Home > TV appearance > On Sky News: World’s attention needs to focus on Syria

On Sky News: World’s attention needs to focus on Syria

Sky News called me this morning and asked if I would comment on what has been happening in Syria these last few days. Understandably, I jumped at the opportunity. As far as 24-hour rolling news networks go, Sky News is a big player, and for them to take an active interest in Syria when Libya and Japan have been dominating the headlines must surely be applauded and encouraged.

That got me interested in Sky News’ take on Syria so I started following their hourly news bulletins. To my pleasant surprise, I found their foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall’s take on Syria refreshingly frank and to the point. He understood the Sunni/Alawi issue and he correctly noted that Syria was the most repressive Arab dictatorship out there (that’s right, not Saudi!) Dr Omar Ashour of Exeter University was also there in the studio and he offered an incisive look at the nature of Middle Eastern dictatorships. I found it all very interesting so well done Sky News team.

At around 6:40pm it was my turn to appear live on Sky News as a “spokesman for the opposition.” I am nothing of the kind of course, but there is a saying in Syria: “Better to be known as a rich man than a poor man”. Here’s how the interview went:

I tried to convey two important messages in what little time I had. One was that Syria is the one to watch because regime change there will have widespread regional repercussions, more so than Yemen or Libya. The second message was related to the situation in Dar’a which is critical given the very real risk of massacres by the army and security forces that were descending upon the city in frightening numbers.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get hold of a good quality recording. The best I could manage was this mobile phone footage from my niece who watched the interview on her laptop. It’s not even the whole interview but you get the idea.

If any of you were wondering, that comfortable-looking chair I’m slouched on is a POÄNG armchair from Ikea, available for £90.90.

Categories: TV appearance
  1. Joey Soto Jr
    March 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Malik.

    It’s crazy to think that Syria has even MORE regional influence than what we’ve already seen from Egypt, Libya and Yemen. But I completely agree that you’re right. As an American, I’m on edge watching without ability to do much while many areas in the Middle East are in serious turmoil.

    I’ve got a video I think you may be interested in posting on your website: http://www.newsy.com/videos/will-syrian-protests-lead-to-reform-or-further-crackdowns/. The video looks at varying perspectives on the demonstrations in Syria and deals somewhat with what you talked about in your video.

    I hope you can find some use for this video. Let me know if you have any questions.

    • March 23, 2011 at 3:47 am

      Hi Joey. Great website. I like the idea of creating a news round-up out of excerpts of blogs. At Barada TV where I work (you probably haven’t heard of it!) we created a segment called Blog TV where we highlight the best blogs and put a humorous twist on their posts so its kind of similar.

      Going back to Syria, its unfortunate that Bashar Al-Assad has not seized on the historic opportunity to reform the country. Instead, he will forever go down as the Butcher of Deraa. Whether he will remain in power or much longer is still to be seen, but his legitimacy is largely drawn from his supposed “reformist agenda” and its very difficult to square that with sending soldiers to shoot dead unarmed protesters.

      Thanks for discussing Syria its fascinating to see the world interested in my country!

  2. March 22, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Have you seen Dominic Waghorn’s blog on Syria? He is a well informed guy too.
    Really keen to see Syria making the news – its so important for the region. Interested to see Assad’s next move after he’s seen what Qaddafi is now up against.

  3. TroubleSome
    March 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    That Ikea comment 🙂 cherry on top! Unfortunately, sound is not audible enough :/
    However, can i give props to the BBC on this one, an not Sky? After all, Tim Marshall is their product and it shows!

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