from Middle East Matters and Middle East Program

Voices From the Region: Turkey, Egypt, Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Yemen

December 31, 2012

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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“He’s contaminated from top to bottom…Tomorrow he will be a hero.” – Captain Adnan Dayoub, a Syrian rebel commander in Hama, on the defection of General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, head of the military police

“I have reached a clear conclusion that a lot of the policies and efforts contradict with my personal beliefs and I don’t see them as representative of our people’s aspirations.” – Egyptian communications minister Hani Mahmoud in a resignation letter published on his Wasat Party’s Facebook page

“It is out of question for us to take a step backward…Furthermore, we have not been asked to take such a step.” – Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz on Turkey continuing to import gas from Iran

“The country’s going to the pits. Everything is a mess…It’s worse than ever. Mubarak was better than now. People were living and there was security.” – Hamdy Hussein, a 61-year-old building janitor reflecting on Egypt’s economic instability

“Shalal did defect but he was due to retire in a month and he only defected to play hero.” – a Syrian security source said of the defection of General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, head of the military police

“Our entire village is angry at the government and the Americans…If the Americans are responsible, I would have no choice but to sympathize with al-Qaeda because al-Qaeda is fighting America.” – Ahmed Mohammed, a 27-year old Yemeni survivor of an American drone strike

“Injustice, marginalization, discrimination and double standards, as well as the politicization of the judiciary system and a lack of respect for partnership, law and constitution ... have all turned our neighborhoods in Baghdad into huge prisons surrounded by concrete blocks.” – Iraqi finance minister Rafia al-Issawi at a Sunni demonstration protesting Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki

“It’s the first time since 2007. It’s part of the dialogue, the conversation that we have with the Egyptian side and because of the calm…If the calm will continue, then more eases will go through. We’re also working on improving the electricity system in the north of Gaza in order to promote and to improve the electricity in that area.” – Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli defense ministry body that coordinates with the Palestinians confirmed the new policy of easing its blockade on Gaza to allow the import of construction materials

“There have been mistakes in the past period that I take responsibility for…I have had to take many tough decisions, but now a new dawn shines and the goals of the people will be achieved.” – Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in a televised address last Wednesday

More on:

Egypt

Syria

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