Envisioning the Future

By Loubna Mrie

Loubna Mrie is a Syrian activist who participated in the initial stages of the revolution.  She later became a photojournalist with Reuters based in Aleppo, where she covered the ongoing conflict in the Idlib, Aleppo, Latakia, and Hama governorates. Originally from the Syrian coastal city of Jableh, she is currently based in New York City where she is a researcher and commentator on Syrian and Middle Eastern affairs. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, the New Republic, among other publications.  She is also an Atlantic Media Fellow. 

After six years of war, I find it difficult to imagine what Syria will look like after it all ends. Villages resemble ghost towns, while lawlessness and violence allow warlords to thrive. Whether you’re in a rebel-held enclave or a government controlled area filled with thuggish paramilitary forces, the loudest voice is that of an AK-47 rifle.

Therefore, before any post-conflict recovery or reconstruction can begin, the biggest challenge will be to enforce the rule of law and regain order in areas which have been lawless for the past five years. Enforcing that order is no small feat. The behavioral pattern of chaos in both government and rebel areas will be difficult to break, but not impossible.

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