February - An-Nour

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February - An-Nour
‫النــــــور‬
AN-NOUR
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
February 2012 issue 122
‫اإلنكليزية الرائدة في الواليات المتحدة األميركية‬-‫الجريدة العربية‬
www.an-nournews.com
‫لحم حالل‬
770-499-7399
122 ‫ العدد‬2012 ‫شباط‬
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Expert Survey: The Arab Spring
One year later, how has the Arab world changed?
in Wake of Sanctions
By Roula Khalaf and James Blitz
3. Which Arab uprising are you most
optimistic about? Rank the following
from least (6) to most (1) optimistic:
Average ranking:
Tunisia: 1.13
Egypt: 2.73
Libya: 3.07
Bahrain: 4.59
Yemen: 4.69
Syria: 4.72
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Continued on page 4
The Coming Collapse of China
BY GORDON G. CHANG
In the middle of 2001, I predicted
in my book, The Coming Collapse of China, that the Communist Party would fall from power
in a decade, in large measure
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Continued on page 3
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Over a barrel: an Iranian navy exercise in
the Strait of Hormuz. In response to western
attempts to curb its nuclear program, Tehran
has threatened to close the strait, through
which a sixth of global oil supply passes
It was a voyage that ordinarily would have
attracted little comment. But when the USS
Abraham Lincoln, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, joined British and French vessels to sail through the Strait of Hormuz,
the dispatch of the convoy through the Gulf
waterway gained a new significance. As
tensions mount between Iran and the west
over Tehran’s nuclear program, the US and
its allies were demonstrating their readiness
not only to press ahead with sanctions but to
challenge the Islamic Republic if it retaliates
by closing what is one of the world’s main
oil arteries.
Ever since Iran’s nuclear program was
uncovered in 2002, the world has wondered
whether its ambitions would end in conflict
with Israel and the west. For the first time the
Continued on page 4
An-Nour
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2. One year after the fall of Zine el-Abidine
Ben Ali, Tunisia is:
Better off: 31
About the same: 2
Storm Warning in
the Strait
Fears that Tehran will
Act to Provoke a Conflict
One year ago, thousands of Egyptian
protesters, following in the footsteps
of Tunisians before them, thronged to
Tahrir Square in an act of defiance that
would ripple across the Arab world.
But with dictators from Damascus to
Manama clinging to power and newly
formed governments already stumbling,
the legacy of the “Arab Spring” is far
from certain. How has the region fared
in the past 12 months, and what can be
done or should have been done to make
these revolutions a success?
1. One year after the fall of Hosni Mubarak,
Egypt is:
Better off: 19
About the same: 6
Worse off: 5
I don’t know: 3
“Politically better, economically worse.”
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An-Nour
February 2012
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Maliki’s Budding Police State: Iraq
Slipping Back into Authoritarianism
Human Rights Watch warns Iraq is falling back into
authoritarianism, despite US claims that it has helped establish
democracy.
Back to square one
BAGHDAD- Iraq is falling back into
authoritarianism and headed towards
becoming a police state, despite US claims
that it has helped establish democracy in the
country, Human Rights Watch said.
The criticism from the New York-based
HRW comes less than a year after thousands
of Iraqis took to the streets nationwide to
criticise the government for poor services.
“Iraq cracked down harshly during 2011
on freedom of expression and assembly by
intimidating, beating and detaining activists,
demonstrators and journalists,” HRW said in
a statement accompanying its annual report.
HRW noted that Iraq remains one of the
most dangerous places in the world for
journalists, that women’s rights remain poor
and civilians have paid a heavy toll in bomb
attacks.
The rights group pointed to the discovery
of a secret prison last February run by
forces controlled by Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki’s office, the same troops who
ran Camp Honor, another facility where
detainees were tortured.
“Iraq is quickly slipping back into
authoritarianism as its security forces abuse
protesters, harass journalists and torture
detainees,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s
Middle East director, said in the statement.
“Despite US government assurances that
it helped create a stable democracy, the
reality is that it left behind a budding police
state.”
US forces completed their withdrawal
from Iraq on December 18, nearly nine
years after the invasion that ousted leader
Saddam Hussein.
As the pullout was winding up, a
political crisis erupted in Iraq, pitting
the Shiite-led government against
the main Sunni-backed bloc which
accuses Maliki of centralising power.
Marriage of Revolution and Revenge
Generates Torture in Libya
Rights groups warn several suspected loyalists of Gathafi
have been subjected to torture; some have even died in
detention centers.
TRIPOLI - Several suspected
loyalists of slain Libyan leader
Moamer Gathafi have been
subjected to torture and some
have even died in detention
centres run by armed militias,
human rights groups.
“Several detainees have died
after being subjected to torture
in Libya in recent weeks and
months
amid
widespread
torture and ill-treatment of
suspected pro-Gathafi fighters
and
loyalists,”
Amnesty
International said.
The London-based watchdog
said its delegates met detainees held in
Tripoli, in Misrata and in smaller towns
such as Ghariyan, who showed visible signs
of torture inflicted in recent days and weeks.
“The torture is being carried out by officially
recognised military and security entities,
as well by a multitude of armed militias
operating outside any legal framework,”
Amnesty International said.
In a separate statement, Doctors Without
Borders said it had suspended its work in
Misrata, Libya’s third largest city, which
withstood a devastating siege by Gathafi’s
forces during last year’s uprising.
“Detainees in the Libyan city of Misrata are
being tortured and denied urgent medical
care, leading the international medical
humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF) to suspend its operations
in detention centres in Misrata,” the group
said, referring to itself by its French name.
It said its doctors were increasingly
confronted with patients who suffered
injuries caused by “torture” during
questioning.
“The interrogations were held outside the
detention centers,” it said.
The concerns raised by the two groups
came hours after top UN officials expressed
similar fears about Libyan “revolutionary
brigades,” accusing them of being behind a
surge in violence and holding thousands of
people in secret detention centers.
P.3
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February 2012
(770) 608-3343
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Continued from page 1
The Coming Collapse
of China:
Why has China as we know it survived? First
and foremost, the Chinese central government
has managed to avoid adhering to many of its
obligations made when it joined the WTO
in 2001 to open its economy and play by
the rules, and the international community
maintained a generally tolerant attitude
toward this noncompliant behavior. As a
result, Beijing has been able to protect much
of its home market from foreign competitors
while ramping up exports. By any measure,
China has been phenomenally successful in
developing its economy after WTO accession
-- returning to the almost double-digit growth
it had enjoyed before the near-recession
suffered at the end of the 1990s. Many analysts
assume this growth streak can continue
indefinitely. For instance, Justin Yifu Lin,
the World Bank’s chief economist, believes
the country can grow for at least two more
decades at 8 percent, and the International
Monetary Fund predicts China’s economy
will surpass America’s in size by 2016. Don’t
believe any of this. China outperformed other
countries because it was in a three-decade
upward supercycle, principally for three
reasons. First, there were Deng Xiaoping’s
transformational “reform and opening up”
policies, first implemented in the late 1970s.
Second, Deng’s era of change coincided
with the end of the Cold War, which brought
about the elimination of political barriers to
international commerce. Third, all of this
took place while China was benefiting from
its “demographic dividend,” an extraordinary
bulge in the workforce. Yet China’s “sweet
spot” is over because, in recent years, the
conditions that created it either disappeared
or will soon. First, the Communist Party has
turned its back on Deng’s progressive policies.
Hu Jintao, the current leader, is presiding over
an era marked by, on balance, the reversal of
reform. There has been, especially since 2008,
a partial renationalization of the economy
and a marked narrowing of opportunities
for foreign business. For example, Beijing
blocked acquisitions by foreigners, erected
new barriers like the “indigenous innovation”
rules, and harassed market-leading companies
like
Google.
Strengthening
“national
champion” state enterprises at the expense
of others, Hu has abandoned the economic
paradigm that made his country successful.
Second, the global boom of the last two
decades ended in 2008 when markets around
the world crashed. The
tumultuous events of that
year brought to a close
an
unusually
benign
period
during
which
countries attempted to
integrate China into the
international system and
therefore tolerated its
mercantilist policies. Now,
however, every nation
wants to export more and,
in an era of protectionism
or of managed trade, China
will not be able to export
its way to prosperity like
it did during the Asian financial crisis in
the late 1990s. China is more dependent on
international commerce than almost any other
nation, so trade friction -- or even declining
global demand -- will hurt it more than others.
The country, for instance, could be the biggest
victim of the eurozone crisis. Third, China,
which during its reform era had one of the best
demographic profiles of any nation, will soon
have one of the worst. The Chinese workforce
will level off in about 2013, perhaps 2014,
according to both Chinese and foreign
demographers, but the effect is already being
felt as wages rise, a trend that will eventually
make the country’s factories uncompetitive.
China, strangely enough, is running out of
people to move to cities, work in factories,
and power its economy. Demography may not
be destiny, but it will now create high barriers
for growth. At the same time that China’s
economy no longer benefits from these three
favorable conditions, it must recover from the
dislocations -- asset bubbles and inflation -caused by Beijing’s excessive pump priming
in 2008 and 2009, the biggest economic
stimulus program in world history (including
$1 trillion-plus in 2009 alone). Since late
September, economic indicators -- electricity
consumption, industrial orders, export
growth, car sales, property prices, you name
it -- are pointing toward either a flatlining or
contracting economy. Money started to leave
the country in October, and Beijing’s foreign
reserves have been shrinking since September.
ECONOMY
As a result, we will witness either a crash or,
more probably, a Japanese-style multi-decade
decline. Either way, economic troubles are
occurring just as Chinese society is becoming
extremely restless. It is not only that protests
have spiked upwards -- there were 280,000
“mass incidents” last year according to one
count -- but that they are also increasingly
violent as the recent wave of uprisings,
insurrections, rampages and bombings suggest.
The Communist Party, unable to mediate social
discontent, has chosen to step-up repression to
levels not seen in two decades. The authorities
have, for instance, blanketed the country’s cities
and villages with police and armed troops and
stepped up monitoring of virtually all forms of
communication and the media. It’s no wonder
that, in online surveys, “control” and “restrict”
were voted the country’s most popular words
for 2011.
That tough approach has kept
the regime secure up to now, but the stability
it creates can only be short-term in China’s
increasingly modernized society, where most
people appear to believe a one-party state is
no longer appropriate. The regime has clearly
lost the battle of ideas. Today, social change
in China is accelerating. The problem for the
country’s ruling party is that, although Chinese
people generally do not have revolutionary
intentions, their acts of social disruption can
have revolutionary implications because they
are occurring at an extraordinarily sensitive
time. In short, China is much too dynamic and
volatile for the Communist Party’s leaders to
hang on. In some location next year, whether
a small village or great city, an incident will
get out of control and spread fast. Because
people across the country share the same
thoughts, we should not be surprised they will
act in the same way. We have already seen the
Chinese people act in unison: In June 1989,
well before the advent of social media, there
were protests in roughly 370 cities across
China, without national ringleaders.
