Analysis Of Who Is Protesting In Syria


I am dismayed by the analysis provided by the anonymous retired diplomat. Below is my response to his argument that only 2% are involved in the protests.   By examining many youtube videos of the Syrian protesters, one will conclude the following

1.      Most  protesters are aged between 18-40 2.     95% of protesters are men.

For the total number of protesters, I am going to use the same estimate provided by the anonymous retired diplomat, i.e. 400,000 protesters. ·

We can safely assume that for each male protester, a female relative of the same age group (wife, sister…) stayed home yet shared the same sentiment of her male relative ( I am going to call them passive female protesters). This makes the number of protesters (active & passive) 780,000.

Its probably safe to assume that the age group (18-40) constitute 35% of the population. This bring the total number of ( Active protesters + Passive-female protesters +their extended families) to 2,250,000… ·

Given the tremendous risk of being shot dead during demonstrations. It is safe to assume that only a % of the disgruntled population would actually go out and protest.  I will estimate that only 3 out of each 10 disgruntled male citizens came out to the streets.  This brings the total number of Active protesters + Passive-female protesters +their extended families+ scared-to-protest to 7,500,000.

Most protesters are sunni Muslims. Sunni Muslims are 70% of the population, this comes to be 16, 310,000. This means that 46% of sunnis are involved in the protests (active, passive, and scared)

Some people have been inflating the population of Damascus, it is only 1.64 millions. ( see tables) ·         Aleppo and Damascus (total of 4 millions inhabitants) have not yet participated in the demonstrations.

Governate Population* ( in millions)
Damscus (City) 1.648
Damscus (Subrubs) 1.711
Aleppo 5.315
Homs 1.977
Hama 1.938
Latakia 1.161
Deir ElZor 1.511
Hasaka 1.445
Raquah 0.903
Swaydaa 0.46
Daraa 1.011
Tartous 1.011
Qunaytira 0.904
Tartous 0.446
Idlib 1.865
Total 23.306
Population Under 15 years of age** 40%
Population over 65 years of Age** 3.30%
Popoulation between 15 & 65** 56.70%
*المصدر: المكتب المركزي للإحصاء (2008) National census Office
**المصدر: المكتب المركزي للإحصاء (2004) National census Office

Syria Comment - Joshua Landis

Joshua Landis maintains Syria Comment and teaches modern Middle Eastern history and politics and writes on Syria and its surrounding countries. He writes “Syria Comment,” a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 3,000 readers a day. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis regularly travels to Washington DC to consult with the State Department and other government agencies. He is a frequent analyst on TV and radio.

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