By Ahmad Azizi
By Ahmad Azizi
Morocco World News
New York, March 17, 2012
March 15, 2012, marks the one year anniversary of the start of the glorious Syrian revolution, when activists of all ages used Facebook to call for demonstrations against the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad. In the midst of the fast-paced events in and around Syria, the anniversary presents an opportunity for reflection on the overall picture of the developments in our beloved country.
A year of revolution has rendered undeniable certain facts that will endure long after the details of the events have been forgotten by history. At the top is the fact that Syrians have proven that they are not happy with their rights and property being stolen, and being denied the privilege of enjoying the riches of their country. And while Syrians have been demanding the restoration of their wealth and well-being from regime thieves, they realize that neither wealth nor well-being are of any value in the absence of safety and security. So Syrians have stood up to in protests against the bandits ruling their country. Moreover, Syrians, while demanding personal security, have proven that their personal security is not any more important to them than their freedom. As such, they have been willing to pay with their blood for their freedom. Yet again, Syrians, while standing tall and demanding freedom have proven that even freedom is not above dignity and honor. They would rather be arrested and tortured than be content with receiving a piece of bread with humility and then kiss the hand that dropped it to them after stealing it from them in the first place.
Therefore, it so happened that the first roars by the revolutionary lions since the outbreak of the events in Damascus were “The Syrian people cannot be humiliated”, and in Dara’a we heard “Death rather than humility.” And throughout the cities and towns of Syria, the people chanted: “God, Syria, freedom, and that’s it!”
All of this can in fact be reduced to a single concept, i.e. “humanity.” The Syrian citizen has not and will not accept giving up his humanity to a ruling criminal gang. This was expressed on many occasions in which men and women proclaimed, “I am human, not an animal!” In defense of their humanity, today’s Syrian martyrs have written with their blood heroic epics in their struggle against a cancer that eats away at their country from within. Their story is no less glorified than the epics that their forefathers have written in the earlier struggle against foreign parasites invading their country from outside.
There are those, inside and outside Syria, who put state security above human security. They justify the situation in Syria as necessary to maintain the principles of state security, state sovereignty and non-interference in the interior affairs of states. The problem is that they overlook the fact that these principles were originally developed because the state is the pillar upon which the interests of its citizens could be upheld, the framework within which their dignity and their rights can be enjoyed, and the primary entity responsible for the protection of their security. If the state’s interests are at odds with the interests of its citizens or, worse yet, if the state becomes the enemy of the people, then all of these principles become moot.
It appears to me that those who are satisfied with one family possessing a whole country and its people cannot understand much of what the rebels say when they reaffirm that they rather die than live in humility, or when they put freedom above all save for God and the homeland. The Butcher and his cronies will not realize how much meaning there is in th sentence, “I am a man!” for they find it hard to understand the meaning of humanity, dignity, freedom, honor, and human rights.
While Syrians share the principles of their revolution with their fellow Arabs, and for that matter any other people, who have revolted to regain their dignity, liberty, security and well-being from their respective tyrants and oppressors, Syrians have nevertheless distinguished themselves with a number of facts that will go down in history in golden letters. First, the people of Syria have shown unparalleled courage. Treacherous bullet penetrating their naked chests never deterred them from protesting day after day. The savagery of the monsters that were unleashed to kill them has only emboldened them, and increased their faith and resolve.
Second, Syrians have shown unparalleled patience and persevered with their peaceful revolution, chanting “peaceful, peaceful …” all the way, even when one might have thought: enough is enough. Some only took up arms after many months of brutality and after thousands have been killed or wounded.
Third, Syrian people have showed unmatched wisdom in dealing with the events. It is well-known that a drowning man will clutch at a straw; yet, the Syrian rebels never clutched to the straw of extremism or terrorism, no matter how hard the system has been trying to drive them to it. Nor have they turned their guns at anyone other than the killing machine. It is also well-known that the murderous regime in Syria is patently sectarian, and has illegitimately put one minority in all power and government positions and has sought with all its might to ignite a civil war along sectarian fault lines. In contrast, we have not heard anyone of the activists or intellectuals or commanders of the rebel fighters taking the bait and raising sectarian slogans or calling for fighting on a sectarian basis. The revolution has since the beginning been based on the slogan: “One, one, one … the Syrian people are one.”
A people having this wisdom, courage and patience and adorned with firm faith will never be defeated. Today, the positions and reactions of the international community occupy most news and analysis on the Syrian crisis. It appears to most people that any hope to resolve the crisis will come from outside. But the rebellious people are mindless to that and repeating their chant, “O God, who else can help us but you?”
What is next? Patience and wisdom have limits. A day will come when that patience will run out, that courage will be overwhelmed by a desire for revenge, and that wisdom will be transformed into audacity to fight and increase the violence. If we, Syrians, do not handle our country’s situation well before that day comes, then beautiful Syria will be a thing of the past.
Photo by: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed
A physicist by training, Ahmad’s work experience has been with the United Nations and International Affairs. He has eight years under his belt as a political adviser in New York, over which he has acquired experience in a wide range of diplomatic and political affairs, most notably in connection with the work of the Security Council. His current research interest focuses on the “responsibility to protect” as an emerging global principle. But as a Syrian-American, he has been equally active in the Arab-American and American Muslim community in New York. Having recently become a father, Ahmad’s passion is to work towards a safe, secure and equitable world for this and future generations. He is a member of Morocco World News’ editorial board.
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