There are many dark days ahead in the short term, but sometime down the line, Syria will be much brighter than it was in 2010.”—Stephen Starr
In a recent interview with Syria Today, Stephen Starr, author of Revolt in Syria: Eye-witness to the Uprising discussed the current situation in the country and the many challenges that lay ahead. While there will continue to be bloodshed and turbulence, he believes that ultimately the uprising will succeed and that over time, Syria will be the better for it.
Starr has spent much time on the ground in Syria and has witnessed the devastation in the country but has also been impressed by the courage of Syrians. In assessing the situation in Syria, Starr focuses on the regime’s weakening control:
In my eyes, what makes Syria interesting today is that people have been governed in a very structured way for a very long time – security and political issues, for example, are realms for the regime only. In many ways, the structure of that authority is collapsing, and how Syrians are reacting to that change is fascinating.
It is a unique feeling to witness people calling for freedom in the streets when they could be gunned down at any moment. Their courage is astonishing.
Starr also speculates on the ways in which the situation in Syria is different than those in other Arab countries, which recently saw the ruling regime collapse:
Though the socio-economic reasons are similar, Syria is different for many others. The ruling system in Syria has been skilfully created with this moment of revolt in mind. Of course there is a sectarian issue. Besides this, many people just want a quiet life, for their kids to be safe, and to have a job. They don’t care who is governing them as long as they have these things. Some fear having their churches controlled by an Islamist government, and their women being told how to dress. But it is hard for these arguments to stand up in the face of such ruthlessness and killing.