De la mémoire face au silence

Depuis deux ans je documente les mouvements sociaux, par sympathie, mais aussi parce que j'ai la conviction la plus profonde que le rôle d'un documentariste consiste à informer ses contemporains de l'esprit du temps, de rendre visible l'invisible dans le social, à la manière d’un sculpteur qui révèle la forme humaine contenue dans la pierre brute. Une forme qui voyagera à travers les siècles. Le documentaire est aussi un travail de mémoire, à l’intersection de la mémoire collective et de la mémoire individuelle - du cinéaste et celle du spectateur. ... >>>

14 juin 2014

Who really won the 2014 Quebec elections?

Yesterday Quebec voted for the lesser of two evils. kicking out the PQ (Parti Québécois) and giving the PLQ (Parti Libéral du Québec) a majority government. Let this serve as a lessons to any politician or political party that hinges it’s success on divisive politics and winning at the expense of certain segments of society. The charter of « values » is now no more… it went down the drain with the PQ defeat. Many of us worked hard to bring a view representing the actual opinion of the population on the approach that the PQ embarked on. 99media.org, G.A.P.P.A., and Les Alter Citoyens, independent media groups, worked tirelessly to bring La Charte des distractions, a feature documentary that opened up the space for dialogue between communities and became part of the grass roots debate on the matter of countering the ignorance promoting PR propagation (with our tax dollars) by of proposed  bill 60 by the PQ. Yesterday’s defeat of the PQ was a overwhelming rejection of the PQ and their policies rather than an overwhelming endorsement of the PLQ. The PLQ may have won a majority government, but I hope that they understand that they have not been given a mandate. That the only reason they ... >>>

8 avril 2014

Impressions of an immigrant and the silence of logic

I immigrated to Quebec in 2008 and over the past few years I tried my best to learn about this new place that I now call home. I took french lessons and immersed myself in french conversations for better practice. But being dyslexic means that I have certain limitations that I can not surpass; writing in french is still excessively difficult for me, and sometimes I miss the obvious nuances in conversations. I also took it upon myself to learn the history of the place, not just by reading about it in books, but also by meeting locals and engaging them in conversations on the topic… History is better explained form the perspective of those whom have lived it. I learned about the Franco/Anglo divide, the October crisis, the Oka crisis, the quiet revolution, the sovereignty movement, and of course, putine, and osti, and calis and tabarnak. I fell in love Quebec… and now I call it my home. In the process of discovering and learning about Quebec, I recognized several similarities and differences between it and all other places where I took up residence. Growing up in a war torn Lebanon, I have longed for most of my life to live ... >>>

25 février 2014

Manifeste GAPPA

Médias Québécois, Journalistes-Sophistes, Chroniqueurs-Rhéteurs, Éditorialistes-Propagandistes, Politiciens-Menteurs, Faiseurs d’images, Et Ingénieurs de l’Opinion Publique, Le peuple du Québec endure depuis trop longtemps votre incompétence, votre hypocrisie et votre mépris. L’emprise que vous avez sur les moyens de produire, diffuser et consommer l’information dans notre société demeure forte, mais votre poigne se desserre. Vous avez cru pouvoir acheter impunément nos esprits et nos volontés. Cependant, vos efforts pour nous tenir loin de la lumière vous ont aveuglés. Pour nous abrutir, il vous fallait devenir sots. Vous voilà dupes de vos propres mensonges et prisonniers du labyrinthe que vous avez construit pour nous confondre. Il existe pourtant des mots à l’extérieur de vos langages pour parler; des idées à l’extérieur de vos idéologies pour penser. Nous les préparions et les remisions jusqu’ici, comme des armes, en prévision du Grand Soir. Nos logiques, nos sciences, nos philosophies et nos littératures ont enfin accouchées des technologies, des programmes, des imaginaires et des langages dont nous avons besoin pour vous déclarer une guerre que vous risquez de perdre. Le présent communiqué signe l’acte de naissance du Guet des Activités Paralogiques, Propagandistes et Antidémocratiques (GAPPA), un bloc affinitaire de militantEs déterminéEs à répondre d’une voix puissante et ... >>>

27 juin 2012

Making Sense of a World Wide Revolution in a Cacophony of Chaos

What are you protesting? This is a question that I have heard quite often since Occupy Montreal began on the 15th of October 2011. Due to the myriad voices that sprang out that day, almost each protester shouting a slogan of her or his own, the general public was lost as to what we where (and still are) protesting. From Tunisia to Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel, Spain, Greece, France, China, India, Russia, Germany, Chili, Brazil, Mexico, the USA, Canada, and many more countries, our main goal was (is) to protest the system of inequality that the greedy few (be they corporations, despots, or filthy rich individuals) have imposed on the majority of the World population. please mind the use of the word World with a capital W, as this is not an issue that touches folks merely on a local and isolated level. This is an issue, that now, in a globally connected world, touches every living soul on the face of this planet. All 7 billion plus of the earth’s human population (and also that of other species from bacteria to animals and plants) are in one way or another affected by the greedy few ... >>>

24 juin 2012

We Are the 99%

We Are… We are the 99%. The ones who are misinterpreted. The ones who are criticized with not having a coherent message even when our message is as clear as day; we want change, we want to live, we refuse to be slaves, we will not be bullied anymore, we will not allow anyone to deny us our human right to live and be free from the world economic system of veiled slavery. We are the 99%. The ones who the 1% can’t seem to understand, the 1% that live a life of exuberant luxury while the 99% live in worry of how they will pay the next bill, how they will feed their starving children, how they will get out of the hell they live in. We are the 99%. The Arab Spring, the Israeli Summer, the American Autumn, the Global Winter. From Asia to Africa to the Middle East to Europe to South America to North America, the people are waking up from their long slumber. Long Have we set aside our collective and individual frustrations in favor of the “greater good of the Nation”, whatever nation that may be. Long have we bent ourselves over in order ... >>>

19 octobre 2011

The Quagmire and the Coming Storm

So the Russians do not want Bashar to step down because they have a lucrative business going on with them, and also because it is their hand in the Middle East. The Turks don’t want Bashar to step down because they are terrified of a Kurdish uprising and probable declaration of independence. the Israelis do not want Bashar to step down because they are terrified of a free Arab world much more than they are of a despot who terrorizes his own people. So they, the Israelis, are doing the best they can to make the Arabs look as bad as possible to thwart the efforts of the Palestinians of gaining recognition for their statehood… can any one remember the price that was paid by the Palestinians for recognizing Israel as a state? the Israeli government of Netanyahu where taken by surprise when they had an uprising of their own… a terrorist attack, followed by a bombing of Gaza, followed by the accidental killing of Egyptian border patrol. Following that, elements in Gaza declaring the end of the cease fire that has prevailed for a couple of years, just on the heels of the Palestinian declaration of statehood…. I suddenly can’t find any news of the Israeli protesters in the main stream media. All a little ... >>>

21 août 2011

The Evolution of an Idea

“Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.” The words uttered by Julius Robert Oppenheimer, sometime after he helped create the first atomic bomb and finally realized the Pandora’s box he had opened. Greek mythology credits a female called Pandora with opening a box that let out all that was evil into the world. The words are from the Hindu scriptures known as the “Bhagavad Gita”, a conscientious precursor to Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. Yet the truth is that man is a week creature not accustomed to accepting failure, thus the unleashing of all evil was scapegoated upon poor unsuspecting Pandora, who, in her turn was but a pawn in the hands of the Olympian gods to upset the balance of nature and the wisdom of an early form of a Christ like figure, Prometheus, giver of the flame of knowledge, a possible minor equivalent to the biblical eve and the tree of knowledge. Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds. The words ring in my ears as I witness the events of the world unfolding before my senses. An Arab Spring, an African American president, hacktivists, anonymous internet revolt, these represent the hope that remained when all evil escaped “Pandora’s” Box, faced against ... >>>

27 juillet 2011

Problems of the world financial system from a dyslexic’s point of view (or why I hate money)

Money: Everyone wants it and those who have it want more of it. Money: Has more to do with numbers than anything else. Numerical value of the note, numerical value of the cost, numerical value of its quantity. Cost: The amount of money has to pay for a service or product. Everything costs money. The system we live in is based on money. Everything is valued with it. Value goes up and down with supply and demand. Which means that a billionaire has more rights because he can afford something that has high demand but low supply while a person who is in more dire need of it cannot. We pick up the phone to talk to an old friend, we pay the cost. We live in a house or apartment, we pay the cost. Transportation, costs. Keeping good health, costs. We take a dump and flush the toilet and we pay a cost, the cost of the water we just used to flush the toilet, the cost of waste our body generates from the food we bought over the phone for delivery to eat at the house we live in. apparently our fesses has monetary value. Banks: An entity ... >>>

