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A Recipe for Perpetual Insecurity? The Case of a Syrian Protected Area
As snapshots of Syria’s environmental degradation go, Jebel Abdelaziz, in the northeastern part of the country, is hard to beat. The mountain’s rocky flanks offer little for livestock. The semi-arid surrounding plain offers little for man or beast. Extending over 50km (31 miles) from Hasakah into the lightly populated scrub in the country’s northeast, the Jebel, or mountain – and the villages that border it – are a study in scarcity, hopelessness, and grinding poverty.
“We are the poorest of the poor,” said Abdelaziz Abdelrahman who has lost half his sheep to starvation this year and whose five remaining animals look like they might soon join the others.
“We have nothing,” echoed Om Mohammed, a mother of seven and resident of Jouran Abyad village, when we met on a field visit in September. Her clothes threadbare and lone field uncultivable, she was barely exaggerating.(more…)