This
phenomenon, which has swept North Africa
and the Middle East this year, tells us that the
nature of political change around the world is
itself changing, destabilizing even the most
secure-looking authoritarian governments.
China is by no means immune to this wave
of popular uprising, as Beijing’s overreaction
to the so-called “Jasmine” protests this spring
indicates. The Communist Party, once the
beneficiary of global trends, is now the victim
of them.
So will China collapse? Weak governments
can remain in place a long time. Political
scientists, who like to bring order to the
inexplicable, say that a host of factors are
required for regime collapse and that China
is missing the two most important of them: a
divided government and a strong opposition.
At a time when crucial challenges mount,
the Communist Party is beginning a multiyear political transition and therefore illprepared for the problems it faces. There are
already visible splits among Party elites, and
the leadership’s sluggish response in recent
months -- in marked contrast to its lightningfast reaction in 2008 to economic troubles
abroad -- indicates that the decision-making
process in Beijing is deteriorating. So check
the box on divided government. And as for the
existence of an opposition, the Soviet Union
fell without much of one. In our substantially
more volatile age, the Chinese government
could dissolve like the autocracies in Tunisia
and Egypt. As evident in this month’s “open
revolt” in the village of Wukan in Guangdong
province, people can organize themselves
quickly -- as they have so many times since
the end of the 1980s. In any event, a welloiled machine is no longer needed to bring
down a regime in this age of leaderless
revolution. Not long ago, everything was
going well for the mandarins in Beijing. Now,
nothing is. So, yes, my prediction was wrong.
Instead of 2011, the mighty Communist Party
of China will fall in 2012. Bet on it.
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How China’s Boom Caused the
Financial Crisis
And why it Matters Today.
BY HELEEN MEES
Since the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street has
been the perpetual whipping boy for the ensuing recession that has rocked the global economy. In the United States, Manhattan bankers
relied too heavily on subprime mortgages, the
story goes, sparking the crisis -- in bureaucratic
jargon, what is dubbed a “regulatory oversight
failure.” In Europe, the debt crisis -- which
struck again when the credit-rating agency
Standard & Poor’s stripped France of its AAA
rating -- is often blamed on the fact that eurozone governments maintained outsized debtto-GDP ratios, thereby breaking the rules laid
down in the Stability and Growth Pact they
signed when they joined the currency union.
But these explanations for the twin crises in
the United States and Europe simply ignore the
facts. Subprime mortgages with exotic features
accounted for less than 5 percent of new mortgages in the United States from 2000 to 2006.
It is therefore highly unlikely that they were
solely responsible for setting off the housing
boom that ultimately went bust. The explanation offered for the crisis in the eurozone overlooks the fact that Spain and Ireland -- two of
the weak links in Europe today -- were actually paragons of virtue in terms of the Stability
Pact. Both countries boasted budget surpluses
in the years leading up to the crisis, and both
had debt-to-GDP ratios of roughly 30 percent,
or only about half the level that was permitted
under the Stability Pact. The immediate cause
of the housing bubbles in the United States and
the eurozone periphery was not regulatory oversight failure, but the precipitous drop in interest
rates in the early 2000s. And the country that
bears partial responsibility for depressing inter-
est rates is a traditional punching bag in the
American political arena, one that has somehow avoided most of the blame in this round:
China. The ascendance of the world’s most
populous country in the global economy not
only changed the terms of trade, but it also had
a considerable impact on the world’s capital
markets. The chain of events that led to the
current economic breakdown began in 2000,
when the Federal Reserve began to lower the
Fed funds rate, its main policy lever, to stave
off a recession following the bursting of the
dot-com bubble. The Fed slashed the rate from
6.5 percent in late 2000 to 1.75 percent in
December 2001 and then down to 1 percent in
June 2003. It then kept the rate at 1 percent for
more than a year, even though inflation expectations were well above the Fed’s implicit
inflation target and the unemployment rate was
down to nearly 5 percent, which is considered
the natural rate of unemployment. Americans
got themselves indebted up to their eyeballs
and went on a prolific spending binge with
their newly acquired cash. Spending out of
home equity extraction amounted to $750 billion, or more than 4 percent of GDP, in 2005
alone. Fed policymakers generally looked
favorably upon remortgaging as a source of
personal consumption expenditure.
Why People Choose to do Business in and
By Belinda Wong Through Hong Kong
Why? Because Hong Kong is the hub of
Asia. Within 4 hours, one can fly from
Hong Kong to some major Asian cities like
Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala
Lumpur, Bangkok etc. Flight to New Delhi
is just over 5 hours. Easy communication
and free flow of information made this city
a very competitive place to do business.
Because of the simple tax regime. The
corporate tax rate is low by any standard –
a mere 16.5%. It is only calculated on the
profits derived from Hong Kong. Profits
made outside of Hong Kong is not subject
to corporate tax. However, the Hong
Kong Inland Revenue Department has to
agree that those profits are not subject to
Hong Kong corporate tax. In line with
this, expenses incurred for the non-Hong
Kong profits cannot be tax-deducted here.
There is no tax on dividends received by
individuals or companies in Hong Kong.
No capital gain nor inheritance tax too!
There is no foreign exchange control.
Funds can come in and go outside Hong
Kong without restrictions as long as they
are not
from organized crimes or money laundering
practice.
People from overseas are free to buy any
goods or assets without any restrictions.
Setting up companies are easy. A foreigner
can be sole owner or director of a Hong
Kong company. The only residence
requirement is for company secretary. Of
course, there is a need to have an office
address. This can easily be provided by an
executive office or by those professionals
engaged in the formation of the company.
Lots of people use Hong Kong as a
springboard for their business ventures in
China and other Asian countries.
Overseas companies can also be registered
here as non-Hong Kong companies.
Again, the only residence requirements
are an agent to represent the companies
and office address. One can also set up
companies incorporated outside of Hong
Kong in places like Cayman Islands,
British Virgin Islands etc. to fit in to their
corporate structures. Listing of companies
incorporated outside of Hong Kong is a
possibility if those companies fit the listing
requirements of the Hong Kong Stock
Exchange.
All of these made Hong Kong an attractive
place as compared to other cities.
P.4
An-Nour
February
20122012
February
Continued from Page 1
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WORLD NEWS
The Arab Spring
Inconsistent policies across different
countries: 6
“Arab populations don’t understand why
intervention in Libya was warranted but not
in Syria, why support for the revolution was
warranted in Egypt but not in Bahrain, etc.”
Its policy toward Bahrain: 3
“Standing behind the Bahrain regime’s
brutality.”
Failing to recognize the Palestine-Arab
Spring connection: 3
“Continuing to keep Palestinian freedom
separate from their correct emphasis on
Arab freedom.”
The Libya intervention: 3
“Failure to conduct real post-war planning
for Libya after the revolution.”
What mistakes? 2
“It has made few mistakes under the
circumstances.”
Other: 5
“Overestimating its influence.”
5. The next Arab dictator to fall will be...
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad: 22
“Assad, unless you believe Saleh hasn’t
fallen yet.”
Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh: 8
“He will continue to fall again and again and
again -- yet somehow stay in power.”
Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki: 1
Egypt’s Mohamed Hussein Tantawi: 1
6. The Arab country we should be paying
more attention to is...
Syria: 6
Algeria: 4
Egypt: 4
Jordan: 4
Bahrain: 3
Iraq: 3
“It is going to hell in a hand basket -- but
there is a national consensus to pay less
attention to it.”
Other: 9
“All of them.”
7. What is the greatest threat to Arab
democracy?
Political fragmentation and immaturity: 9
“Lack of strong institutions.”
Arab dictators: 7
Islamism/religious fundamentalism: 6
Economic challenges: 3
The Gulf “counterrevolution”: 2
The United States: 1
Social issues (education, women’s rights): 1
A combination of threats: 4
8. True or false: The Arab world needs a
“Marshall Plan.”
False: 20
“In fact, what the U.S. needs is an exit
strategy from the Middle East.”
True: 12
“But for God’s sake don’t call it that!”
Some of the Arab world does: 1
“The oil- and gas-drenched Gulf countries
obviously don’t need a Marshall Plan. Nor
does oil-rich Libya. Tunisia is managing
fine on its own. I would prefer a U.S. aid
package that incentivizes Egypt toward
tolerance and democracy, rather than
a Saudi aid package that incentivizes
Egypt toward intolerance and Islamism.”
9. The Arab uprisings are more about:
Political freedoms: 13
Economic issues: 9
Mixed bag: 12
“For some protestors it’s either; for some
it’s both. I went for political freedom.
The family in the tent across from mine,
for economic reasons.”
10. The most important thing we
didn’t understand about the Arab
world was...
The people’s discontent -- and eagerness
for change: 16
“How quickly apathy
could turn to energy and
mass mobilization.”
“That there was a limit
to the state’s ability
to sell an alternative,
distorted reality to its
people.”
“That the dictators the
West had supported and
defended for decades
had no legitimacy at
all, while those the
West demonized and
ignored had huge
popularity. Arabs were not an exception
in their eagerness for democracy and
freedom.”
“Basic human dignity can be asserted
organically, bottom-up, and without
obvious leaders.”
“A status quo that seemed to deliver our
interests in the short term, while ignoring
the interests of the people, was never
sustainable.”
“How easily the barrier of fear could be
broken and how fragile the regimes that
relied on it to rule truly were. How ready
and willing people were to sacrifice for
freedom.”
The power of political Islam: 5
“The popularity of the Salafist
movement.”
“Contemporary history has shown that
power vacuums in the Middle East aren’t
filled by secular youth; they’re filled by
middle-aged Islamists.”
The challenge of post-revolution
rebuilding: 3
“That many of the revolutions will have
many phases and last for years.”
Other: 8
“Everything.”
“Mostly nothing. We understood the most
important things -- that the authoritarian
status quo was untenable and that
Islamists were the most powerful forces
in their society. The problem was we
didn’t have the political will to act on
that knowledge.”
Lebanon Aims for Gas Drilling Tenders
Within 3 months
Lebanon will issue international tenders for drilling in its potentially gas-rich Mediterranean waters and aims to have contracts signed with the winning firms within a year.
Interest in drilling off Mediterranean coasts has grown since two natural gas fields were
discovered off the coast of Israel, Lebanon’s southern neighbour. Estimates value those
reserves at tens of billions of dollars. Lebanon has yet to explore off its own coast.
The two countries, are disputing an 850-square-km stretch of sea off their coast that
lies near an area where U.S. and Israeli firms discovered the two massive natural gas
fields. “All the big international companies have not only shown an interest but have
participated in conferences that we held and bought the information we have,” Basil the
Minister of Energy said.
Continued from page 1
Fears that Tehran will Act to Provoke a Conflict
EU – together with the US –
is imposing sanctions that ban
imports of crude oil from Iran,
as part of “an essential next
step” to make Tehran change
its ways. Until now, sanctions
have largely been targeted at
a nuclear program that the
west believes is aimed at
building a bomb. But now the
allies are stepping on the lifeline of the Iranian economy
56-year-old cosmetics retailer in the capital,
– the means by which Tehran earns badly
says his sales have dropped by 10 per cent
needed foreign currency. Iran is usuthis month. “Customers are in a wait-and-see
ally dismissive of western sanctions. This
situation. No one dares to spend money on
time, however, it has reacted furiously. It
anything except food,” he says. But however
has threatened to retaliate by shutting the
severe the damage imposed by sanctions may
strait, through which a sixth of the world’s
be, analysts and western diplomats in Tehran
oil supplies pass. It has tested cruise misare far from certain that they will force the
siles that can hit US ships in the strait. It
Islamic regime to begin serious negotiations.
has warned Gulf neighbours that they face
Iranian leaders, he argues, look at the examconsequences if they replace Iranian oil in
ple of Libya, where Muammer Gaddafi gave
world markets. In a show of defiance, the
up his weapons of mass destruction in 2003
regime has also pushed ahead with plans
and opened up to the west, only to be toppled
to enrich uranium at an underground facileight years later. The Iranians will be tempted
ity that Israeli or American bombs cannot
to conclude that Gaddafi’s WMD arsenal
destroy. “Never in the past decade have
could have protected him from the Nato milithings looked so serious,” says Mark
tary campaign that helped to oust him. If
Fitzpatrick of the London-based Internaharsher sanctions do not achieve their goal,
tional Institute of Strategic Studies. “The
could the covert war against the nuclear proIran crisis is moving closer to both of the
gramme, which is assumed by analysts to
worst-case outcomes that people fear: Iran
be led by Israel, stop Iran in its tracks? The
with a bomb or a bombing campaign to
effect of sabotage is limited: the killing of
stop it.”
scientists has spread fear among Tehran’s
Iran’s military: Old and ill-trained scientific community but it has not seriously
but still a threat to international ship- halted progress on the nuclear programme.
ping Iran has a military that is ill-trained The Stuxnet worm, a computer virus that
and poorly co-ordinated; an aircraft fleet infected hardware at nuclear installations last
acquired mainly by the shah; and a navy year, may have delayed the programme by
of speedboats that, beside the aircraft car- a year but it has not halted it. Many anariers of the US Fifth Fleet that patrols the lysts believe this leaves only the two worst
Gulf, look like flies swarming a rhinoc- scenarios – that Iran will acquire a bomb or
eros, writes Carola Hoyos. But no one come under military attack. Israel considdoubts it has the power to interrupt a third ers a nuclear-armed Iran an existential threat.
of the world’s seaborne oil trade through Moreover, Iran’s acquisition of a weapon
the Strait of Hormuz and pull the US into could trigger the start of the next big wave of
a conflict that could quickly escalate into nuclear arms proliferation in the world as its
something neither side has bargained for. rivals in the Gulf seek to acquire similar deterIran would be likely to start by slowing rents. But any attack on Iranian nuclear facilitraffic using speedboats to force tankers ties is fraught with risk and might not work.
to make evasive manoeuvres or by impos- Israeli strikes can target known facilities. But
ing inspections. But the main threat lies in if Iran has parallel clandestine nuclear plants,
its missiles and mines – 10 times as pow- an assault could do little more than delay its
erful as those used in the 1980s tanker ambitions. Moreover, Iran has the ability to
wars, says Sabahat Khan of the Institute retaliate with missile strikes that would be
for Near East and Gulf Military Analy- likely to target US bases in the Gulf. It could
sis, a think-tank based in the Middle East. also deploy its allies in Lebanon and AfghanEven without a closure of the strait, they istan. The economic cost in higher oil prices
fear that a random incident or miscalcu- at a time of recession in much of the devellation could accidentally provoke mili- oped world could be high. Leon Panetta, US
tary conflict. Even if that is averted, the defence secretary, expressed his fears about
broader strategic questions that have long the impact of a war when he said in Decemdefined this crisis need answering. How ber that an Israeli attack would “consume the
long will it be before Iran is in a position Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict
to test a weapon? How much pressure is that we would regret”. Given the risks and the
Israel putting on the US to back a military stakes involved, Israel and the US are locked
attack this year? And is there any chance in discussion over a key issue: how long
that the current mixture of sanctions, they have before Iran’s nuclear programme
sabotage and diplomacy can avoid an out- reaches the point at which its progress cannot
come in which Iran either gets the bomb be stopped. The US believes there is still
or is bombed? For the US and its allies, time. While Iran has been building a range of
the preferred outcome is that the pres- nuclear capabilities, it has not yet taken the
ent approach finally persuades Tehran to big strategic decision to bring the elements
give up its nuclear ambitions. The west’s together and test a bomb.
main demand remains that Iran must Iranian naval assets in the region along with
abandon uranium enrichment, the core international maritime boundaries, shipping
part of its nuclear activity. Iran insists, lanes, terminals, pipelines and major oil
however, that it is merely developing a and gas fields There is more impatience in
civil nuclear energy programme and has Israel, however. Retired Brigadier General
ignored the demands, actively developing Michael Herzog, a former adviser to Israeli
uranium enrichment plants at Natanz, the defence ministers, says that if Iran were to
site revealed a decade ago, and Fordow, take the decision to build a bomb now, it
an underground facility near the holy city might take more than a year to be able to
of Qom. As the economic pressures esca- deploy a weapon. But if the strategic decilate, the country is feeling the pain. It has sion is taken next year, the time frame for
been able to survive growing isolation weapons production becomes shorter. The
thanks to high oil prices, which have been Iranians, meanwhile, are taking measures to
giving it about $80bn a year, providing immunise their program from outside attack.
about 80 per cent of government foreign “There are some in Israel who argue that
currency revenues. But now things may this is the year in which big decisions have
change. The EU ban on oil sales blocks to be taken on Iran,” says Gen Herzog. It
about 20 per cent of total Iranian crude is a daunting prospect. Still, amid a growing
exports. It will therefore hit Tehran’s for- sense that conflict looms, some analysts and
eign currency reserves, forcing it to dis- former diplomats argue that the heightened
count its oil sales to other customers. As a tensions could also represent an opportunity
result, the rial has lost 40 per cent against for a return to the negotiating table. They
the dollar on the black market since the say the US and its partners should attempt to
start of this year. Prices of consumer goods kick-start talks and put more attractive offers
have soared, hurting a frustrated popula- on the table, including the prospect of Iran’s
tion. “Those authorities who claim sanc- maintaining a civil nuclear capability under
tions have no impact should come and see a heavy inspection regime to ensure that no
how dollar fluctuations pushed my busi- weaponisation occurs. “You either have to
ness towards disaster,” says Vahid, 34, a go to war, and that could have a devastating
computer wholesaler in a Tehran market. impact, or you have two alternatives – let the
“The signing into law of sanctions on the Iranians do whatever they want, and that’s
central bank by Obama weakened the rial not viable either, or go to serious negotiaby 20 per cent in a day – see what hap- tions,” says Tufts’ Prof Nasr. “
pens if it comes into force.” Akbar, a
P.5
An-Nour
February 2012
Fears of the Arab Spring
Becoming an “Islamist Spring”
Raghida Dergham
Mistaken are those who demand that power be
handed over to the Islamists in the Arab region of
change, even on the grounds that they have been
brought to power by a democratic process that
must be honored, and that there is no choice but to
submit to the de facto situation until the Islamists
are tested in power. This is because democracy
has been abortive as a result of excluding women
and the youth from decision-making, and there are
dangerous indications that the personal freedoms
of Arab women and religious minorities are being
undermined in the age of the Islamist monopoly of
power. The youth of the Arab Awakening launched
the revolution of change, but the ballot boxes
brought victory for the Islamist movements. While
they had toppled their regimes jointly in 2011,
they parted ways in the 2012 battle over the fateful
choice between the modern state and the Islamic
state. This is not to say that the modernists reject
the results of the elections, for they, despite their
fear of the Islamists, are not opposed to democracy.
Rather, the lack of clarity of the direction taken
by the Islamists, and the uncertainty regarding
democratic nature of such a direction is arousing
terror, because no one is providing guarantees for
the rotation of power, or indeed for the secular state
and legislation that would ensure equality among
all citizens. For this reason, when those who call
for respecting the outcome of the democratic
process in terms of the Islamists coming to power,
demand that we wait for the latter to be tested, as
they are insulting the women of the Arab region.
Arab women are paying today the price of change
coming through an abortive democracy, yet they are
being demanded to remain silent and accept to be
sacrificed in the name of democracy. This becomes
even worse when a country like the United States is
actively rushing to enable the Muslim Brotherhood
to ignore the youth, excluded today from power,
and ignore women, who are now being blindsided.
The bottom-line of this American stance is placing
the fate of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel
ahead of the rights of over half of the Egyptian
people, i.e. women and young people. The Obama
administration may believe that in this manner, it is
buying the loyalty of Islamist movements instead
of their hostility; that the policy of containment
and attraction is in the interest of the United States;
and that it is inevitable for the Islamists in power in
Egypt, for example, to turn to Washington, because
they are in dire need of economic aid to remain
in power. But the Obama administration is only
repeating the clichéd American way of being ready
to dispense with anyone, -if this is in its interest,
while turning a blind eye to principles and values.
Abandoning the modernists, the enlightened or the
secularists is indeed what the U.S. doing, no matter
how much Washington tries to provide explanations
or justifications for it. If Washington had remained
neutral, at an equal distance from both the Islamists
and the modernists, then it would have been above
board. But by engaging the Islamists at the expense
of the modernists, Washington is sending the Arab
youth a message that is both wrong and dangerous,
as the youth see this as betrayal – or American
betrayal, as usual.
In spite of this, the Arab youth and Arab women
do not intend to remain still under a new regional
order being forged, -with Turkey’s leadership, of
the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab region, -whom
the West labels followers of moderate Islam or
enlightened Islamists. Turkey has its own interests
in seeking influence, or in fact hegemony in the
Muslim region, under the banner of the “Turkish
model”, which the West has since come to terms
with; while warning that what is really happening
is that secularism is being overturned. And it is also
in Turkey’s interest to be prominent in the balance
of trust in the Middle East. But what brings Turkey,
Iran and Israel together is the desire to neutralize
the Arabs in the regional balance of power – if
not by dividing the Arab region, then at least by
sharing influence therein. This is what many young
Arabs realize today, which is why young people
have begun to take precautions. However, they are
exhausted and this might require them to carry out
another revolution, this time against the revolution
of change itself. The Arab region is divided in its
emotions, and not just in its assessment of what has
come to it in the name of the Arab Spring. Part of it
welcomes the victory of the Islamists, considering
it to be the natural outcome of the demands of the
region’s inhabitants. Another part of it is expecting a
struggle for power within the ranks of the Islamists,
between the Salafists and “the Brotherhood”. Then
there are those who are falling into the dark pit of
pessimism regarding the future of the region, on
the background of the Arab Spring turning into an
Islamist Spring. Finally, there are also those who
cling to their belief in optimism, because the nature
of change in the Arab region has begun distorted.
So what is happening then?
In Beirut, during the conference of Reform and
Transitions to Democracy held by the UN Economic
and Social Commission for Western Asia, public
and captivating talk and remarkable discussions
took place behind the scenes, between Islamists
coming to or seeking power, and modernists who
want secular constitutions that separate religion and
state. Optimism and pessimism were also mixed
into the fray, sometimes negating generational
differences. Former Yemeni Prime Minister Dr.
Abd Al-Karim Al-Iryani, for example, understood
the pessimism, but rebutted the arguments for
it by pointing to the vitality and meaning of the
“collective movement” of the youth in Yemen,
and to the fact that Egypt’s youth still remain
active, because “the dynamic movement belongs
to the youth alone”. He came to the conclusion
that youthful change will not be likely to retreat
in Yemen because change in the Arab region has
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become an established international principle.
Change is coming to Yemen on the 21st of next
month with the election of a new president,
and a historical event not witnessed by Yemen
in a thousand years is likely to be recorded if
a president from Southern Yemen is elected,
as it is expected. Then there will be in power,
-for the first time, both a President and a Prime
Minister who hail from Southern Yemen. The
importance of this is that this historical event
may be the security valve to keep Yemen united
and prevent its descent into conflicts that would
lead to its partitioning once again. And that is
cause for optimism, because then the path of
change in Yemen would have led to fundamental
and profound results that include the President
stepping down, elections being held, and the
division of Yemen being foreclosed. But in spite
of this, democracy in Yemen is being abortive in
a manner that is absolutely unacceptable when it
comes to women.
In Egypt, where the disappointment of
modernists is great as a result of what took place
with the ballot boxes in favor of the Salafists and
the Muslim Brotherhood, there is a profound
division with regard to the future and in the
balance of optimism and pessimism. Indeed,
Egypt, in the opinion of one seasoned politician
in thought and in politics – who did not take part
in the conference – represents the basis and the
measure of what will happen in the Arab region.
And he is optimistic. He is optimistic because
the situation will change within six months,
when the time comes for change through a new
constitution, wagering on the fact that Islamists
are a minority in Egypt and that Egyptian
thinking will not tolerate an Islamist monopoly
of power. Meanwhile, the presidential candidate
in Egypt, and former Secretary-General of
the League of Arab States, Amr Moussa
pointed to the importance of the “Al-Azhar
document” that was recently issued, and which
was characterized by lucidity, moderation,
tolerance and modernity, and considered it
to be a frame of reference. He said that the
transition towards democracy “has an Islamist
flavor” and that moderation is “the new Islamist
flavor”. Nevertheless, he stressed the necessity
of keeping branches of government separate,
and respecting the judiciary and other tenets of
true democracy. The election of a man like Amr
Moussa, a non-Islamist, as President in Egypt
may well be the safety valve for the country’s
stability, because the Islamists in power need
a president who would speak the language of
consensus, would nearly be a guarantee that the
Islamists will not monopolize power, and would
allow the West to extend essential aid to Egypt
by insisting on respect for citizens’ rights and
refusing exclusion.
Behind the scenes, a remarkable discussion
took place between the Islamist candidate
for president in Egypt, Abdel Moneim Aboul
Fotouh, and an open-minded Lebanese cleric
and expert on Islamic jurisprudence, Sayyid
Hani Fahs. It is noteworthy that it was Fahs
who demanded distinguishing between religion,
the state and politics, and who challenged the
Islamist candidate’s interpretation of religion
and jurisprudence, which spoke of Islam alone
being the solution. In the public sessions, a
young Tunisian activist stood up and said that
change in the Arab World was not an “event”
that had taken place and had ended, but rather
a course and a process that had just begun. He
calmly and logically warned that the youth of
Tunisia would not submit to the Islamists in
power without holding them to account or
without objecting. A female Moroccan human
rights activist then declared, “It bothers me that
we are asked to accept and surrender to the results
of the electoral process”. At the present time,
what is required of the youth and the women of
change is full engagement, and organizing and
preparing for the next round. A female Libyan
judge then spoke of what Libyan women had
done in the revolution against Gaddafi, only to
be “surprised” by the stances of the National
Council and the presence of only one woman
in the council – “We then began to review what
we had done”. In addition, a Lebanese feminist
organization organized the Sawa Sawa March
called for by the New Arab Woman Forum
under the slogan “No Spring without Women”.
Most prominent in the discussions is the fact that
modernists are raising their voices in saying that
change would remain lacking and failed, as long
as women and young people are not at the core of
decision-making; as long as the state is not made
up of legal and secular state institutions; as long
as the constitution is not based on citizenship;
and as long as the forces of modernity do not
move today and now to organize, mobilize and
refuse to wait silently until it is too late. Also
prominent is the awareness in the Arab region of
the necessity of being vigilant about the regional
balance of power. Indeed, both the Islamic
Republic of Iran and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s
Turkey are based on religious confessionalism,
and this limits their horizons. Neither of the two
will be able to seize regional leadership, and
together, they will not be able to share influence
and divide the Arab region amongst themselves,
no matter how much they try and how much
they work towards this. For one thing, the Arab
youth will not sink into slumber. Egypt is still in
the process of sorting matters out, a process that
may lead it to rise as a pioneering country in the
Arab region.
The change coming from the Arab Awakening is
going through a frightening phase that is causing
much frustration, and yet there is something
in the air preventing a downward spiral into
pessimism – something that awakens frustration
into the necessity of challenging monopoly.
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The Iraqi Revolution We’ll Never Know
Imagine for a moment that the United States never invaded Iraq.
Would the Arab Spring have toppled Saddam anyway?
BY MICHAEL WAHID HANNA
In a tumultuous year that witnessed the fall
of Arab tyrants and the U.S. withdrawal
from Iraq, proponents of the 2003 invasion, including former Vice President Dick
Cheney and conservative academic Fouad
Ajami, have sought to portray the decision
to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime as the
hidden driver of the Arab Spring. But rather
than revisit history, why not -- on this oneyear anniversary of Tunisian strongman
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s downfall. If the
United States had never invaded Iraq, would
Saddam’s Baathist regime still be standing
in today’s Middle East? This question, of
course, is a bedeviling one. It is difficult
to imagine the region absent U.S. military
intervention in Iraq. The war itself fueled
regional dysfunction -- particularly in reaffirming and expanding pernicious notions
of sectarian identity. Clearly, the specter of
enhanced Iranian influence and the spillover
effects of Iraq’s brutal 2006-2007 sectarian
civil war loom large over the region, most
obviously with respect to Syria and Bahrain.
Still, the admittedly speculative answers to
this hypothetical exercise expose the many
ways the Middle East has evolved since
the days when Saddam brutally crushed the
Shiite and Kurdish uprising of 1991 -- with
the Arab world looking on in silence. At
the same time, Iraq’s strategic position and
sectarian makeup highlight the geopolitical
realities that continue to limit the trajectory
of regional transformation.
Absent U.S. intervention, it is almost certain that Saddam would have maintained
his repressive grip on the country. While his
regional ambitions and threatening posture
had been contained by devastating sanctions,
the opposition to Saddam’s rule remained
fragmented and ineffective until the U.S.led intervention. The ambitious efforts to
foment internal unrest by the Iraqi National
Congress, a purported umbrella organization
for the Iraqi opposition in exile, had been an
unmitigated disaster. And the internal opposition had not been able to seriously threaten
the regime. When Al-Sadr,avenerated and
politicized Shiite cleric, was murdered by
the regime in February 1999, the short-lived
riots that ensued were subdued quickly.
The aftermath also exposed long-standing
divisions between the external and internal
Shiite opposition that would stand in the way
of any effort to overthrow the regime. That
doesn’t mean it never would have happened.
With festering grievances, a repressed populace, and growing destitution, it is highly
likely that Iraq would have been part of this
past year’s regional wave of uprisings. The
wave of revolt has illuminated the manner
in which transnational solidarity, buoyed
by a shared media space and political links,
still plays an important role in the collective imagination of Arabs -- even though
the grandiose promises of pan-Arab nationalism have long ago been discredited. This
phenomenon would not have bypassed Iraq.
Furthermore, while the pre-invasion efforts
of both the external and internal Iraqi opposition ultimately failed, they did represent genuine opposition politics. And the existence of
a Kurdish safe haven would have provided
physical space to plan and coordinate anti-
government activities. Much more so than
even in Tunisia, the building blocks for an
uprising would have been in place in Iraq.
Had such an uprising broken out, the surest
path for Iraqi regime change would have
been a U.S.-led military action in support of
local actors. Without the bruising legacy of
the Iraq debacle, outside intervention, even
absent legal authorization, would have been,
for better or worse, a serious option for the
United States and its allies. As with Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya, the United States
and its partners would have seen an opportunity to remove a longtime nemesis. The propitious circumstances that created the moral
and legal basis for the NATO-led intervention in Libya, however, would probably not
have materialized in Iraq. Russia and China
would have expressed serious reservations
about meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs and
would likely have blocked legal sanction for
any military action against the regime. Russian and Chinese aversion to more aggressive
multilateral steps against Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad’s regime, after all, is not
simply a fit of pique regarding the expansive
nature of the Libya campaign but rather part
of a long-standing assertion of strategic priorities and state sovereignty. Regional intervention in Iraq would have been even less
likely. While the Iraq war inflamed popular
notions of sectarian identity, regional politics
had long been shaped by sectarianism and
regional rivalry. Saudi Arabia, for example,
backed Saddam in his war with Iran in the
1980s because it deemed a revolutionary Iran
seeking to export Shiite theocracy as more of
a threat than an Iraq bent on regional hegemony. Such balance-of-power considerations
would undoubtedly have counseled caution
among America’s Gulf allies in the face of a
Shiite- and Kurdish-led uprising against Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime. The mere
prospect of Iran expanding its influence after
Saddam’s downfall would have foreclosed
the possibility of regional consensus on the
side of an Iraqi protest movement. Similarly,
fears of an independent Kurdistan and the
potential revitalization of Kurdish nationalist aspirations within Turkey would certainly have pushed Turkish leaders to oppose
foreign intervention. To be sure, the Arab
world is now witnessing the first stirrings of
an effort to establish regional norms for combating dictatorial repression and violence. On
a popular level, strident stances against Israel
and the United States are no longer sufficient
cover for the slaughter of one’s people, as is
clear from regional reaction to Assad’s brutal
crackdown on protesters. But, in the event
of an uprising in Iraq, such considerations
would have lost out to strategic concerns.
P.6
February 2012
An-Nour
www.An-Nournews.com
Syria Rejects Arab League Call for
Power Transfer
Damascus calls Arab League plan for Assad to transfer power to his
deputy ‘flagrant interference’.
DAMASCUS - Syria rejected an Arab League
plan for President Bashar al-Assad to transfer
power to his deputy, calling the initiative a
“flagrant interference,” state TV quoted an
official as saying.
“Syria rejects the decisions taken which are
outside an Arab working plan, and considers
them an attack on its national sovereignty and
a flagrant interference in internal affairs,” the
official was quoted as saying.
The Arab League asked the UN to support a
new plan for resolving the crisis in Syria that
sees Assad transferring power to his deputy
and a government of national unity within two
months.
Assad should “delegate powers to the vice
president to liaise with a government of
national unity,” to be formed in two months,
according to a statement read by Qatari
premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani
after Arab foreign ministers met in Cairo to
determine the fate of their Syrian observer
mission.
The Syrian official reacting to the Arab
League’s call said the regional body should
instead “assume its responsibilities for stopping
the financing and arming of terrorists,” the
television channel reported.
The source added that the Arab League
initiative ran counter to the interests of the
Syrian people and would not prevent the
country from “advancing its political reforms
and bringing security and stability to its
people who have shown, during this crisis,
their support for national unity as they have
rallied around President Assad.”
Deployed since December 26 to oversee an
Arab League peace plan, the Syrian observer
mission has been widely
criticised for its failure
to stem the government’s
bloody crackdown on
democracy protesters.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s
foreign minister said
Riyadh had pulled its
observers
from
the
mission
because
the
Syrian government had
“not respected any of the
clauses” in the Arab plan
aimed at ending the crisis.
The Arab League agreed,
however, to extend the
mission and boost the
number of observers, according to the final
statement.
The new government’s mission would be to
implement the Arab League plan to end the
crisis, and to prepare free and fair legislative
and presidential elections under both Arab and
international supervision.
It would also prepare the election of a constituent
assembly within three months and a new
constitution which would be put to a referendum.
The ministers tasked the bloc’s secretary general
with nominating a “special envoy” to Syria in
charge of following developments in the country.
After reading out the statement, the Qatari
premier said the new plan envisaged the “peaceful
departure of the Syrian regime,” adding that
the plan “resembles the one on Yemen,” which
resulted in President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreeing
to step down.
Earlier, the SNC called for the Syria file to be
transferred to the UN Security Council for
referral to the International Criminal Court, so
that all Syrian officials implicated in “crimes
against humanity” could be prosecuted under
international law.
International pressure has been steadily growing
on Assad’s regime, as more than 5,400 people
have been killed since anti-government protests
broke out last March, according to UN figures.
But a tough Security Council resolution on Syria
has been blocked by veto-wielding permanent
members China and Russia, with Moscow
insisting the opposition is as much to blame for
the violence as the regime.
Qatar had proposed that Arab troops be
deployed in Syria, but Damascus rejected
Report: Russia to Deliver Combat
Jets to Syria
Business daily Kommersant cites source close to Russia’s
Rosoboronexport state arms trader, that $550-million deal
envisages delivery of 36 Yak-130 aircraft.
Russia has signed a
contract to sell combat
jets to Syria in a show
of support for President
Bashar Assad’s regime,
a newspaper reported.
If confirmed, the deal
would mark an open
defiance of international
efforts to put pressure
on Assad’s regime,
which has faced broad
condemnation for its brutal Russia President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and Syrian
crackdown on an uprising. President Bashar Assad in Damascus last year.
The UN says more than 5,400
supplies of weapons to the Syrian opposition
people have died over 10 months.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from abroad and warned that Russia will
said that Moscow doesn’t consider it block any attempt by the West to secure
necessary to offer an explanation or United Nations support for the use of force
excuses over suspicions that a Russian against Syria.
ship had delivered munitions to Syria Russia has been a strong ally of Syria since
Soviet times when the country was led by
despite an EU arms embargo.
Lavrov told a news conference that the president’s father Hafez Assad. It has
Russia was acting in full respect of supplied Syria with aircraft, missiles, tanks
international law and wouldn’t be guided and other modern weapons.
by unilateral sanctions imposed by other The Yak-130 is a twin-engined combat trainer
jet that can also be used to attack ground
nations.
He accused the West of turning a blind targets. The Russian air force has recently
eye to attacks by opposition militants and placed an order for 55 such jets.
Hamas Figures Arrested in Swoop on
Red Cross
Israeli police arrested two Hamas politicians camped inside the premises
of the Red Cross in occupied East Jerusalem in the latest in a series of
arrests targeting members of the Palestinian Islamist movement.
Mohammed Totah, a Palestinian lawmaker, and Khaled Abu Arafeh, a
former Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs, had been living inside
the Red Cross compound since July 2010. A spokesman for the Israeli
police said the men were arrested because of their involvement in “Hamas
activity in Jerusalem”.
Red Cross premises do not enjoy the same diplomatic protection as
embassies and consulates, so police officers are free to enter the sites and
make arrests. The men had hoped all the same that the elevated status
enjoyed by the organisation would deter the Israeli authorities.
Dear heart
by Grace de Koekkoek
Dear heart,
We have been estranged
From the one we love.
We hurt
And we cry.
Like two little children,
Hungry for affection,
We cuddle
In each other’s arms.
So starved
For the love
We used to have.
And our lips
Let out an echo.
And our eyes
Embrace this sadness
Like a fog
Dampened with
Longing.
We hear the pain,
Now and then,
In each other’s sigh.
And somewhere
There’s a smile
To hide it all.
(770) 608-3343
[email protected]
‫شقق ومكاتب لإليجار‬
ً
‫شهريا‬
$600 ‫إبتداء من‬
ً
‫ضمنا‬
‫ ماء وغاز‬،‫كهرباء‬
‫لمزيد من المعلومات اإلتصال بالرقم‬
770-331-7099
(770) 608-3343
[email protected]
www.An-Nournews.com
The essence of the exercise is that your
“Eyes Must be Closed” when you are
doing this exercise. You must practice
the “Jin Ji Du Li” exercise with the
eyes closed. This exercise was so simple
and amazing that I thought I had to
share it here.
Here is the exercise:
Stand on one leg while your
eyes are closed. That is all.
Just try it right now, stop
reading and stand up, close
your eyes and try standing
on one foot.
If you are not able to stand
for less than 10 seconds,
it means that your body
has degenerated to 60 to
70 years old level in other
words, you may be only 40 years old, but
your body has aged a lot faster.
You do not need to lift your leg high, if your
internal organs are out of synch, even lifting
your leg this bit will make you wobble.
Now this was quite scary because it told me
that my body was almost 60 years old and
here was me, barely into my forties! These
Chinese are really very advanced in their
knowledge of the human body. It was very
heartening to know that frequent and regular
practice can help you recover your sense of
balance. In fact Chinese specialists suggest
daily practice of Jin Ji Du Li for 1 minute,
this helps prevent dementia.
You can try slightly closing both eyes while
practicing Jin Ji Du Li, instead of completely
closing them; in fact this is what the health
specialist Zhong Li Ba Ren recommends.
It is said that according to the understanding
of Chinese physicians, diseases appear in
the body because the coordination between
the various internal organs encounter prob-
“I love you when you
bow in your mosque,
kneel in your temple,
pray in your church. For
you and I are sons of
one religion, and it is the
spirit.”
poet Gibran Khalil
Gibran
lems and that causes the body to lose its
balance. Jin Ji Du Li can readjust this interrelationship of the organs and how they function with each other. Zhong Li Ba Ren stated
that many people can’t stand on one foot with
their eyes closed for even 5 seconds, but later
on as they practice it daily, are able to stand
for more than 2 minutes.
As you gain ability to stand for longer time,
the feeling of “head heavy, light feet” disappears. As benefits or practicing Jin Ji Du Li,
you will experience that the quality of sleep
improves, the mind clears up and memory
improves significantly. Most importantly if
you can practice Jin Ji Du Li with your eyes
closed for 1 minute every day, you will not
get dementia. (I think it this also means the
brain will remain healthy).
Zhong Li Ba Ren explained that there are
6 important meridians passing through our
legs. When you stand on a single leg, the
weak meridian will feel sore while getting the
necessary exercise, and as this happens, the
corresponding organs of these meridians and
their path-ways, start getting the necessary
tuning. This method can focus or concentrate
the awareness, and channel the body’s qi to
the foot. The beneficial effects of practicing
Jin Ji Du Li on various illnesses associated
with hypertension, diabetes, neck and spinal
diseases are quick to be seen and felt. Jin Ji
Du Li can also prevent gout.
Jin Ji Du Li helps to Strengthen body Immunity rapidly
Jin Ji Du Li it is suitable for everyone generally. It is the basic cure for “Cold Feet Disease” and it can also strengthen the body’s
immunity. You do not have to wait until you
have any illness to start practicing Jin Ji
Du Li. It is especially beneficial for young
people, when they practice it daily while they
are healthy, so that their chances of contracting the various illness associated with aging
is comparative lower.
This exercise is not suitable for people over
70 years old, or those old people whose legs
are not strong and cannot stand steadily.
Foods That Fight
Fatigue
Instead of reaching for a sugary snack to
help you stay awake during your morning meeting or power through an afternoon slump, try this stay-awake strategy:
Snack on perfectly portable, fatiguefighting foods, like whole grain crackers,
walnuts, dark chocolate, and watermelon.
These picks will perk you up in no time.
Telecoms Players
and Investors
Expanding the
Jordan’s Network
With low prices translating into sustained
growth in subscriber numbers, Jordan’s
highly competitive mobile phone market
now has a penetration rate of over 108%.
