SYRIA, “We want to live”

Syria faces many socio-economic problems. The global Covid-19 pandemic has intensified them and provoked new demonstrations. Before the pandemic broke out in mid-March 2020, the poverty rate of the population in Syria was estimated at more than 85%. It has certainly increased since then. In addition, the value of the Syrian pound has fallen steadily, down by around 105% since the beginning of May against the US dollar and by almost 360% since June 2019. The living conditions of the great majority of the Syrian population are increasingly miserable. This is without forgetting the consequences of the massive destruction caused by the war, estimated at around US$500 billion, and the continuing authoritarian and neoliberal policies of the despotic Assad regime.


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Syrie- Leçons historiques de la révolution – un bilan critique

Il est temps d’évaluer les leçons du soulèvement populaire syrien, qui a initialement appelé à la démocratie, à la justice sociale et à l’égalité et s’est opposé au racisme et au confessionnalisme. Pourquoi le soulèvement populaire n’a-t-il pas réussi à réaliser ces objectifs initiaux ? Quelques explications et leçons provisoires peuvent être maintenant débattues, bien qu’elles doivent être considérées comme des réflexions initiales à développer dans le débat et le dialogue avec tous ceux et toutes celles qui s’intéressent à l’émancipation et à la libération des classes populaires et des peuples opprimés. Continue reading


Plusieurs dizaines de milliers de travailleurs·euses de la santé étaient en grève le 18 juin en Tunisie pour réclamer une amélioration de la gestion de l’hôpital public, plus d’investissements et de meilleures conditions de travail.

La grève a été lancée dans tous les hôpitaux publics du pays à l’appel de la centrale syndicale, l’Union générale tunisienne du travail (UGTT). Seules les urgences fonctionnaient.

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نقش اقتصادی و اجتماعی جمهوری اسلامی در سوریه

جمهوری اسلامی به عنوان تنها حکومت اسلامی پایدار منطقه منافع ژئوپولیتیک خاصی برای خود تعریف کرده است که لزوماً با منافع ملی ایران سازگار نیست. دخالت جمهوری اسلامی در سوریه، چه از نظر ژئوپولیتیک و چه از نظر اقتصادی و اجتماعی، جالب است زیرا می‌توانیم از خلال آن نگاه فرامرزیِ حکومتی اسلام‌گرا را بررسی کنیم. در این باره با ژوزف داهر، نویسنده‌ی آثاری همچون «سوریه بعد از قیام» (۲۰۱۹) و «اقتصاد سیاسی حزب الله» (۲۰۱۶)، گفت‌وگو کرده‌ایم

COVID-19 and the Syrian Regime – an Opportunity to Tighten its Authoritarian Control over Society

The Syrian regime has handled the COVID-19 pandemic with a combination of opacity and repression. While the crisis has reasserted the centrality of the state and its institutions, their capacities are diminishing. To compensate for this shortfall in the areas under its control, and to manifest its authority, the regime has utilised its various clientelist networks. Through charitable institutions and networks of businessmen and Baath Party affiliates, resources are provided along partisan, sectarian, and tribal lines in an effort to consolidate the regime’s authority and control society.

As COVID-19 has deepened Syria’s socioeconomic crisis, Damascus’ attempts to dominate society – if only passively – have not quite succeeded. Criticism of the central authorities and their policies is being publicly expressed, even in areas under the regime’s control. While the regime owes much of its resilience to its foreign allies, various political and socioeconomic factors continue to challenge its attempts to create the conditions needed to stabilize its power.

To read the rest of the article follow this link:

Click to access 16329-20200708.pdf

Roundtable MEDirections – Covid19 and the MENA Conflicts: Libya, Syria, Iran and the Gulf

On 29 June 2020, the Middle East Directions Programme organised the online roundtable ‘How has the pandemic affected conflict dynamics in Syria and Libya? How has it impacted the tensions between Iran and the Gulf?’. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the MENA region in a moment where the region is marked by political and military conflicts. This is the case with the ongoing civil wars in Libya and Syria, but also with the growing tension between Iran, the US, and Gulf countries, tensions which have repercussions in Iraq and other countries. Calls by the UN Secretary General and other international figures to freeze all conflicts and focus on the fight of COVID-19 have been ignored. Some actors have seen the pandemic as opportunity to achieve military victories or strategic advantages on the ground. Once the COVID-19 is over, how much different would these conflicts look like? This roundtable seeks to understand how the pandemic has affected conflict dynamics in the region. Speakers: Luigi Narbone; Virginie Collombier; Joseph Daher; Abdolrasool Divsallar; Tamer Badawi.

‘State institutions and regime networks as service providers in Syria’

The significant level of physical and economic destruction in Syria has impacted the capacity of the state and its institutions to deliver services, which is much lower than prior to 2011.

The Syrian government currently lacks the ability to meet the socio-economic needs of large sectors of the population and to provide adequate social services. The void has been partially filled by international humanitarian assistance and/or networks connected to the Damascus government.

On the basis of interviews and reports on the socio-economic situation in Syria, this article addresses the general weakening of state services during the war and the lack of service provision in areas which have been recaptured by the Syrian government.

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Report “Invisible Sanctions: How over-compliance limits humanitarian work on Syria Challenges of Fund Transfer for Non-Profit Organizations Working on Syria”

Report by the NGO “Impact” on the side-effects of sanctions on NGOs and the over-compliance procedures by banks is finally out.
““Invisible Sanctions: How over-compliance limits humanitarian work on Syria Challenges of Fund Transfer for Non-Profit Organizations Working on Syria”
It exists in different versions:
English version…/Invisible_Sanctions_IMPACT_EN.pdf
Arabic version…/Invisible_Sanctions_IMPACT_AR.pdf
French version…/Invisible_Sanctions_IMPACT_FR.pdf
German Version…/Invisible_Sanctions_IMPACT_DE.pdf