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Entries from December 2010

US ambassador to Syria finally appointed

December 30th, 2010 · No Comments · Politics

US President Barack Obama has used a legal loophole to push through his nomination for US Ambassador to Syria. He named Robert Ford as the man he wanted to send to Damascus shortly after becoming president in 2009. But Republican senators have repeatedly refused to ratify the nomination, claiming it would send the wrong signals […]

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Happy Christmas (plus Lena Chamamyan news)

December 24th, 2010 · No Comments · Culture

Happy Christmas to everyone who is celebrating. And even if you’re not, there’s another reason to smile: Lena Chamamyan is performing in Damascus on Christmas Day. Go to Bab Touma Square at 7pm for the free concert. If you’re not in Damascus, you can watch it live on the Syrian Satellite Channel: Midday in New […]

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Syria as it used to be – part 3

December 24th, 2010 · No Comments · Culture

The final part of this amazing collection of images from Syria over the past 150 years from Camille Alexandre Otrakji. You can see part 1 here and part 2 here. This week: the Victoria Bridge over the Barada River in Damascus in the 1870s. This bridge no longer exists, and this section of river is […]

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Jordan kills three people at the Syrian border

December 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · Incidents

Jordanian border guards have shot dead three Arabs trying to cross illegally into Syria. Two Egyptians and their Jordanian guide died immediately. Ten others were arrested. Did anyone know that Jordan had a shoot-to-kill policy on people leaving the country? What is this? North Korea? Surely the Jordanians would be happy for the Syrians to […]

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Syrian horserider qualifies for the Olympics

December 21st, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Ahmad Hamsho has made it into the London 2012 Olympics at a qualifying session in the US. The 18 year old is the youngest rider ever to qualify. He’s already a record-breaker, after he became the youngest rider to complete the World Championship for Endurance in Germany. Hamsho qualified for the Olympics along with Egyptian rider […]

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Foreign demand for Syrian handicrafts increases

December 20th, 2010 · No Comments · Culture

Interesting story from Sarah Birke here. She argues that a boom in demand for Syrian woodwork and traditional crafts is compensating for a decline in local customers. Demand, according to Moazen and his fellow artisans, comes predominantly from the Gulf, Cyprus, Australia and Germany. A whole room, costing $500 to $20,000, depending on the quality […]

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Send your photos of Syria this way…

December 19th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Culture

Thanks to Umniyya‘s great idea, it would be great if you could send your most iconic photos of Syria to mail at newsfromsyria.com, and we’ll start posting them here. Who knows, if it gets big enough, we could even create a dedicated website. Umniyya’s going to get the ball rolling, by scanning some family images […]

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Syria as it used to be – part 2

December 17th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Culture

The second part of this collection of images from Syria over the past 150 years from Camille Alexandre Otrakji. You can see part 1 here. The final part will be posted next Friday. This week: a band of musicians in Aleppo in 1915, the Aleppo Citadel in 1910, the Nestle building in Aleppo in 1920, a […]

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36 Hours in Damascus

December 16th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Travel

A while ago I posted a link to the New York Times photostory on a weekend Damascus, it seems there was more than I found first time round. Unlike most travel stories about Syria, Seth Sherwood has clearly got under the skin of Damascus, and provides some useful nuggets even for those of us who […]

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Disabled workers get more rights in Syria

December 14th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Culture

Private sector companies are now legally required to employ a proportion of disabled staff. Phil Sands has the story. Under the legislation, passed in April, all companies must take at least two per cent of their employees from among those registered as disabled, or face fines equivalent to the salaries they would be paying those […]

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