6/03/2010

Anarchism in Arabic

I would like to re-post the entirety of As’ad Abu Khalil's translated essay, "I Want a Sect Against Sects", but it is long, so I'm going to only quote my favorite parts, and encourage you to follow the link to read the whole thing.

The reason I read his blog, Angry Arab News Service, other than to get all the news about the Arab world you do not get in most of the english-speaking media, is because he is an anarchist (I believe I've read him explicitly describe himself as such), but not an american anarchist, or a european anarchist, but an arab anarchist. The beliefs are not so different, but the perspective is. This is what anarchism sounds like in arabic:

...I want a sect for myself. None of the sects and doctrines can accommodate me. All restrain me. They disgust me. I don't get along with their leaders or their masses and I do not follow their slogans. I want to establish my own sect, but you're welcome to join. My sect has no rituals, traditions or customs. It's a freedom sect where everyone may define their own path. I want a sect that isn't interested in being ranked among Lebanese sects. One that doesn't boast about being one of the conflicting sects. I want a sect that the Lebanese Ministry of Interior's records do not recognize. My sect doesn't appear in commemorative photographs and doesn't get invited to the presidential palace and you don't see it in embassies. My sect doesn't receive money from the House of Saud or their followers in Lebanon....

...My sect rejects the notion of children's inferiority. It actually respects the child. In my sect children play in mud and neglect their lessons anytime they want. Children in my sect do not take lessons in manners. They learn to rebel at any time they desire. Children in my sect can dress colorfully and enjoy themselves. They do not fall victim to western corporations’ propaganda that harm children's mental and physical wellbeing. In my country children can spill soup, candy and chocolate on their clothes without fear. In my sect children learn from swings and from each other any time they want. Children in my sect do not purchase American products. In my sect children speak Arabic on the playground without shame. Children of my sect do not learn through rote memorization or parrot-like repetition. Children in my sect do not observe Teacher's Day, and they reject Ahmad Shawqi's poem to "venerate" teachers. The relationship between teachers and children in my sect are democratic, not heirarchical. In my sect teachers do not yell or throw chalk or reprimand. Children in my sect can draw with ink on their white shirts if they want to. And chew gum if they want to. And dance in math class if they want to. I want a sect which girls and boys squeeze my heart and present it in a cup to my beloved. My sect airs my heart on a laundry line in front of my beloved's house. My sect records my heartbeats on a CD and places it at my beloved's door. The girls and boys of my sect play on my heart's strings the symphony of eternal love. My sect memorizes all songs of harmony and love....

...My sect isn't docile. It swoops to resistance and revolution when necessary. My sect opposes the Israeli enemy. Its sons and daughters love living life with dignity, not shame. My sect doesn't hold monthly meetings to discuss sectarian provocation and regional and global affairs. My sect doesn't have any elders who pretend respectability before TV cameras. My sect believes in a defense strategy in which the Lebanese government isn't decision maker or that the state's armed personnel stay at home on war day. Those who'd like to fight can join the resistance, not the other way round, unlike Faris Said's irrational defense methods or Duri Sham'oun's theories, which refuses to accept the notion of Israel's defeat in the July war....

...I desire a sect that redefines gender and fundamentally changes methods of child rearing and upbringing. In my sect, parenting is based on cooperation, love and equality. My sect rejects scolding and belittling as methods of instilling obedience and blind loyalty. My sect rejects family laws that monopoloize sexist laws. My sect frees foreign maids in Lebanon and criminalizes their use. My sect frees all sex workers in Lebanon and criminalizes the purchase (not selling) of sex, if we can call that sex; sex implies consent between the parties, and economic need negates freedom of choice and decisionmaking. My sect will make those into centers to spread radical feminism in Lebanon.

My sect rejects capitalism and works to cancel it. My sect agrees with Balzac that behind every fortune lies a crime. It agrees with Proudhon that private property is theft. It agrees with the demands of The Communist Manifesto as a bare minimum. My sect embraces the poor and ridicules the rich and bars them from representing people and controlling them. My sect prohibits palaces in Lebanon and will convert them into shelters for the poor. My sect will demolish statues of the rich and colonialism's puppets and will allow a statue of "the dangerous man." "The dangerous man" is my sect's dear son. My sect will oppose privatization and will nationalize all sectors after ridding the state of sectarian grasp. My sect will consult comrades Khalid Saghiyya and Muhammad Zebib on economics and will ignore everything written by Marwan Iskander. My sect will encourage people to pirate to break or decrease the monopoly of multinational corporations. My sect will refuse the impoverishment of Al-Biqa farmers under the rubric of a deceitful virtue war imported from the United States.

My sect acknowledges a debt to Syrian workers in Lebanon and gives them Lebanese citizenship. They have rebuilt Beirut, unlike one who has impoverished the Lebanese people by plotting against them and against the peoples of neighboring Arab countries. My sect pursues and criminalizes anyone and everyone who harms Syrian workers, and pursues politicians who provoke public opinion against the Syrian people in Lebanon. It also places responsibility on the Syrian regime, which neglects the affairs of Syrian workers in Lebanon. My sect considers Syrian workers in Lebanon a sect per se. It encourages unions in Lebanon to cooperate and unite with a Syrian workers’ union in Lebanon (after expelling the former’s president Ghassan Ghousn, who was installed by the Amal movement for reasons unrelated to workers’ rights in Lebanon)....

...I want a sect that flies and soars and sings before the birds. A sect that wakes with sunset and sleeps with sunrise. I desire a sect that takes on the colors of the rainbow and isn’t afraid to sleep on the clouds. I want a sect that doesn’t follow, doesn’t applaud and doesn’t chant except for freedom, without payments or provocation or commands. I want a sect that drinks and eats from the earth and then returns to it. A sect that understands environmental struggle differently than Akram Shihayib and the green party. My sect’s concept of the environment will be closer to the American Green socialist party, not the Lebanese capitalist green party. My sect’s environmental activism will involve struggle against capitalism and globalization while the “struggle” of the Lebanese green party joins the Lebanese economic system’s capitalist monopoly. My sect understands environmental needs as a struggle against the greed of oil sheikhs and their followers in Lebanese economics and society. My sect starts by prohibiting hunting and barring western corporations that have a long history of destroying the environment. I want a sect that doesn’t subscribe to Lebanese myths of superiority and claims of Lebanese genius. I want a sect that acknowledges the equality of people. Is this too much for you, sons and daughters of Lebanon’s sects? I want a sect that scribbles and merges the red and green on the Lebanese flag. I want a sect that will rewrite Lebanon’s history to discuss a war of independence that failed to achieve independence. My sect will prepare for a war of true independence for Lebanon.

This is my sect. Does anyone want to join?


I'm in.

1 comment:

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