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Ideology and Humor in Dark Times

Lisa Wedeen, “Ideology and Humor in Dark Times: Notes from Syria.” Critical Inquiry 39.4 (2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Lisa Wedeen (LW): This article is part of a book project on what I call “neoliberal autocracy” and its unmaking. The book was initially envisioned as an account of aging authoritarianism and generational change. Then the uprisings happened and my orientation, although still centered on issues animating that project, had to ...

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Racism, Alliances, and Misery: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Moe Ali Nayel and Bassam Haddad

Moe Ali Nayel, a freelance journalist, fixer, and translator based in Beirut, Lebanon, discusses the question of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and how the landscape of Lebanon receives them. In addition to his insights and observations, Moe Ali provides signs, posters, warnings, ...

Rojava: Life and War in Kurdish Syria

Photos by Andy Spyra and Younes Mohammad. Text by Andy Spyra. In early October this year Younes and I left Erbil, the Kurdish capital of northern Iraq, heading straight to the border crossing at Fish Khabour, located in the triangle between Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. Six hours ...

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New Texts Out Now: Noura Erakat, Palestinian Refugees and the Syrian Uprising

Noura Erakat, “Palestinian Refugees and the Syrian Uprising: Filling the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement.” Oxford International Journal of Refugee Law 26.4 (2014). [Full text available online until June 2015.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Noura Erakat (NE): I began to write ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts on Syria's Humanitarian Crisis: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Omar Dahi

As the war in Syria rages on, and with attention turning towards ISIS, the humanitarian crisis in the country has been relegated to the sidelines. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status (conducted in late-February 2015), Omar Dahi brings it back to the forefront by highlighting the extent and locations ...  Read More »

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part II)

[See Part I here. Parts II and III are combined below] The Irony of Calamity There are no easy answers in Syria. Though undramatic, this is not how most seem to approach the Syrian tragedy in practice. What follows is not a recipe for an answer as much as it is a reminder against repeating the same mistakes if/when ...  Read More »

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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (January-February 2014)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]    English Articles        2014: The Year ISIS Won the Propaganda Battle (31 December 2014) Markham Nolan writes about the ...  Read More »

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In Need of Aid but Hungry for Peace

I am in the Yarmouk refugee camp, Damascus, during an aid delivery. A man approaches me and utters three words, “I am hungry”. The sunken eyes in his face are equally eloquent.  His fragile frame expresses volumes. He speaks for a people brutalized, a people sick of war. He is a living symbol of the world’s ...  Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (March 23)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every ...  Read More »

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part 1)

After four years of killing and mayhem, the truth remains that there are no easy answers in Syria. What might appear to be natural liberal solutions are not only lacking in realism, but are also embedded in half-baked world views about freedom, justice, development, international relations, and even human ...  Read More »

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Conference--Syria: Moving Beyond the Stalemate (1-3 July, St. Andrews)

 The Syrian Studies Centre at University of St. Andrews presents: Syria: Moving Beyond the Stalemate 1-3 July 2015 For more information, please visit: www.syriaconfstandrews2015.co.uk   Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (March 16)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every ...  Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (March 8)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every ...  Read More »

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كتاب "فلاحو سورية": مدخل أساسيّ لفهم نظام الأسد

صدر عن المركز العربي للأبحاث ودراسة السياسات كتاب "فلاحو سورية:أبناءُ وجهائهم الريفيين الأقل شأنًا وسياساتهم" (704 صفحة من القطع الكبير)، للمؤرخ والباحث الراحل حنا بطاطو (1926-2000)، ويعدّ الكتاب مساهمة تحليلية مركزية لطبيعة السلطة السياسية القائمة في سورية، بالعودة إلى الجذور التاريخية ...  Read More »

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الدولة الإسلاميّة: نزهة في كهف التنين

بنفس الحدّة التي يقول فيها وائل الحلّاق "إنّ الغالبية العظمى من مسلمي العصر الحديث تتمنّى عودة الشريعة بشكل أو بآخر"، يمكن القول إنّ الغالبية العظمى من قرّاء "الدولة المستحيلة: الإسلام والسياسة ومأزق الحداثة الأخلاقي" سيرون فيه كتابًا في غاية الاستفزاز. تنبّه مترجم الكتاب عمرو عثمان لذلك فكتب في ...  Read More »

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Video: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross Debate US Policy in the Middle East

[The following video is of  the Lund Critical Debate Series event American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure, featuring Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross. The event took place at Cornell University on 3 March 2015 and was moderated by Aziz Rana.The ...  Read More »

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The Right to Food Safety: Rights-Based Dialogue as a Springboard towards State-Building

The stances taken by Lebanon’s Public Health Minister Wael Abou Faour in November 2014 took the country by surprise. Departing completely from the norm, Abou Faour published lists of actual businesses that have persisted in producing or selling food unfit for consumption, or not conforming to health standards. Fellow ...  Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (March 2)

 [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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of ...  Read More »

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Mental Health Programs for Syrian Refugees

Lebanon is host to the largest number of Syrians displaced by the current conflict. Most of these refugees, some one-and-a-half million, live in tragic and precarious conditions.[1] Intensive war and forced displacement are known risk factors for social and mental health problems. Mental health services have ...  Read More »

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Beyond Authenticity: ISIS and the Islamic Legal Tradition

The Atlantic thinks ISIS is Islamic. President Obama and countless others disagree. As the debate rages on with no shortage of interlocutors, one must stop to ask, what is the utility of making such pronouncements? Is the simple binary of whether ISIS is Islamic or not an effective way to discuss and understand the ...  Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (February 16)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every ...  Read More »

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (21 February)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to ...  Read More »

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Mr. Freeze

Amid little anticipation and less expectation, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Tuesday, 17 February, briefed the Security Council on the progress of the initiative he unveiled last year to “freeze” the conflict that has destroyed the country, extinguished perhaps 1 per cent of its ...  Read More »

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Syrian Refugees Collectivizing in Jordan Becomes a Security Issue

Introduction I first visited the northern city of Irbid, Jordan in the summer of 2013 as an American undergraduate studying Arabic. By joining a youth volunteer group, I came into contact with Syrian social workers who mobilize resources and services among the Syrian community to assist new Syrian arrivals, including ...  Read More »

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Manufacturing Silence: On Jordan's ISIS War, Arab Authoritarianism, and US Empire

On 24 December 2014, ISIS reported and the US-led coalition confirmed that a Jordanian fighter pilot, Mu‘ath al-Kassasbeh, had crashed in Syria and was now in ISIS custody. On 3 February 2015, ISIS released a video showing its own members murdering the pilot by immolation. The Jordanian regime vowed revenge. Some ...  Read More »

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ISIS Kills Gays: A History of Violence

Hands shove them forward, bound and blindfolded. Then comes the step when the stone beneath them stops and nothing is there. The photographs appall but they have the solidity of things you can see; they suggest but cannot summon the feel of one terrifying lurch in darkness when all that is solid falls ...  Read More »

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دور النشر السورية: مأساة الورق والحبر والدم

لا يغيب الناشر السوري عن سوق الكتب العربية في معظم معارضها؛ لكنه غائبٌ بشكلٍ شبه تام عن بلاده؛ مرغماً لا بطل؛ فالكتب في دمشق وحلب وحمص واللاذقية وسواها من المدن تعوم على الأرصفة والأكشاك والشاحنات؛ كتبٌ لبشرٍ ماتوا أو هُجِّروا أو نزحوا عن مدنهم؛ تاركين وراءهم بيوتهم ومكتباتهم ودور نشرهم وأحلامهم؛ ومن قال أن الكتب ليس ...  Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (February 3)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every ...  Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (January 26)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every ...  Read More »

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Bassam Haddad Speaks on Syria, Knowledge Production, and Pedagogy (2-4 February, Simon Fraser University)

Between Monday 2 February and Wednesday 4 February, Jadaliyya Co-Founder and Co-Editor Bassam Haddad will be visiting Simon Frasier University in Vancouver, Canada. Understanding the Syrian Tragedy: Lecture Monday, 2 February, 6:00pm Simon Fraser University 515 West Hastings St., Room 1700 Vancouver, ...  Read More »

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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (November-December 2014)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series] English Articles        ISIS threatens the Islmaili capital of Syria (30 October 2014) The fear of ISIS continues to haunt the local ...  Read More »

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Syria Media Roundup (January 19)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East

Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti, editors, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East: Hidden Geographies. London and New York: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti (LA/GG/AT): It seemed to us that a wide variety of ...  Read More »

Syrian Population Regression

Population: ~ 22.5 Million

2011:  5,800+ (killed)

2012:  60,000+ (killed) and 500,000+ (external refugees)

2013:  100,000+ (killed), 2,000,000+ (external refugees), and 8 million+ displaced

 

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Syria Map and Stats

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Population: 22,517,750
GDP: $107.4 billion 
Unemployment: 8.3%; Youth Employment (ages 15-24): 19.1%
Internet Users: 4.469 million 
Exchange Rate: ~ 98.00 Syrian pounds per US dollar
GDP Growth Rate: 3.2% 
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (World Rank: 10)
Health Expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (World Rank: 180)
Population Growth Rate: 0.913% 
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 35.2%; 15-64 years: 61%; 65 years and over: 3.8%
Literacy: 79.6%
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 74%; other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%; Christian (various denominations) 10%
Ethnic Demographics: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%

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