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Al-Jazeera's "Inside Story" Debate on International Intervention in Syria, with Jadaliyya Co-Editor

[From AJE] It has been an uprising that has so far claimed more than 450 lives. And with Friday billed another day of rage, violence in Syria does not seem to be abating. Western powers have now convened a special session of the UN's top human rights body on Friday to investigate possible abuses by Bashar ...  Read More »

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مزمور

  مزمور ”إلى شهداء سوريا"   لا يذهب الشهداءُ إلى الجنّة فأبوابها مغلقة منذ قرون والتجّار الذين اشتروا أنهارها ينظرون من الشرفات العالية إلى الطوابير الطويلة وحشود المشرّدين في الخارج   Read More »

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Syrian Petition for Political Change: A Dramatic Missed Opportunity

Given the atrocities currently committed in Syria and the spectacularly bad press this generates for the regime, one would think that issuing an effective petition calling for political change in this country would be an easy task. All such a petition needs to do is to jump on the bandwagon of rapidly mounting ...  Read More »

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The Arab Uprisings and US Policy (Panel Video)

On Thursday, April 28th, 2011, the Middle East Policy Coucil held a one-day conference on Capitol Hill  in Washingtong D.C., "featuring a discussion of the populist movements sweeping across the Arab world, their regional and global consequences, and how they are impacting U.S. interests and policy ...  Read More »

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After Syria's "Great Friday": Al-Jazeera Interview with Bassam Haddad (conducted on April 23)

Below is Al-Jazeera's interview on Syria with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad after the events of "Great Friday" on April 22nd, the bloodiest day that Syria witnessed since the beginning of the uprisings. In this interview, conducted on Saturday April 23rd, Bassam discusses the events as a ...  Read More »

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A Damascene Diary

This account of events in Damascus, Syria, on Friday April 1st 2011 was originally published in Al Quds al ‘Arabi on April 7th, 2011. *** I will infiltrate the dreams of the killers. I will ask them: did you look into their eyes when your bullets closed in on their chests? Did you glimpse the hole of life? Before ...  Read More »

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Interview with Bassam Haddad on Developments in Syria (Conducted by Sharam Aghamir)

 AUDIO PLAYER BELOW A wave of protests have been shaking Syria since nearly the middle of March.The protests that began by calling for political reforms,escalated after the security forces opened fired on demonstrators in the southern city of Dar'a. Shahram Aghamir of Pacifaca's Voices of the Middle East and ...  Read More »

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زمن عربي جديد [A New Arab Era]

لم يتمركز السوريون في احدى ساحات دمشق كي يبدأوا منها انتفاضتهم. كانت البداية في مدينة درعا عاصمة منطقة حوران، ثم اتخذت شكل تحركات متنقلة من اللاذقية الى حمص الى القامشلي الى بانياس الى دمشق الى دوما... المشهد السوري يختلف عن المشهد في تونس او مصر او البحرين او اليمن او ليبيا. كل بلد يكتشف بنفسه وعبر تجربته الخاصة ...  Read More »

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Democracy Now! Interview with Bassam Haddad on Syria

This is an interview conducted with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on Tuesday, April 19 in reference to polarizing regime-protesters dynamics in Syria. The interview addresses the recent events in Homs, the 1982 legacy of regime violence, and the nature of contemporary oppositional forces including their relations ...  Read More »

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Al-Jazeera Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor on Syria

This is a two-part interview (10 minutes total) conducted with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on Monday, April 19, in reference to what amounts to be an escalation in the regime-protesters confrontation in the city of Homs. The interview also addresses the question of infiltrators and/or external forces meddling in ...  Read More »

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Prospects for the Sectarian Terrain (Part II)

[Read Part I here.]  On the afternoon of 17 March there was a government-supported demonstration in Baghdad's Karada neighborhood. About 100 demonstrators were provided with police escorts who closed the road on their behalf, unlike the police resistance protestors usually face in Iraq. Protestors carried ...  Read More »

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List of Demands by Youth of March 15 in Dar'a, Syria

[This statement was originally issued in Arabic by Dir'a's Youth of March 15. The English translation was made available by The Angry Arab News Service.] Leadership of the Glorious Revolution of the Youth of 15 March, Diraa – Syria To the Syrian people;  to the descendants of Salih al-Ali, Sultan Pasha ...  Read More »

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On the Re-Mythification of the Arab

Accompanying the ongoing events in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Libya has been an emerging narrative of an “Arab awakening” that has been launched by so-called Arab revolutionaries. One can see this slogan, “the Arab Awakening,” promoted through various media, not least by the increasingly popular ...  Read More »

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Protests on the Rise Again in Syria: A Report from Jadaliyya Affiliate in Damascus

Today, Friday, April 9th, was a difficult day in Syria, with many more protesters killed and injured during after-prayers demonstrations. It seems the protests are resuming their momentum and expanding beyond remote towns and cities to cover increasing areas of major cities like Damascus (Videos coming tomorrow, ...  Read More »

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عن سورية: لقاء مع ياسين الحاج صالح [On Syria: Interview with Yassin Al Haj Saleh

  ياسين الحاج صالح كاتب ومعارض سوري، قضى ستة عشر عاماً في السجن أثناء حكم حافظ الأسد. من كتبه سوريا في الظل: نظرات داخل الصندوق الأسود (جدار٢٠٠٩). يجيب هنا على بعض الأسئلة التي طرحتها جدلية عليه حول الأوضاع في سوريا.    سنان أنطون: ما هو تحليلك للوضع الحالي في سوريا؟ تحديداً تعامل النظام مع ...  Read More »

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Syrian Movement Calls for Political Prisoner Awareness Day

[The below report was issued by the February 17 Youth Movement for Democratic Change in Syria on April 3, 2011. The group, which was formed in the aftermath of Husni Mubarak's resignation, is calling for the designation of Friday April 8, 2011, to be a day focused on political prisoners in Syrian jails. The report ...  Read More »

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Roundtable on Syria Today (Part 3): Is Syria Different?

This is the last installment (Part 3) of the first Jadaliyya Roundtable on Syria, moderated by Bassam Haddad and Joshua Landis, of Syria Comment. It features Steven Heydemann, Fred Lawson, David Lesch, and Patrick Seale. This post will be published on both Jadaliyya and Syria Comment. [See Part 1 here, and Part ...  Read More »

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Waiting for Death: I Will Not Carry Flowers to my Grave

It’s not true that, when Death comes, it will have your eyes! And it’s not at all true that the desire for love resembles the desire for death. It’s not the same moment - maybe those desires are similar in nothingness because both are swimming in dissipation. In love, we merge with the other. In death, we merge with ...  Read More »

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Roundtable on Syria Today (Part 2): On Portrayal

This is Part 2 of our first Jadaliyya Roundtable on Syria, moderated by Bassam Haddad and Joshua Landis, of Syria Comment. It features Steven Heydemann, Fred Lawson, David Lesch, and Patrick Seale. This post will be published on both Jadaliyya and Syria Comment. [See Part 1 here and Part 3 ...  Read More »

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Roundtable on Syria Today (Part 1)

This is Part 1 of the first Jadaliyya Roundtable on Syria, moderated by Bassam Haddad and Joshua Landis, of Syria Comment. It features Steven Heydemann, Fred Lawson, David Lesch, and Patrick Seale. This post will be published on both Jadaliyya and Syria Comment. [See Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and ...  Read More »

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Al-Jazeera English Interview with Bassam Haddad on President Bashar's Speech

This interview was conducted by Al-Jazeera English with Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Bassam Haddad. It focused on the reactions to President Bashar's speech on Wednesday, in which viewers expected him to announce wide-ranging reforms. No such reforms were announced, triggering a spate of disappointments inside Syria and ...  Read More »

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The Meaning of "Syrian Opposition Figures Urge Peaceful Change" Story from Reuters

This (report from Reuters here and below) is not an insignificant call from the traditionally vociferous leadership of the opposition, including those who were imprisoned for years after the botched "Damascus Spring" after 2001. The likes of Michel Kilo and `Arif Dalila were among the most outspoken critics ...  Read More »

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Democracy Now! Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor on Syria

Scores of protesters have been killed in Syria during 10 days of protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. In an attempt to appease protesters, Assad’s administration has reportedly vowed to lift the emergency law, which for nearly 50 years has allowed the government to detain people without charge. ...  Read More »

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Conflict Risk Alert: Syria

[Below is latest from the International Crisis Group (ICG) on Syria] Conflict Risk Alert: Syria Syria is at what is rapidly becoming a defining moment for its leadership.  There are only two options.  One involves an immediate and inevitably risky political initiative that might convince the Syrian people ...  Read More »

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Friday Protests in Syria (Videos)

Below is some video footage of four different protests in Syria that took place on Friday March 18, 2001.  Read More »

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Why Syria Is not Next . . . so far [With Arabic Translation]

As millions of Arabs stir their respective countries with demonstrations and slogans of change and transition, certain Arab states have been generally spared, including some oil rich countries and Syria. Syria stands out as a powerful regional player without the benefit of economic prosperity and with a domestic ...  Read More »

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Litmus Test Rowdiness in Damascus Today (Video)

[No text, no comment, just video. Yes, it is that significant . . . potentially]   Al-Hariqah, Damascus, February 17th Altercations.    Read More »

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Neoliberal Pregnancy and Zero-Sum Elitism in the Arab World (Part 4)

Implications of the New Nexus of Power This is the fourth and last installment in a series of posts on the new nexus of power in the Arab world, between the political and economic elite (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Alternatively, we can call it the new elitism, characterized by neoliberal political-economic features ...  Read More »

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Neoliberal Pregnancy and Zero-Sum Elitism in the Arab World (Part 2)

In the first post (here) I introduced the topic of the new Arab elitism, or, more accurately, the emerging nexus of power between the political and economic elite. In the next post (sorry about posting another series) I'll discuss ways to pursue research on the topic. But below I will start by debunking some ...  Read More »

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عدمية فيض المعنى عند الإسلاميين [The Nihilism of Excess Meaning Among Islamists]

صعدت فكرة العدمية في أوربا الغربية في القرن التاسع عشر كأثر مباشر للحداثة وتقدم العلوم والعلمانية. وبمجموعها أقصت هذه العمليات الأسرار والأشباح والقوى المتعالية من مفهومها للعالم، السيرورة التي سيسميها ماكس فيبر "نزع السحر عن وجه العالم". لقد برز عالم جديد غير مكفول إلهيا. بل إن "الله مات" كما قرر ...  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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