Persian Gulf States Urge Citizens To Leave Lebanon After Kidnapping Of Rebel Syrians



LEBANON - Persian Gulf states urged their citizens to leave Lebanon on Thursday after more than 30 members of the Syrian opposition movement were abducted by a Lebanese Muslim Shiite clan, in retaliation for the kidnapping of one of its members in Damascus.

Bloomberg News reports that officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait issued warnings to their nationals in Lebanon to leave the country immediately.

Lebanon is a popular vacation spot for tourists from the Persian Gulf, and the move could hurt the Lebanese economy.

The Gulf States acted after the powerful Lebanese Shiite Meqdad family captured over 30 Syrians in Lebanon on Wednesday, as reported by the New York Times. A family spokesman told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation that it was also holding a Turkish national and threatened to capture Saudis and Qataris, according to Bloomberg News.

Several Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have actively supported the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, which started in March last year and has killed 21,000 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Al Jazeera reports that the Meqdad clan acted to secure the release of one of its kinsmen held by Syrian rebels in Damascus. The rebels claimed the man was a sniper from Hezbollah sent to help President Assad, a staunch ally of the militant Shiite Islamic group. The Meqdad family refuted the accusations.

Also on Wednesday night, a Paris-Beirut Air France flight landed in Damascus for refueling as it was rerouted to Larnaca in Cyprus. Air France decided to reroute the flight because of security concerns about the Beirut airport, according to the AFP. The road to the airport was blocked by a protest by families of Lebanese held in Syria.

Another photo from Beirut airport road some minutes ago. #Lebanon (Al Nashra)…

— AmaniiLeb (@Amani_Lebanon) August 15, 2012

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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