Tuesday, March 31, 2009

H.I.H Michel I of Nowheristan in The Daily Star

BEIRUT: Utopia Now in Starco is shaping up to be a place where the trendy 20-somethings of Beirut would want to flock. The restaurant is being readied for its scheduled opening by the end of next week, and the basics are already in place. The walls are covered with stenciled quotes by Oscar Wilde and the like, and along the floor are framed pictures that will soon be hung up on the walls. Most are of singers or bands, but there are a few of Michel Elefteriades. “Because I like myself,” he explains unabashedly, a self-professed megalomaniac.

Elefteriades concedes the fare at Utopia Now will be fairly humble: no smoked salmon or caviar. Patrons will have to content themselves with simpler menu items like labneh and hummos.

Elefteriades was recently asked whether Music Hall would be free too, to which he responded, with his trademark dry humor: “No no, that is very expensive, and they will make you wait at the door and all that.”

Utopia Now is a two-storey restaurant, and the upper floor has a room that is being transformed into a “torture chamber.” At the center is an electric chair and “blood” is painted onto the tiles. When it’s complete, the room will be sealed permanently, viewable to patrons only from a couple of brick-sized windows built into the exterior wall.

The room is a form of catharsis, says Elefteriades, who was tortured when he was 15. When he acquired the Utopia Now location, the room was untouched since the days of the Civil War and the blue tiles reminded him of the ones in the room where he was held. Back then he was a communist, he says, and the “Christian militias” of the day arrested him while he was distributing photocopies of Karl Marx’s manifesto during the war and tortured him.

The experience was the catalyst for Elefteriades’ venture into politics. “This is how I started … being more and more involved in politics to take my revenge on the militias. I joined the army of Michel Aoun when I was 17,” he says. “Being tortured at the age of 15 is not something very easy to swallow for a proud young man, when you are beaten for two days, two consecutive days, and tortured it’s not something that you can forget.”

He says he stayed with Aoun until the former general’s military defeat in 1990 and flight to France the following year.

Elefteriades returned to lead the anti-Syrian, clandestine Unified Movements of Resistance from 1991-94, but after two assassination attempts, he fled to France again and then Cuba.

“I stayed in Cuba for over a year, and this is when I understood that maybe what I was doing wasn’t the right way. I’m not going to spend my life working for the Cuban revolution, or being sent to Angola or elsewhere. Then I realized that I had to do something else, that this is not the way to do it, that this would lead nowhere,” he says.

During this time period, Elefteriades’ thoughts began to crystallize into what would become the idea of Nowheristan - his manifesto on how the world should work.

“The concept springs from the unorthodox belief that many of our sacred and established truths are in fact falsehoods that we have imposed on ourselves: borders, identities, nationalisms, economic divisions, and so forth,” reads the manifesto.

Elefteriades essentially imagines a world where the playing field is leveled, and mankind is treated as a unified, albeit extremely pluralistic, society free of national borders and competing national interests, and where global resources are equally divided among the population.

His ideal society would be run by a “Senate of Elders,” composed of 1,200 brilliant figures from professional fields, all over the age of 60, and divided into two chambers and located in different parts of the world. The senators would vote and debate in private, the media would have no access, and in order for a decision to be adopted, it would have to be accepted by both Senate of Elder chambers, after they have debated the issue separately.

“It ends up by having the Nowheristan ideology implemented everywhere, by dissolving the armies, by dissolving the frontiers, by having one unified GDP for the entire planet, by not having politicians’ elections, but by having the Senate of Elders taking all the important decisions then people everywhere will have the same rights,” Elefteriades explains.

It’s a Utopian idea, he concedes, but one that he is serious about; the second floor of Utopia Now also houses the “Headquarters of Nowheristan” next to the torture chamber.

Besides, he thinks implementing his idea isn’t that unrealistic, given world history. Elefteriades points out that both Christianity and Islam developed behind singular figures that didn’t have television, radio or Internet. Today, around 2,000 and 1,400 years later respectively, both have billions of followers.

“I think that what I’m asking for is not very utopian, compared to other things that have existed,” he says.

Via the Nowheristan website he has already recruited more than 56,000 “naturalized Nowheristanis.” The plan is that once there are enough citizens across the world, they will be called on to perform nonviolent acts of civil disobedience that will topple governments. Once the Nowheristani ideology has taken hold globally, its formal name will change to Everywheristan.

“So, at the moment I registered Nowheristan [the website] I registered all the Everywheristans, dot com, dot net, you name it,” he says, illustrating his practical side.

But before Elefteriades could go public with his ideas on global reform, he knew he had to become successful. To avoid being perceived as someone criticizing the system because he had nothing to lose, based on feelings of resentment, he opted to succeed within the system. So he proceeded to dedicate himself to building a financial empire.

Elefteriades dabbled in music back in Cuba, producing a Cuban-Arabic fusion CD that was so successful it led to the creation of Elefteriades Records, a Warner music label.

He invested in real estate in places others found dubious, such as in Serbia while the country was being bombed by NATO. Five years ago he went with his gut and opened Music Hall, after the club concept failed a contracted feasibility study. It has now sold franchises in Qatar, Dubai, Belgrade, Istanbul and Egypt, with a venue in Sao Paolo under consideration.

If he were just smart and loud with good ideas, no one would listen to him, he says. But, with a smile, he notes he’s all of those, but also rich and successful.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Alternative visions”, a conference by H.I.H Michel I of Nowheristan at NDU

H.I.H Michel I of Nowheristan to speak at Notre-Dame University on the 4th of March 2009

We live in a world where many established facts are aberrations and where margins of liberty and maneuver are constantly diminishing, leaving the people no other choice but to accept the sad status-quo they live in.
Although in this deviant reality, little space is still left for innovative problem solvers, some of them still dare to speak out, believe in their projects and pave the way for change.
H.I.H Michel I of Nowheristan will speak out on the 4th of March 2009, at NDU University against most of these political, social and economic established facts. Don’t miss it!

More details about the conference:

March 4th 2009, 12.00-13.30
Notre-Dame University, Friends Hall
Zouk Mikayel
00961- 9- 640893

And check out the event created on Facebook on the following address:


Hope to see you all there!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nowheristan in five simple questions

What is Nowheristan?
It is the solution to all economic, political, social and philosophical problems humanity has been facing since the concept of civilization emerged.

Where is Nowheristan?
Everywhere. Nowheristan is the first step towards Everywheristan.

Why is Nowheristan a necessity?
For establishing a Nation where races and identities are considered as a source of enlightenment rather than coercive threats, is our only chance to know peace.

Who will make from Nowheristan a reality?
The Nowheristanis; no matter where they live, what the color of their skin is and what their believes are.

When will Nowheristan become real?
Soon. Peoples of the world will soon lead the Global Revolution and pave the way for the establishment of a world government.

Post by HIH Michel I of Nowheristan on the Arab Summit Kuwait ‘09 blog

HIH Michel I of Nowheristan was invited to participate in the Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit hosted by the State of Kuwait on January 19th-20th 2009 and attended by Arab presidents, kings and decision-makers. This is HIH’s contribution that was also published on both the Summit website and newsletter. It answers some of the region’s main economic questionings within the framework of the Summit’s central theme: “The Aspirations of the Arab People”.

“The Arab world is one of the world’s regions that suffer the most from all sorts of problems. There are two ways of approaching those; either though repairing their effects or through attacking their sources. And I am a fervent enemy of TINA (Margaret Thatcher’s There Is No Alternative). I believe human spirit should dare to opt for innovation and to think out of the box.

This is the reason why we need to find solutions for the two main problems that our Arab world is today facing; on one hand, the profound disparities between the rich and the poor and the feeling of powerlessness in front of Israel’s injustice, on the other. A global revolution that would redraft the ruling systems in the Arab world seems to me as the only chance for this region to develop as is the case in other societies.

This might seem like an unreachable Utopia, but as Oscar Wilde once said “progress only lies in the realization of utopias”. I do know this can also be painful, but giving birth always comes with labor. The ruling castes need to understand that their survival depends on how many concessions they are bound to give to their citizens, they need to realize they no longer can satisfy those with the few crumbs of the opulence and feasts they have been taking pleasure in for decades. Governments can no longer idly watch Israel’s policies in the region nor can they collaborate with it in worse cases.

Times we now live in have made from ethics an obsolete principle, especially when it comes to economy. I pledge for the return of economy in the meadow of Human Sciences. And I dare to speak of the ethics of resistance for resistance is the duty of every free spirit under occupation. Our duty is, before any other thing, to fight both forms of occupation that today alienate our Arab world; first, misery for it generates ignorance, violence and fanaticism and second Zionism for it is today destroying the image of Arab people and their self esteem, as well as their human and economic cultures and heritages.”

A note by HIH Michel I of Nowheristan in the light of the conflict in Gaza

The system of competition that has always opposed races, religions and nations has been threatening Humanity, every now and then, with persistent dangers; the rise of ferocious monsters, new Gengis Khans and Napoleons wanting to spread their rule over the entire world, and the rise of demagogic ideologies, from the Nazis’ national socialism to today’s neo-conservatives, wanting to drive masses into collective madness…
What we are today witnessing in the Middle-East is another resultant of this dysfunctional system for Israel is slaughtering hundreds of children in front of the world’s powerless eyes.
Establishing a world government that ensures the principle of universal equality, laying the foundations of a more human economy, guaranteeing the distribution of wealth and fighting power monopoly through entrusting decision making to a respectable Senate of Elders are therefore the unique guarantees for “better tomorrows”.

(January 13th 2009)

A note by HIH Michel I of Nowheristan- New Year/Conflict in Gaza

Dear Nowheristani sisters and brothers,
First, I would like to address you my wishes for a promising year ahead.

What was happening on New Year’s Eve, and is sadly still going on shows to which extent the Great Empire of Nowheristan is now a pressing urge in order to counter the world’s impunity and capableness.

All Organizations, States, Councils and Institutions that have lured the world for decades pretending to defend the people’s rights have been proven both “UN-capable” and futile for the bloodshed is the same, it only wears different masks.
Empires and governments rise, others fall, time passes by and yesterday’s sheep often become today’s wolves…In this prevailing system, those with whom we sympathize for their rights are violated will act like their oppressors as soon as they take over power, as the rule still is “eat or be eaten”.
Since the beginning of history, the picture has been the same, only it actors alter.
From the media wars of images, to all profit-driven institutions and groups of special interest, our world has always opposed a weak to a stronger, while humanity is invited to assist, helplessly, to the show.
That is why the solution lies in the establishment of the Great Empire of Nowheristan where there is no space for bipolarity or the eternal conflict of two opposing axes. This does not mean we will fall in the trap of a totalitarian and centralized regime as decision making is to be entrusted to a meritocratically elected Senate of Elders for we do believe that “safety is in the multitude of counselors”.

The topple of all ruling governments by pacific means and the establishment of a world government is our only chance to finally abolish all principles of territorial sovereignty, identities and borders for all are part of a system that has always generated misery, wars, racism and all sorts of injustices that every free spirit should condemn.
Days of sorrow have come to their end for change is now looming ahead. Nowheristan is today’s dream and tomorrow’s reality, I call upon you all to embrace it.

(January 3rd 2009)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


For immediate release
11 September 2007
11th of September 1973

We will never forget the first 11th of September, whose well known perpetrators remain unpunished, while millions of innocents pay the price for the second 9/11.

Thirty four years ago, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency succeeded in ending one of the most successful leftist experiences ever: the administration of the democratically elected President of Chile, Dr Salvador Allende. A putsch directed and financed by the C.I.A. led to the bombing of the Chilean Presidential Palace “La Moneda”, the death of President Allende and the imposition of the shameful, seventeen-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile until 1990.

“Unpunished crimes are an encouragement for criminals to perpetrate new ones.”

Michel I of Nowheristan