What shocked me as I listened to al-Assad was his lack of hesitation in telling an American diplomat point-blank that the Shebaa Farms — the entire basis for Hezbollah’s claimed status as the “Lebanese Resistance” — was not Lebanese; it was Syrian.
Roula Roukbi is among the few Damascus socialites who created an alternative space for art, culture, and some politics in the city. She excelled at living as if Syria was a free country, and in many respects, her hotel came to embody a microcosm of what freedom might one day look like.
The outbreak of the Syrian uprising caught Israel by surprise. Here a former negotiator considers how close Syria and Israel got to a peace deal before the revolution – and how, as the civil war unfolded, Israel’s thinking evolved on how to respond to the war next door.
The regime’s barbarity was known to us, but it had now crossed President Barack Obama’s red line and U.S. retaliation seemed imminent following the chemical attacks of 2013. What followed, however, was silence and inaction. And the consequences were catastrophic. I know because I was there to witness it.
For fifty years, just one family has ruled Syria. But even that rule, long and brutal though it is, will have an end, and a new Syrian story can begin.
Studying Arabic in Syria gave one student a first-hand perspective on the tensions and grievances of living in the country. But he could never have predicted how rapidly early protests would give way to a civil war.
A death notice appeared in a Lebanese village north of Beirut last September of a man with a curious first name. It took me back to my school days in Syria and the unusual interest many of my fellow schoolboys had in the history of the Second World War.