Peace and Mercy on Earth

Enjoy this before you start:
Great Chinese State Circus - Swan Lake

Nature is painting for us,
day after day,
Pictures of infinite beauty
if only we have eyes
to see them....

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

I never cease to marvell at all the wonders
God has given us to behold

Amaryllis: a popular woman's name in ancient Greece.

It symblizes Pride, Splendid, Beauty and Poetry. Today it is known as The Night Star.

When We Gain Our Moral Courage, We Gain Everything

Take Time to READ...

It is the fountain of our wisdom.

Welcome To My Serenity World

Come on in, sit a spell and rest

Beyond the Gate will Peace Await
And Joy to fill each Heart
A fragrant bower Every Hour
And Love that never Parts

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This is me (1996)

This is me (2006)

This is me (2013)

Annabs gathering at the Farm (Serenity World)

Country Feeling

Palestine Sunbird (photo captured at the Farn)
The Palestine Sunbird or Northern Orange-tufted Sunbird
is a small passerine bird of the sunbird family
which is found in parts of the Middle East (Palestine) and sub-Saharan Africa.

A butterfly is to the daylight
what a star is to the night
They fill our skies with much beauty
each a wonder of God's delight"
....Island Princess

Have you ever watched a butterfly...
the erratic flight it takes?
Many unseen paths it flutters,
to arrive at just one place.

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Hand operated pitcher pump over the well
at The Farm (Serenity World)

Blooming Datura 2007 at the farm

Pasha, My daughter Ghada's beautiful cat:
A great Turkish Angora cat,
balanced and graceful with a fine,
silky coat that shines with a firm,
long, and muscular body.



Our farm is located on a 1100 m (3,330 ft) high mountain
overlooking The Jordan River Valley and The Occupied West Bank (Palestine).

Night View of the Jordan Valley from the Farm (Serenity World)
The yellow lights are Israeli Settlements

The Dead Sea, south of the Jordan Valley, is 400 m (1320 ft) below sea level. The level of the Dead Sea is sinking at the rate of nearly a yard a year and could disappear in a few decades, damaging tourism and indirectly draining scarce water supplies in the region. The Dead Sea has been shrinking for decades because much of the water from the Jordan River, which ends in the Dead Sea, has been diverted by the Israelis for use in their region.

'In the last 50 or more years, since the great diversions upstream to irrigate a growing economy in Israel, the river flow that fed the lake has decreased to 8 percent of its former pour. The Dead Sea is dropping about a yard a year, and its surface area is just a third of what it once was. The Global Nature Fund has declared the Dead Sea "Threatened Lake of the Year" for 2006.'

Looking from the Farm I can see Jerusalem and my occupied home town Nablus, an ancient Canaanite town.

Nablus, my hometown, photo captured from The Farm (high zoom)

It has remains dating from c.2000 BC. The Samaritans made it their capital and built a temple on nearby Mount Gerizim to rival that of Jerusalem. Nablus still has a small community of Samaritans, about 800. They live peacefully with the Palestinian Arabs. They speak Arabic and antient Hebrew. They go to Palestinian schools and universities and are integral part of the Nabulsi community.

Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia): "The Samaritans (Hebrew: שומרונים‎ Shomronim, Arabic: السامريون‎ as-Sāmariyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously the Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by those returning from exile. It is commonly, though inaccurately, accepted that Samaritans are mainstream Jews."

A member of the Samaritan sect holds up their Torah scroll atop Mount Gerizim in Nablus during their traditional pilgrimage ceremony marking the holiday of Shavuot early May 5, 2010. The Samaritans, who trace their roots to the biblical Kingdom of Israel in what is now the northern occupied West Bank, observe religious practices similar to those of Judaism.

Photograph by: NIR ELIAS

The city was destroyed (129 BC) by the Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus I. Under Hadrian (Publius Aelius Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus), the Roman Emperor, it was rebuilt and named Flavia Neapolis, from which the present name derives. Nearby are the reputed sites of the tomb of Joseph and the well of Jacob.

Nablus, lithograph April 17th, 1839 by David Roberts

The Tomb of Joseph in Nablus by David Roberts

Old photo of Nablus 1927 Earthquake

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Jacob's Well

Located 1.6 km south of Nablus,
is where Jesus met the Samaritan woman
who offered Him a drink of water.
Jacob dug the well for himself,
his children, and his flock on a plot of land
he bought upon his return from Mesopotamia.
After Jacob came from Paddan Aram he arrived safely
at the city of Shechem (Nablus) in Canaan and camped within sight of the city.
For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor,
the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent.
The Crusaders restored it over the well.
Today, it stands within the walled
complex of the Greek Orthodox Monastery.

Jacob's Well

The Greek Orthodox Monastery

I was born on November 27, 1922, in Nablus, Palestine, during the British Mandate .

I had four brothers and four sisters. During my childhood, as far as I remember, Nablus had no electricity, no water network, no sewage system, no telephones, no radio, scarce automobiles and no TV.

At home we used kerosene (naphtha) for lamps and for cooking, there was no gas. People used to go to public baths in Nablus. My parents were pious and very contented. Most people cared for one other, were pious, mostly honest and with honor and pride. Neighbers were very friendly. Good Old Days.

Zuhair Annab
Born1922

1901-1924 G.I. Generation:

This G.I. Generation is by many considered the greatest Generation. There are fewer and fewer left on earth, but the ones that are still alive have seen more changes and events than any generation before or after. Not only have they lived through two World Wars and the Great Depression, but they've also seen great advances in technology and medicine, and a huge culture change. Having lived through good times and bad times, members of this G.I. Generation are conservative, hard working, invest safely, and love their country.

Relax,watch & listen to Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 (Proms 2012)

My father served in the Turkish (Ottoman) Army and retired as a Captain, end of WWI.

My Father Captain Hasan Annab

My Late elder brother, Radi, joined the Military Academy in Istanbul, Turkey. In 1916, during the war (WWI), he was attached to the Turkish Army in Ma'an, south of Jordan. In 1918, after the 2nd Ottoman legion retreated from south of Amman, Radi went to Damascus and joined Prince Faysal Bin Hussein's Arab Legion in Damascus. Later, in 1920, after Syria fell to the French he joined Prince Abdulla I (great grandfather of present King Abdulla II of Jordan) Arab Legion in Jordan. On March 16, 1956 he was appointed Chief of General Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces, after Late King Hussein dismissed general John Bagot Glubb and the other British officers from the army.

My brother General Radi Annab

My other Late brother, Haidar, qualified as a medical doctor in Italy, and had to stay there during WWII period. He went back home with his Italian wife and daughter, after the war was over.

My brother Haidar & his son Hasan

Left: My late brother Miqdad, Zuhair, my sisters Zuhaira & Obaida and my latr brother Mazhar

My Late younger brother, Mazhar, was a Civil Servant in Jordan and later he was appointed the Governor of Bethlehem until 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

From left: My brother Mazhar & My nephew Munther

My other younger brother, Miqdad, went to the U.S. in 1956, and graduated from the State University of Arizona in Tempe, U.S.A. in 1960. He was executive director of Zara Group in Amman. He died Sept. 17, 2010.

My brother Miqdad

I had my elementary and secondary school education in Nablus.

In 1942 I joined the International College(IC) in Beirut, Lebanon, a high school affiliated with the American University of Beirut (A.U.B.), just next to AUB Campus.

IC Graduation: Zuhair: First Row, third from left

I sent the above photo to the President of the IC college and here is his reply:

John Johnson

[email protected]

10/27/07

Dear Zuhair,

Thank you so much for sharing your photo with me. What a great shot and a real treasure. If I can get a good print I will frame it and put it up with other historic photos.

Many, many thanks!

John

John K. Johnson

President

International College

Beirut, Lebanon

Click to read AUB Alma Mater

My father's income was modest, a pension he earned after retirement. My university fees was a big chalenge to my parents, but they were determined to give me university education, and specially in an expensive education institution (A.U.B.) as compared with the other institutions in the Middle East. A year later I joined the Freshman Class at the A.U.B.

Click and watch Pictures of A.U.B. Campus

In 1948 I graduated from the School of Pharmacy and was awarded the Pharmaceutical Chemist degree. During my pharmacy years at the A.U.B. I spent the last three Summer holidays rotating in the University Hospital Laboratories learning laboratory techniques, and I was given a certificate in Laboratory Technology. A couple of months before graduation the Zionists snatched out what is now called Israel from Palestine. I lost contact with my family because of the war and in June 1948, just after graduation, having spent all my pocket money, I had to borrow enough money to buy a train ticket to Aleppo in Syria, where I was offered a job in Altounyan Hospital.

The School of Pharmacy 1946

Zuhair at Altounyan hospital laboratory

The hospital had no laboratory when I joined. Dr Ernest Altounyan, the director, asked me to establish a laboratory for the hospital. I started from scratch and placed the order for the laboratory equipment. After the equipment arrived the hard work started, and in a record time the laboratory was ready to run microscopic tests, parasitology, haematology tests, biochemistry and bacteriological tests.

