Category Archives: Middle East

11May/08

A Sheikh Speaks

By NIR BOMS
August 9, 2006

When Sheikh Abdullah Algharib Alhamad Altamimee, a Syrian Sufi scholar who has been teaching Islam for 13 years, decided to speak against the Assad regime, he broke with a thousand years of Sufi tradition. When he decided to travel to Washington last month and officially join the ranks of opposition, he told his wife that his life was no longer in his hands. His call for change could not have come at a more difficult time, in the midst of another bloody chapter in the Middle East. Yet perhaps now is when his words are needed most.

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11May/08

A Dissident in Paris

Jan. 17, 2004

By NIR BOMS & ERICK STAKELBECK

Nizar Nayouf has not only seen hell, he has even lived to tell about it. Barely.

Just 41 years old, Nayouf suffers from permanent spinal injuries, a failing left kidney, a bleeding gastric ulcer, and deteriorating eyesight. He also has paralysis in his lower extremities and unsightly disfigurements caused by cigarette burns that were anything but accidental.

The source of Nayouf’s ailments, and the scene of his own personal hell, was Syria’s Palestine Prison, which is run by the Syrian Intelligence Service or “Mukhabarat,” famous for its unrelenting cruelty.

His crime? Founding a human rights organization and speaking out against a Ba’athist regime that has held Syria in a totalitarian grip for four decades.

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08May/08

The French Connection…to Syria

By Nir Boms
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 5, 2004

In 1978, as protests against Shah Phalavi swept across Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was living in a cozy house in the Parisian suburb of Neauphle-le-Chateau, engineering an Islamic revolution that would soon shake the world. Under the watchful eye of the French government, Khomeini met regularly with journalists and actively campaigned for the Shah’s overthrow. In fact, when Pahlavi finally fled Iran in 1979, Khomeini was provided with a chartered Air France flight to Tehran, where he presided over one of the world’s most repressive regimes until his death in 1989. France’s generous hospitality toward Khomeini is interesting to note in light of the plight of Nizar Nayouf, a dissident Syrian journalist and human rights activist currently living, like Khomeini once did, as a political refugee in the suburbs of Paris.

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08May/08

Promoting Human Rights

Article published Mar 7, 2008

By Nir Boms

An important, yet underreported, summit took place recently in Riyadh. Turki K. Al Sudairy, a Saudi minister and president of the Saudi Supreme Human Rights Commission and Pakistan’s federal minister for human rights, Ansar Burney, conducted a series of high level meetings to discuss human rights in their respective countries.

According to a Pakistani News agency, the ministers, who also represent two member-states in the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, discussed human trafficking, slavery, women’s issues and other human rights topics at length.. After a series of meetings, pleasantries, and several fancy dinners, they even agreed to work together to improve a few human rights issues in the region. Continue reading