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The Syrian Lebanese star ( January 1, 2004 )

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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:
January 1, 2004
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:
UF00028363:00023

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:
January 1, 2004
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:
UF00028363:00023

Table of Contents
    Main
        page 1
        page 2
        page 3
        page 4
        page 5
        page 6
    Florida's Gulf Coast/Central Florida
        page 7
    Florida
        page 8
    Georgia
        page 9
        page 10
    North Carolina/South Carolina
        page 11
    Alabama/Tennessee
        page 12
    Louisiana/Texas
        page 13
    Arizona/Nevada
        page 14
    Southern California
        page 15
        page 16
    California
        page 17
        page 18
        page 19
    Recommended Businesses
        page 20
Full Text


UI U I-I I


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www.syrianlebanesestar.com


XXXXII #1 JANUARY 2004


I I II LIILCI ~ PI


Noor Pushes Women's Role
In Middle East Peace
Q ueen Noor of -
Jbrdan believes
women are key to
peace ilding efforts in the
Middle East. "Women are
left to pick up the shattered
pieces of society when a
conflict is over," she told a
crowd of about 2,000 people
at Trinity University. "If
peace is truly to take place in
the Middle East, women
must play a role." Noor was Queen Noor
in San Antonio Wednesday
as part of the university's 2003-04 Distinguished
Lecture Series. She said many women in the Middle
East feel hopelessness because of hard-line traditions
that stifle attitudes supported by peace-loving
mainstream majority. Such traditions,-she said, tend to
deny women a voice in their national future. "Studies
have shown that the positions of women are the best
indicators of a country's development," she said.
"Women help cross ethnic, religious and cultural
divides toward peace."

Number of US Arabs Rising Fast


The Census Bureau
The Arab
population in the
United States has doubled in
the past two decades,
according to the Census
Bureau's first report on the
group.


Experts citied liberalized
U.S. immigration laws and
unrest in the Middle East that
led many people to come to
America.
The bureau counted

continued on page 15


Eqypt Fish Car Chair Ramadan
Decals Bring Campaign Tops
Religious $1 million
Tension


First came the fish
bumper stickers, pasted on
cars by members of
Egypt's Coptic minority as
a symbol of their
continued on page 10

Algeria: Leading
Saudi Poet Shot,
killed in ambush

A prominent Saudi
poet was shot to
death by
attackers while on a
iu g p in Algeria,
where an Islamic
insurgency has raged for
more than a decade.
Talal al-Rasheed and his

continued on page 7


More than 1, 000 turn out
for fundraiser in DC
The Council on American-

continued on page 7
EU grants
7.14m for
Sesame Street
TV series in the
Middle East
Episodes of the popular
Sesame Street television
series for children are
continued on page 7

Lebanon: 3 men'
charged in embassy
bombing try
Three men were
charged Tuesday in the
continued on page6


Morocco Plan Azur Forges Ahead
, \ .si~s^^vM xssws~ss


US Set to Impose
Sanctions on Syria


/-.

ptlQ.


Syria In Washington
S.',:: ..; is expected which
will impose economic rather
than political restraints on
Damascus Neil Ford
reports.
Following the US led
invasion of Iraq, many feared


that Iran or Syria could be
next on _the hit list.
Increasingly inflammatory
language came out of
Washington regarding
Syria's alleged support for
terrorist groups in Lebanon
continued on page 8


2004 Mid Winter Conference In
Mobile, You Say?


"Tell us more..... Just the
facts, sir." Well, it goes like
this; We've been planning the
Mobile 2004 Mid-Winter
Conference for a long time,
you see. You know, have the


most fun with the least cost.
And invite everyone in the
Southern Federation to come
to our hometown to have a
great time! It's been a long
continued on page 12


A prominent national
Islamic civil rights
organization today
announced that it was filed a
defamation lawsuit against a
congressman from North
Carolina who falsely claimed
the group is "the fund-raising
arm for Hezbollah."
The Council on American-
Islamic Relations (CAIR)
filed the lawsuit Tuesday in
the U.S. District Court for
the District of Columbia in
response to an October 2003
Charlotte Observer
newspaper article in which


Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-NC)
claimed the stress of living
near CAIR in Washington,
D.C., caused the breakup of
his marriage.
Ballenger said that
proximity to CAIR "bugged
the hell" out of his wife. He
said his wife also objected to
women "wearing hoods"
going in and out of CAIR's
Capitol Hill headquarters.
(NOTE: Many CAIR staffers
were religiously-mandated
headscarves, or hijab.) At

continued on page 11


Morocco has drawn
countless numbers of foreign
visitors to its fabulous
imperial cities over the years


but a new ambitious, multi-
billion dollar plan to open up

continued on page 17


T he Michigan
chapter of the
Council on
American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR-MI) today
condemned a firebomb
attack on the office of an
Arab American newspaper in
that state. CAIR-MI said the
attack may have been
prompted by the rising tide
of anti-Muslim,- anti-Arab
rhetoric in our society.
According to Osama
Siblani, publisher of the Arab
American News in
Dearborn, the attack

continued on page 14"


THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR
AN INDEPENDENT MONTHLY

SERVING AMERICANS OF ARABIC HERITAGE
Celebrating 41 Years ofService
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD
MEMBER AMERICAN LEBANESE CONGRESS
ESTABLISHED IN 1963


North Carolina Musum Group
Sues Congressman For
Defamation


Michigan Arab Newspaper Office
Fire Bombed


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II Page 2


Business & Financial Briefs


Qatar grants
$15m to Iraq's
Higher Education
Fund

A multi-million-dollar
initiative to rebuild and
revitalize Iraq's
universities received its
first donation from the
State of Qatar, totalling
$15m. The grant has
been transferred to the
International Fund for
Higher. Education in
Iraq.


Panasonic
records 10%
sales increase in
the Middle East
Panasonic achieved a
sales target in the
Middle East of over
$1.lbn in fiscal year
2003, a 10% increase
over last year's figures.
In the next three years,
the company intends to
achieve a 50% increase
in business volume in
the region.


v\ '


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Harbour Project

Work is currently
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Financial Harbour
(BFH), the $1.3by
development on a
prime waterfront site in
the heart of Manama
set to consolidate
Bahrain's status as the
leading financial centre
of the Middle East. The
two magnificent towers
comprising the first
phase are among
Bahrain's tallest
buildings. they will
accommodate leading
regional financial
institutions alongside
other prestigious
international
companies and a
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strategic location will
offer access to a
$2,000bn regional
investment pool. The
BFH project will
consolidate Bahrain's
30year pedigree as the
financial gateway to the
Middle East. With zero
taxation and overseas-
friendly ownership
regulations, bahrain is a
recognized regional
base for international
firms. Manama is host
to more that 350 banks,
.insurance companies
and other financial
institutions, drawn by
an open economy
underpinned by
international financial
best practice.
continued on page 9



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-January 2004 1 1


=


THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STARR






1) Page 3 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004 I


Hear O Israel, the Lord Our
God is One Lord


ee i e t e

Blessed is he that read,
blessed is he that hear, but
blessed is he that keep the
Word of this prophesy.
(Deut 6:4-5) Proverbs
19:16 'He that keepeth the
commandment keepeth
his own soul; but he that
despiseth his ways shall
die." Once I spoke about
how God blessed Israel,
and fought for them,
when they obeyed Him.
Many times God
destroyed thousands in
Israel when they
disobeyed Him. From
this we can understand
that God ahs no respect
for persons. This goes to
each one of us from our
president to the trash
collector. God is love,
God is just, He demands
love, worship, adoration,
and obedience. He said
in Isaiah 34:16, "Seek ye
out of the book of the
Lord, and read." Our God
is not a God of confusion.
He did not give us more
than one book. In His
book we find eternal life.
So be careful which book


i


ed Massabni


you obey. The brain was
given to us to know Him
personally and "to know
the true meaning of John
3:16, "For God so loved
the world that he gave his
only begotten son that
whosoever believeth in
should not perish but
have everlasting life." In
Ephesians 3:19, ".....to
know the love of Christ
which passeth
knowledge;" Jesus is the
Word of God. He is God
in the flesh and God
called His Word His Son.
His Word became flesh to
be offered as a sacrifice
for all the world.
God's judgment will be

continued on page 12


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Statements for individuals and small businesses.
Phone 642-8000 Fax: 646-1259
12187 Beach Blvd., Suite 10, Jacksonville, FL
or visit our website at: www.paulmillerjrcpa.com

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Our Lady of Refuge
Patroness of Both Californias


Our Lady of Refuge,
Nuestra Senora del Rufugio,
is patroness of Both
California's (Ambas
California's).
The Franciscan missionary
Francisco Diego Garcia y
Moreno was the first Bishop
of the Californians Baja
California (lower California
in what is now Mexico) and
Alta California (upper
California in the present
USA). It was he who
proclaimed Nuestra Senora
del Rufugio, Patrona de las
Ambas California's. The
official proclamation was
made by Bishop Garcia
SDiego on January 4, 1843, at
Mission Santa Clara in Alta
California.
The Episcopal Proclamation
The entire text of Bishop
Garcia Diego's declaration is
recorded in Mission Santa
Clara's Libro de Patentes.
After citing the early Fathers
of the Church on the practice
and spiritual benefits of
naming patrons saints, the
first bishop of the
California's stated: "We
make known to you that we
hereby name the great
Mother of God in her most
precious title, 'del Refugio,'
the principal patroness of our


i.





By Brother John
Samaha, S.M.
diocese... With so great a
patroness and protectress,
what can we not promise
ourselves? What can be
wanting and whom need we
fear?
"If through the centuries
this most worthy Mother of
God has shown goodness
and compassion to all
peoples and nations....will
she not do likewise for those
peoples who bind themselves
to her as their refuge and
special patroness?"
All California missions, and
the parishes established later,
celebrated this patronal feast
with great solemnity. In the
many political and historical
shifts, interest in celebrating
the feast had waned. But

continued on page 13


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4115 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville ......................... 904-355-5641
4315 Main St., Jacksonville .......................... .904-355-5641
517 Park St., Jacksonville ....................... .904-355-5641
11801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville ..................... 904-355-5641
950 Park Ave., Orange Park ......................... 904-264-2481
127 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park ................... ..... 904-272-6316
Greenlawfi Funeral Home
4300 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville .......................... 904-396-2522
Holly Hill Funeral Home/Holly Hill Memorial Park
3601 Old Jennings Rd., Middleburg ........ .............. 904-282-9336
Chapel Hills Funeral Homes
850 St.Johns Bluff Rd., Jacksonville ...................... .904-641-9755
Chapel Hills Memory Gardens
850 st. johns Bluvv Rd., Jacksonville .....................904-641-9755
Edgewood Funeral Home
729 S. Edgewood Ave., Jacksonville .......................904-355-5641
Edgewood Cemetery
4519 Edgewood Dr., Jacksonville ........................ 904-765-2484
Jacksonville Florist
501 Park Street., Jacksonville ...... : .................... .904-356-5575
National Cremation Society
4981 Atlantic Blvd. Ste. 2, Jacksonville ............. ..... 904-346-3331
Riverside Memorial Park
7242 Nonnandy Blvd., Jacksonville ...................... 904-781-9262
Town & Country Funeral Home
7242 normandy Blvd., Jacksonville ........................904-786-4337

\{Thgni/


Prayer in Islam is a
spiritual pinnacle of a
devout Muslim man and
woman. Prayer in Islam is
a personal link between an
individual and Almighty
Allah-the Creator of
Heavens and Earth and
everything in between.
By means of Prayer, a
devout Muslim, beseeches
forgiveness from Allah,
the Almighty, invoking
His Mercy and Blessings.
By means of prayer, a
Muslim directly appeals to
the Almighty, invoking
His Mercy and Blessings.
By means of prayer, a
Muslim directly appeals to
the Almighty for
forgiveness of his/her
shortcomings. An
individual may request
other devout Muslims to
remember others in their
prayers. However,
personal prayer is a
condition to establish a
direct link with Allah, the


By Dr. Qazi Muhammad
Barkatullah
Almighty.
Prayer in Islam, is a
means of self-purification.
As such, in Islam, a person
has not to join any 'club' to
-pray for him/her; no need
to seek someone 'to make
a confession' and get his or
her sins forgiven. In
Islam, an individual calls
upon no one but Allah, the
Almighty, to forgive his or
her sins and cover up his
or her shortcomings.
A Muslim begins his or
her prayer 'in the name of
Allah', the Gracious, the
Merciful, and in no one
continued on page 10


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Prayer


6i 1 -0,






SPage 4 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004


A hundred years ago,
the first Turkish
club -----
Besiktas ------ had just
entered the Christian-
dominated Ottoman
league. A century later
the beautiful game is
deeply rooted in the
Turkish psyche. Jon
Gorvett reports from
Istanbul
It was a night of high
tension in the stadium, ,
with a botched penalty,
a string of other missed
chances and a half-time
punch-up in the dressing
room tunnel just part of the


night's entertainment.
Around the ground, clouds of


red smoke from brilliant
firecrackers drifted among
the stands -- from which
visiting fans had been


SERVICE


Turkish Football Comes of Age


TIME


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banned, after warnings that
their presence might spark a
bout of generalized murder
and anarchy.
But then, as the drums
rolled and a barrage of water
bottles, coins and insults
hurtled towards the pitch, the
final whistle blew, with one
team collapsing in
despondency, while the other
danced a circle jig --
apparently oblivious to the
deafening abuse being flung
at them from the 50,000
strong crowd.
It was England 0, Turkey 0.
In what surely must have
been one of the most heavily
anticipated matches in
history, the visiting England


side went through to the next
round of the European
championship with visible
relief, while the Turks had to
settle for a qualifying play of.
But this match in October,
which threatened at times to
resemble the kind of
international incident 19th
century empires sometimes
went to war over, represented
something of a landmark in
Turkish football. While only
the 10th time England and
Turkey had met since
Ottoman times, it was surely
the first time ever that the
majority of football pundits
watching the game had been
expecting Turkey---not
England--to win.
"Turkish football has
changed utterly in just a few
years," says Bagis Erten, a
producer for Istanbul's Acik
Radio, who has also
produced a string of books
on the subject. "Now we go
out there and we expect to
win."
Last summer, the Turkish
national squad reached the
semi-finals of the World
Cup, only finally going down
to Brazil after a closely
fought encounter. Turkish
league sides have also been
making their mark, with
Istanbul side Galatasary
winning the UEFA cup in
2000 after beating UK club
Arsenal in the final.
This year, Istanbul rivals
Besiktas have so far beaten
another UK club, Chelsea, in
the Champions League,
while Ankar's Genclerbirligi
have seen off Blackburn in
the UEFA. Turkish clubs are
appearing everywhere, and
giving a solid account of
themselves.
Behind all this lies a change
of mentality that many see
also underscoring changes in
Turkish society as a whole.
"The most important reason
why Turkish football as
changed is the country
itself," Erten says. "We're
continued on page 10


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Syrian & Lebanese Friends & Customers


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II Page 5 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004 1I


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
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"My Big Fat Atlanta Convention"


It wasn't the biggest
convention in the history
of the Federation, but it
could very well have been the
most fun. From the sing-a-
long on Wednesday evening
through the "Until We Meet
Again" breakfast on Sunday
morning, it could truly be
said that there was something


for everybody and every age.
The weekend began with the much talked about Networking
seminar on Wednesday evening. It was a success and an event
that will probably be held again in years to come. There is
already talk of one next year in New Orleans. Also on
Wednesday evening the Welcome and get acquainted party
turned into a sing-
a-long that only
broke up because
of Hotel Security.
Among other
things, Thursday

tournament which
was held right there
in the lobby of the
Hotel thought it
was fun and so die *-
we. Bingo is
always a popular event and that proved true this year. On
Thursday events were held for. Young Adults, Children, as well
as singles. One of the most popular events of the day ws belly
dance lessons. It's supposed to be for girls, but many of out
young men got into the act.
Thursday evening was packed. the night started with the
presentation by our Cultural Committee along with a
wonderful barbecue dinner. They were followed by the much
anticipated "My Big Fat Lebanese Wedding" parody. We had
continued on page 7


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Lebanese Star


Federation

News

Cultural Committee
Brings Our History
and Heritage alive:
Announces "Proud to
be An American" and
"Our Christian
Heritage"


Dr. Michel Laham, Father
John Nahal and Richard
Karam
he Cultural
C o m m i t t e e
announces that
"Proud To Be An America:
'Syrian Lebanese Americans'
Contributions to American
Civilization" is now
available for purchase in
DVD or VHS format at a
price of $25.00 including
shipping and handling. A
live performance of this
presentation was featured a
the Summer Convention of
2002 in Jacksonville, Florida
and received wonderful
reviews from those in
attendance. In view of the
warm reception and the
many requests for copies of
the presentation, the
Federation Foundation
commissioned Richard
Karam and Dr. Michel
Laham, members of the
Cultural Committee, to
produce the work.in DVD
and VHS format and make it
available for purchase to the
membership. All proceeds
will go the Federation.
"Proud To Be An American"
continued on page 6


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SPage 6 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2003


Algerian energy
Company hires
US firm to build
$205m
desalination plant
The Algerian Energy
Company has selected
separations technology
company lonics for a
25-year sea water
desalination build-own-
operate project. Ionics
and AEC will form a
joint project company
to finance, build and
operate the plant, with
lonics owning a
majority interest in the
$250m project.

USAID awards
contract for
agricultural
reconstruction
in Iraq

The US Agency for
International
Development has
awarded an initial $5m
to technical consulting
firm Development
Alternatives to carry
out agricultural
development in Iraq.


Saudi Amiantit
wins 51%
ownership in
Russian wastwater
projects
Saudi Arabian
Amiantit, through its
group company
AmiWater, is the
leading partner in a
joint venture contract
for two projects in
Russia with a total
value of $30m.
AmiWater's Austrian
subsidiary InfraMan
has 51% .of the joint
venture contracts.

Orascom selects
Motorola as SGM
supplier for Iraqi
network operator
Orascom Telecom Iraq
Corporation has chosen
Motorola as its supplier
of GSM base stations
and transmission
equipment for the
network to provide
communications
services to Baghdad
and the central region
of Iraq.


Jordan's telecom
regulator
announces
licensing
procedures for
new mobile
operator
The Jordanian
telecommunications
Regulatory
Commission has issued
a public notice
containing the
proposed terms and
conditions for the
issuance of a further
license for mobile
services. Bidding will
be open to all potential
investors that meet the
requisite criteria.
Alcatel selected
for nation-wide
ADSL deployment
in Saudi Arabia
French telecom giant
Alcatel has .been
selected by saudi
Telecom to supply
equipment for a DSL
network that delivers
high-speed services to
38 locations across the
country. The deal is
worth approximately
$6m.


Business & Financial Briefs cont. from pg. 2


Lebanon: 3 men
charged in embassy
bombingtry
continued from pg. 1
attempted bombing of the
U.S. Embassy in Lebanon
a week ago.
Two of the suspects
were identified as Abed
Mreish and Mehdi al-Haji
Hasan, both Lebanese,
and the third as Ibrahim
Serhal, a Palestinian.
Mreish and Serhal
were arrested Dec. 10
outside the embassy in
Aukar, a district north of
Beirut. According to the
allegations, Mreish was
carrying a suitcase
packed with 2 pounds of
explosives and Serhal ws
posing as his taxi driver.
Hasan is alleged to have
ordered the attack.

Federation News
continued from pg. 5
features 85 prominent Syrian
Lebanese Americans who
have made significant
contributions to this country
irr the fields of politics,
business, science, literature,
sports, entertainment and the
military. It highlights their
accomplishments and
demonstrates beyond a
doubt that we as an ethnic
group are part of the very
continued on page 7


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Page 7 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

FLORIDA'S GULF COAST / CENTRAL FLORIDA


Chair Ramadan
Campaign
continued from pg. 1
Islamic Relations (CAIR)
today, announced that the
group's Ramadan fundraising
campaign topped its goal of
$1 million dollars at a
standing-room-only banquet
last night by more than 1,000
people, including
presidential candidate
Dennis Kucinich and Rep.
Nick Rahall (D-WV).
Both Kucinich and Rahall
encouraged American
Muslims to participate in the
political process. Kucinich
said America and the world
are currently at "a defining
moment," the theme of


Federation News
fabric of American society.
The Cultural Committee is
in the process of completing
a second presentation entitle
"Our Christian Heritage"
which should be ready for
distribution within the next 4
to 6 weeks. A live
performance of this
presentation was featured at
ihe Summer Convention of
2003 in Atlanta, Georgia.


CAIR's banquet. A number
of elected officials sent
letters of support for the
dinner.
"We would like to thank
all those who helped us reach
our fundraising goal," said
CAIR Board Chairman
Omar Ahmad. "These added
resources will enable us to
continue and expand our
work defending civil rights
and promoting a positive
image of Islam.".
He said the dinner was so
popular that some attendees
were willing to stand in the
back of the banquet hall
throughout the program.
"This demonstrates the
commitment of those who
support CAIR;s important
work," said Ahmad.


continued from pg. 5
This work chronologizes the
participation and
involvement of the Syrian
and Lebanon, including the
Maronites, Melkites, Syrian
Orthodox, Chaldeans,
Greek Orthodox, etc.
Although covering religious
topics, this work is cultural
in its outlook since the
Middle East is the origin of
the three great monotheist
faiths.


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continued from pg. 1
being produced in Israel,
Jordan, and the Palestinian
Territories with the
support of the European
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party were ambushed late
Thursday, newspapers
reported Saturday, citing
unidentified sources.
At least six others in the
hunting party were
wounded, the daily
Liberte reported. The
newspaper L'Expression
said the gunmen hurt
several police.
There was no
immediate confirmation
of the death by Algerian
authorities, nor any claim
of responsibility for the
attack.


fun putting it on and from the
reaction of the crowd, they
had just as much fun
watching it. The hafli began
as the skit was ending and
lasted until the wee hours.
Bobby T from Birmingham,
who has been an Atlanta
fixture for more than-20


continued from pg. 5
years, helped close out the
evening.
Friday was more fun with
some culture added.
Exploring your Heritage, put
on by the Atlanta Cultural
Committee has proved to be a
continued on pg. 15


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Page 8 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

FLORIDA


US Set to Impose Sanctions


on Syria
and the Occupied Territories.
yet it now appears that
sanctions, in the form of a
Syrian version of the US
Iran-Libya Sanctions Act
(ILSA), are more likely to be
the tool of choice in turning
up the pressure on
Damascus.
What is not yet certain,
however, is what impact this
could have on Syrian foreign
policy.
President Bashar Al
Assad's plans to liberalise the
economy, increase political
freedom and improve
relations with the West have
progressed slowly since he
succeeded his -father, Hafez
Al Assad, in 2000. Upon
assuming power, the younger
Assad legalised private
banks, tolerated an increased
level of political opposition
and released hundreds of
political prisoners, but just
one year later the detention
of many leading reformists
indicated that wholesale
change was not on the cards.
As a result of the slow
pace of change, Assad
decided in September to
form a new, more reformist,
government and the Speaker
of the People's Assembly,
Mohammed Naji Al Otari,
was chosen to replace
Mohammed Mustapha Mero
as prime minister.


