The dawn must come.

The dawn must come.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Sex & Drugs and Rock & Roll.. Pumping up the GDP.

In 2010, in a drastic move to overcome a crushing economic/financial crisis, the EU has reviewed the established criterion by which to calculate its members’ GDP. Consequently, the book-keepers were able to signal a positive increase of 3.7%!!
But what that really means? It means that while ‘Numbers’ are not an opinion, ‘Balance Sheets’ are! Let me explain.. If a good slice of the 2013 seemingly positive improvement comes from a solid 1.6% of Methodological Innovations, and a significant 1.3% from the Capitalisation of Research & Development Expenses; the best contribution derives from a sound 11.5% of the so called “Submerged Economy” (previously included under Illegal Economy and labelled as Parallel Economy) which includes mainly: Drug Commercialisation, Prostitution Activities, Smuggling, Racketeering, and Tax Evasion. Once added to other introits from those activities properly classified as Illegal Economy,  we’ll have a good 12.4% of the overall GDP.
In other words, this practice would definitely meliorate the Deficit/GDP Ratio, but it will do absolutely nothing with regard to Growth. It may apparently absorb the ‘Annual Inflation’ but it shall never have an input related to ‘Real Economy’ in terms of New Jobs, Industrial Production, Exports, and Services.
So, if the new international parameters say that “the calculations that are expressing the revenue of a nation must be exhaustive” then they should also consider into account the activities banned by law. It is no longer considered as “Criminal Economy” what could be simply defined as “activities with characteristics of Voluntarily Exchange between Economic Subjects”!
A clever accountant’s balance maneuvering that may hide some symptoms, but will never be able to cure the root cause. The viral disease will continue its life cycle and mature to an extent that no treating remedy will help.. Other than amputation.

A.                  ELNAHAS – Montopoli, September 11th 2014.

Mr. President, You didn’t do your Math!

In a most depressive desperate effort to consolidate a Middle-Eastern public opinion in support of his plans to fight ISIL*, Obama made two crucial mistakes:
1)      He tried to press the cultural/religious button using statements like “We don’t have anything against Islam….” or “I understand quit well the teachings of Islam….”; and
2)      he mentioned the Yemen and Somalia examples as “an American success”!
He, and his close advisors, didn’t foresee how mediocre such an approach will sound; because the Arab/Muslim populations (being a majority in the Middle-East) though fearing the spread of a well organised well financed well equipped Islamic State, they have also seen the outcome of all types of western intervention (humanitarian aiding or belligerent gaming, training or invading) from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Iraq and Lebanon… etc.
Obviously Yemen and Somalia aren’t any different. Look what they’ve left behind!
Ahmed ELNAHAS – Castelfiorentino, September 11th 2014.

*Even changing the acronyms from ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) is a clear evidence of a total Western under-estimation of the Arab Culture and history; because the term “Levant” was always considered, since the 11th all through the 19th centuries, the only geo-political definition of the “Fertile Crescent” (Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq) commonly known as AsSham. And as such the term brings back alive some very bad memories (The Sykes-Picot accords and the Paris Peace Conference of 1919).

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Sfogo di un Dinisauro estinto, una volta era chiamato: Viaggio!

L’ospite ha ragione.. Finché si comporta da Ospite.

È questo il concetto principale che manca dal vernacolo dei “Professionisti Del Turismo” dagli anni cinquanta del secolo scoroso ad oggi. Il cosìdetto ‘Turismo di Massa’ non ha fatto e non fa altro che colonizzare un territorio, che chiama elegantemente destinazione, e sprema fino all’ultimo le sue risorse; una volta queste siano del tutto esaurite; si sposta per colonizzare un altro territorio lasciando dietro danni e distruzione incalcolabili.. Così fanno i Virus!

Scelgiere i ‘Villagi Turistici’ non è altro che uscire da casa propria per rimanaerne ostaggi.. Senza arricchirci da nessuna esperienza nuova, che sia Sportiva, Sociale, Culinare o magari Culturle.. Perché si diventa la preda sottomessa alle scelte aziendali ed interessi privati dei Tour Operator, Agenzie di viaggi, Companie Aeree, Guide, Strutture Ricettive, Animatori..

Tutti collusi a offrire i loro migliori trucchi per farci credere che il turismo è solo e soltanto divertimento senza impegni; e mantenerci dentro il villaggio a spennachiarci, mentre faciamo esattamente ciò che interessa a loro.. Infine torniamo di nuovo a casa esattamente come l’abbiamo lasciata.. Senza soldi, e neanche senza rendersi conto di aver pagato così tanto per non imparare il vero senso del Co-Esistere!

