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About Ola Rifai

Ola Rifai is a research fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at St. Andrews university. Her research interests include the international politics of the Middle East and identity, nationalism and ethnic conflict in the region. She is currently working as a freelance political consultant for various research centres and NGOs.

Articles by Ola Rifai

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Education and flags: seminal for winning the hearts and minds of Syria’s new generation?

How do Salafi and Salafi-Jihadi groups in Syria use education and flags to foster supportive identities among school students in liberated areas’? These play a significant role in drawing the line between ‘us’ and ‘them’ in Syrian society.

The shifting balance of identity politics after the Syrian uprising

An account of the drastic identity and narrative shifts during the Syrian uprising. The author focuses on the discourse of the Syrian regime, as well as those of anti- and pro-Assad Syrians. 

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