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Thursday, February 23


My friend Reem wrote this poem and asked me to post it on my blog for better understanding, and I wouldn’t say no.

Muslim is Me,
Christian is He, BUT
Brothers are We,
Equal should Be, WHY?!

In the name of Humanity we live,
Under the Sky, on Earth, and behind the Cliffs,
The Birth of us Adam & Eve gave,
From Water & Clay are just Ourselves,
Modest, Calm, Down-to-Earth is our Level,

Mark & Muhammad CAN Coexist,
In Both Civilizations that Persist,
On integration & Unity so this is our Benefit,
Dialogue, Cooperation, progress are an asset,
In a Society where Success & patience are our Habit,
"Peace, Happiness, Mercy & Love try to Spread",

"Oh No ! Don't kill any Creature,
Never Destroy a Church or Harm any Preacher,
Women, Babies, and Old Take Care,
Plants & Roses, You Don't Dare",

"Oh here is an Ant Don't Step"!
"A Thirsty Dog, Please give a Sip"!

That is OUR Prophet's Say,
This is OUR Islam Way,
Proud of them till Doomsday!!

Freedom & Respect are OUR Feature,
So How Come Mocking OUR TEACHER!! (Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him).



Wednesday, February 15

To Be Or Not To Be

It came to my mind to ask many Syrian kids from different social classes about their hopes, dreams and what do they like to be in future…
When I asked Samir, 8-year-old, “What do you want to be in future?” with full confidence he said “ I ‘m sure I’ll be a plastic surgeon, all people want to look better, I’ll make a great profit from it, I’ll gain a lot of money and I’ll be rich, I also wish to reach the age of 17 because my father promised me to buy me a BMW motorcycle, I’ll not let anyone race me because I’ll be the winner!”

Joudy 10-year-old, she already speaks two languages perfectly in addition to Arabic, she answered me without hesitation; “interior designer, I also love fashion, and yeah I can’t wait till I grow up to do a plastic surgery to my nose, there is something wrong with it, I don’t like it. I also will drive my mother’s car or buy a new one and let little kids sit in the back so I’ll take them to nice places to play.”

Dalia, 8-year-old, I asked her in Arabic but she answered me in English “I want to be a scientist, but for a now I’ve big dream, I would like to fly in the sky where the clouds are all full of sweats and candies, so I can eat them all without having any teeth pain or caries”. A minute of silence… then “Ghalia, can I be more than one thing?” I told her that yes she can, then she added “ I also want to be an artist (I love painting), a school director, an accountant and bar-code specialist, a swim teacher, a traveler, a cook ( I would like to cook a delicious food)”, a shopkeeper… actually her list goes so long… but she ended telling me “ I hope to make them all real”.

Hameed, 9-year-old, I met him in Old Damascus at Souq al-Hamidiyeh, he was supposed to be at school while he was actually working as a goods porter, “What do you want to be in the future?” I asked. He looked at me quizzically, he needs not to say anything, from his reaction I knew that he had never thought of that. “I don’t know, I have to ask my father, he will decide for me, I really don’t know!”

Same as Hameed, Tamer also doesn’t know what to be in the future, he said “Whatever, I’ll be anything, I really don’t know, I do have some wishes, but I’m sure none will come true” he flashed me a smile, then he felt shy, while I felt foolish because I understood what he meant. He has many things to worry about today, tomorrow can certainly wait!.

Abdo, 12-year-old was afraid of me, he answered me cautiously “ I want to be an employee”, “do you go to school?” I asked, “yes, I do, I’m at the sixth grade” you should not leave your school if you want to be an employee” I commented. “I know, I will not” he said. But ironically it was a school time when I asked him while he was selling kind of whistles and balloon for kids.

At last, Fawzi and Khaled seem to be close friends, they both are 11-year-old, I met them coming back from school, they both want to study Islam and be specialist of Islamic law and jurisprudence, “We will be Muslim clerics and we are already studying in an Islamic school that we love it.”

P.S. Those children do not represent the society, each one of them is a unique child with his dreams, hopes, wishes and life to live.


Sunday, February 5

What A Shame!

First of all I would like to clarify that my Blog is not about political issues nor Islamic ones.

Concerning the so-appeared to be peaceful and civilized protests against offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that were published in a Danish newspaper a few months ago that turned into a shameful violent act, my friends, Ayman and Ihsan said it all, I wouldn’t have said it better than they did.


Wednesday, February 1

Voices from America

As I got a lot of American visitors yesterday, I have received more than fifty E-mails asking me about my life and my country. A lot of applausments and a little of critisim.
I want to highlight some voices I’ve recived from U.S, and I would like to thank everyone who sent me an E-mail, showed a respect, admiration and appreciation, even critisism, and most of all, thanks for those who commented here thank you very much.

“I am an American and alittle worried about reading and writing on your blog”

“I am really impressed from the pictures of your Country. I just hope that Syria doesn’t get too westernized. Every nation needs to hold on to some of its past and teach the young its history…I do hope that the children hold on to the ways of their country. Not saying imitating the Americans is bad, but I am not happy with some of our attitude today. I am an older American who I guess is set in his ways and at times do not like what I see of today’s world.”

“I just read a story about you on the net and had a look at your blog. I must say it's very interesting. Being from America, in the Midwest actually, I have no idea of what life in Syria is like…I am a little disturbed by some of the replies of your countrymen, but we I understand we have our share of close-minded fools also. Keep up the good work, and tell whoever you can that most of us are just ordinary people like them..”

“…We only get a lot of negative news about Syria. I am glad you are speaking out about the good in your country. I'm not sure that a Kentucky Fried Chicken is great diplomacy, but if it works, then great. I'm just afraid you folks will blame us for stomach aches...”

“Your blog reads like a boring tourism guide to Syria with occasional flashes of brilliance (KFC and the Supermarket piece). There is obvious passion in you about the great past history of Syria. What of the here and now? Please skip the "interesting places of Syria" tour and blog about the sadness, the joy, the passion of the Syrian people.
I understand you can't say certain things in your country, that politics, your government, your president close the door on certain directions you may what your blog to go (free thought possibly). But what you are showing me now tells me nothing of you and the people of Syria. Please make a difference to those of us outside the "Syrian Wall".”

“…Fatima also said she worries that many Americans have a bad impression of Syria, which is probably true. You must understand that we have a large population and many people in the US have never left the country and do not understand other cultures, so they are unnecessarily suspicious.”

...As for some of the comments that were left on your site, they seem like close minded people. I believe that these people are everywhere even in the US. In the US we try to be open minded, I just want to add that as a country we are fairly new compare to Syria, which has thousands of years of history. However, we only have about 200+ years. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all want things we don't have.
The things that scare us the most is intolerance. Such as your January 27 blog about Mirrored Umayyad. That kind of action scare us because we view it as intolerance and we fear intolerance. My guess is that you're old and we are new. It's like the generation gap. We see things from different point of views and if we (as in the US and Syria) aren't willing to accept each other point of view, but want or have the need to destroy that different view than we have a problem. Who will get destroy? Just like a comment in your KFC blog, someone said that they want to destroy KFC because it's a symbol of America. That scare us.
Thank you for open your world up to us.

“…Your country has let Saddam's arsenal be shipped to and hidden in your country. The truth will come out eventually and there will be military action in your country. The only way to be treated fairly in this world is to renounce violence and corruption and do what you can to promote peace. Syrian citizens are judged by the actions of their governments because the citizens let the government rule over them. I am my own person and would fight to the death to save that right. Your people need the same passion for freedom and equal rights if you ever want to be considered a respectable people in the eyes of the world.”

“…It was very nice to see Syria through the eyes of a person who is detached from the political spin of the world. I can tell you that here in the US, it is much the same. Many of our generation are discontent with the government, but unfortunately, we can do nothing about it. If you were to come to the US, you would find that there are great people that accept people of all origins, like myself…I hope you keep your message strong, and show the world that we can all have great friends all over the world if we just put aside trivial things. Perhaps some day I will be able to travel to Damascus and see what great things are there, but for now, my country will not create the favorable conditions for me to do so.”

“…am an older woman. I am very curious about women's lives in other cultures. Do you know any women in your country of 40-60 years who blog?... but I believe to understand another culture, I want to understand the lives of the women. I am sure my struggles are the same as theirs. I would like to know what they think and why…I will also read your blog and learn about the thoughts of a young woman. I promise to never INTEND to insult so perhaps you will have to teach me what is not permissible. Someday I hope to visit your culture.”

“…I must say that you bring out some very good points of discussion and very good things about your country, as did Majd and Elie. Hopefully one day, sooner than later, everyone wouldn't have to worry about things such as Terrorism, or who's going to attack who, or people being killed...things of that nature…Thank you for the insight...and Ghalia, thank you for being who you are. You're awesome..”

“it is good to see women in your part of the world being able to express their thoughts and feelings openly”

“Congrats on getting your blog featured on Yahoo. Syria is so often discussed as chess piece in the game of Mid-east politics it is hard to realize it is also a home for people that want KFC dinners and the peaceful pictures of Aleppo. Good luck.”

“…Hopefully in the coming years peace can settle in the Middle East. It will be your generation that will be responsible for making these changes and that is why I encourage you to remain open minded. Again keep up the good work and do not lose your optimistic attitude. It is up to you and your peers to make this world a better place.”
A former American soldier

“…I've learned so much about Syria in just the 20 minutes I spent looking at your blog today…”

“…A country like Syria, so rich in culture and human history, is appreciated by most people although some do dismiss it as a breeding ground for terrorists. I think it is awesome that you have so much pride in your country. Thank you for giving others a glimpse of your unique and beautiful city.”