Could the recent successes of IS, Nusra, and various rebel groups spell the eventual downfall of the regime?
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A wonderful video on Syrian art by Don Duncan
See the WSJ article this weekend booming art sales in the Middle East by BROOKE ANDERSON and DON DUNCAN
We would all love for art to take-off in Syria. However, we also know what autocracy does to culture and the world of ideas. It is stifled by fear. Just look at what has happened to Egyptian literature.
May 14th, 2010, 5:33 pm
2. Off the Wall
Thanks for your concern. But what you are saying may be more true for literature than for fine art. Have you been observing the Art scene in Syria?, it is not only taking off, it is beginning to thriving. Some Syrian painters are now commanding prices for their paintings you have to be dead for at least 30 years to command.
Painters have a medium of expression not available to writers and poets. It allows them to disguise their political point of view in shapes, strokes, colors, composition, and you name it. You do not have to always paint a Guernica to make a political statement that you can get a way with. And in most cases, only the painter knows what she/he wanted to say, all else is mere interpretation and speculation. That is not the case for literature. At least not the majority of it.
May 14th, 2010, 7:10 pm
3. 100 INSHALLAH-ING AHMEDS
SPEAKING OF ART… http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hLmhg9CHs9XkoBhaZA-f_Tr_4wUgD9FLFUJG3
Gazan man says Hamas beat him for alleged affairs
By DIAA HADID (AP)
JERUSALEM — A Gaza art gallery owner said Wednesday that Hamas police repeatedly beat and abused him over allegations that he had had sexual relations with women who are not his wife, which is forbidden by Islamic law.
Gaza human rights activists say the rare admission by Jamal Abu Qumsan, who is unmarried, is the clearest evidence yet of a quiet but persistent Hamas morals crackdown in Gaza, as part of an attempt to implement strict Islamic law.
“They kept asking me as they beat me: ‘who are the girls you sleep with?’ I told them I’m not sleeping with anybody,” Abu Qumsan told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
He said police interrogators beat him across his back, legs and buttocks in hours-long interrogations over three days last week. To back up his claims, Abu Qumsan e-mailed reporters a photo of his bruises.
Abu Qumsan, 43, said he was also accused of hosting exhibitions in his art cafe and gallery without government permits.
Hamas officials were not available for comment.
Human rights activists say that since the Islamic militant group seized power Gaza three years ago, Hamas security officials have interrogated, beaten and detained other residents for belonging to rival Palestinian groups. Hamas officials have often harassed men and women to publicly abide by Hamas’ stern Islamic moral code, activists say.
However, this is the first time a Gaza resident has said publicly that he was interrogated over his sex life. Activists say other residents have been questioned in a similar manner, but they were too frightened to come forward.
“If I stay silent, I think they’ll take somebody else tomorrow, and then a second person, and then a third, and it will go on and on,” Abu Qumsan said.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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May 14th, 2010, 7:45 pm
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Matthew Barber - University of Chicago
Ehsani - Syrian-American Banker
Aron Lund - Editor of Syria in Crisis:
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