#1281
Stay safe Xipe. If you die the rhizzone membership goes down by like 5% and that looks bad for our metrics.
#1282
Flew to Syria & took a photo of my smart phone with a second smart phone, what of it
#1283
I did a few interviews with syrian people as well.

I'm home now, was there for a week.
I was in Damascus and aleppo, I missed the last 3 terror attacks that happened in Damascus including the one happening now.

Its gonna take a few days to get my laptop which has the photos and videos I took... I plan to make a website thing with em
#1284
should we start preparing a readbakdash.com?
#1285

SONOFCONESLAMMER posted:

gross unfunny stuff



please stop being disgusting and unfunny

#1286
#1287

88888 posted:

should we start preparing a readbakdash.com?



I started transcribing bits of cyclonopedia before I left if anyone wants to make that a goon project?

In the mean time I'll be redecorating my car in this style

#1288
everything is coming up kurdish

#1289
Could this be a departure from Russia being a staunch ally of Syria? What does this imply for Russian-American relations if both countries are now directly helping the Syrian Kurds?
#1290

colddays posted:

Could this be a departure from Russia being a staunch ally of Syria? What does this imply for Russian-American relations if both countries are now directly helping the Syrian Kurds?


Very carefully

#1291
hopefully it means a departure from the YPG's tactical alliance w/ the amerikkkan pigs who no doubt have all sorts of narratives cooked up to justify their inevitable betrayal and siding with turkey against them as they've always done
#1292
cant get over the sweet monster decals on that truck
#1293
i'm still taking in what i learned while over there - it was a lot, but the main thing i was overwhelmed by was the incredible strength of the syrian people.
they were the most welcoming, warm, respectful, loving, fun & funny people despite 100,000 beasts from hell destroying their society these past 6 years.
i was amazed that they had no hate in them at all, they just wanted peace ... they also know all the stories we are discussing here and much more -- indeed they are all on social media and speak english and know the facts, there should be better ways to help them to puncture the ridiculous lies that are circulated in imperialist media & chatterers about their country.

i met one very smart young man who told me lots of things --- for example what the reconstruction of aleppo looks like on the inside with the gov hollowed out and NGOs run by us, uk, qatari spooks taking the lead
(for example projects run as UNESCO that are 100% financed by Qatar https://www.raf-thani.com/index.php?SLANG=E and the mi6-infested british council teaching shell shocked syrians how to be good citizens)

anyway he had a list of 3 things syrians desperately needed: 1) economic reconstruction 2) reconciliation 3) media

i said i'd ask around for ideas; he is someone putting things into practice at a grassroots level so any useful ideas would be good.
for example for 2) he was proposing a non-political dialogue space in aleppo for syrians to talk about the massive issues they have... this was rejected by the council of spook NGOs.

i have a couple of ideas/experiences myself that i will pass on to him (eg documentation from radical community organising that is not ngo-infested)... and in terms of media/getting their message out -- the young people i met there had all the skills and talents and equipment (well, mobile phones and internet connections) they needed to get going.

hope that is clear.
i'll pass on any info to him and also show him the thread to see what he thinks
#1294

ilmdge posted:

everything is coming up kurdish


Everything still coming up Kurdish

#1295
on item #1 i suppose no one there needs to be told to look to Hamas for effective ideas on economic reconstruc*butterfly net falls over my face & you never hear from me again*
#1296
Sharing mostly to talk about point 1 but any discussion is appreciated.


Abrahms, M., Sullivan, & Simpson (2017). "Five Facts about Syrian Refugees" Foreign Affairs (Of all fucking places, right?)

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2017-03-22/five-myths-about-syrian-refugees

FIVE MYTHS ABOUT SYRIAN REFUGEES

The Syrian refugee crisis is the worst human security disaster of the twenty-first century. Beyond the death toll, which stands at around 400,000, an estimated 11 million Syrians—about half the national population—have fled their homes since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011. Prior to the evacuation of eastern Aleppo in late 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that over six million Syrians were displaced inside the country; about five million refugees have fled to nearby Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey; and nearly a million more have requested asylum in Europe, mostly in Germany. This crisis is not only a matter of life and death for millions of Syrians but is consequential to Syria’s immediate neighbors and to much of the rest of the world.

Yet a lack of direct evidence from the field has spawned speculation, misinformation, and poorly informed policymaking. In response to this informational deficit, a seven-person research team from Northeastern University was deployed along the western Balkan migration route into Europe (see map below) to speak with Syrian migrants, learn how and why they have left their country, and study the consequences of their migration to themselves and to Europe. Members of the research team spoke Arabic, were natives of or had spent substantial time in the countries in which they operated, and had been trained to interact with vulnerable migrant communities.



(Western Balkans migrant route to Europe)

Unlike previous studies, which have relied on questionnaires in a single country such as Lebanon or Germany, our team conducted detailed, comprehensive interviews in numerous locations along the Balkan route, albeit with a smaller number of refugees. The interviews, done mainly during the summers of 2015 and 2016, were conducted at refugee camps, border crossings, checkpoints, cities, and smuggler boat launch sites in departure countries (Jordan, Turkey), transit countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia), and destination countries (Belgium, Germany).

Our sample of 130 Syrian refugees does not purport to be representative, but it was carefully selected to include variation with respect to age, gender, socioeconomic background, formal education level, religion, political affiliation, region of origin, and travelling variables such as group size, presence or absence of family members, and location on the migrant route. For added confidence, information from these interviews was triangulated with ethnographic notes from each site, third-party government and NGO data sets, and supplemental meetings with aid workers, security personnel, government representatives, and local community leaders. The results of this fieldwork challenge five commonly held myths about the refugees.

MYTH ONE: MOST SYRIAN REFUGEES ARE FLEEING ASSAD

Conventional wisdom holds that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad holds primary, if not sole, responsibility for the refugee crisis. Although the Islamic State (ISIS) may grab the headlines, the Western media presents the Alawite dictator as the real menace to the Syrian people and to the armed opposition that is protecting them. “Assad Regime Fans Refugee Crisis,” warned The Wall Street Journal in September 2015. The Washington Post similarly explained the “exodus” of Syrians from their country by noting that “Islamic State has killed many Syrians, but Assad’s forces have killed more.”

Yet does Assad really bear all the blame for the refugee crisis? Not according to Syrian refugees. Most refugees we spoke to said they felt endangered by all parties fighting in the war, not just the government. In our sample of Syrian refugees, only 16 percent lay the blame exclusively with the Assad regime, compared to 77 percent who said they were fleeing from both the regime and the armed opposition. This pattern was observed in every country along the Balkan route.

Only 16 percent of Syrian refugees lay the blame exclusively with the Assad regime, compared to 77 percent who said they were fleeing from both the regime and the armed opposition.

Take the example of Abdullah, a 40-year-old interviewed in the Serbian town of Horgos, along the border with Hungary, who asked that his real name not be used. Abdullah was initially kidnapped in Damascus by Jabhat al-Nusra (also known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham), al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate. After Nusra released him, the Assad government imprisoned him for suspected collusion with the rebels. Seeing threats from both sides, Abdullah fled the country with his wife and children. A 30-year-old refugee in the Fatih neighborhood of Istanbul shared a similar experience and said, “There was no one left to trust, which is why I left.” Fear of all sides was the norm. Another refugee, a 34-year-old man with whom we spoke in Dortmund, Germany, had also been kidnapped by Nusra and then arrested by the government. “Torture was more ” under Nusra, he said. A 21-year-old student from Aleppo said that she felt unsafe only after the Free Syrian Army “took control of area,” because she was then exposed to a dual hazard: harm from the rebels and the possibility of a bombing by the Syrian air force. Another refugee, a 31-year-old interviewed in Athens, told us of how grateful he and his brother were when the Syrian army chased ISIS from their neighborhood in Deir ez-Zor, but explained that the situation nonetheless remained too unstable for them to continue living there.

In sum, in-depth conversations with Syrian refugees along the Balkan route and within the EU suggest they are fleeing not only, or primarily, from Assad, but from a complex civil war with multiple belligerents who all pose a threat to the population. The “blame-Assad only” narrative may resonate, but most refugees count him as one of several culprits, alongside the rebels and ISIS.



MYTH TWO: IT’S HARD FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES TO ENTER EUROPE

Policymakers in the EU and Turkey assure their citizens that new security measures, such as additional border fences, checkpoints, and land and sea patrols, effectively block refugees from reaching Europe illegally. Frontex, the EU border security agency, has called its “enhanced border security measures” a “success,” and EU Council President Donald Tusk has gone so far as to say, “The days of irregular migration to Europe are over.” But what do Syrian refugees have to say about the new security?

Refugees stressed how easy it is to bypass the EU’s new security measures. There remain expansive swaths of rural terrain where Syrians can easily walk across national boundaries; indeed, members of our team were taken to several unmanned crossings along the Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, and Hungarian borders. Some refugees use cornfields to cover their movement and low-tech tools such as wire cutters to get through fences. Even at heavily fortified areas along the border, refugees are often able to cross after a process of trial and error. But in our sample, 75 percent of the refugees interviewed said that they had crossed into the EU on their first attempt. Of course, it’s possible that a large portion of Syrian refugees never make it out of the country even after multiple attempts. But the refugees who did make it stressed the ease of bypassing the new security measures, especially for those who can afford a smuggler.

75 percent of the refugees interviewed said that they had crossed into the EU on their first attempt.
In fact, 60 percent of the refugees we spoke to travelled without any form of documentation at all. A a 22-year-old male refugee in Athens said, “No one looked at my documents.” A 21-year-old male refugee, who passed from Macedonia into Serbia through the Presevo checkpoint, likewise noted the lack of concern from the border guards. “They don’t need to see your passport,” he said. “They don’t care about your visa or anything.” Interviews with Presevo security experts support the refugees’ depiction of the border closures as largely symbolic.

Even without travel documents, many refugees said that they were usually processed by untrained police or Coast Guard officers in under ten minutes. Background questions put to refugees were perfunctory. A 27-year-old Syrian refugee in Frankfurt described his security interview in Germany as “silly.” He was asked whether he had killed anyone or participated in “political extremist stuff like ISIS or whatever.” He said that he had replied with a laugh, “No, I didn’t kill anyone. I’m angel.” Bribery at border crossings is especially rampant. A 21-year-old refugee in Falkensee, Germany, told us that in September 2015, for ten euros per person, he and his traveling companions from Syria, Iraq, and Central Asia bribed Serbian policemen into getting them a ride across the border.



MYTH THREE: REFUGEES MUST BE PROTECTED FROM SMUGGLERS

Most Syrian refugees who reach the European Union use a smuggling network. Interpol, Europol, and the European Commission promote the widespread view that border security personnel protect refugees from these smugglers, who are generally characterized as predatory, if not downright evil. As Europol Director Rob Wainwright puts it, “Europol has been at the forefront of supporting Member States in fighting the criminal networks that exploit desperate migrants.” The international media contribute to this narrative as well. The New York Times ran a story with the headline “The Refugee Crisis Has Produced One Winner: Organized Crime,” and USA Today told readers that “good fortune” for the smugglers comes “at the expense of the migrants.” Lost in this apparent consensus is what the refugees say about the smugglers.

Instead of seeing their smugglers as exploiters, refugees tended to express gratitude toward them, while describing European security personnel as cruel and often abusive. In our sample, 75 percent of refugees said they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their smuggler experience, compared to only 16 percent who said they were either “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.” (Nine percent were neutral.) A middle-aged mother who crossed the Syrian-Turkish and Turkish-Greek borders described the man who helped her as “very helpful.” She admitted being “taken advantage of in terms of money,” but said, “I wasn’t mistreated.” A 20-year-old male refugee in Serbia likewise said his smuggler wanted to “grab some money,” but at no point tried to cheat or harm him or his daughter. “He insured her safety,” he said. Such stories were retold by many of the refugees who had travelled along the Balkan route. Of course, there are also some cases of exploitation. But most refugees from our sample characterized smugglers fondly and thanked them for providing a life-saving service.



Instead of seeing their smugglers as exploiters, refugees tended to express gratitude toward them.
Refugee views of security personnel, both in and outside of Europe, were far worse. An elderly refugee in the Diavata camp near Thessaloniki, Greece, recalled how the Turkish police had imprisoned her and shot at other migrants. Another refugee, also interviewed near Thessaloniki, said that Turkish soldiers beat and threatened to kill Syrians.Similar stories were told in Elliniko about the Greek authorities. In Sofia, Bulgaria, our team observed grotesque conditions, such as broken washroom facilities and flooded hallways in government-administered camps, which were essentially run-down prisons. Refugees reported being attacked by vigilantes in the southeast of the country, perhaps with the blessing of the government. The vigilantes warned them, “Remember the name of this place—Bulgaria! And tell your friends not to come here!” Further along the Balkan route in Horgos, a Syrian refugee told us of her group being robbed and beaten by the Bulgarian police.

Detailed testimonies of refugees along the Balkan route therefore challenge the conventional wisdom that officials tend to protect them from raptorial smugglers. Based on our research, refugees seem to view the smugglers as allies, while security officials are generally seen as callous, hostile, and even dangerous.



MYTH FOUR: CRACKING DOWN ON SMUGGLERS HELPS REFUGEES

Since the onset of the refugee crisis, the EU has introduced a suite of countermeasures against smugglers, allegedly to help protect Syrian refugees and to block potential terrorists from entering Europe. By patrolling sea routes and border crossings, EU agencies like Frontex have tried to deter smugglers by arresting them, seizing their boats, and otherwise raising the costs of illegally transporting Syrians into Europe.

Officially, this strategy has proved successful. In testimony to the British Parliament, Richard Lindsay, then the head of the Security Policy Department of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, concluded that thanks to EU countermeasures, “smuggling networks … can no longer operate with impunity.” A spokesperson from one of the anti-smuggling operations, Operation Sophia, has echoed this rosy assessment. The main externality of punishing the smugglers, however, has been a steep rise in the cost of their services—a rise that disproportionately harms the poorest refugees rather than comparatively wealthy terrorists. Our research team found that between May 2015 and May 2016, the average price for an individual Syrian refugee to flee to Europe increased by about 488 euros, and the price for a family increased by 3,657 euros.

As a result of this price increase, countless destitute refugees now complain about being stuck at border crossings along the migrant route. A lack of money is nearly always the sole impediment for refugees looking to enter Western Europe. And despite tighter EU security, smugglers still abound for those who can afford them. Our team observed thriving smuggler businesses in major cities in Austria, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, and Turkey. In Basmane, a smuggling hub in the Turkish city of Izmir, a 20-year-old Syrian refugee laughed when asked if it had become challenging to find smugglers. “There are hundreds,” she said. “If you go to eat at any restaurant, come to you , ‘Do you want to go to Europe?’ ”

With support from militant groups funded by the Gulf states, terrorists are less affected by the soaring costs of smuggling. A former Nusra fighter based in Izmir bragged about crossing the Syrian border with impunity, taking respite in Turkey before returning to the frontlines. Aid workers in border cities corroborated these claims, describing fighters travelling unencumbered across the Syrian-Turkish border. Smugglers have even admitted to loading up terrorists on ships bound for Europe, a point of pride in Islamic State propaganda.

MYTH FIVE: CULTURAL DIFFERENCES PREVENT INTEGRATION

A final myth is that Syrian refugees cannot integrate into Europe because of their cultural differences. The charge, by now familiar, is that the predominantly Muslim refugee population has illiberal, even dangerous cultural values, which will lead to rising crime rates and the threat of terrorism and sexual violence in Europe. Right-wing politicians have played on this fear, warning that the influx of Muslims into Europe will inevitably lead to a clash of civilizations. Marc Vallendar, of the German right-wing Alternative für Deutschland party, posted on Facebook in early 2017 about the folly of taking in refugees. “There are plainly and simply fundamental cultural differences between Europe and the Middle East,” he wrote. “Not for nothing are these countries all engulfed in flames.” And Marine Le Pen, the French leader of the anti-immigration National Front, has likened the influx of Syrian refugees to the barbarian invasions that destroyed the Roman Empire.

Given that refugees indeed came from another culture, we expected them to express strong misgivings about Europe and its culture. Two-thirds of the refugees in our sample did express dissatisfaction with their host country, but usually not for cultural reasons. The refugees were asked to describe their main difficulties adjusting to life outside of Syria. More specifically, they were prompted to explain how their transition was going and what their biggest impediments were. Only 27 percent directed their frustrations toward European culture, compared to 38 percent whose complaints focused on mistreatment by specific European governments, or else on the policy failures of multinational institutions, such as the UN’s inadequate distribution of relief aid.

Many Syrian refugees were emphatic that their problem with Europe is not the culture. A 31-year-old refugee in Ankara’s Dogantepe neighborhood described how most Syrians are actually quite used to embracing diversity: “Syrian people are really, really, really open people. They can really live with any sect, with any religion, with Christian or whatever.” In fact, our team found that some refugees were most upset with the ethnically Turkish, Pakistani, and Moroccan Muslim officials running the European camps, because their reading of Islam was seen as too radical. A 25-year-old refugee in Mainz, Germany, told us that the issue is not the “European lifestyle,” since even his Christian refugee friends are miserable.

Refugees exhibit a sophisticated understanding of where to direct blame for their hardships. For instance, a middle-aged refugee was wrongfully detained as a smuggler by the Greek Coast Guard, but he calmly assailed the EU policies—not the Greeks more generally—for the mistake. A 25-year-old refugee lamented his experiences in Greek and Macedonian camps. He blamed his months of suffering neither on Greece nor Macedonia but on Brussels and Geneva for insufficiently supporting the efforts of poor Balkan countries.

Admittedly, a few refugees confided that they knew of others struggling to integrate due to cultural differences. One young man in Berlin acknowledged, for example, that some refugees “unfortunately … are not willing to be open to the place they came to.” But when refugees brought up culture, it was usually to complain of discrimination at the hands of Europeans. Especially in Turkey, refugees are targets of xenophobia. A 24-year-old male Syrian refugee in the migrant-dense neighborhood of Fatih, Istanbul, said that some Turkish guards “are a little racist, we found a few.” He added later, “We suffered as Syrians. I suffered personally from this racism.” Most refugees were quick to note, however, that racism is not a Europe-wide problem but one of “individual cases.”

Refugees expressed no desire to retaliate with violence. In fact, they complained how terrorism was politically counterproductive for Muslims—a point substantiated in copious empirical studies within the terrorism literature. A refugee in Germany said, “Because of certain things that are happening in the world, like the bombings, like the extremists,” there had been a backlash against the refugees. “It really affects the image of Syrians in the eyes of Germans,” he said. “There is resentment toward Syrians, even though at the beginning they were really welcome. But now, things are a bit different.” The fear of being wrongly labeled as a “terrorist” is so widely held among refugees that many say their peers in Syria are staying put.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS

Myth-based policies are seldom successful, yet that is what the EU has offered to date. Having debunked five myths about Syria, we offer several policy prescriptions based on the reality uncovered along the Balkan route.

First, the international community should be even more selective about which militant groups it backs in Syria. Western support for the opposition has exacerbated the war, fuelling a cycle of violence that has trapped Syrian civilians between the government and its adversaries.

Second, security forces should invest in refugees to help vet out potential terrorists. Refugees are an underutilized counterterrorism resource because they have a strong self-interest in stopping terrorism and know others in their cohort.

Third, abusive border and security officials should be identified and punished. Balkan countries have oversight administrators for these purposes. But the ombuds offices are generally understaffed and toothless. These administrators should be backed up with more EU observers to credibly threaten punishments against governments that fail to comply with basic humanitarian expectations.

Fourth, governments should coordinate with private sector transportation firms to provide safer, less expensive migration options as an alternative to smugglers. The goal should not be to increase the number of refugees but to help protect them.

Fifth, refugee integration should focus on overcoming pragmatic barriers like poor housing and unemployment rather than the overstated cultural clash. Governments, for instance, could implement more flexible hiring practices that do not require refugees to pass difficult language requirements when their existing skill set is sufficient for the job.

This field work along the Balkan migrant route sheds new light not only on how the EU should adjust its responses to the refugee crisis but also on why so many refugees have been created in the first place.

Edited by SparksBandung ()

#1297
That survey of refugee opinions is odd. Were the only two options only Assad or both Assad and the rebels? There has to be some people who support the government and blame only the rebels, so why don't they say?
#1298

xipe posted:

i'm still taking in what i learned while over there...


awesome stuff, any chance you know anyting about how the NGOs got such a foothold in aleppo? I hadn't heard anything about that, last I'd heard Russia and the SAA were doing reconstruction etc and nothing about a western presence. Sounds extremely worrisome and it's insane that they can even show their faces around there after what they put them through

#1299


This is old, but a good video to show people.
#1300
So how do you explain this http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jake-gyllenhaal-daniel-espinosa-team-up-isis-drama-anarchists-isis-988384?utm_source=Direct
#1301
eat pray love: syria
#1302

animedad posted:

So how do you explain this http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jake-gyllenhaal-daniel-espinosa-team-up-isis-drama-anarchists-isis-988384?utm_source=Direct



very carefully

#1303
*pulls collar* yaşasin mlkp
#1304

animedad posted:

So how do you explain this http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jake-gyllenhaal-daniel-espinosa-team-up-isis-drama-anarchists-isis-988384?utm_source=Direct


oh cool, i wasnt sure how the Nightcrawler sequel would work exactly but i knew they'd have to make one

#1305
remember the russian orchestra concert that was sourly dismissed and sneered at in the west as a 'publicity stunt'?
they taught soviet kids that palmyra was the start of civilisation according to a friend of mine who learned it in school in the 70s.

one of the lads who i met out in syria had been there last year, and did some artwork of the palymra antiquities curator who was beheaded by isis when they took over
http://nandahobbs.com/exhibition/road-to-damascus
http://nandahobbs.com/post/stencil-artist-elk-sprays-a-tribute-piece-to-kahled-al-assad-at-palmyra-syria-see-video

chickeon posted:

xipe posted:

i'm still taking in what i learned while over there...

awesome stuff, any chance you know anyting about how the NGOs got such a foothold in aleppo? I hadn't heard anything about that, last I'd heard Russia and the SAA were doing reconstruction etc and nothing about a western presence. Sounds extremely worrisome and it's insane that they can even show their faces around there after what they put them through



i will ask and get back!

#1306
nice bait and switch, kurds are now the syrian rebels, i guess al-nusra etc are going to lumped in with ISIS from now on as "jihadists"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39401326
#1307

Panopticon posted:

nice bait and switch



Hmm.. guess someone was mistakenly using the July 2017 style guide. They've changed it to "Syrian fighters" for now.

Edited by Gssh ()

#1308
could someone please enlighten me as to who or what is the legitimate and/or internationally recognised govt of Syria as of now? the well informed people over at SA seem to think that no such thing exists and yet they blame this Bashar al-Assad character for all of the countries woes. i find it all so confusing tia
#1309
for a quick rundown, start with this:

tears posted:



then finish with the rest of this thread

#1310
so there's a new hbo documentary making buzz called "Cries From Syria" inspiring wonderful articles like these:

http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/would-you-personally-kill-assad-1793764200
"Would You, Personally, Kill Assad?"

i mean especially considering the opposition are simply heroic outraged civilians and not mostly salafist terrorists like i previously assumed: "By the end of the film, the thing that struck me the most was who the “rebels” turned out to be. They were just ordinary civilians, who had taken to the streets to peacefully protest the brutal torture of their children."

apparently it's directed and produced by the same people who did the netflix docu "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom" wherein rather than a reactionary neo-fascist coup, civilians were simply overthrowing a brutal dictatorship.. oh hey that sounds familiar

fortunately, it's not a political film, much less propaganda, as the director makes clear in these soft-ball questions asking about possible bias:
http://www.vulture.com/2017/03/cries-from-syria-what-viewers-should-draw-from-the-hbo-film.html

Were you nervous about the authenticity of any of this footage? These people are fighting for a particular cause. How do you sort through it and make sure you’re accurately representing the conflict?
Doing the movie, I was always in touch with . They were consulting me. I also showed a rough cut a few times to some of my characters. One of my characters, Khouloud Helmi, an award-winning journalist and activist, she saw the movie and one of my first questions was, “Am I right in terms of what happened? And am I translating this to the Western audience language?” And she said, “You are absolutely right about this. This is how it was, and it takes me back in time.” I always was trying to be close to my characters — I am today in touch with all my characters — so I try to follow their guidelines and their voices and their story.

Russia, and its role in supporting Assad and its apparent bombing of civilians, is featured in the documentary. There really is no mention of the United States, or the West. Was that deliberate?
I don’t think that I tried to do a political documentary. Whatever was told to me by the over 100 people that I interviewed, whatever the camera captured, it’s there in the movie. Whatever was said is there.

To that point, from an outsider’s perspective, the lines in the Syrian conflict often seem blurry. You have the government, you have ISIS, you have the Free Syrian Army, and then you have all these other groups, some with extremist elements that can get mixed in with the opposition. How did you deal with some of that knottiness?
My movie isn’t a political movie, it’s not a political statement. It’s people who we’ve lost, the dark side of the Syrian history. The Western world has a lack of knowledge, and this lack of knowledge brings fear. I was asking questions about them and their lives. What was surrounding them, why they raised their voices against the regime.



everything certainly seems above board, then. curious about the main voice of the movie, Kholoud Helmi, i googled and saw she help found Enab Baladi, an alternative pro-opposition newspaper that now must heroically publish their arabic edition from the safety of Turkey.

the english version is apparently housed in a humble office building in the u.s.


i got to say it's really reassuring that scrappy alternative newspapers from syria can afford offices on K street at prime washington d.c. real estate three blocks from the white house just for their english translation, maybe journalism isn't dead after all.

anyway i thought this whole thing was funny, enjoy being subjected to slackjawed amazement about this propaganda film for the next few months. maybe it'll win an oscar too like the White Helmets or Winter on Fire

Edited by aerdil ()

#1311

aerdil posted:

the english version is apparently housed in a humble office building in the u.s.



lol every damn time

#1312

thatfatkid posted:

could someone please enlighten me as to who or what is the legitimate and/or internationally recognised govt of Syria as of now? the well informed people over at SA seem to think that no such thing exists and yet they blame this Bashar al-Assad character for all of the countries woes. i find it all so confusing tia



in SA terms:

- imagine syria is a staircase
- a nice independent person (syrian gov) is happily walking up the stairs
- at the top of the stairs a little boy (u.s. gov) dumps a bucket full of heavy and annoying marbles over
- a cute kitten (ypg) uses its paws to knock marbles off the stairs
- the little boy gets bored and starts throwing cat food and marbles everywhere
- fast forward 5 years, after many slips and falls, the last of the marbles are being kicked off the final step

#1313
When the HBO movie first came out I saw people on twitter finding where it outright edited statements from Assad and other blatantly dishonest bullshit like that to mislead people
#1314
lol yeah this is what i found:
#1315
i guess when they make stuff like this these days, even though youtube etc exists they figure they can be as blatant as they want because their target audience is fat lazy americans who wont give a shit
#1316
yeah i just watched some of the bana alabed-ish clips in the film and i can't understand how any reasonable person wouldn't be uncomfortable with the blatant exploitation of children for obviously pre-rehearsed bits and the immediate reaction wouldn't be "haha holy shit this is propaganda" even if they're completely anti-assad.
#1317

Petrol posted:

i guess when they make stuff like this these days, even though youtube etc exists they figure they can be as blatant as they want because their target audience is fat lazy americans who wont give a shit



some guy confronted the dude who edited the film on twitter about the editing of assad's speeches and his response was basically, "well, it's filmed from the perspective of the revolutionaries and this is how they interpreted it" lmao

#1318
im just a filmmaker man. just a non-political filmmaker, trying to make a non-political film. dont shoot the messenger
#1319
interview with a syrian soldier
https://soundcloud.com/21wire/interview-patrice-on-aleppos-front-line

meanwhile...


Edited by xipe ()

#1320


this thread is good