A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Links on Syria That Shed Light on its Complexity

Qifa Nabki offers a collection of interesting and thought-provoking links on Syria. Of course anyone with more than a casual interest in Syria should be following Josh Landis' Syria Comment on a daily basis, and Marc Lynch, who doesn't post as much as he used to but always has something to say, has checked in on Syria. 

Syria, which used to claim to be the "beating heart of Arabism" (qalb al-‘uruba al-nabid, a phrase once used by Nasser about it), but today it is the primary Arab ally of non-Arab Iran, and has uncomfortable relations with most of its Arab neighbors. There's a clear sectarian undercurrent in the uprising, with Syria's Christian population tending to side with the ‘Alawite minority that runs the regime and the army, fearing the alternative is Sunni Islamists. I was always a skeptic about the Egyptian regime's effort to use an Islamist bete noire to maintain its power, but Syria's more complex confessional (Sunni/‘Alawite/Christian Druze) and ethnic (Arab/Kurd) mosaic complicates the issue. See also my earlier links collection on this.

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thesinclairs said...
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