Child’s play: Discovering womanhood, between Damascus and London (Al-Jumhuriya)
“Nestled in on the balcony in Furn al-Shubbak amidst the chiming of the church bells, we spoke for hours about how our lives had forked. How we had both traversed similar hurdles, both fought the same battles, and ultimately were both too vocal, until eventually we both found means to channel this. Syrian voices scattered across the globe, unsilenced, passionate, and honest. I was back there with my childhood friend, and she smiled and captivated me once again, transporting me back to our dingy classroom.”
“Absent Christian”… confiscation of real property of Idlib’s Christians (Enab Baladi)
“‘We have nothing left in Idlib, no properties, houses, or rents. The Sharia Committee seized everything.’
With these words, Issa (a pseudonym) from Idlib city described to Enab Baladi what happened to his family’s property years after the Islamic factions took control over the city.”
Covid-19 exacerbates Syria’s socioeconomic collapse (Daraj)
“On June 11, the Syrian president dismissed Imad Khamis from his position as prime minister, which he had held since 2016, and replaced him by Hussein Arnous, former water resources minister. The dismissal of Mr Khamis came after a rapid deterioration in economic and social in [conditions] the previous few weeks. As such, he can be considered Syria’s first political victim of the Covid-19 crisis.”
Syrian in Moscow helped Assad ‘build chemical arsenal’ (The Times)
“A Russian-Syrian business network has been accused of using Moscow front companies, tax havens in British overseas territories and European countries to transfer millions of dollars around the world for the Assad regime.
The network, run by a Russian-Syrian businessman called Mudalal Khouri and his brothers, is said to have helped the secretive organisation developing the regime’s chemical weapons to acquire raw materials and equipment, according to an investigative report being published today.”
Laundering misery: The Khouri network’s global reach (OCCRP)
“This barrel bomb was different. This one sent up plumes of yellow vapor, a telltale sign of chlorine attack.
Dr. Abdullah Darwish had seen barrel bombs before. As the director of the hospital in Kafr Zeita, a town near Hama in Syria, he had treated many of their victims, their flesh torn by the scrap metal packed around the explosive core.”
War-torn Syria goes to the polls amid economic crisis (AFP)
“Syria prepared for parliamentary elections to be held Sunday as President Bashar al-Assad marked a second decade in power mired by war, international sanctions and economic woes.
The legislative polls, to be held across 70 percent of territory under government control, are the country's third since the start of the war in 2011.”
A second revolution? Syrians take to streets under Russia’s watchful eye (The Guardian)
“Sporadic demonstrations have taken place across Deraa and the nearby Druze-majority town of Sweida over the last six weeks as civilians risked arrest to protest Syria’s worsening economic crisis.
In scenes reminiscent of 2011, demonstrators have dared to use the president’s name, chanting, clapping and dancing through the streets while calling: ‘Come on, leave Bashar,’ ‘Syria is free’ and ‘He who starves his people is a traitor.’ A handful of people have been detained, but so far the unrest has not been met with a full-scale crackdown by the secret police.”
Russia eviscerates Syria cross-border aid program despite pandemic (Human Rights Watch)
"The UN Security Council’s move last week to confine official, cross-border humanitarian aid to northern Syria to a single crossing on the Turkish border is the final nail in the coffin of the UN’s 6-year-old aid mechanism. It’s also another example of Moscow abusing its veto power, politicizing humanitarian aid, and dismissing both civilian lives and the spread of Covid-19 in northern Syria."