Vermonter In Damascus Defends Assad Regime

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Each day we hear new and increasingly disturbing information out of Syria. Turmoil and violence in that country has increased steadily for more than year, beginning in March of 2011 when people in the city of Daraa protested the torture of students who had put up anti-government graffiti.

International observers have widely criticized the violent crackdown led by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. A month ago, a UN cease-fire was declared but hasn’t been followed. Meanwhile, elections have been held that left questions about legitimacy of the government and the future of Syria.

All of this may seem a world away, but not for my next guest. Deborah Felmeth lives in Vergennes six months of the year, and the other six months she lives in Damascus. She and her husband just returned to Vermont recently. We invited her to share her perspective on the Syrian uprising, and some of her comments may be surprising to people who are following news from that country.

But we started by talking about a spring tradition in the Damascus market at the center of the old city.

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