vendredi 29 septembre 2017

Syria: First Arab astronaut Mohammed Faris is a refugee in Turkey!

Mohammed Faris is a national hero in Syria.

         Streets, schools and airports bear his name as national hero in Syria. Yet he left Syria and lives in exile in Turkey and has turned into a political opponent of the al-Assad regime "with words, not arms."
          In 1987, he was the first Arab professional cosmonaut to go into space. Today, and while the war has raged for nearly five years in Syria, the one who was the pride of his country no longer lives there. At 64, the former cosmonaut must "face one of the most challenging challenges of his busy life, during which he played the roles of fighter pilot, cosmonaut, military advisor to the regime of el -Assad, "writes The Guardian.
Mohammed Faris left Syria - where streets, schools and airports bear his name - to exile in Turkey, from which he militates against the government al-Assad, "with words, not arms."
Born on May 26, 1951. Two years before he flew to space, he was one of four young Syrians selected to join the Russian training program devoted to the allies of the Soviet Union, Interkosmos. At that time, the Syrian-Russian ties were very strong: the U.S.S.R. had supported the coup of Hafez al-Assad, the father of Bashar al-Assad, in 1970. In exchange, the Soviets were allowed to establish a naval base at Tarous, which still belongs to Russia today. As a colonel in the Syrian army, he was chosen as a cosmonaut on September 30, 1985.  On board the Soyuz TM-3, he made a single flight on July 22, 1987 as an experimenter spending 7 days, 23 hours and 5 minutes in space. After his flight, he returned to the Air Force. Married, he lives with his three children in Aleppo.

The whole world through his window.

         Among the four Syrians selected to be able to go into space, Mohammed Faris was the only one to be Sunni, a religious group "that represents more than 80% of the population of the country and that poses a threat to the regime", which is Shiite confession, according to The Guardian. Despite the reluctance of the delegation dispatched from Syria "to help the Russians choose their man", it is Mohammed Faris who will join Mir station to take pictures and scientific experiments with Russian colleagues in July 1987:
"These seven days, twenty-three hours and five minutes have upset my life," he told the Guardian. When we see the whole world through its window, there is no more "us" or "them", "no more politics. "

First Time Protestant

         Upon his return from mission, Mohammed Faris plans to create a Syrian institute devoted to science and space but the president of the time opposes a "non-categorical". Instead, he is promoted to teaching at a university that trains the Air Force:
"Hafez el-Assad wanted to keep his people in ignorance and divided, with a limited understanding of things," recalls the former cosmonaut. That's how dictators stay in place. The vision that such an institute could have given to people was dangerous. "
At the death of Hafez al-Assad, Mohammed Faris was one of the first to meet his successor, Bashar al-Assad. "Like his father, Bashar was an enemy of the people," he said. He became a military adviser until civil war broke out in 2011. Despite the threats of the regime's supporters, he joined the peaceful ranks of the early protesters with his wife.

"The Russians are assassins"

Then came the violence, growing ... Mohammed Faris watches, helplessly, his pupils join the military forces of the regime. He plans to escape with his wife and three children. But, not anywhere. His former colleagues and Russian friends offered him their help, but the idea of exile in Russia disgusts him:
"Putin has nothing to do with the U.S.S.R.. Russians are assassins, criminals who support other criminals. They have the blood of more than 2,000 civilians on their hands. "
Nor are the asylum proposals in Europe suitable. He is persuaded that they are motivated by political intent. "They did not intervene when they were needed, and they are opposed to my ideals so I could not live there," he says. At the Associated Press, he also said: "If Europe does not want refugees, then they must help us get rid of this regime."

mardi 12 septembre 2017

Democratic Republic of the Congo: * "Métis Republic" *

Kikaya Bin Karubi, which fly stung him ?

         For those who, like me, have known him since he was a talented member of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (S.A.B.C.) microphone in Johannesburg, and have followed him closely in his various posts - ambassador, minister, private secretary of Joseph Kabila and henceforth his very close adviser on diplomatic matters - two words spoken in an interview at the "World" have the effect of a cold shower. The danger facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo, if the opposition prevailed, would thus be to become a "Métis Republic", a clear allusion to the phenotypical mixing of some of the leaders of the Anti-Kabila Rally: Moses Katumbi, Sindika Dokolo, Olivier Kamitatu, José Endundo ...
Our friend "Kiki", a distinguished Boston university graduate, father of a former 400-meter continental champion, a specialist in English literature and multicultural at heart, identity to his native Maniema to the point of becoming "racist," as the social networks now accuse? he came to Young Africa on September 5, 2017 to explain - and the remedy was worse than the evil. His excuses "to all those whom this little phrase has frustrated", broadcast on our site, accompanied by ethno-sociological considerations and a "it was just a spicy little pike" have only revived the controversy to Internet users. Tweet from Kamitatu: "Just a platform for a racist who assumes. "
         For an opposition that, for a long time and part still today, did not deprive itself of surfing the xenophobic wave and of castigating "Kabila the Rwandan", the opportunity to offer a scalp was too beautiful. Especially since, all with his "spicy" salutation, Kikaya Bin Karubi did not realize that he was also shooting on his own side. Kengo wa Dondo, president of the Senate and second personage of the State, was born Léon Lubicz, son of Polish immigrant. And the first lady herself, Olive Lembe Kabila, is a quarteron.

Responsibility positions

         Still, if suggesting that a Métis clan is about to preempt the DR Congo is at least a reprehensible slippage, to note the overrepresentation of Métis personalities at the head of the Rally of the opposition is obvious. An obvious (and a taboo) quite explainable besides.
Forming a readily elite community, if not elitist, "educated", as it was called at the time, globalized and with a strong tendency to lived between oneself, for a long time confined to business, the "Creoles" of the Congo, like those of Central Africa, naturally occupy positions of responsibility when they engage in politics. In a country such as Angola, where the mestiços have made the opposite path - to the political leadership at the head of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (M.P.L.A.) before independence, become symbols of the petro-tropical oligarchy - rejection reactions. Mid-real, half-fantasized, this caesura has always been the business of Jonas Savimbi and U.N.I.T.A..

Being a Métis is as much (if not more) a handicap than an asset.

Africa is not a world of Bisounours. Relations between races, ethnic groups and communities are often harsh, even if it is not appropriate to say so. Karim Wade knows, Moses Katumbi also: being a half-breed is as much (if not more) a handicap than an asset when you are seeking the supreme magistracy. Only so far, Ghanaian Jerry Rawlings and Botswana's Ian Khama have succeeded.
Not white enough, not black enough.
Envied, often jealous when they succeed, victims of ambiguous clichés (frivolous women, superiority complex, "off-shore" mentality), the mestizos of Africa are far from all privileged. It is enough to make a tour in the suburbs "colored" of Johannesburg or the Cape to realize it. Not enough white under apartheid, not black enough under the ANC, the 5 million South African half-breeds - 9% of the population - hardly lived their marginalization in ghettos plagued by gangs and drug trafficking. And they do not deprive themselves of saying it.

The DR Congo does not need polemics as polluting as that.

         Is Kikaya Bin Karubi "racist"? No. (Very) awkward, inopportune? Certainly. All those opponents who denounce the Republic of the Katangese, the Republic of the Dioulas, the Republic of the Betis, the Peul peril, the Kikuyu power, Zaghawa dictatorship "or the Zulu's control over the A.N.C.. Above all, the D.R. Congo does not need polemics as polluting as this one.
For, as everyone knows, his real problems are elsewhere. If Joseph Kabila repeats to some of the few confidants that he will never leave power in the hands of Moses Katumbi is not because the latter was born of a Congolese mother and a Greek father. It was because he believed that he had betrayed him and that, consequently, if he had acceded to the presidency, he would pursue him from his vengeance to the bottom of his Kingakati farm.

 *Article by François Soudan, editor of Jeune Afrique, published on September 11, 2017.