Unmasking Damascus

Syrian women organize for security, one tent at a time

For Syrian women, the Jasmine Tent is a place where they can plan for the future, cope with the present and heal from the past.

October 2, 2013

Training builds community and nonviolent resistance in Syria

I arrive at the Cairo hotel that is hosting Nonviolence International’s workshop on nonviolent tactics in the Syrian revolution that I will be attending. I see several Syrians in the lobby. They are most likely other participants. Their eyes are shifting nervously as they look around, like they are trying to identify regime informants. They…

July 31, 2012

Syrian civil resistance continues amidst armed conflict

Say the words, “Free Syrian Army” in nearly any gathering of Syrian expatriates lately, and their faces break into wide smiles of appreciation. Say the same words to people in Syria, and they say, “They will liberate us.” This sentiment is growing all over Syria, as the defected soldiers that make up the FSA wage…

February 3, 2012

Support the Syrian resistance now

Political scientist Erica Chenoweth, at her blog Rational Insurgent, has a list of 13 ways that one can contribute to the popular movement in Syria that is standing up against a brutal ruler willing to crush it by any means necessary. Chenoweth, whose name we drop a lot on this site, is co-author of the…

December 10, 2011

The Syrian resistance’s monopoly on creativity

As chants of “Al-shaab urid iskat al-nizam” (“the people want to bring down the regime”) rise, so, too, does the hailstorm of bullets. As people come out into the streets to express themselves, so, too, do the tanks. Syria’s revolution is entering its ninth month, the Assad regime uses familiar tactics in its attempt to…

December 9, 2011

Choices for defecting Syrian soldiers

Mass uprisings against oppressive governments put the regime’s soldiers in a precarious situation. When ordered to repress the rebelling populace, they can obey those orders to apply military action against largely peaceful demonstrators, wounding and killing many, as has been happening in Syria for months. The soldiers are then clearly tools of oppression and betrayers of…

December 1, 2011

Meet the Syrian opposition abroad

As the Syrian Revolution enters its ninth month, the Assad regime is finally (after some 4,000 deaths and 50,000 illegally detained) realizing that it cannot kill the Syrian spirit. This defiant spirit is the one that has cried “Silmiyeh, silmiyeh,” or “Peaceful, peaceful,” even while Assad’s tanks enter cities, towns, and villages with one mission:…

November 25, 2011

Rocking the cradle: the Syrian siege on innocence

Maimouna Alammar clutched her baby girl to her chest last Friday in her home in Daraya, a suburb of Syria’s capital, Damascus. Security agents appeared at her door at 8 p.m., with Maimouna’s younger brother Suhaib in shackles. They stormed the home searching for her husband, then demanded she hand little Emar Nassar over. “My…

November 21, 2011