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Extensive Syria Media Roundup (Jan 8 - Feb 19, 2017)

[A Syrian man reacts while standing on the rubble of his house while others look for survivors and bodies in the Tariq al-Bab district. Image by Nic6192131 via Flickr]

[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.]    Inside Syria Eight Syrian Factions Merge ... Massacre in Azaz (8 January, 2017) Sources at the Syrian opposition announced on Saturday that eight large opposition factions had merged in the north of Syria under the name of “Leadership Council For Liberation Of Syria.” Syria's Civil War: Aleppo's heritage sites 'in danger' (12 January, ...

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اليأس كسلاح للاستبداد

[لوحة ليوسف عبدلكي]

«الراديكاليّة الحقّيقيّة هي أن تجعل الأمل ممكناً، لا أن تجعل اليأس مُقْنِعاً.»  ريموند وليامز  تحل هذه الأيّام الذكرى السابعة لانطلاق الثورات العربيّة، والتي تسمّى أحياناً «الربيع العربي». ومهما اختلفنا حول كونها «ثورات» أو «انتفاضات»، فيستحسن  العزوف عن استخدام مصطلح «الربيع العربي». وذلك لأنه إشكاليّ ويرتبط بفرضيات خاطئة وبخطاب معيّن تترتب عليه تبعات سلبيّة سنتطرق لها. فلم يختر صانعو هذه الثورات هذا المصطلح ولا أطلقوه هم على ما قاموا به. بل جاء، عموماً، من «مراقبين» أجانب لم يفهم معظمهم جذور هذه الثورات ووقعها وآثارها. ولم يتعب هؤلاء أنفسهم بقراءتها ووضعها في سياقها التاريخي المحلّي الصحيح. وكان معظمهم قد شكّكوا، أصلاً، مثلهم مثل غالبية الأكاديميين ...

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BBC News: A Sarcastic Response to Syria's Militants

By Mike Thomson BBC News 9 February 2017 It takes a special kind of person to run a radio station in an area controlled by Islamist militants in northern Syria. Music is forbidden, so are women presenters. But Raed Fares - manager of Radio Fresh FM - has come up with a creative response to the militants' demands. It is mid-day and almost time for the latest news from Radio Fresh FM in the rebel-held province of Idlib, in north west Syria. Suddenly the airwaves are filled with assorted sounds of tweeting birds, clucking chickens and bleating goats. As the newsreader gets under way, the cacophony continues beneath his voice.  You might be forgiven for thinking ...

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Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria

[The following report was issued by Amnesty International on 7 February 2017] Human Slaughterhous: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria Executive Summary Saydnaya Military Prison is where the Syrian state quietly slaughters its own people. The victims are overwhelmingly ordinary civilians who are thought to oppose the government. Since 2011, thousands of people have been extrajudicially executed in mass hangings, carried out at night and in the utmost secrecy. Many other detainees at Saydnaya Military Prison have been killed after being repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care. The bodies of those ...

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حكاية ما انحكت: مدن ثائرة - مقابلة لمجلة الوضع مع محمد ديبو

[محمد ديبو رئيس تحرير حكاية ما انحكت]

أجرت كاتي الحايك لمجلة "الوضع" هذا الحوار مع محمد ديبو، رئيس تحرير ”سوريا أنتولد“ (حكاية ما انحكت)، وهو شاعر وكاتب سوري وباحث مهتم بالثقافة والاقتصاد في سوريا. يناقش محمد ديبو “حكاية ما انحكت” ومشروعه الجديد “مدن ثائرة”، ،الذي يستقصي تاريخ الانتفاض السورية في ست مدن مختلفة.      

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UNOCHA Update on Wadi Barada, Syria

[Image that was included in the report]

[This report was issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 14 January 2017.] Syrian Arab Republic: Wadi Barada Flash Update No. 1 14 January 2017   Highlights Since 22 December, an estimated 5.5 million people in Damascus and surrounding areas have been cut off from their main source of water supply, the Ein Elfijeh and Barada springs, after those were damaged. Following an agreement of 13 January, government and SARC technical teams entered the Wadi Barada area the same day to carry out a damage assessment of the water sources and infrastructure at the Ein Elfijeh spring site with a view to ...

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Syria Media Roundup (January 13)

[Image of territorial control in Syria (Purple representing IS, Yellow representing the Syrian government, Green representing the Kurds and Orange representing the rebels). Image by Karl-Ludwig G. Poggemann via Flickr]

[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.]   Inside Syria As rebel factions fracture, hardliners seek to prosper Hassan Hassan looks at the fragmentation of rebel groups around Aleppo. Analysis: The Fifth Corps and the State of the Syrian Army The Syrian government’s new and unprecedented volunteer-based military unit is a window into the current state and the future of the Syrian ...

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Aleppo: Impending Battle [Ongoing Post]

[Image from Oman Observer]

[This is an ongoing post and is updated regularly. It was first published/launched on 4 November 2016. Recent posts/updates are below. The reports of suffering become more devastating as you scroll down] 4 November 2016 The battle for Aleppo has been underway for some time, but is in all likelihood entering an even more critical and costly phase in terms of loss of human life. This post will be updated during the coming days to reflect what portends to be a potential calamity with serious implications. Without a doubt, the parties that hold the initiative and ultimate responsibility for the consequences of this battle are the Syrian regime and the Russian forces, who ...

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The Turkish State of Emergency and LGBT+ Kurds

LGBT+ Kurds raise rainbow flags at Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır in 2011. Photograph by Damla Gülmez.

After the end of the peace negotiations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) in July 2015, Kurdish cities witnessed massive destruction. The destruction was accompanied by racist and sexist graffiti messages by Turkish government forces in many of the wrecked areas. Then, following the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016, a three-month state of emergency was declared by the Erdoğan government, extended again for another three months, blurring the boundaries of Erdoğan’s authority over state power. Empowered by the narrative of defeating the 15 July coup attempt, the government expanded its targeting of the Gülen movement, the ...

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Syria Media Roundup (December 26)

[Image of a displaced Syrian child, Ahmed, trying to keep warm. Image via The United Nations Children's Fund via Flickr]

[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.]             Inside Syria Russian Special Forces Seen as Key to Aleppo Victory Russian special-operations forces have played a pivotal part in the Syrian ground offensive to retake Aleppo, a role shielded by secrecy about their operations there. Aleppo battle ends as Syria rebel deal reached Military ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on the Left, Imperialism, and Syria at KPFA

The following interview aired live on Wednesday 21 December 2016 on the UPFRONT show of KPFA (Pacfica Radio San Francisco and Oakland). The episode takes the recent developents in Aleppo as the launch point to discuss dynamics in Syria. The episode features Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad (also the Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University) and author and journalist Richard Becker.     Listen to the Show Here   [STARTS AT 10:10]   Download the Show Here      INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT Cat Brooks ...

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What the West Owes Syrians: US and European Arms Sales to the Middle East 2011-2014

[Image from SIPRI]

The last two years have seen heated debates within Europe and the United States about the costs of hosting Syrian and other refugees. However, there has been almost complete silence about another aspect of their involvement in the conflict: the extent of arms sales to the Middle East. Between 2011 and 2014, and based on conservative estimates, Europe earned twenty-one billion euros from the arms trade to the Middle East while it spent nineteen billion euros on hosting approximately one million Syrian refugees. During that same period, the United States earned at least eighteen billion euros from arms sales, while accepting about eleven thousand refugees.  Aware of ...

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Power, Sect, and State in Syria

A. Maria A. Kastrinou, Power, Sect and State in Syria: The Politics of Marriage and Identity amongst the Druze. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2016. How has Syria, a country that was deemed “stable” by analysts only years ago, become engulfed in an utterly brutal war? Under what circumstances does intercommunal cohesion turn into sectarian strife? Focusing on the fine line between violence and intimacy in a variety of different settings in pre-war Syria, Maria Kastrinou’s Power, Sect and State ...

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A Preface to A Critique of Instant Analysis and Scholarship on the Arab Uprisings

Much of the writing on the Arab uprisings continues to suffer from the new think-tank-ish, self-important, semi-casual, sloppy-analysis syndromes. It is as if having a platform and a mandate are sufficient to produce sound knowledge. For the most part, the proof is in the pudding. Follow platforms and individuals across time and space and this becomes clear: zig-zagging and pendulum-swing judgements and analysis, driven more by events and politics than by historical and analytical depth. Worse still, ...

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عصير الكتب: بلال فضل يحاور بسام حداد

في هذه الحلقات الثلاث من برنامج "عصير الكتب" على قناة العربي يستضيف الكاتب والصحفي المصري بلال فضل الدكتور بسام حداد، أستاذ العلوم السياسية في جامعة جورج ميسن ومدير برنامج دراسات الشرق الأوسط فيها وأحد مؤسسي ومحرّري مجلة "جدلية،" الصادرة عن مؤسسة الدراسات العربية.  يناقش الحوار العديد من المحاور المتعلقة بالإنتفاضة السورية ودول عربية أخرى. كما تتناول الحلقة كتاب بسام حداد   Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience  الصادر ...

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غيهب مدينتي

وصلتْني منه صورةٌ سوداء معتمة بعد أن أرسلتُ إليه لقطةً للمدينة التي أعيش فيها سمّيتُها مدينة الضوء. في البداية ظننت أن صورته لقطة فاشلة التقطتْها الكاميرا نتيجةً لخطأ ما. كانت حالكة السواد، وكتبَ تحتها:”صورة مدينتي”. نظرتُ إلى الظلمة المؤطرة، إلى الأعداد الغفيرة التي تعيش فيها، إلى حيوات مدفونة وذكريات مطموسة وطفولات وأحلام مجهضة. هل غمرتْ الظلمة مدينة بأكملها، بحيث لا يومض ضوء واحد في هذا الغيهب؟ نَفَضْتُ هذه الإيحاءات من ذهني، وأغمضْتُ عينيَّ متخيّلاً مدينة مضاءة، مدينة النور، الوجوه فيها نورانية ...

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الأونروا تطلق مناشدتين بقيمة 813 مليون دولار من أجل التدخلات الطارئة للأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة والأزمة الإقليمية في سورية

أطلقت  وكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل لاجئي فلسطين في الشرق الأدنى (الأونروا) مناشدتين دوليتين يبلغ مجموعهما 813 مليون دولار من أجل تمويل الاستجابة الطارئة للأزمة في الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، بما في ذلك القدس الشرقية، ولتلبية الاحتياجات الإنسانية الملحة للاجئي فلسطين المتضررين جراء النزاع في سورية، بمن فيهم أولئك الذين نزحوا إلى لبنان والأردن. وقال المفوض العام للأونروا بيير كرينبول: "إن مليونا وستمائة ألف لاجئ فلسطيني، ممن يعانون من انعدام الأمن أكثر من أي وقت مضى والذين تزداد احتياجاتهم، ...

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من أين أنت في سوريا؟

(إذا كنتُ سوريّاً، فما العجبُ أيُّها الغريب؟ نحن نحيا في وطنٍ واحد هو العالم) ميلاجر، شاعر سوري فينيقي من أين أنت في سوريا؟ يربكني هذا السؤال، يجرحني في الصميم، ويُخَلْخِل تكويني، يُشعرني أنني ابن القوالب الاجتماعية القديمة، أنني أنتمي إلى ما قبل إنسان الحداثة، إلى ما قبل إنسان الحقوق والقوانين، ينبّهني إلى السجن الذي أعيش فيه، وإلى الجدران التي تخنق فرديتي بهوائها المحبوس الملوّث، ويجعلني ذرة باهته لا مرئية متراصة مع ذرات أخرى، وبالتالي يلغي اختلافي، ويُجرم بحقي. يعرّيني في قفص الحزب الواحد، ...

