But I stayed up thinking about how I've been lying to him, no less than I lie to myself in my pre-sleep ritual. And I lied to him again just as we were growing more intimate than ever and he asked me about my scar.
He clearly suffers from some past traumas too, so hopefully he'll understand why I was untruthful to him about mine.
Adding to my emotional dizziness on Sunday, I spoke with my sister, who kept noting how amazing Michael is, and what a brave and selfless man he is for having helped as he did.
But then, as I looked in the mirror, I became fixated on some hairs near my carotid artery that were still there. I pushed the blade deep against my neck to shave them off, and then blood squirted out.
A few minutes later, my eyes began to feel a bit droopy, but I vaguely noticed that Anissa was whispering something.
The lead-up to the moment was magical in every respect, but a part of me was, and still is, uneasy about the whole thing for many reasons.
In addition to my new outlook on life, in some absurdly simple way, Anissa gave me several new reasons to live. Above all, I had to see her again and find out what, if anything, would happen between her and me.
But I did feel the vertigo of death’s invitation, beckoning me towards the dark waters below. Only a newfound perspective and desire steadied my wavering soul. I came to realize, just in time, that suicide was far too easy – and obscenely cowardly – after someone I knew, not even half my age, had been through so much worse and still marched gloriously on.
She was somehow this damaged creature I had fortuitously encountered along my path and now cared about as a result. Granted, I didn't cause her harm, as I did with Icarus, but I somehow began to feel responsible for her welfare.
I don’t know why everyoneis still trying to find out whether heaven and hell exist.Why do we need more evidence?They exist here on this very Earth.Heaven is standing atop Mount Qasiounoverlooking the Damascene sightswith the wind carrying Qabbani’sdulcet words all around you.And hell is only four hours away in Aleppo where children’s cries drown out the explosions of mortar bombsuntil they lose their voice,their families, and their limbs.Yes, hell certainly does existright now, at this moment,as I pen this poem. And all we’re doingto extinguish this hellfireis sighing, shrugging, liking, and sharing.Tell me: what exactly does that makeus? Are we any better than the gatekeepers of hell?
First Afghanistan, now Iraq. So who's next? Syria? North Korea? Iran? Where will it all end?' If these illegal interventions are permitted to continue, the implication seems to be, pretty soon, horror of horrors, no murderously repressive regimes might remain.
War means endless waiting, endless boredom. There is no electricity, so no television. You can't read. You can't see friends. You grow depressed but there is no treatment for it and it makes no sense to complain — everyone is as badly off as you. It's hard to fall in love, or rather, hard to stay in love. If you are a teenager, you seem halted in time.If you are critically ill — with cancer, for instance — there is no chemotherapy for you. If you can't leave the country for treatment, you stay and die slowly, and in tremendous pain. Victorian diseases return — polio, typhoid and cholera. You see very sick people around you who seemed in perfectly good health when you last saw them during peacetime. You hear coughing all the time. Everyone hacks — from the dust of destroyed buildings, from disease, from cold.As for your old world, it disappears, like the smoke from a cigarette you can no longer afford to buy. Where are your closest friends? Some have left, others are dead. The few who remain have nothing new to talk about. You can't get to their houses, because the road is blocked by checkpoints. Or snipers take a shot when you leave your door, so you scurry back inside, like a crab retreating inside its shell. Or you might go out on the wrong day and a barrel bomb, dropped by a government helicopter, lands near you.Wartime looks like this.
The cost of war is like an immeasurable tremor that knows no borders, its shockwaves reverberating across the world resulting in universal suffering.
Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset,' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf,' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region.The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.
When Husni Zaim seized power from Shukri al-Quwatli on 30 March 1949, Syria's economy was a parlous state and its army had been beaten the previous November by the Israelis. Zaim knew that he needed to take action on both fronts fast. After overthrowing al-Quwatli bloodlessly, he set out to open peace talks with the Israelis and mend relations with the French via a currency agreement and an arms deal that would pave the way for renewed French influence in the former mandate. But Zaim's reign did not last long. One hundred and thirty-seven days after he had taken power, on 14 August he too was overthrown and executed.
It will all work out, Inas. You come from a long line of survivors and strong women. So everything will be fine in the end. And we are always with you in spirit, to guide you and love you.
You are there and to their ears, being a Syrian sounds like you’re unclean, shameful, indecent; it’s like you owe the world an apology for your very existence.
The blind faith in some half-assed conspiracy theories lines up with the logic of having to believe in something with no questions asked. It gives us peace and comfort. As simple as I was, I found that resorting to this absolute nonsense was the root of all our problems. It was a road of willingly-learned helplessness, for no action could make a difference, thereby no action was needed.
I’ve been told that I cannot change shit, so I might as well stop torturing myself. My emotions are ridiculed and branded as childish. I have been told that the world has given up on my people. I have been told, and realise that on many occasions, I myself am viewed as an outcast by some of those suffering. I’ve been confronted and my answer is always the same: I care even in my most fucked-up moments. I care even when gates of shit pour open to drown me; I care because I am a citizen of the world.
For I’m neither a submitter nor a hating retaliator, I acknowledge the boundaries of my existence; yet, I still care. I care regardless of the way they choose to reduce me to the brand that is the birthmark of the accident of my conception. I care less about what that brand signifies in terms of my character, potential, and intentions. For the harmed I care. For the real victims. It’s the most basic of my mandatory civil duties. Only in caring, am I a citizen of the world.
For some reason, notwithstanding the alienation and utter rejection, I consider myself a global citizen. They say misery calls for company and I’ve always been a man of funerals. The companion of the misfortunate, until they are not!
