The Millions in Saadallah Al-Jabri Square

The big news today on regime’s media outlets was the Millions of people who marched to Saadallah Aljabri square in Aleppo to celebrate the Russian and Chinese veto and to declare, yet one more time their love and adoration of the Bashar Al-Assad. I recall that during the Al-Aasi square anti regime demonstration. Jad, on Syria Comment argued that the square can not fit 500,000 protesters. He eyeballed the area near accurately, and I supported his calculation using the free distance measuring tool on Google Earth. Two of my regime supporting friends have argued that my support of the revolution is unscientific. I have no idea how can one scientifically support the revolution. But I decided today to use a bit more advanced tools to check the Millions in Saadallah Aljabri Square in Aleppo. I started by using a public domain software called Quantum GIS (Geographic Information System). Using a plugin in the software I connected to Google WMS (Web Mapping Service), which allowed me to view Google Satellite layer and overlay it with other spatial data as well as perform measures not available except for paid Google Earth subscribers. Next was deciding on what would constitute the Pro Regime demonstration area. As I was moderately generous in the case of Hama, I was excessively so here. I decided to allow people to share space with trees, to sit on fences, and to occupy almost every single square meter in the square as well as in many of its branching streets. For wider streets I decided to go until the second major street after the square. Once the hypothesis was completed. I went on to create a polygon overlay (pretty much a digitizing process), and then to measure the area with another area measuring tool. The end result is shown below. A larger full size image can be seen when clicking on the image, and it shows that the area calculated is 2.315 hectare. A hectare is 100×100 meters square (10,000 square meters). So the square’s area is basically 23150 square meters (including greenery, trees, structures, and a lot of street space). I do not recall how many individuals we allowed the Hamwis to have in each square meter, but again, I will be generous and assume 5 people as a first guess (nearly impossible). That would yield an amazing number of 115,750 marchers for the love of Bashar.

Saadallah Al-Jabri Square in Aleppo, Syria, where on the 19th of October, 2011, regime loyalists held one more "Millionic" march. The area within the red polygon, including the tree areas in the south central part of the image is less than 2.5 hectares. That is less than 25000 square meters.

The same approach was used to calculate the place where we Americans (of all origins) like to have our Million people Marches. It is the National Mall in Washington DC. The mall presents a little challenge in digitizing as one has to digitize account for the reflection pool and for few other small water bodies. But it is doable as seen in the figure below, which shows that even with providing for a security zone for the white house (north of the ellipse park), and with much more conservative discount of tree areas than in the Aleppo case. The mall comes to a 1.037 square kilometer. A square kilometer is 100 hectare (1000m x 1000 m) making 1,000,000 square meters, which is a figure consistent with a much lower and far more realistic density of 1 person/square meter. To play the devil’s advocate recall that every time a group marches on the mall, its adversaries challenge the Million number despite of the full mall.

The National Mall in Washington, DC, where several Million person events were held and caused the mall to be packed. The area within the polygon is slightly more than 1 square kilometer, that is 100 hectares or more than 1 Million square meters.

Here is a photo showing how generous I was in estimating the area. Te green area with trees is not occupied, which takes at least a half hectare from the equation. But fine, let us be generous to those who love Bashar.

Disclaimers

The analysis herein is very approximate.

If you find the figure of 5 persons/square meter preposterous, you are right. It is. More appropriate is 2 in crowded situations, which would make the Men7ebbaks in today’s MASEERA nearly 46,000, assuming my hypothesis is correct.

Here is a Bonus. An image was shown on Syrian TV as having been found on a captured anti-regime revolutionist. Notwithstanding the stupidity of the message the image tries to convey. It was a poorly doctored image. While such may be idle nonsense,  it speaks volumes of the regime’s manipulation, desperation, and utter arrogance. The top image, which was published on Syrian TV had a banner saying (peaceful until freedom), the independence flag has a white border around it indicating that it was added to the image. The lower panel image is the original image without the flag and the banner says “the islamic movement of the mujahideen of Iraq”

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108 Comments

  1. OTW,

    I knew first hand 2 things about you:

    1) You are extremely well read and have knack for analysis and research
    2) You are as honest as anyone can be, and if you make a mistake, you admit it.

    I am delighted to know that there are level-headed Syrians like yourself, who can probably play a part of a new Syria. I used to think that it will take 100 years to bring Syria back from the stoneage, but no more. The Syrian Diaspora is ready, willing and able. So are the internal youth and freedom seekers.

    BTW, what do you do for living bro? If you don’t wish to share, it’s okay.

    Thanks for the fresh juice.

    Like

  2. Great analysis. In my post on SC, I was a lot more generous than you by giving the square 50 K square meters. I just drew a gig square that also covered buildings. However, when it came to density per square meter, I was less generous. I allowed for 4 people per square meter, which is highly unlikely. So at best, there would be no more than 200,000 losers in the square, assuming they are packed like sardines. My numbers might be too high given that I wasn’t using a sophisticated tool like you have.

    The fact that they can’t get even one million and provide irrefutable proof of it speaks volume about the diminishing support for the government.

    Like

  3. fascinating!
    He doesn’t “have a knack”…he’s a researcher of course…:) . that’s enough disclosure for today….

    Like

  4. even more, i think that a hundred people on the street rallying under threat of being carted off to prison or of being shot…
    is a lot more impressive than 100,000 taking a few hours to wave flags, look cheerful, and feel righteous…

    Like

  5. Bang bang!! Let’s see how many Menhebaks will comment on this post 

    Excellent effort buddy!

    Like

  6. @ Zenobia:

    I saw some coverage today of the pro-regime demos. If you have to watch closely, you will see some disoriented people who really looked uncomfortable there and thugs who combed their hair among the yelling of the youths who were paid. Make no mistake though, there are many, many geniune Syrians who still support Bashar heart & soul. My wildest guess is a few million.

    Like

  7. I went to SC to see if there is anything important that I missed. Here are my observations:

    1- Spammy Ann has gone meteoric with her cut/paste
    2- Jad, well he too got infected from Ann’s cut/paste but his style is in Arabic
    3- Poor Tara, she is still holding the flag – heart & soul
    4- Thumbs up / down are now in the tunes of 0 to 14 LOL

    Good night.

    Like

  8. Dear OTW,

    True made me cry in the morning and I start this day with a big smile.

    I’ll repost and fb and twitter this.

    Impressed ! For some reason I thought until now that you were a woman; may be because of the sensitivity 🙂 But then, Syrians are different; I am serious.

    I loved the doctored images.

    Like

  9. Annie

    Save the biggest smile till we free Syria and liberate Palestine. At that time will all take the backpackers rout from Damascus to Jerusalem

    Ta 4 ur effort on fb, fully appreciated 🙂

    @ “Tara, she is still holding the flag – heart & soul”

    Bless her!

    Like

  10. Dear Annie
    Thanks for the compliment. To be thought of as sensitive is a very kind and pleasant compliment, and the credit go to my Parents.

    Dear TRUE
    Nothing wrong with smiling during the revolution. In fact considering despotic regimes, a smile is always a small victory, especially if it was a result of further erosion of the credibility and image of invincibility and power of the dictator.

    Like

  11. Save the biggest smile till we free Syria and liberate Palestine.

    True,

    Just a suggestion: free Syria first.

    Institiute freedoms, elect your leaders, build up the economy, education, army, etc., and when that’s done, then you can go to war with Israel to liberate Palestine. Accomplishing both at the same time may be too difficult.

    BTW – If you want to backpack to Jerusalem, you can do that now.

    Like

  12. Dear Off The Wall,
    I am going to be the party pooper here. I think you have wasted your time with this analysis, even though I think it is very well done. I think we are letting ourselves fall into the pro-regime trap. I really do not care if there was one person or 100 million people cheering for Assad, because I know that the majority of these people are forced to go there. Discussing the number is futile and irrelevant.
    As Annie said in so many words: one anti regime demonstrator is equivalent to one million pro regime demonstrators, if risk is plugged into the equation.
    Sorry to disagree with you my dear friend.

    Like

  13. Dear Zenobia,
    A woman who writes so eloquently and has so much compassion is a lady in my book. I am going to venture to say that I am quite a bit older than you with more experience in life. I admire your idealistic stance, but I think it is a little unrealistic. I also live and work in the US and have seen first hand how some decisions are made. Fairness is quite fluid and really depends on sets of rules and priorities that were created by man. Who can claim that this is what fairness means.
    I have also lived in Two different countries in western Europe and spent every summer of my young life in some other country also in western Europe. I can assure you that have you lived there, you would have been shocked at certain things that they do. Believe me when I tell you that we live in the best country on earth. I am not saying the perfect country, we are far from being perfect, but overall, the best out there. The US is also the world’s experimentation lab. Most things start here and then get exported to the rest of the world, which means that we do tend to make more mistakes than the average. Remember that the grass always looks greener on the other side.
    Always a pleasure.

