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Aboutaam Brothers: Traders of Antiquities and Blood

Special Reports | 2019-03-07 17:06:40
Aboutaam Brothers: Traders of Antiquities and Blood


(Zaman Al Wasl)- Zaman al-Wasl has obtained an official data reveals how two Lebanese figures with Hezbollah ties have been looting Syrian antiquities,during and before the Syrian revolution erupted seven years ago.


The investigative report shed the light on Ali and Hisham Aboutaam's trade life, relations with Hezbollah and the Assad family, in addition to possible links with Daesh.


The story of the two Lebanese brothers reveals, in its appearance, an extraordinary success capable of arousing the curiosity and jealousy of those who seek wealth and fame, because of the exciting factors that have collected for these two brothers in their fifties the fortune and the glory of the human heritage in all its diversity, and with all its extraordinary splendor.


But a number of ambiguous transactions precede the story of the brothers' success and many exclamation and interrogation marks follow it, and as much as the days reveal facts concerning  these agreements, as much as the exclamation and interrogation marks surrounding the lives of the two men fall down.


Based on this, we will begin our investigation from the latest revelations about the two brothers Aboutaam. We are referring here to the news revealing that the Belgian authorities have opened an investigation around their involvement in the marketing of two looted antiquities from Syria, which they promoted through their company Phoenix Ancient Art.


The origins of this affair, which is only an offshoot of a tree embroiled with problems concerning the two brothers, go back to the beginning of 2016. When Belgium confiscated the two Syrian antiquities sent by the Abu Ta’am brothers  at the Fair of Fine Arts in Brussels, known as the Brava, defying the categorical and comprehensive ban against the marketing of Syrian antiquities, imposed by the Security Council in conjunction with the outbreak of the war in Syria and the spread of chaos, which has led to the emergence of bands of various orientations, trading in everything, whatever the danger it entails, its symbolism or its sensitivity



Most likely, it was not in the accounts of the Aboutaam brothers in taking this step, which was thwarted by Belgium, nor by supplementing the previous agreements concerning Syrian monuments that all they will reap will be thorns instead of flowers. After all what harvest a company working in the West could get if it is suspected of cooperation with ISIS, in the trade of the heritage of a stolen country, a trade which represents the financing of his "terrorist" activities. In the same context, one can draw a lesson from what happened regarding the Lafarge Cement company as Zaman al-Wasl was the first media outlet to reveal its oil business with Daesh".



Today, as yesterday, Zaman al-Wasl is following its course in the unveiling of riddles, and the clarification of some ambiguous cases, based on its own proprietary information that can not be questioned as they are based on constant facts




53 Pieces




The first piece of information scrutinizes the identification of the Aboutaam brothers, and the presentation of a simplified account of what has been declared about them in the official Syrian documents preceding the Belgian case of about 16 years old.


According to Zaman al-Wasl documents, Ali Abu-Ta'am was born in 1965 to Lebanese parents, Suleiman Abu-Ta'am and S.Q. He is the brother of Hisham, his partner and director of the Phoenix Creation Art branch, in New York city.


The documents reveal that in 1999 the investigating judge in economic security cases in Damascus issued a warrant for the Lebanese brothers after having a cargo of Syrian antiquities smuggled into Canada via Lebanon, in the name of and via Phoenix Ancient Art.


The fact of the smuggling and seizure of Syrian antiquities in Canada is confirmed by correspondence from the Communication Division in Beirut (linked to the International Police / Interpol) dated 2000, which referred to the seizure of a lot of 53 archaeological objects smuggled from Tripoli to Canada in the name of "Abu Ta'am", 39 of which were confiscated.





According to Zaman al-Wasl sources, Syria was able to recover some of the looted artefacts which  it officially received, so it was able to turn - albeit temporarily - the black page on Abu Ta'am and Phoenix Ancient Art concerning the trade of Syrian cultural heritage plundered


But was the fact that the artifacts were smuggled into Canada the first or the last page in Abu Ta'am's account, and is it necessary and feasible to verify documents dating back to 18 years?


