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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Painful History of Wadi Salib

A Confiscated Memory: Wadi Salib and Haifa's Lost HeritageA Confiscated Memory: Wadi Salib and Haifa's Lost Heritage by Yfaat Weiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Wadi Salib was formerly an Arab Muslim neighbor situated in the central part of modern day Haifa. Now a days it houses Mizrachi Jews hailing from the North African country of Morrocco. The book Confiscated memory give the reader a back and forth history of the neighborhood rather then documenting things in Chronological order.

In 1959 Wadi Salib was the focal point of Mizrachi riots. What started out as a drunken man frustrated with his lot who went from coffee shop to coffee shop smashing things up, his friends tried to stop him but the police intervened rather strongly and harshly and ended up shooting the man named Akiva. This would start days worth of riots where in windows were smashed and property was destroyed. Many residents of Wadi Salib were convinced that Akiva was dead. The intellectual leader behind the riots of David Benharush.  He was also organizing an organization for the Mizrachi Jews. Since he was outside the labor party and hsitradut the authorities looked down on them. It was at a Labor party rally bordering on Hadar and Wadi Salib where clashes broke out. In the end David Benharush served a 10 month sentence.

What was the background story for these Moroccan Jews? Why were they so frustrated?  Upon their arrival they were placed in relocation camps like tin corrugated shacks while Jews from Europe were given the better housing and better opportunities. The Mizrachi Jews were not given greart opportunities. They were looked down upon as uneducated and primative. Most of them in Wadi Salib were squatters who did not own the building they were living in. Before the Jews came from Morroco the Jewish agency visited a Jewish Ghetto or Melah and found out how dirty it was and how sick with trachoma the Moroccan Jews were.

The Zionist authorities tried to shunt these Jews off to agricultural settlements in the country side. Many of the Morroccan  Jews did not not have agricualtural skills, plus the community was split up and divided which destroyed their cohesion. In Morrrocco they were merchants and business men while in Israel they were just laborers with no means of advancement.
The Zionists also wanted to discourage city settling andd promote rural settling. This was done to help populate the land, seecure border areas and become agicultuarally independent.

Wadi Salib had it's history as well. Founded by a Bedouin Sheik the area was a tiny port town until some zionists and Europeans thought to build it up. THe Ottoman empire would build up the rail way line connecting Haifa to all the cities in the Middle East and Central Asia. When the Ottomans lost Haifa the Britsih would build up the harbor. Through these building projects amny people would be attracted. Wealthy Muslims, Christians and Jews. Building railroad and port also brought laborers who would build homes near their place of work. Haifa could have been a city of some importance but after Israel's war and her isolation from the rest of the Middle East Haifa was just a qquiet port town.

As mentioned earlier Wadi Salib was a Muslim Arab neighborhood. During 1949 ARab and Jewish forces had divided the city. Fauzi Kaukji's Army which was from outside Palestine would fire ion Jewish areas and the Hagganah would fire on ARab neighborhoods. This had thee effect of cousing many Arabs to flee the area. Haifa fell to the HAgana in days. The remaining Arabs were forces into to Christian neighborhood of Wadi Nisnas. THe abandoned homes would be given to Jews first with a wink and an under the table agreement and later on in the fifties when Morrocan Jews snuck back in because rural settlement did not do it for them.

In all this book is an excellent work, documenting both the history of a neioghborhood and people. It also shows European Zionist contempt for anything comiong from the Middle East . This applies to thier attitude towards the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews from Middle Eastern countries. For those studying the Middle East and even more so for those who focus on Israel then you must read this book.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pazuzu's Return

Pazuzu UnboundPazuzu Unbound by Saurav Dutt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He is back, that wicked demon from the Exorcist. Thought he was permanently trapped in Hell but his followers plan on releasing him.

The center point of this story converges on the New Terminal Hotel. This hotel is a refuge for drug addicts, people on the run and wasted out prostitutes. The story itself consisted of several short stories whose end point is the New Terminal Hotel.

