New York Review, Robin Creswell takes a look at the Syrian protests of 2011 as they got going, before the situation decayed into a sectarian civil war. A collection of narratives, manifestos, and art works from that time has recently been published as Syria Speaks, and Creswell finds in it just the revolution westerners wanted to support: secular, democratic, opposed to all arbitrary authority. The strife between Sunnis and Shiites that now dominates the fighting in nowhere to be seen. Yet there is also a bleakness quite different from the defiant humor of Cairo's Tahrir Square: the humor is dark, more like jokes from Stalinist Poland, and from the beginning the protesters seemed to sense that they would have no easy success. These two works by Sulafa Hijazi seem to me to sum up the hopelessness of peaceful protest in that time and place.