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Monday, August 20, 2007

Syria's Top Blogger

Last week there was buzz about the blog of Imad Moustapha, Syrian Ambassador to the US, which I discovered almost 2 years ago. At the time I informed Joshua Landis, who runs syriacomment.com, the foremost Syrian political blog, who then published the link. I happily told the Ambassador that at a reception honoring Hind Kabawat last year.

The AP piece from last week was a positive one for Moustapha, which showed the Syrian Ambassador to be a family man:

"Moustapha writes about Syrian artists, his favorite books and the diplomatic hobnobbing he does on the job.

The blog is full of pictures of vacations with his wife, Rafif al-Sayed, to Europe and Santa Fe, N.M. — and accounts of their new role as parents since the birth of their daughter, Sidra, in January. 'Rafif and I have made an agreement regarding Sidra: she was to be in charge for everything that goes into the baby, I will be responsible for every thing that comes out of her. Accordingly, I became fully responsible for changing her diapers and bathing her,' Moustapha wrote.

He tells of how he put a Web cam in Sidra's nursery so he can check in whenever he misses her. 'It is not out of the ordinary nowadays that, for example, while attending a meeting at the embassy with, say, the leaders of the American Jewish pro-peace organizations, I would excuse myself for a couple of minutes, rush to my adjacent office, check my Internet browser, assure myself that Sidra is blissfully asleep' and then return to work, he wrote recently."

Sad, though, that such a blog merits attention simply because it is "surprising for an official from Syria, where the government is among the most tightlipped in the Middle East," according to the article.

Times are changing, in Syria too, but the media is still listening to 8-tracks from Damascus.

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