Wainik ya Halab? (where are you Aleppo?)

by Ammar April 25, 2011

We've all been following the Syrian uprising and we've seen the fear barrier broken in all cities accross Syria from small towns like Daraa and Bayda, and even in the capital and Homs. But surprisingly, Aleppo, Syria's largest city, has been relatively quite. 

Aleppo, the oldest city in the world, lies in the North of the country, near the Turkish border. It has some of the world's most beautiful historical architecture. It's population is diverse, consisting of Arabs, Kurds, Armenians and others. It has Muslims, Christians and Jews all living peacefully. It is a bustling city with vast farm lands as well. There was once a disagreement on whether Halab should actually be the capital. 

Through out history, because of its geographic location, Halab became a business town, where traders from all over the world would come to trade merchandise. Today it remains a hub for commerce and agriculture.

So the question is, why is Aleppo not joining the protests as much as other areas? I have scowered the internets to find evidence of protests, and while there are protests, they seem to be small and isolated. In fact, I have not seen anything since the 23 of April, meaning that Halab has been quite while Daraa has been underseige.

I hypothisize that this is due to one or more reasons:

- There have been widespread detentions in Halab leading to fear of people going out?

- There is an extremely large Mukhabarat presence in Halab?

- Cell phones have been confiscated?

- People in Halab are not as interested in over throwing the Government as other towns? I doubt this.

- They are too busy running their businesses?

I don't know how else to explain their absence. It is obvoius that if Halab were to join with force, Assad and his criminal mafia would be done.

If you have any ideas please comment.


Damascus | Syria | Aleppo

Comments (5) -

Shelli United States
4/26/2011 4:52:40 AM #

Even in the capital there hasn't been a big movement with the exception of smaller suburbs. Hama's movement is also kind of small. I think it has a lot to do with the population size in these larger cities and the diversity that's present there. Maybe people are afraid of civil conflicts...there are pro-Basharites (whether brainwashed, because of $, or through fear) and there are probably more in the larger cities. The larger minority presence can also be an issue, but Latakia has risen and it is a diverse city. Another thing to remember is the two cities that suffered the most in the 80s were Halab/Hama, fear is still really strong there.

Another issue is the Kurds. Although there has been some support from them, I don't think it has been large. As the largest ethnic minority, they would definitely have an impact. My hypothesis is that the Kurds probably are waiting for some way this will benefit them. I think there's also a lot of civil conflict still between Arabs/Kurds, especially considering the recent 04 riots where Kurds were killed, detained. etc.

I guess we can theorize many things, but it would be interesting to hear the opinion of someone there.


beroea son
beroea son Syria
5/18/2011 10:24:55 PM #

Hello Mr.Ammar,,
I am from Aleppo and i would like to tell you why Aleppo people haven't risen up:
its because the current generation of Aleppo ,, imagine that many people there think that Alassad is a good president and without him we won't be able to get our right from Israel...they belive his lies on TV.. and till now they say that what appear on Intenational Media like Aljazeera & France 24 is exaggerated and they still beleive the state T.V channels!!!!!!! this is the reason which certainly doesnt comprise all people but many of them..


How shameful you're calling yourselves Syrians...
How shameful you're calling yourselves Syrians... Syria
6/16/2011 2:49:55 PM #

I'm from Aleppo and never participated in any protests... not because Moukhabarat were there, not because cell phones were confiscated, not because we're afraid and definitely not because we're too busy running our businesses.
The simple reason for this is that we find no reason to protest. People (like you) from outside Syria are trying to make things look worse.  I find it funny how you consider yourself able to make better judgement than us, given that you're outside the country while we're living in it.

"beroea son" is blaming us for believing the state's TV channels: let me tell you that unlike you, we don't need any TV channel to know the truth of what's happening in our country: our eyes are ears are the only sources of information we trust: we are seeing what's happening in Syria whereas you're only seeing what TV channels want you to see. I don't blame you: you're geographically separated from Syria and can only rely on TV channels.
If you're trying to refer about the Syrian people being brain-washed, then I'm afraid you're the one being narrow-minded and wouldn't admit you were wrong: Al Jazeera once reported "protests" in Aleppo university. When you hear this, you'll probably believe it. but guess what? I was participating in that "protest" and it was actually a manifestation in favor of the Assad regime. What I want to say is that News channels are politically biased and filter the information it has, which makes them unreliable, specially in such conditions.

Speaking of news channels and specially France 24 that you mentioned... I'm pretty sure you heard that France 24 made a phone call to the Syrian ambassador in France (Mrs. Lamia Shakkour) who announced her demission because of the use of terror and torture by the Syrian government. Few hours after, Mrs.Shakkour sent a video (and not simply a voice over a phone call) denying what has been reported. France 24 itself admitted having spread "false information" and blamed it on some technical defects (they said they thought they were really calling her but actually weren't). France 24 HAD to correct the information because Mrs.Shakkour made an apparition on other channels, which made France 24 lose its credibility. But in case Shakkour didn't do that move, France 24 would just never admit it was wrong. This is one single example of media faking news: there are many others. Anyway, as I said: we don't need anyone to confirm what the media is saying: we live in Syria and can do it by ourselves.

Anyway, I will not waste my time further trying to explain things to you: If you want to know the truth, come to Syria and see with your eyes!

I know all what I said will not help change your mind, simply because you're narrow-minded and refuse to change your beliefs even if they're incorrect: It's a joke when you're talking about the Syrians being afraid: you're afraid of your own mind, what a pity!

Just like other websites, yours doesn't in any way report events in Syrian as they're happening and it's good you're mentioning it explicitly: it's an American view of the events, nothing more.
I'm wondering if you guys are Syrians or some foreigners pretending to be. Either ways, you are not helping in any way: criticizing is useless and easy. what we need is constructive criticizing, which you obviously lack. We accept difference in opinions, but not this way...


Mak United States
6/18/2011 8:33:22 PM #

We all have relatives that live in Syria. Yes, in Damascus and Aleppo and other cities. Yes, people are very upset. While the rich and elite are not out in the streets, they are funding the protesters and giving them internet access, video cameras, satellite phones and laptops. Everyone wants to get rid of Assad and his murderous regime. You are simply a government thug paid to do this and make such comments.

Assad and his friends will be gone soon. The rich upper class is already planning for the new Syria. They have started and funded this whole thing. Assad won't last more than a few more weeks. Why don't you join us in wanting to get rid of him? We will make sure you have job in the new Syria. Don't worry.


mariam Spain
6/23/2011 12:44:16 PM #

I left Aleppo two weeks ago. And I have my own opinion, after talking about this same issue with people there. Mostly, we could see that the older ones still remember with panic what happened in 1980, when Aleppo revolted against the regime, killing alawite officers in the quarters one night, and  in the following crackdown hundreds, thousands of people were killed. They took them on the streets, by surprise, shooting them against the walls, taking thousands to prison where they describe many kinds of torture. Some of them were children, 13 or less, and spent more than 20 years in prison. Some never were releases. Some people desappeared, never were heard of again...  This fear got very deep inside of people. Another reason is economic: money is coward, so are people with a lot to loose... More reasons: there is a wide segment of population under 18 years, children and young people are easily influenced, when teachers, for instance, talk to them about the bounties of the regimen day after day, it's very easy to believe. This is happening also in many other parts of Syria, and people prefer to think that everything that they here in the foreing channels is a big lie and the regime is protecting them, better than believing that the ones that should protect them, their fellow citizens, are the ones that are massacrating them without scruples...


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