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The Syrian Lebanese star ( June 1, 2002 )

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UFPKY National Endowment for the Humanities LSTA SLAF
MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Alternate title:
Syrian-Lebanese star
Alternate Title:
Star
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ;
Language:
English
Publisher:
A.M. Coplan
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville Fla
Creation Date:
June 1, 2002
Frequency:
monthly
regular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Syrians -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Lebanese -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Jacksonville (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Duval County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre:
newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Duval -- Jacksonville
Coordinates:
30.31944 x -81.66 ( Place of Publication )

Notes

Additional Physical Form:
Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1963.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 16, no. 9 (Sept. 1978).
Funding:
Funded in part by the University of Florida, the Library Services and Technology Assistance granting program of Florida, the State Library and Archives of Florida, and other institutions and individuals.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000579625
oclc - 05165391
notis - ADA7472
lccn - sn 79007351
issn - 0193-2578
System ID:
UF00028363:00006

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Alternate title:
Syrian-Lebanese star
Alternate Title:
Star
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ;
Language:
English
Publisher:
A.M. Coplan
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville Fla
Creation Date:
June 1, 2002
Frequency:
monthly
regular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Syrians -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Lebanese -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Jacksonville (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Duval County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre:
newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Duval -- Jacksonville
Coordinates:
30.31944 x -81.66 ( Place of Publication )

Notes

Additional Physical Form:
Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1963.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 16, no. 9 (Sept. 1978).
Funding:
Funded in part by the University of Florida, the Library Services and Technology Assistance granting program of Florida, the State Library and Archives of Florida, and other institutions and individuals.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000579625
oclc - 05165391
notis - ADA7472
lccn - sn 79007351
issn - 0193-2578
System ID:
UF00028363:00006

Table of Contents
    Main
        page 1
        page 2
        page 3
        page 4
        page 5
    Florida's Gold Coast
        page 6
    Florida
        page 7
        page 8
    Georgia/North Carolina
        page 9
    Maryland/Virginia
        page 10
        page 11
    Tennessee/Alabama
        page 12
    Louisiana/Texas
        page 13
    San Antonio, Texas
        page 14
    Arizona
        page 15
    Arizona/Las Vegas
        page 16
    Las Vegas, Nevada
        page 17
        page 18
    Colorado
        page 19
        page 20
        page 21
    Southern California
        page 22
        page 23
        page 24
        page 25
    Northern California
        page 26
    California
        page 27
    Recommended Businesses
        page 28
Full Text






THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR
AN INDEPENDENT MONTHLY

SERVING AMERICANS OF ARABIC HERITAGE
Celebrating 40 Years of Service
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD -'". ,
ESTABLISHED IN 1963


www.syrianlebanesestar.com


XXXX #5 JUNE 2002


I I


Mother has fallen and
fractured her pelvis. She
was reaching for a jar in
her kitchen and lost her
balance. This is not her
first fall. She has two
artificial hips and was just
recovering from the last
time her foot gave way -
that time, her toe caught on
the edge of the carpet.


Every tumble, slip, slide,
and collapse, we are called.
Each one of my mother's
six children tenses a little,
not because she has fallen,
again, but because we
cannot turn back the clock,
we cannot avoid these
repetitive reminders that
my mother is getting older
(continued on page 6)
--,a


Smuggling case tied to terror-
ism, government says


Lebanese accused
of cigarette racket
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -
At first glance, it
appeared to be a case with
the down-home feel of a
moonshine bust: two
brothers are accused of
helping run a racket that
smuggled cheap
cigarettes for resale
across state lines.


But the government
now alleges the case has
international intrigue, and
that profits from the
scheme were funneled to
Hezbollah guerrillas.
According to the
government, the case -
built on evidence
gathered by local
authorities, the FBI and
Canadian security forces -
(continued on page 7)


The Children's Encyclopedia

Of Arabia


Written primarily for the
children of expatriates
living in the Gulf, this


encyclopedia provides a
fascinating insight into
both the history and
modem day life of the
region that will appeal to
all ages, despite its obvious
target audience.
Compiled by Mary
Beardwood, who has lived
in Oman, Qatar and the
UAE for more than 20
. .. (continued on page 8)


Islam's attrib-
utes led to leap
of faith, Queen

Noor says


Hoping to clear up
misconceptions about
slam. and plug her
upcoming memoir,
Jordan's Queen Noor
addressed about 500
(continued on page 6)

Institute
Chairman


Bahrain
election first
to allow
women to vote
MANAMA, Bahrain -
Voters cast ballots
yesterday in Bahrarin's
first election for
representative bodies in
nearly 30 years another
step in the Persian Gulf
nation's transformation
from absolute monarchy
to democracy, and the
first time Bahraini
women were allowed to
vote and run for office.
'But no women were
,elected to any of the 50'
municipal seats up for
grabs, said the
information minister of
(continued on page 6)
Turnaround
In Muscat?


Meets with Reinforcing Oman's
status as a moderate safe
King of haven in a troubled
Morocco region, the Gulf state's
government recently
Islamic Institute passed legislation to
Chairman Khaled Saffuri prevent money-
attended a. reception and laundering through
meeting Tuesday with Omani institutions, as
King Mohanuned VI of part of the US campaign
(continued on page 7) (continued on page 7)

Going Places


The Salaam Club of
Florida, Inc. Host The
Southern Federation of
Syrian Lebanese
American Clubs 71st
Annual Convention
Jacksonville, Florida July
3-7, 2002"Ride the Wave
into Jacksonville "
Much is happening in
Jacksonville, Florida as
the local club prepares to
host the 71st Annual
Convention of the
Southern Federation on
July 3-7 th, 2002. The


Salaam Club of Florida
cordially invites all of our
Federation family and
friends to "Ride the-Wave
into Jacksonville".
It all begins at the
newly built Adams Mark
Hotel on the Riverfront in
downtown Jacksonville.
The $89.00 room rate is
for 1-4 people and can be
obtained three days prior
and after the convention
for those who would like
to spend some extra time
(continued on page 7)


Downgrades Hit
Lebanese Banks


(S
do
so
cre


Carl Gibeily reports from Lebanon on un
the latest developments in the online de
travel business co
might seem to be a gr
business trapped in a -
vortex of negative trends co
but, despite the Internet mi
malaise, economic ac
slowdown and fears of fo
terrorism and airline L
Internet companies that crashes, online travel the
sell airplane tickets? In the companies are doing rather to
current economy, travel (continued on page 8) ob
...... ...... ...... .... ..(continued. on page, 8 --.o


Standard & Poor's
&P) has recently
wngraded the troubled
vereign's long-term
edit ratings from B to B-
This is hardly
expected and the
cision bears out the
nsensus view that
owing regional conflict
which now include
ncerns that the Israelis
ay launch military
tion against Hezbollah
rces in Southern
banon has further hit
government's ability
meet its debt
ligations. Given this


instability, the prospect of
international assistance or
continueu

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Profile of an Arab Daughter


The Salaam Club of Florida


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I Page 2 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002


Gunning-Sarkees

Stephanie L Sarkees
and Matthew W. Gunning
were married at 6 p.m.
yesterday in All Saints
Episcopal Church.
The bride, daughter of
Martha Crawford Nolan,
Long Beach, Ind., and
Abdo Sarkees,
Jacksonville, graduated
from Englewood High
School.
The bridegroom, son
of Delores and William
Gunning, Palm Coast,
graduated
from Mountain View
High School and is self-
employed with B&M
Trucking.
Tracy Sallmen was the
matron of honor, and
Patrick Gunning was the
best man. Following a
trip to Aruba, the couple
will live in Palm Coast.


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Kandah-Abosini

Linda Abosini and,
Nabil Kandah were
married at 3:30 p.m. April
28 in St. Joseph's
Catholic Church.
The bride, daughter of
Jeanette and Edmond
Abosini, graduated from
Robert E. Lee High
School and is employed
by Linda's Seafood,
which is owned and
operated by her family.
The bridegroom, son
of Suad Kandah and the
late Yocoub Kandah,
graduated from
Englewood High School
and is employed by
Jacobson Fish Market and
Capt. Sam's Seafood.
Amal Abosini was the
maid of honor, and John
Abdelmasih was the best man.
The couple will live in
Jacksonville.


President Benson is
Found Not Guilty!


