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Syrian civil war

  • Goodbye to the Syrian intellectual who sought to liberate his homeland

    Sadiq Jalal al-Azm, who passed away last week, was a Syrian intellectual of the highest order. He placed a mirror in front of both the Arab world and its tendency to blame the West for all its ills. By Dror Ze'evi The Arab states are in trouble. Their citizens are unable to break through the walls of prejudice, they fail to significantly contribute to the intellectual currents of the world, and women and minorities are excluded from taking part in society and the state. Arabs are trapped by ignorance and are exploited by their leaders, which make cynical use of…

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  • What I'm doing to help the Syrian people

    Read up, share information, attend protests, donate to NGOs. This is what we can do to help Syrians. By Elizabeth Tsurkov A number of people have asked me what they can do about the situation in Aleppo or Syria. My answer to them is to donate money and spread information about what is happening there. [tmwinpost] Although the situation in Aleppo and other besieged areas in Syria is horrifying, donating to these areas means higher prices in a place where there is limited number of goods. Moreover, due to the high prices of goods in areas under siege, the money spent on one meal…

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  • Syria, my love

    The Syria that was once an icon of enlightenment and education has been erased, crushed under barrel bombs and proxy power struggles, as the world watches and waits to see how it will all end. What, after all, have we learned from history?   Run, run away all you strong and invulnerable Israelis, and all you Palestinian freedom fighters pursuing liberation from the occupation, Jewish and Arab human rights activists, seekers of peace and fellowship between peoples. Let’s all run away from Aleppo, Idlib, Palmyra, Raqqa, Homs and all the Syrian cities that have been destroyed. [tmwinpost] Who needs to see more…

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  • Al Jazeera video captures horror at Aleppo children's hospital

    The attack, scenes of which have been airing all day across the Arab world, comes after a week of relentless bombardment by the Assad regime, during which Aleppo’s battered medical facilities have been forced out of service or underground. In a devastating video broadcast by Al Jazeera Saturday, two nurses in an Aleppo children’s hospital break down in tears as they rescue emaciated newborns from a neonatal intensive care unit. Moments earlier, the room had filled with dust from a massive explosion, also heard on camera. [tmwinpost] The attack, scenes of which have been airing all day across the Arab world,…

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  • The silent occupation: Bringing pre-1967 Golan Heights back to life

    With war raging over Israel's border with Syria, it's easy to forget that the Golan Heights — a buffer between the two countries — is occupied territory. But occupied it is, and the landscape bears witness to a history of violence and expulsion. "The sky fell to earth, the stars turned to stones..." — Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun I’m standing at the top of a crumbling minaret, looking into Syria. The tower belongs to a mosque in the destroyed Circassian village of Sur’aman, whose ruins are gradually being consumed by the woods around them. In the distance lies…

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  • The Syrian child who became a symbol in Beirut — and Germany

    Twelve-year-old Fares al-Khodor sold roses in West Beirut for five years until he was killed in an airstrike during a visit to his hometown in Syria. Touched by the massive outpouring from people who knew him in Lebanon, artist Yazan Halwani brought his memory all the way to Germany. By Avi Blecherman Yazan Halwani, a Lebanese street artist known as “the Banksy of Beirut,” went all the way to Dortmund, Germany in order to paint a portrait of Fares, a refugee Syrian child who was killed recently in the ongoing war. Fares al-Khodor, 12, charmed business owners and passersby with…

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  • Refugee crisis: Stranded at Hungary's barbed wire border

    Thousands of Syrian, Afghani, and Iraqi refugees are stranded on the border with Serbia after the Hungarian government refused them entry. The refugees, however, aren’t giving up so fast. By Oren Ziv HUNGARIAN-SERBIAN BORDER — On Tuesday at around midnight, dozens of reporters and cameramen stand together on the Hungarian side of the border with Serbia. A representative of the Hungarian government, Zoltan Kovacs, steps away from the border crossing and tells the reporters: "Starting tonight the border is closed. Today almost 10,000 migrants crossed here, and we are determined to bring back Europe's borders. "Unfortunately the Greeks are not…

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  • 'Water filled our boat, we saw death staring us in the face'

    Thousands of refugees sleep in tents, waiting to receive a permit to travel to Athens; women suffer from dehydration while the children re-enact the treacherous journey from their war-torn home countries to Western Europe. A special report from the Greek island of Kos.  Text and photos by Oren Ziv and Irene Nasser KOS, GREECE — Syrian children are playing in the water on the beach in front of the police station. The beach is occupied with tents and wooden shacks where refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan sleep every night. Afraid to get any further away from the police station,…

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  • UNRWA funding crisis puts 500k Palestinian children at risk

    A budget deficit of $101 million threatens to delay the start of the academic year in UNRWA schools. At a time of rising extremism, such an outcome could have consequences for states across the Middle East, the agency says. UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, is facing a budget deficit of $101 million for the coming year, the agency says. The shortfall threatens to delay the start of the academic year for UNRWA-run schools. At risk, too, are psychosocial support programs that are administered within UNRWA schools (those offered in health centers will continue to run). The scale…

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  • First, do no harm: Israel and the Druze in Syria

    Some Druze in Israel are campaigning for intervention to save their kin on the Syrian side of the border, but the Druze in Syria reject the idea out of hand. Instead, they are demanding that Israel stop supporting the people threatening to massacre them. By Rabah Halabi ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra are fanatical religious movements that pose a danger first and foremost to moderate and enlightened Islam, then to the Arab world, and humanity itself. These same dark forces are threatening the wellbeing and very existence of the Druze in Syria, because of their religious beliefs, which they have held…

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  • Finding my family in Yarmouk — then losing them again

    Six decades after the Nakba forced us into different corners of the world, social networks allowed us to reconnect with our families and villages. In Yarmouk, I found the people I should have grown up around—the ones who looked like me and my immediate family. And then war broke out in Syria, Facebook went dark and people disappeared, once again.  Those who do not have family members in Syria's refugee camps can watch the atrocities taking place on the news from far away, as if it were all just one big Hollywood horror movie: one that causes deep anguish for…

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  • Trapped between Assad and 'IS': Inside the capital of the 'Islamic State'

    Following a long period of quiet, the Syrian city of Raqqa is once again being shelled — this time by Assad’s forces. Residents have been forced to flee the shelling, along with IS’s extremist agenda. An interview with a resident of the 'Islamic State.' By Elizabeth Tsurkov Raqqa, the capital of the “Islamic State” in northern Syria, for the past two months has been forced once again to deal with a devastating phenomenon — indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian Air Force. According to reports from the local coordinating committee, a Syrian air force bombing of a bakery on Saturday took the…

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  • Syria: The moral imperative to act

    Some left-wing writers and spokespeople look to Syria and see Vietnam. They are terribly wrong. The moral and historic duty of any progressive person is to stand by the Syrian people's struggle for freedom and help them topple the genocidal Assad regime. By Assaf Adiv (translated from Hebrew by Ann Lavi) The U.S.-Russian Geneva agreement on disarming Syria of chemical weapons, signed in mid-September, has postponed the showdown with the Assad regime. As the world watches how this new collaboration between Putin and Obama works out, the real question for the Syrian people remains as before: how to end the killing.…

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