| To avoid remaining faceless.
friend of mine persuaded me that it is in good taste to let the
have the option of putting a face on a name.
So, here I am. Also, I would
like to know what you who write to me look like;
so please send me your photo(s) when you write.
To put food on the table..
I am not researching history and archaeology, I do computer programming
in RTP, North Carolina, USA to
make a living. I work in English,
French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Italian and
I possess acceptable level of understanding
Syriac, Aramaic and Hebrew languages. I studied Latin
and Greek at university. Further, I
am well acquainted with liturgical Greek because of my involvement
in Byzantine psaltica (you can sample my voice in this page, if you like to) and colloquial Greek after living in Paphos,
My undergraduate studies were in Business Administration, English Literature, Theology & Music, while my postgraduate was in Ancient History.
For entertainment and intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth...
Recommended Websites: Liberal Christian - Catholic
Equality & Human Rights
enjoy computers, multimedia, audio/video computer production,
music (listening and making music in choral and comic operatic
societies -- please see my videos on YouTube: Patience of Gilbert & Sullivan, Jerusalem, the Holy City, Lebanese National Anthem), literature, art, science, natural history & paleontology
(N.B. my collection of fossils was lost in my ancestral home
during the Lebanese
war), theology, and philosophy. I sometimes dabble in music composition.
Specifically, for this website, I composed a piece entitled, "Ahiram, the King's Coronation March." It is a pipe organ piece in tribute to the king. The official blurb that goes with the piece follows. To listen to it in an MP3 file format click on MP3 file or to view the notation/sheet music sheet music, click on PDF.
Phoenician Ahiram the King of Byblos, Phoenicia, lived c. 1250 B.C. His sarcophagus is inscribed with the single oldest document in history that contains all the letters of the Phoenician alphabets. The music honors the king and his coronation.
Also, my most recent composition is an oboe sonata with piano in C Major entitled "Spring Again in Bmakine" (spring in my hometown). It made up of three pieces available here in MP3 format: an Allegro, Andante, and Allegretto. Also, here are the notation/sheet music: Allegro, Andante, and Allegretto in PDF format. The sonata represents the timeless days of spring in my hometown during the spring season where sometimes twittering birds overwhelm the countryside with their sweet, yet dissonant noises. Another recent piece is my attempt to write variations of woodwinds and strings quartet (clarinet, bass clarinet, viola and contrabass) in C Major entitled "Ruined Homes." It is reminiscent of the many homes left vacant in my hometown after their owners deserted them to ruin and time. It is an MP3 format and here is the notation/sheet music in PDF format.
Also, I am a philanthropist,
a staunch environmentalist andk6 believe in equality between the
sexes. I am a liberal Catholic, Melkite
Greek Catholic --
Byzantine Catholic of the Eastern Rite in communion with
Rome and a sister of
the Greek Orthodox Church both of which I look forward to their reunification. Melkite means
kingly or imperial from the word MLK for king in Aramaic and other Semitic
languages. It also refers
to the Imperial Court Church of the Byzantine Emperor in old Constantinople (read more about my church in the link that appeared earlier).
believe that what really matters is MY understanding and following
of Jesus Christ and that MY conscience is the prime authority for this
faith. This means that Catholic Moral Theology is not necessarily what I approve of or comply with. Simply put, any authority, including the ordinary magisterium or declarations by councils of bishops that do not agree with my understanding
of Christ's message, carry no value. However, I approve of the solemn magisterium teaching ex cathedra that is exercised only rarely by formal and authentic definitions of councils or popes. Further, I believe church hierarchy, bishops and clergy should stay out of politics and legislation. Yet, I believe no one or
church has a monopoly on God's grace -- all living beings
towards the source of light that is God. I
not fond of self-righteous fundamentalists of any faith and I am
convinced those who claim God solely for themselves are seriously
Having written this, I must add that I do not take matters of faith lightly, and, I would accept martyrdom rather than denying my faith in Christ, if forced to make a choice. Finally, my favorite saint is Saint Francis of Assisi. I believe he is and should be the role model of all Christians.
Further, I am disinclined towards any extremist positions
and I believe in the freedom of expression,
Constitutional rights and human rights in general both written
and implied. Further, I reject legislation of discrimination. Please note that my theological persuasion and my position on Moral Theology are not open for arguments by conservatives and fundamentalists; however, liberals who would like to write in support of my positions are welcome so to do. If you happen to disagree with me, please let me be. My U.S. Constitution protects my right to express my opinion and publish it here. I respect your right to express your opinion but, please, don't force it down my throat. Thank you.
My opinion on a number of theological, moral or ethical questions are briefly mentioned below and summarized on a separate page. They do not necessarily comply with Catholic Moral Theology or the Wrong Teachings of Bible Thumpers. They are my dictum (dicta) since I do not have to justify them to anybody. They include the following and should be taken on a "Salim locutus est, causa finita est" basis:
Parental Guidance Suggested: Some parents may find the linked page unsuitable for younger children due to the serious nature of the discussion.
- Reject Literal Interpretation of the Bible
- Consider Fundamentalist "Christians" Heretics and Mainstream Churches Valid
- Approve of Intercommunion or Communion Between Denominations
- Approve of Women Priests
- Approve of Married Priests
- Consider Blessed Virgin Mary Coredemptrix
- Approve of Homosexuality, Gay Marriage and Adoption
- Approve of Contraception
- Position on Abortion, Capital Punishment, Euthanasia and Conscientious Objectors
- Approve of Stem Cell Research
My Catholic Champions:
Other than Saint Francis of Assisi, my modern day Catholic champions are liberal bishops and clergy like Bishop Jacques Gaillot and Abbé Pierre. Bishop Gaillot was demoted in 1995 to a vacant see, titular bishop in partibus of Partenia, for his views on Moral Theology. The See of Partenia is now located in the desert of Algeria. Abbé Pierre was the head of Emmaüs international until his death in January 2007.
A few words about my names..
My surname (family name), Khalaf (the KH sounds like the Greek X as in the end CH of the musician Bach), means the "Successor" and a couple of other things. It comes from Syriac. Its root is pretty ambiguous to me at this point in time. Avraham Ariel, mariner, academic and writer, wrote to me saying that Khalaf means "butcher's knife" or "gone" in Hebrew. The earliest reference I was able to trace this name to is to that of Patriarch Ignatius Khalaf who was a patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church between 1455 and 1483. This suggests to me that my ancestors must have been Syriacs.
My first name (given name), Salim (pronounced Sa-leem), means solemn, wholesome or unadulterated. My name is often mistaken to have come from Arabic and to mean peace. The etymology of the name comes from Shalim,* a place near Aenon, on the west of Jordan, where John baptized
(John 3:23). It was probably the Shalim mentioned in Gen. 33:18 "After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shalim in Canaan and camped within sight of the city," about 7 miles
south of Aenon, at the head of the great Wady Far'ah, which formed the northern boundary of Judea in the Jordan valley. There is evidence that Salim/Shalim or Salem was an Ugaritic god personifying Venus as the evening star and god of dusk who was the son of El. Jerusalem or "Urushalim" is in fact a word of Canaanite derivation; the prefix "uru," meaning "founded by" or "place," and the suffix "salem" or "shalem/shalim," Canaanite Phoenician god of dusk. Hence, Jerusalem means the "place of Shalim," Phoenician god of dusk.
It is interesting that dusk is a solemn time and the word means almost the same in the original ancient root and in English, and there is more to it than that. Etymologically the distant Semitic and Indo-European roots are remarkable when it comes to the meaning. Solemn** c.1290, from O. Fr. solempne (Fr. solennel), from L. sollemnis "formal, ceremonial, traditional," perhaps related to sollus "whole." Sollus also means safe, "uninjured, unharmed," from O. Fr. Suef, from L. salvus "uninjured, healthy, safe," related to salus "good health," saluber "healthful," all from PIE *solwos from base *sol- "whole" (cf. L. solidus "solid," Skt. sarvah "uninjured, intact, whole," Avestan haurva- "uninjured, intact," O.Pers. haruva-, Gk. holos "whole"). Because the meaning of the word is almost identical in Semitic and Indo-European tongues, it is hard not to conclude that the root of the name is very ancient and must have existed in the far distant past.
I won't comment on my second name, George, or my baptismal names Cyril (feast day of Saint Cyril and Methodios, Apostles of the Slavs is May 24), Michael...etc. They are familiar names to the western reader.
Another time, another place..
my childhood hometown where happy memories keep calling me back, 30 years later.
To know what I mean follow this link to Lebanese village, Souk El-Gharb and Bmakine or read about the history of my hometowns. Also, photographs of some of my ancestors appear in the link detailed immediately below. If you have Google Earth application installed in your computer, you can see an aerial view of my ancestral home in my old hometown. Click download (Google Map) map location of home bookmark. Click it to automatically launch Google Earth that takes to hover about less than one mile (1.50 km) over my original home.
Patriarchs and Matriarchs Online
subject of materials pages published under the following link is
to Phoenician studies. I am making this available to the public to
provide friends, relatives and people of my hometown, Bmakine,
El-Gharb and the neighboring towns an opportunity to see photographs
of their ancestors especially since most homes and irreplaceable
from these towns were lost during the Lebanese war. If you cannot
find a photograph of a person you are looking for among these photos,
please let me know. I have many more photographs which are not,
yet, published: Patriarchs
and Matriarchs Online.
Before you go...:
liked my Web site click "Liked" but if you did not like my Web site click "Disliked".
Punishment of time, the price of thinking too much and other crazy programming.....
Do you know what the punishment of time is? Click the metamorphosis of time to find out. Also, have you seen a person's head expand like a balloon then deflate and disappear? Click the expanding head to find out. What about the picture of Dorian Gray? Do you about it? He's the guy whose portrait turned evil, as reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin being displayed as a disfigurement of his form in the picture. Click the portrait of Salmian Gray to find out.
Would you like more fun stuff? Visit my Farcego Palace of "Art".....
In the Farcego Palace of Art (actually Farce-Ego Palace...) you will find paintings of distant "cousins" throughout the world and across the centuries. It is merely a demonstration of the illusions which computers provide. The application Photoshop played a fundamental part in make the related pages possible.