The Syrian Conflict Continues to Affect Many

The stark reality of the turmoil in Syria.

The stark reality of the turmoil in Syria.

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Article: Rikkeal Bohmann – News Editor

The Syrian conflict does not hit far from the University of Regina, which has many Syrian students

Second-year University of Regina Syrian psychology student, Tuqa Diarbakerly, has only been able to be a visitor to her homeland in her life, “We are refugees from the eighties, because before President Bashar al-Assad, it was his father. He was also like Bashar, [there was] oppression.  My father was there at that time and he had to move to Jordan. I was born in Jordan. I went to Syria one time, before the revolution of course.  My family can’t go to Syria again. If the regime didn’t step down, they would be taken to prison.”

There is a large Syrian community in Jordan, which has expanded more and more since conflicts in Syria erupted. Over 500,000 Syrians have gone to Jordan. The Jordanian population has risen 8 per cent in just two years as a result. Neighbouring countries face the same influx of people and straining of resources due to higher populations.

There have been over 100,000 causalities from the violence in Syria, while more than two million Syrians have fled the country.

“There is always bombing [in Syria]. They always feel like their life may end at any time. They are afraid because people who have daughters, they are always afraid, because there are sexual assaults and rape from the military itself,” Diarbakerly explains.

She has family and friends still in Syria as well. Two of her uncles and their sons still remain in Syria and do not have plans on leaving.

Diarbakerly goes on to say, “they can come to Jordan, but they don’t want to because in Jordan it isn’t so much better. They will live in bad conditions and they want to stay in their country even with bad conditions.”

She also has friends fighting against the regime, but does not have much communication with them.

There are many mixed opinions on what the international community should do, especially following the Aug. 21 chemical attacks near Damascus. Obama has recently returned back from a G20 summit held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

No consensus was given to the United States to engage in limited strikes in Syria though. The European union has agreed on Saturday that the chemical attack was the fault of the Syrian regime, but many are waiting to find out what the United Nations inspector report says.  The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, following the UN Charter, has insisted that a military strike in Syria will only be legal if the Security Council gives permission. Russia said Monday that it is willing to push Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and then to have them dismantled.

Canada has only pledged humanitarian aid and continues to say it will not give military help.  Since Jan. 2013, Canada has given over $203 million to Syria.

Diarbakerly believes we should not stop there though.

“Canada can do more. It’s a big country and they have media and they have to do more. All the big countries can do more.”

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