Category Archives: Uncategorized

How & Why Donald Trump Won: What We Can Do About It

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Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential Election was not easy for many people around the world to digest, to say nothing of the millions of Americans who not only didn’t vote for him, but actively campaigned against his candidacy.

I understand the hurt that was palpable everywhere upon a processing of this election’s results. On the face of it, it beggars belief how someone so blatantly filled with spite and hatred for pretty much everything that has a name, living or not, won such a landslide victory against Hillary Clinton.

However, when you look beyond appearances, Donald Trump’s victory is not so surprising. Firstly, it is important to remember that Donald Trump is not an exceptional person in and of himself; he is but one of many physical manifestations of certain universal archetypes. These archetypes singularly emanate from the spectrum of negative symbols; fear, hatred, division, separation, poverty and the ego.

Donald Trump won the election for the very simple reason that the cosmic laws that bind our universe respond to radical action. The very fabric that binds our existence does not respond to ideology, morality, or even principles of justice. He has been successful for years in saying what he thinks without equivocation or ambiguity; moreover, he has been smart enough to surround himself with people who will afford him a platform. He has mastered the level of confidence needed to manifest radical action and implement his vision of reality. That it is a reality built of fear, hatred, criticism, and every common manifestation of black energy does not matter. He has acted on his vision consistently and confidently, and his election to the Presidency reflects that.

What can we do about it? We have to see his Election Victory for what it is, a blessing in disguise and realise that it is useless to try to fight the energies that Trump embodies from similar energetic vibrations. Criticising him is pointless, even if we’re right; for criticism and harshly lambasting the other, even if it’s all on substantive grounds, are playing fields that he has mastered. He laughs every time you Burn an Effigy of him. Silly Liberal! Don’t You Realise That I’ve Mastered the Craft Underlying All Opposition, All Resistance, All Negativity?! To do so, however well-intentioned, would be to unconsciously accept dealing with him and his like based on his standards, and not ours.

We need to to completely forgo any political identification with a ‘left-right’ spectrum, or in fact any sort of ideological affiliation whatsoever and realise that there are only two polar frequencies governing all matter; love and fear.

Whether it’s in Donald Trump, the rise of the far-right in Britain and Europe in the aftermath of Brexit, the ascendancy of post-Communist fascism in Putin’s Russia to the impunity of a sociopathically insane dictator in Syria who is prepared to massacre half a million of his own people and raze much of the country under his rule in order to stay in power, those acting from a place of fear are currently reigning supreme on this planet because they have the audacity to act and organise consistently and confidently without second guessing themselves. They do not have to be the seal that defines an entire era, however. I believe strongly in paying attention to signs and developments in our reality, be they on a macrocosmic scale (a change in the political situation) or microcosmic (the appearance of synchronistic number combinations such as on a clock in the day to day life of an individual). Taken from this angle, we have every opportunity to thwart what we see based on the warnings that appear.

If we choose to organise with Love as our overarching principle and compass, then people like Trump do not stand a snowflake’s chance in Hell, because this is an area that he has absolutely no capacity, knowledge or familiarity in operating under. If we move beyond concepts like ‘resistance’ and ‘anti-xxx’ and instead apply the same egalitarian principles towards putting forth a positive vision of what the world should be like, we will become unstoppable. If we start making positive political actions such as caring for our environment, the livelihood of our fellow man as well as all other life on this planet, building communities, openly developing culture (in the form of music, art, and other creative expression), enacting institutions to support one another in hardship, encouraging each other’s unique talents, skills and eccentricities, we will not only defeat these forces, but set a ball of momentum rolling that is so powerful it can never be undone.

Because even if the forces of antagonism go head to head with the forces of love, love has to win because Love by definition unites people, builds new worlds, visions, communities, builds bridges and heals without exception or judgement. Love is calming and soothing, it is irresistible and gives us a reason to Live. Love goes beyond the Ego and Nourishes us at the Heart level. Critical action only massages our ego for the short-term (if we make a good argument), but at the cost of wearing away our emotional well-being in the long haul as we lose touch with the infinite possibilities of all that Is. Fear can indeed Grow and Expand like a Virus, as we have seen, but it’s ultimate end goal can only be total destruction of everything, including itself. Love however, is an infinite principle. It proliferates without limit as long as those who practise it remain steadfast, forgiving and embracing of their mistakes.

Love is the only answer; it always has been, and always will be.

Britain’s EU Referendum – Why It’s So Important To Vote In/Remain

Today, in what can only be described as the Cuban Missile Crisis in ballot-box form, Britain is voting in a national referendum on whether or not the UK continues to be a part of the European Union. This is a dramatic turn of events, as economic and social problems – either perceived or tangible – here in the British Isles, have culminated in our government deciding that this country’s entire future as a member of an international body that is indispensable to its economic viability and smooth functioning should be put to a vote after what seems like an eternity of domestic populist campaigning and demagoguery. This has been partially emanating from the ‘Vote In/Remain’ camp, but it’s mostly coming from the pernicious miasma of Donald Trump-style scapegoating politics at the hands of xenophobic, fundamentalist white libertarian politicians such as UKIP (the misleadingly-named ‘UK Independence Party’ – for readers not from here, think of them as the British version of the Ron Paul followers in the US –   disciples masking an insidious fear of foreigners and the working-class behind staid, cosmetically neutral pro-capitalist rhetoric) and more overly racist groups such as ‘Britain First’, which can only be described as the latest ugly permutation of the pedigree of white supremacist nationalism that began with the BNP (British National Party), before transmuting into the more flamboyant but slightly-less-viable-politically EDL (English Defence League). ‘Britain First’ is currently grabbing headlines not just here in the UK but internationally as well, given that one of their followers is responsible for the terrorist attack and subsequent killing of pro-Remain Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen Jo Cox last week.

