Aleppo – Remarks by the newly appointed Governor (By Ehsani)

Since the new Governor of Aleppo took his new post recently, he has been making unflattering remarks about the city’s cleanliness. Back in 2009, similar remarks were made here. The pictures taken of garbage cans make the situation clear.

Aleppo was recently host to a conference entitled “creating 6,000 new jobs”.

This was sponsored by the Chamber of Industry, a private education facility, and the Syrian Trust for Development. During the conference, the Aleppo Governor was quoted as saying that the “sanitation and cleanliness of Aleppo are in a terrible state”.  The conference’s noble goal of creating 6000 jobs was soon overshadowed by news that over 41,000 employees had lost their jobs nationally between January and mid May of this year. Indeed, the head of the Chamber of Industry, Mr. Chehabi, warned that poverty and unemployment are the two major problems that need immediate attention. Unemployment is thought to be somewhere close to 30% (official government figures continue to record a number around 8.5%). The poverty rate is believed to be close to 40% with 400 villages out of 1000 falling under the the poverty line.

The bad news was not done. The official representing the education center reported that close to 40% of Aleppo’s population is illiterate. He referred to this statistic as a “disaster”. Below I list a few other statistics that he cited:

University graduates make up 3.4% of Aleppo’s population.
Vocational center graduates are 2.9% of the population
High school graduates make up 9.2%
Middle school graduates are 13.9%
Primary school graduates are 29.2%
Illiterates who have not attended schooling make up the remaining 41.6%

Aa number of industrialists at the conference complain about the lack of fuel oil (Mazot).  The Governor promised that when Mazot could be purchased an effort should be made to make it available to manufacturers who need it to produce and keep workers employed.

The lack of fuel oil in Syria has been widely reported of late. This has become more acute since the government subsidy was increased, lowering the price of a liter from from SYP 20 to 15. It is now very hard to find it at the official price. The Aleppo Governor admitted that it is being smuggled to neighboring countries. This is not surprising. The price of fuel oil (mazot) in Turkey is now SYP 105. At the official price of SYP 15, the price difference is 86% (as Areal points out in comment 17, the difference is 600%) . This is astounding. No wonder smuggling is rampant. The Governor promised to put an end to this illicit trade soon. It is highly likely that such efforts will not work. Smuggling Mazot across the border to Syria is now the livelihood of many families. Taxis cross the border merely to sell their tanks in Turkey after they fill them up at the last gas station in Syria. Large tankers do the same. The latest joke in Aleppo is that it makes economic sense to drink Mazot in Syria and pee it out in Turkey given the price differential. As winter approaches, the domestic availability of this critical product is on everyone’s mind (the government could be stockpiling it too, hence the acute shortage).

David Goodman of the New York Times is seeking help from readers in deciphering a video showing a dramatic moment of gunfire in the suburbs of Damascus.

The NYT claims that an advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister visited Syria and sent a message to Mr. Assad that he should resign.

Not long after the article appeared, we get the following denial

*(DP-News – agencies)

The media advisor to Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “absolutely”
denied statements reported by The New York Times this week that the Iraqi
government urged the Syrian president to step down.

Ali al-Moussawi said these statements, which are allegedly made by him, are
incorrect, and added that “it is neither the nature nor the
followed-discourse of the Iraqi government to intervene in internal affairs
of other countries,” AFP reported.

Moussawi said he “absolutely” denied these statements and added that the
Iraqi government did not request Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

Assad Has No Friend in Lebanon’s Christians-WSJ

The Maronite Church is not a bastion of democracy. But the church has long been an advocate for an independent Lebanon, free from the shackles of foreign powers—whether Turkish, French or Syrian. For decades the church has been in synch with Arab nationalists who yearn to be free of dictatorship and military occupation.

Syria’s Opposition – USIP

USIP’s Steven Heydemann discusses the state of Syria’s opposition and why the U.S. may be hesitant to recognize an emerging opposition.