Ho sempre optato per il ‘Turismo di Qualità’.. Quello dei “Viaggiatori” per intenderci.. Dove tu non sei solamente un numero ma una persona con i propri esigenze, aspettative, gusti e cultura; e dove tutti gli altri pseudo-professionisti della tua esperinza evasiva fanno di tutto per personalizzarela nel quadro dell’autenticità veritiera del posto scelto da te.. Autenticità culturale, sociale, ecologica, culinare, storica, sportiva, e perfino estetica.
Dove le escurzioni non sono: gite, cammellate, o snorchelate… Ma più che altro “Visite”.. Dove un “Te Nel Deserto” non sia uno spettacolo folklorico o un passa tempo a pagamento; ma diventa un esperienza seria, e allo stesso tempo avventurosa e divertente, di scambio per aiutarci a realizzare come condividiamo le stesse origini e lo stesso destino.
Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, 2 Settembre 2014.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Seeds Savers.

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, September 1st 2014.
Have you ever questioned the origin of the vegetables, fruits, cereals and legumes we are eating? To give you an answer, I translated here the article of Domenico Finiguerra published on Il Fatto Quotidiano. If you decide to read it; I invite you, once finished reading, to ask yourself:
1.      For how long we’ve been buying and eating products made from crossbreed seeds, chemical fertilisers, chemical pesticides and uncontrolled waters?
2.      What was the impact on my health and that of my children?
3.      Who is responsible?
4.      What to do about that?
If you ask a metropolitan citizen how many vegetables he knows, he would give you a list of maximum twenty items, and that would be a perfect answer: “tomato, sweet pepper, zucchini, egg-plant, carrot, potato, salad, onion…”. Very few with regard to the enormous variety which slowly we have lost. Lost consciously, even intentionally.
In 1970(*),the European Union experts started their valuations on which seeds to include and which to exclude from a bureaucratic register; they ended up striking out and declaring “Illegal” 1500 varieties of vegetables and fruits!!! Cancelled from the list of the seeds allowed for sale! Why? Simple.. Being deprived from a documented ownership (patent), those seeds are of no benefit whatsoever to the monstrous ‘Agro-Industrial Multi-Nationals’. Thus, an entire heritage of human farming civilization is being systematically abandoned making a great favour to those who, even back then, were looking far ahead.
The tomatoes present on our tables that we eat along with our children, are crossbreeds; that a farmer cannot re-seed. So, each year he is forced to rebuy the seeds from the Multi-Nationals that we all know (Monsanto on top).
A great damage. In fact, it is scientifically demonstrated and proved, that the old (abandoned) varieties possess more vitamins, proteins, starches and complex sugars as well as natural hormones.. They also have more intense and richer taste. In short, they are much better. Moreover, the traditional plants are more resistant and robust than others; as such they do not necessitate chemical substances to mature. And for last, the traditional variations of vegetables are (were?) “Bio-diversities”: precious resources selected throughout millenniums of human agriculture experience. They are the historical and biological memory of agriculture.
It appears evident to any man with common sense that walling, or even worse abolishing, those seeds is illogic and anti-historic. As much evident it is the fact that only very few powerful individuals (owners and proprietors of registered seeds patents) are keeping under strict control (and blackmail) all the farmers of our planet.
Fortunately, some resistance do exist. The “Seeds Savers” though dispersed around the world, yet are structuring several ‘Seed Banks’.. Geminating an agriculture revolution.. Vandana Shiva is one of those.
In Italy, they have “Civiltà Contadina” (literally ‘Country-side Civilisation’.. For more info consult, a group of vigilant farmers dedicating all their efforts to work silently as the custodians to save and share seeds of various vegetables, cereals and legumes inherited from the traditional Italian agriculture. Their efforts are building up and the association is acquiring more consensus, support and volunteers every day; having a common goal “ that our heritage do not vanish and our traditions do not extinct, and that we can pass on to future generations”.
It would be a good practice to participate all in such a mission.. Our children will be grateful to us.
Pass On the Word.
*The GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), formed in 1949 to establish the regulations for international global trade, and to give birth to the ITO (Int’l Trade Organisation) later on becoming the WTO (World Trade Organisation); among its rules are those regulating the “Intellectual Property” under which came the obligations for patents to the seed property. 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Modern Man is So Confused!