It is absolutely vital that British citizens vote to keep Britain in the EU; the fact that we have even reached the point in our political and social consciousness where we’re allowing the entire collective economic, transnational and social health of this country to hang in the balance in such a superficial, imbecilic and downright shallow poll is beyond belief in a country that has such a high rate of literacy, education and social consciousness as ours. We only need to look at the fact that the toxic rhetoric in the campaign onslaught has resulted in the cold-blooded murder of a British politician in broad daylight to see how we’ve devolved into a degree of fear and separation that is wholly unbecoming of us as a human community.

Firstly, I should say that it is unfair to tar all Eurosceptics under the same brush as those, such as the corporatist extremists of UKIP to the more overtly separatist militants of Britain First, who have been pushing for the UK to Leave the economy. There are many valid reasons to oppose the European Union and to call for serious reforms and even to propose alternative international models to the EU that give the UK more economic and social autonomy to draft and implement policy on a local level. A lot of those people will be voting Leave today, and understandably so.

However, on ultimate balance, I argue that, until such time as these alternative models to the EU are proposed, or at least substantive reforms to how it functions, it is profoundly irresponsible to the point of being suicidally dangerous for the UK to leave the EU at this time.

If Friday begins with the news that the UK is to leave the European Union, a few things will hang in the balance.

  • Freedom of movement and immigration into and out of the UK between EU member states will be severely hampered.

Why is this a bad thing? Well, put aside the fact that because of our collective hubris, we’ve reached a state of affairs where the entire functioning of our country depends on people from countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Turkey (countries where the British pound sterling is, incidentally, worth so much more) doing the kind of nitty-gritty jobs like housekeeping, construction, hard labour, and personal care for the elderly (I can testify from personal experience to the fact that the last occupation in particular is a cumulatively growing sector that can be very psychologically distressing for the unprepared) that most of the bourgeois population of Britain are unwilling to do. It is patently bad for these migrants who, even if they are doing the kind of work that they wouldn’t be inclined to do in their home countries, are nevertheless able to make more here that they would at home. However, it is also bad for us privileged UK citizens, because if they’re compelled to leave as a result of Britain ‘Brexiting’, their exodus will both tank the economy and leave a gaping void in some of the most essential employment markets that won’t be eagerly filled.

We will also be unable to accommodate refugees coming in from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, which I believe we are duty-bound to do until such time as our government decides to materially support the people of these countries in getting rid of the local despots causing them to flee in the first place.

  • The pound will almost certainly be devalued to the point where it will be worth almost as much as the precarious Euro or the perennially and typically useless US dollar. Even Brexiters, though they claim it will be temporary, acknowledge this.

This will have the most tangible effect on every UK household immediately as their spending power is dramatically reduced, and because the devaluation will be a response to the exit from an EU that injects the UK with billions in sterling, an immediate solution will not be forthcoming. How will this income be matched? The Brexit camp have not provided an alternative; it is certainly not on the cards as far as this referendum is concerned.

  •  The present and the future belongs to the under-30s who are the economic, creative and ideological driving force of this country. It does not primarily belong to the over-55 group that comprises the majority of the electorate.

In many ways, I am the quintessential example of why referendums such as these can be so precarious; I was complacent and did not register to vote in time, even though I am fully eligible and could easily have participated. Young people are the heart and soul of this country’s present and future. The (mostly white and middle-class) elderly are important and have rights, but it is not unreasonable to state that their political say is not as important as that of the younger generations. The elderly have lived longer and have a larger quantity of experiences, but are existentially living in a different time and space, one that is no longer relevant to the stability and health of society in its current stage of development. Leaving the EU is even against the interests of the elderly themselves; if Britain exits the EU, the increasingly in-demand sectors such as personal care will be found wanting. Most of the people doing these jobs here (at least in South-East England) are not British citizens. However, even though the generally reactionary voting arcs of pensioners are wantonly pernicious and needlessly disdainful of the youth & immigrant-comprising majority (group who, due to their mostly home-bound lifestyles, most over-55s have almost no contact with – until they become invalid, that is!) , we are mostly to blame; our complacency and lack of unity is a greater risk to the economic viability and transformative future than the fact that the elderly always go out and vote. The solution, therefore, is to get better mobilised!

The UK is one of the freest democracies in the world; partially bolstered by its participation in an evolving Europe, the level of inter-racial and inter-sectional communion on display here between people of all walks of life is everything America wishes it could be but does not implement in practice. This is an amazing country, one that, right now, is hugely and importantly served by being part of an EU that makes us the envy of countries like the US that only pay lip-service to values that we demonstrate naturally. Let us keep it that way.

Don’t make the same mistake as me; if you can, go out and vote to remain in the EU before it’s too late!

 

 

 

 

Five Years Unplanned—Five Proposed Solutions: An Open Manifesto For Writing About The Syrian Revolution

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Kids in Syria celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Syrian Revolution

The idea of a revolution happening in Syria predates the events of March 2011. I always held a dual approach to a Syrian uprising in those pre-ME Uprising days. It was something that I always wanted to happen; I would often fantasise and dream about its advent, transferring all that inspired me about the Free Palestine movement onto Syrian society in my idealistic little heart, knowing full well what I knew about Assad’s legacy but was too afraid to speak of. However, as a realist, I honestly did not believe it would happen in my lifetime. I would be lying if I said I saw it coming! In February 2011, I remember meeting with visiting relatives in South Kensington, weeks after Mubarak fell and as Ghaddafi was desperately trying to hold onto power: the freeloading Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was wheeled out to do the media rounds on Channel 4 news, squirming like a gnat trying to defend his dad; the late Anthony Shadid appeared on Russia Today, schooling Max Keiser on his insipid suggestion that the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt were the result of a ‘radical new platform’ graciously bestowed on naïve young Arabs in the form of social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, instead emphasising that the revolts were the result of decades-old grievances and social injustice that gave rise to largely impoverished societies. Shadid’s appearance alone lead to reams of late night discussions in the heart of London, a city I’ve seemingly always lived near, but in which I’ve rarely slept the night. We were discussing the shocking waves of change gripping the region. It was an inspiring and heady time, but even then, I did not think Syria was next on the agenda.

We’re living in strange times; in 2016, a year that has come upon us too soon and a global economy collapsing under the weight of its own anachronism (ever late as I am in catching up to the terminology, ‘millenials’ in the West will now never be able to afford their own home — if even privileged Middle-Class Caucasian children cannot buy their own houses unsupported, we’re dealing with some powerful harbingers of a failed economic model!) In the Middle-East, half a decade has passed since a profound zeitgeist shift that had been bubbling under the surface for generations culminated in demands and aspirations for a unique strain of home-grown Middle-Eastern ‘democracy’ and an upholding of equal rights.

I can’t believe that five years have passed since the atomic voice of the ordinary Syrian exploded in a cataclysmic Big Bang of expression, dignity, assertion, and sheer unmitigated bravery. There are many reasons for this incredulity, but perhaps the chiefest among them is just how rapidly developments have unraveled in Syria compared to other countries in the Middle-East. As the official narrative would have it, we’ve gone from a ‘pure’ pacifist revolution timorously demanding reforms, to raucously working towards the downfall of the regime, to armed revolt, to geopolitical meddling, to a “hijacking” of the revolutionary opposition by a not-incomprehensible mix of reactionary doctrinal ‘religious’ fundamentalists, a globalist, trans-national proxy war, government-imposed sieges / detention / disappearance / bombing / and massacres, to forced mass expulsion of large sections of the Syrian population, all the way through to peaceful revolution again in early 2016.

But that description is actually a lie. Yes, all of these things did happen, but that they took place because the initial revolutionary expression was overridden by these other ‘complicated’ factors is a mere falsehood that only gained currency because they were written and disseminated in the same language as this blog post. Remember when I put ‘pure’ in quotes there before the words ‘pacifist revolution’? The revolution continued in spite of all these factors, essentially running as a constant if tumultuous stream in parallel, co-existing as fleeting elements hovering over what is, at heart, a very simple premise.

A revolution is, by definition, multifaceted and implicated in the diverse demands from a human group who, though absolutely united in spirit, goal and intent, also wanted different things depending on the personal experience they landed on Planet Earth to have.

 

And so, in the spirit of the times we’re living in, here are Five Proposed Solutions for how we talk about, discuss, and participate in the Syrian Revolution. This is a memo to myself before it is to others, but make no mistake: this is something that I also hope will be addressed in the wider community of young Syrians and anyone else with an emotional investment in what’s happening over there. Clearly, this post is aimed at English speakers (I’m always surprised by how much smack people like me talk about Syria in English – a language people in that country don’t even speak!), but I think the ideas here transcend language, too.

 

1) Don’t Fetishise Anger. Please Don’t Make Anger A “Thing”. It Is But One Voice; Optimism Is the End Game. Bear This In Mind When You’re Straight-Talking About Horrible Shit.

Anger is a perfectly logical response in reaction to reports that a village is being bombed by Assad-backed Russian warplanes, or that X European country is refusing to accept refugees while perpetuating the same geopolitical policies that play a role in keeping “Syrian President” Bashar Al-Assad in power, thereby indirectly contributing to the creation of refugees in the first place. Indignation is natural, it’s to be expected, and its expression, like all emotional states, is a human right. But there is a wider issue at work here, and it does not matter what your political or humanitarian stance is. While it is not completely irrelevant, what has an even greater impact is whether or not your words are coming from a place of Love, or from a place of Fear. It is whether or not you act to realise your ideal vision of what you would like your world to be. This is a very serious matter. Assad’s War Machine, backed by 40+ years of established state and military power, is undoubtedly rooted in a narrative of fear. So too, unfortunately, are a large amount of the ‘opposition’ and ‘resistance’ to his rule, at least on the internet, because, though the ‘resistance’ may retweet some 2 minute videos of amazingly creative and musical demonstrations from time to time, it’s more comfortable immersed in a miasma of hatred than it is generating constructive and heart-warming contributions. The ‘opposition’ has an entire vision that consists merely of “srsly, fuck Hezbollah / Iraqi militias / the Syrian coalition / Russia / faux-Stalinist leftists / Assad’. If that becomes the platform, the end point, we are left powerless to act because ‘anger’ defines us, and we end up unconsciously fitting into the very stereotype of social activism championed by the bourgeois classes. The biggest problem is that we are ourselves completely consumed by the black matter of critique. There is no love, no song, and no magic in our words. No vision can manifest from political or academia-rooted opposition. You’ve got to strip the -isms away and be unashamedly raw whenever you talk about Syria; it has to be in glaring, kaleidoscopic words. Skip your lectures, get off the internet, make eye contact when you listen and when you talk, have blueberries for breakfast instead of Turkish coffee (anyone who drinks that stuff is seriously insane – what is wrong with you people), and go out and play. Listen better. You’ve got to be creative. That divine circulation is everything.

This segues into the next point.

 

2) The Revolution Is An Internal Process before It’s External: Choose Your Words Wisely!

The biggest problem a lot of activists in general have, but it’s particularly true with Syrian revolutionaries, is that they’ve basically externalised all of their power. What do I mean by this? It means they’ve pinned their entire hopes and dreams for success, not on a vision, dream, or love for the rights of communities, but based on their treatment by oppressors, based on the actions of a sectarian militia, state, or a political or ideological party. Again, this is completely understandable when coming from Syrians on the ground — we’re dealing with extreme cases like Syria here, after all — where this is literally true – bombs from the sky / inhumane conditions of detention – but it’s precisely because the levels of oppression in Syria are so extreme we have an even greater responsibility to process our own demons first and learn healthier ways of manifesting our anger, so that we can approach helping those who need it – the millions of refugees and those suffering the scars of war – from a place of healing, love, creative encouragement, and communal empowerment. Anything less than this is completely unacceptable.

