الجمعة، 30 أكتوبر 2009

Trip in the American Colorado and its capital Denver

Annahar Newspaper
No. 23848 – year 77 – Sunday, October 18th, 2009
Trip in the American Colorado and its capital Denver

Land of rocks stamped with volcanic soil, minerals and the fragrance of the Indian earth

Who are you beautiful? Who are you lady in red lost in the middle of wilderness? I just saw you yesterday walking alone in the Wild West of America; Were you hypnotized by the shining snow of mountain summits or the desert sands?
Who are you? Were you an Indian virgin who was kidnapped from her tribe to mate with a Mexican Spanish and then to intercourse with a French Master; until it concubines an Anglo-Saxon who became a father of her children, as I was told?

Do not worry; I will always adore you nice lady, no matter what; I love you maybe because you incarnate the Cowboys' pride; I feel attracted to your hybrid character, which combines tradition, reservation, new waves and clean technology.
Your openness to the third wave of change makes you daunting & appealing.
Denver you are my friend now; so you got a sun tainted Mediterranean Lebanese admirer.
I fell in love with a yellow and red origin land, which was born from the womb of the gold mines & the injustices of their masters toward the slave.

Denver, we celebrated our eternal friendship on the balcony of Ritz Carlton hotel; where we toasted Beirut wine together; I poured some of it in your crystal glass, when your moon night mixed with your fading sun; then I made you listen to my diva "Om KULTHUM" & we were both electrolyzed by the beats of its songs as well as by the music of Charbel ROUHANA and others.

I met Denver, on the eve of a sunny autumn day; When I got to its airport, I found myself drifetd by the charm of its native portraits & their Music. Just then I knew why “Beautiful America” song was inspired from Colorado!!!
Colorado does not make you only compose songs, but poetry and prose.
Yes, I became in love with the land of gold & of forgotten mine towns.
Nowadays, I am still in love with the land, which extends between the snow & reserves of San Juan, & ,the sands of the American deserts & prairies; I am in love with Colorado of tainted rocks, which are stamped by volcanic soil, minerals and fragrance from the Indian earth.

Yuan, the German
The desire to identify “Colorado” was reinforced by my journey mate Yuan, the German retired pilot of the “Lufthansa” company, which airplane transported us from Frankfurt to Denver. Yuan is an elderly man, who has suffered from the bitterness of the World War II. The war made him loose his homeland, which became in the post war, a part of Poland, as compensation to the latter to counterweigh the scourge of Hitler. Yuan, who became frustrated by the war results joined the “Lufthansa” team; and since then he settled in New York.
The reason for choosing Yuan to the civil aviation as a career, and the German airline in particular, lies in the fact that his father was a General in the German air force during the World War II.
Yuan, the German veteran pilot, shortened the long-distance separating the Atlantic from Denver. He told me that he saw the Fuehrer on several occasions when he was young, when it was difficult for the Germans to avoid being attached to the Nazi leader. Yuan was married but had no children, because he feared that war would return, so his children would feel what he personally suffered. Nowadays Yuan got older, & he still thinks of war.
With him, I discovered that wars shape people & people make it. People are indeed the prisoners of history and their past, which does not stop haunting them down and control their own destiny to the extent of the confrontation or escape.
Losing his home and land made, Yuan move to Uncle Sam’s country, to Colorado Springs, where he lives today, bringing with him his secrets, his past and his unique privacy. He left Germany armored with secrets to retain his country of dreams he once knew; I believe that he escaped the present for the sake of not loosing his past & his future. Yuan was indeed a model of a chunk of people who came to the new World to escape the present in order to live in the future. However, he told me that he lives in USA always as a German; thus He never applied for citizenship. He is proud of his community (the second largest community after the Anglo-Saxon community at that time), which had the credit for giving the independence to the United States of America from its mother, the United Kingdom, in the nineteenth century, according to his saying.
What marked Yuan was his passion for history and German wines. He counted on me history facts with every glass of wine he toasted. The he went on elaborating on the beautiful places in Colorado and its uniqueness; it seems that his home region intermingled very much with Colorado.

In Colorado
The plane landed in “Denver” smoothly; However, it did not crush with any horse or cowboy, stuck in time there. I felt fear when i reached US; a fear i overcame quickly when I got to the colidors of Denver gate to US. Then, I turned happy because i managed to get smoothly to new Rome; I felt luck was on my side since a Lebanese of the Middle East is always a matter of doubt in this empire, which suffered from the September 11th & terrorism.
I felt relaxed to tunnel into the corridors of Denver airport, after twelve hours of nonstop flight. I got out & saluted immediately the land purchased by the United States of America from France (Louisiana and the east of the Rocky Mountains in 1803). Then I headed by taxi toward the Carlton Hotel – Ritz – on the Curtis street (in 1818), and stepped up to my room on the eighth floor.
I got to the room & started surfing in Colorado online sites in the purpose of finding out something about the history of the hosting state.
I learnt that Colorado, which was plundered from the Indians who lived there for more than thirteen thousand years, has been an issue of conflict between Spain and the United States of America, until the day Mexico lost its war against USA following its independence from Spain; a loss which led to the complete abandoning all the disputed area for the benefit of the United States of America, by virtue of the Treaty of Guadalupe. Then the lands surrounding the Green River (Colorado River) at the time have been dispersed to a number of states until the discovery of gold and minerals (the territory south of Kansas) in the year 1858.
The discovery of mineral resources led to the emergence of an interim government to the territories of “Jefferson” (Colorado) in the year 1861, which became later on Colorado state.
I knew also that Colorado is a Spanish terminology that means “painted with red”; as the great river (Colorado River) color gets red in springtime, when the snows melt & carries with it the red soils of the mountains. Moreover, I read that Denver has been the final capital of the state since 1867; & I knew that Colorado became the independent thirty-eighth state of the Union on the 24th of August in 1876; & I found that the state population is around five million people, mostly living in the capital.
I remarked also from the Literature that Colorado is the state, which granted women the right to vote and get elected since1893; so they make nowadays 45 percent of the state Congress.
I knew also that Colorado was the first US state to adopt referendum, statistics and universal suffrage in shaping its policies. That is why Colorado people feels nowadays proud of being from it; as it is the most well-being American States & the least affected by the recent financial crisis which,is due to its dependence on advanced clean technologies, tourism, services and agriculture.

It was Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Company, which invited me to the Sun City, or the town of one mile (above sea level), as it is called in the United States of America. I came to Denver to represent my colleagues in the Board of the Régie Libanaise de Tabacs et Tombacs at the Sixteenth Conference of the Organization of Police Chiefs in the world; the visit was indeed an opportunity for me to discover US.

The Capitol
I was eager to go to the Capitol; which is indeed the most beautiful monument of Denver, & the political and administrative heart of Colorado State. The building designed by Elijah E. Myers attracted me. You cannot but love this Denver monument, which is made of one hundred and sixty-six rooms that are crowned by a magnificent gilded dome. I was lucky to take the adventure and climb the ninety-nine steps to reach the capitol dome, where I was granted eagle views of the whole city of Denver.
The capitol is a model of U.S. classic engineering, which began to appear in the year 1894. It is believed that this monument was made also to commemorate the wealth of a state established by the gold mine owners.

I will always remember Martin Luther King's Portrait hanging at the entrance of the capitol along side with other images of US founding fathers; I could not get in without stopping by it; so I stood for a while there & I remembered his endeavors for a better America; I heard myself saying: “it seems that some people achieve their goals by martyrdom…; what if Martin Luther King knew that one day his goals will be met & his portrait would hang here?”

I pursued my journey in the Capitol, which is rich with traditional carved or painted American slogans such as the triangle, the eye...; I knew immediately that these were of Freemasonry origins; a movement, which embraced most of the founders of the United States of America that it considered as the Promised Land, which has to attract the Jewish capitals from all over the world.

The Capitol was wonderful with its drawings, wall and glass paintings; which counts to the public Colorado stories and draws people back to its heroes.

Denver capitol is indeed Colorado consciousness since it commemorates apparently its public figures. However, I felt sorry about Lebanon, which does not have a common public onsciousness; I was sorry for my country, which does not recognize its senior public figures properly.

Denver particularities
I admired this land of the American West dedicated to the sun, which vowed 320/365 day ratio to it. Colorado is the country of the dry climate & with the Great River. It is the state of wheat, cotton and sugar beet.

I will always remember Colorado, as the daughter of the gold mines, and the most beautiful of US Indian tribes. I will remember it as the land, which resisted, at first, to give the Black his rights; then turned out to be the most open, loving & the friendliest to environment.

I will remember it as a lady eager to preserve its beauty, which she considered as a main ingredient of its comparative advantage.

I will remember Colorado always as an activist who changed his political affiliations from the conservative republican camp to the Democratic open camp due to his affinity to peace, to the green & high tech.

Colorado will not stop to be for me the country, which invested the most in human resources (investment in Education, Arts, & Sports), in the Green Technologies & in third wave of change of all other states of US.

I adore Denver the elegant, idealistic and loving. I will yearn always for the serenity of its blue sky, the beauty of its White Mountains, & the calmness of its prairies.

Denver, I will never forget what a New Yorker friend said to you:" “Where Denver people are? Why the streets are so empty? Did anything happen to its inhabitants?”
He said it because he couldn’t imagine that there are still cities on your example in his empire.

I am in love with Denver, which is free of the poor, & the needy. I love it because you are socially homogeneous, & safe to a large extent.

Farewell Denver
Yesterday, I left Denver like distracted lover who just went on his own way alone; I left it in sorrow but satisfied; I was satisfied because Denver taught me lessons of dreaming and working. It taught me how strong democracy is, no matter how it could turn out to be inefficient, & misleading at certain times; through Denver I discovered also the cleaning effect of accountability on the democratic regimes. Accountability is indeed the driving force, which free US of all its falls & makes as clean as Denver snow.

Through Denver, I knew that the United States of America is not solely George Bush & the neoconservative trend, but it is also the land of Roosevelt and Martin Luther King. I rediscovered the American Dream & knew that US is still also the land of opportunities that are lost every day in our country. I was happy to get in close relation with the land of dreamers, which is founded on faith, love and tolerance; a relation that renew a fantasy of mine about it; US is once again, the woman who might be mislead by the devil, but not for good. I believe that Denver taught me how US is made up of communities which are still fighting to discover the ultimate truth.

Finally, The United States of America is not the ultimate evil but the land of good people; it is a place whereby most people still dream for a better tomorrow for humanity. Real US was different from the one most Arabs drew; it seems that we misundrestood it since we never knew how to address it by its own language & lobbying tools, & ended up blaming it for our woes and faults.

Denver (Colorado) by Mazen ABBOUD
Annahar Newspaper – 2009 – All rights reserved

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