Opposition demonstration in Souran, 7 September 2012
The leaders of the council governing Souran, a town in rebel-controlled Syria, decide to hold an impromptu meeting right on the footpath along its main street, a gesture of open government that would impress Canada or Sweden.
They draw together some plastic chairs and a table, pour tea and, as pedestrians listen in, explain the workings of the government they have set up to replace the Baath Party and the security officials who ran the region with an iron fist under President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
“This is a new thing for us,” says Faez Hamsho, a businessman and one of 11 members of the town’s governing council. “But when Bashar’s men fled, we had to solve the day-to-day problems of the area.”