Social Justice and Struggle in Lebanon and Syria: Joey Ayoub and Leila Al-Shami
This week on The Final Straw we’re featuring a chat with Joey Ayoub and Leila Al-Shami. In this conversation, Joey tells us of some of the history of Lebanon, since the civil war that ended in 1990 and up to the current demonstrations against the clientelist warlords in power in that country. Intertwined with this, Leila speaks about the sparking of the resistance to Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, the tumult of the civil war, and the state of anti-authoritarian and social justice organizing and media work in that country. Then the two talk about the experience of countering disinformation, conspiracy thinking and poor solidarity in the so-called Left in the West and ways to combat ignorance.
This is another long conversation, covering a lot of the last 30 years in these two neighboring nations. The guests proposed speaking about the interrelations across that border because of the similarities, differences, and shared experiences between the two places. Lebanon has Syrian refugees, it was occupied by Syria until 2005. Both spaces share Palestinian refugees, experienced war with Israel, are politically influenced from Hezbollah, mostly speak Arabic and even the flames of the recent wildfires that ignited anti-regime sentiment in Lebanon last fall crossed the border between Lebanon and Syria. We hope to have future chats that play with borders in this way to explore ways we can bridge these borders in our understanding in hopes of increased solidarity.
Joey Ayoub is a Lebanese-Palestinian writer, editor and researcher. He publishes frequently on https://joeyayoub.com/ as well as on the blog https://hummusforthought.com/ and the related podcast by the same title.
Leila Al-Shami is a British-Syrian activist and co-author of ‘Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War‘, a founder of the international solidarity site, TahrirICN and writes on http://leilashami.wordpress.com/ .
Thanks to aNtiDoTeZine for transcribing and synthesizing this interview!
Below are links to some resources that Joey and Leila suggest interested listeners check out to for perspectives by folks on the ground in the region:
- An updated list of twitter accounts reporting well on Lebanon: https://twitter.com/joeyayoub/lists/lebanon-2019
- great crimethInc artcle: https://crimethinc.com/2019/11/13/lebanon-a-revolution-against-sectarianism-chronicling-the-first-month-of-the-uprising
- The Lebanese Politics Podcast https://soundcloud.com/lebpoliticspodcast
The Public Source https://thepublicsource.org/
Megaphone News https://megaphone.news/
Beirut Today https://beirut-today.com/
- Syrian org working on the ground in Idlib that mentioned: https://molhamteam.com/en/campaigns/177
- and another in Idlib: https://violetsyria.org/en/
- The women-led campaign for prisoners: https://syrianfamilies.org/en/
- The Enab Baladi book free PDF: https://hummusforthought.com/2019/05/06/enab-baladi-citizen-chronicles-of-the-syrian-uprising-free-pdf/
- Enab Baladi news: https://english.enabbaladi.net/
- Al Jumhuriya: https://www.aljumhuriya.net/en
- Sean Swain [00:02:32 – 00:09:34]
- Intro to Lebanon & Syria [00:09:34 – 00:21:35]
- Lebanese Protests of 2015 & 2019 [00:21:35 – 00:31:40]
- Syrian Revolution to Civil War [00:31:40 – 00:41:34]
- Current Social Justice Struggle in Syria [00:41:46 – 00:45:56]
- Daesh / ISIS and Syrian Civil War [00:45:56 – 00:49:56]
- Solidarity with Syrians in Lebanese Protests [00:49:56 – 01:05:38]
- Leila on Tahrir-ICN [01:05:50 – 01:09:18]
- Educating Ourselves on Syria and Lebanon [01:09:18 – 01:23:07]
- White Helmets and other Conspiracy Theories [01:23:07 – 01:32:59]
- Syrian Diaspora and Western Left [01:32:59 – 01:37:19]
- Rojava and the Syrian Revolution [01:37:19 – 01:41:56]
- Better Practice in Solidarity with people in Syria and Lebanon [01:41:56 – 01:53:38]
Michael Kimble Benefit
Last week we announced a fundraiser for Michael Kimble. Because of issues with the platforms, the fundraiser for Michael Kimble’s legal benefit to help raise money for his fight to get him released from prison has been moved. Now you can find it at ActionNetwork.org/Fundraising/Support-Michael-Kimble . Because the fundraiser had to be moved a couple of times, some of the initial push to get word out and initial donations may be irreplaceable. So, folks are asking for an extra push to help rasie this money to get our comrade out and organizing on the outside after 33 years behind bars.
BADNews February 2020 (#31)
This month, the A-Radio Network released it’s monthly, international English-language podcast featuring voices from anarchist and anti-authoritarian radio shows, pirate stations and podcasts from around the world. The episode is up at A-Radio-Network.org by clicking the B(A)DNews. If you’re interested in joining the network or learning more, info’s up on that site.
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