Archive for September 3rd, 2015

Turkey’s Red Crescent spends $345 million in aid for Syria

Tuesday, 01 September 2015

The Turkish Red Crescent Society has spent nearly $345 million in aid for Syrian refugees in Turkey and Syria since the crisis began in 2011.

The president of the relief agency, Ahmad Lutfi Akar, said in a statement on Monday that his agency does not discriminate in providing assistance on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity or language.

Akar pointed out that the Society had lent a helping hand to those in need in many countries around the world, including as Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and some African countries.

The agency provides assistance to the poor and victims of disasters, as well as refugees from Syria whose numbers have swelled to about 2.5 million.

Source: Middle East Monitor.


Nearly 150,000 Syrian students to attend school in Jordan

Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Jordanian officials have said that hundreds of thousands of Syrian students are to attend schools in Jordan on Tuesday. The students will be exempted of fees and costs of books and other expenses, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Secretary General of the Jordanian Ministry of Education Mohamed Al-Akour said: “Tuesday is the start of the school year and 140,626 Syrian students (11 per cent of all students in Jordan) are to attend schools.”

He said that the number includes 25,561 students from the refugee camps and that they would be treated the same as the Jordanian students.

Akour added that 99 Jordanian schools have begun working on two shifts in order to accommodate the Syrian students, noting that some classes for Syrian students will include up to 85 students.

About 1.3 million Syrian refugees live in Jordan, including 750,000 who entered the country before the Syrian revolution.

Source: Middle East Monitor.


Protesters break into Syrian embassies across Europe


Demonstrators have been removed from the Syrian embassy in Berlin after breaking in to protest against the Assad regime. There were similar incidents in Syrian embassies around Europe.

Protesters attempted to force their way into Syrian embassies across Europe over the weekend in an apparent response to the assassination of a leading Kurdish political figure who was a member of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC).

A group of about 30 demonstrators stormed the Syrian embassy in Berlin early on Sunday and confronted the ambassador, according to the police.

The break-in followed earlier demonstrations outside the embassy on Saturday. No one was hurt or arrested, a police spokesman told the news agency AFP.

The protesters broke through a fence and rushed inside to confront the ambassador, who also lives at the embassy.

The police said embassy staff reacted very calmly, and the protesters were merely removed from the scene. There was no violence or arrests.

The police have since strengthened their presence around the embassy.

Protesters arrested

In Hamburg, 30 protesters gathered outside the Syrian consulate early on Sunday, with some of them managing to break into the ground floor and spraying graffiti on the building’s walls, according to police spokeswoman Karina Sadowsky.

Four Syrians were arrested and still detained early Sunday pending verification of their visa situation, Sadowsky added.

Earlier, five protesters were arrested in Switzerland late on Saturday after forcing their way into Syria’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva, according to police spokesman Patrick Puhl.

And in London, British police said they had arrested seven protesters outside the Syrian embassy on Saturday, including three who scaled the building and waved the Kurdish flag from the rooftop. Around 50 to 60 people had gathered outside the embassy to protest, according to police.

Syria threatens ‘retaliation’

The rash of embassy protests followed a long day of violence in Syria, after security forces opened fire on a funeral for Kurdish opposition leader Mashaal Tammo, killed on Friday by masked gunmen in his home in north-eastern Syria.

The Syrian government, meanwhile, threatened retaliation against nations who recognized the SNC, formed in Istanbul, Turkey in August to bring together opposition groups including the activist network Local Coordination Committees (LLC), the banned Muslim brotherhood as well as Kurdish and Assyrian groups.

“We will take significant measures against any country that recognizes this illegitimate council,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said.

Damascus blamed Tammo’s assassination on a “terrorist” group.

“There are groups carrying out acts of violence in Syria and who have killed a great number of martyrs,” Muallem said. “The West speaks of a peaceful revolution and does not admit these groups exist, but arms them anyhow.”

Author: Spencer Kimball, Stuart Tiffen (AP, AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

Editor: Nicole Goebel



Syrian opposition demonstrators break into Vienna embassy

OCT. 9, 2011

VIENNA (AFP) — Eleven opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime were arrested after invading the country’s embassy in Vienna and demonstrating on the balcony, police said Saturday.

They said some 20 people broke into the embassy in central Vienna’s Landstrasse overnight, while dozens of others cheered them on in the street.

Police said no one was hurt but some damage was caused on the premises.

A violent crackdown on anti-regime protests that broke out in March across Syria has killed more than 2,900 people, according to the United Nations.

Source: Ma’an News Agency.


Hebron Palestinians protest settlers’ seizure of hospital

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Dozens of Palestinians staged demonstrations on Saturday outside the Al-Baraka hospital complex in the southern West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) to protest the occupation of the premises by Jewish settlers.

The demonstrations, which included a number of Palestinian Christians, were organized by local popular resistance committees.

“Palestinians will never accept Israel’s policy of illegal Jewish settlement,” Fr. Attallah Hanaa, a Palestinian Christian clergyman who participated in the protest, told Anadolu Agency.

“We will always reject Israel’s seizure of Islamic and Christian institutions,” he said.

“We are of this land; it is our home, our history, our identity,” the priest added. “And we will never surrender it to the Israeli occupiers.”

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the settlers claim to have purchased the hospital complex from a U.S.-based Christian NGO through a Swedish firm that served as middleman.

Located near the Al-Aarub refugee camp, the hospital complex sits on 40 dunums of land and comprises eight buildings (a dunum is roughly equivalent to one acre).

Since its establishment in the 1940s until its closure some four decades later, the hospital had provided free services to Palestinians who suffered from tuberculosis.

According to Palestinian residents of the area, Israel plans to build a new Jewish-only settlement on the site, which sits adjacent to thousands of dunums of agricultural land.

The city of Hebron is home to some 200,000 Palestinians and some 500 Jewish settlers, with the latter residing in a number of Jewish-only settlement compounds – heavily guarded by Israeli troops – in the city’s center.

Source: Middle East Monitor.


Jordan closes Islamic TV channel in Amman

Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Jordan’s Al-Yarmouk television channel, based in Amman, said on Monday that the Jordanian authorities had stopped it from broadcasting, Quds Press has reported.

According to a statement released by the channel, the government’s Information Committee went to the studios of the channel without forewarning and closed them.

The channel, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, expressed its shock at the government’s “surprising measures”, reiterating that it had obtained all the required licenses for its work.

The studios that were closed are all privately owned and were simply hired out by the channel.

Al-Yarmouk said that it considers its closure as part of the Jordanian government’s attempts to “suppress media freedom”. It also stressed that it had respected all the laws and systems in the country regarding the work of mass media.

It is believed that the closure of the channel is part of a complicated legal dispute between the Muslim Brotherhood and a new NGO holding the same name, through which the new NGO is to take over the property of the original group.

Source: Middle East Monitor.


10,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees after author’s call

By David Hodari

31 Aug 2015

Ten thousand Icelanders have offered to welcome Syrian refugees into their homes, as part of a Facebook campaign launched by a prominent author after the government said it would take in only a handful.

After the Icelandic government announced last month that it would only accept 50 humanitarian refugees from Syria, Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir encouraged fellow citizens to speak out in favor of those in need of asylum. In the space of 24 hours, 10,000 Icelanders – the country’s population is 300,000 – took to Facebook to offer up their homes and urge their government to do more.

“I’m a single mother with a 6-year-old son… We can take a child in need. I’m a teacher and would teach the child to speak, read and write Icelandic and adjust to Icelandic society. We have clothes, a bed, toys and everything a child needs. I would of course pay for the airplane ticket,” wrote Hekla Stefansdottir in a post.

“I think people have had enough of seeing news stories from the Mediterranean and refugee camps of dying people and they want something done now”, Bjorgvinsdottir told Icelandic public television RUV.

The Icelandic government is now looking at increasing its refugee quota.

Welfare Minister Eyglo Hardardottir told RUV that authorities were examining offers made on Facebook, and would consider upping the number of refugees accepted under a humanitarian quota.

“I have made it clear that I don’t want to name a maximum figure”, she said. “But we (will) explore every avenue available in welcoming more refugees”.

Source: The Telegraph.