The war in Syria is the worst humanitarian disaster in the 21st century, given the high numbers of innocent civilians suffering (through loss of lives, rape, torture and displacements) and the incomprehensible negative impact the war has on the neighboring countries. This topic is important because the people of Syria need the world to reach out and put an end to the war that is devastating in all perspectives to their lives. When refugees are considered, almost half of Syria’s pre-war population of about twenty three million individuals is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in their country or have fled across the borders. The greater the number of people around the world are aware of the situation in Syria , the greater their effect will be in creating a global response to reach out to them (Douhet 147).
The turmoil started in March 2011 after the public went to the streets to protest against Assad’s administration. This came as a result of the arrest and brutal torture of fifteen young boys in the border town of Deraa, who had drawn anti-government graffiti on a school in February, following the ousting of dictators in Egypt and Tunisia. The demonstrators were calling for democracy and an end to the forty-three year reign of the Assad family, but the protests rapidly escalated after the government violently cracked down on the protesters, who formed rebel groups and began fighting back (Ryan n.p).
The fighting was increased by the defections from the army, who created the Free Syrian Army (FSA) together with the civilians who acquired arms to join the opposing side, and after a year and half of fighting, the International Red Cross officially called it a civil war. The FSA has obtained command over some areas, but the regime still controls the larger part of the nation.
What began as a civil uprising against many years of repression, poverty and corruption on the part of the government, turned into a regional proxy war that is currently engulfing the whole of the Middle East (Lewis 433). The continuing fight has drawn thousands of foreign fighters, some of whom are radical Islamists that want the fall of Assad, given his Alawite religious sect, which is a subsidiary of Shiite Islam (Ryan n.p).
The human cost keeps on rising as the fighting rages, with the death toll now exceeding 150,000 individuals and millions who have fled their homes and sought sanctuary in other parts of their troubled country and others fled to neighboring countries like Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, while Lebanon has itself experienced conflict connected to the Syrian fighting. There are widespread cases of bombings and destruction of towns as well as dreadful violations against human rights. The basic human requirements like food, shelter and medical care are very hard to come by, and it is believed that half of the individuals killed in the civil war are civilians (Healy n.p). The United Nations estimates indicate that over 6.5 million individuals are internally displaced, which is a raise of more than two million in a span of six months (Douhet 147).
The controversy comes in that nations have been compelled to take a stand whether or not they get drawn into the war. The belief that Assad regime used chemical weapons against the rebels and generally on the citizens of Syria was one of the determining factors whether other countries would join the war or not. The US, Britain and Israel were concerned about these allegations believing there was proof out asked the UN carry out investigations before making conclusions (Healy n.p). On the other hand, Ms Carla Del Ponte, who sits on the UN’s commission of inquiry on Syria, spoke on Swiss television, citing that there were strong, concrete suspicions that the Syrian opposition forces had used a nerve agent, sarin that caused respiratory failure and death. Even though she did not refute the chance of the Syrian government using the nerve agent, her statement was misconceived. The commission then clarified the issue through a published statement that it had not arrived at final findings. The US administration also added that there was no proof of the rebels having the capacity and the will to use the nerve agent, and therefore, it is more likely that the chemical was deployed by Assad forces (Healy n.p). However, president Obama did not authorize military action given that he had not gotten the congressional endorsement.
The Russian and Iranian regimes, on the other hand, have shown support for the Assad government, with Russia challenging the USA to provide proof of the allegations over the chemical weapons. The Russian side denounced any intervention and termed the thought of the deployment of sarin as sheer nonsense. Iranian leadership warned the USA over intervention in Syria, citing that it would spur attacks against Israel and other states in the Middle East are also worried about the possibility of a backlash (Douhet 148).
President Obama said the US would augment backing of the opposition, which is probable to open the way for guiding and equipping of the insurgents and civilians. With the current state of affairs in Syria and the encouragement of nations like Turkey and Saudi Arabia upon the US to intervene, there is likelihood that the Congress might decide to approve military action. Should this happen, it is feared that the globe might as well get ready for World War III. The American mission is likely to be backed up by Israel, Britain, France and other few Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Given the deep-seated hatred the other Arab nations have against Israel, this war will provide a perfect opportunity to settle scores. Iran and Russia are known to be the most powerful allies of the Assad administration and are likely to get into the battle in order to protect their interests (Ryan n.p).
It’s about three years since the conflict started and there is persistent uncertainty concerning the situation on the ground, the probable outcomes and the long-term consequences of the powerful nations getting involved or not in the affair. This paper explores the vibrants of the Syrian war, including the cause, interests of the belligerents and those of the powerful foreign nations, and the implications of the present itinerary of events on the future of Syria and the wider Middle East (Lewis 435).
