posts about or somewhat related to ‘syria’

Middle East Hate Matrix Middle East Love Matrix Syria Hate Matrix Syria Love Matrix Middle East

Love, Hate & Other Difficulties in the Middle East

David McCandless & UniversLab created an interactive visualization of the relationships between countries and entities in the Middle East, along with those that exert influence on them.

Images from the Top: Those that hate each other; that that love each other; those that hate Syria (left); those that love Syria (right); and, probably, the most apt visualization, those whose relationships are “complicated” (bottom). Via Information is BeautifulSelect to embiggen. 

The data and sourcing McCandles & Universlab use can be viewed via this spreadsheet, and they invite feedback and updated information as relationships evolve. 

Syrians Honor Jim Foley
Image: Residents of Kafranbel, Syria pay tribute to Jim Foley, the American journalist executed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Via Kafranbel Syrian Revolution on Facebook. Select to embiggen.

Syrians Honor Jim Foley

Image: Residents of Kafranbel, Syria pay tribute to Jim Foley, the American journalist executed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Via Kafranbel Syrian Revolution on Facebook. Select to embiggen.

#WithSyria
Via The Independent:

An evocative YouTube video featuring Banksy, Idris Elba and alternative rock band Elbow has been released as part of a global vigil to mark the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria.
The charity video tribute, which is just over a minute-and-a-half long, brings one of graffiti artist Banksy’s most iconic stencils to life - set against a haunting backdrop of heartbreak and bloodshed.
His girl with a heart balloonartwork, which he has recreated for the #WithSyria campaign, is reworked in the guise of a young Syrian refugee.
She holds on to the balloon as it rises over the civil war-torn country, passing buildings destroyed by bombs and children kneeling next to the bodies of the dead.
As she ascends, she is joined by other children and adults, each holding on to a red balloon. British actor Idirs Elba provides the voiceover, asking those watching to “stand with Syria”.

Image: Screenshot, #WithSyria. Visit The Syria Campaign for more.

#WithSyria

Via The Independent:

An evocative YouTube video featuring Banksy, Idris Elba and alternative rock band Elbow has been released as part of a global vigil to mark the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria.

The charity video tribute, which is just over a minute-and-a-half long, brings one of graffiti artist Banksy’s most iconic stencils to life - set against a haunting backdrop of heartbreak and bloodshed.

His girl with a heart balloonartwork, which he has recreated for the #WithSyria campaign, is reworked in the guise of a young Syrian refugee.

She holds on to the balloon as it rises over the civil war-torn country, passing buildings destroyed by bombs and children kneeling next to the bodies of the dead.

As she ascends, she is joined by other children and adults, each holding on to a red balloon. British actor Idirs Elba provides the voiceover, asking those watching to “stand with Syria”.

Image: Screenshot, #WithSyria. Visit The Syria Campaign for more.

Strangers React to a Norwegian Boy Out in the Cold without a Jacket

via Global Post.

Part of a larger campaign to encourage Norwegians to donate warm coats and blankets to displaced Syrian children, who make up 50% of all refugees from the country.

Homs 2011 v Homs 2014
Via @_amroali. Select to embiggen.

Homs 2011 v Homs 2014

Via @_amroali. Select to embiggen.

RIP
Molhem Barakat, 17-year-old photographer, killed while covering battle at Al-Kendi Hospital, Aleppo, Syria. Via Dita Sely.

RIP

Molhem Barakat, 17-year-old photographer, killed while covering battle at Al-Kendi Hospital, Aleppo, Syria. Via Dita Sely.

Meanwhile, in Syria

Over the last five days the Syrian government has driving into rebel-held Aleppo in order to reclaim the territory.

This video, from a Syrian activist, alleges to show what happened this morning (GRAPHIC).

According to Doctors Without Borders, “Airstrikes in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo have killed at least 189 people and wounded 879 people since December 15, according to local medical sources, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. Among the injured are 244 children.”

Related: Syria ‘abducting civilians to spread terror’, UN says, via the BBC.

Syrian Media Activists Fill News Hole
Via AFP:

Journalists in Syria have been killed by snipers, accused of spying, and kidnapped by gunmen, and with the threats growing, many say the conflict is now too dangerous to cover.
The risks have increased the challenge of reporting from the country, which was already difficult because of violence, regime visa restrictions and propaganda on both sides.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says at least 25 professional journalists and 70 citizen journalists have been killed in the conflict.
But for many reporters, the bigger fear comes from abductions, which have been on the rise in the Syria conflict.
RSF says at least 16 foreign journalists are missing in Syria, although many cases have not been made public at the request of their families.

Filling the information vacuum, in part, are Syria’s media activists.
Via The New Republic:

On a mild morning in August, one of those journalists, a 26-year-old named Wassim, was dozing on the couch of the Syrian Media Center (SMC), an amateur operation headquartered above the local barbershop. Wassim—he asked that only his first name be used—grew up in Homs and has amber eyes and the lacquered hair of a pop singer.
For the past six months, Wassim had been sleeping in SMC’s offices, alongside Lulu, a long-haired white kitten. He typically awoke at noon, ate flatbread and cheese, smoked cigarettes, and waited for videos and photographs to come in from the SMC’s 100-odd informants scattered across Syria. Most of the clips, sent by an unpaid coalition of young male activists, depicted destruction: the bloody aftermath of regime artillery attacks on schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings. Occasionally, there were shaky Handycam shots of running battles between opposition and regime forces.
From evening to dawn, Wassim edited the videos down to two or three minutes and posted them to the SMC page or its Arabic-language Twitter and Facebook feeds. If he was lucky, the BBC, Al Arabiya (a Saudi-based network), or Al Jazeera picked up the footage. But he was content to reach the many ordinary Syrians who visited the SMC page every day…

Verification of the media coming out of the country falls on newsrooms unable to get their own correspondents in. Some of it’s done through video and photo forensics. Other times it’s triangulating among trusted in-country sources to see if they can confirm an event actually happened (Andy Carvin’s excellent book, Distant Witness, about his Arab Spring coverage via social networks is a fascinating study on this).
And then there are startups like Storyful that are in the business of verifying media and information that comes across the social Web. It’s case study on validating Syria footage can be seen here.
Image: AFP reporter Sammy Ketz, taking cover from sniper in Maalula, Syria, by Anwar Amro/AFP.

Syrian Media Activists Fill News Hole

Via AFP:

Journalists in Syria have been killed by snipers, accused of spying, and kidnapped by gunmen, and with the threats growing, many say the conflict is now too dangerous to cover.

The risks have increased the challenge of reporting from the country, which was already difficult because of violence, regime visa restrictions and propaganda on both sides.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says at least 25 professional journalists and 70 citizen journalists have been killed in the conflict.

But for many reporters, the bigger fear comes from abductions, which have been on the rise in the Syria conflict.

RSF says at least 16 foreign journalists are missing in Syria, although many cases have not been made public at the request of their families.

Filling the information vacuum, in part, are Syria’s media activists.

Via The New Republic:

On a mild morning in August, one of those journalists, a 26-year-old named Wassim, was dozing on the couch of the Syrian Media Center (SMC), an amateur operation headquartered above the local barbershop. Wassim—he asked that only his first name be used—grew up in Homs and has amber eyes and the lacquered hair of a pop singer.

For the past six months, Wassim had been sleeping in SMC’s offices, alongside Lulu, a long-haired white kitten. He typically awoke at noon, ate flatbread and cheese, smoked cigarettes, and waited for videos and photographs to come in from the SMC’s 100-odd informants scattered across Syria. Most of the clips, sent by an unpaid coalition of young male activists, depicted destruction: the bloody aftermath of regime artillery attacks on schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings. Occasionally, there were shaky Handycam shots of running battles between opposition and regime forces.

From evening to dawn, Wassim edited the videos down to two or three minutes and posted them to the SMC page or its Arabic-language Twitter and Facebook feeds. If he was lucky, the BBC, Al Arabiya (a Saudi-based network), or Al Jazeera picked up the footage. But he was content to reach the many ordinary Syrians who visited the SMC page every day…

Verification of the media coming out of the country falls on newsrooms unable to get their own correspondents in. Some of it’s done through video and photo forensics. Other times it’s triangulating among trusted in-country sources to see if they can confirm an event actually happened (Andy Carvin’s excellent book, Distant Witness, about his Arab Spring coverage via social networks is a fascinating study on this).

And then there are startups like Storyful that are in the business of verifying media and information that comes across the social Web. It’s case study on validating Syria footage can be seen here.

Image: AFP reporter Sammy Ketz, taking cover from sniper in Maalula, Syria, by Anwar Amro/AFP.

At the moment of execution the rebels grasped his throat. The young man put up a struggle. Three or four rebels pinned him down. The man tried to protect his throat with his hands, which were still tied together. He tried to resist but they were stronger than he was and they cut his throat. They raised his head into the air. People waved their guns and cheered. Everyone was happy that the execution had gone ahead.

That scene in Syria, that moment, was like a scene from the Middle Ages, the kind of thing you read about in history books. The war in Syria has reached the point where a person can be mercilessly killed in front of hundreds of people—who enjoy the spectacle.

As a human being I would never have wished to see what I saw. But as a journalist I have a camera and a responsibility. I have a responsibility to share what I saw that day. That’s why I am making this statement and that’s why I took the photographs. I will close this chapter soon and try never to remember it.

TIME Lightbox, Witness to a Syrian Execution: “I Saw a Scene of Utter Cruelty”.

Via TIME:

The perpetrators of atrocities themselves often use digital cameras or smartphones to photograph or film their acts of torture and murder, uploading the images to the Internet. These images and videos are used for propaganda, and their authenticity is often impossible to verify. It is very rare that a group of fighters from either side gives a professional photojournalist from a country outside Syria full and unfettered access to chronicle an atrocity as it unfolds. The images above are products of that access.

The photographer in the piece goes unnamed in order to protect him from repercussions when he returns to Syria. He reports that this was the fourth execution he had seen that day.

Laughing at those who read about Miley Cyrus is America’s second-favorite pastime, right after reading about Miley Cyrus.

New York Magazine, Final Tally: Americans Were 12 Times More Interested in Miley Cyrus Than Syria.

Background: Outbrain, the content discovery platform, crunched numbers across its network of publishers to compare reader interest in stories about Syria versus those about Miley Cyrus:

Globally, there were almost 2.5 times as many available stories on Syria as there were on Miley Cyrus. Yet consumption of those Miley stories outpaced Syria by a factor of 8-to-1. And in the United States? 12-to-1!

Before those outside the States start casting their serious news stones, take stock: “Interest in the starlet significantly outpaced Syria in England, Australia, France, Germany, and every other nation in Outbrain’s analysis — except Israel and Russia.”

We just happen to fetishize her a bit more.

Alyssa Milano Makes Educational Sex Tape About Syria

FunnyOrDie.com released a video of actress Alyssa Milano having sex with her lover while vacationing in Cabo. 

In an interview about the controversy surrounding the sex tape, Milano told Mother Jones: “If people end up learning something about the crisis in Syria that’s a good thing—even if I had to do a sex tape to lure them in.”

Curious? Watch the video for some hard ‘n sexy action — complete with some hard ‘n political facts that will surely captivate you. 

FJP: Did she leave you screaming for more? Check out our post: Catching Up on Syria

Video: FunnyOrDie.com

Catching Up on Syria

Earlier this week, a friend asked me what the best way to get caught up with what’s going on in Syria is. I’m not a fan of most cable channels because they tend to make one feel compelled to have an opinion, jump in on the debate, or pass judgement before being fully informed. So here’s a reading round-up:

The Basics:

And then there’s Mother Jones’ guide to the debate, which is always an easy, and comprehensive read, the Washington Post’s 9 Questions About Syria You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask, and Children’s BBC, which, yes, is for children, but for those trying to catch up, helpful.

Diving Deeper/Interesting Tangential Thoughts:

If you want to spent some time digging into the past, present and future coverage on the issues, go to directly to Syria Deeply, and/or the NY Times Crisis in Syria page, from which some of the above links were selected.

57 Hours Left to Fund a Very Excellent Journalism Project

The FJP’s very own Blake Hunsicker, who is currently a Master’s student in NYU’s Studio 20 program, is doing a pretty incredible reporting project on Syrian refugees in Lebanon that he needs to raise money for. In tandem with Syria Deeply, an incredible journalism project that we’ve written about before, here’s his plan:

This is a experiment in explanatory journalism. The final product will be a webpage filled with short videos you can watch in any order, designed to help introduce people to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and its neighboring countries.

I will do my principal reporting during a two week trip to Lebanon in August. I plan to interview Syrian refugees on camera across the country — in Beirut apartments, borderland villages and the tense northern towns near Tripoli. I’ll ask them questions that will interest an unfamiliar audience, questions I haven’t heard asked before — about their lives before the war, what they were looking forward to, and what they’d be doing now if there was no conflict. 

Read more about it on his Kickstarter, and help us help him reach his funding goal by Monday. Also visit Syria Deeply to learn more about what’s going on, and why Blake’s work is so important. 

As the deadliest country in the world for journalists right now, Syria provides an illustrative example of both the dangers that media professionals face in conflict zones and the importance of their roles in painting an accurate picture of the realities of the conflict on the ground.

Marie O’Reilly in her article “Protecting Journalists in Conflict Zones: Lessons from Syria" on Global Observatory discusses policies of journalist protection in conflict zones as well as the journalist’s difficulties of reporting accurately without that protection. 

Related: The Revolution is Being Televised, a documentary following activists who document the activities in Syria.