The answer to these two simple but very profound questions in their essence, will not be provided by Zaman al-Wasl as this is contrary to professionalism, but we will let the biography of "Abu Ta'am" speak for him , and tell it from the day Father Suleiman founded his company in Beirut in the 1960s until the moment


After Suleiman-Abu-Ta'am had accumulated wealth through trade with American ships arriving in Kuwait, the man returned to Beirut to establish what was his life's dream, his passion and his obsession. A company that collects archaeological treasures from the eastern markets which are open to chaos, and sells them to Western markets eager for history and floating on a huge amount of money.




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It was evident that Syria, rich with its heritage, was a focal point of Suleiman Aboutaam's activity, who worked to raise his two sons Ali and Hisham passionately to fill their lives and control their course. Since adolescence, they have become two fervent traders to the point that Ali - still a boy at the time - was able in the early 1980s (while the winds of the Lebanese war were turning in Lebanon and Syria), to win a commission of $ 15,000 on an antique market while on his way to school, he relied mainly on his father Solomon's "school" to seize opportunities.


And as the father was perfectly aware of the value of the treasures, he was very generous in paying dearly for saving his most precious treasure, his eldest son, "Ali," who was kidnapped in Syria later for a period of approximately 10 days, his father was forced to pay half a million dollars in ransom to release him. That makes a huge amount of money on the abduction date scale (mid-1980s), which perhaps already refers to two things: the first is the father's appreciation to his eldest son and his commitment in the pursuit of his descendants carrying his glory and inheriting his fortune, the second is the magnitude of the influence and strength of the "gang" who kidnapped the son. To the extent that a merchant who controls the sum of millions and who no doubt has relations with senior officials of the Assad regime either politicians or intelligence members could not release his son "but was forced to pay a fee, which can also be a form of account liquidation.


The school of Sulaiman did not stop at the borders of his company that he founded in Beirut but it soon turned to a "magnet" that attracts all the traders and antique dealers of Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Greece, Egypt etc. He learned well how to benefit from the free exchange he had practiced in Kuwait and he felt that the moment of applying what he has learned has come, but this time in Switzerland,, the global fortress of the most important funds, and the safest sanctuary for all those who like to market in expensive luxury products and extravagant things, ranging from diamonds and archaeological finds, up to wines and caviar. In Switzerland alone, there are 17 free zones which, until recently, represented a "paradise" for these big heads first from the point of view of taxation where the merchant does not pay a tax on his goods, no matter how many years it is stored, except when it spares them from warehouses and sells them, and secondly, in terms of ensuring the concealment of these "goods" from the eyes of "right holders" or those who watch their paths As will be later clear from the  biography of "Abu Ta'am" with what is known as the mask of "double beauty".


But let's quickly return to the relationship between the "Abu Ta'am" brothers and the Syrian heritage. as this is the core of our investigation and its main purpose. The author of the investigation noticed that this biography was transformed in the lapse of a few years: from the falsification of the certificate of Syrian origin, to the negation of the Syrian origin in all or in part. This means the two brothers' relationship with Syrian antiquities has turned 180 degrees, from pseudo-plagiarism to repudiation and total denial. Their obsession has become how to deny the Syrian character of the heritage of this country. Despite the fact that their main concern was rather to characterize as Syrian all that has no relation with Syria.


There is no more appropriate explanation for clarifying what we have already stated and proving in practice, than recourse to the procedures of two trials in which Hisham Abu Ta'am was part.




GUILTY



In the summer of 2004, Hisham Aboutaam admitted in a US court that he was "guilty" because he had forged a certificate of origin for a rare pottery claiming to be of Syrian origin and sold for $ 950,000, although in fact it comes from Iran. This was confirmed by the inquiries of authorities specializing in antiquity and supported by the statement of "Hisham", who justified his crime by saying that he was forced to do so because the client was eager to buy this artifact . while Hisham feared that US customs officials would delay approval to import and ship it to the US


In the summer of 2017, Hisham challenged himself and filed a lawsuit against the US newspaper Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal, which published an investigation pointing fingers at the brothers, Abu Ta'am and their relationship to the purchase of artifacts looted from Syria by the Islamic State. "


In paragraph 36 (pages 8 and 9), Hisham literally says: The Wall Street Journal investigation has once again confirmed that the pieces (confiscated in Belgium in early 2016) are of Syrian origin and, as announced without attributing that the Belgian authorities are investigating whether the pieces were searched (extracts) at the outbreak of the war in Syria.  In his response, Phoenix (led by Hisham Abu Ta’am) explained: it is not true that the implied things are of Syrian origin, one of them is Byzantine (of character) and can be originated-quite simply-from anywhere in the Byzantine Empire, and is more likely to come from Rome. This piece was presented at an auction in Paris in 2007 and was sold in another European auction in 2010. The second piece was the subject of a report by Art Loss Register (The leading institution in the documentation of  lost artifacts), and this report shows that the loss of the peice was due to a period prior to the control of the Islamic State in the territory concerned (the site of Mary in the Syrian region of Abu Kamal).




What is the secret behind this transformation, and how does the Syrian identity of any trace exchanged by the brothers, "Abu Ta'am", become a suspicion and an accusation that they try to deny by all means, although stamping Syrian identity on medium value items was the preferred method to collect about a million dollars as in one of the revealed transactions? There were probably similar agreements (in which Syrian identity was affixed to non-Syrian objects), but the eye of the investigators may not have mentioned them.



Therefore, since Syrian antiquities before the war years were common to all those who wanted to trade them in the world market, it was very easy for the Abu Ta'am brothers as well as all other antique dealers to convince the eager customer through telling  him: Sir, you have to be afraid of nothing, it is a Syrian antiquity !, After the outbreak of the war and the imposition of a severe embargo on the promotion of Syrian antiquities by the Security Council the phrase that best sound to the eager customer: Sir, don t be afraid. this unique piece is not at all from Syria, it has nothing to do with Syria.



Who believes?



Thus, it is clear from the concrete and precise comparison that all the values of verification, integrity, transparency, credibility and ... that the Aboutaam brothers speak about in the press or highlight on their sites and their companies are just slogans that blend easily and immediately, and their loophole is accelerated in the mind of the customer or the Law by a "cast" allowing fraud


When the Iranian antiquities trade was strictly forbidden, the claim that the pottery was of Syrian origin contributed $ 950,000 to the pocket of the two brothers, and when Syrian antiquities became a serious suspicion and trading them  was a crime as well as the purchase of artifacts - specifically passed in counterpoint by the Islamic State - is an unforgivable crime, The evasion of Syrian identity has become a strategic choice for Abu Ta'am


Although the allegation or escape of the Syrian identity of the trafficked objects is of a naive nature for the brothers, sometimes it helps them most often to evade criminal responsibility. Taking the case of the Iranian pottery that has already been mentioned (which was sold at around a million dollars) ended up in admitting being guilty and paying a fine of 5 thousand dollars .. Yes only 5 thousand dollars. and in the case of the two confiscated objects in Belgium since the beginning of 2016, Abu Ta'am has simply lodged a complaint against the one who accused him, and he continues his film in all naivety by saying that one of the two pieces are not Syrian, but Byzantine and from Rome, "probably", and that the other piece is looted from Syria, but not done by  members of the Islamic state (Daesh). The question here for Aboutaam does not relate to proving the innocence of the trafficked antiques looted in Syria, as far as relates to evidence that it was not looted by Isil, and therefore the Lebanese brothers are not involved with the Islamic State organization.


We do not know who can believe a claim like the one Hisham Aboutaam illustrated about the first piece. This man who owns an institution that speaks day and night of his accumulated experience in the world of antiques and artefacts and his recourse to eminent experts to confirm by testing and insight the originality of the pieces and their origins. This allows the brothers to give the buyer a solid guarantee that what he has purchased is genuine, not falsified, neither in his origin nor in his data. While Hisham says in his lawsuit against Dow Jones that the first piece confiscated in Belgium is "probably from Rome". Who can believe that?


Here, we open the parentheses to put in the hands of the reader a literal quotation from the complaint filed by "Hisham Aboutaam against "Dow Jones", and that Zaman al-Wasl proved with the documents already presented and by those who will be exposed later that this is a quote contrary to reality and devoid of content. By quoting these words; Hisham Aboutaam said, "Hisham Abu-Ta'am is a respected, world-renowned and respected merchant whose biography, profession and work are based on his honesty and integrity, including his information about the origin source of valuables he buys and sells The applicant has an integrity record and, in particular, an obvious obligation to issue documentary records of the items he buys, sells and declare in shipments sent to customers


Before concluding this part of our investigation, it is paradoxical that the fate of Syrian antiquities is limited to two different pillages: when the plunder was the monopoly of an elite known to most Syrians the sale was available in different markets of the world, and the Syrian heritage was at the table of all traders and broker, without fear of any pursuit. When the looting of antiquities became common to various parts of Syria, with the diversity of their orientations, their nationalities and their slogans, the circulation of Syrian heritage abroad has become a major crime




The case of the rare Pharaonic funeral mask that came back to a lady named "Ka Nefer Nefer" who is also known as the woman with the "Multiplier Beauty", can be considered the most prominent problem that the 'Aboutaam' brothers have faced. Their company sold this mask to the American Museum St. Louis for $ 499,000 (720,000 Swiss francs at the time).


A few cents


The transaction was concluded in March 1998, with the assistance and blessing of the father and founder, "Suleiman Abutaam", who was killed with his wife "S" about 6 months later. Some have seen this as a curse of the pharaonic mask. who has already erased the life of his Egyptian discoverer Zakaria Ghoneim (who committed suicide in the waters of the Nile a few years after the discovery of the mask, because he was accused  of abandoning some of the artifacts that were in his custody) .


On the  2nd of September 1998, a Swiss plane crashed (Flight 111), in which all 229 passengers and its crew were killed, including Suleiman Abutaam and his wife, in the worst of aviation accidents in the world, because of the combination of fire and water, as the plane was burned in the air, then it plunged into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean near Nova. Scotia, Canada.


But the victims were not the only element present in the air disaster, as the crashed Swiss plane was a mini-bank, carrying a silver case and precious objects whose values were not disclosed, but only their weight. First, there were 2 kilograms of diamonds (10,000 carats worth $ 50 million on average), 50 kilos of dollars (each $ 100 million weighs about 10 kilograms), and other acquisitions, including a painting by the famous painter Picasso, worth about $ 1.5 million at the time.




All of this and others, as well as human beings, ended up burning or drowning in the depths of the Atlantic. The intensity of the fire that melted the metal of the aircraft, and then the acuity of its impact with the water. when he fell (more than 350 times the force of gravity), turned the device into small fragments (2 million pieces of debris were collected), and made sure to put an end to the lives of all passengers immediately, which made their identification difficult and eventually brought Canada into the largest and longest investigation of a nationwide air disaster, and pushed it to engage in the largest DNA test project for victims which the country has never known before.


Egyptian archaeologists did not need a large or even a small screening project to recognize Ka Nefer Nefer's mask as soon as he was exposed to the St. Louis Museum, many years after his evaporation. In 1966, the mask was transferred to the Egyptian museum for restoration, it was deposited under the number 6119 then it was discovered "missing" during an inventory made by the museum in 1973.  As if it has never existed.


After about a quarter century of his disappearance, the pharaonic mask, estimated to be around 3200 years old, returned to Switzerland as one of the goods of "Aboutaam", which they sold to the Museum of St. Louis for " few cents", compared to the value of this treasure, which is difficult to be estimate at any price.


Despite all Egyptian official attempts (for several years) to retake the stolen mask, the US judiciary declared its final decision in 2014 on this subject, declaring the mask is lawfully the property of the St. Louis Museum and that Cairo's claim regarding this piece is not eligible, because the American Museum had bought the mask of "double Miss" in a legitimate way!


Thus, Abutaam's greed - the father as well as his sons - caused Egypt to lose an irreplaceable heritage, to be added to a long list of past losses, seen by extensive collections of Egyptian antiquities distributed in museums around the world, and seen  as "legitimate" property of these museums.


What happened with Egypt because of the Aboutaam, nearly got along in Yemen, where the brothers tried to sell a statue representing the "goddess of fertility" known as "Thet Hamim", for a price ranging between 20 and 30 thousand dollars, but the US customs administration stopped the operation after receiving documents indicating Yemen’s ownership of the statue, and confirming that it was looted from one of his museums, in the mid 1990s.


The United States authorities confiscated the status of the Lebanese brothers in 2003 and then handed it over to Yemen.


In Turkey, one of the Middle East countries affected by the looting of its antiquities, Aboutaam and fellow heritage brokers have found what they are looking for, so they trade-by buying and selling - innumerable treasures of this country, going back to different eras; this was under the eyes of the Swiss authorities, who opened the free zones for all kinds of commerce.


In 2010, however, there was a dispute between Aboutaam and a very wealthy Swiss client, when he doubted the "identity" of what is called in Arabic Naous (a stone coffin) presented by the brothers . After some ups and downs, the Swiss authorities intervened for the verification, and they found that the origin of this naous belongs to Turkey, and that it is even one of the rarest coffins in the world with regards to its history, its sculpture and its size.


Subsequently, the Swiss judiciary intervened and ordered the return of the naous to Ankara, which was actively pursuing measures for its recovery.


The three preceding examples (the pharaonic mask, the Thet Hamim and the Turkish coffin) are capable of clarifying us on the method which the two brothers use to deal with the human patrimony in general, and that looted of the East in particular. , and can also raise doubts about a large number of Syrian antiquities mainly those transactions that could not be documented for any reason; knowing that the two brothers have devoted an independent section for Syrian antiquities in the websites of their companies and galleries, some of the anquities have already been sold, and some of them are still waiting for a "client". Amongst these Syrian archaeological "goods" is the statue of a Tel Helf woman who deserves 16,000 Dollars, a "Fatimid" dish from the city of Tlemcen, and other pieces - difficult to estimate their historical and symbolic values ​​- but can be bought by whoever wants them and that he can pay for them.



8 billion a year



In the first part of our investigation, we had spoken of the mystery of the upheaval that prevailed among traffickers towards Syrian monuments. The reason for the coup is related to the war in Syria, specifically to the existence of the "Islamic State" which is classified as a terrorist organization and has been declared involved in the looting and commercialization of historical artifacts ransacked in Syria during its control over large parts of the country.


We have documented the evidence that Abutaam's interest - in the case of the two items confiscated in Belgium in early 2016 - was to deny that the first was of a Syrian origin, and to claim that the other was looted before Isil controls the "Mary" archeological site in the region of Abu kamal.





But the objections presented by Hisham Abutaam in his trial, which deny the identity of the first piece and claim that the other was not looted by the organization, are ultimately theoretical and controversial, if not disputed arguments. and rejected, compared to the black history of the brothers concerning the traffic of the sacked pieces. Their past is fixed and cannot be denied or concealed by the redundancy of the vocabulary like: integrity, probity, honesty, etc ..., which dominated a great part of the official text of "Abutaam" against the Wall Street Journal.


It is truly remarkable that the Wall Street Journal investigation, released in the summer of 2017, is causing Hisham Abutaam's anger to the extent of pushing him to move on for a lawsuit against the American newspaper, while he did not react in the same way to a previous and more enlarged investigation published by the Belgian magazine "Paris Match" in the autumn of 2016, in which she spoke clearly of what has been called the "blood antiquities" market. "famous in Belgium, and its possible links with the organization of the" Islamic State "and its terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris, in particular.


The "Paris Match" investigation was an essential point for several reasons: first, it was published by a prestigious Belgian magazine covering a very sensitive and dangerous subject dealing with the mysteries of the antiques market and masterpieces in Belgium, a country considered as the seat and the corridor of the great majority of the jihadists who cross the West towards Syria, most of which have joined Isil, from where the title deserved to Belgium like the capital of the jihadists in the West. These factors that came together in the "Paris Match" investigation made it exceptional with its circumstances, its subject and its projections, which forced "Zaman Al-Wasl" to rely almost entirely on this inquiry to clarify relations between Aboutaam as well as art and antique dealers with the organization of the Islamic State.


