"Naji said she thinks the strictness of the authoritarian government in Syria has engendered fear in some citizens that they are constantly being watched.
When the Syrian government visited Naji’s grandmother and aunt in 2013, Naji said her aunt had to stuff her “Free Syria” flag in the drain of the kitchen sink to hide it from government home inspectors, who performed random searches to make sure civilians weren’t collaborating with rebel forces.
Naji said she remembers how difficult it was early in the war to learn about the situation.
“Every time we would ask our family, ‘Is there something going on?’ they would have to say ‘no’ for their lives,” she said.
Gelvin said he thinks the complexity of the war has caused many to predict a bleak future.
“It’s going to end up with both sides exhausted, but like prize fighters not able to deliver a final blow,” Gelvin said. “A permanent failed state is the prospect. (Syria has) disappeared from the face of the earth.”
Despite this forecast, Basrawi said he believes the best solution to the war is to establish Syria as a heterogeneous nation full of a diverse range of people. He said he thinks the government should provide its citizens with many of the same freedoms democracies provide their citizens."