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Syria's Torment

There are two political-intellectual prisms through which the recurrent conflagrations of the modern Middle East are conventionally seen. One casts the region’s stubborn ills as internally caused -- by the outsize role of religion in public life, the persistence of primordial identities like sect and tribe, and the ...  Read More »

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Emergency, Governmentality, and the Arab Spring

With states of emergency proving salient to the unfolding of the “Arab Spring” and continuing to permeate the political landscape—through opposition to long-standing emergencies as well as proclamations of new ones—it is worth reflecting on the genesis and underlying essence of emergency law. The ostensible ...  Read More »

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The Namesake

[This is the tenth installment of Amal Hanano's diary of her trip back to Aleppo. You can read previous posts here.] My name is not Amal Hanano. Before you even think Amina Abdallah, I assure you I am a real person, a Syrian-American from Aleppo who was physically in the city this summer, writing under a pseudonym. ...  Read More »

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The Space Between: March 14, March 8 and a Politics of Dissent

 This week a pro-Syrian protest was staged at the Syrian Embassy in Beirut. A group of about fifty people gathered to express their solidarity with the Syrian people against the atrocities currently being committed by the Asad regime. As reported in Jadaliyya and elsewhere, this pro-Syrian protest was met ...  Read More »

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Fear of Arrest

The author of the following text is anonymous. But his deeds have rocked the foundations of our world in Syria. He is one and he is everyone. I don't know his whereabouts. He is probably already dead or in prison. Or maybe he is still roaming the streets of cities and towns in Syria trying in all earnestness to get ...  Read More »

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One Night in Hamra

[The following is an eye-witness account of the violent dispersion of an anti-regime protest that took place this past Tuesday outside the Syrian Embassy in Beirut. The author of the report-back has chosen to remain anonymous.] Last Tuesday evening at around 8 o’clock, a group of people gathered at the Syrian Embassy ...  Read More »

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The "State of Emergency" is Not a Law . . . It is a Structure and a Regime

The elimination of the Emergency Law and martial law in Syria has long been one of the basic pillars of the demands put forward by opposition forces, intellectuals, and human rights activists. This law has been frequently characterized as poisoning public life as well as being the root cause of the gross human rights ...  Read More »

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Al-Jazeera Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor on the UN Security Council and Syria

This is a brief interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on the UN Security Council and Syria, and the pressure that might be placed on the Syrian regime to halt its crackdowns on protesters. The interview comes after the Syrian regime entered and besieged the northern city of Hama, resulting in more ...  Read More »

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Culture XVI

This is our sixteenth weekly section. We have five posts; Amal Hanano continues her diary from Aleppo. Gaelle Raphael translates a poem by the great Syrian poet Saniyya Salih. Youssef Rakha examines the cultural discourse in Egypt. Nezar Andary reviews May Odeh's Diaries. Sinan Antoon translates a text by Ahmad ...  Read More »

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It's Not Him, It's Them

[This is the ninth installment of Amal Hanano's diary of her trip back to Aleppo. You can read previous posts here] On the quietest Friday, a few weeks ago, I convinced my parents to honor a family tradition and go out for lunch. The narrow, cobblestoned streets were still and empty, as was the courtyard of one of my ...  Read More »

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The Syrian Regime's Escalation of Violence: Links to Media Reports

According to Syrian protesters and activists, as well as regional and international media, today--Sunday July 31, 2011--is thus far the bloodiest and deadliest day of the more than four-month-old Syrian uprising. Numerous accounts and reports have described what can only be considered a dramatic escalation in the ...  Read More »

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The Syrian Regime's Slow-motion Suicide

[The following is the latest from International Crisis Group (ICG) on Syrian popular protest and the direction of the Syrian regime.] The Syrian Regime’s Slow-motion Suicide Executive Summary Desperate to survive at all costs, Syria’s regime appears to be digging its grave. It did not have to be so. The protest ...  Read More »

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The Syrian People Will Determine the Fate of Syria: An Interview with Burhan Ghalyoun

[This interview was conducted by Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ibtisam Azem and first published in Arabic by Qantara. It was translated into English by Ziad Abu-Rish and Khuloud.] In the following conversation with Ibtisam Azem, a prominent Syrian opposition figure and Professor of Political Sociology at the Sorbonne, ...  Read More »

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The Corrections

[This is the eighth part of Amal Hanano's diary of her trip back to Aleppo. You can read previous posts here] By coincidence, I was reading Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections while in Aleppo, although it may not have been pure coincidence, as sometimes books seem to possess magically perfect timing. (Last year’s ...  Read More »

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Now, This is not Damascus Anymore

[This is the first part of a series of vignettes. It was published in Arabic in al-Hayat, July 18, 2011 and was translated by Suneela Mubayi] April 10, 2011  This is Damascus. The phrase that we were used to hearing as children on the radio. All Syrians recognize the tone of this phrase: of course, this is ...  Read More »

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Culture XV

Jadaliyya's fifteenth culture section features another installment of Amal Hanano's diary of her trip back to Syria. Naira Antoun and Mohanad Yaqubi offer a critical reading of Salt of This Sea. Suneela Mubayi translates Samar Yazbek's recently published account of the Syrian revoltl: "The Corrections" ...  Read More »

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What’s in a word? Different people have divergent interpretations for the seemingly innocuous word “dialogue.” In Damascus, it might mean one thing, in Sanaa  another, and in Tripoli yet another. Let us consult the classic, illustrious Baath Party’s Arabic-Arabic Dictionary and see what it might ...  Read More »

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برهان غليون: الشعب السوري هو من يقرر مصير سوريا وليس القوى الاجنبية

  يرى المعارض السوري البارز برهان غليون، الذي يشغل منصب مدير مركز دراسات الشرق المعاصر وأستاذ علم الاجتماع السياسي في جامعة السوربون في باريس، في الحوار التالي مع ابتسام عازم أن الثورة السورية كسرت شوكة النظام الحاكم في سوريا وشدد على أن المعارضة السورية لن تشارك في حوار شكلي معه لا يؤدي إلى انتقال سلمي إلى ...  Read More »

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Statement of Syrian Christians in Support of the Revolution

[The following statement was issued in English, French, and Arabic by a group of Syrian Christians on July 10, 2011.] Statement of Syrian Christians in Support of the Revolution I. Christianity being a religion of truth, justice, equality and love, Syrian Christians can not but be with their fellow citizens in their ...  Read More »

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To Die For

[This is the seventh part of Amal Hanano's diary of her trip back to Aleppo. You can read the previous parts here] Like most acquaintances in our wired world, a certain “friend of a friend” had become a “friend.” I had admired her for months from afar, inspired by her bold status updates which openly ...  Read More »

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Senior Attache at Syrian Embassy in Washington D.C. Clarifies Reasons for Resignation

[Below is an email sent and circulated by Ahmed Salkini, former Senior Attache at the Syrian Embassy in Washington D.C., explaining the reasons for his resignation. The email was reproduced on several websites, including] Dear All: The time has come for me to step down from my current position and ...  Read More »

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Eat, Drink, But Don't Talk Politics

[This is the sixth part of Amal Hanano's diary of her trip back to Aleppo. You can read the previous parts here] I knew I shouldn’t have gone. They called and said dinner was at Nadi Halab, Club d’Alep, the exclusive club where the akaber, high-class, elite “society” of Christian and secular Muslims hang out to ...  Read More »

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The Syrian People's Slow Motion Revolution

[Below is the latest from the International Crisis Group (ICG) on Syria] Popular Protests in North Africa and The Middle East (VI): The Syrian People's Slow-Motion Revolution Executive Summary The Syrian uprising has defied conventional expectations and patterns established elsewhere in the region from the outset. ...  Read More »

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The Arab Spring and Adunis's Autumn

The Syrian poet Adunis (1930-) (Ali Ahmad Sa`id) is and will always be one of the most important Arab poets of the 20th century. His poetry represents a genuinely radical break with what came before. His metaphors are dazzling and his voice is pristine. Although he was not the first, nor only poet to write what came ...  Read More »

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سوريا تشهد ثورة شعبية سلمية لأجل الحرية والكرامة

  أكد الكاتب والمفكر السوري جاد الكريم جباعي أن الاحتجاجات التي تشهدها سوريا لم تنحسر لأن إصلاحات النظام مراوغة وغير مقنعة، معتبراً أن السلطة لم تقم بأي إصلاح سياسي جدي حتى الآن.. وهي تعلم جيداً أن الإصلاح السياسي الجدي سينهي النظام الشمولي الذي تنتمي إليه وتدافع عنه، وسيضع حداً لرموز الفساد ...  Read More »

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The Syrian Revolution: Interview with Rosa Yaseen Hassan (Part 1)

In late June, a Jadaliyya affiliate sat with Syrian novelist Rosa Yaseen Hassan to talk about the Syrian revolution. The interview was conducted in Arabic by a Jadaliyya affiliate and transcribed/translated into English by Ziad Abu-Rish. This post represents Part 1 of the interview, in which Hassan discusses the ...  Read More »

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Emergency Laws, the Arab Spring, and the Struggle Against “Human Rights”

The Arab Spring could not be more textured as different governments, political interests, and international relations have uniquely shaped each nation’s uprising. Still, certain patterns have been common to this turning point in the Arab world. These have included burgeoning protests, state-sponsored violence ...  Read More »

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Through the Looking Glass

[This is the fourth installment of Amal Hanano's diary of her trip back to Aleppo. You can read previous installments here] After four months of waking up early every Friday, with hope and dread to watch the Syrian uprising, being here on a Friday named Irhal, “Leave!” was a highlight of my trip. Since ...  Read More »

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Culture XII

All Spring, Jadaliyya presented you with weekly offerings on poetry, fiction, music and art from the Arab world, a bouquet we called "Culture" because we didn't know a better word for the flowers we were finding. Summer is here and the flowers keep on blooming. Another week, and three more pieces to enjoy -- ...  Read More »

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On Cultural Production and the Syrian Revolution: Part 3 of an Interview with Rosa Yaseen Hassan

In late June, a Jadaliyya affiliate sat with Syrian novelist Rosa Yaseen Hassan to talk about the Syrian revolution. The interview was conducted in Arabic and transcribed/translated into English. This post represents Part 3 of the interview, in which Hassan discusses culture and culture production in Syria during the ...  Read More »

Syrian Population Regression

Population: ~ 17,583,863 (2017 est.)

2011:  5,800+ (killed)

2012:  60,000+ (killed) and 500,000+ (external refugees), 3+ million (internally displaced)

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

2014: 200,000+ (killed), 3.5+ million (external refugees), 7.6+ million (internally displaced)

2015: 250,000+ (killed), 4.4 million (external refugees), 6.6+ million (internally displaced)

2016: 400,000+ (killed), 4.9+ million (external refugees), 6.3+ million (internally displaced)


Syria Map and Stats

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Population: 17,185,170 (July 2016 est.)
GDP: $24.6 billion (2014 est.); $50.28 billion purchasing power parity (2015 est.)
Unemployment: 50% (2016 est.); Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): total: 35.8% (male: 26.6%; female: 71.1% [2011 est.])
Internet Users: 5.116 million - 30%/pop. (July 2015 est.)
Exchange Rate: ~ 497.8 Syrian pounds per US dollar (2016 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: -9.9% (2015 est.)
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (World Rank: 10) (2011 est.)
Health Expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (World Rank: 180) (2011 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.56% (2016 est.)
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 31.95% (male 2,815,140/female 2,675,166); 15-24 years: 19.65% (male 1,711,847/female 1,664,814); 25-54 years: 39.03% (male 3,342,264/female 3,364,406); 55-64 years: 5.26% (male 447,205/female 457,525); 65 years and over: 4.11% (male 318,691/female 388,112) (2016 est.)
Literacy: 86.4% (male: 91.7%; female: 81% [2015 est.])
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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