The Syrian revolution is “still there, but it is buried under all this rubble”, the writer Yassin al-Haj Saleh told a London audience on Tuesday.
The situation facing Syrian civil society was formed in layers, Saleh said.
The first layer was the first two years of the revolution (2011-13), when there was an explosion of collective community action against
Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The second layer was the struggle of regional powers including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey who feared the spread of popular rebellion.
The third layer was the intervention in Syria of American and Russian forces in 2014.
The world had stood by when the Assad regime launched a chemical attack on civilians at Ghouta in 2013: after that, Syrians had felt “isolated and betrayed”, Saleh said.
Those who had participated in the revolution were “exhausted”, he continued. A quarter of the population had been displaced, many of whom were now living outside the country.
The regime was being restored, with the support of the international powers, but none of the economic and social problems that caused the 2011 uprising had been solved. Even Syrians who were not opposed to the regime wanted their lives to change for the better, and no such change is likely.
Outside Syria, Saleh said, groups of activists are working in the field of culture, and on human rights issues.
“We are still in struggle. We are not pessimists”, he said.
Saleh was speaking over skype to a meeting on Tuesday organised by the Syrian Society of students at the School of Oriental and Read the rest of this entry »