If I may straight talk a bit, I think I will use this platform afforded to me. I will get onto the solutions little later. I am privileged beyond belief to be living outside, in an incredibly safe and ‘developed’ country, blessed with good access to education, employment opportunities, and a culturally rich upbringing in general, and with a phenomenal family and support network to boot. However, I am still a Syrian deeply affected by events in my homeland, so I’ll address this one to all my friends and comrades:

You have no right to glamorise your anger, or to get into niceties over ideological agreements & disagreements when the lives and well-being of so many people are implicated in your words. You have no right to compose and publish blog-posts with fatalistic, apocalyptic prognostications on Syria and prosaic eulogies of an entire group of people, even if you have family in Syria. You may think that you’re doing good, blanking out your friend after splitting hairs over the Marxist credentials of pre-Assad Baath in some Facebook comments thread or where-ever else, but you’re not. You’re being a shit. Please, for the love of the last 3.33 remaining merry-go-round carousels in Bloodan and Zabadani, don’t be a shit. Your time is a more valuable asset than anything material you could possibly possess. For every minute you spend doing that, you miss out on the chance to focus your energies in a meaningful way to promote and highlight what infinitesimal movements in Syria actually exist to help alleviate suffering and make a positive change in the lives of young Syrians. Even if what is good about the status-quo in Syria is 5%, and the inferno is 95%, you have a duty to focus your attention on the 5%. The world is not served by the detail-oriented mind of he/she who is so consumed by their ego. Don’t get me wrong, we do need our egos, because they help us choose courses of action to take and focus on our passions, but when we allow an extreme loyalty to opinions to take over us, we become consume by the ego, rather than accepting it is as just one of our many voices. We have had enough of the ego over the course of history, or at least, enough of augmenting its significance and allowing it to identify us. Now is the time to achieve balance by placing more attention on the creative, spontaneous, and intuitive (wasn’t it based on these principles in the first place that the revolution in Syria even started?)

 

3) Interact Meaningfully With Fellow Syrians Who May Have A Completely Different Consciousness From You. Exploit Every Opportunity To Forge Organic Alliances.

Building bridges is important, and even more so is taking a solution-oriented approach to everything you mention about the situation in Syria, whether it’s the popular revolution, refugee crisis, or a barbaric massacre by a crazed government. Through doing that, people are motivated to share ideas and always angling for posited frameworks in which our diverse solutions and visions can co-exist, rather than rejecting each other out of hand when the immaculately projected ideal of our ‘comrade’ deviates in practise when they say something that triggers unresolved issues in us. Yes, we all hold different opinions and visions of what we’d like to see in a future Syria, but one reason we’ve failed to topple Bashar Al-Assad after half a decade is because we’re so used to interacting with each other & building a following over things that we hate in common. Then, when we discover hey, we think differently about this one thing, suddenly our egos get the better of us, and we buy into the grandest illusion of all – that of separation. I can’t imagine anything more counter-revolutionary than that. But it is no surprise really, because if we spend too much energy just lambasting the dictator, we’re coming from a place of fear that can’t help but spill over and become directed at our friends.

4) Create, Write, Express Yourself Artistically. Fuse Your Skills With Your Humanitarian Imperative.

This is everything. I will let you in on a little secret: Bashar Al-Assad and his military machine has succeeded this far because he (or at least his father) has wasted little time in critiquing or lashing out at things they hated about the world. Hafez Al-Assad, like so many megalomaniacs before him, had a vision, however elitist, fear-based, and destructive it was, he had the chutzpah to step into the radical action and manifest it. He intuitively understood how human beings gain a mass following in this world; battening down the hatches and just doing it. Rupert Murdoch does the same thing with his media empire. It’s all based on fear, but his form of radical action isn’t in creating these nebulous spaces of “debate” where academic liberals try to one-up each other with whatever theoretical horse-manure they’re regurgitating in University, it’s in actually creating a world defined by newspapers, a party line, a TV station, and political movements like the Tea Party. This applies to evil as well as it does to good: radical action and immersion into the present moment, through defining a world-building vision of how you want your world to look like. It’s an elementary principle that so many of the great masters and teachings have attempted to convey to us through folklore, symbolism, allegories, world events, literature, sayings, and public appearances.

We have to keep creating alternative forms of governance, like they’ve done in Manbij and Kafranbel, opening a Syrian Revolutionary museum like they did in Aleppo, creating art, literature, poetry, talking gushingly about all the exciting and inspiring things Syrians are doing to heal, rejuvenate, and inspire.

 

5) Take Responsibility For What You Express. Let Love Be Your Compass. Love Is The Only Answer.

When 3.7 million Syrian children are born into violent conditions and know nothing but war – kids who, when they see you point a camera at them, reflexively stick up their arms because they think you’re going to fire on them — you get a sense of the magnitude of the situation that you’re now involved in discussing. It is more important than ever to take responsibility for what you write and share online; yes, it is important to be realistic about the challenges that Syria faces in order to overcome them, but again, to dwell on them as your end point is unacceptable. People living in these conditions – particularly the vulnerable – are counting on us with a platform, agency, funding, and skills to contribute to alleviating their suffering meaningfully. We have the means at our disposal. This can only be done in practise by letting love guide you at every turn. This is not a fucking game. Do you understand the words that I’m trying to convey to you?

The solution has been staring at us right under our noses the whole time. The truth is so obvious when you live from the heart-side out. Find the one thing that you most love to do in this world, the one activity that genuinely brings you joy and passion, that fans the flames of your soul and keeps you up all night in pursuit of bettering yourself within its cosmic framework. I love to write stories that are colourful and stylised. Every day, I am tying my prerogatives as a Syrian to my life’s passion. But it does not have to be solely relegated to the arts: if you love law, utilising your services as a lawyer might be a positive step!

 

 

When you talk about Syria, you have to be flamboyant. You have to smile and laugh and dilate your eyes; you have to be talking about projects and activities Syrians are involved in that truly amaze you. This revolution is not one of despair, critique, and defeat. I am asking you to forgo the harsh realities for once and realise this. Look at these pictures of protests that occurred in Syria today, 18th March 2016 alone. Five years after 100,000s have been killed: five years millions have been displaced. After entire cities have been besieged or razed to the ground by missiles.

