Honoring War Wounded in Homs Countryside

In our war against terrorism targeting our lovely country during the past four years, we have received a lot of martyrs.

We used to receive our martyrs scattering roses and rice accompanying the funeral cortege until it reaches the village cemetery where we bid farewell to the body of the martyr and leave.

But the war has other victims who are always in front of our eyes. They are war-wounded who were injured in the battlefield defending their homeland.

'Ahfad Ishtar' Institute seeks to reach solutions to Syrian woman's problems

Women are often the targets of all forms of violence, not only in times of conflict but also in ordinary time because the global culture of discrimination against women allows violence to occur daily and with impunity.

The global culture of discrimination denies women equal rights with men and it allows the male-dominated society- in some countries- to refers to religion just to keep their women prisoner despite the fact that religion gives human beings their rights before anything else.

The People of Damascus .. Legacy of Morals and Virtues

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Nobility and authenticity of upbringing, importance and vitality of location,  beauty and richness of nature have met in the city of Damascus to reflect on its sons who drank the fresh water of their city, breathed in its fresh air, made a civilization and handed it down to their children in food, clothing, architecture, taste and morality. 

 The people of Damascus are known for their friendliness, kindness and generosity  from times of old. It is not so strange for those who have worked in trade and created a set of rules that made of the Damascene merchant an example to be followed in kindness and civility.

Cultural, social and media sectors within reconstruction process

Although meeting basic needs of Syrian people is now a big challenge to the government and decision-makers due to the continuity of terror attacks and sanctions imposed on Syria, reconstruction process could not be postponed anymore.

When we speak about reconstruction process in Syria we speak about reconstruction in all sectors- agriculture, economy, society, culture, media, health, transport, building..etc- and from all aspects. All these sectors have been damaged by the 44-month-old crisis.

Folklore: Archive for Peoples Memory

LATTAKIA, (ST) - Heritage represents major humane and civilized value as an archive records and documents the memory of peoples and human societies. This value represents the symbol of nations and without it the history of nations will be empty, without any real substance mentioned as well as from any active role in the course of human life. This urges all nations to adhere to their heritage and be proud of historical, intellectual and scientific, technical and architectural pillars and other aspects of life.

Civil Society’s Relief, Development Activities under Crisis Hailed

DAMASCUS, (ST)-Minister of Social Affairs Kinda al-Sammat stressed the role being played by civil society associations in support of the governments’ relief and social efforts to withstand the crisis in Syria.

Al-Shammat, who was speaking yesterday during a ceremony held by “Nour Association for Relief and Development” marking its 1st Foundation anniversary, hailed the association’s great relief and development efforts and lauded youths’ important role in the voluntary and relief activities of civil society associations, stressing that “those youths are risking their lives while doing their humanitarian duty in providing assistance to citizens affected by the crisis.”

Olive Harvesting Season

With the coming of autumn, the goodness, blessing and giving seasons start in the fields and mountains stretching all over the Syrian countryside

And here, in Homs, in the plains and the mountains of the steadfast city, olive harvest has begun. This occasion that brings everyone in the fields. Songs are absent this season just as they had been in the previous three years. Blackness and sadness overshadowing the joy of the harvest because of the absence of the sons, the martyred sons who were helping in olive harvesting.

Olive has a great importance in the Syrian peasant life. As well as being economically important, the crop has its great religious and historical significance.

Mystical Olive Oil

Olive trees have a long life and are believed to live 300 to 600 years. Even when its trunk and branches may die, the olive tree sprouts once again bringing life into a new tree. Today it is estimated that approximately 800 million olive trees thrive on earth with approximately 400 different varieties of olive trees cultivated worldwide.

Cultivation of the Olive trees, is one of the oldest signs of civilization in the world. It even preceded writing. The Olive culture, derived from the benefits of Olive Oil, and the mythology linked to it spread through the Phoenicians to Greece, and from Greece to Rome, and then to the rest of the Western world.

The Mediterranean world has regarded the olive as sacred for thousands of years. In many religions and cultures throughout history, the olive tree has served some purpose and has been a symbol of peace, life, and fertility. Ebla, the first civilization proven to have known olive oil, offered the golden liquid to their gods.

During modern excavations of Egyptian tombs, containers of olive oil were found among the graves.

In Ancient Greece, athletes used olive oil to rub over their bodies and the first Olympic torch was a burning olive branch.

The Bible contains 140 references to Olive Oil and the Koran and Hadith mention the value of Olive Oil several times.

Olive Oil in Syria

Specialists said that Olive was first found in the lands of greater Syria about six thousand years ago, before spreading to the rest of the Mediterranean basin. Legend claims that the Olive tree made its first appearance in Syria, in the ancient city-state of Ebla.

The first official documentation regarding olive trees and oil production was found in the archives of the ancient city-state Ebla. It consists of almost 12 documents, dated 2400 BC, concerning olive tree plantations and the impressive quantities.

One of the oldest olive oil related archaeological findings are huge jars found in the Ancient City of Ebla, which was filled with olive oil and used for trade with Egypt through the port city of Ugarit.

 Today, 6000 years after the spread of Olive cultivation from Syria to the rest of the Mediterranean, Syrians are still among the leading producers of Olive Oil, Syria ranks sixth in Olive Oil output. Thanks to the Syrian soil and climate which is still as always, the best accustomed for the growth of Olive Oil, as well as the Syrian villages still linked to their past, have definitely got the best know-how of the art of Olive growing.

Some benefits and nutritional Values of Olive Oil

People are discovering now, what Mediterranean peoples have known for millennia; that healthy oil of the olive is an essential ingredient of a good life.

Studies show that women who eat Olive Oil more than once a day has a 45 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer.

Olive Oil may have therapeutic effects on peptic ulcers and prevent the formation of gallstones.

Some studies illustrate that using olive oil assists in healing of ailing gum and maintains whiteness of teeth, as well as for better hair growth.

As it is rich with A1, B1 and E vitamins and many mineral salts, it is recommended for pregnant women.

Alternative Uses Of Olive Oil

Olive Oil could be burnt and used as a source of energy. Before electricity supplied the source of energy for lights, many cities, especially in Syria, used olive Oil as the lighting energy in their street lamps.

Some people also recommend it for its medical benefits, a Cretan farmer said "My wife suffered from back pain, somebody told her to take two tablespoons of olive oil every morning on an empty stomach. She did this for ten days and she was cured. (National geographic magazine September 1999).

Although olive oil comes to us from the distant past it is still the best for our health.

 Amal Farhat