Four of Syria’s Biggest Businessmen Hit with EU Sanctions as Anger and Fear Spread

Four of Syria’s Biggest Businessmen Hit with EU Sanctions for Supporting the Regime.

Shock waves rippled through the Syrian Business Community this morning as people awoke to the news that four of the country’s most prominent capitalists have been added to the EU sanction list. Their homes, investments, and bank accounts are now being frozen in Europe. The US can not be far behind. Emad Ghraiwati, for example, a much respected Damascus tycoon who seemingly owns a bit of everything in Syria, is an American citizen and owns property in the US. All will be hurt by the European sanctions.

For months the opposition and Western diplomats have been talking about the need to split the Sunni merchant class from the regime. These measures are designed to do just that. Three are Sunnis and one is Christian. This will be an experiment in religious and social engineering in Syria.  Can sanctions been used to pry the Sunni and Christian business elite away from their Alawi partners in the security state?

According to the Syrian businessmen I have spoken to, the first reactions among the community were shock and anger. Many smaller businessmen, some of whom have been liquidating their assets in Syria as best they can in order to squirrel them away in Europe in the hope of riding out the revolutionary storm are panicking. Where can they put their money to guarantee its safety?

All four sanctioned individuals are shareholders in Cham Holding, of which Rami Makhlouf, the President’s Cousin is the largest shareholder. The official charge for three of them was “providing economic support for the Syrian regime”. The charge for one (Mr. Anbouba who is a Christian) was that he was “supporting the Syrian regime economically”.

One is the President of the Aleppo Chamber of Commerce; another is the head of the Damascus Chamber of Industry

Mr. Fares Chehabi (Shihabi): Sunni. The youngest ever head of any chamber of commerce in Syria. Based in Aleppo. He owns Alpha pharmaceutical, is a shareholder in Cham Holding, Fransbank and alsharq bank. Other interests include olive oil filling and packaging.

Emad Ghraiwati: Sunni, President of the Damascus chamber of commerce. Owns the Ghraiwati Group with three other brothers (second generation). Exclusive dealers for LG electronics, Land Rover, Jaguar, Ford, Kia, Mercury and Lincoln cars. The group also owns SMC Cable Company. Shareholder in Cham holding and banque al Sharq as well as Al dunia satellite station.

Addendum: (Sept 4, sent by a reader)

The last I checked the president of Damascus chamber of commerce is Ghassan Al-Qalaa, there is Mr. Bassam Ghrawi and not Ghreiwati who is a member of the board of directors of the Chamber ( Amin Sir). Mr Imad Ghreiwati is the president of Damascus Chamber of Industry.

Tarif Akhras: Sunni based in Homs. Related to the first lady. Prime investor in Al Hasya manufacturing zone. Owns a sugar refinery. Also owns a substantial business in olive and edible oil filling and distribution. Other interests include building materials, flour and grains. He is considered to be the second largest exporter in the country.

Issam Anbouba: Christian, Originally from Lattakia. Based in Homs. Owns arguably the largest edible oil factory in the Middle East. Started his career working for Halliburton. Shareholder in Cham holding. He is the head of the Syrian-UAE Chamber of commerce. Key shareholder in Byblos and Syria Islamic bank. He also owns shares in an insurance company and is one of the founders of Roatana-Homs. Has a close relationship with Alfutaim Group of the UAE which landed him the Carrefour business in Syria. Has recently moved into real estate development and tourism.

The immediate effect of these sanctions is not obvous. Clearly it will inspire fear and an greater sense of impending doom in the minds of Syria’s business community. Will more members begin to donate money to the opposition in order to hedge their bets? Probably so. In the 1950s, when Syria’s political instabiility was dramatic, ambitious families groomed children to join various dominatnt political parties to ensure the success of the family no mater which party took power. Today, more business dynasties in Syria will begin investing in the opposition to buy themselves protection with the next regime as they have done with this one. How successful they can be is anyone’s guess.

The Baath Party nationalized most large land holdings and successful businesses in the 1960s in an effort to punish the Sunni elites, who they believed were “feudalistic” and “parasitical” if not outright criminal. It was also a well calculated effort by the Baath to destroy the “reactionary” forces they could conspire in the future to undermine the “gains” of the revolution and the power of the Baath. The revolutionary forces active today may want to take revenge against the business elite that has prospered over the last 40 years. As activists help European statesmen target Syrian businessmen, their goals are not entirely clear. Is the strategy to peel the Sunni elite  away from the Assad family and their Alawi supporters? Is it revenge? Is it to sew the seeds of fear and chaos into the regime? Probably it is a bit of all the above. Many of the activists will not be sorry to see Syria’s “big names” cut down to size before the need to rebuild the economy after the revolution requires the new regime to “feed” the capitalists and get Syria working again. In the mean time, the anger that has run through Syria’s business elite, will eventually fade and force them to recalculate.

I thank Ehsani for providing me with the background information on these four businessmen.

France calls for ‘accelerated’ regime change in Syria

EU publishes new round of sanctions against Syria on Saturday; Russia, China have blocked Western attempts to pass tougher UN Security Council resolutions.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Saturday called for international pressure to mount on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has not heeded international call to stop a bloody crackdown on protesters.

“We have tried to advise Bashar al Assad to launch a reform process. He has not done it, so today we need to accelerate regime change,” Juppe said.

That “means toughening sanctions … continue working in the United Nations to secure a more explicit condemnation of the Syrian regime … work with the opposition,” Juppe said.

Russia and China have blocked Western attempts to get the UN Security Council to adopt tougher resolutions against Syria – a position that has been interpreted as a backlash against NATO using a UN resolution to bomb Libya.

Juppe said there was “no question of launching a military intervention” in Syria.

On Saturday, the EU published a new round of sanctions against Syria, which include an oil embargo whose application was postponed to November 15, due to Italy’s insistence that the original date of October 15 had to be pushed back.

Asked whether the delay was regrettable, Juppe answered, “yes, of course.” But he added, “it’s already good that we decided it, every time we take a step forward we get asked ‘why not two steps?'”.

Two incidents of defections have been reported within the last hour in Rastan and Idlib followed by intense campaign to arrest them
• أموي مباشر #syria ◄ إدلب >> انشقاق في صفوف الجيش في قرية الجانودية وحصيلة القتلى في صفوف الامن و الجيش الموالي للسلطة تسعة قتلى وسبع وعشرون جريحا وجميع المنشقين بخير وتتم حمايتهم و ايوئهم من قبل ( الشرفاء),,,,,,

5 minutes ago

• Ugarit News | أوغاريت الإخبارية
أوغاريت || الرستن حمص :: عاجل :: انشقاق في قوات الجيش لضباط مع عساكرهم و سلاحهم و قوات الامن تلاحق المنشقين الشرفاء داخل المدينة و بخاصة في الحي الفوقاني و شرق المدينة …..

Egypt edging near recession

Farah Halime, Sep 4, 2011

The Egyptian economy, reeling from a big budget deficit in tandem with falling GDP and the government’s decision to brush off privatisation, has been the subject of criticism.

CAIRO // Egypt’s economy is struggling to overcome a tussle among private companies hoping to take advantage of the fall of big business and to overcome the interim government’s resistance to any move towards privatisation as reminiscent of the Hosni Mubarak era.

Experts representing the country’s private sector have criticised the government’s decision to brush off privatisation as a means of supporting the economy.

Six months on from when Mr Mubarak stepped down from the presidency, Egypt is still reeling from a big budget deficit and falling GDP. more….

Comments (125)


Alescander said:

The protests and protesters are becoming a disgusting mix of failure , frustration and exhaustion due to their inability to accomplish anything , except for helping create a safeless Syria

Bitter with failure they want now to topple the regime at all costs, barking like dogs , asking the foreigner to intervene militarily.
Like snakes , hissing , asking the foreigner to tighten the embargo, aggravating the misery of their own people
At all costs refusing dialogue, favoring street talk on national dialogue.
Not a part of Syria those who ask for the foreigner intervention ,
They may dream that NATO bombers will get them to rule, is this the new independent Syria? Is this freedom?
If they have a shred love for their country , they should help build the new Syria , not on debris, but from constructive inclusive dialogue

This is a good advice they will not heed , the poor bastards will regret that they didn’t listen to the voice of reason

The little bastards will carry the guilt of destroying Syria forever

September 4th, 2011, 1:48 am


Mediocrates said:

”Four of Syria’s Biggest Businessmen Hit with EU Sanctions as Anger and Fear Spread”

”Sanctioning” the business community in Syria will hurt the Syria people. The people who count on these businesses for their pay checks.

The West has declared war on the Syrian people in the guise of ”humanitarianism”.

These ”sanctions” can only result in great suffering for all Syrians.

September 4th, 2011, 2:25 am


annie said:

2. Alescander said:

The protests and protesters … help create a safeless Syria

Don’t you think that safety is jeopardized by Bashar’s loyalists and hoodlums ? Who is doing the killing ?

Bitter with failure they want now to topple the regime at all costs, barking like dogs , asking the foreigner to intervene militarily.

As far as we hear they do not want foreign military intervention.

Like snakes , hissing , asking the foreigner to tighten the embargo, aggravating the misery of their own people

You are quite a writer ! Boycott as shown with BDS-ing zionists is a peaceful means of pressure.

At all costs refusing dialogue, favoring street talk on national dialogue.

Dialogue ? at the end of a canon ? Under torture ?

If they have a shred love for their country , they should help build the new Syria , not on debris, but from constructive inclusive dialogue

It is because they love their country that they are ready to die. Not for some foreign entity. Bashar is trumpeting his reform proposals in a vacuum. He does not control his gangs any more.

This is a good advice they will not heed , the poor bastards will regret that they didn’t listen to the voice of reason

The little bastards will carry the guilt of destroying Syria forever

Sorry buddy but “good advice” handed so contemptuously laced with insults, few chances you get to be heard.

Quoting oustad Aboud : “The Syrian revolutionary is the bravest human being on the planet. He and she has gone out and demonstrated every single day for the past 25 weeks, with nothing more to sustain them than the hope of a free life. They have gone out again and again, despite murderous assaults by tanks, navy gunboats, helicopters, and a massive army of paid shabiha mercenaries.”

September 4th, 2011, 3:17 am


sal said:

youtube account of ‪ARABDZ‬‏ is now closed by Youtube. It is known that Youtube is siding with these saboteurs and orders come from the zionist entity. what a shame


This is what they said:

This account has been suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams and commercially deceptive content.

September 4th, 2011, 3:50 am


Annie said:

Great Video on the Syrian Revolution :

September 4th, 2011, 3:57 am


Chris W said:

“Aiding the regime economically”…?!

This is international law? Sounds like the sort of thing Trotsky would have said.

September 4th, 2011, 4:50 am


Chris W said:

Obviously it can’t be allowed for Syrian businessmen to conduct business in Syria.

September 4th, 2011, 4:58 am


Pirouz said:

Economic warfare is now being applied to Syria with the expressed goal of regime change.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has faced this kind of treatment for decades. Now that the opportunity has arisen, it’s Syria’s turn.

Iran realized this level of vulnerability as far back as the onset of the revolution, when the US-IRI cold war began and billions of dollars in US banks and contracts were frozen. When Europe started towing the US line beginning in ’05, the IRI started shifting its holding eastward, out of Europe. The Syrians appear to have been caught flat footed; this being a result of their recent past willingness to try and have it both ways: a level of coziness with the West while still maintaining itself as a member of the resistance bloc.

While in the IRI, there is a broadly defined and somewhat diffuse political power arrangement, Syria is focused primarily on Bashar. Furthermore, this has now become the ultimate test for Bashar, as Bashar is “the regime.”

September 4th, 2011, 5:08 am


Common Sense said:

Not sorry for the merchants.
They chose to take their money out of the Syrian economy where they generated it.
Let them pay the price.
They want to have it both ways, make the money in syria, but not keep it there.
For them syria is “safe” to make the money, but notn”safe” to keep it.

Sorry however for the average Syrian, these sanctions and more sanctions will only hurt the average Syrian..

September 4th, 2011, 6:03 am


Common Sense said:

And where is the legitimacy in freezing assets based on a state decision ( in this case the EU) not an international decision ( should be UN)
is it not similar to piracy?

September 4th, 2011, 6:10 am


Secular Syrian said:

Why the more and more prevalent sectarian overtone in the articles.
Why should it matter what religion is the businessman whose assets are been frozen, instead of discussing thenlegitimacy of such freeze, in the absence of an international mandate ?

September 4th, 2011, 6:14 am


homsi said:

An Officer, Five Warrant Officers, Three Civilian Martyred in Ambush by Terrorist Group in Central Region

Sep 04, 2011

DAMASCUS, (SANA)- An official military source said that an armed terrorist group on Sunday set an ambush at the crossroads of Salhab-Khatab Cities near Mharda City, al- Sarut Bridge and opened fire with machine guns on a military bus conveying a number of officers, warrant officers and civil employees who are working at a maintenance center at the Central Region.

The ambush led to the martyrdom of an officer, five warrant officers and three civil employees who are working at the aforementioned center.17 others suffered various injuries, some serious, while the criminals have escaped after they stormed the bus with barrage bullets.

The source added that a security patrol pursued the criminals on Hama-al-Ghab highway. An armed clash took place with four of the terrorists who were using a pick-up car they stole on Saturday from the TV Center at Saraqeb City.

One of the security forces injured and three of the criminals killed and other injured with serious injuries in the clash. The stolen pick-up car was restored with four Kalashnikov guns and a big amount of bombs, explosive material and medical materials.

Martyr Mohammed Khalaf al-Issa Laid to Rest

Policeman Mohammad Khalaf al-Issa, who was targeted by an armed terrorist group in Duma, Damascus Countryside, was escorted from the Police Hospital in Harast on Sunday to his final resting place in Deir Ezzor.

Official funeral ceremonies were held for the martyr who was wrapped with the Syrian national flag and carried on shoulders while the military band was playing the music of the “Martyr” and the “Farewell”.

H. Zain / Ghossoun

September 4th, 2011, 7:07 am


Aboud said:

“Shock waves rippled through the Syrian Business Community”!

“the first reactions among the community were shock and anger”!

The whole tone of this post is one of grievous injustice, that somehow these four bozos are being unfairly targeted by inhumane and indiscriminate sanctions.


“Sounds like the sort of thing Trotsky would have said.”

