Cultural Briefings

Silencing the Singer

Elie Chalala

A day after he had sang in protest in the square of his hometown, Ibrahim Kashoush was found dead, floating in the Orontes River (Al Asi). The fate of Ibrahim Kashoush expresses in the simplest terms the anger that has been driving Syrians in almost every corner of the country onto the streets and in front of the bullets of the security forces.

Syria: Open Sesame

Michael Teague

A spate of recent articles in The New York Times popularized the notion that Syria is “opening up” and that an effort is being made to somehow “liberalize” society.

Considering the long and brutal track record of the Assad regimes, especially the Machiavellian tactics to which both father and son have resorted in order to retain power, there is ample reason to question the sincerity of such reports. It behooves us to take a closer look at the premises of these articles, and ask whether they offer solid evidence that this new “opening up” is genuine, and to what extent, if at all, it is taking place.


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