Audio | The Lion's Den: An Insider's View of Syria, the Assads
by RASHA ELASS
24 Aug 2011 23:04
[ region ] Syria is in its sixth month of turmoil since its violent crackdown on demonstrators, which the government claims consist of armed gangs. President Bashar al Assad announced new reforms on Sunday. Starting next week, he said, new political parties can apply to register. If this really happens, it will be the first time in more than 40 years. But critics say Assad made similar promises in the past, and nothing has materialized. Andrew Tabler from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of a forthcoming book on Syria, In The Lion's Den, weighs in with his perspective.
In our conversation, he talks about armed enclaves in Syria, Assad's "moodiness" and the Syrian first lady's work in development, among other issues. When Tabler lived in Damascus, he founded a magazine with funding from one of Asma al Assad's NGOs.
Rasha Elass is a journalist who has lived and worked extensively in the Arab world, including Syria. She is working on a memoir about the Middle East.
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