The Civil War Within Syria’s Civil War: “Not Assad, but the Islamists are now our biggest enemy,” he says. “The Assad regime only oppressed us. The jihadists want to exterminate us.”

At least 40 percent of the YPG fighters are women, and they are organized in units called the YPJ. Kurdish men and women fighters have separate barracks where they prepare for war, but they fight in mixed-gender units on the front lines. Women also command units comprised of men and women throughout the Kurdish areas.

“These al Qaeda guys go crazy when they hear that we are women fighters,” says Roshna Akeed, the YPG commander who leads the Kurds on the frontlines of Ras al-Ayn. She notes that the Islamists benefit from thousands of volunteers from Europe and the Middle East, but the imbalance in numbers does not bother her. “Yes, they have quantity,” she says. “But they are lousy fighters. They are unorganized. It is easy for us to kill them.”

via The Civil War Within Syria’s Civil War

 By Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa

Foreign Policy

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Kurds appear to me as the last hope for Middle East.

Maybe because they are maybe the most blatant failure of the Sykes-Picot Treaty’s geopolitical aberration, and they seem on the way to prove to the world that they are ready to have a land of their own.

Maybe because kurds have offered a safe land for all those minorities prosecuted and ethnically cleansed in Iraq, and may be the same for Syria, facing openly the islamist oppressors.

And maybe because their women have been fighting alongside with men for who they are since ages ago, with no need of making this an unnatural act of propaganda, and just that makes them deserve my respect and sympathy.

If you asked me about the creation of a Free Kurdistan connecting Deep Asia and the Mediterranean independently from Arab States and far from their religious and political mess ups… I say do it now in Syria, and in the future in Iraq, if things go as they seem to go. 

Egypt’s revolution: Those hoping that the people have lost their voice should not rest easy in their beds.

“In an eternity of disappointment and greed and malice that moment, that moment in which being human was finally worth something, in which having a community was preferable to being alone with a book, had a value that will never be lost.”

They are right to acknowledge how much has been shattered and stolen by this bloodshed, and right as well to believe that this is not the end: Whatever has been robbed can be taken back. For now, those fighting for a better Egypt in Ramlet Bulaq, in Qursaya, in Suez, and in a thousand other communities across the country may have been quietened, but they will not remain silent forever. And when they do speak out, they’ll find that this regime has nothing but bullets and binaries with which to answer them. That won’t be enough, and so the revolution will continue. As the sheikh of Tahsin told me, “I will not live as a third-rate citizen any more. I have withdrawn my acceptance of the status quo. This is the fruit of Jan. 25, and there’s no turning back.”

via

Egypt’s chaos and revolution

 Slate Magazine

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As I finished reading this article, I could listen on a classics spanish radio (M-80 Radio)  to  Brian Adams’ old “You can’t stop this thing we started”. It was followed by Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms”, and Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t give up”.

Some conspirationists would have found a hidden message in all this… I just remembered that hope is the last thing to loose.

Beyond slaps of reality.

ten years isn’t a very long time to forget that much (Iraq – Syria)

Levant woman

Ten years ago, I was sixteen at high school with no political interests. Somehow all I cared about was how to keep the first place at school for me.

I woke up in a normal day , dressed up ..I Heavily moved to the kitchen and had a breakfast ..

you never notice those memorable days when you first wake up. I never knew this day was to remember at that time. The school bus was here to pick me up.. no songs in the school bus , no murmuring, no gossip, nothing at all.

When I first got into the class I saw girls weren’t normal.. What’s wrong with you girls??! I asked .. then a friend of mine -Fatima who I never saw after tenth grade- couldn’t stop her tears, she burst into tears telling me that Baghdad has fallen ….

 

Silence…

And silence…

American missiles were…

View original post 206 more words

Islamist deceptions… according to brilliant Khaled Diab.

But does centuries-old Islam, the world’s second largest religion, really need self-appointed defenders to shield it from “insult”, when the Qur’an itself welcomes doubt, questioning and even ridicule?

And why do these self-appointed defenders of the faith contradict the example of the prophet they claim to emulate? For instance, Muhammad pardoned one of his scribes, Abdullah Ibn Saad, even after he claimed that the Qur’an was invented and Muhammad was a false prophet.

These examples highlight how Islamism, rather than providing the solution, as it claims, is actually built on an illusion.

Islamist discourse, on the whole, holds that the reason for the Muslim world’s decline is its deviation from Islamic law and values. That explains why Hassan al-Banna, despite his attempts to inject some elements of modernity into traditional Islamic thought, fixated on questions of morality and Shari’a. One of his ideological descendants, Sayyid Qutb, went so far as to invent the dangerous idea that Muslims were living a period of modern “Jahiliyyah” (pre-Islamic ignorance).

But by misdiagnosing the malaise afflicting society, Islamists have prescribed totally the wrong medicine, with severe and debilitating side effects.

Any objective, dispassionate reading of Islamic history reveals that Islam’s former glory was actually built on a largely secular foundation. In addition, the start of its decline coincided with the victory of rigid dogma and orthodoxy – represented by the likes of the “father of Salafism” Ibn Taymiyyah in the 14th century – over reason and intellect.

Muhammad himself never established anything resembling what we would call an “Islamic state” today. His secular-sounding Constitution of Medina actually defines Jews, Christians and pagans – i.e. every member of Medina’s society – as being full and equal members of the Ummah.

via Islamism is the illusion

 The Chronikler

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Dunno how many times my arab friends were shocked to know that Al-Andalus splendor came from those periods of relaxed morals, advance of science, poetry, philosophy, and respect to others, specially to jews, as happened with Ibn Maymun, or the Nagdelas, before both were killed or kicked away by integrists.

How to explain to them that those famous street lamps of Cordoba were considered an excess by those same defenders of virtue who finally sacked and destroyed Madinat az-Zahra and Madinat Az-Zahira… and the splendrous caliphate with it.

How to make them understand that when they close their view to a single book they are insulting God’s present of intelligence?

How to make them notice that when they drank from our science in a secular way, they were able to multiply its achievements for all men?

I confess that I feel myself unable to adopt islam’s view of life.  Even on its softer ways of practice. Its core teaching lacks essential elements that found and settle my christian belief.

So, many will say that I don’t know what I am talking about, as I am not entitled to judge on the matter.

But that’s not the issue. My issue is that muslims aren’t doing any good behaving in this totalitarian way. Not to them, nor to us, nor to the future mankind. 

Because since always, this has been a weakness and a step back. For them,….same as it was for us, of course.

Deffinitely, the Arab world needs many more Khaled Diabs.

Former spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood speaks about their dark future.

According to the Health Ministry, 600 people have died and 4,500 have been injured. There were also 52 police officers and soldiers who perished, and 300 among them who were injured.

To be fair, we have to say that both sit-ins were not peaceful and that the government and security agencies gave the Muslim Brotherhood many chances to end the sit-ins in a way that preserved blood and lives. But of course they did not read these hints. They even increased their conceit, arrogance, and delusion.

They imagined for a moment that they were the stronger party and that offers of reconciliation and mediation, especially from foreign delegations, reflected the weakness of state institutions, which made ​​the Brothers raise their own terms and conditions.

Some demanded the return of Morsy to rule, the revival of the 2012 Constitution, and the return of the dissolved Shura Council. One even said that the moment Morsy returned to the presidency, violence would stop in Sinai!

At some stage, their demands included the release of Morsy without his return to rule and the release of leaders detained pending investigation, without prosecuting other leaders. But these demands were out of context as they opposed the demands of the tens of millions who came to the streets on 30 June, 3 July, and 26 July.

To be sure, the Muslim Brotherhood relied mainly on the support of the US administration and its pressure on state institutions, on the grounds that US interests would be respected in return. They forgot that the US administration stands with the stronger party, and that the US administration dealt with them on that basis at the beginning when they had the people, the army, and the police on their side. But now no one stands with them.

They lost everything due to their failure to understand what was happening around them. The Brotherhood’s mistakes were their downfall. They failed to achieve political stability and security. They failed to find solutions to the dire economic crisis and their fateful Constitutional Declaration led to division, fragmentation, civil strife, and violence, as well as the collapse of the rule of law.

via Those who have lost everything

Egypt Independent

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… those who have lost everything are on their way for a grave. Period.

Those who still feel this to be a right death, must ask themselves what has been won with these lives lost.

Not for the ones who died,… but for the ones that remain here.

Nothing good came for them, or for Egypt, or for mankind. Simple as that.

It just pleases the ego of those little men who fulfill their selfsteem and their vital objective in the orgasmic experience of sending someone to die, because you told them to do so, and then be able to exhibit their pics in new meetings and demonstrations as trophies for the cause, so new fools are fooled and the vicious wheel never stops.

