Leaving for Syria

I am setting out for Syria today and will stop in Rome for several days followed by travel in Syria to Latakia and the Beit al-Murj in the mountains to visit Manar’s family. We will be continuing our on-going language experiment. Kendall Shaaban learned to speak ARabic passibly during the summer of 2007 when he spent two months in Syria. He promptly forgot how to speak on returning to the US. He has a good passive knowlege of Arabic because Manar speaks to him in Arabic at home. His accent when trying to speak now is very American. He will spend two months in a totally ARabic speaking environment this summer, playing with cousins and among family. Will his Arabic spring right back to what it was? He should learn new grammar rules and vocabulary as he develops speaking skills. We will see and I will report to you at the end of the summer. Little Jonah Firas does not speak any language yet, eccept for “biddi” and “dada’, etc.

Alex and Ehsani will pick up some of the slack on Syria Comment while I am out of commission. I am not sure when I will be able to post again and report on my first impressions from Syria.


News Round Up

Hezbollah Denies Involvement in Al-Hariri’s Killing
2009-05-24, By Alaa Shahine

May 24 (Bloomberg) — Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group and political party, denied German newsmagazine Der Spiegel’s report that it was involved in the killing of Rafiq Al-Hariri, Lebanon’s former prime minister. The report is a “fabrication” intended to “influence the electoral atmosphere in Lebanon,” Hezbollah said today in a statement in Beirut. The Shiite Muslim group, which has representatives in the current Lebanese cabinet and parliament as well as an armed wing, and its allies may emerge strengthened in parliamentary elections taking place on June 7.

[SYR] Microsoft blocks Messenger access to Syria and Iran

Microsoft has confirmed that it is blocking Windows Live Messenger access to users in Syria and Iran in the Middle East, as well as Sudan, Cuba and North Korea. It cited that they are “subject to United States sanctions” without providing further details. Industry analysts questioned the timing behind move however, pointing out that many of these sanctions date back eight years or more.

Turkey Raises Water Flow to Syria as Wheat Crop Fails to Meet Expectations:Turkey has agreed to increase the water flow from the Euphrates River to Syria and Iraq, according to Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu.

Economy: FDI Cross the USD 1 billion Mark for the First Time
Foreign Direct Investment crossed the USD 1 billion mark last year for the first time, according to statistics from the Central Bank of Syria

The Syrian Stock Market expands trading to three days in an effort to increase liquidity. It also opens up to foreign brokers. See the following article from syria-news in Arabic

السماح لشركات الوساطة والأجانب بالتداول .. وثلاث جلسات بالاسبوع بدلا من اثنتين

الاخبار الاقتصادية

جليلاتي: من شأن هذه المحفزات أن تنشط التداول

أكّد المدير التنفيذي لسوق دمشق للأوراق المالية د.محمد جليلاتي لـ”سيريانيوز” أنّ إدارة السوق لن تقف مكتوفة الأيدي تجاه ضعف التداولات التي تشهدها السوق منذ افتتاحها مطلع آذار الماضي، وأن هناك جملة من المحفزات -قيد النقاش حالياً- من شأنها تنشيط التداول عند اعتمادها.

ولم تُسجل سوق دمشق تداولات كبيرة خلال الجلسات السابقة، وبقي يحوم ضمن نطاق سقفه 3 ملايين تقريباً، ليسجل مؤخراً قفزة وصلت إلى 12 مليون ليرة تقريباً ثم عاد ليهوي مجدداً.

وكشف جليلاتي في تصريح خاص بـ”سيريانيوز” أنً إدارة السوق رفعت عدة مقترحات إلى هيئة الأوراق والأسواق المالية لأخذ الموافقة والمباشرة بتطبيقها في أقرب وقت، “وأهم هذه المقترحات هو السماح لشركات الوساطة المالية ممّن حصل على ترخيص (الوسيط لحسابه) بالتداول على أسهم المصارف -التي تحتاج إلى إعادة نظر- كصانع سوق”.

Comments (103)

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101. majid said:

OK Norman, that’s how it appears to you on the surface. A person with your insight should know better. Wait until the Mahdi (A.S.) appears (very very soon) and you’ll see everything the way you like. It is not our responsibility to save the zionist anomaly. Why do we want to do that? Who invited them over? Who wants an anomaly in his midst? It all doesn’t make sense. Crusaders did the same and how long they lasted? 200 years? It won’t take that long for these new comers – the zio-crusades. Have some patience man.

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May 31st, 2009, 9:44 pm


102. norman said:


You are probably being sarcastic, Either way , may peace reach that part of the world so people and leaders would worry about improving their lives instead of worrying about how to destroy somebody else’s.

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May 31st, 2009, 10:00 pm


103. Akbar Palace said:

Invitation Only


Thanks. You surprised me with your answer.

However, Majid’s answer poured water all over your pretty picture.

Wait until the Mahdi (A.S.) appears (very very soon) and you’ll see everything the way you like. It is not our responsibility to save the zionist anomaly. Why do we want to do that? Who invited them over?


Apparently you are a devout muslim. Doesn’t the Koran discuss the hebrews/jews as a people that originated from Palestine and the ME?

“To Moses We [Allah] gave nine clear signs. Ask the Israelites how he [Moses] first appeared amongst them. Pharoah said to him: ‘Moses, I can see that you are bewitched.’ ‘You know full well,’ he [Moses] replied, ‘that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has revealed these visible signs. Pharoah, you are doomed.'”

“Pharoah sought to scare them [the Israelites] out of the land [of Israel]: but We [Allah] drowned him [Pharoah] together with all who were with him. Then We [Allah] said to the Israelites: ‘Dwell in this land [the Land of Israel]. When the promise of the hereafter [End of Days] comes to be fulfilled, We [Allah] shall assemble you [the Israelites] all together [in the Land of Israel].”

“We [Allah] have revealed the Qur’an with the truth, and with the truth it has come down. We have sent you [Muhammed] forth only to proclaim good news and to give warning.”

[Qur’an, “Night Journey,” chapter 17:100-104]

“And [remember] when Moses said to his people: ‘O my people, call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.'”

[Qur’an 5:20-21]

“And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.'”

[Qur’an 17:104]

Have a nice day,


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June 2nd, 2009, 11:37 am


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