معرة_النعمان كفر_نبل سرمدا_الدلب دارة_عزة بستان_القصر برزة_دمشق الغوطة_الشرقيةjpg الرستن_حمص أريحا_أدلب thesunthedaughter 12871440_970888959661986_3959033393389951932_n 741_970909282993287_3583719496734701969_n

 

We need to do away with old terms like “resistance” and “opposition”, because “resistance” implies that the roots of our movement are based solely on the way others have treated us, rather than using this sense of injustice to actively manifest a love-propelled vision of a radical new world. Resistance makes the enemy stronger, because now we’ve defined ourselves by what they do to us. The same applies to the term ‘opposition’, which, in an almost farcical turn of irony, has already been sullied anyway in the way we’ve come to expect from awkward bourgeois expat Syrians fumbling away abroad in meetings with funds from Royal Gulf donors.

We’re playing by their rulebook. We criticise the rules of the Chess They’ve Made, while still moving our pawns on their table, thinking that somehow, someway, we can beat them at their own game. We beat them by creating our own game. This revolution is everything we could have wanted, and more. The fleeting fantasy is over. Our thoughts became things.

 

الأبوان

تظهران الأبوان بلا تحذير – بعد ما انتهيت الوهم والخيال الطفولة بمدة سنة او خلود.

لا أدري أي فرق. تبينت فقاعة مستحيلة أمام واقعي ومع أحساس في قاعة إنتظار بقلب المطار.

لا عرفت قوة مصيري في هذه اللحظة

لكن يللي عرفته أنو تتوليت الرغبة المحورية الأولوية.

تعانقان الوالدان الآن

هذا يكفي والأبن الوّل أكثر رومانسي.

توعية العائلة منتشرة منتشرة أكثر مما أستطيع أن أنظّر

تصرف الرجل المنطقي بشكل عفويّ

بشكل غير مناسب للشخصية – الشخصيات ظنّ المؤلف :كأنها مسألة سهلة الفهم والأدراك – وعد الوالد في سهر حوالي القُرى والطبيعة الأوروبية التي فقدناها من سنوات وساحات الأحلام. وأحلى أحساس ونحنا سايقين الأضوية المخباية من طرق القرية الريفية وأكثر مؤلم.

يتشاركان الشخصيتان في حوّار والأبن صرّخ أن قد تفرّط العصور علينا. التعليم وأصغى الوالد أن بالتأكيد في أكثر من هذه الحياه.

تعمدان الأبوان بعضهما بعضاً بالمرض والصحة خلال ثغرة الفترة في ساحاتنا الأحلام وتحت شراشف الفنادق.

ومع صعود الأبن الوسطاني إلى منبر المالي الذكوري وتأثير حاسم ومركزي

تجردان الوالدان من أي إمكانية حكم أخرى على الإطلاق.

تجردان الأبوان من أي أمل عيشة أيام قبل التيقظ.

تستغرق والرسومات والعقل الفن وأعراضه الحلم في موجات إعادة لقاء الأبوان بزمن غير متساهل.

فشل الأبن الأكبر فشل واضح وجسيم ومؤلم ولا توجد البنية التحتية القيمة أي استمرار بشكل دائم أو أكيد معني.

تظهران الأبوان كتشكيل سعيت له بجهود وإصرار قتالي.

تضغطان الأبوان على المشاكل الداخلية غير محلولة

وابصمت ومع إذن غير شروط

آثار لسان الأجيال الغير موروث تسيل من القعدة على درجات المكتبة

ويبحث الأبن عن فصلة من كتاب الأدبية المثقفة من رفوف الخيزران.

سمعت والد لآخر مرّة / أوّل مرّة “فظيعة الأئمة الشيعية في شبّاك المكتبة”

بس بدّي أفرجيك يا بابا كل الأفكار الملهمة ما حصلتها في حياتي من وقت ما التقينا آخر مرة من 6 سنين”

لكن لا تمثل ثقل الزمن مكافأة بل ضغط وتذكير حجم الفشل والفرصة الضاعة متسللة بين أيادنا.

تعرف شو يا بابا إذا كان عندنا رحلة إلى لندن في مكتبة مدهشة يللي لازم أفرجيلك ياها ولله العظيم بتآخذ العقل ومالي مصدق أيمتى رح نزورها مع بعض.

صلّح الوالد الخزانة المكسورة وذراعي الأم محاطة له.

تنتهان الأبوان رؤية الوهم.

وتدفق الفقدان خلال الشرايين.

Ghosts and Cityscapes: A Vision of Syria in Present-Day Hiroshima

barefootgen

A scene from the Japanese comic ‘Barefoot Gen’ by Keiji Nakazawa. Set in the aftermath of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima in August 1945, the series is loosely based on Nakazawa’s own experiences as a survivor of the bombing.

Three days ago marked the 70th Anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, Japan by US forces. Today, 9th August 2015, marks 70 years since the city of Nagasaki suffered the same fate. When you write it down, it seems like such a nice big number denoting that a lot of time has passed since then, and that the world’s citizens are no longer under the sway of such grave threats to their livelihood. For many world citizens, viewing grainy, decades-old images of whole scale destruction and civilians suffering from the most unthinkable of wounds would understandably leave an indelible imprint. They would surely be silently humbled after their witnessing that, whatever problems, political and economic instabilities we may suffer from today, we have, at the very least, come a long way since then. Even during those rare occasions we do choose to go to war, we are at least ‘selective’ and humane in how we wage them, right?

Anyone who is Syrian now – no, let’s be a little more inclusive here – anyone who is Syrian, is from one of the surrounding countries, or who happens to know someone who is Syrian, would most definitely have a starkly contrasting reaction in pouring over aftermath images of Hiroshima having endured the explosion of America’s deadly atomic parcel.

I was one of those Syrians on a visit to Hiroshima on a day trip in July, where I spent some time at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the surrounding park with its A-Bomb Dome relic and Memorial Cenotaph. Upon experiencing the sombre, eternally enshrined vigil of these memorials, I was exposed to dozens of images, displays, descriptions, artefacts, replica displays of human suffering, and other media related to the state of post-blast Hiroshima. While I’m sure reactions would vary quite a lot among Syrians, one version or another of ‘oh, that looks like Homs, or, Daraya, or Aleppo in 2015’ would surely be the reflexive association. They are the same. There is no difference. You cannot beat around the bush or mince your words in talking about it. The victims of Hiroshima were the victims of Homs in another space and time. Homs is Hiroshima in another space and time. Ghouta today is Nagasaki in 1945. It is simply impossible to avoid. And then, as inevitably happens, you cannot read any of the memorial tributes the same way that everyone else does. You know that human empathetic pain, sure, but you also know a much deeper one, and that is, the desecration of a formative part of yourself, your culture, your language, your upbringing, your community.

All around me in the museum lay tributes from world leaders, a framed peace declaration, and remains of children’s clothing in glass displays. I could only stand being in the museum for an hour, after that time I simply had to leave; I was so overcome with tears that I could not keep to myself a moment longer. I left as quickly as I could and walked past the Dome ruins; I had trouble calming myself down.

Strolling around, trying to deal with all that I was absorbing and sensing, I got to see the ghost-laden rumblings of a stately and prosperous city, all the way in the west of the country. Streetcars abounded, and a sprawling cityscape, lush green parks, a lively town centre, and a rich economy are all subsumed under a bustling, powerful, and fully-functioning society in 2015 Hiroshima. I felt the retrospective pain as a Syrian reliving what a relative of Hiroshima victims surely experienced – an undercurrent of pain unlike anything I had ever felt – but something far greater emerged as a result, a glimpse into the future. Having had the rare privilege of getting to see what a city entirely decimated by a nuclear warhead looks like after all its amazing people put it back together in a tremendous effort of renewal, I felt an immensely powerful glimpse into the truly unquenchable, and infinite, yes, infinite, capacity of human beings to constantly rewrite their own story. To constantly put that semicolon at the end of their sentence, even when they know full well that a full stop would suffice. I saw it. Syrians are no different from the citizens of Japan; all around them was pain, loss, and memory, not only in the instant but for many decades into the future.

But if our trials are the same, then so must be our triumphs. Syria as we and the older generations knew it before the destruction, deaths, and displacement was not an immemorial society graciously bestowed on us from above; it was the visual manifestation of what started out as mere ideas, dreams, and unrealised symptoms from ordinary people who, being so inspired by a fleeting thought, would then go on to build towns, start trends, customs, religions, and spaces of art, expression, community, and love, all holistically weaved into that wonderfully complex set of interactions we knew as Syria.

If it happened before, it can happen again. We will come back stronger than ever because if the diligent souls of Hiroshima can do it, then so can we, and because having endured so much pain, death, destruction, and displacement, we understand more than ever how precious life is and how irreplaceable the power of community is. We understand how absolutely indispensable the empowerment of our community is, especially my own generation and those immediately below, because more and more, as the country is torn up by fundamentalists, both in the form of secular capitalists in Assad on one hand and doctrinal fanatics in the form of ISIS on the other (with all their various allies and colleagues), we realise we are being left with a blank slate and whatever comes next in Syria will have to be a realisation of that infinite well of creation and persistence that lies in each of us.

Syrians’ roles as victims and survivors are only the current iterations of an on-going process of healing, recovery, and rejuvenation. They are powerful beyond measure. Hiroshima is a testament to the astonishing fact that people who have endured similarly unthinkable atrocities do not only hold onto that infinite creativity central to their organism, their hopes and dreams, but they make the best out of the worst, make it real before our eyes and in spite of everything – with enough love, imagination, and mutual support – they come back far stronger than ever before.

F-O-R-M-S: Into the Vortex of Life and Love through the Architecture of Man (Parts I – II)

FORMS

FORMS1

‘Cosmic Rainbow Sacred Geometry’ – Francesca Love Artist

FORMS (I): Forms are incredibly fascinating to me; they have been so for as long as I can remember. My fascination with human forms has mostly taken on the study of human language, possibly the most widely used (and well-known) example of tangibly structured form. What is a form? Form is documented metaphysical dicta. To use more layman’s terms, we can think of a FORM as a fixed structure that abides by generally accepted sets of rules regarding usage, shape, and application as used by human beings in particular circumstances. In that regard, Language, and more specifically, speech and grammar as subsumed under it, is the perfect example of a FORM. Throughout the history of its evolution as mankind itself has evolved, language has also paradoxically come to represent the fluidity, as well as the spontaneous or malleable nature of mankind. I am so interested in FORMS, less for FORMS sake, but actually, because of the fact that they serve as the most accessible windows into precisely that which is FORMLESS. That which seemingly can be labelled as a structure, a set of rules, or a category — complete and self-sufficient in its definition – gives us an easy gateway into the interconnectedness of everything. Through deep, conscious, meaningful engagement with form, be it through language, labels, sub-cultures, groups, categories, we appreciate them enthusiastically, but we also appreciate how transitory they are in their distinction. We see that it is the energy behind all that we are and all that we do that is the most meaningful; the value that we place on that which we place our focus. That is so true and apparent whenever we engage in anything that brings us passion; be it sports, art, music, school, work, academia, social bonding, architecture, service to others, as well as inner work. I love Forms; moreso, I love the Light and the cosmic web that FORMS, serving as the particular gateway that they do, allow me to appreciate. ♥

watermelon_lanterns

FORMS (II.0) – Symbols, Pictograms, and Personal Guides or Harbingers. To recap, a FORM is a structure with a readily identifiable pattern and set of associations, as ascribed by human usage (or, conversely, if you are in a big mind / heart phase, both usage ascribed to /by/ man and usage ascribed /to/ man as two sides of the same coin). FORMS are powerful because they give us windows into the infinite stream of oscillating energy that underlies all material existence, through the bodily sense / dream body triggering potential they help activate within us when we become conscious of their presence and associations. Today, I want to discuss Symbols and Pictograms. A Symbol might be as materially abstract as in the realisation that, after some trial or experience in which the path seemed uncertain, a set of universal impeti – your personal constellation of one particular episode of your life’s process – lead you to exactly the place you needed to be for your personal evolution. However, symbols are all around us and visible to each and every one of us on this conscious plane, and it is so powerful to be aware of their presence and of the self-empowering meanings that they can help trigger within us. Some great examples of FORMS in Symbolic form are Trees in Winter State; for me, Trees in Winter State signify the denuded nature of the universal double helix that is inherent to all organisms, be they fauna / flora / mammal. I love to meditate on them, even when outside temperatures are par freezing, because the bodily senses lead to amazing breakthroughs and a realisation of bodily energy conduits that may have been occluded to my awareness previously. They help me develop more compassion and empathy. Crossing over into the empathetic state has been one of the most powerful meditative and human experiences I have ever experienced through empowering use of Symbolic FORMS. Through tree forms, through Animalistic / Animistic forms I have felt the power of not merely being a listener, but actively sharing – continuing through the listening process – in the energetic flow of joys and tribulations that are imparted to me. Really embodying them in the listening process. We transcend the sympathetic state there and then, as glorious a virtue as sympathy is because we step into the shared collective unconscious set of emotions, thoughts, joys, and traumas shared by all human beings. We may call this empathy; insofar as we deem the terminology to be important; we become awakened to human instrumentality. And through Human Instrumentality we help achieve more balance for ourselves and those we love.

hudahashim

Artist: Huda Hashim (Sudan)

FORMS (11.5): Symbols and Pictograms. Symbols are all around us. They are in trees, in architecture, in nature, in facial expressions, in the clothes that people wear, in the colour schemes of items and designs that we see around town, and in written / pictorial form, too. A Symbol can be defined as a FORM we perceive that triggers within us certain associations, feelings, memories, or thought processes. They can therefore vary quite widely depending on who is perceiving them. Symbols are so powerful, because they have the potential to shape the very fabric of our perception; in that sense, they represent a water-like concept that is fluid and adaptable depending on the bodily senses we allow to emerge from perceiving them. It can be helpful to be aware of our waking universe as a field of symbols of varying shapes, colour schemes, textures, patterns and designs. Language plays an important factor in embodying symbolic significance; certain words and collocations can trigger an entire narrative of your imagination. It can come out spilling like waves! It is just phenomenal. To cite a personal example, when I was a child, seeing the term ‘World’ collocate around town on shop names with various descriptors, (like ‘Book World’, or ‘Calendar World’) transformed these physical spaces and their vicinities, for me, into themed loci in which you can frolic, play, work, study, investigate, and more, all to your heart’s content. They implied a distinct ‘theme’ through which an entire parallel universe was imbued. For example, in Book World, public water fountains, buses, trains, old disused warehouses, and underground bicycle subways would all be fashioned out of old books. Calendar World was similar, except wider, and flatter, and with more of an emphasis on numerical division. And the people would have been anthropomorphic representations of the same. In Eastern countries, such the Middle-East or Far East, pictograms and their varying calligraphic representations can depict powerful triggers if we allow them. Entire new ways of being, personal attitudes, and states of being can emerge forth. The Chinese and Japanese traditional alphabets (they share common etymological and pictorial roots) are composed of thousands of stroke patterns, lines, curves, character covers, squares, dashes, running the gamut to the denuded and bare-bones to phenomenally intricate and dense. I have been working with these a lot recently, as a matter of fact, and each new character that I learn opens up a new bodily sense and wave of associations; another portal into the complexities of the cosmos! It is particularly fascinating to me, because sometimes such pictograms with linguistic functions are direct pictorial representations of their meanings, but this is not necessarily always the case. And even when they are, this by no means delineates their potential to open up a limitless field of inspiration and imagination as to what concepts, things, people, or animals they might come to represent! If everything is inter-connected, and FORMS (as well as Symbols and Pictograms subsumed under them and intrinsic to them) are portals into the interconnectedness of all life and existence, then pictograms, being FORMS in their own right, can help us achieve unity within ourselves and others. It is only a case of awakening to their presence. Everything that ever was will continue to be, and FORMS are no exception. I love FORMS, I love their shapes, their structure, but most of all, I love the access they yield to endlessly playful and malleable states of being in the world, where honestly, nothing is truly fixed or set-in-stone, despite the outward appearance of the FORM in question. Love FORMS, love the world around you, but love yourselves first and foremost!

528 Hertz – ’50 Things I Love About the Syrian Revolution’ Week 1: #1 – #7 (Beta)

528 Hertz – ’50 Things I Love About the Syrian Revolution.”

 

Week 1. #1 – 7

This compilation is a translation from the original Arabic. Thanks for reading, and never stop staying positive in the face of darkness!

1 – Pluralism

From the beginning of the revolution, campaigns in the name of freedom have been represented by vast sections of society. From men and women workers to students from various college faculties around Syria, it is clear that pluralism plays a major role in the Syrian revolution. After the country became destroyed by missiles and bombs, the dictator’s forces withdrew from towns and cities throughout the country and in their place rose democratic revolutionary groups corresponding to the will of the people. The Syrian Revolution is also represented by artistic and sub-cultural groups, such as graffiti artists and musicians. Despite all of the difficulties, there exist positive examples of pluralism in areas such as Kafranbel (in Idlib), Manbij (in the North of Syria), Yabroud, and Yarmouk Camp (both near Damascus). Even though the future of Syria is not certain, due to the violence from the government on one hand and from extremist groups on the other, we should be reassured that the young men and women of Syria will achieve their ambitions, because there can be in no future in any society without the participation of the current generations. The revolution lives on!

Kafr Zita: “Resilient ’till the Last Stone Falls.”

