Interview with Syrian entreprenuer Abdulsalam Haykal on ‘The Next Web’

Photo of Abdulsalam Haykal at a Transtek pavillion, Syria (posted on The Next Web)The Next Web blog, an international source of  news and views about the web, posted a recent interview with Syrian entrprenuer Abdulsalam Haykal. With sanctions on Syria getting a recent renewal by Obama’s administration, Haykal views sanctions “both as a blessing and a curse.”

He continues, “In entrepreneurship, the barrier to entry is a crucial factor. Sanctions make the barrier low because competition is less fierce. However, it gives you a cushion that might slow down innovation if all that a country or society seeks is self-sufficiency.”

“Sanctions can limit your access to resources, and your belonging to an international community of peers, and this limits the resourcefulness of a company.”

Haykal is CEO of Transtek, founder and CEO of Haykal Media (Forward Magazine’s mother company), and president and co-founder of SYEA (The Syrian Young Entrepreneurs Association).

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Syrian Jews living in Syria & USA proud to be ‘Yehudi Arabi’

 

Jews in Syria are an integrated community. In our last September issue, you have Syrian Jews and Palestians speaking about co-habitation in Syria, while Syrian Jews living in the US confessing to feelings of pride stemming from the fact they are "Yehudi-Arabi". Photo by Carole al-Farah, Forward Magazine (Damascus, Syria)
Jews in Syria are an integrated community. In our last September issue, you have Syrian Jews and Palestians speaking about co-habitation in Syria, while Syrian Jews living in the US confessing to feelings of pride stemming from the fact they are “Yehudi-Arabi”. Photo by Carole al-Farah, Forward Magazine (Damascus, Syria)

Syrian Jews living in Syria and USA say they are proud to be ‘Arab Jews’


Damascus (October, 2009) – Syrian Jews living in Syria and the US told Syria’s leading monthly, Forward Magazine, their Arab roots are a source of identity and pride – amid speculations about the reality of Syrian Jews at the time when Turkish intermediation is taking place between Syria and Israel towards a possible peace scenario.

According to media analysts, Syrian Jews are seldom mentioned in the media, having distanced themselves from the Arab-Israeli conflict due to their natural integration into the Syrian society’s fabric. They do enjoy, contrary to misconception, full citizenship rights in Syria, with many Jewish Syrians refusing to relocate into Israel if a peace treaty takes place.

A peace scenario between Syria and Israel doesn’t mean Syrian Jews might leave their homeland Syria

 “We are Jews of Arab culture, and we are proud to be Yehudi Arabi (Arab Jews). It is in our veins,” Carlos Zarur, an Oriental Jewish researcher from Boulder, Colorado, told Forward Magazine. Like many third generation American-Syrian Jews, Zarur’s grandparents hail from both Damascus and Aleppo. He echoes similar sentiments by Jewish Syrians residing in Syria.

Abdulsalam Haykal, Syrian media entrepreneur and CEO/publisher of Forward Magazine, says the time is ripe to communicate to the world the reality of the Syrian Jews community. “They have synagogues, exercise religious freedoms, have a community leader whom we featured in our magazine, and are fully naturalized,” Haykal said.  “When we were children we used to accompany my grandfather for a weekly visit to his Jewish friend, Abu Jamil, a shop keeper in Old Damascus. Jewish, Muslim and Christian friendships are a natural part of Syrian life, no question marks raised.”

In their two articles – “Culturally Syrian, Religiously Jewish” and “He is not my enemy” – Brooke Anderson and Julian Weinberg, two of Forward Magazine’s senior writers, recounted how historians believed that Jews have inhabited Syria since before Roman times. According to legend, King David built the area’s first synagogue in Aleppo. Dura-Europos, a Greek colony on the Euphrates River in eastern Syria, built in 300 BC, is considered to be the site of the earliest known Jewish Diaspora synagogue. The ruins can be visited on the road between Deir ez-Zor and Abu Kamal (which was bombed early this year by American war planes flying crossing from Iraq).

The report also shows that from 1919 until 1949, there was always a Jewish deputy in the Syrian parliament. To read the full text of the Jews-in-Syria report, you can visit www.fw-magazine.com:

 

 

Haykal Media’s Forward Magazine launches Syria Banker ’09 guide

Launch of Syria Banker '09 at the Dedeman Hotel on August 2, 2009 (Sunday), by Haykal Media's Forward Magazine

Launch of Syria Banker '09 at the Dedeman Hotel on August 2, 2009 (Sunday), by Haykal Media's Forward Magazine

Damascus, (SANA) – Haykal Media launched on Sunday at Dedeman Hotel the Syrian Banker ’09 guide by Forward Magazine. The supplement provides services to the market and clients such as retail loans, loans for companies and commercial facilitation in order to help finance trade and industry.

The supplement also contains information on Syria, banking activity and economic changes. The guide is written in English by Syrian writers, in addition to interviews with Syrian economists.

AUGUST 02, 2009

H. Sabbagh

 

Syria’s daily news scoops on Twitter

Forward Magazine is now on Twitter, bringing Twitter-ers the latest news from Syria: Inside information and scoops you can’t find anywhere, stories from the homeland that only journalists have access to, untold stories from the nooks and crannies of Damascus and beyond.

Read Syria’s daily headlines on http://twitter.com/ForwardMagSyria

Syria now on Twitter

Syria scoops now on Twitter

Al-Farah Choir: North American Tour

Music in SyriaMehdi Rifai

During these sad times in Arab history, nothing is more important to emphasize than Arab unity and internal acceptance of our own diversity. No one works harder at this than Father Elias Zahlaoui and the al-Farah Choir (Choir of Joy), promoting tolerance and shared community between Arabs of all faiths and beliefs. As mentioned in the December 2008 issue of Forward Magazine, the choir is preparing for a North American tour involving its adolescent level singers. Those in North America are encouraged to come to the concert, and those elsewhere are encouraged to help them get there. Below are the links to their website and to the Facebook event concerning the choir.

http://www.choirofjoy.org/

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=43493153380#/event.php?eid=43493153380

For those wondering the effect of going to a music concert in the middle of all the turmoil in the region, consider Father Zahlaoui’s words: “For this tour, we will carry Syria and the whole Arab world, so we can say to those who know us or don’t know us, those who love us or don’t love us, who we are, Christians and Muslims, Arabs in a desperate time, when all the hate of the West seems to pour over the Arab world, especially Palestine.”