Actually, it sounds better than the charge of “Weakening national sentiment”, Besho’s favorite charge against bloggers and human rights activists.

September 4th, 2011, 7:09 am


Shami said:

Amir ,so is their culture,they tried to divinize themselves but their end will be awful.

September 4th, 2011, 8:07 am


ss said:

Alsafala MBs, Alqatala MBs. Radical Islamists

September 4th, 2011, 8:29 am


homsi said:

Shukumaku News Website:

The Syrian opponent “Fayez Sara” appeared live at the same time on both Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya during a report in which both TV stations claimed that the Syrian authorities prohibit the opponents from leaving Syria…
According to Alintiqad website, the two channels made a phone call at the same time with the opponent “Fayez Sara”, then he appeared live on both channels…
It is worth mentioning that the speech and the voice of “Fayez Sara” was different between the two channels… So, who was the real one?
The original Arabic article is under the link:
The article on Alintiqad website:

September 4th, 2011, 8:51 am


Revlon said:

2. Dear Alescander,

You bet! Syria AlAsad shall be destroyed along with the unjustly earned priviliges of mnhebbaks.

You are invited to join Syria the freedom, the dignity, the equal opportunity, the respect for hunman rights, and the progress!

September 4th, 2011, 9:21 am


ann said:

Khawandi Relates Details of Fabricating Stories on Syria Events

Sep 04, 2011

DAMASCUS, (SANA)_Mohammad Ibrahim Khawandi on Saturday related details of how untrue stories and videos are fabricated and sent to tendentious channels, funded by foreign sides to undermine security and stability in Syria.

Khawandi narrates how he made the acquaintance of Maamoun Hamoudi and Basel Darwish on Fridays’ prayers at Abdul-Rahman Mosque in Lattakia.

Khawandi said ”During a visit to Maamoun Hamoudi in his house after several contacts, I met four or five persons there with laptops and other devices. At first I didn’t give the matter much thought. Then they increased in number, and I was introduced to someone called Tarek Balsheh who, as far as I know, was filming protests and giving the videos to Maamoun Hamoudi.”

”Once I entered into one of the rooms and met somebody called Ahmad who told me that Tarek Balsheh sells protests’ videos for USD 100,” he added.

”Then I came to know, during a stay at Hamoudi house, that he received laptops, pens used for filming, cameras and antennas. He used to hand the devices to Tarek Balsheh who, in turn, carry them to the Syrian cities like Hama, Lattakia or Homs, according to the instructions he received,”

He added that he was introduced to many people during his stay at Hamoudi’s house, ten or twelve of them were permanently frequenting the house, especially Mohammad Sabbagh, Bilal Shamsi, Rami and Muhannad from Haboushieh village, Jamil, Salam Saeb, Nazir and Hussain.

”Two days later, someone called Bassam al-Masri joined them. Those were permanently in the room, even sleeping there.” He said Maamoun was contacting someone called Tamer living in France, who was sending him cash in sums ranging from 100 to 200 thousand Syrian pounds. ”When I asked him about the provenance of the cash, he answered from someone called Tamer in France,”

He narrated how they used to fabricate videos of protests which Tarek Balsheh used to film in Lattakia, indicating that the numbers of protestors were magnified.

”Concerning the slogans raised at protests, someone called Abdul-Rahman from Egypt who entered Syria illegally via Turkey and participated in the operations’ room in Kherbet El-Jouz was in charge of devising them,”

Khawandi said that Abdul-Rahman gave them lessons on filming protests from a certain perspective so as to appear bigger in numbers, adding that more than eight correspondents from Arab and foreign TV channels used to conduct interviews with Jamil Saeb.

”Once, an Arab TV channel interviewed the inmates of the room where there were two rifles. The interviewers asked them to hide the rifles so as not to appear in the interview,”

”Armed groups were frequenting the area, the majority of which from Jisr al-Shughour, among them Bassam al-Masri and his relatives who often frequented the room,” Khawandi said.

He added that the gunmen used to frequent the room in order to meet Saeb or issue a statement.

”Once a quarrel happened between Saeb and Maamoun Hamoudi because the latter felt that Saeb wanted to assume a greater role and thus claim the money he received. Saeb was always claiming that he and his brother were the first to enter the security center in Jisr al-Shughour,”

Khawandi said the claims that the security terrorized people, mutilated bodies and raped women are completely untrue, since he heard them say they intended to fake such stories to implicate the security.

” ‘There had been a heated argument between Jamil and Bassam. Bassam wanted to force Saeb to issue a statement which he rebuffed, because, he said, such a statement entails agreement of the opposition inside and abroad,”

”On the second day, a statement was issued at Kherbet el-Jouz school, announced and drafted by Saeb, and somebody called Tamer from Sweida was translating. Several Arab and foreign TV channels were there and I was standing outside the room,” said Khawandi.

He emphasized that there were some persons in Jisr al-Shughour fabricating false news on killing and raping people by the army.

” These news were un true and were broadcast just to frighten people not to return to their homes with the aim of increasing the number of the displaced to Turkey to form a factor of pressure on the state,” Khawandi said.

He indicated that when he, along with other groups, were in Turkey, a number of persons from several states used to visit them providing them with subsidies and assistances sent to the displaced including cameras, CDs, and flashes for using them in filming.

” These assistances, subsidies and equipments were brought from Turkey via a person resident there and I think these subsidies were sent from Tamer in France who sends money to Egypt then to Syria,” Khawandi said.

He added when we were in Turkey we saw Arab, European and international cameras on house roofs filming the displaced in Kherbet el-Jouz and Turkish camps.

“I had some information and heard some talks in the Turkish border town of Guveci on what was happening in the camps and how some women were raped by some Syrians and Turkish persons and by Turkish officials also,” Khawandi said.

He spoke in details how he met with Hamza Ghadban from Barada TV, one of the tendentious channels, and how Ghadban arranged his contacts with some Syrian opposition figures abroad like Ma’moun Homsi, Mohammad Rahhal, Zouheir Esseddiq and others asking those persons to provide them with money and weapons.

September 4th, 2011, 9:30 am


Norman said:

How do these businessmen support the regime and the president if they do not pay taxes and keep their money outside Syria, apparently the goal is for Syria not to have any well financed individuals to do big projects and keep that for AL Wale ed bin Talal, it is time for Syrians to keep their money in Syria and put it in the Chinese or Russian currency, one other thing Syria could do is to impose significant transport fees on products comming through Syria from the EU and freeze the asset of all EU companies and individuals, and the Gulf state assets in Syria, they are all conspiring against Syria.

What happened today might be good for Syrians to depend on themselves and lift their own people,

September 4th, 2011, 9:42 am


Revlon said:

المرحلة الانتقالية في سوريا.. موقفٌ وميثاق شرف


وائل مرزا
يزداد الحصار على النظام السوري من الخارج، وتبدو الثورة في تصاعدٍ مستمر، كما أظهرت أحداث جمعة (الموت ولا المذلة) وما قبلها. وبينما ترتب المعارضة صفوفها وأوراقها، وهو أمرٌ بات مُلحاً بنوعٍ من الإجماع، قد يكون الحديث عن الموقف المطلوب في المرحلة الانتقالية عنصراً هاماً يُساعد في ذلك الترتيب، وفي ترسيخ عنصر الثقة بين مختلف الأطراف والفرقاء.

ومساهمةً في هذا المجال، اتّفقت مجموعةٌ من المثقفين السوريين على جملة عناصر تؤكد على ما يلي:
أولاً: إن الثورة السورية ثورةٌ من الشعب وللشعب، وليس لأحدٍ فرداً كان أو جماعةً أو حزباً أو طائفةً أو قوميةً ادّعاء احتكارها.
ثانياً: إن الماضي بكل مآسيه يجب أن يُدفن، والمحاسبة يجب أن تكون للمعتدين على الشعب فقط، وهؤلاء هم من تثبتُ عليهم قضايا التآمر والقتل والتعذيب والإرهاب، والمحاسبة تكون بالإحالة إلى القضاء.
ثالثاً: إن العنف والتطرف وإرهاب الآمنين والمدنيين ممارساتٌ مرفوضةٌ بشكل مطلق.
رابعاً: إن إطلاق الحريات العامة السياسية والإعلامية والدينية عنصرٌ أساسي من عناصر المرحلة الانتقالية.
خامساً: يحق لكل صاحب دين أو مذهب أو معتقد أو رأي أن يبيّن رأيه وأن يحاور في مذهبه، بالأساليب الحضارية والكلمة الطيبة.

ما الآليات التي يمكن من خلالها تطبيق العناصر المذكورة أعلاه على أرض الواقع؟ يطرح المثقفون المذكورون الملامح التالية:
أولاً: الاتفاق على آلية لتحقيق انتقال السلطة بشكل سلمي وآمن، وذلك بغرض تجنيب البلد مخاطر الانهيار وتفكك مؤسساته، مما يكفل تأسيساً توافقياً لنظام جديد قائم على الحرية والمساواة وسيادة القانون، ويقطع الطريق على احتمالات الفوضى والأعمال الانتقامية.
ثانياً: يشارك في صياغة ذلك الاتفاق ممثلون عن المعارضة في الداخل والخارج، وممثلون لناشطي الثورة الميدانيين وغير الميدانيين، وكل صاحب تجربة سياسية سابقة ممن عُرفوا بنظافة اليد، بغض النظر عن الانتماء الديني أو المذهبي أو العرقي.
ثالثاً: لا تتجاوز مدة الفترة الانتقالية ستة أشهر، يتولى الحكم خلالها مجلس انتقالي مكوّن من مدنيين وعسكريين، ويجري فيها فتح وسائل الإعلام العامة للمجتمع وحراكه السياسي، وحلّ الأجهزة الأمنية وتولي الجيش مؤقتاً أمن البلاد.
رابعاً: يجري خلال تلك الفترة حلّ مجلسي الشعب والوزراء وانتخاب جمعية تأسيسية تضع دستوراً جديداً للبلاد، يتضمن تحديد سلطات رئيس الجمهورية وقصر ولايته على فترتين كلٌ منهما أربع سنوات فقط، ويُنهي إقصاء الأيديولوجيات والأحزاب الأخرى المكونة لنسيج الشعب السوري، ويمكن العمل بدستور عام 1950 إلى أن يتمّ وضع الدستور الجديد.
خامساً: تُلحق القوات الخاصة –مثل الحرس الجمهوري– بالجيش، وتُدمج مؤسسات الأمن (المخابرات) في اثنتين فقط، واحدة تتعلق بالأمن الداخلي وأخرى بالأمن الخارجي، وتخضع كلتاهما لمجلس الوزراء، ويخفض عدد عناصر مؤسستي الأمن، ويدرج الفائض تحت الإدارة العسكرية ليخدم في سلك الجيش.
سادساً: تكون الثورة الشعبية بجماهيرها ومن يمثلونهم هي الضامن الأساسي في المرحلة الانتقالية.

ولتأكيد الأرضية الفكرية التي يجب أن يتم أي عملٍ بناءً عليها، فإن المثقفين يقترحون ميثاق شرف يتضمّن ما يلي:
أولاً: إننا نعلن احترامنا التام لخيارات أبناء الوطن الدينية والمذهبية، ولن نشارك في النيل من أي منها، ولن نجامل من يعتدي على ذلك.
ثانياً: سنعمل من أجل مزيد من التعارف والتواصل مع جميع أبناء الوطن، وعلى توطيد الثقة بيننا.
ثالثاً: إننا نرفض أية امتيازات سياسية أو اجتماعية أو حقوقية متصلة بالأصل والانتماء الموروث من أي جهة.
رابعاً: لا نقبل أي شكلٍ من أشكال التمييز بين أبناء الوطن، ونُدرج اعتراضنا على الطائفية في سياق التطلع إلى سوريا الدولة المدنية التي توفر الحريات العامة لمواطنيها جميعاً.
خامساً: إننا نعمل من أجل تحقيق أكبر قدر ممكن من العدالة الاجتماعية، والتخلص من الفقر والجوع والتهميش والبطالة، ونسعى إلى تقليل الفوارق الجهويّة في بلدنا، ونرى في الفقر والفوارق الجهوية تربة خصبة للانقسامات الاجتماعية والتهييج الطائفي والفئوي.
سادساً: إننا رغم رفضنا للتمحور الفئوي نرى وجوب مراعاة السلوك السياسي والترتيبات الإدارية للخصوصيات المذهبية والقومية واللغوية.
سابعاً: إننا نتطلع إلى تطوير التعليم والتفتح الثقافي والاستنارة العامة والترقي الأخلاقي في مجتمعنا، باعتبار أن ذلك يقوي الروابط الثقافية والإنسانية بين أبناء الوطن.
ثامناً: إننا نتفق على ضرورة النهوض بالمرأة ورفع الظلم عنها وتمكينها من أداء دور فاعل في المجتمع.

وفي سياق المصالحة الوطنية الشاملة، فإننا ندرك أن سوريا المستقبل سوف تواجه تحديات البناء وإزالة آثار الاغتراب الثقافي والترهل البنيوي المؤسساتي، مما يستدعي منا أقصى درجات الحكمة والتروي. وفي حين لا يمكن الإحاطة بكل جوانب أوجه تحقيق المصالحة، لا بد من الإشارة إلى مسائل مهمة تتمثل فيما يلي:
أولاً: لقد ارتكز النظام البائد في استمراره على تعاون أشخاص من كل الطوائف السورية، وبالتالي فإننا لا نرى مسؤولية أي طائفة بعينها عما جرى في المرحلة الماضية.
ثانياً: في الانتقال من نظام الاستبداد والظلم والقهر إلى نظام يسعى لتحقيق العدل بين كل أبناء الوطن، يكون من العسير تسوية كل ظلم سابق، ولا بد من العفو والصفح برغم عظيم المصاب.
ثالثاً: إن المساءلة والمحاسبة والاقتصاص سوف تُركّز على رؤوس القيادات الظالمة من النظام البائد، وليس كل من شارك في مؤسسات الحكم على نحو أو آخر، فيحال إلى القضاء قادة الفرق العسكرية والرتب العالية التي شاركت في التخريب والقتل والقمع، ويجري هذا على رؤساء فروع المخابرات وكبار الضباط، بالإضافة إلى كل من ثبت عليه ارتكاب جرم بشكل محدد.
رابعاً: تتمُّ إعادة ما تمّ اختلاسه من أموال القطاع العام إلى ملكية الدولة، وتتمّ إدارته من قبل مستثمرين، وتذهب الأرباح بأسرها إلى المناطق الأشد فقراً.
خامساً: يمكن لحزب البعث أن يكون حزباً مثل غيره، لا يُعطى أي ميزة ولا يُحرم من النشاط السياسي، ويتم حلّه فقط باعتبار ما دخل فيه من فساد، مع إمكانية إعادة تأسيسه لكي لا يكون له ميزة السبق والتأسيس قبل غيره.
النظام ماضٍ في غيّه ويفقد كل ما بقي له من شرعيةٍ سياسيةٍ أو أخلاقية، وهو يعتدي على المساجد والعلماء والفنانين، والثورة ماضيةٌ في طريقها نحو تحقيق أهدافها دون ترددٍ أو تراجع، والمثقفون يُقدّمون رؤيةً وميثاق شرف يتعلقان بالمرحلة الانتقالية. يبقى أن ترتقي المعارضةُ السياسية إلى مستوى المسؤولية المُلقاة على عاتقها، وتبادر لجمع كلمتها في أسرع وقت، وقبل أن تتجاوزها الأحداث بأي شكلٍ من الأشكال. وفي وجود شعبٍ يتحرك عملياً تحت شعار (الموت ولا المذلة)، لا يجوز الخوف من أي هيكليةٍ سياسيةٍ قادمة بما تضمّهُ من رموز وأحزاب وتجمعات، لأن مثل هذا الشعب صار ضمانةً لإسقاطها إذا حادت عن أهداف الثورة الأساسية في أي مجالٍ من المجالات..

September 4th, 2011, 9:50 am


Norman said:

Most Syrians who have their money out side the country have it in Lebanon and Switzerland, Is Switzerland following the EU sanctions.?

September 4th, 2011, 9:58 am


ann said:

*** Are those pictured covered up and veiled subservient Salafist Islamist women a representative of an all inclusive Syrian society?! ***

September 4th, 2011, 10:01 am



Norman and Mediocrates

These four guys should have been sanctioned a long time ago. Personally, I’d like to see the whole board of Cham Holding have their assets frozen and banned from travel in the US and EU. On top of these guys we can add several of the members on the board of the Syrian American Business Council (i.e. Joud, Nahas – who I have personally witnessed attempting to shore up this regime). The great thing is, everyone in Syria knows who these guys are, and they know who they do business with, it won’t be forgotten.

Norman, do you think the EU gives a monkey’s about trade with Syria? Ostensibly the EU are there to develop trade links, but really they want to act as deal makers in any Middle East peace settlement, their presence is certainly not driven by any perceived economic benefits.

The Syrian retail market suffers from an absence of competitive forces at the very top. These guys aren’t necessarily any more entrepreneurial or innovative than your less affluent Syrians, they simply have the resources and links to the regime that allow them to perpetuate their fraud.

September 4th, 2011, 10:05 am



Same goes for the current newspaper editors. It’s time to pick sides.

September 4th, 2011, 10:07 am


Mango said:

( This will be an experiment in religious and social engineering in Syria. ) :
Stop to offend the population of Syria! Syrians are not a subject for experiments! Your mothers !

September 4th, 2011, 10:15 am




Who says that they are subservient? Do you know any of them? They wear the hijab so suddenly they become female slaves? Don’t be ridiculous.

September 4th, 2011, 10:16 am



There’s a great song by Bob Dylan, goes something like this:

The Times They Are a-Changin’

Get use to it…

September 4th, 2011, 10:18 am


ann said:

Times are only changing in the windmills of your mind

Get use to it…

September 4th, 2011, 10:25 am


Tara said:


People have tendency to reflect the way they view themselves on the others. Slaves thinks others are slaves too. Beautiful people also see “beautiful” in everything around them. I bet you never see any “beauty” around you.

September 4th, 2011, 10:30 am


ann said:

Tara your hate mongering on this board is phenomenal!

Tara sure sounds like Liz Cheney to me!

September 4th, 2011, 10:40 am


Abu Umar said:

” 190. sf94123 said:

# 175 Abo Umar aka Shikh Araor…. Keep on drinking!”

You and your ilk will long for the days of Ar’oor. Why did you post an article by a Jewish Neocon hypocrite so you can further your defeated cause?

September 4th, 2011, 10:43 am


Tara said:

Dear Ann

That is exactly what I am saying. You only see ugliness and hate. I don’t. I always see beautiful minds love and sincerity even in people who do not share my views. I wish you some insight..

September 4th, 2011, 10:50 am


ann said:

So are you Liz Cheney or not?!

September 4th, 2011, 10:52 am


Norman said:


Same goes for the current newspaper editors. It’s time to pick sides

I thought you want free and independent press!!!!.

September 4th, 2011, 10:55 am



ANN @ 32
Stick with cut and paste, risk of exposing your intellect is much less with that.

September 4th, 2011, 11:01 am


ann said:

The NeoCONS unite!

September 4th, 2011, 11:02 am




You’re right mate, I am for a free press. What I’m not for is a bunch of sycophants writing crap editorials in the hope of propping up a failing dictatorship. It would be great to see a whole plethora of newspapers in post-Assad Syria criticising all manner of things and people, and that obviously includes whatever government eventually takes over from him.

The problem is, when people are getting locked up and tortured and certain parts of the population are complicit in this, you can’t expect them to face a great deal of sympathy from people when it all comes crashing down. Al-Ahram in Egypt is a perfect example.

September 4th, 2011, 11:06 am


haytham Khoury said:

@ Secular Syrian #12

I agree with you the sect of the people affected is not important. The most important, they are all from the inner circle of al-Assad family, particularly Tarif Akhras. He is a cousin of the first lady.

September 4th, 2011, 11:11 am


Some guy in damascus said:

انن ، انت سورية؟

September 4th, 2011, 11:11 am


Norman said:


you mean that you want the press to express what they think with or against the government, and expose what is wrong from any side, Right

September 4th, 2011, 11:15 am


ann said:

Turkey to sign strategic alliance with Egypt

Ankara-Cairo relations receive boost as crisis with Israel worsens: Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan slated to visit Cairo and possibly Gaza soon to sign strategic cooperation agreement with Egypt. Meanwhile, recently expelled Israeli ambassador Gaby Levy says there’s no chance he will return to Ankara

09.04.11, 17:50,7340,L-4117727,00.html

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is slated to visit Egypt and Gaza soon to sign strategic cooperation agreements with Cairo, just days after the leaking of the Palmer Report which led to a new low in Israel-Turkey relations.

Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Sabe’a quoted Turkish diplomats as saying that Erdogan will arrive in Cairo next week. During the visit he is slated to meet Higher Military Council chief General Hussein Tantawi, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and other Egyptian officials.

According to the report, Erdogan will be accompanied by Turkey’s foreign minister, trade and industry minister and a number of businessmen. The purpose of the visit will be to sign strategic cooperation agreements in the military, diplomatic and commercial fields.

The Turkish press also reported of contacts between Ankara and Cairo surrounding Erdogan’s visit in Gaza which it declared as part of a campaign of threats against Israel. The Gaza visit, which is scheduled to take place on September 12-13, may be postponed, however. The Turkish prime minister is set to reach the Strip via the Rafah crossing, pending Egyptian approval.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Haber Turk newspaper printed a telephone interview with Gaby Levy, the recently expelled Israeli ambassador to Ankara. Levy declared there was “no chance” he will return to Turkey following the decision, unless he enters the country as a tourist.

He said he was very concerned at the recent diplomatic crisis and expressed hope the two nations will work to restore relations. Levy noted that the friendship between Israel and Turkey was “sacred.”

September 4th, 2011, 11:21 am


uzair8 said:

A lengthy revolution means more sacrifices for the revolutionaries.

However, one positive side of a lengthy revolution is that it means more ‘actors’ such as pro-regime merchants, supporters, celebraties etc are ‘incriminated’.

A quick revolution or regime restoration of order wouldnt be too problematic for such ‘actors’. Their role or position would less likely be exposed or they could quietly switch allegiance.

I think we are seeing the wheat being seperated from the chaff.

If the revolution succeeded quickly would we have known how long the merchants were prepared to stand with the regime?

September 4th, 2011, 11:36 am


Akbar Palace said:


Keep up the good work. Freedom of thought now means one is either a Jew, neocon, Zionist or Liz Cheney. How sad?

September 4th, 2011, 11:46 am


uzair8 said:

Its funny seeing Menhabeks (including Shabeeha, Mukhabarat) on here having to reign in their instinct to resort to violence and attempt to discuss in a normal manner.

September 4th, 2011, 11:59 am


ann said:

Egypt youth groups remobilise for new revolutionary offensive

Revolutionary youth coalitions, frustrated with many stumbling blocks on the way to the new Egypt, call on the ruling military council to step down soon at a mass protest planned in Tahrir on 9 September

Sunday 4 Sep 2011

A few days ago the Revolutionary Youth Coalition (RYC), one of the more prominent offshoots of the January 25 uprising against ousted president Mubarak, called for a mass rally in Tahrir Square on 9 September under the slogan of “Correcting the Path.” The path to democracy seems to blocked with several hurdles, and by the looks of things, many groups agree with them and are planning to join the protests.

The demands

The RYC aims to pressure the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to cease trying civilians in military courts, which is currently rampant in Egypt.

The council, they stress, should revoke a law it approved last spring that criminalises certain types of strikes and protests.

They are pushing to set a definitive time table for handing power over to a civilian administration and to scrap election laws the coalition believes would allow former Mubarak supporters to control future parliaments.

In recent days, RYC’s call for protests against the council has picked up thousands of endorsements by various youth coalitions and activist groups, as well as thousand of social network users.

For one, the Revolution Youth Union (RYU), another product of the January 25 uprising, has issued its own statement supporting the 9 September action and called for an end to all military trials.

No holds barred criticism

However, the Revolutionary Youth Federation is more scathing in its critique than RYC of the SCAF’s record in power over the last seven months.

In a statement it titled “No to Military Rule,” the RYU accused the SCAF of doing little or nothing to support the aims of the January revolution.

RYU blamed SCAF for wasting LE200 million ($33.9 million) in public funds on a March referendum on constitutional amendments that the council did not respect.

The SCAF, charged the RYU, harboured police officers who killed protesters during the January uprising; and even sent police to attack families of the martyrs on more than one occasion.

Furthermore, the RYU charged that SCAF continued Mubarak’s policy of selling gas to Israel, but did very little to combat gasoline and staple foods inflation for poor Egyptians. Meanwhile, the military used public funds to pay for Mubarak’s treatment in luxury hospitals after he was ousted.

They also chided the military council for the disproportionate actions against Egyptian protesters by occupying with soldiers the historic centre of January’s uprising, Tahrir Square, since 1 August to prevent revolutionaries from protesting there in comparison to their weak reaction to Israel’s attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula later in the month.

Many activists, ordinary Egyptians, and even strong SCAF supporters, felt that the council should have sent a stronger message to Tel Aviv after Israel killed five Egyptian solders in Sinai in mid August.

Pickin up steam

Meanwhile, older groups such as the National Association for Change, which formed in 2010 to oppose then president Mubarak, have also backed the youth coalitions’ call for demonstrating on 9 September to end military trials and revoke new election laws.

In recent weeks, many activists have grown increasingly wary of some of SCAF’s domestic and international policies.

Groups such as No to Military Trials have launched public campaigns to highlight the plight of 13,000 individuals that SCAF put on military trials since it came to power last February.

Human rights lawyers have also attempted to represent hundreds of individuals who army judges sentenced to jail for alleged acts of “thuggery” in speedy military trials, but failed to acquit most of their clients.

The planned 9 September demonstration would mark the first major attempt by revolutionaries to return to Tahrir Square in numbers since 1 August. Last week, a group of 200 protesters attempted to reoccupy the centre of the square but military police rebuffed them.

Muslim Brotherhood’s stance

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s main Islamist political force and a supporter of the SCAF, has announced that it will boycott the upcoming Friday rally.

A leading Brotherhood figure, Essam El-Erian, said they are confident that SCAF will hand power over to a civilian administration after parliamentary elections, planned for November of this year. Moreover, El-Erian mocked youth groups for calling for “million man marches and turning out just a few thousand people.”

September 4th, 2011, 12:41 pm


Alescander said:

To Annie and Revlon
You will drive your cause home with more positive views and practices, by being inclusive.
You are keeping keep minorities away from you by your hatred and anger , I am not saying you shouldn’t be angry , but al the negativity is not helping your homeland.
Annie please read a previous post on “bombardment ” from sea by an American business owner in lattakia , and if you wish to believe me, the bay of Tabiat is so visible in such a way that any war ship firing at land would be posted on YouTube
You guys refuse to believe that armed thugs exist,
Revlon , by bringing down the whole country , then what I stated stands true, then it is your responsibly to fix it “you break it it’s yours ”
, I don’t think you will be able to…. Alone , you can fix it with your countrymen ( good choice) , or with outside help, let’s contemplate Iraq .

I do respect and appreciate your frustration , I am too, so let’s be positive and build together.

I was on the phone with my folks now: in Homs , sunnies and alawis are hunting each other down, my cousin fled Homs . In damascus , my friends ( they are alawis, no particular relation to the regime ) their house was marked with an X

On the positive side , lattakia and tartous are bouncing back , full tourism , ( sorry to disappoint you Osama mounajid, may be you lost you ugly smirk when you said happily that Syria’s tourism section has been damaged )

What you are seeking is righteous , the way you are pursuing it is erroneous.

And oh Annie, please read the protesters signs last Friday , seeking foreign intervention

Let’s all behave like Syrians, we are all smart , civilized , and dynamic . There is a good way out !

September 4th, 2011, 12:55 pm


Aboud said:

“in Homs , sunnies and alawis are hunting each other down, my cousin fled Homs”


Dude, I went out today to the bank and mobile phone company. I had lunch with my brothers and visited another relative in another part of town. I wasn’t hunting anyone and no one hunted me.

“On the positive side , lattakia and tartous are bouncing back , full tourism”

Uh yeah, you got any evidence for that?

September 4th, 2011, 1:19 pm


Aboud said:

“Annie please read a previous post on “bombardment ” from sea by an American business owner in lattakia”

And Annie, make sure you read the comments that discussed all the holes in this women’s story. She turned out to be married to a Alawite. And yeah, it does matter, especially when said eye witness claims to have seen a Palestinian girl get arrested because “she was hiding weapons” (how Valerie could possibly know this is beyond me).

