This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Syria: when representational violence is as ruthless as political violence

Our representations of what happens in Syria contribute to the ongoing violence. The rhetoric allows the self-nominated international community to rationalise an ongoing structure of suffering, done with the best of intentions.

This week's window on the Middle East - April 14, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Contempt and humiliation greet the Pope's visit to the Holy Land.

Libya, Syria and the “responsibility to protect”: a moment of inflection?

Since the Rwandan genocide and the wars in former Yugoslavia, the idea of a “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations has acquired currency. The Libyan and Syrian crises have, however, seen the value of that currency recalibrated.

Seeing the women in revolutionary Syria

The battle for Syrian women's liberation is multi-faceted; and from first-hand experience, we learn just how often the intersectional modes of oppression are themselves used to undermine power. 

The roots and grassroots of the Syrian revolution (Part 4 of 4)

The fronts of the revolution are many and overlapping, from patriarchy to Arab chauvinism. Despite harsh conditions, mass participation in the revolutionary process is still ongoing.

The roots and grassroots of the Syrian revolution (Part 3 of 4)

Dominant narratives on Syria simplify it to a struggle between a dictatorship vs Islamic extremists, with Syrians included only as passive, voiceless, victims. In Part 3, Syrians are re-introduced as a people revolting against authoritarianism in both its secular and religious embodiments.

The roots and grassroots of the Syrian revolution (Part 2 of 4)

In Part 2, the author dispels the myths used by the Syrian regime to legitimise itself. Is anything left of the regime's rhetoric of socialism, secularism and anti-imperialism?

Syria: Kessab's battle and Armenians' history

The takeover by anti-Damascus rebels of an Armenian village in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey, has triggered a propaganda war which focuses on the position of Syria's Armenians. This highlights core aspects of Armenians' experience since the 1915 genocide, says Vicken Cheterian.

The roots and grassroots of the Syrian revolution (Part 1 of 4)

In a series commemorating the uprising's third anniversary, Syrian revolutionary activist Joseph Daher answers key questions still circulating in the western digital commons. In this first part he offers us a short history of the socio-economic causes behind the protests that sprang up across Syria in March 2011.

The Arab Spring popular uprisings – myth and reality

It is critical to recognize the significance of this revolutionary chapter in the modern history of the Middle East and the creative conceptions and articulations of resistance that shattered the system of domination, particularly the popular roots of these uprisings amongst the urban and rural poor.

The conscience of Syria: An interview with activist and intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh

A popular Syrian intellectual responds to questions on the Syrian conflict and the west. Throughout, Yassin confronts and reframes several western fears and constructs about Islamists, intervention and the development of the uprising.

A sham election will only divide Syria further

While the international community’s attention has been grabbed by Ukraine, it should not overlook the latest events in Syria as Bashar al-Assad’s presidential ‘election campaign’ begins. The July poll is likely to increase, rather than heal, the divide between Syrians of all types.

On the frontline: citizen journalism in Syria

As the Syrian civil war moves into its fourth year, citizen journalists have filled the gap left by professionals denied access to or evacuated from the most dangerous country in the world for working journalists. But they are painfully aware of the growing uninterest of the international media in the unending conflict.

Syria in the context of the Arab Uprisings

These are videos of a conference on Syria that took place in London, February 2014.

The Arab Spring and the changing balance of global power

From an empirical-analytical point of view, what has happened in the Middle East and North Africa since Mohammed Bouazizi died? This is not an opinion piece, but an assessment of underlying factors which have put pressure on the aspiration for justice and political reform launched by the Arab Spring. (5,000 words) 

Plotting for a woman-shaped peace: Syrian and Bosnian women confer

Bosnian women live with the malign consequences of a peace agreement engineered by internationals between male war leaders. Syrian peace negotiations are heading the same way. Recently Syrian women met with Bosnian counterparts to strategize for a peace that delivers on the interests of women and civil society.  

Turkey, the EU and Syria: reprioritising refugees’ rights and needs

Turkey, historically a laggard on taking in refugees, is showing the EU in a poor light on accepting Syrian asylum-seekers.

This week's window on the Middle East - February 10, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Bulgaria's 'chilly welcome' to Syrian refugees.

What would you do in a revolution?

Our reviewer went to the theatre to find out. Coney, a British theatre company, have framed a political experiment that places an audience at a crucial juncture in a nation's history: the success of a revolution. 

The Syrian revolution - a view from above

Many factors contributed to the revolutionary framework, however, all the players were striving for power. The one aspect, uniting all the Syrian people, which is constantly rejuvenated, is the organic desire for freedom and justice in the framework of a real nation state. Translation: العربية 

الثورة السورية: رؤية من الأعلى

عناصر كثيرة دخلت في السياق العام للثورة منها القريب ومنها الغريب عن ثقافتنا أخطرها العنف المتبادل بين النظام والجماعات الجهادية ، وكلها تتصارع لتجد منفذاً الى السلطة، أما العامل المتجدد والجامع للشعب بكل أطيافه هو النزعة للحرية والعدالة في ظل دولة وطنية حقيقية.

Syria, a vital proposal

The Geneva conference offers little hope of a breakthrough to halt Syria's nightmare. This makes a different approach all the more urgent.

What is Fethullah Gülen’s real mission?

To what extent, wittingly or otherwise, is the leader of Hizmet – a worldwide religious, social, and political movement – part of a mechanism aimed at destabilizing and perhaps overthrowing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkish government? 

Bulgaria's 'chilly welcome' to Syrian refugees

As the civil war in Syria continues, refugees are desperately seeking refuge. It seems that Bulgaria has consistently preferred to engage in exacerbating the situation. Bulgarians have built a wall and are allowing far-right xenophobic rhetoric to prevail.

Syria: from corridor diplomacy to humanitarian corridors

With the larger substantive issues of ceasefires and political transition at an impasse, the ground broken over humanitarian access has suddenly become a metric for whether the first phase of Geneva II will be considered a success.

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