"I'm not a puppet. I wasn't made by the west to go to the west or any other country. I'm Syrian. I'm made in Syria. I have to live in Syria and die in Syria." - Bashar al-Assad, 2012
In early 2011, a political movement swept across the Arabic-speaking world that toppled despotic regimes and dictatorships. The political movement, which became known as the "Arab Spring", was popular in nature and made use of the Internet, particularly social networking websites, to remove dictators such as Muammar Qadaffi of Libya. Those dictators, who ruled their countries for decades, were unable to stem the tide of popular indignation against them, even though they tried using force and propaganda in ways reminiscent of the Cold War era.
The events of the Arab Spring have come to be overshadowed by the civil war in the Arabic-speaking nation of Syria, which has been ruled throughout the 21st century by Bashar al-Assad. Though he had not planned on ruling Syria, several events conspired to make Bashar the successor of his father, Hafez. Though the West frequently looked for signs that Bashar might be a reformer, due in part to his formerly popular Western wife, Assad remained part of a critical alliance with Iran and the sub-state groups Hamas and Hezbollah. This formed an influential bloc that has influenced events across the Middle East, and one that Israel and the West have tried to break over the past decade.
A crisis that may have threatened to involve either the United States, Russia, or both, appears to have been solved at least temporarily. However bigger issues concerning Syria still remain.
Syria and the Assad Family explains how Hafez al-Assad's son grew up and the events that brought him to power in Syria. It also comprehensively analyzes the ongoing civil war against Assad. You will learn about Syria's notorious dictator like you never have before.
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