My podcast on Syria and the revolution, in Prairie Schooner’s “Air Schooner.”

You can hear me talking about my time in Syria, and the Assad regime, in Prairie Schooner’s weekly podcast. I follow up the award-winning author Stephanie Elizondo Griest.


Prairie Schooner is a remarkable literary journal, so it’s an honour to appear in their audio dimension. Thank you to Marianne Kunkel for suggesting the idea, in the middle of a busy AWP bookfair.

I spent eight months in Syria during 2006 and 2007. I came to see the country and to write short stories about Taiwan. I don’t speak Arabic, and nor am I an expert or scholar. In the places where my podcast discusses me and my own experiences in the country, this is due to my own ignorance and limits.

The situation in Syria is horrifying, on-going, and is a great and terrible failure of Western diplomacy and courage.


6 thoughts on “My podcast on Syria and the revolution, in Prairie Schooner’s “Air Schooner.”

    • I nearly applied to Lincoln for my PhD! The programme looks really good. I just was worried about funding opportunities there, and I could only afford to apply to a set number of colleges (the process was so very expensive).


      • Lincoln is a nice town. Has the feel and amenities of the city without being a city, I guess you could say. I moved here to get my grad degree almost 10 years ago and stayed. I really love it here (well, EXCEPT for the extortionist city tax rates!).


  1. Hi Daniel,
    I listened to the Podcast and I thought it was great. I to have been at home watching the events in Syria unfold on CNN and the BBC. I am not sure why people act the way they do when their power is threatened or why others execute ordereds without question when they know that not only men, but women and children will be killed or injured. If NATO can intervene in Lybia, why can’t they help Syria? It was great to hear your voice and Cathy and I look forward to having a drink with you when you return to the States.
    Did you see my new photography blog on WordPress. It is


    • Hi Shawn,

      That drink sounds good. And your blog looks great, too. Which theme did you use? I like the New Orleans band playing.

      Assad basically has no choice. He is in power through the army; he must maintain power via the army. It’s his only tool. Libya was a lot easier to intervene in: a single geographical location to defend, a unified Libyan opposition, and Russia/China agreed to watch the conflict out. In Syria, Assad’s opponents are spread all over the country, there is not one group to back, a sizeable Christian minority might be in trouble if the (largely Sunni) opposition win, and Russia is desperate to protect the navy base it maintains there. Still, these are merely the reasons nothing has happened–they do not suffice. The horror is just getting worse.

      Thanks for listening. Glad you liked it.


      • Hi,
        I am using the”Twenty Ten” theme. Thanks for the compliments and I will continue to keep up with your blog.


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