Friday, February 25, 2011

Gaza's Libyans Hang Lanterns From Penises

There are Libyans living as refugees in Gaza.

Nothing describes this situation better than this vulgar variant of an Arabic proverb:

The unlucky one remains unlucky even if they hang a lantern from the head of his penis.

المنحوس منحوس ولو علقوا على راس أيره فانوس

Here's a video on the topic from Lebanon's Al-Jadeed channel with my translation below.

News Anchor:

In Palestine, they hope for Qaddafi's fall, so that they can return to Libya, after having been forced by Qaddafi to cut ties with their homeland. Mohammed Al Madhoun reports from Gaza.

This man, in the Gaza Strip, is a descendant of the Libyan "Ferjaan" tribe. Not only is it an unusual situation, but it is compounded by the fact that he is merely one among two thousand Libyans living in the Strip.

We went to his home, where we found members of several Libyan families following the events in their homeland and attempting to communicate via telephone with their relatives (in Libya).

The story of these Libyans goes back to the days of their forefathers who arrived in Palestine in order to fight colonialism. Having settled in Palestine, they were eventually deprived, by Qaddafi's mercurial moods, from the regaining of their citizenship.

They conserve to this day, documents from their fathers proving their Libyanness, should they one day return to their homeland.

Libyan Palestinian:

We find ourselves here as a result of our parent's immigration to Palestine in order to fight against the British and Israelis.

There are currently between two and three thousand people belonging to families of Libyan origins. They hail from the "Ferjaani", "Ajeili", "Bar'asi", "Targhouni" tribes and others.

Reporter: Libyans like these have integrated in Palestinian society and shared in its joys and disappointments. However, they are now reviving their primary affiliation, and watching the people they belong to rebelling against the leader who deprived them of their return.

Second Libyan-Palestinian:
We were pained to see Israel's attack on Gaza, but even more so when watching a leader attack his own people.

Their fate is tied to Qaddafi's demise more so than any body else. He viewed their return as a red-line not to be crossed, despite welcoming Libyan Jews back to his country.

Third Libyan-Palestinian:
Qaddafi told the Israelis in an overt manner - "return to your homeland, Libya. We will provide you with everything you may need." All while, we Libyan families on Palestinian land are denied this same privilege.

We have met several delegations who had entered Gaza through the convoys. We were told that the story of Libyans in Gaza cannot be discussed.

Nothing remains for these Libyans except memories, and the hope that their people's revolution would allow them to reestablish a link broken over forty years ago.

One of the virtues of the Libyan revolution is the Palestinians discovering there are Libyans living among them. Libyans who were exiled on the grounds that their fathers arrived here forty years ago without the permission of their country's leader.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Palestinian Child's Message To Israeli Settlers

*updated with part II on 2-6-2011*

It's a sign of our evolution as a people to see this adorable Palestinian Elmo scream that he wants to drink the blood of the settlers, not the blood of Jews or even Israelis. This is a distinction not to be taken lightly.

If anything, this video proves to me that the 1967 green line has entered the Palestinian psyche as the only possible border between the two nations. This is reinforced by the kid's message that the Arabs have forsaken Haifa.

If this is not a call for a peaceful 2-state solution, I don't know what is.

I suggest Israel withdraw to the green line immediately, before this kid gets angry and asks to drink the blood of those in Tel Aviv.

Put captions on to see my translation.

Part II

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Exiled Syrian MP Calls for Revolution in Syria

Video of exiled Syrian MP Maamoun al-Homsi calling for Revolution in Syria: Put captions on to see my translation.

Who is Maamoun al-Homsi? from source:


Mamoun Al Homsi is a former Syrian MP who has lived in Lebanon since 2006. Before coming to Beirut, Al Homsi spent five years in prison as he was one of the first victims of the government crackdown against Damascus Spring Movement activists.
Goverment Relations:

Al Homsi spent his time in Beirut criticizing the Syrian government for stifling political opposition and signed the Beirut-Damascus Declaration, which called on Syria to recall its military force from Lebanon. Now, Al Homsi is facing deportation back to Syria, as his residency expired July 20th, 2010. He has been allowed to stay one more month in Lebanon, after which he will be forced to leave the country. If he is made to leave, he will likely face criminal charges for his criticism of President Bashar Al Assad and his regime."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Half A Catastrophe

I hate the hijab.

To me, it represents Takhalof Hadari, Arabic for Cultural Regression.

I was raised in a Levantine setting in the days where respectable and chaste women, both Muslim and Christian worked alongside men without the need to cover up their heads.

We had once freed ourselves from this detestable rag, why do we need to bring it back?

Nevertheless, the first video below, where the Tunisian Ataturk, Habib Bourguiba goes around uncovering the head of a woman and patting her on the cheek does make me uncomfortable. It's invasive, and the woman seems to be acquiescing out of awe rather than conviction.

