Kafr Tanour is a village that lies in the northern Idlib countryside. Like many localities in the wider northwest region, the village suffers from a very poor humanitarian and services situation. From the civilian side, the village is administered by a local council that is affiliated with the Salvation Government. On 19 January 2020, I conducted an interview with the head of the Kafr Tanour local council. It is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Kafariya is a village located in north Idlib countryside. Like the neighbouring village of al-Fu'a (also see here), the original inhabitants were Syrian Shi'a who were evacuated entirely from the village by summer 2018. Since that time, Kafariya (like al-Fu'a) has been resettled primarily by Syrian IDPs from other parts of the country. Currently, a local council for Kafariya affiliated with the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham-backed Salvation Government is administering civilian affairs in the village.
To learn more about the humanitarian situation in Kafariya, I conducted an interview with Abu Abd al-Salam, who is the media guy for the current Kafariya local council. For NGOs that would like to contact him regarding provision of humanitarian aid in light of the current situation, here is his number: +963 968 611 296. To email the current Kafariya local council: [email protected]
This interview was conducted on 20 January 2020. It is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
The Hashd Sha'abi plays an important role in security matters in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, including the Khanaqin area that has been disputed between the central government in Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government. To learn more of the Hashd's role in Khanaqin, I conducted an interview with the media for the Hashd Sha'abi Commission office in Khanaqin. This interview was conducted on 13 January 2020. It is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
طبعا للحشد الشعبي دور مهم في الأمور الأمنية بمحافظة ديالى عامة بما فيها منطقة خانقين المتنازع عليها بين الحكومة المركزية ببغداد و بين حكومة إقليم كردستان. ولكي اسلط الضوء على دور الحشد الشعبي في خانقين أجريت مقابلة حصرية مع إعلام مكتب هيئة الحشد الشعبي في خانقين وتم إجراء المقابلة بتأريخ ١٣ يناير عام ٢٠٢٠.
كما يعلم متابعو هذه المدونة أنا أحب ان أعطي مجال للكتاب والأصوات المحلية داخل الوطن السوري لكي يكتبوا عن مواضيع مختلفة في بلدهم قد تهمهم. فاليوم أقدم لكم مقالة بقلم كاتبة من معرة النعمان في محافظة إدلب. هي كتبت مقالة مهمة عن زيادة ظاهرة عمالة الأطفال في إدلب نتيجة عن الحرب في الوطن السوري.
As readers of this blog will know, I like to give space to local writers and voices inside Syria to write articles on whatever matters may be of interest to them. In this case, a female writer from the Idlib province town of Ma'arat al-Nu'man has written an article for this blog on the growth in the phenomenon of children in work in the Idlib region as a result of family poverty and the circumstances of the war.
Below is the article.
The Syrian pound continues to depreciate sharply in value, with one U.S. dollar now being equivalent to more than 1100 Syrian pounds by many exchange rates. This depreciation has had a sharp impact on people's livelihood inside Syria and more people are beginning to speak up. The Syrian state media agency SANA even provided coverage of a recent peaceful demonstration in the southern province of Suwayda' protesting against the high cost of living.
للأسف الشديد لا تزال قيمة الليرة السورية تنخفض, مما أثر على حياة المواطن السوري كثيراً ولا نقدر ان ننكر هذه المشاكل, فأدت إلى مظاهرات سلمية في محافظة السويداء قامت والوكالة السورية العربية للأنباء بتغطيتها. ولكي أسلط الضؤ على هذا الموضوع بشكل موضوعي وأرفع صوت المواطن داخل الوطن السوري أجريت مقابلة مع أبو هادي وهو من سكان منطقة دمشق.
It is one thing to list the name of a Syrian rebel faction, describe its flag, note some of its superficial political rhetoric and give an estimate of the number of fighters, but quite another to describe the composition and internal structure of that faction. Exploring the latter issues would do much more to tell us about who exactly are the rebel factions and how they function. Regrettably, much ostensible research on the rebel factions has frankly been abysmal. For example, as American researcher Alexander McKeever commented, a lot of "pro-opp[osition] analysis of these groups rarely went beyond collecting their logos and checking to see how much green was included." On the other side, the obsession has been to label rebel groups as "jihadist" (a term applied far too carelessly without consideration as to its actual meaning).
Previously on this blog I provided a translation and commentary on an account of the Ten Commandments in Old Frisian, which is the closest linguistic relative of Old English. Old Frisian texts are primarily legal in nature, and the Old Frisian account of the Ten Commandments fits within that classification as it is essentially an aetiology of law.
For this post, I provide a translation and commentary on the sixteenth statute of the Seventeen Statutes (an Old Frisian set of laws). The sixteenth statute details the right to give compensation as a way of resolving a feud caused by criminal action. However, there were exceptions to this right, which were mentioned in the sixteenth statute. This edition of the sixteenth statute from Bremmer's grammar and reader of Old Frisian includes a further section detailing five situations in which compensation could not be given. Of course, some of the punishments detailed in the text may seem rather harsh (e.g. cutting off the right hand of the forger of money/coins, and seething the servant who betrays/kills his legal master in the cauldron).
Below is the Old Frisian text with my translation and commentary.