Syrian Blogsphere in a Week

To start off with a rather hot topic, it's politics, with Ammar Abdulhamid asking THE question… How Secure Is the Assads Regime, Really?

To many observers of Syrian affairs, especially in the aftermath of the vaguely-worded report by Brammertz and in view of the growing alliance with Iran, the Assads regime must seem more secure than it has been in many months now, international criticism of its policies notwithstanding. Whether it is the Assads strategy that is working here or whether it is their luck that is holding, it doesn't really matter, the end result is the same, the Assads seem practically untouchable.

Or are they?

A briefing on Tony Badran's The Syria Monitor about the latest wave of intimidation and trials against Syrian dissedents…

Detained writer Ali Abdallah and his son Muhammad were referred to a military court on Tuesday where they face charges of slandering officials of the state. (UPI, 6/20/06)

Nassim Yazji of Middle East Policy calls out to protect Arab, and Syrian Liberals.

The free opinion and expression are essential and effectual prerequisites for change in the Middle East as antidotes to the authoritarianism. The more the freedom of expression exists, the less the political system is authoritarian and vice versa. The freedom of conscience and expression is a real and indispensable foundation of the political reform and progress in the Middle East.

Not much away from politics Syrian Economy has a post about what the author calls The Economics of Corruption…

Corruption in Syrian society is alarmingly widespread and has been for a long time. The government's anti-corruption campaigns are legendary in their ineffectiveness at controlling the problem. You have to wonder if Syrians are genetically corrupt, if their self worth is determined by how big a bribe they are offered, and if there is anything that can be done to teach Syrians how to be honest.

Abu Fares, has an interesting posting on the history of Tartous…

Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Fatimids, Crusaders, Ottomans and the French played yoyo with Tartous over the course of centuries and it passed from one hand to the next, witnessing and absorbing the different cultures, true to its heritage as a city by the sea.

And Amr from Across Syria & Inside Homs, has a very thorough answer to the question, Who's an Arab?

The term Arab, in Biblical times, referred to tribal people of the Syrian and Arabian Desert. At that time, Today’s so called “Arab World”, was inhabited by the following people…

Finally Brian Anthony of In The Axis, has an amusing post of his mission to find out what is “Sheikh Yabraq”…

Sheikh Yabraq has become my Ouagadougou. Sheikh Yabraq is the pseudonym of Hussein ibn Hamdan al-Khuseibi, one of the chief architects of the secretive and mystical Alawite religion, a theological renegade I admire a great deal. His pseudonym is interesting; it suggests something like, “He who illuminates.” It is said his shrine is located somewhere in Aleppo, the site of the former Hamdanid Dynasty whose patronage Khuseibi enjoyed.

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