It amazes me how could someone that dares to claim attendance in middle school could insist in such absurd theories without absolutely no evidence. But unfortunately, ignorance thrives and abounds.
They’ve called me “scammer” without showing any evidence or even producing any victim of my alleged scam. No convictions of any crime, not even formal accusations. I’ve just spent money and time and matched all the donations I’ve ever received by, at least, a twofold. My accounting books were examined by the IRS in the US and by the NGO committee of the United Nations. The result was the approval of the tax-deduction status in the US in 2014 (retroactive until 2011) and the Special Consultative Status in the UN in 2016. After reading the fifteen pages long “cease and desist letter” from my lawyer in Germany, they decided that may be would be a good idea to remove the term “scammer” from their kind mention of me on their Facebook page.
But I’m here to confess my scam. My scam was to help, from September 2014 till December 2016, over a thousand families of Syrian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Jordanian and Palestinian people in need. And I can prove that anytime to anyone. This great scam was recognized by governments and institutions of ten countries in three continents. Including the Vatican, the US and the Brazilian Governments. I like to believe that none is, or at least shouldn’t be, awarded just by “being a prince”.
They accuse me of “inventing” something that was claimed centuries before my existence! They attack an awarded and acclaimed Lebanese Maronite historian that was never formally (nor informally) criticized until now. We’re not talking about an obscure historian but the recipient of the highest academic Order of the French Government! Also, his book about my family that was considered by the Lebanese government as an official historical scientific research and again, was never contested in almost seventy years that it was written. Alas, twenty five years before I was even born! Not a single book, not a peer reviewed article, no academic work not even a bad book review from sixth grade student! But stop everything! They have decided in Germany he was wrong! Again, without presenting any evidence nor an academic “counter-thesis” disproving what he wrote.
If I want to claim that the Bourbon family is not entitled to the Japanese Empire, I’ve to present a theory to support my statement. I’ve to offer the evidence that the family descends from Hugh Capet, not from emperor Murakami.
Anyone that frequented high school knows that scholars disagree all the time and about a plethora of subjects and the fact that they do it alone doesn’t make them neither right nor wrong. Just attacking something doesn’t make it a lie. I don’t care about the credentials or titles you may hold. Unless you’re the pope, your mere opinion is not infallible. Even the pope has to substantiate his “ex-cathedra” argument. His infallible teachings must be based on, or at least not contradict, Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. But apparently, they’re above the pope and any academic rule.
As the philosopher Maimonides wisely said:
“Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.”
Seemingly, another terrible crime that I’m guilty of is allegedly having two cousins that disagree with me. We can prove now that one of them was manipulated and instigated against me. The other, was not even interviewed!
How low can you go trying to destroy someone?
But it wouldn’t make any difference even if all cousins hated me. My claims are based in dynastic and international law, not in a family popularity contest. Even if the disagreement was totally legitimate and spontaneous – not the case here – let the one that never disagreed with cousins to throw the first stone!
And there’s also the “very mature” and “scholarly based” insult calling me “a gorilla”. Apparently we are all back to the kindergarten’s playground. By that alone you can evaluate the “caliber” of my critics. You’ve to be completely desperate for arguments when you resort to “ad hominem” attacks of “zoological” nature.
But one may ask why are you being attacked?
Aren’t you doing a humanitarian work? Aren’t you defending peace and dialogue? Isn’t that a good thing? What could possible be wrong with that?
Unfortunately, we live in a divided world. Even apparently natural allies have diametrical opposite interests. For example:
* We defend the ecumenical dialogue and the actual unity of the oriental churches in the Middle East for practical (not theological) purposes. Sadly, many people, mostly laymen inside the Catholic Church, even going against the Supreme Pontiff’s command, are completely against that,
* We also defend the dialogue and strategical alliance with the Muslim leaders. The greatest part of the Christians in the west – specially in Germany – are also against that,
* We accept that most Lebanese families might come from Phoenician origin but, some of them, specifically the Ghassanid families, come originally from Yemen and therefore are Arab. This “Arab DNA” was “diluted” being Hellenized and Romanized over the centuries and, culturally speaking, the majority of the Ghassanids adopted an Aramaic culture and religion. However, there’s a strong anti-Arab sentiment in Lebanon,
* We are presenting solutions for the problems in the Middle East, “a cure for the disease”. Many charities in the region are just interested in “keep selling medication”,
* According to their own private correspondence, we pose as a great threat of “stealing” the catholic donors in Germany. They see us as “business competition” that has to be stopped.
