December 2, 2013 3:46 PM

How al Qaida’s rise drove a Syrian revolutionary to choose exile

In June, as I was finishing a short fellowship in the United States, many of my friends and family members encouraged me to stay, saying it was the right moment to seek asylum in a country that many Syrians only dream about reaching. None of the advice resonated with me, however. I was determined to go back, with my new experience, to what I thought would be my natural role in the rebellion against the Assad dictatorship.

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