Syria News Wire

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The view from Paris – riots and the Arab World

December 13th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

I wrote this post in Paris, in May 2006, just after Nicolas Sarkozy was elected President of France – but I never published it. You can probably say Sarkozy was the man who pulled Syria in from the cold. But eighteen months ago, I wasn’t so optimistic. In fact, I was downright distraught…   France […]

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Fatah Al-Islam says leader killed in Damascus

December 10th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Terrorist group Fatah Al-Islam says its leader has been killed in Damascus. The organisation was involved in a war with the Lebanese army in Tripoli last year. It was also accused of a number of car bombings in Beirut. Their leader Shaker Al-Abssi was jailed in Syria many years ago. After his release he fled […]

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Syria on the web – Syria’s saviour – Asma Al-Assad

December 7th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

You know that Syria is coming in from the cold when articles like this start appearing. The Sunday Times has devoted a massive feature piece to Asma Al-Assad. It’s a rare glimpse into the life of the President’s wife. And whether you like her or not, the fact that such a positive article has appeared in […]

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Happy families – Aoun arrives in Damascus

December 3rd, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

The man known for years as Lebanon’s most anti-Syrian leader has arrived in Damascus. Michel Aoun is in Syria for the first time ever. No, I never ever thought I’d see this moment. And by the looks of it, neither did Bashar. (Photo: AFP)

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The Eighth Gate of Damascus is becoming reality

December 1st, 2008 · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

There are seven gates on the Old City of Damascus. Now an eighth one’s being built. The Eighth Gate project isn’t actually anywhere near the Old City. It’s in the millionaire-suburb of Yaafour. We first learned about it two long years ago. And they started selling the unfinished properties earlier this year. Apparently, there is […]

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Syria on the web – Obama’s Syria policy, Imad Moustapha’s Syria policy, Damascus in the 80s, and more…

November 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

‘Syria on the web’ is the start of a new series of posts showing the best articles on Syria – from the blogs, and the international and local press. We start with an article by Aaron Miller – a former advisor to President Clinton. He’s urging Barack Obama to follow a ‘Syria first’ policy. Dump […]

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10% sales tax delayed

November 28th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

It was supposed to start next year – but the 10% sales tax has been scrapped. For now. Syria has a poor record in collecting taxes, but a sales tax is a lot easier to manage. So VAT (Value Added Tax) was supposed to be launched next year. The price of all goods and services […]

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Picture of the day – Jebl Qasioun

November 26th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

There are a lot of things I like about Qasioun. The ability to look at Damascus in miniature. The distance from reality. The space. The breeze. The sounds drifting up from the city below. And there are a lot of things I hate. The out-of-towners who run the over-priced flea-pits. The tourists. The women looking for […]

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British pop star brings Syrian Orchestra to UK

November 25th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The Syrian Orchestra are performing with one of the UK’s biggest pop stars. Damon Albarn is the man behind Blur – they were one of the biggest bands of the 1990s in Britain, beaten only to the top spot by Oasis. But since then, they have split up, and Albarn has worked on an eclectic […]

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Syria News Wire makes it into a newspaper – again

November 23rd, 2008 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

So after the Syria News Wire was picked as one of the Daily Telegraph’s favourite Syria blogs, the same British newspaper asked me for an interview. The Daily Telegraph is Britain’s biggest selling quality newspaper, with about one million copies a day. But I had my suspicions. It has a reputation as the most right-wing […]

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