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.
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.