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Zaid El-Hoiydi
Travel photography, nature and society.
Travel photography, nature and society.

Zaid's posts

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Life, arts and one of the things in between.
Life, at the bottom, is essentially the process of turning foodstuff into offspring. Art, at the top, is what can take our sapient species the farthest away from its biological fate and only for the duration it is created or experienced. Between those extremes, many prospects and a favorite of mine is inquisitiveness, the pleasure of learning and of understanding.

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I first shared a picture of that old (~1700-1750) part of Thun a year ago ( Today the light was good and I tried a different angle. I liked the result, I hope you do too.

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Thirsty Honey Bees
Although February is still winter, a warm sun woke up some those tireless honey bees. There are obviously no flowers available at this time of the year but before seeing the beehive I had noticed bees around water puddles. They are going out for fresh water, not nectar.
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Taxing Junk Food Just Like Tobacco
Another great example of a undeniably positive result from the application of a state regulation over the free forces of capitalism

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Some of the things I enjoy doing on weekends and I encourage everyone going outdoor, walking, hiking, running and biking. Like me you most likely lead a sedentary life with work keeping you seated for hours at length, every workday and all year long. As our body wasn't designed for so much idleness we need to bring it in motion, often enough so as to achieve a healthier balance.

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There was a beautiful light shining on this house in the meadow this morning. I came here by bicycle and then ran a few loops in the fresh air of the forest.

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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Few nations have had a leader with such a progressive and enlightened mindset. He initiated what I would call a social tsunami with deep and mostly lasting effects on the political, social, cultural and religious thinking of its citizens. It was meant to adapt a Westernized way of living to Turkey through what has been named the “kemalism” reforms ➋: mainly the establishment of democracy, secularism, state support of the sciences and free education.

The following quote is undated but most probably from his later years.
❝I am not leaving a spiritual legacy of dogmas, unchangeable petrified directives. My spiritual legacy is science and reason. What I wanted to do and what I tried to achieve for the Turkish Nation is quite evident. If those people who wish to follow me after I am gone take the reason and science as their guides they will be my true spiritual heirs.❞
His reply to then Minister of Education Dr. Resit Galip, quoted by H. S. Tanriover.

Hereafter a few more quotes ➌ I have chosen as related to education.

❝In human life, you will find players of religion until the knowledge and proficiency in religion will be cleansed from all superstitions, and will be purified and perfected by the enlightenment of real science.❞
From a speech in Oct. 1927. (Karal, idem, p.59).

❝No matter how great may be the victories won by a nation at the battle field, those victories may only yield lasting results through the efforts of an army of educators.❞
From an address to teachers in Kutahya, 2 April 1923.

❝A military victory is insufficient for a true liberation. In our political life, in social life, in the education of people, science and technology will be our guide.❞
From an address to teachers in Bursa, 27 October 1922.

❝It is only education, science and teachers that can save the nation.❞
From an address to male teachers of Izmir, 14 October 1925.

❝Success towards civilization depends on renewal. Renewal is the only means to progress and development, to success in social and economic life, in science and technology.❞
Attila Ilhan, Hangi Ataturk, Bilgi Publications, 3.edition 1996, p.68.

In the comments I was reminded of the implication of Ataturk in the Armenian Genocide ➎. For this history buff Lennart Regebro ➍ gives us a nice rundown:

❝Massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire goes back to at least 1894, but they increased during WWI. What is referred to as the Armenian Genocide is however sometimes limited to the events that happened during the mass deportation of Armenians in 1915-1916. The deportations ended in March 1916, and this ended the main part of the Armenian genocide, but anti-Armenian policy did not stop, and there was massacres of Armenians after this point as well.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was during WWI a military man, and was during the deportations in charge of first the 19th Division and the the XVI Army Corps, busy defending the western end of the Empire. As a leading officer he surely would have been aware of the deportations, but did not order them or participate in them, and I can find no evidence that he was involved in any of the massacres before the deportations either.

Atatürk was the leader of the Turkish Independence War, and as such nominally responsible for massacres during this period. However, he blamed the Turkish people and it's "excited state".

As he was a turk-nationalist and started a policy of oppressing and Turkifying minorities, it is quite likely that he supported the anti-Armenian policies. In August 1921 his nationalists took several Britons hostage (I've seen the numbers 22 and 29) and then made an exchange for the Turks that was detained for their involvement in the genocide.

The conclusion of this is that Atatürk is not to blame for the Genocide and does not have seem to be directly involved in either the deportations, nor the massacres. However, he does not seem to have opposed them, and possibly supported them. He certainly did nothing to stop them, even after he came to power.❞

Also on Quora we get answers for "Was Ataturk at least in part responsible for the Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian Genocides?" ➏

❝Denial of the Armenian genocide on an official and organised level, as far as I can find out, didn't really get started until 1965, long after Kemal's death.

Kemal himself publicly acknowledged the 'shameful acts' of the Ottoman government, and admitted to the deportation and massacre of "millions" of people. (He couldn't, of course, use the actual word 'genocide' since it wasn't invented until 1943.)

On the other hand, Kemal's whole ideology was that he led a new, secular, nationalist and reformist Turkey that had no connection to the corrupt old Ottoman regime. As such, his line seems to have been that he and his nation shouldn't be blamed for the actions of their predecessors.❞

➡ "I read a lot about Ataturk when helping a documentary about him..."

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Baffling Finding
Thanks to some big data processing some other guys have done for me for a while I now have the proof that either Garmin users are a big boasting bunch of lazy asses or that Garmin data processing algorithms have been heavily tweaked in the marketing department. What explanation would you favor, I am torn on this?
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Bern from the Rose Garden
A very classic point of view which I rediscovered earlier this week while on my way to meet an old and good friend of mine. I used my smartphone so there is some low light noise but not enough to spoil the magic of overlooking the famous old town of Bern at night.

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HYPOCRISY: The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.
And unfortunately most of the social liberal governments have become quite skilled at that.
❝In a statement that has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook, UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights NGO in Geneva, expressed disappointment that Sweden’s self-declared “first feminist government in the world” sacrificed its principles and betrayed the rights of Iranian women as Trade Minister Ann Linde and other female members walked before Iranian President Rouhani on Saturday wearing Hijabs❞
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