Farah Nasif: In Syria, “Everything Changed With the Drought”

Syrian Refugee

How can climate change help ignite a revolution?

“Everything changed.”

That’s how Farah Nasif describes her life after a climate change-amplified drought racked her home country of Syria, paving the way for the revolution that would leave her a refugee. Nasif is a U.S.- based political activist, born in the north-east Syrian town of Deir-az-Zour. Her family’s farm was wiped out by the massive drought that ravaged 60 percent of Syria’s land mass between 2006 and 2011. The drought, which was called the “worst drought in Syria’s modern history” by The New York Times, decimated the livelihoods of around 80,000 Syrian farmers and herders during that time.

Nasif fled Syria in 2013, and continues to seek political asylum in the United States. She is a graduate of Damascus University who has worked as a journalist and stringer for Western news outlets in Syrian areas controlled by both ISIS and the Syrian government. She was also a fellow at the New America Foundation’s Middle East task force in the spring of 2013.

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