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Articles on Syria

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Bodies are prepared for a mass funeral at Houla, Syria on the weekend.

Syria, social media and the failure of our collective memory

While the photos currently coming out of Houla look like scenes of an apocalypse, anyone with Syrian friends or connections has seen equally horrifying videos and photos circulating on Facebook or Youtube…
Syrians want democracy, but not at gunpoint. EPA

Syrians ask: why not give democracy a chance?

Last Monday, Syria’s Interior Ministry announced the results of a referendum on a new constitution. Of the 57.4% of eligible voters who went to the polls on 26 February 2012, 89.4% agreed to pass the new…
Many Syrians prefer the stability of the Assad regime to the chaos they saw after dictators were deposed in Libya and Iraq. EPA/Youssef Badawi

The Syria roulette wheel – where nobody wins

The stench of hypocrisy is a hard one to wash out for the West in the Middle East. We shook Gadaffi’s hand and pretended we liked his outfits when he coughed up for Lockerbie and we snuggled with Mubarak…
The Arab League has repeatedly failed to effect political change in the region. EPA/Amel Pain

Arab League mission to Syria was an exercise in duplicity

This weekend, Syria witnessed some of its bloodiest days since political agitation began last year. Dozens were killed after the government launched a new military offensive against rebel group the Free…
Syrian troops withdraw from the city of Hama where they were quelling pro-democracy protests. AFP/STR

Solving the crisis in Syria. Where will the unrest end?

The United States has stepped up sanctions against Syria, targeting President Bashar al-Assad’s financial resources. Syria claims to have withdrawn its troops from the city of Hama, which has played a…
Hacktivists remove choice from consumers – and in their own way lay down the law. anonmunich

LulzSec, Anonymous … freedom fighters or the new face of evil?

As you’ll know by now, hacktivist group Anonymous has vandalised the home page of the Syrian Ministry of Defense, posting a message which started: “To the Syrian people: the world stands with you against…
A portrait of President Assad in Midan, Syria. Brian Stoddard

The situation in Syria: a first hand account

Emeritus Professor Brian Stoddart, former Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe University, returned recently from an extended assignment working with universities in Syria. Below is his account of his time in a…
Syrian President Assad addresses the nation earlier this week. AAP

Syria - breaking the pattern

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad made a major speech earlier this week promising major reforms in the way his country is governed in an attempt to end protests rocking the Middle Eastern country. However…
Still from a video showing Syrian anti-government protestors in Hama on June 3 2011. AFP/YouTube

Hama time for Syrian rebels?

As we watch the spot fires of democratic uprisings flicker across Syria it is worth remembering that the government’s response so far has been mild. The religious tensions of the country and disaffection…

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