A Rare Look At Daily Life In Syria

syria young men night smoking

Photo: vimeo/Ruslan Fedotow

Violent repression in Syria continues to escalate in a conflict that threatens to draw in the world. In recent weeks we’ve seen the EU impose harsher sanctions on Syria, the U.S. considering humanitarian aid, and Russia providing Syria with state-of-the-art weapons.What’s been missing are the faces of the average Syrians at the heart of the conflict.

Here are these Syrians as captured by Ruslan Fedotow, a student at Belorussian Academy of Arts, in his video of Syria along with facts from Department of State’s profile on Syria.

More than 65 per cent of the people in Syria are under 35

Syria is home to 22.5 million people. 90 per cent are Arabic.

Syria's population is also 90 per cent Muslim, the majority of which is Sunni

The remaining 10 per cent are Christian, with a tiny Syrian Jewish community

Arabic is the official and widely spoken language

Approximately 500,000 Palestinians live in Syria

More than one million Iraqi refugees live in Syria

Living mostly in northeast corner of Syria, Kurds make up nine per cent of the population

More than 40 per cent of Syrians are under the age of 15. Education is free and compulsory only from ages six to twelve.

The six years of primary education is followed by a three year vocational training period and secondary three year vocational program, which is required for university admission

The enrollment in post secondary schools is 150,000

The illiteracy rate of Syrians aged 15 and older is 9.3 per cent for males and 17.8 per cent for females

All Syrian men serve 18 months in the military after they turn 18

Prior to late 2011, those who paid a $5,000 fee or attended college were exempt from serving in the military. Currently, there are no exemptions.

Unemployment is estimated to be anywhere from 30 to 45 per cent, with 200,000 people entering the labour market every year

Government sporadically allows access to previously blocked websites, including YouTube.com, Amazon.com, and Facebook.com and monitors usage for opposition

The two main pillars of Syrian's economy are agriculture and oil

Agriculture workers make up 19 per cent of Syria's workforce

Aside from exporting oil, minerals and petroleum, Syria exports vegetables, textiles, meat, live animals, and wheat

For some political insight on Syria with a lighter tone...

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