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Friday, April 21

Could It Be True?

A woman has the right to be born, to live as free and equall as a man, to be well educated, to be successful, to love, to be loved, to be a mother, a sister and a friend.

“ A new study showed that Syrian women are still suffering from domestic violence as one forth married women are physically or verbally abused either by their husbands, their fathers or their bothers.” Click here on both 1 / 2 .

This bit of news has dropped my jaws, I’ve been living in Syria for almost all my life and I never witness such a thing, not in my family, my relatives, my friends, nor in my neighborhood, isn’t that enough for me on personal level to question this study!

Women are becoming nowadays more free and liberated than any other time in Syria;

- Adult female literacy rose from 33 percent in 1980 to 60.4 percent by 1998.
- Women comprise 57 percent of the nation’s teachers.
- Females hold 39 percent of seats in the national university system.
- Women comprised 27 percent of the labour force in 2000.
- 12 percent seat in parliament is held by women which is considered second highest rate compared with other Arabic countries.
- On 23 March 2006 President Bashar Al-Assad appointed Najah Al-Attar as a second vice-president that makes her the first Arab female to hold the position of vice president.

I cannot believe this study, it is totally absurd to me, but again it might be true, so dear Syrian reader, what do you think of it? Are we having a big problem here? Is that really the women’s condition in my country and I am totally ignorant about it? Please enlighten me !


Sunday, April 9

Coming Soon

After about more than 20 years of restoration works, Citadel of Damascus is about to be opened to the public in June 2006. Until the 1980's the Citadel was almost inaccessible, as it was an old prison from the late 12th century and was occupied largely by the military.

Needless to say, the citadel was built inside the old wall of Damascus. A lot of historians claimed that the citadel was built at the Roman era however, studies carried by several specialized scholars, historians and archaeologists showed that the castle was founded by Saljukis in 1076 A.D. and was completely rebuilt between1203–1214 by al-Malik al-Ādil to protect the city against the Crusaders and Mongols invasion.

The citadel is rectangular in shape and with rounded corners in its northwest, inside it, they built houses, baths, schools, wells, prisons and a mosque (Abu al-Dardaa), and it was also used as a residence for some Ayubid Sultans like Saladin.
Each corner of the castle has a tower , two towers on the eastern side, and three towers on the northern and southern sides. The citadel has four gates and whole of it was surrounded by a deep trench which was filled with water during wars.

My thoughts about the citadel is that, how it was always a prison that hosted revolutionary people and militant, great figures such as Ibin Taimyyah, and a lot of political detainees, and now it will turn into museum and a centre for cultural activates.

For more pictures click here.