Syrian Businessman – Mohannad Al Masre: “Safe Zone” Is A Portal For Development Projects
The Syrian “Damsco” commercial group revealed that the safe area that Turkey intends to establish in northern Syria is a gateway that opens paths for them to implement development projects that contribute to the return of the Syrians to their lands.
The group’s chairman, Mohannad Al Masre, expressed his views to Anatolia in Istanbul, the safe area that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed a few days ago, in northern Syria, and considered it “a gateway to implement development projects that achieve self-sufficiency for citizens.”
The group, which is based in the cities of Dubai and Istanbul, as its two main centers, has conducted a humanitarian tour in the past days on the Syrians camps in the border areas in Turkey and the Syrian interior.
Mohannad Al Masre went on to say that “Syria is facing a new stage and an important turning point, which differs from the past eight years of the war, requiring all Syrians to roll up their sleeves and start building the country again, headed by businessmen.”
He pointed out that “their group will be the first in implementing many pioneering plans and projects at home, which will create thousands of job opportunities, encourage the return of Syrians, and reduce dependence on foreign aid.”
He stressed “the importance of ensuring security and stability in the Syrian territories, in order to start implementing projects, and that it is a responsibility of all parties.”
He also stressed in this context that “the safe area is a positive step for achieving security and stability in all parts of Syria.”
Last Tuesday, President Erdogan said, in a speech to Ankara, that “Turkey will work to establish a safe zone along its border with Syria, at a depth of 20 miles (32 kilometers).”
As for US President Donald Trump, he announced last Monday that his country intends to establish a buffer zone in northern Syria at a depth of 20 miles.
The idea of a safe zone was first proposed by Turkey during President Erdogan’s visit to Washington in May 2013.
The safe zone aims to protect civilians fleeing the conflict in Syria.
Group’s future projects
Mohannad Al Masre, who called on his countrymen to prepare to return to Syria and build them with their arms again, stressing that “his business counterparts will be at the forefront of this ride, in the event of achieving sustainable stability in Syria, especially after announcing the establishment of the safe zone.”
In response to a question about the projects that the “Damsco” group intends to implement in Syria, he stressed the importance that “these projects are initially focused on the Syrian person, and the development of human resources, in order to prepare the largest number of Syrian young men and women who are able to enter the workforce ”
“On the ground, we have started supporting rehabilitation and training centers in refugee camps and areas near the (Turkish-Syrian) border, with the next steps further crystallizing in northern Syria,” he added.
He pointed out, “The presence of vocational rehabilitation centers affiliated with the group inside and outside Syria, and the aim is through which the Syrians are trained and integrated in the labor market, and displace a great deal of burdens placed on them.”
He attributed the reasons for this to “suffering from a large shortage of expert manpower, and in order to bridge this gap, we have established a platform on the Internet in order to accept applications for free entry to professional courses.”
In his speech, Mohannad Al Masre focused on “the importance of supporting agricultural projects, given the nature of the fertile Syrian lands, and to reduce dependence on food aid coming from abroad.”
Support for small projects
The Syrian businessman considered that “small professional projects and home workshops are part of the culture of the Syrian people, which has been brought up for decades, and we should consolidate this culture and encourage it, and ensure that it does not break from the minds of the Syrians.”
And he added, “We know that the need to develop the real estate sector in Syria is very large, but that the bulk of the support should not be focused on this sector, because it will create an imbalance and will have a negative impact on achieving sustainable peace.”
He also indicated that “the availability of financial liquidity for reconstruction is not sufficient without the presence of professional competencies, explaining that there is a large gap created by the war, in the size of the human resources that left Syria.”
The Turkish role is positive for the Syrians
The Syrian businessman praised the Turkish role “in receiving the Syrians and harboring them on its soil,” expressing “his deep thanks to the government and people of Turkey for their humanitarian dealings with the Syrians.”
And he added, “Through our tour of the Syrian shelters near the border, we have seen how much attention Turkey has paid to the Syrians,” describing the role of the Turkish Red Crescent as “mighty”, in helping Syrians at home.
Mohannad Al Masre concluded by saying, “I sensed a great desire that the Syrians have to return to their country,” considering this desire “as a positive energy and an incentive for him as a businessman, to start a new phase in the country.”
The group was established in Damascus in the year 2004, and it has commercial activities and moved to the UAE in 2011, and opened a headquarters in Turkey in 2017, to carry out numerous relief projects in Turkey targeting Syrian camps, as well as relief projects in the Syrian interior, in cooperation with the Turkish Red Crescent.