Speaking on Sunday from the G20 conference in Hamburg, Uhlmann said Trump had shown “no desire and no capacity to lead the world” and was himself “the biggest threat to the values of the west”.“He was an uneasy, lonely, awkward figure at this gathering and you got the strong sense that some of the leaders are trying to find the best way to work around him,” Uhlmann said.“Where was the G20 statement condemning North Korea which would have put pressure on China and Russia? Other leaders expected it, they were prepared to back it, but it never came.”
This post originally appeared on Middle East Eye under the title ‘Dennis Kucinich and the western left’s blind spot over Syria
If anti-authoritarian leftists want to take part in the fight against tyranny and extremism, they must be humble enough to accept that context matters, that things do not happen in a vacuum, and that it is not only about the West. Syrians’ right to narrate their own experiences must be given primacy. These are not mere details, and failure to do so inevitably puts us on the de facto side of the oppressors.
US immigration authorities have barred entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on a harrowing film about his nation’s civil war, The White Helmets, that has been nominated for an Academy Award.According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by Associated Press, homeland security officials decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khateeb from traveling to Los Angeles for the Oscars.
Leila Roumani Syria-USA 34, PROJECT MANAGER, MASTERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH AT HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
My father came in the late 1960s from Syria to do his urological residency in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He soon engaged and brought my mother along to join him in the U.S. After having my two sisters in Pennsylvania and finishing medical residency, they moved to Los Angeles, California where my father opened his first medical office and my parents delivered their third baby girl: me. We had several aunts and uncles who had settled in Los Angeles before us, so although my parents were far away from family, we still had a loving, progressive, intersectionality oriented, and social-justice minded Muslim and Arab community in Los Angeles to lean on. Today, six years into the Syrian civil war, I realize that my family would most likely be refugees if my parents had not moved to the US in the late 1960s when professional immigrants were encouraged and welcome to come. My parents proudly moved to a country that believed in opportunities for all and a ‘melting pot’ of diversity and inclusion. My parents have never missed an opportunity to vote since they were naturalized-something my father reminds us could not have happened in Syria. The US afforded my family opportunities and stability to build a better life.Why did your family come to the United States?They wanted to leave Syria because they wanted to raise their children in a country that upheld democratic ideals, free speech, and better opportunities.What would the U.S. be missing out on if you or your people were banned?My father’s sense of humor and Syrian-Lebanese food
When I think of regimes that oppress their people, I can by no mean compare it with a system that is occupying another people. Because if you work on yourself as a nation, you can at some point get to a level where you can bring change to your own regime. But you cannot bring change to a regime that is not part of you. A regime that made its existence on yours.As the image of Syrians hosted in the Hebrew university continue to flash in my memory, I cannot but feel ashamed… ashamed of humanity that has really lost its face.When I see Israel suddenly becoming humanist, when the people of Gaza who were displaced as the result of the fiercest aggression that humans can face, while these people in thousands are still displaced and actually freezing to death in the nakedness of the harshness of the aggression that never seem to end.These same people refuse to see the children of Gaza, the displaced families. The poverty, the oppression that befell on them as a result, and decide that children of Aleppo who the Assad regime has regained (mind you here … Assad regime is Syrian in Syria!!!), and host the opposition, and treat the fighters of Nusra (whom Israel in some occasions decide they are terrorists) then one cannot but say. This is a nasty face of evilness disguised in human shapes.Should I remind us of what the Hebrew university did during the war on GAZA to the Palestinian students? Or to the support they showed to the army that was brutally and savagely killing Palestinian women and children ?I am just disgusted of those Syrian so called opposition who not only destroyed Syria , but also destroyed the fabrics that was once made of Arab nationalism.Somehow…. Somewhere deep in me …I would not be surprised to see a day when Israel occupy the Arab world.. and when this happen , I may think.. well .. enjoy the democratic state of Israel …Of course, then , we Palestinians will be consultants for the new paradigm !!!
