Albert Russo
"Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world."

‘My last trip to Israel, end of 2013 and Europe’s rising antisemitism’

‘My last trip to Israel, end of 2013 and Europe’s rising antisemitism’

This, I hope, will give you an idea of the country which I visited in October 2013 – it must be my 8th or 9th trip to Israel and Palestine within the last 33 years.  There have been in between two Palestinian Intifadas and now a semblance of peace, at least between the West Bank and Israel, not with Gaza, alas, where Hamas reigns, disavows the Palestinian Authority and still wishes to eradicate the State of Israel.
In 2011 I went there on a humble ‘Peace Mission’ with 50 other travelers, 50% of whom were Christians, 30% Jews and the rest, Muslims, atheists and agnostics (like myself). 80% of these ‘pilgrims’ had never been to the Holy Land and when they came back they were totally dumbfounded and positively enthralled, especially during their stay in Israel, for what they had experienced and seen there didn’t correspond at all to the news they had been used to listening to or viewing in Europe, and especially in the Islamic countries.
«My God!’» a few exclaimed, «there are so few policemen around, and no military at all – where have they all disappeared?» – of course, the latter were busy guarding the borders of the country, a country surrounded, since its existence, by nations that want to eliminate it -, and everybody, especially women alone, could walk in the middle of the night alone, in cities like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Haifa, without being harrassed or molested!

«Ah», thought I, «so much misinformation is being circulated around the world to ‘demonize’ that tiny country» – imagine: it is smaller than either the US state of Maryland, or little Belgium!  As for being an ‘artificial’ land, look at the rest of the Arab countries, most of them ‘created’ by the French and British colonialists: Lebanon, Syria, Irak, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the Emirates, and the list goes on, all of them in a state of political unrest, or even worse, close to balkanization (Irak, Syria, etc), with no democracy in sight.

Now, take Jerusalem, which is Judaism’s wholiest place, as well as the Christians’, the Quran never once mentions that city and yet, Muslims call it their third holiest city, after Mecca and Medina, since the prophet Mohammed is said to have risen to Heaven from there.  The Arabic name of Jerusalem is Al-Quds, which only means the Holy City, yet has no particular name, whereas Jerusalem or Yerushalaim (in Hebrew) is declined into 72 different Hebrew names in the Jewish Scriptures, including, of course the Bible, or better said, the Torah, on which both Christians and Muslims based themselves to develop their holy scriptures.

What is most astonishing is that when you look at the full Bible – the most widely printed book in the world, in the largest number of languages – what do you see?  that 3/4 of the Book is Jewish and only 1/4 Christian.  But what is even more confounding is the fact that for more than 2000 years the translations from the original Aramaic and Hebrew have been distorted to the point of … blaming the Jews for killing Christ – start with the first Christians, the Greek Orthodox, then the Catholics, with their Popes and their priests who, for centuries, kept their flocks in total ignorance, hiding from them that Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, that he was circumsised on the 8th day of his birth, that both his parents were Jewish, as well as the 12 apostles.  Jesus never said he was the son of God; like all Jews, he claimed he was the son of man, ie, the son of Adam, in the image of God, NOT GOD HIMSELF, just like his ancestor King David, from whom he claimed he descended.
The Gospels were written decades after Jesus‘ death and those who wrote them transformed the words to suit their aim: to proselytise their new religion, Christianity.  In other words, Christianity was a sect of Judaism, in today’s terms.  Jesus would turn in his grave to see what the Christians did to his people in his name during these last 2000 years, with the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition, the pogroms in Russia, Poland and other European countries, all that, leading to the Holocaust, or better known in Hebrew, as the Shoah, in which for the first time in History, someone, the monster that was Hitler, wanted to eradicate a whole ethnic group, along with its civilization, a civilization which has only India (Hindu and Bhuddist) and China (except for the horrendous ‘Cultural Revolution’, imposed by Mao Tse Tung, that led to 30 or 40 million deaths, and to the destruction of countless shrines and ancient art) as examples: 4 to 5000 year of ongoing philosophy, wisdom and traditions and (unlike Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, or even the Ottomans) – 6 million of them were in fact killed, that is, most of the European Jews, in the most atrocious manner, sending babies, women, men and elderly people, into gas chambers and crematoriums; that figure represents a little less than half of today’s Jewish population in the world.

Yes, he would turn in his grave, for Jesus respected Shabbat (the sabbath), Rosh Ashana, the Jewish New Year, Pessah (Passover, which the Christians turned into Easter) and all the other Jewish holy days.  If you met him today and called him ‘Jesus’, he wouldn’t respond, for his real name was Yehoshua, and neither would he understand all those Christian holy days, copied on the Jews, but slightly or totally transformed, such as Good Friday, Pentecost, Easter, or even the word Sunday.  Yes, indeed, the Weekend is a Jewish invention, so were the ten commandments, the basis of Western civilization, along with the philosophy of Ancient Greece and the fabulous architecture and social organization of Ancient Rome. Talking about the Romans, Jesus wanted them to decamp and leave the Jews in peace in their land, but then he was crucified…. by the Jews?  Absolutely not, by the Romans, they, who were loath to have a people under their yolk who didn’t believe in their gods and who finally destroyed the Second Temple – you can see Titus’ Arch nowadays in Rome, with the beautifully sculpted Menorah, one of the holiest symbols of Judaism, along with the Magen David (King David’s shield, now called the ‘Star of David’, which appears on the Israeli flag).  So, Jesus was killed by the … Jews?  Who were the inhabitants of Palestine at the time, Jews, only Jews, Jews of all stripes and beliefs.  The Sanhedrin, consisting of the High Priests, supposedly accused Jesus of blasphemy and wanted him dead, yes, they were mean all right, and quite rigid in their beliefs, but many other Jews liked him, yet most of them did not want to accept him as the Messiah.  Before and after Jesus there were so many self-proclaimed Messiahs.  Yet, they never suffered death for saying it, they just were deemed extravagant or conceited.  Is that a crime… nowadays?  People would just laught at you.
I repeat: Jesus never pretended he was divine!  He would find that totally blasphemous.  The Christians made him the Son of God and since the traditional Jews – Jesus was one of them, albeit a very charismatic, altruistic and enlightened rabbi – did not accept that, they became the world’s most persecuted people in history, with later on, the Black Africans (whom, both the Arabs and the Europeans enslaved for centuries, with the complicity of Black African tribal chiefs – strange that the American historians only mention the European slave owners, omitting the Arabs, so do the French historians … not to offend their Muslim inhabitants, hypocrits that they all are!  That is NOT called History, that is crass Ideology, and one doesn’t write History just with ideology, but with facts, all the facts.  History should definitely be rerewritten in a more factual, scientific and objective manner, for the world still has these idiotic and false ideas about the Jews.
The other day I read that a woman diplomat, with a university degree, representing Palestine at the European Parliament, said that the unleavened bread, or Matzah (in Hebrew) which the Jews (and so did Jesus in his time) eat during Passover was made with the blood of Christian and Muslim infants.  When rebuked, she excused herself, saying it was a slip of the tongue, and yet, such inanities are being repeated in school books all over the Muslim world, especially where the Shariah is observed, where they show children comic books with cut hands (in case of theft) and other maimed limbs.
Europe has become again very antisemitic, especially the extreme right and the extreme left, with many of the so-called Green, but not only they, even the atheists and a number of leftist intellectuals – I claim that antisemitism is part of their DNA, since their parents and ancestors believed in such nonsense, now recuperated by Imams – and of course, part of the 30 to 40 million Muslims now living on this continent, who now hold European passports.

The strange and cynical fact is that the Europeans, if they no longer practice their religion (Christianity here is waning like nowhere else on the planet, the only magnificent relics standing are its cathedrals and convents), now have a formidable problem adjusting with their Muslim populations, arresting every day Islamic terrorists, who promise to kill the Heathen, meaning everyone who does not abide by their beliefs, and that includes a great number of Muslims themselves – the more enlightened ones – look at the thousands of poor Muslims being killed in the Middle East, in Asia, and in Africa.  Nigeria is typical of what is happening around the world (not to mention Darfur in Sudan, Somalia, and lately Kenya, etc): half of the 200 million inhabitants of that country (the south) is Christian and half of it (the north) Muslim.  What do the Nigerian terrorists, called Boko Haram (meaning Western knowledge is forbidden) do?  They go and kill dozens of Christian pupils in their schools, for the simple reason that they should only learn the Holy Quran, and nothing else, no science, no foreign languages, etc., because these are the ‘poisoned’ additions of the West.  Note however that many more Muslims are killed by these fanatics than the so-called heathen, atheist, agnostics, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, during our ‘Peace trip’, we also visited Palestine, Ramallah and Bethlehem, mainly, and spoke with both deputies and the clergy, be they Muslim and Christian.  There too, there was an air of peace, albeit an unavowed antagonism against Israel.

Let’s remember certain basic facts: when the UN in 1947 offered that Palestine be divided between a Jewish state and an Arab state, the 5 surrounding Arab countries and all the Muslims of the world rejected the plan.  There were then less than half a million very poor Jews living there and about seven hundred thousand Muslims.  The above-mentioned 5 countries declared immediate war against Israel upon its birth in 1948, telling the Arab population to leave the place, with the promise that when the Jews would be thrown into the sea, they could go back and take over everything.  Of course, the Jews, just after the tremendous Holocaust, fought with what they could, their bare hands, their sweat and the old arms they could get hold of after the treacherous departure of the British,  along with ammunition slipped in from Czechoslovakia.  And …. miracle of miracles – how would you call that otherwise? -, they defeated the 5 belligerent Arab armies!!!  In order to save their skin, they also expelled a number of Arabs who lived in the region, but many left upon the recommendation of their brethren in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Irak.  Do people know that after the birth of Israel and especially when Nasser came to power in Egypt, about 1 million Jews who had lived in North Africa for many centuries, sometimes before even the invasion of the Arabs, from what is Saudi Arabia nowadays, were expelled with nothing, but their clothes on, leaving behind all their livelihoods, their money, their homes, their businesses, absolutely everything.  So, is it a crime that most of them emigrated to Israel, the sole country that would never reject them?  Some also went to settle in France, Britain and the USA.  By the way, Nasser also expelled every other foreigner in the same manner, leaving Egypt the poorer for it.  I know friends who were born and raised in Egypt and tell me how wonderfully convivial that country was, with all the mixtures of races and languages; they spoke so highly of cities such as Alexandria, Cairo or Port Said, now totally emptied of foreigners.  In my eyes, that is one of the reasons Egypt has become so backwards.  And I’m not talking of the so-called Arab Spring of two years ago.  I’ve been once to beautifull Morocco, visiting all its Imperial capitals, and four times to Tunisia, with my children, where we had a wonderful time, for the locals received us with great generosity and kindness, my last trip to Tunisia (once the most sophisticated of the Arab countries, with the most socially advanced women) was about 10 years ago, look how women, but also journalists, now suffer in Tunisia, with the new Muslim Brotherhood regime.

Do people around the world know what the population of Israel is nowadays?  About 8 million, of whom 75% are Jewish and 20% are … Muslim.  How come nothing is ever mentioned about those Israeli Arabs, who benefit from the generous Jewish health service, free schooling, etc?  Yes, who???  I’ve asked some of them personally – yes, yes, they can all sit around the same table, in the same restaurants, in the same parks, on the same beaches with Jews and people of all religions and colors – so much said for ‘apartheid’): «Would you like to rejoin your brethren in the Arab countries or in a new Palestine?»   «Never!» they firmly responded, even if Jews and Muslims still don’t like or trust each other, for they are the freest Muslims in the world.  And that is correct, for they can say whatever they want at the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), even insult the other parties, without being harrassed or sent to jail, as is the case in most Muslim countries.

And where do Christians in the Middle East feel the safest and even increase in population?  In Israel, in that ‘apartheid’ country!  I have to repeat this: look at all the Christians being harassed or even killed in many Muslim Countries?   And what about the 10 million Christian Coptic population of Egypt, who were there before the Arabs invaded the country?  They are suffering and fearing for their lives.  The same applies, in a much less dramatic form, to the millions of Berbers – the original people of North Africa -, who live there as second-class citizens.

Instead of demonstrating day in and day out against Israel, why aren’t there demonstrations concerning the much more tragic fate of the thousands of poor Muslims being slaughtered around the world – Sunni against Shiah, etc.?  Why do the Muslims not demonstrate against Morocco which has recolonized (after Spain) the huge land of Western Sahara, keeping its population, the Sarahoui, under its yoke.  Algeria and Morocco are at loggerheads over this situation.  Yes Why this continuous silence regarding things that are 1000 times much more painful than what Israel does to the Palestinians.

Do you know that Israeli hospitals receive dozens of Palestinian patients and patients from the neighboring Arab countries, especially babies who suffer from serious ailments, for free?  When the parents go back to their countries, they don’t dare mention it, for aren’t the Israelis supposed to be ‘murderers’?  That myth has to go on making its rounds within the Muslim world.

No, the Israeli government doesn’t have angels, either, and there are policies which they apply which disgust me, such as colonizing parts of Palestine.  But think a little more.  When Ariel Sharon – the ‘murderer’, as the Palestinians called him (and I partly agree with them, because he did let the Lebanese Christians kill the poor inhabitants of Sabra and Shatilah) – evacuated all the colonies from Gaza, with Jews calling him names and hating him for it, what did the Hamas – which the US recognizes as a terrorist government – respond with?  Peace?  never!  No, instead, they sent thousands of bombs to the south of Israel, scaring about a million Israelis (Arabs included) every single day, killing some people and destroying homes.  And if you read the Chart of Hamas, you will discover that ‘Palestine, meaning  Israel included, must be cleansed of its Jewish population.  And I do laugh, not with merriment, of course, when those European or American NGOs, that call themselves righteous, ‘humanitarian’, helped by the Fundamentalist Turks (since Erdogan, who is very antisemitic, came to power, unlike most Turks, who still believe in the tenets of Ataturk, the creator of modern Turkey), send boats full of growling antisemitic folk, with food and clothes, for the poor Gazans.  Do you know where the millions of euros go, offered by the EU?  The Hamas has promised that Gaza would become the land of 1000 new mosques.  What about the poor population?  Don’t they need a better life, for it isn’t inside a mosque that they will find it.  And Arafat, who always rejected the Israeli Peace propositions!  He certainly didn’t deserve the Nobel Prize, and I believe that the Norwegians who gave it to him have been quite ignorant about his real intentions.   Today that he is gone, his wife and his family have inherited millions of euros that were supposedly allotted to the Palestinian population, and they own luxurious villas in many countries, as well as beautiful apartments in Paris and elsewhere.  Why should the Israelis pay for that kind of corruption?

I have just received this link from a friend.  This may be a myth or not, I cannot vouch for it, and it may be pure fantasy – in very bad taste, if it is, I must admit – but I would like to add the following remark to please all the people around the world who still think in medieval terms about the Jews: ‘if Israel did not in fact assassinate Arafat, then it is the Jews who invented AIDS!’

The ‘Arafat Died From Radioactive Plutonium’ Argument Or His Verified Death From Aids?

«Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian terrorist, was already out of politics, and sick battling Aids from all his gay relations when he  supposedly got poisoned.  That was confirmed by French medical reports and autopsies, including his own physician.  If anyone would have poisoned him it would be the Palestinians because Arafat was gay!  The propaganda machines run hot in Palestine.  It’s the usual media attention the Palestinians seek to bring drama and paint themselves as victims.  Russia cast strong doubts on these Palestinian claims and say their investigations backs no evidence of any radioactive poisoning.  The Swiss too say they have never claimed he died from actually being poisoned.  The only radioactive signs on Yasser Arafat was probably residues of glow-in-the dark jiffy lube for easier penetration from the local Gaza XXL club!»

Talking of the Palestinians, who, I do agree, have suffered much too long, they deserve to have their own country and a far better life than they now lead. But who are the real culprits?  Israel in a part, yes, but mainly the Arab nations who have always treated them worse than unwanted refugees;  why did their Arab brethren let them rot in ghettoes instead of helping and commiserating with them?  Why didn’t they offer them their nationalities, like most Muslims who have resided so long in Europe?  Especially those petro-rich nations who could have given them such a better and decent life?  Look at poor Lebanon or Jordan (remember Black September, when they were expelled from that country), hyper-rich Saudi arabia and the Emirates, in which they either work like dogs or are forbidden most remunerating jobs – just like the Jews in Europe, before Napoleon ‘liberated’ them from the ghettoes.

The only solidarity the Arab nations have shared with the Palestinians is their hatred of Israel.  And yet …. and yet, if they knew how to become a bit humbler and more courageous, they could benefit so much from a collaboration with Israel, the way so many countries in the world do.
Now, if Israel si not the land of the Jews, where does the Hebrew language come from?  Where did the Jewish tribes come from, as well as Kind David or King Solomon or … Jesus, called by the Romans INRI, meaning ‘Jesus, King of the Jews’ (inscribed at the bottom of his cross)?  Did they come from the moon?  How come the Jews who were chased from their land centuries ago kept praying in Hebrew, kept all their original traditions?  Do these also come from the moon?  And where is the holiest place of Judaism in Jerusalem? Inside the Temple Mount, ie, inside the magnificent Dome of the Rock.  How come Jews aren’t allowed to walk on that plaza, when everybody else, of all religions can enter a synagogue?  Did you also know that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a friend of Hitler and promised him that he would do the same: that is eliminate all the Jews living in the area, building concentrations camps!  Did you know that Mahmoud Abbas first denied that the Holocaust ever existed?  And the Israelis consider him a ‘moderate’ partner in discussing the future of Palestine.

I am a novelist, a short story writer and a poet, and I either admire or despise politicians, but never, ever would I be able to discuss with people who wished to kill me or say one thing in one language and the opposite in their mother tongue, as Arafat did.  All my books talk about cross-cultural enrichment and mixed races, but since 9/11, I no longer believe in what I now deem to be a utopian philosophy.  And as much as I sobbed when the twin towers were destroyed in New York City, where I have lived 8 years all in all – for I lost a few friends during that monstrous event: Blacks, Whites, Asians – caused by a majority of Saudi terrorists, who had university degrees, mainly obtained in the West, I have gone back to my Jewish roots and read dozens of books to try to understand why so much hatred still persits against the Jewish people.  Is it because they work harder, invent things that other people acquire, revolutionize the world?  14 million, out of a total population of 7 billion human earthlings!!!

Actually, though, Israel, which is part of the developed OECD, is not a rich country – except for a few millionaires and the usual mafia that you find all over the world.  Everything is so expensive there, that they need to have three jobs instead of one, in order to be able to own their abode, a little car and to pay their utility bills; and yet, when if you go there, you will find an extremely modern country, with the latest technology available, very often Israeli-made.  Isn’t it named the ‘Start-up Nation’, second only to the USA ?  How do I know this?  From my own family, cousins, nephews, etc., who live in the country, each holding several Ph. degrees from some of the best universities of the world, including the Israeli ones.  Many of the Russian scientists, doctors or engineers who had come to settle in Israel after the Soviet Union collapsed, had to become truck or taxi drivers, or do odd jobs, far beneath what their studies warranted, because there were too many of them.  Thank goodness, Israel now does have many friends in the world, India (mainly the Hindus), China and most of the Buddhist nations of Asia, and of course North America (generally speaking, for as in Europe, some universities boycott Israel – how stupid can they be, they are the losers, but they don’t realize it – do they know that without Israeli technology they couldn’t use a cell phone, even a computer or a drone?).
Yes, there is a general demonization of Israel, especially at the UN, with the fifty-odd Muslim countries having so much weight there and turning Israel’s friends into hypocrits – India and China who have so many interests in the petro-dollar countries don’t dare show their affiliations with Israel!  Neither do most of the European, South American and African countries.  Why this demonization?  My theory is the following one.  It all stems from Christianity in Europe: for 2000 years the Jews were ill-treated, and never, as the Muslims who have the ability to do nowadays, did they fight back, but since 1948, there is Israel, defending itself tooth and nail, and ho ho, they are not used to seeing Jews defending themselves.  A case in point is good old General De Gaulle.  France was a great friend of Israel, until  … until … it kept winning the wars against the Arabs.  So what did the great general say?  «The Jews have become too arrogant and too proud.»  Wasn’t De Gaulle the most arrogant and proud of all the Frenchman himself?  No, the Christians were used to seeing the Jews with their heads down, not up.
About the people who march in Europe and elsewhere, yes, even in America, claiming that Israel is an apartheid country: they don’t know what the word means, I have lived in South Africa.  I wrote a book that was banned there.  In Israel the mixture of cultures, of religions and of colors is an example for the world, not that there aren’t racists, like everywhere else, actually, less than elsewhere, for that is my experience, seeing Ethiopians chatting with Polish blondes and Yemenites who are even darker in skin than they are, with Japanese pilgrims, etc.  We hear the same thing sometimes in South Africa itself – see Durban I and Durban II: a farce, what a farce! – people marching and shouting «down with Israel», mostly led, of course, by their Muslim enemies, where women are third-grade citizens, if not slaves, where they are just considered as ‘baby boxes’, and where, in countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen and many more now, dress in black burkas, whilst their proud male masters don the most modern brand-name clothes, and wear briefs to swim in the sea, whereas their wives or daughters have to accompany them fully clothed under the blazing heat!  In the land where the horrific apartheid regime was born, some South Africans talk through their noses, if they did know the evil that was apartheid, they have never been to Israel.  I have so-called European friends who say they like Jews but that they would never go and visit Israel.  They do marvel about Yemen and Sanaa’s gorgeous gingerbread houses, Morocco and its Islamic treasures and the Emirates, though.  Do they know that the imposing and often beautiful skyscrapers and the 7-star hotels they own (the princes) are built by thousands of people who can be compared to slaves, sleeping in rabbit holes under the heat of 50 degrees and having their passport taken away so that they can’t complain?   Do you know how many poor Nepalese, Indian, Filipino and other Asian workers have died because of their sorry plight?  Now compare those 21st century modern towers with Israel’s more modest ones.   No, I don’t blame the famous architects of the world who are at the root of these magnificent buildings.  They are paid the weight of gold and even diamonds for their artistic work, but how much do they care about the thousands of slaves that have erected them?  Oh what mighty hypocrisy our world is made of!  Did you know that Arafat used to say one thing in English and the opposite in Arabic?  «Let these Jews rot, we are 1.5 billion, they are a mere 14 million, time is working for us, sooner or later we shall chuck them into the sea.»  What did the former ratty president of Iran kept promising at the UN and everwhere he traveled: «We shall erase Israel from the face of the earth.».  Such a statement is tantamount to a delaration of war in any other part of the world, except where Israel is concerned.

