Running the Party Line in Syria

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

My article on the Australian news site New Matilda is up! I look at protest coverage in Rami Makhlouf’s newspaper al-Watan.

Before March 2011, the name Rami Makhlouf received scant mention in the English-language press. Then, as Syrians began taking to the streets in large numbers in the southern city of Deraa, media around the world reported that many demonstrators had chanted that someone named Rami Makhlouf was robbing them. As al Jazeerareports, “demonstrators have shouted the name of Makhlouf as a symbol of graft in a country that has been facing severe water shortages and unemployment ranging from government estimates of 10 per cent to independent estimates of 25 per cent.”

Commentators taking a crash course in Syrian politics started to ask the question: “Who is Rami Makhlouf?”

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