Why did the Alawite prefer Idlib over Tartus?

Dr. Ahmed Muwaffaq Zaidan

Recently several social media platforms circulated a story about Alawite youths that fled from Assad’s sectarian regime areas to Idlib. What was circulated on social media recently regarding Alawite youths fleeing the sectarian regime areas indicates a renewed and real break in the barrier of silence, this time from the Alawite minority, after a decade of revolution. Which started by breaking this barrier, despite all internal and external challenges.

The statements made by these Alawite students exclusively from Tartous, the stronghold, and reserve of the sectarian regime, reflected the lack of prospect on the horizon for the younger Alawite generation. The age of these youths did not exceed 23 years old, meaning they were only 13 years old or younger when the Syrian Revolution started. It suggests that today’s generation of youth no longer sees a future in the regime areas and that they have no desire to defend a criminal gang which has led them to a future completely unknown.

Alaa Musa Hassan, a young man in his early twenties, appeared smiling and completely relaxed, spoke in the video released by the Syrian Center For Safety and Defection on April 12th about how he made the decision with his friends to cross three mountains in order to reach Idlib. He summed it up by saying: “Frankly, we are very tired, we do not wish to return”. It fully reflects what we used to read about the flight of the German youth from East Germany to West Germany, and from North Korea to South Korea. There’s no future under occupation and tyranny against the people.

Ali Samaha, a computer engineering student, talks about an unknown future as well as an unknown present. “When I graduated, I went to Damascus hoping for a better job, but I discovered that my salary would not exceed 40.000 Syrian Pounds which is approximately 10 US dollars. What can this do for me? I can’t buy food or drinks, let alone have a family”.

Alaa sheds light on the poverty afflicting the regime areas saying: “You get a card which gives you a gas-bottle every 60 days, but in reality, you only get it after 80 days, and when entitled to take 3 bags of bread you discover that the authorities only gave you one”.

Surprisingly, one of these youths noted that even if you worked online as a translator or something else and were paid in dollars, you would be unable to spend it in Syria. You would be exposed and risk 5 years imprisonment.

One of them mentioned that eating Shawarma in the regime areas has become a dream. One Shawarma sandwich costs a tenth of a university graduate’s salary. So if a family of 10 all ate a sandwich it would cost them their entire monthly salary in one sitting.

Majd Muhammad Risha, a student at the College of Tourism, narrates his terrors in the steep climbs in the mountains during his escape. He showed the camera traces on his face and hands from the rocks and tree branches that struck him. “My goal was to escape from this humiliation, not a single tree hasn’t hit me, but now praise is to God I’m in safe hands”.

Those that fled the hell of Tartous confirm there’s no freedom there. You cannot ask, let alone know why they reached this point. Majd sarcastically adds “They are calling to open a crossing with Idlib so the people can flee from there. In my opinion, you should open the borders so the people can flee here.”

These youths that fled the depths of hell wish to send a last message to everyone living in the criminal regime areas: The people must put their hands together in order to rise up against them, we’ve become a “mockery” according to Majd. “When we agreed to accept this regime and the humiliation we live in, it’s time we must do something to get rid of this delusion.” Another added “Enough is enough, we must conclude this issue, whatever is said regarding the massacres in Idlib are lies. We live here, drink healthy water, not like that calcined water we are used to in regime-held areas.

To conclude, the revolution which lasted for a decade and remained steadfast despite several occupations is entering a new phase today; motivating the minorities to rise up against the regime they supported throughout the entire previous phase. Their signs hasten every day as a result of the insistence of the revolution and the economic pressures, reflected by this youth’s flight to Idlib. It is a vocal and public scandal and exposes all claims of the regime gang and their occupying allies; not at the level of their failure in intimidating the world regarding the regions of the revolution, their danger, and terror. But rather it exposes the fragility of the regime and the allied occupation’s allegations which were unable to promote it within their own hard-line supporters. And many drops make a flood.


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