Despite UN Designation, Arab Culture Deserves Better ‘Capital’ Than Syria
published in ThreatsWatch.org
By Guest Contributors Nir Boms and Jonathan Spyer
The ancient city of Damascus received another mark of recognition last week. Following in the wake of Liverpool – which was recognized as the European Capital of Culture, and Stavanger in Norway, which was named the non-EU European Capital of Culture, UNESCO last week designated Damascus as the Arab Capital of Culture for 2008.
In a speech celebrating this decision, Syrian President Bashar Assad chose to highlight a very specific element of his capital city’s culture – namely, Damascus’s self-appointed role as the center of Arab ‘resistance.’ “Damascus is the capital of resistance culture by symbolizing Arab culture” he declared, and went on to define ‘resistance culture’ as “the culture of freedom and defending freedom.” Continue reading