Protests which rocked the Arab world in recent months are now hitting Syria - a country ruled with an iron grip on security.
Emergency laws, in place since 1963, ban all forms of demonstrations, but the protesters are not backing down.
Bashar al-Assad, whose family has ruled the country for 40 years, is facing challenges like never before.

So what sparked the protests in Syria and why did they start off in Dearaa?

Inside Story presenter Laura Kyle is joined by guests: Ghias al-jundi, a Syrian author and human rights activist; Samir Aita, chief-editor of the Arab edition of Le Monde Diplomatique; and Jawad al-Anani, a political analyst for the Jordanian-based think-tank Al-Baseera.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.

Source: Al Jazeera