The American Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford called Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad evil –

“Yes, actually I do because what’s happening under his authority in terms of people being tortured to death, people being shot who are unarmed and no one being held accountable for it,” Ford responded following a pause after being asked by TheDC if he thought Assad was  “evil.”

“I can understand it if it was against orders and you just were trying to remake a police force or you were trying to remake a prison system and so there are a lot of orders being disobeyed, but you would want people held accountable. But because I see no accountability, I can only assume that on some level that he accepts it if not encourages it. To me that would be evil.”

 

 

Comments (80)


Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

51. N.Z. said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E0GbJ7MLYs

To those who have connections, or know someone who knows a lot about the infallible trio, who are running the country with their eyes wide shut, to all the trio supporters, bashar, maher and assef, do them a favour and ask them how will they explain what is happening to this man! Please, do them a favour. Let them see, make sure their eyes are wide open.

Alex, through whatever connections you have, make sure, Syria’s trio watch this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E0GbJ7MLYs

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September 22nd, 2011, 2:06 am

 

52. Revlon said:

Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union
Plea to Heads of states of Arab and Ismamic countries to sever all diplomatic relations with the Syrian Regime.

اتحاد تنسيقيات الثورة السورية |
الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية | اتحاد تنسيقيات الثورة السورية
مشـــــاركة

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
إلى رؤساء وملوك الدول العربية والإسلامية.
هذه الحرب البربرية الهمجية التي تشن على إخوانكم في سوريا, من المسؤول عنها؟
لقد قلَّدكم الله أمانة قيادة هذه الشعوب الإسلامية , لتدفعوا عنها الظلم, وتحكموا فيها بالعدل الإلهي الذي أمركم الله به, ولتقفوا بجوار المستضعفين من الشعوب في جميع بلاد العالم , فهل أديتم الأمانة؟
نحن لا نطلب منكم إحسانا إلى الشعب السوري أو اليمني , ولا نطلب منكم أن تراعوا جانبهم ,ولكن نطلب منكم أن تحسبوا حسابا لموقفكم بين يدي أحكم الحاكمين يوم الحشر الأكبر, حين تقفون أمام رب العزة والجلال , فيسألكم ماذا قدمتم للمؤمنين المستضعفين؟ وأنتم ترون الدماء تسيل أنهارا؟ ماذا فعلتم لدفع الظلم عن المؤمنين؟ أما سمعتم قوله تعالى: ( وان استنصروكم في الدين فعليكم النصر)!!.

لماذا تركتم هذه الوحوش المفترسة تقتل وتسفك دماء هؤلاء الشباب الذين ينادون بالحرية ورفع الظلم؟ إنكم رؤساء كبار وعظام , وهؤلاء الأولاد (بشار وماهر ومخلوف) طغمة إجرام, لا ينبغي أن تقيموا لهم وزنا.
لقد تعدى إجرامهم إلى بيوت الله عز وجل , فقصفوا المآذن بالرشاشات , ومزقوا المصاحف بالرصاص وسفكوا الدماء في المساجد , كأنهم في حرب مع الله لا مع البشر !! لماذا لم تأخذكم الحمية لدينكم ومقدساتكم , وتُـظْهِروا غضبكم لله عز وجل , وتـُوقِفوا هذا السيل من الدماء؟ التي يرتكبها النظام الغاشم و الذي ضج منه العالم الإنساني بأجمعه.
إنَّ سكوتكم عن هذه الجرائم التي يندى لها جبين البشرية, مشاركة في الإثم, فقد جاء في الحديث القدسي يقول تعالى:( وعزتي وجلالي لأنتقمن من الظالم في عاجله أو وآجله , ولأنتقمن ممن رأى مظلوما فقدر أن ينصره فلم يفعل) أخرجه الطبراني .
هؤلاء الذين تظنون أنهم حكام, ليسوا بحكام إنما هم طغمة إجرام . حتى الحميرَ قتلوها! إلا حمارا واحدا هرب من بطشهم ليبقى شاهدا على إجرام هذا النظام.

