Saturday, January 21, 2006

"COURT IN THE MIDDLE" from Syria Today

Syria Today
December 2005

Islamic laws applied in Syria too often do little or nothing to protect the rights of women. As Dalia Haidar reports, activists are now calling for widescale reforms.

One month after her wedding, Loubna al-Sharif was beaten by her husband several times. They had scarcely finished their honeymoon, Loubna said, and she could not understand what had led to her new husband’s sudden, harsh treatment.

A few months later, she became pregnant. She was still only 19 years old, and she wanted to keep the baby, but her husband forced her to have an abortion. He continued to beat and verbally abuse her until she finally fled to her parents’ house and filed for divorce.

But the process of divorcing her husband only prolonged Loubna’s agony.

“I became depressed by the judicial system here,” said Loubna, who is now 24 years old and works a translator for a private magazine. “It took me two and a half years to get a divorce and, in the process, my file was lost three times in the justice palace.”

But according to Loubna, her real problem wasn’t the delays, but a whole system of laws unfairly skewed in favour of men.

“Even the judge had a masculine mentality, and the lawyers were pushing me to solve it peacefully without asking for my rights,” said Loubna, who finally obtained her divorce in a Syrian court which operates under a code of so-called ‘personal status laws’ which are mainly derived from Islamic law. “They kept repeating sayings of the prophet in order to convince me to end my case.”

According to Da’ad Mousa, a prominent Damascus lawyer and women’s rights advocate, Syrian women enjoy many privileges in the public sphere that their counterparts in other parts of the Arab world are denied. They have relatively high rates of employment, political involvement and access to higher education. Fifteen percent of Syria’s lawyers are female, and in Syria’s parliament, 12% of the seats are held by women.

And yet, said Mousa, Syrian women continue to face discrimination in the personal sphere, particularly when it comes to issues of marriage and divorce.

“Women in Syria suffer from discrimination in their private lives, and it is not just related to tradition; it is also a legal discrimination,” said Mousa. A whole host of laws related to family life and women’s status should be completely rewritten, she suggested.

In Syria, there is no one court that specialises in family law. Rather, family issues are handled in three separate courts, for Muslims, Christians, and Jews, according to a range of personal status laws.

For Muslims, marriage, divorce and child custody issues are managed in the Islamic courts, located in each of Syria’s major cities. There are separate courts, known as the Spiritual Court, for both Jews and Christians, functioning, in the case of the Christians, according to the rules of each Christian sect. The Jewish courts are rarely used, although they have not been closed down.

All the courts function according to Syria’s code of personal status laws, which deal with issues related to inheritance and child custody. The personal status laws were first issued in 1953 and reformed by the People’s Assembly in 1975 and in 2003.

The latest reforms allowed divorced mothers four years extra custody over their children, up to the age of 15 for girls and 13 for boys, before the right to custody passes to the father. At 18 years old the child is deemed to be an adult and can choose to live wherever he or she pleases.

Lawyers and human rights activists say the laws are still badly in need of reform.

“The family law, which is called the personal status law, should be reviewed from the first article to the last one,” said Da'ad Mousa.

According to Syria’s personal status laws, for example, Syrian women do not have the right to pass along Syrian nationality to their children. Interfaith marriages and civil marriages are banned in Syria; even if a Syrian couple has a civil wedding abroad, their marriage will be considered illegal when they return home.

Syrian law is particularly harsh to women when it comes to divorce, say women who have been through divorce in Syrian courts. Men, according to the law, can divorce their wives directly and quickly, without a legal case, simply by telling the wife, “You are divorced,” three times.

On the other hand, women who want to divorce their husbands must navigate a multitude of legal hurdles, even though Islam theoretically gives women the right to divorce their husbands in the event of domestic violence or if the husband has a sexual problem. Women must file for separation, which generally takes about two years in Syria’s Islamic courts. If she wins the separation case, she is free to marry again.

According to Mohammed Ismaiel, a Damascus lawyer, Islam is the force that protected women’s rights to property, employment and education after generations of slavery and unfairness. The problem, he said, lies not with the laws themselves but in their implementation.

“The law is good, but the process of implementing it is really wrong,” Ismaiel said. “Prolonging the case is the main problem. We need to increase the numbers of Islamic courts and judges, and shorten the period between the trials,” he added.

Activists are currently working to change many aspects of Syria’s personal status laws. For example, an article in the personal status law gives men alone the right to pass along Syrian citizenship to their children. This poses problems for Syrian women who have short-lived marriages to foreigners; many young mothers find themselves abandoned by their foreign husbands, raising children in Syria who are not recognized by their fathers and who are denied Syrian nationality.

Not all of the legal issues that arise in families are handled in Syria’s separate religious courts. Some types of familial financial disagreements are handled in Syria’s civil courts, and issues of physical and sexual abuse in families, as well as the so-called ‘honour crimes,’ are handled in Syria’s criminal courts, the laws of which date from the French mandate era of the early 1920s.

Honour crimes typically occur when a man suspects a female relative of an illicit sexual affair, and then kills her, believing that doing so will restore his family’s ‘honour.’ Syrian lawyers and activists say that honour crimes are among the most common issues discussed in Syria’s criminal courts, and that men involved in such cases often go unpunished.

According to Da’ad Mousa, the lawyer, Syrian law actually takes into account the fact that such men would consider their female relatives’ actions a reflection on their ‘honour,’ and become incensed at the mere suspicion of an infraction. Though such cases are greatly underreported, Mousa said, more than 100 cases of honor killings were reported in Syrian newspapers between 2000 and 2003.

A group of Syrian women’s rights activists have recently launched a campaign called ‘Stop the Honour Killing,’ lobbying Syria’s parliament and Ministry of Justice to change the articles in the criminal law code (namely nos. 242, 241, 240, 239, and 548) which make it easier for men to escape punishment in the event of an honour killing. In September, a young Druze bride was killed by her brother because she had married outside her religion. Her death triggered a public outcry.

The organisers of the campaign have already collected 7,700 signatures in an online petition, and plan to send the petition to the president of Syria and the parliament, requesting changes to these articles.

Meanwhile, changes to these articles are being actively discussed in government.

“We are asking for changes to some articles in the personal status law because we feel that the current situation demands it,” said Mohammad Habash, an Islamist parliamentarian and head of the Islamic Studies Centre in Damascus. “I have personally asked for the removal of the articles in the criminal law code that permits honour killing because it directly contradicts Islam.”

Another group of women’s rights activists, the Etana Press, recently hosted a conference on the intersection of law and tradition in Syria and their effect on women’s rights. According to the conference’s organisers, their aim was to improve Syrian women’s legal status by creating dialogue between the Syrian government and local NGOs.

“This conference is trying to open a dialogue between the government and the activists, in addition to connecting between the people and the different organisations in Syria,” said Ma'an Abdelsalam, a human rights activist and the director of Etana press.

The conference, which was attended by delegations of women from all over the Middle East and Europeended by creating a list of sixteen recommendations to be presented to the Syrian government. The recommendations urged the government to review the articles of the criminal law code which make it easier for honour killings to take place, to reform the personal status law so that all Syrians are treated equally, regardless of religion or sect, to create a special civil family court for the resolution of legal issues related to the family, and to encourage religious figures to support the principle of equality between men and women.

For Loubna al Sahrif, though her experience of the Islamic law that drives the workings of Syria’s family courts was a painful one, she argues that it is the understanding of Islam that needs reform, rather than the faith itself.

“Even though for a long time time I felt like a social outcast, I am happy I did not give up and that I pursued my rights. We need to understand the way we understand and practise Islamic law.”

Courts dealing in family issues in Syria

The Islamic Court: Rules on personal issues, such as marriage, divorce and child custody, for all Syrian Muslims. The court works from the ‘personal status law’ which was issued in 1953 and was reformed by the People’s Assembly after a presidential decree in 1975 and 2003. This law is based on Islamic, or sharia’a law.

Spiritual Courts: For both Christians and Jewish from all sects.
The Christian court functions according to the particular laws of each Christian sect with regards to marriage divorce and personal issues. The court follows the ‘personal status law’ in solving other issues like inheritance and child custody.

Confessional Court: A court for the Druze, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, which functions according to Druze law.

Panel Court: Works from the criminal law that was issued on June 22, 1949, three years after Syria’s independence from France, and specialises in family crimes issues such as aggressiveness, family planning, abortion, rape, sexual abuse and so-called ‘honour crimes.’

Civil Court: Specialised in financial and estate disagreement between families and functions according to the Syrian civil law which was issued on May 18, 1949.


At 1/21/2006 07:39:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

OHHHHHHHHH, more lies, and more lies!!!

The court system in Syria (the Judicial system) is controlled by corruption, and islam mistreatment of women has nothing to do with the complaints of this article. it is the corrupt Assad system that has destroyed every thing and every institution in syria over 36 years of intended and planned destruction.

So, please, please do not blae islam or the islamic law. there is no such thing in syria's court. there is money or Mukhabart influence on the judges and lawyers. it is a total collapse of the state of Syria. Do not spread false news, and blame Islam in an attempt to defend your lovers, the Assad family.


At 1/21/2006 08:03:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Not reading the whole article, but what ever the bad thing that Josh is trying to infiltrate in our minds or the minds of the US readers, let him ask himself how come after 36 years of total stability for the Assad family, a stability that they are so proud of, Syria is still such a backward and retarded country? How come other countries did miracles in a much shorter times than Syria and became among the developped world? How come Syria is still in pain of "bad" laws, etc...?

It is not the law, it is not anything but the bad and oppressive retarded regime that governs Syria. it is the regime that up until recently required a special costly permit, very costly to use a fax machine. It is a system that imprisons those who use the Internet for any thing beneficial for their minds.

They are speaking of the honour killings? Well, may be they are thinking of something much worse to be implemented when they try to fool us with such articles.

36 years and we are still backward,, retarded, and we blame this on Islam, not on a regime that had no obstacle because of instability to bring Syria into a very modern state that the Singapor or Switzerland are.

There is no excuse for this regime, what so ever.!

It is time to uproot it.


At 1/21/2006 08:15:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Whoever wrote this article has made a confused case about something that could have been much better explained.

Disturbing as it is, the example of a woman who marries someone with a mental disorder, gets beaten, stays around to get pregant, gets forced into an abortion, gets beaten again before finally, at last, deciding to leave the scene is universal, in every country and society, including the west. Likewise, there are those who at the first raised fist seek the instant support and protection of their family and the law.

The west, with all its laws and equal rights has been down this path and round in circles for years. Even the most sophisticated and best enforced legal sanctions have proved to do little to change the course and frequency of domestic violence.

Legal changes can change some things for women - some of which are mentioned buried in this article. But the strongest answer lies in cultural, social and economic equality, in education, in unrelenting condemnation of wife bashing and honor killings by society's leaders, in unconditional support by men for their daughters and sisters and respect for women.

It has to be more than the law.

At 1/21/2006 09:05:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I am so shocked! How could this happen under a 'secular' dictatorship?

"Disturbing as it is, the example of a woman who marries someone with a mental disorder, gets beaten, stays around to get pregant, gets forced into an abortion, gets beaten again before finally, at last, deciding to leave the scene is universal, in every country and society, including the west. Likewise, there are those who at the first raised fist seek the instant support and protection of their family and the law. "

Sure, activelistner. We all know that discriminatory laws don't lead to a discriminatory society. Whatever, if it makes you feel happier, I am with you man.

When cases like that happen in the west, you can be sure that the woman will get divorce & financial compensation in no time, not to mention that the guy will end up in jail.

It amuses me to hear the Baathist on this blog criticizing our Lebanese confessional democracy when Syria has the same personal status and the constitution specify that the president must be Muslim.

Bashar wants to reform the country? Well here's a good place to start. What took him so long? Oh, wait! It was this Khaddam dude who was opposing divorce for women right?

At 1/21/2006 09:06:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

By the way, there's an error in the article. The system is inherited from the Ottoman millet, not from the French period.

At 1/21/2006 09:21:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...


Metaz was not comparing Syria's net worth with that of U.S., nor individual or economy size. All those grandiose numbers you gave are well known and they mean nothing to the previous post that you and Jam sarcastically commented on.

You obviously do not invest in the stock market and have no experience in U.S. business other than textbooks. Metaz is the portfolio manager for SSPRS portfolio of over 250 stocks in addition to Indices futures, bonds and currencies. He can speak with confidence about U.S. Economy not in abstraction that can found on a click but were the VOTING consumer and investors count.

The point is that taking into account the purchasing power, discretionary income, debt ratio, mortgage rates, value and monthly payment, and other economic indicators at the meeting point of this apparent start of a down leg on the bell curve at the time of U.S. election campaign is not favorable for the Republican because all those indicators will be producing a shrinking economy, large consumer debt, negative consumer sentiment, bad numbers in the CPI, CCI etc…that added to the largest deficit in history, someone will be saying IT IS THE ECONOMY STUPID.

But that is based on forecasts that already can be seen the indicators thereof now materializing. So please spare us the schoolboy statistics that we all know you pretty good at it. We are talking Consumer Sentiments Indicators, which is relevant to people voting at the ballot.

At 1/21/2006 10:07:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Yeah, like things like that don't happen in the 'civilized' Lebanon, Jordan, SA, Egypt, or even the US.

Actually, I think the US and the UK boast some of the highest amount of murders per capita. Seriously, American society is deeply messed up, because people are isolated from each other and don't have any social guidance to go by.

Everyday on Tv, we see some of the most bizarre and perverted crimes happening in America. At least back in Syria we don't have the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial killer, or Son of Sam, or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Jack the Ripper (London), or the Menendez Brothers (who killed their parents in cold blood), or the Trenchcoat Mafia (Jewish kids massacring their schoolmates). We don't have female teachers sleeping with 12 year old students, or soldiers shooting at civilians for fun while playing "Die MotherF*cker" in the background...

Maybe people swooning with love for American society should examine all the reasons for these Western social malaises before they accuse the Arabs of being backwards and uncivilized.

At 1/21/2006 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Pascal said...

Yes. but at least in Syria, there is the freedom of the press and we talk about these things openly, unike the West and the US where things stay behind closets.

At 1/21/2006 10:26:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I agree with Pascal, these westerners think that they live in democracy but only syrians live in democracy - a guy who beats his wife does so because he loves her - if she was raped she asked for it & veil means freedom for women

At 1/21/2006 10:34:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Pascal aka JAM

Yeah it's true that we don't have much transparency. For what it's worth, my dad is a retired Judge in Syria, and he assures me that other than the numerous crimes of passion and honor killings, as well as revenge and murder-theft, we don't have any of this truly perverted, wanton killing crap in Syria. So it's not that these don't come out, they don't actually happen (or are very very rare) in Syria.

At 1/21/2006 10:36:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...


I suggest that you refrain from talking about economic matters. The more you talk about the subject the more it becomes apparent that you know too little about it to be able to engage in an informed discussion. I have no experience in U.S. business? I speak in abstract terms? You want to talk about consumer sentiment indicators? I suggest you get yourself a lot more familiarized with them before you talk about them here. I am not going to list to you my qualifications but if I were you I would not engage in an argument in this subject matter.

At 1/21/2006 10:45:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Pascal aka JAM

Yeah it's true that we don't have much transparency. For what it's worth, my dad is a retired Judge in Syria, and he assures me that other than the numerous crimes of passion and honor killings, as well as revenge and murder-theft, we don't have any of this truly perverted, wanton killing crap in Syria. So it's not that these don't come out, they don't actually happen (or are very very rare) in Syria.


Clearly that was not my point, but your powers of comprehension are understandably limited.

At 1/21/2006 10:47:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

My family spent Six years in Syrian courts trying to gain rights to land that is deeded to us and used illegally by Bashar friends. After getting the judgment, the court said we have to start all over again because the rats eat the file in the court filing basement.

So yes Judicial, Legal and Justice Court Systems is worthless and backward just like about everything else in the country. What can you do about it? All the talk is cheap, the only important talk is with the Syrian leader, he is the only one that can effect any change and unless we can have access to him through some means, nothing is going to change.

There are other problems in Syria relating to women that are rarely covered but it is very prevalent. One is foreign woman status in Syria: For example, my Russian wife cannot be registered in Syria because the laws are made so hard to register a foreign wife in the record of the SARAYA, it will take years before it can be affected. A Russian woman is assumed to be Christian and a Church documents are required. This is not always available. There are about 15 Million Syrians living abroad many male has girlfriends, a child born to a girlfriend cannot be registered in the SARAYA for the purpose of family inheritance on the fathers family records. He must be registered as BASTARD CHILD and may not be on the legal father name or receive assets or inheritance of the father.

The list go on and on.. it is a sad situation and a sad country, But we understand that Bashar has other priorities now and since no one else in the world care about Syrians, he is the only hope and chance we have to bring change to Syria and better life to Syrians.

This is really time consuming and fruitless effort, at some point must stop posting in here and do something better with the time. This guy Josh is doing a hell of a job keeping everyone engaged in his Every time I make a decision to stop coming here, will find a reason or another to wants to post a reply of sort.

At 1/21/2006 10:51:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

EHSANI2- 1000
It is beneath me to talk to you dumb Israeli Mossad. I rathetr spend the time petting my dog and cat. You don;t know ashit about the economy and most of your crap is searched and cust and pasted from the internet. Who the hell you are fooling.

At 1/21/2006 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

Murder theft? you mean armed robbery is Syria, wow that is surprising to me. Thought this is only in Lebanon. But I guess after the news about the kidnapping-prostitution ring caught, everything possible nowdays in Syria.

At 1/21/2006 11:03:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

It would honestly be a total waste of my time to debate you on this subject. The final outcome is way too obvious. My advice to you is to cut it out.

At 1/21/2006 11:05:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


Yeah, organized crime (other than government-sponsored mafias) is on the rise in Syria indeed, especially with the huge trans-location of over a million Iraqis to the suburbs of Damascus (no offense to Iraqis, but this is reality in Syria now).

At 1/21/2006 11:07:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/21/2006 11:09:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

EHSANI, We like to see your qualifications, work experience and milestone accomplishments
send a complete verifiable information and resume to :

At 1/21/2006 11:12:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

I would like you to show one single article where you say I pasted from the interent. Please embarass me and show at least one example.

I have news for you. You will not find any. You can go ahead and apologise if you owuld like. You have no idea who i am and what my qualifications are. Were you to do so, I am your apology will be soon forthcoming.

At 1/21/2006 11:16:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

Imad, he is full of shit. His material is always cut and paste from internet search and articles.

Now have an idea why coming back here, it is the aggression and fighting, mocking and all the other things that must be enjoying.

At 1/21/2006 11:17:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

i will be waiting for you to show proof

At 1/21/2006 11:17:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Oh, I don't know, Damasceneblood. Probably Syrians are just nicer than others. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan seem to be busy enough prosecuting pedophile and homosexual rape and serial killings. America is also in a further bad bind with their gun laws, drug problems and lack of care for the mentally ill.

But that stuff is mainly individuals who are mentally unbalanced. Honour killings and revenge cycles are a sign of being socially and culturally unbalanced. Those Islamic nations listed above seem to have it all.

Honor killings are particularly sordid, destructive and pathetic. Often some younger guys are taunted and pressured by stupid older family members to do it, and then they are left damaged and outcast, while the main instigators live on as if nothing has happened.

If there was a stronger civil society and public opinion outlets in Syria I am sure it would be much less common there.

At 1/21/2006 11:42:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Dear Mr Aldendeshe, I think we’ve had enough offensive, jealous-sounding comments about other posters.

Instead, here’s something real to chew on, especially for you. I know you care about the rights of animals above all, and have posted and demanded we read lengthy cut-and-paste internet stuff about it.

Well, here are the famous 5 freedoms demanded for animals, listed in the charters of international animal welfare organisations:

1. Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
2. Freedom from discomfort
3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease .
4. Freedom to express normal behavior
5. Freedom from fear and distress

Tell me, do all SYRIANS enjoy these freedoms?

At 1/21/2006 11:43:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


I know what you're saying. My point is that although Western societies look more civilized on the surface, in reality there is a lot of uncivilized behavior going on under the hood. Check out these numbers from the UN Office On Drugs and Crime, I think they are very sobering:

Total crimes/100,000 inhabitants convicted of all crimes (I understand that our system is not as efficient, but it gives an idea):

Syria: 615 people/100k convicted
USA: 8500 people/100k convicted
UK/Wales: 10,000+ people/100k convicted.

That pretty much means that 8.5 of US citizens have been convicted of some crime. 10% of UK citizens are convicted criminals.

In Syria, only .6% of the people are convicted criminals. Of course, a lot of crimes in fraud/embezzlement/white-collar go unpunished in Syria, but the same could be said about other countries, maybe slightly less.

At 1/21/2006 11:44:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Oh, here's the link (you have to open the PDF file, it's around 3 Megs):

UN Report on Crime

At 1/22/2006 12:01:00 AM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

SSPRS website clearly state our agreement about the desperate need to reform Syria from A-Z.

What we are saying is that the only available avenue to effect any change is through President Bashar Assad. No one else give a damm, have volunteered assistance or support, or even expressed outrage or any care about the situation of the Syrian People.

Maybe we should ask you all to submit your effective plan for change in Syria outside appealing to President Assad.

Send you plan to:

Have a good night all

At 1/22/2006 12:27:00 AM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

"No one else give a damm, have volunteered assistance or support, or even expressed outrage or any care about the situation of the Syrian People."

You mean about your family land or your Russian wife?

Otherwise your statement above suggests that you really haven't been following what other people write or do, except looking for chances to dismiss them.

I have the impression you are a person who has the capability to do much more for Syria and Syrians - if only you would look up from your own peresonal concerns.

And what about those 5 freedoms?

Animals are more important?

At 1/22/2006 12:44:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/22/2006 01:04:00 AM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Ehsani2, I wish you would link a hotmail address or something to your profile. It would be good to share some material with you offline without always setting off the hysterially yapping dogs here:)

At 1/22/2006 03:57:00 AM, Blogger kanawhat said...

i've been following this site for some time and i really didnt mean to participate, because talking is all arabs do. i have to say what a bunch of idiots everyone of you are. you've been had!

after 5 years, he's still talking about reforms and you still believe it. you people will talk about reforms until he's in power for 30 years just like his dad, and another generation will be wasted, just like our parent's generation. while they live in luxury and have bank accounts all over the world, you poor saps dont even know what a wire transfer is, let alone have a bank account.

and as for the prof from ok, some of the info you get is so messed up. find out who the people are behind them you'll find out how the info gets spinned it gets fwed to you and your site.

and yes, i am a real damascene, not a syrian.

At 1/22/2006 04:00:00 AM, Blogger kanawhat said...

and as for state reading the posts on the site, i hope they read this.


2nd and last post, good luck talking your problems away.

get organized and do something

At 1/22/2006 04:02:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Its amazing how much discussions go around here about CRAP. and its even more astonishing how many bonafide mentally disturbed psycho’s are on this blog....WOW is all I can say. I really think Josh needs to be more hands-on in the comment section.

As for the post, yeah its nice to hear that we have more rights for women, higher percentage in the parliament, lawyers, blah, blah. But there is a serious issue with the culture more than religion in this case. Unfortunately working on improving them does also bring its own problems, like finding work for more women will raise the already very high unemployment rate. But at least when it comes to family law and divorce, applying the law more efficiently and reworking some old ones is a must. I also suggest and ass-whipping to the backward thinking boys in the courts.

To the ppl who are using this subject to get another swipe at the Assads I would advise you to get a life and a new punching bag. Stick to the strategic issues when it comes to criticism and don’t forget that these social laws have been a problem before the Assads gained power, and are rampant in all surrounding countries.

And Vox, the family law was passed down from the French mandate era, but obviously they had borrowed some of it from their predecessor.

At 1/22/2006 06:03:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

The complete Nasrallah interview is now available in English (Dar Al-Hayat).

According to Nasrallah, Rafik al-Hariri told him in December 2004 that he was prepared to form a government, but only if it included Walid Jumblatt:

"We even worked with our Syrian brethren to clarify that the circumstances, and the country's interest, after the extension, required that Prime Minister al-Hariri form the new government. However, al-Hariri said to me, "I have a problem with forming a government without Walid Jumblatt. In light of the difficult climate between Jumblatt and the Syrians, it will be hard to form a Cabinet. I want you to help me regarding Jumblatt, and his relationship with the Syrians.""

The conference at the Bristol Hotel that he mentions took place on December 13, 2004.

At 1/22/2006 07:57:00 AM, Blogger ugarit said...

"So yes Judicial, Legal and Justice Court Systems is worthless and backward just like about everything else in the country. What can you do about it? All the talk is cheap, the only important talk is with the Syrian leader, he is the only one that can effect any change and unless we can have access to him through some means, nothing is going to change."

Although the "leader" is important the people must demand their rights. Syrians can't wait for their "leader" to implement reform. The reform must be demanded.

At 1/22/2006 08:21:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Damasceneblood aka Tarek aka InnocentCriminal said this:

""""my dad is a retired Judge in Syria""""

LOL, now I know where your ass is coming from, and there is any wonder why your brain is corrupt? A judge? of course, 99% of judges in Syria are corrupt, and stupid.

Like father like son.

At 1/22/2006 08:24:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/22/2006 08:27:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Ugarit said this:

"the only important talk is with the Syrian leader, he is the only one that can effect any change "

Are you of the Assad generation too?

Is this something you are proud of, and for which you find reason to defend Bashar Assad with?

Yes, I agree with some poster who in the past said that "people deserve their leader'. Of course, I despise you Syrians who have lived under such a criminal and retarded regime. Bark as much as you wish, your problem is inside each one of you.

At 1/22/2006 09:20:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Here is a taste of things to come:

Swiss banking giant UBS AG said Sunday that it has stopped doing business with Iran because of the company’s economic and risk analysis of the situation in the country. UBS will no longer deal with individuals, companies or state institutions such as Iran’s central bank. A similar policy is also being implemented in the case of Syria said company spokesman.

This is only the start. If Swiss bank start to act this way, you can just imagine what will follow. Thank you Bashar for making us amongst the pariah states of the world. He is riding this sinking ship into the abyss. Someone, anyone, please help the 20 million sinking subjects.

At 1/22/2006 09:45:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

"""" He is riding this sinking ship into the abyss. Someone, anyone, please help the 20 million sinking subjects. """"

This is ridiculous!

You claimed before than more than 90% of Syrians support and love Bashar Assad. So let them go to hell with him and Syria.

But I say th exact opposite. Syrians, in their majority await the day their country will be liberated from the gang that took control of it and governed it for 36 long years.

yes, may the world offer a helping hand for the majority of Syrians living in a country used to be called Syria, and it is now a private farm for the gang of Assad-Makhlouf, and their servants among them you can spot elements such as damasceneblood, IDAF, Criminal, etc...

At 1/22/2006 10:26:00 AM, Blogger ahnad said...

There is a big rumour in Syria that Dr. Aref dalila was killed in his prison and his body was given to his family before the release of the other prisoners, and that his family is required to keep this a secret, not to speak about him to any one.

At 1/22/2006 12:43:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"and yes, i am a real damascene, not a syrian."

Now I am puzzled. Is there a Damascene Liberation Front ?:)

At 1/22/2006 01:22:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

A Syrian wrote the following reply in a Syrian discussion web site. I find it so much like what I said before to Joshua Landis regarding the relationship between The Assad Regime and the phenomenon of the so called Islamic wave that has spread across Syria since 1970. i.e:(Building thousands of mosques, and SCHOOLS TO memorize the Quran by little children). The reply is in Arabic, but since Joshua landis understands Arabic, may be he can translate it to his US readers.

