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FRIDAY, 4 January 2013
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Iraqi town caught in middle of territory row
Saturday, 05 January 2013
Butcher Sherzad Saleh stands outside his shop in Tuz Khurmatu holding a dead chicken. He has more pressing concerns than a high-level dispute over territory. “The army comes here, this is my job; the peshmerga come here, this is my job,” says Saleh. He means forces from the federal government ... Read More
Trying to live ‘normally’ in Syria’s second city
Friday, 04 January 2013
The benches in Hawas park in the battered city of Aleppo are now mere metal skeletons, the wood stripped off by residents to burn so they can keep warm in the northern Syrian winter. After months of battles devastated much of the city, the country’s former commercial hub, the people of Aleppo are trying to lead ... Read More
Bored Japanese trucker gets kicks from Syria ‘war tourism’
Thursday, 03 January 2013
Japanese trucker Toshifumi Fujimoto is bored with his humdrum job, a daily run from Osaka to Tokyo or Nagasaki hauling tanker loads of gasoline, water or even chocolate. Yet while the stocky, bearded 45-year-old could spend his free time getting a jolt of adrenaline by bungee-jumping or shark hunting, he puts ... Read More
Syrian refugees hope to return home in 2013
Wednesday, 02 January 2013
Homesick Syrian refugees welcomed 2013 in their makeshift tents at Turkey’s Yayladagi camp as they wished for peace and freedom in the New Year on Tuesday (January 01). Turkey hosts about 150,000 Syrians in camps, while tens of thousands of unregistered Syrians live in Turkish border towns and villages, according to Turkish ... Read More
New year brings trepidation for Egyptians in Tahrir Square
Wednesday, 02 January 2013
Egyptians camping in the revolutionary heart of Cairo’s Tahrir Square greeted the New Year on Tuesday (Jan. 1) with fear and concern over the country’s struggle to cope with an economic crisis. Groups of people protesting against the presidency of Mohammed Mursi clapped and sang anti-government songs beneath banners ... Read More
Desperate for weapons, Syrian opposition make their own
Monday, 31 December 2012
At a converted warehouse in the midst of a block of residential homes in a northern Syrian town, men are hard at work at giant lathes, shavings of metal gathering around them. Sacks of potassium nitrate and sugar lie nearby. In a neat row against the wall is the finished product, homemade mortars. Syrian rebels say they ... Read More
Map of ‘Syrian Kurdistan’ releases cautiously marked borders
Monday, 31 December 2012
The Kurdish Centre for Legal Studies and Consultancy, also known as YASA, released a map of what it described as “Syrian Kurdistan” which marks the borders of the Kurdish territories inside Syria. According to the map, Syrian Kurdistan, also labeled Western Kurdistan by the Bonn-based center, starts from the village of Ain ... Read More
Syria gravediggers have no time to wait for the dead
Sunday, 30 December 2012
Gravediggers at the cemetery in the northern Syrian town of Azaz no longer wait for bombs to fall before they break the ground. The dead come too fast. A war plane dropped two bombs that destroyed at least six houses on Saturday. Eleven people were killed, activists say. Some children were buried two to a grave to save Read More
Old Aleppo, frontline ghost town of ruined treasures
Sunday, 30 December 2012
A 13th century mosque is shuttered, its tottering minaret struck at the base by a shell. Snipers fire from nests atop the immense stone walls of the citadel, where ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab and Turkish warriors once perched. Until a few months ago, Old Aleppo was both a living museum and a breathing city, where ... Read More
Arab artists wary, yet optimistic on the state of the arts post-Arab Spring
Saturday, 29 December 2012
Leading Arab artists recently attended the Arab Festival for Radio and Television in Tunisia where they collectively expressed concern over the future of the arts given the recent change of governments in Arab Spring countries, particularly Tunisia and Egypt, where popular revolutions unseated long-standing autocratic regimes ... Read More
Iraqis get glimpse of golden era in new exhibit
Friday, 28 December 2012
Iraqis wistful for a golden age in politics, often labeled divided and cynical now, have been able to harken back to such a time through an exhibition on their inaugural parliament 87 years ago. During the exhibition at the modern Council of Representatives building in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, ... Read More
Pakistan gallery defies dictators
Friday, 28 December 2012
It may not seem the most obvious setting, but a squat building overlooking a slum is home to one of Pakistan’s leading galleries, which for 30 years has defied dictatorships and fundamentalists to champion cutting-edge art. Rohtas Gallery was founded in 1981, at the height of military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq’s ... Read More
Exclusively Islamic? Malaysian Christians call for using the word ‘Allah’ in their Bible
Thursday, 27 December 2012
The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, PAS, has responded to a re-ignited debate surrounding the use of the Arabic word for God, ‘’Allah’’, as Christian groups claim the right to use the term in their own religious Read More
In Syria, “father of martyrs” speaks of revenge
Thursday, 27 December 2012
After losing three sons and two grandsons, 70-year-old Abdelhalim Haj Omar has no doubt about the fate he wants for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “I hope Bashar, God willing, doesn’t die until they slaughter his whole family in front of him and they bring him here so that all of Syria can get their revenge from ... Read More
Mental illness, poverty haunted Afghan policewoman who killed American
Thursday, 27 December 2012
The Afghan policewoman suspected of killing a U.S. contractor at police headquarters in Kabul suffered from mental illness and was driven to suicidal despair by poverty, her children told Reuters on Wednesday. The woman was identified by authorities as Narges Rezaeimomenabad, a 40-year-old grandmother and mother of three who ... Read More
Shihab Ghanem the first Arab to receive India’s Tagore Peace Prize
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
The Asiatic society will award the Tagore Peace Prize to renowned Arab poet Shihab Ghanem, reported the WAM agency Wednesday. The peace prize is named after Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali creative talent and India's first Nobel laureate. Ghanem is the first-ever Arab to receive the prestigious award. He spoke to Al ... Read More
‘Pause to Pray:’ Iran bans flights during call to Islamic prayer
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Iran's parliament has banned on airplanes from flying in the country during the Azan call to Islamic prayer, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday. "According to the new directive, airplanes are banned from flying during Azan, especially during the call to morning prayers," Mehr quoted ... Read More
Iraqi Christians pray for peace and security in Arab world
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Thousands of Iraqi Christians flocked to churches in Baghdad on Tuesday to celebrate Christmas, taking advantage of a noticeable recent ebb in violence in the country. Dressed in their best, men, women and children attended prayers at special Christmas Mass services in various churches in Baghdad. A large number of devout ... Read More
Bread shortage tells story of Syrian suffering
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
Syrians, men, women and children queue for hours every day –sometimes under heavy winter rains --in front of bakeries to obtain bread in besieged areas. In some cases a family is only entitled to one bag of bread, because of high Read More
Sudan displaced await Christmas with smiles, tears
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
From homes of mud brick or roughly built shelters, Sudan’s displaced will gather on the sandy lot of St Bakhita’s parish church on Monday for Christmas mass. The metal benches beneath the church’s sagging ceiling will be unable to hold all the worshippers: some are South Sudanese still waiting to go home, and many others are ... Read More
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