On February 2, 1982, Syrian troops -- acting under the orders of then-President Hafez al-Assad and led by his brother, Rifaat al-Assad -- besieged the city of Hama in an effort to quell an anti-government uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood.
An avalanche of Syria books are on the market, nearly all written in haste, filled with speculation and predictions of dubious value, and highly commercial in nature. A refreshing exception is Carsten Wieland's book Syria: A Decade of Lost Chances.
Ghassan Tueni said things that we never dared to voice in the 1990s, long before the Syrian Revolt. He died this weekend in Beirut at the age of 86, and Arab journalism will never be the same without him.