Tag Archives: Al-Hayat


Syria’s Spark of Opposition


By Nir Boms, 19th November 2007


1. In the aftermath of exiled Syrian opposition leader Farid Ghadry’s visit to Israel, support within Syria has noticeably increased for his Syrian Reform Party (RPS).

2. In order to prevent further promotion of Ghadry, rather than in their usual fashion ignoring his increase in popularity as a result of his visit to Israel, the Syrian regime has emulated policy stances that Ghadry has articulated.

3. RPS has also recently reported an increase in its membership and three more party ‘cells&rsquo have been created inside Syria. Dialogue with additional opposition groups has also intensified and new alliances formed.  As a result of this trip, the stirrings of opposition may yet indicate that there is both room and support for an alternative discourse in Syria and a challenge to the conventional wisdom that assumes the regime there is unshakeable. Continue reading


Defiance in Damascus

Article published Sep 27, 2007
Defiance in Damascus

By Nir Boms –

The streets of Damascus have seen most things. They saw military marches with strutting generals leading their people to war. They have seen the images of presidential figures, such as the late Hafez Assad and his son, the current president, Bashar Assad, displayed on every corner. They have seen those of other allies like Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah or Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But they had never seen a Syrian American calling for reform. Continue reading


About Arabs, Numbers and Democracy: How do Arabs Really Feel About U.S. Policy in the Middle East?

By Michael Meunier and Nir Boms

In the Arab world, where divergent opinions are almost as rare as changes in leadership, and where free speech is a luxury enjoyed only by a precious few, public opinion polls tend to have interesting results. For example, the Arab-American Institute, a Washington-based think tank, recently conducted a poll that revealed an overwhelming majority of Arabs hold unfavorable views of the United States. While the results of the poll were not surprising, especially given the ongoing situation in Iraq, the motives behind it were extremely questionable.

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