No Red Lines in Times of Hunger

Economic hardship in Syria is continuing to get worse and citizens are being forced to do whatever they can to secure food, even if that mean undertaking work they never imagined doing reports Etihad Press.

The economic collapse, whose effects are clearly visible in Syria, with the deterioration of the economic conditions and the deliberate neglect of the population in the areas under the regime’s control, made securing a morsel of bread almost impossible. The situation kept on going from bad to worse throughout the years of the war, at the economic, social, and psychological levels.

During the long years of conflict, Syrians learned how to coexist with poverty, and the inhabitants of the Syrian interior witnessed heartbreaking stories that angered and saddened anyone who heard them. Thousands of Syrian families suffered from poverty, and their experiences were the blueprint of millions of sad stories.

With the increases in poverty, day after day, the lack of job opportunities, low wages, and high prices, Syrians have been looking for anything to secure their livelihood, often jobs that are unrelated to their professional experience, university degrees, or level of educational attainment. In some cases, they are forced to work in places that contradict their principles, their upbringing, and the societal norms which they are accustomed to. 

Etihad Press spotted a post by a woman, published in a Facebook group that advertises work opportunities, in which she asks for “any job” in exchange for money. The post was deleted minutes after publishing it, because the poster was subjected to bullying, with some people suggesting she was looking for a job as a prostitute.

Perhaps this particular lady was not intending to work in prostitution or a job that violates societal morals. However, how many poor girls have made prostitution their profession in order to battle hunger or provide medicine and bread for their families, without the latter’s knowledge of the nature of their job?

The Ministry of the Interior in the Syrian government publishes almost daily news about the arrest of a prostitution ring, female prostitutes, or drug dealers.

However, the Ministry itself has never published the reason for the increase in these phenomena. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has not published data about these cases, either, although the reason is clear, as the war that burned the hearts, money, and hopes of Syrians is making its presence felt today, before the eyes of an authority that has not stopped killing and amassing money to this day.

The woman’s post was not the first of its kind. Facebook groups are full of similar posts by young men looking for any opportunity to secure a loaf of bread, regardless of the location or nature of the work.

The rampant poverty, lack of job opportunities, and the high price have prompted some Syrians to put up parts of their bodies for sale (namely kidneys or a testicle). In some cases, women resorted to selling their hair.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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