“We live in constant fear of whether we will live or die. I want the rockets to stop. I want to go back to my home and live peacefully.”--Manal*, a mother of two from Hama.
As war rages on in Syria, the civilian population is suffering extreme violence. Since 2012, we’ve been talking with civilians in Syria--and refugees who fled to Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon--about their experiences and what assistance they need to rebuild and recover from the harm (we call this post-harm assistance). Our team interviewed Syrians from myriad confessional backgrounds, leaders of the political and armed opposition, Syrian army defectors, UN agencies, local and international NGO staff, government and military officials, lawmakers, diplomats, doctors and nurses, journalists, civil society activists, and religious leaders.
We’ve also spoken extensively with the armed and political opposition about civilian protection, and what, if any, policies its leadership maintains to minimize harm to the population.
Our recent public documents include recommendations to nations offering the Syrian opposition technical and material assistance, an issue brief on Civilian Protection in Syria analyzing the civilian protection mindset of the armed opposition, and a brief describing what Syrians told us about the harm they suffered and types of assistance they need post-harm. In early 2013, we convened an expert roundtable to consider the impact of foreign military involvement in Syria on civilians.
Photo by Nicole Tung
Voices from Civilians
Dispatches from Syria series deisgned by Jessica Whiteford with creative direction from Caroline Kavit.