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Qatar not keen on reopening its embassy in Syria

Qatar’s foreign minister said on Monday that he saw no need to re-open an embassy in Damascus, nor any encouraging signs for a normalisation of ties with the Syrian government. Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also said Qatar still objects to Arab League membership for Syria. Syria’s …

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US begins to pull out of Syria in earnest

The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State has begun the process of withdrawing from Syria, a spokesman said on Friday, indicating the start of a U.S. pullout that has been clouded by mixed messages from Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement last month that he had decided to withdraw 2,000 U.S. …

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From Syria with Roses

By: Ibrahim Alalou A half acre of roses at my farm in Syria. I have a big farm in northern Syria. The story of the farm is worth telling, at least from my point of view. The reasons are many and it will take several posts but what better to start …

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Bolton warns Syria over US pullout

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned the Syrian government it should not see the impending U.S. military withdrawal from the country as an invitation to use chemical weapons. U.S. President Donald Trump said in December that U.S. troops had succeeded in their mission to defeat Islamic State militants …

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UAE planning to resume flights to Syria

The United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said it is evaluating the possibility of national carriers resuming flights to the Syrian capital of Damascus. GCAA made the comment in a statement on Sunday, following the UAE’s reopening on Thursday of its embassy in Damascus. UAE airlines Etihad and …

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UAE stands firm over Damascus decision

The resumption of diplomatic services at the Embassy of the UAE in Damascus, where the Charge d’Affaires has begun discharging his duty, is a huge and positive decision by the UAE, said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Saturday. “As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has …

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Sesame: Not just a Street

Ibrahim Alalou   Halavah, A Middle Eastern sweet meal made from crushed sesame seeds and garnished with nuts.   Sesame Street was created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett in 1969. The long running American children’s television series was broadcast in more than 140 countries. In 2001 there were over …

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Israeli planes attack targets near Damascus

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Israeli war planes attacked with missiles unspecified targets near Damascus, the Syrian capital, on Tuesday and injured three Syrian soldiers, Syrian state media quoted a military source as saying. “Our air defenses confronted hostile missiles launched by Israeli war planes from above the Lebanese territories and downed …

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Syrian refugees in Turkey returning in hundreds of thousands

Nearly 300,000 Syrians have returned to their country after Turkey’s two cross-border operations in northern Syria, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu was quoted as saying on Saturday. Turkey has carried out two operations, dubbed “Euphrates Shield” and “Olive Branch”, against Kurdish YPG militia and Islamic State in northern Syria. Ankara regards …

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US forces pulling out of Syria for good

The United States said on Wednesday it has begun withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria as U.S. officials said the United States was considering pulling out all its troops as it winds up its campaign to retake territory once held by Islamic State. “We have started returning United States troops home …

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Syrian Thyme: A Daily Bread Companion

By: Ibrahim Al Alou   I made this Syrian thyme mix.   What is Syrian thyme? It is a mix of thyme (Thymus vulgaris or Thymus syriacus) in Arabic (alzaater) with other ingredients that are made in semi-powdered form and consumed with pita bread and olive oil at breakfast or it …

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Women and the price of the Syrian war

By Areej Zaher* War and violence affected all, especially women and children. Whether it was internal, cross-border conflicts, religious or political, civilians will be caught in the firing line. And as a result, women will face life-threatening challenges. War can bring violence, sexual violence, abandonment, detention, physical injury or even …

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US airstrike targets Syrian Islamic State leader

U.S.-led war planes targeted an Islamic State leader on Sunday in Syria responsible for killing hostages including an American, Washington’s envoy to the coalition fighting the jihadist group said. “Earlier today, coalition air forces conducted precision strikes against a number of ISIS leaders in southeast Syria. Those targeted included Abu …

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Halab shelled by Islamic State forces

Syrian state media said insurgent shelling on Aleppo city wounded 50 people on Saturday, causing breathing problems. State news agency SANA, citing a health official in the city which is under government control, said the shells hit two districts and contained gases that made people choke. Source: Reuters

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The Syrian Herbal Tea (Zouhorat Shameea)

By: Ibrahim Al Alou   A Syrian herbal tea blend(zouhorat shameea).زهورات شامية , In a world so stressed with caffeine consumption it is no wonder that many people turn back to local cultures for a relief. Natural plants blends had proven traits that had been passed through generations. In today’s story …

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Syria talks slotted for November 28-29

Russia, Turkey, and Iran will hold the next round of talks on Syria on Nov. 28-29 in Kazakhstan, Kazakh foreign minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Monday. Delegations of the Damascus government and the Syrian rebels are also set to attend, Abdrakhmanov told reporters. Source: Reuters

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Yerba Mate: The Un-Tea

By: Ibrahim AL Alou*   What do say about a drink that has the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the euphoria of chocolate all combined in one drink? Seems strange a bit but there is such a drink that delivers all these benefits at once. It …

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The Oldest Olive Trees

By: Ibrahim AL Alou*   The sisters of Noah, Lebanon. They witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations, stood against plagues and epidemics, greeted the sun rising and setting down over thousands of days, yet stood defiant in glory and glamour. These are the oldest olive trees alive bearing their soulful …

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Syria: Small Steps towards Economic Recovery

By Areej Zaher*   The World Bank has reported that the Syrian conflict, till 2017, had disastrous effects on about a third of the residents and half of the medical and educational institutions, as a result of the collapse of vital economical systems. This caused the ending of 538 jobs …

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