Mate: A Friend of Friends Meetings

It is called the drink of the " dearest guests and very close friends ", so when someone calls you to join him and drink with him a glass of Maté, you have to accept his invitation otherwise he will think that you do not like the household and do not respect them.

Sure, It is Maté, the well-known popular drink in the Syrian coastal region, Homs, Al-Qalamoun Mountain area and Al-Sweidaa . It has  established  itself  as one the  basic components of popular culture in Syria.

I liked this drink and I was very curious to know its origin and how it had been introduced to our social culture .So I started to look for the  studies dealing with Maté and following is  the result of my research .

Maté was introduced to the Arab region at the beginning  of the 20th century when many people of the Levant (Belad Al-Sham) ,who  migrated to Southern America and returned back home  bringing this drink with them to their countries. Since then it has become one of the most popular drinks in most areas of this region especially in Syria and Lebanon.

Maté in Syria:

Syria is the biggest importer of Mate where it  imports annually 15 thousand tons.

The most consumption of Mate' is concentrated in Homs and Hama  and in the Syrian coastal villages. At the end of the twentieth century, Mate has become  the most  popular drink for many areas, particularly in Tartous and its countryside. There are some villages like 'Annazeh' where people are drinking Maté adding some local herbs of natural origin - plants such as thyme , wild mint and hyssop .This gives it  more pleasure and good taste. Recenty, many people used to eat nuts while they are drinking  yerba Mate as a new ritual tradition of drinking yerba mate that has been rooted in many regions, cities and villages in Syria.

Benefits of yerba Mate

 

A lot of Mate lovers and many specialists stressed that Maté is very useful in the problems of indigestion and  headaches. It can be considered also as one of energy drinks and serve to reduce the weight and  blood sugar. Yerba mate has been also described as digestive and nutritious . It does not cause  any hurt on heart and nerves such as coffee although it contains caffeine so it generates activity in muscles and nerves and reduces headaches, breathlessness.

 After I polled a group of friends and relatives about this drink, where I asked them, "What does this drink means for them "I got different  answers. A friend said:

In the days of baccalaureate, I used to attend some private lessons at an English teacher in the region, he was drinking yerba mate day and night, and explains that it helps him lose weight, and every week he was giving  us a detailed statistical about his weight, "to make us believe him. He was always urging us to drink Mate as if he wants to tell us Treat with Mate.

Someone else explain his love for Mate  by saying that it helps him to concentrate  during the study, and find it very difficult to study without drinking mate.

"Mate makes meeting with friends more interesting! "When I want to invite  my friend I  tell him "come let us  drink Mate", this  makes him come immediately because he loves yerba mate just like me," he added.

Ddrinking yerba mate is psychologically connected with  community. So to  drink Mate with two or more friends the session will become nicer especially when it is accompanied by conversations,   smoking and enjoying the TV programs with some citrus and nuts. Mate drinkers devoted an important part of their salaries to Mate.

Mate is friend of boredom, laziness, leisure and unemployment and the ritual of drinking  Mate needs to spend long periods of time, not like tea and coffee as they may finish in a very short time, so time can only be  destroyed by drinking Mate.

There is no popular daily drink contests Mate's prestigious, but recently, a very close friend of Mate is generated helping  it killing laziness and Leisure without extracting its  kingship status. It is the waterpipe or hubble bubble. Nowadays, the stores and shops are filled with its diverse tools and equipments and began to find a distinctive place in people's lives...

 

Amal Farhat

Recruiting Children to Fight in Syria Contradicts International Laws

 Children have been main victims of the ongoing crisis in Syria as foreign-backed armed terrorist groups in the country have recruited many children and repeatedly sent them to attack and kill innocent people and to help armed groups in their military operations.

 According to Human Rights Watch, several recruited teenagers had worked with terrorists in a number of Syrian cities and were forced to carry out criminal acts including beheading captives.

 The inhuman act of recruiting children in battles in Syria has become evident to all and has received condemnation by many regional and international bodies.

 With this mind,  the Russian Committee for Solidarity with Syria, which affirmed that armed terrorist groups in Syria are recruiting children within their groups and force them carry weapons to fight in battles against the Syrian Arab Army and state, strongly condemned this act, stressing that it contradicts international laws.

 In a statement recently published on its website, the committee said that the armed groups "use these children to torture and execute people kidnapped by the terrorists."

 "These acts contradict international laws which prohibit mustering or recruiting children under fifteen in army or armed groups, said the Committee, pointing out that international laws consider using children in direct or indirect fighting, in spying activities as a crime.

 The Committee affirmed that the world should know the hostile practices of the "fake revolution'' in Syria.

 

Rawaa Ghanam

 

 

 

 

Expatriates New Campaign in Support of Homeland

BRUSSELS,(ST)-Under  the message  "I am a Syrian expatriate and I will help my people at home"  Syrian expatriates in Brussels launched a raise funding campaign to support the Syrians who were displaced by  armed terrorist groups  and opted to stay inside Syria.

The event came at the initiative of young Syrian expatriates in Brussels and the Belgian Rev Daniel Mays , who is the chief of Saint James Monetary in Qara city, to collect donations from members of the Syrian Community, several Lebanese donors and aids provided by Belgian churches.

On the objective of the initiative, initiative co-organizer Ali Ghandour said on behalf of   the Syrian Expatriates in Belgium:  "Our hearts are with our people  in Syria .. Your steadfastness  foiled the world conspiracy against Syria  . It is our duty, now,  to  compensate  just part of what  you have given. "

Ghandour added that the donation will be in the form of  clothes , food , stationery for schools, medicines and milk for children and will be sent to Syria by the Belgian Aid Foundation, in cooperation with Saint James Monastery and Rev. Daniel Mays.

He continued that the aid will be distributed in the city sports camp in Lattakia.

On future initiatives, Ghandour indicated that another initiative is underway dedicated  for martyrs children, who sacrificed their blood  for Syria 's unity and steadfastness.

 He commended the close cooperation between Syrian communities in Belgium, Holland and France to mobilize Syrian youths potentials in the  service of  their homeland Syria, noting that cooperation to this end will be expanded to include other Syrian communities abroad.

 

T. Fateh

Terrorist Groups' Rape Crimes Force Many Syrian Families to Flee

 

WASHINGTON, (ST) - Women and girls in several Syrian areas are being exposed to rape by foreign–backed armed terrorist groups' members. Such crimes of sexual assault are being committed repeatedly, forcing many families to leave the homeland fleeing the inhuman practices of armed groups.

A report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) revealed on Monday that "rape is the main reason behind the fleeing of many Syrian women and girls to neighboring countries," pointing out that the armed terrorist groups have been using rape crimes as a war means to pressure the people in areas under their control.

The U.S.-based Committee said that in the light of the assessments it made in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, it found that rape is the main reason for the fleeing of families from Syria.

The Committee added that it had provided information about crimes of kidnapping, torturing, raping and killing girls and women in Syria.

It expressed victims' fear of being exposed to revenge by the rapists themselves who threaten them of scandal if they filed a complaint against the attackers.

The foreign-backed armed terrorist groups have committed most horrible crimes under arm threat against the Syrians. It wasn't enough for the terrorists to steal people's properties, but persisted in the acts of killing everyone who resists them, mutilating dead bodies, burning houses and raping women and underage girls.

According to the Syrians, rape crimes have been the most painful terrorist act which uncovered the vindictive terrorism of armed groups and make it open to the public. However it led the Syrians to unite in their battle against the terrorists of al-Qaeda, NATO mercenaries and Sheikhs of the petrodollar.

 

H. Mustafa  

Syrian Rural Oven, Attractive Tourist Phenomenon, Means Supporting People's Life

The Syrian rural oven, which has become a popular phenomenon in our country, has a very old story that goes on with tales of women in the countryside who gather around it and exchange happy and sad news in addition to a lot of funny tales while making their delicious bread.

According to some people, the oven is no more than a small corner in the house that can be used only to change paste into bread. For others, and from a scientific point of view, building an oven reflects the genius of the oven's first-builder who had made use from the three most important discoveries humanity had ever witnessed which are: fire, pottery, and domestic wheat.

A few of us know that only skillful persons can build an oven.  They had to be accurate while mixing tile with clay to build the oven walls then they must make a hole in the bottom of the oven in order to drive ashes out. When heating process begins, the oven must be anointed with a piece of cloth wetted with water and salt.

In the past, the oven was one of the most important characteristics of rural life. Every two or three families had their own oven where women make bread for their families.

 Ovens began to disappear gradually due to life developments. Nowadays, ovens have restored their important role as an attractive tourist phenomenon and as a means supporting rural people's life.

 The Syrian folkloric ovens have become a popular phenomenon that can be noticed along Syrian tourist and mountainous roads. They have become very important stops for every traveler or tourist who seeks enjoying the charming nature and tasting the delicious food and pastries baked with various flavors such as cheese, shinkleesh, chard and red pepper.

Oven owners are keen to use sweet-smelling fragrant plants such as basil, oak, and sage as firewood because such plants give special and distinguished flavor to bread.                                           

A lot of people wonder what makes us enjoy eating such kind of simple food. Emotionally speaking, I think, it is because of the smell and the taste of such food which take us back to the simple life that our grandparents had lived. Our grandmothers were experts in preparing healthy food depending on natural resources.

Amal Farhat

Heinous crimes in the name of Alsharia

 

 

 

 “Yesterday Al Jazeera interviewed Jabhat al Nusrah Al Qaeda terrorists in Aleppo Syria asking them who they are!!!! The commander responded: “we’re bunch of oppressed people who the world has condemned , and they come here to Syria from around the world for Jihad!!!! He claimed :”we don’t have links to any internal or external forces in Syria and we fight for the establishment of an Islamic state based on Sharia.

 Our lives are being made hell by the armed groups. We are all wearing coats in the house. We are freezing in the winter. There is no fuel. There is no gaz, the price of any material doubled, because of the sanctions on Syria..Is this your Sharia?

Yet, every western government is pretending to be speaking for the Syrian people. In fact, they are completely ignoring what the Syrian people want. The Syrian people want peace, security and return to normal life. The Syrian people have had enough with the unscrupulous world powers playing with the plight of the Syrian people and causing us more suffering while they reside in palaces and hotels, travel with bodyguards and worry about feeling too full at the dinner tables. They don’t worry about the millions of the Syrian people who are shivering in their beds either out of fear, cold or hunger. We tell them, please stop meddling in our affairs under the pretext of helping the Syrian people….

Yesterday In the cold streets of Damascus, in snow weather. I stopped on two checkpoints for the Syrian army, there was a soldier, or more, they are men, real men,  great Syrian men standing in this tough weather, with tender smile on the face and very tiring eyes, just to protect us, to protect Syria from destruction, from those who came to Syria in the name of sharia or jihad, one of them asked me : are you going to work? I answered: yes, he smiled and asked me not to be late because the snow will be thicker, I couldn't help myself from crying, he is caring about me than himself, he wants me to comeback safe to my home, but he will stand there all day and night, just for us to be safe, God bless the Syrian soldiers protecting the people against terrorism.

 

Butheina Alnounou

 

 

 

Some SYP 120mln Transferred to Civil Society Associations to Provide Relief Services to Terrorism-Hit Families

DAMASCUS, (ST) - As part of the government's plan to ease the suffering of the victims of armed terrorist groups, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs transferred an amount of (SYP) 120 million to 105 civil society associations working in the relief field as a financial aid with the purpose of supporting these associations and help them provide necessary assistance to terrorism-hit families living in and outside temporary housing centers.

Jasem Mohammad Zakarayya, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, said in a statement to SANA that "The financial aid is to enable civil society associations to meet all the requirements of displaced families in temporary housing centers, including diesel oil, stoves, winter clothes and other basic needs. In addition, a kind of financial assistance is to be presented to citizens in need under the Ministry's supervision."

Minister Zakarayya, who reiterated the need to render assistance to all terrorism victims in different areas of the country, pointed out that within the National Relief Program the Higher Relief Committee provides assistance to 400 thousand affected families in and outside temporary housing centers based on its own data.

"The Higher Committee, in cooperation with concerned parties and in coordination with the Syrian Red Crescent Society as well as the civil society association, is following up the distribution of the aid and working hard to eliminate obstacles hindering the transferring of the this aid in order to guarantee just distribution.

Financial aid is provided to remarkably active civil society associations which proved ability to run relief activities.

 

H. Moustafa