The Regime Strong Hold is Now the Rich Displaced Destination

The Regime Strong Hold is Now the Rich Displaced Destination
Investigations | 09 Dec 2013

Ali al-Jabalawy - Latakia Not all the displaced Syrians are suffering! In fact, some of the displaced Syrians in Latakia are living even better than the majority of the host population! A large number of businessmen has moved to Latakia following the war and the instability in their own cities and towns. Many of them even managed to take their money and move their business with them. Salem, the owner of a famous restaurant in Aleppo, has transferred his money and business to Latakia where he bought a new restaurant and resuming his life as if nothing had ever happened. Salem is not the only one, many of the rich residents of Homs, Damascus, Aleppo, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor, have taken their money and fled with their families to Latakia where the majority of them have re-established their businesses. Today, they are living in such luxury and opulence that even people of Latakia find outrageous. Abu Hassan, a rich dealer from Deir Ezzor who fled right after clashes began there, was able to transfer a large portion of his wealth and as soon as he settled in Latakia, he began his own business: "I chose Latakia because it is safer since a large portion of the population here are loyal to the regime. So by moving here I managed to postpone my and my family annihilation for a while.” Abu Hassan has chosen to live in Mashrou’ al-Ziara’a, a neighbourhood known to be fiercely loyal to the Syrian regime. Leaving memories and our souls! Of course, not all the displaced are so lucky. Mohammad to leave his comfortable life in Idlib behind him and move to Latakia early 2012 where he has to rely on aid to survive. "The moment the Syrian army allowed us to leave Idlib, we got out and left everything behind; our memories and loved ones.” For Mohammad and many others, leaving everything they own behind and lii danger of living in a constant fear in the stronghold of the regime loyalists and thugs is a much better option than under the regime constant shelling and attacks. Exploitation of displaced people! Like any tragedy, displacement is a disaster for some people and a source of income for others. According to Said from Homs “When I arrived to Latakia I rented a cheap house, but the increased influx of displaced people has resulted in a sharp rise in rents and almost everything else.” Reem, an activist working in humanitarian relief in the city, described the situation as catastrophic: “We, the people of Latakia, can no longer handle the worsening economic situation, imagine what’s going on with the displaced themselves!! " Reem told us that the funding and aid are diminishing “it is a shame to beg the opposition abroad to support the displaced, supporting and helping them is a moral duty on everyone."


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