    Like

  14. Dear Husam,
    I am really very happy to see that you and I agree on the religion issue. I tend to upset many people with my views. You just made my day.
    I do think that we need a revolution in Islam. At one point in Islam, the mosque was the school and the university. The most educated and open minded people resided there. They used to travel across the land to attend classes by a certain enlightened scholar on the other side of the earth. Now, our religious leaders are either illiterate or semi-educated. They refuse to study any other philosophy and might consider doing so blasphemy. We need to bring high education back to the religious leaders to allow them to lead the masses in the right direction and concentrate on the bigger picture.
    Now I have to go to work. I will join in later in the day.

    Like

  15. Dear Sheila
    Thanks for your honesty, what friends are for if not to be honest with each others. In terms of time consumed, it did not take much at all (less than 30 minutes). In term of not addressing the differential risk and the fact that many are forced, you are absolutely right. But just consider the foreign press, especially in Asia, and some even in North America, which has been publishing titles like Assad finds support among millions, Huge crowds support Assad, So let us assume that they are all voluntarily going to the protest, they are in no way a silent Majority. They are a minority. Now with this thing hopefully settled, and the size of a square, which is required to accommodate a million is shown in comparison to one of the larger squares in Syria. One can simply link to this post and proceed to address the rest of the arguments which you have captured very nicely. I simply dealt with the easiest of the arguments because many in different parts of the world can not even understand being forced into a demonstration and addressing that one will require a long long post.

    Like

  16. Dearest Sheila:

    Re: Revival/Revolution of Islam, right on! I once met a local Imam who read the book “men are from mars and women are from venus” that was a shocker. He was obviously more enjoyable to have a discussion with.

    Believe me when I tell you that we live in the best country on earth. I am not saying the perfect country, we are far from being perfect, but overall, the best out there. The US is also the world’s experimentation lab. Most things start here and then get exported to the rest of the world

    I can attest that Canada & lately Turkey are far more better places to live than the U.S. The U.S. is also the world’s experimentation lab and then exported…you mean with the evil you create, you mean were Americanization is exported, you mean where eugenics labs are still steaming, where Big Pharma is the number one exporter of cure-all-pills. Sheila, the U.S. is not just where Iphone or the seedless orange was invented. The U.S lives off the bounty of the M.E. & Africa. The U.S. is the new Lord, the latest Tornado… the safest place is being in the center of it…until it falls. The consumptive, dumbdown, careless society you live in is not sustainable. The constituion is becoming more like toilet paper with executive orders. The tide is turning. Pretty soon, and I may be worng, the grass will be very brown in the U.S. because the U.S. is sick from inside. I believe it is more than just a seasonal flu.

    Like

  17. @OTW:

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Even more so nowadays, not everyone has the time to read. You have to capture interest within seconds. And, you have done so marvelously. Coming from a Marketing guy, trust me on this one.

    Like

  18. Dear Husam,
    I am going to venture to say that you have never lived in the US. Your opinion of the US resembles the opinion of many around the world and it is completely wrong. I volunteer in a venue set up to facilitate the lives of people who have recently moved to the US from other countries. I have worked with many Europeans before and I usually get the typical: what is this country?. Oh my God, look at how they eat. Why do they do it this way?. Can not wait to get back home to civilization. And predictably, a few months after living in the US, I am usually asked the same question over and over again: I would love to stay here, how can I get my Green Card?. Yes, Canada, Turkey, England, France, Italy, Japan..etc.. all have a lot to offer, but overall, nothing compares to the US.
    The US is a country that looks after its interests, like any other country that is or has ever been in existence. With that in mind, it does do things that are appalling to anyone. I have, long time ago, removed the concept of countries “doing the right thing” from my lexicon. It is countries doing what’s in their best interest. This is the way it is, this is way it has been and this is the way it will always be. As horrified as you feel about the US today, you will feel even worse about the next power to come. This is the natural way.
    There are so many bad things that I can say about the US and there are also so many more good things. On balance, It is a great country. Remember that I was not born in the US, I lived in several countries before and both my parents are Syrian. I hope you would consider me a very objective person.

    Like

  19. “GADHAFI IS DEAD”
    Congratulations! History will now be rewritten and the horrors of his rule will be exposed.
    However, the question is whether things will get better. I hope so, but I have to register some concern at the behavior of the Libyan freedom fighters. Very undisciplined, at least when in front of the camera. The scenes are always very chaotic with fighters shooting their guns in the air, which is not a good sign. I wonder how many people were killed or injured from falling celebratory bullets, not to mention the wasting of money and ammunition. This has been going on since day one and they don’t seem to have changed. A new chapter is now being written. Let’s hope things improve.

    Like

  20. It all starts and ends from Palestine, so keep your ticket back to Eastern Europe handy eh!

    And yes I go to Jerusalem every year but what I’m talking about is to come back with 6 million Palestinians in the Diaspora back to their Palestine 1948.

    Like

  21. NEWS:

    “Clashes rage in Syria between army, deserters (RNW, AFP)
    http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/clashes-rage-syria-between-army-deserters

    “Syria Protesters: Gaddafi Is Gone, Assad Will Follow” (ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY, HuffPost News)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/22/syria-protesters-gaddafi-assad_n_932868.html

    “Syria May Switch to Ruble From Euro, Central Bank Governor Says” (Henry Meyer, Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-20/syria-may-switch-to-ruble-from-euro-central-bank-governor-says.html

    “Syria’s uprising creeps across Lebanese border” (Nicholas Blanford, The Christian Science Monitor)
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1020/Syria-s-uprising-creeps-across-Lebanese-border

    Like

  22. “”As a first step, the Syrian central bank has begun posting the exchange rate for the ruble as well as the Chinese yuan on its daily bulletin, Mayaleh said in an interview with the Arabic-language Russia Today channel.”

    The Syrian economy is on the track to hit the wall (not OTW’s walls), especially that its balance sheet is looking worse and worse day by day with rocketing liabilities/account payable Vs minimal account receivable. At this stage, the regime is facing colossal snags in terms of trading crude oil, deteriorating tourism industry and declining import/export operations (uncertainty caused by the govt arbitrary strategy) which in return, leaves the government with one main source of income (TAX).

    Do you think adopting new hard currencies (i.e. Ruble & Yuan) for daily operations by the Syrian reserve bank would ease the pressure an strengthen its financial position?

    Like

  23. It all starts and ends from Palestine, so keep your ticket back to Eastern Europe handy eh!

    True,

    IMHO, that is a fallacy. Gad-fly, Saddam Hussein, and Assad’s failure to lead as well as their brutality had nothing to do with Palestine. Trying to link the failure of Arab states to the situation in Palestine is silly.

    And yes I go to Jerusalem every year but what I’m talking about is to come back with 6 million Palestinians in the Diaspora back to their Palestine 1948.

    True, I’m glad you visit Jerusalem every year. It is a beautiful city. I don’t think Palestinians in the diaspora will be going “back to their Palestine 1948”. Mostly because those Palestinians alive back then are probably very few in number today. However, all these issues have to be negotiated. The two state solution would allow any of the millions of Palestinian decendants to settle in Palestine, as it should be.

    Like

  24. Dearest Sheila:

    You said: “This is the natural way.” Sorry, this is the evil way, the selfish way. How would you feel if China was to occupy and plunder your beloved U.S, if millions were to will die, etc…in the name of Chinazation or if China decides to remove Obama just because? Would you call this natural progression?

    I am somewhat disappointed that you bought into the American Dream and “patriotism at all cost”. What happened to our global village? Out the window? The reason many of us appreciate Canada & US is because our home country was sooo shity.

    Re: “How can I get my greencard?” The U.S. markets itself very well. Many people who are dying to get in nowadays are either refugees, come from troubled countries or think that money grows on trees.

    Re: “Objectivity, this the way it is, etc…” I don’t live in total objectivity and certainly do not accept to live with the status quo. If I did that, my company, my family will stagnate and eventually decline. This is problem that exist with the Islamic mentality as well – you only get what is in your destiny. I try to live with the Good, Better, Best approach.

    U.S. is in decline, the empire is crumbling and losing its glory…. do you agree?

    Like

  25. Russia: Stop Syria’s horror hospitals

    The Syrian regime has reached a new low — its death squads are using ambulances and hospitals to lure and kill wounded protesters. But Russia, Syria’s key backer and arms supplier, could bring an end to this carnage. Syria’s horror hospitals are the latest in a string of unspeakable crimes against peaceful protesters. So far, Russia has faced little condemnation for its complicity in these atrocities, but we can change that.

    Sign now, and share this with everyone — it will be delivered to their Foreign Ministries this week.