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تأملات في صناعة صورة الموت؛ اغتيال السفير

فكرة "الذات" الفلسفيّة، هي فكرة حديثة، جاءت مع عصر التنوير الأوروبي والنزعة الإنسانيّة، فالذات المفكرة والواعيّة تجد تعبيرها الوجودي الميلادي الأول في بيان ديكارت الشهير: "أنا أفكر، إذن أنا موجود"، أو ماعُرف بـ"الكوجيطو"، وبالتالي فوجودية الذات تتحدد بكونها "ذاتًا" ذات تصور ابستمولوجي، أي بوصفها ذاتًا "مفكرة عارفة"، في مقابل "موضوع" معروف ومحكوم، فيما نسميه ازدواجيّة/ثنائيّة "الذات والموضوع". وإذا كان النقد ما بعد البنيويّ وما بعد ...

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Jadaliyya Syria Page Co-Editor Basileus Zeno on Sectarianism, Syria, and Iran, on BBC Newshour Extra

After Aleppo? On Friday, 23 December 2016, the BBC’s Newshour Extra featured a discussion on the sectarianism as a framework of analysis for the war in Syria. Host Owen Bennet Jones mediated between panelists Basilseous Zeno (PhD Student in Political Science at University of Masschusetts Amherst), Mohammed Alyahya (Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council), Haydar al-Khoei (Researchers at the Centre for Academic Shi‘a Studies), and Ariane Tabatabai (Visiting Assistant Professor of Security Studies ...

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Quick Thoughts: Dorothée Myriam Kellou on French Cement Giant Lafarge's Operations in Syria

[In June 2016, French journalist Dorothée Myriam Kellou published the results of her groundbreaking investigation of the French cement giant Lafarge’s operations in Syria, replete with payoffs to armed groups and indications of covert dealings with the Islamic State (IS) movement in order to facilitate the continuation of operations at the company’s plant in northern Syria. Her work was additionally featured on the France 24 television station. Jadaliyya interviewed Kellou to learn further details of how ...

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Summary of UN Board of Inquiry Report into Air Attack on UN-Syrian Arab Red Crescent Aid Convoy

[The following summary was submitted on 21 December 2016 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the President of the Security Council. The summary is of the United Nations Headquarters Board of Inquiry into the September 2016 attack on a UN-Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy Urem al-Kubra, near Aleppo. The full report is a confidential internal document, and thus not made available to the public. However, the following summary has been made public.] Summary by the Secretary-General of the report of the ...

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1-- تجتاح الحرب،التي تقترب من نهاية عامها السادس، سورية من أقصاها الشرقي إلى أقصاها الغربي ومن شمالها إلى جنوبها. وهي لم تعمل على تفكيكها وحسب، بل أدت إلى تدمير الكثير من مدنها وقراها واحتلال مناطق عديدة منها من الطامعين من أطراف وجهات مختلفة. في آذار2011 بدأت في البلاد انتفاضة شعبية طمحت لتحقيق الحرية والكرامة والعدالة، وأعلنت عن تمسكها بوحدة سورية وإصرارها على وحدة شعبها. إن تدخل قوى إقليمية قريبة وبعيدة وقوى دولية ذات سطوة وقدرة كبيرتين، في هذا الصراع الداخلي، حوله من تحرك داخلي سلمي، وطني ...

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Media on Media Roundup (December 20)

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup deals with a number of issues that occupied the media scene in the region, from the end of the battle over Aleppo to the state of journalism during 2016 and the cultural misrepresentation of Muslims on the BBC. After a four-year battle over the Syrian city of Aleppo, government-led forces have been described as "somewhat victorious" as they hold control over the entire city, initiating an evacuation process for the remaining civilians in the city. ...

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