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February 21st, 2013

MEDIA ALERT: Car Bomb in Damascus, Syria leaves at least 53 dead Feb. 21, 2013


Damascus, Syria – At least 53 people are dead and at least 200 are wounded after a car bomb exploded between the Syrian president’s headquarters and the Russian Embassy, Thursday afternoon.  This attack comes three days after Syrian officials announced its willingness to conduct talks with armed opposition groups. (Sources: New York Times, BBC, CNN, CBS)


Analysts available for comment:


Iason Athanasiadis  is a photojournalist, documentary film-maker and international lecturer working on the intersection of the Eastern Mediterranean with the Arab, Persian and Turkic Middle East and Central Asia. He has covered some of the contemporary region’s signature crises, including the 2011 Arab revolts, the 2010 Afghan surge, the Greek economic crisis, the 2009 Iranian pro-democracy movement, the 2006 Lebanese war, the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and the passing of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad in 2000. Iason has lived in Cairo, Damascus, Sanaa and Tehran. He is currently based between Istanbul and Kabul.
Location: Istanbul, Kabul
Languages: Arabic, English, Greek, Persian, Turkish


Dr. Paul Sullivan is a professor of economics at the National Defense University and an adjunct professor of Security Studies and Science, Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University. At Georgetown University, he teaches classes on global energy and security, energy security in the Middle East, and natural resources and conflict in Africa and the Middle East. Recently, he wrote an exclusive article for Global Experts on Tunisia.
Location: Washington D.C.
Language: English


Dr. John L. Esposito is an expert in religion and international affairs, particularly within the context of the Middle East. A consultant to the Department of State as well as corporations, universities, and the media worldwide, Professor Esposito specializes in Islam, political Islam, and the impact of Islamic movements from North Africa to Southeast Asia.
Location: North America
Language: English


Tuomo Melasuo is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies as well as Research Director of TAPRI, Tampere Peace Research Institute, University of Tampere, Finland. He has studied contemporary political history as well as political science and international relations in Finland and in France. Professor Melasuo is specialized on North Africa.
Location: West Europe
Languages: English, Finnish, French


Abdallah Schleifer, Ph.D. is a veteran journalist who has covered the Middle East for American and Arab media for more than thirty years. He is Professor Emeritus at the American University in Cairo. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has praised Professor Schleifer as “a great bridge-builder between cultures”, saying “we Middle East correspondents are something of a fraternity and Abdallah has always been a credit to our little club. He is intensely independent, honest, and a wonderful explainer about both Islam and the Arab world.”
Location: Middle East
Language: English


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