Monthly Archives: December 2015

Embracing the rays of the sun with Youssef of Egypt and Nawal the Unnamed Goddess

There are moments in our life that we encounter and they make history of what our life is and can or should be about.
Whatever is happening is still beyond the comprehension of my own mind. One of those instances of life that are by themselves the whole aspiration of your hidden or far reached dreams.
How much of coincidence has it been that I was asked twice in this very same instant of this miraculous happening “ what are your dreams? Your plans for life?
Sitting at a kitchen table opposite a window that overseas Cairo from the 26th floor in a modest apartment, on my left Youssef Zeidan and on my right Nawal Saadawi. \In my normal everyday life. I cannot even dare to think, that I may be having such an encounter.
I have been enjoying all my life my hallucinating ideas in a relationship and a conversation I hold with the writers and thinkers that I fall in love one after the other within the edges of the pages of their books. The world that I loved flirting with on my own, with its stars of men and women who would become my mentors, lovers, boyfriends, gurus … whatever the choice of the book may hold me with.
I have been following the novelist Youssef Zeidan for years, out of admiration and the amount of inspiration he seemed to be providing to this generation of young people. It was embarrassing that his book Azazeel was given to me many times and recommended tens of times, and I was never able to read it in six or seven years. He caught my attention however with the Shadow of the Snake, and I was thinking. Here stands a man of a daring mind.
In the absence of everything that connects us with culture and literature without the pretentious abuse of literature and culture in our world, this man seemed a glow that lightens a path of darkness. I was watching him with admiration and cautiousness, taking into consideration of all the misfortunes that continue to invade the Arab world. He seemed to be hanging on. A man who looks so much in love with his people. A good caregiver for the well-being of his people and humanity.
I quickly grasped the opportunity to meet him when chances allowed upon the recent debates that he stirred causing an avalanche in the cold mountains of our minds.
Starting to read him to fill in the gap of my ignorance about his work was by itself a journey that will definitely stay for a very long time to come. It could be an exaggeration from my side. It could also be my intensive digging in the caves of the medieval era that makes me overwhelmed. It could be the lack of serious and real people that can still talk the same language I look for. But this man is nothing less than a genius that history will definitely save him a place among those immortal thinkers of all times. I could imagine while I was listening to him surrounded by the overwhelming warmth and amount of books that decorate the shelves of his apartment from corner to corner. His translated works. His tens of books that continue or are bestseller year after year. The encyclopedia, documents, and treasures of books that make the great mind he carries on his shoulder.
Listening to him was like sitting in front of a spring that pours into falls of gold. While trying to show my intelligence reading four of his books that were obvious not the smartest way to know the man. There is no way one can catch the trend of his writing. You cannot predict what could be happening as you turn the next page. Yet it is not suspense you are reading. A continuous journey in the existence of man from within his very self. A public defender for women and her rights is the only trend that one can trace in every piece of his writings. A non-stop digging and shaking in molded believes that we take as a God given only truths.
Being allowed the entry to his own haven. The privacy of his own home. The circle of his closest friends and people. Listening to him and listening to him and listening to him, and with every possible break: “ Aren’t you hungry?” “ What can I do for you?” “ You are too skinny I cannot even see you, you must be underfed.” And of course the charming Egyptian tongue that is enough to make you feel that you are the most and only beauty that earth has ever created, until you hear the same words said with the same passion and seriousness to realize that beauty remains in the eye of the beholder, with as many creatures He has beheld.
I would need forty days to empty the amount of knowledge and inspiring feelings I received in those four days.
That was all according to the supposedly expected more or less plan. I was planning my Cairo tour that will include the pyramids and meeting friends. But who would need to see the monument when he has the Youssef himself. I felt fulfilled, and those trips to the coffee shops in the street where other writers as prominent as he is sitting. His aura is superior he overshadows all … one of the sweet, pleasant gifts of those settings was seeing the Syrian actor Jihad Saad. One of the most beautiful eighties stars of Syrian drama. Age only gained him more glamor, and I was sitting opposite him watching the beauty that shines on his face not knowing for sure why he looked so familiar. When realizing it was he, Youssef asked the waiter to ask if he was an actor. When jihad knew it was Youssef Zeidan asking he jumped off his chair to come and greet. Of course, the man forgot all the charm I was sending him and all the flirting our eyes were exchanging, and he came to Youssef hopping, and after a courtesy hello to me he continued with the big man. At some point I felt jealous, and I was: well it is me who knew you, “ and he politely responded I am sorry are you Syrian? And I was like no I am Palestinian. And this was the magic word. And if Palestinian wasn’t magical enough the word Jerusalem made him give me his phone number. I became the Holy Grail at that moment.
Every single moment I was experiencing was enough for me to carry back with care and gratefulness and dwell upon writing about for a long time to come.
We were exchanging some talk when I asked if he knew Nawal Saadawi. He quickly said: “of course she is a friend of mine even though we never actually met, but we often talk on the phone and we mention each other. She actually said once in an interview that she raised me. Referring to the ideas, I reflected in my writings according to her”. When I stated that it is a pity she is in Alexandria. He said: “no she is here.” I told him about my thesis that she is part of it, and he asked me if I wanted to meet her. I said of course. He called her, and he was his usual glamorous flirt. Giving sweetened warm words to the 86 years old WOMAN, who was blaming him for not showing up for a meeting that they scheduled some time ago. As they were exchanging such words, he told her that he would like to see her with a Palestinian writer who is having a research about her. And I was thinking:” Oh my God these people are dangerous I am screwed.” I was worried because I heard once that she was very rough and arrogant. Not to mention her reputation around this patriarchal system that makes sure to pull down women, imagine when it is Nawal Saadawi. As the world of these people was growing into planets in my tiny stars of existence. I felt this anxious feeling with responsibility maybe.” Take yourself seriously girl” I reminded myself. To make it worse, she said: “Oh. Of course, you and she are welcome. What is her name again? Bring your books and hers when you come”. And I was like “oh my god. I am dead”.
It didn’t finish here, he said later: “Prepare all your questions to her and be ready.” I was like. “Oh yes of course. My questions. I don’t have questions. I just want to see the woman”.. I murmured inside me.
We took a taxi the next day to her apartment in a very popular area that is very unlike the Zamalek area. Everything is, of course, full in Cairo. But sensing the difference is obvious. And somehow people seemed okay. It wasn’t the impression I had when I came almost three decades ago. I left back then with the feeling of smoke and pollution in my own skin. Things were not as bad as I expected. Maybe my Abuja experience also remains as a trademark after all what took place earlier this year. Apparently, nothing could be worse.
Nawal lives in this complex of apartments that has tens and dozens of floors and being on the 26th seemed only a small number. The elevator was old, and I felt weird.
She opened herself, and she was very welcoming. Unbelievable warmth. Nothing strange from Egyptians in this sense. But it is overwhelming. She was very excited about seeing Youssef, and I realized later that yes it is true this is a dangerous historical moment. These two pyramids were meeting for the first time, and I was with them. Of course, no one watching the conversation would think this way. Only the two of them emphasizing many times how it is that it is the first time they met face to face.
I swear I was taken in a trance. I still couldn’t believe this is happening. I am sitting in the house of Nawal Saadawi. Nawal herself is there asking me friendly questions caring so much about my comfort as if I was a little princess that she has just found. And Youssef; That giant man in his presence. Suddenly became just a man sitting opposite the queen of all women.
Of course, it wasn’t too long until his aura took over the presence of the setting. There is unbelievable power in his presence. His tone and voice are very pleasant to the ear.
They were busy talking about them. About Egypt. About her. About him. There was this race of a conversation that could last for three days not three hours. Her eyes talk faster than her mouth. So keen. So intelligent. So much every word of every book she wrote. Somehow I knew her. What she was saying wasn’t new to me. The fact that she told it all to me was enough to keep me quiet and in that state of non-belief.
The shine in her eyes is as daring as that of the sun. So much power of one person that can be enough to give light to the whole universe. I was taken with her and remained in a state of disbelief. I kept reminding myself. Oh god, this is happening. As the conversation was developing, I was feeling the need to go to Youssef and embrace him and thanking him for making this happen. It was too much. After all. Nawal Saadawi is the phenomenon of a woman that I grew up following. She told me: you are so beautiful. You look like a real Egyptian goddess. You are Fardos the heroin of “woman at the point of zero.” Luckily I knew Fardos. What she doesn’t know is that I lived my life seeing myself in the shadow of this woman..Nawal and all her women. A woman that should lead the world. A woman that reflects man’s cruelty within patriarchal systems like hers and mine, and yet she carries the tenderness of a human that is so great she can be as great as a Goddess…. Each time she said I looked like her I panicked. This cannot be happening. I barely talked in the first two hours. Listening to the two beautiful people sitting opposite to me enjoying every single moment of it in disbelief that it was happening. It felt like a dream. I was afraid to wake up to realize it wasn’t real.
She is so down to earth and all that she needs to give you her sharp look to grasp every bit of you. All that she told me was beyond my believe that was happening.
I am sitting there before Nawal Saadawi telling me that I was an adamant woman. That my strength is way beyond what I show. That I am not weak, but like her, at some point in her life covered her strength under her feminine side.
Of course, I like compliments. But this wasn’t a compliment. This was Nawal Saadawi talking to me. When she asked me what the books I read to her were, I was able to remember three or four, and I totally was blocked from the Reader that I read two years ago and A woman stirring in the eye of the sun. At some point I remembered the title, and I said: you’re mixing in the eye of the sun. She didn’t notice what I said. The discussion was going from one turn to the other so interestingly. Some words of mine wouldn’t have made a difference.
She kept asking me as she started to hear me: “ what is your dream?”
On the first day of meeting Youssef, he said: “I read some of your writings, and you are afraid. I saw some of the photos that show you with a glow. But there is something that scares you what it is”. Then he said,” what are your dreams.” I answered:” I am afraid to dream… if this explains my fears”…
When Nawal asked me about my thoughts. I was looking at her and him, and I said: “this moment was beyond my dreams. What has been happening in the last quarter of this year has been beyond my reach of ideas. Having my son accepted in a university with an idea he was as well afraid to dream was a wish I cannot be thankful enough to have achieved. But meeting Youssef and she was something that I could only hallucinate in my thoughts about.”
That was all I could dream of.
While we exchanged ideas about Mernissi (which Yousef didn’t know), I was proud to realize that my intuitive reading was right. I was actually right in my thesis. I was right about how I have perceived Nawal Saadawi all my life. And how I felt about Mernissi and the restless sensation of her not totally holding on to the fight of a survival of a woman.
But how can she know? \How can she know what it is to live and be like Nawal Sa’dawi?
She told me that I should write. That she is ready to help me. That she wants to help me. She looked at Youssef and said “we should help her. Let us help her”.
Just hearing those words made me feel that the whole universe is within my reach.
Towards the end of our conversation, she held my hand and said: “I want to tell you something. I am seeing you for the first time. We may not meet again. But I want to inform you that seeing you from the first moment I saw a powerful woman standing before me. You reminded me of me. You actually reminded me of my features when I was 25. Write. Write what we are saying. Write what we didn’t write about. You have to write. Do what I couldn’t do.”
I said:” ever since I was a child my mother was telling me that I am the future Nawal Sa’dawi.” Being opinionated maybe. But Nawal Saadawi has been living in me since the woman at the point of zero and the fall of the imam. Nawal Sa’dawi has been a phenomenon in what marks a woman in the twentieth century in the Arab world. I am just beyond words… beyond feeling honored….
I felt like holding her forever …
I was just falling in love again and again with Youssef for making this happen…. Until…
Until he started again with his beautiful flirts telling her that she was gorgeous and then he said the same thing to me. That was the moment when the two “Ns” united on the poor man. I felt maybe the power she gave me. And I was thinking if she is thinking the same let’s do it.
We said: “you know this is your problem. You are after all a man …
He said: I believe that all women are beautiful. I see beauty in everything in a woman. In every single lady.
We said: that is the point. We don’t have to be all beautiful. We aren’t or all beautiful. Your attitude towards us the position of the superior.
He said: “I want women to be the same as men.”
We said:” but we are not the same. We don’t want to be then same”.
We both actually took him back to a sentence he said earlier when we were discussing our personal lives in marriages and divorce. Of course, it was a golden opportunity to me because Nawal asked Youssef all the questions I didn’t dare to ask and very much wanted to know about him. She was doing the same to me. I actually wanted to tell him my personal life stories, and he didn’t seem interested, and that was an opportunity I enjoyed grasping of course.
He didn’t change his mind in repeating what he was telling me the previous days before: you have a clearance in your heart and a real soft nature. Something he and Nawal kept repeating.
So in his preceding sentence, he said:” Motherhood is an instinct and fatherhood is culture.” This was the time Nawal, and I jumped on that phrase and bringing it to the last chapter of our meeting. We both said:” we don’t think you are right in your view. Motherhood is not an instinct for women and a culture of man”.
He quickly resisted. He built the “shadow of the snake” on this discussion. Assured….
The two of us insisted to un-assure…
The last remark to be saved by the bell….
Somehow, he didn’t feel well with that …
Of course, it was as honorable of a feeling as that of the challenge of the discussion… but somehow I found a partner in debating Sufism and gender with a counterpart that is undefeatable…
I felt so powerful…
A discussion I held with me to our last evening with a discussion that Youssef wasn’t necessarily in control. I kept saying. “Now I can discuss all my ideas that I didn’t dare to do with you earlier …
I wasn’t alone after all”…
But somehow with the magic of it all… Youssef closed with me the circle of Youssef of Egypt … the great myth mix of the biblical and Quranic story of Youssef the charming man and the women of Egypt who gathered around him and lusted on him. The women who cut their fingers as he entered the room where they gathered….
This is a “Youssef of Egypt” who is charming the women of the Arab world. With the beauty of his words and gentleness in trying to shake a culture of denial and inferiority to women. That makes him a: Youssef of an eternal beauty”…
…..with a Nawal in an Egypt that always created gods made of women…

To be continued …

Interviewing Luis Moreno Ocampo

Life has many misgivings.

This is a non-logical statement I assume. “Life has many people that contributed to the apprehensions of life,” would be a better sensible comment.

However, life has this gift of amazing people that makes it by each passing moment so much worth living.

It is not about those precious given donations from children, family, loved ones, and friends. It is with those who only pass by our paths of life for a moment or an instant. An hour or a day … those who are meant to be an absolute treat from life with a beautiful reminder saying; life is about people. Real people. Remarkable people who are the change of what we aspire to the world that is better.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo was one of those “treats” of unexpected moments that made me feel proud, that life is about people …

Ocampo is the first assigned Prosecutor to the International Criminal Court (ICC), who was sworn to the position for nine years as of June 2003. When he took the position, observers said that he would inevitably turn the ICC into a “sexy court.” It will take anyone five minutes to understand how correct this sentence is, and later to realize how the mixture of brilliance and modesty are the perfect combination that form “sexy” in this situation.

Aside from the flirting ideas about the man; what he has to offer was inspiring for me. As usual, we are also confronted with the complexity of the situation. In this particular case, it was about Ocampo’s visit and lectures in the Hebrew University. A debate that will remain ongoing, between “us” and “them.” Between “us,” “them” and “those from outside this zone of conflict.”

What Ocampo had to offer in advice to the Palestinians wasn’t particularly new. It was actually what everyone who wants to give advice to the Palestinians says: “ Follow Gandhi. Adopt nonviolence as an approach to resistance”. And each time the quick Palestinian response is: “ how do you want us to stop violence with nonviolence? How do we defend ourselves amid this vicious aggression that never seizes to stop? Occupation is violent by its very nature. What we do, even if it is not resistance, it is the only way for us to survive.”

Ocampo wasn’t different from the rest in this call: “Teach your children to leave the stones and use their cameras in the confrontation with the occupation. This is more efficient. Document the crimes and the violations and use it as a weapon of resistance.”

Ocampo was well known in his native country Argentina as a lawyer and prosecutor in cases related to corruption and human rights abuses. He gained a lot of credit while serving as a prosecutor in Argentina during the “Trial of the Juntas” that occupied Argentina’s public opinion in the mid-eighties, prosecuting nine senior commanders, including three former heads of state, among which five were convicted.

During his term as a prosecutor to the ICC, the court has opened investigations into nine situations: Congo; Uganda; Central African Republic II and me; Darfur, Sudan; Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire; and Mali. His office requested the authorization to open an investigation into the Georgia situation. And has conducted preliminary examinations in seven matters in Afghanistan, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq, Nigeria, Palestine and Ukraine. The ICC has issued arrest warrants for 31 individuals and summonses to eight others.

I met Ocampo in a session with Law students at Al Quds University. His presence and charisma are overwhelming; one would just need to watch him talk or not talk. What drew my attention most was his way in approaching the students. He very much wanted to listen to their questions and made sure to understand and respond in accordance each time. There was this very caring tone in his approach that still brought very positive answers. A sound that makes a difference in the approach of a “teacher” and hence, a whole new effect on the “student” way of perceiving and receiving the information.

I introduced myself to him with courtesy towards the end of the session, with no further interest in asking anything after dwelling with myself into the questions of the students.

