Syrian Citizens Place Bets, Lotto Tickets on Assad’s Downfall
By Chris McKerracher
ALEPPO — Forget wagering on soccer matches and executions; the latest fad in the Arab world is creating office and coffee house pools based on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s eventual removal from office.
Some of these pools are centered on the date of his departure and some by how his removal will occur.
“We can’t keep up with the demand,” smiled one coffee house owner who wished to only be identified as Ali. “Of course it is a lot of fun. You just choose one of the possible ways he will leave office – or come up with one of your own – and all the people who guessed right split the pot.”
Here’s how the betting is going. Most popular is the “Gunned down like a crazed dog in the street” at 32%. Next most chosen at 28% is “Spirited away by the no-good Russians just as the Syrian Freedom Army closes in.” In third place is “Seal Team 7 (It’s their turn.)” tallying 24% of the votes.
The balance of the list includes “Murder/Suicide” (9%), “Killed by Bodyguard”(4%), “Killed by poor exercise and diet plan” (2%,) and lastly “Retirement” (1%).