Monday, March 24, 2014

The High Cost Of Democracy

Hani Zeno

Mohamed Bouazizi is a young Tunisian man whose death began the Arab Spring. Nobody would believe that Mohammed’s act of burning himself would change the situation in the Middle East dramatically. It all began with the first spark from Tunisia when the people rebelled against the regime demanding their freedom. After the successful experience in Tunisia, the revolution was contagious. It crossed into Egypt from Libya to reach Syria. At that time, the Syrian people were waiting eagerly for the revolution in order to make their lives better, because they were suffering under the rule of the tyrant. As a result, everyone went down to the streets to protest against the regime and to demand freedom. However, in the long-term and due to many factors, the revolution has changed into a civil war. Therefore, many people wished that war had never begun because it turned their lives upside down. My family was an example of one of millions of   families in Syria whose lives have been torn apart.

The first and most important issue was that the war has affected the economic situation of my family. As a result, my family income has been cut by more than half, because my father’s job changed from being a paid to a volunteer. He began treating the injured and protesters from the demonstrations against the government in the field hospitals. The lack of doctors was the basis of his humanitarian obligation toward his fellow citizens. Similarly, my mother, who was working as pharmacist, had to quit her job because of the dangerous environment that stood in her way of work. In addition, the constant economic problems have influenced the country’s currency value in relation to the Dollar and Euro. Thus, the prices of important daily life products rose sharply, and  leading my parents to be in a very embarrassing situation and in fear of future hunger.
Besides the economic situation, the war has changed the social life in my family in terms of isolating us and making us short-tempered. Before the war, my family along with relatives was used to meeting each other frequently in order to eat and to spend time together.   However, when the war began, the conditions in my city forced my family to sit at home almost all day long, with no electricity or network services for leisure or socializing. Therefore, this led my family members to become so sensitive and short – tempered with each other. I remembered that I had a hard time asking my parents to do anything, because they were trying to bring up excuses in order to start an argument with me. Undoubtedly, the war was the reason behind their changed in attitude.  
Finally, my education along with my siblings was severely harmed by the current war. The continuous bloody conflict in Syria hindered many youths from achieving their goals, and left them desperate in their lives. Therefore, people have tended to leave the country in search of a better future. In my case, I have to confess that I was lucky when I had the chance to come to the United States to continue my education. However, it wasn’t easy to start studying in a foreign country, where everything is different in terms of language, culture and the educational system. Moreover, my sibling’s education has been influenced as well. My sister was forced to leave her school after she was one year away from graduation, because it was dangerous for girls to go out alone for fear of kidnapping. Indeed, for the long-term, the education issue will have catastrophic results not only on my family, but also on the society in general.

Today, when I remember what Mohamed Bouzizi did in Tunisia, I feel confused because I don’t know whether it will ultimately have good or bad consequences on my country. On one hand, he was the sparked of the Arab Spring in the Middle East that spread to Syria, to save the people who have been suffering from oppression for many decades. On the other hand, the unexpected changes that tuned the revolution into prolonged civil war are having effects on my family economically, socially and educationally. All in all, after the war’s experience in my country, I’m totally convinced by the saying, “Victory or defeat, war is hell and everyone loses”.



  1. "Victory or defeat, war is hell and everyone loses"- very well said comment. War is a terrible thing, it destroys people's lives and it makes societies disappear. It is hard to say that it was right or wrong what the Tunisian man did to himself, but at the end millions of people have suffered.

  2. Your last sentence is really good. I hope so too. I think your introduction is really nice and supporting idea is very suitable.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.