Posted by parhad (22.214.171.124) on October 05, 2001 at 08:05:08:
I have to keep reminding people that there isn't anything personal in my suit against Jackie or the AANF. Atour is a good friend, Jackie never was...but that's because she has none and doesn't know the concept of friendship. People you can use are not friends, not technically speaking.
My complaint is against the AANF, Jackie and her Association...and it wouldn't be against her Association because she made her decisions without any consultation with the members...I know. But since Alphonse Odishoo signed that contract...they are in it as well.
A reasonable person would conclude that the AANF, or elements within it, conspired to destroy not only my livlihood, but the monuments. They started it in Chicago the year before under Sargon Lewie and Alladin Khamis, and this year because of Jackie's determination to make me pay...she was able to get Atour and the AANF, Alladin Khamis again...to go along with her. When you consider that she intervened in last year's nonsense on my behalf...her subsequent behavior this year certainly suggests a change in direction...why?, what had changed? How was she now leading the charge against me, when just last year she led my defense? All questions for court.
It would appear that you could even classify this a "conspiracy"...all you need prove is that plans were discussed across State lines. Jackie and Atour were in communication, deciding what to do and how to treat me...that's "conspiring" and carries its own little demons.
The AANF, acting as the fiscal sponsor by allowing us use of their 501c3 status and bank account, had an obligation to help in fund-raising for the Hammurabi Monument. Instead they were the ones who tried to stop me from doing so. Why? I mean what will they say to explain THEIR turnaround?
Among ourselves we feel perfectly justified saying something like..."well I didn't like what he said, so I did this to him". Or as Hajjar said...why should I support him when he "attacks" and "insults" me? This isn't very far from saying, "I broke the law to get back at someone I didn't like". Because break the law is exactly what they did. They have a problem seeing any artist as a professional on an equal footing with a doctor or an engineer. These two are "real" professions...the artist is a bit of a flake...to Assyrians of this calibre.
You can't call someone's boss and cause harm to a man's earning capacity, or ruin a project he's been working on, in which he's invested time and money, just because you didn't like what he wrote, or said about you. Even if he was wrong, you can't mount a personal vendetta...you should turn to the Law yourself...not engage in a conspiracy across State lines to do him as much harm as you can.
If you did that to an engineer who worked for a company...or to a doctor among his patients in the community...and if it could be shown that you did real harm and that you lied and broke agreements in the process...you would be in a good deal of trouble.
My lawyer said it would be a mistake to sue them one at a time...that you throw them in together, especially where monetary penalties are involved. Eventually they will begin to fight among themselves, each one seeking to get the other guy to "pay up"...pointing fingers at each other...and showing themselves up to the court. It's already begun...Jackie told California Lawyers For The Arts that she had nothing to do with it...that it was Atours call all the way, that he's NATIONAL president.
Atour's peculiar sense of loyalty will want to kick in on her side...after all SHE owns a business and I'm just a flunkie artist. But if he supports her version of the story he casts himself in the worst light...for not only was he obligated, as president of the AANF to raise funds for a project his organization was sponsoring, but on a personal level he has to explain why HE turned on someone who only a few weeks ago flew back to attend and support a project in HIS city, and who has been a friend for some years. Why did Atour all of a sudden turn on me and the project?
It isn't as if there is NEVER a reason for doing what they did...although there is never a good reason for breaking the Law...but what was their reason in THIS particular case? While among each other and in our community they may feel perfectly justified because they are so pissed at me for being me...that wont play in a court of Law. You cannot break the Law to get back at someone because you are displeased with him.
Allowing me to do all the work, go to all the expense and trouble of coming to the convention, of even assuring me in private that I'm welcome to come...then handing me a contract to sign at the last minute expecting me to negate the very reason I came...breaking a long standing agreement I've had with the AANF and costing me and the monument economic harm and causing me himiliation and loss of reputation in our tightly knit community which can easily be shown to be my ONE customer base...is not right or legal.
Just by the fact that all the other artists, who were asked to sign a similar contract, were allowed to sell...even though they'd been told by the AANF that they could NOT do so...and that I was the only one they were set on forcing to obey the contract...shows that the contract was a sham, was no contract at all...just a device aimed at stopping only me.
I wish to god Atour hadn't tried to get around my question as to why he said the other artists had agreed to a "kick-back" scheme...as if that explained why they'd made them sign the contract, which only said they could NOT sell...and mentioned nothing about any "kick-back" arrangement. If that had been the truth, there would have been some mention of it on the contract they'd signed, though it would have contradicted the very essence of the contract which was "you will not sell". But they would have had to spell out somewhere else how much the kick-back was supposed to be, what percentage etc.
It was an absurd lie, an obvious reponse he thought of at that moment...as if that answered my real question...which was why they hadn't made the same offer to me. That constitutes another act of discrimination, as well as being a lie. There were two witnesses, one of whom was Alladin Khamis, the vice presdient of the AANF. I know Atour well enough to know that while he might stumble into telling a lie just to avoid a confrontation...he will not lie when he is deposed, or on the stand in court. If he were to toy with the idea, it would be easy to get Alladin to tell the truth, for none of these guys are up to withstanding a judge and jury and the attention this will bring their way. NO ONE is going to support Atour when the time comes...they'll all turn and point the finger at him, lay the blame and responsibility at his feet, as Jackie couldn't wait to do already.
The lawyer is right...they will turn on each other and at some point Atour will want to cut his losses and he'll break ranks when even he sees how they're maneuvering him into the hotseat. He should never have gotten involved with such a nest of vipers...the irony is that of all of them I'm the one who respects the man most and was a much better friend to him.
At some point even Atour will stand up and defend himself...refuse to go along with a scenario which has him being the one to force Jackie to go along with HIS plan to ruin my reputation, cause me financial loss and block the Hammurabi. Just how will Atour explain his behavior as the "leader" of this drive?
Jackie used to tell me that "they" would never be able to pull off the Hammurabi Monument...meaning of course that only she could do these things. She also used to drop broad hints that Atour was about as incompetant as could be, saying his acceptance speech at the banquet when he was elected president was pathetic and embarassing...that he couldn't even speak or write English.
Once when some political organization wanted an Assyrian representatives and she was too busy,,,she said in an exasperrated tone, as if ALL the work of this nation was dumped on her...."Who can I get back East...who? Atour Golani???? Give me a break." It wasn't important whether she believed it or not...just that she wanted to drive a wedge between Atour and I...she hotly resented my respect for the man, and the fact that they were raising funds for a monument. All it took to turn her into a really real poison spewing machine was when she failed to get the Shumirum installed. She'd be goddamned if Atour was going to succeed where she hadn't.
Those of you who know Jackie, who've been "close" to her, who've been turned on in your turn, know exactly what I'm talking about, and you know this is how she operates. The rest of you...consider yourselves lucky.
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