A 6-year-old was chained and hungry in a Syrian camp. Then she died. (The New York Times)
“In a photo of the girl taken a few months before she died, her light brown hair is matted, her face and clothes smudged with dirt. She holds a chain in her tiny hands — a glimpse of the hardships of her all-too-short life.
Six-year-old Nahla al-Othman spent her final years living in a crowded tent with her father and siblings in an impoverished camp for Syrians displaced by a decade of war and largely forgotten by the world. To keep her from wandering around the camp, the family said, her father often shackled her and locked her in a cage he fashioned out of her crib.” Read more
Syria’s wretched foreign legion (Newlines Magazine)
“Mazen was building his family a tent when friends approached him about deploying to Libya as part of a Turkish-backed militia. His family had been repeatedly displaced from their home in regime-held Syria and was settling into a makeshift encampment in opposition-held northern Idlib. His young son, Rami, was gravely ill. It was a life of extreme, untenable poverty. In July 2020, Mazen traveled over 1,000 miles in hopes of changing it.” Read more
In the wake of Assad's reelection, 3 Syrians share their hopes and fears (NPR)
“Syria held an election last week and rendered the expected result, claiming President Bashar al-Assad had won another seven-year term with 95% of the vote - 95%. Well, this was dismissed as a sham by other countries but used by Syria to project control after years of civil war. NPR's Ruth Sherlock contacted Syrians to hear their views, including some they can barely say out loud.” Listen
Yes, Assad won reelection last week. But Syria’s elections serve another purpose. (The Washington Post)
“In an authoritarian regime like Syria’s, when the falsification of the results takes place out in the open, elections project the regime’s ability to compel compliance. Elections serve the interests of the regime, signaling to opponents that resistance is futile, encouraging its loyalists and creating a sense that the regime enjoys greater support than it actually does.” Read more
He watched two missiles destroy his bookshop. ‘My soul came out of me’ (LA Times)
“The call sealing Samir Mansour’s bookstore for destruction came in the early morning.
For days, Gaza had been subject to Israeli bombardment, a relentless aerial assault that turned towers, boulevards and commercial districts in an instant into rubble-filled craters. Now, according to the Israeli soldier’s voice coming through Mansour’s cellphone in accented Arabic, it was the turn of the six-story Kuheil building, which had housed Mansour’s bookshop and publishing house since 2008. He had 10 minutes to get out.” Read more
Denmark passes law to relocate asylum seekers outside Europe (The Guardian)
“Denmark has passed a law enabling it to process asylum seekers outside Europe, drawing anger from human rights advocates, the UN and European Commission.
Politicians in the wealthy Scandinavian nation, which has gained notoriety for its hardline immigration policies over the last decade, passed the law with 70 votes in favour and 24 against.” Read more