Canada Syria

Singing for Syria and Gaza

Hadani Ditmars | Posted 02.04.2013 | Canada Impact
Hadani Ditmars

The other day I found myself in a 100-year-old Anglican Church in Vancouver, in a place called rather fittingly, the Sanctuary. I was there to rehearse for a benefit happening the evening of Friday December 7th for Syrian refugee relief and emergency aid to Gaza, with funds directed to Doctors Without Borders and the ICRC's Middle East fund.

Dispatches From Damascus: The Old City Under Surveillance

Andrew Sheehan | Posted 01.23.2013 | Canada
Andrew Sheehan

The Syrian government has now established a permanent network of surveillance over the old city. One night recently I was strolling through the souq and saw a figure walking slowly ahead of me in the poorly-lit passage, an object dangling from their arm. When I drew within a few paces, he started and turned quickly to face me, watching me closely as I passed.

MacKay: Russia Should Work To End Syrian Civil War

CP | Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press | Posted 01.18.2013 | Canada Politics

HALIFAX - Defence Minister Peter MacKay called on Russia on Sunday to exert influence to end the Syrian civil war, accusing Russia of standing on the ...

A Q&A on Syria: How Strong is Assad?

Heather Roff | Posted 01.16.2013 | Canada Politics
Heather Roff

Recently, I was approached to give an interview by a rather right-leaning foreign news program. It may be no surprise, but our visions did not fit together. The news show, however, sent me a list of questions about the future of Syria, the Assad regime, and the prospects of the newly unified Syrian opposition. Here are my answers.

At Last, Some Good News From Syria

Qais Ghanem, MD | Posted 01.13.2013 | Canada
Qais Ghanem, MD

The announcement in Qatar on November 10 of the formation of the Syrian National Coalition with an elected president is an event of monumental importance, in my opinion. There will be the usual misgivings and apprehensions about the chaos that is expected to follow the collapse of any of these very long Arab dictatorships but none of that will materialize, and the Syrian nation as a whole will do quite well, with a little help from its friends.

Dispatches From Damascus: A Bomb in the Old City

Andrew Sheehan | Posted 01.09.2013 | Canada
Andrew Sheehan

The Sunday before last, a bomb exploded in Bab Touma Square in the middle of the morning, killing 13 people and injuring several others. While bombings of government targets and public spaces have become increasingly common over the last few months, this attack constituted the first of its kind in the old city since Syria's political crisis began in March last year.

Eight Insights from the 2012 U.S. Election, So Far

Ali A. Rizvi | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Ali A. Rizvi

2012-11-05-electionbannerreal.jpg There are very few things in life that simultaneously fill you with both cynicism and exhilaration like the American presidential election. And 2012 is certainly no exception. As the election cycle draws to a close, here's a look back at some of the most valuable insights from the year.

Having Coffee with Kofi Annan

Hina P. Ansari | Posted 12.25.2012 | Canada
Hina P. Ansari

I was one of the lucky few who was invited to attend a rare opportunity to have a roundtable discussion with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who was in Toronto for an exclusive speaking engagement as part of an ongoing speakers series. Annan answered our questions which covered various hot button topics including the ways towards a successful society, Iran, Romney and China. Here is what he said.

Dispatches From Damascus: Escape From Syria

Andrew Sheehan | Posted 12.24.2012 | Canada
Andrew Sheehan

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the country as a direct result of the violence that has engulfed the country since the outbreak of the civil war. Meanwhile, many of those that have so far escaped the violence are suffering the economic consequences of the crisis and are thus trying desperately to find a way to escape the country.

Places Canadians May Want To Visit, But Really Shouldn't

The Huffington Post Canada | Brian Vinh Tien Trinh | Posted 10.23.2012 | Canada Travel

It wasn't long ago that the city of Beirut was voted number seven in a Conde Nast 2012 top cities in the world poll. But by the next day, Lebanon's ca...

The Not-So-Foreign Policy Debate

Hina P. Ansari | Posted 12.23.2012 | Canada Politics
Hina P. Ansari

The stage was set at Boca Raton's Lynn University. The desk dusted, chairs put in place and zingers primed and ready for volleying. Oh, and it was supposed to be about Foreign Policy. Right? Well it kind of was. Kind of. According to Romney, American grade school teachers are part of American foreign policy. Confused? Wait, there's more...

Protesters Try To Storm Lebanon Government HQ

AP | Posted 10.21.2012 | Canada

BEIRUT -- Lebanese soldiers fired guns and tear gas to push back hundreds of protesters who broke through a police cordon and tried to storm the gover...

Romney's Hollywood Remake of Canada's Foreign Policy

Christopher Sands | Posted 12.09.2012 | Canada Politics
Christopher Sands

On Canadian Thanksgiving Monday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave a major foreign policy address to the faculty and students of the Virginia Military Institute. He did not mention Canada once despite the fact that his vision of U.S. global leadership is like the Hollywood-budget version of Canada's indie foreign policy sensation. Should Romney become the 45th president of the United States, it will be essential, though, for him to recognize that U.S. leadership must be exercised in a spirit of partnership for it to be successful. The message to Ottawa in January can't be "Thanks Canada for doing the right things in world affairs -- we'll take it from here."

Turkey, Syria Continue To Trade Fire

AP/CP | Bassem Mroue, Suzan Fraser | Posted 10.06.2012 | Canada

BEIRUT - Syria's military will "crush" armed rebels, President Bashar Assad's defence minister warned Saturday, as the regime shelled rebel positions ...

Dispatches From Damascus: "Assad! -- Or We Destroy the Country"

Andrew Sheehan | Posted 12.05.2012 | Canada
Andrew Sheehan

To the East of the old city there is a busy road that tanks and other military vehicles often drive along as they travel between the nearest base and whichever suburb they happen to be fighting in on a given day. Recently, a friend saw a tank drive down this road in a convoy with some other vehicles. On its side its crew had had spray-painted, in big white Arabic letters, "Assad! -- or we destroy the country."

Dispatches From Damascus: How the Other Half Live

Andrew Sheehan | Posted 11.20.2012 | Canada
Andrew Sheehan

While many Syrians have suffered immensely during the current conflict, others continue to live much as before. One week, a young single mother and her two-year-old son came to stay in my house for a few days, her home destroyed and ransacked. Later that week, I went out and met a western friend for a drink in the old city. All of the girls were expensively and revealingly dressed and danced with their male companions seemingly unencumbered by their towering heels, while everyone was knocking back a range of exotic cocktails and shots.

A Proposal to end the Violence in Syria

Omar Alghabra | Posted 11.13.2012 | Canada Politics
Omar Alghabra

There is no consensus on military intervention among Syrian opposition, neighbouring countries and UN Security Council members. However, everyone including the regime emphasizes how committed they are to ending the violence. The most effective way to stop the violence quickly would be to deploy a multinational peacekeeping force.

Who Is Responsible for Syrian Refugees?

Heather Roff | Posted 11.06.2012 | Canada
Heather Roff

Recently, there has been much discussion about establishing a "safe haven" within Syria's borders to protect the growing number of refugees fleeing the country's civil war, which unfortunately have received little backing. Can we hold that bordering states have a duty to accept more fleeing Syrians? This is a tough call, as the international community is not helping the situation in any certain terms.

Dispatches From Damascus: Silence and Noise in the Old City

Andrew Sheehan | Posted 11.04.2012 | Canada
Andrew Sheehan

The sound of violence in surrounding suburbs has become a feature of life in Central Damascus. While the central parts of the capital have, for the most part, been spared the fighting that has beset some outer suburbs in recent months, residents here are frequently reminded of their precarious situation by the sound of explosions and gunfire emanating from surrounding suburbs.

August Was Deadliest Month In Syria: Activists

AP | Bassem Mroue, Jamal Halaby | Posted 09.02.2012 | Canada

BEIRUT - Activist groups said Sunday that about 5,000 people were killed in Syria's civil war in August, the highest figure ever reported in more than...

Canada's Turns Up The Pressure On Assad Regime

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 10.31.2012 | Canada Politics

TORONTO - Foreign Minister John Baird is turning up the pressure on Syria, adding another 47 people and three entities to a blacklist of parties prohi...

Canada Cracks Down On Syria

CBC | Posted 10.31.2012 | Canada Politics

Canada is extending sanctions against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad but Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird made it clear Friday that military ...

10 Steps to a Peaceful Syria

Irwin Cotler | Posted 10.28.2012 | Canada Politics
Irwin Cotler

I have been writing for over a year now of the need to affirm and implement the Responsibility to Protect doctrine to help save Syrian civilians being massacred by the Assad regime. Everything that was predicted would happen in Syria as a result of international action has in fact resulted, but from international inaction. It is now as timely as it is necessary to increase pressure on Assad, and those loyal to him.

Dispatches From Damascus: The Syrian Army Arrives in the Old City

Andrew Sheehan | Posted 10.27.2012 | Canada
Andrew Sheehan

The atmosphere in Damascus' old city became just a little bit tenser at the start of the last week of Ramadan when Syrian army soldiers were deployed here for the first time since the revolution began in March last year. The soldiers were seemingly under orders to search various houses, especially those in which the few remaining foreigners live. The house I was staying in was one of them.

Forget Al Qaeda, Baird's Got Other Worries

CP | Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press | Posted 10.24.2012 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - Fear may be escalating over the influence of al Qaeda and other Islamist fighters among Syria's rebels, but Canada's foreign affairs minister...