September 2015

Syria's good guys


In the early days of the Syrian uprising, civil society blossomed for the first time in generations. Despite the destruction, it is still alive. Daniel Adamson, this month's guest editor, has closely followed the progress of Syria's 'good guys' through the blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds where activists debate the revolution, the war, and the ongoing struggle to build a better Syria. Their stories deserve to be far more widely known, and this magazine is a step towards that end. It includes contributions from Syrian writers, artists and activists and offers an insight into a Syria often ignored by the mainstream press







Stories making the news this month
6 Fed up with corruption in Guatemala
6 Europe’s toxic lobby
7 Abortion by drone in Poland
7 Introducing Selahattin Demirtas
7 Dutch basic income trialled
8 Kalpana’s Warriors rise
8 The unstoppable water revolution
9 Malawi’s $43m tax dodge
9 King coal up in smoke
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone and Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Big Story
10 A resilient revolution
Nonviolent activists are holding out in Syria, despite the destruction. Do not abandon them, says Daniel Adamson.

13 Is anybody out there?
ISIS’ savagery must not blind us to the bravery of civil-society activists, says Hania Mourtada.

14 Syrian conflict - the facts

16 Free Mazen Darwish
Salman Rushdie pays homage to the pioneering media activist imprisoned since 2012.

17 ‘I love you, and you love 20 million people’
Yara Badr, Darwish’s wife, says she always knew she’d have to share him with the rest of Syria.

18 Bravery’s edge
Daniel Adamson profiles four little-known men and women who are risking their lives to build a democratic Syria.

20 Singing in the kingdom of silence
A tour of Syria’s creative output in the early days of the uprising and ongoing cultural resistance.

24 Rushing towards death
An interview with Raed Saleh, head of the fearless White Helmets rescue squad.

26 What do Syrians want?
The story of how Rafif Jouejati organized a survey in a warzone, and the answers she got.

30 Calling time on the MDGs
No development process succeeds without the participation of those it targets, argues Maggie Black.

Mixed Media
32 Film reviews
Theeb, directed by Naji Abu Nowar; and 45 Years, directed by Andrew Haigh.

33 Music reviews
Resistance, by Souljazz Orchestra; and Amores Pasados, by John Potter and Others.

34 Book reviews
Now and at the Hour of our Death by Susana Moreira Marques; Kill Chain by Andrew Cockburn; The Body Snatcher by Patricia Melo; and The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret.
PLUS Also out there…

37 Mark Engler
Team Obama cashes in.

4 letters

5 Letter from Bangui
Help is at hand when Ruby Diamonde is involved in an accident.

28 Country Profile: Mali

36 Making Waves
Rajendra Singh is reviving Indian villages through traditional rainwater harvesting.

38 And Finally
Comedian, activist and author Mark Thomas talks dissent, tax and people power.




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