Sunday, October 25, 2020
Not to be Ignored Below is a transcript of an interview conducted at the end of 2010, when there was no thought of conflict in Syria, and the issues of the day for educated young women related to their ‘liberation’. The questions chosen were a response to the times since Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali had recently visited Australia, where she...
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 Tima Kurdi, author of ‘The Boy On The Beach’ (Simon & Schuster, 2018), was born and raised in Damascus.    In 1992, she immigrated to Canada but maintained close links with her family in Syria. There were joyful reunions back in Damascus, but in September 2015, a personal tragedy struck the Kurdi family. Tima’s younger brother Abdullah, his wife Rehanna, and their...
What dreams or ambitions did you have in the past?  And now? In the past I had an ambition to become a schoolteacher to participate in preparing a Syrian generation that is aware and cultured. However, my ambition has grown now and I want to become a university professor and a professional tour guide. How do you recognize that someone is...

Sanctioning Syria

Written by Chris Ray, this article was first published by Monthly Review Online, 10 January 2020 Sanctioning Syria By Chris Ray The United Nations was willing to pay for doors, windows and electrical wiring in Alaa Dahood’s apartment but not for repairs to her living room wall torn open by a mortar strike. That was deemed to be ‘reconstruction’—an aid category forbidden...
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October 2019 In Syrian cities and towns, it is normal for primary school students to attend a co-educational school and then for students to be streamed into single-sex secondary schools. (This isn't possible in many small regional schools, so high school students in the countryside often attend mixed classes.) Universities generally have mixed classes. Last month, on my visit to Dar...
To be very honest, the so-called “Arab Spring” fooled a majority of Syrians! Many of them recognized sooner or later that the media deceived them and that what has been happening wasn’t really initiated by the people, but rather orchestrated by foreign powers, while others still believe in the “Arab Spring” even now! What makes me proud to be Syrian...
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In September 2019 on a visit to Damascus, I interviewed Athar, a Syrian woman who has been in her church scout group since she was 15 years old. We chatted in Beit Jabri, a popular restaurant in old Damascus. Athar explained that her scout group meets once a week for band practice and for activities for the children. Also, at their...
Days full of music and joy I came to Australia with my family in March 2015, so I have been here for two years. We are sorry that we had to come here as refugees, but we feel very lucky to be able to come here.  We are really grateful to the people of Australia for accepting us and...
What makes you proud to be Syrian? I’m proud to be Syrian because Syria has been always an important country since the beginning of humanity. Syria is a secular country. Can you explain what this means to a non-Syrian? As a Christian, I can say that in Syria I lived the same life I’m living in Italy and I had the same freedom. In...