Showing posts from May 27, 2006

Syria: The Promised Land?

It's not. But the interesting SyriaComment blog which is run by academic/Syria expert Joshua Landis posted a Chicago Tribune report Fearful Iraqis seek haven in Syria which highlights Syria's role as a magnet to Iraqi refugees: Three-month visas are routinely issued to Iraqis, and so are multiple extensions. Iraqis cannot receive work permits, but they can receive free health care and schooling. "It's a shifting population--people come and people go--but it's amazing that Syria has been able to absorb them all," said a Western diplomat who has watched the war. Even Human Rights Watch, which criticizes Syria's treatment of reform advocates, has praised the country's openness. In recent weeks in particular, Syria has shown empathy for Palestinian refugees as well. "Middle East governments should follow Syria's example in accepting refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence in Iraq," the organization said in a statement. Syria is run b