Houston The
weekend of October 12-
14, 2001 was the date of
the Roast and
Testimonial Dinner of
Federation President
Sharon M. Benson. The
site was the J.W. Marriott
Hotel located in the
Galleria Area. Friends and
family, coming from all
over the country, gathered
to honor Ms. Benson. It
was herer that the trial of
Ms. Benson, who was
accused of impersonating
a president of the
Southern Federation,


another on the happenings
-in their lives.
Saturday evening the
festivities began with
cocktails and hors
d'oeuvers of Lebanese
fair. Master of
(continued on page 9)

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I Page 3 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002


Chastened
Isaiah 53: 1, "Who hath
believed our report? and
to whom is the arm of the
Lord revealed?"
Isaiah 42:8-9, "I am the
Lord; that is my name:
and my glory will I not
give to another, neither
my praise to graven
images. Behold, the
former things are come to
pass, and new things do I
declare: before they
spring forth I tell you of
them."
Isaiah. 14:3, "And it
shall come to pass in the
day that the Lord shall
give thee rest from thy
sorrow, and from thy fear,
and from the hard
bondage wherein thou
wast made to serve,"
Jeremiah 40:4, "And
now, behold, I loose thee
this day from the chains
which were upon thine
hand. If it seem good unto
thee to come with me into
Babylon, come; and I will
look well unto thee; but if
it seem ill unto thee to
come with me into
Babylon, forbear: behold,
all the land is before thee:
wither it seemeth good
and convenient for thee to
go, thither go."


Restored




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Isaiah 41:4, "Who hath
wrought and done it,
calling the generations
from the beghming? I the
Lord, the first, and with
the lam; I am he."
Isaiah 41:8-14, "But
thou, Israel, art my
savant, Jacob whom I
have chosen, the seed of
Abraham my friend. Thou
whom I have taken from.
the ends of the earth, and
called thee from the chief
men thereof, and said
unto thee, Thou art my
servant; I have chosen
thee, and not cast thee
away. Fear thou not; for I
am with thee: be not
dismayed; for I am thy
God: I will strengthen
thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee
with the right hand of my
(continued on page 11)


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Rivermead Funeral Homes Orange Park, FL
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A Pilgrimage By Internet


The Holy Year of
Jubilee 2000 refreshed the
idea of pilgrimage in the
minds of many. While
some have the
opportunity to be pilgrims
to a sacred place, most do
not. But a new and
different type of
pilgrimage is possible
without leaving home or
work.
Try a pilgrimage by
internet. Here is one upi
will find fascinating.
The Marian Library
and its International
Marian Research Institute
at the University of
Dayton in Ohio have
made a virtual pilgrimage
to a Marian shrine
possible for all. Simply
visit The Mary Page on
the internet by directing
your browser to
www.udayton.edu/mary.
The website is an actual
Marian treasure trove.
The internet is flooded
with home pages;
websites abound. But The
Mary Paae enjoysV the
distinction of being a


By Brother John
Samaha, S.M.
visually attractive and
eminently informative
tribute dedicated solely to
God's Mother and ours.
The website provides a
wealth of information and
artistic images, spiritual-
nourishment that is both
doctrinal and devotional.
All input is prepared by
professionals.
The Mary Page was
launched by the Marian
Library/IMRI on
September 8, 1995, as a
birthday gift to the
Blessed Virgin Mary, with
the intent of sharing its
accumulated riches. Now
it averages visits from
(continued on page 11)


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904-280-1325 carolps333@aol.com


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Meekness, English
word, is equivalent to
Arabic word 'Hudna' or
'haun'. It means not to
inflict injury on any other
person. And try to live in
'peace' within and around
oneself. This moral/
condition, if chosen
deliberately, will be the
root cause to establish
'peace on earth.'
Holy Quran has cited
injunctions in this regard:
"And the servants of
God ... and When the
ignorants address them,
they say 'peace'."
(25:64)
The qualities of 'Ibadur
Rehman' that is the
righteous servants of
Allah are referred to in
this Verse. That they are
not arrogant. And they
avoid quarrel witli others.
If some one tries to annoy
them with any vulgar or
unpleasant talk, they
avoid them and simply
say 'peace', then, move


By Dr. Qazi Muhammad
Barkatullah
on.. To those who merely
dispute people gifted
with meekness do not
speak harshly. But they
say 'peace'. In other
.words, it means, 'may it
be well with you'; 'may
you repent and be better';
'may Allah give me peace
from such wrangling'; 'I
wish you could mend
your ways '; 'just good-
bye'; 'let me leave you
alone'.
(Eng. Tr. Yusuf Ali No.
3123 P. 941.)
Further:
"And those who do not
bear false witness And
when they pass by any
thing vain they pass with
(continued on page 12)


Best Wishes To Our Many
Syrian & Lebanese Friends & Customers


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Meekness






Page 4 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002


Newlyweds From Texas


Sincerely


Cline Danner at Perkins Chapel, at
Southern Methodist
Dallas Rachel Khoury, University in Dallas,
ine and Jason Lee Texas. Dr. William Finnin
inner were married on and the Very Reverend C.


October 5, 2001 at 6 pm,


(continued on page 13)


Best Wishes rom



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ALSAC

On behalf of
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Hospital I would like
to wish all of our many
friends a happy,
peaceful New Year
bringing each of you
good health.
Sept. 11, 2001 has
changed America and
the world. The success
of the Administration's
fight against terrorism
is admirable but is only
beginning. This war on
terrorism has affected
many charities
including, to some
small degree,
ALSAC/St. Jude.


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I must, however, tell
you about a wonderful
group of firends on
Wall Street who
initially cancelled a
major event that last
year raised $2.2
million, but then
decided to hold a
scaled down event for
our children.
I am proud to say
that under the-
leadership of Judith
Barry and Cathy
Wilson-Rosen, .Wall
Street held its "Hope
for the Children" event
on Dec. 4 and raised
$1.9 million.
Despite the personal
loss of many friends
and relatives, the men
and women of Wall
Street understood that
children with
catastrophic diseases
needed their help and
they responded. We are
so blessed to have
these wonderful
(continued on page 13)


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Page 5 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR ..ue... 2002


The Star is published once per month by A.M. Coplan. The Star is an independent
monthly serving Americans of Syrian and Lebanese heritage for over 35 years.
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD
The Syrian-Lebanese Star
Publisher and Editor...A. M. Coplan
For Advertising Information Write P.O.Box 5545
Jacksonville, Florida 32247 Phone (904) 737-6996
Postmaster-send change of address to the above address
Please send your letters, news stories, pictures and club activities to
The Editor's Desk.
4251 University Blvd. S., Suite 201, Jacksonville, Florida 32216
Subscription Rate: $15.00 per year

Understanding America's Right Wing, Part I
Dr. James J. Zogby, President
Arab American Institute


Despite the fact that
Jean-Marie Le Pen was
soundly defeated in
France's recent
presidential elections, that
he made the run-off and
gained almost one-fifth of


the vote set off alarm bells
throughout Europe.
Across the continent,
grave public concern was
expressed about the
emergence of a dangerous
far-right political current,


Articles appearing in most
of Europe's major papers
compared the relative
strength of similar
movements in each of the
European Union's
countries.
It was in this context
that a number of Arab
friends have written
asking me to describe the
(continued on page 13)


The Responsibility Drives You to Deliver
King Abdullah and Queen Rania speak exclusively to


Mariam
The decision of the late
King Hussein in his final
days to appoint his son
Abdullah heir to the
throne of Jordan surprised
the international
community. It had been
widely expected that
Hussein's brother, Crown
Prince Hassan, would
succeed him. Throughout
his reign King Hussein
was highly respected for
his diplomatic skills and
for his role as a regional
peacemaker, it would take
a person of considerable
stature to fill the void he
left. Onto the world stage
swept King Abdullah and
his beautiful wife Queen
Rania, heralding the dawn
of a new era for the
Hashemite kingdom.
King Abdullah II and


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On 7 February 1999, Hashemite Kingdom of
hours after the death of
(continued on page 14)
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Page 6 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR' June 2002

FLORIDA'S GOLD COAST


Profile
(continued from page 1)
and that one cannot
recover from old age;
reminders, too, that we are
getting older.
This time, when she
stretched her arm up to the
cabinet over the
refrigerator, this time,
when she tried to reach the
peanut butter, it was Sept
11, 2001. It was just after
two jets crashed into the
World Trade Center, about
the time the towers
collapsed and thousands
and thousands of people
died and thousands went
missing, and the nation's
and the world's faces
knotted from fear or
opened in shock or closed
in sorrow.
So in the midst of this
tragedy, we did not know
of my mother's fall until
later. The silence of the
phone gave no hint; no one
knew my mother was in
the hospital. Instead, my
older sister, Selma, and I


were desperately trying to
reach our youngest sister,
Geralyn, in New York,
shaking our phones like
rattles, hoping for
something other than the
sound of empty air. We
recited her route to work as
best we could remember
and tried to judge where
her husband would be:
tower, tunnel, train, bus...
My mother is curled in a
ball, my father says, on the
downstairs couch, unable
to move. The sadness
courses in his voice like a
slow river. He has driven
her again and again to
Montgomery County
Hospital, fall after fall: up
the stairs, over the
threshold, losing her
balance standing or sitting.
At 87 years old, my mother
is worn out by her own
fragility. Her body sinks in
on itself, drying up. Now at
90 pounds, this tiny
fortress endured childhood
hunger, escape, field labor,
emigration, three
(continued on page 15)


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Queen Noor
(continued from page 1)
publishers and booksellers
yesterday in New York.
"Part of my mission is to
portray the Muslim faith
as I understand it," she
told attendees of a
national publishers' fair,
adding that Islam is often
characterized as a
"backward, fanatical
religion.... This is not the
Islam that I know and
wholeheartedly embraced


Bahrain
(continued from page 1)
this tiny gulf state. Of 306
candidates, 30 were
women.
"I am personally very
sad. The government and
king will also be very
disappointed because they
[the female candidates]


just before my marriage,"
she said. Her memoir,
Leap of Faith: Memoirs of
an Unexpected Life, is
slated for November
publication. The book is
expected to discuss Noor's
childhood in America as
Lisa Halaby, her days at
Princeton in its first
coeducational graduating
class, and her life as
Queen Noor al-Hussein,
wife of King Hussein,
who died in 1999.


have run very aggressive
election campaigns," said
Nabeel Al Hamer, the
minister.
People clamored to
vote in the election for
minucipal council
members, with men and
women waiting in long,
separate lines in keeping


(continued on page 16)


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Page 7 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

FLORIDA


Salaam Club
(continued from page 1)
visiting Florida. The
scheduled activities fill
the four days during the
convention and will
appeal to all ages. Make
sure you arrive early to be
part of our 4th of July
cookout followed by a
spectacular viewing of the
city's fireworks show.
Special age related
activities will keep us all
busy throughout the
weekend including a city


Muscarart
(continued from page 1)
against international
terrorism. Alongside
higher oil prices, this
atmosphere has helped the
Muscat Securities Market
(MSM) to shrug off current
Middle East tensions, with
the General Index reaching
169.9 points in mid April,
from around 157 a month
ago. Leading the way has
been market heavyweight
BankMuscat, which has seen
its shares climb by over 40%
in the past month, to touch
OMR2.61 on April 8, despite
releasing results which
showed that its 2001 net


tour, child events, youth
outing, singles party, and
married couples party. Of
course there are daily food
functions and an Arabic
band all three nights.
Keep an eye out for
special mailings with
more info about the
summer convention or
check our web site at
www.salaamclubjax.com.
So mark you calendars
now and plan on visiting
us in Jacksonville for the
71st Annual Convention.


profits had slumped by more
than 50% y-o-y, to
OMR7.8mn. In practice,
such a decline had largely
been priced in by the market,
following a non-performing
loan (NPL) crisis, and
ensuing tightening of
provisioning requirements
by the Gulf state's central
bank and investors are now
focusing on positive
developments.
In the first instance, a
more stringent regulatory
environment is evidently
boosting sentiment, and with
NPL provisioning rising by
121% y-o-y in 2001,
BankMuscat may now be

(continued on page 17)


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Morocco
(continued from page 1)
Morocco during his
majesty's official visit to
Washington., D.C. The
meeting and reception
took place following the
King's visit to the White
House, where he and
President Bush held
discussions focusing on
the current situation in the
Middle East.
Mr. Saffuri thanked the
King for his distinguished
role in helping to bridge
the gap between the
United States and the


Smuggling
(continued from page 1)
will show how the
Lebanese nationals
creatively exploited the
American tax system to
sponsor overseas
terrorism.
"I think it [cigarette
smuggling] is a clear-cut
channel for funding
Middle East groups out of
the U.S.," said terrorism


Muslim world, and he
also discussed issues of
free markets and
democracy in the Middle
East. King Mohammed
expressed his
appreciation for the
constructive role that
Muslim Americans have
taken to promote
understanding of Islam
and the Muslim world in
America, and he stressed
the long history of
friendly relations between
the United States and
Morocco, which was the
first country to recognize
American independence.


analyst Tom Sanderson of
Washington's Center for
Strategic and
International Studies. "It's
part of a much larger and
more complex system."
Mohamad Youssef
Hammoud, 28, is charged
under a 1996 anti-
terrorism law with
providing material
support to Hezbollah,
(continued on page 16)


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Encyclopedia
(continued from page 1)
years and taught at Arab,
. British and international
schools, the 160 page
encyclopedia boasts around
a thousand illustrations in
full colour alongside
concise, easy to.understand
information on a diverse
range of topics.
The book is presented in
four parts, under the
headings The Past;
Traditional Life; Flora and
Fauna and Modem Arabia.


Going Places
(continued from page 1)
well.
In the West, the big
public ones Travelocity,
Expedia and Priceline -
announced operating
profits in the last quarter of
2001 and expect to do the
same for the first quarter of
2002. Sales are down, of
course, from what had been
expected before I I
September but the online
companies seem to hAe
gained a bigger slice of the
smaller travel pie.
In the Middle East, the
online travel market is still
very much in its infancy


The first section takes the
reader across Arabia
through the ages,
examining archaeological
clues to help build up a
picture of how people lived
thousands of year ago. In
this section age-old
kingdoms, such as the
ancient land of Saba, are
discussed. One of Arabiis
legendary figures, the
Queen of Sheba, probably
came from this region.
The incense road and the
wealth created by


with many of the leading
players either wholly
owned subsidiaries or
affiliates of western
companies. Synergi Inc.,
for instance, is an $11
billion concern with a 54-
country network of travel
management companies
aiming to provide effective
solutions to their clients'
global business travel
needs. Each Synergi
affiliate is regarded as one
of the top travel
management companies in
its country of operation,
and draws on its specialised
local knowledge, skill and
resources.
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frankincense; the coming
of Islam; the golden age of
sail and the influence of the
Portuguese, including the
explorer Vasco da Gama,
provide fascinating and
informative reading.
The section on
traditional life provides
details of Islamic
architecture with special
attention to mosques, forts
and souqs and traditional
building materials,
including coral stone dug
from the seabed, gypsum


signed up Lebanon's
General Airline Services,
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annual turnover of some $2
million and the UAE's Al
Futtaim Travel. "The
alliance with Synergi
allows us to offer a strong
global travel capability to


and parts of the palm tree.
The traditions of the sea,
which play a large part in
the lives of all those who
live in the Arabian
peninsula, are discussed at
length. Pearls, and the
importance of the role they
played through the ages,
dhows, traditional boat
building and fishing, which
for thousands of years
provided the staple diet of
the indigenous population,
form an important part of
(continued on page 17)


our customers in Lebanon,"
explained Alexandre
Alloush, general manager
of Synergi's Lebanese,
affiliate.
Some homegrown e-
ventures seeking to make a
(continued on page 18)


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Page 9 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

GEORGIA/NORTH CAROLINA


Downgrades
(continued from page 1)
investment to cope with
Lebanon's stifling public
debt burden is now more
remote and the chances of
a 'financial event'
sometime over the
forecast period have risen
markedly.
In its report that
followed the
announcement, S&P
emphasised its doubts that
the sovereign will be able
to secure any significant
follow-up to a conference
of potential donors held in
Paris in February 2001,
due to the stumbling
nature of its fiscal reform


programme.
Notwithstanding this,
the crisis facing the
government should not be
over-emphasised. The
sovereign is not in
imminent danger of
default, given the high
uptake of state paper by
Lebanese banks, which
are still enjoying rising
liquidity, thanks to steady
deposit growth (which
totalled 6% y-o-y in
February). However, such
an arrangement is
negative for the country's
financial sector itself, due
to its high exposure to the
sovereign, with S&P
estimating that local
(continued on page 19)


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Benson
(continued from page 2)
Ceremonies for the
evening was Sam Dick.
After the presentation of
colors by the Sharpstown
High School ROTC color
guard, Mr. Dick led the
audience in the Pledge of
Allegiance. Philip Yamin
led everyone in the
National Anthem
followed by the
invocation given 'by
Ralph Abercia. Sharon's
niece, Michele Nicole
Yamin sang, "To Love
You More."


Dinner was then
served. Guests enjoyed a
salad of mixed greens
with Heart of Palm and
Goat Cheese. The main
course was Chicken
Marsala and Filet Mignon
with Chanterette
Mushroom sauce served
with garlic-mashed
potatoes and fresh grilled
vegetables. A very
delicious Chocolare
Mousse Cake topped off
the meal.
Patricia Benson, sister
to Sharon, showed a video
(continued on page 19)


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Page 10 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

MARYLAND/VIRGINIA


Bowles-Dawood


Trisha Dawood,
Jacksonville, and
Houston Bowles,
Bethesda, Md., were
married at 4:30 p.m,
Yesterday in St. John's
Cathedral.
The bride, daughter of
Dianne Dawood and
(continued on page 20)


Farhat-Salameh









Andrea Salameh and
Dr. Jawad Farhat were
married at 4 p.m.
yesterday in St. Georges
Antiochian Orthodox
Church.
The bride, daughter of
Nahida and Basem
Salameh, is attending the
(continued on page 20)


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WEDDINGS
Parola-Atalla


Helena Atalla and Guy
Parola were married at
4:30 p.m. yesterday in St.
Joseph's Catholic Church.

The bride, daughter of
Linda Atalla,
Jacksonville, and the late
Mitchell Atalla, and the
(continued on page 20)


DEATH


Asker
Abdo G. Asker, 84,
died on Sunday, May 19,
2002.
He moved to
Jacksonville in 1945 from
Detroit, Michigan. He
was a World War 11
Veteran, having served
in the U.S. Navy. He was
thg founder of Premiere
Meats, Inc and worked in
the grocery business until
retirement in 1991. After
his retirement, his
favorite pastime was
afternoon cruises on
LaCruise casino. Mr.
Asker was a 32nd Degree
Mason, a lifetime
(continued on page 20)


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Damascus, MD
L -






Page 11 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

MARYLAND/VIRGINIA


Chosen
(continued from page 3)
righteousness. Behold, all
they that were incensed
against thee shall be
ashamed and confounded:
they shall be as nothing;
and they that strive with
thee shall perish. Thou
shalt seek them, and shalt
not find them, even them
that contended with thee:
they that war against thee
shall be as nothing, and as
a thing of nought. For I
the Lord thy God will
hold thy right hand,
saying unto thee, Fear
not; I will help thee. Fear
not, thou worm Jacob,
and ye men of Israel; I
will help thee, saith the
Lord, and thy redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel."
Isaiah 41:18-20, "I will
open rivers in high places,


and fountains in the midst
of the valleys: I will make
the wilderness a pool of
water, and the dry land
springs of water. I will
plant in the wilderness the
cedar, the shittah tree, and
the myrtle, and the oil
tree; I will set in the desert
the fir tree, and the pine,
and the box tree together:
That they may see, and
know, and consider, and
understand together, that
the Lord hath done this,
and the Holy One of Israel
hath created it."
Isaiah 43:3-7, "For I
am the Lord thy God, the
Holy One of Israel, thy
Saviour: I gave Egypt for
thy ransom, Ethiopia and
Seba for thee. Since thou
wast precious in my sight,
thou hast been
honourable, and I have
(continued on page 20)


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Pilgrimage
(continued from page 3)

300 "pilgrims" each day.
Among religious home
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as one of the best. The
award-winning website
has been recognized as
one of the most important
and influential Catholic
websites in North
America.
Attractive in
appearance, and both
informative and
inspirational in content,
The Mary Page is visited


by "pilgrims" young and
old. In addition to
offering information
about the Marian
Library/IMRI services, its
pastoral and academic
outreach brings the
resources of this
M ariolo gical
clearinghouse to scholars,
students, and ordinary
inquirers grouped in
fifteen categories with
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Provided are news
highlights, ready
reference to inquiries, art
exhibits, Marian philately,
(continued on page 21)


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Page 12 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

TENNESSEE/ALABAMA


Meekness
(continued from page 3)
dignity."
(Holy Quran, 25:73)--
People gifted with the
moral condition of
meekness are the right-
eous .servants of Allah.
They do not enter into
arguments with their
opponents and try not to
create any tension. They
lend a patient hearing to
what others are saying. As
such, the Muslims are
advised to avoid the


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not to be a part of
unpleasant atmosphere,
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People who exhibit
meekness, do not get
mixed up in things
implying futulities,
random talk, unedifying
jokes, useless show etc.
For, all those sort of
situations are condemned.
If, however, a man or a
woman, implying
meekness, finds himself
or herself in such an


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she must withdraw from
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Holy Quran, Further
(continued on page 21)


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Page 13 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

LOUISIANA/TEXAS


Newlyweds
(continued from page 4)
Preston Wiles officiated.
A reception with dinner
and dancing followed at
the Lakewood Country
Club.
The bride is the
daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
Michael Lane Cline of
Dallas. They are members
of the Al Ittifah Club and
the SALEA Club of
Dallas. Grandparents of


Sincerely
(continued from page 4)

corporations and
individuals committed
to our children.
The year 2002 will
be a challenge to raise
the funds necessary to
continue the great
work at St. Jude
Children's Research
Hospital. Difficulties
with the mail because
of the anthrax
situation, the economy
and, of course, the war
itself has taken a toll
on charitable giving.
The donors and
benefactors of St. Jude
Children's Research
Hospital have always
responded in times of
crisis. I thank you and
look forward to a
successful 2002.


the bride are Mrs. Robert
B. Ashmore of Dallas, a
member of the SALEA
Club and Mr. and Mrs.
Melvin Lane Cline of
Irving, Texas.
Khoury is a graduate of
Bishop Lynch High
School, graduating with
honors, and Southern
Methodist University
where she was a member
of the Alpha Delta Pik
Sorority. Khoury is a


Right Wing
(continued from page 5)

situation of the far right in
the U.S. And since I have
recently raised the issue
of the role of what I have
called the neo-
conservative movement
and the religious right
wing of the Republican
party, questions have been
asked about how those
two currents compare
with Europe's far right
political parties.
Since I have often
referred to these two U.S.
currents as far-right and
extremist, I felt that it
would be important to
better describe them and,
in so doing, to shed more
light on contemporary
politics in the U.S.
It is important from the
outset to note that neither
the religious right nor the
neo-conservative


campaign assistant with
Capital Campaign
Fundraising at Smu.
The groom is the son of
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph
Danner of Fort Colins,
Colorado. Grandparents
of the groom are Mr. and
Mrs. Donald Danner of
Carroll, Iowa and Mr. and
Mrs. Alfred Thorup of
Canyon City, Colorado.
Jason graduated from
Liberty High School in


movement represents the
extreme chauvinism or
xenophobia of the Le Pen
current. There are such
tendencies in U.S. politics
but they are on the fringes
of the political spectrum
and have no home, at this
time, in either of the two
major American parties.
There are, for example,
hundreds of small white


Colorado Springs,
Colorado and Southern
Methodist University. He
is a senior mechanical
engineer with an
engineering firm in
Dallas.
After the couple's
return from their
honeymoon in
Breckenridge and Aspen,
Colorado, Mr. and Mrs.
Danner will reside in
Dallas.


supremacist organizations
and even militia groups in
the U.S. They are loosely
connected, but remain a
threat and are closely
watched by law
enforcement. These
groups, however,
continue to exist, in part,
because of the persistence
of racism in many parts of
(continued on page 21)


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Page 14 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS


King
(continued from page 5)
Jordan.
His ascendancy to the
position of heir to the
throne came as something
of a surprise to him and to
many observers. The
almost last minute change
of heart that led the dying,
King Hussein to replace
his brother, Prince
Hassan, with his eldest
son, as heir to the throne,
changed the pattern of the
life of the now 40-year-
old Abdullah and that of
Jordan. Here, the king and
his wife Queen Rania,
share some of their
thoughts and feelings
about their fate and that of
their kingdom.
The Middle East: What
were your first thoughts
when your late father
asked you to become
crown prince.
King Abdullah: At first
I felt overwhelmed. I
mean, it's a tremendous
job tremendous respon-
sibilities. I saw what it did
to my father. There were a
lot of pressures on him.
Queen Rania: You
know, thinking back, I
really don't know. I think


it has a lot to do with
faith. At the time the
responsibilities seemed
overwhelming to go as
my husband always says -
from having a family of
four at the time, to having
a family of four million. It
was a huge transition."
TME: Did you think
you were up to the job?
King Abdullah: My
first reaction was "no",
but the challenge is
something you live up to
and the responsibility
drives you to deliver. So
ultimately yes, I knew I
could live up to the
responsibility.
Queen Rania: I always
had my moments of
doubt, and I think that's
healthy because feeling
over-confident can be a
very dangerous thing.
TME: Her Majesty is
seen as a very special
Queen and representative
of Jordan, How do you
see her role?
King Abdullah: I think
Rania is unique, that she
makes the team strong in
that she is a very
articulate woman, but
she's an Arab woman. So
you have an Arab queen
that speaks English


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fluently, that understands
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them eloquently, that is
something new in the West
TME: You have a
reputation of dressing up
in disguise finding out for
yourself what is
happening in your country.
Why do you do that?
King Abdullah: We're a
younger generation trying
to get it right, and if we do
get it right then we're
going to be an example
for other countries.
I don't trust people to
make reports, because
people want to tell you
what you want to hear. So,
if there is a problem, the
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is really going on. The
civil servants don't always
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well as they should. The
message is for them to be
careful because the person


across the counter may be me.
TME: The United
States has indicated that it
may attack Iraq again.
Iraq is your neighbour,
how will you react?
King Abdullah: Every
time that we have talked
to President Bush, we say
that military confrontation
is not the way to go. We
believe in dialogue.
TME: What has
changed for Jordan in the
post 11 September world?
Queen Rania: I think
our whole world has to be
more educated about each
other. You know, one of
the things that has
emerged after 11
September is this need for
dialogue between our
different worlds, different
countries, different regions.
We must try to really
understand and get a feel
for the problems and
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because any grievances
that we leave unattended,
will hurt us in the future.


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Page 15 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

ARIZONA


Profiles
(continued from page 6)
businesses, five
relocations, 15
pregnancies, nine births,
six children. She does not
recite these events, as her
own mother did, sucked
into a tunnel of memory.
Her old age confuses her;
she did not predict her own
feebleness.
My mother's- voice
rattles hollow when she
speaks to me. What can we
do? People fall. Things
fall.
My mother tumbled at
the same time another jet
burst into the Pentagon,
dangerously close to where
she lives in Maryland. She
lay on her side, my father
running frantically toward
her. She wept into the
carpet, scared that she
would never get up again.
My 91 -year-old father
pulled her by her armpits,
leaned her body against
his, and took her to the car.
He drove, his vision foggy,


to the emergency room.
The day of my mother's
fall, my parents'
grandchildren were sent
home to Chevy Chase
from their school in
Washington, D.C. Alone in
the house, my nephew and
niece were transfixed by
the television. Slow-
motion footage of the
second tower failing
suspended their breathing
for a minute.
As the children flipped
through the news
coverage, they spotted
their father: my
brother, Jean, who
works for an Arab
advocacy institute. He sat
at a table with a
newscaster and other
experts, speaking calming,
trying to make sense of the
devastation in discussions
laced with words like
"backlash," "retaliation,"
"revenge."
My nephew and niece
did not hear their father's
words. They saw his name
below his face, the title of


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his job, the organization he
worked for, all printed
clearly against his blue
shirt and brown jacket. We
aunts and uncles tried to
reach them: land lines, cell
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the New York sister
reaches them. My brother's
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watching her body ripple
as she prays. My mother
mumbles each decade until
the drugs put her tosleep.
My mother gave me a
picture of herself that she
kept in the back of her
diary. She is 16 in the
picture and has a closed-
moutlksmile. Her hair is in
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(continued on page 22)


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Page 16 TmE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

ARIZONA/LAS VEGAS


Bahrain
(continued from page 5)
with the country's
conservative Islamic
traditions. "As a loyal
citizen I've been waiting
for this opportunity all my
life," 80-year-old Maryam
Mohammed Yousuf said
at a polling center in the
capital, Manama. "This is


Smuggling
(continued from page 7)
labeled a terrorist group
by the U.S. State
Department.
He also is charged with
money laundering,
cigarette smuggling,
immigration fraud,
racketeering and other
charges and could spend
the rest of his life in prison
if convicted.
His brother, Chawki


a new birth for the
nation."
Male candidates won
28 of the 50 open seats,
Justice Minister Sheik
Khalid bin Abdulla Al
Khalifa said early today.
The other 2 seats went to
a runoff, which was to be
next week.


Youssef Hammoud, 37,
faces lesser charges of
immigration fraud,
cigarette smuggling,
money laundering and
racketeering.
Jury selection in the
trial is to begin today in
U.S. District Court The
case is expected to last at
least several weeks.
"It's going to be
extremely hard to get an
impartial jury,"
particularly after the Sept.


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without Michigan's higher
cigarette taxes being paid,
was aimed at generating
cash for Hezbollah.
The case began in July
2000, when federal
authorities in Charlotte


charged 18 people, most
from Lebanon, in an
investigation into
cigarette smuggling,
money laundering and
immigration violations.
The case took a higher
profile nine months later,
when eight Lebanese
nationals and one woman
from the earlier group
were accused of
involvement in a
Charlotte cell of
Hezbollah.
Seven have since
pleaded guilty, leaving
only the brothers to stand
trial.
(continued on page 23)


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Page 17 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA


Muscarart
(continued from page 7)
close to turning a comer, as
the clean-up on its balance
sheet begins to take effect.
Additionally, investors were
satisfied with signs of
improving management
efficiency, exemplified by a
fall in the cost-to-income
ratio, from 49.93%, to
44.25%, and a further boost
on this front should be
delivered by the news that
French lender Societe
General has upped its stake
in the company to 10%,
from 6%. Further
underpinning the market,
corporate results from the
non-banking sectors have
also proved to be above
expectations, with Oman
National Electric Company
returning a 14.13% y-o-y
increase in net profits last
year.


Encyclopedia
(continued from page 8)
these chapters. The lifestyle
of the Bedouin, including
home life, clothing,
traditional Bedu crafts such
as spinning and weaving
along with pastimes such
as horse-breeding, falconry
and camel-racing feature
prominently.
A section on Arabia's
fascinating flora and fauna
includes details of desert
mammals, birds and plants.
The coral reefs of the Red
Sea are among the most
famous in the world but the
Arabian seas have their
own spectacular habitats
and unusual inhabitants.
The pages on the saife
which flourishes offshore,
cover topics not normally
associated with this area of
the world.


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the area. How oil is formed
and its distribution world-
wide is explained in terms
aimed at children but
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also find interesting and
informative. Indeed, the
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Page 18 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA


Going Places
(continued from page 8)
name for themselves
include DoMiddleEast -
part of E-commerce's
family of dotcoms and
UFLYonline, which was
actually set up in Canada
and registered under the
less than catchy business
name of 3581497 Canada
Inc. "The trick is to find
your niche and stick to it
fervently," says Walid
Hanna, chief executive of
E-commerce. With a
business aimed at foreign
tourists visiting the Levant,
DoMiddleEast calls itself
an incoming agency: a
marketing drive that is in
sharp contrast to
UFLYonline where the
focus is largely on Arabs
travelling to destinations
outside the region. "In
2001, some three million
foreign visitors came to
Lebanon, Jordan and
Syria," says Hanna. "That
represents a growth of 15
per cent on 2000. And we
are betting on continued
growth."
E-commerce, who beat
6ff the competition in
Lebanon by registering its
aptly named dotcom with
the Beirut chamber of
commerce, has been online
since October 1999.
When the then 20-
something Hanna began his
own small business, his
brief was clear: capture the
biggest piece of the online
cake, don't keep all your
eggs in one e-basket a
strategy which, with


hindsight, has served him
well. Of the original basket
of commerce that included
a virtual shopping mall,
Souk Lubnan, and an
online auction house,
Mazadi, only their
interactive travel website,
DoMiddleEast, and online
wedding lists, 1000
Mabrouk, have not come
under the hammer An
irony of sorts is that
Mazadi, which at one time
aimed, to become
Lebanon's answer to eBay,
posted its auction software
at well, you might have
guessed it eBay.
And-while on the subject
of eBay, the world's largest
Internet auctioneer has
disclosed that it too wants a
piece of the travel action.
Teaming up with Priceline,
eBay plans to broaden the
offerings on its new travel
pages. Shoppers
purchasing travel through
the eBay travel page will be
able to do so by either a:
"name your own price"
system or through a "buy it
now" feature. Priceline will
gain access to eBay's 42.4
million users, to provide
travel products, computer
infrastructure and
transaction processing for a
new booking service
through eBay's travel site.
eBays foray into the
travel market comes as no
surprise to Carla El Rayes,
vice president of
UFLYonline. "Travel was
the bright spot on the
Internet before," she says.
"And guess what? It's now
even more of a bright spot


