Here is an essay I wrote last year for my "Power, Privilege, and Oppression" class at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. I think it's worth sharing, so have a look and see what you think.
Intersectionality and Injustice in the Wartime Economy of Aleppo
by Sean O’Keefe, May 10, 2013
The countryside is the heartland of the Syrian Revolution. Between the first protests in Dar‘aa in March 2011 and the beginning of the armed anti-regime insurgency in October 2011, the uprising’s primary mode of resistance was mass protest and civil disobedience in rural areas and outlying suburbs. By the time the insurgency began, according to the UN, President Bashar al-Asad’s regime had killed over 3,000 Syrian civilians (BBC, 2011). Yet only two of Syria’s seven largest cities, Hama and Homs, experienced sustained popular resistance in 2011. By May 2012, when the Houla Massacre and the breakdown of a UN-sponsored truce signaled the beginning of full-scale civil war, there were already 10,000 civilian dead and 60,000 refugees in neighboring countries. In the past year, about 60,000 Syrian civilians have died, according to UN estimates (Khera, 2012). Today, 1.4 million Syrians are refugees and even more are internally displaced inside Syria itself. By the end of 2013, the UN projects, three million Syrians will be refugees and 4.5 million will be displaced inside Syria itself (UNCHR, 2013). The result has been one of the greatest human tragedies of the twenty-first century.
Aleppo is Syria’s commercial capital and its largest, most cosmopolitan city. Its three million residents make up nearly one-seventh of Syria’s 22 million people. Over the past decade, the steady decrease in agriculture and oil production in Syria’s economy has heightened the importance of manufacturing and exports (Nasser, Mehchy, & Abu-Ismail, 2013). Before the uprising, Aleppo generated up to 65 percent of Syria’s non-oil wealth (Glass, 2012). The average income by purchasing power parity in Syria, which is relatively poor in comparison to neighboring countries, was just $5,100 in 2011 (CIA, 2013). Since the uprising began, Syria’s economy has already contracted by at least 30 to 40 percent (Al-Khalidi, 2012). Since 32 percent of Syrians were living in poverty (under $2 a day) in 2008, the effects of the war mean that a majority of Syrians are living in poverty today. If it goes on for years, as it almost certainly will, the war will rob an entire generation of Syrians of the chance to reach their potential and fulfill their aspirations.
Throughout 2011, most leading observers of Syria asserted that the revolution would not succeed unless Aleppo and Damascus saw widespread civil disobedience and popular uprisings. That never really happened. The residents of Aleppo and Damascus remained largely supportive, neutral, or silent towards the regime. In July 2012, opposition fighters launched an ambitious offensive and attempted to seize Aleppo and Damascus for the first time. Although regime forces repulsed them from Damascus proper, rebel forces gained a strong foothold in Aleppo. Today, Aleppo is a divided city. Kurdish militias hold the northern suburbs, Syrian army units and pro-regime militias hold most of western Aleppo, and rival Free Syrian Army, Islamist, and al-Qaeda affiliated rebel factions hold eastern Aleppo.
Aleppo’s social and economic collapse has transformed its economic power structures and its patterns of political power. From looting to distribution networks, Aleppo’s economy is now in the hands of disjointed groups of fighters who have a vested interest in the war’s continuation because they profit enormously from it. Peace and stability would remove the new, hard-won privileges that Aleppo’s army and militia leaders have gained.
In this paper, I will use the “Intersectional Approach Model” (Mason) to examine the new forms of oppression and injustice that the wartime transformation of Aleppo’s economy is inflicting upon its residents. The intersectional approach model emphasizes that oppression against one particular group is almost always reinforced and sustained by the oppression inflicted upon other groups. The prevailing modes of economic oppression against individuals in Aleppo have just such an intersectional character because they profoundly damage the social and economic wellbeing of the entire population. I chose Aleppo, finally, because, as Abdul-Ahad (2012) says, “This is the most important battle in Syria. Through the battle of Aleppo, we can see the future of the Syrian revolution.”
For most of the past four decades, the authoritarian regime of Hafez al-Asad (1970-2000) and his son Bashar (2000-present) has dominated the institutional life of Aleppo. Before the uprising, recounts Abdul-Ahad (2013), “Those in authority – from the president…to the lowliest government functionary – exercised power over every aspect of people’s lives. You spent your life trying to avoid being humiliated…while somehow also sucking up to them, bribing them, begging them to give you what you needed: a telephone line, a passport, a university place for your son.” The contours of Aleppo’s municipal, social, and cultural institutions have all been shaped by the political imperatives of the regime’s never-ending drive for security and survival and the interlocking systems of oppression that have resulted from it.
The civil war has turned sectarian divisions into one of the most salient institutional features of Syrian life. The majority of Syrians are Sunni Arabs. Syria also has substantial Arab Druze, Kurdish Muslim and Arab Christian minorities. The Asad family hails from a traditionally marginalized community known as the Alawites, an offshoot of mainstream Shi‘i Islam. The Asads “marshaled in-laws, cousins and coreligionists into the upper ranks of the security forces” because they “were keenly aware that only the traditional loyalties of family, clan and sect could cement their rule” (Landis, 2012). Before the uprising, the Baathist regime’s discourse emphasized socialism, national unity, and pan-Arabism and made sectarian affiliation a taboo topic for discussion. Yet since the uprising began, the regime’s main survival strategy has been to inflame the conflict’s sectarian character. With the ethnic cleansing of Iraq fresh in Syrians’ minds, the regime inflicts horrendous violence as a part of its strategy to force Sunni elites, Alawites, and religious minorities to stand by it. Since 2012, the rising prominence of hardline Islamist groups within the opposition, most notably the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, has further heightened the war’s sectarian character. The conflict is tearing Syrian society apart because it is forcing people “to make political choices for the first time” (Glass, 2012).
The war has caused the collapse of almost every municipal and governmental institution in Aleppo. The state has completely lost its capacity to administer social services or provide essential commodities at subsidized prices, which especially hurts Aleppo’s most marginalized populations. A rebel captain on the Aleppo Military Council told The Guardian, “It is extremely sad. There is not one government institution or warehouse left standing in Aleppo. Everything has been looted. Everything is gone” (Abdul-Ahad, 2012). According to the Syrian activist Edward Dark, garbage hardly ever gets collected anymore and piles up in the streets. Most hospitals are either shut down or working at limited capacity because of supply, electricity, and staffing shortages (Starr, 2012). Many hospitals and health workers are being deliberately attacked, so people are reluctant to take the risk of going to the hospital (Martlow, 2012). That reluctance disproportionately harms one of Aleppo’s most vulnerable populations: the sick and infirm.
Almost every school in the city has been shut down and appropriated by rebel or army fighters or internally displaced families. In Aleppo, children’s attendance rates in school have dropped to as low as 6 percent (UNICEF, 2013). The University of Aleppo is still open, but attendance is low and classes are often canceled. In January, an airstrike on the campus killed 82 people during the first day of final exams (Miller, 2013). According to Save the Children’s Martlow (2012), “The longer children are out of school, the less likely they are to ever go back, threatening their own futures and the future of the country.” Since the majority of cognitive development occurs before age five, high levels of war-related related malnutrition and hunger are inflicting physical and cognitive damage that will remain with children for rest of their lives. The war is robbing an entire generation of Syrians of the chance to educate themselves, support their families, and contribute to their society.
In as conservative a society as Aleppo’s, school is often the only significant place where young women can meet and socialize outside of their family’s presence. Depriving them of school deprives them of their most important pathway to empowerment and personal growth. Since the work available to uneducated women is often socially unacceptable and detrimental to their reputations, education is essential to women’s independence and advancement. Since an unmarried woman is "a girl" in the community's eyes until she marries, women face intense pressure to marry and to quit working after marriage. The war, therefore, has severely circumscribed the choices that Syrian women can independently make about their own lives and futures.
The breakdown of Syrian society has resulted in an epidemic of sexual violence. Although Syrians from many walks of life are working courageously to change such social norms, rape often brings disgrace upon the victim’s family and directly damages its social standing. While the government is responsible for the vast majority of reported rapes (men, women, and children have all been targeted), rebel militias are guilty of sexual crimes as well. Female child survivors of rape are frequently married to their older cousins or other male members of the community to “save their honor.” In the worst reported cases, people have even murdered their raped relatives because of warped notions of family honor (Wolfe, 2013).
The skyrocketing levels of unemployment are depriving Aleppo’s breadwinners of their dignity, their sense of self-worth, and their capacity to provide for their families. The longer unemployment lasts, the harder it becomes to jump back into a career successfully. Since “many of the well-to-do residents, businessmen as well as professionals, especially doctors, have fled the city and settled abroad” (Starr, 2012), the traditional civic and associational life of Aleppo has almost disappeared. Religious institutions remain relatively intact. Friday prayers still happen every week and many Halabis get the support they need to survive from their religious communities. Family and kinship networks, especially those based on rural networks that migrants brought with them from the countryside, also largely endure. Such networks serve as a vital support structure for residents whose lives have been shattered by the war.
The civil war has transformed Aleppo’s political landscape. Politicized armed groups, newly empowered by the civil war, have displaced traditional institutions and become the dominant external feature of people’s lives. Before the civil war, Syria’s secret police had much more influence over Syrian society than the army did. Now, the roles are reversed. The army has become the state’s primary means of enforcing its will. Its military strategy affects everyone in Aleppo; rebels and residents alike are at the mercy of the random shelling and air raids from the Syrian military. As one rebel commander explained to Abdul-Ahad (2012), “The tanks advance, then plant snipers before pulling the tanks back. The snipers’ role is to clear the area in front, and the next day, the tanks move forward beyond the snipers. And then the snipers advance again.” The army usually turns its areas of operation into free-fire zones that are equally deadly to civilians and rebel fighters.
The government’s atrocities have not pushed the main body of the population into the rebels’ camp, however. Before the Battle of Aleppo, the city’s urban elites were largely a “silent majority,” critical of the regime but anxious about the prospect of civil war and economic collapse (Landis, 2011). According to Abdul-Ahad (2012), “Many people in Aleppo are not very happy with the situation…They don’t help the rebels, they don’t offer them food, they don’t offer them water…In the countryside, those guys were used to hiding in the houses of the locals. They were part of the fabric of the society. In Aleppo, they are strange. They are outsiders, poor peasants from the countryside, coming to fight in a very rich prosperous city.” The rebels’ failure to inspire a popular uprising or win the populace’s loyalty has prevented them from seizing the city outright. Instead of engaging in a classic guerilla war, the rebels must fight a largely conventional war in which they are heavily outgunned. The current stalemate has been a disaster for the Free Syrian Army’s political program because it has fragmented anti-government forces into a bewildering array of rival, hostile camps without any accountability to Aleppo’s people.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is a loosely defined umbrella term for the scattered networks of army defectors and civilian volunteers that initiated the insurgency in late 2011. It more closely resembles the early French Resistance than, say, the disciplined organization of the FLN during the Algerian War of Independence. The Kurdish militias of Aleppo sometimes fight alongside the rebels, but they are mainly concerned with protecting their own ethnic community. In the last six months, the Islamists have become the dominant military force among the rebels of Aleppo. The FSA’s failures of governance have strengthened the influence and popularity of hardline Islamist forces, especially the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. Abdul-Ahad says that this makes “the Free Syrian Army rebels cringe; they don’t want to admit the presence of foreign Jihadis…Yet, at the same time…No one is supporting them so when the Jihadis come with their expertise, with their money, with their material support, they will take that” (Rath, 2012). Syria has therefore become the world’s safest and most hospitable place for Jihadist fighters. Suicide bombings and car bombs have become key weapons in the Battle of Aleppo. The stronger the Jihadists grow within the rebel movement, the greater the likelihood that they will impose new systems of oppression in areas liberated from government control.
The Free Syrian Army’s inability to protect civilians or provide good governance in areas it occupies has turned many potential supporters against it. “Wherever the rebels went, the army attacked them and residents fled” (Glass, 2012). In December, Abdul-Ahad (2012) reported from Aleppo that, “Looting has become a way of life. ‘Spoils’ have now become the main drive for many units as battalion commanders seek to increase their power.” The passion for looting, which has often led to bloodshed between rebel units, has severely reduced the rebels’ overall military effectiveness. Many residents in rebel-held areas also blame the FSA for the soaring costs of basic commodities and accuse them of war profiteering. In December, Al Jazeera filmed a crowd chanting, “The Free Syrian Army are thieves. We want al-Nusra to rule.” One merchant declared, “If this is our revolution, I don’t want it! I am not with the regime. They used to oppress us. But now, we are being oppressed a hundred times more” (Khodr, 2012).
Both sides of the conflict are accelerating the fragmentation of society in Aleppo. Worried about the Army’s largely Sunni conscripts, the Syrian Army’s largely Alawite officer class has been creating more reliable forces out of irregular loyalist militias called the “National Defense Forces” (NDF). These militias are popularly known as the “Shabiha,” a term traditionally applied to regime-linked organized crime groups (Landis, 2012). The army pays them salaries, gives them weapons, exempts them from conscription, and encourages them to loot houses when attacking rebel-held areas. “Shabiha fighters run checkpoints and practically administer smaller towns now, creating resentment among local leaders” (Solomon, 2013). According to an Alawite imam in a central Syrian village, the militias “take over a government office or a school and make it their base. No one can say or do anything about it…Two years ago [the militia leader] had nothing. Now he has land, cars, houses. That is all from stealing under the name of 'nationalism'." Worst of all, the NDF’s emergence and the war’s increasingly sectarian character have almost inextricably linked the security of Syria’s minority populations to the strength of the pro-Assad militias. "Either you become a part of it, or you leave,” said one Alawite. “We've become complicit in the militarization of our society” (Solomon, 2013).
The rebel forces are divided and fragmented because they have many different ideologies and, more importantly, many different competing international actors who are backing them. The rebel units are, in a way, expressions of Syrian entrepreneurial initiative and savvy. To form your very own “battalion,” all it takes is some unemployed young men, a sprinkling of ideology, video equipment to attract new donors, and an outlay of three or four thousand dollars (Abdul-Ahad, 2013). The Syrian opposition-in-exile, now in its third iteration, has utterly failed to unite Syrians around a consensus or to effectively support the local coordinating committees that work to administer the rebellion at the local level. Russia, which has several important military bases in Syria, has supported the Syrian regime with weapons, commodities, financial assistance, and a wide range of military advisors. “Without the political cover, morale boost and logistical aid that unexpectedly came from Russia in early 2012,” say Harling and Birke (2013), Asad “probably would have been forced to compromise, perhaps under genuine pressure from his most indispensable but savvy allies, Iran and Hizballah.” The Lebanese and Iraqi governments are generally sympathetic to the Syrian regime, although elements of their populations support different sides of the conflict in various ways. Israel’s government, elated to see Iran’s chief regional ally weakened but wary of an Islamist-led Syria, has launched airstrikes against Syria when it feared that advanced weapons could fall into Hezbollah’s hands. Despite pressure from within his own administration, U.S. President Barack Obama has refused to authorize direct military aid to rebels forces. Instead, he encourages Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other allies to do so. Jordan, France, Britain, and the United States are attempting to train secular rebel units (or, at least, more “moderate” Islamist units) in an effort to reduce the influence of Jabhat al-Nusra and other extremists. The Turkish government works to increase its influence by channeling its desperately needed ammunition supplies to secular-minded former army officers in the rebels’ Aleppo Military Council (Abdul-Ahad, 2012). For most of 2012, Turkey’s supply lines gave the Free Syrian Army’s more secular-minded battalions a monopoly over the distribution of ammunition in Aleppo. That monopoly no longer exists. Qatar and Saudi Arabia tend to support rival and often feuding Islamist militias (Abouzaid, 2013). On top of all this, private money funds new militias on both sides of the conflict. The most hardline, extremist Islamist groups get most of their support from wealthy individuals in the Gulf countries. All these external actors have one thing in common: they are all looking out for their own interests, not for Syria’s.
Hafez al-Asad ruled in Syria through an alliance of Alawites, other minorities, and poor, rural Sunnis against the urban Sunni elite. After 2000, Bashar’s transition away from autarky and state socialism and towards neoliberal economic policies exacerbated the plight of the poor, especially in the countryside. While a new class of well-connected Alawites and wealthy urban Sunnis became fabulously wealthy, overall poverty rates rose steadily (Nasser, Mehchy, & Abu-Ismail, 2013). Since 2008, a major drought has devastated rural livelihoods in agricultural areas, plunged almost 800,000 Syrians in northern and eastern Syrian into poverty, and accelerated the movement of almost a million rural migrants into urban centers such as Aleppo (Landis, 2011). Syria’s poor, who spend over half their income in food, are also being battered by inflation and reductions in price subsidies for food, oil, fuel, and other commodities. In 2010 alone, the cost of an average basket of goods in Syria rose by 30 percent. More than half of Syria’s population is under age 25. Syria’s unemployment rates, which were abysmal even before the uprising began, are at catastrophic levels today, especially for the young Syrians who will be reaching adulthood soon (Landis, 2011).
The Syrian uprising, therefore, “seethes with the class resentments that the displaced rural poor acquired when they confronted urban luxury” (Glass, 2012). When the Battle of Aleppo began, the rebels “launched an all-out assault on the industries that kept Aleppo alive, burning and looting pharmaceutical plants, textile mills, and other factories. This hurts the industrialists, many of whom are waiting out the war in Lebanon, but more so their employees” (Glass, 2012). There are many reports of rebels looting machinery, food aid, and other goods and selling them for a great profit in Turkey. The one commodity that seems to arrive without hindrance is food. “Plentiful produce from local farms is on display on the open sidewalks that have replaced the burned-out fruit and vegetable stalls in the old souks” (Glass 2012).
For many Halabis, unfortunately, even local fruits and vegetables are far beyond their means. Breadlines have become one the defining feature of life in wartime Aleppo. When the FSA seized Aleppo’s largest grain depots in November, what might have been a victory instead became a source of popular rage. The disruption in distribution networks shut down Aleppo’s government-subsidized bakeries and raised the cost of a kilogram of bread to 250 Syrian pounds (US $3.38), which was ten times its price in November and twenty times more than its price before the uprising. By mid-December, only some bakeries were working again. This created “a cruel food lottery for residents, who gambled each day on which bakery to line up outside of, wondering if their chosen bakery would receive flour and bake bread” (Chivers, 2012). That month, Chivers (2012) found that necessities were costing three to twelve times what they had cost the previous July. “A tank of cooking gas, worth $5 before the war, now costs about $60. A liter of diesel, 50 cents not long ago, sells today for $3.” By selling their subsidized daily quota of 100 packages of bread at non-subsidized market prices, distributors would regularly make an extra 10,000 Syrian pounds (US $136) in net profits per day (Abu Leila, 2012). Although prices have declined since then, they remain quite high. The price shocks in Aleppo have pushed many middle class families into poverty and many poor families into utter destitution.
The war has so profoundly transformed Syria’s economy that “one can now talk of a war economy” (Yazigi, 2013). The war has spawned new business networks and the development of various new forms of trade, including smuggling, looting and kidnapping, which depend on the war’s indefinite duration to stay profitable. Aleppo has almost no formal business activity to speak of. Looting is common in areas where inhabitants have fled, kidnapping for ransom is widespread, smuggling has exploded as the government’s control over its borders weakened, and most Syrians have been cut off from the international financial system (Yazigi, 2013). The European Union’s sanctions against travel, capital movement, oil exports, and other Syrian economic activity have weakened but not broken the regime. Instead, the poorest Syrians have suffered from them the most (Landis, 2011). By cutting off remittances from Syrians living abroad, whose transfers amounted to $800 million annually, the sanctions have further shredded Syria’s social safety net (Al-Khalidi, 2012). The sanctions have led to a 97.8 percent drop in exports, which has hit Aleppo, the center of Syria’s economic life, harder than anywhere else in the country. Despite all this, the government continues to pay its key employees’ salaries in Aleppo by airlifting in currency and distributing it through banks in regime-controlled areas (AFP, 2012). That economic lifeline means that the government will be able to hold its lines in Aleppo and prolong the conflict indefinitely unless a game-changing development occurs.
Until Bashar become president in 2000, Syrians were largely cut off from outside media, broadcasts, and intellectual currents. In the 1980s, says Landis (2011), “you could not talk to most Syrians…about politics in the world because they didn’t understand it. Today, after Bashar came to power, opened up satellite TV, made it legal, the Internet was introduced, Syrians really became self-educated.” Syrians’ new exposure to the world and to platforms for communication made the Syrian uprising possible, but it also contributed to the civil war’s most damaging representational effect: the profoundly damaging, othering misrepresentations that Syrians have been inflicting upon one another since the uprising began.
Harling and Birke (2012) argue that the struggle over Syria “pits two symmetrical narratives against each other.” The regime’s supporters “posit that Syrian society shows sectarian, fundamentalist, violent and seditious proclivities that can be contained only by a ruthless power structure.” The driving force behind the rebellion, in this narrative, is a foreign conspiracy. The regime’s opponents, by contrast, “posit that any and all change is desirable” because of the regime’s crimes against humanity. By largely adopting the rebels’ narrative before the Battle of Aleppo began in mid-2012, the Western media missed many opportunities to hold the rebels to account for their own crimes. This lack of accountability, in turn, made it harder for the Syrian opposition to become a focused, disciplined fighting force, as the rebels’ organizational breakdown in Aleppo in late 2012 amply demonstrated.
As soon as protests began in early 2011, regime security agents began hanging up posters warning of sectarian strife. State media showed staged footage of arms being found in mosques and “warned that a sit-in in Homs on April 18 was an attempt to erect a mini-caliphate” (Harling & Birke, 2012). In May of 2011, Barber (2011) reported from inside Syria that,
Dera’a is becoming a unit…almost separate from Syria…in the way many other Syrians are reacting to Dera’ans…One Alawi girl who works in the hospital said…”They must destroy the entire city and should kill everyone demonstrating.” Her comments reflect the result of the government’s successful campaign to demonize the protesters; many people simply believe that there is an insidious cancer of extremism growing inside Syria, that threatens all life, security, and humane values, and that drastic measures are needed to thoroughly wipe it out…But empathy [on the other side] was on short supply. In fact, the animosity I was hearing expressed toward Christians, even on the part of such non-religious Sunnis, was surprising, and almost resembled the kind of prejudice that the Syrian minority community is fearing.
By deciding early on that the hyper-sectarianization of Syrian society would be the key to its survival and inflicting violence accordingly, the regime gave its propaganda the quality of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Der Speigel’s Reuter (2013) writes about what, if true, is an amazing example of this. By setting off a car bomb in Aleppo in a false flag attack in February 2012 and claiming that the al-Qaeda linked “Jabhat al-Nusra” was behind it, the regime actually inspired a flood of private donations from extremist financiers in the Gulf to Jihadist proto-cells inside Syria. This new flow of money to Syrian extremists, which was caused by the regime’s own deliberate misrepresentation of the Syrian opposition, ended up being the seed money that the various underground groups calling themselves Jabhat al-Nusra needed to unite and become an effective fighting force. Today, Jabhat al-Nusra, which formally swore allegiance to al-Qaeda in April 2013, is the most effective fighting force among the Syrian rebels. If the regime falls, the Syrian people will have to resist a new group of totalitarians that aim to take the Asads’ place.
Many children have been most thoroughly traumatized by the violence they witness from graphic news reports, which reinforce the traumas they experience in real life (Martlew, 2013). Indeed, the very coverage of the conflict has become an element of what Dr. Paul Farmer calls “structural violence,” the historically and economically driven processes that conspire to constrain human agency and choices. Farmer argues that structural violence defeats efforts to describe it because the dynamics of poverty are still poorly understood and because our “exoticization” of suffering makes us unable to relate to those who are different from us. The worst part about suffering from structural violence is that it deprives the afflicted of their own voices, which leaves them further vulnerable to misrepresentation, dehumanization, and distortion (Farmer, 2003). Thus, Syrians have been unable to adequately represent themselves or tell their stories because of the trauma and suffering they have endured. Only when the war ends will Syrian society truly be able to come to terms with the pain its people have endured.
Abouzaid, R. (April 9, 2013). Where Are Syria’s Weapons Coming From? PBS Frontline. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/syria-behind-the-lines/where-are-syrias-weapons-coming-from/
Abdul-Ahad, G. (September 18, 2012). Behind Rebel Lines: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad on Syria’s “War of Attrition.” PBS Frontline. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/battle-for-syria/behind-rebel-lines-ghaith-abdul-ahad-on-syrias-war-of-attrition/
Abdul-Ahad, G. (December 27, 2012). Syrian rebels sidetracked by scramble for spoils of war. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/27/syrian-rebels-scramble-spoils-war
Abdul-Ahad, G. (February 21, 2013). How to Start a Battalion (in Five Easy Lessons). The London Review of Books. Retrieved from http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n04/ghaith-abdul-ahad/how-to-start-a-battalion-in-five-easy-lessons
“Abu Leila” (December 5, 2012). Finding Bread in Aleppo. Syria Deeply. Retrieved from http://beta.syriadeeply.org/2012/12/finding-bread-in-aleppo/#.UYpAn4LHTVT
AFP (December 11, 2012). Syrian war creates ‘mosaic’ economy. Retrieved from http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/12/11/254453.html
Al-Khalidi, S. (November 21, 2012). Syria now running a war economy as conflict spreads. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/21/us-syria-economy-idUSBRE8AK0RZ20121121
Barber, M. (May 29, 2011). Syria in Fragments: Divided Minds, Divided Lives. Syria Comment. Retrieved from http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/syria-in-fragments-divided-minds-divided-lives-by-an-american-in-syria/?cp=all
BBC (October 14, 2011). Syria uprising: UN says protest death toll hits 3,000. BBC News. Retrieved from www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15304741
Chivers, C.J. (December 18, 2012). Rubble and Despair of War Redefine Syria Jewel. The New York Times. Retreived from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/world/middleeast/aleppo-residents-battered-by-war-struggle-to-survive.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all
CIA (2013). Middle East: Syria. The CIA World Factbook. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sy.html
Farmer, P. (2003). Pathologies of Power. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Glass, C. (November 20, 2012). Aleppo: How Syria Is Being Destroyed. The New York Review of Books. Retrieved from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/dec/20/aleppo-how-syria-being-destroyed/?pagination=false
Harling, P. & Burke, S. (2013). The Syrian Heartbreak. The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP). Retrieved from http://www.merip.org/mero/mero041613
Harling, P. & Burke, S. (2012). Beyond the Fall of the Syrian Regime. The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP). Retrieved from http://www.merip.org/mero/mero022412
Khera, J. (May 29, 2012). Syria crisis: Counting the victims. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18093967
Khodr, Z. (December 8, 2012). Anger grows over Syrian rebel corruption. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/video/middleeast/2012/12/2012128103148625753.html
Landis, J. (2012). The Syrian Uprising of 2011: Why the Asad Regime is Likely to Survive to 2013. The Middle East Policy Council. Retrieved from http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/syrian-uprising-2011-why-asad-regime-likely-survive-2013?print
Landis, J. (2011). Joshua Landis: I Don’t See Light at the End of the Tunnel. PBS Frontline. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/syria-undercover/joshua-landis-i-dont-see-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/
Martlew, N. (2013). Childhood Under Fire: The Impact of Two Years of Conflict on Syria. Save the Children. Retrieved from http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/Childhood_Under_Fire.pdf
Mason, N. C. (unknown). Leading at the Margins: An Introduction to the Intersectionality Approach to Social Change. New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Miller, J. (January 24, 2013). Syria Exclusive: Definitive Evidence of Regime Airstrikes on Aleppo University. Enduring America. Retrieved from http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2013/1/24/syria-exclusive-definitive-evidence-of-regime-airstrikes-on.html
Nasser, R., Melchy, Z., and Abu Ismail, K. (2013). Socioeconomic Roots and Impact of the Syrian Crisis. Syrian Center for Policy Research. Retrieved from http://scpr-syria.org/en/S34/
Rath, A. (2012). The Influx of Foreign Fighters in Syria. National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.theworld.org/2012/09/jihadi-foreign-syria/
Reuter, C. (January 4, 2013). Between Syria’s Fronts: Friends or Foes? Der Spiegel Online. Retrieved from http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/shift-in-balance-of-power-for-rebels-in-wartorn-syria-a-875423-3.html
Solomon, E. (April 21, 2013). Insight: Battered by war, Syrian Army creates its own replacements. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/21/us-syria-crisis-paramilitary-insight-idUSBRE93K02R20130421
Sarah, F., Monajed, A., and Kahf, A. (2011). Poverty in Syria: Towards a Serious Policy Shift in Combating Poverty. London: Strategic Research and Communication Center. Retrieved from https://www.cimicweb.org/cmo/ComplexCoverage/Documents/Syria/Poverty_in_Syria.pdf
Starr, S. (March 15, 2013). Aleppo activist Edward Dark: ‘People here don't like the regime, but they hate the rebels even more.’ The Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/syria-live/aleppo-activist-edward-dark-people-here-dont-like-the-regime-but-they-hate-the-rebels-even-more/article9816335/
UNHCR (April 21, 2013). Syria Regional Refugee Response. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved from http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php
Washington, K. and Rowell, J. (April 2013). Syrian Refugees in Urban Jordan: Baseline Assessment of Community-identified Vulnerabilities Among Syrian Refugees in Irbid, Madaba, Mufraq, and Zarqa. Retrieved from http://www.care.org/emergency/syrian-refugees-in-jordan/pdf/CARE-Syrian-Refugees-in-Urban-Jordan-April-2013.pdf
Wolfe, L. (April 2, 2013). Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/syria-has-a-massive-rape-crisis/274583/
Yassin-Kassab, R. (November 11, 2012). The Revolution Becomes More Islamist. Qunfuz. Retrieved from http://qunfuz.com/2012/11/01/the-revolution-becomes-more-islamist/
Yazigi, J. (March 3, 2013). Entering Subsistence. The Syria Report. Retrieved from http://www.syria-report.com/taxonomy/term/12/entering-subsistence