In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we are joined by Middle East Program Fellow Amy Austin Holmes who was conducting research in Northeast Syria on the day coalition forces declared the territorial defeat of the Islamic State. Amy discusses her work conducting surveys with Kurdish, Arab, and Syriac Christian members of the Syrian Democratic Forces as well as the political and economic outlook for this war-torn region of Syria.

Amy’s Twitter feed contains more on her research including multiple video segments shot in Syria:


Amy Austin Holmes is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo. She began teaching there in 2008, after finishing her PhD at Johns Hopkins University. She has been awarded fellowships from Harvard University, Brown University, and was a Fulbright scholar in Germany. Her research focuses on the intersection of contentious politics and security issues, broadly defined. Her book Social Unrest and American Military Bases in Turkey and Germany since 1945 was published by Cambridge University Press; she also directed an accompanying documentary film. Having spent a decade living in the Middle East through the period known as the Arab Spring, she has published numerous articles on Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain, and the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Syria. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, South Atlantic Quarterly, Journal of Arabian Studies, Social Movement Studies, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to name a few. She has given TV and radio interviews with NPR, BBC, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. She has testified in the House of Lords of the British parliament on the situation in Bahrain.


John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming.