Scholarly Articles; Bolton; First Lady on Democracy

A few recent scholarly articles of interest on Syria are:

Rafida: See the following article if you have been following the recent debate in the comment section about “Rafida” or the Shiite doctrine of promoting Alid line of Caliphal succession over that prefered by Sunnis.

Chase Robinson explains that all too commonly Sunnis push:

what is a crucial doctrine that belongs to the ninth century into the first half of the eighth. The doctrine is that of the ‘Four Rightly Guided Caliphs’, which posits that Abu Bakr (reigned 632–4), lhringUmar (634–44), lhringUthman (644–56) and lhringAli (656–61), the latter two championed by implacably hostile groups, ruled in succession, all legitimate, albeit of declining merit (according to Sunnis). A narrative of just succession over the polity was superimposed upon a history of internecine conflict. The theory of ‘Four Rightly Guided Caliphs’ was thus a retrospective projection, one of the most conspicuous features of the relative ecumenism of Abbasid rule, a time that would also generate the closely related doctrine of the Prophet’s Companions. Along with the Prophet’s inerrancy, both are principal ingredients in the Islamic foundation myth.

Time for an Israeli Strike?
(By John R. Bolton, The Washington Post)

Israel must act quickly to strike the nuclear program of a resurgent regime. …

…Since there is no likelihood that diplomacy will start or finish in time, or even progress far enough to make any real difference, there is no point waiting for negotiations to play out. In fact, given the near certainty of Obama changing his definition of “success,” negotiations represent an even more dangerous trap for Israel.

Those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities. Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people….

Hello Syria: Obamas Offered Road To Damascus
2009-07-02, Sky News (GB):

Dominic Waghorn, Middle East correspondent Syria’s First Lady has exclusively told Sky News she would welcome the Obamas to Damascus. Asma al Assad’s comments are the latest in a series of signs US Syrian relations are improving after years of …

First lady’s interview with Sky. (4 minute video) She speaks about her efforts to get Syrian youth to participate in building the future of the country.

Syria changes “honour killing” law
By DPA, Jul 2, 2009

Damascus – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree changing the penalty for ‘honour killing’ to at least two years in prison, Minister of Justice Minister Ahmad Hamoud Younes said in a statement Thursday.

‘The number of wife-killings has increased recently on the pretext of adultery, and the article that was abolished by the President pardoned these crimes,’ the official SANA news agency quoted Younes as saying.

The new law reads: ‘He who catches his wife, sister, daughter or mother by surprise in the act of committing adultery or having unlawful sex with another and then unintentionally kills or hurts either of them can benefit from attenuating circumstances, provided that he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’

Women rights groups welcomed the change with reservations.

‘This is only a small contribution to solving this problem, for in this new version too the paragraph still invites murder,’ said Women of Syria group in a statement on its website.

‘The new law still leaves a wide door open for the killers. Who gave men the right to kill women?’ the statement added.

Last May a Syrian court sentenced a man who deliberately killed his sister and her lover to only only seven and a half years in prison, as the case was considered an ‘honour killing.’

Hussein Pointed to Iranian Threat
(By Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post)

Saddam Hussein told an FBI interviewer before he was hanged that he allowed the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction because he was worried about appearing weak to Iran, according to declassified accounts of the interviews released yesterday. The former Iraqi president also denounced…

The former Iraqi president also denounced Osama bin Laden as “a zealot” and said he had no dealings with al-Qaeda. …

At one point, Hussein dismissed as a fantasy the many intelligence reports that said he used a body double to elude assassination. “This is movie magic, not reality,” he said with a laugh. Instead, he said, he had used a phone only twice since 1990 and rarely slept in the same location two days in a row.

Hussein’s fear of Iran, which he said he considered a greater threat than the United States, featured prominently in the discussion about weapons of mass destruction. Iran and Iraq had fought a grinding eight-year war in the 1980s, and Hussein said he was convinced that Iran was trying to annex southern Iraq — which is largely Shiite. “Hussein viewed the other countries in the Middle East as weak and could not defend themselves or Iraq from an attack from Iran,” Piro recounted in his summary of a June 11, 2004, conversation.

“The threat from Iran was the major factor as to why he did not allow the return of UN inspectors,” Piro wrote. “Hussein stated he was more concerned about Iran discovering Iraq’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities than the repercussions of the United States for his refusal to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq.”

Hussein noted that Iran’s weapons capabilities had increased dramatically while Iraq’s weapons “had been eliminated by the UN sanctions,”…

When Piro noted that there were reasons why Hussein and al-Qaeda should have cooperated — they had the same enemies in the United States and Saudi Arabia — Hussein replied that the United States was not Iraq’s enemy, and that he simply opposed its policies.

IAEA Chooses Japanese as New Head
2009-07-02 15:17:14.258 GMT

VIENNA (AP) — By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer George Jahn, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jul 2, 1:12 pm ET

VIENNA – The world’s top nuclear watchdog chose Japan’s Yukiya Amano as its next head on Thursday — and he touched on the devastation U.S. atom bombs wreaked on his country in pledging to do his utmost to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.

The decision by the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency board ended a tug of war on who should succeed Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who saw his agency vaulted into prominence during a high-profile 12-year tenure.

North Korea left the nonproliferation fold to develop a nuclear weapons program on ElBaradei’s watch and his agency later launched inconclusive probes on suspicions that those to nations were interested in developing nuclear weapons.

ElBaradei’s activist approach to his job often rankled with Washington — and it had a strong preference for Amano, seen by the U.S. as a technocrat amenable to pursuing a hard line on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Amano’s allusions to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki pointed to a deep commitment to non-proliferation. And Japan, which is separated from North Korea only by a narrow body of water, keenly shares the United States’ concerns about Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Iran, Syria push economic ties

July 2, 2009

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 2 (UPI) — Syria and Iran wrapped up meetings in Damascus to move forward with plans to develop bilateral economic ties further, officials say.

Engineering companies active in Syria have set up 11 different economic projects that have generated more than $1.3 billion in the decade since they were established.

Trade between both countries, meanwhile, stands at $350 million per year.

Mohammad Saeidikia, the Iranian housing and urban development minister, met with Syrian Trade Minister Amer Husni Lutfi for two days in Damascus to further develop those economic trends, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting agency reports.

Saeidikia called for expansion in bilateral trade and pushed for stronger regional relations, including the establishment of free-trade agreements between Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

Damascus recently announced the opening of a rail-traffic line from Syrian ports on the Mediterranean to Basra on the Persian Gulf as part of a broader Syrian effort to increase its regional trade performance.

Growing Gulf Between U.S. And Israeli Jews on Obama
Daily News Article by Nathan Jeffay
The Jewish Daily Forward – July 2, 2009 – 12:00am

He swept to power with the support of 78% of American Jews. But has Barack Obama become the bane of Israeli Jews? A gulf between American and Israeli Jews was evident even before Obama moved into the White House. Just a third of Israelis would have endorsed him had they been allowed to vote, polling indicated, while almost half would have chosen John McCain.

Some See Extended Olive Branch For Israel In Ross Appointment to NSC

Daily News Article by Nathan Guttman
The Jewish Daily Forward – July 2, 2009 – 12:00am

The promotion of Middle East adviser Dennis Ross to a senior White House position may open the door to a more positive tone by the United States toward the Israeli government, experts believe.

Amnesty says Israel ‘wantonly’ destroyed Gaza
Daily News Article
The National – July 2, 2009 – 12:00am

Amnesty International said today that Israel inflicted “wanton destruction” in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians during an offensive in December and January in the Hamas-run enclave. The London-based rights group, in a 117-page report on the 22 days of fighting, also criticised movement Hamas for rocket attacks on Israel, which it called “war crimes”.

Comments (106)

majid said:

اَخر التطورات في ايران٠

July 3rd, 2009, 6:35 am


Dania said:

“…and the article that was abolished by the President pardoned these crimes,’ the official SANA news agency quoted Younes as saying.”

It wasn’t abolished, it was just modified.
Personally, I think such change is totally useless and more dangerously it is a new presidential approval on “honor” killings and a new official acknowledgment to “his” right to end “her” life. It does justify crimes against women, it does discriminate against women and it clearly says that women’s lives are less of a value.

I am really concerned about the way such news is inaccurately spreading under the big shinny title “the article was abolished”, which might decrease the efforts of campaigning against the justification laws for the killing of women. (article 192 which is more dangerous, and the modified 548).

July 3rd, 2009, 10:38 am


Majhool said:

First Lady on Democracy?? Yeah right. Do they pay these channels for that kind of stuff? I mean how about some tougher questions? and whats up with wearing jeans for 3 months? must be hard. Must try “True Religion” brand

What about this side of Syria?

and this?

July 3rd, 2009, 12:02 pm


EHSANI2 said:


Your second link is idiotic. What is your point exactly? Enlighten us about the relevance of this video?

July 3rd, 2009, 12:52 pm


milli schmidt said:

Bolton is a dangerous lunatic.

July 3rd, 2009, 1:24 pm


Jabi said:

i think in regards to the new law it is an improvement from the previous one. There is a big difference between this new provision which has replaced the older provision in regards to honour killing. In the new law, proof has to be given that adultery was committed in order for the crime to be classified as an honour killing, otherwise the punishment will be like any other murder crime, atleast that is what i understand from the amendment.

The only thing that I disagree with in this provision is that it is gender specific. Honour killing can also be committed by a woman, i think..?

July 3rd, 2009, 1:34 pm


Shami said:

Jad ,this is the kind of woman that you should be proud of.

July 3rd, 2009, 3:07 pm


trustquest said:

I completely agree with you Shami,
Honest decent people of Syria can distinguish between women working as mouth pieces to tyranny and the real ones.
She is a pride to all Syrians inside and outside the country makes you feel that our people still have dignity. She is the symbol of a respected citizen still hold dignity and pride of his personality, mind, and heritage not to mention pedigree.

July 3rd, 2009, 4:02 pm


Shami said:

Ehsani bey ,the second link of majhool shows a cultural decline and of course the poor taste of the mukhabarati people and alikes,it’s indeed very thoughtful.

July 3rd, 2009, 4:26 pm


jad said:

Who told you that I’m not proud of Dr. Horani?
Why did you direct your comment to me?

Kareem Ya Pasha! Is Syria considered as one culture or did you as usual with your sectarian eye assume that everybody in that clip and regarding the music are your enemy the Alawites? What a freaking idiot!!

July 3rd, 2009, 4:32 pm


Shami said:

Of course jad effendi ,Syria is plural and each culture deserve our respect and it’s strange that you have nothing to say against this culture of cabaret ?why should we sectarianize even culture ? i’m sure that most of our alawite brothers are against this depravation,and btw are those alawites ?i dont know ,anyway,they have a wonderful intellectual elite and deserve better image in the eyes of the people.

July 3rd, 2009, 5:08 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


The new law reads: “He who catches his wife, sister, daughter or mother by surprise in the act of committing adultery or having unlawful sex with another and then unintentionally kills or hurts either of them can benefit from attenuating circumstances, provided that he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.”

I have some bad news for the Syrian legislator. This is useless.!!

In Israel, where we have ZERO tolerance for “honor murders”, and the
state charge those who commit this crime with ‘deliberate murder’,
this is not stopping this barbaric habit from happening.

Arab men ( husbands, fathers, brothers ) who murder their relatives,
after they do this, they arrive ( with pride ) to the nearest police
station, they put the gun on the desk and declare to the policeman
that they just murdered a relative.
(And they’re proudly ready to go to 20-25 years in jail).

NO shame, NO regret, NO remorse, NO deterrence. PURE pride.

A change is needed not in the law, but educational, cultural, religious,
political and social.

Punishment, in this case is definitely not enough.

July 3rd, 2009, 5:29 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Amnesty International said today that Israel inflicted “wanton destruction” in the Gaza Strip.


Dear Amnesty,

I will answer to this, and will tell you the Truth. I will not lie
to you, or try to be politically correct, or try to fog the IDF activity.

This isn’t just “wanton destruction”. “This” has a name: ‘The Dah’ye Doctrine’.

You see..? there’s no real way to confront Guerrilla warfare. They launch
those rockets, then ( a minute later ) put civilian cloths, and
they blend into a supportive population.
So what do you do? Punch the empty air? Shout with frustration..?

No. You punish the supportive population. Simply.

The next time someone there plans to launch a rocket, he knows the price.
It works for Lebanon. It works for Gaza (for the time being). It works.

July 3rd, 2009, 5:49 pm


Majhool said:


How about you clean up your language.

The second link is a teaser. No relevence, except for bad taste.

July 3rd, 2009, 6:06 pm


EHSANI2 said:

What is the relevance?

I can find similar clips in Thailand, Russia, Ecaudor, Brazil and even perhaps Norway.

Are you trying to imply that present day Syria is a land of decadence because two women with Big chests and a tight pair of jeans are dancing dabke with single men?

Cultural decline?

Two women are brought in to a party….wow……..

So what?

You don’t like me calling the video idiotic. I am sorry but I do think it is.

July 3rd, 2009, 6:12 pm


jad said:

Kareem, 7aretna day2a!
I’m 100% (since you like to make up %) sure that you meant to be sectarian so please save me your ‘love everybody’ mouwasha7.
The answer to your ‘authentic’ and very 14th century question:
Yes, I’m Pro-Cabaret and Pro-Mjoun, it’s not of your business to tell me what I should or shouldn’t criticize.

How do you live in a western liberal society where every person freedom is sacred when it comes to his believes, lifestyle, music taste and his bedroom, you judge people lifestyle and music taste according to your own high standard music taste? Maybe they don’t want to listen to prayers all day long.
Didn’t you learn anything from this precious experience? I guess you didn’t, what you really want is to impose your own ideas and laws over everybody else to rule them with the same principals our countries are ruled, that, ya pasha, is called hypocrisy.

July 3rd, 2009, 6:23 pm


jad said:

Very sad news: A huge fire in the 1843 heritage building of the ministry of tourism in Damascus, this is a true lost of history.

I always ask where they get those lousy ministers from, ALBALEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Syrian ministers should be paid for being stupid, unprofessional and ignorant.

اندلع حريق كبير ظهر اليوم الجمعة في مبنى وزارة السياحة التهم الطابق الثاني منه بكامله عزاه وزير السياحة السوري لشرارة كهربائية ناتجة عن أعمال الصيانة نافياً إمكانية أن يكون مفتعلاً ووصفه بأنه حريق “الأمر الواقع”

ونقلت وكالة الأنباء السورية سانا عن د.سعد الله آغة القلعة وزير السياحة، أن الأضرار المادية للحريق التي لحقت بالوثائق الرئيسية للوزارة كانت محدودة نظراً لأن الديوان العام ومديرية الشؤون القانونية في مبنى منفصل عن المبنى الرئيسي، كما بقي الطابق الأول بما فيه من وثائق في مأمن من النيران.
لكن القلعة أشار إلى أن الحريق أتى على الطابق الأخير بأكمله والذي يضم مكتب وديوان الوزير وقاعات استقبال واجتماعات موسعة.

وقال معاون قائد فوج الإطفاء بدمشق إن بنية المبنى المكونة من الخشب ساعدت إلى جانب ارتفاع درجات الحرارة في الانتشار السريع للنيران التي تسببت في تآكل السقف بالكامل مشيراً أن عناصر الإطفاء حاولوا قدر الإمكان الحد من تمدد الحريق إلى الطابق الأرضي .

وكانت وسائل إعلامية قد نقلت عن وزير السياحة نفيه وجود مؤشرات عمل تخريبي، إذ قال الوزير: “لو كانت النية تخريبية لوجدنا الحريق في المبنى المجاور الذي يحتوي على الوثائق والمستندات، إلا أن المبنى المجاور لم يتعرض للأضرار كما ذكرنا، إنما يمكن رد سبب اندلاع الحريق في المبنى دفعة واحدة لأن سقفه خشب، فالمبنى تاريخي وسقفه خشبي ومن الطبيعي أن ينتشر الحريق بهذه السرعة مادمنا في فصل الصيف والخشب جاف مما يجعل إمكانية احتراقه مضاعفة نتيجة أي شرارة، وجهاز التلحيم كان قريباً من السقف مما أدى إلى اندلاع الحريق”.
ورداً على سؤال عن سبب عدم الأخذ بعوامل الحيطة والحذر من قبل المتعهد لا سيما وأن السقف خشبي وقابل للاحتراق، أجاب القلعة “أي عوامل حيطة وحذر يمكن اتخاذها طالما أن السقف بالأصل خشب، الحريق أمر واقع وبالطبع ستجري تحقيقات مع العمال لمعرفة الظروف التي تحيط بالحريق وهي قيد التحقيق من قبل الجهات المعنية، لكن أؤكد أن السقف خشبي وهذا أمر واقع وبالتالي لا يمكن تفادي هذا الحريق”.

ويذكر أن عناصر فوج اطفاء دمشق والدفاع المدني تمكنت من إخماد الحريق خلال ساعة ونصف، حسب سانا التي أوضحت ان حوالي 13 سيارات اطفاء وست سيارات دفاع مدني شاركت في إخماد الحريق.
كما يذكر أن مبنى وزارة السياحة المكون من طابقين يعد من المبانى الاثرية ويعود تاريخ تشييده إلى عام 1843 وكان معهدا حقوقيا قبل ان يتحول في عام 1987 الى مكاتب ومديريات الوزارة .

July 3rd, 2009, 6:39 pm


EHSANI2 said:


Let us follow your implicit suggestion that these two girls are prostitutes hired by the owner of the hall to steal business from his competitors. So what? Should the government legislate against dabke dancing between women and men? May be arrest women if their chest size is above a certain respectable number? or perhaps the extent of how tight the jeans are?

Every club owner loves to see models and pretty girls frequent his establishment to drum up business?

What is exactly the problem?

July 3rd, 2009, 6:39 pm


Shami said:

Jad,the culture of cabaret should remain restricted to these places and dont invade the public spaces and here is the problem, Ehsani Bey.
If i had the authority i would not force these people to behave according to my cultural standard ,but i would do my possible that this kind of culture remains restricted in the places in which it’s destined for.
Now , everywhere in Syria you are forced to endure this bad taste of cabarets level,it’s wrong ,cheap and insulting.

July 3rd, 2009, 6:46 pm


jad said:

(Now , everywhere in Syria you are forced to endure this culture of cabarets,it’s wrong ,cheap and insulting.)

Where and when anybody did forced you or any person in the street of any city or village in Syria to endure the culture of cabaret, what is this meaningless crap you write?

Where do you live man in a cave? Should we impose m6aw3a too in the street of Damascus to force people of your rules? Isn’t it enough radicalism we are teaching our society through the media we have? Why don’t you see that? Radical and very conservative societies have nothing to give, no education and no culture.
You are weird!

July 3rd, 2009, 7:00 pm


Majhool said:


I told you, NO relevance except for bad taste.

Girls and guys could have “it” as much as they want. I am all for it. It’s idiotic that your thoughts went in that direction.

Indeed Syria has been seeing a cultural decline since the Baath/Army took power. And when I say culture I mean in all its elements: number of Books published, good architecture, Music, Movies, Fine Art, Entertainment, Education, etc..

Debkeh, although I enjoy it when it’s not as lousy, was once used as a tool of cultural hegemony. Most Syrians get it; it’s idiotic if you don’t. Enjoying debkeh was once a pre-requisite to loyalty. Looks like you never experienced one of the camps similar to the one in the first video.

Its no secret that key positions in the government and the Baath party were held by individuals whom they had little refinement or for that matter strong academic or professional credentials. They took the country and culture down hill to their level.

All said, my post was addressing the hypocrisy in the interviews and you know it. Picking on the second video is pathetic.

July 3rd, 2009, 7:03 pm


majid said:

“What is exactly the problem?”

Majhool, EHSANI,

I only found one problem with this video. These guys/girls don’t know how to dance debkeh. They’re a bunch of amateurs.

Couldn’t you find a better video with decent debkeh performers? That was actually a shame, and ehsani may have a point on this score.

