Category Archives: Syria

Syrian Oscar contender Khaled Kateeb barred from entering US | Film | The Guardian

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.

Source: Syrian Oscar contender Khaled Kateeb barred from entering US | Film | The Guardian



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

Source: #BanThis

When betrayal becomes a perspective. So called Syrian opposition as an example | nadiaharhash

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 !!!

Source: When betrayal becomes a perspective. So called Syrian opposition as an example | nadiaharhash

Aleppo Killing Field

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 […]

via This is Aleppo: In A World Where Doctors Have Become Martyrs & Hospitals Battlegrounds — A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

 just call me deportee… no longer human or humane

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.[8] 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.”[9] (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).[10] 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.”[11] 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.”[12]


For These Syrian Women, Their 20s Have Been Defined by War · Global Voices

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?’ “

Source: For These Syrian Women, Their 20s Have Been Defined by War · Global Voices

Middle East – Gulf States declare Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terrorist group – France 24

{US and NATO needs more than a 10-foot pole to distance themselves from Saudi-led war against Shia}

Wednesday’s move against Hezbollah reflects deeper regional divisions between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shiite powerhouse Iran, Hezbollah’s patron. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic relations with Iran earlier this year after protesters angry over the kingdom’s execution of influential Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr set fire to the Saudi Embassy and another diplomatic mission inside Iran. Saudi Arabia in 2014 designated a Saudi affiliate of Hezbollah a terrorist group along with the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Yemen’s Shiite Houthis and other groups. The GCC announcement came a few hours after a televised speech by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in which he harshly criticized Saudi Arabia for punitive measures that targeted Lebanon recently, including the halt in aid and Gulf travel warnings. He repeated his accusations that Saudi Arabia was directly responsible for some of the car bombings in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq and denounced Saudi “massacres” in Yemen. “Who gives Saudi Arabia the right to punish Lebanon and its army and Lebanese people living in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf just because Hezbollah is speaking out? We urge Riyadh to settle accounts with Hezbollah and not all the Lebanese,” he said. He also accused Saudi Arabia of seeking to cause strife between Sunnis and Shiites everywhere in the world and said its execution of al-Nimr in January came in that context.

Source: Middle East – Gulf States declare Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terrorist group – France 24

The Siege of Aleppo Is an Emblem of Western Failure in Syria – SPIEGEL ONLINE

A Nightmare Worse than Sarajevo “But here in the center of Aleppo,” the doctor says, “there aren’t any Free Syrian Army positions. Only civilians. They are bombing us to soften us up for the regime.” Assad’s troops, he explains, have already taken many surrounding towns and villages and he is afraid that Aleppo will soon be completely surrounded. One thing he is no longer hoping for is external assistance, saying the international community abandoned Syria long ago. “After all, the US supports the attacks,” he says. Hamza is unsure how he will survive. He does not know. But leaving the city would mean one fewer doctor, which in turn would translate into more deaths. He says that more and more people are leaving Aleppo and that entire city quarters are emptying out. Those who are able are fleeing while they still can. Once upon a time Aleppo was the largest city in Syria, an economic powerhouse with a city center listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. But over the last three years, it has been divided between the regime and the rebels — the same rebels who joined together to drive Islamic State (IS) out of the city two years ago. Aleppo is the most important symbol of the resistance in the country, but now it is all but surrounded and cut off from the most important supply routes. There is no more diesel, hardly anything to eat and there are severe shortages of electricity and water. According to the United Nations, there are still some 300,000 people living in Aleppo — a population that may now have been abandoned to a rapid death from the sky or the slow death of starvation. It is a nightmare that could ultimately become worse even than Sarajevo was.

Source: The Siege of Aleppo Is an Emblem of Western Failure in Syria – SPIEGEL ONLINE