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Even Statues Beheaded in Syria?!!

The Takfiri mentality of the armed terrorist groups in Syria was not satisfied with killing innocent people. Barbarism also targeted the cultural heritage and symbols of enlightenment and civilization of which the country has over ages been proud.

In a recent, but very dangerous development, the statue of great Arab philosopher poet Abu al-Alaa al-Ma’arri (973-1058) was beheaded by Jabhet al-Noura terrorists in the poet’s hometown Ma’arret al-Nouman in Idelb, northern Syria. This act of vandalism was carried out under the pretext that al-Ma’arri was a kafir and a libertine. The statue, which was also riddled with bullets, is located at the town’s cultural center which was built around the tomb of the blind poet.

Days later, the head of the statue of prominent Arab blind writer Taha Hussein was also cut off in Egypt, the scene of bloody clashes between the extremist government of President Mohammad Mursi and the Egyptians who reject the way he rules the country. It isn’t by coincidence that these two statues have been vandalized almost at the same time, because both groups of vandals share the same regressive dark mentality which fights enlightenment and free thinking.

The question is from whom those vandals are taking revenge? Is it from knowledge, history or culture? I wonder why al-Ma’arri, the prominent Abbasid-era figure, is still causing troubles to those narrow-minded extremists. Besides, could one tell me what the head of an Arab philosopher’s statue has to do with the ongoing events in Syria?

Those calling themselves “jihadists”, who committed this heinous crime, thought that by cutting off living or stone heads they can prevent people to think freely. They are absolutely wrong, because, attacking the statue can’t harm the immortal place this great Arab philosopher, poet and philanthropist has in the world.

Moreover, despite the fact that al-Ma’arri, who lost his sight at 4 because of smallpox, was a reclusive person and skeptical in his beliefs, he was a free thinker and no one dared to attack him as he has been one of the icons of Arab cultural and intellectual heritage. But foreign-backed Takfiri groups had a different view that pushed them to harvest the head of his statue instead of studying what he had written.

 The statue of al-Ma’arri was built to honor the memory of a great cultural figure of which millions of Syrians are proud. One wonders how much weakness and hatred those vandals do carry in their hearts to Syria and its history. However, I want to tell the Syrians, involved in such crimes: Wake up! You are leading your homeland towards hell. You are erasing your history. Do you think that the Western, regional and Gulf countries, which are now backing you, do care about your lives? Be sure that by the time you lose the battle in Syria, you will soon find yourselves alone facing your fate without any more foreign help.

This heartbreaking act of cultural vandalism has angered millions of Syrians nationwide. Many Syrians expressed their condemnation of the act by stressing that the war against the government doesn’t give justification for anyone to destroy the cultural heritage of the country.

“Your barbarity will not destroy the philosophy of al-Ma’arri. It lives and you go. Ideas don’t go,” a facebook post said.

No doubt, despite all vandalism crimes, history will continue to commemorate the works of al-Ma’arri, the writer of "Risalat al-Ghufran" (Message of Forgiveness) which inspired Dante's Divine Comedy,  and those of Taha Hussein, the Dean of Contemporary Arab Literature and a pioneer of enlightenment. Only those vandals will go to the dustbin of history.

H. Mustafa

What Does Syria Need?




"What Syria needs is objective, real and unbiased assistance in addition to the encouragement of concerned parties to engage themselves in national dialogue with the purpose of solving the crisis in Syria,'' underlined Dr. Bashar al-Jafari, the Syrian Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ambassador's al-Jafari's recent declaration was received by the more of expected anti-Syria lethal intransigency, reckless and foolish responses, especially from the so-called ''friends of Syria'' Rome meeting. Unsurprisingly, the meeting, though the number of participating countries was decreased by two thirds compared to previous similar meetings,  was attended by representatives of those countries which are indeed responsible for the shedding of Syrians' blood like Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and USA. These very countries, according to their officials'' statements and media outlets, not only, harbour, train, and arm the terrorists in action inside Syria, but also impose unjust sanctions on the Syrians, and set their notorious prisons inmates free in return for 'jihadist' suicide missions in Syria.

Thus, all what Rome witnessed yesterday was but a farce in the full meaning of the word. The statements issued by participating officials are contradictory and reflect but either ignorance about the reality on the Syrian ground and the presence of armed to teeth terrorists from tens of countries worldwide, or reflect the more of anti-Syrians reckless stances, which would cause but a severe headache to the participating countries themselves and to their puppets and allies in the countries neighbouring Syria.