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2 – Music

Music plays an important role in the Syrian revolution, not only because creativity comes naturally to the uprising, but because music has been a central part of sub-cultures from within Syria from the beginning. Before the revolution, people used to follow soap operas, televised theatrical plays, films and learn the songs that appeared in them. The rhythms of many of these songs became background music to the new revolutionary songs (in order for them to be easy to memorise) that emerged in the throes of protests and on independent radio stations. Additionally, a lot of completely new songs emerged, especially in the field of hip-hop. In a very short time, these songs spread between people, and they contained lyrics on a variety of themes, according to the source of the song. For example, there are songs that represent tributes to victims of massacres against protesters in places like Homs and the Damascus suburbs. There are also songs that satirise the dictator himself (such as Masasit Mate). I highly recommend you check out this great broadcast on Radio Souriali, which features a heart-warming mixture of Arabic & other songs selected by Syrians!

https://soundcloud.com/souriali/sets/irt

 

3 – Demonstrations / Protests

The revolution began with peaceful protests in March 2011, and what was startling was that the participants did not immediately call for the toppling of the regime, instead asking only for a change in the fierce policies against the people. After a short period, the nature of protests evolved to include demands not only for the downfall of the regime (after such violence this was expected) but varied demands from every aspect of society. The revolution’s protests represented living examples of visions of the future and destiny of a society as desired by its participants. They were embodied in slogans of course but what also emerged from the spirit of the revolution were manifestations powerful in their meanings, for example when the martyr Ghaith Matar and his friends offered roses and cups of water to the regime’s soldiers. The protests often rose spontaneously in order not to be exposed to danger and oppression. The demonstrations often featured song, dance, and chants of the utmost creativity and inspiration. The mobilisation of the people in this way offers us a window, however fleeting, of a free Syria in its purest form. It is more important now than ever not only to honour the memory of peaceful demonstrations but to place our hopes in the potential for their reappearance in the near future.

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4 – Humanitarian Initiatives

There is no lack of amazing feats regarding the bravery of the Syrian people in the face of challenges and one of the most important and notable examples of this takes the form of humanitarian initiatives. In most cases these groups had no sufficient funding or even the support of centralised networks to support attempts of volunteers that tried as much as they could to dismantle the regime’s sieges around rebellious cities throughout the revolution and that deliberately prevented any humanitarian relief or even food and drink from reaching residents. Perhaps the most famous of them all are the Local Co-ordination Committees that began documenting and organising protests as well as the documentation of victims and martyrs names and locations of detainees. The committees also contributed to the implementation of humanitarian aid all around Syria in the most pressing locations. The LCCs also helped in the opening of ports and secret tunnels for the transportation of aid supplies. There are endless stories about college students, doctors, employees, and ordinary civilians from every aspect of society that gave up their previous roles (and in some cases, they lived in security compared to the state of impoverishment in some areas in Syria before the revolution). There are also independent initiatives operating outside of Syria (for example, in Western countries such as the USA and Britain) with connections to groups such as the LCCs and other activists around Syria.

The picture is by Khaled Maled and title is “Pain / Hope.”

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5 – The Aspirations of Children

It is impossible to deny the clear fact that children are the purest expression of our metaphysical essence as human beings. They are never ashamed of acting according to their feelings from moment to moment regardless of whether or not they are bursting with energy! The highest hope of Syria’s future is not only in the continuation of the radical movements we know as the revolution but also in paving the way for a stable country after the roles of society’s ruling generations come to their imminent ends. Syria’s children are brave and utterly amazing due to their survival through the destruction of their homes, the loss of their parents, and especially because they are far more vulnerable to physical and psychological harm than adults are. Solidarity and humanitarian support, as well as the welfare of children in every part of Syria and outside (in the refugee camps and on the streets of Beirut, where some of them are compelled to work in dangerous conditions, selling roses of all things!) should be one of the most important and fundamental targets in safeguarding Syria’s future. Subsequently, the most important goal should be the nurturing of academic, artistic, and creative spaces so that Syrian children are able to develop into the amazing heroes that they naturally are. I will leave you with a video that narrates the story of some of Syria’s children as they sell roses and enjoy their lives on the streets of Beirut. They loiter about joyously and tell each other stories, despite the challenges that they face.

 

6 – Graffiti

Graffiti is not only an artistic field that is at once wonderful, creative, and cutting-edge, but through its use by youth in southern Syria from almost 4 years prior came to represent the initial ringing of the revolution. For example, graffiti works contain quotes from literary and religious sources which inspired artists, and there are some works that represent pictures from the traditional to the avant-garde. Graffiti in Syria also embodies an unprecedented domain because in many cases, there were no other opportunities for revolutionaries to express their social and creative ideas in safety. Additionally, there were no alternative resources. These creations also formed defiant symbols drawn / painted on the ruins of what remained from houses and neighbourhoods that were exposed to bombs. Graffiti is truly an inspiring portal and it reminds us of the hopes and opportunities that remain present throughout this layered and complex process. The evidence of the persistence of the revolution’s creativity is in the evolution of its emerging culture. This is clear from the walls that fill our hearts with optimism and wonderful sensations in general!

“Someday this war will end and I will return to my poem.”- Unknown

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7 – Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience is one of the most risky forms of civil resistance, compared with protests and armed uprisings because in most cases such engagements are waged by either small activist groups or individuals. They were often residing in areas in Aleppo (and especially in Damascus) that were controlled by the regime. Among the most famous instances were anonymous people who played anti-Assad songs on stereos placed in various secret locations outdoors on top of buildings in central Damascus, for example. Activists also launched slogans expressing the views of the resistance criticising Bashar Al-Assad via sky-bound balloons from areas such as Kafr Souseh. Some of them also dyed the water of fountains in front of branches of the security services red in a clever infiltration. There was also a beautiful manoeuvre from revolutionaries in which they set about gluing locks of doors in government centres around Damascus. It is impossible to forget such attempts as those mentioned, which challenged the authority of the regime. I will leave you with a video that shows the release of the balloons from the rooftops of buildings in Kafr Souseh! Enjoy and stay confident.