The events that transpired in Syria lead to the single largest displacement the world has ever been witness to up until the war in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, around 11 years ago, over 13 million people have fled or became internally displaced inside the war-torn country.
The Syrian war began long before 2011, with the government of Bashar al-Assad limiting the freedoms of the Syrian people by keeping them impoverished. In 2011, taking inspiration from the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt, pro-democracy activists began peaceful protests around the country.
These protests were swiftly stricken down by Assad’s regime, including the brutal torture and killing of a 13 year old boy, who was arrested from writing pro-Arab Spring graffitti.
This lead to countless more protests and hundreds more murders committed by Assad.
Eventually this led to the Free Syrian Army being formed, a rebel group of fighters with the sole objective of toppling Assad’s regime and the country was plunged into civil war.
The war has since had a number of foreign backing, with the likes of Turkey, Qatar, and America backing the anti-Assad rebels and Russia, Iran and Iraq supporting Assad’s regime.
The war has also been exacerbated by rebel groups and factions fighting one another, which led to the Free Syrian Army losing Aleppo to the Assad regime in 2016. The FSA currently only control scarce regions in the Northwest of Syrian
I had the honour of interviewing a family that had to undergo the events that transpired above. They outline the details of having to escape their once beloved country from fear of death and how they have been adjusting to life in small town Ireland.
This is their story: