A Heretical Closure!

Many of laborers involved in the process of renovating our building are actually denaturalized Kurds, that is, descendants of Kurdish citizens that have been stripped away of their Syrian citizenship as a result of the 1962 census and the manipulations that took place at that time. In other words, they belong to the very group of people whose basic rights my team and I at the Tharwa Projectare supposed to be busy defending, and are actually doing so, to the best of our restricted abilities.  Continue reading “A Heretical Closure!”

Syria Squeezed: Are We Free Yet?

Dispatches by Elisabeth Eaves

… What is going on now is a lot of testing of “red lines,” as everyone in Damascus seems to call them. People are saying things and publishing things. But many of them, like al-Bounni and Ammar Abdulhamid, who heads the minority-rights Tharwa Project, are engaged in a harrowing pas de deux with the government. Al-Bounni and Abdulhamid are both barred from leaving the country. Intelligence officials have interrogated Abdulhamid three times since January. Al-Bounni has seen his siblings and friends thrown in jail for peaceful political speech. No one testing the limits knows when the next crackdown might come or what will provoke it. Continue reading “Syria Squeezed: Are We Free Yet?”

Fig Leaf Burning!

Why does the President still insist on reforming the Baath Party? A friend of mine asked me not too long ago. He does not seem to be too convinced of the Party ideology, he does seem to be quite aware of the endemic corruption among the rank-and-file on all levels, and he must surely be quite aware of anathematic the very term Baath is to American and international ears at this stage. So, why does he insist on reforming the Baath?   Continue reading “Fig Leaf Burning!”