Samia's Feed
Dec 12, 2012

Big powers meet as Syria rebels move closer to Assad

MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – Major powers are set to give Syria’s opposition full political recognition on Wednesday but not the weapons that rebel fighters need to counter President Bashar al-Assad’s superior firepower as they gain ground across the country.

The “Friends of Syria,” a loose forum of governments opposed to Assad, will meet in the Moroccan city of Marrakech as the rebels intensify their push on Damascus and signs grow that the 20-month uprising may be nearing a tipping point.

Dec 7, 2012

Hamas leader returns to Gaza with wider ambitions

Dec 7 (Reuters) – Fifteen years after Israel tried to
assassinate him in Jordan, Islamist leader Khaled Meshaal says
the Jewish state would not risk trying again on his triumphant
return to Palestinian land.

Not only has his Hamas movement which runs Gaza gained
popularity among Palestinians from a recent war with Israel, it
has begun to overcome its pariah status after uprisings brought
like-minded Islamists to power across the Arab world.

Nov 30, 2012

Interview: Hamas says Gaza conflict, U.N. recognition go together

DOHA, Qatar (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state won by his rival Mahmoud Abbas should be seen alongside Gaza’s latest conflict with Israel as a single, bold strategy that could empower all Palestinians.

Meshaal said the short war which claimed 162 Palestinian lives and five Israelis was concluded on terms set by the Palestinian Islamist movement and ended its isolation, creating a new mood that could lead to reconciliation with Abbas’s Fatah.

Nov 30, 2012

Hamas says Gaza conflict, U.N. recognition go together

DOHA, Qatar (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state won by his rival Mahmoud Abbas should be seen alongside Gaza’s latest conflict with Israel as a single, bold strategy that could empower all Palestinians.

Meshaal said the short war which claimed 162 Palestinian lives and five Israelis was concluded on terms set by the Palestinian Islamist movement and ended its isolation, creating a new mood that could lead to reconciliation with Abbas’s Fatah.

Oct 25, 2012

Insight: Bomb blast brings Lebanon’s party capital to juddering halt

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Luxury yachts line the glitzy seafront marina of Beirut’s Zaytouneh Bay where owners would sip champagne at sunset before stepping out for dinner – spoilt for choice between going Italian at Signor Sassi or French at Cro Magnon.

Across the street, the Whisky Mist night club at the Intercontinental Phoenicia Hotel would normally be swinging with Beiruti night clubbers. Gulf Arabs would head for the oriental Awtar night club at the Monroe Hotel for a belly dancing show.

Oct 25, 2012

Bomb blast brings Lebanon’s party capital to juddering halt

BEIRUT, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Luxury yachts line the glitzy
seafront marina of Beirut’s Zaytouneh Bay where owners would sip
champagne at sunset before stepping out for dinner – spoilt for
choice between going Italian at Signor Sassi or French at Cro
Magnon.

Across the street, the Whisky Mist night club at the
Intercontinental Phoenicia Hotel would normally be swinging with
Beiruti night clubbers. Gulf Arabs would head for the oriental
Awtar night club at the Monroe Hotel for a belly dancing show.

Oct 22, 2012

Killing of security chief raises fears for Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Beirut car bomb that killed a top Lebanese security official will probably prove to be the most destabilizing attack in Lebanon since the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.

What is less clear – and this is something that instills fear in a society still scarred by its 1975-90 civil war – is whether the attack was a reprisal or the start of a campaign of violence by Damascus and its allies, suspected by many Lebanese of trying to spread Syria’s conflict across its borders.

Oct 21, 2012

Analysis : Killing of security chief raises fears for Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Beirut car bomb that killed a top Lebanese security official will probably prove to be the most destabilizing attack in Lebanon since the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.

What is less clear – and this is something that instills fear in a society still scarred by its 1975-90 civil war – is whether the attack was a reprisal or the start of a campaign of violence by Damascus and its allies, suspected by many Lebanese of trying to spread Syria’s conflict across its borders.

Oct 10, 2012

In shifting Syria conflict, Assad assumes command of forces

BEIRUT, Oct 10 (Reuters) – The picture is deceptively
normal. Posted on the Facebook page of President Bashar al-Assad
of Syria, it shows the first lady Asma, dressed in jeans and a
t-shirt, accompanying her daughter and three sons on their first
day back at school.

Two of the boys wear camouflage shorts with khaki t-shirts
and caps, in keeping with the spirit of a ruler under siege. Yet
when she dropped off Hafez, the eldest, named after his
strongman grandfather, only one other child had arrived in class
because of rebel attacks in Damascus that morning.

Sep 14, 2012
via FaithWorld

Lebanon Christians feel under siege but find hope in Pope Benedict’s visit

Photo

( St. George’s Maronite Cathedral and Mohammad al-Amin mosque side by side in central Beirut, 13 Sept 2012/Tom Heneghan)

In 1510, Pope Leo X thanked Divine Providence for having preserved the Maronite Christians through the hardest of times, “planted among infidels, schismatics and heretics as in a field of error”.