|05/06/2010 CHINA |
Shanghai Expo, turnout lower than expected, long queues, more arrests
Hour long queues to see most important pavilions, widespread protests of visitors. But visitors are much lower than estimates, which now appear completely wrong. Meanwhile, continuing arrests and convictions of rights activists to prevent any protest in Shanghai.
|05/04/2010 SAUDI ARABIA |
In the battle for women’s rights, King Abdullah is photographed with 40 women
The picture with King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan, surrounded by women almost all with bare faces who took part in the National Dialogue Forum, is worth a thousand words. Gender segregation is become the battleground between modernisers and conservatives.
|05/03/2010 IRAQ |
Car bomb targets Christian student’s bus near Mosul
The toll is one dead and 100 wounded. For over five years the University of Mosul has been in the sights of Islamic extremists who want to convert students and kill the girls who do not wear the veil.
|04/27/2010 SAUDI ARABIA |
Head of the religious police in Mecca, men and women can pray together
Ahmed al-Ghamdi says that the strict separation between the sexes that exists today did not exist at the time of Muhammad. Conservatives respond harshly: a fatwa says that he "must be killed." The official Saudi news agency reports his removal and a few hours later deletes the story. The issue also has economic implications.
|04/26/2010 IRAN |
Tehran candidates itself for UN post in defence of women's rights
Withdrawal of the candidature to the UN Commission on Human Rights. Perhaps because of lack of votes. The Islamic country is among the most violent against women. Mullahs in Tehran: Women without the veil spread adultery and produce earthquakes.
|04/23/2010 INDIA - ISLAM |
Islamic veil: urgent need to interpret the Koran to restore dignity to women
Asghar Ali Engineer, Indian Muslim, joins the recent debate sparked by the full veil. It is part of a wider area that concerns the rights of women. He advocates a "direct approach 'to the sacred text, and a departure from the Arab tradition, which keeps women in conditions of inferiority, claiming" their dignity and freedom of choice. "
|04/21/2010 MIDDLE EAST|
Lebanese PM says Hizbollah did not get weapons from Syria
Saad Hariri denies allegations made by Israeli President Peres, who said that Damascus supplied the Shia armed group with Scud missiles. He says such claims are comparable to those about “weapons of mass destruction”, which were used to justify the US invasion of Iraq. Some press reports suggest that the leaders of Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia might hold a surprise summit.
Stalemate in Baghdad, between vote recount and the “needs” of powerful neighbours
Failure to determine the winner in last month’s election and taking into account the wishes of not only the United States but also Iran and Saudi Arabia are making it hard to form a new government.
Five years of Benedict XVI
His pontificate is defined by openness to the world, humility, love for truth, healing and reconciliation, whether in the case of pedophile priests, the Regensburg speech, the Holy Land or Lefebvrians. To a world that resents its impotence but needs God, he offers truth and reason. In lieu of a self-centred Church, he wants one that bears witness.
|04/16/2010 SAUDI ARABIA |
Second tallest skyscraper in the world for Mecca
The Royal Clock Tower is made up of seven towers and will contain 3 thousand rooms and suites, for a total cost of 3 billion dollars. It will be crowned by a four sided clock larger than Big Ben. Most rooms overlook the Grand Mosque. Opening date set for June; clock will be set in motion mid-August, the eve of Ramadan.
Patriarch Yazigi Underlines Importance of Dialogue, Renouncing Violence
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, John X Yazigi, underlined the importance of sitting at the dialogue table and discarding violence for the benefit of the homeland and its people and in order to preserve peace in the region.
Speaking at a press conference at the Monastery of the Cross Church in Damascus on Saturday, Patriarch Yazigi underscored that the political solution to the crisis in Syria is sought by everybody.
''Syria will make it through these hard times, and security and stability will be restored,'' said Patriarch Yazigi, adding that "We as Christians have always lived and still live in amity alongside the people of our homeland."
He stressed that the Church of Antioch will continue to be cooperative with all the spectrums in the homeland.
"We together Muslims and Christians are one hand and will always be together against all difficulties," the Patriarch said, adding that "the face of the Christ will always be present in this land from which Christianity spread to the whole world."
Patriarch Yazigi saluted all the Syrians in the homeland and abroad, asking God to protect the Arab world, particularly Syria and Lebanon.
Commenting on the talk on moving the Patriarchate form Syria to Lebanon, the Patriarch said that he did not hear of this, stressing that the Patriarchate will remain based in Damascus at the Mariamite Church in Bab Touma quarter.
البطريرك يازجي تؤكد أهمية الحوار ونبذ العنف
وأكد البطريرك الأرثوذكسي اليوناني أنطاكية وسائر المشرق، جون X يازجي، على أهمية الجلوس على طاولة الحوار ونبذ العنف لصالح الوطن والشعب وحفاظا على السلام في المنطقة.
يتحدث في مؤتمر صحفي في دير للكنيسة الصليب في دمشق يوم السبت، أكد البطريرك يازجي يفيد طلب حل سياسي للأزمة في سوريا من قبل الجميع.
'' سوريا سوف تجعل من خلال هذه الأوقات الصعبة، وسوف يتم استعادة الأمن والاستقرار، وقال البطريرك يازجي، مشيرا إلى أن "ونحن كمسيحيين عاشوا وما زالوا يعيشون دائما في وئام جنبا إلى جنب مع الشعب وطننا."
وشدد على أن كنيسة أنطاكية ستظل تعاون مع جميع أطياف في الوطن.
"نحن معا مسلمين ومسيحيين يد واحدة، وسوف يكون دائما معا ضد كل الصعوبات"، وقال البطريرك، مشيرا إلى أن "وجه المسيح سيكون دائما حاضرا في هذه الأرض التي تنتشر المسيحية للعالم أجمع."
وحيا البطريرك يازجي جميع السوريين في الوطن والخارج، نسأل الله أن يحمي العالم العربي، وخاصة سوريا ولبنان.
وتعليقا على الحديث عن نقل النموذج إلى سوريا البطريركية لبنان قال البطريرك أنه لم يسمع من هذا، مشددا على أن البطريركية ستبقى مقرها في دمشق في كنيسة المريمية في باب توما الربع.