One story is about a veteran cop and his hot rookie partner setting a trap for a fraudulent psychiatrist with a knack for getting drugs. The second story involves two runaway teenagers, fleeing from abusive homes. Their need for money drives them to rob a pawnshop and shoot the owner. The third story involves a mob hit man on the run for a botched job. He takes on the task later on for Killing a cancer patient . The killing will take place at the hotel.

Complete with plot turns, sacrificing young girls and hooded acolytes doing rituals behind hotel walls this story is a page turner . Quick easy read,

The author is no Stephen King, however. The characters need more development and more fuller descriptions would be much in order. The author could also flesh out the it and make the story more complex.

Still a good read. If you like Pazuzu then this story is for you. Pazuzu ain't all that bad as the Chritians make him out to be. Check out Sumerian mythology.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reviewin the 48 Laws of Power

The 48 Laws of PowerThe 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

48 laws of power

I will not begin this review with a list of the 48 laws but I will tell you that this is one effective book. True we are past the age of kings and queens and royal courts are no longer dens of aristocracy striving for power . None the less there are small fiefdoms , work places and parties where people jockey for position and power. The quest for power has to be in a civilized fashion. Outburst and violence will not be tolerated.

The book starts off each chapter with the given law of power then goes into application. The first application is transgression, what happens when you fail to follow the law. After that the author goes into how to properly observe the law and apply it. In some chapters it does talk about reversing the law.

Every chapter is filled with incidents pulled from history. On the side lines are fables and stories that help illustrate the point. The history alone makes this book top notch. Macciavelli, Baltasar Gracian, aesops fables are richly quoted here. mr. Greene is a student of the history of power.

I cannot enthusiastically reccomend this book enough. Mr. Greene has several other books out and I plan to read them . No matter your walk of life or aspiration you will get something out of this.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Housekeeping Magical Style.

Magical Housekeeping: Simple Charms & Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious HomeMagical Housekeeping: Simple Charms & Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home by Tess Whitehurst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Your outer world is a direct reflection of your inner world. As within so without. So it makes sense that if your house is a mess then so is the rest of your life. If your house is in order ....... Well you know.

Tess Whitehurst who is a practicing magical worker and feng shui specialist tells you how to get your house in order so you can get the rest of your life back in order.

Every thing in here is really simple to perform . No fact wands, athames or any else of that nature . What Tess represents is very Visualization based.

First you need to clean all the clutter out of your house. That means anything g you know longer use or love needs to go. The cleaning is accompanied by rituals. Later on she I trucks the reader how to magically clean their inside house .

The book includes rituals for every purpose. Perhaps you need to bring in money or clear out some negative vibes. There are also rituals and visualization involving angels, and different deities z there are also correspondences for herbs, colors and essential
Oil .

Book is great for the beginner because it gives you the basics and then puts it all together for you . I am a sucker for simplicity. She also gives over some Feng Shui basics.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Krampus is Calling

Letters From KrampusLetters From Krampus by Thomas Raven
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The North Pole had been taken over by a corrupt Kobold who was originally hired to help Santa and Krampus with making toys and getting them delivered.

Santa has been drugged and taken prisoner while Krampus has been driven into exile. Since the Kobokd took over he has corpratized the North Pole. Making elves work for slave wages and destroying forests to build more factories. Fewer and fewer children are getting gifts and Krampus has been given a bad rap.

From his place in exile, Krampus sends a series of letters to the young Anne peregrine . On December 5 of every year for 10 years straight. In all he asks for her to believe and in every year he tells her about the fight against Corvus the Kobold .

The letters tell how he befriends snow cats, wolves and bats to fight against Cirvus. He tells how he destroys a factory and how he enlists the elves to go against Corvus z he tells about spy attempts and how he rescues Santa. The final battle takes place in a gorge.

Seems like a nice book for children or young teen agers . Not classical material but good light entertaining g reading. Nice to hear that people are recognizing Krampus, even if they have despooked him .

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Story of Green

Green Angel (Green Angel, #1)Green Angel by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Starts off living life on an optimistic note. Life is like an unwritten book with blank pages waiting for her to fill in. The family owns a farm overlooking a river. The family consists of Green, mother, father and her younger sister. Oh yeah there is a dog called Onion. The parents are hard working folk and the younger sister is very active with stark white hair that attracts moths. Green herself is the expert on farming.

One day the family goes to town in order to sell their goods in the market. Green is left behind feeling ultra resentful. That is also the day that disaster strikes. What the author describes as a huge fire decimates the town and and everything is covered in soot. All plant life dies and whoever is left behind is wandering around in a daze. Soon people  are looting and banditry returns to the roads.  Looting is rampant and teenagers that have survived have taken to drink and dancing around a fire in order to forget.

Green goes through a transformation calling herself Ashe. She puts nails in her fathers boots, thorns in her leather jacket and cuts off all her hair. Green/Ash takes to inking herself with black ink tattoes. She transforms into a rugged survivor. People are very afraid of her as well.

Soon she takes in Onion the dog and a white dashhound who she helps heal. Diamond a young man with a burned face who does not talk comes by and helps her about. Green also feeds an ailing neighbor.

Soon within time another transformation takes place and the black ink tattoos turn green. A short children's story about life, loss and redemption. Great childrens book and this authoress seems to have knowledge of folk cures and the use of herbs.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

The Birth of Gothic Monsterz.

The Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature's Greatest MonstersThe Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature's Greatest Monsters by Andrew McConnell Stott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vampyres have been around for centuries if not millennia. Traditionally they were portrayed as decaying corpses come to life only to drink blood and then hide back in their grave. John Polidori’s story changed all that and the vampire became an aristocratic figure full of charm and seduction. The birth of this new vampire coincided with the firth of a new kind of monster one created by man.

John Polidori, who wrote, “ The Vampyre” was trained traditionally to be a doctor. Forced by his Italian immigrant father to study medicine, the London born John first studied in Amplworth and then wnet to medical school in Edinburgh. Some things macabre jump out from this experience. To understand the anatomy medical students used to steal corpses from the local cemetery and cover up their crime so they would have something to work with.

Upon graduating from medical school, John Polidori became the physician to a fallen Aristocrat named Lord Byron. Lord Byron skyrocketed to fame with his poem “The Child Harolde” In this sudden rise to fame Lord Byron womanized, drank and held outrageous parties. Whenhe got married to Anna Milbanke the marriage lasted but two to three years. She filed for divorce and the rumors spread like wild fire. Lord Byron left for the European continent. Taking off by boat with John Polidori the two toured the countryside of France and Luxemborg going all the way to Geneva. The country was ravages by war with Napoleon and Austria.

It was in Geneva at Lake Leman in Switzerland that Lord Byron was slated to meet with Claire Clairmont, step sister of Mary Shelly. Mary Shelly was famous for writing “Frankenstein.” Her real name though was Mary Godwin. Wolstonecraft was the name of her grandmother. The family was of political free thinkers and feminists. Mr. Shelley her husband eloped with her leaving his first wife Harriet behind.

At the in a Villa called “Diodati” the group of people explored literary ideas, experienced boredom and had their dalliances. One such union was between Lord Byron and Claire. It produced a child but Byron would not recognize he child nor acknowledge it. One day they were all bored and decided to have a ghost story writing contest. This contest produced “Frankenstein” and the Vampyre.

The Vampyre was inspired by Lord Byron. He was a charming womanizer with a streak of cruelty. He lead a debaucherous life and was quite egocentric. While Polidor’s Vampyre story would hit big time he would barely scrape by. After being released from Lord Byron’s service he traveled Italy and wnet about Europe trying to procure employment. Lord Byron settled in Venice and sent his daughter via Claire to a nunnery where she dies of neglect. Lord Byron would die in 1824 helping the Greeks against the Turks. John Polidoria would die in his sleep a debt ridden wreck and the Shelley’s had a somewhat normal life. Claire eneded up dying in her 80’s shaken by her life experiences.

Awesome book especially if one wants a glimpse into the debauched life of the poet. It is not all riches and glory and the writing life is not always the best. Love the book though it is about the author not the vampires themselves.


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Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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