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In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a warzone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land.Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes.With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare.
"Hara Hotel chronicles everyday life in a makeshift refugee camp on the forecourt of a petrol station in northern Greece. In the first two months of 2016, more than 100,000 refugees arrived in Greece. Half of them were fleeing war-torn Syria, seeking a safe haven in Europe. As the numbers seeking refuge soared, many were stranded in temporary camps, staffed by volunteers. Hara Hotel tells some of their stories. Theresa Thornhill arrived in Greece in April 2016 as a volunteer. She met one refugee, a young Syrian Kurd called Juwan, who left his home and family in November 2011 to avoid being summoned for military service by the Assad regime. Interweaving memoir with Juwan's story, and with the recent history of the failed revolution in Syria, and the horror of the ensuing civil war, Hara Hotel paints a vivid picture of the lives of the people trapped between civil war and Europe's borders." --Publisher description.
On March 17, 2011, many Syrians rose up against the authoritarian Asad regime that had ruled them with an iron fist for forty years. Initial successes were quickly quashed, and the revolution seemed to devolve into a civil war pitting the government against its citizens and extremist mercenaries. As of late 2015, almost 300,000 Syrians have been killed and over half of a total population of 23 million forced out of their homes. Nine million are internally displaced and over four million are wandering the world, many on foot or in leaky boats. Countless numbers have been disappeared. These shocking statistics and the unstoppable violence notwithstanding, the revolution goes on. The story of the attempted crushing of the revolution is known. Less well covered has been the role of artists and intellectuals in representing to the world and to their people the resilience of revolutionary resistance and defiance. How is it possible that artists, filmmakers and writers have not been cowed into numbed silence but are becoming more and more creative? How can we make sense of their insistence that despite the apocalypse engulfing the country their revolution is ongoing and that their works participate in its persistence? With smartphones, pens, voices and brushes, these artists registered their determination to keep the idea of the revolution alive. Dancing in Damascus traces the first four years of the Syrian revolution and the activists’ creative responses to physical and emotional violence.
Returning to revolution's original meaning of 'cycle', Contemporary Revolutions explores how 21st-century writers, artists, and performers re-engage the arts of the past to reimagine a present and future encompassing revolutionary commitments to justice and freedom. Dealing with histories of colonialism, slavery, genocide, civil war, and gender and class inequities, essays examine literature and arts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, and the United States. The broad range of contemporary writers and artists considered include fabric artist Ellen Bell; poets Selena Tusitala Marsh and Antje Krog; Syrian artists of the civil war and Sana Yazigi's creative memory web site about the war; street artist Bahia Shehab; theatre installation artist William Kentridge; and the recycles of Virginia Woolf by multi-media artist Kabe Wilson, novelist W. G. Sebald, and the contemporary trans movement.
Following the Arab Spring, Syria descended into civil and sectarian conflict. It has since become a fractured warzone which operates as a breeding ground for new terrorist movements including ISIS as well as the root cause of the greatest refugee crisis in modern history. In this book, former Special Envoy of the Netherlands to Syria Nikolaos van Dam explains the recent history of Syria, covering the growing disenchantment with the Assad regime, the chaos of civil war and the fractures which led to the rise and expansion of ISIS. Through an in-depth examination of the role of sectarian, regional and tribal loyalties in Syria, van Dam traces political developments within the Assad regime and the military and civilian power elite from the Arab Spring to the present day.
In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny. Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria. Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people. ‘Syria Speaks is a remarkable achievement and a remarkable book – a wise, courageous, imaginative and beautiful response to all that is ugly in human behaviour. This extraordinary anthology gives a voice to those we may have forgotten, or whom we may classify as simply passive and silent victims. The people shown living, dreaming and speaking here are far more than victims and only silent if we refuse to hear them.’ A.L. Kennedy ‘An extraordinary collection, revealing a dynamic and exciting culture in painful transition – a culture where artists are really making a difference ... You need to read this book.’ Brian Eno
Connects the question of modernity to the formation of the Arab middle class. This book explores the rise of a middle class of liberal professionals during the 20th century in the Arab Middle East, and the ways its members created civil society, and new forms of politics, bodies of thought, and styles of engagement with colonialism.In this innovative book, Keith Watenpaugh connects the question of modernity to the formation of the Arab middle class. The book explores the rise of a middle class of liberal professionals, white-collar employees, journalists, and businessmen during the first decades of the twentieth century in the Arab Middle East, and the ways its members created civil society, and new forms of politics, bodies of thought, and styles of engagement with colonialism. Discussions of the middle class have been largely absent from historical writings about the Middle East. Watenpaugh fills this lacuna by drawing on Arab, Ottoman, British, American and French sources and an eclectic body of theoretical literature and shows that within the crucible of the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, World War I, and the advent of late European colonialism, a discrete middle class took shape. It was defined not just by the wealth, professions, possessions, or the levels of education of its members, but also by the way they asserted their modernity.

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