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She Defies Reality to Realize Her Dreams

(ST)- In her recently published novel, "The Curse of a Dream", the novelist and writer Khadija Baddour, describes the beauty of the Syrian countryside and its people who are characterized by simplicity, love, amity and dedication for others.

The 193- pages of medium-sized novel incarnates the character of a rural woman who is a model of the Syrian generous and helpful woman, who works hard for her family. However, she was a victim of her husband and her society and both of them halted and seized her dreams. Nevertheless, she remained steadfast and resisted all challenges to achieve what she aspires to and to rise up again as a phoenix. Although she becomes white-haired, her dreams have always been present and never vanished. She insisted waiting for achieving these dreams no matter how long does they take.

The novel shows the feelings of love and nostalgia, the novelist sought to devote in her work, to face the negative phenomena in society to conclude the curse of a dream in the hope that the dream will become a reality, referring to what the children of Palestine are doing, those children, who plant the flowers of resistance and water them with their pure blood, must grow up and achieve victory.

It is worth to mention that Mrs. Baddour is a poet, a story writer and social guide from Homs and has many works of fiction and documentation. She has a poetry collection entitled (Lamar).

Amal Farhat - Homs

Prof. Tim Anderson’s forthcoming book argues how definitive defeat of imperial forces necessitates integrated resistance

“Axis of Resistance: towards an independent Middle East” is the title of a new book written by Professor Tim Anderson and it deals with the end of the war on Syria and the wider elements of the regional conflict, in particular the prospects for a democratic Palestine, the character of the Resistance and the role of Iran.

It draws attention to the broad leitmotifs underpinning each particular history that are key to understanding both the parts and the whole, addressing myths about the wars and the resistance, while attempting a partial and provisional history of the conflicts.

“This focus on resistance is crucial to understanding the defeat of great powers, something not possible for any analysis which begins and ends with power,” according to the Australian author.

He affirms that like all imperial gambits before it Washington-led plan has been to subjugate the entire ME region – whether through the direct application of force, or through coalitions or proxies – to secure privileged access to its tremendous resources and then dictate terms of access to all other players.

Islamic Principles of Peace-Building

Today, the countries and communities can no longer afford to live in isolation from each other. In our closely interlinked world, peace and prosperity for everyone crucially depends on harmonious relations between communities and countries.

Islam, as per the Quran teachings and examples provides inspiration and appropriate guidance peaceful relations between communities and countries and for non- violent conflict resolution and peace building methods and approaches. Islam positively encourages its followers to work for peace and for harmonious relations between them and people belonging to other communities.

The role of Islam in conflict settlement and peace building has often been depicted in binary terms: it is seen as a source either of violence or of reconciliation. Islam is being seen as inherently violent and that all forms of Islamism are nothing but an antecedent of violence, terrorism and totalitarianism.

Islam has a very rich inheritance of addressing the conflicts in the world but sadly it is alleged as a part of problem not unlikely. The Islamic texts and Muslim heritage approaches to the conflict resolution drawn on religious values, presents a considerable wealth of responses based on positive solutions to the conflict.

Islam means to enter into a state of peace, through the submission to God. The Qur’an is the fundamental source of Islamic law. It contains norms for all areas of life, including also conflict and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

The conflict resolution mechanisms that have been developed and effectively applied to resolve conflicts in Islamic culture such as mediation ‘wasata’ reconciliation ‘sulh’, dialogue and ‘hiwar. In the Qur’an there are also general principles regarding peace building process.

  • Sulh: (conciliation) The Qur'an constantly uses the word ‘Sulh’ in resolving all types of conflicts. It means seeking peace, reconciliation, compromise and settlement. The Qur’an commends Suhl that means conciliation, as the superior moral course of action to be taken by disputing parties. The active form of the same commandments is ‘Islah’, that means to make something good, properly or to reconcile and settle. Reconciliation refers to different possible kind of amicable settlements, to compromises and to the willingness to submit the conflict to the decision of arbitrators ‘Hakam’.
  • Wasta: (Mediation) In peace- building process, one of the options to resolve dispute and conflicts is mediation ‘wasta’. The third-party mediator would ensure that all parties were satisfied with the outcome. Other practices could use ‘tahkeem’ or using intermediaries to represent the parties. These intermediaries should be able to represent the parties' position as clearly as possible to negotiate on their behalf, and guarantee that the parties receive a fair settlement.
  • Hiwar: (Negotiations) Negotiation is a powerful method for resolving conflicts. Negotiation is a diplomatic activity and it takes place in return to the exchange of information and understanding. The basic techniques are: Encouragement, compromise and bargaining. In Islam we find the most palpable negotiation technique compromise which was made functional by the Prophet of Islam in the treaty of Hudaybiya in order to reach to an agreement concerning the demands of both of Muslims and Quraish.

Negotiation is most powerful approach to find solutions of all divergent issues. The essential lesson from this plurality is to dialogue, collaborate and cooperate and develop a real healthy understanding of one another.

The Islamic precepts are meant to maintain peaceful, healthy, meaningful relationships with all of humanity, but sometimes, relationship is disrupted by conflicts, whether interpersonal, communal, national or international. Its restoration is essential for the sake of fairness and justice. Peace-building efforts work towards preventing an escalation of conflict and establishing a durable and self-sustaining peace.

Hence, to come out a concrete solution of dispute and conflict occurred in individual, national or international level, the Islamic mechanisms are mediation ‘wasata’ reconciliation ‘sulh’, dialogue and ‘hiwar. These are the essential steps for living in peace and resolving all conflicts and peace -building process.   

Dr. Meraj Ahmad Meraj

Assistant Professor

Department of Arabic, Aliah University, Kolkata

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Two hundred and fifty titles in a book fair at the Cultural Center in Homs

Homs, (ST)- The publications displayed by the Book Fair at the Cultural Center in Homs were varied to include literary studies and translations from English, French, Russian, novels and children's stories.

The 10- day exhibition was organized by "Linda House "for printing, distribution and publishing on the occasion of opening its branch in Homs, where poet Haifa' Omran Hassan has autographed the first edition of her Poetic collection entitled, Nafahat Wattan, " whiffs of Homeland".

As for the purpose of  holding the exhibition in Homs, the poet Linda Abdul-Baqi, the owner of the house, said : " We founded the house ten years ago in the city of Sweida and I have chosen the city of Homs to be a branch of the House due to the cultural heritage of the city, which has its distinctive mark in the literary field. In addition to the elite and prominent literary personalities in Homs that will contribute to a remarkable cultural renaissance, in which, the book will play a key role as it is the first source of the peoples' culture regardless of the technological development reached by those nations".

Visitors highlighted the exhibition in terms of the books and their authors who have their distinguished impression in the cultural domain inside and outside Syria.

Amal Farhat- Homs

Yoga: A Science of Peace and Harmony

Today, the world is witnessing several problems like terrorism, religious fanaticism, racial prejudices and hatred. In the atmosphere of uncertainty, distrust and fear caused due to terrorism and religious hatred could be dealt with by spreading the philosophy of yoga that aims to restore peace in mind, body and spirit.

The International Day of Yoga was created to bring harmony and peace for humanity in entire word. Peace has therefore, become a necessary condition for man’s survival. To be in a position to abolish war or to achieving global peace requires internal harmony and peace within the nation states. Yoga brings message of harmony and peace; it brings people together as well as preaches to the world.

Yoga has a unique capability to moulds one's behavior, awakens one's potentials, perfects his attitudes and perception, sets standards of social, emotional, mental and intellectual life, brings changes in the outer and internal world. Yoga is practiced not only to achieve perfect health but also to achieve professional, personal, social and spiritual excellence in life.

Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word “yujir” meaning to yoke, to bind, to unite. Here the word union represents the best and the highest union so that human being can live, move and act in Health, Harmony and Happiness. It aims at the melodious progress of the mind, body and the soul.

Yoga believes that peace starts from within, then and only then can it be extended outward to others and the community. When we suffer, we tend to be more willing to inflict pain and misery upon others and ourselves, whether through words, actions, and energy. Creating a practice of non-violence towards oneself and others allow each individual to gain a stronger sense of well-being, thus reducing their negative impact on the world. The ultimate impact is the realizations that we can each contribute to creating a more peaceful, healthy global society by becoming more peaceful and healthier.

Yoga is a science that tries to understand the root cause of all sufferings facing the human race, offers a sound philosophy and different practices to bring to an end to all sufferings. Yoga brings an end to all sufferings -physical, mental, emotional, social, professional and spiritual. The ancient scriptures claim that yoga is practiced to bring an end to all kinds of sufferings.

The essence of humanity is based on peace. Humility, gratitude; forgiveness, compassion, and honesty are virtuous qualities of a peaceful and harmonious life. Humility is cultivated in yoga by being noncompetitive and not seeking to create the perfect posture, but to admit fragility and taking care of your body and mind.

Inner peace does not mean merely a state of inner being, which ignores the reality of human suffering. Rather, holistic peace is seen as encompassing an individual compassion for human need, coupled with a sincere attempt at identifying with and helping to transform the suffering of others. Yoga following the inner path of spirituality dropping aside all rituals and rites of religion brings all religions to one single platform.

Yoga is a universal science and technique. Yoga is an agreement between the individual and the universe. It is Universal in its approach and applicable to all human beings irrespective of sex, age, caste, creed or religion. Now, yoga has become a Universal culture. It works on the whole of the individual, so it is meant for the development of the whole of mankind on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels.

Yoga is science of self in relation to outer world. Yoga helps to bring subtle attitudinal change in life. Yoga aims to transform the body and mind by bringing it into sound state. Yoga is a scientific and a powerful technique to master instinctive behavior of human beings. It aims at the melodious progress of the mind, body and soul. Yoga transforms the brain and brain has deposits of all our past impressions, conflicts, dualities, problems and worries, by practice yoga, brain transforms into peace, harmony and love.

Dr. Meraj Ahmad Meraj

Assistant Professor

Department of Arabic, Aliah University, Kolkata

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.