For more than 20 years I used to stay in Damascus two months every summer. I grew up loving the City of Jasmine more than any other city. My visit to Syria used to be as much fun as any kid in Disney Land. I used to know every corner and every street in the city. There was so much to do in Damascus, two months were never enough for me. Having cousins my age in Damascus helped me a lot learn more about the culture and the places to be for teens.
But as I was growing up my love of the city started to fade away. I knew that living in Syria is not as visiting it. I still remember, although I was nine or ten, watching on Syrian TV an interview with one of Hama‘s aftermath prisoners. For some reason I vividly remember the interview and that we were having dinner at my grandparents’. My parents, grandparents, and my three uncles were there, we all were silent. Syrians were, and still until recently, so terrified no one could speak ill of the regime even in their houses. The prisoner on the TV was shaking and confused. He was bombarded with questions that all led him to say how sorry he was for what he did and how his life is nothing without Mr. President.
Later, I knew more about the dark side of the authoritarianism regime. Things in that beautiful country where not as pretty. Every citizen in Syria knows exactly what should be said and what not. A single politics-related mistake can cause a man to vanish. No record of him being in jails, hospitals, or any where else. In Syria, it is possible for a person to evaporate like water.
But Arabs say “بقاء الحال من المحال” (translation: everything has an end). Therefore, they finally decided to do something about their miserable lives in the Middle East. Among all the Arab countries I have never expected any thing to happen in Syria but they proved me wrong.
Because I have relatives in Syria I don’t watch the news about Syria; I know exactly how bad things can get over there. And for that I don’t watch these videos about Syria on YouTube as well. The regime there is not like any other regime in any other Arab country, I know what they are capable of doing. Even though I am far away from the heat I don’t have the courage to speak up unlike the brave woman, Rima Dali, whom I read about yesterday. She was arrested because she had a banner that says “Stop the Killing. We want to build a nation for all Syrians.” [Aljazeera]
Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, taught us that the best Jihad is to speak the word of truth to a tyrant ruler. This woman is a hero. She is so courageous. I can never do any thing close to such bravery thing.
p.s. As I mentioned, I don’t watch news about Syria so I am sure there are other brave Syrian men and women. I am writing about this woman simply because I read her story.