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This week in the Syrian blogsphere

To start off, like always Ammar Adulhamid has a very interesting article about the role that Arab/Syrian Americans are now playing in the democracy fight back home, and the role they could play, giving the example of the Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee's last conference…

The reality is Arab Americans have been quite lucky, relatively speaking. For despite all the stereotypes that exist about them in popular imagination and in the media and despite the acts of terror being perpetuated in their name, no matter how partially, they were never subjected to the kind of practical discrimination that other minority groups in this country have had to deal with, so far. We might indeed be able to make a good argument that this situation is rather tenuous, but that does not excuse or justify getting in bed with Arab regimes.

Nassim Yaziji from Middle East Policy has an interesting article about “The Neo-Internationalism After 9/11″, and how this affect the democracy process in the middle east…

I think that to reform the Middle East we have primarily to change the political system and the geopolitics of the Middle East. This objective needs to be accomplished an international effort rests on the international standards which normally compiled by the international order, considering the fact that the post-cold war international order is neither designed nor provided for this task. The way is paved for this process after the necessary change in Iraq.

On a lighter note, George Ajjan comments on an article from Reuters, that refers to the Syrian President Bashar Assad, by his first name “Bashar”, instead of the more formal “Assad” usually used to refer to heads of state.

Generally speaking, media use surnames when pertaining to heads of state. The most notable exception in recent memory is former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein al-Majd al-Tikriti, whom the media, both Arabic and English, regularly identified as “Saddam”. Although this was arguably as much the result of his own self-imposed personality cult as anyone's outside attempt to de-legitimize the man. I do recall occasional attempts to professionalize this matter, reading the NY Times refer to “Mr. Hussein”, which never seemed to fit.

Away from politics, and on to the Syrian streets, where Ammar from My Many My's, posts about the huge gap, between people that are becoming more and more religious, and another part going into “extreme” liberalism, reflecting the current trend to shift away from moderation in the Syrian society…

During the last few years, these two extremes found a lot of followers. People like those are alarmingly increasing in our society, and are threatening to ruin the culture of moderation that Damascus always enjoyed. I am not just acting “proud of our glorious past”, but if you ask your parents, this is worse than anytime before, even when women were covered from head to toe, they were moving gradually into conservative liberty while using their heads.

Omar from Earth to Omar, has a brilliant post abut the concept of Identity, asking very important questions, making his own experience, as Syrian-born-and-raised Palestinian, who emigrated to Canada and now has a Canadian citizenship…

At the age of 12 I had no official citizenship. I did not have a passport, I belonged to a country that politically did not (and continues to not) exist, and that’s where Canada comes in. Canada gave me my first citizenship, and my first passport. For the first time ever, I officially belonged to a country. Some people will say “but you’re only Canadian on paper” but I would like to argue otherwise. In a couple of years I will have lived Canada as long as I lived in Syria. In fact, I spent in Canada the most important years of my life. I spent my teen years here, and now I’m spending the first years of my adulthood here. Canadian culture shaped me, and influenced me in the same way that it shaped and influenced Canadian-born Canadians, if you will. Does that make me Canadian then? Are you “from” the country that gave you your first citizenship?

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