The Qardaha Boyz!

Small and seemingly minor events can sometimes convey the truth much more clearly and effectively than any amount of deep political analysis. 

While security officers are busy rounding up young students and activists for daring to try to establish a democratic youth forum where they can exchange ideas about the future of their country, members of the President’s family (yeah, those good old Qaradah Boyz) long known for their involvement in smuggling activities, kidnapping, extortion and heists, seem to have decided to flex their muscles a little and show the country who’s really the boss there. They did so by stealing the Mercedes Phantom belonging to the country’s new Minister of Interior, Brig Gen Bassam Abdulmajid, in a move that constitutes a major blow to his yet un-established prestige. Boohoo. Continue reading “The Qardaha Boyz!”

A Casual Exchange with a Young and Inquisitive Mind!

Over the last few days, with a young man from the good old country.

Can you elaborate on the recent decision by the Bush Administration to allocate 5 million USD to fund the activities of the Syrian opposition?

In general, the sum involved is too miniscule really to finance any serious effort at destabilizing the Syrian regime, but it could help finance some small-scale meetings, travels, and the production of some necessary literature to explain the opposition’s point of view. Continue reading “A Casual Exchange with a Young and Inquisitive Mind!”

The Plight of Syria’s Young Activists!

Writing for Syria Comment, Joe Pace makes an excellent point about the plight of Syria’s young activists. Turned off by the not-too-surprising gap that separates them from the older generation of activists, and making more convenient victims for the predatory practices of the country’s security services, simply because they are unknown figures and their arrests fail to generate any international backlash, these people are the real risk-takers in the contemporary activist scene in Syria, and has been since the early days of independence. Continue reading “The Plight of Syria’s Young Activists!”

أسطورة العصر الذهبي

(النسخة الإنكليزية)

يبدو أن إحدى الأساطير الرئيسة التي تعيق جميع مساعي تحديث المعتقدات الدينية، لاسيما الإسلامية، هي الإصرار على مفهوم العصر الذهبي. حيث تعزز هذه الأسطورة تركيز المسلمين في استشرافهم على الماضي. وبذلك يتم في أغلب الأحيان تصوير أي مسعى لتغيير وتحديث الإسلام على أنه محاولة لإحياء نقائه السابق.

يمكن إيجاز جوهر هذا الميل في مصطلح يكثر استخدامه هذه الأيام هو السلفية. إن الهدف الكلي للفكر السلفي هو استخلاص العبر من الماضي المقدس لمساعدتنا على الإبحار في البحار المضطربة للحاضر المدنس, والمضي نحو مستقبل يتمثل في بعث العصر الذهبي للأيام الخوالي ليس إلا.

6a00d8345160af69e200e54f4f9aa78833-800wi Continue reading “أسطورة العصر الذهبي”