The eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor Syrian city, especially the region from al-Buseira town to al-Baghoz town, is known as a tribal region, being a pure Arab region.
Although the Baathist regime marginalized the role of clans and their notables who enjoyed a common reputation among the members of their clans, the clans of this region maintained their customs and norms in containing the problems that occur among the members of that region.
In this context, one of the elders of al-Khanafer clan and a member of al-Baghoz Town Council, Hawas al-Jassem, said: "There are harmony, comunication and coherence among the clans in the eastern line, and these clans still maintain their tribal traditions and customs."
Al-Jassem considered that the clans are the basis of society in this region and play the main role in solving problems that occur among the individuals in this region.
Al-Baghoz town includes a tribal mixture, in which there are 8 Arab tribes, the largest of which in terms of the number of members is al-Marasima tribe, then the tribes of al-Jabbour, al-Mutallween, al-Agidat, al-Dandan, al-Khanafer and al-Marashida. This mixture forms a tribal tissue that expresses the region as a whole.
Al-Jassem added: "The notables belong to one component and have periodic meetings. They agree in solving the problems and disputes that occur in the region," stressing that this is what was known for thousands of years, and these tribal customs are indispensable.
The war in Syria affected the role of tribes in the society that was fragmented and divided after the displacement and migration of the clans’ leaders and members out of the country.
In this context, al-Jassem says, "The war was cruel and affected the tribal mixture in terms of displacement and migration of tribal leaders and decision-makers in those clans."
ISIS marginilized the clans’ role, and devided them
From the beginning of the Syrian crisis until the beginning of 2014, the tribes of the region have managed to maintain their cohesion, customs and traditions, and Hawas al-Jassem said: "In the wars between 2011-2014, the tribes had a somewhat impact, but after ISIS took over the region in 2014, the tribles’ role and influence over society weakened. What ISIS has done contradicts the principles and customs of the tribes of the region."
He added: "After liberating the region from ISIS a year ago, the tribes have regained their role and influence in society, but there are still tribal elders who have not returned to the area."
During the period of ISIS occupation of the region for 4 years, a large number of people have been displaced and migrated out of the country, including the clans’ notables and sheikhs, and this led to the fragmentation of the clans.
In this context, one of al-Marasima clan, Dhieb Khalaf Dawood, said: "ISIS did not show any importance to the clans and marginalized the role of the elders. This caused the displacement of the clans’ elders, and the clans had no opinion, and could no longer play its role in solving problems among the members of society."
Dawood emphasized that the tribes contributed to the return of the people and their reunification after the liberation of the region from ISIS through the Civil Council which restored the tribes’ role in the region.
As the region is tribal, some parties try to exploit some notables to reach political goals and incite clans against each other, but until now, the clans have not been dragged into such tricks.
In this context, Dawood said: "There are some parties that try to exploit the role of tribal elders in the region and try to win them over to their side in order to use them to achieve their interests, but the tribes will preserve their society through Deir ez-Zor Civil Council."