July 3rd, 2009, 7:10 pm


Shami said:

Jad shou hal mantiq el a3waj ? if we disagree with this intrusive bad taste ,we stand in the extreme opposite ?
So is not the case my dear ,the resistance against this cheap culture is needed and we are not bigots at all.

July 3rd, 2009, 7:14 pm


Majhool said:


I posted in few seconds, basically went to youtube, and searched for Ali el Deek, since his work represents the music ideal for most of the political and secuirty elite in syria.

I did not even watch it ( Mr. Deek is not even there). So you are right, I could have found a better one.

July 3rd, 2009, 7:17 pm


Shami said:

Indeed Syria has been seeing a cultural decline since the Baath/Army took power. And when I say culture I mean in all its elements: number of Books published, good architecture, Music, Movies, Fine Art, Entertainment, Education, etc..

Majhool,This is an undeniable truth !

July 3rd, 2009, 7:28 pm


Shami said:

So was ,yesterday, the classical arabic art,what a collapse !

July 3rd, 2009, 7:34 pm


Majhool said:


Here is a better video. The music in the background is for the one and only “Ali EL Deek”

July 3rd, 2009, 7:37 pm


Alex said:

Majhool said:
“Indeed Syria has been seeing a cultural decline since the Baath/Army took power. And when I say culture I mean in all its elements: number of Books published, good architecture, Music, Movies, Fine Art, Entertainment, Education, etc..”


While I agree about the bad taste in Architectural design and about education, I have to disagree on the state of culture in Syria in general. Things improved dramatically the past few years. Syrian painters, musicians and authors are among the best in the Arab world … there are a number of organizations (like SADA) supporting arts

There is a lot of cultural energy in Damascus… and it seems to be exponential growing.

I am not going to complain about culture.

Architecture and urban planning are a disaster though.

July 3rd, 2009, 7:45 pm


Majhool said:

Hi Alex,

I am a fair guy, Things are better in the past few years, but not where they should be.

What we have today is a little of both. Old cultural hegemony of late Assad, and new cultural revival albeit still limited.

What’s sad about the past is that we had a conservatoire for western Music but not for classical Arabic music. It was either Debkkeh or Chopin.

July 3rd, 2009, 7:54 pm


Shami said:

Alex ,the people remain ,and their capabilities remain,and parts of our culture remain ,the wrong is to be found in the system which encourage the bad and the wrong.
For example in the seventh art ,we have Umar Amiralay and Muhamad Malas but those are not at ease with the system which is an opporessive burden ,for this reason they are only known outside Syria.

July 3rd, 2009, 7:56 pm


jad said:

How did your grand grand grand father ya Kareem pasha dance or dabak on that nice ancient music?
You didn’t answer my question about the bold ‘FACT’ statement you wrote that “everywhere in Syria you are forced to endure this culture of cabarets”
According to your ‘straight man6eq’ the west society, where you live freely, is forcing you to endure all the sexual freedom and all the metal music you hear? How are you living in the middle of this ‘fisq’ (according to your standard) and keep your standards and morals high? (The answer is simple: Regardless of where you live you can keep your taste level as high as you want and nobody is forcing you to endure anything you don’t want)

July 3rd, 2009, 7:58 pm


Alex said:


Things are changing there too. Omar is currently working on a new ambitious project … and “the system” is not against it at all.


You will probably be happy with a number of new fusion Syrian artists:

Try for example Lina Chamamyan:

July 3rd, 2009, 8:09 pm


Majhool said:


Don’t get me started on Lena. She is a dream came true. i have been telling everyone about her.

Still, she is one of few. In general Music in syria is sub-bar compared to Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, and Egypt.

Again, Its getting better, yet we are not there yet. Is that a fair statement?

July 3rd, 2009, 8:15 pm


Shami said:

Jad,this is what i call a danse ,anyone who hates such beautiful dance has lost any sense of humanity.

do you have anything comparable to offer?if yes i’m taker.

July 3rd, 2009, 8:17 pm


jad said:

Alex, you missed the best one though:

July 3rd, 2009, 8:19 pm


jad said:

Is that your grand grand grand father and your grand grand grand mother dancing in a family party? wow, you are royal! maybe a Sultan!

July 3rd, 2009, 8:21 pm


Alex said:

Absolutely Majhool. We are not there yet .. but I can see that we are zooming towards “there” … I am delighted with what is coming out of Syria.

One of your relatives is one of those brilliant Syrian artists.

One last thing, as relations between Syria and Lebanon go back to “normal”, expect Lebanese media marketers to successfully promote many more Syrian talents.

Before I go, here is one of my favorite Arabic music ever: Lama bada Yatasanna, again, interpreted by Lina Chamamyan

July 3rd, 2009, 8:25 pm


Shami said:

Alex,lena or better lubana al quntar and others exist it’s thank to the remaining culutral structures from the former era,the schools of arts of aleppo were very reputed for example.
And the last news i have,it’s that Umar Amiralay,is forbidden to leave Syria.i dont like this musical syncretism,we should avoid such mixtures,and this was the great mistake of ali al darwish.

July 3rd, 2009, 8:30 pm


Shami said:

sorry i correct an error of names,you should not read ali al darwish the aleppine great master of course ,but instead sayid darwish the great egyptian composer who studied music in aleppo too.

July 3rd, 2009, 8:39 pm


Majhool said:


I fully agree with your last statement. We lost 40 years. The first Video i posted (girls eating snake) still troubles me and reminds with with how things were or could be.

July 3rd, 2009, 8:42 pm


jad said:

How about Enana Group?
Do you like them or is it too much jumping for your taste Mawlana Kareem?

July 3rd, 2009, 8:46 pm


Majhool said:

Enana is a good a dance troup. albiet an imperfect duplicate of the great Caracalla.

July 3rd, 2009, 8:48 pm


Alex said:

Jihad Makdissi on improving Syrian Saudi relations

July 3rd, 2009, 9:01 pm


jad said:

Hi Majhool,
How old is Caracalla and how old is Enana?
Caracall 1968
Enana 1999
The fact that Jihad Mefleh the group director is an ex-Caracalla dancer will be the reason of the imperfect duplication you are talking about.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:17 pm


Shami said:

I’m sorry with all my friends here ,and i beg to differ with majhool too,inana and other “opera ballets” ,like the beduin operas makes the western critics want to barf.
We have better to offer.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:18 pm


Shami said:

Alex,Jihad Makdissi ,according to the asadian law , should be punished for his presence on a channel owned by the muslim brotherhood org.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:21 pm


norman said:

Alex,Thank you ,

What a change from the time when the Syrian representatives could not deffend syria, our diplomatic core seems to have become significantly more educated and sophisticated.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:29 pm


Shami said:

look at this,if we are not able to compete with those better to give up.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:29 pm


Majhool said:

Hi Jad,

Thanks for the info, It makes sense.

Shami, that was funny. There are some good stuff ou there, try and see Marcel Khaleifeh’s “Alisar” or “summer night dream” along with Caracalla. Its pretty good.

All said, I enjoy the music “haf” much more.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:30 pm


Majhool said:

yeah Norman, what a huge step. being able to defend the regime. 3okbal 3anna when we can criticize the regime.


or worse, eleminate income tax and replace it with sales tax?

Sorry could not stop my self.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:35 pm


Akbar Palace said:

John Bolton isn’t dangerous, Ahmadinejad is. John Bolton never threatened to “wpie Israel off the map”.

If the world had more John Boltons, the world would be safer.

Happy July 4th.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:35 pm


norman said:

You do not seem to understand that criticizing the regime is the only thing you do , no substance , just shouting , then i expect that from somebody like you who thinks that being Sunni is the only qualification he needs , grow up will you ?, I am not optimistic though.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:41 pm


Alex said:


Bolton and those who are as crazy as Bolton are dangerous to everyone.

Happy 4th of July!

July 3rd, 2009, 9:42 pm


Majhool said:

Perfect answer Norman, exactly what I was hoping to hear from you. Cracked me up laughing. Thanks and Happy 4th, now allow me.. I need to pay respect to Affan, Abu Bakr, Omar, and Ali.


“Stareh”, “Sta3ed”, “Bel makan raweh”…

July 3rd, 2009, 9:46 pm


jad said:

“if we are not able to compete with those better to give up.”

This is the worst advice I hear so far.
If we don’t keep trying to become better and good in what we do and if we gave up just because someone is more professional than us, what progress or credit we are doing for our society?
That is the losers answer and not of a person who wants to get better and never gave up trying until he does it right.

Should Malek Jandali give up?

Should Dima Orsho and Loubana Quntar give up?

Should Kinan Azme give up?

Should all the Syrian orchestra and opera singers and musicians give up because the Austrians or the Italians might know better than them? I don’t think so Kareem, those Syrians proved that they are equal and even much better than any other musician and opera singer in the world and the least you can do is respect them and be proud of them.

July 3rd, 2009, 9:59 pm


Majhool said:

I have to agree with Jad

July 3rd, 2009, 10:03 pm


majid said:

You guys are missing the point. There are no shortage of professional performers who can attract an audience, for example:

I meant the more spontaneous-like team that forms itself immediately right after the right tune is played, and without any training or rehearsals can still make a decent show as in:

This is kind of more representative of a folk culture with an art that is acquired as part and parcel of the culture as you grow into it.

July 3rd, 2009, 10:17 pm


Shami said:

Jad,this is not what i meant,if i cited Lubana al Quntar it was because she can stand comparison with the western and asian performers.It’s also the case of Kinan Azmeh or Abderahman Al Basha the internationally renowned pianist.

July 3rd, 2009, 10:37 pm


jad said:

What did you mean? with this:
“if we are not able to compete with those better to give up.”

FYI, Al Basha is Lebanese, not Syrian. The last thing you want is for a Lebanese to read that you made Al Basha Syrian, he/she will freak out.

BTW, shouldn’t you be more angry than me about the fire of the tourism ministry and the stupid announcement by Agah Alkal3a about that instead or arguing about Ali Aldeek high music level?

July 3rd, 2009, 11:03 pm


Shami said:

Jad,i knew that Al Basha is lebanese,but for other reason than Nour’s political aim,i dont care about these borders at least at the cultural and human levels.
As for your negative opinion on the religious islamic community,you would be surprised by the role played by the shouyoukh in the artistic field during and after the nahda era.

