The ‘seventh day’: ” I knew that peace could not come from the defeat and humiliation of the Arabs.”

The ‘seventh day’: Censored voices from the 1967 war

Powerful new documentary recounts what happened on the day after the Six-Day War.

By  Jun. 7, 2015 | 10:21 AM
An Israeli soldier stands guard over Egyptian prisoners in El Arish, Sinai, during the Six-Day War

An Israeli soldier stands guard over Egyptian prisoners in El Arish, Sinai, during the Six-Day War in June 1967.Photo by Shabtai Tal / GPO

It was an early summer’s night. A group of men had gathered in a room inside Kibbutz Geva. Outside, the Jezreel Valley was quiet. The men sat indoors, confused and hesitant. Only 10 days had passed since the end of the Six-Day War they had fought in, and the impact of what they had witnessed had refused to leave them. It actually provided the impetus for their gathering. When the initial excitement died down, a young literature teacher who would become one of Israel’s leading authors opened the discussion.

“A few guys had an idea of putting together an unconventional book that would try to provide an authentic record of what people returning from war feel,” this guest from Kibbutz Hulda, Amos Oz, said. It was an introduction he would repeat dozens of times over the next few months. “Generally, this booklet will try and explain what we’ve all encountered – namely, that people returned from the battlefield without any [sense of] joy.”

Oz’s words can be heard in the documentary “Censored Voices,” directed by Mor Loushy. It has been playing since Thursday in cinemas and will be aired this summer on Yes TV’s Docu channel, which helped finance the production.

What lends this documentary its unsettling effect for Israeli viewers, particularly ones from a certain generation, is that it acts as a reality-changing time capsule, one that no one has disturbed for 48 years since the original audio recordings were made. This selection of testimonies has a power that can shatter truths at the very heart of the State of Israel.

Israeli soldiers with Egyptian captives in Sinai. June, 1967. Israel film service

The original “Siach Lochamim” (“The Seventh Day”) was a collection of testimonies compiled by Avraham Shapira, a historian and editor who had been a pupil of Martin Buber and Gershom Shalom. Assisting in the compilation were Amos Oz, David Alon, Amram Hayisraeli, Yariv Ben-Aharon, Abba Kovner and others, all of them kibbutz members from across the country. As Oz explained, it was born out of the sense of oppressiveness with which so many of them had returned, which stood in such stark contrast to the sense of elation felt by most of the public. “There was a tense emotional polarity across the whole country,” Shapira remembers in the documentary.

A few days after the war ended, Shapira and Oz were summoned to the Kibbutz Movement’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. The purpose of the meeting was to produce a commemorative booklet in honor of fallen soldiers. A few days later, Oz told Shapira he was going to meet some friends in Geva. This tentative meeting was the first in a series of meetings and unplanned nightly discussions, without any schedule, timetable or agenda. As the conversations unfolded, initial hesitation was replaced by gut-wrenching confessions about war and its costs, about the corrupting effects of violence, and about what happened to Israel after what started out as an act of self-defense. Some 200 hours were recorded, but when the editors got ready to publish the recorded material, the censors stepped in. Seventy percent of the material submitted to them was stored in the archives, so as not to tarnish Israel’s image.

Softened version

Three months after the war ended, the collection of conversations was published. “The Seventh Day” was a 286-page book, comprised mainly of reflections and soul-searching by agonized young men encountering violence and death; testimonies of harsh confrontations with enemy soldiers and civilians; and comments that would be considered heresy nowadays. These included questioning whether the conquest of [East] Jerusalem was really necessary, and whether, in exchange for peace, it [East Jerusalem] should be returned to Jordan. There were no testimonies describing war crimes.

IDF soldiers in Sinai. June 7, 1967. Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Even though this was a softened version, it turned out to be sufficient to make waves. In the sea of victory albums and tales of heroism – and in total contrast to its antithesis, the best-selling book “The Tanks of Tammuz,” by Shabtai Teveth – “The Seventh Day” became a sensation. The book’s print run was 150,000, and it was translated into English, Spanish, Swedish, German, French, Arabic and Yiddish.