I don’t know what is it exactly that makes us this way. Is it a full state of despair? Or is it just the way of education. We firmly believe that we have a strong case to represent. We strongly believe how the laws work. And yet we kind of refuse to listen to what anyone else has to tell us.

A week later, I met him by chance in the lobby of the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, and after consulting with the editor in chief of the Egyptian magazine, I write for I asked him if I could interview him. He was very courteous as well in agreeing promptly.

He asked me if I like to join his meeting with Asylum seekers from Darfur, saying that it will be interesting to see what is the input of a Palestinian on such an issue.

It was one night of continuous inspiring moments by those young men from Darfur. It was so powerful, and heart is aching to hear their journey into an asylum. The dangers that they encountered, the injustice, the oppression, the massive killings, the escape, and the catching up with their lives again… or trying to do so.

It remains as well one of the controversial issues I encounter as a Palestinian. Sitting there, watching an Israeli young beautiful woman dedicating her time and I guess, her life in trying to bring help or justice to such people in yet another complexed issue in Israel itself. But this paradox in humanity never seizes to stop its unexpected encounters.

That very same side of Israel as a final or only resort for refuge for such people, when Israel is the graveyard for the people of this very land.

To see a Sudanese, an Arab (at least in my mind) escaping the violations and crimes that “Arabs” (and other whatever groups who happened not to belong to the same sect or cult) are imposing and performing on such groups also made it another complex in the complexity of my emotions.

During the interview, many interesting topics were addressed. Somehow talking to such people, there is nothing additional on their achievements that can be added out of what has been already said and written tens of times before. The perspective on Palestine-Israel issue remains the most intriguing to a Palestinian while the man himself is in Palestine.

How much was it of complexity for him to be in the middle of the two sides this close was another issue I think. Standing before two sides whose emotions and politics strongly overshadows the law is not a natural position. Each side has his long list of real claims that insist the law should back his side simply.

There is something of what he can or is willing to offer to both parties in his capacity as an educator and a practitioner in the field of law that is so important and unique, and I firmly believe that we, especially the Palestinians should not miss the opportunity.

هل تكون كاميرات المحمول هي خط الدفاع الجديد أمام رصاص الإحتلال

حوار مع المدعي العام الاول للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية لويس مورينو اوكامبو



في كل مرة يقدم أحدهم النصيحة للشعب الفلسطيني يقول :” اتبعوا غاندي ..تبنوا االلا عنف منهجا للمقاومة”. وفي كل مرة يكون الجواب الفلسطيني باندفاع : ” كيف نضحد العنف باللا عنف ؟ كيف ندافع عن أنفسنا وسط هجمة شرسة لا تتوقف. فالاحتلال بطبعه عنيف . وما نقوم به ان لم يكن مقاومة فهو الوسيلة الوحيدة التي أمامنا في صراعنا للبقاء”.

لم يكن لويس مورينو اوكامبو ، مختلفا عن غيره في هذه المناشدة :” علموا ابناءكم ترك الحجارة ورفع كاميراتهم بوجه الاحتلال . هذا هو المجدي. وثقوا الجرائم والانتهاكات واستعملوها سلاح مقاومة بوجه الاحتلال”.


تبنى نظام روما الاساسي إقامة المحكمة الجنائية الدولية في ١٧ تموز ١٩٩٨ . أدى المحامي البارع لويس مورينو اوكامبو اليمين الدستورية لقبول منصب المدعي العام الاول للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية في ١٦ حزيران ٢٠٠٣ لدورة واحدة مدتها تسع سنوات . اشتهر اوكامبو بقضايا في وطنه الارجنتين كمحامي وكمدعي عام بقضايا محاربة الفساد وانتهاكات حقوق الانسان . ذاع صيته في قضية رأي عام شغلت الارجنتين في اواسط الثمانينات في ما عرف “بمحاكمات جونتاس”كان يشغل حينها منصب المدعي العام، في سابقة تم تقديم تسع جنرالات بما فيهم ثلاث رؤساء للمحاكمة، وتمت إدانة خمسة منهم.

اشتغل بقضايا القانون الجنائي وحقوق الانسان الدولي كمحامي فيما بعد واشتهر بقضايا مكافحة الفساد وتمثيل الضحايا بكافة قضاياه.

لويس مورينو آوكامبو ، الشهير بإسمه الأخير الذي صاحب ولسنوات عدة هيمنة المحكمة الجنائية الدولية في التصدي للجرائم ضد الانسانية ، بل أكثر: رؤساء دول.تم فتح تحقيقات في عهده في تسع حالات شملت الكونغو،اوغندا،افريقيا الوسطى ،دارفور، السودان، كينيا ،ليبيا، ساحل العاج ومالي. وتم طلب الاذن في فتح ملفات للتحقيق في الوضع في جورجيا. وتم البدء في فترته إجراء فحوصات اولية في أفغانستانوكولومبيا، غينيا، العراق،نيجيريا،فلسطين واوكرانيا .

آصدرت المحكمة الجنائية الدولية في عهد اوكامبو مذكرات اعتقال بحق واحد وثلاثون شخصا وتم استدعاء ثمانية اخرين. من الملفات التي شغلت العالم كانت محاكمة الرئيس السوداني عمر البشيرفي ٢٠٠٨ واتهامه بجرائم ضد الانسانسة واصدارمذكرة إعتقال ضده لا تزال تقيده حتى هذه اللحظة وتمنعه من التحرك خارج السودان.



عند تعيينه كأول مدعي عام للمحكمة الجنائية ، وصف المتابعون مقدرات اوكامبو بالمثيرة والديناميكية. فلن تكون المحكمة الجنائية الدولية في عهده مجرد محكمة سابتة يتحكم فيها دبلوماسية السياسيين ولن تخنقها البيروقراطية.


عند اللقاء باوكامبو ،سواء في جلسة يحضرها مجموعة من اللاجئين ، او محاضرة يلتف حلوه بها العشرات من طلبة الحقوق ، او في عشاء او في حوار يحيط به الصحفيين ، لا تستطيع الا ان تؤسر بسحر جاذبية شخصيته . هناك مزيج من القوة وحسن المظهر والأناقة التي تميز حضوره المليح تغلغله البساطة والتواضع بحضور أقوى.



في حضور هكذا شخصية يكون الجهل سيد الموقف ، وعليه كان من الحكمة بدء الحوار مع اوكامبو بالسؤال :


ما الذي يعنيه هذا المنصب: المدعي العام للمحكة الجنائية الدولية؟ ما هي المحكمة الجنائية الدولية بالضبط؟


فكرة المحكمة الجنائية هي فكرة جديدة . هل تعرفي كم عدد المرات التي ذكرت هذه الكلمة (حقوق الانسان الجنائية العالمية) في ميثاق الامم المتحدة؟ خمسة، عشرة، ، عشرين ؟ الجواب هر صفر.ولا حتى مرة واحدة لم يرد ذكرها في ميثاق الأمم المتحدة . تم الحديث في السابق عن إجراء محاكمات للنازية في ١٩٤٥ ، ولكن لم يتكلم اي من الدول عن هذا الموضوع بجدية او متابعة حتى نهاية الحرب الباردة. ما جرى في يوغسلافيا ، وعرض الصور للمجازر التي ارتكبت في مخيمات الاعتقال ذكرت العالم بصور الهولوكوست وكانت المشاهد صادمة ، وبعد ذلك حصلت مجازر رواندا. هذه كانت بداية الحراك الحقيقي نحو تأسيس جسم ما .

عندما تأسست المحكمة الجنائية الدولية بعد عشرة أعوام في ١٩٩٨. المعضلة كانت باشكالية وجود جسم كمحكمة دولية يكون لها سلطة اعلى من الدول انفسها . الدول الكبيرة مثل الصين، روسيا ،امريكا ، لا تعجبهم هكذا فكره .لا تريد هكذا دول من يسيطر عليها. هم ليسوا بحاجة لمن يطبق القانون. الفكرة مجدية للدول الصغيرة في اوروبا ،امريكا اللاتينية وافريقيا . تلك الدول التي تعاني من جرائم حقوق الانسان.


جاءني اتصال وقالوا لي : كان اسمك بالقائمة ، والآن إسمك بأعلى القائمة ، ولكننا لا نعرف ان كنت ستحب الوظيفة.


بالنسبة لي القانون ليس بالتفاصيل . انما هو حياة او موت.

انا ارجنتيني ، اول قضية لي كانت كمحامي ضد شخص خطف ٥٠ الف وقتل ١٠ الاف وعذبهم.

رأيت كم هو مهم ان نطبق القانون من اجل الانسان . كم هو مؤثر .

في البرازيل يقال ان القانون هو سلاح للقوي ليتحكم بالضعيف.

هناك مثل يقول :اي شيء لأصدقائي، لأعدائي القانون. ولكني وجدت في ممارستي للمحاماة ،اذا ما طبقت القانون على الاف الاشخاص ، سيقدر الناس هذا .


كمدعي عام في الارجنتين قدمت للمحاكمة ، ٣ رؤساء سابقين ، ٩ جنرالات ، سياسيون، قضاه ، شركات كبيره.

فكرت ، اذا ما استطعت ان افعل هذا كمدعي عام للمحكمة الجنائية الدوليه ،سيكون العالم مثاليا. سنسنتطيع ان نغير العالم. تعلمت ان اتكلم مع الضحايا ، لان الشرطة كانت تقتصر بشغلها على الجرائم نفسها .ولذا لا يمكن الاعتماد عليهم. فكنا نستدعي الضحايا ، شهود ، افراد عائلة ، وهكذا كنا نوثق ونثبت عمليات الخطف والقتل.

كانت قوتي بقدرتي على ان اكون قريبا من الضحية واقناعهم لاثبات قضيتي .


  • اذا ما كان القانون بحوزة الاقوياء ، واذا ما كان الضعفاء يعتقدون ان القانون وضع من اجلهم . فما الجدوى من القانون ؟
  • من اجل هذا علينا تمكين الضعفاء من خلال المحامين. علينا ان نعمل من اجل ايجاد محامون قادرون على تمثيل الضعفاء وتمكينهم. من اجل اقناع الضعفاء نحتاج لمحامين اقوياء.
  • لا استطيع ان اقول ان القانون دائما مثاليا. ولا اقول كذلك انه من السهل خلق قضايا قوية ، ولكن البديل هو عالم بدون قانون… وهذا يعني ان العالم يكون للاقوياء فقط وهذا اسوأ بكثير .
  • لنتكلم عن البشير
  • هل اصبح الموضوع فعلا شخصيا ؟
  • عندما تكون مدعيا عاما لا يمكن ان يكون شيئا شخصيا…
  • لا يعجبني ما فعله البشير بحق شعبه. البشير ليس عدوي . بالنسبة لي هو مجرم . وللمجرم او من هو متهم بالاجرام حقوق يجب احترامها . وعليه انا احترمه. نقطتي كانت انه كان يجب ان يتوقف وان يحاكم علي الجرائم التي ارتكبها . نحن بشكل عام ننشأ على ان نحب و نتعاطف مع الاقرب: العائلة ،اولئك الاقرب لنا باللغة والدين والعرق. وعليه ننظر لمن يختلف عنا وبعاطفة أقل ونعاديه. لذا نرى كيف تنادي الديانات للتعايش. انتي من قلتي لي ان الاسلام يقول : انا جعلناكم شعوبا وقبائل لتعارفوا …. لقد قال المسيح ان علينا ان نحب اعداءنا . القانون بالنسبة لي هو الطريق لحب اعدائك. ان تحب عدوك يعني ان لا تتركه يقتلك. توقفه ، وتجبره عن ان يفعل ما هو صواب. تحاكمه ، تعتقله. وهذا هو موقفي مع بشير. كان علي ان اكون صارما في موقفي..وما ميز قضية البشير انه كان اول رئيس دولة يتم تقديمه للمحاكمة . وهذا اثر على الاف السنين من الفكرة السائدة بأن لا احد يستطيع الاقتراب من الرؤساء \القادة وإزعاجهم.. هذا ما فعله هتلر عندما قال للامريكيين في الثلاثينات : “نفعل بيهودنا ما نشاء كما تغعلون بزنوجكم ما تشاؤون”. حتى ١٩٤٥ ، كان الرئيس يستطيع ان يفعل ما يشاء في مكان حكمه. اليوم اختلف الوضع . وبشير كان الاول امام المحكمة الجنائية الدولية . ولذا كان علي ان اكون صارما . ولهذا كان الكثير من رؤساء الدول ضدي.
  • احب عدوك… هل لهذا السبب لم تقم بما يجب القيام به من ناحية تفعيل قرار ايقاف البشير؟ … كنت تستطيع ان تقوم بطريقة فاعلة ممكنة؟ من الممكن انك اردت فقط تلقينه درسا ؟
  • عندما دعوت بشير ، كان عدد الدول التي وافقت يعادل بالضبط عدد الدول التي اعترضت . لذا كان هناك الكثير من المنتقدين وكان هناك الكثير من الاتهامات…
  • انظري.. كان لدي البراهين في قضية البشير ، كنت امام خيارين ، ان ادعو البشير او لا ادعوه. استعملت نظام التصويت وكانت النتيجة النصف . كنت في مكان نصف من ينظر الي هو ضدي ونصفهم معي. وهذه هي الحياة… من يوافق معك لا يتكلم .. فهو معك. ولكن من هو ضدك يحاول اثبات هذا.
  • ولكن .. اعتقال البشير لم يكن من صلاحياتي. حاولت ان اكرس الجهود لاعتقاله خارج السودان لانه لم يكن بمقدور الشرطة السودانية ان تعتقله لانه يتحكم بالسلطة هناك.عندما ذهب للقذافي كانت هناك محاولة لاثبات ان السيادة معه وانه حر. ولكن عندما ذهب الى جنوب افريقيا ، كان عليه ان يهرب ، لان السلطه القضائية بجنوب افريقيا قررت القاء القبض عليه. .

من الرئيس الآخر ،

القذافي كان الرئيس التالي ، عندما جاء الثوار في ٢٠١١، دعوت كذلك ابنه ورئيس استخباراته الزانوسي

دعوت كذلك رئيس ساحل العاج لوران غاغبو ،

ونائب الرئيس في الكونغو،قائد القوات الكونغولية السابق جان بيير بيمبا.

ورئيس كينيا الحالي جومو كينياتا ، الذي كان نائب رئيس الوزراء في حينه

قيادي ميليشيا في اوغندا . والكونغو وساحل العاج.


بكلمات اخرى ، لقد قمت بأخذ دور المحكمة الجنائية الى خطوة اضافية من تلك التي تقف مقابل الحركات –الاجرامية والمنتهكة للانسانية ، الى اخذ رؤساء الدول الى هذا المستوى من المحاسبة؟


فكرة ان رئيس الدولة لا يحظى بحصانة امام المحاكم الدولية هذه ليست فكرتي . هذا قانون . نظام روما الاساسي ينص على هذا بوضوح. انا لم اخترع القوانين.كل من يرتكب جرائم ضد الانسانية يجب ان يحاسب. وعندما تكون هذه هي المرة الاولى ، يكون الموضوع صعبا . ولكن يجب ان يتم القيام بهذا .



موضوع فلسطين ،


سنة ٢٠٠٩، قدم د. علي خشان وزير العدل الفلسطيني في حينه، طلبا امام المحكمة الجنائية بشأن جرائم اسرائيل بعد ٢٠٠٢. هناك معايير زمانية يجب اخذها بعين الاعتبار بالمحكمة الجنائية الدولية.وطلب مني ان اقدم بيان يوجز القضية لم يكن بامكاني تقديم ملف لفلسطين كدوله وهي ليست موجودة. وطلبت منه ان يذهب لمجلس الامن. بعد ان اصبحت فلسطين دولة . كان بمقدور فلسطين كدولة ان تقدم ، ابتداء من ابريل ٢٠١٤.


ماذا يعني الانضمام لمحكمة الجنايات الدولية ؟ ما الذي نستطيع عمله هنا في فلسطين لتفعيل هذا؟


ان تكون بمحكمة الجنايات الدولية ، يعني بأنك كذلك ملتزم بعدم ارتكاب الجرائم . فهنا يجب الا يكون هناك قتل او جرائم مرتكبة . ولكن هذا يوفر فرص.

هناك ثلاث مواضيع امام المحكمة الجنائية الدولية:

موضوع غزه والجرائم المرتكبة بعد ٢٠١٤.

موضوع المستوطنات، حيث ان العرب قدموا في ١٩٩٨ مذكره بهذا الشأن وهي قضية يتم بحثها اليوم

وموضوع سفينة مرمرة ،التي قدم بها محامي تركي بالنيابه عن الضحايا التي تحمل جنسية جزر القمر دعوة للمحكمة وهي موضوع بحث اليوم كذلك.

بالاضافة لهذه القضايا الثلاثة يستطيع اي فلسطيني او اسرائيلي الذهاب للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية بشأن اي جريمة يتم ارتكابها من قبل السلطات .

