Syria’s war has not concluded but for many it is convenient to pretend that it has. To those in the regime of Bashar al-Assad, it is necessary to present the government’s campaign of pacification as having produced peace. For foreign countries that wish to cease their programmes assisting the Syrian people, any opportunity to have their wish fulfilled is seized. Continue reading
In Sebastian Faulks’ novel Engleby, a significant scene occurs early on, during a university interview. Faulks’ protagonist, the titular character, is the interview candidate. Engleby is a prospective student of literature; a discerning one, to his own mind. And in the course of things, he is asked to make a comparison between the writing of T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence. Engleby, an abrasive, arrogant young man, does not believe there is much to compare. Continue reading
The war crimes of Syria’s conflict have been obfuscated and lied about on a vast scale and with great success, but they have never been effectively hidden.
Not hidden from those whose spells in regime prisons included torture and the possibility of execution, not hidden from those whose experience of regime bombardment was a little more than theoretical. Continue reading
The northern Syria governate of Idlib exists on many peripheries. It – along with parts of Aleppo and Hama – is dominated by rebel and Islamist groups. It borders territory held by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad but does not fall under the government’s sway. Continue reading
Review – This Is Not Propaganda by Peter Pomerantsev
We live in a golden age not of fact, but of fiction. The possibilities of new media have led to an embarrassment of riches. Where once there was a lack of information, there is now overabundance, with half of the world’s population possessing access to the internet, and the sum of human knowledge accessible from a device most in the rich world carry in their pockets, and replace for an almost trivial sum when its screen gets scratched. Continue reading
Britain’s next prime minister was never likely to have enjoyed an easy start. With no majority in the House of Commons, and having reached a point with Brexit which proved impassable enough to end the career of Theresa May, Boris Johnson will not have the strongest of hands upon assuming office. Continue reading
Since the Syrian civil war began, and as millions were internally displaced or fled the country, Lebanon has felt the effect.
Approximately 1.5 million Syrians reside in Lebanon, which has a population of 6 million. The situation is the responsibility of Lebanon’s government, one it does not relish, and a reminder to the Lebanese of the conflict in the country on their border and the uncertain times in which they live. Continue reading