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Art Culture

Belonging: Lost Voices at Coburg House

Hussain Akrad’s art presents a shattered impression of humanity, combining a lurid, dream-like sense of displacement with vividly focused images of a harsh and destructed reality. Currently displayed at Coburg House is his latest collection – Belonging: Lost Voices – which illuminates his experience of conflict and displacement from his home in Darra, Syria. Having […]

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Comment

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death is not simply the end of ISIS

On Sunday 27 October, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, was confirmed dead following a US raid, the video of which was later widely shared. This has, understandably, led to much celebration within political circles (including the usual selfcongratulation from Trump), and, worryingly, some feting this as the true end of ISIS as a […]

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Comment

British orphans amidst violence in Syria must be brought home

News of the Syrian conflict rears its head in the media again following Trump’s reckless withdrawal of troops and Turkey’s attack on the Kurds. It might seem to be easy for us in the UK to think that this is something no longer relevant to us. ISIS has been almost completely defeated, despite the recent […]

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Comment

Trump’s bizarre decision on Syria shows his lack of international leadership

Firstly, let’s preface this discussion with a brief analysis of the American president. Throughout history, the revolving door of Republican and Democratic presidents has never failed to cause controversy, possibly never more so than in the case of Donald Trump. Jumping through the psychoanalytic rabbit hole, the man is a walking ‘id’; a man whose […]

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Culture Literature

Thomas Schmidinger’s Rojava: Revolution, War and the Future of Syria’s Kurds

The irony in the Kurdish situation, asserts Thomas Schmidinger, is that they only attract our attention by virtue of their enemies. When so-called Islamic State (IS) reached its threatening peak in 2014, it seemed that the Kurds were the only force capable of stopping them. As Syria’s miserable and messy civil war enters its 7th […]

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TV

Rough Translations

Retelling a story that is being played out in the US from a different cultural perspective every week, be it from that of a Syrian refugee or a group of Ukrainian journalists, offers the chance to make an important and original show – especially in the context of the American-dominated podcast world. Unfortunately, NPR’s Rough […]

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Fringe Theatre

Borders by Henry Naylor

In his fourth instalment of the Arabian Nightmares series, Henry Naylor attempts to finally bridge the gap between the divided East and West. Spanning over 17 years, Borders follows the lives of two young individuals – one a British photographer, the other a Syrian artist and activist – connected by their experiences of war and […]

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Comment

Ignoring Russian voices is an obstacle to peace in Syria

Although much satirised and reviled, The Guardian’s Opinion section last week trumped itself by gaining the curious accolade of playing host to a defence of war. The publication’s decision to publish an article by Russia’s Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, in which he defended Russia’s intervention in Syria, was almost immediately lambasted by commentator […]