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Friday, June 01, 2007

Featured on syriacomment.com

The popular site syriacomment.com posted a review of syriapol:

About a year ago, the polling site Syriapol was launched, created by George Ajjan, a Syrian-American Republican activist who has commented frequently on US-Syria relations here and elsewhere. Below is a press release that includes a summary of the first phase of the project, in which most of the 350 poll takers were expat Syrians. George hopes to get more participation from inside Syria in the second phase.

Although online polls are usually not as reliable as properly designed polls which try to ensure that their samples are representative of the broader population, George managed to to get closer to the ideal case by targeting Syrians who held various political views by listing a link to syriapol on most of the popular Syrian blogs and sites. This ensured that the sample of participants was not drawn exclusively from Syrians with any specific political camp.

It also included a press release. Here are some excerpts:

The survey's creator, Syrian-American political activist George Ajjan, anticipates the second, more substantial phase of the project, which would entail greater participation from within Syria, thus far limited due to compliance with US sanctions against Syria. Ajjan, whose family emigrated to the US from the city of Aleppo in the early 20th century, says he created the project to offer more reliable information about Syrian public opinion to decision makers and activists across the globe than the biased propaganda spouted by political operatives, both pro-regime and pro-opposition.

syriapol, by contrast, uses a market research technique called conjoint analysis to extract the respondents' preferences on a series of attributes related to regime change, form of government, economic reforms, democratic elections, as well as the Peace Process, and then immediately provides the results confidentially in a graphical format to the individual participant. According to Ajjan, the survey's format, in which a participant evaluates a series of 16 hypothetical scenarios, encourages a more honest assessment because it does not ask direct yes/no questions that almost always lead to jaded responses from participants fearful of government spying.

As for the results, Ajjan says that the initial indications are interesting, but far from conclusive because about 75% of the approximately 350 respondents thus far do not live inside Syria. He further stipulates that online surveys could never provide a truly accurate picture of Syrian society on the whole, given the low rate of Internet penetration, with the caveat that the syriapol project at least provides some quantitative data to balance a political atmosphere currently filled with little more than spin.


Anonymous said...

Greetings, I wish to clarify several things perhaps the most important is the attitude of the majority of Syrians, the regime in Syria that most Syrians are against continuation of one-party rule and they yearn for true democracy, but there is a difference between the working rights to the claim of democracy and human rights and that offers to the enemies of his country and has been consistent with the statement signed by some intellectuals Syrians and Lebanese are in the service of the conspiracy hatched against Syria to stop demanding the liberation of their land and restoring the rights to the Palestinians, do you think that the United States of America persuaded Syria if there is genuine elections and democracy achieved?

The United States will never accept Syria unless stopped hostility to Israel, what concerns America in the Arab region and not democracy, human rights, but the right of Israel to expand in the occupation of Arab lands have been free elections in Palestine. Hamas won Is America agreeing on this democracy or whether they worked to contain and destroy?

If America wants democracy for the peoples of the region, why overlook its authoritarian Governments in the region and deal with the answer to that from the game, America which have no interest to be arbitrarily as long as I do not hate Israel, when the enemy of Israel, you will necessarily be an enemy to America whether you are democratic or you arbitrarily problem in Syria is that some Syrian intellectuals believe American propaganda, and they believe that America will help them restore democracy in their homeland, This is not true.

America is what is the judgment of any kind in Syria is subject to the condition that Israel and renounce its rights in the Syrian Golan Heights, I am against the arrest of any Syrian citizen working policy, but I understand the motives of the Syrian authorities in the arrest of some political activists that Syrian intellectuals must work to the criticism regarding human rights and corruption, apart from the American policy and its goals, and find that all the Syrian people stand at their side, either while placing their hands and their enemies, however, no one of anything dealing with them and must understand the situation correctly.

Syrian has targeted the colonial West division Syria since the beginning of the twentieth century, their calculations Jordan and give the Hashemite family, and took them Iskenderun and had given to Turkey, and took them to Lebanon and given to the Maronite Christians, and took them and give Palestine to the Jews, but France and Syria after the division on all these parts to the four countries are in a state in Aleppo and Homs and Damascus in the State and the State of the Syrian coast that the Syrian people have the right to struggle for the restoration of Syrian territory to the motherland. and while some of the Syrian intellectuals calling for the exchange of ambassadors with Lebanon, the abandonment of the Palestinians, they betray the dreams of the Syrian people and betray Syria.

Philip I said...

Good project in principle.

The questions seem completely harmless as to render the responses to them almost irrelevant.

Most people want a secular government in Syria (you don't need a poll for that) but no one wants to be ruled by a corrupt government. You did not ask people what they thought of the government on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of competence, represention of the economic and political aspirations of the population, success in tackling poverty, the environment...etc.

Nevertheless it is a good first step. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi George,

Thanks for commenting on my blog, I have read some of your entries and looked at the poll you have created- this is a very interesting site you have hear and I would love to exchange links with you. I hope you will be a regular visitor to my blog as I definitely will be to yours :-)