نحن لا نريد منكم تسليح الشعب السوري , وإنما نطالبكم بهذه المطالب اليسيرة, لترفعوا المسؤولية عنكم عند رب العزة والجلال, وهي:

أولا : تجميد عضوية سوريا في جامعة الدول العربية ومنظمة التعاون الاسلامي.
ثانيا : طرد سفراءَ وقناصلَ النظام السوري من جميع بلدانكم.

ثالثا: قطع العلاقات السياسة والاقتصادية بينكم وبين هذا النظام الغاشم ….

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September 22nd, 2011, 2:56 am

 

53. Revlon said:

Activist Mohammad Al3abdallah performs AlQashoush classical song:
Ya Bashar Tuzz Feek!
محمد العبد الله يغني يا بشار طز فيك و طز بيلي بحييك

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September 22nd, 2011, 3:00 am

 

54. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@Khoury

Did we call you a thug? Why are you calling SNP such a names. GOD already rewarded me immensely with a brain and intellect, creativity and innovations, knowledge and comfort, love for animals and nature, healthy vegetarian living and much more, most importantly, a beautiful family. There is nothing more that GOD can reward non materialistic person like me, who prefer getting a kitten for gift than a yacht. SNP does the “True GOD” works, separating the Reptilian demons (JIN-IBLIS) Alien Fictions that is embedded into the consciousness of human from the real consciousness that god gave humans. This bit maybe too far out for you to comprehend. No interest in debating your junk education, you got it all from a cesspool of Arabist and Orientalist. But here is your reply:

“……..When Michael H. Hart, a secular Jew, wrote his book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,” his choice for the most influential person was Prophet Muhammad of Arabia, صلى الله عليه وسلم, not a German, not a Roman, and certainly not a Baathist or SNP thug….”

He could have chosen Mao, Lenin and Carl Marx, Michael Jackson, Madonna, SpongeBob square pants, Mickey Mouse and Ariel..the list is way too long to get to a little Bedouin in Arabia. He could not have skipped over Nicola Tesla, Thomas Edison and many others who without their intellect, creativity and pioneering knowledge, you will still be traveling in paddled boats, donkeys and holding a flame for light as the case was 100 years ago. I am not going to remind you with Penicillin and other Medical advancement of the past 100 years.

“………….They are still using Arabic numerals and they are still teaching Algebra to name just a few of these fruits….”
This is as silly in today world of inventions as the Lebanese claim to Glass discovery (one invention in 4000 years). Anyway, they were Iraqis, Persians, Egyptians and Syrians Moslems, not the Bedouin of Arabia.

“…………….‘It was Abu Hanifa, a leading legal expert of Persian origin, the founder of a school of law in Baghdad, who first forbade the killing of women, children, the…….”

That is right Persians and Iraqis as I said before, Bedouins were still, as the case to this day, kill a girl newborn and curse it, they used to burry’s the girl alive at birth and Arabian Bedouins still do.

Here is the recent Bedouin fatwa, issued last month: A Moslem can have sex with any child even newborn:

http://barenakedislam.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/another-saudi-cleric-issues-fatwa-saying-girls-can-be-married-even-if-they-are-in-the-cradle/

You actually think just like a Baathist, clinging to the 1920 Arabists and Orientalist love affair with, forgot his name, oh yah, Laurence of Arabia.

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September 22nd, 2011, 3:13 am

 

55. Revlon said:

Letters from Syria: The Violent Innocence – البراءة العنيفة
A video clip shot and directed using a Nokia cell phone, by Farah Meidani.

Kids having fun by virtually eliminationg their nemesis; X-Box’s snipers!

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September 22nd, 2011, 3:25 am

 

56. FIRAS said:

SSNP said :

Oh Yeah, Brave Syrians spent the last 50 years under Baathist rule and the State Security Court and its Mukhabrats, cowards never dared to rise up even when more than 20,000 women and children from Hama were slaughtered. Not when the Golan was lost, not when Iskenderun were given away to Turkey, not when Syrian Parliament and Constitution scrapped, when Lebanon lost, when Israel attacked Deir Alzour… and I can go on and on listing the cowardly deeds of Syrians that if they lack anything the most, it will be bravery and dignity. The most lacking person in Syria of these traits is a paper tiger by the name of Mustafa Tlass, a Sunni stooge for the Baathist who worked with other Sunni scum’s mainly Shahabi and Khaddam.. Coward Syrians, no bravery, no dignity and no honor except in Dureid Laham skits and paid for satellite and video phones faked skits.

Well, you call Syrians coward and yet you call yourself Syrian Nationalist. YOu curse Mustafa Tlass but without him you guys would have been history. PSP, PLO and Phalangists would have eaten you alive. Syrians saved your sorry asses, you fake wannnabe Greeek / French lebs.

To this day I cannot understand the SSNP ideology. They want to unify the Fertile Crescent asnd acll it “Syria”. They are insulting the distinctivneess of Jordanians, Iraqis and Palestinians. And now we hear this guys talk crap about Syrians and Sunnis. If Sunnis are indeed scum, why do you guys hide behind Najib Mikati ?

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September 22nd, 2011, 3:27 am

 

57. MNA said:

zoo @ 42

“Turkey may slap sanctions on Syria –Erdogan
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/21/turkey-syria-idUSL5E7KL0ZC20110921

How would this impact Syria economically and politically?
– Stopping trucks transit by Syria to export to Arab countries ?
– Canceling Visa waver for Syrians?
– Blocking bank accounts held in Turkey by Syrians?
– Helping the opposition financially and politically?

Any ideas?”

Dear Zoo,

From my humble knowledge of the Turkish-Syrian trade partnership, any Turkish sanctions on Syria will have the opposite effect.
Few facts:
1- It is a fact that Turkey, and Syria, is the only beneficiary of the Free Trade partnership between Turkey and Syria.
2- Syria is the only transit conduit from Turkey to the Arab world, unless the turks decide to go through Kurdistan Iraq. Turkey’s export to the Arab world is in tens of billions of dollars every year and as a result, Turkey would suffer greatly by stopping their trucks going through Syria.
3- It is also known that many more Syrians go to Turkey then the other way around. They mostly go as tourists or traders. I believe, in 2010 Syria ranked 11th in exporting tourists to Turkey. Syrian traders mostly import from Turkey and not the other way around. So who would suffer the most if the Turkish government cancel the Visa waver to Syrians?

If I were the Syria government, I would take preemptive actions and do the following:
1- Close the borders of Syria to Turkish Truks
2- Cancel the Free trade agreement
3- Prevent Syrians from going into Turkey
4- Cancel the Visa waver to Turkish

Any more ideas?

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September 22nd, 2011, 4:27 am

 

58. Tom said:

The Syrian government is more confident ever in containing protests and insurgents.

في مؤشــر على فشـــل مخططـــه وعمــــق أزمته.. الغرب يبحث عن حلـول للخـروج من مأزقــه فــي سورية
After a series of failures of western plots, they are looking for ways to cool down the Syrian file
http://thawra.alwehda.gov.sy/_View_news2.asp?FileName=31202091520110921020530
http://backupurl.com/s4lzvu
Wednesday 09/21/2011

سقوط الأوركسترا والجوقة المدجنة
The fall of the orchestra and the domesticated chorus
http://www.alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=108873
http://backupurl.com/h4c7sz
09/21/2011

Under the guidance of Syrian exiles with CIA connections, domestic activists are forcing their children to shout “No study and no teaching until the President falls own” (or “until the execution of the President” at 00:50 in the 2nd video).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1ndTpttENk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl2vfJkOnhc

In this way, human children are made monkey children, and will have a fate to work UNDER the guidance of elites in Damascus. The structure of ruling in Syria doesn’t seem to change.

