Many politicians love to call the Islamic State Daesh. They don’t like the group, so Daesh sounds like a good dirty word that fits. Syrian activist Khaled al-Haj Saleh was the one who first used the term to degrade the former al-Qaeda affiliate. It sounded similar to ‘daes’, one who crushes something underfoot, or ‘dahes’, a tumor. Continue reading “You hate Daesh’s jihad? Know what you’re saying”
“The transition in Syria should also include full participation for women,” said William Hague, the UK’s former foreign secretary at a Syria peace conference. “I welcome the Secretary General’s and Mr. Brahimi’s strong support for the inclusion of women in both delegations.” Continue reading “Arabic as a Feminist Language”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) estimated Syria’s death toll at 340,124 casualties as of October 16, 2015. A minimum of 87,312 and up to 132,000 account for losses within the Syrian military, yet very little has been heard about them.
Below is a translation of a Facebook post by Tarek Kholy, who gives us an account on what it means to be one of the soldiers who have to go through this ordeal.
Continue reading “Army Diary: This Is How We Live”
Below is the original draft of a speech I gave on November 23, 2015 — in the framework of the Professional Speaking Skills class, at the University of Graz.
I was nervous and my speech didn’t go according to plan, so the text and the video are not exactly the same. For YouTube version click here.
Over the last five years, the Syrian establishment has grown more brutal. Those reforms that were foreseeable in 2011 now seem impossible. Corruption has reached unprecedented levels. The establishment’s values and propaganda have never been as exposed. And yet, my opposition to this regime has faded so much that I no longer know whether I’m learning to be pragmatic or if I’ve resigned myself, given up my former convictions, and, in the end, traded everything for temporary safety.
Read the full article on the Freeman
Abulkhair, father of the good. Image courtesy of the Syrian Civil Defense in Eastern Ghouta
Like any civil war, this one has divided the population and even shattered families. I’ve had relatives fighting on both sides of the conflict. Sometimes you’ll hear about siblings fighting on opposite sides. After years of division, it’s started to feel a lot more like ‘us’ versus ‘them’ — but who the “us” and “them” are can change from day to day. That explains how rebels in Eastern Ghouta can bombard Damascus, which today houses the majority of those who have fled Eastern Ghouta. It also explains the kind of retaliation on part of Damascus that sometimes doesn’t take into consideration that these people are still family.Continue reading “In Memoriam: Sameer Moghrabi, Father of the Good”