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The vast majority of Syrians would like to see Syrian violence recede but the same majority knows it won’t until Assad and his gangsters ruling Syria are deposed and prosecuted for war crimes against humanity. So, until this happens, Syrians fighting Assad have decided to play one of three roles.

FSA and Civilian Fighters

The first role is to militarily confront Assad in anyway possible using whatever weapons the Free Syrian Army is able to garner from donations reaching them and from the little aid they get from neighboring countries. It is notable to mention here that Qatar has been helping to arm the FSA but every time the FSA is able to overwhelm Assad, the Qataris immediately cut the flow of arms and ammunition. It happened on several occasions and the Syrian opposition has all the information to deliver to the Hague to shed light on the Qatari action. If the Qataris are being instigated by foreign powers to do so, their action will weaken them to the point of melting their own self-interests. It’s a part the Qatari leadership does not fully appreciate yet. If their action was rendered possible by self design, Syrians will never stop until the Qatari leadership meets a fate more fitting of their cowardice.

Practicing Professionals

Of the thousands upon thousands of students who were enrolled in Universities and who have watched with dismay their life shatter and their hopes dash, many have decided to learn on the job the skills they either acquired or were about to acquire with an education. Soon-to-be doctors, nurses, health professionals, and even morticians have been thrusted to confront the Assad atrocities by practicing what little they learned on real people with real life and death injuries. This level of training hones the skills as much as it matures the minds. Syrian doctors treating wounded patients will become tomorrow’s Ambassadors to any conflict and many, I would imagine, would find their skills in high demand in organizations like Doctors Without Borders. A doctor that can keep his hands steady while performing difficult operations with bombs falling all around him/her are hard to find.

 Civil Society and Leadership Development

Those who are not fighting or treating patients are building civil societies and acquiring skills on how to lead through trials and errors. Many of our youths have been propelled by the need to create order in the midst of chaos by organizing themselves when a void was left by the government and its troops withdrawing from their regions. Whether to collect garbage or to organize food distribution or to run for a city council seat to confront their problems, young Syrians today are learning fast what it means to build a civil society and to lead people. New faces and new names are rising and Syrians are learning to follow those they trust instead of those they feared. These accelerated lessons in maturity and responsibility are the side benefits to an otherwise miserable existence in war ravaged areas.

Don’t underestimate the capacity of Syrians to rebuild their societies on principles mirroring the rest of the world. Islamists will attempt to round their flock but resistance to complete obedience will be noticeable having badly experienced it under Assad. The New Syria rising from the ashes to be left by the Assad family will surprise everyone.

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