Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Meeting Adonis

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 4th February, 2012

‘Everyone is born in a poetic state,’ the Syrian-born writer and artist Adonis declared in an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Mosaic Rooms in Kensington this noon. But not everyone is destined to express themselves poetically. The sprightly octogenarian — who is viewed by many as the most significant Arab poet alive today — had humble beginnings in a remote village in the French mandated Syrian territory round Latakia, in which electricity and cars were unknown. But he got a lucky break through his own juvenile audacity. In 1943, after Shukri al-Kuwatli was elected Preaident, the new head of the (still not formally independent) state toured the country, to get to know it better. When the 13-year-old Adonis (original name Ali  Ahmad Said Asbar) heard of the impending visitation, he told his father that he wanted to read a poem he had written to President al-Kuwatli, as he was sure the president would then ask him what he would like in return, the answer to which was: to go to school! And that is exactly what happened, according to his testimony today. He studied and wrote and became politically active, which resulted in his being sent to prison for several months. But in 1956 he went into exile in Beirut, leaving there for Paris in 1980 to escape Lebanon’s Civil War. Exile from the Middle East was probably wise, despite his being born into the Alawite sect of Shia Islam from which the current al-Assad ruling family and cohorts in Syria hail. Adonis himself is a-relgious, though very interested in Sufi mysticism. He argues that the ‘decadence’ of the Arab world began with the fall of Baghdad in 1258 and continues today, though he draws some encouragement from the young activists of the present Arab Aakening, ‘though they have been betrayed by the fundamentalists.’ He is scornful of any country, including Israel, being based on a religious faith.  His years in France have given him a very French understanding of positive intellectualism and the power of profound thought. All great artists are also thinkers, he believes. He himself produces striking collages which combine extracts of handwritten text with fragments of everyday objects.  An exhibition of his work can be seen at the Mosaic Rooms 1100-1800 Monday to Saturday until the end of March and there are a couple more events with the poet himself next week.



One Response to “Meeting Adonis”

  1. Des Brittain. said

    “February 9, 2012 – After world opinion categorically denied Wall Street, London, and it’s NATO forces a replay in Syria of the destruction and pillaging of Libya, with Russia and China leading opposition to a planned escalation and overt NATO military intervention, the corporate-financier media led by CNN, and in particular CIA-asset Anderson Cooper, has conducted a non-stop propaganda campaign based entirely on “activist” say so centered around the Syrian city of Homs. Journalistic integrity and neutrality have been shamelessly abandoned, evident by CNN headlines reading, “Ruthless Assad rides wave of slaughter.”

    Every claim is punctuated by “activists say,” with passionate pleas for NATO to rain Libya-style death and destruction upon Syria from alleged “activists” on the phone with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “activists” who could just as easily be in the adjacent room at CNN’s studio or in London, as in Homs – since CNN and other corporate-media outlets have categorically failed to provide substantial, verified evidence of their most recent narrative. It is a narrative to dupe the West once again into what is essentially naked military conquest operating behind the tenuous fig leaf of “responsibility to protect” (R2P).

    But even at face value, CNN reports “clashes” and features video footage of armed militants waving the “Free Syrian Army” flag while operating armored vehicles and brandishing weapons of war. One could scarcely imagine any Western nation faced with similarly armed militants terrorizing their city streets not responding with full military force, especially with recent historical examples such as the siege in Waco, Texas where US government forces ruthlessly killed 76 including over 20 children for much lesser crimes than sedition, treason, and openly declared foreign-backed armed-insurrection.

    In fact, all the Davidians of Waco, Texas were convicted of were possessing “illegal weapons” and using them when attacked by armed federal agents – a far cry form the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) who not only possesses weapons of war, but is demonstratively using them to terrorize and violently overthrow the sovereign government of Syria and forcibly seize populated districts. This includes FSA ultimatums immediately followed up by bombs tearing through civilians in the Syrian capital of Damascus and offensive attacks on security forces.

    While the deceit and criminality of NATO’s feigned humanitarian campaign in Libya is still fresh in the mind of world opinion, the global corporate-financier elite, paraded round-the-clock on CNN (globalist warmonger Ann-Marie Slaughter being the most paraded), attempt to compare events in Syria instead with “Kosovo,” an intervention NATO hopes many are unfamiliar with and will just take their word when it is suggested that it was both “justified” and a “success.”

    However, just like in Libya, the corporate-financiers peddling this war are not pursuing a humanitarian agenda, quite the contrary. They are fully arming, supporting, harboring, financing, and directing listed foreign terrorist organizations inside Syria to conduct an invasion by proxy. In fact, it is confirmed that the very same Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), on record having killed US troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan before returning to Libya to receive full UN, US, and NATO backing to overthrow Qaddafi, are now on the border of Syria operating under the auspices of NATO members including Turkey.

    Now, open calls by the same familiar “elected” US representatives such as John McCain and Joe Lieberman, are being made to side-step the global corporate-financier’s own contrived international institutions, including the UN Security Council, and unilaterally meddle in Syria’s internal conflict well established to have been triggered by foreign-funded “opposition” groups in the first place, by overtly arming and backing a proxy army in Syria.

    Just as in Libya, Wall Street and London with or without a UN resolution plan to fully fund, arm, back, and support, first covertly, then overtly with military force a mixture of domestic traitors in Syria’s US-funded opposition and foreign mercenaries like Libya’s LIFG terror organization to invade and overthrow the government of Syria. This will be done at any cost, just as in Libya, international law will be selectively enforced by the facade that is the UN, just as was done in Libya, until either the West is tactically defeated, or overwhelmed by growing international awareness and anger over the “R2P” racket.”

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