Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

a post-Assad Syria

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Challenges for Israel


Burgas – London – Burgas

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Turning Back!


Illegal Immigrants

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

In Israel


Why Activists

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

are Failing in the UAE


Why Russia Supports Syria

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Amid the chorus of international condemnation for Bashar Al-Assad, Russia’s disapproval has been decidedly tepid. (more…)

Lebanon life and the arts

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

If one were living in a romantic, old seaside village in Lebanon; tending to gardening and the simpler life; without TV; without newspaper; without internet news stories about the world; then Lebanon would seem a pretty calm place to live. (more…)

A Current of Faith – By Mary Fitzgerald

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

As a divided Libya heads toward a historic vote, an Islamic “frame of reference” unites the country’s political neophytes.


BENGHAZI, Libya – On a recent evening in Benghazi, as the sun dipped low over the Mediterranean, a stout, bespectacled man in a suit stepped, to wild applause, onto a stage erected on the city’s Kish Square. The man was Mohammed Sawan, a long-standing member of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, who is from Misrata, and who, after spending years in Muammar al-Qaddafi’s jails, is now leader of its affiliated Justice and Construction Party (JCP). JCP is fielding the largest number of candidates in Libya’s national assembly elections to be held on July 7. “Our revolution started from here,” Sawan began, going on to pay tribute to the martyrs of Benghazi.

WikiLeaks releases Syrian emails

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Wikileaks is at it again, this time releasing more than 2 million “embarrassing” emails from Syrian government and business officials.

The emails, which date from August 2006 to March 2012, are coming to light as Syria remains embroiled in 16-month violent rebellion.

“The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents. It helps us not merely to criticize one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it,” Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement on the group’s website.

What the U.S. should do about Egypt’s Military, and why it will Never Happen

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Earlier this week, Egypt’s military “transferred power to the military,” as the Masry Al-Youm newspaper put it.  (more…)

How is Syria now like Afghanistan then?

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Recently, I’ve been reading Stephen Coll’s  insightful and terrifying book Ghost Wars, about the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the creation of Al Qaeda (more…)

Syria’s violence Spills over borders

Friday, June 8th, 2012

For more than a year, and particularly in recent months, the “Syrian crisis” has dominated Middle East news.  (more…)

Who will Flame burn?

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

It’s a scenario familiar from thousands of science fiction movies: a glitch in a highly destructive secret weapon causes it to turn on its creators and destroy them.  (more…)

A Nation Comes Together As One Family In Grief

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

On Wednesday morning, the bodies of the four people killed in the shootings at a Jewish School in Toulouse, France, arrived in Jerusalem for burial, and the nation came together as one family in grief. (more…)

The Syrian Crisis

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Viewpoint from a Syrian in Lebanon whose family is still in Holms

On March 23, 2012, a Syrian man named Hussein was walking by the Sea Port in Lebanon with a sad look on his face. His heart was somewhere else. (more…)

The Free Syrian Army; the West;

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Road to/from Bekka Valley between Lebanon and Syria [Photo: Haifa J. Church]

and Syrian President Bashar Assad


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama



A New Army in Israel?

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Wailing Wall Soldier, Jerusalem [Photo: Jacob Wodzynski]

Or a Return to the Old?


WikiLeaks vs the Israeli Government, a New Battlefront?

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Assange Truth Will Out
The website Wikileaks, made claim this week, that the Iranian nuclear infrastructure has already been destroyed, in an attack orchestrated by Israeli and Kurdish fighters several months ago.  (more…)

May Chidiac: a noble Lebanese journalist and the tension in Syria

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Annaya Lebanon [Photo: Haifa J. Church]
May Chidiac, a courageous Maronite Christian Lebanese Journalist, literally lost an arm and a leg in an assassination attempt (more…)

Integrating the Haredim and not just on the Buses

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Israel Jerusalem Wailingwall
The delicate balance between the ultra-religious, national-religious, and secular Israelis has always been wrought, (more…)

Seeing Part of the Story

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Fake photo circulated on the Web
Israelis all over the country were putting up their defensive guards this week, as a photograph surfaced on with the caption “An Israeli soldier holding down a Young Palestinian Girl”.  (more…)

