Our Projects

The ACLS will accomplish its mission through several complementary projects:

The ACLS think-tank team will focus on potential solutions for the political, economic, strategic, and social future of Syria and the surrounding region.  The initiative will be a platform to amplify the work and creative ideas of Syrians to shape western public understanding of the Syrian conflict.  It will hold periodic conferences and virtual events to highlight key Syria-related issues and research.

The ACLS periodic digital news digest, “The Region,” will inform western understanding of developments and ideas pertaining to the Middle East while improving the region’s understanding of U.S. policy and strategy.  The news digest will draw from regional sources to which western audiences are not regularly exposed, while also informing Middle Eastern audiences of important developments that affect U.S. policy.

The ACLS Channel will be a social media platform on which the center’s research fellows will present their work and to provide public commentary on significant developments affecting the Middle East.  The channel will also enable ACLS to interview key U.S. and western policy makers or thought leaders for the benefit of the Middle Eastern audience, while also interviewing key actors or experts in Middle Eastern affairs for the benefit of the western audience.

The ACLS Internship Program will offer a select group of undergraduates and graduate students at universities in the Middle East or among the region’s refugee communities the opportunity to conduct relevant research and analysis under the tutelage of ACLS research fellows.  For a term of six months or one year, the ACLS will support the interns with a modest stipend or scholarship to help pay university tuition.  In most cases the internships will be conducted remotely, but in all cases will be modeled on similar Washington, DC-based think tank internships, with the objective of helping talented Middle Eastern students gain valuable experience and professional connections that help them advance their career goals.  ACLS will invite applicants studying in fields such as political science, economics, media and public relations, public administration, law, history, international relations, and development studies.

The Syrian Revolution History Project will produce a single-volume narrative history of the Syrian revolution from 2011 to 2021. The history will be based on interviews with key Syrian actors, open sources, and official records and will be modeled on the 2019 U.S. Army history of the Iraq War, which was edited by ACLS Director Joel Rayburn.  The history project team will focus on military, political, economic, governance, and civil society aspects of the Syrian conflict.

Finally, the Syria Memory Project will assemble documents and interviews pertaining to the Syrian revolution into an archive to be housed at a US-based academic institution, where it will be accessible to scholars and other researchers.