The Battle for Qusayr and the fate of Saint Elias Church

On June 6, 2013, the BBC’s staff were reportedly the first Western reporters to enter Qusayr, after Syrian regime forces backed by Hezbollah fighters declared the town’s takeover. Qusayr had been under the control of armed opposition fighters for nearly a year, and the battle for the town marked the official and overt entry of…

Recreating Memory in Syria: Zarzour, its Mosque, and its Shia

Since the beginning of the uprising in Syria, news were rife with stories of damages inflicted to religious buildings, first as the work of the Syrian Regime, then as of the Rebels. These damages range from destruction due to fighting, to looting, and to vandalism (i will not use the word desecration, since it’s a…

#WithSyria and the Risk of Reductionism: Stereotypes and Charity

Last week, #WithSyria campaign adopted Banksy veiled “balloon girl” as a symbol for their campaign. Many criticism followed. However, several Humanitarian Organisations officials were strongly defending their choice. Amnesty International UK Campaigns Manager, Kristyan Benedict (a.k.a. @KreaseChan on twitter,) insisted that “the main issue is to get humanitarian access for the most vulnerable in Syria”…

#WithSyria and Banksy: Saving Syria through Orientalism

Ahead of the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising, a coalition of international organizations was formed, #WithSyria, urging people around the world to hold vigils on 15 March, with the aim to “show our leaders that we will not give up on the people of Syria, that they must act to bring an end to…