continued from page 1
Although not regarded as
an out and out reformer, Al
Otari is keen to streamline
the country's administration
and his desire to increase
trade with the rest of the
world will certainly require
improved political relations
with the West. Assad has
promised the workings of his
government will be made
more transparent and has
pledged that Al Otari will
pursue a programme of
reform. However, much the
same was said of Mero when
he was appointed to office,
shortly before the death of
Hafez Al Assad.
Nineteen new ministers
were named in the 30-man
cabinet, which remains
dominated by the ruling
Baath Party. The Ministry of
Finance has been beefed up
by the nomination of former
Deputy Prime Minister
Mohammed Al Hussein in
the place of Mohammed Al
Atrash. However, Foreign
Minister Farouq Al Atrash.
However, Foreign Minister
Farouq Al Sharaa remains in
place and after almost 20
years in the post it is unlikely
he will change his hard line
stance now. A great
proponent of Arab unity, he
has never softened his
position on Israel.
The US view


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state department claims are
supporting international
terrorism. The US State
Department claims little
success in persuading
Damascus to sever its
relations with armed militant
groups in Lebanon and the
Occupied Territories.
Moreover, radical
Palestinian groups, including
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Jihad have had a presence in
Syria for the past decade but
Damascus insists that their
operations are limited to
public relations work.
The government has
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government is keen to
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on terrorism but it. is
impossible to determine
whether this is merely
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because Washington claims
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Damascus trying to acquire
weapons of mass destruction.
Bolton described Syria as
one of the rogue states,
"those most aggressively
seeking to acquire weapons
of mass destruction and their
delivery and which are
therefore threats to our
national security".
Syria rejected the claims
forcefully, citing Foreign
Minister Farouq Al Sharaa's
offer to cooperate with the
US in fighting terrorism
where possible. He noted,
"America has too many
demands. If they are
reasonable and realistic Syria
is ready to cooperate."
However, resentment at
Syria for its perceived
support for terrorism has
grown in Washington among
all strands of opinion.
In October, the
International Relations
Committee of the US House
of Representatives voted to
strengthen economic
sanctions on Syria under
what will become the Syria
Accountability and Lebanese
Sovereignty Restoration Act
(SALSRA), for its alleged
support for terrorism. The
-bill took another step closer
to becoming law when the
House of Representatives
voted 298-4 in favour of the
proposals.

continued on page 9


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Page 9 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

GEORGIA


US Set to Impose Sanctions


on Syria

New legislation would
require Syria to comply with
a set of demands which, if
not met, would provoke the
Introduction of a range of
sanctions. The list of
sanctions available includes
diplomatic, travel and trade
measures, although the
impact of trade and
economic sanctions is likely
to be slight given the lack of
US investment in Syria.
Nevertheless, Syrian assets
in the US could be frozen
and the movement of Syrian
diplomats in the US severely
curtailed. The Lebanese
element in the proposed
legislation relates to a US
demand for all Syrian
military personnel to leave
Lebanon.
Before entering into law,
the bill must first be passed
by the Senate before being
signed by President George
:W. Bush, but both hurdles
now appear a formality.
Both President Bush and the
State Department initially
opposed the legislation but
both have since
reconsidered. Consequently,
further categories of trade
with, and investment in Syria
have been forbidden for US
companies. House majority
leader Tom DeLay
announced, "It has become


continued from page 8

increasingly clear which side
Syria's government has
chosen in the war on terror.
Syria's government has
obstructed our coalition's
work, harboured and funded
terrorists, and is even now
helping terrorists cross the
Syrian border into Iraq to
target American soldiers."
Delay added, "Syria is a
government at war with the
values of the civilized world
and a violent threat to free
nations and free men
.everywhere. We will send a
very clear message to Syria
that the United States will
not tolerate .terrorism, its
perpetrators or its sponsors."
President Assad says that
while he would not welcome
the sanctions, they will have
little impact on Syria but
could hurt US oil companies
operating in the country.
President Al Assad
confirmed that government
officials and the military
were trying to control the
border with Iraq to prevent
both Saddam loyalists from
fleeing and freelance soldiers
from making their way to the
fighting inside Iraq. He
noted, "Under normal
conditions and when there
are no problems, the
smuggling of persons or
goods is frequent. But in the


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insecure conditions where a
war, occupation deteriorate.
The borders are long and-
uncontrollable."
The President's message
was otherwise generally
conciliatory: he insisted that
Syria has not used terrorism
to achieve its ends since the
1980s and conceded that the
presence of some US troops
in Iraq to maintain order was
preferable to civil war in the
country. He said that
European countries generally
understood the Middle East
better than the US and
indicated that either Europe
or an Arab state with friendly
relations with the US could
act intermediary in talks
between the US and Syria.
Israeli bombing
However, Syrian foreign
policy has been further
complicated by the Israeli
attack on an alleged training
camp for Palestinian
militants outside Damascus.
The raid in October, the first
Israeli attack on Syrian soil
for 30 years, was launched in
response to the Haifa suicide
bomb, which killed 19
people. The Syrian
government claims that the
site was a refugee area but
has prevented journalists
from visiting the area.
However, several sources
within Syria have indicated
that the site of the attack was
actually an abandoned
training camp and that the
raid was intended as a
warning to Syria.
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Egyptian Fish
Car Decals
continued from pg. 1
Christianity. Before long,
some Muslims responded
with their own bumper.
stickers: fish-hungry
sharks.
The competing symbols
that have cropped up on
Cairo streets are a tiny
reminder of the tensions
between Egypt's Copts
and majority Muslims.
"All I wanted to say is
that I am a Christian, kind
of expressing my Coptic
identity," said 25-year-old
Miriam Greiss, who has a
fish sticker on her car. "I
think choosing a shark
doesn't make sense, as if
someone is saying, 'I am a
violent, bloody creature,
look at me.'"
Emad, a Muslim who
would give only his first
name, was unapologetic
about the two shark
stickers on his car.
S"The Christians had the
fish so we responded with
the shark. If they want to
portray themselves as
weak fishes, OK. We are
the strongest," he said.

Turkish Football
continued from page 9
big enough now to do many
things."
Football began officially in
Turkey back in 1875. Back
then, England had also
played a role, as it was
English tobacco and cotton
traders who had set up the
first match in the then-
Ottoman city of
Thessalonica. The "beautiful


game" then moved to
Istanbul and Izmir, though
still initially confined to
bouts between visiting
foreigners and the Sultan's
local Greek subjects.
Bu 1903 though, the first
Turkish club -- Besiktas --
had entered the Christian-
dominated Ottoman league,
to be followed by the other
two Istanbul giants,
Fenerbahce and Galatasary.
The post-World War I
occupation of the city bythe
British also added a national
dimension to the Turkish
game, with matches against
the occupation forces taking
on heightened importance ---
and games against England
being particularly significant
ever since.
Yet the Turkish game only
really began to look fully
professional in the early
1980s, with the steps taken
by Orhan Seref Upak in the
'1950s and 1960s to create a
nationwide framework
finally bearing fruit.
By this time, the game had
also become a major part of
Turkish life.
"The game has a very
important part in Turkey's
cultural history." says Erten.
"To begin with, fathers and
sons would go, with it being
central to the weekend's
activities in many Anatolian
towns. In recent years, it has
broadened out though, and
now we see the rise of the
female Turkish football fan,
with women also starting to
appear on the terraces in the
last 10 years or so."
Part of the game's success
also lies in its international
links.
"To find out what made
Turkish football improve,
you have to go back to the
German coaches," says

continued on page 13


Prayer
continued from page 9
else's name. And there is
no statue or any image
before him or her. A
Muslim, thus, whole
heartedly, sincerely and
earnestly beseeches
Allah's Forgiveness and
solicits His Blessings.
It so happened that in the
later part of the nineteenth
century' C.E., the Muslims
had become so lethargic as
to forget the Blessings of
prayer. Equally so, the
non-Muslims. In fact,
especially in the Indo-
Pak-Bengladesh sub-
continent, the Muslims
had given up altogether on
the Blessings of prayer
saying 'prayer or not
prayer' is almost alike. A
devout leader Sir Syed
Ahmad Khan had
awakened Muslims to
activate their life and seek
advancement in the field
of education. But so far
the topic of prayer was
concerned, he had
expressed .- his
hopelessness that the
prayers are not heard. The
Muslims had fallen into
sad and deplorable
condition considering that
prayer to Allah was not
going to help to make any
continued on page 13


