Syrians need active service centers to overcome war hardships: expert


Dozens of displaced people of Efrin might be housed soon by efforts of Efrin Engineers Chamber. File photo

ARA News

Efrin, Syria – The ongoing crisis in Syria overshadowed the service sector in different areas across the country. Beside the security vacuum, the lack of services and governmental administrative institutions led people to establish alternative foundations in order to provide people with the on a daily-basis needed services. the Kurdish northwestern Syrian city of Efrin saw remarkable activity in this domain after the establishment of the so-called Efrin Engineers Chamber.

Selah Alamdari, Deputy President of Efrin Engineers Chamber, told ARA News in an exclusive interview that the chamber’s members are playing an important role in serving the resident of Efrin area amid the current administrative vacuum.

“Establishing the engineers chamber is mainly aimed at filling the administrative vacuum in the region, especially in the services sector. Engineers work is broad and life does not stop when water, electricity and services sectors do not function,” Alamdari said. “We held the first conference on 30 November 2012, where 110 engineers of various specializations participated. However, some of them preferred not to join the chamber for certain organizational reasons.”

“We have been working non-stop for a year now with simple capacities. Following the second conference at the end of 2013, we established a committee to involve the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) and some independent engineers in our essential activities in an attempt to play a more efficient role and bear the responsibility towards out people who suffer the most under the ongoing crisis. The number of the chamber’s members reached 214 engineers of different affiliations, and now we are 245 in total,” Alamdari told ARA News.

He also talked about the chamber’s efforts to reinforce the participatory work referring to the difficulties and challenges they have been through as “this kind of work is not part of their culture (working in services sector)”. “However, after almost 18 months of activity, we are proud of accomplishing some steps forward by covering the locals’ basic needs on different levels.”

Talking about the practical side of their work, Alamdari said: “We are trying to deal with housing violations and random buildings in Efrin and its surroundings. As engineers we submit consultative projects to the executive bodies of the Auto-Administration (founded by several political forces in northern Syria) and recommend some decisions to be considered, then we start implementation procedures. We study the priority projects and simultaneously work in different areas of Efrin in northwestern Syria, which is our main local concern.” 

According to Alamdari, dozens of projects were implemented by the chamber in collaboration with other Syrian stakeholders. Among other projects, Efrin Engineers Chamber carried out “the playground-prison yard project”, monitoring the generators work, and determining the ampere rate as well as field patrols to guarantee fair distribution between citizens and investors.

Regarding the challenges members of the chamber face, Alamdari stated to ARA News: “Institutions’ work overlaps and is not clear in terms of profession rules and specialties distribution. Moreover, some engineers are still governmental employees but they are practicly suspended due to the war conditions, so they are participating in the chamber’s activities to serve the residents, although they sometimes seem less motivated as these projects are being carried out voluntarily. We also suffer from the financial shortage, but we try our best to stay as active as possible since our people are in urgent need to our activities and the services we provide.”

“Despite the various obstacles, we are content of our achievements. We will go on for the better. We tried to overstep our political disputes to succeed on the ground. We are still trying to end our parties’ disputes to serve the region,” Alamdari concluded.


Interviewed by: Jinda Ahmed

Source: ARA News

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