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An Inside Story of Modern Syria (Hardback)

The Unauthorised Biography of a Damascene Reformer

P&S History > Social History

By Dr Omar Imady
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 8 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526780461
Published: 2nd February 2023

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The Syrian Arab Republic has rarely been out of the headlines following the rise to power of Hafiz al-Asad in 1970 and Bashar al-Asad in 2000 and has been at the heart of the popular protests which have come to be known as the Arab Spring. This is a political biography of the author's father, Dr Muhammad Imady, the longest-serving minister of economy in modern Syria, and holder of several senior government posts. Dr Imady served at the centre of government, personally and professionally, during Hafiz al-Asad’s presidency, and was an intimate and objective observer of all aspects of Syria's turbulent history. Omar Imady follows his father’s story from his beginnings to the present day, charting out the seemingly never-ending civil conflict, human suffering, and international interventions that plague the country’s past and present. This is an inside story based on rare sources and experiences from both father and son. It illustrates the original and unique contribution of Muhammad Imady as a 'Damascene Reformer', a rare individual who pursued the seemingly impossible task of implementing positive change while serving a regime that demanded obedience and loyalty in response to actions often at odds with Muhammad Imady’s own liberal democratic political ideas. At its heart, this book examines the timeless challenge of maintaining one’s own integrity and principles in the face of a power system which seems bent on promoting the opposite.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Being originally from a country that is very close to Syria and yet not knowing nearly anything about this complicated history, I am so grateful to the author for neatly presenting figures and their impact on today's situation. This is a perfect representation of historical decisions and their impacts on the everyday life of regular people. This book is a must-read.

NetGalley, AREVIK HEBOYAN

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As someone who still follows events in Syria closely, I found this history on Modern Syria to be very enlightening. The author did a great job of chronicling events that relate to the current state that Syrians experience on a daily basis. I would highly recommend this book to those who wish to better understand this complicated nation.

NetGalley, Dylan Simon

About Dr Omar Imady

Dr Omar Imady is currently a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews. He brings a professional, scholarly, and intimate personal perspective to his analysis of the modern politics and history of Syria. His scholarship is internationally based as reflected by the subject of this book. After completing his PhD in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he went on to work at the United Nations Development Programme in Damascus, and subsequently as Associate Professor and Academic Dean at the New York Institute of Technology in Amman. In 2013, he joined the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews as Deputy Director, Research Fellow, and Managing Editor of the journal Syria Studies. Imady has authored and co-authored a number of works, including: Historical Dictionary of Syria (Fourth Edition) (2021); Syria at War: Eight Years On (2020); The Syrian Uprising: Domestic Origins and Early Trajectory (2018) as well as several articles in peer reviewed journals, along with extensive blogging and media appearances.

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