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Syria Media Roundup (January 10)

[A man sells gas in Deir Ezzor. 25 December 2012. Via Lens Young Deri.] [A man sells gas in Deir Ezzor. 25 December 2012. Via Lens Young Deri.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.]

Regional and International Perspectives

Lebanon and the Future of ‘Greater Syria’ Mohammad Harfoush asks whether “the change in Syria for the first time since the dawn of independence, lead to a more agreeable approach to Lebanese-Syrian relations?”


New Syrian Group Warns of ‘Foreign Meddling’ Fayez Ajouz on the newly created “Patriotic Movement for the Salvation of Syria”

Khaled Mahmoud: A Prisoner in Lebanon Turns Emir in Syria  Radwan Mortada on the recently released leader of Fatah al-Islam, “believed to be responsible for dispatching Lebanese youths to Syria for “jihad.””


Lakhdar Brahimi Laments Assad’s ‘Lost Opportunity’ in an interview with BBC’s Lyse Doucet.

Exiled to Purgatory Caitlin Ella Wind says Syrian refugees “may have escaped the threat of violence themselves, but they wait to hear from family still inside. No longer needing to wait in Syria’s growing bread lines, they lack the financial safety nets of family and friends, and struggle to find employment.”


Syrian Refugee Wave Washes over Egypt


Syrian Government Frees 2,130 Prisoners in Exchange for 48 Iranians

Syrian Narratives


Forming a Syrian Opposition Government: The Time is Now  Frederic C. Hof optimistically argues it is time to find “respectable individuals whose revolutionary credentials neither alienate nor frighten the cowed and undecided”


Syria’s Regime and a Populist Left Hazem Saghieh and Samer Frangie says the unease of the Left with Syria “has less to do with the facts on the ground than with the long, tortuous love-affair that has bound what might be called the "western populist left" to the dying Syrian regime.

Translation of Statements Made by Minister of Electricity Gebran Bassile and MP Nayla Tueni Maya Mikdashi says “the statements issued by Minister Bassile and by MP Nayla Tueni are lessons in xenophobia and demographic paranoia.”

Assad’s Speech

The Syrian Revolution and the Speech of Bashar al Assad
After Assad mocked the “fake” revolution for its alleged lack of intellectuals, the author writes: “the intellectuals are therefore every woman and men involved and invested in this revolution. The intellectuals of this revolution are the Syrian people.”


Army was the Target Audience of President’s Theatre at the Opera House says Robert Fisk


No Surrender Following Assad’s speech, Emile Hokayem says “it is about time we accept that Assad believes what he says, including that he will prevail and that any dialogue can only occur on his terms.”


Bashar’s Speech As’ad AbuKhalil analyzes the speech and provides an overview of its reception by the pro and anti-regime sides.


Syria: A Jihadi Paradise Pepe Escobar’s equally cynical take on the Assad speech and developments in Syria.

What’s Next for Assad? BBC program with guests Patrick Seale, Joshua Landis, Faisal Yafai and Dr. Yazan Abdullah


Assad Offers Only More of the Same-Mukhabarat Brutality Hassan Hassan argues that “if the world wants to help Syrians, there is only one way: step up support for the rebels. The Assad speech was a sign of desperation. Recent moves, including the recognition of the opposition and the pledges of support, can work.”


As Bashar al Assad Shows its Defiance, Syria Nears its Existential Cliff Tony Karon says “while there’s a common perception in Western capitals that the regime is on its last legs, there are plenty of signs on the ground that it remains very much intact — and very dangerous.”


Why Assad May Yet Claim Victory Simon Tisdall says Assad’s ability to remain in power has a lot to do with “his subtler achievement in convincing would-be western interventionists that awful though he is, what might follow him would almost certainly be worse.” 

Inside Syria

The Ballooning Cost of Living in Damascus Anas Zarzar walks around Damascus markets and asks clients and sellers about the new economic realities in the capital.

Syria: Battle Returns to Yarmouk Camp
After a lull in the fighting, Anas Zarzar says people are forced to flee once more amid “intense fighting.”


Syria’s Alawites Under Siege Ali Hashem writes about the sectarian conflict developing in Damascus.


Assad’s Vow to Fight Dashes Hopes of Fast End to Syrian War Reporting from Damascus, Phil Sands writes: “any lingering expectations that a political breakthrough might be in the offing - or even a more subtle change of tone towards conciliation - were dashed.”

Inside Syria’s Refugee Camps a Harrowing Tale of Fire and Ice Amal Hanano tells the story of a Syrian mother who lost her two children when her tent caught on fire, one of many examples of the precarious living conditions in Atmeh’s refugee camp.


Aleppo Misery Eats at Syrian Rebel Support Yara Bayoumy writes about civilians’ mistrust of the FSA.


Pink Panther Under Shelling Blogging from Northern Syria’s entry on screening a movie to children who are now refugee in the city of Kafranbel.

A Homs Diary
from November 20 to December 16.


Swaida: Resistance in Quiet Part of Syria Marlin Dick on the increased pro-uprising sentiment in this majority-Druze southern province.


Buy a Gun? That’s Easy. But Cooking Gas…Phil Sands Reports from the Syrian capital

Yesterday, I Defected From Assad’s Army


Bored Japanese Trucker Gets Kicks From Syria War Tourism The story of Toshifumi Fujimoto

Art and Social Media


Snow Carpets the Central City of Homs A photogallery of winter in Homs.


Social Media Buzz: Assad’s Speech Mohammed Sergie’s weekly column on the social media conversation around Syria


Apple’s App Store Rejects Syria Game Al Jazeera’s The Stream programme on Apple’s decision to reject a game that violates section 15.3 of its guideline policy (the game targets a specific government).


Endgame: Syria The controversial game in question, which “allows users to explore the options open to the Syrian rebels as they push the conflict to its endgame. Each choice the user makes has consequences – the types of military units you may deploy, the political paths you choose to tread.”


Online Artists Share Work-Tyrants Would Prefer They Share a Cell Lawrence Lessig on the work of jailed computer programmer and creative commons supporter Bassel Khartabil.


Life in Shatila, Beirut A photo essay by Alan Gignoux


A Note by Rami Jarrah in the aftermath of Assad’s speech, asking for the unity of the opposition.

Tamerlane in Damascus Zayde Antrim writes: “whether invoking the name Timur today conjures specters of conquest and occupation, illegitimacy and shame, or heresy and sectarianism, its power lies in a centuries-old collective memory of vulnerability.”

Policy and Reports

Peter Harling, Project Director, International Crisis Group provides an insight into developments in Syria in this France 24 Interview

Jabhat al-Nusra: A Strategic Briefing  Noman Benotman and Roisin Blake provide this report on Jabhat Nusra, its objectives, structure, operations, its relations with “key players,” adding that their press strategy so far has been one of “positive ambiguity.”

Is the Syrian Revolution Entering a New Stage? The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies suggests that “the ongoing developments are contributing to the gradual military degradation of the regime, whose control has receded in large parts of Syria, but this does not mean that the opposition will be able to secure a military victory soon.”


 اقامة مؤقتة - دور الطوائف في الثورة

Father Paolo discusses sectarianism in the Syrian revolution with Syrian activists and refugees.


قراءة في خطاب الرئيس السوري السادس

Munther Khaddam writes about Al-Assad's latest speech.


هيثم مناع يعلّق لـ«السفير» على خطاب الأسد: ارتكز على نقاط قوة.. والحلّ أميركي ـ روسي

Assafir's Mohammad Ballout provides Haytham Mannaa's take on Bashar Al-Assad's speech.


الأسد هو المشكلة

Edmon Dhoush writes about the different events in Bashar Al-Assad's rule that show his reluctance to democratic reform.


قراءة متأنية لخطاب الاسد

Abdel Bari Atwan provides another critical reading of Al-Assad's speech.


!عنف يواجه الإعلام

Fayez Sarrah writes about the brutalization of journalists and media reporters in Syria.


 العزاء السوري

Ziyad Majed writes about the changing nature of mourning in Syria with the outbreak of Al-Assad violent repression of the uprising.


مخيّم اليرموك في الأزمة السورية

Maher Ayoun writes about the situation in Al-Yarmuk refugee camp in the midst of the Syrian struggle.


 هل ستستخدم المعارضة المسلحة ورقة الجوكر؟

Bashir Issa writes about the armed opposition in Syria. 

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