Weekly Media Digest March 13, 2020

SyriaUntold brings you the latest edition of our digest. We want to share with you the features, investigative pieces and long-form essays that we're reading this week.

13 March 2020


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

Corona in the air...A new crisis added to the Syrians' crises (Enab Baladi)

"On the psychological level, reassurances are still being poured out on the Syrians, in an attempt to delay the feeling of the possibility of the virus’s spread in Syria. At the level of practical measures, however, doctors and health professionals in Syria are ringing the alarm and hinting at the need to raise the level of fear and precautions."

Hounded by war, can Idlib's desperate civilians outrun final assault? (The Guardian)

"When they and other members of the cemetery’s living dead woke last Friday, the toll of the war had moved closer – four new graves, dug from the red earth only metres from their tent flaps, had been prepared for newcomers.

The bodies of the war’s latest dead were supposed to arrive at the cemetery overnight, but had instead been buried where they fell during an airstrike on another new camp nearby. The new graves would remain open for now, but even as a ceasefire took hold across Idlib – the latest attempt to broker an end to a mass suffering that has known no modern parallel – they would inevitably be put to use, in the coming days or hours."

What the World Left Behind in Syria (Slate, podcast)

"Even though Kareem Shaheen left Syria a few years back, the reminders of his time there are everywhere. For nine years a brutal conflict has left millions seeking refuge with millions more still stuck in limbo. This past December, the Assad regime launched its latest attempt to seize back control of the largest rebel-held territory in Syria: Idlib.

Kareem tells us about Idlib, its importance in the war, his experience covering the region, and what the world turning its on this conflict tells us about the international order today."

Iraq base attack: Coalition denies strike on Iran-backed fighters in Syria (BBC News)

"A monitoring group reported that bases belonging to the paramilitary Popular Mobilisation force were hit on Wednesday night, killing 26 people.

Earlier, a rocket attack on the Camp Taji military base in Iraq killed two American troops and a British soldier."

Life Lived in Exile (The Atlantic)

"Gaziantep lies about an hour’s drive from Syria, and refugees here live almost like voluntary immigrants—almost—studying at the local university, working for local businesses, some poor, others wealthy.

Since an economic crisis hit Turkey in 2018, xenophobic sentiment toward Syrians has increased, and refugees have been more and more scapegoated for rising rates of inflation and unemployment. As President Bashar al-Assad’s regime wages a brutal offensive against the last remaining rebel holdout, in Idlib, yet more Syrians are expected to cross into Turkey, piling further pressure on both Turks and refugees.

Among those most vulnerable, both now and through the course of the war, are young Syrians. Taken out of their country by parents hopeful that a short conflict would soon lead to resolution and freedom, they must now spend their most formative years in exile, living in a protracted limbo of not belonging anywhere, and not knowing what steps to take for their future."


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad