What are the impacts of “Our Lira is Our Pride” initiative on Syrian people?

To be honest, “Our Lira is Our Pride” initiative which has been launched by activists and merchants via Facebook pages to sell staple diet products and various items with 1 or 10 or 100 Syrian pound has brought a smile to the faces of a lot of Syrian people in all provinces as there have been hikes in prices of staple diet products because of the drop of the Syrian pound to more than 1000 to dollar on black market.

This initiative won’t improve the economic situation in the country but it is likely to have positive effects at social level, according to economists.

Dr. Aysar Midani ,  chairperson of NOSTIA [Network of Syrian Scientists, Technologists and Innovators Abroad] and chairs the ‘Ahfad Ashtar’ Institute, told Syria Times e-newspaper: “I cried tears of joy when I read what was circulated about ‘Our Lira is our pride’ initiative. My heart swelled with pride because of people’s solidarity to face the current predicament.”

She underscored the need not to downgrade the psychological and moral aspects in achieving victories in wars and steadfastness. “The economic theories have failed to affect the steadfastness of Syrian people.. Syria will triumph,” Dr.Midani added.

On her part, Mrs. Shahnaz Fakoush said: “The Syrian Lira is the symbol of the victory of our national currency. It also means that we achieve victory over the economic war being launched against us.. My take is that our Lira is our unity.”

Mrs. Rima al-Omari Syrian businesswoman said: “ I support such initiatives because they have  a humanitarian aspect and they help a lot of people in our country.”

She referred to “Made in Syria” Festival that was held by the Chamber of Industry with the participation of  50 national industrial companies last Wednesday in al-Jalaa Hall in Mazeh district in Damascus to sell various items of food and clothes with 1 Syrian pound.

“In the near future, several Syrian businesswomen will buy staple diet products out of their own pockets to sell them in the same hall in Damascus with one Syrian pound or any amount available with the visitors,” Mrs. Al-Omari added.

There was also a 2-day activity in 10 centers of Syrian Trading Company in Damascus where ‘Good Land’ Company raised the value to 1 Syrian pond to SP 1000  through a special offer that allow customers to get vegetables and fruits worth SP 1000 and pay just SP1.

Another offer was made for one day by a shop of mobiles in Damascus Tower where customers could buy a cell phone charger or screen protector with 1 Syrian Lira.

However, there were scores of fake unbelievable offers promoted via FB undermining the initiative by making advertisements for their shops and deceiving people. Some of these offers stipulated sharing the post in 5 groups and writing many comments so one person will win either mobile, or car, or furniture or 3 million Syrian pound with 1 Syrian pound.

Even such fake offers enhanced interaction among people who were doing their utmost to find an old coin for a car or mobile or any other expensive item with SP1.   

These offers were made in all provinces, but it is difficult to define the beneficiaries from this initiative in which dozens of shops, salons, cafés, gyms…etc have been involved.

Here we pose the following questions: Would the Syrian people’s steadfastness torpedo the major powers’ economic theories that aim to devaluate the value of the Syrian currency in parallel with the continuity of military war against Syria? Could “Our Lira is Our Pride” initiative lead to further initiatives to ease the suffering of a lot of Syrian people from the cruel economic sanctions that target their food, medicine and oil?

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour