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Friday, November 10, 2017
Macron: West, partners will ‘completely
win’ over Daesh in coming weeks
— AP
DUBAI: French President
Emmanuel Macron
promised on Thursday that
the West and its partners
will “completely win” over
the Daesh group in the
coming weeks, applauding
the help offered by the UAE
in the battle against
After focusing the day before on
cultural ties between France and the
UAE with the opening of the Louvre
Abu Dhabi, Macron on Thursday
toured a nearby French naval base
and discussed the military coopera-
tion between the two nations.
“We have won in Raqqa and in
the coming weeks, the coming
months, I believe it strongly, we will
completely win on the military level
in the Iraqi-Syrian zone,” Macron
said, referring to the one-time self-
described capital of Daesh.
“France’s military capacity is at
the heart of my ambitions for our
country,” he added.
Macron visited the Camp Peace
naval base at Abu Dhabi’s Port
Zayed, which sits just across the
waters of the Arabian Gulf from the
new Louvre Abu Dhabi, which he
helped inaugurate on Wednesday
night. The museum’s saltshaker-
like dome sits in sight of the base.
A military band played “La
Marseillaise” and an honor guard
met Macron before he boarded and
walked through the French frigate
Jean Bart.
The French president later
addressed gathered sailors there,
noting their work to both battle
extremists and stop smugglers and
piracy in the Arabian Gulf and sur-
rounding waters.
The French naval base opened in
2009, a reflection of France’s deepen-
ing military cooperation with the
UAE. It also stations troops and
planes at Al-Dhafra Air Base, home
to some of the 5,000 American troops
stationed in the country.
Culturally, Abu Dhabi agreed to
pay France $525 million for the use
of the “Louvre” name for the next
30 years and six months for its new
museum, plus another $750 mil-
lion to hire French managers to
oversee the 300 loaned works of art.
A center at Paris’ Louvre now bears
the name of the late UAE President
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan,
which was also part of the deal.
While Macron toured the naval
base, his wife Brigitte visited Abu
Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque,
its gleaming white marble minarets
and walls shining brightly in the
desert sun. Out of respect, she cov-
ered her head with a brown, white
and black scarf with an Arabic-
inspired design while touring the
mosque, walking across its carpeting
with her bare feet.
Macron then traveled to Dubai
and met with ruling Sheikh
Al-Maktoum, who also serves as
the UAE’s vice president and prime
minister. Sheikh Mohammed also
had attended the Louvre Abu
Dhabi opening on Wednesday.
The French president then attend-
ed an economic forum, where he
offered a speech in English applaud-
ing the Emirates’ efforts in fighting
those “betraying” Islam through
both military might, as well as its
cultural offerings.
“Our common challenge today
is how to defend light, tolerance
and respect of each other,” Macron
said. “That’s the challenge of our
Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Culture Authority Chairman Mohammed Khalifa Al-Mubarak, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and French President Emmanuel Macron laugh as they visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum during its
inauguration in Abu Dhabi. (Reuters)
‘Made in Syria’: Refugees in Germany
drive exports from home
Germany has taken in 0.5m Syrians
Migrants drive demand for ‘Made in Syria’ goods
Trend fuels rising Syrian exports to Germany
Could help boost Syrian economy
HAMBURG: Many Syrian refugees in
Germany have resigned themselves
to the reality that there will be no
swift return to the land of their birth,
where a civil war is nearing the start
of its eighth year.
They are starting to build new
lives in their host country, driving
up demand for “Made in Syria”
goods there as they seek to soothe
homesickness with a precious slice
of their old lives.
Products popular among the
half a million Syrians, who mainly
arrived over the last three years,
range from nuts, sweets and sesa-
me paste to clothes, vertical spin-
ning grillers used to make sha-
warma meat in diners and hair
removal wax.
“People want the very same things
they were used to in Syria,” said
trader Anas Msouty, sitting in his dim
underground office near Hamburg
Port as workers sorted out parcels of
baklawa sweets and clothes that had
just arrived from Syria.
“The German market is full of
similar products from Turkey, but
Syrians want Syrian (goods),” added
the father-of-six, who had to aban-
don his Islamic women’s clothing
factory outside Damascus when he
fled the country.
Orders have grown 25-fold since
Msouty set up his trading firmSajeda
three months after his arrival in
Germany in early 2016. He now
imports 25 tons of Syrian goods a
He is not alone in capitalizing on
this trend; dozens of Syrian restau-
rants, stores and supermarkets have
sprung up in all major German cities
over the past two years, with more
opening every month. In Berlin
alone, at least half a dozen new
Syrian eateries and as many super-
markets have opened this year.
The rise in demand for Syrian
goods is contributing to a gradual
revival in Syrian exports to Germany,
which has taken in more Syrian ref-
ugees than any other Western nation.
Exports from Syria rose to €15.5
million ($17.9 million) in 2016 and
totaled €8.8 million in the first five
months of this year alone, according
to official German data. This is still a
far cry from the pre-war level when
non-oil Syrian exports to Germany
totaled around $100 million a year.
