leaveobashar:


Not only do Syrians have to wait in absurdly long lines in the freezing snow to get some bread, but they have to face the fact that Assad’s airforce might bomb them while they wait … 
Photo taken in Damascus, Syria.
You can help, please donate to one of the following or contact your local representatives

Hand In hand For Syria - Registered non-political UK charity that has verified it’s aid is entering into Syria and helping those most in need. 

Syrian Orphans - A collection of Non-Profit Org’s supporting orphans in Syria
Rise 4 Humanity - Dedicated to helping the children of Syria via donations and awareness campaigns 
Humanitarian Relief For Syria - Supports needy families and orphans as well as distributing aid in Syria
Syrian Sunrise Foundation -  Promotes social and economic opportunity and growth in Syria through humanitarian relief efforts.
Syrian Assistance - Independent, Non-Profit Org of volunteers set up to raise money for the basic humanitarian needs in Syria
Medecins Sans Frontieres - The only reputable international org. with doctors and a purpose built medical facility on the ground in Northern Syria.
Syrian Expatriates Organization - Provides various medical, humanitarian and logistical aid across Syria to those that need it the most 
Kahyr Charity Foundation - Saudi based charity that provides food, blankets, monetary support and more for families in Syria 
The Maram Foundation - Supporting Syrian Refugees inside Syria, specifically the Atmeh Camp. 

Thanks @Ugariti_Homsi

leaveobashar:

Not only do Syrians have to wait in absurdly long lines in the freezing snow to get some bread, but they have to face the fact that Assad’s airforce might bomb them while they wait … 

Photo taken in Damascus, Syria.

You can help, please donate to one of the following or contact your local representatives

Hand In hand For Syria - Registered non-political UK charity that has verified it’s aid is entering into Syria and helping those most in need. 

Syrian Orphans - A collection of Non-Profit Org’s supporting orphans in Syria

Rise 4 Humanity - Dedicated to helping the children of Syria via donations and awareness campaigns 

Humanitarian Relief For Syria - Supports needy families and orphans as well as distributing aid in Syria

Syrian Sunrise Foundation -  Promotes social and economic opportunity and growth in Syria through humanitarian relief efforts.

Syrian Assistance - Independent, Non-Profit Org of volunteers set up to raise money for the basic humanitarian needs in Syria

Medecins Sans Frontieres - The only reputable international org. with doctors and a purpose built medical facility on the ground in Northern Syria.

Syrian Expatriates Organization - Provides various medical, humanitarian and logistical aid across Syria to those that need it the most 

Kahyr Charity Foundation - Saudi based charity that provides food, blankets, monetary support and more for families in Syria 

The Maram Foundation - Supporting Syrian Refugees inside Syria, specifically the Atmeh Camp. 

Thanks @Ugariti_Homsi

(Source: yallair7al, via thearabspringrevolutions)

al-thawrat:

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League’s special envoy for Syria, heads for New York next week to brief the UN Security Council on his recent mission to Damascus.

The Algerian diplomat met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s capital on Saturday and has been speaking to opposition leaders inside and outside the country to try to stop the worsening violence.

Brahimi, in his first television interview since meeting Assad, spoke with Al Jazeera’s Jane Arraf during a stop in Jordan, which has received the biggest influx of Syrian refugees.

He warned that the crisis, which he termed a fully-fledged civil war, is worsening and said he would consult UN members for support in developing a plan to stop the bloodshed.

Jane Arraf: You’ve just come from Syria as well as Turkey and Jordan. Was there anything about your talks in Syria, particularly with President al-Assad, that changed your perception of the problems that you’re facing?

Lakhdar Brahimi: Naturally talking to people, especially somebody like that, will probably confirm a few things that you know and open other avenues for you. I talked also to a lot of people from the opposition, civil society. That certainly has helped sharpen the picture I have of Syria. But you still need to talk to a lot of other people, Syrians and non-Syrians, until you can really be in the position to say ‘I am certain of the ground I stand on’. I don’t think we are there yet.

Arraf: What is the picture that’s emerging of Syria? What is your biggest concern at the moment?

What is certain is that this is a very serious crisis. What is certain is that talking about reform is not the right thing to do anymore. Now you’ve got to talk about change, and change has to be serious and profound.

- Lakhdar Brahimi

Brahimi: The point I’m making as seriously, as strongly as I can, is that the situation is very bad and worsening. It’s not improving. Syrians on both sides say from time to time ‘we are going to win very soon – in three months or two months’. I don’t think it’s true. I don’t think any side is winning now or anytime in the future. The situation is getting worse and it is a huge threat for the region. These kind of conflicts cannot be bottled up within one country, they will invariably spill over. They already have with these thousands, hundreds of thousands of refugees that are destabilising, or threatening to destabilise neighbouring countries. So this is the main point I am trying to make so that Syrians and their different friends realise how serious the situation is and how important it is to pull all forces together to help the country solve its problems before its too late. This is the main point I’m making. I am also making the same point that Kofi Annan was making. We have one track, one line if you like, of mediation in trying to solve that problem, then everybody should support that track. You don’t need several tracks for situations like this. When I am going to New York I will convey this message again to the Security Council and to all the people that I am going to meet.

Arraf: Are they willing to listen? You have now had talks with the Chinese, the Russians, an Iranian envoy – are they realising the seriousness of this?

Brahimi: I think so. I think [this is the only reason] that foreign ministers feel that they have to call me, take the responsibility of calling me, and also to agree to see me in New York next week. I think this in itself is an indication that they are realising this is important – this is important and urgent. Let’s hope that the next step is to see how they get together and support a plan that we can put out. I tell people I have no plan. I don’t, but it’s not impossible to work out one if there is a willingness to listen and work together.

Arraf: Are there any parameters right now for the plan that might emerge? Could it include the Syrian president for instance?

Brahimi: It will include him necessarily. How – the thing is, you’ve got to go into this from what is certain to the things that need to become certain as you go along. What is certain is that this is a very serious crisis. What is certain is that talking about reform is not the right thing to do anymore. Now you’ve got to talk about change, and change has to be serious and profound. I don’t know what qualifications you want to give it but change has to take place. Ideally you want that change to take place in an orderly manner so that you don’t repeat what happened in Iraq and you don’t repeat what happened in Libya. So you want an orderly development, change that really responds to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria.

Arraf: Does that change necessarily include a change of leadership?

Brahimi:This is not something you want to discuss on television before you discuss it with the interested parties inside Syria and also around Syria. But I think everybody knows, and I have said this to everybody, what is needed is change – it must be serious and the earlier the better.

Arraf: It’s really difficult to tell – as it was in Iraq – who speaks for the Syrian people. How much credibility does the external opposition have for instance do you think?

Brahimi: I’m the last one who can or should pass judgement. The Syrian people is diverse – there is a very rich diversity and politically also it is very diverse. There is no doubt they cannot go on speaking as tiny little groups. Ultimately you’ve got to have the Syrian people represented by two, three, four parties, not by 200. But I will not pass judgement on any external or internal Syrian opposition. I’ve been talking to quite a few of them I will talk to more and I hope that together we can put together something that will work.

Arraf: Did you feel in your visit that you were able to get a sense of what what was going on on the ground, given the security restrictions?

Brahimi: I think so. I’m sure I have still a lot to learn but the little I have seen and what I have heard - and I have heard much more than I have seen – confirms that the situation is extremely bad and getting worse – a lot of people have died, a lot of people are dying every day – thousands of people have been arrested, some people put it at 30,000, are in jail. Cities have been destroyed or large parts of cities have been destroyed. Sanctions are biting and are affecting the people and I don’t know what else. The situation is not improving at all, so that much I have seen. People are trying to put ideas and projects and some people want elections, other people want negotiations, other people don’t want negotiations so all that has got to come together in some kind of rational and credible process.

Arraf: Is it getting worse because there is in a sense a military stalemate in some cases?

Brahimi: It is worse because people are being killed and the country is being destroyed – in Damascus you hear day and night the sound of big guns in the suburbs of Damascus. I think Aleppo is much worse, Homs is not really getting better, Idlib and all sorts of  places are suffering. Some people will tell you ‘look, the centre of Damascus is quiet, people are going about their business’ - that is true but that is not significant and that is not the important thing in Syria today. The important thing is these guns that are being used 24 hours a day, this fighting that is taking place. It does look like a stalemate but it is not a static stalemate. It is a stalemate where people are dying and property is being destroyed.

How concerned are you about foreign interference in Syria – whether its weapons believed to be coming from some of the other countries in the region or Iranian advisers on the ground?

The secretary-general of the United Nations practically every time he speaks about Syria says we must stop the flow of weapons into Syria. Each side would say we are receiving weapons to defend ourselves but I suppose that at some stage, the people who are sending weapons will have to also come around […] as part of a settlement that has got to stop.

Arraf: You don’t like deadlines but at what point would you assess that it’s not worth continuing your mission. What would have to happen for you to make that decision?

Brahimi: I don’t know. I’m just beginning, it’s not a month yet. I will not stay one day beyond, if God forbid I realise I cannot go any further, I will stop and give up. But as long as there is any hope that we can help in any way possible, we will continue.

Arraf: Before you took the job you said you would need the support of the Security Council. Do you believe you have the support you need?

Brahimi: I have the support of every member of the Security Council separately. It would be good to have it collectively – I think it will happen – they are inviting me to address them next week and this is one of the things we are going to discuss you see. I am nothing if I’m not their man so if they want me to be their man they will have to support me clearly and openly.

Arraf: I remember in Iraq you came and warned of the prospect of civil war long before civil war there was on anyone’s mind. Is it now a full-fledged civil war in Syria? And what will remain of Syria?

Brahimi: You see, understandably people who are involved in something like this will take a long time before they accept that they are in civil war and I remember perfectly well what I said in Iraq – I think it was in April 2004 – I said no one is going to say ‘tomorrow I am going to start a civil war’. Civil wars happen because – in Lebanon it was  a bus that was attacked, that started a civil war and you have one incident and then two, then three, then 10, then 30 and then one day everybody recognise that it is a civil war. When a neighbour kills a neighbour, when soldiers turn their guns against their fellow soldiers, what do you call that? So that is why I’m saying ‘don’t say you want to prevent a civil war, say I want to stop the civil war before it becomes unstoppable’. So I think yes, we are in a situation of civil war but it can be stopped and the earlier we really all start working on that, the better.

Arraf: Regarding the refugees you’ve now toured the refugee camps. What’s your feeling about the state that the refugees are in and what seems to be a shifting pattern of more vulnerable people coming across to Jordan for instance?

Brahimi: I came to see as part of sensing the situation and seeing all that constitutes this conflict but to tell you the truth, I’m terribly embarrassed when I go there, you look like a voyeur. You come for one or two hours. I was terribly embarrassed and unhappy. In Turkey I met some very highly-educated people who must be terribly frustrated, unhappy and even ashamed of being at the mercy of – like beggars. It’s not a nice situation to be in, and then you see some people coming to look at you as if you were in a zoo. It’s terribly, terribly embarrassing. Some people were angry, both in Turkey and here. A young man in Turkey told me ‘please tell me, are we human?’ I had no answer. Here we saw a few people, thousands, who had something to say and we couldn’t even listen to them. So it’s important and necessary to tell everybody ‘this is what I saw, this is what the refugee camp is this is what the situation of refugees is’. On the other hand, on a personal basis, it is terribly embarrassing.

Arraf: Is the number of refugees potentially destabilising the region?

Brahimi: It is. Turkey has spent until now $300 millions on the refugees. I think we should be thankful to them. I am not sure whether anybody is helping them. Jordan does not have those kind of resources and they have much more refugees and until now the international community has not been that generous. I was told today that these tents could be replaced with prefabricated lodgings with $60 million for 80,000 refugees – and these kind of prefabricated houses can be taken back because when these people return there houses will have been destroyed in many cases. $60 million can be given almost by anybody so perhaps I can make an appeal through your channel, especially to people in our region. Sixty million dollars to give a decent shelter to the refugees that are in Jordan for the winter that is coming – a tent costs only $500 but it has to be replaced every four months. A prefabricated unit costs $4,000 so for the 80,000 people that are I think already here or are coming into Jordan, you need $60 million – it can be given by almost any government.

Arraf: You’ve called this mission nearly impossible. Have you ever faced anything so difficult?

Brahimi: Well, yes. Lebanon looked just as difficult. Iraq was horrible, absolutely horrible, because Iraq was a country that has been agressed, invaded by the biggest power on earth – the United States together with Britain and other countries. This is extremely difficult. It is very, very difficult, probably also because one has come into it very early on when things are becoming worse by the day. So yeah, did I face something as difficult? The thing you are doing is always the most difficult. Let’s put it this way.

Arraf: Dr Brahimi, thank you so much for speaking with us.

Exclusive Al Jazeera interview with Lakhdar Brahimi about the future of Syria. This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post, but also an amazing interview and a great view into one of the figures who is playing a key part in ending the violence in Syria. Brahimi has a more-or-less cynical view on where the conflict is headed, but seems to be hopeful that the actors supporting the regime are recognizing the severity of the violence and may come through to allow a new government to be established in Syria.

(via onedirectionfacingmecca)

"I lost my way and suddenly found myself in front of the municipal building…I panicked when I saw it and my cousins at the other side and my sisters started whispering, “Walk quickly, walk quickly”… Suddenly, I heard a gunshot and felt something very hot in my leg. After a few seconds I felt weak and sat down on the street and put my cousin on the ground while I was screaming, “I was shot come and take me” … When I fell on the ground I saw a pile of sandbags and a gun pointing toward me from a small hole on top of the municipal building…I didn’t see the sniper but I saw the gun."

caraobrien:

The United Nations says the death toll in Syria’s nine-month-old uprising has reached “much more” than 4000, characterising the situation as a civil war.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, gave the latest figure on Thursday, a day before the global body is due to hold an emergency meeting on the crisis in the country.

“We are placing the figure at 4,000. But the information coming to us is that it’s much more,” she said during a conference in Geneva.

“I have said that as soon as there were more and more defectors threatening to take up arms, I said this in August before the Security Council, there was going to be a civil war.

“At the moment that’s how I am characterising this.”

Later in the day, Rupert Colville, Pillay’s spokesperson, said Syria is on the cusp of civil war, clarifying the human rights chief’s earlier remarks.

“It is definitely heading that way, with more and more reports of armed resistance to the government forces. It is on the cusp, but in these circumstances it is hard to say definitively at what point it becomes civil war.”

In its report on Monday, the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry said Syrian forces had committed crimes against humanity, including the murder and torture of children, following orders from the highest levels of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Read more…

caraobrien:

promotingpeace:

The basics: Syria is an Arab country with more than 22 million people; it borders many of the major players in the Middle East (Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey) and is roughly the size of North Dakota. Syria famously lost the Golan Heights to Israel in 1967, during the Arab-Israeli war; negotiations between the two countries have been minimal in recent years. Like many countries in the region, Syria’s main export is oil. Unlike Saudi Arabia or Iran, however, Syria’s oil reserves are relatively small; it ranks 33rd in the world. Syria is home to a smorgasbord of ethnicities and religions: Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Sunnis, Alawites, and Druze. The capital, Damascus, is a bustling metropolis (many believe it to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world) but is not the site of the country’s most significant protests. That city, Hama, is the country’s fourth-largest, with fewer than one million occupants.

Who’s in charge?: Bashar al-Assad has ruled Syria since 2000. His father, Hafez al-Assad, a member of the Ba’ath Party, came to power in 1970 after leading a bloodless coup. Hafez Assad’s family came from a minority religious sect: the Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam. In 1982, Hafez Assad ordered one of the most brutal massacres in the recent history of the Middle East: His troops killed nearly 20,000 people in—interestingly—the city of Hama. In 2000, Hafez Assad died, and Bashar took over. To some, the shift from Hafez to Bashar suggested an opportunity (albeit limited) for Syria to become a more moderate country. Eleven years later, it seems Bashar is intent on following in his father’s footsteps. Of course, Vogue magazine, in its recent profile of first-lady Asma Assad, did say that Syria is “the safest country in the Middle East.” So, that’s something. 

What’s happening? Since March, Syrians, especially those in Hama, have intermittently protested the Assad government. During the first week of August—which this year coincided with Ramadan, the holiest time in Islam—the Syrian army began a brutal campaign to control Hama, killing citizens in a seemingly indiscriminately manner. “People are being slaughtered like sheep while walking in the street,” one resident of Hama told the AP on August 4. Reports of the number of Syrians killed in Hama in the first week of August alone range from around 200 to 300 or more. On August 7, the Syrian army expanded its assault on protesters by reportedly killing 55 people in two other cities: Deir al-Zour and Houleh

What is the rest of the world doing about this? On August 4th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the United States believed that 2,000 Syrians had already died at the hands of the Assad government. The UN Security Council issued a statement saying it condemned the Syrian government’s “widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians.” The United States, Germany, and France have recently discussed potential measures “to pressure the Assad regime and support the Syrian people.” Syria has also faced serious criticism from its neighbors in the Middle East. Turkey, a country that maintains deep economic ties with Syria, has repeatedly condemned Assad’s violence toward protesters. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia recently recalled its ambassador from Syria. In a speech on August 7, Saudi Arabia’s leader, King Abdullah, said, “What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia.” The Arab League, on the other hand, still holds out hope for the Assad regime. The group has called for an end to the Assad government’s assault against protesters, but in the same statement, Nabil al-Arabi, the organization’s secretary-general, said “The chance is still available for fulfilling the reforms.” 

How does this affect the United States? “It is no exaggeration to say that Syria holds the key for nearly all of America’s foreign policy goals in the Middle East,” says Reza Aslan, a professor at the University of California-Riverside and an expert on the region. “As Syria goes, so goes the region,” he adds. For years now, Syria has been an ally of several major US enemies in the region. Iran uses Syria to funnel weapons and resources to Hezbollah, the Shiite militia that dominates most of southern Lebanon. Without a strong relationship with Syria, Iran’s loss is twofold: a loss of influence on Israel and Lebanon via Hezbollah and a chink in the armor of its “influence” in the Arab world. Syria itself maintains political clout in Lebanon, too; it occupied the country until 2005. Syria also shares a key border with Israel. So far, efforts at influencing Assad have been fruitless. Visits from key US figures and the reopening of an embassy in Damascus have done little to move Syria toward reform.

So what should the United States do? Robert Danin, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, favors a two-pronged approach: First, “assemble a contact group, similar to the one that has been formed to deal with Libya” and then “target sanctions specifically at key members of the regime that have been involved violence against the Syrian people.” But does the United States really have that much influence? “We should not exaggerate significance or impact [of the United States], which is marginal,” Marc Lynch, a professor at George Washington University, has warned. “Unilateral oil sanctions will have limited effect. Magic words don’t work.”

How do I follow what’s happening in real time? For keeping up with what’s happening in Syria—as well as most stories unfolding in the Middle East—it’s a good idea to follow the Twitter feed of Blake Hounshell, Foreign Policy’s managing editor. Ahmed Al Omran, the author of the Saudi blog Saudi Jeans, and Borzou Daragahi, the Middle East reporter for the Los Angeles Times, are also good Syria tweeps. The hashtags to follow are #RamadanMassacre and #Syria. Al-Jazeera English, the New York Times, and the Guardian’sconstantly updated Middle East blog all provide good, up-to-date information on the situation in Syria too.

This is excellent. 

(I wrote up something similar a while back with more on history and human rights, for those looking for more sources.)

caraobrien:

The Grim Toll of Syria’s Violence

Latest news on Syria

caraobrien:

(I wrote up a general overview on the uprising in Syria a few weeks ago, in case you’re unfamiliar with what’s going on there.)

Syria’s Assad grants amnesty as 5 killed in crackdown

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a general amnesty on Tuesday, state television said, after ten weeks of protests against his 11-year rule and a military crackdown which has drawn international condemnation.

The amnesty covers “all members of political movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood,” it said. Membership of the Brotherhood, which led an armed uprising against Assad’s father in 1982, is punishable by death in Syria.

Assad’s move was the latest in a series of reforms — including lifting a 48-year state of emergency and granting citizenship to stateless Kurds in eastern Syria — aimed at addressing the grievances of protesters.

But those steps have been accompanied by a ruthless military crackdown in which rights campaigners say 1,000 civilians have been killed and more than 10,000 people arrested.

UN says 30 children killed in Syrian protests

The United Nation’s children’s agency has said it has reports that 30 children have been shot dead by gunfire in the clampdown on Syria’s opposition protests over the last number of months.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also raised concerns about children who have been detained and tortured.

Syrian state media had said earlier that an inquiry would be carried out into the death of a 13-year-old boy who was allegedly tortured by Syrian security forces.

The 13-year-old Syrian boy was allegedly tortured and killed by security forces in the flashpoint Daraa region.

EU draft U.N. resolution on Syria could hurt stability: China

“The stability of Syria has a bearing on the stability of the whole region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing.

 “The Chinese government supports Syria’s efforts to protect its sovereignty and stability and we hope that stability and order in Syria will be restored as soon as possible,” she added.

 “In the current circumstances, we believe that the adoption of the U.N. Security Council resolution would do no good for the easing of tensions and stability in Syria.”

Australia pushes for Syria’s Assad to face court

Australia on Wednesday urged the United Nations to consider referring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the International Criminal Court, as it questioned the regime’s legitimacy.    

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said he had extended sanctions against Assad’s inner circle to more individuals associated with the president, and would discuss possible further legal steps with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.    

“I believe it is high time that the Security Council now consider a formal referral of President Assad to the International Criminal Court,” Rudd told the National Press Club.

“I am corresponding with the UN secretary general today and the president of the Security Council today on that matter.”

UN seeks probe after torture-killing of Syrian boy

The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF called on Syria on Tuesday to investigate reports of “horrific acts” of violence against children detained during the current wave of unrest in the Arab country.

The call came after The New York Times reported on Monday that an online video showed a 13-year-old boy, arrested at a protest on April 29, who it said had been tortured, mutilated and killed before his body was returned to his family.

Syria: Crimes Against Humanity in Daraa

‘We’ve Never Seen Such Horror’: Crimes against Humanity in Daraa,” is based on more than 50 interviews with victims and witnesses to abuses. The report focuses on violations in Daraa governorate, where some of the worst violence took place after protests seeking greater freedoms began in various parts of the country. The specifics went largely unreported due to the information blockade imposed by the Syrian authorities. Victims and witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch described systematic killings, beatings, torture using electroshock devices, and detention of people seeking medical care.

“For more than two months now, Syrian security forces have been killing and torturing their own people with complete impunity,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “They need to stop - and if they don’t, it is the Security Council’s responsibility to make sure that the people responsible face justice.”

Thanks for this cara.

12 more killed in Syria as security forces fire on mourners

zuleikha:

where is the justice?! Ya Allah.

stay-human:

Two lawmakers resign to protest Friday’s brutal crackdown by Syrian security forces, which  activists and human rights organization said have killed more than 120 protesters.

Read Article; http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article370678.ece

(April 23rd, 2011)

Jesus christ! Hope the people i know are safe :(

(via dancingonembers-deactivated2011)

The page’s in arabic but thank goodness for chrome’s page translation tool, you can easily translate it to your preferred language.

It’s similar to aljazeera’s live blog format.

Protest Update

My thoughts are with the syrian and libyan people.

Follow aljazeera’s liveblog on the goings-on in syria here

Follow aljazeera’s liveblog on the goings-on in libya here

"

Syrian authorities are to lift a five-year ban on Facebook in a move seen as an apparent “appeasement” measure, aimed at staving off unrest in the country following recent political developments in Egypt and Tunisia.

In a rare and candid interview, President Bashar al-Assad told the Wall Street Journal last week that he would push through political reforms this year aimed at initiating municipal elections, granting more power to non-governmental organisations and establishing a new media law.

The surprise move follows a failed “day of anger” protest in the Syrian capital, Damascus, last Friday and Saturday.

Crackdowns on internet freedom and fear of retribution following the recent arrest of protesters staging a solidarity vigil for Egypt was largely blamed for the lack of participation. Others pointed to widespread support for Assad, claiming calls for demonstrations were largely being co-ordinated by minority opposition groups from outside the country.

Officially banned in Syria, Facebook and other forbidden social networking sites such as YouTube are popular across the country and used by Syrians using international proxy servers to bypass firewalls.

“We are all using it anyway – so I don’t see what difference it makes,” said one Facebook user, Ahmad.

"

Lauren Williams, Syria to set Facebook status to unbanned in gesture to people | World news | The Guardian (via dowe)

This would have been greeted with a whimper back in ‘08  

(via dowe)

Syrian authorities have banned programmes that allow access to Facebook Chat from cellphones, tightening already severe restrictions on the Internet in the wake of the unrest in Tunisia, users said on Wednesday.

It was always a real hassle getting on facebook when i was in syria, proxies were my best friends. Used to be fun ‘cos once one gets popular, they block it and you find groups of syrian youth online sharing new proxies. It was fun cos you feel like you’re defying the government - taking the whole anti-government fight one step further, but it always highlighted the situation syrians had to live in. You might say it’s only facebook and other social networking sites but internet freedom is internet freedom. The country prides itself on being anti western policies and staying successful at it but how do you measure success when your own people have their activities monitored? How can you aim to be a legitimate power in the region when every form os opposition is crushed heavily?

(via fatimasfilosofee-deactivated201)

bryceluxe:

dominickbrady:unburyingthelead:
Damascus

OMG isn’t this the table mountain? i’ve been there!!!! shoot i used to go up there to take pictures and just watch damas at night. I miss this view, i even went close to this tip once

bryceluxe:

dominickbrady:unburyingthelead:

Damascus

OMG isn’t this the table mountain? i’ve been there!!!! shoot i used to go up there to take pictures and just watch damas at night. I miss this view, i even went close to this tip once