July 3rd, 2009, 11:41 pm


Shami said:

Agha al Qalaa is one of the best syrian artists,a great qanun players and an intellectual,very sophisticated ,a rare intelligence and all,but unfortunately we are in the land of barbary, lies and hypocrisy he can not be other than a puppet obeying the orders coming from his masters against his own will.This is the sad reality.Jad i would not attack him ,he is a victim as we are.

July 3rd, 2009, 11:50 pm


trustquest said:

The Arabesque art of the world, festival at Kennedy center is small taste of Arab music and art. Syria was not the highlight and its contribution was very modest.

We have seen here a lot of Arab artists excelled way higher, I watched them on PBS, and visited there sites, they enormous way more what exists in their country not to mention quality.

My son middle school orchestra (one of hundreds her in our great state), my son played the violin back in the 90s, is way much better. But excuse me a one band to show the dictator interest in music does not reflect on a whole nation.

Syria could have easily steel the fire from the Lebanese on all levels. Syria could offer much more than couple of “not bad” entertainers and tons of trash artists if there were real opening on the world, art protection and unrestricted media and expression by government to private sector. Artist work sold on the street like used shoes without protection for copy rights. And still the picture of ruining the life of many entertainers along the years who dare a little to express themselves limited the rise of real artists who can express themselves freely reflecting the public mode and color. Regime used the father leader rear for the art and most those artist died poor in vain while they could have made it rich easily since Arab world is not short of 100 million audiences, but the regime figures swim in the billions of dollars without effort.

And Shami BTW, Russian Ballet, please do not compare please, you hurt me, not all authorization regimes are the same. You better present the great work of Fathy Salama with the Youssou N’dour, Tijaniyya, this one:

Note: It took another 32 comments to release my innocent comment on 9. Did I say anything offensive? Or is it highly sensitive subject when it comes to the regime symbols.
Mr. Moderator will you please explain the reason?

July 3rd, 2009, 11:50 pm


Nour said:


One of the problems we have in our society is that people make assumptions about thoughts and then take positions regarding those thoughts based on those assumptions, when those assumptions are wholly inaccurate. I do not have any political aims, as you claim. My aim is the aim laid out by Antoun Saadeh, which reads:


This is not a political aim but a national one. We do not dictate what the particular political system should be that runs the Syrian nation, as this is up to the people to decide upon reaching national consciousness. This means that if we feel that it is in our best interest to have several political entities, then so be it, so long as we are aware of our national unity and work in accordance with this unity.

July 3rd, 2009, 11:56 pm


norman said:

Syria mends US, Arab ties as ally Iran in turmoilBuzz up!

AP foreign, Friday July 3 2009 SAM F. GHATTAS

Associated Press Writer= BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s leader sent a July 4 message full of praise to President Barack Obama on Friday and invited him to visit Syria — the latest signs Damascus is hedging its bets in Mideast politics, warming up to its rival the United States at a time when its longtime ally Iran is in turmoil.

The United States and its Arab allies have been hoping to pull Syria out of the fold of Iran and Islamic militant groups in the region.

Damascus so far appears unlikely to take such a dramatic step, but it does appear worried about Iran’s reliability and the long-term impact of that country’s postelection unrest. Also, its Lebanese ally Hezbollah suffered a setback when its coalition failed to win June parliament elections, beaten out by a pro-U.S. bloc.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has been expressing hopes for better ties with Washington for months. But the latest developments may make dialogue look even more attractive.

Assad sent a telegram to Obama on the occasion of the July 4 Independence Day holiday, saying, “the values that were adopted by President Obama during his election campaign and after he was elected president are values that the world needs today.”

“It is very important to adopt the principle of dialogue in relations with countries based on respect and mutual interest,” Assad said in the telegram, which was carried by state-run news agency SANA.

In an interview with Britain’s Sky News, Assad invited Obama to visit Damascus to discuss Mideast peace.

“We would like to welcome him in Syria, definitely. I am very clear about this,” Assad said in English. Asked whether such a visit could take place soon, Assad said: “That depends on him.”

He added with a smile, “I will ask you to convey the invitation to him.” The last time a U.S. president visited Syria was a 1994 trip by Bill Clinton.

For the U.S., even pulling Syria only partly away from Iran and its militant allies would represent a major shift and could help ease Mideast crises. The U.S.-Syrian rivalry has fueled instability in Lebanon, and the U.S. and Israel say Syria’s backing of the Palestinian Hamas undermines the Arab-Israeli peace process. Syrian cooperation could make Obama’s fresh push for a peace deal take off.

The Obama administration has stepped up its wooing of Syria. The U.S. is sending back its ambassador to Damascus after a four-year break over terrorism accusations. Obama’s special Mideast peace envoy, George Mitchell, made the highest level U.S. administration visit to Damascus since 2005, and he acknowledged Syria’s clout, declaring Damascus has a key role to play in forging Mideast peace.

In one sign of Syrian cooperation on regional issues, Damascus is believed to have played a behind-the-scenes role in ensuring Lebanon’s elections remained peaceful.

Damascus likely won’t move away from its Iran alliance easily. Iran’s regional clout has been key to boosting Syria’s status in the Middle East, and Tehran gives considerable financial and military backing. Assad was the first Arab leader to congratulate Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for winning disputed presidential election.

But Iran is now mired in the fallout from that election, following the widespread protests that erupted amid claims Ahmadinejad’s victory in the June election was fraudulent. The protests have largely been put down by a heavy crackdown, but the show of anger has raised questions over Ahmadinejad’s long-term legitimacy.

“All the world around Syria on which it built its policy is falling apart,” said Sateh Noureddine, managing editor of the Lebanese As-Safir daily, which tilts toward Syria’s Lebanese allies.

“Hezbollah lost the election in Lebanon, Hamas is being subjected to unprecedented attrition and Iran is drowned in its internal crises,” he told the Associated Press. “All the elements of strength they (Syrians) built on their foreign policy are collapsing, so for certain they are going to reassess and look for alternatives, without abandoning their past.”

Writing in the Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat, Saudi analyst Dawood al-Shirian urged Syria to “take this opportunity and rid itself of having to pay a price for the Iranians’ reputation.”

U.S. ally Saudi Arabia — one of the bitterest rivals of Syria in the region since 2005 — has been working in recent months to thaw ties with Damascus in hopes of drawing it away from Iran.

The oil powerhouse sent a senior envoy to Damascus on June 28. Assad and Saudi King Abdullah have twice met in recent months in Riyadh and Kuwait, and there has been persistent media speculation that Abdullah will visit Damascus in July — perhaps as early as next week — to crown the renewed relationship.

Assad and Jordan’s king have also recently exchanged visits for the first time in several years.

Syria has several long-term hopes in any reconciliation with the U.S. Assad has said he wants the U.S. to mediate Syrian-Israeli negotiations, in which Damascus seeks the return of the Golan Heights that Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

Syria also wants U.S. economic sanctions lifted and foreign investment, particularly Gulf Arab money for its economy. It is also wary over an international tribunal set up to try the perpetrators of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut at a time when Syria was controlled the country.

July 4th, 2009, 12:35 am


norman said:

Incoming IAEA chief: No evidence Iran seeking nuclear weapons

By News Agencies

Tags: Israel news, nuclear, Iran

The incoming head of the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog said on Friday he did not see any hard evidence that Iran was trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear weapons.

“I don’t see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this,” Japan’s Yukiya Amano told Reuters in his first direct comment on Iran’s nuclear program since his election to head the International Atomic Energy Agency, when asked whether he believed Iran was seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

Current IAEA head Mohammed ElBaradei told the BBC last month it was his “gut feeling” that Iran was seeking the ability to produce nuclear arms, if it desired, as an “insurance policy” against perceived threats from neighboring countries or the
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nited States.

“I’m not going to be a ‘soft’ director general or a ‘tough’ director general,” Amano told Reuters, when asked how he would approach issues like Iran and Syria, which are both subject to IAEA probes.

Earlier Friday, IAEA members unanimously designated Amano as the organization’s next director general, ending a rift between developing and industrialized countries over his nomination.

With the official confirmation of his election on Thursday, the Japanese diplomat is now set to assume his post in December, succeeding Mohammed ElBaradei, who retires as director general after 12 years in office.

Amano, Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, narrowly won a run-off vote against South African diplomat Abdul Samad Minty.

Developing countries backing Minty had for several months blocked Amano’s election.

But on Friday, developing countries grouped in the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 issued statements expressing their support for Amano, 62, who is seen as closely aligned with the United States.

Minty congratulated Amano, and offered his country’s support, saying that “our future objective is to assist in fostering a cooperative spirit and to focus on what unites us, namely; creating a better life for all free from the threat of the use of nuclear weapons.”

Meanwhile, the Japanese government put high hopes in the next IAEA leader.

“We hope that Amano will tackle the nuclear issues in the areas of non-proliferation and disarmament,” top government spokesman Takeo Kawamura said in Tokyo.

July 4th, 2009, 12:44 am


Jad said:

Kareem, you are 3allak!
Not the fun one but 3lak msaddi!

July 4th, 2009, 12:57 am


norman said:


((( Dillusional!)))OR delusional you meant

Is something fit you well.

We have to wait till you change your skin like the snakes that you like to show.a better Majhool might come up.

July 4th, 2009, 1:05 am


norman said:

SAIPA opens new car assembly line in Syria
Tehran Times Economic Desk

DAMASCUS – Iranian carmaker SAIPA inaugurated a car assembly line in Homs, Syria, on Thursday.

The SAIPA 132 will be manufactured under the name Emesa which is the ancient name for Homs, IRNA reported.

Iranian Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mohammad Saeidikia who is also the chairman of Iran-Syria Joint Economic Cooperation Commission, and Syrian Industry Minister Fouad Issa Aljouni were present at the inaugural ceremony of the production line.

Addressing the ceremony, Aljouni lauded Iran’s significant advancement in industrial fields as well as the growing trend of cooperation between Iran and Syria in recent years, and called for the further expansion of bilateral ties.

