Syrian Echoes Newsletter #1 July 2017

We are delighted to present the second edition of the Syrian Echoes newsletter. Syrian Echoes is a collaborative project put together by various Syrian and international partners to bring forward diversified readings of the Syrian conflict. It strives to promote new narratives about the conflict away from binary and simplistic depictions, and shed light on opportunities for peacebuilding that place Syrian voices at the forefront of the process.
In this issue, we provide you with an update on current conflict dynamics that tries to detangle the rapid developments of the past months. The update is followed by a Syrian take on the de-escalation agreement that was cut in Astana on 4 May, as well as some comments on the EU Syria strategy that have been collected from activists on the ground. As you continue, you will find two separate stories that reflect two case studies that were conducted inside Syria to investigate the role of gender in civil society. The newsletter is finally wrapped up with a list of recommended publications and sound bites.

We wish you a happy reading, and warmly welcome any feedback or comments you may have as we continue to develop this product for our collective usage.

Common Space Initiative




The past few months have seen international and regional actors stepping up their game in Syria. The unprecedented agreement that was reached in Astana between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran on 4 May allowed idealists and critics alike to envisage an incremental stabilization plan that could enable the beginning of the end of violent conflict. The […]

The traditional land tenure systems in the Levant are complex and overlapping, stemming from hundreds of years of evolution in legislative as well as socioeconomic conditions. By the end of the 19th century, the Ottoman authorities moved to codify the land management system and homogenize the legal framework for registering property. The move was mainly […]

On 4 May 2017, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed off on a deal in Astana to implement four de-escalation zones in Syria in the most recent effort to put an end to the violence in some of the most contentious conflict areas. The fact that the agreement was enacted in the absence of Syrian signatures […]

The Syrian war has left the EU in a second-tier position among international actors, with little influence over the course of events in Syria. Yet it has fallen to the EU countries to bear the brunt of the war’s humanitarian, economic, and security consequences. The EU’s future role in Syria will be a litmus test […]


By the Syrian Echoes “Stories from the ground” editorial team, based on a case study from the paper “Women’s Participation in Syrian Cities Today: Emerging Roles and Opportunities” prepared in the context of a project funded by the European Union. The complete paper is featured in the Publications section (link to the Publication). Back in […]

A research study was conducted to identify key methods of analysis, essential data collection, monitoring and frameworks to address the economic assessment of urban issues for the reconstruction of post-conflict Syria. The research identified some of the primary economic strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and constraints of Syrian cities in their present situation, as well as […]

This report is a preliminary scoping review of the emerging roles played by women in the public sphere in Syrian cities today. It is meant as an evidence mapping exercise to chart the terrain for future research. The main research question was defined: What roles and opportunities are available/emerging for women in relation to governance […]

In the second quarter of 2017, a large number of health, education and other services facilities were destroyed as a result of the aerial bombardments. The number of facilities severly damaged was 24 ones mostly concentrated in the governorate of Idlib with 14 damed ones. The rest damages facilities were four ones in the countryside […]

The Syrian Center for Policy Research has published a detailed, field-based report on the impact of the armed conflict in Syria on social relations. It uses the concept of social capital as an approach to analyzing trust, cooperation, and shared values in different regions in Syria over time, and proposes alternative policies to overcome the […]

As U.S. and Iran escalate their battle against ISIS in eastern Syria and western Iraq, no one is thinking about the fate of local communities after the militant group’s potential military defeat, writes journalist Lorenzo Trombetta.   Read More   Author:  Lorenzo Trombetta

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj’s presentation on Syrian Cities and the Challenges of Reconstruction at the W.A.Ve. 2017 the Università Iuav di Venezia.

Maria Chalhoub in-depth interview on the current situation in Syria and the role of the EU at the European Neighborhood Council (Mediterranean series).


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