The human aspect of Syria

Original content created by Lina Abisoghomyan


Neighboring countries- Many countries in the region welcomed initial flows of Syrian refugees with open arms. Many stayed with families or friends in their homes, the government expanded its public services 

Syrian people- the Syrian people have been through more disarray than most people can imagine. Many have lost everything they had: their homes, their families, and their jobs. The past 5 years have become progressively worse and worse with new and developing conflicts around the corner. The thing is, the reason for instability has not stayed the same: first, it was civil unrest, then anarchy, and now most recently ISIS.


Neighboring countries in the Middle East have set more stringent requirements for refugees after already massive influxes have precipitated destabilization, and the refugees that have managed to resettle there have outlived their welcome and have begun to be treated with animosity. Syria’s neighboring countries, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, have had to bear the brunt of the refugee crisis caused by a combination of the initial springs in 2011 that evolved into the current ISIS situation. Turkey now hosts an estimated 700,000 refugees. Lebanon has begun to see the growing number of refugees disrupting social dynamics and unsustainable increase in the cost for public services, along with a growing rate of unemployment. Jordan has seen a spike in food prices as more and more people need to be fed, and have struggled to provide water rations to their own people. 


There is no political solution in sight, with all the parties even considering a solution, such as Moscow and Aleppo, remaining divided. With no political framework developed, there can be no structured aid being delivered; the UN and other international actors can only wait and hope to aid as new crises arise. The suffering from these violent incidents in civilian areas is getting worse, with 12 million people, or half the population, needing aid just to stay alive and 8 million people having been forced out of their homes. To make matters worse, a massive toll has been taken on the infrastructure: a quarter of Syria’s schools are no longer functioning educational institutions, and more than half the hospitals are not able to function. As many as 10% of Syrian refugees are left vulnerable to sexual violence and torture by citizens of their host countries and even their fellow refugees. The large and rising number of 150 thousand Syrian women running a single-woman household as refugees and as IDPs face hardship in a highly gender conscious society. As more and more husbands and fathers are lost to the conflict, more and more women are left open to harassment and inability to provide for themselves and their children. A new generation of children who in their short young lives have seen nothing but war and violence is a growing number.  Over 100 thousand children have been deemed stateless because of inability to access official state services like education or healthcare, or even obtain a birth certificate. More than 2.3 million children that still remain within Syrian borders are out of school, and that number is probably higher amongst refugee children in host countries with no access to an education.

Gallery Photo Credit: NBC news, Reuters, Amnesty International, The Guardian, FPIF, Harvard Journal, 
Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters, Khalil Ashawi