Are Syrian refugees in this for the long haul?

Sadly enough, the world received the 1,000th day of Syrian crisis literally in a “celebratory-like” manner

Raed Omari

Published: Updated:

One major constant of the variable Syrian crisis is that it has never been dealt with humanitarianly. Sorrowfully enough, Syria’s more than two-and-a-half-year-old civil war has, so far, been handled by the competing superpowers - the U.S. and Russia - using a political and solely interest-related approach with little regard given to the large-scale suffering of the millions of Syrian refugees stranded within their war-torn country or in neighboring countries.

Though rationality and objectivity are the least qualities expected from someone writing an opinion piece, the striking scene of poorly-and barely-dressed Syrian children, when seeing images of exhausted women and desperate youths fleeing the horrific violence to refugee camps while the U.S. and Russia are busy with arrangements for the much-delayed Geneva II peace conference on Syria, one can’t help but be dismayed, shocked an highly annoyed.

A possible transitional government is the only item the Syrian regime and opposition are set to discuss during the U.S.-Russian peace talks at a luxury Geneva hotel, amidst leaks about the long-awaited conference which lack any agenda item on the refugee crisis. As opposed to the international community’s reluctance on Syria, the urgency of the Syrian crisis is better felt in Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees and in similar refugee camps in Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

However, this is no exception at all for humanity has proved to be absent in the international community’s response to the Syrian crisis since its very outbreak in March 2011, through the dramatic Aug. 21 chemical attack on Damascus’s suburb of Ghouta, the recent harsh snowstorm that affected Syria and all neighboring states with all the accompanying suffering and the ongoing bombing campaign on the northern city of Aleppo.

Marking its thousandth day

With the Syrian crisis recently marking its thousandth day, the U.S. and other world powers, which spent trillions of dollars on “unneeded” wars, have failed to provide an adequate humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees whose number has passed the two million mark according to the UNHCR’s September estimates.

Sadly enough too, the world received the 1,000th day of Syrian crisis literally in a “celebratory-like” manner, with many countries issuing statements of support and sympathy with the Syrian people resembling those commemorating the World Refugee Day, World Health Day and World Toilet Day.

Instead of the “cartoonist” and politically-oriented Geneva II peace conference, Syria is in fact in dire need of having its years-long crisis more humanitarianly-addressed

Raed Omari

Instead of the “cartoonist” and politically-oriented Geneva II peace conference, Syria is in fact in dire need of having its years-long crisis more humanitarianly-addressed. In other words, what is urgently required is a world conference on the refugee crisis to gather donations and secure adequate assistance to the Syrian refugees and the hosting countries as well.

Many politicians have long argued that a political solution to the Syrian crisis necessarily incorporates and automatically leads to an end to the large-scale suffering of the Syrian people. However, such a rationale can be true and valid to a great extent if what they aspire as a comprehensive solution can end up being really inclusive.

I mean the projected Geneva II conference, during which a political solution to the Syrian crisis is to be discussed, is not expected to bring about any comprehensive solution simply with regard to the limited agenda items and the limited number of participants confined so far to the Syrian regime and the opposition Syrian National Coalition. To make the long story short, a humanitarian solution necessarily incorporates a political solution and not the other way around.

Again being so much dismayed and desperate over the absence of humanity in the U.S.’s and Russia’s handling of the Syrian crisis, the suffering of the Syrian people is foreseen to continue for many years to come, with the refugee dilemma expected to transform into a protracted displacement exactly like that of the Palestinian diaspora.

Why such pessimism?

It is needless even to list the reasons behind such pessimism, one needs only to talk to Syrian refugees and visit their camps to know how their displacement is going to be prolonged. They all express gloominess towards their country restoring its stability and security and thus, with the help of international organizations and donor and hosting countries, they work on transforming their camps into “metropolitan” sites with shopping areas, entertainment, playgrounds, currency exchange centers and even mobile shops.

The Syrian refugees’ concerns about the impossibility of their country restoring its stability soon are valid to a great extent. With the international community’s inaction – or inadequate action – on Syria, the unrest sweeping the Arab state is be divided into four blocs so far. These blocs are each ruled by the regime, the Free Syrian Army, the extremist groups and the Kurds.

Syria, which was once described as the globe’s worst crisis since World War II, has been speculated as nearing the “failed state” status, the bloody disasters of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is in fact laid bare to all hostile scenarios with the inevitable outcome being more suffering to the Syrian people whose fate is now bargained by interest-governed politicians who pay little attention to their large-scale suffering.


Raed Omari is a Jordanian journalist, political analyst, parliamentary affairs expert, and commentator on local and regional political affairs. His writing focuses on the Arab Spring, press freedoms, Islamist groups, emerging economies, climate change, natural disasters, agriculture, the environment and social media. He is a writer for The Jordan Times, and contributes to Al Arabiya English. He can be reached via raed_omari1977@yahoo.com, or on Twitter @RaedAlOmari2

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.