""" ان توجيه اللوم للعطري أو للنظام لم يعد له فائدة، فبالنهاية أثبتوا أنهم مثل غيرهم من الحكومات العربية من اكثر الناس دعما للأصولية الدينية بل و مؤيدين للسلطة الدينية السلمية ( كما يعتقدون بذكائهم الحاد) على المجتمع.
لا فائدة من هكذا ناس لايرون ابعد من أنوفهم و يساهمون برهن مستقبل البلد للبوطي و أمثاله على أساس و كما فعلت الحكومة المصرية يسحبون البساط من تحت أرجل الجماعات الاسلامية و هم بالحقيقة يزيدون من ضخامة هذه الجماعات عبر مثل هذه التصرفات غير المسؤولة.
لا فائدة من توجيه مجرد تساؤل لهم.
و لكن و لما استمرأت الأقلام حاليا المساهمة في عملية مدح الأنظمة لا غير فلا فائدة أيضا منهم.
بالأمس و في مصر فرقوا بين الدكتور نصر و زوجه فهل نرى مثل ذلك في سوريا قريبا.
و بالأمس طلع علينا محفوظ بعد ان تاب لربه و قرر توجيه طعنة نجلاء لكل قلم حر في مصر و الوطن العربي بأكمله.


At 1/22/2006 02:46:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/22/2006 02:53:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/22/2006 02:55:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

World tribune

Board of Editors and Advisors

Steve Rodan, Middle East

Steve Rodan, President of Middle East Newsline, is a veteran journalist currently based in Israel. He was a newspaper reporter in New York City before moving to the Middle East where he served as a special correspondent and editor for the Jerusalem Post.

At 1/22/2006 03:37:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


You SOB, don't bring my father into this. You are such an asshole and the only thing that execuses you is that you are mentally retarded. You little POS, my dad retired more than 25 years ago after being frustrated by the system.

Don't diss other people's parents when you don't know shit about them. This will be the last post directed at you before I totally ignore you. Moron.

At 1/22/2006 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Call me what you wish. That does not change the fact that your father was a Judge in Syria. I know what judges in Syria are all about. You are saying he retired 25 years ago, and that is a lie. I am hearing this from every son of bitch son of judge. Your defense of the System when things look alright confirm that your father was/is one of them, of course. I bet he sent you outside to study from money he collected from us, poor Syrians who needed him for something. That is how the Syrian Justice System worka: no Justice. Ass holes judges similar to the biggest one of them all, Al Nouri who has sent thousands of innocent Syrians into execution fields like they are "executing birds" in Syria right now, and that is exacatly the term the Srian press has used just few days ago.

So, you call me sob, I don't care, for you are the real sob, crimial son of a judge.


At 1/22/2006 04:24:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Sorry, I didn't realize that the MENL article was old news. I don't know why they reposted it today.

At 1/22/2006 04:32:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...


You are totally out of line. This is the most pathetic statement I have heard.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

At 1/22/2006 04:33:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...


You know what I think of you, Bloodydamscene, EC, Criminal, Tarek..

So, I like you to just shut up for I am not going tto insult you with words. t is what I think of you that matters.

At 1/22/2006 04:42:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Pride said...

I told you Joseph Ali Mohammad is Ikhwan. Does he sound Alauite to you?

At 1/23/2006 11:57:00 PM, Blogger annie said...

Is this the same JAM ? (posting at Rimeallaf)
"Thursday, January 19, 2006, 00:12
Dear Ms. Allaf;

Thank you for your post regarding the "released" prisooners of conscience from Syria's Assad jails.

I was angry today, so much angry seeing the garbage that so called "professor" Joshua Landis wrote in that regard, and especially what he wrote on purpose, the damaging words he wrote about Dr. aref Dalila.

Such is a real beneficiary of the Assad regime, so called history professor from the USA who never cared in any way about human rights and human dignity, and continues to defend the Assad regime with all the lies he can spread in his blog.

Thank you again


At 1/25/2006 09:54:00 AM, Blogger Lattakia Boy said...

Wow, what a reaction from people out there! Instead of admitting that laws have to be reformed and society has to change its views on women issues, some of you blame everyone but themselves. Here is a suggestion: why not accept that Syrian society and laws need to be reformed and do something about it. Good for that lady lawyer who started the petition. I wish Josh had placed a link to it earlier for people to be informed.
Good job josh! I do appreciate all your hard work for all of us, even the josh bashers out there do appreciate your work because they seem to be addicted.


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