“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Syrian businessmen signal revulsion with President Assad's regime

Many businessmen in Syria are scared of President Assad, but they are also worried about the effects of economic sanctions

guardian.co.uk, Nour Ali, Sunday 28 August 2011 

A Syrian in Istanbul registers his protest against President Assad of Syria.
Dozens of Syrians living in Turkey demonstrated.
Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Syrian businessmen are reaching out to western diplomats, expressing revulsion for the Assad regime but also concern at the crippling effect of sanctions.

Diplomats say several businessmen from the merchant elite have approached western embassies to register their unease. "There are many businessmen coming to us to tell us how much they hate the regime," said one senior western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Protesters continue to take to the streets in large numbers but have so far been unable to dislodge those in power, prompting them to look for any splits within the regime's political, military and economic base. While the international community has targeted the economy with sanctions, protesters have circulated lists of companies to boycott. The US and EU have accompanied their calls for President Basher al-Assad to resign with economic sanctions.

"Business leaders are definitely moving because they are realising the regime may not be around forever," said Adib Shishakly, a Saudi-based businessman.

Almost six months of protests against Assad have all but wiped out the tourist industry, which accounts for 12% of GDP, while the International Institute of Finance forecasts that the economy will shrink by 3% this year.

Neighbouring countries, including Turkey, have until now called on Bashar al-Assad to reform rather than resign. But in a sign of rising tensions, Turkey's president, Abdullah Gül, told Anatolia news agency on Sundaythat Turkey has lost confidence. His comments came a day after Iran warned the regime to heed protesters' demands and the Arab League sent its leader to Damascus.

More than 2,200 people have been killed in the unrest since March, according to the UN, with thousands more detained. At least 10 more protesters were shot dead over the weekend, activists claim. An attack on a Damascus mosque on Saturday left its prominent sheikh, Osama al-Rifai, in hospital.

Businessmen have helped finance the regime and prop up the economy by keeping their funds in the Syrian currency. But it is unclear how much any shift within the business community would affect the uprising, which some claim has moved into stalemate.

Syrian economist Samir Aita said many businessmen had long deplored Syria's "crony capitalism". Exiled businessmen Ali and Waseem Sanqar funded an opposition conference in Antalya in south-west Turkey, but other businessmen inside Syria have ignored direct politics, opting to donate money, food and medical supplies covertly or grant time off to protesters.

One businessman in Homs said: "I have sent food to Rastan and Telbiseh, but cannot do more than that."

A second diplomat from a different embassy said the leading businessmen who came to talk to him appeared more concerned about being targeted by EU sanctions than abandoning the regime. The US and EU have targeted businessmen, such as Rami Makhlouf, the president's cousin, who side with the regime.

The majority of unhappy businessmen, either those trapped in partnerships with regime figures or fearful of crossing Assad, may simply leave Syria or remain silent.

Assessments of the effect of the economy on the regime is unclear and will be slow, according to analysts. The EU is still considering sanctions on oil, which accounts for around a third of GDP.

The central bank has taken steps to limit foreign currency exchanges, but the regime says it will explore other markets. The Syrian economy was weakening long before the uprising started, but with its oil and agriculture, it is largely self-sufficient.

"Businessmen think of their business first and do the best for that," said one economist in Damascus. "To get a real split, the opposition needs to prove it can provide a stable alternative."

Nour Ali is the pseudonym for a journalist based in Damascus

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