Section two: The film
Living in Syria
- Musa: Musa is the husband to Fatima and father of their six children; fauza, zeitun, Ali, Mohamed, Hassan, Rashid and Rahim.
- Fatima: Fatima is the wife to Musa and mother to their six children: fauza, zeitun, Ali, Mohamed, Hassan, Rashid and Rahim.
- Fauza: Fauza is Fatima’s and Musa’s daughter and the first born of the relations. She’s the mother of Rehema and Salim’s wife. Currently staying at her parents’ home after losing Salim and other extended family members in violence in their village after a bomb was hurled at their home by terrorists in a moving vehicle thirteen months ago.
- Zeitun: Zeitun is Fatima and Musa’s daughter and the fiancé to Yusuf, whom whereabouts are currently not know and is speculated he’s joined Al-Qaeda and has become a terrorist in his own land.
- Ali: Ali is Musa’s and Fatima’s son and the first son in this family and is he’s married to Subra, with whom they have no children yet.
- Mohammed: Mohammed is the Youngest son in this family of Fatima and Musa and he is planning to join Al-Qaeda
- Hassan: Hassan is the second son in this Fatima and Musa’s family and he is marrying Lisa in three months time.
- Rashid: Rashid is the fourth born son of Fatima and Musa and he still in school.
- Rahim: Rahim is the youngest child in this family of Fatima and Musa and she moved in with them after she fled violence in the village where her mother and her sisters were beaten, abused, raped and killed.
- Hazah: Hazah is the supposed killer of Rahim’s family. He is also presumed to have captured Rahim’s father, humiliated him before other terrorists, shaved his hair and sent it back to the family before beheading him.
Film synopsis: Since the civil war in Syria started, violence and killings have been the common experience for the citizen as the rebels protest against the Bashar Assad’s regime. This film brings out a story of one family caught up in the dreaded ordeals of the violence in the country. Individuals have lost their lives and their friends and relatives are in a confrontation that is speeded up the hatred between the two groups.
Act One: Musa’s House
It’s five in the morning and everyone is preparing to go to the mosque for their routine Sala when Rashid tells his father that he need a gun because he feels something bad is going to happen soon and that they will die. He tells his father, he is not scared of dying, but he needs to be prepared given that the ambush in the city is getting worse and bloodier. His father cures the Al-Ssad regime and calls Fatima to know if she is ready to leave for the mosque. Before she could answer, they hear terrifying sounds of bomb explosions at a far and Rahim moves to the window to try to see how bad it is. The smoke from the falling city can be seen from afar and the never-ending gunshots can still be heard all day and night long as the government soldiers and rebel groups continue using chemical weapons (sarin). The government soldiers and the rebel groups have been using chemical weapons on the civilians an also in destroying the cities, which has raised a controversy situation around the world on who joins and who retrieves the war, Rahim pulls back the curtain and signals Fauza the Koran she has been asking for since they woke up.
Fatima leaves the bedroom still fixing her Hijab and calls his husband aside to persuade him to agree with Ali’s suggestion. She convinces him that it would be dying for the religion because peace should be their first priority and they promise to Allah. They leave the house after the conversation between Musa and Fatima seems over. The mosque is just a few meters from the abode so they leave together in haste.
Just a few meters away from the house, they stand in terror as they hear chanting getting closer towards their neighborhood. “Those must be the rebels, the FSA or the Jabhat al Nusra. They were in Homs city last night and swore to burn the town down”. Whispered Rashid as they lay down and hurriedly struggled to get back in the house on their knees to avoid the bullets that were now seemingly coming from the neighborhood and sprayed everywhere.
Act Two: At the Center
Smolder can be seen from Musa’s house and gunshots heard as the war cry gets louder and closer while this clearly indicates that the city center is in chaos and people are heard screaming. Black smoke is engulfing the city and buildings collapsing from the explosions hurled from the flying planes and terrorists hiding in different places. Musa’s family manages to get into the house unhurt and everyone gets a weapon to protect them. Hassan grabs the phone and calls Lisa “Do not leave the house, FSA is at it early today.” He doesn’t wait for a response and gets out of the house armed and off to the streets. Mohammed gets in the bedroom and picks a small bag, then leaves the house. “Allah Akbar,” Musa says as he moves close to the window to have another view. Seconds later, footsteps can be heard approaching the door and Fauza hurriedly hides Rehema under the seat and runs towards the door.
Before she could close the door, Mohammed is pushed inside with blood running down his face. Hazar follows him seconds after and aims the gun on Mohammed’s head, “Where is Yusuf?” He shouts and aims at Musa. Zeitun, raising her hand in surrender responds that she has not seen him. Haze faces her and mimic her response before shooting her in the chest – an action that makes them to scream and shield their eyes to avoid seeing her gasping for breathe Musa stands beside his wife and slowly drops his hands to reach his weapon before Hazah notices and shoots him down. The family is terrified as they do not know the second move of Hazah. Chanting and gunshots can be heard from afar and the smoke is approaching the neighborhood as the explosions continue to occur. Hazah calls someone on his phone, “They won’t tell they hid him!” and hangs up before any response is given. Hazah then orders everyone to kneel with their hands up.
Moments later, a pickup model vehicle is packed in the doorway and three men dressed in army uniform enter the house. “Everyone in the vehicle!” one man shouts as he points the gun at them. Petrified, they all advance towards the vehicle while at hands up and in tears. No one knows their destination as the man continues to shout “Yusuf is kefir, Islam is a religion of peace, no support for Bashir Assad!” conversations are heard between the men and Hazah moments before they jump in the vehicle too and drive off the compound, as they disappeared in the smoky surroundings.
Act Three: At the well
A few minutes later, the vehicle reaches its destination and Musa’s family is ordered to get out, moments after they are all blindfolded by Hazah The men beat up the captives and assault them before sexually assaulting the women. Moments later, after a thorough beating, Hazzah asks the whereabouts of Yusuf. After moments of silence, everyone is freed from the blindfold and Hazah removes scissors from his pockets. He shaves each of them in a row and strips them as the other three men aim their guns on the captives. The captives cry for help saying they do not know of Yusuf’s whereabouts but the beating continues. The men then orders Fatima to stand at the periphery of the well, where they shoot her from behind and she falls inside the well. The other victims cry in shock and desperation, but Hazah offers no mercy. Mohamed is commanded to get his bag and reveal the contents at gunpoint and he produces a handgun and two grenades. He receives instructions to kill his sister by shooting, he hesitates and he is the one shot dead instead; after which Rashid is commanded to haul the body into the well. He does so crying so loud, but the men just mimic his pleas and cries. A few minutes later, the men ask everyone to walk towards the well as they shoot one by one and their bodies fall on the ground lifeless. However, Rashid is not dead yet, but sustains severe gunshot injuries at the back and does not move until the vehicle is started and driven off the well and out of sight.
Act Four: Outside Musa’s House
Hassan is seen approaching the house and his attention caught by cries of Rahim, who is coiled in the cold outside the house. They run towards each other and he embraces her when they meet as he inquires about the other relatives, but when he news is very devastating. She tells him how her mother hid her, how the men came in the house, captured everyone and killed the rest before leaving. He dashes towards the house and within seconds, the sound of a gun triggered is heard from outside. Subra arrives at the house and takes Rahim with her out of the compound as the gunshots and explosions get louder and closer, and they quickly resolve to leave the homestead and get lost in the murky surrounding.
Section Two: Analysis of the treatment
Articulate The Thesis Statement Your Film Is Making About The Controversial Topic Raised By The Current Event Depicted In Your Film
The film portrays a situation whereby the civilians are caught up in the crisis of war in just one morning and the situation of the chemical weapons used is like a normal thing for the family. Rahim looks through the window to see the black smoke as the city is burning down and collapsing buildings due to the use of chemical weapons. People are losing their lives each day as others volunteer to contribute to the human suffering to fight off or shore up the Assad regime. The populations are used to seeing the cloud of the impact of the chemical weapons used in the cities and the deaths in the nation is everyday going up. The film features no one person that contributes to the attempts to stop the menace of chemical weapons and in general bringing the war to a stop. The controversy about the use these weapons is still a controversy with limited or no action at all and that is the reason why opponents feel that nations against the war should join in to end the war.
The onlookers in the world are wondering why the citizens of the nation are so determined to destroy their nation with the chemical weapons, but the issue at the ground is that people are so busy protecting their interests at the expense of human life. People like Hazah, who have joined such groups as Al-Qaeda and FSA are busy fighting their opponents with whatever weapons provided to them, with no remorse of using the chemical weapons as long as their targets are hit.
Rahim looks out of the window pane and sees the smoke rising above the buildings, but there no cause for alarm because the situation is not different for the everyday happenings. It does not ever remind her of the most tragic of her family’s death when the terrorist hurled the explosives in their homestead and killed the family members and other relatives in the homestead. The chemical weapons have led to the death of so many people, but still this does not deter the family from preparing and leaving for the Sala. The situation in the city is so bad and this family is still in the city and their lives goings on until this fateful day when many of the family die.
When the film features Nusra and Rahim getting out of the homestead, they are seen disappearing in the black smoke. The effects of the weapons are unavoidable in the nation and the civilians have to bear the consequences. The onlookers are sending their troops to help them in the war, which stirs the cause of the opponents emotions, which is a major contributor of the war. The three men who came to help Hazah execute the victims are most probably people from outside the nation but with interests in the war.