28 juin 2011

Slavery in the Arab World

Slavery in the Arab world still exists to this day. Of course they do not call it « cleaning service ». At least in Lebanon they do. Basically it is an off where people go and flip through a catalog of Asian and east African women and men, the client selects the one they like best and soon thereafter the unsuspecting individual leaves their home and family behind with the promise that they will be sending home money monthly for sustenance. The bewildered person arrives at Beirut airport and is whisked away to the new employer’s house where he or she ends up living in a small bathroom sized room with nothing more than a matters. The maid is then instantly required to learn all of madam’s wishes and to comply with them at all times. Many of these « maids » are locked in the house; they rarely get a chance to leave the house or apartment lest they run away. And if they do run away they cannot go back to their country because their employer would be in possession of their passports. The « maid » has to be alert 24/7 at the beck and call of her masters. More often than not ... >>>

23 juin 2011

Feminist revolution coming to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…. very slowly.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the most opulent of the Arab states, being an oil rich country and all, yet it is one of the most backwards and oppressive of the Arab states. Saudi Arabia is also the birthplace of Islam and unfortunately the Islam practiced there is no where near the kind of Islam that the prophet Mohammad first envisioned. before the days of Islam, women where looked down upon, there was a tradition of killing off babies if they where girls because the men of that era wanted only sons that would grow to be « free » men like them and daughters would only grow up to be women, who were regarded as nothing more than property, and more often than not, un-wanted property. So people in those times used to bury their healthy new born babies to avoid the stigma and shame of fathering daughters, which also signified that the men were not men enough because they could not father sons. But that is beside the point. When the prophet Mohammad came forth with the Quran, he tried to change some of these ridiculous traditions and attempted to emancipate women, or at least to elevate ... >>>

18 juin 2011

The « new » and « liberated » Iraq is heading down an old path

It has been 8 years since the US invaded Iraq to depose the tyrant Saddam Hussein. What has changed since then? Not much really. The Iraqi people still suffer, whether it’s at the hands of local insurgents, who plant bombs and kill indiscriminately, or at the hands of US military, or at the hands of the government itself. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s seems to have consolidated more power than is necessary in his hands as he now directly commands « key security forces, including Iraq’s 54th and 56th brigades, as well as an elite counterterrorism force trained and supported by the U.S. Special Operations Command  » according to an article written by Ben Van Heuvelen featured at the Foreign Policy magazine. Maliki, under the guise of fighting the insurgency and elements of the old regime of Saddam Hussein, has gone further to antagonize an silence would be activists and journalists in covert activities. More recently, his goons stormed the office of the Journalistic Freedom Observatory, which is a small group associated with international human rights and journalistic organizations. There is always cause to worry when a government begins silencing the media. It usually implies a broader coercive project by the state to stifle freedom ... >>>

15 juin 2011

Money Is The Root Of All Evil.

Money is the root of all evil. Short of sounding like some sort of litany from some sort of obscure religious text, or, more likely, some sort of old cliché. But there is a lot of truth in these words. Money. Currency. We are driven by it all. By this system. Capitalism. Profit. Greed. Every day we wake up and head off to the office, or the field, or whatever, and we try to make a living within a system that is anything but egalitarian. Just to pay the bills. To survive. To live the way we like. Some have it easy. Some have it hard. Some have it in ludicrous quantities. Some have nothing of it at all. In a world where poverty still exists. In a world where it all makes perfect sense when expressed in terms of currency. In a world where we have to struggle with this system to feel human. What madness is this? We do not need money to live. We need food. We need shelter. We need comfort. We do not need money to evolve. We need know age. We need awareness. We need understanding. Statistics show that one day the world will ... >>>

31 mai 2011

The Arab Spring

Long has it been since a revolution of significance spread across the Arab world. Many of us have been predicting these events for decades, and becoming disenfranchised when it never hit. but now it has and the winds of change are blowing strong. I am Lebanese. I am no stranger to the hardships of war. Lebanon, a small country in comparison to other Arab states, lies on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Strategically placed as a land mass linking Europe with Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia. A land made famous in the bible for its cedar trees and the place where Jesus was said to have turned water in to whine. A crossing point for all the crusades heading for the holy land. Lebanon was invaded and influenced by many ancient cultures, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Ottomans. Known in ancient times as Phoenicia, land of the sea faring merchants who exported the alphabet across the Mediterranean. carved out into a country after the first world war by the French and English, gaining independence from the French mandate by 1943 only to be invaded by the Syrians ... >>>

22 avril 2011

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