Although my friends had spoken about the enchanting and mystical Notre Dame des Fontaines, nothing could have quite prepared me for this extraordinary little 12th century church tucked away in a small and intimate valley. It is situated above sacred springs that have been a place of pilgrimage long before Christianity –it invites visitors to enter.
The exterior gives no indication of what is to be found inside.
I was aware that the Church housed frescoes painted during the 15th century by artist/priest Giovani Canavesio, but nothing could have quite prepared me for what I was about to see.
Covering all walls the frescoes depict scenes from the The Passion of Christ. No words can describe the depth of feeling that comes from seeing these works.
Since visiting Notre Dame des Fontaines, I have tried to imagine the intensity of passion and dedication of a…
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Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, fired the initial salvo at Trump insisting, “We are not much concerned about the statements made by Trump’s advisers. The US president-elect Donald Trump cannot neglect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and it has to abide by.” This has been further backed by senior officials in Tehran who have dismissed the recent election of Donald Trump and warned his incoming administration against taking a firmer stance against the Islamic Republic’s continued military buildup. All of this bluster was thrown to cloud the air and muddy the waters in an attempt to draw the President Elect into a battle of words while they make deals with the Russians and seek deals with China in breach of the agreement themselves. Of course Iran has countered that all of their weapons systems purchases have been for a defensive force. In the meantime Iran…
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On the anniversary of his death, it is important that we remember Yasser Arafat (8 or 9 other names, including the ubiquitous Mohammed, may be added as needed) as a murderer, a liar and a thief.
Twelve years ago, Arafat, the Egyptian terrorist leader who founded an imaginary country on mass murder and our foreign aid, died covered in his own vomit and diarrhea. The possible causes of death, in order of probability, were AIDS, according to his private doctor and the head of the PFLP terror group, an Israeli laser, according to the Palestinian ambassador to Sri Lanka, thallium poisoning by Israel, polonium poisoning by his Palestinian rivals and the trained ape from Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue.
The investigation into Arafat’s death went on for over a decade and dragged in the Institut de Radiophysique in Switzerland, Russia’s Federal Medical-Biological Agency and a mysteriously nameless team of French experts. Arafat’s “temporary” mausoleum, a building that looks like a Florida motel outhouse built on a giant scale, was rummaged and his rotting remains were poked over by three international teams who could agree on nothing except that the dead terrorist was probably dead.
Probably. It was hard to tell if Arafat was alive even back when he was still breathing and ranting.
After a decade of the minions of the occupying Muslim terror regime in Ramallah accusing each other, and occasionally the Jews with their lasers, the Arafat Museum has finally debuted the centerpiece of its exhibit, the dead Egyptian terrorist’s bedroom. Last month the museum managed to wrest Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize from Hamas without anyone being dragged behind a motorcycle or thrown off a building. This marked a major improvement in relations between the two aspiring Palestinian terror states. If that doesn’t merit handing out more peace prizes to everyone involved, what would?
When Hamas seized Gaza, they looted Arafat’s headquarters and stole everything. They stole Arafat’s fake military uniforms. They took his wife’s Christian Louboutin shoes which go for $675 at Saks Fifth Avenue. They took all the furniture. They even pried the tiles out of the walls and stole all his pipes.
And they took his Nobel Peace Prize.
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Talking to reporters in Germany on Thursday, President Barack Obama expressed the hope that President-elect Donald Trump will be “willing to stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms.” For anyone who has followed U.S. Syria policy closely for the past six years, the question of exactly what Obama believes those “values” and “norms” are—given his deliberate and determined facilitation of the slaughter of 500,000 Syrians, in concert with Assad, Iran, and Putin—is certainly an interesting one. The political meaning of Obama’s statement was clear, though: The president hopes to stick Trump with the gruesome results of his Syria policy while pretending that what might well turn out to be Trump’s own cooperation with Putin is somehow a startling departure from the course that he set and proudly and repeatedly refused to alter during six years of stomach-turning mass murder of innocent civilians by a genocidal regime.
Historians and scholars will no doubt spend years excavating the enormous mountain of bad faith and poor decision-making that led to the moral, political, and large-scale human disaster of America’s complicity in Assad’s genocide, which has been visible for the past few years to the entire world—and especially to the people of the Middle East, whose good opinion Obama once sought to court. The decision not to intervene in Syria’s civil war, and then to facilitate Assad’s murder of his own people through political and military coordination with Iran and Russia, was Obama’s, and Obama’s alone: Those who opposed that decision in any meaningful way are long gone from his administration. The list of the people who did the president’s dirty work, and gave him cover for this shameful policy, will be clear to anyone who looks at the historical record, which will provide a damning indictment of the characters and judgments of administration officials who abetted the bloodshed, like Robert Malley, the White House point man on Syria, and Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the U.N., who used her reputation as a humanitarian as a cloak for U.S. inaction—and worse—in the face of open genocide.
A footnote to this dishonorable history will be the conference hosted by Assad in Damascus last month for a group of American and European journalists and think tankers, with the goal of normalizing American complicity in Syria’s genocide, and preparing the ground for what all parties imagined would be a Hillary Clinton presidency.
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