SYRIAN LESSON FOR LIFE: Be careful about planning HOW to make your dreams come true… For they may die. Or kill you.

These activists were predominantly liberal and secular, but hailed from all social and religious backgrounds. They were united by a vision and a noble aim. They espoused the kinds of freedoms and political rights for which most Syrians yearned. The way they were marginalized and ruthlessly hunted — first by the regime and later by the extremist Islamist rebels as secular apostates and the moderates for exposing their crimes — is just one more tragedy in a seemingly endless list that has afflicted this miserable nation.

The civil activists are now a dying breed, hunted into extinction by the malice of those who view them as a threat. In Syria, that means just about anyone with a gun. Most of them are now dead, in jail or have fled the country.

via Syria’s Islamist rebels force Christian activist to wear veil

– Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

Hope (1)

It’s been a while since I used the tag “Arab Spring”. Too much sadness and pain and death and dellusion grew from those  sprouts growing in Tahrir, in Tunisia… then came Yemen…. and unfortunately someone decided that it was right to give islamists a chance in Libya… and in Egypt… to a point that even these idealists from Damascus, Aleppo, Tartus… soon accepted that maybe having those long beards fighting side by side would give a true meaning to the  revolt.

It would even mean a proof of the reconciliation of every side who stood up against the regime, against all totalitarian arab regimes… a chance to shut up the western mouths and tell them that arabs could work united their own way, so islamists were as respectful as any other…  and why not saying it, it would also mean to restore the memory of those thousands killed in Hama.

Like father like son, they said, and we must stop Bashar first, more than anything, because we may not have a new chance and international support. In any case, this is not Libya!… Syrians are multiethnical, respectful, convivial people, who even share temples in some places between confessions.

Yes,… the good old times, when muslims and christians could share a banquet or even a prayer in Seidnaya. 

Dreaming is dangerous, you know?

Specially when you live life pretending to make it look like a dream. Because life is not a dream. It’s real. Blood and flesh. Air and water. Sickness and joy. Hunger and hope. 

Those who pretend to live a dream must remember that dreams end up when we wake up. While nowadays in most of Syria people may feel lucky enough to die while sleeping. 

This Mossarab hates to see history repeating in Syria as it happened in Iraq:

“It is impossible for Christians to live with this armed opposition. … When I asked what they will do with them, some groups said they will force them to wear the veil. Others said they will kick them out. … I was wrong, your fears were justified. Leave this country, it’s not ours anymore.”

And yes, there are still honourable Syrian dreamers fighting the regime. It’s not only beardies doing so (the “govt sponsored” beardies, the not so bad but also not good Al-Nusra guys, or the almost good “saudi sponsored” Islamic Front boys…)… And of course, there is also the kurds I admire.

But there’s less and less of those secular visionaries left alive or inside the country.

“They’re fighting because they have honor, because they are noble men. But they see the crimes of the rebels and the extremists, and they want out. Many are afraid to leave, afraid of reprisals by the rebels or being caught by the regime. They don’t trust the regime enough to give themselves up. They think they’ll be killed.”

That sums up the dilemma of all honorable Syrians, surrounded by enemies on all fronts in a war of dishonor.

Syrian war lasts for more than 3 years now. Spain’s Civil War lasted from 1936 to 1939. After that we went thru 40 years of dictatorship.  Many left the country for exile and never came back. Half of those staying went thru repression and prosecution. Jail and humiliation…

We had to wait until a man from inside the regime and a reformist young King, dared to give shape to a new democratic Spain. That man from inside the regime was called Adolfo Suarez and became the first democratically elected Spanish Prime Minister after Franco’s death.

He passed away 3 days ago and was buried with all honours. 

While  I remembered his achievements and his visionary compromise with my nation, I could not help asking myself where was the arab Mr. Suarez. For a while I thought he was Mohammed Elbaradei. He had everything needed. Except coming from inside the old regime. And that’s why he failed to convince his people and lead the change, and “He has spent to many years outside Egypt”, was the most usual excuse to dislike him.

Then… who may be the leader of a future Syrian transition, when its best hope, its dreamers… may be facing too many years outside their country,… or death? 

I just hope someone inside Syria is watching the cherry and almond trees covered in spring flowers… and planning a dream, instead of dreaming a plan.

That’s why I used again this tag.

Because I do hope some time the flowers will give fruit. 

Yesterday an Enemy, Today a Friend?

Completely agreed with Amira. During the times of Mubarak, christians were threatened from time to time with the anuence (or direct colaboration) of army, as a way to enhance the risks of an islamist revolt, which would obviously exterminate Egypt’s christians same as happened in other places. My intuition tells me that Sisi is playing the same. He knows that westerns will support him if those prosperous christians are respected. and wil use that tool, same as Mubarak did, to remain in full power. Deja Vu.

Mia's Blog

This was originally published on EgyptSource.

The nuanced, complicated-nature, and symbolic defeat of a theological state that came with June 30 has left most Christians in Egypt ironically and dangerously excited, hopeful, and confident in the current government and more precisely, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Seven months ago, on August 14, Egyptian Christians fell victim to an unusually coordinated and well-executed attack that extended to almost every province of the country. As Christians watched approximately 100 Christian institutions and churches destroyed and attacked by assailants across the country, they also saw the strength of Egypt’s security apparatus as it dispersed the pro-Mohamed Morsi Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins. While authorities accused the Brotherhood of planning and launching the attacks in retaliation for the sit-in dispersals, the Brotherhood in turn denounced the attacks, accusing Egyptian security forces of orchestrating them as a means of framing the organization. Regardless…

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Israel’s own misconception on “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”

The next war is inevitable, Israelis believe, because our enemies hate us, they’re fanatics, they don’t care about dying, they like to die, etc.What’s fascinating, though, is how people here completely overlook these last eight years of peace and quiet on the northern border, which the air force did everything in its power to disrupt until finally, this week, it succeeded. How can anyone say the next war is inevitable, that we’re fighting “the war between wars,” after nearly eight years of tranquility on the border with Hezbollah and Syria?How? Because the great majority of people in this country don’t notice it when the Arabs aren’t killing us, only when they are. They have this idée fixe that the Arabs have one purpose in life, to kill Jews, and when they’re not doing it, they’re preparing to do it. So no matter how long the Arabs take a break from killing us, it doesn’t change the general Israeli view of them, nor does it change their view of how Israel should deal with them.And it’s not just on the northern border with Syria and Hezbollah; very few Israelis have any idea that the Palestinian Authority has been working with the Israeli army and Shin Bet for 10 solid years to shut down violence in the West Bank. If you mention that to them, many if not most Israelis will get irritated. They don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear that the Arabs are afraid of us and our army, and that if we leave them alone they’ll leave us alone – even after eight years Hezbollah, 10 years Palestinian Authority, 30 years Syria, 40 years Egypt or nearly 50 years Jordan of Arabs doing just that.

via Israel’s ‘war between wars’ backfires

+972 Magazine

Israel map

(Yeah… nothing better than a good old patriotic war)


There’s no bigger blind than that who doesn’t want to see.

And israelis don’t want to see. Specially their army rulers and politicians don’t want people to see. Because if people don’t see things as they do, “they loose, it’s game over”.

So let’s better be blind,.. and make people be ready to pull the trigger and empty their carriers over the enemy homes before these are fast enough to retaliate properly.

After that happens, you can say everything. Literally. Or you can say nothing. Either way it worked before. Ah, the magic of a “good’ol patriotic war!” …if that doesn’t work this time…. go for religion as a trick. And let time go on. No one likes the brownish beardies, after all, uh?… even themselves don’t like each other!… whatever the excuse, or the facts, it wil never be Israel’s brave holy warriors’ fault. 

So yes,… Israelis are applying the three Wise Apes motto: 

“see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”

Israelis hide from reality, same as ostridges hiding their heads into the dephts of their own moral ground…in the hope it will save them from their own fears and shames. 

To that strategy I say… Bollocks!

 

Gulf atheism: Stirring up things nicely on a messed up age.

In the Arab Gulf, atheism (ilhad) is often conflated with secularism (ilmaniya). Although both are to different degrees unacceptable in society, the latter, unlike the first, is not punishable by law. A few decades ago most people in the Gulf had not heard of secularism, let alone atheism, even though many led a semi-secular lifestyle where men and women interacted openly. The advent of oil afforded the Gulf governments the opportunity to institutionalize and standardize religious practice in society. In addition, due to the history of Islam in the region, many in the Gulf strongly associate religion with national identity. Any distancing from or criticism of religion also equates to distancing oneself from national identity, which governments are keen to stress. The spread of political Islam in parts of the Arab world caused some of the youth in these countries to distance themselves from religion.

via

Gulf atheism in the age of social media

– Al-Monitor

muslim-atheist

What Happens When you Synonymize Authority with Immunity

Saudiwoman's Weblog

This is a translation of an article written by Saudi human rights activist Ali Al Hattab:

The dangers of officials’ immunity and absolute authority on individuals’ freedom of opinion and expression in society

Introduction:

We all agree on the importance and the necessity of laws in regulating social interactions on all levels to ensure that these interactions do not clash or conflict. Since the emergence of humankind, man has been on a constant quest for mechanisms to organize his public life, beginning with his formulation of simple social norms and ending with advanced legislative constitutions which are considered the highest canopy for laws and regulations, with the objective of serving society and establishing peace and security within their specific frameworks of time and place.

The Dilemma:

It is the “holy union” between immunity and absolute authority granted to administrative governors and its obstruction of the right of opinion and…

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