Myth No. 9: We Evolve

Karfan visited the “Outside World” on a single occasion only for a few days, and managed to communicate a little bit with people from other countries with his very limited language ability. That was when he was faced with the question [Where are you from?] that he figured out the answer to is: [From Syria] despite all the Anti-Regionalism Arabic education that he was showered with day and night by the Baathi regime (Myth No. 1). Another question that Karafan found perplexing is the one that all foreigners had asked after he said he is from Syria: [So you are a Muslim?]! The foreign people who wanted to brag a little bit more about their “thorough knowledge of all things middle-eastern” asked: [So are you Sunni or Sheia?] followed by a smile which said (You see, I know a LOT about your countries)!. The first thing that came to Karfan's mind at that time was: [Well, fuck, we are not the only ones that were stuffed with bullshit about the others]. None of the other foreigners who came from Europe or America or even Japan was asked that question. Basically, according to Karfan, the foreigners think they are human beings who evolved to being able to choose to believe in whatever the hell they want. On the other hand, we are still some sort of backward creatures who are denied the right of choosing and we have to fall under one of the few stupid categories the foreigners happen to know.

Although Karfan was a bit upset about it at the time, later when he thought about the whole matter he decided that those foreigners might be very right in deed! We have not evolved an inch. Evolution means that a person in the twenty first century should think differently from someone who lives in the tenth century. But unfortunately, if there were a time-machine that could transfer all of us here in Syria to the tenth century, there would be very few who would take more than two hours to adapt fully to that environment.

Karfan finds it alright to respect Islam, Christianity, Alawism, Durzism, etc.. at the times when they emerged and respect those who brought those new ideas to the open. But he can not figure out why one should give a damn bit of respect to people who are still believing in the exact same things more than a thousand year later without trying to change the slightest detail. As he puts it in his own words: In the period between when Ibn Nusayr came up with the Alawie religion idea in the ninth century and today, there must have been some warms that evolved and developed wings and became able to fly. Meanwhile, not a word has changed in our books or a thought in our minds.

That is the reason why Karfan, unlike his fellow Alawies or Druz, never curse Ibn Taymyyah. Ibn Taymyyah is a Sunni scholar dickhead who lived in the thirteenth century and wanted to become famous. So he came up with this wonderful idea of issuing a detailed religious edict describing all the new religious ideas at the time (Alwis, Druz, Ismailies, and all other Sufi or Bateni sects, etc..) as heretics and sinful bullshit that has nothing to do with Islam. He then issued a religious edict, which has never been revoked since, to fight the followers of such sinful ideas and either “eliminate” them or re-convert them to the mainstream Islam. Karfan sees nothing wrong with that; Karfan himself might issue a book tomorrow for example saying that we should blow up the sun. If thousand years later when technology permits, some stupid monkeys decide to follow Krafan's words and go and actually blow up the sun, who should you blame then? Do you curse Karfan or the stupid monkeys who still believe what another stupid monkey said a thousand year earlier?

The unrest that chook the city of Misyaff few weeks ago is a big example of such stupidity. Of course, not many have heard of this unrest outside Syria because apparently the foreign media decided it was not as important as the Kurdish unrest in Kameshli which took place last year. Maybe it is not as important since Misyaff cannot be claimed as separate sovereign country as Kameshli could be. But it underlines the same principle: people here are still thinking the same way their ancestors did a million light-year ago.

Here is what happened three weeks ago with no comments at first:
- A quarrel started between few Alawie and Smaeili taxi drivers in the Taxi center at Hama City. All of those drivers came from Misyaff or the surrounding villages (Misyaff located on top of the mountains overseeing Hama city and belongs to the province of Hama).
- The Smaeili drivers, being more numbered than the Alawie ones, beat the shit out of those Alawies.
- The Alawies then went back to their village, brought backup of Alawie young men fully armed with Kalashnikovs and pistols and established checkpoints on the way between Misyaff and Hama. They dragged every single Smaeili driver out of his car and beat the shit out of his living soul.
- Angry Smaileis in Misyaff then attacked some Alawies living in the city, beat them, and told them to leave the city back to their villages.
- Alawies from a near by village famous for arm smuggling came to Misyaff with vehicles fully armed with heavy machine guns and RBGs and started shouting in the loudspeakers that they will fuck the biggest Smailie in the city and kick the Smailies away from the city back to whatever the hell they came from.
- Smailies then complained to the region governor in Hama, who happened to be a Sunni. His reply was: [What the hell, they are both Shiaa heretic sects, let them kill each other to the last living soul.] He refused to act.
- Angry Smailies then went to the streets of Misyaff in large numbers and started stoning houses of Alawies and the matter grew up to a near total civil unrest.
- By that time, our Lord King Lion the 2nd had heard of this turmoil that might disturb his calm and peaceful kingdom, so he sent the Army and anty-riot troops to calm the situation. He also ordered the careless Sunni governor to be replaced.
- The matter was contained but the people of both sides are boycotting the other side. The city looks like a dead city because what Misyaff lives on mainly is the trade between the Smailie merchants and the Alawie peasants.

