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"The Baath Party has not remained in power this long because of the strength of its ideology, but because of the power of its iron fist. Experience shows that this fist... can impose hegemony for a limited time only."
-- Syrian poet and intellectual Adonis urged President Bashar al-Assad to end his crackdown on popular protests in an open letter.
"I never expected this level of attention."
-- Tom MacMaster, a bearded US student based in Scotland, apologises for writing the fake "Gay Girl in Damascus" blog which became a media sensation.
"The challenge before us, the moment we are facing, is historic. Either Europe will make history or history will wipe out the European Union."
-- Embattled Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou appeals for unity among members of his lawmakers as he tries to steer an austerity package through parliament.
FRIENDS OF THE DEVIL
"This is haram (forbidden in Islam). I reject this because it is cruel and disregards Islamic sharia law. This ruling is by the friends of the devil and it is haram for me to accept it."
-- Radical Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, after he was jailed for 15 years in Indonesia for funding a terrorist group that was allegedly planning assassinations and Mumbai-style attacks by highly trained suicide gunmen.
"Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person"
-- Risa Heller, spokeswoman for US Representative Anthony Weiner, who admitted to sending lewd pictures of himself to several women via his Twitter account.
FOR THEIR OWN GOOD
"Do you think we just went to places and killed? No."
-- Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, explaining to the Washington Post that 13th century conqueror Genghis Khan actually fought terrorist states and helped poor countries.
"Bank notes, like artworks, are objects that have no inherent worth beyond what society agrees to invest them with"
-- Katherine Brinson, assistant curator of an exhibit by German-born artist Hans-Peter Feldmann who has covered the walls of New York's Guggenheim museum with 100,000 one-dollar bills.
"This is the bunga bunga of 1811 ... Self-irony is always important."
-- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi makes light of the raunchy "bunga bunga" parties held at his luxury residence, pointing to a 19th-century painting which featured Apollo strumming a lyre surrounded by nine muses.
"Obviously this was not good for my CV. But on the other hand it has been an adventure."
-- Football legend Ruud Gullit reacts to his sacking as coach of Terek Grozny in the unlikely setting of war-torn Chechnya.
I AM WHAT I AM
"I am religious and gay and a mother and a wife and a lesbian -- that is what I am."
-- 34-year-old Zehorit Sorek, on a float representing Jewish religious groups in the Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade.
Last Updated (Saturday, 18 June 2011 10:31)