This morning, while turning the pages of my newspaper, an article caught my attention, while my eyes managed to skip the remaining interesting piece of words. The article read “Syria Conflict: Aleppo Hospital hit by barrel bombs”. I skimmed through the article to read that at least 400 civilians, including many children had been killed in the city that week as a result of Russian and Syrian government attacks. It was disheartening news which made me wonder till when the sufferings of Syrian people would last. Would they ever be able to see a morning which is not surrounded by fear, bloodshed and war?
But Syria has not always been like that.
Before the uprising, Syria was a normal country like any other country of the world.
The people of Syria would wake up to delicious sweet smell from the neighbourhood bakery. Art of various forms was appreciated and made, for instance, movies, shayaris(poetry) and storytelling. Tourists who visited the country would check out various shopping items like spices, jewelry, cloth and a variety of traditional handicrafts. Like any other diverse civilization, Syrians also lived peacefully with people from other faiths and ethnicities. Definitely, those were the days!
While I write here about Syria’s glory of the past, the country continues to bleed in the present era.
Somehow, all the blessings were taken away from the lives of Syrians since the outbreak of Syrian conflict in 2011 which has now taken the form of a civil war.
What ignited the current scenario in the country started in Tunisia on 17 December’2010, when a young Tunisian, Mohammad Bouazizi, self immolated himself in response to the atrocities of Government officials towards him. Despite immediate action and some optimistic recovery from Bouazizi, he could not be saved.
But, his message was already sent to Tunisia, which rapidly outreached the other parts of Arab. What followed were major or minor conflicts, coup d’état and in some cases, as of Syria, a CIVIL WAR.
The lady government official, Faida Hamdi, involved in the harassment of Bouazizi could never have imagined the repercussions of her act, that morning. But, as soon as she confiscated Bouazizi’s cart, the damage was done. There was no going back. Almost 6 years later, tens of thousands of lives are lost in what we call the Arab Spring. And the irony is, innocent lives have been sacrificed to achieve better living conditions and peace.
Amidst the chaos, people who have survived, want refuge in other close by countries of Europe. But that is also a cumbersome process, as many countries have closed their borders for the refugees of Arab Spring. This has led to illegal trafficking, the result of which the world has seen with the death of Aylan Kurdi. The world was shocked to see the pictures of his lifeless body sleeping on the shore. All the leaders of the world expressed their disappointment and grief. There was huge public and media outcry. But even the most wretched incidents have not been able to bring Syria back to peace.
The war at present is being fought among several groups : the Syrian Government, a loose alliance of Syrian Arab rebel groups, the Syrian Democratic Forces, Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front) who often co-operate with the rebels, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This has only led to multiple massacres with no end result. Apart from the death toll, various cultural heritages have been damaged. Five of the six UNESCO , World Heritage Sites have been damaged. This war has affected a total of 290 heritage sites.
Syria is dying with each passing day, and even International interventions have not helped. This is high time, a resolution is found out. Six years is a long period. And, for innocent people and children , the present picture of Syria would be worse than hell. All human beings should get equal opportunity to thrive and survive. A Civil War which has ceased to make any sense now, because of so many groups fighting, is taking the basic living rights from Syrians. Sincere peace initiatives should be taken by UN, Syria, First world countries and other international organizations.
I wish that in the coming days, when I skim the newspapers, my eyes meet good things written about Syria. And as we all know, the world continues to thrive on the four lettered word, HOPE.