Andrew Sheehan
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Blog Entries by Andrew Sheehan

Dispatches From Damascus: I Get Searched In the Old City

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 5:36 PM

At the beginning of the uprising against the Syrian government, the protests against the regime routinely took place on Fridays -- the Islamic day of prayer and the first day of the weekend. Back then, everyone would spend the still-normal working week nervously anticipating another round of protests and deaths,...

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Dispatches From Damascus: the Power's Out In Damascus as the Snow Falls

(1) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 5:36 PM

The stormy winter weather that affected a number of areas in the Middle East last week also struck Damascus. Early in the week it merely rained, but on Wednesday morning it began to snow and then continued sporadically throughout the day. Very little snow settled on the ground during daylight...

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Dispatches From Damascus: Regime Supporters Keep the Faith

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 12:40 PM

As the civil war in Syria continues, a significant number of Syrians remain loyal to the embattled government of Bashar Al-Assad. Some of the government's supporters have no real affection for the regime, having seen clearly its corruption and repression, and merely continue to voice their support for it out...

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Dispatches From Damascus: The Old City Under Surveillance

(3) Comments | Posted November 23, 2012 | 2:51 PM

The Syrian government has now established a permanent network of surveillance over the old city. A combination of uniformed soldiers and plain-clothes security officers, many of them armed, now constantly monitor vehicle and pedestrian traffic passing along the narrow cobbled streets.

On my way home through the old city I...

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Dispatches From Damascus: A Bomb in the Old City

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 5:19 PM

The Sunday before last, a bomb exploded in Bab Touma Square in the middle of the morning, killing 13 people and injuring several others. While bombings of government targets and public spaces have become increasingly common over the last few months, this attack constituted the first of its kind in...

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Dispatches From Damascus: Escape From Syria

(1) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 1:23 PM

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the country as a direct result of the violence that has engulfed the country since the outbreak of the civil war. Meanwhile, many of those that have so far escaped the violence are suffering the economic consequences of the crisis and are thus...

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Dispatches From Damascus: "Assad! -- Or We Destroy the Country"

(2) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 1:28 PM

As I lay in bed late one night last week yet another gun fight broke out in the centre of the city between the regime and opposition forces. I was startled as, instead of the muffled boom and pop of distant gunfire to which I am more accustomed, I could...

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Dispatches From Damascus: How the Other Half Live

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 10:41 AM

While many Syrians have suffered immensely during the current conflict, others continue to live much as before. The stark contrasts that exist in Syrians' experience of the ongoing crisis were illustrated for me at the beginning of August when a young single mother and her two-year-old son came to stay...

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Dispatches From Damascus: Silence and Noise in the Old City

(3) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 12:42 PM

The sound of violence in surrounding suburbs has become a feature of life in Central Damascus. While the central parts of the capital have, for the most part, been spared the fighting that has beset some outer suburbs in recent months, residents here are frequently reminded of their precarious situation...

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Dispatches From Damascus: The Syrian Army Arrives in the Old City

(3) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 4:47 PM

The atmosphere in Damascus' old city became just a little bit tenser at the start of the last week of Ramadan when Syrian army soldiers were deployed here for the first time since the revolution began in March last year. The soldiers were seemingly under orders to search various houses,...

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Dispatches From Damascus: Syrian Civilians Are Armed and Nervous

(3) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 12:12 PM

Residents of Damascus' old city have long been accustomed to hearing explosions and gunfire in the distance as loyalist and opposition forces clash in other parts of the city. As the sound of gunfire rang out across the old city of Damascus late one night earlier this month, though, it...

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