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS (From Marco Travaglio’s editorial of August 21st 2014).
In 1979, when the Soviet armed forces invaded Afghanistan (no one really remembers why); the Americans and their western allies rushed to arm and finance the Mujahedin, whom at the time considered the “Partisans for a just cause, the resistance to the Red Army”
After the Soviet army made its exit  out from the country, the Americans and their western allies attacked Afghanistan, having for excuse to “fight Al Qaeda after the fall of the Twin Towers” (which had nothing to do with Taliban or Al Qaeda, the Saudis did it); so the Afghan Mujahedin used the remains of the western funds and arms to defend themselves against another invasion, thus became “Terrorists”.
Result: instead of bringing democracy to Kabul, the western forced have delivered Afghanistan to the Taliban.
A little further, between 1980 and 1988, a fierce war burst in the Gulf area between Iran of the Shia Ayatollah and Iraq of the dictatorship of the laic but pro-Sunni Saddam Hussein. Of course, and once again the Americans and their western allies financed and armed Iraq to the teeth to stand against the “Iranian Terrorists”; closing both eyes when Saddam exterminated Iraqi Kurds in cahoots with Turkey a western ally in NATO (using the supplied western weapons including chemical and biological WMD).
In 1990, after hustling him into Kuwait, the Americans and their western allies decided that Saddam is a “Terrorist”; thus mounted up a coalition including almost all the Arab League members into a “Just War” against Iraq.
Later on in 2003 they re-attacked (invaded) Iraq, this time to: a) eliminate its arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destructions (initially supplied by the Americans and their western allies; and never found any trace of it); b) to cut Saddam’s ties with Bin Laden (never proven existent, eventually both Saddam and Bin Laden were sentenced to death in turn); c) remove Saddam, d) hang Saddam; and e) even bring democracy to Iraq.
The results materialising from of the “Forced Democratisation” of Iraq are well noted: the Shiites raised their heads unleashing the demons of a fierce long civil war against the Sunnites, and, by effect of a contagious infection, Syria exploded in a systematic exterminations ordered by “Assad the Tyrant”.
A multiple collateral effect: the birth of the “Islamic Caliphate” in Syria and Northern Iraq, commonly baptised ‘ISIS’, a ‘Foreign Legion’ of 30 thousand men recruited amongst the most extremist of extremist Sunnites in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia and Europe; ferocious against all other religious confessions: Christians, Jews, Shiites, Kurds and Yasidis. And what to do to defend those? Here came the brilliant idea “The Americans and their western allies must arm them against those whom the Americans and their western allies have previously armed and never cared to disarm”!
Remember Abdullah Öcalan? The Kurdish leader of the “Turkish Kurds Independence Party”, whom in 1998 got extradited from Russia to land in Italy first welcomed by its Socialist Government to which he officially demanded ‘Political Asylum’ , and later on, under American and Turkish pressures, earned the lable ‘Terrorist’ and once more got expedited to Kenya where he was captured by Turkish agents, imprisoned and sentenced to death, later on switched to life sentence.
Then came another counter-order: Kurds are no longer terrorists, but once again “Freedom Fighters” (at least those Iraqis, for the Turkish Kurds no-body knows yet). They must be armed, financed, trained and supported; but in anyway forget about the “Humanitarian Aids” bit.
In the meantime, the Americans and their western allies have converted the status of Iraq to “non-priority to cooperation for development”! No food, or medicines, or funds, or hospitals, or reconstruction projects.. Only arms.
The policies of the Americans and their western allies in the Middle East recall the Italian rhyme of Branduardi “La fiera dell’Est” (literally The Fair of the East); if translated become like this:
“and came the water that extinguished that fire the burnt the stick that hit the dog that bit the cat that ate the mouse that, at the market, my father bought”!!
Pass On The Word.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Confused values.

Arrogance.. Envy.. Murder.. Treason.. Theft.. Usury.. Adultery.. Gluttony.. Greed.. Avarice.. Vanity.. Lust.. Gossip.. Slander.. Extortion.. Rape.. Cheat.. Lie.. And many other characteristics that are normally presented by the principle pedagogic institutions (family, school, religion) to show us exactly the “Wrong” or “Evil” to be placed  under the headings ‘Not To Do’ or the ‘Not To Be’. They are all considered “Villainies” by which we can classify people, in order to distinguish ‘Good’ from ‘Bad’ and decide accordingly how or where to place them in our lives.
However, and for some mysterious incomprehensive reason, we have accepted these very same wrong and evil villainies and have somehow allowed their legitimate practicing to States.. To Governments.. To Politicians.. To Artists.. Or whomever may please us. Only to justify our moral fragility. Or maybe even to convince ourselves ‘Bad’ isn’t that bad; so that doing a little evil for a greater good is OK! Forgetting that what seem so little today is destined to grow bigger tomorrow; and shall swallow the Greater Good we thought it had procured in the first place.
That is the point at which, if some moral vigilance still reside, we may realise how our fundamental moral values have completely mutated into their precise opposite. Whereas wrong became right, evil overturned into good and villainy welcomed as politeness or even kindness.
The moment we’ve accepted and allowed these, by such indifference as exhibited today and without reservations or resentments, is the moment to declare the glorious victory of Barbarism and the clamorous defeat of Humanity.
Let us then align altogether patiently in a fine long queue to sign in turn the golden book of our unconditional surrender. And don’t dare to complaint because you’ve traded your fundamental Human Values for a Tablet and a 3D Dolby Surround Home Theatre.

Forgive me for I have exaggerated.. You’ve traded them for a miserable 2nd hand 10 pounds cell phone.
Pass On The Word.

Balance Sheet of an exercise of governance.

The nature and the programme of the July 1952 Revolution (Coup) were expressed in the famous “Six Principles” set forth by Nasser:
1.      Liberation of the country from colonialism and its network of agents; 
2.      liquidation of feudalism;
3.      elimination of the rule of capital over state power; 
4.      establishment of social justice;
5.      creation of a national army; and
6.      democratisation of Egypt’s internal life.
After 60 years of Military rule, who can tell which of these principles has really and fully went to port? Let us review them one by one.
       I.            Nasser may have succeeded to free Egypt from foreign occupation by signing the evacuation agreement with the British; but he contrasted his own principles by handing over the country first to Soviets (the High Dam), then lost Sinai to Israel. And his followers delivered Egypt as an easy prey to the jaws of international Financial Institutions ( loans + SAPs), to the USA (Technical Assistance + Military aids…Etc) and to Israel (uneven commercial and industrial treaties).
    II.            The 1960s revolutionary laws to limit the land-ownerships and to redistribute properties, overlooked the negative aspects presented in the fact that it created one major Feudal Patron (the state), delegating his responsibilities to too many bailiffs; thus forming an army of parasites working on behalf of the state owned Agriculture Credit Banks. And the farmers (turned into owners of very small lands) became more indebted than before which lead most of them to migrate (Remember the forced emigration to Iraq in the late 60s?). Adding official corruption and wrong politics with mismanaging water resources, Egypt reached the phase where it couldn’t decide on its own which crops to cultivate ( deterioration of the cotton business, the wheat, the rice…etc). Even today there are many (Egyptians and none) who became land-owners of more than 10000 acres, recruiting under aged boys and girls to work part time in inhuman environments, exposed to cancer provoking chemicals with no health care whatsoever! Worse than before 1952.
 III.            Right after Nasser’s death, Egypt opened completely to the Free Market while on paper (constitution) it was still considered a Social State. That created a chaotic management of the Public Sector which has lead to substantial losses and gave room to the debtors to present their conditions of Privatisation to protect their “Interests”. (Khedive Tewfik was criticised by the Revolutionary Hierarchies of doing exactly the same).
  IV.            The long history marked by Police abuse of force and power over citizens (subjects) from Shaarawy Gomaa to Nabil Badr passing by Mamdouh Salem and many others, are testimonials of an era signed by the total absence of Social Justice.. On the other hand, there are still 80% of the population out from the Social Security Umbrella (No Welfare at all). Needless to say any word on Education, Health, Information, Culture  or Justice.
     V.            As a matter of fact, only the fifth principle did partially materialise, yet not totally in full because our armed forces, though have proved skilful and modern, were never logistically allowed to stand head to head with other regional powers like Israel, Iran, Iraq or Turkey. Until today, our weaponry is still at least one step behind, is defensive, is controlled by foreign inspections to determine its developing.(Pentagon and NATO Liaison Officers) under the pretext of monitoring the right appliance of the Military growth to the Aids objectives and time tables.
As for the last principle, I believe that the latest events of the past two years are sufficient enough to mark the degree of our Democratic achievements.. After 60  long Years, full of sacrifices.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Il Primo Sangue.

Di: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli,  14 Agosto 2014.
Il Razzismo è profondamente insito nella cultura post coloniale. La schiavitù dei popoli Africani, la pulizia etnica dei Nativi Americani e l’imperialismo colonialista sono i semi intrecciati per creare un Razzismo i cui impatti infliggono dolori fino ad oggi.
Un esempio quasi dimenticato, dalla triste storia ‘umana’ del razzismo dei colonizzatori che si vedono superiori agli altri, è certamente la lunga storia degli “Zoo Umani” dove gli Africani ed altri indigeni di popoli conquistati diventano “Esemplari” da esibire nelle gabbie esattamente come animali. Uomini, donne e bambini rapiti ed esibiti nei parchi chiamati “Human ZOO”!

Questa storia era cominciata dal XV° secolo e fino agli anni cinquanta del XX°. Ecco qualche foto d’archivio che ho scelto dal sito:

Why indifference has turned out to be ‘The’ solution?

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, August 18th 2014.
A century ago, WWI was defined as “the war to terminate all wars”. Through the 50s and 60s the supporters of nuclear deterrence theorised an equilibrium, made from the atomic terror, that would always maintain conflicts between nations less frequent. And 25 years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall celebrated “the end of story”, the arrival of a dominant unique politico-economical model (the Capitalistic Democracy); meaning also the exhaustion of all structural causes for conflicts.
They were all wrong, those definitions, theories and celebrations.. The slaughters in Verdun and Sedan didn’t stop two decades later Dansk, Dresden or Hiroshima.. The Cold war coexisted with many Regional conflicts.. And 1989 was followed by September 11th 2001 dragging the entire world into its shocking repercussions.
According to the 2013 report of the “Institute for Economics and Peace” (IEP), out 0f 162 countries only 11 enjoy peace. In an interview to “The Independent , the English daily newspaper; Ms. Camilla Schippa (director of the IEP) said: “the classifications measure also direct and indirect involvement in wars or conflicts far from proper national borders. The criterion which defines true peace then is the ‘Non Participation’ in whichever controversy between governments and territories, by resort to arms, and that would cause at least 25 deaths in a year”.

The World’s Peace Map: as per the IEP this was the world at the closure of 2013. Classifying the countries from most peaceful in dark green to those mostly in conflicts coloured in red. We distinguish the most peaceful countries: Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Mauritius, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Panama, and Brazil.
However, if the IEP also consider the selling of weapons to parties in conflict, or training either party, is an indirect involvement in war; then there is no peaceful land to be found on our planet.
Maybe that explains your apparent dullness, or indifference, before the grievances and pains which are infecting our world. Perhaps because they are too many to follow or too much to bear? There was a time when for every sinking ship, every bomb used in each war you’d succeed to see men, one by one.. A time when you were able to imagine their dismay, their terror and their desperation.. As if they were your dear ones.. Yourself.
Today, not anymore. The butcheries of ISIS, the massacres of the children in Gaza, or the women’s laceration by Boko Haram: you don’t want to know or read.. You just carefully fold and put away the newspaper or press the remote control in search for a funnier channel.. You just change the subject when the discussion seem to get near the issue. Why? No, not only pain.
·         It’s a “sense of guilt”, because, without noticing, you have already abandoned the dreams to fight for a better world or to change it.
·         It’s “resignation”, because you have decided that your time is passing away and neither you or your generation have managed to stop war.
·         It’s “remorse”, because you have discovered becoming used to your own ‘peace’ and can’t distinguish anymore how many wars are still roaring around.
There were days when you would have proven disgust before the slaughters in the Middle East and elsewhere, and experience nausea from the European Banks complicity in the victories of the bloody narcos. Today, no. Even you have found yourself adequate justifications. Using words like “Realism”, “Impotence” and “Crisis”; which permit you to concentrate every your preoccupation upon this tiny little world of yours.
Make your escapes to the desert, to the beach and under the waves.. Expose your laziness to the sun for a better tan.. Do whatever it would take to put away these thoughts and to enjoy your small tiny little corner made of an imaginary small peace.. In vain.. Because the victims, the dead, the mutilated, the tortured and the lacerated were all your equal, and you can still hear their screaming cries just as you were much younger. And finally you’ll discover that it wasn’t quit sufficient escaping into the desert, or to the beach and under the waves to evade that thought.
Pass On The Word.
Ø  Federico Rampini – La Repubblica.
Ø  Ferruccio Sansa – Il Fatto Quotidiano.
Ø  The Peace Mapi s courtesy of La Repubblica for the IEP.