Despite being military par excellence, Turkish presence has been widely welcomed by different segments of Syrian society in Idlib countryside and the Euphrates Shield areas, north of Aleppo. The reason for that being its contribution, for the first time since the outbreak of the uprising almost seven years ago, to improving the living conditions of said areas at several levels.
Notwithstanding the overload of photographs especially through social media, there has in recent years also been a growing use of illustration to raise awareness, inform audiences and to tell stories.
Their presence is renowned but rarely witnessed. You hear a lot about their role in the news and from friends who witnessed the tragedies they have caused in the country. Yet regardless of where you stand politically, the mixed feelings they evoke in you as a civilian in Syria are still ambiguous: Russian soldiers.
Perspectives on the Russian soldiers in Al-Waer neighborhood, west of Homs, vary between welcoming them on the one hand, judging by their good treatment of residents compared to the regime’s soldiers and allied Shiite militants, and the absolute rejection of their presence on the other.
Syrian citizens are fleeing from their war-torn homeland, and some of them have chosen Russia as their country of asylum. But life for them here is also a struggle.
The truth is, I am jealous of you. Yet I also learn from you. I learn to be a prolific writer with no other purpose than writing. I learn to respect the reader, and to keep in mind that someone smarter than me could be reading this, which prompts me to bring out the best in me.
Most Syrian residents do not use the word “occupation” to describe the Russian presence in their homeland, and some traders even benefit economically from it.
Do your torturers, the interrogator and the prison guards know that, under other circumstances, you might help them if they were poor and in need? And that you would do that without asking about their thoughts, backgrounds, opinions and actions?