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September 22nd, 2011, 4:43 am

 

59. agatha said:

I got this information from an unclear source tonight:

rumor? true? old story? red herring?
—> How knows more?

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September 22nd, 2011, 5:08 am

 

60. agatha said:

I got this information from an unclear source tonight:
„Several archeological sites in the ancient city of Apamea were vandalized and pillaged.“

rumor? true? old story? red herring?
—> How knows more?

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September 22nd, 2011, 5:25 am

 

61. Shami said:

Tom ,Syria is Syria and your fears as minorities who refuse change are irrational hopes.
Political Changeover is a natural law of history no one can avoid it ..the one party system ,weapons and the exclusive control of the security apparatuses can not avoid the inescapable change for ever.
There will be no place for Asad in Syria,that’s why they got foreigner citizenships for their children , as much they struggle against history as much they make their end more awful.
Arrogance is the reaction of the weak species.The syrian people are sure of their rights without complexes…but with a lot of pride.

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September 22nd, 2011, 5:32 am

 

62. majedkhaldoun said:

Abbas maneuvre is good,but I believe it is done for internal political reason,The timing is not correct, but he or whoever follow him,will be able to repeat it in two years,however what he is doing is going to embarrass Israel.

Bashar has to understand that Qaddafi and Mubarak,are history,and change in Syria is inevitable,if I was him I would put my family safety first,get money and leave peacefully, now it is late,he chose Qaddafi fate.he and his family,his regime and Shabbiha will be history, wise people will learn from history.

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September 22nd, 2011, 6:26 am

 

63. uzair8 said:

Now I see Menhabeks keeping the company of Far-Right racist anti muslim leaders on twitter.

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September 22nd, 2011, 8:21 am

 

64. uzair8 said:

The regime uses nail-bombs. A tactic that kills 2 birds with 1 stone.

It keeps fatalities low but at the same time inflicts horrific injury on many thereby spreading fear in the hope of deterring protestors.

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September 22nd, 2011, 8:37 am

 

65. uzair8 said:

AJE Live Syria blog 1hr 45 mins ago:

Following a meeting between senior opposition members in Syria, a trusted opposition figure in Homs, who cannot be named for security reasons, recounted to Al Jazeera the events that have unfolded over the last week: “Bab Omr neighbourhood and nearby neighbourhoods (Al Jourah, Al Arayis, Al Sultaniya, and Jobar) suffer from catastrophic situations. The people of these neighbourhoods have been living under siege for the third day today, which includes electricity cut and water cut off, along with a complete communication cut off (landlines, mobiles, internet).”

“Houses are being stormed and raided, many expensive possessions are being stolen and furniture is being destroyed. Families are deciding between fleeing and leaving their homes because they are vulnerable to attacks from the corrupt army, which is the more popular option, or staying at home and facing the risk of getting arrested, beaten up and humiliated.”

“Soldiers have even silenced the calls of help from mosques by cutting off the electricity. Military barriers have been put in many places, even on agricultural lands.”
He also said, “a large amount of people have been arrested from the neighbourhood, to the extent that schools and institutions have been transformed to military grounds and temporary prisons are packed. Many people are detained and held in those transformed schools, before they are sent off to prisons outside the neighbourhood.”

The opposition figure also told Al Jazeera: “Water stores and electricity wires have been targeted, as well as trading places to increase the suffering of people. All types of weapons are used: heavy and light, even nail bombs.”

“There are over 20 severely wounded people, and there is no way they can be moved to a hospital as they face the risk of being arrested, as everyone wounded is accused of being ‘armed’.”
He also provided names of people who were killed while trying to flee, including Um Turba Hisso, Turki Marwan Bakeer, Mo’ataz Mohammad Ghazi. 26-year-old Ghazi was killed outside his front door from a sniper bullet in his neck.

The source described what happened in Bab Assiba, and its surrounding areas, saying it was completely under siege. “[There were] storming and arrests which took many young men and middle aged men. This was all done under heavy gunfire from the checkpoints and tanks and army vehicles around Bab Assiba and inside, where people were targeted when they left their homes either from snipers or tanks or army vehicles.”

“There was a tank at the Almrejeh mosque shooting live fire at times, missiles were fired from army vehicles and tanks randomly onto homes from time to time.”

With regards to Talbiseh, he said that “checkpoints spread across the city and its surroundings, and began shooting very heavily and in a barbaric random way with several missiles and sounds of bombs too.”

The opposition figure also disclosed video footage of an 8-year-old boy who was shot in the face while in the car with his parents east of Al Rastan. The video is too graphic to air. “Also a woman [who] was in the car passed away the next day because they couldn’t treat her,” said the official. “she was around 35 years old.”

These neighbourhoods have experienced numerous clashes between armed opposition groups and the security forces.

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/syria-sep-22-2011-1146

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September 22nd, 2011, 8:40 am

 

66. Syrialover said:

Ehsani, you are doing all Syrians an unequalled service with the type of report which headed this post. Your writings expose in brilliant clear light the ineptitude, horrifying misrule and shocking fraudulence and failure of the Assad regime on every possible front.

NZ #51
The sickening reality is that it would please and reassure those 3 vicious criminals to see that video. And their supporters.

My suggestion is that when the day surely comes that those 3 and their teams who are doing those things are cornered as they frantically try to slither away, they should have their trousers removed and be paraded on television for the world to see how pathetically little they have below the waist.

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September 22nd, 2011, 8:53 am

 

67. zoo said:

الاتجاه المعاكس – خرافة الجماعات المسلحة في سوريا

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September 22nd, 2011, 9:14 am

 

68. zoo said:

@58 MNA

What was the balance of exchange between the two countries?
I had the impression that turkish goods had overflowed the Syrian market since that free trade agreement and has surely hampered the growth of local industries. Maybe selected protectionism is a better deal for Syria until it develops a strong industrial base.
It would be interesting that an economist gives us his/her opinion on this issue.
While I agree with you on the impact, I think that Turkey will develop his trading with the soon-to-open Egyptian market through maritime routes. It may cost more but then the reward is there: Egypt is a huge market.

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September 22nd, 2011, 9:30 am

 

69. sheila said:

To dear Ihsani,
You translated correctly from the Syria News article, but the numbers are flawed.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, in 1999 Syria’s population was 15,335,000. The male literacy rate was 85.7%, the female literacy rate was 55.8%. Considering the population to be 50% male and 50% female (inaccurate, but close enough), the average literacy rate in Syria would be at 70.75%. This number does not jive with the number that you published, even if we did not improve at all (many of us agree it is the case), but to decline to that level is unrealistic. The author’s number maintains that almost half the residents of Aleppo can not read and write. I say nonsense. He is adding the percentages of graduates; 3.4+2.9+9.2+13.9+29.2= 58.6 then he is subtracting this from 100 to end up with 41.4%. This means that all kids who did not go to school yet and all those who are still going to elementary school (did not graduate yet), are in this 41.4%. We all know that the birth rate in Syria is one of the highest in the world. At one point number 3. This means that kids under 11 are going to be a substantial part of this 41.4%.
I would like to add that even if the literacy rate in Syria is 70 to 80%, it is still pathetic. Even war torn Lebanon is at 98% literacy. How sad when we see that even civil war can be better than the Assad regime.

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September 22nd, 2011, 9:54 am

 

70. Aboud said:

Maybe we should spend more time on Twitter to find menhebaks to torment. The menhebak’s efforts here are almost nonexistent, and what few attempts they make are half hearted.

