July 4, 2016
BERLIN - Lilas Al Loulou was an English literature major in Damascus and a political activist during the Arab Spring uprising. Firas Ibrahim owned a photo studio in Damascus that made wedding videos. Ahmed Samer ran a small business in Aleppo with his wife that sold air conditioners and fridges. All three fled Syria's civil war and made the risky sea journey to Greece and onward to Germany in 2015. They don't fit the fearsome stereotypes that drove the Brexit vote and have propelled populist parties across Europe.
November 18, 2015 |
EXPLOSIONS LIT the sky over Damascus while Khaldoun partied with his friends late into a weekend night in August 2014. Despite the nightly firefights, the shelling that tore children and other innocents to shreds one morning while Khaldoun was walking to class, despite the night that bullets ripped through his kitchen window, the soft-spoken 20-year-old psychology student had made it through three years of Syria's civil war. He had no intention of...
May 29, 2015 |
Collaboration always offers surprises, particularly collaboration that employs chance and ambiguity as defining principles. Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, an organization devoted to Arab cultural life, rarely occupies familiar ground, whether in the performances it presents or in those it nurtures. But at 8 p.m. Friday at the Painted Bride Art Center (with a free and open-to-the-public reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m.), Al-Bustan will venture down a particularly mysterious path with the presentation of a completely new collaborative piece by cellist and composer Kinan Abou-afach and visual artist and digital designer Ayman Alalao.
August 5, 2013 |
As brutal images of children killed in Syria's civil war flashed on a screen inside a gym at the Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova on Saturday, a woman in a brilliant blue head scarf sat in the audience of 100 men and women and quietly sobbed. Born in Damascus 39 years ago, she lives in Valley Forge now, but still has family in the war-torn country. For reasons of their security, she asked to be identified only by her first name, Rabab. "I am a mother," Rabab said, explaining her tears.
July 16, 2013
BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called yesterday for tougher European and global rules on data protection amid fallout from recent revelations about U.S. surveillance programs. Merkel pledged that Germany will take a "very strict position" in ongoing talks on European Union-wide data rules. Germany will push for those rules to oblige companies such as Google and Facebook to tell European countries who they share data with, she told ARD television. The chancellor also suggested that a protocol on data protection could be added to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a U.N. accord that dates back to 1966.
June 25, 2013
British police probe urged LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron called Monday for an investigation into allegations that an undercover police officer was ordered to smear the reputation of the family of Stephen Lawrence, 18, a black murder victim. The Guardian newspaper published claims Monday from former undercover officer Peter Francis that he came under constant pressure from his superiors to "hunt for disinformation. " "To hear that, potentially, the police that were meant to be helping them were actually undermining them - that's horrific," Cameron said.
June 16, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Syrian troops pushed forward with their offensive against rebels Saturday, capturing a suburb near the Damascus international airport as the U.S. warned that the alleged use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's forces and the involvement of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah in the civil war threaten to put a proposed political settlement out of reach. The United States and Russia have been pressing for a peace conference to end Syria's civil war in Geneva, but prospects for that have been dampened after a series of regime battlefield victories and hardened positions by both sides as the death toll from the more than two-year-old conflict has surged to nearly 93,000.
June 14, 2013 |
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A refugee from Syria recently opened a bakery here, drawing long lines of customers eager to taste meat and cheese pastries with the special flavors of Damascus - a rare bright spot in the long shadow that the Syrian civil war is casting over the Gaza Strip. The conflict in Syria, about 190 miles away, is increasingly hurting Hamas-ruled Gaza financially, according to several officials in the Islamic militant group and in Islamic charities. They say Iran, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a former major financial backer of Hamas, has reduced monthly cash transfers because Hamas refuses to side with the Syrian regime.
June 13, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Signs are growing that stretches of Iraq and Syria are morphing into a single battlefield for militants, exacerbating Iraq's slide into renewed deadly chaos a year and a half after U.S. troops pulled out. Iraqi border posts along the Syrian frontier are coming under attack, and Syrian truck drivers have been singled out and shot inside Iraq. Syrian soldiers earlier this year sought refuge across the border, only to be massacred by al-Qaeda. Combat-hardened Iraqi fighters, meanwhile, are crisscrossing the frontier.
May 14, 2013 |
DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian rebels on Sunday released four Filipino U.N. peacekeepers they abducted last week in a dramatic incident that prompted warnings from the Philippines that the nation might pull out its contingent from the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, a Syrian official said President Bashar al-Assad's troops have the right to enter the Israeli-occupied Golan whenever they wish - a veiled threat toward Israel to stay out of Syria's conflict. Also Sunday, Damascus rejected Turkey's allegations that Syria was behind two car bombings Saturday that killed 46 people in Turkey and wounded dozens more.