Or when said eye witness claims that a friend was killed in “Aa alawite neighborhood” (when was he killed? How was he killed? Heck, what was his name even? Details on which Valerie is strangely silent).

And finally, Valerie’s claim that the sports stadium was never used as a mass prison camp. I have dared Abughassan and other people time and again to provide photo or video evidence that the sports stadium was empty of prisoners. Abughassan’s not-very-practical answer was that I go and prove it *was* used as a prison camp.

As if the shabiha are going to allow people to take videos of their prisons. Well, they do if you are a fellow shabeeh and intend on selling the video to Al-Jazeera for $300.

September 4th, 2011, 1:34 pm


uzair8 said:

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed: Damascus regime: history of assassination
Sunday, 04 September 2011


“Why does the regime lie?” Damascus regime is the one meant by this question. This was the title of an article written by Selim al-Louzy, the owner of “Al-Hawadeth” magazine, 31 years ago. When he returned to Lebanon to bury his mother, he was kidnapped, tortured and killed. Before his assassination, his brother Mustapha was kidnapped and murdered as a kind of punishment and threat.

“Al-Nahar” manager Jubran Twini borrowed the same title,“Why does the regime lie?”, and wrote it with the same spirit and theme in 2005, in which he challenged the Syrian regime. He was also killed in a car bomb.

Eight weeks ago, a disfigured dead body of a singer was found in Hama, Syria. It was Ibrahim Qashoush with a cut throat, was punished for singing in support of the uprising and his song was a big hit on the YouTube and millions of Syrians sang it.

Few weeks ago, the Syrian government announced that an investigation committee has been formed to probe the attack on the celebrated Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who survived an attack, was abducted, tortured, stabbed in the arms and disfigured before his body was dumped. To add insult to injury, the regime announced that security forces—who attacked him—are now probing the crime!

Why does the Syrian regime lie about its deeds, which everyone knows about? The regime lies only to deceive the international community by showing its innocence. Meanwhile, on the domestic level, it deliberately stresses that it is responsible for the crime as part of its policy of spreading fear. The regime’s war against intellectuals aims at silencing its rivals. It deliberately disfigures its critics, whether they were dead or alive, so as to remind everyone that it is capable of reaching them and capable of committing crimes right in front of the eyes of a silent world.

Along four decades, the Syrian regime killed numerous journalists, writers and artists. It was the only suspect in a series of bloody crimes. It started its era by killing al-Louzy and assassinating the head of the Lebanese Journalists Association Riyadh Taha. In the era of the son, Bashar Alassad, famous intellectual Samir Qusseir was assassinated; Jubran Twini was killed and TV presenter Mai Shediaq was almost killed when her car exploded, which she lost her leg.

The convoy of intellectuals killed and attacked by the Syrian regime, such as cartoonist Ferzat, was never part of any armed militias. They were killed only because they represented the conscience of a large sector of people who disagreed with the Damascus regime.

(Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya. This article was translated by Abeer Tayel.)

September 4th, 2011, 1:39 pm


AK said:

“The Baath Party nationalized most large land holdings and successful businesses in the 1960s in an effort to punish the Sunni elites, who they believed were “feudalistic” and “parasitical” if not outright criminal”

That is not true.
The nationalization was done under Nasser during the union. The baath just kept it after the coup they did and took over after the Union.

The baath saw it purely as a class struggle.
Its support base was and still is the workers and the peasantry.
The nationalization hit EVERYONE, not just the sunnis. My family both from my father and mother side got their sizeable lands taken away, both christian families.

It was done out of revenge yes defenitely, but from a class struggle perspective, not religious. The baath was composed of members from all kinds of backgrounds, and the nationalization and land grab also hit anyone above a certain class.

September 4th, 2011, 1:42 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Look at the shabbi7a riff-raffs, and the “uniform” they wear. A mishmash of uniforms and sneakers with no order, but with a big disregard. They look like a militia rather than an army. It reminds me of Somalia.

Tara, OTW,

Some mnhebaks call you MB Islamists, and other mnhebaks call you Neocon Zionists. Did you notice?

September 4th, 2011, 2:18 pm


Abughassan said:

My post disappeared. I am too tired to rewrite it. Sham life is being used now by people with anti regime views 🙂
I always believed in checking all sides,nobody owns the whole truth except العرعور when he spoke about the virtues of the Saudi regime,and yes,I watched العرعور few times especially when I wanted to remind myself that political islamists have no vision for the future,take a minute and read Galioun’s view on political Islam..
العراعير ..ما اكثرهم اليوم و ما أقلهم

September 4th, 2011, 2:32 pm


Tara said:


Agree. Shabeeha have no taste either. They don’t know how to dress. No style at all..

Neocon is the new conspiracy theory. I am looking for more exiting one. They are running out of creativity.

Feeling bored today. My entire family is at the shore. Need to stay near work in case of emergency. Not fair!

September 4th, 2011, 2:34 pm


Abughassan said:

There might be a generational rift in the Arab Springs,and I do not think this should surprise any of us. Expats and older Syrians inside Syria deserve little credit,if any,for the changes we are witnessing today.It was the youth who started and maintained this uprising,however,this group is underrepresented in all of the councils we see here and there because they are not equipped to act like politicians and give speeches to the media and get their pictures taken with the likes of Hillary. We knew for years that the young generation in the middle east is a time bomb,and mid eastern governments did very little to tackle their problems especially unemployment and lack of political freedom. Now we are stuck: the youth are not willing to compromise and the elderly may not be able to deliver. Look at Egypt,young people,many without jobs and without hope,keep demonstrating and asking for justice and more measures to change the society they live in while the military council is struggling to keep order and prevent more chaos and stop the bleeding in the economy. No solution in Syria is likely until the regime starts to listen to the youth movement and stop brutal arrests and oppression. What started as an uprising for dignity and accountability is now a campaign to change the regime,and the right thing to do is for Bashar to begin a transition that ends with his departure,those cosmetic steps he proposes will not calm the streets.

September 4th, 2011, 2:44 pm


Solitarius said:

You can’t force a revolution into success. this is pathetic. you keep bringing up stories and using names of people that were already established as being wrong or inaccurate. I see everywhere people talking about the bombardments. First it was tanks, then ships and now they dare to mention airplanes in their writings. These people are wrecking not only the name of the regime but the name of Syria and the Syrian people in the process. The damage that has been done to the image of the country is beyound what i can consider to be acceptable for such a failed miserable revolution. It just breaks my heart to see these young people being led to believe that they are part of something good, and they are then armed and left to die without a plan. People who know some of the tricks that the armed rioters in Syria have fell to will know that these people are being misled and just sent to die without any strategy or leadership.. just death.. more blood, more videos, and maybe the regime will fall. This cannot succeed. Even if the revolution wins, the country that will emerge out of this will not be based on strong foundations. You cannot force it.. a revolution has to come from inside. It has to gather the right momentum, popular support, and ideas to bring it to life.. it’s not forced labor.. there is no child here that must be saved or else! the only thing that must be saved is the money that the Gulf states and some prominent rich Syrians have spent into this. Many people have committed themselves publicly too far and too obviously.. well this is their problem. I’m not willing to throw away my country because some people miscalculated. Revolutions, or any process in the life of nations, need to withstand the test of legitimacy.. If they can’t make it.. if they can’t gather enough force, then they must die.. This is a simple Darwinian principle that applies to social phenomena just as it does to biological species. If it’s not strong enough then it must die and the next attempt will be better.. will be healthier and stronger. I can guarantee you that many current falsely-accused so-called Menhebbaks will turn into opposition as soon as this dirty movement subsides and normal life is resumed. Even the current activists will get a change to understand better their own position and popular support. But this mentality that is prevailing and that believes the revolution MUST survive at all costs is catastrophic.. because it means that anything is approved and anything is okay as long as the revolution wins.. and this is very troubling as it means eventually foreign intervention. It’s no secret that many of the average Joe’s now in Syria look forward to foreign intervention. They will be glad if Turkey or NATO or the US attacks Syria.. they are blinded by hatred. Yes it’s true that if the regime survives then there will be some hunting going on, but this is the price for REAL freedom.. for REAL building of a new state.. not a pathetic call for international S.O.S Libya-style.. the current movement has many mistakes.. it’s not the end of the world if it were to slowly die off, then resurruct in a truely peaceful, legitimate and organized manner a few years later.

September 4th, 2011, 2:45 pm



Good observation. It depends on who the accuser is. If the accuser is a secular-sectarian Syrian, then we are MB, if she/he is a cut an paste Euro/NA Leftist or anti-semite then we are zio-neo-cons. The real fun would be when we are called both by the same character in the same comment, in two different sentences of the same paragraph. I gather it happened to Aboud, but I can’t find the comment.

September 4th, 2011, 2:53 pm


uzair8 said:

Isnt it a sick joke the way these supporters of Shabeeha rapists trying to frighten everyone with MB?

I just read the wiki article on ‘Shabeeha’ and articles on Shabeeha raping women.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya. This article was translated by Abeer Tayel

September 4th, 2011, 2:56 pm


solitarius said:

I love how some self-proclaimed patriotic Syrians are finding the time and energy to kid around and giggle with Israelis.. what a beautiful scene

zionist neocons .. Saudi wahhabis.. who gives a sh*t.. they are all buddy buddy

September 4th, 2011, 2:59 pm


Abughassan said:

This is not to say that I agree with solitarius post,but why we do not have more solitariuses on this forum and less blabbers ?

September 4th, 2011, 3:01 pm




كفاكم مزاودة. ما أوصلنا الى ما نحن عليه الا المزاودات

September 4th, 2011, 3:10 pm


Solitarius said:


أبسط ما يمكن ان يُطلب هو ألا تقف مع الصهيوني ضد ابن بلدك تحت أي ظرف! صعبة هي؟ نحن بنقاش سوري داخلي.. و الاسرائيليون خط أحمر.. اسمحلي بهذا الموضوع بالذات ما في تهاون و زاود على راحتك. كيف تريد ان تقنع باقي السوريين بأن الثورة نظيفة اذا قاعد عم تتكركر مع الاسرائيلي؟ ما عم قول انك بتعمل هيك دايما بس شايفهم اخدين وج كتير. بالمناسبة انا بعرف انو فيهم يقروا كلامي بالعربي.

أقول لك بصراحة اهم اخطاء الثورة هي اخطاء لغوية.. تسمية اشياء تسميات مجحفة او غير ناضجة او ملائمة جعلت الناس تنفر لأنها تشعر بعدم الجدية و بأن هناك شيء شخصي.. كل هذه التعابير مثل المنحبكجية و الشبيحة و بيشو (و تسمية الثورة السورية ضد بشار الأسد و ليس الثورة السورية للحرية او الديمقراطية) كلها هذه اخطاء قاتلة تجعل من ينظر إليكم يعتقد انكم إما حاقدون او غير ناضجين.. فلا تزيد على هذه الاخطاء بأخطاء انتحارية اثقل مثل التودد للإسرائيليين… مع انو بيني و بينك تصطفل.. انا احسنلي لأني بالاساس غير مرتاح للثورة بهذا التوقيت و ذلك من منطلق قومي عربي لست بصدد الدخول به الان و شكرا

September 4th, 2011, 3:18 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I find it more enjoyable to have giggles with Syrian patriots, than to fight them on the battle field. And if you don’t like it, drink from the sea of Gaza.

September 4th, 2011, 3:19 pm


Tara said:

I guess the regime is feeling some pain today. All the sudden, new or unfamiliar names writing long posts to reflect their sense of defeat on the revolution. The revolution has succeeded so far beyond measures. Auntie Buthaina and mnhebaks did not expect the demonstrations to last more than 2 wks. It is going for more than 5 months. Many on this forum said that KSA and the US want Assad to stay and lead the reforms. They were wrong. Iran, it seems is strategically planning for post-Assad era, even Hassan nasrallah in his latest speech echoed Iran somewhat. The regime failed to make the revolution sectarian as it intended to do. Defections are increasing. We are witnessing high profile defections. Sanctions are closing in on the regime and more to come. The case is being built for charging Besho with crimes against humanity. Demonstration slowly extending into Damascus proper. And most importantly, we the people shattered the wall of fear. Syrians are in constant state of ELATION. Freedom and dignity are at their door. All this
happened against one of the most brutal oppressive regime in recent history. I call that success beyond measure.

September 4th, 2011, 3:24 pm


uzair8 said:

@70 Tara.

I agree.

The tipping point hasnt arrived yet. Its coming. The fear even within the regime members is still high.

The day Reem Haddad defects will be the day we can say the regime is finished.

September 4th, 2011, 3:29 pm


Aboud said:

@68 What Besho and his menhebaks (I really don’t care if the phrases offend you) have done to Syrian cities is much worse than anything the Israelis did in 40+ years of occupying Palestine. At least the Israelis allow *something* into Gaza.

What kind of a Syrian are you that you’ve never watched De3at Tishreen? Do I have to remind you of the famous scene where the heroes, Nayeef and Ghawar, are in jail and have been beaten up by the mukhabarat, and the usually stoic Ghawar breaks down in tears. Nayef is shocked, telling Ghawar that he used to laugh when he got a beating from the French “Iste3mar”, but now he’s crying like a woman.

Remember what Ghawar’s answer was? “When a foreigner beats you up, it’s something, but when the son of your own country beats you up is something else”

September 4th, 2011, 3:29 pm


Aboud said:

Saying that the revolution has failed after six months contains its own retort. No one expected a revolution in Syria, and no one expected it could be so resilient.

It’s like saying the defenders of Leningrad failed because they didn’t defeat the German army after years of siege. Correction, it was the Germans who failed to subdue Leningrad after years of siege.

“The tipping point hasnt arrived yet”

Agreed, because it is the nature of prolonged conflicts that the tipping point comes suddenly. When the end comes, it will come very, very quickly.

September 4th, 2011, 3:32 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Why do you care who anyone talks to? Israelis are no different than anyone else.

September 4th, 2011, 3:37 pm


ِAboud said:

Sure nobody expected a revolution and still nobody expects a revolution to actually happen. The delusions (or deliberate lies) that you say about a current revolution and the destruction of Syrian cities are very interesting.. Perhaps you can show us some signs of this huge destruction that after 6 months surpasses the destruction that the Israeli warmachine has laid upon AlQunaytira, Gaza, south lebanon, Lebanese infrastructure, the Da7iyeh janoubiyeh of Beirut.. or to Iraq by your beloved USA…

nowonder people resort very quickly to blabbers.. it’s because they are talking to people who lie to you in your face without shame

[my bad i posted this under the name of ABOUD instead of SOLITARIUS as I intended this reply to be to him! :S)

September 4th, 2011, 3:37 pm


Mango said:

يسلم فمك و الباقي خلي يفوت بالحيط !

September 4th, 2011, 3:38 pm


Tara said:

Why has Turkey not allowed free press to talk to the Syrian refugees? I am a bit suspicious about Turkey’s intention. Strong rhetoric against the regime without substance. They have not asked Besho to step down and have not allowed the refugee to mingle freely with outsiders. Also, Turkey should have played more active role in uniting the opposition as compared to just host them. Where is investigative journalism? A western journalist should try to infiltrate the refugee camp in Turkey to shed more light into their plot.

September 4th, 2011, 3:48 pm


uzair8 said:


“When the end comes, it will come very, very quickly.”

It sure will. InshaAllah.

The following from JL’s previous post caught my attention a few days ago:

“Such regimes ultimately rest on fear and opportunism far more than they do on institutions or a cause. They crumble the moment the army of zealots that form their ranks realize the battle is lost. One day, they appear strong. The next, they are gone. In 2003, when U.S. troops entered Baghdad, they revealed – much to their own surprise – that Sadddam’s regime was hollow. Tunisian President Ben Ali’s leviathan turned out to be a pygmy on rickety stilts. In Libya, loyalist forces had fought the rebels into a seemingly endless stalemate until they suddenly were swept away.”

Btw. I think people like Buthaina and Reem Haddad will be feeling very uncomfortable especially as they are women. I think they must feel trapped in this system.

I doubt they are like the Libyan woman (Gaddafi’s Hang woman) captured today.

September 4th, 2011, 3:49 pm




Very well. Here is what i think of your plea. It is the same thing I hear from cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and acquaintances who call themselves the “educated” and “intellectual” elites of Syria who consider themselves the custodians of the “inside” and the real and only hope for Syria. The only reason they have not risen up yet, is because they are waiting for the appropriate combination of geopolitical sociological, and cultural development of ignorant Syrians, which would be necessary to get their civilized revolution. Frankly speaking, if you want to apply Darwinian principles, it is this group who proved themselves ineffective and not at par with what it takes to shake this regime to its core and to initiate the spark to build a new Syria. It is the group of fearful daydreamer, self appointed elites.

Year after year, they were oppressed. Decades went by and they became the worst of what Syria has to offer. They would be the first ones to distance themselves from any one of their friends who develops a spine and dares to criticize. They would be the ones who would smile at their colleague, whom they know is writing reports about them left and right, they would invite him or her to dinner, and cuss at them, silently when they leave. This spineless parasitic group was supposed to lead Syria out of the intellectual, cultural, human rights, and political desert, and all the majority of them did was to busy themselves discussing, like aristocrats, this new painting, the new movie, or the hidden meaning of a poem they barely understood, and limit their political conversations to palace intrigue and yellow rumors.

You want this group to lead and rise like a sphinx from the ashes of the dead killed by the regime. Tough call, the best they will do is to come out of their intellectual self serving gutters and claim leadership over the dead bodies of their brothers and sisters whom they abandoned, even when these dying heroes were calling for freedom to all and were shaking the rot that oppressed them for decades.

Well, the dignity of Syrians will not wait for you, them, of for me to finish our cappuccino. People who suffered the most will not wait, they finished their very sweet tea in the morning, and they are heading out to fight for your dignity. As for those you are counting on to steal the results from the unpopulars “read that the untouchables”, let them keep enjoying their badly translated books on western conspiracies and dream of ideas that will bring their long awaited silk revolution, with nice looking young girls joining the boys and holding hands, while real people die so that next time we sip cappuccino, we don’t have to pretend that we are not talking politics, we just don’t.

The above was written before comment 68.

As for comment 68, you make sense and you give a lot to think about. Please note that in my comment there is no use to any of the terms you referred to. I take both of your comments seriously.

September 4th, 2011, 3:51 pm


Norman said:

53. Aboud said:

“in Homs , sunnies and alawis are hunting each other down, my cousin fled Homs”


Dude, I went out today to the bank and mobile phone company. I had lunch with my brothers and visited another relative in another part of town. I wasn’t hunting anyone and no one hunted me.

So Aboud, you think that Homs is back to normal, thank you, my understanding, too .

September 4th, 2011, 3:57 pm


Norman said:


It is just not the right way to change things in Syria, it has to be a better way.Don’t you think ?. please think of another way, you can do it.

Set a plan,

September 4th, 2011, 4:02 pm


Vexed Levantine said:

Mr Landis, with all due respect, I’ve followed your blog for a years but have always sensed a relentless pro-regime undertone to this blog. This article articulates it in ways i fail to do myself.

The professor of propaganda
Why is the world’s most-quoted Syria expert a flack for Bashar al-Assad?

In February, Vogue magazine published one of the most notorious profiles in the history of recent American journalism. In six, full-color pages, the world-famous fashion title featured Asma al-Assad, the “glamorous, young, and very chic,” wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who, over the past six months, has killed upwards of 2,000 fellow Syrians protesting his authoritarian rule. Media critics and Vogue readers alike pilloried the magazine, and its editors eventually took the article down from their website and erased it from their online archives.

But if Vogue was too embarrassed to stand by the piece, there was one figure willing to defend it: Professor Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Writing on his blog, “Syria Comment,” Landis tore into the Atlantic’s Max Fisher and Jeffrey Goldberg, both of whom had criticized the profile, labeling them “big supporters of Israel.” “Doubtlessly,” Landis asserted, “they would be gratified to see a positive report of Israel’s first lady even though Israel has killed, wounded, and imprisoned without trial many more of its subjects in the last 10 years than Syria has.”

As with nearly everything he writes, Landis was parroting the Syrian regime, in this case, its attempts to rouse populist anger against Israel as a means of distracting attention from its own failings. Landis’ attempts at whitewashing the Assad dictatorship would be inconsequential were he some obscure figure in the world of Middle East studies. But Landis is perhaps the most oft-cited expert on Syrian politics, who, largely through his blog, has created a perch for himself in the minds of many as a dispassionate observer of events on the ground.

To read Landis’ commentary about Syria over the past half year is to track the development of Baath propaganda. When protests broke out in March, he was quick to predict that they would never reach the scale of those in other Arab countries. “Western accounts of the protest movement in Syria have been exaggerated,” he wrote for Foreign Policy magazine on April 5. As the demonstrations grew in size and intensity across the country, however, Landis shifted the focus of his analysis to a defense of the regime and an attack on its opponents.

When evidence of Syrian atrocities became impossible to deny, Landis asserted that Assad could not be held responsible for the actions of his military. In an article for Time published March 25, Landis wrote, “Even President Bashar al-Assad himself seems to have been shocked by the level of violence used by Syria’s security forces to suppress demonstrations that began a week ago,” implying that the leader of the Syrian police state was unaware of what his security forces, headed by his own brother, were doing.

Landis has persisted in his denial of the claim, in the face of mounting evidence compiled over a series of months, that the Syrian regime has carried out a policy of killing soldiers who refuse to fire on unarmed civilians. In July, a series of defectors from the Syrian military confirmed to international media outlets and independent human rights organizations what others had been saying for months: They had been ordered to kill fellow soldiers who refused to fire on unarmed protestors. Human Rights Watch interviewed a group of defectors who, rather than carry out illegal orders, fled the country. Yet Landis continues to deny the overwhelming proof. “So far, no evidence has surfaced to demonstrate that Syrian military have shot their fellow soldiers for refusing to carry out orders,” he wrote as late as August 3. “Most evidence supports government statements that armed opposition elements have been shooting security personnel.”

And then there’s the case of Hamza al-Khateeb, whose fate, recorded in a grisly video broadcast on the Internet, inspired massive outpourings into the streets. The regime is reported to have apprehended the 13-year-old boy, castrated him, burned him alive while torturing him to death, and then dumped his mutilated corpse on his family’s doorstep. But while posting voluminous defenses of the Syrian regime, Landis saw fit to mention this catalytic incident only twice. The first time was to cite an item from Syrian state television reporting that the dead boy’s family, after meeting with Assad, said that the president “engulfed us with his kindness and graciousness” and that “the president considered Hamza his own son and was deeply affected.” The second was a mere paragraph arguing that the Syrian regime would resist calls for an international inquiry into the murder because to do so would bring “the country down the slippery slope of foreign investigative teams for every conflagration.”

As for what the outside world should do about Syria, Landis’ mantra has always been precisely that of the regime: Don’t put pressure on Damascus. Last month, as pressure for European Union oil sanctions began to build, Landis cited highly misleading information about the effect of United Nations sanctions on Iraq to make the case that “Syria’s poorest and most vulnerable will likely be the first to feel privation as the wealthy and powerful kick down the pain,” as if the negative effects of sanctions are the fault of the international community, and not Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad or the other tyrants whose brutality stirs the world to action. Landis considers mere symbolic gestures of support with peaceful demonstrators being mowed down by machine gun fire too provocative. In July, after US Ambassador Robert Ford visited Hama and was greeted by cheering crowds bearing olive branches, Landis derided the ambassador’s “antics.”

Landis is too sophisticated to serve as an uncritical mouthpiece of the regime. He posts occasionally messages from the Syrian opposition on his blog, and he readily acknowledges that Syria needs to “reform.” But an incident from 2007 demonstrates how Landis, while speaking obliquely about the need for more democracy in Syria, has ulterior motives. That year, in an article in the Washington Quarterly about the Syrian opposition, he claimed that prominent opposition figure Michel Kilo had made “a clandestine trip to Morocco” in 2005 to meet with an exiled former leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The allegation, incredibly dangerous given the Brotherhood’s illegal status in Syria, was footnoted to a report, however, that made no such claim. At the time that Landis’s article appeared, Kilo was already in custody for his opposition activities. Several months later he was sentenced to three years in jail.

The crux of Landis’ defense of the Syrian status quo is that the country is highly “sectarian” and, thus, most Syrians prefer the “order” provided by Assad to the “democracy” they see in Lebanon and Iraq. “There isn’t self-confidence on the part of the Syrian people, if you will, that they can manage their affairs,” he said recently on France 24. “And this is when the government steps forward and says I’m not going to bring you democracy, but I’m going to bring you order, and there are still many people who cling to that because of the fear.” But the real purpose of the four-decade-long Assad rule has been to maintain the privileged power of an Alawite clique that rules over a country that is 74 percent Sunni. If there are fears of sectarian violence, it is mostly because Assad, on the ropes, is attempting to foment it.

Syria is a closed society, and the Assad regime has little interaction with the West. Landis has been able to broker his rare access (the extent to which is unknown, though he is married to the daughter of a retired admiral in Assad’s navy) into a position of authority in the broader debate over American foreign policy toward Syria.

Newspapers need quotes, and cable news needs talking heads. However, as the Syrian regime murders more of its own citizens with each passing day, Landis’s message that it is Assad—and only Assad—who can manage a transition to democracy has gone from analytically inaccurate to morally perverse. In 2006, Landis dismissed the idea that the United States should “tighten the screws on Damascus to the point that the regime collapses or internal rebellion is sparked,” as “We have learned that using violence as a policy tool can backfire.” He should tell that to the Syrian regime.

September 4th, 2011, 4:02 pm


Husam said:

@ Aboud:

I agree. I used to read the news about Gaza and various animal-like treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis and felt sick. Now reading what the shabiha-dabiha are doing, I feel worst…I can’t enjoy one meal nor do anything anymore. I feel like bits and pieces of me are getting shredded.

I never thought Syrians en masse were capable of doing so much slaughtering. The Sunnis Elite (top 1000 families) who benefited from the corruption of the past 40 year, they too have become the scum of Syria because of their greed.

To me, those who left 30-40 years ago or more are the authentic Syrian intellectuals who could no longer deal with the day-in-day-out-to-flush-your-toilet-bribe.

September 4th, 2011, 4:05 pm


Aboud said:

Norman, what’s “normal”? There are demonstrations there everyday and night, but due to the massive security presence, people can’t go out and do sit ins in the main square and high ways.

Occasionally the army will try to intimidate a neighborhood by sending in tanks and the shabiha. The demonstrators just come out again after they are gone.

When strikes are called, they are very effective in the city. I didn’t see a single place open during the last one (except for Abu Laban, but that didn’t stop the shabiha scum from shooting up his place during Ramadan).

September 4th, 2011, 4:06 pm


ss said:

Norman: “Dude, I went out today to the bank and mobile phone company. I had lunch with my brothers and visited another relative in another part of town. I wasn’t hunting anyone and no one hunted me”

Agree with Norman. The news I got from Syria indicate exactly what NOrman is saying. This is all over. The opposition are left with some medica war and hats why you see Aboud in his rood day and night because there is nothing to go out and demonstrate for. What aljazeera and Aboud say does not reflect the reality at all. Thank you Norman for being in Homs and clarifying the facts for all of us here.

September 4th, 2011, 4:12 pm


ss said:

I would add that after the cleaning that took place in ALRAML ALJANOBI and QNAINAS; Lattakia is back to normal with no sounds of TAKBEERAT anymore.

September 4th, 2011, 4:15 pm


Vexed Levantine said:

freezing the assets of those 4 and hopefully more is certainly the best news i’ve heard in a while. This sort of sanctioning will certainly hit the regime exactly where it hurts, and not precipitate to the average Syrian as much as anticipated.
I just hope that other capitalists will try to distance themselves from Assad in fear of similar punishment.
I do hope the US follows suite in freezing their assets. They never earned it anyway. Their fortune and wealth were gathered through privileged connections.

September 4th, 2011, 4:20 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

HUSAM, please abn SPANN ( Spammy Ann). She’s a troublemaker and clearly she’s spam…oh sorry…spANNing.

September 4th, 2011, 4:22 pm


Norman said:

husam said,

(( To me, those who left 30-40 years ago or more are the authentic Syrian intellectuals who could no longer deal with the day-in-day-out-to-flush-your-toilet-bribe.))

