The siege being imposed on the regime-held Deir Ezzor neighborhoods by Daesh has reached a point where it is affecting various aspects of life, including education. The faculties at al-Furat University have become almost deserted and like a forgotten graveyard due to the absence of professors, students and university employees.
The first obstacle confronting the university students in the besieged areas is the lack of transport as they are obliged to walk a long distance to reach the faculties situated in a deserted and unpopulated area near Damascus-Deir Ezzor highway.
Reaching the faculties does not always have good endings. Upon their arrival at the faculties, students sometimes do not meet their professors because of numerous reasons, among them are that some professors also chooses to escape the siege by fleeing to areas outside the province.
Amal, a student at the Faculty of Letters in al-Furat University says, “When we go to the library of the faculty to obtain printed university lectures, we realize that the professors have not released any lectures, meaning education has almost stopped. Dean of the Faculty of Arts has travelled outside the besieged areas, and there is a small number of the remaining staff at the faculty. Those who want to inquire about lectures or their achievement marks are faced with real difficulties.”
Assad forces have been launching campaigns of arrest in Deir Ezzor for months, targeting students to forcibly recruit them to later place them on the fronts against ISIS such as Brigade 137 and Deir Ezzor military airport, despite the fact that most of these students carry documents proving their study is postponed which should prevent them from being forcibly recruited.