Having Received Syria’s Struggle, al-Assad Is Mired in Financial Woes

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Most Syrians now dedicate their days to discovering gas to prepare dinner and heat their properties, and standing in lengthy traces for rationed pita. Energy shortages are fixed, with some areas getting only some hours of electrical energy a day, barely sufficient for folks to maintain their cellphones charged.

Determined ladies have taken to promoting their hair to feed their households.

“I needed to promote my hair or my physique,” a mom of three stated just lately in a hair salon close to Damascus, talking on situation of anonymity, like others interviewed for this text, for worry of arrest.

Her husband, a carpenter, was unwell and solely sporadically employed, she stated, and he or she wanted heating oil for the home and winter coats for her kids.

With the $55 she received for her hair, which can be used to make wigs, she purchased two gallons of heating oil, garments for her kids and a roast hen, the primary her household had tasted in three months.

She cried from disgrace for 2 days afterward.

The falling foreign money signifies that docs now earn the equal of lower than $50 a month. The pinnacle of the docs’ syndicate stated just lately that many had been going overseas for work, to Sudan and Somalia, among the many uncommon international locations that permit straightforward entry for Syrians however neither of which has a robust economic system. Different professionals earn a lot much less.

“Folks’s concern, greater than anything, is meals and gas,” stated a Damascus musician. “Every little thing is abnormally costly and individuals are terrified to open their mouths.”

The causes are a number of and overlapping: widespread harm and displacement from the conflict; sweeping Western sanctions on Mr. al-Assad’s authorities and associates; a banking collapse in neighboring Lebanon, the place rich Syrians stored their cash; and lockdowns to fight the coronavirus.

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