Netanyahu: Iranian threat has brought Israel and Arab countries together - 16 October 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underlined the danger of the Iranian threat in a speech to the opening session of the Knesset on Monday.
“We must act against the Iranian regime in Syria,” Netanyahu said.
“Because of the Iranian threat, Israel and other Arab countries are closer than they ever were before,” the prime minister added.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Beirut

Bourdain learns of the the struggles of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon

Remembering Khaled al-Asaad today, the heroic archaeologist who died defending Palmyra from ISIS.

They beheaded him because he to refused to lead Isis to the hidden Palmyra antiquities.

He gave such memorable services to the place and to history.

وَاتَّقِ دَعْوَةَ الْمَظْلُومِ فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ اللَّهِ حِجَابٌ

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allāh.


A Traveller’s Record of Syrian Monuments Before the War

In April, 2009, Peter Aaron, a veteran architectural photographer, went on vacation with his family, to Syria. It was about one year into President Obama’s first term, long before the name ISIS was broadly known. Aaron brought along a Canon 5D that he had modified several years earlier, removing the infrared coating on its lenses. Shooting with this camera would render blue skies in dark black and foliage in milky white, but he would gain a great level of detail and contrast in the gray-and-earth-colored stones of Syria’s buildings. His wife, a writer, professor, and history enthusiast, came up with the itinerary.

Aaron’s images from that trip amount to a staggering chronicle of ancient and historic monuments, many of which have since been badly damaged or completely destroyed by the war’s many belligerents.

Originally intended as a kind of personal travelogue, these photographs now carry the weight of historical record. As the gruesome civil war continues—and intensifies—they serve as a quiet reminder of Syria’s recent past.

Read more.

A Philosophical Comment on Snakes

According to the poet, traveler, and politician Usama ibn Munqidh, who lived in the 1100s CE, “One of the wonders of the human heart is that a man may face certain death and embark on every danger without his heart quailing from it, and yet he may take fright from something that even boys and women do not fear.”

ibn Munqidh then told the story of a battle hero his father knew, who “would run out fleeing” if he saw a snake, “saying to his wife, ‘The snake’s all your’s!’ And she would have to get up to kill it.”