In as much as many people are against the chemical weapon war because it is against humanity, there are opponents who are supporting the government and the use of the weapons (Healy n.p). These nations sent their people to help in the fight, though some individuals go there with to fulfill their own interests. Some people fight for democracy in the nation while others just fight because they have hatred for Assad. Some opponents may oppose this film’s thesis because they think it is justified to fight until the regime is overthrown and people wishes to have an Islamic government instead of the secular one by Assad are fulfilled. The conficting sides do not care about the repercussions provided their interests are met, and this causes suffering and violates human rights. The nation should apply more sensible and humanitarian actions to reach an agreement such as peaceful dialogues.
The United States ought to join the war so that the utilization of the chemical weapons can be eliminated and life can be saved. In addition, ending the chemical weapon war will be beneficial not only to the citizens, but also to the neighboring countries because these future effects extend further past Syria. Therefore, in support of the opponents about the use of chemical weapons, research has proved that Syria is in fact, faced with controversy of using these weapons to destroy the cities and human life as well (Healy n.p) .
The Process Of Performing Research For This Treatment As Well As The Process Of Writing The Treatment
The process of performing this research involves thorough investigation of the issue at hand to gain a clear understanding of the civil war, the key players, causes, victims and other factors such as financiers and war results. It is quite a disturbing experience as one has to read about and watch graphic videos to gain further understanding of the issue. Having so many key players that fund and helping fight this battle, it is almost impossible to determine the solution to peace in a war torn country as that, unless the world intervenes to instill peace. The process of writing this treatment involved researching the matter on the ground and collecting the most vital aspects of the war, as well as documenting what is anticipated for the reader.
Writing and performing research involves sheer involvement in the research activities and emotional connection to the issues being investigated. Looking into the causes and consequences of war in Syria, the researcher had to dig deeper to uncover what the root causes are and to determine the speculated impacts on the prospects of the directly and indirectly affected. Thus, it is important that the researcher wears the shoe of a Syrian army, president, civilian and onlooker to determine and experience the feeling and effects from all angles. It is only by so doing that a person can effectively come up with the writing and performing research.
Writing and performing research requires immense involvement and imagination to come up with a captivating piece for the intended reader. The capability to be emotionally engaged by the anguish and the effects of the turmoil on the Syrian people is important to document and come up with a performance related to the issue being investigated. The film required the writer to have profound knowledge about the key players in the conflict, the reasons behind the conflict and the type of torture the fatalities undergo. This repertoire of knowledge has been an added advantage in coming up with a more professional piece of writing. In addition, the ability of looking at the several perceptions from mutual sides of the supporters and opponents of the war was significant to eliminate bias, regardless of the writer’s stance over the subject. This has enabled the writer to view the situation from different perceptive and has been effective in coming up with a performing research that highlights all the events that could have affected the family in question.
Researching about issues that contribute to human suffering and those that completely go against human rights is not easy at all. In this research, watching disturbing videos with graphic content was a requirement to have clear facts and understand the issue better and this posed a lot of challenges to the researcher. In addition, the lack of courage to completely engage in watching the human torture such as people being brutally abused and assaulted and even more graphic contents such as people being beheaded by the militia groups may have made the researcher miss out in some points concerning human torture. It has been the main reason that the researcher narrowed down the torture in the film to beatings and gun shots instead of the real bloody issues in Syria because of the weakness of inability to deeply engage in such imagination.
With the current situation in Syria, the powerful nations feel the need to intervene despite the economic expenses they will incur getting into such a high profile war. Given that the different countries had different stands regarding the chemical weapon contrdove4rrsy they are still weighing their options. But as they are doing this, the murders and humanitarian violations still carry on. The ultimate solution to Syrian war would be the US joining the war because shying away would still have consequences on its interests such as Israel, which is presumed to be an enemy of almost all the Arab nations (Ryan n.p). This is also based on the thought that they are all likely to engage in this combat, they might all target to attack Israel even after the Syrian war is resolved. Therefore, to avoid all this current and future attacks, the US should join the war immediately. Although some individuals will still die during the confrontations, the future consequences of the fighting may be reduced a great deal should the US join the affair (Lewis 449). Meanwhile, other nations and onlookers civilians can donate funds to assist the expatriates.
Douhet, Giulio. “Observations on the Air War in Syria.” (2013).
Healy, Gene. “Nothing but Blood in Syrian Intervention for US.” (2013).
Lewis, Patricia M. “A Middle East free of nuclear weapons: possible, probable or pipe‐dream?.” International Affairs 89.2 (2013): 433-450.
Ryan, Curtis. “The new Arab cold war and the struggle for Syria.” Middle East Report 262 (2012): 28-31.