Syria: What it Was & What it Became

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Six years since the conflict in Syria started, close to 500,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, more than a million injured, and over 12 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes- out of a prewar population of 23 million.

How it All Started:

On March 15th, 2011, the year when the Arab Spring progressed, peaceful protests broke out in a couple of Syria’s cities. The citizens were protesting after 15 boys were arrested and tortured for writing graffiti supporting the Arab Spring. One of the boys, 13- year old Hamza Al-Khateeb, died after brutal torture.

Although the protests were peaceful, the Syrian government, led by dictator Bashar Al Assad, responded with violence. Hundreds of protesters were killed, many more imprisoned. More protests broke out, with the same response from the government. The Free Syrian Army, a group of fighters who had one purpose- to overthrow the government and give the people a chance at democracy, formed soon after.

Citizens continued to protest for they were unhappy with the dictator, and the government, wanting to silence its citizens, continued to respond with violence. However, the people weren’t about to give up.

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At first, the government punished its citizens for speaking out with tear gas and bullets; soon after, they turned to missiles and bombed civilian homes, schools, and hospitals.  According to Physicians for Human Rights, nearly 400 attacks on 269 different hospitals have been documented since the war in Syria began, 90% of them by the government and its allies.

But that wasn’t enough to satisfy the government; chlorine attacks and even chemical attacks soon became a common occurrence for people living in Syria.

“You have to get used to the sound of cannons and bombs. You have to hear the planes and bombs, and yet you have to continue. People go out even if there is a plane above. If you care, you will never go out of your home.”- Rami Zien, a 23-year-old freelance photographer in Syria.

**Warning: watch at your own risk**

Impacts of the War:

Six years later, and Syria is a completely different place. The war between the citizens and the government is still ongoing, with no end in sight. Pretty much all of Syria’s cities now consist of ruined homes, schools, and buildings. Those still living in Syria are barely surviving with next to no electricity, food, or safety.

Most children in Syria haven’t gone to school since the beginning of the war since going anywhere is too risky. Many parts of Syria, including Eastern Aleppo, are under siege, making life even harder.

“People were being isolated, starved, bombed and denied medical attention and humanitarian assistance in order to force them to submit or flee.”- Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Stephen O’Brien.

A city that has it especially bad is Aleppo; what many people remember as a beautiful busy city, is now almost completely wiped out.

What can you do? Educate yourself. Speak out. Raise awareness. Support Syrian refugees if you know any. For those on the verge of death in Syria, any type of help is appreciated.


15 thoughts on “Syria: What it Was & What it Became

  1. yqrjamal April 7, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    This blog post was great. Syria is in a huge turmoil and I understand what the people are going through. This will really help raise awareness.


    • oladb April 7, 2017 / 5:09 pm

      Thank you for reading my post, and I hope it does raise awareness.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. maryumsaif April 7, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Your post literally left me in shock. I knew that things were bad in Syria but I did not know that the main reason of all of it was the government. I recently read a book about a Syrian refugee called, “A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea”, written by Melissa Fleming. I recommend that you read it if you are interested in reading about the experiences of the Syrian refugees. Anyways, your post was very insightful. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oladb April 7, 2017 / 5:07 pm

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed my post. Many people hear about the conflict in Syria, but they do not fully understand it, so I decided to write about it. I haven’t read that book and I’m sure it would be interesting to hear first- hand accounts of the struggles refugees go through. Thank you for reading my post!


  3. hanaqomar April 7, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    It upsetting how this has been going on for half a decade, yet many are still unaware of the war. Awareness is definitely needed so we can end the suffering. Anyways, great job on the post. Hopefully many can understand the conflict before it’s too late.


    • oladb April 7, 2017 / 5:12 pm

      Thank you for reading my post. I’m seriously hoping we can do something about the war and work towards ending it before it completely wipes out the country.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SundalHaqqani April 7, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    You know, we hear about all of these issues quite a lot but we usually aren’t aware of how much of an issue it is because we aren’t in that situation. Ola,I think its devastating that the Syrian civil war has no end in sight, let alone, how horrible the situation itself is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oladb April 7, 2017 / 5:19 pm

      Thank you for reading my post. That is true, and by writing this post I hoped to raise awareness about the situation in Syria. And actually, it isn’t a civil war. A civil war is war between the citizens of the same country. In Syria, however, it is the government and the citizens at war.


      • SundalHaqqani April 7, 2017 / 5:26 pm

        Thank you for informing me more about the Syrian war, because then I would have been thinking I know all about it, yet I wouldn’t have even known what it actually is called.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. mantaquachowdhury April 7, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    I really don’t know what to say. Everyone comments supportive things when they hear about the Civil War in Syria, and yet when it comes to doing something, we really can’t. I feel like praying for the minority of people left in Syria and those displaced from their homes, are our only way of aid at this point. I just wish government officials of higher prestigious countries would do something that would actually have an impact on the war, and bring real hope for and end of this horrible war.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oladb April 7, 2017 / 5:24 pm

      That is true- like they say, we all talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Many government officials have the power to put an end to this war; however, they all turn the other way and don’t bother doing anything about it. Also, the Syrian conflict being a civil war is a common misconception. A civil war is a war between citizens of the same country. While in Syria, it is a war between the government and its people. Thank you for reading my post!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ashleypmurray April 12, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    I think the images and videos you shared are really eyeopening. It is so sad to see a country destroyed because of war. To me it appears as things aren’t getting any better and that is a very scary thing.

    I appreciate the information you provided through the links in your blog, but I would like to recommend that you ensure they open in a new tab.


  7. Noor April 24, 2017 / 12:26 am

    I am really glad for this post because it well educates people about what is happening in Syria and how it is really heartbreaking. It is not simple, it is very complicated and I hope people are eye-opened by this. Thank you for this post! May Syrians have it better, and if God wills let the war end! Check my blog out:

    Liked by 1 person

    • oladb April 25, 2017 / 2:31 am

      Hey Noor, thanks for stopping by!
      Hopefully, the situation for Syrians- and everyone else who lives in war-torn countries- gets better.
      I appreciate your comment and hope you read my future posts, too!


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