As a citizen of the world, it’s my instinct to keep the fallen and the suffering in my thoughts. The human brain fascinates me; its limitless bounds of empathy. You see, in my mind there is logic to it: do no harm, prevent harm, help, support, care for the harmed, face the harmer. My stupid idealist conscience considers sympathy, not pity, at its worst, the most basic and the least negotiable civil duty. Of course as a citizen of the world, I should strive to do more. That said, I am only a man and so I often do the least.
As a citizen of the world, it’s my instinct to keep the fallen and the suffering in my thoughts... You see, in my mind there is logic to it: do no harm, prevent harm, help, support, care for the harmed, face the harmer. My stupid idealist conscience considers sympathy, not pity, at its worst, the most basic and the least negotiable civil duty. Of course as a citizen of the world, I should strive to do more. That said, I am only a man and so I often do the least.
The old law of an eye for an eye didn’t make them blind to the fact that another man’s terrorist wasn’t their freedom fighter.
I am not an atheist preacher. I am not an absolutist or chauvinist whose ways are immune to evolution. My core philosophy is that I might be wrong.
In light of my distanced telescopic exposure to the mayhem, I refused to plagiarise others’ personal tragedies as my own. There is an authorship in misery that costs more than empathy. Often I’d found myself dumbstruck in failed attempts to simulate that particular unfamiliar dolour. After all, no one takes pleasure in being possessed by a wailing father collecting the decapitated head of his innocent six year old. Even on the hinge of a willing attempt at full empathy with those cursed with such catastrophes, one had to have a superhuman emotional powers. I could not, in any way, claim the ability to relate to those who have been forced to swallow the never-ending bitter and poisonous pills of our inherited misfortune. Yet that excruciating pain in my chest seemed to elicit a state of agony in me, even from far behind the telescope. It could have been my tribal gene amplified by the ripple effect of the falling, moving in me what was left of my humanity.
In the mantra of shared hatred and placing the blame on Israel, our cowardice to face the barbarity of our heads of states was replaced with a divine purpose. Contemplating the manifestation of the eradication of hatred I often concluded, the entirety of the Middle East’s theocracies and dictatorships would be replaced by total anarchy. We would be left with nothing, as our brotherhood of hatred was the only bond known to us. Enculturated in the malarkey of that demagoguery, forces beyond our control and comprehension seem to deceive us into a less harmful and satisfactory logic as opposed to placing some blame on ourselves and thus, having to act to reverse that state of affairs.
I have to stress that my duties towards victims of all sorts, be it helping, taking their side, or caring, ends the moment their status becomes a bargaining chip. The moment the victim becomes a righteous sufferer. For in my short time on this planet, history and on-going affairs are full of those competing in victimhood.
Moreover, it is not just that the early documents are silent about so much of Jesus that came to be recorded in the gospels, but that they view him in a substantially different way -- as a basically supernatural personage only obscurely on Earth as a man at some unspecified period in the past, 'emptied' then of all his supernatural attributes (Phil.2:7), and certainly not a worker of prodigious miracles which made him famous throughout 'all Syria' (Mt.4:24). I have argued that there is good reason to believe that the Jesus of Paul was constructed largely from musing and reflecting on a supernatural 'Wisdom' figure, amply documented in the earlier Jewish literature, who sought an abode on Earth, but was there rejected, rather than from information concerning a recently deceased historical individual. The influence of the Wisdom literature is undeniable; only assessment of what it amounted to still divides opinion.
Living in a world where people measure their happiness by self-indulgence and decadence, Is like watching a whole society being pushed into the abyss of perpetual decay and aberrations.
Destiny to some people is a preconceived notion as a design of blind faith, while in fact destiny is a constitution of endowed efforts in an attempt to steer toward a desired outcome. Create your destiny and reach for your dreams, you only live once.
You have to take this with you too,” she said, opening a box and holding up a silver necklace with the Syriac cross (a crucifix with a budding flower shape on each tip) dangling from it. “My mother gave it to me mother, who passed it to me. Now is the right time to give it to you. Not just because you’re leaving and will need something that always connects you to your roots, but also because tonight we remember her.
Simple life EthosIf you must judge. Let your moral beacon guide you to a decision you can live with,If you feel generous, give with humility so others could live with dignity,If you became aware of injustice, your inaction or silence are part of it,Living life without courage, is like living without honour,If your arrogance started to control your behavior, then it's time for you to stratify to heaven where there are no earthly human beings Never live behind the rocks. Always move to find comfort in brighter places, andAlways deem yourself to be courageous when others call upon you.......
They truly embodied goodness and generosity – like angels sent to save me in my hour of greatest need. Mohammed had risked everything to keep a promise to my father. He and his family saved not only my life, but also my faith in others.
When you give in to bullies, you don't just empower them, you encourage whatever methods they employ to achieve their ends; usually terror and violence. Meaning it's the innocent who pay; mourners at a funeral in Baghdad, a group of Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya, a group of defenseless school children in Pakistan. When we turn a blind eye to atrocities, we are complicit in them.
Religion is the most powerful entity on earth. A phenomenon that has conscripted millions to give or sacrifice their lives without so much as a minuscule query about their chosen beliefs or particular ideology. And today thousands of years on despite the huge advent, discovery and the advance of science forensic or otherwise, millions are still prepared and equipped to fall or kill in the name of their God, their Holy Scriptures, their messengers, their prophets and their faith’.
In our towns and cities they will continue to be born, in our communities they will go on to be nurtured & radicalised & from within our neighbourhoods they will terrorise & murder our citizens including women & children in their attempt to destroy the very fabric & order of our civilised society. They are influenced by our ignorance, our lack of knowledge is their power, martyrdom in the name of their God and prophet is their aspiration & so it is critical that we waste no time & learn more about them & this ideology they follow before we can even begin to eradicate this chilling & growing endemic Islamic faith based terrorism’.