Thank you .LOL,LOL,LOL

September 4th, 2011, 4:25 pm


NK said:


The country’s image was not damaged, actually Syrians are praised by most people around the globe for their bravery standing up to a brutal dictator for 6 months now, despite all the torture and killing committed by “security forces”. I think you’re mixing up the image of Bashar with that of Syria, they’re not the same … Anyways, if it’s any conciliation to you, the image of Bashar was not damaged, he was merely exposed for what he really is.

As for those “menhebaks” who will turn opposition once this revolution is defeated ( the likes of Bassam Kadi I imagine), what have they ever done for the Syrian people ? other than whine about anything and everything. They did exist before this revolution ever started, didn’t they ? so please show us their accomplishments other than betraying those who took to the streets asking for their rights …

I can’t understand how delusional someone can be to even imagine any kind of opposition will be allowed to breathe let alone criticize the regime should this revolution fail. The regime is hunting down activists, arresting, torturing and out right murdering them in spite of all the media attention, what do you think they will happen once the kingdom of silent is restored ?

As for your proposed price for real freedom, I think the activists will pass on your generous offer, we prefer not to be “hunted” … as for foreign MILITARY intervention, I know for a fact that most Syrians are opposed to it even though Abu-ghraib fades in comparison to what the regime is and has been doing for the past 40 years.

September 4th, 2011, 4:27 pm


Aboud said:

“This is all over”

Um…I’m still trying to understand what your standards of measurements are when you say things are “normal”. Please enlighten us, because I get the feeling that, as always, you appear to be living in an alternative reality than that of the rest of the world 🙂

“Lattakia is back to normal with no sounds of TAKBEERAT anymore.”

That’s like congratulating American car companies on avoiding bankruptcy by getting a bailout from the government. The only way Besho can keep Latakians in their homes is to occupy them with tanks and imprison thousands of them in sports stadiums.

If that’s your standard for “success”, it’s no wonder the menhebaks gloated over Ali Ferzat getting beaten up.

September 4th, 2011, 4:32 pm


ss said:

الموضوع ذات صله بمعهد ترايدنت :

تناقلت مواقع إخبارية ( صحيفة ‘الفجر’ القاهرية اليوم وموقع الشروق القطرية وغيرها من المواقع..) نبأ عن تعرض موكب أمير قطر الشيخ”حمد بن خليفه الثاني” لمحاولة اغتيال فى أعقاب المقابلة التي جمعت الأمير مع السفير الروسي فى مخيم أميرة في أطراف الدوحة ولدى تحرك الموكب تم اصطدام قوي يبدو مقصودا من طرف سيارة يقودها انتحاري وسمع على إثر ذلك دوي رصاص كثيف فى الموقع.

وقد صرح أحد المقربين لمكتب الشيخ خليفه ال ثانى الأمير السابق لقطر بأن الحادث نتج عنه إصابة أمير قطر فى فخذه ولا يعلم مدى تلك الاصابه.

هذا وقد توفي على الفور ثمانية من المرافقين العسكريين وأحد المقربين من أمير قطر حمد أل ثاني وقد عرف هذا الحادث تعتيما إعلاميا ولم يعرف لحد الآن من يقف وراء هذا الحادث ودوافعه كما أن حادث وفاة الجنرال الامريكي هاورد فوتشر المرافق للأمير لم تتناوله كذلك وسائل الإعلام

ومن جهة أخرى, لم يصدر أي بيان صحفي أو معلومات تؤكد أو تنفي صحة نبأ محاولة الإغتيال. ولم تتبنى القنوات والوسائل الاعلام القطرية هذا الخبر فتحفظت عن الرد

September 4th, 2011, 4:34 pm


Tara said:

84 said

\”Thank you Norman for being in Homs and clarifying the facts for all of us here.\”

Sorry but there appears to be a comprehension problem. Or is it intended deception just like what the regime tries to do? Where did Norman say he was in Homs? Should SC have an entry exam to test comprehension before allowing people to post?

September 4th, 2011, 4:39 pm


Husam said:

@ vexed:

We will never know the truth – whether Joshua Landis is pro or anti Assad. He comes off as a fair-square expert on Syria, but he may very well be a paid insider, a triple agent or part of a US experiment on Syria or an underground think-tank master.

One can write an article (using full support and quotes) to prove the contrary of what you pasted. Nothing shocks me today, less the unnmasking of Joshua Landis. I do find some of his quotes, analogies and undertones suspicious (to say the least).

Ding Dong: The latest announcement (he made) is a erfect exit strategy for Joshua Landis

September 4th, 2011, 4:43 pm


ann said:

The Region: Plenty to worry about but little to fear

By BARRY RUBIN – 09/04/2011 22:18

Time is not against Israel, but against the Arabs.

Time is not against Israel, but against the Arabs. They are splintering rather than uniting.

Each country faces some level of civil war between Islamists and nationalists, monarchies and oppositions, and religious-communal groups.

We are going to be seeing more assertive Kurdish (in Syria and Iraq) and Berber movements (in North Africa). The Sunni-Shia rift is heating up. Two Islamist blocs will contend, sometimes violently as we have seen in Iraq. True, both sides hate Israel but they are hardly likely to cooperate against it, and neither has a superpower ally.

The vision of a united Arab or Muslim world wiping Israel off the map – or making a serious effort to do so – is as distant as always, more distant than it was from the 1950s into the 1970s. The Arab Spring is in fact the start of an internal Arab political winter: 20 to 40 years of fighting over who will run each country.

While they fritter away money, resources and energy, Israel will continue to advance economically and militarily.

Disastrous populist, radical nationalist and Islamist domestic policies will also slow Arab development and widen Israel’s advantage. I do not rejoice at the Arab world’s self-made misfortune. A prosperous, happy, moderate and democratic Arab world at peace with Israel would be a wonderful thing. But that won’t happen. Neither will there be a prosperous, united, radical Islamist world at war with Israel.

September 4th, 2011, 4:46 pm


Husam said:

@ Khalid:

Sorry you will just have scroll over her cut n’ paste, spanny anny can’t be put back in the bottle. I confessed to agent code name: San-Frisco-Zip-91423 long ago, that I am just a humble Expat Syiran with no special SC mojo.

September 4th, 2011, 4:55 pm


Norman said:


The articles that you do not like pasted are the ones that stay as part of the Blog, SC, the links disappear after a while and if you want to know what was written about a subject on SC , these articles can be a help .

just saying.

September 4th, 2011, 5:23 pm


True said:

@ Tara

Tarwe2ha (manaeesh zaatar in Shaalan) Yeah sure my shout, you guys are all invited  (bloody Menhebeks stay away)

September 4th, 2011, 5:28 pm


True said:


Make us a fav and just leave for good. I’m sure there are other forums to practice your copy/paste, ask the division 225 of Mukahabart they might help you

Bloody weirdo!!

September 4th, 2011, 5:29 pm


Husam said:

@ Norman:

Thanks for the info, but many of us get tired when we have to scroll over 100 page paste every 2nd comment. Why not just give a brief discription and put a link. People can then decide for themselves if they want to read further or not. If it was once in a while, fine…doesn’t it annoy you?

I mean either her comments are one lame sarcastic sentence or 10,000 word news flash.

September 4th, 2011, 5:32 pm


True said:

@ Menhebks

French revolution (1789–1791)

• Louis XVI ascended to the throne and lead the country to financial crisis
• The state was nearing bankruptcy and outlays outpaced income, This was because of France’s financial obligations stemming from involvement in the Seven Years War and its participation in the American Revolutionary War
• Louis XVI appointed, Jacques Necker, as General of Finance to reform and fix the economy
• On 11 July 1789, after Necker published an inaccurate account of the government’s debts and made it available to the public, the King fired him
• On 14 July, the rebels set their eyes on the large weapons and ammunition cache inside the Bastille fortress, which was also perceived to be a symbol of royal power. After several hours of combat, the prison fell that afternoon.
• Event after event and the absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years

New France was born

Syrian revolution (2011- 2011)

• Bashar Assad ascended to the throne illegitimately and lead the country to financial crisis
• The state was nearing bankruptcy and outlays outpaced income. This was because of Assad-made problems of sever corruption and nepotism beside sucking the country resources for a war to “liberate” Golan Heights (that never happened)
• In 2006 Bashar appointed Abdullah Dardari as Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs of Syria to reform and fix the economy
• After Abdullah Dardari published an inaccurate account of the government’s debts (Farouk al-Sharaa admitted later), Bashar fired him
• The first spark of the revolution was on 26 January 2011, and escalated to an uprising by 15 March 2011 after the local secret police of Daraa arrested 15 boys between the ages of 10 and 15, detaining them under the control of Gen. Atef Najeeb, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad. In a gloomy interrogation room the children were beaten and bloodied, burned and had their fingernails pulled out by grown men working for a regime whose unchecked brutality appears increasingly to be sowing the seeds of its undoing.
• Event after event and the absolute ASSAD monarchy that had ruled Syria for 40 years is on the edge to collapse very soon

New Syria yet to be born

September 4th, 2011, 5:37 pm


ann said:

Pawns of Conspiracy against Syria Rush to Western Countries To Beg for Military Intervention in Syria

Sep 04, 2011

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The pawns of the conspiracy against Syria escalated their begging for foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs, reiterating calls for arming the terrorist who murder army, law enforcement and security personnel and civilians in Syria.

Marking a new chapter in the conspiracy against Syria, those who beseech foreign intervention in Syria’s affairs are now resorting to direct interviews and clear demands, heedless of the dire repercussions that their calls could have on the security and stability of the Syrian people.

Meanwhile, opposition figures’ squabbles over imaginary posts escalated into disagreement over the methods of inviting foreign interference, arming terrorists, and calling for more murder and destruction.

Leading the charge, Abdulhalik Khaddam unabashedly defends the idea of military intervention in Syria along the lines of what occurred in Libya, heedless of the deaths caused by the NATO’s war on the Libyan people which have reached over 50,000 deaths along with hundreds of thousands of wounded and missing people.

Khaddam was also quick to criticize those who called for sending international observers to Syria rather than military intervention, branding them as “defeatists” for even considering the repercussions of such an intervention on the Syrian people.

He also urged terrorist and opposition figures and Syria no to listen to those who rejected for interference, inciting them to continue their massacres and destruction of public and private property.

Haitham al-Maleh didn’t fare any better than Khaddam, going as far as to threaten the Arab League and vowing to go to international organizations and the Security Council to interfere in Syria’s affairs, calling for providing him with support to serve his own goals and his thirst for power.

From Paris, Awad Sleiman urged western countries to move quickly in the Seucrity Council and not wait for the international forces that reject the repetition of the Libyan scenario.

To compliment these calls for foreign interference and arming terrorist, the so-called eyewitnesses continue to fabricate and broadcast false news on satellite channels, claiming the use of military aircrafts in several areas and other news that exist only in their minds in order to beg for foreign interference.

The fervent calls of opposition figures and those who manipulate them reflect their disappoint over the improving situation in Syria, the gradual return to normal life and the unraveling of the conspiracy, making them lose their heads and begin to beg for military intervention, which is also an attempt to rouse their internal pawns in Syria from the state of despair which they reached due to the Syrian people’s awareness of the truth about the foreign plot targeting Syria.

September 4th, 2011, 5:43 pm


ann said:

ICRC chief commends Syrian efforts in protecting citizens: official media

2011-09-04 23:16:06

DAMASCUS, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger expressed Sunday the ICRC’s relief over the measures taken by the Syrian leadership to shoulder its responsibilities in defending the lives of its citizens, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

Kellenberger made the remarks at a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, during which he also commended the ” huge facilitation” Syria has introduced to the ICRC delegation during its visit to Syria.

Moallem briefed Kellenberger on the current situation in Syria and the “armed groups’ practice of destruction, sabotage, killing and intimidation of the citizens,” said SANA.

Moallem reviewed with Kellenberger the efforts by the Syrian government to restore stability and security to the country and to enhance the process of reform announced by President Bashar al- Assad.

According to an ICRC statement, Kellenberger, who is on a two- day visit for talks on issues such as caring for the wounded in the country’s unrest, is expected to meet the Syrian president on Monday.

Moallem assured the ICRC head that all the public hospitals in Syria are constantly ready to provide the required medical services for all the citizens.

He expressed his appreciation for the activities of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Organization, which has played an effective role in providing the humanitarian aids for the citizens during the crisis, stressing the important role of the volunteers in making the organization’s work a success.

Moallem also refuted allegations made by what he described as ” the instigative satellite channels which serve foreign agendas aiming at undermining Syria’s security, stability, sovereignty and its independent national decision.”

The Syrian authorities, which blamed the nearly six months of unrest in the country on armed groups and foreign conspiracy, claimed that some Arab TV channels were broadcasting fabricated news about the situation in the country to fuel sentiments against the government.

September 4th, 2011, 5:48 pm


alescander said:

just get the point “dude” Aboud: safe Syria is no more, capeesh?

I am not intending to argue back and fourth about little details,

I am suggesting that as syrians we differ, but we can dialogue peacefully, and rationally, in order to move peacefully to democracy and freedom.

a fact: Homs, and the whole country has become more overtly sectarian. this is what I hear uniformly, there is no fully fledged war, the accounts I mention are from my phonecalls to friends and family, sorry I don’t have clips for you,

hopefully you all know by now that ground travel is not favored, people are flying !! from damascus to aleppo, etc

a reminder: in Homs: sectarianism is flaring, Aboud can deny that , but very respectfully he knows he is wrong, he can have lunch in daylight with his brothers, can he wander at night alone?

a reminder: X marks are on homes of some alawis in Damascus,

a reminder: life on the coastal area is almost normal,my friend just called me from lattakia and said that people are crowding the beaches, I don’t have a picture for you.

my other friend said that after the raml el janoubi operation, calm has returned to lattakia.

all of the “Revolutionaries” on this blog lost clarity and balance. They forgot a nation, they are after the regime at all costs!

the protestors on the streets gave a huge excuse to biggots, and low lives to destroy the country,

going back to Bashar’s tenure, I will not defend the guy, he should have made the changes he promised, no doubt.

from a national point of view, all the great powers wanted him out, in short, like son like father, the foreign policy was very popular, but at the expense of better life for the syrian citizens.

September 4th, 2011, 6:16 pm


ann said:

Delegation from the People’s Party of Turkey Visits al-Ramel al-Janoubi

Sep 04, 2011

LATTAKIA, (SANA) – A Turkish delegation including five figures from the People’s Party of Turkey on Sunday visited the area of al-Ramel al-Janoubi in Lattakia.

The delegation inspected the situation in the area and listened to the locals’ testimonies about the real events which took place in their neighborhood.

People of the area stressed to the delegation that the neighborhood wasn’t expose to any destruction by the army, adding that the armed terrorist groups were responsible for all sabotage acts and killings.

Head of the delegation Osman Farouk Logoglu said that the delegation will convey the truth concerning the events in Syria to the Turkish public.

The visit will last for three days. It aims at acknowledging the reality of the events in Syria.

September 4th, 2011, 6:20 pm


Abughassan said:

Attacking Joshua for having an objective position on the uprising is a sign of what might be coming and it is also a reflection of a troubled culture that does not tolerate dissenting opinions. Disagreeing with the man is something but accusing him of being somewhat part of a regime-sponsored PR campaign is something else. It is strange to find Joshua’s critics loving the site they accuse of being biased and keep coming back for more 🙂

September 4th, 2011, 6:27 pm


alescander said:

worth reading COPIED from the lebanese alakhbar:

في الأزمة السورية [2]: ورقة عمل سياسية ـــ إدارية لحوار بديل من العنف
ابراهيم الأمين

المداولات الدبلوماسية في الأزمة السورية لم تحتل يوماً موقع المبادرة التي يتوافق عليها الأطراف، بغية التقدم خطوة نحو حقن الدماء. النظام في سوريا يرفض أي نوع من التدخل الخارجي. وهو في هذه النقطة لا يميز بين خارج بعيد أو معادٍ، أو خارج قريب وصديق، أو خارج لصيق وشقيق. بل هو حتى اللحظة، يرفض فكرة المبادرة، ما دامت تقوم على مبدأ أن هناك احتراباً بين جهتين يستلزم وساطة أو مبادرة. ومنطق النظام هذا يقوم على فكرة أن ما يجري في سوريا هو حركة احتجاجية في أحسن الأحوال، ومؤامرة خارجية بأيدٍ داخلية في الأسوأ من التقدير.
صحيح أن النظام يقفل حتى الآن أبواب المبادرات الخارجة عن إطاره. وهو يرى أن إطار الحوار الذي دعا إليه كافٍ، وفيه مساحة للجميع. لكن رجال النظام الأقوياء يعرفون أن هذا كلام غير ذي معنى، بدليل أن ما اتخذ حتى الآن من خطوات أو قرارات في سياق ما يسميه النظام «حزمة الإصلاحات» لم يتأثر قطّ بملاحظات المعارضين على اختلافهم. فضلاً عن أن تطبيق هذه القوانين يحتاج إلى سلطة من نوع مختلف. إذاً، لا يمكن أن ىُترك الأمن الذي يتدخل بخلاف وظيفته في حياة الناس وإدارة الدولة، أن يتولى هو الإشراف على عملية إصلاحية. بينما المطلوب من جميع السوريين اليوم، بمن فيهم المؤيدون للنظام، خطوات عملية، ذات فعالية ملموسة، تبعد الأمن عن الحياة اليومية للناس.
في الجانب الآخر، ثمة معارضون تعوّدوا منذ عقدين على الأقل، اتباع منطق الصراخ في الهواء. هم يرفعون السقف عالياً، وعندما يبادر أحدهم إلى محاورتهم مباشرةً، يصبحون من دون برنامج عملي. وعلى المعارضين الإقرار بأن بينهم من يسعى إلى الحضور داخل دائرة القرار لا أكثر. وربما كان هذا حقه، ولكن ما يجري الآن في سوريا، يحتاج إلى نوع مختلف من الإدارة السياسية للمعارضة، وهو أمر ظاهر في طريقة تعبير المحتجين عن الأمر، سواء من خلال عدم قدرة كل هذه التجمعات المعارضة على إنتاج إطار وازن له صدقية واسعة، ويمكن الادعاء أنه يمثل غالبية في الشارع الغاضب، أو من خلال سعي كتلة انتهازية كبيرة، يقودها فريق من الإسلاميين ومن الليبراليين إلى ما يصفه نشطاء التنسيقيات بـ«سرقة دماء الشهداء» والذهاب نحو مبادرات وخطوات لا علاقة لها بما يجري على الأرض.
إلا أن الطامة الكبرى، هي تلك التي تصدر عن مراقبين، يفترض أنهم كذلك، لكنهم يمنحون أنفسهم صفة الناطقين باسم الثورة، وهم منتشرون بكثافة في مراكز القرار العربي والغربي، ويطرحون بدائل وأفكاراً تقوم في غالبيتها على رفض أي حوار فعلي مع النظام، ويدعون بصورة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة إلى أنواع مختلفة من التدخل الخارجي بغية إسقاط النظام نهائياً.
وسط حفلة الجنون هذه، المعطوفة على جنون الأرض، برزت مجموعة مبادرات صيغت أفكارها ضمن أوراق جرى تبادلها بين معارضين فاعلين، وبين أركان في النظام، بما فيها القصر الرئاسي. ومن بين هذه الأوراق، واحدة تتضمن مبادرة متكاملة تقود إلى إخراج سوريا، في خلال وقت مقبول، من هذه الأزمة الوطنية الكبرى.
وبما أن الوقت لا يبدو مناسباً للكشف عن هوية من يقف خلف الأفكار وما يمكن أن ينتج منها قريباً، من المفيد عرض القسم الأبرز من الخطوات العملية المقترحة لمعالجة منطقية وباردة لأزمة بالغة السخونة.
في خلفية المبادرة يرد الآتي:
«تقف سوريا الآن عند مفترق طرق لعلّه الأخطر في تاريخها ما بعد الاستقلال. مدعاته حال الاستعصاء التي وصلت إليها الأزمة الوطنيّة الكبرى، والتي ستفضي، بالضرورة، إلى واحدٍ من مخرجين: إما الانزلاق إلى احتراب أهلي دموي عمره بالشهور، بل ربما بالسنين، وكلفته مليون ضحية بين قتيل ومشوّهٍ ومقعد، أو التوصّل إلى تسويةٍ تاريخيّةٍ كبرى ـــــ لطالما احتاج إليها الوطن السوري منذ أمد ليس بقصير ـــــ عنوانها التغيير، ومتنها استبدال نظام بتشييد دولة، دولة مدنية حديثة على قاعدة عقد اجتماعي جديد تتراضى عليه أطياف المجتمع السوري، ووفق ثوابته الوطنيّة والقوميّة (…). ولمّا كان النظام هو الحاكم والمسؤول، فبديهي أن يكون المطالب بالمبادأة والحكمة والشجاعة الأدبيّة، قبل المواطن الفرد ومجتمعه الأوسع. لذا، إن حزمة من السياسات الصادمة والإيجابيّة التي يمكن اقتراحها وتوقّعها من رئيس الجمهوريّة، تضحي أمر اليوم من دون اشتراط ذلك بضمان سلوك الشارع؛ لأنّ التظاهر السلمي كان في الأساس وسيلة ضغط الشارع الوحيدة على النظام.
أما بشأن المقترحات المباشرة، فيرد في الورقة:
ـــــ وقف النار الفوري على كامل الجغرافيا السوريّة، وعودة القوات المسلحة إلى ثُكَنها تدريجاً. ومن يستمرّ بإطلاق النار يُواجَه بعمليات أمنية موضعيّة تتعامل معه جراحيّاً وبحزم.
ـــــ إطلاق سراح كل المسجونين والمعتقلين السياسيين، وإصدار عفو عام وشامل عن كل القضايا السياسيّة، وإلغاء القانون 49 ورد الحقوق إلى أصحابها على الفور، سواء من مصادراتٍ أو استملاكاتٍ أو آثار ابتزاز، ما تقادم عليه الوقت منها أو ما استجدّ خلال الأزمة، والقبض على المسببين الفعليين لإيذاء الناس خلال الأزمة وإحالتهم على محكمة علنيّة، سواء منهم من بدأها في درعا أو من شابههم في محافظات أخرى لحقت بها. ثم معاملة كل ضحايا الأحداث، عسكريين ومدنيين، كشهداء للوطن، وتعويض أسرهم وفق تلك القاعدة، مع تخصيص أيام ثلاثة للحداد الوطني.
ـــــ طيّ ملف المفقودين وفق آليّة ملائمة وكريمة تحفظ حقوق المتضررين وأسرهم، وإنشاء هيئة وطنيّة للمصالحة والعفو تتعامل مع ملفات ما بعد 8 آذار 63 الجرميّة على الطريقة الجنوب أفريقيّة والمغربيّة، ثم تأليف لجنة وطنيّة تضع مسودة دستور جديد لتقدّم إلى مجلس النوّاب الجديد لمناقشتها، ثمّ إحالتها على الاستفتاء العام بعد بتّها.
ـــــ تأليف حكومة إنقاذ برئاسة رئيس الجمهوريّة، تضم شخصيّات من المعارضة الوطنيّة، إضافة إلى تكنوقراط كفوء، مع احتساب حقائب الداخليّة والخارجيّة والدفاع على حصة البعث. ثم إعلان الفصل الجماعي للمنتسبين إلى سلكي الشرطة والقضاء من عضويّة حزب البعث. وإلغاء امتيازات أحزاب الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية، وفك أي ارتباط بينها وبين أجهزة الدولة.
ـــــ إعادة ترميم دولة الرعاية بكل ما تتطلبه من استيفاء حقوق الفقراء وذوي الدخل المحدود من دعم لأسعار السلع التموينيّة الأساسيّة لمستحقيها، وتوفير طبابة مجانيّة، وتعليم مجاني بكل مراحله، وتأمين ضد البطالة، وإسكان زهيد الكلفة وحظر الاحتكارات في قطاعات الاقتصاد والأعمال.
ـــــ الدعوة إلى انتخابات نيابيّة عامّة مطلع 2012، وتكون من أولى مهمات مجلس النوّاب الجديد مراجعة مسودة الدستور الجديد وإقرارها، وإعادة النظر في قوانين الأحزاب والانتخابات والإعلام والإدارة (الحكم) المحليّة والطوارئ والتظاهر والسلطة القضائيّة والجامعات والجمعيات والعقوبات وغيرها.
ـــــ تحقيق الاستقلال القضائي عبر اتباع سلك القضاء لمجلس القضاء الأعلى الذي يرأسه رئيس محكمة النقض، وبضمنه النيابة العامّة والتفتيش القضائي.
ـــــ تأليف مجلس للأمن القومي برئاسة الرئيس وعضويّة نوابه ورئيس مجلس الوزراء ووزراء الدفاع والداخليّة والخارجيّة ورئيس المخابرات العامّة ورئيس هيئة الأركان العامّة ومدير المخابرات العسكريّة، وله أمين عام متفرّغ.
ـــــ فصل الفرع الداخلي عن إدارة المخابرات العامّة ليصبح تخصصها الأمن القومي البحت (التجسس الخارجي ومكافحة التجسس الداخلي وتقديرات المعلومات)، ودمج هذا الفرع مع إدارة الأمن السياسي تحت عنوان (إدارة الأمن الوطني)، وتتبع وزارة الداخليّة.
ـــــ إلغاء وزارة الإعلام، وإنشاء اتحاد عام للإذاعة والتلفزيون ومجلس أعلى للإعلام من شخصيّات يرشّحها رئيس الجمهوريّة وخاضعة لإقرار مجلس النوّاب.
ـــــ إعادة تنظيم القطاع العام بهدف فصل الملكيّة عن الإدارة، وعقد مؤتمر للإدارة والإنتاج لمناقشة قضاياه واستخلاص دليل عمل للمرحلة المقبلة، وتحقيق العدالة الضريبيّة بالتشديد على التحصيل الصحيح من دخول الأغنياء، ثم دمج الهيئة المركزيّة للرقابة والتفتيش مع الجهاز المركزي للرقابة الماليّة في جهاز واحد اسمه «الهيئة المركزيّة لرقابة الدولة» يتبع لمجلس النوّاب.
ـــــ دمج المحافظات الحاليّة في محافظات أكبر هي: دمشق، حلب، حوران، الساحل، العاصي والفرات، يديرها محافظون برتبة وزير يتبعون رئاسة مجلس الوزراء، مع إلغاء وزارة الإدارة المحليّة.
من الواضح أن لا مشكلة في إعداد مقترحات للحل. لكن المشكلة في من يقدر على تحويلها إلى ورقة عمل لدى الأطراف المتنازعة. ذلك لا يعفي النظام من مسؤوليته في إعطاء الإشارة الفعلية إلى أنه لا عودة إلى ما قبل 15 آذار. ومن يدّعِ العكس، فهو مجرم بحق سوريا.

September 4th, 2011, 6:31 pm



Since we are on the subject of economics it might be interesting to know what the former Minister for Economy and Trade thinks about the Syrian economy and private entreprise. Let me know if you want the rest.

The Role of Small and Medium Enterprises and
Entrepreneurship in Leveraging the economic efficiency and
sustainable development:

Case study and model proposed for Syria

Lamia Aasi

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) play an essential role in economic
development in most countries all over the world. Nowadays, no one can argue on the
importance of SMEs that role is noticed obviously through their contribution in GDP
and job creation in many countries; in addition to their potential of growth in both goods
production and services providing. For example, as of July 2006, in 130 countries, 65
percent of the total labor force was employed. In the Asia Pacific Region alone, SMEs
are contributing between 30-60% of GDP, and are the source of around 35% of the
region’s export.
The business climate of today, with increasing globalization, has resulted in structural
changes in the commercial and industrial sectors. As a result, many large companies
have moved their production abroad; therefore the smaller companies have become
increasingly important for growth and employment nationally. Small businesses are
significant contributor to the well-being of nations, and SMEs play an important role for
most of countries, both in terms of economic growth and employment.
Seven to Nine countries, developed and developing countries from around the world,
are selected in order to examine their strategies towards SMEs. Each of them will be
examined and analyzed separately, in order to explore the relation between fostering
SMEs and economic growth, and to determine all the factors contributing to their
respective performance. The analyses will focus on the following areas: business
environment, institutional and organizational structure to integrate SMEs in the
development activities, Vision and Strategy, Characteristics of each country, in addition
to the culture as main factor for the success of SMEs, furthermore examining for the
relation among factors of success.
The core of the research will be the proposed model for Syria, based on the findings of
the research, and the answers of the key questions raised as follows; what are the main

September 4th, 2011, 6:34 pm


ann said:

Prof. Landis,

Since your POLL in the upper left hand corner of this blog has expired. May I suggest the next POLL question deal with Syria’s occupied Golan territory? A subject dear to all loving and caring Syrian citizen.

