Understanding Syria: resource page

Mark Boothroyd has gathered together news sites, analysis, cultural archives and links to a number of the best short films and documentaries to help in understanding the situation in Syria.

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The Syrian revolution has generated an immense amount of written coverage, analysis and culture. It can be hard to separate truth from propaganda given the competing world powers, complex situation and vicious regime waging war against the Syrian people.  Gathered here are trusted and reliable sources, which report truthfully and accurately about events on the ground in Syria in English. There is a mixture of news sites, analysis, cultural archives and links to a number of the best short films and documentaries produced about the Syrian revolt.

News and information

  • EA Worldview
    http://eaworldview.com/A news and analysis website, with a focus on the Syrian conflict and the wider Middle East. Edited by Scott Lucas, Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham.
  • Syria Deeply
    http://www.syriadeeply.org/An independent ditigal media site provided news and analysis on the Syrian revolt.
  • Syria Direct
    http://syriadirect.org/Syria Direct a non-profit journalism organization that produces timely, credible coverage of Syria. Founded in 2013, Syria Direct publishes original news reports, interviews ,and newsworthy photographs and videos from inside Syria along with a daily newsletter.
  • ANA Press
    www.facebook.com/ANAPRESS.ENANA PRESS is a news organisation that is open source on providing various forms of news reporting and solutions in media repressed areas. Provides on the ground reporting inside Syria.

Syrian Civil Society and campaigns

  • The Syrian Campaign
    diary.thesyriacampaign.org/A global advocacy group standing in solidarity with non-violent Syrians and their struggle for a peaceful and dignified future.

    “We take action targeting people around the world whose decisions can make a difference. We support leaders who champion the needs of the Syrian people, and pressure those who fail to act. We’ve protested outside company offices, petitioned political leaders and helped get non-violent Syrians heard at the highest levels.”

  • The White Helmets
    www.whitehelmets.orgSyria Civil Defence are the volunteer rescue workers who provide services and rescue people from the rubble of air strikes and barrel bombs. The White Helmets is an international campaign to support their work in Syria.
  • Planet Syria
    https://www.planetsyria.org/en
    A joint campaign by Syrian non-violent civil society organisations.
  • Kesh Malek – Checkmate
    http://en.keshmalek.org/Kesh Malek is a Syrian revolutionary civil society organization that was founded in late 2011. Most of its field activities are concentrated in the province of Aleppo, Syria. It is an independent and non-profit organization. The group believes that the Syrian revolution is the way to achieve democratic changes in Syria and to pass from an authoritarian rule to a pluralistic democratic state, which respects Human Rights and is free from all forms of tyranny and dictatorship.
  • Dawlaty
    https://dawlaty.org/enDawlaty is a Syrian organization committed to democracy, human rights, non-violent activism and gender equality. We produce print and audiovisual materials on these topics, hold trainings and conferences.
  • Bidayyat
    http://bidayyat.org/Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts is a Syrian non-profit organization, launched in early 2013, to support and produce Syrian documentaries and short and experimental films, and to organize specialized training courses on documentary filmmaking.

Human Rights Documentation

  • Violations Documentation Centre
    www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/Violation Documentation Center in Syria is an independent, civil non-profit, non-governmental organization that started its work of monitoring and documenting the violations of human rights in Syria since April 2011.VDC monitors and documents crimes and violations against human rights in Syria, and attempts at the same time to protect and enhance these rights in the culture of Syrians. The VDC periodically publishes statistics on the database it has in the form of weekly, monthly and yearly reports in the form of percentages and illustrations, in addition to the release of dozens of human rights reports on different topics and violations in Syria
  • Syrian Network for Human Rights
    http://sn4hr.org/The Syrian Network for Human Rights is an independent human rights organisation that investigates and documents all violations committed by all parties involved in the Syrian conflict since 2011. It publishes regular reports and infographics on its website and facebook page.

Analysis and Advocacy

  • Razan Ghazzawi
    http://razanghazzawi.org/Razan Ghazzawi is a Syrian writer and activist who has participated in the revolution and written extensively about the struggle.
  • Tahrir – International Collective Network
    https://tahriricn.wordpress.com/A blog run by anti-authoritarian activists in the Middle East. Formed following the outbreak of the Arab Spring to provide a platform for libertarian and anti-authoritarian activists in the region. Extensive writings on Syria.
  • Leila Al-Shami
    https://leilashami.wordpress.com/A blog on popular struggles, human rights and social justice from an anti-authoritarian  perspective by a British-Syrian activist.
  • Yassin al-Haj Saleh
    http://www.yassinhs.com/Saleh is a Syrian activist and Marxist, originally from Tal Abyad, in Raqqa province. Saleh spent 16 years locked up for anti-regime activism. Following the outbreak of the revolution he was part of the underground in Damascus before moving to Raqqa following its liberation. When ISIS grew in strength he was forced into exile in Turkey. Saleh has written extensively about the history, culture and politics of Syria.Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late – Guardian article, published 2013

    Forty Four months and Forty Four Years – A series of essays on Syria and the revolution

    1 – Two Blindfolds

    2 – Wars against the People

    3 – Islamic Resistance, Resisting Islamists

    4 – Palestinization of Syrians and the present world condition

    5 – Confiscation: a class portrait

    6 – Samira, Razan,Wael, Nazem, and the other absolute others

    Syria and the Left: New Politics interview with Yassin al-Haj Saleh

    Ogres and Orientalism: An interview with Yassin al-Haj Saleh

  • Pulse Media
    http://pulsemedia.org/A collaborative political weblog featuring work by a variety of writers, activists and academics based in five continents. It is edited by Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, Robin Yassin-Kassab and Danny Postel.
  • Syria Freedom Forever
    https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/This is the blog of Joseph Daher, a Syrian and member of the Revolutionary Left Current.
  • Syrian Revolution Commentary and Analysis
    https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/
  • Michael Karadjis is a member of the Socialist Alliance in Australia and an academic and a deeply informed commentator on events taking place in Syria. His blog contains dozens of well researched articles and analysis of events in Syria.
  • Peter Clifford Online
    http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-iraq-news-5/Regular news and analysis on events in Iraq and Syria by Peter Clifford.
  • Kyle Orton – The Syrian Intifada
    https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.comNews and analysis from Kyle Orton, Middle East analyst, with a special focus on Syria, Iraq, and Iran. An Associate Fellow with the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy and security think tank, and a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward.
  • Marcell Shehwaro
    https://globalvoices.org/specialcoverage/2014-special-coverage/dispatches-from-syriamarcell-shehwaro-on-life-in-aleppo/Marcell Shehwaro is an activist from Aleppo who has written widely about the situation in Syria. She is part of the Kesh Malek, a group of activists and human rights defenders that –despite the war- keep on protesting and demonstrating against the Assad-regime and which main goal is to warrant freedoms – of press, of education, of justice – for example by providing people with revealing news and supporting projects with a similar goal.
  • Jaddaliya Syria page
    http://syria.jadaliyya.com/Jadaliyya is an independent ezine produced by ASI (Arab Studies Institute), the umbrella organization that produces Arab Studies Journal, Tadween Publishing, FAMA, and Quilting Point.
    Jadaliyya is run and produced on a primarily voluntary basis by an editorial team and expanding pool of contributors committed to discussing the Arab world on its own terms. Where others see only a security threat, conflict, or data on a graph, we see a region inhabited by living communities and dynamic societies.
  • Maysaloon
    http://www.maysaloon.org/Blog of a Syrian activist
  • News of the Revolution in Syria
    http://notris.blogspot.co.uk/Blog covering events in Syria maintained by Dick Gregory. Contains regular updates and commentary.
  • We Write What We Like
    http://wewritewhatwelike.com/News and analysis on events in Syria in English and Italian. Regular translation of Arabic language pieces unavailable elsewhere on English language media.

Cultural Resources

Documentaries

http://www.arte.tv/guide/en/057377-000-A/the-disappeared?zone=europe

      An unprecedented and chilling investigation into the invisible weapon of Bashar al-Assad’s regime: the kidnapping, torture and murder of tens of thousands of Syrians. Teenagers rounded up in their schools, protesters sent in trucks to unknown destinations, arbitrarily arrested bystanders; those countless disappearances reveal the relentless killing machine secretly set up by Damascus.

There are 6 comments

  1. ngir

    Good Morning rs21 amazing compilation of essential material here – thank you all. I was gobsmacked by the following article (I’m obviously not aware of permissions/copyright difficulties with LRB), but it exposes the murderous hypocrisy and stealth (no just the bombers) of all the ‘players’ in this proxy continuation of WW3: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military 2000 condescended to ‘be let in’ and EU money for Fortress europe extensions, when Hersh exposes the $billions being spent, and destruction of nations and 12million refugees from Syria alone – the imperialist ruling classes and their ‘satellites’ do not give a fuck -to put it technically – they know precisely what they create and it is merely ‘collateral damage’! Solidarity Tom Richardson Middlesbrough

  2. Harry Monro

    “Kyle Orton, Middle East analyst, with a special focus on Syria, Iraq, and Iran. An Associate Fellow with the Henry Jackson Society” Get a grip comrade in who you use as sources.

    1. RS

      The problem with Orton isn’t his affiliation but the fact that he writes ideologically-driven distortion-laden stuff. The most recent and probably the most egregious example of this was his op-ed in the New York Times that is little more than a backhanded after-the-fact attempt to justify the American invasion of Iraq by naming Saddam Hussein as the primary culplrit in their rise:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/23/opinion/how-saddam-hussein-gave-us-isis.html

      That’s not to say Orton should not be included in lengthy resource lists, but it would be best to include perhaps a short disclaimer or warning to the reader to about an author’s tendency to somewhat deceptively slant the facts regarding Syria to fit the ideological agenda they’re pushing.

      One link that should have been included here is the running Friday protest list:
      https://notgeorgesabraarchive.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/every-friday-new-slogans-of-the-peoples-revolution/

      For those interested in dissident left analysis of events in Syria, I suggest this as well:
      https://isqatannizam.wordpress.com/

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