More than 5 million Syrians —
almost a quarter of the pre-war
population — have fled the nation,
according to the UN. It is unclear
how much support rising demand
for Syrian goods among refugee
populations in Germany and else-
where may be having on Syria’s
shattered economy. Little data is
available from the war zone.
The revival in trade in Germany
nonetheless appears to have coin-
cided with a bottoming out of eco-
nomic activity in Syria.
The World Bank estimates the
country’s gross domestic product
(GDP) contracted by an accumulat-
ed 61 percent in 2011-2015, but in
2016 it shrunk by only 2 percent,
though it mainly puts the improve-
ment down to a slowing in the popu-
lation exodus.
Msouty, who supplies Syrian indi-
viduals and businesses in Germany,
said he was proud of his contribution
to recovering Syrian exports, which
he said is providing much-needed
income to factory owners and work-
ers in Syria.“We are resuscitating the
Syrian economy,” he said.
In Berlin, the boulevard of
Sonnenallee — dubbed “Arab
Street” for its abundance of Arabic
shop signs—has become one of the
most popular shopping destinations
and hangouts for the capital’s Syrian
It boasts three Syrian supermar-
kets, two Syrian restaurants and one
Syrian sweet shop, which have all
opened over the past two years.
“This is just a smell of home,” said
Houda Bayyad, a veiled young moth-
er shopping at one of the supermar-
kets, which opened in recent weeks.
“It doesn’t solve our problems like
learning German and finding a job.
But it makes our life here easier,”
said the 20-year-old, holding a jar of
Makdous, a Syrian delicacy of baby
aubergines stuffed with walnuts, gar-
lic and sun-dried red peppers pickled
in olive oil.
Most Syrian goods come from
factories in areas under govern-
ment control mainly in and
around Damascus but also from
Aleppo. Three companies in
Damascus that supply Msouty with
goods declined to comment when
contacted by Reuters.
The products are transported in
trucks through relatively safe
areas under government control to
the port of Latakia in northern
Syria and loaded onto container
ships bound for Hamburg. Other
products come by plane via Beirut.
This trade is proving indispensable
for Syrians setting up businesses in
Sweet shops, and coffee and nut
roasters need specialized machines
to make sweet and salty delights
such as baklawa and roasted kernels.
They prefer to import equipment
from Syria as it is cheaper than to
buy them in Germany from
European or Turkish manufacturers.
Restaurateurs depend on speciali-
ty raw ingredients to recreate the
flavors that Syrians crave.
L’Amira Falafel, a Syrian restau-
rant in Hamburg that opened in
2015, has proved so popular that it
has now opened at a second location
in the northern city.
“Our main goal was to make sure
that everything we prepare tastes like
in Syria,” said Mohammed Abou
Saeed, co-owner of the eateries
where it is hard to find a table any
time of the day.
“To do that we needed the same
sesame paste, pickles and spices we
used in Syria,” he added, gesturing at
a waiter to bring baked bread to a
couple who had just walked in.
“It makes us very happy when
diners tell us our food reminds
them of Syria.”
Anas Msouty from Syria stands in a depot with Syrian fabrics
and goods in Hamburg, Germany. (Reuters)
Sources: The Dubai Frame, Government of Dubai, Inhabitat
Dubai Frame
is a $43.5m feat of engineering that links two towers
by an observation deck to form a huge “picture frame” building
Sky deck:
bridge offers
uninterrupted views of
to north and
to south
Designed by
German engineering giant
(who also
sponsored competition
to design building)
to scale
Mezzanine museum:
Showcases Dubai’s
transformation from fishing
village to metropolis
through innovative use
of projections, mist
effects, smells
and motion
Zabeel Park
Burj Al Arab
Palm Jebel Ali
3 miles
2020 Dubai
Syria, Russia slammed at chemical
weapons watchdog meeting
— A
THE HAGUE: Syria and its close ally
Russia faced harsh criticism on
Thursday at a meeting of the
Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons (OPCW) follow-
ing an investigation that blamed
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s
regime for a sarin attack that killed
about 100 people in April.
At a closed-doors meeting of the
chemical weapons watchdog’s exec-
utive council, US representative
Kenneth D. Ward said that Russia
“continues to deny the truth and,
instead, collaborates with the Assad
regime in a deplorable attempt to
discredit” the joint UN-OPCW inves-
The text of Ward’s statement was
posted on the OPCW website.
Russia has denounced the results
of the investigation into the Khan
Sheikhoun attack and vetoed a UN
Security Council resolution to
renew the mandate of the Joint
Investigative Mechanism, known as
the JIM, which expires this month.
The OPCW has a team called
Fact-Finding Mission, which investi-
gates whether chemical weapons
have been used in Syria. The JIM
was set up by the Security Council to
apportion blame for such attacks.
Britain’s representative to the
OPCW, Peter Wilson, said the UN
Security Council should renew th
JIM’s mandate.
“No ifs, no buts and no skimping
on the mandate. It must be able t
do its job,” Wilson said.
Ward, meanwhile, said the meet-
ing in The Hague also had to send a
strong message condemning the
use of chemical weapons.
French president tours his country’s naval base in Abu Dhabi near new Louvre
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