or simply "pissing around and pissing us off", according to a certain individual.

Σάββατο, Μαρτίου 10, 2007

Βόλτα με δανεικό αμάξι

Spencer Platt Wins World Press Photo Award
Platt's photo was taken Aug. 15, the first day of a ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon. He had been in Lebanon about three weeks covering the war for Getty's wire service. While much of the press corps was based in Tyre, in the south of Lebanon, Platt says his editors directed him to stay in Beirut.

Platt had been up since 6 a.m. wandering the city with his translator. In the late afternoon, as he was preparing to return to his hotel to file his images, he spotted something red and flashy out of the corner of his eye. He spun around and quickly shot five frames of the passing convertible. Only one turned out. "On the second frame some guy in a white shirt walked in front of me and ruined it," Platt says.

Platt did not speak to the people in the car, but based on conversations with his translator he believes they are upper class Beirut residents, many of whom ventured out that day to inspect the damage to their city.

Platt sent the photo of the convertible to his editors, along with other shots from the day. "The desk said, 'Nice photo. Do you have anything wider?,'" Platt recalls. Only later, after the photo had been published in newspapers and Platt began receiving compliments, did he realize his picture was something out of the ordinary.


Award-Winning Photo Puts Subjects On Defensive
Jad Maroun, 22, and his sisters Bissan, 29, and Tamara, 26, were not feeling all that fabulous on that sunny day in August. Despite the fact that they are Christian, they all lived in the Dahiye, which was once a Christian neighborhood. At the start of the war they had fled the bombing and settled in the Plaza Hotel in Hamra, a Sunni part of Beirut. It was there that they had met Noor Nasser, 21, a Muslim, and Liliane Nacouzi, 22, a Christian, who were working as waitresses in a sandwich shop in the hotel. They too were refugees from Beirut's Southern suburbs.

It was also where they ran into Lana El Khalil, 25, the owner of the Mini Cooper in Platt's picture. El Khalil, who calls herself an atheist, had given up her apartment in Hamra to make room for Shia refugees from the South and moved back to her parents' house. But she was hardly ever at home. When the war began, she was part of a sit-in in downtown Beirut to call attention to the Palestinian cause. As soon as the bombing started, she threw herself into relief work. She joined an NGO called Samidoun that was set up specifically to help the displaced people from the South. During the first days of the war, El Khalil helped evacuate people who were trapped in the Dahiye. Later on she would ferry food and medical supplies to the neighborhood. The little convertible came in handy.

But on August 15, two days into the ceasefire, it had served its purpose. When Jad and the others asked if they could borrow the Mini Cooper to go check on their houses in the Dahiye, El Khalil was happy to oblige them.

Six months later, they are all gathered in the apartment of Bissan's fiance in the Christian neighborhood of Achrafieh. Only Tamara, the blonde girl in the picture, is missing; she is getting ready for her engagement the next day. Jad, who was driving the car that day, admits that he had second thoughts about opening up the convertible. "I was worried that it would give people the wrong idea. But it was a hot day. There were five us in a tiny car and we all wanted to get a good look at what had happened to the neighborhood."

7 σχόλια:

alex z είπε...

Μία φωτογραφία δεν αξίζει χίλιες λέξεις ή μήπως αξίζει;

Αναλόγως εάν σ' αυτή μπορεί να αιχμαλωτιστεί το καθολικό ή το μεμονωμένο, το σημαντικό ή το ασήμαντο, το πρωταρχικό ή το δευτερεύον, το αίτιο ή το αποτέλεσμα, το αντικειμενικό ή το υποκειμενικό, το σημαίνον ή το σημαινόμενο, η απόλυτη αλήθεια ή η σχετική αλήθεια.

akindynos είπε...

Είναι δίκοπο μαχαίρι η φωτογραφία. Αν συλλάβει εκείνη τη μοναδική στιγμή, βάζει κάτω και το καλύτερο κείμενο. Αλλά το κείμενο αναγκαστικά θα ανιχνεύσει και το πριν και το μετά.

Πρόσεξες που αναφέρεται μια NGO, η Samidoun; Από λίγο που διάβασα, πρέπει να είναι στη διεθνή μπλακ λιστ των ngo :-)

alex z είπε...

Για του λόγου σου το αληθές :-)

Tue, 2006-10-31 16:00

Following the call from the International Organizing Committee of the Cairo Conference, Samidoun wholeheartedly agreed to assist and host an international solidarity conference in Beirut to be held between 24 and 26 November 2006.
Although Samidoun had contacted several parties and organizations to participate in the coordination of the conference, we were informed that another conference had been planned at the beginning of November. Although previous experience with the organizers had been negative, from the perspective of democracy and respecting internal priorities, Samidoun agreed that efforts must be joined.
In spite of the initiative to unify efforts in these difficult circumstances, the new conference was called using the same "discouraging" methods, through lack of coordination and not including Samidoun in coordination meetings and discussions. Therefore we would like to clarify the following:


On 12 July 2006, a number of leftist political groups, anti-globalization organizations, associations and individuals struggling for development and social and sexual freedoms, and Palestinian and Lebanese student groups, called for an open sit-in at Martyrs Square in solidarity with the Palestinians against aggression. This was an attempt to tear down the wall of silence concerning Palestine, locally and internationally. When the aggression against Lebanon began that same day, the sit-in transformed into a relief campaign, Samidoun, providing help and solidarity to the victims, especially refugees.

During the war, the relief efforts covered 12,000 people who had been forcefully displaced into shelters in Beirut. Solidarity efforts took place on all levels: food, sanitation, medical, psycho-social, community organization, media, and political action.

After the cease-fire, Samidoun split into two operational sections, one in Dahyeh (the Southern Suburbs of Beirut) and one operating in South Lebanon where the work covers around 150,000 people. We were and still are the only local organization doing mass-scale work in South Lebanon. In Beirut, the work includes psycho-social activities for children and parents and the initiation of youth and community centers. (For more information: www.samidoun.org).

From our position in relief work, we saw that the battle that our people fought to provide direct aid and urgent needs to sustain their lives was a political battle. It was a struggle for our rights, as much as it was a battle of steadfastness and resistance in all its forms. It was also to face the official Arab support for the aggression, and to stand up to discrimination when the Lebanese government refused to provide assistance at the beginning, then provided it sporadically, and then was involved in negligence, and still is, of its duties towards its citizens returning to their homes.

Popular solidarity during the war is a basis to build a free and just society, and not the inhumane "democratic" models enforced by the "international community". The US has not achieved any of its goals in its project to "democratize" the Middle east by creating subject regimes. In Iraq, US democracy created wholesale sectarian chaos. US democracy failed against the choice of Hamas by the Palestinians in the last legislative elections. And now, the resistance and resilience of the people of Lebanon defeated the US administration's wager on Lebanon as a winning card.

Through its work, Samidoun introduced new organizational methods into solidarity and relief efforts, which proved to be timely, effective, and have a high reach toward the communities in need. This method involves an ongoing balance between the political level and relief work, and building a democratic operational structure. Officers and administrative staff are elected or given mandate by the majority in their respective units. Unit meetings are able to monitor and assess work and vote on recommendations and alter positions and responsibilities. General assemblies are held to decide on strategic positioning in politics and relief.

By merging between aid and politics on a level of a grassroots movement, we were able to recruit around 500 volunteers in total, to raise funds for relief efforts based only on solidarity and popular support, and acted, and still are, as a focal point for popular solidarity efforts in Lebanon following the July war.

Political Positioning:

Some had gambled that the US control of the region will allow them to join its project and enter the "free world" under Washington's leadership. The failure of the implementation of UNSC 1559, politically and diplomatically, and the failure to besiege the movement against US project led to delegating Israel to apply the project for the new Middle East in Lebanon.

We declare our unconditional support for the resistance of the people of Lebanon against aggression, while stressing our right to criticize the components of the resistance, and call for building a democratic resistance movement to sustain liberation by supporting the steadfastness of society against the aggressors. This movement aims to cancel the fundamental conditions of repression, aggression, and war against the region, especially the Project for the New Middle East. It also builds on reinforcing democratic space, since this space is the main basis for a people's steadfastness and resistance.

We clearly see that the war against Lebanon is a continuation of "the war against terror", a war whose only aim is creating an obedient Middle East and an armed state with a monopoly over violence to crush any popular movement that acts against the interest of the US. We believe that resistance to such plans and to such regimes is a must, and we see ourselves supporting all acts of resistance against occupation as well as an integral part of the civil resistance movement in Lebanon and across the middle east and the world.

Samidoun sees that the fight against imperialism is a fight for regime change in the Middle East and for the liberation and emancipation of society. Even though relief might be considered as a mere humanitarian act, we see it is as an opening for organizing with people a movement that aims for change, a movement of resistance and of liberation, and a chance for society to open up to all its components.

The Expected Solidarity Conference:

The conference Samidoun was attempting to host and organize was planned as an open forum process, whereby several themes will be discussed. The panels were supposed to cover different topics, form the analysis of the war, its results, the needs of victims, weapons used against civilians (cluster bombs, etc.), and the environmental impact, all in relation to militarized globalization and the role of the international economic order. This is in addition to issues related to resistance against Israel, the question of military and civil resistance movements, the international solidarity movement, imperialism, and social freedoms in a region based on repression.

The conference is not supposed to be concentrated in a single area, as arrangements (and activities) were discussed to occur in several venues and universities in Beirut, Dahyeh, and the South, giving credit to all forms of resistance against Israel, and practical discussion of contributions to Lebanon (and Palestine) on a coordinated level (such as an International Solidarity Day).

The meetings were structured to allow the participation of people who were affected by the war, young volunteers who formed the backbone of steadfastness, and all the components of the solidarity movement.

Samidoun's Participation in the Conference and the Withdrawal from Organization:

To date, the organizing committee has not coordinated with movements supporting the conference on the themes of discussion, mechanisms of conference committees, calling for coordination meetings, or discussion of "decisions". The conference has also been sidetracked and narrowed down in a manner that will exclude basic elements in the international solidarity movement. This leaves Samidoun with no choice but to withdraw from organizing and, tentatively, from participating. In the following, we would like to point out several points of difference:

First of all, as well as our support of resistance in all its forms, we see that it is essential that there should be clear and structured discussions on building such movement and expanding them to include both armed and civil resistance movements.

Second, we see that the conference is being transformed into a narrow festival rather than an opportunity for debate, coordination, and supporting a rising movement in the Middle East. The current program reflects a narrow understanding of the diversity of the solidarity movement.

Third, we see that the current organization of the conference does not present a true image of who are the real movements in the country. With the exception of Hezbollah, the current local organizers of the conference have not had any real strategy for resistance during the war. Building a democratic resistance movement is not even mentioned.

Fourth, Samidoun was built on the concepts of clarity and transparency in politics and positions and democratic organization. We do not see any interest in supporting an organizational structure that encourages politics that are dishonest on the ground.

In the current context, we see that our participation in the organization process of the conference will only be a maneuver that will lead to a cover up of the real questions of building a movement against imperialism and for real change in the region.

Beirut, 31/10/2006

alex z είπε...


“We are completely committed to a free and independent press, and we hope that we can help encourage this tradition in places where new and free governments are taking root,” ..BUT

..“When untrained people take photographs or video, there is a very real risk that the images or videography will capture visual details that are not as they originally were,” he said. “If such visual media are subsequently used as part of the public record to document an event like this, then public conclusions about such a serious event can be falsely made.”


Col. Victor Petrenko, chief of staff to the top U.S. commander in eastern Afghanistan, said in a letter March 9.


The comments came March 9 in response to an Associated Press protest that a U.S. soldier had forced two freelance journalists working for the U.S.-based news agency to delete photos and video at the scene of violence March 4 in Barikaw, eastern Afghanistan. At least eight Afghans were killed and 34 wounded.
The U.S. military asserted that an American soldier was justified in erasing journalists’ footage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing and shooting in Afghanistan last week, saying publication could have compromised a military investigation and led to false public conclusions.


Afghan witnesses and gunshot victims said U.S. forces fired on civilians in cars and on foot along at least a 6-mile stretch of road from Barikaw following the suicide attack against the Marine convoy. The U.S. military said insurgents also fired on American forces during the attack. One Marine was wounded.
A U.S. soldier deleted the AP journalists’ footage that showed a civilian four-wheel drive vehicle in which three Afghans were shot to death about 100 yards from the suicide bombing. The journalists had met requests from the military to not move any closer to the bomb site.
Other Afghan journalists said the military also deleted their footage.


The AP also raised concerns about the military’s efforts to restrict its coverage of the Feb. 15 crash of a U.S. helicopter in southern Zabul province in which eight soldiers were killed and 14 wounded. Two AP journalists and their vehicle were searched extensively in an effort to prevent footage of the wreckage getting out.

Petrenko justified that action on the grounds of “operational security” exercised when “equipment, aircraft or component parts are classified.”


He (Colonel Petrenko) maintained that the U.S. military had no intention of curbing freedom of the press in Afghanistan!

akindynos είπε...

Για να παραφράσω ελάχιστα μια ατάκα από το Crimson Tide, We're here to preserve freedom of press, not practice it

spike είπε...

Zp no vespeiro libanés ?

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Cuatro soldados españoles asesinados en el libano