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The Syrian Lebanese star ( April 2009 )

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Later published as:
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 of America -- Florida -- Duval -- Jacksonville

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
Classification:
lcc - E184.S98 S97
System ID:
UF00028363:00076

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Later published as:
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 of America -- Florida -- Duval -- Jacksonville

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
Classification:
lcc - E184.S98 S97
System ID:
UF00028363:00076

Full Text
















$15.00 SUBSCRI


THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR
AN INDEPENDENT MONTHLY

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


Janice Farhat: Heritage Keeps
Ramallah Close at Heart


Holiday Shoppers Give
Thanks and Donations


Janice Farhat lives on daily commute, which is
Jacksonville's Southside one of the things the 44-
but works in Lake-City. year-old health care
That makes for a long (continued on page 31)

She Lured Women into Being
Suicide Bombers


A woman accused of
helping recruit dozens of
female suicide bombers
looked into the camera
and described the process:
trolling society for likely
candidates and then
patiently converting the
women from troubled
souls into deadly
attackers.
The accounts, in a
video released Tuesday
by Iraq police, offer a rare
glimpse into the networks
used to find and train the


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Samira Ahmed Jassim is
suspected of recruiting more
than 80 female suicide
bombers in Iraq.
women bombers who
have become one of the
insurgents' most effective
(continued on page 9)


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This holiday season
saw the -successful launch
of the fifth annual
"Thanks and Giving"
campaign, with new
partners joining the fight


The Cedars
Planted by God on the
snowy white mountains
of Lebanon, the Cedars
are a historical and
emblematic entity, and are
often referred to in the
Bible as "The Cedars of
the Lord." What Christian


against catastrophic
childhood diseases.
Marlo Thomas, St.
Jude national outreach
director, led off the
campaign the week of
Thanksgiving. For five
days the lifesaving work
of St. Jude was featured
on the TODAY show.
Thomas also taped an
appearance on CNN's
Lorry King Live, which
(continued on page 8)


of Lebanon
has not dreamed of seeing
them? And after seeing
them, one is simply
astonished at. their age
and size. These resilient
majestic trees are
indigenous to Lebanon
(continued on page 15)


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2009 Convention Committee's chairmen
(Oiando)
Clanw. 01r Ca0 Johaly r. 1)7 Co Cin.n Emie Jammal r.i 404s-o04
Dan Bvuswrui TMl 7.-57.w
RayGaz.l T i. 407- lw2w l
< Johnny Basla r 0e;a 2a3-8


In it's sixteenth year,
the 2008 Concert of
Colors was a celebration
of the many ethnicities
and cultures found in
metro Detroit. Spanning
four days, July 17-20,
Concert of Colors took
place at the Max M.
Fisher Music Center in
downtown Detroit.
Among the stellar


artists that perform this
year was international
pop star-activist Buffy
Sainte-Marie with the
Detroit Symphony
.Orchestra; reggae greats
Toots & the Maytals,
gospel legend Mavis
Staples, American
songstresses Rickie Lee
Jones and MichelleS hocked,
(continued on page 21)


Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia:
A New Focus on Tourism


While Dubai, Oman
and, to a lesser extent,
Kuwait and Qatar have
encouraged the
development of tourism
and opened up to foreign
visitors, both Abu Dhabi
and Saudi Arabia have


lagged behind, partly
because of their
conservative cultures.
Now, however, both
are planning to enter the
fray with carefully
thought-out plans that are
(continued on page 10)


Hollywood Fashion Gala
Raises Nearly $2 Million


(L to R:) Dr Bill Evans, Director and CEO of St. Jude,
and Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas
H o 1 1 y w o o d raised nearly $2
celebrities shared a million for the children
belief in the power of of St. Jude Children's,
hope Oct. 11th as they (continued on page 8)


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Boom Time for
Concert of Colors


I I


I r _ I I I


'4 APRIL 2009







-Page 2 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009


Saban Bilgin owns his
own moving company,
so he knows that lifting
box after box can be
backbreaking work.
But he found the two
dozen or so boxes he
helped unload from a
van Tuesday to be heart-
lifting instead.
"It's tough economic
times for everybody,"


Bilgin said in broken
English as he helped
deliver 300 pounds of
ground beef to the
Sulzbacher Center, a
homeless shelter in
Jacksonville. "In hard
times like this, helping
people feels very good."
The act helped Bilgin
and four friends from


Alberre- Akel


W IF- .
Kristen Alberre and
Jameel W. Akel were
married at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday in Immaculate
Conception Catholic
Church.
The bride, daughter of
Samyia and Essa Alberre,
graduated from. Bishop
Kenny High School and
the University of North
Florida. She is employed


(continued on page 11) (continued on page 12)


Nasser


George Y. Nasser went
to be with his Lord on
January 22, 2009
surrounded by his family.
He was born in Ramallah,
Palestine on May 13,
1940 and immigrated to
the United States in 1947.
He graduated from
Robert E. Lee High
School and served in the
U.S. Army National
Guard. He was a retired
successful businessman.
He was a charter and
devoted member of St.
George Antiochian
Orthodox Church and
served faithfully as an
acolyte for numerous
priests and in the Parish
Council. He was a
longtime member of the
Ramallah-American
Club. He was an avid
runner and an active
member of the
Jacksonville Track Club.
He was also a dedicated
Florida Gators fan.
He is survived by his
loving wife of 43 years
Suhiela (Sue) Nasser, 4
children, Brenda, George
Jr., Sharon Beatty
(Benjamin) and Dr.
Kristy Griffin (Dr.
Robert), one brother
Norman (Sameria), 2
grandchildren Jenna
Anne Beatty and Alana
Rose Griffin, and
numerous nieces,
nephews, cousins and
friends.
Family received
friends on Sunday,
January 25 at St. George
Antiochian Orthodox
Church. Funeral services
were held on January 26
at St. George Antiochian
Orthodox Church with
Rev. Father Kamal Al-
Rahil officiating.


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THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR


April 2009 II


Dear Friends:
Let me first wish you a
Happy New Year. I hope
the holidays were good to
you and that your 2009
will be filled with health
and joy.
As we head into the
New Year, in the midst of
difficult economic times,
we at ALSAC/St. Jude are
grateful to all our donors
and volunteers who
continue to keep us in
their hearts and minds. We
are keenly aware of the
pressures on American
families, and we pray you
will weather these
economic difficulties. All
of us, and mostly the
children of St. Jude,


appreciate your continued
support.
Despite the news on the
economic front, we have
enjoyed some wonderful
St. Jude moments in the
past few months.
I am sure all of you had
the opportunity to see
elements of our
remarkable Thanks and
Givingm program. Thanks
to the efforts of Marlo,
Terre and Tony Thomas,
and our many corporate
partners, the St. Jude story
was shared with millions
more Americans this year.
From our television spots
to the movie trailer to the
in-store displays, Thanks
(continued on page 31)


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How did the Bible
come to us in English?
The Old Testament
writings were inscribed in
Hebrew and other ancient
languages. We know that
theGood News was
passed on by word of
mouth immediately
afterthe death,
resurrection and
ascension of Jesus Christ.
Only decades later was
the oral tradition put into
written form, primarily in
Greek. Sy the fifth
century St. Jerome had
translated the Bible into
Latin. This was called the
Latin Vulgate. In these
pre-medieval times all
writings were copied by
hand.
The whole of the Holy
Bible did not appear in
English until the middle
of the second millennium.


saim
By Brother John
Samaha, S.M.
It was a slow and troubled
accomplishment. The
production of the Bible
emerged from a
complicated past filled
with intrigue and
controversy, persecution
and martyrdom. What
happened?
At best, translation is a
difficult and tricky task.
An Italian adage says the
translator is a traitor. In
those early times it was a
(continued on page 12)


The Emergance of
the Bible in English


Ponte Vedra Beach,
Fla. The MPS Group
Championships
announced today that
No. 9 in the world and


former champion Nadia
Petrova, has taken the
lead as the first player to
commit to The MPS
(continued on page 13)


I, ---


II Page 3


The MPS Group
Championships Leads Off
With Former Champion and
Top Ten Player
2006 Champion, Nadia
Petrova First to Commit


THE

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-Page 5 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009


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...Toni M. Kara
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
Rachelle Rose Palasota
Daughter of Joseph and Diane
Palasota
Ameleb Club
San Antonio,Texas
The Cedars ofTexoma Club
Scholarship
Lawton, Oklahoma; Wichita Falls,Texas
Gift for Knowledge Award
Our Federation Family & Friends and
Scholarship Committee
Belmont University

Elizabeth Nellie Shahid
Daughter of Joseph Richard and
JoAnn Shahid
Cedars Phoeniiian Club
Birmingham Alabama
Marshall and Victoria Arrieh
Lebanese Heritage Award
in Memory of Michael Nesser
Donors: Drs. Albert and Marielle Johary & Dan
and Danielle Flaherty
University of Alabama


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Shikany
Cedar Club of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
Cedars Phoenician Club of
BirminghamScholarship
Birmingham, Alabama
Gift for Knowledge Award
Our Federation Family & Friends and
Scholarship Committee
Georgia State University

Andrew Daniel Gattas
Son of Andy and Lou Gattas
Cedars Club of Memphis
Memphis,Tennessee
Southern Federation Membership
Scholarship
Donor: Federation Family and Friends
Spring Hill

Jessica Jaye Joseph
Daughter of Anthony and Suzanne
Joseph
American Lebanon Association
Austin,Texas
Al and Darlene Zwan
in Memory of Alphonse "Al" George Zwan, Sr.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


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Page 6 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA


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was escorted by her cousin,
Sam Dabit, Jr. She is the
daughter ofDr Amal
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Miss Mary Mahfoud and
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brother Johnathan.


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Page 7 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA


In Memoriam of


AMERICAN


Elizabeth Jamail
Yamin, native
Houstonian, age 87,
passed from this life on
November 22nd, 2008.
Elizabeth is preceded in
death by her parents
Najeeb K. "Jim" Jamail
and Mary Jamail, her
brother Albert Jamail, and
her beloved husband
Philip K. Yamin.
Elizabeth is survived
by her daughter Barbara
Yamin Fletcher and


husband Bob; her son
Calvin Philip Yamin and
partner Steven Warren;
her grandchildren Jason
Fletcher and wife Shelley,
Stephanie Fletcher, Kayla
Fletcher, Kevin Fletcher
and Jennifer Rashkin;
great grandchild Mila
Rashkin; sister Marian
Averyt, brothers Joe
Harry Jamail, and
numerous cousins, nieces
and nephews.
As a young woman,
Elizabeth worked in the
family grocery business
with' her father, Jim
Jamail. During WWII she
worked as a Steel Analyst
for military weapons at
Cameron Iron Works and
as a Geological Analyst
for Leo Horvitz
Laboratory. With the birth
of her first child, Barbara,

(continued on page 13)


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Joe Ellis Joseph


Joe Ellis Joseph, 74,
passed away Wednesday,
October 22,2008, at
Regency Hospital in
Jackson. Visitation was held
October 24, 2008 and 12
noon Saturday, October 25,
2008, at St. Peter's Catholic
Cathedral on North West
Street in Jackson. A wake
service will be 7 pm Friday
at the Cathedral. A Mass of
Christian Burial will be 1
pm Saturday at St. Peter's
Catholic Cathedral
followed by burial in
Cedarlawn Cemetery.


Joe was bornDecember
10, 1933, to Bessie and Ellis
Joseph. He attended the
Jackson Public Schools and
graduated from Central
High School in 1953. He
later received a Bachelor's
Degree in Business
Administration from the
University of Mississippi.
After graduating from Ole
Miss he was employed by
Fred L. Nelson Insurance
Agency; later he formed his
own agency, the Joe Ellis
Joseph insurance Agency
(continued on page 13)


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Page 8 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA


Saudi King Switches
Up Leaders


King Abdullah dismissed the chief of religious police anda
cleric who endorsed the killing of TV network owners over
"immoral" content.


The Saudi king on
Saturday dismissed the
chief of the religious
police and a cleric who
condoned killing the
owners of TV networks
that broadcast
"immoral" content,
signaling an effort to
weaken the country's
hard-line Sunni
establishment.
The shake-up -
King Abdullah's first
since coming to power
in August 2005 -
included the


appointment of a
female deputy minister,
the highest government
position a' Saudi
woman has attained.
The king also
changed the makeup of
an influential body of
religious scholars, for
the first time giving
more moderate Sunnis
representation to the
group whose duties
include issuing the
religious edicts known
as fatwas.
(continued on page 20)


Lebanon is one of the
most countries of the
wore and is certainly one
of the most fascinating.
Its high mountains offer
a breathtaking view of
the Mediterranean Sea
and the picturesque
"Valley of The Saints" of
Kadisha and
Quannoubine, home of
the first Maronites.
Countless villages and
towns cling to their
impressive cliffs and
gentle slopes, each with
its own way of life and
attractions. The resilient
an majestic "Cedars of
the Lord", as they are
referred to in the Bible,
adorn and crown these
mountains forever
defying immortality.
They symbolize
Lebanon and decorate its
national flag.
As seafarers, the


Phoenicians forefathers
of the Lebanese
dominated the
Mediterranean shores
with their navigation and
commercial skills. From
various coastal cities and
from Bylos particularly,
they sailed to distant
lands exporting their
phenomenal Alphabet as
well as their cedar
timber forever changing
the destiny of the
Ancient World. Because
of its strategic
geographical location,
Lebanon was shaped by
many civilizations
throughout history. The
fusion of such diverse
peoples is evident in the
richness of the country
in archeological and
historical sites. From the
Stone Age to the present,
those monuments and
(continued on page 18)


Gala
(continued from page 1)
Research Hospital at
the fifth annual
"Runway for Life"
fashion show.
More than 1,000
guests attended the
event at the Beverly
Hilton in Beverly
Hills, Calif. The event
was chaired by
designer Robert Ellis
and Terre Thomas,
daughter of St. Jude
founder Danny


Thomas, and co-
chaired by her siblings
Marlo and Tony
Thomas. This year, the
evening was presented
by Disney's new
feature length
animated movie,
Tinker Bell, which was
released on DVD and
Blu-Raym Hi-Def Oct.
28, and the fairyland
theme was carried
throughout the event.
The elegant dinner
(continued on page 14)


Brenda Mosley

Insurance Agency, Inc.

1249 Cassat Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32205

Brenda will take the time to answer all
your questions and explain in detail all the
questions that you have and she will give
you her honest opinion to help fill your
needs. Quality service comes easy to her
as it should be to you.

Give her a call for all your Insurance needs.




Our 100th Year


Gustafson 's Dairy


Go Jaguars We Are Proud Of Our NFL Team


(904) 264-9525


Green Cove Springs, Florida


This farmer owned business celebrated


their 100th Anniversary with a bang along


with their 140 employees.


No words can describe them


and the best product out there.


Donations
(continued from page 1)
aired Nov. 27.
St. Jude was promoted
nationwide through new
Thanks and Giving
commercials featuring
Jennifer Aniston, Antonio
Banderas and Robin
Williams. Joining the St.
Jude celebrity family this
year was Jason Taylor,
NFL player and former
Dancing With the Stars
contestant. Country artist
Keith Urban returned to
record radio spots, along
with Grammy Award
winner Brad Paisley.
Thanks and Giving
asks consumers to "Give
thanks for the healthy
kids in your life, and give
to those who are not." The
campaign was created by
Marlo Thomas and her
siblings Terre and Tony


Thomas in 2004 and has
become a holiday
tradition.
Through the generous
help of retail partners,
Thanks and Giving was
visible in stores
throughout the holiday
season.
Thanks and Giving
grew from 20 partners in
2004 to more than 55 this
year. New partners this
year included Crayola,
Radioshack, New York &
Company, Charlotte
Russe, Hilton HHonors
and PNY. Some of the
specialty merchandise
sold to support St. Jude
this year included the
Crayola 64-count crayon,
marker and pencil boxes
featuring the "Color of
Courage;" "Oatmeal the
Bear" by Pottery Barn
(continued on page 15)


Carte' 4 Ortega Phar6macies

& Home MediCae ProdUctc -.
Park & King Pharmacy
2923 Corinthian s Ave., Jacksonville, Florida 32210
SPhone (904) 389-5558
Our Pharmacists are available to answer your questions
,ne& regarding your prescriptions,
Ddami 1 Please Call Anytime.

Started in 1935, Greg Cater is now the
President and 3rd Generation. His dad Bill
Carter still active in the Family Business on
Wed & Sat stop by to say "Hi." Greg was 8
years old, dusting shelves for 25cents an
hour, when Greg got older his wages
improved he took with him in life all his dad
has taught him and still does, to take care
of others as you would your own.

ERNEST SESSIONS
CONTRACTORS
Interior & Exterior
Repairs- Pressure Washing
Guaranteed Lowest Rates
904-674-3003 904-463-0758
Jacksonville FL
These Girls Tammy now the President and sister
Sherry and cousin Denise are Ernie's Angels. Ernie
Started this Business Himself 43 years ago. Ernie
taught his Angels that customers come first and
saving them money.

They offer product and service fit for your budget.
This family owned Business cares for you.


Lebanon and the Maronites:
Linked in History






Page 9 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA


Middle East Leads the World
in Stamping Out Killer Virus


"The measles vaccination program, as seen here in Iraq,
is having a positive impact on'the decline of the disease
in the region."


The Middle East has
achieved the world's
greatest success rate in
reducing the death toll of
measles and at a time
when some countries in
the West are experiencing
soaring incidents of the
killer virus that puts
children at high risk of
death.
Disease outbreaks are
particularly deadly in
areas afflicted by war or
natural disasters. The
Middle East has achieved
its new-found status with
the widespread use of a
vaccine, which has been
in use for four decades, is
safe and effective and
costs less than $1 per
child to administer.
The regional public
health triumph in forcing
the retreat of the disease


has been announced by
the jubilant World Health
Organisation (WHO) of
the United Nations at its
Geneva headquarters.
"Targeted vaccination
campaigns have had a
major impact on reducing
measles deaths,"
confirmed a scientific
spokesman for the
organisation.
"From 2000 to 2007,
about 576 million
children living in high-
risk countries were
vaccinated against the
disease. The largest health
gains occurred in the
Eastern Mediterranean
area as well as Africa,
where measles cases and
deaths fell by 90% and
89% respectively."
Despite these gains,
(continued on page 19)


"The largest health gains occurred in
the Eastern Mediterranean area as well
as Africa, where measles cases and
deaths fell by 90% and 89%
respectively"


In Pursuit of a Dream
The dynamic young Emirati jewellery
maker and designer, Azza Al Qubaisi,
talked to Mustapha Karkouti
in Abu Dhabi.


With Collections
inspired by the
environment around
her, bearing, names
such as Eternity, Life,
Desert Springs, and
Marine Symphony,
Azza Al Qubaisi, a
determined young
Emirati, has made her
mark in the world of
jewellery by
designing and
personally creating a
dazzling medley of
unique contemporary
pieces. But, looking
back on her journey, it
is clear she has paid
her dues on the road
to success.
Now the founder
and owner of Arjmst


Azza Al Qubaisi learned
to make people listen.
(the combined initials
of her siblings); The
Arabian Workshop for
Jewellery and
Gemstones in Abu
Dhabi, Al Qubaisi was
always interested in
(continued on page 19)


Bombers Associated Press, with
(continued from page 1) interrogators nearby, the
Woman said she was part
e ns a te rggle of a plot in which young
under increasing
Sw ns women were raped and
crackdowns.
then sent to her for
In a separate prison
interview with The (continued on page 14)

Your Friend & Realtor-
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j MLS
4685 Sunbeam Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Office: (904) 737-2290
Cell: (904) 635-6005
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Home: (904) 731-5315
E-mail: alfreidlinWatsonRealtyCorp.com
w oescorswEoa Rs' Please Mention Ad When Calling


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Ernie Taylor's
Heating & Air Conditioning


(904) 387-2106

Duct cleaning
Commercial & Residential
24/7

538 Locust Street Jacksonville, FL

These Girls, Tammy now the President and sister
Sherry and cousin Denise are Ernie's Angels. Ernie
Started this Business Himself 43 years ago. Ernie
taught his Angels that customers come first and
saving them money.

They offer product and service fit for your budget.
This family owned Business cares for you.


PARTIES FOR ANY OCCASION OUR PLACE OR YOURS?




Our Many Syrian I w

Customers r
L, Lebaoese II "i



218 First Street Neptune Beach
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SPECIALS CHANGE DAILY BEER & WINE
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SALON
A Full-Service Salon For
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Please Tell Mr. Werner
that you.saw His Ad in
the Syrian-Lebanese
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Open Tues Sat
5665 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL
(904) 398-3861






Page 10 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

JACKSONVILLE BEACHES, FLORIDA


Babylon: Myth And Reality


The British Museum's
exhibition Babylon: Myth
And Reality provides a
penetrating flash of
insight to the ancient city
during the reign of King
Nebuchadnezzar II (605-
562 BC), its contribution


Breakfast Lunch
Dinner
New York Style
Newly Opened
Daily Prepared
Specials
All Baking Done
on Premises
Great Late Night
Snacks
Located in Jacksonville Beach
(between Atlantic Ave. & Beach
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JM ck IY lI Be Fi


to science and
mathematics and the art,
films and music it
inspired.
It ends with a
documentary about the
damage to the historical
archaeological site during
the 2003 war and a vision
of Babylon as a major
tourist attraction in a
peaceful Iraq.
(continued on page 20)

Village

Arts

Custom Framing &
Gallery For 32
Years

904-273-4925

305 Sawgrass Village -
Next to Publix

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL


Invisible Audio



Audio-Visual Equipment


Rent & Lease


(904) 249-4931


Jacksonville Beach, FL


Tourism
(continued from page 1)
attracting substantial
investment as well as
excitement by prospective
visitors.
The Abu Dhabi
Tourism Authority
(ADTA), established in
2004, is targeting the
high-end tourism market
and has set a goal of
building 25,000 new hotel
rooms by 2012. The plan
is part of a strategy for
"Brand Abu Dhabi,"
prepared by international
consultants Booz Allen
Hamilton that will
emphasise the emirate's
cultural attractions, as
well as its environment,
climate and business
opportunities.
"Global tourism will
grow from an $8 trillion
to a $15-trillion industry
in the next decade and
will account for 10.5% of
world gross domestic
product (GDP) by 2018,"
ADTA's Chairman,


Sultan bin Tahnoon Al
Nahyan, told the media in
the UAE. "The World
Tourism Congress has
identified the Middle East
as one of the most
attractive areas in the
world, and expects it to
grow at 5 to 10% a year."
For these reasons, he
adds, "Abu Dhabi could
be idea! for cultural and
business tourism."
ADTA's subsidiary,
TDIC, is currently
(continued on page 22)


Ellen's Kitchen
Serving the Beaches Deicious
Breakfast & Lunch for 44 Years.
SEarly Bird Breakfast Sp ia!,
Crab Cake Benedict
Daily Lunch Specdii
Hand-dipped Milkshakes

1824 S. 3rd St,, Pablo Plaza itOic D-., *Jax Beach, FL
S 246-72 Fax for Take Out: 2460 ZM


O1d World Favorites with Modern Twist


Full B31 with extensive Wie List

lHappy hour Specials in our Bar Dailq


725 Atlantic Blvd. Suite 6

Atlantic Beach, FL

904.372.4105







Page 11 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA


North African riads offer ideal investment opportunities
as vacation homes.


The launch of the
Union for the
Mediterranean in Paris
last year has highlighted
the growing ties between
Europe and North Africa
and set the scene for.an
increase in global
investments, particularly
from the Arab Gulf
states. Spurred on by the
prospect of greater
economic, social and
cultural co-operation
between countries such
as Morocco, Algeria,
Tunisia, Libya and Egypt
in the southern
Mediterranean, and with
France, Spain, Italy,
Germany and the
Balkans, cash-rich Gulf
investors are seeking new
outlets for their wealth in
an effort to diversify
away from their home
countries at a time when
the economies of the US


Gift
(continued from page 2)
the Amity Turkish
Cultural Center fulfil
the Muslim tradition of
donating ritually
prepared meat to the
poor. In a hectic hour
between 3 and 4 p.m.,
they made the
Sulzbacher delivery and


and Europe look set to
stagnate, or decline.
The result is a host of
new billion- and multi-
million dollar projects for
hotels, tourist complexes,
resorts, cultural centres
and residential
compounds in North
Africa that are aimed at
visitors from the Gulf
states, as well as
Europeans.
"The appeal is that it is
Europe's next frontier,"


comments


Marwan


Shehadeh, managing
director of Dubai-based
Al Futtaim Capital. "The
new initiative from
French president Nicolas
Sarkozy of a
Mediterranean Union
proves that Europe is
definitely looking south
for population and
economic growth,
(continued on page 31)


dropped off another 300
pounds at Second
Harvest Food Bank.
The donations were
part of a Muslim
practice associated with
the Eid ul-Adha, a major
festival that
accompanies the annual
pilgrimage to Mecca,
which happened in early


December. The Quran
instructs Muslims to
divide the specially
prepared meat into
thirds: one portion for


themselves, one portion
for a neighbor and
another portion for the
poor, said Akif Aydin,
(continued on page 16)


Gulf Cash Energizes
Maghred Tourism


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Water Damag


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Expect an Honest Assessnent of Your
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TIRES & WHEELS
Alignments, Suspension, Struts
Front End Shocks, Brakes
www.bigchieftire.com
Fritz Parman III, president

904-786-0721
5444 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32205

This is dedicated to Fritz Parman Jr. who
passed away, he was known for his honesty
and for being the best tire businessman in
Jacksonville, Fl. His two sons with and Mom
with 42 years active in this wonderful family
business. Family run since "61"

This company family will take care of your
needs, and will make sure that you are com-
pletely happy before you leave; the prices and
service speak for themselves.
This company has been passed down from
generations, Fritz III & his grandson, Rob and Mom
will take good care of you.








We Service All Major Appliances


Family Owned and Operated
Since 1982

904-743-9004


Jacksonville, FL


25 years in business, family owned
by Charles Parks.

You always get the job done right.
Excellent service, never to busy to care
for all his new and old customers

God Bless you and Thanks!


Jacksonville, FL

SOUTHLAND

WELL DRILLERS


Oldest Driller in
the Oldest City

Specializing in
Shallow Wells
Lic 1982

We Install STA-RITE Water Wells
Exclusively

(904) 824-0774

Serving St. Johns County
St. Augustine, FL

6outAeaitetn MEDEQUIP, Inc.
FOR ALL YOUR MEDICAL SUPPLY NEEDS
OXYGEN HOSPITAL BEDS
SEAT LIFT CHAIRS
POWER/MANUAL WHEELCHAIRS
MASTECTOMY OSTOMY
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904-246-0333
905 N. Third St., Jacksonville Beach, FL
RENTALS, SALES, REPAIRS & SERVICE
MEDICAL & PRIVATE INSURANCES BILLED
This business was started by Bill Fogg who wanted to
help people advertised in the newspaper, and had great
response. This business is 35 years old, and his children
are involved in the business as well as his wife of 57
years of marriage. I asked him was their secret is for
holding it together all these years He says "I think we are
getting the hang of it." This business and Mr.Fogg and his
family, who own it are very kind and appreciated.







Page 12 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

FLORIDA


Seeking a New Way Forward
After less than 24 hours in power
President Barack Obama had instituted
change at Guantanamo Bay and within
48 hours had established personal
telephone contact with a series of
Middle East leaders. Here is a look at
the new president's inaugural speech
and anticipates major changes in
the region.


-W

Barack and MIchelle Obama at the Inaugural Ball in
Washington, D.C.


They came from all
corners of the world
and from every state in
the Union to see if the
man "could walk on
water"--as one
commentator so
graphically pointed
out. Nearly three
million people filled
the Lincoln Memorial,
and every street and
alley leading up to it.
Expecting a rousing
'Ra-Ra-Ra' feel-good
speech, they instead
got a sobering plan of
action, as well as a
reminder that all carry
a personal
responsibility, to make
this world a better
place. As such the
message sent by .the


Alberre-Akel
(continued from page 2)
by Firehouse Subs as
manager of real estate.
The groom, son of
Leona and Wlid Akel,
graduated from First
Coast High School and
the University of North
Florida. He is the owner


44th President of the
United States,
President Barack
Hussein Obama, was
directed not just at a
dispirited American
nation, but at all those
in the Middle East that
would be America's
friend; and even its
enemy.
Three sections of
President Obama's
inauguration speech
were of particular
relevance to the
Muslim world. These
were prefaced- by an
eloquent lead-in; "In
the words of Scripture,
the time has come to
set aside childish
things," Obama said--
(continued on page 32)


of Famous Sandwiches on
Lem Turner.
The bride's sister,
Sonya Alberre, was the
maid of honor. The
groom's brother, George
Akel, was the best man.
Following a trip to St.
Lucia, the couple will live
in Jacksonville.


Bible
(continued from page 3)
matter of life and death
embroiled in historical,
cultural, political, and
religious clashes. But
from that turmoil in those
tumultuous times by dint
of perservering and
dedicated scholars the
First English translations
saw light of day. Briefly,
this. is what happened.
Christianity arrived on
the shores of England in
the seventh century in the
person of St. Augustine of
Canterbury and the
missionary efforts that
followed. Already at that
time Caedmon, an
illiterate herdsman, sang
the Good Sews in Anglo-
Saxon poetry. In the next
century other preachers
continued to provide
biblical translations of
sorts. Bishop Aldheim of
Sherbourne translated the
psalms. St. Bede, a monk
of Jarrow who told the
story of Caedmon,


translated some of the
New Testament. Later
appeared translations of
the Ten Commandments,
the Pentateuch, the
Gospels, and the Acts. of
the Apostles. Then
followed interlinear
versions -- the Latin text
with English translations
between the lines.
Only in the fourteenth
century did the
production of the entire
Bible in English start with
John Wycliffe. This
century was fraught with
difficulties for the
Church. The pope was
living in Avignon, France,
and many suspected he
was easily swayed by
French politics. In 1378
Pope Gregory XI returned
to Rome, but he died soon
after. When two popes
were elected, one in
Avignon and one in
Rome, the Great Schism
resulted. Confusion
reigned and many
questioned the authority
(continued on page 17)


Best wishes to our
Syrian and Lebanese Customers

Service On All Makes
Midway Shell
941-756-1276

Bay Shore Shell
941-756-8077

Tallevast Shell
941-355-9441

5303 14th St. W. Bradenton, FL


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* Most Insurance Accepted Services Provided By RN's
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1501 Robert J. Conlan Blvd., Suite 6
Palm Bay, FL 32905


352-543-9000
877-543-5051
www.ceaderkeybandb.com


Owned and operated by Alice & Bill Phillips of
Cedar Key. When you arrive, you will be greet-
ed with a warm welcome by Alice and Bill, and
what a beautiful wonderland you will find. Chef
Alice has recipes that are unforgettable, she
might just share her 'Zippy' recipe with you.
This home away from home is a place to rest,
shop, sight seeing, and even kayak, you can sit
in courtyard and watching the Butterfly garden.
Any occasion, you can have it here. Endless
cookie jar for sleepwalkers, open 24/7.

Randy Rudd

Roofing & Consulting
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Jacksonville Beaches for your convenience!
Licensed & Insured CC-C 057831
Jacksonville, FL (904) 545-1392


FERDOS Grill

Gourmet Mediterranean Cuisine
Shish Kabab, Shish Kafta,
Shish Tawook, Shrimp Kabab
Belly Dancing Show
Every Saturday Night
We Do Catering Available for Private Parties
(954) 492-5552
4300 North Federal Hwy. Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Open Hours: Mon-Thu: 11:30am-10pm Fri: 11:30am-11pm
Sat: 5pm-11pm Sunday: closed
www.ferdosgrill.net

Family Owned, Originally from Lebanon,
with homemade food and 15 years
experience, you will love it. Samar Barazi's
recipe is "Home of the kabob."
He serves Lebanese beer "Almaza."
Private parties welcome;
just give him a call.
Rated # 1 for the Mediterranean Delight.







Page 14 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

FLORIDA


The Nuclear Arab World


Libya s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi signed a long list of
nuclear power agreements with Vladimir Putin on a visit


to Moscow in late 2008.
Jordan has signed an
atomic energy
development agreement
with China for the
construction of an
advanced nuclear
research facility and the
establishment of
p r e i m i n a r y
infrastructure for
uranium mining and
reactor fuel enrichment.
The agreement calls for
the creation of a
subcritical assembly at
the Jordan University of
Science and
Technology--an
installation resembling
a research reactor in all
its features and
functions without
actually generating
energy--plus a nuclear


training programme and
help with the
exploitation -of the
desert. kingdom's
estimated 180,000-ton
uranium ore reserves.
The Chinese accord
may be the first of many
to be signed soon by the
recently established
Jordan Atomic Energy
Commission. Khaled
Tukan, the head of the
commission, says he has
received many
substantial offers of
support during the past
year from nuclear
technology leaders
including China, the
United States, Russia,
Britain, France and
Canada as well as the
(continued on page 38)


Gala
(continued from page 8)
and gala, which was
produced by Dan
Kough, was
highlighted by a star-
studded fashion show,
featuring women's
fashions by Ellis,
menswear by .Brooks
Brothers, hair by
Nexxus and makeup by
CARGO Cosmetics.
Among those joining
the Thomas family and
Ellis to help raise
funds and awareness
for St. Jude were
Hilary and Haylie
Duff, Jennifer Love
Hewitt, Selena Gomez,


Cybill Shepherd, Jaime
Pressly, Natasha
Henstridge, Jon
Hamm, Victor Garber,
Valerie Bertinelli, Ross
McCall, Kathy Najimy,
Skeet Ulrich, Nancy
O'Dell. William
Shatner, Dick Van
Dyke and Jonny Lee
Miller.
RunwayforLife was
created by Terre
Thomas .and Ellis in
2004. Since its
inception, the event
has raised more than
$5.45 million for St.
Jude.


Bomber
(continued from page 9)
matronly advice. She said
she would try to persuade
the victims to become
suicide bombers as their
only escape from the
shame and to reclaim
their honor.
The AP was allowed
access on condition the
information would not be
released until the formal
announcement of the
arrest.
The US and Iraqi
militaries have made past
claims without providing
much evidence about
efforts by insurgents to
recruit vulnerable women


as well as -children as
attackers. Those included
statements by the Iraqis
that two women who
blew themselves up last
year in Baghdad had
Down's Syndrome,
accounts that were not
supported by subsequent
investigations.
It also was not possible
independently to verify
the claim that insurgents
sent out people to rape
women who could then be
recruited as bombers in
the volatile Diyala
province northeast of
Baghdad.
But the suspect, 50-

(continued on page 19)


St. George Antiochian

Orthodox Cathedral

Our beautiful Hall is
available for rental
Weddings Ban#uets
Parties, ETC.


305-444-6541
320 Palermo Ave.
Coral Gables, FL
This Church is active in keeping your
focus on God. One event coming up is
Picnic in May come join us for this event.
Father Pete welcomes you to join.

Happy Anniversary
aobinboob Renntal

ijartp iUa te
Tables Chairs
China Linens
"For all Your Party Rental Needs"
Visit Our Showroom
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Gary invites you to come see the show room.
Family Owned for 30 years. He will help you have
a party that will Dazzle everyone. Its your party, let
them help you on everything you need.
The best part he will help you save money.


Ray's Tires

of Merritt Island

321-452-4834
58 East Merritt Island CSWY
Merritt Island, Florida 32952

40 years in this business, Ray will take care of
you. He is never to busy to take care of you and
100% in satisfying you. Hard work and honesty
in taking care of our customers is what he
taught his son Steve, who owns an exporting
Co and builds freight ships. His daughter
Marsha, a Manager at Boeing, and Cheri who
works in helping people with housing.
Happy Anniversary to you Ray
for 40 years in business!


Jones Pump Service


904-964-4953

11390 S.E. 59th Street

Hampton, Fl 32044



60 Years, Happy,
Happy Anniversary Elmer Jones.

Saving us money is what he likes to do.
He says, "Don'twaste money on cheap
pumps that are un-repairable."
He guarantees his work to the fullest
because he knows that its
done right the first time!












Gunning for the gunrunners Cedars
The arrest of three men who are (continued from page 10)
allegedly the world's most notorious alone, and adorn its
arms dealers may shed some light on highest mountains forever
defying immortality.
their murky demi-monde in the They thrust tall into the
Middle East. sky and stretch out their
branches horizontally into
the horizon. Neither snow
nor wind ever bends


them. Many among them
have reached a height of
115 feet and 34 to 46 feet
in diameter. Those giants
have played an important
role in the culture, trade,
and religious observances
of the ancient world.
Renowned for its
fragrance and durability,
(continued on page 21)


Donations Giving campaign. The
(continued from page 8) 5K fundraising event-
"Give Thanks. Walk." -
Kids; and Target's was held in 15 cities
Choxie chocolates gift across America on
selections and elephant Nov. 22.
plush and puppet.
A new regional
program also was
created this year to
support the Thanks and


Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout (left), and Syrian-born
Monzer Al Kassar (right)


Three men-an Israeli,
a Russian and a Syrian-
-are behind bars in
Moscow, Madrid and
Bangkok. All are known
as leading figures in the
murky world of arms
trafficking. All face
judicial proceedings,
including extradition,
that could lift the veil
on their deadly business
and its links to the
Middle East and the
Latin American
narcotics trade.
The investigations
into the activities of
these three men could
illuminate the dark
relationship between
many intelligence
communities and the
criminal syndicates that


run the arms-for-drugs
trade, and how Israel
engages in covert
operations in Latin
America Latin America,
the Spanish-speaking,
Portuguese-speaking,
and French-speaking
countries (except
Canada) of North
America, South
America, Central
America, and the West
Indies. and elsewhere.
These illegal, corrupt
and sometimes bloody
activities are usually
conducted in concert
with the Americans, but
often the Israelis are
just in it for themselves
and the hefty profits to
be reaped.
(continued on page 42)


Best Wishes From



I entage Propane

Monday Friday 8:00 A.M. 5:00 P.M.
Proudly Serving Citrus
& Surrounding Areas
We deliver propane in both
bulk and bottled forms,
heating many of the homes in this area.
Gas Burners Heaters Grills *
Appliances Generators
Commercial & Residential

352-726-8822

or 1-800-832-8823

2700 North Florida Ave.
Hernando, FL 34442


Screen print
S Designs

Locally Owned & Operated By Mike Califf
Dealing in quality screen printing, SCREEN PRINT
DESIGNS has made quite a name for themselves
throughout the local area.

PLEASE MENTION AD WHEN CALLING.
(850) 863-4976
316 Greenacres Rd., Unit 19 Ft. Walton Beach, FL
Mike Califf has 28 years experience.
He will give you a Free pre design
service with a shirt order for screen
printing. He said his reward of being
In business is seeing the finished
product. His business motto is
"Quality printing at reasonable prices"
We appreciate his quality service
and products.


Sales.* Service Repairs
Commerical & Household Machines


2535 28th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL

Bill Frush has years of experience and
enjoys what he does.
He is very honest and only
sells the best products.

Residential or Commercial he will make sure
that your are happy.
He offers great pricing and will do what it
takes for you to be happy. Give him a call
and he will help you.


PREVATTE FLORISTS
Serving The Palm Beaches Since 1950
Specializing In Weddings,
Parties & All Special Events
Free Consultation
24 Hours 7 Days Including Holidays
Corporate Accounts Welcomed
Credit Cards Accepted

www.prevatteflorist.com
561-848-1485
804 US Highway 1 Lake Park, FL


Tracey has 25 years experience, she thanks
her great Uncle & Aunt for her business they
started 58 years ago. Tracey has a unique
eye for flowers and arrangements.
There is a huge variety of gift baskets for all
occasions. Her motto is "Everything she
makes comes from her heart to her hands".
She will help you decorate for all your
Holidays!


Dedicated to high Quality Affordable Care
"We Treat You Like Family"
Specializing In Auto Accident Injuries
Massage Therapy Physical Therapy
Acupuncture Nutrition Sports Injuries
Lower Back Pain Whiplash Headaches
Most Insurance Accepted

(954) 880-0101
11200 Pines Blvd Suite 101
Pembroke Pines, FL
(Inside Bank Atlantic Blvd.)
Mon., Wed. Fri- 9om-8pm Tues &
Thurs By Appointment
Dr. Issa has 10 years dedicated to her work.
In the Chiropractic wellness. She will always
treat you like family, and take good care of you.
She also owns a Spa now, at 701 Lincoln Rd # 102
In Miami Beach. 305-532-4110.
Spas Treatments, Facials, Waxing and
Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatments.






Page 16 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009
FLORIDA


Has Saudi Arabia
Found the Answer?
Elie Elhadj is among the Arab world's
most respected, and controversial,
bankers. Now retired following postings
in New York, Philadelphia, London and
Riyadh, he spoke to economic analyst
PAMELA ANN SMITH about his
recent research on water politics in
Saudi Arabia and Syria, which is
making an important contribution to
the current debate in the Arab world
about how to respond to global
shortages of food, water, and the rising
cost of food imports.


Elie Elhadj speaks candidly about the water and food
problems facing the Middle East.


More than 20 years
ago Saudi Arabia
launched a program to
ensure food security. The
intervening years and
spiralling costs of


agribusiness have shown
this to be unfeasible in the
current climate. In an
important and well
considered shift, the
(continued on page 46)


Gift
(continued from page 11)
director of the nonprofit
cultural center.
The center, which
exists to foster
intercultural
understanding, is mostly
made up of Muslims,
Aydin said.


Normally,


many


Muslim immigrants
send cash donations to
their native countries,
where meat is purchased
and distributed to the
poor there.
"But this year we said
'let's pool our money
here and donate for poor
(continued on page 22)


King

Automotive Inc.


305-576-3515

260 NW 28th Street
Miami, FL

Family owned with eight employees, all
certified bonded and insured.

Call Moore Towing they will bring your car
to King Automotive, with great service for
light trucks.

"Miles of Smiles" is their motto.
Thank you Leon, April and son, we appreciate
your 45 years of experience and honesty.


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All types of auto repairs and electrical work
this company offers to there customers.

He offers a registered Napa Auto Care
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through Napa guaranteed.


AP


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Thanks Dr. Hanna!

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Hollywood, FL 33021

Tel: (954) 966-2133
Fax: (954) 961-0959

A&H Floor Covering, Inc.
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65 N.. Griffin Dr. Cassleberry, FL

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with an eye for color. They strongly believe
in customer satisfaction.
Free consultation for residential or
commercial flooring.
Come see there great show room!
People friendly is there motto and they do
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Great attention to detail and excellent work
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Serving North Florida & South Georgia
Call for Your Free Estimate
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Case Plumbing

Best wishes to our many Syrian and
Lebanese Friends and Customers.

"Serving our community since 1941"

Water softeners Tank less water heaters
Residential & Commercial Repair service
Remodeling Sewer & Drain Cleaning

All work Guaranteed Years of Experience
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caseplumbing@verison.net
Family owned and operated by Mark Wehaites and
his Wife. There-10 employees are all up to date on
the new products. They will always give you great
service and pricing, and that's the Guarantee
that they give to you.


Thanks Marc.












Record Amount Raised MPS Tennis singles field. The MPS
During Carnival in Rio (continued from page 13) Group Championships
Dur Carnival in Ris scheduled to take
Ponte Vedra Beach, place April 6 12, 2009





i "'.9f' -J; ", '-"- Schnyder and Virginie
Razzano to the 2009 (continued onpage 22)
SWozniacki, Patty Florida.


J~


The Orange County
Friends of St. Jude
rallied support for the
hospital at the Endless
Summer Carnival in
Rio" event held Sept. 6
on the beaches of the
Newport Dunes Resort
in Newport Beach,
Calif. This sixth annual
event raised a record
$197,000 to help St.
Jude fight cancer and
other catastrophic
diseases.
The evening
included a reception
with silent auction, a
sunset dinner of
Brazilian cuisine and
dancing to The
BuzzCatz. A live
auction, featuring a
shoe wardrobe from
Saks Fifth Avenue, a
vacation to Panama
froth Copa Airlines and


Bible
(continued from page 12)
of the Church. Like
Martin Luther later, some
thought the only certain
rule of faith was the
Bible. Ordinary poeple,
who could not read Latin,
could not read the Bible.
Translations into the
vernacular were needed.
Enter John Wycliffe
(1330-1384), whom we
credit with the first
translation of the whole
Bible into English. Two
versions appeared with
his name: one was
extremely literal; the
second, which appeared


Bern Hotels & Resorts,
and other high-end
experiences, raised
$25,000.
Patrons had the
opportunity to meet
special guests and
friends to the hospital
like 3-year-old Claire,
who was diagnosed
with brain cancer two
years ago. Claire's
mom, Liz, told the
audience that St. Jude
came into our lives like
a beacon of light
during our- darkest
hour. Simply put they
saved Claire's life."
Analisa Albert, Trish
Coury and Maria
Schechter served as the
Orange County Friends
of St. Jude committee
co-chairs. Among those
showing their. support
(continued on page 49)


after his death, was closer
to the spoken English of
his day. Both were
translated from the Latin
Vulgate, and copies were
made by hand. It is
unlikely that Wycliffe.
himself made the whole
translation; he probably
sponsored it. However,
the translation did not
receive a welcome. John
Wycliffe was a dissident
and his followers called
Lollards, were
condemned for translating
and for preaching from
the new English Bible.
Some were burned at the
stake.
(continued on page 49)


'^=2 - Jilting 4 N
j~tr d.m otwmismg

"bmuil on a promise"
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Seminole Area 407-767-9355
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30 years experience calls for a 30th celebration, Carl said
$30.00 off for you. He also has plan that is in the works
for all his customers, by having a raffle give away where
you could win a product or cash. He gives all credit to
Jesus for everything in his life. He is very loyal and
honest to all his customers. He says "Fixed right or its
Free" 100% satisfaction 100% guaranteed. This is a true
meaning of a family business, you will always be treated
with respect and honesty, and they will do what ever it
takes to see you smile. Thanks to the Owners and
Manager's and staff of Air Rescue by CJ, for working
hard to make sure that we are happy.

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This couple has a soft heart for saving lives of our chil-
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They offer complementary consultations. They pay
great attention to the details and everyone adores
them for there personalities.
Alex and His wife Ramona are always there when
you need them and they make
sure things are done right.

They are never to busy to answer all your questions
and ease your mind. Thanks again and have a
Happy Safe Year.


4L


Orange County Friends of St. Jude committee members
include (left to right): Maria Schechter Sonya Zamora,
Staci Hughes, Dana Agamalian, Analisa Albert and
Michelle Garvin.


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h







Page 18 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

GEORGIA


IN DECEMBER 2008,
a handful of Islamic
militants attacked a
transportation depot in
Peshawar, in north-west
Pakistan. During their
one-hour operation, in
which the attackers
replenished their Molotov
cocktails from a nearby
petrol station, the
militants destroyed over
200 flatbed trucks and six
containers transporting
supplies and armoured
Humvees to NATO and
US forces operating in
Afghanistan.
A second attack
followed two days later in
which a further 50
vehicles were torched. All
in all, some 300 vehicles
were disabled or
destroyed in the latest
round of the Taliban's
ongoing attempts to block
the vital Khyber Pass
supply-line feeding
coalition forces, fighting
in support of Afghan
president Hamid Karzai.
The most notable
incident occurred when
Taliban militants captured
a number of Afghan army
Humvees near the town of
Torkham. The militants
scored an impressive
public relations goal
when disturbing images
of turbaned Islamic
fighters roaring around
the Afghan countryside in


Joseph
(continued from page 13)
active in his business at the
time of his death.
Joe was very active in
the Catholic Church and
many of their organizations
as well as serving as
membership chairman and
member of the board of
directors. He was a
communicate of St. Peter's
Catholic Church and the
Holy Seplecure. He was a
perfect attendance member
and Past President of the
North Jackson Rotary Club


the stolen US supplied
vehicles were broadcast
around the world.
"An army marches on
its stomach," is a military
saying. If so, NATO and
US forces in Afghanistan
are in for a difficult time,
with their vital supply line
through the 1070m-high
Khyber Pass in Pakistan's
tribal region now
seriously imperiled.
How serious the
problem has become can
be gauged historically.
The British have now
been thrice defeated in
their ill-fated Afghan
wars, the last time in
1919. With its narrowest
point just 15m wide, this
48km supply route was at
that time protected by
forts spaced one mile
apart and still, despite
such fortifications,
Afghan Muiahedeen
fighters were still able to
attack at will.
Some 75% of coalition
supplies for the war in
Afghanistan enter
Pakistan through the port
of Karachi and travel on
towards the Khyber Pass,
700 miles to the north. An
average of 300 trucks
funnel vehicles, arms and
vital necessities through
the volatile Khyber Pass
region daily.
SThis critical choke
(continued on page 49)


Afghanistan: Chaos
lin the Khyber


Maronites
(continued from page 8)
ruins stand as a
documentary of the
centuries gone by.
With independence in
1943, Lebanon entered
an era of unprecedented
prosperity. It quickly
established itself as the
main commercial,


He was a member of the
Jackson Country Club and
the Cathedral of St. Peter
the Apostle.
Pallbearers will be Mike
Dowell, Richard Green,
Joey Katool, David Brooks,
Dale Shearer, Holt Cruise,
Joe Rice, Jr., and Elliott
Thomas, Jr.
Honorary pallbearers
will be Knights and ladies
of the Holy Seplecure and
the North Jackson Rotary
Club and Paul Harris
Fellows.
Joe was preceded in
death by daughter, Denise
Susanna Joseph; mother,
Bessie Thomas Joseph;
father, Ellis Joseph; and
sisters, Marie Joseph
Nicholas and Gladys Joseph
Nejam. Joe is survivedby his
wife of 47 years, Nancy
Joseph of Jackson; daughter,


intellectual, and'
banking headquarters of
the surrounding region,
indeed becoming "The
Switzerland of The
Middle East." Lebanon
is renowned for its
cosmopolitan flair. Its
worldly and highly
educated citizens fully

(continued on page 23)


and a Paul Harris Fellow.
Being a diehard Ole
Miss fan he was active in
and a member of the
University of Mississippi
Loyalty Foundation, and
board member of the Rebel
Club of Jackson. He had
been Chairman of the
Board of the Syrian and
Lebanese American Clubs,
board member of the
Jackson Apartment
Association as well as three
time President and board
member of the Jackson
Home Builders
Association.


Michelle Crews and husband
John of Memphis, TN;
grandchildren, Tripp Crews
and George Crews, both of
Memphis,TN; four sisters,
Esmer Joseph Thomas and
Elaine Joseph, both of
Jackson, Dorothy Joseph
Unis of Dallas, TX, and
Marjorie Joseph Weber of
Yazoo City; and fifteen
nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to
thank all of his care-givers for
their love and compassion.
Memorials may be made to
the Cathedral of St Peter the
Apostle, P.O. Box- 57,
Jackson, MS 39205; Denise
Joseph Scholarship Fund,
The University of Miississippi
Foundation, attn. Wendell
Weakley, PO Box 246,
University, MS 38677-0249;
or the charity of your
choice.


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Page 19 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

GEORGIA


Bomber
(continued from page 14)
year-old Samira Ahmed
Jassim who said her
code name was "The
Mother of Believers" -
has given unusual
firsthand descriptions of
the possible workings
behind last year's spike in
attacks by women
bombers.
The Iraqi military
spokesman, Maj. Gen.
Qassim al-Moussawi, said
the suspect had recruited
more than 80 women
willing to carry out
attacks and admitted
masterminding 28
bombings in different
areas.
Female suicide
bombers attempted or
successfully carried out
32 attacks last year,
compared with eight in
2007, according to US
military figures. Most
recently, a woman
detonated an explosive
under her robes that killed
at least 36 people during a
Shiite religious gathering
last month.
The attacks reflected a
shift in insurgent tactics:
trying to exploit cultural
standards that restrict
male security forces from
searching women and use
the traditional flowing


Dream
(continued from page 9)
the arts as a young
girl living in Abu
Dhabi. Whether
painting or drawing,
she had a fascination
with .anything
different, quirky,
interesting or
attractive. "I was
interested in nature,
the desert and the
beach. I'd collect
.weird things on our
family trips," she
recalls. "Not
necessarily pretty
shells like everyone
else, perhaps dead
things, plants, or
strange-looking


robes of women to hide
bomb-rigged belts or
vests.
In response, Iraqi
security forces have tried
to recruit more women, In
last week's provincial
elections, women teachers
and civic workers helped
search voters.
Al-Moussawi, the
military spokesman,
alleged Jassim was in
contact with top leaders
of Ansar al-Sunnah in
Diyala, the last foothold
of major Sunni insurgent
strength near Baghdad.
The group is one of the
factions with suspected
ties to al-Qaida in Iraq.
Al-Moussawi said
Jassim "confessed to
recruiting 28 female
suicide bombers who
carried out terrorist
operations in different
areas." He gave no other
details on the locations or
dates of the attacks.
In the video played for
reporters, Jassim
described how she was
approached by insurgents
to urge women to carry
out suicide attacks. She
said her first assignment
was Um Hoda, a
nickname meaning
mother of Hoda.
"I talked to her a
(continued on page 24)


pebbles, anything I
thought was different,
anything that looked
as if somehow nature
had interfered in its
making," she says
with a smile.
"And I've always
been concerned with
environmental issues.
I would frequently
travel with my dad,
who was also
interested in the
environment and in
collecting gemstones;
we were able to
bounce ideas off each
other."
But Azza did not
always receive the

(continued on page 24)


Virus
(continued from page 9
infection of measles as
well as some other deadly
or crippling childhood
diseases recently flared in
parts of Islamic West
Africa following a mass
boycott of vaccination.
The boycott was
promoted by radical
Islamic clerics who feared
that it would spread AIDS
or cause future infertility.
Some have branded the
vaccination campaign an
US-led western plot
aimed at the depopulation
and eventual
recolonisation of Africa.
But in areas of north-west
Nigeria, the public health
authorities have recently
managed to enlist the
vehement support of
many Islamic scholars for
vaccination.
Sheikh Ahmed
Mahmud Gumi, a widely
respected Islamic leader
who is also a prominent
Nigerian medical doctor,


has invited his people to
follow the leadership of
the Muslim-ruled Middle
East in its widespread
embrace of immunisation.
The need for caution is
illustrated by the current
re-emergence of some
measles outbreaks even in
parts of Europe and North
America which had been
largely cleared of the
disease, in socially
isolated population
groups that have recently
declined to protect their
children by vaccination
for religious or other
reasons.
Details of the overall
global decline of measles
are published by the
WHO's scientific Weekly
Epidemiological Record.
Within the WHO's East
Mediterranean
administrative area,
comprising the wider
Middle East, the 2000/07
measles 'death estimates
fell from 96,000 to 10,000
but the infection
(continued on page 24)


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Page 20 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

GEORGIA


Babylon
(continued from page 10)
Drawing on the
combined holdings of the
British Museum London,
the Musee du Louvre, the
Reunion des Musees
Nationaux, Paris, and the
Vo rdera s i atisches
Museum, Berlin, the
exhibition, which took
two years to organise,
explores the continuing
dialogue between the
Babylon of our
imagination and the
historic evidence for one
of the great cities of
antiquity at the moment
of its climax and eclipse.
When the curators
began planning the show
they thought about
borrowing from the
Baghdad Museum. "But
the museum was shut off
and the collection wasn't
accessible. When the
world becomes sane again
we hope to stage an
exhibition of works from
Iraq," Dr Irving Finkel,
the British Museum's
assistant keeper told The
Middle East.
"We discovered that a
lot of people did not
actually know where


Babylon is and many
were not absolutely sure
whether Babylon was a
real place or not," Dr
Finkel said. "So we
decided that the first goal
of the exhibition was to
establish that Babylon
was a real place,.there is
the architecture of
Nebuchadnezzar, its art
and the structure of the
city's walls. We have
woven a tapestry of myth
together with reality."
Dr Finkel emphasised
that myth and reality are
not in opposition.
Babylon was a city-state
of ancient Mesopotamia,
the remains of which can
be found in presentday Al
Hillah, Babil Province,
about 85 kilometres south
of Baghdad. The tower of
Babel is described in the
Bible as a building of
fired bricks. On display is
a brick bearing the name
of Nebuchadnezzar, and
Dr Finkel is looking
forward to hearing from
anyone who has a more-
recent brick with Saddam
Hussein's name engraved
during the dictator's
attempts to rebuild
(continued on page 25)


Saudi King
(continued from page 8)
Saudi Arabia's king
does not have
unlimited power. He
has to take into
account the sentiments
of the sprawling ruling
family as well as that
of the powerful


r e l i g i o u s
establishment, which
helped found the state
nearly a century ago.
Abdullah's changes
indicate that he has
built the necessary
support and consensus
in the religious elite
and in the ruling
(continued on page 25).


