Saturday, July 26, 2014

Intersectionality and Injustice in the Wartime Economy of Aleppo (2013)

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.