It is one thing to read about what is happening in Syria, even to watch a news piece on the conflict and its victims, but there is something about photography, a still image of a moment in time, that really bring home the brutal reality of the all-consuming civil war and the attempts by Syrians, both those who have fled and those who have stayed, to carry on living a normal life. I haven’t included any blood and gore, those photos can be found elsewhere.
There is no doubt that many still support Assad and his regime, partly as a form sectarian allegiance (he is Alawite, as is 12% of Syria’s population) but also from those who fear the rise of Sunni extremists, who form a part of the revolutionary forces. As sectarian as the conflict is becoming it is not the only dynamic at play, many Sunni inhabitants of Syria are as afraid of this as the Christians (10% of the population) are.
The refugee situation is one of the worst effects of the conflict. How long will these civilians be refugees? When will they be able to return to their homes in Syria? Will they have homes to return to?
This is a conflict that has lasted over 2 years and taken over 70,000 lives with no obvious end in sight. Hopefully something can happen to stop the fighting, a breakthrough at the UN Security Council, a decision by those involved in the fighting to at least commit to a temporary ceasefire to allow some form of diplomacy to interject in to the conflict. Whatever happens Syria will never be the same, we can only hope it can emerge, somehow, together and not consumed with hatred between the mosaic of different peoples.
Jonathan Woodrow Martin