There is a distinct contrast between the daily lives of the young people of Hama, whether in the Syrian regime-controlled areas with the associated arrests and torture, or the areas under opposition control, in which there is no work and which suffer from a lack of financial and economic resources.
According to the president of the Hama Free Provincial Council, Nafaa al-Barazi, the people of the city who resided in “liberated” areas have joined a number of military formations operating in the region after leaving the city, with a small portion leaving to Turkey.
But currently, a large percentage of local residents are now looking to leaving for Turkey in light of the absence of work in northern Syria.
Regarding the youth who are still in Syrian regime-controlled areas, Barazi told Enab Baladi that some of them have disappeared from view and vanished out of fear of arrest, and that in many cases they are arrested and put into military service.
Barazi voiced his regret over the “dark” image given to opposition-controlled areas, which pushed dozens of young people to remain under regime control despite there being no justification for this at all, as he put it.
Marginalization of youth
Barazi said that the young people fleeing from the regime-controlled areas had been subjected to “marginalization,” especially those with skills and experience, which pushes them to think about traveling outside the area.
He said that the one choice for the married young person was either to move to “liberated” areas, or to keep his family in the city with the possibility that the wife would be arrested if the regime discovers the husband has fled.
A number of regime settlements have been recorded with people who fled to “liberated” areas only to return to the city of Hama to ensure their wives' release.
The activist Abdallah al-Hamawi said that the regime’s harsh decisions against the right of students for an academic delay have increased the number of those fleeing to the “liberated” north or to Turkey and European countries.
Daily obsession with arrest
Arwa Masri, originally from the city of Hama, came out in the peaceful protests in the city at the start of 2011 and was arrested by the political security branch after they raided his house.
Masri, who now lives in Idleb, told Enab Baladi that the increase of incidents of arrests and raids on his house pushed him to flee the city after paying $1,000 to leave.
He added that the youth in the city could be subject to arrest at any time by the security branches. Many are then put into military service and thrown into battle.
A number of residents had been forced to sign up to regime volunteer forces in order to serve inside the city of Hama and provide for their family.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.