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June 14, 2011

What happened in Syria: the Turkish Delight connection

June 14, 2011

June 14, 2011

A great analysis of the Syrian revolution by the leftist dissident Yaseen Haj Saleh; he sees two sides of the current revolution, the traditional social framework, and the more free civil one. The first is the family/community structure, and the second is the youth element in the revolution. Very interesting indeed, but what I found shocking was his account of the Deraa incident that triggered the revolution. After a number of children were arrested after writing anti-government graffiti, their male relatives and parents met a security official to ask for the children's release. He arrogantly told them: "forget about those children. Go impregnate your wives to have another set of children, and if you cannot do it, we (the security officers) will". He said that to tribesmen whose culture is mostly based on honour and respect.
Here's the article published in Al-Hayat

Turkish Delight Connection

In another account of what happened in Deraa, I heard from Syrian sources that the city was already boiling with rage after the government's corruption led to shutting down small factories. The city moved into producing Turkish delight after government subsidies for producing wheat dwindled due to its increasingly neoliberal policies. This new business, which proved profitable and augmented the residents' incomes amid rising inflation, was shut down by greed. The greed of the Syrian President's cousins, the Makhlufs. Atef Nagiub, the president's cousin who heads the Political Security bureau in Deraa, noticed how profitable the business is, and partnered with his billionaire cousin, Rami Makhluf, to open a major factory. This step eventually led to shutting all others.

I do not how true this is, but it might be the case. I will enquire more:

(photo Atef Nagiub)


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