Here's the real reason behind the image change on Syria's new currency note

Published July 7th, 2015 - 12:49 GMT
The new 1,000-pound note in Syria left people wondering why the image was changed from former president Hafez al-Assad. (banknotes.com/Audrius Tomonis)
The new 1,000-pound note in Syria left people wondering why the image was changed from former president Hafez al-Assad. (banknotes.com/Audrius Tomonis)

The new 1,000-pound note in Syria that began circulating last week left people wondering why the image was changed from former president Hafez al-Assad to a Roman theater in Daraa, we reported on Wednesday.

Previous claims of updating paper quality and improving security just didn't add up. Now, there may be an answer.

The Syrian note has been subject of a campaign by opposition to write offensive things about the former leader by his image. The trend was problematic not just because it was embarrassing to the government — sometimes being caught with a paper note that had these insults caused your arrest, according to Arabic news al-Khaleej, leaving residents more reluctant to use them.

Opposition says the campaign is what pushed the regime to change the image. The new photo of a theater in southern Daraa, the birthplace of the revolution, left government supporters outraged.

The Central Bank of Syria cites a different motive for the decision, though it's decidedly more vague. Printing new notes shows the Syrian economy is capable of overcoming the difficulties it's facing, especially given the American and European sanctions on Syrian currency, Central Bank Governor Adib Mayalah said in a press conference Tuesday.

By Hayat Norimine


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