يشكي اليوم الفلسطينيون من ان الجرائم التي ترتكبها اسرائيل من قتل يومي يعتبر ممنهجا . هناك ادعاء ان هناك نمط في ارتكاب الجرائم .. اثبتوا ذلك . ابدأوا باستعمال القانون من اجل تقديم قضاياكم. اقول للفلسطينيين، دربوا الاطفال على ان تستعمل الكاميرات بدل رمي الحجار. علموهم انتهاج التحليل الفورنسيكي (تحليل بيانت الطب الشرعي. يفحص البيانات المنظمة فيما يتعلق بالجرائم النمطية. الهدف منه اكتشاف وتحليل الانشطة الاحتيالية). كوسيلة لاثبات النمط التي تستعمله اسرائيل في جرائمها. هذا هو الطريق الذي اتمنى من الفلسطينيين استعماله في اثبات قضاياهم اليوم.


لقد رأيتي ضحايا دارفور بالامس ، الوضع بفلسطين مأساوي ، بدارفور الوضع مأساوي اكثر ، ولكن ما يميز الوضع بفلسطين عن دارفور انهم لا يستطيعوا التكلم عن الموضوع ، لا يستطيعوا التجمع حتى من اجل التحدث. هنا تستطيعون … تستطيعون التكلم … تستطيعون التجمع … تستطيعون تنظيم انفسكم … تستطيعون جمع الادلة.. استغلوا الفرصة المتاحة امامكم ..ابدأوا باستخدام القانون.


ولكن الحكومة هي من تستطيع تقديم الدعاوي …

كلا …كلا … هذا خطأ.

أي مواطن في العالم يستطيع ان يرسل بمراسلات للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية.هذه لا تكون قضية ، ولكنك تساهم بايداع معلومات تساهم بتقوية القضية .المعلومات بهذه الحالة تتحول لأدلة . المعلومات تكون اهم عندما تأخذ طابع الأدلة . ليس المطلوب ارسال بيانات سياسية . يجب الابتعاد عن هذا .


اذا ما قمت بتجميع ادلة حول موضوع ما ، هل استطيع فعلا تقديم مذكرة للمحكمة الجنائية ؟ هل سيتم الاتطلاع عليها ؟

نعم… هناك فلسطيني قدم مذكرة عندما قتل ابنه في العام الماضي ولقد رصدت الكاميرات هذا . ما فعله هذا الرجل كان مهما. فهذا الرجل ثبت ان عملية قتل الفتى كانت متعمدة .هكذا امور تكون فاعله جدا.

كل انسان يستطيع التقدم بشكوى او مذكرة للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية؟

كل انسان بالعالم يستطيع التقدم بشكوى او مذكرة . اذكر معلمة من منغولية كانت تبعث لي برسائل من طلابها اسبوعيا يقولوا لي على اي موضوع يجب ان اركز .


من يقرر فتح قضية ؟

المدعي العام هو الوحيد الذي يملك القدرة على فتح ملف . على المدعي العام ان يراجع الوضع في المكان المعني ، يجب اثبات ان هناك جرائم يتم ارتكابها لا يتم التعامل معها في الدول المرتكبه بها ، ويجب ان تكون القضية قد استنفذت الطرق القانونية . يجب ان يكون الموضوع موضوع جرائم وليس انتهاكات لحقوق الانسان.

ويجب ان تكون الجريمة المرتكبة في مكان المشتكي والمشتكي عليه. ووقت ارتكاب الجرائم والمده الزمنية المتاح الرجوع اليها كذلك.

عندما تجتمع كل العوامل المتممة لفتح الملف يقوم المدعي العام بذلك وهنا يستطيع المدعي العام تقديم المذكرات التي تم تقديمها سابق والتي تحتوي على الحوادث التي تم تقديمها.



هل هذا يعني ان ما تقوم به السلطة الفلسطينية بتقديم شكوى للمحكمة الجنائية الدوليه يستطيع كل فلسطيني القيام به كذلك ؟

بالطبع ….

احب فكرة محاكم الظل …اذا استطعتم توثيق ان ما يقوم به الاسرائيليون في الاشهر الثلاثه الاخيرة يشكل نمطا ممنهجا بالقتل ،هذا سيؤثر على الاسرائيليين قبل ان يتم تقديمهم للمحكمة الجنائية، لان اسرائيل تحاول بكل جهدها تجنب المساءلة . فهذا بلا ادنى شكل سيؤثر علي تصرفاتها تجاهكم كشعب . هنا يكون تأثيركم اكبر من تآثير المحكمة في التغيير او وقف الاجرام المرتكب..

ما احب ان اقوم به بفلسطين . ان اعلم الاطفال كيف يحموا انفسهم … لا ترموا الحجاره .. لا تهاجموا .. خذوا صورا .. وثقوا ما يجري .. وثقوا المكان اذا ما تم قتل احد او جرحه.. .تدربوا على التحليل الجنائي (الفورينسي).

اليوم … وانت خارج دور المدعي العام … ما الافق الذي تريد ان تراه بالمحكمة الجنائية الدولية وخارجها


لا يوجد هناك وظيفة بالعالم اكثر تحدي وإثارة من تلك التي قمت بها على صعيد التحدي الشخصي . كان فخرا لي ان اقوم بذلك العمل لمدة تسع سنوات. افتخر بانني كنت جزءا من بناء هذه المحكمة

كان اصغر ابنائي في حينها ابن اربع سنوات ، وتركت المنصب وهو ابن ثلاث عشر . اشعر باني احتاج اليوم ان اكون بالبيت اكثر .. وهذا ما اقوم به بالسنتين الاخيرتين ، ولي مكتب المحاماه الخاص بي في نيو يورك .

. اقوم بالتعليم بجامعة هارفيرد واقوم بالابحاث .

احب ان اقوم بالتعليم بمجال القانون بطريقة مختلفة بادماج نهجا جديدا ..