Tucked in the lower floor of a building was Al-Quds hospital in Aleppo, Syria, a small 34 bed facility in the Sukkari neighborhood. Its windows and entrance were fortified with mostly sandbags for extra protection despite the many buildings around it that, in theory, protected it from being attacked. The hospital was not a rebel-run […]
What do Syrians that already live in Germany think about the many new refugees arriving here? A recent study tells us, and also contains a surprise: their opinion about an upper limit for refugees
Legal Nihilism Whereas Berlin and the EU are approaching open conflict with the United Nations, citizens’ initiatives also in Greece are raising strong criticism. A Greek-German appeal, for example, calls for the blockade, imposed on the refugees stranded in Greece, to be lifted. They should be promptly brought to Germany with special trains. The “Train of Commemoration” initiative, in turn, has issued a statement saying that by violating “international humanitarian law” the German government, along with “the principal parliamentary and non-parliamentary supporting parties and circles” are also violating “the German constitution,” “whose historical foundation was the renunciation of the legal nihilism of its predecessor German state and its anti-humanitarian crimes of persecution. Hundreds of thousands, at the time, became refugees, wandering around the continent, in search of protection from Germany.” (Read the entire text here.) Sheer Desperation Over the past few days, the protests by the refugees themselves have continued to intensify. Since the beginning of last week, there have been practically daily outbursts of collective anger. Last Thursday, in Camp Moria on Lesbos, about 50 Afghans chanted “Azandi” (which means freedom in Farsi). On the Greek island of Chios, hundreds of refugees tore down a razor wire fence Friday and fled their detention “hotspot,” and marched together to the harbor. Even on the Greek mainland, protests are escalating. About 1,000 people, including many migrants and refugees, marched to the EU office in Athens Thursday, to protest against Brussels’ deportation deal with Ankara. In the north of the country, roads to Macedonia were blocked. “We expect violence,” warned on the weekend, a government spokesperson in Athens regarding the growing resistance to these illegal deportation measures. The refugees had narrowly escaped the war and are adamant in light of Berlin and the EU’s denial of protection, he admitted. “Desperate people” however “tend to resort to violence.” German Deportation Personnel German personnel are also participating in the mass deportation. Thirty officers of the Federal Police were expected to arrive in Lesbos on the weekend and by Monday eight employees of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). They are tasked to assist the Expeditious Asylum Procedures in the detention “hotspots,” so that Berlin and Brussels can lend a veneer of rule of law. The BAMF is planning to dispatch 100 officials to Greece to ensure the smoothest possible implementation of the deportation deal with Turkey. For the German government this deal is of strategic importance in view of permanently sealing off the EU against refugees. It is explicitly promoting this deal as a “European solution.”
Now, Syrians account for a quarter of Lebanon’s population, and providing them all with aid has become impossible; food vouchers have been reduced and rent assistance slashed. As a result, many are seeking to move abroad. “I cannot imagine a future here in Lebanon,” Hassan says. “Five years ago, I was in Syria. Now I’m in Lebanon, even my siblings, two of them … travelled to foreign countries. No, I don’t imagine that in two years I will be here in Lebanon.” She pauses before adding, “I don’t intend to go back to Syria, either, even if things get better. That hatred of the people who killed someone, it will always be around you.” For Marwa, a 24-year-old stay-at-home mom from Damascus, adjusting to her new reality took years. “You see this view?” she asks, pointing at the scenic landscape outside her window. “It took me three years to realize how pretty it was. As refugees, we had other concerns.” Marwa came to Lebanon along with tens of thousands of others in late 2012, when the war in Syria was spiralling out of control and swaths of the major cities were becoming no-go zones. As new refugees, she moved with her family from village to village, desperately looking for work for her husband and a school that would accept their two young children. When they eventually settled in a small village in Mount Lebanon, they also had to deal with widespread suspicion and mistrust from a population growing increasingly weary of playing host. These days, locals have become accustomed to the extra residents, but while time has improved community relations, it has not been kind to the guests’ finances. “My neighbor is going back to Syria,” Marwa explains. “Even though there’s a lot of suffering there, she’s in too much debt here. My husband is thinking the same because he’s paid so little at work and can’t take it anymore.” She throws her hands in the air and says, “I tell him ‘You can go back, but I’m not going with you. What did our children do to deserve living in the middle of a war?’ “