Annia Ciezadlo

The War on Bread

How the Syrian regime is using starvation as a weapon

On June 16, 2012, a collection of videos from Syria were posted to YouTube. In them, a shaky cell phone camera pans across the inside of a bakery in Farhaniyeh, a village in the province of Homs. Plump white rolls of risen dough seem to glow in the dim interior. More dough sits in a mixer. Birds chirp outside.

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How Syria's polite, genocidal dictator won.

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Last summer, during the war with Israel, Hezbollah's Al Manarsatellite TV channel ran an advertisement featuring Reem Haidar, anattractive Lebanese woman with a special request for Hezbollahleader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah. "I want his cloak that he sweatedin while he was defending me, my children, my sisters, and myland," said Haidar, with a toss of her highlighted hair, as martialmusic played in the background. "I want it so that I can rub someof its sweat on myself and my children.

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Beirut Dispatch

In the early hours of September 13, 1997, the Israeli army killed one 45- year-old woman, two Hezbollah fighters, and six Lebanese soldiers in the mountains of southern Lebanon. Later that day, Hezbollah officials viewed video footage of the bodies and confirmed that one of the slain was a precious kill indeed: 18-year-old Hadi Nasrallah, son of Hezbollah's leader, Secretary-General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah. That evening, Nasrallah was scheduled to give a speech in Haret Hreik, the southern Beirut suburb where Hezbollah's offices are located.

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Beirut Dispatch

Four stories below the earth, in an abandoned parking garage, the families sprawled on blankets and on straw mats, with diapers and rumpled clothes ranged around them. Enormous generators circulated the stinking air. It reeked of staleness, human waste, and the recycled exhalations of thousands of refugees, most of whom had been there for days.

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Mirror Image

TO AMERICANS DESPERATE for good news from abroad, the Beirut Spring is the apotheosis of a Middle Eastern perestroika. To the White House, and many American pundits, the crowds in Martyrs’ Square have vindicated the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. The image of Iraqis voting freely, so the narrative goes, struck a chord in other Arabs that finally gave them the courage to reach for the prize.

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Party Foul

To see what Iraq will look like after January 30, just look north: Here in Kurdistan, the election is already over, even before anyone has cast a ballot.

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