“Why did you leave Syria?”
“Why didn’t you stay and defend your country?”
“Why didn’t you stay to support your case?”
Many people are asking these questions to me as a young refugee from Syria, now living in Germany.
Most of them don’t really know what is going on in Syria.
For all who want to know why particularly the young people take flight, here are some reasons that I hope you will try, just try to understand.
1) Fear, insecurity and radom violence:
Imagine you are going out to buy bread and come back as a dead body or in truncated parts or do not come back at all! Imagine you are visiting someone in the neighborhood and when the police spot you and they arrest you without any reason. Then you might be tortured to death. Or you can also just be sitting at home when a bomb hits your building, killing you and everyone else in inside.
These are some of the scenarios that are still happening every day in Syria. There are no safe places anymore and the violence is totally unpredictable. You know it’s coming, you just don’t know when. These brutal disasters are forcing the people to search for a safe place for them and their children, especially young people, a place away from war and fear, a place outside Syria.
Young men and girls are considered prey for the forces of oppression and murder of the Syrian regime. Those who want no part in this violence prefer to get away from this blood bath.
2) Humiliation and indignity:
Many people would rather die than be constantly humiliated. Imagine you are going to work and suddenly some soldier orders you to stop. He starts to address you with the most horrible words, insulting and eroding every last bit of your dignity. You stand there without being able to do anything, because if you try to, you will almost certainly end up dead.
Imagine you are on your way to school when you are stopped by one of the soldiers at the checkpoints and he commands you to go down and kneel in front of him. Then he beats you, humiliates you while you are innocent and unarmed. If you are lucky he will let you to continue your way or he will force you to return.
If you decide to go out with your family for any reason, you must be aware that your children could be beaten or your wife could be raped in front of your eyes.
All this daily pressure and humiliation is part of why the people look for a place where their human dignity is respected. Again, today that place can only be found outside Syria.
3) Terrible living conditions and high prices:
Imagine you are going out to buy milk for your baby and you are shocked that you can no longer afford it. What would you say to your child when he asks you to buy food and you don’t have the money for it?
Prices have skyrocketed because of the war and unstable overall situation. For many suppliers it has become too dangerous to operate in Syria and thus there is no reliable supply of food,
hygiene articles or anything else for the civilian population. Even the most basic needs like milk and bread have become unaffordable for many.
Hence, it should come at no surprise that people are eating rotten food and are searching for food in the garbage.
There is no guarantee for survival in Syria, even if you manage to stay clear of the bloodshed. It prompts many young people to leave for to other countries, where they can at least ensure their daily bread.
4) Who should I fight for?
The war in Syria is very complicated. The Syrian Armed Forces, the Free Syrian Army, ISIS, the Al-Nusra Front, Hezbollah, and many other factions are all parties involved with different goals and agendas. In most cases it is no longer clear what a party is fighting for and who they are fighting against.
Most actors are supported by external powers. Russia directly supports the Assad regime with personnel and weaponry, the USA indirectly supports the rebel forces with money and weapons while it directly airstrikes ISIS, Iran supports Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia supports the rebel forces, the global al Qaeda network supports the Al-Nusra movement, ISIS recruits new fighters from the Arab region, Africa and Europe and European states are also indirectly involved.
The war in Syria is no longer just a civil war, it has become a global proxy war where almost every major power on earth is
involved. What started as a peaceful uprising against the Assad regime has turned into a global chess game. It just happens to take place in Syria and because of the continuous support of regional and global powers, resources are constantly restocked and the war is very unlikely to end anytime soon.
Of course, every Syrian wants to defend his country but no one can guarantee that he will make it out alive and there is very little hope at the moment. And since no one wants to live with remorse, many people decide to be neutral and leave Syria.
5) Education for a better future
“Syria after the war” is my dream and the dream of many of those who decided to be the builder generation.
We will complete our studies abroad, in societies, where some help us and others blame us for leaving our country. What people would we become if we stayed in Syria? People that have been shaped by war, repression and violence. Would such people be able to build a peaceful and stable country?
We will prepare ourselves, waiting for the moment of victory. When it has finally come, many of us, engineers, teachers, economists and security guards will return home and to rebuild Syria step by step, the united and secure Syria and most importantly free Syria.