from Middle East Matters and Middle East Program

Voices From the Region: Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Algeria, and Lebanon

April 11, 2014

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“They call it aid, but I don’t consider it aid…I consider it buying time and giving people the illusion that there is aid when really there is not.” –Brigadier General Asaad al-Zoabi, a Syrian fighter pilot who defected and joined the opposition

“Businessmen in this country have sucked the blood of the people–and the one who is responsible is Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.” –Ahmed Mahmoud, head of the Cairo branch of the Independent Union for Public Transport Workers

“I think that if [Palestinian political prisoner] Marwan Barghouti is released from prison and runs against Abu Fadi [Mohammed Dahlan], then Barghouti will win. This is because people are emotional, and they sympathize with pure people. They will say that he has not been stained with problems, and they will think that he is better than Abu Fadi. But when they try him, they will regret their choice.” –Jalila Dahlan, wife of former Fatah security chief Mohammed Dahlan

“We want to transfer Kurdistan’s experience to the rest of Iraq, not have the Kurdistan Region separate from Iraq.” –Khamis Khanjar, a Sunni businessman who is heading a new Sunni alliance dedicated to preventing Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki from gaining a third term

“She knows the president is surrounded by wolves, and she is trying to get closer to him in order to unmask them.” –Abdelkader, an Algerian taxi driver speaking about Louisa Hanoun, the only female candidate in Algeria’s presidential election

“Our cause is just. They are mercenaries from Chechnya, Yemen and Libya who want to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, who supported us enormously during the 2006 war against Israel…It’s our duty to help him.” –Mahmud, a vegetable vendor and a Hezbollah fighter recently returned from Syria

“We are a movement that refuses to let Israel go unpunished when it attacks our people, and we believe that becoming part of the ruling authority would be catastrophic. That’s the secret behind why more people are supporting us.” –Khader Habib, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad official

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