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The Syrian Uprising: Ash Shab Yurid Isqat An Nizam

997 words - 4 pages

The Syrian Uprising is indeed a puzzle. After both Egyptians and Tunisians overthrew their respective dictators, an uprising in Syria was still contrary to many experts and analysts' beliefs; it was predicted that Syrians would not follow the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt due to the lack of "structures that could enable people to organize themselves and rally others" (Abdulhamid, 2011). One of these scholars was David Lesch, a Professor of Middle East History at Trinity University who is claimed to know Assad better than any other Westerner. He asserts in his book, Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad, that after the Syrians failed to mobilize in the following weeks of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, this seemed "to confirm the almost universal predictions of analyst, commentators, diplomats and scholars (including this one) that the Arab Spring would not come to Syria any time soon or in any significant way" (2012, 54). However, on March 25, 2011, large demonstrations in Syria spread nation-wide. In response, President Bashar al-Assad mobilized his coercive apparatus and repressed against the protestors. After months of repressive means against protestors, parts of the Syrian military left to join the opposition movement, and which created the present situation in Syria, a civil war. For scholars of the Syrian Uprising, it seems thus critical to ask two questions. First, what were the underlying factors that initially demanded an uprising in Syria? Second, what factors explain why the Syrian Uprising has not yet been successful? This paper will argue that hold that Syria had many of the socio-economic and political problems that were also found in Tunisia and Egypt, but that these factors cannot explain all. Thus, a crucial part of this analysis will look at the political opportunity the Syrian's had for mobilization, and argue that despite massive repression from the government's coercive apparatus, demonstrations occured largely due to social networks in the Deera region, as well as FRAMING (EXPLAIN MORE). Furthermore, this paper will attack the question of the lack of success in the Syrian Uprising, by pointing to the internal structure of the Syrian military, which will explain why it did not default, as in Egypt and Tunisia. Better thesis is desperately needed

Part 1
1. Underlying Factors for an Uprising
What is considered to be the initial spark of the Syrian Uprising, was the arrest of 15 school children in Dera'a, a rural citylocated in southern Syria. The young students had written "Ash-shab yurid isqat an-nizam", or "down with the regime", an Arabic slogan that became popular to use in many countries of the Arab Spring, on a school wall (Hirst, 2011). The arrest served as a spark to a movement, much like the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi ignited the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, and indeed the Arab Spring itself. This arrest may give two clues about some of the underlying factors of the movement: (1) There must have...

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