When the Syrian revolution started to drift toward armed struggle by the end of 2011, the Syrian Pound’s value started to fluctuate and it became clear that the crisis would last for a long time.
People storing large amounts of money in form of Syrian Pounds in governmental or private banks have started to think of ways to protect their savings from losing value.
Exchanging Syrian Pounds into Dollars was not enough to make people feel secure becauss the dollar value itself fluctuates.
The first thing Syrians thought, to protect their money, was to invest in properties, adopting the American Jewish businessman’s advice: Buy when there’s blood in the street.
The last thing would have crossed Syrian’s mind that properties could be at risk, as it had been considered for long to be the most secure method to maintain their money’s value.
Souad, a syrian divorced woman followed that advice and bought a house in Damascus countryside near Duma, hoping to secure a house for future for her and her only daughter.
However after two years, she knows little about what happened to it and became aware that the area has been under shelling.
Elham, a 60 years old Syrian widow, used to spend for living from the interest she received on the money she had saved in the bank. However, when the crises started, she thought of exchanging money into U.S. Dollars. However, with inflation on the rise and the mark-up in prices, her spending increased and Elham no longer knows what she can do.
On the other hand, gold is considered a good choice to keep the value of money.
Naji, a 60-year-old man living thethe Gulf for many years made that choice. He bought gold with the money left after financially securing his sons. However, he to continued to fear raids by security forces, thinking they might find the hidden gold and take it away.
It seems that Saad’s choice was the wisest, as he bought a land near Hama, because he thought that it would not get damaged or destroyed or lose its value by war.
Syrians had been enjoying financial security for a long time, as all they needed to do was to put their money in banks. However these days, they need to think deeply to make a good choice to protect their lifelong savings. With the inflation and increase prices, people started to use their savings for essential needs.
This post first appeared in Eqtsad, Zaman Alwasl's Business website; Translation by Yusra Ahmed, edited by The Syrian Observer
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer