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Emma Findlen LeBlanc

Beyond Croissant Bans and Severed Hands Since the second year of the popular-uprising-turned-civil-war in Syria, the conflict has increasingly come to be framed in a similar rhetoric to that promoted by the Syrian al-Assad regime since the

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Writing Syrian History While Propagating Arab Nationalism

Textbooks about Modern Arab History under Hafiz and Bashar al-Asad

Monika Bolliger

This article argues that Syrian history textbooks promote the formation of Syrian national identity, although their explicit objective is to propagate Arab nationalism. Their authors' attempt to construct the history of an imagined Arab nation encompassing the whole of the Arab world in fact tells the story of different nation-states. Syrian students are therefore confronted with rival geographical spheres of national imagination. Changes in the new textbooks under Bashar al-Asad reveal increased Syrian patriotism, a will to comply with globalization, and attempts to maintain Arab nationalism.

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Giovanni Bochi

This article examines the practices of mobility and settlement of a community of Syrian Dom moving between Syria and Lebanon. I explore strategies, limitations and opportunities that defined the sphere of Dom social relations in Lebanon. While considering mainly the experience of Dom men, I argue that the scarcity of work, combined with social and political instability, affected their ability to reproduce community and family ties in Lebanon. Within these external constraints, flexibility and adaptation informed both residence patterns and the field of social interactions, which the Dom reconstituted through their cross-border mobility.

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Nell Gabiam

Turkey is currently hosting over 3.5 million refugees from Syria, the vast majority of whom are self-settled in urban areas ( UNHCR 2020 ). Amongst those displaced to Turkey by the conflict in Syria are Palestinian refugees whose presence in Syria

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Gilberto Conde

As we look back in 2017 at the Arab Spring, we get a sense that it went astray rather quickly after beginning in December 2010. While in Egypt the military has taken over, Libya, Syria and Yemen have descended into chaos, and in Bahrain

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Michael Provence

Since March 2011, Syrian citizens have challenged their government through street protests and, more recently, armed confrontations. Both the protest movement and the government’s response to it have their roots in the recent past. This article examines the contours of the last decade, and events in Syria since 2011, to understand the origins of popular protest and the origins of the Syrian government’s largely military response. Protest and dissent appeared after Bashar al-Assad came to power in 2000. The government’s response to such protest was not predetermined, but was rather the result of specific governing structures and political choices made by state elites.

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Syrian Diasporans as Transnational Civil Society Actors

Perspectives from a Network for Refugee Assistance

Shawn Teresa Flanigan and Mounah Abdel-Samad

This article presents early qualitative data from an ongoing project that includes interviews with members of a Syrian diaspora network engaged in giving and receiving philanthropy. With the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis, the network began to provide education for displaced Syrian children in Lebanon in addition to its other activities. The purpose of the research project is to understand motivations and mechanisms of humanitarian assistance toward a conflict region, and also if and how the practice of philanthropy is tied to peacebuilding on the ground and individuals’ sense of political efficacy. This article gives particular attention to the civil society aspects of diasporan assistance, and how those engaged in humanitarian aid conceive of their influence on politics, policy, and peacebuilding.

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Framed between change and stability

Syria between people's revolution and regime survival

Gilberto Conde

English abstract: The ideological struggle deployed between the Syrian opposition groups and the government during the first year of the Syrian popular uprising is examined in this paper. Force alone was not enough for the regime to crush the revolt, at least during its first twelve months, while protesters were unable to bring down the government. The battle for cultural hegemony had to be won by one of the two sides. Protesters and the regime alike had to deploy their discourses along frames that resonated with the values, hopes and fears of Syrians. The effectiveness of the regime in securing the support of large sections of urban dwellers and its systematic violent repression led to frustration on the part of demonstrators, who ended up supporting at least morally the armed struggle. A stalemate was reached. This led to divergent framing activity within the opposition, which in turn led to its division.

Spanish abstract: El artículo examina la lucha ideológica que se dio entre los grupos sirios de oposición y el gobierno durante el primer año del levantamiento popular en Siria. Durante los primeros 12 meses a partir de marzo de 2011, al régimen no le bastó con la fuerza bruta para aplastar la revuelta, aunque los manifestantes tampoco lograron tumbar al gobierno. Se dio un combate por la hegemonía cultural y uno de los bandos necesitaba ganarla. Tanto los opositores como el régimen frasearon sus discursos alrededor de aristas conceptuales (frames) en armonía con los valores, esperanzas y temores de la población siria. La eficacia del régimen en obtener el apoyo de amplios sectores de los habitantes de las principales ciudades y la represión violenta sistemática condujeron a un sentimiento de frustración entre los manifestantes, que terminaron ofreciendo un apoyo al menos moral a la lucha armada. Se llegó a un impasse. Esto a su vez llevó a que diferentes grupos de oposición reconstruyeran su discurso en torno de aristas distintas, lo que generó división.

French abstract: L'article étudie la lu e idéologique menée entre les groupes d'opposition et le gouvernement pendant la première année du soulèvement populaire en Syrie. Pendant les douze premiers mois, à dater du mois de mars de 2011, la force brute n'a pas suffiau régime pour écraser le mouvement, bien que les manifestants à leur tour n'aient pas réussi à faire tomber le gouvernement. Une lu e pour l'hégémonie culturelle s'est développée et un des deux côtés devait la gagner. L'opposition ainsi que le régime ont encadré (frame) leurs discours de sorte à qu'ils parlent aux valeurs, espoirs et peurs des syriens. Le succès du régime à gagner l'appui (ou le recul) de grands secteurs de la population des villes principales et la répression violente systématique ont produit un sentiment de frustration parmi les manifestants, qui ont fini par soutenir la lu e armée au moins moralement. La situation est arrivée à une impasse. Dans cet état, différents groupes d'opposition ont reformulé leurs discours au tour d'encadrements divergents, ce qui a mené à leur division.

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From the Ottoman to the American Empire

Syrian Narratives of Global Power

Kathleen Reedy

This article examines Syrian narratives of global power, ranging from the Ottoman era to the present day. Despite the country's relatively peripheral status in international politics, the stories of its people always feature Syria as a central figure in global policy and intrigue. When viewed not merely as speculation or conspiracy theories but as a form of speech act, these narratives can be seen as having an effect on relationships between different groups of people in relation to and among Syrians. This 'identity work' allows Syrians to order their own world through discussions of global power and gives them a sense of agency. Thus, 'talking about the powerful' actually serves to empower a local, 'marginalized' population, momentarily reversing the whole concept of peripheralization.

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Flying above Bloodshed

Performative Protest in the Scared City of Damascus

Ziad Adwan

stolen. In its place is another sticker that says, “Your jacket has been stolen by the fastest man on Earth.” “Do we exist?” ask the Syrian demonstrators. Syrian demonstrations began on 15 March 2011. Along with unrestrained violence to crack down on