SAIPA opened a car production line in Hasya district, 150 km north of Damascus, in 2007.

The total investment in this project, with 85 percent share of SAIPA and 15 percent share of the private Hamshoo Company, amounted to $46 million.

The other Iran-Syria joint venture on car production is the Samand sedan car producing plant, which was established at Adra industrial park, 36 kilometers from the Syrian capital of Damascus, and was in fact the first joint automobile production project ever implemented by the Irano-Syrian Company, Siamco.

Iran and Syria have jointly invested $60 million in this project, which was implemented by the engineers of Iran Khodro Co. in 17 months.

Iran is the first country which exported its automobile manufacturing technology to Syria.

Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), the Middle East’s largest automaker, launched the first phase of the Samand assembly line in Damascus in 2007.

The plant has the production capacity of about 10,000 cars per annum that could be increased to 30,000 cars by tripling the working shifts.

IKCO has so far produced three national cars named Samand, Miniator, and Runna, the latest was unveiled in April

July 4th, 2009, 1:17 am


Shami said:

Jad ,yes what’s your problem with our muslim conservative society ?do you fear it? or you are well in it?
Give us criticism instead of insults.
Dear bro Nour,am i wrong if i say that Antun Saadeh main influence was the nazi ideology ?
And your ideal system can it accept,multi party democracy, press freedom ,religious freedom,cultural freedom ?
For example ,me Shami ,i consider that Antun Saadeh is the evil and i would like to write a pamphlet against him and ideology ,would you accept it?

July 4th, 2009, 2:40 am


jad said:

Kareem, You prove my point as you being a big 3allak, since I wasn’t even talking about your conservative society you want to build, I was referring your 3lak to this sentence “i dont care about these borders at least at the cultural and human levels”
trying really hard to show me that you are an open minded caring person which is not your case for sure.

What is your major at school and what do you do for living? I’m curious since you always have the same ‘fearing of Muslim’ accusation to through when you stuck in your own mud.

An advise: don’t use your religion in attacking others, it shows how weak and paranoid you are and that your believes are not strong enough that you can’t face any criticism for it.
A strong believer is the one who can take a criticizing with an open mind and soul and work to improve that weak point in his faith instead of looking the other way.

What do you know of Antoun Saadeh that gave you the impression that he is evil? was that sentence to provoke Nour or was it your true believe out of knowledge and research for that decision of judging Antoun Saadeh as evil and write a ‘pamphlet’ against him.

July 4th, 2009, 3:13 am


Shami said:

Jad ,i’m not neutral ,i have my own political and philosophical trends ,i define myself as a muslim but i hope that i could be a democrat and a may be a liberal mind ,who can accept and respect those who believe otherwise ,this is the important point for me ,i recognize our differences and i would not force on you my beliefs and as human i recognize in you your human qualities and your values ,there are universal values that no one can deny.Am i open minded ? i hope so,this is a necesssity for anybody whose aim is to be a democrat.
I have no hate nor love for Saadeh and for sure i dont consider him as the devil ,but it was an hypothetical situation in which me Shami wanted to write a pamphlet against Saadeh and his ideology ,and i would like to know what would be the reaction of Nour if hypothetically he was the ruler.

July 4th, 2009, 3:48 am


jad said:

Thank you for explaining yourself, I sincerely appreciate that.
Could you please tell me your major (you don’t have to be specific)
I just want to understand your way of thinking a bit better so even in our disagreement we could have something in common to relate to other than our love to Syria and I could ask you some information unrelated to religion or history.
Regarding Antoun Saadeh, Nour would be more qualified to answer you but I assure you that when we as a nation get to the level of the national pride Saadeh called for, nobody will care if you have not one but 100 pamphlet against him because at that point the dream is already done and your national pride and strength is at its peak in a full democratic and secular nation.

July 4th, 2009, 4:03 am


Nour said:


First, the Nazi ideology had absolutely no influence on Saadeh’s thought, and in fact it is completely contradictory to the Social Nationalist ideology.

Second, we believe in intellectual struggle to achieve what is best, and we have been leveled with many attacks on our ideology and on Antoun Saadeh; we confront such attacks with complete confidence in the righteousness of our cause.

Third, we do not aim to rule the nation as a party whereby we impose our views on the people. Rather, we aim to bring national awareness to the people, after which the people will establish and install the political system that best fits the interest of the nation.

July 4th, 2009, 1:01 pm


Avi said:

There is a lot of talk today in haaretz about killing nasrallah the iranian….well peace will not come never i guess…i waish the lebanese would take care of the hezbollah problem instead of submitting to them

July 4th, 2009, 3:14 pm


Off the Wall said:


I was there, and the Syrian musicians were no high school orchestra. I even posted a lengthy post on the subject, no one seemed to have read it then because it was out of subject, but I do not think that it is out of today’s subject.

When it comes to art, i do not generalize, each individual composition stands on its own. I am a classical music (Western, and Arabic) and an opera buff. So to me, most of he modern Arabic music be it the donkey song so popular in Egypt or the wawa clip originating in Lebanon sound silly at best. I still cling to 5 tapes representing the best of the Tunisian maestro “Abudlhaleem Nuera” and his enchanting choir, which I had since 1980. They are, re-incarnated on CDs, curtsy my wife, played over and over again in my car, in my office and on my laptop. Recently, though, I am finding myself adding to my very selective library songs from well and not so well known Syrian singers.

So, i can also be enchanted by some of modern Arab singers. Since I am bad with names, I will not put forth any of these names, except to say that i can, like everyone else, tell the difference between a good song that was well written, composed, and sung and a song that was done in a hurry to be performed, for the lack of a better word, in some rich and/or influential person son’s wedding. And I must say that slowly but assuredly, professinalism is gaining ground not only in Syria, but elsewhere in the Arabic music scene be it pop clip, or more serious works. Classical Arabic music, especially Andalusian style has been and will continue to be a domain that Morocco and Tunisia have the lead on, but that is consistent with their history and their geographic and historical ties to the origin of that unique style. It is more their pulse, as one may say and I find nothing wrong with these two countries leading Syria, or Lebanon in this type of music, which I love very much.

If you are interested, here is the link to my rather long post on the Syrian musicians who played with the Orange County Orchestra in March of this year.

July 4th, 2009, 3:34 pm


t_desco said:

It is clear that this would be a tempting scenario for some (tempting enough to manipulate the STL as it happend in the past with Syria and the whole Siddiq-saga?).

It would:

– deal a severe blow to the credibility of the resistance;

– make impossible the integration of Hizbullah’s capabilities into the Lebanese army as part of a comprehensive defense strategy (hint hint*);

– make possible a de facto coalition of Israel-UNIFIL-March 14 against Hizbullah (not acting together, but all acting against the resistance);

– an indictment by the STL would increase tensions between Hizbullah and UNIFIL, making it difficult for the latter to fulfill its mission; this could be used by Israeli as pretext for an attack.

Of course, before this happens one would have to see preparatory steps like, say, strengthening the Internal Security Forces and demilitarizing Beirut.

(*For the sake of avoiding further misunderstandings: Not that it matters, but this would be my preferred option.)

On a more personal note: I was sooo hoping for Palin/Hoover ’12. Is the dream dead? 😀

Happy 4th!

July 4th, 2009, 6:12 pm


Akbar Palace said:


I am not surprised that think John Bolton is dangerous. You support an
autocratic regime that severely restricts freedoms to her people. You
also support a regime that allies itself with countries such as North Korea
and Iran. This small group of nations has been put into the doghouse by
the UNSC, not just by John Bolton.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama has not given up the fight against terrorism, as
witnessed in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


I don’t know what to tell you. John Bolton isn’t hurting the Syrian people.

And I think we both know who is.

July 4th, 2009, 6:25 pm


Avi said:

But what’s even more going to hurt Syria is if it chooses the iranian model then they will go to the perpetual state of active war which i call the “cutural madness dimension” where rationality means khomenei’s theories, and i guess this is no good for syria!at least i hope some syrians understand this.

July 4th, 2009, 7:04 pm


norman said:

T_ Desco,

As usual you seem to have a foresight , they will change the diffidence as they see fit to advance their agendas , when they can not get something with war they use the UN , as long as the international law does not apply to everybody we will see terrorism .

July 4th, 2009, 7:09 pm


majid said:

“they will change the diffidence as they see fit to advance their agendas”

I think you. Norman and T_Desco, are making good points and showing foresight.

Not that I believe that a public poll can be used to incriminate a certain party, but it is probably time that the poll at the top of the SC page should be removed. It is clear how the people voted. Looks like Syria did not win any voting battles recently, including this SC poll. But it doesn’t make any difference, does it?

July 4th, 2009, 9:35 pm


norman said:

Thank you,

The sad thing is that the majority believe that Syria did it with or without Assad knowing about it ,

We should be aware though that people can vote multiple times if they have more than one computer .

July 4th, 2009, 10:02 pm


Shami said:

Jad,my major is related to exact science.
Nour ,but on the ground all these parties who use similar slogans have failed and as you know ,the syrian regime and the mafia around include a number of ssnpers ,as for the ssnpers in lebanon ,they are considered as spies for the syrian regime ,this reality may explain the reprisal in halba ,a region in which many were kidnapped and transfered to Syria through proxies,most of them ssnp members.Am i wrong ?
And plz tell me on what the SSNP principles are different from the nationalist ideologies of Europe ?

July 4th, 2009, 10:32 pm


Shami said:

For example :

The Syrian nation is one society.

is that not dangerous statement ?

July 4th, 2009, 10:40 pm


Alex said:

Akbar Palace said:

“This small group of nations has been put into the doghouse by
the UNSC, not just by John Bolton.”

Dear Akbar

Can you list all the UNSC resolutions agains Syria?

Here are the ones against Israel:

1. Resolution 42: The Palestine Question (5 March 1948) Requests recommendations for the Palestine Commission
2. Resolution 43: The Palestine Question (1 Apr 1948) Recognizes “increasing violence and disorder in Palestine” and requests that representatives of “the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee” arrange, with the Security Council, “a truce between the Arab and Jewish Communities of Palestine…Calls upon Arab and Jewish armed groups in Palestine to cease acts of violence immediately.”
3. Resolution 44: The Palestine Question (1 Apr 1948) Requests convocation of special session of the General Assembly
4. Resolution 46: The Palestine Question (17 Apr 1948) As the United Kingdom is the Mandatory Power, “it is responsible for the maintenance of peace and order in Palestine.” The Resolutions also “Calls upon all persons and organizations in Palestine” to stop importing “armed bands and fighting personnel…whatever their origin;…weapons and war materials;…Refrain, pending the future government of Palestine…from any political activity which might prejudice the rights, claims, or position of either community;…refrain from any action which will endager the safety of the Holy Places in Palestine.”
5. Resolution 48: The Palestine Question (23 Apr 1948)
6. Resolution 49: The Palestine Question (22 May 1948)
7. Resolution 50: The Palestine Question (29 May 1948)
8. Resolution 53: The Palestine Question (7 Jul 1948)
9. Resolution 54: The Palestine Question (15 Jul 1948)
10. Resolution 56: The Palestine Question (19 Aug 1948)
11. Resolution 57: The Palestine Question (18 Sep 1948)
12. Resolution 59: The Palestine Question (19 Oct 1948)
13. Resolution 60: The Palestine Question (29 Oct 1948)
14. Resolution 61: The Palestine Question (4 Nov 1948)
15. Resolution 62: The Palestine Question (16 Nov 1948)
16. Resolution 66: The Palestine Question (29 Dec 1948)
17. Resolution 72: The Palestine Question (11 Aug 1949)
18. Resolution 73: The Palestine Question (11 Aug 1949)
19. Resolution 89 (17 November 1950): regarding Armistice in 1948 Arab-Israeli War and “transfer of persons”.
20. Resolution 92: The Palestine Question (8 May 1951)
21. Resolution 93: The Palestine Question (18 May 1951)
22. Resolution 95: The Palestine Question (1 Sep 1951)
23. Resolution 100: The Palestine Question (27 Oct 1953)
24. Resolution 101: The Palestine Question (24 Nov 1953)
25. Resolution 106: The Palestine Question (29 Mar 1955) ‘condemns’ Israel for Gaza raid.
26. Resolution 107: The Palestine Question (30 Mar)
27. Resolution 108: The Palestine Question (8 Sep)
28. Resolution 111: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people”.
29. Resolution 113: The Palestine Question (4 Apr)
30. Resolution 114: The Palestine Question (4 Jun)
31. Resolution 127: ” … ‘recommends’ Israel suspends its ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem”.
32. Resolution 138: Question relating to the case of Adolf Eichmann, concerning Argentine complaint that Israel breached its sovereignty.
33. Resolution 162: ” … ‘urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”.
34. Resolution 171: ” … determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”.
35. Resolution 228: ” … ‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”.
36. Resolution 233 (June 6, 1967
37. Resolution 234 (June 7, 1967
38. Resolution 235 (June 9, 1967
39. Resolution 236 (June 11, 1967
40. Resolution 237: ” … ‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”.
41. Resolution 240 (October 25, 1967: concerning violations of the cease-fire
42. Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967): Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area. Calls on Israel’s neighbors to end the state of belligerency and calls upon Israel to reciprocate by withdraw its forces from land claimed by other parties in 1967 war. Interpreted commonly today as calling for the Land for peace principle as a way to resolve Arab-Israeli conflict
43. Resolution 248: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”.
44. Resolution 250: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem”.
45. Resolution 251: ” … ‘deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250″.
46. Resolution 252: ” … ‘declares invalid’ Israel’s acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital”.
47. Resolution 256: ” … ‘condemns’ Israeli raids on Jordan as ‘flagrant violation”.
48. Resolution 258
49. Resolution 259: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”.
50. Resolution 262: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for attack on Beirut airport”.
51. Resolution 265: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks on Salt, Jordan”.
52. Resolution 267: ” … ‘censures’ Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem”.
53. Resolution 270: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon”.
54. Resolution 271: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem”.
55. Resolution 279: ” … ‘demands’ withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon”.
56. Resolution 280: ” … ‘condemns’ Israeli’s attacks against Lebanon”.
57. Resolution 285: ” … ‘demands’ immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon”.
58. Resolution 298: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem”.
59. Resolution 313: ” … ‘demands’ that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon”.
60. Resolution 316: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon”.
61. Resolution 317: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon”.
62. Resolution 331
63. Resolution 332: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel’s repeated attacks against Lebanon”.
64. Resolution 337: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty”.
65. Resolution 338 (22 October 1973): cease fire in Yom Kippur War
66. Resolution 339 (23 October 1973): Confirms Res. 338, dispatch UN observers.
67. Resolution 340
68. Resolution 341
69. Resolution 344
70. Resolution 346
71. Resolution 347: ” … ‘condemns’ Israeli attacks on Lebanon”.
72. Resolution 350 (31 May 1974) established the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, to monitor the ceasefire between Israel and Syria in the wake of the Yom Kippur War.
73. Resolution 362
74. Resolution 363
75. Resolution 368
76. Resolution 369
77. Resolution 371
78. Resolution 378
79. Resolution 381
80. Resolution 390
81. Resolution 396
82. Resolution 398
83. Resolution 408
84. Resolution 416
85. Resolution 420
86. Resolution 425 (1978): ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon”. Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon was completed as of 16 June 2000.
87. Resolution 426
88. Resolution 427: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon”.
89. Resolution 429
90. Resolution 434
91. Resolution 438
92. Resolution 441
93. Resolution 444: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces”.
94. Resolution 446 (1979): ‘determines’ that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”.
95. Resolution 449
96. Resolution 450: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon”.
97. Resolution 452: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories”.
98. Resolution 456
99. Resolution 459
100. Resolution 465: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s settlements and asks all member states not to assist Israel’s settlements program”.
101. Resolution 467: ” … ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon”.
102. Resolution 468: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return”.
103. Resolution 469: ” … ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s failure to observe the council’s order not to deport Palestinians”.
104. Resolution 470
105. Resolution 471: ” … ‘expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”.
106. Resolution 474
107. Resolution 476: ” … ‘reiterates’ that Israel’s claim to Jerusalem are ‘null and void'”.
108. Resolution 478 (20 August 1980): ‘censures (Israel) in the strongest terms’ for its claim to Jerusalem in its ‘Basic Law’.
109. Resolution 481
110. Resolution 483
111. Resolution 484: ” … ‘declares it imperative’ that Israel re-admit two deported Palestinian mayors”.
112. Resolution 485
113. Resolution 487: ” … ‘strongly condemns’ Israel for its attack on Iraq’s nuclear facility”.
114. Resolution 488
115. Resolution 493
116. Resolution 497 (17 December 1981) decides that Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights is ‘null and void’ and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith.
117. Resolution 498: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon”.
118. Resolution 501: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops”.
119. Resolution 506
120. Resolution 508:
121. Resolution 509: ” … ‘demands’ that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon”.
122. Resolution 511
123. Resolution 515: ” … ‘demands’ that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and allow food supplies to be brought in”.
124. Resolution 516
125. Resolution 517: ” … ‘censures’ Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon”.
126. Resolution 518: ” … ‘demands’ that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon”.
127. Resolution 519
128. Resolution 520: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel’s attack into West Beirut”.
129. Resolution 523
130. Resolution 524
131. Resolution 529
132. Resolution 531
133. Resolution 536
134. Resolution 538
135. Resolution 543
136. Resolution 549
137. Resolution 551
138. Resolution 555
139. Resolution 557
140. Resolution 561
141. Resolution 563
142. Resolution 573: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel ‘vigorously’ for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters.
143. Resolution 575
144. Resolution 576
145. Resolution 583
146. Resolution 584
147. Resolution 586
148. Resolution 587 ” … ‘takes note’ of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw”.
149. Resolution 590
150. Resolution 592: ” … ‘strongly deplores’ the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops”.
151. Resolution 594
152. Resolution 596
153. Resolution 599
154. Resolution 603
155. Resolution 605: ” … ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians.
156. Resolution 607: ” … ‘calls’ on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
157. Resolution 608: ” … ‘deeply regrets’ that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians”.
158. Resolution 609
159. Resolution 611
160. Resolution 613
161. Resolution 617
162. Resolution 624
163. Resolution 630
164. Resolution 633
165. Resolution 636: ” … ‘deeply regrets’ Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.
166. Resolution 639
167. Resolution 641: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s continuing deportation of Palestinians.
168. Resolution 645
169. Resolution 648
170. Resolution 655
171. Resolution 659
172. Resolution 672: ” … ‘condemns’ Israel for “violence against Palestinians” at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
173. Resolution 673: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations.
174. Resolution 679
175. Resolution 681: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s resumption of the deportation of Palestinians.
176. Resolution 684
177. Resolution 694: ” … ‘deplores’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
178. Resolution 695
179. Resolution 701
180. Resolution 722
181. Resolution 726: ” … ‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians.
182. Resolution 734
183. Resolution 756
184. Resolution 768
185. Resolution 790
186. Resolution 799: “. . . ‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return.
187. Resolution 803
188. Resolution 830
189. Resolution 852
190. Resolution 887
191. Resolution 904
192. Resolution 1039
193. Resolution 1052
194. Resolution 1057
195. Resolution 1068
196. Resolution 1073
197. Resolution 1081
198. Resolution 1095
199. Resolution 1109
200. Resolution 1122
201. Resolution 1139
202. Resolution 1151
203. Resolution 1169
204. Resolution 1188
205. Resolution 1211
206. Resolution 1223
207. Resolution 1243
208. Resolution 1254
209. Resolution 1276
210. Resolution 1288
211. Resolution 1300
212. Resolution 1310
213. Resolution 1322 (7, October 2000)
214. Resolution 1328
215. Resolution 1337
216. Resolution 1351
217. Resolution 1559 (2 September 2004) called upon Lebanon to establish its sovereignty over all of its land and called upon Syria to end their military presence in Lebanon by withdrawing its forces and to cease intervening in internal Lebanese politics. The resolution also called on all Lebanese militias to disband.
218. Resolution 1583 (28 January 2005) calls on Lebanon to assert full control over its border with Israel. It also states that “the Council has recognized the Blue Line as valid for the purpose of confirming Israel’s withdrawal pursuant to resolution 425.
219. Resolution 1648 (21 December 2005) renewed the mandate of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force until 30 June 2006.
220. Resolution 1701 (11 August 2006) called for the full cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah.
221. Resolution 1860 (9 January 2009) called for the full cessation of war between Israel and Hamas.

July 4th, 2009, 11:10 pm


SimoHurtta said:

But what’s even more going to hurt Syria is if it chooses the iranian model then they will go to the perpetual state of active war which i call the “cutural madness dimension” where rationality means khomenei’s theories, and i guess this is no good for syria!at least i hope some syrians understand this.

Avi it seems that there are some “cultural madness dimensions” with Jerusalem’s parking lots (like with numerous others causes) in Israel. Have you Avi ever heard of such religious parking lot disputes in Iran? Seem that you have tighter “khomenei theories” there in Israel as they have in Iran. They at least can park their cars during their Sabbath.

You have surely impressive hats there in Israel, but aren’t such hats little to hot in that Middle Eastern climate? We in Finland do not have even during winter time, when the temperature can be -20 to -30 Celsius, such massive hats. 🙂

July 4th, 2009, 11:20 pm


norman said:


And how many of these resolution were implemented , no many , the only resolutions that are enforced are the one against the Arabs ,

Look what they are trying to do to disarm Hezbollah and leave the Golan occupied , it is so funny that after they tried and failed to dismember Syria , now they come and play nice to disarm Syria and it’s Allies , i hope that Syria will not fall for it and keep it’s stand that they should give before she does , otherwise we will be in the same status as we were in the nineties , all talk and no action.

U.S., Saudis push Syria over IDF withdrawal from Shaba

By Zvi Bar’el

Tags: Lebanon, Israel News, Syria

Saudi Arabia and the United States are pressing Syria to demarcate its border with Lebanon, in order to allow for the beginning of an Israeli withdrawal from the disputed Shaba Farms area, straddling the border between Lebanon and the Golan Heights.

These moves come amid warming relations between Damascus and Washington. This past weekend Syrian President Bashar Assad issued an unofficial invitation to his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama to visit the Syrian capital.

Marking the Syrian-Lebanese border would neutralize the Israeli claim that Shaba Farms was previously Syrian territory, and that a withdrawal must be carried out only in the course of negotiations with Damascus. The United Nations also defines the area as Syrian territory, and did not call on Israel to pull back from it during its 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon.

Withdrawing from the disputed area would also obviate one of Hezbollah?s primary pretexts for continuing to maintain weapons to fight Israel’s presence on what it considers Lebanese soil. In marking its border, however, Syria would be sending a strong message to Hezbollah that the militant group’s accumulation of arms is no longer part of the country’s military strategy.

Such a move would likely bolster the position of Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s pro-West prime minister-delegate, as well. Hariri has stated that the Lebanese parliament must tackle the issue of disarming Hezbollah. He has also conditioned forming a government on the Hezbollah-led opposition holding no more than a third of the seats in parliament, thus preventing it from being able to veto key government decisions. The Lebanese Constitution stipulates that certain important decisions must be made with the ascent of two-thirds of parliamentarians.

Lebanese sources said recently that they expected Syria to agree to mark the border in an effort to win favor with both the United States and Egypt; Lebanon engaged in a diplomatic confrontation with the latter during Israel’s operation in Gaza earlier this year.

The border delineation may occur after a new American ambassador is appointed to Syria. One of the leading candidates for the post is Daniel Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Talks over the border issue began before the June 7 election in Lebanon, when acting U.S. assistant secretary of state Jeffrey Feltman and Daniel Shapiro, a Middle East expert with the National Security Council, presented the request to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem. Moallem rejected the request, telling them, “Until the Farms are liberated from Israeli occupation, we won’t mark the border.”

Nonetheless, Moallem seems to have changed his position in recent days, announcing that the border mapping would begin in two months, but that demarcation would begin at Syria’s northern frontier.

Meanwhile, Syria is also feeling pressure from Saudi Arabia, as King Abdullah has begun reaching out to Damascus after long-strained relations. Reports from Saudi Arabia indicate Abdullah is scheduled to travel to Damascus on Monday, and may convene a limited summit of Saudi, Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian officials in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

July 4th, 2009, 11:50 pm


Avi said:

These people with long hats in a parking lot is not representive of all israelis not even 1/5 of israelis actually they are far from the majority SimoHurtta , but at least they are not blocking regional peace like the good cleric dictator khomenei and the good old resistance he so dearly loves !!plus khomeni is so good to iran…..these people will never restore pride only peace will!

July 5th, 2009, 1:20 am


Avi said:

Alex your resolution argument is a joke!I have not seen one resolution codemning terrorism or rocket fire from the arab side!!your resolution argument alex is rather funny to me and i hope you feel the prejudice of it all….well don’t you love so much politics maybe you too will pass a resolution soon condemning israel…lets just hope your dream won’t come true cause maybe peace will actually prevail one day!

July 5th, 2009, 1:30 am


Alex said:


These were not my resolutions, these are the UNSC resolutions (got it from Wikipedia)

I was simply asking Akbar Palace to remember that this is not fox news. If he wants to use an argument that “This small group of nations has been put into the doghouse by the UNSC” … then he needs to know that he is dreaming.

I am not interested in more UNSC resolutions against Israel, there is enough of them that Israel never respected and that the west stopped long time ago to force Israel to adhere to.

July 5th, 2009, 4:02 pm


Off the Wall said:

Jad and Shami
I tend to take the wise Ehsani’s point of view on Cabaret’s and similar venues. I ask So what.

Yet, if i am to interpret Shami’s comment regarding such venues being put where they belong, i do not find it outrageous at all. It is common in any country that entertainment facilities be separated from residential areas reasonably well in manners that does not hinder their ability to conduct business and at the same time allow for the required level of quietness and serenity required by residents.

I do not know what is the situation now in Syria, but if Shami means that, then I see nothing wrong with that statement.

As for Enana, I would not go as far as barfing, which is rather uncalled for harsh statement, but it is obvious from watching the video that the individual dancers lack a very important element in dancing, which is grace. Graceful movements can only be gained after years and years of practice starting at a very very young age. Now here comes the real challenge for Syrian dance art scene, which suffers a disadvantage that the classical musical scene does not have to suffer. How many parents send their 4 and 5 year old kids to ballet classes in Syria or to dance classes. I would even go further to challenge Shami and Majhool and ask if the state decided to start dance classes in elementary schools, how many parents would not go “off the wall” and argue that the state is forcing their children into prostitute-like profession and taking a way their islamic ethics.

When you see a Bolshoi ballerina, you are seeing someone who started taking serious dancing classes at the young age of 4. It is out of this crop of well tuned bodies that a select few make it to dance schools, and out of that group even a select fewer get to become members of dancing groups and out of that crop the best of the best are then filtered out. This is where grace comes from. Not from 18 years old who can now do what they like to do independent of their families but by that time their bodies are so stiff that they can not gain that illusive grace despite of their incredible efforts.

The situation on the musical scene is different. To many in the middle and upper middle class, learning piano, or any other musical instrument is a sign of status. As such, some gifted children, all be it much less than the real number of possibly gifted children find their way to higher musical institutes and out of that come the cadre of highly professional musicians we now see in Syria.

What Enana and similar group do is to plant the seed of acceptability, a seed that was similarly planted by people like Najmi Sukkari, who made music a respectable profession in the eyes of many Syrians. The road is long, but until parents start sending their children to dance schools in mass at a very young age, we will not compete with the Bolshoi. The government has nothing to do with that. They did what they could for classical music, and the results are showing, but they were only able to do that because the society was ready to deliver the gifted and the not so gifted ones to these schools. the gifted ones become superb musicians, and the not so gifted received the gift of intuitive and technical appreciation of music, which by itself a wonderful gift to receive. It will take thousands of kids learning ballet and dance before you can finally select a group of 20.

Enana is OK, it can be better, but it is a start nonetheless.

That was a rather long list. I wonder if there is a way to publicize this list and hang it or distribute it everywhere Bolton and his gang speak about international law. Thanks for the list.

July 5th, 2009, 4:27 pm


Shami said:

otw ,i found better.

July 5th, 2009, 10:07 pm


Off the wAll said:

that was Fun to watch. At least the fella was happy and when these guys dance and have fun you know that An hour or of thier day is gone spending monyinsteados stealing it. 🙂

July 5th, 2009, 10:38 pm


trustquest said:

Alex, you are great with your list, thanks.

OTW, you always surprise me with comments on the surface looks like a logical comments but it has kind of logic that withdrawn from historical sequence. In Damascus where I was born, movies theaters for example were built in the 40s and 50s. One or two were built in the 60s as a residual of previous free government. After that during the dictator rule no one single movie theater was built, neither in any city in Syria. I don’t have to remind you that Damascus in the 60s was populated with less than a million and now populated with 5 millions.

It is for me a fact that art and science can flourish only among free nations. If Gorge Orwell taught us something he taught us that human spirit and social fabric ruins under tyranny. History taught us even the Greeks when they lost their liberty and become mighty rich by mean of conquest on the hand of Alexander, yet the art from that moment declined among them and have never since been able to raise their head in that climate.

It does not take to much effort to see what happen to all the institutions of arts and science in colleges and in private sectors under the imitated socialist programs applied in Syria after 1968 to serve only the dictator and to control any free expression in public. The spread of total barbarism in Syria in the last three decades is not an environment for flourishing music and arts. It is impossible for the arts and sciences to raise among any people, unless that people enjoy the blessing of free living.

So, in my opinion government has a lot to do with the flourishing of the art and science. On this very blog, many recorded how science retreated with those phony degrees to those in power and their supporters and how Syria ended up at the back of many nations.
It seems I offended you when I compared those orchestra to high school orchestra, but sir, Syrian orchestra is doing great for its environment but still it is not a match even for some high school in the State where art and music are part of the rich environment where you see one household in each thirty own a piano, not to mention the centuries old existence of tools and environment.

July 5th, 2009, 10:44 pm


jad said:

“After that during the dictator rule no one single movie theater was built, neither in any city in Syria.”
Do you know why Trustquest?
I’ll tell you why from a personal experience: my parents used with their friends to take us out to watch movies once maybe twice a week, even my mother sometimes used to take us in the morning shows at Alkindi to watch cartoon movies, not to mention the Ballet/Fairouz/Sabah and other musical and theatre shows used to play in Damascus, we also had the international fair as well as the flower fair (both are still happening) until late seventies when alikhwan almouslemeen started their own war against not only the regime but against everybody terrorizing the whole society. My parents and their friends decided that it will be safer not to go to any cinema/theatre for our own safety and the whole society did the same thing, that problem lasts for years and during that time Cinemas, Theatres and any culture event were dead since nobody wanted to go out because of the fear from Alikhwan, so blaming the dictator on that wouldn’t be fair.
The last cinema opened in Damascus was Alsham theatre and I remember very well that my parents went there to watch a French movie as the opening movie there, then after couple months we went for the first time to watch “Paris fi alsham” and “Hawai fi alsham” it might be 1984. Last year they ‘renovate Cinema Dimashq and call it Cinema City. They also renovate Alkindi.
Do you know that there is a law that wouldn’t allow any Cinema to close regardless how bad their revenue are? Can you imagine if the ‘DICTATOR’ allowed for them to be closed how badly the situation would be now? We wouldn’t have any cinema at my opinion the main issue in the cinema failure now and its reputation of being ‘3asake’oriented is the monopoly of movie distribution by the hand of the government corporation lead by unprofessional managers. That is the main problem otherwise the cinemas in Syria are better and better equipped than the ones in Lebanon and if they renovate them properly they are big asset.

In my reply to Kareem about his comment of the government is ‘forcing’ us to endure the cabaret life style has an old story to it; sometime last year he state that Baath party, the Alawite and the government ‘encourage’ prostitution and I as usual disagreed with him, so for him to state again that we are forced by the government to endure this lifestyle ‘everywhere’ is also an exaggeration, this is why the sarcasm in my comment about me supporting Cabaret and Mjoun lifestyle, so don’t worry, I won’t open any new Cabaret in Damascus, we have enough already and all of them are super classy but the good thing is that they are out of Damascus except 4 are still working in the city, in the downtown area and they are not allowed to open until 9pm so unfortunately in the morning and the afternoon you won’t see any naked dancer in the street 😉

July 6th, 2009, 6:18 am


Shami said:

Jad:Theatres and any culture event were dead since nobody wanted to go out because of the fear from Alikhwan, so blaming the dictator on that wouldn’t be fair

Jad ,didnt you find a more convincing excuse for the sake of this enlightened dictator ?

July 6th, 2009, 6:44 am


Majhool said:


looks like “girls eating Snakes” was not nough to shake that “make beliefe” of yours.

Terrany, casues radical movements to emerge. Plus what is more radical than killing 20,000 of your own citizens?

If you fear “cultural and religious” hegomeny. then you should advocate for more freedom not for more terrany.

July 6th, 2009, 7:43 am


jad said:

Kareem, Majhool,
please read what I wrote replying to Trustquest regarding ‘CINEMA’ not freedom or living under an authorritarian government.
If you don’t agree with me that is fine, everybody has his own views. I was talking from my own experience and I believe many on this site would agree with me of WHY CINEMA AND THEATRE GOT DEAD SUDDENLY, not about ARTS NEED FREEDOM TO FLOURISH because nobody can deny that and I totally agree with this as fact too.
My point wasn’t against any of you or in support of the dictatorship so don’t get too excited in defending alikhwan, my point was facts from the street.
You two should also condemn Ikhwan out of your love of democracy not defending it out of your political and religious preferences, both of you live in a full democratic society where ideas not bombing or terrorizing is the only way to build any society.
If you have a different ‘direct’ reason for the Cinema sudden death in Syria after the lovely Ikhwan and their Talee3a missions please enlighten us, we all ears.

July 6th, 2009, 2:22 pm


trustquest said:

Jad, I’m disappointed from you to load the blame on one incident took couples of years. I was involved in this field myself and in direct contact with most of the artists in Damascus. I’m here only voicing their unspoken words and the facts which not allowed to be told in to the open. Even in college on small scale we suffered, we did some work and the “brothers in Itehad Alshabiba” blocked, changed and forbidden us from small space to breathe, not only political ideas but even social ones. Even the guys who worked for government institution were and still suffering from all the restriction and pressure from the big brother who added new item on the list the requirements not only praise him but also they want to the share with their profit.

CINEMA is an example of venues to flourish art and entertainment, when you talk about CINEMA, don’t you know that any movie to play in theater after the REVELUTION and the CORRECTION have to be permitted by the System, the system put rules to the taste and the rules for the eyes of the public to see, is this a good environment to flourish the art. Syria was completely isolated from all the world for decade and I think still is.
I do condemn Ikwan for what they did but before you talk about the MB incident in the 80, remember my mother was scared to go out after the Scarf snatch incident by the uncle of the president. Most people around me were had causal attitude towards religion and dress code, all changed in the 80s and beyond as a direct results of spoiled manners and loss of values.

It hurts me not see an educated gentleman like you looking for ways to defend tyranny and not be neutral on history issues.

July 6th, 2009, 3:26 pm


jad said:

I too was very close to the Cinema industry and I agree with you on the political part that authorities gets involved in that, I wasn’t saying that they didn’t, what I said is that Ikhwan has a big influence in killing the cinema with their terrorist attacks not only the ‘dictator’ as you wrote.
Those are my words: WHY CINEMA AND THEATRE GOT DEAD SUDDENLY, not about ARTS NEED FREEDOM TO FLOURISH because nobody can deny that and I totally agree with this as fact too.

I also agree with you on the ugly Rifaat legacy and his role in deteriorating the situation more by letting his army to attack the civil society in the savage way they did.

You wrote(I’m disappointed from you to load the blame on one incident took couples of years) the Ikhwan terrorizing the whole community wasn’t a one incident that took only couple years it is a HUGE attack that effect our past, present and future. It didn’t just start from Almadfa3ye massacre followed by Tadmour massacre and it didn’t end with Alazbakiya massacre and Hama massacre because years after those terrible incidents the MB were used by Saddam to continue their bombing where they attack Buses, Trains and station on one bloody day, so an educated gentleman like you to accuse me of defending a tyrant without acknowledging the MB factor in what we end up with is equally disappointing..

No need to get disappointed or emotional toward my comments we are analyzing facts and any incident count and we should be more neutral to judge otherwise if you toke one side and I took the other in analyzing on issue like CINEMA we will never get any result, so for me to say that I don’t fully blame the government for the Cinema death doesn’t mean in anyway that I’m defending the government, it means that I’m adding another level of reality and credibility to get the whole picture instead of blaming one part for everything regardless of the situation surrounding that exact incident

July 6th, 2009, 4:44 pm


trustquest said:

Jad, it is clear we are living in two different worlds and we have lived two different pasts. CINEMA and other venue of arts obstructed before MB incident, and it is a whole system started in the REVOLUTION continued with CORRECTION and continuing as a family business today. By the 80s it was established and finished in killing the Societal, arts, values and civil society at large on the hand of those despots and their defenders for mainly one major thing, criticizing stopped and all and surrender to big brother and his cronies.

You brought some memories of the last public discussion I had attended in Damascus; they were a group of very nice intelligent elites of Alawites attending that meeting. No one except that group dare to say a word to the speaker except that group, they went on exposing the system and its ugly face in the open, guess what, secret service there did not move a hand. That time I hope is gone and people are voicing their views and should be heard, respected and accepted as part of our diversity. Following any comment touch on the system, attack it and defending the despot at any cost, like we have angles in power without mistakes is not a good way to move the country forward. You are saying the regime did no wrong in killing thousands and that was a legitimate act as a government respond to the savagery of the MB. I differ and I tell you that I do not look at it this way, it is not an equal guilt, and it is not majority of people fault to bear the burden of that guilt for generation beyond that incident depriving them from freedom of expression and organizing and pushing leaders in prison for just thinking about talking. The lady president lie to foreign media saying that people of Syria criticize and complain, I would like to ask her what Fedaa Hourani is doing in prison, isn’t because she criticize and complain.

July 7th, 2009, 4:37 am


jad said:

I agree that we live in two different worlds and two different pasts
I also want to repeat what I wrote in the beginning of this exchange because it seems that you are insisting of not listening; I’m not disagreeing with you, I was trying to add another dimension of reality to the whole Cinema issue but you are insisting of dismissing all the facts which is fine with me to.
However, I would’ve appreciate if you pointed out where did in my last comment wrote what you are accusing me of or at least your translation into your own language. Because in my comment I did not write that the government did nothing wrong, but the opposite, I point out what both sides did equally and without any judgment so for you to write: “You are saying the regime did no wrong in killing thousands and that was a legitimate act as a government respond to the savagery of the MB.” is incorrect. And it is unethical from your side to take the conversation into a different direction for no logical reason.
In anyway, and since I’m not living in the same world as yours and you are going in circles around the Ikhwan responsibility of anything wrong we had in the past in Syria, I think it’s better to end this exchange here with this funny clip from the spirit of our conversation, enjoy.

July 7th, 2009, 6:21 am


trustquest said:

Jad, I was trying to say in the previous comment that both sides were equally morally collapsed until the regime kills people in prison, he lost it for ever. Although I did not laugh at those British jokes but I appreciate the jester of keeping a little pit of glue as small as it is, and it means a lot.

July 7th, 2009, 2:29 pm


jad said:

The add is funny, thank you.
I believe that we have more in common than what you think and we don’t even need glue since nothing is broken at all, it was just looking at things from different angles and that is the main purpose of the whole exchange.
We have no choice but strengthening our common interests than concentrating on our differences if we really want to share the same Watan.
Have a nice day 🙂

July 7th, 2009, 5:09 pm


norman said:

Syrians do not go to the movie theater because (( BAB AL HARA )) is on TV and Free and people can watch it in the night gowns .

July 7th, 2009, 5:44 pm


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