Syria Refugee Crisis
In the ancient farming town of Dar’aa, a small group of schoolboys’ sprayed walls to a grain silo with the words the people want freedom and justice back in the third month of 2011. The town’s secret service police were informed of the defaced walls and immediately sought to arrest the young boys. After their arrest the boys were taken to an undisclosed location and tortured while their parents began protests demanding their release which was granted after one week. The boys clearly exhibited tell-tale signs of torture (Starr 165). These seemingly insignificant actions led to the mushrooming of the Syrian Revolution which coincided with the Arab Spring which was also experienced in other MENA member states such as Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain.
Two years later, the Syrian revolution has explosively developed into an all-out civil war amassed with much human suffering. This essay seeks to delve into the events that have led to the escalation of internal conflict as well as the refugee crisis that has gripped all countries bordering Syria as the result of some misdemeanor actions initiated by a bunch of innocent school boys.
Syria under the leadership of President of Basher Al Assad
In the month of July 2000, President of Basher Al Assad was sworn in as the new leader of Syria. The country as well as the international community showed much optimism in the new, energetic and young leader with a profound western education. In his maiden speech, Assad sought to ensure that Syria became a modernized country (Starr 51). However, after 11 years in power, Syria as a peaceful Arab country simply disintegrated into a war stricken country with citizen fighting against one another on the basis of inequitable distribution of national wealth and more so on calls for regime change.
In essence, scholars point out that the Syrian regime under President Assad may have come to power at the joy of many progressive Syrians but the attempts to evidently modernize the profoundly authoritarian rule of Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, turned tragic (Starr 51). The young President Assad is said to have taken over a blemished regime from his father though he is accredited with initiating the country’s administration change into a capitalist style economy though keeping the country’s famed nationalist ideals. This however fell short of keeping the country safe from the events that led to the Arab Spring bringing the country into an all-out civil war in a state that was perceived by the international community as a prime example of what is now referred to as authoritarian modernization (Starr, 87).
The Arab Spring in other North African and Middle East countries motivated the rural populations which had since 2000 witnessed young Assad’s presidency sideline then economically, politically and socially (Starr 82). The vulnerabilities on which Assad’s modernization strategies were based upon crumbled under the pressures that emanated from
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