Published:  12:53 AM, 07 November 2017

Syria: A tale of human catastrophe

 Syria: A tale of human catastrophe

March 2011, like most of the Arab countries, Syria also started to be stirred up by Arab Springs. Thousands of protesters took to street to protest against their president, Bashar-Al-Assad , a dictator who ascended to the presidency following his father Hafez-Al-Assad's demise in 2000. 

As the protest gathered momentum all across Syria, Assad, like every other dictator of history, came down hard on those unarmed, non-violent and peaceful protestors whose  desire for freedom and political participation , and demand for an end to a long tyrannical and repressive regime ensured it was going to be an uncertain and very precarious journey .

Then the most conceivable thing happened with Assad's forces brutal crackdown on protestors resulting in the killing of a number of protesters across Syria. Sheer anger along with a sense of retaliation paved the way for further crisis, and what happened next has been a part of historic humanitarian crisis that the world will remember for a long time.

Over the last five years, according to Syrian Center for Policy Research ( SCPR ) , Syria's catastrophic civil war has claimed the lives of nearly 4,70,000 people and displaced 6 million within Syria , creating a refugee crisis which the United Nation called the worst since World War 2 .

Since the beginning, Syria's civil war has become the epicenter of all forms of killings and destruction. The fierce fighting largely between Regime Forces loyal to Assad and Free Syrian Army and other militants groups including ISIS , a violent and ruthless extremist group, and AL-Nusra Front , an AL-Qaeda affiliated group has devastated the country's houses, hospitals, educational institutes, shops and all kinds of physical infrastructures. Consequently, Syria's vulnerable state has given a quite effective pathway for various extremist groups with various agenda to rise, making it one of the world's most popular destinations for extremists.

A civil war that triggered unprecedented pain and sufferings for millions of Syrians has produced gigantic number of refugees. Over 4.7 million Syrians have become refugees outside of Syria, UN estimates. Refugee crisis gets even more worsened when refugees and migrants, mostly Syrians, embark on perilous journey to cross Mediterranean in a desperate bid to reach Europe.

This has caused the death toll to rise in a different way as UNHCR data reveals , in 2016 alone , nearly 2,80,000 refugees arrived in Europe by sea among them 4,176 have died or gone missing , most of them are children , woman and elderly .

The image of Aylan Kurd, a little boy whose death body was found lying along a Turkish's sea beach, has shocked the world, sparked, and spread condemnation worldwide. In fact, it was not Alan Kurd, rather it was humanity lying on that Turkish beach.

Heart-rendering picture of those Syrian children does not end here. The image of Omran Daqneesh ,  a five year old boy , sitting at the back of an ambulance covered in dust and  stained with blood , has demonstrated what they have been going through on a daily basis in their own country. Witness say he (Omran) did not even cry at any point when he was waiting to be treated by the doctors.

The question is Should he cry ?When tribulations , bloodshed  and crying of millions could not protect them from being bombed , and the fact that only his crying would bring no change  was seemed to have known to him . Britain based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the total number of children died in the last five years of this disastrous civil war was no less than 18,000. When the agonizing news of the death of these children continues to go unabated, there is no reason to believe that this number will see any reduction in any time soon.

When all these grim pictures of humanitarian crisis and innumerable casualties continued occurring , meetings , talks , discussions spearheaded by United Nations , US (with EU allies) and Russia  aimed at reaching a solution to end the war proved to be nothing but futile effort as every party involved in the negotiation process largely focused on their own agenda not the humanitarian crisis .

When both Russia and US lashed out at each other for the collapse of the ceasefire, family members in Aleppo city are waiting to be killed together by regime airstrikes or refugees stranded in refugee camps in neighboring countries are being deprived of food, medicines, clothes, shelter , sanitation facilities , and  what is hard to imagine is that a generation of Syrian children are being deprived of education. So what is supposed to happen will happen next.

A world with 7 billion people has been failed to help a few million, a world with nearly 200 countries has been failed to resolve the problems of 1 country. Countries from Asia to Africa, from Europe to America have been apathetic towards the sufferings and pains of millions of ordinary Syrians.

If they (world community) were not, some 4,70,000 people would not have to die , 18,000 children would still be alive today . The failure or inability the world community has shown in dealing with Syrian crisis will surely be an unprecedented one.

We have to be very cognizant of the fact that in globalized world countries at peace means the world at peace and the world at peace means every one of us is at peace. After all there is no denial to the fact that we all live together in one world.

The writer is a student of Political Science at Dhaka University

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