Cover of the Research "Humans Without Rights"

Humans Without Rights

Research

The Syrian Regime continues to be an essential and powerful factor in the weakening of women's role and the denial of their rights. Over the past decades it has contributed to  promotion of gender description and the patriarchal system through its constant practices, its commitment to deny the woman the right to grant their nationality and lineage to their children, and its policy of depriving Syrian Kurds and Syrian women of their Syrian nationality to become foreigners and strangers in their own lands.
This study address the problem of Statelessness in Syria that is caused by multiple factors
 

cover of the book Boarderlanders: photo of a green valley with a mountain in the background

Borderlanders

Documentary Photography

Daniel Meier and Hussein Baydoun, respectively political scientist and photojournalist, explored various borderland regions in the North, East and South of Lebanon. They met a large number of residents from different social origins, age, gender, sects and nationalities. Each of them explained how a border is not a simple phenomenon like a “line of sovereignty” but rather an entity that has an impact on those living nearby.

A man riding a bike in Idlib

Northern Syria: Activists and civilians between reality and need

Paper

Whenever war breaks out, no matter where, it casts its shadow over many aspects of human existence.
Only naturally, this manifests itself in the changes experienced in the lives of civilians, particularly in the
case of a bloody conflict in which the most basic humanitarian principles are disregarded and where there is
no serious international will to contain and limit severe loss of life.

No Longer Just a Humanitarian Crisis: The Politicization of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Paper

This brief details the history of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon from 2011 to present. As economic and security conditions in Lebanon have fluctuated and weakened over the course of Syria's war, public ire and distrust in Lebanon has turned towards the over 1 million Syrian refugees who have settled there, who many Lebanese view as responsible for Lebanon's economic and political woes. This brief breaks down why the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has become so politicized in both public discourse and the rhetoric of political pundits, arguing that refugees have become a scapegoat to deflect away from more severe structural issues such as sectarianism and poor governance.

 

New Ways of Resisting: How Art from Syria Changes Regarding New Political Challenges

Research Paper

During the war in Syria, artists played a big role in keeping the fight for freedom alive via peaceful and creative means such as street art, film-making, and documentation at a time when traditional media continued painting the picture as one of hopelessness. Their work has paved the way for possibly new strategies through which they could seek justice against crimes committed by the regime.

Women’s Rights in Rojava

Paper

This study focuses on the areas permanently under Kurdish control with regime presence. These areas have experienced a quite different trajectory because they have been least affected by military fighting. While the human losses and damage suffered at the hands of ISIS should not be belittled, this area has hardly experienced aerial bombardments or fighting on the ground. Kurdish actors, for a long time tightly controlled by the Syrian regime, have been able to develop governance structures in parallel to the ones set up by the regime. While none of the Kurdish parties has openly called for independence understood as separation from Syria, Kurdish actors have come up with governance structures that explore the possibilities of autonomy within a federal state. They have come up with a constitution and an institutional design, and as far as it is in the range of their possibilities, they have been working on implementing it.

Where is Home for the Permanently Displaced? Citizens of Daraya

Where is "home" for the permanently displaced? Haid N Haid, Syrian Columnists and Chatham House Fellow, presents the findings of his study on how (and where) citizens of Daraya see their future in light of the mounting pressure Syrian refugees are facing to return home with no clear plans to ensure the security or protection of returnees or any guarantees to ensure their right to return to their own properties.

Perspectives #14 - Minorities Beyond Ethnic and Religious Divides

Put ‘Minorities in the Middle East’ into any search engine and a huge volume of articles are displayed insinuating that ethnic, tribal, family and sectarian affiliations are the only relevant factors needed to aid an understanding of the politics and societies of the Maghreb and Mashreq. Be it the often praised ‘mosaic’ of multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, or the explanation and anticipation of actual and potential conflicts in the Middle East, that are shaped by ethnic, tribal or confessional affiliations, the reading has a flavour of exoticism and orientalism. So for this issue of Perspectives, we decided to ask authors in a broader sense about minority-majority relationships that can, but do not necessarily have to, tackle ethnic or confessional subjects.

Towards Tangible Actions for Transitional Justice in Syria - Where to go from here?

This paper draws on primary data collected from 15 semi-structured interviews with Syrian organisations and practitioners working on transitional justice. The interviews were conducted by the author via online communication (calls over Skype or WhatsApp) between March and June 2017. The interviewees were selected based on the relevance, access and availability of Syrian activists working on this topic. It is not clear how representative the views expressed here are, but the high level of agreement among interviewees on the subjects discussed suggests that the issues highlighted here merit additional attention from local and international actors working on this topic in Syria.

Perspectives #12 - 50 Years of Occupation, 50 Years of Resilience

This year marks 50 years of occupation – a significant period, not only for Palestinians living inside historical Palestine, but indeed first and foremost for them. It means an accumulation of 50 years of dispossession, displacement and oppression, 50 years under threat of being evicted, of losing their fields, springs, orchards and homes. 50 years without political and civil rights, without a future for themselves and their offspring. 50 years of despair and shattered hopes.

Perspectives #11 - 'Khadija, do not close the door!' Women in Peace, in War and In Between

When women in the Middle East make the headlines, it is usually as victims. Disturbing stories of the so called 'Islamic State' (ISIS) kidnapping and raping tens of thousands of women are sadly often the ones which stick in the Western memory. But there is more to women's political lives in the region than their victimisation and oppression. We decided to look to the future, present and past in this issue, in order to present an alternative narrative which challenges these representations of women.

Perspectives #10 - Borders: Lines in the Sand or in the Mind?

When ISIS announced the establishment of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ it fuelled discussions as to whether this would herald the ‘end of Sykes-Picot’ – borders artificially drawn by the colonial powers at the beginning of the twentieth century. But borders are more than ‘lines in the sand’: they divide. While the privileged few may cross legitimately by simply presenting their passport, for most, these borders present difficult if not insurmountable hurdles. People fleeing from war, climate change or economic hardship, attempt to cross the Mediterranean but many drown trying.

To good neighbourliness!

The dilemma faced by the EU in its search for an effective policy with Lebanon

The European Union is compelled to define its role in Lebanon anew and needs to disperse tensions within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Is the policy’s focal point to be shared values or stability? Active policy development or non-interference? Perspectives unearthed through fieldwork in Lebanon.

Perspectives Issue 7 - November 2014

Rumour has it ... the new Perspectives is out!

They are only 'hot air' but anyone who has been affected by rumours is familiar with their unhallowed dynamics, and the serious consequences they can entail. Rumours fulfil social functions. They serve as a medium through which unfulfilled hopes or unspecific fears can be voiced. They bond and drive a wedge between people and population groups at the same time. They can destroy reputations, credibility and even lives. Read here twelve experts from the MENA region discussing the topic!

Transitional Justice

In post-war periods and in the aftermath of serious, systematic human rights violations, gender-based forms of violence are usually forgotten during the processing of the past and reconciliation phase. This study details these problems and presents the resulting challenges facing politicians and society.

Syrian refugees conclusions/recommendations

Conclusions and Policy Recommendations based on the Böll Lunch Debate ‘The Situation of Syrian Refugees in the Neighbouring Countries: What Role Should the European Union Play?’ organised by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union in cooperation with IKV Pax Christi on 27 November 2013.

Dear Lebanon - A Teenage Perspective of Bombings, Religion and Politics

"Dear Lebanon" a Heinrich Boell supported documentary film offering a teenage perspective of bombings, religion and politics in Lebanon. the film is writen and directed by Raphael Schanz and the teenager’s team: Gassia Shadarevian, Ghida Ladkani, Majd Gharzeddine, Marwan Sakr, Mohamad Bsat, Navia Ghawi, Naye Idriss and Omar EI-Salhan.

Perspectives #5 December 2013- 20 Years Since Oslo: Palestinian Perspectives

Issue #5 of Perspectives provides space for on-the-ground analysis by Palestinian writers, thinkers and politicians of very different backgrounds in order to explore the Oslo Accords 20 years after their signing from a Palestinian perspective. Perspectives is a quarterly journal dedicated to highlighting research and debate from authors who mostly live and work in the region. It is jointly edited and published by the three HBS offices located in Tunis, Beirut and Ramallah.

Transitional Justice in Syria

This publication addresses one issue that is inextricably linked to establishing sustainable peace: transitional justice. A stable and sustainable peace in Syria, governed by the rule of law, requires a comprehensive justice and accountability process to defeat the culture of impunity that has allowed violations to go unchallenged for decades. This publication is the result of a cooperation between Dawlaty and No Peace Without Justice. It has been produced in part with the financial assistance of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) MENA- Beirut. The book is also available in Arabic at dawlaty.org.

 

 

Writing Revolution

Writing revolution, a book published by hbs Beirut and I.B.Tauris, is a collection of some of the best new writing born out of the Arab Spring Translated mostly from the Arabic, it has been awarded a 2013 Prize from English PEN for Outstanding Writing in Translation and was launched on May 29th at the Mosaic Room London.

Emerging Powers and the Middle East

One of the most important focal points of overlapping and competing interests of both established and emerging powers is the Middle East. This region is an arena where the new rules of the game are being developed and acted out. This publication attempts looking at the effects of the global shift of power on the Middle East to explore the perspectives of the region to become a partner in an emerging multi-polar system, rather than a stomping ground or even a battlefield for the interest and the prestige of others. 

With contributions by Azmi Bishara, Parag Khanna, Hermann Schwengel, Vitaly Naumkin, Ibrahim Saif, Yasmeen Tabaa, Sven Behrendt, Mingjiang LI, Praful Bidwai, Ziad Abdel Samad, and Kinda Mohamadieh.

Sudan - No Easy Ways Ahead

 As the six-year transitional period defined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement draws to a close, Sudan is sliding into another crisis. The Heinrich Böll Foundation, which has been working both with civil society partners in Sudan and on Sudan-related issues in the German context for several years, has put together this publication in order to reflect on such scenarios.

With contributions by Alex de Waal, Atta El-Battahani, Marina Peter, John Yoh, Roland Marchal, and Peter Schumann.

Signs of Conflict: Political Posters of the Lebanese Civil War

From 1975 to 1990, different factions in Lebanon’s civil conflict flooded the streets with posters to mobilize their constituencies, undermine their enemies, and create public sympathy for their cause. This is how the military performance on the front lines and on demarcation lines was in junction with another kind of conflict rotating around the image and words and the symbolic claiming of territory and land.

What Can Europe Do in Iraq? Recommendations for a New U.S.-European Collaboration

This publication describes a new start of cooperation between Europe, the United States, and regional partners in the Middle East to tackle the challenges in Iraq and to help bring peace, stability, and sustainable development to the wider region.

With contributions by Layla Al Zubaidi, Bülent Aras, Megan Chabalowski, Richard Gowan, Faleh Jabar, Daniel Korski, Sami Moubayed, Daniel Serwer, and Heiko Wimmen