Essays and Features

Syrian Stories from 'The World of Ghosts'

Ahmad's Story
Elie Chalala

Over the years, we have devoted generous space to covering dissent by Arab intellectuals, especially the Syrians. We believed that most of them who were arrested and imprisoned for long periods of time (poet Farag Bayrakdar, 14 years; Riadh al-Turk, 17 years; Yassin al-Haj Saleh, 16 years) had been seen as members of different leftist and communist parties, thus posing threats to a repressive regime. But after reading Michel Kilo's stories from his time in Al Maza Military Prison (the article to follow is based on one of Kilo's stories), it is clear that even ordinary Syrians, who hardly harbor any hostile feelings toward the regime have spent similar periods of imprisonment.


The Children's Revolution:

Youth and the Syrian Rebellion
Farag Bayrakdar

It's okay to cry a little for Syria and her people.And it's also okay to believe freedom is near.

The tsunami of Tunisian revolution toppled Arab dictatorships. Although Husni Mubarak believed Egypt would be immune to the fate of Ben Ali’s Tunisia, he soon was overthrown. Gaddhafi, Africa’s self-proclaimed “King of Kings,” said Libya would be different, as well. 


Prison: Geography of Despotism

Hala Muhammad

Prison:  A Geography of Despotism without a Place in the Nation

A picture of a wood stove warms hearts.

The gas stove in the picture has an odor.

The prisoner never drew a stove on the prison walls or on the screeching iron gates. 

The geography of the prison is coldness and solitude.


Ghayath Mattar: ‘Rain Flower’ of Syria

Elie Chalala

Everything I read about Ghayath Mattar confers an image of a young man who was a model activist in the ongoing Syrian Revolution. Ghayath was a pacifist and advocate of non-violence, states the Madrid-based Syrian exiled author Nawal al-Sibai, according to the website Aklam Hurra (Free Pens). She points out that Mattar’s legacy is what can be called a political will: “Even if they kill us all we should not resort to weapons to defend ourselves.”

Syria: 'Life from Hell' -- Blood Images of a Revolution

By Abdu Wazen

The images of murdered men, women, and children broadcast in snippets by Arab and world satellite stations from the battlefields of the Syrian revolution have become almost like a live “exhibition,” with images rolling in day after day uninterrupted... It is as if the charred and dismembered remains of human bodies are all identical, regardless of the region or neighborhood.



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