168 posts tagged with Syria.
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The Catkeeper of Aleppo

When hundreds of cats started to hang out in front of one man's apartment building in Aleppo, Syria, Mohammad Alaa Ajaleel decided it was his lot to take care of the cats of war. So the electrician-turned-ambulance driver built a cat sanctuary-slash-children's-playground amongst the rubble. “My role as a rescuer is not to differentiate between those who need help,” Aljaleel said. “To love the small, weak cats is to love everything.” Alaa's love is energetic: in the last months he's built a well to help his neighbors access clean water, saved a girl in his volunteer ambulance(content warning: graphic), and had multiple children's parties, inside when necessary, outside in the sanctuary when a cease-fire permitted it. [more inside]
posted by hungrytiger on Sep 19, 2016 - 32 comments

"he can also be a loudmouth whose favourite subject is his own rights"

Court judgments are often long, dense and full of legal jargon. But in the English Family Court case of Lancashire County Council v A & B Mr Justice Peter Jackson has given a judgment carefully written to so that the children involved, and their mother, can understand it. [more inside]
posted by Major Clanger on Sep 14, 2016 - 62 comments

Syria's worst case scenario is the current one.

Syria’s Paradox: Why the War Only Ever Seems to Get Worse. " The average [civil war] now lasts about a decade, twice as long as Syria’s so far. But there are a handful of factors that can make them longer, more violent and harder to stop. Virtually all are present in Syria." [more inside]
posted by storybored on Aug 26, 2016 - 45 comments

"Then it all went horribly wrong."

Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart "The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Falluja."
posted by lauranesson on Aug 11, 2016 - 10 comments

"They’re not used to seeing women doing street work like journalism"

Zaina Erhaim (Twitter) is an award-winning journalist and project coordinator with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting based in Aleppo, Syria. She is training citizen journalists in the area, a third of whom are women. [more inside]
posted by sockermom on Jul 18, 2016 - 8 comments

“Is she going to survive?” “Unfortunately, yes.”

In the past five years, the Syrian government has assassinated, bombed, and tortured to death almost seven hundred medical personnel, according to Physicians for Human Rights, an organization that documents attacks on medical care in war zones. (Non-state actors, including isis, have killed twenty-seven.) Recent headlines announced the death of death of the last pediatrician in Aleppo, the last cardiologist in Hama. A United Nations commission concluded that “government forces deliberately target medical personnel to gain military advantage,” denying treatment to wounded fighters and civilians “as a matter of policy.”
THE SHADOW DOCTORS: The underground race to spread medical knowledge as the Syrian regime erases it. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 18, 2016 - 16 comments

"Abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity"

"Power and Architecture" is the name of the Calvert 22 Foundation's "season on utopian public space and the quest for new national identities across the post-Soviet world." Included in the "curated digital content" being published as part of the season is "Restricted Areas," a series by Russian photographer Danila Tkachenko, who photographs "abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity.” [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Jul 13, 2016 - 12 comments

No English no Arabic Only Happy

Syrian Refugees in small town Canada A feel good story about Syrian refugees settling in small town Canada [more inside]
posted by troll on a pony on Jul 9, 2016 - 17 comments

Hussam and the Death Way

Refugees are not a swarm, or a flood, but people. Cartoonist Toby Morris reports the story of 16 year old Hussam and his flight from Syria. Previously
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on May 26, 2016 - 12 comments

"We understand what they're feeling"

Alberta's Syrian refugees jump at the chance to help Fort McMurray evacuees. Despite barely having a foothold in their new country, Syrian refugees in Calgary are contributing what little they have after seeing footage of the terrifying wildfire in Northern Alberta. Somebody tell Trump.
posted by MACTdaddy on May 5, 2016 - 16 comments

Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria

Robert Kennedy, Jr. brings some light to the subject: "They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil."
posted by BentFranklin on Apr 30, 2016 - 33 comments

The fate of Willkommenskultur

Looking back, the events of September 2015 seem strangely unreal. Hundreds of Germans gathered at Munich’s central station to applaud incoming refugees. A smiling Merkel posed for selfies with Syrians at asylum-seeker homes, and ordinary Germans opened their doors for “welcome dinners”. I remember feeling both excited and a little nervous. Something extraordinary was happening and we were there to witness it first-hand ... Germany is [now] bitterly divided on the refugee question. Neighbours and families are divided. The poisonous atmosphere has been fuelled by rightwing hatemongers. But the adherents of the Willkommenskultur, in my view, are also to blame. Where did it all go wrong?
Konstantin Richter writes in the Guardian on the fate of Germany's Willkommenskultur towards Syrian refugees. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Apr 1, 2016 - 22 comments

