Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721


BOOK EXCERPT | Syria's Drama Outpouring from Syria from Reform to Revolt, Vol. 2

Syrian Children Hold Up Pokémon Pleading for People to Find Them

August 9, 2016—The Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office released an emotional photo series on social media today. The photo series aims to garner the attention of fans of the newest gaming craze, Pokémon Go.

U.S. Media Ignores Civilian Deaths from Syrian Drone Strikes

July 21, 2016—Syrian activists estimate that U.S. airstrikes on Tuesday morning left at least 73 Syrian civilians dead.

Social Media in Syria’s Uprising and Post-Revolution Libya: An Analysis of Activists’ and Blogger’s Online Engagement

Masudul Biswas and Carrie Sipes perform a comparative content analysis of Twitter and Facebook posts from a sample of Syrian and Libyan activist groups. By considering online content in the context of post-revolution Libya and the continuing upheaval in Syria, the authors shed new light on online activist agenda-setting. They find that while social media is used as a tool to maintain and expand momentum during revolution, in a post-revolution climate the same media serves as a venue for idea-sharing and political discourse.

Privileging the Private: Media and Development in Syria

A poster in Damascus promoting economic development - picture by Travel Aficionado

Leah Caldwell examines coverage of 'development' by the privately owned Syrian daily al-Watan and finds that it is always discussed in a tightly controlled framework where a handful of participants are allowed to participate and determine exactly what or who needs to be developed.

Syrian Dabke Meets Western Media

Omar Suleyman keyboard-synth player Rizan Sa’id performing in eastern Syria - picture by Leah Caldwell

Leah Caldwell examines Western coverage of the Syrian music and art scene, focusing on the case of dabke musician Omar Souleyman, and says some of the coverage perpetuates the idea that without a Western seal of authenticity on a particular art form, its cultural value is significantly diminished.

Defining the Boundaries of Acceptable Speech in Syria

The Syrian sheikh in his fateful TV appearance

Leah Caldwell looks at the travails of Syrian cleric Abdul Rahman Kuki and what his trial means for what public figures in Syria can say, and what indeed they must say

Politics by other screensIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Asmahan serenades in a nightclub.  From Gharam wa Intiqam (1944)

Absent participatory government, the film industry became a key political battleground in the late French empire. Historian Elizabeth F. Thompson compares struggles for control of the cinema in late colonial Fez and Damascus.

BOOK REVIEW | Asad in Search of Legitimacy: Message and Rhetoric in the Syrian Press under Hafiz and Bashar

Side-by-side renderings of Arabic articles and their English translations make the book useful for students and researchers, yet crude generalizations and culturalist arguments deflect from Kedar’s analytical contributions, argues Book Review Editor Samer Abboud.

Syria under the Spotlight: Television satire that is revolutionary in form, reformist in content

Marlin Dick traces the origins and behind the scenes drama of the Syrian sketch comedy program Spotlight.
(Features Video)

Television and the Ethnographic Endeavor: The Case of Syrian DramaIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Customers in a Cairo watch musalsalat during Ramadan.  Photograph by Tara Todras-Whitehill.

In contemporary Syria, the TV industry’s centrality renders it a particularly revealing site of ethnographic endeavor. It provides a valuable point of access to a complex and rapidly changing society, argues Christa Salamandra.

The New Face of President Asad on YouTubeIcon indicating an associated article is new

The plinth in the Syrian town of Deraa where a statue of Hafez al-Asad once stood

Leah Caldwell looks at the symbolism of attacks on statues and posters of the Asad family during the recent protests in Syria – attacks which would have been unthinkable before the unrest began.