Hear O Israel
continued from page 3

according to His book
which is the inspired
Word of God. "All
scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for
correction, for instruction
in righteousness." (II
Timothy 3:16) If anyone
doesn't obey this gospel
he will be judged
according to this gospel.
Anyone who rejects
Christ Jesus will go to
eternity without a Savior.
"He that cometh from
above is. above all: he that
is of the earth is earthly,
and speaketh of the earth:
he that cometh from
heaven is above all." All
the prophets are earthly
but Jesus Christ is the
Creator the only Son of
God. He is above all.
This verse is from the life
of our Lord and it is very
much neglected. God is
Spirit. When His Spirit
enters our hearts we
become a new creation,
heavenly, saved,
forgiven, and our eyes
will be enlightened to
understand the mysteries
of Heaven. I praise God
that through the shedding
blood of Jesus we are
continued on page 13


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Page 11 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

NORTH CAROLINA / SOUTH CAROLINA


North Carolina Musum Group Sues
Congressman For Defamation


the time of the article's
publication, CAIR attributed
Ballenger's statements to
"Islamophobic hysteria."
In its lawsuit, CAIR said
Ballenger's defamatory
statements harmed the
group's reputation and were
not protected speech because
he did not make them within
the scope of his role as a
member of the House of
Representatives. The suit
says Ballenger's claim that
CAIR raised funds for
terrorists was made "with
actual malice, wrongful and
willful intent to injure....and
with reckless disregard for its
truth or falsity." CAIR is


continued from pg. 1
seeking $2 million in
compensatory and punitive
damages, together with
costs and attorney's fees.
"With this lawsuit, we are
sending a clear message to
all those who make
malicious and defamatory
statements against
American Muslims or their
institutions that they will be
held accountable in a court
of law," said Arsalan
Iftikhar, CAIR's director of
legal affairs.
Ballenger, who serves on
the House International
Relations Committee, has
angered African-American
and women's groups with


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previous bigoted statements.
Last December, Ballenger
said African-American
Congresswoman Cynthia
McKinney stirred in him "a
little bit of a segregationist
feeling. I mean, she was
such a b-tch." In another
incident, many people were
offended by a black lawn
jockey -- long a symbol of
racial insensitivity -- in
Ballenger's front yard.

Prayer
continued from page 10
change for the better in
their life. So being
disappointed, they had
given up on prayer and
uttered like: 'Que Sera,
Que Sara Whatever will
be will be'.
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took a stand. He
challenged Sir Syed
Ahmad Khan and the
people like him, Hazrat
Ahmad emphasized that
prayer is a powerful tool
that can change the
deplorable condition of
their life. He addressed
the non-believers of
prayer saying: 'The power
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impossible events in life
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Page 12 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

ALABAMA / TENNESSEE


2004
Conference
In Mobile
continued from pg. 1
time since all of these fine
folks have been here, so we
want to do our best to have
them come back again.
"Ok, go on, tell us what
your club has planned........."
Well officer, the last time we
had a Mid-Winter in Mobile
was 1993...and well, it
snowed It has never done
that before, you see. So far,
we haven't decided to have it
snow again; but we're still
working on it. And we do
have a lot of other things
planned for our guests:
March 4 7, 2004 The
dates to remember! Oh
THURSDAY, March 4
there's going to be a lot of
activities planned. Some
unique tours, youth
activities, games, indoor
drive-in movie, costume
selection, workout at the Y,
and encounters. Later that
evening, we are going to be
treated to an elaborate Wine
& Cheese Reception at a
100-year-old Neo-Classical
Historic Home. There will
be quite a bit of heavy hors d'
oeuvres, and beverages. 1
understand there will also be
a classical treat for
entertainment, if all goes as
planned. From there, the
entourage will return to the
Adams Mark Hotel for the
evening's hafli. I understand


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that it will be exceptional -
and very special!
"I see, tell us what
happens next?" Ok, on
FRIDAY, March 5 there'll be
a full day of activities you
know, historic home tours,
visit places like the world
renown and spectacular
Bellingrath Botanical
Gardens, the USS Alabama
Battleship, Explorium, the I-
MAX Theatre, City
Museum, workout at the Y,.
more games, costume
selection for the big Mardi
Gras event the next day just
to name a few. We'll
probably have a few
meetings too....you know,
just to keep it legal. But
things will really get
interesting later that evening,
though. We will go 1 block
away to the famous, and
unique 1700's reconstructed
Fort Conde, for an incredible
Seafood Extravaganza. We'll
havre a great variety from the
Gulf of Mexico. This is a
really distinctive and popular
spot. There's a buzz going
around that there'll also be
some 'surprises' at the
fort....but nobody's talking!
After that, we will go back to
the hotel for the Hafli. The
popular, and talented band
'SAHAR' will crank up the
dabke dancers to the max.
We also will have a 'late nite'
hospitality room open for
midnight snacks.
"Get some sleep, you
say....Why's that?" Well, it's
your own business, you


know,, but SATURDAY,
March 6 is going to be one
heck of a busy day for
everyone! yes, the
hospitality room will be
hummin' you know the
sittie's will have been
making all your favorites!
Don't forget to pick up your
costume for the evening's
event. So what's for lunch,
you ask? How about an
incredible Barbecue feast at
the beautiful Cooper's
Waterfront Park.....directly
across the street from our
hotel, on the river. After that,
we recommend that you go
on one of the walking tours,
or workout at the Y....to help
digest that Southern-style
BBQ! Later that evening is
the BIG EVENT: the Grand
Banquet and Mardi Gras
Ball. You'll never have seen
anything like this before! It
will be unbelievable! Oh
yes, our buddies SAHAR
will be at their best for the
hafli! Nabil, Gihad, Adib,
and Tom are the Dadke
Kings!
"Hmmm, this sounds
great! And it's too good to
pass up...but tell me, what is
the registration rate?" We'll
officer, you won't believe
it....These crazy people in
Mobile are only charging
$125 for adults and $99 for
youth. (a bit more if you
register late). And the fine
ADAM'S MARK HOTEL
(rated 4-diamonds) is only
$69 for singles & doubles.-
(just about half price for
everything)! "You know


what the only crime will be?"
"What's that, sir?"
If you don't go to the
Mobile Mid-Winter 2004
Conference....you'll never
forgive yourself It will be
the BEST Hafli that Mobile
has ever had! Midwinter
conference Hosted by The
Lebanese-American Club of
Mobile John Givens,
President P.O. Box 66483
Mobile, Alabama 36660

Turkish Football
continued from pg. 10
football commentator Keith
Dern, who has been
following the Turkish game
for years. "Back in the
1980s, many of them came
here to coach teams and
develop a .more serious
approach to the game."
Erten agrees, and adds that
it was also a two way
process. "The German
aspect is also very important
because many Turks who
were born or grew up in
Germany started playing for
German teams -- under 21s
and amateur leagues there
are very well organized.
These players grew up in an
organized structure and
brought that to the Turkish
game."
Many of the country's star
players have German origins,
such as Ilhan Mansis, one of
the country's most popular

continued on page 13


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Page 13 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

LOUISIANA / TEXAS


Turkish Football
continued from pg. 12
enfact terrible, who scored
the goal that took Turkey to
last years' World Cup semis.
Yet the most important
change has been in the mind.
"Turkish teams go out there
now believing they can win -
- before, they had usually lost
the match before it had
started."

continued on page 16


Hear 0 Israel
.continued from page 10
called saints, secured in
Him. The Bible says,
give diligence to make
your calling and election
sure.
Friends be of good
courage, God chose us for
these days for a purpose.
WE are in these days in a
warfare to fight the good


fight of faith. "Preach the
word: be instant in
season; out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort,
with all longsuffering and
doctrine." Not every
church is a Christian
church. The Christian
church is called the bride
and will be in heaven
forever. Remember Satan
comes as an angel of light
and assures every
religious leader that what
he believes is right. Satan
is blinding 85% of the
people on earth and
leading them to Hell.
AFter the rapture of the
Christian church many
churches and mosques
will be still full of their
congregations including
pastors.. If you read
Matthew 24, and
Revelation 6-18, you will
be scared to continue to
live the same way you
live now. Romans 9:12-
13, "It was said unto her,
The elder shall serve the


younger. As it is written,
Jacob have I loved, but
Esua have I hated."
Because people reject
Jesus ignorantly, II
Corinthians 4:3-4, "But is
our gospel be hid, it is hid
to them that are lost: In
whom the god of this
world hath blinded the
minds of them which
believe not, lest the light
of the glorious gospel of
Christ, who is the image
of God, should shine unto
them." In Micah 1:3, For
behold the Lord cometh
forth out of his place and
will come down and tread
upon the high places of
the earth and the
mountains shall melt
under him and the valleys
shall be cleft as was
before the fire. Isaiah
13:10, "For the stars of
heaven and the
constellations thereof
shall not give their light:
the sun shall be darkened
in his going forth, and the
moon shall not cause her


light to shine." I wonder
if the treasures of the
atom is in Christ. God
said return unto me and
be ye saved before it is
too late. For I am God
and there is none else
beside me. "Thus saith
the Lord God....Cursed be
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the words of this
covenant," How can we
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saved! If not repeat this
prayer. Lord forgive all
my sins. I don't deserve
your love that you would
die in my place. Enter my
heart. Rule my life.
Thank you for saving my
soul.


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Page 14 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

ARIZONA / NEVADA


Our Lady
continued from page 3
now the feast is attracting
fresh attention.......

The Liturgical Feast
In 1981 the California
Catholic Conference of
Bishops petitioned the
Vatican Congregation for the
Sacraments and Divine
Worship for authorization to
observe the feast of Our
Lady of Refuge on July 5 as
an obligatory memorial.
This was approved by
official document dated
January 15, 1982, and signed
by Archbishop Giuseppe
Casoria.
The dioceses of Baja
California celebrate this
patronal feast on July 4.
Because of Independence
Day, the dioceses of Alta
California chose July 5, and
the memorial is listed for that
day in their Ordo. The feast
of Our Lady of Refuge
(sometimes called Our Lady,
Refuge of Sinners) has its
own proper prayers for the
Eucharistic Liturgy and the
Liturgy of the Hours.
Over the last century and a
half the original Dioceses of


Ambas California's has been
divided many times on both
sides of the border as the
local Church has grown.
Until the end of the
nineteenth century the priests
of the Archdiocese of San
Francisco prayed a special
liturgical office for the feast
of Our Lady of Refuge. In
the Dioceses of San Diego
the feast has always been
observed.
The renewal of interest in
this Marian feast honoring
the patroness of the Golden
State was stimulated by the
1987 1988 Marian Year
observance and Pope John
Paul II's encouragement to
revitalize interest in special,
local feasts of the Virgin
Mother Mary.

The Image
The entire coat of arms of
Bishop Garcia Diego
included only the image of
Our Lady of Refuge. A
painting of Our Lady of
Refuge holding her Child,
usually the product of a local
or native artist, graced each
mission church after the
bishop's proclamation. To
this day most of the twenty-

continued on page 15


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Fire Bombed continued from page 1


occurred some time between
midnight on Monday and 9
a.m. on Tuesday. Siblani
told CAIR that the firebomb
failed to penetrate a bullet-
proof door that had been
installed after earlier attacks,
and instead burned an area
just outside the office. Some
of the flammable liquid
leaked under the door and
burned a small area of
interior tiles. He said
Dearborn police, along with
the FBI and the ATF, are
investigating the incident as
a possible hate crime.
"It is still too early to
conclusively judge the.
motive for the attack, but if
past experience is an
indicator, the perpetrators


were likely inspired by the
deluge of Islamophobic
rhetoric emanating from a
growing list of Muslim-
bashers in our society," said
CAIR-MI Assistant Director
Celena Khatib.
In the past year, CAIR has
received a number of reports
of physical assaults against
American Muslims (or those
perceived to be Muslim) and
Islamic institutions. Those
incidents included an arson
attack on a Georgia mosque,
the bombing of a Muslim
family's van in Illinois, a
cross burning at a Maryland
Islamic school, the
kidnapping and beating of a
continued on page 15


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Page 15 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Our Lady Fire Bombed Number of US Arabs Rising Fast
continued from page 14 continued from page 14 continued from page 1I
one missions of Alta Massachusetts pizza delivery nearly 1.2 million Arabs in Iraq because of wars there.
California still display this
image in the churches or in man whose attackers thought the United States in 2000, Almost half of the Arabs
their-museums. he was Muslim, the shooting compared with 860,000 in in the United States live in
of a Sikh man in Arizona 1990 and 610,000 in 1980. e ite California
The original painting of Our who may have been About 60 percent trace their five states aliforTHE UALITY IS BUILT IN
Lady of Refuge came to the mistaken for an Arab, and the ancestry to three countries: (190,890), Nw Yk M n UFETIME GUARANTEE
Franciscan College of stabbing of a Virginia Lebanon, Syria and Egypt (120,370), Michigan (77, ) T IEGARANTEE ING
Zacatecas in Mexico from Muslim who was called a (115,284), Florida (77,461) MAINTENANCE FREE (NO PAINTING -EVER)
Italy. An Italian Jesuit "terrorist pig." Similar While earlier Arab and New Jersey (71,770). EASY CLEANING
missionary brought it to incidents have been reported immigrants came from "It would be better to REDUCES ENERGY COSTS
Mexico to explain the in other states. countries with large come to America than NOISE REDUCTION
enthusiastic interest in Our Christian populations, newer Europe or Canada, said Zak
Lady, Refuge of Sinners, that CAIR, America's largest arrivals come from heavily Trad, 33, of Anaheim, Calif., ak
had developed in parish Islamic civil liberties group, Muslim countries such as who came from Lebanonlif.,
missions in eighteenth is headquartered in Iraq and Yemen. three years ago. "It's the
century Italy. Devotion to Washington, D.C., and has three years ago. It's the
the Mother of Jesus under 25 regional offices and "Immigrants from the largest Arab community not
this title and in this pictorial chapters nationwide and in Arab world come for the in an Arab country."
representation gained wide Canada. same reason all immigrants New York City, the first D&L LO K & KEY SERVICE
popularity among the come economic opportunity, stop for millions of
Mexican and Californian Atlanta Convention opportunities to have an immigrants fr more than a AL C if
Franciscans and the people, ntinuedo education, to develop a century, had theme largest Arab Ce
they served, continued from pg. 7 professional career," said century, had Ul t Master Locksmith
very popular event at our last Helen Samhan, executive pop tion among U.S.
Paintings of Our Lady of two Conventions held here. director of the Arab cities, 69,985. The Detroit
Refuge are, with few The Children were American Institute suburb of Dearborn, Mich., AUTOMOBILE Lock-Outs?
t where many Arabs settled to
exceptions, quite similar in entertained in the afternoon Foundation, a research where any Arabs settle HOME Lost Keys Re-Key?
design and execution. The with*some arts and crafts. g work in the automobile HOME Lost -
heads of the Infant Jesus and The Young Adults walked group industry, was next at 29,181. BUSINESS Master Keys?
his Mother Mary lean over to Hooters and had a Samhan said the lifting of Sterling Heights, Mich., 24 HOUR MOBILE SERVICE
together with no background great time along with some U.S. immigration quotas in
between them. Both figures twas the city with the largest
between them. Both figures wings. An event that will be the 1960s opened the door to ate f Arab- #LCO 1534 All Major Credit C rds
wear a crown. Mary's eyes talked about for years was the people from Arab countries Americans 9.7 percent,
are turned toward the hypnotist who entertained at and many took advantage Amerdca s Cy, pN ent, 619 42
observer, while the gaze of the Singles, event. He did during the 1080s and 199. S 19 -424 -
things that even people who A large number came from
nations such as Lebanon and 1148 Palm Ave., Imperial Beach, CA
continued on page 16 continued on page 19 continued on page 16




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Page 16 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


US Arabs Rising Fast
continued from pg 15


population is about 30
percent Arab. It was not
ranked because the Census
Bureau only counted cities
with at least 100,000
residents.
The Census Bureau asked
those who received the long
version of their questionnaire
to list their ancestry. The
form ws sent to about one-
sixth of all households.
Arab-Americans say their
population is larger than that
reported by the Census
Bureau, but many are
reluctant to fill out
government forms because
they came from countries
with oppressive regimes.


Turkish Football
continued from pg. 13
The game has long been
dominated by the three big
Istanbul teams ---
Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and
Besiktas.
"The Turkish game is
characterized by the
hegemony of these three
oligarchs," says the
renowned columnist and
football writer Tanil Bora.
"This power structure pumps
up the tension between these
three, while restricting fair
and exciting rivalry."
It is a tension that
sometimes leads to violence
too, with city derby's often
bloody encounters. Turkish
fans have acquired a
reputation for hooliganism
that begins to put even that of
England in the shade.. The
stabbing to death of two
England fans in Istanbul in
2000 before a Galatasaray-
Leeds match being a major
case in point.
Yet, "some of this reputation


The census report stops at
2000 so there is no data to
measure the impact of the
Sept. 11 attacks. But tighter
immigration procedures
since then have reduced the
flow of Arabs to the United
States.The Arab American-
Institute Foundation said that
just over 15,000 visas were
issued to immigrants from
Arab counties in 2002,
compared with more than
21,000 in 2001.
"The fact that immigration
procedures and visa
applications have been so
tightly. screened is going to
slow down the volume of
new immigrants," Samhan


is deserved and some of it
isn't," says Der. "A lot of it
is just social frustration. You
are a little guy all week,
maybe with no job, or a job
that pays next to nothing, so
you go along just to blow off
steam. In a way, it's because
Turkey is importing all the
West's bad habits --- like
drugs and football
hooliganism."
In the past, the only outside
challenge to the Istanbul
oligarchs came from the
Black Sea team,
Trabzonspor, who were the
first and only non-Istanbul
side to win the Turkish
domestic championship -- a
feat they first achieved in
1975, and which they have
since repeated five times.
Yet in recent years, "the
talent has spread," says Dern.
"We have a league now
where anyone can beat
anyone. That's a great
improvement."
As for stars, the critics have
their favorites. "With his
over-weight belly, his real


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"The scrutiny that will be
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The backlash that
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love of entertainment and the
fact that he is always saying
how he doesn't like running,
Sergen Yalcin of Besiktas is
clearly Turkey's George
Best," says Bora.
Elsewhere, "Rustu Recber
has to be the best goalkeeper
in Turkish history," says
Erten of the former
Fenerbahce keeper who now

continued on page 19


Our Lady
continued from page 14
the Child seems to turn left
of the viewer.
In the Santa Clara Mission
church the painting of Our
Lady of Refuge is found
above the larger picture of
Our Lady of Guadalupe in
one of the side altar niches
on the left as one nears the
sanctuary. Another painting
by Eulalio, a local Native'
American, is on display in
Santa Clara University's De
Saisset Museum near the
mission church.
Other known and attractive
portrayals of Our Lady of
Refuge are found at Mission
Santa Barbara, Mission San
Francisco de Asis, and
Mission San Luis Obispo de
Tolosa.
The proper, name, Refugio,
was and still is given to both
male and female Mexican
children at the time of birth
and baptism.
Church historians and
native Californians applaud
the move for restoring the
patroness of Both
Californians to her original
and rightful-prominence in
the local Church's liturgical
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Page 17 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

CALIFORNIA


Morocco Plan
continued from page 1

a series of coastal resorts by
2010, should see numbers ---
--and revenues-------soar.
Morocco is already one of
the biggest tourist
destinations in the Middle
East and North Africa,
drawing 2.25m visitors a
year. Its varied attractions
and good weather ensure that
tourist spending makes a
sizeable contribution to the
local economy. However,
King Mohammed VI and his
government hope to catapult
the country into the premier
league of Mediterranean
tourist destinations and its
optimistic that infrastructural
investment will eventually
enable Morocco to compete
with the best established
destinations, such as Spain
and Greece.
King Mohammed VI first
unveiled the country's grand
tourism strategy as part of his
'2010 Vision' for economic
development. Through the
construction of a string of
centrally planned new tourist
resorts, increased
expenditure on marketing
and improved transport and
utility infrastructure, the
government aims to attract
an ambitious 10m visitors a
year by 2010.
Although the sector
already accounts for a
healthy 8% of GDP, it is
hoped that this figure will


rise to 20% by the end of the
decade. It is planned to
double both the number of
hotel rooms and the amount
of jobs directly generated by
the industry------quite a
challenge given that 640,000
Moroccans already work in
the sector.
At present, Agadir is the
country's only large coastal
resort, which is surprising
given the length and quality
of the beaches. Moreover,
Morocco has a more
developed domestic beach
culture than probably
anywhere else in the Middle
East or North Africa. As a
result, the government has
drawn up its 'Plan Azur' as
the centerpiece of the '2010
Vision' tourist strategy,
providing for the
construction of six purpose-
built tourist resorts along the
coast.
Although the government
is partly financing the new
resorts, the private sector is
expected to contribute the
lion's share of the required
funding, while the World
Bank will also provide some
support.
The .first of the six resorts,
named Taghazout, is
expected to receive its"first
visitors in 2006. Developed
by Palais des Roses, an
offshoot of the Saudi Arabian
company Dallah Albaraka,
the site encompasses six new
villages near Agadir, with
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the usual tourist attractions
such sa golf courses, tennis
courts and restaurants. If
visitors stay for a two week
period, with full occupancy
Taghazout will have. the
capability to accommodate
almost 600,000 tourists a
year. Replicated across.the
six resorts, total investment
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beds.
Needless to say, private
companies have flocked to
bid for construction and
management contracts on the
other five sites. Of these,
four lie on the Atlantic coast;
El Hauzia, near the town of
Essaouira; and Plage
Blanche, close to the town of
Guelmin; while only
Mediterrania Saidia-Maroc
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Mediterranean. At the end of
August, Spanish company
Fadesa was announced as
project developer of the
$1.6bn Mediterrania Saidia-
Maroc scheme.
Other, more modest
developments are being built
along the country's long
coastline, while Al Ghantout
of the UAE signed an
agreement in August to build
three hotels in Marrakesh ajta
cost of $22m. The general
manager of the Crowne


Plaza Casablanca, Francois
Bonnel, says that the
growing number of hotels
and the government's plans
to expand the tourist sector
will also act to push up
quality. He argues that the
plan will "promote more
competition through the
creation of new hotels and
force existing hotels to
upgrade their quality."
Standards of customer
service and care are rising,
partly as the result of the
standards set by the many
new luxury hotels.
Morocco boasts
attractions for almost every
category of tourist, from long
sandy beaches and sunny
weather to historical sites,
traditional medians and
spectacular mountain and
desert scenery. The country's
natural beauty could help
spread the financial benefits
of tourism beyond the cities
and around the country,
including some of its poorest
areas. The potential of desert
safaris and hiking in the
Atlas Mountains for
example, has only just begun
to be exploited.
Flight times to Morocco
from western Europe are not
significantly different to the
continued on page 18


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Page 18 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004

CALIFORNIA


Morocco Plan
continued from page 17
more established resorts in
the Mediterranean, including
Spain, Italy and Greece, and
last month British Airways
increased its flights to Agadir
and Marrakesh.
The Moroccan tourist
industry- is not new; rich
foreign tourists have been
visiting Agadir for over a
century. What is new
however, is the scale of
tourist development and the
sheer number of visitors
anticipated. In the past the
sector largely relied upon
French visitors who took
advantage of colonial and
linguistic ties, and European
backpackers keen to take
their first taste of the orient.
The imperial cities of Rabat,
Meknes, Marrakesh and Fez
have attracted large numbers
of visitors over the years.
Upsetting the apple cart
Western perceptions of
the Middle East as a viable
.tourist destination have been
adversely affected by the
9/11 terrorist attacks in the
US, the subsequent war on
terrorism and the war in Iraq.
The impact of the 9/11
attacks upon the tourist
sector in the region ws
profound but the effect on
visitor numbers has varied
considerably across the
region.
North Africa in general
and Tunisia in particular
have fared comparatively
well but Morocco, perhaps
surprisingly, has suffered
badly. Visitor numbers in
2002 were 6% down on the
previous year, while


expenditure per visitor fell
around 25%, possibly
because tourists ventured
less widely from their hotels.
Although official figures
have not yet been published,
visitor numbers are expected
to take another turn for the
worse, following the May
suicide bomb attacks in
Casablanca which killed
over 40 people. The attacks
on the Positano, an Italian
restaurant close to the
Belgian consulate, a hotel
and a Jewish community
center singled out foreign
interest and tourists,
although most of the victims
were Moroccans. However,
hotels catering for the
business travelers, including
many in Casablanca, have
been less severely affected.
While the tourist sector is
particularly vulnerable to
scares of all types, from car
bombings to the SARS virus,
it can also be remarkably
resilient. Over the past two
years Egypt has recorded
increased tourist numbers,
demonstrating a substantial
recovery since the killing of
58 tourists by Islamic
extremists at Luxor in 1997.
While Bali continues to
suffer the after effects of the
October 2002 attacks, the
number of visitors to Kenya
is already rising, following
the lifting of flight
restrictions to the country by
the British government.
There is no reason to
assume that Morocco cannot
bounce back to the same
extent. Once the hotels and
other infrastructure are in
place, visitor numbers seem
destined to rise. Moreover,
certain nationalities seem


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more deterred than others by
terrorist and security scares.
While the key French market
held up during 2002, German
visitor numbers dropped
sharply leading to low
occupancy rates. However,
British tourists took
advantage of the lower prices
on offer and arrived in
greater numbers than ever.
The director of the
Moroccan National Tourist
Office (ONMT), Ali Kasmi,
says his organization plans to
stick to its strategy of
attracting a mix of cultural
and beach tourists, but also
hopes to target visitors from
elsewhere in the Middle
East. Many people in the
GCC states have been
reluctant to travel to the West
over the past couple of years
because of uncertainty over
how they would be received
and so there has been an
increase in inter-Middle
Eastern travel. The ONMT
has opened an office in
Dubai to promote the
country to the wider Gulf
region.
Morocco's success in
attracting visitors has been
mirrored by other, mainly
Muslim Mediterranean
states, including Turkey and
Tunisia, which have


achieved laudable success
in attracting foreign visitors.
The main obstacle now to
further growth in mass
tourism is the lack of
infrastructure, including
water and power supplies,
but much is being done to
improve facilities. The
government has invested in
the expansion of Casablanca
and Fez airports and
although access to Morocco
for foreign airlines remains
limited, the government has
promised to liberalize the
sector as part its- '2010
Vision' commitments. The
government has also
indicated that adequate
water and power supplies
will be provided to Plan
Azur resorts, and insists that
this will not be at the
expense of other parts of the
country. Although French
companies have been
present in the water sector
for several decades, the
government is slowly
increasing the role of private
companies in the industry.
Vivendi Environment and
Suez/Ondeo have won a
host of new contracts over
the past three years but
further investment in water
storage and transportation is
required if sufficient water
continued on page 19


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Page 19 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR January 2004
Jna 2004

CALIFORNIA
1 .,- 1 nntinn uhirh hnrnrrn fnll thp hoft; hintlI
TV/r-.-^././^/. Tf1o r ltrio wihic-h Mororcco-r follo dt r b \-th + h> lfli' NM t T !.- 1 -A1 -1


Iiuiui iu 1- iI
continued from page 18
is to be supplied to the new
jumbo tourist resorts. Much
of Morocco's rain falls on the
Atlas Mountains and is
stored in local reservoirs.
Some of the driest parts of
Morocco lie on the coast, so
one albeit expensive option
is to pipe water from the
mountains to the coast.
However, neighboring
Algeria is increasingly
opting to supply its equally
dry coastal strip with
desalinated water from water
and power producers
(WPPs). Not only are such
plants becoming an
increasingly economic


might consider, but they
could also provide power
supplies to the new resorts.
While the target of 10m
visitors a year by 2010 may
have been a little over
optimistic, even a figure
some way short of this goal
would greatly strengthen the
economy. In order to
consolidate its position as a
middle ranking economy,
Morocco needs to reduce its
reliance on expatriate
remittances -- currently the
biggest source of foreign
currency -- and boost
economic growth. A
burgeoning tourist sector
would help it to do just that,
the security situation
permitting.


Atlanta Convention
continued from pg. 15


wievi u uy LIII i Ii
only was the entertainment
outstanding, both American
and Arabic, but we were
treated to a surprise visit by
the legendary Richard Corey.
Richard sang with Nabil
Tohme and also did some of
the songs that we all grew up
with at Conventions for years
and years. It was a very
special evening.
There was a Maronite
Liturgy on Sunday morning
that was standing room only
followed by our "Until we
meet again" good bye
breakfast.
So in closing, let me just
say, see you in Mobile.


SUlrkISh Footballa
continued from pg. 16
plays for Barcelona. "Then
Hakan Sukur, a different type
of forward." Dern agrees
that the Galatasaray goal
scorer is a unique item.
"He's an obvious choice," he
says. "But one of the
strengths of Turkish football
is that there are a lot of new
players also coming through.
Young players are beginning
to show in the national squad
and there are quite a few
more like them out there."
It is a factor which gives the
future of Turkish football a
rosy tint. With a fast game,
relying on plenty of technical
talent and some aggressive
play, all bets are off for the
next time Turkey plays
England -- or any other
major national side.


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were there just can't explain.
Some of the people who
attended the Guardian Angels
party said that it might have
been the best event at the
Convention. The
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Page 20


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january.4004