Showing posts from October, 2010

No Honor in Honor Killing

The 29th of October is International Day of Solidarity with Victims of Crimes of Honor . To all the psychotic men who believe that killing women restores their honor. To all the worhtless men and submissive or manly women who blame the victim and the murderer. To all the cowardly lawmakers looking the other way. To all the timid souls toward the savagery of tribalism, traditions, awkwardness, and yes even religion. You are ALL partners in crime. There is no honor in Honor Killings.

Syrian Economics 101

Recently on this blog I posted The Syrian Private Sector: A Socioeconomic Farce . It did not impress me then as one of my more controversial pieces of writing. After all, I reckoned, I am merely stating the obvious; what everyone in Syria is already aware of and what the majority of the people believe to be very close to the truth. I had no idea that in doing so I had stomped over every modern economic theory out there. My unassuming yet commonsensical post was stripped naked, analyzed and criticised by the expert hands (and mind) of one of Syria’s leading online economists, Ehsani on Syria Comment and to tell you the truth I was not offended in the least. Although he cleverly stated that he found my amateurish wading in the realm of economics entertaining it must’ve touched a raw nerve.  As a matter of fact, I was flattered that my simple essay had inspired him to compose such a replete article. My only squabble with Ehsani concerns two points in his critique. First,

Another Brick Off the Wall

I returned to Tartous on a moonless night in early September. Physically I was exhausted from the tiring journey. Immanently my leave of absence was a voyage on the road to self discovery and the fulfilling of an amaranthine dream. The taxi drove through the deserted streets shortly before midnight. Through dopey eyes I fancied that the wrought iron fence around my city park was gone. In the short spell before sleep prevailed I wondered whether it was just wishful thinking on my part. I hate barriers with a vengeance. Even picturesque picket fences in the countryside leave me with a foreboding feeling of oppression. Children need not grow up in the confines of a repressive home nor rot in the stifling outdoors. Inspirited men are not meant to go through life moving from a jail cell to a larger prison. Ardent women must not be incarcerated behind a thick veil of deistic benightedness. Parks should not be closed in and locked. Sculpture by Ali Suleiman The fence was gone, I w


My hair, too short to be ruffled by the wind and covered with a Barmah hat stood on end. A gust fondled the sleeves of my shirt awakening a maudlin pain inside. It meandered through my joints, traveled in my body then tingled my fingers and my toes. I took a long breath and heaved, slipping a heavy weight off my shoulders. I could feel it in my bones. Matar, precious rain, was near. Driftwood cracked in a bonfire and wept. Flames tongued upward and ambled with fatal seduction. Sparks exploded and evanesced in the dark. A transient cloud veiled my beautiful Thuraya, the Pleiades, before she twinkled again for my eyes only. The lights of anchored ships beyond the breakwater flickered with the rising surf. A long whistle wailed with anguish then died. We clinked our glasses and drank a toast, “To Summer. May it rest in peace.” The night was young and the Arak abound in the company of lifelong friends. We drank the time away then drifted apart. Echoes of their laughter chased my croc

They sure don't sing them like that anymore

  Engelbert Humperdinck How I love you You hold me in your eyes In your own special way I wonder how you know The things I never say I can't imagine life Without you by my side The power of your love Is all I need tonight I know there have been times That I have caused you pain I'd turn them all around If I could start again There's something I must say I know it's overdue The sweetest thing I've known Forever called my own Begins and ends with you How I love you How I love you The softness of your lips The colour of your hair The memory of your touch Remains when you're not there The echoes of your laughter When I'm feeling blue The meaning of my life It all begins with you So come into my arms Lay down by my side The moon is always there To keep our love alight I've reached so very high For everything that's mine And at the top is you I want you for all time A dream forever new How I love you

The Syrian Private Sector: A Socioeconomic Farce

According to a recent publication by the Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics the average 2009 monthly salary was SYP11,000 (US$234). The same document listed the average household expenditure during the same year at SYP30,000 (US$638) per month. Equally disturbing is the fact that government jobs paid higher than those in the private sector. One last finding, which might be of interest to some, was that women were fairing slightly better than men as far as average wages are concerned. Officially disclosed salaries in the Syrian private sector range from the minimum full-time wage of $125 to $42,000 a month. Although I am running the risk of being repetitive and for the sake of clarification, I need to rephrase the last statement. There are private companies and institutions in Syria where one employee is making (in salary) as much as 336 of his co-workers. I emphasized the word employee in order for the reader not to get the matter confused thinking that I meant the