“State of emergency fails to stem Sudan’s revolutionary tide” (11 March, 2019). The thousands-strong protests that have now endured for three months in Sudan against the ruling regime of Omar al-Bashir have not been quashed by the announcement in late February of a nationwide state of emergency, which nominally included a ban on demonstrations, large gatherings, and strikes. On the contrary, the protest movement has only grown both in size and in its demands, which now encompass nothing less than the toppling of al-Bashir and his regime. For further details and analysis from Sudanese writer Abd al-Rahman Ibrahim, read the full report (Arabic).  

“Antakya meeting to discuss lack of options regarding Idlib’s bombardment” (13 March, 2019). Over 100 Syrian civilians have been killed since the start of February in a renewed ground and air bombardment campaign by the Assad regime and its Russian ally in Idlib, Hama, and Aleppo provinces, in breach of a Turkish-Russian agreement on ceasing hostilities in these regions. A Syrian opposition meeting set to be held in Turkey’s Antakya on Thursday is unlikely to result in any serious measures to address these new and grave developments. For more details and analysis, see our full report (Arabic).

“Books in the self-administration regions” (14 March, 2019). In February, a new public library was opened in the Syrian city of Qamishli, containing titles in both Arabic and Kurdish; an initiative that would have been impossible under the direct rule of the Assad regime, which forbids the publication of Kurdish-language books. Cultural events in general have been on the rise in northeast Syria in recent years, with book festivals and public talks held in Arabic as well as Kurdish and Syriac. For more details, see our full report (Arabic).