To keep that number increasing, industry
players are calling for a sales tax on
smartphones to be rescinded, while also
launching new mobile phone-based
services
The expansion of 3G+ services is expected
to spark greater interest in smartphones
and make it easier for consumers to
buy them. To encourage use of the new
network, Abed Shamlawi, the CEO of
the ICT Association of Jordan, known as
[email protected], recently called for taxes on these
devices to be reduced, saying that the
elimination of the 16% sales tax could
help significantly increase internet use by
smartphone owners.
According to some predictions, mobile
penetration is expected to reach 133% by
2015. Shamlawi said that doing away with
the 16% sales tax would lead to a surge in
smartphone sales, further boosting mobile
penetration.
E-mal enables users to transfer money
to other Zain subscribers across the
kingdom via SMS. The SMS can then
be used to withdraw cash from any Zain
outlet across Jordan. E-mal subscribers
can also top
up balances,
pay
bills
and manage
b a n k
accounts
from their
phones.
T a k e n
together, all this adds up to expectations
for a positive growth outlook for
Jordan’s telecoms sector. Indeed, many
encouraging signs are already pointing to
seeing 3G users account for up to 25% of
mobile subscriptions by 2015. (OBG)
India Sails New Nuclear
Submarine Home
Indian navy personnel took command of the
country’s first nuclear-powered submarine in
two decades after collecting the vessel near the
Russian port of Vladivostok, an official said.
Moscow offered the Russian-built Chakra II to
the Indian navy on a 10-year lease, a move that
has angered India’s arch-rival and nucleararmed neighbor Pakistan.
The Akula II class craft is the first nuclearpowered submarine to be operated by India
since it decommissioned its last Soviet-built
vessel in 1991.
“INS Chakra II is being handed over to Indian
personnel in the east, near Vladivostok,” a
senior navy source in India told Agence France
Presse, asking not to be named because Russia
is to formally announce the transfer.
The 8,140-ton submarine, capable of firing a
range of torpedoes as well as nuclear-tipped
Granat cruise missiles, is to sail under the
Indian flag to its base at Visakhapatnam in the
Bay of Bengal.
India is currently completing the development
of its own Arihant-class nuclear-powered ballistic submarines and the Russian delivery is
expected to help crews train for the domestic
boat’s introduction into service next year.
The submarine was originally due to be handed
over to India in 2009 but has been hit by various problems during testing.
During trials in the Sea of Japan in November
2008, 20 sailors were killed when a fire extinguisher released a deadly chemical that had
been accidentally loaded into the system.
The INS Chakra was commissioned by India
in 2004 and has seen the South Asian giant pay
$650 million in construction costs.
Earlier newspaper reports in India said New
Delhi may end up paying as much as $900
million under the terms of the deal. Russia’s
RIA Novosti news agency valued the contract
at $920 million.
FANOOS
Persian Cuisine Tea House & Events
Capacity over 350 Seats
ah
SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE EXERCISE
Science & Technology
ok
Health/ Sports
Ho
P.7
An-Nour
February 2012
Belly Dancing
.Private Parties
.Birthdays
.Catering
Friday & Saturday
Nights
3 rd. Wednesday
1st. Sunday
FLAMINGO NIGHT
Lunch Buffet
Monday- Friday
Saturday - Sunday
All You can Eat Meat-Chicken-Salad-Dessert
6125 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
404-256-2099
P.8
An-Nour
February 2012
www.An-Nournews.com
JOKES
An old man had enjoyed peace and
quiet until two boys suddenly moved
into the neighborhood. Each day on
their way home from school would
bang on the trash cans.
****************
Never know what an old guy will
say. I took my dad to the mall the
other day to buy some new shoes
[he’s 66]. We decided to get a bite to
eat at the food court.
I noticed he was watching a teenager
sitting next to him. The teenager had
spiked hair in different colors-green,
red, orange and blue.
My dad kept staring at her. The
teenager kept looking and would
find my dad staring everytime.
When the teenager had enough, she
sarcastically asked: “What’s the
matter, old man, never done anything
wild in your life?” Knowing my dad
I quickly swallowed my food so I
would not choke on his response:
I knew he would have a good one!
In classic style without batting an
eyelid: “Got stoned once and made it
with a peacock. I was just wondering
if you were my daughter.”
The little boy looked up and said:
“My grandfather lived to be 95 years
old”. The older man asked: “Oh? by
eating snickers candy bars?” The little
boy said: “No......by minding his own
business.”
Dr. Oz on TV said that to reach inner
peace we should always finish things
we have started and we all could use
more calm in our lives.
I looked around my house to find
things I’d started & hadn’t finished,
so I finished off a bottle of Merlot,
a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of
Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder
of Valiuminun scriptins, an a box a
chocletz. Yu haf no idr how fablus I
feel rite now.
The old man told them he liked their
banging the cans and would give them
a dollar each day to keep doing it. After
a few days he told them his Social
Security check had been reduced and
he could now only afford to pay more
than $.50 a day.They grumbled a little
bit but accepted.
A few days later he told he told them
that his check was late and he had some
unexpected bills so now he could only
pay a quarter. The boys said it was
not worth it to bang on the cans for a
measly quarter and said: «We quit.»
A little boy was sitting outside a store
eating one snickers candy bar after
another, when an older man walked
up and said: “You shouldn’t be eating
so much candy, it’ll rot your teeth, it’s
just bad for you to eat so much candy.”
****************
A blonde is feeling really lousy and
goes to the doctor.
He gives her a thorough examination
and tells her: “Good news.
You’re going to have a baby!” The
blonde says: “I can’t be pregnant. I’m
not married!”
The doctor says: “Well, you are
pregnant.”
The blonde says: “Are you sure it’s
mine?”
*****************
*****************
A man got on the bus with both of his front
pants pockets full of golf balls and sat
down next to a beautiful blonde.
The puzzled blonde kept looking at him
and his bulging pockets.
Finally, after many glances from her, he
said, “It’s golf balls.”
The blonde continued to look at him for a
very long time, thinking deeply about what
he had said.
After several minutes, not being able to
contain her curiosity any longer, she asked,
“Does it hurt as much as tennis elbow?”
************************
Two bowling teams, one of all
Blondes and one of all Brunettes,
charter a double-Decker bus for a
weekend trip to Louisiana.
The Brunette team rode on the
bottom of the bus, and the Blonde
team rode on the top level.
The Brunette team down below
really whooped it up, having
a great time, when one of them
realized she hadn’t heard anything
from the Blondes upstairs. She
decided to go up and investigate..
When the Brunette reached the top,
she found all the Blondes in fear,
staring straight ahead at the road,
clutching the seats in front of them
with white knuckles..
The brunette asked, ‘What the heck’s
The new aircraft lands at Beirut airport.
going on up here?
We’re having a great time downstairs!’
One of the Blondes looked up at her,
swallowed hard and whispered...
‘YEAH, BUT YOU’VE
DRIVER!
GOT A
a tenement, a community center, and
the former St. George’s Syrian Catholic Church. Todd Fine and Carl Antoun
have dedicated themselves to the mission of ensuring that the piece of Arab
American history told through the presence of these buildings is not erased.
With St. George’s having been designated by the Landmarks Preservation
Commission as a protected landmark in
2009, Fine and Antoun are spearheading an urgent and inspiring campaign to
establish the same status for the other
two buildings. To succeed, they need
the help of the community.
Arab
Americans have always been a part
of the American story. This unique
trio of buildings along Washington
Street stands as an affirmation of
this fact.
KIDZ CORNER
Soledad O’Brien
Turn Mistakes into Learning
Opportunities was the Best
Thing I Learned in my Childhood that I could Apply to my
Adulthood
Soledad O’Brien is well known as a journalist that goes
after the unknown. Reporting on subjects that most
journalists would pass over as not sensational enough
or too ordinary. But Soledad O’Brien likes looking at
the normal day to day people that make the fabric of our
country. I sat down in the lobby of the Hilton hotel in
Houston, Texas and here’s our interview.
BEIRUT: A brand new Airbus A320
passenger plane joined the Middle East
Airlines (MEA) fleet as part of efforts
to expand the operations of the national
carrier. The A320, holding manufacturer
serial number 5000, was delivered to the
company from production plants near
Hamburg, Germany.
A statement issued by MEA said the plane
was among “the most modern, fuel efficient
aircrafts in their category.” It said the jet
is powered by International Aero Engines
V2500 engines.
According to the statement the plane
features superbly comfortable and
spacious cabin that has and state of the
art entertainment with audio and video on
demand.
“Handing MSN5000 over to MEA is a real
pleasure for Airbus. The Lebanese flag
carrier has shown great courage maintaining
its operations in the face of difficulty,” said
Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO.
Around 8,300 A320 aircraft have been
ordered, with around 4,900 delivered to
more than 350 airlines around the world.
Why is the iPhone made in
China and not America?
Apple points to the Chinese
factory dormitories that
mean workers are on call 24
hours a day
By Ted Thornhill
Save Washington Street Campaign
Washington, DC . The American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
urges its members to support the campaign to protect the last remnants of
what was once a small but vibrant Arab
American neighborhood in New York
City’s Lower Manhattan from impending demolition.
In the 19th and early
20th centuries, “Little Syria” had been
a hub for immigrants establishing their
lives in America - Lebanese, Syrians,
and other Arabs among them. A central
place where peoples of all ethnic backgrounds came to engage in business, it
was the first major Arab American neighborhood and is part of our collective
story as Americans.
Today, only three buildings remain
along Washington Street as relics of this
cherished past:
Fuel Efficient
Airbus A320
Added to MEA’s
International Fleet
(770) 608-3343
[email protected]
President Barack Obama once asked the
late Steve Jobs why iPhones couldn’t be
made in the U.S. – and the former CEO
told him they would never be made on
home soil, according to a witness. Apple
does employ 43,000 people in the U.S
compared to 20,000 overseas, but that’s
dwarfed by the 400,000 workers from
America that General Motors employed
in the 1950s. Apple insiders say that
China simply offers too much production power and flexibility to be ignored
– with some plants even housing workers on site so they’re available at the
drop of a hat.
Once a foreman woke up 8,000 workers with tea and biscuits so they could
fit newly designed iPhone screens in
12-hour shifts, according to a report
in The New York
Times.
Just three days later
10,000 iPhones a
day were rolling off
the production line. The executive told
the paper: ‘The speed and flexibility is
breathtaking. There’s no American plant
that can match that.’ Another former
executive, Jennifer Rigoni, told the
same paper that Foxconn, which makes
the iPhone, ‘could hire 3,000 people
overnight’. She exclaimed: ‘What U.S.
plant can find 3,000 people overnight
and convince them to live in dorms?’
When Apple decided that 8,700 engineers would be required to oversee the
200,000 iPhone workers on the production lines, it calculated that nine months
would be needed to find them in America – China rustled them up in a staggering 15 days. Foxconn, it’s reported, also
deploys hundreds of guards to ensure
that the thousands of workers walking
around its factories don’t get caught in
bottlenecks. Mr Jobs told Mr Obama
that more jobs could go back to the U.S.
– but only if there were simply more
engineers available to be employed.
Q. “ As a kid growing up, what do you think prepared
you for what you’ve accomplished as an adult?”
A. “My parent s did really well for me, as a kid growing up - they let me try a lot of things and I think when
you try a lot of things and sometimes fail at a lot of
things you really figure out either how to overcome
failure or the things you’re really good at! My parents
were really good at not protecting me from making mistakes and that’s really an important process for growth
instead of getting all wound up about your mistakes you
have to come back and say, “How can I do that better
next time?” And the great thing about that as an adult,
you literally have to do that all the time or you’re going
to crumble every time you make a mistake and you’re
not going to get anywhere! So figuring out how to turn
mistakes into learning opportunities was the best thing I
learned in my childhood that I could apply to my adulthood.”
Q. “ Covering stories that normally wouldn’t have been
covered -were there times when it was tough to do maybe because it wasn’t a story that was popular? And
how did you make it happen?
A. “Yes, it is sometimes tough to do. Sometimes people
don’t see the value of the story. But I don’t mind that
because the upside to this is if you get the right story not everybody else is covering it. I’m there kind of by
muself. The documentary that we’re doing now is about
the lack of diversity in Silicone Valley and now suddenly it’s become a very popular issue and we’re kind
of in the forefront and that’s a story we really pushed to
get told.
Q. Kids have all kinds of obstacles growing up - what
obstacle did you have and how did you overcome it?
A. “I grew up in a town that was mostly a white town
- like 99% and my mom is black and Cuban and my
dad is white and Australian so we were this first generation Americans with big giant afros and my parents both
spoke a little funny so I think the “blending in thing”
you want to do as a kid growing up was hard for us. But
I think the upside to that was we became very tight as a
family and also I learned you don’t have to be the most
popular to be successful. It’s ok if people don’t like
you. It’s ok if you don’t have a million friends - you
really just need 1 maybe 2 good friends and that was a
really good lesson for me.”
Q. “When did you think in your reporting that you captured a moment that made a big difference?”
A. “I think Hurricane Katrina, was one of the very first
times, as an organization, with CNN, we told a story
that really needed to be told and we held a lot of people
accountable. When I was walking through the airport,
we used to go into New Orleans in shifts …and people
gave us a standing ovation …it was really one of the
most amazing things that ever happened to me in my life
because it meant our work mattered.”
Q. Do you think every story should be personal or is that
ok or not ok?
A. “Sometimes people say reporters need to be objective and I think people interpret that to mean to be cold
and uncaring when telling a story. I think you need to
be objective by not going into a story with an agenda be open to hear peoples sides and peoples perspectives
but I think you can never lose if your compassionate.
I’ve interviewed serial killers and I was very interested
about who they were as a person. I just wanted to
understand them and that’s a certain level of compassion for another human being. I don’t think you can
ever go wrong with that. It’s much more unnerving
to me when a reporter clearly just doesn’t care about
what they are covering.”
P.9
An-Nour
February 2012
www.An-Nournews.com
Saudi Needs More Time to Change School
Curricula
(770) 608-3343
[email protected]
Iraq Shrine City to Make Guinness
World Record Bid
Saudi Arabia needs three more years to
change its school textbooks criticised by
US for religious intolerance.
RIYADH - Saudi Arabia needs three more years
to change its school textbooks which have been
criticised by the US for religious intolerance, the
ultra-conservative kingdom’s education minister
said.
The ministry is working on “developing curricula
that would absorb new visions and promote
citizenship, tolerance, and openness towards
others... as well as promoting the participation
of women based on equality (with men) in their
abilities,” he said.
Saudi Arabia came under criticism by the US
State Department following the September 2011
attacks over the lack of religious freedom in its
school textbooks, and was accused of promoting
intolerance.
An independent US Commission on International
Religious Freedom charged in a report in 2007,
following a fact-finding mission to the kingdom,
that there was little transparency in the textbook
revision process and “intolerant and inflammatory
elements” remained in them.
It asked the US government to act against the
Islamic kingdom’s “exportation of extremist
ideology and intolerance in education material.”
Why won’t Saudi Arabia write down its laws?
In 2007 and 2009 Saudi King Abdullah capped a
decade of legal and judicial reforms in his country
by reorganizing the judiciary and ordering that Saudi
Arabia follow the step that virtually all other states
in the region did long ago by codifying its laws -committing to paper a comprehensive compendium
of the operative laws in the kingdom. Since that date,
however, his order has been neither challenged nor
implemented. Why is codification of law seen as such a
dramatic step in Saudi Arabia? And why does the king
seem incapable of making it happen?
Saudi kings devoted considerable attention in the first
decade of the 21st century to remaking the judicial
order. Initial steps taken were new procedure laws with
new decrees insisting (with uncertain effectiveness)
that courts follow prescribed rules in their operation
-- and making the courts, always ambivalent about the
role of lawyers, friendlier to the legal profession. In the
most recent moves, besides ordering codification, the
king consolidated all sorts of quasi-judicial bodies that
littered the legal framework of the kingdom, wrenched
adjudication functions away from the Supreme Judicial
Council (handing them to a newly created Supreme
Court), and relieved the country’s highest-ranking
judge, a pillar of the old order, from his office at the
head of the system. The king’s steps were sufficiently
dramatic -- and the identity of the Saudi state so deeply
enmeshed in claims to be fully Islamic, especially in
its legal structure -- that longtime Saudi legal scholar
Frank E. Vogel, in “Saudi Arabia: Public, Civil, and
Individual Shari`a in Law and Politics,” termed them
“not a shot but a barrage across the bow of his partners
in rule, the conservative religious establishment” and
“clearly seismic events within the world of Saudi
shari`a politics.”
The sorts of political experiences other Arab countries
passed through -- imperialism, ambitious state
building, socialism, and liberalization -- did not affect
Saudi Arabia so deeply. Most other Arab legal systems
are roughly homologous, so that a Moroccan lawyer
could find his or her way around a Syrian legal dispute
with relatively little difficulty. With a few exceptions
the legal orders of Arab states are essentially civil
law systems that would be more familiar to a lawyer
trained in current-day Paris or Rome than one trained
in a medieval madrasa. In most Arab states, Islamic
legal influence is strong in some areas (in marriage,
divorce, and inheritance most especially), but judges
rule largely on the basis of legislated texts and codes,
and court systems are structured like (and courtrooms
even have a similar physical appearance to) those
on the European continent. Institutions associated
more directly with Islamic law -- such as courts that
operated primarily on the basis of shari`a or schools
that taught Islamic jurisprudence -- were generally
initially left alone by centralizing states that built their
own courts, issued their own laws, and built their own
schools alongside the older, more Islamically-inclined
structures. Gradually the sphere of the older Islamic
structures was restricted until there was little fuss when
the state finally took them over, sometimes folding
their work into the state courts, codifying the remaining
areas of law so that judges ruled on legislated texts
rather than their understanding of Islamic law, and
regulating curricula.
In Saudi Arabia, by contrast, shari`a courts still have
general jurisdiction. Judges rule on the basis of their
understanding of the relevant rules in the Islamic legal
tradition. While there are many tomes on Islamic
jurisprudence, there is no place where rules are written
in any authoritative or binding form. Instead the
individual judge uses years of training to master the
jurisprudence developed from the text of the Quran, and
the practices of the prophet and the early community, to
apply that understanding to the case at hand.
In large areas of law where the state wishes to have a
bit more control than the decentralized and autonomous
shari`a based system allows, Saudi kings have used
their undisputed authority to structure the judiciary
to form a number of bodies that oversee specific sorts
of problems. The most significant is an administrative
law structure given the rather non-legal name diwan
al-mazalim (often translated as Board of Grievances).
Other quasi-judicial tribunals have been formed over
the years for labor or investment disputes.
Most modern states are, above all, law-making
machines. That is how they mobilize and allocate
resources; make and enforce decisions; and render
behavior, transactions, and even speech obligatory,
permissible, or forbidden. Making law is a critical
attribute of sovereignty. And that is precisely the
concern in Saudi Arabia, a polity that takes divine
sovereignty quite seriously. Law is to be made in
accordance with God’s will.
So why is codification of laws -- merely writing down
what the laws are -- seen as a repugnant steps by
many (though not all) of the kingdom’s most powerful
religious scholars? The opposition shows some signs
of waning, but it has still been sufficient to prevent any
practical steps toward codification.
First, there is a basic problem with the term
“codification” of the shari`a itself -- the term used
(taqnin al-shari`a) might quite literally be
translated as “rendering God’s law into manmade legislation,” an almost sacrilegious concept.
Some codification advocates have therefore
preferred the term tadwin, which has the same
denotation without the etymological baggage.
Advocates of codification protest that despite
what transpired in other countries, in Saudi Arabia
it need not imply Europeanization. Codes could
be written in the basis of Islamic jurisprudence.
There have been some attempts by Islamic legal
scholars (and occasionally by governments in the
Muslim world) to write down shari`a-based rules
in the form of comprehensive law codes, though
their impact in general has not been great.
The most influential religious scholars in Saudi
Arabia would object even to such an attempt to
codify Islamic legal principles. It is not so much
writing them down that would bother them; it
is obliging the individual judge to follow those
texts. The binding nature of codes, not their
written nature, provokes the strongest objections.
The reasons are closely connected with their
view of what a judge is and how the Islamic legal
tradition sustains itself over the generations.
In the shari`a courts of Saudi Arabia, judges rule
on the basis of their own training and knowledge
of jurisprudence. Religious scholars feel they
should not be bound by whatever rulers have
decreed to be the authoritative version of that
tradition. While judges might look to various
sources for guidance, no one person has final
authority.
Second, the Saudi state has been driven to create
a series of ad hoc structures to govern areas where
it has a more definite set of rules it wants to see
implemented. But those quasi-judicial bodies do
not have the full prestige, status, and autonomy
of a court. They are bodies often staffed by
people with administrative rather than judicial
backgrounds. In some areas it is even possible
that those involved in adjudication could be
officials of the body that is involved in a dispute.
Finally, the Saudi state has had to live with
uncertainty, as have potential litigants. It is not
clear which of its non-shari`a based laws will be
regarded as legitimate and enforced by which
judges.
Therein lies King Abdullah’s decisiveness. His
order to begin preparing codes was still respectful
of the judiciary -- laws would be drawn from
Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic legal scholars
would likely oversee the process. Many scholars
are convinced that the king is right, noting
that most judges are probably not sufficiently
knowledgeable to develop interpretations of
Islamic law entirely on their own. Codification
might thus be a way of enforcing shari`a-based
rules rather than avoiding them. It might even
bring back under their jurisdiction matters that
had been transferred to quasi-judicial bodies.
Karbala is considering petitioning for a
Guinness World Record for the number
of Shiite pilgrims who visit the Iraqi
shrine city for annual Arbaeen rituals.
Amal al-Din al-Har admitted the move
was partly motivated to convince those
who are skeptical of official estimates
of the numbers of pilgrims passing
through Karbala during Arbaeen and
the preceding Ashura commemorations.
It notes applicants can register to set a
world record if they compile sufficient
evidence or invite an official Guinness
World Records adjudicator, assuming
the Guinness Book of World Records
accepts the application.
The final two weeks of Arbaeen this
year saw 15 million pilgrims, including
around 500,000 from outside Iraq,
according to Karbala provincial
authorities.
Media and observers argue that the
figures are routinely overestimated.
Arbaeen marks 40 days after the Ashura
anniversary commemorating the slaying
of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam’s
most revered figures, by the armies of
the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.
Hussein and his half-brother Abbas are
both buried in the city.
The seventh century battle near Karbala
is at the heart of the historical division
between Islam’s Sunni and Shiite sects.
Now-executed
dictator
Saddam
Hussein’s Sunni-dominated regime
barred the vast majority of Ashura and
Arbaeen commemorations.
Shiites make up around 15 percent of
Muslims worldwide. They represent
the majority populations in Iraq, Iran
and Bahrain and form significant
communities in Afghanistan, Lebanon,
Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Judge Demands Extreme
Action Against Female Journalist
wearing dresses that show her
legs.
Latest victim of Saudi conservatives
The Saudi journalist, Nadine Albodair,
is again facing a wave of harsh
criticism, including demands from a
Saudi judge that her Saudi nationality
be withdrawn, on the grounds that she
has offended the Saudi people and the
Saudi Commission for the Promotion
of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
This extreme reaction followed an
interview with Albodair by Egyptian
journalist Wael AlAbrashy on the
Alhaqeeqah show ‘truth’, broadcast in
two parts, during which she described
the members of the religious police
in Saudi Arabia as a ‘gang’ and
‘ex-convicts and drug addicts.’
A few days after her comments,
Albodair was viciously attacked on
various Saudi websites and online
forums – the manner of some of the
attacks were indecent and tantamount
to sexual harassment. The most
shocking response being an abusive
article written by a Saudi male
journalist who published his article in
the Saudi newspaper ‘Asharq’.
In his article he talked about her
beautiful legs, thus undermining her
professionalism as a journalist. He
went on to hint that it was her sexual
appeal that attracted her audience. He
wrote “her legs will guarantee that
people will follow-up and run fast to
watch her television show.”
The attack on Albodair, seems to be
based on the fact she has left Saudi
Arabia - though she works for a Saudi
Channel outside Saudi Arabia - and
that she appears on television, unveiled
The attack against her did not
stop at abusive articles and
comments. The Saudi judge,
Metrif Albisher, demanded that
she should be stripped of her
Saudi nationality. His demands
were published on Saudi ‘Sabaq’
news website, where he accused
her of “repeatedly offending
the Saudi nation and Saudi state
establishments, and going too far
without considering the limits of
manners and good behaviour.”
The judge said: ”The worst thing is the
fact that she works for a Saudi television
channel, and she has her own show on
that channel, that is Rotana, and this
indicates unlimited contradiction.
“She must be expelled from the
channel” he demanded.
The judge who attacked Albodair,
demanding the dismissal from her job,
did not dare say a word against her
employer, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
who just happens to be the nephew of
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. An
entrepreneur and international investor
whose personal wealth is estimated to
be US$19.6bn by Forbes, making him
the 26th richest person in the world and
richest Saudi Arabian.
Regarding the procedures, the Saudi
judge proposed “the Commission for
the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention
of Vice, has its own lawyers and
lawmakers, led by the guardian, they
should complain to the competent
authorities in Saudi Arabia, after
listing her breaches, and documenting
the evidence, she should be held
accountable, and be brought from
abroad to Saudi Arabia through Interpol
to stand trial.”
The Saudi judge explained “She is still
subject to the rules and procedure of
the Saudi state as long as she carries
the Saudi citizenship, and benefits from
the services provided to her by the state
through her nationality.” He argued
“her criticism of the religious police is
either motivated by seeking fame and
attention or she is being dictated by a
foreign party.”
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Embassies
Republic of Algeria
The United Kingdom of Bahrain
The Arab Republic of Egypt
Iraq Republic
Ph:(202) 265-2800 Fax: (202) 667-0217
Ph: (202) 895-5400 Fax: (202) 244-4319
The Republic of Lebanon
The Kingdom of Morocco
Ph: (202) 966-0702 Fax: (202) 364-2868
PLO Mission In Washington
Ph: (202) 974-6360 FAx: (202) 974-9278
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
Ph: (202) 337-4076
Ph: (202) 323-6313 Fax: (202) 234-9548
Immigration Law Office
Zainab-Khan, LLC
2759 Delk Road Ste 2970
Marietta Ga 30067
678-659-9691
[email protected]
The State of Qatar
Ph: (202) 274-1600 Fax: (202) 237-0061
The Republic of Sudan
Ph: (202) 338-8565 Fax: (202) 667-2406
(Area of Practice: Immigration Law only)
The Republic of Tunisia
CPA-Accountants
S W ACCOUNTING & FINANCE
678-992-2684
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Ph: (202) 965-4760 Fax: (202) 337-2017
The United Arab Emirates
Commerce International
Wholesale grocery
404-266-0532
Ph: (202) 862-1850 Fax: (202) 862-1858
The Syrian Arab Republic
Joseph Rosen, Immigration Attorney,
Ali Forrest Morad,
Ph: (202)462-7979 Fax: (202) 265-0161
Ph: (202) 378-1980 Fax: (202) 754-4933
Ph: (202) 232-5700 Fax: (202) 139-2623
Bakkal Int’l Foods
5690 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs, Ga 30342
Ph: (678) 461-6046
The Sultanate of Oman
The Islamic Republic of
Mauritanity
Hassan H. Elkhalil,
Ph:(770) 612-3499 Fax: (770) 612-3202
The State of Kuwait
Ph: (202) 939-6300 Fax: (202) 939-6329
Contact us 770-608-3343
Attorneys
Grocery
Ph: (202) 483-7500 Fax: (202) 462-5066
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ph: (202) 966-2664 Fax: (202) 966-3110
If you would like to list your business in our directory, please
Ph: (202) 342-1111 Fax: (202) 362-2192
Ghassan Ghraizi
678-366-9232
Ph: (202) 243-2400 Fax: (202) 243-2432
407-426-7098
Global International Food Market 1
11235 Alpharetta, Hwy., Suite 110
Roswell, Georgia
770- 442-5117
Global International Food Market 2
11880 Douglas Rd, Suite 300
Johns Creek, GA 30005
770-663-8823
Nazareth Grocery
585 Franklin Road, Marietta, Ga 30067
770-262-4886
Al-Hamrah International
895 Indian Trail
Lilburn, Georgia
770-381-2006
CLASSIFIED
Amjd Ibrahim
404-456-6052
Al-Madina
5345 Jimmy Carter Blvd. Norcross, GA 30093
Ph: (770) 300-0772 Fax: 300-9864
SPREAD THE NEWS, AND WE’LL SPREAD THE WEALTH
Raheel Baig
678-670-0461
Leon International
Ph:(770) 416-6620
Medical Directories
Baheeg Shadeed, MD.
General Surgeon
Smyrna, Georgia
770-438-9191
Shukri Makhlouf, MD.
Internal Medicine
Suwanee, Georgia
770-831-3018
Bassam Tomeh, MD.
Khaled Nass, MD.
Kidney Center
Duluth, Georgia
678-297-5014
Family Medicine
Decatur, Georgia
770-934-6832
Maan Jokhadar, MD.
Walid Nassif, MD.
Cardiovascular Disease
Emory , Atlanta, Georgia
404-686-1000
VA Hospital
Atlanta, Georgia
404-321-6111
‫الدليل الطبي‬
Alec Elchahal
Orthodontist
Suwanee, Georgia
770-622-1177
Reach Thousands..
Throughout the
U.S.A
Magdi Hanafi, MD
Gyn & Fertility Specialists
5673 Peachtree Dunwoody,
Suite 750
Atlanta, Ga 30342
404-851-9300
404-851-1358
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Zam Zam International Foods
5030 Memorial Dr. Stone Mtn, GA 30083
Ph: (404) 297-8976
Int’l Supermarket ‫أسـواق العمار‬
1200 Ernest Barrett Parkway, Kennesaw, Ga
770-795-0844
Insurance
Lions Gate Insurance, LLC
Sami Jaraysi
Ph: (404) 217-2355 Fax: (770) 457-5120
Ali Elnajjar, CLTC
Registered Representative
John Hancock Insurance
Restaurants
Mediterranean Bakery & Sandwich
3362 Chamblee Tucker Road, Suite B
Atlanta, Georgia 30341
770-220-0706
Mediterranean Grill
3 Locations Decatur- Midtown-Marietta
404-320-0101
Sultan Lebanese & Turkish Cuisine
5920 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, Ga
30328
(404) 257-2220
Travel Agencies
Credit Repair
Call (770) 656-8360
Advertise your Business
in the Directory
of your newspaper
$120 /yr
Alpha Travel
Windy Hill, Marietta
Ph: (770) 988-9982, 1-800-793-8424
REAL ESTATE
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3190 Wood Branch Dr.
Alpharetta, GA 30004
770-740-8396 or 770-310-9836
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953 Montreal Rd. Clarkson, GA 30021
Ph: (404) 299-1551
would increase your sales!
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ALHAMRAH International
Nour International Market
875 Mansell Rd. Roswell, GA 30076
Ph: (770) 641-7193 Fax: (770) 641-7092
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Immigration Attorney
Joseph H. Rosen
(678) 461-6046
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Volusia Gold & Diamond
536 W International Speedway Blvd
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
386-258-0473
Former FBI Special Agent
Former U.S. Customs Special Agent
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‫*طرد ولجوء‬
One Of The Largest Selections of New
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Estate Gems & jewelry
Expert Repairs On Premises
Pre Owned Rolex
We Buy Scrap Jewelry
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Wedding
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Publisher Dar Saer Al-Mashrek
Jdeideh – Lebanon
Phone 011-961-1-900624
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The Road to 1559
ISBN 978-9953-569-05-5
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