on the Internet."
More than other sites,
UFLYonline is focused on
offering low prices in part
because it has access to
ISPs and portals that other
travel agents do not. Both
Cyberia and IDM have
links to their site while
Terranet is expected to
follow suit any time now.
That puts UFLYonline in an
especially opportune
position for the current
market.
"People are hungry for a
deal," says El Rayes.- "And
they see the Internet as the
best way to get it."
UFLYonline is taking its
message to the region with
plans to launch offices first
in the UAE and then, by
June, in Saudi Arabia,
Bahrain and Qatar.
But the travel impact of
11 September does linger.
In one study conducted in
December 2001 by the US-
based Forrester Research
company, there was 2 48
per cent decline in online
airline bookings the week
after the 11 September
attack. And volume has
only slowly climbed back.


At the end of November
2001, and with the holiday
season gearing up, online
travel purchases reached
$399 million still about
seven per cent below their
level in the week ended 9
September. Overall, the
airline industry is operating
at only about 70 per cent of
its normal volume, and
hotel revenue is about 80
per cent of pre- I I
September levels, with
much of that decline
coming from corporate
travel.
Globally, Synergi's
revenue is down some 20
per cent but that does not
deter Allousli, head of
Synergi's Lebanon office.
"Our niche is to provide
higher service for the
business travel market," he
says. "Unfortunately that
was the wrong niche for the
year 2001. But it's all
growth from here on."
Al Futtaim Travel -
Synergi's UAE affiliate is
equally optimistic about the
future. It sees the downturn
in sales as a temporary

(continued on page 23)


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Downgrades
(continued from page 9)
commercial banks held
56.3% of outstanding
treasury-bills in their
portfolios, at the end of
2001.
One consequence of
the sovereign downgrade
is that the three lenders
that S&P rates namely
Banque Audi, Banque de
la Mediterranee and
Banque du Liban et
d'Outre-Mer (BLOM) -
were all downgraded from
B to B-. This caused
spreads on their corporate
eurobonds to widen
dramatically, with yields
on the BLOM US$ 2005
the worst affected, spiking
by over 230bps, to


Benson
(continued from page 9)
displaying the various
hairdos and hair colors
Sharon has had over the
years. This video history
brought back many
memories for Sharon as
well as those present.


11.78% last week.
Moreover, while S&P
emphasised that the
banks' ratings are
underpinned by efficient
liquidity management, the
outlook on their B-rating,
like that of the sovereign,
was kept.at negative. This
signals the risks of further
deterioration going
forward, and there is also
a high probability that
Moody's will downgrade
the sovereign's current B2
rating in line with the
S&P move.
The increased cost .of
borrowing which this is
causing seems likely to
weigh on the lenders'
share prices, and BLOM
has already shed almost
15% since the start of


Then the trial began.
The Bailiff, Rocky
Anawaty, called the
courtroom to order as
Judge Sain Dick took a
seat upon his bench. His
honor introduced the
attorneys trying this case.
For the Prosecution was
famed San Antonio


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2002, to trade at
US$16.25 in mid-April.
This came despite the
release of 2001 results,
which showed that solid
commercial loan quality
allowed consolidated net
profits to rise to
US$80mn, from
US$78.5mn in 2000,
implying that the
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improvement in the minds
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Given the major role of
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capitalisation, the outlook
for the Beirut bourse is
therefore unpropitious,
with geopolitical factors
exerting further negative
pressure on sentiment.


Attorney Richard J.
Karam and for the
Defense was Houston
Attorney William "Bill"
Frank. The evening's
guest made up the jury.
The Federation accused
Ms. Sharon M. Benson of


However, the impact of
this has been partially
mitigated by a rally of
around 4% over the past
month in the A and B
shares of property and
construction
conglomerate Solidere, to
around US$4.50 and
US$4.88 in the second
week of April. This
follows its announcement
in March that it plans to
restart the stalled
development of a gold
and jewellery souq
(market) in Beirut, raising
hopes among investors
that its three-year
downtrend might finally
be bottoming out, and
Solidere shares may prove
a defensive play in the
current troubled climate.


impersonating a
Federation President
while holding the office of
Secretary. Both sides gave
opening statements belbre
witnesses were called.
The Prosecution called as
(continued on page 24)


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Page 20 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

COLORADO


Weddings
(continued from page 10)
Peter Dawood, both of
Jacksonville,
graduated from The
Bolles School, the
University of Florida, and
the University of Denver
College of Law.
The bridegroom, son
of Mr. and Mrs. John L.
Bowles, Bethesda,
graduated from St. James
School and Lynchburg
College.
Candice Deen was the
maid of honor, and J.
Laing Bowles was the
best man.

Chosen
(continued from page 3)
loved thee: therefore will
I give men for thee, and
people for thy life. Fear
not: for I am with thee: I
will bring thy seed for the
east, and gather thee from
the west; I will say to the
north, Give up; and to the
south, Keep not back:
bring my sons from far,
and daughters from the
ends of the earth; Even


r


Weddings
(continued from page 10)
University of North
Florida.
The bridegrooni, son
of Badia and Samir
Farhat, graduated from
the University of Florida
and the University of
Miami.
Sonya Salameh was
the matron of honor, and
Jeff Farah was the best
man. The couple will
honeymoon in Italy.
every one that at is called
by my name: for I have
created him for my glory,
I have formed him; yea, I
have made him.
Isaiah 43: 10- 11, "Ye
are my witnesses, saith
the Lord, and my servant
whom I have chosen: that
ye may know and believe
me, and understand that I
am he: before me there
was no God formed,
neither shall there be after
me. I even 1, am the Lord;'
and beside me there is no
saviour."

(continued on page 24)

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Weddings
(continued from page 10)
late Mitchell Atalla,
graduated from the
University of Florida
(master's degree) and is
employed by the city of
Jacksonville as a planner.
The bridegroom, son
of Phyllis and Monte
Parola, Pembroke Pines,
graduated from the
University of Florida
(master's degree) and is
employed by the city of
Jacksonville as a planner.
Alexa Atalla Graf was
the matron of honor, and
Monte Parola was the
best man.
Following a trip to
Spain, the couple will live
in Jacksonville.
Sonya Salameh was
the matron of honor, and
Jeff Farah was the best
man. The couple will
honeymoon in Italy.


Death
(continued from page 10)

member of the Salaam
Club of Florida, Inc, and
a member of St. Johns
Episcopal Cathedral.
He is survived by his
sister, Helen A. Bonanno,
two children, George E.
Asker, and Gerald M.
Asker (Lisa); five
grandchildren, George,
Jr., Jerry, Jr., Tony, Nicky,
and Sammy; four
stepchildren, Mary Beth
Allen, Patricia Williams
(Tommy), Karen Slater
(Tim), and Philip G.
Allen, Jr.
A memorial service
was held at St. Johns
Episcopal Cathedral with
Rev. Anne Bridgers
officiating. In lieu of
flowers, donations can be
made to the Salaam Club
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Page 21 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

COLORADO


Pilgrimage
(continued from page 11)
meditations and prayers,
liturgical and homiletic
helps, frequently asked
questions, research and
bibliography, and much
more.
The Marian Library is
the world's largest
collection of print


material about Mary in
more than fifty languages,
with a considerable
collection of
contemporary Marian art
and other artifacts. Its
International Marian
Research Institute offers
an academic program for
the doctorate and
licentiate in theology with
specialization in Marian


studies. IMRI is affiliated
with Rome's Pontifical
Faculty Marianum, and
these are the only two
schools in the world
which grant the pontifical
degree with emphasis in
Marian theology.
The University of
Dayton, home to the
Marian Library/IMRI, is
one of the. leading


Catholic universities in
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Embark on a
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Meekness that which is best. And lo (41:35) between the two. A
he /she between whom A person gifted with Muslim must repel or
(continued from page 12) and thyself was empty, meekness will not return destroy evil with some
reiterates: will become as though good for the evil. thing which is far better,
"And good and evil are he/she were a warm For there is no just as anti-dote is better
not alike. Repel evil with friend." equality or comparison than poison.


