The Kurdish Cry

Baathist oppression lives on in Syria.

March 25, 2004.

By Nir Boms & Erick Stakelbeck

While the anti-government riots that raged throughout the Kurdish-populated areas of Syria for much of the past week and a half appear to have subsided as of Monday, the recent unrest may prove to be the calm before the storm for Syria’s Kurdish pro-democracy advocates.

On March 21, amidst banners condemning the continued repression of Kurds by Syria’s ruling Baath party, some 50 protesters assembled in front of the Syrian embassy in Washington, D.C.

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Rumblings in Damascus

By Nir Boms and Erick Stakelbeck

For Bashar Assad, the diffusion of last weekend’s anti-government riots in northern Syria represented a dodged bullet, as his Ba’ath Party was ultimately able to maintain its tyrannical grip over the lives of 22 million Syrians. 

For Syria’s democratic reformers, however, the unrest may merely have signified the calm before the storm. 

As of Tuesday, armed police continued to stand guard on the streets of Qamoshli in northeastern Syria, where the atmosphere remained tense following the largest uprising against the Syrian Ba’ath Party in years. 

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Free Damascus

Nov. 27, 2003
Free Damascus
By NIR BOMS & ERICK STAKELBECK

‘The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country.” With this statement, made in his November 6 speech calling for the establishment of democracy in the Middle East, President George W. Bush galvanized an increasingly active contingent of democracy advocates.

Amongst them was the Reform Party of Syria (RPS), a fledgling US-based political movement comprised of resident Syrians and Syrians living abroad. RPS was formed shortly after 9/11 to express a voice that has been virtually nonexistent in Syria under 40 years of oppressive Ba’ath Party rule: a voice of freedom.

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