Contrary to the situation in many Syrian cities, some displaced Syrians in Latakia are living very comfortable and prosperous lives!
A large number of business men has moved to Latakia to escape war and the instability in their own cities and towns. Many of them have even transferred their wealth with them.
Salem, the owner of a famous restaurant in Aleppo, has transferred his money and his businesses with him. After moving to Latakia, he has bought a new restaurant to resume 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.
Today, they are living in such unusual luxury and opulence. 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 with him. 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 moving here is I somehow managed to postpone mine 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 regime. Leaving memories and our souls! Despite the danger of moving to the stronghold of the regime loyalists and thugs, yet living in a city not targeted by the regime continuous shelling is better than living in a war zone.
That is why Muhammad from Idlib has chosen to move to Latakia early 2012 "The moment the Syrian army allowed us to leave Idlib, we got out and left everything behind; our memories and loved ones.” Mohammed told us they were living a comfortable life in Idlib, but in Latakia they have to rely on aid.
Displacement is a tragedy for some people and a source of income and livelihood for others. Said from Homs talked to us about the increasing economic hardships they are facing in Latakia: “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 situation, imagine what’s going on with the displaced people!! " Reem told us that funding is increasingly diminishing “it is a shame to beg the opposition abroad to support the displaced, supporting and helping them is a moral duty on everyone."