June 27, 2023

The Syriacs of Northeast Syria: If they have the will, they can achieve the dream

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by Hadeel Oueis, Senior Research Fellow

Eleven years ago, I had to leave Hasaka, my hometown and the city where I grew up. I came from a large family that’s mixed Syriac and Greek Orthodox, consisting of 5 uncles, 3 aunts, and 25 cousins.

Between 2012 and 2015, all of them, like many other Christians from Northeast Syria, were forced to leave the city. I was the first to depart because I actively participated in the Syrian uprising of 2011. At the age of 19, I was arrested, and upon my release, the fear of repeating the harsh experience of imprisonment made it impossible for me to continue living in Syria.

Although the rest of my family had no involvement in politics, they too had to leave. This was the fate of tens of thousands of Syriac and other Christian families in Northeast Syria.

The Syriacs played a crucial role in the establishment of the relatively new cities and towns in Northeast Syria. They transformed these areas…