Sunday, January 08, 2006

Divination, oracles, prophecies and analysis of the future

Predicting the future has become a favourite pastime on New Year’s Eve. We are familiar with the scores of psychics and analysts lined up on TV shows who bombard us with what they ‘read’ will happen in the next year. Also we must not forget the written media too. In our era knowledge is the most important commodity and if you know the future then you can prepare strategies for it, or wait in awe.

I can’t recall which philosopher stated that if we knew what the future had in store for us we would choose not to find out but rather to let it happen if anyone knows this quote please send it to me, I’m too lazy to research it!). On the other hand, an old Arab saying states ‘kadaba al munajum wa law sadaqu, i.e astrologers are lying even if they say the truth , the purpose of this is that supposedly these oracles can find out about parts of the ‘present-future’ due to their dabbling with the occult etc.. but only God knows the what the future holds and hence they ‘lie’ because they cannot predict all of and are bound to make mistakes which could be fatal.

December 2005 was no exception, and the Lebanese TV is never one to miss that. In Libya we watch a lot of Lebanese satellite TV stations (along with other of course) and it has become a tradition to decipher what the stars have in store for us. Many wait for this night and cancel any appointments to watch the pundits.

I won’t analyze what each tarot reader, crystal gazer, astrologist or analyst said, but I’ll attempt to give you the gist.

Because of the events going on in their country, and it being a Lebanese channel, the utterings of the guest speakers were especially valuable, with a sense of urgency for the Lebanese viewers. I noticed how even the hostess of the talk seemed nervous and somber. This comes in the aftermath of all the 2004 prophecies for 2005 coming true, or at least could be interpreted to adapt to the occasion –Hariri etc.. So Lebanese were understandably anxious.

Summary from TV:

Fortune teller A: ‘if you thought that 2005 was bad for the Middle East , I can assure you that 2006 will have nothing to envy it’.

Fortune teller B: ‘the current cycle of violence and bad karma for ME started in 2000 and will last for 10 years. That is only after 2010 will death and killing stop’. Thank you that’s encouraging, only 4 more years of blood baths.

Fortune teller C: ‘I’m sorry I will not be able to have our usual chat this year , I have specific orders not to talk about any event’ . I guess the government does not wish to increase the citizen’s panic. The situation is very precarious indeed.

Fortune teller D: ‘I lift the veil a little , Sharon will be gravely ill and probably die, his successor will be even more of a hardliner and this will translate into more hardship for Palestinians’. Ok so far we know that Ariel Sharon is in a coma . ‘The situation in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon will not see any change until 2007 were the planet X will affect the ascending Y and something will happen’. D does not say if it is good or bad, donc we assume the worst.

Needless to say the Lebanese and Arab viewer a quite concerned and worried , specially about the guy who refrained to talk. At the end of the show you could see that the hostess was getting quite emotional.

Falling into this category are the annual reviews and analyses and ‘estimations’ for next year. Aljazeera carried out an interesting one Libyan Leader and the Egyptian thinker/journalist Mohamed Hassanein Haykal.

In his comments about the region, Libyan Leader said that Damascus had done it’s role in Lebanon and holds the merit for effectively ending the civil war, and its pull- out has resulted in a lot of calamities.

With regards to common Arab cooperation, roughly translated he said ‘it is a common Arab hypocrisy , malice and an alliance with the enemy against one’ , it seems he forecasts that the Arabs will never have any ‘presence’ or future.

Haykal on the other hand, warned about the dangers in the ME (we know them habibi we have been aware of these for so long), and of the Israeli agenda. With regards to Iraq he thinks that the US will not pullout but would rather seek to control the oil wells despite the loss of some of its soldiers. He feels that comparisons with Vietnam are not logical because the Iraqi resistance is not unified and because he thinks the US objective is oil.( again)

Simpson from the BBC, thinks that “Osama bin Laden will be tracked down, but will not be captured alive” . While I think that if whoever was tracking him wanted to get him they would have years ago, he serves his purpose better alive than dead and also better on the run than in prison where he could not be blamed for every deviant youth.

Another breed of oracles is the Futurologist . While some see reasons to be cheerful in 2006 , Jihad el Khazen (3/1/06, Ayoon Wa Azan -we’ve been losing for 13 centuries) at Dar al Hayat, thinks the Arabs have been losing for 13 centuries. That’s a mighty statement, seeing our mistake is ok , but labeling ourselves as eternal losers is certainly not and self-hate is not good either . I will leave on a cheerful note with an excerpt from his article, his recipe for reasons for Arab readers to be happy in 2006;
Of particular note are points 4, 6 and 7 !

“As for the average Arab citizen, what would make him or her happy?
One, if the government were to leave office, that would be a big reason for happiness. Even bigger if the government leaves office and goes to South America. I would suggest seeing ministers go on trial, but that could lead to people dying of happiness.
Two, US forces and terrorists defeat each other in Iraq, so that Iraqis could get on with their lives.
Three, the government talks about democracy so much that it believes itself, and democracy is established and the government falls.
Four, during the upcoming com! petition between Likud and Kadima, Ariel Sharon kills Benjamin Netanyahu, or vice versa, while the killer is sent to prison for life. Labor returns to office to continue the peace process from the point where Sharon broke it off.
Five, the reader is blessed with friends, job opportunities, good health, a bad memory, and a hidden conscience. If the reader remembers that there is something he or she wants but hasn't obtained, he or she will be happy with the things he or she has, and not wants.
Six, they say (who's they?) that happiness is a married woman and a single man. But this takes into the realm of the impossible. We should remind the reader that Haifa Wehbi, Nancy Ajram, and Shirine are all single. The reader will truly become happy if he marries one of them in 2006, even though they say being single is a condition for happiness among men.
Seven, the reader falls asleep and doesn't wake up until 2007, or 2017, to get beyond 2006 and every year that won't br! ing happiness to Arabs.
Eight, half of Arab newspapers and magazine s, and three-fourths of satellite stations go bankrupt and are permanently closed. In fact, more than half of the Arab press and about 90% of Arab satellite stations are already bankrupt, but they continue to operate, magically, through unseen means, just like Arab governments.
Nine, 2006 passes without seeing the dreams of Arab optimists fulfilled, and neither the nightmares of Arab pessimists.
Ten, we defeat Burkina Faso in football (there have been no military victories since the conquest of Andalusia; we've been losing capital for 13 centuries).
Eleven, the government stops issuing laws that deprive citizens of everything that makes them happy.
Twelve, an intelligence agent receives a bomb from his president, to assassinate another Lebanese journalist, but it explodes and kills them both. The investigation continues and reveals a terrorist network responsible for all of the crimes committed in Lebanon since 14 February 2005.
Thirteen - I'll stop here, sinc! e the number 13 is unlucky. They say you get double bad luck if the 13th falls on a Friday, so I'll just let the reader dream of a better year [sic]”.


Twosret said...

Wallahi ham yeda7ak we ham yebaki ya Highlander :)

AlanK said...

Nice post highlander

will wait and see what happens this year

removedalready said...

I heard somewhere, there will be a 3rd WW, an new Islamic country will rise / appear.

that's all I could remember at the moment!

Hannu said...

HL, about your last paragraph. Acknowledging mistakes is a big plus and saying things as they are is "pluser!" It's not enough to recognize and acknowledge your mistakes. Yes, we Arabs have been losing for centuries and centuries and will continue down the same path if we don't face the music. Understand, this is not self-hatred and not about labeling us as losers; though if you ask me, losing for so many centuries would mean...? Sometimes being blunt and bold would get the message across when everything else fails.

On the bright side: eternity is much longer than 13 centuries, so maybe there's still hope hehehe