Rebuilding a pluralist Syria key to encouraging returns

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By Euronews
Rebuilding a pluralist Syria key to encouraging returns

Refugees leave terror behind them. How many would ever go back? The Syrian-German project Adopt a Revolution says that more than half of the refugees in Germany would return to Syria but only if Bashar al-Assad were no longer there — 52%.

A small minority wish to remain indefinitely in Germany — 8%. At Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, euronews talked to three Syrians on a panel analysing these survey findings.

Asylum-seeker Maan Abu Layla said: “I would like to go back to Syria, but not under the present circumstances. It needs to be safe, secure and stable to go back. What I miss the most at the moment is the love among people. Until things change, I can’t go back.”

Yahya al-Abudullah is from Aleppo. Once finished his studies in Syria, he taught in university and then faced obligatory army service. To avoid that he had to leave.

“I am designing an educational program for Syrians, and Syrians in Syria need it the most, but unfortunately I don’t think it is possible to be done right now. If it is possible I will go there right away. For sure.”

Al-Hakam Shaar is a researcher with Central European University’s Aleppo Project. He arrived in Budapest from Turkey eight months ago to work on this project. He consults architects and archaeologists from Aleppo about eventually rebuilding it — socially as well.

“To me it is very important because any effort to get people sharing their memories and experiences and visions about the city will add to the chances in the future of the city in getting good reconstruction efforts.”

Almost half of all housing in Aleppo is estimated to have been damaged or destroyed. The war has forced one third of its people to flee the country or to move elsewhere in Syria. Whoever returns, many are already thinking keenly about bringing it back to life.