A report I wrote for Al-Monitor on the aftermaths of the ongoing conflict on the daily lives of university students in the province of Hasakeh.
Syrian Conflict Keeps
University Students at Home
AMUDA Syria — “The governorate of Hasakeh is a swamp, I need to get out of here,” said red-bearded Abu Wa’el, the commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Dir’ al-Muslimin (Armor of Muslims) brigade in Ras al-Ain. FSA fighters crave fighting with the regime, but they remain stuck in the barracks most of the time because the front line is elsewhere. Themujahedeen are not the only ones burdened by inertia in one of the regions largely spared from government shelling, as thousands of university students waste at least one year without attending classes.
Even if their situation were not comparable to their compatriots under the bombs in Aleppo or Homs, where thousands of schools have been destroyed or converted into shelters for refugees, the students in Hasakeh are often left with the only option of migration.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/07/syria-war-education-kurds-fsa-1.html#ixzz2ajWJkNX8
An article I just wrote for Al-Monitor, following some interviews with local NGOs and YPG fighters..(NB: The NGO is called Shawishka, not Shawisha).
Syrian Kurdish NGOs Prevent Recruitment of Youth Soldiers
QAMISHLI, Syria — The sparing of Syrian Kurdish regions from the regime’s shelling over the last two years has facilitated the launch of several civil society organizations. However, on a daily basis these new associations have to cope with the attempts of Kurdish political parties shaping civil society according to their tenets. In particular, the fragile coexistence of any independent actor with the prevailing political force — the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) — risks imploding as soon as this party’s monopoly of the public sphere comes under threat.
Among the challenges faced by these nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) is the struggle against the brain drain of the educated youth who are forced to emigrate because of the dire economic situation and the need to keep impoverished teenagers from turning to weapons. The PYD seems to work in the opposite direction by recruiting young fighters within their Popular Protection Units (YPG) militia, which also appears to provide alternative values to street kids, despite its ideological brand. Only time will tell whether the threats posed by both the regime and the Arab opposition will continue to legitimize this militarization or disappear to make place for a thriving Kurdish civil society.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/syria-kurds-pyd-youth-civil-society.html#ixzz2VZbd6PTm
Categories: Kurdistan, Syria
Tags: AlMonitor, civilsociety, DemocraticUnionParty, KurdistanWorkersParty, Popular Protection Units, Qamishli, Shawishka, Syria, SyrianKurds, West Kurdistan
An article I wrote for Al-Monitor after a set of interviews with warring factions, engineers and normal people, who are not even getting electricity out of all these energy reserves.
Syrian Oil Becomes Fault Line
MALEKIYYAH, Al-HASSAKAH PROVINCE, Syria — The province of Hassakah is the Syrian oil tank. Before the revolution, its 170,000 barrels per day accounted for more than half of the country’s oil production, thus representing the backbone of those oil exports covering a third of national export revenues. Syrian oil engineers working in the province told Al-Monitorthat the Democratic Union Party (PYD) — affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) — currently controls around 60% of the oil fields, leaving the remaining 40% in the hands of several factions of the Arab opposition. Since the conflict engulfed the route of the pipelines to the refineries, however, the drills have stopped working.
Despite such a fragmented context, the European Union on April 22 decided to lift the oil embargo on liberated regions in Syria in an attempt to support the opposition. The move, though, is likely to stir up Kurdish-Arab strife and catalyze regime raids on a region that has largely remained immune to the conflict so far. The war for control of Syria’s energy resources has not even started, but mutual allegations are already circulating between the parties involved, which accuse each other of cutting power supplies and dealing with the regime.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/syria-oil-kurds-pyd-eu.html#ixzz2Tw2s2NL7
Categories: Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, Turkey
Tags: AlMonitor, DemocraticUnionParty, EuropeanUnion, FreeSyrianArmy, gasfields, Hasakeh, KurdistanWorkersParty, Malekiyyah, oil embargo, Pkk, Pyd, Rumaylan, Syria, Syrian oil