Weekly Media Digest (12 April)

Curated Reading List

Syria Untold brings you a new edition of our digest. We want to share with you the features, investigative pieces and long-form essays that we read and thought would interest you.

12 April 2019

’A thousand blossoms with the day’ by Sudanese artist Rashid Diab

Messages behind the “Syrian Gift” Offered by Russia to Israel (Enab Baladi)

This article examines Russia’s instrumentalization of the Syrian army in its efforts to solidify its position as a key decision-maker in the region.

“The remains of the soldier were not the first “precious” gift that Putin offers to Netanyahu, as it was preceded by several others, including one in May 2016, where Russia returned an Israeli tank, rendered malfunction during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub.”

The Politics of Return (Syria Direct)

This article looks into the increasingly difficult circumstances NGOs working with Syrian refugees have to navigate amidst continuous pressures from policy makers in host countries to send Syrians back home.

“Amid dwindling donor funding for refugees, humanitarian organizations are now cautiously positioning themselves in this new political landscape, while purportedly down-sizing their presence in neighboring countries and turning their attention towards Damascus.”

Who Would Have Thought (AFP)

With heartbreaking nostalgia all too familiar to Syrians, award-winning AFP photographer Bülent Kiliç recounts his experience covering the Syrian conflict, from the days of the peaceful uprising all the way to the expulsion of jihadists from their last remaining strongholds.

“After all those years of coverage, I made sure that I would be there for “the end,” which came in February and March in the dusty village of Baghouz on the banks of the Euphrates River near the Iraqi border.”

A Different Kind of Rationality (The Cairo Review)

Maysam Behravesh’s analysis about the reasons behind Iran’s continuous, and costly, presence in Syria after eight years of its successful aid to Assad’s regime. The article discusses the ramifications of this intervention on the Islamic Republic’s future confrontation with Israel and the US.

“Israeli leaders including Netanyahu believe that the continued presence of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) troops as well as Iran-backed paramilitary forces in Syria is ultimately aimed at undermining Israel’s national security. This is not totally accurate, but it is not entirely wrong either.”

How To Use Google Earth’s Three Dimensional View: Feat. Syria, Yemen, Sudan (Bellingcat)

BBC’s open-source investigator Benjamin Strick shares a satellite-based case study on vetting a three-dimensional view of areas via Google Earth, featuring examples from Syria, Yemen and Sudan.

“In any open source investigation, it is much easier to find your goal with a lot of information than barely any at all. Google Earth’s past imagery is part of that information. It shows development, changes, seasons, new objects and, as discussed in this post, varying angles.”

Decolonizing Knowledges Around Gender and Sexuality (Kohl Journal)

The spring issue if Kohl Journal focuses on knowledge from a feminist perspective, and the politics of reclaiming this knowledge. The publication is packed with essays and articles from regional and international feminist researchers and writers.

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