But Bourguiba did so much to modernize Tunisia and so he and his actions are still a Nuss-Musseebeh, Arabic for half-a-catastrophe, when compared to the alternative in the second video, where Tunisians are screaming Allahu Akbar and "We are all for the Hijab and the Niqab".

In my heart, I firmly believe that political voids in the Arab world will only bring in the Islamic Brotherhood and their ilk.

And that's a full Musseebeh.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Syria's Assad Belittles Lebanon's Independence

I now add my translations directly to the video...(click on the speech bubble to activate subtitles)

Egypt's Iconic Comedian Backs Demonstrators

Adel Imam, typically close to Mubarak's regime, initially described the demonstrators as "people who hate Egypt" changes course and considers them as "his own children"

The essential:

Interviewer: On the subject of what's happening in Egypt, I'd like to ask about a statement attributed to you that made the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, which alleges that you have called the demonstrations "absurd, carried out by elements who hate Egypt"

Adel Imam denies the above and responds: "These youth should be listened to, when I look at the People's Assembly, all I see is elderly people, I don't see any youth"

"I'm happy with these youth, and the government should listen to their demands"

- - -

This leads me to the Arabic proverb of the day: اذا طاح الجمل كثروا الجزارين When the camel falls, the butchers multiply.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Ugly Fruits of Tunis

In the first video, Tunisians praise and thank Allah for the first Tunisian passport bearing a photo of a hijab-clad woman, once banned under the secular rule of Ben Ali. The second video features similar celebrations at the first passport with the photo of a bearded man.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Qaddafi Harasses Beggars

Convinced that the Libyan welfare state fulfils his people's every need, Qaddafi is embarrassed by Libyans begging in the streets. In this video, the colonel goes around town interrogating beggars, questioning their "Libyanness" and broadcasting it all on national tv.

Here's a translation of 3 of the exchanges with three different female beggars, one of whom he unveils with his own hands (pictured in top right corner)!

- - - - -


Old woman grasps and kisses the colonel's hands: "Brother Muamer, may you be victorious."

Qaddafi: "Pardon, where are you from?"

Old woman: I'm Libyan, and I'm not begging, I'm just hailing a cab"

Qaddafi sceptical but walks away: "hmm.. yeah right"

Old woman: "may you be victorious, victorious"

- - - - -


Qaddafi: "Are you Egyptian or Libyan?"

Woman: "Libyan, I swear to God"

Qaddafi lifts her veil to reveal her face: "uncover, come on, uncover"

He grabs her ID and inspects it

Qaddafi: "Don't you get a basic pension from the government?"

Woman: "Yes I do"

Qaddafi: "Then why do you beg?"

Woman: "For medication, not for me, for my son. "

Qaddafi: "You're not Libyan"

Woman: "I am Libyan!"

Woman turns hysterical and is calmed down by Qaddafi's aide who tells her: "calm down, enough, you are now talking to the leader, there is nobody above him, calm down"

Woman: "I swear this medication isn't available in the market, I'm begging so I can buy it for my son."

Qaddafi: "Why don't you get treatment for your son at one of the country's hospitals, it's free."

Woman: "I tried to take him to the hospital but they don't have the necessary medication. They gave me pills that didn't work. "

Qaddafi: "no, no, cannot be. In this country there are no beggars. Where did you come from?"

Woman: "Tripoli, I swear"

Qaddafi: "Every Libyan gets a state pension and gets medical treatment for free, why are you embarrassing us in front of the world? Do you have a husband? a son?"

Woman: "Yes I do"

Qaddafi: "What does he do for work?"

Woman: "He's sick"

Qaddafi: "and your husband?"

Woman: "he's sick as well"

Qaddafi: "They're all sick and they take the state pension then. Why do you beg despite the pensions?"

Woman: "They're not enough for the medication I swear to you"

Qaddafi keeps the woman ID

- - - - -


Qaddafi: "Are you Libyan or Egyptian?"

Woman while kissing his hand: "Libyan, I swear to Allah the Great"

Qaddafi: "Show me your ID"

Woman: "I don't have an ID"

Qaddafi: "Then you're not Libyan"

Woman: "I swear to Allah I'm Libyan"

Qaddafi: "Just tell me what country you come from"

Woman: "My husband is Libyan but I'm Tunisian. I have a sick daughter oh colonel. "

Qaddafi: "What does a sick daughter have to do with begging? medical treatment is free. "

Woman: "Please forgive me oh colonel"

Qaddafi: "Why should I forgive you when you embarrass us in front of people, now they say Libyans are begging. We're going to give you some money and send you back to Tunisia. Take her address. "

Woman: "No, why, my husband is Libyan"

Qaddafi: "What does he do for work?"

Woman: "In the postal service"

Qaddafi: "If your husband works how do you beg? and embarrass these people. Take down her address."