Life must go on: Syrian blitz spirit is alive and well
News reports on the Syrian crisis are filled with explosions, executions and extreme suffering. But there is another side to the protracted conflict, which has paralyzed the country for more than 23 months. Few reports show how boring and isolating the war can be.
In the early days of the uprising, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime promoted “pool parties” among middle class Syrians, which were held every Friday, the day of protest. Few were in any doubt as to the motives behind the sudden desire to entice young Syrians off the streets and into the bar.
As the conflict intensified, even Syrians fully committed to the struggle have found themselves longing for some semblance of normality — an open cafe, a drink with a friend or a dance and a stolen kiss.
Some have managed to relax amid the chaos. Salsa nights continue to be held in Old Damascus. Clubs have opened their doors to partygoers when possible. Even the rebels have held pool parties, as kidnapped U.S. journalist Austin Tice discovered shortly before he was abducted.
Over New Year’s the blitz spirit showed no signs of wavering. But the desire for a drink and a good time seemed to have lagged, as the bars and clubs that stayed open housed few customers.
Have your say: What do you think of people partying while war rages nearby? Can anyone who hasn’t lived through war really make a judgement on what people in a conflict zone do to unwind?