Sanctioning Iran and where that puts Israel

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajhad
Israelis are feeling that they finally have support when it comes to Iran, as sanctions introduced by the European Union this week include a ban on oil imports from the country.  (more…)

The Cost of Living and How it Depends on your Standards

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Market in  Jerusalem, Israel
Jews and Christians world over donate generously to the Israeli cause, (more…)

Division by Skin Color…Reality rears its Ugly Head

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Ethiopian Boys playing at an Israeli absorption Center [Vadim Lavrusik]
In what is quickly becoming a trend of protests throughout Israel (beginning with the tent protests which started in Tel Aviv last summer, and including the current gender equality campaign) another voice is now calling for attention. (more…)

The ‘Price Tag’ of Angering the Extreme Right, and who is Paying

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

A continuing spate of hate crimes claimed two Arab owned vehicles in Jerusalem this week, which were torched while parked overnight.  (more…)

NATO-Russian Faceoff Could Ensnare Israel

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Heightened Vigilance In Israel
TEL AVIV – President Barack Obama and his NATO partners remain delusional and are now probably quaking in their designer shoes over a potential military confrontation with the Big Russian Bear. (more…)

A Nuclear Iran: Could it be the incentive for Israel and the United States to Join Forces?

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

A Nuclear Israel and Iran
Israel has long expressed concern over Iran’s ongoing nuclear enrichment program, and the failure of other nations to intervene. (more…)

3 Years from Operation Cast Lead, Tensions in Gaza Escalating Once Again

Friday, December 30th, 2011

It has been 3 Years since Operation Cast Lead, a 3 week offensive in Gaza which began in late 2008 and ended in January of 2009.  (more…)

When the News is all about The News

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The Israeli Knesset, where a vote recently decided the fate of Channel 10

In an era when freedom of the media has become a hot button issue in many nations around the world and in particular, in the Middle East, Israel is fighting an apparently different and more internal battle.  (more…)

A Return to Rosa Parks? Women in Israel must also fight for their place on the bus

Monday, December 19th, 2011

A Return to Rosa Parks? Women in Israel must also fight for their place on the bus.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently commented that the status of Israel as a democracy is in danger, due mostly to its increasingly worrisome treatment of women. (more…)

The Fight For Human Rights in Afghanistan

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Afghan Elections 2009 (Kandahar) / Élections afghanes 2009 (Kandahar)

In a rare triumph of human rights in Afghanistan, a young woman who was jailed for “zina” (adultery) has been pardoned by President Karzai. (more…)

Scores murdered as Syria intensifies crackdown

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Dumair, one of a number of predominately Sunni populated towns in Syrian, has been under siege by security forces cracking down on anti-government protests.

Saudi Arabia finally joined the growing international chorus of condemnation against Assad’s regime. But is it too little and too late? (more…)

Analysts: What Is Happening in Yemen ‘Desperate Attempt of Confused Saleh’; No Fear Of Civil War

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Gunbattle in Yemen as Saleh remains defiant a day after he backed out of deal to quit.

The most recent developments in Yemen including the deadly clashes in the capital Sana’a and the refusal of President Saleh to conclude a GCC power transition deal raised fears whether Yemen will fall in civil conflict, especially as President Saleh continued to blame the unrest on others and warn of war.  (more…)

Embattled Saleh Again Backs Out Of Power Transition Deal

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign a GCC-brokered power transition deal on Sunday, shortly after his party and its partners concluded the deal that would see him out of power in return for immunity from prosecution and end month-long protests. (more…)


Monday, April 4th, 2011

Yemeni anti-government protester chants slogans during a demonstration against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen. Photo Credit: Ahmad Gharabli/Getty Images

In another stunning reversal of policy, the U.S. now seeks the removal of Yemen’s besieged president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a long supported and key ally of Washington in the fight against al-Qaeda in the strategic Arabian Peninsula. (more…)

Dozens Killed as Yemen Government Loses Mind amid Escalating Unrest

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Yemen: pro-Saleh forces and thugs shot directly at unarmed anti-government protesters

At least 42 people were killed and hundreds injured, tens in critical condition, when the security forces and the government supporters attacked the  protesters in the square of change outside Sana’a University in Yemen’s capital on Friday.


Countless Sacrifices as Yemen Uprising Gains Further Momentum

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

SANA’A, YEMEN- Several people were killed and a countless number of others, hundreds maybe a thousand, injured, many seriously, in some Yemeni cities including the capital Sana’a where the security forces attacked early Saturday morning the tens of thousands of the sit-inners outside Sana’a University. (more…)

1 Dies, Scores Hurt as Live Ammunition, Prohibited Teargas Fired at Sit-Inners

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

An anti-government sit-inner died from his injuries on Wednesday a day after riot police and pro-regime bullies opened fire at and sniped a group of the thousands of the youths who have been conducting a sit-in outside Sana’a University in Yemen’s capital for a fourth week. (more…)

Libya edges closer to freedom

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Colonel Gaddafi facing his last days as leader of Libya

In the past few weeks, the world has watched with amazement at the scenes in Libya. Thousands of protesters have lined the streets, demanding the resignation of Colonel Gaddafi. Only a few weeks previously in Egypt, the former president Hosni Mubarak refused to step down. Yet he was fully aware that he had lost control and respect of his people. Colonel Gaddafi on the other hand, is still under the illusion that he can hold onto power in Libya. Only today he stated: ‘all my people love me’.

Colonel Gaddafi still has a following of loyal supporters. A minority of people who believe that he should not step down. However, the vast majority of the population in Libya crave the resignation of their leader. The only last defence for Gaddafi is the capital city of Tripoli.

While other areas of the country have been taken over by those opposed to the regime, the capital of Tripoli still remains as a stumbling block. However many argue that it is only a matter of days before the activists take control of the city. Accoring to reports in The Independent, many areas in outlying districts of Tripoli have been abandoned by the security forces.

The uprising in Libya has proved to be very eventful and intriguing to watch. The world has watched with disdain as reports stated that forces loyal to Gaddafi had shot and killed large numbers of protesters. It appears that only Tripoli stands in the way of the activists and Gaddafi. The dictator may still believe that ‘all his people love him’, but once the rebels take control of the capital city, Gaddafi’s reign of power will have reached a distasteful conclusion.

A “Tienanmen Moment” Approaches in Egypt

Friday, February 4th, 2011

A tense calm prevails in Tahrir Square of the Egyptian capital, as Mubarak approaches the proverbial fork in the road as Egypt faces its “Tienanmen Moment“. (more…)

A Benchmark of Progress, Electrical Grid Fails Iraqis

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

As the American combat mission officially ends this month, Iraq’s government is still struggling to provide one of the most basic services, generating disillusionment and dissent.

News Analysis: American and Iraqi Versions Differ in Latest Chapters of War’s Story

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

In some instances, as in the release of casualty statistics, the Americans publicly showcase their own data, which consistently show many fewer violent deaths than Iraqi figures.

Prospects Abound Among the Kurds

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

As America winds down its war effort in Iraq, a growing list of former American diplomats and military officials are now chasing business opportunities in the oil-rich Kurdish region or acting as advisers to its government.

Iran scientist ‘free to leave US’

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The US insists that an Iranian nuclear scientist who has turned up in the country is there voluntarily and is free to leave.

‘Abducted’ Iranian surfaces in US

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

A nuclear scientist at the centre of a US-Iran abduction row takes refuge in the Iranian section of Pakistan’s US embassy.

UK envoy’s blog draws Israel ire

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Israel criticises Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon for eulogising a late Lebanese cleric said to have inspired Hezbollah.

Deadly bombings hit Iraq pilgrims

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

At least 33 people are killed and 100 wounded in a series of bomb attacks on Shia pilgrims near a Baghdad shrine, police say.

Iranian aircraft ‘refused fuel’

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Iran says Britain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates are refusing to provide fuel to Iranian passenger planes.

Turks threaten break with Israel

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Turkey threatens for the first time to break diplomatic ties with Israel – hardening its stance over a raid on Gaza aid ships.

Hezbollah ‘mentor’ dies in Beirut

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Lebanon’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah, seen as a mentor to militant group Hezbollah, has died aged 74.

Biden in Iraq amid poll deadlock

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

US Vice-President Joe Biden arrives in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi leaders, amid deadlock over the formation of a government.

Munich Olympics massacre man dies

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

The Palestinian mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre that killed 11 Israeli athletes, Mohammed Oudeh, dies.

‘Stability’ Mission In Iraq Won’t Mean End of Fighting

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Even after a reduction in troop numbers, American forces will still hunt terrorists after the August deadline that President Obama set for the end of the combat mission in Iraq.

Turkey back to talks with Israel

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Israel holds its first high-level meeting with Turkey since Turkish activists were killed on an aid ship bound for Gaza.

Persian Gulf now in range of Israeli drone fleet

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Military in Israel unveils a fleet of huge unmanned aircraft capable of reaching the Persian Gulf. The announcement comes as pressure mounts on Iran over it’s nuclear ambitions. (more…)

The Girls of Riyadh

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Tonight, I read slowly, something that those who know me well, know happens too infrequently.

I read the voice of a young woman, and am struck by something she felt worthy to be placed among the pages. I have not referenced and cross-referenced, I simply put this here for a note of familiarity, The Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Alsanea, pp. 73-74):

Rid yourself of woe and tears

Instead of crying years and years

Oh You who’ve wept the traitor man

Weep on today, if you well can.

But watch that no one sees tears fall

For such will please the traitors all.

I can’t shut up! They stoned a young girl because she dared to LOVE, down with honor killings!

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

I posted earlier this evening on a tragic event.

I cited to CNN video, and my first comment received on this blog let me know the link was not working.

The original link I provided was on CNN.  I provided it because I was horrified and in some ways felt it was yet another tragic screaming cry to wake up as women.  It appeared the link was removed or moved, but we then found it again with the help of a blogger who posted a comment to our piece.

I went back and forth as to whether to delete the link.  Deleting it would not erase that it happened and people stood by and watched.  But the thought of viewing the atrocity, the mere fact that it could be recorded, that it does occur became overwhelming.  I don’t know what’s right, I don’t know if the link should remain or not, for now, it is off of the post.  Below is the original post. You can read an updated link to the story on News Yahoo.

A link to the story on Care to Connect is listed below at the end of this post.

Original Post

I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it…………… kids have been brave enough to do in front of their peers, Stand Up & Speak Out, we must do. There must be a way.

This young girl’s crime was to “love”. Do you get it? To love, the basis of every damn religion proscribed, ok, maybe there are some I don’t know of that espouse hate, but she loved.

Did you see her, this beautiful human being?

And to think when I was on the way home from work all I could think was if we could just leave the “children” alone, if we could simply let their innocence and pure wisdom blossom, there would be a chance for humanity. If we could just not brainwash them into the dictates of society.

And now?

Now this?

Are you kidding me?

How evil can we get? To kill because someone, a child, a child, dared to love.

I can’t even stand to be in my own skin, living in this world where we encourage it…and yes, we do…we do when women can’t even be elected to the highest office in the “most free” country, and I love this country, I love America and as much as I struggle with suppressing ego, my ego does reign when I truly and freely say: I love being an American. I won the lottery of birth.

Yet, as a woman, that was once a girl, and now plays in a man’s world, I see the limitations, but I also see the possibilities. But what possibilities can there be in a country that kills its young for loving?

I like to close my eyes to violence. I won’t watch “scary” movies, I think they are incredibly stupid to put out that negative message, that imagery, to people that can’t help themselves because they are that damaged by this world and will think it is the right thing to do, to hurt others.

Have I made myself clear?

I find it unacceptable to hurt others. Period.

Watch the video.  A 17 year old girl in Iraq, ignored “local custom”. Security forces looked on, she was dragged from her home, they STONED her, people stood by and watched. Did you see how beautiful she is? People sat with cell phones and took pictures.

An honor killing.

What God does anyone believe in that thinks God would want a child killed?


Not GOD.

She was a baby in this world, dragged from her home, adults, ADULTS, standing by watching.

What will it take for any of us to wake up?

See previous post

See also: Care2Connect

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