Recent Developments

As you may know by now there has been 'interesting' developments in the Middle East, concerning a 'Wave of Change'. I thought i would update everyone how this is affecting me in Syria or should I say not. After the Tunisian and Eygption Protests there were calls by some to have a "day of rage" in Syria last weekend. However this turned out to be nothing more than a "day of rain" with no-one turning up on the streets. The difference in Syria's case was that the demonstrations were organised by people outside of Syria, Syrians living abroad and even non Syrians living abroad. So due to this lack of on the ground leadership it is quite understandable why the protests did not get off the ground. On the day itself there was an increased presence of secret and not no secret police but sadly for them they stood about in the rain all day getting cold. One positive change that has occured in the recent week is the end of blocking Facebook and YouTube by Syrian Authorities signalling an interesting move by the government, which has blocked these sites since 2007, possibly in reaction to the events in Eygpt, that called for greater freedom of the internet. Despite this opening of the internet, Syrian media agencies were slow to acknowledge the events happening in Eygpt as for at least 3 days. For example on SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency) the top news for those days were that "Rain Falls on Most Syrian Cities" where other arabic media's (Al Jazeera, Al Arabyia, Ya Libnan etc) had Eygptian News on their front pages. Outside of these events I have had a suit and jacket taylored made here for about $200, its getting very cold, and I have started to be known as a local, with a Taxi driver asking me for directions, which I could give in arabic, and getting to be known by name in my local cafe. All in all very nice.

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