US new Secretary of State, John Kerry, made a poor unbalanced and biased start in Rome in his new career. Flagrantly and blatantly, Kerry declared the more of financial aid to the opposition, which reflects but a tiny portion of the Syrians and represent only itself and the countries which designated it. The US $60 million will be spent for the more of killing, destruction and chaos. The US and western covert and even overt programs to mushroom, train and hire terrorists have been much talked about by foreign media, the last of which by the Times, and NY Times. “We’re doing this, but other countries are doing other things,” Kerry said, yes it is crystal clear that your country and the others are doing and exerting every effort to weaken, and defeat Syria and the majority of Syrians, but in vain, thanks to the Syrian Army heroism and to Syrians' unity and steadfastness.

McClatchy Newspaper, run by the US army, stressed that Israel coordinates with the USA in the domain of supplying the armed opposition in Syria with weapons, quoting Israeli officials as saying “Israel is consulting with the American officials over the weapons sent to the armed groups in Syria, and it closely watches all types of the most complicated weapons that can be sent to these groups.'' Actually, many of the confiscated weapons of the armed terrorists are Israeli-made ones, not to mention other EU brands. The EU, supposedly an assembly of every human, free and democratic institutions, increased its supply of armored vehicles, non-lethal and lethal military equipment and technical aid. "The ministers pledged more political and material support to the (Syrian National) coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and to get more concrete assistance (into) Syria,"

It would have been better for Rome's meeting final statement instead of deploring "the unabated arms supply to the regime by third countries'' to call on its attendees to refrain from arming the terrorists on the ground, who so far have slaughtered thousands of innocent Syrians, not to mention their destruction of even Mosques and Churches!

''The suffering endured by the Syrian people'' as cited in the final statement is caused but by the countries attending Rome meeting. Every State has the legitimate right to defend its sovereignty and citizens against every form of terrorism. Rome Statement's 'sympathy' with ''Syria’s neighbors that are carrying a heavy burden due to increasing refugees’ flows'' was expected. However, the statement stopped short from declaring clearly that these neighbors are themselves responsible for such 'flows', not to mention these countries' inhuman tackling of the displaced issue as an exploitation bargaining chip.

The Coalition and Sheikh al-Khatib himself are NOT the ''sole legitimate representative of the Syrian People''; Rome, the city of peace, love and coexistence, should have pity on more than 23 million of the Syrians, who are indeed embarrassed when they are solely represented by at best such tens of Syrians handpicked by the ewes and petrodollars. It is a shame when the statement declares support to what it called ''the Supreme Military Command of the Free Syrian Army.'' Do those who stood by and objected to the enlisting of 'al-Nusra' front deserve such a support! Or is it the required ''objective, real and unbiased assistance'' and ''encouragement of concerned parties to engage themselves in national dialogue with the purpose of solving the crisis in Syria''?


Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim




Aleppo's Burglar

Turkish thief-premier, Erdogan, should be held accountable for his destructive role not only in the shedding of the Syrians' blood, but also for his looting of the Syrians' means  of living, particularly in the steadfast city of Aleppo. The gangs of Erdogan, many of them have Turkish nationality with extremist identity, have been spreading destruction, fear, insecurity and instability in Aleppo and elsewhere inside Syria.

The terrorist gangs in action in Aleppo assassinated many businessmen, burning factories to ashes, after robbing machinery and smuggling  them to Turkey. For example. 'al-Oulabi' factory was burnt, its owner, Bassam al Oulabi killed causing a halt in Aleppo's textile industry, not to mention the thousands turned jobless in the aftermath of such a  heinous crime.

'Al-Weis' Family Factory was also robbed, its owner Mohammad al-Weis killed in tandem with increasing phenomena of kidnapping and ransoms targeting thousands of Aleppo's elites among the rich, and industrialists. Erdogan's gangs spread death and fear in Aleppo, cutting roads, blowing up railways, roads and  oil pipelines, attacking every commercial convoy in the city.

According to a report published recently by the Lebanese Al-Akhbar Daily, with the opening of Turkey's borders with Syria, acts of looting, assassination, escalated in Aleppo, where more than a thousand factory were dismantled and smuggled into Turkey; the losses reached more than  300 Billion SYP. Even the iron inside these factories was robbed in pieces to be melted inside Turkey as scraps.

According to Aleppo industrialist, Mohamad Bitar, the armed terrorists broke into the family's factor, and cut the 15-meter length  machineries before selling them as scraps with a low price in Turkey.

Abo Ahmad, who refused to be named in fear of reprisals, stated that his textile factory at Sheikh Nejar in Aleppo was ransacked and looted, swearing, as a hawker now  in Aleppo streets, that he would not sell a Turkish commodity. 

It is but a systematic destruction of Aleppo industry as to change Aleppo into a market for Turkish commodities.

Aleppo's Industry Chambers Chairman, Fares al-Shihabi, who addressed an authentic report to Foreign and Expatriates Ministry about Erdogan's systematic looting of Aleppo's industry, asserted that the citizens of Aleppo regard Erdogan as the 'burglar of Aleppo'.

Thus, the burglar of Aleppo should be ashamed of himself and shut his mouth when it comes to Syrians,  who did suffer the unbearable at the hands of his Ottoman colonial ancestors. Erdogan, the leader of 'Justice and Development Brotherhood, and who  was tight-lipped when Israel killed his citizens in its heinous May 2010 barbaric  attack on a Turkish aid ship,  is indeed responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent Syrians and should be  in fetters in  the dock  to face trial  as a war criminal.


Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Terrorism NOT to hinder Syria's Legitimate Self-defense




Once more and in unabated pace, terrorism hit many cities and villages in Syria. Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabited capital worldwide, was savagely hit by a series of coward and merciless suicide attacks. The heinous savage attacks targeted a crowded civilian area in the center of Damascus, al-Thawra Street, near a hospital, Mosque, and a school.

The scene was indeed horrible: burnt and charred cars, corpses, human body parts and blood littering the area, school bags, some loafs of bread, food and uneaten sandwiches for the school children burning in sadness and anger, screams, tears and no answers, the beloved succumbed to their severe injuries, roasted human flesh, tears filled our eyes but with more strength and determination. And tens of martyrs passed away, scores hospitalized, sirens of ambulances and fire fighters cars, a scene indeed beyond any description.

Once more, the souvenirs of death, sent by the so-called ' friends of Syria' gangs take the more of innocent Syrians' life. The only means left for terrorists and their supporters is the more of lethal indiscriminate suicide attacks. The perpetrators of such massacres have no humanity, religion, reason; they do have the blind support of anti-Syrians 'friends' and 'ewes'. The closer the crisis in Syria to be sorted out via dialogue, the more severe the attacks against Syrians become. The scheme is to destroy this beautiful country of civilization, history, heritage and fraternity and amity.

Some forces would claim to call for political solution, but, work on the ground through their cells of terrorists, spies, and takfiri extremists to fuel more and more the crisis at the expense of the Syrian pure blood. These forces of darkness and ignorance work not only to feed, shelter, and arm terrorists on the ground, but also to block even any shy move at the UN Security Council to condemn the heinous terrorism perpetrated against the Syrians. This flagrant anti-Syrians measure by UN Security Council permanent members, France, Germany and recently USA, does, as the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry statement outlined, cast more doubts about  'seriousness in combating terrorism and commitment to implementing resolutions''.

Terrorism is NOT to prevent Syria from defending its citizens and Syria will continue combating terrorism in line with the ongoing efforts to implement the political program to solve the crisis through dialogue among all Syrians.

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim  




Al-Jazeera Decline

Anti-Syrians semi-international war has not only used the takfiri, extremist and multi-national terrorists, smuggling of weapons and 'non-lethal' sophisticated technology, but further exploited media means as a weapon of fabrications, lies, psychosocial war, propaganda and even as a means of giving directions and orders to the terrorists on the Syrian ground. For example, the Qatari Al-Jazeera Satellite TV has almost put aside all world news and accorded all of its efforts to the crisis in Syria, but in flagrantly biased and fabricated coverage. Thus, according to its all-knowing Analyst, Safwat Al-Zayat, Syria exists on more on the map, to its Faysal Al-Qassem, every Syrian is against his/her government and President, not to mention the many false news aired and  inaccurate non-Syrian pictures shown as taking place in Syria, and  the fatwas of its Qaradawi.

According to a recent news report by United Press International (UPI) News Agency, Al-Jazeera is no longer a voice for change, but of propaganda for its royal owner, journalists who used to work for the network say. UPI quoted the German Der Spiegel as reporting that in recent months, Al-Jazeera has been used to serve the political agenda of its owner and founder, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the emir of Qatar.

"Before the beginning of the Arab Spring, we were a voice for change, a platform for critics and political activists throughout the region," said Aktham Suleiman, who worked at al-Jazeera's office in Berlin. "Now, al-Jazeera has become a propaganda broadcaster." "If a differentiation is no longer made between activists and journalists, then that poses a danger to everyone," Suleiman said.

The Agency quoted another former correspondent as saying that  decisions at the network were no longer based "on journalistic priorities, but rather on the interests of the Foreign Ministry of Qatar." The network ignored mass protests against the Bahraini government, an ally of the emir, the journalists said. In Syria, where Qatar supports the opposition to Syrian government, al-Jazeera favors the foreign-backed armed terrorist groups.

The resignations by al-Jazeera journalists in cities such as Paris, London, Moscow, Beirut and Cairo came as the network paid $500 million for Current TV in a gamble to enter the U.S. market.

