Skip to main content

Book Talk | Statelet of Survivors: The Making of a Semi-Autonomous Region in Northeast Syria with Dr. Amy Austin Holmes

Date & Time

May. 20, 2024
11:00am – 12:00pm ET


5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
and Online


In State of Survivors: The Making of a Semi-Autonomous Region in Northeast Syria, Dr. Amy Austin Holmes charts the movement of Syrian Kurds and their Arab and Christian allies to govern their semi-autonomous region, also known as Rojava.  Drawing from an original survey of the Syrian Democratic Forces, untapped archival documents, and seven years of field research, Holmes traces the genealogy of this social experiment to the Republic of Mount Ararat in Turkey, where a self-governing entity was proclaimed in 1927 based on a treaty of collaboration between Kurds and Armenian genocide survivors. Founded by survivors of modern-day atrocities, the Autonomous Administration does more to empower women and minorities than any other region of Syria. In this new book, Dr. Holmes analyzes its military and police forces, schools, the judicial system, the economic model it has implemented, and strategy of empowering women who were once enslaved by ISIS.

Please join the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program for a discussion with the author, Dr. Amy Austin Holmes, about the remarkable story of the people who both triumphed over ISIS and created a model of decentralized governance in Syria that could eventually be expanded if Assad were to ever fall.

Hosted By

Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform US foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please send any feedback or questions to our Events staff.