So, there are more than enough reasons.
I could go on and on of all the legal and logical inaccuracies in their claims but as Napoleon wisely said: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
Scholars disagree where exactly the concept of chivalry first appeared. One should not confuse the celebration of the mounted warrior like in ancient Greece or ancient Rome with chivalry. Of course, morally speaking, the character’s refinement through the disciplines of war is not a recent idea. In a simplistic way, chivalry combines the prestige and panache of this cavalry warrior – an elite in the battlefield since he supersedes the infantry warrior – and the honor code. This chivalric code, as we know today, is associated with the medieval institution of knighthood consolidated between 1170 and 1220 CE and made notorious by literature and popular culture since then. Some experts point the inspirational origins of this European ideal of chivalry to Arab Spain. Some disagree. However, one of the oldest manifestations of the actual knight, combining the cavalry skills and the moral code, appears in pre-Islamic Arabia, more accurately during the sixth century of the common era.
Honor above all, bravery in war, hospitality, respect for women, the protection of the weak and the orphans. That’s the ancient Arab code of “Muru’a“, the Arab “ancestor” of the Japanese “Bushido“, the medieval unwritten code of the samurai warriors. Reading the best-seller book “Tuareg” (ISBN 184694192X) a thriller novel written by Spanish author Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa, it’s easier to understand the seriousness of the “Muru’a” code for the Middle Eastern warriors. The book was also adapted into a 1984’s movie named “Tuareg – The Desert Warrior“.
The greatest “Faris” (“knight” in Arabic) of the solidification of chivalry as a concept in the sixth century was for sure Antarah ibn Shaddad (Arabic: عنترة بن شداد العبسي, ʿAntarah ibn Shaddād al-ʿAbsī; AD 525–608 CE), also known as ʿAntar‘, famous for both his poetry and his adventurous life.
Nevertheless, what we understand by chivalry today is strongly connected with Christianity and, erroneously, people believe this idea was born in Europe with the advent of the Crusades. Although nothing points the pre-Islamic Arabia as a direct influence to the European chivalry, one of the first (if not “the first”) documented existence of Christian knights come from the Ghassanids’ “faris“.
A few centuries earlier, Roman emperor Constantine I had pioneered “militarized Christianity” after his vision of the holy cross in the skies and the “revelation” of the motto “in hoc signo vinces” (“In this sign you will conquer”), meaning that under the sign of the holy cross he’d win any battles against his enemies.
Constantine moved the see of the Roman empire to Byzantium in 330 CE. Fast forward around two hundred years, we see the Ghassanids as military allies of the Byzantine empire embodied of the “Muru’a” code and the Christian religion. According to Prof. Irfan Shahid (1926-2016), one of the top scholars in the world in pre-Islamic Middle East, when the Ghassanids fought their pagan enemies, the Persians and Lakhmids, it was one of the very first manifestations of the “Militia Christi“.
Although neither Ghassanids nor the other pre-Islamic knights had what we understand for a “chivalric order” they were certainly some of the first – again, if not “the first” – Christian knights in history.
“Thus Ghassanid chivalry developed in the sixth century [AD] and was spiritualized by Christianity, a process that brought it close to the Christian version of chivalry in medieval Europe.
(…) The Ghassanids’ commitment to Christian chivalry as one of the ideals that they developed and tried to live up to, especially in their wars, has hitherto been an unknown chapter in the history of this concept.”
Prof. Dr. Irfan Shahid (1926-2016), PhD (Princeton University) Professor Emeritus of Georgetown University Book “Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century”, pages 304-305 Dumbarton Oaks Research Library (Harvard University)
On the 13th of Novemeber, after being invested as a “Knight of Honor of the Holy Chalice” Prince Gharios El Chemorhas participated of the Annual Feast of the Holy Chalice of Valencia in Spain. The Holy mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Valencia His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Canizares. Prince Gharios met His Eminence after the mass (photos below) and gifted him with water from the Jesus’ baptismal site in Jordan.
The annual feast of the Holy Chalice was celebrated on the 13th of November at the Cathedral of Valencia in Spain. HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIIIwas invested as a “Knight of Honor of the Holy Chalice” from the Brotherhood of the Holy Chalice of Valencia. Recently, HRH Dom Duarte Pio de Braganza, the Duke of Braganza and Head of the Royal House of Portugal has received the same honor.
From the ancient Chinese philosophical principle of “Yin-Yang” we learn that everything has its positive and negative aspect. Electricity, and therefore the reading of this article, wouldn’t be possible without the positive and negative poles.
You don’t need much investigation to perceive the negative side of mankind. Just a quick look in the world news gives us a very dark diagnosis about it. In other words, what’s bad about mankind is really bad. However, although not very much announced, what’s good about mankind is really good. I still choke every time I remember reading about this American teenager that had cancer and had to shave his head. His classmates decided that the whole class should do the same. What a beautiful demonstration of solidarity! I’m sure the event was not as much covered than the beheadings of the Islamic State. “A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest.” That’s a very disappointing truth.
I honestly believe that the so-called “superiority” of our species it’s very relative. Genesis (1:27), states that God created human beings in His own image. That would easily explain the magnificent capacity we have to think and create amazing things. To find the cure of diseases and to put men on the surface of the moon. But also our “capacity” of stupidly destroying our planet, our very own habitat, compromising the future of our offspring reflects more a virus’ than a deity’s behavior.
But truly, what’s the problem with mankind?
In one word? Ignorance. We are ignorant. We don’t think long term. We cannot see, beyond our ego and interests, the big picture. We are not capable of comprehending the interdependence of the Universe. Meaning, we don’t ponder that by harming our fellow beings (human or not), we are harming ourselves.
I know, that may sound like Pope Francis’ last speech or something taken from a Dalai Lama’s self-help book. But it can be easily proven in practice. I’m openly in favor of capitalism. However, I truly believe we are facing an extreme situation regarding the wealth distribution in the whole world. Am I a communist? Never! But you can see in cities like Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, how amazingly dangerous a bad wealth distribution can be.
There you have the rich people living in “cages”, highly luxuriant apartments inside fortresses with electrified barbwire fences and 24/7 heavily armed security. Those people cannot enjoy a nice drive by the lovely beaches on their expensive cars with their windows down. They cannot freely smell the sea breeze without risking being robbed or even worse, kidnapped. Since it’s very common for the drug dealers exchange bullets anytime of the day, their cars must be – no matter what – bulletproof.
Then, comes a reflection: what’s the use of having so much money if they cannot enjoy it?
Unfortunately, that sad reality won’t take much time to reach the United States and Europe. There’s nothing wrong about having money and nice things but we are losing the common sense, we are losing the balance. There’s not much difference between the life of a multimillionaire and of a billionaire. They both can afford the best homes, the best cars and the best lifestyle. But greed and ignorance makes them want more and more, usually not enjoying the money they already have because they spend so much time working for more.
The same with the environment. Regardless of the debate of if global warming is made by men or not, what’s the problem of living a most responsible life? A more conscious life about the planet we live in?
I always say that we have to change our mindset. We have to understand, once for all, that we are the janitors of this planet, not the landlords!
We are responsible for our fellow beings. There’s no true happiness if that’s based on somebody else’s suffering. Harmony is the word! Let’s find it! Instead of being radical right or radical left, let’s find the middle way! How can a rich person still be rich but being aware of the suffering of others and the well-being of the planet?
Adapting the famous speech by American president Bill Clinton, I honestly believe that there is nothing wrong with mankind that cannot be cured with what is right in mankind. So help us God!
His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Otto von Habsburg (20 November 1912 – 4 July 2011), also known by his royal name as Archduke Otto of Austria, was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary. The realm comprised modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. He became the pretender to the former thrones, Head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1922, upon the death of his father. The current head of the House (since 2007) is his son, His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Karl Habsburg-Lothringen (born in 1961). HIRH Archduke Otto left us in 2011.
Both videos presented here, show the wisdom of a Catholic prince that sees beyond the labels. And sees the greater good with the eyes of a scholar and a real statesman. May we “drink” from the elixir of his wisdom.
The Hand Cross, also Blessing Cross, is used in the Orthodox Church by a priest or bishop to give a blessing or benediction. The hand cross is kept on the Holy Table in the Altar and used at certain moments during the liturgy, most noticeably when he holds it in his right hand as he gives the final blessing at the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy. In many traditions, usually Slavic, after the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy all of the faithful come forward to kiss the cross.