Inside the Assad Regime’s Surreal “Summer in Syria” Campaign | Inside Assad’s Syria | FRONTLINE | PBS

By any measure, the previous a number of months in Syria have been particularly devastating.

The world has watched as 1000’s of Syrians fled the preventing between President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and insurgent forces. In the meantime, regardless of U.S. airstrikes, ISIS seized much more territory throughout the nation, even razing the traditional metropolis of Palmyra.

However as FRONTLINE’s Martin Smith discovered when he journeyed inside government-controlled areas of Syria late this previous summer time, the regime and its allies had been working onerous to placed on a great face.

One in every of their public relations efforts? A marketing campaign known as “Summer season in Syria” selling regime-sponsored artwork festivals, movie festivals, and vogue reveals — and urging Syrians to share their experiences of summer time on Twitter utilizing the hashtag #SummerInSyria.

The marketing campaign didn’t go precisely as deliberate, as an excerpt from Inside Assad’s Syria — tomorrow night time’s new FRONTLINE documentary — reveals.

“Simply having some tea and having fun with the view from my balcony,” one particular person tweeted, together with a photograph of a shelled-out constructing within the metropolis of Homs.

“Just some extra barrel bombs, and this can all be white sand,” tweeted one other, sharing a photograph of a kid standing in particles.

The #SummerInSyria marketing campaign wasn’t the one surreal juxtaposition Smith noticed in his three weeks on the bottom in regime-held territory.

In actual fact, the architect of the Summer season In Syria marketing campaign itself — the federal government’s minister of tourism, Bishr Yazigi — invited Smith alongside to see one other challenge: a newly-constructed resort positioned simply 5 miles from the bombed-out stays of Homs, and 10 miles from insurgent strains.

“The animals look as shocked as I’m,” Smith says within the above clip, referring to the stone sculptures by the resort’s newly opened pool.

Within the meantime, unusual Syrians — some 7 million of whom have been internally displaced by the warfare — stay caught within the crosshairs of the disaster, hoping for safety and making an attempt to keep away from the specter of demise from all sides.

“I don’t have any future now in Syria,” one highschool pupil tells Smith. “No place in Syria is secure.”

Inside Assad’s Syria — a uncooked, up-close take a look at each the realities of on a regular basis life for unusual Syrians caught within the disaster, and the Assad regime’s efforts to carry onto energy — premieres Tues., Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. EST on PBS stations (test native listings) and on-line at pbs.org/frontline.


Patrice Taddonio

Patrice Taddonio, Digital Author & Viewers Growth Strategist, FRONTLINE

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