Studies of the Syrian civil war have largely focused on topics such as refugees and casualties and have left the crucial topic of employment greatly under-researched. Understanding changes in the composition of the job market will greatly enhance reconstruction efforts in post-war Aleppo as it allows a better understanding of the availability and quality of the labour force.
In late 2014 and early 2015, The Aleppo Project surveyed 1001 Aleppians about many issues.
This paper focuses on the two questionnaire items related to current professions of the respondents and their previous professions. The major findings of this paper include:
The composition of the job market has pointedly changed due to the conflict
Unemployment more than doubled due to the conflict. This applies to Aleppians within the city and abroad
Differences in the rate of unemployment among Aleppians are largely explained by gender, age, education, and the neighbourhood from which the respondents come.
I believe that policymakers in post-war Aleppo will be faced with very high unemployment rates as the returnees with the fewest economic opportunities abroad come to Aleppo first to seek jobs. Ignoring the unemployed might ignite new unrest and could make the process of reintegration and reconciliation harder.
“The dilemma is that in theory Russia and the United States agree that al-Qaeda-linked groups should be excluded from any peace talks. Since 2013, for example, the United States has not been very keen to support Ahrar ash-Sham due to its radical ideology. In practice, however, Ahrar ash-Sham is the largest armed group in Syria and its exclusion would end the peace process. Separating Ahrar ash-Sham or other groups from JN would weaken the opposition because JN is a key fighting forces. It might also create infighting between JN and other groups which would ultimately serve the government’s interests. Russia is aware of these complications and has used this pretext to weaken opposition groups in favor of the government. An agreement between the United States and Russia about how to resolve this dilemma is fundamental to the survival of the ceasefire and continuation of the Geneva process. As of May 2016, this had not yet happened.”
Last week, while the bombing of Aleppo intensified, three brothers went out to play. They ended up at the Al Quds hospital, where a volunteer was filming the doctors at work. Published by Channel 4 News on 8 June.
One of the greatest Goddesses of Mesopotamian mythology, Inanna’s descent to the underworld, her death and miraculous revival with the help of the Gods, share commonalities with the ongoing tragedy in Aleppo and Syria. When passing the seven gates of the underworld, Inanna was stripped of her clothes, which symbolized her power. Similarly, Aleppo and Syria have been stripped of their economic, political and human power during the past five years. While Inanna made it back to the heavens and was revived with the aid of the Gods, Aleppo and Syria still wait for the resolution of this devastating conflict.