March 19, 2014

In Syria, God Is No Longer Great

An excerpt from, "War turns Syrian society upside down" by Suhaib Anjarini, Al Akhbar English, March 18, 2014:
The word “takbir,” which is the Arabic term for the phrase “God is great” is now used all the time and has become a way to jest and joke. The use of the phrase “God is great” is no longer welcomed within certain circles because of it association with fighters. Fouad tells Al-Akhbar: “I received my passport after waiting five months. In the meantime, I checked with the immigration and passport department about 10 times until I lost hope of ever getting it. Finally, when the officer told me the passport is ready, I was so happy, I inadvertently yelled ‘God is great.’ Suddenly, everyone fell silent in the hall and turned towards me. The officer stared at me in shock and disapproval. I felt awkward and apologized.”