President of Syria

NOTE: We wrote this before things in Syria had descended to today’s utterly horrifying levels. There is unfortunately a lot of suffering in the world. But what these folks are enduring, and/or escaping, and/or enduring while they escape is shocking even in a world full of shockingly awful things.

We are not experts on international aid organizations, but below are a few we know are helping. We encourage you to consider supporting their efforts, as we do, and doing anything else you might be in a position to do. In the city we call home (St. Louis) we’re telling our elected officials that we support bringing refugees here, and again, if you’re in a position to do something similar we encourage you to consider it.

International Rescue Committee
Medicins Sans Frontiers

Choose Your Own Adventure


Do not read this straight through from beginning to end. These web pages contain many different adventures you may have as Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. From time to time as you read along, you will be asked to make a choice. Your choice may lead to success or disaster!

Remember—you cannot go back!
I mean, I guess you could click your browser’s “back” button. But I’ll know if you do, and I’ll be angry about it.

You are Bashar al-Assad, a reserved ophthalmology student living in London.

One day while working on your term paper, “What is the Difference Between Ophthalmology and Optometry?”, you receive a phone call with shocking news—your older brother has been killed in a car accident!

And that’s not all: Your father has chosen you to be his new heir-apparent, and he wants you to fly home immediately so he can start grooming you to become the next president of Syria!

(Did I mention that your father is the president of Syria? Well, he is.)

The next few years are a whirlwind of political and military training. Eventually your father dies, and you ascend to the (democratically elected) ancestral throne. Now that you are the president of Syria, the possibilities are endless!

OK, actually there are three possibilities: