<%BANNER%>

The Syrian Lebanese star ( April 2008 )

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MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Uniform Title:
Syrian Lebanese star
Alternate title:
Syrian-Lebanese star
Alternate Title:
Star
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Syrian Lebanese star
Publisher:
A.M. Coplan
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville Fla
Publication Date:
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).

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:
ltuf - ADA7472
oclc - 05165391
alephbibnum - 000579625
issn - 0193-2578
lccn - sn 79007351
System ID:
UF00028363:00072

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Uniform Title:
Syrian Lebanese star
Alternate title:
Syrian-Lebanese star
Alternate Title:
Star
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Syrian Lebanese star
Publisher:
A.M. Coplan
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville Fla
Publication Date:
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).

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:
ltuf - ADA7472
oclc - 05165391
alephbibnum - 000579625
issn - 0193-2578
lccn - sn 79007351
System ID:
UF00028363:00072


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Full Text





THE SYRIN-LEBANESE STAR
AILk ~ AN INDEPENDENT MONTHLY AI


SERVING AMERICANS OF ARABIC HERITAGE
Celebrating 45 Years of Service
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD, AMERICAN LEBANESE CONGRESS
ESTABLISHED IN 1963
www.syrianlebanesestar.com


XLV #4 APRIL 2008


I I


For 37 years the Social
Services Department has
always been the lrst stop for
many in need of assistance.


To strengthen and support
individuals and families and
* providing opportunities for
(continued on page 23)


Fragmentation & Unity: The
Art of Sari Khoury
January 31 April 27, 2008
Arab american National Museum
Dearborn, Michigan


Man Gets
$318,000 in
Scuffle with
Sharif
I


A parking lot attendant
who claimed he was
punched by Omar Sharif
has won a knockout
decision in court.
Superior Court Judge
Joe W. Hilberman entered
a default judgment
Tuesday for more than
(continued on page 6)


Christian
Brothers
University
Awards
Honorary
Doctorate to
St. Jude CEO
John P. Moses
Christian Brothers
University, Memphis,
Tennessee, recently
awarded John P. Moses,
CEO, of ALSAC / St.
Jude Children's Research
Hospital an honorary
Doctorate of Humane
Letters for promoting
justice, education and
health care.
Moses accepted this
(continued on page 23)


Today Show Features St. Jude


i ne i uui, onow visnea or. Juae jor us series on i nants
and Giving. (L to R): Meredith Viera, Mario Thomas and
James Downing, MD, scientific director of St. Jude.
NBC's TODAY show outreach director of St.
featured a weeklong Jude, offered viewers
series on the fourth inspirational stories of
annual Thanks and families whose children
Giving campaign that were treated at St. Jude.
aired Thanksgiving week. On Friday's segment, the
Each morning, Marlo kids distributed St. Jude
Thomas, national (continued on page 6)


Hidden Afghanistan


Still Smoking After
All These Years
Millions of
Egyptians invoke the
name of Cleopatra daily,
offering money in
exchange for packets
bearing images of the
queen. No, they're not
members of a neo-
Ptolemaic cult, oply
avid consumers of
some of the
world's cheapest
cigarettes. Around
half of Egypt's men
and at least 10% of
women smoke a
(continued on page 11)


Delta Musician Kicks
out Jams for St. Jude
On June 22, Delta-
born musician Steve
Azar donated $20,000
to St. Jude through his
Steve Azar St. Cecilia
Foundation, which aids
charities in the Delta
and Nashville, Tenn.,
region. Funds were
Steve Azar donated proceeds partially raised by fans
from his SteveAzar St. Cecilia through the purchase
Foundation's Benefit andJam of tickets for the Steve
(pictured here) to St. Jude. (continued on page 7)

Kahlil Gibran Centennial
Memorial Foundation Report


The Kahlil Gibran
Centennial Memorial
Foundation has been
reactivated to restore
the deteriorating
outdoor Institution, as
well as to establish
and endowment to
insure proper
maintenance in the


future.
Widespread support
for execution of the
Memorial to Gibran
came from individuals
such as former
President Jimmy
Carter and comedian
Flip Wilson resulting
(continued on page 11)


When all the news
about Afghanistan is of
conflict and misery, it's
heartening to hear
something positive.
"Poor Afghanistan" we
mutter, suffering since the
Russian invasion of 1979
and now the war between


local leaders, the Taliban
and Coalition forces. But
there is more to
Afghanistan than
devastation and
bloodshed. An exhibition
titled Hidden Afghanistan
presents a totally
(continued on page 8)


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$15.00 SUBSCRIPTION


Social Services






Page 2 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008


Khoury


Mr. Emmett Khoury,
88, passed away on
December 2, 2007, He
was a native of
Jacksonville and had
resided in Ponte Vedra
Beach for the past 27
(continued on page 8)


Mobarak


Aziz "A Z" Mobarak,
75,
died Wednesday,
December 5, 2007.
Mr. Mobarak was b o r
n April 4, 1932 in
Ramallah, Palestine to
(continued on page 8)


The Hamra-Homra Club
had its annual family
reunion at the Red Apple
Inn in Heber Springs,
Arkansas. Over 100 family
members were in
attendance to enjoy th three
day outing on June 22-24.
The hills and lakes
surrounding the Red Apple
Inn provided a picturesque
setting for fun and
fellowship.
Activities for the three
day gathering included: a
golf tournament; cooking
classes by Kay Blanche;
yoga with June Hamra; skin
care tips from dennatoligist


Dr. Melissa Morgan; a
financial seminar featuring
Alien Hornra, partner with
Edward Jones; the banquet
which highlighted the
speech of visiting SLAC
President Irv Schwary and a
gift of a $100 scholarship to
the Southern Federation in
honor of President Schwary.
The Amal Board
meeting farewell brunch,
elections of officers and
vote to meet again next year
concluded the successful
reunion.


Jacksonville News
Obituaries


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Arkansas News
Hamrft-Howa Club Annual Reunion
By Sam Hamra


Congratulations on your 46th Anniveasary

Glorious

Johnson J
Jacksonville City
Council
At-Large Group 5

Republican
"A proven and dedicated public servant"

Thank you for your continued
support. It does make a
difference!
Political advertisement paid for and approved
by Glorious Johnson, Republican, for City Council







I Page 3 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008 ||


Unity in Diversity,
Diversity in Unity


Islam and Christianity
Part 4: The Crusades


Once again, I write to
you with great news.
Our calendar has been
filled with exceptional
fundraising events.
They have been
successful because of


our committl
and
volunteers.
In Novemb
the ribbon o01
Chili Care C
you know, C]
& Bar has coi
raising $50 m
the next 10
name this faci
will focus


tumor research. Chili's
is a long-time friend to
the children in St. Jude,
and we thank them for
all that they do.
This year's Taste of
New York, a Wall Street


ed donors even was a tremendous
dedicated success, raising more
than $2 million for St.
er, we cut Jude. Congratulations to
i the new the entire Wall Street
enter. As Committee for their
hili's Grill hard work and
emitted to dedication. I also want
million over to thank the committee
years: to for pledging $10 million
lity, which to name a floor in the
on brain (continued on page 9)


OUR EMPLOYEES ARE THE BEST
IN THE BUSINESS




MECHANICAL CONACTOR, IN
MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR, INC.


