The Atlantic Council is a Washington DC-based think tank working on international affairs, founded in 1961. Its Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East seeks to honour the life and legacy of the late Rafik Hariri by framing policy options for the transatlantic community aimed at encouraging and facilitating political legitimacy in the states of the Arab World. Pursuit of this mission rests on the assumption that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed; that political legitimacy exists when citizens agree on a system embodying rules of political interaction; and that these rules prevail even as leaders and governments come and go and even as governmental performance and policies enjoy popularity or meet with rejection.
The Asfari Foundation supports Atlantic Council’s project SyriaSource, an exclusive blog on Syria launched at the end of 2015, amplifying Syrian voices and generating ideas on a transition towards peace and legitimate governance in Syria and on Syrian civil society. This includes a weekly distribution of analysis on civil society from contributors inside Syria. The blog’s editors identify Syrian civil society writers and assist them to publish blog articles about their perspectives, thus building their capacity as writers and amplifying their voices. These perspectives inform the public, media and policy makers in the US and beyond, and provide support for a transition towards peace in Syria. Researchers, major news outlets, and international organisations such as the United Nations have asked to be put in touch with SyriaSource’s contributors to interview them. SyriaSource’s success is allowing it to expand in 2017 to include multimedia content such as photo essays and interviews.