Talking with a tyrant: life under the Assad regime in Syria

Public Meeting, 7:00- 8:30 pm Friday 9 December, Friends Meeting House

In September 2016 a group of parliamentarians, faith leaders and academics visited Syria for a week at the invitation of Muslim and Christian religious leaders. They wanted to meet as wide a range of people as possible, to listen and learn and – they hoped – make a useful contribution to public discussion and to foreign policy formation in the UK.

Pro-Syrian regime protesters shout slogans and carry a huge portrait of the Syrian president Bashar Assad during a protest against the Arab League decisions, in Damascus, Syria, on Friday Nov. 25, 2011. Syria missed an Arab League deadline Friday to allow hundreds of observers into the country, prompting the bloc to consider economic sanctions against Damascus for its eight-month crackdown on dissent, a senior diplomat said. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman)
Pro-Syrian regime protesters in 2011 (Photo/Muzaffar Salman, via Catholic Herald)

Simon Fisher, who was in the group, is coming to Bath to share his insights from the visit, which may challenge current Western foreign policy and dominant media narratives. Putting these points across in the UK has brought its own challenges, as there is huge resistance to entertaining multiple perspectives on such an emotionally charged issue as Syria. Yet without flexibility, there is little prospect of sustainable peace.

Simon founded Responding to Conflict (RTC), which for 25 years was a leading NGO in the field of conflict transformation and trained practitioners from more than 70 countries. He continues to support peacebuilders in different parts of the world and is also an academic, teaching at Oxford Brookes University.

This meeting is the next event in the Rethinking Security programme of Bath Stop War. To find out more, visit its dedicated web-page here.

  • Could you help us with our publicity for this meeting?  Contact Judith Eversley email for a copy of the A5 poster.

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