Through going back to this investigation and translating it, "Zaman Al-Wasl" found that the Belgian magazine first noted the enormous revenues of the antiques and artifacts market all over the world, which can reach, according to some estimates, 8 billion per year (as in the CIA reports), which are also revenues from the black market for antiques and works of art, where the exchange is made against any legal or even ethical norms.


According to Paris Match, the phenomenal growth of the imports in the arts and antique market is due in part to the increasing pillaging of historical and cultural sites in the Middle East, mired in chaos and war, particularly in Syria and Iraq. .


This looting was aggravated by the emergence of the Islamic State organization which controlled about 4,500 archeological sites in Syria and Iraq (including sites on the World Heritage List, with about 100,000 artifacts archaeological sites, sufficient to create a vast market of monuments associated with the smell of blood, carnage and desolation, and which was popular among cross-border traffickers and gangs.



Insisting on Penetrating



It is not surprising that many of these looted artifacts pass through Belgium as this country is known as the capital of the European Union, and at the same time a capital for the circulation and trade of art and world heritage, and parallel to that also the capital of Western jihadists. In addition to these combined factors, there is also formal inaction and legal loopholes in which brokers find an exit.


In order to realize the size of the black market for objects passing through Belgium, it is sufficient to know that the authorities of this country have informed INTERPOL of 2,000 antiques and stolen artifacts, reflecting an image of the scale of this market and its "efficiency". After all, for whatever reason there must be illegal transactions that go unnoticed by the authorities, in the midst of a relentless effort and persistent insistence by gangs and brokers, to make breakthroughs and carry out suspicious transactions.


The Abutaam brothers are only a sample of this determination. At the beginning of 2016, when they challenged - and they even mocked - all the procedures surrounding the ancient archaeological world in general, and the Syrian in particular, and sent two pieces - to be exposed and sold - in the most famous exhibition of art and archeology "Brava", which is considered as the culmination of an annual event organized at the level of Europe as a whole.


Belgian customs quickly confiscated the two pieces sent by the "Aboutaam" brothers, suspecting that their commercialization was a violation of the strict global ban on Syrian antiquities (under Security Council and UNESCO resolutions) . It was also suspected that one of the two pieces is connected to the organization of the "Islamic State", as no one disagree that this particular piece is part of the treasures of the Kingdom of Mary (the third millennium BC.) In eastern Syria (the region of Abu Kamal).


As we have already revealed since their biography, it was not surprising the commitment of "Aboutaam" in such a suspicious transaction, and he could have not even shook an eyelash on its discovery (based on previous experiences where they could easily evade or just had to pay negligible penalties). Although, the case this time is different since it has links with the organization of the Islamic State and the Aboutaam know perfectly and consciously that the fact of proving this link is able to destroy their reputation, and maybe even their past. and their future and a significant part of their fortune. This explains why they have faced this accusation vigorously and relentlessly, through the media and the courts.


However, this fierce confrontation to be exonerated from the association with the "blood artifacts" that the organization markets has apparently been futile so far. The proof is that the Belgian authorities had proceeded and opened a criminal investigation of the case a short time ago. Nobody knows where the investigation will take place , what the results will be like, what information will be disclosed or even  which networks will be charged.


In order to know the seriousness of the "blood artifact" file and the delicate position of "Aboutaam" in the Brava case, it is enough to know that it is not only a question of the probability of trading with Isil looted goods, but the possibility that the product of this trade is used to finance the organization and its bombings in several cities around the world, in particular Brussels and Paris. At this point, the question becomes complex and too sensitive to be neglected.


Take, for example, the disclosure of information that one of the perpetrators of the deadly attacks on the airport and the Belgium subway station has been actively involved in the trade of artifacts and antiques, and that this involvement dates back to relatively recent times.He is a person whose biography talks about the existence of links with influential figures in the organization and, in particular with "Salah Abdel Salam" who is accused of orchestrating an attack in Paris in the autumn of 2015 and left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.


The original and the peripheral


When it comes to comparing two extremes, some choose to refer to the organization of "Islamic State" as "Black Isil", while referring to the "Hezbollah" militia with the words "Yellow Isil" .


We have already focused on the possible links between the Abutaam brothers and the "Black Daesh", an issue that is on the way to become a criminal investigation, but what has yet to be put on the track of criminal investigation and even not a journalist before, that's what Zaman al-Wasl is going to clear up in this part. We are talking about the links that connect the family - even the clan - Aboutaam  with the Hezbollah militia, especially its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.


According to the testimony of the experts of  Family Trees concerning families living in southern Lebanon, the blood relationship between the Abu-Ta'im family and the Nasrallah family is very strong and solid. Indeed, "Nasrallah" clan who lives precisely in Bazouriyeh - the home town of the leader of the yellow militia - is a branch of the Abutaam family from the village of Taybeh in southern Lebanon, which means that Aboutaam is the origin of the tree and Nasrallah is only a branch of it. Eventually the first grandfather of the Nasrallah is a person from the Aboutaam family.


The connection of "Aboutaam" with Hezbollah militia is not new, it is not limited to the coordination between them to get rid of Israeli conquest of the South, nor the subsequent participation in the invasion and occupation of Syria, but it is also associated with participation in the fight against the people of the country (Lebanon) itself, and contributing to the crimes of population change, based on communal bases.


In a rare report, previously published by our colleague "Naw", she spoke of the facts of emptying the southern suburbs of Bayreuth of Christians, a step towards its preparation to be turned into a colony of a single partisan community. In this report, one of the sons of the "Aboutaam" clan has been designated as one of the financial pressure instruments used by Hezbollah. "against the remaining Christians in the southern suburbs of Beirut, after his absolute military control in 1988.


After the military incursion, which contributed to the displacement of a proportion of Christians, the land invasion has began to ensure that the remaining ones will be displaced and expelled from the southern suburbs of Beirut; to achieve its goal, "Hezbollah" employed people whose mission was to buy land and property from Christians there (peacefully or through intimidating them), and one of these persons was from the family of " Aboutaam ", as well as other known Shia families.


"Al-Taiba" located in "Jabal Amel" of Nabatiyeh province, which some of its inhabitants are whispering a hereditary melody that said: "on the pilgrimage we are no longer going / Al-Taiba is the Mecca of our mountain", and which was occupied by the Jewish state for more than 20 years, during its occupation of the South, before leaving in the summer of 2000; this Taiba was the stronghold of the Abutaam family, who classify themselves as the sovereigns. They have and continue to pump fighters and leaders into the Hezbollah corpus, among them those who are killed and those who continue to practice and encourage murder.


Among the most eminent dead of the Aboutaam clan is "Ali Ahmed Abutaam", where the epitaph of "Martyrdom, Fighter, and Mister" is written on his tombstone and was mourned on July 25, 2014, who died while fighting in Syria and killing the Syrians, at the same day as "Hamza Yassin", the nephew of Nasrallah's wife. The two mercenaries are likely to be killed in the same place, fighting under the same sectarian and family banner that brought them together alive and dead.


And "sovereignty" in the "Aboutaam" dictionary is like a skin that cannot be removed even if man lives in the four coins of the earth for decades, which is reflected by the clear reference of "Ali Abutaam "in one of his rare interviews when he prides himself on being a" Shiite nobleman ", and also boasts of having spent 150 million francs in Switzerland (about 152 million dollars) since his arrival 30 years ago.


It may be difficult to equate the actual size of the fortune of the "Abutaam" brothers, and the returns they extort from antiquities and artifacts’ transactions (legitimate and illegal), but the recognition of "Ali Aboutaam" of spending more than $ 150 million, is relatively indicative of the property and financial assets he owns, which allows him to spend on average about half a million dollars a month, and about 14,000 a day, without fear of nothing.


Have we just said that Ali Abutaam, who sits on a pyramid of companies and exhibitions selling the most valuable antiques and monuments and the only partner of his brother Hisham, is afraid of nothing? May be! But we must be careful not to drag ourselves behind this assessment, and we reveal to our readers - to conclude - the information that the man is suffering from lymphoma, which is classified as one of the "malignant tumors of the blood". Is it a curse of "blood artifacts" .







Zaman Al Wasl- Ethar Abdul Haq
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