Audience members ask questions of speakers at a debate about Syria entitled "Freedom of Expression – How freely can we speak now?"Syrian Culture in Times of Conflict is a series of live, live-streamed and archived discussions hosted in Beirut and Stockholm between 2014 and 2015 and organised by non-profit organisation Sharq and Alexandra Sandels Firma.

A total of 13 panel discussions hosting 45 panellists were held over the course of 13 months. Musical performances, poetry recitals and film screenings showcasing Syrian talent followed many of the discussions. The goal was to encourage and enable offline and online discussion about Syrian culture and identity and provide a framework for understanding the various cultural challenges that Syrian society now faces in light of the conflict.


A musical performance by Assa’aleek followed the debate held in Shatila. Performances, poetry recitals and film screenings showcasing Syrian talent followed a number of the discussions.


We encourage you to continue adding to the various streams of discussion through the project’s Facebook group.

All the discussions held and video recorded are listed to the right of this page. Each recording is available either in the original English or dubbed with English translation.


Alexandra Sandels

Swedish journalist Alexandra Sandels co-organised the series, and moderated the Stockholm debates.

The achievements of this project were made possible through a grant by the Swedish Institute and the hard work of the project team:

Reem Maghribi is a media and communication specialist. She has established digital and print publications in Europe and the Middle East and heads the non-profit organisation Sharq.

Alexandra Sandels is a Swedish journalist based between Stockholm and Beirut. She  has been covering the Middle East since 2006 for radio and print media.

Reem Maghribi

Reem Maghribi, director of Sharq and co-organiser of the series, moderated the Beirut debates

Patrick Gharios is the founder of Hipernation, an online platform cum hardware device that facilitates streaming of content over the internet.

Ghalwaa Salibi is a conference interpreter and sworn translator. She also heads the interpretation department at the Lebanese University.


An Arabic version of this site will be launched soon.