The Bribe Factory

The Company That Bribed The World - It was the company with jet-set style and dirty hands. From the tiny principality of Monaco, Unaoil reached across the globe to pay multi-million dollar bribes in oil rich states. The beneficiaries? Some of the biggest companies in England, Europe, America and Australia.
posted by unliteral on Mar 30, 2016 - 33 comments

The Obama Doctrine

In the Atlantic's April cover story, Jeffrey Goldberg interviews President Obama about his foreign policy philosophy and ultimately, its lasting legacy. [more inside]
posted by Ouverture on Mar 19, 2016 - 63 comments

Mission accomplished

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, describing Russia's objectives as "generally accomplished". [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 14, 2016 - 22 comments

Museum of Lost Objects

A series of ten articles at the BBC News Magazine by Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf tracing the stories of ten antiquities and cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria: (1) The Winged Bull of Nineveh; (2) The Temple of Bel; (3) Tell of Qarqur; (4) Aleppo’s minaret; (5) The Lion of al-Lat; (6) Mar Elian Monastery; (7) Al-Ma’arri: the unacceptable poet; (8) The Genie of Nimrud; (9) The Armenian Martyrs’ Memorial Church in Deir al-Zour; and (10) Looted Sumerian Seal, Baghdad. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Mar 10, 2016 - 14 comments

the Kurds are on the move

The Kurdish key - "Kurds are key to a Middle East solution as they hold the balance of power in Iraq and Syria, as well as being in the midst of an insurrection in Turkey. The US needs the Kurds as much as it needs the Turks in its efforts to defeat Isis." (also btw /r/Kurdistan: Who Exactly Are 'the Kurds'?; End Times for the Caliphate?)
posted by kliuless on Feb 29, 2016 - 10 comments

The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth

Sweden's initial humanitarian response, and subsequent withdrawal in the face of the European refugee crisis. (Single link foreign policy article.)
posted by Ned G on Feb 11, 2016 - 84 comments

From Syria to the Six

What It's Like Experiencing Canada as a Refugee [video] “Amidst ongoing attacks from public figures such as Donald Trump, it's easy to forget that Syrians and other desperate refugees are, in fact, people. One person is pushing back and rolling out the red carpet: Kourosh Houshmand. [more inside]
posted by mr. manager on Feb 9, 2016 - 6 comments

"And when you let them in, you don't grimace"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who built a barbed wire fence around his country to keep out the migrants, was also [at a Brussels summit]. He saw, and enjoyed, seeing [Angela] Merkel in a fix. He took the floor and said: "It is only a matter of time before Germany builds a fence. Then I'll have the Europe that I believe is right." Merkel said nothing at first, a person present at the meeting relates. Only later, after a couple other heads of government had their say, did Merkel turn to Orbán and say: "I lived behind a fence for too long for me to now wish for those times to return."
-The Isolated Chancellor: What Is Driving Angela Merkel? by Markus Feldenkirchen and René Pfister of Der Spiegel.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 27, 2016 - 108 comments

Ending the new Thirty Years War

Ending the new Thirty Years War "Why the real history of the Peace of Westphalia in 17th-century Europe offers a model for bringing stability to the Middle East."
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jan 27, 2016 - 18 comments

‘I was terribly wrong’

Writers look back at the Arab spring five years on [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 23, 2016 - 27 comments

"'Say it with me people. Pulitzer. Motherf***ing. Prize'"

Kevin Dawes: searching for a missing American in Syria. A young American man and sometime SomethingAwful goon, self-taught as a medic and aspiring to journalism, maxes out his credit cards and heads for Syria, on his own. His contacts and friends increasingly fear he is mentally ill. The last report of him is from 2013. (GQ, 1/15/2016) [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Jan 19, 2016 - 18 comments

In His Own Words

A Syrian Refugee's first month in Canada Vanig Garabedian, 47, was on board the first government-organized flight of Syrian refugees to Canada on Dec. 10. He came with his wife Anjilik Jaghlassian and their daughters Sylvie and Lucie, 12, and Anna-Maria, 10. The very first people to leave the plane, the family’s arrival in Toronto was widely photographed, as was their meeting with the prime minister. One month later, Garabedian, an obstetrician/gynecologist for 15 years in Aleppo, has settled into an apartment in the suburbs of Toronto.
posted by modernnomad on Jan 17, 2016 - 27 comments

No war at the dinner table

Last August, the Guardian's Northern correspondent Helen Pidd invited Yasser, a 34-year-old Syrian refugee, to live in the spare room of her Manchester flat while he waited for his wife and baby daughter to join him. Helen and Yasser tell their sides of the story, from navigating the UK's welfare bureaucracy to the English's perplexing fondness for cookbooks and bare floorboards, a family Christmas near Morecambe and a topical Halloween costume. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jan 9, 2016 - 23 comments

Saudi Arabia Lights Another Fire in the Middle East

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people of "terrorism-related offenses", including Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi'ite cleric who supported protests against the Sunni government. In response, protestors in Tehran set the Saudi embassy on fire, and the Saudi and Bahraini governments cut diplomatic ties to Iran, ejecting Iranian diplomats and closing their embassies in Tehran. The United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassador to Iran as well. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Jan 4, 2016 - 58 comments

Because Silence is Not an Option: Naji Jerf, RIP.

"Syrian journalists who have fled to Turkey for their safety are not safe at all.": Naji Jerf was the editor-in-chief of the Syrian independent monthly Hentah and a documentary maker who worked with the collective Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS). Jerf also trained citizen journalists as part of his work with RBSS. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb on Dec 28, 2015 - 16 comments

A rain of data

The Seattle Natural Hazard Explorer lets you explore where different parts of the city of Seattle, Washington are most vulnerable to potentially catastrophic geological events like earthquakes (previously) and volcanoes. It is one of many visualizations or choropleths that connect ever-changing data with explorable geographic locations, such as an Atlas for a Changing Planet and Syria: Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis
posted by a lungful of dragon on Dec 28, 2015 - 12 comments

Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war

“We have the power to diminish a presidential policy in its tracks.”

Did the Joint Chiefs of Staff share intelligence with foreign leaders in a behind-the-scenes attempt to circumvent Obama's Syria policy? [more inside]
posted by kanuck on Dec 23, 2015 - 46 comments

Nobody ever pays a political price for targeting Iranian Americans

In response to the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HR 158, a bill that bars Iraqis, Syrians, Sudanese, Iranians, and people who have traveled to those countries from participating in the visa waiver program which allows passport holders from 38 countries to travel without securing a visa. [more inside]
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Dec 10, 2015 - 57 comments

“....if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”

NATO-Russia Tensions Rise After Turkey Downs Jet [The New York Times]
Two big powers supporting different factions in the Syrian civil war clashed with each other on Tuesday when Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey said had strayed into its airspace. The tensions immediately took on Cold War overtones when Russia rejected Turkey’s claim and Ankara responded by asking for an emergency NATO meeting, eliciting more Russian anger and ridicule. After the meeting, the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, called for “calm and de-escalation” and said the allies “stand in solidarity with Turkey.”
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Nov 25, 2015 - 136 comments

hope, love, and a teddy bear

We asked refugees: What did you bring with you?
posted by infini on Nov 24, 2015 - 8 comments

The rise of ISIS and its threat

Counterterrorism "expert" David Kilcullen discusses the rise of ISIS with historian Robert Manne. Kilcullen was a senior adviser to General David Petraeus in 2007 and 2008, when he helped to design and monitor the Iraq War troop "surge".
posted by mattoxic on Nov 17, 2015 - 45 comments

Decoding Daesh

Why is the new name for ISIS so hard to understand? And why it's a really good idea to start exclusively using this new name instead of any of the other ones.
posted by umamiman on Nov 16, 2015 - 98 comments

Tables turning

Putin Bets Big on Aggressive Syria Policy As the UK government denies reports that RAF pilots have been given the green light to shoot down hostile Russian jets in Syria.
Iraq has begun bombing Islamic State insurgents with help from a new intelligence center with staff from Russia, Iran and Syria.
Russia is using electronic warfare to cloak its actions in Syria from Isis and Nato.
What happens if Russia decides to go into Iraq. How to respond to Russia in Syria while avoiding World War Three.
Meanwhile Shiites in Iraq Hailing Putin for Syria Push.
posted by adamvasco on Oct 13, 2015 - 138 comments

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, cultural commentator and patron of the arts

In 2011, Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi (Arabic: سلطان سعود القاسمي‎) was lauded for his Twitter stream where he provided English translations of news and events of Arab Spring. A year earlier, the cultural commentator started the Barjeel Art Foundation, serving as a patron and promoter for artists from all over the Arab world: Syrian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Egyptian, Jordanian, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. "I don't buy artworks that I think are pretty and aesthetically appealing," he says. "But I buy art that is politically meaningful." Arab Art Redefined: How art collector Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi is trying to change the narrative (2 minute slideshow with narration by Sultan Al-Qassemi on how he collects and shares art).
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 29, 2015 - 2 comments

Where the children sleep

Two million children are fleeing Syria, this is where they sleep.
posted by Iteki on Sep 27, 2015 - 32 comments

ISIS, ISIL, Daesh

The Mystery of ISIS
The problem, however, lies not in chronicling the successes of the movement, but in explaining how something so improbable became possible. The explanations so often given for its rise—the anger of Sunni communities, the logistical support provided by other states and groups, the movement’s social media campaigns, its leadership, its tactics, its governance, its revenue streams, and its ability to attract tens of thousands of foreign fighters—fall far short of a convincing theory of the movement’s success.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 16, 2015 - 63 comments

> 200,000 people killed in the four-and-a-half-year Syrian Civil War.

Death in Syria by Karen Yourish, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Derek Watkins [New York Times]
“With each passing day there are fewer safe places in Syria,” Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, chairman of the United Nations panel investigating human rights abuses in Syria, wrote in a recent report. “Everyday decisions — whether to visit a neighbor, to go out to buy bread— have become, potentially, decisions about life and death.”
posted by Fizz on Sep 14, 2015 - 15 comments

One family that could not just stand by and watch.

In the grand scale of naval hardware, the Phoenix isn't much to look at. It's 136 ft long and forty years old. It has a small crew of twenty including paramedics and drone operators. But over the past two years it has rescued 11,000 migrants from the Mediterranean. It is the sole vessel operated by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) unless you also count the two onboard dinghies. The station was started and funded by Paul Catrambones in 2013 before turning in part to private donations. How MOAS conducts Search and Rescue. [more inside]
posted by storybored on Sep 7, 2015 - 5 comments

Temple of Bel: 32 AD - 2015 AD

The UN has confirmed, through satellite imagery, that militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) have destroyed the Temple of Bel, one of the most iconic structures in the ancient city of Palmyra. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread on Sep 2, 2015 - 94 comments

Making a State By Iron and Blood

Britain built an empire on the slave trade. Germany perpetrated the greatest genocide in human history. Who says the Islamic State won’t be a U.S. ally someday?
posted by rosswald on Aug 20, 2015 - 54 comments

A War Of All Against All

Why Turkey is bombing the Kurds more than Islamic State - "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bombing campaign — capitalizing on the nationalist, anti-Kurd sentiment that has been steadily growing inside Turkey — could help him regain his AKP party's absolute majority in parliament now that coalition talks have failed and snap elections are likely." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 14, 2015 - 16 comments

‘‘What we are living is anarchy, war, death...."

"Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East? ISIS and other extremist movements across the region are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in sight." --a comprehensive piece by Eliza Griswold (SLNYTMP.)
posted by resurrexit on Jul 23, 2015 - 38 comments

Documenting Death Inside Syria's Secret Prisons

Smuggled Photos Document Thousands Of Detainee Deaths In Syria - "The photos are graphic. They were smuggled out of Syria by a regime photographer - a military officer - who had the job of documenting the deaths of some 11,000 detainees. Activists put the photos online, and Syrians are searching them for missing loved ones." (previously)
posted by kliuless on Jul 14, 2015 - 7 comments

The boy who could see England

The wetsuitman. Last winter two bodies were found in Norway and the Netherlands. They were wearing identical wetsuits. The police in three countries were involved in the case, but never managed to identify them. This is the story of who they were.
posted by elgilito on Jun 16, 2015 - 31 comments

Skyping with the enemy

A French journalist posed online as a young woman interested in Isis, she was soon contacted by a fighter in Syria. Could she maintain a double life?
posted by Admira on May 29, 2015 - 15 comments

How Climate Change Sparked Syria's Civil War

How Climate Change Sparked Syria's Civil War
posted by Nevin on May 8, 2015 - 6 comments

Lord of the Shadows

An Iraqi (intelligence) officer planned Islamic State's takeover in Syria and SPIEGEL has been given exclusive access to his papers. (by Christoph Reuter) [more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity on Apr 18, 2015 - 16 comments

Operation Red Falcon

Early on the morning of September 1, 1996, the Israeli military began moving troops to the Syrian border in preparation for a war they were convinced was imminent. The military’s actions were based on top-secret intelligence—that Syria was about to launch a surprise attack—passed on by an informant, a general at the center of Syria’s Supreme Military Council, code-named Red Falcon. Red Falcon’s information had caused panic at the highest reaches of the Israeli Defense Forces, and senior military officials and Mossad officers were urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to issue an order to the IDF to launch its own offensive before the Syrians could launch theirs.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 4, 2015 - 17 comments

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