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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday night of every week.]
The strange normality of life in the middle of Syria`s war
Diana Darke on Syria’s culture heritage and how it has been demolished by war and violence, but optimism still lives on.
In exile, Syrians build the country they never could under regime
“ Syrians’ not knowing each other helped the regime survive.”
What the cross-border aid extension means on the ground
Syrian American Medical Society claims that the renewal process for U.N. aid to Syria must be improved in 2015 to have an increased impact on the ground.
Conversations: Kidnapped and tortured in rebel-held Syria
The regime is not the sole cause of hardship for Syrian civilians, the opposition factions have also caused serious fear and suffering.
Is the Islamic State Establishing Itself in Qalamoun?
Yezid Sayigh reports on how the jihadi infighting moves south in Syria.
Syrian Bomb Plot Marked Deadly Turn in Civil War
New revelations about the July 2012 bombing that killed Assef Shawkat suggest that it "was an inside job."
Assad tells Iranian parliament speaker he backs local truces
Bashar al-Assad told Ali Larijani, the speaker of parliament in Tehran, that he is working on "reconciliations" to end the Syrian war.
Rewriting Syria’s War
This article overviews a new report by former journalist Nir Rosen, in which he argues that the Syrian armed opposition "has become hopelessly radicalized, while the Assad regime is nonsectarian in nature," and the only way out of the conflict "is through U.N.-brokered `local cease-fires` between the armed opposition and the regime."
Resurgence of the SSNP in Syria: An Ideological Opponent of the Regime Gets a Boost from the Conflict
Joel Veldkamp writes about the involvement of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party in the ongoing conflict.
Fixing the Mess in Syria
Rami Nakhla and Vera Mironova discuss the possibility of negotiated political solution in Syria.
Author`s journey inside ISIS: They`re `more dangerous than people realize`
This article discusses Juergen Todenhoefer`s journey into ISIS territory, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in Syria, as well as Mosul in Iraq.
“The Legal Foundations of the Islamic State”
Mara Revkin discusses the ways in which ISIS is using law to legitimize its violent state-building agenda.
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
تقرير تحليلى : الأسس القانونية لتأسيس الدولة الإسلامية و كيف صنعت الدولة الإسلامية دولة قانون ! – الجزء الأول
Children in Deir al-Zor Hit by New Disease
Ahmad al-Bouleily discusses the ways in which doctors in Deir al-Zor (in eastern Syria) "are fighting an outbreak of bacteremia after more than 50 cases were reported at a local health centre in just one month."
Regional and International Perspectives
Exclusive: As easy targets thin, Syria air strikes by U.S. allies plunge
Syrian air strikes by U.S. allies fall to 2 in December, U.S. officials insist allied cooperation is “extensive and deep.”
Jabhat Al-Nusra Executes two Palestinians in Yarmouk Refugee Camp
Al-Nusra settles accounts with its opponents in the Yarmouk camp, as they execute two Palestinians.
Rights groups blast Canada plan to `prioritise` Syrian religious minority refugees
Human rights groups accuse Canada of discrimination based on new Canadian government plan to `prioritise` the resettlement of Syrian refugees from religious minorities backgrounds.
In the spirit of Sykes-Picot?
Dr. Dawn Chatty (University Reader in Anthropology and Forced Migration and Deputy Director of the Refugee Studies Centre - University of Oxford) shares her perspective on the partition of Syria.
Policy and Reports
The unmasking of an Islamic State twitter troll
Hassan Hassan on the unmasking of Shami witness and what this means for the potency of ISIS message.
Isis: the inside story
“One of the Islamic State’s senior commanders reveals exclusive details of the terror group’s origins inside an Iraqi prison right under the noses of their American jailers. Report by Martin Chulov””
Everyday Sectarianism: The Paradox of an Anti-Islamic State Ally
Saudi Arabia joined the anti-Islamic State coalition despite the fact that the kingdom "has institutionalized sectarianism in virtually every aspect of political, social, and economic life". Report by Frederic Wehrey.
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
الطائفية الاعتيادية: مفارقات حليفٍ مناهضٍ للدولة الإسلامية
Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria
Jennifer Cafarella argues that Jabhat al-Nusra "is more subtle and insidious than ISIS, and is therefore more difficult to contain or defeat."
Cultural Heritage in Danger: Illicit Excavations and Trade Conference
The international conference on Cultural Heritage in Danger: Illicit excavations and trade took place in Berlin (December 11th and 12th) with the attendance of “about 400 political figure of ambassadors, aides, ministers, parliamentarians and heads of organizations and institutions concerned with cultural heritage as well as lawyers and legislators in the smuggling of antiquities in the world issues”.
Economy and Agriculture
Exclusive: Iran`s support for Syria tested by oil price drop
Iranian support for Syria has increased since the significant drop in oil production in Syria and the start of the conflict.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Through social media, ISIS sympathizers draw foreign fighters to the battlefield
"There are a lot of people involved in the social media campaign who are cheerleaders of ISIS who are not formally associated with ISIS and who aren’t necessarily based in Iraq and Syria."
جبهة جوبر || اشتباكات عنيفة واستهداف منطقة طيبة بغاز الكلور
As violent clashes continue, video shows a chlorine grenade being used in the Syrian conflict.
Terrorisme, comment l`Etat Islamique pille les antiquités?
A report about the illicit excavations and trade in archaeological objects by ISIS during the ongoing conflict in Syria and an interview with Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria.
An interview with Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria and Markus Hilgert, Director of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, who talk about the illicit trade in looted cultural objects.
سوريات عبر الحدود.. خمس نساء اجتمعن على “خدمة السوريين
”This article highlights the experiences of five Syrian women who found the organization "Souriyat Across Borders."
نجوم سوريا في مسلسل درامي على هوا روزنة
This article introduces the new radio drama series "the smile of the morning/ Basmat Sobeh." The series will be broadcast on Rozana radio, and it tackles the life of a Syrian family after the Syrian Uprising.
أول زواج لشابين مثليين سوريين في لبنان
This article introduces the news of a first same-sex marriage case of a syrian couple in Lebanon.
مقدّمات لتسوية محتملة في سوريا
Tariq Azizeh discusses new developments regarding conflict resolution in Syria especially with recent trends in Gulf politics toward the Syrian file.
سوريا تتصدر مسابقة أجمل صور في ناشيونال جيوغرافيك
A photo that portrays the Syrian city Homs won a National Geographic Channel completion.
دعاء ثلاث أيام وهي تسبح في البحر وتنقذ طفلة لاتعرفها فتمنحها أثينا جائزة لبطولتها
A Syrian refugee woman won a humanitarian award for her efforts to rescue an infant girl during their unauthorized immigration to Greece.
النص الاصلي للحوار مع سامر رضوان :الولادة من الخاصرة والثورة والمعارضة
An interview with Syrian scriptwriter Samer Radwan, in which he discusses the Syrian TV drama and political change in Syria.
خيارات نهاية تفاوضية لحرب مجنونة (12)
Hawazen Khadag provides her perspective on The Carter Center`s project for political transition in Syria, "Syria Transitions Options Initiative."
صنّاع الحياة من حلب: نسعى لبناء مجتمع مدني
This article discusses the work of the Syrian activist organization "Life Makers team" that operates in Aleppo.
أبراج: هل تملأ فجوات الإعلام السوري البديل؟
This article discusses Syrian alternative media and introduces the new project Abraj Syria, which an association of six independent Syrian radio stations.
أرقام «الاتجاه المعاكس»: في سجّل «داعش» مجزرة واحدة لا أكثر
Ala`a halabi criticizes the sectarian-based messages of Al-Jazeera shows like Faisal al-Qassem`s show "The Opposite Direction."
عن سوريا وحلفائها: انتصار «لعبة الانتظار السورية»
Mohammed Saleh Al-fattih discusses the relationship between the Syrian government and its allies in light of recent political development.