الثلاثاء، 31 مايو، 2011

A Trip to Mount Athos of Angels & Hermits













A Trip to Mount Athos of Angels & Hermits

By Mazen H.ABBOUD

Published by Monday Morning, Issue 2005. 30th of May,2011

A friend used to say: “One has to visit Mount Athos once in a lifetime; it is the garden of virgin Marry where people get in touch with the angels & Saints”.
So, I decided to go there to discover this garden of Virgin Mary & to decode some of the secrets of this holy finger of the Aegean Sea. I went there with Father Costa KAYAL, Father Dmitri KHURI, Rayan FAWAZ, & Christian KHRISTOFORIDIS so that I could get in touch with saints & angels for some time in my life time.

We got to Athos on the 4th day of the resurrection feast to live the charms of resurrection there.

Athos is a located on a peninsula jutting out from the main land of Greece into the Aegean Sea. It is an autonomous Republic of 400km2, which is governed by the representatives of the monastic communities of of the Holy Mountain’s 20 monastic houses.
It is known that Monastic life began to appear in the peninsula in the post Islamic conquest of the Levant period; so it is believed that monks who escaped the Levant found Athos, a safer haven to practice their rituals. However, the first monastery of Athos, the Great Lavra, was built some times between 925 & 926, as mentioned by the first typicon (the set of rules of the Monasteries).

Athos is considered as the heart of the orthodox world; it is a unique place of special rules; a garden dedicated to Virgin Marry whereby monks worship God & glorify him, day & night.

The Journey to Athos was indeed a journey to the past, where I discovered the beauties of the Byzantine Empire. It was Constantinople in its full spiritual glory. I enjoyed the bells ringing amid hymns & candles. Furthermore, I was impressed by the beauty,warmth & greatness of churches. I admired the decorated murals whose saints descend to pray with monks to the lord for the salvation of their souls & the World.

It was only a sixth day stay in the land of the Virgin Marry; a lovely stay during which, I discovered a new dimension to life as well as a different world; a world whose people are God like & are of a different nature, concerns, goals & motivations. A sixth day stay, which made me feel the presence of God & the interference of angels & saints in the lives of monks.

I discovered that Athos, as I had been told: “was different & special”. I noticed that what makes it so special are its people who are made of Love & Light. The man in me was really impressed by the power & richness of powerless & poor hermits who knew how to free themselves from the attractions of the world; those apparently weak people thought me how freedom is: love, absolute poverty, patience, dedication, hope, & prayers; I saw the world kneeling at their feet; & I felt that they got the keys to the truth & to knowledge. Rarely have I met people of such generosity; they were ready to give you all their belongings; they were poor with little means of living but were rich in God Grace. I had chats with some of them who told me about my life, the elders’ prophecies, the World, & the end.

Virgin Marry is at the center of monastic life there; the mother of God is a colorful & a miraculous icon greeted in every monastery at Mount Athos. They say that she is the owner of the peninsula & her real ruler. However, her icon in Iviron Monastery, so called Lady of the gate, is of special importance & symbolism to the people of the Mountain; it is related to the past as well as to the fate of the mountain & the world; thusas a matter of fact, Athonites believe that the Lady of the Gate that came to Athos by sea will leave it sometimes in the future, to mark the beginning of the end. I visited the miraculous Icon of Iviron & talked to her; then met father Isaiah.

But, the most important spiritual meeting I had was with father Irene’s of Vatopedi Monastery; I will never forget his face that shined at the fading light of the candles, which illuminated the murals of the main gallery of the Catholicon; furthermore, I will never forget the power of words of this French father who got to Athos to discover the truth & stayed there; his words will echo always in my soul:” take care my child not to fall in the darkness; you should always try to convey the light of the truth to the people of your country through the power of words… come back here, I am waiting for you; we got a lot to talk about”.

الجمعة، 27 مايو، 2011

L’Ancien au Moyen-Orient a-t-il expiré? Pourquoi? Et comment le nouveau Moyen-Orient va être?

Mazen H. ABBOUD – L’Ancien au Moyen-Orient a-t-il expiré? Pourquoi? Et comment le nouveau Moyen-Orient va être?


Ce sont des questions qui sont rarement posées dans le Levant, ou dans ce que l’on appelle le Moyen-Orient. Est-ce qui se passe actuellement pourrait être considéré comme un rêve pour certains et un cauchemar pour d’autres, et est-il est un processus inévitable?

Il est bien évident que le Moyen-Orient est en pleine métamorphose, les murs de la peur se sont effondrés à travers ce qui est appelé les médias sociaux. Les régimes autocratiques et oppressifs tremblent et tombent, le changement est le résultat d’une dynamique interne (comme la quête de la liberté) engendrée par un changement dans l’environnement régional. Ce qui se passe maintenant dans le Levant, pourrait être comparé à la chute du mur de Berlin et des régimes communistes en Europe de l’Est dans les années 1990. Ces évènements constituent en effet une nouvelle étape dans le parcours historique de la région. Apparemment, les élites de la région ont lancé des révolutions, par le biais des médias sociaux contre des régimes autocratique, qui n’ont pas pu parvenir à un développement et des droits fondamentaux de la liberté d’expression et d’action, ou la vision de régimes qui ne pouvaient pas protéger leurs territoires, soit contre les agressions israéliennes ou à atteindre une paix réelle et complète éternelle avec ce dernier.

Cependant,, ce n’est pas la même histoire dans les différents pays. On peut citer l’exemple de la Libye, ou l’on peut aussi l’odeur du parfum de pétrole qui a aidé à la dernière escalade de la situation, tandis qu’en la Syrie on peut ressentir l’ombre de la lutte du conflit entre l’Occident et l’Iran sur la question du Moyen-Orient ainsi que des affrontements entre les sunnites et chiites pour le pouvoir dans la région.

Il est évident que le président Obama a saisi l’occasion et se fit l’avocat du changement et la démocratie au Moyen-Orient; son administration fait un bon usage de modifier cette région et pour obtenir par la voie diplomatie ce que les autres administrations ne pouvaient pas obtenir par les guerres contre des régimes en perte de vitesse.

Personne ne sait exactement ce à quoi le nouveau Moyen-Orient ressemblera dans les années à venir, mais je suis certain qu’il ne pourra pas ressembler à l’Europe d’aujourd’hui, le Moyen-Orient n’étant pas l’Europe orientale, et 2011 n’étant pas 1992. En outre, le coût du changement dans la région de pétrole et les conflits seraient beaucoup plus élevés et les résultats potentiels pourraient se révéler des engagements politiques dans le court et moyen terme plus intenses pour nous et le monde.

Il est vrai que les pays émergents du Moyen-Orient seront plus démocratique à long terme, mais moins modérés, moins variés, et moins stables dans les courts et moyens termes, les régimes émergents devront certainement tenir compte de la véritable identité des populations étant intrinsèquement antioccidentales et les conservatrices. On peut s’attendre à ce que les minorités devront disparaitre avec les musulmans modérés, mais également qu’une une paix véritable entre Arabes et Israéliens serait impossible avec la mise en place de régimes plus extrémistes, aussi bien dans les pays arabes qu’en Israël. Nous devons donc nous attendre à un regain de violence et de chaos dans le court et le moyen terme.

Cela explique que les politiques suivies par les États-Unis pour des changements dans le Moyen-Orient reste un cas spécifique à chaque pays de la région, sur la base d’une analyse composée par des variables qualitatives de la liberté, la démocratie, de l’extrémisme, la stabilité et la paix. Cependant, cela n’est pas une tâche facile à conduire, personne ne pouvant spéculer précisément les effets de la dégradation dans un certain état face à la sécurité internationale, à la situation politique et économique, et aux les risques d’interférences des intérêts constitués par le pétrole qui constitue un paramètre important de l’économie mondiale.

Enfin, ce qui se passe au Moyen-Orient en général et la Syrie, en particulier, est important, et inévitable. Il s’agit de la lutte d’un peuple pour obtenir ses droits fondamentaux en évinçant un régimes autocratique et oppressif. Il s’agit d’autant plus du début d’un dur processus de développement à long terme pour la construction d’un démocratie? Nous pouvons croire le Moyen-Orient est aujourd’hui dans une situation critique, mais également d’une réalité, l’ensemble du monde se réjouissant de devenir un meilleur endroit à vivre.

Published by libnannews Web on the 27th of May.2011
http://libnanews.com/2011/05/27/lemergence-dun-nouveau-moyen-orient/

الأحد، 22 مايو، 2011

The Emergence of a New Middle East

The Emergence of a New Middle East

By Mazen H.ABBOUD
Has the Old Middle East expired? How did it happen? Why? & how the new Middle East is going to be?

Those are question that are seldom asked in the Levant, the so called Middle East. What is happening could be considered as a dream for some & a nightmare for the few others; but as a matter of fact, it is an inevitable process.

It is quite clear that the Middle East is in metamorphosis; the walls of fears collapsed for good by social digital media; autocratic & oppressive regimes are shaking & falling; the change is the outcome of an internal dynamicity (quest for freedom) engendered by a change in the regional atmosphere; what is happening now in the Levant, could be compared to the fall of Berlin wall & the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in the 1990s; it is indeed a new milestone in the historical course of the region, which is in the making. Apparently, the elites of the region initiated revolutions, through digital social media, to outset oppressive & autocratic regimes, which could not achieve development and basic rights to freedom of expression & action; regimes that could not either shield their territories from Israeli aggressions or achieve a real comprehensive & everlasting peace with it.

However, nowadays this is not the whole story everywhere, since initiating an uprising is an issue & investing in it is another; for example, in Libya one can smell also the scent of fuel that affected the latest escalations of the situation; whereas in Syria one can feel the shadows of the struggle of the West with Iran over the Middle East & of the clashes between the Sunnite & Shiite over the power game in the region.

It is obvious that President OBAMA grasped the opportunity & became the advocate of change & democracy in the Middle East; his administration is making good use of the change to get by diplomacy what the other administrations could not get by wars from the endangered regimes.

Nobody knows exactly how the new Middle East will look like in the next few years; however, I am sure that it would not look like Eastern Europe now; I believe that the Middle East is not Eastern Europe; moreover, 2011 is not 1992. In addition, the cost of change in the region of oil & conflicts would be much higher & its potential outcomes might turn out to be political liabilities in the short & medium term on us & the World.
It is true that the emerging Middle East would be more democratic in the long run; but it would be less moderate, less varied, & less stable in the short & medium terms; the emerging regimes will certainly reflect the true identity of the people that are anti-western & conservatives; then, it is expected that minorities will fade away along with moderate Muslims; then, real peace between Arabs & Israelis would be impossible due to the fall of the game on both sides(Arabs & Israelis) into the hands of extremists; it would be a violent & chaotic Middle East in the short & medium term. This is explains why US policies toward changes in the Middle East is case specific. It seems, US administration designed for each case in the Levant a specific set of conducts based upon the outcome of a formula made up of the qualitative variables of freedom, democracy, extremism, stability & peace.

However, this is not an easy task to do, since nobody can speculate exactly the effects of the degradation in a certain state on the international security, political & economic situation; the risks of interferences in this region of fuel are indeed great; the sick World Economy will be affected badly by soaring fuel prices.


Finally, what is happening in the Middle East in general & Syria, in particular, is important, & inevitable; it is the struggle of the people of the region to gain their basic human rights by shaking & ousting autocratic & oppressive regimes; in addition, it is the beginning of a hard & a long term development process toward building democracy, which has no time & cost frames. I believe the Middle East of nowadays is in critical situation; it is at the operating room of the world hospital; so, it is imperative that the doctor (the free world) has the means & know how to treat the patient properly to recover in the long term; the patient should recover to make real development, economic prosperity, & democracy & peace, a reality; then, the whole World would rejoice & become a better place for people to live in.

الجمعة، 20 مايو، 2011

عبود: تدهور البيئة انعكاس للانهيار

متفرقات - عبود: تدهور البيئة انعكاس للانهيار
Fri 20/05/2011 10:07


وطنية - 20/5/2011 - اعتبر الناشط البيئي مازن عبود خلال محاضرة القاها في المعهد العالي للاعمال (ESA)
أن مشكلة تدهور الوضع البيئي في لبنان هي انعكاس مباشر لانهيار بنيوي في البلد، كما لتدهور القيم الاخلاقية الناظمة للمجتمعات اللبنانية.

ودعا الى تجاوز الحلول التجميلية المتبعة في هذا الاطار، معتبرا ان الاتكال على الدولة في حل المعضلات البيئية هو في غالب الاحيان من قبيل الوهم في ظل الوضع الحالي.

وأسف للتخبط الحاصل في ادارات الدولة وتجاوز حدود السلطة الممنوحة في الكثير من الاحيان، معتبرا أن الاتكال سيكون على المؤسسات التربوية التي يفترض بها إعداد أناس أحرار جدد من طينة مختلفة يتمتعون بالحس النقدي ويمارسون المحاسبة على آلهة البلد أي زعمائه السياسيين.

واشار عبود الى ان بناء مؤسسات سياسية حقيقية أضحى ضرورة تنموية وحياتية وبيئية وذلك لزوم كسر وخلع نظام مارق يمتص موارد البلد ويغطي انتهاكات الأزلام.

ودعا الطلاب الى الانخراط بقوة في العمل العام والمحاربة بشراسة لخلق دينامية تغييرية في مجتمعاتهم مهما كانت الاثمان باهظة، لأن الاحياء الاموات هم ملامون على وضعهم امام ضمائرهم وامام التاريخ. كما طالبهم بتسخير وسائل الاعلام الاجتماعي
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لخلق موجات تغييرية في لبنان الغارق في ثباته في عالم عربي متغيير ومتطور
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الاثنين، 16 مايو، 2011

Going Green

Going Green!!!

PUSH Magazine, Issue of the 15th of May, 2011

By Mazen H.ABBOUD

When I was just a boy (just thirty years ago) I used to consider our old neighbor who used to collect the empty bottles of soft drinks, the paper & mineral equipment to sell them again, stringy & too economical .

When I was a boy our poor neighbor aunty “Jalili” used to tailor her family’s old items to generate new ones; & I used to pity her because she could not afford to get new items.

When I was a boy I used to criticize my grandfather’s trend to put off the unnecessary light & optimize the use of water. I used to dislike my Grandmother’s tendency to cook vegetarian food & to depend more on raw vegetables in her dishes.
When I used a small boy, people used to depend more on solar & wind to prepare their reserves of food for the winter time; they used to dry fruits & vegetables, prepare jams etc…

People used to design their traditional houses in a way that would allow wind to circulate in kitchens & bed rooms, & light to get in their rooms; they used to depend more on wood, soil & stones to build their houses; thus, their houses were well isolated from heat & cold; moreover, they used to depend less on fuel; they used to cooperate more to reduce the use of one’s car to get to a certain location.
To go green is to do all what I counted on you now. It is to use our wastes; it is to depend less on fuel & to increase our dependencies on natural resources (wind & solar); & finally, it is to become more efficient in production, by using less raw material for a certain end product.

I believe that one firm’s economic sustainability will be correlated with its ability to become green in the future. Becoming green maybe costly in the short & medium terms; but it is the only way to survive financially in the long run.
To become green is to change our attitudes as consumers, which are to: use energy efficient cars; buy less non recyclable items; depend more on raw & vegetarian food; reuse our old unwanted items; manage our domestic wastes at the household or firm level; & finally minimize the purchases of all unnecessary items.

As a matter of fact water, air, & soil are generally considered by Economists as non scarce resources; however, this would not be the case in the future due to excessive human polluting activities, which made every m 3 of good water, good air, & fertile non polluted soil scarce resources.

Becoming green should become a practical course for all businesses to adopt in Lebanon; it should not remain a theoretical academic yearning for the elite; for that every one of you business women has to become a model of change in that regard, & give a lesson to the other.

الأربعاء، 11 مايو، 2011

A Letter from the Ecumenical Patriarch

الى ولدنا العزيز في الرب-الباحث السيد مازن عبّود،

نعمة وسلام من الله،

لمّا كان لنا، ومنذ شبابنا، محبة خاصة لعالم الكتب المختارة.
لذا،
فاننا نقدر، وبشكل عميق، اولئك المهتمين بالكتابة وبخاصة الكتابة العلمية الموثقة والهادفة الى تعزيز فائدة القرّاء العامة.
وبما اننا تلقينا، بكل تقدير، مؤلفكم المعنون "بذور التغيير". نشكركم، مهنئين اياكم ابويا على محبتكم للبحث والتنقيب، ومتمنين لكم غنى الاستنارة من الروح القدس لمتابعة نشاطكم التأليفي البنّاء.

نعمة ربنا يسوع المسيح الوفيرة ورحمته غير المحدودة فلتكن معكم.

الداعي بحرارة الى الله،

برثلماوس الاول
رئيس اساقفة القسطنطينية
والبطريرك المسكوني

القسطنطينية في 26 تموز، 2010

الخميس، 5 مايو، 2011

افرام يجول على بعض اديار تيسالونيكي قبيل توجهه الى جبل آثوس في اليونان



افرام يجول على بعض اديار تيسالونيكي قبيل توجهه الى جبل آثوس في اليونان

قبيل توجهه الى جبل آثوس قام مطران طرابلس للروم الاورثوذكس افرام كرياكوس بجولة على الاديار المحيطة بمدينة تيساولينكي اليونانية وقد رافقه في الجولة كل من: الارشمندريت كوستا كيّال والاب نكتاريوس عدرا والاب ميخائيل رزّوق والشماس بارسينيوس وعضو لجنة ادارة حصر التبغ والتنباك مازن عبّود والمهندس كابي المر والسيد كميل الحاج.

المحطة الرئيسية في جولة افرام كانت في دير سيدة البشارة-اورميليا في خاليكيدي، وهو الدير الاكبر والاهم ما بين الاديار النسائية في اليونان، حيث اقيم له استقبال حار.


المطران افرام ادى صلاة الشكر في الدير، وتلى عظة جاء فيها: "ان فرح الفصح ما هو الا بعض من الفرح المرتقب بمجيئ الملكوت" وشكر للراهبات حفاوة الاستقبال، منوها بنتاجهنّ. ومن ثمّ اولمت الراهبات على شرف مطران طرابلس والوفد المرافق.


فترة ما بعد الظهر، جال المطران افرام على كل من ديري ارسانيوس الكبادوكي للرجال في خاليكيدي ودير السيروتين جيث زار ضريح البار بايسيوس الذي يعتبر قديسا معاصرا في الكنيسة الاورثوذكسية لم تعلن القسطنطينية قداسته بعد.