Assad’s Syria – many circuses, little bread, no freedom!

Damascus_festivities1_2

It was dazzling, I am told, that public celebration declaring Damascus the capital of Arab culture for 2008. Pavements, throughout the city, even those finished mere weeks prior to the celebrations were (re)dug and redone so that more of our illustrious officials can cash in on the event, or, to be more precise, so that some can cash in more than others. All in all, the entire budget dedicated to this event needs to be spent, and officials will always find ways to achieve that. But in this, Syria may not be different than any other country, I guess. Continue reading “Assad’s Syria – many circuses, little bread, no freedom!”

Rise up Syrians!

This is not about politics. This is not about who’s in and who’s out, who’s in power and who’s in jail or exile, who’s rich and who’s poor. This is about the love of a city and of country, this is about what makes us all tick, what gives us all a soul, what gives us an anchor in this turbulent world. This is about protecting the last vestiges of our historical identity. If we give up on Damascus now, we will become like drifting hollowed logs in a raging river, with nothing to look forward to but an approaching abyss.

Sign this petition to save Old Damascus. Have your say on this sordid affair. This is the least we can do.

Update: People protest against government plans on public radio.

The Dying of Old Damascus!

Despite ample protests by civil society advocates, current residents and international NGOs, the Syrian authorities are said to move forward with plans to destroy the last pieces of Old Damascus that remain just outside the Old City Walls, especially the area known as Souq al-Manakhliyyah. Should this indeed take place, thousands of Damascene families will be thrown out of their dwellings with little or no compensation, and a piece of history will perish forever. Unless we can bring prompt international attention to this matter, soon there will be nothing to protest, as we will all be faced with a fait accomplit. Continue reading “The Dying of Old Damascus!”

The Death of Moderation!

What can be said about the current developments in Lebanon except that we might be seeing the prelude to a civil war?What could really be more telling than this?

But yes, I can praise the March 14 forces for showing so much restraint and from refraining to challenge the current show of force by Hezbollah and supporters, the pro-Syria demonstrators, by mounting an equally impressive show of their own. But this will be adding more fuel to the fire, and already several agents provocateurs, some of which reportedly Syrian, have been involved in trying to steer the crowds into doing something stupid such as storming the Serail. The restraint shown by the March 14 forces is indeed wise and commendable. Continue reading “The Death of Moderation!”