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This week’s editor

TR, editor

This week Tom Rowley and the oDR team edit the front page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

As Afrin burns, where is the left?

Kurds, it seems, have the misfortune of being victims of a “non-western” power and so their suffering barely registers.

Wives of ‘muhajirin’: who’s your husband?

Upon arriving in Syria, the first step a foreign fighter takes is to find a woman to marry. Why do Syrian women accept such marriages? عربي

It’s about time we all admit that Putin has prevailed in Syria

The end game is clear: Assad, Russia and Iran will emerge victorious.

من جمال باشا إلى عفرين: سرديّات متصارعة على شاشة التلفاز

هل توجد رغبة كافية لدى صنّاع الدراما لفهم حركة التاريخ المعقّدة في منطقتنا؟

Why #DefendAfrin? Confronting authoritarian populism with radical democracy

The war in Afrin starkly highlights how the dynamics of power and resource grabs by the US,  Russia, and their regional alliances, have shaped contemporary struggles for life and democracy.

Counter-terrorism: new UK strategy must learn obvious lessons

Since 2001, Britain has compromised its passion for the rights of people in the name of counter-terrorism, thereby undermining its national security and winning enemies faster than they are eliminated.

نساء المهاجرين..مين زوجك؟

الخطوة الأولى للمهاجر بعد وصوله إلى سوريا، هي البحثُ عن امرأة للزواج منها. لماذا تَقبَلُ المرأةُ السورية هذا النوع من الزواج؟ English

هل سيتوقف الانتظار يوماً ما؟

إن الانتظار اليوم هو مسلسلُ سوري بامتياز والسوريون هم من يؤدون كلّ أدوارهِ دون أن يعرفوا متى سيتمكنون من التخلصِ منه.

Don't do It: why attacking Afrin city would be a major blunder for the Syrian rebels

To attack a major Kurdish population centre alongside the forces of a historical adversary is a mistake firstly in terms of principle.

The geopolitics of the Kurds and the case of Rojava

How does the military cooperation of the Kurds in Rojava and Northern Syria with the US, Russia and other forces affect their standing in the larger Syrian context? 

The Kremlin as seen from Kobane

While the Kurds once warmed to Moscow, it seems Ankara’s latest military operation in Syrian Kurdistan would have been impossible without the Kremlin’s agreement. 

You've kept your power, Arab rulers, but at what cost?

Let us never forget that those who make peaceful uprisings impossible will eventually make violent revolution irresistible. 

The crowds and the individual: why we should rethink how we debate complex issues on social media

This is not an attempt to relitigate this episode, but to critically reflect on the underlying dynamics of social networks that contribute to such outcomes.

الجماهير والفرد: إعادة النظر في كيفية مناقشة القضايا المعقدة على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي

ليست هذه محاولة لاستعادة تلك النوبة العنيفة، بل للتفكير بشكل نقدي في الديناميات الكامنة وراء شبكات التواصل الاجتماعي التي تقودنا إلى مثل هذه النتائج.

كيف سيحذف الطفل السوري صورة فقره من محركات البحث؟

يجب على العاملين في وسائل الإعلام أن يساهموا في عدم انتهاك خصوصيّة الأفراد أو الجماعات ضمن موادهم وأخبارهم الصحافيّة خاصة حينما يتعلق الأمر بالأطفال وخصوصياتهم.

Let’s not ‘politicise’: let’s skill

"We are very aware, when it comes to the whole Greek experience, that one of the problems the political left faces is … what it means to be able to implement your own ideas."

What happens after displacement? Syrians re-settling Istanbul through food

Successful food restaurants in certain neighbourhood of Istanbul, such as Fatih Malta Street, now create a hub for Syrians residing all around Istanbul to meet in the religious Fatih neighbourhood.

ما بقي لي من حلب

اليوم، وبعد عام كامل على تلك الذكرى الأقسى في مخيلتي، لم يتبقِ لي من مدينتي سوى ذاك العلم المصنوع فيها، وكاميرتي التي وثقت جميع أحياء المدينة.

The return of authoritarianism is priming the Middle East for more conflict

How is the Saudi-Iranian rivalry overwriting the Arab Spring’s key messages?

بين الفقدان وآثار الحرب.. حكايا الأيتام السوريين في تركيا

"دار السلام للأيتام"  مشروع أنشأته عائلة سوريّة، يسكن فيه نحو سبعين طفلاً يتيماً.  يعتبر أولَ و أكبر دار للأيتام السوريين في تركيا.

The battle between Syrian secular activists and feminists: we all lose

Yet another pushback for Syrian women to leave the public spaces for the powerful men who behave as if these spaces are their ownership.

Kurds’ choices: heed history or the US?

Who controls Syria’s borders? The US and Israel are encouraging Syrian Kurds to fight the regime and its allies for border control. The ensuing mayhem might unravel the Mideast and far beyond.

Russian soldiers in Damascus: politics isn’t everything

While politics is the reason for Russian military presence in Syria, the relationship between Russian soldiers and Syrian civilians is not fundamentally about politics. RU

Safe spaces, bagpipes and houmous

“This is the safe space I was talking about… a totally open space people can feel safe in, because stories are shared, barriers are broken and everyone is welcome.”

Russian soldiers in Homs: unwelcome guests?

Locals in Homs are divided on the Russian military presence in this Syrian city: for some, they’re the lesser of many evils — for others, hated intruders.

The struggle for survival – what’s next for Syrian journalism?

Media outlets, whether state-sponsored or opposition, often seek to send a specific message to a party through their articles, without complying to any kind of journalistic standards. عربي

Syrian cultural policies in Turkey: Islamists and secularists beyond the wall – Part II

Changing mocking views of Syrian culture demands endless efforts. عربي

A ghost with red nail polish

"Now begins another day in the days of war. It’s not a new day; there’s nothing new about war, even if the suffering changes." عربي

Syrian cultural work in Turkey: the marginalization continues – Part I

The forced transition into Turkish life has difficulties that aren’t dissimilar to the sense of marginalization that many Syrians have become accustomed to – and continue to face – in their homeland. عربي

الروسي في الساحل السوري: لا احتلال ولا من يحزنون!

بغض النظر عن انتماء الروس العرقي والديني، يتشارك السوريون في جزء كبير منهم برفض تسمية القوات الأجنبية الموجودة على أرضهم بالاحتلال، وكل منهم يتمترس وراء موقفه الأساسي مما يجري في البلاد.

الإعلام في مصيدة الإيديولوجيا

الرفض لإعلام المواطن ينطوي على أزمة مفادها؛ أن الإعلام التقليدي يرفض تمثيل الناس لأنفسهم، بل ويصرّ على الضلوع في إنتاج هوية جمعية يرفضها العامة والغالبية.

استفتاء كردستان والمعارضة السورية: لا موقف.. موقف.. وتخبّط

لم تختلف حصيلة أداء هيئات المعارضة بالعلاقة مع استفتاء الاستقلال الكردستاني من حصيلة أدائها بالعلاقة مع مسائل أخرى.

But what was so appealing about ISIS?

What happened before, during and after the Tunisian revolution that made the Islamist morbid utopia seem possible and attractive?

The anti-Islamist campaign and Arab democracy

Egyptians, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Arabs deserve better than to be told that they must choose between extremism and chaos or autocracy.

Syria, the uprising and the media scene

The Syrian revolutionary process is a more thoroughly documented uprising than has ever been seen before in history, notably thanks to these democratic media.

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