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“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Call for participants: Syria, Middle East Forum

يبحث موقع openDemocracy عن مشاركين لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط  لسوريا.

openDemocracy is looking for participants for the Middle East Forum for Syria.

Towards an inclusive and pluralistic citizenship in Syria

Talk about building a new form of citizenship in Syria might seem unrealistic today, but in fact, it should be seen as a long-term strategy.

Why strike Syria, Trump?

Waging war and licensing military conflict is as big as it gets. We must be cautious of spurring on a president we can’t trust.

Method in Trump’s madness?

A look at Donald Trump’s 'travel bans' with an eye to the harvesting of personal data, and the EU-US Privacy Shield, now on life support.

Tabqa Dam: the key to capturing Raqqa

An interview with Sinan Deniz, a Kobane-based ANF journalist embedded with the SDF forces in their battle to take the Tabqa dam and liberate Raqqa from Islamic State control.

عقدة الإسلام السياسي السوري وعقدة مستقبله

عقدة الإسلام السياسي السوري تستمد خيوط تعقيدها من خيوط عقد الأزمة السورية ذاتها، من جهة، ومن عقدة خيوط البنية الفكرية الأصولية ذاتها، من جهة أخرى، سواء أخذت هذه البنية شكلاً سنياً أم شيعياً

Conflict in Syria: stop instrumentalising women’s rights

The international community is not listening to us. It must depoliticise the fight against sexual violence and humanise the countering violent extremism strategy.

Gertrude Bell: the tragedy of her letters from Baghdad

A remarkable new documentary assembled from Gertrude Bell's letters read over archive footage makes us wish for what might have been

US strike against Syria: a Just War or just a war?

The Trump administration itself has crossed a line that Obama did not cross: directly attacking Syria. The consequences for US foreign policy are potentially catastrophic. Español

Estados Unidos contra Siria: ¿Guerra Justa o sólo guerra?

La administración Trump ha cruzado una línea que Obama no cruzó: atacar directamente a Siria. Las consecuencias para la política exterior de Estados Unidos son potencialmente catastróficas. English

Trump: justified yet unpredictable

The airstrikes were justified. But Trump’s policymaking is dangerously unpredictable.

Regime wages war of documents on Syrians

One of the oldest manifestations of the Syrian government’s corruption has always been the blockage and manipulation of official documents.

Assad’s rational brutality

Bashar al-Assad is a rational tyrant. Since he inherited the presidency in 2000, Assad has strategically employed brutality to repress dissent and maintain power.

الفاعلية النفسية والأمل: مساعدة المجتمعات على معالجة نفسها

يتناول هذا المقال نموذجًا يرتكز على مجالس مستقلة التنظيم تابعة للمعارضة كشريكٍ رئيسي محتمل في تعزيز القدرة على معالجة الصحة العقلية في المجتمعات المتأثرة بالصراع. English

Agency and hope: helping communities healing themselves

When planning mental health services, treating PTSD is what usually comes to mind. What role do local communities play in building resiliency in Syria? عربي

Trump’s Syrian “safe area” is just another wall

Without a true and robust commitment to save lives, Trump’s idea for a safe area in Syria looks more like a death trap.

Syria: Is peace possible if Assad stays?

Whatever the political outcome, transitioning from violence to peace is not just about the removal of violence. How can this future be achieved and who will do this work?

Solution for Syria en route: ‘Democratic Federation of North Syria’

Hediye Yûsîf, Co-Chair of the council of the new political structure, renamed ‘Democratic Federation of North Syria’, explains the thinking and the process behind the initiative.

Lessons from Syria on women's empowerment during conflict

Syrian women will be the pillars of any future democratic process. Their efforts deserve support from national and international actors.

Syrian civil society

The third annual meeting of the Syrian Civil Coalition was held in Beirut on January 27-30 2017. Could a new understanding have come too late?

From Damascus to The Hague: a refugee's journey

A refugee’s journey through physical and political borders, and the difficulties and risks along the perilous route.

Women on the front at Raqqa: an interview with Kimmie Taylor

What is the reality of war like for the women of Rojava as they advance on Raqqa? Kimmie Taylor from Britain is on the frontline and puts us in the picture.

Why sectarianism fails at explaining the conflict in Syria

While sectarianism may be a component, its role as the primary cause of the war remains secondary.

A separation: Syrian asylum seekers in Germany

Rapidly changing asylum policies, plus legal and bureaucratic hurdles mean that many Syrian asylum seekers in Germany are separated from their families for years or even forced apart post-arrival. Gender shapes this experience.

The exiled Syrian actress helping young refugees deal with trauma using theater

Actress Raghad Makhlouf, speaks to Jameela Freitas about how her theatre workshops give young refugees a safe space to express themselves and deal with the stress caused by war and displacement.

With a more enterprising Russia, cards are reshuffled in the Arab world

A new power structure is emerging in the Middle East as Russia uses its intervention in Syria to position itself as an important partner for regional powers as diverse and opposed to each other as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Iran.

Syria: grassroots democracy, future prospects (Part II)

Part two of this interview with Joseph Daher explores some of the experiments in grassroots democracy and the possible futures in Syria.

Revolution and counter-revolution in Syria (Part I)

This first part of an interview with Joseph Daher offers an in-depth look at the forces involved in the Syrian revolution, and those fighting against it.

Aleppo's forgotten revolutionaries

Countless icons of the Syrian revolution who struggled for freedom between 2012-2014 have been ignored and erased from history by the western media.

Syria: prospects and solutions

The optimal outcome of the conflict in Syria is for democratic elections to take place and the regime to step down. But what are the real prospects of this happening?

Make Russia great again? Aleppo and a plea from another world

During the last days of December, Russia will host a round of diplomatic talks with Iran and Turkey.

A tribute to Sadek Jalal al ‘Azm

Engaging with Sadek never ceased to be a delight, a charmer who caught you with his sharpness and wit. How often have I wished to freeze that year I spent in Holland. In memoriam.

'We don't want a Charlie Hebdo in Sweden'

In small town Sweden, a Syrian immigrant has tried to bridge the gap between "Swedes" and "newcomers" by organising pioneering cultural events in her local library.

Rojava, where water is twice as expensive as oil

Turkey is now in Jarablus town with Special Forces personnel and heavy weapons including tanks, and making advances enabling it to control a strategic part of the region.

The regional implications of the fall of Aleppo

The lesson Arab autocrats are likely to learn from Syria is simple: under the current international climate the use of severe repression is effective.

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