Tag Archives: Bashar al Assad

Adib Shishakly – The Rebel in the Hotel Room: Alia Allana

This guest post by ALIA ALLANA, a despatch from Istanbul, is the seventh in Kafila series of ground reports from the Arab Spring. Photos by Alia Allana unless otherwise mentioned

Adib Shishakly’s rebellion starts with a small pin on his blue blazer.

Embellishing the the blue of his jacket, clipped on to the left collar is a flag of Syria not seen since the days following the French mandate. Today the flag flies in the besieged areas of Homs, Hama and Dera’a where the protestors have posed Bashar al Assad’s regime with it’s biggest challenge to date. It’s this very flag, with its three golden stars that was outlawed by the Ba’ath Party, by strong man Hafez al Assad.

Continue reading Adib Shishakly – The Rebel in the Hotel Room: Alia Allana

The Minister of Information maintains that there is no revolution: Alia Allana reports from Damascus

This guest post by ALIA ALLANA is a despatch for Kafila from Damascus, the Syrian capital. All photos by Alia Allana

“You don’t think I’m afraid?” asked Bouthaina Shaaban, advisor to Syrian President, Bashar al Assad.

We were sitting in the Ministry of Protocol in Damascus and she tugged on her black pearl necklace and fidgeted with her black and white tweed jacket. She had more reason to be afraid, she said – not just because she was a woman but also because she is a supporter of the current regime.

Continue reading The Minister of Information maintains that there is no revolution: Alia Allana reports from Damascus

A Despatch from Homs: Alia Allana

This guest post by ALIA ALLANA is a despatch for Kafila from Homs, Syria. All photos by Alia Allana


He was found shot in the chest, bleeding on the streets, alone.

He has no name. He’s just another struggling body in the hospital in Homs — only he’s much younger than most. He’s only four. He doesn’t move, his small frail body is gobbled by wires. The doctors say he hasn’t opened his eyes, hasn’t made a sound, nor has he called out for anyone. Saliva runs down his mouth but there is no one to wipe it off his face. This isn’t the first case and the doctors fear it won’t be the last. There will be other children who will take his place, there will be more victims of random shooting, more deaths and no one knows by whose gun.  Continue reading A Despatch from Homs: Alia Allana