This week the Syrian blogsphere was mostly busy discussing the latest developments in Syria. Last week the Syrian security forces initiated the largest crackdown on opposition figures and dissidents since President Bashar al-Assad came to power in 2000.
The Assad regime is simply upping the ante, then, and demonstrating its continued internal strength, while underscoring the failure of the international community, for all its criticisms, complaints, condemnations and resolutions, to produce any serious outcome on the ground. At the end of the day, the Assads are signaling, there is no one in Syria but them with whom the international community can deal.
This is not the first time Michel Kilo (who, like many Syrian activists, has done his share of time in jail … get this, for being associated with the Muslim Brothers, of all the pathetic charges!) has been included in the regime's latest harassment campaign, but he had usually been set free after a few hours. It looks different this time, as they seemed to be waiting for an excuse.
Kilo was one of the most respected members of Syria's internal opposition and his arrest marks a new low for the regime in its present crackdown on dissidents and reformers. Michel Kilo had always been extremely careful to separate his opposition efforts from US backed plans to destabilize the regime. In fact, he had been so outspoken about keeping the US at arm's length that US based opposition leaders such as Farid Ghadry had gotten used to labeling Kilo a regime spy and apparatchik.
The “crime” of those recently arrested is to have signed the recent Beirut-Damascus declaration penned by intellectuals from both countries. This is not a revolutionary memorandum authored by trigger happy radicals itching for a fight. It is for the most part a mild-mannered, balanced and reasoned declaration replete with politically correct pan-Arabist lingo. Yet the Baathist regime in its downward spiral back into the suffocating repression of the 1980s has found this declaration intolerable.
Away from politics, Ihsan of My Thoughts & Notes has an intersting observation of how Arab immigrants to where he lives [Canada] tend to change their Arab names there into western names…
the observation was that of all those Arabs….I'm the only one who keeps his/her name! I mean all of them, at least the ones that I have met or my friends have met or hang out with, have dropped their names and picked up new western names!
Abu Fares from Abufares Said, has a very interstin post about the restoration of an amzing quarter of Old Tartous [A Syrian City], which forms one building that dates back 330AD, with each era adding its own flavor to the place while keeping the old ones.
Just barely above street level the block is a mixed array of Byzantine and early Islamic architecture. In other words the foundations and the caves underneath the block date back to as early as 330 AD. Level one was completed and fortified by the Crusaders during their march to the “holy land “. The second level dates back to the Ottoman Empire over which the French added yet another plane during their occupation of Syria.
The Arabic name is Khan al-Arous and it has also another name; Khan al-Sultan, it was built in the 12th century as Sultan Salah Eddin al-Ayubi ordered to construct it on the way between Damascus and Homs, about 50 km to the north of Damascus to help pilgrimages and travelers passing there to rest in it.
Recently, it has been restored by the goverment.
Here's a little something I thought I'd share with you guys. I believe it simply says it all about how in Islam we should take care of a woman before anything. Just to clear the misconceptions about women are not treated well in Islam.