Syria, Dilemma

And then this, via the daily Perlentaucher, which strikes me as a sadly accurate assessment of the dilemma, by the Syrian philosopher Sadik J. Al-Azm in the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) in my quick translation, this morning:

“The international discourse on Syria is shaped primarily by concerns for the protection of minorities: Christians, Kurds, Alawites, Druses, Ismailis, Turkmen, Circassians and others. It is however the majority — the Sunnis — who are horribly set upon by the army units, the militias and the Scud-missiles of a small minority that holds absolute power as well as the wealth of the whole country in its hands.”

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Pierre Joris

Pierre Joris is a poet, translator, essayist & anthologist who has published more than 50 books, most recently, Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (poems) from Chax Press and The University of California Book of North African Literature (volume 4 in the Poems for the Millennium series), coedited with Habib Tengour. Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader edited & translated by Joris, and Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, essays on Joris’ work edited by Peter Cockelbergh, came out in 2012. Forthcoming are Barzakh — Poems 2000-2012 (Black Widow Press) & Breathturn Into Timestead:The Collected Later Poems of Paul Celan (FSG).

Comment on “Syria, Dilemma”

  1. I suspect, sadly, that any cease fire will come, like those of the past in the Middle East, at the end of a cheque signed by the U.S. and borrowed from who knows whom. Religious warfare, or violence carried out in the name of religion, tends to have a rather long life span, centuries in fact. Religion is the the problem as it seems to want to become radical faster than an anarchist can throw a cobblestone. Perhaps if those of a more moderate belief would get off their bottoms and step to the forefront things might change. Why do I doubt this?

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