Nextep organization held a focused dialogue session in the ‘Syrian-Syrian dialogue’ project. The session was entitled ‘Identity and reconciliation – Identity and mutual benefit’ and held in Deir ez-Zor (a city in Northeast Syria) on December 27, 2021.
The session was attended by 14 people from different areas of the city’s society including journalists, academics and civil activists in order to discuss the different topics of the session.
The session started with a discussion about identifying some of the session’s relevant terms including identity, affiliation and citizenship and the differences between them. Then, the coordinator presented the social contract clauses. There were different contributions from the participants regarding how to deal with religious courts.
One of the topics revolved around ‘The Syrian national pride’, as most of the participants agreed that the Syrian national pride was stronger before the outbreak of the Syrian war but gradually deteriorated until it was gone. With regard to the Syrian pre-war era, the participants attributed the lack of national pride to the absence of social justice, security repression, and regional and sectarian discrimination in work and education atmospheres.
As for the Syrian post-war era, the participants agreed that national pride is lacking for the main reasons of forced displacement, regional discrimination, clan fighting, the deteriorating economical situation and the devastating war effects.
The participants discussed the differences and its effects on the Syrian national identity, as these differences have had a negative impact on weakening the Syrian identity. The attendees also emphasized that the unequal wealth distribution pre and post war era has affected negatively on the Syrian affiliation as the wealth was directed to those in power.
The session has come out with a set of recommendations including applying social justice in Syria through law enforcement and equal distribution of wealth, rehabilitating the vital facilities, and fighting corruption. Other propositions were activating civil society organizations’ role, engaging all the components in political representation and fate determination, applying peaceful transfer of authority, strengthening the Syrian identity through awareness programs and teaching ‘The Syrian Identity’ course in educational institutions.