Nothing new under the sun,… and nothing good. 

Martyrdom is something else, guys. We know it.

And more than any other, God knows it.

And He will remember it when the time comes.

Just pray that stupidity is an attenuant of the sentence.

Egyptians are letting “Unforgettable Fires” grow. The kind of those which go beyond politics.

Every bad decision that could be taken has; everything that can go wrong is.

I want to write the names of over 600 — perhaps 700, by the time I finish this article — people who were killed this week, including unarmed protesters, armed ones, police officers, journalists. Some of the dead had their names and address written with a marker on the chest, to avoid being merely a number in a morgue. At the least it will save their families the anguish for lack of news.

I want to write about the mosques that have been used as morgues, the stench of death covering the habitual smell of incense, and the crimson pools of blood accumulating on the worn prayer rugs.

I want to tell you about the churches that have been ransacked and set on fire in Egypt, the hardly unexpected culmination of anti-Christian rhetoric in the discourse of Muslim Brotherhood supporters. They ultimately become a soft target for Muslim Brotherhood supporters seeking for revenge. They are scarcely, if at all, protected by the police force. This makes security forces automatically complicit in attacks against them.

via Egypt – A Fire That Will Burn Us All | Transitions.

Mideast Egypt

(Pic from Manu Brabo, for AP)

Now both, islamists and army have the kind of scenario they manage better and have been preparing for, during decades.

It’s their speech. It’s what they need, in order to grow and behave like they do.

They both intimally love that smell of roasted blood.

Because both, army and MB live for this. They need it to exist. 

Now both will be happy to turn Egypt in another Algeria.

Because that’s why they both exist.

To “fight”.

Without fight they’d be useless and unwanted.

And they know it.

So as far as no democracy can come from any of them ruling, (whatever governments and media claim about democratically elected islamist dictatorships and couping military dictatorships) … seems clear that the only logical choice was Elbaradei’s: IF THAT’S NOT THE EGYPT I WANT TO BE, I WON’T WORK FOR IT.

And yes…. this mossarab tonight will add an extra thought for copts. 54 churches have been burnt by now, one of them a jewel dating back to 4th century…. and catholic schools…. and christian owned hotels….. and shops…. and homes…  and how hard must it be for them to refrain to strike back. Because they never do. (http://nilerevolt.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/1198/)

Then after christians will come the time for “unproper women”, and eventually “unproper muslims”. With same effects on the mass of the population. Because very few will move a finger to save “unproper people”.

SHAME ON YOU, EGYPTIANS. 

Nothing to add… except maybe this: 

http://azzasedky.typepad.com/egypt/2013/08/world-please-explain-to-me-your-notions-on-freedom-and-democracy.html

…Try to have a good night, world.

Cairo’s Sound of Silence.

I think it is impossible to forget it. That loud, deafening silence that descended on the streets of Cairo on Wednesday rings in my ears and haunts me to this very moment. I have never known anything like it in my life. It wasn’t a silence of peace or calm. It was a silence you only witness in movies that depict the end of the world. There was a sense of anticipation and foreboding and the hush that descended on Cairo was heavy with it.

Since I walked through the streets on Wednesday, I feel like that silence has possessed me. And since I saw the footage of the bodies lying in the streets, since I saw the pictures of the churches that were set on fire, since I saw the death tolls rising on the news, silence has become the soundtrack that accompanies me everywhere. And that’s not an exaggeration.

via Cairoscene: Do you hear what I hear?

Cairo streets quiet after curfew silences day of violence - video

(pic from UK’s The Guardian, showing a Cairo Street during the curfew)

There’s many involuntary feelings I remember from Cairo that shocked me enough as to remain in my memory forever.

One was my reaction to pollution as soon as I exited the plane’s doors.

Another one was the amazing NOISE that I could hear all over making me ask if there was some football match celebration or something because all and every car driver was using the horn at the same time.

For me, both were an indicative of a bad quality of life. Of course we get used to everything, but… all that smoke and dust in the air …. and specially… that noise.

It’s so tightly linked to my memory of Cairo that reading abt silence in the city, specially after Ramadan, sounds… inconceivable.

 wish Bassem Youssef was saying something about it. At least people at home would have a chance to smile about all this shit.

Ah, Poor Stupid Misr, that still needs someone forcing you to shut up to create chances for thinking and noticing about silence!