A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Blog from Damascus

There's a relatively new blog I became aware of over the past few days, Dispatch from Damascus, by a blogger using the name Al-Farabi. Not, presumably, a reincarnation of the medieval polymath and faylasuf, since he/she is identified as an American living in Damascus, and while there's some dispute about the other Al-Farabi's place of birth, it pretty clearly wasn't America. The early posts look promising, and I've added it to the Blogroll.

Actually, Al-Farabi in a comment on my post last night expressed an interest in hearing me comment on the apparent revival of the Turkish mediation between Israel and Syria. I'll give it some thought, but Al-Farabi's own post on the subject is worth looking at in the meantime.


Anonymous said...

The Israeli desire to conclude another bi-lateral deal which increases its freedom of movement in Palestine is fairly clear.

What would be interesting would be commentary on the Syrian rationale for participating in the talks and such an agreement.

assef shawkat said...

I wonder how long he will be blogging from Damascus. It's not an easy task. It is definitely wise to remain anonymous though. I just spent several months in Damascus and wanted to blog, but didn't take the risk. It's a risky business, indeed. The blog looks good so far--I hope he keeps it up. Anyone have insight into who he is or what he's doing there?....or is knowing that against the ground rules?

Michael Collins Dunn said...

To "Assef Shawkat": I don't know who he is, and if he chooses to keep it that way it's probably for the best. Just like I don't mind comments claiming to be from "Assef Shawkat," since he seems to have come down a notch lately himself. (Any readers not following SYria: Assef Shawkat is Bashar al-Asad's brother in law, former head of intelligence but recently named Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.)