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Hardships Continue for Russia’s Syrian Diaspora

“My relatives did not wish to leave Syria. They waited as prolonged as they could, meditative that the people would ease down. No one was awaiting this sum psychosis to start, with mass media fueling the situation,” says Hasan Khader, who came to Moscow in 2012 with $500 in his pocket.

He pronounced that in Syria he witnessed people being killed by angry mobs usually for being law coercion officers. People in the streets went crazy and the supervision eventually started to act in the proceed the media was accusing them of — violently. The level of anxiety and intolerance was too high and it was not protected to stay in the republic anymore.

After entrance to Russia, Khader fast found a job as a construction worker. Luckily, he had a Russian passport, as he was innate in Moscow to a Russian mother. He attempted his palm at several jobs and decided to open open a bar about a year ago — Syrians are traders, he said, and are traditionally good at business.

“We need to support the Assad regime, it’s the only energy able of handling the situation. I’m a liberal, though the idea of elections being hold now is nonsense; Assad is the most famous Syrian politician in the world, he is going to win anyway,” Khader says.

He adds that his republic has been vital underneath peremptory order for centuries and there is no proceed for them to change at once. A long transition duration is needed, though before that all terrorists in Syria have to be destroyed, at any price, he says.

Russia’s Syrians

Refugees from Syria have been flooding to Europe around all the years of the Syrian crisis, though this tide has mostly been flitting Russia by: According to Russia’s Federal Migration Service, usually 912 Syrian refugees practical for refugee standing or proxy haven between Jan and August 2015.

There are about 8,000 Syrian adults with haven or interloper status, or chateau permits vital in Russia at the moment, radio BFM reported in October. But these 8,000 consecrate usually a small partial of the Syrians who indeed live in the country.

Of all Russia’s Arab communities, the Syrian village is one of the largest, says Irina Ahmed Zain Aidrous, Ph.D., a docent at the economics expertise of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. There are about 100,000 Syrians vital in Russia now, she says. There are about 7,000 to 10,000 Syrians in Moscow alone according to Syrian countrymen organisation calculations, one of its former leaders Makhmoud Al-Hamsa told The Moscow Times.

The presence of Syrians in the Soviet Union dates behind to the 1970s and 1980s. The countries were allies even then, and the Soviet Union supposed many Syrian students around supervision educational programs, Ahmed Zain Aidrous says.

For that reason, the majority of the Syrians entrance to the Soviet Union were mostly possibly supporters of Syrian personality Hafez Assad — father of current President Bashar Assad — or were constant to him, internal diaspora members told The Moscow Times.

Former TV presenter Nasr Al-Yusef sitting in his kitchen with his mother looking on.

Yes to War

“Bashar Assad is a very well-educated, intelligent and tolerant person,” says Musa Azdashir, who has been vital in Russia for a decade now. He is an Alawite, as is Syria’s stream president. But that’s not the reason he supports the Syrian personality in the ongoing war, he says.

Azdashir believes that Assad is fighting for the country’s autonomy in a proceed that no one else is. “I usually don’t see an alternative. Who else can do what he does?” he says.

Azdashir came to Russia to study in 2005. At university he met his destiny wife, a French denunciation professor’s assistant, and the dual got married in 2010. Now they have dual daughters.

Azdashir welcomes Russia’s troops operation is Syria and believes that IS, that he describes as the worst terrorists imaginable, can be degraded by the finish of 2016 if general efforts are concurrent with the Syrian government. The other essential moves are to seal the Turkish limit and make Saudi Arabia stop appropriation radical terrorists and supplying them with arms, he says.

“The troops operation is a matter of security for Russia. What should Russia be fearful of — some-more sanctions or apprehension attacks? Lots of fighters from the North Caucasus have assimilated IS and they can lapse [to Russia]. Kadyrov is fighting them and I consider he is doing a good job. So we consider Russia done a right choice,” says Azdashir, following Russia’s central position on the Syrian conflict.

Azdashir has an IT-specialist diploma from a Russian university, though removing a job in Moscow valid to be a challenge. “Companies cite to hire Russians, that we know perfectly. You have to hire the locals first. It’s normal, and I would positively do the same in my country.”

He works as a freelance Russian-Arabic translator, a taxi driver, and fixes computers for his friends. His wife’s income at the university is about 30,000 rubles ($460), and he finds Moscow’s application payments really high.

“It’s not satisfactory when we have to pay that most with such [a low] salary. But we consider it’s [Prime Minister Dmitry] Medvedev to blame and [President Vladimir] Putin is going to put it right soon” says Azdashir.

Endless Paperwork

Despite the Syrian participation in Russia and long-standing relations, removing the paperwork right for the Syrians who wish to stay in Russia is a big official problem.

It’s 10 o’clock in the morning, though the Moscow city Federal Migration Service (FMS) bureau is overcrowded. A long mezzanine on the initial building is filled with people watchful their spin to meet an immigration officer. Jusef, who declined to give his genuine name for fear of retribution from officials, is one of them.

He’s from Syria. He graduated in 2014 as a pharmacist from a Russian university and applied shortly after to Moscow’s FMS for temporary asylum, that was postulated for one year.

This summer he practical for asylum again though was refused. He appealed the decision in the sovereign FMS bureau and the preference concurred as unlawful. He went to file the documents to the FMS again.

He says that refugees are being done to pay bribes for all paperwork they have to go through. “The initial time we practical they demanded 30,000 rubles, 40,000 rubles from me,” says Jusef. “How most they wish now we don’t know. But from the other people we know they asked as most as 70,000 about half a year ago.”

After his papers are checked he is sent to get his fingerprints taken and then to an talk with an immigration officer.

“I’m so sleepy of this, we don’t wish to go there anymore,” says Jusef after the FMS doorway closes behind him.

Jusef has several part-time jobs as a bartender and a hookah waiter. He says there is no proceed for him to get a proper pursuit in Russia, since no one will sinecure him with his haven status. Legally, people are authorised to work underneath the provisions of asylum, though many employers aren’t wakeful of that.

“I don’t like what the FMS officials do. But we know the Federal Security Service’s process toward migrants 100 percent. It’s good that it’s not like in Europe. You have to be clever not to let any terrorists into the country,” he says.

Three friends carrying drinks in central Moscow at a bar owned by Hasan Khater, who came to Russia 3 years ago.

Syrian Schism

The Syrian countrymen organisation used to provide assistance to local Syrians, though the organization collapsed several years ago after the crisis in Syria started, and a breach emerged between Russia’s Syrians. The tensions were too exhilarated for the opposite groups to keep interacting, sources told The Moscow Times.

On the other hand, the Syrian diaspora as a joint force was never as clever as those of other nationals, the same sources said. Syrians have been integrating themselves into Russian multitude really good and have not indispensable to stick together, Ahmed Zain Aidrous says. In Russia there are obvious Syrian scholars, Syrian doctors, Syrian businessmen, and even a politician of Syrian origin — Zviyad Sabsabi, a senator in the Russian parliament’s Federation Council.


“I’m a Russian citizen. To me Russia means no reduction that Syria — my children live here and I wish this republic to be the best in the world. we adore Syria, though we have many some-more ties with Russia now. It’s usually my homeland and my people — we feel contemptible for them,” says Nasr Al-Yusef, who has been vital in Moscow for more than 25 years.

Nasr, 62, has dual sons, both of whom are doctors: a plastic surgeon and a vascular surgeon. He has clinging himself to his grandson and in his difference feels that his life devise has been accomplished.

Al-Yusef complicated at the Soviet Union’s All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), though could not stay since they would not extend him a permit to stay in the country. It was roughly unfit to get one for non-Communists, he says. Nasr was not a Communist, nor was he a supporter of the Syrian regime, that harm his chances of success behind in Syria too.

On his lapse to Syria in 1982 he worked in television, though was not promoted due to being found “politically untrustworthy.” At last he found out that he was underneath notice by the Syrian confidence services and in 1989 he went behind to Russia — this time to work.

In 2006 he assimilated the Russia Today radio channel and hosted his possess program, Press Overview. But with all the geopolitical changes the reporting became too one-sided, he adds. In 2013 Nasr was fired. When asked because he says it was not about his gift as a professional.

“It’s Russia’s really large mistake — to support Assad. He’s a real killer. Any other choice would have been improved than that,” says Al-Yusef.

He says he does not know Russia’s proceed toward the Syrian conditions and believes that Bashar Assad, Iran’s ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki have personally corroborated the Islamic State, to make the world select between them and terrorists. But the world should not take the bait, he says.

Assad is a dictator like his father, and most Syrians wanted him to leave, Al-Yusef explains.

That’s because many Syrians have assimilated armed belligerent groups like al-Nusra Front: They have zero to lose and want to avenge their families killed by the regime forces.

The fundamental thing the world powers should do is to make both sides stop fighting any other. After that all problems can be solved one proceed or another, Al-Yusef says.

“When they ask me who is to blame for what is function in Syria now, we always contend it’s 50-50, Russia and the United States. It’s usually that we adore Russia and want it to do the right thing.”

Contact the author at v.kolotilov@imedia.ru

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/550639.html