Right Wing
(continued from page 13)
the U.S.
On only a few of these
occasions have these
racist tendencies
coalesced into an electoral
force. David Duke, a
former Nazi sympathizer
and Ku Klux Klan leader,
hr" run for office as a-
Republican in his home


state of Louisiana
capturing, at one point,
about one-third of the
vote. He was quickly
denounced by the national
party and has, therefore,
remained a marginal
figure in national politics.
Similarly, when Pat
Buchanan left the
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race issues, paralleling
much of Le Pen's
message. His effort,
however, failed to garner
any significant support.
The neo-conservatives
and the religiotis right
were not identified, in the
main, with any of these
efforts, because neither
racism nor anti-immigrant


xenophobia are a part of
their thinking. Let me
describe what they are.
The neo-conservative
movement is best
characterized as an
intellectual current
espoused by a small but
extremely influential
group of writers, media
commentators, political
(continued on page 25)


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Page 22 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Profile
(continued from page 15)
our forefathers include
their sailing ships to every
continent carrying the
widom of language, arts,
and mathematics around
the world. These were our
ancestors.
Six girls faced
sideways, all our noses
pointing to the right. Mrs.
Smoothe, the Girl Scout
leader for the junior troop,
inspected our forms,
adjusted our shoulders, and
pushed our chins so we
would be perfectly
sideways. I stared at the
back of Jeannie Ostich's
dishwater-blond hair in
front of me. It fell easily
into a Miss America flip.
Mrs. .Smoothe stepped
back and pulled a shade off
a living room lamp,
opening the light so
sprayed around us.
Suddenly, bathed in the
glow of the bulb, we saw
our faces on the white
papers hanging beside us.
"Oh," we glanced
sideways, but quickly
righted ourselves when
Mrs. Smoothe cleared her
throat.
We are going to make
silhouettes of your profile."
Mrs. Smoothe walked
toward us with her pencil
raised.
I was the last in line, so


I watched while Mrs.
Smoothe drew the outline
of the other Girl Scouts'
faces. Everyone stood
perfectly still, our green
uniforms pressed, our
badge sashes crossing our
chests diagonally. The
other girls had gentle lines
of faces, silky hair, slender
noses. Mrs. Smoothe's
hand could quickly trace
their images without
pausing, rendering their
beauty easily. Debbie's
blond hair was pulled back
with a stretchy band,
Renee removed her glasses
from her green eyes,
Marcia pulled a spit curl
around into a big "C." My
knees softened watching
them, my body slumped,
and I wanted to bolt, out of
the cafeteria of All Saints
School in Masontown, Pa.,
down Main Street where
my father sold shoes, to
our house not far from the
auto parts store.
When Mrs. Smoothe
approached me, I
straightened and stared out
beyond the other who were
already cutting out their
profiles to paste on black
paper. "Hmm:" Mrs.
Smoothe paused, her
pencil raised. "Those
braids are a bit difficult." I
could feel the weight of my
mother's hands as she
pulled my bushy hair into
three sections and crossed


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the tresses over and under,
over and under first on
the right, then on the left.
After every row, she pulled
tighter and tighter, tearing
my hair away from the
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the middle of my head. Her
hand scooped a wad of
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the stray curls that insisted
on popping up around my
face.
Mrs. Smoothe lifted my
braids and -threw them
behind my shoulders. I
quivered briefly. I
imagined the profile she
would draw the only one
with a hook nose, a sharp
chin. It couldn't disguise
the chaos of my thick curly
mop, it couldn't hide my
"large bottom" or cover my
dark hairy arms. When
everyone saw the portrait,
they would say "sand
nigger," like Dave
Lupinsky on the
playground. My mouth
will pout like Darlene
Pardy's mouth did when
she pulled down her lip


into a swell imitating full
African lips. Somewhere
in the construction paper
portrait, my dark eyes
would be revealed and my
life would be uncovered. A
door would open on the
chaos of my home life with
nine family members
shouting in two languages,
eating raw lamb, and
trilling their tongues the
excitement rose into a
frenzy.
Profiled
The first time I was ever
stopped at an airport in the
United States was on a
layover in Denver before a
flight to New York. My
husband was carrying a
laptop, a CD player, a bag
of food, and a briefcase.
People waited behind us as
he unstrapped and
untwisted his cases and
placed them on the belt.
After he walked through
the security gate, his
belongings tumbled from
the scanner onto the little
(continued on page 26)


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Page 23 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Smuggling
(continued from page 16)
Said Mohamad Harb,
31, who pleaded guilty in
February, initially had
been the only defendant
accused of providing
material support to
Hezbollah. He now is
expected to be the
government's star witness
against Mohamad
Hammoud, the alleged


Going Places
(continued from page 18)
hiccup. "The introduction
of our online sales channel
has changed the face of the
travel industry in the
region," says Al Futtaim's
sales manager, Marie Anne
Benedetti. "Many online
users are keen to book their
trips on their own and at a
time most convenient for
them. They will continue to
do so and in growing
numbers."
I Meanwhile,. as more
people buy airline tickets
online, conventional travel
agents the traditional
middlemen who once sold
85 per cent of all airline
tickets have seen the
commissions they receive
from airlines fall from 10
per cent to about half that.
Many remain cautious
about embracing a Web
model that could further


ringleader of the Charlotte
cell.
Harb is expected to
testify that in September
1999, he transported
$3,500 from Mohamad
Hammoud to Sheik Abbas
Harake, a Hezbollah
military commander in
Lebanon.
As part of Harb's plea
agreement, prosecutors
recommended he serve a
maximum 10-year prison


minimise their role. Also,
whether online or offline,
travellers have become
increasingly demanding
and are equipped with
more Internet information
and more ways to buy.
But online travel in the
Middle East may just buck
the trend, growing faster
than have other forms of
electronic commerce if,
says Georges Hajj, Internet
analyst with Compudata,
travel Web sites are able to
lure customers with a
combination- of
convenience and lower
prices. "The big challenge
for travel agencies in the
Internet era is to prove to
customers how much they
add value," he says. "The
challenge for Internet travel
businesses is to prove to
customers how they make
things easier and save them
money."
Already in the West, the


sentence and pay a
$250,000 fine.
Hezbollah, which
means "Party of God" in
Arabic, led a guerrilla war
against Israel's 18 year
occupation of a border
zone in southern Lebanon.
The occupation ended
with an Israeli withdrawal
in May 2000.
Between 1995 and
2000, the government
says, Mohamad


travel turmoil since 11
September has, if anything,
actually accelerated the
transition to online
booking. Airlines are no
longer merely eager to cut
costs they are desperate to
do so. And consumers see
the Web as the best way to
find the big discounts that
tour and travel companies
are offering to lure
travellers back.
This will be emulated in
the Middle East, says Hajj,
when airlines and other
travel-oriented companies
get in on the act and start to
encourage this shift. "The
change is inevitable," he
says, "because selling
online is cheaper for them
than using traditional travel


Hammoud held regular
Thursday prayer meetings
at his Charlotte home. The
indictment alleges that at
the meetings, Hammoud
spoke about Hezbollah
operations, showed
videos in which
Hezbollah violence was
celebrated and solicited
donations, resulting in
thousands of dollars being
sent to Harake.


agents or telephone
reservation centres."'
For the time being,
traditional bricksand-
mortar travel agents in the
Middle East continue to
own the market for foreign
travel, cruises and vacation
packages but, believes
Hajj, come next year, many
agents will need to meet the
threat of online competition
by providing the best
possible service in these
categories. "The Internet is
not the end for travel agents
but if is a challenge for
them," he says.
However, some dotcoms
see the opportunities as
bigger than the travel
industry. DoMiddleEast,
(continued on page 27)


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Page 24 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Benson
(continued from page 19)
its witnesses the
following people: Henry
Ackels, Federation Past
President; John Hamaui,
Federation Past President;
George Hayek, Federation
Past President; Joe
Joseph, Jr, Federation Past
President; and Tiffany
Yamin, niece of Ms.
Benson. The Defense
called as its witnesses the
following people: Alfred
Katool, Federation Past

