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Entries from January 2010

Zain tries to get into Syria…again

January 16th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Business

Zain, the Kuwait-based pan-Arab mobile phone network, is trying again to launch in Syria. After last year’s botched takeover of Syriatel, the company is now in talks with the Syrian government to bid for the third Syrian mobile license. There are currently two operators: Syrian-owned Syriatel, and South African network MTN. Zain offers free calls between […]

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Syria makes it into the New York Times top 10 destinations

January 14th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Travel

It’s official: Syria is one of the travel hotspots for 2010. The New York Times puts Damascus at number 7. The paragraph sells the Syrian capital on the basis of its boutique hotels (really, is that the best you can come up with?), and was written by former Global Post Beirut correspondent Don Duncan (I’m […]

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Syria’s retaliation against America

January 13th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Travel

Following the failed bomb attack on a US-bound plane, America has imposed tough new security measures. Tough new security measures to add to the tough new security measures imposed after 9/11. Except that these tough new security measures only apply to some individuals. People who carry passports issued in: Syria, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, […]

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2008 – Bashar avoids shaking Olmert’s hand

January 7th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Politics

This is a classic video from the 2008 Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. With Bashar as Sarkozy’s guest of honour, the Syrian President narrowly avoids shaking Ehud Olmert’s hand. Twice. Olmert is moving along the line shaking hands with each person he meets. He is one person away from Bashar, when the Syrian President makes […]

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Syria tries to attract major international banks

January 3rd, 2010 · 2 Comments · Business

Syria is attempting to bring global banking brands into the country. It has, for the first time, allowed international companies to own a majority share in banks operating in Syria. That means – for example – HSBC could open ‘HSBC Syria’ and own 60% of it. Before, it was limited to a minority stake of […]

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Happy New Year

January 1st, 2010 · 2 Comments · Culture

…from the streets of the Old City, Damascus.

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