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This week’s editors

“Francesc”

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Militias and crony capitalism to hamper Syria reconstruction

Reconstruction is a main project of the regime and crony capitalists, linked with a plan to consolidate their political and economic power, while rewarding foreign allies for their assistance with a share of the market.

For a secular interpretation of prophethood

The conception of secularism has developed in a prolonged and convoluted historical path and has been so diversified that it often implies multidimensional, ambiguous and contradictory notions. [عربي]

Lebanese model an improvable precondition to prevent authoritarianism

The model of Lebanon is indicative of the importance of state weakness, which is possibly a necessary stage for other countries in the region after decades of absolutist domination in the name of the state. عربي

تأويل النبي علمانياً

التأويل ليس بحثاً عن معنى جديد يتم استيراده وتلزيقه والتجمّل به، ولكنه بحث عن المعنى الأوّل وتتبع لسيرورته ومصائره [English]

هوامش فيما حول العلمانية

يفيدنا النموذج اللبناني، رغم كل ثغراته، بتوضيح مفهوم بسيط يخص منطقتنا. غياب الدولة في النموذج اللبناني هو كناية عن غياب تمركز السلطة English.

من السلفية إلى العلمانية

لقد كانت هناك دائماً سلفية من نوع ما، وهي تمثل إيديولوجيا تتلوّن كلّ مرة بثوب جديد والقالب نفسه لا يتغيّر ويمكن تصنيفها في تيارين كبيرين لكلّ منهما جزئيات كثيرة متفرعة.

A trip to liberated Minbic in Northern Syria: from hell to paradise

The city of Minbic (Manbij) and its surroundings are among the most contested regions in the Syrian war. Ercan Ayboga interviewed representatives of the new Democratic Administration in Minbic.

On the duality of laicism and dictatorship and the rise of political Islam

Is there another outlet or framework in the Arab world outside the dichotomy of Islamism or nationalism? [عربي]

عن ثنائية "اللائيكية والاستبداد" وصعود "الإسلام السياسي"

التساؤل عما إذا وَجَد الفكر العربي رئةً ثالثة، متنفساً أو بديلاً معرفياً خرج عن الرئة الإسلاموية والرئة القومية، لهو تساؤل يصعب الإجابة عنه بالإيجاب  [English]

White phosphorus over Raqqa

The local population in Raqqa is paying a very heavy price for the massive aerial attacks on the town.

عودة كرة القدم إلى مدينة حلب يسلّط الضوء على مناورات النظام السياسية

بالنسبة للكثيرين، كان هذا عرضاً من قبل الحكومة السورية، لاستخدام كرة القدم كأداة لتعزيز صورتها كـ"محرّر" المدينة، وجاء على حساب عشرات الآلاف من السوريين القتلى أو النازحين. English

Return of football to Aleppo highlights regime’s political theatrics

On January 28, locals from western Aleppo gathered to watch a football match, as a testament to how powerful the effect of a single strategically positioned match can be on a dictator’s image.

To stand up for the powerless in Syria, the Left must embrace complexity

The Syrian uprising has divided the international Left between those who support Assad and those who support the Syrian opposition, while muting the voices of Syrians whose realities force them to reject simple binaries.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Fighting on all fronts: women’s resistance in Syria

Women in Syria face numerous challenges yet continue to struggle against fascism, imperialism and patriarchy

Syria’s “voice of conscience” has a message for the west

Syrian dissident Yassin Al-Haj Saleh talks about the left and the regime, revolution and hope, Islam and secularism.

The EU-Turkey deal: unjust and short-sighted

Sending citizens who are fleeing one authoritarian regime to another authoritarian regime will only result in more anger, frustration and extremism in the years to come.

Anti-Syrian racism in Turkey

A wave of xenophobia is ruining the lives of Syrian refugees in Turkey where they are seen as criminals, accused of stealing jobs and responsible for anything that goes wrong. Media incitement and state inaction fuel the flames.

The intimacy of tyranny: Syria's de facto state legitimacy

The state has remained resilient in conflict-ridden Syria. A look into the intricacies of the abusive citizen-state relationship, and the state's Hobbesian passion for self-preservation.

(Syrian) black skin, (Lebanese) white masks

Refugees in Lebanon face a violent troika: the state, the Lebanese bourgeoisie, and the weather.

Damascus’ stifled voice from the left

The story of Syrian Revolutionary Youth: the rise and fall of a grassroots movement offering a third alternative beyond the regime/Islamists binary, whose clear, principled stance made it the target of extreme regime persecution.

Palestinians in Syria struggle for bread and agency

Rather than being 'neutral', Palestinians in Syria find themselves caught in a deadly grip between Assad's regime on the one hand and extremist groups on the other.

Assad's secular sectarianism

A historic overview of the manipulation of sect and religion by a Syrian elite only concerned with survival. 

Why is the Syrian regime afraid of Louay Hussein?

We need to refocus our view on Syria: 200,000 people dead, millions wounded and displaced, and still a man can be arrested for an opinion he published in a newspaper.

Syrians do not feel they need a state

Syrians were allowed to fear or abuse the state, never identify with it. No wonder if they have clung even to unfamiliar groups with terrifying ideologies that provided their basic needs.

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