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Layla Al-Zubaidi


Syria's Creative Resistance

[Large demonstration in Homs, Syria against the Syrian regime. Image from WikiMedia Commons.]

Bashar al-Assad snores, his head twitching on a large white pillow. Suddenly, he wakes up. “The people want to overthrow me!” he screams, the pompom on his nightcap bouncing.  A military officer approaches, pats him on the head and whispers gently, as if comforting a toddler: “Don’t worry, my dear Mr. President, nobody wants to bring you down. Go back to sleep.”  “But I dreamed that the people don’t love me anymore!” “We all love you, Mr. President”, says the ...

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In the Suburbs of Damascus

[Image by Layla al-Zubaidi.]

The normal pace of everyday life may surprise those who venture to visit Damascus these days. From the city center with its vibrant markets, the idea that observers from the Arab League are visiting the city to investigate serious human rights abuses seems almost unreal. Yet, something has changed. In cafés and taxis people talk about politics, and though they do not do it at the top of their voices, such talk is no longer limited to hushed remarks. Massive explosions are ...

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Layla Al-Zubaidi


Layla Al-Zubaidi is an activist based in Beirut. She is co-editor of the forthcoming volume Democratic Transition in the Middle East: Unmaking Power (Routledge).