    “To the leaders of Turkey, Germany and the Arab League:

    As concerned citizens from around the world, we call on you to use all peaceful means to pressure the Syrian regime to end the carnage and enable a speedy transition to democracy. We urge you to marshal international pressure on Russia to cease its support for the current regime and the deadly supply of Russian weapons, which are being used to kill peaceful protesters and humanitarian workers.”
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_horror_in_syria_a/?slideshow

    Like

  26. Hello

    Hope all is well. I miss you all. I must admit it is getting to me. The hatred on SC is intolerable. I don’t believe how ugly this world is.

    Like

  27. Husam warned me but I was not alarmed. This is not about the revolution. It is a deep seated hatred that you simply can’t change. Am I interested in living in a country where my next door neighbor is a monster in disguise? I am not. This generation is lost. And you know what . I think I am at fault. I should not care. I do not know why I care.

    Like

  28. @ Tara,

    Welcome again, you better stick around to regain your faith on good Syrians. A faith is totally needed to rebuild our new Syria post to flushing Betho and his cronies down the toilet.

    It’s looking good and soon enough the regime will be forced to sit and listen after its utter malfunction in subduing the revolution. Blaming Alqaeda by Walid al muallem is the last pathetic card to be played before kneeling.

    Like

  29. Tara,

    For whatever it’s worth, I enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good work; don’t pay any attention to the ignorant.

    Like

  30. Hello OTW, brilliant analysis, thank you. Quite telling that exactly a week separated the Damascus pro-Besho demo and the Aleppo one.

    Like

  31. Dear Tara,
    Good to see you here. We were all waiting for you. I agree with you. Ever since Camille took over from Ihsani, SC went south. It is hard to believe that some of the posters there are not paid mukhabarat. The timing is also interesting. You wake up in the morning (eastern time) and you can clearly see that the pro regime have dominated the scene. Anyway, the real difference here in this blog is that you can really speak your mind without taking the risk of being sworn at by weird people.
    Now I wish that someone could pull Ihsani out of “retirement”. We all miss him.

    Like

  32. @True, thank you for mentioning Palestine; the region will not be free until Palestinians are free. It all connects.From people back there I hear that In the field, the situation is horrendous; the zios continue their land grab and ethnic cleansing in all impunity. Europe has no conscience, no guts. In Belgium and elsewhere militants are into BDS and it works.

    Tara ! one of the last of the fighters in the Lion’s den; brave lady.

    Sheila, I lived in the States for 17 years. I agree with your assessment. They are capable of the exceptional and of the worst. I have yet to meet in Europe people having the stature of some of the people I met in the States. Upon my return here, I found Europeans petty and avaricious.

    Qaddafi’s best exit was to die on the spot; we’ll be spared a remake of the Saddam farce.
    Q might have been another sacrificial lamb for Eid al-Adha.

    .

    Like

  33. Dear Tara,
    I remember you saying that you work in a field dominated by men. I don’t know if I told you this, but I also work in a field very dominated by men. I am pretty sure it is not the same field you work in. But I find it interesting that we both ended up in the US in these male dominated fields. Two Syrian girls.

    Like

  34. @ Annie

    How would I forget Palestine? It’s one of these things that I’m living for.
    It’s hard to put it on writing but it’s that rush of love goes through your body when you’re facing the Zionist occupiers while trying to protect the the Palestinians during harvesting olive trees. It makes me happy to see more and more of peace activists from all over the world and they’re all risking their lives just for Palestine and yes it’s Palestine.

    @ Sheila & Tara

    “field dominated by men.”

    Welcome to IT world 

    Like

  35. Dear Annie,
    I had a guest from Syria last summer. A young man who was doing some training in the US. When he first arrived, he had Husam’s attitude about this country. When he left, two months later, he had changed his mind completely. He fully appreciated the people, the rules and the work environment.
    Where in the US did you live? You do not have to answer if you do not want to.
    P.S. I always enjoy your posts.

    Like

  36. Dear True,
    IT? No. wrong guess for me at least. I am in a field that you would never ever guess.

    Like

  37. Anniebannie, True,

    Are you just as concerned for Yemenis, Egyptians, Libyans, and Syrians as you are for
    the Palestnians? I ask because I don’t see you speaking about them.

    Like

  38. @ Sheila

    Ok I googled it and gotta be construction, emergency services or law enforcement 🙂

    Like

  39. Good to have ya around Sheila but with you, Annie, Zenobia, … and maybe Tara these walls will be “blog dominated by women” 🙂

    Like

  40. On that note, in the new Syria, post to Betho’s eviction, do you prefer to have fixed percentage of women representation in both parliament and government? Or to go with “the right person for the right position” irrespective of gender?

    In case you go with % what’s the ideal distribution figure from your perceptive?

    Keep in mind that currently and according to the Central Statistics Office, the % of working women in comparison to men across sectors in Syria is 7 to 1

    Like

  41. @ True:

    I would put all my wager with law enforcement of some sort; with her command in English and her American patriotism…Ehm!

    Whatever she does, her post make my day and reminds me that this world is still filled with positive beautiful Syrian souls like hers.

    Like

  42. @ Tara:

    You reminded me of myself 2 years ago. The old school boys belonging to SC’s fraternity bounced me all over the place. Your best friend, Jad called me brother…lol. I was too naive. Ever since I came back and took the position of stop-the-killing, he wouldn’t even acknowledge me. How can I go from brother to nothing for just having opposite viewpoint?

    Those type of brothers come and go at a turn of hat as long as you do, say and think as they tell you…then you belong! If this their vision of Syria, then the hell with it.

    I still skim through SC, and last I saw you holding the colorful Syrian flag amongst wolves. You are better contributing elsewhere than wasting your energy.

    Be well,

    Like

  43. Actually just by having a quick glance at these numbers, published by the Syrian Central Statistics Office (http://www.cbssyr.org/), you could discern very remarkable trends here and there.

    Workers distribution (15 years and over) by age groups, gender and educational status / 2010
    http://www.cbssyr.org/yearbook/2010/Data-Chapter2/TAB-1-2-2010.htm

    Syrian population by sex and governorate according to civil affairs records on 1 / 1 / 2010 ( 000)
    http://www.cbssyr.org/work/2010/ALL-2010/TAB19.htm

    I wonder if Abdullah Dardari (Betho’s superman) , the former Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, could bother to have a look at these figures before planning his collateral damage failing strategy

    PS: Aleppo retains the highest birth ratio (there you go )

    Like

  44. @ Sheila:

    Lets get one thing straight, I live just north of you, in Canada. Have lived here all my life with stints in the U.S. I have travelled to over 25 cities across the U.S. I have also done business in the U.S. I have to Europe many times as well. I visit the M.E including Syria almost yearly.

    There are many things I like about the U.S, but more things that I dislike. It has nothing about work ethics, organization, or the people. It has to do with bogus economics that doesn’t work. Ever since the creation of the federal reserve in 1913 (a private entity, btw), they have been living at the cost of everyone else. Add that to their consumptive society and buy now / pay later model, you have a baloon filled baloney. They have to plunder the world for oil and other stuff they need to gulp at a rate of Quadrillion/sec. The majority of the Americans are cool people, which I have nothing against.

    As for your friend Ehsani, a great economist by the way, don’t let the talent fool you. I don’t want to sound like a-know-it-all, but he attacked me in defense of his idol Elie Elhadj. Elie Elhadj is he-male version of Waf’a Sultan, anyone reading his books realizes his game. Perhaps you may know of him. Alex list this bigot as is #1 advisor on the board for his launch pad islamcomment.com

    Anyway, all this to say…it ain’t what it seems.

    Like

  45. Unbelievable but true:

    Law Bans Cash for Second Hand Transactions. It used to be that you can pay anything with cold hard cash, but no moh-er son. What? Bill 195 passes under the radar. Total enslavement coming to a theater near you. This is a move to disallow a “secondary marketplace” to develop. They are running out patches.

    It has hard ploy to help law enforcement deal with stolen goods… yeah right!

    Like

  46. Quoting TRUE

    Good to have ya around Sheila but with you, Annie, Zenobia, … and maybe Tara these walls will be “blog dominated by women”

    Aha… A civilized blog at last.

    Like

  47. It is our host who has paved the way for some gender equality in the pages of this blog.

    @Sheila

    As far as I am concerned- I am not unable to see much of the greatness within the american life and the people here. There are many things I love about America, for example much of our legal system I happen to have great affection for – our bill of rights, our body of law and its history. I also happen to love our history of openess to the world and its people despite the ins and outs of suffering in its history of migrations. I happen to love our history of modern music and art – and literature, and innovation and engineering, and our cities! believe it or not…. in all their dilapidation at times are fantastic – especially the famous ones. I love our people sometimes.
    but who ARE americans – we are the world’s people- the bravest, the most intelligent – the most ambitious, the most driven – who come to these shores…. for better and worse to find some opportunity. What is an American? It is the children of the those who are in some sense the survival of the fittest… no? The immigrants…are what have made america….
    but is this not the result of the brain drain, so to speak…. the end of the river of people who have left other places….
    So – our greatness is made out of reaping the human resources of places all over the world. And this is the place… for people to thrive.
    Does this make America great? Yes, in many respects yes.
    And yet, it seems senseless to talk about “best” countries, absurd, arrogant, full of folly.
    Because it is this kind of hubris that leads to complacency and unwillingness to strive to correct our terrible failings that are happening now.
    Are we living up to our responsibilities and within our capacities? No we are not.

    I have to agree with Husam here, this is a crumbling empire.
    We are now rotting from the inside out- and most people are just not seeing that yet because the full fallout has not happened.
    This was not meant as a glorification of Europe. Europeans are often very pedestrian and mediocre as people – individuals… as anyone else. And there are many unpleasant cultural realities there as here. But in terms of basic necessities of life – No, I don’t see many Canadians and Europeans flocking to the United States hoping to become US citizens. Happens that many come here to live for while or study or work. But they are not coming here to give up on being French or Dutch!
    Most of the people who flock to the US desperate to become American do so – because as Husam said they come from the most crappy circumstances on the earth.
    If you are a refugee from Burma or Nepal or an African nation – this is a great place seemingly. (Although I have to say – that many of the Iraqi refugees that I got to know over the past couple of years- we quite disappointed….many thinking to return to Iraq – because they felt pretty disappointed that they hadn’t got sent to Sweden instead by the IOM or UN resettlement program).

    Not sure how this got onto a debate about the wonderfulness of the US or not. After spending 8 months in Syria a few years ago – I pretty much missed my country….and couldn’t believe what things I had taken for granted (in addition to constant water flow)… my privacy…my right not to have every inch of my body stared at without my permission…. and so on.
    But my point is that we share some universal problems with wealth disparity, inequality, bad political forces, and the need for the open questioning of powerful systems.

    What I spoke about earlier may be “idealistic”…but I think this is the time for some idealism.
    “Realistic” is too often used to set our imaginations down and aside and settle for pathetic.
    It was one of my cousins who looked at me mockingly when I asked her – don’t you want to have the chance for a more open system in Syria? Don’t you want to have more justice? Aren’t you inspired by the thought of a political opening and change?
    She looked at me with disdain – and said: “what do you think…that we can have an ‘open’ country like America?? this is not ‘REALISTIC’…. this is not Syria….Syria can’t be like that… “…
    ….she says this while visiting here in the States to work on getting a green card…. and while her friend of a friend just slipped on a plane eight months pregnant in order to give birth here and take advantage of our laws that automatically make her child American!
    And yet….she can’t bother herself to take responsibiltiy for desiring even!… to imagine – that she has some power to influence and to sacrifice if only with her heart and mind…. to speak in favor of a new Syria.
    How pathetic is that!
    Screw realistic I say.
    We need idealism at this moment.We need people to lay down their resignation and depressing conditioned malaise and cynicism…
    If it takes….desperation and perhaps some blood on their doorstep to get there, then so be it.

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  48. Sheila, no secret; I lived in DC (not in the suburbs). I was working as a conference interpreter and for quite a while as a prison militant during my free time.
    AP you don’t see me speaking about the other Arab oppressed here because this is a Syrian group; then why Palestine ? Because Palestine is the common cause of all the Arab countries and of Europeans because of our responsability in the fate of its people.

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  49. ps to Sheila,
    why do you think you are so much older than me?
    how old do you imagine I am???

    and it was ME who said one protester up against a gun is more impressive than 1000 waving flags….. but I agree….with your view….even though our host’s cool analysis was appreciated….that to get caught up in the ‘numbers’ so to speak…and a debate about exactly how many people there are without caring about what is in the people’s minds sort of plays into the hands of the authorities and the more distracting conversations that take us off point. For example, our ‘friend’ Camille loves to get all tied up in the numbers and the polls and the comparative stats….and it drove me nuts.

    luckily our host could whip that up in 30 minutes!,tallented as he is…. which gives us the idea that how many people you can stuff in a square…. even one of seven seas….and what not…doesn’t prove very much of anything about the nature of the will of the people….

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  50. “causing some of your comments to be treated as spam”

    Betho stole Syria, Israel occupied Palestine and now the system takes my comments away!!!

    All good, ta 4 the hint. I’ll stop posting till it gets fixed 🙂

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  51. I have to agree with Husam here, this is a crumbling empire.
    We are now rotting from the inside out- and most people are just not seeing that yet because the full fallout has not happened.

    Zenobia,

    Greetings once again. I am enjoying your posts; you have a gift.

    But your negativity doesn’t become you. The US is being hampered by the world economy where nations don’t have minimum wages, whereby all our manufacturing is being shipped overseas in the name of profits.

    The US needs to continue creating jobs in high-tech and areas where the rest of the world is still lagging. Not building TVs or digital cameras, but by building high-tech telecommunications equipment, medical equipment, airplanes, drugs, defense systems, etc.

    The first step is to free the business communities with lower taxes, provide medical assistance to only those who need it, and reduce government waste. The government was not meant to take care of you from cradle to grave. That’s a recent construct that was never part of the US Constitution.

    Anniebannie,

    Because Palestine is the common cause of all the Arab countries and of Europeans because of our responsability in the fate of its people.

    Yes, I understand that, but why is that so? Why does the welfare of the Palestinians supercede that of the welfare of so many other people who are living under far worse circumstances? I’m just trying to “wrap my brain” around this.;)

    AP

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  52. Dear Zenobia,
    From reading you post, I can see that you and I agree on most points. I have said that the US is not perfect. We do have our problems and they are many, however, comparatively speaking, we live in the best country in the world. I can understand how a US born person would find this statement “absurd, arrogant and full of folly“, however, I hope you can understand and appreciate why a person like me, born in Syria and raised in several other countries, can say this with certainty. We are a country of immigrants. We are the success stories of many who could have never been what they are today. We are also the failure stories of many who never got a chance. Life is weird this way.
    You ask: “Are we living up to our responsibilities and within our capacities?”. Of course we are not, but my follow up question would be; but who is?. There is always room for improvement. I fully agree with you that we have to be careful about being too comfortable and congratulatory and start being complacent and unwilling to change and improve. But what country is even close to how dynamic the US is?. This is a country that is constantly changing, whether its laws and regulations, its norms and standards or the way it does business. There is a continuous debate about everything going on every day. As you have said, we have a terrific system that was set for us by the founding fathers.
    As for the Europeans, I know many who moved here to never go back to their countries of origin, most from western Europe and very successful countries. I also know of Iraqis who came here as refugees and are upset because they are not in Sweden, due to the fact that in Sweden their cousins are staying at home claiming some kind of a problem and collecting welfare. This does not work here. I also know quite a few Canadians who would love to live in the US and are working hard on getting a work permit. I think we have different experiences in this matter.
    I also disagree about the contention that most people who flock to the US come from very bad circumstances. I would have concurred had you said very bad business environment. Most people come here because they feel free on all levels. It is the land of opportunity and it offers a very friendly business environment. I set up businesses in Syria and in the US and let me tell you, what takes a year and a lot of “wasta” to accomplish in Syria, can be done in a few hours in the US. That is the major difference.
    I also disagree with both you and Husam and for that matter Akbar Palace, that this is a crumbling empire. Far from it. We are just going through a rough patch. You can tell an empire is on its way out when it starts having many problems and it neither acknowledges them nor actively tries to solve them. The mere facts of having problems does not predict the demise of a nation.
    As for being idealistic versus realistic, I completely agree with you and envy you for that ability. I have been trained to be pragmatic and realistic, even though I carry the soul of a dreamer. This is probably why I thought you would be younger than me. Idealism has a strong correlation with age. You are right. We need “to lay down (our) resignation and depressing conditioned malaise and cynicism” because without doing so, nothing will change in Syria and we desperately need change.

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  53. Dear Husam,
    Thank you for making me laugh and thank you for the compliment. That was very sweet of you. I truly appreciate it.

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  54. Dear True,
    You asked me a very hard question. One that many people a lot smarter than me have been trying to answer to varying degrees of success. It really boils down to affirmative action. Even though I firmly believe in the best person for the job concept, I can also see where affirmative action can be useful. The fact of the matter is that there needs to be a push by the government to advance women’s issues. I do not know if setting quotas would be the best answer, but it is something to explore. For me, the bottom line is that women need to be involved in Syria. Yes, we do not in general have a high degree of literacy for women, but we do have women who are very qualified for high positions.
    By the way, thank you for posting the statistical data. It is very interesting.