The lab tests were more laborious, manual, and tooak much longer time, and I used to prepare the reagents, there were no kits. At present it's much easier and the reagents needed for the tests are ready made in a kit form. The lab tests became automated.We needed animals for running some of the tests. We kept sheep, rabbits and guinea pigs.

To run a pregnancy test I injected a sample of urine intravienously into a virgin rabbit and another injection 24 hours later. The next day autopsy performed and if there is ovaian haemorrhage then the test is positive. Nowadays the test takes a few minutes.

For running a blood test for syphilis (Wasserman compliment fixation test) we needed sheep and guinea pig blood. For typing Tuberculosis infection I injected a sample of the TB (tuberculosis) culture into a rabbit. A month or so later autopsy performed and if the rabbit got infected then the TB is bovine. Rabbits are immune to human TB. I kept the lab at a fairly good standard.

For doing a blood count I used a counting chamber under the microscope and counted the red blood cells and the white blood cells. For estimating hemoglobin I used a hemoglobinometer. Now all this is done in two minutes using an automated cell counter.

In 1949 I got married and started a family.

In 1952 I quit my job at Altounyan Hospital and went with my family to Amman, Jordan, where I joined the Jordanian Army Medical Services. After finishing my brief military training I was attached to the army Main Hospital in Amman. My rank was a first lieutenant when I joined. Again, that hospital had no laboratory, and I worked very hard establishing a laboratory for the hospital. I also had to train laboratory technicians. In a few months the laboratory was ready to perform the various tests.

I put a plan for blood typing the Jordanian army officers and soldiers and got the approval of the director of the medical services. A couple of lab technicians and myself started the operation. It took quite a time.

In 1954 the army arranged for me to have a post-graduate course in bacteriology, virology and mycology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. The university is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world in the fields of public health and tropical medicine. I earned Post Graduate Diploma in Bacteriology.

I still vividly remember my parents' warm look as they wished me farewell when I left for England. It was a sad moment, as I never saw my father again. He passed away during my postgraduate course in London.

Zuhair: Back Row, Fifth from left

In London I applied for a driving licence and after doing the driving test I recieved the licence:

After finishing the course at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine I attended a course in food analysis, which the Jordanian Army needed for checking army supplies. After that I had a short course at Scotland Yard forensic laboratory.

In February 1956 my wife and I came back to Amman. We left Dover on a ferry with our Vauxhall car for Calais, then to Paris, Rome and finally Naples where we took the ship to Beirut.

My wife Widad (R.I.P.) and I in London-Serpentine lake 1955

Widad & I with our Vauxhall car

Then we headed for Amman by our car. We enjoyed the trip very much.

Widad in Paris

On boat from Naples to Beirut

In 1962 I resigned from the army. My rank was a major when I resigned. In 1962 I established my private medical laboratory. In July 2009 I closed the lab and joined my son Dr. Hassan's lab (anatomic and clinical pathology).

I am a Sagittarius.

Classical music is my favorite and my hobbies are woodworking, surfing the Internet, photography, astronomy, fishing, gardening, traveling and watching nature and birds, especially Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris oseus) at the farm. The bird's diet consists mainly of insects and nectar. It's tongue is long and brush-tipped to extract nectar from flowers. The bird usually feeds while perched beside a flower but it's also capable of hovering. When I am at the farm I am surrounded by peaceful, tranquil and friendly nature with singing birds and the sound of a waterfall at the Farm garden. An ideal place for watching sunset and meditation.

"The most magnificent silence ever heard,
Winter time ... past midnight,
A lonely, deserted, distant hill,
Whitest landscape ... purest moonlight"

I have three boys and one girl. They are all married and I am proud to have 13 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Hassan, my eldest son, is MD specialized in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at San Antonio, Texas - U.S.A., and has his private Medical Laboratory in Amman. He's also the director of the hospital laboratories at The Jordan Hospital in Amman.

Sameer is a pharmacist (Baghdad University) and has his drugstore in Amman.

Princess Basma rewarding Zuhair
March 2013, pioneer founder of medical laboratory in Jordan

From left: Sameer, Ghada, Zuhair & Hassan

Omar is a civil engineer (Leeds Polytechnic) and now lives with his family in Leeds, England.

Omar & his family

The last, but not the least, is my beloved daughter Ghada, B.A. Social Sciences (University of Jordan). She is married and has three children and a grandson.

My daughter Ghada 2007

The Farm 1973

Farm Garden at Serenity World

The Garden at Serenity World

Looking from the windows or patio of the farm house is as if you are in an art gallery. On clear nights, from my roll off roof "Mirabella" observatory, which was recently built, I watch the planets, the stars, star clusters, and the moon through my 12" LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

Visit my "Mirabella" observatory

At the farm I practice most of my hobbies.

Olives

Relax and watch a great Chinese performance

I have a number of olive trees in my farm. In the Mediterranean, individual olive trees, with a possible lifespan of up to 2,000 years (An olive tree in Algarve, Portugal, is 2000 years old, according to radiocarbon dating), have seen not only generations, but entire kingdoms, come and go on the earth's surface.

It is so sad to see Israeli bulldozers raze acres and acres of orchards (more than one million trees) of very old and Noble olive trees that belonged to the Palestinians, for security purposes as they claim.

The first record of commercial olive cultivation dates back over 5,000 years to the region of Syria. In the five millenniums from that day, archaeologists have been able to track the spread of the noble olive across the entire Mediterranean basin and beyond.

The harvest is between November and December. The olives are hand plucked, which needs too much labor, packed in bags and when ready I take it in my pickup to the press to have the oil extracted.

The process goes like this: the most modern factories use continuous flow oil extraction machines. These machines allow for a single person to add the olives at one end where they are then washed and crushed into a paste. The paste is then mixed to start the separation of the oil. It then goes through a centrifuge which separates the oil and water from the paste, and finally into a separator, which divides the oil from the water. The oil then comes from the machine and is filled in 20 liter cans.

The Modern Method: Decanter Centrifugation.

The modern method of Olive Oil extraction uses an industrial decanter to separate all the phases by centrifugation. In this method the olives are crushed to a fine paste. This paste is then mixed or stirred for 30 to 40 minutes to allow the small olive droplets to combine into larger droplets. The aromas are created in these two steps through the action of fruit enzymes. Afterwards the paste is pumped into an industrial decanter where the phases will be separated. Water is added to facilitate the extraction process with the paste. The decanter is a large capacity horizontal centrifuge rotating at approximately 3000 rpm. The high centrifugal force created allows the oil and the water to be easily separated because of their different densities (we all know oil and water don’t mix well). The separated oil and vegetation water are then rerun through a vertical centrifuge, working at nearly 6000 rpm that will separate any other small quantities of oil from the water. The advantage of Decanter Centrifugation is that it results in the highest percent of oil extraction.

Recent studies show that olives and olive oil help to lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)and reduce the risk of heart attacks and certain cancers. The Mediterranean diet which includes plenty of olives and olive oil has long been known as one of the healthiest.

Olive Oil Acid Cuts Cancer Risk

Olive oil is rich in mono-unsaturated fats and contains no cholesterol. Many nutritionists and medical groups are now recommending olive oil as the healthy substitute for other fats in the diet. Olive oil is the only oil which is actually a fruit juice ... in its purest form, the oil is simply 'squeezed' from the fruit, filtered and bottled ... with no contamination by any chemical processes.

Modern olive oil factory: Nasser, Egyptian worker at the farm, emtying an olives bag

Olive oil press of the Middle Ages

Read about Nablusi Soap Industry

Pohutukawa

I planted at the Farm a very beautiful tree, which I brought over with me from New Zealand, called NZ Christmas Tree, Pohutukawa (Metrocideros excelsa), and I am doing my best to make it acclimatize. It kept gowing nicely until we had a bad frost when it unfortunately died away. I felt very sad.

Its exquisite crimson flowers in blooming time cover the tree.

Listen to: Wonderful Chill Out Music - New Zealand

The following is a letter which I sent to the editor of the A.U.B. Alumni magazine "Main Gate" and his response:

Spring 2008, Vol. VI, No. 3

Metrosideros Excelsus (New Zealand Christmas Tree)

I was very interested to read, in the spring issue, the article �Is AUB Green?�

The AUB campus has always been one of the rare green spots in Beirut, and I have always been nostalgic for my Alma Mater. I recently lived in New Zealand for one year�it�s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. In 2000, I brought back two little Christmas trees to Jordan from New Zealand, which I planted on my farm. The natives of New Zealand call it Pohutukawa tree. The two trees lived beautifully for a couple of years, but unfortunately died after a bad frost. May I suggest that this beautiful and noble tree be planted on the campus. I am sure it will flourish there, as the AUB campus is by the seaside, and in Auckland this evergreen tree with dark red flowers flourishes by the Pacific Ocean. It would be a great addition to the campus flora.

Zuhair Annab (Pharmacy �48)
Amman, Jordan

A colleague in the Landscape Design and Eco-Management Program at AUB told us that she is collaborating with the landscape faculty at Lincoln University in New Zealand, where the Cedrus libani is thriving on their campus. They�re looking into introducing the Pohutukawa tree on the AUB campus. -Ed.

I am proud of my farm.

I call it:

Top Of The World
"Serenity World"

I come here often...to bring serenity to my soul...
to wonder...to anticipate...to fill my soul...
to drink of the beauty...to get caught up in
Mother Nature
and to

Live in Freedom
Harmony and Grace
with Love for Mother Earth
and the entire Human Race

A sad story in my life:

On May 27, 1975 I received a telegram from my brother Mazhar in Nablus, through the Red Cross, telling that my mother was on her deathbed and the Israeli visit permit will be collected at the checkpoint. I immediately took a taxi and on arriving at the Israeli checkpoint an Israeli policeman took me to a row of cubicles where I was asked to go in and undress. I asked what for and was replied in a harsh tone "for searching you". I took off my clothes and waited for the search. The policeman opened the door and asked me to strip completely. (Click and watch the video of strip search in Israel)I was very furious but didn't argue with him because I was in a hurry to get to my mother before she passes away. He took my clothes and shoes and checked them, brought them back and asked me to dress up and go to the customs officer. I had very few things in my handbag and a bottle of medication for my heart. The Israeli customs officer took my handbag, poured out the contents over the table, took the medicine bottle and threw out the pills in the wastebasket leaving me with two pills only. Again no complaint because I wanted to get on my way. Then I was asked to go to the security room to be interrogated. There, two Israeli young guys interrogated me. One of them asked me to tell them the story of my life starting with my elementary school until the present moment. This and the many questions asked took more than 30 minutes. I told the security people: "you are keeping me so long, I am in a big hurry because my mother is terminal". They said sorry, these are the rules.

After all the callousness, cruelty and humiliation I left for Nablus and on arriving the hospital I found out my mother had passed away ten minutes earlier. I was denied the chance to be with her during the last moments of her life. I was boiling with anger and sadness.

This personal story is to show the cruelty, atrocities and humiliation the Palestinians have been getting from the Israelis for the past 40 years. Is Israel as civilized country as they claim? I wonder!

As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow,
I will thank the Almighty for the best day of my life.
And I will sleep the sleep of a contended child,
excited with expectation because I know
tomorrow is going to be....The Best Day Of My Life!

~Author Unknown~

When my life has reached its very end,
And I take that final breath;
I want to know I've left behind,
Some "good" before my death.

....Author Unknown

Palestinian am I
No one can take away from me
My identity,
For it is mine.
Palestinian am I.

I am the river that flows
Through my land.
I am the mountain
Noble and magnificent
Rising up out of chaos and destruction.

I greet the morning sun
That shines down on my fertile valleys
And parches my barren desert.

I am the red poppy and yellow daffodil
That grow upon my bloodstained hills.
I am the battle cry of freedom
That echoes through my corridors
And every fiber of my being.

Palestinian am I.
I am the proud owner of
Orange orchards and lemon blossoms
And honey bees, wild and free.

I am the David child wielding a single stone
Against the Israeli Goliath.
I am not afraid,
For truth is with me and God is on my side.

If I die,
A choir of angels will honor me
And later, my parents will grasp my outstretched hand
And join me in Heaven.

I am the tears of
Mothers weeping for their dead sons.
I am the footsteps of ancient prophets
Who foretold of doom and destruction
To those who torture and oppress me.

My brethren are the doves, hummingbirds and seagulls
That fly unhindered above my sea.
I am Palestinian,
Therefore, I am.

No one can take my identity
Away from me,
Not tanks or guns or bombs
Meant to desecrate me and kill me.
My country lives in me.

I am the cry of liberty
No matter what they take from me,
They can't take away my identity
Or my dignity.
Palestinian am I.


By: Edna Yaghi

WISDOM : PLease click and read

Click to read the poem

Peace Love and Joy

"There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one's native land"

- Euripides, 431 B.C.

"For those who have tried to find the "road to peace" in the Middle East, it has been a trecherous journey, inevitably ending in bitter disappointment"

....Andrew Hurley

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There is serious trouble and conflict in this world today

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Even now, there is far more love than hatred

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