Nadia Tabbara, Texas A&M International University

The Lesser of Two Evils

Abstract: For the past several years, media coverage has orbited around the country of Syria and its’ turmoil. To understand the current conflict, there needs to be an understanding of the country’s political past. Nearly 72 years of independence, the young country of Syria has experienced periods of social reform and oppression. The most pivotal movement that is emulated these two periods is the creation of the everlasting Ba’ath party. French imperialism in Syria created the Ba’ath party, and its purpose was to create a reformation in Syria’s political sphere. In spite of the party appealing to some sectors of society, the very essence of the Ba’ath party changed because of selfish gains of one individual.

Hafez al-Assad transformed the Ba’ath party for political control and to militarize the country of Syria. Through strategically taking over a party that appealed to many, he was able to create a regime more oppressive than the French did during their mandate period. Through minority favoritism (that being the Alawite group in Latakia), suppression of society’s political voice through acts of violence, and establishing a dynastic rule disguised as a republic; Hafez changed what the party image was truly about. This replacement of one politically oppressive regime with another is what happened is expected after France left Syria weakened politically. In addition, Hafez al-Assad only exacerbated the state of Syria: socially, economically, and politically.

The methodology of the research for this project mainly were centered on secondary sources, along with one primary source. The primary source being an interview with a native Syrian who lived through these shifting phases of political change. These sources gave both an inside and outside perspective of these occurrences during the French Mandate and Hafez regime.

Presentation Author(s):
Nadia Tabbara*

Judging Forms Official judges only