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The Beginning Of My Ascendance
April 22nd, 2007
10:59 am


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My Sister, Nicole Vienneau, Has Gone Missing in Syria

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Date:May 1st, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
What the hell is she doing there backpacking. This is just asking for trouble.

I hope she is o.k. But really, this is just plain stupid.
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Date:May 1st, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)

Syria is a surprisingly safe country to travel in. Despite the differences between the government and the USA (for example), the Syrian people are very friendly and welcoming to travellers. They can tell the difference between a government and its people and act accordingly.

It's much more likely that she's been involved in some sort of traffic accident than anything politically motivated. We think it's extremely unlikely that she's been kidnapped or otherwise imperiled by terrorists or anything exotic. There's been bombings in Egypt over the past few years, but I still went back in February and was never worried for my safety at any point.

And this is her fourth extended 3rd-world trip - she's very experienced. Iraq is an incredibly dangerous place to visit. Syria? Not so much.
Date:May 1st, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
"Syria is a surprisingly safe country to travel in. Despite the differences between the government and the USA (for example), the Syrian people are very friendly and welcoming to travellers."

Unless you're a Lebanese who objects to their subjugation of your country and their wholesale elimination of your native Christian population...
Date:May 1st, 2007 06:03 am (UTC)
Comments like this, though perhaps well intentioned (though personally I fail to grasp how...), are not what anyone needs to hear in a situation like this. Perhaps you should place yourself in the Vienneau family's position and think before making comments such as this.
Date:May 1st, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
I think the comment is appropos. Vienneau shows a fundamental naivete regarding the Middle East, and especially Syria, that will inhibit his actions to find his sister. Comments like "it's safe, especially for a Canadian" are case-in-point.

Syria is a bad place to be for anyone to be. Putting one's faith in page out of a granola-crunching backpacking book cannot, and will not, change that fact.
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Date:May 1st, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)

I've spent nearly two years in Syria and I'm a white American. I spend a good portion of my time here hiking alone in the countryside, hitchhiking and taking public transportion, and sleeping at stranger's homes. It is one of the safest countries in the world, especially for a foreigner. The only way it would be 'dangerous' is if one was involved in some politically subversive activities, which I highly doubt his sister was.

From what I've read, he has a very good idea of the situation in Syria. It is your 'facts' that are not based in reality.
Date:May 29th, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC)
what you have said about syrians and lebanese is just a whole load of crap, and for your information the syrian army first went to lebanon to protect the christan population and to stop the civil war, i know that they weren't that good after words but lets not forget that the syrian army does not represent the syrian people, it only represents the regime in syria, and syrian people are very friendly and kind.
Date:May 9th, 2007 08:42 am (UTC)
i dont know if you know this but i travelled to syria alone last november. for every bus i took, i had to present my passport so they could record it down. they did this for locals too(with their ID i presume). so there might be a track record of her passport number.

hama is near homs which is usually the stopping point if you want to travel to palmyra. (i did aleppo to palmyra and had to change the bus at homs)

good luck, if anything, internet access was not that easy to find.

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