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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Arab Spring: Syria

This guide aims to direct those who are studying the Arab Spring to relevant Arabic resources within the University of Illinois and in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, and Sudan.

UIUC Library Resources

Search Strategies

This list of Keywords and phrases will allow you to hone your search for materials on Syria during the Arab Spring

  • Bashar al-Assad
  • بشار الأسد
  • Syria Uprising
  • الانتفاضة السوريا
  • Syria Revolution
  • الثورة السوريا
  • Syria Refugee 
  • اللاجئين السوريين
  • "Arab Spring" Syria 
  • الرببع العربي السوري
  • Demonstrations Syria
  • مظاهرات سوريا
  • Democratization Syria 
  • ديمقراط سوريا
  • Civil War Syria
  • الحرب الأهلية سوريا
  • Free Syrian Army
  • الجيش السوري الحر
  • Homs Syria
  • حمص سوريا
  • Aleppo Syria
  • حلب سوريا
  • UN Syria Resolutions
  • قرارات الأمم المتحدة سوريا
  • Chemical Weapons Syria
  • الأسلحة الكيميائية في سوريا
  • Syrian National Council
  • المجلس الوطني السوري
  • Arab League Syria
  • جامعة الدول العربية سوريا


Search Avenues

Al Ahram

The University of Illinois has a collection of the Egyptian newspaper, "Al Ahram" and also "Al Ahram Weekly" that is available in the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library.  The call number for "Al Ahram" is:  FILM 079.6216 C136A. The call number for "Al Ahram Weekly" is: FILM 079.6216 C136AW.

Provided here are some examples of these newpapers as they relate to the Arab Spring

Syria سوريا

Influenced by major uprisings that began elsewhere in the region, antigovernment protests broke out in the southern province of Dar'a in March 2011 with protesters calling for the repeal of the restrictive Emergency Law allowing arrests without charge, the legalization of political parties, and the removal of corrupt local officials. Since then demonstrations and unrest have spread to nearly every city in Syria, but the size and intensity of protests have fluctuated over time. The government responded to unrest with a mix of concessions - including the repeal of the Emergency Law and approving new laws permitting new political parties and liberalizing local and national elections - and force. However, the government's response has failed to meet opposition demands for ASAD to step down, and the government's ongoing security operations to quell unrest and widespread armed opposition activity have led to extended violent clashes between government forces and oppositionists. International pressure on the ASAD regime has intensified since late 2011, as the Arab League, EU, Turkey, and the United States have expanded economic sanctions against the regime. Lakhdar BRAHIMI, current Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, in October 2012 began meeting with regional heads of state to assist in brokering a cease-fire. In December 2012, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces was recognized by more than 130 countries as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Unrest persisted in 2013, and the death toll among Syrian Government forces, opposition forces, and civilians has topped 100,000. In January 2014, the Syrian Opposition Coalition and Syrian regime began peace talks at the UN sponsored Geneva II conference. (CIA World Factbook)

Important Libraries in Syria

Additional Resources

Syria's Arab Spring Timeline

Dara'a Graffiti

The spark that started the revolution - NPR story

Political cartoons and graffiti

Mapping the conflict

Guide to theSyrian opposition

Geneva Talks

Election 2014

    Election overview

      Ba'ath Party: Bashar al-Assad

             Assad Victory - NYTimes

      NIACS Party: Hassan al-Nouri

            The Independent article

            Syrian Arab News Agent article

      Independent:  Maher Hajjar

            Registers as First Presidential Candidate for Syria Elections - Huffington Post

            Announces Candidacy - Syrian Observer


Encoding resistance; Graphic Design and Media Control In The Syrian Uprising

Moutfti, Nermin. Ontario College of Art & Design (Canada), ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2012. MR96966.


One Hand: Military Structure and Middle East Revolts

Burns, Sean. Northwestern University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013. 3595563.


Religion and the evolution of democracy: A revised Selectorate Model for the Arab Spring

Bagherpour, Amir. The Claremont Graduate University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2012. 3512471.


Syria for the Syrians: The rise of Syrian nationalism, 1970-2013

Gilbert, Victoria J.. Northeastern University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013. 1536249.


The Arab uprisings and the unveiling of the Shiite Crescent

Corro, Megan Catherine. Georgetown University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013. 1536946.