In a small Lebanese restaurant on London’s Edgware Road two Syrian chefs sat sipping tea as they watched President Bashar al-Assad deliver his first speech since the anti-regime protests began last week.

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In a small Lebanese restaurant on London’s Edgware Road two Syrian chefs sat sipping tea as they watched President Bashar al-Assad deliver his first speech since the anti-regime protests began last week.

This area of London, known affectionately as “Little Beirut”, is a microcosm of the Arab world, bundled into the carpetbags of Middle Eastern immigrants and unpacked just north of Marble Arch. With its Lebanese restaurants, Halal butchers and Algerian cafés this is where London’s Arab community comes to work, play and passionately talk about politics.

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