One hour of my Syrian Facebook

February 10, 2023  “The Search for Survivors of Earthquakes”, a Facebook Group.  A photo of a young, handsome man believed to be in his twenties and a post reading: "His name is Nael Masri. He has been trapped under rubble for four days. If you have any information about his whereabouts, please call this number:... Continue Reading →


I wasn’t sure if I could write about Ukraine as a Syrian who survived barrel bomb attacks on my hometown Aleppo. I don’t know how to write about the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a woman whose city could be destroyed, besieged, and whose people could be exiled as a result of the Russian intervention... Continue Reading →

In the Box

Throughout my childhood, and until I came of age, there was no diversity among my group of friends: not a single Muslim in a city whose Muslim population runs into the millions, no Kurds, no Armenian Christians. So I grew up in the box, with few opportunities to meet anyone outside its confines. This was... Continue Reading →

What if we accept Bashar Al Assad?

Let’s discuss “peacefully” that “elephant in the room”, as you say, what if we accept that Assad remains in power? We are asked the question sometimes obliquely, and sometimes filtered through the closed circles that decide on Syrian affairs without the attendance of any Syrians. Sometimes it is brought up in ways that infantalize as... Continue Reading →

In Memory of Aleppo

To all those who will inhabit the places we left…. We once had a revolution there. I never resided in those neighborhoods, but was a visitor, a stranger, with all my little rituals, such as greeting the neighbor on the staircase in the morning, my frantic searches for products that were not customarily sold there,... Continue Reading →

A letter to Osama Nassar

[Editor’s note: This article is a response to an earlier Al-Jumhuriya article, ‘Siege versus prison in Assad’s Syria: a comparison,’ written by the former political prisoner Osama Nassar, currently living in besieged East Ghouta, outside Damascus. It was originally published in Arabic on 5 December, 2017. The artworks used in this article were created by Dima Nashawi.] I... Continue Reading →

In Order to Be Taken Seriously

Immediately after we’d finished discussing the challenges facing Aleppo in front of a large audience I was asked by a friend of mine, a leading figure in the Syrian civil society movement, how I was able to appear so unmoved, without anger or emotion, even when talking about the most painful experiences of my life... Continue Reading →

What Christ Is Born Among Us Today?

If Jesus were to come to us today we would spend a long time wondering about the scarf covering Mary’s head; we would close our doors in the face of the poor man and his pregnant wife. It would be from our houses that Jesus would be turned away, and we the ones who cause him to be born in a cave.

I Am Lucky to Have a Syrian Passport

Dear Officer, I am lucky to have a Syrian passport. You see, if it weren’t for this passport, random selection wouldn’t have chosen me, randomly and coincidentally, for investigation in all airports I’ve ever been through. If it weren’t for my Syrian passport I would have passed through like all the rest, or, to be... Continue Reading →

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