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Geopolitics

Syria’s 'Day Of Glory' Awaits Demise Of Assad Monarchy

Essay: Syrian-born filmmaker Charif Kiwan provides a Mediterranean history lesson and salutes those daring to defy the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. But he knows the dictator will not cede power easily.

Giant billboard of Assad in Damascus
Giant billboard of Assad in Damascus
Charif Kiwan

I'm writing from Syria. The day of glory (as celebrated in the French Revolutionary anthem "La Marseillaise") is still a long way off. But the flag of freedom is flying high. It was raised by the children who broke the code of silence by writing on their school walls that the king had no clothes. As a result, dozens of these children were arrested in Damascus, Daraa and Alep; hundreds of adults then took to the streets and were in turn arrested or massacred; soldiers refused to shoot at protesters defying the state of emergency that has been in place since 1963. The king stands naked, and the story has reached the end.

But the king is still hanging on, because unlike his other Arab counterparts, the Syrian president has two bodies: the body of a tyrant and the body of a resistance fighter. The first is dying, sick with the same disease that carried off Ben Ali and others. But the second is standing strong, embodying national aspirations fed by the nostalgia of a latter-day Syria cut to pieces by the evil 1916 Sykes-Picot agreements that "remodeled the Middle East."

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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