Choices Unit: The Syrian Civil War

What caused the conflict in Syria, and how should the international community respond?

The Syrian Civil War and resulting refugee crisis is one of the defining humanitarian issues of our time. Since 2011, the violence of the conflict has prompted about half of the country’s population to flee from their homes—nearly seven million refugees have fled the country and more than six million Syrians are internally displaced. The war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and injured more than a million people. The Syrian Civil War provides students with the historical basis to understand the recent conflict, exploring the legacies of colonialism, sectarianism, and authoritarianism that continue to shape the country today. Throughout the curriculum, students explore how Syrian social movements and resistance have shaped the country’s history, considering the experiences and perspectives of Syrians from the past to the present. The unit is divided into three parts. Each part includes:

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