Mechanical Contractor
CMC008140
Gainesville, Florida
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The M.E.E.I. schools
employ a 290-person
faculty, including 100
people with Ph.D.3 and
92 with master's
degrees. Twenty-eight
faculty members are
Jewish. Archbishop
Chacour's own nephew,
who recently earned a
doctoral degree in
mechanical engineering
from Western Michigan
University, also signed
up to teach at the
college after turning
down a lucrative
opportunity with the
U.S. Marine Corps. "I
promised him that he
would not make a lot of
money with us but that
he would receive much
love.
For four years now
he has been there."
1. Archbishop


By Brother John
Samaha, S.M.
Chacour paused a
moment at the podium
and closed his
eyes as if to
contemplate. "If these
schools did not exist,
where would all the
faculty be today?
Certainly anywhere but
Palestine. This gives
me hope and courage
and the drive to
continue despite all the
problems."
(continued on page 9)


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The term "Crusades" is
widely used, abused, and
misunderstood today.
When President Bush
used the term
ACrusades,@ pointing to
the moral duty to fight the
evil of terrorism, he was
criticized by both the
media here and several
Muslim nations. They
alleged that such a usage
evokes in the minds of
Muslims negative
memories associated
historically with the term.
Still, the legacy of the
Crusades still lingers in
the minds of Muslims, as
they mistakenly associate
it with the core message
of the Gospel. Some
today are calling
Christians to apologize
for the wars of the
Crusades. How to make
sense of all of this?


By Dr. Bessam
M. Chedid
The crusade wars
undertaken between 11lth
and 13th Centuries are a
complex drama in the
history of the church and
its relation with Islam.
Historians tell us that,
although the Crusaders
had economic and
political reasons for
fighting, the primary
reason by which the
church justifies the wars
of the Crusades was
(continued on page 9)


IBirthdays. Anniversaries. Her favorite
flower. But making his own funeral
arrangements ahead of time may have
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1 Page 4 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008 1|


Egypt Embraces the
Age of Renewables


Jennifer Lynn Frank
Graduates Magna Cum Laude


Most discussion of the
Egyptian power sector
focuses on the political
battle over liberalisation
- and the replacement of oil
with gas as a feedstock
for thermal power plants.
Yet the country is fast
becoming the biggest
wind power producer in


the Middle East and
Africa. A series of
projects have been
developed at Zafarana,
while an even bigger
multi-phased wind power
scheme has been lined up
for El Zeit on the Gulf of
Suez. The variability of
(continued on page 10)


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Jennifer Lynn Frank
was graduated May
2007, Magna Cum
Laude and with
Business Honors from
the Mays College of
Business at Texas
A&M University.
She received a
Masters of Science


Degree in Finance and
a Bachelor of Business
Administration Degree
in Accounting.
An active member in
many campus
organizations
including CARPOOL,
a student-run safe ride
program she was voted
"team member of the
year." She also served
as Social Chairman for
American Business
Women's Association,
(continued on page 10)


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SPage 5 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008


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 45 years.
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS'GUILD
The Syrian-Lebanese Star
Publisher...A. M. Coplan Editor...Sheryl Dupre
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

Scholarships From Federation
Margaret Elizabeth Gattas
Daughter of Philip and Rebecca Gattas
Cedars Club, Memphis, Tennessee
Republic National Distributing Scholarship
Donor: Republic National Distributing
Norman Topshe, Jr. Memorial Scholarship,
Mississippi State University ___


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11 Page 6 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008 11


As the Gulf emirates
have grown into major
financial and trading
centers, the desire by their
prominent citizens to
preserve the best of Arab
culture has resulted in
increased investment in
the sport of falconry.
Driven by nostalgia, or
just good business sense,
this injection of capital
into falconry and its
attendant industries has
led to the development of
modem centers tasked
with the breeding of
various popular species;
the Barbary peregrine,
Lugar falcon and Black
Shabeen among the more
popular birds of prey used
in the sport. Even the
breeding of their past
quarry, the almost extinct
Arabian Bustard, is now
being undertaken the
survival of these large


terrestrial birds essential
for the sport to thrive in
the foreseeable future.
After all, what desert is
really a desert without a
diving falcon renting its
cloudless sky, or a long-
legged Bustard covering
the ground at full speed as
its attempts to evade its
historic enemy?
The government of the
UAE spend some Dhl00,
annually ($27m) to
promote the sport of
falconry, according to the
official UAE website, -
UAE Interact. Packed full-
of news on falconry, the
website reports that Skeik
Khalifakbin Zayed Al
Nahyan, president of the
UAE, even donated 100
falcons as raffle prizes
during the International
Hunting and Equestrian
Exhibition (ADIHEX)
(continued on page 24)


TODAY Show Rockefeller Plaza.
(continued from page 1) Approximately 50-75
merchandise to the million viewers watched
crowds outside the the week-long segments,
TODAY show studio at but it was .the first


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Falconry Comes Into Its Own


Sharif
(continued from page 1)
$318,000 in damages in
favor of Juan Luis Ochoa
Anderson when the 75-
year-old actor failed to
show up for a deposition,
according to court
documents.
Calls to Sharifs
publicist and Anderson's
lawyer after business
hours Wednesday were
not immediately returned.
Sharif pleaded no
contest last year to
misdemeanor jbattefy and
was -ordered to take an


anger management course
for the incident outside a
Beverly Hills steakhouse
in 2005.
According to the
lawsuit, the Egyptian-
born actor known for
roles in "Dr. Zhivago" and
"Lawrence of Arabia" was
belligerent and
intoxicated and called
Anderson, a Guatemalati
immigrant, a "stupid ..
Mexican" -whei ,- he
refused -to' accept a 20
euro note.
Anderson alleged
Sharif then punched him.


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segment that put St. Jude
in the record book.
According to NEC,
Monday's segment of
Meredith Vieira's tour of
the hospital exceeded the
TODAY show's previous
singleday rating record by
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l Page 7 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008 11


Libyan Leader Colonel
Muammar Gaddafi, swept
through the major capitals
of west Mediterranean
Europe signing contracts
and healing old wounds,
receiving the political
elite in a traditional
Bedouin tent big enough
for visitors and his
entourage of 400. He sent
Abdulrahman Shalgam,
his foreign minister, to the
United States to clinch a
science and technology
accord and Giadalla
Ettalhi, his United
Nations ambassador, to
preside over its Security
Council.
But Mohamed Taher
Siala, the Libyan deputy
foreign minister, has
declared that a hugely


lucrative role available to
American enterprises in
the country's $185bn
development plan hinges
in part on a personal trip
to Tripoli by Dr.
Condolezza Rice, the US
secretary of state. Her
visit is now tentatively set
for late this year. She will
be the most distinguished
American visitor to Libya
in five decades.
Libya holds Africa's
biggest oil reserves. Its
hydrocarbon-dependent
economy is experiencing
a jump-start after
prolonged stagnation, a
result of economic
sanctions lifted by the UN
in 2003 and the US in
2004. The country
(continued on page 17


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Gaddafi's Grand Tour
Accelerates the Pace


Jams
(continued from page 1)
Azar St. Cecilia
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and Jam, held in
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year's Country Music
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Azar made a special
trip to the hospital to
present the check
personally.


