Syria Emergency Law Canceled But Protest Continues (Intermediate News Lesson)

With Answers! | Download Free Intermediate Syria News Lesson plan here: Syria-Emergency-Law-Intermediate-21042011.doc

News Lesson Plan : Warm-up

1)    Have you ever been in a protest?
2)    Do you think citizens have a right to protest? If so, what kind of protest is okay?
3)    Have there been any big protests in your area?
4)    Have you been following the news from Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya?

Syria Emergency Law Canceled But Protest Continues (April 21st, 2011)

The government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad has met a demand of anti-government protesters by lifting a 48-year-old emergency law that allowed the government to make questionable arrests and override constitutional and legal regulations. The law also prohibited people who had been arrested but not charged with anything from complaining in court or from having a lawyer during police questioning.
 
Authorities also are warning against any further demonstrations. Syrian security forces earlier fired at protesters in the city of Homs for the second night in a row. Several protesters were killed or wounded.
Thousands of protesters had gathered in the square Monday after the funeral at Homs’ main mosque for victims of shootings a day earlier. Organizers of the sit-in insisted they would not leave the square until their demands for change were met. Witnesses say that security forces cleared the square by early Tuesday. Anti-government activists are calling for more protests on Friday.
 
A Syrian Interior Ministry spokesman stated that the protests are part of a violent rebellion started by people called Salafists, who follow strict followers of Islam. The spokesman has asked Syrians to report Salafist activity and said the government would not tolerate their violent rebellion.
 
Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, believes the protests will continue in Syria, but does not think the regime is in danger of falling. He says Syria does not strike him as a country where revolution is easy to achieve. He notes though that Syria has had numerous military coups in its history and he believes the country may eventually see another one. (263 words)
 
 [Original: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Syria-Lifts-Decades-Old-Emergency-Law-120206404.html & http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/04/19/syria.unrest/index.html]

News Lesson Plan : Comprehension Questions

1)    What did the old emergency law allow? What did it not allow?
2)    True or False: Syrian activists plan to continue protesting.
3)    Who are the Salafists according to the government officials?
4)    Does Hilal Khashan believe the government fall soon?
Answers
1 – It allowed the government to make questionable arrests and override constitutional and legal regulations. It did not allow people who had been arrested but not charged with anything from complaining in court or from having a lawyer present during questioning.
2 – True
3 – They are a group of strict Islamic followers.
4 – No. He does not believe the government is in immediate danger of falling. However, he does say that there is an eventual possibility of a coup in the future.

News Lesson Plan : Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
 
override (verb)
regulation
prohibit (verb)
authorities
in a row
sit-in
witness (noun)
rebellion
tolerate
coup
Answers
  • override – overrule, cancel, reverse
  • regulation – rule
  • prohibit – make illegal, ban
  • authorities – officials,government, police, etc.
  • in a row – consecutively, back to back, one after another
  • sit-in – seated demonstration
  • witness – a person who has seen an important event
  • rebellion – revolt, revolution (*coup and rebellion have similar meanings)
  • tolerate – endure, support, put up with
  • coup – overthrow, takeover (*coup and rebellion have similar meanings)

News Lesson Plan : Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

override / regulation
sit-in / plan
rebellion / authorities
witness / murder
tolerate / criticism
coup / government
Answers
Possible Answers:
  • The protesters have planned another sit-in for Friday.
  • The authorities tried to crush the rebellion.
  • Jacob witnessed a murder when he was 17 years old.
  • The dictator was unwilling to tolerate any criticism towards him or his rule.
  • Citizens were secretly planning a coup against the corrupt government.

News Lesson Plan: Idiom Focus

to strike <someone> as <something>
 
Meaning:
to give someone a particular impression or feeling
Example:
Syria does not strike the teacher as a country where revolution can be successful.
 
Read and complete the below sentences where necessary.

strikes me as a country where human rights are strictly protected.

Barack Obama strikes me as a man who  .

Answers
Possible Answers:

  • Sweden strikes me as a country where…
  • … a man who chooses his words wisely.
in a row
 
Meaning:
in a series, or set, without interruption; consecutively
Example:
The football team won six games in a row.
Police shot at protestors for the second night in a row

Read and complete the below sentences where necessary.

I have for three nights in a row.

I don't like to for more than two days in a row.

Answers
Possible Answers:
  • I have gone to bed after 1 a.m. for three nights in a row
  • I don't like to eat the same food or go without showering for more than two days in a row.

News Lesson Plan : Discussion Questions

(Write your answers in the Comments section below if you wish).

1)    Why do you think Syria had a 48-year emergency law?
2)    Are there any laws in your country that you’d like to change?
3)    What is the best way to protest a government?
4)    Do you believe the right of assembly (the right to gather to protest) is a universal right?
5)    Are coups sometimes justified?
6)    Are you optimistic about the future of Syria?
7)    Can strongly religious states be democratic?
 

News lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com

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2 comments on “Syria Emergency Law Canceled But Protest Continues (Intermediate News Lesson)

  1. Ken (Posted on 3-2-2012 at 16:17) Reply

    I think difficult. but interesting. syria must stay one country. if government go down, then chaos and civil war and that is no good. now china an russia go against west countries but maybe they right to do so.

  2. admin (Posted on 3-2-2012 at 22:23) Reply

    the situation in Syria seems pretty messy right now. Hopefully the violence will stop.

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