We often take the most precious things in life for granted. Who truly takes into consideration his eyes while sitting in front of a screen for hours every day? Who worries about his hearing while blowing up his ears with headphones? Who worries about his legs while abusing his knees going up and down a hill carrying heavy loads? Who truly cares about his lungs while inhaling one pack after another?

It’s simple and obvious that we’d dearly miss these things when we lose them. Until we do, however, they must go unappreciated.

Continue reading “Unappreciated”

The Obama Legacy

Until 2009, nothing seemed to have damaged the relationship between the United States and Muslims across the world more than the 9/11 attacks and the wars that followed. When President Obama was first elected in late 2008, there was hope he would be the one to rebuild that relationship. Continue reading “The Obama Legacy”

Arabic as a Feminist Language

“The transition in Syria should also include full participation for women,” said William Hague, the UK’s former foreign secretary at a Syria peace conference. “I welcome the Secretary General’s and Mr. Brahimi’s strong support for the inclusion of women in both delegations.”

Perhaps Mr. Hague didn’t realize how offensive his statement was to most of us. Before Syria attended the Geneva II talks in January 2014, a Syrian delegation headed by Presidential Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, a woman, was missioned to Russia to discuss the preparations for those peace talks. The message she received from President Putin was that the talks were less likely to be serious due to the lack of an international will for peace in Syria. Therefore, our delegation to Switzerland was headed by Walid Muallem, our foreign minister, an old fat man famous for his quote, “we will drown them in the details, so they’d better learn how to swim.” The presidential advisor confidently sat behind him at the conference. She had already taken the lead in Moscow and now it was up to him to give a slow long boring speech, punishing everyone in the room for isolating Syria for years. Continue reading “Arabic as a Feminist Language”

Army Diary: This Is How We Live

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) estimated Syria’s death toll at 340,124 casualties as of October 16, 2015. A minimum of 87,312 and up to 132,000 account for losses within the Syrian military, yet very little has been heard about them.

Below is a translation of a Facebook post by Tarek Kholy, who gives us an account on what it means to be one of the soldiers who have to go through this ordeal.
Continue reading “Army Diary: This Is How We Live”

The Devil between the Details and the Big Picture

Over the last five years, the Syrian establishment has grown more brutal. Those reforms that were foreseeable in 2011 now seem impossible. Corruption has reached unprecedented levels. The establishment’s values and propaganda have never been as exposed. And yet, my opposition to this regime has faded so much that I no longer know whether I’m learning to be pragmatic or if I’ve resigned myself, given up my former convictions, and, in the end, traded everything for temporary safety.

Read the full article on the Freeman

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