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Synopsis

“Carsten Wieland plumbs the contradictions of contemporary Syrian life and politics. He was among the first Westerners... in the early years of Bashar’s presidency... to interview Syrian opposition members as well as government officials. He explored the reasons that many young Syrians had such high expectations of their young president even as so many reviled the government and the Baath Party for its corruption and repression. Their expectations, we now know, were dashed. Wieland is even-handed and measured; he knows Arabic and has lived in Syria for years. Better yet, he listens. Syria - A Decade of Lost Chances is timely and important. Everyone interested in Syria should read this book.”
—Joshua Landis Director,
Center for Middle East Studies,
University of Oklahoma and Founder of SyriaComment
(www.SyriaComment.com)

“…since Bashar Al-Assad became President in June 2000. The early hope for change toward pluralism and democracy—a Damascene spring—was not fulfilled. The tragic story of an unflinching opposition struggling for democracy against a rigid authoritarian minority regime lead by the Assad clan is told on the basis of many interviews with leading figures of the opposition while describing the savage repression of a regime which cannot reform itself and is still not willing to give up its power and privileges. “… readers who want a better understanding of the root causes of Syria’s ongoing revolts, will be enthralled by this vivid account of Syria’s recent political history since Bashar Al Assad became President in July 2000.”
—Gunter Mulack,
President of the German Orient Institute
Past German ambassador to Syria

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