Weekly Media Digest (8 November 2019)

SyriaUntold 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.

08 November 2019


An independent media platform advancing critical perspectives on Syria and Syrians.

I Saw the Birth, and Bloody Death, of the Dream of Syrian Democracy (Foreign Policy)

Written by: Ahed Al Hendi 

When I first met Hevrin Khalaf in 2017, she astonished me with her intelligence. Khalaf was a Kurdish civil engineer from Derik who became one of the most prominent female leaders in the autonomous region of Rojava in northeastern Syria. During our first meeting in Ain Issa, she thanked me for risking my life to cross into Rojava while I was wanted by four different Syrian intelligence agencies for my activities in support of the Syrian revolution. I ended up living in the same compound with her for 45 days.

'Secure the oil': Trump's Syria strategy leaves Pentagon perplexed (The Guardian)

Written by: Julian Borger 

US officials are struggling to explain the mission of up to a thousand US troops in Syria, who have mostly taken up positions near oil fields in response to Donald Trump’s orders.

U.S. Envoy in Syria Says Not Enough Was Done to Avert Turkish Attack (The New York Times)

Written by: Eric Schmitt

In an internal memo, the senior American diplomat in northern Syria criticized the Trump administration for failing to try harder to deter Turkey from invading northern Syria last month.

Syrian Kurdish Refugees Say Kurdish Forces Tried To Prevent Them From Fleeing To Iraq (NPR)

Written by: Fatma Tanis

The Gawilan camp is situated in the hilly terrain of northern Iraq, 90 miles from the Syrian border. Since 2013, it has been home to more than 8,000 Syrian Kurds who fled their country's civil war. Now, hundreds more are coming — this time, seeking refuge after fleeing Turkey's offensive in northern Syria.

White Phosphorous Use in Northern Syria – Should The OPCW Investigate? (Bellingcat)

Written by: Bellingcat Investigation Team

In an editorial published on Monday, The Times of London implied that the OPCW chose not to investigate the use of White Phosphorus (WP) due to political expediency: “The suspicion is that the OPCW’s reluctance to investigate reflects western hesitancy to embarrass a Nato member at a time when relations with Turkey are strained.

"We are God’s Crew".. On the Obliteration of Logic in Religious Affairs (Raseef22)

Written by: Aya Nader

“We are God’s crew, and we are certified with that” goes a shaabi Egyptian song. The lyrics satirically highlight the untouchability of religious elites. Notwithstanding, a video was edited to have the faces of religious scholars dancing to the song, an act of rebellion against the monopoly of religion, both its ideology and its clergy. In Egypt, anyone who dares sing outside the choir is accused of apostasy. Or worse.

Rationalizing Israel’s Occupation (Jacobin)

Written by: Etan Nechin

Meir Shamgar, former chief justice of Israel’s Supreme Court, died last month. A founding father of Israel’s legal system, he used judicial subterfuge to give legal cover to the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.


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