dianadarke

Syria and Turkey commentary

Media contributions

The TLS, Death of a City, film review of City of Ghosts, 26 July 2017:

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/raqqa-is-being-slaughtered-silently-rbss/

LBC News live interview with Maajid Nawaz on new US/Russia ceasefire deal in southwest Syria, announced after first Trump/Putin meeting in Hamburg at G20, 9 June 2017

BBC News TV live interview with Simon McCoy on Syria post-Raqqa and the future of ISIS, 30 June 2017

BBC World TV live interview with Lucy Hockings on Assad and chemical weapons, 27 June 2017

BBC5Live radio interview on Assad and chemical weapons, 27 June 2017

BBC2 TV interview on Victoria Derbyshire programme on Syria and chemical weapons report by OPCW, 27 June 2017: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08wd8cp/victoria-derbyshire-27062017

(starts 1 hour 56 minutes in)

The TLS Summer Reading recommendation, 21 June 2017:

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/tls-summer-books-2017/

Letter to Financial Times re Little Syria in Istanbul, 25 April 2017:

https://www.ft.com/content/3483ae52-26b0-11e7-8691-d5f7e0cd0a16?mhq5j=e1

LBC interview re Assad denial of sarin attack, 13 April 2017

BBC 5Live interview re Assad denial of sarin attack, 13 April 2017

BBC interviews with BBC Scotland, BBC Guernsey, BBC West Midlands, BBC Kent on the sarin attack and Trump’s response, 10 April 2017

BBC World TV interview on the Khan Shaikhoun sarin attack and Trump’s response, 9 April 2017

BBC Breakfast TV interview on the sarin attack and Trump’s response, 9 April 2017

BBC Radio 5Live interview on the sarin attack and Trump’s response, 9 April 2017

BBC Scotland interview on LGBT Holland event and culture of men holding hands in Middle East, 8 April 2017

The TLS online A Sarin Attack and a Swing in US Policy, 7 April 2017: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-39272511

BBC From Our Own Correspondent piece on Muslim/Christian coexistence in south Lebanon, broadcast on Radio 4, 16 February 2017:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08dr5r2  (starts at 11.40 minutes in)

The TLS online How Trump could bring peace to Syria, 9 February 2017:

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/will-trump-bring-peace-syria/

The TLS Shifting Identities, book review of three novels on Middle East conflict, 8 February 2017:

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/shifting-identities/

 

The TLS podcast 14 minute interview about Syria and refugee stories, 11 January 2017 (scroll down to find ‘Diana Darke on the stories of Syria’:

The TLS book review on two refugee stories, 11 January 2017:

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/journey-out-of-darkness/

Financial Times letter, 10 January 2017, ‘Villagers of Wadi Barada Continue to suffer’:

https://www.ft.com/content/faf6e860-d683-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e

BBC website feature on Damascus water crisis and Wadi Barada, 8 January 2017:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38532338

BBC Wales interview re Syrian Ceasefire deal brokered with Russia and Turkey as guarantors, 29 Dec 2017:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0850s1h (starts at 05.30 mins)

BBC Radio 5 Live interview on Daily programme with Adrian Chiles re Russian/Turkish brokered Syrian ceasefire 29 Dec 2016 at 12.05pm

BBC World Service Newsday interview re Russian/Turkish brokered Syrian truce 29 December 2016:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04kt3nq#play (starts at 05.20 mins)

The Guardian feature on Aleppo 16 December 2016:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/16/aleppo-a-cosmopolitan-city-built-on-thousands-of-years-of-trade

Sky News The Murnaghan Show interview re Aleppo’s fall 11 December 2016

Times Literary Supplement piece on Syrian Daily Cultural Life 14 October 2016:

In Syria

Times Literary Supplement, three book reviews ‘Spirit of the Place’ 21 September 2016:

Spirit of the place

LBC live interview 6 October 2016 on female American chess champion boycotting Women’s Chess Championships in Iran because of ‘hijab’ rules

BBC Radio Ulster Syria debate on Sunday Sequence programme 25 September 2016 re merits or not of foreign intervention with Peter Ford and Natasha Underhill: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07wwkvd (starts at 33 minutes, lasts 30 minutes)

BBC World Service Newsday interview 15 September 2016 re Kurdish enclave in Aleppo and wider Kurdish context:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0475919 (starts at 02.10 minutes)

CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interview 8 September 2016 re Syrian Tourism advertisements by Assad regime:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2694751999

RTE Radio, Morning Ireland interview 24 August 2016 on My House in Damascus and life there:

http://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/rteradiowebpage.html#!rii=b9%5F21042134%5F48%5F24%2D08%2D2016%5F

Sky News interview 13 August 2016 re local population in Manbij after liberation from ISIS by Kurdish SDF

BBC Newshour interview 1 June 2016 re Manbij offensive against ISIS by US-led Kurdish SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces): 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03w5zzp (starts at 05.20 minutes)

BBC Newshour interview 23 May 2016 re ISIS bombings in Tartous and Jableh:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36368346 (starts at 4.20 minutes)

Letter to the Financial Times 21 April 2016 re the current position on the contested Golan Heights:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0e060fea-0622-11e6-9b51-0fb5e65703ce.html#axzz47OguBDQ0

BBC website piece 13 April 2016 re Syrian Peace Talks, Syrian Parliamentary Elections and the propaganda value of Palmyra for Assad:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36024370

BBC Breakfast TV live interview 28 March 2016 re Palmyra recapture:

Last of 9 TV and radio interviews 29 March 2016 re Palmyra recapture & rebuilding:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03nlqf8 (starts at 45.50 minutes)

First of 9 TV and radio interviews re Palmyra recapture 26 March 2016:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03n87vy (starts at 07.30 minutes)

BBC World Service  From Our Own Correspondent piece broadcast on 26 March 2016 on Syria’s Golan Heights and its Druze residents:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03n87qv  (starts at 6.36 minutes)

BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent piece broadcast 10 March 2016 on Syria’s Golan Heights and its Druze residents:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b072hlvz (starts at 19.12 minutes)

Interview for BBC World Service Newshour programme 5 February 2016 on the escalation in Russian airstrikes north of Aleppo and its effects on the Syrian crisis:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03gyhff (starts at 05.15 minutes)

Interview for BBC World Service Newshour programme 29 January 2016 on the Geneva 3 Syria peace talks:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03g5p3v  (starts at 05.20 minutes)

Interview for BBC World Service Weekend programme 24 January 2016 on the Geneva 3 Syria peace talks:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fq2vl (starts at 04.10 mins)

Interview for BBC World Service Newshour programme 12 November 2015 untangling the complex web of Kurdish alliances surrounding the current offensive to retake Sinjar.

Letter in Financial Times 11 November 2015 on the implications of the exodus of middle class professionals from Syria for the country’s brain drain and the European migration crisis.

Interview with John Humphries on the Today programme, BBC Radio 4, 31 August 2015 on the destruction of Palmyra’s Temple of Bel and the shredding of Syrian society:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0316kz4

Palmyra Baal Shamin destruction

BBC website piece on the story of a Syrian refugee friend in Germany ‘Weeping for a Lost Generation’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33817958

BBC From Our Own Correpondent piece, part of Migration Special, on meeting a Syrian refugee friend in Saarbrucken, Germany, after his journey from Turkey:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0320hpl (starts at 06.35 mins)

 

Sunday Telegraph Commentary, 28 June 2015: We must not let a few fanatics ruin this fledgling democracy:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/tunisia/11703755/We-must-not-allow-a-few-fanatics-ruin-this-fledgling-democracy.html

tunisia-why_3356480b

Daily Telegraph article, 27 June 2015: Tunisia “Lessons were not learnt from Bardo attack”: 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/11701610/Tunisia-lessons-were-not-learnt-from-Bardo-museum-attack.html

tunis-beach_3355559b

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed article, 8 June 2015, Turkey: Free from costly conflicts with its own minorities:

http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2015/6/8/turkey-free-from-costly-conflicts-with-its-own-minorities

Turkey's women general HDP

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed article, 18 May 2015, Palmyra’s fame will outlive the Islamic State group:

http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2015/5/18/palmyras-fame-will-outlive-the-islamic-state-group 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Sunday Times article re Palmyra, 17 May 2015, Silk Road base of queen who bloodied Rome:

 http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article1557098.ece

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

BBC1 TV interview re Palmyra, 5 May 2015

BBC Radio 4 Today programme interview with Michelle Husain re Palmyra, 15 May 2015: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tpwc1 (starts at 49 mins in)

Fading light over Palmyra

Fading light over Palmyra

 

BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent, 5 March 2015, on Tunisia and how it is resisting the charms of ISIS now that its new secular government and president have been elected

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0542zv0   (starts at 06.06 mins in)

Tunisia trip 19-14 Feb 2015 265

The Guardian, Comment is free, 3 February 2015, Kobani’s destruction is an opportunity for rebuilding hope:

Kobani destruction, Syria

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/03/kobani-destruction-opportunity-rebuilding-hope-isis-syria

BBC Website feature, 17 December 2014, Damascus, A Strange Normality:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30494989

Diana Darke in her Damascus courtyard December 2014

Diana Darke in her Damascus courtyard December 2014

Letter in The Financial Times, 4 November 2014 re the meaning of   ‘Tawheed’ and ISIS abuse of Islamic ideology, in response to Ed Husain’s “Until we understand the ideology of ISIS, we cannot hope to defeat it” (31 October 2014):

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c04480ac-60fa-11e4-b935-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz3IU98rE3m

Nine-tile panel illustrating 'Tawheed', the unity of God; the original is on Ibn Arabi's tomb in Damascus, Syria

Nine-tile panel illustrating ‘Tawheed’, the unity of God; the original is on Ibn Arabi’s tomb in Damascus, Syria [DD]

BBC Website Feature, Middle East, “Love and Hypocrisy” 2 November 2014:

‘The book in every Iranian home’: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29648166

Iran Hafez Tomb _78399474_hafez-tomb-624-think

BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent 18 October 2014 on Iranian society and the hypocrisy of its ruling clerics, set at the Tomb of Hafez, Shiraz :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/fooc (18 Oct 2014, Episode title ‘Spectres of Afganistan’, starts at 17.25 mins)

Crowds at the Tomb of Hafez, Shiraz

Crowds at the Tomb of Hafez, Shiraz

BBC World Service Newsdesk interview on 14 October 2014 re Syria, Turkey, the Kurds and Kobane:

Kobane Kurds on Turkish side of the border wit Syria

Kobane Kurds on Turkish side of the border with Syria

Oil and water, not religion, are fuelling Isis campaign to wipe out minorities (published 10 August 2014 in The Sunday Times):

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/focus/article1444902.ece

Yazidi children during a religious ceremony [Getty]

Yazidi children during a religious ceremony [Getty]

Who are the Yazidis? (published 8 August 2014 on BBC website):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28686607

Yazidi tombstone in southeast Turkey showing the peacock symbol, representing God on earth [DD, May 2014]

Yazidi tombstone in southeast Turkey showing the peacock symbol, representing God on earth [DD, May 2014]

Postcard from Nusaybin, Chatham House’s The World Today magazine, Aug/Sep 2014: http://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/postcard-nusaybin-turkey#

Mar Yakoub Church and university, Nusaybin [DD, 2012]

Mar Yakoub (St James’) Church and university dating to the 4th century, Nusaybin [DD, 2012]

Journal of an Arabist, World of Interiors, August 2014: My Damascus house

BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent piece on Syriac Christians in Eastern Turkey 10 July 2014: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p022kkk3 Midyat 1

Gabriel in his single room [DD, 2014]

Gabriel in his single room [DD,  May 2014]

BBC News Magazine piece 10 July 2014 on the damage to Syria’s cultural heritage and ongoing efforts to save it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28191181

Krak des Chevaliers being bombed by Syrian air force jets, March 2014

Krak des Chevaliers being bombed by Syrian air force jets, March 2014

Shell damage to the 8th century mosaics on the facade of the Damascus Umayyad Mosque

Shell damage to the 8th century mosaics on the facade of the Damascus Umayyad Mosque, November 2013

Protecting the 13th century Halawiye Madrasa prayer niche, Aleppo

Protecting the 13th century Halawiye Madrasa prayer niche, Aleppo

Letter in The Financial Times 13 June 2014 re Assad and ISIS: Syria’s Assad has helped ISIS thrive: 

Sir,

Borzou Daragahi’s article on how the Syria conflict has twisted alliances across the border in Iraq (June 11) is right to show the links that the al-Qaeda-affiliated ISIS has in both countries. What he does not highlight however is the link between the Assad regime and ISIS, a link which surely now deserves to come under closer scrutiny. Under the guise of a general amnesty in spring 2012 Bashar al-Assad released many Al-Qa’ida-affiliated prisoners from Syrian jails, conniving to make his own prediction come true, that he was fighting ‘sectarianism’ and ‘terrorism’. Yet in a curious marriage of convenience, they never attacked each other. ISIS slept sound in its beds, with no fear of regime air strikes or barrel bombs. Western inertia created a power vacuum which the Al-Qa’ida-affiliated groups were quick to fill, escalating unchecked. Syria’s Assad let them be. Getting rid of them now will be a gargantuan task, beyond the capability of any single foreign power.
Diana Darke
Author of My House in Damascus, An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution
London SW15

Comment piece in The Guardian on 2 June 2014 on Syrian elections: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/02/syria-election-vote-for-assad-or-else   BBC Worlds Service Outlook interview on 6 May 2014 about new book My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution, starts at 36.36 mins:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01y59y9   Damascus June 2011 052My House in DamascusDamascus June 2011 027Damascus June 2011 038

BBC Radio 4’s Midweek programme with Libby Purves on 16 April 2014, talking about new book My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution, with other guests Sir Roger Bannister, Professor Kevin Warwick and Rachael Stirling:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b040hzys (starts at 25.25 mins) Damascus June 2011 057My House in DamascusDamascus June 2011 023

Tranquil times in the courtyard of Bait Baroudi [DD, 2010]

Tranquil times in the courtyard of Bait Baroudi [DD, 2010]

BBC World Service From Our Own Correspondent first broadcast 28 March 2014, repeated in ‘Best of …’ on 5 and 6 April 2014, based on my Damascus lawyer coming out to meet me for the day in Lebanon’s Sidon: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01vzjqj/From_Our_Own_Correspondent_Cyprus_and_Lebanon/(begins at 4.12 mins)

Sidon's Crusader Sea Castle guards what was once the port of Damascus [DD, 2014]

Sidon’s Crusader Sea Castle guards what was once the port of Damascus [DD, 2014]

‘Curious ironies of the Olympics-timed ceasefire in Homs’, 11 February 2014: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/19e29742-8f60-11e3-be85-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=uk#axzz2tCBcBUxZ ‘ISIS has filled the vacuum in Syria left by the West’s inertia’, 9 January 2014: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/590bf29c-77b9-11e3-afc5-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2pzl5K7Ny Evening Standard letter 17 Dec 2013 BBC Arabic TV:  Guest on 7 Days  programme,  discussing the week’s media coverage of the Middle East, 13 December 2013. BBC Radio 4 and World Service From Our Own Correspondent  ‘Kurdish grievances and Water in Eastern Turkey’ 23 September 2013: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01gsjdw/From_Our_Own_Correspondent_Turkey_and_France_What_Lies_Beneath/

Flooded minaret at Halfeti on the Euphrates [DD]

Flooded minaret at Halfeti on the Euphrates [DD]

Hasankeyf on the Tigris, due for flooding [DD]

Hasankeyf on the Tigris, due for flooding
[DD]

BBC Arabic:  Guest on 7 Days  programme,  discussing the week’s media coverage of the Middle East, 13 September 2013. BBC Radio 4 Today programme interview with John Humphries on Maaloula, the Christian village in Syria and its significance, 12 September 2013: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b039q5nd/Today_12_09_2013/ (begins at 2.45.18 till 2.50.10, ie just under 5 mins). BBC World Service Newsday interview on the looting of Syria’s cultural heritage, 6 September 2013. BBC Website: 11 August 2013  Monk on a Mission  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23614968

Father Joaqim at Mor Augen Monastery, July 2013

Father Joaqim at Mor Augen Monastery, Eastern Turkey July 2013 [DD]

BBC Radio 4  and World Service From Our Own Correspondent  ‘A House in Damascus’ 4 July 2013: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0368kp4.html  (begins 6 minutes in) Damascus June 2011 057 The Guardian Newspaper: 2 Jan 2013 Damascus in Peril http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/02/damascus-survive-terrible-conflict-syria

Final approach into the 'back door' of Petra
Final approach into the ‘back door’ of Petra

The Financial Times: 23 Mar 2013  Trekking into Petra, Jordan http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/7e0541fc-7c29-11e2-99f0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2X2SEjqLq

The Golan Heights viewed from Jordan
The Golan Heights viewed from Jordan

Palestine News May 2013: The Forgotten Golan http://www.palestinecampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Palestine-News-Spring-2013.pdf

Aqueduct at Antiochia, the end of the St Paul Trail, Turkey
Aqueduct at Antiochia, the end of the St Paul Trail, Turkey

Minerva Magazine, The International Review of Ancient Art & Archaeology Jan/Feb 2013:  On the St Paul Trail, Turkey http://minervamagazine.co.uk/archive_pdfs/2013_Vol_24_01.pdf Signatures compared Bashar and Hafez Al-Assad typeset for BAoG journal April 2012 (Article for British Academy of Graphology on signatures of Hafez and Bashar Al-Assad)

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10 thoughts on “Media contributions

  1. Thanks so much for your great piece on Father Joaqim. Do you know how to get in touch with the monastery? I would like to hep if possible.

  2. Hello Diana,
    I am so greatful for your wonderful reports and for taking the time out to send me this information. I will make the contact right away.

    Debbie Apple

    • Hello Debbie

      Delighted that you enjoyed the reports, and would like to help. Believe me, Syria needs all the help it can get, not hysteria, but constructive real support.

      Thanks,

      Diana

  3. Kilian Foerster on said:

    Dear Diana,
    I found your book “A house in Damascus” in a public library and therefore I’m pleased to inform you that there is a new and independent work about Syrian children:
    http://kilianfoerster.de/childrenstories.htm
    I created this work at the end of May on the Syrian-Turkish border.
    Kind regards,
    Kilian Foerster
    http://www.kilianfoerster.de

  4. William Tracy on said:

    Dear Diana, I attended your excellent talk in Spokane on Saturday, April 25 and appreciated it very much, though I had to leave early because of my expiring parking meter. Before my retirement I worked many years as an editor at Aramco World Magazine, with which you are probably familiar. Do you know if they have reviewed
    “A House in Damascus”? If not, I certainly want to call it to the attention of my former colleagues there. Sincerely William Tracy

    • Dear William, Many thanks for your interest and for coming to the Spokane talk. I’m pretty sure Aramco World have not reviewed ‘My House in Damascus’, so if you’d like to call it to their attention, that’s very kind, thank you. All best wishes, Diana

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