Monday, January 23, 2012

Syria, Revisited

My 2010 book for kids on the Assads ends with the questions:
Can Bashar turn Syria's economy around in time to save the country from an internal coup? The history of Syria's nationhood sets the odds against his success. Will he return to the reforms of his first year in office? Crackdowns on journalists, teachers, and activists since the early 2000s make that openness seem a distant dream...[Bashar's] choices over the next few years could mean the difference between war and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Hardly prescient, given the realities in Syria. My outside reader on the book was Joshua Landis, co-director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and his blog remains the best site I know for finding out what's really going on in that benighted country. His inside contacts, friends and in-laws alike, give an angle on the news that you just won't get on CNN, and he has links to many other useful sources. If you want to know about Syria, start there.


Diane said...

My country is doing way better than yours!

mlutwak said...

I would also recommend

KAZ said...

ML--Yes, I used that website for my research, and it's very useful. DZ--I think it's interesting how fast things went belly up in both places once we published.