When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

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) twitter.com/Amani_Lebanon/…

— AmaniiLeb (@Amani_Lebanon) August 15, 2012

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


A Refuge From China's Rat Race: The Young People Flocking To Buddhist Monasteries

Unemployment, stress in the workplace, economic difficulties: more and more young Chinese graduates are flocking to monasteries to find "another school of life."

Photograph of a girl praying at a temple during Chinese Lunar New Year. She is burning incense.

Feb 20, 2015 - Huaibei, China - Chinese worshippers pray at a temple during the Lunar New Yeat

Frédéric Schaeffer

JIAXING — It's already dawn at Xianghai Temple when Lin, 26, goes to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas for the 5:30 a.m. prayer.

Still half-asleep, the young woman joins the monks in chanting mantras and reciting sacred texts for an hour. Kneeling, she bows three times to Vairocana, also known as the Great Sun Buddha, who dominates the 42-meter-high hall representing the cosmos.

Before grabbing a vegetarian breakfast in the adjacent refectory, monks and devotees chant around the hall to the sound of drums and gongs.

"I resigned last October from the e-commerce company where I had been working for the past two years in Nanjing, and joined the temple in January, where I am now a volunteer in residence," explains the young woman, soberly dressed in black pants and a cream linen jacket.

Located in the city of Jiaxing, over a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, in eastern China, the Xianghai temple is home to some 20 permanent volunteers.

Unlike Lin, most of them only stay for a couple days or a few weeks. But for Lin, who spends most of her free time studying Buddhist texts in the temple library, the change in her life has been radical. "I used to do the same job every day, sometimes until very late at night, writing all kinds of reports for my boss. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I felt my life had no meaning," she says.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest