New Johnnie Walker billboard, standing in Beirut.
Abi Elias, the interviewee, passed on this message to an Israeli soldier: "Thank you, my son... I don't know what is your name, but I know you are a gentleman; you are a good fellow; you are a good man."
On the other group of soldiers, Abi Elias says, "They are not army, they are like 'junkestan' army."
The story doesn't make the puzzle of the war any easier to solve. I still think about Moody's question of who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. I answered him then that in war there aren't necessarily bad guys and good guys. What do I tell him if I am to attempt an answer? There's this good guy, with his soldiers unit, who are on the side of the bad guys who killed many civilians in Lebanon. Those bad guys are fighting the other bad guys in Lebanon who claim to be fighting for the good guys in Lebanon. There are the other good guys in Lebanon, and the Arab world, who are chanting their support for the bad guys who caused the destruction of Lebanon and loss of civilian lives. Those good guys hold the leader of the bad guys as their hero...
Does Hezbollah Stand for Arab Pride? A commentary of All things Considered by Adeed Dawisha, an Iraqi-American professor of political science at Miami University, OH. Dawisha says of the contemporary Arab condition, “Simply put, it is a region that suffers from a perceptible achievement deficit. A region mired by authoritarian rule so suffocating of the creative spirit that it leaves people desperately clutching at the slightest bit of accomplishment that comes their way.” more here
"The Name Game," or "The Banana Song", is a children's singalong rhyming game that creates variations of a person's name. It was written by singer Shirley Ellis and released in 1965... [Source: Wikipedia]
Tala loves that song, and she's so good at it. She picked it up around December of last year because the song has Nick's name with its variations.
Now here's the real name game:
In the process of obtaining passports for the whole family in case we decide to visit Libya or wherever, depending on where Ennis and Juju end up, I sent lots of forms to the Libyan consulate in DC (it's still the Libyan Liaison Office.) Among those forms were the birth registration forms for Moody and Tala, and the forms to add them to my passport. Wait, wait... keep reading, it gets to be interesting...
Today I received a call from the consular saying that they cannot register Tala; her name is illegal! Holy crap! I just kept laughing and still laughing. She suggested that we fill the application with a different name--one that is legal--and send it back. "Hold on, you mean we need to change her name?" I asked. She said, "No, just put a different name on the form and send it back to us. Then later, you add or change her middle name with a legal one you can use to register her in Libya with. A lot of people do that."
Hmmm, I started thinking, my mind spinning. Sol was not for even taking his pictures for the Libyan passport, let alone sending it for renewal, and yet worse going to Libya. How did he react? Exactly as I expected: "To hell with them. We don't need them. She [Tala] does not need anything to do with them. We are not going!"
OK, so I do a good job at predicting Sol, and I had an incentive stashed to overcome this obstacle. When we got married, Sol's Dad 'requested' that we name the girl, when we have one, Amna, after his mom and Sol's mom. We didn't, but he got his wish with naming Ahmed. But then after we registered Tala, I kept saying that we should have used Hana for her middle name and not Suliman. Not fair to have his name be the middle name for both kids, and really why would she have a guy's name as the middle name? Well, I know, in Libya the middle name is the Dad's--doesn't make it any less unfair. So now I started thinking that here is a reason to change her middle name to Hana, or even to Amna--whatever it takes to get things going.
Sol, ball in your court!