Ehsani Says GoodBye

On September 19th, Dr. Landis announced that he was relinquishing the day to day oversight of Syria Comment to finish his book.  At the time, I had promised Dr. Landis that I will do my best to take over the task in partnership with Alex.

Regrettably, the 22-day trial period ended today.  I have decided to step down from Syria Comment. As many regular readers know, I have been a member of this family for years. I have made numerous very good friends here. This forum has been a meeting place for so many passionate, bright and well informed commentators.

Syrian politics was largely boring and predictable for years. This is no more.  Everything Syrian changed since March of this year.  It is amazing to witness how seven months have made a political expert out of  every Syrian.  To be sure, the risks and the stakes are very high going forward. This has made nearly every man, woman and child mesmerized with politics. I think this is a positive trend.

Like most of you, Syrian affairs seem to have consumed my life recently.  This morning, I decided that I needed a break from it all. How successful I will be is an open question. I have made similar pledges in the past and failed like every drug addict.

For now, I say my goodbyes.  Undoubtedly, this country faces a challenging future.  My wish is that Syria’s mosaic of sects and religions learn to live with each other.  Our energies must start with improving the education of our future generations so that we can compete in the global market place and offer our youth a chance.  I can go on and on, but let me stop here.

Salamat to all.


Comments (170)

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151. Syria No kandahar said:

Mehshi Thinker
With your Islamic Arabic Winter the value of human being is 0 cent

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October 12th, 2011, 9:25 pm


152. ann said:

Syrian government supporters rally for President Bashar Assad

October 12, 2011

REPORTING FROM BEIRUT — Tens of thousands of demonstrators thronged the Syrian capital Wednesday without facing any threats of a police crackdown.

Those jamming into Saba Bahrat Square in Damascus rallied in rambunctious support of embattled President Bashar Assad, whose huge portrait, flanked by a Syrian flag, looked down on the multitudes as they chanted pro-Assad slogans.

The show of strength was meant to demonstrate that Assad maintains considerable support in Syria, especially in Damascus, which has largely been spared the violence and large-scale antigovernment rallies seen in cities like Homs and Hama.

The government has sponsored many pro-Assad rallies, but this appeared to be the largest to date — a fact that may indicate how seriously the regime takes the current challenge to its longtime dominance.

Some marchers, state media reported, also voiced their gratitude to Russia and China, whose double-veto last week scuttled a United Nations resolution that sought to condemn the Assad regime’s crackdown on protesters.

Both China and Russia have since urged Assad to implement reforms,though many anti-Assad activists view the two nations’ admonitions more as a belated face-saving tactic than a sincere call for democratic reform.

The Syrian government blames terrorists and “foreign interference” for the violence that, according to the United Nations, has left almost 3,000 dead since street protests began almost seven months ago.

The state news agency said more than 1 million people took to the streets Wednesday, denouncing “seditious calls for sabotage backed by foreign agendas.” The rally was organized via the social networking site Facebook, the government said.

One subtext was a rebuff of the Syrian National Council, the newly formed opposition umbrella group that seeks Assad’s ouster and plans to seek foreign recognition. Damascus appears to take the diplomatic threat seriously: The foreign minister has warned that Syria would retaliate against any government that recognizes the council as the representative of the Syrian people.

Meantime, Al Jazeera English reported that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the emir of the gulf state of Qatar, urged Assad to speak with the opposition group.

“If the Syrian government and the council, which I think has been given legitimacy from the protesters, can start talks on a new constitution to maintain the Syrian values and build its future, that would be a good step,” said the Qatari leader, who was an early supporter of the Libyan opposition council that ultimately supplanted Moammar Kadafi in Libya.

As “Arab Spring”-inspired protests gripped Libya, Kadafi’s regime also organized huge pro-government rallies in the streets of Tripoli, the capital. In Libya, the pro-Kadafi masses seamlessly dropped their green pro-Kadafi flags for the rebel tricolor.

But analysts generally argue that the Syrian government — with its professional army, its international allies and its considerable domestic backing — is better equipped than was Kadafi’s regime to survive the dissident threat.

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October 12th, 2011, 9:27 pm


153. Norman said:

117. Tara said:


You always thinking? How come It never showed?

5 7

You need to wear glasses and a thinking hat to see it LOL, LOL

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October 12th, 2011, 9:43 pm


154. Darryl said:

To Amir in Tel Aviv,

Now that SNK has mentioned MeHshi dishes, out of curiosity how did you go the other day with your dish using 20 garlic pieces and all those spices?

I thought you may have spent the night floating on your backside above the bed by a good 50cm 🙂 .

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October 12th, 2011, 9:52 pm


155. Haytham Khoury said:

Dear All,

While the Menhebak people continue to use,only the language they know (insult). We, the voice of truth, continue publishing articles on the most prestigious sites.

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October 12th, 2011, 10:10 pm


156. qunfuz said:

despite rosen being a german jewish name, nir’s father is an iranian jew. nir is an anti-zionist. he wrote a great article on hizbullah after the 2006 war. i recommend his book ‘aftermath.’ it’s grim reading, but very very good.

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October 12th, 2011, 10:24 pm


157. Syria no kandahar said:

H Mola khoury
Your terrorist team consists of your strikers :k Tlass and Aboud,they strike the best are just terrorists are a catholic Moslem,the leader of Syrian Christian Revolution which is boiling only in your brain.

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October 12th, 2011, 10:40 pm


158. ann said:

He’s a legend in his own mind lol

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October 12th, 2011, 10:47 pm


159. Mohamed Kanj said:

@ Khalid Tlass – U obviously think we are stupid and dont know that u are using multiple accounts. We all know that u r ABOUDI, because of the filth that comes out from ur comments. I think its time for another long ban for u Mr Aboud Tlass. How old r u? 15?

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October 12th, 2011, 11:00 pm


160. Mohamed Kanj said:

@ Ya Mara Ghalba – i think i can count almost 1million syrians from the video below 🙂 Ah i forgot they were all shabiha and their families, or forced to go because they will lose their jobs. Wow, so that means their is almost 100% employment in damascus city. Great job Mr Bashar al Assad for keep the employment rate so high 🙂 All the syrians from all religions (sunni,christian,alawite,shiite,druze,kurdish) jumping and dancing and singing for the president, were doing it out of fear? The millions who were waving their flags had missiles aimed at them?
Go back and hide in ur cave

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October 12th, 2011, 11:15 pm


161. Khalid Tlass said:

159. Mohamed Kanj said:

“@ Khalid Tlass – U obviously think we are stupid and dont know that u are using multiple accounts. We all know that u r ABOUDI, because of the filth that comes out from ur comments. I think its time for another long ban for u Mr Aboud Tlass. How old r u? 15?”

Now I know that YOU are stupid.

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October 13th, 2011, 3:01 am


162. KHalid Tlass said:

@ Haytham –

Is the Assyrian Church of the East supporting the SNC and Dr. GHaliyoun ?

Where is the HQ of the Assyrian Church, Qamishli or Al Hasakah ?

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October 13th, 2011, 3:02 am


163. Syrialover said:


A heartfelt thanks and best wishes.

Your sharp intellect, clear insights and calm and measured comments have done a great service to Syria via this forum these last five years.

I know you have a successful career in the private sector, but it would be wonderful to think that you might one day contribute first hand to sorting out Syria’s future.

You talk about addiction …I’ve become addicted to your contributions. I’ve appreciated everything you’ve written – often intellectually exhilirating and inspiring, and always lifting the game.

Your decision to get off the treadmill of running SyriaComment and daily imbibing an overdose of Syrian issues is understandable.

But please continue to share your thoughts from time to time. You are needed.

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October 13th, 2011, 3:23 am


164. Areal said:

124. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

If you didn’t yet read Nir Rosen’s essays, you should. Lots of insights and new stuff that I didn’t know. An Alawi accent? is it true? could you identify an Alawi by his/her accent?
BTW I believe that Nir Rosen is a US citizen, but his mane clearly indicates that he was born in Israel, or that his parents are Israelis.
127. sheila said:

To Amir,
It seems that Nir Rosen is American of Iranian descent. I have not seen any reference to his religion.

156. qunfuz said:

despite rosen being a german jewish name, nir’s father is an iranian jew. nir is an anti-zionist. he wrote a great article on hizbullah after the 2006 war. i recommend his book ‘aftermath.’ it’s grim reading, but very very good.


It is very easy to use any search engine to discover the truth about Nir Rosen

Note that Wikipedia has been altered
from the original version

He is of Israeli and American background.

to the actual version

Nir Rosen is an American journalist of Iranian origin
Nir Rosen is a Jewish American journalist and fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security, and a former fellow of the New America Foundation. It also appears that his parents are Israeli
My father …. a veteran of three [israeli] wars.


In Hebrew , Nir means field

Why the question has been raised and why all these lies and cover up ?

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October 13th, 2011, 5:29 am


165. bronco said:

Tara #126

Yes, I agree. She looks and sounds like an genuine person. What a difference with Lady Zouzou Atasi!

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October 13th, 2011, 7:35 am


166. Akbar Palace said:

nir is an anti-zionist. he wrote a great article on hizbullah after the 2006 war.

Which is why Nir Rosen is so popular with Qunfuz (who likes to cry about Assad’s abuses but is mum on the abuses of other Arab terrorists).

Waiting for Israel’s demise is a waste of one’s best energies.

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October 13th, 2011, 8:26 am


167. Syrialover said:

I’ve just read a terrific tribute and analysis of SyriaComment, drawn to our attention above on:

(Some of the comments on that page are worth reading too)

Recent arrivals here who have been lazily data dumping and making shallow smartass remarks (we know who they are) have no idea what SyriaComment used to be like before they started stupidly defacing it.

At least we have the archives…

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October 13th, 2011, 4:16 pm


168. Siria, la ricetta di Luay Hussein said:

[…] Otrakji (alias Alex), siriano cristiano e per il momento unico amministratore di Syria Comment – sito di approfondimento sulla Siria contemporanea avviato e per lunghi anni moderato […]

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October 22nd, 2011, 11:27 am


169. omen said:

[ ?? Qunfuz? ] qunfuz, nir revealing to the regime other journos were in the region – still bothers me.

is it possible he could harbor iranian/shia sympathies?

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April 8th, 2012, 5:11 pm


170. omen said:

so that we can compete in the global market place

globalization is a race to the bottom.

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April 8th, 2012, 5:12 pm


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