I am a proud Syrian American who has lived here since 1996. Despite my struggles with immigration, and the reluctance of the US to recognize me as American as any other, I still do love this country. I love it and its imperfections. I know, deep down, the heart of America is pure. It has stains from a past of injustice, but I believe our future can be brighter and more accessible to all Americans, not just a privileged few. I also believe that, despite the national media’s attempt to slander Islam, that we will overcome this trying time, together, as Americans. I do believe that the most important issue of our time still remains the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. Its implications cannot be overlooked as they are tied to every single act of conflict in the world that emanates from the Middle East. Before we can start speaking about justice, we must reflect on the human rights violations perpetrated by Israel and its cohorts against the humanity of the Palestinian people. Those of you who have been distracted by recent events, have been brainwashed by mass media to forget the source of Arab misery, the indignation that comes with occupation, and the policy implications that result from it. Without a colonial, ethnocentric theocracy in the Middle East, Israel, entities like Saudi Arabia couldn’t survive; and neither could the entire Gulf, which is built on conflict, tension and arbitrary thievery of resources. The Israeli minority continues to rule the Middle East through a system of apartheid, divide and conquer, and as long as media outlets in the West continue to ignore the significance of the violation of Palestinian human rights, the tougher the road will be in trying to mitigate political violence, conflict and instability.
A historic rug tied to the Armenian genocide will go on display at the White House Visitor Center in November after several failed attempts to display the piece.
The Ghazir rug was created by orphans of the genocide and presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. It will be featured alongside other artifacts in an exhibition highlighting gifts to the United States from groups that have benefited from American humanitarian aid.
“The rug … is a reminder of the close relationship between the people of Armenia and the United States,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement announcing the exhibition.
The tapestry, also called the Armenian Orphan Rug, has been in storage for decades with only limited public appearances. In 2013, the White House blocked a plan to display the rug at the Smithsonian Institution, saying the planned exhibition, which would have featured the release of a book about the piece, was a private event and thus “not viewed as commensurate with the rug’s historical significance.”
Armenian American leaders and several U.S. senators objected to the decision, saying the White House was bowing to political pressure from the Turkish government, which denies a genocide took place.
Historians estimate that 1.2 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks during the political upheaval surrounding World War I. The circumstances of the genocide remain contested by Turkey, which maintains that the Armenians died of disease, starvation and being caught in crossfire. The Ghazir rug was later created by orphans as a goodwill gesture toward the U.S.
Members of the Armenian American community praised the decision to display the rug.
“Turkey doesn’t want people to use the word ‘genocide,’ so the United States doesn’t use the word ‘genocide,’ ” said Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America. “We hope that this is the symbol of the White House finally doing the right thing.”
The delay in exhibiting the rug stemmed from rules governing historic objects rather than political considerations, senior administration officials said.
For elected officials representing Armenian American communities, the decision is a welcome relief after years of negotiation.
“It’s a powerful symbol of American generosity to victims of the Armenian genocide,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D- Burbank) said. “I’m thrilled that it will soon be on display.”
Schiff said he would continue to push for official federal recognition of the genocide, especially in light of the event’s 100th anniversary in April.
For Hamparian, the exhibition will be a success if it represents a change in White House policy.
“The victory will be if this symbolizes progress by this White House to speak the truth about the Armenian genocide,” he said.
We cannot be free in Syria until we are free in Palestine because both barricades of slavery have the same master: Israel.
And by freedom it does not mean anarchy against the very force that has stood loyally against Israeli expansionism since 1948.
Egypt’s agendas have always echoed the policies of their masters, America and Russia.
Saudi Arabia is a kingdom in the 21st century which has stood for nothing but the preservation of its arbitrary rule at the expense of the national sovereignty of the Arabian peninsula’s communities and the proper distribution of its vast economic resources.
Jordan has been a quiet lapdog of England and America. It basically echoes the sentiments of its Gulf neighbors.
The only two countries which have stood against Israeli imperialism in the Middle East have been Iran & Syria.
The defeat of the USSR eliminated one major influence in Middle Eastern affairs, but it carved a wider path for the Americans.
Standing against Israel, today, means standing against the imperial policies of America.
The end of Bush’s presidency and the ascension of a democrat has brought immense hope but the influence of Republican ‘expansionist’ policies remains.
Until this force wains, the Middle East will not be completely free. Nor will the American people, who must deal with the duality of their nation’s exceptionalism.
I would like to educate Middle Easterners on my perspective on global politics and especially the Arab World.
While this is a difficult task for a variety of reasons, I feel it is now a pressing issue that must be addressed, or else we as an Arab people may face further humiliation, indignation, oppression, and eventually, complete elimination.
I do not know exactly why it is so commonplace for Arabs to have a distorted understanding of their own homeland, but I do know that this problem exists and that it has not only caused rivets between fellow Arab brethren — it has allowed for ill-intentioned insiders and outsiders to use it to their advantage. As the age old saying goes: “divide and conquer”.
What seems to be happening in the Middle East is a perfect example of modern colonialism. The brilliance of modern colonialism is that it is easily guised as an effort to “bring nations into the community of civilized nations” by imposing democracy, or I should say pseudo-democracy.
It isn’t much different from history though, for even in the past, individuals and nations together justified invasions and occupations through religion. The Americans wiped out the indians because they were ‘savages’. Europe did the same in Africa and the Middle East, colonizing nations and exploiting their resources.
The problem in the Middle East and in most places that are under pressure from the spheres of influence of bigger nations like the U.S., China, Russia and the European continent, is that it is difficult for nations to be fully democratic because they are easily infiltrated and penetrated by insiders and outsiders trying to exploit resources. Even in modern developed democracies like America, there are forces inside and out constantly seeking to exploit America’s wealth, it’s resources, and its values. Some of these entities include major banks, oil companies, lobbyists like the NRA and AIPAC. If even America faces constant threats to its democracy, to its protection of individual rights as well as its social community, why is it so hard for arabs to understand that a black-and-white transition to arbitrary democracy is irrational, unscientific, and if anything naive.
Before democracies can flourish in countries like Syria, Egypt, etc, there must be an establishment of certain laws, absolute laws, preventing abuses of power, politically, socially, and economically.
But you see the reason why democracy itself does not exist in the Middle East is not because of socialist regimes and baathist regimes that are seeking to usurp power and control economies. In fact, the governments of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries are more inclined to do such things under the guise of “Islam”. What better way to convince people that your way of life is right then to equate failure with burning in hell eternally. This is not Islam.
Syria is the way it is precisely because of the West — not because of democracy, not because of capitalism, not because of freedom. Certain actors in the West got big heads and thought they could take advantage of other countries that have not yet reached democratic status.
Ultimately, what I am trying to get at is that Israel is the remnant of colonial ambitions in the Middle East and has perpetuated the lack of genuine democratic development by staging a two year long farce of an Arab Revolution.
If Israel didn’t exist, there would be no apartheid government in the region, and a more stable Middle East could transition to democracy.
But you see the West is too afraid to grant the Arabs the right to self determination. No, if we grant them freedom they might actually make use of their resources and become free, self-sufficient, and dignified. No, we don’t want that says England, says Corporate America. We want Kings and Pseudo-Democracies like Israel (which is really just a colonial satellite guised as a religious entity in order to garner post-holocaust sympathy), that are bent to the West’s will and that will secure economic interests — namely, oil.
So before we begin jumping to conclusions let us understand that all people deserve the right to self-determination, and the only forces in the West that recognize that are the more liberal ones, which is why I am more satisfied with Obama being president than a Mitt Romney or another George W. Bush…
All I can say is that I pray that the Arab people will forgive themselves for getting too cocky and will accept the truth so that we may live a dignified existence, free from occupation, slavery, ignorance, and hypocrisy.
God grant me this wish.