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"It's my honor to be
able to give to St.
Jude," said Azar.
"Even as a kid I
admired and supported
the amazing work of
St. Jude. Our fans have
been great and
extremely generous in
helping us support
such an important
cause."


ordinary people and
generally rejuvenate
civil society--all while
staying clear of the
partisanship that
afflicts every aspect of
life in Lebanon.
With its ambitious
agenda, the burgeoning
movement is the other
side of the political
crisis that has beset the
country since the 2006
summer war with Israel
and shows that--in
(continued on page 18)


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A little-reported
trend that has emerged
in Lebanon over the
past couple of years;
one after another, a raft
of new civil society
organizations has
sprung up. Started by
young, dynamic people,
many with no previous
experience of politics,
these new NGOs seek
to reform the political
system, create a
stronger sense of
citizenship among


Lebanon's Civil
Society Movement







Page 8 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008


Demolition and
Rebuilding in Beit Arabeia


From Damascus Gate
take the 54 bus to the
Shawamreh grocery
store: then ask for
Salim: This is the way
to Beit Arabeia: a low,
white, single-roomed
house on a hillside in
the West Bank village of
Anata. It is a place of
astonishing quiet:
pomegranate, lemon and
plum trees grow in the
small garden, jasmine
and rosemary curl about
the house.
For Salim, the quiet
means something else:
"This is the graveyard
of demolished houses,"
he says, pointing at the
pile of bricks and rubble


Afghanistan
(continued from page 1)
alternative view,
celebrating the cultural
heritage of this Central
Asian land on the
crossroads of several
civilisations. Their
influences stimulated the
rich creativity of the


outside the .garden
fence.
Israeli bulldozers
have demolished Beit
Arabeia, Salim's home,
four times. Each time,
international volunteers,
many of them Israeli,
have joined the
Palestinians in
rebuilding it. Its
survival has become a
symbol of non-violent
resistance to the Israeli
occupation.
Salim's story has the
quality of a bardic tale:
he has told it many
times. Today his
audience is young
(continued on page 26)


people of the region. And
creativity does not die -
despite inconceivable
hardships; Afghans are
producing magnificent
textiles and carpets to this
day.
Hidden Afghanistan is
(continued on page 12)


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Khoury
(continued from page 2)
years. He was born -on
December 3, 1918 and
was preceded in death by
his parents Catherine and
John Khoury and his
brother William Khoury.
He and his brother were
business partners who
owned and operated
Khoury Brothers
Wholesale Dry Goods, an
establishment which
served Jacksonville for 45
years. He and his brother
were among hte first
young men in Duval
County to volunteer in the
U.S. Army during WWII.


Mobarak
(continued from page 2)
Azizah and -a long time
resident of Jacksonville
and was the owner and
operator of A Z Sandwich
Shop at 4th and Main
Street. He was lovingly


Emmett feaithfully served
his country for three
years, achieving the rank
of First Sergeant. He was
awarded the Good
Conduct and the Victory
Medal. He was a member
of the First Presbyterian
Church.
He is survived by his
sister in law, Evelyn
Dumit Khoury; nieces:
Kay Thompson of Teston,
Va. and Susan Khoury
(John Dickson) of
Orlando, FL; great niece,
Susan Lassiter (Robert) of
Sterling, Va.. and great
unclue of Lauren and
Matthew Lassiter.


referred to by his
customers as the "Mayor
of Main Street". He rwas
very proud to have served
his country during the
Korean Conflict in the U.
S. Army and was a
member of the Ramallah-
(continued on page 12)


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Page 9 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

FLORIDA


Truly Yours
(continued from page 3)
Chili's Care Center.
Since officially
adopting St. Jude as its
philanthropic partner in
1999, the Delta Delta
Delta Fraternity has
done great things for the
children of St. Jude,
including making a
commitment to name a
floor in the Chili's Care
Center. A $10-million-
in- 10 years celebration
event took place with
the Tri Delta the day
after the ribbon-cutting
ceremony for the Chili's
Care Center.
Also a success this
year, on many levels,
was the Stanford St.
Jude Championship. It
has given us an
opportunity to raise
public awareness in a
market of sports fans
we've never before
reached. And the
financial success of
Stanford Financial


Group was once again
realized when' a check
presentation was made
to St. Jude in the
amount of $1.76
million. Obviously, all
of us in the St. Jude
family are proud that
Stanford has chosen us
as its charity of choice.
On behalf of the kids of
St. Jude, we thank this
most charitable
company from the
bottom of our hearts an
pray for its continued
success.
Coors has been a
long-standing,
dedicated contributor to
our mission, and this
year it presented us with
more than $1.7 million.
Thanks to Peter Coors
and the entire Coon
organization for their
continued commitment
to our cause.
I'm pleased to
announce that this year's
Thanks and Giving
season was a huge
(continued on page 12)


Unity
(continued from page 3)
Archbishop Chacour
was moved to silence
once more. He
confessed that after he
obtained accreditation
for the college, he fell
on his knees in his
office and prayed:
"Lord, now you can
take your servant in
peace."
Instead, he felt called
to establish the Mar
Elias Peace Center,
which is slated to play a
vital role in the schools'
local and international
outreach programs, and
to serve as a peace
research center. English
has been adopted as its
language of instruction.


Make a Difference!
Although anyone
would agree that these
accomplishments are
astounding, Archbishop
Chacour remains
modest and faith-filled.
"You are called to
become God-like, not
to be our size," he said.
"We must set God free
from our concepts and
poor understanding.
God is great!"
After speaking for
nearly an hour, the
Archbishop made a plea
to his audience I
believe in you. You can
make a difference. You
love to make a
difference. You are
called to make a
difference. On behalf of
(continued on page 13)


Crusades
(continued from page 3),
religious. The immediate
threat by Muslims was
felt at home by the
Western Church several
centuries prior to the
crusades, when the
Muslim armies invaded
Spain in 711 and


endangered the very.
existence of the Church in
Western Europe. The
Fatimid in Egypt, as we
mentioned above, ruled
the Holy land during the
brutal reign of Al-Hakim,
the neurotic Caliph of
Egypt who destroyed the
Church of the Nativity
(continued on page 13)


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Page 10 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

FLORIDA/GEORGIA


Egypt
(continued from page 4)
wind speeds means the
proportion of wind power
in the generation mix
must be limited but the
government seems keen
to maximise the use of
this renewable source of
energy.
The Egyptian energy
minister, Hassan Younes,
said in November that the
government had accepted
the Supreme Council for
Energy's goal of
producing 20% of all
electricity by renewable
means by 2020. "By
developing the nation's
energy supply, we are
securing the future of the
people of Egypt. This
country can play a major
role in developing solar
power and other
technologies that are in
demand in the 21st
century. This will create
new jobs and educational
opportunities." Despite
interest in solar and


biomass technology, it is
wind power that will play
the biggest role in this
dash for renewables,
contributing 12% of the
overall generation mix by
2020," he noted. This is
equivalent to 7,000MW
of generating capacity or
perhaps 10 of the Egypt
Electricity Holding
Company's (EEHC)
typical gasfired power
plants.
Although the targets
are not legally binding,
new power sector
legislation has been
drafted to ensure wind
farm operators can access
the national grid and
some financial incentives
have also been
introduced. Long-term
power purchase
agreements will be
offered to encourage
investment, while funding
for feasibility studies and
technical support will be
offered. Such support will
be vital if renewables are
(continued on page 14)


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and President of Tau
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Page 11 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

FLORIDA/GEORGIA


Smoking
(continued from page 1)
total of over seven
billion cigarettes per
year.
'Cleopatra', a local
brand manufactured by
the state-owned Eastern
Tobacco Company,
accounts for the bulk of
annual sales.
Despite Egypt's 2002
ban on cigarette
advertising, and
obligatory health
warnings in Arabic on
the packets, the number
of Egyptian smokers
increases by 6%-9% per
year, versus the average
1% increase
experienced in many
western countries.
While this means
handsome profits for
Eastern Tobacco (37%
in 2007), the nation's
health and productivity
is at stake.
Last June, the
People's Assembly
passed more restrictive
legislation, prohibiting
smoking in all
government-related
institutions and banning
sales to minors. In
November 2007, state
inspectors started
issuing fines. Ranging
between $9 and $18 the
fines represent a
significant chunk of an
average Egyptian's
monthly salary (often
under US$100) and
could prove to be a
significant deterrent.
But law enforcement in
matters of public health
is not one of Egypt's
strong points.
In a similar situation
several years ago,
seatbelts were made
obligatory and a flurry
of fines issued by
beleaguered traffic
cops. The local market
saw a brief run on
ingeniously fake
seatbelts which were
loosely attached above
the driver's seat and
draped over his


shoulders. Soon enough
the fines stopped, and
even the ersatz seatbelts
were largely abandoned.
The new smoking bans,
like many other
governmental
pronouncements, are
liable to be perceived by
the public as just more
rhetorical hot air.
Smoking represents
perhaps the last
affordable self-
indulgence that remains
to average Egyptians,
and for many living on
less than sustenance
wages, a Cleopatra
(purchased singly, for
two US cents) and a cup
of sugary tea. Although
there are signs that
cigarette consumption
may be falling
somewhat out of vogue
due to financial and
other factors, old habits
die hard, and Egypt's
love affair with tobacco
is far from over.
Egypt was one of the
earliest countries where
the cigarette trend
caught on. Around the
mid-lgth century,
Egyptians began setting
their pipes and water-
pipes aside and
switching to cigarettes,
already fashionable at
that time in France.
Cigarettes were offered
at court gatherings by
the Khedive Ismail in
the late 1860s, and soon
became popular
amongst Egypt's
Francophile elite.
Greece supplied most of
Egypt's tobacco and
Greek cigarette
manufacturers soon
dominated local
production.
By the early 20th
century 'luxury brand'
Egyptiancigarettes were
exported worldwide,
and arguably helped
establish smoking as a
sophisticated habit, an
image that contributed
to its popularity.
Although handmade,
(continued on page 14)


Gibran
(continued from page 7)
in an act of Congress
granting to the project
use of a trust of land
in Washington, DC,
across from the British
Embassy.
Dedicated by
President George H.W.


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years ago, the
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grassroots campaign
that raised one million
dollars for its
construction.
At present limited
funds are available for


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Page 12 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

SOUTH CAROLINA/NORTH CAROLINA


Afghanistan
(continued from page 8)
a collection of 250
remarkable objects from
four Afghan
archaeological sites,
which had been hidden in
the vaults of the Central
Bank in Kabul to protect
them. In 2004 The
National Museum of
Afghanistan began
collaboration with the
Muske Guimet in Paris to
bring the artefacts to
Europe for restoration.
Then began a touring
exhibition, first in Paris,
then in Turin and now
Amsterdam.
The restoration and
exhibition of these
spectacular treasures help
this war-torn country
recover its past and its
dignity. A selection was
made from some of the
objects that had survived
the regimes which had
devastated the economy,
the cultural infrastructure
and countless lives. The
exhibition is also the story
of the survival of the
museum. whose lowest
point came in 2001, when
the Taliban destroyed not


Mobarak
(continued from page 8)
American Club and
Harvest Baptist Church.
He was a die hard Gator
fan as well.
He was a devoted
husband for 53 years to
Lamia and a loving father
to their children,


only the renowned giant
Buddha images at
Bamiyan, but also more
than 2.500 works of art in
The National Museum's
collection.
The exhibition focuses
on Afghanistan's ancient
history, from the earliest
times to the Kushana
Empire. The old Silk
Road ran through the
region/and represented
for the Chinese the most
western, point on their
route to India. Buddhism
spread eastwards from
this area in the first and
second centuries AD,
again along the Silk Road.
From a western point of
view, the region which is
now eastern Afghanistan
and western Pakistan was
the end of the road for
Alexander, the Great's
conquests eastward. The
Persians too were halted
in this inhospitable
mountainous territory. On
his way to India in 327
BCE,
Alexander's exhausted
troous mutinied. and even
he was daunted by the
vastness of the Asian

(continued on page 15)


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Truly Yours
(continued from page 9)
success. Marlo Thomas
once again was able to
get the TODAY show to
meet many of our
patients. The TODAY
show segments also
gave Marlo an
opportunity to talk
about what we do at St.
Jude. And Saks Fifth
Avenue, a cherished
Thanks and Giving
partner, unveiled its St.
Jude holiday window.
And, finally, I want to
sincerely thank each and
every one of you who
has participated in our
fundraising events


across the country.
Without you and our
dedicated staff, we
would never be able to
reach the goals needed
in order to keep the
hospital operating as
originally promised by
Danny Thomas.
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entire ALSAC/St. Jude
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everyone a prosperous
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Page 13 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

VIRGINIA


Unity
(continued from page 9)
all Palestinian children,
I beg you; I beg you to
be in touch with the
Jews yofi know and to
continue giving
friendship and
sympathy to them and
to respect them as
human beings.
They need this more
than anyone during
these times of big
decisionmaking.
Ask them to be more
reasonable in their
perceptions of
Palestinians and not to
be automatic enemies
of them. And, know,
too, that if you are
friends with Jews it
does not mean you are
automatically at enmity
with Palestinians.
If taking our side,
however, means that
you accept everything
we do and you become
an enemy of the Jews,
then we do not need


your friendship. For us
to find one more enemy
in this horrible
situation that has to
stop is not what we
need. What we need is
one more common
friend. Can you do
that? Do you have the
courage? Decid for
yourself and get your
hands dirty for peace
and justice. You can do
it!
Archbishop Chacour
received wild applause
and a standing ovation,
but he reacted by
standing quietly at the
podium with his head
bowed and his eyes
closed. He was praying.
When the applause
ceased, he spoke again:
"Don't applaud for me
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Crusades
(continued from page 9)
and curtailed the freedom
of worship for the
Christians in the Holy
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now threatened the very_
life of Middle Eastern


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However, by the end of
the second Crusade
(continued on page 16)


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Page 14 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

VIRGINIA/MARYLAND


Egypt
(continued from page 10)
to compete with thermal
power plants. Energy
security and the desire to
maximise oil and gas
exports are the main
reason behind this
enthusiasm for wind
power. Turbines do not
rely on any imported
feedstock and every
megawatt of wind power
generating capacity frees
up more gas for sale
overseas.
Just as thermal power
plants were converted
from oil to gas to boost oil
exports, so renewables
help Egypt to further
expand its successful
liquefied natural gas
(LNG) sector. Energy
minister Younes
commented: "The coming
period will witness a
number of bids to invite
competitive private sector
companies to supply
power from renewables."
The government hopes to
turn Egypt into the
renewable energy
development hub for the
entire Middle East and
North Africa region. With
plentiful wind and solar
resources and sufficient
political will to make the
most of these resources,
there seems no reason to
doubt this ambition.
Although significant
generating capacity has
only been brought on
stream since the turn of
the millennium, Cairo has
sought to encourage wind
power sector
development in a
systematic manner. An in-
depth survey of wind
speeds in the most


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gih h inflation rates of curb ive


make even cheap
cigarettes, sold at $0.50
per pack, hard to afford.
While cigarettes may be
c om p u 1 s i v e 1 y
consumed, shidha
smoking requires time
and preparation, and
may be seen as a means


habit. A visit to a cafe
for a shisha (costing
under 20 US cents a
pipe) is more than just a
tobacco-fix, it's an
outing, and the sweet
tobacco which comes in
flavours including
(continued on page 17)


prospective parts of the
country was carried out
between 1999 and 2001.
Through this research, the
state owned New and
Renewable Energy
Authority (NREA)
discovered that annual
wind speeds were highest
at El Zeit, at between 10.3
and 10.8 metres a second,
and at Zafarana, with
speeds of up to 9.2 metres
a second.
The Ministry of
Electricity and Energy
therefore acquired 80sq
km of land at Zafarana,
which lies about 200
kilometres south-east of
Cairo on the Gulf of Suez,
for the development of a
string of wind farms.
Another 64sq km has
since been added to
enable expansion for
decades to come. Wind
power is developed on an
ad hoc basis in many
countries, with a handful
of turbines erected at each
suitable location but the
great advantage of a
jumbo single site venture
is that developers can
share infrastructure. A
single transmission line
connects Zafarana with
the national grid and
turbine repair and
maintenance facilities
have been constructed to
serve all project
operators.
At present, the
Egyptian. wind power
sector remains based on
the Zafarana scheme.
Each phase has been
developed by foreign
national development
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with the NREA. The first
60MW was completed by
(continued on page 16)


Smoking
(continued from page 11)
Egyptian cigarettes
were produced and
packaged in efficient
factories employing
some of the earliest
assembly-line
techniques.
Early cigarette
advertising targeted a
male audience; local
manufacturers used
photography, an
Industrial Age novelty,
to produce pictures of
women in seductive
poses. Distributed in
cigarette packs, the
photos were widely
admired and collected.
These, along with
colourful packaging that
enhanced the product's
exotic allure, helped
make Egyptian brands
bestsellers.
Prior to WWI,
cigarettes were only
rivalled by textiles as
Egypt's most important
manufactured export,
with Germany the
largest importer,
followed by Britain and
its Far East colonies.
The wa interfered with
distribution, and


ultimately resulted in a
shift of consumption
habits.
Egypt's cigarette
industry was
mechanised after the
war, and production
aimed at. the domestic
market. A nascent
middle-class adopted
the habit, associated
with both elitism and
modernity. In 1920
Eastern Tobacco was
founded as a state
monopoly, and
cigarettes widely
advertised in a
flourishing new press
and photographically
illustrated magazines.
Today, the majority
state-owned Eastern
Tobacco produces an
estimated 92% of the
cigarettes sold in Egypt,
and its market capital in
2007 amounted to over
$1.3bn. Eastern also
controls around 60% of
the local market for
shisha tobacco, the
molasses-soaked,
rough-cut version used
in water pipes.
The shisha has made
a comeback in Egypt,
where low incomes and


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Page 15 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

ALABAMA/TENNESSEE


Gibran
(continued from page 11)
during the SFSLAC
Houston Convention,
July '07.
Others elected are:
Vice President,
Richard Karam, San
Antonio, TX;
Treasurer, Michael E.
Baroody, Washington,
DC; Secretary, Martha
L. Owen, New
Orleans, LA; Assistant
Secretary, Michelle
Forzley, Washington,
DC. Other Board
Members are: Kelly
Aide, Miriam Swaydan
Erickson, Greg
Gorrnanos, Norma
Hanna, Dr. Albert
Johary, Phyllis Joseph,
Peggy Karam, Miriam
B. Koury, Victoria
Linden, Judge Alfred
Mansour, David


Martinous, H6elen
Hatab Samhan,
Michael Shikany,
Raymond Zogby, Rose
C. Zwan.
In preparation for a
fund raising campaign
an evaluation of the
structural condition
and needs is underway,
from which a scope of
work, with cost
estimates, will be
developed.
Volunteers wishing
to help may contact
any Board Member.
Contributions are to
tax deductible and may
be sent to:
Michael E. Baroody
4628 Newcomb
Place
Alexandria, VA
22304


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Afghanistan
(continued from page 12)
subcontinent ahead.
The site of Tepe Fullol
in northern Afghanistan is
even older, dating from
the Bactrian Bronze Age,
around 2,000 BCE. Gold
vases are decorated with
bearded bulls, boars and
geometric patterns. They
were luxury objects
created by the Oxus
civilisation. Farmers had
discovered a hoard of
gold and silver vases and
began to cho them up to
share them out.
Fortunately the
government was rapidly
able to acquire 12 for The
National Museum. But
after the last few
devastating decades all
but three vases have
disappeared.
The second
archaeological site is.Al
Khanum, a city founded
by the Greeks in the wake
of Alexander's conquest,
flourishing between the
fourth and second
centuries BCE. The
sophisticated artefacts
embody the blending of
Hellenistic and Buddhist


cultures, creating the
great Gandharan
civilisation, including the
Buddhas at Bamiyan.
Situated on the banks of
the Oxus, the city adopted
a Greek lifestyle and town
planning, with a
gymnasium, theatre, and a
palace complex one of
whose splendid
Corinthian capitals is on
display. Coins have
emerged with images of
Greek gods lik Hermes,
and an elegant temple
plaque depicting Cybele.
But by 145 BCE, nomads
from the east had
plundered and burnt the
city.
The famous gold
treasure of Tillya-tepe is
the third collection in
Hidden Afghanistan,
dating from the 1st
century AD. Exquisite
jewellery and other
luxury objects were
excavated from graves in
a monumental structure
with a terrace and
colonnaded courts on the
left bank of the river Oxus
near the border with
Turkmenistan. Fiv
women and one warrior,
(continued on page 17)


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Page 16 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

TEXAS/LOUISIANA


Crusades
(continued from page 13)
(1147-49 A.D.), the
celebrated Muslim
general Saladin embarked
on a jihad that managed to
recapture Jerusalem. In
1187 A.D., a Third
Crusade was led by King
Richard of England. The
Christians won some
battles, but Saladin was
able to cling to Jerusalem.
Finally, both nemesis
negotiated a truce that
allowed the Muslims
control the Holy Lands,
but Christians were free
to visit their shrines.
What were the results
of the Crusades? The goal
of the crusading wars was
mainly religious-to free
the Holy land, to restore
freedom of worship, and
to provide a safe


environment for
pilgrimages to the
Christian sites. Moreover,
the Popes hoped also to
extinguish all dissensions
and divisions in
Christendom, East and
West. However, with the
defeat of the Crusaders
after 200 years of wars,
this goal was not
achieved.
How Should we think
about the Crusades today?
Here are some
questions for your
considerations:
1. Are the Crusades a
justified Christian holy
war based on biblical
principles or an enterprise
intimately connected with
that of the popes?
2. Are the Crusades
justifiable based on the
idea of defense of the
(continued on page 17)


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Egypt
(continued from page 14)
the Danish International
Development Agency
(DANIDA) in 2001 and
DANIDA has since
invested in another
120MW tranche.
Kreditanstalt f'r
Wiederaufbau (KfW) of
Germany developed the
second phase with 80MW
of generating capacity
and is in the process of
adding another 160MW.
Another 85MW has come
from the Spanish
government and Japan is
funding 340MW of
capacity. It remains to be
seen if this donor-led


approach will be
sustained throughout the
lifetime of the Zafarana
venture but it seems to be
managing to attract large-
scale investment at
present. For instance, the
120MW being developed
by a joint venture of the
Japan Bank for
International Cooperation
(JBIC) and the NREA
requires investment of
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Electricity from
Zafarana is sold to the
Egyptian Electricity
Transmission Company at
12 piastre per kWh
(US2.1 cents per kWh).

(continued on page 18)


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Page 17 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

TEXAS


Afghanistan
(continued from page 15)
curiously all around the
age of 30, were dressed
for their last journey, one
in an ornate flower-
shaped gold crown, and


Gaddafi
(continued from page 7)
urgently needs new
technology in most
spheres of endeavor, and
particularly in order to
boost its oil production
capacity by a target 40%
from 1.8bn barrels a day
currently, to 3bn. b/d by
2013.
The trade agreements
with France concluded
during Gaddafi's five-day
state visit to Paris are
worth over $14.7bn. They
embrace a collaboration
accord on peaceful


three women holding
Chinese mirrors from the
Han dynasty (c. 1st
century BCE). The head
of the warrior prince
rested on a gold dish, his
(continued on page 26)


nuclear development
involving the construction
of one or several atomic
power plans to fuel
seawater desalination.
They also include the
purchase by Libya of 21
aircraft from Airbus.
Aerva of France has won
a contract for the supply
of a giant electricity
transmission and
distribution system. In
addition, Gaddafi has
promised to negotiate
with France exclusively
for all future military
(continued on page 19)


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Smoking
(continued from page 14)
apple, cantaloupe and
peach, makes the
smoking self-
indulgence: a session an
esveciallv tastv and
Cleopatra enjoyed A
fragrant treat.
The return of the
shisha, just as cigarettes
once symbolised a
sought-after modernity,
conveys a preference for
more traditional home-


grown customs. Some,
however, argue the
contrary, saying that the
West's recent shisha fad
has helped revive the
practice at home.
Nevertheless,
religious rhetoric has
lately emphasised the
damaging effects of
tobacco, reminding the
faithful of their duty to
honour their health.
Shisha smokers face the
same health risks as
(continued on page 18)


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Page 18 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

TEXAS


Lebanon
(continued from page 7)
some quarters at least--
there is an appetite to
do things differently.
Nahwa Al
Muwatiniya (NAM), is
one of the older, better
established
organizations that make
up this burgeoning civil
society movement,
Founded nearly three
years ago before the
assassination of former
premier Rafiq Hariri, it
aims to replace a
political culture
defined by sectarianism
with a more
demo cratic ,


internationalist ethos.
From its offices in
the Verdun district of
Beirut, smartly-painted
in the organisation's
brand colours of red
and grey, it is currently
running a campaign to
abolish a long-standing
law that prevents public
servants guilty of
embezzlement from
being convicted.
The activists lobby
politicians at one end of
the political process
and educate the youth
at the other with
workshops on
citizensho and how to
(continued on page 19)


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Smoking
(continued from page 17)
cigarette smokers, in
addition to increased
vulnerability to a
variety of infections due
to the fact that pipes are
shared.
Amr Khaled, an
Islamic preacher
especially popular
amongst Arab youth,
was honoured in 2004
by the World Health
Organisation for his
ongoing anti-smoking
crusade. Since Egypt's
population is mostly
young, Khaled's efforts
could well have an
impact. But if Egypt is
to reduce the rate of new
smokers entering the
market, it won't be
because of legal bans or
religious injunctions,
but due to a shift in
,popular opinion which
may already be taking
place.
Although 38% of
Egypt's professionals


smoke, and lighting up
on the job is
commonplace, non-
smoking colleagues are
speaking up. At least
partial bans limiting
smoking to particular
areas are being self-
imposed in a number of
companies. The most
persuasive inducement
for Egyptians to stop
smoking, however, at
least in Cairo where
nearly a third of all
Egyptians live, is the air
itself. Pollution levels in
the capital are high
enough to be likened to
the effects of smoking a
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Page 19 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

TEXAS


Gaddafi
(continued from page 17)
procurements. Italy has
also promised to build a
coastal motorway across
Libya to link Rad Jedir on
the Tunisian border to
Sallum on its Egyptian
border. The construction
project tentatively valued
at several billion dollars is
intended as part
compensation for wrongs
committed by Italy during
its colonial administration
of Libya between 1911
and 1934, which included
the deportation of
thousands of people. Italy
is keen to improve trade
with Libya from where it
now imports a quarter of
its oil and a third of its
natural gas consumption.
The two countries have
also agreed to launch a
joint maritime policing
operation in the waters of
the Mediterranean that
separate their coastlines
to try to moderate the
flow of thousands of
illegal African migrants
towards the European
Union. Many die in the
attempt. Six patrol vessels
will be deployed focusing
on the ports and beaches
used by the criminal
gangs exploiting that
cruel trade in desperate
human lives.
Gaddafi's talks in
Spain with King Juan
Carlos and Prime
Minister Jose Luis
Rodriguez Zapatero, have
yielded a mutual
investment protection


agreement by the two
countries. This will
enable Spanish
enterprises to bid up to
$17bn for Libyan
projects. The two
countries have also signed
a political cooperation
accord. Several big
business contracts in
areas of infrastructure
construction, tourism and
water supplies are in the
pipeline.
But the landmark grand
tour which took Gaddafi
to Paris for the first time
in more than three
decades- has also
attracted sharp
international criticism
because of Libya's
domestic human rights
record. The visit has also
enabled Dr. AShraf Al
Hazouz, an Egyptian-bomrn
Palestinian physician
recently released from
Libyan prison together
with five Bulgarian
nurses, to bring torture
charges against Gaddafi
before the French courts.
President Nicolas
Sarkozy of France,
Gaddafi's host in Paris, is
an outspoken champion
of human rights. Last July
he was personally
instrumental in the release
of six Bulgarian medics
sentenced to death in
Libya for infecting
children with HIV. This
time, he has defended the
visit on the grounds than
Gaddafi had recounted
international terrorism as
(continued on page 20)


Nat~alyF~rekh
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Lebanon
(continued from page 18)
hold their political
masters to account.
It's a tough call, in
Lebanon's highly
sectarian, political
culture, running an
organization that is
seen as genuinely
neutral and non-
aligned. Board member
Rudy Jafar rejects the
idea that NAM's ideals
place it on one the


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there is respect for
human rights in all
traditions," says Jafar.
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TEXAS/OKLAHOMA


Gaddafi
(continued from page 19)
well as his clandestine
efforts to acquire
proscribed weaponry of
mass destruction. And he
said he had personally
asked his visitor to
improve his performance.
US secretary of state,
Condoleezza Rice, also
raised human rights as an
important issue in
bilateral relations when
she met the Libyan
foreign minister in
Washington during
January. She urged Tripoli
to honor its commitment
to financially compensate
the relatives of victims
killed in the destruction of
Pan Am aircraft over
Scotland in 1988 and in a
Berlin disco bombing of
1986.
Shalgam was the
highest ranking Libyan
official to be received in
the AMerican capital for
- 36 years,. The science and
technology agreement he


signed there provides for
government-to-
government exchanges,
scientific partnerships
between private,
academic and non-
governmental entities, the
establishment of science-
based industries and
employment promotion.
During the signing
ceremony, Shalgam
expressed a hope for
amicable future relations
between Libya and
American and described
education and
technolo gical
infrastructure as "the real
weaponry for any nation."
He went on: "Relations
between our countries are
very important to us...We
want a new friendship."
And he reassured his
hosts "Our interpretation
of our Islamic heritage is
completely different than
that of many others who
do not accept the
philosophy of
(continued on page 21)


Lebanon
(continued from page 19)
everyone to be part of
NAM you can be part
of a political group and
you can also be part
ofNAM," says Sonia,
one of the
organization's two
executive officers.
"The requirement is
that you subscribe t
othe vision and the
social contract."
A few days later, I'm
invited to attend one of
NAM's 'hiwars' -
dialogue evening in
which people of all
sects and political
persusions are
encouraged to meet and
debate some of
Lebanon's most
sensitive, controversial
issues. The group
questions me, as a
visiting western writer,
probing my views on its
problems and divisions
with some intensity.
But in the process,


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some of my
inter locutors
unwittingly
demonstratpthe deep
levels of politicisation
that run through
Lebanese society,
trying to place me in
one camp or an other,
clearly regarding
journalistic impartiality
with suspicion.
"So are you for or
against Hizbullah?"
asks one man
repeatedly with rising
frustration.
Afterwards, I talk to
the predominantly
young audience about
how they rate the
prospects for change in
their country. Marwa
Aboudaya, aged 23,
who plans to work for
an NGO when she
finishes her PA in

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has been involved with
NAM for four months.
'I love what they do."
she says. "I love the
fact that they work, on
different projects
without, being political.
Of the organisation's
various streams of
work, she identifies
parliamentary
monitoring as being
the most important.
"People really need to
know what is going on,


and what their
representatives are
doing." Althoug
growing numbers of her
peers plan to emigrate
as soon as they an get a
visa, she is determined
to stay 'no matter what -
it's my country".
But Hassan
Mahanne, computer
engineer in his 20s, has
other ideas. "I'm finally
considering whether I
should be leaving or
(continued on page 22)


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Page 21 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008
ARIZONA/NEVADA


Gaddafi
(continued from page 20)
coexistence." Yet
relations between Libya
and the US are still not
free of tension. Under the
UN Chemical Weapons
Convention, Libya must
destroy 23 tons of
mustard gas agent and
1,300 tons of precursors.
The operation would cost
$65m of which the US has
agreed to pay $45m.
Libya says it cannot
afford the difference.
Talks broke dow n July.
Senator Richard Lugar, a
leading proponent of
disarmament, has told the
US-Libya Business


Association that
Washington is risking an
opportunity it should have
"seized with enthusiasm."
And Libya could not
promise close cooperation
with the US at the UN
Security Council, where it
has just assumed a two-
year membership as well
as the highly charged
office of the rotating
presidency held for one
month. The Security
Council, the highest
global authority, includes
five veto-wielding
permanent members plus
10 .temporary members.
Competition for seats on
the council is tough.
(continued on page 22)


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Page 22 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

ARIZONA/NEVADA/CALIFORNIA


Lebanon
(continued from page 20)
not, at this point," he
says. "I don't think
there will be a civil
war, but I think we are
in for some hard
months ahead."
A few days later, by
chance, I meet the
young founder of
another new reform-
.;- oriented organization.
Elie had been involved
in NAM but stopped
going to meeting
because he felt it was
run like a rather
exclusive club for like-
minded people. "I
started having to form
my own NGO it's a bit
sad," he says.
His Youth for
Tolerance is a tiny,
incipient, organisation,
without funding and
run primarily by Elk,
who has taken time off
work and is living off
savings, and a few
volunteers. It aims to
provide schools; via
toolkits downloadable
from its website, with
support to develop
practical skills in


conflict resolution in
the classroom.
"It's a lost cause to
try ang get consensus
so let's give people the
tools to deal with
conflict," he explains.
The idea was born of
Elks own youthful
experience of trying to
navigate his way
through the
complexities of
Le banon s
multiconfessional
society. "I think it's
unreasonable for young
Lebanese coming out of
high school to know
what their identity is. It
took me a while to get
my bearings," he
explains. "Imagine
growing up in this
environment and trying
to form your identity -
it's a really difficult
job. There's lot of
potentially confusing
things if you don't have
the skills tc deal with
them."
But many people,
particularly the long-
time observers of the
Lebanese scene, are
sceptic about change
(continued on page 23)


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Gaddafi
(continued from page 21)
ambassador Ettalhi told
a news conference Libya
would "try to he
constructive" in its
veted UN's role -
although Tripoli's recent
experience of econoMic
sanctions left it little
room for sympathy with
America's current drive
for intensified sanctions
against and in the
stubborn nuclear
development
controversy.
Ms. Rice's long
delayed, often
postponed visit to Libya
is being prepared in
Washington by David
Welph, assistant
secretary to the State
Department. Libya has
been looking forward
towards such a visit with
some determination
because it regards that
as a symbol of its newly
re-established
international
acceptability, a
prerequisite to
technology transfer
contracts with
international companies.
Current plans for the
visit were first publicly
acknowledged on 21
December, when Rice
said she hoped it would
strengthen ties with
Libya.
Ms. Rice noted: "Our
promise had been to
significantly improve
US-Libyan relations and
to open -help open the


door for Libya to
receive investment and
engagement with the
international
community."
The Libyan National
Oil Company estimates
it needs $30bn in urgent
investments to expand
and modernize the
industry, drill new wells
and build pipelines and
refineries well beyond
it means. Hydrocarbons
account for 94% o f
Libya's exports, 60% of
its government income
and 30% of its $34bn
gross domestic product.
Libya's exports to the
US, comprising mostly
oil, were valued at $3bn
in 2006, while US
imports, mostly
technology, stood at
$434m.
The pace is
accelerating. Libya has
just awarded four gas-
exploration contracts to
the fuel giants Shell,
Gazprom, Sonatrach and
Polski-among the first
given to foreign
enterprises after the
long freeze of relations
between Tripoli and the
West. The Indian Oil-Oil
India combine has
secured three oil blocks.
China Oilfield Services,
the country's third
biggest oil producer, has
won a deal to provide
our drilling rigs.
Hyundai Engineering of
South Korea has
announced a contract for
(continued on page 23)


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Page 23 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Lebanon
(continued frogi page 22)
arisinlg out of these new
groups' efforts. Marc
Siroi, deputy editor of
Lebanon's English
language newspaper the
Daily Star, is one such
sceptic: "Most of these
groups are exclusively
Christian," he says.
"They really mean well,
but sectarianism is
embedded in the whole
system."
"Try and find some
Shi'ites they won't
trust them," he adds.
'The people who
have grow up here have
heard it all before. They
think it's another tool to
keep thdm quiet." The


Social Services
(continued from page 1)
them to achieve their full
potential has always been the
focus of the Social Services
Department
With two walk-in offices
iiDearbom and one outreach
office in Hamtramck, Social
Services continue to assist the
community at the grassroots
level. The people we serve
are not our clients or
customers-they are our


activists' key problem,
he thinks, is that they
jusidon't have the kind
of support needed to
bring flout real change.
"They don't have any
constituency. They can
change a few minds,
and they can exert some
degree of pressure," he
says. Part of the
problem is that the
more affluent
influential section of
society is tiring of
Lebanon's continuing
instability and leaving,
he adds: "It's the
middle class that leaves
- they would be the
natural constituency for
these people."


friends, our neighbors, our
family, and we hope that we
can provide them with what
they need to improve the
quality of their lives.
The Social Services
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Gaddafi
(continued from page 22)
the construction of a
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and the list goes on.
And the sudden, rapid
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Award
(continued from page 1)
recognition during
the university's
commencement
ceremony. "Never
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made," Moses said in
his address to the
graduating class. "Cast
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water and do it all for
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to establish a permanent
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Tripoli, That firm
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and aluminum as well as
tourism.


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Page 24 THE'SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Falconry
(continued from page 6)
2007, held in Abu Dhabi.
One of the more
interesting items reported
concerned goings-on at
the Abu Dhabi Falcon
Hospital (ADFH), an
exclusive aviary facility
that claims it treats over
4,000 falcons annually for
various ailments.
"Falcons are our main
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hospital is equipped with
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intensive care unit to treat


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(continued on page xx)


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Page 25 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

CALIFORNIA


Falconry
(continued from page 24)
CITES (The Convention
of International Trade of
Endangered Species of
Flora and Fauna), the Abu
Dhabi Falcon Hospital
also rehabilitates
confiscated falcons and
other birds of prey seized
by the various Middle
Eastern Customs and
Excise departments.
All this interest and
investment by both
ordinary and prominent
UAE citizens has led to
the growth of yearly
falconry festivals and
permanent falconry
facilities. Centers such as
the Nad El Shabe
Falconry Center in Dubai
- built in 2006 at a cost of
Dhl6m ($4.2m) with 80%
of its space already leased
- cater to the sale of
falcons and all the
accessories that go along
with the sport.
Increasingly active,
this center offers buyers


and sellers of birds from
all over the Middle East a
central auction house. The
construction of a large
cafeteria has now added
to its extensive facilities.
An annual Perefrine
Beauty contest is one of
the more innovative
contests put on buy the
staff; the falcons are
judged on their size, long
colorful feathers, short,
sharp beaks and extended
necks the longer the
better, both for
appearance and fast
speed.
. This renewed interest
in the UAE being the first
country in the world to
issue travel documents for
falcons. Under the issuing
umbrella of CITES the
8,000 so-far issued
passports have been
solely for the use of UAE
residents, although
neighboring Qatar has
instituted a similar
program for its own
home-grown falconers.
"The passports contain


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th vision of the late Sheik
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Diving at speeds of up to


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of prey, their sudden and
traumatic aerial attacks at
first stunning their victim
and then, when the prey is
disoriented, capturing it
in their razor sharp talons.
Opportunistic and violent
when attacking, they are
nevertheless docile once
trained, their tight
plumage and desert-tone
colors blending in with
both their natural desert
terrain and the desert
residences of their loving
owners.
The UAE's
investments in falconry
and its attendant facilities
have revived a sense of
pride in Arab culture,
ownership and nostalgia,
fueled by Arab business
(continued on page 26)


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Page 26 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

CALIFORNIA


Falconry
(continued from page 25)
acumen. And the interest
is spreading, with Britain
the latest to host a
specialist falconry event,
which shows every sign
of becoming an annual
celebration, This bodes
well for international
relations at a time when


Demolition
(continued from page 8)
Israelis, who want to
work as tour guides,
bringing their fellow
citizens into the West
Bank. Salim's family
moved to the Old City
in Jerusalem in 1948
when their Arab village
was destroyed by the
Jewish army, the
Haganah, in the War of
Independence. In the
Six Day War of 1967,
they were forced to flee
to Shuafat refugee
camp, two kilometres
east of Jerusalem.
Salim graduated as a
construction technical
adviser and worked for
10 years in Saudi
Arabia. "I returned and
bought this piece of
land in Anata, very near
to my family in the
refugee camp," he says.
"Then I applied to get a
building permit. From
1990 to 1994 I applied


the world is short on
religious tolerance, as
well as for the protection
of a magnificent but still
endangered species. It is
also providing
employment for
thousands in a region that
is working hard to
provide jobs for its
burgeoning population..


three times but every
time I was refused by
the Israeli Civil
Administration Office.
The first time they
refused because 'your
land is outside the
zoning and planning of
the village'--but there is
no zoning or planning in
our villages.
"I waited one and a
half years and applied a
second time, they told
me: 'We cannot give you
a building permit
because your land is on
a hill'. Have they not
noticed that Jerusalem
is on a hill?
"I went to the Civil
Administration Office, I
said, 'I know I will
never get a building
permit from you, but I
will go ahead and build
a home.' He said, 'Apply
a third time and for sure
we will give you the
building permit.' Every

(continued on page 27)


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Afghanistan
(continued from page 17)
weapons elaborately
decorated. Typically for
nomadic people, all six
had gold stitched into
their clothes and wore
bracelet set with semi-
precious stones.
Another aspect of
nomadic culture is the
mixing of influences
apparent in these
objects Chinese,
Indian, Hellenistic,
Roman (coins) and
heart-shaped motifs
typical of th art of the
steppes all in all, a
glorious melting pot.
The final section of
this riveting exhibition
comprises ornat objects
from two sealed
chambers at Begram,
dating from the first
century AD. The most
beautiful are of glass or
ivory produced by very


accomplished artists.
One glass beaker
depicts the famous'
Pharaonic lighthouse at
Alexandria; another a
charming painted
tableau of hunting and
fishing. There's a fluid
and realistic sculpture
of a river goddess, and a
delicate ivory panel of a
woman and child, as
well as a jar in the form
of a bird-woman.
Let us pray that some
day The National
Museum of Kabul will
.once again be able to
safely display its
remarkable collection.
Culture stays alive!
Hidden Afghanistan
runs until 20 April 2008
at The Nieuwe Kerk,
Dam, Amsterdam.
http:/www.nieuwekerk.
nI Tel: +3120 6386909.


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Page 27 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2008

COLORADO/UTAH/WYOMING


Demolition
(continued from page 26)
time you apply it costs
more than $5,000. So I
apply for the third time,
I wait another one and a
half years, then they
say, 'We can't give you
the building permit
because you missed two
signatures from the deed
of ownership of the
land.' When I bought the
land I established from
the Israeli Interior
Ministry that it was
legal.
"In 1994 I started
building my home again
because after signing
Oslo, we have a hope
there will be peace,
nothing will be
demolished. I live there
with my family, with my
six kids and, my wife.
We live there together
until 9 July, 1998.
"While I am sitting
here, eating with my
family, I hear a loud
voice outside my home.
I get up to see: we are
surrounded by more
than 300 soldiers: just to
take me and my family
out of my home and to
demolish it."
Salim was given 15
minutes to get out of the
house with his family.
He attempted to resist,
was beaten, put in the
stress position, and the
family forced outside
with teargas. Seven of
the neighbours who
came to help were
injured, including a 16-
year-old who lost a
kidney from a bullet
wound.
The bulldozer
demolished the house in
front of them, along
with 52 olive trees.
"What to do?" says
Salim. "Tens of Israeli
volunteers came to help
us. Tens of Palestinian
volunteers came to help
us. Internationals also--
we decide to rebuild,
and we finished the
house as a shell building


on 2 August. On 3
August, the next day, at
4 o'clock in the
morning, we open our
eyes in the tent to see
machine guns, the area
again surrounded by
soldiers, and the
bulldozer came and
demolished the house."
Beit Arabeia--
Arabeia is the name of
Salim's wife--was
rebuilt and demolished
twice more, and rebuilt
again, with the help of
many hundreds of
volunteers: "Israelis and
Palestinians, working
and eating together,
refusing to be enemies,"
says Salim.
The present house is
no longer Salim's family
home: rebuilt for the
fifth time, as an act of
resistance, it is now a
peace centre, and a
shrine to the American
activist Rachel Corrie,
crushed to death by a
bulldozer as she
attempted to protect a
family home in Rafah,
Gaza. Salim's story is
one of many: according
to the Israeli Committee
against House
Demolitions (ICAHD)
18,000 Palestinian
homes have been
bulldozed since the start
of the Israeli
Occupation, more than
12,000 since 2005.
The crisis is
particularly acute in
East Jerusalem. A recent
report by ICAHD
details the bureaucratic
restrictions which make
obtaining a building
permit almost
impossible for
Palestinians. The cost of
a permit is over
$22,000, but 67% of
Palestinians in East
Jerusalem live below
the poverty line.
Pressure on housing
space within Jerusalem
has increased due to two
new policies by the
Israeli government.
Those like Salim, living


in villages outside the
municipal boundary
have had their residency
rights revoked, meaning
loss of social rights
such as healthcare,
while those on the West
Bank side of the Wall,
finding themselves cut
off from workplace,
schools, hospitals and
family members, want
to move within the city.
"The need for shelter is
stronger than any of the
deterrent measures
imposed by the
Municipality," says Dr
Meir Margolit, field co-
ordinator for ICAHD.
According to the Red
Cross, which provides
emergency tents for the
homeless, Palestinians
regard it as a lottery:
about 100 to 180 houses
are bulldozed each year,
and there are currently
some 20,000 houses
built without a permit.
"So if they're lucky a
family may live for
some years in their


house before it is
bulldozed," said a field
worker.
Meanwhile there is
significant Israeli
expansion in East
Jerusalem: including
plans for a new
settlement to house
60,000 people on the
former site of Atarot
airport, according to the
Foundation for Middle
East Peace. Unbroken
settlement around the
perimeter of East
Jerusalem will cut off
those Palestinians still
living within the city
from the West Bank.
Jerusalem municipal
housing- policy was
described by Britain's
Lord Paddy Ashdown in
the television
programme The Battle
for Jerusalem as 'racism
masquerading as
bureaucracy'.
Two months ago the
Israeli Supreme Court
ruled that the original
demolition order on


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valid, message: get out, we do
"The Israelis want the not want you here."
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says Salim. "It is a quiet


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