Distant Yet Linked: Norway and the Syrian Civil War

Gray Barrett


Though Syria and Norway are not usually mentioned in the same sentence, the two countries are inextricably linked. One country is embroiled in a years-long civil war, with factions fighting proxy wars within its borders and other sects trying to dissolve its borders altogether. The other represents a bastion of social democracy, consistently ranked as one of the best countries in which to live. Those fleeing from war-torn Syria want to maximize their chances of not only surviving but also thriving by starting a new life. For many refugees, Norway represents an ideal haven –– one with a large social welfare state to accept them and a thriving market economy in which they can apply their skills and fashion a new livelihood. However, the reality may not be so ideal. As this conflict drags on, Norway will have to deal with ghosts from its past, Islamophobia, and the potential threat of ISIS and its foreign fighters as it seeks to provide relief for the thousands of Syrian refugees seeking a better future and to uphold its strong commitment to human rights.


Norway; Syria; Syrian Civil War; Human rights; Islamophobia; Foreign Fighters; Refugees

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