Syrian social media users have been occupied with the recent water cuts in Damascus. Just as with other crises, many people are dealing with the new crisis through satire and sarcasm.
Syrians, in keeping with the saying, “Jokes lighten the spirit”, have come up with many jokes and satirical phrases to lighten the impact of the crisis and make their voices and criticisms heard by authorities.
Enab Baladi documented the most popular jokes about the water crisis that were being circulated on social media and WhatsApp on 29 December.
Yehya Fatal wrote on his Facebook page, “The benefits of misfortune: Due to the current water cuts, women are: not cooking, not cleaning, not washing clothes, not mopping, not wiping dust, not bathing, not ironing, not doing the dishes. They are living under the motto: ‘Syria survives its crises’.”
Yamama Khawaja Kirki wrote on her “Facebook” page, “They asked me, ‘what do you wish for in 2017?’ I replied ‘That we have water running in our pipes again’”.
Rana al-Masri posted a joke about parents who want to marry their daughter off to a water-seller rather than a professor as a result of the water crisis. She posted the following dialogue on her Facebook page:
- Suitor: Sir, I want to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.
- Father: What do you do?
- Suitor: I have a doctorate in nuclear physics and work at Cambridge University.
- Father: I’m sorry but another suitor is asking for my daughter’s hand and he has a water tank, and as you know, the girl wants only the best.”
Mohammad Ahmad mocks the regime’s repeated claims that the crisis is over and that the situation is under control. He wrote, “To all Syrians abroad, you can return because there is nothing in the country! There is no electricity, no water, no petrol, no gas, no work and, honestly, there is nothing. Please return, we have missed you.”
Bashar Ziniyeh sarcastically tweeted the following: “Breaking news!! Air Control announces that all air has been cut off in Damascus for five days only, after which oxygen will return to its normal levels. Citizens must ration their breaths. It is best to inhale without exhaling. Let us see if the population will remain alive.”
The satirical “The Fifth Legion Welcomes You” Facebook page posted this in reference to the inability to bathe due to the water cuts: “Did you know that the quantity of oil currently in the hair of Damascus’ residents is greater than the quantity of olive oil produced in Syria annually?”.
Many Syrians in Damascus wonder what else awaits them after the electricity, diesel, gas and water crises they have already suffered. Playing on the element of surprise, this message was circulated on WhatsApp, “My dear fellow citizen, do not leave the country as there are many more surprises to come! Do not miss out on them, stay tuned!”
For several days, the city of Damascus has been experiencing complete water cuts due to the regime’s bombing of the area of Wadi al-Barada, destroying the Ein al-Fija Water station and putting it completely out of service.
The Syrian regime accuses opposition factions in the villages of Wadi al-Barada of attacking the water station, citing various reasons why the factions would do this. However, a video recording showed the water station being targeted with explosive barrel bombs, which the Syrian opposition factions do not have.
The opposition factions in the Wadi al-Barada area denied that they caused the explosion at the water station and confirmed that the regime bombed it, targeting the station with over 10 explosive barrel bombs, which led to the destruction of its rock floors and cement foundations.