Haplogroup U – Are We More United And Similar Than We Think? – By EHSANI

The Syrian crisis was always going to be different than what we all witnessed in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen thus far.  Every country has its own nuances that render it a unique case.  One of the glaring characteristics of the current Syrian conflict is to do with its sectarian fault lines.

Syrians like me have always been apprehensive about discussing our sectarian and religious differences.  Indeed, the subject matter has been taboo in Syrian society.

Like it or not, it is clear that this crisis has been taking on an undeniable sectarian character. While this is not surprising, I feel compelled to share a personal experience with the many Syrian readers of this note:

Back in 2010, I had read about “The Genographic Project”. This was a collaborative effort by National Geographic, IBM and the Waitt Family Foundation. For a fee, a person’s DNA results will be identified. The task will then involve finding out which branch on the Human family tree this person belongs to.  Naturally, I was skeptical at first.  In the end, I decided to participate in the project with my brother. I would track my paternal ancestors while he would track our maternal side (each person can only choose one).  With a simple swab from our cheeks and a 9-digit number to identify us we were promised an answer within six weeks.

Our DNA results identified us as belonging to the “Haplogroup U”.  As geneticists know, scientists believe that the human story begins in Africa sometime between 150,000 and 170,000 years ago, with a woman whom anthropologists have nicknamed “Mitochondrial Eve”.  This discovery was made in 1987 when it was confirmed that all people alive on the planet today can trace their maternal lineage to her. This is not to say that Mitochondrial Eve was the first female human. Eve was a survivor. Other Homo sapiens who evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago became extinct. A maternal line can become extinct for a number of reasons. A woman may not have children, or she may bear only sons. She may fall victim to a catastrophic event such as volcanic eruption, flood, or famine, all of which have plagued humans since the dawn of our species.  None of these extinctions happened to Eve’s line.

EVE’s first ancestral line was L1/L0 who are now found exclusively in Africa.

L2 and L3 are also found all over Africa but they were the first descendents who moved north of the continent around 80,000 ago.

Those who made it across the Sinai Peninsula (present-day Egypt) formed group “N”.

After several thousand years, humans sharing a female ancestor from this N clan started making it to Anatolia (present-day Turkey) and formed Haplogroup R.

We now arrive at my own clan:

Most members of my “U” group are found in the eastern Mediterranean who descend from a woman in the R branch who lived around 50,000 ago.

Based in North America and only identified with a 9-digit number, this Genographic Project was able to identify my descendants as having lineages found in the eastern Mediterranean from some 50,000 years ago. This is 46,488 years before Moses. It is also 47,988 years before Jesus and 49,430 before the prophet Mohammad.

Presumably most of the inhabitants of what is Syria today may share the same DNA lineages as me.  My wish is for the whole country to participate in this Genome project. It would be interesting if the results confirm that members of the SNC, NCC, Tansiqiyat, Mokhabarat, Fourth division, Baba Amr, Daraa, Free Syrian Army and the whole of Qurdaha all share the same ancestral mother that had reached this land some 50,000 years ago well before all of our Prophets.

Many members of my immediate family have started talking about migrating out of this land. Having reviewed my 2-year old genome test this morning, I wonder if the current Syrian crisis qualifies as my family’s own version of a catastrophic event that forced us out of the region after 50,000 of finding refuge there.

Comments (1,179)

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1151. majedkhaldoun said:

you said
“I think the FSA was trapped and rounded up in Zabadani and about to be totally crushed as I had predicted.”
That is not true and you proved that your predictions as usual is wrong
FSA control Zabadani now and they are very strong, and the regime who backed up.
You said the regime avoided an image of Massacre, that did not stopped the regime before, in Hama, in Homs , In Jisr ashougoor, so you are wrong again,again you are assuming a lot.
You did not explain why Asef Shawkat was involved.
The real reason will be known soon, but this could be a turning point, I agree on this point, I have a feeling that HA was part of the reason,

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January 18th, 2012, 12:58 am


1152. ann said:

Iran, Syria, US: Russia speaks out – 18 January, 2012


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov outlines the priorities of Russian foreign policy, directions for its development, and challenges on the international scene at his annual press conference.

­RT’s live stream of the event will start at 07:00AM GMT.

Russia’s stance towards the situation in the Arab World, AMD deployment in Europe, and the effects of WTO accession are expected to be in the spotlight during the meeting.

The evolution of economic and political collaboration within the BRICS bloc, and the course of Russia’s foreign policy following the upcoming presidential elections are listed among other significant topics for discussion.

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January 18th, 2012, 1:01 am


1153. Juergen said:


As i know from my syrian friends, they all have never seen Anisa live, she wasnt portrayed as the first lady as Asmaa is now. She was first seen by many in the funeral of Hafez. I know one women who works in an hospital. They had made all personal go out of the building,she was in the bathroom so she did not know, when she came out on the hallway there was Hafez visiting an doctor, and he looked very eiry she said, kind of a very distant guy. I think in his nature he trusted no one and saw misshief where others did not see it.

very good comments, we should have more of such debates here


Good job about this women mercenary wrting for who pays most. We have such an women in german journalism too, Katrin Leukefeld, she is awefully quiet now about Syria, wonder why…
Its kind of an attraction to some such dictatorships, i know an german-northkorean friendship coalition, they organize trips to North Korea, with Kotaus in front of the mirror casket of the supreme leader. Its kind of like those massmurderers in prison, they get the most fanmails and love letters by some desperates.


I have a question to all of you. When i lived under communist rule we had about 5 channels in tv, 2 government and 4 west german tv programmes. We usually watched only the news of the west german tv stations, my grandfather used to say: we watch government tv news to see how the world should be and western tv news to see how the world is. We had some areas in my country where the people had no western tv at all, one could think those regions were the most loyal ones, it was actually in those regions that the popular uprise began.
I wonder with 300+ tv stations reachable by Syrians does the majority watch state tv? Its hard for me to believe that the regime is controlling its people by this. From my friends no one watches dunia or state tv, they told me that some shop owners and in restaurants they show the state tv as a sign we are with the regime. Is it true that satellite dishes are forbidden?

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January 18th, 2012, 1:01 am


1154. ann said:

Chavez and Putin agree to defend independence and sovereignty of Syria and Iran – Wednesday, January 18th 2012

The sovereignty of Syria and Iran should be defended against ‘foreign interferences’ and from the siege of ‘colonial powers’ Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin agreed during a telephone conversation, according to the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs ministry.


The two leaders agreed on the need to craft a common approach to defend “the independence and sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, against the harassment and interference by foreign powers” added the Venezuela release.

While Chavez has openly expressed support for the beleaguered Syrian president Bachar al Asad, Moscow opposes any foreign intervention and the use of force against Syria as happened in Libya, and advanced that it will reject any UN resolution proposal that includes sanctions against the regime.

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January 18th, 2012, 1:09 am


1155. Son of Damascus said:


State TV has some wonderful local programmes in Syria, shows like Maraya, Ayam Shamieh, or any Ghawar or Yasser Admeh series were always a joy to watch, not to mention syrian advertisements with the Russian ladies mouthing arabic words while dancing, they had really catchy tunes.
However when it comes to news it is better to take everything that any arab state media says with a block of salt.

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January 18th, 2012, 1:53 am


1156. ann said:

Russia digs in heels on Syria resolution – Tue Jan 17, 2012

Russia signaled on Tuesday it would not make major concessions over its draft Security Council resolution to end bloodshed in Syria, sticking by its key ally in the Middle East.

Moscow and Western members of the U.N. body have been deeply divided over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov did little to suggest there was sufficient common ground to agree a resolution with France, Britain and the United States.

Gatilov said the West’s proposed changes to its December 15 draft resolution had “in essence emasculated” the document, removing text affirming Syria’s sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention in its internal affairs.

“These most important, key clauses were simply crossed out by our Western partners,” Gatilov told a news conference. “We cannot accept that approach.”

Any resolution had to assign blame to both the government and its opponents, he said. “To say only that the Syrian authorities are responsible for everything would be wrong.”

At the same time, he added, Russia was “not shutting the door on negotiations on the draft. We are ready to discuss all questions with our Western partners.”

Gatilov spoke as mid-level diplomats from Security Council members, including China, prepared for talks on the third version of the draft resolution, a document Western diplomats said on Monday was confusing

As well as stressing Moscow’s opposition to any Western backed intervention in Syria, similar to NATO’s campaign in Libya, Gatilov also cautioned against Arab involvement, as Qatar has mooted.

He said anyone thinking about sending troops should “consider very carefully what the use of forces from outside, Arab or otherwise, could lead to.”

“I don’t think this would lead to anything good, and it certainly would not lead to the resolution of the problems that exist.”

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January 18th, 2012, 1:53 am


1157. Juergen said:


Yes i forgot those series are funny to watch and a relief to those lebanese soaps, wherelse can you hear the real dimaschq slang?

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January 18th, 2012, 2:03 am


1158. jad said:

Dear Son of Damascus,
Reading your comment was such a treat, I can clearly see a very respected man of culture behind those words, many thanks for elevating the level to the usual standards SC known for.
I will try to answer you later and I promise our friend Irritated to make it short since we mostly agree on many points.

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January 18th, 2012, 2:09 am


1159. ann said:

Iran Mocks US With Toy Drone – 13 hrs ago


The Iranian government, which captured a U.S. stealth drone in December, has agreed to give the top-secret spy craft back, but with a catch.

Instead of the original RQ-170 Sentinel drone, the Islamic Republic said Tuesday that it will send President Obama a tiny toy replica of the plane.

Iranian state radio said that the toy model will be 1/80th the size of the real thing. Iranian citizens can also buy their own toy copies of the drone, which will be available in stores for the equivalent of $4

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January 18th, 2012, 2:13 am


1160. Son of Damascus said:

Dear Juergen,

I am really glad a fellow like yourself is so open and loving to my Syrian culture. I find your country an inspiration of how not only to over come the banality of evil, but to overcome a divide that had separated families and countrymen/women by an actual wall.

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January 18th, 2012, 2:19 am


1161. Son of Damascus said:

Dear Jad,

I look forward to it, our conversation has been a real eye opener for me.
I think us Syrians are sometimes too quick to put a label on people and ideas, especially people that might think contrary to our beliefs.


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January 18th, 2012, 2:44 am


1162. Badr said:

Remembering child victims of Syria’s military crackdown

His mother told the BBC that she hoped to see a day when there would be justice for her son. “It is impossible that there are humans that have such stone hearts to do this to their fellow man. Even animals cannot do this to people,” she said.

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January 18th, 2012, 5:08 am


1163. Shabbi7 said:

Freedom dabbi7a firebomb yet another school, but this time original video obtained including parts intended to be edited out.

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January 18th, 2012, 5:55 am


1164. Shabbi7 said:

Dead and injured dabbi7a who are neither dead nor injured.

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January 18th, 2012, 5:56 am


1165. Shabbi7 said:

The 5 Iranian “mercenaries” that were allegedly captured turn out to be the 5 Iran engineers (supporting a power generation plant) that were kidnapped recently. What idiots believe IRGC would walk around with Iranian passports? Oh yeah, the dabbi7a supporters.

https://www.facebook.com/SyrianFreePress/posts/293359607378944 (I think our dabbi7a friend Revlon posted a bigger version of the picture)

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January 18th, 2012, 6:02 am


1166. Shabbi7 said:

The Free Dabbi7a Army should use disco lights next time to look more effective 😉

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January 18th, 2012, 6:07 am


1167. irritated said:

#1150 Majedalkhadoon

Syrian Army Remains in Besieged Town Amid Talk of Withdrawal
By Massoud A. Derhally – Jan 18, 2012 7:12 AM ET

Syrian troops remain in the besieged town of Zabadani, near the border with Lebanon, where they have clashed with defectors, even though there are reports of a truce between the two sides and an agreement to withdraw, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Its illogical for President Bashar al-Assad to say last week he will strike with an ‘iron fist’ and for the army to give up in Zabadani,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the UK-based observatory, which has a network of activists in the country, said by telephone today. “If that’s true then the regime is finished. This isn’t true.”

While on the phone, Abdel Rahman called a resident in Zabadani, who said soldiers were still in the town and gunfire could still be heard though shelling had stopped. Zabadani has been besieged by the army, which deployed tanks to the area and had fierce clashes with defectors yesterday, Mahmoud Merei, head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, said by phone today.

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January 18th, 2012, 9:48 am


1168. irritated said:


The media reported that the Syrian army proposed a ceasefire because they were ‘surprised’ and ‘forced’ by the strenght of the FSA. Nothing can be as illogical. ( The Guardian: Free Syrian Army resistance forces brief truce in Zabadani)
The FSA is under siege in Zabadani and they are stuck because on the Lebanese border they are getting no support and no free access. They are the ones on a dire situation, they are the ones who need a ceasefire. ( The Guardian reported that the mosques in Zabadani were calling for the ceasefire)

