Books: From hope to tragedy

When Syrians rose in protest in 2011, many thought Bashar Assad would go. Five years later, he’s still there.

By
March 17, 2016 18:39
4 minute read.
Syria crisis

Residents run along a street after an air strike by a fighter jet loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in Aleppo’s al-Marja district in December 2012. (photo credit: REUTERS)

"Every day people died, every single day. So the people armed themselves; they became as used to weapons as they’d become used to civil resistance before,” recalled Marcell Shehwaro, a chronicler of the Syrian rebellion, who is quoted in a new and timely book, Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War by Robin Yassin-Kassab, a commentator on Syria, and Leila al-Shami, a human rights expert.

The quote from Shehwaro was written in the spring of 2012. After almost a year in which the Syrian people had been protesting and marching against the regime of President Bashar Assad, it was clear the regime would not fall. This was not Egypt or Tunisia where the Arab Spring had pushed out dictators.

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