According to Akhtham Suleiman, the truth is being twisted. It is about politics, not about journalism, adding that for example, in Aleppo, December 2012: An Al Jazeera correspondent had images relating to Syria that didn’t suit the station’s headquarters and which were not broadcast. This is no isolated incident.

Suleiman added that the correspondent Ali Hashem had  told TV presenter Rola Ibrahim, who was working at the network’s headquarters in Qatar, that he had seen and filmed armed Syrian revolutionaries- terrorists- on the border with Lebanon in 2011. The channel didn’t broadcast the images because they showed an armed deployment, which did not fit the desired narrative of a peaceful uprising. “My bosses told me: forget what you have seen!” Hashem wrote to Rola, as published. She is said to have replied that she was faring no better. She had been “massively humiliated, just because I embarrassed Zuhair Salem, the spokesman for the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, with my questions during a news broadcast. They threatened to exclude me from interviews relating to Syria and to restrict me to presenting the late night news, under the pretext that I was jeopardizing the station’s balance.”

 “Desirable” and less desirable images? Penalties for interviews that are “too critical”? At Al Jazeera? Here it must be said that in the online propaganda war between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime, anything is possible, including lies and deception, as the months since the outbreak of the uprising in mid-March 2011 have shown. Regime supporters wanted to show that the rebellion is solely waged by “armed gangs.” Regime opponents wanted to show that the Syrian army is the only [party] committing [acts of] violence.

That’s why I asked Ali Hashem, who also resigned in protest at Al-Jazeera biased and inaccurate news coverage,  whether the story was true. His answer was devastating: “Yes, it’s true. Those are really my emails with Rola. I do not know what to do now.” This is about politics, not about journalism. More precisely: about Qatari foreign policy, which had subtly started to employ Al Jazeera as a tool to praise friends and attack enemies.

It was not the first incident. When Al Jazeera’s Japan correspondent, Fadi Salameh, came to Doha at the end of 2011 to help out for a month at the channel’s headquarters, colleagues asked him how he – as a Syrian – assessed or felt about their Syria coverage. He responded evasively with something like: So-so. And why was that? He said: well, the issue of accuracy is no longer taken as seriously as it ought to be, and mentioned the story of his cousin, who  had been depicted as a deserter from the Syrian military only a few days earlier in a video broadcast on the channel. He was said to have defected to the Free Syrian army in a short recording placed online by the rebels.

But that could well be true, replied a colleague. “Not at all.” Fadi replied. “That was a hostage video. The fear apparent on my cousin’s face, having just been captured by the rebels, was unmistakable.”

Later Fadi went on to say that Al Jazeera now presumes to know better than one’s own family members what is happening to someone in Syria. “Only when I said that my cousin had disappeared two days before his wedding, were some people willing to reconsider,” Fadi said. “Thank God no one got the idea that the groom was trying to escape a forced marriage.” He doesn’t muster a laugh. His cousin never returned and is presumed dead. When the story was leaked to a Lebanese newspaper, this was the response from a person in charge at Al Jazeera: “Oh, those [damn] yellow papers…”

“This is an office of the Muslim Brotherhood”

Al Jazeera has become the mother of invention: Those who have protested to the editorial board or turned their backs on the station are “supporters of the Syrian regime,” as  Yaser Al Zaatra, the Jordanian author affiliated with the Islamist camp, wrote this spring in a guest article published on –  it almost defies belief – Al Jazeera’s very own website.

The attacks against its employees [waged] on its own website are meant to obscure the fact that Syria is not the core issue in this internal conflict, but rather the station’s lack of professionalism. Cairo’s Al-Jazeera correspondent Samir Omer moved to Sky News earlier this year not because of Syria, but rather, as he told his colleagues: “Because I could not stand it anymore. This is no longer an Al-Jazeera office. This is an office of the Muslim Brotherhood” – in other words, the very group that is supported by Qatar in all Arab countries, and is heralded as the winner of the” Arab Spring.”

The Paris bureau chief Ziad Tarrouch was Tunisian, not Syrian. He left in silence last summer, shortly after the presidential elections in France. Unsurprisingly, after weeks of continuous suffering and following repeated subpoenas from the French authorities, because Al Jazeera’s regular guest, Sheikh Yusef Al Qaradawi, had appeared on the station and called for the killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. This had invited a lawsuit against the station in France for “incitement to murder.”

 ”Damn it, I’m a journalist!” Ziad had mumbled to himself during his last days at the station. When the Russia correspondent Mohammad al-Hasan also left later that summer, he replied to media queries about his departure by saying that he was expected to deliver incendiary reporting on Russia. In response, the fanciful minds at AJ’s editorial department sought salvation in the claim that Al Hasan was leaving to open a kabab shop in Moscow.


Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim