Thursday, 4 August 2011

Never Was, Never Will Be

"Jimmy shoes busted both his legs, trying to learn to fly
From a second story window, he just jumped and closed his eyes
His momma said he was crazy - he said, "Momma, I've got to try.
Don't you know that all my heroes died?
And I guess I'd rather die than fade away."

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hero is (a) a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability (b) a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities.

Do heroes really exist? What does a man have to do to become a hero? What is a hero to an ‘ordinary’ man?

Well, all that has nothing to do with this blog post! Meh! :P

I started reading this book for Youssef Zidane: “Kalmiaat” (Words) in which he reflects on some words and phrases that are used in our age..

The Second Chapter: خَبَرٌ (‘Apprise’ or more precisely ‘Report’) talks about history. According to Ibn Khaldun, history is not a matter of a sequence of facts, it is more of someone’s ‘report’ or ‘documentation’ of one of the events that took place in some past time. Some are well-known and some are veiled or hidden ‘between the folds of time’. History for Ibn Khaldun is merely reports written by others that could behold truth and falseness.

One of Ibn Khaldun’s concepts is that we have to work our minds when it comes to history reports. ""ينبغي علينا إعمال العقل في الخبر

Intrigued? Let me tell you, what’s coming next is even more intriguing ..

You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole.”

Without further introduction, the writer presents two famous ‘historical events’

First: The Battle of Qadish

"هذه (الكلمة) هي اسم لموقعة حربية شهيرة جرت في الأزمنة القديمة, وهي في الأصل إسم بلده تقع على نهر العاصي بالقرب من مدينة حلب الحالية.. المفترض أن موقعة قادش هذه انتصر فيها رمسيس الثاني على الحيثيين سنة 1285 قبل الميلاد..
.. وأشهر (خبر) عن هذه الموقعة وصلنا مرسوماً على جدران معابد مصرية قديمة, في الصورة المشهورة التى يظهر فيها رمسيس الثاني وهو يلقي بسهامه من فوق عجلة حربية ينطلق بها حصانان رشيقان, وقد تناثر على الأرض القتلى من أعدائه"

“Qadish,” the word, is the name of a famous battle that took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramsis II and the Hittite Empire  at the city of Qadish on the Orontes River. Ramsis II was/is alleged to have won this battle 1285 B.C.

This alleged victory of Ramsis II was ‘reported’ or ‘pictured’ on the walls of famous Egyptian temples; showing Ramsis II courageously holding is bow and arrow in the face of his enemies, riding on his two brisk horses and his enemies’ corpses shattered around him.

Applying Ibn Khaldun’s concept of working of the mind, we notice that Ramsis II was drawn 
alone; no army in the picture; no charioteers for the king’s chariot (a chariot cannot be controlled by only one person)..Looks like the victory belongs to one person.. hmmm…

"أول ما يلفت النظر فى هذه الصورة/ الخبر ، هو أن رمسيس الثانى مرسومٌ وحده. فلا الجيش المصرى موجودٌ فى الصورة، ولا حتى سائق العربة الحربية، الذى كانت مهمته التحكُّم فى العربة، لإفساح المجال أمام الرماة لإطلاق السهام . لاشئ فى الصورة إلا رمسيس الثانى، والمغلوبون من الحيثيين. وكأن هذا النصر، هو فعلُ شخصٍ واحد: ملكٍ، هو الملكُ الوحيد! ثم جاءت قصائد الشاعر المصرى القديم بنتاأور لتؤكِّد النصر الساحق لرمسيس الثانى، على ملك خيتا وجيشه من الحيثيين، الذين كانوا أيامها يسكنون آسيا الوسطى "

Reminds you of someone? Starting to grab what I’m getting at?

"وفى واقع الأمر، فإن قادش لم تكن نصراً مؤزَّراً لرمسيس الثانى على الحيثيين. بل إن رمسيس الثانى حوصر هناك، لأنه تَهَّور وتقدَّم عن جيشه بحاميةٍ صغيرة، فأحاط به جيشُ الحيثيين. ولم ينقذه منهم، إلا طلابُ المدرسة الحربية المصرية بمدينة (حلب) الذين كانوا فى طريقهم للترحيب بقدومه! وعاونه هؤلاء الشباب حتى خرج من مأزقه، وفلت من الأسر أو الموت. ومن بعد ذلك، تقاتل الجيشان سنواتٍ طوال، حتى عقد رمسيس الثانى مع ملك (خيتا) معاهدة صلح شبيهة بكامب ديفيد"

The truth is Qadish was never a victory for Ramsis II. As a matter of fact, other -more credible- documentations state that Ramsis II was tricked by two Hittite spies and fell in a trap, where he lost a whole army division, and was in a desperate fight for his life when a couple of students from the Military School deployed and attacked the overextended and tired Hittite chariots! The Egyptians were seemingly victorious in the war though they never took the city!! A peace treaty was signed by both sides resembling the Camp David Peace Treaty in modern history.

Fun fact: Egyptologists like Christiane Desroches and Kenneth Kitchen discovered Hittite documents stating the smashing victory of the Hittites’ king in the Battle of Qadish!!!

Déjà vu, I know. God knows if it weren’t for the revolution, the picture of Mubarak as a hero in the October War would have been stuck for how many years to come!!

You may think: So what! Ramsis II was never a hero to me! He was never to me, too. But Hold on, this chapter
has not ended yet. The veiled history of the fore coming heroes is even more disappointing

To be continued ..

1 comment:

  1. I love how you relate this to that, and how you provided great proof of history repeating itself :)