“Should Syria get back it’s Israeli occupied Golan territory?”

Thank you

September 4th, 2011, 6:53 pm


Aboud said:

“hopefully you all know by now that ground travel is not favored, people are flying !! from damascus to aleppo, etc”

I’ve been hearing this myth for months. What imbecile would fly from Aleppo to Damascus? Only someone sheltered from reality and who only listens to the worst myths and horror stories imaginable. These kind of people probably sleep with the lights on.

Meantime, the bus terminals at every major city still do brisk business. When was the last time you heard of a *credible* incident of a bus being attacked?

“can he wander at night alone?”

Yes I can, but I damn well make sure to avoid the checkpoints. The bastards get very nervous at night.

“my other friend said that after the raml el janoubi operation, calm has returned to lattakia.”

“Calm” in Baathist terms means “no demonstrations and we don’t have to hear nasty things being said about the Diety Besho”

“Homs, and the whole country has become more overtly sectarian.”

And whose fault is that? When your regime turds arrest people at random, take them to Alawite neighborhoods and villages to get beaten up?

When your shabiha turds go on a rampage in Hadara street and burn and loot Sunni run stores.

When your shabiha turds force prisoners to say “There is no God but Bashar” I dare you menhebaks to deny it

Sectarian he says. This from a regime supporter who supports a government that was built on sectarian discrimination for 40 years. Hypocrisy, thy name is menhebak.

I dare the menhebaks to show me one video where a sectarian chant was uttered

September 4th, 2011, 7:01 pm


True said:


The “disunity” (or disagreement as I call it) of the opposition is very healthy and expected. All opposition segments are going through the early stage of Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 Forming Storming Norming Performing team-development model

While the Syrian opposition members have done the relatively easy part of (Forming) the provisional council, they yet to go through and feel the heat of the difficult stage of (storming) which is always titled with defensiveness, competition, and choosing sides, where leaders may be clashing for control (Ghlaion and Dallila) and members disagree and may blame the team concept, saying it doesn’t work (i.e. Mann’a)

Personally speaking, I hope it’s not too long till we start seeing the council in the Nomring stage where the council members will be working well together, and at that time they may start to “brag up” the council concept to others segments of opposition spectrum who aren’t in the council yet.

Good things take time bye bye ya Bashar!!

September 4th, 2011, 7:18 pm


Pirouz said:

A couple of things:

First, I watched Mosaic World News on iTunes which provides Arabic newscasts dubbed in English. I was disappointed by their selections: Aljazeera, BBC Arabic (!) and a pro-March 14 Lebanon TV newscast (can’t remember the name). We can pretty much get this type of perspective from our own Western MSM. I was hoping to see perspectives from “the other side of the hill.” They do show Iran’s Press TV, but this is not an Arabic source.

Second, Iran is not throwing Bashar under the bus. For a while now, Iranian political scientists and even some politicians have been arguing for a more nuanced approach to the Syrian situation. Basically, Iran is now saying political reforms in representative governance (which Bashar is promising, albeit down the road) should be fulfilled. One might look at this as a means of hedging their bets, but I wouldn’t go so far. One thing’s for sure: the Iranians have paid a price for giving the impression they are 100% behind Bashar– have you seen the latest Arab opinion poll?

September 4th, 2011, 8:02 pm



Solitarius– continued

I have done some thinking about your comments. I have answered the first one, and now I am answering the one in which you chided me for responding to Amir. Well you should practice what you preach.

Giggling is not the objective here, the objective is to show the absurdity of the mindless menhebak characters and their mindless, stuck in the sixties, supporters from other countries (Yes I mean ANN), to whose interference in internal Syrian Affairs you have not objected. And if that ridicule comes as an answer to an Israeli person, so be it.

As for the issue of language, the uprising is not a product to market. Naming whatever the early provocateurs decided to name their action does not change the character of the action, which is a revolt against 40 years of marginalization of the Syrian Citizenry by a very small group led by the Assad Family through a larger brutal security system . The sycophants of Assads are the ones who made it essential to make the demolition of the regime and the removal of its head as the only viable option left for Syria to progress. The pathetic fraudulent laws, the godhood of Assad, the corruption of that family, and its brutality made that name the symbol of Syria–the republic of fear, of corruption, ineptness, of mismanagement, and of stonewalling every sincere attempt to reform, and the burial ground of talent. The Syrians are smart, and they are going after the source of the disease not the symptom.

TRUE @ 111
Excellent comment. Very close to my sentiment on this issue, and much better stated.

ANN @ 103
This is the most ridiculous piece of news I red today. So XINHUA is quoting SANA about ICRC commending the Syrian regime protection of its citizens subjects during conversation with Mualim on the day 24 Syrians lost their lives. WOW, yes, and Dennis Kucinich said that Bashar Al-Assad is the wisest man he ever met. From the same sources, relayed by the same relays.

Don’t you have any respect for your own intelligence.

September 4th, 2011, 8:27 pm



And the blood of Syrians and Palestinians is a red line that was crossed thousands of times by this regime. All other red lines pale in front of that line.

September 4th, 2011, 8:43 pm


True said:

«the system is about to deliver a mortal blow to protests after the failure of the security solution and deploy the army in order to take control of the cities to prevent protests».

In another desperate move Besho seeks assistance of his father’s comrades, retired generals are off the bench and back on board as presidential “consultants” to repeat the scenario Hama but in Homs this time !!!

The generals (criminals) are:

Ali Duba, who was the head of military intelligence for many years and the second man in Syria.

Mohammed Kholi, who was the head of the Air Intelligence and security adviser to Hafez Assad and his special , the godfather of Ali Mamlouk since 1970

Nayef Ala’qel, who was one of the second row generals, has been involved in the events of Black September in Jordan in late 1972 and the October War and was one of the fiercest criminals involved in the massacre of Hama in the eighties

September 4th, 2011, 8:59 pm


True said:



September 4th, 2011, 9:02 pm


Revlon said:

111. Dear True @ ALL

( The “disunity” (or disagreement as I call it) of the opposition is very healthy and expected. All opposition segments are going through the early stage of Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 Forming Storming Norming Performing team-development model.)

I agree with your assessment.
Divergence of views and approaches on how to achieve the unifying objective of regime change and the buuilding of a free and democratic Syria is both refreshing and promising.

While many of the highly regarded activists and thinkers, including Ghalioun, Maleh, and Manna3 shine in their fileds of interest, they seem to lack either abilities or skills in team work, which sometimes makes them succumb to self rightousness.

I do believe that the best formula for an oppositional council is to allow in it as many aspiring activists or politicians as adequate representation of the Syrian fabric would require.
The council would be charged with doing the talking, planning and the setting of goals and objectives.

Walking the talk should be mandated to a handful of non-parisan technocrats, with impeccable relevent CV, which is especially notable for proven skills in communication and team work.

September 4th, 2011, 9:43 pm


sheila said:

To all,
Every time I see the so called Abdel Haleem Khaddam I feel my blood boiling. The audacity of this man. Thinking that people will believe what he says or consider him a legitimate opposition leader. What makes matters more annoying is that he has been living in Paris since 2005 and dare I say, living rather well. May I ask where the money is coming from: his savings? Or his pension?. Mr. Khaddam: please just shut up and hide under a rock. Syrians do not believe you and do not want to see or hear you. Chances are, you will be one of those taken to court for corruption, when it is all said and done.

September 4th, 2011, 10:23 pm


Alescander said:

Aboud and the other haters proved a point, the extreme polarization the syrians are living. When a revolutionist loses clarity and balance, starts insulting and threatening who disagrees with them! They are another kind of Shabeeha!

If You look at Aboud’s posts, and use your panoramic viewer , you will see how closely he resembles the corrupt rulers of Syria!
The Ba’ath started with noble ideas , then jerks took hold of it
The current revolution is sliding quickly into the same trap, ” with us or against us” they are already canceling all who oppose them, isnt this another face of the eightth amendment of constitutution of Ba’ath as the leader?
Personally it is hilarious that I am accused of being a regime supporter. I have left the country 20 years ago , if I wasn’t able to leave , I would probably be demonstrating side by side with the opposition .
Syria bled all of it’s brains, it has now only military junta, corrupt mukhabarat, on one side , if also has rabid haters who don’t accept any other view. And who are the victims? The innocent bystanders who have nothing to do with the regime or the haters, the sad fact is that it’s intellectuals who emigrated are very smart yet they are so distant from it’s current affairs , they are not qualified to rule, the inside people are either the sincere , poor man who has nothing to lose, and a small , but significant fraction of low life scums riding the waves.
We can sit here and exchange accusations forever , for each story told by the opposition , the other side have one.
We should be balanced , and have the clarity, and the vision of a new inclusive country , if MBs have abandoned violence and can win in elections , so be it , if the Ba’ath abandoned it’s corrupt leaders and proposed a new, impacting measures to really apply it’s original theorem , PEACFULLy , so be it
All in a system of accountability

September 4th, 2011, 10:25 pm


Some guy in damascus said:

“a reminder: X marks are on homes of some alawis in Damascus,”
I’ve never heard of such incidents, or anything close to that.
can you elaborate on it?

September 4th, 2011, 10:49 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

ويكيليكس ينشر وثيقة حول التمرد الذي حصل في سجن صيدنايا سنة 2008

في مذكّرة سرية تحمل الرقم 10DAMASCUS158 صادرة عن السفارة الأميركية في 24 شباط 2010، جاء في اجتماع ضم مسؤولين من السفارة الأميركية في دمشق وناشطة حقوقية سورية، أن الأخيرة ذكرت أنّها سجّلت خلال الأشهر الأربعة الأخيرة مقابلات مع ثلاثة عسكريين وحارس سجن وسجين سابق في صيدنايا قائلة إنهم اعترفوا جميعهم بوجودهم خلال فترة أعمال الشغب في السجن.
من سجناء إلى مقاتلين
وجاء حسب الذين حاورتهم الناشطة، أنّ بعد اجتياح القوات الأميركية العراق، قدّمت الحكومة السورية فرصة إلى السجناء في صيدنايا في الحصول على تدريبات عسكرية في سوريا، ومن ثم السفر إلى العراق لمحاربة قوات التحالف، كاشفة أن بين الذين عادوا من العراق، بقي الكثير منهم أحرارا وعلى علاقة بالنظام، وتم إرسال آخرين إلى لبنان، بينما تم القبض على مجموعة ثالثة (من الإسلاميين) وزجّ أعضائها في سجن صيدنايا مجددا.
أعمال شغب منظمة
وأضافت الناشطة أنّ المقاتلين الذين أعيدوا إلى صيدنايا شعروا بأنّ الحكومة السورية خدعتهم عبر إعادة سجنهم، شارحة أنّ السجناء توقعوا معاملة أفضل وحتى الحرية، وكانوا مستائين من أحوال السجن، مشيرة إلى أن هذه العوامل أدّت إلى العصيان في 5 تموز 2008. ونقلت عن السجناء أنّهم صنعوا السيوف من هياكل الأسرّة المعدنية، وعندما توصلوا إلى صنع كمية كافية من الأسلحة، نظموا عصيانا للاحتجاج على أحوال السجن.
وقد أتى رد الحكومة السورية عبر تطويق السجن بعناصر من اللواء الرابع لقمع الاحتجاجات، موضحة نقلا عن السجناء أن القوة العسكرية الحكومية نجحت جزئيا في السيطرة على أعمال الشغب، وحافظت المجموعات الإسلامية على سيطرتها على جزء واسع من السجن واحتجزت عددا وافرا من الرهائن الذين فاوضوا بهم في مقابل الغذاء من تموز إلى تشرين الأول. وخلال تلك الفترة، أعاد السجناء تنظيم صفوفهم وخططوا للعصيان الذي وقع في كانون الأول 2008 والذي أدّى الى مقتل نحو خمسين سجينا. وشرح السجناء خلال حوارهم مع الناشطة أنّهم استطاعوا الصمود كل تلك الفترة بفضل التدريبات العسكرية التي حصلوا عليها قبل توجههم إلى العراق.

September 4th, 2011, 10:57 pm


sheila said:

To dear #119. Alescander,
You are right in your assessment. Emotions are running high among all of us here at SC. Most of us are rational, educated people, who truly love Syria and only want the best for her and her people, only very few are on the periphery.
Almost all of us agree that the current regime is very corrupt, but we disagree on how to solve this problem. Some are scared of chaos and sectarian killings, which, in my view, are very legitimate concerns for all people, but especially for minorities. Some of us believe that there are armed gangs in Syria wreaking havoc, some of us think that there are no armed gangs. The truth is probably in the middle: there are some armed groups, but the majority of the protesters are unarmed. Some of us feel that the opposition should negotiate with the government and push for reforms instead of destroying the country, and some of us believe that there is no use of talking with the government because it is unwilling and unable to reform it self. Some of us believe that what is happening is all the work of the west in a great conspiracy against Syria and some of us believe that if it weren’t for the terrible state of Syria, no one would have been able to push the people to go out and protest. The truth is probably in the middle: there is foreign influence and attempts to stir trouble, but the problems in the country are the real reason why we are where we are today.
Bottom line: we all agree on the principle that Syria needs to change, but we do not agree on the how. I do not think that there is anything wrong with that. What do you think?

September 4th, 2011, 11:00 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Alescander @119

Indeed, MB renounced all form of violence in 2001.
Further, MB signed the final document of the Antalya conference accepting the separation between state and religion.

However, MB is not able to take more 15% in any general election.

For this reason, I do not think the MB is the problem

The main problem is getting rid of the regime.

September 4th, 2011, 11:18 pm


Alescander said:

To some guy in damascus
Regarding X marks , my friend lives in Mashrooa Dummar they saw an X mark on their door. They called the security , they are alawis ,
This is all I know ,
It could be done by kids, by extremists , or even by mukhabarat themselves
The bottom-line this is disturbing

Dear Sheila
You are correct Syria HAS to change, in my opinion even from the moment Tunis protests started
Yes there is nothing wrong with not agreeing on how to implement the changes
Eventually we should reach a consensus on this.

Dear Haytham I brought the MB as an empirical example , to make a point that in a system of accountability we have nothing to fear
My fear is the amount of hate and the consequences on innocents and the country

September 5th, 2011, 6:46 am


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