AMMAN – Surviving death by bombardment and starvation does not mean the end of suffering for Syrians. On the contrary, many of them have found themselves in the middle of a new war waged by other means, threatening them even after fleeing their homes and country—it is a war fought through Housing, Land and Property (HLP) rights violations.
Although they are less bloody than the traditional and chemical weapons Syrians have faced since 2011, HLP rights violations are no less violent as they mean eradicating the refugees and internally displaced people’s hopes of returning to their homes one day and, equally important, eliminating the roots and identities of those who are displaced, according to Taim Seyoufi.
In the podcast “Ard Dyar,” produced by Syria Direct and Sowt, victims of HLP violations reveal the different types of violations they have endured and the “legal” and illegal tools employed by various warring parties across Syria to seize civilian properties.
While, predictably, the Assad regime is responsible for the lion’s share of these violations, other warring parties – including the opposition, Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and ISIS, until its territorial defeat – copied the regime’s violations, making the Syrian society as a whole pay the price, according to Syrian lawyer Ghazwan Koronful.
“Ard Dyar” is part of a larger effort by Syria Direct to cover HLP issues in Syria, featured in a special HLP section on the Syria Direct website. The project aims to raise awareness among Syrians and regional and international actors, including States and organizations, of HLP violations, as well as available ways to protect and restore HLP rights. In the prelude to Syria’s reconstruction, addressing HLP rights is crucial to drawing the country’s future.
The following individuals contributed to this podcast: Azza Guergues, Tala El-Issa, Rawan Nakhleh and Jana Qazzaz (production); Kristina Kaghdo (narration); Mahmoud Abu Nada (sound production); and Maram Al-Nabali and Bayan Habib (communication & outreach).