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19 Aug 2021

Operations and Policy Center (Research Tool)

Every year, the Syrian Government releases merchandise trade data broken down, destination or country of origin, value, quantity, and commodity type, making it a valuable resource for analysts. This research tool pulls the scattered data together for easier access.

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14 Aug 2021

(Research Tool), with Ammar al-Nakeeb

This interactive research tool summarizes everything you need to know about individuals targeted by US and EU sanctions within Syria programs. It makes it easier to find the official information relating to each individual, such as the reason for targeting, age, and country of birth. We have added other variables useful for analytical purposes, such as association with the army or security apparatus, ethnicity, religion, occupation, and country of residence.

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12 Apr 2021

Operations and Policy Center (Research Tool)

At first glance, Syria’s 2021 budget seems to be the most impressive yet, featuring a whopping 8 trillion Syrian pound (SP) spending package. However, once one gets past the sticker shock it becomes evident that, given the extent of the SP’s depreciation, Syria’s latest budget is only a slight increase from the year prior.

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24 Mar 2021

Middle East Institute and Operations and Policy Center (joint publication)
(Research Tool), with Haian Dukhan and Ammar al-Hamad

Previous analyses have often misunderstood the intricate tribal structures in Syria, drawing false links between tribalism and terrorism. This interactive research tool, co-published by the Middles East Institute and the Operations and Policy Center, aims to shed light on the tribal structure in ar-Raqqah governorate, making it accessible to anyone interested in understanding the current state of affairs there.

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24 Mar 2021

Operations and Policy Center (Scenario analysis tool)

Despite the Russian and Turkish de-escalation and ceasefire agreements, the Assad regime continues to attack NW Syria, especially areas to the south of the M4. Here we map out potential military conflict scenarios for the near-term future of NW Syria, in light of the volatile Turkish-Russian dynamics.

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14 Jan 2021

Middle East Institute (Research Tool), with Samy Akil

The composition of Syria's parliament matters not because it influences the policies of the autocratic country, but because it provides an excellent lens through which we can understand the patronage and clientele networks of the al-Assad regime. Samy Akil and I wrote this study on Syria's 2020 parliamentary elections, published in the Middle East Institute. Using various sources, the study provides a very comprehensive summary of the backgrounds of all 250 MPs on 14 different variables (3,500 pieces of information). You can use the bespoke interactive visualization to interrogate the data and read the subsequent write up for a thorough discussion of the findings.

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06 Jan 2021

Middle East Institute (Research Tool), with Ayman Dasouki

This study investigates the composition of Syria's Constitutional Committee by examining the background information of each of its 150 members. For each member, we examine the political affiliation, perceived closeness to the Syrian regime, gender, education, ethnicity, and religion, among other relevant variables. The findings are presented using an intuitive interactive visualization. We use our views on the composition of the Committee to predict the dynamics of its activities and to provide policy recommendations to boost its chances for success. The study is published in the Middle East Institute.

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04 Nov 2020

Middle East Institute (Research Tool), with Samy Akil

This study presents an interactive timeline to aid those interested in the background of Syria’s heads of state and how power has changed hands since 1922. We also use the timeline to draw insights into the ongoing 2011 conflict. We open by highlighting the longstanding asymmetries in the distribution of power, and later zoom in on the past half century of al-Assad family rule. We conclude with a look into the future. The study is published in Middle East Institute as well.

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20 Jul 2020

Middle East Institute (Research Tool)

More than half of the Syrian people fled their homes due to the ongoing war. This displacement of around 13 million people is the largest in the world today. Where did they go? Existing resources on the subject focus on one group of people at a single point in time—most often, the refugees. So, I designed this interactive research tool to help you find all the information you need on the whereabouts of Syrians over time. I tried to keep it intuitive, but if you need to do some analysis yourself, you can download the data I pulled together from various sources. The study is published Middle East Institute.

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24 Apr 2020

Independent Research

Every couple of months, you hear a new story about someone from the al-Assad clan – good luck telling who’s who. Many of the influential Assads do not have even a photo online. The Assads’ secrecy and the public interest in them provide the perfect recipe for rumours and half-truths. This article presents numerous examples of incorrect information about the Assads in local and Western media, including from the EU, Le Monde, and Pro Justice.

The lack of knowledge about the family members and their roles in the regime is reflected in the names sanctioned by the US and the EU. Some influential players are not sanctioned, while marginal players are. In an attempt to shed more light on the better-known Assad kinships and their roles in the regime, I built an interactive family tree.