[QODLink]
Al Jazeera World

Syria: The Reckoning

The history of modern Syria is offering an intriguing and incisive perspective on the current war in the country.

Last updated: 24 Apr 2013 08:40
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Filmmaker: Suhaib Abu Doulah

Since its independence from France in 1946, Syria has been rocked by periods of political instability.

As the colonial hold of the great powers began to fade and the region witnessed a wave of Arab nationalism, Syria shifted through a succession of military coups.

Connect with Al Jazeera World

But in 1970, Hafez al-Assad, an ambitious minister of defense, seized control. Rising from a humble background in western Syria, he was to rule the country for 30 years.

His was an autocratic one-party state in which any dissent was ruthlessly suppressed. Following the death of Hafez in 2000, father was succeeded by son - Bashar al-Assad took the reigns and a dynasty was born.

In 2011, with the region in revolt, the al-Assad regime was challenged.

This two-part documentary on the history of modern Syria provides deeper context to the ongoing war in the country. The film charts the rise of the Baath party and the emergence of the Assad political dynasty.

Bedeviled by instability, Syria was to become a totalitarian state.

Interviews with Syrian analysts, political figures and former army officers, intercut with archive, tell the story of Hafez al-Assad's iron rule and his suppression of religious revivalism and popular will in the past. Yet these powerful grassroots and communal forces could not be stifled indefinitely.

"Unity was undoubtedly the aspiration of all Arab nations. An entire generation lived the ideology of Arab nationalism," explains Najib al-Ghadban of Arkansas University.

"All Arabs have the right to express their hope of a single, unified state. There was nothing wrong with the idea but its implementation was wrong."

Syria: The Reckoning tells the story of the past and brings it right up to the present to provide deeper historical context to the events of today as war continues to rage in Syria with the unleashing of many of the forces which had been previously repressed.

"The Baath party agreed to the annulment of freedom in Syria. It allowed the country to be ruled by a regime that didn't allow freedom and banned the formation of parties. This led to splits in the Arab Socialist Baath Party," says Dafi al-Jamaani, a former Baath party leader.

Episode two

 

Al Jazeera World can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Watch more Al Jazeera World.

473

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.
join our mailing list