NGC and the French Institute for the Near East (IFPO), a unique research center based in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, have started an informal collaboration to debate and share knowledge and analysis on the Middle East.
The IFPO is a French public research institution gathering researchers in three different departments: Contemporary Studies, Arab Medieval and Modern Studies, Archeology and History of Antiquity.
In this context, the IFPO published in its latest electronic issue NGC’s article on the Syrian crisis seen from South America (Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina).
The article goes back to Assad’s tour to South America in 2010 considered as a strategic moment of the Syrian-Latino rapprochement: key agreements were signed (the oil cooperation agreement with Venezuela), ties were strengthened with the numerous and influential Syro-Lebanese diaspora. More importantly, the presidential couple managed to seduce the media and public opinion and made sure that a certain anti-imperialist narrative of politics in the Middle East would prevail.
Beyond intergovernmental relations, the article also analyses the perception and positioning of the Syro-Lebanese diaspora in Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina regarding the Syrian conflict. Through research and social media monitoring, the author found that most of the communities are sympathetic to the Syrian authorities. Some groups are passionate supporters of the Assad regime as is the case in Venezuela and in particular in Argentina where an established Alawite community happens to live.