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  55. Dear Husam,
    I have been following Ihsani’s writings for a while. He is a great mind and an outstanding person. If he disagreed with you on this person Elhadj, he might have a reason for it. I think if and when he joins us, try to dig deeper into this issue, you might be learning some things that you did not know before. I guarantee you that Ihsani is one of the best out there. Please try to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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  56. I also disagree with both you and Husam and for that matter Akbar Palace, that this is a crumbling empire. Far from it.

    Sheila,

    “I” said the US was a crumbling empire? I disagreed with Zenobia, and I agree with you that the US is NOT a crumbling emprie. Not to say, there are lots of middle-easterners that are hoping and predicting the US IS a “crumbling empire” due to their own hate a prejudices.

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  57. Dear Husam
    I trust Ehsani whole heatedly and I can assure you that he is more open minded and balanced than me and I second Sheila’s comment.

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  58. Sheila Good Morning:

    You said “It is the land of opportunity” you mean “was”? Sheila, it is okay we differ. I just wish that you and I can stay in touch for the next 2 years and see who’s wrong. I sincerely hope that I am the wrong as I wish no evil or hunger to befall on anyone including the U.S. citizens.

    However, I do wish, very much… (Akbar Palace, do you hear me?) that the Zionist the owned and crowned of America get yanked out and power is restored the Americans.

    Ah, Sheila I just wished I had the time to just show you the hard facts, but unfortunately I don’t.

    FYI, there is no TV in my house since 5 years; the whole family are different more positive people 🙂

    @Zenobia

    I enjoyed reading your posts, your experience in Syria and outlook (btw, did you have a falafel sandwich and smoothie while you were there?). 15% of Americans are on anti-depressant pills, 25 million don’t have jobs and many more lining up for food stamps. And still, some people can’t see it. Only 16% of rapes get reported and still a staggering 1.3 women gets raped every minute somewhere in the US. If you add the other non-reported ones, the number is somewhere around 8 women per minute. That means some 50 women got raped in the time that I wrote this comment! And then you have the likes of our Zionist paid PPP (paid propaganda parrot) Akbar Palace telling us its about real production of planes, defence (he meant offencive weapons) not cameras, get real.

    As for “my privacy…my right not to have every inch of my body stared at without my permission…. and so on.” Did you consider making your body private (Hijab anyone?) as to not get peeped at…Ouch! Just teasing you, scratch that 🙂 I could see you throwing a book at me right now.

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  59. OTW,

    I hear you and I believe you…just my experience was horrible. If you remember I was in heated debate with that Elhadj (the breast-suckling fatwa lover) and other Islamaphobes and Ehsani came out of nowhere and lashed out at me. I think it may have been you or JAD that told him to back off and that he crossed the red line. He never apologized and we ended in a tit for tat. I don’t recall the details but couldn’t reconcile the nice things everyone was saying about him in comparison to his venom and idolizing of Elhadj. He did not have the guts to backtrack and I did not see an open mind at all.

    Sheila and you perhaps know him more than I do, but it left a bad scar on me. I still read his economic analysis though.

    Re: there may be something deeper than that, as Sheila said, OTW, I loose my respect for people who purposely try to hurt others. You can say all you want, but don’t attack people’s families, people’s culture or faith.

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  60. I love how I am being called too “negative” on the one hand……and too “idealistic” on the other.
    Oh well.
    I guess I am not the norm. when I was young- I was very much more negative and full of cynicism. And with years piling on- I found that unless I want to throw myself off the Golden Gate Bridge with despair, then I have to have hope. At least it seems to me – one has to hold out the most truest forms – and if the ‘realistic’ result falls short…well then there is acceptance of that. but to to deny what “should” be or what “could”… (maybe there is a problem with a lack of modals in Arabic)…is to fail to even reach and create what is possible. The result will always be disappointing.

    Can’t really disagree with the reflections on the United States and Americans in all their contradictions.
    I guess I should have just qualified that obviously I am speaking in total generalities. Making observations about ‘immigrants’ – depends a lot of where we are standing….. silicon valley? or in some crappy getto…. but to go back to numbers….. I think the “most” in my statement – is founded…. numerically speaking….
    there is still..no doubt about why people come here whether they are on the bottom of the latter or on some nice work visa to be an engineer…
    I think my initial point was to talk about commonalities – even in the face of dramatically different situations in terms of degree.
    I think it hilarious…when some syrians in defense of the situation there and the gov’t response start citing negative conditions in the United states… say regarding “corruption” or social stratification…. Hard to defend……but it is an absurd comparison that lacks any context… relying only generalities. And then you will find me talking about the incredible level of protections and freedoms available here. …..
    why I should have to argue both sides….all the time I do not know.

    @Akbar…,
    right back at you sir.

    but you know we will never agree on anything…. sometimes i don’t even want to go there.
    only thing we sometimes agree on but dare i mention it is that I don’t think it should be a requirement to be the champion of Palestine in order to be an “Arab”….. that might be the only thing!

    “crumbling empire”….. you guys should read some descriptions of England in the late 1800’s ….sounds an awful lot like the USA today….
    this is not a “rough patch”….
    but…. only time will tell….

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  61. only thing we sometimes agree on but dare i mention it is that I don’t think it should be a requirement to be the champion of Palestine in order to be an “Arab”….. that might be the only thing!

    Zenobia,

    I understand someone being a champion of the Palestinians because I understand Jews being a champion of Israel.

    What I don’t understand are those that champion the Palestinians but to hell with the other millions of Arabs.

    If you can explain that to me, I’ll write you a check.;)

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  62. Yes, Husam, I AM going to throw a book at you!
    ridiculous and annoying suggestions… especially from someone who is going on about “rape” ironically. Maybe i should wear a hijab otherwise I might be asking for it??? that would be the ironic logical outcome…

    anyhow, I not down with that Zionists are the cause of everything crap.

    even if we are on the same side of the “crumbling empire” debate…it is apparently a conclusion drawn from very differing calculations (data).

    Rape? I think one could get more recourse for such a crime in the USA than pretty much anywhere else in this world (excepting Europe again….: ) )….
    This the wrong wrong issue to draw on. Rape, sexual slavery, domestic violence etc so on and so forth is a world wide universal problem…. i think you are on sinking ground to use that as some evidence of the failures of America….

    I think I will stick with Akbar on this regarding the economic sinking ship…only our solutions will diverge again dramatically. I think we have enough quite enough defense spending as it is….and this is part of our demise not our salvation.

    See….isn’t this fun???? all this diversity….already…evident….

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  63. “I understand someone being a champion of the Palestinians because I understand Jews being a champion of Israel.”

    ok, we don’t even agree on that …then…

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  64. Someone should fill ME in on the Elie Elhadj things….. what is that about? Isn’t he the guy who writes about water resources in Syria? I believe I was thinking to look up some of the stuff… but curious how he is a “breast suckingling fatwa lover”?? i don’t even know what that is…

    anyhow,
    i will say something apparently really controversial…now….: Ehsani?? open minded?
    Not in my experience…
    He is also a total die hard capitalist….
    and he was completely going on and on for years optimistically about the opening free markets in Syria going to be the salvation of everything…..
    He is no doubt a smart man.
    but also completely ideological and not what I would ever consider ‘open minded”…
    also, he is part of the Landis club of people who fawn over each other…

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  65. Dear Akbar Palace,
    I owe you an apology. Sorry about the confusion. I guess we both feel the same way about the so called “demise” of the US empire.
    Regarding your statement: “What I don’t understand are those that champion the Palestinians but to hell with the other millions of Arabs”. I will attempt to explain this hoping for a big check in the mail.
    The Arabs in general feel the pain of the Palestinians and consider their plight one of the gravest injustices in recent history. They are also tormented by the fact that they were and still are unable to correct this injustice. For the Arabs, the creation of Israel was a land grab, pure and simple. They also watch the mal treatment and humiliation of the Palestinians on an every day basis on their TV s. This has nothing to do with the problems that all the Arabs suffer from, however, they feel that their problems pale in comparison. Loosing your house, your land and your identity, does not measure up to being crushed by a dictator, in their views. There is also the added element of being crushed by your own, versus the enemy. All Arabs feel the pain of the Bahrainis, the Yemenis and the Syrian. They also hope for a better future for the rest, but the “cancer” is and will always be Israel. That is why I think that approaching the Arab Israeli conflict has to come form a deep understanding for the other side, which is lacking on both sides. Signing treaties with a government is not going to cut it, the people have to reach a mutual understanding.
    By the way, I do consider you a person who is open minded and willing to debate.
    I hope my explanation helps.

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  66. @Shiela:

    For the Arabs, the creation of Israel was a land grab, pure and simple.

    I would add “was” and continuous to be a land grab….

    I consider you a person who is open minded and willing to debate.

    Sorry dear Sis, been there done that. Akbar Palace willing to debate, yes… open minded, absolutely not. And you are not even getting a thank you note, nevermind a check in the mail 🙂 You will find out for yourself.

    I have stay though, despite all the above, Akbar Palace never once insulted anyone or used any questionable language compared to so called brothers on SC. For that, I have respect for him.

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  67. Dear Husam,
    I completely agree with Zenobia on this one. Hijab never ever prevented anyone from doing anything. I can tell you stories that will make your hair turn white in a few seconds (assuming it is not already). If anything, hijab has been a very good cover for committing all sorts of mischief by many, and I am not trying to demean hijab by saying this. I know that there are many women out there who vehemently believe in hijab. I respect their opinion even though I oppose it completely. I want to also mention that some girls with hijab are much more attention grabbing and attractive than poor old me with full make up. Just saying, it is not how the woman looks, it is rather how the man acts.
    Rape and incest are rampant all over the world and, against popular belief, in the Arab world. The only difference is that in some parts of the world they are never reported.
    On a different subject, I think at this point, you and Zenobia and me and Akbar Palace, agree to disagree on the demise of the US.

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  68. Sheila,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate your patience and the way you communicate. IMHO, you are the best person to explain Palestinian suffering. You should take the place of Hannan Ashwari;)

    Ok, so our state is a “cancer” and a “land grab”. OK. So what do you propose?

    Will this continue to be the permanent situation? Is there no possible agreement in light of Israel’s existence as a “cancer” or an illegitimate state? Are we doomed to continue in a state of war?

    Now I’ll pick apart your narrative (just for fun):

    The Arabs in general feel the pain of the Palestinians and consider their plight one of the gravest injustices in recent history.

    If Israel would never had been created or lost the ’48 war, can you tell me a state of Palestine would have been created? The data shows the West Bank would have been part of Jordan, Gaza would have been part of Egypt, and the Golan and the rest of modern day Israel could have been gobbled up by Syria. In the years from 48 to 67, there was no talk of ceeding Arab land to the Palestinians or PLO.

    They are also tormented by the fact that they were and still are unable to correct this injustice.

    Israel is the only country in the world that has ceeding land to the Palestinian people. So again, where was the “torment” pre-67, and even pre-48?

    Just my observation, but to me, the “torment” is admitting that Jews won a war against the Arabs. It’s a big, semitic pissing contest.

    For the Arabs, the creation of Israel was a land grab, pure and simple.

    But if the Arabs “grabbed” the land (Jordan, Egypt and Syria), it would be OK, hence, my conclusion above.

    They also watch the mal treatment and humiliation of the Palestinians on an every day basis on their TV s.

    What mal treatment and humiliation of the Palestinians did you see on TV yesterday Sheila?

    Do you watch the same TV channels that I do? I see arabs firing guns in the air, dragging bodies (albeit a pretty disgusting despot) through the street, or Syrians soldiers firing their guns into a crowd of unarmed protesters.

    This has nothing to do with the problems that all the Arabs suffer from, however, they feel that their problems pale in comparison.

    Obviously not, however, I think it is pretty clear that Arabs suffer more outside of Israel than they do in Israel.

    Loosing your house, your land and your identity, does not measure up to being crushed by a dictator, in their views.

    Palestinians in Israel are free to protest. But I don’t see much of that happening. I don’t see it happening IN Israel or in the Palestinian controlled areas.

    There is also the added element of being crushed by your own, versus the enemy.

    Yes, this is the crux of the issue I am referring to. This is the reason I find so much emphasis on Israeli “crimes” and the total ignoring of worse crimes by Arab dictators. It is this discrepancy that many pro-Israel westerners fail to understand. The ‘ol “Israeli crimes cannot be forgiven unless committed by arabs” axiom.

    All Arabs feel the pain of the Bahrainis, the Yemenis and the Syrian.

    I’m not sure. At least half the participants on SC are pro-regimers who think Syrian government should do more to put down the protests.

    They also hope for a better future for the rest, but the “cancer” is and will always be Israel.

    Obviously this is a product of the arab enviroment which demonizes Israel. I hope you understand, that this environment of hate has also affected the modernization of much of ME. Too much emphasis and resources are spend hating Israel. If all that effort were spent on the arab people, there would be nothing to be upset about.

    That is why I think that approaching the Arab Israeli conflict has to come form a deep understanding for the other side, which is lacking on both sides.

    I tend to agree.

    Signing treaties with a government is not going to cut it, the people have to reach a mutual understanding.

    And the government controlled arab media is not helping in this regard.

    By the way, I do consider you a person who is open minded and willing to debate.
    I hope my explanation helps.

    Thanks. Your words were very affective.

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  69. Dear Zenobia,
    I have never read Elie Alhadji, so cannot judge him, however, Husam called him the male version of Wafa Sultan. I read a long article about Wafa Sultan a few years ago and let me tell you, she made my blood boil even though I am not a religious person. It was not because of her continuous insults to Islam, rather because of how shallow her thinking was. A person who thinks that graduating medical school in Syria makes her smart. In my view, she is a semi-educated and very shallow person.

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  70. And, she doesn’t hate Jews or consider Israel (or any other nation) a “cancer”…

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  71. @ Zenobia & Sheila:

    I understand that women have a right to dress however they wish without being attacked. Well, indeed. Just as I have a perfect right to leave my car windows open when I nip to the shops for some clothes, without being burgled. It doesn’t remove the guilt of the thief that I’ve left my windows wide open, or even remotely suggest that I was deserving of being robbed! Just that it was more likely to happen. Why is this difficult to understand?

    However, you have to understand that, I would venture to say most men, don’t think with there heads when it comes to seeing a woman whom they consider attractive. We are designed that way.

    My wife had the same remark once when we were in Damascus. If you don’t want people to stare and you feel uncomfortable then be more modest. You can’t have both ways.

    @ Sheila: I am no fool, and I don’t judge people by their outward faith be it Hijab or going to the mosque, etc… I have seen the worst and best of women in both Hijab and without. I had a female Madame approach in broad daylight under a Niqab offering various services. She is using the hijab to shield her from the police while remaining invisible to the potentional client. Hijab is not Islam and Islam is not Hijab, rather a minute part of a larger more complex guide to society.

    Re: The demise of the American Empire is not what brought us all together on the Walls, rather it is the love for Syria and its people. I mentioned it because I strongly believe that fuses are going off all over the world. And, American internal and foriegn policies are one of the major reasons for what is happening today. I invite you to read just 2-3 minutes of this essay that I found online regarding this very subject, including equality, morality and the world. Here is an excerpt from half way down:

    “They hate our Freedom” was all it took to convince the people of this county that brown people 5,000 miles away in caves with box cutters defeated the NSA, CIA, and United States Military, and ten years of evidence has yet to dissuade them from their delusional belief.”

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/08/enough-of-the-myth-of-american-morality

    Does anyone besides True knows who Gerald Celente is (here is a news interview where he predicted Occupy Wall Street back in Dec 2010

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  72. Freedom of Speech has a cost: Akhbar Palace found a new home with fresh white swans to prey on. There you have it Sheila, I told you he can’t help it none other than American-Zionist owned Memri T.V. interviewing his she-male idol Waf’a Sultan. Enjoy more of this repetitive garbage SpammyANN style.

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  73. Dear Akbar Palace,
    I think that there is a concerted effort on the part of the Israeli government to influence and manipulate world opinion in general and American Jews in particular. This effort includes the manipulation of historical facts some of which you had mentioned in your response. Palestine was in existence before the creation of Israel. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. A simple proof can lie in the fact that Palestine was a British mandate (this means that it was geographically defined) and that Balfour’s Declaration of 1917 stated that British policy favored the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine (also confirms a defined geographic entity).

    You said: “What mal treatment and humiliation of the Palestinians did you see on TV yesterday Sheila?”. None. You and I do not live in the Arab World. Our media here in the US avoids as much as possible talking about Israel‘s treatment of the Palestinians. Why do you think the US government opposed Aljazeera so much?. It is precisely because of its coverage of the Palestinian plight. I guarantee you, had you lived there and watched what is done to the Palestinians, you would be the first one to fight Israel. It is cruel and immoral. I have to say two things here:
    1- Not all Israelis agree with their government policies toward the Palestinians. Many are vehemently opposed to them.
    2- This has nothing to do with the fact that the Arab regimes treat the other Arabs just the same if not worse in some cases. This fact does not diminish Israel’s guilt.

    You said: “I think it is pretty clear that Arabs suffer more outside of Israel than they do in Israel”. This is a correct statement if you are talking about the Palestinian Israelis, however, try to live in the West Bank or Gaza.