Typical menhebak post; “Seeeeekuuuuuulaaaaaaaaaaar! HEY DON’T INSULT MY IRANIAN THEOCRACY YOU ZIONIST SALAFI!”

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September 22nd, 2011, 10:12 am

 

71. Humanist said:

“…How sad when we see that even civil war can be better than the Assad regime.”

Sheila,
Palestine (under occupation and continous conflicts) have even better literacy rate than lebanon (under semi-civil war) and for sure MUCH BETTER than Syria(after 40 years of “stability” under Assadist-baathist rule).

Poor Syrians must really be ashamed…

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September 22nd, 2011, 11:06 am

 

72. 5 dancing shlomos said:

“And a US official just admitted a few days ago that more Syrian protesters are resorting to arms against the regime…”

the “protesters”/mercenaries/spec ops/thugs were armed from before day 1.

the u.s. official would know since the u.s. and its regional puppets (the u.s. being a puppet of jewry) have been doing the arming and the supplying of thugs to wage war against the govt of syria and the people of syria.

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September 22nd, 2011, 11:07 am

 

73. Ghufran said:

Armed gangs are not khurafaat
Syria is turning into a mini Iraq,some are trying very hard to make it a copy of Iraq.
Alnizaam decided to use the old tactic of waiting until the winds start to blow in their favor.
It is clear now that neither side can claim victory,
Bullets are not strong enough to defeat loyalists on both sides,they can only kill more bodies.

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September 22nd, 2011, 11:18 am

 

74. atassi said:

Syria crackdown risks sectarian strife-US ambassador
22 September 2011
Reuters News
(c) 2011 Reuters Limited

AMMAN, Sept 22 (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad is losing support among key constituents and risks plunging Syria into sectarian strife by intensifying a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, the U.S. ambassador to Damascus said on Thursday.

Time is against Assad, Robert Ford told Reuters in a telephone interview from Damascus, citing the resilience of more than six months of what he described as overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations demanding more political freedoms.

Ford said there was economic malaise in Syria, signs of dissent within Assad’s Alawite minority sect and more defections from the army since mid-September, but the military is “still very powerful and very cohesive”.

“The government violence is actually creating retaliation and creating even more violence in our analysis, and it is also increasing the risk of sectarian conflict,” Ford said.

“I don’t think that the Syrian government today, Sept. 22, is close to collapse. I think time is against the regime because the economy is going into a more difficult situation, the protest movement is continuing and little by little groups that used to support the government are beginning to change.”

Ford cited a statement issued in the restive city of Homs last month by three notable members of the Alawite minority community, to which Assad’s family belongs, that said the Alawites’ future is not tied to the Assads remaining in power.

“We did not see developments like that in April or May. I think the longer this continues the more difficult it becomes for the different communities, the different elements of Syrian society that used to support Assad, to continue to support him.”

He said Assad could still rely on the military to try and crush the protest movement but the killing of peaceful protesters was losing him support within the ranks.

“The Syrian army is still very powerful and it is still very strong,” Ford said. “Its cohesion is not at risk today but there are more reports since mid-September of desertions than we heard in April and May or June. And this is why I am saying time is not on the side of the government.”

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September 22nd, 2011, 11:25 am

 

75. Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Syrian Nationalist Party @54

When I called you SNP I used as abbreviation to (Syrian Nationalist Party). I am so sorry for the misunderstanding.

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September 22nd, 2011, 11:26 am

 

76. atassi said:

Must see..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCNaFPK-heg

The Syrian army has been demonized …

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September 22nd, 2011, 11:57 am

 

77. 5 dancing shlomos said:

when his lips move, ford is lying.

does he mentions sanctions.

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September 22nd, 2011, 12:18 pm

 
 

79. jna said:

Education in Syria (wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Syria

Despite being a low-income country with a growing population, Syria has a good basic education system.Since 2000 the Government of Syria has significantly increased the expenditure on education. Also as government is the main source for financing education at all stages, the proportion of total government expenditure jumped from 12.6 percent in 2000 to 15.7 percent in 2005, bringing it closer to the average share of education expenditure in the MENA region of 18.3 percent. The total expenditure in the education sector doubled between 2000 and 2005 from SYP 35 billion in 2000 to 72 billion in 2005. During this period, the share of education expenditure to GDP increased from 2.7 percent to 4.3 percent.[1]

Syria ranked 105 out of 179 countries on Human Development Index in 2006.Syria is also one of the few Arab countries that have achieved the target of universal primary education. It is showing remarkable progress in achieving other MDG targets: the gender gap in enrollment is small, with gender parity index of enrollment at primary level at 95 percent and 96 percent at the secondary level in 2007.[2] Literacy rate is estimated at 82 percent in 2004 which is also higher than the average for MENA and lower middle income countries (LMIC ). Literacy among youth (15 to 24) stood at 92.5 percent in 2004.[3]

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September 22nd, 2011, 3:54 pm

 

80. مندس said:

Dear Khaled Tlass
I rarely post here on this forum because I live in Syria and I only do it when I am outside for the obvious reasons. I would like you to get to know the Syrian Shias, not because I give a damn about what happened 1400 years ago, i don’t. But because I am labeled as a Syrian Shia based on my last name. I’m not going to go into all the good stories about the coexistence we had had till these bastards came along, we all have them. Syrian or at least Damascene Shias are not supporters of the regime or Iran. Everyone liked Hozballah till they showed how hypocritical they really are. I, now, hope to see Nassrallah’s beard burning before the flame spreads to the rest of his body.
No excuse can be given to anyone who does not condemn the atrocities of these thugs. I have agreed with every single comment Aboud has made even those about Qurdaha and Qurdahans, even the future uniral in Qurdaha. Ever since the Senior Thug went to hell, I always told everyone that it was my dream to piss on his grave. 
But YOU lost me when you called Saddam Hussein a great leader just because he’s a Sunni. He also killed people and the keyword is “kill”. That makes you a sectarian and as bad as Doctor Death and all brain dead regime supporters on this forum. I hated Nouraldeen Atassi for his ideology. Mustafa Tlass is a typical parasite produced by this regime. I can not describe the hatred I feel towards this regime for the crimes it has committed in the past 40 years. Anyone who does not acknowledge the mountain of evidence against these thugs is an accomplice. Some of them here can not bring themselves to say it even anonymously. They are so sick, when Aboud was absent from this forum for a couple of days, they were hoping the mukhabarat got him.  I have heard of the term “killing عالهوية”, what you have here is “klicking Dislike عالهوية”. These are our electronic shabi7a. They cheer the atrocities committed against their fellow Syrians. Their hearts should ache if these crimes were committed in another country. They have no humanity. 

I have given over a million and half liras directly to the Revolution Coordination Committees so far this month only and I have more budgeted for the future. What have you done for this revolution? You are not helping so far!!!

You do sound like a lunatic, a mukhabarat, or misinformed. Please listen and learn from all the good guys on this forum such as Aboud, Tara, Sheila, Revelon, OTW (sorry if I failed to mention the rest of the good guys). If you listen to them, you can start spelling your last name with a “C” instead of ” T”.
I hope for the day when we discuss the next technology invented in Syria rather than talking about third world topics such as sects.
The regime has no clue how hated it is. It believed its own B.S. And that is our real advantage. I told everyone on this forum back in April and June that the regime was not serious about reforms and the announcements were for external consumption. I am telling you the fight has just begun.

To the good guys, you are amazing!!! It is not easy explaining the obvious to these brain-dead creatures. I have to admit that I enjoy seeing them drop like flies.

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September 23rd, 2011, 5:18 pm

 

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