The philosopher’s wine (Newlines Magazine)
“It was January 2013. The Fighter had arrived in Beirut two weeks earlier, smuggled across the border in the back of a car. The group of activists who had organized his escape from Syria had installed him in a small room in the Lebanese capital, dirty and crowded with others fleeing the war. ‘You promised me I would not be humiliated,’ he told the activist who had done the most to organize his escape, over the phone. ‘I have no money and live like a dog.’ She made some calls. Soon after, an old man escorted the Fighter to an empty apartment on Al-Hamra Street. He told him not to leave the apartment and gave the Fighter $300 from its absent owner.” Read more
Syria aid at risk in Security Council vote (The New Humanitarian)
“The UN’s last remaining entry point for transporting assistance into rebel-held Syria hangs in the balance, as the Security Council gears up for a vote aid groups say could be one of the most important diplomatic showdowns of the decade-long war.” Read More
No surprises as Syria's Assad re-elected for 4th term (AFP)
“Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected for a fourth term as president of war-ravaged Syria, official results showed on Thursday, despite Western accusations the polls were ‘neither free nor fair.’
The controversial vote extending Assad's stranglehold on power was the second since the start of a decade-long civil conflict that has killed more than 388,000 people, displaced millions and battered the country's infrastructure.” Read more
Site in Syria could be world’s oldest war memorial, study finds (The Guardian)
“A burial mound in northern Syria has been identified by researchers as perhaps the world’s oldest known war memorial.
The site, known as the White Monument, in the town of Tal Banat had previously been thought to be an ancient mass grave of enemy fighters. However, a report published in the journal Antiquity on Friday suggests it was a memorial for the community’s battle dead from the 3rd millennium BC.” Read more
Syrian election shows the extent of Assad's power (NPR)
“It was a decision as symbolic as the Syrian presidential election itself.
On Wednesday morning, Syrians woke to local television footage of President Bashar Assad and the first lady, Asma Assad, casting their ballots. The pair were not in a loyalist stronghold but in Douma, the satellite town of Damascus whose residents proved some of the staunchest opponents to Syria's authoritarian regime.” Read more