Syria

The Wandering Alawite

The Wandering Alawite

Alawites have always been painfully aware of the fragility of sectarian coexistence. Many of us preferred one dictator, Bashar al-Assad, to a Syria broken into multiple sectarian dictatorships. So, we stuck by the regime.

New Evidence Links a Far-Right French NGO to War Crimes in Syria

New Evidence Links a Far-Right French NGO to War Crimes in Syria

A French registered NGO with ties to France’s military and the political far right appears to have funneled money directly to a pro-Assad Syrian militia accused of committing war crimes, Newlines has learned in an 18-month, multicountry investigation that meets the legal threshold for initiating a legal complaint in France.

Syria’s Wretched Foreign Legion

Syria’s Wretched Foreign Legion

Thousands of Syrians have fought as mercenaries in Libya, Azerbaijan, and possibly elsewhere, on both Russia and Turkey’s behalf. Dozens have been killed, and hundreds have come back after their contractual deployments, but none return to the life they left behind.

Isabel Ivanescu,
Eva Kahan
Telling a Syrian Fighter’s Story

Telling a Syrian Fighter’s Story

Nick Foretek is the author of “The Philosopher’s Wine”, a long-read for Newlines that tells the story of several years in the life of one Syrian fighter. In this podcast, he discusses how he first met the fighter in Cairo, what prompted him to tell the story, why he made certain literary decisions – and whether he thinks the fighter is a sympathetic character.

Newlines Podcast
The Philosopher’s Wine

The Philosopher’s Wine

A month after jihadists had caged and beaten him using a slab of wood studded with nails that punctured and gnashed his flesh, and two years before he would affix two nooses from his ceiling — one for himself and one for his starving dog — he drank all the philosopher Sadiq Jalal al-Azm’s wine.

Nick Foretek
Assad: The Shebaa Farms Are Syrian, Whatever Hezbollah Claims

Assad: The Shebaa Farms Are Syrian, Whatever Hezbollah Claims

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.

Frederic C. Hof
Syria’s House of Poetry

Syria’s House of Poetry

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.

Lina Sinjab