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The Syrian Conflict: Reflections and Prospects

15 November, 2022·5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

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The Syrian Conflict began in peaceful petitions for dignity and basic rights. More than a decade later, the conflict has transformed into a web of local, regional, and global conflicts, each of which has profound effects for Syrians, the region, and the world. As the Conflict seemingly draws to a close, with Bashar al-Assad ostensibly prevailing, a range of issues– from reconstruction, to sanctions, to proxies, to international intervention, to external interventions, to Syrian identity– have all come to the fore. This panel will address some of these pressing questions.

The event is organised in collaboration with The Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews.

Our Speakers:

Ola Rifai | Ola Rifai is a senior research fellow and the Deputy Director for Outreach at the Centre for Syrian Studies. She has researched and published about identity politics, nationalism, and ethnic conflict in the contemporary Middle East with a special focus on Syria.

Mohamad al-Ashmar | Mohamad Al-Ashmar is an International Relations doctoral researcher at the University of St Andrews (UK), studying and researching the political economy of Syrian diaspora and migration in Syria. He is an experienced humanitarian professional and consultant in international development and humanitarian crises, civic spaces, migration, and security.

Dr Francesco Belcastro | Dr Francesco Belcastro is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Derby (UK) and a Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews. His main areas of research are conflict and security, sport and politics, and politics of the Middle East (particularly Israel/Palestinian Territories and Syria). He is currently researching external actors’ involvement in civil wars and working on a project about sport and politics in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In the past he worked on foreign policy issues, publishing a monograph on the foreign policy of Syria during the years 1963-1989. His policy analysis has been published by outlets such as National Interest and Muftah.

Professor Raymond Hinnebusch | Raymond Hinnebusch is Professor of international relations at the University of St Andrews. He is also a co-founder of the Institute of Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies (MECACS) at the University of St Andrews, and the founder and director of the Centre for Syrian Studies. He has published extensively on Syrian politics and Middle East politics, international relations, and foreign policy.


Ola Rifai – “Identity Crisis during the Syrian Conflict”
Mohamad al-Ashmar – “Syrian Diaspora and Transnationalism: Navigating Solidarity, Community Resilience and Authoritarian Resistance”
Dr Francesco Belcastro – “The Syrian Conflict: Reflections on External Involvement”
Professor Raymond Hinnebusch – “Sanctions and the Proxy War in Syria”


15 November, 2022
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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