This book is based on papers presented at the conference. However, it is not a typical publication of academic conference proceedings because the topics are not completely congruent with those of the conference. Some lectures that could not be held due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic were submitted as book contributions. In addition, I also wrote a short contribution on the Jewish history of the region, which has been often neglected in previous presentations of the region. The various authors for this volume have been intensively involved with the region in recent years. However, the authors do not only focus on the situation on the ground, but also on the international context of the autonomous administration. The conflict in Syria is no longer just a civil war, but a transnational conflict with important roles played not only by actors such as Russia or the USA, but also Turkey or Iran. Given the transnationality of the conflict and the role of the hegemonic powers, these authors share thoughtful analyses from very different perspectives. It is important to share these diverse views with the world so that the tragic conflict might become more comprehensible. This does not mean, however, that I necessarily advocate each particular position taken by the varied contributors to this book. The intent is to offer you multiple perspectives and certainly not a common narrative.