Syrians in the province of Deir ez-Zour continue to rebuild their homes and towns in the aftermath of ISIS’ defeat over the course of 2017. The province, which was under near-complete ISIS control until mid-2017, has been hit heavily by the ravages of war and years-long militant mis-rule and there is still much work to be done. Along the western reaches of Deir ez-Zour, the majority of the reconstruction efforts have been concentrated along the town of Kasrah (also know as Jazra).
One of the largest towns in the western countryside and located along the highway linking Deir ez-Zour to Raqqa, Kasrah has always been well-suited to be an economic hub. Indeed, before the war, it was a fairly prominent market town and the locals have been working hard to ensure their town regains that status. Water and electricity have all been restored, allowing the locals here to engage in more comprehensive services such as medical services and education.
The Centre of Education, opened in 22 February 2018, is intended to fulfil the educational needs of Kasrah and the wider region. The main purpose of the centre is to help coordinate the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resupplying of local schools. So far, the Centre was responsible for the opening of 100 schools across Deir ez-Zour. The Centre also works with various committees in order to deal with the financing of these schools and help set up the curriculum.
Perhaps most importantly, the Centre offers support and rehabilitation for both teachers and students. During the years of ISIS rule, many local teachers were recruited by the militants under threat of violence. Similarly, many students were forced to attend ISIS-dictated classes during this period. Although the education system was the first to fall apart when the group’s revenue streams dried up, it is necessary to provide students and teachers with the relevant assistance to ensure that the extremist dogma is not unintentionally replicated in local schools.
The faculty here hope that through their efforts, the locals here will be able to rise above the seven years of conflict that has taken so much from their lives.