A final word: who were some of the people who revolutionized the world? Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Karl Marx, Freud, Einstein, etc… Were they not Jews?  Even though I don’t agree with all of their tenets, especially not with Marx’s.  And why this incredible hate and jealousy?  Because 25% of the Nobel prizes are Jewish?  How many Nobel prizes did the 1.5 billion Muslims produce?  Facts, only facts. And as the French say: “A bon entendeur salut!”

Wouldn’t it be so much better to throw away all the feuds between Arabs in general, Palestinians and Israelis, poisoning their relationships for decades, once and for all, and let their peoples live in peace side by side, and benefit from each other’s good things: Arab generosity in their welcome, their art, their delicious cuisine, and Israeli high technology with their friendship?

About the Author
Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and essays (35) and photography (50), in both English and French, his two mother tongues, and sometimes in Italian, (Italian being his 'paternal' tongue) - he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili -, is the recipient of many awards,such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) Awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, The AZsacra International Poetry Award (Taj Mahal Review - US$ 500), the Books & Authors Award, several Writer’s Digest poetry and fiction Awards (winner and finalist), aquillrelle Awards, the Prix Colette and the Prix de la Liberté, among others. His work has been translated into about 15 languages in 25 countries, on the five continents. He has co-published Gaytude with Adam Donaldson Powell, which won Best Gay Book in the USA. Albert Russo’s major books are the AFRICAN QUATUOR (AQ), his memoir CALL ME CHAMELEON (CMC), his humorous ZAPINETTE Series (Zapy), GOSH ZAPINETTE, the first ever series of global Jewish humor, his books of stories and of poetry encompassing 40 years of writing, entitled: THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 1 -CWS1 (the stories and essays) and THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 2 (the poems) CWS2 + the two big books dedicated to his beloved mother Sarah Russo (SR) + about 50 books of photos. His definitive biography penned by the Norwegian African-American writer, poet and artist Adam Donaldson Powell, UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS OF ALBERT RUSSO was released by l’Aleph (November 2017), Wisehouse Publishing. A humanist with roots in Central, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean, he has been acclaimed by James Baldwin, Edmund White, Martin Tucker, Douglas Parmee of Oxford University, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Emmanuel, both of the Académie Française, among many other literary authorities, as well as by his African peers, Chinua Achebe among them. Albert Russo was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Latest Prize: Best 2013 Unicef Short Story award in defense of childhood worldwide, for Revenge by proxy / Vengeance par procuration.  His 50-odd books of photography have garnered awards in the USA, UK, Russia, France, etc. Some of his work has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, both in Paris, in Times Square, New York, at the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland, in Art Berlin, in Tokyo, in Moscow, etc. The former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Bloomberg, has lauded his two photo books on Paris and New York. Some of his novels and memoirs have also been filmed in English, with videos 90 and 100 minutes long. Latest award: I have just received the following award. "Dear Albert, It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book: 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor’ (770 pages). There were hundreds of entries from around the world and 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor' was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal. Congratulations. The Book Excellence Award Committee.” The Book Excellence Awards Advantage. More than just an awards competition, the Book Excellence Awards provides authors and publishers with extended support and resources on topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. The Book Excellence Awards is a smart investment on your publishing journey and the results and benefits will last a lifetime! Literary website: - "Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world." Albert Russo “Inspiration is like delicious food that your taste buds remember, or a perfume you have long forgotten and whose whiff suddenly brushes your nostrils again, giving you pangs of nostalgia.” Albert Russo