From Angry Arab chief correspondent in Syria, Akram:
“Damascus is recovering?
Today (Saturday July 21st), the Syrian capital, Damascus lived an uneasy calm after eight days of fierce fighting that took place in several quarters. Traffic in the neighborhoods that haven’t witnessed combats appeared close to normal. Many stores opened their doors and people walked the streets after being prisoners at home for several days. The Hal marketplace, specialized in the wholesale trade of groceries and vegetables, was overcrowded of buyers preparing themselves to the first day of Ramadan. The humanitarian crisis continues to impose itself on the scene. Hundreds of displaced families spent the night in the public parks. In the morning, many of them were standing on roadsides waiting for a transport to take them to where they can find a shelter.
Christian or scientist?
Nevertheless, this fragile calm was interrupted with the assassination Nabil Zogheib and his wife, Violette, and his two sons, George and Jimmy. As with everything related to Syria, conflicting reports about this assassination circulated in the media. While some reports said the victims have been killed in Bab Touma, a Damascene neighborhood populated mostly by Christians, describing Mr. Zogheib as a retired army officer and suggesting he was killed on a sectarian basis (Arabic
), other (and more plausible) reports said he was a senior expert in the Syrian missile program and that he was murdered in his house in the neighborhood of Berzah were many of the Syrian scientists live (Arabic
A Good Friday
Today witnessed the first appearance of a civilian governmental figure since the beginning of the fighting in the Syrian capital, when Bishr Al-Sabban, the governor of Damascus visited the afflicted quarter of Al-Midan announcing that it will be restored within five days!!!
This short appearance came after days of total absence during which the residents felt abandoned to their own fate amid conflicting news about what was happening in the burning neighborhoods. I, personally, lived this heavy and depressing feeling during a tour I made yesterday (Friday July, 20th) in Al-Kassa’a neighborhood. Al-Kassa’a is the most prestigious clothing market in Damascus and one of the “Christian” quarters in the city. It is, usually crowded, not only by shoppers, but mainly by young people and middle and low income families who find pleasure in walking amid the spotlights and the loud music emanating from the shops. But yesterday was different. Stores were closed, the street was dominated by silence and darkness with few people standing on the corners discussing “the situation”. A veiled woman was talking by her mobile phone, crying and begging someone, who appeared to be her husband to leave the house. The man, seemingly, preferred to stay and protect the family apartment. White ribbons, stretched over the street, exacerbated the death appearance that was dominating the scene. These ribbons were all of what remained of the funeral of the Syrian minister of defense held earlier that day in the Holly Cross church located there.
Please leave Christians alone
In its evening newscast, Al Jadded TV, broadcasted a report entitled
: eyewitness on sectarian slaughter in Syria
.. The “eyewitness” was no other than Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross who recounted unfounded stories about people being slaughtered on the sole base of being Christians.
A brief word I would like to say to everyone who claims concerned about the safety of Christians: Please leave Christians alone.
While I was buying some cakes from a grocery owned by a Christian family, the owner who, for some reason, concluded I was Muslim, accompanied me to the door saying gently and sincerely: Happy Ramadan.”