Cradle of Contradictions
The American-led invasion of Iraq was supposed to begin a process of transformation across the Middle East. Syrian poet and political analyst Ammar Abdulhamid suggests that a thaw - if not quite change, then perhaps its precursor - is now occurring in Syria.
Life in Syria has never been simple. The realities, meticulously hidden under a veneer of homogeneity, have always been too complex for even the most discerning of scholars. The peaceful coexistence between the country's myriad ethnic, religious, and tribal groups is the result of a complex layer of concessions, compromises, tacit agreements, and other pragmatic arrangements perfected over the centuries.
Over the last few months, life has become even more complex, as both the country's ruling elite and civil society advocates seem more bewildered than ever about the country's future. Each group is focused on determining its particular privileges while preserving the territorial integrity and national unity of a country growing increasingly fractious and fragile.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in