Chosen
(continued from page 20)
Isaiah 54:12-17, "And
I will make thy windows
of agates, and thy gates of
carbuncles, and all thy
borders of pleasant stones.
And all thy children shall
be taught of the Lord; and
great shall be the peace of
thy children. In
righteousness shalt thou
be established: thou shalt
be far from oppression;
for thou shalt not fear- and
from terror; for it shall not
come near thee. Behold,
they shall surely gather
together, but not by me:
whosoever shall gather
together against thee shall
fall for thy sake. Behold, I
have created the smith
that bloweth the coals in
the fire, and that bringeth


President, Larry Raba;
Michael Shikany,
Federation Past President,
Gina Thomas; and Tanya
Yamin, niece of Ms.
Benson.
The witnesses gave
very compelling
testimony, all of which
was digested aggressively
by the jury who often sat
with bated breath
wondering what would be
said next. After great
length, the attorneys for
both sides wrapped up


forth an instrument for his
work; and I have created
the waster to destroy. No
weapon that is formed
against thee shall prosper;
arid every tongue that
shall rise against thee in
judgment thou shalt
condemn. This is the
heritage of the servants of
the Lord ,and their
righteousness is of me,
saith the Lord."
Jeremiah 24:5-7, "Thus
saith the Lord, the God of
Israel; Like these good
figs, so will I
acknowledge them that
are carried away captive
of Judah, whom I have
sent out of this place into
the land of the Chaldeans
for their good. For I will
set mine eyes upon them
for good, and I will bring
them again to this land;


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their cases. At this point
Judge Dick allowed the
accused a chance to
redeem herself and say
something on her behalf.
Ms. Benson gave a
moving and wonderful
rebuttal. Her speech was
so moving that the Jury
gave her a standing
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hearing the Jury's
response declared Ms.
Benson to be found not
guilty of impersonating a
Federation President. The


and I will build them, and
not pull them down; and I
will plant them and not
pluck them up.And I will
give them an head to
know me, that I am the
Lord: and they shall be
my people, and I will be
their God: for they shall
return unto me with their
whole heart."
Jeremiah 33:3, "Call
unto me, and I will answer
thee, and show thee great
and mighty things, which


Jury showed its approval
of the trials outcome
when it sang "God Bless
America" led by Patricia
Benson. The night was
capped off with music and
dancing.
Sunday morning, Ms.
Benson treated out of
town guests, family and
friends to brunch held at
the J. W. Marriott.
Everyone went home
having had a very
enjoyable and memorable
weekend.


thou knowest not." Hosea
6:1-2 "Come, and let us
return unto the Lord: for
he hath torn, and he will
heal us; he hath smitten,
and he will bind us up.
After two days will he
revive us: in the third day
he will raise us up, and we
shall live in his sight."
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today before it is eternally
too late! Just say this
(continued on page 27)


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Page 25 --- --S THE SRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June'2002

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Right Wing
(continued from page 21)
operatives and academics.
It is not a mass-based
movement, but because of
the influence wielded by
its advocates, it has been
able to shape the policy
debate within the
Republican party. The
editorial pages of today's
newspapers and the
talkshows on U.S.
television are dominated
by neo-conservatives.
They also hold some key
policy posts within the
Bush Administration.
The neo-conservative
movement began in the
1960's and 1970's as a
reaction by some
Democrats to the policies
of the Soviet Union. Some
of the early founders of
this current had even been
Socialists, but were driven
by anti-Communism,
especially the USSR's


attitude to Israel and its
own Jewish citizens, to
seek more extreme ways
of confronting that
regime. As they became
increasingly disenchanted
with what they described
as the Democrats' "soft"
attitude toward. fighting
the cold war, many drifted
to the Republican party.
When they were
welcomed into the
Reagan campaign in the
late 1970's, their
transformation was
complete.
Interestingly enough it
was at this same time that
the U.S. neo-
conservatives developed a
relationship with
Benjamin Netanyahu in
Israel. Netanyahu had
invited many of those
influential writers and
commentators to a
working conference in
Jerusalem to discuss how
to end the Democrats'


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"fixation on human
rights" and replace it with
a campaign against
"terror' as the dominant
theme in U.S. foreign
policy.
Though they embraced
Ronald Reagan's
presidency and his no-
holds-barred war against
the "evil empire" and
were, in turn, embraced
by Reagan, the neo-
conservatives never fully
embraced the entirety of
the conservative agenda.
They were not social
conservatives, nor were
they, strictly speaking,
economic conservatives,
For example, they did not
share the social


conservatives' abhorrence
of abortion, and some
neo-conservatives
remained liberal in their
economic policy and
broader social policy.
What brought them into
the Republican party was
their aversion to the
Soviet Union and, of
course, their support for
Israel.
This movement did not
support the first George
Bush presidency as
enthusiastically as they
had supported Reagan.


...Continued next month


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Page 26 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA


Profile
(continued from page 22)
ramp.
Every trip we took
together through airports, I
sucked in my breath as he
fumbled with all his
equipment. Always highly
conscious of the people
behind me, always afraid
of missing the plane,
always aware of how big I
was at any given moment, I
believed in traveling light.
One purse with a book, a
notebook and pen, a bottle
of water, and some
cosmetics. As I followed
my husband through the
gate, a security guard


raised her hand. "Go over
there." She pointed to an
empty low table against the
wall staffed by another
security guard. His
uniform hung just a little
too large on him. Without
speaking, he motioned for
me to place my purse down
and then raised his hand in
a halt. He waved, and I
obediently took one step
back. Two women joined
him and proceeded to take
my purse apart. As they
poured my checkbook,
lipstick, pick, wallet,
tissues, sunglasses, and
makeup case onto the
table, I felt a burning in my
legs. I have traveled all


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over the world; I've been
inspected, searched,
frisked, and scanned but
here I am in Denver, an
airport with pizza stands
and coffee shops, the
standard- newsstands and
shoeshine chairs.
They turned my purse
inside out and x-rayed it.
One guard picked every
credit card out of my wallet
and held it to the light.
They flipped through my
notebook, shook out my
magazines. I stayed in my
-position, staring with fury.
No one else is being asked
to to stop. What is this
about? Whar could I be
transporting from Oakland
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cause all this scrutiny? The
man finally asked me for
my coat.
I handed it over,
speechless. Behind me,
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the man poured my water
into the garbage can. He


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offered me the empty
bottle. Soon they shoved
everything toward me and
left the table. I glanced
down at the contents of my
purse lying scattered on the
brown Formica. "Is this
crazy or what?" I asked my
husband. "What the hell
was that about?"
Later I learned about
profiling, the new system
that was installed at airport
security to stop terrorists. I
read about security guards
being trained in what a
terrorist is likely to look
like as they pass through
security. But not any kind
of terrorists: ones with dark
hair, aquiline features,
deep eyes. By the end of
the article, my entire
family was indicted.
My mother, whose face
I inherited, would never
believe I have been
profiled over and over.
She talks about Arabs as
them, the other population
(continued on page 27)


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I






Page 27 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002

CALIFORNIA


Going Places
(continued from page 23)
for example, envisions
marketing its e-business
experiencee to an audience
Beyond holidaymakers and
--travellers. It envisages
?uiding corporate
customers through the
process of choosing and
installing corporate travel


booking systems. "Travel
has been one of a few
industries at the leading
edge of e-technology," says
Hanna, "and we have a lot
of experience, technology
and logistical expertise."
DoMiddleEast now just
needs to prove that it, and
the entire industry, call stay
ahead of the crowd.


For the online travel
companies, even the worst
news can have a silver
lining. In the days
immediately after I I
September, traffic on their
sites surged not
necessarily with buyers,
but with people looking for
information on what had
happened and how It would


affect travel plans.
Of course, the more
comfortable people
become with doing
anything online, the more
likely they are to try
booking online when -they
choose to travel. For some
users it has already
established itself as the
only way to fly.


Chosen Jesus, I believe you are dead to give me eternal to be your servant Amen."
(continued from page 20) the One True God. You life. I am a sinner, please
died to pay for my sins forgive me, save me, take His servant,
prayer with since*: "Lord and rose again from the control of my life. I want Fred Massabni


Profile
(continued from page 26)
in Lebanon, her home
country. They are
Muhammadans, not
Catholic, like us. Them -


despite our common looks,
language, music, politics,
food, customs. Our
sympathy with
Palestinians.
And on Sept 11, 2001,
when the country grieved


the losses in New York and
Washington, my mother
and father prayed extra
rosaries, my mother's lips
dry from painkillers, her
body limp against the
brushed velvet of her sofa.


The television reminded
her again and again that the
world she traveled through
so doggedly to make a
home for her family was
not safe.
...Continued next month


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Page 28 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2002
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