Joseph H. Chakkour … A gifted poet and an incredible storyteller!
TWENTY FIVE years after his death in the United States—the Land of Exile of Daheshism since the civil war has ravaged Lebanon—the memory of Doctor Dahesh is still alive in the hearts of his disciples. Curiously enough, very little is known in the West about this man who has uniquivocally amazed the Levant with his miracles, and captivated the attention of a whole generation by his persona and his teaching style. In his book, Reflections On My Life, Joseph Chakkour comes out of his silence to relate to us how he met this man in Beirut, and how his life was affected by him, though nothing in his life had predestined him to be a Daheshist—or so he thought. And that’s the astonishing part, which gave life to an unexpected book, a sincere, humoristic, moving, and most of all, baffling book! As to the author himself, he turns out to be an excellent storyteller—to his surprise, mostly! Once you have read his words, you will discover that the humor of the biographer has nothing to envy to the exactitude of the portraitist. << This saga novel on the Chakkour’s Family, Lebanon, its politicians, Dahesh and his fight for liberty, democracy, freedom of speech and civil rights—the Lebanese civil war and the enchanting miracles of the Middle East—will surely make its own headway … >>
“ TO BELIEVE in a truth that goes against the tide when, and because, everyone believes in it is not that much of a feat. The real exploit, in my view, is to believe in it when deep in our heart we know we are facing a revelation, though the whole world might think otherwise. When my time came to choose what to believe, I chose not to close my eyes to the obvious, and it turned out to be my life. And here I am now, lifting my voice as one who was touched, to relate what I witnessed and what I felt. I come also to relate the very instances Doctor Dahesh cared to share with me, because to live them again and again is a joy in itself. In his book Words, Doctor Dahesh says, “My word is part of my heart, shard of my soul, essence of my whole.” That is how I meant my words to be. I know they are not perfect, but they are true to form—my form, or soul. ”
Dahesh through his Own Words
By Joseph H. Chakkour
No god can force a donkey to drink when he is not thirsty
Daheshism in a Bird’s Eye View
Adapted and reviewed from the French original edition
By Joseph H. Chakkour
[ Selection of Poetry and Prose ]
by Joseph H. Chakkour
[ Open letter to Jesus Christ, the Son of Man ]
When you are to come… would you be a Jew among Jews, like the first time, a Muslim or a Christian reading the Bible or the Koran… How would we know it’s you? The Bible puts you on a cloud, surrounded with angels, John compared your approach to the one of a thief in the dark of the night…
Unpublished letter from Dahesh to Edward Noon, his attorny at law
(written from exile)
… and in which he confides about the barbarism of the Lebanese government under Bechara El Khoury … A revelation that still leaves us speechless … How such crimes,
against an innocent civilian, remained unpunished all this time? Learn how Dahesh responded … and how, by what miracle, he escaped from death!
To Dahesh Freedom is a basic and sacred human right no one—no one—should be deprived of. And those tyrants who try to suppress it are only going against the will of God; that’s why they will never succeed, as he said it in those words: Freedom is a gift from heaven to the sons of Earth. Therefore, whatever the opportunistic ruler may try to harm her sanctity, she is ready to rebel against him and blind him with a spray of her dust. However hard odious tyrants try to bury freedom, they will never succeed, because freedom is forever immortal, till the end of Time.That’s why also he fought heart and soul the Lebanese Government when it conspired to deprive him of his freedom, and decried its tyranny for wanting to divest him of that most sacred of God-given right. And if he chose the United States over all the other nations of the world, it is not only because …
[ Selection of New Poems by Joseph H. Chakkour – 2010 ]
* I am that lonely pilgrim
* A breath of life … and then a sigh!
* The Sacred Dove
* If a sign you are to ask …
* What was it all about?
* The Children of War …
[ Dedicated to all the soldiers of the Vietnam War who returned home, not in a coffin … but in a body! ]
Addressed to the SG of the United Nations and to her brother Michel Chiha
Like Émile Zola, the French writer in the Dreyfus Affair, Marie Hadad, a Lebanese painter and writer, addresses an open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations, accusing the Lebanese Governement (at the head of which is her Brother-in-Law Bechara el-Khoury) of persecuting Dr. Dahesh and depriving him of his civil and human rights … and most of all, condemning Dahesh to exile after stripping him of his Citizenship without any trial or any reason whatsoever, other than his friendship with the Hadad Family.
Written and edited by Georges and Joseph Chakkour
Lebanon in the Bible and the Exodus of the Hebrew People to the Land of Canaan
Without Lebanon, the land of the cedars, there is no Israel in the biblical sense! Don’t they say “the Promised Land of Canaan?” Is not Lebanon part of the “Land of Canaan” which was given to the descendants of Abraham as an inheritance which was theirs to have? In Deuteronomy, doesn’t Moses sing at the gates of the Promised Land: “Let me pass, I pray Thee, let me see the good land across the Jordan, that goodly mountain and Lebanon?” But to which Lebanon Moses is referring to, and to what Promised Land? The Promised Land, as well as the Kingdom of God, to use the very words of Jesus, are in our heart … and in our love for our neighbor, because whether we like it or not, man is the brother of Man! But what a disastrous idea it was to have detached Lebanon from Syria, and Palestine from Lebanon, to name only these neighboring kindred countries who have always been in dire want of a truthful and lasting entente. Everything in them unite them—be it through their people or their adjoining borders! Should we take a step back in the documents and historical archives of that time which was responsible for the tearing apart of that region, we would be stunned and particularly pleased to discover that the majority of Lebanese, Palestinians, and Syrians at the time the Ottoman Empire was dismembered into small States, did not want this fait accompli: not the Jews of Jerusalem, not the Mufti of Damascus, and not the Maronites of Baabda. This is to say, if we want peace to prevail in the region, we must return to the original idea of social unity, a biblical unity … the very total unity of the family of Canaan: an ethnic, economic, and religious unity, which is to bring the Land of Canaan as dreamt by Abraham, who is the common father of all children of that region: Jews, Christians and Muslims. Only then will that region shine to a bright luster and live happily ever after. I think that just like the European countries, who spent endless years tearing one another apart, through endless internecine struggles which delayed their development, like also America, India, or Pakistan … the Land of Canaan will be united or will not be at all!
Copyright © 2009 Georges H. Chakkour – Tous droits réservés