The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host a book talk with Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Sam Dagher. In his book, Assad or We Burn the Country: How One Family’s Lust for Power Destroyed Syria, Dagher traces the Assad family’s calculus in Syria, from crushing the Hama rebellion in 1982, to the construction of a brutal police state and the outbreak of civil conflict and ensuing regional destabilization. Dagher explains the current crisis by investigating the relationship between two prominent Syrian families, the Assads and the Tlasses, and delves deeply into the decision-making behind the escalation of violence and war crimes by the Assad regime.
A panel of experts will discuss the ways in which the Assad regime has maintained its grip on power, even in the face of a popular uprising, international condemnation, and an 8-year regional war. Dagher will be joined in conversation by MEI senior fellow Wa’el Alzayat and Rafif Jouejati, co-founder of the Free Syria Foundation, both of whom will lend their perspectives to explain how the United States and the international community have failed to protect Syrians from the Assad family’s entrenchment of power.