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Transcript of Syria
a human rights catastrophe
the power of word choice
What does war look like?
the Arab Spring & Syria
December 18th, 2010: Self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi
Represents a disenchanted generation
60% of Arab population is >30
Pro-democratic calls for a better quality of life lead to calls for reform and then regime change
Semantics: the "Arab Winter"
Children of Daraa: March 15 2011
Subsequent peaceful protests
Followed by calls for reform
Demands for regime change
How did the conflict become armed?
torture, detention, shabiha, suppression
shelling, snipers, sexualized violence
withholding subsidies, starvation
targeting civilian neighborhoods,
mass summary executions, chemical weapons
What are daily living conditions like? Hospital conditions?
How do we understand the scale?
Identity, Eduction, & Service
Syria in Context
Colonial, post-colonial, modern
French Mandate 1920
Divide, Conquer, & Contain
The Syrian Revolution
Population: 22 million
Size: 71, 479 mi²
Language: Arabic, English, Kurdish, Armenian, Turkish
Religion: Islam (75% Sunni, 10% Alawite/Shiite, 10% Christian)
Ethnicity: Syrian, Palestinian, Armenian, Iraqi, Turkish, Kurdish
Ba'athist Rule: a family business
Hafez Al-Assad 1971-2000
Hama 1982 precedent
Bashar Al-Assad 2000-
The Role of Social Media
Skype/ Youtube/ Twitter/Facebook
Essential tools for activists and expatriates
Manipulation of the Western media - How is Syria portrayed?
Semantics: Civil war v. genocide v. conflict v. revolution
Words like terrorism and islamism and radical
Organization & Fracturization
Free Syrian Army (FSA)
Syrian National Council (SNC)
National Co-Coordination Committee (NCC)
Jabat al Nusra
Islamic State of Iraq and Shams (ISIS) i.e. Islamic State (IS)
Other foreign militants
National Security Bureau
Foreign Militants from Russia and Iran
Iraqi Shi'ite militia
The International Community
US & UN
Types of military and humanitarian aid
Immoral v. amoral policy
Interests v. costs
Does a moral imperative exist?
Facts & Figures
Death Toll: 250,000
Mass scale destruction
Refugees: 4 million (5,000+ per day)
7.6 million internally displaced persons
3/4 are women and children
1/2 of all refugees are children under 17
malnutrition, disease, sever trauma and other physical/mental injuries
lack of sanitation and medical care
ex: Zaatari 20% <4
12.2 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance
0.266: Percentage of population killed in 2012
(For comparison's sake, 0.266% of the population would be 834,834 people for the United States, 167,705 people for the United Kingdom and 3,573,018 people for China, the world's most populous country
2010 UN estimated 32% of Syrians were living in poverty, estimated at 2$ a day or less BEFORE 400% inflation
Well being is interconnected
Expand your capacity
The obligation to teach
There is power in youth and inexperience
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org @LailaSoulaiman
Identity, Education, & Service