When it was first published in October 1967, it was intended only as an internal booklet for kibbutz members. But reports of it and quotations from it led to its dissemination among the general public.

The book was received in two ways. Its supporters viewed its antiwar character and universal sensitivities to the horrors of war as decisive proof of moral superiority. Discussion about the burden of fighting, recoiling from violence and the oppression of victory – all were perceived as yet another justification for being victorious. However, most people saw it as something completely different. Among all the victory albums, the adoration of the military, of holy places and of liberated swaths of land, this book was perceived as a defiant downer. Some people considered the censored and lean testimonies to be sanctimonious, or miserable wailing. The book even got the derogatory moniker “Shooting and Crying,” while some people described it as an apology for winning the war. The subversive, competing narrative of the book was ridiculed, and the winners were also victorious in the underlying battle over national memory and the country’s history books.

Over the decades, the book slowly receded from memory, along with its voices – both the ones heard and the ones censored. Some tapes were kept by Shapira, but most were deposited in Yad Tabenkin, the Kibbutz Movement’s research and documentation center. Even though prominent journalists and media figures urged him to release his audio tapes over the years, Shapira refused to do so.

After finishing her studies at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, Loushy returned to Tel Aviv and did a degree in history and literature. She took a history course and came across “The Seventh Day,” which she hadn’t been aware of. “I read it and my stomach turned,” she relates. “I couldn’t understand how I hadn’t heard about it until then, this book that came out three months after the war, with its strong antiwar message. I told myself we had all grown up with one clear narrative, and only [Prof.] Yeshayahu Leibowitz was known to have had other opinion. But here were conversations with 400 soldiers, all of them talking against wars – that did something to me. I was angry that this book didn’t even exist for my generation.”

Mor Loushy, director of “Censored Voices” film about Six-Day War. Tomer Appelbaum

At first, Shapira ignored Loushy’s requests – until she ambushed him at a conference where he was speaking. After that, they met at his kibbutz. “From the first meeting,” she recalls, “I felt both of us understood that we were now at a point in time where these things should come out. I told him these issues were relevant to us, to our society, and that we should look at our past with open and realistic eyes. Also, that this moral discourse must be publicized again. He understood.”

Loushy, 33, lives with her production partner, Daniel Sivan (he also edited the film). This is her second film, after “Israel Ltd.,” which followed young Jewish people on their trips to Israel financed by the Jewish Agency. She has already started work on her next film, “The Oslo Diaries.” It will deal with the secret channel of talks between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, viewed through the private diaries of diplomats and other central figures.

The long hours involved in making “Censored Voices” began in Loushy and Sivan’s apartment. She listened to and transcribed 200 hours of recordings. She admits to being greatly affected by the conversations and getting sucked in, as if she were reliving that period herself.

“It’s usually people looking back at their experiences as they remember them today, many years later. I had a document that captured authentic testimonies immediately after the [Six-Day] War,” she says. “The way they analyze their experience is sincere and true. This was a pre-media era; they didn’t know how it would turn out and they talked freely, uncompromisingly and unapologetically.”

This impacted the way she constructed “Censored Voices.” It doesn’t deal with “The Seventh Day” itself, and there are no talking heads, intellectual analyses, historians or experts. Instead, there are recordings from the original audio tapes, accompanied by archival photos or, in some cases, the faces of the speakers listening to themselves, nearly 50 years on. The confusion and enthusiasm are replaced by grave, mature faces, sporting shocked expressions.

Rafael Eitan (right) in Rafah. June, 1967. Michal Han, GPO.

The Holocaust question

It’s impossible not to reflect on this moral discourse. There seems to be a clear line stretching between the shock felt by the soldiers of 1967, testifying about war crimes that they or others committed, and Israel in 2015, including its social and political situation. The movie serves as a clear invitation to renew the debate about moral issues. That’s why it seems that, just like the original book, the new documentary also faces being rebuffed.

Earlier this week, in an interview to radio’s Channel 7, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan announced his intention to censor the documentary. Even though he hadn’t seen it, he called the movie “part of a trend aimed at discrediting Israel.”

It’s reasonable to assume that criticism will soon be brought against the testimonies that link some of Israel’s wartime actions with the Holocaust. “There is no comparison between war crimes and the Holocaust in this movie,” says Loushy. “The Holocaust is mentioned twice: once by Menahem Shalem, who was a child refugee himself. He, as a soldier, looks at refugees and remembers his experiences as a child. Another instance was very similar – these are very personal testimonies.

“The Holocaust was the dominant backdrop to the recordings in 1967,” she continues. “This was 20 years after it happened, a short time [six years] after the Eichmann trial, and questions of whether we were similar to them [Nazis] featured very prominently. We treated it with kid gloves. Not everything should be viewed through a prism of propaganda, or of Israel haters. We need to have the courage to contend with our own morality during wars. It’s in our interest as a society to review the past and face our demons.”

No place for humans

“I’ll tell you something I didn’t say in that book,” says Oz in the film. (During the war, he was a reservist in an information-dispensing unit.) “At 8 A.M. on June 5, as the fighting began, I stood among the tanks of Maj. Gen. [Israel “Talik”] Tal’s division opposite Rafah, and at 8:30 A.M. they moved in, with us behind them. For the first time, I saw a dead body along the road side. An Egyptian soldier lay on his back with outstretched arms and legs, his head on the ground with his eyes open. I looked at him and said to myself, ‘I’ll never be able to drink or eat again in my entire life.’ Six or seven hours later, I was standing in Sheikh Zuweid, surrounded by Egyptian casualties. I drank water from my canteen and listened to music on my transistor radio between news reports. The transformation I went through within seven hours was hard to comprehend.”

Amos Oz, from “Censored Voices” film about Six-Day War. Avner Shahaf.

Loushy asks Oz how he views the modern Israeli reality in relation to “The Seventh Day.” “I see more apathy in today’s society, more lack of sensitivity. What happens in the territories sometimes crosses a red line, constituting a war crime, but it’s [viewed as happening] there and not here. There is some mechanism of repression and disengagement at play. Many people don’t read news items relating to the occupation when they come across them. Thus, the media doesn’t adequately cover what happens there. Every day, every hour, Palestinians suffer humiliation, harassment at checkpoints, in their villages – the settlers’ sewage flows downhill into Arab villages.”

Did you already sense the consequences of the war back in 1967?

“Already during the fighting in Sinai, I felt that this victory was sowing seeds of deep hatred toward Israel. I thought we were justified in conducting that war, that we were acting in self-defense. I felt it was a just war, otherwise I would have refused to serve. I knew we were at the beginning of a long and difficult road of a bloody war with the entire Arab and Muslim world. I knew that peace could not come from the defeat and humiliation of the Arabs.”

Reflecting on the atmosphere in Israel after the 1967 war, Oz says, “The sense of relief was understandable, and I shared it. We thought we were facing annihilation. We were still under the shadow of the 1948 War of Independence, and many of us remembered living through it as children. We remembered siege, hunger, shelling, living in shelters, numerous casualties, terrible losses, prolonged suffering. No one thought this war would be so short. People were shocked when it ended after six days. It’s no wonder that a whole nation became euphoric – especially one that for thousands of years experienced force only as inflicted on its whipped backs. It’s probably natural that a people such as this gets a bit drunk with its physical prowess. But my friends and I saw the other side of the coin as well.

“I remember the sensation and I remember that a Holocaust hovered above us twice. Once was during the waiting period before the war, when many people feared annihilation – since the Arabs were more numerous and powerful, equipped with modern Soviet weapons. They had the initiative and felt cocky. The prevailing feeling was they would come and exterminate us, just like in the Holocaust. The second time was when we saw the convoys of refugees, those who fled. Just as Menahem Shalem said in the recording you just played, as a former child refugee he saw himself in a Palestinian child carried in his parents’ arms, fleeing from an abandoned village into exile. I strenuously object to such comparisons. I always believed in different degrees of evil. Anyone who cannot rank different degrees of evil may end up a servant of evil.”

What did you feel when the collection of stories was distributed across the country?

“I remember feeling a bit alarmed when I saw the completed book. I thought to myself, What have we done? Maybe we are party spoilers, putting a wet blanket over the national celebration? I knew that many people would be angry with us, that the book would be attacked. But I felt at one with myself, that it was good we had spoken out. I never thought it would become a best-seller. I thought it would be read mainly in kibbutzim.”

In retrospect, are you pleased with that heritage?

“Yes, I’m pleased with it, pleased that this voice was preserved. I’m sorry it is no longer heard at this time.”

via

The ‘seventh day’: Censored voices from the 1967 war – Diplomacy and Defense – – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

Once again, I copied/pasted a Haaretz article… for you to read, if you don’t have premium access.

I know that it’s not exactly legal nor nicely presented, but still, as usual… it’s a worthy read, and the message must be spread.

I must find that docu. Yes, I must. 

Enjoy!

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Mona Eltahawy keeps making me like her…

Looking at the state of Libya and Syria today, post-Arab Spring, do you ever wonder if this was worth it?

No. I often compare Egypt to a house in which every window and door has been closed shut for the past 60 to 65 years. The revolution basically opened a window in that house. And you can imagine the stench that comes out after all those years. It’s horrible, and your first instinct is to close it because it stinks. But the only way to get the smell out is to continue to open all the windows.

via

Mona Eltahawy Doesn’t Need to Be Rescued – NYTimes.com.

Prison-Protest

Still… let’s be fair!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/book-reviews/why-mona-eltahawys-provocative-new-book-headscarves-and-hymens-falls-short-in-its-goal-to-change-the-arab-world/article24009841/

Rest in Peace, all those dreamers in Middle East… and stand up in peace, all those still to come.

A few days before her assassination, Shaima tweeted: “Living in this country has become painful and cold…I hope that its soil is vaster… and the bosom of its ground broader than its sky.”
The Ministry of Interior acquitted itself, as it does often, saying that professional elements infiltrated the march and killed Shaima. According to the autopsy report and eyewitnesses who were standing next to Shaima, a soldier fired a barrage of shotgun shells at her from a distance of eight meters. The authorities hate the voices of the January youths, who say that “the Interior Ministry are thugs.”

Sabbagh fell in Talaat Harb Square. She was with her leftist comrades from the Socialist People’s Alliance Party (SPAP). They were walking peacefully toward Tahrir Square, singing and chanting: “Living – freedom – social justice.”

None of the goals of the January 25 Revolution have been achieved. They were consumed and digested by the old dictators.

Even carrying flowers on the anniversary of those who passed away in Tahrir Square in 2011 is forbidden to Shaima and her companions, disappointed with the comments of passersby, who watched and said critically: “Enough revolution and destruction, shame on you.”

In Egypt, Tyrants Fear Roses and Songs:

A Eulogy for Shamia Sabbagh 

Al Akhbar English.

2503A92200000578-2924709-Hit_This_is_the_moment_when_Shaima_al_Sabbagh_32_a_Socialist_Pop-a-23_1422194036717

Let’s not forget as well, that only a day before, Egyptian student Sondos Abu Bakr was killed, in a nearly identical manner to Shaimaa, after security forces started shooting at a demonstration she was attending in the city of Alexandria. Sondos was only 17.

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The weapon and method used to kill both women was the same, and so were the culprits yet the coverage of both incidents could not have been more different. The killing of Sondos, once confirmed, received little to no coverage, whether on social media or on news outlets. There were no condemnations or special tributes, no major articles or investigations. I can’t help but think, had Sondos been protesting under a different (read “liberal”) banner, her death would have received more sympathy and certainly more coverage. It’s true that that the killing of Shaimaa was more well-documented than that of Sondos, and it’s also true that it took place in an area and time of great significance to the Egyptian revolution… but does that really justify the disparity in coverage?

I am not here to “compare” deaths or claim that the killing of one was more outrageous than the other. That would frankly be quite repulsive and counter-productive. I am simply trying to point out the sheer hypocrisy in our principles and stances that deem some lives more worthy of mourning than others. The fact of the matter is that the majority of people only started caring about the death of “Islamist” Sondos when it was linked to the death of “liberal” Shaimaa. Sondos was just an afterthought.

Via:

MuslimGirl.net

10940419_551196864982952_1848956401605851490_n

Yesterday Sondos, today Shaima.

And still the world watches on #Jan25#Egypt#KilledByCops

Egypt: From MarienBad to MarienWorst.

So now, we are hearing rhetoric that is both disturbing and frustrating, along the lines of “let the state tighten its grip over protesters, we have had enough”, and “it is time to work and stop protests, we need to eat”, and “what has protesting done so far except damage to the whole country”.

Indeed, what has protesting accomplished? So far, none of the demands of 25 January have been met. The first demand, the first spark for that revolution, was to bring an end to the interior ministry’s brutality. Reforming that institution was the first reason people took to the streets (remember Khaled Said, whose killers are acquitted?) and now the protest law requires that same institution’s blessing to allow people to take to the streets. What happens now when Egyptians decide again to rise up against the brutal ministry? Go get approval from the ministry for their route, give the ministry the names and addresses and phone numbers of the organisers? Hell, you might as well detain yourself right then and there!

But then again, this is Egypt, where no law is enforced and those who should enforce it are the first ones to break it, so no need to fret. Right now, and without any law put in place, the amazing Ministry of Interior detains anyone anytime and for charges we only saw in movies criticising Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule. Charges like distributing “papers” calling for protests, being in possession of the yellow Rabaa sign, or having “anti-regime documents” on your computer… and this is without even having protested yet! People are being tortured, sometimes to death, in detention facilities and police stations during questioning for such ridiculous charges. No need for a law or a fine or a prison sentence; our police are taking matters in their own hands anyway, and who is to tell them not to? Who is to hold them accountable? No one did during Mubarak’s rule, nor SCAF rule, nor Morsi’s rule, and obviously not now (whoever’s rule this is!)

via The right to say NO!

 Daily News Egypt.

bDRlrJX

And Elbaradei saw it coming… and he was right… and then he was called “traitor”. 

Ah… Misr, Misr… how much can you keep doing it wrong?

…4 days for Bassem to come back. Counting.

Does the Brotherhood really think they work for Egypt? …at all?

The Brotherhood’s decision to pick October 6, when Egyptians celebrate their military, to hold demonstrations that condemn and denounce the army and lead to high casualties raises questions about the wisdom and efficacy of the Brotherhood’s strategy, if there is one.

Some Brotherhood members are wagering that continued clashes, demonstrations, civil disobedience and sabotage will disrupt the economy and push the country toward bankruptcy, which will result in the complete collapse of the state. The Brotherhood is also betting that the continued skirmishes and rising casualties will erode the legitimacy of the current regime and spark a rift within the June 30 alliance, providing them the chance to attract allies from the ranks of the revolutionaries. Furthermore, they are hoping that the mounting casualties will bring added international pressure and break the Egyptian people’s resolve under the weight of mounting bodies.

Without dismissing the negative impact of the Brotherhood’s strategy, its hopes seem futile even if they succeed in straining the resources of the state. Popular rejection and negative sentiments against the Brotherhood are only increasing with each episode of stalled traffic as a result of their demonstrations, with the growing number of those injured during confrontations with the Brothers and their supporters and with the continuing economic misery and hardships of daily life suffered by average Egyptians, who blame these problems on the Brotherhood and now the war of attrition they are waging against the people. As a result, it will be impossible for the Brotherhood to return to power for years, the number of which grows exponentially each time the Brothers push to implement their failed tactics.

At the same time, reconciliation with splinter factions of the Muslim Brotherhood, though important, will be met with rejection by the Brotherhood, which systematically accuses dissidents of never having been part of the organization in the first place. Unfortunately, Egyptians may have to move forward and hope the Brotherhood comes to its senses at some later date. Efforts to assimilate other Islamist factions, as well as possibly some Brotherhood supporters and defectors from the organization, should continue without expecting reconciliation with the Brotherhood itself any time soon.

via What Does the Brotherhood Want?

 Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

moslimske_bratstvo_egypt_13_reuters

And here I am…. observing, observing…. and waiting. 

