An edited version of this article appeared online in the Middle East Eye on May 26, 2019.
By Alex Ray
“When people pluck these flowers, it’s like they are plucking my heart,” said an emotional Fareed Notafji as we drank sweet, strong ‘labourer’s tea’ in front of the guard shed at Damascus’s Botanic Gardens.
The sound of the fast-flowing Barada river accentuated the gardens’ dreamy setting beneath the old city walls. The location made it possible to momentarily forget the ongoing war outside the Syrian capital.
Continue reading “The gardens of Damascus: can Syrians reconnect with nature?”
By Alex Ray
A chance Facebook encounter revives the story of a unique Syrian establishment after six years of war and tragedy.
My time as a foreign student of Arabic in Syria’s ancient capital began in typecast Damascene style.
Continue reading “The Damascus Hostel”
By Alex Ray – in Off-Guardian on the 5th of October OffGuardian by Alex Ray Not-so-subtle dehumanisation of the targeted “other”. A UK House of Commons inquiry into the 2011 attack on Libya and the country’s subsequent collapse has found what many suspected: NATO and its Gulf Arab allies used their ‘Responsibility To Protect’ to launch their attack even though: “ …the proposition that … Continue reading Humanitarians for War: Language and the New Orientalists
Alex Ray – 08.09.2015
Thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald this week for providing another example of poorly researched, illogical and one-sided reporting on Syria.
Continue reading “After Four Years, Australian Journos still don’t get Syria”