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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”
Anonymous

“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.”
Sonny

“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..”
dustin

“…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...”
Lynn

“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".”
Edward

“…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.”
Michael

...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.
Allen

“…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.”
Kevin

“…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.”
Ernest

“…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.”
Sharon

“…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..”
Chris

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

“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.”
Frank

“…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…”
Tamara

“…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.”
Chris

36 Comments:

  • الصراحة أني ضحكت على بعض الكلام المكتوب ، و بالأخص ذلك الذي يتحدث على أن الدولة هي المسيطرة و أن الشعب يجب أن يعبر عن رأيه و ... الخ
    و نحن نعلم ما حدث في الدورة الأولى و الثانية لبوش و كيف أنه نجح بارادة الشعب الذي يحبه ..
    يعني صراحة لهون جايين تحكو ...
    يعني عم يحكوا و هنن مصدقين كذب الدولة الخاصة بهم بأن هنالك أسلحة دمار شامل ...
    يا عمي مشينا ...
    بدك تمحيها امحيها مو فارقة ...

    By Blogger Linux Juggler, at 1/2/06 3:01 PM  

  • it's amazing how little people would do to know more about other civilizations.. good thing some people still try to bridge the continents..
    I'm really glad that your blog was featured on yahoo.. it's one of the fewer ones that actually showcases reality as it is, not as we want it to be. and it documents life in Damascus very well...

    congratulations. and thank you :)

    By Blogger Omar, at 1/2/06 7:19 PM  

  • Many congratulations on this well-deserved recognition of your blog.. By getting all those comments from 'normal' Americans, and by raising their interest to find out more about Syria, you have achieved in one move more than was achieved by years and years of ‘activity’ (or rather, lack of!..) by all the Syrian Embassies and Cultural Attachés put together..
    What a star..
    congratualtions, well done, and keep up the good work..

    By Blogger The Syrian Brit, at 1/2/06 8:35 PM  

  • Isn't it amazing how the ignorance of many people abroad concerning Syria and its culture is reflected in those comments you got?

    "It is good to see women in your part of the world being able to express their thoughts and feelings openly."

    Syria has been known as one of the few places in the Middle East that isn't oppressive of women for a long time... the problem is that Americans tend to think that the entire ME implements some Wahhabi theocracy like Saudi Arabia, whereas Syria has a secular government, and if you look in all the children's schoolbooks there is not one character that is wearing a veil that is not a grandmother. Bassem and Rubab are so areligious that it's kind of deceptive.

    "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."

    Dear Morally Superior White Man, your people need to stop looking at the rest of the world condescendingly because they do not have your illusory freedoms. How dare you comment about the patriotism of Syrians? Where were you when the French were here? Again, in your illustration of Syrians as passive, mindless drones, you've only revealed your propensity to believe in some disturbingly racist philosophy that white man have some unique appreciation of Freedom. Well, sorry, but Freedom is not exclusively a Western value. It is a human value.

    By Blogger yaman, at 1/2/06 9:46 PM  

  • hello,this is the first time I have been to your blog, but it will not be the last. I would like to say I disagree with one statement made by Edward, that you are not showing the true spirit of the Syrian people and your country. From what I have seen today, you are showing just what your people are all about. Your country looks to be beautiful, as does your spirit. Every country has its problems, mine included, but you have chosen to focus on what is important to you, that is an extension of your people. I am very proud to be an American not because of the things you see on tv, or the advertised wars, but because it is made up of people who just like you, live an ordinary life. We may all be from different countries but many of our problems are the same. The United States isn't without its faults, we take much better care of others than our own, thats why I can understand the rough patchs in life.

    By Anonymous Frantz, at 1/2/06 10:26 PM  

  • Ghalia, Omar..Omar made a comment about an online Syrian encyclopedia on one of your last posts. I just would like to say that this is a really interesting idea that we should consider, or that should be considered.

    By Blogger Steliano Ponticos, at 2/2/06 12:26 AM  

  • Dear Morally Superior White Man, your people need to stop looking at the rest of the world condescendingly because they do not have your illusory freedom

    I think the "blogosphere" gives people the chance to educate each other about how we really live, and get beyond our entrenched assumptions. Obviously, inflaming a conflict between points of view will not create a helpful understanding between peoples and cultures. Rather than pointing the finger of blame, we should strive to build empathy, and realize the basic needs and desires of people unlike ourselves are quite similar to our own. Since the world will never become only our preferred point of view, it is best to learn and appreciate our differences in culture and belief. I've enjoyed reading this blog because it has helped me understand a little more about your country, culture, and people.

