In light of the recent situation in Deir ez-Zor, we met with Fatima Abdul Razzaq Hussein—a graduate of the Teacher Preparation Institute, and a member of the Busera Women’s Council—so that she could share some perspectives. We asked her to share a bit about the context of Deir ez-Zor, about the recent happenings there, and about how she is seeing this impact the lives of people, specially women, in the region.
“Deir ez-Zor is the largest province in Northern and Eastern Syria in terms of area. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) control half of the area there. It is a tribal area governed by fixed rules and regulations and it cannot be broken from the tribal domain in terms of customs and traditions. It is also the richest area of oil fields and subsoil wealth. It is an agricultural area—most people are working in the agricultural field, as it is located on the bank of the Euphrates River, which divides the province into two parts.
Assassinations have increased recently in Deir ez-Zor, especially in the eastern part. Particularly it has been tribal sheikhs and security officials who were killed by anonymous assailants.
The people know who is behind the destabilization of security, stability, and stirring up strife—those with external agendas, often affiliated with the Iranian and Russian militias, are trying to incite the people to go out in demonstrations and protests against the administration of the region, which is the Autonomous Administration of the democratic nation project. [this project] is based on brotherhood and coexistence, without discrimination on the basis to religion, sect, ethnicity or language between people. The democratic nation project has become an example for all countries of the world.
Some of the assassinations are carried out by Islamic State sleeper cells taking revenge from some of their former members when they were controlling the region.
The International Coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces are still striving to quell this strife through raids arresting some people who are involved with these cells, and by holding intensive meetings with tribal sheikhs to find an appropriate solution and help them control this situation.
We, the people of Deir ez-Zor, know that the recent assassinations that targeted the tribal sheikhs were like sparks igniting the regional conflict, as evidenced by the way is the people have demonstrated and protested against the unstable security situation that targets the souls of Syrians. We are sure that these attacks aim to create discord among the components and to achieve the goals of tendentious agendas.
Of course, this situation affects negatively on all segments of the society, especially women, as they have begun to make achievements involving all fields of life. They are taking their role and proving their competence and ability to assume responsibility at work and home.
However, this miserable situation reflects negatively on the progress of women, as they are now having tension, anxiety and psychological pressure due to what is happening on the ground. They can’t focus on their work or their home, because fear is controlling everyone, which makes women in a state of permanent standstill and slump without progress. Despite these conditions and the psychological war we live in, we continue in our works and hope that security and stability will prevail in the region in all aspects, to be able make progress and be more effective members [of society].
Thank you very much”