I knew a little bit of what has happened throughout Syria but this has helped give a broader understanding. I do appreciate the mention that the war isn’t necessarily over. I have heard from a lot of people that the war has concluded, and it is nice to have affirmation that just because military raids have decreased, that the war isn’t complete. It is also interesting to learn more about Russia and Iran’s involvement in the war, especially given the war in Ukraine right now. This course has definitely helped me to understand just how complex this war is. I took a class in college where we discussed the Syrian Civil War but nothing to this extent, so it is great to know more, especially about Turkey’s involvement. I wasn’t aware that they were involved from the beginning but it is important to know. I think Turkey’s involvement is interesting given the history Turkey has with denying the Armenian genocide, and I wonder what their end goal is given the Kurds, and how their involvement in the war is going to impact Kurdish independence in the future.
I really appreciated hearing the Syria story from someone who was strongly committed and knowledgeable about the country. While the focus in the news has always been on Israel, with mention of other countries as they relate to Israel, it was good to have a standalone course dedicated to Syria. Since the civil war had been going on for so long, it is hard to read a news article without having the background information so needed in understanding the events in context.
One major question on my mind after taking this course is, “what should be the stance of a Syrian Christian?” While it would be easy to oppose Abbas for the human rights violations, would joining the opposition lead to a better future? If Abbas were to be deposed, the opposition coalition would surely break apart. With the number of groups with different priorities, there would definitely be a disorderly transition.
On another level, I wonder how the US should be involved with this civil war. I am sure that there are plenty of experts and opinions in the State department that are talking about this and many other cases. I doubt that the public would understand the paths that they choose.