama”, as I have done in the past? I don’t think so. Big on rhetoric, vain, handing out false love in Istanbul and Cairo within months of his election, he will this week prove that his re-election is more important than the future of the Middle East, that his personal ambition to stay in power must take first place over the sufferings of an occupied people.

In this context alone, it is bizarre that a man of such supposed high principle should show himself so cowardly. In the new Middle East, in which Arabs are claiming the very same rights and freedoms that Israel and America say they champion, this is a profound tragedy.

US failures to stand up to Israel and to insist on a fair peace in “Palestine”, abetted by the hero of the Iraq war, Blair, are responsible. Arabs too, for allowing their dictators to last so long and thus to clog the sand with false frontiers and
old dogmas and oil (and let’s not believe that a “new” “Palestine” would be a paradise for its own people).

Israel, too,  when it should be welcoming the Palestinian demand for statehood at the UN with all its obligations of security and peace and recognition of other UN members. But no.

The game is lost. America’s political power in the Middle East will  this week be neutered on behalf of Israel. Quite a sacrifice in the name of liberty…

Like Robert Fisk on The Independent on Facebook for updates..

My Comments – If The USA will use its Veto – it will lose its image, standing and reputation for ever in The Arab World – especially for its future relationships and history and in generations – including those voting against too – – and what has been happening so far will be just like only a tea-party so far …. God Help us all Amen Amin…..

At My Workplace! Motivating Employees! Reply

MORE SUCH ARTICLES IN MY OTHER WEBSITE = www.majidall.com

Also my Book Website at www.majidbooks.com

 My Workplace!

Motivating Employees!

When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change inside – the end is in sight! – Jack Welch.

The way your employees feel about their job and their workplace determines how motivated they are.

Image – Happy Cheerful Staff!

If you go in the Internet, you will get lots of information and material on this subject – also you can go to any book in Human Resources and or Management to find many such topics in Staff Motivation, Change Management, Staff Retention, Staff Empowerment etc – please see also my website www.mas-trac.com

I will try to attempt to handle this from the Omani (Arab) angle and in sharing my experiences with you. You can also find much more information and details in my Arab Management books – please visit my books website at www.majidbooks.com

Image – When Management is accountable and transparent!

My Own Observations – to share with you!

Firstly – in the recent labour situations, we had big companies that staff went on demonstrations – whilst equally some big ones none did. Same case for the smaller companies! So what gives – or is the secret and trick here?

Image – Omani employees stage a demonstration outside their headquarters

A long time ago when I was still working for my Oil Company, I personally had initiated and conducted what is called as a Staff Morale Satisfaction Study (Climate) for my business unit. The unit consisted of approximately 1100 Staff and Employees – and the majority at approximately 70% were Omani Nationals.

The biggest shocker – if you want to call it that – is that it is a costly mistake to get lost in the false theory that more money equals more happy employees. This is particularly true to the Omani employees – of course nobody will ever say No to more money, incentives and added responsibilities and positions – but they were more concerned with the following – especially The Young Omani entrants and graduates intakes.

They were – generally speaking that is – just by points due to the limited column words:-

• Treating Staff correctly and with respect, ethics, professionalism, principles and dignity. Courtesy and Politeness were the key words.

• Good Communication skills and open transparencies without hidden agendas, innuendos and trap-sets – this one upset and irked them the most!

• They need to be told clearly what is expected of them and their deliverables – even for those in Middle and Higher Levels.

• It all comes from bad experiences and getting fingers burnt when dealing with especially expatriate bosses and ‘The-die- hard-old-guards’ locals – who behave more alien than expected. Covered in my books too!

• Give compliments and praises as the process continues for good works and results – people are so busy mini-managing they simply have no time for this!

• Always have a hidden fear and concern that ‘people are looking over their shoulders’ syndromes – and everyone is looking for them to make a mistake and error of judgment before ‘they are jumped upon’!

• As a result, people remain uninvolved and docile – and ‘no risk taking’ factor of any kind!

• As a parent, you know it is difficult to deal with teenager children of your own – so why should your employees – and especially the young set be any different?

• Avoid wrong and grossly stereotyping and analysis – the same young man forced to work in India, Pakistan, Philippines, UK, Europe and USA may well surprise and amaze you!

• Management being accessible to meet, greet and see the employees – from what may sound even small and silly to you – part of the culture and customs.

• Personally, I think that all the recent problems in some of the establishments was the ignorance of this factor mainly!

• Can explain why in some establishments there were simply no troubles of any kind!

• The younger generation is more vocal – and they know their rights and how to go after them – unalike the older generations – change has come in!

• That too spells about their priorities – which does not necessarily relate to the work. This in particular to working extra hours – or come in the days off – and especially declared holidays!

• More social gatherings, competitions and events to be encouraged.

• The fear element that the job is perhaps temporary and that they may lose their jobs in time is a guiding factor in how they behave and relate at work!

• They need constant training, mentoring, counseling and guidance – that is why so many Coach Companies run by fellow Omanis have sprung up and doing good business – or the call in for Local Consultants, Advisors and Experts!

Take Care!

By: Majid Al Suleimany

Feel Free To Contribute here for the worthy National Cause! God Bless – Amin!

Scanned Article as it had appeared in The Oman Daily Observer Observer Weekend Features of September 21st 2011 …

All The Best & Take Care!….

Fadia Hamdi – Changed Arab Geopolitics! Reply

Fadia Hamdi – Changed Arab Geopolitics!

Fadia Hamdi, the 34-year-old woman Tunisian policewoman, whose slap of Mohammad Bouazizi, a vegetable seller has changed geopolitics in the Arab world, is to be tried for physical aggression and verbal abuse, a public prosecutor said.

All in the past now!

But have the lessons still been learnt? Do not think so – just see all going in Yemen, Libya, Syria – and even in Bahrain in GCC…..

The Land Speaks Arabic! Reply

The Land Speaks Arabic  

Double Click Below

About The Film Video

The land speaks Arabic Part One

The LandSpeaks Arabic Part Two

The Land Speaks Arabic

http://www.menassat.com/?q=en/news-articles/4211-land-speaks-arabic

In the end we must come out publicly with the truth

We had no right to build a settlement and to realize the ideal of Zionism with other people’s property

 To do so is Robbery – Rabbi R. Benjamin 1955

 Palestinian Maryse Gargour’s film, The Land Speaks Arabic, took three awards at this year’s  Documentary and Reportage awards presented by the Mediterranean Center for Audiovisual
Communication. MENASSAT caught up with Gargour in Turin, Italy.

By SOHA NACCACHE 

Palestinian director Maryse Gargour uses film as a means to confront the history of the Palestinian struggle.  R.R.

TURIN, July 16, 2008

(MENASSAT) – Last week, a distinguished panel of judges from the Mediterranean Center for Audiovisual Communication (CMCA) gave Palestinian Maryse Gargour’s film, The Land Speaks Arabic, the prestigious Memories of the Mediterranean documentary prize for 2008 in this year’s 13th annual award ceremony.

The president of the international jury, Thierry Fabre, said the film earned the award for its clear presentation of facts.

“We awarded the film this year’s prize because of Gargour’s innovative documentation techniques and the importance of the historical facts presented, which are related to events on the ground in historic Palestine between 1917 and 1948. Many things presented in the film are unique historical records and unknown by even an informed public.”

Film-goers universally praised the documentary because of the simple presentation. Gargour’s film garnered two other awards including the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) prize for best film and the Special
Broadcasting prize presented by Algerian television after they decided to air the movie on state television.

Rare history revealed

Bad Movies in Greece produced the 61-minutes film in collaboration with a French production house, Rose Productions. CMCA jury member and Greek film producer Pandora Mouriki told MENASSAT that she cast her vote for Gargour’s film because it is commonplace in conflicts for crimes to be glossed over because the lack of historical documentation.

Gargour unearthed rare photos in order to add a new form of historical record to the interpretation of that period in Palestinian history. She told MENASSAT that this was in part to reveal a new body of photographic work to contrast the record of events washed over by the volume of pictures broadcast daily about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“There are great injustices in this part of the world. I can’t just stand by helplessly and not say something about this injustice – in other words the way the Palestinians were kicked out of their country,” she said.

“All the movies I have directed have been about the period that preceded 1948. All that is happening today is the consequence of injustice practiced against the Palestinians of before 1948.”

1948 is simultaneously hailed as the year of Israeli independence and of the event Palestinians call the Nakba,” or the great catastrophe, in which some 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly removed from their land.

Confronting the past

Gargour’s film directly confronts the aims of the Zionist leaders who were behind Israel’s creation as a state.

She told MENASSAT, “I talk about the mind of the Jewish leaders who wanted to create a state for the Jews in a country that was already populated by its Palestinian citizens. This is what pushed me to say, “The Land speaks Arab,” meaning that before these people came, there was a place called Palestine where people were living and still live albeit under Israeli occupation.”

Critical points of the movie’s appeal don’t simply come from the rare archives and documents alone.

“There are many archives about the transfer and the deportation of the Palestinians, but what is more important is to choose what to put in a movie,and the ideas to move logically from one scene to another till the end. This
movie demanded a lot of time during the research phase.”

Gargour told MENASSAT that she obtained film footage and pictures documenting Palestinian villages before 1948 – views of their lifestyle as if captured in a time capsule, footage of how people in these villages were living, with women wearing their traditional dresses going about their daily business.

“Without all this, it would have been impossible for me to make this movie, for all this footage allowed me to recreate the Palestinian space, and this is very precious for me,” she said.

Yet the past lives on

The documentary also has interviews with Palestinians who were born and lived in Palestine, and who still  vividly remember what it was like at that time, before they were expelled.

CMCA jury members praised these live testimonies because they were not just calls to victimhood but records of Palestinians who, according to one jurist, “could be gone in a few years.”

Gargour herself lived through the Nakba in her early childhood; her family left left the coastal city of Jaffa, where her father was a wealthy merchant, 1948.

“First, I’m Palestinian. My parents and grandparents lived in Jaffa.during my childhood, I constantly heard stories about Palestine and what life was like for my family in Jaffa. I heard how the British were first against the
Jews creating a state in historic Palestine, and how my mother went to the streets screaming down the Balfour Declaration, which granted Jews a state,” she said.

Gargour now lives between Beirut and Paris. Other documentaries to her credit include A Palestinian Looks at Palestine (1998), Blanche’s Homeland (2001), and My Jaffa (1997) and Far from Palestine (1998), both of which she wrote and directed.

After receiving her award for best documentary, Gargour told the audience that European broadcasters rarely screen Palestinian movies, and called upon media workers and station managers at European TV stations to do more to make the Palestinian voice heard.

“Rarely do Europeans get to hear Palestinians’ version of history during those dark years,” she told MENASSAT.

Now we know why The ME and The Whole World is in such a Mess – My Comments!