القانون هو الحياة او الموت .

اسرائيل تحاول ان تظهر وكأنها تحترم القانون.

لا اظن ان العنف يساعد الفلسطينيين .. انا افهم ولكني لا اوافق

يجب ان تجدوا طريقا كغاندي . غاندي كان قائدا مناضلا ، حارب من اجل الحقوق وقف بالمظاهرات ، تعرض للضرب . كان مستعدا لان يذهب الى السجن.. يجب ان تفكروا بقيادة تأخذكم الى هذا الاتجاه .. تعليم اطفالكم بهكذا نهج لكي تخرج قيادة تقود كغاندي …


خذوا صورا …. بدل رمي الحجارة

خذوا صورا وارسلوها للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية

ابنوا قيادة تنشيء غاندي… عندكم فرصة لا توجد بآماكن اخرى … بالرغم من صعوبة الوضع الا انكم تستطيعوا ان تقولوا .. ان تتكلموا .. ان تعبروا …


يجب ايجاد طرق بديلة للمطالبة بحقوقكم

واظن ان المحكمة الجنائية الدولية هي احدى طرق اللا عنف.



How many times can one be taken on the wings of a book towards a yet unexplored horizon?

Probably many …

This could be the best gift of life….

The unfinished never-ending exploration of books… and of course, those who wrote them.


A novel, translation, a book of history … it doesn’t matter. What one thing for sure will happen to the reader is the state of hallucinated ride on those and beyond the unexplored horizons of reality that is so mixed with epic, myth and disturbed emotions of how the past is so unchanged from the present.

Azazel has been given to me as a gift from three different people who I happened to have just met in the last seven years. It was also recommended by almost everyone who read it, but somehow, when I started reading it back then it didn’t catch me. I felt lost in the details of the world that was so unknown to me, yet it spoke my language and was knocking on the very gates of Jerusalem and walking within its walls.

I admit, it felt an embarrassment…

I have those moments when I don’t practically fit with the general taste.

Like my feelings towards the Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish. I feel ashamed to say that I don’t like him. In Darwish case, my judgment is not because of him, but because of how exploited his name and his verses has become by my people. Yet. He remains unique… and yet, it says a lot that such people remain single … our culture is sadly not producing more of such legends… or they become legendary after they die.

My moment of embarrassment with Azazel was different … the book couldn’t get to me, and everyone was just claiming that this was a masterpiece of writing, and worse, people were just insisting that it is me who should read this book.

When I read “in the shadow of the snake,” I thought I made a bargain with my negligence. I fell in love with the writer, with the plot, with the characters. I even disregarded many of the apparent weakness in the expertise of planning in that novel.

I just love it when an Arab author, especially a man (actually they are most men), can speak with such smoothness on the inner depths of women with a none “feminist” approach.

Feminism and I are also a complexed issue. I keep declaring high and loud; I am not a feminist. I wouldn’t say I have anything against feminists. But I do have a problem in framing myself within a category from one side, and, having to be a feminist to fight for women’s rights from the other side. Being a woman is being a woman. My fights are about what I can and cannot. What I am and am not. What I want to be and don’t want. It is not about how equal I am with the man or not. I don’t seek equality with men. I don’t see me in need of proving my capabilities and my “cans” and “can not.” Being a woman is just like being a man … each with his \her own perfect and imperfect making that makes life… life.

After a recommendation from a trustful scholar and friend some weeks ago upon discussing Youssef Zeidan (the author), he said: this is a novel you cannot read. It is brilliant in the making. Brilliance in the message. Brilliance in the way the writer maneuvered around it all within the pages and the critiques.”

This was an important factor for my provocation, especially that I have three copies of that novel staring at me on my shelves. Of course the recent stars of attacks around Y. Zeidan was as well important for me to make my move in grabbing the book.

I just closed the novel with a choking sensation in my mind that captured me for the last week, in the middle of being forced to study for a final in Islamic religious groups that squeezed my head and pressured my heart.

Questions that started from the first page and ended unanswered with the last;

Who is Azazel? Who is the author? Is the author the translator? Or is it the narrator? Is Zeidan Hypa? Or Is Zeidan the medium that Azazel facilitated for this time-machine exodus that forces us again and again and again into asking the same question of our living existence: the status of women. The influence of religion. And Azazel?

While the questions remained unanswered, and the wondering around the journey Zeidan made us ride still shadowed by the dust of the last traces of the sandy deserts and the remains of whatever is left from that history within a stone or a monument, with the sounds of the hitting waves of those seas. Zeidan brilliantly positioned “women” in masterly creative roles, which included her mastering the situation and having the power on nothing less but a creator, even though, she ended in the three times of her appearances in a sorrowful tragic destination. Octavia, the playful widow, Hypatia, the splendid scientist, Marta, the beautiful divorced singer, all made the best of who they were, without any attempt to pretend anything else. They filled his existence of emptiness that can only be full with one woman of those.

The power of women despite their never ending position of deterioration, inequity and extortion that history partnered in portraying and implementing, is challenged by “man’s” weakness and defeat despite the power that history described him within and along has been implementing.

The manipulation that people are assigning themselves as speakers on behalf of God, whether in a religion or atheist believes? Men dressing God’s simple rules of life on earth by man’s intention of control. A switch that continues to confuse us, either in a uniform of a man of God or man of State. A state of living that still manipulates us, with different names and people. With various religions and cults. With different places and times.

And Azazel;

Whether it is a novel that destroys “religion” and mystifies the “weakness” in our satins or justifies them, or equalizes them or just identifies us with them …

Azazel… himself …

Whether responsible for the cruelty of this creation, or just an alibi for our Conscience. As vulnerable and as unseen …as Azazel himself…. Remains the trigger that sends us to a slumber or awakens us with full consciousness, as the story of our lives, our universe, and our creation …goes on.