In the past few months, Syria has been under a state of turmoil and it is like it has been under siege from the inside out during the past months up to now (MacFarquhar, 2011). The reason behind this is because of the several uprisings that are most likely triggered by unrest. It seems that there has been a lot of questions raised by the citizens as well as the different parties involved and it also seems that they are trying to get some answers using chaos and even violence.
One question that is of significant importance here is whether Syria is really besieged from the inside (by its own citizens and political parties), or are there some foreign parties involved. Most government analysts in Syria believe that the unrest they are currently experiencing is most likely triggered by their western, Christian counterparts.
If one is to judge the situation through anthropology, it could be seen if the latter of the 2 theories is the one which is true, that this has also been a battle between two religions. Syria and their alleged ally, Iran, are both Arabic countries and majority of the people who live there are Muslims. On the other hand, the possibly involved foreign parties such as the US and other countries in the west are products of Christianity. Based on the frequent news about terrorism and war, it could be inferred that one of the factors that sparks a fight between two battling nations is religion.
Whether countries involved in a war use economic and security reasons as a diversion for people to exclude religion as one of the reasons, it still remains clear that there are indeed some involvements. Since religion is believed to be partly involved here, we could also assume that this could also be a battle of race, class and nationality as well. Here is an explanation why.
In Syria, there used to be a peaceful interaction between the supporters of the government and people of the opposition. However, based on the most recent news, it seems that this is not the case anymore. Cases of government supporters killing have already been recorded and the numbers far outnumber the volume of killed people from the opposition. Apart from this, there has been some conflict about Syria’s government and national policies too.
Mr. Assad, in one of his interviews denied the order of a crackdown because, he says, no government would kill its people. But will this logic still be valid even if supporters of the government are already being killed by their own kin? On the other hand, a presidential, political and media adviser from Syria stated that no Syrian would ever want his country to be chaotic, just like the way it is now. So far, these have been the main issues that are still unclear and are also hard to understand. One of the most effective methods to answer and get a brighter sense about the said issues would be to judge it based on anthropology. It is clear that social anthropology is the one area of anthropology that could address the issues correspondingly. It is basically a study about how people behave when subjected to social groups.
Some of the methods I could use to locate the answers to such issues would be using simple and extensive field studies through participant observation methods. By using such, I could acquire a clear and accurate familiarity from the Syrian government supporters and opposition. That way, I could have a better understanding why these people are behaving like that and thus, I can get a clear and concise answer. In conclusion, it is quite clear that anthropology is the key for us to understand the situation and the people involved. By having scientific-based predictions and behavioral analysis, one could see the real problems and devise the most effective way of solving those problems.
MacFarquhar, Neil. (2011). Syria, Under Siege Inside and Out, Does not Budge. New York
Times. Acccessed December 2011. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/world/middleeast/syria-bashar-assad-officials-dismiss-protests.html?_r=3&hp.