Local Councils in Besieged Areas

By Sabr Darwish of the Arab Reform Initiative.

The crisis in Syria raises questions about how Syrians live their lives amidst the ongoing war, particularly in the “liberated zones” which are no longer under the control of the Assad regime. Bashar Assad’s forces have imposed a strict siege on these zones and, together with Russian and Iranian forces, have subjected them to heavy bombing. The war has damaged the economy, causing thousands of families and individuals to lose their sources of income and live in deteriorating conditions. It has thus forced many people to change their economic activities in order to provide for their families.

In an attempt to take control of their lives and build some stability in incredibly difficult conditions, residents in these liberated zones have formed local councils. In some zones, they have indeed succeeded in forming actively independent local councils, while in other areas the…

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