I think that in Zabadani, the FSA fell into a trap. They are now stuck and in disarray hoping that the AL and the international community will rescue them.
The regular army side has a dilemma, they are surrounding Zabadani and can either shell areas where there is a concentration of weapons or keep the siege. Keeping the siege too long may create an humanitarian crisis and alert the human rights organizations.
The army accepted a cease fire just to show their good will and their reluctance to create a massacre under the eyes of the observers, not out of military weakness. Now the ceasefire fell through. Maybe the ceasefire was just a tactic for the Syrian army or maybe because some die hard FSA (and mercenaries) preferred to fight rather than end up judged and executed. Some others rebels maybe have preferred to take advantage of the amnisty announced by Bashar al Assad. This is why they are probably divided. Now, the army can shell and squeeze enough the FSA that they will call for a truce or surrender.
The media is presenting the city on siege as a humanitarian crisis and putting pressure on the Syrian government to stop the shelling.
With sanctions already in place and the international community paralyzed, I doubt anything can be done except allowing the civilians to leave the city and wait.
It is not a coincidence that this is happening as the UNSC meeting is soon… This may change the cards again.

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January 18th, 2012, 10:14 am


1169. zoo said:

In Libya, a New Fundamentalist War Against Moderate Islam Takes Shape
By Steven Sotloff / Tripoli Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012

Puritanical Muslims known as Salafis are applying a rigid form of Islam in more and more communities. They have clamped down on the sale of alcohol and demolished the tombs of saints where many local people worship. The small town of Zuwara near the Tunisian border, dominated by a heterodox Muslim sect despised by the Salafis, is quickly becoming the battlefield for competing visions of Libya’s future.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2104578,00.html#ixzz1jp8TfT00

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January 18th, 2012, 10:25 am


1170. Juergen said:

new anthem new Syria…

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January 18th, 2012, 11:22 am


1171. zoo said:


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January 18th, 2012, 2:24 pm


1172. zoo said:

Russia vows to block Western intervention in Syria
by ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 38 mins ago

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s powerful allies in Russia vowed Wednesday to block any Western attempts to intervene militarily in Syria as Damascus fights off an increasingly chaotic 10-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad.

The support came as Assad was showing fresh confidence that he can ride out the uprising with the help of a small — but influential — set of friends in Russia, China and Iran.

Iran also gave Syria another boost Wednesday. According to Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency, with the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, said Assad’s government enjoys public support and won’t collapse.
The comments by Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov were one of Moscow’s strongest statements of support yet for Assad. As one of five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Russia can veto any Council resolution that would authorize military intervention in Syria.

“If some intend to use force at all cost … we can hardly prevent that from happening,” Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow. “But let them do it at their own initiative on their own conscience. They won’t get any authorization from the U.N. Security Council.”

Lavrov said Russia was acting in full respect of international law and wouldn’t be guided by unilateral sanctions imposed by other nations.

“We haven’t violated any international agreements or the U.N. Security Council resolutions,” he said. “We are only trading with Syria in items which aren’t banned by international law.”

Lavrov accused the West of turning a blind eye to attacks by opposition militants and supplies of weapons to the Syrian opposition from abroad.

“They are dodging the main question: Why we should keep silent about the extremist opposition’s actions against administrative buildings, hospitals, schools?” He urged the West to use its contacts with the opposition to pressure activists to refrain from violence.

He said that arms supplies to the Syrian opposition are “unacceptable and absolutely counterproductive because it only fuels more violence.”

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January 18th, 2012, 2:25 pm


1173. Tara said:


There is a new post written by Josh.

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January 18th, 2012, 2:30 pm


1174. Jason Rocklin said:

Dear President Obama: Please do something about a cease-fire in Syria and getting Syrian civilions to flee from the bloodshed/violence by getting the U.N. Army to go go Syria and get the U.N. Army planes to get lots of Syrians to flee from sectarian violence/bloodshed going to refugee countries like Canada, U.S. and other safe countries

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January 19th, 2012, 3:07 pm


1175. zoo said:

Zabadani: The town President Assad does not control
Jeremy Bowen

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January 20th, 2012, 6:30 pm


1176. irritated said:

#1174. Jason Rocklin

Sorry, Obama does read this blog, it is much too pro-regime.
Try your luck on Abboud’s blog where all the anti-regime pro-US commenters write.

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January 20th, 2012, 6:35 pm


1177. zoo said:



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January 20th, 2012, 6:36 pm


1178. Tara said:



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January 21st, 2012, 8:55 am


1179. Mary said:

Quiet interesting that two of the seemingly most concerned countries about Syria are prior occupiers: France who occupied Syria and split it into two, and Turkey who currently occupies syrian territories: Iskenderon ( where Turkey is currently training opposition armed groups to fight in Syria) and Antioch.

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January 24th, 2012, 2:49 pm


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