    By Blogger marin_explorer, at 2/2/06 2:33 AM  

  • Although, I think your already my opinion, I want to say that i strongly Share Omar's openion.
    Thank you Ghalia.

    bayyadteha.

    By Blogger Amr T, at 2/2/06 5:43 AM  

  • Some posters have noted that some Americans are ignorant of other cultures. Hey, that's well-known. Most of Europe is divided between scolding and laughing at America for it. Maybe this blog - and blogs like it - can reduce or maybe even eliminate that ignorance. That, to me, is far more exciting to imagine and talk about than what someone didn't know yesterday.

    I would strongly urge you to ignore all those who want less of the travel stuff, less of the history, because what is a place if not a sum of ALL that is within it?

    The town I grew up in is 12,000 years old. It has seen a lot of change, though to look at them, some of the locals might be the original inhabitants. It's small and much of what was there has been forgotten. That's what happens when people don't share, record or talk.

    Through sheer richness of culture, I am convinced your stomping grounds have as many tales to tell that you know than my childhood home ever had to forget. I can skip the parts I don't want to read much easier than I can read the parts you never write.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 8:53 AM  

  • RESkeptic:

    I completely agree. It is those subtle nuances, though, that are a major problem which allow for misguided foreign policy to be implemented. If people view the world from that frame of mind, then who can blame them if they go along with something they know nothing better about?

    You are right. Ghalia's blog is invaluable in promoting a constructive dialogue between two people. However, I still reserve the right to point out a belittling attitude when I see it.

    Cheers

    By Blogger yaman, at 2/2/06 11:17 AM  

  • I wish I knew what Linux Juggler was writing. He has lots of input.

    As far as Yaman goes, you are filled with hate. How do you even know what color that person is?

    You are part of the reason that the west has a bad image of Syria.

    I would like to know how Syrians feel about muslims that are now threatening all Europeans because of cartoons of Mohammed posted in a few newspapers. This is the intolerance that the west is afraid of, and is what all of us westerners will fight to eliminate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 5:50 PM  

  • i don't think moslims are threatening all europeans for the cartoons. they are protesting and asking for an apology. in fact denmark did apologize but then france re-published the images, so there is protest again.

    no violence has been involved at all. only moslims were shocked by these cartoons and are saying so by protesting or boycotting danish products.

    i think this is a peaceful way to disagree and to uphold your opinion.

    so for once the confrontation is peaceful and yes democratic and this is a good sign

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 7:36 PM  

  • besides, i do not speak for yaman. but i think he was not being racist but accusing some americans of being racist and of having a racist mentality

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 7:37 PM  

  • This is peaceful???:

    More than 300 students demonstrated in Pakistan, chanting "Death to France!" and "Death to Denmark!" — two of the countries where newspapers published the drawings.

    Gunmen in the West Bank city of Nablus entered four hotels to search for foreigners to abduct and warned their owners not to host guests from several European countries. Gunmen said they were also searching apartments in Nablus for Europeans.

    If the European governments don't apologize by Thursday evening, "any visitor of these countries will be targeted," he said.

    AND YET:

    A Jordanian newspaper took the bold step of running some of the drawings, saying it wanted to show its readers how offensive the cartoons were, although its editor also said he did not want "to promote such blasphemy."

    No threats to the Jordanians.

    This is widespread. This is the intolerance that we see with Islam/Arabs/middle Easterners. Everyone muslim speaks of how wonderful a religion Islam is, but we really don't see anyone following that thinking....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 8:29 PM  

  • It is those subtle nuances, though, that are a major problem which allow for misguided foreign policy to be implemented.

    Yaman,
    Yes, I agree: half-truths are not truths at all. I'd venture to guess the average American doesn't want to look too deeply into the issues in the middle east: a broad-brush approach painted by the media is so much easier. Claiming ignorance of the facts is a poor excuse if we give our government the mandate to adversely affect so many lives (to put it mildly). Can democracies be built upon the ashes of war? Actions speak louder than words.

    By Blogger marin_explorer, at 2/2/06 8:42 PM  

  • Hey kid,

    Maybe you can blog a bridge between the east and the west. There are alot of peop;e on both sides that are closed minded... Thanks and nice to meet you. Maybe someday we can visit....

    Tony Virginia USA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 11:55 PM  

  • I quite enjoyed your Blog, the reaction by the Americans is however no surprised after all they're the folks who voted in the same idiot... TWICE! Most dangerous country in the world.. the U.S. One day I hope the West learns to be less reliant on Middle Eastern Oil then they're less likely to interfere with Middle Eastern politics under the guise of "liberating" people... Anyway Wish you all the best keep on writing!
    Cheers,
    Francis (Former Soldier)
    From Canada Who's diplomats get shot at in Baghdad and Soldiers get bombed in Afghanistan by our American Allies....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 12:29 AM  

  • Hi,
    I read about you on the net so I thought I would stop by. I'm from America the Midwest and I love the photos of your country. Anyone that has love and pride for there country is a good thing. I love America and feel blessed to be born here. In the same respect I love to visit, learn, and experience other cultures. The US was created from many cultures.

    From your blog I see you have the same feeling of respect and love for your home. I may be a little bias because I grew up with friends who were from Syria and have had the pleasure to learn of its beautiful land with many beautiful people.

    Keep up the great work. Don't change a thing. The best part of blogging is the ability to just be yourself.

    P.S. There are many open minded people in the US but it always seems to be the close minded that get all the notice. Don't get me wrong I support the US but like all countries I believe we need to stop telling others how to live their lives.

    Also not all of us voted for Bush...

    Blessings..

    By Blogger Lodemai, at 3/2/06 2:40 AM  

  • I, being young and very interested if foreign culture, am happy to see such a great expression of national pride on a foreign blog. I'm very internet savvy, but to tell the truth, I've never realized that the internet was this prominent in the Middle-East. It really makes me realize further that the entire world isn't that different, it's just politics and violence that give people a feel of isiolationism from the rest of the world.

    As for those who comment against the U.S. on here, I'm kind of happy to see that other countries resent the U.S. and can see its faults like I do. It's sad that we send this kind of message across the globe, but alot of America IS made up of ignorant, close-minded people...

    Anywho, keep posting! If anything I'd like to be able to read about other points of view from all over the world without having to look on Yahoo.

    You're Friendly Crazy American :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 4:00 AM  

  • I am an American who blames the media for the cause of what a lot of people think. They seemed to focus on what is bad rather than tell the stories of average people and what they feel and think. What I have seen on this blog is people like me who has the same wants and needs that I do. I see people who want peace and a better world for their children and grandchildren to live in. I believe it was the syrian brit who said his Embassies hasn't done enough to let others know or raising their interst. I feel that they are not the only ones, I blame the American Embassies for much the same reasons. I also feel that somewhere there has been a lack of morality and respect that I was taught as a child. I do worry about the youth that they may be getting the negative vibes put out by the media. I to would like to congratulate Ghalia for this blog. This is a bridge that can only produce good will and understanding between people that really don't know each other. For those that still have hate and fear I pray that will change to understanding and love. Again congratulations. May this blog bring peace and understanding. One last thing. I was always told to treat others the way I would want them to treat me.

    By Blogger Chet, at 3/2/06 5:09 AM  

  • I am in the American Military and it is nice knowing that there are people like you who promote culture and their surrounding to others I would like to thank you for that.

    By Anonymous Alex Woody, at 3/2/06 5:22 AM  

  • Ghalia,
    I think you have a wonderful place here and you always present your views with such respect and answer even disrespectful posts with respect.

    I wish some others here would take more of your lead because it doesn't matter who racism, hatred, intolerance or ignorance is directed at, it hurts just as much.

    Francis, years ago I had a pen-pal in Canada by your name and I couldn't help but think of him as I read your post and yet your words cut me deeply.

    I would think we all here can realize that a country and it's people are not the same as the government and it's policies and often the two are in direct conflict.

    Yes, there are a lot of misunderstandings by Americans about the rest of the world, but also there are many misunderstandings by the rest of the world about Americans.

    I'm glad that this place, and others like it, can help solve it because though to the world you are only one person, to one person you might be the world.

    By Anonymous elengil, at 3/2/06 5:48 AM  

  • It is too bad that most "regular" Americans only know about your country from what our media tells us. I didn't know that Syria was beautiful, until I came. I am also sorry that some visitors are getting the wrong impression of your intention, and being ugly. Thank you for enlightening me, even if it was just a little bit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 6:27 AM  

  • Well, this may be it. The final straw.

    "Bin Laden our beloved, Denmark must be blown up," protesters in Ramallah chanted.

    In mosques throughout Palestinian cities, clerics condemned the cartoons. An imam at the Omari Mosque in Gaza City told 9,000 worshippers that those behind the drawings should have their heads cut off.

    "If they want a war of religions, we are ready," Hassan Sharaf, an imam in Nablus, said in his sermon.

    About 10,000 demonstrators, including gunmen from the Islamic militant group Hamas firing in the air, marched through Gaza City to the Palestinian legislature, where they climbed on the roof, waving green Hamas banners.

    "We are ready to redeem you with our souls and our blood our beloved prophet," they chanted. "Down, Down Denmark."


    Your "tolerant religion of love and peace" will now be wiped off the map. There may be 1 billion of you, but we'll take good aim!

    LET'S WIPE MUSLIMS OFF THE MAP!


    By the way...Canadians are pussies.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 5:18 PM  

  • 2005 VISITED SYRIA TWICE, ALL TOGETHER STAYED NEARLY 3 MONTHS. I FOUND IT ONE OF THE BEST PLACES EVER, GREAT PEOPLE, BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES, HISTORICAL SITES,EXCELLENT FOOD,CORDIALSERVICE AT EVRY RESTAURANT,SHOP, BOUTIQUE, BAZZAR, BEAUTY SALON, YOU NAME IT. PERFECTLY SAFE,WORKING INFRASTRUCTURE,PEOPLE DISCUSSING LOUDLY AT CAFES ABOUT ANY SUBJECT AND WHAT ELSE?
    in my opinion there is no perfect country or any ideal economical-political system, all systems are failing and their liders are mainly corrupted here and there and everywhere.
    let us citizens of the planet in peace and free to enjoy the short lives we humans are granted for even a those who live up to a hundred years do not have enough time to explore what it is important and pleasurable about our world.
    HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT AS YOUR NEXT DESTINATION IF YOU HAVENT YET VISITED IT.
    ASK ANY VISITOR OR TURIST WHO IS BEEN THERE AND THE RESPONSE WILL BE - I LOVE IT-


    Syria is great,it offers more than many other countries, well if you are a lover of beauty and history and enjoy the company of cultivated, nice lookin g people with great manners.
    BRAVO SYRIA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 6:21 PM  

  • We are following your on your blog on "cocktail4.blogspot.com"
    We are the Talasim.com team and are looking for someone in Syria to send us funny adds from Al-Waseeleh Ad Paper (if you visit our site you will get an idea on what we are talking about) we thought you might be interested to be linked as one of the contributors to the site if you would like.

    By Anonymous talasim, at 3/2/06 8:09 PM  

  • Hello! Congrats on getting your blog highlighted by Yahoo.

    I posted your story on my blog because I was so enlightened.

    I may offend some/all, but I'm really tired of reading, hearing, and watching how, "we're SO different". The East Vs. The West, The North Pole and Australia, Peurto Ricans and Mexicans (sorry, a bit of humor)
    HUMANS ARE HUMANS and we all deserve to live that way we choose. I applaud you and your blog companions for your strength in finding the courage to speak out. It truely is people like you that Slowly, may help make the world a better place.

    By Blogger Addy, at 3/2/06 9:53 PM  

  • Yaman,
    You need to lose the "white man" crap- can you not have a debate without injecting racial matters? You need to grow up a little if that is the best rebuttal that you can offer up...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/2/06 1:08 AM  

  • Okay- after looking at a ton of Yahoo slideshows and news articles/programs from the U.S. and Al Jazeera regarding the caricatures of Muhammad, here are the thoughts that are racing through my head:
    1. If the Danish government apologized, why can't the Muslims that are pissed off move on ? Is forgiveness not a virtue stated in the Qaran?
    2. What is it going to take to ease tensions?
    3. How can these assholes support Bin Laden and threaten a European 9/11???????? YOU GUYS ARE FUCKING HIPPOCRITS! One insult for another? U.S. is involved in this exactly how????
    4. I agree that the images were wrong, but the way that the majority of the people are protesting against this is utterly ridiculous. Can you people not take the HIGH road? Why do you have to bring pictures of Osama Bin Laden, THE REAL GREAT SATAN, and make signs that read decapitate, murder, and maim people that offend Islam? This is EXACTLY why people in the west will never buy the bullshit of Islam being a religion of peace. Your religion can not tolerate forgiveness and that is the cornerstone of Christianity. I believe that we will never be able to coexist simply because of this huge difference. And, please do not respond and tell me that Islam is a religion of peace. I can read the people's signs and I can read their faces.
    And, for whomever said that America is the most unsafe place in the world is full of crap. The same crimes are commited in your countries as they are here. Quit demonizing the United States-if you people hate it so damn much, than why are so many of you lying, cheating and stealing to get your asses over here? Hippocrits! There are so many Syrians in my area that have paid women to marry them so that they can get their citizenship. Then once they are cleared and become a citizen, they become "holy and religious" again... What a crock of shit..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/2/06 1:37 AM  

  • To Anonymous above:

    I am a Christian, and even I am not blind to the reality that "christians" perpetrated the Inquisition throughout Europe, and had similar cartoons of Jesus been depicted then, I've no doubt whatsoever that all 'good and true' christians would have been ralied to fight such blasphemies.

    To say that Islam is alone in having followers who apparently miss the point of their own religion is both ignorant and hypacritical.

    By Anonymous elengil, at 4/2/06 5:50 AM  

  • Hello again.

    I'm kind of appalled in reading the responses here, from both sides of the issue. On one hand, we have people saying how ignorant Americans are. On the other hand, we have Americans pretty much apologizing for how ignorant the rest of America is. And, since we're out of hands, on one foot we have a group of Americans blaspheming Muslims.

    This is the root of evil in the world.

    There are far too many people generalizing nations.

    There is no call to generalize Americans into a group of ignorant Capitalist morons.

    There is no call to apologize for the supposed ignorance of Americans. Ignorance is not a sin. Ignorance is not the equivalent of being stupid. It is simply not knowing something. And if there is one reason all of us are here, it is to learn something, and thereby to know, so at least we are trying.

    There is absolutely, and above all else, no call to say that any group of people should die just because you're not happy with what certain members of that group are doing. There is nothing else as passively evil as wishing death on someone else.

    We cannot know one another without meeting one another, and to think that a news article that could've been written by anyone, with any agenda, gives you the power to rightfully wish someone out of the world is disgusting.

    There is but one God, and no matter what anyone thinks His name is, I think he might be irritated with parts of these responses.

    -- Alison

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/2/06 6:17 AM  

  • Alison-thank you.

    What is the name-calling and generalising gaining anyone?

    And Ghalia-your blog is brilliant. Thank you, especially for displaying a variety of views on Syria because it is easy to exclude those who do not agree with your own thoughts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/2/06 12:58 PM  

  • I first would like to say that Ghalia....your blog is awesome. Congrats on the feature you were a apart of.

    Some of the people who have written blogs here are truely the ignorance in the world. Having an opinion doesn't actually give u the right to use it to demean others. Hatred does nothing but, breed more hatred. There is no doubt that the US is not perfect. If anyone out there can show me a perfect country please do! However I will say that the US is concidered a "melting pot of cultures" for a reason. I know that myself (and everyone that I know) was raised with a few basic ideals....honesty, integrity, empathy, compassion and most important...Tolerance. I think a few of u should learn what that truely means.

    There are a few people who left messages here that seem so cunsumed by hate and judgement. That is such a shame. Now is not the time for the blame game! Nothing can be bridged if we can't put the past aside and look towards a new future. A brighter one....maybe a peaceful one? As long as there are people so quick to judge others, this will never be achieved.

    It is up to our generation to pave the path to a better world. We all have to power to make change.

    Anyway....Ghalia keep up the good work.

    Scorpio

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/2/06 9:29 PM  

  • I know there was some "debate" earlier - but an answer to this question would be appreciated: why is Israel not labeled on your map? The explanation provided by "Mark G." that only the West Bank was shown is false. I am not concerendw ith how the map is cropped - merely that Northern Isreal, close to the Golan and Southern Lebanon remains unattached to Israel in your map. Do you not recognize Israel? How come tourists who visit Israel are denied entry into Syria if they have an Israeli stamp or visa in their passport?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/2/06 10:17 PM  

  • anonymous above:

    While it is not my place to answer *for* Ghalia, I will answer why I think your question is rediculous.

    Is it not Ghalia who controls the Syrian borders and it is not Ghalia who drew the map. Does it then matter in the context of this blog?

    Just like it is not me who controls the borders of the United States and it is rediculous to ask me to justify if someone is or is not allowed in.

    If you want to have a political debate, why not go to one of the political boards there. I see nothing in Ghalia's writings to suggest that she wants political debates here, only that she is sharing pictures of her beautiful home and thoughts about these with others.

    By Anonymous elengil, at 4/2/06 10:46 PM  

  • Hello, I am an American and i have just starting reading your blog. I just wanted to let you know how i excited and encouraged i was to see dialogue between people from different countries on issues. I think that there is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding on both sides and what better way to foster understanding than by talking about things. Thank you some much for creating your blog! Your site truly is a breathe of fresh air.

    Congratulations on your engagement! May God bless you and your new wife-to-be.

    Anie,20, TExas

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13/2/06 11:02 PM  

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