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Syria: PokemonGo, the NGOs and the Game of Philanthro-Capitalism, Who Wins?

pokemon go2
21st Century Wire

Many of you will remember the formidable, eloquent and profoundly touching voice of Syrian journalist, Jamila M Assi, when she talked with 21st Century Wire live from Damascus. We are sharing her words today as they are particularly poignant in the light of our recent article highlighting the more sinister aspects of PokemonGo. They are also a foreful adjunct to our work on the insidious NGO complex that is invading Syria with its multi-faceted oligarchy funded tentacles.

Here is the interview with Jamila on soundcloud – Damascus: Jamila Assi of Shababeek SOURIA live

Jamila Assi on PokemonGo, NGOs and the weaponization of humanitarian aid:

“Pokémon Go. A game of glass balls is enough to make you forget anything, even war..

I bet no NGO has yet thought of a glass balls event where they get to take some photos for prestige and market themselves as children-loving, anti-war, pro-joy, or maybe brand a Syrian Pokémon Go!

Well, I just did!

The only way I can see evidence of NGOs work in Syria is through those ugly blue bags that remind the child everyday he uses it to go to  school is that he\she is dependent on some organization that makes money out of his\her misery.  An organization that is the last one to hope for an actual improvement in those children’s life.

Why? Because without this child’s misery… how will that NGO work?

The economy, marketing, propaganda, and “humanitarian” drama of international NGOs have made net profits from the Syrian war like never before. The case of Syrian Refugees, aids sent of Syrians inside Syria, psycho-social support for individuals traumatized by war and many other issues have made perfect material for more campaigning, more prestige, more profit in the name of Syria’s suffering.

And the case is worse when it comes to Syrian NGOs. Syrian NGOs preach about “initiatives”, “entrepreneurship” and other Platonic concepts in a society that still does not have a respectful civil law; those same NGOs preach about “raising awareness on women’s education”  maybe still don’t know that our law justifies a crime against women under a category called “honour crime”.

If you want to do something good and for the benefit of others, maybe you could save the money being spent on workshops in the most expensive hotels, on photos and videos here and there, on social media campaigning and use that money in some real action, like hiring a group of lawyers to call for the cancelation of “honour crimes” law instead of just teaching illiterate women that reading and writing is the best thing they can aspire to.

NGOs beg in the name of people in need, but the fact is that these people must remain in need so as to maintain the continuity of those organizations’ work. All UN and other NGO staged humanitarian sympathy and care is useless; a couple of events, some clowns here and there for an hour or so, some school bags some tents and meals, and some emotional videos to gain more money and then what??

Are more children in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Rwanda, and Somalia more secure or happy?

Is the reality of women becoming better in the Middle East and Africa?

Is hunger a less dangerous problem in the last three decades?


When some freshly dressed UN employee in Syria with her Chanel perfume, perfect hair style, super expensive jeans, well-done nail polish, and most importantly the badge coming down from her neck to remind us that she works just to make other people’s life better, when she starts talking about refugees, women rights, children rights, civil society, literacy campaigning, or whatever, I hear one thing:

BLA BLA BLA! And wait … More BLA!

The hypocrisy of such organizations is as bad as any direct attack of any other propaganda, like “the west is the saviour”, or “we will bring you democracy” and so on.


Basic things we need to get rid of to make Syrian community stronger…

First, stop that NGO farce.

Second … I’ll tell you later…”


Follow Jamila M Assi on Facebook and Shababeek Souria, a window onto life in Syria.

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

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