    There are some things that one ponders:
    1- Why is it that Jewish groups in the US who are always involved in the upholding of the separation of church and state, support a country based on religion: a Jewish state?
    2- With all the crimes committed against the Jews in Europe and all their suffering, why did they feel that it was not a problem to inflict some of the same pain on the Palestinians.
    3- Why create this situation of hostility in the Middle East?. Even though I am not one to believe in conspiracy theories, sometimes I feel like the Europeans supported this with the sole purpose of getting rid of their Jews once and for all.

    You asked: “What do you propose?”. I have addressed this on SC before. I think that the only way to create peace in the ME, is for both parties to admit mistakes made and move past them. You have to remember that the Palestinians were living in their homes and on their land minding their own business when the Jews decided to create Israel on top of them. It all boils down to admitting this basic truth and moving on. Most of today’s Israelis were born in Israel, are not immigrants and did not commit the “original sin“. They now have as much right to live there as the Palestinians. I think that this concept of a Jewish state was ill-conceived and dangerous for all. Israel is now giving up the West Bank and Gaza just from a demographic perspective, but it is only delaying the inevitable. The Arabs will at one point count more in number than the Jews. I think they need to face the music, reconcile with the Palestinians and create a country (call it whatever they want) over the entire land of historical Palestine. This is the logical thing it to, if one can remove this emotional attachment to creating a “Jewish” state.
    The reality is that Arabs and Jews can live together in peace. They had done it before and they can do it again
    P.S: I still like you.

    Like

  74. Dear Akbar Palace,
    Listening to Wafa Sultan is like going for a root canal. First, her Arabic is atrocious. She does not know how to use the accents properly. Being a natural at that, I feel listening to her, like someone is hitting me on the head non stop. Second, she does not have her facts straight. She picks and chooses when she quotes the prophet or the Quran to fit her hateful narrative. Third, she has her historical facts wrong. She does not understand the basics of history and the connection between the civilizations. Bottom line, the only reason she is on TV is because she says things that please certain groups. She is one of those very dangerous semi-educated who think they really have it.
    I know it is harder for you to pick on all these nuances having to read the translation rather than understanding her Arabic.
    There are many scholars out there who have their own beef with Islam, who are worth listening to, not this pseudo-intellectual.

    Like

  75. Friends
    I would love to join in on some of the discussions, but I am busy trying to get posts rolling. The next post, coming up in few minutes is controversial. So brace yourself.

    I have been thinking about allowing or not embedded images and clips in the comments section. Personally, I always felt that it was not fair that Alex gets to post clips and fancy images and we do not. But to be fair to Alex, I am sure he would have posted something on our behalf if asked through an email as long as the requests are reasonable and the clip or image is relevant to the article.

    On personal note, I do not like Wafa Sultan. Given her story and repeated lies, I suspect that if bashing the Jewish People would become more profitable than bashing Islam and Muslims, she would turn into a neo-Nazi or a Skinhead in a heart beat. But Akbar is welcomed to post like anyone else. This is freedom of speech and more so equality. Until the law changes, which is right now now (just kidding)

    Like

  76. What so called “Israel” is just pure occupation build on Palestinians’ bodies and skulls and fed on racism and apartheid ideology. if you feel you’re not welcomed in the MS then please take your virtual and illegitimate “state” and go back to Eastern Europe where you might feel more homey eh!!!

    Here’s a tip for ya, after we’re done with the Arab spring be ready for your autumn mate!! 2012 is almost there and i hope you know how to swim.

    OTW,

    Yes please turn off the option of posting videos and images, at the end of the day people still can provide links instead.

    Like

  77. I get tired of the posting of links even….and posting of videos.
    On the other hand…. I thought those were hilarious. I wish I could experience the whole root canal actually, so I could see what you mean. Anyhow, I will take your word for it.
    but- she is talking to Memri after all. The context breeds this. Same thing for the Algerian guy. He ends with full throttle bigotry, but I was quite fascinated with the beginning.
    He has a point about the sad bravado… and the Lupin beans (lol). anyhow, obviously they are going all out for their audience…. and it plays into the hands.
    I mean – maybe Sultan is a pseudo intellectual and a know nothing… but… I didn’t think what she said here was so amazing. I wouldn’t like it if she said it on Fox TV. but since it is on Memri – I’ll take it.

    hey, guess what…. when the British referred to “Palestinians” prior to 48… they were talking about everyone there… and definitely talking about the Jews there… those were the “Palestinians”….

    but you know, i really can’t stand the conversation about Palestine/ Israel. I don’t want to be sucked in by Akbar.
    We should stick to Syria, Syria, Syria…. Syrian Hamster is right right right.

    final thought:
    NO, Husam, Your wife might be correct for two seconds to solve the immediate situation walking down the streets of Damascus. But she is completely wrong that this is a real solution or the woman’s responsibility to fix.
    Total bullshit.
    I was not wearing short shorts and three inch heals. I was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and sneakers in 112 degree weather. So…you know I think I should be able to wear a t-shirt for christsakes.
    and the REAL point is – that – it is the responsibility of MEN to change their thinking and way of relating to women.. Not the women’s responsibility to hide herself not to be treated like shit.
    It is a complete cop out to say that this is the way you “are created”. really, how come there are so many places on the globe where i don’t feel like a piece of meat when I walk down the street dressed like every other male person. How is it that plenty of men on the planet can act civilized. This is cultural , not innate.
    You are going to lose that not that humorous argument, so give it up.

    ok, i am ready for controversial…real real controversial…. Syria Syria syria…
    Focus, Priorities…. an so forth!

    Like

  78. From the Tree Top

    @ TRUE

    I am more useful exactly where I am, on a tree top, and occasionally in the rat hole.

    My tree is behind the wall,
    and the hole is right under.

    I am here when you’r right
    and so I am when you blunder

    Should the rat remain a rodent?
    till the clouds begin to thunder

    Or should the rat become a soldier?
    so we are one and not asunder

    Like

  79. Dear Sheila:

    Since you asked: The bigot in disguise, Elie Elhadj, posted 2-3 articles on SC a few years back insulting the intelligence of Muslims and drawing parallels from Wahabbism to Muslims at large. From my understanding from some of the commentators, he was probably a Christian who lived in Saudi as a banker under a different name. He basically looks all over the internet for misconceptions on Islam repackages them and writes books and articles. He hides this hatred behind his knowledge on water resources, banking experience, etc…

    He denounces the Ahadiths and calls them a farce. He was given the platform on SC to talk about the age thingy of Aisha (PBUH) and some psycho imam (yes there are some, just like the child-suckling priest that exist in numbers) in Saudi who made a fatwa (later removed) that if an adult man sucks milk of an adult woman he becomes her brother…or something of that nature. Go Figure! We all know that fatwas are opinions and Muslims are not obliged to follow them. No one supported this imam and it was quickly denounced and scratched. Where Elhadj digged it up from, I don’t know, but he used it as a last salvo in the debate to tarnish the image of the average Muslim (like you and I). He was a bad debator and his fans (Ehsani for one), had to come to his rescue because apart from his cut/paste/rehashed articles he couldn’t refute his arguments to come to some kind of factual conclusion. That is how Islamcomment.com was born by Otrakji and I was invited to participate. Guess who was on top of the board, none other than Elhadj and other bigots.

    I left SC shortly after that because some of those who opposed this hatred and bigotry got banned while others who supported him did not for insults…EXACTLY like what has happened with Aboud recently. I said it then that SC, Joshua and the moderators were biased and I said it again now with Aboud. It got so pathetic that for a while Joshua was posting every, or every-other article about Islam with pictures of Muslim women with strict Hijab or women with black Niqabs in the background of men same as we see in the general media elsewhere. Joshua did not miss any opportunity depict Islam in a negative manner. Mind you, as relevant as Islam to Syria, so is Christianity and of course not a single article about the its contradictions or the outlandish correlation of molestation of boys with Christian clergy were ever to be found on SC.

    That is the short version of a long story.

    Like

  80. Hey Zenobia:

    I was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and sneakers in 112 degree weather.

    What can I say then, you must be real pretty 🙂 or perhaps that alley doesn’t see many women or both.

    It is the responsibility of MEN to change their thinking and way of relating to women

    Really? Give me a break. How do you propose we do that, change brain chemicals or take a testerone killer? I mean you girls have been pushing so hard that 1 out 6 or 8 (I lost count) are gay. And a final note: I could ask you to change your thinking and desire to be noticed, etc… but I already have a pile of books over my head.

    Like

  81. Deares Hamster:

    Only Hamsters inside Syria have the B**LS of STEEL to become soldiers. We are aloft the safest of trees.

    Cheers mate

    Like

  82. The tree YOU are up Husam is not that safe…
    no I won’t give you a break…as you dig your hole deeper or climb higher up that tree….

    I have no idea what you are talking about with the ‘gay’ comment, but I am pretty sure I probably don’t want to know..

    I WOULD have to change my thinking or at least behavior if – I was infringing on your life or rights. So – i take it back – go THINK what you like or about anything you want in your head…but that doesn’t give anyone an excuse to act on it or harass anyone.
    It is not THAT hard to put it in check. I sometimes feel like smacking people… (like maybe right now)…but suppression, distraction does work.

    “What can I say then, you must be real pretty 🙂 or perhaps that alley doesn’t see many women or both.”

    I have a few popular attributes….but… that’s besides the point… as Sheila says: no comment.
    I met tons of young foreign students, young women… talking about the same thing… it was the norm. And the ones who had also studied in Egypt said it was even much worse there for them.
    I stand by my demands.

    In NEW SYRIA – the men have to get over themselves and recognize a whole person there – not a body part.
    They should have to suckle some milk from every teat in the land to treat women like sisters.

    Like

  83. oops. i meant to say they SHOULDN’T have to suckle from every teat in the land… ha ha ha

    Like

  84. I am sorry Zenobia, OTW:

    You were asking MEN to change, and speak your mind, without being hit by book. My Q: Can I ask the same thing of you – to change (and other women) without xyz? How is someone looking at you infringing on your rights? If looking or staring at women in Jeans and a T-Shirt in 112 degrees sweat is sexual harrasement you guys our of your minds.

    OTW, this is topic is not about sexual harrasment code…whatever.

    Like

  85. You obviously don’t get it. Probably because it never happened to you. But you don’t want to take a woman’s word for it – or the word of many many women, so what can I tell you.
    It is not just a tiny look. It is much more than that.
    And the sexual harassment is when on a number of occasions (similarly to others I heard from) I get followed for long periods down the street with said persons taking opportunities to whisper in your eyes. Get felt up in a crowd in the Hammidieh. Twice I was propositioned on the street. Once asked if I would take a hundred dollars to go with him and wouldn’t leave me alone until I started yelling in public.
    And most alarmingly, once followed by a car – three men got out tried to corner me near a wall. the main guy followed me again when I got away and grabbed my bag from me in order to lure me toward their car and force me into their blacked out windowed BMW. Again, i was saved by my own raised voice and a couple who were seen walking towards us. This was in broad daylight.
    A number of my female extended family members in Lebanon have spoken about prevalent date rape that goes on in their upper middle class sphere – with zero action taken by anyone afterwards.

    You should just take my word for it. I am not talking about just a flirty look across a crowded room.
    Let’s just move on now. We can worry about frying that fish when we ever get to it. right now – honor killing is still legal, is it not? or is it two years in prison maybe for that?
    so… lets not put the cart before the horse.

    Like

  86. I think that there is a concerted effort on the part of the Israeli government to influence and manipulate world opinion in general and American Jews in particular.

    C’mon Sheila, you know as well as I that both the Palestinians and the Israelis are fighting daily to influence public opinion. So what else is new?

    This effort includes the manipulation of historical facts some of which you had mentioned in your response.

    Each side has its own narrative and each side stretches history to fit their narrative. It is up to us to do the research and see how we fit in.

    Palestine was in existence before the creation of Israel.

    Yes, Palestine was consider a geographic area like Appalachia. But neither Palestine or Appalachia was ever an independent country.

    It was part of the Ottoman Empire. A simple proof can lie in the fact that Palestine was a British mandate (this means that it was geographically defined) and that Balfour’s Declaration of 1917 stated that British policy favored the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine (also confirms a defined geographic entity).

    OK. FYI, the British Mandate lasted from 1923 to 1948. My main historical reference is “A History of Israel from the rise of Zionism to our time”, 2nd Ed., 1996 (it’s already old).

    None. You and I do not live in the Arab World. Our media here in the US avoids as much as possible talking about Israel‘s treatment of the Palestinians.

    OK, what did you see on-line? There are more media outlets than Fox News, YNet and the Jerusalem Post. Did you check al-Jazzera, Ha’aretz, IRNA, SANA? What about Palestinian news sources?

    Why do you think the US government opposed Aljazeera so much?

    Sheila, the US government doesn’t “oppose” news sources. The US government continually publicizes her stances on issues, including the those pertaining to the ME. The US usually MAKES news and almost never takes sides with news sources. Actually recently, Obama took issue with a Fox News reporter by asking the reporter why he was a Mitt Romney advocate.

    It is precisely because of its coverage of the Palestinian plight. I guarantee you, had you lived there and watched what is done to the Palestinians, you would be the first one to fight Israel.

    Sheila,

    There are two sides to this story, not just the mistreatment and displacement of Palestinians.

    It is cruel and immoral. I have to say two things here:
    1- Not all Israelis agree with their government policies toward the Palestinians. Many are vehemently opposed to them.
    2- This has nothing to do with the fact that the Arab regimes treat the other Arabs just the same if not worse in some cases. This fact does not diminish Israel’s guilt.

    Yes, there are Israelis who have deeply varying opinions on the plight of the Palestinians. It ranges from those that believe Israel should be dismantled, to those that believe Palestine should never be a state.

    I believe these are both extremist opinions and that the solution rest somewhere in between. I am sure you believe in something similar.

    You said: “I think it is pretty clear that Arabs suffer more outside of Israel than they do in Israel”. This is a correct statement if you are talking about the Palestinian Israelis, however, try to live in the West Bank or Gaza.

    OK. So? Who controls Gaza? Who controls the PA? Who refuses to negotiate, who wants continue conflict? Gaza is an Iranian/Jihadist basket-case. The West Bank is actually looking a lot better economically. Yes, it is relative.

    There are some things that one ponders:
    1- Why is it that Jewish groups in the US who are always involved in the upholding of the separation of church and state, support a country based on religion: a Jewish state?

    Because Israel is a homeland for the Jewish People regardless of their religion. Italy is the country for the Italian People whether they are Jewish or Christian. Similarly, Israel is the state of the Jewish people whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Christian or atheist. As Wafa Sultan stated, you can’t place labels on people, you should call them by how they define themselves. Palestine should be divided into 2 states: one for the Palestinian People, and one for the Jewish People. Moreover, 1/4 of the population of Israel is muslim, and they have the same rights as Jews.

    2- With all the crimes committed against the Jews in Europe and all their suffering, why did they feel that it was not a problem to inflict some of the same pain on the Palestinians.

    Pain was inflicted on Arabs most probably in self-defense. Pain is not exacted on Israeli Arabs, who seem to not be so anti-Israel as you are.

    3- Why create this situation of hostility in the Middle East?

    The hostility was and still is, the refusal by Palestinians and other Arab states to recognize a Jewish State: a state where the Jewish People have a national home on a part of Palestine.

    Even though I am not one to believe in conspiracy theories, sometimes I feel like the Europeans supported this with the sole purpose of getting rid of their Jews once and for all.

    Sheila, believe in what you will, but as a Jew, I feel 6 million of my people could have survived if Israel was created 10 years earlier.

    You asked: “What do you propose?”. I have addressed this on SC before. I think that the only way to create peace in the ME, is for both parties to admit mistakes made and move past them.

    It will take more than admitting mistakes. It will take a final, negotiated settlement.

    You have to remember that the Palestinians were living in their homes and on their land minding their own business when the Jews decided to create Israel on top of them.

    The UN partition plan did not require any Palestinians to mover from their homes. Before major hostilities, Jews did not force Arabs out of their homes. Jews bought land, worked the land, and prospered like anyone else. It was the Arab states who “spoke for” the palestinians when they invaded in order to kick out the Jews.

    It all boils down to admitting this basic truth and moving on.

    If it brings peace, I would say anything you want. However, it is the negotiated settlement that will really put an end to this conflict.

    Most of today’s Israelis were born in Israel, are not immigrants and did not commit the “original sin“. They now have as much right to live there as the Palestinians. I think that this concept of a Jewish state was ill-conceived and dangerous for all.

    So don’t live there. The danger are states like Iran who want continued bloodshed and who will never recognize 2 states for 2 peoples.

    Israel is now giving up the West Bank and Gaza just from a demographic perspective, but it is only delaying the inevitable.

    Great. So let it play out.

    The Arabs will at one point count more in number than the Jews.

    We can play the waiting game if you want, but what happens if the game ends in our favor?

    I think they need to face the music, reconcile with the Palestinians and create a country (call it whatever they want) over the entire land of historical Palestine.

    I can’t predict the future, but right now that will not work.

    This is the logical thing it to, if one can remove this emotional attachment to creating a “Jewish” state

    It is no more emotional than the attachment of creating a Palestinian State.

    The reality is that Arabs and Jews can live together in peace. They had done it before and they can do it again

    Of course.

    P.S: I still like you.

    Shukran;)

    Dear Akbar Palace,
    Listening to Wafa Sultan is like going for a root canal.

    I know, that’s why I posted it;)

    Like

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