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Default More signs of change from Syria…

May 28th, 2008, 13:48
Syria is working to lure expats back. This includes stuff like exemptions from military service and economic incentives, and, presumably, some kind of promise not to throw them into jail for emigrating due to not liking the regime enough.

[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7421942.stm ]

First the Israeli-Syrian talks, then the suddenly resolved situation in Lebanon, now this. Could this be a sign that Damascus has decided to make a strategic U-turn? Buh-bye Iran, hello America and the EU?

I for one am keeping my fingers crossed.

As an aside, I've been meaning to go to Syria on four different occasions so far, but never made it — the first time was thwarted due to the weather, the next three times due to politics. I've even looked up a really nice little hotel in Aleppo where I want to stay.

Who knows, perhaps Jerusalem and Jaffa will be on my tourism list some day soon too.
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May 28th, 2008, 14:26
Maybe a "get nice" movement, ala Libya?

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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May 28th, 2008, 15:01
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post

Who knows, perhaps Jerusalem and Jaffa will be on my tourism list some day soon too.
I envy you

I have a Syrian roommate who can't go back to Syria because of military service. Maybe now he will be able to visit his homelands.

Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Maybe a "get nice" movement, ala Libya?
Or they could be doing a Saddam(when he shot his son-in-law after convincing him he'll be safe if he returned to Iraq)

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May 28th, 2008, 15:41
Originally Posted by POLYGON View Post
I envy you
Don't worry, I won't go until you can go too.

I have a Syrian roommate who can't go back to Syria because of military service. Maybe now he will be able to visit his homelands.
Let's hope so.

Or they could be doing a Saddam(when he shot his son-in-law after convincing him he'll be safe if he returned to Iraq)
That'll work once, but it'll put a bit of a damper on return immigration after that.
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May 28th, 2008, 15:42
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Maybe a "get nice" movement, ala Libya?
Maybe. It sure looks like it, but, as always, looks can be deceiving.
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May 28th, 2008, 21:37
You can visit Jerusalem and Jaffa already now… Damascus too… Nothing is really stopping you.
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May 29th, 2008, 09:46
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
You can visit Jerusalem and Jaffa already now… Damascus too… Nothing is really stopping you.
Actually, it's not quite that simple.

First, I'd have to change my passport. It's full of Lebanese stamps; Israeli immigration authorities don't take kindly to them. I would also have to lie to them when asked if I've visited any countries at war with Israel. Then I wouldn't be able to visit Lebanon afterwards if I had an Israeli stamp on my passport; if I changed my passport again, I would have to lie to the Lebanese immigration authorities. My wife would also have to lie about her (dual) Lebanese citizenship and Palestinian origins. That's a whole lot of lying, which I object to on principle; what's more, it's a lot of lying to people who are explicitly trained to detect lying.

It would also be somewhat problematic for her to visit Syria as long as Lebanese/Syrian relations are as strained as they are.

Finally, I'm boycotting all Israeli products and services until there's peace between Lebanon and Israel. That's a personal choice, made out of loyalty to my wife. I really look forward to reversing it should circumstances change.
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