As we speak, the Syrian population is battling a civil war, ignited by the airborne transmission of rebellion known as the “Arab Spring”. The ongoing conflict started in March 2011 as people took to streets to protest against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and called for a democratic establishment. However the protests were answered by violence which only furthered the frustration of the protestors and caused rebellion.
The nature of the war has been seen by many to be “sectarian”. The government led by the Assad family represents the interests of Alawite, a religious group which is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. On the other hand, the rebels in opposition mainly constitute the Sunni Muslims, which is the largest religious group by population. A third opposition is that of ISIL or ISIS, a jihadist militant group, that conflicts with the government as well as the rebels.
Syria has been under emergency rule since 1963, as the Ba’ath Syrian Regional Branch came to power after a successful coup d’etat, until 2011. In 1971, one of the masterminds of the coup d’etat, Hafez al-Assad declared himself President and stayed in power until his death in 2000. His successor, Bashar al-Assad, ignited hopes of freedom but failed to make any reforms. Syria remained under emergency rule with conditions of living only worsening with time. A gathering of more than 5 people was prohibited, the authorities made unjust arrests and free market policies polarised the economy in favour of the rich. As the price of survival rose each year for minorities, frustration grew and a full-fledged uprising was witnessed.
Since the crisis broke out in 2011, Syria has been in constant everyday conflict with numerous massacres, heartbreaking figures of civilian casualties, and usage of chemical weapons haunting its streets. More and more Syrians have fled to seek refuge in other parts of the world to witness everything they ever called home from a farther distance.
In conclusion, I’d like to direct readers to the Facebook page of Humans Of New York where the genius Brandon gives you a view into the broken hearts of Syrian refugees who seek asylum in America: