The Missing Account

21 January, 2015

Published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in January of 2015, Farouk Al Sharaa's memoirs of life in the Syrian diplomatic service, The Missing Account, provide a rarte insider's glimpse of the workings of the corridors of powers in Damascus, and Syrian relations with the United States under Hafez Al Assad.

The Missing Account is also the first Syrian insider’s account of the failed peace talks with Israel, as well as a valuable memoir by a man who was at the forefront of Syrian decision making for decades. This, indeed, is the “missing account” in the book's title: while American statesmen like Dennis Ross and Madeleine Albright and Israeli politicians and military officers, including Uri Sagai and Itamar Rabinovich, have told their countries’ version of events, this is the first time that such a senior Syrian personage, a former Vice President, has broken the silence. 

Farouk Al Sharaa, stands unsurpassed amongst Arab foreign ministers during the second half of the twentieth century. Here, for the first time, he provides readers with a detailed, insider’s account of the events which shaped not only Syria, but also Lebanon, Palestine and the entire Arab Mashreq. Alongside his unique insight to the abortive Syrian-Israeli negotiations, mediated by former US President Clinton in Sheperdstown, West Virginia, Al Sharaa provides a rare, ringside view of the machinations inside Damascus' corridors of power.

No less important, Al Sharaa offers valuable information about the personal relationships between former President Hafez Al Assad and his brother Rifaat; the same president’s dealings with Saddam Hussein of Iraq and the stormy relationship with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as well as the story of Syria’s intervention in the Lebanese Civil War. Sifting the wheat from the chaff of the rumor mill, Al Sharaa’s book provides scholars, researchers and historians interested in the minutiae of the Arab-Israeli conflict with a rich source of material to understand not only what has happened, but what is likely to happen in Syria today. 

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