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FPA Syria Launch

The City of Jasmine

The City of Jasmine

Hi. My name is Walter Raubeson and I want you to know more about Syria. I don’t think anyone is really covering the place very well at the moment so, hopefully, I’ll be helping you to understand the place just a little bit better. It’s certainly a complicated spot, full of subtlety and nuance, even if some writing on it don’t want you to think so.

As an interested person I’ve been trying my best to find really well written commentary on Syria. Unfortunately, coverage often focuses exclusively on the big stories and leaves the reader wanting. The recent SCUD missile scandal provides a good example. There were a number of stories breaking down the facts and public statements of the entire imbroglio. Very few were able to provide any depth, any true insights into the decision making process that would have gone into such an event, or the background of the people involved, or some sort of relevant history.

Well thats what I’m going to try to do. In my opinion there is ALOT that is going unreported and I want to try to fill in those holes. I’m hoping to provide some real insight and background on Syria generally that can shed light on larger stories when they do break. This is especially important right now due to the central role Syria is playing in Middle Eastern regional issues.  I want to focus on Syria’s role in the international political arena, but also highlight important issues within the domestic political sphere, economic concerns and developments, as well as pertinent socio-cultural topics. I will try my best to relate these divergent themes into one flowing and coherent narrative that, hopefully, will provide a more complete picture of the place.

As a manner of introduction I guess you could say I’m a transplant.  I’ve been living here in Damascus for over a year now and I keep finding new reasons to love the place. Hopefully this blog can reflect both my analytical interest, and personal connection with Syria. I welcome any and all comments regarding my work here. I am open to criticism and hoping to create an ongoing conversation on Syria in this space.

Wish me luck.



Walter Raubeson

Walter spent the last two years living and working in Damascus, reporting on the Syrian social, political, and cultural scene. Recently returned to the US, Walter continues to monitor Middle Eastern events with verve, and also gusto.

Having graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science- International Relations-in September 2008, Walter's MA thesis analyzed the Lebanese political system; focusing on the impact of foreign intervention within Lebanon, particularly the roles of Iran, Israel, Syria, and the US.