The United Nations (UN) has estimated that the two and a half year long Civil War in Syria has lead to more than one hundred thousand deaths in the region. The continued conflict in Syria has caused the UN to stop updating the death toll in Syria because they have found that information from Syria and the surrounding region is no longer verifiable (UNCHR, 2014). The UN’s Refugee Agency (UNCHR) (2014) has noted that 2.4 million Syrians have registered as refugees, but they estimate that there are, in fact many more unregistered Syrian refugees escaping through the Iraq border.
Globalization and its negative implications for Syria
Globalization has had negative implications for the nation of Syria. As cultural norms throughout the world become more diffused, globalization has resulted in a great deal of change in the world’s complex evolution of “systems, ideas and structures” (Stetter, 2012, p. 7) within the Middle East. First, the influence of western cultures on Syrian culture as caused some to question the more traditional Syrian-Arab-Islamic traditions (Handi, 2008). Second, for many years Syria has been a place of refuge for people in other Middle Eastern countries that have experienced conflict. For much of its existence, Syria has been primarily an agricultural nation, even though the nation has very limited arable land. Syria has regularly housed approximately 350,000 refugees from neighboring Palestine and Iraq. However, between 2006 and 2011, a drought in Syria created disastrous circumstances in which nearly 75 percent of Syrians experienced total failure of their crops and herders in the northeast part of Syria lost 85 percent of their livestock (Erian, Katlan & Baban, 2011). As a result, many Syrian farmers migrated from rural, agricultural regions into the more heavily populated cities of Aleppo and Damascus. Within these cities resided many of the refugees from Iraq and Palestine. The increase in population in these cities “placed additional strain and tensions on an already distressed and disenfranchised population” (Femia & Werell, 2012, para. 5). The rural to urban population movement, along with displaced Iraqi and Palestinian refugees exacerbated the already existing food scarcity and clean water problems in these cities.
Young Syrians living through these challenging conditions hoped to find ways to improve the circumstances within Syrian cities. The increased use of technology throughout the Middle East enabled Syrians to witness the revolutions in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, and this inspired Syrians to engage in peaceful protests against the Assad dictatorship. However, these efforts backfired. The Assad Regime responded to these protests by kidnapping, raping and killing activists and their families. They terrorized those they did not murder by leaving dismembered bodies on the streets. Assad sent his military forces into cities and towns to further terrorize them. As a result, rebel forces began...