Friday, December 13, 2019
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In 1992, The Washington Post published a favourable review of Dr Bouthaina Shaaban’s book, ‘Both Right and Left Handed; Arab Women Talk About Their Lives’ (first published in 1988). Dr Bouthaina was born in the 1950s and grew up in a village in countryside Homs. When the Washington Post review was published, she had a PhD in English Literature from...
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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...
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https://youtu.be/BKj-X5PuFdU Interview with 16-year-old twins, Sarah and Maya Sarah and Maya Ghassali are 16-year-old twins who migrated from Syria during the civil war in 2012 Melbourne, Australia. They are passionate about helping refugees and in doing so have started their own podcast 'Refugees on air' where they interview refugees about their inspiring stories. Everyday they aim to make positive changes in...
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...
How do you recognize that someone is Syrian?  Are there any common characteristics? Syrians are distinguished for being kind to everyone, even to strangers. For example, a Syrian would rush to give a helping hand to a blind person to cross the street. Another instance, a Syrian would immediately help an old person carrying heavy things into his/her house. A...
What makes you proud to be Syrian? Sometimes I feel shame when I see the crimes that some Syrians are doing in the name of God, but when I remember how Syria used to be and how the Syrian people are facing this crisis and how they build hope and life from the ashes I feel so proud to be...
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...
What makes you proud to be Syrian? I feel proud to be Syrian because I believe we have a special stable identity however much we shift from one place to another. Our identity is represented by the way we interact, engage, behave and move towards a vision. It does not relate to the material things we have. From a vision...
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...
Syria is a secular country. Can you explain what this means to a non-Syrian? If anyone visited Syria, they could see with their own eyes the freedom of belief, the different nationalities, the respect for everyone and the equality of men and women in all fields of life. What does the concept of personal freedom mean to you? Personal freedom means respecting...