To answer the above question we invited ten Syrians who actively called for cautious, evolutionary reforms (Group1) and ten other Syrians who are opposed to the current system of government and are in favor of faster and more far reaching changes to take place (Group2). Members of each group answered the question from their different perspectives. Members of a third, center, group then tried to produce a list of answers to the question by voting on each of the 74 answers provided by the two other groups, then sorting those answers according to the highest votes. All answers were edited and combined in a comprehensive top 20 list that the center team is proposing as the project's answer to the important question: "what is on the mind of the Syrian people today?"

1 Survival (Staying Alive)

Syrian citizens’ daily activities, throughout the developments of the current crisis, can be summarized into the words “ways of survival”.  The militancy did not only shatter security but it is now randomly threatening people’s survival as people themselves have now become targets, regardless of their position or political stance. Towards this end, many considerations and […]

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2 Fate of activists from both sides arrested, kidnapped or fearing punishment

The issue of those wanted and the detainees has become more complex, for whereas it was only linked to the security apparatus of the authorities, the issue of those who were abducted by the militant opposition, which took a shape that is similar to detention in some of its aspects, appeared during an advanced phase […]

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3 Managing the change process of Syria’s political system

Waiting for a new political environment that summarises almost two years of the Syrian crisis, which started with a social movement and ended up with a violent armed struggle, searching for politics amid the developments of the situation on the ground forms the pivot point for the post crisis phase, or even for the mechanisms […]

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4 Fate of refugees and emigrants

The problem of displacement in Syria only became clearer with the consequences that resulted from the militarization of the mobility. The armed clash pushed increasing numbers of Syrians to leave their homes; some were moved to safer areas within Syria, while others fled to neighboring countries, and another segment migrated to establish business in some […]

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5 Future role of President Assad

One of the most controversial points among Syrians now is the issue of the future role of President Bashar al-Assad. Opinions hugely vary with regards to this question, and they go between two extreme parties, the first of which want President Bashar al-Assad to rule Syria forever, and the second wants to get rid of […]

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6 Security and violence

The need for security is the most important of human needs, after the physiological ones. As a result, the security concern occupies a large section of the Syrian citizen’s spectrum of concerns, these days. The current Syrian generation has lived through a long period of stability and turned, like any social state, into a culture […]

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7 Dialogue vs Revolution

Despite the disagreement in reading the dramatic Syrian events  (Revolution, uprising, street movement, planned foreign conspiracy, rightful or wrongful demands, sectarianism, peaceful, violent or both), it is no longer a secret that violence has escalated at a regular pace, and the conflict took so much a destructive form that no Syrian party would be declared […]

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8 Need to develop sentiments of belonging, citizenship and other intellectual reforms

How could we understand the Syrian crisis within the context of the aggravation of a number of issues? The crisis exposed a complicated structure upon which all developments and repercussions were based. One of the many components of this context is the “Cultural Structure” of the individual and the society, and perhaps the crisis was […]

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9 Restructuring security apparatuses

Up until the start of the current crisis, the general feeling in Syria was that the regime was capable, through the presence of its fearsome security apparatuses that are highly skilled and have unique expertise, to isolate Syria from the wave of upheaval that stormed the region and Syria’s neighbours throughout the previous years. Despite […]

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10 Sovereignty

Turmoil, no matter what type it is, pushes one to think of the main component of the state, for states rarely remain far from the foreign interference, when confronted with crises. The question of violation of sovereignty not only formed an issue within  the Syrian matter, but it provided a political and cultural challenge for […]

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11 Sectarianism, national unity and future role of religion in Syria’s political system

The current crisis brought back to the forefront the question of determination of the Syrian identity and the role of religion in the foreseeable future. During the Ottoman era, the areas that currently form the Syrian country were geographically divided on sectarian, tribal and ethnic bases. Areas like the Alawite mountains suffered from isolation, while […]

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12 Corruption

Corruption is viewed by some as endemic in Syria. Others go as far as regarding it as one of the main causes for the current crisis. Many would agree, nonetheless, that corruption is a key subject that needs to be continuously tackled, given its impacts on the overall health of the economy and society. The […]

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13 The role of the army during the crisis and beyond

The Syrian army got evolved in the Syrian crisis at an early stage, as it has not only preserved the authority of the state, but it has been targeted as well less than a month into the crisis, starting from the village of Al-Baida, Southeast Banias, and it is is the key player on the […]

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14 Division Regarding the Direction of Economic Reform in the Future

The Syrian economy was built over four decades on the idea of the government’s ownership of entire sectors of the economy, while keeping the other sectors under the direct supervision of the government or agencies that the government controls. This mechanism managed to lead an important phase of accelerating economic growth in the seventies, based […]

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15 Regional role and the ever present Israeli threat

It is normal that the parliamentary majority is the one that controls foreign policy in any democratic country, or that that is in transition towards democracy. However, like all democratic countries, or those in transition towards democracy, there must be fixed basic principles from which wavering is not possible. We could preserve this principle through […]

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16 Dignity and human rights

There is a general impression that the Syrian crisis is an “Uprising of Dignity”, for the starting point of the revolution in city of Dara’a had symbols that show the correlation between tyranny, dignity and human rights. In spite of the complications of the Syrian crisis, which showed quite early, the majority of details during […]

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17 Justice, Tyranny, Reform of the Judiciary and Guaranteeing its Independence

The formula for stability Syria, since the early pre-crisis stages, had been based on a balance that combines security and stability of political power. Within this balance a lot of details that were considered “the guarantor” for continued stability have been dropped. A sense of injustice has manifested itself during the current crisis, and a […]

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18 Roles, Freedom and Responsibility of Official Private and Individual Media on Social Networks

The crisis exposed a serious malfunction among the regime team, with regards to achieving a minimum level of useful communication with a large segment of Syrian citizens. This generalisation goes to official, semi-official, private and even personal channels. These channels tried, without much success, to compensate for their lack of freedoms, and for the ambiguity […]

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19 The environment

The environment deterioration has been a concern for citizens since a long time, due to some harsh environmental circumstances imposing on citizens a feeling of bad management by specialised authorities, on one hand, and also awareness rising among them with regards to the need for the availability of healthy environment circumstances, through which their relation […]

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20 Occupied Territories

Some of the key elements that affect the Syrian crisis have been  absent or were neutralized. The issue of the Golan Heights, as part of the conflict with “Israel”, was foggy, perhaps a media piece that was directed against the political authority, or even within the discussion about the consequences of the political regime. The […]

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