Eventually, what was started by uneducated insect-brain taxi drivers spread all over the whole social and educational spectrum of both parties! In the entire world, educated and smart people inspire uneducated and stupid mob and lead them the way they want. Only here, the reverse is true. Time after time, a stupid high-school educated officer took the lead with a coup d'etat and assumed the presidency. Time after time, stupid mob started quarrels over things happened thousands of years ago and the supposedly-smart people just followed like sheep.

Karfan met with couple of Smailie and Alawie friends who were educated and supposedly had evolved a little bit. Although this meeting did not end up as a boxing match, it was nevertheless as frustrating to Karfan as this frustrating life could be. Instead of just agreeing that what happened was a stupid act of stupid people, they started throwing accusations at each other. Here is a briefing of those marvelous accusations:

The Smailies accused the Alawies of having a plot to drive them out of the city of Misyaff. They said that this plot goes back to an attempt in the nineteenth century and after that to the days of Saleh-El-Ali, whom they described as a gangster whose revolution's sole purpose was to kill the Smailies. It might come as a chock for the majority in Syria who were told during schooling years that Salih-El-Ali was a hero who revolted against the French occupation in the 1919. Naturally, the Alawies in that meeting were offended that their Alawie hero was called a gangster. Karfan was not offended though. Karfan considered "a gangster" every single person who belonged to any of the generations that was born before him and somehow contributed to the fucked up miserable state that we ended up in. Karfan have heard before those stories and other stories about every single hero of our history from Salah El Dine to Jamal Abdul Naser. You can always find a group or sect who considers some hero a gangster because what he did to them. Ask the Druz about Adnan-Al-Malki, ask the Alawies about Yousef-El-Azmeh, ask the Sunnis about Sultan-El-Atrash, and etc.

The Smailies also accused the Alawies of trying to extend the massacre of Hama in the eighties to Misyaff. They claimed that the troops of the White Knight of Tadmur (brother of King Lion the 1st) were just about to enter the city of Misyaff and erase it as they did to Hama if it was not for the last moment intervention of some Alawie clerk. This accusation was new for Karfan actually. Karfan knew very well that, unlike what most people think about Smailies and Alawies being very close and similar and all that, they both consider each other as different from the other party as they are different from cow-worshipping religions. But he was sure that this difference does not go all the way up to plotting the extermination of the other party. It is an example of how smart people regurgitate what some stupid uneducated monkey might have said.

The Smailies emphasized that the Alawies plot was to take over the historical city of Smailies, Misyaff, in which the Alawies never had a presence before King Lion the 1st took the lead of the country. The Alawies denied all of the above and accused the Smailies of trying to kick them away from the city which they had presence in since the creation of the universe.

It is not very surprising to hear people throwing accusations against each other regarding things that happened in the very faraway past. After all, we live in an area where people speak about what happened between Ali and Muawia 1500 years ago like it took place last Friday. In this area there are entire religions and ideologies based on distrusting the other and defined as merely the opposite of that other. Although quite different, Alawie and Smailie might still the closest sects to each other in comparison with the other sects and groups. You may imagine what the situation of distrust and myths-circulation might be between two not-so-close sects. Karfan has heard the funniest stories about Smailies from Sunni people, and about Druz from Alawie people and so on.

You think that a thousand year was enough to evolve and become like those foreigners, who asked Karfan about his religion, free in what you choose to believe in. Free from the sets of ideas and myths that your sect created about the others. Free from being a prisoner of notions that have been invented by stupid uneducated brainless people.

At the end of that gathering of Karfan's Alawie and Smailie educated friends, he stood up and told them that out of all what he heard about this turmoil, the one and only person that was completely right was that discriminating Sunni governor. If people are so stupid to carry-on a turmoil that was started by stupid brainless taxi drivers, so stupid to believe what those brainless suckers said, and so stupid to quarrel over things that might have happened or might have not happened a hundred year ago, then you should let them kill each other to the last living soul without intervention.
But, as Karfan says always, King Lion and his regime, will never let things go that far. They encourage people to distrust and hate each other but they do not want things to go out of hand and threaten their rule. It was always like that in this land since the times of Muawea really. The kings always played a game of balance between inflaming hatred and containing its flames from going so high as to burn their rule. Still, people have never evolved and they are still playing the same game. Even those who somehow acquired some education and supposedly walked a bit the path of evolution are still clueless players in the same game.

Karfan cannot really blame his friends on the way they think. After all, people need to belong and have an identity, unless they want to end up like him; a senseless sarcastic gloomy bastard that doesn't care if the whole universe collapses tomorrow. No one believes in the Arab identity joke anymore and our Kings have made all efforts to erase and destroy any attempt of creating a Syrian Identity that gathers all of us. Eventually people find that those stupid sectarian and religious identities are the only way to belong. If the Smailies for example do not believe they are only Smailies and act like it, then what is left for them to believe or belong to? Nothing, either that or the Karfanian way; but it is not fun to be Karfan, believe me.

But then again, what makes us so different from monkeys? Karfan saw once on TV a program about jungle monkeys. When a monkey from a group starts a fight with another monkey from another group, the entire group starts fighting with it without even questioning what the hell was that quarrel about.
Karfan was silent when he came back after that gathering. I asked him what he was thinking of. "I am working on an alteration of Darwin's theory", he said. "You see, if this bugger Darwin has ever bothered himself and visited the Middle East, he would have altered his theory for sure. He would have distinguished between physical and mental evolutions, and proved that there are people who cannot evolve. More importantly, he could have proven that some people actually can un-evolve back to their monkey state after they have acquired some brain. I feel like eating a banana now, next time you go to Lebanon for blogging get me some, the smuggled ones are tastier than the one they sell here."


Myth No. 8: Karfan Occupied Lebanon

It has been a while. Not that Karfan has stopped ranting, he never does. Nor that there are no more things to rant about here, you can bitch until you die and still miss stuff in this messed up area of the world. The reason was me. I am so much a cowered that I swore on my grandmother grave I would not post a single character from within Syria even if "King Lion the 2nd" himself guaranteed my safety. A sheep never trust a Lion, never.

But it is becoming difficult for people like me to go to the nearby country I am posting from. King Lion the 2nd's younger brother and his cousin killed one of the past cooperators there, and the rest of the warlords there found this a good opportunity to stop sharing the cake with King Lion and his gang and moved to kick his army out. This assassinated big thief was until recently a very good friend of the Lion's gang. But the rule of all gangs is that no one is safe in a gang. There is no trust or reliance in gangs. Keep your eyes open while you sleep and keep your knife in your hand at all times. And never trust a Lion, never.

The people in that country are angry at the death of one of their own thieves by Syrian thieves. Understandably; Most Syrians do not want someone from Turkey for example to assassinate some big dick head of ours neither. Although Karfan cannot see what is wrong with that anyhow: let them kill each other till the last dick head. Anyhow, the Lebanese are now revolting against the extended visit of King Lion's army to their land. They are asking for the end of the “Occupation”. I still remember when Karfan and I first heard that sentence in the news: “Lebanese are demonstrating against the Syrian occupation of Lebanon”. Karfan burst with laughter for 15 minutes thereafter, every now and then would stop to catch his breath and says “Syrian Occupation!!” then goes back to his crazy laughter.

Karfan has the no-pleasure of being one of those so-called occupiers during his very-obligatory military service as a lieutenant, or in Arabic “Moulazem” which is ironically a homonym to “Mou Lazem” meaning “Unnecessary”. That was exactly the role of Karfan and most of his fellows who were driven to that 2 years waste-of-time period: unnecessary one.

There might have been golden days for those occupiers from the failed generation of our fathers during the seventies and early eighties, when there were actually still things to steal and plunder in Lebanon back then. But for the occupiers who belong to Karfan generations, that is the happy generations who were born after the happy Baath revolution, this “Occupation” period was one of the most humiliating experiences they have ever had. And believe me, in Syria, you can encounter many of those experiences.

Unarguably, this occupation is still a golden egg for the high-class hyenas roaming around King Lion. For example, the sons of the Chronic-vice-president of the King have just opened their third Casino there last year. The assassinated Lebanese thief blessed this investment without paying attention that he should have asked the permission of their rival King Lion's cousin. Similar to what the assassinated thief was trying to do in Lebanon, the Syrian chronic-vice-president, who goes by a truly representative name: Servant, is trying to polish his image now-and-then as a hope and true-representative of the Sunni community in Syria. Karfan is guessing that participating in the humiliation of a whole country for decades, stealing half of its resources, manipulating a near-by country into an extended civil war, and owning a couple of Casinos is not a contradictory act to the true Islam, especially according to the Saudi version of it.

But let us skip the big deals that are done between the warlords in Lebanon and the high-class officials in Syria. And let us skip those black Mercedes cars of high-class officials that use to go and come to Lebanon unquestioned whenever the hell they want. What then left for the Syrian people out of that occupation is what Karfan calls: The La-Vache-Qui-Rit Occupation. (The Laughing Cow: A famous French cheese that was prohibited in Syria, and smuggled from Lebanon mainly by soldiers who were “Occupying” it).

During that occupation, Karfan and his fellow occupiers had to spend long hours bargaining the merchants of the many shops in the Bekaa'a area to lower the price of a tea-cup set or a cheese box for two or three Liras. They had to literally beg many a time to convince those merchants to wait until they can get the money from selling the stuff in Syria. They had to undergo the humiliation imposed by military police every time they pass the border. They had to stay in filthy tents and half made dirty barricades, and they had to be denied from going home for couple of months sometimes. On top of that of course, they had to shout every morning: Bil Rouh Bil Dam Nafdeek Ya King Lion, and to gather what is left of their broken pride and pretend to walk around in Lebanon like they own the place. That is the apex of Karaf (disgust). Occupation my ass.

Every two weeks, Karfan and six of his miserable fellow officers, up to a rank of major, used to be sardine-ed into the cap of an infamous Zeel truck. A Zeel is a failed Russian simulation of a moving object, which gives the feeling it is running on square wheels not round ones. Meanwhile, thirty of there miserable soldiers were sardine-ed into the back of that truck standing all the way with no space to lift a hand. At the border coming back, while the black Mercedes cars used to fly at the speed of light unquestioned, Karfan and the rest of the occupiers had to get out of the truck to negotiate how many pieces of the La-Vache-Qui-Rit cheese they are smuggling they would give to the military police to let them go in with the rest. Prices always deferred depending on the mood of our Lord King Lion: sometimes he gives the orders to be strict and the military police would take everything.

The few hundred Liras fortune that Karfan made from smuggling tea-cup sets and La-Vache-Qui-Rit cheese is all what he gained from his year-and-a-half occupation of Lebanon. He always said that he certainly would have rather spent it in the “SEEN”, which is the worst you can spend your military service in; a supposedly secret, but everyone knows where it is, military airport in the middle of the desert. At least there, he does not have to go through the weekly humiliation he encountered in Lebanon. More importantly, no one there in the middle of the desert would check if he and his soldiers are repeating the daily morning shout: Our Leaders for Eternity: King Lion and his Family, Bil Rouh Bil Damm Nafdeek Ya. . . .

Of all things, Karfan always felt a sense of respect towards La-Vache-Qui-Rit cheese. Others smuggled many luxurious items that our poor Syrian population in Zahra, Eish El Wawrar, Kudsaya, etc were denied-of under King Lion the 1st's rule, such as baby powder milk and tea that is not mixed with manure as it used to be in Syria. Karfan on the other hand, insisted on concentrating on La-Vache-Qui-Rit cheese because he felt that he is doing a Social Contribution for the miserable Syrian people by smuggling it. He always theorized that the reason why this particular type of cheese never lost its popularity lies not in its taste but in the picture of the laughing cow at the cover. Among all the miseries and disgust we lived in, and among all the fake smiles and pretended laughter of the un-happy presenters on our Arabic television networks here and outside, the smile of that cow was the only genuinely happy smile that parents can show their children so that those children would know what does it mean to be truly happy. Karfan was proud to participate in that mission.

But now it is all coming to an end, and no more La-Vache-Qui-Rit Occupation. The merciful government in Syria does not want to deny the children the knowledge of the happy smile, so they finally allowed that cheese to be imported to Syria. Of course, after making sure that someone in the high-class hyenas would benefit from importing it like it is done to everything else here. But Karfan looks at the cow on the cover of that Hyena-imported cheese and he says that the smile is different!! “The cow is not laughing from the bottom of its heart anymore like it used to be on the cover of the cheese I used to smuggle from Lebanon during my years of La-Vache-Qui-Rit Occupation”. “Maybe, it was happier in Lebanon than it is here”. He continues with a bitter sigh: “who cares anyhow if children knew what is a genuine smile, they are not likely to use that knowledge in the gloomy future waiting for them”.