Widely respected Middle East author and Trinity University professor David Lesch will draw on his acquaintance with Syrian President Bashar Assad to discuss the leader’s transformation from bearer of hope to repressor of the Syrian revolution in the wake of the Arab Spring. Lesch will speak at Rice University’s Baker Institute at 6 p.m. Oct. 22.
An experienced Middle East scholar and consultant, Lesch came to know Assad through a series of meetings between 2004 and 2009. In his book “Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad” (September 2012, Yale University Press), he explores Assad’s failed leadership and his regime’s violent response to the uprising of his people in the wake of the Arab Spring. Drawing on his firsthand experience with the president and members of the ruling elite as well as on extensive research, Lesch scrutinizes Assad’s turn toward repression and charts the steps taken toward the violence of 2011 and 2012.