Since its independence from France in 1946, Syria has been rocked by periods of political instability.
This documentary tells the story of the past and brings it right up to the present to provide deeper historical context to the events of today as war continues to rage in Syria with the unleashing of many of the forces which had been previously repressed.
As the colonial hold of the great powers began to fade and the region witnessed a wave of Arab nationalism, Syria shifted through a succession of military coups. But in 1970, Hafez al-Assad, an ambitious minister of defense, seized control. Rising from a humble background in western Syria, he was to rule the country for 30 years.
His was an autocratic one-party state in which any dissent was ruthlessly suppressed. Following the death of Hafez in 2000, father was succeeded by son - Bashar al-Assad took the reins and a dynasty was born.