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132 MANOR COURT WARNER ROBINS







Page 21 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

SOUTH CAROLINA


Cedars
(continued from page 15)
the resilient cedar timber
was sought by King
Solomon for the
construction of his temple
and by the Egyptians for
their coffins and tombs
and its resin for
mummification. The
Phoenicians, forefathers
of the Lebanese, also built
their merchant ships with
cedar, exporting the
timber and goods to the
distant Mediterranean
shores.
The Cedars are the
guardians of Lebanon and
can unfold the history of
the innumerable dynasties
that have crumbled on
that much desired soil.
They stand witnesses for
the country's roots and for
the determination of the
people who nurtured
Them. Growing at a high
* altitude and often in hard
to reach locations, those
most famous trees
intrigue the imagination
and offer an almost
legendary panoramic
view of the surrounding
villages and country sites.
From the eternal snows to
the shaded undergrowth
lies a region with an
unusual natural and
historical wealth.
The Cedars is a resort
for all seasons. In
summer, the high
elevation makes it a
wonderful and desirable
escape from the humid
coast, while in winter,
skiing is the favorite
activity. The quality of the
snow, the scenery, the
chalets and restaurants
make the Cedars an
exceptional skiing venue.
The resort offers an
extensive system of
chairlifts ,and tows
enticing the skiers to
conquer the slopes, as
well as enriching the
riders with a rare view of
the Mediterranean sea and
coastline, just as thrilling
as the sport itself.
Within this


mountainous terrain also
lie many rivers and
natural waterfalls,
underground historical
caves, as well as churches
and monasteries, all most
unique in beauty and
architecture. A Maronite
chapel was built in the
midst of the Cedar grove,
and was later restored in a
style fitting to the "Cedars
of the Lord." The main
altar, side altars, icons and
picture frames as well as
the pews, are all hand
carved out of cedar wood.
The Blessed Mother,
whose purity is often
compared in the Bible to
the whiteness of
Lebanon's snow, is also
known as "The Cedar of
Lebanon."
Believers linger on and
render admiration,
reflection and adoration
to the Almighty in the
serenity of this forest and
verdant mountains where
peace engulfs the earth
and the silence can be
overwhelming. The
clarity of the close by
skies is sublime and
celestial, but at times
blurred by the slight mist
rising from the adjoining
deep valley of Kadisha
and Quannoubine.
SLike any treasure of
great antiquity, the Cedars
require special care and
protection from the
elements. Established in
1985, the "Committee of
the friends of the cedar's
forest" has been dealing
with the damage and
disease inflicted upon
those most cherished trees
by man and nature. Many
dear saplings have been
planted, in recent years, to
ensure the reforestation of
the grove, and to
safeguard the future of
such national treasures.
Simultaneously, several
unhealthy trees and
branches have been cut
down, and sculptured by
local artisans into
handmade souvenirs and
decorative household
(continued on page 26)


Concert
(continued from page 1)
and a Detroit Super
Session hosted by Don Was
and the once-in-a-lifetime
lineup of Motown's most
rocking, including John
Sinclair and many special
guests.
This year's lineup was also
heavy on percussion, with a
performance by the
incomparable Machito
Orchestra Japanese taiko
drum ensemble Nagata
Shachu, Stonefish Family
Dancers from northern
Michigan and Sudan United
for Peace, a festival-within-
afestival that brought together
Sudan's best-loved
performers in a plea to end
the violence in Sudan.
All together, more than 30
acts performed on three
stages two indoors,
including acoustically superb


Chrysler Main Stage at
Orchestra Hall; Comerica
Diversity Stage and the
outdoor Rhythm Stage.
Multicultural vendors offered
food and merchandise from
around the world indoors and
out, while the outdoor Meijer
Children's Tent provided free
craft activities.
At the Arab American
National Museum, Concert
of Colors' Sweet 16th year
was marked with Concert of
Colors: Exposed, a
multimedia exhibition
featuring in-performance
photos from years past by
Rebecca Cook and Bruce
Harkness. It is on display
throughAugust 3 1 andis free
with Museum admission.
Concert of Colors was
produced by the Arab
American National Museum,
New Detroit, Detroit
Symphony Orchestra and
ACCESS.


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you are an asset to the community.


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He manages 21 employees, and always gives his
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All occasions from weddings to birthdays, there is
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Page 22 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

NORTH CAROLINA


Tourism
S(continued from page 10)
focusing on its massive
$27bn project on Saadiyat
Island, where it is serving
as master developer.
Smaller projects are
planned at Desert Islands
and Qasr Al Sarab in the
western part of the


Gift
(continued from page 16).
people here in
Jacksonville,' Aydin
said.
Officials with the two
agencies said the
donations will help a lot
of people.
"If you think about
the organizations that
we serve from soup.
kitchens to homeless
shelters meat is tough
to come by some days,"
said Tom Strother, a
spokesman for Lutheran
Social Services of
Northeast Florida, the
food bank's parent
agency.
"Having meat really
completes a meal."
Actually, it will
complete a lot of meals,
said Kevin Nacke,
director of food services
and executive chef at the
Sulzbacher Center.
The donated meat
will contribute from


emirate, as well as on Abu
Dhabi Island, including a
hotel and resort complex.
This supplements. earlier
efforts by the government
to expand the emirate's
infrastructure and tourism
services, including the
formation of Etihad

(continued on page 45),

three days' to a week's
worth of meals,
depending on whether
it's used for lunches or
dinners, Nacke said.
The center serves
from 1,100 to 1,300
meals a day, which is up
an average of about 200
meals a day over the
same period a year ago,
he said.
"So it's a big deal,"
Nacke said of Tuesday's
donation.
Nacke and Strother
said their agencies have
seen an increase in
demand since the
economy nosedived in
the fall.
Aydin said members
of the Turkish cultural
center had the economy
in mind when they
decided to donate
locally.
"Islam says to give to
neighbors it doesn't
say just Muslim
neighbors," he said.


MPS Tennis
(continued from page 17)
"These three players
are a good
representation of our
player field; a
combination of veterans
and rising stars. For
tennis fans it will be an
ideal setting to watch
Petrova and Schnyder
being challenged by
teen sensations like
Wozniacki," stated
tournament director,
John Arrix. The 32
player singles field and
16 team doubles field
will all vie for the
$220,000 purse and a
chance to claim The
MPS Group
Championships crown.
Caroline Wozniacki,
now ranked No. 12 in
the world, experienced a
breakthrough season in
2008 by winning her
first three Tour singles
titles. The Top 20
teenager claimed her
wins at Stockholm, New
Haven and Tokyo.
Adding to her 2008
singles titles, Wozniacki
was a runner-up at
Luxembourg, a
semifinalist a Portoroz
and a quarterfinalist at
Doha, Memphis and
Eastbourne. With her
Stockholm win, the
eighteen-year-old


Wozniacki became the
first Danish woman ever
to win a Tour singles
title.
Tournament veteran
and fan favorite, Patty
Schnyder will make her
thirteenth consecutive
northeast Florida
appearance this April.
As a three-time
t o u r n am ent
quarterfinalist (1999,
2003, '06) Schnyder
closed out her 2008
season by winning her
eleventh Sony Ericsson
WTA Tour singles title
at Bali. This win earned
Schnyder her eighth Top
20 career season end.
With her strong 2008
quarterfinal clay court
run (Roland Garros,
U.S. Open) Schnyder
should be a serious
contender as The MPS
Group Championships
kicks off the Tour's clay
court season.
Amelia Island's 2008
quarterfinalist, Virginie
Razzano recently
proved the best week of
her career at Dubai
where unseeded, she
upset two of the
tournament's highest
seeds No. 2 seed
Dinara Safina and No. 5
seed Vera Zvonareva, en
route to the biggest final
of her career. Razzano
(continued on page 26)


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Congratulations Cecil and Betty on your mar-
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Cecil would like to say "Thanks"
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Page 23 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

NORTH CAROLINA


Maronites
(continued from page 18)
compliments its culture,
which is both traditional
and progressive.
The name of Lebanon
suggests sandy beaches,
mountainous resorts and
most diverse four season
attractions. The local
marketplaces are the
tourist's paradise as they
offer ethnic and exotic
handmade merchandise
reminiscent of the
ancient East, while the
latest in European
fashions dominate the
more exclusive
boutiques. The nightlife
at the Capitol City of
Beirut and surrounding
resorts, Casino and
shows, favorably
compete with that of
many capitols of the
West. The newly
reconstructed downtown
Beirut, is a city within a
city, with a charm all its
own. The restored
historical landmarks and


antiquities rival the
commercial high rises,
unique restaurants and-
most luxurious hotels
and marinas. The
temperate climate and
outdoor cafes
overlooking exceptional
scenic beauty create a
true culinary paradise
where the food
presentation is a work of
art, and its preparation a
labor of love. The
Lebanese hospitality and
cuisine are second to
none.
This captivating
county is inundated with
roadside shrines and
icons, monasteries,
Basilicas and Mosques,
churches and chapels
which stand as a true
testimony to its
inhabitant's strong
spiritual beliefs. Maron,
a devoted monk, lived an
acetic life of self denial
and sacrifice and
dedicated his life to the
service of God and His


people.
Faced with
persecution and
religious oppression,
Maron's followers the


Maronites, as they came
to be known, fled from
the Orontos River
seeking freedom of
(continued on page 26)


Best Wishes To Our Many
Syrian & Lebanese Friends & Customers
Grier Funeral Service
"Since 1930"
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(704) 332-7109
115 N. Cloudman Street
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James Humphrey is a pastor.
Since 1930 he has been taking care
of you and your family
We Thank him for his support in
our time of dreadfulness.
God Bless and Thank You.


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COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

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Page 24 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

VIRGINIA


Bomber
(continued from page 19)
number of times," said
Jassim, who has four
daughters and two sons.
"I went back to them and
gave them the details on
her. And they told me,
bring her to us. ... And I
took her to the police
station, and that's where
she blew herself up."
Another woman,
whom she called Amal,
was involved in long
conversations, Jassim
said.
"I talked to her many
times, sat with her, and
she was very depressed,"
she said on the video. "I
took her to them, and then
went back for her and she
blew herself up."
Jassim gave no further
information on the attacks
or her role in the video.
In speaking with the
AP a week after her
Jan. 21 arrest Jassim
repeated statements she
had allegedly made to
interrogators that
insurgents organized
rapes of women and that
she would then try to coax
the victims to become
suicide bombers.
She said she was "able
to persuade women to
become suicide bombers
broken women,
especially those who were
raped."
In many parts of Iraq,
including conservative
Diyala, a rape victim may
be shunned by her family
and become an outcast in

Dream
(continued from page 19)
support she was
looking for in
pursuing her passion;
the road to
discovering her
artistic potential was
sometimes a difficult
one.
After studying a
one-year diploma
course at the Higher
College of
Technology (HCT) in


society.
Police interrogators
were not in the room
during Jassim's interview
with the AP, but they were
in an adjoining chamber.
Jassim did not offer
additional details on her
alleged role in the attacks,
but suggested she was
pressured into working
with the insurgency.
She claimed that Ansar
al-Sunnah provided her a
house in Diyala, where
she operated a shop
selling the traditional
robes for women called
abaya. She added,
however, that Ansar al-
Sunnah once threatened
to bomb her house if she
did not cooperate.
"I worked with (Ansar
al-Sunnah) for a year and
a half," she told the AP.
Women suicide
bombers are uncommon,
but not unknown, outside
Iraq.
Among Palestinians,
several woman have
carried out suicide
bombings for militant
groups including Hamas
and Islamic Jihad.
There also have been
cases of women in the
West Bank attacking
Israeli soldiers so they
can be- imprisoned after
being accused of breaking
traditional rules on sexual
conduct. In the
Palestinian territories,
relatives can seek harsh
punishments, including
death, on women seen as
dishonoring the family.

Abu Dhabi, she left
the UAE to study in
the United Kingdom.
"I always dreamed of
a career in the arts, so
in 19971 travelled to
the UK, where I did a
foundation course in
art and design."
Four years later, in
2004, Azza graduated
from London's
Guildhall University
with a BA in jewellery

(continued on page 27)


Virus
(continued from page 19)
nevertheless remains
prevalent in the area and,
as the WHO report noted,
remains a leading cause
of death among young
children.
The founding partners
of the long-term global
measles immunisation
campaign include the
WHO, the UN
Foundation, the UN
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Page 25 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

MARYLAND/VIRGINIA


Babylon
(continued from page 20)
Babylon.
The 'real' Tower of
Babel is called the
Etemenanki ziggurat, and
was formed by stacking
seven square structures of
diminishing size one
above the other with a
small temple on top. The
exhibition features
paintings inspired by the
tower, among them a
painting by Lucas van
Valckenborch (1595), and
Michael Lassel's
contemporary oil-on-
canvas tower made of
ascending shoes to
convey displacement.
The exhibition
showcases the 'real'
Babylon with three
massive reliefs of glazed
brick featuring a dragon,
bull and lion, that
ornamented the walls of
the processional route
leading to the Gate of
Ishtar.
The next section looks
at some of the best-known
legends and myths the
city inspired: the Hanging
Gardens and Belshazzar's
Feast, and the works of art
they subsequently
inspired.
The legacy of the city
is also explored: astrology
and the zodiac was a
Babylonian invention.
The Babylonians divided
time into 60 seconds,
hours and minutes.
Writing began in ancient
Mesopotamia and early
mathematical concepts
were developed there.
In the 20th century two
famous films were made
about Babylon: the 1916
classic Intolerance and
Fritz Lang's Metropolis
(1927). The 2007 film
Coping with Babylon
directed by Oliver Hill
looks at the significance
of Babylon in Rastafarian
life and belief. Here
Babylon stands for
oppression and exile, a
meaning that comes
directly from the Old


T e s t a m e n t ,
Nebuchadnezzar and the
Babylonian captivity of
the Jews.
Babylon as an icon has
been featured on
commemorative coins
and playing cards. The
exhibition features a set
of playing cards for US
troops with a base at the
archaeological site and a
message telling them its
antiquities were not for
sale.
The exhibition ends as
it begins with the reality
on- the ground: a
documentary showing the
fate of the city during and
after the 2003 war.
Babylon has been
damaged by an American
military camp, a petrol
station and a helicopter
pad.
A beautifully
illustrated book Babylon,
Myth and Reality, by the
exhibition's curators Dr
Finkel and Michael
Seymour traces the
history of Babylon and
explores how and why the
magnificent ancient
capital evolved into a
universal symbol of the
'city of sin'.
The British Museum
has organised a varied
programme of activities
in conjunction with the
exhibition which unites
art and archaeology:
lunch-time lectures,
gallery talks, evening
lectures and just before
the exhibition closes a
retelling of the
Babylonian creation myth
Enuma Elish (When On
High) by Zipang
storytellers.
"In the museum's BP
lecture theatre the
audience will hear--with
music, pictures and lines
spoken in Babylonian--
the myth which 3,000
years ago was recited in
front of the statue of the
god Marduk by the high
priest of Esagila, the main
temple in Babylon,"
storyteller Fran Hazelton
(continued on page 28)


Saudi King
(continued from page 20)
family.
The religious
establishment has
come under persistent
criticism, in particular
because of the actions
of the judiciary and the
religious police.
Agents of the moral
police are responsible
for ensuring women
are covered and men
go to mosques for
prayer, among other


things, but many
Saudis say they exploit
their broad mandate to
interfere in people's
lives.
The changes help to
dilute the influence
that hard-liners have
had for decades. The
king, who has
promoted moderation
and interfaith dialogue,
has brought in a group
of relatively young
officials and scholars.

(continued on page 28)


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Page 26 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

MARYLAND


Cedars
(continued from page 21)
items. Such carvings
attract the tourists, and
travel the world as a
precious memory of this
country so loved and
admired.
The Cedar is the'
symbol and the emblem
of Lebanon, and adorns
its national flag as a sign
of immortality. It is
synonymous to the
country, for the later is
often called "The land of


Maronites
(continued from page 23)
worship in Lebanon's
protective mountains.
They dug that rugged
terrain, cultivated it,
built their monasteries
amid its rocks and
prospered. Firmly rooted
in their religious
conviction, they spread
Maron's teachings
across the countryside
and far beyond
Lebanon's borders.
The Maronite Church
and its leading clergy
and hierarchy, the
patriarchs, played an
unprecedented role in
procuring Lebanon's
independence and in
bringing the era of the
French Mandate to an
end, as well as in
shaping its politically
unique stature within the
Arab-world. Unlike any
other country of the
Middle East, Lebanon's
constitution dictates a
Christian Maronite
president.
The majority of all
Maronites were for
centuries located in
Lebanon and in its
neighboring countries of
the Middle East.
However, due to
political and economic
unrest, many emigrated
to multiple destinations
around the globe,
building Maronite
churches wherever they
settled. Although poor in


the Cedars." To the
SLebanese, the might
Cedars have become their
icons of pride in the
stature and prestige that
they had attained
throughout history. They
revere and venerate them
for they are a gift from
above and are therefore
indeed "The Cedars of the
Lord."
"The righteous shall
flourish like a palm tree:
and grow like a cedar of
Lebanon."
Psalm 92:12

worldly possessions,
those newcomers were
rich in faith, initiatives,
motivation and
determination. To their
adopted societies, they
introduced their unique
lifestyle as it is lived in
Lebanon, fostering
fellowship and
hospitality as well as
their most treasured
traditions.
Being Maronite was
and is not only the
source of their religious
inclination, but their
national and social
identity as well. The
American Lebanese
promote cultural
festivals enticing their
guests to join in their
traditional dances. Their
culinary delights attract
Lebanese and non-
Lebanese alike to those
unique and most
enjoyable social events.
Likewise, the essence of
the Maronite Church
appeals to worshippers
from various ethnic
backgrounds, and
together as one devoted
flock, they draw on a
single legacy of faith
and heritage. They
revere and preserve it
but at times with the
exclusion of its ethnic
and geographical
boundaries, for one need
not be Lebanese to be
Maronite.
The Maronite Church
is theologically and
liturgically of Syriac-


Anthiochene roots, and
is a wealth of prayers,
psalms and hymns that
date back to the early
centuries. Recent history
has witnessed the
beatification and the
canonization of three
Lebanese Maronite
saints, Sharbel, Rafka
and Hardini. Two new


beatifications are also
currently pending.
Nestled in the mountains
of northern Lebanon,
their shrines and
hermitages, as well as
the monasteries housing
their sacred bodies,
constitute a genuine
pilgrimage sites for the
(continued on page 28)


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MPS Tennis
(continued from page 22)
claimed the runner-up
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(continued on page 30)


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Page 27 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

MARYLAND/VIRGINIA/WASHINGTON, D.C.


Dream
(continued from page 24)
design and allied
crafts. Her years in
London were, in her
opinion, her formative
ones as an artist and
designer. "During that
time, I became
familiar with a variety
of art forms. I drew
inspiration from my
time in London. In
addition to visiting
many museums and"
exhibitions, the city
has plenty of visual
stimulation to offer."
Yet even with years
of study and a newly,
found confidence
under her belt, Al
Qubaisi found her
return home to Abu
Dhabi more difficult
than she had
imagined.
"Coming back here
I found it difficult to
adapt. It took me a
while to recapture my
understanding of how
people think," she
recalls. "I originally
thought that back
home people would
accept my art faster
than they actually did.
I didn't anticipate--
and was not prepared
for--so much negative
feedback. It was
almost devastating."
However, it may
have been that the
work of the young
designer was slightly
before her time.
"Five years ago,
people were just
starting to develop a
taste for pieces of art;
it was around that
time they began to
hang paintings in their
homes. For some of
them my work
sounded like a joke,
and they would often
cynically ask: when
are you going find a
proper job?"
"They would
question what I was
doing. People couldn't


understand why a
local Emirati wouldn't
just design the
jewellery and have
someone else make it.
"I had never
considered such
things during my
years in the UK. I had
just confidently
pursued what I
believed in, so it was
quite shocking to be
asked these questions.
But I was presenting
people with something
new to them, so I was
able to understand
their confusion."
And, gradually, her
Emirati audience did
come to understand,
accept and appreciate
Azza's message. In
2004, she held her
first solo exhibition at
the Cultural
Foundation in Abu
Dhabi. The show, she
notes, saw the start of
a 'snowball' effect.
The following year
saw sales of Al
Qubaisi's work take
off and, in 2006, the
artistic entrepreneur
launched her own
limited edition of
souvenirs and began
managing two Made.
in the UAE souvenir
shops in Abu Dhabi.
By year's end, four
more shops had been
set up and Azza had
exhibited her first
collection of artwork
at the Dubai
International
Financial Centre
(DIFC).
"I have seven art
collections already
and I am working on
the eighth, which is
called Angel Tears. It
is .the most
sentimental collection
to me," she notes.
"All of my
collections are about
nature. With Angel
Tears, I'm capturing a
story and
commemorating the
(continued on page 28)


Virus
(continued from page 24)
"This achievement is a
tribute to the hard work
and commitment of the
public health authorities
of these countries to
combat measles," she
noted before urging all
countries affected by the
disease "to follow their
example".
Dr Chan emphasised
that a significant decline
in the number of measles
deaths throughout the
Middle East has been
achieved through
intensified vaccination
campaigns even in
particularly remote areas.
As a result, she went on,
"the number of children
in the region protected
from this highly
contagious, virus-borne
infection through
immunisation has
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Bonnie McElveen-
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They give their time to
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vulnerable population.
Their work saves
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In absolute numerical
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decline in measles deaths,
the WHO estimates,
accounting for about 63%
of the reduction in deaths
worldwide over an eight-
year period from 2000.
But in the past two years,
several fatal measles
outbreaks occurred in
African countries "due to
gaps in immunisation
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scientific spokesman
confirmed, "reinforcing
the need to continue
immunisation support."
One such outbreak a
year ago killed hundreds
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(continued on page 29)


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Page 28 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

ALABAMA/TENNESSEE


Babylon
(continued from page 25)
explained.
"The myth won't be
recited or read, it will be
retold. It tells how the
younger generations
triumphed over the older
generations, how male
power triumphed over
female power, how one
god--the god of Babylon-
S-became supreme, how
humans werre created
from clay mixed with the
blood of a killed rebel
god."
The future of Babylon,
like that of Iraq, is
undecided. Dr Finkel


Saudi King
(continued from page 25)
"This is the true start
of the promises of
reform," said Jamal
Khashoggi, editor of
Al-Watan newspaper
and an experienced
observer of the
kingdom's politics.
"They bring not only
new blood, but also
new ideas."
"They are more
moderate and many are
also close to the reform
agenda of the king,
having worked closely
with him."
The delay in making
these changes could
also be in part because
the necessary officials
and scholars had to be
trained for the job.
"The people now in
charge are not being
Ordered to implement
reform," Khashoggi
added. "They believe
in reform."
New judges were
also named and the
Consultative Council -
the closest thing the
kingdom has to a
parliament was
reshuffled.
The king changed
the makeup of an
influential body of
religious scholars
known as the Grand
Ulama Commission. Its


pointed out that tourists
have always visited the
ancient city. "If the
internal situation is sorted
out Babylon will become
a major tourist attraction
and in due course it could
'be one Iraq's greatest
resources." He envisages
a wonderful place with
theme parks and
museums. The British
Museum, which has
always had an excellent
relationship with Iraqi
archaeologists, will have
a consultative role to play
to make sure that future
developments do not
affect the archaeology.


21 members will now
represent all branches
of Sunni Islam, instead
of the single strict
Hanbali sect that has
always governed it.
Abdul-Aziz bin
Humain will replace
Sheik Ibrahim al-
Ghaith as head of the
Commission for the
Promotion of Virtue
and the Prevention of
Vice, which runs the
religious police,
according to the
agency.
Bin Humain, who is
believed to be more
moderate than his
predecessor, will head
a body whose agents
have been criticized by
Saudis for their harsh
behavior.
Asked about the
complaints, bin
Humain sidestepped
the question, telling
Al-Arabiya TV: "We
will seek to achieve the
aspirations of the
rulers."
The changes came
on Valentine's Day, a
busy time for the
religious police, who
are entrusted with
ensuring that no one
marks the banned
holiday. .Agents target
shops selling gifts for
the occasion, and items

(continued on page 40)


Maronites
(continued from page 26)
faithful who come from
around the globe seeking
a blessing or miracle.
The Maronite history
has been marked by its
everlasting attachment
and loyalty to the
Papacy and its teachings,
yet it is patriarchal in
structure. His Beatitude
Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir,
"Patriarch of Antioch
and the Entire East" is
the head of the Maronite


Church worldwide. He
resides in Lebanon,
making Lebanon the
spiritual homeland for
all Maronites. Like a
head of state, he is
revered and is a major
player in all political
decisions and
referendums. The
Mother Church of
Lebanon is the unifying
entity, or the nucleus,
and all Maronites must
adhere to it and be

(continued on page 37)


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Dream
(continued from page 27)
hard life of the divers
who harvested natural
pearls. People talk in
praise of the beauty of
natural pearls, but no
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sacrifice."
For Al Qubaisi, who
opened up her first
exclusive store at
Waft City in Dubai in
September 2006,
Arjmst is a one-stop


shop for people with a
penchant for beautiful
things- with a
meaning, irrespective
of their expertise in
matters of 'art' or their
wealth. "I design art
collections and I
custom-make pieces
for clients with a
budget and who have
their own designs in
mind," she says. "I
design jewellery with
*a story, with ideas
behind it, not just
something pretty to
wear. People pay a lot
of money for
particular brands, but
the work of designer
makers is different. It
is more personal."


CALAAASASAIAC

PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING
2609 Old Rocky Ridge Road Birmingham, AL
Homewood (205) 942-4401 Southside (205) 324-4401
Mtn. Brook (205) 871-1677 Hoover (205) 979-5011
Pelham/Alabaster (205) 664-5060
Full Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Service
Residential & Commercial We offer sewer & drain cleaning
Available 24 Hours CALL FOR CLASSIC GUARD
SSpecial Heating Check-up Drain & Jet Line Cleaning Available
4th Generation business Gina and her brother James
Caldwell II are extraordinary people. Her Dad James
Caldwell I who passed away in 2003 is greatly missed by
his wife, family and friends. Gina was influenced by then
for all the hard work ethics. This family & employees all
work as a team with years of Experience. Gina thanks
her customers for letting her family help their family. If
your house is sick they make house calls. Gina will per-
sonally answer the phone when you call 24/7 so there is
no delay in response to you. Mrs. Caldwell still has the
trucking company started by her husband and Gina's dad
James Caldwell I. This family is very active in helping the
community. Gina greatly misses her dad and dedicates
this article to him, her mom and brother, and family. Gina
said she is truly blessed for having had the best parents
and This is a true definition of a family business appreci-
ates all she learned form them. We adore them for that.
Thanks to, Gina James Caldwell II, and her Mom. In
Memory of James Caldwell I 2003.


General Shale Brick -B am
Building The American Dreamr
Founded in 1928

Over 250 Types of Brick Full Range of Colors and
Textures Special Shapes and Details
Variety of Landscaping Materials Brick Sculptures
Produce Concrete Masonry Units Concrete Block

High Quality Products Excellent Customer Service

Open: Monday Friday 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
Call us: 901-363-1887
Or Visit Our Website:
www.generalshale.com
4033 Lamar Ave., Memphis, TN 38118







Page 29 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

ALABAMA/MISSISSIPPI


Virus
(continued from page 27)
in north western Nigeria.
A specialist report
drawn up at the time by
the Nigerian Red
Crescent and Red Cross
Societies blamed the
catastrophe on the
rejection of routine
immunisation by large
segments of the local
population, exacerbated
by poor hygiene and
sanitation.
Various Nigerian
public health and welfare
agencies responded to the
challenge by dispatching
specialist teams to the
stricken population
centres to train volunteers
and educate communities
about disease prevention.
The national primary
healthcare agency
deployed several house-
to-house vaccination
teams. They were backed
by an extensive public
information campaign
mounted by the
government, urging
parents to protect their
children.
These efforts have led
to a new $20m integrated
campaign to protect 30m


children under five years
of age in northern Nigeria
from measles as well as
polio. The scheme will
deploy the coordinated
resources of several
global agencies including
the WHO and UNICEF, a
range of regional
nongovernmental
organizations and some
200,000 government
health workers based at
tens of thousands of
publicly funded local
schools.
There has been
entrenched, though
declining, resistance to
vaccination and other
forms of modern medical
interference in many parts
of Africa, particularly the
Islamic North, notes
Harriet A, Washington,
fellow of Harvard
Medical School who
cautions that the
widespread and ,often
well founded suspicion in
which many Africans
hold western-type
medicine will be hard to
overcome.
It has been the Middle
East's forward looking
approach to immunisation
and the prevention of


disease that has seen
fewer young Arab lives
being claimed by the
disease year on year,
earning the Middle East
region the accolade of
being a world leader in
attempts to eradicate the
killer disease. Historically
the Arabs, for centuries a
people fascinated by


science and the
opportunities it offers
mankind, have embraced
such medical innovations
to improve the quality of
their lives.
Ann M. Veneman, the
executive director of
UNICEF, says a
prerequisite of success in
(continued on page 30)


Best Wishes From

Hulett-Winsted

FUNERAL HOME

Serving Us Since 1910


"Services with Dignity

for Your Needs"

3 locations to choose from in your area

# 1 for super service



601-582-1571
P.O. Box 1687
Hattiesburg, MS


C. T. Garvin Seed

& Feed Inc. LLC

Vegetable & Flower Plants
Nutrena Food Dealer
Wide Varieties To Choose From

256-534-5637

2222 Holmes Avenue N:W. Huntsville, AL


In business 75 years this is a unique family,
they also have a landscape business named after
Dennis Clark's Grandmother, where they grow
their own sod.

Also, rocks, plants and flowers of all kinds.
The freshest food for the farm animals, a
Southern States Dealer. In their 6000 sq ft show
place, you will be very pleased at the quality of
products and the smiles that come free.


Iei1e


Carpet &



Oriental Rug Store





"YES THERE'S


A NEW ONE IN TOWN"





So Drive A Little


and Save A Lot




Over 10,000 square feet of showroom and


warehouse space specializing in all types of


carpet, vinyl floor covering, custom draperies,


wallpaper, and authentic handmade oriental rugs


for home and business.





205-663-2310


2844 Montgomery Hwy.


Pelham, AL


outr Ca: mc ,,,. ,eaul, doty aL&,
PROFESSIONAL COSMETOLOGY EDUCATInON
WE OFFER:
Nail Tech Classes Hair Extensions
Cosmetology Classes
Continuous Enrollment
Personalized Instruction
Advanced Training
S* Gift Certificates Available
Beauty Services for the Public at
Reduced Prices.
All Work Performed by Students;
Supervised by Licensed instructors
Julia Dye Downing, President
Perms Highlighting
Monday Friday Customers 9:30-2:45
Students 8:00 4:00
Major Credit Cards Accepted
251-943-3366 Fax: 251-943-3367
906 N. McKenzie Foley, AL
You are Blessed that's what Annie Gray says. She likes to
make people happy and wants to see them succeed. She
loves her work and over see's all aspects of the business.
100%.customer service and satisfaction is necessary for
the students here. Annie says she is blessed to have a part
in this school team.







Page 30 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

MISSISSIPPI


Virus
(continued from page 29)
beating the disease
worldwide depends on
ensuring that all children
receive two doses of
measles vaccine, the first
of them by their first
birthday. Other principal
aspects of the campaign
include the establishment
or strengthening of
Shealthcare infrastructure
for the provision of

Heritage
(continued from page 1)
worker likes about
her job. She has
satellite radio to keep
her entertained and
plenty of time for
serious thinking.
This year, one of the
things she has been
thinking about is the
future of Jacksonville's
Ramallah American
Club, a chapter of the
American Federation
Sof Ramallah, Palestine.
The federation was
founded in 1959 .by
Americans who could
trace their ancestry to
the West Bank town of
Ramallah, about 10
miles from Jerusalem.
There are an estimated
30,000 Americans with
ties to Ramallah,
including about 3,500
in Jacksonville.


In January,
whose
emigrated sei
from Ramall
Jacksonville,
Sthe first woman
president ol
Jacksonville
which until 19
not admit woi
members.
Jackson
businessman
Rukab, a
president of th
said he doesn'
the election
woman presided
big deal at all."
"After all, we
elected a wom
president of the


reliable disease
surveillance and
treatment.
Progress also depends
on raising finance, adds
Kathy Calvin,_ executive
vice president of the UN
Foundation. The present
funding shortfall for the
entire measles campaign
stands at $176m, of which
$35m is urgently needed
just for the year 2009.


States," said Rukab,
who will become
president of the
national organization
next year. "... The
majority of our
members were born in
Jacksonville."
But Farhat
disagreed. "It's a really
big deal," she said. "...
It makes you think
we've come a long,
way."
Farhat's mother,
Grace Batteh Farhat,
served a president of
the .women's auxiliary
before women could
join the club. Her late
father, Jamal Farhat,
was a former club
president.
Having come to
America in search of
economic opportunity,
Jamal ran a grocery
store and some


sandwich shops before
Farhat,
parents discovering his passion
partels in the real estate
ah to business, his daughter
ah to said.
said.
became
elected Both parents took a
elected .
ethe lot of pride in their
club, ancestral culture and
club,
insisted that Janice and
994 did
Sd her two siblings speak
men as
Arabic as well as
vil e English. Today, her
n mother works as a
John
former translator in a middle
former
Club, school.
t think After graduating
of a from Bishop Kenny
nt is "a High School, Farhat
earned a bachelor's
almost degree in recreational
nan as therapy from the
T-A University of Florida.


Ul ILtU


(continued on page 32)


MPS Tennis
(continued from page 26)
seat for the last four
tournament sessions -
Friday (day & night),
Saturday and Sunday.
Box Seat tickets offer
chair back seating and
are the closest to the
court. Fans are
encouraged to purchase
tickets by calling the
ticket hotline at
800.486.8366 or by
logging onto the
tournament website,
mpsgroupchamps.net.

About The MPS
Group
Championships


tournament, part of the
worldwide Sony
Ericsson WTA Tour
consisting of more than
2,000 players
representing 90 nations
competing for $70.8
million in prize money
at the Tour's 60 events
in 34 countries. The
tournament is owned
and operated by
Octagon and hosted at
Sawgrass Country Club
in Ponte Vedra Beach,
Florida. In 2009, the
tournament celebrates
its 30th anniversary on
Florida's First Coast,
April 6 12. For more
information, please visit
www.mpsgroupchamps.
net


The MPS Group
Championships is a
premier women's
professional tennis

The Corner Bed & Breakfast
3 Diamond Award Winning & AAA Award

Grand View, Fireplaces, Whirlpools,
High Speed Internet.

601-636-7421 800.444:7421
www.thecorners.com;
info@thecorners.com
601 Klein Street Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180

Luxury Bed and Breakfast was bought by Bettye & Cliff
Whitney in 1985. Owned (innkeepers) by Macy Whitney
and their son n law Joe Trahan. They dedicate this article
to Cliff Whitney and Betty, she passed away in 2008.This
is an ideal spot for weddings, anniversary's, any occasion.
Macy is also a Professional Decorator and Joe is a Great
Chef. French Creole gardens, Original Brick'walkways, on
2 acres overlooking the Mississippi River in all its beauty.
People gather here from all over the world to have a great
time and wake up at the most soothing
and welcoming Mansion.

Best Wishes From

Ozene Cumberland

BODY SHOP
Auto Glass Specialists
Insurance Claims
All Types of Auto Glass
Same Day Service
Windshield Repair
Over 20 Years Experience
24 Hour Towing
825-5550
Highway 80 East Brandon Jackson, MS


Bellevue




Florists



601-264-8269




"If it wasn't for our customers,
we wouldn't be here"

6690 US Hwy 98

Hattiesburg, MS 39402



Family owned and operated, with 35 years of
elegant & tasteful experience.Thelma can create
you a wonderful masterpiece with Mother
Nature's pallet. Her son Matt and his wife are
active in the business to keep all your needs and
flowers satisfied.
We can count on them for quality service.

Best Wishes To Our Many Syrian & Lebanese Friends & Customers

WOOD HEATING

& COOLING

HEATING & COOLING CONTRACTORS
LICENSED BONDED
JOHNNIE WOOD OWNER

601-939-0738
Proudly family owned for 55 years

3607 Highway 80 East Pearl, MS

DIXIE BODY SHOP. INC.

Body & Fender Repair


Foreign & Domestic
1 Year Guarantee Free Estimates



662-624-8272


1421 State Street Clarksdale, MD







Page 32 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

LOUISIANA


Obamas
(continued from page 12)
an obvious reference to
the policy dogmas that
led up to the current
Hamas/Israeli war.
The most specific
aspect of President
Obama's inauguration
speech was blunt and
to the point. "To the
Muslim world, we seek
a new way forward
based on mutual
interest and mutual
respect," he stated in
no uncertain terms. "To
those leaders around
the globe who seek to
sow conflict, or blame
society's ills on the
West--know that your
people will judge you
on what you can build,
not what you destroy."
This oblique
reference to Hamas,
Hizbullah and even to


some


terrorist


resistance groups such
Sas the Taliban who
claim that violence is
their only choice, that
America's staunch
support for Israel
excludes them from
bettering the lives of
their own people, was
followed by a proffered
alternative.. "For the
world has changed, and
we must change with
it," President Obama
emphatically stated,
"we can no longer
afford indifference to
the suffering outside
our borders."
Buried in the central
Section of President
Obama's speech was a
foreign policy item that
received little local
attention but which
holds great promise for
Iran and the Arab
world. It highlights the
core of the new
administration's
foreign policy,
departing from the
"with us or against us"
in-your-face arrogance
of the now discredited
Bush administration
consigned to history.


As such this statement
was directed at Iran,
Syria, North Korea and
even at regimes such as
those in Algeria and
the Yemen.
"To those who cling
to power through
corruption and deceit
and the silencing of
dissent, know that you
are on the wrong side
of history: but that we
will extend a hand if
you are willing to
unclench your fist,"
President Obama said
although, the at-large
audience was far more
focused on his
references to the
financial meltdown
crippling both the
United States and the
world than on this
surprising reaching
out.
Offering an
alternative to the past
"friends or enemies"
approach, this
reference was
obviously directed at
Iran and its nuclear
e n r i c h m e n t
programme. "We will
extend a hand if you
are willing to unclench
your fist," could not
have been a more
direct offer. "Set aside
your rush to develop a
nuclear capability and
the new United States
of America will match
you step for step both
in developing a new
relationship and a new
economic partnership,"
was the message loud
and clear, placing the
ball squarely in the
Tehran leadership's
court.
Even more far-
reaching was President
Obama's repudiation of
the torture techniques
so often justified by
President Bush and
Vice-President Cheney
as a necessary part of
the "war on terror."
Coming right before
his "To the Muslim
(continued on page 34)


Heritage
(continued from page 30)
She's been working
in the health care field
for 20 years, the last 10
at a 120-bed nursing
home in Lake City.
Farhat, who. is
single, said she loves
to travel and has made


three
Ramallah.


trips


Her goal as
president of the local
club Will be to increase
membership, now at
about 350, to recruit
younger members and
to increase the club's
charitable giving.


Black's

Auto Parts & Salvage


Late Model Auto & Truck parts

American & Foreign.


225-749-3161
800-234-5063


Black's Auto Parts & Salvage, Inc was started in 1968 and
remains family owned and operated with a 2nd generation
helping to keep the company up to date and to continue giv-
ing our customers the best products and service available.
They look forward to doing business with you now and in the
future when you need a quality guaranteed part. Lucille and
Ronald Black adore their two sons Paul and Roger, for doing
such a great job in the family business and Roger her broth-
er who is the best problem solver.

Rinchuso's

Plumbing & Heating, INC

New Construction
Commercial & Residential
Repairs-Remodeling-Installation
Water Heaters-Sewer & Drain Service
LMP- 125- LA Mech. Contractor # 19734
318-671-1820
24/7 Emergency Service!

This article is dedicated to
Mr. Leon Rinchuso. who passed away on
March 3, 2008. His wife Rose, children-
Sharon, Gerard, & Chuck greatly miss him as well
as his customers. He taught them that customer
service comes first. They are rated number one by
us and the Shreveport, News for the best Plumbing
& Heating in this area.

His 50 years of work ethics and experience
are carried on by his Wife, and Children.
Honest, Respectful, Hard work, Quality products
Prices and Service is what they are known for.


J.E. Hixson & Sons



Funeral Home





24 Hour Service





Cemetery Cremation





Funerals & Prearranged Plans









337-439-2446




3001 Ryan St. Lake Charles, LA


The ZooKeeper
Day Care & Boarding
Lvely Home Setting
7 am 6 pm 7 Days a Week
No (ages Longer Than 2 Hours
Outdoor Playtime
Affordable Rates 318-868-6868
aily Weekly & Monthly Rates
Multiple Pets Discount 866-519-4762
l Pet Supplies_ 6051 Linwood Ave.
All P'et Needs All Domestic Shreveport, LA 71108

Owners are 2 pet lovers, for your dogs
bark and cats meow. They have a private
cat hotel with windows, scenery and a play
area. The dogs have a paradise of a big
fenced in yard for safety, exercise, and
fresh air. Training and boarding for a 30
day stay. Grooming available and a gift
shop, that is a must see.

All pets get their own attention by the great
staff that have soft hearts for pets.







Page 33 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

TEXAS


Maghred
(continued from page 31)
hospital and leisure
facilities, including a
marina, water park and
cinemas.
GFH, the Islamic
investment bank,-
launched two projects in
2006 worth some $1.6bn
in Morocco that are
expected to be completed
in 2012. Royal Ranches
Marrakech is a $lbn
mixed-use sporting,
leisure and residential
community built around
a luxury race course and
equestrian facilities.
Resort Cap Malabata in
Tangiers will feature its
owncultural village, with
cafes, galleries and
exclusive shopping areas
along the seafront as well
as a golf course, beach
club and facilities for
both international
business travellers and
tourists.
Libya's growing-
international acceptance
has been reflected in
substantial investment in
its nascent tourist sector,
particularly along the
Mediterranean coast, as
well as in both


commercial and
residential real estate.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for
Development (ADFD)
signed an agreement in
May 2008 with Libya's
Economic and Social
Development Fund
(ESDF) to set- up a
$600m joint venture
company to invest in
tourism projects, as well
as in other property and
the energy sector. Other
developers planning to
invest in the country
include Emaar
Properties, the Qatar-
based Barwa Real Estate
Company and Tameer of
Bahrain.
Last September,
Libyan plans to
encourage tourism took
an even more important
step with the
announcement that a
Malaysian company,
Berjaya Land, would set
up a joint venture with
Libya's OYIA Company
Tor Development--an
offshoot of the ESDF--to
develop a $2bn golf
resort, tourist and
residential community in
Tripoli. Covering 413
(continued on page 34)


Truly Yours
(continued from page 31)'
mobilizing our West Coast
supporters.
Here in Memphis, in


what has become a
tradition, 14,000 dedicated
St. Jude runners and
walkers signed up to

(continued on page 35)


Best Wishes


Pre-arrangement
savings available


SEE US LAST... FOR YOUR REST PRICES! Felix Landin Jr., Manager
2731 Comanche St., Ctorpu Chrisli, TX
A Trusted Name Since 1914
Mon Fri 8-5, Sat 9-3
Closed Sun
Call (361) 882-5497
or (361) 882-7649


"Voted best new
restaurant."
Out Smart


912Westheimer 20% OFF
713/942-2321 Nt vaid with lontherof
Houston, TX


J & N Auto Air
AUTOMOBILE AIR CONDITIONING REPAIR AND PARTS SERVICE.
(Most Parts In Stock)
COMPARE OUR PRICES! ALL WORK GUARANTEED

Call 956-423-6204

We Appreciate Your Business!

55 years of service family owned by three brothers. We would like to Thank them for their service
along with all their customers. They take care of our vehicles, as if they were the children.
Thanks!


1205 West Harrison Harligen, Texas


Hair Hut
Hair Styling for the Whole Family
In business since 1978
MONDAY & TUESDAY SPECIALS *
SHAMPOO & SET........$15.00 HAIRCUT $15.00
PERMANENT (HAIRCUT & SYLING INCLUDED)......$55.00
MANICURE & PEDICURE......$30.00
8425 STELLA LINK (IN WALGREENS CENTER)
713-667-9468
Mention This Ad Houston, TX


Best wishes to our Syrian and Lebanese Customers.


Las Vegas Cafe
Mexican Food


44-year-old business
Servicing 800 to 1000 people a day.
Owners Julio & Elonia
"Good Food- Low Prices"

Family owned by Julio and wife Eloina,
who is the main cook with 6 Chefs
following her instructions.

They have 2 daughters and 1 son in law,
who work hard to create the best of the
best all around.

Great good and prices to fit any
"budget. Open for your schedule
6 days a week.
Offering dine in or carry out.


956-423-6749
Harrison Texas




lemc ngrass
C A F E
CAF
...a culinary adventure!

Many-thanks to all of our customers!
OPEN 7 DAYS

713-664-6698

5109 Bellaire Blvd. Bellaire, TX
www.lemongrass.com


Fah Vora is a Graduate of a Culinary Institute.
The exceptional food and beautiful designed
caf6 by her decorator Thomas Scooley. She has
a great upscale place where people can
leave happy and full of great food. Her uncle is
part owner Theo Vora, they employ 16 friendly
workers, With 20 year's experience of great
taste, your are sure to love the drinks from the
open bar, your main course and the desserts.
Catering offered from menu of your choice.
Rated number 1.


Harligen, Texas


1205 West Harrison






Page 34 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

TEXAS


Obamas
(continued from page 32)
world" section, it was
both an American
moral cleansing and an
olive branch to those
that believe the United
States has lost its
moral compass.
"As for our common
-defence, we reject as
false the choice
between our safety and
our ideals," Obama
stated, the implication
being that the use of
torture would not be
countenanced under
any circumstance, in
keeping with President
Obama's oft-stated
contention that the
ends do not justify the
means in the war
against Al Qaeda. "Our
fathers, our founding
fathers, faced with
perils we can scarcely
imagine, drafted a
charter to assure the
,:--& rule of law and the
rights of man, a charter
expanded by the blood
of generations. Those
ideals still light the
world and we will not
give them up for
expedience's sake," he
stated pointedly, the
request to suspend all
military trials at
Guantanamo Bay being
the first order of
business the day after
President Obama's
.swearing in.
President Obama's
inauguration speech
disappointed some. It
was however a speech
for the times, as many
commentators pointed
out. Beset by problems
at home and abroad,
President Obama
clearly signalled that
his administration
would tackle all issues
-. concurrently, both
foreign policy and the
domestic ones now so
pressing. This should
have come as no
surprise. Clearly
signalled in the lead-up


to the election by his
comment that "a
president should be
able to do more than
one thing at a time",
President Obama
intends to approach the
problems of the Arab
world in exactly the
same way as he is now
approaching those on
the domestic front, i.e.
to reach out to all those
who seek change, who
are prepared to take the
risk that the United
States is once again
prepared to lead by
consensus rather than
by the unilateral and
antagonistic way of the
past.
Nothing illustrated
this more than
President Obama's
reference to the make-
up of the new America.
"We are a nation of
Christians and
Muslims, Jews and
Hindus--and non-
believers. We are
shaped by every
language and culture,
drawn from every end
of this earth; and
because we have tasted
the bitter swill of civil
war and segregation,
and emerged from that
dark chapter stronger
and more united, we
cannot help but believe
that the old hatreds
shall someday pass;
that the lines of tribe
shall soon dissolve;
that as the world grows
smaller, our common
humanity shall reveal
itself; and that America
must play its role in
ushering in a new era
of peace, "the 44th
President of the United
States said.
Coupled' with his
"we seek a new way
forward", President
Obama's reaching out
to the Muslim world
could not have been
stated more clearly, or
come at a more
opportune time.
(continued on page 35)


Maghred
(continued from page 33)
hectares, it will include
an 18-hole golf course
and club house plus 120
golf villas as its
centrepiece, surrounded
by 3,640 units of mid-
rise apartments. Also
included is a 300-room


luxury hotel, a 300-room
business-class hotel, a
convention centre,
shopping mall, and
medical and educational
facilities. It is expected
to be completed within
the next 10 years.
A 300-bed luxury
hotel is also featured in a
(continued on page 35)


RF/MAss
Associates


HOUSE + 5.3/4 ACER'


Khamis, with 15 years experience, Is honest and a
hard working man. He speaks Arabic as well as
English. He will go the extra mile to help you and
make you happy. He puts effort in Commercial and
Residential Properties.
He has a large customer base.


Arlington, TX


Lewis


Funeral Home

Courteous & Dependable

Pre-Arrangement Plans

935-5285

508 E. Bowie Street Marshall, TX

We appreciate the Loving, Kindness, Comfort
and Support from Ruth Gadson, Rev. James
Reeves and Billy Jordan. They offer a variety of
services for you and your family and loved ones.

Ruth Gadson says their motto is "Help and
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Page 35 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

TEXAS


Obamas
(continued from page 34)
The horrific scenes
of devastation in Gaza
are still fresh in many
people's minds. It is
now up to the Muslim
world and those
nations that considered
America their lifelong
enemy to also
reconsider their own
way forward. At his
inauguration President
Obama offered the
hind of friendship to
all. "Let it be told to
the future world ... that
in the depth of winter,
when nothing but hope
and virtue could
survive ... that the city
and the country,
alarmed at one
common danger, came
forth to meet it," could
just as certainly apply
to the future of Gaza as
it does to the
beleaguered Israelis in
the town of Sderot.
"Obama's eloquence
will be followed up by


Maghred
(continued from page 34)
$500m development in
the capital being built by
a new real estate
company, Nobles, based
in Dubai. It will be part
of one of two 40-storey
towers due to be situated
along the waterfront,
which will also feature
residential apartments,
office space and retail
shopping areas.
In Egypt, moves in the
past two years to clarify
investment rules and
regulations, as well as
increased demand from
other Gulf and Arab
countries, as well as
Europeans, has led to the
launch of a large number
of tourism projects by
both Gulf and local
investors. Qatari Diar is
planning to include a
$1bn luxury hotel,
designed by American
architect Michael


concrete action," his
advisors say. "The
President has extended
a hand of friendship to
all."
As such President
Obama's "we seek a
new way forward" is as
relevant as his "the
time has come to set
aside childish things."
It is up to the
antagonists of the
world to take him at his
word and to match the
Obama administration
step for step in the
search for a just and
lasting peace. The
change Obama
promised has arrived,
grasping its promise is
the imperative of
others.
"The time to set
aside childish things"
has truly come with the
man whose middle
name is so readily
recognisable in the
Muslim world.
President Barack
Hussein Obama has
arrived.


Graves, in its mixed-use
Nile Corniche
development in Cairo,
that will also feature
serviced apartments and
office space.
Having already
invested some $6bn in
the country, Qatari Diar
is now planning two
more resorts for the Red
Sea coast. One, at Sharm
El Sheikh, costing some
$450m, is designed to be
an up-market tourist
community which will
include a five-star resort
hotel, five-star beach
boutique spa, bungalows,
clubhouse, retail and
entertainment facilities.
Another, the Hurghada
project, will be located at
Sharm El Arab, covering
an area of 35sq km..Last
year some 400,000
visitors arrived in Egypt
from the Gulf States,
20% of whom were from
Qatar alone.
Chief executive


officer, Ghaqim bins
Saad Al Saad, said at the
opening of the company's
Cairo office in April that
it aimed to initiate
" sig n a t u r e
developments" and to
facilitate "vibrant new
communities on an
unprecedented scale" in
Egypt. "These will help
in creating permanent
and temporary jobs in the
region in addition to
reinvigorating the
tourism industry that has
driven the Egyptian
economy for decades,"
he added.
Dubai's Damac
Holding chose another
Red Sea location,.
Gamsha Bay, north of
Hurghada, for its 320m
sq-foot residential tourist
resort. It will offer a wide
array of housing options,
entertainment venues and
recreational amenities,
including an innovative
extreme sports adventure
theme park. The
community is to be built
in five phases over the
next eight years, with the
first phase due to be
completed by 2011.
Chairman Hussain
Sajwahi revealed that his
company chose Egypt
after he himself visited a
dozen Mediterranean
cities in January. "They


were all too cold to enjoy
beach activities," he said,
unlike the Red Sea,
where its temperatures
throughout the year
"allow it to attract
visitors even during the
winter." In addition to
attracting visitors from
the major European
countries, Sajwani says
Damac is. marketing the
project to Russia and
other countries in the
former Soviet Union,
where members of
ageing populations "are
looking to purchase a
second home" in a
warmer climate.
One of the largest
developments in Egypt,
however, is Emaar
Properties' $1.7bn
Marassi tourist resort on
the Mediterranean, at
Sidi Abdel Rahman near
Alexandria. Despite
some delays, work on the
1,544-acre site is now
expected to be completed
by 2014.
Egypt's own Orascom
Hotels and Development
(OHD) is planning to
build- three new hotel
complexes in North
Africa, two in Egypt and
one in Morocco,
according to reports in
London. The Egyptian
projects will be located at
(continued on page 36)


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(continued from page 33)
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In spite of the economy
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knowing that St. Jude will
continue to be called upon
to help children who are in
need of our research and
treatment. We look to 2009
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(continued on page 36).


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Page 36 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

TEXAS


Maghred
(continued from page 35)
6th of October City and
at the oasis town of
Fayoum. By the end of
2007, the company
owned hotels in the
country totalling more
than 5,000 rooms, more
than any other hotel
group in Egypt.
For Gulf investors, as
well as others from
Europe, the prospect of
opening new areas in
North Africa that appeal
to visiting families, as
well as individuals, from
countries such as Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait, the
United Arab Emirates
and Oman, as well as
Qatar, is highly
attractive, given the
present wealth of the
Gulf region whatever the
future price of oil. This
could offset slower
growth from European
visitors, many feel, and
Compliment the expected
rise in demand for second
homes among retiring
Europeans.
While Dubai, Oman
and, to a lesser extent,
Kuwait and Qatar have
encouraged the
development of tourism
and opened up to foreign
visitors, both Abu Dhabi
and Saudi Arabia have
lagged behind, partly
because of their
conservative cultures.
Now, however, both are
planning to enter the fray
with carefully thought-
out plans that are
" attracting substantial
investment as well as
excitement by
prospective visitors.
The Abu Dhabi
Tourism Authority
(ADTA), established in
2004, is targeting the
high-end tourism market
and has set a goal of
building 25,000 new
hotel rooms by 2012. The
plan is part of a strategy
for "Brand Abu Dhabi,"
prepared by international
consultants Booz Allen


Hamilton that will
emphasise the emirate's
cultural attractions, as
well as its environment,
climate and business
opportunities.
"Global tourism will
grow from an $8 trillion
to a $15-trillion industry-
in the next decade and
will account for 10.5% of
world gross domestic
product (GDP) by 2018,"
ADTA's Chairman,
Sultan bin Tahnoon Al
Nahyan, told the media in
the UAE. "The World
Tourism Congress has
identified the Middle
East as one of the most
attractive areas in the
world, and expects it to
grow at 5 to 10% a year."
For these reasons, he
adds, "Abu Dhabi could
be ideal for cultural and
business tourism."
ADTA's subsidiary,
TDIC, is currently
focusing on its massive
$27bn project on
Saadiyat Island, where it
is serving as master
developer. Smaller
projects are planned at
Desert Islands and Qasr
Al Sarab in the western
part of the emirate, as
well as on Abu Dhabi
Island, including a hotel
and resort complex. This
supplements earlier
efforts by the
government to expand
the emirate's
infrastructure and
tourism services,
including the formation
of Etihad Airways, the
expansion of the
international airport and
successful measures to
attract international
events such as Formula
One and concerts by
leading musicians.
World-class museums,
concert halls and
exhibition centres are
also under construction.
In Saudi Arabia, the
emphasis is on promoting
domestic tourism for
Saudi nationals and local
expatriates. Demand for
tourism and resort


facilities in the country
has risen dramatically as
Saudis have increasingly
turned their backs on
visits to the US and
Europe, preferring
instead to spend their
holidays in nearby
Muslim or Arab
countries. The need to
create huge numbers of


new jobs for the
country's rapidly
growing, educated young
population is another
spur to the new plans.
Nearly $40bn is to be
invested in 19 resorts
along the kingdom's Red
Sea coast- from Jordan
south to Yemen,
(continued on page 37)


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Truly Yours
(continued from page 35)
conclude by thanking all of
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Page 37 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

TEXAS


Maronites
(continued from page 28)
guided by its directives.
In the United States,
the Maronites have
traversed a remarkable
milestone in the
universality of the
Catholic Church. They
fully live their "Faith of
the Mountains" and
successfully interact
with their surrounding
milieu whose faith and
heritage are different
from their own. They
have flourished and
branched our East and
West in the Eparchies of
"Saint Maron" and "Our
Lady of Lebanon."
Although independent
and autonomous from
one another, the two
Dioceses intertwine as
one people in the family
of Belt Maroun, keeping
close and strong ties
with the Maronite
Church of Lebanon and
the Patriarch, in the
concept of one Church
and one Shepherd.
Unfortunately,
Lebanon was torn apart
by a civil war that
ravaged this beautiful
country for seventeen
long years, and by the
Israeli war waged in July
2006, which has
inflicted countless
fatalities, as well as
major destruction and
devastation on its terrain
and inhabitants. As a
result, the homeland is
currently enduring an
extreme economic
depression and political
unrest. Far from being
self-governed,
Lebanon's internal
political situation is
affected by outside
powers and ideologies
and is threatened with
fragmentation. Yet
despite their major
hurdles, the Lebanese
persist in their belief of
national unity and
coexistence within their
pluralistic society.
Lebanon has always


been an exemplary
country where its
citizens, Christians,
Muslims and Druze co-
habit in harmony
worshipping God with
mutual respect for all
religious beliefs.
"Lebanon is more than a
country. Lebanon is a
message," proclaimed
Pontiff, John Paul II.
The same tenacity
that helped the Lebanese
survive the longest and
deadliest of wars is now
motivating them to
revive their country
body and soul. The fight
for freedom and
sovereignty, as it was
throughout history, is
now to the Lebanese and
to the Maronites
particularly, a fight for
survival and for civil
rights. Their dreams of
self determination .of
fate and destiny cannot
be stolen, nor can their
passion for
independence, be
suppressed. Just as the
ancient Phoenix would
rise from the ashes, so
will the Lebanese and
that country of Lebanon
much loved and admired
the world over.
Yet regardless of the
turmoil or the outcome
of the political dilemma
in Lebanon, the destiny
of The Maronite Church
in the Diaspora is most
secure. Just as the seeds
were planted in a virgin
soil and the harvest has
been bountiful, so were
the roots nourished by a
glorious past and the
branches have well
flourished and are still
yet expanding in a stable
horizon worldwide.
Such remarkable
Maronite legacy is
interwoven with that of
Lebanon's, for its
mountains and valleys
were for centuries its
retreat and fortresses.
Consequently, the two
entities are forever
inseparably linked in
history.


Maghred
(continued from page 36)
according to the
country's Supreme
Commission for
Tourism. Although
much of the coastline is
currently undeveloped,
tourism experts say that
it has considerable
potential because of its
unique coral reefs and
sandy beaches. The
World Heritage Site, the
Nabatean city of
Madain Saleh, similar
to Petra in Jordan, is
expected to be another
attraction, along with
the holy cities of Mecca
and Medina.


Elsewhere in the
kingdom, a $10bn
project is planned for
the Gulf coast at Al
Auqair, south of
Dammam. Situated on a
100sq km site extending
15km along the coast, it
is to be built over a 20-
year period, according
to tourism officials.
Business tourism is also
to be encouraged
through the
establishment of new
communities near the
international airports in
Riyadh, Jeddah and
Dammam over the next
three years, the officials
added.


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Nuclear
(continued from page 14)
European Union (EU) as
a whole.
These countries are
competing very hard for
lucrative nuclear power
construction contracts
currently up for grab
across the. Middle East.
Canada is already
engaged in joint
Economic feasibility
studies with Jordan on
the construction of a
heavy-water (CANDU)
reactor that can operate
on non-enriched
uranium, that could
release domestic
capacity for reactor fuel
exports.
Many countries in the
Middle East are seeking
to create commercial
nuclear-power
generation capacity in
preparation for the
inevitable depletion of
their oil and natural gas
.-resources. Jordan is
doing so because it has
virtually none. It used to
rely for 95% of its
energy consumption on
hydrocarbon imports
from neighboring Iraq,
supplied at a
preferential rate before
the US-led invasion of
that country in 2003.
But since then, Iraq has
been charging full
market prices forcing
Jordan to end its
traditional, generous
domestic fuel price
subsidies and to look for
affordable energy
supplies from
alternative sources.
Jordan has embarked
on a programme to erect
two nuclear reactors--
one for electric power
generation, the other for
research and
development--by the
'" year 2015. The scheme
is envisaged in full
compliance with the
country's stringent
counter-proliferation
treaty obligations
overseen by the United


Nations International
Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) in Vienna.
Most Middle East
countries have agreed to
feed their projected
power reactors on
nuclear fuel enriched
regionally under IAEA
auspices. Such fuel
banks would ensure the
safety and security of
supplies and prevent
their diversion for
military purposes.
They would also
safeguard supplies
against interference by
terrorists or unforeseen
disruptions in market
forces. The proposal,
passionately promoted
by Mohamed El
Baradei, the director-
general of the IAEA,
earned the Egyptian
scientist and his agency
the Nobel Peace Prize.
The idea is also widely
accepted by many
nuclear power suppliers
including the US,
Russia, China and the
dominant EU members.
The IAEA predicts a
50% increase in global
energy consumption by
2030, Peter Salema, a
high level
representative of the
agency, told a recent
regional conference on
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Arabia. He reckoned
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increase would be
attained in the
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alone where electricity
generation--for which
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The most advanced
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programme in the
Middle East outside
Israel is centred at the
Russian-built 1,000MW
power plant at Bushehr
in Southern Iran. Many


credible security strictly for peaceful
analysts both within the purposes, in fact
region and beyond fear conceals the
that the scheme, which development of nuclear
Iran insists is intended (continued on page 39)


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Page 39 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

TEXAS


Nuclear
(continued from page 38)
war-fighting capability.
This enterprise has
contributed to the
upsurge of nuclear
power development
throughout the region.
Recently scheduled
for completion in 2006
by Rosatom, the
Russian construction
contractor, work at the
Bushehr plant has been
delayed yet again,. this
time indefinitely, for
unspecified technical
reasons. But Hassan
Qashqavi, a spokesman
for the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs in
Tehran, has stated: "We
are satisfied with the
way Russia is
implementing the
project."
Iran's second
projected power reactor
at Darkhovin, also in the
south of then country, is
already being designed.
And Mohammad
Qannad, deputy director
of Iran's Atomic Energy
Organisation, has also
just announced a new
plan for the construction
of five more nuclear
power plants during the
next five years.
Qannad explains that
Iran's energy master-
plan calls for the


expansion of nuclear
power generation
eventually to meet a
tenth of the national
electricity demand of
perhaps 20,000MW
capacity. Iran recently
implemented a painful
rationing programme of
power outages to cope
with persistent
electricity shortages.
One of Iran's
principal regional
rivals, Egypt, has just
engaged Bechtel Power
of the US to design a
$1.8bn nuclear power
reactor on a $180m
contract. Egypt plans to
build four such plants,
most of them along the
Mediterranean
coastline. The
contractor is to
assemble the
construction parameters
including the
operational design and
safety specifications of
the reactors.
Egypt awarded a
contract to Russia's
Rosatom in 2008 for the
construction of a
nuclear power reactor
that would begin
operations in 2017. The
contract, variously
estimated at $1.5-$2bn,
will have a substantial
training element and
should be supervised by
the IAEA. Other


countries thought to be
close to winning nuclear
research, training and
development contracts
with Egypt include


China and France.
Egypt's President
Hosni Mubarak recently
made state visits to
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nuclear power as an
(continued on page 40)


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Page 40 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

OKLAHOMA/TEXAS


Nuclear
(continued from page 39)
"integral part of Egypt's
national security". He
believes the country
must diversify its
energy resources to
meet the mounting
demands of industrial
development while
exporting as much of its
oil and gas as it can
Spare. Egyptian leaders
stress at every
opportunity their
commitment to honour
the country's counter-
proliferation treaty,
obligations that are
enshrined in domestic
legislation.
Ahmed Abul Gheit,
the Egyptian foreign
minister, has
consistently defended
Iran's controversial
nuclear power
development
programme by
emphasising Tehran's
'- right to the peaceful use
of nuclear energy. But
in a significant new
departure, the minister
declared in Cairo that
"Egypt supports
international efforts to


prevent Iran from
developing nuclear
weapons".
Turkey also supports
Iran's right to peaceful
nuclear power. But
Faruk Logoglu, the
Turkish ambassador to
the US, has publicly
declared that nuclear
weaponry in the
possession of its
dominant Middle East
neighbour would be a
serious threat to
regional security.
Hydrocarbon-
deficient Turkey
imports 67% of its
energy requirements,
costing up to $47bn a
year, obtained largely
from Iran, and
accelerating industrial
development could
drive that up to 75% by
the year 2020. The
growth rate in Turkey's
current oil and gas
consumption--a telltale
measure of the pace and
volume of industrial
development--is second
only to that of China.
Demand for electricity
alone is increasing by
8% a year.
(continued on page 41)


Saudi King
(continued from page 28)
that are red or suggest
the holiday are
removed from the
shelves. Some
salesmen have been
detained for days 'for
infractions.
Valentine's Day is
banned because of its
origins as a celebration
of the 3rd century
Christian martyr. The
day is also targeted
because unmarried men
and women cannot be
alone together.
Abdullah also
removed Sheik Saleh
al-Lihedan, chief of


the kingdom's highest
tribunal, the Supreme
Council of Justice. Al-
Lihedan issued an edict
in September saying it
was permissible to kill
the owners of satellite
TV stations that show
content deemed to be
immoral. It was
denounced across the
Arab world.
He was replaced by
Saleh bin Humaid, who
until Saturday served
as the head of the
Consultative Council.
Abdullah has said
that reforming the
judiciary, a bastion of
hard-line clerics


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implementing Islamic
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punishment because
(continued on page 41)


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Page 41 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

ARIZONA/NEVADA


Nuclear
(continued from page 40)
Desperate to create a
dependable domestic
energy alternative,
Turkey plans to build
three giant nuclear
power plans to meet that
8% electricity
generation gap by 2020,
and to increase
production to 20% by
2030. The first of them
will be a 4,000MW unit
built in the Mersin's
Akkuyu district by the
Turkish-Russian venture
Inter Rao-Park Teknik
& Atomstroyexport.
The construction
contract for that plant is
being awarded now.
Interest in the project
had been expressed also
by 13 enterprises
including Turkey's own
Hattat Holding and Ak
Enerji as well as Atomic
Energy of Canada, the
Franco-Belgian Suez
Tractebel and the Dutch
Unit Investment.
A legal infrastructure
for the -new nuclear
regime is now being
constructed, through
legislation providing for
the establishment of an
independent Turkish
Atomic Energy
Regulatory Board. The
proposed legislation
will also limit the use of
nuclear power to
peaceful purposes.
Legislation is also
pending in the UAE,
which has embarked on
a collective nuclear
power development
programme for the
creation of 15,000MW
of electricity generation
capacity by 2020. Nine
construction companies
are bidding to erect a
plant that may well
become the initial
commercial power
reactor of the Arab
Middle East.
The law is to
establish a collective
regulatory authority and
international advisory


board for the nuclear
power sector. It is
intended to ensure the
transparency and
peaceful nature of the
programme in order to
enhance "prospects for
cooperation, safeguard
security, and prevent
any future weakening of
relations", Anwar
Mohammed Gargash,
the UAE foreign
minister, has declared at
a regional conference.
This plan is
advancing in
collaboration with the
GCC states of Bahrain,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia and the
UAE. So far, the group
has entered strategic
nuclear development
agreements with the US,
Britain and France as
well as the IAEA.
Mohammed Al
Hammadi, the head of
Emirates Nuclear
Energy Corporation,
recently led a delegation
of experts to Tokyo
seeking advice from
government and
industry there in the
formulation of
regulations, as well as
help with technology
training and
development.
These countries have
pledged $10m
investment towards the
establishment of a
multilateral Middle East
nuclear fuel bank under
IAEA supervision and
control. "We commend
the GCC countries for
their policy decisions,"
the IAEA chief told the
Gulf neighbours in a
message delivered to a
regional meeting on
civil atomic energy
administration, adding
that the resulting
improvements in fuel
supply security would
promote energy
generation and bolster
industrial development.
The most ambitious
plans for civil reactor
(continued on page 42)


Saudi King
(continued from page 40)
she was in a car with a
man who is not a
relative when the two
were intercepted by
their attackers.
Another major
change targets
education. The king


appointed Prince Faisal
bin Abdullah, his son-
in-law, as education
minister.
Khashoggi said
Faisal has been
working behind the
scenes on plans to
reform education.
After the Sept. 11
(continued on page 42)


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Page 42 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

ARIZONA/NEVADA


Saudi King
(continued from page 41)
attacks, carried out by
19 Arabs, including 15
Saudis, many in the


U.S. blamed the Saudi
educational system for
helping create an
atmosphere that
justifies extremism.


U.


paramilitaries or the
Autodefansas Unidas de
Colombia (United Self-


officers.


(continued on page 43)


Nuclear
(continued from page 41)
construction in Arab
North Africa are
advancing in Algeria
and Libya. Both
countries are entangled
in complicated relations
with their nuclear power
exporters.
Algeria has entered a
cooperation agreement
with France covering
nuclear reactor
construction, research
and training as well as


wide-ranging military
and banking
arrangements.
Colonel Muammar
Gaddafi, the Libyan
ruler, says he signed a
long list of agreements
with Russia on nuclear
power technology
during a journey to
Moscow late in 2008.
However, an official
spokesman for his hosts
has been "unable to
'confirm" some items on
the list. The discussions


Gunrunners Defence Forces of
(continued from page 15) Columbia, or AUC ) in
the 1980s.
To what extent any of On 12 March, a
that will happen Moscow court ruled that
remains to be seen, but Klein, a former
the reasons these men lieutenant colonel and
are in prison have a Special Forces
bizarre common link-- commander in the
Colombiacommander in theoaine
Colombia, the cocaine Israeli Army, could be
capital of the world. extradited to Colombia,
Central and South
ACentra and South a process that could take
America, plagued by up to 18 months-and
revolutionary groups, only if the Russians
state-run death squads choose to cooperate
and drug cartels, has for with the international
decades been the high- justice system. The
paying stamping ground AUC has been linked to
of arms dealers, many ssacres in
many massacres in
mercenaries and Colombia and is deeply
intelligence services-- involved in the cocaine
particularly the Israelis. trade. Colombian
The Israeli among the authorities repeatedly
trio languishing behind tried to extradite Klein
bars is Yair Gal Klein, from Israel, but
like the others, a authorities there refused
hardened veteran of the
every attempt.
international arms trade However, on 3 April
and the shadowy world 2007, Interpol issued an
of the soldier of fortune, international arrest
where the line between w
warrant for three
legal and illegal is Israelis accused by
usually a fine one, Colombia of criminal.
frequently crossed.
frequently crossed, conspiracy and training
Klein was detained at the private armies of
the private armies of
Moscow's Domodedovo drug barons, including
Airport on 27 August the notorious Medellin
2007, on an Interpal cartel--Klein and two of
warrant when he
warrant when he his longtime associates,
attempted to board a Teddy Melnick and
flight for Tel Aviv with Abraham Tzedaka,
a doctored passport. whose current
The Russian whereabouts are not
authorities had been known.
alerted by a tip-off from Melnick and Tzedaka
Interpol, which several were top men in the
months earlier had
months earlier had counter-terrorism"
issued an international company Klein
company Klein
arrest warrant for the established in Tel Aviv
61-year-old mercenary. when he left the Israeli
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Army in the early
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grounds. The talks
covered topics of huge
interest to both
countries.
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wanted to purchase
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time of going to press,
obtained no definite


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Chalgham, the Libyan
foreign minister
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Russians have agreed to
collaborate .with their
guests in several
projects in areas
including civil nuclear
power construction, fuel
supply and waste
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COLORADO/UTAH/MISSOURI


Gunrunners
(continued from page 42)
One of the kingpins
of the Israeli mercenary
mafia was David
Marcus who dominated
much of the arms
dealing across Central
America from his
headquarters in a leafy
suburb of Mexico City,
guarded by Israeli
mercenaries. Katz, who
had strong links with
Israel's religious right,
was often paid in
narcotics. The profits
were frequently
laundered through
Hassidic Jews in New
York New York, some of
whom are now serving
prison terms.
The second member
of the trio is Viktor.
Bout, a beefy former
Russian Air force major
who, is widely
considered to head one
of the world's most
prolific arms trafficking
operations. He was
arrested in Bangkok on
6 March 2008 on
suspicion of plotting to
ship anti-aircraft
missiles and other arms
to drug-dealing anti-
government rebels of
Fuerza Armadas
Revolucionarias de
C o 1 o m b i a
(Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia,
known as FARC), sworn
enemies of the AUC.
The US branded FARC
a terrorist organisation
in 2001.
Bout's, lieutenant,
Andrew Smulian, was
arrested in Romania and
is now being held in the
US on the gunrunning g
charges. Bout's
longtime associate and
accountant, Richard
Chichakli, a Syrian-
born naturalised
American who lives in
Dallas, Texas, has not
been charged. They
have worked together
since Bout set up the air
cargo business that is


the core of his alleged
gunrunning operation in
Sharjah, in 1993.
Bout is alleged to
have some 40-50
Russian-built Antonov
and Ilyushin transport
aircraft which he
snapped up at bargain
basement prices after
the collapse of the
Soviet Union. He used
these to supply arms to
Al .Qaeda and the.
Taliban in the 1990s and
was reported to have
been in Beirut during
the 2006 war, dealing
with Hizbullah to
provide weapons to
fight the Israelis.
Bout eluded arrest for
years for breaking UN
arms embargoes by
supplying weapons to
African conflicts. He
has never been
convicted, even though
he was wanted by the
Clinton administration
in the 1990s. He was the
subject of a Belgian
arrest warrant for
money-laundering and
is on the blacklists of
the United Nations and
the US Treasury
Department.
"Viktor Bout no
doubt faces some of the
most extraordinarily
serious conspiracy
charges possible for
crimes. against
Americans," Michel
Leonhart, acting US
Drug Enforcement
Administration The
Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA)
administrator, said in
New York. "We are one
step closer to ensuring
Bout has delivered his
last load of high-
powered weaponry and
armed his final
terrorist."
The third member of
the trio is Monzer Al
Kassar, a Syrian who
allegedly runs a
shadowy arms and drugs
network that stretches
from the Middle East to
Latin America. He is in


prison in Spain, where a
court has approved his
extradition to the US on
charges of conspiring to
ship air-to-air missiles
and anti-armour
missiles to FARC in a
$15m deal in 2006-07
and conspiring to kill
American officers. At
one time Kassar, 61, had
close ties with Rifaat Al
Assad, the disgraced
uncle of Syrian
President Bashar Al
Assad. Rifaat has homes
in Spain and France. He
and Kassar fell out
some years ago and
were recently involved
in a legal battle in
Spanish courts.
Kassar, who US
authorities say has
armed militants from
Iraq to Nicaragua, has
lived in Spain for
several years and was
arrested at Madrid's
Barajas Airport on 7
June 2007, from the
Mediterranean resort of
Malaga. A longtime


resident of Spain, he
lives in a guarded
palazzo in Marbella,
where he is heavily
involved in real estate
and widely known as
"the Prince of
Marbella", because of
his opulent lifestyle.
His longtime
partners, Tareq Mousa
Al Ghazi identified as a
Lebanese,, and Luis
Felipe Moreno-Godoy, a
-Spaniard, were arrested
in Bucharest by
Romanian authorities
the same day Kassar
was apprehended. They
were extradited to
Madrid and also face
extradition to the US
and possible life
sentences.
In 1992 Kassar was
arrested in Spain on
charges of involvement
in the 1985 hijacking of
the Italian cruise liner
Achille Lauro in the
Mediterranean by the
Palestine Liberation
Front and he spent 14


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America and Africa.
There are several
similarities between the
cases involving Bout
and Kassar that could
indicate they are
connected in some way.
Both men were caught
(continued on page 44)


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Page 44 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

COLORADO/UTAH


Gunrunners
(continued from page 43)
in "sting" operations run
by the DEA whose
undercover agents
posed as arms buyers
from FARC. Both used
Bucharest as a meeting
point with the DEA
agents setting them up.
The arms were supposed
to be shipped from
Bulgaria through
Greece to Nicaragua
and then air-dropped--a
Bout speciality--into
Colombia.
But why is the DEA
involved in busting
arms dealers? Both Bout
and Kassar have
allegedly either been
involved in drug
trafficking or are linked
to narcotics dealers. In
recent years, FARC has
become firmly allied
with Colombian cocaine
cartels, while the AUC
is linked to rival
. organisation-s.
Colombian police say
that the Russian mafia,.
for instance, has been
smuggling arms to that
country through Brazil
for years, and has been
paid in cocaine, which
they then smuggle to
Europe using the
reverse route they used
to deliver the weapons.
In Latin America, the
Israelis operated in
places like Honduras,
Guatemala and
Nicaragua during the
Cold War years in an
alliance of convenience
> with the US. It was an
alliance Israel's defence
establishment found
extremely lucrative in
terms of arms sales to
brutal and corrupt
regimes and other
questionable parties.
This arrangement,
According to Andrew
and Leslie Cockburn in
their book Dangerous
Liaison, "came with the
tacit understanding by
all parties that Israel
could do what the US


could not". Israeli
General Matityahu
Peled put it more
bluntly in the 1980s: "In
Central America, Israel
is the 'dirty work'
contractor for the US
administration. Israel is
acting as an accomplice
and arm of the United
States."
The willingness of
western intelligence
agencies to use such
people to do their dirty
work may be just as
valid now, spurred by
George W. Bush's global
war against terror and
the pressing need to
penetrate terrorist
organizations.
It will be illuminating
to see whether Klein,
Bout and Kasser, given
their links to US,
British, Russian and
Israeli intelligence
services and the secrets
they share, ever go to
trial, even more
illuminating if they are
actually convicted and
sentenced to prison
terms.
Klein, Bout & Kassar
have all at various times
been stalked by major
intelligence agencies--
particularly Israel's
Mossad, the US Central
Intelligence Agency
(CIA CIA: see Central
Intelligence Agency and
Britain's Secret
Intelligence Service.
But, given the
constantly changing
imperatives of the
intelligence
establishment, over the
decades these
organizations have
frequently used such
men, with "plausible
deniability", to further
the interests of their
governments, turning a
blind eye to criminal
activities when it suited
their dark purposes.
And that could be
another reason why the
US Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA)
is involved in the cases


against Bout and
Kassar. There have long
been suspicions they
enjoy high-level
protection from the
CIA, which has
allegedly used them to
provide weapons to
unsavoury people and
organizations with


whom the agency, or the
US government, did not
want to be publicly
associated.
For instance, Kassar,
according to US court
documents, played a
role with the Americans
in the Irangate scandal,

(continued on page 45)


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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Gunrunners
(continued from page 44)
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Tourism
(continued from page 22)
Airways, the expansion of
the international airport
and successful measures
to attract international
events such as Formula
One and concerts by
leading musicians. World-
class museums, concert
halls and exhibition
centres are also under
construction.
In Saudi Arabia, the
emphasis is on promoting
domestic tourism for
Saudi nationals and local
expatriates. Demand for
tourism and resort
facilities in the country
has risen dramatically as
Saudis have increasingly
turned their backs on
visits to the US and
Europe, preferring instead
to spend their holidays in
nearby Muslim or Arab
countries. The need to
create huge numbers of
new jobs for the country's
rapidly growing, educated
young population is
another spur to the new
plans.
Nearly $40bn is to be
invested in 19 resorts
along the kingdom's Red
Sea coast from Jordan

Saudi Arabia
(continued from page 16)
kingdom has announced
its decision to increase
wheat imports in order to
conserve its most vital,
nonrenewable resource,
ground water.
Having spent much of
the 1990s in Saudi Arabia
as the chairman and
managing director of the
Arab National Bank,
Elhadj was able to gain
access to senior Saudi
officials, businessmen,
scientists and diplomats.
His research confirms that
the kingdom is running
out of the non-renewable
water reserves that have
sustained its 28-year-old
programme of growing
wheat and cereals, a
development that
underpins Riyadh's


south to Yemen,
according to the country's
Supreme Commission for
Tourism. Although much
of the coastline is
currently undeveloped,
tourism experts say that it
has considerable potential
because of its unique
coral reefs and sandy
beaches. The World
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Saleh, similar to Petra in
Jordan, is expected to be
another attraction, along
with the holy cities of
Meccaand Medina.
Elsewhere in the
kingdom, a $10bn project
is planned for the Gulf
coast at Al Auqair, south
of Dammam. Situated on
a lOOsq km site
extending 15km along the
coast, it is to be built over
a 20-year period,
according to tourism
officials. Business
tourism is also to be
encouraged through the
establishment of new
communities near the
international airports in
Riyadh, Jeddah and
Dammam over the next
three years, the officials
added.

announcement last
January that it is reducing
its purchases of wheat
from local farmers and
that, by 2016, it will rely
solely on wheat imports.
The move has dramatic
implications for Saudi
Arabia's future, especially
given that world wheat
prices reached a record
last February, having
doubled since May, 2007.
There are also political
implications: the US, one
of the world's top
exporters of grains, has in
the past threatened to
withhold shipments to
countries whose policies
it dislikes.
While this new policy
means an end to the desert
kingdom's hopes to
achieve a degree of food

(continued on page 46)


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Page 46 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Saudi Arabia
(continued from page 45)
security, Elhadj suggests
that this is not a bad thing.
Too often the concept of
food security can be used
as an emotional slogan to
help enrich certain
business elites, he feels.
Ending desert farming
would save whatever is
left of the country's non-
-,renewable aquifers and
stop the high cost of
agricultural production.
As for national
security, Elhadj argues
that food independence is
an unrealistic goal for a
country that has a fast
growing population but
insufficient renewable
water resources. Indeed,
reliance on foreign-built
desalination plants for
drinking and household
water exposes Saudi
security to much greater
risk, he maintains, than
the risk of reliance on
,---wheat imports. The new
policy, he says, could
ensure that the kingdom's
potential economic return
on its growing oil wealth
is used for the benefit of
all its people, rather than
on unsustainable
environmental and
financial projects that
deplete the country's non-
renewable water
resources and which

H S Eviction

Attorney Servi
Process


should be left as an
endowment for future
generations. 'Governance'
is a word that comes
easily to Elie Elhadj.
Dressed in a grey suit and
silk tie that matches his
silver hair, you might be
hard pressed to recognize
him as a Syrian educated
in one of the Arab world's
most ancient and
traditional capitals,
Damascus, let alone one
who, in his mid-50s, went
back to university and
gained a Ph.D. from
London's prestigious
School of Oriental and
African Studies The
School of Oriental and
African Studies (SOAS)
"To know what good
governance is," he insists,
"you have to know what
bad governance is. And
that is why I got
interested in Saudi
Arabia's water politics.
It's a case of very bad
governance." And also
one that the rest of the
Gulf states, such as Dubai
and the United Arab
Emirates, Kuwait and
Qatar, as well as Egypt,
Jordan, Syria and other
parts of the Arab world,
would do well to learn
from, especially in this
time of soaring world
food prices, escalating
water scarcity and
pressure on governments

& Collection

ces of Barstow
Serving


to appear to be acting to
alleviate the plight of the
poor.
"In January, the Saudi
government announced
that they are going to get
out of the wheat business.
They will rely solely on
wheat imports," he tells
me. "This is a 100%
reversal of its sacrosanct
food independence policy
since the early 1980s.
They had such vaulted
claims.., telling their
people and the world
about the spectacular
achievement of turning
the desert green and how
much they were doing to
provide food for the
hungry. By the mid-
1990s, Saudi Arabia had
become the world's sixth
largest exporter of
wheat!"
He then spends the
next 45 minutes in a
detailed, passionate
expose of a series of
statistics ... vital statistics,
between-the-lines
statistics and, most of all,
contradictory statistics
from various Saudi
ministries.
All of these are
encapsulated in a series of
tables spread over the
200-plus pages (and 400-
plus footnotes) of his
dissertation/book,
Experiments in Water and
Food Self-sufficiency in


the Middle East: The
Consequences of
Contrasting Endowments,
Ideologies, and
Investment Policies in
Saudi Arabia and Syria.
Published in 2006, the
parts on Saudi water
politics have now been
updated in a shorter
report, Saudi Arabia's
Agricultural Project:
From Dust to Dust,
published in June.
Like the good
accountant and economist
that he is, Elie Elhadj
does not regard figures
lightly. Running his
fingers over lengthy
tables and columns ..
page 71 ... page 11 ... page
83 ... page 104, he points
out the numbers that tell
the real story.
"Look, you see here ...
in 1970, Saudi Arabia had
just 373,000 hectares of
cultivated land. By 1994
this had risen to 1.6m. In
20 short years," he
continues, Saudi Arabia
"had quadrupled its land
cultivation." From 1980
to 1992, "wheat
production grew 29-fold,
to 4.1m tons, making
Saudi Arabia the world's
sixth-largest wheat
exporting country." Now,
16 years later, he adds, "it
announces that it is
getting out of the wheat
(continued on page 47)


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Page 47 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Saudi Arabia
(continued from page 46)
business altogether. Why?
Because it has run out, or
is about to run out of,
non-fenewable water. In
the early 1980s, the
government estimated
that non-renewable
aquifers contained some
two-thirds of the country's
ground water. It does not
need a genius to figure out
that non-renewable
aquifers would sooner or
later run dry."
Desalinated water, he
goes on to explain, "has
become the lifeblood of
the 10 largest Saudi cities.
Many have sufficient
groundwater for their
drinking and household
water needs. Yet, the
groundwater is used for
irrigation while
desalinated water is
pumped across the rising
terrain of the desert from
Jubail on the Gulf Coast
to the Riyadh and the
Qassim regions, 450km


away. In the former, the
domestic water
requirement is around
11% of the water used in
irrigation. In the latter, the
ratio is only 3%. More
than a third of the Saudi
desalinated water
capacity is dedicated to
these two areas."
In 20 years, Elhadj
reveals, "the kingdom
used some 300bn cubic
metres of water for its
agriculture. Two-thirds of
this, according to official
Saudi estimates, was non-
renewable! That's six
times the annual water
volume that flows from
the Nile River into Egypt,
or about 15bn cubic
metres a year, equivalent
to what Syria and Iraq
together get from the
Euphrates River
annually."
"Between 1984 and
2000," he goes on, with
greater intensity, "the
estimated cost of this
venture was more than
$100bn. While the cost of


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Saudi wheat averaged
over $500 a tonne, the
international price for
wheat averaged just $120
a tonne." And the Saudi
prices, he explains later,
didn't include other
subsidized costs, such as
the fuel and electricity
used, the value of the land
given away by the


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expenses or the cost of
providing interest-free
loans to farmers. "If you
add all that in, the actual
cost of a tonne of Saudi
wheat might have been
more than $1,000."
"Today," he notes, "the
cost of oil is up,
(continued on page 48)


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Page 48 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA


Saudi Arabia
(continued from page 47)
electricity, fuel, fertilizer,
wages, seeds, transport.
So what cost $500 in the
period from 1980 to 2000
today might cost $2,000."
And that, J note, is about
$1,100 more than even
the record high price
wheat reached earlier this
year.
"Foodstuffs are an
encapsulation of water.
Food is virtual water. For
example, a slice of bread
needs 40 litres of water to
produce. A kilogram of
beef needs 15,500 litres
(or kilogrammes) of
water. A litre of milk
requires 1,000 litres of
water. A cup of tea
requires 30 litres of water.
Today, sadly, "Saudi
Arabia has depleted its
non-renewable aquifers."
He repeats this fact, still
apparently shocked
himself at what he
Considers to have been a
monumental waste of
resources for future
generations.
"Natural springs have
dried up in most parts," he
continues. "Seawater
intrusions has afflicted
areas of the East coast.
Poor sanitation and
drainage, along with
inorganic fertilisers and
pesticides, turned the
water brackish. This
madness," he adds
fervently, "isn't only in
Saudi Arabia. It's also in
Syria. Irrigation
Sextractions beyond the
volume of renewable
water have led to negative
balances in five out of
Syria's seven water
basins. In Damascus this
summer, you have 17
hours a day with no water.
This is in a capital city of
four million people!"
S But, I can't help
thinking, isn't it a good
idea to try to achieve food
security and food
-independence, especially
if vital crops such as
wheat are subject to world


prices and policies
outside your control? And
other countries, such as
Egypt or Jordan, have
more water than Saudi
Arabia.
"What's happening in
Saudi Arabia is an
extreme example. It's less
extreme in Egypt," he
says, "but Egypt's food
self-sufficiency is a
mirage too. Why?
Because a population of
80m-requires 80bn cubic
metres of water. But, the
Nile River provides only
around 55bn cubic metres
annually. So," he
continues, "Egypt needs
to import today the
equivalent of about 25bn
cubic metres in
foodstuffs. As the
Egyptian population
grows, imports will
follow. The same is true in
the entire water scarce
Middle East."
Given a choice
between providing safe
drinking water or
irreplaceable water for
agriculture, he is clear
about what the choice
should be. "It takes on
average one cubic metre
of water a year to drink,
100 cubic metres of water
a year to bathe, cook, etc
... But it takes 1,000 cutic
metres for food, even if
you live in a temperate
zone. In Arab countries,
it's even more."
Saudi Arabia has been
exporting agro-
commodities that require
high water use, he goes on
to explain. "I estimate that
Saudi water exports in the
form of foodstuffs
between 1997 and 2006
averaged just under 5bn
cubic metres a year, more
than twice the annual
household water needs of-
its 23m population. That
an arid Saudi Arabia
continues to export its
non-renewable water is
breathtaking."
"So what is the
answer?" I ask, trying to
keep up with the
consequences of his.


arguments and his
passionate conviction.
"You must recognize
your interdependence," he
insists. "Of course, you
can invest to improve
[agricultural] yields or
have farms watered from
renewable aquifers or
from rain. But you don't
do this just for the sake of
food independence. You
do it only if the
investment is financially
sound."
"But what does that
mean?" I ask. "If you can
make a better return by
producing shoes, rather
than by growing wheat,
you produce shoes," he
answers.


S~\;


But, I wonder, does
this mean that countries
like Saudi Arabia, Egypt
or Morocco have no
option but to depend on
countries like the US,
Canada, Australia and
others that grow and
export wheat, just as. the
US and Europe must
depend on Saudi Arabia
for oil?
"If you don't have
water, what are you going
to do? Do you desalinate
the sea in order to grow
foodstuffs?" he asked,
somewhat impatiently. In
that case, he implies, it's
obvious there is no
choice." So, it appears
(continued on page 49)


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Page 49 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

CALIFORNIA


Saudi Arabia
(continued from page 48)
that food
interdependence, rather
than independence, is not
such a bad thing.
Can Saudi Arabia
devote the earnings it
gains from one
irreplaceable resource--
oil--to ensure it preserves
another--its own
groundwater, or at least
what's left of it? And by
looking carefully at where
it earns the most from its


Bible
(continued from page 17)
A synod at Oxford
forbade the translation of
the Bible and the reading
of a vernacular translation
without the specific
permission of the bishop.
Yet that did not stop the
spread of Wycliffe.s
Bible, and copies were
found in English homes
even in the sixteenth
century. Two major
events after Wycliffe's
time altered the course of
this history. The first was
the invention of the
printing press in 1454 by
Johann Gutenberg, a
German printer. No
longer were Bibles copied
by hand. The second
event was the Protestant
Reformation initiated by
Martin Luther, a German
monk, in 1517. The firm
separation from the pope
took root in England in
1534 under King Henry
VIII. The reformers
insisted on Scripture
alone, and aimed to make
the Bible available to all
people in- their own
language.


Afghanistan
(continued from page 18)
point is now actively
targeted by Taliban
militants already in
control of approximately
72% of Afghan territory.
To cries of "Allah Akbar"
and "Down with
America", small bands of


endeavours, the kingdom
can also ensure that its
wealth is not wasted on
illusory pursuits, rather
than productive
investment.
In other words, Elie
says, as we part company,
"What's the use of
pumping your non-
renewable resources?"
But then, I think to
myself, in this day and
age, that might equally
apply to oil as to water.


William Tyndale
(1491-1536) began his
translation work in pood
faith within the Roman
Catholic Church, but
strayed and ended as a
Protestant. He sought
permission from the
bishop of London to make
an English translation, but
it was not granted. He
went to the European
mainland and settled in
Germany, where the
attempt to print his New
Testament translation in
Cologne was thwarted.
Later he succeeded in
publishing his work in
Worms, and smuggled
copies into England in
1526. But his efforts met
with opposition and were
repudiated by the
authorities. Later he was
*arrested and executed as a
heretic. Tyndale's was the
first English translation of
the Scriptures to be
printed. His work had
chapter divisions but no
verse numbers. His
translations from the
Greek and Hebrew later
became the basis for the
Authorized and Revised
versions.

insurgents have wreaked
havoc with the use of the
renowned Molotov
cocktail (handthrown
petrol bomb) proving a
highly effective method
of destroying large
numbers of contracted
vehicles.
So how can coalition


forces in Afghanistan
overcome this logistics
problem? And what
guarantee is there that any
new route will not suffer
the same fate?
The US military is in
secret negotiations with
countries bordering
northern Afghanistan to
develop not one, but


possibly three different
options.
"We are increasingly
concerned, but that
concern forced us to work
pretty hard to develop
alternative options,"
chairman of US Joint
Chief of Staff, Admiral
(continued on page 50)


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(continued from page 17)
for St. Jude was Mike
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Page 50 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

CALIFORNIA


Afghanistan
(continued from page 49)
Mike Mullen said after
the December attacks.
Putting a brave face on a
difficult situation he
reiterated that a solution
was "weeks, not months,
away".
One route being
explored is dubbed the
"Northern Corridor".
Running through Russia
and the former ex-Soviet
states of Kazakhstan and
Uzbekistan, many
observers regard this
option as the best of a
poor bunch.
Use of such a
"corridor" could
supplement the little-used
route from Karachi
through the southern
Afghan border town of
Chaman. But this option
also necessitates passage
through the dangerous
Taliban heartland around
Khandahar.
S Relying on rail, rather
than road traffic, this
proposed Northern
Corridor suffers from
another series of
problems. Uzbek
militants form a strong
component to Al Qaeda's
fighting force and know
the territory well. How
soon these fighters would
be diverted to disrupting
NATO supply lines in

Yamin
(continued from page 13)
maintained an active
role in a local service
group, the Wednesday
Charity Club, which
supports a wide variety of
,efforts in the Houston
community.
Concelebrants of the
Funeral Mass were Fr.
John Rooney, Fr. Milad
Yaghi and Msgr. Michael
Jamail. Pallbearers
include David Craig, Bob
Crutchfield, Jason
Fletcher, Kevin Fletcher,
Christopher Jamail,
Norris Jamail, Fred Korge
and Owen Torres.
Honorary Pallbearers


Uzbekistan would depend
on how soon agreements
between the US military
and their respective
governments are
finalised; blowing up rail
lines is far easier than
attacking road convoys
that carry their own self-
protection forces.
To prevent Russia
gaining a stranglehold on
coalition actions, the US
is also discussing the
opening of a third route
through Turkmenistan.
An extremely convoluted
option, this would, in
essence, require material
to be shipped across the
Black Sea to Georgia,
trucked through
Azerbaijan, reshipped
across the Caspian Sea to
Turkmenistan and then
reloaded and retrucked to
the Afghan border, an
operation that would have
multiple choke points, not
least those through
Georgia and Azerbaijan
where groups of semi-
militant bandits already
operate. Add Russia's
control over South
Ossetia and Abkhazia to
this volatile mix and one
can see that this route
smacks of desperation,
especially given Russia's
annoyance with
Washington over Georgia.
Whichever route is
(continued on page 51)

include: Dr. Mohammed
Attar, Lisle Berman, Dr.
Richard Carney, Sheila
Dubose Mary Iwaniki ,
Eddie Khoury and Fred
Rizk.
If desired, memorials
may be made to the
Southern Federation
Foundation, earmarked
for a Scholarship in
memory of Elizabeth
Yamin, and. sent to
Miriam Koury at P.O.
Box 403, Canton, MS.
39046; or they may be
sent to the Wednesday
Charity Club in care of
Theresa Korkmas at 405
Riverside Drive, Alving,
Texas 77511.


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Page 51 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR April 2009

CALIFORNIA


Afghanistan
(continued from page 50)
finally chosen--and it is
more than likely that all
three routes will be
utilised to reduce risks--
the cost of the Afghan war
is sure to escalate
dramatically. More
importantly, it will widen
in scope, with the nations
surrounding Afghanistan
coming under increased
threat by local militants
with their own agendas
and by Al Qaeda affiliates
applying pressure on
behalf df their Taliban
brothers in arms.
The attacks around the
Khyber Pass have already
put Pakistan's
government in a difficult
position. With its hands
full in the tribal regions
and problems with India
looming over the Mumbai
terrorist attacks, it is
understandably reluctant
to lose the revenue from a
profitable supply line,
while at the same time
being unable to
-adequately protect it.
Additionally, Pakistani
military operations in the
tribal lands are unpopular
with the Pakistani street
and further use of force
would likely trigger
widespread protests that
will be difficult to
contain. Besetby multiple


issues, not least of which
is a crumbling economy,
the Pakistani government
is left with an unenviable
balancing act.
As if to compound
western difficulties, the
Pakistani military
announced last December
that it was redeploying
40,000 troops from its
western Afghan border to
the eastern region,
following incursions by
Indian Air Force aircraft.
Reports that many of
these troops were
withdrawn ,from the
Khyber Pass area,
alarmed Washington and
triggered increased air
strikes by US Predator
aircraft against militant
safe havens in Pakistan's
tribal areas.
The Pakistani military
operation on the western
Afghan border was
subsequently reinstated,
with Pakistani troops
using tanks and helicopter
gun ships to attack the
militants threatening the
safe progress of US
supplies. However, the
resulting three-day
closure of the Khyber
Pass was just one more in
a long line of frustrating
and expensive calamities.
The quantity of war
material flowing through
the pass is staggering.
With $lbn spent by the


US military every month
in Afghanistan, added to
the cost of reconstruction
materials as well as
NATO and other allied


requirements, it is easy to
see why over 300 trucks
operate on a 24-hour basis
along the route just to
keep pace. One attack, or


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the closure of the pass for
a few days, causes a
backlog that can take
weeks to clear. No
wonder Pakistani
transporters are torn
between their wallets and
their religious
inclinations. Continue to
ply the route and they are
liable to lose their trucks:


refuse, and they lose
serious cash income.
The Pakistani Taliban
are also confronted by a
dilemma. Taxing the
transporters has financed
their guerilla war against
the West and their hit-
and-run campaign against
(To be continued in Next
Month's Issue)


Best Wishes to our Syrian & Lebanese
Friends and Customers








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