A few days ago, the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja started for Muslims in the pita-consuming region. However, PITAPOLICY is struggling to put the events in the region into perspective. The list of downers is quite frustrating:
- Iran’s currency, rial, faces severe devaluation in the wake of increasing economic sanctions;
- Syria is plagued by Bashar Al Assad’s War on Children, which encompasses a refugee and human rights crisis that has escalated to the point that 300,000 Syrians are now either Internally Displaced Persons or Refugees (271,380, according to the UNHCR)–and not to mention the torture tactics employed against women such as sexually assaulting Syrian women with rats;
- Lebanon experienced a deadly bombing resulting in the death of a, General al-Hassan, a prominent figure opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Libya continues to track those responsible for the September 2012 terror attack while tracking Qaddafi’s embezzled funds and stockpile of weapons;
- Although Egypt has frozen the assets of ex Prime Minster Ahmed Shafiq, Egyptians continue to experience political unrest due to the social and economic dissatisfaction that is intersecting with extremist elements within the country.
With the exception of Iran, PITAPOLICY has traveled to all these historical places. In March, PITAPOLICY traveled to Lebanon to attend an amazing technology development & startup conference that was founded in Beirut, Lebanon. Hence, PITAPOLICY is all the more saddened to see that the Umayyad mosque in Damascus was targeted by the Syrian Armed Forces. Visiting the beautiful sites in Damascus was part of PITAPOLICY Founder, Mehrunisa Qayyum’s parents’ graduation present to encourage her appreciation and study of the pita-consuming region.
Later, PITAPOLICY’s travel to Egypt for reviewing development assistance programs inspired closer viewing of how Egyptian civil society innovated its own cultural and development programs outside of charity. PITAPOLICY wishes all the pilgrims success for their Hajj this year, but begs them to return home with a revived mission to hold their political leaders and corporations accountable to the social, economic, and political injustices that have corrupted the beginning of this month, yet, once again.
P.S. PITAPOLICY would like to extend 1,001 congrats to the bloggers who ranked on Al Monitor’s Top 35 MENA Blog sites: The Arabist, The Moor Next Door, Black Iris, Karl reMarks, Afrah Nasser, Electronic Intifada, Saudi Blue Jeans, Global Voices and Payvand. Very pleased to have virtually met some you through Muftah.org as fellow Blog contributors.