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  • Trauma center to set up for ISIL rape victims, Germany


    SHAFAQNA – Germany plans to establish a trauma center for victims of a rape campaign by the ISIL Takfiri group, wreaking havoc on Iraq and Syria.

    Gerd Mueller, Germany’s overseas development minister, announced the plan in an interview with the Bild newspaper published on Monday, noting that the facility could treat 100 women and girls from the two Arab countries.

    He further said that on a visit to Iraq, he had spoken with five girls who had been gang raped by the terrorists.

    “Three of them are now pregnant. We have to take care of such girls,” Mueller pointed out.

    The ISIL militants control some parts of Syria and Iraq. They are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control and have terrorized and killed people of all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.

    In November, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria published a report that focused on ISIL atrocities, including massacres, decapitations, torture, sexual enslavement, and forced pregnancy.

    According to an Izadi girl, captured and abused by the Takfiri militants after they seized the Iraqi town of Sinjar in early August, they took hundreds of Izadi captives and selected young women to become sex slaves.

    According to Izadi activists, 3,500 women and children are missing, along with 2,000 Izadi men, many of whom are feared to have been executed.

    As Europe's biggest economy, Germany is the continent's top destination for asylum seekers.


    Source: PressTV



    Iranian Parliament Speaker starts tour of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq

    SHAFAQNA – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has conferred with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss ways to promote bilateral ties and cooperation, the situation in Syria, and regional developments.

    Larijani arrived in Syria on Sunday on the first leg of a four-day regional tour that will also take him to Iraq and Lebanon.

    During the meeting, Assad reaffirmed Syria’s resolve to help eradicate terrorism and extremist ideologies “that are menacing the region and the world.”

    Syrians are also keen to work for national reconciliation across Syria on a parallel track with combating terrorism, he added.

    He went on to say that the Syrian people are proud of the historically brotherly relations binding them with the people of Iran “that have witnessed many successes on the bilateral and regional levels over the past few decades.”

    Iran’s stance on Syria is greatly appreciated by the country’s citizens, Assad noted, and he highlighted Syria’s resolve to increase cooperation with Iran to serve the common interests of the two countries and to help establish security and stability in the region.

    Larijani applauded the Syrian people for their steadfastness in countering the terrorists targeting their country’s security and stability.

    The people of Iran will not hesitate to provide support to Syria, he said, noting that Tehran is in favor of national dialogue among Syrian factions to maintain Syria’s sovereignty and national unity.

    ‘Iran stands by Syrian government and people’

    Earlier in the day, during a meeting with Syrian People’s Assembly Speaker Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, Larijani said the Syrian government and people have succeeded in solving many problems and they should work to safeguard their achievements.

    “Iran stands by the Syrian government and nation,” he stated.

    He also praised Syria’s resistance against terrorism, saying that it has been effective.

    Al-Laham thanked the Iranian government and people for their support of the Syrian nation.

    U.S.-led campaign against ISIL ...

    Yjc.ir/ Germany to fund education for Afghanis in Iran


    SHAFAQNA – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Iran says Germany has offered $600,000 as fund for educating Afghan refugees in Iran.

    Expressing gratitude to the Islamic Republic for having been hosting Afghan refugees for decades, Michael von Ungern-Sternberg, German Ambassador to Tehran, acknowledged the difficult task of organizing hundreds of thousands of the refugees while announcing his government’s aid to assist Tehran in improving the conditions of the immigrants.

    "Due to various regional crises, Iran has been hosting a large refugee population for over 30 years now. Germany is well aware of the immense challenges that have arisen out of this situation,” said Ungern-Sternberg, according to a press release by the UNHCR’s Tehran office on Sunday.

    "We therefore want to give our contribution to improve living conditions of refugees while assisting the Government of Iran in its difficult task and we are convinced that the solution to the refugee problem requires a regional approach,” he further stated.

    In the meantime, the UNHCR’s Representative in Iran Sivanka Dhanapala expressed gratitude to the German government for its contribution and asserted, "Increasing knowledge through education is a sure way of addressing solutions for any difficulty we face in our lifetime.”

    According to a press release by the UNHCR’s, the contribution will enable more than 330,000 Afghan refugee students who are currently studying in Iranian schools "in becoming self-sufficient individuals who will themselves some time contribute a share in rebuilding Afghanistan.”


    Source: yjc.ir



    1,000 Arab houses in Negev,destroyed by Israel


    SHAFAQNA – In an unprecedented measure, Israeli authorities have destroyed 1,000 Arab houses in Negev throughout 2014, Anadolu news agency has reported.

    "Israeli security institutions destroyed Arab houses in order to put pressure on Arabs to leave their lands," said Usama al-Uqaibi, the head of the Islamic Movement in South Israel. "They destroy the Palestinians and their properties," he added.

    Al-Uqaibi reiterated that the Palestinians in Negev would continue their resistance and remain in their land. "Palestinians will not let the occupation control thousands of dunhams to build settlements," he said.

    Israeli authorities have destroyed complete Arab villages and neighbourhoods across the Negev claiming they were illegal. However, Arabs have been living in those residential compounds since before the occupation started in 1948.

    The Islamic Movement is a political party established in 1971. Although it is close in its principles to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to its charter it works within the limits of Israeli law.


    Source: middleeastmonitor




    A Middle Eastern Christmas


    SHAFAQNA – Christians may hold a minority status in the Middle East, but as the birthplace of Christianity the regions still contains a significant Christian population estimated at around 12 million people. Despite recent headlines pointing to the persecution of Christians under tyrannical regimes such as that currently pursued by the terrorist group ISIS, Christmas still remains an important religious festival in the region, and is widely celebrated by Christians and Muslims alike.

    Although Christmas is nominally a Christian tradition, in today's globalised world a number of Muslim countries also join in with the celebrations, with many Muslim families using the day as an excuse to get together, eat and be merry. Thus in keeping with the holiday spirit, MEMO presents a snapshot of festivities and culinary dishes in the Arab Christian world, so that you can have yourself a merry Middle Eastern Christmas, if you so should wish.

    In Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and the holy epicentre around which Christianity revolves, Christmas Eve is celebrated not one, not twice, but three times; by various different factions and congregations including Protestant, Catholic, Syrian and Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches. Indeed, it is not uncommon for three Christmas Eve services to occur simultaneously in different parts of the Church of St Catherine of Alexandria and in three different languages. Contrary to popular belief, the Church of the Nativity does not hold a service on Christmas itself, and instead celebrates its mass on 7 January, following the Orthodox calendar.

    Palestinian Christians, too, are an eclectic bunch, which is reflected in their choice of Christmas meal. Traditionally, the centrepiece of the meal would be a meat dish, probably lamb, cooked in a variety of different ways but similar in terms of the richness and variety of the ingredients and the complexity ...

    Mosque turns into museum in Israeli city,nowhere for Muslim to pray


    SHAFAQNA – Authorities in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba have recently converted an historic mosque into an Islamic museum despite the fact that 10,000 local Muslims still have nowhere to pray, locals said.

    According to Rasanews, locals told Ma'an that an exhibit showcasing a collection of Muslim prayer rugs was recently opened in the building that was formerly the Great Mosque of Beersheba, which was once used regularly as a mosque before the 1948 expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from what became Israel.

    The exhibit, which locals say has no Arab or Muslim member on the technical supervisory team, will continue until June 2015.

    The move comes after decades of protest from the area's 10,000-strong Muslim Palestinian community, composed primarily of local Bedouins whose ancestors survived the Israeli expulsions as well as Palestinian citizens of Israel who have moved to the city from other parts of the country.

    Representatives of the community have long petitioned Israeli authorities to allow them to open the mosque for daily prayers or at least once a week for Friday prayers.

    However, the demands have been repeatedly rejected, and in 2011 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a request for it to open as well, allowing the building to be transformed into a museum focusing on Islam.

    The irony is not lost on local Palestinian Muslims, who have long complained that Israeli authorities neglect Palestinian heritage and frequently appropriate Palestinian symbols and architecture.

    The Great Mosque of Beersheba was built in 1906 during the Ottoman era through donations collected from the Bedouin residents of the Negev.

    It remained an active mosque until the Israelis occupied the city in 1948 and turned it into a detention center and headquarters for a magistrate court, following the expulsion of Beersheba's approximately 6,000 Palestinian residents, mostly to Gaza.

    Thousands of Jewish immigrants were subsequently brought in ...

    Ayatollah Alavi-Gorgani urged the culture of Mahdawiyah


    SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Agency)- Ayatollah Alavi-Gorgani has stressed upon the need to institutionalize the culture of Mahdawiyah in all organizations and agencies and stressed that realizing this will prevent many problems from occurring.

    According to Rasanews, Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Alavi-Gorgani has met with the administrators and members of the Specialized Centre for Mahdawiyah in the holy city of Qom. In his lecture to them, His Eminence stressed upon the need to institutionalize the culture of Mahdawiyah in all organizations and agencies and stressed that realizing this will prevent many problems from occurring.

    In reference to the blessed chapter of the Holy Quran “Yunus [Jonah],” Ayatollah Alavi-Gorgani stated that the “friends of God” are introduced as those who have faith in God and are pious. He explained that those who are on the path of faith and are pious in this world will have a great reward and a lofty status in the hereafter.

    His Eminence stated that in the Quran, God uses the phrase “Those who believe in the unseen...” [2:3] and one of the meanings of this term is that it refers to belief in Imam al-Mahdi and his [eventual] reappearance. “This verse is a sign of the great importance of the issue of Mahdawiyah [Messianism] in Islam,” he stated.

    Ayatollah Alavi-Gorgani explained that the prophets and companions had knowledge of the appearance of the twelfth infallible leader, Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi, and that during appropriate times, the Pure Imams explained who the “Awaited Imam” was to their companions and to the general people.

    The revered source of emulation emphasized that Imam al-Mahdi is aware of all the actions and deeds of his followers. “Man is not infallible but if he reminds himself that Imam al-Mahdi is aware of his actions, he can better control his behaviour and deeds.”

    “The quantity ...

    Childhood shyness may lead to teen anxiety


    SHAFAQNA – Emotional and behavioral problems such as shyness during early childhood may lead to a teenage anxiety disorder, a new research has found.

    A longitudinal study revealed that the quality of parent-infant relationship could play a vital role in the appearance of social anxiety in adolescence.

    The study was carried out by the researchers at the US University of Maryland in collaboration with researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Canadian University of Waterloo.

    The research team analyzed the behavior of 165 European-American, middle- to upper-middle-class adolescents aged 14-17 years.

    The participants were recruited when they were infants, at four months, according to the report which appeared in Child Development, the journal of the Society for Research in Child Development.

    The investigators observed the infants at the age of 14 months, with their parents in the laboratory, to monitor the babies’ response to brief separations from their parents.

    “Securely attached infants initiated contact with their parents after separation and, if they had been upset, they could calm down when their parents returned,” the observation showed.

    The study also found that two patterns were seen in insecurely attached children. Some of them refused to have contact with their parents after being separated while the others needed to have physical contact with their parents but were angry and unable to calm down when their parents returned.

    The investigators at the latest stage of their research, when the children were 14 to 17 years old, asked participants and their parents to complete questionnaires about the adolescents' anxiety.

    The results indicated that children who were insecurely attached to their parents and who were inhibited throughout their childhoods showed higher levels of anxiety as adolescents, specifically social anxiety.

    "Our study suggests that it is the combination of both early risk factors that predicts anxiety in adolescence, particularly social ...

    Terrorist group created by enemies of Islam to divide Muslims: Rafsanjani


    SHAFAQNA – Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Monday that the enemies made a round-the-clock efforts to create Daesh Takfiri group to divide Muslims.

    Ayatollah Rafsanjani said that the enemies, who were panic to witness the Muslim solidarity, sponsored the terrorist group nurtured in Syria in campaign against the Syrian legitimate government to divide the Muslims and their leaders.

    Divide and disunity are the most harmful threats to Muslims throughout the history, Rafsanjani said.

    Unfortunately, the Muslim World has always confronted various plots and current terrorist groups such as Daesh, Taleban and Boku Haram are examples in the contemporary era, he said.

    Some sixty Muslim nations with the population over 1.7 billion with huge natural resources should be considered with prime importance, he said adding that Muslims with reliance on such capabilities should have the final say in all regional and international affairs but unfortunately their ethnical and religious rifts have prevented them to attain the goal.

    The Muslim World through logic of freedom and intellect can create an exemplary civilization in the world, he said.

    He said that the Muslim World should exercise vigilance to maintain their unity and avoid any rifts and disputes.


    Source: IRNA




    ‘key apologist’ for the CIA’s torture program


    SHAFAQNA – NBC News called her a “key apologist” for the CIA’s torture program. A follow-up New Yorker article dubbed her “The Unidentified Queen of Torture” and in part “the model for the lead character in ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’” Yet in both articles she was anonymous.

    NBC News reported that one senior CIA officer in particular was responsible for many of those false claims, describing her as “a top al Qaeda expert who remains in a senior position at the CIA.”

    NBC noted that the same unnamed officer “also participated in ‘enhanced interrogations’ of self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, witnessed the waterboarding of terror suspect Abu Zubaydah and ordered the detention of a suspected terrorist who turned out to be unconnected to al Qaeda, according to the report.”

    The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer about the NBC article, added that the officer “is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.” This officer, Mayer noted, is the same one who “dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.” Mayer also wrote that the officer is “the same woman” identified in the Senate report who oversaw “the months-long rendition and gruesome interrogation of another detainee whose detention was a case of mistaken identity.”

    Earlier this year, The Washington Post identified Bikowsky by name, describing her as a CIA analyst “who was tied to a critical intelligence-sharing failure before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the botched 2003 ‘rendition’ of an innocent German citizen thought to be an ...