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Syria: On Lebanon and Motorcycles

To kick off this week, we'll start with another heated debate, and the issue is of course, Palestinians in Lebanon.

Joseph from Arab Democracy, posted an article about a new Palestinian youth movement that adopted the slogan, “We want to live, But not in Lebanon”, which is a twist from the Lebanese pro-government campaign's “We Love Life”.

I personally found it refreshing to hear of Palestinians as individuals with feelings, desires, aspirations beyond the symbolism of their national plight. A change from the usual over inflated patriotic zeal of Abbas Zaki and other PLO officials. This discourse is not isolated and echoes in part the cry of fellow Palestinians in the occupied territories through the lyrics of the excellent West Bank rap Group’ Ramallah Underground’. In essence: resistance is good but what about the basic requirements for a decent life. The situation of the refugees in Lebanon is untenable and the Lebanese authorities cannot continue to ignore the social disaster brewing slowly on national soil under the lame excuse that they oppose forced settlement. Qatari money might clear the rubble and rebuild the camp but 60 years of personal and commercial relations between the inhabitants and local villagers have been damaged possibly irreversibly.

The article sparked a heated debate in the comment section with Wassim. Followed by harsh post on Maysaloun criticizing what he found as a Lebanonese” racism towards others

An “I love lifer” is allowed a moderate amount of criticism and even a slight recognition of the “national plight” of the Palestinians in Lebanon – I repeat – moderate criticism. Ignored is the “Lebanonese” racism against the Palestinians, Syrians, Muslims and Arabs. They are “Phoenician” after all, according to a French historian who told them so during France's brief ‘visit’ to Lebanon.

Sasa, from The Syria News Wire, spots a very interesting paradox from the news lineup on BBC News website.
BBC
Our smaller neighbor, Lebanon, was again present this week. Golaniya, from Decentering Damascus, writes about the country she's been living in for a while… her favorite places, memories, away from the wars and dirty politics.

If you're going to Hamra, there are some westernized places, typically westernized that is, like De Prague , and there are simpler places with atmosphere, like Barometre and Ta2 Marbuta. You want to see the living Barometr? Go on Friday, you'll see the living Lebanon there. And go on Thursdays to Ta2 Marbuta, there's always a band singing. You can play Tawleh in Ta2 Marbuta..or see some playing. And there you'll see the activists in Lebanon, the ones who helped in the late July war, people who work in NGOs, leftists, and the like.

The Syrian Brit, writes about his two weeks holiday back home. In his post, he runs through the many changes that swept the country through the last two years…

On one of our excursions around the City, a friend of mine pointed out the open-air market known as ‘Souk el-7haramieh’ , where ‘second-hand’ goods are bought and sold openly.. (for ‘second-hand’, read ‘stolen’).. Now I ask you, how many cities around the World can boast having a whole market known as The Thieves’ Market?!…

We turn to Tartous, where Abu Fares compiles a wonderful post about his passionate history with motorcycles.

On the back roads of southwestern Louisiana I got my first chance to meet face to face with the beast. A Harley-Davidson in its native environment is probably the most harmonious machine ever built by man. As I look back toward those happy years I feel disturbed when a Harley is taken out of its context. Riding a Harley anywhere else in the world is sacrilegious. God and man meant it to roam freely in the USA and nowhere else. No biking experience ever comes close to riding a Harley on America’s open highways and I had the privilege of riding in Lousiana, Texas, Arizona, California and Arkansas.

And we wrap up with Abd‘s new photo post from Aleppo, rounding up some of the most impressive start-of-the-century buildings in Aleppo.

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