SYRIA



Syrian Flag
Syrian Flag

Composed By: Ethan Parets, Stephen Fitzgerald, and Teresa Tian
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Fun Facts

(the fun facts are fun, but I would put them toward the end of the wiki, rather than leading off with them...)
Coat of Arms of Syria
Coat of Arms of Syria

^The Hawk represents Syria's national symbol.^
  • Greater Syria vs. Syria
    - Greater Syria= before western powers shaped Syria; it linked 3 continents together
    - Syria= after 1914, land was reshaped
  • Syria has had eleven national flags (of four distinct designs) since independence in 1946. Each flag symbolizes different regimes/leaderships/meanings. There is also historical meanings behind the colors of the flag
  • Damascus, Syria's capital city, has been inhabited for 4000 years, making in the oldest continuously inhabited city.


Additional Videos to help Visualize/Understand:

I LOVE both of these videos. Both are very powerful. I would have liked a sentence or two of context so that the visitor knew what they were going to visualize/understand.

  • Syrian Uprising




  • Syrian Revolution Song





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Maps


Greater Syria (Before)
Greater Syria (Before)

Modern Day Syria (After)
Modern Day Syria (After)

Following the fall of the Syrian monarchy, (year?)France divided greater Syria into six separate states.
These States included Damascus, Aleppo, Alawites, Jabal Druze, modern day Hatay, and modern day Lebanon.
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Timeline


>1920-22 - Treaty of Sevres - the Ottoman Empire is dissolved. Greater Syria becomes a French mandate.
>1925-36 - Nationalistic uprisings against French lead to constitution drafting, but French govt. rejects proposals.
However, France agrees to Syrian independence, but in turn for an agreement that allows French to maintain their military and economic dominance. (run-on)
>1940-46 - World War II: Syria comes under the control of the Axis powers after France falls to German forces. British and French troops occupy Syria. French promises to end the French mandate. Protests over the slow pace of French withdrawal.
>
1946 - Last French troops leave Syria, and Syria becomes independent. However, Syria lacked political stability and experienced a series of military coups.
>1958-61 - Syria and Egypt unite to form the United Arab Republic (UAR). But in 1961, discontent with Egyptian domination of the UAR leads to the UAR being dissolved. Syrian Arab Republic is reestablished.
>1967- Six Day War: Syria loses Golan Heights to Israel. Syria and Egypt hold occasional peace talks over returning Golan Heights.
>1971 - Hafez al-Assad seizes power in a coup and brings political stability to Syria.>1986 - The US withdraws its ambassador to Syria from the country due to high risk of impending assassination attempts. (of the ambassador?)
>1990 - Syria participates in multinational coalition against Saddam Hussein.
>2000 - Hafez al-Assad dies and his son, Bashar al Assad, assumes power.
>2011 - International pressure on Assad regime. US President Obama and allies call on Bashar to step down. Syrian protests/riots in the streets, and the Syrian government intervening causes countless deaths.

Syrian Protests
Syrian Protests


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Q's & A's



Essential Q's:


What is the significance of Syria to the Middle East?

Syria's main significance to the Middle East is its relations with other countries. Syria’s rocky relationships with Israel and Turkey, born from old wars and disputes, creates an atmosphere of hostility that threatens to spill over into the other countries inhabiting this region. The influences of Syria's hostility can spread around its neighbors which they could end up like Syria, making the MIddle East countries, especially its neighboring ones, fear the dangerous violent Syria I am not sure what you are getting at with this sentence. In addition, to this, the recent rebellions, the latest in a long string of uprisings that are shifting the Middle East’s way of life to enlightenment ideals, is also serving to promote unrest in this region. With every new country that rebels, these ideas spread further and further into the Middle East, with the unrest in Syria adding fuel to the fire. Lastly, Syria's strategic location next to a major trading route such as the Mediterranean sea make Syria economically significant, and a crucial player in the Middle East's trade and economy.


What is the significance of Syria for the world at large?

Until (during?)the twentieth century, Western powers began to carve out the rough contours of the contemporary states of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel that originally belonged to the Ottoman Empire. Syria was part of the vast Ottoman Empire, which declined steadily due to many internal/external problems and earned its name “The Sick Man of Europe”. In 1920, after the World War I, the Treaty of Sevres forced the Ottoman Empire to meet its demise and the empire is split into mandated territories (areas taken from defeated nations to the victorious ones). Syria is placed in a very strategic/geopolitical location, making the country significant to the world. Syria borders the Mediterranean Sea, which gives it access to open-sea trade, communication,and transportation; all favorable factors that make the world crave for Syria. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the world’s most important trading routes that allows Europe, Asia, and Africa all trade together, so Syria being one of the countries bordering this important body of water makes it very significant to the economic importance. Syria, unlike other parts of the Middle East, is prized as a fertile oasis in the Fertile Crescent which provides arable land for excellent farming and was even more critical as a source of lumber needed for building imperial fleets in the pre-industrial period. Syria also serves as a bridge between the powerful continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa and was often a battlefield for empires. As a link to these great continents, Syria is a vital country to the world because if Syria is taken by one continent,???? not sure what this means. the borders are redrawn and can spark chaos, or maybe war. Syria is also known for terrorist groups and international crime which puts the world on alert as a dangerous threat. (Be specific...which terrorist groups and what is the nature of the international crime?Syria is politically unstable under a dictator who is employing military forces to settle down the restive protests, killing countless Syrians. verb tense in the paragraph is awkward


What is the significance of Syria in terms of the United States?

In terms of significance for economic reasons, Syria has never been a really big player in Americas economic situations. However, for a short time in the late 60's, relations were severed due to high tensions, but later resumed in 1974. In terms of social and political situations, Syria has always been a high stakes player. Since it's induction onto the US's list of state sponsors of terrorism,year? Syria has always been treated with extreme caution. Notorious for harboring terrorist groups and international crime, Syria has also always been a high risk factor to the rest of the world. In 1986, the US ambassador to Syria was removed from the country due to the high risk involved with his stay. He was later returned, but threats continued to roll in with assassination attempts, Iraq intensely changing political regime, and the recent revolt against Bashar al Assad's rule. In reaction to a once again rising threat level, the US has removed its ambassador to Syria from the country in July 2011, and he has not since returned to that violent country of Syria. (again, some of the wording is awkard here)



Content Questions:


What is the basic history of Syria since the Ottoman Empire?

In 1918, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Syrian was declared an independent state, a fact that was confirmed by the Hussein-McMahon Letters which established Arab independence. However, in the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, France and Britain divided up the land after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which lead to the French invasion of Syria in 1920. Unrest grew in Syria, until, in 1925, Syrian rebels resisted the foreigners which resulted in 10 years of conflict. The wars finally ended in 1936, when the Franco-Syrian Treaty was signed in Paris. This treaty stated that Syrian would have partial independence and France would withdraw its troops from Syria. Unfortunately for the Syrians, France did not honor the treaty and did not pull out their troops until 1946.

During World War 2, Syria was yet again fighting in a war that it had no interest in(sentences should not end in preposition) This territory became a piece of well sought after land, fought over by French troops loyal to France and those loyal to Germany. Syria eventually sided with the allies after the promise of independence after the war. However, France did not remove its troops after the war and hostilities continued, only to cease when the United Nations Security Council demanded the removal of French forces, the last of which left in 1946.

In 1950, Syria’s relationship with the United States and their allies became tense due to Syria close association to the Soviet Union. Threats from Turkey and other United States allies prompted Syria to form a union with Egypt. In 1958, Syria and Egypt formed the United Arab Republic. However, due to political disagreements, this unification lasted only three years and in 1961, Syria broke form the union. Syria’s foreign relation troubles, however, were far from over. On June 5, 1967, Israel launched an attacked on Syria, Egypt and Jordan that lasted 6 days, until June 10, 1967. Israel gained the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. After the conclusion of the war, Syria demanded the return of Golan Heights, which prompted Israel to return 5% of the original territory.

The strong leader that Syria desperately needed to end this period of confusion, and strife emerged in 1970 in the form of General Hafez al-Assad. Hafez al-Assad attempted to modernize and industrialize Syria with new ideas, going as far as creating a constitution in 1973. However, this new leader also had a reputation for repression and acts such as the Hama massacre of 1982.(what happened in the Hama Massacre? Be specific with your examples) In 2000, Hafez al-Assad's son, Bashar al-Assad, assumes power over Syria due to the death of Hafez al-Assad. Bashar al-Assad is known for his outspoken views, criticizing the United States and Israel, as well as having a disregard for human rights. In 2011, uprisings demanding the removal of Bashar al-Assad have arisen in Syria, leading to conflict and death around the country. Today, Syria is still in turmoil with Bashar al-Assad as the current President of Syria, and is still employing military armed forces into the streets to try to take care of the riots, increasing the death toll and agony of Syrians.
(watch your verb tenses)
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Primary Source:


http://www.cfr.org/syria/un-report-independent-international-commission-inquiry-syrian-arab-republic-november-2011/p26597

good document and you explain it below. it would be helpful to the visitor for you to more explicitly let then know that if they click the link that they will be able to read the UN report.
A Peaceful Protest Against the Syrian Got. Regime
A Peaceful Protest Against the Syrian Got. Regime

In recent months, since March 2011, the Syrian Arab Republic has been slowly devolving into a strict regime, inciting a gruesome uprising of state versus the people who want a government reform. As this issue heightened allegations of human rights, violations grew more and more numerous and dangerous. Some intense crimes on humanity include the Syrian government bombing rebels, random massacres, and soldiers given free will to "deal" with once peaceful protests. Feeling the need to intervene, The Human Rights council issued and investigation, prompted by the UN, into the increasingly severe allegations. Both organizations have now called for an immediate end to these crimes on humanity, and for the the government of Syria to intervene positively. The government of Syria has refused as of now to even engaged in any conversation with the UN or the Human Rights Council on the subject.
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Video


UN Council Conference
UN Council Conference



http://www.france24.com/en/20120204-russia-china-veto-un-draft-resolution-syrian-unrest-assad-regime-change-arab-league

On November 22, 2011, the United Nations voted on a resolution that would remove Bashar al-Assad from office in Syria. Thirteen of the United Nations council accepted the proposition, however, China and Russia vetoed the resolution, claiming that the proposal did not require Syria to distance itself from extremist groups, rendering the resolution unacceptable.

good video - some further explanation of why Russia and China would pursue this course would help shed greater light on Syria's role on the world stage.
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News Articles


Protests in Syria
(I really like this link because it provides up to date information as well as context. The NYT "update" pages are continually edited to reflect the most recent developments so that the link you posted will evolve as events unfold.

The Syrian government responds to the riots/protests that are initially started from the Tunisian revolution with heavy-handed force; the death toll exceeding over 5,400 people. President Bashar al-Assad, the current Syrian President, gave hope to the citizens of Syria because his father, Hafez al-Assad lead a harsh dictatorship, but unfortunately followed his father's steps, sending military armed forced into restive cities and opening fire on the protesters. Protesters cannot withstand the direct assaults by the military’s armored forces, resulting in thousands killed (and still counting). Neither violence nor President Bashar al-Assad's offers of political reform brings an end to the unrest. The protests in Syria brings the country to what the United Nations call "the verge of civil war"; government against the protesters. Furthering the conflict, ethnicity segregates the "elite" group of Alawites like Bashar and the norm. International pressure on Bashar to slow down the violence in Syria causes the Arab League to expel Syria from the league.
(good information...wording is somewhat akward)


UN Resolution Veto


In response to the violence in Syria, the United Nations comes up with a UN Resolution that called for Bashar al-Assad to step down from power and peace to the restless people of Syria, however, Russia and China vetoes the resolution, causing angry reactions around the world. The UN replies that Europe is a powerful force and will help strengthen sanctions against Syria, making the regime realize it cannot continue. Syrian troops are killing thousands of Syrians in order to stop the protesting but is only making matters worse. Russia's and China's rationale for vetoing the UN resolution is that they "believe more time and patience was needed to solve the crisis in Syria."


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Key Personnel


PAST:


  • Hafez al- Assad-

 President Hafez al Assad
President Hafez al Assad


- Minister of Defense Lieutenant General then became President of Syria (1971)
- had a “iron-fisted grip” over Syria
- In 1971, Hafez lead a bloodless military coup and assumed power.
- Assad quickly established an authoritarian regime with power concentrated in his own hands.

- To maintain control over a potentially restive population and to provide cohesion and stability to government, Hafez used violent/cruel force (arrest, torture, and executions) which costed many lives (price to pay for tranquility)
- When riots broke out, Hafez was good at ending them swiftly. Hafez brought political stability to Syria.

PRESENT:


  • Bashar al- Assad

(Current) President Bashar al Assad
(Current) President Bashar al Assad


- Succeeded Hafiz al Assad in 2000 after his death (Current President of Syria)
- From the start, Bashar appeared to make economic and political reform as the focus and priority of his presidency and created a brief period of relaxation and openness known as the Damascus Spring (July 2000–February 2001)
- However, Bashar fails to improve Syria’s human rights record.- Bashar reportedly is slowly dismantling the old Assad regime. Syrian stability that Hafez al Assad previously brought is gone.- “ Like father, like son.” Bashar uses his father’s method of suppressing the Syrians by brute force and expands the number of deaths of Syrians.- Anti-government protests break out for the demand of the repeal of restrictive Emergency Law (which allowed arrests without charge), the legalization of political parties (All political parties dissolved except for the Baath Party.), and the removal of corrupt local officials.- Syrian government responds to the unrest by obeying all of the demands. However, the government did not allow the demand for Bashar to step down and used brutal armed activity to quell the riots, which ironically increases the violent clashes between government and protesters, increasing the death toll of Syrians.
(again issues with formatting and verb tense)
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Summary


Following WWI, the Middle East was left in shambles, as the victors of the war divided up the regions of land as mandated territories. Among those territories, lay a land that was known as Syria, but at this point in time was merely a trophy for France to display to the world as it's own. Under this rule, there was little to no nationalistic unity among the country, and by virtue of this the country made no moves for independence, other than a few attempted uprisings. However, following WWII, the country made a strive for independence when the last of the French left their land. Now independent, the country would take it's first shaky steps towards a true nation.

With no political stability or experience, the country was ruled by a series of military coups for a few decades until Minister of Defense Lieutenant, Hafez al-Assad, assumes control and whips the country into shape with a strict, authoritarian regime. Syria quickly gained a reputation for being a hostile international player, and harboring international criminal activity such as terrorism because of the government's violent response to the Syrian protesters. As of now, Syria still retains this reputation due to Bashar al-Assad's, Hafez's son, reign since 2000. Much like his father, Bashar rules with an iron fist. Due to the ferocity of his ruling, recent protests against this regime have broken out across the country, growing steadily from peaceful to gruesomely violent. Now as we speak, the country remains in a volatile state of turmoil, the death toll rising every day, as Bashar's rule continues.



some slight issues with verb tense. Some of your visuals could use clearer explanation

Overall, the work on this wiki is excellent. At times the wording is a bit awkward, particularly with regard to verb tense, and there are times where deeper analysis would be useful. However, the page gives an excellent snapshot of where Syria has been and where it is headed right now.


you used your time in the lab effectively and appeared to collaborate well with one another.