Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”
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This year’s DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival was a reminder of the worsening conditions for migrants and refugees as a result of the Trump administration’s policies. Syrian Palestinian filmmaker Samer Salameh was denied a visa to the U.S., a victim of the so-called Muslim ban preventing travel to the U.S. for Syrian nationals.
Follow the Women was founded in 2004, and this year 120 women from the United States, England, Iran, Italy, Jordan, China, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, France, Germany, Belgium and Cyprus biked all over Lebanon visiting Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps, not-for-profit foundations, former prison camps, cafes, schools and even a micro-brewery and soap factory.
In Lebanon, one of the countries that has been most burdened by the Syrian refugee crisis, public schools are strained to the limits. Schooldays operate on a two-shift schedule—the first half of the day is for Lebanese children (and some Syrians if space permits), and the second half is for Syrian children. Still, half of all Syrian refugee children in Lebanon don’t go to school at all.
The answer to a failed intervention is, more intervention. And to justify such a policy, the interventionist media cite low civilian casualty figures in the Iraq war, and now appears to be grossly undercounting civilian deaths caused by rebels in Syria.
Read an an excerpt from the new book ‘Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War’ by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami. The book tells the story of how Syrians took to the streets in 2011 to demand the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and the political and humanitarian nightmare still unfolding today. This excerpt explores how the regime responded with overwhelming violence to the initial non-violent protests, and the choices facing grassroots activists as the revolution militarized.
World-famous British artist Banksy has made a bold statement about refugees in his latest artwork depicting Steve Jobs, the visionary CEO and cofounder of Apple, on a wall in “The Jungle” refugee camp outside the port city of Calais in northern France. The piece is simply titled “the son of a migrant from Syria.”
Help support filmmaker Susan Youssef make her new film ‘Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf’: “Our screens are a reflection of our society. We need an honoring of Syrian and Palestinian life as equal as our own as Americans and Europeans. Supporting media by Arabs and Muslims about Arabs and Muslims is one way that we can instigate the process of healing and hope.”
Maurice Ebileeni reflects on his family’s history of becoming Palestinian citizens of Israel during the Nakba instead of refugees in Lebanon or Syria. Aylan el-Kurdi tragic death has made him realize how easily he could be a refugee attempting to flee Syria now if his family had only made a different choice decades ago.
While thousands demonstrated in support of Syrian refugees across Europe on Saturday, a crowd of over 200 New Yorkers gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square on Saturday to show they are tired of feeling their own community was neglecting the issue. “People in the United States seem to feel that the Syrian crisis is Europe’s problem,” says 25-year-old Syrian American Nader Atassi, who helped organize a pro-refugee rally. “We’re here to say it’s a human problem, and we want our government to do more to help.”
What is the alternate history where Al Gore is elected President in 2000? What is the alternate history where the United States does not launch two destructive 10 year wars in the Middle East in 2003? How much of the current refugee problem in the Middle East and North Africa is traceable to our actions in these wars?
Last week, speaking at the Israel Defense conference on “Intelligence, Terror and Special Forces”, retired Jordanian army General and former Chief of Intelligence Mansour Abu Rashid unveiled what he called a “crazy proposal” to open a corridor to push fleeing Syrian refugees through Jordan into Saudi Arabia. The plan received the most boisterous applause of the two-day conference from the crowd of mostly Israeli military-intelligence officials.
Israelis spied on Clinton’s talks with Assad in peace process in ’99. And U.S., acting as Israel’s lawyer, promised to show Israel all proposals it offered to Arabs so that Israelis would not find anything “unsatisfactory” in them.
Like other Syrians, Syrian Palestinians are collateral damage to both the Syrian regime’s bombing and the international approach that chooses to manage the disintegration of Syria. The crisis of Al-Yarmuk has unearthed trans-generational memories of the 1948 Nakba, kept alive by the obduracy of second- and third-generation refugees now witnessing their camps – their neighborhoods – disappear like those of their grandparents.
Is Kerry pursuing regime change in Syria or is he posturing for the world community? Kerry should get off his anti-Iran soapbox and get on with helping to end the suffering of the Syrian people.
The large scale displacement of the longstanding Palestinian refugee population in Syria has been little mentioned in media coverage. This infographic highlights the challenges faced by Palestinian refugee children from Syria, from displacement to school closures, emergency education provision and the simple uncertainty over whether they will have access to education.
John Kerry landed in Israel yesterday after meeting with with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva to iron out a deal over Syria’s chemical weapons disposal. Although the trip to Israel was hyped in some quarters as “a personal mission to try to achieve a long-elusive peace deal between Israel and the PA”, Barak Ravid reporting in Haaretz zeros in on a topic we discussed earlier, Will Kerry ask Israel to ratify chemical weapons treaty, with Syria plan afoot?
During the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria on September 3, Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain both cited a Wall Street Journal editorial by Elizabeth O’Bagy to support their assessment of the Syrian rebels as predominately “moderate,” and potentially Western-friendly. What Kerry and McCain neglected to mention was that O’Bagy had been recently hired as the political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a little known outfit that functions as a lobbying arm of the Syrian opposition in Washington.
Jon Stewart returned to the Daily Show from his 12-week summer hiatus with engines in full sneering throttle over US plans to invade Syria.
Latest Pew poll shows Americans opposed to a strike on Syria by 48 to 29 percent with 23 not sure. KY Sen Rand Paul says no one who calls his office supports the attack
Patrick Cockburn: Peace conference on Syria would involve recognition of Iran as regional power
Do the neoconservatives want a confrontation with Iran over Syria so as to utterly dispel the liberal hopes of detente? And doesn’t the push for war remind you of Iraq push?
Samantha Power, Obama’s nominee for UN ambassador, has always had the right wax on her skis. Now that wax is neoconservative; Power pushed Syrian intervention
“The bigshots say we should pay no mind to what the people in the country think.” Chris Matthews takes on Bill Clinton and elite leaders who seek Syrian intervention in defiance of popular will
Israel once prided itself on taking in Vietnamese boat people in the late ’70s. We are refugees ourselves, declared the Israeli Prime Minister. But in the Syrian case, when hundreds of thousands are filling refugee camps in several neighboring countries, Israel has a firm Not In My Back Yard policy. Not very neighborly.