Imagine a room in war-ravaged Syria lined with bookshelves and filled with patrons reading books in Arabic and English, everything from poetry to American pop psychology. Now picture that, outside that library, city streets are reduced to rubble and bombs are a constant threat. That's the real-life scene journalist Delphine Minoui chronicles in her new book called "The Book Collectors."
For more than two decades, trauma surgeon David Nott spent several weeks each year volunteering in some of the world's most dangerous conflict zones, including Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Yemen and Sarajevo. Now he's in London, applying some of what he learned in war zones and disaster areas as he treats patients with COVID-19.
New York Times war correspondent Anthony Shadid, a frequent guest on Fresh Air, died Thursday after apparently suffering a fatal asthma attack in Syria, where he was reporting on the political uprising. Fresh Air remembers Shadid with excerpts from his December 2011 appearance on the show.
For the past year, veteran war correspondent Anthony Shadid has been reporting on the Arab uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia. Last March, he was kidnapped and beaten by security forces in Libya. "It remains one of the scariest moments of my life," he says.
As protesters in the Middle East use social media to communicate, the regimes they're battling are using sophisticated technology to intercept their emails and text messages. Journalist Ben Elgin details how Western companies are providing software and equipment to help Middle Eastern governments crack down on dissidents.
Maher Arar, a telecommunications engineer with dual Canadian and Syrian citizenship, was detained during a stop-over in JFK Airport in 2002 and deported to a Syrian prison, where he was locked up and beaten for almost a year.
Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid is a visiting fellow with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He says that while growing up in Syria in the '70s and '80s, it wasnât fears of an Israeli attack that kept him up at night. His concern was the dreaded Syrian security apparatus and certain government officials.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman just returned from a trip to Israel, Jordan and Syria. He talks with us about the war between Israel and Hezbollah, and where Syria fits in. Friedman's most recent book is The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century.
Flynt Leverett is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. As Syria is prodded to withdraw its troops — and influence — from neighboring Lebanon, the region faces potentially drastic changes.
State Department representative Elizabeth Dibble is the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Dibble addresses the question of the U.S. State Department policy toward Syria and Lebanon.
Rami Khouri is Palestinian-Jordanian, with a U.S. citizenship. He is an internationally syndicated political columnist and the host of Encounter, a weekly current affairs talk show on Jordan Television. He also hosts a weekly radio program, and he spent the 2001 academic year at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow. He was editor-in-chief for the Jordan Times newspaper for seven years. He often comments on Middle East issues for the BBC, NPR and CNN.
Andrew Whitley, the executive director of the human rights organization, Middle-East Watch. Their new book, "Syria Unmasked," documents the brutal human rights violations that have occurred under the rule of Hafez Asad. (It's published by Yale University Press).
Two interviews in this segment. First, Charles Tripp discusses the the stability of Saddam's government, and the current civil war in Iraq. Tripp's a lecturer at. the University of London. Next, we discuss Syria's role in the post-war Middle East with Patrick Seale, the author of "Asad: The Struggle for The Middle East."