ماذا عن الآخَر؟

for the English version go to this link: http://wp.me/p1n1eW-2k

!التطايق – كلمة من اجتهادي لاني لم أجد تعريبا مناسبا للكلمة =Tolerance

إن كنت تعتقد نفسك شخصَا قادرًا على التطايق, فهل هذا يعني أنك قادر على التطايق مع من لا يؤمن بهذه الفكرة, أو مع من لا يتقبّلها على الإطلاق؟

اكتشفت مؤخرّاً أن حدود تطايقي قد تمّ قياسها و إختبارها. لقد لاحظت أنني أعيش في مناخ يهيم عليه طابع التخلّف والتعتيم العقلي الذي يبعث الكراهية في نفوس الناس ممّا يدفعم إلى الإبتعاد عن فكرة التسامح مع الآخرين.

يبدو أن الناس أصبحوا أكثر انغلاقا على أنفسهم وأكثر تمسكّا بما يعتقدون أنه المثال الأسمى: “إن لم توافقنا فأنت عدوّنا”

باتت جميع وجوه عدم التسامح والتطايق تهطل بغزارة: الدينيّة والسياسية والإجتماعية والعرقية وحتى الإثنية , بالتزامن مع نوع من التعصب الفاحش الذي يشكل مظهرًا للعدوانيّة واللامنطق في آنٍ معًا.

لا أريد أن أغوص في متاهات تفسير هذا التفكير البدائي للناس, لأن هذا الموضوع يحتاج إلى تعمّق في الدراسة وإبداء الرأي. ما يهمني هو السعي لإيجاد طريقة تمكنني من التطايق مع هذا النوع من التفكير وتحملّه حتّى لا أنجرّ إلى ذلك المستوى من الكراهية.

فالتطايق يعني أن نكون متساهلين مع أولئك الذين يتمتّعون بتصرّفات وأعراق وأديان وجنسيّات وآراء مختلفة تمامًا عن ما نعتقده نحن ونؤمن به, أي بتعبير آخر هو “التحرر من التعصبية”. يعني التطايق أن نكون مهتمّين ومنفتحين لآراء وأفكار ومعتقدات الآخرين المختلفة عنّا, أي بتعبير آخر هو ” وجهة نظر ليبرالية وغير دوغماتيّة”.

فهل أعتبر دوغماتيًّأ إن كنت أؤمن بالتطايق؟

أيمكننا بالفعل أن نكون حياديّين وبالتالي عادلين؟

وعندما تجتاح موجة عدم التطايق شواطىء وجودنا, هل بإمكاننا التسامح عندها؟

لما يدور في خاطري أسئلة كثيرة أبحث لها عن أجوبة, هذه الأسئلة ليست إفتراضية بل هي أساسية بحت. أنا على يقين أن الأجوبة موجودة وأبسط مما أعتقد, ولكن هذا الجوّ من الكراهية والعصبية والعدوانية المستمرّة والتفكك الإجتماعي الذي يؤدّي إلى التخلّف الفكري يمتلك القوة الكافية لإضعاف القوة والإرادة في داخلنا.

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If the Word is Mightier than the Sword, Do We Need Word Control?

Poisonous statements have reached epidemic proportions…It’s a dilemma, I’m stumped!!!

ContraPolitica

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

I saw this saying twice today, the first time on a poster in someone’s office, the second time on a friend’s status on Facebook.  I have always liked this saying, to me it epitomized the open and fair mind.

The world today is an open forum of ideas, almost anyone can publish and disseminate their point of view.  The new communication media has opened up the field for every Tom, Dick, and Harriet to speak their minds (this very blog for example). But you know what? I’ve been wondering lately how good of a thing that is!

Who receives all these views and opinions? The masses? Who are the masses, and can they discern credibility and or authenticity?I’m sure lots of people read critically, but lots don’t…

Here’s another quote by…

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Chivalry is Dead and WE Killed It

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PclvpXg8CBc

I just watched this Youtube video and found myself fascinated with this little boy dealing with his weepy and vulnerable female classmate.  The boy offers protection, comfort, and service (and at this age I can’t think what his hidden motives might be).

I am sure that this is not purely instinctive behavior, and that this boy has some sort of role model he is emulating- Yet, the way he deals with the little girl is the way that every scared little girl in every grown woman wants to be treated by a man!

And here is where some of the hardcore feminists are going to jump at my throat with the “Women don’t need protection and comforting etc… etc…”

Well we may not need it but we crave it on a purely primal natural level, and here let me just say this: Protection does not mean domination just so we are on the same page.

Now here is my humble assertion after years of introspection and observation: as women, on our quest to gain our equality in society, we have skewed the natural order of things, and have cheated ourselves of some of our natural vulnerabilities, and consequently we have confused men about their respective roles.

Having equal rights does not mean abandoning our natural inherent tendencies to seek out strength in the men in our lives.

Thank you little boy for being such a gentleman, I hope that you don’t lose this trait as you grow older!

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Hashtag #wars vs. Real Wars!

On the very few occasions when I actually watch news on Television a story caught my attention about the hashtag war between Israel and GAZA, and I thought: (sorry profanity coming up) What the Fuck?

And it seems this is also a trending issue online!!

I will not mention the warring hashtags here, sorry that is utter nonsense.

In this virtual parallel universe, what is the meaning of these victories?

They create a morale boost for one side over another (and it is a false boost at that.)
They may give those who are feeling helpless about the situation a sort of empowerment (and it is false empowerment at that.)
They give the old idle ideologues something to ponder (and it is a false something at that)

Most of all, these hashtag wars are a distraction and a way to pacify ourselves against the horrors of death, destruction, and helplessness.

And as Forrest Gump said: “that’s all I have to say about that”.

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Conflict Terminology- The not so innocent way media chose their words!

This is a repost of a previous entry, and a precursor to my upcoming series: Conflict Terminology for Dummies.

Just a word to the wise, even the most objective media can slant your opinion: not by overt propaganda (as most Middle East media do) but with simple language nuances.

Language: a system of symbols that help us to communicate facts, thoughts, and feelings.  Sounds innocent enough, well it isn’t, and the media and advertising industries have known this for a long time, and so have some of the world’s best writers.  Since these are the “communication” times, where information is disseminated at dizzying speed and in overwhelming quantity, it’s important for those who want to be well informed to be able to do a quick analysis and an instant filtering in order to discern the real facts and arrive at some sane opinion.

Below you will find different terms used in media today to describe one situation, occurrence, or phenomenon,  using different terminology (in both English and Arabic), as well as some suggestions as to what they may really mean to imply. This is just the very short list, as this is a 101 level, feel free to add your favorite “synonyms”.

 

Fundamentalist-Extremist-Ultra Orthodox    أصولي-متطرف-ارثودوكسي متطرف

All very close in meaning, I mean a fundamentalist is an extremist ultra orthodox believer.  But note how Ultra Orthodox is a little less threatening than fundamentalist, and how fundamentalist is a little less threatening than extremist.

 

Dead-casualties-martyrs   قتلى-ضحايا-شهداء

The dead simply ceased to be living, casualties were victims, and martyrs are heroes, that’s how we quickly interpret these words in our minds.

 

Killed-Murdered-Slaughtered  قتل-ذبح

Killed implies some violence, murdered implies violence and criminal intent, while slaughtered implies barbaric violence.

 

Hundreds-Thousands-Tens of Thousands… مئات-آلاف-عشرات الآلاف-مسيرة مليونية

Ah, the numbers game! When do hundreds become thousands? Is 999 about a thousand? Or is around 800,000 a million?

 

Demonstrations-Riots-Civil disobedience  مظاهرات-أعمال شغب-عصيان مدني

Civil disobedience is perceived to be the tamest and most peaceful, demonstrations are a bit scarier, but riots are really scary.

 

Rebels-Insurgents-Freedom fighters   متمردين-مقاتلين-ثوار-مجاهدين

Freedom fighters are noble, rebels are romantic, insurgents we don’t really know what to feel about.

Leader-Strong Man-Head of   قائد-زعيم-رئيس

A leader is a father figure that has supporters, a strong man is more like a gang leader who rules by force, and a head of is kind of neutral.

 

Militia-Gang-Guerrillas   ميليشيا-عصابة

All of these terms carry negative raps, Guerillas however sometimes has more of the freedom fighter connotation than a gang or a militia.  And militia implies a more organized gang with a purpose.

 

Stormed-Attacked-Stomped   شن هجوما-اقتحم

To storm something is almost neutral in its outcome, although it means a swift and strong action.  To attack is a bit more aggressive in nature, and to stomp implies greater angry aggression.

 

Invaded-Occupied-Marched into   غزو-احتلال

The nuances of language here are at their best, to invade has a sort of temporary feel to it, while to occupy implies long-term.  March into is the most neutral.

 

Supporters-proponents-followers   مؤيدين-أنصار-أتباع

Supporters and proponents seem to be well aware of what and who they are supporting, while followers implies a type of blind and ignorant faith.

 

Never underestimate the power of a single word, every word carries within its folds many emotional and intellectual triggers that (unfortunately) can move the “masses”.

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YOLO vs FOMO!

Welcome to the acronyms of the information overload era – welcome to abbreviated life so we can catch up on everything!

Social media and constant connectivity have given birth to many new terms, words, trends, afflictions, and syndromes…

YOLO: You Only Live Once became a very popular trend on social media, and it was followed by FOMO: Fear of Missing Out (quite naturally, since you only live once you will be afraid of missing out!)

HOWEVER, I see a bit of a contradiction:  If you want to follow the YOLO rules, you can’t be always thinking about what you are missing out on, especially since FOMO requires you to stay connected and in the know all the time – so no time to live?

ON THE OTHER HAND, if you are living in that virtual parallel universe most of the time, then you may have no problem!

I think FOMO will eventually develop into a real clinical phobia, unless people try to truly disconnect for extended periods of time (not an easy task, try being away from the net for 48 hours! Go ahead, I dare you.)  I will be the first to admit that since a friend mentioned the term to me, I have begun to suspect that I may be a victim of this syndrome. I had to convince myself that if YOLO, you need to disconnect, to miss out on things, in order to fully enjoy others (the moment if you want to call it that).

It is obvious now that we are never fully mindful of our moments, instead we always wonder about what is happening elsewhere.  This is because we have easy access to what is happening elsewhere, and really, that easy access can make us lose out on fully enjoying where we are and who we are with….

FOMO is a form of social anxiety — a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event.  This is especially associated with modern technologies such as smart phones and social networks.

YOLO  is an acronym for “you only live once”. Similar to carpe diem or memento mori, it implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks.

don't live in fear!

don’t live in fear!

 

 

 

 

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Random Observations

These are just some random thoughts that go through my head, they were initially Facebook statuses.  Some are serious, some are fun, some are sarcastic- Some are in Arabic (with translation) well here they are:

Observation: What doesn’t kill you does not always make you stronger- sometimes it just doesn’t kill you, and sometimes it makes you weaker!

Observation: there’s no such thing as a day OFF – the only off-switch of the mind happens at the end of life’s journey (maybe)

Oh crap I’m a minority ??!!

Observation: No one can “complete” someone else (like the line in the movie: “you complete me”) What a significant other can do for you is simply to mend and fill the tares and gaps that life has inflicted on your completeness….

Lady at the ticket counter: Is Beirut your final destination? Me: Beirut will always be my final destination

Observation: once the nostalgia glasses have been removed, the past becomes less attractive and the future more appealing…

Observation: one day I squish the ant on the kitchen counter, one day I let it go – Life is random that way…

Observation: If you can’t reach a “Win, Win” solution, consider the alternative – which is often “lose, lose” ….

Observation: personal responsibility does not mean “it’s all my fault” it means that whoever’s fault it is, I am only responsible for my reactions, actions, and attitudes….

Resilience is healthy, but when resilience turns to apathy (يعني تمسحة) well it’s a definite sign of sickness… I’ll be the first to admit: I’m sick!

ملاحظة: الوحدة وحتى الوحشة أرحم من العلاقات البلهاء…(translation: solitude, even loneliness is better than insignificant relationships)

Observation: as soon as what you love becomes your job, you love it a lot less!

I am convinced that the saying “everything happens for a reason” is false within the random chaos of life… deal with whatever happens .. stop looking for the “reason”!

All you need is love……. and good health, and some money, and a roof over your head…

Best survival strategy: “DENIAL”

My version of hate speech: “Mosquitos suck”

My mind is clear but my house is a mess

Music is necessary… Good music is mandatory!

all this darkness is part of humanity… humanity has a dark side that comes out to breathe at different intervals in history… it is up to each individual human at these times to hold on to what he or she thinks is valuable and good… or to let his or her dark side come out to breathe too…

Yesterday a friend asked me: What are you gonna do with your future? I answered: I want to become an astronaut, or a firefighter, or a ballerina

I stay away from stating the obvious, and thus I am always misunderstood…

Observation: One cannot stop the seasons from changing… (that’s it)

Observation: Patience may be a virtue, but it’s also a weapon that cuts both ways…

Observation: It’s best to resist the temptation of digging up old photo albums!!

Observation: Don’t discuss Van Gogh with the color blind… (you can add your own variations to this)

Observation: Different colors have different rhythms

Observation: It is both funny and a bit scary when as a writer, with a tight deadline, you find yourself humming the song “words don’t come easy”…

ملاحظة: كم كانت الحياة أسهل لو استطعنا الاحتفاظ بالدروس والغاء الذكريات التي علمتنا تلك الدروس (Translation: Wouldn’t life be much easier if we only remembered the lessons and forgot the experiences that taught us those lessons?)

Observation: When people become desensitized to terrorism, is it still terrifying? (this is along the lines of ‘if a tree falls in a wood and no one is around does it make a sound?’)

Style observation: those black shorts with hose underneath that almost everyone is wearing should come with a disclaimer: “If over 35 wear at your own risk of looking utterly ridiculous”

Valentine’s observation: Red teddy bears would be really creepy in any other context

Observation: Contempt is more merciful than pity…

Observation: in those rare instances when logic and intellect cannot come to the rescue bake a gooey chocolate cake !

I love words but I dislike wordiness

Observation: Although we are aware of some distressing facts, seeing them written down and quantified tends to raise that awareness to panic… 

Observation: sarcasm is often misunderstood as wisdom!

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