Har sham hai shaam-e-Misr yahaṅ, har shab hai shab-e Shiraz yahaṅ
Hai saarey jahaṅ ka soz yahaṅ aur saarey jahaṅ ka saaz yahaṅ
(Every evening is ‘Sham-I-Misr’ here. Every night ‘Shab-I-Shiraz’
The music of whole world is here as is its entire musicality).
People in Indian sub-continent get a sense of the beautiful and serene night Syria has been known for, at least, in the rich imagination of the poets and bards.
Mazaj Lakhnavi originally named as Asrarul Haq had penned this tarana to capture the spirit of Aligarh Muslim University. The alumnae of AMU proudly sing this tarana which, figuratively, captures the glorious serenity of Syria—the land known for its beautiful evening and nights.
Alas! Syria today presents a tale of contrast. The pictures and descriptions coming out in mainstream and social media from Syria have shocked the senses of the mankind in Indian sub-continent known for its close proximity to Syria in particular and across the globe in general.
“I will go and tell everything to Allah”, a three year old cries at her marauders. The peace activists find a four year old carrying a bag full with the garments of his slain mother and father and wading alone in the sprawling desert of Syria. There are reports of the U.S forces revelling in the flesh of women in bargain for morsels of food. Millions of people have turned into homeless refugees and are scampering for life. Many of them have gone without food and water for days and weeks, not to speak of medicine and healthcare.
The crisis in Syria is an ongoing multi-pronged armed conflict in that country fought primarily between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and his allies on one side, and various forces opposing the establishment on the other.
The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Assad government and escalated to an armed conflict after protesters calling for his removal were violently suppressed. The war is being fought by several factions: the Syrian government and its allies, a loose alliance of Sunni Arab rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved, or rendering support to one or another faction.
Iran, Russia and Hezbollah support the Syrian government militarily, with Russia conducting air operations in support of the government since September 2015. On the other hand, the U.S.-led international coalition established in 2014 with a declared purpose of countering ISIL, have conducted airstrikes against ISIL in Syria as well as against government and pro-government targets.
But the US sponsored media is painting its action as a “war” against terrorism on the part of the ISIL or ISIS and, thus, camouflaging the horrendous act of bloodshed the US forces are carrying out against the civilian population in Syria. The world has seen the havoc that U.S forces played on the people of Iraq in the name of ending the so called “dictatorial” regime of Saddam Hussein.
The conflict has caused a major refugee crisis.
According to U.N report, the country’s pre-war population was some 21 million. But 5.2 million have fled the country, wandering in deserts of Jordan and other neighbourhood without food and shelter. This figure includes two million Syrians registered by UNHCR in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanese Republic.
If anything, such phenomena require humanitarian intervention on global scale. The barrel of guns and blasts from tanks and missiles will not throw food, cloth, shelter, medicine and care these millions of people need. This humanitarian crisis cannot be glossed over just in the name of “military action against ISIL terrorists”.
As the set rules of the foreign policy of any country goes, it is the national/ domestic interest that guides the foreign relations. Needless to say that be it the United States or the Russia—they are working in the violence torn Syria to guard their own vested interests.
The best solution is Syria, its neighbours and its people at large should be left alone to battle out the issues afflicting them. The armed intervention by U.S and its allies in middle-east has created more troubles, particularly on human index, over the years. History is testimony to it. Thus, the U.N members should make collective efforts to keep out western forces—devoid of sensibility and culture of Arab nations –from the middle-east.
It is no time to fish in Syria’s troubled waters. Let the people of Syria and its neighbours to battle out the issue. If Bashar al-Assad has lost the confidence of the people, he should negotiate with his own people to regain their confidence rather than allowing the external forces to rain bombs and missiles on his own people.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.