The young Syrian in the white undershirt cradled a toddler in his arms as he sat beneath a line of laundry strung up between two stout gum trees. He stared out from behind the rusty metal gate of the disused tobacco warehouse that is now home to hundreds of Syrian refugees, most of whom are from the flashpoint town of Jisr al-Shughour, some 40 kilometers south of the Turkish border
Like many of the syrian farming communities near Lebanon’s northern border, Aarida, as seen from the Lebanese village of Buqaya, offers a bucolic scene worthy of a postcard.
As the crisis in Syria continues, many observers are beginning to say that if the protesters cannot overthrow the regime, the economy will. With political uncertainty at a suffocating level, the Syrian pound has fallen against the U.S.
Abu Rida barely has time to talk.
The women and children waited until early morning of April 28 and then they fled in their hundreds. Most of the Syrians walked the few short kilometers from their hometown of Tall Kalakh, a cluster of low-slung cream-colored homes scattered on a gently sloping hill, toward the sleepy Lebanese village of Al-Boqia’a just across the river that demarcates the border, a two-hour drive north of Beirut
Unconfirmed reports that Syrian army troops were battling each other were an indication of how divided the country is regarding dealing with political dissent. The Damascus regime’s reputation for brutality is fearsome.
If human rights workers and journalists are ever allowed into the besieged southern Syrian city of Dara’a near the Jordanian border, what horrors will they find? Syrians always had good reason to avoid rebelling against their authoritarian regime, ignoring early calls to join the Arab Spring.
The last time Syrians took on their ruling Ba’athist regime it was 1982. The protesters then were Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood.
In his 11 years in power, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, has cultivated an everyman image of himself, in stark contrast to the formal, distant mien of his late father and predecessor Hafez. The late president was feared more than he was loved.
The Baathist regime that has ruled Syria for 48 years is on the ropes.