Syrian Renaissance Plan: Reconstructing Syria After Its Devastation by War and Destruction
Western Syria’s territory will be secured and declared the Syrian Resettlement Zone for all Syrian refugees now located in Europe, Jordan and Turkey. The safe zone will be secured by established Syrian Forces to include some selected opposition forces and coalition Security Forces. After ISIS is destroyed and removed from occupied areas, the Syrian Redevelopment and Reconstruction plan will be initiated.

The most important element of this plan is to create the first Safe Zones for returning refugees and displaced citizens from within, from such places as Aleppo and throughout the devastated regions of the country.

Assad and senior government officials must retire and step down from office and be replaced by an interim government. The new interim Parliament and President must represent all Syrians and religious groups. The new leadership and council will plan for a new revised constitution and future elections, which could be based on the El-Sisi/Egyptian model.

Western Syria’s territory will be secured and declared the Syrian Resettlement Zone for all Syrian refugees now located in Europe, Jordan and Turkey. The safe zone will be secured by established Syrian Forces to include some selected opposition forces and coalition Security Forces. After ISIS is destroyed and removed from occupied areas, Syrians will be relocated back to their villages and towns. The Syrian Redevelopment and Reconstruction plan will be initiated to ensure Syria’s return to a prosperous and developed nation.

Vital infrastructure will include roads, electrical, solar, digital, ports, bridges, airports, water, desalinization, dry-land agriculture, transportation and much more. This vision points toward a new Syria that rises to fulfill the full potential of the nation in its glorious history, of the wonderful people in all their diversity of religion and culture.

Facilitating the Return of Refugees

A large Re-entry Assessment Facility will be necessary to process returning Syrian refugees. Assuming the refugees will be entering through the Syrian Mediterranean ports, busing may be required to a central facility where a thorough questioning, identification and clearing of individuals and families needs to take place.

Bus will be the main mode of transportation for returning refugees.  Ideally, travel will be restricted, for the protection of the people. Travel between the resettlement communities and Latakia, in the north, and Tartus, in the south, should be sufficient range for the people to move around and possibly find work. Refugees will be vetted to ensure all ISIS members and sympathizers are removed from the groups, isolated and secured in designated areas until rehabilitated.

Rebuilding the Cities

Following processing, a destination is required.  The first step is to identify areas for mixed-used development – outside Latakia and Tartus on the Mediterranean in Western Syria would be ideal initial locations.

Housing, daily life supply, education, work, recreation and worship, all must be addressed as quickly as possible.  There is a modern building process called rammed earth that is economical, allows for windows, can be used in at least two-story construction, does not need to be painted, the materials utilized for interior and exterior walls are available locally and it is a visually beautiful product.

Another option is modified (windows and standard housing doors added) shipping containers. With the initial re-settlements being on the coast and near Syria's main shipping ports, containers may be a very practical form of housing as well. Containers will need to be cleaned and painted, adding to the cost, but they are weather resistant.

Facilitating Economic Revival

Along with the economic activity, a plan must be put in place to secure property rights for all inhabitants, so that the power of capitalism can be unleashed, and growth, further development and restoration of culture can root and take off on its own.

Going beyond robust property rights, low taxation for stable collection and the responsible creation of local government is critical.  Corruption must be, if not abolished, discouraged aggressively. Public safety policing is necessary, and must be led by refugees themselves for integrity and acceptance.  

An early business that will be needed for efficient supply is an Amazon-style distribution center, allowing a leapfrog to modern logistics and online access, as well as efficient delivery.

Ensuring Health and Education

Very importantly, within the resettlement facilities, medical assessments must occur, requiring nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors on site.  According to the Save the Children Report on Syria 2014, measles, meningitis and polio are on the rise with as many as 80,000 Syrian children who may be carriers.

At least one-third of Syrian children under five have not received their vaccinations. Every child, 15 years of age and under must be issued vaccination booklets detailing vaccinations needed, given with dates.  Parents will keep these booklets safe and bring them to doctor visits.  The information should be electronically maintained in hospitals/clinics, as well. Malnutrition and resulting medical issues need to be identified. Many adults and children may be suffering from skin conditions.

If the children's education is neglected, Syria will be dealing with an uneducated populace in the future, from which many more serious problems would arise. To avoid that pitfall, children need to be in school until 14 years of age, minimum. Vocational schools for older students and for re-training adults are highly recommended. Skilled workmen will be needed to rebuild Syria and move it forward, eventually into the 21st century.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.