International Symposium

The Syrian Crisis:
Issues and perspectives

Organised by the Kurdish Institute in Paris

Friday 3 February 2012
From 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Salle Victor Hugo
101 rue de l'Université, 75007 Paris



The bloody repression that has been rife in Syria for several long months now exposes the militaro-political nature of the Assad clan that has been in power since 1970. Thirty years after the massacres in Hama, the Syrian authorities have distinguished themselves by their war against society, as Michel Seurat (1947-1986), another victim of the Assad regime, described the system. The destruction of the urban areas of Homs and Deraa as well as the coastal and desert regions, go side by side with the open determination of Damascus to destabilise two fragile countries in the region, Iraq and the Lebanon.

The symposium on Syria being organised by the Kurdish Institute starts with the urgency of considering both the resources for survival of a hard-pressed regime and the dynamics of the resistance of a society whose very existence is threatened.

Who are the actors of a mainly provincial protest movement that is, nevertheless, changing the «political map» of the country as a whole? What chances have the political opposition bodies, mainly organised from exile? What role are the political, Islamist, liberal or left wing trends playing in the field of political dissent? To what extent does the religious situation play a part in the repression or the protest movement? What margins of manoeuvre do the country's Christian minorities have? What part are the Kurds playing in the resistance? How should we analyse the relative weights being played by the local «great powers» (Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey) in the development of the Syrian crisis?

These are some of the questions to which the specialists on Syria and the Syrian public figures meeting here will try to answer.