Luckily Bassem Youssef returns on Oct 26th. Then many things will be clear. Inch’Allah.

Egypt needs its women back on the frontline… well… all Middle East does!

The security vacuum created by the collapse of the Mubarak regime not only enabled men with sick attitudes to women to roam the streets with relative impunity, it also unleashed the use of sexual violence as a political weapon to intimidate women from joining the uprising.This weapon of mass degradation has been employed to varying degrees by Egypt’s various leaders over the past two and a half years, from assaults and rapes on Tahrir Square to “virginity tests”.Although this has succeeded to some extent, many women have refused to be cowed and admirably still continue to play prominent roles in Egypt’s revolution, both for collective freedom and their own. Women have even braved further assault to protest against sexual harassment, while a number of campaigns have been launched to protect women attending demonstrations, such as OpAntiSh, and to monitor and combat the phenomenon, such as HarassMap.One recent attempt to reclaim the streets, ‘Hanelbes Fasateen‘, urged women to go out in dresses in defiance of harassers. Using old black-and-white images of elegant young Egyptian women in summer dresses strolling unharassed down the street, the campaign employed a certain amount of nostalgia for a lost Egypt of greater social freedom.

via Egypt’s underground sisterhood

 The Chronikler.

110424_Pages from beach_proof_2

(Egyptian women sunbathing in Alexandria, 1959 )

Bigger hope of modernisation and progress for Middle East may come INVARIABLY through women’s involvement in change.

It’s something perfectly understood by rulers in all these lands, and because of this it’s women who suffer specially the oppressing and judgemental views of those societies, where men can perfectly be dressed in a western way without being considered, at least “decadent” if not indecent or immoral. 

In late 1950’s, Nasser was pushing the pan-arabist movement and as far as women’s liberation was considered a symptome of western colonialist influence, it was everything but promoted.

Also islamists reacted to Nasser’s hostility vs the Muslim Brotherhood by repressing women’s freedom on dressing codes, repeating the same reactionist scenario that could have happened in other Middle East countries, even in Saudi Arabia, Iran or Afghanistan, where pictures of women around the late 50’s until mid 70’s give us a very different view on how things could have been.

When I was in Cairo I saw many pics of this period, when streets were clean and the city could compete with every other mediterranean european capital… and women looked like every other free woman in the world. Oum Khaltoum packed theaters in Paris and Egypt was a cultural avantgarde for arab language and arts.

Today, nothing is left of that, except many nostalgic pics in walls of many cafeterias, and the pages created by the chronists of a lost time, such as Taha Hussein, Yusuf Idris or Naguib Mahfouz. 

Maybe just one on every ten women I saw in Cairo streets on Aug’08 were unveiled, and men looked quite disrespectfully at those who weren’t “properly dressed” … this kind of behaviour was what ruined completely my view of that nation.

Now looking at this pic of women in Ishkenderiyah (Alexandria) in 1959, I can see my mother in them.

And there’s nothing indecent, immoral or disrespectful in my mother, whatever she wore in late 1950’s on a beach. That’s a lesson that will be learnt maybe by the grandchildren of this generation of arabs. Insh’Allah.

Bassem Youssef: I have decided I will take the side of the Brotherhood.

It appears, therefore, that the only option is for me to join the Brotherhood to the end so we can bring down the army, police, deep state remnants and everyone who contributed stupidity and prejudice to reaching our current state of infighting. The solution can be found with the Brotherhood, their Islamic state and their principles that change according to their interests and to interpretation of religion. They are absolutely right and they lounge in God’s shadow on Earth. Voltaire says: “He who tells you to believe what he does or God will curse you is saying: believe what I do or I will kill you.”

Consequently, since killing is ensured either way, and there is no hope in reconciliation, it is probably best that we choose how we want to die. Moreover, how beautiful it is to die for the sake of building a caliphate specifically tailored for the Brotherhood. Maybe then their sheikhs would pronounce us martyrs after spending a lifetime of disbelief and delusion.

via Egypt: the destruction of a nation

Alarabiya.net English

 youssef (1)

Yeah… after some meditation we all must agree he’s right.

As usual.

Ah, brilliance! …Mash’Allah!

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El saber no está de más.

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I'm a Spaniard. My blood is purely Spaniard, hence, it is a perfect mix of the best drops from Iberians, Celts, Basques, Phoenitians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Jews, Berbers, Arabs, and other European immigrants... That's to be a pure Spaniard. I reached this conclusion when I met some Bedu from Saudi Arabia, back in 2005 I think. She used to praise her blood purity and her tribe lineage, making me think about my own roots... while opening a door inside me, right into the unknown life of Middle Eastern human beings. She helped me awake a pride for my own heritage, but never closing doors to others. This is why I am commonly called Tono by everyone, but here I can be again Youssef Antun Bin Antun Bin Youssef Ibn Untinyan, Al-Must'arib. Same as I decided to accept the challenge, now I offer the same chance to others... Marhaban! (مرحبا. ) And... one last thing: ALL THOSE ORANGE CHARACTERS IN THE POSTS ARE LINKS. Use them. Wisely.

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Experiences and observations of a former American diplomat now married to a Saudi and living in KSA...

Nervana

From the Middle East to the British Isles

NotGD

I'm a Spaniard. My blood is purely Spaniard, hence, it is a perfect mix of the best drops from Iberians, Celts, Basques, Phoenitians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Jews, Berbers, Arabs, and other European immigrants... That's to be a pure Spaniard. I reached this conclusion when I met some Bedu from Saudi Arabia, back in 2005 I think. She used to praise her blood purity and her tribe lineage, making me think about my own roots... while opening a door inside me, right into the unknown life of Middle Eastern human beings. She helped me awake a pride for my own heritage, but never closing doors to others. This is why I am commonly called Tono by everyone, but here I can be again Youssef Antun Bin Antun Bin Youssef Ibn Untinyan, Al-Must'arib. Same as I decided to accept the challenge, now I offer the same chance to others... Marhaban! (مرحبا. ) And... one last thing: ALL THOSE ORANGE CHARACTERS IN THE POSTS ARE LINKS. Use them. Wisely.

TAMADOR ALYAMI تماضر اليامي

Here I make time for the voices inside my head..

MidEastPosts.com

Middle East Politics, Society, Economy and People of the Arab World

Blue Abaya

I'm a Spaniard. My blood is purely Spaniard, hence, it is a perfect mix of the best drops from Iberians, Celts, Basques, Phoenitians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Jews, Berbers, Arabs, and other European immigrants... That's to be a pure Spaniard. I reached this conclusion when I met some Bedu from Saudi Arabia, back in 2005 I think. She used to praise her blood purity and her tribe lineage, making me think about my own roots... while opening a door inside me, right into the unknown life of Middle Eastern human beings. She helped me awake a pride for my own heritage, but never closing doors to others. This is why I am commonly called Tono by everyone, but here I can be again Youssef Antun Bin Antun Bin Youssef Ibn Untinyan, Al-Must'arib. Same as I decided to accept the challenge, now I offer the same chance to others... Marhaban! (مرحبا. ) And... one last thing: ALL THOSE ORANGE CHARACTERS IN THE POSTS ARE LINKS. Use them. Wisely.

Omaima Al Najjar

Saudi woman speaks out

Global Voices

I'm a Spaniard. My blood is purely Spaniard, hence, it is a perfect mix of the best drops from Iberians, Celts, Basques, Phoenitians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Jews, Berbers, Arabs, and other European immigrants... That's to be a pure Spaniard. I reached this conclusion when I met some Bedu from Saudi Arabia, back in 2005 I think. She used to praise her blood purity and her tribe lineage, making me think about my own roots... while opening a door inside me, right into the unknown life of Middle Eastern human beings. She helped me awake a pride for my own heritage, but never closing doors to others. This is why I am commonly called Tono by everyone, but here I can be again Youssef Antun Bin Antun Bin Youssef Ibn Untinyan, Al-Must'arib. Same as I decided to accept the challenge, now I offer the same chance to others... Marhaban! (مرحبا. ) And... one last thing: ALL THOSE ORANGE CHARACTERS IN THE POSTS ARE LINKS. Use them. Wisely.